Social Business Bites - fresh, tasty, nutritious!

This post is about the launch of my latest endeavour to master the art of online newsletter/update/regular report thingies. Enter Social Business Bites (fresh, tasty, nutritious!).

Corny, yes, but it already makes me think more creatively about the process than the now-being-retired “Des Walsh Updates” or the not-really-lamented “Social Coach” title of a few years ago. So I’m hoping that impetus to being more creative about content and presentation will serve the readers and me in good stead.

If you are interested in the process, read on. If not, and you just want to see what gets produced from this makeover, you could just sign up over there in the right sidebar. 🙂

A newsletter, by whatever name, can be an asset, but you need to work it

For years now I’ve had some sort of email newsletter (does anyone still say “ezines”?) and there have been a few name changes and a few experiments with style and focus.

To be frank, while I love telling stories and sharing ideas and information, I have until now not been really excited about the idea of producing some sort of newsletter. It was often more of a chore than a joy, so it is not surprising that my efforts were sporadic and not very well planned or well executed.

But from all that I’ve read and heard from online marketing experts, I do believe that having some kind of email newsletter is a good idea. Some would say an imperative for success.

So a while ago I decided to change my thinking and attitude and come up with something that people would want to receive and that I would want to produce – with enthusiasm, with joy.

I’ve now done a complete re-think and re-badging. I’m also committing myself to have more frequency and regularity in the publishing.

I didn’t start with thinking of a complete makeover

I started by looking at how I could get more subscribers for the existing model,”Des Walsh Updates” which had a stated focus on social media and business coaching.

With that in mind I addressing the question of whether my offer should lead with a gift and the newsletter as almost an afterthought, or whether the newsletter offer be first up, with the gift as a thank you.

I posted about this a few weeks ago – Does Offering a Free e-Book Help Build a Great List, or a Mediocre One?. I still don’t know the answer to that question, and frankly I doubt that anyone does, but in the post I said I was 99% sure that I would try the approach without the gift.

And I said in that regard:

At least I will have the satisfaction of knowing that anyone who does sign up wants my updates, wants to hear from me and hopefully, when appropriate circumstances arise, will be well disposed to engage with me more directly.

Re-thinking the model and re-badging

So now, what could I do to make the whole production side of things work better?

Thinking that over, I felt that what was hampering me was a recurring sense that I had to write something special – like a super blog post. It was like having to write essays in high school!

And then I thought, not for the first time, that one thing people seem to value is when I share news items about social media, and nuggets of insights, tips and tools that are seen as being helpful for busy people trying to make sense of social media, social networking, the social web, the social graph, and all the other categories of information about the world of social business (another buzz term!).

So out with the essay writing, and in with bite-size bits of information, insights, links, very brief updates.

Thus Social Business Bites.

I pick up so much information, so many links, in any one week of navigating the social web, I doubt I will have any problem in producing an informative, helpful – and maybe even entertaining! – communication on a weekly basis.

Fresh, tasty, nutritious!

I hope you’ll try it. I hope you’ll like it. I hope you’ll tell me, one way or t’other.

And while you’re here, do you have a newsletter? Has it worked for you? Or not?

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Des Walsh is an executive coach. He helps business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide deal effectively with the feeling of being left behind or overwhelmed, or both, about social media – especially LinkedIn - and how to engage safely and effectively with social media to help grow their business. Connect with Des on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get Des’s weekly Social Business Bites (select snippets of his "best of the week" online finds).