– By Phoebe Yong
Well, I’ve officially joined the blog world. Now you’re thinking ‘how archaic,’ considering the first blogging platforms were launched in the late ‘90s and apparently, accordingly to Wikipedia, the official knowledge base for today’s students (how scary), as of February 2011, there are over 156M public blogs in existence. I guess we can add Magnolia’s blog to that enormous number.
Why a blog and what to say? To address the first question, truthfully, my team (a very digital bunch) convinced me to get “engaged,” and to “share with the community,” and publishing the blog would stop their pestering. Thank you for reading this blog.
Secondly, what to say? I read many blogs and new/info sites, my favourites include Huffington Post (Arianna’s), Mashable, Buttonwood’s Notebook, Gizmodo (I’m a gadget girl) and don’t laugh, TMZ (I’m a Hollywood-trash gossip girl).
What I love about these blogs and news sites is not only are they informational, offer good stuff, that’s obvious, but they are real, have personality and don’t mind being funny and totally irrelevant on subject matter. Ie. Seth Godin wrote a recent blog on the importance of looking at your shoes before attending meetings. He rushed out the door before a meeting and didn’t realize he had two different brown shoes on. BTW, I always check my shoes before big meetings.
When I started Magnolia in 2006—yup, it’s been that long— I noted that with lots of butterflies in my stomach I ventured into entrepreneurship, hungry for business, and so eager to help people tell their stories. Now, in 2012, I’m still very jazzed to help businesses tell their stories and that hunger for business doesn’t go away. But ONE big lesson is in looking for business. I’ve learned that it’s not about chasing new deals (because I do love the chase); it’s about taking care of your existing customers, nurturing it, being authentic in building their business and telling their stories, and not afraid to tell them the truth.
In our world of selling marketing services, yellow pages don’t apply. It’s about your reputation and networks. Why would anyone refer your services, if you haven’t performed beyond expectations. Would anyone know your good work if they haven’t seen it first hand? My biggest advice to anyone in building a business is take care and nurture your core customers.
A client once said to me after I backed away from the account, after two weeks from the contract commencement, and handed it off to a new account manager. He said it in humour but with some truth invoked, “So this is how it starts, you lure me in then hand me off like a baton in a relay.” I was quite taken by that as that was NOT my intention but regardless, perception is everything.
If you are lucky have a good base of customers, then take the time for proper weekly, quarterly, and yearly reviews, while doing it right with in depth ROI analysis. It certainly helps when you love talking business, as I do, with your clients and learning what keeps them up at night and putting forth small and big ideas to help ignite big things. When you know your client’s business inside out, you can extend your services to other areas as it make sense to work with people that know your business already.
People often ask me on how I’ve built Magnolia and the biggest reason is referrals, and this can only happen when you do great work for your customers.
As I conclude our first official blog, my promise is providing material that helps you grow your business (not just marketing factoids), information on issues that interest me and folks at Magnolia (others will contribute to the blog), and lastly, engaging conversations that allow us to connect with this digital forum.