The world is watching you. Potential future employers are searching for you on the Internet. What does Facebook say about you? Worried? Shades of 1984?
Learn everything you need to know here about turning it all to your adventage
One fascinating, and at times bizarre, aspect of the New World of Work is how we are now able to talk to the world and connect with each other in an unprecedented manner via clever platforms such as - at the time of wrting - Typepad, facebook, Twitter... As a budding DIY MBAer, what relevance do they all have ?
Very high relevance is the answer, and there is good news and bad. The good news is that more than ever you have a way to build the brand and image of you and/or your organisation: quickly and easily, at a modest budget (although, of course, the time commitment can be high). It's a highly targeted and responsive process. And the down side? Well, any network tool such as Facebook needds to be considered carefully - does it reveal to the world what you are happy to reveal to the world? Here's a 'blogger ten' for you.
They suggest to build successful online brands should be:
1. Just to be sure there is no confusion, what is a blog? An online diary, a way of communicating with the world on a regular basis and in a continuous, consistent way. Post by post, day by day. It's targeted, with a definite voice. There are thousands out there, so go and take a look at some. Technorati.com will give you a good route into the blogging world.
2. Blog to talk directly and easily to your customers or potential customers (which, if you are looking for a new job, could be employers) with the voice you choose. This combination of target and voice is remarkably powerful and is certainly unique for its accessibility.
3. You can also blog to build a relationship - for example, client and supplier - needs regular attention. Blogging is an easy way to do this, and easy way to be there if the client wants you. but not to hassle them if they don't.
Blogging gives you an opportunity to inform your clients, to take feedback, and it can be a platform for dealing with problems in an open way.
4. Blog about what is important to you; write as naturally and as easly as you can. Absolutely, definitely, do not be an online brochure with a hard sell. Tell stories, write about incidental stuff; anything which you feel is interesting and will help your client.
5. Blog regularly to build your readers but also importantly to practise sufficiently that you find out what works for you. Debate rages as to wether you should blog frequently or rarely; just follow your own inclination. If you are serious about it, aim for a couple of entries a week in the early days.
6. Blog with an aim in mind, whether that's to keep your customers informed, to find new customers, to build your brand, to get feedback or to establish yourself as a thought leader in your area.
7. Consider offering some resources on your blog, something to get you talked about. If you are in the T-Shirt or 'famous T-Shirt of the last twenty-five years'. If you are in the organic vegetable business perhaps five recipes guaranteed to work with children. Get creative.
8. Although - as with any community - there are politics and backbiting, the blogging community is generally a generous one. Seek out other bloggers and link to them. They will return the favour and this helps you find your own community more rapidly.
9. Eventually your blog will generate sufficient material that you may well feel you have sufficient for a book. Even if no publisher is interested in it, you could consider self-publishing with many of the online tools now available, such as Lulu.
10. Take a look at my blog. It'll clarify much of the above and give you even more help with your MBA thinking. You'll find it at www.nicholasbate.typepad.com
Q. Am I missing out by not blogging?
A. You are missing out if you don't talk to your customers. If your brand and product are strong enough, word of mouth will always be sufficient, but most of us need a bit of help to augment that process. Once you decide to talk to your community, you have a myriad of possibilities of which blogging is just one. It is however one which is immediate, targeted, cheap and powerful. But, it does require commitment and you need to do it - you can't outsource it or get your agency to sort it out.
Q. Where can I learn more about blogging?
A. Your local online bookstore will have various titles; see what the reviews say about them. Various bloggers blog about blogging (odd as that might seem) and, of course, study the techniques of any bloggers you particularly admire.
Here's an idea for you...
Choose any blogging platform offering a free trial, register and find your way around. At this stage choose mostly default options; don't worry, for example, about design or your biography. Do just check that - at this experimental stage - your blog won't go live until you are ready. Now write; do a post, do an entry on anything: a business issue, an ecology issue, just write on something which you have some passion about. Aim for a couple of hundred words.
Proofread it, then preview it. Impressive, huh ? Did you enjoy the process? Maybe you are a natural blogger - now it's time to consider going live.
The Importance of Branding Online
Key aspects of creating a positive customer experience are:
1. Content Quality
2. Adequate performance of website infrastructure in terms of availability and download speed
3. Ease of contacting a company for support
4. Quality of response to email enquiries and fulfilment quality
5. Acknowledge of customer privacy
6. Reflecting and supporting the characteristics of the offline brand
Managing the technology and customer database necessary to deliver services is a key aspect of digital marketing and requires close interaction between marketers and the IS department or external consultants.