Two days ago I had a milestone with this blog. I have been officially blogging for 16 years, and since this was my first official blog I want to acknowledge that. It wasn't the first time I was writing online, but it was the first time I owned what I was writing on. So, I'm going to take a bow because very few people make even two years of blogging so I'm proud of what I've done here, and it also allows me to think a good number of people who offered me congratulations on LinkedIn, though they thought it was my business anniversary.

business blog anniversary

The truth of the matter is that I started blogging for basically two reasons. First, I was hoping to use it as a tool to help market and promote my business. Overwhelmingly, the topics I have addressed on this blog have centered around the two areas that I've made most of my business income on. One is health care finance topics, or health care in general. The other is leadership, which I can also break down into all the different facets that end up addressing leadership in different ways.

How has it benefited me? If you know anything about marketing online, then you've probably heard the term keywords. In essence, I have written about topics that I've mentioned on my main webpage, and links to that effect. What happens is that the more you can reinforce what it is you do, the better you will rank on search engines, especially Google. In all the years that I've been blogging, if someone is searching for a consultant on either charge master or healthcare finance, I'm always in the top 10 if not in the top five. That's because I've written about it enough times to be able to stand out as far as businesses are concerned. There are job sites that beat me, but other than that I'm doing pretty well.

Leadership is a totally different animal. Even though I've written about it more times than anything else on this blog, there are a lot of people who do leadership as a profession. So it's hard to break through often enough to make my name stand out in that regard. Of course it also doesn't help having a name that is shared by a famous drummer, but it is what it is.

When I take the entire scope of everything this blog has done for me, I can say that it's helped me promote myself and my business in a pretty good way. When it comes to marketing or sales, it's been quite deficient. There are many reasons for that, and I'll take the blame for all of those whether it's true or not.

One of the problems of marketing health care finance issues is that the people who can hire me are not the people who read the content. Usually the people who read the content are people who were involved in doing the work. They end up being people who were my peers when I was an everyday employee. Most of them don't have the gravitas it takes to recommend me to anyone in a higher position of authority. Some of them might not even want to because of the worry that what they do might be compared to what I do, especially if that person in authority realizes that we used to do the same job but we have different skill sets. That's not conceit; I've been told that many times over the years.

The other problem is, unfortunately, I am an anomaly in both health care and leadership. Although I run into more minority consultants on sites like LinkedIn these days, the truth is that out of the almost 20 years I've been a consultant I've met only two other minority consultants in health care, and that's with me traveling all across the country. I've met more in leadership training, but it's still a very small percentage.

I hate to think that's what has held me back, but it has to be put out there because it's happened. As an example, I doubt that anyone else who does the work I've done in health care can promote that they helped a hospital increased their revenue by $730 million in one year. I know that doesn't happen because many sites that I check out that do the same kind of thing I do will share numbers that are way below that particular figure. This is not to say that I'm necessarily better than everybody else, but when you consider that I am a sole proprietor instead of an organization that has more than just myself, I'm thinking that number stands out even more.

Regardless, on this blog I stick to the things that I know and a certain way of talking about them. Being that anomaly I mentioned earlier, I can discuss the topic of diversity in a different way than most other businesses can do, especially in health care. I can talk about certain customer service issues in a different way for the same reason. It is what it is, and I have no qualms about talking on these and other topics because in my opinion it's better to be honest than to act like it doesn't happen. As Popeye would say, "I am what I am".

In any case, because I'll celebrate my 20th year as a consultant come June, I'll probably change how I promote and market myself over the course of this year. I'm probably not going to write more than my norm on this blog, but I'm definitely going to share some of these conversations I've had more often in a business form on platforms that usually don't share articles that often. I may even have a standalone post here and there talking about services I provide. After all, it's expected that the only way you can get new business is by letting people know you're out there and what you can and have done previously. Since I know people in health care don't answer phones or even spend a lot of time on social media, I have nothing to lose.

I'm happy that I've reached 16 years of official blogging, and that it happened with this particular blog. As Ramon from the movie Happy Feet said, "I'll take a moment for myself". After that, the skies the limit!