CONSTRUCT Bloggers Panel

Photo via CSI


The construction industry has been slow in accepting social media and blogging as a form of communications, educating and networking. This writer has been in the door and hardware industry for 20 years and on social media for 6 years so it was with interest I attended the Blogger’s Panel at the 2013 CONSTRUCT show. The panel was filled with other like-minded industry professionals that understood the value of this new platform.

The panel included:

  • Charles Hendricks with The Gaines Group, PCL        Blog:  Design Matters
  • David Stutzman with Conspectus, Inc.                           Blog:  SpecWords
  • Liz O’Sullivan with Liz O’Sullivan Architecture, LLC      Blog:  Comments from a Spec Writer
  • Lori Greene with Allegion                                                  Blog:  I Dig Hardware
  • Eric Lussier with Advantage Sport USA, Inc.                 Blog:  Eric D. Lussier
    (Eric was double booked & came in late)

Lori and I go back a few years when we both worked for the same company but at different branches. I have followed her blog almost since its inception.

Blogging is a time consuming and typically under appreciated task but when you get that one (or hopefully more) connection where you have helped educate a person about this industry it is worth it!

This was a Q&A session lead by Kaitlin Solomon, the CSI Marketing/Membership Manager.

Q1: How long have you been on social media and how many times a week do you post to your blog?

Charles: 5 years and 2-3 times a week. I do all my own writing.
David: Since late 2009. I used to blog intermittently but once I commited to once a week the website traffic increased.
Liz: I work solo so not on a schedule.
Lori: I blog 3 times a week. I started blogging because architects were always telling me how much they hated hardware (the blog used to be named I Hate Hardware). I wanted a forum to educate.

Q2: What was your biggest mistake?

Charles: I wasn’t consistent with the topics. Once I recognized what I wanted the blog’s purpose to be the topics became easier. I also bought Google ad words.
David: I learned the hard way in order to increase traffic posting consistently and including photos with every post was key. Also I added share buttons so people could easily tweet or post.
Liz: Most people use mobile devices to read blogs and the link from my website to the blog didn’t look good. I also used Go Daddy and had spam galore. Migrated to Word Press which has helped control the spam.
Lori: The marketing division of the company I work for felt I was a “rouge marketer” and was very concerned. Now they get it.

Q3: How do you find quality content?

Charles: When you know the audience you want to attract, in my case, residential clients, write about what would be of interest to them. I schedule content up to a year out. If I am out of the office I use a pictorial post to help mix it up.
David: Answering client’s questions: promoting ideas; what I am reading currently.
Liz: Experiences working with architects; reading material.
Lori: Questions from customers; architects; AHJs; etc. I take lots of photos of doors and hardware when I travel.

Q4: What blogs do you follow?

Charles: EntreArchitect; Energy Vanguard; Life of an Architect
David: Any blogs my clients have. I also promote those.
Liz: Oh By The Way; Sheldon Wolfe (who has 2 blogs); Ron Gerren
Lori: Fire Engineering and hopefully soon Hager Companies & any other manufacture who starts blogging.
Eric: Construction Marketing; Marketing to Architects

Q5: How has the blog helped you?

Charles: Established as a thought leader in the community; building a network.
David: Building recognition; Tech Tips
Liz: SEO way up; more phone calls; better writer; better thinker; meeting new people.

Q6: What do you want this audience to take away?

Charles: Make it fun for you and that will be conveyed to your audience.
David: Just do it.
Liz: Do it in your own voice.
Lori: Share you passion and include a little of yourself. Promote conversation.

On September 10th at 10:30 am in Room 360 the 2014 CONSTRUCT Blogger’s Panel will be held. More industry members have joined social media and are blogging, including Hager Companies. It will be a fun and informative conversation that you won’t want to miss! And don’t forget to stop by Booth 349 and say hello to the Hager team.