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June 18, 2013

20: From Windmill Networking to Maximize Social Business

20: From Windmill Networking to Maximize Social Business

What is the value of guest blog posts on your website? Learn about the history of Windmill Networking along with advice on what type of content you should try to source for your website blog.

 

Transcript

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Welcome to another edition of social business Unplugged. Practical advice on how to leverage social media for your business. Now the host of Social Business Unplugged, author of the forthcoming book Maximize Your Social, published by Wiley and founder of Windmill networking meal Schaefer. Greetings, everybody, and welcome to another edition of social business. Unplug. This is Neil Schaefer. Today I am in my lovely hometown of Orange County, California and if you were listening last week, you'll know that I just had surgery on my knee. So I'm to the point now where I can walk around while I'm talking and I was able to start driving my car a few days ago. So things are getting better and it's actually giving me a lot of time to really hunker down on a few very, very important projects that I've been working on for several months. And I'm really excited. Well, this podcast will be at least my first public recording of it, but I'm really excited to announce that hopefully, by the time you hear this next podcast next week you will be able to see my website on a new U R L. Up until now, I have been on windmill networking dot com, and I will be moving to maximize social business dot com. And I know this is gonna raise a lot of questions for those of you that know me, know my brand have been a reader of my blawg, and I think it's an interesting evolution of events that I see Maur blog's more people, more companies doing in the future. So let me talk about that. First of all, you know, it's interesting. I started windmill networking when I wrote my first book, which is Windmill, that working, understanding, leveraging and maximizing length in. And when I wrote my first book, I knew that just kneel. Schaefer was not a brand. I wanted to create something that was bigger than myself that could hopefully attract people. So I created this concept as I was writing the book called Windmill Networking, and it was basically how I was using linked in as an open networking platform to network, get to know more people, share information with people, receive information from people and use social media in a way that it has become very, very common, especially on open social networking sites like Twitter or Google Plus, back when I was writing that book in early 2009 that was a little bit rare. You know, it's been four and 1/2 years now and really, the concept of women that working came about when I was in the shower and all honesty and I write about this, I think, in the profits of the book of trying to find a visual concept. If we are windmills and we plug ourselves into this grid that is social media, we can now receive in share energy 24 7 worldwide something that you know. Maybe something trivial to us could be a godsend to someone else. And that still holds true. And that's really you know, my base for helping businesses promote social media comes down to that concept that when you are engaging in social media as a brand, it really comes down to those people. And how do you get those windmills virally blowing in your direction? In essence, And I wrote that book in early 2009. I started my Social Media Strategy consultancy in early 2010. Over the years, my business has definitely changed. When I wrote that first book, it was really more of a networking vehicle, a personal branding tool to showcase of the world, my knowledge and when Social media didn't become a hobby but became my business the windmill networking brand, although it appealed to a lot of people in the Netherlands for obvious reasons and others. And there's still a lot of people like it. And I'm not saying I don't like the brand, you know, the branding from a business perspective was never any good. What is women that working? Is this a cult or what have you? And I knew that I knew that for a while. So you know, I should probably going to go daddy and see when I registered. But I realized I needed a New York. It was not just from the branding that now I'm focusing on business, but also that my own personal blawg has become a collaborative blawg. I started just blogging by myself, and like many other bloggers, I have invited guest bloggers on the my block. And in fact, with the advent of content marketing and Google authorship and when have you sort of guest? Blogging has become mainstream blog's want to invite guests the blog's so that they have access to content. And people who want to move their way up in the chain or in the blogosphere eco system want to be seen on blog's that offer bigger platforms that they have. But I realized as I was doing this and I've written about this, it was almost like a one night stand. People would come, contributed blogged, posting. That was it. It offered temporary value to my readers, but it didn't really offer any lasting value, and it was really in. I believe this is the fall of 2011 when I brought on my first what I would call riel women, that working contributor Amy Stephan out there in the Midwest United States who specialized in social media for nonprofit. So what I did was, first of all, I said, Look, I want you to specialize in a category of content which has a natural our ally for you. If you blogged about social media for nonprofits cause you do that for a business, you're gonna see the our wife continually blocking My other thing that I wanted was a promise that they would stick on you know, once a month, unique content for long term, and I would do my best to provide them the Arli, which is giving them bigger platform, the blah gone. And as more bloggers signed on the platform just became obviously bigger and bigger over time, to the point where I obviously now have many more block post from contributors than myself. So it's really taken on a whole new meaning. And I realized that because of that, I needed to create a new website that really strips the branding from my personal brand. It wasn't fair to the other contributors that yes, they do get value from the platform with the platform still is tied directly to my personal brand, so maximize social business is really it's the same thing wrapped up differently in different user interface. But it's completely taking my personal brand. Any potential ego that I have out of the play insane subscribed to us, read our content for the content, and I think it showcases more of the actual authors of each content cause if you go to share it on social media, it's not going to say via annual Schaefer, it's gonna say via at M social business, which is the Twitter handle for maximize social business, which you should all be following. Obviously, now the term maximize social business and sort of the trending topic of social business is a completely other story. And if you listen to some of my earlier podcast, I talked about my own definition of social business. But it's actually a line in that. You know, if you have a company block, you want to bring out the voices of those in your company. I wanna have an adviser that is blogging on my site for any industry, any discipline that potential company might have a problem in. And that's really the core concept, which is driven me to bring on more than 20 bloggers. And I'm still looking for more. If you're interested in different industries, different subject matter experts and what have you. But it's really taking this step of eliminating my own personal brand from the site. I now become the founder and editor in chief. So if you go to the about Paige, yes, you'll you'll see me grinning there because I'm very proud of the accomplishment, but that's it, and it's actually well it may not sound like it. I thought it was a pretty brave thing to Dio, but I believe that this bigger benefits in doing that for everybody. Because now I'm aligned with other bloggers on a site that is seen as having high quality content versus a personal blogging side. I think that's a big difference in the business world, and I guess we'll find out over time. But, you know, the advice I want to give you is as you as a professional social media consultant, as a social media marketer or working for a brand or a small business owner. What have you You're gonna get to the point where you're going to accept the guest blogger because you're gonna get pinned by guest bloggers who see the S E o value of blogging for you. And you're gonna have to ask yourself that question. Should I accept them? Does it really offer long term value, or are you gonna follow the model which are ruled out, which is this multiple contributor model, which, by the way, when you start looking at Google authorship, it's actually very attractive for that reason. Whereas a one off guest blawg with dubious links may not be so good for Google authorship as well as I see all your sight. But I'm going out of my bounds here because I have an SDO expert who could talk more on that. But that's really the key thing is, as you get more people contributing, then to the point where your contributors make up more than 50% your content. Do you roll that out into its own separate entity? It's almost like when you create a linking group. Do you create it with your own company name? Or do you create it on a name based on a topic, which is the exact same thing here? It's not a windmill networking Lincoln group. It's a maximize social business. Lengthen Group. Now. It's not about my personal brown. It's about people that are interested in social media for business and everything social media related for business, including social business. But I digress, so I hope that some good food for thought maybe some of you aren't even there. Maybe you haven't even started blogging. Maybe you haven't even accepted your first guest post. Maybe you just accepted your guests, plus, but I believe with Google authorship in the trends I see out there for content marketing and Gary Vaynerchuk now tripling down on content, although there is some debate about that, if you read what Scott Money said, but it leads to a very, very interesting question as to at what point do you separate your personal or company brand from that contributing content that you have curated and fostered, as well as the content you have created? So I'm gonna leave you with those final words for this week's podcast. I do hope you will check out, maximize social business, make sure you update your R s s feed. You re subscribe to the newsletter and what have you and I look forward to seeing you next time for another episode of social business? Unplug. Please keep those requests coming in and every recommendation you can make an iTunes is sincerely appreciated. That's it for this week. Have a great one, everybody. Bye bye. Thanks for listening to another edition of social business unplugged. We appreciate your subscribing to our podcast. Please help us spread the word by sharing it on social media or adding your rating and comments in iTunes. If you would like to appear on the podcast or have content that you would like covered, please contact Neil Schaefer. Kneel at windmill networking dot com. Also, please subscribe to the windmill networking blogger on social Media Strategy at windmill networking dot com. Thanks again and make it a great day.