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Cindy King’s Weekly Business Article Review

This is the first in a series of weekly article reviews here on Bloggertone.  Each week I’ll share with you the business articles I find most inspiring from a cross-cultural and international business background. And I will select articles while browsing the articles on bizSugar

First, let me clearly say that I am not part of and do not have any link whatsoever with the bizSugar team.

This is simply my favorite social bookmarking platform. There are two reasons why I like bizSugar:

  • It is a social bookmarking platform for business articles
  • There is a nice community of other business professionals there

And as I spend time there regularly, and thanks to the quality of the articles, I have also noticed that:

  • BizSugar has also become one of my online business news resources

As many of the business articles I find through bizSugar are also relevant to my own areas of expertise in cross-cultural marketing and international business, as a reader of this international business section here on Bloggertone, you may also find inspiration.

So with this in mind, after you click through to read these articles, please remember to come back and use the comment box below to let us know how these articles inspired you.

Outsource Your Marketing Department with Blogging

Sweet “Outsource Your Marketing Department with Blogging”

As a content marketer the title of this article drew me in and it links to another good article 5 Tips for Making a Corporate Blog Stand Out.

From experience I know just how much a blog can help your marketing.  What surprises me is how few businesses have explored blogging to open international markets.  We see non-native English speakers blogging to reach English speaking audiences successfully. We find this normal because of the predominance of English online.  But why don’t more English speaking businesses consider blogging in foreign languages?

Of course I realize many businesses have not adopted blogging and social media for their own markets yet.  But the international web is progressing rapidly and the time might soon be the right time to explore blogging to target a specific foreign audience.  This article was a good reminder of how inexpensive solutions can be found for marketing to new markets.

Do you have any stories to share about blogging to market to reach a specific foreign market?

Real Estate Blogs: Move Beyond Listings, or You’re Dead

Sweet “Real Estate Blogs: Move Beyond Listings, or You’re Dead”

Michael Martine does a great job at going into the details of how social media and web marketing are changing how real estate companies approach marketing.

As I read this I just could not help seeing parallels and new marketing possibilities for other industries. As businesses are trying to figure out how to use social media, I found this to be an example that is easy to visualize and transpose for brainstorming social media marketing ideas for other industries.

How do you think new social media and web marketing practices will impact international marketing in your industry?

5 Must-Read Tips for B2B Search Marketing

Sweet “5 Must-Read Tips for B2B Search Marketing”

This post was submitted by the new bizSugar moderator Wayne Liew and, I have to say, Wayne’s article submissions are always an interesting read.

These 5 points here are also relevant for international B2B search marketers.  One of the main takeaways: you need to work on more keywords for B2B search marketing because the sales cycle is longer and because you need different keywords to address the different phases of the sales process.  With this in mind, it is easy to see why you also need to identify even more keywords for international markets… and even if you want to reach different English speaking countries.

Are you paying attention to the different keywords you need to reach different international markets?

How to build your Authenticity – Part II

Sweet “How to build your Authenticity – Part II”

Kelvin Gillen looks into the people skills needed to build authenticity here on Bloggertone.

It often surprises me how people only seem interested in quick solutions for international business success, and few people consider the personal work involved.  The strong people skills you need to create authenticity are also needed to be successful in international business. And I’ve noticed many businesses seem to feel uncomfortable addressing the need to build stronger people skills. Kelvin does a good job here in reminding us of the personal work needed to build these people skills.

How important do you find personal skills in international business success?

Shooting the Social Media Messenger

Sweet “Shooting the Social Media Messenger”

Zane Safrit’s article was a soothing balm after following a few other heated blog posts on social media this week.

This article gave me lots of food for thought.  Given the nature of our communication today, miscommunication is inevitable on social media. And how we react to our mistakes can have a bigger impact than the miscommunication itself.  This is very similar to cross-cultural blunders. Unfortunately we need to learn how to respond well.  And, just like in cross-cultural environments, this seems to be a skill most people acquire through experience and personal discipline.

How confusing do you find social media today?

Editor’s Choice Awards: 2009 Best Small Business Books

Sweet “Editor’s Choice Awards: 2009 Best Small Business Book”.

This article is on Small Business Trends. Christmas is coming and, although my bookshelves are full, there are a few books on this list that I still have not read.

I’m particularly interested in reading the last one on the list, “You are What You Choose”, and seeing how this fits into multicultural or cross-cultural marketing. Anyone read it?

What books are on your Christmas list?  What recent books inspired you most with international business?

5 Trends That Will Shape Small Business in 2010

Sweet “5 Trends That Will Shape Small Business in 2010”

John Jantsch highlights 5 significant expansions of social media ready to bubble up in 2010 on the Open Forum.

I find these 5 trends interesting because they reinforce the similarities I see between social media business skills and international business skills.

How do you think your these trends will impact your business?

Now it’s your turn…
Which articles got you thinking this week and why?

Cindy King is a cross-cultural marketer helping businesses develop globally with international social media. Follow Cindy on Twitter @CindyKing

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  • Hi Cindy, great list and I will soon get around to reading all your selections. Just read “5 Tips for Making a Corporate Blog Stand Out” which I enjoyed particularity point 4 about having some fun. Too often, we are afraid to allow a sense of fun to infuse the our blogging. Sounding professional is great but people also like to see the personality or personalities behind the blog.

  • Good selection of posts Cindy! Thanks for sharing.
    One of the lines that I think is pretty powerful in this post, because of the tremendous opportunity that lies behind, is : “why don’t more English speaking businesses consider blogging in foreign languages?”.
    I believe more and more businesses are still getting familiar with the basics of blogging, however, this could easily be implemented as part of those first steps and be ahead of your competition in a short period of time 🙂

  • Cindy: Have you seen any “cross-cultural blunders” at LeWeb like last year?! 😉

    I have the following books on my X-mas list:

    Who’s Your City?: How the Creative Economy Is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life (0465018092) by Richard Florida.

    The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles (0446691437) by Steven Pressfield.

    Immigrant, Inc. (0470455713) by Robert Smith.

    Meditation in a New York Minute: Super Calm for the Super Busy (1591794293) by Mark Thornton.

  • Nice kick-start of the series Cindy. I had read the one on B2B Search Marketing last week and found it quite useful, since one may tends to think Search in terms of long tail but not in the abundance of keywords based on sales cycle. It got me thinking on Bloggertone also in two angles: 1) Most of the Bloggertoners and readers are in B2B so the SEO strategy should be more in line with this (we need to tag more an more) and 2) Work to be done next year to maximize the readership in this respect

  • Hi Cindy. What a comprehensive and informative post. Thank you. I have just started on “Outsourcing Your Marketing Dept With Blogging” and it is a very interesting read for someone who is starting out on this road – concise and full of relevance! I agree with you on the absence (or apparent absence) of alot of business taking blogging seriously as an international marketing avenue. Even with all of the hype out there about social media, it has not taken off as I would expect (with some obvious exceptions of course). Perhaps this is because it requires more thought than a “Tweet” or a Facebook update. For me, it is going to be critical part of helping drive my business. I am going to read the rest of the posts in the coming couple of days – based on your first recommendation, I am looking forward to the quality of the rest!

  • Hi Cindy – thanks for sharing these articles – look forward to reading them this week.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent post Cindy, if this can continue at this kind of quality then I can see your breakdown becoming a bit of a one-stop-shop for solid tips and advice.

    I’m not sure how best to say this without causing anyone any offense (though I’m sure most of the people here this shouldn’t apply to), but the fact is that there’s a fairly widespread impression that an awful lot of people in “social media” and “blogging” are, to some degree, snake oil salesmen.

    It’s nice to see people talking about maintaining humanity, being an individual, getting across the fact that you’re a person, talking to people. Those are the kinds of posts on businesses blogging that I would have thought deserved highlighting… and I’m most pleased to see you doing so 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Nice post Cindy

    I will cheat here and say “Outsource Your Marketing Department with Blogging” as I just read it. I have been blogging through a number of my sites for about 3 years BUT 2010 will see launched. (no point clicking as not set up yet :-(. I know the power of blogs but will be changing my strategy in 2010 from getting traffic to getting the right traffic.

    Thanks for sharing the posts


  • Niall, Great point and you know something else… I think small businesses need to have the fun element to keep going over time and the bigger businesses need to have fun to bring more of their own team on board.

  • Hi Fred, yes, there is a timing element. I remember last year I heard quite a bit of talk about a large US retail store which started a French blog as their first approach to this market. At the time this seemed quite forward thinking. Today I think there are more opportunities, not necessarily in France. But social media has extended its reach in many countries. The timing has got to be right for some businesses and some foreign markets.

    Let’s face it, any non-American company interested in selling their wares to North America should seriously consider investing in a consistent and strategic online content strategy whether it looks like their idea of a blog or not.

  • Hi Martin, No I did not follow LeWeb this year, but I heard echos that they continued the same argument as last year about American working more than the French. And there was a new one because some of the French entrepreneurs were not on Twitter.

    Thanks for sharing these books too! I’ll definitely check them all out. Love the title of the first one.

  • This really got me thinking too. I know that 365 days of blogging daily on two different but related blogs gave me online visibility for lots of those long tail words. I didn’t really go after the keywords, but I wrote all around my topic. I’d also like to get more strategic with this.

    And I think this is great news for the smaller companies who take the time do the ground work. In the end anyone who wants to put in the effort has their spot online. But I do think there is the price to pay first of consistently putting in the effort.

  • Hi Barney, I also see people who are afraid of not being able to blog “perfect” content. And companies obviously worry about whether their “brand” gets translated well in the foreign country and how any online cultural blunders will impact future endeavors.

    The one thing I learned was that no matter how perfect your blog is when you start, it’s not going to be perfect immediately. I think of blogging as a journey to get to know others. And in the beginning you don’t really know how to hook up with your readers. So when you first stick your neck out, it’s normal for most people to appear awkward. It’s just part of the learning process.

    And this is why I really think the early adopters of international blogs could have a head start.

  • Hi Marc – there have certainly been lots of references to “snake oil salesmen” last week. There is a huge learning curve to use social media for business… at least it is a huge one for me. And the social media environment is still moving, so this learning curve has not become static yet. I think it’s important to listen to people with both a solid business background and strong social media skills.

    I don’t use the term “snake oil salesmen”, instead I use the image of “cheerleaders”. I think these people simply do not have the business acumen you need to see the whole picture and remain stuck in admiration of the fun gizmos. I hope that next year we’ll hear more from the right crowd of people. Cheerleaders do make a lot of noise though.

  • Hey Paul, I noted that you have been blogging for 3 years. I’ve often heard that you need 3 years of blogging to “get” how to use it for business. I’m not sure how much relevance I put on that, because things change so much. But I’m at 2 years of blogging and looking forward to this upcoming year.

    You’re so right with regards to targeting the “right” traffic. I also like to remember this for Twitter.

    As you say you had a number of sites, I’d be interested in knowing whether they were on related topics and how you think this helped you or not. I blogged on 2 different but related blogs in 2009 and put one aside in 2010 to focus on other things. But I’m starting up that 2nd blog again. Having the two on related topics worked very well for me. I know this probably has lots to do with my subject matter and the 2 blog angles, but I’m always interested in hearing other feedback from bloggers with multiple blogs.

  • Cool Elaine. I’d also really like hearing of any other articles you come across that inspire you on topics related to international business. Maybe it’s the short days and the cold weather…

  • Agree 100%. I fall into that category myself!

  • Anonymous

    Great post. I have always enjoyed your insights….usually through Twitter. Delighted to see your presence on Bloggertone and I have now enjoyed many of these articles.

    Thanks again.


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