My Business Card

My new business card is the same shape and look as the iPhone 4. There’s a picture here in the post that shows what she look like.

Cool, eh?

Everything runs through Instant Customer, text, voice, email, web, etc.

It’s an automated system that brings everyone, no matter how they connect with me, into the SAME funnel.

I can text those who like text, call those who want a ring, email when it makes sense, etc.

All in one simple place.

I’d love your thoughts on this one.

Picking On Social Media – Buzz Kill – Scoblizers – Linchpins – Etc.

It’s been a fascinating weekend for me and Social Media. Leo Laporte announced “Social media, I gave you the best years of my life, but never again.” The Joy Of Tech quickly responded with what might be my favorite comic ever from them.

While this was going on, I found myself engrossed in Seth Godin’s Linchpin in a way none of his other books have ever been able to grab me. Whereas the themes are considerably better than the age old “what is social media good for?” question, consider this quote:

“Don’t even get me started on Twitter. There are certainly people who are using it effectively and productively. Some people (a few) are finding that it helps them do the work. But the rest? It’s perfect resistance, because it’s never done. There’s always another tweet to be read and responded to. Which, of course, keeps you from doing the work. Where did your art go while you were tweeting?”

BTW, I was reading Linchpin on my Kindle device – not the iPad, iPhone, or anything else. You’ll notice I tweeted a quote once (and then sent the above one this morning) but I found myself engrossed in the act of just reading, … amazing.

Scoble responded to the conversation with a fascinating Tweet: “While what @leolaporte wrote today contains a lot of truth you can only quit once and keep your credibility. That is why I don’t quit.

I did a general look for more on the conversation and found little. Kind of sad actually as there are some really important questions that need to be asked:

  • Is social media nothing more than, as Leo put it, “an immense waste of time?
  • Are we just playing this game because everyone else is? Are we all in this because, as Robert put it, “you can only quit once and keep your credibility?”
  • Even worse, is this stuff keeping us from “doing the work” as Seth wrote?

I think it comes down to these five simple statements.

  • There are very specific, very clear, VERY STRATEGIC reasons to use Social Media. These are not always embraced by the people with the most followers or the book contracts.
  • If you are engaged in social media because everyone else it, STOP. That’s not enough of a reason.
  • If you are afraid to STOP because you are worried about being labeled a quitter, consider the benefits of being labeled SMART – or actually GETTING STUFF DONE.
  • Realize that the tool of social media is just that, a TOOL. It can be used to do great things, do stupid things, do GREAT GOOD and do GREAT DAMAGE.
  • Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

If history has taught us anything, it’s that it is so easy to hate the things we don’t understand. Do you truly understand the social media landscape that you find yourself playing in?

Fun fact – I get asked which Twitter client I use multiple times a week but am only asked a few times a year why I do this whole social media thing.

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?

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.

What Screen Is The iPad – And Does It Matter?

There is a concept called the “fourth screen” (link goes to Wikipedia) that you need to be familiar with for this post to make sense. There’s actually a concept of the fifth screen (again, Wikipedia link) as well, but we need to chat about that later.

In short, the idea is that the “first” screen is the movie screen. The “second” is the television. The “third” is the computer. The “fourth” is any mobile screen (like a cell phone, iPod, or PDA).

I’ve been fascinated with the concept of the “fourth screen” because it is, in fact, the true power of what got me into Podcasting so quickly and so passionately. Being able to reach anyone at any place and at any time on that “fourth screen” has been such a pull for me.

The “fourth screen” concept gets a little murky with laptops and, now, the iPad. Are those “third” or “fourth” – or, something else?

This is an extremely important issue from a design an experience angle. I purposely try to make every piece of media I create effective for all the screens because I have an audience that spans them all (well, nobody watching Colligan.com at the movies yet). I recommend you take the same approach as it just makes sense. And it isn’t just me. If you don’t think Hollywood makes sure that the blockbuster Imax films will still work on my Mom’s SD television, you’re nuts.

Let’s admit it, there is only so much you can do with a few inches of phone space. “Fourth screen” marketing needs a gentle touch.

But with the iPad, I have to think a little bit outside of the box. If it’s just a “big iPhone” like some claim, then this will go away quickly.

But, if it is something very different, we need to ponder how we react with it.

Do we think in terms of a simple netbook – i.e., a “third screen” approach?

Do we think in terms of a bigger portable device – i.e., a “fourth screen” take on life?

Or, is this something very, to steal Apple’s term, “different?” If so, will we need to think of design, interaction, commerce, etc., in new terms to make way for what’s to come?

A “fifth screen” (not at all like the one described in Wikipedia above)?

One simple example. If you’ve heard my thoughts on mobile commerce, you know that I don’t think we’re going to see a ton of stuff purchased from a 9 digit phone on low battery. But an iPad on the bus, the classroom, at the airport, etc. We might be onto something very different here.

My gut tells me right now that this is, in fact, something very different. Maybe it’s the geek in me (or the Apple Fan Boy) – or something else. So, … here’s what I’m going to do about it.

The details will be tracked at PaulsiPad.com, but in short, I’m going to buy an iPad the day it comes out and run my business on nothing but the iPad for 30 days. Should be fascinating to say the very least.

So, I end with a few questions that I hope you’ll take a minute or two to answer:

What screen number is the iPad?

Does it matter?

Am I nuts – or on to something?

I look forward to your response ….

Update: I’ve launched A YouTube Channel for Paul’s iPad to keep up to date with great iPad videos (and some stuff I’ll make myself).

Before You Get All Excited About Facebook …

I’m very optimistic about Facebook and have placed a ton of emphasis and focus on my new Paul Colligan page over there. But, … we need to face(book) some facts.

Fan Page Updates are almost meaningless. Internet marketers love to act like these are as good as email so I decided to put things to the test. After three different tries, with three different messages, the numbers were almost exactly the same. I am 30 times more likely to get a click from an email than I am a Facebook Fan Page Update. Oh, and I might ad that where my email list is several years old, my Facebook list is less than 6 months old. Yuck.

Facebook Video is now the #3 video site on the planet – but that doesn’t mean they’re consuming your content at Facebook. Now, I’ve only experimented and test this with audio but, … Internet Marketing This Week audience members are 7 to 1 more likely to consume the show on the obscure Internet Marketing This Week iPhone App than they are Facebook with a simple click to play button for every episode (and remember, stats are that they’re more likely to hear that we have a new episode on Facebook than in most places). BTW, iPhone app to Zune is 5.5 to 1 more likely (for the Zune) and iTunes to Facebook is … 621.5 to 1 more likely (for iTunes). Yes, there is certainly that simple fact that a download on Zune or iTunes doesn’t mean a listen where a stream usually does – but the numbers are still pretty strong.

Positioning yourself in Facebook is not as easy as it may seem. A weekly Facebook user might have 5 pages of updates to catch up on and if you’re anywhere but page 1, the chance of them catching up with you (especially interacting) are pretty thin. The only way to deal with this effectively is to repeat the same message over and over again, which of course, loses fans on a regular basis. As a result, you can only really effectively use Facebook to remind people that you are around and still exist. Disagree? – leave your comments below …

The Facebook Fan Page content is indexed by Google bit is, although true, hardly as effective as a Blog entry also indexed by the gMachine. I recently developed a bit of a feeding frenzy at my site on a particular topic and rank well in Google for the keywords – but the actually entry (if they click) through appears on a long page of links and content, about 3/4ths of the way down the page. The idea that someone will find what they’re looking for at your Fan Page via Google Search is a long shot a best. The idea that someone might stumble across you page is there, but you better have an effective strategy of bringing them into your fold. If someone comes into the middle of your Fan Page – do they know the benefits of becoming a fan?

Finally, the “Fan Pages Don’t Require A Facebook Account” is both blessing and curse. If they can get the content on your Fan Page without doing anything, why are they going to click to fan you? If they’re not a Facebook user (there are a few left out there), why would they sign up for an account just to get your stuff? I’m already extremely selective about what pages I fan in Facebook as my social stream is already too cluttered as it is. The stuff I don’t fan, I don’t see.

I know we’re all supposed to love the Facebook to death – and I do – but it ain’t the same thing as we’ve had before. Make sure your strategy for this thing is more than a Fan Page – on account of everyone else having one.

Not too long ago, that’s why we were on MySpace …

Thoughts / comments? Leave them below …

Live Event Success

Next week I take off for the Blogworld and New Media Expo 2009. Despite who shows up and/or what is taught in the sessions, this will be a wildly successful event for me. I hope it is the same for you. Here are 5 things/truths/etc. I insist on for every live event I attend. I recommend you do the same:

Live Events Aren’t About Content, They’re About People. Yes, bring a notebook and be prepared to get edumacated, but realize that if the content is in any way important, there will be other ways to catch it. The person sitting (or standing) next to you …, no such guarantee.

The Big Distractions Are The Big Distractions. In Vegas, the distraction is, well, Vegas. In other towns it might be Disneyland, the nightlife, or even the hotel bar. You didn’t come for these things and if these things ever get in the way of what you did come for, you’re ripping yourself off. I have no doubt in my mind that BILLIONS have been lost at events because of distractions at the event.

Make A Top 3, 5 and 10 List. If you don’t know what you want to accomplish, it won’t happen. Make a top 3, a top 5, and a top 10 list of things you want to accomplish. Keep on an index card in your pocket and double check that you’re doing what’s important – and not chasing the shiny item in the booth that’s making a lot of noise.

Buy. You’re already paying for the hotel, flight, entry fees and more. It’s part of doing business and will make you money in the long term if you “do it right.” With that said, consider a budget for “buying” coffee, a meal, or drinks for the people you meet along the way. Anyone who accepts will be instantly in your debt and the relationship that comes from such will always do more for you than a fancy brochure ever will.

Push Dialogue, Not Agenda. Agendas are plenty at events. Dialogues are rare, and will often get you considerably more time to examine agendas later. I can’t tell you the times I’ve gone in with a goal of “x” and walked out with something 10x because we dialogued first.

What are your tips for live events?

7 iPhone Apps That Make Me Money

I love my iPhone, but let me tell you something else … I can write this thing off on my taxes a dozen times over. A few of the apps on this bad boy make me money time after time and I thought I’d share them with you here. The links will open up iTunes if you have it on your computer.

Omnifocus. This is the ultimate GTD (“Getting Things Done”) App for the iPhone. It syncs with OmniFocus for Mac so I’m not sure how powerful it would be for a PC user. You make money by getting things done. This app helps me do just that.

Tweetie. Twitter apps are a waste of time. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you don’t need a Twitter strategy, you need a microblogging strategy. Tweetie integrates with Ping.fm so I can UberSyndicate and UberPublish according to my profitable networks according to plan.

Facebook. I actually can’t confirm that this makes me money yet, but with my focus on Facebook Fan Pages, I’m sure it will. Here’s a Webinar I did on the topic if you are interested.

Analytics. If you know what’s happening at your sites you can make the decisions that make you the money. Google Analytics is the default site tracking system (I remember when we had to pay for this stuff) and Analytics has a better interface to read GA’s content than Google has ever provided. I can make decisions that make money because of this app.

iTalk Recorder. I’ve created Podcast (free and Premium) and product content on this thing time and time again. I know there are other recorders out there but for some reason, this one does it for me.

WordPress. I didn’t write this article on the iPhone, but I have written a number of these posts on my iPhone.

Slydial. Sometimes, the worst possible thing you could do is get involved in a 2 hour phone call when you just need to leave some basic information for the person on the other end. Every time a make a Slydial, I get the job done.

What about you? One day I’ll do a post on the cool iPhone apps but, right now, what’s on your phone that helps you generate revenue?

YouTube CTA Videos – Extremely Important …

Click on over to YouTube.com to watch this very important video about the new YouTube.com CTA options. Why I didn’t embed is explained below.

In short, YouTube.com is now allowing CTA (“Call To Action”) ads inside of YouTube.com videos. These intended/directed for “Sponsored” videos – but you get the benefit as well if they view your video at YouTube by traditional methods (such as the link above) – in addition to the paid traffic options.

This is huge on multiple levels and the video linked above (as well as the one it directs you to) do more explaining than I will do here at this blog.

In short, I’m doing a free Webinar on the topic – and I hope you can attend.

Yes, directions, and clicks, are in the video. Click on through and watch it today.