Two of my favourite blogs are written by Ford Harding and Tim Klabunde. Ford focuses on Rain Making -- the specialized skills and abilities for professional practitioners who are also selling/marketing their practice's services. Tim has a wealth of material on networking the right way -- focusing on sharing, generosity and relationship building.
They've posted two recent blog entries worthy of consideration.
In More News from Down Under: How Shawn Callaghan Blogs for Fun and Profit, Harding reports on a successful Australian blogger who addresses the challenges that Ford has not yet resolved himself -- converting blog energy into actual business -- especially for high value professional services. Shawn Callaghan has developed methods to generate a significant lead volume, and then converts these leads to business with an intermediate easy-to-enter and purchase service.
Tim Klabunde, meanwhile, blogs about Ford Harding's latest book: Rain Making: Attract New Clients No Matter What Your Field-- 2nd edition (I also reviewed the Harding's book for The SMPS Marketer. (Note the link off Amazon.ca may take you to the first edition -- you may have to order the second edition directly from Ford or try Amazon.com)
Now if you are wondering if we are in a mutual admiration society, I have given that some thought as well -- blogging, by its nature, involves an interconnected network of communities and readers -- unlike conventional journalism where there may be one organization with 100 journalists and 100,000 readers, with blogging, you may have 100 individual bloggers representing 85 organizations (some organizations will have more than one blogger!) and perhaps 10,000 readers. The difference hopefully is focus and specialization: I doubt I could express an independent perspective about Construction Marketing in the way I am doing before the blogging era arrived -- I would instead need to exclusively work through gatekeeper publications either in the general business press or perhaps (as I am also doing) through the SMPS Marketer.
But does this stuff bring in business? If you are a contractor or trades person who prefers to work with your hands rather than the keypad, I'd definitely leave blogging off the priority list -- the payback in time and return on effort is hardly worthwhile. But as Harding, Tim and Shawn Callaghan show, blogging indeed has a place in your marketing strategy if you enjoy writing, can maintain the discipline, and realize the payback in actual client business may be very much delayed gratification.