Archive for the 'Blog' Category



Let others do the talking

Sometimes (in fact more often than not) it’s best to let others do the talking.

Instead of you selling, get your clients to sell for you.

Instead of explaining benefits, let your results speak for themselves.

Instead of explaining who you are, let others do that for you

Interesting approach, you should try it.

I am setting up a ‘What people are saying’ page (in progress).

Where I have asked a wide range of people to answer the question,

Ben is?

As (like you) I am many things to different people.

Feel free to jump in by tweeting with #bwagy or posting in comments or emailing me.

Otherwise give it a go yourself, let someone else do the talking.

October 30th, 2008

Customers becoming Evangelists

Drawing together posts such as Marketing through Action, Turning Customers into Fans, Involve your Customers and Telling a Story.    

You get the picture of customers becoming evangelists and some ways of doing this.

It was on this and Julian of [business:ProWorkflow] tweeting this:

“Talk, Blog, Syndicate, SEO, Tweet, and build a solid product. Then look after users and they’ll become evangelists.”

(in response to my query about his marketing strategy)

This later popped up on his blog.

Intrigued, I thought I’d ask him a few questions.

Share the numbers with you guys.

What’s the ROI of turning customers into evangelists?

Julian shares 25% of new sales a month are through referrals.

25% that’s 1 in 4! 

In a competitive market like Project Management, referrals are gold.

They have stimulated this through:

“Fanatical support. Fast and reliable on all support requests. We invest time into training account holders. Always have an approachable, friendly manner, unlike many US based cold, slow support teams. Response time – typically instant or less than an hour. “

He also shares that “when customers cancel, we always wish them the best and keep in touch,  many come back again later” (Marketing after the fact?)

By looking after their users, they’ve had customers changing projects or jobs and getting the new team to use it.

Great huh? Nice sweet spot.  Something to strive for.

If you’re already here, what can you do better?

Provide your customers with tools to help them spread the word,

  • Blogger Packs
  • A way of showing their loyalty, badges
  • Interactive Widgets, or in ProWorkFlows case a widget showing how much money or hours you have saved this month using them
  • Vouchers for their friends (you know, the ones you nag about to try a service)
  • Something to make the service better when your friends use it

If your customers are already evangelists, give them the tools to help them evangelise.

October 29th, 2008

Destroy Something

Sometimes you need to destroy, abolish, smash, obliterate an idea, a project

Just so you can unlock the new possibilities.

Retaining old systems, structures, ways of thinking hinders the move forward.

Thinking inside the square that has already been created stimulates limited thinking, lower horizons.

If you have an idea, something you want to move forward with and there are barriers in the way.

Get rid of them completely.  Destroy them.  Remove them from your systems.

I am constantly destroying something, this didn’t work, flag it, be dynamic and keep moving.

For example I regularly delete old blog drafts, it frees up space for new posts and directions.

October 28th, 2008

What box are you in?

It is human nature to put things into boxes.

We need them there so that we can relate and understand something in relation to everything else we know.

What box are you in?

What box have others put you in?

Are you happy with them? Identify some boxes…

Wait. 

Why do we need to be in a box? Our name is enough.  We need Ben Young.  We need Nike.  We need Alibaba.

Build a brand, let that be what defines you, avoid boxes, build your brand.

You need to ask, How can I build our company brand so that people ask for us not our box category?

October 27th, 2008

What is Monday Ideas Post all about?

Why do I have Monday Ideas Post?

Firstly it fulfills my criteria of being, short, snappy digestible bites that make you think.

It has a dual edge though.

As an entrepreneur (or just someone that questions everything?) I come up with ideas all the time, as I’m sure a lot of my readers do or at least someone you know.

Quite often we will hold these ideas close to heart, not express them, only to regret it.

Or we lose focus with every new idea.

This is the dual edge, Monday Ideas Post also let’s me have an outlet for ideas I come up with so I can remain focused but also as an opportunity for discussion.

It’s about making you think just as much as its about making me think.

So

What outlet do you have? How do you get ideas out there? What do you do to find out if your idea is rubbish so you can remain focused or move onto the next great thing? 

(Hint: like any muscle, the more you exercise this part of your brain, the better you will get at it)

October 26th, 2008

Marketing through Action

I was reflecting on an opportunity that is coming up, a big budget with a big client…

What would I do? and the common thread was to

Invoke action. Why?

Well new initiatives are now transparent (and you should stimulate this) which communicates a message.

For example::

  • CEO on Twitter -> We are listening.
  • Customer Helplines with real people (no computers…) -> We value you
  • Product Development stemming from customer feedback -> We’re here to help you succeed
Actions speak louder than words.

Tough times stimulate action (and typically the best ROI) but…
You need to focus on marketing through action no matter the context.
October 23rd, 2008

The ADHD Assumption

Assume everyone who reads your content has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Which means

  • Keep your message clear
  • Break it up & segment it
  • Into small digestible bites

Increase readership, retention, referrals.

Succeed.

I don’t need to tell you that attention spans are increasingly shortening… as you’ve already stopped reading by now (see what i mean).

October 22nd, 2008

The difference between traditional and new media

Think about Newspapers, and actually read the content in them, it’s typically very low key and more press releases and quotes than actual editorial.  

They weren’t always this way.  Once their distribution was locked down, the game shifted from how can we maximise readership (through great content) to how can we maximise profits.

You see the same things with bands, how often do you hear so and so has sold out now the’re big.

Blogs are the new content medium, surely they’re not the same? Or are they?

Think of some of the more popular bloggers, once they hit a certain readership or tipping point they too appear to slack off.

Others don’t, some to take it as a good sign and work harder.

They’re in it for the long term.  

You see with blogging, once the distribution is set (through feedreaders / email subscriptions / syndication) the foundation is weaker.  It is easy for one single reader to drop off.  

You need to keep on your toes, keep active and use engagement or return visitors or attention time as a measure of success.

(and someone to give you a dead arm when you slack off)

That’s why you see such great content out there, for free, competition is fierce.

October 21st, 2008

12 Hour Startup is gaining momentum

To bring those up to speed who don’t know what the 12 Hour Startup is, i first posted it as a Monday Ideas post here, then did a follow up after presenting it to 200 or so people at a local web meetup.

Since then I have had emails or comments about some existing examples:

Very neat.

To help spread the idea I submitted a proposal to ChangeThis.

They distribute manifestos, small 10 / 20 page ebooks on ideas, based on facts, the good ones spread, the bad don’t.  

The idea is to leave change in their wake.  Excellent concept, I suggest you check them out here.

I would like to produce a manifesto on the 12 Hour Startup (to spread the idea) and it would be great to have your support.

Simply visit here to vote. 

Click the button that says ‘Yes, write this manifesto”.  It only takes 20 seconds.

Thanks ever so much.

Also check out the other proposals and existing manifesto’s there are some real gems in there like, Art of the Start, Bootstrappers Bible and The Long Tail.

October 20th, 2008

Book reviews are boring – create a manifesto instead

I read a lot of books but almost never upload a review.

Why bother uploading a book review? It’s trapped in their system forever.

If your really passionate about a book forget writing a review.

What I suggest is you create a manifesto sharing the best parts of the book, your commentary, or some insights.

Give people a taste of what the book provides.

Sell them by helping them (giving them an inside look) and giving them a taste.

I thought, the best way to do this, is by showing you.

So I have prepared a manifesto on, Business Stripped Bare by Richard Branson.

You can download it here or here (if your having trouble downloading) or view below (best viewed fullscreen).

If you enjoy it, print it out, share with your friends and grab the book.

Makes sense huh? have a book of your own? Trying to convince a friend to read this great book you love?

Make a short manifesto, sell by showing, and help your idea spread.

October 19th, 2008

You can do what YOU want

Here’s just a list of all the cool things you can do:

  • Run your own tv show | Wine Library
  • Have your own Podcast
  • Be an author through lulu.com or Createspace
  • Be a rockstar using iTunes + Myspace + Last.fm
  • Build your own entertainment network by syndicating youtube videos
  • Build your own Facebook with Ning
  • Design your own products (virtually anything) through Ponoko
  • Brand your own products, drinks, beds, jeans by sourcing products through AliBaba
  • Design your own t-shirts with Threadless
  • Become an expert in your area through blogging
  • Talk to anyone, skip secretaries, connect with them via Twitter / Facebook / Linkedin

It’s awesome! The world literally is your oyster if you take the step and turn up.

Creativity is only going to soar over the next 5 – 10 years, you can dabble in 1, or 5 of these, try your hand at writing, building your own product, a podcast.

Very very exciting, what else would you add to this list? It’s only a small fraction of the possibilities.

October 16th, 2008

One step back to think two steps ahead

Are you planning ahead? or trying to build / create something new?

Quite often during this process.  I will say stop.

Take a step back.

Take an overview.

What happens next? What are the next steps?

Are we doing the best thing to make that happen? yes / no?

How can we make sure Step 1, sets up Step 2 and 3 (all in light of the bigger picture).

For example, I am doing a joint venture to do a series of workshops.

We wanted our selling point, so I took a step back and said, What is the conversation that’s going on in our target’s mind?

What are they going to say to their boss that makes them say yes I will pay for that.

Stop. Take a step back.  Think two steps forward.

October 15th, 2008

How Marketing can help solve Poverty

Today is as some of you may know BlogActionDay.

Blogs all around the world are going to talk about Poverty.

Their take on it.

Objective: stimulate conversations around poverty.

Many of you will know i’m a huge advocate of Kiva, discussing it here Giving something back.

However.

We all know Poverty exists. It is just out of touch.  We can’t touch it, or feel it, or have it affect our daily lives.

It is easier to let it exist, somewhere over there, out of sight out of mind.

To be frank, it’s bullshit but it’s a fact

So how could we change that?

How can we make Poverty real.  To everyone.  

If we expose it, people will just block it out.

Stop looking at the bad.

Start looking at the good.

And no i don’t mean, the upsides of poverty.

Share the good times, the experience, the world through which people in poverty live in.

Take Mara Triangle for example, a wild life game reserve in Kenya.  They brought it direct to us via their blog and twitter.  Raising both money and their profile.

Or 

EnglishRussia.com, something cool happens daily on 1/6 of the earth.

Take one or both of these models.  

Bring the experience direct to us.  Give us stories to discuss, give us a conversation to tell our families, give us a connection.  Give us meaning!

That’s how marketing can help Poverty.

Thoughts? 

October 14th, 2008

Blogging is a Marathon

Blogging is a marathon.

There are hills, dips, long stretches.

The context weather changes…

Keep your eyes on the end goal and keep

Taking step after step.

Momentum is valuable, maintain it, if you lose it, it’s like starting running after you’ve stopped (painful).

Just keep taking those steps, even if they’re baby steps, do it!

Work in a startup? Different context.  Same application.

(and for those that haven’t yet read, look at my Blogging Strategy, takes 30 seconds to read)

October 13th, 2008

Bloggers Pack

Traditionally media were given press packs.

However I think there is a huge lack of Blogger packs.

(Isn’t it frutrating as a fan of a product to have to rip logo’s from the site, photoshop them, find quotes)

In fact I haven’t seen any.

I am building my own at the moment.  Kind of a mix of the social media press release.

If someone is going to blog about me, why not give them free stuff to help them, such as:

  • Photos
  • Quotes
  • Background Story
  • Graphics / logo
  • Contacts / Social Profiles

Let your fans talk about you easily and give them materials so they can make it their own way.

Great for people setting up communities around your brand, facebook pages, groups.

Help your fans help you.

What else do you think a bloggers pack needs? how should it be prepared?

October 12th, 2008

What are you doing all the way down here? You could:
- View my about page
- Or for first timers the New Here? page
- Or maybe email this to a friend
- Or subscribe to get blog updates