Detroit, ohhh Detroit. The national business community cowers at the idea of doing business in Detroit. Especially the banks. I was on the phone with a mortgage broker excited to speak about a mortgage refinance in the Central Business District of Detroit. As we were going through the parameters of the deal, I shared with him where the building is located. He says “Detroit? I am sorry to hear that, most lenders will not go into Detroit.” I stopped him while he was ranting about why. I asked, “Have you ever been here? Do you know what’s going on here?”
“Have you ever been here? Do you know what’s going on here?”
(This work has been released into the public domain by its author.)
He said no to both questions. Then, I abruptly asked him if he knew what the vacancy rate is here for apartments. When I told him it was 96 percent he was gassed, shocked to say the least. I only share my little story with you because I want people to understand that even though we have SOME international attention and Dan Gilbert is doing more than all, Detroit has a horrible reputation still, which is well deserved to a certain extent.
The “outgoing media” portrays our city as a city with “hulking ruins” caused by crime with the end result being terrible blight as shown in this article. (Detroit's Abandoned Ruins Are Captivating, But Are They Bad For Neighborhoods? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/30/detroitruins_n_4519731.html).
The point that I am sharing with you is that large media companies, blog writers and content creators will create these articles as posted above for page and article views. Media companies know that bad news is huge for their ratings. So the question I ask all of you is, "How do we change Detroit’s national and international image from one of blight, crime and disaster to one of entrepreneurship, higher education, technology hubs and high density urban living?"
You do this by creating Inbound marketing campaigns for your Detroit “whatever you do”. Whether it’s a hobby, business, art, educational media or you feel like posting, blogging and sharing anything about your experiences in Detroit. We can do this in several ways:
- Using Social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram
- Making your business more searchable through inbound marketing techniques
- Sharing and posting content on personal web pages
By creating inbound campaigns people who search relevant topics of Detroit or what ever content you are sharing will find your website, social media page and blog. Why is this relevant? Like I stated before, the national community sees Detroit in a terrible light because of the “Outgoing Media”. If there were ample amount of inbound media sharing and people creating content about Detroit, people who use the internet will see this content and push it further.
- Social Media - This is the easiest way to share content about what you are doing in Detroit. Create a fan page in Facebook or a group in LinkedIn, share your experiences and share other people’s content that you start following. Post and share content that you feel other people will want to see and share as well. Being a network leader is key in social media inbound marketing. Join in on the conversations about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. Show people that you are doing it in Detroit. You will be amazed of what the response is from people.
- Blogging - Start a blog. Blogging is the best way to share your expertise, teach people something relevant and share others content. Start writing four blogs a week on your experiences in Detroit, share other people’s experiences and you will be shocked on the positive feedback you will see from the Detroit community. You will start gaining followers rapidly.
- Inbound Marketing Techniques - If you have a personal page or a business website there are SEO and AdWords techniques that you can start doing today to make you more finable on search engines. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an incredible tool to use to make your page more findable. 90% of individuals browsing the internet use Google. Google AdWords is a very efficient way to advertise on Google. They have guidelines for you on how to advertise and formatting.
- Personal Webpage - Build your own personal brand. Create a website that is all about you, have a blogging portion on it. This webpage should be your online portfolio. Creating these pages allows people to find you. Whether you are a business or just doing a hobby by creating these pages, it allows you to put relevant information about you and what you do on the internet.
I wrote this post as a twofold piece. I wanted to share with you that our Detroit image is not very positive outside of Detroit. There are ways we can change this here and now. Everyone can do their part to support this movement by sharing the word about it! I also wanted to bring some insight to inbound marketing. It is very easy to get started with one of the topics I discussed here. Inbound Marketing is crucial for personal and business success. Making your company/self relevant and findable makes you more marketable.
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- Delray neighborhood, Detroit, MI. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delray,_Detroit
- Ransom Gillis House http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ransom_Gillis_House
(All credit and accolades for this tremendous blog post are for Michael Ferlito who is the author and content creator. If you have questions or would like to him, email him at mike.ferlito at gmail dot com.)