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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited Transcript:

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

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

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

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

It’s About The Process

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

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

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

A Non-Linear Shift

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

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

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

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

A Challenge for You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edited Transcript:

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

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

Simpler is Better

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

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

iPhone Video Advantages

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

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

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

Tips for Better Audio

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

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

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

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

Video File Transfer via AirDrop 

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

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

Create a Video “System” That Works for You

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

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

And, see you again next week!

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

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

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

Check out this video, won’t you?

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

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

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

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

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

Seth Godin & Tim Peters on Blogging

Thanks for watching! I look forward to your feedback.

Edited Video Transcript:

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

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

The Power of Blogging

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

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

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

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

Seth Godin

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

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

Tom Peters

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

Weekly Makes All the Difference

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

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

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

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

Separating Production from Distribution Made This Possible

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

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

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

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

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

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!

Facebook Live Social Video: I Gave It a Try. Here’s What Happened.

IT ALL STARTED ON INAUGURATION DAY…

I traveled from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. to protest during Trump’s inauguration and to be part of the Women’s March on Washington. I did a number of Facebook Live webcasts and the response blew my mind. One of the videos in that series (the second one below) has had well over 4,000 “views.”

How did that happen?

I got “high” with some help from my friends. Well, one friend in particular, Jeffrey Grimshaw who used a technique called “social bookmarking” that he learned from me. Go figure. 😉

Here’s our conversation recorded using Zoom Webinar and webcast via Facebook Live:

Here’s the Facebook Live video from the Mall in Washington, D.C. immediately after Trump’s Inauguration:

I’ll share more soon. For now here are two significant outcomes from this experiment:

  1. There’s been so much enthusiasm for social media action in response to Trump, including two different requests for educational programs about “Social Media for Social Action” that I’ve created a quickie website that includes those two course descriptions. Please contact me if you’re interested in a course like this in some form, in some place, or virtually.
  2. I’m doubling down on “Social Video.” It is going to become a major focus, including in some form on my Patreon channel (hint: this channel/community/tribe is a place where you can support my work if you are so moved.)

Much more to come. Stay tuned.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This Is What I Do

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

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

I hope to see you there.

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

Blab: The New Social Video Streaming Platform ROCKS!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Major Website Design Learning: Squarespace Makes It Fun Again

Our new Squarespace website design options—both a done-with-you process and lower priced projects—have taught me important lessons while also helping me to help clients better and to enjoy my work more.

[testimonial author=”Will Lopes, owner, William Patrick Design Builders”]”The future of website design is here! Squarespace in the able hands of Jon Leland was a revelation. He guided me through a re-design more quickly, elegantly and affordably than I imagined possible. Now, I have a modern, good-looking, mobile-friendly website; AND it’s on a platform that empowers me to have FUN evolving it by myself. I couldn’t recommend Jon’s unique approach more highly.”[/testimonial]

william-patrick-buildersI think the testimonial above says a ton!

As I’ve continued to experiment with Squarespace as a more cost effective and easier to use platform (vs. WordPress) for small business websites, I’ve not only learned lessons about the need for clarity in differentiating these fresh approaches; but, even more importantly, I’ve uncovered new ways of serving clients that are both better for them and more fun for me.

Not “One Size Fits All”

I recently did a “1-to-1 Get-It-Done” Squarespace website session with Christine Fischer via Skype. She lives in Spain and conducts Truffles Tours there.

While Christine appreciated her experience as “fun” with results that she said are “functional and elegant,” she also gave me some valuable, “constructive feedback.” sitka-servicesShe told me that she wasn’t completely clear when we started that the 1-to-1 Get-It-Done package was just a session and not a complete website project.

I was really glad that I took the time to listen to her feedback and I’ve already incorporated her suggestions by positioning the “1-to-1” offer more distinctly, as she suggested. I explained on the “1-to-1” offer page that this session is a way to build a “foundation” for your website and be empowered to move forward on your own. That much I can promise. A complete website in three hours, I can not promise. 😉

I took that input, updated the offer page and then went a extra step by creating a new 3-column chart that’s now featured on my website’s “Website Design Services” page.

A New Chart to Visualize the Differences

web-design-development-options-chartNow, hopefully, thanks to this chart, people can quickly and easily understand the differences between the various ways that we are now serving up new client websites.

Truthfully, for me, doing this chart was also useful because I’ve been experimenting by developing this offers and they needed to be more clearly articulated.

Now, as these new approaches to website design and development have become successful in terms of completing both sessions and projects (please see our new Squarespace website design portfolio page for examples), and, as I’m seeing 1-to-1 Get-It-Done clients complete their own websites, my whole experience with Squarespace has become more and more satisfying.

In fact, it’s become downright enjoyable!

And that’s the bottom line: I love sharing my expertise and being hands on. Doing these projects and sessions have given me a new way to be helpful and one that is empowering for clients. Yay!

Yes, Squarespace has made web design fun again.

Squarespace Websites Cookin’ New Client Revenue + Free Webinar Slides & Video Replay Link

There’s only one thing happier than a happy client, and that’s a happy client who is making more money as a result of their new website. And, in this case, I’m also happy because it’s one of my 1-to-1 Get-It-Done Squarespace Websites.

Larry Stroup WallpaperingReal Results

Larry Stroup is exactly the kind of small business who has benefited of my ability to get more done, well, and efficiently using Squarespace and the 1-to-1 Get-It-Done Website collaborative process. Larry is a sole proprietor wallpaper hanger and business owner in Maryland. Frankly, his old website was dated, ugly and ineffective. Now, he reports:

“I’ve been so busy from the new website’s traffic, that I’ve put off updating the photos on the site. I think the “Contact” page has really made a big difference in the amount of clients I have been getting… probably 4 or 5 times what the previous site was generating. I can’t say thanks enough!”

Another Day Another Website

ScottsWines.com Personal Virtual Wine Sommelier Last Thursday, I had the delightful experience of taking another client Squarespace website live, ScottsWines.com. This one was for Scott Walker, a “personal virtual sommelier” in neighboring Sonoma County (FYI, as I did with Larry, Scott and I also worked together via phone and screen sharing.)
One of the fun, ease-enhancing things in this process was discovering Squarespace’s GoDaddy integration. For all of my previous Squarespace websites, I had to edit the domain’s DNS records with the client’s domain registrar (a minor technical hurdle). This time however, it took just a couple of clicks! I love that kind of ease. 😉 Click here to read the Squarespace Help file if you want more details on how this works.

Another Week Another Webinar

You may or may not know that I did a half-hour video webinar last week on the advantages of Squarespace over WordPress for small business websites. In many cases, these are advantages that can save small businesses $1,000’s. For your convenience and “viewing pleasure” I’m posting the SlideShare for you below; or, if you’ve got a few minutes, you can view the webinar video replay if you click here (registration required). Enjoy!

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.

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