Oh, the good stuff is finally here!
Why, oh why, am I putting such an emphasis on a regular practice of sharing an inside view to your business or passion via the blog?
Here it is… the reward! Real stories from real people… my clients!
Blogging Leads to TV Interview
Catherine Smith of SmithStitch Studio has been sewing for years, building a local following in the Northeast. We talked in early 2010 – was it time for her to expand her base support and take her work from hobby to business? We started developing her website in May 2010, using the WordPress.com platform. Soon after putting together her site, she was contacted by her local TV station. They’d found her website and wanted to interview her – an in-depth 30-minute conversation about her work, in the TV studio, with slides!
Check out the interview! She and I chatted after the interview, and she is now taking the preparation she did for the interview and putting together a lecture series for 2011. Go Cathy!
Guild Gains Participation Via Blog
Stacey Sharman, the tireless leader of our East Bay Modern Quilt Guild chapter and also the woman behind Peppermint Pinwheel Quilts, asked me to put together the blog for EBMQG. She started posting meeting notes and photos. Within 3 months, the group has grown from 5-6 regular participants to over 20 sewists at the most recent meeting held at New Pieces in Berkeley. When she posted the notes from the November 2010 meeting on the blog, over 150 people went to the site to see what was going on.
When I asked at the meeting what brought everyone out that night, they said they’d been thinking about coming for a while, but somehow they’d recognized the energy shift as more and more information about the group became readily available online. They’d felt not only informed but welcomed – electronically!
Local Boutique Fills the Shop with Customers via Blog & Social Media
Unveiled Bridal, a charming boutique in my hometown of Walnut Creek, CA, contacted me because they wanted to use social media to drive more of their business – both to the shop and to their website where they sell stylish wedding essentials. They participated in the Walnut Creek wine walk and sent out an invitation to their huge database of clients (met through bridal fairs or signed up through their website) via Constant Contact. The result? Their shop was overflowing with people – even when other shops on the street looked a little lonely. Now they are filling stationery appointments and looking to book seminars on bridal planning – just via their social media outreach. Way to stretch, grow, and learn new tools, ladies!
Entrepreneur Invents Career in Niche Market via Blog and Direct Mail
Suzanne Long (okay, that’s my mom!) came to visit me in California during the summer of 2010. The plan? I was driving her to Reno, NV, to visit her sister and see a Border Collie that she might want to take back to her farm in North Carolina. Well, 24 hours and a new dog later, Suzanne was on her way to a brand new life. She decided that she and this dog (plus her Border Collie at home) were ready to hit the Southeastern circuit of Scottish festivals and other events as a full-time business, Squirrels’ Nest Farm Border Collies. She and I whipped up a website and a direct mail program. Oh, and she did cold calling! Within 3 months she booked several demos and gigs in 2011. Her excitement and energy about reinventing herself and turning a possible dream into a reality brings tears to my eyes. So inspiring. She says, “My own joy in finding a place in myself and in my life that I scarcely knew existed is allowed to flow. I believe that has — in some way — to communicate itself to other people.”
Artist Invited to Publish Art Quilts in Magazine via Blog
Oh yeah, and then there’s me! In addition to working with clients via CYN WORKS, I have a growing art quilting business, CynsArtQuilts.com. About 2 weeks ago, I was contacted by the editor of Quilting Studio Arts (via Facebook!). She said she’d seen my blog, and she encouraged me to submit my quilts to the magazine for their 2011 schedule. I’m thrilled. I’m not a shoe-in for publication, but when you work so hard on creating something beautiful that you want other people to see, this kind of response can lift your spirits and motivate you to find the time, passion, and energy to get your work onto your website and your blog!
Grow Your Business Via the Blog – Now
I tend to like the narrative as a sales tool rather than stats. But the stats are amazing too. You can see the latest blogging added-value stats published on HubSpot.
If you’re ready to blog or need encouragement to go forward, talk to me. I’m working with New Pieces in Berkeley to run an “artists who blog” drop-in workshop for January and February of 2011. Details to be hashed out, so if you want input or have ideas, I’d love to hear them!
And… in case you missed any of the earlier installments,
This has been the final chapter of the series, Public Relations Help: the Blog, and hopefully only the beginning of a radical self-publishing PR campaign for my clients!