One of life's singualr pleasures, in my estimation, is the ability to help entrepreneurs look at their business from a different angle; to help them get "out of the box," a phrase I believe is so overdone and overused that it should be buried in the backyard with old versions of DOS and modular furniture.
Rather than use that tired old phrase--even though the e-business world continues to bandy it about---I prefer to remind folks I talk to that "you can't read the label if you're inside the bottle." I apologize to the author of that marvelous phrase, as I cannot remember where I read it...but it works so well, I have come to rely on it in my discussions with clients and prospects, alike. The bottle is their business. They are inside the bottle by virtue of their need to control and own the business. Their customers, or clients, are outside the bottle. They need to connect with those people to find out how to get the inside of the bottole more useful and effective.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of engaging in several stimulating and exciting conversations about getting outside of the bottle. My partner and I exhibited at a small, local trade show for consultants. I also spoke on Smart Marketing to Women Online. The presentation was illuminating--it took ME outside the bottle for awhile, and taught me how to refine my message to get it across to the right people, in the right way. While manning our table, however, I was treated to visits from numerous attendees who were intrigued and a bit amused by my book, and the very large posterboard of it I had setting on our table.
After an explanation about the book, and an exchange of facts on the women's market, I steered each of my visitors to a discussion about their business and whether or not, as well as how, they were using the Internet to build success. Oh the lively discussions! Especially when it came to blogging!
Few were aware of blogs. Of those who were aware of blogs, they knew little or nothing about the tool, how it worked, what it could do for them, how to build one, and, most importantly how to keep it updated. To their credit, they were forward thinking individuals and all were fascinated by blogging. I was able to paint a picture of real-time communication with a focus on their niche market, and I know it helped them get out of the bottle and look at their business the way their customers might look at it. Better yet, I left them intrigued with how the back and forth of link exchanges, trackbacks, and comments, could help to inform them on how to improve their company's focus for the rest of the year.
It was a long day. A tiring day. And so fulfilling. A number of people are contemplating blogs, as I write this...and I do hope they will call if they have questions or need help (I gave them my card and encouraged their contact), and I learned a great deal about my own audience, who is eager to learn about the women's market, how my book is succeeding, and NOT succeeding, where I need to smooth out some wrinkles, and where I can add impact.
Now, what's not to like about that?