Friends and Business Mix

Make Friends

graphic provided by clker.com

You’ve Got to Have Friends

Going off the advice of Bette Midler, it is important to have friends. Not just the ones that come over for a beer or a game of cards. You need business friends as well. Friends give you support, point you in the right direction, and encourage you. Many business owners have a desire to go it alone, but that is a mistake. Your business friends are an important commodity and lead to success. Some of these friends will be clients, others will be colleagues, but regardless they are great resources and people you can count on.

 Find a Place to Hang

Where do you find business friends? Business associations and chambers of commerce are a good place to start. Nearly every town has some. Also, there are numerous online forums where like-minded individuals are plentiful. I belong to a forum titled About Writing Squared that is set-up for freelancers and creatives. I have cultivated many relationships there. You can post a question and get timely responses with friendly advice. Just like face-to-face relationships you get what you put into it. The more you contribute to the community the more the community gives back to you. Take a moment to introduce your self, share some personal interests, and background information, and soon you become part of a community.

 Not Just Income

Another opportunity to make friendships is with your clients. Trust you’ve built in a working relationship can transfer into other arenas. One of my first clients helped me with daily business operations, because we were friends. I have sought his advice on bookkeeping, corporation versus sole proprietorship, and home office set-up. Our working relationship began with me writing a press release for his business and went from there. I recommend his products whenever possible and he sends referrals my way. The line becomes fuzzy when you are “working” for a friend, but if you are upfront and have open communication I believe those circumstances will be adverted. I’m not suggesting that you must have clients over for your daughter’s third birthday party, but it is a possibility. What I do recommend is considering the relationship, and the benefits of having a client as a friend and not just a sale. Being open to the idea leads to long-term success in business, along with a loyal clientele.

 Reach Out to Those You Admire

One of the greatest attributes of today’s connected world is the ability to talk with anyone, anywhere in the world. Even ten years ago I would not be able to interact with the writers I do today. Through social media you can learn directly from those you admire. Many industry leaders hold webinars, podcasts or host their own blog. These media outlets give you insight and opportunity to connect with them. Take some time to respond to updates or announcements and you may receive a direct response from those you admire. I am very happy to say that I have several friendships with writers I admire greatly. They are very forthcoming with advice or tools to make my job easier. Take a chance to make connections and watch your business prosper.

Business friendships are a valuable asset and lead to greater success. I suggest you look for ways to forge more of them. Please leave a comment about the importance of friends in your business.

Your Business Needs a Blog

A Professional Writer Can Help

Graphic provided by Clker.com

No one uses the Yellow Pages anymore. Think about this for a minute; if you need information on a product, service, or problem where do you turn? You said Google didn’t you? Don’t feel bad everyone is doing it. According to Google, 97% of customers search for local businesses online. Great news, your business has a website. You paid hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, and built a great looking site with key word optimization.

However, there is one more little hurdle you must leap in order to find success. Your business needs a page one search result. Do you have it? Ask a customer to do a search, or type in what you believe your customers are looking for. Where was your business? Do you even see it? Google’s new algorithm, Panda, rewards quality content that is updated on a regular basis and that has pages primarily intended for the user. Essentially, Google is rewarding high quality blogs. By adding a blog to your website you can dramatically increase your search results. This fact alone may be enough to convince you that a blog is necessary, but there are other significant reasons why a blog is key component to your business’s online presence.

It is ironic to believe that the Internet gives a business a human connection, but that is exactly what a blog does. By providing quality content you are solving a customer’s problem and building a loyal following for years to come. Like a good friend, they will rely on your blog for the information they need.

Source: Hubspot 2011 State of Inbound Marketing Report

Businesses needing a blog are a no brainer. It gives you a platform to say what you want to say, showcases your expertise, humanizes you to your target market not to mention helps you connect with them. All those regular updates also gets you on friendly terms with Google,” states Samar Owais of The Writing Base.

A well-written blog provides you a platform and gives you total control of your message. A message that is delivered consistently and on target makes you the go to authority for your industry. Having credibility goes a long way in building a business. Soon, your blog will represent the best your business has to offer, while putting a face to your brand.

 “Your business blog is the one platform where you have total control of your message. By directing your social media marketing to your business blog, you expand beyond the limits of a single platform to everything your site has to offer. It’s like a personal invitation to customers to visit your store where you have plenty of what they are looking for,” says Cathy Miller of Simply Stated Business.

 Here’s Your Help

So you are convinced you need a blog, but you don’t have the time, confidence, or desire to write on continuous basis. Luckily, you can hire someone like myself to fix your predicament. Ghostwriting blogs is a service that many professional writers, including myself, provide for our clients. A professional writer can provide you quality content on a timely basis at a reasonable price. Together we are a team taking your online visibility to new heights. Your business needs a blog, so let’s get started.