SteveBlogs

Marketing, Code, Travel and Adventure

First Post: Setting Up a Blog Again

I decided to launch a personal/professional blog on steventalcottsmith.com again. The last blog I had several years ago, I accidentally deleted during a botched recovery from a database crash. The only other time ever recall losing data in the last 20 years was when I accidentally deleted a CF card with some photos from my Spain/Morocco trip in 2002.

Anyway, the old blog contained a couple good posts, including one that made to the top of reddit back in 2006 – a story about when non-programmers end up writing software in the course of trying to build a business.

Nowadays there are a couple interesting things going on in my life that I want to share and that is my primary motivation for firing this up. By way of a quick update, in the last 18 months, I married a wonderful woman, moved to the Philippines, my wife gave birth to a handsome baby boy, I got back in shape, I found and hired some great software developers, and I won my first international customer. (from Sydney)

Now I am engaged in pivoting my business to a new model that will scale. Key to that is learning to generate leads and sales. I can sell. I sold real estate. I sold myself as a consultant many times. As an entrepreneur, I sold investors. Sales is not a problem.

Despite my confidence in my ability to negotiate and close, something has eluded me thus far. This thing stands between me and the business success I seek. The thing it has taken me several years to fully realize is that I have to master marketing.

In the past, I usually did just enough marketing to get by. Since my phone wasn’t exactly ringing off the hook, I would have to go out and hunt for customers when I got hungry. I guess I always hoped that I would partner with someone or hire someone who could make my phone ring and my inbox fill up with prospects.

Alas, that has not happened.

My modest success with marketing was with newconsearch, a now-idle project I launched during the Florida real estate construction boom of the naughty-aughtys. I used email marketing to good effect before both spam filters and a turn in the real estate market crushed my business model.

Now I once again have a business and service to sell. However, it needs customers or it will just smolder without ever catching fire. I must move from hunter-gatherer to cultivator of the land. (Metaphorically speaking of course, although I do fancy playing gentleman farmer from time to time.) Cultivation is where real surplus is to be found. Hunting and gathering can in the right environment sustain you but it cannot provide security and it cannot generate the capital needed for larger projects.

The fields I will till are the social networks, the blogs, the PPC campaigns, the newsletters, the zero-moment-of-truth the branding, the whole thing.

For now, this blog will chronicle my experiences in general and my specific lessons learned with this transition. It may also contain personal anecdotes or technical posts as I see fit. Enjoy.