Bringing Business Inspiration & Marketing Motivation to Mill Valley

Every small business person that I know sings a similar song: “I’m overwhelmed!”

Furthermore, for most of us, whether you are an entrepreneur or founder of a small business, the “rules” seem to keep changing. These days, there’s more to having your own business than just figuring out how to make money. For example, motivation matters and the whole meaning of “marketing” has changed. And that’s just for openers…

That’s why I’m honored, delighted and (no exaggeration) super-excited to be bringing my beloved friend, the extraordinary business coach, author, and leader, Andrea J. Lee to the SF Bay Area for a one-day workshop called “The New Rules of Business and Social Media Success.” She and I will be co-presenting an uplifting, informative and highly interactive “Playshop” that will include everything from decision making and relationship building to creating online video and social media marketing. All of this will be live and in-person on Monday, January 25th from 10am – 5pm in Mill Valley. You can register here. And, I even created this special video invitation just for you 😉

 

Please let me know if you have any questions whatsoever.

I look forward to seeing you there!

[callout title=”The New Rules of Business and Social Media Success” button=”I Want to Learn More or Register” link=”http://www.combridges.com/event” buttoncolor=”blue” target=”_blank”]An Inspiring, Highly Interactive, Experiential Playshop: Monday, January 25th, 10am – 5pm, Mill Valley, CA, USA[/callout]

Squarespace Website Quick-Start Webinar: Free. Next Thursday.

If you’ve been challenged getting a website done or you think they’re too expensive, I have some good news for you.

Next Thursday, December 17th at 10am PT / 1pm ET, I will present short 15-minute webinar on why I’m preferring Squarespace websites for small businesses. During this presentation, I will concisely share my knowledge and insights about why most of my clients are now benefiting from the streamlined production, stress-free hosting, elegant templates, built-in mobile-friendliness and other benefits of the Squarespace online website software platform. Click here to register or learn more.

Squarespace Website WebinarMy Mission is To Help You Get a Grip on the High Performance, Low Cost Squarespace Website Software That I’ve Come to Know & Love

If you’re interested in learning more about how Squarespace and/or if you think this information might help you to have a more elegant website and an expanded web presence more quickly than you may have thought possible, I would love to help you by sharing what I’ve learned in the hope that you will benefit. I promise to quickly and clearly explain why this is the website development strategy (Squarespace) that I’m recommending these days.

Squarespace has really changed things at ComBridges recently because now, thanks to the ease of use of this platform, I’m able to do websites a lot less expensively; and, it’s more empowering for the clients to be able to make their own website changes and updates. It also solves the today’s requirement that everything on the web and in email be mobile-friendly. Squarespace does that “out of the box” will ALL of its modern templates. My clients also like that they don’t have to worry about hosting and the associated technical headaches… and on and on.

Bottom line, our clients are happy, and you might be interested in learning more about why this is working so well. Click here now to learn more.

This Is What I Do

As many of you know, I am an online marketing mentor with a real passion for connecting the dots for small businesses. I call it spanning the Grand Canyon gap between people and technology. One of the biggest things that’s happened to me in my business in the last or year or so is doing more websites using Squarespace rather than WordPress.

All the information about this online event is here on this page, including a personal video invitation and bullets that explain more about what I’ll be talking about.

I hope to see you there.

When you click this link you will see more detailed information and be able to register. The live session includes a chat-powered Q&A. The recording is included when you register.

Why Being a Small Business Mentor Trumps Internet Marketing Consulting

More Personally Yours

As a small business owner, it’s fascinating to watch my business morph over time. I am always finding new ways to be of service. I genuinely love helping people and businesses to be more successful on their own terms.
Quote-New-Media-New-Marketing-more-humanRecently, the nature of my services have being changing. New offers for helping small businesses with their website, marketing and social media presence have included the 1-to-1 Get It Done Squarespace websites and the New Media New Marketing Playground group mentoring program. Both are collaborative processes where I work with people directly and respond to their specific needs in a customized way.

Mentor vs. Consultant

While good listening and personalized responses have always been a crucial part of the value that I offer, at least to some degree, recently, I find myself calling myself a mentor more than a consultant. Yes, of course, I’m still offering strategic guidance and helping clients to connect the dots amongst the myriad of marketing choices and technologies available. But somehow, as we sort out the priorities, the “know it all” quality of a consultant no longer seems appropriate. It sounds too top-down vs the kinds of collaboration that are happening more often these days.
Part of it also is probably that I am attracting and connecting with smaller businesses who are not so much looking for high level guidance (for example, connecting their marketing with their sales efforts as a larger organization might do) but rather they simply need help, want hand-holding, and to be shown by an expert how to do the things that they want and need to do.

Facing the Challenge of Overwhelm

The biggest challenge for small businesses these days seems to be overwhelm. This is what I have been calling The Grand Canyon Gap between People and Technology since 1990. Now, with social media and the realization of The Video Web, there’s even more information and more kinds of marketing communication technologies consider.
The good news is that New Media and New Marketing are increasingly less about technology and more about human connection. I still emphasize that it’s the communication, not the technology that’s most important; but these days, even more, I am emphasizing the human dimensions within the communication that are necessary to make them more engaging.

Viva La Humanistic Marketing Revolution

My joy is not just helping to sort things out and chunk things down so that moving forward is managable, but I’m also quite consistently pointing to my humanistic values of ease, fun and authenticity as the foundation of an approach to online marketing that is enjoyable as well as effective. I call this The Humanistic Marketing Revolution.
My passion for this approach is also encouraging me to continue to work on more educational programs, like the webinar that I did in December which will soon be available for sale, and the courses that I am currently developing which are about the value and importance of leading with humanistic values. More on these insights and these courses very soon.
Meanwhile, I am thoroughly enjoying these new collaborative ways to support small businesses to grow while they develop the capacity to actually enjoy and embrace social media and the New Media environment.
It really is a Playground for me and I’m open to more playmates. The more the merrier, really! This is especially true when we all are keeping our hearts open and having even more fun. How many “consultants” can say that?

New Special Webinar This Thursday: How to Have a Happy New Marketing New Year!

Are You Ready for a New Marketing New Year?
I’m Cookin’ Up Something Better Than Egg Nog!

The Alchemy of The New Convergence

Venn diagram of the New Convergence of New Marketing and New Media

Sorry for the late notice, but I’m offering this brand new webinar this This Thursday, 12/18 at Noon PT.
Can’t make it? Register and you’ll get the recording.

New is New Again

I’m so much more than an “Internet marketing strategist.”

I’m a New Marketing Wizard!

I’m a wizard because—due to my decades of innovative media and marketing communications experience—I understand the alchemy and marketing value created by the New Convergence between New Marketing’s human values of ease, fun and authenticity and the revolutions ignited by the New Media of social networks, mobile and cloud computing. (Please see Venn Diagram to the right.)

Why is This Important?

Despite the enormous power of technology’s revolutionary innovations, without the humanity of authenticity, enthusiasm and play that I believe are integral to New Marketing, there’s no way to get to the “holy grail” of the Human Connections that lead to sustainable, long-term business relationships.

These are the kinds of business relationships that I want and I don’t know how anyone can have a meaningful business without these kinds of relationships. Why all those “get rich quick hucksters” don’t get this, I have no idea. 😉

Anyway, that’s why this information is important enough for both of us to invest our time and for you to invest just a little bit of your money. I want you to enjoy this webinar and be uplifted by it, but I also want you to take it seriously.

That’s why I’m charging only $9.97. I want people who seriously want: 

  • To learn and have fun while they learn

  • To be both more effective at social media marketing and to enjoy the journey too

  • To participate enthusiastically in a small powerful virtual tribe/community

I would LOVE to help you have a very Happy New Year in the New Marketing world and you can also apply this payment to any of our offers, including The New Media New Marketing Playground or a special webinar-only Website & Social Media Audit that I will offer exclusively to participants in this webinar. But no purchase is “necessary.” This webinar will change how you view online marketing forever and that’s worth WAY more than ten bucks.

YES. If you sign-up, you WILL get access to the Video Recording of this unique session.

>> Please click here to register <<

Announcing a New Way to Have Fun & Get Better at Online Marketing

New Media New Marketing PlaygroundIt has been a dream of mine to offer an on-going education and mentoring program, at an affordable price, and to use that to create an online virtual community (or tribe). This dream is now being realized with The New Media New Marketing Playground.

And, because of the very special pricing that I am offering for the first ten people who sign up—and there are only a limited number of slots left—this program is clearly going to get off the ground in September (early sign-ups will get special free programs and early access during August, as well as special pricing). I don’t want you to miss out on these savings and this opportunity. Please click here for more details.

More than ever, I am basing my coaching/consulting/mentoring on my values of ease, fun and authenticity. Thus, I know that if you join us, you will learn how to do marketing with more ease, my enthusiasm will help us all have more fun, and I will support you to connect with your own authentic voice in order to attract and build relationships with your ideal clients via the Web.

So, if you think it would support your online efforts to have a place where someone very knowledgeable, who you trust (you trust me, right?) is available to answer your questions about online marketing technologies and strategies, as well as to share with you what’s new, what’s working, and what mistakes to avoid… and to have this program be very affordable so you can make progress in your business step-by-step and feel good about it, I would love to make myself available to support you via The Playground.

Please click here to explore this offer.

I hope to see you there!

(and, of course, if you know someone who might be interested, please share this page with them; OR if you just want to help me share the love please click one of the abundant share links on this page. Thanks!)

New Offers: New Kinds of Internet Marketing Support

Small Group Coaching

For the first time, starting next month, September, 2013, I (Jon Leland) will be offering small group coaching sessions on a weekly basis. I’m excited about this format because it will be fun, extremely interactive and will provide “exponential” learning as we share with each other our progress and challenges. During this relatively intimate sessions, I will answer questions and illustrate my insights via screen sharing, and I will record the audio and visuals for playback at your convenience. As a small group, everyone will get the opportunity to guide me to provide the information that is currently most useful to you, ask your specific questions (for the benefit of all) and also have the opportunity for me to provide specific recommendations and feedback on the Internet marketing activities and progress that you have made the previous week. This is both a learning and an accountability group.

Here are the specifics:

  • One month commitment (four sessions per month starting the first week in September) renewable on a month-to-month basis as long as you are getting value
  • One hour sessions via GotoMeeting will include group interaction via web audio or via a phone-in option (in which case you pay any long distance charges). Audio will be supported by screen sharing of my how-to recommendations, participant websites and social media, videos and more.
  • Each session will be recorded, both audio and screen sharing, so that you can review and/or catch up should you need to miss a session
  • Group size is limited to a maximum of eight participants (a minimum of four is required for the group to go forward)
  • Cost per month is $198

These sessions will be scheduled weekly, at the same time each week, at a time to be agreed upon as most convenient for as many of the participants as possible. I already have a couple people who have expressed interest. As soon as I have four committed people, it’s a go.

Please click here to register now

 

[separator headline=”h3″ title=”A Customized Strategy Session for Small Business: CSO-to-Go”]

Also, in case you haven’t heard yet, I am now offering a highly efficient and cost effective “CSO-to-Go” (virtual Chief Strategy Officer) consulting package for only $498 which includes a proprietary intake questionnaire and recorded recommendations session. CSO-to-Go offers small and medium sized business a full overview and evaluation audit of your Web presence including website(s), social media profiles, content marketing, video, SEO and more.
Please click here for more information

Webinar Video: Internet Marketing Success in 4 Easy “Booster Rockets”

Webinar via YouTube: Internet marketing... success

Last week, we recorded a live webinar as part of the re-launch of New Marketing University (NewMarU.com). I entitled it, “The 4 Booster Rockets of Internet Marketing Success” and we covered four key areas that are high leverage for any small business that wants to expand the effectiveness of its online marketing, including why these strategies are important and an overview of how we approach them.

The good news, if you are just passing by, is that I felt that this webinar was such a valuable introduction to how ComBridges approaches these kinds of innovations in Internet marketing as well as a taste of the kinds of useful information that will be available more and more via NewMarU.com, I decided to post this recording free and open to all on YouTube with no email registration required. In fact, this 45-minute video webinar is embedded below on this page so you can just click and enjoy it right now. 😉

In case you want to know what’s covered without watching anything, we discuss the following four strategic Internet marketing tactics:

  • Lead capture and lead nurturing along with the need to design a sales funnel process
  • Truly interactive Facebook Pages that go “beyond the Like”
  • Authentic engagement and what makes video content marketing more effective
  • Cost effective small business mobile apps to reach the rapidly increasing number of website visitors using smartphones and other mobile devices

All this and more in only about 40 minutes plus Q&A. Please check it out and comment, here or on YouTube. And if you want more, click on the “YouTube” logo to subscribe to our YouTube channel or register at NewMarU.com. Thanks! We look forward to hearing from YOU.

This Ain’t Your Mama’s SEO. Tuning Into “Social Signals” and More.

Anyone who pays attention to search engine results—which is pretty much anyone who does any kind of search engine optimization (SEO) or Internet marketing—knows that the world of SEO is changing rapidly. Even big time properties like NYTimes-owned About.com have publicly confirmed precipitous drops in traffic because of Google’s most recent updates to their algorithms (called “Panda” and “Penguin”). And more of these changes are coming from Google very soon.

The Changing Face of SEO Strategies

We all know that change is almost always challenging, and I know that many of those who dance around the edges of Internet marketing frequently back off due to completely understandable experiences of overwhelm. There’s just so much going on. But that doesn’t change the fact that it really is a “brave new world.” In all honesty, I can only promise more changes at an accelerating rate.

The (hopefully) good news is that I’m here to bring you up-to-date and to help if I can. So here’s the latest:

Expanded Influences: Beyond On-Page and Off-Page Factors

In my book, “Internet Marketing: 8 Key Concepts Every Business MUST Know” (which I am now referring to as “The Essential Primer on Internet Marketing”), I break SEO, or search engine optimization, down into two main areas.

Briefly, the first area is On-Page Factors. These are things you can do to your web pages, from its content to things like HTML <title> tags, and much more.

The second area, Off-Page Factors, are probably more important and provide influence to search engine rankings based on the links TO your site and its pages from other websites. Search engines consider the willingness of other reputable websites to link to your site as a kind of “vote of confidence” that essential boosts its credibility.

While I’m just skimming the surface of these two components of SEO, the big news that I am reporting here—to those of you who don’t monitor this space in a professional capacity—is that there is now much more to SEO than On-Page Factors and Off-Page Factors. This is increasingly so, and in the spirit of the Big Data trend, there’s no question that this world will continue to become increasingly complex.

In order to keep this single blog post digestible, if not bite-size, I’m going to provide a high-level overview of the new components of SEO and offer links that deliver what I consider to be a valuable in-depth illumination of these new SEO factors.

Welcoming Social Signals to the Internet Marketing Mix

The biggest new ingredient is called “social signals” and it’s where the social media explosion meets the world of SEO. Just as search engines have used links as Off-Page Factors to determine a website’s influence, Google and the other search engines are now using you and/or your company’s social media activities including re-tweets, comments, likes and shares as indicators of your site’s value, especially as it relates to the keywords being searched in areas relevant to your expertise or market.

For more on this I recommend this excellent overview of the meaning and importance of social signals from SEOmoz: 
http://www.seomoz.org/blog/your-guide-to-social-signals-for-seo

You may also want to check out this thoughtful SlideShare, The Future of SEO from Rand Fishkin:

At the end of the day, it’s all about quality content

There’s no question that this is a moving target. But the good news is that Google is being consistent in their approach. They do their best to penalize those who try to manipulate search results, and they do their best to reward those who develop an authentic following, a positive reputation over time, and thus, real influence. Those people have always been known as “authorities” and they naturally exude that “social signals” that the search engines value above all else.

The real bottom line is that the best way to get good positions in Google’s search results is to earn those results the “old fashioned way” … by being valuable. This means consistently publishing content—whether written, recorded audio or video, or photography or other visual media. There is no substitute for quality content (known now as “content marketing”); and this will increasingly be the only true leverage in search engine results.

We are here to help

Finally, a bit of shameless self-promotion: We continue to evolve ComBridges SEO and social media marketing services. For example, we can manage your campaigns and provide strategic guidance. Please let us know how we can help.

“It’s a Wonderful Web” 2013!

cb-ipadThe first edition of our “It’s a Wonderful Web” e-newsletter for 2013 is out. It includes the following articles:

  • 2013: The Year of Anything is Possible
  • Special Offers!
  • Free 1-Hour Audio: Web Radio Interview
  • Luscious Links

If you’re not already a subscriber, click here to read it online.

“Demystifying Internet Marketing” – Free Webinar, This Tuesday, 10/30

I want to help you get a handle on Internet marketing. I wrote a book. I’ve designed a new online course. Now, I’m offering a free introductory webinar in partnership with another thought leader.

As part of the build up to my new online course, “Start with a Solid Foundation: Building on the 8 Key Concepts of Sustainable Online Marketing” I am joining with another small business marketing leader, author and consultant, Christy Strauch (http://www.smallbusinesswarrior.com ) in co-presenting a free webinar introduction called “Demystifying Internet Marketing.” 

This is happening in a web browser near you, or via dial-in phone, tomorrow, Tuesday, October 30th, promptly at 11:00AM PT. Click here to register now for this free Internet marketing webinar. And, yes, if you register we will also send you the recording, presuming that all the tech gods co-operate. 😉

We hope you will join us!

Or click here to read a press release that explains more and will also tell you how to get a free Kindle copy of my book!