Just before Christmas, I was invited to write a guest blog post (Fitzrovia, the construction industry and social media) for Fitzrovia News, a blog about a particular part of central London where I have worked and have since visited countless times.
This came about through social media. I had posted a photograph of a pub – the College Arms in Store Street, across the road from the Building Centre – on photo-sharing site Flickr, and some months later got a request from Fitzrovia News‘ assistant editor to use the photo. Linus then read my blog, realised I had further associations with the area, and asked if I would write something for the blog.
I have been explaining to clients and to industry groups that this is not an isolated experience. Being prepared to share content and to connect online can be a great door-opener. Being social-savvy helps spread your name, your reputation and examples of your specialist knowledge and expertise, so that you might attract contacts from people who you might otherwise never have heard from.
For example, writing a blog about your industry, your profession or your particular niche specialism (construction project extranets, anyone?) can help showcase your skills and insights, and you may earn a reputation as an authority, an opinion leader, an industry insider, a ‘hands-on’ practitioner, an analyst, an innovator, a critic, an iconoclast, a humorist, etc. Share some of these posts via Twitter and you make it easier for people to find you, to make an initial and often relatively informal contact, or to recommend you to somebody in need of your ideas, services or products.
The contact may start as a guest blog post (as well as writing for others, I have asked people to write guest posts for my blogs; eg: Live from HOK), but it can easily lead to other things. Guest posts extend your exposure to new readers who may in turn subscribe to your blog or – perhaps better still – may want to learn from and do business with you.