What’s in a Blog?

I am regularly asked by those I coach and mentor, “What do I write for my blog?”Weedin Place image

Let’s discuss first three very quick reasons on WHY you should be blogging:

  1. Building your brand through intellectual property creation. Get your value and your smarts out to where people will read your work and find you an object of interest.
  2. Position yourself as a thought leader. Experts write about their expertise. You should, too.
  3. Builds credibility. You are more likely to be hired for projects, coaching, speaking, and a myriad of other things if you are a consistent blogger. Why? Because people now know your value and your ideas.

Here are five techniques for blogging success:

  1. Be consistent. Blog 2-3 times per week at a minimum. Write them all at one time and schedule them to post later if you have to. If someone goes to your blog and the last post is 6 months old, they will think you’re out of business, just as if they saw an empty storefront.
  2. Utilize social media. Link your blogs to automatically post to Linked In, Twitter, Facebook, Google +, etc. You want to maximize your reach.
  3. Be real. Use personal stories and make a metaphor out of them. You don’t have to be perfect, but you need to be interesting. Readers like personal stories.
  4. Be contrarian. Don’t be afraid to rock the boat. In fact, if you don’t rock the boat, you will be swept away in the wave of white noise.
  5. Include images. People are more likely to check it out with an interesting image. We are more and more a visual people, so do what you must to attract attention.

BONUS: Get really strong with language, vocabulary, and writing style. You do this by reading a variety of genres, consistently learning new words, and being creative in your language.

Blogging is a great and free way to spread your value proposition. It’s not as ominous a task as you might think. It also is well worth your while if marketing is an important part of your career. You might as well jump in and get good at it!

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Top 7 Posts for 1st Quarter

New feature…

Here are the Top 7 posts for 1st Quarter of 2012 (in order)…

1. Saints to Sinners: Business Lessons from the NFL

2. Moneyball for Insurance Executives

3. The Escape and Capture of Captain Jack

4. Too Much in Your Face(book)

5. The Seinfeld Principle

6. Worry and Concern: A Blog from Alan Weiss

7. My Famous Daughter

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points – Accountability

Accountability.

This one will probably anger a few of you. I’ll take the risk.

It used to be that letters to the editor needed to be signed in order to be printed. It may still be the case, however in our new world reality of online comments, the names have been changed to protect the obnoxious.

Everyone it seems prefers to use glitzy and fancy avatars to wax poetic, hurl insults, scrawl snide remarks, and make light of situations. Easy to do when you’re hiding behind some made up name. Unfortunately, there is no accountability. I’ve heard opponents to my thinking say they fear retribution or disparaging thoughts about them. Then they shouldn’t write. If you’re going to stand up for a position, be big enough to put your name behind it. What usually occurs is a more thoughtful and collegial statement. Something that you’d be happy to have your grandmother read.

Here’s my bottom line – if you’re going to express your opinion, then be accountable. Put your name where your opinions lie.

P.S. All negative comments and complaints can be sent to my avatar CaptainJack08.

 

 

 

This week’s quote – “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Social Un-Security: Social Media is all “trick” and no” tweet” for your business insurance

Social Media has captivated the globe and has changed how we communicate personally and professionally forever. And the scary thing is, it’s ever evolving and changing. The good news for you as a business is that you have more ways to spread your message, sell your products, and profess your opinions for free to the world. The bad news is, that your insurance may not have kept up with the times and is stuck in 1979.

Your Commercial General Liability policy has a coverage part called Personal & Advertising Injury. This coverage part has a sub-limit of liability that should be equal to your Occurrence limit. Personal & Advertising Injury is meant to protect you from among other things, libel, slander, defamation of character and other grisly things that you do that could hurt someone’s feelings. Seriously, it’s meant to protect you from negligently damaging someone’s reputation, or infringing on copyright or intellectual property. This is more of an issue today as technology blurs those lines, so it’s an important coverage.

The standard General Liability policy (ISO CG00 01 12 07) will exclude injury “arising out of an electronic chat room or bulletin board the insured hosts, owns, or over which the insured exercise control” (ISO CG00 01 12 07).  As well as Personal and Advertising injury “arising out of the infringement of copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret or other intellectual property rights” (ISO CG00 01 12 07).  This includes data privacy breaches and claims resulting from a data privacy breach.

In English, this means that your tweets, blog posts, Facebook notes, and other commentary on social media sites are not contemplated by outdated verbiage still being employed in General Liability policies. Certainly, you can fight it, however you know that means extra time, money, and anxiety. Bottom line, your tweets aren’t covered!

There are increasing numbers of case law and opinions surrounding this issue. My job today isn’t to bore you with a litany of these, but to alert you to your vulnerability.

So how can you get in trouble? Let’s face it; the most intriguing blogs and tweets are the ones that offer contrarian, thought provoking, and often outlandish commentary. In sending out your opinions over cyberspace channels, you may be critical of competitors, inadvertently offend another company or individual, and/or infringe on someone’s brand. If they sure you, you’re on your own.

So what do you do? Fortunately, the insurance companies have found a way to protect you. For consultants like me who own a professional liability insurance policy, the coverage is included there. For other businesses, there is a fairly recent policy that has been created called Cyber Technology insurance. It’s meant to protect your liability for issues related to technology like social media, data breach, and other nasty things like that.

You need to talk with an insurance professional – your broker, agent, or consultant. It’s crucial that you examine your company’s social media practices, including how your employees use it.

Tom Bell an attorney with Perkins Coie, in an article published in Computerworld states:

“Companies are entitled to free speech, but their commercial speech is less protected. The lower protection comes in the form of a higher standard of care for truth and accuracy. So, when company employees participate in social media on behalf of their employer, they subject the company to the same risks as a newspaper or individual, but with less protection.”

Employing a social media policy will help you assess your vulnerability, create policy that works for your operations, and set up a plan to transfer your unwanted risk to an insurance policy that adequately protects your liability and assets.

Your company probably should be active at some level in social media. If it’s not now, you’re probably falling behind the game at some level. Like any other risk you face in business, you need to make this part of a good risk management policy.

Don’t find yourself on the wrong side of a tweet. Go out and become “socially acceptable!”

 

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Anonymous

Do you remember when Letters to the Editor had to be signed or else they weren’t allowed to be run in the newspaper? It might still be that way. Yet the “new” letters to the editor – the blogs – are filled with anonymous contributors. How many people actually use any part of their name? Not many. I get in the habit of reading some of the blogs just to stay up to date on what the masses are thinking. It amazes me that all the avatars have slick or cute names that people hide behind. All the easier to be outrageous, unintelligent, belligerent, or just plain dumb without retribution.

I always use my name because I stand behind what I have to say. If I am going to make an effort to be part of a conversation, I want people to know who is talking. Ironically, the majority of the posts are either spouting agendas, spouting nonsense, or simply spouting. I find that the rational pieces (doesn’t matter what the opinion) that are well thought out are actually being posted by people using their name.

If you have something to say, be bold. If you will be embarrassed by it, maybe you shouldn’t write it. If it’s important to say, then you should stand behind your words, just like millions of people have done through the centuries in letters to editors.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Blogging for Gravity

I was a guest speaker for the North Mason Chamber of Commerce this morning. The topic was how to create, write, and leverage the marketing gravity for a blog.

One of the great things about blogs are that they can build credibility globally. One lady in the audience is an interior designer that also specializes in “staging” homes for sale. I asked the question, “What does she gain by having a global blog?”  Here are a few answers:

  1. She can use it as credibility in the marketplace to gain publishing opportunities – books, e-books, articles, columns, syndication, etc.
  2. She can become a speaker for national conferences for realtors, architects, construction, interior designers, etc.
  3. She can gain opportunities to be used as a source for interviews in national publications.

That’s just 3 things. What about you? What marketing gravity can you gain from your expertise? It can all start with a provocative, value-laden blog.

© 2010. Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

How to Find Stories to Blog About

One of my mentor clients asked me today, “Where do you find things to blog about?” A good question that I thought many of you may also be asking.  Here it is. Get ready to cut and paste this interminable answer in your brain. Ready?

Life.

I guarantee that things happen to you every single day that you can write about, blog about, or use for a story in a speech. You just have to be in the moment and be able to use your life as a metaphor.

Here’s an example from today for me. I was working around the house and I love to listen to Pandora while I work. I had it on the Greased Lightning station and listening to an oldie song called, “What a Wonderful World it Would Be.” One of the lines said something like, “I don’t know what a slide rule does…” I chuckled. Neither does about 2/3 of the world anymore. However 40 years ago, everyone not only did, but used them all the time. So how do you use this as a blog post?

My mentee is in the technology world. The changes in technology are happening at warp speed. Just like the slide rule, many things we take for granted today may be obsolete in just a short time. In fact, much shorter than ever before! If you are unwilling to change and learn about new technologies in real-time, you and your business will be left behind playing with your slide rule.

OR…

If you are a consultant for helping businesses work with a diverse generational workforce, you might find a way to use this story in a speech comparing the slide rule to the Texas Instruments calculator to an iPhone app. You get the picture.

The key is to be aware of things around you; note peculiar things that happen or that make you laugh; find irony in everyday happenings; and make note of all of them. The next step is to try to relate them as a metaphor to something in your business. Then start writing…

The reality is that your audience will better understand a difficult topic or be more engaged in your speech when you use everyday life occurrences that seemingly have no commonality. It’s a great way to never run out of stories. All you have to do is live!

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved