Business blogging is a tool – a tool you can use to promote your business as part of your social media marketing campaign. However, just like any other tool – your business blogging success depends upon how you use it to promote your business.
Last night – I watched the latest episode of “Iron Chef America” where the winner of Season 3’s “Next Iron Chef” Marc Forgione faced his first challenger in Kitchen Stadium. It was a twist of fate which allowed me to catch the first episode of the third season of “The Next Iron Chef” and I was instantly hooked. In the end, Marc Forgione was crowned the champion and this episode of Iron Chef America was the first challenge for the newest Iron Chef.
The challenge of the competition was bell peppers and Forgione demonstrated why he is has been crowned an “Iron Chef” by making the ingredient the “star” of all five of his dishes. Meanwhile, the challenger’s food while exceptionally prepared – failed to make the bell pepper “the star” according to the judges.
Business blogging is the bell pepper of marketing.
Making an ingredient that is usually a supporting player the “star” of a not just one course – but all five courses in a gourmet a meal is what sets an “Iron Chef” apart.
Business blogging is often the “bell pepper” of marketing – used as a “supporting” player and not the “star” of most marketing strategies. For most marketing strategies- business blogging is an ingredient – sometimes an essential ingredient – but not the “star” of the show.
While it’s enjoyable to watch marketing masters use business blogging in a way that is the equivalent to red pepper sorbet – you first must master the “basics” of business blogging before attempting more “advanced” social media marketing dishes.
I like this analogy because marketing has a LOT in common with cooking.
Most people begin by following recipes created by more experienced cooks. Faithfully follow a recipe and you can usually achieve edible results. Epic kitchen disasters are usually the result of “tweaking” the recipe. You can’t successfully “tweak” a recipe without first understanding the “why” behind an ingredient or a step. Substituting ingredients may not destroy a dish – skipping a step may not destroy the final outcome- but stepping off the established recipe path without knowing the why behind the directions is usually a recipe for disaster in the kittchen.
Disaster awaits when you tweak without knowing the “why”.
My son has been passionately pursuing sports for the past decade but recently discovered he has a gift for food preparation. (We watch Iron Chef and he’s seen “real men cook” which has inspired him to try his hand in the kitchen.) He recently saw a cheesecake featured on the cover of a magazine – and purchased the magazine determined to achieve the same results.
However, even though it was his first cheesecake – and he doesn’t have a lot of experience in the kitchen – he began tweaking the recipe.
The tweaking began when didn’t have one ingredient – instant coffee – so he skipped adding it. Next he substituted peanut butter candy for the crushed toffee bars.
These two “tweaks” actually worked well together. The absence of the first ingredient made the substitution of the 2nd acceptable. It was a “happy” accident and since the “core” ingredients of the recipe were still intact – he was still on the path to a tasty outcome for his efforts.
Then the recipe instructed that he line the spring form pan with foil and he didn’t want to do that. He wanted instead “grease the sh*t” out of the pan. At this point, I stepped in and STRONGLY suggested that this time – he follow the directions. Maybe – just maybe – there was a reason WHY the recipe included this step.
Later the recipe called for filling the pan in which the spring form pan was sitting with water to bake the cheesecake. When the cheesecake emerged from the pan, the reason for the foil became apparent. Obviously my ancient cookware is not water tight and had he not followed the instructions – his cheesecake would have been ruined.
While substituting and omitting minor ingredients didn’t destroy his creation, the cheesecake was “saved” because he followed a really important step in the directions. His inexperience in the kitchen however didn’t allow him to recognize the “why” so he could know what could be substituted or skipped and what could not.
Marketing is a lot like that. There are a lot of “recipes” online for how to achieve success in social media marketing but if you want to create your own recipe variation – it’s important to know the WHY behind what you’re doing. Begin by following the “recipes” prepared by others… then begin modifying the recipe once you’ve mastered the basics.
I’ve always taken a “teach you to cook” approach when working with clients… and I recently was reminded by a new client that this consulting style is truly “unique”. Digging into the “why” behind what you’re doing is what sets my business blogging tutorials apart from other business blogging “recipes” available. It’s also what sets my consulting services apart as well.
Not everyone wants to learn to cook – or bake a cheesecake. After all, you can pick up a cheesecake ready made at the grocery store – often for only a fraction more than the cost of the raw ingredients. But if you want to some day become an Iron Chef – you’d better know the why behind every step of every dish you create.
If you want to become an “Iron Chef” of marketing your business- you’d also better learn the reasons “why” you’re doing what you’re doing.
What’s your favorite “business blogging” tool or ingredient for success? Feel free to showcase your Iron Chef business blogging abilities in the comments section below.