The Accelerated Entrepreneur – How To and FAQs

Having been in several trade expo situations in which I was pitching business blogs, first Inside VT KnowledgeWorks, then Handshake 2.0, finally at the VT KnowledgeWorks Technology Showcase, I got it.

They don’t get it.

What’s clear and known to me about business blogs is not clear and known to my audience.

It’s easy not to know about business blogs.  They’re new!  I’ve only been at them a year myself!

In his blog, So You Want to Launch a Business, VTKW director Jim Flowers writes, “Create an outstanding response to a compelling need…"

Handshake 2.0 - Your blog within a blog. In a conversation at the Tech Showcase, I mentioned that to Jim.  I pointed to my cool Handshake 2.0 poster.

“I’ve got an outstanding response,” I said.

“They don’t know they have a compelling need,” he said.  “You’ve got to work on selling.”

Jim Flowers also writes in his blog that even an accelerated entrepreneur needs mentors.  Jim’s one of mine.  So I did what he said.

I followed age-old sales wisdom:  “Find the pain.”

What’s the pain my potential clients are in?

  • Not enough sales–there never are.

  • Uncertainty about how to get more sales–there’s never a sure way.

  • How to “Never let ‘em see you sweat” when one lacks knowledge on a topic–no one can grasp the entirety of the Internet.

And a very touching dilemma:

  • Desire to support and do business with a fellow entrepreneur and a VT KnowledgeWorks member company (that would be me) paired with doubt that her idea will produce results.

So I wrote new pages for the Handshake 2.0 site.  They can be read in privacy.  If there's sweating, no one will see.

And they’re about how to “get” Handshake 2.0–what it is, how to use it, what results it can produce and what results it can’t.

The “can’t” part was where I found my own pain and did my own sweating.

I turned to the other age-old sales wisdom:  “Anticipate objections.”

I’ve mentioned in other posts that Pat Matthews of Mailtrust advised me to “develop a large, loyal readership.”  He cited TechCrunch as an example of a successful tech business blog.

TechCrunch has over a million visitors.  Neither Handshake 2.0 nor VT KnowledgeWorks has a million visitors.  (Stuart Mease did, however, refer to Handshake 2.0 as "the TechCrunch of the Roanoke and New River Valley," which I appreciated very much.)

So I wrote a Frequently Asked Questions page and listed all the objections I have heard at tech expos as questions.  I answered each one.  I even cited TechCrunch.

Don’t think this wasn’t a challenge to write:

How much traffic do you get?

Handshake 2.0 launched on Monday, July 28, 2008.  In its first 3.5 months of existence, from July 28, 2008 – November 7, 2008, according to Google Analytics, Handshake 2.0 had 2041 absolute unique visitors and 3745 visits.  Of those visitors, 54.26% were new and 45.75% were returning.  In terms of traffic sources, 35.14% came from direct traffic, 39.04% from referring sites, and 25.82% from search engines.

Hey, the top tech blogs on Technorati have a million or more visitors!  You've got a fraction of that traffic!  Why should I buy a blog post on a low traffic site?!

To Handshake 2.0, your news is big news.  To the top tech blogs, it may or may not be.

To have your news appear on a top tech site, you'll have to compete with all the other companies who want the same thing.  Handshake 2.0 definitely encourages you to start wooing these sites.  Maybe they'll select your company, product, or service for coverage.

In the meantime, feel free to buy a Signature Warm Handshake from Handshake 2.0 for $99.  We try for a 24-hour turnaround.

Will your post be read by a million people?  Probably not yet.  But Handshake 2.0 has its sights on a top listing with Technorati.

Search engines, such as Google, seek pages of value, relevance, and importance.  Handshake 2.0 creates low-cost, high quality blog posts of value, relevance, and importance.

***

How did I feel after writing How Do I Use H20? and FAQs?

Peaceful.

Users of Handshake 2.0 can now know exactly what they’re doing and why.  They know what to expect and what not to expect.

I learn this over and over again in both my personal and professional lives:

Candor strengthens me.

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