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What Digital & Social Media Marketers Can Learn from Business Consultants [Opinion]

In the last five years I have heard some wild claims about who makes the best marketer – those claims have ranged from PR professionals, who ‘should be the only people to do it’, to Social Media, to ‘it takes a Sales Professional to provide the best internet marketing.’

I’d like you to think of Digital Assets in the form of a building:

  • The windows are Social Media – transparency of course
  • The walls are the advertising efforts – the place to display and show
  • The doors are the PR – as media attention helps get people to walk through the door
  • The shelves, displays and racks are the event planners – presentation and onsite execution
  • The Roof is the website – it covers everything else

However, the missing element is the foundation or the business itself. The digital and social media industry has gotten a lot of bad heat on not being effective and I would argue that has happened because the keystone has been missing, the Business Consultant.

I warn almost everyone that I interact with to look for the red flags when meeting a PR, Web, SEO, Social Media, Event Professional, etc. The best way to know if that have any clue what they are talking about will come with the first interaction. Do they start talking to you about their business and products, or do they ask you about yours?

The world is filled with overnight talent and businesses that offer these services and I say talent because most are very good at their niche, unfortunately it seems to end there. Think of it like a great marksman sent off to war to be a sniper without any military training. The ability to hit a target does not translate to being an effect solider, especially in terms of the bigger picture.

The transformed business consultants that are working as project managers and on the rare occasion can provide Web Development, SEO, Social Media and more are carrying with them the greatest lesson the marketing industry can learn, success goes beyond the view, comment and call!

Traditional marketing and advertising was all about visibility and the connection point, the advertising was a success when the consumer connected with your name, product or service.( i.e. someone visited the website, opened the email, opened the text message or called your phone, that is marketing success in the traditional context). The ability to convert that experience into a sale was the business owners problem. This is the reason businesses fail continuously and why corporate leadership is completely in the dark with the digital environment.

How Can We do Better or Demand Better?

Take the Business Consultant approach, inquire about the business model, the products or services, why the target market is the target market. Take the campaign backwards, go from the conversion or sale to the campaigns and tools to reach consumers. Build the model on the business and remember the best in any industry become the best from exploring. Sometimes it’s easier to create new then fix broken.

Why “NO” is so important to the Profession of Digital & Social Media Marketing [Opinion]

The overnight rush of Web developers lead to overnight SEO providers and then the flood of Social Media Marketers. Which in turn lead to every PR, advertising and marketing agency claiming to offer services they knew nothing about to save their revenue streams. The industry changed so fast that quantity quickly overtook quality.

“NO” is crucial to not just the digital and social industry but the recovery of our economy! I was sitting in a session at BlogWorld, it was about monetization, each of the three presenters had the same story the “advertisers found us” and “I spent nothing on advertising”.

I had to go to the mic, this is such a common carless comment that I had an ethical obligation to set straight.

The question: “You said that advertisers found you and that you spent nothing on advertising, but I want you to think of what the cost was… you might not have purchased advertising but clearly you spent time and money to build your…”

All three faces quickly had a look that you couldn’t quite place, perhaps it was horror? Then Lou Mongello of Walt Disney World Radio jumped to answer, “Oh it was so expensive, it cost me time, I had to sell my house and I spent money on all sorts of things”.

Lou Mongello then went on to explain that part of his success came from having his families support and the understanding of sacrifice to accomplish the long term goal.

Don’t Go In Unprepared

Here is the crucial point of this article, because so many enter into digital and social media services unprepared with misrepresentation of their own business model, they are ill equipped to help their clients with the same problem. In the need to create profits they become like AOL, they leap into every adventure without any thought of their clients business model or worse their own long term business model.

Learning to say “NO” allows you to take on clients that will be successful with your talent or service, it garnishes long term revenue for your business and a reputation for growth. It’s not easy being picky in the beginning, or when times are tough, but it is successful! Even more importantly, it keeps others from wasting their life savings on an idea or business that they are underfunded, underequipped or worse ignorant about from losing their time and money. It also prevents the overwhelming false, false from becoming the digital and social media industry. The Social Media Marketer did not intentionally fail you, the web developer did not build a crappy website or fail to generate valuable SEO, the business was flawed and directed to fail from the beginning and the digital and social industry should not take the blame for that.

Pick your clients carefully, for the benefit of them, yourself and our industry.

Author:

@BasilPuglisi is the Executive Director and Publisher for Digital Brand Marketing Education (dbmei.com). Basil C. Puglisi is also the President of Puglisi Consulting Group, Inc. A Digital Brand Marketing Consultancy that manages professional and personal branding for Fortune 500 CEOs, Hedge Fund Managers and Small Business Owners.

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#140conf in New York City June 19th – 20th 2012 [Event]

This year the #140c will be hosted at the 92nd Street Y at 1395 Lexington Avenue in NYC.

The History of the #140conf

In its fourth year running, this conference has had no shortages of experts with a plethora of educational and trending information to provide attendees. Each year it simply gets better and better.

In 2009, #140conf hosted events in:

2011 found #140conf spreading even further across the globe with events held in more locations than before.

There have also been a number of #140conf Meetups which have taken place across the United States, and outside of the states including places like the UK, Kenya and Israel.

In addition, check out the writers panel from #140conf 2011 that featured Debre Eckerling from @WriteOnOnline, Jeanne V Bowerman @jeannevb and Tracey Jackson @traceyjackson4.

With many more impressive panels the 2011 #140conf was a rousing success. This year is shaping up to top them all.

Jeff Pulver Speaks

In April, 2012, Jeff Pulver shared a talk in Des Moines Iowa and he had some very compelling things to say about how we act and interact on our social networks. Are you YOU on your social networks? Are you who you think your friends and consumers think you should be? If you are anything but yourself you are not really connecting with those most important when it comes to marketing yourself or your brand. Jeff put it out there pretty well when he asked:

Are you you? Are you connecting to the person who you are? Are you true to yourself? If you Tweeted yourself would you talk back? Would you friend yourself?

I can relate to this as it is very similar to my previous article “Who are you?”

Societal communications are occurring now on a global level. Jeff reminds us that while the communication line is open, we have plenty of social media users who are more than happy to be brash, rude, insensitive, and that perhaps these people are being themselves. But we also have others who are the veritable shrinking violets, who are unlikely to ever be heard on a grand scale. And then we have our social leaders. Those whose Tweets and Status shares compel us, attract us. In most cases, those people have a strength we admire. Each of us have our own strengths when it comes to how we voice our feelings, how we communicate. In each of us is our true voice that when shared with the Twitterverse, or asserted on a Facebook status will have its own selling point, for those with a similar voice, opinions and assertions.

Inspire others whenever you can, because you can.

This Year’s #140conf NYC

The turnout for this year’s conference is expected to be attendees from 17 countries and 31 states.It is already expected to be the largest worldwide gather of entrepreneurs and professionals who are interested in the effects of real-time on people and businesses.

The focus will be on how the internet has the power to change lives and all attendees should expect to leave with a new outlook on how real-time interaction on the web can be used to grow your business or personal life, or even to do something intrinsically meaningful such as activism in charities you support. The options are almost endless.

The schedule is a fast paced and very unique one. It is the intention of the organizers to supply the perfect platform for as wide of a demographic as possible. Everyone is encouraged to share their thoughts or engage with attendees and speakers. Individual talks will be limited to ten minute excerpts and panel discussions will run for 10 to 15 minute sets.

Conference speakers will be arriving in NYC from all over the world. Speakers from the Pacific, South America, Europe, Asia, Canada and of course many from the United States.

Register Today to Be a Part of This Event

Interested in having your voice heard at a future #140conf event? We are always looking for new voices to introduce to our community. Just drop a note to Jeff Pulver. Interested in leveraging the influence of the #140conf NYC community? we are looking for companies interested in sponsoring this event.

The #140conf events –Tweetups, Conferences, Parties and Roadtrips – present an opportunity to consistently broaden your social media knowledge, whether for its own sake, or for application in communication, business, news, politics, philathropy or just about any other sphere. You always meet the most interesting and creative people at these events, and each time, Jeff’s mix of speakers,  their topics and perspective leave you substantially more informed and meaningfully inspired.

– Ian Aronovich – @GovtAuctions

Don’t miss this years @140conf #140conf in NYC!

Author:

@BasilPuglisi is the Executive Director and Publisher for Digital Brand Marketing Education (dbmei.com). Basil C. Puglisi is also the President of Puglisi Consulting Group, Inc. A Digital Brand Marketing Consultancy that manages professional and personal branding for Fortune 500 CEOs, Hedge Fund Managers and Small Business Owners.

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Amazon Self-Publishing for Beginners

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

With all the new blogs and recent news articles urging writers to publish their eBooks on Kindle, the topic is probably one you’re at least familiar with by now. As most people know, Amazon has leveled the playing field for authors by making the process of publishing eBooks as simple as a few mouse clicks and a couple of file uploads.

Before the recent self-publishing revolution began, the difficult part was getting your book in the hands of readers to begin with. However, that’s the exact same challenge that independent authors face when publishing for the Kindle as well. It turns out that making your book available is much easier than getting people to actually buy it or be interested in reading it!

This low entry bar also creates a new challenge for debut Kindle authors – since anyone and everyone can now publish whatever they want, that’s exactly what is happening. The result? A fair amount of low quality eBooks and a highly competitive environment for unknown authors.

Learning to Stand Out in the Crowd

So how do you stand out in such a crowded and popular new marketplace that is open to anyone? What does it take to attract the type of author publicity that helps build a brand and sell more eBooks?

Here are a few eBook marketing ideas that have proven effective for many debut authors using Kindle to publish:

  1. Write and distribute a press release after you’ve launched your eBook. If you are not familiar with press release writing, outsource it and consider paying for distribution. Include quotes, contact information and hook in readers with a strong headline. Remember, you have a tiny window of time to capture the interest of readers who are likely skimming headlines and you must find a clever way to set your story apart from all the others. The main idea of a press release for your book is to generate curiosity and get people excited about the story you have to tell.
  2. Encourage book reviews. This is probably the most obvious way to promote books or anything else, for that matter. It’s probably the first one that comes to mind as well. Alas, it is also going to be the hardest form of promotion to land as a debut author. Don’t let that get you down though. Reach out to book review bloggers, fans from social media or anyone else who might be willing to share their thoughts on Amazon or elsewhere on the web!
  3. Start living and breathing social media life into your author platform. Just remember that you are not limited to Twitter and Facebook. Find the communities centered around readers and books. GoodReads is a great example and it offers tons of innovative ways to share and promote your writing. Get started by setting up an author profile and adding your eBooks. Next, experiment with groups, quotes and book giveaway contests. There isn’t a better online community for finding passionate readers.

These fundamental tips should give new authors a viable starting point. As with any type of marketing, your ultimate goal should be to determine who your target audience is and find out the best ways in which to engage them and turn them into loyal readers.

Author:

AshlyLorenzana is a freelance writer, published author and passionate blogger who lives in the Portland, OR area. Her interests include social media, online marketing and digital publishing. You can follow her on Twitter @ashlorenzana

Sources:

  1. 9 WaystoUseSocialMediatoLaunchABook
  2. PromotingYourBookOnlineThroughSocialNetworking: GoodReads.com
  3. AnatomyofaSuccessfulPressReleaseforBookPromotion

 

BlogWorld and New Media Expo 2012 or Where Did All The Exhibits Go?

On June 5, 2012, I attended day one of BlogWorld and New Media Expo at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.  During the day, I was treated to some amazing sessions, covering social media and blogging.  But, what I didn’t get to experience was the “Expo” part of the New Media Expo.  That’s right, there was no expo on the first day.  You could see some of the exhibitors setting up their booths for the next two days (BlogWorld, for those that don’t know is the world’s largest conference and tradeshow for bloggers, podcasters, web tv content creators and social media innovators).  Yes, it is a trade show with no trade show.  Advice for next year?  Go on day two and three!

But, what I did get were some amazing seminars covering the 7 Deadly Sins of Social Media, The 6 Important Shifts for Social Media Strategy, and 12 Imperative Must-Dos for the Serious Blogger.  Let’s break down the factics learned throughout the day.

7 Deadly Sins of Social

Scott Stratten, from Unmarketing outlined his seven deadly sins of social media.  They are:

  1. Gluttony – Don’t automate.  Don’t be everywhere, just be great where you are;
  2. Apathy – Social media’s biggest threat.  It is passion that makes Pinterest great;
  3. Pride – Don’t ignore something just because you don’t like it.  Learn it if you hate it!;
  4. Sloth – Invest the time, but don’t create accounts if you have no intention of being “there”;
  5. Greed – There are no shortcuts to being great in social.  It is not a numbers game;
  6. Lust – Be awesome when the *&^%$ hits the fan!;
  7. Envy – Don’t do things just because everyone else does it;

And the bonus:

  1. Wrath – Power is in the conversation and the community.  The power is in the people.

So, what does this all mean?  It means that social media is all about the conversation and the engagement.  Have passion in what you offer and in your on-line presence.  Invest the time, and it will pay off.  And, BE AWESOME!

6 Important Shifts for Social Media Strategy

Dave Fleet, VP of Digital for Edelman, a global public relations firm offers the answer to the question, “What is social going to drive for our organization?”  And he answered it with his Six Important Shifts for Social Media Strategy.

  1. Social Business – Step away from the new and shiny.  Buzz is not a reason to be on any specific tool.  Ask, what are the business objectives, and know when to step away.
  2. Objectives – Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound objectives.  In other words, be S.M.A.R.T.
  3. Measurement – Measure against your objectives.  Don’t focus on the wrong things, and don’t be unrealistic with your numbers.
  4. Integration – Forget about the “silos”.  Social media needs to be owned by the entire organization, not just one department.
  5. Content – Content is king.  It should improve your reputation and trust within the community.
  6. Community Management – Engage like a human.

The result?  Look at social media the way you would any other aspect of your business.  Embrace it, but don’t let your objectives become unreasonable.

12 Imperative Must-Dos for the Serious Blogger

This was a great presentation by Jay Baer, from Convince and Convert, and started with the premise that, “we are all teachers and we are all students.”

So, what are the 12 imperatives?

  1. Be patient.  Give yourself permission to take time to be successful.  It will be measured in years, not months.  (It took him 3 years to make his first nickel from his blog).
  2. Be specific.  What is your blog about?  Blogging is the most competitive form of communication.  You are better off being the favorite blog to fewer people than being the “meh” blog to lots of people.
  3. Be consistent.  Don’t value inspiration over perspiration.  You always have something to say.
  4. Embrace variety.  Don’t become forumalic.  If it’s boring to write, it’s boring to read.
  5. By a “youtility”.  How can you help people?  Be genuinely useful.
  6. Find an anchor.  This is the type of post that you can go back to again and again.  It is something special to put on the editorial calendar every week.
  7. Have a call to action.  Traffic has little inherent value.  It is about behavior.
  8. Cultivate community.  Community drives repeat visits and sharing behaviors.  To drive community, use WFACT – Welcome, Facilitate, Answer, Connect, Thank.
  9. Be findable.  The most important reader you have is Google.
  10. Keep score.  What is your real goal?  Measure behavior, not numbers.
  11. Embrace extensibility.  Your blog is your trampoline.  It is your central location but it also needs to live elsewhere (LinkedIn, Scribd, YouTube, etc.)
  12. Be shareable.  And share down, not just up.  Share content created by those below you, not just the experts.

And the bonus?  Write good headlines.  The second bonus?  Check out Jay’s slides:

View more presentations from Jay Baer

Author:

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you.  He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line.  EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business.  Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107.

Sources:

Four Secrets Every Freelance Writer Should Know

Finding the right balance between writing what you want and writing for a living can be a difficult challenge for freelance writers. There may not be a good target market for the style and subject you would prefer to write about, but there is an endless supply of work for social media, technology and business experts, online. Here are four ways you can increase your chances of finding the right balance and earning enough money.

1.     Finding the right publisher

You can choose to write material and seek a publisher to sell your work to, or you can agree to write what a publisher requires. The two sets of work are often miles apart in subject choice unless you are one of the lucky writers who happens to live in an online social networking and SEO world.

However good your own work is, if you cannot find a suitable publisher, you will not be paid for your work. Your research hours may have reduced your pay per hour too far. Also, you need to consider the constant flow of rejections and your underlying stress levels.

If you are given an assignment you must complete on time or preferably, sooner, so you can guarantee payment. Of course, it must meet the brief offered and be suitable work for the personality with the check book.

2.     Finding jobs that pay enough

The jobs are out there and you need to find out how to locate them if you want to earn enough to extend your standard of living, at the very least.

Often the work offered by organizations will be mind-numbingly boring, but there is enough of it to ensure you can pay your bills. There isn’t always sufficient work in the area of your expertise, so you will spend time online researching the subject so you can write as an authority, taking care not to copy work directly from another source.

3.    The competition is fierce

You are not the only writer out there who has found they can work from home to avoid long car chases and the endless office politics that prevented real work at the office.

You are in competition with many countries where English isn’t the first language, but they can write for figures you wouldn’t dream of taking for a job. Just because others will work for the price of an expensive coffee each day, it doesn’t mean you should try to compete. You need to fight with your skills to not only write to the brief, but to ensure you meet all deadlines and are easy to work with.

4.   The editor is not always right

Editors vary in how they wish to see a finished product. If you write for several editors you will need to remember and apply each individual’s choice of style and composition. Otherwise, you run the risk of your work being returned for a re-write.

Even when editors are wrong in their choices, you must still apply to their terms and not fight an editor over your preferred alternative to writing sentences, paragraphs or layout. If they prefer short sentences while you maintain that long sentences make for better English, you will lose out in the long term. You might win the battle, but you won’t win the war which means they won’t offer you further work if you become a nightmare to work with.

Author:

Tim Brookes is the Managing Director of Storage Concepts a UK-based mezzanine floor & suspended ceiling company @storageUK

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