My 2010 Resolutions

Ok, before all of you start throwing bananas at me, let me say one thing…

I originally didn’t want to make any New Year Resolutions!

That changed though. You are getting the benefit of reading them now that I am posting them on the web for all to see.

Resolution #1: Find 1000 True Fans

Being that I am starting to take my online presence more seriously and in developing my online business, I find this is a key component. I wrote about it in my Thought Leaders post not too long ago.

Resolution #2: Find and interview the Thought Leaders

Yup, also from the same Thought Leaders post. I find that if I surround myself with the Thought Leaders of this realm, collaborate together, and become good friends, we can take this vibrant world of New Media to the next level!

Resolution #3: Comment and Stumble every blog post

I’m finding out that if I can comment on and stumble every post, the more traffic that blog sees and the chances that I get noticed. Not only does it benefit my reputation, but it also shows I am out on the web interacting with other people, leaving little tips of my own as I go along. If you think about it, it really works out better for the short and the long term, as well as benefits both parties. The unique thing when I stumble posts is that it pastes it into my Friendfeed account and sends out an automatic tweet to my twitter audience later on, where even more people read it. Pretty cool eh?

Resolution #4: See if I can maintain a daily post

Yeah, this one will probably be a kicker of a one to keep, seeing as I am a full-time college student with a 30 credit hour semester load, but we will play it by ear and see what happens. I would love for you guys to keep me accountable. Holler if I haven’t posted anything, and I will see what I can do to post something for you.

As a matter of fact, lets make it even easier. Click here to send me a tweet if I fall behind for the day.

Those are my resolutions for the year 2010. What are yours? Comment below.

-Taylor Marek
Your ever present Social Media Nut ;P

#105: A Chat With Nathan Hangen

Sponsored by Create A Fan Page.
Let me create your fan page for you and get you started on the right track!

Today we have a chat with Nathan Hangen. Be sure to take notes for this one!

I was originally impressed by the post he wrote called “How to be like Batman“, the interview came out of that.

The stats regarding podcasting that I mentioned in this episode can be found at:
http://blog.blubrry.com/2010/01/28/podcast-consumer-attitudes-study-released-video/

To learn more about Nathan, read his book, or chat with him via twitter,
click on one of the links below:

Blog – NathanHangen.com
Book – Beyond Blogging
Twitter – @nhangen

Want to Retweet this episode to your Twitter Audience? Click Here.

Sponsored by Create A Fan Page.

Lets continue the conversation. Comment below or use these options:

The Parable of the Businessman

I ran across this story (Mark 4:1-20 if you’re wondering), and it bears repeating. My life story seems to echo this parable above all others, my name defines it.

It goes as follows:

There once was a businessman, who, after he had created a product to solve an urgent need, set out to market. He stopped in many places. Villages, cities, states, and everywhere else he saw his product could do the most good. Some of the product he sold fell upon deaf ears, no one wanted to buy what he had to offer. Some of it fell upon interested people who put it on a shelf and let it collect dust. Others fell upon those who needed it. They started using it, but quickly became disillusioned and requested a refund. Still other fell upon those who recognized this product, eagerly bought it and consumed it entirely. Through them word started spreading and soon the businessman was looking at an increase of thirty, sixty, even a hundred times more then he ever thought possible.

What is the meaning? It means that you, as a business owner, will always have these four types of customers. The ones you want to go for are those where the “seed falls upon good soil…and produces… even a hundredfold…”

The rest will take care of itself.

What’s your application to this parable?

Create A Facebook Fan Page

For those wondering, this is a short blast to all who may need one.

I am right now making Facebook Fan Pages for FREE for anyone who may need one. Its for a limited time though, so if you are reading this you need to jump aboard NOW.

Update: Yes, I am true to my word. The free opportunity is no longer. I can still design your fan pages for you, but it will cost a small amount for me to put them together. It is well worth the cost though. Actually, I should really increase the price soon as I am giving them away at a deep discount…

Where should you go? http://createafanpage.com

I’d love to see you on the other side.

-Taylor Marek

Marketing Fail: iNET Web Case Study

Welcome to a pillar series I plan on putting together on my blog titled, “Marketing Fail”. The idea behind this came out of watching companies market their products and services. Some do their marketing extraordinarily well, while some just plain fail. Hopefully reading about these marketing blunders will help you avoid these mistakes in your own company and strive to produce a marketing campaign to be proud of.

When marketing your company, there are certain ways to go about it. You have many mediums to promote in, including social media, to be aware of as well. Some mediums are more potent then others, yet each one has its own benefits associated with it. For example, in television commercials; people are listening, reading, and watching all at the exact same time. Compared to print, where someone is just reading something, you are capturing more senses and engaging that person with your message. With social media, you are engaging that person’s senses and encouraging them to respond, building a relationship with an individual that is impossible with television, radio, and print combined. But that is for a later article, lets take a look at a case study of marketing gone wrong.

Case Study: iNET Web

iNET Web is a website design and hosting company located in Waukesha, Wisconsin. They began in 1998 with the intent to “crush every Waukesha web development competitor in not only price but also design”. They have done just that through their radio ads, effectively downplaying every competitor and taking the market over by force.

Two unforeseen problems came up with this stance, and here is the predicament that now looms over my hometown of Milwaukee.

1. It incenses the “Competition”

Marketing 101 for any company regardless of industry teaches owners to focus on telling their own story. Business owners are encouraged to differentiate and sell their unique benefits for the consumers benefit. It is slightly different from the presumed my-product-is-better-than-your-product argument that companies regularly initiate in, but an important difference nonetheless. Think of it this way, are you in business just so you can “crush your competition” or to provide a solution to a consumer need? Act that way. Market your company that way. Your company is not here to give you an ego boost, you are in business to provide a way of living for yourself by providing the solution to the consumers’ need.

iNET Web effectively created a large rift and threw the competition into it, silencing all opposition. As a result, I barely hear of other website design companies. The ones I do hear of? They despise iNET. The flip side? Some of these companies I stumble across make pretty impressive websites and love their customers to pieces.

This is a fine line, yet this could spell death for your company no matter how profitable you are. Not only does this make your “competition” mad at you, it also splits the market and prevents you from working with your “competitors” down the road. Listen closely, your competition is not in business to bash you, they are in business the same reason you are: to make a profit. There are more than enough people in your market for everyone to benefit from, you physically cannot serve everybody in that market. Neither can your “competition”. That is an undisputed fact. As you understand this, you will start to view your competitors in a different light. Now, rather than “bashing” them, you will see how all of you can work together to serve your market; to both widen and deepen it.

2. It keeps the Market in the Dark

Would you be very happy with someone if they deliberately kept you in the dark? At first no, you would just assume that is exactly how things should be. Then somebody walks by your darkened room’s window with a candle. How would that make you feel? Confused? Mad? Jealous? Yup, all that and an insatiable desire to learn more about that light. Questions would be running through your mind, answers waiting to be uncovered. If the person who originally locked you up and taught you about your “dark room” came by, you would probably tackle him to the ground and give him a sound beating before running out the door after that light.

That is the exact situation the website design/hosting market in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is now facing. Business owners are walking around without a clue what their website is and what it could be. They are walking around in that dark room. They are deliberately left out of the loop, fed only the bits and pieces certain companies want them to hear. Not only is this saddening to hear, but it also makes me mad.

I know this as I walk around that very market (I used to run a website design company in Milwaukee as well) pulling out tidbits of information to gauge what is going on. The reports brought tears to my eyes. How could this market stay in the dark for so long? How could they remain this uneducated about the Internet? How could they not see how immensely powerful their website has now become? If they saw the light, they would break down that door running after the light. My response to this was to flip on my webcam and record something to educate that market, in a way hoping to be that light that would pass by their door.

I don’t think you would want to be that company (person) in their way when they see the light and attempt a mad dash towards it.

For those two reasons…

iNET Web is a Marketing Failure in my book.

Want to learn more about iNET Web as well as my own personal story with them? Watch this video on iNET Web Bashing.

Now that you understand what not to do, what thoughts do you have and what do you intend to do? Any company you’d like to see a case study on?

How does Avatar apply to Social Media?

Jake Sully in battle attireWe are now into 2010, and I am excited! I plan on posting much more often, providing you with some exceptional content in each post. Enjoy this first post!

Wow, the more I reminisce on the movie and watch it, when I have the chance, the better it gets each time. Avatar sure isn’t exhausted on my list, I’m still pulling out some social media goodies for you to enjoy! Here are a couple more…

The first post I wrote on my review of Avatar has been getting some good views lately, when the idea struck me to expand upon it. Avatar has now grossed $1 Billion dollars, has been trending on twitter for the past four weeks, and is doing quite well. Two thoughts I want to impress on you.

1.You Have An Avatar

Interestingly enough, that is your social media (online) presence. Everything you do online is your online presence. After dabbling around in social media for a while, you will most likely find yourself lost in the vibrancy of this world. But one key question remains.

How are you going to merge your offline and online world together effectively? You can’t live in just an offline world at the risk of becoming exiled, so what are you doing to educate yourself? Integrated into that question is another question. What are you doing to bring your business online and expose it to 1.7 Billion+ people?

2. Pick Your Side

Enough with fooling around and asking questions on “What is Social Media?” Every person and every business on the face of the planet is instead asking “How do we use Social Media?” 84% of businesses can’t be wrong if they are starting to implement some kind of social media marketing campaign, including Pepsi. You have a choice to make, which side are you playing on? Are you still playing by the old rules, or the new ones? Are you still going to stay in the traditional advertising realm, or hop over to the much more vibrant world of social media? You have a choice to make, and you’d better make it fast. Neither side is going to wait for you.

In Avatar, Quaritch and his side are only concerned about making the big bucks. Who cares what the cost. Interestingly enough, the mineral they are mining is called “Unobtanium” (anyone notice the irony?) and the largest source is located beneath Hometree, where all the Na’vi live. Anyone notice the parallels?

Traditional Media is trying to blow this off as a plink in the bucket, while unawares are trying to leech and destroy the base Social Media Marketing is upon. This is going to come to a head sooner than you think, I am already starting to hear the horns of war. There will be an inevitable clash between Traditional/Old Media and New/Social Media.

You’ve seen the influential power New/Social Media has had over countries, businesses, and people. The results speak for themselves. There is not much time left to think, NOW is the time to act. Ah, but just wait. You need to come at this from a different angle. You need to approach this the smart way. Don’t run in without a brain in your head. Jake Sully knew this, which is why he was smart about the way the battle unfolded in Avatar.

What are you doing to implement Social Media in your life and your company? Comment below.