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Marketing Is Your Most Important System

Image: Deliver Magazine

A lot of people ask me what Duct Tape Marketing is. Usually Duct Tape Marketing represents one of the various parts they’ve come into contact with.

There’s this blog, a podcast, a newsletter, books, self-study courses, and a network of independent Duct Tape Marketing consultants around the globe.

Even with all of those tangible representatives of Duct Tape Marketing, more than anything it’s an audacious idea that marketing for the small business can be simple, effective and affordable when practiced in a systematic fashion.

It’s my experience that any business, regardless of industry, can benefit from this view and that marketing can be stripped down to the effective implementation of these 7 steps and a big part of my business purpose revolves around bringing this message to the small business world

  1. Develop strategy before tactics – Base all decisions on an ideal customer and core message of difference
  2. Embrace The Marketing Hourglass – Look at every potential prospect and customer touchpoint and design a remarkable experience
  3. Adopt the publishing model. – Commit to producing content that builds trust and educates
  4. Create a total web presence. – Develop a plan that takes advantage of the SEO and social media aspects of being found
  5. Orchestrate the lead generation trio. – Use technology to create multiple ways to generate leads via advertising, public relations, and referrals
  6. Drive a lead conversion system. – Develop a sales system that everyone in the organization can use from initial contact to results review
  7. Live by the marketing calendar. – Make marketing a habit by establishing monthly, weekly and daily action steps

I outlined each step in detail for this week’s AMEX OPENForum post – Read the entire article here – 7 Steps to Creating a Sure-Fire Marketing System

Free Live Training Facebook for Small Business

Seems like Twitter did a great deal of the headline grabbing last year, while Facebook steadily pushed on to become one of the most visited sites in the world – surpassing Yahoo and even eclipsing Google on day in day out traffic some days.

Everyone knows Facebook has become a powerful business tool, right? Well, maybe, but what I find now is that most small businesses want to know how to tap the power of this new platform with practical methods that get results. I’ve rounded up three Facebook and social media experts and put together a free live Facebook training session just to help small businesses that are new to Facebook or those that want to find ways to make Facebook pay for business and take it to the next level

Join me January 21st at Noon CST as I host a panel discussion and training with Dave Kerpen, Mari Smith, and Nick O’Neill in a live webinar discussion.

Listen to the archive recording from the event here. (All participants will also receive a free Facebook for Business Greatest Hits, a pdf ebook featuring articles from each of the panel participants.)

Panelists include:

Dave Kerpen

Dave Kerpen is the CEO of theKbuzz, a social media and word of mouth marketing firm. Dave is one of the leading experts on social media and Facebook marketing. Dave and his work have been featured on CNBC’s “On the Money”, ABC World News Tonight, the CBS Early Show, and the New York Times, and countless blogs. In 2009, Dave spoke at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Conference, Print Services and Distribution Association (PSDA) Conference, Yale Club of New York, and Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Summit, just to name a few. .

Mari Smith

Mari Smith is President of the International Social Media Association and has been dubbed the Pied Piper of the Online World by FastCompany.com. She is most known for her Facebook marketing expertise and her emphasis on relationships first, business second. Mari has been a passionate leader in the social media world since 2007 and is an in-demand Social Media Keynote Speaker; she travels the United States and internationally to provide keynotes and in-depth training for her clients and students.

Jesse Stay

Jesse Stay, the self-proclaimed “Social” Geek, is a speaker, author, blogger, and entrepreneur, who writes and consults on the topics of social media and new media, bridging the gap between “technical” and “social” for both marketers and developers. Jesse wrote two books, his first book, “I’m on Facebook–Now What???“, discusses the possibilities of improving your career, family, business, and life through Facebook

Register here for Jan 21 Facebook Event

GoToWebinar LogoThis webinar is presented by GoToWebinar as part one of a three part series

Yahoo Pipes a Smokin Radar Tool

Yahoo Pipes is a powerful composition tool to aggregate, manipulate, and mashup content from around the web. Frankly, it has been around for a couple of years now and while it’s advanced a bit, I don’t think it has ever really caught on in a big way. The interface is a little funky and takes some getting use to, but once you do, it’s a pretty cool tool.

Pipes can do some very complex things, but what I think it does better than most other options is allow you to aggregate, sort and filter many RSS feeds into one. So, you might be asking at this moment, why would I want to do that.

I can think of number of reasons pretty quickly:

  • Monitor mentions of your brand across multiple sources
  • Monitor mentions of your competitors
  • Monitor specific topics of discussion across the web
  • Aggregate the columns of key journalists you want to influence
  • String the blogs of your strategic partners into one feed

pipes

The image above is an example of output from a Yahoo Pipe for Duct Tape Marketing

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Business Isn’t Personal

Personal BrandingI’m going to express an opinion that might not be shared by all in this current social media world.

There’s a thread going around in small business about something called personal branding and, while I think it has merit and can certainly give some people a leg up on the competition, please don’t confuse personal branding with building a business.

Again, when a person creates a brand that allows them to stand out, they may be able to charge more for their services or get higher profile gigs, but what they’ve created is a job. (In some cases that’s the grand payoff of a personal brand, a better job.)

Now, I’m not against personal branding, as I said it may offer some people that ability to create the best job going, but a business is an asset, something that gets more valuable over time and, here’s the biggie, can be sold. It is very difficult to sell a personal brand. Some of biggest personal brands you could name on twitter right now would be worth very little without the person behind the avatar.

It’s really not a right way or wrong way, it’s a strategic choice, but know the consequences of the choice. Funny thing is it’s actually easier to build a personal brand online than it is to build a business brand and that’s where some people get tripped up. It’s a balancing act that must be intentionally orchestrated and gradually implemented.

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Obama’s Stimulus Package and Small Business

Intuit CommunityAs part of Intuit’s Small Business United campaign, I am participating in a virtual Small Business Town Hall to discuss the Obama Stimulus Package and what it means to small business owners.

Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 3:00 PM Eastern (Noon Pacific time) – Sign in here

Raymond J. Keating, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council’s Chief Economist, will walk small business owners through key things they should know about the stimulus and the economy.

I will be joined on a panel to discuss the package and Keating’s remarks by Anita Campbell, CEO of Small Business Trends and Kelly Spors, small business columnist for the Wall Street Journal.

This is a great way to learn about these important and evolving plans and express your opinions on things like payroll taxes, investment credits and other changes that impact the ability for small businesses to grow.

They are experimenting with a new online platform they call a Town Hall Meeting. Participants can interact with the panel by posing questions in chat or by raising their hand to speak. The entire system is Internet based, no phone, but you must have speakers on your computer to hear and a microphone to speak. If you have a camera you can appear via video as you speak. I’ve tested the system with them several times and it gives a very different feel than typical lecture type conferences. (You can also enter via this Facebook app)

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