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Q&A: Blogging for an International Customer

As the president of GreatWebMeetings.com, a small training and consulting company specializing in Internet-based communication, presentations, sales and team management, Wayne Turmel understands the importance of getting the word out about his business. In addition to overseeing his Lisle, Ill.-based business, Turmel writes The Connected Manager, a business blog about presentation tools, training development and webinar hosting tips.

Blogging can be a great way to position entrepreneurs as subject matter experts in their areas of business. For instance, if a business deals with international vendors, the business owner could blog about using online foreign exchange services or currency conversion tools, which help individuals secure favorable exchange rates.

Turmel produces one to two blog posts a week and sees these efforts as key to expanding his global profile as a virtual management expert. He shares his thoughts on why blogging has helped establish his brand in foreign countries.

If someone searches for something on virtual meetings or webinars, and one of my blog posts comes up, they know that I’m for real.

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Why take the time to write a blog?

Turmel: If you are in any small business, especially one that relies on you "being the guy," or expert in your field, you want the world to see you. The Connected Manager blog gets me out there. If someone searches for something on virtual meetings or webinars, and one of my blog posts comes up, they know that I'm for real.

Does the blog help you build an international business clientele?

Turmel: Absolutely. I don't have salespeople around the world, but because of the blog, people all over the globe find me. It's how I establish my reputation as an expert. Thanks to the blog, I currently have clients in the U.K., Australia, Canada, India, China and even New Guinea.

Ten percent of my website traffic comes from the blog, and none of it is local. Recently, I had a day where I led a virtual training session in London in the morning, another in Calgary in the afternoon and one in Australia in the evening. I made $10,000 in one day, which is a significant percent of the year for a small business like mine - and I didn't get any of that by knocking on doors or cold calling.

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Talking about issues related to global teams also helps to draw an international clientele. For example, I've blogged about how to build trust and camaraderie among team members located across multiple countries, and how to make sure time zone differences don't leave team members in India feeling like a second-class citizen because they are always the ones attending meetings at 5 am.

Why do you post so frequently?

Turmel: It's all about the numbers. The more crumbs you put out, the more birds will come in. Also, if people look at your blog and there are only three articles, or you only post once a month, they won't believe you are credible or make a point of subscribing or seeking you out. I write posts once or twice a week, and they all have an afterlife.

What blogging tips can you offer on how to make the most of a business blog?

Turmel: Include lots of links and mention the names of companies or clients you do business with. They will be more likely to repost your blog if you talk about them. And use keywords. I have certain words I use as often as possible, like "virtual meeting" and "webinars," to increase the chance my blog will come up on searches and people will pass it on.



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