LiveBlogging about Blogging at the Worcester Business Journal Sales Summit

    Posted by Pete Caputa on Jul 30, 2008 12:58:00 PM

    How recursive is this?

    As this gets published, I'm speaking on a panel at the WBJ Sales Summit w/ Mark Roberge and Dave Hurlbrink. Mark is speaking about SEO. Dave is speaking about sales workstyle management. Together, we're doing our best to spell out important pieces of an inbound marketing strategy that will help the attendees improve online lead generation and lead nurturing activities within their organizations.

    Here's my presentation on why blogging is an important component of that.


    Wbj Blogging

    I'll also be referencing a few links during the presentation.

    Blogging as SEO Machine.
    Check the results on google for "a search for Central New England Sales Summit". Also, take a look at how well my article about blogging and sales ranks for a keyword search of "improve your sales process".

    Blogging as the Host of the Conversation
    Take a look at Dave Kurlan's article where he asked people what their best sales advice is. Take a look at this article and how my clients endorse us in public in our comments, where our prospects read it. Noel Huelsenbeck:

    "John is right on one account when he says "learn how to market your business on the web yourself" I would add, and do it using a proven methodology and experts, then add the hard work. Why John is out searching the web trying to find the short cuts and getting "free" info I've already designed my site, ranked my keywords, gotten leads, made sales and taken my $250 investment and made thousands."

    Blogging as Networking Central
    This blog post about the best internet marketing blogs led to many new relationships for me and HubSpot. I also make a habit of answering questions on LinkedIn where I can leave links to relevant blog posts. After the sale, I also frequently highlight my clients as I've done in this series of posts where I asked individual clients to share their internet marketing advice.

    Blogging as Lead Nurturer and Lead Capture Tool
    I'll be referencing this quote from Rick Roberge's blog (who's speaking now in the other room, btw):

    I've had conversations with peers about whether salespeople should generate their own leads.

    I've even gone so far as to say that the stronger your lead generation program(s), the weaker you are encouraging your salespeople to be and vice versa. The weaker your lead generation is, the stronger your salespeople need to be.

    I'm constantly getting pushback. Salespeople want fancy websites, big advertising, more mailings, marketing support, yada, yada, yada. Anything for more leads so they don't have to work so hard.

    In summary, blogging is an extension of what I do as a salesperson. It helps me generate leads, nurture prospects and sometimes it's the thing that seals the deal.

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    Topics: event, business blogging

    Do You Share Openly?

    Posted by Pete Caputa on Jun 5, 2008 9:58:00 AM

    When I relaunched PC4Media as a project a few months ago, my goal was to create a network of businesses that blog. I've enrolled about 60 or so companies. All engage at a different level. Some are doing great like my favorite MA real estate attorney, Dave Lima. Some have too many other priorities in the way and haven't really gotten out of the gates. 

    Many businesses think that blogging is just about publishing information. It is about publishing information. But, a business that engages in a conversation through their blog generates much more value out of their blogging activity. 

    Here's what I wrote to describe my members:

    The PC4Media network of businesses are all experts at what they do. But, more importantly, they are committed to publishing educational, informative and engaging information about their industry, their business and their experience. Further, they are committed to engaging the broader community online in a transparent conversation, while supporting each other as they each grow their respective businesses.

    Rick just published a post called "Experts that Share" that says the same thing much more succinctly:

    I enjoy the freeflowing exchange of expertise and ideas with people that are good at what they do and realize that collective thought is usually much more productive than the sum of individual thoughts. 
    I re-listened to the ClueTrain Manifesto on my ride into Cambridge today. If you're "supposed to be blogging" or "thinking about blogging", you should pick up the book for some inspiration and guidance.
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    Topics: blogging for business, business blogging, blogging

    Building a Blogging for Business Network

    Posted by Pete Caputa on Mar 28, 2008 10:10:00 AM

    Blog networks are a big deal. For people new to blogging, the idea of a professional blog network was born around 2004. The idea was to pull together a bunch of blogs on different topics and have them share resources, and use successful ones to successfully launch new ones through cross promotion. Calacanis and Denton were the first ones to make it work with their respective networks: Weblogsinc and Gawker Media. Calacanis sold Weblogsinc to AOL in 2005 and it makes AOL a lot of money. Gawker Media is still independent and recently conjectured to be worth about $150M. However, there's lots and lots and lots of blog networks around now. I blogged for Creative Weblogging for awhile. b5Media seems to be thriving. TechCrunch, GigaOm, PaidContent and a few other blogs have taken their popularity and used it to launch other blogs, thus creating blog networks. Federated Media and Glam Media have pulled together blog networks by recruiting a bunch of successful bloggers to outsource their ad sales. 

    There's a bunch of benefits to a blogger joining a blog network. Behind the scenes, there's a lot that goes into making a blog hum from design, building, hosting to ad sales, ad serving, research, fielding requests from public relations firms, writing, comment moderation, recruiting writers, payroll, etc, etc. However, the biggest benefit of being involved with a blog network is the cross promotion opportunities. A successful blog can quickly make a new blog successful by linking to them frequently, putting them in their blog roll and sometimes, just by association.

    But, all blog networks to date are media businesses. They hire (or are started by) great writers and they sell ads. Their business model is gaining eye balls and selling impressions.

    The bloggers in my network are not in the media business. They're in the asian cosmetic surgery business, the laser liposculpture business, the bulk mailing list business, the North Carolina whitewater rafting business, the sales force evaluation business, the aed implementation program business, the deformable mirror business, the museum exhibit design business, the after hours trading information business, the home renovation design businesss. The list goes on.  

    They don't sell impressions. They're not blogging about Audrina from the Hills' topless photos just to sell more ads. They sell real products and services.  They have real knowledge and real experiences.

    Why isn't there a blog network for them? 

    Blog networks have historically been run like journalistic enterprises. They've beaten the newspapers. They beat magazines. But, the motivations of the bloggers in my network are different. The means are the same. They must establish credibility, build a community and draw in traffic from search engines in order to build their readership. But, they want to drive traffic in order to generate leads and make sales. Not sell ads. Their products and services help people solve problems and create opportunites. They're not just sharing ideas and information for the sake of entertaining and informing. They're sharing ideas and information to establish credibility and make a prospective client feel more comfortable doing business with them.  They realize they need to be informative and educational in order to build a readership. They realize they need to link to other bloggers and participate in the distributed conversation that is the blogosphere. They need to do all of the things that a professional blogger does.

    So, why isn't there a blog network for them? Why shouldn't businesses have the ability to join a network and benefit from a little cross promotion? They're adding value to the web by sharing their knowedge. They are the true experts. They don't write about their topics for a living. They do what they're writing about for a living. Their writing comes from years of hard won experience as practicioners. 

    Joining the PC4Media online business network is not much different from joining a Chamber of Commerce or other business networking group. The reason business professionals join those groups is because it's an opportunity to get to know other business professionals, build relationships, do business directly and help each other out by referring business to each other?

    Why shouldn't businesses have a blog network that allows them to do that online? Why shouldn't businesses proactively join a network and link to each other, promote each other, use LinkedIn and Twitter together? Why shouldn't bloggers who blog to benefit their business have a network that helps them establish their blog readership quicker, increase their search traffic and traffic from social media sites quicker? Join the conversation quicker. 

    Now they have that opportunity.  Stay tuned as this develops. I'm excited and a bunch of my members are too. We're going to be having a lot of fun as we support each other in growing our respective businesses. You're invited to join us

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    Topics: how to start a blog, blog network, blogging for business, business blogging

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