Tag Archives: Social Media

2011 New Year’s Resolution That I Kept

3 Jan

One of my 2011 new year’s resolutions was to find more time to read magazines that are either not focused just on my industry or not for pure entertainment. And it’s the one resolution I happily completed. The magazines I choose include The Economist, Fast Company and Wired. Each of them have been very enjoyable and enlightening to read and so I’ve renewed their subscriptions for 2012.

My measure of a good magazine was how many times I ripped out an article from the magazine to re-read or do more thinking on. Each of these magazines made that measure.

I picked The Economist for several reasons. Its reporting on world events is not from a pure US-based point of view, the articles tend to more in-depth and thought provoking than a Newsweek (for example), and they cover more of the non-English-speaking parts of the world.

I picked Fast Company because much of what they cover is what’s new – new companies, new technologies, new business leaders, new ideas. A breezier read than the Economist and only published once a month but I found myself also looking forward to their blog postings.

Lastly, I picked up Wired magazine. I had read it in the early 2000’s but it was so Internet-focused that I lost interest. However, recent issues have been much more interesting and I’ve found Wired to be similar to Fast Company in covering what’s new and yet there’s been very little overlap in their stories.

If you’re reading this blog soon after I posted it, you can take advantage of a Groupon for The Economist at $1/issue.

The two most interesting trends I have been eagerly reading about are social media and 3D printing. I’m quite tired hearing about what celebrity or athlete is tweeting or how many followers Ashton Kutcher and Oprah have. Nor do I care that much how companies are marketing their offerings to consumers. However, I’m fascinated by how social media has created social unrest to successfully challenge the governments of Egypt, Libya and lately, Russia.

3D printing may not be as mainstream as social media but for someone who worked for a 3D solid modeling software company, I’m quite interested in how people’s ideas can be modeled in software and then printed in 3D as easily as printing a letter is. The sophistication of the new 3D printers brings the ability for small businesses to design and manufacturer their own products in small batches and with high-quality. Imagine bringing manufacturing back to America not because of low-cost workers but because of the ability to easily manufacturer unique and high quality products in your own office.

What magazines are you enjoying reading?
What trends in 2012 will you be following?

Happy 2012!

We Want To Sell thru Inbound Marketing

14 Oct

I met with a technology startup recently. The founders are entrepreneurs with one successful exit already and are building their next company. They live in Europe but are considering moving their fledgling company to the US because they feel the majority of the customers are found here. When I asked them how they wanted to go to market, they replied, “We want to sell through inbound marketing….because cold calling does not work anymore.”

Leaving aside the thought that I don’t agree that cold calling doesn’t work anymore (me, who’s been writing about referrals all the time!?!), there’s still the discussion of what inbound marketing means and how to do it.

There are a bunch of great books and products out there to help you do inbound marketing. One of the popular ones is from Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, the co-founders of HubSpot. Their book is “Inbound Marketing” and I recommended the book to these founders. We white-boarded the salient points of the book.

Inbound Marketing:

  • Create remarkable content
  • Optimize content (for search, RSS, social media)
  • Publish content (and not just on your site)
  • Market content thru social media and blogs
  • Measure what’s working and what’s not working

The real hard part here, which made the entrepreneurs look at each other to see who was volunteering, is “create remarkable content.”  Anyone can create content (see, I’m doing it right now) but is the content remarkable?  Remarkable gets found.  Unremarkable gets buried.

Blogs:

  • Visitors come to blogs to learn
  • Write remarkable content and allow guest bloggers
  • Allow content without approving it first
  • Read and comment on other’s blogs and link back to your blog
  • Track what’s working and what’s not

Search:

  • Visitors are looking for content
  • You must consider paid search (pay-per-click) vs organic (free) search
  • Look at your website for what’s searchable (links, tags, inbound links)
  • Most importantly – what’s the trigger event that’s causing your visitors to search for you

Social:

  • Visitors are looking to interact with you and colleagues
  • Top social sites include LinkedIn Answers & Groups, Twitter, YouTube, Digg

So most everything you need to do for inbound marketing can be found in this easy-to-read book.  And the authors’ company helps you measure what’s working and what’s not working.  The challenge remains, “Who’s going to write the remarkable content?”