Archive for the ‘expertise marketing’ Category

Blog with Focus

November 23rd, 2010

Just a quick reminder that blogging strategy can still be a win for local businesses.

We stand behind the following strategy on which Locasource was built to promote local search success for the greater Portland OR, Vancouver WA area:

1) Blog AWAY from your own site. Keeping it on the inside takes away from your publishing efforts in that the posts are seen only by people that are already on your site. Keep the blog tab there, but link it to your blog placed strategically elsewhere. The outside blog that points to your site constantly does more to boost your sites relevance to Google.

2) Put your blog on a site that carries exclusive membership in its brand. Locasource only publishes local business experts. Your efforts to establish yourself as the expert you are find energy when coupled with the efforts of others. If you were to have a blogspot blog, you are lost in a million different agendas, which creates no search value.

3) Put your blog on a site that has a local focus. You are the expert for _________. You are also the expert in your city. Promoting both online takes constant effort most businesses cannot allocate. Focus on your expertise instead with just 2-3 posts a month. Let the local site carry the ‘city state’ part of the search your potential customers include in their keywords.

Tentative in 2010?

January 14th, 2010

Everyone I know is echoing any and all optimism they can find for the new year, largely because 2009 was such a tough year for our Portland area businesses and careers. (ie. IT SUCKED) Naturally it is easy to be optimistic when your dealing with a new low you have never had to confront before– anything looks like an upgrade right now. One example… the stock markets value is often reported as being a rebound rally compared to 12 months ago, despite the lack of strong fundamentals usually seen during normal recoveries.

Of course the right thing to do when times are tough is to stay positive, innovate and create new solutions, serving mankind with the best you have to offer, etc. etc. But what 2008-09 taught us was also to check our value systems against reality and channel our energy wisely, rather than extending it into nebulous efforts or in empty pursuits.

My sense is that 2010 appears to be tentative ‘10. And for all the right reasons.

“Tentative” does not have to be a negative state, as long as we treat it as instructive and change direction. If it is a truly accurate portrayal of where we are in our local economy right now, then the best thing we can do is face it, its ramifications, and navigate our way through. That sure beats just trying to fake it til me make it, right?
From dictionary.com:

ten⋅ta⋅tive - [ten-tuh-tiv]

1. of the nature of or made or done as a trial, experiment, or attempt; experimental: a tentative report on her findings.
2. unsure; uncertain; not definite or positive; hesitant: a tentative smile on his face.

It is this second definition I think we should explore, as it is our goal as a community to turn things solidly around. There is a quality that Jim Collins recognized about turnaround companies that applies here. Jim wrote a book called “Good to Great” in 2001 that profiled in great detail the qualities of companies that navigated their way through challenges and overcame the onset of their own stagnation and decline. He described that quality with the phrase, “Face the brutal facts, but never give up hope”. It is also called the “Stockdale Paradox”, based on how a very famous Admiral Stockdale faced and overcame his ordeal as a POW in Vietnam. MORE HERE. It is hard to describe this principle in a single definitive word, as our challenge is to embrace an inseparable combination of both the realities of where we are, along with a rational hope for where we need to go. For me, this awareness has always nudged me toward my most creative frame of mind. It makes me realize that hope is not something we grasp for a fix, it is something you create as you serve others according to their needs. And isn’t that what business really is at its core?

So if your outlook on 2010 is a bit tentative, as is mine, the first part of year might be best spent on creating hope, rather than making resolutions. The brutal facts that face so many of us right now require a greater level of engagement to solve than sheer will power. We are in pretty deep, so we are going to need to dig deep to see our way through.

In closing, one good thing is that in 2010, the personal media revolution is well under way. We are now ferreting out lots of ineffective ways to market locally using social media, and creating tools that meet people where they are actually searching for local experts. LocaSource is the best solution I could create to address the changing needs of local businesses seeking to reach the Portland market. Here is to a wonderful new year my friend. let’s build the local economy together!

Local Local Local Portland Online Ad Spend Will Gain Share through 2012

November 16th, 2009

In case you are wondering if indeed this is the right time to strategically move some of your advertising dollars to the web, check this out…

Over the next five years, Piper Jaffray predicts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9% for local online ad dollars, compared with 4% for national Internet spending.

Borrell Associates, on the other hand, forecasts only a 2.9% CAGR for local online ad spending over the next five years. Borrell puts spending at $16.4 billion in 2013, compared with $19.18 billion for Piper Jaffray.

Piper Jaffray indicates in its report that small businesses will begin to catch up with consumers online, bringing significant growth to the local online sector and moving local dollars from offline to the Web.

We are here not only recognizing that trend, but believe now is the time to beat your competition who will jump on the bandwagon and stand out in local online search. Vancouver and Portland consumers are looking for reliable sources online they can do business with, and we want you to not only be found, but be recognized as the local expert in your field.

US Local and National Online Advertising Spending, 2008-2013 (billions)

Business growth tied to value awareness.

November 11th, 2009

Last night and last week I have had three more opportunities to present LocaSource in business networking meetings like CEO Space and NWSBN in Beaverton and Vancouver. My presentation style on new endeavors is fairly open, and with the help of my collaborators in the room I have been learning new ways to bring people to an ah-ha moment on what LocaSource can do for them. The business model was designed to meet a need, not to generate it’s own glory, and so my goal right now is simply to help unpublished experts understand the value of the LocaSource platform. Once we have 20-30 experts contributing regularly, that value will be self-evident.

So, in a refined list, here are the benefits LocaSource can bring to you as a qualified local Portland area expert:

  1. A place to express your expertise where more people can discover it.
    As a local business owner you already share your industry wisdom each and every day in one on one conversations. You debunk myths. You provide insight. You expose competitors. You add value to your clients. Then the next day comes and you do it all over again, repeating much of the same information in call and emails. Imagine if just 20% of YOUR wisdom got published. A multiplier effect would be created, as more people than you could ever reach one-on-one searching for answers would discover your writing, reward you with trust, and give you business.
  2. A platform that elevates your status as a local expert.
    Blogging on your own means you have something you believe is worth saying. Contributing as an author on a journalistic platform that recognizes you as a category expert means there are others that vouch for your expertise. At LocaSource, we don’t just take on anybody who wants to promote their business and call themselves an expert. We have already vetted out many interested parties who are looking to promote themselves.
  3. A platform that is defined by the same Portland market area you are trying to reach
    The efforts of the staff at LocaSource are devoted to the local market. The local Portland and Vancouver economy is what we support, and our readers are quickly made to know that. When they see your articles published on LocaSource, they know you also have a local focus.
  4. A platform built to first help you stand out on online search results.
    Goodbye Yellow Pages… 80% of all buying starts online with search, and 60% of that search takes place on Google. LocaSource exists to make you stand out on the first page of Google for local searches. Not only to show up there, but to also stand out on the page as not just another business card, but with a headline title that creates trust and fosters curiosity. People are looking online for answers. They are looking to learn. They are researching their buying decision and deciding who to trust.
  5. A journalism platform that lets you control the message.
    Welcome to the personal media revolution. You don’t have to sit back and wait to see what the local paper is going to write about you. They are losing readers to the internet every day. You are now your own press agent and frankly, what little journalism there is left only has time to lift copy from your blog instead of researching the story. This strategy of creating your own media has worked for Barack Obama and many celebrities in Hollywood. It can work for you, and we’ll show you how.

I believe the ah-ha moment is getting much easier to impart, and I hope you agree. If I left anything out, or you think I am missing something, please let me know.