Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Bring on the Experts!



After an extremely long hiatus, I’m back! I must admit I considered abandoning blogging altogether. My strange addiction to 12 hours of news per day resulted in an overload of stories about bloggers targeted by crazy cyberstalkers and it freaked me out. Yet, what scared me even more were the multitudinous conflicting theories on blogging by “experts”. A sampling of expert data included:

-Your blog must have a very specific business theme (no random musings allowed!)
-You should absolutely not have a blog as it provides no real business value
-Writers should not have blogs unless they are promoting a book
-Writers should have blogs because how else could they build readership!

Um, okay. All of it left me scratching my head in frustration. With each opinion I carefully weighed the entire argument. All of the “experts” raised good points but in the end all that advice left me feeling unworthy to implement any of it. My quandary over blogging could apply to any aspect of business advice.

How often have we all found ourselves flummoxed by conflicting “expert” opinions? More importantly, how do we sift through the opinions and counter opinions to choose what is right for us?

Every week I have clients contacting me wanting me to do something that was advised by an expert. I can clearly trend popular seminars by the requests that I receive monthly. One month I may be deluged with requests for “SEO articles that will drive traffic to my website,” and another it may be “a sales letter written in AIDA style.” The “expert” advice is not necessarily wrong, but often it’s not the right strategy for that client’s business.

I am a big fan of learning from the success of others. However, I believe that one person’s successful strategy could be a total failure for another. It’s important to consider the advice in the context of your business environment, and your overall strategy. Implementing tactics that are not aligned with your overall strategy can prove disastrous.

One of my favorite words to use is “authenticity.” Unfortunately it’s far too often ignored in business. Many business owners have implemented “tips and tricks” advised by experts only to become frustrated when it didn’t work. A 7 page web sales letter is not the right strategy for every business. A single press release will not cause reporters to line up at your door. Tips and tricks work best when they are authentic to the goal and character of your business, otherwise it’s just a slick trick.

So, what brought me back to blogging? In the end, it was a simple decision. I may not win tons of new business from my modest blog nor become a best selling author but I do enjoy writing and connecting with others. I missed the emails from those who shared their opinions and the insight I gained from “putting it out there” for the world to read and comment. Writing a blog may not make me lots of money, but it’s certain to allow me to practice what I truly love – writing. In the process I hope to inform and entertain those who read and along the way get better at something I love to do.

Until next time,

KDS

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