by Skip Cohen
It's Friday, and I'm continuing this series with short ideas to help you fine-tune and build a stronger business. And I always consider them a "clean up" theme because, like weeds in a garden, many of you have ignored these areas for so long that what-not-to-do has taken over the what-you-should-be-doing.
So, as you roll into the weekend, here's a simple idea to think about - let's make your website/blog a community resource.
Jay Conrad Levinson, known as the "Father of Guerilla Marketing," always listed community involvement as one of the critical things great marketers should do. People like buying products/services from companies they perceive as giving back to the community.
You need to be involved, and it can be anything from capturing images of an event to helping a non-profit filling ketchup and mustard bottles for the Boosters Club at Friday night games. It doesn't matter what you're doing, as long as you're giving back.
Publish a Community Calendar: Here's the twist, and it's perfect for your website and blog. Start publishing events of non-profits in your community. The fun of this is obviously self-serving - by sharing information and the links to upcoming fundraising events in the community, you're showing support for each association/group. You're setting yourself up as an ambassador of goodwill for each nonprofit. In addition, many of the events will give you the opportunity to photograph the activities and the participants. And while you don't have time to attend every fundraising event, each time you can work on one, you've got new content for a blog post!
Here's an easy place to start - check with the local Chamber of Commerce about events that are coming up. Next, take a few minutes and look at the non-profits in your community and their websites. Look at the Senior Center, Alzheimer's Association, Breast Cancer Awareness groups, Programs for Veterans, support for the homeless, United Way...and the list goes on and on. Make a list to start building content for your community calendar.
There's one more great little benefit - the more frequently you publish community events in a calendar, the closer you get to becoming a clearing house for community activities. Your calendar has the potential to become a resource for the community, all under the umbrella of you giving back.
You're looking for the community to be good to you - so you need to make sure you're being good to your community.
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.