Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast
WSS #0111: Average Is Over: It's Time For You To Stand Out

Are You A Slacker?

Today we welcome Dorie Clark, an author, speaker, consultant, contributor to Time, Forbes and the Harvard Business Review among other prominent publications… so naturally we asked the most relevant question: Dorie, why are you such a slacker?

It's Time To Stand Out.

Our conversation with Dorie can be summed up like this: the loudest ideas are usually the ones that get heard. Now it's time for the good ones to get some attention.

Dorie is a believer in good ideas and everyone's ability to have one (or maybe two!) In her recently published book Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It, she shares what it means to have a great idea and how you can be known for it.

Average Is Over.

We said it in the title but it's worth repeating. Many, if not most of us, have been taught from an early age that if we work hard we can be successful.

Dorie says not so fast. Nowadays, in a world that is crowded with people just like you, hard work isn't enough. You may do well but the real ticket to success is to be truly known for your ideas.

Whoa, That Sounds Hard.

Admittedly, there's a ton of competition and it's not exactly a piece of cake to get noticed. But don't panic. It turns out anyone can have a breakthough idea – from the VPs and CEOs of a company right down to the IT techs and the guys who run the forklifts.

There are plenty of ideas to be had.

And the really encouraging thing is that breakthrough ideas don't even have to be huge or world-changing.

They just have to be different.

Meet Michael Waxman.

Dorie profiled a number of people in her book but one that stood out was Michael Waxman. He was a guy thrust into a pretty unpleasant situation. His apartment was being converted to a condo and he had to find a new home fast.

So Michael went to a lot of open houses in a short span of time and took super detailed notes so he could keep track of everything.

Then he went online and posted those reviews to a tiny site that nobody much used.

Then an unexpected thing happened. People started asking him to be their real estate agent! Michael had to decline because real estate wasn't his job, but he got so well known for these amazing reviews that eventually an actual real estate agent contacted him and offered to sponsor him if he wanted to get his license.

He did. And went on to have a very profitable side career in real estate with zero marketing because he had already built a huge fan and referral base.

Now, if you think about that, writing reviews isn't exactly breakthrough. But the point is that nobody else was doing what he did. And people noticed.

Great, You Have An Idea! Now What?

Having ideas is great. But they won't do you or anyone much good if they stay in your head.

Dorie says that to get noticed you have to do two things.

  1. Create content. That doesn't sound exactly breakthough, either, right? But without content you won't be able to get your ideas into the world where people can see them and recognize you for them. Content makes you discoverable.
  2. Build your email list. This should be starting to sound familiar. Social media is nice but Dorie reminds us that it's not a panacea. Plus the platforms are not yours. Grow your list so you can communicate directly with the people who want to hear from you.

OMG, Do I Have To Be… Self-Promotional?

Oh hell, yes. If you want to be recognized as a leader in your industry, if you want to be the go-to person for something, then you have to get over your hangups right now and understand that not only must you promote yourself but if you're really providing value and sharing great ideas it's your responsibility to share them with the world.

But I'll Sound Like A Self Centered Jerk.

If you listen to the podcast, you probably won't even notice how many times Dorie promotes her book. She does it so consistently and seamlessly that it's just part of the conversation.

I dare you to call her a self-promotional jerk.

Dorie has a solution for those of you who worry about being that self-promotional jerk. Ask yourself this question: is this content helpful enough that someone would want to share with a friend?

If what you've got meets that requirement, then it needs to be shared.

And no, nobody wants to hear you talk about how great you are all the time and listen to your shouts of, "Buy my stuff!" But there is a lot of room to walk between the extremes of zero self-promotion and incessant boasting.

When you share truly helpful and valuable stuff, Dorie says, you aren't being self-centered. You're being other-centered and giving people something they need.

Ok, But What If I Don't Have An Idea?

Go take a shower.

Seriously.

The problem with modern culture – especially American and western culture – is that we are constantly overbooked. We go from meeting to meeting to call to call to task to deadline and never give ourselves the space to think and create.

Without space and without thinking you will never have an idea, let alone a good one.

It sounds cliché but taking a shower or going for a walk is exactly what you need. And it's not because you need to chill out (though you do) but because research has shown that focusing on a problem and actually trying to be creative is a recipe for zero creativity.

But when you do another activity that is kind of rote and mechanical, one that lets you enter a state of "distracted thinking" that's when you can be your most creative.

So maybe for you it's vacuuming the house or walking the dog. But find that simple task and then breathe.

You Can Even Make Your Own Luck.

This is not one of those New-Age-y things about magically manifesting your perfect life just by thinking about it. This is actually borne out by research.

But luck may not be what you think it is.

Turns out, Dorie says, that luck is an attitude. Luck is about sitting back and letting events unfold. It's about being less fixated on something and more open to possibility. It's about curiosity and humility.

If you're a little tired of hearing advice about "reaching out to influencers" but aren't sure how to get on Bill Gates' dinner list, you're in luck! Dorie says that "lucky" people are never looking over the shoulder of the person they're talking to, hoping to find someone more important. Lucky people talk to CEOs and janitors alike and pay attention to people on the periphery. Not just to the typical bigwigs that everyone wants to meet.

Finally, Be As Gay As You Are.

We couldn't help but briefly touch on an article that was the inspiration for our Dorie-fandom several years ago. She wrote it when Anderson Cooper came out as gay and that made news for five minutes before everyone went about their business.

So we asked Dorie: what should we really be sharing online? How much is too much?

And Dorie says that we should get it all out there. That either hiding your identity or covering for something like being gay, or a medical condition, or depression – something that is "not talked about" – is bad for morale, bad for the world and bad for you. Besides, the more you get it out there the less likely that something will be discovered and revealed in a way that you did not choose.

No need to make it a focus, but acknowledge who you are and move on. The more we do that, the less of a big deal it will be – for us and for those who come out literally and metaphorically after us.

Your Marketing Action Item

From Dorie: Dorie was faced with saving making from the moon splitting into two parts, so she gave us two marketing action items!

  1. Try an app called SumoMe. This is actually a correction to what she mentioned in the podcast which was AppSumo (they all start to sound alike after a while… what does that say about their breakthough ideas?) SumoMe lets you set up very nifty popups – not the annoying kind – on your WordPress site so you can start building that email list.
  2. If you've got a thing that you're covering up, whether it's a personality trait, a struggle, something embarrassing or just a thing that isn't talked about – put it out there. Just be who you are. Acknowledge. Move on.

Links & Resources

 

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Direct download: 0111-average-is-over-its-time-for-you-to-stand-out.mp3
Category:marketing -- posted at: 12:00am EST

WSS #0110: BLOG > 3 Things That Will Prevent You From Cutting Your Marketing Budget In Times Of Crisis Or Beheading

Read the article at http://www.websearchsocial.com/110


WSS #0109: BLOG > Marketing To Millennials: Should You, Shouldn't You And What Does That Mean?

Read the article at http://www.websearchsocial.com/109


WSS #0108: Have A Sardine And Let's Get Naked: The Art Of Communicating With Customers

It's Heeeeere!

It's the official Superheroes of Marketing crossover episode! That means Ralph is over at Superheroes of Marketing with Alisa Meredith, and Kelly Kranz is cohosting on the Web.Search.Social Podcast.

So after you're done here be sure to bounce over there and catch another super-heroic episode. Twice the fun and twice the marketing goodness.

Enhance Collaborative Opportunities And Holistically Enable Your Cross Channel Connections

In other words: communicate with your clients! Today we take on the subject of what makes communication effective and what to do when it breaks down. As head of Client Services at OverGo Studio, Kelly has experience with the good, the bad and the crazy.

Technology: Good Or Bad?

Right before recording this episode I got an email from a listener that said, "Have a sardine."

No, she wasn't interested in my dinner menu. She had just become the victim of autocorrect.

That begs the question: now that we have so many methods of communication, from email to Skype chat to social media, phone, video conferencing and more, is that good for us or bad for us?

Kelly thinks its more good than bad and I agree because in spite of the pitfalls, it does give us many options to keep the lines of communication open.

Everyone prefers a different method and it's our job to know what our clients need.

Should You Respond To Clients Immediately?

A down side to technology is the immediacy. People can come to expect you to reply nearly instantly and it can be a problem if you don't.

Kelly likes to be immediate. She says she wants every client to think they are her only client.

I'm on board, but I also think it's easy to set expectations a little too high. And sometimes we have to let clients know that even if they don't hear from us for a whole hour, we're probably not dead and have not taken off to Tahiti with their money.

Old Farts Vs. Young Whippersnappers

Kelly is what marketing people like to refer to as a "millennial". I'm just old. But does that make us so different in how we communicate?

Kelly thinks younger people like to avoid meetings and phone calls when they can. I wonder if it's just a personality thing because even though I'm not often mistaken for a twenty-something these days, I tend to prefer email to voice when I'm someone's client. Sometimes it's just about expediency.

In the end, we can't decide what "young" means anyway. We're all young at heart!

Understand Your Customers

The truth is, everyone is different. Even the same person can be different from day to day. The client who hates phone calls may really, really wish you'd make time for a phone call when the circumstance warrants it.

It comes down to knowing your customers and being aware of the danger for communication breakdowns. If you sense a problem brewing, fix it before it becomes one.

Also, Understand Your Customers!

We love to centralize our communications in a project management system. And though we try to get all our clients on board, there are some who will never click that "log in" button to see all the fabulous information we've put there just for them.

But effective communication isn't about "do it my way". It's about recognizing what your customers need from you and giving it to them.

You have to understand their preferences, their computer skills, their tolerance, and work together to find the best way to communicate.

Getting Everyone On The Same Page

When you're working with a client, how do you make sure that what they think is happening is what you think is happening and is what's actually happening?

Since even technology has not gotten to the bottom of reading minds yet, there are some practical things you can do to be clear.

First, be specific. Let people know exactly what you're doing and when you'll do it by. Take a "this is the next step" approach and lead people along.

Then document it. Even if everyone is crystal clear that doesn't mean they will be in five minutes. Life gets in the way and we don't always remember that next step so write it down. Send a email or for those low-tech clients, write it on a piece of paper so it can be a reference point.

Finally, never end a conversation without an action item. Whether you've had a five minute call or a two hour meeting, somebody is probably expecting something to happen next.

Find out what that is and make sure everyone knows what is expected of them.

My Insurance Guy Must Hate Me

Every year I get a renewal form from my business insurance guy and all I have to do is sign and return it. I usually tell him I'll send it tomorrow.

My poor insurance guy is probably sitting there thinking great, I'm pretty sure I won't see it for two months.

And he'd probably be right.

Yes, I'm a bad client!

This is where consequences come in handy. If my insurance guy said hey, CL, if you don't get this back to me in a week then your insurance will be cancelled, I bet I'd be a little more motivated.

You can use this, too. If you're going to need something from a client, let them know what happens if you don't get it in a timely fashion. Maybe a crucial deadline will be missed. Maybe it will cost something. Maybe you won't have room in your schedule to attend to whatever they're sending.

Everyone needs to be held accountable.

When It Goes Off The Rails

We talked about good communication but sometimes things go wrong. Then what?

Kelly says: kill it with kindness.

And I love that idea.

She has a particularly thorny client who she manages by being super nice. And the one time he opened up and told her a personal story, she sent him a gift to commemorate it.

Ok, so this story had sort of a happy ending. The gift went over well but five minutes later the client was back to being mean.

But I think that's a fringe case. I think most people can be won over with honest and persistent kindness.

Kelly Calls Our Outro "Wordful"

Since Kelly cohosted I asked her to read half of our exit script and that devolved into 20 minutes of hilarity. Lucky for you all but about 30 seconds of that got clipped out but I left in the best-of-the-worst because really, we both just had to go eat dinner.

In all the mayhem and giggling I forgot to tell our audience to go listen to Kelly and Alisa over on Superheroes of Marketing so this will have to do. Go listen! Now! But wait, first…

Your Marketing Action Item

From Kelly: Download an app called Sidekick that integrates with your email.

It will tell you when someone opens or clicks on any emails that you sent to them, how many times they opened it and from what device.

If you work in sales you can see that someone has opened it and quickly pick up the phone to follow up. Whether this makes you seem psychic or creepy, you decide. But it's a great tool to keep an eye on whether your communications are being received and reviewed and to take action either way.

From Carol Lynn: Switch up your communications with a client. Try something different than what you normally do. Email them a lot? Pick up the phone next time. Talk to them a lot? Send a handwritten note. Do something unexpected. Mike Brooks calls this a "pattern interrupt" – get clients to pay attention to you and let them know you're paying attention to them.

Links & Resources

 

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WSS #0107: Put On Your Social Media Hat: When To Post, Automate And Listen

New SuperFred Shout Out!

Today we have to give props to SuperFred Sheng Slogar who has been on top of things lately when we haven't been. He reminded us when we forgot to add the audio player to our last podcast. He pointed out a mistake in our episode numbering. He noticed that our mobile site was not working as it should have been.

Since Sheng has been doing the work we haven't been, we're thinking maybe "Chief Executive Web.Search.Social Watchdog" fits.

Sheng is also a programmer at Triberr so we already know he's pretty awesome.

Say Hello To THE Social Media Hat.

Before we started recording, our guest Mike Allton was quick to tell us that he is not just any social media hat but THE Social Media Hat, which is also the name of his blog.

Mike loves social media and tools and also wrote a book about how to use Hootsuite, which is more than Hootsuite has done.

Every Time An Infographic Is Shared We Kill A Unicorn

More specifically, every time we share an infographic about "the best time to post to social media" we kill a unicorn. Mike attributes that quote to Stephan Hovnanian but agrees that those are generalizations that should not be taken as biblical truth.

So When IS The Best Time To Post To Social Media?

Much like all of marketing, the answer is: it depends. The best way to determine that time is to test. Fortunately that doesn't have to be complicated.

Start by picking a time. Want to use the "best time" from an infographic? Go ahead. Then post at that time consistently for some period of time – say a week.

After a week, pick a new time to post. Wait another week then compare the activity from your first week to your second. Was one time better than another for getting shares and engagement?

Pick another time and do it again. Keep going until you find your optimal time.

Yes, You Can Post The Same Thing Multiple Times To The Same Network

Except Facebook. Mike posts the same content multiple times each day on Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest. But he's found that on Facebook his first post gets good engagement and his second bombs.

It could be because of Facebook's algorithm. It could be that the Facebook audience is less tolerant of repetition or because people spend more time on Facebook and tend to see more of what's posted so they get bored of the repetition.

Whatever the case, if you want to promote your blog post, for example, get it out there several times a day on Twitter but once on Facebook.

Mike has a nifty method of reposting. He qualifies a repeat post on networks like Google Plus by calling it a "time zone reshare" or "for the evening crowd".

Don't Follow People Online Who Post Garbage

A few weeks ago we talked to Alisa Meredith, Ian Anderson Gray and Jeff Sieh about how Buffer added Pinterest scheduling. One of the concerns that came up was that now that people can schedule, will pin quality suffer?

We generally lamented the future of Pinterest and the mess it may become but Mike has a different perspective.

He says that the mess is Pinterest's problem – not his. And that he won't be bothered by the mess because he won't follow people who post garbage.

That's a lesson for you, Fred, to be mindful that if you're pinning bad or un-optimized photos or spewing out junk on social media, people will unfollow you.

Should You Be Listening As Well As Talking?

Maybe.

But first let's define what we mean by "listening". We're not talking about responding to people who talk to you (though that is important) but rather, listening for conversations that are not directed at you but may be about you – or your products and services – or products and services like yours.

If people are talking about you but not addressing you directly, you won't get the typical notifications you get when people mention you specifically.

Even if you're not a big brand, you can listen for conversations with keywords that are relevant to your business.

You could listen for complaints about competitors and take the opportunity to offer something better.

So why wouldn't you listen?

Well, most tools are only equipped to listen on Twitter. If your audience isn't there, that isn't so great. And if you're a small, local business then it may not be as helpful, either.

Give it a shot and see what you learn. If it's a whole lot of not much, then cross it off your list. Otherwise, use the opportunity.

Automation: Good Or Bad?

Both! You can't sit in front of your social accounts and post all day. You may not be there at "the best time" to post. So scheduling your posts is a good idea.

But don't automate engagement. Skip the "auto direct messages" and make time to actually engage with people, especially if they engage with you.

Hootsuite: It's A Love/Hate Thing

Let's face it: there isn't another tool out there that has all the features of Hootsuite at such an attractive price point.

And it does do some pretty cool stuff, from letting you set up keyword searches to adding a "geofence" around your terms so you can search only for mentions of the word "hedgehog" for example, within 25 miles of Boise, Idaho.

Pretty cool, huh?

But the interface still drives us a little crazy (we're partial to Buffer) and some of the features are way overkill for a small business.

Mike has a solution, though: use multiple tools! At $10 per month or less for each of these tools, you won't be breaking the bank to use the best of both.

Mike And Ralph Get Nerdish

With the release of the movie Avengers; Age of Ultron, the Batman vs Superman trailer and the new Star Wars trailer, there was more talk than usual about the end of the world and things like Infinity Stones. We're thinking Nick Fury should sponsor this show. Or at least make an appearance.

Your Marketing Action Item

From Mike: Start growing your email list right now. Then when the end of the world comes you can rally the troops to save mankind. OK, Maybe we talked a little too much about the Avengers and Infinity Stones…

Links & Resources

 

Subscribe to be notified whenever we publish new content and to stay in the loop on new podcasts and resources.

Direct download: 0107-put-on-your-social-media-hat-when-to-post-automate-and-listen.mp3
Category:marketing -- posted at: 12:00am EST

WSS #0106: BLOG > Is Your Marketing Message Clear Or Are You Just Selling Toilet Water?

Read the article at http://www.websearchsocial.com/106


WSS #0105: BLOG > 7 Things Wasting Your Time Instead Of Making You Money

To read the article visit http://websearchsocial.com/105

Direct download: 0105-blog-7-things-wasting-your-time-instead-of-making-you-money.mp3
Category:marketing -- posted at: 12:00am EST

WSS #0104: How Bad Is Your Sales Pitch And Are You Missing The Millennial Boat?

Host Swap!

Originally we planned to do a host swap with the Superheroes of Marketing podcast but due to scheduling snafus and the alignment of Jupiter, we had to postpone that. So we swapped our own hosts instead. Carol Lynn takes on the role of Ralph including the intro, and Ralph takes on the role of Carol Lynn, smoothly commanding the "What Did We Learn?" segment.

Visit Our Sponsor

We've talked about Tammie Rampley and Tramplee Designs before but it's worth repeating: you can get some amazing bags there. We just got a bag we custom ordered for Ralph's mom with a pretty vague directive: she likes cats and she's constantly digging into her bag for something that it usually takes her forever to find.

Tammie ran with that and came up with an amazing bag that I'm debating not giving as a gift... I mean... I can't wait to give the gift! We'll post photos after our moms get their gifts so they're the first to enjoy the surprise.

Shout Out to Tom Richards, AKA Mr. President

We were so excited about our 100th episode that we forgot to give a shout out to our Obama impersonator last week. His name is Tom Richards and we found him on Fiverr, which may not be the best place to get your logo designed but is pretty cool for other fun stuff.

If you haven't heard the intro, go back and listen and if you want to have a little fun with your audio scripts, Tom will deliver fast and brilliantly.

Get My Name Right, Will Ya?

I got a solicitation from someone on LinkedIn that started out like this: "Hi."

That's it. No name, no intro, just a pitch. If you're planning to pitch someone, at least start with their name and do me a favor: get it right! My name is a little more complicated since it's two words but you don't have to look far to figure out how to spell it. It's all over this website, on all my articles, on the podcast, on every social network.

When you can't even take the time to include or spell someone's name correctly in your pitch, it just screams, "Spam!" and only makes people want to delete it.

Beware The "Happy Birthday" Notifications

LinkedIn does it. Facebook does it. Skype does it. You see those notifications prompting you to wish people a happy birthday and it may seem nice on the surface but if you don't really know the person, you could be doing yourself – and the person you're engaging – a disservice.

Sometimes that info isn't correct. Sometimes people don't celebrate birthdays. I wished someone on Skype a happy birthday some three months too late because for whatever reason, it popped up in my messages that day. Fortunately I knew the person and we laughed it off, but that can be kind of awkward otherwise. Not exactly a great relationship building strategy to wish someone a three month late happy birthday.

I've seen people blindly wish someone a happy birthday on their Facebook page after that person has been dead for years.

And The "Congratulations" Messages

It can also be touchy when wishing someone "congratulations on your new job" as LinkedIn prompts you to do. What if that person was just correcting a typo? Or finally got around to adding their job after years working at the company? What if they were downsized and had to take on a crummy interim job? "Congratulations!" doesn't seem so appropriate anymore.

Instead of blindly connecting or spewing out niceties, try engaging with people you have some kind of relationship with. If you don't have a relationship with a person, it's ok to not wish them a happy birthday.

Don't automate your relationships. Be careful about what you say and be real about who you say it to.

Why Marketing To Millennials Is Fiction

Someone recently told me they need to revamp their website so they can tap into the millennial market. If that means making their website mobile friendly, then that's a great idea. But usually when people say that, it means they want to reach "the young people."

We stole a page right out of Ryan Hanley's book on this one: we don't believe there is any such thing as generational divisions. The only thing that matters is whether you're connected or not connected.

If your audience isn't connected then how you market to them will be different. You'll have to rely on snail mail, phone calls, maybe even door-to-door.

But if your audience is connected then whether they're born after a certain year doesn't matter. Your job is to provide a solution to your customer's problem, age notwithstanding.

Should Your Prospects Have To Do Your Marketing For You?

Lots of people put a field on their contact forms that asks, "How did you find us?" It's usually a dropdown box with a bunch of choices and one of them is usually "other".

The other day I left a website that required me to choose from a very long list of options. I opted out and they lost my business.

Ralph says I'm a fringe case. I say I'm busy and I got the same product at another website without having to complete an annoying form.

Be mindful of what barriers you're putting between you and your prospect. And that incudes captchas. It's not your prospect's job to do your marketing nor is it their job to manage your spam.

As for me, I'd rather get 100 spam messages than miss one opportunity.

Guess I'd better get rid of the captchas on our site…

Here's A Better Question

Chances are your customers didn't take a straight path to your door. They may have seen you on Facebook, read your blog, signed up for your email then finally contacted you because of a tweet. So when you ask, "How did you find me?" they probably don't even know.

And that's ok because if you're doing your marketing right people shouldn't remember how they found you. You should just be everywhere they are!

Here's what you should be asking people: "Why did you choose to work with me?" Or even, "Why didn't you choose my competitor?" Knowing what really made their decision can inform your marketing much more effectively.

Your Marketing Action Item

From Carol Lynn: Look at your website forms and ask yourself whether you need all the information you're currently asking for. Examine every field and ask yourself, "Do I need this information in order to respond to this person effectively?" If the answer isn't a definitive yes, remove the field. Make it stupid-simple for people to complete your form. That also means getting rid of captchas and not asking your prospects to do your marketing for you by asking, "How did you find us?" Save it for your second date.

From Ralph: Find a time tracking tool and start tracking your time in as granular a way as you need. Be careful not to micromanage your tracking though, because you can get carried away and start measuring minutia. Find a balance that helps you figure out where you're spending your time, what's making you money and what's not. People are notoriously bad at estimating how long a task is going to take. If you're investing a ton more time than you're billing for, you're losing money.

Links & Resources

Oh, And Stickers!

As part of our 100th episode celebration we gave away 100 stickers and clings and we've still got some left so if you'd like one for your desk or laptop then complete the form on our show notes page and we'll shoot one out to you ASAP. We are only shipping to the U.S. right now.

You'll also be subscribed to receive emails whenever we publish new content. If you're already subscribed, don't worry - your subscription will stay the same.


WSS # 0103: My Family Life Is Suffering Because Of My Business. Now What?

Show Notes

Ryan Hanley is no stranger to the Web.Search.Social Podcast and for good reason: whenever he's on we walk away inspired and ready to take action.

As the host of the Content Warfare podcast and author of our new favorite business book by the same name, Ryan makes every conversation a fluff-free zone. He is also notorious for his love of tangents which may be why we started out thinking we were going to talk about content marketing but ended up talking about entrepreneurship and marriage.

Truth be told, we started on that tangent and forgot to get off it because the conversation was so fascinating.

Do You Work With Your Spouse Or Significant Other?

We've been pretty surprised to learn lately about so many people who run a business with their significant other.

So when we heard Ryan talk about how running the Kickstarter to fund his book, followed by the actual writing of the book, had put a strain on his marriage, we were all ears.

And by the way, if you're thinking, "That's not me. I won’t get anything out of this one," you'd be wrong. There is so much entrepreneurial goodness here that even if the only person you see all day is your cat, you'll still walk away feeling revived.

Apparently, Success Takes Work.

Ryan is a positive person so to hear him talk about how he struggled to balance work and life during a particularly stressful period in his life gives us hope that even the worst of times can be overcome.

You just have to want to overcome them.

Oh, and you have to show up and do the work. There is a time and place for happy, motivational, aspirational talk and a time to roll up your sleeves and do it. Even if you're doing it at 3AM on two hours sleep.

Also, Success Is Scary.

When you do great things a scary thing starts to happen. People start to expect great things from you. That's a lot of pressure!

And if you're successful enough people start to pick apart what you do and say which can leave you wide open for criticism.

Ryan (or in this case Ryan's dad) says don't be afraid. Embrace it and keep on going.

Put Your Family First.

When your life is out of balance it's a lot harder to get your work done and to focus and be productive. Plus, the most important people in your life suffer.

Make sure you designate time for work and time for play. And when you're with your family, be with them. Be in the moment and dial in 100%.

Put Your Health Way Up There, Too.

When you're busy, getting little sleep or traveling a lot you probably aren't thinking about eating your green veggies or hopping on the treadmill. But Ryan is adamant that you can't be at your best or create your best unless you feel good about yourself.

If your muscles are starting to feel a little soggy, make time for regular workouts and not only will you feel better but you'll watch your energy levels soar.

It's Not About Love.

Well, it's kind of about love. But even love can't save a relationship without some other key ingredients. For Ryan these are trust and respect, and we're on board.

Get Excited About Your Work But Remember That It's Work.

Being passionate and motivated is great. But success for Ryan is simple math. It's 90% showing up, 9% doing the work and 1% talent. It's worth repeating: you have to want to succeed.

Your Marketing Action Item From Ryan

We asked Ryan to share how you can balance your family and business at the same time and his answer was real simple: never put your own priorities ahead of your family's.

Get Your Content Warfare Book

In case you're wondering whether it's worth it, it is. We had to get two copies of the book – one for looking awesome on a bookshelf and one for highlighting the crap out of.

Get yours here.

Catch The Content Warfare Podcast

A long time favorite of ours, the Content Warfare podcast is worth listening to again and again.

And if that's not enough Ryan, you can follow him on Twitter @RyanHanley_com or find him on Google Plus.

Subscribe to be notified whenever we publish new content and to stay in the loop on new podcasts and resources.

Direct download: 0103-my-family-life-is-suffering-because-of-my-business-now-what.mp3
Category:marketing -- posted at: 12:00am EST

WSS #0102: BLOG > 10 Things I Learned About Business And Productivity From 100 Episodes Of Podcasting

Read the article at http://www.websearchsocial.com/102


10 Things I Learned About Content Creation From 100 Episodes Of Podcasting

To read the article visit http://www.websearchsocial.com/101

For details about our 100th episode promotion visit http://www.websearchsocial.com/superfred/


WSS # 0100: Celebrate 100 Podcast Episodes And Save Up To $6,000 On Your Marketing

It's Here! 100 Episodes And We're Still Kicking.

When we started this venture in September of 2014 (with thanks to Cynthia Sanchez for kicking us in the butt and getting us off center) we didn't have a particular episode goal in mind. We just knew that we wanted to get going and keep going, as long as we were sharing good info and having fun.

We knew it would be work, we knew we would have fun, but we never could have anticipated so many of the things that have happened along the way. Like you, Fred. Who knew we'd have a loyal and awesome army of Fred? With SuperFreds leading the way? Who knew we'd have the opportunity to talk to so many awesome and diverse people, from film director Chris Leone to plagiarism expert Jonathan Bailey to sex coach Kim Anami... and so many in between?

(If you'd like to meet all of our guests, visit our podcast page and scroll about halfway down.)

We've truly enjoyed the journey and we've enjoyed getting your feedback and questions and even getting to know many of our listeners better. We're looking forward to the next 100!

In The Meantime, It's Still About The Marketing

The thing that kills us is that even after listening to us hammer on so many mistakes that can be avoided, people still tell us horror stories of marketing gone awry. Websites crashing and being lost forever (why no backups?!) "Cheap" marketing providers or web developers disappearing and taking your stuff with them (why no precautions?!) Worst of all, maybe, we hear about people spending money on marketing only to be perpetually wondering why and what the point is (why no results?!)

People, it's time. It's time for a change. If you're suffering through the Disappearing Developer, the MIA Marketer, or experiencing the "what am I spending money on?" blues... it's time to change that right now.

That's Why We've Got A SuperFred Deal Going On.

We're serious about the time being now. So serious that we're going to make this very simple. You sign up for one of our marketing programs on this page before the end of this week (that's Friday the 15th) and we'll discount your program by 20% for 12 full months.

Next week the discount drops to 15%. The week after it drops to 10%. The week after it's gone.

We're so serious that even if you're still feeling muddled and don't know what to do or which direction to take, we're also offering a one-on-one hour long consultation for $250 so you can ask anything. Want advice? Now is the time to get it. Need guidance? Now is the time to get it. And if you decide to sign up for one of our programs after our consultation, we'll credit that $250 to your first month's program so your consultation ends up being free.

Thank You, And Stick Around For The Next 100!

Will you be the next SuperFred and join the ranks of Poet Laureate Melanie Kissell, Chief Executive Friend Manager (and Freduary creator) Colleen Conger, Chief Executive Research Dude Ian Anderson Gray, Chief Executive Of Everything (and creator of the hash tag #WSSup) Jillian Jackson, Chief Executive Digital Content Roving Detective Reporter Tammie Rampley and the rest of the SuperFred army?

Will you make 2015 your best marketing year ever? What are you waiting for? The time to start is now.

Visit Our Sponsor

Check out the always wonderful and talented Tammie Rampley of Tramplee Designs on Etsy where you can choose one of the bags there or send her a request for something custom. We're already on our third order... about to place our fourth and we're delighted every time not just by her craftsmanship but by her service and the total experience.

Your Marketing Action Item

From Carol Lynn: Find out if your website is being backed up. Make sure you know three things: where it's being backed up to, how often it's being backed up and how long the backups are retained. If your website isn't being backed up - or if the backups don't work to protect your business as well as they could - stop what you're doing and remedy that right now.

From Ralph: Interview a few business coaches (good ones sometimes call themselves growth consultants or similar) and find out how they can help you balance your business with the rest of your life. A good coach/consultant will look at your financials and help you find more effective and efficient ways to spend your time and money so you'll have more time to do things you enjoy.

Oh, And Don't Forget The Stickers!

As part of our 100th episode celebration we're giving away Web.Search.Social stickers and clings for the asking. Since our carrier pigeons are on vacation, these are only available for shipping to the U.S. Fill out your mailing info below and we'll get one out to you ASAP.

You'll also be subscribed to receive emails whenever we publish new content. If you're already subscribed, don't worry - your subscription will stay the same.

To get your sticker visit http://www.websearchsocial.com/100


WSS #0099: Better Sex Makes For Better Business

NSFW*

Fair warning folks, this is our first official and very *NOT Safe For Work episode. First there's the subject matter: sex and the marketing of it. Then there are the F-words sprinkled liberally throughout so if you feel weird and uncomfortable about this stuff, you may want to skip ahead to episode 100.

But I hope you don't because as weird and uncomfortable as the whole thing sounds there are some really great takeaways about entrepreneurship and creativity. Plus it was just loads of fun.

So What's The Deal?

Today we talk to Kim Anami, a holistic sex and relationship coach who not only helps people have better sex and reach their full creative potential but also uses a technique she calls Vaginal Kung Fu (yes, weight lifting with your lady parts is actually a thing).

Kim's underlying premise is that when you're not having enough fulfilling sex you underperform in other areas of your life.

Should You Go For It?

No, I'm not talking about sex. I'm talking about putting yourself out there, without diluting or censoring, without self-editing.

We talk a lot about authenticity and being yourself online but there's also the flip side where we wonder, "TMI?"

So while we're all sitting here wondering where do we draw the line, Kim is putting everything out there in a completely fearless way.

Gold star for being herself and for not apologizing for that.

Haters Gonna Hate. Believe In What You Do.

Kim seems to have very few haters and has found that her playful and honest approach wins more fans than not.

But that doesn't stop people from criticizing her for being an attention seeker. Kim's philosophy? Well of course she wants attention. Isn't that the point of marketing?

She also says she doesn’t care what people think about her.

Ok, super big gold star for that because I don't know about you, but I still kind of want people to like me. Ok, no, I really want people to like me. So even though I'm not going to put on airs or create a façade just to win a popularity contest, it still feels kind of crummy when people don't like me or what I say or do.

Here's the trick to dealing with those crummy feelings, so just keep repeating this over and over: when people hate (or just don't like) you, it's not about you. It's a reflection of themselves and their beliefs.

Marketing Is Fun

Wait, what? You mean while we're all over here sweating it out, A/B testing and trying to figure out how to get our 141-character tweet to fit in the status box, Kim is out there enjoying marketing?

That's right! Maybe it's because she's having great sex or maybe she has a mindset we can learn from: enjoy what you're doing, be creative and have fun.

In Kim's words: "If I love it and I'm excited, those are the things that catch fire."

Work Is Important. So Is Play.

Kim may be out there having fun and workshopping from Bali where she spends most of her time, but that doesn't mean she's a slacker. She puts in the time – 16-hour days like the rest of us, working on her ecourses and seminars.

But she has fun and makes sure to take time to enjoy herself. This is something all entrepreneurs would do well to practice. I know how easy it is to get caught up in a project and next thing you know a month has gone by and maybe I've changed my t-shirt.

Don't laugh, you know this has happened to you!

She Still Instagrams Photos Of Her Breakfast

Her photos are just… um… different. Let's just say her breakfast isn't exactly on a plate.

Don’t Force Things When They're Not There.

No, I'm still not talking about sex. The thing about Instagram for Kim is that she really wanted to do it but couldn't figure out exactly how. In fact, she spent two years thinking about it before coming up with her current hash tag.

There are plenty of ways to market your business online and you could go a little nuts trying to keep up with them all. But that doesn't mean you have to. Find something that works and leave the rest until you have a great "a-ha!" moment.

People Say It's All Been Done Before.

You've probably heard this a million times. There is nothing new. It's all been done before.

Doesn't it seem like people just want to suck the creative life out of you? I mean, with an attitude like that, it makes you wonder if there's any option but to live in a state of predictable mediocrity.

Here's what Kim says: The only people who believe it's all been done before are the ones who are doing things that have been done before.

Here's what I say: Nobody has ever done you before. Do that.

Be Bold. Be Brave.

Easier said than done.

If we were all so confident about fearlessly putting ourselves out there, we wouldn't be having a conversation about fearlessly putting ourselves out there.

And maybe not all of us will be as brave or bold or confident but I found that just listening to someone who is was very inspiring. Mostly this is why I hope you won't squee out just because we spend an hour talking about sex. I want you to listen more deeply and tap into the creativity and the passion you hear.

Also, doesn't it seem like there is nothing you can't turn into a double entendre?

Ralph Giggles Like A Schoolgirl. Carol Lynn Gets Flustered.

As much as we were looking forward to this episode, we couldn't help being a little nervous once the conversation got graphic, like, thirty seconds out of the gate.

So yes, we had our giggly moments and by the end I still couldn't make a joke without stuttering through it, but it really was fun and ignited a few of those dozing creative brain cells.

Kim's Marketing Action Item

Take a coffee break.

Ok, so what if Kim's version has nothing to do with coffee? We'll keep these show notes as safe for work as possible and leave it at that. You'll have to listen for the rest.

Find Kim Online

Links & Resources

Subscribe to be notified whenever we publish new content and to stay in the loop on new podcasts and resources.

Direct download: 0099-better-sex-makes-for-better-business.mp3
Category:marketing -- posted at: 12:00am EST

WSS #0098: BLOG > Don't Fire Your Social Media Marketing Company Until You Enter "The Room"

Read the article at http://www.websearchsocial.com/98

Direct download: 0098-blog-social-media-marketing-halo-reach-long-night-solace.mp3
Category:marketing -- posted at: 12:00am EST

WSS #0097: BLOG > Embrace Your Messy Space: Your Creativity Depends On It

Read the article at http://www.websearchsocial.com/97

Direct download: 0097-blog-embrace-your-messy-space-your-creativity-depends-on-it.mp3
Category:marketing -- posted at: 12:00am EST

WSS #0112: The Mad Max Rules Of Marketing And Getting Stuff Done

Just. Walk. Away.

Today's episode is a little bit shorter than usual because we just got back from watching Mad Max: Fury Road at the theater and we were pretty psyched. So naturally we needed to come home from eating popcorn and go straight to eating ice cream. Up next week: how to work off the popcorn and ice cream.

Even While Watching The Movie, We Were Still Thinking About Marketing

Apparently Ralph was watching this 2-hour car chase with half his brain and thinking about a client website with the other. What was he thinking?

Well, in the movie, even though there was a ton of action with a ton of people and chaos and sandstorms and arrows and all sorts of things happening, you always knew what was going on. You had a sense of time and space and everything made sense.

Our client's website?

Not so much.

I Just Wanted To Find A Blog Post

Ralph sent me to our aforementioned client's website with this directive: find a specific blog post.

And I couldn't.

So he gave me another: copy our client's bio.

And I couldn't find that either.

The conclusion?

Our client did not follow the Mad Max Rules Of Marketing™.

Ok, So Maybe We Can't Trademark It

We figure the studio might have something to say about that but it sounded cool. And basically it means that in the story of your business, you have to create context for your audience so they know where they are at all times. Whether it's on your website, Facebook page, LinkedIn profile – make sure it makes sense to someone who may be finding it for the first time. You can do that by testing out your content on someone who isn't your target audience who is seeing your content for the first time.

We try that out on my mom. If she understands it (and she's not a marketer or business owner) then there's a good chance someone else will.

Get Your Stuff Done

On another topic… we've been GTD-ing an awful lot around here lately.

GTD (otherwise known as Getting Things Done) is a methodology developed by David Allen and even though he isn't paying us a billion dollars to promote his stuff (he totally should) and has no idea who we are (he really should!), we still think his stuff is amazing and that more people should check it out.

Dump Your Brain

One of the premises of GTD is that your brain is not a storage repository, hard drive or to do list. So if you're carrying stuff around in your brain that you need to remember or do… you're using your brain wrong.

Save your brain for the active, productive, creative stuff. As for the "remembering", get all your stuff down on a piece of paper or into an app.

Just dump it.

You can even dump physical stuff, like paperwork, the bills you haven't paid, the business cards you haven't filed.

Once it's dumped, you can then go back and organize and contextualize.

We didn't get into that part of it (yet!), but if you get used to the brain dump, it's a great start.

Break To-Dos Into Projects And Projects Into Smaller Projects

Lots of your to do items are really projects. And lots of your projects are really a series of mini projects.

Take "build website". That might be on your to do list. But there are soooo many steps that just thinking about tackling it can seem horribly overwhelming.

Make it a project. "Build website."

But even that can be a series of mini-projects. Start with "planning", move into "content development" and so on. Celebrate all your victories along the way and enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes with getting things done.

Hey, Wait A Sec… What's A Project, Anyway?

This might change your thinking. A project is something that has an outcome. Ralph shared an example of a project he added to his list called "Oh So Pinteresting". But what did that mean? Turns out he didn't complete the project on time because there was nothing to complete.

But once he changed the project to "Send screen shots to Cynthia Sanchez for Oh So Pinteresting Podcast" it started to mean something.

Now, you don't even have to know what his project entailed to see a big difference between the noun version and the action-based version.

A project is something with an outcome that you can eventually set to "true".

Did Ralph (eventually) send the screen shots? True!

Project completed.

Your Marketing Action Item

From Ralph: Visit David Allen's site gettingthingsdone.com and buy the 2015 version of his book. Browse the website and get a feel for how GTD works. It may not be for you and that's ok, but just about everyone we've ever shared this with has come away better for it. While you're there, maybe tell David Allen that he is welcome to sponsor our show. Also, check out GTD Connect on the site. It's not free but it's a pretty neat community of people who can help keep you accountable for getting your stuff done.

From Carol Lynn: Create a website test for your site that you'll give to people who aren't your target audience. Come up with half a dozen questions, like, "Find my phone number" or "Find a specific blog post with a specific title." Treat it like a treasure hunt and see how fast people can find the things you tell them to find. If they can, great! If not, it may be time to think about re-contextualizing and reorganizing the content on your website.

Links & Resources

 

Subscribe to be notified whenever we publish new content and to stay in the loop on new podcasts and resources.

Direct download: 0112-the-mad-max-rules-of-marketing-and-getting-stuff-done.mp3
Category:marketing -- posted at: 12:00am EST

WSS #0096: Run A Business? Now There's Even More Reason To Be A Pinterest Fan.

Show Notes

Patents and Buffer and Pinterest, Oh my! Those are the big topics of conversation in this episode. We talk about patent trolls and then insert a clip from a conversation with three of our favorite SuperFreds - Alisa Meredith, Ian Anderson Gray and Jeff Sieh - to get their take on the big Buffer/Pinterest news from last week.

But First, A Sponsorship

Our episode today is sponsored by Tramplee Designs where you can buy a purse, bag, clutch or tote that is customized for you. Tramplee Designs offers unique designs for unique women.

Purse creator extraordinaire and SuperFred Tammy Rampley is the mastermind behind the designs. You can purchase a bag from her Etsy shop or send her a request for your own custom design. These are perfect for Mother's Day, graduation, prom, weddings and just every day.

So What's A Patent Troll?

A company called Personal Audio LLC exists solely to attempt to enforce patents related to podcasting, which would essentially require all podcasters to pay them a licensing fee.

If it sounds nuts, well, it is. But their M.O. is to slap you with threat of a lawsuit and hope you'll be unsuspecting enough to cough up the licensing fee rather than the rather large sums of money it would cost to legally fight them.

Fortunately, thanks to a half-million-dollar crowd funding campaign and the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) they've lost a recent case against Adam Corolla's company that leaves their validity in doubt.

A Win For Pinterest Lovers

Last week Buffer announced that you can now schedule pins to Pintrest through their Awesome Plan.

We love Buffer as a scheduling tool and were so thrilled to hear this news that we immediately asked three of our favorite SuperFreds to chime in with their reactions.

Alisa Meredith wonders if this will just lead to a lot of bad images on Pinterest.

Ian gets geeky and laments a lack of IFTTT integration.

Jeff just strokes his beard and looks fabulous.

With A Little Helpful Criticism For Buffer

While we all agree that Buffer is pretty great, what we don't love is their pricing model. Currently, you can sign up for their Awesome plan for $10 a month where you get 12 profiles. The only other option is a Business account for $50 a month where you get 25 profiles.

Hm. Let's do some math… you could buy 5 Awesome plans for $50 which would net you 5x12=60 profiles. Or a Business plan for $50 which nets you a mere 25 profiles.

We're all left scratching our heads wondering how this makes sense.

Carol Lynn Angers The Pinterest Lovers

Carol Lynn dares challenge Pinterest's methods by wondering whether their vertical orientation is backwards, since every other platform uses a horizontal orientation for images.

Alisa is having none of it and makes a good point about Pinterest being extremely popular among mobile users. But it's still challenging to prep your images in a format that works everywhere.

The Pinterest/Buffer Wish list

Alisa wants to be able to add a place to pins when they're Buffered rather than going back to edit the pin later.

Jeff wants stats so he knows what's working on Pinterest and what's not.

Ian wants more social profiles beyond the measly 12 you get in the Awesome plan, without upgrading to the Business plan.

And we want Buffer to rethink it's Business pricing. We also want to be able to schedule blog posts for promotion even if the post isn't published yet, without getting that aggravating "page not found" message.

Your Marketing Action Item From Carol Lynn

Go to your blog posts and look at your headline/feature image. (If you're not using images, start by changing that!)

First, decide if you're using good photography or just some boring, generic overcooked stock photo.

Then look at the photo outside the context of your blog as if you were seeing it on Pinterest. Would someone be able to tell what your blog post is about or be compelled to visit your blog based on that image?

If not, consider adding a text overlay, URL, logo or the title of your post so it helps bring you qualified traffic.

Your Marketing Action Item From Ralph

Think about what marketing challenge you're facing right now. Send an email to ralph@websearchsocial.com and let us know what that challenge is. We're going to answer as many challenge questions as we can on our 100th episode next Monday so consider this your opportunity for some free consulting.

Links & Resources

 

Subscribe to be notified whenever we publish new content and to stay in the loop on new podcasts and resources.

Direct download: 0096-run-a-business-now-theres-even-more-reason-to-be-a-pinterest-fan.mp3
Category:marketing -- posted at: 12:00am EST

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