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Has Social Media Changed Customer Service?

Marketing podcast with Peter Shankman (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Custom ServiceMy guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Peter Shankman. Many of you may know him for his great Help A Reporter Out, (HARO) tool, which he sold recently to Vocus.

In addition to HARO, Peter is the founder and CEO of The Geek Factory, Inc., a boutique Marketing and PR Strategy firm located in New York City, and author of several books, including Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World

The adoption of social media on every level of business has certainly changed how we serve customers and created opportunities for those that choose to take advantage.

In this session we talk about ways to:

  • Choose online media that make the most sense for you
  • Avoid wasting time with platforms that won’t help you
  • Earn your customer’s loyalty, trust, and credibility
  • Learn from other companies’ viral “disasters”
  • Rebuild your credibility after you’ve taken a public “hit” online

So, how has social media changed customer service as a customer and a business?

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or

What Does Technology Want From Us?

Marketing podcast with Kevin Kelly (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Kevin Kelly

Kevin Kelly by eschipul via Flickr

I ran a post last week outlining the way that I use a piece of technology called Evernote to run much of my life. I commented, almost as an aside, that the one thing I still keep on paper is my daily to do list. I do this for a variety of reasons, but I was struck by that fact that a great deal of the conversation surrounding that post concerned that fact that many others agreed that they too kept elements of their daily routine decidedly analog.

To quote John Naisbitt’s 1985 Megatrends – “. . . the more technology we introduce into our lives, the more we seek a high touch balance, a human ballast.”

Of course Naisbitt was talking about copiers and typewriters, imagine how much more pressure we must feel today with a computer that could run a Space Shuttle mission in most everyone’s pocket and a 24/7 tweet meme running in our brains.

I see, feel and hear about the pressure small business owners feel every day and it’s a topic that find both important and interesting – in case your going to SXSW in Austin I’m on a panel called – Tweeting On the Weekends, where I’ll share some of my thoughts about employing and taming technology.

For this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast I had the pleasure of spending about 20 minutes with Kevin Kelly – cofounder of Wired Magazine where he served as Executive Editor for seven years, publisher of Cool Tools and author of New Rules for the New Economy and the recently released What Technology Wants

Before I jump into some of what we discussed I have to tell you that you should get your hands on a copy of New Rules – it’s out of print I’m told but there are used copies and a Kindle version. The book was very influential on my thinking about the changing role of technology back in 1998 or so and I’m amazed at how accurately the rules discussed have played out here in 2011.

Kelly is one of the closest things we have to a technology Renaissance Man. He was one of the pioneers of a great deal of the Internet technology that we take for granted today, yet spent large chunks of his life with no technology other than a sleeping bag and a flashlight.

He writes in What Technology Wants not in a straightforward futuristic way but rather in a historic backward looking way and it helps us realize that technology has been with us forever, it’s possibly the way we interact with it that’s changed the most.

I find it extremely compelling that for each and every vexing problem that more technology presents we typically find a way out or around it with more technology.

We are experiencing an exciting shift right now from the desktop to the mobile, from the static to the dynamic and from the scheduled to real time and that shift is creating such a fluid and sometimes dreaded need to adjust our thinking about what work is, how we interact, and how we consume information that I believe we are on the verge of something equal to or greater than the impact of the web’s early days in the mainstream.

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or Android app and listen to the show as well as about ten past shows on your phone.

Creating Customer Bliss

Marketing podcast with Jeanne Bliss (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is customer experience expert Jeanne Bliss. She it the author of I Love You More Than My Dog – 5 Decisions that Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty in Good Times and Bad.

I love that she frames customer loyalty as decisions. I think it’s so true that we can choose to create a great customer experience – that kind that makes people talk – but we have to do it intentionally and it has to run deep in the organization. Her book is all about getting to the root of what makes a company beloved.

According to Bliss the 5 decisions are: Decide to Believe, Decide with Purpose, Decide to Be Real, Decide to Be There, Decide to Say Sorry.

Anyone that reads this book and follows Bliss’ advice has the opportunity build a more human business – one that will attract customers and staff.

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or Android app and listen to the show as well as about ten past shows on your phone.

How to Find Part Time and Intern Help and Gigs

Marketing podcast with Cari Sommer (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Image TheNickster via Flickr

The trend towards virtual work and virtual workers has grown so large that a robust industry has developed around the location and placement of part-time, project oriented workers. Small business can and does benefit from the fact that organizations, such as Elance and Odesk or crowd sourced services such as crowdSPRING and 99Designs, can help them get some of what they need from every corner of the globe at very affordable prices.

Urban Interns, founded in 2009 by New Yorker Cari Sommer and Lauren Porat, has created a marketplace focused on connecting companies with talented candidates looking for internships, part-time jobs, freelance work and contract positions. The company was started in New York City to with a focus on interns and has grown to serve virtual and on site needs across the country.

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The 4-Hour Entrepreneurial Body

Marketing podcast with Tim Ferriss (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

This time of year the Internet, media and bookstores are filled with books, stories and advice on losing weight and getting in shape so the timing of this week’s Duct Tape Marketing Podcast should be right in sync.

Tim FerrissMy guest, Tim Ferriss, is the author of the wildly popular 4-Hour Workweek and the newly released 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman.

Some might wonder, beyond the fact that Tim’s books are two of the hottest selling in recent years, why I would do a show on weight and conditioning. Owning a business is not for wimps. It’s physically and mentally demanding and I’ve often thrown in posts about the relationship of exercise, eating right, getting enough sleep and staying on top of your game mentally as these are so important if you want to run and grow your business in the long run. And, if you’ve put 50 astern, as I have, it becomes a competitive must.

The book starts with a quote from Virgin’s Richard Branson – when asked what business owners could to to become more productive he stated plainly – exercise.

It should come as no surprise that Tim’s latest book is also stirring a bit controversy. Tim’s methods are often considered odd and his tone can be a seen as cocky, but there’s little denying that he’s built a following that verges on worship and his devotees are singing his praises for the results they’ve achieved using his teachings.

This book, while seemingly an odd follow-up to the 4-Hour Workweek is actually a return to Tim’s roots in the exercise and nutrition industry and probably the book Tim has always wanted to write. (Ironically, the success of the 4-Hour Workweek made it possible.) You can find additional book related content at the 4-Hour Body site.

Since the age of 18 Ferriss has recorded every workout and meal and turned himself into a human guinea pig running test after test and challenging much of the conventional nutrition wisdom. He outlines much of what he has accomplished and presents many quick fix solutions and backs up his research with academic journals and sources.

Like the 4-Hour Workweek some will balk at much of the advice that feels counterintuitive – he actually seems to suggest losing weight by eating more and exercising less in one chapter – but I think you’ve got to look at the big idea here and that is the idea of taking your health, diet and exercise into your own hands and start playing with what works for you and you only.

Self-testing and tracking your diet and exercise using online tools such as Daily Burn and an iPhone is how you find the right balance for optimal performance whether you’re trying to run an actual marathon or the one found inside the walls of the typical small business.

I like this book, but understand you’re free to take parts of it with a grain of salt. The book presents new ideas and challenges old ones and brings the idea of “self-hacking” or open source wellness to the forefront once again. Given people’s fascination with diet related books my guess is this book will sell more than the 4-Hour Workweek.

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or Android app and listen to the show as well as about ten past shows on your phone.

Has the Definition of a Job Changed Forever?

Marketing podcast with Scott Gerber (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

job search

Image: Ed Yourdon via Flickr

The current generation of students graduating from college is finding that the combination of a massive evolution in how companies go to work and the current economic downturn has altered the view of what a job is forever.

My guest for this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, Scott Gerber, thinks that’s just fine and in his new book urges Gen Y and anybody else that will listen to Never Get a Real Job.

Gerber’s take on the traditional job is that it’s like putting all your eggs in one basket and handing the basket off to someone else you no longer control how the eggs are handled. As someone that’s owned my own business for over 25 years I guess I would have to agree.

Gerber has created something he calls the Young Entrepreneur Council as a tool to help the Gen Y generation of workers figure out how to be more entrepreneurial rather than continue to try and fight their way into a system that Gerber claims doesn’t want them.

The Young Entrepreneur Council is billed as an advocacy group made up of many of the world’s top young entrepreneurs, business owners and thought leaders. It’s mission is to teach young people how to build success.

While Gerber is not necessarily suggesting that every young person’s only option is starting a company he is saying that you need to take control and become a self sufficiency expert and start getting much more proactive about your financial future rather than handing out resumes.

Gerber’s book, Never Get a Real Job, is a very practical, hands on guide for how to actually live the dream of never getting a real job by someone that’s done it. Some may find the language and informal style off putting, but he is clearly talking to a specific audience the way one friend would advise another.

Check out Scott’s Never Get a Real Job site to learn more.

I love the topic of the changing landscape and, as a parent of four of these Gen Y types, I suggest that you also check out this fabulous piece by business coach Pam Slim – Mentor the Next Generation or Risk Irrelevance

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or Android app and listen to the show as well as about ten past shows on your phone.

Accelerate Your Startup

Marketing podcast with Brad Feld (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Do More FasterOne of the best ways to get your new business up and going fast is to learn from those that have been there, done that.

For this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast I visit with venture capitalist and entrepreneur Brad Feld, cofounder of TechStars, managing director of Foundry Group,  and coauthor of the new book Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup.

TechStars is a mentorship-driven startup accelerator with operations in four U.S. cities. Once a year in each city, it funds about ten Internet startups with a small amount of capital and surrounds them with around fifty top Internet entrepreneurs and investors. Historically, about seventy-five percent of the companies that go through TechStars raise a meaningful amount of angel or venture capital.

The book, Do More Faster, is organized into seven themes: Idea and Vision, People, Execution, Product, Fundraising, Legal and Structure, and Work and Life Balance. A great deal of the content is contributed by TechStars participants and mentors.

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or Android app and listen to the show as well as about ten past shows on your phone.

The Content Inspiration and Creation Rules

Marketing podcast with Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes or subscribe via other RSS device (Google Listen)

Ann HandleyCC ChapmanThe need to produce lots of educational content is a given these days – I’ve written about both how to find inspiration and how to create a systematic approach to content generation in recent posts.

I think, perhaps, most people get this idea so the focus is turning squarely on practical ways to get this done. For this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast I visit with Marketing Profs Chief Content Officer, Ann Handley and Internet Marketing Expert and Founder of Digital Dads, C.C. Chapman about their new book Content Rules.

The title of the book has an obvious double meaning – as in these are the rules and dude, content ruuuules (think Wayne and Garth) – and it’s one of the first books that really does lay out the path for how, when and why to produce content that will help you achieve your marketing objectives in this information crazed world we find ourselves living.

And since this is a book and podcast about content I thought I would share a list of other content about the book:

You can listen to the show by subscribing the feed in iTunes or a variety of other free services such as Google Listen (Use this RSS feed) or you can buy the Duct Tape Marketing iPhone app. (iTunes link – Cost is $2.99) or Android app and listen to the show as well as about ten past shows on your phone.