The better you write, the more you save.

February 16, 2010 at 7:08 am | Posted in social media | Leave a comment
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Use a specialist. But only for the bits you can’t do.

I strive to improve my clients’ writing skills by imparting my expertise where possible.

One client has followed my advice and assembled a team of friends to vet his draft blog posts.

If his posts do start coming to me error free, their upload, tagging, hyperlinking and image sourcing should only take me 15-20 mins per post.

That’s around $30-40 per post.

And if it takes me less time, I’ll pass on the savings (as I only charge for time I actually work).

With this method, everyone’s a winner:

  1. My client improves his writing and saves money.
  2. His friends feel useful.
  3. His readers benefit from regular posts.
  4. His blog moves up Google’s food chain thanks to fresh content updates.
  5. I get regular small fees, instead of just a few (or even no) big ones.

So you see, there’s more than one way to flesh a blog! 🙂

Paul Hassing, Founder and Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire.

What does it cost to set up a blog?

January 30, 2010 at 10:47 am | Posted in social media | 6 Comments
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You need to know what you’re doing.

A client asked what I’d charge to set up a blog.

By the time I laid it all out in my email, I realised I had another post that might interest you.

Here’s what I wrote (with confidential details suppressed).

‘A blog for your firm and sector would be fabulous.

The topics would never end.

You could cover design, products, materials, trends, pitfalls, overseas directions, govt initiatives, case studies, happy campers – the works.

And every time there’s a media item about your sector, you’ll have another  blog post topic.

The way to go is to just make a start.

It takes me around 13 hours to set up a blog. This comprises:

  1. Naming.
  2. Registration.
  3. Template selection and configuration.
  4. Banner design.
  5. Welcome content.
  6. Tags.
  7. Avatar (profile pic) optimisation.
  8. Links.
  9. Amazon shop (optional – for passive income).
  10. Online ranking.

Each draft post you send me will take about an hour to optimise, illustrate and load on the blog.

So, you’d be up for around $1,560 + GST for setup.

Plus $120 + GST for each post (assuming you give me a reasonable bit of content to work up).

If you wish to proceed, we just move carefully through the ten-step setup process described above, ensuring you’re happy with each step and paying as you go.

If you have the time and inclination, I can train you or your representative to take over and run the blog at any time.

There are no software or hosting costs (unless you want to get fancy).

Even the pics are free, as I’ve started using Flickr. And I know you’ve got some killer photos in your kit bag.’

I hope you found that helpful or at least interesting.

Let me know!

🙂


If you found this content useful or entertaining, you may wish to:

Even a buck or three will keep me in the hunt. With many thanks, Paul.


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The ‘other’ avatar

January 18, 2010 at 10:46 am | Posted in social media | 2 Comments
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Professional, but not stuffy. This avatar suits my diverse client portfolio.

When setting up a blog for a client, I ask them for a headshot to use as an ‘avatar’ on all their social media stuff.

It’s important to have a consistent image, so people start to recognise you around the internet.

As you post  and comment on your blog and others, adding your face each time builds your personal brand.

If you don’t have an avatar, go through your photos. See if you have something clean and clear (and appropriate!) that you’d be happy to use for the next 3-5 years.

If you’re unsure, follow the rules for passport photos and you can’t go wrong.

Once you have the file, it’s a simple matter to bung it on your blog.

If you don’t have a good head shot, you might think about getting some nice, professional photos done.

Humans are highly visual creatures. We judge each other in milliseconds. And we only get one chance to make a good first impression.

A shabby avatar can kill your power to turn strangers into prospects and prospects into clients. So it makes very good business sense to do it right.

If you have a team, you can save money by having them photographed at the same time.

Say cheese! 🙂

Paul Hassing, Founder and Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire.

Organisational benefits of LinkedIn

January 14, 2010 at 7:58 am | Posted in social media | 6 Comments
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Professional connections thrive on LinkedIn. Pic by carolanross

I’ve noticed that one of my larger client’s staff are joining LinkedIn.

I consider this a very good thing, for several reasons.

If all the firm’s managers end up on LinkedIn, they can check each other out and get a better understanding of their various backgrounds and skills.

This could make it easier to assign the right people to projects.

It may also uncover special talents in the workforce the company never knew it had.

This client recently merged. I believe LinkedIn will foster harmony through understanding between members of the two former (and quite different) firms.

It’ll also help my client keep an eye on retrenched staff who may try to ‘augment’ their LinkedIn profile dishonestly by claiming false titles and expertise.

On the other side of the coin, my client could start an ‘alumni’ of good, friendly ex-employees his firm would be glad to have back if their circumstances changed.

This would be very much cheaper than searching for strangers from scratch with recruitment firms.

I’m sure plenty of more options and benefits will reveal themselves. The important thing is to be involved.

If you’re a biggish organisation (public, private or not for profit) LinkedIn is a good, professional forum for your people to gather in.

Paul Hassing, Founder and Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire.

Blame the bogeyman!

January 13, 2010 at 10:10 am | Posted in social media | 8 Comments
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This is how some marketing managers see me. Photo by bbaltimore.

I’ve long found that when it comes to (internal and external) communications, fortune truly favours the brave.

Most clients take my advice to do bold and exciting new things. Yet some worry about their team’s reaction.

The most common backlash sources are:

  1. Fear of the new (by inflexible or incorrectly skilled staff).
  2. Loss of power or prestige (by letting a freelancer do the work of permanent IT, OD, QC, HR, PR, admin or marketing professionals).

To counter these anxieties, I tell my clients to blame the ‘copywriter bogeyman’. Something like:

‘If you think these ideas will meet resistance, put my name at the bottom of the page. That way, staff won’t resent you and I can duke it out with the naysayers for the entertainment of the go-getters.’

Some clients prefer to blame the bogeyman when change is needed.

Others involve their workforce from the outset.

Though I realise not every team is full of bright sparks, I naturally prefer the second approach. Especially if the client wants to get into something as people-centric as social media.

Consultation and collaboration also mean you get more brains working on this pivotal area.

And grass-roots movements have much greater force than top-down directives.

The bottom line is, I can work any way you want.

BOO!

Paul Hassing, Founder and Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire.


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