Hello, loyal listeners, this is Brandon Uttley. And today I want to thank you for listening to the Brand On podcast.
It’s time for me to retire this podcast and focus my efforts on my other, better-known podcast — Go For Launch. I’m in the process of relaunching Go For Launch, no pun intended, and I encourage you to check it out on iTunes and every other major podcasting platform. You can learn more at goforlaunch.io/podcast or goforlaunch.io/itunes.
Go For Launch is hosted on the awesome Libsyn platform. If you’re looking into creating a serious podcast, it’s the best I have used. I am proud to be an affiliate, and if you sign up for a new account and use the promo code LAUNCH, you will get the current month and the following month free as a trial.
I had been doing the Go For Launch for several years and put it on hold nearly four years ago. It’s a long story, but at the time I had someone who was supposed to join me as a co-host who bailed out. I was frankly burned out after producing nearly 100 weekly episodes singlehandedly.
This time, I’m going to keep the production quality high but more simple. It’ll just be me and a guest, or occasionally just me on the mic. I’ll still be talking mostly about business topics, branding, marketing — and how to juggle balancing running a business with maintaining a good quality of life.
Working from seems idyllic but it presents its own challenges, even for the most introverted type of person. And especially during the global pandemic! Here are 25 tips to make the most of working from home.
1. Rise and shine! Pick a regular time to get up every day.
2. Take a shower and get dressed. Wear appropriate clothing that puts you in the best state to work at your best. Don’t stay in your pajamas all day!
3. Structure Your Day. “Structure equals freedom and structure equals results.” - Craig Ballantyne
4. Be intentional. Make an intention for your overall day, as well as individual tasks. This will help you stay focused.
5. Set expectations - when you work, your availability, etc. Let your colleagues and other people know. If necessary, block off time on your calendar.
6. Separate your workspace from your living space.
7. Limit interruptions — i.e., notifications and noise (use Krisp to eliminate noise on Zoom calls, etc. - https://krisp.ai).
8. Set up and TEST your video conferencing. Use a good camera (such as Logitech) and microphone (I like the ATR 2100)—and also your background. Download Muzzle to avoid embarrassing notifications when you are screen sharing (for Mac): https://muzzleapp.com.
9. Single task.
10. Track your time.
11. Use a Pomodoro timer - work in concentrated time segments (I like Be Focused for Mac).
12. Re-engineer your day into 3 mini-days; this was inspired by Ed Mylett (see this great Medium post by Eduardo Lopez for more details).
13. Take regular breaks.
14. Stand up (vs. sitting all day).
16. Meditate - a good free app is Medito.
17. Eat healthy foods.
18. Drink lots of water.
19. Wear blue-light blocking glasses. The American Optometric Association advises that when working on a screen, every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
20. Join online communities - examples including Slack and Comarketing Space.
21. Find an accountability partner.
22. Leave the house regularly — example, schedule coffees and lunches with friends and peers. Harder to do now with COVID-19!
23. Listen to music or ambient background sound (one of my favorites is Coffitivity).
24. Keep a journal.
25. Plan ahead.
What about you? If you have a tip, share it as a voice memo at https://anchor.fm/brandonuttley and I may include it on a future podcast episode.
In today's episode, I provide 5 tips to improve your LinkedIn profile. These are excerpted from my new product, LinkedIMPROVED, an interactive checklist, course and coaching to help you dramatically improve your LinkedIn presence.
I mistakenly say there are more than 675 people on LinkedIn...I meant to say 675 million!
If you set up Zoom video conferences, you know the invitations are pretty boring! Zmurl.com aims to fix that, by letting you create beautiful landing pages for your Zoom events. You can even use Zmurl to prevent Zoombombers from getting in and ruining your events! The basic version is free.
Today I talk about Yac, a good tool for remote working.
Yac let's you asynchronously communicate with one or more teammates. Using their desktop or mobile apps, you essentially click a button and leave voice messages back and forth. It's a little bit like a digital version of a walkie-talkie for work purposes! It also automatically transcribes each voice message.
Currently, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Yac is free to use.
I interviewed Waikit Lau, founder and CEO of RemoteHQ. To get the most out of this, watch our video recording at https://uttley.in/remotehq-video.
RemoteHQ is an innovative online collaboration tool that combines video conferencing, shared browsing, screen sharing, whiteboarding, note taking, audio recording, written transcription and more.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Waikit is currently offering free access to their pro version.
Learn more and sign up at https://www.remotehq.com.
On today's Brand On podcast, I had the pleasure of speaking with Matt Barnett, the founder and Papa Bear (aka, CEO) of Bonjoro.com. Bonjoro is an app for sending individual personalized videos to welcome and onboard new customers and clients and provide customer service.
We recorded this during an unprecedented time, in which much of the world is suddenly working very differently due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many companies are scrambling to work remotely—at scale. And they are facing difficult challenges in maintaining outstanding customer service.
Matt talks about the Bonjoro platform, which can be used for 1-on-1 personalized video messages, as well as group video messages. He discusses different use cases, as well as platforms that integrate with Bonjoro—ranging from CRMs to email campaign systems, Slack, Zapier and more.
Bonjoro also recently debuted a new Chrome extension to make it even easier to send video messages from your laptop or desktop computer.
Finally, Matt discusses different tools the global Bonjoro team uses to build camaraderie.
Most of us share a lot of links these days. Whether we are emailing or texting someone a link, sharing on social media or putting a link in a blog post or whitepaper—links are pretty ubiquitous.
But many people don’t stop to think about the wasted opportunities of just sending plain, verbatim links.
The most obvious issue with a lot of links is their length. When links are really long, they just look bad and often have a bunch of random letters, numbers and symbols in them.
But aside from simple aesthetics, naked links are inefficient. From a business standpoint, you could be getting more out of the links you share. For example, you should always know at a minimum whether a link got clicked on. Even better, you could know exactly who clicked on a given link—if you are using tracking in many email campaign systems, for example.
Beyond just tracking clickthoughs though, there are other ways to really enhance your links. A few of these include:
1 - Making them shorter — this is the most obvious benefit, which makes links look better and contain fewer characters
2 - Branding your branding by using your domain name or a variation of your domain name
3 - Adding retargeting codes to any link you send — this means being able to later serve ads to people who have clicked on your enhanced links
4 - Adding information that can tell you exactly where your click links came from, using the bizarre sounding Urchin Tracking Module or UTM parameters. By the name, the name Urchin came from a company that was the predecessor to Google Analytics that was used by marketers to track the effectiveness of online marketing campaigns across various traffic sources and publishing media.
5 - For Ecommerce purposes, share links that properly attribute affiliate sales in multiple countries, such as Amazon affiliate links
There are many tools to accomplish this type of link-sharing goodness. Five of my favorites, which I will include in the show notes of this episode on Anchor.fm/brandonuttley include:
1- Google Analytics UTM Builder - a free Chrome extension - https://geni.us/chromeutm
2 - Bitly - https://bitly.com
3 - Geni.us
4 - Rebrandly - https://rebrandly.com
5 - Sniply - https://snip.ly
I hope you’ve learned a few things about the inherent power of link sharing and that you will check out some of these tools to make your links look and perform better!
Lots of people still do marketing and “lead generation” the hard way—surfing Google endlessly, poking around company websites looking for contact information, trying to match it up with LinkedIn profiles, etc.
Fortunately, there are more modern tools to stop wasting your time and start scaling your efforts. One of my favorite tools for lead generation is Seamless (link: https://login.seamless.ai/invite/brandon-uttley). This allow you to find leads at scale, with minimal effort.
Some might say tools like this are "cheating” but I disagree. Anything that cuts out wasted effort is worth looking into.
If you agree or have a different opinion, let me know at https://anchor.fm/brandonuttley.
If you want to advertise on Facebook and Instagram, of course you first need to have a business Page and administrative access.
But what happens if you lose access to the Page? For example, if someone sets it up for your business then leaves—and isn’t around to add someone else as an admin?
This happens all the time. In fact, I recently started working with a new client who had not been able to access their Facebook page—for three years!
They had tried in vain to get customer support from Facebook.
Sadly, people had messaged their businesses and engaged with their Page, and there was no way for them to respond. And naturally that meant they couldn’t advertise.
When they hired me, I too struggled to find any way to get support from Facebook. Numerous forms we both filled out went into the void with no response.
That’s when I discovered Facebook’s dirty secret.
On a whim, I decided to log into the account of another customer who was paying for ads. It was only then that multiple options to contact Facebook support appeared, including online chat.
I was able to connect with a kind person at Facebook who patiently listened to the issue my other client had about not being able to access their Page. After several days of back-and-forth emails and having them complete the proper forms, they were finally able to regain administrative access and start posting to their Page, responding to customers—and advertising!
But if you’re a business that has lost admin access, the Catch-22 is that you won’t find anyone to help you and therefore you can’t advertise on Facebook or Instagram until you do gain access.
Imagine how many millions of dollars Facebook loses because of this short-sighted stance on customer support. You won’t find the same level of overt discrimination from Google or Apple—there are readily available ways of contacting their support teams. And you don’t have to prove you are a customer first.
Get into the habit of using good file naming conventions for your photos, PDFs and other digital files. You’ll thank yourself later, your friends, family and colleagues will thank you—and Google thank you.
Have you ever been afraid or reluctant to post something online, for fear of what others may think—or believing that no one will care? It’s a pretty common feeling in my experience. My advice is simple: just go for it.
If you are starting a podcast and want full control, you will need to sign up with a reliable, affordable podcast hosting company. I recommend Libsyn, as you’ll hear more about in this podcast. And when you use the Libsyn discount code LAUNCH during the signup process, you’ll get two months free!
Libsyn launched in 2004 as the first podcast service provider. Since then, they have become the world’s leading podcasting hosting service, hosting more than 67,000 podcasts worldwide, including roughly 35% of the top 200 podcasts in iTunes. Libsyn is the most experienced podcast hosting platform for both audio and video.
Libsyn is easy to use, and it allows podcasters to publish their podcast episodes to all the major podcasting platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Pandora, iHeartRadio, SoundCloud, Stitcher, Spotify, TuneInRadio, YouTube and more.
Check out the Libsyn Directory, where you will find many of the world’s top podcasts, including The Joe Rogan Experience, WTF with Marc Maron and the Gary Vee Audio Experience—not to mention the Go For Launch podcast.
By now, you have most likely heard of Slack, the online communications platform that went public on the New York Stock Exchange on June 20, 2019.
But if you haven’t actually tried using Slack for your small business, you are missing out. First and foremost, it’s a great software to encourage collaboration with your team. While it won’t replace email, it could very likely cut down on unnecessary email streams and instead centralize a lot of your communications. And Slack goes far beyond just supporting internal communications.
The main benefits of using Slack are to allow both public and private discussions inside your company. For example, the administrators of your Slack community can create public channels that anyone in the company can join, like a channel called Watercooler or Hangout for general banter, or a channel for upcoming company events.
You can also choose to create other company-approved channels that are specific to key topics or departments, such as marketing, sales or office procedures. And at your option, you can also others in the company to create new channels.
In addition, the individual users within Slack can message each other directly, either one-on-one or in groups of several people. This is extremely useful for creating ad hocs group discussions that can be followed over time.
Chatting on Slack is fast and easy, whether you are using the desktop or mobile versions. Each user can set his or her notification preferences and even specify when they are away from the office.
In addition to standard messaging, you can also use Slack’s built-in video calling feature.
Over time, Slack can become a central repository for useful company information of all kinds, including not only all text posts but any uploaded files such as PDFs. That means users can search for and instantly find a wealth of information in one place. Many companies consider Slack a version of their own Wiki for important company documents.
Slack also integrates with dozens of other software tools, meaning that you can bring information into Slack from other systems like your CRM or calendar—or conversely send information from Slack to another system like your project management software or Google Drive.
This can be a boon to keeping a real-time finger on the pulse of your business. For example, a few of the things I do is get instant notifications in Slack if anyone is on the Go For Launch website and engages with us using a chatbot we have installed. Another integration is using the calendar system Calendly; whenever anyone schedules a call or meeting with me, I am notified in Slack. A third integration I use is to get a notification when someone subscribes to the Go For Launch email newsletter. The three integrations alone ensure that I stay on top of important events and can respond quickly.
The possibilities to tie into other systems are endless, and in fact you can use Slack’s API to build your own if you don’t find what you need in the Slack App Directory.
The biggest dilemma most companies will face is whether to use the free or paid version of Slack.
The free version of Slack works great for many companies, although it limits you to basic features which include 10,000 searchable messages, 10 apps and integrations, 1-to-1 video calls and two-factor authentication. The paid version, starting at about $7 per person per month, adds unlimited searching, unlimited app integrations and other advanced features such as the ability to provide guest access for others outside of your organization—or to share channels with other companies.
If you find yourself hitting the ceiling on searches, or decide that you really need more than 10 integrations, then you’ll probably be able to justify upgrading to a premium version. One way to try Slack and get a feel for its features is to join LearnSlack.com.
Many small businesses may not be aware of the free online promotional tools that Google offers.
To take advantage of these, go to business.google.com. You’ll need to register for a free Google My Business account and claim your business.
Once you do, you’ll get a free business profile where you can list essential information about your business, including a description, a list of products and services, hours of operation and more.
In fact, you can choose to get calls and messages through your profile, as well as create regular posts to promote your business, just like you would on Facebook or other social channels.
After you have been using Google My Business awhile, you’ll even get statistics on how many website clicks you get, phone calls, direction requests and bookings if you have them enabled.
Finally, another cool feature is a free marketing kit, available at https://marketingkit.withgoogle.com. You can choose from a few design options, then order a set of free promotional stickers or download printable and sharable items including posters, a table-tent design and social post graphics.
The lowly RSS feed has been around a long time. More than 20 years to be exact.
Originally dubbed RDF Site Summary—the RDF stood for Resource Description Framework, it was introduced in March 1999. It evolved into RSS, which now stands for either Rich Site Summary or my preference, Really Simple Syndication.
It’s essentially a geeky way for websites to publish frequently updated information, such as blog entries, news headlines, or episodes of audio and video series like this very podcast you’re listening to. When publishers of content use RSS feeds, they allow anyone with an RSS reader to subscribe to their feed, so whenever they publish someone new it will automatically show up.
Forget the techno-speak and just think of it as the ability to create your own virtual newspaper or magazine. You can literally subscribe to as many of these feeds as you want to, depending on your appetite for content.
I blame Google for a big decline in the popularity of RSS, when they killed off their free Google Reader software in 2013. I guess they thought RSS wasn’t going to be around much longer, and wasn’t worth supporting.
Personally, I adopted another product called Feedly and I’ve been happy with it ever since. I use their paid version which is $5 a month which I find well worth it. There are a bunch of other alternatives, such as one that I also use sometimes called Panda at usepanda.com.
I subscribe to many business publications and blogs. I benefit from keeping up with relevant news and articles related to marketing, as well as topics specific to some of the industries my marketing clients serve. Feedly makes it easy to quickly scan through dozens of feeds. I do this regularly to bookmark useful headlines to read later or share on social media.
I think most people in business can benefit from curating information pertinent to their role. RSS feeds are still a very effective way to do this, even if the technology seems a little dated.
I have been using a new online tool that I love for content creation. It’s called Frase (at https://www.frase.io). The system uses Artificial Intelligence with dramatic and useful results.
Frase excels in four specific ways to help marketers create better content.
The first feature is called Content Briefs. When you search for a keyword phrase, Frase will create a Content Brief which is essentially a very detailed overview that summarizes the results of that query from the top 20 search results. Each Content Brief lists the top sources for the keyword, along with related topics, summaries of each topic, key statistics that are mentioned and links. It’s like having your own personal research assistant who will do much of the heavy-lifting on researching a topic for you.
The second feature in Frase is Content Optimization. You start by pasting a link to either an article you have written or one from someone else. Frase will analyze it and give you precise information on how to modify the article to better rank on Google. Of course, if you are analyzing someone else’s article, you will want to use the initial article as a starting point only—not to merely modify what they wrote—which could get you in trouble—but to expand on the topic.
The third feature is Media Monitoring. This allows you to get an up-to-date stream of blog posts and news articles for topics that you are interested in. Frase will suggest publishers to follow or you can add your own.
The fourth feature is Content Curation. With this feature, you can quickly use Frase to curate and compile information that can then be shared through an email newsletter or on your website. Current direct integrations include Wordpress, Mailchimp, Hubspot and a few others. Or you can copy and paste curated documents, create a link to share or export a PDF.
I encourage you to check out Frase at frase.io and let me know what you think.
I was pleased to be interviewed in the July issue of Hearth and Home magazine, in an article by Mark Brock titled, “Enemy to Frenemy to Friend.” The piece is all about the trend of specialty retailers to use advanced digital marketing more and more.
A quick summary is that for many years, the Internet and all things digital were seen by specialty retailers as “the enemy.”
While online merchants continue to be primary competition for specialty retailers, a fundamental shift has occurred and is accelerating. Retailers are becoming more adept at using digital marketing—from websites and social media to search and email blasts—to connect with their customers and encourage them to come into the showroom.
Websites are morphing from brochure-ware to interactive sites that serve as the hub of digital marketing programs, providing a showroom experience online and a landing page for search while creating personality, credibility, and brand. Retailers are increasingly active on social media, particularly Facebook, because of its reach and targeting capabilities, and Instagram because of its emphasis on visual and lifestyle content and its growing popularity.
I ghostwrote a blog post for a sales training organization this week. Much of the post focused on the best practice of personalizing any messaging you send to prospective buyers.
It should go without saying that personalization is a no-brainer, but surprisingly most people don’t see it as more than just using the person’s name.
With all the tools at our disposal now, it is the height of laziness to not take the time to look for meaningful ways to connect with someone else on a personal level. Surely you can find something of interest that will resonate with the person.
If not, be advised that your cold or lukewarm outreach attempts will likely fail. I know they do with me. I can’t tell you how many times I get pitched from people who obviously haven’t taken even five minutes to learn something about me or confirm that I’m even a good prospect for them.
So much of our lives now are lived digitally.
We’re reading emails. We’re streaming videos. We’re consuming social media. We’re surfing Web pages. We’re talking to our stoic companion Alexa, asking what the weather is like outside and who won the game.
All that is great—the technology I mean. We have so much at our fingertips. It can be empowering.
But then you look up and remember there’s an actual world out here. There’s someone sitting across from you at the table, staring at her own device. You suddenly wish you were making more eye contact. That you weren’t worried about taking a selfie to preserve the moment.
There’s rain pattering on the window. You hear a clock ticking. You take in a breath and exhale. And again. Inhale. Exhale.
A sleeping dog sighs and shifts in place. A bird chirps.
You want to move. To get outside and feel the sun and hear the quiet murmuring of your heart beating.
You breathe in again and recall all the smells and tastes of summer from your youth—lotion on your skin, a charred hamburger, cotton candy, Coca-Cola, watermelon.
You feel the tug to pick up your phone and write these thoughts down. But you stop, and for a few moments disconnect and become conscious of yourself again, here, breathing, living in a world far vastly greater than the sum of zeroes and ones, not projected from screens but seen in all its natural vibrant glory.
I have been experimenting with a new online tool called Frase for content creation and curation.
I'm impressed with its capabilities. I has a number of features that let you quickly compile summaries of keyword-based topics that include the top sources found, how many words the top indexed posts contained, a quick summary of articles and more. It's a great way to create content briefs or curate top articles that can be shared on social media.
There are a number of integrations that make it easy for example to use Frase to curate the contents for an email newsletter then publish to Mailchimp or create a blog post and post it to WordPress.
Videos posted to social media sites continue to increase in popularity. And among the myriad reasons for posting more videos is simply to get more eyeballs. According to one study by Socialbakers, video posts have 135% higher organic reach than regular photo posts.
Facebook alone generates over 8 billion video views per day, with Facebook users watching more than 100 million hours of video in their news feeds daily.
But one of the key issues with videos is that many people watch them with their sound turned off, for various reasons. It’s most likely because they are watching them at work, or someplace like in bed where they don’t want to disturb others in the room.
In fact, Facebook determined that 85% of video on the network is watched without sound.
So if you’re posting videos online, you need to consider whether people will understand what’s being said with no sound. Chances are slim that they will.
The solution is pretty simple, actually. And that is to add video captions.
One of the best ways I’ve found to do video captions is using a website called Quicc.
In addition to getting a video file with words displayed on the screen that you can upload to Facebook, YouTube or wherever, Quicc also provides an SRT file. This is basically a specific type of plain text file that includes a timestamped version of the transcription. SRT files can be added to sites like YouTube and LinkedIn to provide for additional SEO benefits—meaning the full text of the video can be indexed and searched.
Check out Quicc at https://quicc.io. There’s a free version that let’s you caption up to two minutes of video a month, and several premium versions.
According to different pundits, the act of reading is on the decline.
For example, the website Statista points out that on average, Americans aged 20 to 34 spend a mere 0.11 hours reading daily, which amounts to less than seven minutes per day. They say that even though the time spent reading increases in older generations, the general trend is “worrying” – an overall average of only 0.28 hours spent reading per day. I find that hard to believe, given all the types of “reading” we face daily, including emails and texts.
Despite these declining numbers in readership, Statista had some positive things to note: As of 2018, 74 percent of adults stated that they have read at least one book in the past year, and additionally, Americans continue to spend around 110 U.S. dollars per year on reading.
LinkedIn is placing more emphasis on the use of hashtags. This is a good thing for the nearly 600 million people who use LinkedIn (more than 260 million on a monthly basis).
Hashtags are keywords preceded by the pound symbol (#). They are a way to instantly filter or curate any related posts or articles that have been published on Linkedin. An example is #marketing.
Here’s a quick guide to how to use hashtags to your benefit on LinkedIn.
Google recently announced that they are automatically transcribing podcast content. This is a very exciting development for podcasters and anyone who is publishing audio content such as this, which is being published in the form of an Alexa Flash Briefing as well as a traditional podcast using an RSS feed.
Recently, I started to introduce a new concept that I am calling comarketing. The idea behind comarketing is to impact small businesses in much the same way that coworking spaces stimulate collaboration within a shared environment. What Is Comarketing? While the world has had the practice of co-marketing (with a hyphen) for awhile, comarketing (one word) is different. The old definition of co-marketing is a marketing practice where two companies collaborate on promotional efforts for a co-branded offer. In a co-marketing partnership, both companies promote a piece of content or product, and share the results of that promotion, according to HubSpot. My new definition of comarketing is: An evolutionary practice in which businesses help each other by sharing best practices and experiences, developing collaborative partnerships and learning modern marketing strategies in a community setting My Goals Behind Comarketing I hope the idea of comarketing embodies the principle of “united we stand”—where there’s strength in a community that bands together to learn and teach each other. I think the best learning comes from discovering something yourself, then showing others...and being willing to admit you don't know everything and open to asking lots of questions. Second, with growing complexity comes confusion and uncertainty...neither of which is fun. I want to strip away a lot of the chaff and find the wheat again. Marketing shouldn't feel like rocket science. It's not. Third, I believe in pendulum swings—and I especially see a need for more 'high touch' activities to counter all the 'high tech' noise we all encounter. Be Part of the First Comarketing Space I am also launching the first Comarketing Space, a virtual community for businesses to share ideas, promote each other and learn about marketing strategies, tactics and tools. I’m excited about making a place where marketing feels fun again and not agonizingly complicated, seemingly impossible to keep up with and reduced to algorithms and data points. I believe the best marketing is and always will be word-of-mouth. I hope comarketing will become shorthand for truly collaborative marketing—with cooperation winning over competition. If you are interested in learning more or joining Comarketing Space, visit https://www.comarketingspace.com.
I read a recent blog post from Chris Brogan that talked about how little people are reading these days and on the other hand how much video they’re consuming. It’s worth reading his post for more tips on how to start doing video if like me you’re not a big fan of actually producing videos. https://chrisbrogan.com/lovevideo
My favorite site to discover new apps and software is Product Hunt at producthunt.com.
Every day, there are typically a dozen or more posts about new products. The best are voted up, and often the product creators will post special discounts just for members of Product Hunt. It’s free to join.
Product Hunt is also a great place to search when you need a certain type of software, for example something to help you design mobile friendly email layouts which I was looking for today.
Wondering what the top social media channels are for businesses in 2019?Buffer and Social Chain's recent State of Social 2019 report provides an in-depth look at what 2,000 businesses reported.
Top five channels include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. But just out of the top five was Pinterest, which is pretty powerful for many reasons. For example, about 24% of the US population—nearly 80 million people—use Pinterest monthly. And Pinterest gained more users from 2017-2018 than Facebook and Twitter combined, including lots of men!
Read more at the following links:
Today I’d like to chat about email for a few minutes.
I read a very interesting article last week by Mike Isaac from the San Francisco bureau of the New York Times, titled “The New Social Network That Isn’t New at All.”
In the article, Isaac writes:
“My favorite new social network doesn’t incessantly spam me with notifications. When I post, I’m not bombarded with @mentions from bots and trolls. And after I use it, I don’t worry about ads following me around the web.
“That’s because my new social network is an email newsletter. Every week or so, I blast it out to a few thousand people who have signed up to read my musings. Some of them email back, occasionally leading to a thoughtful conversation. It’s still early in the experiment, but I think I love it.
“The newsletter is not a new phenomenon. But there is a growing interest among those who are disenchanted with social media in what the writer Craig Mod has called “the world’s oldest networked publishing platform.” For us, the inbox is becoming a more attractive medium than the news feed.”
Read the full article here: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/19/technology/new-social-network-email-newsletter.html
Isaac goes on at length about how many of us are moving away from social networks in favor of more private modes of sharing: such as a Slack group instead of a tweet; or an encrypted Signal message instead of a status update.
I also read an interesting article last week about how kids in classrooms are chatting to each other inside of Google Docs—which is now the 21st century equivalent of passing paper notes around and trying not to get caught.
But the article is mostly about the virtues of the inbox. And say what you will about spam and all that, the lowly email inbox is still vitally important, especially for marketing and sales purposes. If you’ve been neglecting the email channel, now may be a great time to revisit your strategy.
I was inspired to do this episode after seeing an infographic from Maryville University at https://online.maryville.edu/blog/11-modern-marketing-skills-for-business-innovators-to-master.
They listed 11 "modern marketing skills for business innovators." I discuss their list and add a few of my own.
What do you think? Are there other must-have skills that today's marketers need to master?
If you ever share links through social media, you may be missing out on a remarkable opportunity...and that is being able to capitalize on who actually clicks on those links.
Think about it for a second. If you take the time to share a link and someone clicks it, that's great. You curated content and they found value, at least enough to visit the link you shared.
But what if you could keep track of all those people who clicked through your links? I don't mean by name--but based on that person browsing history. Through the power of what is now known as retargeting, you could be building lists of all those people who you later can advertise to using sites like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google and Twitter.
And it is not too hard to do this if you have the right tools. One of my favorite ways to do this is using a service called GeniusLink. When you create an account, you then have the option to add retargeting links from the sites I just mentioned. Once you do that, you could use a Chrome extension for example to share a link on social media. Now instead of just sharing a raw URL, the link you share will automatically add to the retargeting lists of whatever services you add in your Geniuslink dashboard. And that means any link you choose to share...not just ones to your own website. You don't even have to actively share the links on social media either--they could be sitting on your website.
Now where retargeting really gets powerful is not only the ability to target people who clicked through to a specific link—but the opportunity to create Lookalike Audiences in some ad platforms like Facebook. This means you could share links for awhile then instantly expand the potential audience for an offer you want to advertise, just by starting from your initial retargeting list.
I know this can sound a little confusing. But it's worth digging into it and understanding how this works in order to take advantage of the power of retargeting to get back in front of people who are interested in what you share--and more just like them.
If you want to try GeniusLink for free, go to www.goforlaunch.io/genius. If you do end up signing up for a paid plan, I will get a small referral fee. Thanks and I hope that will get you better results with your links online!
You may be tempted or even pressured to discount your product or service. But what may seem like a good idea at the time, to stimulate new business and short-term cash flow, could backfire. Here are some downsides to consider before you rush to cut your price.
Do you use Slack at work? Are you a big fan—or have you found it hard to get adoption? I created the Learn Slack community several years ago (https://www.learnslack.com) and it’s been a fun place to test different ways to use Slack, share tips and tricks and get help from the community.
Have you ever created a landing page that doesn’t convert? Well, that’s over now!
On March 15, 2019 (Friday), join the webinar 10 Instant Hacks to Improve Landing Page Conversions By 5X—hosted by Brandon Uttley (me!) and David Braun, founder of TemplateMonster and Weblium. We will explain how to maximize landing page effectiveness in your business—or for your clients.
What you’ll learn:
• Does your business need a landing page when you have a company website?
• How to increase landing page conversions by 5X
• How to launch landing pages quickly and easily
• 10 hacks to improve your landing page
Plus, there will be a landing page crash test LIVE.
Date and time: March 15, 2019 at 1pm (EST)
The webinar room capacity is limited 😬 — so hurry to reserve a front row seat!
Register here: https://uttley.in/webliumwebinar
Get ready to watch your landing page conversions take off!
I’m waiting to see if Amazon approves this as a flash briefing. I will let you know what happens. There was something funky going on yesterday where the podcast feed from Anchor.fm did not immediately publish to iTunes. Not sure what was happening there but nevertheless it does seem to be working now! So this will be another test to see how quickly this Anchor podcast pushes over to iTunes.
In my quest to connect my Anchor podcast RSS feed to Alexa to create a new Flash Briefing....I got an big error message. D’oh! So I’m updating the feed to see it that fixes the issue. Stay tuned, I’ll let you know what happens.