REPLAY: How to Become an Influencer [Facebook Live Show]

Posted on Posted in Advertising, Facebook Live, Influencer Marketing, Thought Leadership

Episode CUATRO of Live Online Learning (LOL)…

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Here’s what we talked about, in addition to attendee live questions we answered:

  1. Introduction
    1. What’s an influencer?
      1. An author, expert, TV personality, YT personality, celebrity or microfamous in a niche,
      2. Someone with followers and viewers and the ability to influence their audience-
        1. you’re not an influencer if people aren’t affected by you-
        2. you’re not an infuencer if you don’t have a following
      3. Some online influencers make 6 figures just for being themselves
      4. What the minimum you have to have or be to be an influencer?
        1. There are degrees of influence, but real influencers have a significant impact on an audience- if that’s a small audience they might not need to have 100,000 fans, but until you attract the attention of sponsors or media, you may not be that influential
        2. Once you have impact you’ll probably have haters- that’s a good sign- it’s hard to have haters without having a lot of supporters, it means you are pushing people in a direction and not everybody is going to agree- or you can just get a jealousy response from people who don’t like that you’re succeeding
    2. Anyone can become an influencer and get paid for it if they really want to
      1. Do you want to be a famous paid influencer, or an anonymous cubicle worker?
      2. Even if you don’t have a following you can get one
      3. Even if you don’t currently attract followers you can learn how to
      4. Anyone can make a living being an influencer if they work at it
      5. If you have beliefs, talent, expertise or even just a desire to talk to a lot of people? Then you should become more influential. Your voice, your perspective is important. The world needs your contribution. You deserve to influence an audience.
      6. Everyone who performs or influences large audiences experiences fear, even the best most famous singers and comedians- you can overcome it. It’s simply the desire to do and be your best, feeling the responsibility of a teacher or entertainer- use it to inspire you to prepare and to sharpen your performance.
  2. Network – personal
    1. Deepen your relationships
    2. Meet people in person
    3. Get to know VIP’s
  3. Network – online
    1. How many FB friends do you have? Grow to at least 3,000
    2. How many FB page fans? You don’t have to pay for page likes thru ads, but it’s a good idea until you have more than 5-10k. You should promote posts instead when you can, because having fans doesn’t ensure they’ll see your posts.
    3. How many LinkedIn contacts? Keep growing this, and keep it up with your email, Twitter and FB contacts- try to get over 1,000 at least.
    4. How many YT subscribers? YT and FB, social video is like the new TV- you don’t have a TV show to be famous or make money. And if you learn to do it well in social, maybe one day you could have a TV show too. Go for 100, then 1000, then 10,000.
    5. How many Twitter followers? It’s a good idea to have at least 10,000 – you can use tools like tweepi to follow the kind of people you want as followers and many will follow back.
    6. How many Instagram followers? Go for 5,000- there are tools to help you follow the right people and grow faster
    7. How many email subscribers? Email is one of the best
    8. ways to acquire a powerful list you can always go to for attention to new content or to sell things. Go for 10,000 at least; you need lead magnets- leadquizzes is a good start- but checklists are an easy way give value and get emails without a ton of work.
    9. How many podcast listeners? Podcasting is the new radio- even though it’s not mainstream, it’s a great way to have deep influence on people because they listen for a lot longer than people watch videos.
    10. What’s your monthly total reach? Aim for at least 100,000- you can increase this affordably with Facebook ads- do retargeting to stay in front of your web visitors, email subscribers and video viewers with your newest content.
    11. How much interaction or clicks do you get monthly? Some influencers aren’t really focused on website traffic- they do everything with YT, FB, etc but it’s important to have web visitors for retargeting and to get email subscribers- instead of relying 100% on social sites, since you can’t export a FB followering or YT subscriber list, you should own your list so you can contact them anytime you want- this is how Kevin Hart grew his comedy audiences, for example, and now he’s a millionaire.
  4. Teach
    1. What are you an expert in?
    2. How do you deliver value to an audience that will come to rely on you?
    3. Webinars
    4. In-Person Speaking
      1. Conference sessions and breakouts
      2. Paid speaking
    5. Facebook Live, YT Live
    6. YouTube channel videos
    7. Author books – author = authority
  5. Additional Credibility- what separates you from similar competing influencers? How are you better or different?
    1. Build a bio comprised of the following
    2. How long have you been doing this thing?
    3. Media appearances
      1. Trad like TV- Like Lewis Howes recently getting on Ellen or me being on Bloomberg TV news
      2. New like podcasts- not many give you credibility but it’s better than nothing, it proves people are interested in what you have to say- and it raises awareness of you
    4. Teach at an established college or university
    5. Bestselling books
    6. Working with famous companies or chosen by them, e.g. being an IBM futurist and one of the top social media experts LinkedIn says you should listen to
    7. Contribute to popular blogs
    8. Get certificates/accreditation- G AdWords cert/FB cert, e.g.
  6. Charisma
    1. Likability
    2. Humor- entertainment can have its own value even if you don’t teach- you could be an entertainer in the sports niche and make money from athletic companies- JP Sears does a great job of being hilarious about the niche in which he also does serious consulting
    3. Authenticity
    4. Personality
    5. Charismatic Leadership Traits from Professor John Antonakis
      1. Verbal
        1. metaphor and comparison,
        2. Story- do storytelling shows, study story structure and hero’s journey
        3. rhetorical question,
        4. contrasts,
        5. lists and repetitions,
        6. moral convictions,
        7. expressing the sentiments of the collective,
        8. setting high and ambitious goals, and
        9. creating confidence that goals can be achieved.
      2. Non-verbal – go to toastmasters, take improv and acting classes
        1. animated voice
        2. facial expressions, and
        3. Gestures
  7. How to get paid
    1. Consulting
    2. Sponsorships and endorsements- make sure to follow the FTC rules about disclosing when you’re being paid for what you’re saying, or you could get fined big time
    3. Live speaking
    4. Paid webinars

Are You a “Checkbox” Marketer?

Posted on Posted in Culture, Internet Marketing Strategy, Makes Ya Think, Strategy, Thought Leadership

blog post headers checkbox marketer 3 800

CHECKBOXMARKETER-no

  • Are you thinking about your marketing primarily in terms of getting it done?
  • …creating social posts, ads, images, podcasts, blog posts…?
  • …then putting it out there?
  • …then you feel like you’re done?

If so, you might be a checkbox marketer.

Now there’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting things done.

Obviously you’re not going to be very successful if you can’t get things done. So, congratulations for getting things done.

Truly. It’s not easy these days. There are a lot of distractions.

But the marketers who are getting the best results are not thinking in terms of just getting stuff done.

Optimizers, the opposite of checkbox marketers are focused on a process that creates maximum results:

  • They’re measuring the results of every piece of marketing they put out there.
  • They know what metric to look at for every piece of marketing they create.
  • They think ahead about how they’re going to track the results.

Now it makes sense if you’re not an optimizer…

  • If you’ve never created multiple ads like an AdWords or Facebook ads…
  • If you’ve never split-tested landing pages…
  • If you’ve never experimented with blog post titles or email subject lines to see which ones people respond to the most…

…then it’s possible you’ve never experienced one of the most important marketing experiences people can have today.

Once you’ve tested a lot of ads or Facebook posts or email subject lines or blog post titles and look at the results you’ve probably had this experience…

“Oh my gosh- that is not the one I thought would work. I can’t believe that’s the one they like!”

If you haven’t had that experience you probably think you have a lot of awesome ideas. You may think all your ideas are awesome. Or you may think all ideas are equally good.

But the fact is the data shows us that the best marketing creative can perform 5 – 10 times better then the worst marketing creative.

And when I say “creative” here I mean the image is the words the ideas. It’s a noun. This is agency speak.

Once you understand that some marketing is dramatically more effective than others, you realize:

  • You need more ideas because they’re not all equally good. And
  • You need to test those ideas to see which one performs the best with your ideal customer.

air process

So it’s no longer good enough to check off a box that you created a Facebook post.

You need to create a lot of Facebook posts or ads or blog post title for email subject lines…

And you probably already do create a lot of them as a matter of course over a period of days or weeks or months…

But you may not have been going back and looking at the metrics which ones are really awesome and which ones are not.

You may not have been learning from your data.

Or you may not have set things up to get you actionable data.

If you’ve been marketing for months or years and not getting that kind of data you’ve missed out on an incredibly valuable resource that will provide you guidance about how to perform 5  to 10 times better in the future.

A checkbox marketer will create a landing page to collect emails and say, “Thank goodness we’re done with that… check!”

An optimizer will think ahead using a platform that allows them to split test multiple landing pages and create three versions. Within a few days or weeks they’ll see that one is outperforming the others and they’ll stop running the others and their overall campaign results will increase 3 times 5 times… perhaps 10x.

checkbox marketer can get things done but they can’t increase their value to your company every day the way an optimizer can.

A checkbox marketer can’t get smarter about your customers the way an optimizer can.

Some people will move from checkbox marketing to optimizing as soon as they see the benefits of optimizing. Other people will not.

If you are a checkbox marketer and don’t want to move into optimizing:

  • You will never be a strategist.
  • You will always be a low-level marketer and low paid
  • Someone else will manage you and ask you to do things while they optimize it.

If you have employees who are checkbox marketers who are presented with the benefits of optimizing and do not change their behavior, then you may have an employee who is not capable of modern marketing.

Digital marketing is not simply the completion of tasks. It is a scientific process that includes measurement and data analysis. And its goal is to always improve results and always understand the customer better.

Without this approach your company cannot be competitive.

One more advanced fact for you: no matter how long an optimizer is in the business, they don’t get better at guessing which marketing idea will do the best.

Customers still surprise us. We’re still learning about them. So you have to keep testing.

There are no marketing geniuses out there who always guess right.

It’s the optimizing process that is genius.

What You Really Need To Know About 2016

Posted on Posted in Strategy, Thought Leadership

How The Future Is Destroying

This post began as a podcast… feel free to just listen, or both listen AND read along! I’ve added a few more things in the text and there are some cool pictures…

You know what’s funny… funny-weird? Is that when you’re an expert, people are always asking you for your predictions. Especially around the end of the year.

They ask, “What do you predict will happen in 2016?”

I hate predictions.

I understand why people want them. It’s cool to think about predictions. An expert should be able to predict things. I get it.

It’s ridiculous, though. Why?

Because human beings are historically really, really bad at predictions. We’re usually wrong.

  • If you look at how the recession took us by surprise!
  • Just look at sports and how bad scouts are that spend their entire lives trying to predict which player is going to be great next and how many #1 picks don’t do well and how many second round picks become incredibly impactful players.
  • Look at how often meteorologists are wrong. They’re pretty much only right when they’re talking about the next few hours of weather. Even then they often don’t get it right. And by the way, the groundhog is usually wrong…
  • Internet marketing experts said mobile was the next big thing starting 2006. It wasn’t really a big thing until 2012.
  • After Google’s success, almost no one predicted Facebook would be the next digital marketing giant.
  • Over the decades, since the 20th century, we’ve predicted all kinds of things that never happened, like hoverboards, flying cars, hospitals in space and mail delivered by parachute. Any of those might be viable are MUCH further in the future than we thought.

Human beings are really, really bad at predicting the future. So how much value do those predictions have? Not much.

Space Hospital, Imagined in the 1950’s

Focusing on predictions is dumb. Predictions are a waste of your time. The opposite of navel-gazing, they are speculations that- though they may create euphoric feelings of hope or fascination- do nothing to improve your actual circumstances.

Hope is important, critical even. Confidence, too. But you should have hope because you’re actively improving your situation, not just dreaming about the future.


A 1977 Vision of the Year 2000

So let’s talk about how the future is destroying your future, and what you really need to know abut 2016.

The Consequences of Focusing on the Future = Ignoring the Present

We have this problem: we’re fascinated with what’s new and what’s coming soon.

I understand that’s part of our survival, our drive. We need to know what’s coming down the pike.

  • Is there a saber-tooth tiger coming?
  • Is there a tsunami coming?
  • Is there something we’re not aware of that is going to destroy our business or our lives, hurt us, kill us, whatever?

I understand that.

  • Is there an opportunity we should know about?
  • Should we have the new iPhone?
  • Should we have the new computer or whatever it is because without it we’re missing out… we’re going to lose?

I get it, but I think that it has some really negative consequences for us when we focus on new, shiny objects and when we focus on predicting the future.

We are not taking care of the present.

We are not doing a good job with optimizing and getting the best possible results out of our current business.

How To Create The Most Profitable Future

To me, the most profitable questions are:

  • What works best right now?
  • What website, what marketing strategy, what marketing channel, what business processes?
  • What’s the best practice right now?

Human beings have been doing stuff now for hundreds of years in this modern way. We’ve been doing the internet stuff for a couple decades. We’ve been doing internet marketing for at least 10 years. Everything is constantly evolving.

What’s the state of the art? To me, that’s the most important question.

  • Where can you put your money right now and where could you put your time right now and get the biggest bang for your buck?
  • Where can you get the biggest ROI, the biggest profits?

It’s not going to be from the new thing in the future because new things coming down the pike are always unproven.

What Happens on the Cutting Edge = Bleeding

Let’s go back … If you go back to colonial times, to use a metaphor, go out there … Or even in the military. Send out a scout … The guy in front. He’s the most likely to get killed. He’s the guy most likely to get shot with arrows or shot by a sniper. It’s a dangerous job to be the scout. You’re out there exposed. You don’t know what you’re going to run into. There’s a high chance you’re going to run into something dangerous.

When you’re in business and you’re trying a lot of new things. There’s a very high chance that a lot of things you’re trying are not going to work. They’re going to be a waste of money, a waste of time.

There should be people in our society who are trying those things out and who are finding out for other people what works and what doesn’t. Scouts.

I do a lot of that, myself. I do it on my own business. I take a lot of arrows for you guys.

Some of my clients are risk takers who try things that are relatively new but still somewhat proven. They don’t have to get take all the arrows.

There are a lot of companies who are very, very conservative who will not do some of the things we’ve been doing for the last couple years. They won’t do it for another 5 years. They’re not hunting at all, so they’ll miss out on a lot of the spoils of the hunt.

Find a Proven, Cutting-Edge Competitive Advantage

My point is, that best question is not: what’s going to be new in a year or two?

The best question is: What’s the most cutting edge, state of the art, proven thing that’s working that not everybody else is doing?

Why that’s important is there’s little competition in it. Which means it’s a competitive advantage to adopt that new thing that’s just been proven.

For example, to me, when we proved that Facebook ads were really good for lead generation and for e-commerce … That is something that the really smart companies are going to jump on because they know that all the other companies, especially their competitors who are doing lead gen and e-commerce, not all of them are going to have the guts, the foresight, the awareness to try it. Even though we have some proof that it works, some people are very, very conservative and fear-based and will not do it until it’s clear that you cannot not do it. You get this competitive advantage by adopting the latest, state of the art, proven best practices.

To me, that’s the most important question. What’s the latest effective thing? Not what’s the new thing that may or may not be effective that’s coming doing the pike in a year or 5 years. Those things are fascinating from a “let’s sit down and watch the news” perspective, but they’re not the kind of thing that’s going to help you win or make money.

Futurists are Ridiculous and Never Held Accountable

I think futurists are ridiculous. They get paid money to make up fascinating ideas and they never ever get called to the carpet.

I would love to see a a Saturday Night Live skit that’s a trial of futurists where they go back and they say, “Well, you said in 1995 that we were going to have blah, blah, blah and we don’t have those yet.” They’re never held accountable for the things they predicted because all a futurist has to do is sound really cool right now.

Predicting and futurist stuff is pretty lame if you think about it. They’re really exploiting your brain’s desire to hear this new, shiny object thing.

It’s really not going to help you a lot. You’re going to feel excited about it for a few hours or whatever, but it’s not going to help you in your business and it’s not going to help you make profits. It’s not going to help you win. It’s just going to distract you.

You know they used to say religion is the opiate of the masses? These days the news and futurism is the opiate of business.

Bam.

That’s what I feel.

I wish you guys success. Find out what’s working.

For example, check out my new Facebook course. It’s called Social Marketing Profit System. That’s a good one.

I wish you guys all the best in life and business. It’s holidays, so I hope you guys are enjoying your families and everybody’s healthy and happy and everything. Have a great end of the year!

RANT + PODCAST: “Do Whatever It Takes”

Posted on Posted in Facebook Marketing, Inspiration, Productivity, Social Media ROI, Social Media Strategy, Strategy, Thought Leadership

Do Whatever It Takes

This is a blog post that began as a podcast- feel free to listen instead, or listen AND read along below.

Today, I want to talk to you about something I think is really important for success for business and something we see all the time with marketing.

You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to get better results, and to avoid your competitors eating your lunch, or your entire industry being disrupted!

Companies run into a lot of different obstacles. Sometimes, companies hire us because they just need help with something they can’t do, like we’ll do Facebook ads for them, and they can’t do it, and we can get them the results. Other times, they just have a problem, and they don’t know what it is.

Sometimes, we have really complicated clients who have a ton of problems.

Sometimes, they have reputation problems. And, sometimes, we can do certain things.

We’ve got a client who has a big reputation problem. We can do certain things for them, but they also have some issues with customer service. The level of customer service is not high enough. They set expectations for customers they can’t possibly meet. They’re not really clear how to describe what they are compared to other companies.

There’s a lot of issues that have, so, when you start trying to market to solve some of these problems you discover, some of them you can solve, and some of them are internal company problems.

You’ve got to give them feedback, and I wonder if they think they think it’s weird…

  • “The marketing guy’s telling us to improve our customer service!”
  • “The marketing guy’s telling us we don’t know what our company is about!”
  • “The marketing guy is saying that it’s not okay that our IT people are telling us that something is impossible!”

…and that last one is the one that gets me the maddest. Because right now, everything is internet-based. Everything is programming-based. Everything is computer-based.

And it’s a gigantic opportunity, it’s been a gigantic shift in our economy and in business, and the world is completely changed. I mean the new thing with Amazon, you’re seeing those buttons where you get a Tide detergent button you put in your kitchen, and, when you’re running out of Tide, you would just push the button, and it orders it through Amazon. It shows up to your house 2 days later.

Very dangerous. You don’t want to have that for candy with you if you’ve got kids in the house, right? 🙂

Technology is everywhere, and so many companies have come out of nowhere, like Uber using smartphones to disrupt the entire transportation industry, not just taxis but they’re going to be competing with FedEx and DHL and UPS.

They’re running the Uber Eats thing in Houston as a test, delivering food. I wouldn’t be surprised if they start delivering groceries and either Amazon or Uber disrupts the whole grocery business.

You always see, anywhere that technology can improve convenience, new companies win and old companies lose. Companies like BlockBuster go out of business because of Netflix. The list is super long. Borders went out of business. Not only did Borders send traffic to Amazon rather than having a web store, which is just idiotic, but they didn’t adapt like Barnes & Noble did. Barnes & Noble copied the Kindle, created the Nook for an e-reader, right? And so Barnes & Noble has survived. They’re profitable. Borders went away.

Now, my point about this is is that, if your company, and we hear this sometimes, has an IT department or programmers who are saying, “This can’t be done,” or, “We can’t do it,” or they’re just slow or they’re just stubborn or they’re just difficult.

I grew up a geek. I’ve programmed some. I’ve hung around programmers. I know programmers. And I understand. They’re different, and they’re great. I love programmers. They’re different, so sometimes they struggle a little bit with some of the social things that other people in your company don’t struggle with, and sometimes they have different priorities, and sometimes they’re hard to deal with. Sometimes they’re difficult.

But the thing is I think you have to be willing to go nuclear on your programmers and say, “Look, you guys are problem solvers. You have to be willing to solve these problems. I’m not interested in you saying you can’t solve this problem. Don’t tell me you can’t do it. I don’t ever want to hear that. Solve the problem or you’re fired.” It needs to be that simple.

If you don’t have a culture of programmers and IT people that will solve problems quickly and see themselves as quick problem solvers… the overall topic I want to talk about today is willing to do whatever it takes, because there’s a lot of disruption, and there’s a lot of change, and there’s a lot of opportunity.

Millennials get it. They’ve grown up in a time where everything has changed frequently.

A new business can come out of nowhere and they no longer use the old business, whereas people who are over 50 will have stayed loyal to a company or business model for 10 or 20 years or whatever. That may seem weird to them, and, basically, you may take your customers or business model or advantage in the industry for granted. You ignore problems, assuming you can.

Another younger, faster, more agile, more motivated company comes along with programmers who do want to solve the problem you’re ignoring- and suddenly it’s too late for you.

The biggest enemy for companies that are going to get disrupted is an internal culture of laziness and procrastination and just barely good enough instead of ambition.

You really need hungry people, because there are so many start-ups, and many of them fail, but a few of them completely disrupt industries, and that’s the problem, right?

You have to be willing to do whatever it takes.

We see this on other levels too. When we work with clients sometimes, some of our clients are still getting used to the whole fact that we can test a whole bunch of different messages with customers, and we can test a whole bunch of different images. They’re so used to the old marketing paradigm of, “Let’s decide what the ad and the marketing images and all that stuff are before we put it out.” They decided on the basis of personal preference, like, “I just feel like this is good.” They’re accustomed to making these decisions on, very little knowledge about the customer.

Often, they think they know the customer better than they actually do. Often, the data we as their digital marketers come up with about the customer when we run a bunch of different ads is surprising to them. We learn about the customer. And there are some great tools, Facebook Audience Insights, with their data partners and all the information we have from all those retail loyalty programs, gives us net worth and income, and shopping behavior info, and all these things that we can learn about your customers, especially if we upload your email list and we profile those people or we profile the emails of your buyers versus those who don’t buy. That’s gigantic, and we learn a ton about your audience, then we learn more when we run all those different ads.

If your internal culture is not willing to do whatever it takes, they’re not willing to let go of their preferences about messages, they’re not willing to let the customer tell you which ones they prefer. 

Instead of having an internal counsel at your company that decides what messages should go out… Yes, you need legal, yes, you have to have brand parameters, but I’ve seen companies make a lot of arbitrary decisions that are above and beyond those things. Creative decisions that don’t have anything to do with their branding.

The thing is, if you do that, if we’re just doing it with guesses and with, “It’s my opinion,” what the data tells me from having run, 10-15 years now of ad tests and experiments is that, even when you have the data on your customers, EVERYONE’S guesses about what your customers are going to like are often wrong.

Being personally attached to your ideas is a liability in digital marketing. It’s a huge liability. It’s why some companies are losing at marketing.

There are some great books out now, the Freakonomics books, the Daniel Kahneman… books out there about the biases that we experience. We have great science now about basically the ways in which our perception is often wrong. The ways in which we fool ourselves, the ways in which our ego basically screws up our chances of success.

So when we get so attached to our own opinions, or when your company has a system that allows that… The way around it, I love this whole digital marketing laboratory approach, because the older thing was you’d have like a boss who has a great marketing idea, and, if you have a marketing director who isn’t that strong of a personality, then they’re always getting bulldozed by the boss who has a marketing idea, which may be good or bad and often may be bad.

They’re not trained in marketing, and, when you’re a CEO, you’re basically getting told you’re awesome all the time, so anybody that’s in that situation starts to believe it, whether they are awesome or not, right? So you’re putting out these marketing ideas thinking that they’re awesome because you’re awesome, and, if they’re not working and especially if you’re not tracking, you don’t really know if they’re working.

But, in a digital marketing laboratory, where we can see where each ad, “Does this ad get us leads?” “Does this ad get us sales?” Then you can tell, right? The boss can have an idea, the marketing director can have an idea, the marketing assistant, the marketing interns, they can have ad ideas, and we can see which ones work the best. Now, that’s a democratic situation where we get to see what works.

If you’re still attached to your ego there… Then, when your ad doesn’t work, you feel bad, you feel ashamed, you feel like you lost, you feel like you’re a bad person, you feel like something bad is going to happen, but that’s not what we’re doing. We’re not trying to prove we’re good people by having good guesses. That’s not what we’re doing.

We’re trying to put enough ideas out there to let customers choose the best one so that we have a better chance of succeeding.

Because the fact is like there is a research study that showed that, after 10 years or more, marketing experts do not get better at guessing which creative ad marketing message or image is going to work the best. They don’t get better at it.

You don’t get better at it. What you can get better at it is being disciplined about the process of putting out more ideas. And, yeah, you don’t want to put out stupid ideas. I think you get better at finding some best practices, but there’s often things that break the rules. A lot of people I know, including myself, who’ve run conversion optimization on landing pages find that, when you put a video on the landing page, it doesn’t convert as well as when you just have an image, which is counterintuitive, and there’s a lot of counterintuitive stuff in digital marketing. That’s why you have to test.

All the people who are going by their gut are going to fail on the counterintuitive stuff. All the people who are testing are going to find a counterintuitive thing that works awesome and the super-performing outliers, and they’re going to find the things that work super duper well that you wouldn’t have found if you didn’t have an open mind and you didn’t test a lot of stuff.

The companies that aren’t willing to do whatever it takes… They aren’t willing to put aside their ego, they aren’t willing to make their program solve problems, they aren’t willing to test a lot of ideas, they aren’t willing to go with the analytics instead of opinion, those companies are going to lose.

It’s simple as that. They’re not going to get as good of results. They’re not going to have as big a profit margin. Their spend is not going to be as efficient. So they’re not going to do as good.

For a public traded company as well, you can only go so far on all that cash. There are plenty of companies that are huge that fail. And that get bought up. And there are plenty of troubled companies that get acquired, disassembled, et cetera by better companies. Being big is not good enough. You have to be willing to do whatever it takes.

That’s what I wanted to say today. It is kind of a rant.

I’m amazed that people don’t do it, but I think that, for me, it comes from just a insatiable desire to get results for whatever I do.

And I do that in comedy, I want to get laughs, and I do it in business, I want to get clients, leads, and sales, and whatever results they want. But I go with the data, and, when the data tells you what’s working and what’s not, that’s when you have to make the change, right? It just doesn’t make sense to me when you’re not willing to go whatever direction the data, which really is what the customers are telling you through the data, which direction to go.

If you’re not willing to go the direction the customers are telling you to go, well, you’re missing a gigantic component of business. You’re in business to satisfy the customer so they will part with their money, and you’re there to satisfy them to make them happy so they’ll continue to give you their money, and everyone will be happy. The data tells you what to do to do that. You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to create and sustain that relationship.

That’s it. I’m going to go to Las Vegas and talk in the Amazing.com Conference. It’s like 4 days with a thousand customers who have bought courses from Amazing.com, which I call them the Mercedes-Benz of course creation. Udemy I call the Wal-Mart of course creation. Nothing against Udemy instructors, et cetera, Udemy’s got a lot of great stuff, and they’ve been doing great things for a long time, but Amazing.com takes it to another level. They’ve got an instructional design person on staff. They treat instructors like really well. They flew me out to Austin to film parts of the videos.

I’m creating a course called Social Marketing Profit System. It’s got 4 and a half hours of video, 25 videos on the basics of Facebook marketing advertising strategy, how to not choose the wrong strategies, because, again, this is a counter-intuitive thing. A lot of people, the first things they choose to do are actually not the most effective ones, and everybody’s making the same mistakes instead of getting a little bit of training and avoiding that heartache, avoiding losing that money, right? Save some money, save some heartache.

Some people do their own things, and then they conclude that Facebook marketing or advertising doesn’t work. Well, that’s just dumb. You didn’t get any training. It’s a very complicated system. There’s a big learning curve, so, just like anything that’s complicated, you need to get some education before you try, or you’re likely to fail.

And then there’s a whole bunch of stuff on how to get better likes and shares and comments on your Facebook posts and a ton of information about Facebook advertising, how to get better results. We’ve got all kinds of results. I mean one of the big things that’s different about me from other Facebook marketing instructors is I’ve worked with a ton of real companies getting them real results, leads, and sales. I don’t just go out and teach people to be social media consultants. I don’t just run retreats where we talk about personal growth.

I love personal growth, but I work in the real business world helping real companies get profits and leads and sales and stuff, right? And I’ve done that with all sizes of businesses: small business, medium, Fortune 500, all over the world, talked to all kinds of different audiences. I know what works and doesn’t work for real businesses. The first people that got profits from Facebook marketing in 2011 were students of mine, we’ve been succeeding like that for 4 years.

I used to hate to bang my own drum, but, right now, I hate to see people go get training that doesn’t come from that kind of experience. I was talking about data. We’ve got a ton of data from companies showing what does and doesn’t work for business to consumer and business to business marketing on Facebook. It’s the most powerful platform in the world. I think it’s the most powerful marketing platform ever. I could go on and on about it, and often do.

I love Google, and Google’s important, and you’ve got to do Google ads if they’re profitable for you to a degree, but then you’re going to get limited sales volume. So, after that, if you want to expand, reach more people who are potential consumers, convince those people to buy, Facebook’s the most affordable way to do that. And they just put out new stats: 1.55 billion people on Facebook. I’ve spoken in a bunch of different countries, and, in most countries, at least 50 percent of the population is using Facebook.

It’s super viable, and the ads are super affordable. You just need to know how to do it right. If you use the system that I teach, you’re going to cut your ad cost by 50 to 90 percent, and that means your spend is going to go twice as far to ten times as far, okay? So you’re spending maybe 500 bucks a month? Maybe you’re going to end up getting 5,000 bucks worth of advertising out of it. Or, if you’re spending 1,000 bucks, you’re going to get 2,000 to 10,000 dollars of value out of it because you’re probably doing some things wrong right now.

For example, if you’re trying to get people to go to your website by putting a link in a post on a Facebook page and then you’re boosting that post, your cost-per-click for that link is probably a dollar or two or more. That’s ten times higher than it needs to be because you’re using the wrong kind of ad, right? You need to be using a website conversion ad or a website traffic ad from within the Facebook ad manager or Power Editor.

Little mistakes like that, there are a ton of them, and I’m going to share those with the 1,500 people at the Amazing.com Summit. That’s going to be exciting. I’ll be in Las Vegas for 4 days, and I’m going to be doing a lot of webinars to promote this thing, this course. It’s going to be a big push for me. It’s going to be good, because I’ve done a lot of webinars for other companies, some of them had paid me, some I’ve done it for exposure, but I haven’t done it for myself because I never had the right product, and now I’m with a company where we’ve got a great product, and I think it’s the right time. I think it’s time to tell people, “Look, you’ve got to demand results from Facebook. You can do it. This is the system.” So I’m going to promote the heck out of that.

I hope that was all helpful to you guys. If you have any questions, you can always contact me through the contact form on this site. We do a ton of different types of services for people and companies as well, and you can check those out there.

That’s it. I’m running out of steam, and I got to get ready to get on the plane, so I hope you guys are doing well and your business is doing well and your family is well. I wish you guys all the best.

Robert Rose from Content Marketing Institute [Video Interview, StoryDNA] with Kathy Klotz-Guest

Posted on Posted in Social Media Strategy, Storytelling, Thought Leadership

Kathy Klotz-Guest and I interview Robert Rose, the Chief Strategist for the Content Marketing Institute. He has a background in the entertainment biz, then the whole Silicon Valley startup thang… with an emphasis on great storytelling as a competitive advantage. AND… Robert is the author of The Seventh Era of Marketing.

 

In 5 Words: Your Favorite Thing About Social Media [VIDEO]

Posted on Posted in Social Media, Thought Leadership

I asked social media experts and aficionados, “In 5 words, what’s your favorite thing about social media?” They answered via selfie-video and I put them together with Bensounds’ awesome music (www.bensound.com). Here it is. Watch it. And if you like it, share it with your friends!

Here are all their answers! Click on any quote to tweet it.

  1. “You can build genuine relationships online.”Jessika Phillips
  2. “Circle of friends expanded dramatically.”Joel Comm
  3. “The best people hang there.”Viveka Von Rosen
  4. “It flattens out the world.”Gini Dietrich
  5. “It makes my audience bigger.”Garrison Wynn
  6. “There are profound cat photos!” – Andy Livengood
  7. “Deeper connection with your customers.” – Andrea Vahl
  8. “Meaningful relationships and passionate communities.”Ekaterina Walter
  9. “Connecting people and ideas.”Kate Buck, Jr.
  10. “Videos, infographics, podcasts, humor and bacon.”Phil Mershon
  11. “Getting to know you better.” – Adryenn Ashley
  12. “No pants required!”Aaron Higgins 
  13. “Connecting with other curious people.”Courtney Smith-Kramer
  14. “On demand engagement with fans.”Jon D. Harrison
  15. “Building human connections before meeting.”Kathy Klotz-Guest
  16. Extending boundaries in a human way.Mark Schaefer
  17. “Connecting with humans online globally.”Bryan Kramer
  18. “Create, connect, promote, interact and transact.”Lee Odden
  19. “Connecting you to your people.”Martin Shervington

(And yes, GASP! I know: some of them didn’t do exactly 5 words. It’s like herding cats in here!)

Steal the Show with Michael Port [Video Interview]

Posted on Posted in Professional Speaking, Storytelling, Thought Leadership, Write A Book

Called “an uncommonly honest author” by the Boston Globe, a “marketing guru” by The Wall Street Journal, and a “sales guru” by the Financial Times, Michael Port is a NY Times bestselling author of five books including Book Yourself Solid and The Think Big Manifesto. His 6th book, Steal the Show is being released this Fall.

AND Remarkably he is probably the only NY Times bestselling business book author to have also been a successful professional actor, guest starring on shows like Sex & The City, Law & Order, Third Watch, All My Children and in films like The Pelican Brief and Down to Earth.

These days, Michael can be seen regularly on MSNBC, CNBC, and PBS as an on-air-expert in communication and business development.

We spoke about:

  • Why Michael is teaching public speaking and performance
  • What he brought from theater into business speaking
  • How to create a powerful opening
  • Frameworks (structure) for speeches
  • How to get the audience to take action at the end of your presentation
  • How to get a standing ovation
  • As you evolve as a thought leader, how to choose your next book topic

Heroes at Work: The Hero’s Journey as a Career Parable for Life Hacking (Video Interview Panel)

Posted on Posted in Career Guides, Interview, Storytelling, Thought Leadership

Three smartie-pants (Michael Margolis, Kathy Klotz-Guest and Brian Carter) discuss:

  • How can you get further in your career?
  • Do you have a mentor? Also, if you’re a consultants and coaches, how you can mentors heroes.
  • Why might you not be able to reach people with the magical elixir you’ve discovered during your career adventure? Who should you take your elixir to?
  • Critics as threshold guardians
  • Despite your expertise, how do you communicate better in the mainstream?

Warning: a little bit of language in case you are sensitive to that!

The Velveeta Commercial Michael mentioned: “You’re not ready for that fish”

The Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

Posted on Posted in Books, Thought Leadership

If you’re an expert, as some point, if you haven’t already, you may write a book, and one of the first questions people ask at this point is whether to self-pub or go with a traditional publisher.

Each option has pros and cons, and ultimately I would recommend you do both in your career, but here’s how to figure out whether your next book should be self-published or not.

The Pros of Traditional Publishing

  • It gives you credibility, because people know you’ve been vetted. People believe you’re credible and your idea is good. They’re willing to risk their time and money on you.
  • It forces you to go through the book proposal process which asks important questions about your audience and competing books.
  • They put you through a rigorous editing process.
  • They may give you an advance on royalties.
  • They may help you with getting more publicity and/or speaking gigs.

The Cons of Traditional Publishing

  • The process from start to finish may take at least 6 months. Even after editing is done, the book launch may be delayed for calendar reasons.
  • You still will have to do a lot of the promotion to sell the book.
  • You have to sell enough to “earn out” your advance.
  • Your ebook may be much more expensive than competing self-published works.
  • You probably can’t control the amazon description or keywords.
  • They may require right of first refusal on your next book idea.

The Pros of Self-Publishing

  • You can control the price, even make it free for a while for promotional practices.
  • You can sell paperbacks at a lower cost than traditional publishers.
  • You can control the amazon description and keywords. You can do keyword research and make sure they’re optimal.

The Cons of Self-Publishing

  • You may not get much feedback, unless you ask for itso your book may not be received as well by as many people.
  • You may decide not to pay for editing, end up with errors in your book, and get bad reviews because of it.
  • You may not be as rigorous about checking the market and competition to make sure you have the best chances of success.
  • It’s much harder to end up in traditional bookstores.

Overall Advice

  • If you’ve never published before, try a traditional publisher first. You’ll learn a ton about the process. You may find out that no publisher wants your book concept- and that may be because they don’t get it, or it might be you need a better book idea. You’ll get more credibility and build a firm foundation for the future.
  • If you decide to self-publish, put yourself through the book proposal process to think the whole thing through, and pay for editing. Ask peers to review your book when your first draft is done, then improve it based on feedback, then hire a professional line editor for the final draft.

How I Beat the Internet Marketing Odds and You Can Too

Posted on Posted in Branding, Inspiration, Internet Marketing Strategy, Small Business, Social Media, Thought Leadership

I want to tell you a short story about how I beat impossible odds and ended up a thought leader with a fair amount of brand fame… and how you and your company can do that too.

If you like, you can watch the video about it instead of reading:

If you watch the video and don’t scroll down… here’s a buy link for The Awareness Blueprint. Or, if you’d rather, you can try three videos for free, first!

Now to the story:

Back in 2004, I was like a lot of people: just an untrained guy who wanted to have his own business doing something he was good at that would help other people. I wanted to get enough consulting clients to get paid and do my part bringing home the bacon.

But I struggled because there were so many blogs and competitors out there. I just couldn’t get enough attention or leads or clients to make it. It was hard. I was frustrated! Have you felt like that?

Now, I’ve always believed in and been grateful for freedom, for the American dream of being in control of my own business, and for the opportunities we have with capitalism and to decide on our own career. I didn’t want to work for somebody else. I wanted to be “the man”, not work for the man!

I just wanted to build something special that helped other people, something they appreciated. Isn’t that what we all want?

And then I saw opportunity: the Internet. This was it. A huge phenomenon that suddenly gave us all the opportunity to easily do business with people all over the country- even the world!

I was excited because it seemed like the Internet would change everything in business- and I wanted to get in on that! Wouldn’t you?

But the odds were stacked against me because I had no schooling in internet marketing, I had no savings to bank on, and there was no reason for people to come to my website or business instead of anyone else’s.

I had done a lot of different types of work in my life, but I wanted to focus and get good at one thing. I was married and my wife had been the bigger breadwinner and I wanted to make more money to help her out and feel better about myself.

The internet was growing and people were making lots of money, but not me. Ever felt left out like that?

I was going up against much bigger companies, like training companies that had dozens of bloggers, and internet marketing teachers with a 3-4 year head start on me. I didn’t know anybody who had succeeded at this. I had no connections at all.

I had to get trained. So I got on the Internet and took some online courses. I went and had coffee with the marketing guy in my local San Diego networking group. I read tons and tons of blogs.

And at first, I made A LOT of mistakes. I was super-excited to make some money with Google AdSense, putting their ads on my alternative medicine site, but then the Google search algorithm changed and I lost most of my traffic. That was depressing. Don’t you wish Google was easier?

I started an AdWords consulting business but I couldn’t get enough clients.

Feeling a bit beaten, I took a job as an eCommerce manager for an outdoor store and spent a year building their online store, only for them to tell me, “Brian, we just don’t want to invest in buying enough inventory for the online store to succeed.”

Back to square one, dang it.

Again I went into solo consulting but I wasn’t getting enough clients, and my wife said, more or less, “Get a job or else maybe we should separate for a while.” Wow, that hurt!

So I took a risk on a job where I would build the internet marketing part of a regional agency in South Carolina. I had to move and be away from my wife for a couple years, which was tough, but I worked super hard.

I was initially not very smooth with clients, but my coworkers taught me a lot about account management and successful business relationships.

I was getting better at the Internet business:

  • I got results for our clients.
  • I started blogging and got attention.
  • I got to speak at a conference, then two more conferences.
  • I got a column writing for a big search engine blog.
  • We built the internet marketing part of the agency from $100k revenue to $650k revenue in less than two years.
  • I brought them in new clients from other parts of the country.

Then, to my surprise, the company laid me off!

It turns out I had TOO good a compensation deal with them. I was making too much money. And they didn’t want to expand beyond their region, so they didn’t much value my national networking and speaking.

But by now, I had become an industry thought-leader. I was known and read as a blogger on search marketing and social media. People enjoyed the talks I gave. By traveling and networking, I had made solid friends in the industry. And I had found a professional speaking mentor.

Wouldn’t you love to have a successful mentor in what you’re pursuing?

Because of all that I was able to write a Facebook marketing book, which quickly turned into two published books, and I started getting paid to keynote speak for companies. I and my small new agency got to work with great companies like Carl’s Jr, Universal Studios and The World Health Organization.

Next thing I knew I was on Bloomberg TV in New York City, and getting to work with companies like Microsoft, NBC, Salesforce, GoToMeeting, Dramamine, PrideStaff and others.

Wouldn’t you love to have more opportunities and clients?

It felt amazing to be an author, to be a respected authority, to be someone companies would pay thousands of dollars to come and speak or give consulting opinions. It’s flattering to repeatedly show up on lists like “The Top 50 Marketing Experts in the World”.

Oh and by the way, now I bring home ALL the bacon and my wife works for me, and she’s a brilliant Facebook advertiser. 🙂

During that journey I learned a ton about what does and doesn’t work for building brand fame and awareness. And I’d love to teach you what I’ve learned.

That’s why I created The Awareness Blueprint. It’s only $97 in 2014, but goes up to $399 in 2015. Students and peers tell me it’s too valuable to charge $97 for it, but I wanted to give people a chance to hear about it and- it’s my holiday gift to you, $302 off!

Hope you buy it. If you’d rather, you can try three videos for free, first!

All the best,
Brian Carter