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Archive for February, 2010

Twitter Class at DATC

February 25, 2010 1 comment

Just finished my Twitter presentation at DATC.  Social Media University begins next Friday!

Web Marketing Weekly Show – Press Release

February 22, 2010 2 comments

Salt Lake City, UT Feb 19, 2010 – Janet Thaeler and Nigel Swaby interviewed 3-time Olympian Devon Harris on the Web Marketing Weekly Show.

The “Web Marketing Weekly Show” podcast airs each Wednesday at 2 pm MST (1pm PST, 3pm CST, 4pm EST). This was a special broadcast on a Friday – so the hosts could interview Harris live from the Vancouver Olympics.

Since competing, Harris has become an author and a public speaker. His childrens book “Yes I Can” tells the story of the Jamaican bobsled team and what they overcame to make it to the Olympics.  He shared what he’s learned about marketing starting from this experience.

3 Tips to Gold Medal Marketing

1. Train like an Olympian.
As a public speaker he studies other speakers to see how they express themselves. He practices his speeches over and over again even if he knows the material. “Study your craft like an Olympian,” he said.

2. When business is slow, create more value.
There are seasons in a business and during slower times, create something new. Harris applied this concept when he had less speaking engagements. He wrote a book during that time which he now sells at his speeches. When work returned, he emerged more marketable.

3. Forget perfection – get it done.
Harris explained that Microsoft ships product then creates patches to address the problems. You don’t need a book publicist to market a book – he went to book stores on his speaking trips and arranged book signings. You don’t need perfect video of your speaking – have a friend take footage of your speaking for your web page. You can always improve it later, but have something ready now.

Find out more about Harris online at http://www.devonharris.com

The next episode of the Web Marketing Weekly Show will feature author Josh Peters who will give tips on using Twitter taken from his book, “TwittFaced.”

Listeners can interact via IM during the show and submit questions online. Questions can be emailed, submitted online or phoned in and will be answered on air.  Or, submit questions on Twitter at @Newspapergrl or @seobyswaby.

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About Janet Thaeler
Janet Thaeler is an Online PR professional. She’s the author of the book, I Need a Killer Press Release Now What?? that shows small businesses how to create news and get to the top of search engines. She blogs at http://www.Newspapergrl.com and http://www.OnlinePRBook.com She’s a regular contributor to Anita Campbell’s Small Business Trends and The American Express Small Business Forums. She has presented at major universities, PR associations and on numerous other occasions.

About Nigel Swaby
Nigel Swaby is a Salt Lake City Web marketing specialist. He founded an Internet marketing business called Swaby Online Media and has 12 years of industry experience. He has been featured in USA Today, taught a class on blogging at The University of Utah, was recently featured in Utah Pulse Magazine and is the business insight examiner for Examiner.com. In his free time Nigel enjoys writing, golf and college football. His Web site is http://www.seobyswaby.com.

White House Using Twitter to Communicate

February 19, 2010 1 comment

For those of you who have businesses that are not on Twitter, here’s a clue; the White House is using Twitter as a communication tool.

That’s right, press secretary Robert Gibbs is on Twitter as @PressSec.  He just started this month and CNN reports:

Gibbs says he became fascinated with Twitter when he followed a live stream of reporters tweeting President Obama’s press conference in the briefing room on February 2.

The purpose of the account is to provide additional information the press secretary receives on a daily basis.  Gibbs explains,

“There’s a tremendous amount of information that we all get and have to read and go through each day,” Gibbs said. “This is certainly one way to get, on a rolling basis, to see a lot of that information in front of you.”

He follows journalists and pundits, i.e. his target audience.  That’s a pretty good tip!  Social media sites were blocked by the last administration and dealing with the Presidential Records Act when it comes to social media has been difficult, but it appears a policy has been created.

Government is rarely the early adopter of new technology, but when they do, you know that technology is important.  Press secretary Gibbs has done three things every business owner should do when it comes to social media –

1.  He figured out how to use it and then decided to employ it.

2.  He’s following his target audience to figure out what they want from him.

3.  He consulted with the proper technical and legal people to come up with a use policy.

Ok, now I need to start following @PressSec!

Information is Key to the New Economy

February 17, 2010 1 comment

Last night I had the opportunity to hear a presentation by Al Waddill, VP of Business Development at Groen Brothers Aviation.

Some of you may recall I’ve written about Mr. Waddill before regarding persuasion techniques.

What he spoke about last night closely follows what I believe is happening with the economy and even touched on points Seth Godin made last Friday.

In a nutshell, Mr. Waddill proposed our new economy is about information and those businesses who will succeed will master providing current, accurate information.

Further, he believes social media is the conduit we’ll get this information and judge its validity.  The rate of change in technology is advancing so quickly, as humans we can’t possibly keep up with it all.  Specialization is necessary to be successful.

The long view of what he said proposes networking, or knowing the people who specialize in the information you need for your business is one of the best moves to make.

All of these arguments are certainly valid and important.  I shared two ways I manage information and get the answers I need.

1.  Twitter is the first way.  I create lists of people I believe provide good information.  Some of them are cutting edge in their industries.  Some are just full of good information.  By segmenting who I follow into lists, I’m able to get the information I need.

For instance a new Google product, Buzz, has hit this week.  I wouldn’t have known about it without Twitter.  This morning, a quick Twitter search reveals some privacy issues.  I don’t need to know all the answers in my head.  I just need to know where to get them.  Seth Godin said Friday we need to teach our children which questions to ask.  All the answers are on the Internet.

More than anything else, Twitter is a real-time search engine.  Twitter is to social media as Google is to the Internet.  It’s a social search engine and that’s why businesses need to be on it.  Google thinks so too as it’s including Twitter connections as search results.

2. Find a maven – In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point, he described a certain type of business behavior as being a maven.  Wikipedia defines the characteristics of this behavior as

those who are intense gatherers of information and impressions, and so are often the first to pick up on new or nascent trends.

Like Mr. Waddill said, technology is changing so fast, it’s hard to keep up.  It’s also hard to know which technology to adapt.  Just because it’s new doesn’t mean it will get traction and acceptance.  The simple answer is to find a maven who specializes in what you need to know.  Fortunately, mavens are easy to find.  They are eager to tell everyone they know what they know.  They blog, they tweet, they speak in public.  That person you hear or read that sounds like they know what they’re talking about; that’s a maven.

My technology maven is Pat Kitano, author of Media Transparent.  He told me to use Facebook three years ago.  He said to use Twitter.  He said to use Posterous.  He’s saying to use Foursquare.  Because I trust him, I did it.  Twitter took me a little while to get, but he was the first person I followed.

Every industry has a maven.  It may not be someone in the industry, it may be a passionate fan.  Consider the fortune of Rotten Tomatoes.  Founder Senh Duong created the site because he was a fan of Jackie Chan movies and collected reviews of the films.  The site was an immediate hit and has been sold several times in the last decade.  By trade, Duong was in the web design business, not the movie business.

Thanks again to Mr. Waddill for another excellent presentation.  It’s refreshing to see experienced business people embrace new technology.  I suppose it’s that experience that gives them the wisdom to do so.

Seth Godin, Linchpin and the Lizard Brain

February 15, 2010 2 comments

Friday I had the opportunity to hear a presentation by best selling author Seth Godin.  He was in Salt Lake to raise money for Haiti as well as promote his new book Linchpin.

I have to admit I haven’t read much of Mr. Godin’s work, but I do know he is highly thought of as a marketing whiz.

Since Mr. Godin is so smart, I shouldn’t have been surprised when he made some pretty bold statements about the economy and the future of jobs.  He said, “This is a different recession.”  The economy isn’t going to recover like it has in the past.  He pointed out like I’ve thought for some time the economy is in transition.  The jobs we’ve lost aren’t coming back.

That’s the bad news.  The good news is we’re all geniuses.  That’s what Godin says anyway.  We’ve all got some special skill or experience that makes us a genius.  To prove our genius, we must solve interesting problems and lead.  Godin says that if someone has to write down what we need to do, we’re not acheiving our potential.

What holds us back he says is our “lizard brain.”  That’s the first part of our brains to form.  It contains the “fight or flight” reaction that keeps every animal alive.  Since we’ve moved far past the hunter/gatherer stage in our economy, Godin suggests we not only ignore our lizard brain’s promptings, but do the opposite of it.

The barrier to entry is inexpensive.  Technology development has reached the point where anybody has access to the tools necessary to create that solution to interesting problems.  Godin says that besides being geniuses we must become artists and creators. 

We don’t need publishers to distribute our writing.  We have the Internet to do it for us.  All we need to do is create.

We don’t need an FCC to broadcast our voices.  Free software and the Internet does that for us.  All we need to do is create.

We don’t need TV to broadcast our videos.  YouTube and the Internet does that for us.  All we need to do is create.

Some of us have embraced this new paradigm.  Others will soon.  We needn’t necessarily be in business for ourselves, but we do need to create.  We need to solve those interesting problems for our employers or the clients that employ us.

The United States currently has 15 million unemployed or underemployed citizens.  Some of this number have already begun to create.  They’ve started businesses, free lanced and otherwise provided solutions to interesting problems.  Imagine what will happen when all 15 million and the 10’s of millions the government no longer counts begin to create solutions to interesting problems?

I can’t wait.

Utah Real Estate – Press Release

February 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Salt Lake City, UT, February 12, 2010

With new home sales off from the peak, Utah’s home builders are looking for every advantage in selling their products. Garbett Homes, one of Utah’s top homebuilders, is positioning itself as Utah’s “Greenest” Builder. Without increasing prices for environmental efficiency, Garbett is producing comfortably sized solar powered and thermal powered homes at Daybreak in South Jordan, aptly named the Solaris collection. More information about Garbett’s green building techniques can be found at http://www.garbetthomes.com/buildinggreen.html

In today’s economic climate, people are more conscious of conserving energy and money. “Garbett Homes is pleased to be contributing to the community and environment by building homes that use less energy and produce less waste,” said Rene Oehlerking, Marketing Director. “We’re focused on providing this technology and these benefits without having our customers have to pay a premium,” he continued. All Garbett homes are also built to the 100% Energy Star specification that dramatically decreases monthly energy bills for homeowners.

The technology behind the Solaris collection at Daybreak is the result of a collaboration with California based firm KTGY Architects and PVT Solar. Featuring contemporary designs, the Solaris collection boasts finished space of 2200 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths, a two-car garage and fenced yard. Powering these ideal homes for first time buyers are built-in solar panels that automatically convert sunlight into electricity even on a cloudy day. Unlike other “green” homes on the market, Solaris is built economically and doesn’t cost any more to the buyer than homes that are less environmentally friendly.

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Facebook for Business – Powerpoint Presentation

February 12, 2010 5 comments
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