Let's rethink this together

Assumptions about our web presence, our social media, and getting to leverage the growth of our business can make or break us. Great ideas a few years out of date can be deadly online. So can getting caught up in the latest online fad. For example, Facebook as the proverbial "Silver Bullet."

Here we're thinking out loud about web presence and all that goes into it. Let's question our assumptions of strategy, search engine optimization, social networking, web design - everything - to give our business the win.

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Effectively Wasting Time

Wasting Time in Social MediaHow much time have you wasted trying to discover how to make your social media presence pay off? Imagine how much more effective you’d be focused on doing things well, instead of researching how to do things well.

Entrepreneurs are “make it happen” kind of people. We all know we need to have an effective web presence, and social media is a key part. Armed with that knowledge, how many otherwise productive hours go into the black hole of research? If time is money, what’s the loss? What opportunities got overlooked while chasing rabbit trails?

Many corporate entities have already figured that out, and solved the puzzle. They are hiring full time self taught social media managers with average starting salaries of $55,000 (See L. A. Times, “Employers are liking — and hiring — social media workers”).

What does that mean for mid and small sized businesses? It means it’s time to take the initiative and get some real expertise going in your favor. A competent coach has already invested the hours in research that would generally amount to lost productivity in most offices. With multiple client’s they don’t need a full time salary from you, but you leverage the expertise gained by their exposure serving clients beyond your enterprise. Your social media marketing coach then delivers intel to implement an actionable agenda designed to grow your business. They will likely have access to services that will leverage those priorities such as web developers, content writers, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) gurus, and others.

You may not have the budget or need to hire a full time social media manager, but creative social media coaching is mission critical, affordable, and available. Your pay off can be measured in revenues, reputation control, or even simply buying back your time.

In just the last year one major jobs board reports a 75% surge in social media related jobs. The real question isn’t really “Will your competition beat you on this front?” It’s closer to, “Why waste time trying to figure out what works when you could be implementing what works instead?”

Seach Engine Optimization Explained Simply

If you are a business owner, odds are you hammered regularly by a variety of companies all telling you that they have a magic wand they can wave to make your website rank number one on Google, Yahoo, Bing, and four hundred other search sites you’ve never heard of. Ironically, each SEO peddler seems to have the stats to back up their amazing claims. But how do you clear the air enough to make quality decisions on investing in this area? Start by getting a clear understanding of the elements used by search engines to do their job. I ran across a great video that simplifies and illustrates how search engines do their job. Take three minutes to learn how to use words that matter in your content and titles, what inbound links and the words in those links do to help you, and how search engines establish what your online reputation is.

No Virture in Fear

Easter Sunday in West Texas came with a new twist. More precisely, “Twister.” Make that three twisters. A fourth Tornado was rumored later in evening. Golf ball and larger sized hail was plentiful. And where was I during this? Out on 37 mile bike ride with my wife. We knew the weather was a little tricky, and riding in some of the wind we encountered was challenging, but we were having a good time while checking for rain visually and on the weather maps of the iPhone. A few drops of rain here or there didn’t bother us, and we managed to stay consistently between the two big storm cells. No one told us we were foolish – right up to the point where my wife had a flat and it began to rain. A couple of well meaning – and somewhat panicking – passers by told us that one tornado had already passed that way, and two more were bearing down us at that very moment. They were trying to be helpful, but their fear just wasn’t. I asked them if knew how fast you could ride a bide with wind like that! I don’t think they understood. We had the tire changed in no time at all, and made the last six miles home a little wetter, but plenty fast. Then we celebrated our great victory with a couple of NUTRILITE® Quick Recover Drinks.

Given the stormy economic outlook, many want us to panic with them. It doesn’t take much to hear their urgent cries. But some businesses are riding the wind to record growth in the middle of the storms. I have the privilege of working with some of them. It’s the same weather out there, but a very different experience. Find someone who’s excited about the adventure of succeeding in this economy, and then join the excitement!


Recently my team faced a significant challenge in the growth of our business.  It’s not the first time we’ve had a “pucker” sort of moment.  Some people don’t want to admit such things, but the handful of times we’ve encountered them, they’ve turned out to be opportunities that propelled us to much greater heights.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we never needed that?  Wouldn’t it be great if with every useful opportunity we were all able to recognize and capitalize on that moment?  In the world of web design, social media, mobile websites, search engine optimization  – all things that probably effect your business and mine – the ability to recognize real opportunity vs. real wastes of time is critical.  Take a look at this video from world renowned leadership guru John Maxwell on the subject of opportunity.  I follow him daily.  You might want to as well.

Flying Planes and Launching Plans

…They have a lot in common…

Facebook Fan Pages just for the Fanatical, or can they be effective for the rest of us?

Constant growth has propelled Facebook was the number two ranked website behind Google.  Maybe you’re not a Facebook Fanatic.  Maybe you are.  Either way, what does this dominance of Facebook mean for your business?
To start with, marketing through social media is similar to face-to-face interactions. “Buy from me! Buy from Me!” shouted in the face of a prospective customer might not be your best plan.  You’d first want to quickly develop some level of rapport.  In social media terms it’s called “developing relationships.” Like most other venus in life, when you have developed enough rapport or relationship with your prospect, they will be comfortable purchasing or referring others to you.  This piece of human nature is what has given life to social media, and Facebook, specifically.
How is this rapport building conversation going to work?  Take an interest in the other party, just like Dale Carnegie would have us do!  This is done through commenting on others’ posts, dialoging via Facebook “walls,” etc.  Keep your fans in touch with you through updates about your business on your fan page.  Focus on giving content that has some useful meaning, rather than just offers to sell them something.  Post your blog, embed a video (yours or someone else’s), give a useful link.  Remember, it’s a conversation, and while offers will fit it, they can’t be a one way megaphone in a conversation.

In doing all this, you need to make a great first impression.  If you owned a distribution center, you’d likely have a clean front office where you could put your best foot forward.  Once you’ve made that great first impression, you might invite them to see the breadth of your warehouse that’s attached and busy serving clients.  A custom Facebook Fan page, or “Landing Page” properly developed can give the average visitor the front office experience, leaving your busy, cluttered wall developing relationships and delivering useful information.
To succeed, we simply must meet people where they are.  They are on Facebook now, and more are coming.  The myth is that having a Facebook page for your business is the silver bullet to insure your success.  Like most other silver bullet myths, it’s just not true, but has an element of truth.  It is a critical tool, a part over an overall strategy for an effective web presence to make you effective online.

A Bedtime Story for Business

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, simply having a website launched you ahead of the competition.  It was as simple as the ability to reach more people who were changing the way they researched, shopped, communicated and lived.  You could inform them.  You could market to them.  You could let them know you were the place to go to.  Some loved it.  Others hated it.  But it was unstoppable and changed the very nature of how business breathes.

As the internet exploded, having a basic website became expected.  To be stand out, you needed a good looking, professionally designed web site just to maintain your edge.

And with the exponential proliferation of professionally designed websites came the necessity of Search Engine Friendly site builds and Search Engine Optimization. The two acronyms, SEF and SEO, are marketed by the scrupulous and unscrupulous alike.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between Snakeoil Enterprising Frauds (SEF) and Search Engine Friendly (SEF).  So the role of a competent consultant entered the minds of wise entrepreneurs and managers everywhere.

But, with change as the only constant in this story, you might expect another level of mandatory sophistication to hit your website.  And maybe that’s true.  Or, maybe it’s coming.  Or, maybe it just doesn’t matter right now.

Instead, there’s been a seismic interruption to the otherwise predictable pace and progression of the story.  Some love it.  Others hate it.  Like that time not so long ago when websites first began to appear, it’s a game changer.  And it, too, is unstoppable, changing the way business breathes.  It is Social Media.  It is conversational by nature.  It turns customers into your sales force.  It leverages your time. It’s where people are shifting their time and attention to, so to succeed, we must go there with them. And it is only going to be effective by rethinking your web presence.

Rethinking Social Media

You want the truth?

I came kicking and screaming to the social media scene. Here’s my thinking: I have countless other things to do than hang out online tracking people I once knew. Sure, I have a Facebook Page, and it turns out to be a great way to share pictures with friends. And, yes, YouTube is a really great diversion, and actually a pretty amazing tool, it turns out. And what could be more annoying than Twitter? Misunderstanding the whole of Social Media is what. Here are some videos that opened my eyes. And once I latch on to something, I really go for it. Just keep in mind that like anything else, it’s not the silver bullet for business. But it might just be a pretty important piece of your puzzle.


Yep, it’s a cool word, and this is a great production. It might be the only video needed to highlight the importance of this medium.

Want more?

Social Media has take over pornography as the #1 activity on the web

Seriously. For that and a little more perspective, check out this YouTube…

Rethinking Hosting

Free Hosting? 25¢ per Day Hosting?  Think about it…