Marriage And Business: A Love Letter

Marriage And Business: A Love Letter

Listen to this episode. http://traffic.libsyn.com/websearchsocial/0094-blog-marriage-and-business-a-love-letter.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download | EmbedSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSListen to previous episodes on Stitcher, iTunes or Libsyn. Today is Word Carnival day, that once-monthly event where a bunch of business bloggers get together to write on a theme. This month’s topic: the secret to my success. Rather than talk about tools or tricks or mindsets or practices, I decided to have a little fun and turn this into a love letter because there really is only one thing I can’t live without: my business partner, husband and love of my life. I hope you know someone like this, too, because you really can’t succeed alone. Dear Ralph, We’ve been doing this working together thing for sixteen years now – married for only two more than that – and other than the gross leftover coffee sludge that you occasionally leave to grow mold on your desk, it’s been a pretty good ride. Oh heck, who am I kidding? It’s been fantastic. And horrible. I’ve loved every second of it. Except for the ones I’ve hated. You’ve been my biggest cheerleader and my worst critic. You keep me going and you make me want to quit and run off to a remote mountaintop in Tibet. And if it weren’t for you, I would not be here today. Having you on my team in every way is the secret to my happiness and business success. (And more… but let’s stay focused. Besides, a few of our readers may be yelling at us to get a room soon.) Since I first saw you standing...
Put Some Fun Into Your Day: Your Business Depends On It

Put Some Fun Into Your Day: Your Business Depends On It

Listen to this episode.http://traffic.libsyn.com/websearchsocial/0037-blog-put-some-fun-into-your-day-your-business-depends-on-it.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download | EmbedSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSListen to previous episodes on Stitcher, iTunes or Libsyn. It’s Thanksgiving Week Here In The U.S. That means if you’re not planning the turkey or cooking the turkey then you’re certainly thinking about eating the turkey – or whatever favorite Thanksgiving treat you eat enough of to put you into a weekend-long food coma. It’s one of my favorite holidays because basically it’s sanctioned gluttony without the hassle of buying gifts or attending tinsel-hung parties. It also means a four-day weekend, which is really a seven-day weekend considering the lead-up mostly revolves around thinking about the weekend. It’s in that spirit that I write this post today – for taxed brains and distracted folks everywhere, who love the lessons and insights of a good marketing post but who wouldn’t mind the occasional bit of fun. It’s also part of my Word Carnival – a monthly group blogging event where business owners get together to write on the same topic and then promote and share the heck out of each other. And this month the topic centers on “behind the scenes”. So rather than give you a lesson in my marketing processes, social media management plans or how I segment email lists (we’ll save those for January after the hangovers have worn off), today I’d like to share a little fun behind the scenes because when we’re down in the trenches of business and marketing it can be very easy to forget that there is such a thing. Today’s fun comes courtesy of my office...
Lessons In Website Redesign: What You Can Learn From Our Relaunch

Lessons In Website Redesign: What You Can Learn From Our Relaunch

Did you notice? Web.Search.Social has been reborn! I’m both proud and relieved that we’ve relaunched our site, with a new design, new content and new free resources (more on that later, stick around). And my whole team – plus a few friends and colleagues – deserve a pat on the back. I’ll get back to that in a second, too, because right now I want to share what I learned from the experience so that it can help you the next time you’re thinking of designing or redesigning your own website. It’s A Lot Of Work We’ve been building websites for 15 years and no matter how rote some things become, building a good website is still a formidable task. Sure there’s the easy stuff – doing your 5-minute WordPress install, setting up pages and posts, uploading photos, even making things look pretty nice. But then there’s everything else, from the fine details (“Is this blue too blue?”) to the big picture stuff (“Why are we doing this again?”) Content is always one of the biggest challenges. Deciding what that content should be, what it should say and how it should say it is a tremendous job. No amount of practice gives you an express ticket to great content. It takes thinking, planning, rethinking, tinkering and sometimes even starting over. And yes, we started over! Writing, rewriting, deleting and writing again. I’m guessing each page went through at least three major revisions, some from scratch. Content is that important. So when it comes time to build your site, be prepared to work. Building a website is more than the...
The Single Biggest Blunder A Business Can Make

The Single Biggest Blunder A Business Can Make

Let me start by sharing the shortest story ever. I once went to KFC and was told they were out of chicken. I was pissed. The end. The moral of the story? KFC committed the single biggest blunder a business can make. It had nothing to do with an off-color tweet, a website that wasn’t optimized for mobile, or poor customer service. It had nothing to do with a dirty tray, not enough registers being open, or watered-down soda. KFC committed the single biggest blunder a business can make because it failed to deliver on its most basic promise. Okay, there’s a little more to the story. Believe it or not, I’ve been to KFC maybe five times in my life. But my wife, who was pregnant at the time, had a craving for fried chicken. Being the good husband, I embarked on what should have been a simple journey to find some finger lickin’ good chicken. That, by the way, is one of the greatest marketing slogans of all time, which is one more reason why I was so disappointed and Colonel Sanders probably just rolled over in his grave. I wasn’t looking for something healthy or anything close to a five-star dinner. But when I go to a place with a name that’s an acronym for “Kentucky Fried Chicken,” I expect to be able to purchase some damn fried chicken. In a state of disbelief after this stunning turn of events, I continued on my mission to find fried chicken and eventually satisfied my wife’s craving, thanks to some random, hole-in-the-wall chicken joint. Now I’m not naïve....

Adapting To Customer Needs: How Triberr’s Dan Cristo Became My Man Crush

Marketing Is A Process It seems to me that one of the reasons that marketing is such a challenge for some small and medium-sized businesses is because contemporary marketing does not follow the familiar paradigm of “plan and execute.” A more accurate paradigm for current marketing is “plan, execute, engage, learn, plan more, repeat.” Today’s businesses must plan and budget for ongoing marketing in a marketplace that is always changing and often unpredictable. The key ingredient in any ongoing marketing brew is to continually monitor customer needs and adapt offerings to those needs. The Triberr Experience I recently had a great firsthand experience with a business adapting to the needs of a single customer – me. Dan Cristo and Dino Dogan are the dynamic duo co-founders of Triberr, an amplification platform for bloggers and content creators of any size. Triberr is a popular and well respected platform as a result of constant iteration that is partially driven by constant engagement with its customers. As a result, Dan, Dino and team have the relentless task of innovating for the present and future needs of bloggers – even when those bloggers don’t know what they want or need. Where Dan and Dino excel is in being in constant “input” mode. Whether they are speaking at a conference or waiting for the elevator, they are always listening to users and non-users alike and distilling that input into practical improvements for Triberr. I’ve had a number of experiences providing feedback to Triberr, but none was as inspiring as the night when I saw Triberr adapt to my personal needs right before my eyes....
3 Things Your Competitors Love To Hear You Say

3 Things Your Competitors Love To Hear You Say

I was speaking with a prospect about ghostwriting blogs for her clients. When we finally got to the topic of price, she told me her main resource for content had been charging her $15 per post. After I threw up a little in my mouth, I asked what kind of quality she got for that price, and she said, “Well, it’s just for SEO.” Translation: The quality of the content really doesn’t matter as long as the keywords are in there, and it’s okay that people find crap when they get to my website. This is obviously wrong on 528 different levels, but I’ll focus on one – namely, the fact that at least one of this consultant’s competitors, and her client’s competitors, are not living down to those pathetic standards. In fact, when competitors hear that statement, they’ll probably start doing a jig in celebration of the gift bestowed upon them. What’s unfortunate about things that put companies at a disadvantage is that, in most cases, they’re easily correctible. Actually, a competitive advantage is often gained not through superior talent, but because someone simply made the decision to be great. And someone else made the decision to accept mediocrity. There are dozens to choose from, but here are the three most common things I hear people say that make their competition ecstatic. 1) “It’s Good Enough.” Please repeat after me: “Good enough” is never good enough. It doesn’t matter if your product or service is completely unique. If you’re not being exceptional and evolving with your clients’ needs, somebody will come along and offer something better. Ever heard...