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!

3 Requirements for Marketing Success in The Connection Economy + Better Learning Through Acronyms

Change is always challenging, and as you’ve probably noticed, the environment for digital marketing has changed dramatically. I think Seth Godin describes this well with his term: The Connection Economy.

But what does it take to be successful in The Connection Economy? In this short video blog post, I cover 3 key ingredients or “Requirements for Success” in today’s online environment: 👇👇 👇

This Weeks Power Briefing: 3 Requirements for Marketing Success in The Connection Economy + Better Learning Through Acronyms

As a digital marketing strategist, I love to help. And to help you learn, each of the 3 Requirements for Success explained in this video is illustrated with an easy-to-remember acronym. Here’s a quick summary for you:

MTRB = Multi-Touch Relationship Building

AV + C = T means Authentic Value + Consistency = Trust

BWTTS = Be Willing to Try Stuff

Thanks for watching! I look forward to your feedback.

EDITED VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

The 3 Requirements for Success in the Connection Economy with Better Learning Through Acronym Mania

Hi, my name is Jon Leland and I’m a digital marketing strategist and I’m here with another weekly digital marketing Power Briefing. This week I’m talking about three essential, requirements for success in the Connection Economy. I’m having a little fun with the three connection ingredients or requirements, I’m calling it, “Acronym Mania” because in order to make them more memorable, I’ve got an acronym for each one. 

MTRB = Multi-Touch Relationship Building

The first one is MTRB, MTRB stands for “Multi-Touch Relationship Building.” It’s kind of amazing to me how many people think about marketing in kind of a one-and-done way. Almost like the old days when you would print a brochure and think that your marketing had been done or people carry that forward into websites being produced or oh, I have a Facebook page now I’m doing social media. 

It is not at all like that. It’s multi touches – which can be email, can be Facebook ads, can be social media posts, YouTube videos. Whatever it is you’re doing, do more of it and make it multi-touches because people are not going to do business with you, people are not going to believe you, if you’re only doing one thing every once in a while. 

AV + C = T Authentic Value + Consistency = Trust

And that really leads us to the second acronym which is AV + C = T. So, this one is really near and dear to my heart because AV is “Authentic Value.” Authentic Value is important because if you’re not offering something that really illustrates what it is you have to offer – what you’re authentic true expertise is and why people would want to do business with because you really have something to offer you’re missing out. If so, you’re not really making a difference because you really need to demonstrate first and foremost that Authentic Value. 

Then the second, “C” is Consistency and this has been a big lesson for me. This is number seven of my weekly video series and I have to tell you the consistency of doing it every week, not only makes a difference to the audience and the viewer because you see me, I’m demonstrating multi touches where you see me on a very regular basis. 

This has shifted my own presence and my own kind of confidence. I have stuff to share that I do think is authentically valuable but the weekly consistency at a minimum makes a huge difference. 

And then the bottom line – the kind of the Holy Grail if you will – in the Connection Economy is Trust. So, if you offer Authentic Value on a consistent basis that equals trust and that trust really is a key ingredient of being successful in the Connection Economy.

BWTTS = Be Willing to Try Stuff Experimentation, Play, Creativity, Fun, Originality

Thirdly, and this is kind of the most fun one is BWTTS, and that stands for “Be Willing To Try Stuff.” 

One of my earlier weekly videos was about “Experimentation” and this is the same point again which is that you need to be willing to try stuff, you need to be willing to experiment, play, be creative, be original, but be original in your own way. 

I really like this saying, I think it’s a book title, “Be yourself because everybody else is taken.” And that you know applies to brands as well as to individuals. 

So, when you do a multi-touch approach and lead with authentic value on a consistent basis, you build trust and then when you do that in a playful experimental way and you, then you try things to find out what works, right? Some things do work, some things don’t work and that’s fine. That’s par for the course, you’ve got to be out there playing, be willing to try stuff. 

Those are three big key ingredients that I think may really make a difference if you’re interested in expanding your online visibility. 

As usual, thank you very much for watching. I really appreciate your attention and I look forward to hearing from you, any comments or feedback are more than welcome. Thanks again, see you next week!

Watch & Learn How Video Connection is the Future of Digital Marketing

Making a personal, human connection via video is more than a trend. It’s a MEGA-trend.

Video is also the one essential marketing strategy that you can’t afford to skip. Here’s why:

I believe that authentic relationship-building is at the heart of meaningful marketing. Given that nothing you can do online builds relationship more powerfully than video, video has become absolutely essential. It’s not only the future of digital marketing, it’s digital marketing’s SUPER-POWER!

Please check out the video below to learn more…

This Weeks Power Briefing: Watch & Learn How Video Connection is the Future of DIgital Marketing

Resources Mentioned in this Video: 

  • The Book: Rehumanize Your Business: How Personal Videos Accelerate Sales and Improve Customer Experience: https://amzn.to/2MLKmcr

Thanks for watching!

EDITED VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Hi, my name is Jon Leland and I’m a digital marketing strategist. I’m here this week to talk to you about why video connection is really the future of digital marketing. 

Connection & Putting People First

I know that that’s a big claim but if you are not creating video connection with the prospects and people that you’re engaging with online, I really think you’re not only missing the wave of the future, you’re missing the opportunity to make meaningful connections and build meaningful relationships that can support your business in the long term.

I was listening to an audio book this week with Seth Godin and he calls what’s going on with all the changes in the ways we communicate, the “connection economy.” And I think that really is apt because we are now making connections and that’s the currency. 

The currency is not just how good you are with the technology, for example or how much you hustle. It’s really the authentic connections that you make. That’s where the real value, that’s where the important stuff happens and the fuel for the connection economy is humanity. It’s your humanity, it’s my humanity, it’s our ability to relate and engage in a meaningful way. 

So, that reminds me to give you the big mega trend – and I can do it very quickly. When I started doing websites back at the beginning of the web in 1995, people were just doing text and then  the next generation was when people started adding images. And immediately I talked to people to tell them don’t use boring stock images that don’t have a face on them, they want to see your face, they want to know who they’re doing business with. 

Going Beyond the Explainer Video

So, I encouraged people to take photos and have their own picture up there. Well, now that video has become so integral to how we engage online, I think we need our faces just like this, on the website which means that your simple two-minute explainer video, all the popular whiteboard animations really are not doing what needs to happen. 

Which is showing who you are and engaging in a meaningful way. And then it really goes to the next level, I’ve been experimenting with an application called “Bomb Bomb” and I want to offer a resource. This is a book by the people that started that application, “Bomb Bomb”, which is a video strategy where you are creating videos inside emails and people are literally creating thousands and thousands of personalized one-on-one emails. And that’s a whole other subject that I’ll get into. 

Relationships Require Multiple Touches

But the bottom line is not only do you need human video to create real engagement, but relationships as I’ve been talking about in these weekly videos which happen through multiple touches. 

So, multiple touches mean you don’t just do that one explainer video. You just don’t do the kind of that one corporate “who we are” video. You really need to have a conversation and be present in a way that people engage with you and I believe that means a minimum of a once a week frequency. 

And I’ll be honest with you, that’s something that has challenged me for a long time. This is actually video number six for me and I’m now ongoing on a weekly basis because I want to walk my talk and I, more importantly, I want to really create the kind of meaningful engagement that I’m talking about. 

So, video connection is the future of online marketing of digital engagement, of digital marketing, all that good stuff. And I’m hoping that you’re doing it too.

I hope this is inspiring and useful, I look forward to your feedback. And as always, I thank you for your kind attention. I really do appreciate that you’re here and you watch and I thank you for that, see you next week!

Here’s Why Experimentation is An Essential Attitude for Successful Digital Marketing

Please FORGET the old “one-and-done” approach to marketing. 

Today’s digital marketing requires EXPERIMENTATION. 

In this short video, I explain why experimentation is absolutely essential for online success. 

While experimentation can be scary for some people, there’s no other way to learn, no other way to get the value of marketplace feedback, and most importantly, there is no other way to build meaningful relationships online.

This weeks Power Briefing, Here’s Why Experimentation is An Essential Attitude for Successful Digital Marketing

It’s true in life and it’s especially true in marketing: You have to be willing to experiment, to try new things, to take risks, and yes, to make mistakes and “fail.”

It’s what I love about the online world: I am always learning, and I have the opportunity to keep trying (and sometimes succeeding) at creating new relationships. That can actually be fun in this crazy online world.

The video below is my latest effort in that regard. At the end of the day, a life (and a marketing plan) without experimentation would be BORING! ☺️

In my considered opinion, if you’re not experimenting, your chances of long term success are basically nonexistent. What do you think?

EDITED VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Hi, my name is Jon Leland and I’m a digital marketing strategist and in this week’s digital marketing Power Briefing, I’m talking about why experimentation is absolutely essential for successful digital marketing. 

As I said before, digital marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. And in fact one of the really amazing things about being involved in online marketing and working a strategy when you do it, is that you get real-world feedback. And the only way that you get real-world feedback is to try things and to experiment. So, that’s why experimentation really is essential: it’s very, very powerful.

But the bad news is that it’s not a one-and-done environment just because you’ve got a website upgrade but that doesn’t mean that you have an online presence. 

It takes communications, consistently like this, that’s kind of why I’m doing weekly videos. I want to be here on a regular basis and I want to reach out and create a relationship. So digital marketing is not one and done. Your website doesn’t mean that you’re finished and even having done a Facebook live video doesn’t mean that you’ve done a video marketing campaign. 

The good news is that you get to explore and you get to experiment and you get to find out things. 

Now a lot of people find that kind of experimentation to be scary, there are all these payoffs like I’ve been talking about. What I find and one of the reasons that we’re now doing monthly retainers with clients is we want to get to know their message, we want to get to know their audience and getting to know, as it implies a relationship. It means that there’s a give-and-take, that you do things, you get feedback, you do things, you get feedback, you make mistakes, you correct them, you do things and learn. 

That’s why experimentation is crucial. It’s the only way you learn, it’s the only way that you can discover and have an adventure with it. And most importantly it’s really the only way that you can develop a relationship and see what works, see what connects and find out. 

So I’ll leave you with a quote, “success is not final, failure is not fatal it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill. 

So thank you so much for watching, I really appreciate your kind attention. I look forward to hearing from you and your feedback. I’ll see you again 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!

Why “SEO” is So “Yesterday” For Small Business Online Marketing

This week’s Digital Marketing Power Briefing video (below) is about an online marketing subject that is widely understood, and in my opinion, it has become quite passé for businesses looking for immediate results.

In fact, SEO is often the first kind of marketing support that people request after they’ve done a website redesign. The truth is that for lots of businesses, SEO is the only website marketing strategy that they have ever heard of! Sad but true. But SEO is not really a strategy, it’s only one tool among many; and in many ways, it’s out of date… or “so yesterday!” 😎

I made this video to explain why:

This week’s Digital Marketing Power Briefing video. Your feedback please. Any questions? What would you like me to cover in future weeks?

I’m not saying that SEO is meaningless, but in terms of online marketing strategies that can produce REAL results, in a reasonably short period of time, it has become, well, passé.

I’m passionate about this subject because I’m committed to supporting progressive and forward-thinking organizations to make a difference, and that means implementing digital marketing strategies that produce tangible results (like list-building and opportunities for multiple “touches”). This is important because these “more modern” strategies help build meaningful relationships and offer a respectable ROI.

I don’t think that’s too much to ask from an investment in marketing. Do you?

I explain more about why SEO is so “yesterday” for small business online marketing in this video, OR if you want to hear about the very modern strategy that I call “Relationship Funnels,” please check out my “Your Website is Broken Power Briefing” videos herehttp://bit.ly/website-broken 

Thanks for watching and I look forward to hearing from you.

Edited video transcript:

Hi, my name is Jon Leland and I’m a digital marketing strategist. This is another in my new weekly series of digital marketing Power Briefings. Today I’m talking about SEO and why SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is so yesterday in terms of small business online marketing. 

Businesses say they need help with “SEO” when they mean lead generation.

In fact, I get inquiries in my business from small businesses looking for SEO services. (They say:) “We need more SEO on our website.” Really they’re not talking about SEO, they’re talking about we need more traffic, which really means we need more business. And those are really different things! 

SEO is just one way to drive more traffic but just driving more traffic is not a digital marketing strategy. 

Have You Asked “What Happens Next?”

So let’s dig into it. I have four specific reasons to share with you. First of all, I really need to say that when you think about a digital marketing strategy, the question that I always want businesses to think about is “what happens next?” 

That’s a really important question because to me, marketing and business in general is really about relationships. I’m making this video as an invitation for us to have more of a relationship; and relationships happen through multiple touches, through interactions, through ongoing presence in the marketplace… having a real conversation. 

Just getting traffic to your website does not create a conversation. 

If you’re interested in more about how that kind of relationship develops, I want to invite you to the bigger Power Briefing (video) that’s at http://bit.ly/website-broken. That’s where I really delve into Relationship Funnels. 

So sorry for the unabashed little promo there, but that is where I talk about this with more depth.

TIME TO MARKET: What’s Your Time Window to Get Results? 

Let’s talk about the four reasons why SEO is so yesterday in terms of online marketing. 

The first reason that SEO is really kind of “yesterday” has to do with the time frame or the time to market, you know, how long are you willing to wait to get the traffic that you want in order to have the meaningful interactions that you need. 

SEO as a strategy takes at least six months, probably six months to a year, as opposed to Facebook Ads or Google Ads, or what have you. Those can get a more immediate result. 

So, that’s something that a lot of businesses don’t really understand, (and many) don’t really have the patience, or sometimes they need the cash flow quicker, so they need faster results. 

So, thinking about implementing a strategy that’s a long-term commitment like six months to a year to get SEO traffic is has obvious limitations. 

LIMITED TARGETING: What’s Your Targeting Strategy?

The second reason that SEO is pretty “yesterday” is the limited nature of the targeting. When you work an SEO strategy, on the organic side of Search Engine Optimization, you really are looking at building a web page-per-keyword phrase. And that’s really pretty clunky in terms of the ability to get your message out there. 

The targeting, for example, with Google Ads, you have no limit to the number of keyword phrases, as opposed to needing landing pages that are optimized for each keyword phrase that you want to target and bring traffic, attract traffic with. 

So, SEO is also pretty yesterday given the fact that the targeting is so limited. 

RELATIONSHIP BUILDING REQUIRES MULTIPLE TOUCHES

The third reason that I don’t think that SEO is a very viable approach right now is that it doesn’t reflect a marketing strategy. 

A real relationship building, marketing strategy requires multiple touches. When people say they need SEO on their website, they’re only thinking about the need for more traffic. They’re not thinking about a strategic process that involves multiple touches, real engagement, and real relationship building.

And the other reason that SEO is very limited from the point of view of relationship-building is it doesn’t involve any remarketing. When you install the Facebook Pixel on a website, you have the ability to remarket to those people. When you make your email list a custom audience for example, inside Facebook advertising, again you’re having multiple follow-ups and multiple touches.

SEO just doesn’t have that capability. 

FLEXIBILITY & CHOICE

The fourth and final reason is flexibility and choice. I look at digital marketing as a kind of experimentation and you really want to involve lots of different ways to bring traffic to your website and begin the process of engagement, relationship building and multiple touches.

SEO it’s not a strategy. It is a way to bring organic traffic; but it is a very limited one and something that I am saying is “yesterday.”

And again if you’re interested in an approach to real relationship building, I want to invite you to check out my Relationship Funnel Power Briefing at http://bit.ly/website-broken. Most websites are broken because they’re not doing the kind of engagement that I’m talking about. 

So, in summary, SEO is a limited strategy, I want you to get involved in more, real relationship building, with multiple touches, and an ongoing presence in the marketplace. 

I hope that this video was useful and valuable, as that’s what these Power Briefings are all about. 

Please let me know what you want me to cover in future weeks. I’m happy to do that. And thank you so much for your kind attention, I really appreciate it and I look forward to hearing from you!

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.

The Marketing Power of a More Human Web

What Makes the Biggest Difference? People Who LOVE to Help Others.

Some things should not be counter-intuitive, but they are.

The fact is that, despite the “muddy waters” created by “get rich quick” hucksters on the web, the web that I know and love is populated by some really good people who love to help others with their online businesses.

Yes, while it is true that the internet has many trolls and political “flames,” with this blog post, I would like to illuminate, via example, the dynamics of “the more human web.” It’s where I prefer to hang out, and it’s full of people and businesses actively creating meaningful, valuable relationships.

When Authenticity Pops-Up at You

Here’s a little story—and a new online course platform that I’ve discovered. It illustrates the fun and exciting ways that humanity can intersect digital marketing and business.

Recently, I was researching options for hosting an online course. Thanks to a referral by a new email provider, ConvertKit, that I’m using to segment and better target my various email lists, I stumbled upon the online course hosting platform, Coach.

As I arrived at the Coach website, in the usual way, I was immediately greeted by a live chat.

Because of my conversational nature, however cautiously (because these kinds of chats are not often useful), I began interacting with Spencer, the rep on the other side of the live chat. I presumed that Spencer was an agent, employed by Coach to help the sales process.

However, as we chatted, the banter was above average and his joyful enthusiasm for his online course platform seemed more authentic than I would have expected. He seemed authentically interested in helping. And then, much to my surprise, it wasn’t long before Spencer made it clear that he is one of the founders of the company.

How many founders have you seen on the front lines of customer service? I was impressed.

The truth emerged that Coach is committed to authentic engagement and exemplary personalized customer service, and their founder was walking his talk on the front lines. What more can you ask than to have a founder on the live chat, instantly ready to assist you?!? And, beyond my own instincts, the truth of Spencer’s authenticity was brought home when I discovered his enthusiasm for helping entrepreneurs via his personal blog post, “Why I started Coach: The 3 reasons I decided to launch my 4th company.” Both reasons #2 and #3 are about loving to help people.

Relationship Marketing: More Than a Buzzword

This is precisely what relationship marketing is about: The Relationship. And when it manifests organically like this, it isn’t a tactic. It’s not something that you can fake. It requires a company culture when the players genuinely care about the potential clients and how they can authentically help them. This goes WAY beyond tracking “engagement statistics.”

For me, when you find it at a company and a quality of service like I’ve experienced at Coach, I naturally want to become an advocate. Right here, right now, it’s fun for me to share with you about how this personal relationship evolved out of what is more often a mundane sales interaction.

Isn’t it only right that when you find this kind of relationship, you stay loyal to it and you tell others about it?

This concept is so simple, yet so few people actually make it a reality.

Taking Our Relationship to the Next Level

I’ve heard it said that what you focus on expands. I know the kind of web that I want. One that is built on authentic relationships. Thus, as a result, I’ve enjoyed getting to know Spencer and have begun to experiment with Coach (my book, “Internet Marketing: 8 Key Concepts Every Business MUST Know” is already available via Coach here, and online courses on Squarespace website creation and Social Media for Social Action are in the works.)

And, more immediately (drum roll please), I’m also going a step further! Next Thursday, June 8th, Spencer will be my special guest on a Social Video Sandbox Session (my somewhat regular informal webinar-style interviews) where we will be sharing insights about online course creation. I hope you will join us and get to know both of us better!

Marketing Tip: I’m finding these kinds of live streaming video sessions to be a great way to extend relationships with members of my lists and online communities who are interested. More info and the opportunity to join us, click here.

The Real Bottom Line

It’s been a long held value and a core operating principle of mine that “business is about relationships.” When I speak and lead workshops (and also in my book), I articulate the fundamental goal of digital marketing to be “building authentic, long term, sustainable relationships.” Without that, I don’t think we are building a better world, no matter how much money we might make.

So, please be one of those people on the web that is doing good. When you do, you will find that you are part of wonderful networks or tribes of people that are doing likewise by “paying it forward.” If you’re not already working and playing in this way, try it. You’ll like it. It feels good and it works.

More importantly, this approach, in my opinion, is what makes doing business worthwhile.

I look forward to your comments please!

Think Websites Are An Expensive Pain? Now There’s Small Business Relief via Squarespace

“Simpler is Better.” Website Design Can Be More Fun & Efficient When You Go Beyond the Complexity of WordPress and other platforms.

While my team and I still design and develop larger WordPress websites, I have found the Squarespace platform to be a faster, more fun and more client-empowering way to help small businesses create elegant, totally mobile-friendly websites that have all of the functionalities that a small business needs.


As some of you may know, I did a streaming video webinar earlier this year (see YouTube clip above) that explains in the first 15-minutes why I’m recommending Squarespace over WordPress for websites for smaller organizations.

I’m writing today because my streamlined, three-hour 1-to-1 Get-It-Done Squarespace Website sessions are becoming more popular; and, for me, more fun.

Learning from Real Life Website Design Experiences

Recently in one of these “1-to-1 Get-It-Done” Squarespace Website sessions where I collaborated with a local chiropractor and friend, Robert Adamich, we actually produced his entire website (short of a couple of blog posts) in just one of these three-hour sessions.

To be clear, this is not always the case. That’s why I book these, not as projects, but rather as sessions, i.e. a three-hour commitment to get as much done as possible, including developing the site’s content structure, integrating some content, teaching how to use Squarespace, and developing the site’s unique look and feel using one of Squarespace’s modern design templates.

Here’s what Robert had to say about this process:

“My work with Jon Leland of ComBridges produced amazing website results in far less time than I could have imagined! Prior to our “1-to-1 Get-It-Done Squarespace Website Session,” Jon provided me with relevant tools and questions so that I was prepared and ready to go. Then, in only three-hours, we crafted a 7-page website that I absolutely love. Jon was fun to work with and creative sparks were flying. Then, at the end of the session, when we launched my new site, it was literally a dream come true. The icing on the cake was that I left with enough training and familiarity with Squarespace that I can now manage and edit my own website. THANK YOU, Jon!”

— Robert Adamich, AdamichChiropractic.com

Personally, I absolutely LOVE the opportunity to contribute what I think is extremely high value as a writer, marketing consultant, information architect, and Squarespace trainer, all in one action-packed session.

The results are tangible and the clients have all been very happy.

My calling is to be of service, and there’s something very satisfying about this Squarespace powered format. I hope that it’s obvious that I am much more than just a website designer. What I love about this process is that I get to bring all of my talents into these sessions and have clients walk away with all or most of a new website, as well as with an empowering orientation to the power and ease-of-use of Squarespace.

Here’s another example, another real life Squarespace website client experience:

“As a do-it-yourselfer, I questioned why I hired Jon. Was it just so I would get started on my project of updating my website? That alone would have been worth it, but Jon’s services went way beyond my expectations. In the space of three hours, he not only provided me with a tutorial on using Squarespace; but he also helped organize, with my input, the framework for the revised site, as well as providing a good start on several important pages. It was amazing! I wasn’t overwhelmed with the behind-the-scenes tech or design stuff, and I felt empowered to continue on my own when we finished. Thanks, Jon!”

— Gia Combs-Ramirez

I welcome your questions and I’m happy to do a 15-minute “discovery session” with anyone, anytime, so that you can get a better sense if this approach (or one of the other website design approaches we offer) is right for you. Please contact me in order to arrange your free discovery session.

Or, If You Want a Complete Website…

In other cases, I do the entire website as a Squarespace project for a project fee. For example, this was the case with a website that I did recently for a South Lake Tahoe law firm. For this client, I also delivered Internet marketing services including SEO and Google AdWords in order to attract new leads and prospective clients. In fact, as they say below, their firm has already booked new clients as a result of our work together:

“Jon Leland and ComBridges went above and beyond in building my firm’s website. Jon built us a very professional, attractive website while patiently taking the time to explain how to manage the website in a way that was easy to understand. It was obvious that Jon has a lot of pride in his work and was committed to boosting my firm’s business through our online presence. His hard work and our investment in our website has already produced positive, tangible results by bringing us many new clients.  I’d recommend Jon and ComBridges to anyone.”

— Scott Souers, Attorney, William B. Cherry & Associates

How Do You Know Which Approach to a New Website Is Best for You?

We have a three-column chart that provides a better understanding of the difference between these two approaches to building Squarespace websites.

Or, please check out my portfolio of Squarespace websites.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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. 😉