The Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs and I go way back. Several years ago, I went to talk to the BCE director about turning my occasional freelance writing and editing work into a business and left with a new client, the BCE.

Now self-employed, my work is dominated by web content maintenance for clients in other states and other towns. However, at heart I am a dedicated Bluffton booster. As part of this mission, I will be coaching Bluffton businesses and organizations on how to improve their online visibility through search engines, Google+ pages, the online Yellow Pages, Facebook and more. The BCE will be hosting these hands-on workshops at their new location, 110 S. Main St. (in the Citizens National Bank building).

If you’ve ever travelled along a quiet stretch of interstate, wishing for a convenient place to grab lunch or stretch your legs, wouldn’t a town like Bluffton be just right? Just a 2-minute detour off I-75, we’ve got what it takes to wow business travelers, snow birds and our neighbors from Findlay, Lima, and beyond.

That makes visibility on smart phones and portable devices of vital interest to Bluffton. Sure, a Bluffton billboard is something we need, but why not also take advantage of the electronic version in so many hands? Easy online access is also great for local residents who want to know your hours or phone number.

I’ll be helping individuals learn the ins and outs of claiming listings, adding logos and other branding, and keeping an eye on how Bluffton looks through this digital lens. Because there are so many sites out there, we’ll focus on the most popular and compare how a business appears across several locations.

At the same time, participants will be giving each other feedback and sharing ideas. It’s easy to become a little blind and a little stale about our own websites and social media. These workshops will be a great time to reignite your interest in online marketing and compare notes with your neighbors. Our combined efforts will be so much stronger than working alone.

Each session will accommodate 3-4 individuals. To participate, you will need basic web browsing skills and a computer with Wi-Fi capabilities. To make the most of the workshop, bring passwords and user names so that you can claim your listings more easily. Logo and photo files are also recommended.

The first workshops will be offered in January 2016. The cost will be $20 per person. Sign up at Doodle. If you can’t make one of the listed dates but would like to participate in a future event, or have questions or ideas about boosting Bluffton, drop me a line at