In last week’s post I mentioned that I am taking an “Audience Business Masterclass” with Firepole Marketing. As part of the class we go through the exercise of getting a domain name, downloading WordPress and choosing a theme. Of course I already went through that when I set this site up, but I decided to concentrate on my business site since after all, it is commercial.
Tony mentioned in a comment a year or so ago that he hoped I would keep this site non-commercial and I intend to do that. There don’t seem to be very many blogs that aren’t affiliated with some brand or commercial site. At the same time, I do have both a business and a book that I want to publicize as much as possible.
The point of the class I am taking is to engage readers and get them to at least consider whatever service you are offering. In some cases, people in the class may simply have a blog that they are trying to increase traffic on for whatever reason. After all, a lot of blogs don’t really offer a service as such, they are just a place for people to let people know how they feel about some subject. That’s where this blog started, I really just wanted to discuss automation-related subjects. Since there is no way for me to tell how many people read this blog (I don’t have any counters or anything) the only way I know if someone actually reads it is if they leave a comment or send me an e-mail. So from an audience engagement perspective this blog doesn’t really work. And it doesn’t have to… I’m not here to sell anything.
My other site is a completely different story. I hope to engage potential customers at least enough to start a dialogue. This means I have to somehow get their attention enough to at least give me their contact information. This is a tougher prospect than it sounds like, its not enough to simply put a website out there and see if somebody calls. My business website was up for almost a year and no-one called just because they happened across the site. All of my business last year came through referrals and word-of-mouth. I guess the main reason I had a business site at all was so that if people asked me what I do I could just point them toward the site.
The other thing I am working on is converting my primarily contracting business (programming and machine design) into a primarily consulting business (solving automation-related business problems). This takes a lot of work. I feel like I know the core subject I want to concentrate on very well, but I don’t know the business side nearly as well as I should. When I want to learn something new I generally approach it by reading as much as I can on the subject and talking to others who know more about the subject than I do. I’ve been doing a lot of reading, but I don’t know many people who are actually in the consulting business. My daughter Yuki worked for Hitachi Consulting for a couple of years and I do know a local business consultant who works in the Six Sigma and Quality Engineering field. I have both on my agenda for discussions on the subject.
Until then, I do pretty much whatever crosses my path in the industrial automation field. If you want to keep up with what I’m up to on the other website, check it out here.