Reasons Why I Think Mark Zuckerberg is Awesome!

Honest, open, purpose driven, in control, different, confident!

I don’t imagine than many of my readers are shareholders in Facebook and if you are then I am sorry for you but this article is excellent.  If you hold shares do you sell or hold (I’m not sure that you’ll want to buy after reading this article)?  I don’t know what to suggest but MZ just went through the roof in my estimation.

http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-stock-letter-shareholders

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Have you learned to play too many bad hands at business?

Just because Doyle Brunson can play it doesn’t mean that you should.

I play a bit of poker.  I love the game.  There’s a mathematical element to it, a strategy element but also a significant luck element.  Sadly for many it is that luck element that keeps bad players playing when they should give up.  That luck element gets over-played by poor players and they learn through experience that sometimes “two live cards” is good enough to win.  They may win the battle (the hand) but they lose the war (they consistently lose money overall).  I think that some business owners fall into the same trap with their marketing efforts and end up gambling far more than they would ever dream of wagering on the felt.  Let me explain.

Take for instance the poker player who for any reason chooses to go “all-in” with 7-2 off suit.  That is as bad as it gets in the most popular version of poker, Texas No-Limit Hold’Em.  He gets called by another player who was pretending to be weak but who actually held a pair of Aces – the best possible starting hand.  Depending on whether the aces were the same suit as the 7 or the 2 our player has between 10.7% and 12.4% chance of winning that hand.  About one time in every nine times then that this scenario plays out the 7-2 will win the hand.  One in nine is frequently enough that it happens “often” in the minds of poker players.

And when it does it is the pits for everybody involved, even the poor player who “won” if they are not careful.

Why?  Well they win the small pot today but learned that this kind of suicidal move can work so they employ it far more regularly than they should (which is never).  Even observers start to contemplate the Hail Mary Manoeuvre now that they have seen it work.  The guys with aces, assuming he is sensible, comes off best.  He just licks his wounds and sits and waits for the other 8 times when he will double his money.

That is an extreme example but it actually gets worse for the bad players as their odds improve.  Many more players are in the habit of playing “Suited Connectors” because that is what great players can get away with.  They still only win one time in five against an over-pair like Aces.  But they can win and do win (sometimes) so people play them much more often that they deserve to be played.  For non-pros it is often simply because the player just wants to be “in the game”.

There is a direct parallel to small business marketing and often there is the same kind of payoff.  If you “want to get your name out there” and spray and pray your marketing budget what happens?  Well some customer may come in and tell you that they saw your advert so you learn that “it worked”.  One customer. You spent $200 on the advert and they bought $10 worth of candy.  But the ad worked right?  Wrong.  Not even close.

What about the professional who does land a commission from an advertorial on the radio?  $5000 of commission for one $1000 ad.  It’s a bargain, right?  Well wrong on two accounts; firstly you’d have to win a new commission every four times or fewer that you ran the ad to make it profitable so good luck with that kind of hit rate and you have to be absolutely sure that the ad was the piece that landed the job or you are throwing money away; secondly if you were just watching this from afar and copied the action of placing an advertorial and you didn’t win a commission you don’t have the benefit of the commission to pay for the adverts so you are out of pocket from the start.  Can you afford to burn your marketing budget that way?  Of course not.

Going back to the poker analogy.  Bad players excuse poor play by claiming that they are “cultivating a loose table image”.  That only works under two conditions; that you have a large enough bankroll to afford the initial downswing; that you have the skill and time to exploit that image later on.  Most have neither so bad play is just bad play.

In marketing your business, ‘investing’ in low ROI marketing is not “building my brand” unless you have a huge budget, and the strategy and ability to exploit that brand in the future.  Most small businesses have neither so it is just money down the drain.

So my simple message today is not to get suckered into spending money like your competition spends it.  If they knew what they were doing they probably wouldn’t do it that way.  Those few businesses that actually understand what they are doing are NOT doing what everyone else is.

One very cheap and effective way to learn about how to differentiate yourself in the market is to click here for a $1, 30-day trial of a website specifically set up to help small and medium sized businesses market their products and services much better, more cost-effectively and to be able to measure their results in a way that informs their future decisions.

Good luck and know when to to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.

I think that Tim does a nice job here of basically saying “when you know what the end game is there is no such thing as wasted time.”

Sell, Lead, Succeed!

bigstock-thoughtful-businessman-standin-46778863

Tom Petty was right. The waiting is the hardest part!

We always seem to be waiting. On the surface waiting sucks, but why not take advantage of the down time? Waiting can equal learning while you are:

  • Waiting for, or riding public transportation
  • Commuting to work and/or driving to meetings
  • Waiting for an appointment
  • Waiting in line at a store
  • Waiting on a golf course between holes

… You the idea. There are many other examples.

  • When you are on public transportation or waiting anywhere with respect to your role, have some “catalog time” with your company’s literature. It is incredible how much more comfortable I became with catalogs by focusing on them as little as 10 minutes per day.
  • When you are commuting to work in your vehicle, or driving to appointments, listen to podcasts or audio books that will help you with business and/or personal development.
  • When you…

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Social Media Gurus Piss Me Off

Just like any small business owner I am bombarded by more SEO and SM advice that I can possibly handle.  It comes from all quarters.  It is full of jargon and I can barely read it or watch the videos.  For starters I just don’t have the time and secondly I find it deadly boring.   Rather than dismiss it thouh I was reflecting on why I find it all so impenetrable.  There has to be a lesson in it for me and others.  And of course I found it.  I realized three things that are universally being overlooked in the wailing from the highest tower about how good their services are:

 

  1. The clue is in the title, Social Media MARKETING.  Marketing has its place in the lifecycle of a business and it (should) always comes after the definition of an overall strategy and business concept.  Unfortunately somewhere around 90% of business never ever write down a business plan other than on a piece of scrap paper at the idea stage and of the 10% more still don’t use it as a guide.  Life just moves on so fast.  Which is why when someone comes along chirping about the importance of SEO and SM that the owner just gets on board (as they tend to do with things that offer me-too capability but rarely do with differentiating ideas). 

 

Much in the same way that the saying goes that we get the politicians that we deserve so the same is true for our media.  That holds for print and TV media and has come to be true of Social Media.  If we aren’t asking our SM experts to situate their input in the terms of an overall business concept then we’ll not get that.  We’ll get when we get which is (with a few exceptions) the appearance that your business begins with an SM strategy.  It doesn’t it beings with your overall vision, mission, values and principles for your business.  Having SM tactics (bundling them together does not make it a strategy, they are really just a lot of tactics) will get you closer to your vision but will only be effective in doing that in the context of a broader business overview.

 

That is what I discovered that most SM experts miss.  They don’t ever refer to their ability or willingness to defer commenting on how SM can help my business, to what extent, to what value until they have fully understood my vision and mission.  This is a big mistake.

 

  1. Secondly the messages are all written by SM experts.  What makes a good SM expert? Someone who loves technology, is an early adopter, is really focussed on researching and delivering great content.  What makes for a rotten SM expert?  Someone like me who far prefers a person to a PC, who believes that a  handshake is not something that two computers can do, who has so many projects on his plate that his (untidy) desk is overflowing and who believes that everyone should be just like him.  Where is the problem?  The SM guru is one personality type and they don’t seem to be able to find ways of reaching other personality types.  The guys who are becoming minor celebrities in this arena are hitting lots of hot buttons with some types of people but they are leaving others behind.  That’s fair enough but I will be giving my SM dollars to the coach/consultant who talks my language and sees life through my eyes.

 

There are plenty of courses and models to help people understand the various personality types and apply SEO type techniques to their marketing message will help to attract more attention and belief from a wider variety of people than they currently are by writing for people like them.  I use DISC as my tool to help clients understand that not everyone is like them and why that is a good thing.

 

  1. Lastly I realized that when you combine the first two points the big thing missing for me is ROI.  In DISC terminology I am a high D and I like to know what I get back in return for my investment in time and money.  I don’t know what a hit is worth and I don’t know what an eyeball is worth.  That lack of ability to attribute value to metrics is a reality for most businesses and those that think that they con do it accurately are generally kidding themselves.  Their brand and message are evolving faster than ever as is the competition, so the use of useless metrics concerns me. 

All of this goes to explain why it is that the person who gets my SM dollars is going to talk in terms of the bottom-line and they will know the impact that they will have because they will have understood my strategy and my other marketing channels.

Advice for Social Media Experts

This is nice. Offering advice to SM experts instead of being on “Drink from the waterhose” the other way around.

Just like any small business owner I am bombarded by more SEO and SM advice that I can possibly handle. It comes from all quarters. It is full of jargon and I can barely read it or watch the videos. It makes a kind-of-sense that fades as greater and greater assumptions are made about my level of skill and interest. For starters I just don’t have the time to read even 10% of it and secondly I find it deadly boring. Rather than dismiss it thouh I was reflecting on why I find it all so impenetrable. There has to be a lesson in it for me and others. And of course I found it. I realized three things that are universally being overlooked in the wailing from the highest tower about how my business will fail without a SM guru on board.

1. The clue is in the title, Social Media MARKETING. Marketing has it’s place in the lifecycle of a business and it (should) always comes after the definition of an overall strategy and business concept. Unfortunately somewhere around 90% of business never ever write down a business plan other than on a piece of scrap paper at the idea stage and of the 10% who d have one, most don’t use it as a guide. Life just moves on so fast that they live life meeting t meeting, month to month just staying afloat is success. Which is why when someone comes along chirping about the importance of SEO and SM that the owner just gets on board (as they tend to do with things that offer me-too capability but rarely do with differentiating ideas).

Much in the same way that the saying goes that we get the politicians that we deserve so the same is true for our media. That holds for print and TV media and has come to be true of Social Media. If we aren’t asking our SM experts to situate their input in the terms of an overall business concept then we’ll not get that offering. We’ll get what we currently get which is (with a few exceptions) the appearance that your business begins with an SM strategy. It doesn’t it beings with your overall vision, mission, values and principles for your business. Having SM tactics (bundling them together does not make it a strategy, they are really just a lot of tactics) will get you closer to your vision but will only be effective in doing that in the context of a broader business overview.

That is what I discovered that most SM experts miss. They don’t ever refer to their ability or willingness to defer commenting on how SM can help my business until they have fully understood my vision and mission. This is a big mistake.

2. Secondly the messages are all written by SM experts. What makes a good SM expert? Someone who loves technology, is an early adopter, is really focussed on researching and delivering great content. Someone for whom the web is their world. What makes for a rotten SM expert? Someone like me who far prefers a person to a PC, who believes that a handshake is not something that two computers can do, who has so many projects on his plate that his (untidy) desk is overflowing. Where is the problem? The SM guru is one personality type and they don’t seem to be able to find ways of reaching other personality types. The guys who are becoming minor celebrities in this arena are hitting lots of hot buttons with some types of people but they are leaving others behind. That’s fair enough, you can’t be all things to all people, but I will be giving my SM dollars to the coach/consultant who talks my language and sees life through my eyes.

There are plenty of courses and models to help people understand the various personality types. When an SM expert understands the differences that exist they can apply SEO-type techniques to their marketing message. This will help to attract more attention and belief from a wider variety of people. I use DISC as my tool to help clients understand that not everyone is like them and why that is a good thing.

3. Lastly I realized that when you combine the first two points the big thing missing for me is ROI. In DISC terms I am a high D and I like to know what I get back in return for my investment in time and money. Not after I’ve understood how it works or that my competition are doing it. What is it worth to me? Tell me that FIRST!

I don’t know what a hit is worth and I don’t know what an eyeball is worth. That is a reality for most small businesses and those that think that they do are generally kidding themselves. Their brand and message are evolving faster than ever, as is the competition, so the use of useless metrics concerns me. Which is why the person that gets my SM dollars is going to talk in terms of the bottom-line and they will know the impact that they will have because they will have understood my strategy and other marketing channels.

SO in summary my advice to SM experts is be less focussed on the SM and more on the business and then fit your message in to that. What I think you’ll find is that the businesses you attract that way are the better run, more sustainable businesses and you’ll have a longer relationship with them. Or you could just kill what you can and see what happens, that’s the way business is these days, right?