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Rules For Modern Selling

Marketing Podcast with Bill Caskey

20-RULES-FOR-MODERN-SELLING-FREE-EBOOK-250The game of selling has not really changed that much – the job is to build relationships, provide value and help people solve their problems – in the end, if you are to succeed, that means selling things.

What has changed dramatically, however is the way you accomplish many of these things. The way you sell must change because the way people buy has certainly changed.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, is Bill Caskey, founder of Caskey Sales Training and author of Same Game, New Rules.

In this show Caskey contends that the way you show up and even how you as a seller are positioned must change.

I start my upcoming book, Duct Tape Selling, off with the idea that in order for those who sell to succeed they must change the entire context of how a salesperson in viewed in the world.

Listen to the interview and then grab this free report called 20 Rules for Modern Selling

Are You an Instant Authority?

Marketing Podcast with Paul Evans

instant authority

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We live in an age where it seems everyone is an author, speaker, consultant and, yes, authority on something.

Now, having said that I am fully aware that I happen to be an author, speaker, consultant and self anointed authority. I’ve been at this gig for twenty-five  years now and in the last few I’ve become somewhat of an overnight success.

In case you’re not a long time reader here I’m attempting sarcasm.

Everyone wants to be an authority, but not everyone wants to do the work.

Becoming an authority in your town, your field or your network means different things to different people, but in the context of business it often means more exposure, higher fees and a much smoother path to marketing your goods.

The part that’s often left out of that equation, however, is that it takes work, it takes vision, it takes a plan and it takes showing up every day for a long time and talking about the exact same thing.

It takes a willingness to put yourself out there because you truly believe in a point of view, it takes writing even when no one is reading and speaking, even when no one is paying you to do so and, one more thing, it takes practice – lots of practice.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Paul Evans. Paul has been teaching people how to be better speakers and performers for more than a decade. In fact, I purchased one of Paul’s training courses almost fifteen years ago.

Evans teaches people the skills to be better, more engaging speakers and in this session we talked about just what it takes to make speaking an essential tool in your authority building toolbox.

It’s easy to call yourself a speaker, it’s a lot harder to be a speaker that moves people to action rather than boring them to tears.

Among other things Evans shares his tips for how to avoid becoming a human tranquilizer!

Practice, hard work, longevity – it all happens one day at a time.

The Visual Organization

Marketing Podcast with Phil Simon

Visual thinking is one of the more recent trends in business that has now reached into every arena. Organizations are rushing to become more visual. You need look no farther than the popularity of sites like Pinterest and Instagram to realize that people are inherently drawn to pictures.

Data Visualization

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Marketers have long realized that power of images to help illustrate a point, simplify a concept and evoke an emotion.

Online surfers, particularly younger online surfers, have grown accustomed to scanning pages and sites to quickly assess, in a sea of data, if something merits a more focused bit of attention.

A growing use of this visual trend is the visualization of data. Fueled by massive internal and external data sets organizations are turning to visual aids to help make and communicate meaning through pictures over spreadsheets.

The use of Infographics, as they are often called, loosely created an entire marketing asset category as organizations rushed to create poster-like graphics that tell a story and hopefully go viral.

Today, data visualization has grown up to the point that it’s no longer simply a trendy way to create marketing graphics. Data visualization techniques and data driven organizations are starting to use visualization as a leadership and management tool. (To be fair many organizations have done this for years, it’s just much more accessible in some of the new ways to analyze and communicate.)

As data journalist David McCandless said in this TED talk: “By visualizing information, we turn it into a landscape that you can explore with your eyes, a sort of information map. And when you’re lost in information, an information map is kind of useful.”

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Phil Simon. Simon has written six books on management including his most recent – The Visual Organization: Data Visualization, Big Data, and the Quest for Better Decisions.

As we discuss in this interview Amazon is, of course, the poster child for its use of data as a decision making tool. In many cases Amazon can offer next or same day shipping because they have a pretty good idea of who is going to order what and when.

Simon is also quick to point out that “a company with a dysfunctional culture and no sense of innovation can’t save itself via dataviz.” Like many new things that’s a key point. This is a tool and it’s what you do with it that matters.

Many organizations will use new data visualization tools to create pretty dashboards and little else.

Simon points to an example of how Netflix uses data visualization to ask and answer questions. Instead of saying I bet people often do X when then do X, they simply ask as many seemingly odd and random questions of the data and make discoveries that help drive their business in ways that no competitor can.

And that I think is the essence of this new era of visual data – data doesn’t simply replace intuition, it helps make intuition smarter. If you’re open to asking questions and becoming a data scientist you’ll discover things you can’t imagine from numbers on a page.

Here are some data visualization tools worth checking out -  Visual.ly, Many Eyes, iCharts, and one from LinkedIn Labs that allows you to view your world connections.

Like It or Not You’re Being Compared to TED

Marketing Podcast with Carmine Gallo

2014 marks the 30th anniversary of the phenomenon knows simply as TED. At this point in time an entire generation has grown up feasting on TED Talks.

John Jantsch TEDxKC

In the world of communication TED Talks are the gold standard by which not only formal presentations are gauged, but most forms of communication are gauged.

Within the thousands of successful TED Talks there runs a somewhat common thread, or formula perhaps, that has transformed the way presenters present, leaders lead and teachers teach.

Mastering, or at least acknowledging, this art form has become required study for marketers, business leaders and communicators alike.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Carmine Gallo, author of Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds.

Gallo has made a career out of studying TED Talks and in his book he breaks down the elements of the most successful talks. The book is filled with example after example of real talks and, along with the TED repository, acts as a bit of a master’s class in the art of great presenting.

If you’re not tapping the TED library to get better at speaking you’re missing out on a tremendous free training resource.

Gallo starts our interview by suggesting, as I have in the title of this post, that in business today your communication skills are likely being compared to the TED standard.

Gallo’s book breaks down the very specific elements you need to master, but in the end, there’s one skill that will take you farther than any other and that’s the ability to communicate with stories.

I’ve always contended that the best leaders, the best marketers, are the best storytellers and at its very core the art of the TED Talk is framed in the art of storytelling.

How Much Transparency Is Too Much?

Marketing podcast with Pat Flynn

Transparency is a business concept that’s been tossed around liberally these last few years. To some extent social media has forced organizations to be more transparent, because they no longer had the luxury of hiding behind press releases and company spokespersons.

I believe first and foremost in transparency in all things, but how far is too far? I’m not offering a prescription or solid opinion on that. For this post I want to start a discussion as much as anything.

transparency

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I believe that transparency, sharing information, revealing the numbers, opening the books or whatever form it takes is a healthy core value and not a marketing play.

Internet marketers have often misused the power of transparency by attempting to “prove” how much money their system makes through the display of large checks and bank statements. This is precisely the manipulative guise of transparency I’m not talking about.

One of the truly innovative good guys in this space is my guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, Smart Passive Income creator Pat Flynn.

From the very beginning Pat has published his money making numbers in his monthly report as a way to validate the advice he is giving to others. Here’s where Pat is totally different than most and why he’s so immensely popular. Pat reports on how he does what he does, even when and as it doesn’t work as often as when it does. He refers to himself as a human crash dummy taking all the lumps and sharing in an often open and sometimes humorous way. Don’t get me wrong, Pats wins far outweigh his losses, but it’s this level of openness that has created a large, loyal and trusting community.

My interview with Pat is actually a ramble through a number of online topics, but I wanted to anchor it with the specific topic of transparency that has served him so well.

If information is power then when you share the information you spread the power and that’s one of the best ways to build a healthy internal culture. A healthy internal culture usually seeps out into the market and defines how the world sees your brand.

When everyone in an organization knows how much everything costs, how profit is made and how to save money or make money for the organization, they are better equipped to make decisions like an owner. Have you ever wondered why nobody cares about your business like you do? Maybe it’s because you know more about why you care, how you care and what difference you’re trying to make – have you shared that information?

I stared this post with a title that asked if you can share too much and I pose that question to you the reader really.

Buffer, an organization I’ve written about in the past, takes public transparency to a place few have. In addition to publishing goals and business performance updates, Buffer recently published how their salaries are determined and who, by name, makes what. This move created a tremendous amount of buzz both from those that thought it was bold and innovative and from those that thought it was reckless and overboard.

I believe that transparency along with consensus and autonomy are essential elements of any healthy business and wrestling with getting these elements just right is one of the greatest challenges that small business face.

So, now your turn. How do you make transparency work?

Why Earned Media Is Essential to Marketing Success

Marketing podcast with Christina Daves

The term “earned media” is pretty fashionable these days. While it’s certainly taken on expanding meaning of late, I’ve been using it for years.

earned media

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I’ve long felt that the blending of advertising, referrals and public relations (what I’ve always called earned media) is the recipe for effective lead generation.

In today’s vernacular that might be stated as the convergence of paid media (advertising), owned media (content assets) and earned media (public relations combined with all manner of customer generated content and sharing.)

So, let’s further define what earned media is.

Earned media is the kind you, well, earn, you don’t create it or buy it, it comes about when you do something worth sharing. That sharing might come in the form of a feature in your local paper or it just might as likely come when your friends and fans tell their friends and fans about your upcoming webinar.

Either way, it must be an essential leg of your lead generation efforts, and here’s why.

In the information age the most effective form of advertising is advertising that creates awareness for valuable, educational, trust building content. That content may be in the form of an ebook, blog post or Google+ Hangout, but the intent of the paid media is to drive attention and engagement with an organization’s owned media.

By adding earned media to this equation you potentially create leverage that can multiply and carry your paid and owned efforts to places you might never reach. So you see, it’s not just about numbers; it’s about access and trust.

This week’s guest on the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Christina Daves, author of PR for Anyone and an inventor whose talent for generating earned media put her business on the map. In fact, she was so successful she started a business to teach others how to generate PR on a budget.

Earned media, the process that enables and encourages media outlets and end users alike to create and promote messages that benefit your brand is the secret to marketing success.

The pool of potential amplifiers now extends far beyond traditional media outlets. Every member of your community is a potential source of earned media. Anyone that retweets, reviews, embeds, shares, comments, likes and curates your paid and owned media elements generates earned media.

If, in fact, we then proactively build campaigns and processes to turn these amplifiers into subscribers, attendees, participants and ultimately customers, we create the ultimate lead generation machine.

The place where earned, owned and paid media converge, the place where community members can no longer tell the difference, is where the environment for ultimate customer loyalty exists.

You earn market attention when you produce and promote something people want to talk about, but then earned media takes something and creates the kind of momentum that no amount of paid media can.

Creating great content is about creating earned media. Optimizing your blog, website and brand assets is about creating earned media. Your email newsletter is about creating earned media. Your social networking activity is about creating earned media.

Earned media is the ultimate amplification tool when used in conjunction with paid and owned media.

The Future of Social Media

Marketing Podcast with Mike Stelzner

social media future

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The title of today’s post is one that I could write on a monthly basis. What’s next in social media is a topic that seems to create a great deal of angst in marketing circles.

I suppose the reason is that in some fashion social media has changed the game of marketing in ways that feel foreign to most and it’s not done changing. In fact, the only constant is change and evolution and that creates confusion. Seems like once a social media expert figures out how to tell people the best way to use Facebook, poof, it all changes.

In back to back emails I received solicitations to learn a) Why Facebook is Dead and b) How to Make a Killing on the Coming Facebook Gold Rush. So, it’s no wonder the future of social media seems confusing.

For this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast I visited with Social Media Examiner founder Mike Stelzner. We talked about how he’s successfully promoted his big, live event Social Media Marketing World (disclosure: I’m speaking at the event) held in March in San Diego and we talked a bit about the future of social media.

Frankly, I think Mike and I agree that the future of social media for the typical small business hasn’t changed much at all. The big social networks are going public and answering to the cry of stockholders to show ever increasing profits by creating another promotional channel for big brands. Social media for the small to mid size firms, however, has always been and shall remain one of the best places to gain exposure for great content. If the social networks forget that completely there won’t be any reason to use the network.

Shares, likes, embeds and retweets are the currency of marketing in social media and always have been. Marketers like to call this earned media, but no matter what you call it, it doesn’t happen without share worthy content. In fact, share worthy content makes your advertising or paid media more effective as well.

So, the future of social media is integration! Social media drives convergence and in some ways makes all of your marketing efforts more effective when properly viewed as an integration and audience building tool set.

How Do You Cultivate Work You Love?

Marketing Podcast with Cal Newport

Cal Newport

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Common wisdom suggests that if you love what you do you’ll do just fine. I’ve found that while passion for your chosen line of work is certainly important – if you don’t get good and what you do and people don’t value what you do – money will not necessarily follow.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, Cal Newport author of So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love, takes this even farther to suggest that skill, not passion, is the key to successfully finding work your love.

The problem with “Follow your passion” it that it assumes you have preexisting passion and that if you match this passion to your job you’ll enjoy that job.

Newport advocates cultivating your passion as a more realistic approach.

“Cultivate” implies that you work toward building passion for your job. It requires you to approach your work like a crafstman. Honing your ability, and then leveraging your value, once good, to shape your working life toward the type of lifestyle that resonates with you.

Cultivating a passion requires you to try new things in order to discover what you’re good at and then take the time to get so good you come to enjoy it.

This approach is a lot like starting a business. In the beginning you have an idea about who you want to serve and what you want the business to become, but quite often as you experiment with how to build it you find that it naturally evolves into something very different.