MARILYN MOATS KENNEDY, a former journalist and Glamour columnist as well a DePaul professor, had a successful and profitable business called MOATS KENNEDY INC. giving keynote speeches and workshops on changing workforce demographics. Towards the end of 2008, business slowed and by 2009 it was at a standstill.
Marilyn spent $3,000 on a website to revive her business, but the developer was unresponsive and the project unsatisfactory. Then Erica Levin, a SCORE client, referred her to SCORE mentor Peg Corwin for help with online marketing.
Together she and her mentor revised the moatskennedy.com website, which she can now access and edit herself. Peg advised on appropriate copy, search engine optimization, and blogging. She helped her find a developer by providing names of three from whom to get quotes.
Marilyn began blogging to showcase her expertise. “Blogging has been tremendously helpful, because unlike traditional journalism, people give immediate feedback,” says Marilyn. For example, she recently wrote about Generational Lifestyle Characteristics, using this graphic:
As a writer, Marilyn thinks it has been easier for her to adapt than other business clients. “If you are not a writer, your life is going to be miserable.” She advises business bloggers to use a diagnostic outline, think about the 3 ideas they want to convey, and then who they are talking to. “When I write about Millennials I am talking in language they use, with words they understand, ”she says, just as she did when writing for the prototypical 28-year-old woman at Glamour. “Blog for a specific audience.”
In the past, Marilyn had only gotten work from those who had heard her speak. Now the blogging campaign “extended my reach beyond those whom I had already worked for. Speaking and workshop leads come from the website and blog as well.”
Peg also advised Marilyn on her social media presence, helping her fill in her Linkedin profile and organize and network with target clients through it. Marilyn says she has learned that “you can’t do business now unless you are in Linkedin.”
The old rules of marketing still hold, but the web is a new and essential delivery system, she believes. “You have to embrace new ideas and new technologies even when it’s painful. The whiff of obsolescence can kill you.”
Marilyn concludes, “Peg Corwin has helped me with the social media, my website, SEO, and marketing more than I even knew I needed. I am 200% ahead of where I was before she worked with me.”
Our business mentors can help you, too!
Disclaimer: SCORE Chicago helps small business owners manage and grow their businesses. We help startups write business plans and launch. Nevertheless, our involvement should not be considered as an endorsement.