"Wherever we look upon this earth, the opportunities take shape within the problems."
These inspiring words from entrepreneur Nelson A. Rockefeller struck a chord this week. The quiet end-of-summer feeling that pervades St Albans means it's also a quiet time for Geoffrey Wadhurst Coaching Limited. This could have easily been a time to get depressed about my company's prospects but instead I chose to focus on my blogging and how to improve it to build my social graph.
Since I don't seem to be getting the volume of C-suite execuitive coaching leads I'd hoped for - in spite of my presence on the Huffington Post - I've engaged some expert help from Will, a highly-regarded St Albans social media coach. He's been invaluable in providing basic blogging hints to raise my profile, particularly as I seem to struggle when it comes to finding topics that will catch the eye of the online masses.
"Look out for a celebrity that's just died," Will suggested. "Then craft a blog about the eight leadership lessons from their life. Blogs like that go down a storm on LinkedIn Pulse."
When I suggested that using someone's recent passing to raise my profile was in poor taste, Will put me at my ease. "Of course it's not," he reassured me. "Everybody does it."
He also gave me another useful gem about blogging which, in the spirit of openness, I'm happy to share. "Include a photo - that will hugely increase the number of hits you get." Then we got into the whole copyright thing. Apparently you have to filter on Google Images for pictures with creative commons licence. This means you can use them for free - which is of course great for thrifty entrepreneurs such as me trying to conserve cash in the start-up phase of their business.
Coincidentally, the issue of creative commons licence came up in a request for help that hit my inbox recently. While I was hoping for an executive coaching enquiry from a C-suite executive, it is still nevertheless nice to be asked for help in any form so I am pleased to mention my LinkedIn contact Phil who is helping out the British photographer behind the selfie monkey picture that so charmed everybody when it came out. Because the monkey picked up the camera and took the picture itself, Wikimedia claim the photographer doesn't own the image, something he has taken up with m'learned friends. In the meantime, Phil is trying to help the photographer who is giving away free canvas prints here. For every print ordered he will donate $1.70 to the endangered crested macaques.
When I forwarded Phil's email to Will, he sided with Wikimedia. "The monkey took the picture."
"But the photographer spent ages setting it up," I replied. "Does that mean the monkey owns the copyright."
"Nope. Only a human can own the copyright."
"So it's therefore free for everybody to use?"
"Exactly," said Will. "That's the point of the internet. Everything should be free. It's terrible that people should exploit it for cynical commercial gain. Oh, I've just noticed Joan Rivers has shuffled off. If you're quick you can knock out a blog on LinkedIn Pulse."
Alas, I was not quick enough as Pulse was already saturated with thinly disguised profile-raising tributes. When I returned to my email to check for more coaching requests, there was another message from Will.
"Hi Geoffrey. Please find attached my invoice for your Advanced Blogging Coaching Package."
[Image from Wikimedia] (not the disputed one)