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Like It Or Not, We Are All Marketers

Like It Or Not, We Are All Marketers. Marketing is not simply what businesses, brands and advertising agencies do — It’s what all of us do.  We are all marketing something. Either our personal brand or someone else’s brand.

You are marketing by the clothes that you wear, the type of phone that you use, the restaurants that you frequent, the stories that you share on Facebook and Twitter… and the list goes on and on like the energizer bunny.  BTW- What happened to the Energizer Bunny? He was a great marketer for Energizer batteries  As a matter of fact, I still consider the fact that the bunny keeps going and going and going every time I make a battery purchase.

Some people claim not to be marketers because they don’t want the self-perceived negative connotation of being a “self-promoter.”  That’s hogwash! Everyone is marketing something and everything is marketing. Even those individuals that play the card of, “I don’t like to market or promote, I’m just humble.” Those individuals marketing the cause for a behind the scenes and humble approach to things.

Jesus was a marketer, the #Kony2012 folks are marketers, President Obama is a marketer, Steve Jobs was a marketer, Donald Trump is a marketer, Seth Godin is a marketer, the Superintendent of your local school district is a marketer, the little league coach is a marketer, the little league player is a marketer, your children are marketers, I’m a marketer, you’re a marketer… We Are All Marketers. 

I have shared over 20,000 tweets on Twitter, everything from personal family stuff, to quotes, to blogpost links to (fill in the blank).  At the time of this post I have sent 22,221 tweets to be exact.  Directly or indirectly those tweets have all marketed, shared or promoted something.  For tweet #22,222 I will simply share this post because I’m A Marketer!

You have a story to tell — Tell It!  You have something to promote — Promote It!  You have a brand that your’re fond of — Share It! 

If you aren’t sure of what your brand is or what you’re marketing… ask those closest to you.

Like It Or Not, We Are All Marketers.

The Life Of The #Thunderup Hashtag

My man @Rt44man sent me an infographic of The Life of The #Thunderup Hashtag.  He had created it over @visually.  @Visually is a really creative site that allows you to create some really cool things.  I had some glitchy problems creating some of the Life of A Hashtag; however I’m sure it’s just some bugs that @visually are working out.

The Life Of The #Thunderup Hashtag

The cool thing about the #Thunderup hashtag is that your boy (me) is one of the top influencers along with the bearded one @JHarden13.  Enjoy the history and life of the hashtag of the 2012 NBA Champions Oklahoma City Thunder. #Thunderup


60 Minutes Special – Khan Academy

I watched this 60 Minutes Story about the Khan Academy and it is absolutely inspiring.  It is a vivid illustration of how ideas can flourish into something bigger than you can ask for, think about or imagine.  The key is dreaming BIG. and thinking BIGGER.

The Khan Academy is going to revolutionize education.  Watch this video, it’s definitely worth your time.  After watching this video on Khan Academy and #Kony2012 in the same week and you are not inspired… you are uninspirable.

Share your thoughts.

What Are You Waiting For?

I have always been an idea guy and that can be a good thing and well lets just say, not so good thing.  Ideas are always swirling and with ideas comes opportunities to make those ideas a reality or put them on the “didn’t make the cut” list.

Lately I have been cogitating the interrelation between ideas, success and people.  The reality is this: ideas are everywhere and the opportunities to make those ideas a reality are everywhere as well.  We are all an idea coupled with hard work away from success.  So the question of the day is, What Are You Waiting For?

This week I watched the idea of #Kony2012 become a household name and has 72 million YouTube views and counting.  The implementation of #Kony2012 began with an idea.  This evening I watched 60 Minutes and they did a special on Sal Khan and the Khan Academy.  Khan Academy is an online learning academy that is literally going to change the future of education. You can watch the 60 minutes interview in the blogpost prior to this one.  Or just click here.

According to Eric Schmidt, the Chair at Google “Innovation never come from the established institutions, it’s always a graduate student or a crazy person or somebody with a great vision.”  You are that crazy person with a great idea and a great vision.

This constant intrigue along with watching these two stories this week, simply has me asking this question of myself and everyone around me.  What Are You Waiting For?

  • Do you have an idea that you want to implement?  What Are You Waiting For?
  • Do you have a dream that you want to become a reality? What Are You Waiting On?
  • Do you want to change your future? What Are You Waiting For?
  • Do you want to be successful? What Are You Waiting For?
  • Do you want to change the world? What Are You Waiting For?

What Are You Waiting For?

Top 10 Ways To Get Re-Tweeted On Twitter

This post will get straight to the point… If you want to get Re-Tweeted, Implement These Top 10 Ways To Get Re-Tweeted Below:

  • 1. SPACE – Leave 18-20 characters available in your tweet… allows enough room for your name @ sign and RT.  This is the most common reason people will not RT your post, individuals don’t want to take the time and energy to remove characters and shorten your post. TIME IS MONEY!
  • 2. CONTENT – Tweet content that provides value to a broad audience — quotes, humor, questions, compelling thoughts, breaking news, technology, social media breakthroughs, tips, links to great content etc.  CONTENT IS KING!
  • 3.  CONSISTENCY – Make sure your tweets are consistent.  Think of your tweets in a similar fashion that you look at newspaper or magazine subscription.   Your followers will learn to trust and grow to expect a particular type of content in a consistently delivered manner.  CONSISTENCY COUNTS!
  • 4. TACTFUL – Have a keen sense of what to tweet and what not to tweet in order to maintain good relationships with your twitter community.  Don’t consistently ask your Twitter Community to Re-Tweet your tweet…  If you feel that the tweet or content is valuable, it may make sense to ask selective followers to RT a tweet.  If you ask all of your followers to RT your content all of the time, your message will fall on deaf ears. HAVE SOME MANNERS!
  • 5. RECIPROCATE – Give and receive value to the Twitter community. Re-tweet other’s tweets if you find their information valuable and be sure that you provide them the RT credit they deserve.   Don’t be a Re-Tweetaholic or once again your message will fall on deaf ears. SHARE THE LOVE!
  • 6. BRAND – Develop a consistent Twitter brand, presence, notoriety, content etc. desirable of being Re-Tweeted.  Many people have put the time, energy and effort to earn the right for their content to be Re-Tweeted.  If you look at theTop 50 Re-tweeted Twitter Users Of All Time the one thing that’s consistent is that they all have their own unique brand. GET BRANDED!
  • 7. RECOGNITION – Get recognized or develop a relationship with the people on the Top 50 Re-Tweeted Twitter Users Of All Time. :)  Seriously you don’t have to develop a relationship with people on that list; however having your content re-tweeted by folks with a strong Twitter brand will help with future RT’s.  GET RECOGNIZED!
  • 8. LISTS – Believe it or not being on the right Twitter List can increase your ability to be re-tweeted.  People utilize their lists to keep the people they want to hear from front and center.  Lists can be as important on the Retweetometer as the number of followers.  Lists are a great measure of content value.  GET LISTED!
  • 9. REPEAT – Repeat #1.  This is by far the most important aspect of being re-tweeted and often times the most over-looked.  Leave at least 18 characters, if you can leave 36 that’s even better… you have potentially doubled your chances. SPACE IS KEY!
  • 10. BLOG ABOUT IT –  Write a simple blogpost about How To Get Re-Tweeted. 🙂  In all seriousness write about Twitter or Social Media – People in the world of Social Media love to share content about Social Media. TOPIC MATTERS!
  • Bonus: Your name is Rev Run aka @revrunwisdom

Share your thoughts on these Top 10 Ways To Get Re-Tweeted. Do you have any additional ways to add to the list?

The #1 Place To Get Fresh New Blogging Ideas

I blog 5 – 6 times each week and it’s just a consistent part of my daily regimen.  People often ask me, “How do I come up with so many blogging ideas and so much blogging material?”  The answer to that question is simple.  The #1 Place To Get Fresh New Blogging Ideas is… Everywhere!

It’s truly that simple. There tons of blogging ideas everywhere, we simply have to look for them.  I’ll walk through a day for me and potential blogging ideas from when I wake up until lunch.

  • My morning 3-B Time: Bible, Books & Blogs
  • Conversations I have with my wife and boys over breakfast
  • Clips & thoughts from the morning news channels
  • Thoughts inspired from commercials
  • Conversations with clients
  • Things I see while driving to my lunch meeting
  • Conversations during my lunch meeting
  • Observations and business practices at the restaurant
  • Front page newspaper articles
  • People watching
  • Social media interactions, quotes & observations that I’ve had prior to my lunch appt.

The bottom line is Fresh New Blogging Ideas are everywhere.  There is actually some research that indicates that individuals whom blog daily are smarter. This is attributed to the fact that on a daily basis they are forcing themselves to think about and interact with the world around them in a different context.

I simply keep a running note of thoughts in my iPhone yellow notes.  I can easily jump on a flight and knock out a couple of weeks of blogposts or I can simply get up each morning and knock out a post from something that’s fresh on my mind.

The key is to think and to think often.

How do you get fresh new blogging ideas?  Share your thoughts on The #1 Place To Get Fresh New Blogging Ideas.

10 Reasons Bloggers Quit

I have been reading blogs and writing this blog for quite some time now, around 5 years to be exact. I have seen lots of trends in the world of blogging during those 5 years.

One of the more copious trends is individuals who set out in a furious sprint to be an avid blogger, only to find their blog desire come to a screeching halt.  As a matter of fact probably 50% of the bloggers that are featured on my blogroll probably have not updated in well over a month and many have forgotten about their blog altogether.

Many Blogger Start… Only Few Finish!  

10 Reasons Bloggers Quit

  • 1. Don’t have the right motivation to start a blog: Often times bloggers want to be the next Seth Godin or have so many people read their blog it crashes servers.  That’s definitely a motivation; however a great place to start from as it relates to motivation is simply this – write because you have something to share and you want to share it… period.  Ask: What’s my motivation?
  • 2. Don’t realize the commitment: The commitment that it takes to whip out consistent content is often times overlooked.  Just as sure as the next calendar day is coming, so is the commitment to write another blogpost.  Having the commitment to produce consistent content is key.  A blog is like a newspaper and if you expect it to be delivered daily and all of the sudden it’s not… you will start reading another newspaper.  Same things is true for a blog.  Ask: Am I committed to this?
  • 3. Don’t take the time to develop a strategy: Strategy is very important, how, when, why etc.  Abraham Lincoln says is this way, “If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend 6 hours sharpening my ax.” Ask: Do I have a blogging strategy for success?
  • 4. No one is reading:  It takes the right motivation, commitment, consistency, strategy, good content & patience before people will start reading.  There are some overnight success blog stories, but most success is a result of bloggers grinding it out.  Ask: Am I willing to write even if no one is reading?
  • 5. Nothing To Write About: Bloggers will quickly lose motivation as they lose creativity and inspiration.  What once started as a great place to share creativity, turns into an “Oh no, I don’t have anything to write about.”  This is where a strategy for the what and how to write will be helpful.  It’s important that bloggers find sources for inspiration and push threw the periods of creative blocks.  Even if you don’t have anything to write, write something, it’s the consistent act of writing that’s helpful.  Ask: Am I going to be intentional to seek out places for consistent inspiration & motivation?
  • 6. Not willing to learn: Every blogger has their own style and rhythm; however it’s important from bloggers to learn from other bloggers.  Bloggers could address every concern in this post if they would simply learn from others who are a few steps ahead of them.  Do you have a photography blog, make it a consistent point to read some of the best photography blogs in the world.  Need some inspiration or want to learn from one of the best bloggers there is, read Seth Godin’s blog.  Simply put, bloggers give up because they are not learning from the bloggers that finish strong.  Ask: Am I willing to learn from other bloggers?
  • 7. Lack Of Discipline: Discipline is defined as activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill.  Most bloggers simply lack the discipline to make it work over a period of time.  Ask:Am I gonna put in the work over time to create discipline?
  • 8. Lack Of Comments: Often times bloggers confuse comments with the degree of engagement.  There is sometimes a positive correlation between readers and comments; however over the years I have come to realize that some of my more popular posts didn’t necessarily always have the most comments, as a matter of fact on average you get about 1 comment per 100 readers.  Some bloggers have created communities that can drastically skew that number either way.I believe the Twitter Effect On Blogging has impacted comments overall.  Bloggers must be willing to write even though no one is commenting and try the 10 Techniques To Get More comments On Your Blog. Ask: Will I still write even though no one is commenting?
  • 9. Don’t Want To Invest The Time: Blogging is a serious time commitment and most people do not want to invest the time necessary for the blog to be successful.  Michael Hyatt outlines a very detailed post on How To Write A BlogPost In 70 Minutes Or Less. That may seem like  a lot of time, if you want to be good, you will have to invest some time.  Ask:  Am I willing to invest the necessary time needed for my blog to be successful?
  • 10. The Time Has Come: I believe that there is a time for everything, including a time to start and a time to finish.  Sometimes bloggers need to be intellectual honest and admit that their blog season has run it’s course.  It’s okay to just move on. Ask: Has my blog season come to an end?

Don’t simply start the race… Finish!

Why do you think Many Bloggers Start,  Only Few Finish?  Share your thoughts and experiences of bloggers not finishing the race.

7 Practical Ways Organizations Can Leverage Social Media

The World Of Social Media is here to stay and that has major implications for the business sector, non-profits, organizations and Corporate America.  There are over 250 million bloggers, over 845 million Facebook users, 500 million Twitter users, 40 million Google+ users and 34% of these folks post opinions about products and brands.  These shared opinions are a big deal, as research shows 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations and only 14% trust advertisements.

The problem with social media advertising is that many companies don’t have a clear understanding of how to leverage social media for their business.  There are a growing number of businesses whose primary focus and business model is to help organizations leverage social media and they will even do all of the social media work for the companies.

There are a growing number of businesses that seem to have a functional Social Media plan.  If used properl, Social Media can be an amazing value-add to a company.  There is definitely more than one way to skin the Business Social Media Cat; however it’s important to employ a method that makes sense.

Here are 7 Practical Ways Organizations Can Leverage Social Media

1.  Develop A Plan- The old proverb of those who fail to plan, plans to fail is definitely true when it comes to businesses and social media.  Develop a plan that starts with the end result in mind.  Ask questions such as: Are we trying to create engagement, awareness, share promotions, share industry news, be relevant, provide a conversations hub for customers…?  Next question, How are we going co-brand our social media brand with our existing brand?

Developing a plan takes time, energy and research.  Take your time, develop a plan or hire someone to help you with the plan before you get jump in and get started.  That is one of the services that my company offers, we love helping organizations with strategy.  If you have already begun, you should assess your existing plan and re-engage with the new plan.  Abraham Lincoln says it this way, “If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend 6 hours sharpening my ax.”

2. Know Your Voice- This is the golden rule as it pertains to Social Media.  If you are speaking on behalf of John Q Organization, make sure that you speak from that voice.  Businesses tend to confuse or overlap the voice of their personal brand with the voice of their business brand.

If you are tweeting or posting Facebook updates for your Coffee Shop, you should not be tweeting about mowing your grass, unless of course you are mentioning that it’s time to have a nice cup of Joe afterwards.  An easy solution to make sure your business voice is the one speaking is to ask this question before posting — If my company could tweet or post, would they share this?  Don’t take away the human and personal interaction element, simply be mindful of your voice.

3.  Be Social- The most important thing about social media is the social part and not the media.  If you look @Starbucks and @Southwestair Twitter streams, they are always interacting with customers and people.   One of the best organizations in the country that appropriately leverages the aspect of being social is @KCIAirport.  These guys are brilliant, if you want to see how you can be social, handle customer concerns and build a social media brand by doing the basics. Check them out, they are highly regarded as one of the best!  Be Social, Be Accessible, Be Social, Be Relevant, Be Social, Be Authentic, Be Social, Be Real, Be Social, Be about Your Brand, Be Social, Be Entertaining, Be Social and did I mention BE SOCIAL!

The statistic that I shared in the beginning of this post about 78% of customers trust peer recommendations drives home the importance of being social.  I think that research could be extended to say that people are more likely to trust and promote brands they feel connected to.  Be Social!

4.  Make A Name For Yourself- This is a two-part solution.  1.) Make sure that your Twitter and Facebook names are simple, easy to remember and relevant to your company.  2.) Make a name for your company by being active in the world of social media.  Have tweet-ups at your place, provide social-media only specials, have promotions that demand viral interaction and be creative.  It does not matter if your company is large, small, on-line, or has a physical location, you can Make A Name For Yourself.   Familiarizing yourself with the 111 Twitter Tools will help you to become efficient at making a name for yourself.

5.  Make Your Profile Work- Make sure your Twitter and Facebook profile represent your company.  If your business is a coffee shop be sure to have your logo as your profile pic. and not your personal glamour shot.  Check out my 6 Ways To Make Your Twitter Profile Work.

6.  Have a Primary Social Media Application- The cool thing about the success of Twitter is that Facebook and Twitter have become kissing cousins.  Although Google+ is growing in popularity, it’s like a 2nd. or 3rd. cousin.  There are many applications that automate the connection of all of these platforms.  Although I am a proponent the multi-updates in multiple social media spaces for certain types of updates, I think it’s helpful to focus on one platform as your primary.  For me personally, my primary is Twitter; however I do send many tweets to my Facebook community.

It is great for a business to encourage their customers to connect with them on multiple Social Media medians; however having one or the other as a primary helps with clarity.  Imagine your company as bi-lingual.  The question is: Is your company’s native language Twitterese, Facebookish, Google+ese etc.?  Answer that question and speak that language to your customers.

Again, I prefer Twitter and according to research so do Fortune 100 Companies.  As a matter of fact 77% of Fortune 100 companies have active Twitter accounts and that number is increasing each year. That number is significantly higher than the 61% of Fortune 100 companies that have a Facebook page.  The bottom line is this: Twitter is simple and engaging.

7. Make It Fun- No matter the strategy you choose, make it fun for your customers.  Fun, engaging, enlightening… should be the words your customers use to describe your social media presence.  This isn’t necessarily “crack jokes” fun, but it’s definitely not blah blah blah boring.

The bottom line is that Social Media can definitely be a benefit to every business and business owner.  Use It, Try It, Be It, Become A Fan Of It, Study It, Know It, Become Good At Leveraging It.  In the future, “It” May Just Make or Break Your Company.

“It” Is Social Media!

What do you think?  What companies do a great job of leveraging Social Media?  Share your thoughts.

Top 5 Travel Tools

Throughout my 38 years on this earth I’ve had a number of seasons where my travel schedule was, well let’s just say heavier than others.  Over the last few years that schedule has increased drastically and in the last year it’s super-crazy.  When you are a consultant and speaker, super-crazy is actually a good thing, so I’m definitely grateful.

I get to travel around and work with some of the most amazing churches, non-profits, organizations and brands in the country.  One thing I have come to recognize is this: If you are going to travel, you should always have some great travel tools and systems in your toolbox.  I have come up with a list of my Top 5 Travel Tools.

1. Tripit Pro – This is by far my favorite travel tool.  Tripit Pro is like having a personal assistant that has inside information from every aspect of the airlines and airport.  I will try to sum up this tool in a few sentences and I’ll share some key features.  You can get regular Tripit for FREE and Tripit Pro is $49.  (It’s worth every penny)

Tripit Pro – Scans my email and automatically adds any confirmation emails from airlines, hotels, rental cars etc. to my account.  I have my wife and my Executive Assistant added to my account so they can always be aware of my itinerary or changes to my itinerary.

A couple of key Things I like about Tripit Pro is the fact that it will text me just prior to 24hrs. before my flight and let me know it’s almost time to check-in.  The day of my flight I get a reminder text of my flight number, gate information and any applicable changes, delays and cancellations.  Speaking of changes, I’m not sure how they do it but Tripit Pro always notifies me of flight changes before the airlines.

As soon as I land, I receive connecting gate information via text, even if my flight is early. (No more checking terminal screens or listening to flight attendants talk about connecting gates).  Another feature that generally pays for the cost of Tripit Pro is the fare reduction notification feature.  If there is a drop in fares from your original purchase, Tripit will let you know.  You can simply call the airline and get a credit for the difference.

One last feature is a tracking mechanism for all of your travel accounts.  I have my entire airlines; hotel and car rental rewards accounts and point totals in one location.

I could go on and on, this is by far the #1 travel tool.

2. Waze Waze is the best iPhone GPS App on the market and it’s free. I would definitely pay for this app. I have used several awesome paid GPS apps; however I have really come to appreciate Waze.  Waze is a very easy to use voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation app. When you download Waze, you not only get a free traffic & navigation app, but also become part of the local driving community in your area, joining forces with other drivers nearby to outsmart traffic, save time, and improve your travel or daily commute.

After you enter your destination, as you are driving you can participate in the driving community with the touch of one button to notify the app and community of traffic jams, police speed traps, accidents, speed cameras, hazardous road issues, map issues and more.

3. Eagle Creek Packing Cubes – I use various sizes and types of the Eagle Creek Pouches.  I am able to maximize space by putting my t-shirts, underwear, socks, jeans, shirts etc. into these cubes.  I even use some of these pouches to pack up cords and other things.  I also use some of the travel sacs, no matter what you use, their packing and travel tools are all great additions to your travel repertoire.

4. iPad 2 –  I don’t really need to give a lot of detail to this tool because it speaks for itself.  I use my iPad to:

  • Speak from (embed my notes into pages)
  • Read books
  • Watch movies
  • Face-time over wifi with my family both with in-flight wifi and at the hotel
  • Capture thoughts
  • Write blogposts
  • Create keynote presentations
  • The list goes on and on like the Energizer Bunny

The iPad is a must have travel tool.

5. Beats By Dre StudioOutside of having some gum on hand to make sure your ears don’t clog up or pop while in the altitude, having some good headphones is a must.  I have several good in-ear headphones; however I have come to appreciate having the fully enclosed Beats By Dre Studio noise canceling headphones.  It cancels all of the noise from babies, jets, wind and overall airplane and airport noise.  Additionally you can listen to your favorite movie or favorite artists with unimpeded clarity.

I have a number of other travel tools that I will share in the future.  For now these are my Top 5.

What are your top travel tools?  Share your thoughts and experiences on any of these Top 5 Travel Tools.

Twitter Proves To Be Ultimate #SuperBowl Fill-In

Even prior to the kickoff of Super Bowl XLVI, Twitter proved to be the ultimate fill-in. By fill-in, I’m referring to the fact that Twitter served as the great bridge for time and space. It didn’t matter whether you were an emphatic fan or the casual observer simply looking forward to the Super Bowl commercials, Twitter provided instant and on-going engagement.

Whether it was the New England wide-receiver Tiquan Underwood ( @TiUnderwood ) who was cut on Super Bowl eve sharing his game thoughts, @mashable hosting a live Super Bowl commercial chat or the millions of others who were joining in on some type of Twitter Super Bowl chatter. Bottom line is Twitter was the place to be, share and comment; additionally Twitter doubled as advertisement for the commercials that worked and those that missed the mark.

Twitter has changed the way people view events and the way that people engage culture. It’s the fill-in that provides instantaneous feedback. If you want to know what people really think about Howard Stern being one of the new hosts of America’s Got Talent, simply check your Twitter during the fill-in times. My observations were that most people were not fans. On the other hand, people were fans of the Volkswagen commercial that had some continuation of last year’s Darth Vader commercial.

If you want to know what people thought about Kelly Clarkson’s rendition of the National Anthem or whether or not the 53 year-old Madonna still has “It,” all you had to do was check twitter. People were able to fill-in their time with thoughts with everything ranging from Cee-Lo’s dress-like choir robe to the nun-like robes sported by the rest of the choir. Unfortunately for Madonna, many people had opinions on her performance and her wardrobe malfunction fall that NBC didn’t do a good job of editing out.

Time and space no longer have to be boring, lackluster or uneventful, because Twitter serves as the ultimate fill-in. Twitter continues to prove it’s game changing, news breaking and people connecting ability. Twitter allows people the luxury to think out loud and those thoughts to be shared with people around the globe. If you don’t want to think out loud, you can at least casually observe the thoughts of others.  No matter what you think or how you think, here is some food for thought: According to Tech Crunch, Twitter reportedly received over 10,000 tweets per second during the last 3 minutes of the Super Bowl.  That’s what you call filling in a lot of time and space.

My final Super Bowl thought while filling in time and space on Twitter was this, “Tomorrow’s Headline: ‘The Playbook of Eli.’ #superbowl

Is Twitter the ultimate fill-in? Did you use Twitter to fill-in time and space? If so, please share your interactions and observations.

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