Tess Wittler’s blog stands out from every other blog in the 2016 Best Construction Blog competition for her combination of incredible writing ability and industry knowledge. This combination of course makes sense: She, after all provides professional writing services for the architectural, engineering and construction industry. This level of double-skilled expertise undoubtedly adds value to the blogging process you won’t see elsewhere (and indeed demonstrates her value to your business if you want to outsource your company’s writing — and, yes, blogging.)
As examples, consider her description of her attendance and participation at the recent International Builders’
Show in Las Vegas. I liked especially her story of her voluntary work with the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Professional Women in Building (PWIB) Council, which she joined in 2014:
. . . I am not going to lie: those first few months were tough, particularly because I didn’t have a PWB local chapter. It isn’t an easy way to get to know others, but I knew I had to be dedicated if I was ever going to shake the “fish out of water” feeling. And I didn’t want to be a member in name only. As a former Home Builders Association staffer, I knew the value of being involved, and I wanted to find a way to give back to the industry.
Thankfully, I found a spot on the Communications/Education Committee and participated in the monthly calls (even when I had mounds of work on my desk). The 2015 Builders’ Show was my first time meeting any of these ladies in person, and I have to admit, while it was a bit intimidating, it was also a fantastic experience. Sitting in a meeting room has a completely different dynamic than alone in my office on a conference call.
After the 2015 Show, I connected with a few other PWB members via Facebook (which is an excellent way to connect faces to names). Over time, I got to know them on a more personal level (and they got to know me, too).
Last fall, I was asked to serve as the PWB Education Committee Chair in 2016. Whoa! Say what? Serving in a leadership capacity was never my goal when joining the PWB, but I gladly accepted the appointment and will work hard to do a good job.
Take Away: If you aren’t involved, I highly recommend that you identify one committee, council or cause – and participate. Yes, it is volunteer work and extra energy out of your already full day, but the experiences you receive are priceless.
You’ll also appreciate her practical marketing advice, including a five-part series she is writing about Building a Strong Online Presence.
Her posting, How to Create an Amazing Online Marketing Plan, sets the foundations:
Developing a marketing plan is often considered the hardest part of marketing because it takes a lot of dedicated time to brainstorm ideas that will push your business agenda forward.
It requires to you ask, “What can I do that will move the needle forward?” and often, you don’t immediately know the answer. That’s okay. The important thing to remember is to not rush this process. Spend time on this step. You wouldn’t start a construction project without having the plans in place, so don’t do this with your marketing efforts either. If you simply launch into blogging or Facebook posting, for instance, without knowing your goals, you won’t make any significant progress.
There’s much value in Wittler’s blog. I can certainly relate to her perceptions personally. Although I see myself more as a journalist/publisher than as a professional writer, I remember when I won a federal government competition for the Canadian employment ministry as a “writer/editor” in 1981, resulting in a five-year stint in the Canadian civil service.
“I’m being paid to write professionally,” I thought. “Wow, who could have thought these are my skills?”
I ended up marrying a woman who had successfully partnered in a professional writing business for many years. She, I realized quickly, is a much better writer than me. Thankfully, by then, I had melded my understanding of writing, journalism and business into the early stages of the specialized publishing business which continues today.
Obviously, if you are a builder, trade contractor, engineer or architect, your skills in your relevant trade/business or profession may be in your area of knowledge rather than the nuances of English language writing. And, indeed, from time to time, people call me asking me to take on writing services for them. I generally refer these individuals to Tess. She can blog, write, and understands the industry . . . a truly powerful combination for your vote in the 2016 Best Construction Blog competition.
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