David Maister shared his experiences on business blogging and podcasting, and answered questions from the audience.
Switched his blogging model to congenial host - "I have this question and what do the rest of you think?"
Blog posting - we all want to be relatively regular with our schedule. Horrible temptation to say you are just going to put something up without the quality; you are best to avoid this trap if you want to build a destination place. Be prepared to post less frequently.
Article: "Do you really want relationships?" (article from new book); even if you despise people, you still have to earn their trust. It is not about how good you are, but whether they believe you are going to look after them.
Friendship skills: some people naturally have friendship skills.
His wife's podcast: Startcooking.com - she is a good dinner host, natural conversationalist.
If you want to make a lot of money, once you get business you want to make sure you get all their follow-up business and have them tell their friends.
What you want: if someone asks your customers if they should hire you, you want them saying unequivocally yes.
Stop talking about you. You don't get any of my business by talking to you. Getting new clients is like dating - you go out and do something nice once, twice, if you don't get a response, you move on.
Clients who ask him if they should get into podcasting. Particularly lawyers, they are very concerned whether they should get into this area. It is proving very very hard to get them to do it. The smaller practitioners who do not have benefit of big brand name are doing it smartly. When you get into larger firms and you have to get 26 of your partners to sign off, it becomes harder to do.
In most advisory business they are not about scale. He probably earns more profit per partner than the big 4 accounting firms. But how do you get in the flow of the best business?
Before you are in the market, are you putting out into the marketing place something that makes people say you are creating smart stuff? That is why he writes books. You can't get people to be interested in you, that you will do something fabulous, until you start putting something out there for them to see. It is unclear which is the best medium; do it all, the blog, the podcast, the book; it doesn't cost him much to turn articles on his blog into a business book. The business book becomes his glossy business card.
E.g. got invited to give a speech at the conference, handed books out to everyone in the audience. One CEO told him the next day he had been reading the book and would he come to speak to his board? Not guaranteed work, but it may lead into something.
Business audiences are busy: is your writing easily digestible for them? His work goes through quite a number of drafts.
It is not the top executives on the web reading his blog. But it is their staff reading his work; these people pass his ideas up. He therefore is writing it as "ammunition" to support those people.
He believes that, despite all his business degrees, business is not that complicated. Management writing is just re-writing Dale Carnegie.
The ability to help enter the audience's mind, help them see things - that is a difficult skill.