2009 | Unskippable - Marketing Keynote Speaker - Jim Kukral - Part 3

Yearly Archives: 2009

Disclosure

I have a disclosure policy now, do you? Do you have one? If you don’t, you may want to get one in place soon as the FTC will be tightening up the noose on bloggers coming on December 1st, 2009.

It’s funny, as an affiliate marketer and long-time blogger, I’ve learned these things.

1. Disclosing actually strengthens your affiliate links
2. The vast majority of readers really don’t care, or even know, and once they know, they don’t care. Assuming you’re not trying to deceive them that is.

Ted Murphy at Izea just released another round of super-juicy, well-done disclosure today called the disclosure sandwich. This is good, and funny.

jfk_izeasandwich

Today we’re releasing some important changes in SocialSpark, specifically related to how bloggers disclose in their posts. While in-post disclosure has been required since the beginning of SocialSpark, we’re taking it a step further today, requiring both text and image disclosure. It’s just one of the extra steps we’re taking to make sure that our bloggers and advertisers are maintaining the highest standard for transparency and ethics in sponsored posts.

Nice move Ted. The way the Web and marketing and government and control is all going… more disclosure is the right way to go.

Now is the time I disclose I’m on the Izea Advisory Board.

The Branding Lesson I Learned Where I Shop

This is a guest post from David Brier. His information is below. If you’d like to submit a guest post, click here.

When I am not solving clients’ branding problems, I am planning the next delicious meal for my wife and myself. I make a mean (and ridiculously succulent) Tandoori chicken breast, a mouthwatering peppercorn-marinated filet mignon and a killer cappuccino, but I digress….

jfk_gourmet1The Places I Shop (and Why)
I shop at two primary places for food and cooking ingredients. One is a natural food co-op and the other is a more upscale supermarket. I have my usual routine between these two shopping venues.

But one day, I realized something. I shopped one of these 5X more than I shopped the other. Hmmmm…

I looked at why since, after all, I know my clients would enjoy a 5X increase in customer traffic. Here’s what I discovered.

Same Shit, Different Day
The supermarket provided the same stuff. In other words, I went there already knowing what I was going to buy, nothing new, just routine.

The co-op on the other hand not only sold some usual suspects I would routinely purchase but in addition, during each visit, I always went to their small floor-standing cooler that showcased the day’s salads, unique re-heatable meals, little hand-made munchies, etc. In other words, they had something new and different everyday.

Compared to my weekly visit to the local supermarket where I spent a couple hundred dollars, I would go almost everyday after work and spend between $20 to $40 each visit.

What’s This Got To Do With My Brand?
I looked at this amazing difference between these two destinations and why one was getting 5X the amount of traffic from than the other. I asked myself, “Could this principle apply to any brand?”

After a little analysis, I discovered this applied equally to online destinations as well as brick and mortar destinations.

I find I visit sites that offer something new and different, and I am not alone. Look at Copyblogger, Threadless or Mashable and you’ll find the basis of these leading online brands is “something new and different all the time.” Heck, it’s even part of the brilliance of the amazingly successful iPhone with all of its “new and different” apps.

Stagnancy is the Road to Brand Death
The days of the stagnant Web site and the stagnant brand are over. Your brand must be relevant, meaningful and—above all—fresh. The more it’s fresh and fluid (which happens to mirror the increasingly fleeting attention spans of most consumers and clients).

Mirror your clients attention span and you’ll be the next star in your industry. Stay stagnant and your brand will die a quick and sure death.

Lesson learned: Embrace your audience’s interest and attention span and you too can see a major increase in loyalty, traffic and engagement.

About the author: David Brier is Chief Gravity Defyer of DBD International and the author of branding bible for those sick and tired of average results: Defying Gravity and Rising Above the Noise. You can follow David on twitter here.

Guest Posts Wanted

If you’d like to write a guest post for JimKukral.com I’d be happy to discuss it with you. I’m looking for original only content of course. Please contact me to submit your post.

What kind of content am I looking for? Text, audio, video, you name it. I’d like it to be based on one of the following topics or a mix-match, somewhat.

  • All kinds of Online marketing (affiliate, email, ppc, search, etc…)
  • Blogging
  • Revenue
  • Success
  • Motivation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Online learning/teaching
  • Web tools/resources
  • ROI
  • Social media
  • PR

You get the idea. If it’s helpful, entertaining or problem-solving, I’d love to post it here. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Good To Great: Adding Features

I wrote the other day about how Aweber added a nice new form builder feature to their product. Read about that here.

It got me thinking. Aweber gets it. They know that you have to continuously improve your product if you want to stay on top, and they know that you need to then give it to your customers as a feature. I’ve seen some companies try to paste on extra fees for upgrades like the Aweber one.

Bad idea. To be successful… to keep customers… you have to be constantly adding features, not charging more. Sure, you “could” make a nice chunk of change getting people to sign on for the upgrades, but in reality, all you’re doing is alienating your existing client base by not giving it to them already.

Why cheese off your customers? It makes zero sense.

My philosophy has always been to add, add, add… then add some more. Keep piling on the features until your customer loves you so much they will never leave!

I repeat… THEY WILL NEVER LEAVE!

That’s what you want. That’s how you build customer evangelists too.

Resources

Here’s a list of the resources and tools and blogs and, well, everything I love and recommend. Please enjoy.

Web Tools & Resources

LeadPlayer WordPress Plugin

Need Landing Page Help?

I’m using a great WordPress plugin called Premise to build landing pages like these. Try it. It’s the best tool I’ve used yet. Here’s my affiliate link.

  • Need an Ecommerce site? Click here to try BigCommerce – the best way to sell online!
  • Aweber Email Marketing Software – This is what I use to build email lists on all of my sites/blogs. A no-brainer, just buy it.
  • WordPress Affiliate Manager – Neat tool to use to run an affiliate program through WordPress.
  • Easy Video Player 2.0 – Want to stream videos in a private member area? This tool is what I use for my site OnlineVideoToolkit.com. Connects with Amazon s3 and makes video hosting a breeze.
  • Dan Janal PR Leads Plus – I send all my press releases through Dan for the best results.
  • SurveyGizmo Online Surveys – Makes online survey’s with ease!
  • Unbounce Landing Page Tool – Love this tool for building fantastic, awesome looking landing pages.
  • Traffic Geyser – Online profit generator.
  • Popup Domination – Love this popup tool. Like it or not, popups work.
  • MaxPress Ninja Affiliate – Convert keywords into your blog content with affiliate links!
  • WordPress Hosting – Secure, safe, WordPress hosting with backups.
  • WordPress Wizard 2.0 – WordPress & Blogging Training.
  • MaxBlogPress Subscribers Magnet – Get more subscribers for your blog.
  • Cover Action Pro – This is what I use to build all my book and dvd and cd covers and more. Love it!
  • Build and host your website for only $4.99 per month. Start your 30 Day Trial Now
  • SEO Book – The ultimate guide to learning search engine marketing from Aaron Wall.
  • Scribe SEO LLC – Scribe is an SEO software service for WordPress (it’s like a content optimization personal assistant) that analyzes web pages,blog posts, and online press releases at the click of a button.
  • Spyfu – Spy on your PPC competitors. Just use the free version, but upgrade when you need more stats.
  • Prfessor – Build your own online university or training center from scratch, no tech-skills needed. Watch this demo to see it in action.
  • Thesis WordPress Theme – Best WordPress theme out there.
  • WordPress Themes & Resources – My big list, enjoy.
  • MemberGate – This is the member software I use to run TheBizWebCoach.com. It’s the Bentley of member software.
  • Amember Member Software – Powerful and full-featured membership/subscription software for your website.
  • Shareasale – Best affiliate network on the planet.
  • Skitch – Screen grab tool for the Mac.
  • FastStone Capture – Screen grab tool for the PC.
  • 1ShoppingCart.com – Sell your stuff online, merchant transactions.
  • Vbulletin Form Software – Create your own forums, blogs, and custom pages.
  • Practice Pay Solutions – Another great resource for a shopping cart and merchant account.
  • E-Junkie.com – Another great place to sell your stuff online, merchant transactions. Great for downloads.
  • Nanacast.com – Affiliate/shopping cart solution. Sell your digital products online, run an affiliate program off of them, all in one place.
  • CrowdSpring.com – Watch 50,000+ designers submit logos for you to choose from
  • Regonline.com – An easier way to manage events.
  • Guestlistapp.com – Online event registration (free).
  • Need an iPhone App? Yes, you do! – Build your own iPhone app for as little as $99
  • I’m A BIG Fan Of…

    • JoeBees.com – All natural bee pollen golden capsules I take that have changed my life!
    • Crossfit Cleveland – Another life changer. I’m healthier and happier and tougher because of Bill.
    • HARO – Peter Shankman’s excellent PR resource. Everyone needs to be a member here, for free!
    • Feedfront Magazine – Free online marketing information

    Products I Like…

    • The Video Boss – Andy Jenkins nails video marketing. Watch this amazing video.

    Websites/Blogs I Run…

    Websites/Blogs/Conferences I Love…

    • Affiliate Summit – The best conference around. I’m the emcee here, twice a year.
    • Blogworld Expo – Fantastic yearly show about blogging and all that it entails, you need to come to this.
    • Copyblogger – Copy is important. You need to learn how to write it.
    • Problogger – Run a blog? This is where you want to learn from.

    Friends (If you’re not here, contact me, I just forgot)…

    Aweber Launches Form Builder

    I’m a huge fan of Aweber, the service I use that collects emails for me and let’s me do email marketing with ease. There are other out there you can use, but in my experience, Aweber is the only one that let’s you do it all (except import emails but that’s another story).

    I was just reading about how Aweber is releasing a brand new form builder today that you will love and will make it even harder for you to go use another service. I know for me, even with the level of knowledge I have building Web pages and such, that formatting the email signup boxes on my site with the old method was a pain in the you know what to make it look good.

    No more. Check this out.

    How Easy Is It To Make A Web Form?

    Now you can easily create good looking email signup boxes, even with graphics! And, this is killer, the easy ability to add check boxes to your forms! These kinds of features are key to letting regular people who aren’t experts in building sites get started and create success. It’s so important to be able to put an email signup box in place on your site, and now, you’ve got even less excuse to get it done.

    I love it when the technology catches up. I see a trend brewing. Everything is getting easier/better. That’s good news.

    Go signup for Aweber, it’s what I use. That’s my affiliate link if you care.

    What’s Your Unique Value Proposition? (UVP)

    I often talk to my students and clients about developing a UVP. A unique value proposition. Some people called it a USP or a unique sales proposition. Same thing to me. The bottom line is you HAVE to have it. It’s the reason that someone chooses you over someone else.

    Example: You have restaurant A and restaurant B. Someone says to you, “we have two choices, A or B, which one should we choose?” That’s a buying decision. Now, whichever restaurant has the better crafted, more appealing, problem-solving UVP is going to win.

    So obviously your first step is to know your customer. If you know their pain point, then you can deliver them the solution, therefore making them choose you. But you have to know how to deliver that UVP to them that makes sense. How?

    Made to Stick: Selling Your Innovation : Innovation :: American Express OPEN Forum

    I was just watching an interesting video by Dan Heath, the guy who wrote Made To Stick over on the Openforum. Here’s the link to go watch since they don’t allow me to embed the video (lame).

    He’s essentially talking about the same thing. It’s how you explain what you are/do. You must be able to relate to a person in a way that they understand.

    Do you have a UVP? If not, you better get one. If not, how in the heck do you expect a customer to be able to choose you over someone else? You can’t.

    You Need A Signature Product

    You know I’m a big fan of the Prfessor.com online university/training system. So I did a video showing you how it all works (below).

    Summary: Use Prfessor to make money by teaching what you know. It’s a turnkey Web-based software that allows you to instantly create an online university, academy or training center. Use it to generate a stream of passive income for your business or brand. I highly recommend this product. Check it out here.

    As I say in the video. What are you waiting for? You’re not making money now right? Nobody is throwing a million bucks at your blog are they? Quit focusing your marketing efforts on someone else’s products. You need a signature product you can sell yourself. That’s what Prfessor.com will do for you.

    Social Media Is About More Than “Friends”

    I once wrote that “Nobody’s a blogger anymore, we’re all publishers“. The point is that at some point in the last few years of blogging growing up, and social media grabbing hold of us, that the reasons we started blogging became different. It wasn’t only about expressing our thoughts… it became more.

    jfk_sbIt became a business. Ok, you know what I mean. You start a blog today because you’re looking for something. Either to build your brand, or generate revenue, or to get publicity, or get a new job, etc… Therefore, since your intentions have changed, you no longer are a blogger… you’re a publisher.

    A publisher is someone who’s looking to get something by producing content. A blog is just a tool you can use to do that. Same with Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc…

    Now, what’s interesting to me is that we’re seeing the same shift happening in social media now that just happened with blogs. Albeit, we’re several years early for mass adoption of this meme, but I feel the trend happening. More and more people are getting into social media with a goal in mind.

    The goal could be figuring out how to make money, or build their brand, or find a new job… whatever. But it’s more than just “socializing” as the intent is my point.

    Why is this happening? Well, it could be that people have finally realized that it’s possible to “do something more” than chat with friends. People are now beginning to see that these tools can be used to help them accomplish something, and frankly, I don’t think that’s such a bad thing.

    Why shouldn’t we have goals?

    How long will it be before more and more people begin to become aware that social media is more than a glorified chat room and friend finder? Time will tell. But in my opinion, that trend is moving faster than you think.

    Focus

    I’m sitting here in a coffee shop trying to concentrate on writing my upcoming book called “Attention!”. In fact, I’ve been sitting here for almost two hours now, and I’ve probably written about 100 words.

    Fail.

    231-focus.jpg (JPEG Image, 320x320 pixels)

    It occurs to me that despite my best attempts to focus on writing this book, I’m not getting it done as fast as I thought I would. Why? Well, probably a bunch of reasons.

    1. The Deadline Isn’t Close Enough
    Classic excuse eh? Are you like me and you are able to “perform” better when you’re on the spot? When you KNOW you MUST get it done? For example, when I’m on stage, I KNOW I have to bring it, so I do. Or when I’m about to have an important phone call with a client and I have things due to them, I KNOW I have to get it done. This book manuscript isn’t due until Jan. 15, 2010.

    Now I know better than this. I KNOW that it will be a HUGE mistake to not have it close to being done before Christmas. I KNOW that I don’t want to be sitting in a closed room for 2-weeks prior to the deadline frantically writing and stressing out. Yet, here I am, not focusing, instead writing this blog post.

    2. Social Media
    I have Tweetdeck up and running on my other monitor all day long. I look at it probably every minute or more. It’s a HUGE distraction to me. Fortunately, I’ve closed it here, ok, I lied, it’s open, but I’m closing it as soon as I get done with this blog post.

    The point is, social media is a distraction. We’re all so, ok, maybe just me, dependant now on knowing what everyone else is up to. Where they’re getting coffee at and how they’re partying in Vegas. It’s a good thing, to be vested in the lives of our friends and associates. But it’s a HUGE distraction for sure.

    3. Gmail
    This is worse than social media. I’m an email guy. My business revolves around email. All day, all night. On my phone, on my Mac. Wherever. Email rules me. It owns me. I know I should shut down Gmail and I’d get more done, but it’s oh so hard to do.

    I’m interested in how you find ways to focus on goals? How do you get things done? For me, I’m a burst worker. That means that I go for long periods of time meandering around in my head and online plotting and thinking and formulating what needs to be done. Then, when it’s all cooked up in my head, I go, go, go… and produce a very large amount of high-quality work in a short, bursted, period of time.

    My friend John Ettorre pointed out to me once that many famous people were burst workers. Einstein for example. Whew, so I’m like Einstein I guess? I wonder if he can come by this coffee shop and help me write this book.