Thought Leadership | Unskippable - Marketing Keynote Speaker - Jim Kukral

Category Archives for "Thought Leadership"

I Don’t Pay For Leads & I Don’t Buy Advertising

I don’t have to. Because I know how to produce content (speaking, podcasts, video, eBooks, etc…) that brings customers to me over and over, without me having to do much else. I spoke this morning to a local chamber of commerce group in my home town. Over 30 small business owners in attendance. Translation: All my customers. I walked out of there with 25+ leads. Pretty good ratio eh?

The video below shows a simple tactic that I use all the time to generate leads. In this case, 25+ business leads in less than an hour. These are people who are checking a box that says “please contact me”. In other words, a solid, pre-sold, pre-qualified lead. How much would you be willing to pay for that? The industry average for b2b/service companies is about $35 per lead.

Watch the video to learn how to do it. Then simply go do it.

Now I’ll contact each one of them over the next week and take the next step in building a relationship with them, which will eventually lead to a new customer of mine. There’s plenty more that happens before and after this, but this is just one thing you can master for now. I’ll continue to blog about the other techniques I’ve used that you will find helpful as well.

If you found this content useful, please consider passing it along?

New BUMPzee Community Launched Today: How To Be Successful Online

You all know how much I love BUMPzee! Well, I love it even more now that I was chosen as one of the select few to manage my very own community while it’s still in beta. So what community did I make?

bzheaderlogo1.pngIntroducing the ‘How To Be Successful Online’ BUMPzee Community

Bookmark this: http://www.bumpzee.com/onlinesuccess/

What is the community all about?

The How To Be Successful Online community is for anyone who is interested in learning how to be successful on the Internet. The blogs and members of this community will focus on and discuss the world of Internet marketing, professional blogging and making money online. Join today for free, or submit your related blog for free as well.

That description you just read is really what JimKukral.com is all about, and many, many others like it that I read every day. Like those blogs, I don’t write about one topic like affiliate marketing only, but rather, I focus on writing about all types of online marketing, with the specific goal of trying to help businesses, brands and individuals be successful online.

Do you fit that mold? Are you someone who’s looking for more information about how to be successful online? Join the community for free!

Do you have a blog that talks about ways to be successful online? Submit your blog to the community for free!

FYI. I’ve preloaded the community with about 14 blogs, listed below (in no particular order & if I missed your blog, I’m sorry, just go add it).

If your blog is on the list below, go sign up and claim your blog, and most importantly, add the bump widget to your entries and sidebar. If your blog isn’t in the list below, what are you waiting for, submit it!

Not sure about BUMPzee yet. Read this.

Super Affiliate Marketing Blog
Earners Blog
Revenews
WaynePorter.com
Shoe Money
CostPerNews
Graywolf’s SEO Blog
Copyblogger
Andy Wibbels
Aaron Wall’s SEO Book.com
The Blog Herald
Ask the Blogger!
901am
ProBlogger Blog Tips
Jim Kukral Online Marketing Ideas

Oh yeah, and make sure to check out the other new beta BUMPzee community managed by CostPerNews’s Sam Harrelson.

Called “Next Gen Marketing”. In a nutshell, this community on BUMPzee will serve as an aggregator of blogs and insights focusing on developing trends and emerging tactics to address the rising tide of social media, attention economies and “web2.0″ platforms. It should be fun to see the discussions which arise there.

There’s also some new interface changes at BUMPzee too, so check it out!

Online Conversations & Business Blogging Insights From The Void

Hugh from Gapingvoid.com summarizes a talk he gave to the fabled PR agency Edelman.

bloggingthist.jpgThese 16 learning points pretty much sum up all intelligent thought on business blogging, online conversations and more. Do yourself a favor, click here, go read it and thank me later.

My favorite tidbits?

5. The growth will come, I believe, not by yet more increased efficiencies, but by humanification. For example, take two well-known airlines. They both perform a useful service. They both deliver value. They both cost about the same to fly to New York or Hong Kong. Both have nice Boeings and Airbuses. Both serve peanuts and drinks. Both serve “airline food”. Both use the same airports. But one airline has friendly people working for them, the other airline has surly people working for them. One airline has a sense of fun and adventure about it, one has a tired, jaded business-commuter vibe about it. Guess which one takes the human dimension of their business more seriously than the other? Guess which one still will be around in twenty years? Guess which one will lose billions of dollars worth of shareholder value over the next twenty years? What parallels do you see in your own industry? In your own company?

Indeed. How true is that? Which business are you? Think, be realistic. Which business do you want to be?

7. Blogging is not about reaching a mass audience. Blogging is not about creating yet another sales channel. Blogging is about allowing “The Smarter Conversation” to happen.

Why do some companies lose, while other companies win? Because the latter has a smarter “conversation” with its customers. Pret-A-Manger has a smarter conversation about food than Burger King. Starbuck’s came along 20 years ago and began a smarter conversation about coffee with millions of people within a very short space of time. Wal-Mart’s massive growth started from a smarter conversation about prices. Savile Row tailor, Thomas Mahon came along and, with his blog, had a smarter conversation about $4000 English bespoke suits.

Blogs allow you to cheaply and quickly begin a smarter conversation. And once you get it going, that conversation starts bleeding out into all other areas of your business- including advertising, PR and corporate communications.

Again, how true is this? This is the first thing I tell business blogging customers when I consult… We’re going to create a conversation, and that conversation is going to get you more customers, traffic and publicity then you can imagine, if we do it right.

If you are worried about what people might say about your company, you’re worrying about something you cannot control, because it’s happening, right now, online, whether you like it or not. The question for you is, are you going to control that conversation, or just let it happen without you?

It’s a brave new world out there. I’ve been setting up and building business blogs for over 4 years now. Back then, I didn’t think you had to have one. Today, however, I think it’s like a website. It’s a requirement. It’s expected. At least it should be.

Don’t have a blog yet? Not creating conversations with your customers? It’s time to get in the game, because you know what?

Your competitors are going to beat you to the conversation, and then they’ll control it leaving you playing blog catch up.

bloggingconsultant4388.png

You Want Short-Term Traffic, Or Long-Term Trust & Respect For Your Blog?

Here’s your Kukral blog tip o’ the day. You can’t fake or quick-hit your way into being a “big time blog”. There is no quick road other than to provide high-quality content consistently over time, while building respect and trust.

Here’s what you shouldn’t do, and I’m sorry to have to do this because I recently added this blog to my blogroll because I noticed it was everything I mentioned above. Yet now, it’s going down a path that won’t work for me.

Sorry Mark at 45n5.com, but you are losing me. Here’s why.

#1 Reason Your Blog Is Almost Off My Blogroll: Blog Attacks With No Merit

You attacked a respected industry person without merit. Now don’t get me wrong, attacking respected industry people is something I have done as well, and it works. However, you can ONLY do it when you’re right and can back up your case. What you’re claiming to Sam is crapola, and a very transparent attempt to get yourself some controversial traffic.

The problem is, again, controversial traffic is great, if you can back up your points, and you’re only concerned about short-term hits. If you want long-term readers, this is not the way to go.

45n5.jpg#2 Reason Your Blog Is Almost Off My Blogroll: Don’t Try To Fool Your Readers

You’re gaming your stats to try and fool me and your readers. So, all of a sudden your blog is ranked #1 in Alexa, you charge $10k for a Reviewme review, and you have 368k feed subscribers? We all know how to game those stats and that’s what you did. Your sitemeter stats show you have 73 visits a day.

I ask why? What do you gain by trying to fool readers into believing something that isn’t true? Don’t make the mistake of thinking that deception is successful marketing and branding, it’s not.

Advice: Decide What You Want Your Blog To Be & Stick With It

Then live with the consequences of your choice. I see what you’re doing. You’re trying to hyper-grow your readership though some of the oldest blog tricks in the book. Believe me, I know, because I’ve used them all, and they work, however, excessive over-use of them will define what your blog and you become.

Know what I’ve learned since having been blogging since 2001? Long term, that strategy won’t work, assuming you want to build a long-term brand and trust level in your community. Chose wisely is all I’m saying.

I’m hoping to keep you on my blogroll because until today your blog was winning with me. What’s it gonna be?

Online Marketing Videos Every Aspiring Super Marketer Needs To Watch

Mack at the Viral Garden had a great post about how he found some amazing marketing videos by some famous marketers over at Google Video.

I started searching through Google Video and found plenty of gems by speakers such as Seth Godin, Joe Jaffe, Jackie Huba, and Robert Scoble. For the other 99.9% of you that have broadband (ie, real internet), enjoy. Do yourself a favor, take a few hours out of your day or weekend, and give these guys a chance to make you smarter.

In particular, I want you to spend the 48 minutes watching Seth Godin speak to Google. Great stuff.

Lesson learned today? There are gems to be found for free on the Internets.

Here’s another great one from Jackie Huba, about Creating Customer Evangelists.

View, and upload your own, videos that can help you make money online at http://makingmoneyonline.magnify.net/.

Google Facts You Did Not Know & Expert Tips You Can Learn From

mayer.jpgFound a nice little review of a talk by Google Product Manager Marissa Mayer. Check out some of the stuff she revealed, pretty darn interesting.

The prime reason the Google home page is so bare is due to the fact that the founders didn’t know HTML and just wanted a quick interface.

Lesson Learned: Simple Works
How true is this? Sometimes things just work out. Don’t always think you have to over analyze something. And most importantly, if you’re confused at what to do, go simple. Simple usually works.

Due to the sparseness of the homepage, in early user tests they noted people just sitting looking at the screen. After a minute of nothingness, the tester intervened and asked ‘Whats up?’ to which they replied “We are waiting for the rest of it”. To solve that particular problem the Google Copyright message was inserted to act as a crude end of page marker.

Lesson Learned: Testing Means Everything
I’m going to guess this was ‘back in the day’ of slow internet connections. However, there is a lesson to be learned here as well. Testing means everything. You may think it’s so easy a monkey could do it. You know what? Sometimes, just sometimes, it can be too simplistic and it can confuse people. Test.

The name ‘Google’ was an accident. A spelling mistake made by the original founders who thought they were going for ‘Googol’

Lesson Learned: Embrace Mistakes, Sometimes
Wow, it makes you wonder if ‘Googol’ would have hit with us as well? I don’t think so. Regardless, it’s important to realize that mistakes happen, and sometimes they happen for a reason. Don’t kill yourself over mistakes, instead, learn from them and sometimes embrace them.

Employees are encouraged to use 20% of their time working on their own projects. Google News, Orkut are both examples of projects that grew from this working model.

Lesson Learned: Your Employees Are Your Best Experts
If you’re running a business, think about this some more. Your employees are the #1 expert resource about your product or service, therefore, they are most likely the ones who can come up with the next big idea for you. Why not invest some of their time back into the possible future of your company?

The Blogging A-List Is The Matrix, It Does, & Doesn’t Exist

Sometimes I get so fired about about something that I just have to sit down and crank it out into a blog entry. Now is one of those times, and it’s best I do it now so I can relax with a cold, green Harp and relax for the rest of the evening. After all, it is St. Patrick’s day, and I’m Ukranian, heh.

a-list.jpg

The backstory: Tony says the a-listers refuse to acknowledge the ‘blue-collar bloggers’. Calacanis, an a-lister target, says the a-list doesn’t exist.

Tony, you’re right, and wrong. Blue collar bloggers do exist, but they’re not in the a-list because it really doesn’t exist beyond an idea conceived by those who aren’t in it. Again, the a-list is nothing more than an idea. It exists in people’s minds, yet, it’s not real. It’s like the Matrix.

Jason, you, on the other hand, are ignoring the reality that perception is in fact the true reality. That is, dear sir, is that of course there is no real a-list, just as their is no real Santa Claus either by the way. However, there is a very, very real “perception” of Santa (especially by my 5-year-old), and on the same meme, there is the same very, very real perception of the supposed a-list in the real blogosphere. Sorry, like it or not, that is the reality.

You, Jason, do not get to define the perception as true or false, mostly due to your current status.

It’s the same as a billionaire trying to say that Walmart sucks because it kills the little guy. But guess what? That billionaire doesn’t have to shop there, he doesn’t know exactly how much Walmart means to someone who is forced to shop there to feed his family. His perception is NOT the vast majority. Therefore, it’s the minority, and last time I checked, the majority is usually what drives just about everything in this world (except a US election).

Is it possible to end this a-list, z-list conversation?

No, it’s not, because this is what humans do. We feel comfortable when we class ourselves into levels of status. It’s not going to change anytime soon.

By the way, the Big Brown Box is very real :)

Now, where’s my bottle opener.

Jim Kukral To Speak At PayPerPost Conference With Robert Scoble

Ok, not “with” Robert Scoble on stage at the same time, but “with” him at the event as a speaker. I’ve accepted a speaking gig at the PayPerPost “Postiecon” on June 1 & 2nd, 2007 in Orlando, Florida.

postiecon.jpg

DID KUKRAL REALLY JUST SAY WHAT I THINK HE SAID?

Yes, I did, and let me tell you why. For those of you who don’t read me here or at ReveNews, you wouldn’t know that I was probably one of the biggest PayPerPost bashers from day one. So those who know my history with PPP, are probably wondering what kind of drugs I must be taking.

The answer is, none, college was over in the early 90’s. Yes, I used to despise PayPerPost, but it was always because of one clear reason, which was the lack of required, clear disclosure that allowed for deception. It was never about anything besides that.

What they are now, and what they used to be are two different things, and I’m on record as saying I think they’re “on the right track”. They are.

postiecon_scoble.jpg

So Why Accept A Speaking Gig From PayPerPost?

Let’s make this clear. I’m speaking at their event, just like Robert Scoble is (who took a lot of heat for it without merit). My invitation to speak does not mean I fully endorse their product, but rather, it means that I think I can help a lot of bloggers learn how to monetize their blogs, and build trust with their readers and build long-term, solid brands for themselves.

The bottom line is that I’m in the “helping bloggers succeed” business, and have been for years and years, way before many even were thinking about bloggers being able to make money.

Side Note: I still remember getting hate mail from people back in 2003-ish when I used to sell my ebook “BlogstoRiches“. They used to email me and say things like “Blogging is pure, you can’t make money with them” or “You’re a scumbag for trying to fool bloggers into thinking they can monetize. FU Kukral.”.

I’m Speaking To Try & Help Bloggers Succeed

My session is entitled ‘The Secrets To Long-Term Blog Success & Profitability’. It will nothing to do with how bloggers can write paid content to make money, and everything to do with how to use your blog to build success and trust long-term, whether that’s for direct profit or for your personal brand, etc…

I hope you can attend the event (which is only about $199), and if so I look forward to meeting you in person.

If you’re an event coordinator that’s looking for a dynamic, informative and well-prepared speaker, please give me a ring and let’s chat about having me at your event. Call me direct at 216.272.4383. Looks like I will be speaking at the Blog Business World event this fall as well, it’s filling up fast!

Viral Marketing Works When It’s Useful & Interesting… & Easy

Seth Godin is right, as usual. Check out this fun little, yet very simple tool.

It’s viral because it’s interesting, not because it’s accurate. And it’s interesting partly because it talks about how much money you have. Sort of the new fortune telling.

So let’s review. This works because it’s easy, fun, useful, interesting… When you work on projects, do you strive for those things? If not, are you sure you’re on the right track?

5 Reasons Why BumpZee Will Be The Next Digg, But Even Bigger

Digg may have been the best “user driven social content website” out there, but not anymore. BumpZee, a new, innovative and unique community/tool built by Scott Jangro, is better than Digg, on may levels. In fact, BumpZee might be better than Digg, Techmeme, MyBlogLog and many others, combined.

Don’t believe it? Here’s 5 reasons why BumpZee is better, and why BumpZee will blaze a trail as a pioneer of successful web 2.0 mashups.

Note: BumpZee is currently beta testing with only one community focused on the affiliate marketing industry.

BumpZee

#5 Reason BumpZee Is Better Than Digg
BumpZee is more than “bumping”, Digg is not. All you can do on Digg is submit and/or “digg” stories. Sure, BumpZee does that too, called “bumps”, but that’s only a small part of the core functionality in BumpZee. In all reality, that simple functionality is about all there really is to Digg.

BumpZee is so much more. Specifically, BumpZee combines…

  • the functionality of a feed reader (Google Reader)
  • a meme/blog tracker (Techmeme/Technorati)
  • a user content aggregator (Digg)
  • and publisher (Blogger)
  • as well as a community/social network (MyBlogLog)
  • all in one tight little fun package

    #4 Reason BumpZee Is Better Than Digg
    BumpZee is new, so it’s not gamed, Digg is (documented). In BumpZee, the community polices itself. How? Users can not only bump entries they think are worthwhile, they are encouraged to dump ones that are not.

    bz_newentries1.jpg

    #3 Reason BumpZee Is Better Than Digg
    BumpZee is professional, Digg is not. Since the BumpZee community is built from extraneous blogs that feed it, and because it polices itself, it is so far absent of massive amounts of unprofessional users looking to yell “lame” or “sucks” to every piece of content that isn’t about Apple or the iPhone or Bill Gates sucking “d00d”!

    Instead, it maintains a useful and friendly tone and provides an helpful experience to each user. Doesn’t matter if they are participants, or just readers. They all can enjoy.

    bz_community.jpg

    #2 Reason BumpZee Is Better Than Digg
    BumpZee solves problems for the busy professional. Digg is just a time waster. When you visit BumpZee, you are able to do so many things at once, like track conversations, bump stories, learn about new blogs in your industry, meet new people, and even participate in creating your own blog listing (if you don’t have a blog of your own), and much, much more.

    bz_discuss.jpg

    The ability to do so many things within one place, amongst your niche group of industry peers makes BumpZee an invaluable tool and time saving, problem solving application.

    bz_recent.png#1 Reason BumpZee Is Better Than Digg
    BumpZee has widgets that are actually easy to use, easy to setup and are actually useful. Digg widgets aren’t very robust and are hard to implement, and their core usefullness can be questioned.

    In fact, if you take a deeper look at the BumpZee widget page, you’ll see that there is an actual WordPress plugin design and distributed for download to anyone’s blog, as well as some easy to copy/paste code to get the widget on your blog.

    Summary: BumpZee Is The Future – Mashups Will Win
    You have to hand it to Scott Jangro, the creator of BumpZee. His vision has mashed up the very best pieces of social media and user generated content communities and tools, and put them all together into a fun, and extremely useful utility.

    Once this launches in more verticals besides affiliate marketing, I predict it will become bigger than Digg, and faster. It’s just that good.

    Go ahead, you tell me what’s better?

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