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 for Resources Mentioned in this Week’s Edition:

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!

Why a Website Without ROI is like a Bank Account without Money

As a digital marketing strategist, I HATE seeing businesses waste their money with ineffective websites and lame online marketing.

For this reason, I champion strategies that produce real tangible results. Why would you have it any other way?

In this week’s Digital Marketing Power Briefing video, I address both the challenges and the strategies that are part of a website that produces a measurable return on investment (ROI):

This weeks Power Briefing, Why a Website without ROI is like a Bank Account without Money

Don’t fall for the “get rich quick” BS or let yourself be overwhelmed by all the software options. Your web presence should impact your bottom line, and that’s the real bottom line! 🙂 

EDITED VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Hi, and welcome to this week’s digital marketing Power Briefing. My name is Jon Leland and I’m a digital marketing strategist and this week we’re talking about why a website without ROI is like a bank account without money. 

You know, we do online marketing for a lot of reasons, I’ll start with a quick caveat and say, you know if all your business needs is a brochure website: great, no problem, good for you. 

But if you’re looking for your website to be part of a marketing plan, if you’re looking for your website to be part of a business plan then it needs to have a return on investment. There needs to be a real ROI, it’s common sense of course; but so many businesses have websites and no real strategy to get a return on investment and it’s easy to understand. 

Digital marketing, online marketing can be frustrating. It can be overwhelming and worst of all, it can be infested with get-rich-quick schemers and unprofessional, you know, marketing people that just don’t get the job done and get a return. 

I’m here to tell you that online marketing could be fun, it can be about creating meaningful relationships. I hope that’s what we’re doing here, that I’m communicating some value and you appreciate what’s being offered. 

Regardless of whether we ever do business together, business is about relationships. Websites need to build relationships for the long-term and have a strategy with multiple touches then you can get a real return on investment, a real ROI. That makes digital marketing a whole different animal, a whole different ball game. 

So, don’t fall for all the BS, don’t waste your time on BS, get real marketing strategies that are designed for a real return, even if you have to experiment and take action. 

Have a plan, have a marketing plan, have a business plan, and work strategies that produce a real return on investment. 

I want to keep this video short but if you’re interested in more information about what I call Relationship Funnels, which is a strategy that returns on the investment then go to bit.ly/website-broken. And that’s this week’s digital marketing Power Briefing. 

I look forward to your feedback, let me know what else you want to hear about. Subscribe, follow, and all that good stuff. Thanks so much for your attention, bye for now!

Video Invitation to the “Your Website is Broken!” Power Briefing

Your Invitation to a Free Video Power Briefing on Meaningful Digital Marketing

The video invitation below is kind of a big deal for me because I’m swinging out in a new way.

It’s not that I’ve produced another video in order to try to be helpful. Rather, it’s because my new “Power Briefing” videos are designed to create a different kind of engagement and that’s something I’m highly recommending and trying to model her for clients and prospects.

Metaphorically speaking, you could say that I am now “eating my own cooking.”  This is the first sales funnel—a sequence of the two videos with lead capture landing pages, & more—that I’ve ever created for my own company. Please click the image below to view my personal video invitation to check this out:

Your Website is Broken Video

As a digital marketing strategist, I have to ask: 
Does your website produce meaningful results?

Most websites are “broken” because they don’t authentically connect with prospects. That’s why this video invitation leads to a two-part “Power Briefing” about what I call “Relationship Funnels.” I’m honestly wondering if these are the most valuable pieces of free content that I’ve ever created?

I’d love to hear what you think!

If you want to skip straight to the Power Briefing, please check it out here: bit.ly/website-broken 

Video Post: How to Do Lead Generation that is Fun and Meaningful, Not Spammy or Sleazy

Spammy, sleazy online marketers have given “lead generation” a bad name. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

So, I’ve created a new video blog post to explain how—when you put “leading with value” and being of service first—marketing online can become more fun and meaningful.

Click the video below to watch now.

Lead Generation that is Fun and Meaning, Not Spammy or Sleazy Video

Edited Video Transcript:

What Lead Generation is NOT

This video came about because of an online conversation where a woman was asking about how do I do lead gen. Just the idea of lead gen or lead generation kind of made her skin crawl because she associated it with the get-rich-quick schemers that are out there pitching digital marketing day and night on the web.

When I talk about lead generation, I’m not talking about that kind of get-rich-quick sales pitch, go get them, you know, hustle until you die type of attitude. That’s not who I am. That’s not how I approach it. 

How I DO approach it is from the point of view of relationship building. Relationship building is a whole different thing when you talk about lead generation and it involves authentic value. I use the term “leading with value.” 

Authentic Marketing Feels Good Because It Is About Relationship Building

First of all, in order to do lead generation that feels good—that is going to really actually work in the long run—you need to offer something of value. You need to give a gift or a service. (For example), I’m doing this video for you because I think this information is important, and because I intend it to be valuable and useful. You have to determine whether I succeed at that, but I’m here because I want to be of service. 

So, immediately for me lead generation is not spammy. It’s not sleazy. I’m authentically trying to be of service. So, any good relationship building-oriented lead generation starts with value and it immediately feels good because you’re being of service. 

Relationship Building Means Offering Real Gifts that Are Truly Valuable

It also begins a real conversation because authentically you’re contributing value. You’re building a relationship. You’re not saying take, take, take, give it to me, give it to me.

You’re saying here, I’m here and I want to be of service. I have something valuable to offer and the relationship building then becomes a kind of what I’ve heard called the “pink spoon,” like at the ice cream store where they give you a free taste. 

So, it becomes something, in a way, delicious, right? 

You’re offering a free taste, a sweet taste, of what you have to offer that’s authentically valuable. And when you offer something that’s of value, then your ideal prospects appreciate it. You’re not looking for just any leads. You’re looking for leads who are your ideal customers, your target audience. 

And when you offer something of value, when you lead with value with that opt-in, incentive, free ebook, webinar, or organic social video like this, then you’re going to attract the people who are a natural fit for your message.

You’re not looking for everybody. You’re looking for the people who are your tribe or your community, and you want to build a relationship with them. 

Being of Services Makes Lead Generation Fun Because It Feels Good

So, you start out by being of service and you feel good about that. 

Then, next, you’re connecting with the people who are the right people for your service or product by offering them a sweet taste. In this way, it becomes a kind of a fun exchange where you’re putting yourself out there. It doesn’t have to be a fearful thing because you’re going for the people who are the right fit for you. And then that synergy begins to happen. And so lead generation authentically does become relationship building and when you approach it that way then lead generation becomes even more than relationship building. It becomes about building a long-term conversation which can become a long-term relationship. 

And, to tell you the truth about myself, I’ve not been doing as much of this kind of being of service as I want to. 

So, my request for you today is to let me know, is this valuable? Do you want more kinds of videos like this? 

Because I’m intending to be here more regularly, more frequently, in order to engage with you in a conversation and hopefully attract the right organizations and the right people who can value the kind of services that I provide… and my company, ComBridges provides. 

I look forward to hearing from you. I hope this has been valuable and thank you so much for watching!

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.


5 Reasons NOT to Hire an In-House Digital Marketing Manager

Shine Online with Less Stress & More Profitability

The need to create an effective, engaging and profitable online presence can present serious challenges, and many organizations struggle to find appropriate resources that help produce meaningful results. A frequent mistake is to think that hiring an in-house digital marketing manager will make things easier.

Nagging Questions

Do you have a nagging feeling that your customers are out there on social media or searching on Google, but you don’t have the expertise to get your company or organization the visibility that it needs? Do you hear about other organizations profiting from online/digital marketing but feel like you’re missing out on opportunities?  Do social media, email marketing, blog posts and other kinds of content marketing just feel like a waste of time and a money sinkhole?

Making this situation even more frustrating, you would like your in-house staff to take care of this for you, right? Perhaps you could hire a low-budget young person? Don’t all young people understand how to use social media? Well, from the point of view of results-oriented strategy, no, they don’t.

Warning: A Word to the Wise

This blog post is your warning. Be careful. Hiring new in-house staff might not really save you money and, more importantly, you might not get the meaningful results you want and need. And if you don’t get the results you need, what’s the point?

Before you interview for a new team member, take a breath, pause and consider the key benefits of working with an affordable, talented digital marketing agency like us.

Yes, no doubt, we are making a self-serving point here. But don’t let that hold you back. We are ONLY interested in win-win relationships. Your success is our success. Seriously.

So, if you are considering an in-house digital marketing manager, here are five reasons why we think that we can do a better job at a comparable cost while saving you a ton of frustration and stress:

1. Simpler, Powered by Experts

Hiring a new employee who you have to manage in an area that’s not your expertise takes your focus away from your other responsibilities. If online marketing isn’t in your particular skill set, chances are you don’t want to manage a new hire and clutter your day and your mind with things you’d prefer to leave—and that would be better off leaving—to someone else. Why not be guided by experts?

2. Fewer Hassles, Fewer Expenses

A new hire costs you both time and money. But with ComBridges doing your online marketing, you don’t have to pay benefits, employee taxes or overhead costs. There’s no need to find space in your office, nor do you need to do employee on-boarding. The HR staff will save time, too. A new member of your in-house team can also affect company culture and morale in unpredictable ways. Simpler can be better.  

3. More Scalable

Your success is our success and we are built to grow with you, without you ever having to invest in increasing overhead expenses. As long as what we are doing is working for your organization, we keep going; and as appropriate, we keep growing with you. In other words, we will grow our efforts as you achieve new levels of success. All along the way, our work together will never create space and cost challenges for you.

4. Talent You Can Trust

No matter how carefully you check resumes, no matter how thorough your interview process, there’s no certainty that your new hire will meet all your requirements and be a good fit for your culture. Why struggle with a newcomer who may still be trying to figure things out, when you can work with experienced experts? We produce results that you can trust.

Our company has a 34-year track record with results-oriented marketing communications. We have an already-established “tool kit” and systematic strategies that we use to customize social media presence and to implement digital marketing strategies that we know work.

5. Consistent Results

In-house digital marketing managers often take a hit-and-miss or shotgun approach. On the other hand, we understand that online marketing is about building relationships. We will customize a strategic approach that is designed to build authentic, sustainable relationships with your customers and prospects.

That’s what we do.

Recommendations to Help You Make the Right Decision

  • Be clear about your goals for social media and digital marketing. Focus on real results.
  • Choose resources and virtual team members that you can trust to make your investment in marketing more profitable.
  • Consider all of the possible pros-and-cons of hiring in-house.
  • Aim to make your work easier rather than more complicated.
  • Build your team with empowering collaborators who can help take your company to the next level

If you can see that this approach may have benefits for your company or organization, we would welcome the opportunity to answer any questions you may have.

Click here to schedule a free consultation.

Six Key Strategic Priorities for Better Online Marketing in 2017

It’s a New Year, and the online marketing landscape is ever-changing. So I took to the video “airwaves” to share what I think are the six most important areas where your efforts online can bear meaningful “fruit.” Watch now:

I am putting the full text of this video below for your convenience. If you’re interested in considering being part of my Tribe, my Patreon channel is now live here: http://www.patreon.com/jonleland

My Recommendations: Six Online Marketing Priorities for 2017

Happy New Year everybody, and welcome to a brand new year of online marketing. My name is Jon Leland and I’m an online marketing mentor and strategist, and I’m committed to your success online. I’ve got six priorities that are my priorities and they might well be yours for the new year. Let’s get to them.

#1: Consistency

I have to tell you that this has not been my strong suit in the past, but everybody says that this is what you have to do, and I couldn’t agree more. I’m going to be walking my talk this year to be consistent, to do weekly videos, to do regular blog posts and to continue a strong online social presence. Without consistency it’s too hit and miss and you don’t establish a real connection with your audience. That really is a key priority.

#2: Intimacy vis Mobile

We all know that websites need to be mobile-friendly these days, and responsive design has been a main thing for a number of years, but I’m saying you need to be more than mobile-friendly, you need to be intimate. What I mean by that is really thinking about the mobile experience as a primary factor, not just to have Google rank you better but because more than half your visitors are now visiting on some kind of mobile device, and your experience, what you’re communicating and how you’re communicating in a mobile environment, is really a primary factor in how you’re connecting with your audience. Get it together in mobile. Get your website truly mobile-friendly in you could say an intimate kind of way.

#3: Video Proliferation

I’m sure that you’re aware that Facebook Live has become a big thing, but I’m surprised how many people think that online video is still just YouTube. You need to upload your videos native to Facebook, run-and-gun videos on Instagram. Video is everywhere, and not just at the top of the funnel either. It’s frequently thought of just as something that you attract people into your funnel, but at every stage of the funnel you really want to have video be there and create this kind of one-to-one, eyeball-to-eyeball connection that’s possible with video. Think about video through your entire funnel. Think about video on every platform, and do it more often, the way I’m starting to do now.

#4: Be Agile

With mobile technologies, with the ability to shoot video on a smartphone, you can do video anywhere, anytime. I also mean be agile with your websites. I’m doing more and more Squarespace websites because I can do them quickly, I can collaborate with clients, it’s far less complicated than a lot of other platforms. That kind of do things quickly, do them simply, do them well. Don’t turn them into big elaborate game-stopping productions like the way print brochures used to be, or even that websites used to be. Keep it simple, be agile, keep moving, keep creating.

$5: What Happens Next?

A lot of people talk about you get Facebook likes; what happens next? How do you actually engage? I’m thinking about it as a strategist, that conversions are really where the rubber hits the road. Not enough people think strategically in terms of that intention. How do you move from whatever you’re doing in terms of content, from whatever you’re doing in terms of being creative, move that through the channel, move that through the funnel so you truly engage, truly create authentic relationships, and at the end of the day have conversions that you can literally take to the bank?

#6: Build a Tribe

Number six is probably the closest to my heart. I really am going to be engaging with community. I’m going to be creating a Patreon channel. I’ll put that in the description in YouTube or in Facebook or wherever I upload this video ( http://www.patreon.com/jonleland ). Those of you that have heard me speak or have done any of my workshops or playshops know that the bottom line as far as I’m concerned is creating authentic, sustainable relationships. It’s not just about selling stuff, it’s about creating community, about generating a tribe. I’m trying to be as valuable as I can be for free. I want you to give me your feedback, tell me what you want to hear more of. I look forward to your comments and feedback. I hope you’ll become part of my tribe, my virtual community, and I really encourage you to build your own.

And, In Conclusion

I’m wishing you the happiest, most successful 2017 possible. May all of your marketing bear real fruit and may you keep going and keep generating and have fun every step of the way. I’ll be back with more. Thanks for watching.

 

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.

Finding Flow, A Higher Purpose & The REAL Bottom Line

Attraction Engine JL via PaperThere’s more to New Marketing than the traditional bottom line.

When I speak and lead workshops, I use terms like “New Marketing” and “Humanistic Marketing” to differentiate what is truly alive online from what is all too often useless noise. In my view, the “Alive Web” is empowered by the people power. I experience this humanity as the heart of social media.

This is clearly different than content where the focus is how to make more money. This difference is important to and underscores the dimensions of what I do that are most important to me. And, from a marketing perspective, this is a meaningful dynamic that leads to authentic engagement, meaningful value exchange and real relationships.

And, I think it’s also worth noting that all that noise and manipulative selling is what gives the ideas of marketing and engagement a bad name.

In this post, I want to focus on the “what’s most important to me” part; but, I’m not doing that just for me. If you are in my Tribe (and I’ll get to that), it is very likely to be what’s most important to you too. And, that is actually my point.

As my hand-drawn “Attraction Engine” iPad sketch shown to the right indicates, I’m a believer in the power of enthusiasm, authenticity, and leading with value. Those are the ingredients that lead to the kinds of meaningful connections that are beyond the more traditional marketing creative’s superficial positioning and messaging.

An Awakening & Authentic Truth-Telling

I realized in conversation with a dear friend today that I need to reach out specifically to you all, My Tribe, more often. I need to do this in order to expand my work in the direction that I want it to evolve.

The truth is that despite my own enthusiasm and the real value that I know I provide, like the rest of humanity, I can personally fall off the social media marketing communications track. I get derailed by my own resistance. We all know this truth: Resistance happens. And it’s important for me to name it by telling the truth about it when it happens.

My blog doesn’t lie. This is my first post since late January. Yikes!

Stepping into the Light

Thus, this new blog post (and the new content which will follow) represent the beginning of another reinvention or refocusing of my work and offerings.

Yes, I will continue to share about innovative social media and video marketing strategies, tips and insights; but the real fuel for what I consider to be meaningful success is my authentic connections with other like-minded people. I find those to be more important and valuable than I can express. So, while I’ve always been about better communications rather than just being about the exciting new technologies (as much as I love them too), I’m refocusing on the real bottom line.

The real bottom line for me is making the world a better place. I’m clear that that doesn’t come from more “noise,” nor fresh eye-candy, no matter how well crafted, no matter how efficiently delivered with the latest technological innovative automations, etc.

Successful communications (at least by my definition) connect people in meaningful ways and thus lead to collaborations and/or authentic relationships where real value is exchanged.

Are You In?

Tribe Circles by JL via PaperMy personal intention is to shine in a way that inspires and supports others to shine from their soul, reflecting their own Divine Purpose. (FYI, I’ve never spoken this spiritually in a business context.)

Ease and grace ARE present as animating forces when you allow them to be, but the necessary resting in and allowing of the “Sounds of Silence”—the slowing down and deep listening, the actual prayers for guidance—can be uncomfortable and require the development of a new skill. I’m working on that. Are you? If so, how can I support you? I’d love to hear from you about this.

Thus, what I am putting more front and center in the services that I am offering—albeit through my online marketing communications support—is fundamentally NOT about the “stuff,” i.e. the technology, nor the material success. It’s about the connections, the communities and the relationships. Truthfully, that’s the kind of abundance that I care about and value most.

Playing with My Tribe in Order to Truly Thrive

This expression, “Play with My Tribe to Strive” jumped out in another conversation recently, and it kind of summarizes what I’m talking about here.

First of all, I want to play. In a business context, what that means to me is that when I’m at my best and offering my greatest value, I’m having fun, playful, joyful and free. That’s the kind of relationships I want to have. Personally, professionally, and via social media. Wanting to have fun every step of the way is a quality I’m looking for in my ideal clients as well as in friends (both virtual and otherwise.)

Secondly, I know that what I’m doing and where I’m coming from won’t appeal to everyone. That’s GREAT! I’m interested in nurturing my relationships with authentic members of my “Tribe.” What I mean by that is an informal extended network of people who are also aligned with these same values (see above), who want to play together, i.e. collaborate joyously and communicate for mutual benefit and the highest good of all.

The thriving part then emerges through the soul-nurturing flow of acting in alignment with Spirit/Higher Power/Love/God (or whatever you want to call Her/Him/That).

I love the expression that some NBA players use: “Let the game come to you.” This approach is not about “making things happen.” It’s about opening, softening and allowing something even better than we can imagine to unfold. In my experience, when that Game comes to you, not only are ease, flow and fun readily available… “Resistance is Futile!” 😉

Are you in?

I sincerely look forward to hearing from you with your thoughts, encouragements and/or suggestions. Thanks!

Social Media Video Marketing: An Experiential Breakthrough

The absolute highlight of my live Playshop, “The New Rules of Business & Social Media Success,” presented last Monday with my coach and colleague, Andrea J. Lee, were interactive, smartphone-enabled exercises that I called “Video Play Experiences.”

A few of the participants learning to shoot social video during our Playshop.

Our Playshop’s Video Play Experiences.

These interactive exercises—illustrated by the photos in this post—opened up a whole new avenue for me to empower people to make their own videos. This delightfully surprised me and participant feedback ranged from real “ah-ha” moments to “getting over the hump” (i.e. overcoming fears of video’s challenges). Almost everyone came away with the feeling, “I CAN do video!”

 

The results of these exercises were a two-way breakthrough:

  • They was a real eye-opener for me in terms of how I can help people with these all-important skills and
  • They showed us all how doing more video (a requirement, in my opinion, in today’s social media environment) is just like any other skill: if you work at it like a practice (not unlike the practice required to learn to meditate, to hit a golf ball, or play a piano, for example) that you can make real progress, step-by-step, and the progress is rewarding in its own right.

A Unique Experiential Sequence

Susan Shloss of Susan Shloss Bookkeeping Services, http://shlossbooks.com, during a Video Play Experience.

And, these results were not only about video technology. One of my mantras is that “it’s about the communication, not just the technology.”

What emerged, as I was designing this day in collaboration with Andrea, was a unique sequence of exercises that not only let the participants stretch their technical capabilities, but they got to stretch their emotive abilities as well (as shown to the right by Susan Shloss of Susan Shloss Bookkeeping Services.)

During the course of the day, we did three (3) Video Play Experiences:

  1. The first was “A Rant.” I helped the participants to get emotional by directing them to do a video clip where they expressed their strong feelings about something. I modelled this for them in front of the room by ranting about how much I detest “get rich quick” internet marketers who claim to have a “magic formula.”
  2. The second Video Play Experience was a Vulnerability Exercise where I asked them to speak to the camera about something very personal, as if they were sharing something intimate with a life partner, a family member or very closer personal friend.
  3. Finally, in the late afternoon, I asked them to talk about “How I Serve” so that they could bring it all home to the kinds of value that they authentically deliver through their businesses.

Suzannah Rose, realtor from http://LivinginMarin.com reviews her video exercise.

The result was a kind of experiential learning that exceeded my expectations and clearly added significant value to the day.

A Valuable Digital Take-Away

Workshop exercises are often hard to remember and can quickly become ephemeral memories. Not in this case.

The fact that virtually every participant owned a smartphone meant that they were recording these exercise on their own devices. Because they would obviously take these home after the Playshop was over, the recordings are right there for them so that they can review them and continue to learn. The recordings, thus, inherently provided a record of the work that they did. So valuable! (Can you see the appreciation on the face of Suzannah Rose, realtor from Living in Marin in this picture?)

Another New Idea Emerges

Two participants who are also coaches, David Drake of http://narrativecoaching.com and Linda Curtis of http://honorableclosure.com engaged in video play.

One of Andrea J. Lee‘s favorite teachings is that “Anything worth doing is worth doing in community” and that added to the value of these exercises. (To the right are two participant coaches, David Drake of Narrative Coaching and Linda Curtis of Honorable Closure.)

The way that these Video Play Experiences played out was expressed through the enthusiasm of the participants for the exercises themselves, so much so that by the end of the day they invented the idea of Video Parties!

Now, as a result of their engagement and creativity—a true community collaboration—I’m thinking of both the possibility of follow-on “Video Party” evenings as well as a possible online, virtual Video Playground. Sound good?

I’d love to hear from you if you are interested in either of these, or if you have other ideas?

For sure, I am excited by the participant enthusiasm that we all experienced together, and, I am personally looking forward to more Video Play Experiences of every kind. 😉