Ideas | Unskippable - Marketing Keynote Speaker - Jim Kukral

Category Archives for "Ideas"

The Two Reasons We Use The Web

In my presentation called “Beyond the Website” I cover my mantra of “Why We Use the Internet”. It’s one of the main things that we all need to understand before we can be successful online.

You MUST understand why people come online. If you dont, how can you sell to them? How can you create products and services and tools that they want? You can’t.

Here’s quick little snippet of me talking about why we use the Web. Do you think simple like this? Do you solve problems? You should.

I Want To Be Gary Vaynerchuk

Forget the wine. I know nothing about wine. I don’t drink wine. Don’t really even like it unless its got a screw cap and I can buy it at the grocery store every once in a while. So forget wine…

I want to be Gary Vaynerchuk because…

Well, I don’t really want to be him, but I want to be able to entertain like him. I want to be able to engage my readers and viewers like he does. I want to be able to get them to participate and crave my content like he does.

It’s not the wine that makes Gary’s show good… it’s Gary.

It’s his passion for what he’s talking about. It’s his gusto in his delivery and his charm. Ok, this is starting to sound kinda creepy, sorry. I assure you, my “love” for Gary is purely an admiration for all of the things mentioned above. Also his marketing skills. His website is well done and he’s using social media VERY well to drive his brand. I’m learning a lot.

So Gary, thanks for the inspiration as I’m getting ready to do my own daily show soon, and I’m glad to have met you in Vegas. Oh yeah, and thanks for doing the sake episode.

I’ve added the Winelibrary.tv widget to my sidebar so I’m hoping to win the guest seat on Gary’s show. But does he really want someone on there who doesn’t drink wine and who has never tasted anything more than a two buck chuck?

Could be interesting… just saying. Besides, the Browns will have beaten the Jets by that date?

Here’s me interviewing Gary in Vegas last month.

You Have Ideas, Can You Spread Them?

Seth Godin has been a major influence on my marketing. The guy gets it, on many levels. I was just reading one of my favorite sites at Robin Good’s MasterNewMedia.org, where he features some advice from Seth.

Can you get your ideas to spread or not? He asks.

With people having less and less time available while products, services and choices keep increasing in number, the typical choice is to ignore ordinary stuff.

People want something special. Something that stands out. Something unique.

But even more important to understand is the fact that you can’t target your potential customers by making one size fits all type of product. You need to address and talk directly to those very individuals that are actively listening for exactly what you have to offer and go after them like a laser beam. But not by bombarding them but rather by lighting up the road they were seeking to find.

Here’s a talk Seth gave at the Ted show. Definitely worth a watch if you’re in the idea business.

Why I Would Never Take VC Money Ever Again

A venture capitalist (VC firm) called me today outta the blue inquiring about Scratchback.com. He wanted to know what it was and if I was interested in hearing more about his investment firm. My observations from his call?

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A. Nobody but me and my programmer knows what Scratchback is yet. I’m not telling a VC over the phone.

B. I would never, ever take money from a VC ever again.

C. I’m doing a heckuva job at marketing it to get that attention. :)

Other entrepreneurs will tell you the same thing I’m sure of it. Taking money from anyone besides yourself is risky and complicates the issue.

Yes, yes, yes. Perhaps you MUST take money to grow to a certain level, etc… I get that. But I’ll tell you what. In my experience. owning what you build is 1 billion times more important in the long wrong then the money you raised and the control you had to give up to get it.

So forget it. Keep your money. If I fail, I’ll fail on my own terms, my own way, without some board over my shoulder.

My advice, mortgage your house and everything you own if you truly believe in something… before taking VC money. But that’s just me.

Traditional Advertising Models Are Collapsing… Smell The Fear!

Are you ready? Here comes more creative uses of online video. Check out this piece in the Washington Post about brand evangelism.

The traditional advertising models are collapsing. Where once there were mass media, with the audience a passive receptacle, we are moving toward what branding expert Rob Frankel calls “the masses controlling the media.” An audience empowered by hundreds of cable channels and TiVo pays less and less mind to TV ads. And the marketers, well, some might suggest they are desperate.

“You can smell the fear,” Garfield says.

Which means that smart marketers will figure out how to get the people to do much of their work for them. The big marketing story of this year’s Super Bowl was “consumer-generated advertising,” in which ordinary folks competed to help create TV spots for Doritos and Chevrolet.

And it’s not only about getting your audience involved. It can be done the other way, by creating your own engaging content that your audience wants to see.

For example, look at this site called Willitblend.com.

The kitchen appliance company Blendtec has a microsite called Willitblend.com, which functions as a laboratory of unlikely things getting pureed in Blendtec blenders, including pickled pigs’ feet and light bulbs. Users can send a note to the Will It Blend? site to suggest a new item to be blended — a shag rug, perhaps.

So very, very smart. I mean, c’mon, don’t you have to know if a video camera will blend? What about a baseball?

Man, I want one of those super blenders, don’t you?

What are you creating that is engaging? Are you concentrating your marketing efforts on building content that will grab hold of your audience?

Attention = Conversation

I just finished writing a chapter of a book that Drew is putting together. My chapter was titled “Can I Have Your Attention Please?”. It is about how new, free tools such as YouTube and Twitter and Flickr, to name a few, are changing the game and how brands today need to embrace these new attention getting tools if they want to be noticed in an ever-growing world of noise.

Then just now I came across this piece.

JPMorgan Chase & Co said it was reviewing its security procedures after a video posted online showed someone holding various documents found in trash cans containing customers’ personal information.

Why post the video? What was the purpose?

The video, filmed by the local chapter of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), was posted in response to the company’s hiring of security contractors. Last week, union members went through the curbside trash of several banks in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, according to Linda Tran, an SEIU spokeswoman.

Sometimes, to get people’s attention, you need clear evidence that precipitates a conversation,” Tran told CNN.

Attention = Conversation.

Creativity Is The Most Important Key To Online Marketing Success

We’ve gotten to the point that most online videos (including mine) are sucking. Well, not sucking, but they’re boring.

Let’s face it, this Internet video thing is growing up fast. It’s time for more creativity.

The best part is, you can be creative without big bucks. Check out this cool video on RSS.

There are two types of Internet users, those that use RSS and those that don’t. This video is for the people who could save time using RSS, but don’t know where to start.

When you’re done watching that, check out this neat marketing website that uses photos to promote a book. Interesting to say the least, and more effective than reading some bullet pointed copy, no? I think so.

Get creative people. Do something that sounds fun. Grab your home camera, video or digital. Be crazy. It works.

Remember, it’s really hard to make mistakes today. Everyone just needs to try something, anything.

As I said in another blog post. Do it, or don’t. Just don’t complain next year when everyone else did and you didn’t get any of the spoils.

Win Jim Kukral’s Domain Name Contest: NicheROI.com

Take my domain names, please. I own about 150 or so domain names, most of which I don’t or ever will use. But I keep buying them as I “hope” to one day make them a good home. So why not give them away to someone with a good idea who can use them?

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Here’s the deal. Every once in a while I’m going to give away one of my domain names to one of my readers who can come up with the best business model or website idea for that domain name. No, you don’t have to write an entire business model, but I will expect you to have a killer idea that is worthy of the domain (a few paragraphs will do).

The rules are you can either leave your idea for the domain in the comments for the public to view, or you can email me your idea and I will do a follow-up post in a few weeks showing each idea anonymously and my readers can vote on which one is the best.

The winning idea gets the domain in question transferred to them free of charge.

Interested? Let’s kick off this contest with one of my all-time favorite domains I’ve never used.

NicheROI.com

Take my domain, please.

Thinking Creatively & Taking Chances Is A Marketing Strategy That Works

girl_postitnotes04.jpgBack in 1994 I had a job interview with an advertising agency in Akron, Ohio. During the interview I noticed the President’s office wall covered in yellow post-it notes. And I mean a ton of them, all over the place, like wallpaper. “That’s how I get work done and remember stuff,” he said. I thought it was pretty cool, and it gave me an idea.

After I left the interview, I went to the store and bought some packs of post-it notes, and a big paper sheet about 3×3 feet in size. I had my wife, girlfriend at the time, who has unbelieveable handwriting write down a quality I posessed on each yellow sticky (hard worker, good designer, smart, etc..). We filled up the entire paper sheet with those stickies, creating a “wall” of my best attributes.

It was my resume in sticky notes.

The next morning I dropped it off at his office before he got in. A few hours later I got the call and was hired instantly.

Now, I didn’t take the job as I had another offer to join something called a “new media agency”, which I took instead, but that’s another story.

The point is… Thinking creatively and taking chances is a winning combination.

Do you think creatively? Do you take chances? I believe that many of you have good or even great ideas, but you are afraid to act them out. Why?

Jon Spolestra, my newest marketing hero, author of an AMAZING book called Marketing Outrageously, advises that you everyone should sit down and get a little piece of paper and write down the craziest idea you have for marketing your business on it. Then stick it in your pocket and just keep it there. You don’t have to show it to anyone if you don’t want to, just keep it there as a reminder to you that you can think in such a manner.

My advice? Stop worrying about failure. It’s going to happen, a lot. I’ve failed countless times, and been laughed at too. I’ve been told my ideas are lame and will never work, and some have, and some haven’t. But you know what?

I will never, ever stop trying.

P.S. Go ahead, buy that book. If you don’t think it’s amazing, send it to me and I will pay you for it, guaranteed. I’ll just give it to someone else. No joke.

How To Sell A $100,000 Sponsorship For Your Blog

Joel Cheesman is a blogger in a niche of career/recruiting. Early in 2007 Joel sold a one-year sponsorship for his award-winning blog, Cheezhead.com, to Jobcentral.com for $100k. I recently interviewed Joel via email to find out how he did it, and how you can do it to.

jclogo207.gifJim Kukral: Was it your idea to sell your entire blog or did the sponsor suggest it?

Joel: Mine.

Jim’s Analysis: It just goes to show that success comes to those who ask for it. Decide what you want, then make it happen. It sounds harder than it is.

Jim Kukral: How exactly did this sponsorship come about? Who contacted who? Who came up with the $100k number?

Joel: My blog had done (and continues to do) a nice job of supporting my SEO business. So the issue arose of Do I focus on SEO and blog less, or do I create a revenue stream for my blog and justify the time spent blogging. Revenue stream and more blogging won. I contacted JobCentral. They were a great prospect because they had supported me before (http://www.cheezhead.com/2006/06/11/jobcentral-wins-auction/).

I came up with the $100K number. I knew that if we were going to garner attention, it would have to be something big.

Jim’s Analysis: Never undervalue yourself. Sometimes asking for too little is a very bad thing.

Jim Kukral: What exactly does the sponsor get?

Joel: Dominating presence on blog (header, banner, sponsors page, single post drop-down link); plugs in podcasts and videos; logo on T-shirts worn at tradeshows and conferences; advertising in anything I publish, etc.

Jim’s Analysis: $100k/12 months=$8,300/month. Not bad for all that. As Joel mentions below, a company can spend over $100k/year on a trade show presence and possibly never even track that ROI back. With a blog sponsorship they can track everything, and the buzz alone from the sponsorship can pay off as it reaches every major blogger in that space. Hey, look at this article for proof :)

Jim Kukral: What’s the advantage to the sponsor for doing this?

1) It sounds corny, but there was really an element of “supporting the arts.” Bill Warren, head of JobCentral, really believes in the medium and where it can go.

2) Brand awareness. My blog just won Recruiting.com’s Best Recruiting Blog for 2006. I have a good name in the industry and healthy growth.

3) Zagging. A lot of companies will spend over $50K on one tradeshow in our industry, where they largely go unnoticed. By sponsoring a blog at this level, JobCentral took a different approach to its competitors’ marketing activities.

Jim’s Analysis: While I don’t think this will be an easy sell to most companies who are used to dropping wasted money into trade shows and banner ads, I do think that smart companies will see the advantages Joel talks about. The trick is finding one like Jobcentral, who is obviously way ahead of the curve. I’m going to try and interview Bill Warren, head of Jobcentral next and get his thoughts on Joel and this sponsorship.

Jim Kukral: What’s the advantage to you for selling a sponsorship this way?

I can better justify the time spent blogging. Time is money, right?

Jim’s Analysis: I would agree. The #1 advantage is that Joel can now concentrate on his craft, instead of worrying about selling ads.

Joels’ Dirty Little Secret

I saw Joel in person at an event the other day and he secretly told me that after he sold this sponsorship he was contacted by other industry people he knew who wondered why he didn’t come to them first, as they would have given him way more than $100k. Lesson learned, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Read Joel’s story about “selling out” on his blog.

Digg this story please?

Here’s Joel’s “selling out” funny video. Good work buddy.

Cheezhead Sells Out

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