My IRA is tanking. The economy is slumping. Now this.

photo_thumb

A right-handed designer with a broken right arm: not the best way to start off Q2. But not to worry.

scottarm1If I didn’t laugh, I might cry. All things happen for a reason. I guess it’s God’s cruel joke, or something. A right-handed designer with a broken right arm. Anyway, as you some of you might know, I have been a volunteer youth baseball coach here in south Minneapolis for the past 13 years. About 10 days ago, I was coaching 3rd base in a tournament game when one of my 14-year-old players hit a screaming line drive in my direction. As I moved to evade the ball, it found me like a heat-seeking missile.

Crack. The ball hit my right forearm just about six inches up from my wrist. I immediately iced it, and stayed in the game, not thinking much of it although it hurt like hell. Later on that afternoon, I knew something wasn’t quite right, so my wife insisted that we head to the ER to get it checked out.

Long story short: diagnosed with what’s called a nightstick fracture to the ulna bone. I am now confined to a cast for the next three weeks. I am making the adjustments to working primarily with my left hand, and awkwardly mousing with my right when necessary. But, I’ve got to say, this is by far one of the most challenging situations I’ve faced in my career. It’s hard to describe, but the cast confines my arm to an angle that is not conducive to mousing, something I make my livelihood with. The frustration is maddening.

Julia Auerbach, professional wedding photo blog.

Photoblog for professional photograher

Julia Auerbach is a professional hoping to share with you what happens behind her lens with this simple photo blog powered by WordPress. Julia is focused on the professional wedding photography marker in the Minneapolis, MN as well as other Minnesota Communities. What the site brings to you is a permanent record of all the beauty and emotion that is revealed and all the hidden nuances that last a mere moment.

What’s the Point?: Smart techniques on how to use Facebook.

logo_facebook_thumb

Three key ways to enhance your social network through facebook.

If you are new to Facebook, you must be wondering, what is the point of Facebook? What will these virtual friends and groups do to help me in the real world? If you’re purely on Facebook for social reasons, it is a fun way to find old friends, connect with new ones, and keep in touch with anyone that is most likely connected to the world of Facebook. For other people that may be on Facebook for Business related reasons like myself, there are a million ways to advertise, connect, and learn tons of new information.

The #1 Key to Facebook: CONNECTING

  • Find people that are interested in YOUR group, fan page, business, etc…
  • Facebook offers two majors ways to instantly connect with someone. Keep these in mind when you find someone that you may have a good connection with or think may be of help.
  • Facebook messages are just like email. Use this to start a conversation with a new friend directly through Facebook.
  • Facebook Instant Messanger functions just like iChat, or Skype Chat. But on Facebook, you can see when your friends are on-line and have a live conversation. This is a helpful tool to hand information back and forth instantly, and connect to things you may not have usually found.
  • Your Facebook, and the work you put into it only have value if the viewers are interested. Make sure your content is Interesting,easy to follow, and holds the interest of your viewers.
  • Target YOUR Facebook friends. Facebook Fan Pages even have a tool that allows you to see who is viewing your page. Target those people and see the outcome.

The #2 Key to Facebook: VIRAL ADVERTISING

  • Interesting content is what attracts people to your facebook. Find engaging youtube videos, links to interesting news articles. Facebook groups and Fan pages allow you to easily connect your friends to the things you want them to see. Pull things from your site, your friend’s Facebook’s, publish what you find interesting and what will grab people’s attention.
  • People see your interesting content, grab it and post it. Before you know it, three times as many people are looking at it within hours and sharing it with people you would never have the tools to connect with.

The #3 Key to Facebook: UPDATE

  • People do not want to see old links, videos, and pictures.
  • Facebook allows a person to immediately post something NEW.
  • Keep your Facebook up to date with key things you want your friends to see that will help them and help you connect and learn.

Facebook has a million possibilities for any person. Take it and use it to your advantage today

Fish Where the Fish Are: How to reach the right people on Facebook.

may_fishing001_thumb

As a business owner on Facebook you want to connect with the people that matter the most. You want people seeing your Facebook profile, group, and Fan page that care about the content and will spread it to other people that care. What and where you post your information is the most important part. It is not that difficult. Facebook has many resources for people to find the people they need.

Sony created a very interesting way to connect with the people they were targeting. Sony built a site featuring their latest movie about Vampires. They needed a quick and easy way to connect with the people who like vampires. Sony received over 18 million hits to their Fan page in only three weeks. How in the world did they do that? They fished where the fish were.

Facebook offers a very popular application where people play in a virtual world of Vampires. The exact rules are beyond me, but sony knew that targeting that particular audience would be the perfect way to advertise their Fan page. Before they knew it their site was up and people were more interested then ever in their Vampire movie. This is a perfect way to target your ideal audience. Obviously this takes a bit of money and maybe a multi-million dollar company, but the concept is flawless. Don’t try to create a brand new audience for your product, that audience is most likely already out there on Facebook waiting for you. You just need to find them.

  • Find groups with your ideals or major concepts. Groups have walls where you can post things, and hear what other people have to say. Drop a line and maybe someone will see it and start talking to you, or vice versa, find someone and start talking.
  • Groups also have discussion boards. Post something on an interesting discussion.People use groups to advertise themselves. Make a wall post and insert a small bio. Someone is sure to see it and pass it along.
  • There are tons of great business applications that help you connect to people in the Facebook business world. Promote your business by adding your business card to your profile. Add a professional profile to connect to different companies. Don’t be afraid of Facebook. It’s not just a social site for your teenager, it has a million things to help someone in the Business world.

Facebook is a tool that takes time, patience, and effort. Facebook isn’t something that you can set-up and just let sit there. You need to work it a little to get what you want. Wander around Facebook for half and hour and see what other people are doing. That is the best way to get ideas and pursue the world of Facebook.

Brand yourself like Obama: how social media can help you reach new heights.

2550280207_b24986728d_thumb

(Case study on the power of Barack Obama’s political campaign through the use of Facebook and edge-based organizations.)

As an 18-year-old first-time voter living in a swing state with a Facebook, I was the demographic Obama was looking for on Facebook. Obama used Facebook to target the 18-29 year old demographic, which he did well. Obama had unbelievable success with Facebook during his campaign. I witnessed this first hand. As a politician, Obama used a completely out-of-the-box technique to target his audience.

I will quickly discuss how Obama used edge-based Organization. What does it mean to have an edge-based organization? It means that everyone is aware of the situation, is able to take action, share values, and can make decisions that empower the edge to take action. Obama used the Internet and Facebook as a huge way to help with self-organization and edge-based organization. People could use their own personal power to help Obama’s campaign. I will share with you some hopefully helpful examples.

As we have discussed in previous posts there are very strategic ways to advertise yourself or your business on Facebook. Obama used these same exact strategies with some obvious financial benefits, but used them and used them well.

Obama’s support through Facebook was viral and was used as a hugely successful way of brand development. Everything about his campaign snowballed in a positive direction to give him endless amounts of support. There were many things he did, that you yourself can try, or assemble ideas from:

  • Sidebar advertisements, selling t-shirts which immediately gave money to the Obama cause
  • Sidebar video blogs, immediate press release
  • Obama “gifts”, used to create fun viral advertising. (send one Obama gift, your friend sees who you sent it to on their mini-feed. BOOM, its sent again…and again..and again…
  • Obama Supporter groups. Ex) Barack Obama (one million strong for Barack Obama)
  • Obama Applications. Add the app – tell your friends about it. Ex) Obama Facebook Application
  • Bumper stickers — A Facebook application you can add where you can view thousands of “bumper stickers” that can say pretty much whatever you want. Most of these involve the latest pop-culture of funny YouTube videos, but around the election every other sticker was Obama related or McCain-Dissing stickers. Bumper stickers are strictly targeted at the High school and College age group. Just another way to state your political view and most of the time, your love for Obama. The amazing thing about these is that these are free to make and are usually made by the high-school to college age group. Obama’s campaign had nothing to do with making these. They were made completely by Obama supporters and spread by the thousands on a daily basis.

Obama on Facebook is the new political lawn sign. Your Facebook could easily advertise who you support. You could add the Obama apps, join the groups, become fans of Obama. People’s Facebook political views were even 100% in favor of Obama. Instead of saying Democrat, liberal, etc… It simply says OBAMA. People were Obama crazy on Facebook. Articles say that this is the new future of politics. Obama used Facebook to create an amazing tool for Politicians. From now on, if a politician is smart he will use the tools he has on the web to get the attention and press needed. Young voters were huge this year, and Facebook played a large part in that. Facebook made Obama not only the most elligable candidate, but the “cool” candidate. Obama used Facebook wisely and very much to his advantage.

I found one other specific example of Barack Obama’s success on Facebook. The New York Times Magazine sponsored Obama and created Facebook free “gift” that people could send the day after Obama was elected. It was a small cartoon graphic of a NYTimes paper with Obama’s face on it declaring “Obama Wins!”. An amazing example of how Obama’s campaign found big companies who could use their money and power to help his cause.

Another tactic Obama used was on the day of the Election people could dedicate their status to Obama. For example it would say Aurora is the xxx,xxx,xxx person to dedicate her status to the Barack Obama campaign. This was an amazing viral connection that I witnessed sweep through Facebook the day of the election. And on the day of the Inauguration CNN totaled 1.5 million people who had Obama related status’.

Obviously these are not all realistic options for small businesses, or people just entering the Facebook world, but hopefully you see the amazing things Facebook can do, and this inspires you to venture out and try new things.

Globaltec wordpress site: failure to launch.

In Spain, clients work at a different pace. We began this worpress site for Globaltec in late 2008, but due to a variety of factors, the worldwide engineering firm that specializes in large, public infrastructure projects is not ready to launch their new brand, or this dual-language site (spanish/english). The site is also powerful, easy-to-use content management system that allows the company to easily publish current project news that is based on a keyword strategy designed to generate significant targeted traffic.

Any day now, we hope.

Inexpensive custom-branded blogs now the hottest marketing tool for any small business.

SaunaTImes

Powerful internet marketing capabilities — now within reach of any business.

Using WordPress, the most popular open source blogging platform, B2C or B2B businesses can operate an agile content management system that allows anyone to update content (text, images, media) so search engines will see your website as a dynamic, trusted entity. Shown above, the website saunatimes.com is the brainchild of an entrepreneur who aims to create a high traffic informational site for sauna enthusiasts. It’s just one of many examples of companies, individuals and organizations creating websites to accomplish a variety of goals.

Whether you sell products or services, here are the advantages:

  • Inexpensive — An open source platform, you’re able to customize proven templates that function like a dream. Because we work from templates, it takes far less time to create your site. We’re not starting from scratch.
  • Sophistcated branding is easy — With WordPress you can count on having a site that is true to your brand. By customizing templates, it’s easy to make them look dynamite, with spectacular full photo backgrounds, transparency, flash slideshow widgets, and more.
  • Easy to use — Simply create your own pages and posts, and categorize them in an intuitive fashion. Complete tagging capabilities too.
  • Thousands of widgets and plugins to choose from — No matter what type of functionality you need, there are thousands of proven tools available that are easy to integrate.
  • The novice search engine marketer’s dream — Easy titling, header tags, and clean web standard css code make this platform foolproof for novice internet marketers.
  • Control your own destiny — Once your site is up and running, you’ll only need about an hour of training, and you’re off and running. Keep in mind, however, you’ll need a good keyword plan to really get yourself rolling.

“I can’t tell you how happy I am with the setup of my wordpress site. I think the concept (static image, static 4-5 pages, posts, and category layout) is very logical. It’s still a work in progress as farr as my content goes, but the site is like a house, shelled and roofed., maybe even sided. It’s usable and the framework is such that I can do the finish work on my own time.” Glenn Auerbach, http://www.saunatimes.com

SEO keyword strategy helps Bearbeats.com squeeze more conversions out of crowded music loops market.

BearBeats
When Music Producer Mike Berens created an ecommerce site to sell his huge inventory of free music loops, drum kits, and instrumentals, his challenge was just beginning. Bearbeats.com hired Zosel&Co to help him with search engine marketing: good old fashioned organic search engine optimization and a pay-per-click adwords campaign. With a well researched list of the most popular keyword phrases, Zosel&Co created all the under-the-hood on-page optimization including re-writing all the content to ensure proper keyword saturation.

Berens said, “Scott Zosel is an expert at what he does. He creatively thought out-of-the-box to market my website in a highly saturated market. My website has increased activity by 300% thanks to Scott. I highly recommend Scott if you are looking for someone that will work hard for you and will deliver incredible results.” Michael Berens

Social Media for Sales Sloths.

sloth

OK this is probably nothing new.

I have no idea what the average salesperson is up to these days. Cold-calling? Doubtful. Networking meetings? Perhaps.

If your salesperson aren’t spending a least half their time social networking (Linkedin, twitter, plaxo, facebook), they should be slapped upside the head. Granted, most Social Networking is most effective if you can sell your product or service on a nationwide or worldwide basis. But no matter, there are infinite opportunities awaiting your salesforce in the social sphere. All it takes is a little initiative.

Here are the three big reasons Social Networking should be on your agenda:

  1. Sales is a numbers game — the more contacts, the larger your sphere, the greater number of relationships a salesperson creates, the odds of success improve dramatically. Creating relationships through Social Networks is the easiest, fastest, cheapest way to get this accomplished. Period.
  2. Social Networking is king during an economic downturn — When times are tough and budgets are tight, businesses tend to look online more for solutions. And most of the outlets for information are social networks (LinkedIn, facebook, twitter, etc). This is an opportunity for salespeople to easily make meaningful connections. Forget the buzz phrases of web 2.0, social media is simply people talking, sharing and collaborating on popular online channels. And if you’ve looked at the numbers lately, it’s a significant critical mass of people.
  3. What part of FREE, FREE, FREE don’t you understand? — I hear it all too often, ‘we don’t have the time or budget’ for social media. Well, Social offer so many Free resources I can’t possibly name them all here. Free research (guestions on LinkedIn), Free advertising (commenting on blogs, posting videos on YouTube), Free access to every contact you will ever need (“get introduced” feature on LinkedIn), Free presentation tools (Slideshare), Free document posting (Scribd), Free worldwide long distance (Skype), Free enhanced search engine visibility (blogging, profiling, or commenting with your links to your site). And much, much more.

If you’re a sales manager, general manager, or small business owner and are wondering why your sales people aren’t producing, and what these people are doing with their time, perhaps you should ask them about their social networking activities.

Just a suggestion.

B2B Social Media Marketing and B2B Social Communities: three reasons why they’re a must for 2009.

Social_Media_Marketing
After participating in discussions on LinkedIn and other social media sites, I often see lots of skepticism about the viability of social media in B2B marketing. Many B2B marketers seem to feel that social networking is more effective for major consumer brands, and will not produce results for B2B. The perception is usually, ‘I don’t use Facebook,’ or ‘I don’t get Twitter’ or simply ‘I don’t get it.’

B2B Social Marketing is one of the hottest things going right now especially in a down economy. There are strategies for practically any B2B market, particularly in technology. Technology forums, for example, were the original online social communities. Whatever your B2B brand or product happens to be, there are lots of unique ways to generate interest through social media.
A couple key strategies to consider:

  1. Create your own social community-- I’m not sure how many B2B tech companies are doing it, but some are creating their own social sites (using ning.com or other platforms) that offer forums, news, blogs and more all in one place. And the key is, getting your company’s internal people to invite customers and prospects to participate, and encouraging them to join in the conversation. You can also use twitter to help point key customers and prospects to join in.
  2. Entice participation by discussing relevant, compelling topics– How do you know what these topics are? Well, you can actually use your online community to discover what these areas of interest truly are. You can use surveys, for instance, to discover key concerns, or to generally find out what would make your community valuable.
  3. Allow the online community to control the conversation– don’t dictate it based on your marketing objectives. Continue to add new features and vehicles to your online community based on what direction your conversation is going.