I haven’t been writing as much lately, for a number of reasons; sold our condo, doing a major house Reno, got a new pup, recorded a full length CD and busier than crap at work. Anyway, I thought I should send one more out for 2012.
It was a good year for us and the industry too. Caution is still King but not as many complaints around…everyone has made the adjustments needed to cope with what seems to be “the new economy”.
The driver crisis hasn’t brought the industry to a standstill yet and somehow the folks at the helm of the various trucking operations will find their way through it. It’s a tough business but one that I have enjoyed supporting, in my small way, for what seems like a lifetime… 2013 is our 25th year!
There was a record turnout at the recent Toronto Transportation Club dinner and Don Cherry was certainly a factor in the increased attendance. Sports and transportation have always seemed to go hand in hand…a guy thing I guess. Still, more and more ladies are making their mark on the industry and they were well represented at the event.
We added a person in Montreal and it appears to be a tough market to crack for an English company, even though our guy there is French. I’ve spoken with some English carrier customers and they have found it equally difficult. We’re still working on that one. The reverse scenario appears to be true for our Quebec customers breaking ground in Ontario. If anyone has some tips on that one, they would gratefully be received by all.
We added an account manager in Toronto too, which has been a great help. We had continued to run a bit too lean coming out of the recession. We’ve seen many of our carrier customers start to add bodies as well…a good sign I hope.
We’re adding a young gal in the New Year to help with social media. As mentioned when I spoke at the recent Transportation Summit, Canadian transportation has some catching up to do in this area and we are gearing up to help further with this in 2013.
When I looked over our account list for 2012, I saw many loyal customers that have been with us for decades and something new…a high number of good size accounts that came as a result of our web marketing. The web in 2012 was good news for smaller companies. A shift is occurring, with more and more buyers sourcing on the web. Resource to resource, a 1 million dollar company can get as many opportunities from web marketing as a 200 million dollar company… if they are willing and able to create the same amount of content and use proper search engine optimization.
I’m still amazed when people today, running great companies, don’t put much stock in the power of the web to build their business, help with recruiting, or simply make a favourable impression on customers, suppliers and their carrier partner network. More than ever, it’s not “a” or “b” when it comes to choosing the best way to market, it’s “a, b, c, & d”. That will be our core message for the upcoming year. Add to your relationships and referral business, with the new techniques available…add to, not replace!
Best of the holidays to everyone and we’ll see you in the New Year.
Lee’s quote for the day
Over the last couple of years we’ve had a few customers try to initiate updates for their own company blog. I’m afraid the success rate has been less than terrific. In all cases, it was well meaning and they all understood “Blog Power” could organically increase their rankings on search engines. Those increased rankings would then translate to increased traffic to their websites and more sales opportunities. Still in the majority of cases, these blog efforts failed.
When I was a kid in small town New Brunswick, the local barbershop and corner gas station were the places where the old timers got together to share their stories and lessons they had learned. That time is far behind us but the modern day blog serves a similar function. Here are a few tips:
Lee’s Quote for the Day
We have been blogging on a regular basis since early 2010. Based on the positive results to our web rankings and the soft touch it creates with customers and prospects, we plan to continue. Recently, we have brokered out our pen to help customers get in the groove with their own blogs.
We use an interview process to guide clients through their first blogs. It’s their story and our pen initially. Our intent is to get them over their fear of writing and provide a model they can adopt to eventually go solo. Kind of like installing training wheels on your first bike. These are the top 3 push backs we get from potential bloggers… and our response:
1/How can I find the time?
You need to block off 2-3 hours on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to write. Making it a routine is the answer.
2/What would I write about?
You write about what you know, what you’ve experienced and share that insight in a personal and candid way. You are not selling your company, simply sharing information that may help others in some way.
3/Does it really accomplish anything?
Yes! I find it somewhat therapeutic to step outside of my day to day routine and reflect on recent events through my blogs. It clears my head for new thinking. It keeps me in touch with clients and prospects. And last but not least, it increases our industry and web profile.
Lee’s Quote for the day
“Blogging is like jogging without the sweat and the iPod. They’re both good for you and become more enjoyable with time.”