Another great connection via Twitter! Grant D. Griffiths lives about 4 hours away from me, so that qualifies as practically neighbors around here. When he emailed me, I promptly asked him for a guest post sharing his story. Enjoy.
Needless to say, I was excited to come across Becky’s blog, Small Biz Survival. And as she mentioned, we are practically neighbors. I first heard about Small Biz Survival on twitter and was immediately hooked.
Like Becky, I live and work in a small rural community. I, my wife and two of our children live in Clay Center, Kansas. Clay Center is a community of approximately 5000 people.
Since January 2005, I have been operating my family law practice from my home office which is located in a large room in our basement. I have utilized technology to its fullest and have no in house employees. In fact, I have taken advantage of my technology so my virtual assistant and I communicate via the Internet. We almost never see each other in person and exchange all of the work she does via email. I dictate on a digital voice recorder and email her the recorded files. She in turn transcribes what I have given her and she returns the finished documents to be via email.
I have marketed my family law practice for over three years now by using one marketing tool and that is a blog. The Kansas Family Law Blog has been my only marketing tool and what is great about using a blog to market, it has placed me on the same level or even above those firms who work in the “big city” and who use the Yellow Pages. By using Internet based marketing, no longer are those of us who live and work in the rural areas tied to just working and making our living there. Blogging enabled me to expand my practice to a state wide practice. I handled cases both in my own rural area and in the metro areas of Kansas City, Topeka and Wichita, Kansas.
Technology, whether sitting on your desk or that which is available on the Internet, has removed the barriers of living in a rural community. I am not new to blogging as I have been doing so now for over three years. One of my blogs that has actually brought me the most attention is Home Office Lawyer. Because of the traffic and readers I have been able to attract with Home Office Lawyer, I have given webinars to groups of individuals from all over the country. Once again using the web to connect with clients and prospective clients from all over the country.
Small Biz Survival is another example of the reach you can achieve using the Internet. And the reach someone from a rural community can accomplish. Like myself, Becky’s readers are not all from her rural community. Becky, myself and others have a readership that extends from all over our home states, the United States and I would venture to guess, the world. It is important for those who read this blog and live and work in a small rural community to consider this in their own business. The worse thing someone from a rural community can do is to limit themselves to thinking they are tied only to their locale; and not marketing to the entire world. If you live and have your business in a rural community, and if you want to expand your market to either your state, your country or the entire world, you have to change your mindset and expand your thinking.
Last September we launched a blog called Home Office Warrior. Seeing that my readership on the Home Office Lawyer was expanding to include not only lawyers, but others who worked from a home office, we saw a need for a blog such as Home Office Warrior (HOW). HOW is what we call an “Internet Magazine for the Home Office Entrepreneur.” And what is most amazing is we are getting readers and subscribers from all over the world. Once again, illustrating the power of the web in gaining a readership from all over the world.
In the next few weeks, I will be what I am calling a “recovering attorney.” And having a mindset that does not lock me into only focusing on my rural community or even only my own state has enabled me to do this. Because I have a love for blogging and because I have spent the last three years educating people about blogging, I have opened my own blog design and consulting business, G2 Web Media. And I won’t be tied to only Kansas. In fact we already have clients from all over the U.S.
So, even a country boy from the middle of Kansas can have a business that draws clients from all over the country.
Thanks Becky for allowing me to share a little bit about my own story.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.