Sorry to disappoint you. This is not a pitch for a nudist colony, a social network for swingers or a therapy method for “heavy talkers”.
It’s a pitch to get you “naked.”
That is, to get your blog “naked.”
In 1999 the Cluetrain Manifesto declared:
These markets are conversations. Their members communicate in language that is natural, open, honest, direct, funny and often shocking. Whether explaining or complaining, joking or serious, the human voice is unmistakably genuine. It can’t be faked.
Here’s my question to you: Are you faking your blog? Are you natural, open, honest, direct, funny and often shocking on your real estate blog?
The Essential Benefits of Business Blogging
In the breezy book Naked Conversations, Robert Scoble and coauthor Shel Israel argue that every business can benefit from smart “naked” blogging, whether the company’s a small-town real estate agent or a multinational fashion house.”
If you ignore the blogosphere… you won’t know what people are saying about you. You can’t learn from them, and they won’t come to see you as a sincere human who cares about your business and its reputation.
“In a nutshell, blogging is one of the best ways to communicate with your market. Better than postcards, email newsletters, flyers, magazine articles, weekly radio shows. How are blogs better than these communication channels?
There are six key differences between blogging and any other communications channel.
Anyone can publish a blog. You can do it cheaply and post often. In addition, each posting is instantly available worldwide.
Through search engines, people will find blogs by subject, by author, or both. The more you post, the more findable you become.
The blogosphere is one big conversation. Interesting topical conversations move from site to site, linking to each other. Through blogs, people with shared interests build relationships unrestricted by geographic borders.
Information often spreads faster through blogs than via a news service. No form of viral marketing matches the speed and efficiency of a blog.
By clicking on an icon, you can get free “home delivery” of RSS- enabled blogs into your e-mail software. This process is considerably more efficient than the last- generation method of visiting one page of one web site at a time looking for changes.
Because each blog can link to all others, every blogger has access to the tens of millions of people who visit the blogosphere every day.
Of course you can find each of these elements elsewhere. And none is, in itself, all that remarkable.
But in final assembly, they are the benefits of the most powerful two-way Internet communications tool so far developed.
However, bloggers and sophisticated readers of blogs will sniff you out as a fake if you lie, hide, withhold or micromanage information.
Successful blogging is about being off-the-cuff, transparent and off-the-record so to speak. Even if you sin.
What to Do If You Sin and Suffer
In a New York Times interview, David Neeleman, founder and CEO of JetBlue, said he was “humiliated and mortified” with how JetBlue customers were treated and how his organization melted down.
Then he went onto tick off a number of problems with his company, including the low-cost model he developed.
Did you catch that? He publicly aired corporate problems.
Using a blog would have been a better communications tool. But remember that like a hammer, a blog is just a tool. JetBlue sinned. It suffered. But it publicly repented.
And the guy at the top probably ignored a whole bevy of lawyers telling him not to admit any kind of culpability. This is transparency.
And it is a case study for how a CEO, politician or small business can use it.
Naturally, you shouldn’t wait until you’ve embarrassed yourself, your family, your clients to start using a blog. You should start before that.
And you should remain open, natural, honest and transparent. See, telling the truth is the curious secret to getting people to believe you.
In fact, airing out your dirty laundry makes everything else you say more believable. Just ask David Neeleman.
In July 2007, JetBlue reported that its second-quarter revenue increased from the first quarter. In fact, JetBlue was one of the few major airlines to post a profit in that quarter.