Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Can we talk?

Though I don't blog as often as some (ok, as often as most) bloggers -- I do believe blogs are a great tool for businesses. I've come around to this conclusion both through personal experience and as a result of the arguments and ideas put forth by others who've been at this long enough to truly understand the nature -- and therefore the power -- of business blogging.

I'm compelled to write about this now because of an insight about business blogging I gained from: Naked Conversations: how blogs are changing the way businesses talk with customers, by Robert Scobel and Shel Israel.

You may recall that I commented on Naked Conversations in an earlier posting about why jargon should be avoided. Despite being turned off by Chapter 2 of the book, I got over my irritation and continued reading. I must say, I'm glad I did because it drove home a point about business blogging that I had previously overlooked.

The most important point I took away from the book was that the power of business blogging is the ability to have a conversation with clients, customers and others in your field. Though there are many good reasons to do a business blog (for example, it's a place where you can showcase your passion and expertise), the idea of a blog as a tool for engaging in conversation is quite a revelation, I think.

Anyone who has been in business for any length of time knows that conversations are the building block of relationships -- and relationships are the foundation on which businesses are built. For example, though I might have an idea of what types of communications services someone might benefit from, it's through conversation I actually learn about their needs and at the same time explain to them how what I do might help them. But to build a long-lasting business relationship conversations have to be on-going and their underlying purpose must be about getting to know and trust the other person. When you think about it, blogging is all about on-going conversations.

Another way of looking at it is that business blogging is a cost efficient -- and effective -- way of developing rapport with people you might never have had the opportunity to meet (in person) through traditional channels and to engage in conversation. Looked at like that, how can you not find blogging an amazing business tool?


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