Throw Some Daggers… At Your Business

Throw Some Daggers… At Your Business

Listen to this episode. http://traffic.libsyn.com/websearchsocial/0138-blog-throw-some-daggers-at-your-business.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download | EmbedSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSListen to previous episodes on Stitcher, iTunes or Libsyn. It’s July. Half the year is now officially over. In a few short months there will be open discussion about those 2016 resolutions. Take a moment to evaluate the plans, decisions and resolutions you made in 2014 for 2015. Chances are that like everyone, you hit on a few and missed on a few. But the year isn’t over yet. There’s plenty of runway left before 2016 takes off. So let’s take this time to cheat a little bit. Let’s re-evaluate the remaining half of 2015 and throw some daggers at your unfulfilled resolutions and plans. Last week I met with the shareholders of one of my businesses and we spent two hours doing nothing but throwing daggers at our own business. We tried to identify every challenge and problem so that we could prepare. Of course, we’re not soothsayers. We can’t see the future. But many businesses often hope for the best and plan for the best. 20 years in business has shown me that this is folly. So before July is up, call a meeting with all of the decision makers in your company and throw some daggers at your business. If you don’t know where to start, here are a few bullseyes you can aim for. Financial Daggers How should the business spend on health care? Healthcare is a huge investment for a business and the Affordable Care Act has not simplified the process. I know several businesses that have...
To Swear Or Not To Swear: Marketing, The F-Word And Other Language Conundrums

To Swear Or Not To Swear: Marketing, The F-Word And Other Language Conundrums

Listen to this episode.http://traffic.libsyn.com/websearchsocial/0137-blog-to-swear-or-not-to-swear-marketing-the-f-word-and-other-language-conundrums.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download | EmbedSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSListen to previous episodes on Stitcher, iTunes or Libsyn. Warning: language ahead! I was originally going to title this article: “Don’t Like My Language? F#@% You.” And even though I’d love to try that as a headline A/B test, I didn’t want this to come across as either confrontational or sensational. The point is not to make a case for “language” in writing but really to explore its effects and why it matters to you, your business and marketing. Language Is What We Make It What is a “bad word”? I bet for most of us, saying something like, “Boy, that pisses me off,” is not particularly rebellious but I know people who find that offensive and distasteful. Others spout the F-word with impunity, about as often as they say “and” or “the”. Does that make one person rude and the other just a regular Joe? Well, that depends on your perspective. And why I said that language is what we make it. Along the way we choose the words that “offend” us and the ones we accept. My dad tells me a story about someone he knew who wouldn’t let any objectionable language cross her lips. So whenever she was angry or emotional she would substitute the word “carrot cake” for a swear word. Stubbed her toe? Carrot cake! Broke a glass? Carrot cake! Electric bill too high? Carrot cake! Sounds funny, but really, carrot cake is quite delicious and should not be disparaged like that. And the question my father always...
Meerkat, Periscope And The Danger Of Jumping On Marketing Trends

Meerkat, Periscope And The Danger Of Jumping On Marketing Trends

Listen to this episode.http://traffic.libsyn.com/websearchsocial/0134-blog-meerkat-periscope-and-the-danger-of-jumping-on-marketing-trends.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download | EmbedSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSListen to previous episodes on Stitcher, iTunes or Libsyn. I’ve been fixated on the video streaming service Periscope the past few weeks. I wrote about Periscope on my personal blog, but today I want to talk about the genesis of Periscope and what your business can learn from it. Before Periscope came on the scene, the streaming service flavor of the month was Meerkat. In my industry, Meerkat went beyond buzz. It was the “It” thing of the moment. After a promotional push at SXSW 2015, Meerkat was defined not just by its streaming service, but by the fact that marketers at every level were all in line pronouncing Meerkat to be a required marketing tool. “If you aren’t live streaming with Meerkat,” they said, “Then you’re going to be left behind.” A lot of content creators I know jumped on the Meerkat bandwagon because, “You just have to.” A widely read publication hosted a webinar featuring “The World’s Preeminent Meerkat Expert.” A title he undoubtedly received because he had used Meerkat for a whole 60 minutes. Meerkat is impressive. Or rather was. Meerkat put its chips all in on Twitter as a foundational platform. Meerkat required users to have a Twitter account and relied on Twitter’s Social Graph which allows for deep integration between the app and the Twitter community. It was a match made in heaven. Until it wasn’t. As it turned out, Twitter had its own streaming service planned called Periscope. In the span of a short time, Meerkat was...
“Provide Value To Customers,” They Say. But What Does That Mean?

“Provide Value To Customers,” They Say. But What Does That Mean?

Listen to this episode.http://traffic.libsyn.com/websearchsocial/0133-blog-provide-value-to-customers-they-say-but-what-does-that-mean.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download | EmbedSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSListen to previous episodes on Stitcher, iTunes or Libsyn. Right up there with “write epic content” and “be awesome”, you probably hear or read something at least once a day that reminds you to “provide value to customers.” It sounds so obvious. Of course we’re going to provide value to customers. It’s what we do! It’s so obvious that nobody argues it or thinks about it. It’s a given. But then recently I had a conversation with SuperFred Kaarina Dillabough who asked a very simple question: “What does that even mean?” And I had to stop before answering. She didn’t ask because she doesn’t understand value. And I didn’t pause because I don’t know how to provide it. But in a moment of what we over here at Web.Search.Social like to call “challenging the status quo”, we both had to stop and consider that this bit of fluff is tossed around so often with no context, no explanation, no rationale that it’s simply assumed to be “a thing” and that we all know precisely what that thing is. Today I want to challenge you to consider what it means, first, by telling you that… Value May Not Be What You Think It Is Nobody is born intrinsically knowing what value is. We have to learn it. And nothing is inherently valuable. Take a diamond. The only reason that particular bit of rock is valuable is because a marketing company somewhere told you it is. No kidding. There isn’t even a shortage of them....
What Defines A Perfect Product?

What Defines A Perfect Product?

Listen to this episode.http://traffic.libsyn.com/websearchsocial/0130-blog-what-defines-a-perfect-product.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download | EmbedSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSListen to previous episodes on Stitcher, iTunes or Libsyn. We often talk on our podcast about the proliferation of webinars, ebooks and squeeze pages that attempt to sell you the idea of building your get-rich-quick product. We hammer those pitches for good reason. Because they are mostly schemes designed to find the perfect psychological price point that makes the purchase a viable impulse buy. The purveyors of these products entice and tantalize by telling you the “real” value of what they are giving you and then cutting you a deep discount. Because reasons. If you’ve been around long enough you know that all those scams out there are variations of the same thing and mostly intended to separate you from your money quickly and at a pain point so low that you won’t mind. What often gets lost in our discussions is that we think building products is good idea. And that’s what I want to talk about today. A few months ago, we discussed a program that promised to show participants how to create a product in 2 hours. A few episodes ago, we discussed another program that was designed to help you develop a product worth $197. They have defined the perfect product. But for whom? If you’re a cynic, you’ll probably say that the product is perfect for them. And I’d agree. I want to take some time to walk through how we defined a product that we’re developing. I can’t get into the details of the product yet, but...
How To Stop Saying Um (And Other, Like, You Know, Filler Words)

How To Stop Saying Um (And Other, Like, You Know, Filler Words)

Listen to this episode.http://traffic.libsyn.com/websearchsocial/0129-how-to-stop-saying-um-and-other-like-you-know-filler-words.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download | EmbedSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSListen to previous episodes on Stitcher, iTunes or Libsyn. As a podcaster this is something I’ve had to come to grips with in many unflattering ways. Being more of a writer than a speaker, I tend to think fast, type with abandon and edit later. But when there’s no edit function it gets kind of embarrassing. And it’s not just about podcasting. If you record video, go to networking events, host webinars… or even do something as simple as talk to your clients and prospects… nobody wants to hear you um and er your way through a conversation. I’ve worked to pre-edit those words out of my speech so that even in the absence of an edit/delete function I can sound reasonably intelligent. It requires practice and I’m not sure that even professional speakers can manage without slipping them in once in a while, but there are certainly ways to improve the quality of your conversation so more people will listen and fewer will cringe. This is how I practice – every day! Try these ideas and see how they can help you improve your speech. Pause A lot of filler words happen because we’re literally filling space. We’re not sure what to say, we don’t quite have our thoughts collected, so we um and ah until something works itself out in our brain. It’s an easy habit to get into and a tough one to break because we’re not all that used to the sound of silence. But one of the best...