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Monday, September 20, 2010

To blog or not to blog, that is the question…

I’m often asked my opinion about corporate and personal blogs, both in regards to their effectiveness and how I find the time to write them.

I’m a big fan of blogging, starting my first blog oh so creatively entitled Kirsty’s thought of the day, when I was in University (I have no idea if anyone actually read it – but I enjoyed myself!)

As far as finding the time for a blog goes – well, if that’s going to be an issue, I’d recommend scrapping the idea of a personal blog. If you don’t have the time to update a blog preferably at least weekly, there might not be much of a point to doing one.

BUT – you might still want to consider a corporate blog.

Most people write corporate blogs without even knowing they’re doing so, they just never take the time to actually turn their valuable content into a blog (ie: a searchable resource for your company). Every time you answer a query to a client, you could potentially re-word it as a frequently asked question style blog. I did just this myself this morning at our real estate agency Elephant Property. I’d sent an email out to all our owners yesterday with some common tax-time queries and realized this morning that with a few tweaks this could easily be reworded in about 2 minutes to be a corporate blog. Voila – blogging done for the week.

If you’re running short on topics for your blogs sit down in your team meeting and task everyone with answering two commonly asked questions about your industry. When we run short on topic ideas I might email a friend who deals with someone in our industry in another state and find out how their service provider is going or what queries they have in general about our industry. Blog topics abounds.

And while I’m a huge fan of blogging – it’s not without it’s perils. I’ve had my wrist spanked on more than a few occasions for unknowingly committing cardinal blogging sins.

Two of these that pop to mind straight away are:

1. Reposting my blogs on another site and then, because I hadn’t been notified of comments on those blog posts, not replying to them. Queue angry people thinking I was quite rude (bad blogging etiquette) by not replying to their questions and comments.

2. I have a policy that if I’m writing a blog that mentions a type of behaviour that I have found a bit poor service wise – I don’t mention the organization – personal choice. However, just recently I mentioned an amazing organization in a blog about poor service from a separate organization. It wasn’t done with malice, but it was poor form and I ended up giving myself quite a hard time over doing it without thinking.

So – if you are going to blog, be prepared to make some mistakes along the way and the very point of having a blog is that you’re open for public comment – and at times, people aren’t always going to like what you’re writing. If you’re prepared to accept that… why not get started writing your blog today?

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Monday, September 6, 2010

Standing Out or Blending In?

A new real estate agent has recently opened in my home state of Tasmania called Buzz Property (buzzproperty.com.au/) Their logo / branding and photos are super-hero-esque with one of their team ripping open his shirt to reveal the Buzz logo underneath.

I had a giggle when I saw the advert, which then made me look up their website, which then made me tweet (@kirstydunphey) about it.

For whatever reason – their branding stood out and caught my eye and made me talk about it. It was the same thing when Fruit Property (www.fruitproperty.com), also in Hobart opened. I like to think we had the same impact with our branding for Elephant Property (www.elephantproperty.com.au/).

These days when you’re thinking up a name and setting your branding for your new business you’ve got a few choices. Using real estate agents as examples (although of course these relate to any industry): you can choose a branding and a name to convey:

* Respectability, stability and that of being an established company (like www.corkhill.com.au established through their branding)

* Innovation, freshness (like: www.fruitproperty.com and our company www.elephantproperty.com.au)

* A real desire to shock and get people talking like Buzz above (it’s important to note though that I’ve encountered some people who really don’t like their branding – but you run that risk when you choose to be this innovative!)

* A known brand like Harcourts, Ray White, McGrath etc whereby you’re leveraging on the reputation that brand or name has already built.

* Your own personal name – but bear in mind the difficulties you may encounter selling that “brand” / business later on.

For me – I like a name and branding that gets me talking – so I’m all for Buzz’s new branding and I wish them every success with their attempt to break into Hobart’s competitive real estate market.

Thanks to Tony McCombs who let us know about this great TED video on the power if BOTH standing out and blending in - a great 3 minute watch:


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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

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