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!

What Pooping Unicorns Won’t Tell You About Video Marketing

It’s a New Media, New Video World.

Video is a communications technology that is changing everything. I ought to know. I have been thinking, writing and speaking about the digital video revolution for decades, literally.
This blog post includes the following content, all of which is designed to give you a fresh perspective on how digital video is changing our world:
  1. A very successful viral video (with pooping unicorns) that I think is exemplary
  2. The link to the audio recording of my Commonwealth Club presentation on “Understanding Digital Video & The Future of Social Media”
  3. The SlideShare of that same presentation so you can click along as you listen
  4. The recording of a Blab video interview session that I did with Nick DeMartino, former head of the AFI Media Lab and Hollywood new media insider that provides additional insights and resources

1. What Pooping Unicorns WILL Teach You About Video Marketing

Stellar creativity, an approach that grabs your attention right from the start, and crisp, on-target writing (for example, “the stool for better stools”) make this marketing video a true stand out.
There’s no question that this video works amazing well. The close to 9 million views at the time of this writing, place it head and shoulders above almost every marketing video of a similar length in terms of performance and reach. And, it’s fun to watch, which is obviously a big part of why it’s working so well.


But the pooping unicorns video WON’T teach you about the ways that authenticity, human connection, relationship building are at the heart of video marketing. To me, that’s the important stuff; and you will find more about those kinds of things below.

2. Audio Recording “Understanding Digital Video & The Future of Social Media”

[testimonial author=”Gerald Harris, Chair of Science and Technology Forum for the Commonwealth Club”]”Jon, great job! I want to personally thank you for a brilliant, engaging and thoroughly informative presentation at the Commonwealth Club of California.”[/testimonial]
It was my sincere pleasure to speak at the prestigious Commonwealth Club of California in late October. People have asked me for the audio recording. Here’s the link with the slides below that. The Club controls the recording so the only way to listen is to click this link and listen on their site:

3. SlideShare of “Understanding Digital Video & The Future of Social Media”

If you’re in a hurry and just want an overview of what’s covered in my talk, or if you’d like to enhance your listening to the audio recording, here’s the exact slide deck that I used during the talk, via SlideShare:

4. My Video Interview: “Future of TV, Video Delivery & Digital Media” with Nick DeMartino

Nick DeMartino has been a video innovator for decades and we’ve shared information and a friendship that spans his whole career. It was a pleasure to spend more than an hour with him via a Blab.im video chat discussing, among other things, some of the trends that I illuminated in my Commonwealth Club talk. This interview includes lots of resources as well as insights. For your reference, most of the URLs discussed are in the YouTube description. Enjoy!


I’m confident that all of this information will tell you lots that the pooping unicorns could never express, no matter how creative they are 😉

I look forward to your feedback either directly via our contact form or via the social media links above.

And if you are ready for support with your video marketing, your social media strategy or your web presence, please contact me. I look forward to hearing from you and to answering any questions that you may have.
Thanks for reading and/or listening and/0r watching 😉

Having a Blast on Blab: Learnings from the Launch of My New Social Media Video Show

I’ve been doing social media since the beginning of social media and I’ve never had a more uplifting experience of community and connection than the one I’ve had getting to know the new video conversation platform called Blab (http://Blab.im).

I created this graphic to promote last Friday's Blab session and shared across all of my social media accounts.

I created this graphic to promote last Friday’s Blab session.

Getting Started with Blab

Last Friday, I did my first regular Blab show ([email protected]) and it was surprisingly easy to do and successful. Word spread by social media, and we had people join in late in the show who said that they had heard buzz that we were “killing it” and that they should check it out. Unexpected delight. 😉

We had about 280 viewers who watched live at sometime during the 90 minutes we were on, a pretty steady audience of 60 or so more during the webcast; and, as of this writing, this program has now had over 308 viewers counting the Replay on Blab.im. And, as you will see below, I’ve also posted the recording to YouTube and thus the exposure continues to grow.

Those are just some of the reasons I’m excited.

Spontaneous Community

Part of the reason for this success was that I was honored to have author/speaker Joel Comm (“Twitter 3.0” and other books) as my featured guest. It was Joel who first told me about Blab… Well, actually I got the info from a post of his on Facebook. Joel has become kind of Blab Ambassador. If there’s a Blab “star,” Joel would be on the short list of “nominees.”

Then, to my surprise, as the Blab progressed (may I remind you that this was a live session), I was delighted to have blogging business veteran Darren Rowse join us (see image below). Darren is better known as Pro Blogger and has been a social media marketing thought leader for years. Others who just “happened by” included social media strategist Carlos Gil and digital marketing expert Pam Brossman who both offered some really useful insights and tips (a taste of which are included below). That’s the kind of spontaneous community “happening” it was and which the Blab platform fascilitated.

A Truly Transparent Company

Another guest that contributed a lot to my first Blab show was Brittnay Metz who is a Blab spokesperson and I guess you could say evangelist. For example, she’s the one who sends out emails to the Blab members, but she also spends a fair about of time on Blab itself participating, answering questions, taking feature requests, and generally monitoring and supporting the user base.

Brittnay told us, for example, that the company was really committed to staying at only 30 employees. She also talked about the fact that Blab’s engineers are going to be developing very sophisticated video analytics.

Positive Impressions of An Emerging New Video Technology

Both from what Brittnay said and from my own experience, it’s clear that Blab is making sure that their software really works. I’ve experimented with lots of video conversation platforms, and especially considering this is an early “beta,” Blab seems extremely stable. But Blab’s biggest strength is ease of use which, of course, is a very big deal.

All you need is a Twitter account and you’re in with full participation priviledges. Blab is also totally free as they grow their user base and there are no plans for a “premium” version on the horizon. In some ways, I think Blab may be the example of the “Instagram business model.” (Instagram was acquired by Facebook for $1Billion.) I imagine that Blab is going to be acquired by a much larger company at some point, but when I asked Brittnay about this possibility, her response was a quite grounded. She said, “What makes you think we want to sell?” I left it at that.

blab-screen-labels-v2
Minor Limitations, Major Advantages

The only significant limitations of Blab’s video implementation that I’ve found so far are that it does not work in the Mac Safari browser (because of the video format that Safari uses) andthere’s a mobile app for iOS, but not yet for Android. The best web browser for Blab is Chrome and the desktop version is more full-featured (as shown above).

Some of the features that I like most are the fact that it’s a conversation environment with four interactive video windows. It’s easy for people to come and go. The host has the ability to accept or reject “visitors” at his or her discretion, and most hosts are quite welcoming. We had people coming and going all through our program.

Powerful Twitter Integration

Blab derives its external social media power through its integration with Twitter. And that’s a big part of what makes Blab powerful as an audience or relationship-building tool. Blab engages users via Twitter with the build-in “Tell a Bird” feature that’s to the left of the video windows (on the desktop version). It’s not only a good way to share what you’re doing, but it actually demonstrates a kind of freedom to interact that is not possible on Facebook because on Twitter “friend requests” are not required in order to interact.

Chat, Recordings & More

Blab stays highly interactive as well with a very lively chat stream that runs along the right side of the four video windows.

After you host a Blab session, you get both an mp4 video file and an mp3 audio file of the recording. These files are available for you to download and can be posted anywhere (for example, on YouTube, SoundCloud, or wherever). The video recording doesn’t have the screen names nor the chat stream. You can see the difference between this version and the embed code version that’s also provide via embeds that I’ve included below.

Compared to Google Hangouts, in the production sense, Blab is less robust. For example, at this time (although Brittnay told us that this is coming at some future time), Blab lacks screen sharing. Likewise, the spiffy lower-third ID’s that are part of Hangouts are not on Blab, but you do automatically get labeled during the live sessions with your name and Blab ID (for example, mine is @joncombridges).

As a work around for the absence of lower-thirds, people have gotten into using apps like ManyCam and CamTwist Studio (Mac only) in order to put graphics into their video frame. In fact, Joel was doing was doing just that all during our program.

I also think it’s worth noting that, in some ways, Blab’s ID feature is substantially better than the lower-third Hangouts feature because it’s interactive. For example, if you like what someone is saying, you can simply click on that ID to follow them on Blab. There is also a link to their Twitter profile so you can follow or list them there as well. The Blab ID also let’s you address them directly in the live chat stream. You also can click on the lower right of any video image to give the speaker “props.” So, what Blab may lack in snazzy production features, it more than makes up for with ease of use and authentically interactive tools that enable real people to have real conversations, in real time.

What About Lead Capture?

One of the questions that I asked Joel and the others during my first Blab Show was about lead capture, or lack of those kinds of features in Blab. For example, I use Google Hangouts within the WebinarJam “envelope” in order to do lead capture when I do webinars because I want to be able follow up with the people who attend my programs via email. What I’m learning is that Blab is something completely different.

What Blab delivers, possibly “in spades,” is a completely new way to get exposure. And what’s really important is that that increased exposure is delivered via video so people can really get a sense of you and your expertise or value.

I’m finding that I’m making new friends with my fundamental practice of “Leading with Value” and that’s the most dynamic and perhaps the most important part of Blab. Blab really is about relationship building and making authentic connections. People are doing this on Blab in a way I haven’t seen before on any social media network. I really think it’s worth checking out.

A Video-Powered Way to Increase Your Visibility

As someone said during the program, the Blab experience is very much analogous to being at a party and meeting people. So in that sense, for marketers, Blab is  like a new form of the classic free intro call.

One other important dimension of delivering expanded visibility is, as Carlos recommended and I’m demonstrating below, via YouTube. In the future, I’m also going to upload the audio to SoundCloud. In addition, there are people who are using Blab to record podcasts by taking the recording and distributing it via iTunes and so forth. Bottom line, Blab is a new way to get the word out.

That having been said, I watched a Blab the other day that featured Michael Stelzner from Social Media Examiner and he talked about specifically getting enrollments for some of their conferences via Blab. Thus, Blab can be used as an on-ramp both to build your visibility and also, in at least some cases, to make specific offers that then people move down your engagement funnel.

I’m recommending Blab because I’m finding it to be a great way to meet and connect with people. There’s no doubt that in only a little over a week, I’ve made new friends; and, equally important, I’m definitely having fun. Blab is so engaging that it’s literally becoming an addictive kind of social media experience for some people and in that way it’s a great social media environment to be swimming in.

I’m really delighted to have the opportunity to keep this kind of energy going, and I hope to see you (literally via Blab video) next [email protected] (PT).

Useful Resources:

For the Convenience of Comparison
Please Find Below Two Versions of This Same Program, My First “[email protected]” Blab Program. The first is the embed provided by Blab and the second via upload to YouTube—are provided below for comparison.

Blab Embed:

YouTube Embed:

You Taught Me Well! Valuable Insights from Our Services Survey

First, I read a little ebook called “The Audience Revolution: The Smarter Way to Build a Business, Make a Difference, and Change the World” by Danny Iny. This ebook inspired me to get in closer touch with you, my dear readers, tribe members, followers, and clients.

Services Survey welcome pageSecond, I created a ComBridges Services Survey in order to ask those of you who follow me on social media and/or subscribe to my ComBridges “It’s a Wonderful Web” enewsletter, “How I can serve you better?”.

I’m glad I did because what I learned is extremely valuable!

So, now, here I am sharing those learnings with you and saying a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who participated. You made a big difference. Please allow me to explain…

A Path to a Bigger Difference

I stated on the survey’s welcome page (shown to the right):

“I don’t want to make more noise.
I want to make a bigger difference…
to YOU.”

And I meant it. Even better, it worked. Here are three of the most valuable things I learned:

1. “Online Marketing Mentor” Describes Me Better

The funny thing is that “Online Marketing Mentor” was not something that I was even considering calling myself before I did this survey. JL personnas survey resultUntil last week, I was fond of calling myself a “Humanistic Marketing Wizard.” It was fun while it lasted.

On the marketing consulting side of things, my friend Marty Perlmutter says that I am a “Chief Strategy Officer” (CSO) and I used that to craft my CSO-to-Go offer.

For my more spiritual work, I enjoy calling myself “The Ambassador of Ease.” And so forth.

When I was writing the survey and crafting that question, the idea of “Online Marketing Mentor” just sprang to mind, perhaps because of the group mentoring program, The New Media New Marketing Playground that I ran last winter. It sounded good, so I just casually included it. As you can see from the results image, it’s a clear winner.

Now, with 20-20 hindsight I can see that it’s a much clearer description of what I like to do.

After all, I’m collaborative by nature. So, this descriptor reminded me of what I wrote in a blog post in January about why I like being a small business mentor rather than a “consultant.” It works. I’ve already started changing my social media profiles to reflect this new title.

And, “online marketing mentor” also reflects another important pivot that is already underway in my business. People like the idea of Done-WITH-You Services.

2. It’s More Fun & More Productive When We Create TOGETHER

Recently, I began offering a “1-to-1 Get-It-Done” collaborative website design process using Squarespace. Done WITH You Survey ResultsThis was my first experiences of offering a Done-With-You service. It’s been a great experience. It’s more fun and far more efficient for you and for me. Clients have been very pleased. (For example, there are two raving client testimonials in this blog post about the first two Squarespace websites that I produced this way last October.)

So, I was not very surprised when 75% of responders to the survey said they prefer an approach to our services that is either Done-With-You or a combination of Done-With-You and Done-For-You; but I have to say that this is a very valuable encouragement or nudge for me to keep moving in this direction. And, it was an eye-opener to see Done-For-You coming in dead last with only 10%.

3. You Reminded Me That I’ve Been Neglecting LinkedIn

LinkedIn social media prefs surveyAs I told the people in my New Media New Marketing Playground, LinkedIn is the best social media network for B2B (business-to-business) companies. But, to be honest, I haven’t really been walking my talk in that regard.

Now, thanks to the feedback from the survey, it’s clear that I need to be spending more time there. For my people, LinkedIn is a clear second social media preference (after the obvious social media networking leader, Facebook).

And, there were other important results like your preference for “Insights, Resources and Trends” as the kind of information sharing you value most (with “Spirituality in General” coming in a surprising second), and for “Videos or Webinars” as the ways for me to share content online that you find most useful and appealing, among other things.

If you’d like to see more of exactly what the respondents had to say, please click here to view the completely updated results of our survey.

And there’s more!

Beyond all this seriously actionable data, taking steps directed by you, my peeps, tribe, and clients, has also given me new motivation. I feel like I’m learning to build my business in a way that’s more aligned with what people actually need and want. What a concept! 😉

The Audience Revolution is a Seriously Fresh New Mindset

audience rev coverFor this last piece of learning above, I really want to thank Danny Iny for the inspiration of his little book, “The Audience Revolution.” The Audience Revolution is a simple concept that’s really common sense; but one that is very rarely practiced.

Putting the audience first, rather than leading with a product or service that you think they might want is actually kind of radical. I feel like I’ve made a positive step in a very positive direction thanks to the clarity of this book. Further, I appreciate the simplicity of his focus and the fact that he focuses on something that, as I hope you can see from this blog post, can really make a difference.

I Love the TypeForm Survey App

And finally, (in part because you told me you like to learn about new tools and resources) this experiment convinced me that I’ve found an online application for surveys that I love. I was attracted to TypeForm because of the elegance and openness of their designs, but I had never used it before.

Now I’m sold.

Not does it look good, but it’s easy to use, very flexible and has all of the functionalities I could ask for. I really like the variable ways that you can structure questions and the notifications. And, the reports are as elegant as the design templates. For example, here’s a link to a public view of all the results (note, more people have completed the survey since I did the screen grabs above).

There’s lots more for me to explore using TypeForm, for example their Stripe e-commerce and Google Spreadsheet integrations. I look forward to getting to know it better.

All-in-all, this was a very useful experiment and I couldn’t have done it without you! 😉

Thanks again.

[alert type=”notice, warning, success, error, info” close=”true”]A Note About Comments
Thanks in part to all the blog comment spammers, comments are turned off on this blog (at least for now). However, PLEASE, I would LOVE to hear from you, including any comments, criticisms, suggestions or whatever, via any of the social networks linked at the very top of this page. Thanks.[/alert]

Learning from Meerkat: If You Don’t Understand the Social Graph, You Don’t Get Social Media Marketing

The Social Graph is About Relationships, Not Followers

Perhaps the most frequently asked question in the whole social media and online marketing arena is, “Where’s the ROI?” As Gary Vaynerchuk @garyvee points out in the animated, educational story that he tells in the video below, the true answer to this question requires thinking that goes deeper than a financial statement. To make his point, he ends up asking, “What’s the ROI of my mother?
Warning: If “the f-bomb” i.e. “foul” language offends you, you should NEVER listen to anything Gary says.

Of course, he’s right. There is a whole lot more to life, to business, and to marketing (in the social media-powered world) than trackable metrics. In other words, when you build authentic, sustainable long term relationships—not only with customers but with prospects—you are building an asset that has real long term value. That’s the true meaning behind the literal meaning of “the social graph.” That’s the point of this post. Please allow me to explain.

Missing the Point

Over and over, we miss the point about so many things. We think abundance is about money when, as we all know (I hope), there are much more important things in life. To me, these more important things are “true abundance.” And yet, we think social media marketing can be encapsulated by how many “Likes” we get on our Facebook page, or even by how many zeros there are at the end of the bottom line number at the bottom of this month’s revenue report.
In a similar way, we get impatient and dissatisfied with our online marketing efforts and miss the point regarding how amazing our world of innovative digital communications truly is. Gratitude really should be ruling the day. Louis C.K.’s famous video, “Everything’s Amazing and Nobody’s Happy” sets a nice tone for thinking differently about all this:

The Social Graph Defines Your Influence

I like to ask (presuming that you are doing some kind of social media marketing), “Are you building sustainable, long term relationships based on authentic human connections, or not?” (This subject is dear to my heart because it’s this kind of focus that puts the “humanity” in my calling myself a Humanistic Marketing Wizard.)

The “social graph” is the more geeky, technical term for your “tribe” or your network of influence which, in my view, is something that one builds by “leading with value” via social media and email marketing. Yet, we think the bottom line is the money, not the people. Wrong!

The bottom line, assuming you want to stay in business for the long term, is the real relationships that you are able to create and maintain. That’s why understanding the social graph is so important. In fact, it’s so important that, just last week, it become the leverage point in a high profile business kerfuffle between Twitter and the hottest app at SXSW, a live video streaming mobile app called Meerkat.

Twitter withheld social graph access from Meerkat thus underscoring the value of the graph.

What’s Meerkat Got to Do With It?

The Twitter vs. Meerkat story is an interesting business story because direct access to Twitter’s user base, i.e. its social graph is what Twitter withdrew from Meercat. They did that because Twitter’s social graph is one of its most crucial assets.
Likewise, so are your true followers, authentically engaged “fans,” and the email list subscribers, especially the ones who actually read and occasionally click on your emails. Their attention and TRUST are priceless/precious.
It’s a complex issue how we all access each other’s social graphs and it’s debatable what is appropriate use for a start up app. Along these lines, I really appreciated the thoughtful analysis of VC/entrepreneur Mark Suster @msuster in his blog post: “Some Perspective on Twitter vs. Meerkat.” I think he explains the business issues involved quite well.
In terms of authenticity, I also appreciate the fact that Suster is walking his talk, not only as a Meerkat user and venture capitalist, but also with how he thinks through this kind of issue. As he mentioned, “I have my social network in Twitter to thank for the public debate that clarified my thinking on this topic.”
And, that’s where the rubber really hits the road… not in terms of bottom line financials, but in terms of meaningful dialog, authentic give-and-take conversations where both parties listen as well as pontificate.
Straight-up social media communications like this not only make for more effective marketing and sustainable long term relationships, but more importantly, they make this a better world!
[alert type=”notice, warning, success, error, info” close=”true”]A Note About Comments
Thanks in part to all the blog comment spammers, comments are turned off on this blog (at least for now). However, PLEASE, I would LOVE to hear from you, including any comments, criticisms, suggestions or whatever, via any of the social networks linked at the very top of this page. Thanks.[/alert]

Have More Marketing Ease, Fun & Authenticity Whenever You Want With This On-Demand Webinar Video

The Humanistic Marketing Revolution continues…
Last December, I presented a 45-minute video webinar called Step Up to the Gifts of Ease, Fun & Authenticity: Discover the Catalysts That Will Inspire New Momentum for Your New Marketing and it helped my define this new approach that I am calling Humanistic Marketing and I want to make this presentation available to you so that you can learn from it at your convenience.

That’s why I am now making the video recording of this webinar available as an on-demand digital product so that you can watch it anywhere, anytime you want. And, because I want to spread my teachings as widely as possible, I am also including with any purchase of this recording (only $9.97) a complete formatted PDF of my book, Internet Marketing: 8 Key Concepts Every Business MUST Know which has received 13 five-star reviews on Amazon. Please click here to learn more about this on-demand video webinar.

How Did I Put This Product Together?
For those of you who may be interested in how I put together this offer, technologically speaking… I produced the original video using Google Hangouts combining myself on-camera “live” intercut in real time with an Apple Keynote slide presentation. The video recording of this session was archived as a private, “Unlisted” YouTube link. In order to sell that video recording to you, I’ve embedded this link into a PDF document along with other value-added information, and I’m selling that document as a digital download that includes access to the video (along with the PDF of my book) via the innovative Selz.com platform that, for example, provides the order widget below. Pretty cool, eh? 😉

I hope you enjoy this video webinar and my book. I look forward to any feedback that you may have.


Buy Now or Click to Learn More

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 Talk Walker Video: Why Play & Storytelling Are New Marketing’s Leading Edge

Let the Good Times Roll!

Play and storytelling are not generally thought of as important pieces—let alone as crucial components—of social media and internet marketing; but they are (and this fact is becoming clearer and clearer).

I’m not just talking about these things. I’m doing them. That’s why my group mentoring program is called The New Media New Marketing PLAYGROUND. Because Like Knows Like, my emerging series of videos is called “Talk Walkers.” This reflects the importance of authenticity in being attractive via the Web, and FYI, I’m also planning to take these interviews into the world of podcasting. More on that in a future post.

New “Talk Walker” Video Below

Meanwhile, recently, I’ve been delighted to get to know David Drake of NarrativeCoaching.com. He’s a real big picture thinker. I like that 😉 And, I hope you agree that the insights he shares about the ironic process of taking an attitude of play more seriously, and in particular, about why storytelling is not only the leading edge of content marketing but it is also important for the process of connecting to your authentic voice (or brand).

Whether you are a solopreneur, an entrepreneur, or a larger company, basing all of your marketing communications on a profound foundation of “why” you are doing what your doing has to go beyond a simply intellectual process. Please watch this video. We will explain:

My first Talk Walker interview was with author, speaker, authentic social media marketing guru extraordinaire, Jay Baer.

In case you missed that one, here it is “one more time”:

Wonderful Revelations on the Way of Play & the Path to Community & Collaboration

Finding Freedom

I think we’ve all felt the frustration of feeling overwhelmed by all of the Internet marketing and social media marketing options the online communications revolution has laid at our feet. Of course, what we would prefer to feel is the exhilerating thrill of our natural and authentic enthusiasm for what we are doing, the freedom of full self-expression without self-judgement, and a palpable connection to the value we are delivering.

Your Social Media Journey Can Be Easy & FunI know this feeling personally which is why it has been so exciting for me to have my new online mentoring community, The New Media New Marketing Playground come together so easily and to have such a wonderful group of heart-oriented people become part of this virtual Playground.

Learning from My New Tribe

What has been particularly encouraging is not only the quality of the people who have joined the Playground, but the opportunity to get actual feedback on WHY they joined.

Three key insights have quickly emerged:

  1. People like the idea of fun and play. It has a real appeal, especially in a marketing world where overwhelm is so much more common.
  2. People trust the space I’ve created with this offering. More than one of the members has shared with me that it feels like a “safe space to play” and that’s what they need.
  3. My recommendations of social media and new media tools and strategies are highly valued.

Wow! I’m gratified and honored. No kidding.

Listening & Leveraging Social Proof

These learnings have been like revelations for me. So valuable! For example, in the video clip below, author, speaker, entrepreneur, and Playground Member, Susan Falter explains (slightly edited):

You are the master of ease and a guy who is a lot of fun and highly creative. I love your approach to things. This really is “a playground.” …It’s a no pressure environment. That’s fun, and that’s what I want.

Suzanne also underscored to me the value to her of the kinds of practical information that I share (in the Playground, via our enewsletter and via social media). How could I not appreciate and value this acknowledgement of my knowledge and expertise? 🙂

You are like a Google of internet marketing. I feel like I can type on your forehead “why create videos” and up will come like fifteen different resources and I’ve never heard of any of them. …It’s very helpful to people like me who really want to know what the best, easiest way is. It’s like instead of trying fifteen different apps you’re going to tell me which one to use. That’s really, really valuable.

Please watch the video above for Suzanne’s complete comments, and please click below if you’d like to receive our occasional enews or become a Member of The Playground. As a special “thank you for reading” if you become a member between now and the end of tomorrow (Sept 17th), enter the Code “wonder” at check out and receive 20% off your Playground Membership.
Please click here to subscribe to our “It’s a Wonderful Web” enewsletter.
Click here to learn more or become a Member of The New Media New Marketing Playground.

Are You Missing the Boat on Online Video Advertising?

[A Quick Catch Up on Online Video’s Reinvention of Advertising]
As most of my readers know, I’ve been an “evangelist” for the digital video revolution, especially as it applies to the democratization of media, for many years. By now, the explosion and importance of online video via YouTube and other hosting platforms (from Wistia and Vimeo to Brightcove and Ooyala, among others) should be obvious to everyone. What is not so apparent to many people is the opportunity to use online video advertising as a highly-targeted attraction engine.

The game changer over the past few years has been the move to online, streaming video for virtually every kind of communication and entertainment. Advancements in video technology mean huge benefits for society as the power of video is now in everyone’s hands—quite literally due to smart phones, on both the video creation and video consumption side of things. These advancements combined with mobile video’s remarkable reach means even bigger benefits for advertisers. 

In fact, the shift from desktop online video advertising to mobile advertising has been nothing short of astonishing. To give you a sense of how big this shift is, consider this: In the fourth quarter of 2013, the number of ads showing on tablets was almost tripled from the previous quarter, according to a FreeWheel TV report in USA Today. Plus, that leap in growth was ten times (10x!) faster than the consumption of video ads on desktops.

Bottom line, this is just the beginning. Mobile is still in its infancy. The original iPad was just introduced four years ago.

Multiple Types of Video Content and Placements

Vine growth statsOne of the more fascinating aspects of online video advertising is the wide variety of video types that advertisers are starting to use. The traditional broadcast video advertisement, which is served up in 30-second segments and interrupts consumers’ viewing to blatantly peddle a product or service (in a format that is frequently skipped via DVRs), is not what is working in the same ways any longer. In fact, the exact opposite is what is thriving online. YouTube, for example, is full of informative, how-to videos that are less “commercial” and more informative. This approach connects with my marketing philosophy of attracting and engaging, rather than straight sales pitches.

The way video and entertainment is consumed has also driven the adoption of new types of videos that are working in other ways. Skyword reports that a Mobile Marketing Association study showed that video ads of 15 seconds or less and non-skippable were viewed in their entirety 92 percent of the time. If the ads are skippable, only 9 percent were completed. Whether the ad is virtually embedded within an informative clip that “leads with value”( as I like to say), or is delivered in an non-skippable format, these advertising options, again, are just the beginning of a new world that, in my considered opinion, any serious online marketer needs to consider.

In addition, the shorter video formats are getting more popular on stand-alone social video platforms. Between Instagram video and Vine (just to name two), the public is getting more and more accustomed to digesting their video in shorter formats. Few people who are not active on social media realize the reach of these platforms. Some even call Vine “the fastest growing app in the world.”

More Bandwidth Means Higher Quality Video

Another advancement that has made online video an ever increasing opportunity to be considered as part of your advertising budget is the increased broadband data access speeds that consumers are now able to afford. With faster speeds comes better quality video. With mobile comes any where, any time access. Without the distractions of constant buffering, viewers are able to watch longer videos, and companies are willing to invest in better production quality. For example, a large company like LifeLock invested wisely to produce higher quality online exclusive, more informative videos for its target audience to let them know how they can protect themselves and their identity online.

Jacking into Untapped Potential

In many instances, little difference in quality exists between what you would see on television and what is being shown on the Web. And, frequently what’s online is more interesting, more personal, and certainly more highly targeted than what’s on TV. And, in terms of variety, the Internet offers so much more. But perhaps even more significant is online video’s interface options.

According to streamingmedia.com, interactivity is the main function that makes online video consumption different from television. However, many advertisers are still missing the boat on this opportunity. Right now, 85 percent of online video advertisements are simply the same content that could have also run on traditional television, where the audience simply sits back and takes it in. By allowing the consumer to get more involved in the ad or the original content, and by being able to place advertising videos (whether ads or informative content marketing clips) in MUCH more relevant contexts, viewers naturally become more involved and connected to the product or service, and thus, more willing to make a purchase.

The Future of Online Video

The Globe and Mail claims that big things are on the horizon for online video advertising in 2014. Smaller companies that had been hesitant to hop on board will see the light and start spending on the medium. And, speaking of spending, I don’t think there is any doubt that this will be the year that more companies start shifting their advertising dollars from traditional television to social media and online video. Another shift will be that online video production will become more of a specialty for agencies. With the differences between traditional and online video becoming more apparent, through the inclusion of interactivity and highly-targeted contexts, for example, more production companies and marketing agencies will specialize in online video production and distribution (yes, as ComBridges has been doing for some time).

Obviously, the ComBridges team is here to help if you are interested; but more importantly, I wonder whether it will be you or your competition that will take the lead by leveraging the amazing power of online video and online video advertising.

I’ve seen again and again that it’s those market leaders who stick their necks out to engage with these leading edge trends that grab a significant competitive advantage, especially over time. “A word to the wise” should be sufficient. Yes?