Hi, Don, please introduce yourself to the Successful Blogging team.
Thank you for the opportunity to share on your blog, Sue Anne. My name is Don Purdum and I am a ten-year entrepreneur of seven different businesses. All of them have been online and range from a high-end website design / web development company to community websites and online newspapers. I also helped start an online networking organization a few years ago.
In my previous web development company we worked on sites that projects sold for an average of $25,000. Some projects were well in excess of $100,000.
Currently I own a smaller web design company, but I recently started coaching web designers, developers, graphic designers and social media companies on how to grow a six figure business and beyond. Over ten years, I've learned what it takes to be successful and how to fail my way to success. I really do believe you have two choices in business:
- Make your own mistakes and fail the hard way.
- Learn from others mistakes.
In terms of marketing, blogging is critical key to building a business when done properly.
That includes writing articles that actually solves someone’s problems and focuses on them; just as important is building great relationships with others online that have access to the audience you want and they serve them in a different way than you do. The key is to bring these influencers incredible value through commenting, sharing, and really getting to know them as much as you can.
In just four months, I have built a business blog that went from zero to articles that average 75 comments and some well over 150 comments. I’ll share more in just a moment on how, because that’s one of things that make us different.
Thanks, Don! Now, let’s get personal! Where do you live? Do you have a family? What do you do for work and play?
I live in beautiful Lancaster, PA with my amazing wife of twenty-one years and our two sons. I still can’t believe my oldest graduated high school a few months ago and my youngest is in middle school.
As I mentioned above, for work I own a web design and marketing agency. In addition, I coach web designers, developers, social media companies and graphic designers on how to build their businesses properly by helping them transition from being an employee trapped in their own company to a full-fledged business owner.
That means they have to gain the leadership skills necessary to build a world-class company. They have to learn:
- Marketing: What business are you really in? What problems do you really solve? Who do you specifically solve them for? Where do they hang out? How do you use your products or services as part of a solution? Then how do you properly language your marketing and focus on your prospects and not yourself.
- Sales: If your marketing did its job right, sales ought to be easy. I teach them how to properly build relationships with prospects that convert into sales and how to understand their cash flow model for scaling and growth.
- Production: What processes have to be in place from the sale to delivery to make sure a smooth transition and efficient production process? This is where most companies get themselves into trouble. I help them build out their production processes so that clients are given a reason to become raving fans.
- Customer Service: How well do we keep up the relationship and take care of each client after the site is launched? This includes continually educating and informing them of changes in technology that lead to repeat sales or upsells.
- Administration: This is the one everyone hates but has to happen. Are there processes for hiring, payroll, taxes, contracts, vendor relationships…. The list goes on and on.
Within each five of these categories every business must be good in order to succeed. We help companies set up their strategies, goals and objectives for each area of their business.
Through this process we identify the strengths and weaknesses of each entrepreneur and help them learn where they should be focusing and where they need help in other areas to grow their business.
The one other service I offer is that I work with the clients of web designers, graphic designers, and social media companies. They bring me in to consult with their clients and help them learn what business they are really in and the problems they solve. In one month we will change their messaging from boring to powerful!
For play, I love football and I’m a 23 year fan of the New England Patriots. Outside of that I love aviation photography and nothing is more fun that getting the right snapshot at the right time. My wife and I also love visiting boutiques and other places that have older period furniture and furnishings.
Tell us about Unveil The Web, your blog.
My blog is designed with a very focused strategy.
Our mission is to help businesses owners and entrepreneurs learn to stop thinking like employees and giving themselves jobs in their own companies. I want them to connect more meaningfully and purposefully with their business so that they can run their business and it not run them.
Do I build websites? Yes. But I do it to meet business owners who I know I can help make a real difference in their world by helping them connect more meaningfully with their prospects and clients online that will in turn become raving fans that increase ROI and profits.
So we blog about the problems business owners and companies have in their messaging on their websites, blogs and social media so that they can actually build and run their businesses. You know what they say; no cash, no business.
So what do you offer your readers that no one else does?
A unique ten-year history of failing and succeeding, and failing again and getting back up and succeeding even more…
Over the years I’ve learned how to think like the consumer. As a business owner that is the hardest thing to do when you’re consumed by your business. The way you think about your business is very different from the way the consumer thinks about and experiences your business.
We want to help bridge that gap so that when someone logs onto your website and you have a fraction of a second to make your impression; they get you completely because you’re talking to them and their issues and not about yourself.
However, it goes way beyond the online experience to the offline experience. Your messaging at networking events or fast one-on-one’s earn my clients an opportunity for further conversations that lead to sales.
How often do you update your blog?
I blog at least four times per week. We’ve also just introduced our video blog and we’re very excited about that.
That's great about video! Where do most of your readers come from? Google search? Social media? Other sites?
That’s an interesting question. As a young blog, I've made it my point to connect with influential bloggers and my audience has grown very organically into a community.
Most of my readers are coming from comments I leave on other blogs or readers on my blog are sharing out my content like crazy on their social networks. I also get a lot of readers from blog directories like Kingged.com and Triberr.
I’d love to hear more about your blogging successes so far. What kind of good things have come to you from blogging? Please tell us your blogging success story.
It’s been an exciting journey. There are two ways I predominantly use my blog to earn business. The first has come from social media, especially LinkedIn.
Just recently I posted an article titled “Cut Through the Noise, Nonsense and Crap” and shared it to my LinkedIn groups. I was getting a rather large number of visits from LinkedIn and the time on site was longer than normal.
In the course of 48 hours I had requests for ten consultations; and I sold all ten of them on twelve month coaching programs. That was AWESOME!!!!!!!
However, website sales come completely different. They come more from my offline networking and referrals. When they visit my site and my blog it instantly validates and provides credibility.
So it’s interesting that my blog works for me both online and offline, which for a business I think is extremely healthy.
What are the smart habits effective bloggers should develop?
The first habit is to get your mind straight around why your blogging and who you are blogging for. But aside from that, I feel that bloggers should get into the habit of:
- Be learning everyday about your craft. Your blog is only as good as you are. Read articles, books, magazines, get a coach. Make it a habit to learn. It will change your business and blog forever!
- Always respond with a comment to a comment in your blog. Don’t let it go any longer than 24 hours. Pay attention to what people say on your comments and social media, they will tell you their problems directly and indirectly and give you more ideas of what to write about than you can ever imagine. There is power in that!
- Read other blogs daily and offering comments that really benefit the blogger and their readers. Don’t leave one line comments. Give it some real thought. I literally take notes through each one I read of the main points and then I’m able to summarize and add to them in the comments.
- Network and share as much as possible. Remember, it’s not about you. If you make it about others they will make it about you.
What bad habits should effective bloggers ditch?
This one is pretty simple in my mind:
- Don’t waste people’s time talking about yourself.
- Don’t write short articles under 500 words, there isn’t enough room to tell stories or persuade anyone. Side note: Website Magazine said recently that articles above 1,500 words get more reads, comments, engagement and sales opportunities by as much as 400% over short articles.
- When you leave a comment, don’t ignore the comment coming back from the blogger. Keep the conversations going if it’s relevant? Don’t just comment and forget. Influential bloggers love it and will see you as different and want to get to know your work; and maybe even share it out?
Where can people find out more about you? Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Google Plus: https://google.com/+Unveilthewebstrategies
Thank you again, Sue Anne, for the incredible opportunity to share with your readers. It’s been a blessing and joy and I can’t wait to engage with their questions and comments.