I love hearing about business blogging success stories, stories of how businesses have become more successful or availed of new opportunities because of their blog. I was delighted when Carol Tallon of Buyers Broker met with me for a coffee and an interview and we ended up chatting for hours!
Buyers Broker were the first of their kind when they set up in 2006, representing the property buyer through the negotiation stages, providing advice on current market trends, guiding the buyer through the stages, purchasing the property on their behalf at auctions, and of course, sourcing the right properties for buyers. They never receive commission or sell on behalf of the seller and work entirely for the buyer so they are entirely independent in their advice to the buyer. With the new property price register now being available, one can be assured that Carol and her team will know the accurate pricing for most properties in the country!
Buyers Broker won the Social Media Awards ‘Best Twitter Campign‘ award in 2012 for their #irishauction twitter campaign. For anyone interested in property, watching their twitter feed on an Allsop auction day makes for very interesting reading. Carol was recently interviewed on East Coast FM about the most recent auction.
Carol, your book was born from your blog in a way, how did that come about?
I had been blogging for some time and knowing that we were the first in the market providing this service and information, I felt that someone else might actually publish a book before I got around to it. Hence, one February weekend, I re-wrote three blog posts as three chapters and posted them to eight publishers on the Monday morning. Two of them phoned me the next morning and then the hard work started as once negotiations were complete with the publisher, I had a tight deadline for the copy. I had all the information at my fingertips in that much of it was already on my blog but it had to be rewritten for the book.
The first book was published in April 2011, the second in early 2012 and there will be a third book for 2013. I’ve also written numerous books which have been published as ebooks. One of the most popular ebooks was that on pre-negotiation skills as can be used for working in business such as staffing and HR issues and even for buying a car.
What advantages do you think a blog holds for anyone considering writing a business book?
A blog gives you a chance to hone your writing skills and show your expertise. A blog is where you can showcase your knowledge to potential clients. If you are thinking of writing a book, the blog will not only offer you a vehicle for testing your writing, it can also be used as a portfolio to show any editors. Blog writing is also excellent practice for writing articles for newspapers too.
As much of the information was available to read on your blog, do you think that hindered or helped sales of your book?
It didn’t hinder the sales at all, some people may just be after the answer to a couple of questions whereas others are looking for more indepth answers. The format of the book takes them through the processes step by step and as it is available in both e-book and as hard copy, purchasers had the choice of format. The blog helped in terms of publicising the book and also in assuring buyers that the information they would find in the book would be useful to them.
I think some business people are wary of giving away too much of their knowledge on their blog. Do you think this is a valid concern?
While some people may take away some of the information on your blog, others will be impressed and decide to hire your services or buy your products. Therefore, I cannot emphasise enough that business people should be showcasing their knowledge via their blogs.
I believe that a blog is where businesses can really demonstrate their high levels of expertise and knowledge, they can show potential clients just what they can offer in terms of their knowledge base. My blog has not only succeeded in driving traffic and clients to my business but also assured the publisher of the quality and style of my writing and it has paved the way for the publishing of many of my articles in numerous papers, particularly my new regular column in the Sunday Business Post.
I was just about to mention your new column. Many congratulations on that. It is wonderful to see how the publicity and the blog will now work in synergy for your business. What other social media platforms have you found useful?
Facebook doesn’t work so well for us as the updates that do well tend to be visual or quite short. It works to drive some traffic to our blog posts or articles. We find twitter works much more effectively for us particularly on the auction days where our twitter campaign for #irishauction is followed eagerly by many people – both from a business and interest points of view. We always gain many more followers following an auction too.
We have found Linked In to be the most effective platform apart from blogging. I made a concerted effort not just to connect with people on Linked In, I also looked at their websites, met up with people, really worked to understand their business and how we could perhaps work together and that has resulted not just in increasing our client base, but also in synergy with other businesses and building business contacts.
If you are interested in finding the right property, I can recommend Carol for her depth of knowledge and her professionalism and of course, her book is an excellent source of knowledge too. I’d like to thank Carol for taking the time to meet with me and I hope it convinces any business owners who are wary of sharing knowledge on their blog, that is really worthwhile to do so.