When I started this blog, a little over a year ago, I thought of it originally as a marketing device. However, over time I have come to think of it more as a personal development tool. Writing forces me to think more clearly about my work and what I believe, while learning from other bloggers in order to stay relevant.
Today’s Thought Leaders
are bloggers. Most of my fundraising peers, because of the daily demands of jobs and lives, are unaware of the fundamental changes happening in our industry. Without more intentional engagement and professional training, I fear in ten years the world will have passed many of us by. Posting on this blog, and more importantly, reading other blogs and commenting on them, is one way I keep current.
One side effect of viewing blogging as a personal development tool is that over time it has actually become an effective marketing device. Last week I used the Online Identity Calculator
to see how I ranked. It gave me a 10 out of a 10 for effectiveness!
A Google search on my name
brings up nearly 5,000 hits. Amazingly, the first 3 are actually about me, with 2 links to my website
and 1 to my LinkedIn
profile. Fifteen of the top thirty are also about me, and each listings is about my professional career as a fundraiser. Nearly all are blog posts, either one’s I wrote or one’s other bloggers wrote about me. This makes sense. Blogs are regularly updated and contain a lot of in- and out-links, so Google loves them. Clearly, writing a blog is one of the best things you can do to manage your online identity.
Not everyone needs a blog, just as not everyone needs a website. However, if you’re going to build a website, today there is no reason it shouldn’t include a blog, or better yet, be primarily a blog. There are many online services -- such as Blogger
-- that are free and easy to use. If you haven’t started a blog, but are tempted, my best advice would be to first become a reader of other blogs. Google Reader
is a good tool to use.
Having said that, I will humbly offer two caveats. First, blogging can become a black hole on your time. Set definite time limits and structure it into your activities like any other regular weekly task.
Second, this is still a secondary marketing strategy. Like advertising or public relations, it is hard to focus. Traditional off-line networking activities -- such as keeping in touch with past clients, cultivating relationships with other consultants and joining local associations -- is still the best marketing strategy for an independent consultant like myself.
Today my blog subscriber and readership base is still relatively small. Currently I have 141 subscribers, and daily visitors are measured in the dozens. However, I feel so lucky that each one of you has taken the time away from your busy schedule to read my words. Some of you are even from the other side of the world! For example, Francesco, Ioana and Daniele
are three Italian fundraisers doing great work. Our recent connection may never result in a gig, but my life is much richer for it.
In fact, the presence of each of you reading this post today is a gift. Thank you so much for all you bring into the world.
Labels: Blogs, Networking