Recently I was contacted by someone from the Intuit GoPayment blog about a personal blog post I had written on their mobile payment service. Check out the post here. I was told that they enjoyed the post and was offered an opportunity to give an interview about how I use Gopayment at my micro business. Of course I said, no problem, thinking this could be a great cross promotional opportunity for our business and provide a chance to drive some traffic to our website and blog. Maybe it would even be an opportunity to get some local promotions started and show our customers that we were featured on a reputable small business blog run by Intuit, a great talking and selling point.
They called the following day to conduct the interview which, even being nervous, I thought went very well. I was excited, as a micro business owner, to have a chance to be spotlighted on the GoPayment blog and be recognized for good service. I love the service that GoPayment provides and have been very happy with Intuit for years, having used Quickbooks and Quicken for some time.
I was told that the post would go up in a few weeks, that I would be contacted for any extra information that they may need, and that I would be emailed the interview when it was ready to be posted (I assumed for proofreading purposes, but you know what happens when you assume).
So I waited a couple weeks, checking my inbox and spam religiously because I was excited for the opportunity and wanted to tweet it, post it, do anything I could to get it out and show people the blog and the featured post about our sheet metal fabrication shop, once it was published.
Honestly, this was the first time we ever had an opportunity like this. I've never done an interview before and this, even though just a "blog", was a great thing for a micro business like ours. When I say micro, I mean micro. There are just two of us, my father and I, who fabricate sheet metal locally and also install residential forced air heating and cooling systems. This was a big deal for me, my father and the company as a whole.
Fast forward to today.
I have not heard anything about the post from any one and I figured that maybe the interview went worse than I originally projected.
"We've been axed; we didn't make the cut", I thought to myself.
I decided to give the blog a check just in case. They wouldn't just publish the post without letting me know would they? I had been told I would receive an email when the blog was updated with our feature post.
To my surprise....there we were. It was a little strange at first glance, like OK, I had been told I would get an email, but the post is still up and this is a good thing. Time to read it, tweet it, blog about it, and call the family to go online and give it a look.
But then, to my surprise, again.....I'm pretty sure my last name is Raymond, not Reynolds. I take out my license to give it a look. Yup, Raymond. Not good, there is only one other thing that would be worse than getting the last name of a FAMILY business wrong and that would be the actual name of the company. Now my temperature's starting to rise at this mistake. The picture posted was taken from our website without permission and is at least 10 years old, agreed I need an update, but I thought they would at least ask me if they needed images to display. Not to mention that the other photo in the post is a stock picture of flat steel coils. We are a micro business, the post specifies this and the fact that our "rivals" or competition are larger businesses - THEY use giant coils of flat steel to produce their product. We do not.
So as you might imagine I was just a little upset because one would assume (there's that word again) that a "professional" blog or blogger would proofread their work for inaccuracies before clicking the publish button. One would think.
To be fair, the post was not all bad and aside from these issues I would not have had a problem. However, when you take the photo straight from our "about us" page where our names are clearly written and could have been copy and pasted, the issue becomes bigger in my mind and screams lack of caring for your own work.
Obviously my naivete got the best of me and I will chalk this up to a learning experience for future use. Honestly, I am disappointed in the lack of care that is put forth by individuals today and corporate America in general. My work day is based on making sure our customer service is top notch in order to retain the small number of customers we have. A local business must concentrate on doing a great job the first time so they get the referral call from a brother, sister, aunt or grandfather of the original customer. Word of mouth, it's what we do best.
Big business should take a cue and focus more on this, and make sure that any work subbed out is done professionally and correct because it comes back looking bad on the parent company. In this case Intuit.
After this fiasco I would have been happy with only a re tweet of my original post or just a link to our blog or website. I will surely be more proactive if this type of opportunity comes our way in the future.