The Global Paradox And Main Street Marketing Machines

One of the most important books for my business and professional career was/is The Global Paradox. Although written when the Internet was becoming a reality, very very little of it had to do with that specific tech. The book was all about the logical implications of where things are going.

And, it was as obvious to me back then as it is now: Things are changing and we better go where things are going.

What is the “Global Paradox?” … The Bigger the World Economy, the More Powerful It’s Smallest Players right down to the individual.

I can’t but help but think of YouTube, founded by 3 early PayPal employees and bought by Google for $1.65 BILLION. This isn’t just a story of three small players with a big payoff, it’s a story of EVERY MAJOR MEDIA DISTRIBUTION COMPANY having a plan (public or private and internal or external) to deal with PayPal.

I can’t but help think of Steve Jobs who made computers fun, phones not suck and the “netbook” pointless. His company is now worth more than Microsoft. One man’s vision is now part of EVERY CONVERSATION where tech, marketing, or packaging is involved.

I can’t but help think of Facebook … The world built the World Wide Web for about 15 years (as a massive project of awesome) and them suddenly, nobody makes a serious move on thing without first considering the impact of TWENTY SIX YEAR OLD’S Website that he built while at school.

I could go on and on with this list. Heck, I’m sure you could to. Actually, why don’t you put your favorites in the comments below?

And, finally, I write this from a hotel room in San Diego in the middle of the launch for Main Street Marketing Machines. Mike and the team have suggested, simply, that their tech is better than anything else for the marketing of Main Street businesses online and, gosh darn it, I believe that they’re right. The customers (most of them a single person) are launching businesses that not only have the Yellow Pages companies shaking in their boots but they’re also actually helping the Main Street Businesses get found online.

The Global Paradox is a reality. I’m thrilled to be part of it.

Note: I will keep this article up in my blog forever but I need to point out most of you who read this will read it after Main Street Marketing Machines closes for purchase. If it’s still up when you read this, consider it a warning. If it’s down … sorry to say, but I told you so.

Hard Realities About Social Profit Formulas And Online Marketing

Ready for some hard realities?

In prepping for the live Podcast Secrets presentation tonight (the topic – OffCasting – getting people off of you content and into your marketing funnel), I realized I had some killer numbers of what’s happening/working RIGHT NOW to share with my students because of my Social Profit Formula (AFF) campaigning that I wrote about earlier on this Blog and at PaulRecommends.com.

I thought I’d share them with you as well.

The metric I’m currently tracking is clicks to opt-ins (i.e., what percentage of people who click over to Don’s campaigns opt-in for more information). As the course hasn’t gone on sale yet, this is the only thing I can track at this point (if you’d like to know the final results of clicks to buys, because, yes, I’m tracking those as well, comment below accordingly).

  • Social Media Links Conversion – 7.6%. That’s right, it takes more than 100 clicks from social media to get 8 people to opt-in.
  • Website Links Conversion – 25.8%. I get 25 opt-ins for those 100 clicks at the previous blog post. That’s more than 3 times the results.
  • Email Newsletter Links Conversion – 29.3%. In my weekly “Heads Up Tuesday” email I mentioned Don’s program as a link worth clicking (there were 5 other links in the newsletter). Did almost 4% better on that random mailing than on the Web clicks.
  • Direct Email Links Conversion – 39.3%. The direct email piece on Don’s product saw nearly 40 optins per 100 clicks – around 5 times the rate of the social media clicks.

The numbers should speak for themselves but a little examination is in order. Yes, this is the only thing I’m tracking and the final results might surprise me still but plane and simple, if I want to see action, I want to send emails.

So what does this mean to Don’s Social Profit Formula and social media marketing in general? Well, I certainly hope you take 2 things from it 1) Social Media doesn’t replace anything well – the results are terrible for marketers when compared to other models and 2) what you need more than the latest version is Tweetdeck or the perfect iPad Twitter client is a model for how to use Social Media to bring people into the fold that does, in fact, work better.

Truth be told, a good amount of my list comes from social media efforts. I introduce myself in Twitter, Facebook, and the rest and when we are ready to take our relationship to the next level – I ask for an email address. It works wonders for both of us.

But regardless of what you strategy is – and who you pick to be your guru, have a strategy that works and can be backed up with real numbers. The real money is in folding Social Media into what you’re already doing.

Thoughts?

When Does A Podcast No Longer Require Her Own Website?

At the big Ed Dale “Coming Home 3″ event this weekend, we got a chance to record a very special live version of Internet Marketing This Week as well as talk over some changes and ideas we have for future versions of the show. A plan for season 2, if you will. More on the specifics of that later.

One of the big questions we asked … Does the show actually need a website anymore? The Facebook Fan Page for the site does pretty much everything we do at the site – and it always feels pretty silly duplicating our content efforts.

We could easily make www.internetmarketingthisweek.com forward to the Facebook page and lose very little – while gaining back some time in the process.

Obviously, if we were an entity that sold ads at the site, we wouldn’t be asking this question. Since the monetization of the Podcast comes from building an audience that knows, likes and trusts us, what point is there in having the site?

And, if needed, we could always put ads and the like into the copy of the content at Facebook – disclosing accordingly of course.

I thought I’d pass this question on to you and see what you have to say.

When does a Podcast no longer need her own Website?

Weekend Roundup: Done With The Experiment Edition

So I’m done with the 30 day part of the iPad Experiment. Next week a video review (or 2) and a special gift for anyone who owns an iPad. Things worth looking at this weekend:

I, along with a few million others, will be playing with their iPads this weekend. This is so much more than a 30 day adventure.

Weekend Roundup: Returns And Launches Edition

Old favorites are coming back (in some new ways) this weekend:

Speaking of the weekend, have a great one!

Weekend Roundup: New Ways To Think About Internet Marketing Edition

Are you noticing the trend of more “realistic” views on the whole Internet Marketing thing?

yeah, realism, it’s the “new black.”

Is Your Next Book An App?

I’ve been saying for a few years now that the real definition of Web 2.0 is “your content on your customer’s terms.” Everything really comes down to that as far as I’m concerned.

Techcrunch recently published a piece that says that authors need to publish their “next book” as an App (instead of an iBook). Great read – do it now.

While I like the concept, I’m not sure if that’s the direction. Perhaps the article should have asked if your next book should also be released as an App.

Yes, our content on your customer’s terms means a book isn’t enough.

But just an app isn’t enough either.

Your stuff needs to be available on a dead tree edition, an instant streaming edition, a phone edition, a pad edition, a plastic disk edition, an audio edition, a video edition, etc.

If you’ve watched the whole Vook thing, you might be thinking it’s the future. I’m calling it a gimmick. Show me any real content ONLY available on the VOOK format and I’ll change my mind.

So, content creators, I’m gonna suggest this simple fact: your future requires that you create your content on as many formats and platforms as possible.

Your thoughts?

Weekend Roundup: What Happened To Monday?

Yes, missed blog and Podcasts this week. Too into the Operation iPad Project. Back to normal next week, but here are some links to keep you warm and informed:

  • Songs Of Love is a great organization that puts some new media creators in a position of great service. Read what Geoff Smith is doing with them.
  • Jim Louderback wrote a piece called I support Web TV and I vote that is a must read.
  • Podcast Secret’s Student and cool guy Fred Castaneda has an episode of (one of his) most excellent podcasts about the iPad as a business tool.

Have a great weekend. My youngest turns 7 this weekend.

What I Learned From The Traffic Geyser Event

I’m at the airport about to head home from the Traffic Geyser event. Mike and Rocket put on an amazing show and it was a thrill to both be part of it, and to be a part of the audience. I took home as many notes as I did leads.

The “big” lesson was simple. There is still so much room in this space for people to do amazingly well. When we watched the fireman who closed the deal on a Flip Camera and a white wall (and possibly, the worst sound ever), we all realized that there is plenty of room for all of us.

Plenty of profitable room.

And as smart as it was to have been part of the audience, I want to extend the invitation to you as well.

The commercial Internet is still a kid, barely a teenager. You can be part of her future.

Find a market that can be served online.

Reach that market online through whatever medium they wish to be reached by.

Serve that market online.

Repeat.

Have a great week.

Five Essential Elements To Every Online Strategy

Online is “different” in a Web 2.0 world. A few years ago, we’d speak of necessities in terms of technologies and tools.

It’s time to kill that approach. It’s now all about these elements – the tech simply doesn’t matter.

I’m going to suggest that everyone looking to market and publish online needs stop thinking about WordPress and Facebook and YouTube and Podcasting and the like – but think FIRST about these 5 elements and how they can use whatever technology they want to make sure they’ve leveraged these issues. It’s a subtle difference but can have a powerful impact on your place in this space:

Syndication. The Internet is now received on your audience’s terms. This is powered by syndication. Yes, RSS is part of this, but it is by no means the only (or most important) tech behind this element. I’d drop RSS in a minute for the syndicated social stream made possible by Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.

I can hear the geeks screaming now (I hear them because I am one), “but RSS powers all that stuff.” First of all, it doesn’t anymore and secondly, it doesn’t “matter” at all. It ain’t RSS that lets my audience watch my latest YouTube Video on their way home from work (after being notified that it’s live) and I’d bet you 90% of my audience who reads via RSS doesn’t even know that she’s the tech behind the scenes.

In short, 1) If EVERYTHING YOU PRODUCE ain’t syndicated, you are wasting your time. 2) If you think it’s about RSS, you’ve missed the point.

Interactivity. You must allow your audience to interact with your content much the same way that television must broadcast in color. It is simply expected and you basically look silly if you don’t provide it. There are tools that make it more robust and there are dozens of strategies on what to do with the interactivity but you must have it, period.

By the way, please comment below on what you think of this idea.

Microbursting. As I type this Blog post, I have to face two simple facts. The first one is that some of my audience will never read this blog by default (regardless of bookmarking or syndication). They need a reason to do so. These are people who make decisions based on the microburst. Microbursts (today) include Twitter, Facebook updates, status alerts, etc. But, and make sure you get this, whereas the tech might change tomorrow, the need to microburst ain’t going away. You need a microburst strategy more than you need a Twitter client.

When I publish this post, I will microburst everywhere that makes sense that this article is live, and I’ll see as many readers from the microburst as from anything else. This is, of course, automated – but that is another Blog post all together.

Multimedia. The second fact I must face is that the written word of a Blog like this only hits a certain segment of my audience. Like some respond to the microburst, some respond to audio and visual media. This isn’t me reading this Blog post into a slideshow and posting at YouTube, this is me asking myself how I can reach and audience best reached through audio and video (text ain’t enough).

Destination Strategies. You gotta go where people are. As cool as it is to think that everyone wants to visit our Websites and Blogs on a regular basis, we need to identify where they are and be there too. As I write this, a destination strategy demands a Facebook Fan Page and a YouTube User Page (even if you have no videos) but this could change at any point. In short, know where your audience is, and be there too.

One of the most freeing effects of this approach is that it moves content producers from having to master a tech to having to master communicating with their audience. Imagine how much better things will get for all of us once we’ve all made that move.