JR Atkin's Blog

VidMill – Quality Biz Videos and Amazing Prices

Check out these cool business videos at very reasonable prices from VidMill. Hers is the video VidMill created for Something Different Companies.

VidMill offers 3 price levels to help small businesses generate results with video: $299, $399, & $649

VidMill recommended by J.R. Atkins of Something Different Companies









Once you get your VidMill video produced, let Something Different Companies help you promote it via your Website, Social Media, Email Marketing or other methods.

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Facebook Ad’s for “Likes” Do Not Work?

Check out this video by Derek Muller of the Veritasium on why Facebook Ads for Likes do not work. He’s a science guy and most of his content is science related. But on this one, he applies his scientific approach to the Facebook Ad Model to see how it works or doesn’t.


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Gatesville, Nigeria and Tethering

GatesvilleAtkins Ranch in Gatesville TX

Yea, you might have seen some posts from me that I am spending a great deal of time at the Atkins Ranch in Gatesville, TX, about 35 miles east of Waco. It’s amazing what you can observe from outside of the Digital Life in Dallas. I still have my office in Frisco and I have opened a satellite office at the Ranch. Come see me when you are in the area.


Others of you might have seen a recent post about my trip to Africa with Compassion Creates Change Nigeria, a Dallas based non-profit working in Nigeria with Churches, NGO’s, Community Development Agencies and Business to:

  • Construct a Multi-Use School, Church and Community Center Raising 5k for Nigeria Mission Trip
  • Construct a Medical Clinic
  • Deliver Medical Supplies
  • Install Solar-power Based Electrification
  • Initiate Clean Water Projects
  • Provide Vocational Training
  • Deliver Compassionate Outreach

If you are able to contribute cash, products, services or just share the details on your social media, your efforts are greatly appreciated. Give at: http://www.gofundme.com/JRAtkins

TetheringJ.R. Atkins likes the Intelligence TV Show

I recall this term as the idea of connecting your Laptop to the internet via your cellphone. I’d like to expand the definition to address the way we tap into computer based information and knowledge. Today we have so many options to tether to our computer from smart phone and tablets to Google Glass. The progression of knowledge access looks something like this:

Main Frame-Personal Computer-Lap Top-Tablet-Smart Phone-Google Glass-Implant.

I know the implant is not in the consumer market yet, but it has to be in the military domain. Have you see the TV show Intelligence, it’s like a modern day bionic man, only better. Yet, all the information of the world is useless without human intelligence to create context and relationship. Here are a few business uses for Computer Information at your fingertips. Let me know what other applications you see coming.

  • Sales: Customer, Product and Service data
  • Service: Service Manuals, Customer Records, Diagnostics…
  • Decision Making: KPI’s, Industry, Competition…
  • Current News: Public, Company, Industry
  • Security: Early Warnings, Environmental Concerns,

Please share your thoughts on the blog, by email, phone or social media, “after all, I’m here to communicate with you.”

Events Worth Considering 

02-08-14 – Orpheus “From the Heart” Gala & Auction
02-11-14 – Business Link Lunch – Temple Chamber
02-12-14 – The DEC: Design for Non-Designers
02-18-14 – The Booming Business of Global Warming
02-19-14 – Marketing DFW Airport
02-23-14 – Southwest Car Wash Association Convention & Expo
02-25-14 – Last Tuesday Happy Hour at The Ritz Carlton
02-27-14 – Business After Hours – Temple Chamber
03-01-14 – Orpheus Chamber Singers – The Art of Imitation


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Box Thinking: Inside or Outside?

J.R. Atkins, thinking inside the box“Thinking outside the box” is such an over-used term yet I still hear it used to describe looking at life, a systems, a product, a problem or an issue in a new or different way. But, to think outside the box, don’t you need to understand what is in the box? Check out the list below and see if you can think of additional material that should be in or outside the box.

“Inside the Box”

  1. Current Methods & Procedures
  2. Current Customers & Prospects
  3. Current Employees & Recruits
  4. Current Products & Services
  5. Current Information & News Sources
  6. Current Ways of Thinking & Communicating
  7. Current Locations & Resources
  8. Current Culture “The way we do things”

J.R. Atkins thinking outside the box“Outside the Box”

  1. Any New Approach, Order or Method
  2. Any New View or Perspective
  3. Any New Way of Thinking
  4. The Opposite of the “Inside the Box” Thinking


For one to be good at creating, innovating, inventing, developing… you must be able to suspend your current beliefs long enough to see the world in a new way. In Seth Godin’s recent book “The Icarus Deception” he writes of the balance between our comfort zone and safety zone and how we must get comfortable with new realities or our new safety zone. He goes on to say that success in the new era goes to those that “create ideas that spread and connect the disconnected.” J.R. Atkins recommends The Icarus Deception

As we enter 2014 my hope for you is that you are able to create remarkable results with remarkable ease. Perhaps you can think outside the box to new highs in your career by looking at what is already in the box.

Events Worth considering

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The 5 Stages of Culture from “Tribal Leadership”

“People Tribe, Fish School, Cattle Herd and Birds Flock” and so it goes, says my client and friend Kathy Dudley of Compassion Creates Change. Then she goes on to explain the 5 Stages of Tribes (below). My eyes widen and I frantically begin to take notes as the information and this model of behavior resonates with other ideas bouncing around in my head. So, I share the following resources with you in hopes of helping you and your organization excel in the new year.

This video explains the Tribe concepts as it applies to organizations


The Models or Info-graphicsJ.R. Atkins recommends the book Tribal Leadership












J.R. Atkins recommends the book Tribal Leadership














Lastly, here is an excerpt from the book which I highly recommend.

Every company, indeed, every organization, is a tribe, or if it’s large enough, a network of tribes—groups of twenty to 150 people in which everyone knows everyone else, or at least knows of everyone else. Tribes are more powerful than teams, companies, or even CEO’s, and yet their key leverage points have not been mapped—until now. In Tribal Leadership, Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright show leaders how to assess their organization’s tribal culture on a scale from one to five and then implement specific tools to elevate the stage to the next. The result is unprecedented success.

J.R. Atkins MBA Recommends the book Book: Tribal LeadershipIn a rigorous ten-year study of approximately 24,000 people in more than two dozen corporations, Logan, King, and Fischer-Wright refine and define a common theme: the success of a company depends on its tribes, the strength of its tribes is determined by the tribal culture, and a thriving corporate culture can be established by an effective tribal leader. Tribal Leadership will show leaders how to employ their companies’ tribes to maximize productivity and profit: the authors’ research, backed up with interviews ranging from Brian France (CEO of NASCAR) to “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams, shows that more than three quarters of the organizations they’ve  studied have tribal cultures that are merely adequate, no better than the third of five tribal stages.

The authors explain exactly what Tribal Leadership is, and offer a wealth of “technical notes” which explain how to implement the leadership system in any culture. They also offer coaching tips and a “cheat sheet” that provides the key action steps to building great tribes—including how to identify a tribe’s language and customs, how to move yourself forward while moving your people, and how to build a support network. “The goal is to give you the perspective and tools of a Tribal Leader,” the authors write. “The result is more effective workplaces, greater strategic success, less stress, and more fun. In short, the point of this book is for you to build a better organization in which the best people want to work and make an impact.”

TRIBAL LEADERSHIP details each of the five tribal stages and helps readers identify which actions affect it and which strategies will enable the tribe to upgrade to the next level. The authors discuss how each stage has a unique set of leverage points and why it is critical to understand them—more than three quarters of the organizations they studied have tribal cultures that are adequate at best. The five stages include:

• Stage One: The stage most professionals skip, these are tribes whose members are despairingly hostile—they may create scandals, steal from the company, or even threaten violence.

• Stage Two: The dominant culture for 25 percent of workplace tribes, this stage includes members who are passively antagonistic, sarcastic, and resistant to new management initiatives.

• Stage Three: 49 percent of workplace tribes are in this stage, marked by knowledge hoarders who want to outwork and out-think their competitors on an individual basis. They are lone warriors who not only want to win, but need to be the best and brightest.

• Stage Four: The transition from “I’m great” to “we’re great” comes in this stage where the tribe members are excited to work together for the benefit of the entire company.

• Stage Five: Less than 2 percent of workplace tribal culture is in this stage when members who have made substantial innovations seek to use their potential to make a global impact.

The authors also offer an in-depth look at Tribal Leadership strategies, and discuss how leaders can identify the tribe’s core values and the noble causes to which they aspire. They then explain how to use those principles along with the tribe’s inherent assets and behaviors to foster success based on the tribe’s goals and objectives. As the authors explain, once the tribe sets its strategy based on these factors, a palpable sense of excitement begins to emerge. “Every member of the tribe knows exactly how to succeed and what each person must do to make the tribe effective,” they write. “That’s the promise of tribal strategy.”

Leaders, managers, and organizations that fail to understand, motivate, and grow their tribes will find it impossible to succeed in an increasingly fragmented world of business. The often counter-intuitive findings of Tribal Leadership will help leaders at today’s major corporations, small businesses, and nonprofits learn how to take the people in their organization from adequate to outstanding, to discover the secrets that have led the highest-level tribes to remarkable heights, and to find new ways to succeed where others have failed.

I look forward to reading your comments, receiving your emails, chatting on the phone or in person about these concepts.


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Info-Graphic of the Modern Marketer

I saw this posted on Google+ by Felix Tarcomnicu and had to share it on my blog for my fans and to refer to latter. As the author writes “Technology is transforming the Marketing Professional…to Part Artist and Part Scientest”

J.R. Atkins is the Modern Marketer


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“The Evolution of Social Business: Six Stages of Social Business Transformation.”

Charlene Li founder of Altimeter GroupCharlene Li and her staff at Altimeter Group host an annual Social Business Survey. See the entire post at her Blog. Top findings include:

  • Most organizations are “intermediate,” with only 17% self-described as “strategic” in the execution of their social strategies.
  • 78% of companies have a dedicated social media team, at the division, corporate or both levels — only 22% of companies do not have a dedicated team.
  • Companies are committing more headcount to social media across all sizes of organizations. The biggest jump is for companies with more than 100,000 employees, which now report an average of 49 full-time employees supporting social media, compared to 20 in 2010.
  • 85% of companies have an organizational social media policy, yet only 18% of companies report that their employees’ knowledge of social media usage and the organizational policy is either good or very good.

How does this fit with your business? Call or email J.R. Atkins today of you would additional insights on how to improve your social media. 214-707-1705, JRatkins@SomethingDifferentCompanies.com


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Marketing Events Using Social Media

Marketing Events Using Social Media

by , Originally Posted on the Social Media Club of Dallas Blog,  http://smcdallas.org/2013/11/05/marketing-events-using-social-media/
Social Media Club of Dallas

As a Social Media Professional, you may be called on to promote all manner of events, activities, sales pursuits, and causes. I recently was employed to help promote an arts, entertainment and networking event in Dallas and thought I would share our methods so others can benefit. I’d also like to hear your thoughts so we can all grow together.

Social Media to Promote Events

Key Takeaway

The key to Marketing events is getting the word out to your target audience, communicating the value and providing impelling calls to action.  A Prayer for good weather usually helps as well.

The Opportunity

In June, I was approached by a local Event Concierge about handling the Social Media Marketing for an event planned for September. They wanted to deliver an event that would feature local artists and entertainers, provide unique networking opportunities and raise money for a few non-profits. The event location was the famous former Starck Club, remodeled and renamed ZOUK. Because it sounded like my kind of event, I signed on to drive awareness and attendance as well as serving as the Emcee.


When you start with a blank slate and brainstorm about how to promote an event of this nature, many methods are considered. We considered  Print Ads, Radio Spots, Billboards, TV, Bus Ads, and of course Social Media. With a small budget and a desire to fund non-profits with event proceeds, we chose to focus on using Social Media, PR, and email marketing to drive awareness and attendance to the event. By including the 50 plus event participants, we could leverage online posts and increase engagement.


With our strategy determined, we considered the universe of online tools and narrowed the list to the following:

Facebook Events Page Facebook Page
Twitter LinkedIn
Google+ Google Docs
MeetUp YouTube
SocialCam Vine
Blogging Eventbrite – Ticket Sales


HootSuite was the primary method of posting texts with links and pictures. For video I used SocialCam to capture, tag and post to SocialCam, Facebook and YouTube. Here are a few examples:




Content Development

Our next step was to develop content. We started with a Press Release format with all the facts and figures. This was used to draw content for the Facebook Page and Facebook Event Page, The Eventbrite page, eflyers and social media posts. The next big “bucket of content” was developed by interviewing the artists and performers who would participate in the event. This content was very important in adding interesting posts along with a call to action over a 60 day period leading up to the event. I created an Editorial Calendar by writing a unique post for each day. We posted on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus and the content was scheduled in HootSuite.

One-One-One Meetings with Participants

This was the single most important activity in driving awareness and attendance. There were 50 plus artists, entertainers, participants, supporters and non-profits involved and we held one-on-one meetings with the majority of them. We scheduled 30 minute sessions over the course of a few days and:

  1. Invited all of their Facebook friends using a purchased tool so one message went out to all at once
  2. Found out what the stakeholders understood about social media marketing and explained how they could help promote their business and the event. I allowed them to call me with questions up to the event for no cost.
  3. Persuaded stakeholders to Like, Comment and Share the posts we published. This was the second most important activity in driving awareness and attendance. When they did this once a week their friends would learn of the event, understand its uniqueness and see a call to action several times. This gave us the “Frequency & Reach” needed to drive several hundred people to the event.
  4.  Crafted a message and executed an email marketing blast to those on our email list. I also sent out two announcements about the event in my July and August newsletters and blogs.

Results & Lessons

The event was a huge success. The artists sold some of their art and jewelry, the performers and artists were able to reach new people and create new relationships, awareness was increased for the non-profits, ALS, Dress for Success and Art Hunger and we raised money even though rain meant that attendance did not meet our projections. Here are a few specific results and lessons learned.

FB event RSVPs – 1,399
Ticket Sales – 600+
Actual attendance – 369

  1. No amount of marketing can overcome weather.
  2. FB sharing & comments works to get the word out.
  3. Most ticket purchases take place in the two weeks before an event, especially two or three days before the event.
  4.  Unless the event has sold out before, early ticket pricing and incentives have little impact on early ticket sales.

I hope this is helpful to you in marketing your next event using Social Media Marketing. I look forward to seeing your comments in the comments section of this blog or reach out to me by one of the methods below.

J.R. Atkins

J.R. Atkins MBA
Author, Speaker & Consultant on Social Media, Mobile Apps, Sales & Marketing
Something Different Companies

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jratkins85
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jratkinsSpeaker
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jratkins
Blog: http://somethingdifferentcompanies.com/blog
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/jratkins1
G+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/107608258721080852890/107608258721080852890

Something Different Companies Logo


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How to “Invite All” to a Facebook Event

As I am involved with getting the word out for events, I J.R. Atkins, Dallas Social Media Speakerdiscovered the following code to “invite all your friends on Facebook.” I hope this helps you have a successful event. Good luck.


For Facebook:

1. Click Invite Friends

2. In the dropdown, next to the search box, click Search All Friends

3. Scroll ALL the way down until names stop loading (I found it easy to click the first name and then hold down the spacebar or Page Down button)

4. For EVENTS Copy this code:

javascript:elms=document.getElementsByName(“checkableitems[]“);for (i=0;i<elms.length;i++){if (elms[i].type=”checkbox” )elms[i].click()}

For PAGES Copy this code:

javascript:var inputs = document.getElementsByClassName(‘uiButton _1sm’);for(var i=0; i<inputs.length;i++) {inputs[i].click(); }

For Chrome:
5. Press (CTRL+Shift+J) for WINDOWS or (Command+ Option+J) for MAC on your keyboard.
6. Paste the code into the box at the bottom and press enter (next to the blue “>”)
7. For large friends list, this may utilize all your resources and will cause the page to freeze and be unresponsive. Just wait a few minutes until all the names get selected.

For Firefox:
5. Press (CTRL+Shift+K) for WINDOWS or (Command+Option+K) for MAC on your keyboard
6. Paste the code into the box at the bottom and press enter (next to the blue “>>”).
7. For large friends list, this may utilize all your resources and will cause the page to freeze and be unresponsive. Just wait a few minutes until all the names get selected.

For Safari:
5. Go to Preferences – Advanced – check “Show Develop menu in menu bar” and close the preferences window.
6. Go to Develop – Show Error Console (or Command + Option + C)
5. Paste the code into the box at the bottom and press enter (next to the blue “>”).

For Internet Explorer:
5. Press F12 on your keyboard
6. Click the “Console” tab
7. Paste the code into the box at the bottom and press enter.
8. For large friends list, this may utilize all your resources and will cause the page to freeze and be unresponsive. Just wait a few minutes until all the names get selected.


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Are smartphones a need or want?

I see smart phones as a must have for most adults who are engaged in business and society. The amount of computing and communication power is necessary for the successful connected life. Check out this article from  Desert News on the subject.


Gotta have: Are smartphones a need or just a want?

According to J.R. Atkins MBA Smart phones are a need

By , Deseret News

NEWTON, Mass. — Lisa Rinkus may be fighting a losing battle. Her 14-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, wants an iPhone.

“She was asking every day, ‘When can I have an iPhone,’ ” says Rinkus, owner of a public relations firm in the Boston area. “My husband was about to cave and I was horrified.”

Everybody Rinkus knows, she says, has given their kids a smartphone.

“But I know a lot of parents who say they wish they never caved in,” she says.

The tide seems to be going toward universal adoption. Resistance seems futile. The Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project reported in May that, for the first time, a majority of adult Americans (56 percent) owned smartphones. Of young people ages 18 to 29, 77 percent of those who make less than $30,000 a year still own a smartphone.

Pew also found recently that 63 percent of adult cell owners now use their phones to go online — twice the percentage of 2009.

And among teenagers, almost 78 percent of them own a phone, with almost half of that group owning a smartphone, according to Pew.

But even with the high percentages, Rinkus and others are confronting the question of whether smartphones are wants or needs.

Clash of worlds

Susan Kuhn, a “technology futurist and digital strategist” in Arlington, Va., says fear is behind much of the opposition to smartphones and allowing kids to have them.

“Information technology is evolving faster than anything in human history,” Kuhn says. “The key is to not just look at the device, but the role it is playing.”

That role includes the different things a child could do with it — such as creating videos, expanding learning, creating websites and content on social networks, or being connected to resources at school.

“Smartphones are going to be very important in the future,” she says. Parents should want their children to master the tool and use it well. Kids are going to grow up in a world of instant communication and ubiquity of information, she says.

“We do right by our children when we help them to grow up able to live in the world that is coming for them, the world of the future — not the world that we are comfortable, the world of what we grew up in.”

Already connected?

Rinkus, however, thinks kids are connected. “If kids have access to computers, iPods, library computers and school computers,” she says, “then why the heck do they need it in their pocket while they are waiting for the bus?”

But smartphones can be used for far more than killing a few idle moments while waiting for a bus. A recent study by Jumio, an online verification and mobile payments company based in Palo Alto, Calif., found that people are using their smartphones just about everywhere and during everything.

People admit using them in movie theaters (35 percent of smartphone owners), during a dinner date (33 percent), at a child’s or school function (32 percent), in a place of worship (19 percent), while in the shower (19 percent) and even during, um, intimate times (9 percent). Despite laws and other attempts to stigmatize it, 55 percent admit to using smartphones while driving.

James A. Roberts, a professor of marketing at Baylor University, thinks smartphone use like this is a sign of addiction.

Tipping into addiction

“Cell phone use reaches a tipping point when they pass from being something you like to do to something you need to do,” says Roberts, who is writing a new book titled “Cellularitis: Sleeping with our cell phones.” “People exhibit six symptoms that are classic addiction.”

The first sign, he says, is the salience or importance the smartphones have in people’s lives. Like the Jumio survey, which found that 72 percent of smartphone users are within five feet of their devices the majority of the time.

Two other signs are that the smartphone is being used for mood regulation and people start using them more and more in their lives.

People also have withdrawal symptoms if they have to stop using their smartphones.

“Kids separated from their cellphones get nervous, tense, anxious and almost have breakdowns just like alcohol, cigarettes or coffee addiction,” Roberts says.

Smartphone usage also can cause conflict with others. Roberts says he has had to have students removed from class who couldn’t stop using their smartphones for the period.

And people who try to stop using their smartphones often relapse back into their obsessive habits with the phones, he says.

Setting rules

Rinkus says she doesn’t want her daughter to be like one of her “addicted” classmates who, when asked a question by her history teacher, answered by saying, “Let me Google it.”

“That is so absurd,” Rinkus says, “it makes me so crazy.”

But Kuhn isn’t impressed so much by the addiction claims.

“Addiction?” she says, “Well, then we need to talk about sports maybe. There are all kinds of things people can get ‘addicted’ to. It is not a thing that is unique to technology. … It is falsely giving up human power by giving up tech.”

Kuhn says parents can set limits such as not allowing the smartphone in the kid’s bedroom, limiting use to two hours a day, monitoring how it is being used.

Roberts also recommends rules such as he has used with his teenage daughters including turning off the phones at 10 p.m. and having smartphone-free times, like keeping them off during dinner. Author William Powers takes it a step further, suggesting that peopletake a day away from their smartphones to create more balance between people’s physical and digital lives.

Protecting the future

Rinkus says she wants her daughter, in her free moments, to not turn her head down to a smartphone, but to interact with those around her. Kuhn, however, says kids are connecting to each other, “in a far different way that we did.”

But she also says the connecting does not have to be one way or the other, that it can be both.

“Technology is no harder than a lot of other things that have happened in history,” Kuhn says, “but we put it on this freak-out pedestal. It sort of demeans us to say that we can be undone by a piece of electronics. No. We are much better than that.”

Rinkus, however, isn’t backing down and says her daughter is starting to agree with her.

“My job as a parent is to protect my children,” she says. “Getting them ready for the future means I need to guide them. I’m protecting my daughter. I think she realizes that.”

EMAIL: mdegroote@deseretnews.com

Twitter: @degroote

Facebook: facebook.com/madegroote

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