Those of you who have already been on one of my workshops called “What To Write For Your Business Blog” will already know that they are interesting, useful and fun.
And the lovely folks who came to my recent workshop in Toronto at the enchanting The Beacher Café in Queen Street East, found that out for themselves on September 18th.
(For a list of the top 10 most helpful articles on blogging for business as chosen by our readers, click here)
A few of them had been to one or both of my previous workshops in Toronto – yet still wanted more! It was great to see them again and catch up on their news.
All are running small businesses as SME heads or solopreneurs, including a few who actually run businesses in the trendy “The Beach” neighborhood where the workshop was located. We had some interesting discussions about the benefits of being a local business in terms of what to blog about – see this article of mine.
Different workshop structure that works better
Rather than getting participants to brainstorm a small number of sample business cases in great depth on a more theoretical basis, I decided to try another approach which I think my workshoppers of the future will find more useful.
I split everyone into breakout groups of 5. We gave each person a 20 minute slot during which they described their business and then detailed the needs of customers, prospects and other readers, for 5 minutes – with the others in the group then brainstorming ideas for the right blogging strategy and useful topics for that person, for a further 15 minutes. My Toronto associate Trudy van Buskirk and I rotated around the groups helping to facilitate and trigger thoughts where necessary.
Although 20 minutes doesn’t seem that long, the fact that many of the workshoppers had common issues and business ambitions meant that several of the ideas coming out of the 20 minute brainstorms were of equal relevance to everyone. So it was a successful use of the time.
Enthusiasm for business, blogging and more – wow!
Whenever I work in Canada I am invigorated by the amount of fiery enthusiasm people share for their businesses, and especially for their marketing. Working mostly in the UK – where people tend to be a bit more reserved – I find this lively Canadian eagerness especially inspiring, and it’s contagious.
One of the other great things to come out of the workshops in this mode, too, was the way that brainstorming about blogging led to the sharing of information and experiences of other, related forms of marketing – a bonus I hadn’t fully anticipated that could drop out of the original topic.
Although both Trudy and I gently nudged conversations back towards blogging when they got too far away from the point, participants seemed grateful that being there to talk about blogging also managed to get people talking about their larger business issues … and sharing their wisdom accordingly.
So – having experienced yet another great workshop in Toronto this September, I’m already getting sniffs from there to find out when the next one will be…
More blog writing workshops in Toronto next Spring
Given the response to this year’s workshop activities, Trudy and I have decided to run some more, probably in April or May 2015. If you’re in Toronto get in touch with Trudy and let her know your thoughts.
And if you’re looking for my workshops in the UK, drop me a note on firstname.lastname@example.org.
What about a blog writing webinar?
What do you think? Would you be interested in doing a version of this workshop, “What To Write For Your Business Blog,” online in webinar format?
Please let me know! Thanks in anticipation. Your feedback doesn’t just matter – it also helps people like me create workshops and other tutorials that do what you need, not merely what we think you need…
…so as I say, let me know your thoughts, please!
Looking forward to seeing your responses…