Archive for January, 2010
I can’t help building off Mary’s post from yesterday. I have a postcard that sits at my right elbow, in plain site every day, given to me by a good friend…that shows a sort of cartoon girl, very large, with the caption: “I see stupid people.”
It’s obviously a take-off of the Bruce Willis movie Sixth Sense (I see dead people)…but it means someting entirely different to me.
Mary is so right – you are judged by the company you keep and it’s your choice to keep company with people who are go-getters, focused on accomplishing something big, and tenacious. Now, at any given time, these same people could be “losers”…so be careful. Don’t misjudge on the basis of prejudice or preconceived ideas.
To the “I see stupid people” post card – this reminds me that I need to evaluate my relationships on a regular basis. If the company I’m dealing with, working with, or prospecting for, turns out to be “stupid”… I need to walk away and not keep banging my head against the wall, hoping they’ll “get it” tomorrow, or the next day.
Truth is, stupid is a cruel word, and not one I use lightly. I use it to convey the message (to myself, rarely out loud) that the people I’m dealing with just don’t want to join the rest of us in the 21st century, and that they prefer to waste millions on campaigns that could only cost them thousands. And have bigger, better, more stupendous ROI…if one likes that term. My Tom hates it.
Stupid is a term that brings with it the recognition that some people don’t want to learn. Some people prefer throwing money down a rathole, because they believe that money buys success. You know better, I hope? Money only buys…attention. Success comes from being smart. Success comes from making the right choices: choose smart over stupid.
In a digital world, success comes from applying creative ideas to old concepts. Success comes from trying and failing and not throwing good money after bad. Success comes from hanging around the right people – the people who challenge you, who want to work out the kinks with you (often without compensation – they see the big picture and know the return will be fabulous if they contribute as a team member to the group), who want to be part of something bigger than they are.
When you’re already big – oh, think of lots of the really big guys out there – it often seems that in your quest to continue your King of the Hill position, you ignore real possibility in favor of tried and true. Problem is, there is no tried and true today. Everything is new and different.
I saw a great quotation earlier this week attributed to Andy Grove of Intel. It makes perfect sense: “Are you crazy? This is Columbus in the New World. What was his ROI?”
Well, what was it and how long did it take to measure? Stupid people think Columbus was crazy to sail to the new world. We know different, don’t we? Risk, chance, a team that is willing to do the impossible… not stupid. Not crazy. Very, very smart.
By Guest Blogger, Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter, LLC
A very successful (at least by NM standards) man once told me, “I
don’t hang out with losers.” He proceeded to give me his exceedingly
cold-blooded view of networking. If you can’t do something for him, he
has no time for you. I guess I should feel privileged the guy (still)
talks to me…and, while my inner-Pollyanna was offended by his
statement, there is some validity to his point. (And the
interpretations of both “success” and “loser” are highly subjective, in
Copy Blogger recently posted: The Most Important Success Tip:Stop Lying Down with Dogs, Already, in which he worries that he – like, whoa, Dude – is hanging with the wrong people. But, he also borrows from Tony Robbins: Love Your Friends and Family. Choose Your Peers.
You should write this on your hand before heading out to the next group event. (Yes, I can’t believe it either. I’m actually recommending wisdom from Robbins.)
How many times have you gone to an “entrepreneur power networking”
gathering to find:
…that the “entrepreneurs” are the same sad group of
folks who have been trying to get funding for years?
…that the “expert consultants” attending are the same unemployed folks you’ve been seeing at everything
for months (looking increasingly desperate)?
…that the diamond-drippin’ “high-powered fellow women biz owners” are actually hobbyists and their “business” is made possible by a husband paying the bills (and buying the bling)?
…that the “networking”
consists of wide/wild-eyed people forcing biz cards into your hand,
unasked? (“Let’s have coffee! I want to know more about you!” Who are we kidding, oh, frenzied one? You want to sell me something…or “pick my brain” for free.)
This is why I’m highly selective these days about what groups I join and events I attend. I do go to some
here and there simply because I like the people, but I go without any
illusions of business development. (While you never know where business
will come from – I have to allocate my time wisely, since it’s
literally money for me.) I also – all snark aside - do
occasionally let people pick my brain for free (I even pony up for the
coffee); kindness is a good thing and should be practiced on a regular
basis. But, the reality is that many of my peers aren’t in New Mexico – they’re scattered all over the World and the Web.
P.S. Another highly successful (by any standards) man, a VC, told me, “We don’t have time to work with a##holes.” So, there’s a bit of balance for you.
Gretchen Rubin over at The Happiness Project had the good fortune to interview Seth Godin, the Internet’s darling of the marketing world, about his newest book, Linchpin: Are You Indsipensable? More info can be found at Squidoo on The Linchpin Posts.
I found Gretchen’s interview worth sharing, so here it is, broken in a few pieces that are relevant to much of what I try to help you with, with a recommendation to go over to The Happiness Project and read the entire interview for yourself. Remember – Seth Godin is one of today’s best marketers because he offers specifics, not generalities. He proves that anyone, yes, anyone, can be the Linchpin or The Purple Cow or the leader of the Tribe, if he or she wants to.
The first point made involves creativity. Who has it and who doesn’t? Guess what the answer is. The answer is: we all have it. Seth says “the only thing prevent[ing] your creativity from showing up is fear.” Hmmm… are you afraid? Afraid of failure or success?
Further on, Gretchen discusses translating “big ideas into practical actions.” This is a hard thing to embrace. Most people are able to think up the “big idea”…but few are able to create the practical action for it. Seth says, “…I think setting out to do something small is easier and more likely to work. Small as in human, transparent and connected. Small as in ‘worth doing’ but also ‘worth failing at.’ “
Hmmm… what small idea can you think up, today? And make “worth doing” as well as “worth failing at.” Maybe it’s just a phone call, or a walk around the block. Maybe it’s implementing that newsletter you’ve created but never done anything with. Maybe it’s emailing 25 friends and colleagues to ask how they’re doing and if there is anything you can do, this month, to help? Maybe it’s stepping out of your comfort zone and not caring if you fall.
Because even if you fall…I promise, the ground will still be beneath you and you can get back up and try again.
Seth says, “The world wants you to be a faceless, replaceable cog in the vast machinery of production–but if you choose, and you work at it, you can become the sort of person we really need, an indispensable linchpin, a person who matters.”
I say, you are a person who matters. I say, you are a linchpin. You just need to step back, look at the big picture and figure out WHERE in the vast machinery of life your linchpin fits. And then, make it stick. Don’t let anyone remove it. And be proud as it keeps the right machine moving in the right direction.
When I heard a colleague call social media a "consequence free environment" one word came to mind: Chaos. Dictionary.com defines choas as: a state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack of organization or order. In the business world, where order and analysis are the basis of strategy, it's a small wonder why many marketers think of social media as their worst nightmare!
However, as is often the case of a Google search I saw something else .. another spelling - Khaos - and followed the links. Khaos was the Greek Goddess of the space between heaven and earth. Some ancient writers believed that she was primary source of all things.
Okay .. I promise not to leap into the gaping void and propose that social media is the source of all new marketing. If we think of social media not as Chaos, but as Khaos a new way to breach the void of customers and company, then perhaps we shed light on what is scary in the night but finds purpose in the day.
What do you do if you find your brand in the midst of a 'consequence free environment' where the conversation is more of nightmare than a pleasant dream? Here is a model to help breach the gap. For best results, of course, it should be part of your Social Media Enterprise Plan and dovetail into "In The Moment Marketing."
3 Steps to Khoas Social Media
Step 1: Determine Extent of Influence
a. Follow the conversation
b. Identify the people who are posting and who is commenting
c. Determine viral impact e.g., retweets, blog links, forum discussions, etc.
d. Monitor for main stream media mentions
Step 2: Analyze Meaning
a. What aspects of the brand resonated with customers?
b. Where are the emotional ties to the brand?
c. What is the impact on customers about the brand and the
d. What is being repeated/RT’ed?
e. Is there offline impact e.g., customer call center?
Step 3: Determine Opportunities for Engagement
a. Tell your story in the same platforms
b. Co-create with your customers and fans
c. Join the conversation before it occurs!
Now I ask you, where else can you find social media served up with Greek Mythology?
Update: Thanks to @Attentio who reminded me that this is a circle strategy .. monitoring is the first and last steps; reviewing your results is also critical. So add 3 more steps please.
Toss of a pink boa to Nancy Chorpenning, who inspired the title of my presentation on social media marketing for NAWBO Atlanta (National Association of Women Business Owners), and was an always awesome support as we developed this session. We felt “Follow The Dots” would be good way to frame the flow from strategy to tactics … however .. as is sometimes the case one dot led to something slightly different.
As I began building the deck (I often like to mix slides with conversation. People learn differently and PowerPoint offers a visual media.) candy dots ran through my mind. I thought it would be fun to include an image of candy dots to help illustrate the strategy trail. When I went to look for graphics I found what I remembered to be “candy dots” were actually called “candy buttons.” I decided to have a bit of fun and create the presentation and analogies around a candy theme.
The Same But Different: The candy names were different. The taste and texture were different. One candy was hard while the other was soft and chewy. However, they were both candy. They were both sort of round and colorful. Different but the same.
Using that as an introduction to the session led to an interesting discussion of how not all social media tactics serve the same purpose. That what is right for one organization may not be right for all organizations. Different. However, to succeed in social media all organizations must create a plan that integrates social media into their master marketing plan. Same.
Our Conversation Guide focused on 3 questions:
1. What exactly Is “Social Media?”
2. Is Social Media right for my business right now?
3. Which tools/channels/tactics should I begin with?
As promised to the wonderful women of NAWBO I’m happy to share the deck. Enjoy with some of your favorite childhood candy .. if you can’t have a little fun with your social media, why bother?
Blogs and Facebook and Twitter and YouTube and Flicker .. Oh My! The options for participating in social media are like the little, energizing bunny .. it keeps on going and going and going. Social media grows more complex by the nano second.
On the plus side: for the most part, the capital cost of these tools is free or at a very low cost. On the minus side: the price you pay for a social media program is in human capital and time. For an organization that runs lean and mean the execution of social media can be a challenge. Social media is a hungry beast that to succeed demands content.
Enter stage left – PR agencies, advertising agencies and social media consultants who are seizing an opportunity to carve a service niche from their time pressed, staff starved clients. Yes, girlfriend, the agencies are stepping in
and taking over the role and responsibilities of implementing social media initiatives.
But unlike an ad campaign or dropping a media release where no one really cares what name you use, social media is suppose to be different. Tweets and posts are suppose to be from the real people who are working for the brand .. just in case you might want to develop a real relationship. Keep in mind those who hold the conversation control the relationship.
There is a a buzz brewing that reminds me of the
controversy over ghost blogging. However, since on Facebook and often on Twitter
"no one knows your name" seems to be the acceptable norm,
2010 will see more. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it just fact of social media marketing life? Does it really matter? These are some of the questions that John Cass, PR Communications and I tossed about.
We thought it would be fun and an interesting exercise to collaborate on a post about the transparency of content writing and social media engagement for client social media channels. We're reaching out to people involved in social media and asking their opinions about the level of transparency owed to a a client when an agency is hired to write content for a blog, twitter account,
Facebook page, etc.
- What are the practices that you think should be
followed? Feel free to tell us if you have differences of opinions across
social media channels.