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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Social Media

This will probably be the rage for all the leading edge marketers this year. And the truth of the matter is that Duct Tape Marketing, John Jantsch is one of them. Even though the basic principles of DTM our sound for any company. The tools change on how to use them. Where we once we carved things in stone, now we are wireless. And more and more of us are going there. Even though people are still buying things carved in stone, we must be always changing an dmoving forward. DTM is on the front of the curve thanks to John Jantsch. Though it does not enable us to see the future, it does make it much easier for us to recommend certain courses of action.

John posted this list several weeks ago in his blog and it is a good guide to review. You will hear about them all year, I promise..

John also said: "Social networks are something that I believe small business folks should tap. Some offer small businesses more than others, but you’ve got to get in there and find ways to use these growing resources. One of the ways to get started or more involved is to connect with people you know and trust. Here’s a list of the social networks that I use the most and links to each that will allow you to follow, friend and connect with what I’m doing on each. Check them out and connect with me if you wish."

LinkedIn - Business networking
StumbleUpon - Web site sharing
Flikr - Photo sharing
Slideshare - Slide presentation sharing
delicious - Bookmark sharing
Facebook - Social networking
Twitter - Micro blogging
Workbench - Duct Tape Marketing community
YouTube - Video sharing
Digg - News sharing

These are some cool tools to play with. Review them all but my advice is to take one or two and stay with it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New Links, Getting Google to index them

The Internet is a strange animal or maybe it is just STRANGE TO ME. But trying to make sense out of this, I found a couple important domains that fit into my marketing plans and purchased them. Now, what do links do for me! I am not quite sure but I do think when you type a search and you actually have a website, lets say or maybe good things might happen.

I even recently purchased Which being an Authorized Duct Tape Marketing Coach and a consultant for The One Page Business Plan makes sense for me. But does it everyone. Not at all.

What you might do:

  1. Find your target market
  2. Differentiate
  3. Buy a couple of domains pertaining to 1 and 2.
  4. Go to Go Daddy, their only $10.
  5. Redirect them to the most similar page of your website.
  6. Add some content on that page, to resemble the domains you purchased.
  7. Add the links in a blog or newsletter to get Google to index them?

Simple Marketing Idea?

Coaching Excellence Series

Clear, Concise and to the point, Check out the Coaching Excellence Series, worth your time.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Surveys, Automation, Your Weekend

The most recent one, I received...Look it is from the CEO of Marriott! Quite impressive.

Dear Joseph Dager:

We recently invited you to participate in our guest survey. If you have already completed the survey, thank you and please accept our apology for the additional e-mail.If you have not completed the survey, we invite you to participate in our guest survey about your experience at Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza beginning January 16, 2008.To access the guest survey, click here.If your e-mail program does not support links, type into your browser and enter the following password: ........ By completing this survey, you may be contacted by the hotel to help improve the quality of service provided. We sincerely thank you for sharing your opinions as we continue to do our best to make each stay enjoyable.

J.W. Marriott, Jr.Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Marriott International, Inc.

I have stayed at 2 Marriotts this month and have receive around 4 request or so to complete a survey. I finally did it and it never ended, I must have went through 10 pages. All I really wanted to do was to tell them I thought for what I was paying for the rooms I should get free Internet access! They wore me down. I could never find the spot to tell them. The service, the rooms, the everything was great. I just wanted to tell them one thing.

It was like calling the automated service at Verizon Fios. I took my Fios bill called the service number on the bill and waited 15 minutes because all service representatives were busy. When I got thru they told me they did not handle Fios and switched me to the correct automated system. I waited 15 minutes and following the next set of instructions, I made a mistake and hit the wrong number. I started over and....

I talked to Salesgenie today about an option that I needs to be included for my business. It may be the deciding factor on whether I renew for the upcoming year. My service Rep is working on it but he tells me to go online and fill out the request form online and it may help! I question, are they listening to him or will the online form make more impact. He is a good service rep so, I am thinking maybe he knows something I don't!

How did your automation go this weekend!

Friday, January 25, 2008

It's minus 5 degrees in Fort Wayne

I started my computer today and intended to start blogging right away. Uck, it was minus 1 degree. Anyway, I fixed a pot of coffee and put on my Detroit Tiger baseball cap, part of my blogging attire and UCK, it is minus 5 degrees. What sensible person is going to work in this weather?

Well the bottom line is we do work. But why do we make it difficult! There are problems enough created by our outside environment why add to them. I read a book that never really became mainstreamed by Mahan Khalsa. "Let's Get Real or Let's not Play that went right to the juggler. It is what I would call the "Discovery" stage with a client. Let's find out now if we are a match and if not lets move on. The book was promoted as a tool to help clients succeed but the message I received from it was spend time on discovery, making sure that you and your company our a good match with your client. Dissimilar cultures rarely succeed.

What happens when you find yourself in a dissimilar culture. The work is difficult, the client is not happy, your not happy and it becomes well "work." Is that what we are looking for?

Why is it -5 where I am at?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Something about Blogs?

Once I became a Duct Tape Marketing Coach, needless to say, I was indoctrinated into the world of blogging. Joh Jantsch's blog is a favorite of Small Business and is critically acclaimed by Forbes and others. Though I first blogged several years ago, this year will be me first in truly being a blogger. As I have started to develop my blogging world others have joined and started sending me blogs of others. But one trait that I think John has beat into me about is meant to be a newsletter as much as a diary. It is for people to really learn about who you are and whether they can connect with you or not. They need to leave your personality show. I was forwarded two blogs this week that read like a text book. I am not sure that is what blogging is about! I encourage you subscribe to John Jantsch blog, and Seth Godin's blog, These are my two favorite. And if you are interesting in blogging, why not read the best.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

2 free learning opportunites for you this week

Meatballs with Seth Godin
On Tuesday, January 22 at 2pm ET, I will join NY Times bestselling author, Seth Godin, along with Chris Anderson, and Tim Ferriss for a panel discussion focused on helping you discover the one thing that will make or break your marketing efforts this year. Register details here

Social Networking with Jigsaw
John Jantsch is presenting a free webinar next week put together by the folks at Jigsaw - an online directory for business contact and company information built by members titled: "Getting Social - Leveraging New Media Tools in Marketing" on January30, 2008 at 10:00 am - 11:00 am PST. Register details here

I thought these 2 opportunities may be interesting, join us.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

SEO Optimization, How important?

I just attended a seminar at the Atlanta Merchandise Mart were over 300 retailers attended. The seminar though on Website Marketing turned into a complete discussion about SEO and building links. Good links, bad links and so forth. I disagree. I think if you want to drive traffic to your website spend time building content. The better the content the more people will link to you the more customers will want to come to your website and on and on.

I read a while ago that something like 60% of the people that visit your website was looking for it in the first place. That number may be even higher. If 60% of the people on your website are already looking for you make sure that you design your website based on taking care of them. I would think the number that may be more important is the number pages visited and the time spent on your website versus the number of visits.

Look at the content here..

Friday, January 11, 2008

There is joy in work!

Henry Ford said; " "There is joy in work. There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something. "

In performance planning would it not make sense to let people know when they accomplished something, even leaving ourselves know. I challenge people to set milestones for themselves this coming year and maybe more importantly tell people about them. You have all heard committing your goals to writing but I think more importantly you must communicate them clearly and precisely to others. By doing this the steps will become much clearer and you will start finding joy in not only the accomplishment but the process of getting there.

How does all this relate to marketing? Do we need to have a direct response ad for everything? The correlation I bring to marketing is the more targeted we are, the more vivid picture we can paint on how to get there. If you pick your best customer/client and this is not necessarily your largest. It may just simply be the one that you enjoy working with the most. But think of the steps on how you acquired them. Can you repeat that in a systematic way? Ok, maybe not, but it is a start. Try it with a few more and see where you end up.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Can you build your business on 30% Market Share?

I am not what you call a political junkie but I do watch the primaries and have been somewhat taken back on how a winner is determined. It seems that since Edwards has only garnered 30% of the vote, he is seriously in trouble. The other "leaders" have averaged around 33%. They are the winners?

I always remembered Jack Trout writing in "The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing" that if you are not #1 or #2 in the Market, create a new market. Jack Welch just got out, he knew when to quit*. Where am I going with this? At the start of the new year, I think all of us need to re-think our position in the market place and

  • Understand our target market?
  • What we have to offer to them?
  • Can we survive doing that?

Remember, John Edwards, may not survive at 30% market share!

*Knowing when to quit is expertly described in Seth Godin's book The Dip

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Steroid vs. a plan?

In the last year some of the top athletes in their sport were Marion Jones, Justin Gatlin, Chris Benoit, Roger Clemens, Shawne Merriman, Rodney Harrison, etc. The 1990's saw baseball popularity skyrocket with Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds chasing the home run records. The list can go on and on. It's all old news but we still support steroid use. Think of the return of the America Gladiator! -derived from Athletes Acceleration ezine
But luckily, us in business know better. Case in point, best selling books on Amazon, 4-hour Workweek & The Secret to mention a few, may be our steroid. But as I read the Staples Survey, a previous blog on the amount of time we work, what are we chasing? Is the "Idea of the Week" our steroid for a quick fix?
As a coach/consultant, this is disturbing and frustrating, but it also motivates me. I need to work harder to get the message across to my clients. There is no instant success or any shortcuts. It takes hard work and clients that trust you. It takes me practicing what I preach. My first hand knowledge demonstrates to my customer that I know what I am talking about. Been there, done that is not a 2nd hand term. I need to work on my MARKETING PLAN A BIT MORE!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

What is growth?

"What is Growth?
You must grow as a company to be successful, right? I have always said that and I think it has many times been mis-interpreted. Does growth mean getting bigger or even just increasing sales? Not according to me. My idea of business growth is much like maturing as an individual. Let me explain:
It's about making business easier.
It's about not accepting every job.
It's about working on what you do well.
It's about enjoying what you doing.
It's about people knowing their jobs so work seems seamless.
It's about having a posted note next to something that allows anyone to understand what to do.
It's about others being able to do others jobs and do it well.
It's about understanding how to get there.
It's about being efficient without even thinking about it.
It's about sleeping well.
It's about a lot of stuff becoming easy!
I would enjoy seeing a few more things on this list, care to add some?"

Friday, January 4, 2008

Staples Survey

January 05
Staples Survey
It does say that it is not a bed of roses for a small business owner. Also, I read an interesting statistic the other day: There is more people starting a business in the U.S. than are getting married. Is marriage this tough?

Thursday, Jan. 3 2008
Staples Small-Business Survey Reveals People are Constantly Working, Even While They Sleep FRAMINGHAM, Mass., Jan 03, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE)--More small-business owners and managers are working harder than ever to make their business dreams come true... even while they sleep. According to the 2nd Annual Staples National Small-Business Survey (NASDAQ: SPLS), more than half of small-business professionals said that work has actually become part of their dreams. Fifty-one percent of those surveyed said that they "sleepwork" (i.e. dream about work), and nearly 70 percent of those "sleepworkers" report they wake up and put their "work dreams" to action. The survey also revealed that 98 percent of U.S. small-business owners and managers are working during their time off - including nights, weekends and vacations - and nearly 54 percent expect to work even harder in 2008. "Our customers often tell us there just aren't enough hours in the day, so it's understandable that business activity is invading sleep time," said John Giusti, vice president of small business marketing at Staples. "At Staples, we work hard to make sure it is easy for small businesses to buy office products, helping them focus their time and energy on running their businesses - and hopefully to get a good night's sleep." Other interesting results include: --The car remains a favorite place to work, with 72 percent saying they make business calls while driving and nearly 40 percent saying they get their best ideas behind the wheel. --Slightly more than 38 percent cannot remember the last time they took a vacation. --If given a choice, nearly 52 percent said they would accept comparable business results in 2008 if they could have twice as much free time, while 48 percent said they would work even more hours if they could double their company's sales. --More than 84 percent said they have not yet incorporated "new media" (blogs, podcasts, virtual meeting software or services) into their business activities. --Fifty-two percent make New Year's resolutions for their business. Of those, 58 percent said they resolve to increase business, while only 21 percent said they want more time off. Thirty-five percent said they want to increase profits/eliminate debt. The Internet poll - which surveyed 300+ small businesses with no more than 20 employees - explored what is causing the insatiable need to work, as well as the obstacles preventing these hard-working Americans from enjoying their free time afforded by previous generations. The results revealed organization and teamwork are the top factors why owners and managers are working so many hours. Nearly 70 percent admitted they do not have a written business plan. Almost three-quarters consider themselves organized, but only 33 percent said they complete the tasks on their "to-do" list each day. Slightly more than two-thirds said they feel constantly challenged by not having enough time to get work done and nearly 44 percent said customer fulfillment takes up the majority of their time while at work.
Joe, Business901