Surviving the competition – clue; it’s not all about you!

3 April

Three Irish sisters are launching an online fashion business called OPSH in mid 2014… They’ve managed to  keep it hush while still tantalising us! On their blog, they wrote a great post about surviving the competition and it struck a chord with me. What fascinates me most about being in business is whether we hoard or share our skills or knowledge. How open are you? Surviving the competition is a popular topic right now; what if you looked at it from the other side of the room? Surviving the competition is not all about you.

Jenny, Sarah and Grace’s ideas on dealing with the competition are so true for the blogging world too. So, I’m sharing their quotes and adding my own thoughts below each one.

Jennie Sarah Grace Opsh Image Johnny Mc Millan

Sisters; Jennie, Sarah and Grace from OPSH, talk about surviving the competition in business.

OSPH Tip No One – Collaborate
Instead of competing with people, why not collaborate? It strengthens the offering and extends the resources, skill-sets and knowledge-base of a team.

How can you collaborate as a blogger? Start off by following and getting to know bloggers that you admire. It’s better still if they are in different industries; magic comes from mixing new skills and ideas. (I recently discovered that butchers can blog brilliantly too!) Suggest writing a guest post on a subject where you interests collide. Arrange a caffeine date with no agenda other than swapping ideas. Try something new, just for the fun of it.

OSPH Tip No Two – Don’t Reveal All The Things To All The People
This took a while for us to really understand and emulate. Not everyone has to know every little detail of your business. It’s not even about being tactical, it’s about pragmatism.

I’ve become obsessed with understanding something recently. Regardless of whether you’re a sole trader or a business with 10 employees; are you a precious hoarder of your skills or ideas? What petrifies you about being open or simply helping someone to do something that you can easily do? I wrote a post about the fears we have about sharing our ideas or creative process. In Austin Kleon’s book ‘Steal like an artist’ he talks about ‘originality’ and how we are all borrowing and improving on existing ideas. He also illustrates a great point below. Share your dots but don’t connect them. You can share lots of what you think or do without giving away all of your magic. Here’s how I used to do that in my Rangoli Jewellery blog.

share your dots austin kleon steal like an artist
Image from ‘Steal like an Artist’ by Austin Kleon

OSPH Tip No 3 – Surround Yourself With People You Like and Aspire To Be Like
If you create a really positive work environment, where your company and staff are enthusiastic, committed and motivated, you become a positive business. Positivity breeds positivity.

This idea is so relevant to blogging. You need to seek out thought-provoking content to inspire you. It’s also about turning online friendships into real world ones. It might mean treating yourself to a book or course to help you write for your online audience. And Twitter is the best business party you can invite yourself to; see how other successful businesses are doing what they do best.

OSPH Tip No 4 – Promote Those People and Take Your Chances On Others
Team Opsh is really supportive of people we respect – both those at the top of their game and those starting out. We had a lot of support and goodwill when we started out and we feel it’s imperative to share that around.

The blogging community is all about supporting other people. It’s a super-friendly world. Once you discover talented and professional people, it’s only natural to want to recommend them to others. Have fun being a curator of interesting content or resources. Share your favourite finds and help people out. Remember, it’s not all about you! Like with anything else; the more you give, the more you’ll receive.

Jenny, Sarah and Grace have written a series of honest interviews about the highs and lows of running a business over on Image.ie – it’s so great to hear people saying it how it is! Wishing you all the best ladies… and maybe you can tell me how to pronounce your business name ~ if I wore my glasses would I see SHOP?

Connect with OPSH online: Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Image of the girls by Johnny Mc Millan

I want to write a business blog

31 May

Are you thinking about writing a business blog? Does the starting part overwhelm you a bit? I now offer one-to-one mentoring sessions to give you the confidence to write your blog and launch! This session is the perfect introduction to my one day workshops on how to write a business blog with heart.

‘Mentoring’ sounds serious but these sessions are far from it! Like most things; just getting started can be biggest step. This is a chance for you to pinpoint the core message of your business. I’ll de-mystify the jargon and help you come up with a plan of action.

I’ve run my own business for fifteen years and have been blogging for five. I know what it’s like to juggle business promotion with making or doing. I strongly believe that telling your business story is the best way to connect with your customers.

This introductory offer is for a ninety minute, one-to-one class which is priced at €90. These classes take place in a Dublin city centre location. Another option is to learn at your place of work. Pricing for these classes will depend on the venue location.

How will I help you?

Before we meet up, I’ll get you to answer some questions about you and your business. This helps me to tailor your session. Questions will include: Why do you think you should blog? Who is your customer? What problems can you solve?

Once we know the answers to these questions, I’ll help you come up with content ideas as well as a content plan. I’m here to help with the answers too!

We will discuss different blogging platforms and see which one suits your needs best. I’ll briefly show you how to write a blog post, include photos, video and links. I can recommend website or graphic designers to help with your website template.

An overview of your industry; I will show you examples of good blogs within your industry. We’ll also look at other industry blogs to show you interesting ways of business promotion.

My forte is listening and offering advice! I want to show you how easy it is to connect with customers and peers. I’ll also tell you about the hidden benefits of blogging too!

Everybody’s needs and experience level are different. Give me a call or drop me an email so we can chat about your business.