It took an article in the New York Times to bring to my attention a book that I should have found on my own had I been able to spend more time at Barnes & Noble lately: Aliza Sherman Risdahl, author of “The Everything Blogging Book” (Adams Media 2006). If you are reading this entry you’ve already then you’ve probably already bought into most of what she shares in the book (I haven’t actually read it so please let me know if I shoud pick up a copy).
In her interview with the NYT reporter, she explains that although blogging takes a lot of time, the most obvious candidates for blogging are consultants because“they are experts in their fields and are in the business of telling people what to do.”
The point she is making here is one of credibility. If you are in the business of delivering a service instead of a product that consumers can touch and feel, it is often difficult to communicate your value. Risdahl is encouraging you to use blogging as one of the instruments you use to overcoming that obstacle.
Of course if American Express is correct and only 5% of businesses with fewer than 100 employees have a blog, then it seems to me (but not all of the experts interviewed for the NYT story) that there is huge upside for businesses who market to small and medium size businesses in sharing some of what they know in a blog. Most of my professional service provider clients have fewer thatn 100 employees (and most fewer than 5) so let’s do the math here: 95% of your competition isn’t using blogging as a marketing tool.
I totally get that you are a busy and responsible professional and don’t want to take on a task that you cannot perform well. So don’t start your own blog (yet) but start reading AND contributing now. Quickly you’ll be closing the gap on those other 95%.