Q: In two sentences, highlight your background and professional experience to date. One bonus sentence: how’d you get started blogging?
A: My background began with a quick rise to the top of my field as a social worker with a degree in Psychology. Ok well, it was actually to the #2 spot in my field, but I realized I’d have to wait another 30+ years to get the president’s position as she was fairly young with no plans to go anywhere. That’s when I started exploring other ways to challenge myself. After spending a decade as a behavior analyst, overseeing managers and motivating the unmotivated, I decided it was time for a change. A BIG Change!
As a result, I changed everything about my life. I started a coaching & consulting business in the NY/NJ area, I quit my “secure” job, and I sold my house and all my belongings (except my shoes) and moved 5,000 away from my home state to live and work in the state of Hawaii.
Once I realized how time consuming in-person networking was, and how costly advertising was for a small business owner, I began the quest to find another way to get the word out about my boutique coaching firm. That’s when I discovered the power of blogging.
I started blogging after participating in a coaching club with Stephen Pierce where he talked about blogging as a way to get traffic for all the articles we wrote for Hawaii’s daily newspaper The Star Bulletin and magazines back in 2002. Having my own Coach was just the kind of accountability I needed.
After that, my blogging efforts took a life of its own. My business partner and I started seeing additional benefits for our blogging platforms, and took it to the next level, writing the first book on new media marketing tools and strategies. But instead of calling the book “blogging secrets” we wanted the book to be full of timeless strategies, and instead titled it, “Secrets of Online Persuasion” taking the topic beyond blogs and Podcasts, which were all trend setting topics at the time, and the book was released way before its time in regards to the blogging bandwagon that followed.
The book covers what’s most important when you’re using any communication platform – which is your influence and ability to persuade with your words via your blog. And to me, that’s more important than just the mechanics of blogging.
Q: How often do you blog? What platform do you use? Why?
I blog often. I guess I could say daily, now that I use Twitter as my micro-blogging platform, but as far as article blogging, it’s several times weekly on a variety of the blogs we run.
I started using WordPress, but found there were so many plug-ins to install, and with the updates they issue to fix bugs, etc. it became incredibly time-consuming.
The platform we use is BLOGi360.com.
Why do I use this platform? Simple = Because we created it.
Ok, well that’s the short answer, but on the serious note, we developed it to take care of an unmet need for busy business owners who didn’t have the time to do all the things necessary for their blog to work for them. We hired a team of programmers to create software that works automatically for the busy business owner (starting with me).
The system took a ton of tech time off my shoulders so I was able to focus on writing & uploading content, videos, etc instead of worrying about the techie stuff. All the installation and plug-ins along with proprietary software that goes far beyond WordPress are all done for me on any blog I create with this software. Now with the BLOGi360 system working for me, I can get busy doing the things I love – like tweeting on Twitter and connecting with other influencers.
We originally created the system to use for ourselves (selfishly) and then shared it with our private coaching clients. Recently we decided it was time to share the technology with the world of small business owners. Thus began another journey.
Q: Point us to a recent postings on your blog that you think are superb, and tell us a bit about your writing process. How long did it take for you to come up with the topic? How long to write?
http://tribalseduction.com/blog/womenrule is a recent post that was uber fun to create & share with my subscribers. The topic generated 30 comments almost immediately and continues to get a lot of hits to this day.
People often tweet me mentioning how they laughed when watching the video on this post, and then share whether they agree or disagree with what the gentleman in the video shared. The blog post posed a question (instead of a statement) “Do women rule on Twitter? (What Men Think)” and shared a few paragraphs about the making of the video that was shared in the post. The video itself was created while at a friend’s place, and editing less than 5 minutes because we kept it “reality style”.
This topic on my personal blog was a continuation of a column written for Entrepreneur magazine where I posed a controversial topic that people couldn’t help but comment and tweet about. 72 comments came in from my Twitter following who were not afraid to get engaged in a controversial dialogue.
My writing process is to not fear controversy. I even posed the thought for my readers, “Does this make me sexist?” and allowed readers to decide for themselves. In a politically correct world, people are tired of only saying what they’re “supposed to say” so anytime you go against the norm and try something different, it’ll have a certain shock value where people will enjoy participating in. And that’s what the blogosphere is all about – isn’t it? To get people engaged, entertained and sharing their two cents about matters important to them.
Q: How often do you leave comments on other people’s blogs? How do you find their entries in the first place?
I comment anytime I come across a topic that interests me. I often find the blog posts from the people I follow on Twitter. I love knowing the moment a blog post goes up and have some bloggers who regularly DM me about 10 minutes before their post goes live to give me a chance to read and comment first, and then tweet my following so they can do the same.
Q: Tell us a bit about your talk at Blogworld Expo. Topic, key points you’ll cover, etc?
I’ll cover the issues of how to use controversy and creating shock value in my Tribal Seduction presentation at Blog World Expo on the Entrepreneur track.
Once you understand how people are tribal by nature, you’ll be able to gather a tribe yourself of raving fans.
Most people are afraid of “rocking the boat” yet that’s the precise way of generating a flood of traffic, fans and clients.
New Media has introduced a more authentic, transparent world, and when people try to disguise their views or true identity, it backfires, or worse, gets them no results as though they don’t exist.
We’ll talk about how to brand their voice and develop their story in order to be known in the marketplace of ideas.
I’ll also reveal an amazingly effective process that’s a 180° turn from all you’ve been told about marketing in the 20th Century. Most people do it backwards. That’s why I’ll discuss how business owners can solve the problems that most entrepreneurs encounter when developing their marketing strategy.
Q: How do you recommend new folks best experience a major conference and expo like Blogworld Expo?
I’d recommend new attendees going to Blog World Expo for the first time begin their experience by tracking the hashtag #BWE08 on their mobile phones and the internet using Search.Twitter.com in order to follow the conversations happening in all of the different rooms.
This is another great way to find and connect with people who are at the conference that you might not otherwise have the chance to meet in person due to the overwhelming number of people attending this conference.
Q: Easy ones: Mac or PC? Ipod or Zune? Iphone or Blackberry?
I go both ways. I use a PC for all my business needs with corporate clients so all documents transfer easily. And I use a Mac for my iPhone connection and think of it as my portable Mac computer, since I use it mostly for internet connection, checking email, etc. all the things people buy a Macbook AIR for.
Then I carry around my Blackberry in order to use the phone reliably and not hang up on people when my cheek hits the touch pad on the iPhone. I also have it as my backup for when my iPhone battery dies. I can never go a full day without recharging. So – I find going both ways works best.
As for iPod, I use the Creative Zen to download from my Napster account and listen to tunes and Podcasts on my long flight from Honolulu to Vegas.
Thanks for sharing all of this, Deb! If you don’t, you should consider following @CoachDeb on Twitter too, though be warned, she’s as prolific a Twitterer as I am. But then again, perhaps you can just follow both of us (I’m @DaveTaylor) and add Rick Calvert, host of Blogworld (@blogworld) and fill your dance card quickly. 🙂