cartoon via gapingvoid.com
As a business owner or an entrepreneur in the digital age you can’t afford not to be extremely familiar with certain trends in modern marketing.
If you are too busy or want to put it off in order to handle more pseudo-important things regarding your business, at least hire someone who is knowledgeable of current marketing and communication trends.
Think of it as -Ok this is something I know I have to get busy with but I don't have the time, but it needs to be addressed.
Your options are simple: Take the time to learn or pay for the work, or both! I've seen business owners embrace digital marketing from both ends and in all instances it has been a smart decision.
But if your current marketing person does not have a basic knowledge of:
- How to work with CMSs like Wordpress or Joomla.
- How search works.
- How to do keyword research.
- The role of Design as an element of marketing function.
- How to generate effective landing pages that convert.
- Position your business unique value proposition via relevant content on the web.
- Basic copywriting.
- How to manage your social media presence while relevantly continuing to develop your social graph.
- Be familiar in a practical way with Social Channels and how they apply to your business.
- Implement and manage your content marketing strategy via your blog/site.
- Understand Paid search and how it applies to your business.
- Have a good understanding of email marketing.
… your are basically wasting your money, and what’s infinitely worse, your time.
Now if your marketing person has been pestering you about these things or has shown interest or is vaguely familiar with these trends you should invest in their education and growth in digital. It will be the best investment you ever made!
Same goes for your PR agent, but with a slightly different twist, that will be my next post.
As a business owner, you have the following absolute tasks to be hands on:
- Establish a basic vision for your company
- Scout talent that can help you innovate (but the driver must be you)
- Be the best marketer of your business
I know “Only a Sith deals in absolutes” ~Obi-Wan … but in this case I'm ready for a debate!
See you out there :-)
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I read everything that comes my way, for different reasons, but I read nevertheless, always have. I remember when I was about nine or ten years old my old man told me that,
-when you read a book always keep in mind that you are reading someone else’s thoughts, and that these thoughts carry a frequency, a force that can influence your thoughts as well. Sometimes these thoughts, theories and processes are good, but sometimes they are not. So beware of this and read dispassionately and objectively, and choose very careful how and when to let yourself be carried away by someone’s view of the world.
That advice has served me well over the years. Since then I’ve read many books, articles, studies, blogs and I always keep his advice front and center. It’s a habit already, but one that has affected my professional life immensely. It is about one of these examples that I wanted to make reference to in this post.
So what book Am I referring to and how did it add to my bottom line and that of my clients?
The book is “Trust Agents” by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith
I paid Chris $24.95 USD when I bought “Trust Agents”, and another $47 USD for now the fourth or fifth monthly payments at “Third Tribe”. I recently joined Third Tribe for the simple reason that I don’t resonate with the other two tribes. Read the story behind that if you are interested.
Moving on! I’ve paid him up to date a total of about $213.00 all in!
Since then I’ve made that many times over by applying what I’ve learned from reading his blog over the years, his book, and a few tips here and there from Third Tribe.
But here’s the catch! I don’t know how you read certain books, but I do so with a yellow pad, marker, and pen. I read critically, identifying central ideas and looking to extrapolate and frame concepts on to existing models and beyond. It’s a habit already, so I don’t consider it work in the way of effort.
So here is how I’ve turned his advice into money!
There is a Chapter in Trust Agents titled “The Archimedes Effect” in that chapter there is a section“Things to Stop and Things to Start” . Within that section there is subsection titled,“Stop Telling Everyone about Your New Thing” and another one titled\Start Looking at Prefab Solutions like Word Press and Drupal”
Here’s in an excerpt:
Telling one person at a time won’t make a difference. Your project must be sticky and spreadable, all at once.
On the surface, how counter-intuitive is that piece of advice? To stop telling everyone about your new thing …
Or is it?
"I’d be a douche to argue that technically that advice wasn’t new to me … but it wouldn’t be true, my light bulb only went on because of the way he framed it!
Whether you apply it to your own business or you are advising someone, that piece of knowledge could be a major shift in core moves! It’s a huge leap in thinking, not to mention structure!
Think about it for a second. Is not so much “stop telling everyone about your new thing” as much as “stop telling everyone about your new thing in such a repetitive, selfish, uncreative and inhuman way!”
So how do you not do that if that’s all you know how to do? So yes, there’s work to do!
Now here’s the other example, for that project to be “sticky and spreadable”which I interpreted as finding your niche first, tell a human story and make it scale. You will require some strategy and some very basic social-geek skills! Do you see where I’m going with this?
Next, I identified a couple of scenarios where this approach could be implemented and then wire-framed a strategy around the need. One, for the company I’m currently embedded in, and another for a company I had recently started to do consulting work for, as far as how their biz model and Social Media could best integrate. I went on to prepare two very brief presentations with proposals followed by brief conversations on the topic with the decision makers.
Both companies needed to upgrade their site from static hubs of nothingness, to sharing and digital publishing platforms of service, insight and value to their clients. I could do that for them!
One of the company’s idea of marketing was to relentlessly talk about their awesome service, with no feedback process in place, and of course direct mail.
The other company felt it didn’t need to implement the necessary social elements to do what they do best because of a misguided notion of who their client really was. A costly decision in today’s digital driven economy.
Results: One client went with the full proposal as presented. The other decided to redesign their site and will consider blogging in the very short term… Not bad!
It wasn’t the work proposed that got me the gigs, it was the message that the overall package was wrapped in.
None of these examples where new relationships … so yes I’d deliver for them in the past, but I don’t think had they been new prospects that the outcome would’ve been any different. I know that’s hard to forecast but if you keep the message in your proposal tight, you have a much better chance to close the deal and create value for everyone.
Write notes and keep them organized and handy. I have no less than15 yellow pads and Evernote sticky pads full of these kind of examples, notes, diagrams, mind maps, personal thoughts from books, blogs and anything that I can get my hands on. This process I feel, helps me “find a better way” to do my thing.
To Chris and Julien I say -Thank you!
To you, I say that no one is going to give it to you, and there is no secret sauce other than to try new things, keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to fall on your face!
Could this work for you as well?
Widgets & Plugins serve specific needs. They are designed to facilitate purpose in design via functionality, So should we!
How much simpler would the description and raison d’etre of you or your business would be if it was as specific and simple to use as a widget or plugin?
I realize that many people operate brilliantly across multiple domains, but at the point of contact I don’t need to know this … all I need is a very simple and effective description of how you can help me to solve a particular problem!
As soon as I find out what you do and if I’m interested then I’ll reach out. So in every digital platform that you inhabit simply and humanly state what you do and provide access to a hub where I can now find out more.
If you read the basic info provided for plugins just before you download them, you’d notice right away that in less that 50 words you’ll know whether you need it or not! We should be as succinct as that!
I guess my point is, be specific, solve a problem, dig for solutions!
I thought this list was awesome, here’s the original link to the post.
Top WordPress Plugins 2009 | Business 2.0 Press.
In addition here are some other very useful plugins I think can make the cut …
-Word Press video plugin
-Facebook Like box
-WPtouch iphone theme
I must warn you though, you can spend hours collecting, testing and looking into plugins, trust me your productivity will suffer On the other hand, you’ll be slightly ahead as far as which new and not so new of these crafty tools can max out your blogs’ or sites’ functionality … Enjoy!