Sean Wallbridge, president and principal consultant of itgroove Professional Services, Ltd., is big on blogging. And so are all ten of his employees, who blog on company time. Why is this Victoria, British Columbia based small business owner so invested in creating content that he essentially gives away? Here are three reasons:
1. Blogging saves time
As head of this technology consulting firm, Wallbridge gets questions from many different sources every day. In self-defense, he turned to writing blogs to answer those questions he gets asked repeatedly.
“Now that I’ve been blogging for several years, I save about 90 minutes a day by pointing people—potential or current customers, even staff—in the direction of a specific blog that solves their problem,” Wallbridge said.
New employee, Kelly Marshall, business development manager, finds this wealth of blogged information extremely useful. “Instead of getting lost in email threads, I search our blog for past solutions and usually find the answer I need.” For those questions that remain, Marshall creates a blog to add to their knowledge base.
2. Blogging demonstrates subject matter expertise
Blogs are first published on the itgroove internal SharePoint site, which is set up to replace key office email correspondence. A staff alert is then sent out with each new post. Internal blogs that are not proprietary get published in the Knowledge Blog section of their website, under the writer’s blog. Of the 400 blogs published internally last year, 300 of them made their way to the external corporate site.
There are times when the company struggles with the decision of what secrets to keep and which ones to give away. “While we err on the side of generosity, we do draw a line where we say, for more information, call us,” says Robert Dick, IT service manager and senior consultant.
Wallbridge is passionate in his belief that blogging builds trust. “By sharing our expertise freely, we’re demonstrating that we’re problem solvers.” And while it’s easy for some salespeople to say they are the best, Marshall adds, “The high (search) ranking of our blog posts demonstrate that we know what we are talking about.”
3. Blogging can help you accomplish your goals
Wallbridge recommends that you set goals for your blog and other social media platforms before investing time and effort. One of his goals was to give back to his community by being a source of useful information. “We also want to distinguish ourselves as thought-leaders in the Victoria community and in the industry in general. Blogging helps us to accomplish this goal.”
Is his strategy working? According to Wallbridge, it is. “In 2013, we were in the top two percent of most viewed presentations on SlideShare. I think we’re clearly on the right path,” he says.
But in the end, does blogging bring in business?
“I think it helps establish trust and brand and, from the sales point of view, creates ‘warm’ leads as we are effectively creating referrals to ourselves,” Wallbridge concludes.
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This article originally appeared on the Microsoft Enterprise blog.