Should you be Business Blogging?

Daily Blog Tips

Sometimes I stumble across an interesting article that works for Vistage and TEC Chairs, Speakers, Trusted Advisers, and Members. This might be one of those articles. Is Blogging for everyone? Could your business, consulting, speaking, services, and products benefit from launching a blog?

This a little bit of a “devil’s advocate” post. Everyone is jumping on the blogging bandwagon. Should you join in the parade? Should you wait? Is Blogging NOT an effective strategy for your business? This article on Daily Blog Tips summarized many of the key points related to determining if your company should be blogging or whether it might turn into an exercise in futility?

I liked the way the author laid out a set of criteria or a checklist to determine if you should launch a business blog? There are obviously many benefits from having a business blog – one of the major questions is whether you have the time, patience, and resources to devote to launching a business blog.

There’s a common opinion that your businesses should blog. And that’s true – a lot of them should, but that doesn’t mean you should blog just to blog. Many businesses do the blog thing wrong, and apply it for the wrong reasons. This can create productivity gaps and areas where resources are allocated improperly. Blogging shouldn’t be done just to blog – there should be a clear focus, goals, and actionable metrics applied to it. It shouldn’t be done just because people do it – for the same reasons that Facebook and Twitter accounts shouldn’t be created because you heard “social media’s good”.

To read the full article on Daily Blog Tips, click the link below:

Why Your Business Should – And Shouldn’t – Have A Blog

Barry Deutsch

Is Fear Holding You Back From Business Blogging?

Compendium Blog

Have you launched a corporate blog yet?

What’s holding you back?

We have a saying in our basketball program based on one of the most popular quotes ever issued by a coach: “You’ll miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

How many shots (opportunities) are you missing because you’re afraid to shoot (start blogging)?

I’m sure by now you’ve listened to, read, and seen numerous “experts” talk about social media. In all that information, I’ll bet every one of the experts has called on you to start a blog.

I read recently on the Compedium Blog an interesting statistic:

According to a recent study by Experian-Hitwise, an Internet measurement data application provider, searchers’ use of eight-word keyword phrases grew 22% in just one year. In addition, 56% of all keyword queries are now three word phrases or more. So what does this mean for corporate bloggers? The longer the phrase, the more specific the searcher intent. Long tail searchers are hand raisers and know exactly what they’re looking for. It’s up to you to show up and solve their problems. How do you do this? By blogging.

There is no doubt among marketing gurus that blogging is the most effective method to drive search engine queries about your products/services, provide differentiation through thought-leadership, and engage with your community of potential buyers,  prospects, and raving fans that are interested in your products and services.

So, we’ve now established that beyond a shadow of a doubt, blogging is a great low-cost and effective marketing strategy – especially one that can drive sales leads.

What are you waiting for?

What is holding you back from taking the step of establishing a blog targeted at your customer base of individuals who make decisions on whether to purchase your products and services?

Are you waiting for your competitors to take the lead and then you’ll follow – or would you rather be the leader among your competitors?

Common fear factors in setting up a blog include:

  • The fear of running out of blogging ideas
  • The fear of looking/sounding stupid
  • The fear of wasting time with no immediate results
  • The fear of employees/blog writers releasing confidential information
  • The fear of not knowing where to start
  • The fear of the unknown: “I don’t know what to expect”

Are you letting your fears about blogging consume you? Are you over-analyzing whether it makes sense to start a blog? You could have a blog up and running within a few hours. Yes – you will make initial mistakes, errors, and you’ll have a few regrets. What’s new? Doesn’t this sound like every other idea you’ve tried for the first time?

I sometimes have to remind the girls on my basketball team to shoot the ball. Take a risk. Do something different for once. I ask them what’s the worst thing that could happen? Of course, they tell me they might miss. So do all your teammates, but they don’t let that fear of doing something – like shooting – stop them. Remember the old adage: You’ll miss a 100% of the shots you don’t take.

By not trying to blog and testing the social media waters, are you missing the opportunity to engage more fully your customer base, are you leaving sales leads on the table, and are you providing a window for your competitors to dominate your market?

Barry Deutsch

Do You Get A Ripple Effect Through Your Target Audience?

I really like the idea Mike Sansone wrote about on the Converstations Blog when he referred to amplifying your message by creating ripples in your marketing efforts.

One of the best ways to create ripples is to blog. You’ll be found and heard by your target audience, you’ll gain free publicity by folks on radio, in business publications, and local newspapers, and your content will continue to be “re-broadcast” in expanding circles of influence.

You’ve probably resisted blogging – perhaps considering it a waste of time. Now might be the time to consider starting to blog so that you can create an effective inbound marketing program – where others seek you vs. you trying to find them (outbound marketing). Inbound marketing is less expensive, has a higher conversion rate, and is less complex than traditional outbound marketing programs, such as cold calling, email direct marketing, and advertising.

Here’s the picture he paints in his blog article:


Let’s look at it another way. Go to the edge of a lake or river. Drop a stone into the water close to your feet. The ripples extend only outward. Yet, give the stone a throw (complete with extension and follow through) and the ripples continue extending outwarrd, but also come back to you.


If you could generate returns/conversion/success at a 4:1 ratio compared to traditional cold calling or emailing techniques to reach your intended audience – would the small time investment be worth it?

Have you started blogging yet as a business, speaker, consultant, or trusted adviser?

Are there social media strategies other than blogging which you use to create a “ripple effect” that extends and is amplified through-out your niche/audience/potential clients and customers?

Barry Deutsch


What are those little buttons at the bottom of each Post?

Social Media Buttons to Share Outstanding Information

Social Media Buttons for Sharing Information

At the bottom of each blog post are a series of little icons that enable you to share various blog posts that you’ve found particularly useful. Brad, our expert guest bloggers, and I all appreciate your sharing our content with other folks in the Vistage Community when you read something you thought worthy of sharing.

At a fundamental level – that’s the way blogging and social media works. Someone writes a blog post or shares something interesting they found on the Web that has a few good take-away points, you like it, and share it with your friends, associates, acquaintances, the Members of your Group, other Vistage Chairs, your favorite Speakers and Trusted Advisors.

So, what are these buttons?

Delicious: Delicious is a popular on-line bookmarking site. You can store all your bookmarks here and you can share all your bookmarks with those looking for similar content. Posting your bookmarks on subject matter expert areas is one of the strategies to personally brand YOU. See my list of bookmarks on Delicious as an example. You have be logged into your Delicious Account to post bookmarks.

Facebook: You can share a valuable blog post with your contacts on Facebook. Once you click the button, you’ll have an opportunity to enter the post into your news feed on Facebook. Obviously, you have to be logged into your Facebook account for this to work.

Digg: Digg is similar to Delicious as one of the most popular bookmark sharing sites on the Internet. The content that Digg and Delicious have accumulated is exceptional. One of the key places I do my research now in addition to Google is to go to Digg and Delicious to see how others have voted on various websites and blog postings.

Email: This button will allow you to forward the link of a blog article you found interesting to someone in your email address book. The system picks up whatever email program is your default – such as Outlook.

Google Bookmarks: This allows you to save interesting articles you find so that you can refer back to them at a later point. For example, if you read the blog postings of one of the feeds on this portal site, you might want to bookmark a particularly interesting blog post.

Twitter: Twitter is all the rage on the Internet. It is a micro-blogging platform where you can send 140 character mini-messages to those following you. For example, I have almost 7,000 people following me on Twitter around two different categories – executive job search and hiring talent. Many of those individuals join our LinkedIn Discussion Group, download our free materials, and purchase our products/services. Approximately 10% of our web site traffic comes from Twitter.

It’s a viral environment where people who like what you have to say repost to their network. It’s another form of personal branding and differentiation. You should have a Twitter Account. You can look at my profile and see one of my lists of  Vistage Community Members using Twitter.

The primary way Twitter gets used is to make a statement/ask a question, repost the tweet someone else wrote (called retweeting), and post a link to something you found useful.

LinkedIn: This button will allow you to repost the blog article to any of the LinkedIn Groups you participate in. It automatically creates an entry in the news feed of the group. You can select the specific group you would like to post the news item (blog post) into to share with other members of the various LinkedIn Discussion Groups.

Barry Deutsch

Graphic courtesy of DavidZimm

Vistage vs. TEC Language

TEC Logo Vistage Logo

How should we refer to the worldwide community of Chairs, Members, Speakers, Staff, and Trusted Advisors?

I recognize that many of the readers of our blogs, members of our LinkedIn Discussion Groups, and followers on Facebook and Twitter are from the worldwide community, ranging from Hong Kong to Vancouver. In most of the US, we call it Vistage (there are some exceptions), and outside of the US, we call it TEC.

For ease of communication, please accept our use of the name Vistage even though you may be part of a TEC community. We mean no disrespect, but rather use this naming convention as means to avoid tripping over ourselves in referring to the worldwide community of Vistage and TEC Members.

I realize that I probably don’t have to publish this blog post on this subject; however, I thought it might be useful to explain why we were only using the Vistage label.

We would like to embrace the entire worldwide Vistage/TEC community that is interested in learning and growing. Please accept our use of the Vistage Label when referring to the entire worldwide community.

Thank you.

Barry Deutsch

Navigating around the Vistage Leadership Community Portal

Navigation around the Vistage Leadership Community Portal

In this blog post, I’ll describe how to navigate around to some of the key areas on our Vistage Leadership Community Portal Site.

We’ve already discussed in another blog posting the tabbed content of Best Practices. You can read about the tabbed structure of this site by CLICKING HERE.

At the top along the header you’ll see four links for “home”, “contact us”, “meet the experts”, and “why am I here?” These are links on our website that help you to navigate the site and provide additional information.

The home link returns you from any tab of information with blog feeds, such as the managing sales tab, back to the home page of the blog on best practices.

The contact us link provides you with a contact form to send a quick message back to us.

The Meet the Experts Page gives a short background on both Brad and I, and all our guest blogger experts.

The Why Am I Here Page provides a precise reason for reading the blog, using this site as your “portal” site for information, tools, tips, techniques, and discussion on hiring, retention, leadership, managing sales, and social media. You’ll also be able to see the more active Vistage Community Members who have established a very strong reputation for the quality of their unique content and blog frequently with great value and advice.

At the bottom of every page are 3 columns of information. First, is the Recent Posts column which lists the last 10 recent posts. Second, The featured posts column lists blog articles that we consider to be the best content posted on the blog (check back often since the posts in this column change frequently). Third, is a series of links to our LinkedIn Discussion Groups for Hiring and Retention, Vistage Chairs for leveraging social media to find great members, Vistage Members to build and enhance their business through social media, and Vistage Speakers/TAs to engage to market their services and engage with their clients more effectively.

On the sidebar (which only appears when you are on the home page/blog article listing), you’ll find a search box to locate information based on your search term. Below that you’ll find a list of blog articles that are specifically for managing your interaction with this portal, including how to navigate the site, the tabbed structure of content, and how to share information you find useful with other members of the Vistage Community.

Moving down the sidebar, you’ll see the ability to find articles listed by category, by series, and by tags (hot topics). Below that is a listing of the key blog posts for how to use this Portal site for information and learning.

Barry Deutsch

Tabbed Structure of the Vistage Leadership Community Portal

Tabbed Organization of Vistage Chair Portal for Finding New Members

Tabbed Vistage Leadership Community Portal

This site is organized in a tabbed structure – much like a series of file folders:


The first tab is the blog articles written by Barry Deutsch, Brad Remillard, and our distinguished list of experts. These blog articles include original content with tips, suggestions, recommendations, and other ideas. It also features short reviews of other blog articles written by experts outside of Vistage, representing the elite bloggers with expertise in particular subject areas. The blog articles we pick are considered to be outstanding best practices, most of which we have personally implemented and tested.


This tab includes the feed from the popular IMPACT Hiring Solutions Hire and Retain Blog, blog feeds from other Vistage Community Members with an expertise in hiring, personality profiling, compensation, retention, rewards, success-based management, culture, and employee engagement.


As in the previous tab, we’ll feature both Vistage Bloggers with an expertise on leadership, including chairs, members, speakers, and trusted advisors. We’ll also feature the best content in blogging for leadership and management – especially those aimed at the entrepreneurial-middle market size companies. We’ll review some of these articles in our Best Practice Blog Tab.


In this tab, we’ll feature those bloggers with an expertise in areas of sales, marketing, personal branding, networking, and using social media as an effective selling, lead generation, and relationship tool. If you’re a Vistage Company, and have not jumped into the pool with social media and networking – especially for your sales team – you’re missing a tremendous opportunity to leverage your best people and their effectiveness.

In this tab, we will feature the blogs written specifically about networking and obtaining referrals and business leads, both on-line and off-line. We also have included some of the blogs specifically focused on LinkedIn since this is the acknowledged go-to site for professional networking. We’ll be discussing with high frequency the use of LinkedIn as a core strategy in building relationships with potential clients/customers.

We’ll identify those blogs that are focused on how to create a powerful personal brand. Creating awareness and differentiation is critical for your long term success. It’s much easier to have people “FIND YOU” vs. “FINDING CLIENTS/CUSTOMERS”. We’ve picked the very best bloggers and experts on how to develop and sustain a powerful personal brand.


In this tab,we feature the blogs written about the various social media sites and the tools and applications for managing your social media and networking interactions. We’ll highlight and review in the Best Practice Blog Tab some of the tools we use and consider to be valuable as you expand your social media and networking activities. review all the social media and social networking tools that you might find useful in managing your communication, branding, social networking connections. These might include tools like the MS Outlook Extension Xobni, Plaxo, Gist, Google Analytics, Snag-it, Google Wave, Google Buzz, Google Reader, Firefox Extensions, and many others.

In this tab, we’ve also brought together some of the best bloggers and experts on marketing on-line, using drip nurturing techniques to build relationships over time, connecting with potential people directly in the “market” for your services. Much of the material is generic. In addition, we identify some of the blogs aimed at some of the more popular social media “marketing” sites, like Facebook – specifically creating Facebook Fan Pages separate from your personal Facebook account.

Without a question, blogging is one of the most effective marketing vehicles for any business. It should be at the top of the pyramid for all your “marketing” and “branding efforts”. Yes – it takes a tremendous amount of time to blog consistently (doesn’t do any good if you’re doing it inconsistently). Yes – it is a long-term strategy. You’re probably NOT going to see an effective leverage from blogging until you’ve probably written over 100 blog postings. However, even though it takes a tremendous effort to write your own blog, it is, and will continue for years to be, the most effective method to distribute your message, branding, marketing.

We feature blogging tips, techniques, advice from the A-list of bloggers. We also feature a few blogs with the behind-the-scenes technical elements of building and developing a blog – especially using the most popular blogging platform of WordPress.


We’ll highlight those Vistage Community Bloggers that have a strong voice in the blogging community and in their area of expertise. Just at the launch of our Portal, we already have over 20 Vistage Community Bloggers that encompass a wide range of expertise, international scope, and cut across chairs, members, speakers, and trusted advisors.

Our primary requirement for having your blog featured here is that you blog regularly – at least once per week and that you offer excellent value back to the Vistage Community.

We will ask some of the Vistage Bloggers that provide exceptionally strong value back to the Vistage Community – and whose value, tools, tips, techniques, and advice can be used by chairs, members, speakers, and trusted advisors. You can read more about these highly respected experts on our Guest Bloggers Page.

If you would like to have your blog featured here on the Vistage Leadership Community Portal, please use our contact form or send me an email directly so that we can review your blog.

Use this “portal” for the Vistage Leadership Community as your home base for some of the very best content and best practices on hiring and retaining your best people, leadership, culture, employee engagement, marketing, sales management, branding, networking, and leveraging social media.

We see this site as a complement to the Vistage Library and Knowledge Center, not a replacement. Since the content is focused on subject matter experts who blog, we pull together the most current and dynamic thoughts, ideas, tips, techniques, and strategies.

If you have an idea or suggestion of blogger you think we should be highlighting, or an idea for an additional content area of primary concern across the entire Vistage Community, please let us know.

Barry Deutsch

Are You A Vistage Blogger

Calling All Vistage Bloggers

Calling All Vistage Bloggers

Calling all Vistage Bloggers

Are you a Vistage Blogger that would like to be featured in our Vistage Leadership Community Portal.

We have assembled a listing of all the known Vistage Bloggers (Chairs, Members, Speakers, and Trusted Advisors). We’ve tried our best through Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to identify all those in the Vistage Community who are actively blogging. (We define active blogging as writing at least one blog post every week).

We may have missed a few folks in this process. If so, we apologize – no oversight intended.

Would you like to be featured in our directory on this site. We’ll show the last 5 blog postings in your feed to the visitors on this site.

Our combined monthly volume of visitors to our various Web content properties is now in excess of 25,000 visitors. We cross-promote between these various blogs and all of our content is promoted and reinforced through guest blogging, ezine articles, and our weekly Internet Radio Show Broadcast, not to mention exposure to over 100,000 CEOs and Presidents on LinkedIn on a daily basis.

Not only are we seeking Vistage Community Members who might like to have their blog featured on this consolidated portal site for the Vistage Community, but we are also seeking guest bloggers who might like to write an occassional article aimed at one of the subject areas on this portal – including hiring, retention, culture, employee engagement, leadership, sales management, and social media. We are seeking those who have the ability to provide best practices aimed at the entrepreneurial-middle market company.

If you’re interested in having your blog featured and/or would like to be a guest blogger, please send us a note using the contact form on this website OR you can find me in the Vistage Directory.

Barry Deutsch

Welcome to the Vistage Leadership Community Blog for Best Practices

Welcome to the Vistage Leadership Community Portal

Welcome to the Vistage Leadership Community Portal

Welcome to the Vistage Leadership Community Portal

Welcome to our first blog post for the Vistage Leadership Community Blog on how to LEVERAGE the success of your people to build an exceptional organization. We’ll explore subjects including leadership, management, hiring and retaining top talent, sales management, culture and employee satisfaction/engagement.

In addition, we’ll also take the hottest area right now – social media and social networking – and share best practices in how to build and expand your business, including networking, customer satisfaction, marketing, sales, business development, engaging employees, and recruiting. This is an area of great confusion and frustration for many Vistage Chairs, Members, Speakers, and Trusted Advisors.

Leadership Portal

This leadership portal represents an extension of the work of Barry Deutsch and Brad Remillard’s decade plus interaction with Vistage Members, Chairs, Speakers and TAs. In that journey, we’ve collected a wealth of information and best practices we would like to share with the Vistage Community.

  • We’ll review some of the very best articles from exceptional bloggers on the Internet you should be aware of as you go forward in developing and building your business.
  • We’ll feature some of the very best Vistage Resources as guest bloggers, especially other speakers, chairs, members, and Trusted Advisors who have volunteered to share their expert knowledge on leadership topics focused on Vistage Community.
  • We’ll share information on this portal from our other Internet Properties, including our Blogs and LinkedIn Discussion Groups.
  • Finally, we’ll provide the feed for ALL the Vistage Community Bloggers (assuming you’ve told me you’re blogging).

We hope you find the information in this blog valuable and practical as you develop and build your groups.

Feel free to post a comment, offer a suggestion, raise a question for our experts.

Barry Deutsch

P.S.: Here are the LinkedIn Discussion Groups you might be interested in joining to participate in a more in-depth discussion:

Hire and Retain Top Talent

Leadership and Management Best Practices

Executive and Managerial Job Search

Vistage Chair ONLY Discussion Group for Leveraging Social Media and Networking

Vistage Member ONLY Discussion Group for Leveraging Social Media and Networking

Vistage Speaker/TA ONLY Discussion Group for Leveraging Social Media and Networking

While you’re here, grab the feed on the sidebar so that you can stay on top of new posts, tools, and ideas when they appear on this blog – either through a feed reader such as Google Reader or Bloglines – or by email. By subscribing to the feed, you don’t have to remember to keep coming back to the blog to stay current. We’ll also feed new postings on this portal into our LinkedIn Discussion Groups for Leadership Best Practices, Vistage Members on Leveraging Social Media, and Vistage Speakers/Trusted Advisors on Leveraging Social Media.