3 Ways Video Can Build Trust & Meaningful Digital Connections

Trust matters!

In today’s online, social media environment, trust matters more than ever before. Here’s why.

Everyone wants to filter out the BS, the hype, the sales pitches, and the get rich quick schemes. How do you do that? While browsing, you gather “data”—usually very quickly—in order to figure out whether or not you can trust someone. You want to know if they are really going to be of service and whether or not they actually care about offering something (whether service or product) that will truly be valuable to YOU.

This Weeks Power Briefing, 3 Ways Video Can Build Trust & Meaningful Digital Connections

In other words, trust is the “currency” of online/digital engagement. It matters enormously and it is extremely valuable. That’s why I think video is so important as a primary component of your online and social media presence. Nothing builds trust like video. Period.

So, if you are marketing in any way via social media or a website, building trust is crucial. In order to help with that, I made this video to illuminate three ways that you can use video to build trust and meaningful digital connections.

I hope it helps you to market with authenticity and to build meaningful, human relationship via digital media. Or, to be more specific, I’d love to help you build more valuable relationships via online video.

New Service Offer:

The Video Launch Pad 
This is a new service where I help you to learn about how to do video effectively while we create three videos together, and then our ComBridges Digital Engagement Team also helps you distribute your videos on YouTube and the major social media networks. We are trying to make the whole process as easy and powerful as possible for you. Please click here to learn more.

Edited Transcript:

3 Ways Video Can Build Trust & Meaningful Digital Connections

Hi there and welcome. My name is Jon Leland and I’m a Video Marketing Explorer. I really like to get involved with what’s going on with video and how video can enhance our human connections. 

Yes, I play a Digital Marketing Strategist by day but really, what I’m here doing is playing,  experimenting and exploring the dimensions of online video that matter. 

The ones that matter have to do with human connection and build trust. So, that’s why this video is about 3 Ways to Build Trust in Digital Video & online communications. 

Make Marketing Communications More Human

One of them is the most important and that’s making marketing communications (or just communications in general), more human. We do that with this kind of virtual eye contact. Once you make virtual eye contact, someone can experience who you are and what it is you have to offer in a way that print or even photographs can’t do. And because we’re dealing with filtering out the hucksters and the salespeople and the profit-oriented whatever’s, we want to make connection, and we want to give real value. 

Making a “human presence” is number one in terms of building trust.  

Be Consistent

Number two is being consistent, showing up regularly, and I think weekly is probably a minimum requirement. That’s what I’ve been really striving for with these video blog posts, because when you show up consistently, you build trust by being present, by people knowing that they can count on you. 

Cultivate Connection

The third way is really cultivating connection. So, showing up consistently, being human, and authentic are making a real connection. That enables you to build a real community, tribe, client base, or whatever your goal is. That is something I know that shifts the equilibrium of the world – when we make real human connections, cultivate community, especially in ways where we can relate to each other as we do on video… Then something changes. 

That’s what I’m about and that’s why I’m doing all this. I want a better world with more human connections, with real communities, and people who support each other. 

So there’s the three reasons how online video can cultivate trust, and I hope you will consider them as you decide to do your own outreach.

I’m going to follow up next week with more information. I’m going to The Patreon headquarters in San Francisco this weekend. They’re having a gathering about building community online. For those of you who may not know Patreon, Patreon is a crowdfunding way to do subscription support of your content. And I’ll be reporting back on that kind of video community building next week. 

So thanks again for watching. I really appreciate you being here and I’ll see you next week!

The Power of a Creative Practice: Video Blogging Inspiration & Mini-Book Review

For me, Video Blogging is more about the power of a “creative practice,” rather than a profit-driven marketing strategy.

Yes, “by day,” I am a marketing strategist, but more importantly, I’m also an explorer and adventurer who loves (OK, THRIVES!) by discovering new dimensions of the “online video spaces.” In other words, I like to play and expand my creative capacity via social media video in all forms.

Through this new practice, I’m also learning by doing and discovering new dimensions of who I am in the world. If that approach resonates with you at all, then this ​week’s video may be a joyful “kick in the pants.” I hope so!

This Week’s Power Briefing, The Power of A Creative Practice: Video Blogging Inspiration & Mini-Book Review

If you are a creator of any kind, you know the power of sticking to the structure of a creative practice. At Representative Elijah Cummings funeral, I heard his wife Maya say that he often said, “80% of life is just showing up.”

For me, before about 3 months ago, video blogging was a dream of mine, a healthy ambition. Now that I’m doing it and showing up (almost) weekly, my life has changed! This video shares about that process in a way that I hope is inspiring to you.

Are you ready to take action on your creative dreams and put yourself out there in a new way? If so, I’d love to hear more about that from you.

​This video also includes recommendations of two inspirational books that I have found useful (and my offer of support). Here are links to those for your convenience:

Edited Transcript:

The Power of a Creative Practice: Video Blogging Inspiration & Mini-Book Review

Hi and welcome to another video blog post. My name is Jon Leland and I am a Digital Marketing Strategist. I’ve realized something in the process of being creative and that’s what this video blog post is about. It’s about the sheer power of a creative practice and I hope to provide inspiration for anybody in particular that wants to be creative and in particular wants to be creative with video blogging. I also have a mini book review (for you.)

Digital Marketing Strategy is Only My Day Job!

The first thing I want to do is correct myself. I said I’m a Digital Marketing Strategist and that is true, you could call it my day job. I play one here on YouTube, but I also am really more truly an adventurer, somebody who is exploring the digital space around being creative and using in particular video to be creative. Also, I explore communication channels, networking and the power of this thing called the creative practice. 

“Creative Calling” & The Power of Daily/Weekly Practice

The book that I want to recommend to you is called Creative Calling. I think I can even bring it up here on my iPad for you. So this is the cover. It’s by Chase Jarvis. The (sub)title is “Establish a Daily practice, infuse your world with meaning, and succeed and work + life.” 

Chase Jarvis is really quite a remarkable guy and his focus—and my focus in terms of doing these video blogs—is around the practice and the power of what happens when you keep showing up. So the reason that I said that I’m an explorer, an adventurer, even more than what I do for a living, is that that’s where “the juice” is for me. 

I’ve always loved the opportunities and this evolution of digital video. I’ve been talking about it, writing about it, and doing videos about it for many years. But it’s only as I’ve dug in and made it a weekly practice that I found this whole other kind of dimension of myself. And it comes from showing up and it comes from not necessarily knowing what the results are going to be, not necessarily knowing what’s going to happen, and in particular, being willing to move through regardless. 

The Crazy Presumption That We Should “Have It Right,” Be “Perfect,” or Even Know What We Should Say 

Another book I recommend is by Steven Pressfield, who talks about Resistance in the book called The War of Art. (This is) another amazing and important book for the creative professionals or people that want to play creatively.  

By showing up, by being here, by being willing to hear all the voices in my head, resist the “imposter syndrome,” and doing this video blog post anyway, I discover new dimensions of myself. I also get myself out there. There are lots of business benefits but that’s not why I’m doing it. 

I’m doing it because at heart I love learning all the time, I’m learning by doing and by experimenting.

The qualities that you don’t necessarily think about when you think about being online and doing a video blog are things like courage and humility. Because the “impostor syndrome” which is the “crazy uncle in my head” says “You’re not good enough,” “Do you really have anything worthwhile to say?” 

All of that kind of self doubt and self talk, I’m allowing that to be there but not listening to it!

Sharing A Journey of Discovery

I’m showing up, no matter what, to do something every week. That’s a lot of what Chase Jarvis talks about (in his book) and he’s had a lot of success from doing the work. It’s the same thing Steven Pressfield says in The War of Art: Do the work. The professional shows up. Seth Godin talks about the same thing. 

So, here I am showing up, doing the work and recognizing that there is a remarkable power in the creativity of just doing it. By doing these kind of video blog posts and inviting creatives like you (if you’re one of those) to connect with me, I hope to help you to be supported and be inspired. I’ve got all kinds of programs if you’re interested and if would like to be on my email list here’s the URL: go.combridges.com/video-launch-pad. 

The Video Launch Pad is a new offer that I’m experimenting with; but again, I’m doing this to learn and to see what kind of feedback I get, and to put it out there and engage in this kind of creative process. 

So let me know what you think. I’d love to hear your comments and thank you so much for your kind attention. I really appreciate you watching and see you next week! 

Video Blogging: Is It Really Transformational? Where’s the Meaning & the Magic?

Where’s the meaning and the magic behind video blogging?

Are you wondering if a video blogging practice can make a meaningful difference in the world, in your life, and/or in your business?

When I took on the challenge of doing video blogging for ten consecutive weeks, things changed in unexpected ways and the “ripples” of these changes are still emerging. No doubt, these are real changes… Some that I can clearly articulate and even more that I’m still learning about.

Please check out this week’s video to hear more:

This Weeks Power Briefing, Video Blogging? Is it Really Transformational? Where’s the Meaning & the Magic?

Bottom line, video blogging becomes a meaningful practice when it’s done (at minimum) once per week. This video shares some of the ways that I think this happens, or at least the ways that this have happened for me.

Are you ready for the challenge of weekly video blogging? If so, I’d love to hear about your experiences; and if I can help, please let me know.

Edited Transcript:

Hi and welcome to my weekly blog. My name is Jon Leland, I’m a digital marketing strategist and this is my 11th week of video blogging. My question this week is a very serious one: 

Is video blogging video blogging on a weekly basis truly transformational? 

I have to tell you that for me I have experienced an energy shift. Things have truly changed. For one thing, I’m feeling I’m building strength. It’s emerging that I have a practice, that this is something I can do… as imperfectly as I do it. It’s a valid exploration that I truly think is important. 

Where I experience the transformational quality (of doing this) can be compared to the metaphor of dropping a pebble into a pond and there are ripples that go out. I’ve been very touched by the number of comments that I’ve gotten from people who say that they are inspired by what I’m doing. They share that there’s something about what I’m doing with weekly video blogging that inspires them. That’s my ripple effect: making a difference, creating a transformational change (for others).

It’s About The Process

I’m really looking for more but the process itself is important whether or not anything ever happens! It certainly isn’t about getting rich quick or even a big business goal. I am, however, making offers around trying to help people do what I’m doing so stay tuned. And, I’m interested in your input on that. 

What is much more important is the process of doing it week after week, of learning what it is. You know, I’m somebody that has a lot to say. I feel like I have knowledge that I want to share and bring forth into the marketplace, so that the information is useful to others. 

But it isn’t so much about convincing you of the value or trying to sell you something. It really is an exercise in self-expression and I think that’s part of what inspires people. That’s the feedback that I’ve been getting: that just going for it as imperfectly as I do it, the idea is that I’m putting myself out here. Sharing that has created a shift and it isn’t a linear shift. 

A Non-Linear Shift

I like to say that “I open the door and they come in through the window.” So, my business is continuing to be visible through these videos which is obviously a healthy thing for my business but I think the shift comes from the courage and the practice of doing it week after week. 

And doing it in spite of day to day circumstances especially when I don’t know what I want to say. That was the case this week… to be vulnerable about it. 

I took a week off, I finished ten videos which was my initial challenge.  That was my goal and I did need to take a breath so I did. 

And then I wanted to come back with this video but I really didn’t know what I wanted to say. And, in the process of thinking about it, listening and checking out the comments that were happening on the other videos, it occurred to me that I wanted to talk about the fact that doing this is a shift, it’s a real transformation. 

A Challenge for You

So, I want to challenge you to be like “the pebble in the pond” and really start being a “ripple.”

The ripple doesn’t come from thanking me (and I really deeply, authentically appreciate the comments). But I think the real ripples come from when you pick up the camera and when you start expressing whatever it is you have that you feel is valuable. Crafting that, honing it and practicing it and being willing to do it imperfectly. 

That practice itself, for me at least, is truly transformational and I invite you to dive in not just occasionally but with a real weekly practice so that you’re present in the marketplace. You’re consistent, and people know that they can trust you. And more and more, you’re learning to have to articulate how you deliver real value. 

That’s why I think that video blogging is truly transformational especially when it’s done weekly. 

I would love to hear your comments. Thanks again for watching and see you next week!

Vlog Video Production Tips: How I Use my iPhone to Keep Things Simple

It’s been so fun to get myself “over the hump” and start video blogging on a weekly basis.

I’m fascinated by the process and uplifted a whole bunch of results that have followed—from more clarity on my purpose, to increased visibility, to business prosperity.

I’m wondering if you might be someone who wants to get going with video blogging but feels overwhelmed or resistant to facing down the camera and/or all the other stuff that goes with it?

For me, I made progress when, first, I separated video distribution from video production; and then, when I streamlined my video production “system,” I finally became consistent.

This Weeks Power Briefing, Vlog Video Production Tips: How I Use my iPhone to Keep Things Simple

In this week’s video, I summarize my iPhone video production “system” and what I have done to simplify and streamline my vlogging production process. This includes using my iPhone to shoot, a simple wired lav mic for good audio, and AirDrop for file transfer. Click here to watch now.

And, if you are serious about becoming a video blogger (or upping your video blogger “game”), I’d love to help. Very soon, I will be offering a special “Kick-Start” services package. Please contact me if you’re interested in becoming one of the first to try out this package (at special “early bird” savings, of course).

In any case, I’d love to hear what works for you and if you find this video useful. Thanks for watching!

Edited Transcript:

Hi there, my name is Jon Leland, I’m a digital marketing strategist and a video blogger. I am here with episode number 9 of my weekly video blog series about video marketing.

I want to help you be a video blogger (or a better video blogger) and share what’s really worked for me. I talked last week about video blogging as a “superpower,” and about the way I got over the hump by separating out the video production from the video distribution. 

Simpler is Better

The other thing that has really worked for me is simplifying the video production and that’s what I want to offer you today. 

Here are the key components and how I get these videos done in a simple efficient way every week. 

iPhone Video Advantages

I have a number of cameras and I’ve been a video professional for a lot of years. I have a nice digital SLR, a DSLR; and I also have a video camera, an old camcorder. But for these videos, I’m using my iPhone. I have a good iPhone, a 10 XS Max. 

I really like my iPhone because of the video quality. The video quality even using the selfie cam, as I do, is going to be better than I would get, for example, out of my computer’s webcam. That’s the first point. 

The second point is that I do these videos by myself. I don’t have a camera person, so the fact that I can look at the lens and frame it with a nice good-sized selfie cam screen definitely makes things easier.

Tips for Better Audio

Another tip that I want to give you is that for audio. I’m using a very inexpensive $20 lavalier microphone. 

An even bigger audio tip to share is that one of the most important things about audio quality is making the shortest distance possible between your mouth and the microphone. So, even with a better microphone that would sit further away, I probably wouldn’t get the audio presence that I’m able to get out of this Lavalier microphone.  

I also have an extension cord that plugs right into the iPhone so that the audio and video are in sync together. Using a DSLR camera means having to separate out the audio which definitely adds a level of complexity that I would not want. 

I also have a nice camera mount that holds my iPhone on a real tripod. You could put your smartphone anywhere but using the tripod enables me to put it in the same position and thus to do the same kind of setup every week. Consistency in your videos is important. 

Video File Transfer via AirDrop 

The other thing that I get out of the iPhone in particular and from the Apple ecosystem is AirDrop. 

One of the other tasks that goes on when you shoot digitally with another camera is transferring the files. This can take time and of course additional effort. I use AirDrop to just take it from my iPhone and move it over (wirelessly) to my MacBook Pro. 

Create a Video “System” That Works for You

It’s simple, and simple is good. Use whatever works for you. Streamline your system. It doesn’t have to be fancy and expensive; but get a setup that you can do week-after-week to be consistent and make it simple enough and streamlined enough that you get it done week-after-week. 

I hope this has been useful. I look forward to your feedback and comments, thanks again for watching.

And, see you again next week!

Watch to Learn Why WEEKLY Vlogging Is My New SuperPower + Why You Might Want to Join Me.

In just the last two months, video blogging or vlogging has changed my life and my business; and this breakthrough has led me to think of these weekly video posts as a new kind of “SuperPower.” 

As a digital marketing strategist, when I finally found the discipline to “eat my own cooking” and do videos every week, I knew it would be a positive step; but honestly, the results have exceeded these expectations. 

Check out this video, won’t you?

This Weeks Power Briefing, Watch to Learn Why WEEKLY Vlogging Is My New SUperPower + Why You Might Want to Join Me.

In this week’s video, I not only share how this practice is working for me, I unpack why any kind of regular blogging or vlogging is so powerful.

To make this point clear, I call on a quintessential video clip from Seth Godin and Tom Peters that I’ve used for years in my social media marketing workshops.

I also unveil the essence of a new video marketing offer that may help you get over the “hump” to do a weekly vlog yourself, including our system for social media video distribution. The truth is that it was separating the video production from the distribution that made this breakthrough possible!

Links and Videos for Resources Mentioned in this Week’s Edition:

Seth Godin & Tim Peters on Blogging

Thanks for watching! I look forward to your feedback.

Edited Video Transcript:

WEEKLY Vlogging Is My New SuperPower. Here’s Why You Might Want to Join Me.

Hi there, my name is Jon Leland and I’m a digital marketing strategist. And this is episode #8 of my video blog or Vlog Series about digital marketing and in particular about video marketing. I want to talk to you today about vlogging or video blogging and how dramatically it has changed my life and I think potentially even changed my business. 

The Power of Blogging

So, let me explain. First of all, blogging and vlogging are really, really valuable practices, and I’ve been wanting to do a weekly Vlog for years. And, finally, I have gotten myself over the hump and I have started doing it. Like I said, for eight weeks in a row now. And I want to share with you today about the ways that has changed my life and my business.

I’ve known from blogging the way that doing a regular practice, about getting my voice out there and how that changes things. Intuitively, I knew that vlogging was going to do that as well, but it really has done that and much more. 

I will post a video (link above) with Tom Peters and Seth Godin talking about blogging and they talk about how it really doesn’t even matter if anybody is reading it or in the case of a vlog if anybody is watching, 

“Blogging is free, it doesn’t matter if anyone reads it. What matters is the humility that comes from writing it. What matters is the metacognition of thinking about what you’re going to say. How do you explain yourself to the few employees or your cat or whoever is going to look at it? How do you force yourself to describe that in three paragraphs? Why you did something? How do you respond out loud?”  

Seth Godin

Because what happens is in the weekly practice of putting yourself out there, saying something that you intend to be useful and where you’re really trying to deliver some value doing that week after week really shifts something inside you. You’re able to go deeper, you’re able to discover more about what the value is that you want to share and that you want to communicate with other people. 

“I will simply say, my first post was in August of 2004. No single thing in the last 15 years professionally has been more important to my life than blogging.”

Tom Peters

So, your voice emerges and also your putting yourself out there with it. I know it’s going to sound very California, but as I experience it, there is an energy shift that happens by putting yourself out there in that way. 

Weekly Makes All the Difference

The other thing is the fact that I’m doing it weekly. This makes it a practice and gives it this ongoing continuity, such as when you want to learn to play golf or learn to play the piano, whatever. It’s a practice and going to the gym is another really good example. It takes time to build up “the muscle” and when you do it weekly, it has this power. I’ve talked in other videos about “The Power of Consistency”. 

So, when you do it weekly you build up that consistency and you begin to develop “the muscle” and just like going to the gym when you start doing it for awhile week after week, day after day it starts to feel good. 

And I’m proud to be telling you that I’ve made this commitment, I’m doing it every week and it’s  feeling good to me. It’s also getting me out there. I believe it’s making me more attractive and the last point that I want to make is the way it shifted my business. 

In the coming weeks, I’m going to be making an offer to help people get over the hump to do this. My offer will help them create their first three videos as part of a package and then take advantage of the distribution system that I’ve built and how I’m getting these videos out. 

Separating Production from Distribution Made This Possible

This reminds me of Derek Sivers, who founded CD Baby way back in the early days of the Internet. He invented CD Baby because he was a musician and he needed and wanted to sell CD’s. E-commerce hadn’t really been invented yet. He helped invent it and suddenly all these other musicians came to him and wanted help getting their CD’s out. 

Well, I needed video distribution because I wanted to do video blogs and I wanted to get it out. What helped me get over the hump was I separated the tasks for doing this out, separating video production from distribution. I now have a virtual assistant who’s helping me with the distribution.  In fact, we’ve designed a whole system where these videos are not only on YouTube, they are also native on Facebook, native on LinkedIn, native on Instagram TV and all have the subtitles and meta information… wherever you happen to be watching it. 

So video blogging really is a practice worth developing. I hope you can get over the hump and, if you’d like, I can help you do it,. 

However it works for you, and, let’s talk if you want help from me. Let me know because we have a system that can help you distribute and “watch this space” for the offer in coming weeks. 

As always, thanks again for your kind attention, I really appreciate it. See you next week!

Insta-LOVE: How We Leverage Instagram to Make Clients Shine

This post illuminates how a creative digital marketing strategy can find meaningful opportunities to shine a positive light on a client’s value.

A recent, fun example of how this kind of content marketing works is the way we brightened the Instagram feed of our client, Marin Airporter. In this case, we used passenger produced photos (also known as “user generated content” or UGC) to leverage the beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Beyond our recent website redesign for Marin Airporter (described here), we now help this client stay connected with its passengers (and potential passengers) with engaging social media content.

How the Golden Gate Bridge Became a Social Media Asset

It’s not unusual for small companies—many of whom struggle to engage successfully through social media marketing—to still be playing catch up with regard to leading edge social platforms like Instagram. Nonetheless, every company’s customers are already on these networks, and often they are communicating in ways with which any business would want to interact. Marin Airporter offered us this kind of “golden opportunity” because, prior to working with us, they had no Instagram presence whatsoever.

Once ComBridges got involved, we noticed that many passengers on Instagram were sharing an exciting aspect of riding on Marin Airporter, a memorable trip across the iconic, world famous piece of art deco architecture known as the Golden Gate Bridge! They were even sharing videos in the rain, at night, and in the dark.

The passengers themselves made it clear that the Bridge crossing is an important part of the Marin Airporter experience. So, we decided to celebrate these customer posts by compiling some of the best videos and pictures of their buses’ Golden Gate Bridge crossings into a blog post on the Marin Airporter website. As you can see, it showed just how special the Marin Airporter route is. Check out the full blog post here.

Content Marketing Meets Customer Listening

Through this example, you can see how well-conceived content marketing leverages customer awareness to create content that shines a spotlight on our client’s value.

In this way, ComBridges opened another door for our client to connect and communicate. With our support, Marin Airporter now reaches and interacts with its passengers in a 21st Century way. Because social media is a two-way medium, these messages also provide critical feedback, questions, or moments of gratitude from happy customers. And, thus, they are a form of customer service that needs attention.

In today’s world, this kind of creativity is a critical dimension of successful digital marketing. Done correctly, it is also an important branch of customer service and customer listening.

If you are ready to shine online and make better connections with your customers, please let us know.


Social Media Strategy: So Much More than Tips & Tactics

Have you been seduced by promises of “get rich quick” formulas? If so, you are not alone. However, the truth of long term success is more of a “road less traveled.”

I wish I was here with a quick fix, but I’m not.

My experiences as a social media strategist and web marketing mentor tell me that if you want to make a real difference—both for our world and for your business—it’s going to take a commitment to a process, a journey involving experimentation and missteps, and perhaps most of all, a willingness to do some serious inquiry about why you are in this game in the first place.

Finding Marketing Inspiration

On my own journey to online marketing “well-being,” a couple of things have inspired me recently. They also inform the nature of the journey to meaningful, long term success.

The first inspiration came via a podcast that is also a Creative Live video. In this episode shown below, host and Creative Live founder Chase Jarvis interviews one of the true Internet marketing thought leaders, originator of the term “permission marketing” and author of 18 NYTimes best selling books, Seth Godin.

The part of this interview that jumped out at me is where Seth says at the end of the segment (15:51-21:09):

“We are living the most crowded creative universe in history… You are NOT entitled to ANY attention. You are NOT entitled to ANY leverage. BUT, if you dig ever deeper into the stuff that truly matters, you may EARN some attention.”

Ah, I love that phrase, “earning attention.” More noise, more content or even following some supposedly “magic” formula will not cut it in today’s marketplace.

Digging deeper in order to determine, over time, “the stuff that truly matters” is pretty much the only thing that will create authentic engagement.

In other words, if you’re not offering a product or service that is truly valuable and/or if your content doesn’t stand out as something exceptional, then it’s virtually impossible to be successful—no matter whose formula you follow. Even the most brilliant tips and tricks will not win you meaningful success.

Making Social Media Marketing Meaningful

The second inspiration that has uplifted me recently is the book, Get Some Headspace by Andy Puddicombe, founder of Headspace.com and the “how to learn to meditate” app with the same name.

What impressed me about this book was the way that Puddicombe talks about what it takes for people to learn meditation and develop a meditation practice. I made an immediate connection to the way people try to learn social media marketing. Just like with meditation, people often give up quickly. In both cases—learning online marketing and learning meditation—people are required to become engaged in a process, take a journey. Again, no quick fixes, no “silver bullet.”

Usefully, Puddicombe breaks this process down into three stages so that people know it’s not a “one and done” kind of thing. First, he talks about learning how to approach learning mediation. Kind of like learning how to learn, but more explicitly he encourages people to think carefully about how they want to approach this kind of learning.

Then, in a second stage, he talks about how to develop meditation as a practice, how to implement it. And finally, he pulls it all together in a third stage, which is how to integrate your learning into your long term way of living.

In the case of social media marketing, this would be analogous to learning how to integrate your blogging or your social media posts into your ongoing business practices.

As a social media mentor and strategist, it seems to me that this kind of  three-stage, realistic approach makes very good sense. Especially because I see so much of what’s going on as being based on an expectation that goes something like this, “Hey, here’s a strategy (a formula etc). I’ll just sign up for this program; and before you know it, I’ll have a six figure income.”

That’s clearly bullshit, but even more than beyond those kinds of bullshit offers is the idea that we are committing to a process. It needs to become a practice. For example, Seth Godin recommends that people blog daily, and pretty much everyone says that meditation or exercise needs to be practiced regularly.

So, how do I recommend that you approach learning to do social media marketing?

I believe that ONLY with this kind of approach, will you be able to be who you truly are, communicate on a sustainable basis, and build the authentic long-term relationships that are necessary for meaningful success.

Inspired by Puddicombe’s approach, here’s my first draft of the three stages of how to develop a social media marketing practice:

  1. Learn How to Approach Learning Social Media & Your Messaging:
    • What really matters to you?
    • What meaningful value can you offer?
    • How is what you are doing different and an expression of your unique gifts?
    • Work with a coach or mentor to get started on the right foot, inspired by your own Authentic Voice.
  2. Get to Work by Experimenting Consistently So Content Creation Becomes a Practice:
    • Experiment in ways that nurture and develop your Authentic Voice.
    • Explore ways to enhance your value. Try blogging. Try video production. Experiment with webinars and video chats such as Facebook Live or Blab.im.
    • Develop a content calendar, a schedule and stick to it. Consistency is key.
    • Get feedback. Make requests of your audience for feedback via surveys. Develop a community or tribe of supporters you trust to give you useful input.
  3. Discovery How to Integrate Content Creation into Your Business Processes:
    • Allow content creation to evolve into a team effort.
    • Create alignment amongst your team—virtual or otherwise—so that your online marketing efforts are sustainable, easy and fun.
    • Establish business systems, “playbooks” and processes so that the high quality of your content can be maintained and continually improved.

The Marketing Road Less Traveled

As Robert Frost famously wrote:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

My commitment is to your success, not just more money (that too), but most importantly the invaluable opportunity to make our world a better place.

May all of your success be well-earned with the icing on the cake of enjoying the journey.

I welcome and appreciate feedback via my various social media accounts. I look forward to hearing from you.

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]

New Squarespace Web Design Success Story

GT website screengrabWhen I first met George Taylor, I recognized him as an ideal client. He was open, honest, not afraid of technology and willing to learn.

As a result, in a relatively short period of time, we used Squarespace to give George a fresh, modern, mobile-friendly new website that has already taken his business, as well as his web presence, to a new level. 

Here’s how George described the process:

[testimonial author=”George Taylor, MFT, APathforCouples.com”]”Before I met Jon Leland, when I attempted to produce a new website and online marketing strategy, I found the Web to be a confusing maze of providers and technologies. Jon became my guide and mentor. He showed me a clear path that leads to creativity and success. He topped off his considerable expertise by being fun to work with and by evoking significant trust. I knew early on that I had made the right choice and never looked back.”[/testimonial]

Results Happen

I’m also pleased that George is following through with an online marketing strategy and implementation engagement that will include email marketing and Local SEO. But even before we got into any of that, he started attracting new clients. There was just something that worked energetically because of the collaborative quality of our working relationship.

We were essentially able to create his website together, “right before his eyes” because (as is frequently the case these days), the process of creating his new website design via Squarespace also utilized realtime screen sharing so that we could create his website and I could teach him how to make changes at the same time.

I really enjoyed the process and I’m also proud and pleased with the result.

web-design-development-options-chartIf you’d like more information about our various approaches to highly effective and extremely affordable website design, please click here.

This page includes the three-column comparative chart shown to the right as well as access to both our Squarespace and WordPress web design portfolios.

I hope we can create a website design “success story” for you soon. 😉

Blab: The New Social Video Streaming Platform ROCKS!

This is a quickie post to let you know about a surprisingly good new video streaming conversation platform called Blab. I just did my first Blab session and had 39 viewers from around the world. The recorded segment is embedded below. I was joined on-screen by video participants from Brazil, Argentina, and Philadelphia. 😉

I think this application is more user-friendly for multi-user video than anything I’ve seen (Spreecast, Google Hangouts, Skype, etc.) It is also way better than Periscope or Meerkat because it’s two-way. Those video streaming tools are really only one-way.

Blab now has a mobile app as well as desktop. And, now that I think about it, it’s not only two-way, it’s up to four-way, four simultaneous video participants. And that’s nicely complemented by a fully functional chat stream where you can paste URL’s and animated GIF’s as well as very nice Twitter integration.

One of the people who jumped in, Richard Berger, had this to say about our conversation:

[testimonial author=”Richard Berger, English Teacher”]”In just those few minutes my awareness of new social media/video streaming/website development was exploded, and now you got me “back at the drawing board”, thinking of applications for my teaching work. Thanks again!”[/testimonial]

Here’s my first session which was a spontaneous “Ask Me Anything” about websites, social media marketing, video, etc. Pretty dang fun! Please click “Watch Now” button on the image below to watch this Blab session, and feel free to scroll ahead to see the multiple participants. And, please let me know what you think. And stay tuned for a special Blab next week with Twitter Power author, Joel Comm, at 4pm PT on Friday, August 28th. Thanks!