Daily Archives: September 7, 2010

WordPress tutor

Over the long weekend I gave two WordPress tutorials to a couple of my friends who need to develop new web sites.

First there is Kenny Graves, my wife’s cousin and a good friend of mine since high school. I’ve known Kenny most of my life and have learned a lot from him, , , he was my high school band director and became “part of my family” when Dorine and I got married.

Kenny has a small photography business and does volunteer work for the City of Hohenwald, our home town. He just completed revamping a section of the old Strand Theater in Hohenwald to display the work of local artists. This new section is called the Strand Art Gallery. Kenny wants to develop a web site to promote awareness of the art  gallery, the artists it represents, and to promote tourist activities and events for the city of Hohenwald.

Next there is Dan Tankersley who I first met in 1994 when my company purchased his company. Our families have become great friends and Dan has even accompanied me on two trips to South Africa because of the generous assistance he has given my company over the years. When Dan and Judy visited us this weekend, I gave Dan a quick lesson on WordPress as well.

Dan has written a book called, The Rain, and sells it from Amazon.com and a web site that he’s been wanting to rebuild for several months. He also has other work and a new book coming that he wants to promote online. After a short tutorial on WordPress, he is ready to go. Dan seems as impressed as I was at the simplicity and productivity of WordPress.

Kenny and Dan’s web sites are now under construction and will soon be available.

What’s my point?
In your company, you want to be able to communicate in many different ways, , , and WordPress or tools like it give you a lot of power and capability to do just that, , , plus it is free and easy to use:

Here are some examples of typical company needs that WordPress and similar tools can help you with:

  • Company client updates and announcements
  • Company newsletter to all employees
  • A weekly “Message from the President” blog
  • IT status updates to internal company managers
  • Human Resources department updates
  • Sales organization announcements
  • Any department manager’s communication with employees

If I were a CIO today, I would use the WordPress blog and web page development tools to help me communicate from our IT organization and would also make other department managers aware of the capability and benefits these tools can give them.

Now, these tools don’t eliminate the need to communicate with people in traditional ways, , , they just help you communicate more effectively overall.

Things that are easy for us are not always easy for others simply because they haven’t been exposed to it. I’m confident that Kenny and Dan will make quick progress in developing the web presence they are looking for.

Learn more about WordPress at www.wordpress.com.

Invest in yourself

It’s important to continue investing in yourself, , , just as you need to invest in your employees. Every year, you should develop an employee training and education plan and invest in developing the skills of each and every employee on your staff. Doesn’t have to be all formal education, , , much of it can be internal training held by yourself or others on your staff.

The point is that you need to be developing the skills of each and every employee on your staff. It will pay big dividends over time.

Don’t forget yourself, , , it can be easy to forget about developing your own skills, , , and you need this investment as much as anyone. The challenge is that you may not have anyone in your company looking out for “you” unless you personally are taking the time to focus on your development.

Just as every employee on your staff should have a personal training and education development plan each year, so should you.

Identify what you need to improve key skills and carve out budget and time to make it happen, , , it won’t otherwise.

I’m doing this for myself this coming weekend. I’m investing in developing my marketing skills, , , something I need as a small business, , , but not something that I necessarily like to focus on. This is a key point!!!!

I don’t really like to spend time in marketing, but if my company is to grow, I have to do some things (or hire it done) that I may not be all that excited about. Even if I hire out our marketing efforts, I still need to understand things about marketing to be able to make prudent business decisions about where we spend marketing dollars.

I would rather spend my time teaching IT management classes, developing new training materials, writing articles, , , or playing golf :). But I can’t get around the fact that marketing is a key to any small business so I need to make the investment in time and money to improve my marketing knowledge and capabilities.

On Thursday I leave for Atlanta to attend a 3-day Internet marketing program. I’m excited about what I might learn but not so much about the networking during lunch and breaks, , , you see, I’m shy and more introverted like most people in IT. Still, , , got to do it and make the investment in myself.

I decided to take my wife’s 1st cousin with me. Kenny is more like a big brother to her. He was also my band director in high school so we have been good friends for over 30 years. Kenny knows very little about internet marketing but needs to learn about it for his photography business and the community volunteer work he does. It should be a fun weekend and beneficial for both of us.

Attending the class with a friend will allow us to discuss questions or points of interest and will help us network with others, , , it also gives us someone to have dinner with. More importantly, it may help each of us implement some of the concepts we learn about and to support one another later on. I see this quite often when managers of the same company attend my IT Manager Institute, , , I always hear about how much more it means to them when they are able to share the experience with someone they work with.

It is easy to just do the work day after day after day, , , but if you are going to become more strategic about your work and continue to grow, , , you need to invest in your knowledge and professional skills. Make an investment in your staff and don’t forget to invest in yourself.