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Building an Internet Presence: A Story of Failure and a Story of Vision

WOW, I have gotten some great stories, feedback and questions on my last post titled:  Today’s Executive, Tomorrow’s Walmart Greeter

Building a world class presence on the internet is not easy.  It embodies numerous elements that few people understand. 

Developing an authority blog is just one small piece of the total puzzle, but it is a key component.  You can have a 12-year old build a blog for you, but driving traffic and building a community is an extraordinary challenge.  In subsequent posts, we will touch on other issues in building an internet presence, and why, too often, the efforts fail.  Today we will focus on building corporate or personal blogs.

Probably only about a 1000 people in the nation understand the intricacies.  Almost all blogs are failures including personal blogs and corporate blogs.  Even blogs at Fortune 500 companies are failures.  World class webmasters, CTO’s, marketing leaders and SEO experts don’t understand the subtleties behind driving a successful blog.  It is a world unto itself…..

I have the fortune to have a blogging expert on my staff (Tyler West).  He was blogging before most of you ever heard of the term and he is only 24 years old.  A classic millenial.  He is part of the inner circle of successful bloggers and is friends with some of the best in the business.  (Now if I can only get him to come to work on time).

I have also made it my mission to become an expert as well.  Last year Tyler and I attended the first ever International Blog World Expo.  A fire hose of strategies, tactics and insider tips was opened on me.  Since then I have studied it intensely and been schooled by Tyler.  While I still have much to learn, I know what works and what doesn’t.

I thought I would share with you two stories of profound relevance to job seekers, business executives, HR leaders, recruiters, and corporate decision makers which illustrate these points exactly:

Here is the story of a friend who is about to implement blogging into his company. I will not reveal his name or the name of his company, but I want you to read the story so that you won’t make the same mistakes. I have tried to convince him to use our services, but some times it is very difficult to provide a service to a close friend.   He has an internet marketing person on staff.  My friend shared her comments with me.  She is about to make major mistakes.  Here is an edited statement of her comments.  My input is highlighted in red.

“As I mentioned earlier, thought leadership blogging is a key component of the marketing plan for Q4 2009 through 2010 that I will present next month for (Trade Association) after our new site is up.  It will also be a business development suggestion for (Trade Association) leadership enhancement and member generation as well.  (Trade Association) can do this very inexpensively with assistance from us -- and return on investment should be excellent. (Not if they make the same mistakes they are going to make below).

"My recommendation is to hold off on this "just a few months". We're swamped for a few months getting the new marketing strategy and programs fully designed, written and in place ...In addition, we have a thought leadership blogging component to our new marketing strategy beginning in Q4 that is linked to and from our new 'knowledge center section" of our new website (Mistake: Your blog should not be integrated into your company website) -- and to and from a totally separate new 'industry-focused xxx-sponsored thought leadership blogging website' with its own url, marketed strategically in terms of Search Engine Optimization. (Four well-known risk management individuals along with both of you will take turns blogging to this site during the year so as not take too much time from anyone (Major mistake: Blogs should be built around the vision, leadership and personality of one individual) ...My plan was to ghost most of these columns for you and post -- and you simply edit before I post). (Major mistake:  posts should come from the author, not a ghost writer).  

Let's see how our industry blogging strategy and web blogging graphics go from September-November for roughly half the price Don quoted.  If we don't get the thought leadership image and metrics-based result we're targeting -- then we could consider using Don and Tyler to assume the blogging component of our strategy after November. (Yep, we can take it over, but then trying to fix mistakes is much more difficult than doing it right the first time. My friend needs to have Google Analytics in place to watch traffic, number of unique visitors, and number of visitors who return on a regular basis). But I think we can do this at half his price with similar results to what he is targeting.”  (As the old saying goes:  You get what you pay for).

Her strategy is doomed to failure.  It won’t work.  She will not drive traffic or build a community.  Huge amounts of their time, energy and dollars will be lost. They will fail to take advantage of the window of opportunity to be one of the first in their industry to have a real “thought leadership blog.”  They will fail to generate new business that an effective internet pull marketing strategy can provide.  Tragic.

Here is the story of two executives who contacted me in the last few days.  I had spoken with them several times in the past regarding our services.  Both recently landed jobs in small pharmaceutical companies…a coincidence.  Here is the combined essence of our conversations with comments paraphrased:

ExecutiveSince these smaller companies go through many transitions over time I do not want to be caught again flat footed. (That is an exact quote from his email).

Don:  Tell me about the company and why you might be caught flat footed.

Executive:  The company has a new drug.  One of three things will happen:  1. It will be successful and we will be acquired by a larger pharmaceutical.  2.  It will fail and we will close down and 3. It will limp along and I can keep my job until something happens.

Don:  What are you going to do about it.

Executive:  In two of the three scenarios, I will be on the street again. I won’t let that happen.  I am not going to go through this unemployment nightmare again.  I will start now to build my credibility, expertise and industry vision across the internet so that I will have leverage and be sought out.

Both executives are coming on board with our Catapult program.  They get it.  They understand the changes in the business and career paradigms and are doing something about.

The next few paragraphs are the shameful presentation of our Catapult services.  If you wish to skip this, I understand.  I hope you have learned something from the above stories.  They contain powerful messages.

Whether for your company or for yourself you must adapt to the new paradigms.  Many of you asked for details.  Here they are for the Executive Catapult Program.   The Corporate Catapult Program is somewhat different.  Please email me for the details on the Corporate Program.

The Executive Catapult Program:

Here is what you will achieve:

  • Gain extraordinary expertise and industry recognition, respect and credibility
  • Be recognized as an industry thought leader
  • Be sought out for speaking engagements
  • Be sought out by recruiters and industry decision makers for leadership positions
  • Be positioned in your company for advancement
  • Be viewed as a savvy internet executive
  • Develop numerous far forward results when you are searched on the internet
  • Dramatically drive business to your current or future company

Here is what we will deliver:

  • Assigned to an “Executive Recognition” coach
  • Development of a world class Leadership Authority Blog (Example)
  • Guaranteed publication of articles in leading internet business sites
  • Training from a professional speaker in how to secure free and fee speaking engagements
  • Contemporary graphics design for your authority blog
  • SEO and SEM to drive traffic
  • Training in how to build a community from your traffic
  • Features that set you apart from the casual blogger. 
  • Analytics on the growth of your blog
  • Intensive training on content generation
  • No cost conferencing capability to hold live events
  • Nationwide blog launch press release
  • Your own unique domain address.
  • Exclusive membership and participation in our Catapult Leaders Community with ongoing webinars and a Google group to share ideas, strategies, content, link exchanges and cross posts.

Investment:  $6,130.  100% Guaranteed or your money back.

So I hope I have stimulated your thinking:  for your company, for your clients, for your candidates, for your colleagues, for your friends, and more importantly, for yourself.

Comments to this and my other blog posts are always welcome: pro and con.  Or contact me personally.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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Reader Comments (2)

This information is very helpful, especially to those attempting to establish an Internet presence in a massive online world. Thanks for the valuable input!

December 19, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermissusbee5

Very comprehensive point of view. The ease of posting or building an internet presence is inversely related to the content's message. It is all about "buzz" and focus. If it looks like an ad or a pitch it will be dismissed by the reader. Present the right message to the right target, you get feedback. It is all about feedback.

January 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Christman

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