Tag Archives: blogs

I Have an Urgent Blog Post, But You Can’t See It

Sometimes we forget the power of the headline, the grabber, the opener, the hook. Our message is important enough to be passionately shared with passerby’s. Somehow we have to get the attention, today’s scarcest resource, of our prospect before they go on with their busy day. And if you are lucky enough to receive attention-offering-bystanders, will it be worth their time to read your message? Is it for a decent cause? Can it change their life? Do you call people to action? Will they feel better after they’ve acted? Will you still have your self respect?

Watch this and reflect…

Advertisements

Blogs vs Websites = Conversations vs. Brochures

When someone develops a blog, they develop a conversation. A website, in the traditional sense, is not a conversation, but rather a brochure or a kiosk of offerings. When one shifts from a website-centric relationship with their customers to a blog-centric relationship, one stops doing a presentation and starts having a conversation. This is a key point. Not only do blogs get ranked higher via Google’s, Yahoo’s, and Microsoft Network’s search engines because they keep content fresh. Blogs give your customers a sense there is a living, breathing human force behind whatever offering you might be offering. This has extremely reassuring benefits, and if you encourage your customers to comment on your blog, many times, you can stand back and watch your customers duke out what it is that has been discussed in a particular blog post, and you can comment every once in a while. Very successful blogs have hundreds of comments per post. It is a live channel between you and your customers.

This is an asset, your customer’s input, that is priceless.

New Media and Your Career

With all the new media tools at our disposal, one of the most frequent questions I get asked is, how can I use this new media to serve my career objectives? I say, how do you organize and re-orient your career objectives to be served by new media. You have to think fundamentally different about a career moving forward. You have to be thinking like a media outlet — we are all marketers now, we are all sales people now, we are all producers, we are all visual artists, we are all videographers, we are all copyrighters.

You need to think of yourself in terms of the way a customer will find you. In the past it may have been the yellowpages. Today it is Google. Not only that, but once found, can you serve an increasingly mobile, interconnected world and meet it’s needs?

Now, Google delivers information most people use when they want to find out more about almost anything. In fact, if you get a resume into somebody’s hands, more often than not they will Google your name if you are being considered. So how do you control what people see on Google?

Blogs are the current best way. Blogs are becoming the new, best CMS (content management system) out there. They are not only a conversation with customers, i.e. customer service, they are also great at database building, video streaming, audio podcasting, etc. In other words, your channel!

How do you serve this channel? Build a business which is built for this model and you’ll be on the right track. Structure your job search as if it is a conversation on television. But don’t do this halfheartedly. Dangling a blog on a current business and returning to business as usual is not what we are talking about.

Here is an example of a traditional business/profession which has retooled to be a new media version of itself.

Once you catch this kind of vision, it will be difficult to go back to doing things that don’t look like a channel.

Burning Business Barracks for Deliverance.

Last night I had the opportunity to address two different business classes at Western Connecticut State University. My agenda for the evening was to get them to think in different ways about business possibilities in their future. More than half expressed interest in doing business as an entrepreneur. Nobody had a blog. Nobody had a podcast. A few had a Youtube channel. Everybody had a Facebook account. Many were afraid of the lack of privacy online, many accepted it. I tried to convince the students, and you know who you are, to think of themselves as a “media channel”, as the banner of this blog declares. People are going to dial you up, select your channel…Google you…and what are they going to find? An expert business person’s channel I hope.

How are you going to program your channel to distinguish yourself from others in the business world. Broadcasting yoru business expertise is the future. Controlling how you do that is the challenge. Changing basic assumptions about doing business is required. Moving out of comfort zones is necessary. Living with a high degree of uncertainty is required but the rewards are unprecedented in the history of business.

To get a metaphor meaty enough to drive the point home, I related the story of the rescue of the POWs from Los Banos, Phillipines during World War II, focusing on the reluctance many POW’s in Los Banos to leave their wreched hell-hole of a camp even when all the guards were killed and our troops had landing craft ready and waiting to take them to freedom. Most of the 2,000 American civilian POW’s weighed 100 pounds or less when the marines, airmen, and soldiers arrived to rescue them. Many POW’s had to be forcibly removed from the camp. Their comfort zone and disorientation was such that the army had to burn the camp down from back to front to get them to leave through the front gate towards awaiting landing craft. (BTW, if you get a chance to see the History Channel’s documentary about the Raid at Los Banos, don’t miss it. Details are here.)

What baffled me was how reluctant the POW’s were to be rescued in a timely manner after years of hoping and praying for deliverance. Hoping for deliverance is one thing, it turns out. Actually being delivered is entirely another. The history at Los Banos teaches once again that we prefer the misery we know to the unknown, however promising.

My hope for the students last night was to show them a way out of the barracks of old business before market forces burn them out the exit, to give them a sense of rescue, direction, and deliverance from the assumptions underlying many of their career paths.

I offer here a recap for those who wish to review, and for those who wish to pass along the word that the barracks are burning. I’ll just point to the links: (these are videos, summaries, and blurb links so you can scan and get to the point quickly)

– For a deconstruction of the television industrial complex which underlies many business assumptions – Seth Godin

– For a controversial take on 21st century economics – read version 3.0 of The World is Flat, by Thomas Friedman.

– For Peer to Peer micro-economics see “here comes the p2p economy” by Stan Stalnaker

– For the “why” P2P microeconomics is possible and why niche markets are going to change everything, see The Long Tail, by Chris Anderson (also see this video for Anderson’s latest barn burner idea)

– For somenone who implemented extremely unique business modeling using P2P, Long Tail, World is Flat thinking, The Four Hour Work Week, by Tim Ferriss.

– For a head’s up on how to navigate the globalized commodification of business, A Whole New Mind, by Daniel Pink (watch all the little clips on “related video” side bar.)

TOOLS:

squidoo.com, digg.com, facebook.com, technorati.com, stumbleupon.com, de.lic.ous.us, twitter, youtube, myspace, etc. Pick one and have some fun building a list of friend who might someday be your customers.

http://www.elance.com the ebay of freelancers. Business plans for 300.00 done by top MBA’s, in India.

http://www.nichebot.com for finding out what everybody is searching for on Google, Yahoo, MSN

http://www.tubemogul.com for uploading videos to top ten sites simultaneously.

http://www.InternetBusinessMastery.com for info and podcasts about two entrepreneurs going from nothing to automated business status in under 2 years in Web. 2.0 Marketing

http://www.wordpress.com to start your blog

http://www.copyblogger for Brian Clark’s unsurpassed take on copywriting and it’s ability to influence blog traffic.

http://www.PodcastingUnderground.com, all things podcasting

– iTunes for getting business podcasts for free that teach you almost anything now, that would otherwise take two years to get into a text book.

Steve Pavlina’s “how to make money from your blog” post for a comprehensive list of ways to do just that.

Tom Peter’s Blog for break-the-mold thinking about your future in business. (click on Brand You in the categories list)

A review of these resources will jar you out of many assumptions about business as usual. This should be required reading for all business majors, IMHO. This is an amazing time to be alive. The dynamics of economics are changing in exciting ways. New business models are enabled by the interconnectivity, creativity, and innovation all around us. This is an abundant age, with extremly abundant opportunities.

To quote Tim Ferriss, who’s quoting somebody else, “the future is here, it’s just not widely distributed yet.”

The above will get you on the road to coming to terms with leaving the old habitations and getting on with the exhilaration and freedom from the industrial age and information age thinking.

Let me know if I’ve left anything out.

The three year technology lag

Back in 1999 we used to call software that ran off the internet “browser-based” software and all other, which was most of, software was packaged and sitting on the shelf of CompUSA.  The packaged software industry is essential gone. Today everything is browser based; Google, Yahoo, eBay, Netflix, etc. Applications are everywhere on the web. Back in 1999 this was predicted to happen by 2002. Which is why the internet bubble burst. The promise of everything being on the internet drove stock prices through the roof, and then everyone realized it wasn’t going to happen soon enough to give a quick return on investment.

Here we are in 2008 and it is just getting mainstream. Quite a lag.

But we shouldn’t be surprised.

In the 1990’s I was with a company which sold software to schools. We built our software for the lag. For instance, in 1999 the software we wrote for schools had to be based on 1996 computers and operating systems, because the upgrade cycle was always three years behind. Using that as a benchmark for today, most of the population is in an early 2005 mode. They don’t use blogs, but are about to. They don’t post to YouTube. They don’t have a sense of podcasts. It is still the day of the early adopters and the earlier adopters have had it going or about 2-3 years as far as the social media Web 2.0 thing.

The tortoise and the hare story comes to mind. Which character didn’t get intimitaded by the lag?

SEO Infinite Suggestions

SEO is a field not short on info overload. I’ve just sat down to do research on SEO for this blog. Three hours later I’ve come to this conclusion: I’m doing it all wrong, and if I’m doing it right, I’ll have no life.

So to do it right, this is what I’ve learned:

• Get a real domain name and host a wordpress blog on that domain. Why? Better search engine rankings. Don’t do what I’m doing here, ie letting wordpress.com host the blog.

• Start a podcast to point people to your blog. Register the podcast with all the directories. Point them back to your site.

• Start a squidoo, wikipedia, guru.com page and point people to your blog. Why? To become known as the expert in your field

• Create a video about your blog and post it through TubeMogul to at least 12 video hosting sites. Make sure the blog is mentioned and it’s URL is prominent in the video

• Log onto Youtube, Myspace, Facebook, etc., from three different computers and start a conversation about your blog in the forums, comment pages,  etc.

• Use social bookmarking pages to point people to your site. Digg, del.ic.ous, stumbleupon, etc.
• Write and register your blog posts in article directories to drive traffic from those directories back to your website.

• Do not start a website, rather start a blog, give away content for free and charge for speaking engagements and forgoe the headache of a blog.

• Create a membership site to which you can re-route the subscribers to your blog via a newsletter. Think about the next three products you will market to the members and start creating them now.

• Fire your PR firm and get the traffic yourself by doing all the above.

I’m drifting a little here. The choices are bewildering. I’m looking for clear sources to help focus my efforts in a helpful, focused way.

To be continued…