A Few Good Reminders from “Content Rules”

A Few Good Reminders from “Content Rules”

As I am reading “Content Rules” by Ann Handley & C.C. Chapman, I found the following content worth sharing. (Paraphrased)

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins agrees, that Content Rules!“Specifically, creating content as a cornerstone of your marketing can:

  • Attract Customers
  • Educate your buyers
  • Overcome resistance
  • Establish credibility
  • Tell your story
  • Build Buzz
  • Build community
  • Inspire impulse buying”

Not bad for writing a few post on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or your blog.


Is your Marketing Approach like a Leaf Rake or a Leaf Blower?

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins discusses The Leaf Rake Approach to MarketingMarketing to prospective clients has changed greatly with the proliferation of online tools such as websites, email and most recently, social media. Prospects can turn to so many sources for information about you, your company, and your products or services. A recent day of yard work prompted me to explain the shift in marketing to a colleague as being “more like using a leaf blower then a rake.”

The Leaf Rake Approach

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins recomends ACT for Contact or Customer Relationship Management Prior to the proliferation of on-line tools, I collected contact information from prospects such as their name, address, phone number and fax number and stored them on 3×5 cards. In the early 90’s I started using ACT, a Contact and Customer Relationship Management system, or CRM, to keep up with prospect information and to schedule phone calls, meetings, and direct mail campaigns. Armed with this information, I could mail, call, and fax prospects about my products and services. This shows the emphasis on collecting contact information, much like raking leaves into a pile.

The Leaf Blower Approach

Today, I take a different approach that is more like a leaf blower. As I meet prospective clients, I connect with them on-line via email and or social media. I have shifted from collecting and hoarding data, to giving and sharing data. In other words I blow information into the wind and wait for those who are interested to reach out to me.

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins explains The Leaf Blower Approach to MarketingSocial Media is a great tool for “Leaf Blower” marketing. Once a connection is made via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, a blog or YouTube, the prospect get’s to choose if they would like to follow you and if so, they can choose their preferred method of communication. Some prospects will discard the information you share, others will collect it and save it for the future, and some will find if valuable and share it with others, while some will act on it by reaching our my email, social media or phone. The main idea is that the prospects who are interested in you and the content you publish will “follow you” and when they are ready to buy, they will reach out to you.

Yet, there is a key point with this approach. It requires the marketer to publish content that is interesting, valuable and giving in nature. This kind of content will be shared with others and your message will take on the viral affect where it gets passed around to others very rapidly.

When using the “leaf blower” methodology, your goal is to draw prospects to you by “blowing out the information” and letting those that are interested come to you.

You probably need both

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins share the Big 5 off Social Media modelTo be effective in my yard work, I need both a leaf rake and leaf blower to get the job done. In business, we need both approaches to market effectively. We should use the leaf blower approach to share good content through a website, email newsletter, LinkedIn, Facebook Fan Page, Twitter, a Blog and a YouTube Channel. Then, we can identify those prospects that have an interest in our content and target them with direct mail, email blast and direct selling content and methods.

By using both approaches we can continue to grow our business while allowing the prospect to connect with us in the way that works best for them. My hope for you is that you “rake in the money while blowing away the competition.”

March Events

3/9/11 Social Media Club of Dallas Presents SXSWi Pre-Party & Chris Treadaway

3/11/11 Chicago Symphony Orchestra – Mendelssohn’s Elijah

3/12/11 Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade

3/13/11 The American Choral Directors Biennial National Conference

3/13/11 SXSWi – South by Southwest Interactive

3/16/11 AIGA DFW Presents Local App Developer Success Story

3/23/11 Digital Dallas – A SXSW Recap

3/25/11 DFW AMA – How Next Gen Network Capabilities are Game Changers for Telecom Marketers

3/28/11 Dallas iPhone Developers/Entrepreneurs Meetup

3/29/11 Social Media & Your Career @ Career Jump Start


Is Facebook Main Stream yet?

Dallas Social Media Speaker J.R. Atkins sees Facebook as mainstreamWhen I am asked to speak on Social Media, such as my talk “The Big 5 of Social Media” and talk about how main stream Facebook has become. I tell business leaders that if they do not have a Fan Page on Facebook, it’s like not having a free one page add in the Yellow Pages of the past.

Now, the Cameron County District Attorney in Brownsville, Texas is using Facebook to help pick jury members. This is confirmation of how Facebook has become a common communication tool. So, if your not on Facebook, you are missing out on a current and effective communication method.

Please see the following article for the rest of the story on the Cameron County District Attorney use of Facebook and let me know what you think.

Texas County to Use Facebook to Help Pick Jurors

Published : Monday, 17 Jan 2011, 5:54 PM CST

PATTIE SHIEHPATTIE SHIEH Reporter

HOUSTON – Most people use social media for just that — the social part. But websites like Facebook gather personal information that is very attractive to many. Now, the Cameron County District Attorney in the Brownsville area will use Facebook to help pick a jury.

Because attorneys for sides in a trial can strike jurors, every bit of data helps the decision making process. So when you think of Facebook as a massive source of personal information… you start to get an idea of its value.

Defense attorney and FOX 26 legal analyst Chris Tritico has been using social media for years, “Facebook and MySpace… any of these pages, we’ll look at it as an investigative tool to get background on witnesses and other people.”

We had Tritico look at the pages of random people on Facebook. Many had their pages open for everyone to see. It didn’t take Tritico long to start forming an opinion, “The most important thing to me on this page is religious views… outgrew fairy tales decades ago.” I asked him, “What does that tell you though?” Tritico replied “That tells me a whole lot about this individual in his views and it says he’s a party member of the Socialist party that tells me that he’s really if you’re looking from just a conservative liberal point, I’m going to put this guy more… in a criminal defense case… on the defensive side of issues.”

Tritico will also browse photos that can indicate if the person has a family, travels a lot or attends a lot of parties. Even favorite music and movies can help fill in the blanks, “I’d want to know what caused him to list these on his page. That just tells you something about his insight. Once you get him talking about how he feels about things you move that into the legal field.”

I asked the veteran attorney if he could seat a jury just by using Facebook and he did not hesitate, “Absolutely. I can get enough information off Facebook pages to ask the questions I need to ask of each individual juror… to find the information I need. I’ve already gotten in my head what I want to ask. Facebook just gives me some background questions that allows me to open them up and talk to me some more to find out more about them.”

With over 500 million users worldwide, Facebook has a lot of information on hand. As an added bonus, for those who want that information — it’s free.

Original Story: http://www.myfoxhouston.com/dpp/news/scitech/110117-texas-county-to-use-facebook-to-help-pick-jury


Work Space

What is a work space? I take it to mean a place, where work gets done. But what does it take to get work done? Consider the environment, from lighting, to decorations, to sound, to light, to co-workers and fellow tenants. Almost anything that can and does contribute to you producing your best. Yet, as I visit with clients, I see a wide variety of work conditions.

My favorite work space exists at one of my clients locations, [x]cube LABS, where I am performing work “on-site”. I am filling an employee-type role, working “full time” to generate the deliverables for the project.

 Dallas Social Media Speaker helps the xcube LABS team

The company occupies space in an Art Gallery/Studio environment. At the front of the building, there is a successful art gallery, Marty Walker Gallery, with artist studios occupying the rest of the building. As my client is in the design business, they chose to rent space with other artists. This is very different for me. I’m used to the glass and steel structure of “Class A” office space and I found this new environment both refreshing and productive.

Here are topics I consider to contribute to being your best and producing your best.

1. Creating & Thinking: This is what many of us get paid for. Anyone can just do a job but to progress in your role, it’s your thoughts and creative contributions that count.  So, create a space that is conducive to creative work and thinking. Is your desk cluttered or clean, do the items on your desk contribute to or detract from your thoughts? What about the walls, lighting, plants, music, a candle burning, your chair… If your work space is not conducive to your creating, then change it. If you cannot change it enough, find a place at a park, a library, a book store, a zoo, or an art gallery that is conducive to your creative process.

2. Resources & Tools: Whether it is a computer, books, a white board, a tablet, colored markers, or a musical instrument, find the tools and resources you need to be productive and make sure you have them at your finger tips. We get distracted and off task when we have to hunt down our tools.

3. Others: Sometimes we need to collaborate with others to produce results. Other times, someone can block us from producing results. Don’t let anything stand in your way of being the best you can be. Go the extra distance to seek those you need to collaborate with. I will schedule lunch with certain people and take notes while we are together. Later, these notes form ideas for projects, blog posts and speaking points.

4. Measurement: How do you measure your results? Of course we can use money, as it is the measure of the market place. Our annual income is in direct proportion to how the market is valuing our contribution. Another big measurement for me is satisfaction. Am I satisfied with my life, my growth, the work I am producing and the people in my life?

5. Mobile Work, on the go, hot cubing: Many of us are working mobile. This can mean working from home, on-site for clients, in the office some, traveling or hanging out at Starbucks. “Hot Cubing” is like Hot Bunking in the Navy. Your work space is being used by a co-worker when you’re not in the office.

All of the above mentioned forms of working can create stress, (and detract from your productivity), or you can turn this variety of locations into a strength. By being able to work away from an office you can seek out those creative spaces mentioned above. Do you take any pictures with you for your traveling work space? My desk top on my laptop is a slide show from my last trip to the BVI. This gives my space a home like feeling where ever I work.

6. Fragmentation: One of the biggest killers of productivity is interruptions. They can take the form of email, social media, Skype, cell phone, office phone, people walking into your office, outside noise, smells …almost anything that keeps you from being your best. Sometimes I turn off my devices and set aside a specific amount of time to contribute focused time to a task. I also have to write myself a note to turn the devices back on when I am done.

What Really Matters is that you are happy, challenged, growing and have a sense that you matter, that people value you as a person and your contributions. When you can pull this off and make a good income, then you have “arrived”.

Upcoming Events

01/04/11                     Aggie Business Luncheon, Dealing with Change

01/06/11                     DFW AMA Meet-N-Greet

01/08/11                     Art Show: Lee Mascarenhas at Craighead Green Gallery

01/10/11                     Social Media & Your Career, Ft Worth Career Network (J.R. Atkins presenting)

01/11/11                     Social Media for your Business, Summit Networking Group (J.R. Atkins presenting)

01/14/11                     Israel iPhone MeetUp

01/24/11                     Dallas iPhone MeetUp

01/25/11                     The Last Tuesday Happy at the Ritz-Carlton Dallas

01/27/11                     AAF Dallas Happy Hour

01/28/11                     World Affairs Council: Ambassador Marcc Grossman


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