Hallway Chats: Sharing Stories and Building Belonging

Hallway Chats is a new podcast that I launched with my friend and WordPress colleague, Tara Claeys.

As 2017 was getting underway, a colleague from the WordPress community reached out to me to ask about starting a podcast together. Independently, we had both been considering creating an online audio show, but independently we had yet to land upon an idea. My colleague, who I now consider a close friend, Tara Claeys, was eager to focus on the human side of the WordPress community. From that initial idea, we worked up the concept and name for Hallway Chats.

All the Legwork

As Tara and I held a series of conversations about the logistics of getting started, we were both confident that it was an entirely manageable project. We both have our own separate consultancies, but with organizational structure and proper planning, we were sure getting started would be pretty easy.

Wow! Were we wrong!

Let me clarify: Tara and I were not surprised by the length of our to do list. We had done enough research and spoken with enough successful podcasters that we knew our checklist was solid.

What caught me offguard was how long each item might take. I had ignored that creating a logo takes a fair amount of time – perhaps even more when making a logo for yourself. 

Going Live

All of initial conversations, research, follow-up chores, and of course, recorded shows, would all be put to the test when we went live. Tara and I originally aimed for a launch in late May or early June. We hit that right on the head: we published our first episode on 01-Jun-2017.

We lead with what we felt was a really powerful conversation with a very strong woman, Jessica Reilley.

As the number of downloads began to climb, and as words of praise came across on Twitter, I felt a real sense of reassurement: Our idea of building belonging within the WordPress (and wider) community by chatting with real people, with real lives and real stories to share was making a connection with our intended audience.

Onwards and Upwards

It's safe to say that Tara and I are very much learning as we go. We're often updating and tweaking our systems, approach and workflows as we learn more about how to deliver an engaging, professional and valuable podcast. Thus, even though our show is now "live and on air", we still very much have a list of items that we'd like to improve, refine or add to our efforts at Hallway Chats.

I'll end by thanking the many, many people who've listened to our new show, have shared kinds words of praise about it on social media and who have subscribed to our podcast. I'm so grateful for your generous embrace of this new effort that Tara and I have worked so hard to get started.

The Professional Value of a Personal Recommendation

A professional contact’s post about his favorite podcasts has led me to consider the value of making recommendations to others in the marketplace.

This past spring, a professional contact and friend published a blog post listing a few of his favorite sales-focused podcasts. After reading that post, I checked out the recommendations and have since become a regular listener of three of them.

Networking = Offering Value

Every time that I listen to these podcasts, I think of my contact — the guy who recommended them. I find myself feeling grateful all over again that I heard about these great professional resources from a trusted source in the marketplace. And that always gets me thinking about the value of making recommendations to professional contacts.

The basic premise here is that sharing knowledge, insight and skills is the most valuable way to approach networking. Don’t ask what a potential networking opportunity can do for you — ask what you can bring to that opportunity. The personal recommendation is the same. Consider what tools, resources or guidance you can offer to your contacts as a way to help them get ahead. (Tip of the hat here to Dan Kowalski, a management consultant who delivered that key message in a presentation that I attended in April 2013.)

Since my friend, Joe McGonigal of SCC Partners, shared that post, I’ve taken the following actions, some consciously, and some less so.

  • Paid more attention to Joe’s Twitter feed looking for other recommended gems,
  • Become a regular reader of the SCC Partners blog,
  • Made a point of recommending Joe and SCC Partners to other professional colleagues and friends.

Of course, I’ve also been learning from Joe’s recommended podcasts and have been taking actions from what I’ve learned in those podcasts. (In fact, I just implemented something I learned while driving and listening to a podcast on Tuesday of last week. That step, asking a question of a client, paid a return by Saturday of that same week.)

Joe’s blog post about recommended podcasts — The 7 Best Podcasts for Sales People — has delivered so much value to me that I know I owe Joe at least one favor, and probably a handful of them. I’m constantly on the look out for a chance to give back to Joe.

And that’s how networking works …

Recommended Podcasts

Getting back to the recommended podcasts, I’ll share my favorites from that initial list.

The Advanced Selling Podcast:

advancedsellingpodcast.com
Every week these guys cover some aspect of selling. While their audience is, strictly speaking, sales professionals, their messages, ideas and suggestions hold true for any professional. (Also, we’re all in sales anyway.)

HBR IdeaCast

blogs.hbr.org/ideacast
A wide-ranging podcast that covers all sorts of matters within the field of business – everything from being efficient in the office to growing your brand globally.

The Accidental Creative

accidentalcreative.com
A mix of tips, ideas and strategies to drive creativity, these short podcasts pack a lot of value for any listener looking for ways to up their professional game.

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Philly ‘burbs WordPress Meetup: Considering Purpose and Community

A thoughtful look at the purpose of the Philly ‘burbs WordPress Meetup and the role of community in that group.

Philly 'burbs WordPress Meetup

As the Philly ‘burbs WordPress Meetup moves steadily into its second year, I want to share my own thoughts on what I consider to be the purpose, goals and spirit of the group. Admittedly, the following ideas are my own and only mine. Yet, it is my hope that in posting this writing, I can shed some light on my own hopes and aims for our growing group.

As of today, we are nearing 200 members in the Philly ‘burbs WordPress Meetup. Some are more active than others. Some attend more regularly than others. Some deliver presentations regularly, while others prefer to join in the open conversations. That’s all wonderful. The group thrives on the diversity of its members, on their varying professional interests, skills and their independent and unique viewpoints.

The Purpose of Our Group

When I first began thinking about starting a WordPress focused meetup, I really wanted to bring together the designers and developers who work with WordPress on a daily basis and the marketers, bloggers and site administrators who use this amazing software. As stated in the About us … section of our meetup page, “We focus on both design and development considerations (tips, techniques and hacks) as well as user concerns like expanded functionality and best practices.” After 13 meetups, I hope that we are fulfilling that goal.

As can be expected with such a remit, we have a great range of skills among our members — some are quite marketing savvy while others are more technically minded. Some code sites every day, while others steer clear of code like it’s the plague. That’s great. We aim to encourage both groups (designers/developers and marketers/bloggers) to push their limits and to step outside of their comfort levels. Only by pushing ourselves and taking on new challenges can we hope to improve our skills and develop professionally.

Fertile Ground for an Exchange of Ideas

A fundamental aspect of our meetup is the exchange of ideas from people with different perspectives and different professional backgrounds. The exposure to new ideas and practices has created an engaging dynamic among our group: people learn from each other, even if they don’t always adopt each other’s ideas or practices. By immersing ourselves in an environment of shared ideas, we can develop a wider understanding of WordPress, its use and its value. I know that I have certainly learned a lot about both WordPress and, more generally, web development through the presentations and conversations that have flowed at our gatherings.

A Challenge is an Opportunity to Grow

Invariably our approach challenges some of our members — and I feel that’s a good thing. I am eager for those less code-minded to improve their technical knowledge and skill. I’m also focused on encouraging our designers and developers to learn more about the needs, work and practices of our marketing professionals and bloggers. The idea is simply the more we know, the better we can be at our job — regardless of what our job is.

From month to month, the presentations do range in their technical focus or emphasis. We may have a tech-heavy presentation in one month, followed the next month by something less so. The presentations always focus on WordPress.

What We’re Not

To be clear, we have taken deliberate steps to avoid becoming a monthly WordPress training course. Yes, we want people to learn something every month, but as we rely on our members and other volunteers to serve as speakers, I don’t think turning our meetup into a formal training environment would be feasible or even desirable.

Constructive Feedback is the Brainchild of Improvement

The beauty of a group meetup is the exchange of ideas and feedback. In group settings, especially with such an informal setting as we have with the Philly ‘burbs WordPress Meetup, it can be difficult to get everything right for everyone at every juncture. That’s to be expected. As such, I truly appreciate when our members take the time to offer constructive insight and feedback on the comings and goings of the group. That sort of information, be it positive reviews or constructive complaints, is the only way that our meetup can improve, grow and continue to add value to our members.

Keep Moving Forward

As I look forward to our next meetup, I am reminded of a mantra of Lewis Robinson, the orphan turned brilliant inventor in Disney’s Meet the Robinsons. His byline was “Keep Moving Forward.” I hope that our own group embraces such an inspiring thought and continues to grow and flourish in the coming months and years.

As always, I welcome your thoughts, ideas, critiques and feedback below in the comments.

10 Things I Learned in the First Year of Running a WordPress Meetup

A look back at 10 things I learned in the first year of running the meetup.

Philly 'burbs WordPress Meetup

When I first started thinking about organizing the Philly ‘burbs WordPress Meetup, I really had no idea what I might be getting myself into. Since those early days, first talking to Doug Stewart and Brad Williams, planning with Coreen Tossona, it’s been an amazing ride. I’ve met so many new and interesting people. I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve certainly learned a ton about WordPress. It’s been a fantastic ride!

1. Be Prepared to Be Surprised

After 12 great WordPress meetups, I’ve learned to expect surprises at all times. Some wonderful surprises. Some less than desirable surprises. But always something. The best surprise has been the level of interest in the meetup and the support that the established WordPress community has lent in our first year. Many experienced WordPress designers and developers have spoken to our group, generously giving of their time and skills. On the downside, the difficulties of relying on volunteers and the vagaries of hosting free events has thrown the most challenges in my way.

2. Focus on Community is its Own Reward

In Philly, there is a shining light of how to build a successful and productive community: Alex Hillman. Although I’ve never met the Fearless Leader of Indy Hall, I follow him on Twitter and learn from him every day. His focus on community as a goal in and of itself has shown me the light. Giving to a community always brings return to those who give. It’s a wonderful dynamic. I know that I have reaped more than I have sown with this great group.

3. WordPress: Build It and They Will Come

WordPress is a hugely popular content management system – and deservedly so. As word of its flexibility and scalability has grown, more and more people have become eager to join WordPress meet-ups. All I needed to to do was announce the new Philly ‘burbs WordPress meetup, and people started showing up. There is no need for any special event planning skills — just issue the call and people will join in.

4. Involve Others and Others Will be Involved

Speaking in front of a crowd is not something a lot of people do regularly. By providing a welcoming and pleasant audience, our meetup group has encouraged a wide range of people to speak about WordPress, plugins, fonts and more. The friendliness of the group has made it easy (well, easier anyway) for me as an organizer to find new speakers. Whenever I asked a member to speak about a topic — any WordPress topic — unfailingly I received a ‘yes’ reply. We’ve had so many different people — men, women, older, younger, developer, designer, blogger and marketer — deliver great presentations. To see the community volunteering to share the load has been very cool.

5. Nothing is Free

While attending our meetup has been free to all comers, I’ve come to understand more thoroughly the phrase that “nothing is free”. I have a new found respect for those who expended their own energy and time to organize the many free events that I’ve attended over the years. Organizing a free monthly meeting that offers value to attendees takes a lot of work. I now understand that better than I ever have before.

6. The WordPress Community is AWESOME

I’ve talked about the special and generous nature of the WordPress community. My experiences at WordCamp Philly 2012 really cemented my deep appreciation of the WordPress community. That Matt Mullenweg would take time on his Sunday to travel to another city to hang out with a bunch of people who like the software he started speaks volumes. Closer to home, the Philadelphia WordPress Meetup Group, and its organizers, have offered much insight, support and friendship in helping us get off the ground.

7. Hidden Gems Are Everywhere

Never judge a book by its cover, and never, ever, judge a meetup attendee by their appearance. I like to think I keep an open mind, but running this meetup has pushed me further. Knowledge and generosity is hidden behind the faces and smiles of many a person. I’ve been surprised time and time again by what I have been able to learn from the most unlikely of sources. It really has been a case of “treat every stone as a diamond”.

8. Get Ready to Push Yourself

Organizing a monthly meetup about any topic is not easy. Delivering a consistently valuable, enjoyable and dynamic experience takes a lot of time and energy. Paying attention to the little details requires a committed focus. And that’s just the start. I’ve been forced to learn more about WordPress. To make sure that each meetup is as good as it can be, I’ve been forced to work harder and longer than I expected. That’s not a complaint; I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. (Well, almost every minute …)

9. It’s Not About Money

Open source software and GPL aside, WordPress meetups should not be about the money. At our meetup, we deliberately avoid the sales approach: speakers are allowed only a minute or two to introduce themselves and their work. Yet, we meet to discuss WordPress and to create a network that many of our group use for business. By focusing on community, sharing of knowledge and experience and building a strong network, our meetup grow has generated financial value for some members. Although I don’t have any firm numbers, I know anecdotally that a number of people in our group have worked together as a result of coming together through our group.

10. Consistency is Key

Anyone who knows me fully appreciates that I am by no measure an event planner. Getting it right takes a lot of focus from me. I struggle with it. Yet, I’ve learned that delivering consistency is key to a successful community building effort. Not boring repetitiveness but a level of predictably that allows members of our meetup group to develop a comfort level in our surroundings.

The Value of Interpersonal Marketing

A little story that highlights the value of interpersonal marketing — no brand is too big not to benefit from person-to-person promotion.

Wendy's in Exton, PA

I have thinking about in-person networking lately, and I have a little story to share that highlights the importance of interpersonal marketing. This experience was a perfect reminder to me of the value of face-to-face marketing, and of how every single person in a company is involved in building the brand.

Let me set the scene.

It was a Saturday morning and I was in the Reading Terminal Market in central Philadelphia for breakfast. I was seated at a table at the Down Home Diner, eating with family. The diner uses long tables and so smaller parties end up sharing the table with other guests (which is fun). As we worked our way through breakfast, the diner hostess seated a gentleman at our table. Over the course of fried eggs, bacon and coffee, I got to talking to this fellow.

A morning chat

As it turns out, this gentleman was the Chief People Officer at The Wendy’s Company. A senior vice president. He was in town for Wendy’s annual franchise conference. His name is Scott Weisberg. A really intelligent, gregarious and insightful guy, Scott told me about how Wendy’s was working to be a leader in the restaurant business, creating dining destinations rather than in-and-out food service outlets. It was a great conversation — I learned a lot.

During the course of the conversation, I mentioned that there was a new Wendy’s opening up near me: the first one in my immediate area. Before meeting the chap from Wendy’s, I was not excited about the new opening. I was not against the new restaurant, but I had no feelings about it. Where I grew up, there were no Wendy’s restaurants. I don’t have memories from childhood of going there with my parents; my high school friends and I didn’t hangout at the local Wendy’s on slow weekend nights. I had no connection with the brand.

Yet during my conversation with its Chief People Officer, I learned a lot about Wendy’s. I got to peer into its ethos, values and vision for its future. It was exciting! I was given a window into a major global brand. Suddenly, I couldn’t wait for that new Wendy’s to open! I wanted to share in the Wendy’s experience.

My first experience

Last Thursday, my new Wendy’s opened (note, I feel like I can call it my Wendy’s now) and it has been rocking ever since. I’ve driven past the new restaurant on at least five occasions and the parking lot has always been full, the drive-through line a few cars deep. The sign out front reinforced what Scott told me over breakfast about Wendy’s commitment to its local customers: “Proud to be part of your community”. That was a nice touch.

Two nights ago I managed to get into this new Wendy’s for a meal. I loved the whole aura of the place as I drove into the parking lot. There was a sharp looking outdoor seating area. Through the windows, I could see a couple of people sitting in front of a fireplace eating burgers. (Well, a mock fireplace, but still … it was amazing to see. It certainly shook my preconceptions about fast food chains.) Stepping inside, I was welcomed by a friendly and personal staff. I was welcomed by loads of friendly staff. In chatting with a few of the managers, I learned that they have been racing since they opened. Looking over the counter, I could see what looked to be 15-20 employees hustling and bustling to fill orders.

A Frosty from Wendy'sWhat really surprised me when I ordered was that the manager asked me my name. Simply thinking him friendly, I introduced myself and thanked him for greeting us so pleasantly. A few moments later, I was surprised to hear my name called, as my order was ready. It was not “8314, your order is up.” It was “Liam, your meal is ready.” A subtle and classy touch.

By the time I sat down to eat my burger and fries, I was really excited to eat. Even more than the decor, the burger challenged my preconceptions about fast food. It was juicy and piping hot. The bacon looked, smelled and tasted like it just came off the griddle. Moreover, the fries were the hearty type: thicker than those served at most chains. Of course, I had to try a Frosty.

That face-to-face marketing value

As I finished up and sipped the last of my soda (Diet Caffeine-Free Coke, if you must know), I thought back to my conversation with Scott Weisberg. I would never had gone to this new restaurant if the HR guy had not so enthusiastically, genuinely and effectively convinced me to be excited about Wendy’s as a brand. His time, his thoughts, his willingness to interrupt his own breakfast to get a potential customer excited about his company is a brilliant example of the value of interpersonal marketing.

5 Marketing Reasons to Attend In-Person Events

A list of 5 reasons why attending in-person events is valuable marketing for small businesses.

Matt Mullenweg at WordCamp Philly

Earlier this month, I attended WordCamp Philly for the second year in a row. As what I learned about WordPress and web development could fill my blog post publication schedule for the next six months, I walked away from the event feeling energized to implement the techniques I learned, excited to have met in person those with whom I only had online relationships and eager to attend to WordCamp Philly next year.

As I drove home from WordCamp, I mulled over the value for small businesses in attending real events, in person — in the meatspace — as opposed to limiting marketing efforts to online. During this mental review, I recalled a great piece that I read about the value of holding offline events in connection with online marketing efforts, published earlier this year by our friends and colleagues at Philly Marketing Labs. The blog post, entitled 5 Reasons to Boost Your Marketing Efforts with In-Person Events, set down a very clear and formidable list of reasons why small businesses (and others) would benefit from holding their own events.

In pondering the weekend in connection with that blog post, I thought it worth exploring the value that small businesses can achieve from attending in-person events. In response to Philly Marketing Lab’s post, I came up with 5 Marketing Reasons to Attend In-Person Events.

1. Tell People Who You Are and What You Do

In-person events of any kind are always a great way to talk to people about our work. Of course, it needs to be done with savvy, but people expect to talk about their jobs, their careers, their companies or their employers at work-related events. Small business owners should take advantage of that expectation to promote themselves.

2. Find the Help You Need

While attending local in-person events, let’s make sure that we don’t just talk about ourselves. Listen first. Ask others about themselves and their work. It’s a great way to form a network of professionals whose own services complement ours. By actively inquiring about the skills and services that others offer, we can develop a network of suppliers to support our own small businesses, both internally (helping us run our own businesses) or externally (providing services that benefit our clients.)

3. Put a Face with a Twitter Name

Nothing beats the connectivity power of a face-to-face meeting. This is as true in business as it is elsewhere. Many small businesses rely on personal connections with clients for their steady stream of work. In an age when we have dozens, if not hundreds or thousands of Twitter “friends” and contacts, it’s important to seek ways to deepen that initial online connection.

4. Have Fun!

A great part of getting out to networking events is that we choose the events we wish to attend. More often than not, getting in a room full of people who are as excited as we are to talk about the same topic is fun. It’s invigorating. It can renew our excitement and focus about the topic of discussion.

5. Learn That Little Something Extra

We can always stand to learn a little about about our professional fields or industry. No matter how expert we are, there is undoubtedly some area within that field that we are a bit weak, or where our knowledge is slightly outdated. In-person events can help fill in those blanks.

On a related note, but not directly on point, check out Coreen’s Tossona’s Plan Your Next Event With Inspiration from Philly WordCamp if you’re looking for more articles about WordCamp Philly and In-Person events. (Disclaimer: Coreen and I are friends and colleagues; we co-organize the Philly ‘burbs WordPress Meetup together. We did not discuss or coordinate the publication of our two blog posts at all.)

10 People I Met or Got to Know Better at WordCamp Philly 2012

Highlighting just a few of the wonderful people I encountered at WordCamp Philly 2012.

Liam dressed in costume for WordCamp Philly 2012

For the second year in a row, WordCamp Philly has blown me away with the insightful presentations, the dynamic and friendly people and the shared knowledge of the WordPress community. From Friday evening to Sunday evening, I spent the weekend meeting, chatting and hanging out with some wonderful people from around Philadelphia and across the USA. I met new faces and learned more about others whom I had previously met.

For me, WordCamp Philly is about people. If I just wanted knowledge about how to create a Custom Post Type or which app is best for coding, I would have sat at home and Googled those topics. I wanted to meet and enjoy the company of people who make WordPress what it is today … and WordCamp Philly 2012 did not disappoint.

What follows is a list of ten (or slightly more than 10) people whom I met or got to know a bit better over the weekend. The list is presented in chronological order as I encountered or spent time with them. Of course, I met many more people than I could list here, so if I left someone off, I do apologize!

1. Brad Williams, Doug Stewart, Anthony Bubel and April Williams

While the names above are for four people, they acted as one in bringing together a fantastic WordCamp yet again. Brad, Doug Anthony and April put in a tremendous amount of energy, time and passion into creating a fantastic weekend-long WordPress-focused event that was exciting, engaging, educational and more. Brad is online at strangework.com, Doug calls literalbarrage.org home, Anthony posts photos at anthonybubel.com and April blogs at twoandthezoo.com.

2. John Kleinschmidt

The Director of Technology Development at CURE International, John and I met while traipsing our way around Old City, Philadelphia, hearing scary ghost stories about the haunting of historic places. Although I didn’t get to hear his presentation, I understand that it was outstanding. What he is doing with WordPress is very cool and worth learning about. John blogs at http://resplendentdev.com.

3. Christina Strommer

I met Christina through a number of Meetups, but it was only at WordCamp Philly that I got to spend real time with her. She’s a friendly and delightfully knowledgeable designer from greater Philadelphia. Hanging out with and chatting with her on the dev day was really fun. You can follow Christina at @jamminpsu.

4. Tracy Levesque

A designer and co-owner of Yikes, Inc., Tracy delivered a top notch presentation about WordPress’ Custom Post Types. Her presentational style was perfect: knowledgeable, laid-back, easy going. I learned a lot from Tracy at WordCamp Philly.

5. Tin Pham

Hitting WordCamp Philly to represent WP Engine, Tin Pham was yet another example of why WP Engine continues to get my vote for outstanding web host. Articulate and genuinely interested in learning my thoughts on what WP Engine could to do improve, Tin spoke with me at length about the company, its history and its plans for continued growth. His shared insight encouraged me to put even greater faith in WP Engine. Tin Pham blogs at http://www.hostblanket.com. He’s on Twitter at @tinner10tin.

6. Dre Armeda

The CEO and Co-Founder of Sucuri, Dre Armeda is nothing if not an expert in website security. His know-how for keeping WordPress websites, and other CMS-driven sites, safe and secure is second to none. On top of that, he is a very kind, gregarious and funny guy. I was glad to have had the chance to meet and get to know him a bit over the weekend. Check out Sucuri online at www.sucuri.net.

7. Krystal Knapp

When Krystal popped into the Happiness Bar at WordCamp Philly, I was lucky enough to be able to help her out. Then we spoke about her news site, Planet Princeton. It was really interesting to hear of an individual journalist working hard to progress a sustainable business model for covering local news, which in Krystal’s case is Princeton, NJ.

8. Clarissa Peterson

A gifted business card recycler, Clarissa was a real hoot. She’s intelligent, free-spirited, analytical and just good fun! I enjoyed hanging out with her at Dev Day. She really is everyone you ever need to know. Only the highway authorities might know where she is now, but you can find Clarissa online at clarissapeterson.com.

9. Justin Sternberg

I was lucky to grab a seat next to Justin on a bench in the beer garden outside Barcade. We got to talking about being designers who code. We had a great conversation about how we progressed from being just designers to being designers who code for WordPress. It was a short but wonderful exchange of creative philosophies. Learn more about Justin at http://about.me/jtsternberg.

10. Matt Mullenweg

When I arrived at the dev day session, I was delighted to hear the news that Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress, would join us for the session. He’s a real inspiration for me — hugely successful, but still so down-to-earth, so committed to giving to and supporting the community and so interested in the greater good. It was a real pleasure to meet him and to hear his thoughts on the future of WordPress and other web technologies. You can find Matt online practically everywhere, but he has a blog at ma.tt.

I’d also like to give a shout-out to Matt from Downingtown, PA, and his friend, Cameron. I bumped into these guys at Barcade and we got to talking about WordPress, design and all points web. They were great fun — and Matt had a great mustache in the making. (You can see Matt in the bottom right corner of this photo.)

Lastly, if you’re wondering about the photo at the top of this point, I delivered my own presentation in costume as directed by the organizers of WordCamp Philly. I was dressed as the impeccable Dr. Watson, Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation.

Another 5 Valuable Blog Posts for Small Business Blogging

A selection of posts for small business owners that are primarily focused on intertwining online marketing efforts with in-person networking.

Small business blogging

Earlier this year, I published a post that filtered through the blogosphere to share valuable articles to help small business owners get better value from their blogging efforts. Since I received a lot of positive feedback from that post (mostly via email and Twitter), I am rolling out that format again. I’ve done the legwork so you can reap the rewards. Enjoy.

For this post, I primarily focused on intertwining online marketing efforts — blogging and inbound marketing — with offline efforts. As you can read below, the interaction of events, networking and blogging can pack a powerful punch for your small business.

1: A Blog is So Much More than JUST a Series of Blog Posts
12 Things You Should Be Using Your Blog For Besides Blogging is another gem from Corey Ediron of Hubspot fame.

2: Tie Your Online Efforts to In-Person Networking and Events
The minds at Philly Marketing Labs detailed 5 Reasons to Boost Your Marketing with In-Person Events. This is a post that I have read and re-read several times.

3: Online & In-Person, a Winning Combination
Another solid post from Darren RowseTraffc Technique 7: Networking and Collaboration

4: Affordable and Management Market Research on Your Smartphone
In Using Social Media to Test Your Ideas Before You Try to Sell It, Melinda F. Emerson highlights a brilliant tactic on the NY Times Small Business Blog.

5: A short and easy guide to keeping clear of social media gaffes and missteps
A no-nonsense and succinct guide to Top 5 Tips for Avoiding Social Media Fails from Stefan Töpfer.

As always, I welcome you to share links to great articles that you’ve found. Add ’em to the comments please!

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