From thought bubbles to red balloons: Blogging for fun and profit

naomi-simson Photo Steve DavisIf you ever doubted that blogging on your WordPress site could take you and your business to new heights, Naomi Simson’s story should deal with your doubts once and for all.

The founder of online gift retailer, RedBalloon, has not only built an uber impressive business but has used her personal WordPress website to build her personal brand and become one of LinkedIn’s Influencers (as well as being a former Australian Businesswoman of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year).

Insights into RedBalloon’s success

At the Public Relations Institute of Australia national conference in Adelaide yesterday, Naomi took to the stage to talk about the secrets that led to the ‘overnight’ success of RedBalloon.

In essence, she argued the reasons RedBalloon has grown from selling 300 ‘experiences’ in her first year of operations in 2001 to have just reached the two millionth sale 12 years later, boils down to:

  • Growth in the centre (an internal drive to WANT to grow, helped by setting Big Hairy Audacious Goals)
  • Customer experience (being fanatical about making sure EVERY customer has a good experience)
  • Employee experience (paying attention to employees and making sure they go home at night feeling like winners)

Alongside these principles, Naomi said she believes customers are the ultimate owners of brands in this social age, which is why every customer is asked ‘how was it for you’ after they’ve done their hot air balloon ride, sports car lap, parachuting, or any of the other experiences.

The accidental blogger

According to Naomi’s presentation, she actually began blogging as a form of external diary.

She was meeting lots of interesting people and having so many fascinating experiences that she feared her memory would let her down.

However, what began as blogging for herself, has since taken on a life of its own.

As Naomi has continued blogging over the years, sharing intriguing stories and business insights, she has been astounded by the shelf life and reach of her writings.

Naomi says the extra profile her blog enabled her to build online helped lead to her being asked by LinkedIn to be one of their two Australian bloggers, which has further increased her profile with 270,000 people now subscribed to read her insights.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know I always preach that success in the social media age will be more within the reach of business people and organisations driven by passion and a willingness to share of themselves generously.

Naomi Simson embodies that approach and her story will hopefully inspire you to continue (or start) creating your own ripples.

Maybe even reward yourself with an experience after publishing your 50th article.

I hope that audacious goal is big enough and hairy enough for you!



1 Comment

  1. Barbara Reinfeld

    Thanks for the inspiration. I’m up my 5th blog next week and yes I have seen traffic as a result. Yet to translate into sales, but early days yet.
    Cheers, Barbara


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