Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What’s the Best Prescription for Posting to Your Blog? Is it QD, BID or PRN?

               “…RSS fatigue is already setting in…” Seth Godin

 I can think of many things where more is better. A few things that come to mind are:

·         The number of karats in a diamond

·         The number of people you know that you can call upon when the “chips are down”

·         The number of mornings you can remember when you really took a moment to enjoy a new day with all of its possibilities

·         The number of times you said, “I’d never do that” (like parachute from an airplane) but you did it anyway and loved it

·         The number of times you took the high road when taking the low road was oh so tempting

But there are many things in life where less is more. We may each have our own list of what those are but one thing that is probably pretty common is the number of blogs that hit your inbox/feed daily by the same blogger.

I haven’t decided what the cause of this “too frequent blog posting phenomenon” is but here are a few theories I found while researching the topic and a few of my own.

Why do people post blogs daily and think that people will read them - daily?

·         There is a lack of understanding of human nature – none of us read anything every day unless it is from our maker, our boss, our loved one, a client or maybe a book we can’t put down (yes, I intentionally left out the newspaper since most people do not read the paper anymore and if they do, they do not read it from cover to cover like my dad did!)

·         In this relatively new era of freedom to communicate one’s thoughts with the masses, some may begin to think that others need to hear their thoughts daily

·         There is a misguided understanding that blogging is a replacement for “cold calling” and the more we write, the more chance we have that someone will read it and reply, take action or evangelize our brand

It is suggested that there is a connection to the quantity of posts to the volume of traffic. However, as seasoned marketers know, you want to choose quality over quantity every time. If you are using your blog for branding, you want loyal readers. You drastically raise the stakes on losing those loyal readers if you bombard them with too much information. They will tune out, log off and unsubscribe.  

If you are using your blog as a lure to get traffic on your page because you are advertising anything and everything on your site then you are hoping that you will create more ‘clicks’ on ads that pay you by hyper-posting. If this is the case, you probably aren’t writing for a loyal audience and you might want to consider some less work intense ways of driving traffic to your site. Blogging can be work. Try keywords, links, ads and other traffic generation tricks. It might work just as well for you and you might not offend true blog readers by filling up their ‘head space’ by over-posting to the same audience.  

So what is the right prescription for blog posting? I think your safest bet is PRN  (as needed). When you have something to say to the audience you are or want to reach… then say it. Don’t post just to post. We’ve all been guilty of saying too much too often, but I know that I get the best response when I write less frequently and only when I have something to say to my audience of SMBE’s and entrepreneurs. I also know that people I may initially “follow” get tossed in the Junk Mail or Block Sender Folders when I receive daily messages that clog my brain. The sad thing about that is that some of these things might be good for me to read, but I just don’t have the bandwidth to read all of it.

So, when it comes to the right prescription for blog posting, I think that substance over quantity will help all of us  to achieve true communication with those who we are trying to help, educate, engage, or…..

                               The Noisy Tragedy of Blog Commons by Seth Godin

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

An Exploding Industry is Blazing Down the Road Towards You!

Will Food Trucks Help to Revitalize Community Based Commerce?

Food Trucks have become a socio-economic phenomenon that are encroaching upon brick and mortar establishments at a rapid pace. The unique splendor of the movement is that they are locally focused, locally owned , locally supported and provide a real sense of community by providing a place to gather together; the likes of which we haven’t really experienced since the local drive-in burger joints, followed by ‘dragging’ down the boulevard on Friday nights.

This micro-movement really appears to have all of the indicators of providing a bright light of opportunity for growth in an otherwise bleak business and financial forecast. The even better news is that the “Food Truck Craze” is not just happening in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco or Boston. The business model is popping up everywhere – even in small towns. And, the food varies as much as the clientele offering everything from cupcakes to Croque Madame.

Many of the trucks promote (and insist) that they serve only locally grown food and purchase all of their supplies from local businesses. This bold and heroic statement might be the beginning of the real support of local community that we have all so longed for and yet, in many ways, felt powerless to affect.

For this, and many other reasons (like the food is fantastic!), I ask you to support your local Food Trucks and Street Food vendors and introduce as many as you can to this exploding industry.

How do you find a Food Truck? Most rely on the internet and walk-by/drive-by traffic, but there are local online sources popping up that specialize in listing the truck, its location, menu and sometimes it even provides a feedback mechanism for customer reviews/ratings. One that I found recently listing a new Truck that is opening next weekend is:  Food Truck Listings and Location Sites. Do a search and I bet you will be amazed at the array of variations available to you right in your area!

What exactly is a Food Truck? Back in the day, we called them Roach Coaches and this really wasn’t a fair name as the food from the trucks was always fresh and delicious. The problem was that they were usually isolated to construction zones and some industrial parks, so there was limited exposure and limited growth potential. Now however, they are hitting posh working areas and some are even teaming up with local coffee or dessert houses and are parking adjacent to them so that the businesses can share the customers. (Again – sounds like the old days when we helped our neighbors and looked for win-win relationships instead of only looking out for ourselves!) If I haven’t provided an adequate explanation of what a Food Truck is, here is a good one: Food Truck

What is the economic outlook for this business model? There are many articles and sources but here are two that I found interesting: Local Food as Economic Development by Ken Meter    The Road Ahead for Food Trucks by Suzy Badaracco

Are these trucks regulated for safety? The simple answer is yes. You will definitely want to check in with your local governmental agency for rules, regulations, permits, etc. but here is an example of Food Truck Food Safety Guidelines that I found to give you an idea of what is expected.

As with most niche’ industries are there off-shoot industries popping up around the Food Trucks? Yes and I only scratched the surface in the list I have provided for you. I know that with the ingenuity of the people that are starting these hip and entrepreneurial businesses, there will be like-minded people who will carve out new creative businesses to support the explosion of what I hope will be our revitalization of support for community based business. Here are a few auxiliary businesses that I found, but there are and will be many more: Mobile Cuisine Magazine   Truck Insurance   Mobile Food Franchises   Food Truck Industry News  

Finally … I would not be a good Aunt if I didn’t tell you about my niece’s new venture with two partners - all veterans of Chairman Bao. They open the Brunch Box truck window this weekend in San Francisco and if you can make it - you’ll be delighted with the amazing menu. Here is a great article with info about their business: sanfrancisco.grubstreet.com

MMussard is a marketing, operations and executive consultant in Los Angeles. You can read her blog at http://justaskmary.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

An Exciting Trend that Cures the 'Where Should We Eat' Blahs...

A fascinating food experience is transcending and defying 'brick and mortar' restaurants! Remember the 'roach coach'? Well how about strolling up to one and being able to order Croque Madame?! Awesome, right?
High end eateries are coming to a place near you and I dare you to try one and be not only amazed but impressed.
For those lucky enough to be in San Francisco, check out what's rolling into your hood soon: www.brunchboxsf.com
I'll write more on this bursting industry later but for now, get ready to delight your tastebuds for brunch--yes brunch quality food--- at brunchboxsf.com
I'd love to hear what you think if you are lucky enough to live in SF and get to try this new experiential delight and transformation of the delivery method of high quality food.

It's Vacation Time...Anyone Going to Pyramids? Read This First!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Mechanic and Cleaner Published on Assoc Content from Yahoo..

In case you missed it...
First post published on Associated Content from Yahoo!
I saw the movie "The Mechanic" last weekend and the violence aside, I related it to what I do as a consultant. Really!