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Everything the Google+ Community Needs to Know About ClearVoice

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Martin: Hello. This is Martin, and today’s event is Everything the Google+ Needs to About Clear Voice. And to take us through, we have the cofounder and chief executive of Clear Voice, Joe Griffin. Hello Joe. He is there.

Joe: Hello.

Martin: Very good indeed. And joined by the one and onlines David Amerland and Mark Traphagen. I pluralized it. I did. And maybe somebody else to come, maybe somebody else to come as well. Just to let everyone know, here is the plan. We are going to have a quick chat. Then, we have got a presentation from Joe on what Clear Voice is, what it does and why you may well be very interested to give you are a writer or you are blogger.

And if you are interested in Google authorship, then it is right up your street. And this presentation, –, 20 to 25 minutes. Then, we are going to have a chat and bring in comments which are on the comments thread.

So if you have got questions, then ask them at the end and we will bring them in. So let’s begin. Joe, do you want to give a quick overview of who you are, what Clear Voice, your background and that kind of thing?

Joe: Yeah, definitely. So Joe Griffin, I am the cofounder and co-CEO of Clear Voice and also the co-founder and co-CEO and iAcquire, digital marketing agency. And my background has just been in search since about ‘98. It is pretty much all I have done, search and social and obviously content marketing now as things have evolved. But really excited to be here today and talk to you guys about Clear Voice and what that means for writers and for publishers and even for small and medium and large businesses. Yeah.

Martin: It is great. So Mark is going to leave us in a little bit, so we are going to have a quick conversation. Mark, what are your thoughts? You have been following Clear Voice, what are your thoughts around this?

Mark: Yeah, I think that the topic of author authority has definitely sprung. Certainly Google Authorship put that in the forefront of many people’s minds. It is a much talked about topic. I started a community here on Google+ called Google Authorship and Author Rank that now has over 28,000 members and daily active discussions going on there.

So it is obviously a topic on a lot of people’s minds, and it is a topic we know that the search engines are interested in as we come into the World Semantic Search that David will be talking about that Google wants to and other search engines want to be able to identify who people are and then in this particular context, what content they produce and what effect does that have.

Because it just makes sense that somebody while there can be a one hit wonder out there, but typically somebody who produces really good, really useful content one time will probably be doing that again and again and may actually be an authority and somebody to be trusted in that area. That would be valuable for the search engines to know. It is valuable for people to know.

So tools like Clear Voice that can help us get a handle on that and begin to see for ourselves and for other people that we might be interested in, how authoritative are they in their areas? What do people think about them? These are things that are important in the real world. They are going to be increasingly important in the world of search in the years to come. I have a very vital interest in this and what Clear Voice is doing.

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Martin: That’s great. Thanks, Mark. Let me come across to Joe just before we come to David. Joe, having heard that, I mean people are on Google+ about these areas as Mark says. – into one or two sentence summary of what Clear Voice is.

Joe: So Clear Voice is actually in its second phase of a four phase plan. And I always talk about kind of what is it today and what is it going to be in the future, and if you think about it in the future, what is it? It is a content marketing platform that’s built for writers, publishers and brands. And this first phase of it is really designed for writers and publishers, and it is designed to attract that audience to the website to come in, claim their profile, take ownership of their profile and essentially their portfolio, which we will show.

And then, also give them the opportunity to just raise their hand and say I am someone who is interested in freelance writing projects so we can start to really understand who all the writers are out there that are interested in working with companies and having an opportunity for freelance work.

So we want to create a large scale transparent index of what we call the author graph, which is essentially everybody that is producing content on any semi-well known website. Let’s call it the top 200,000 digital publishers, so if you are creating content on the top 200,000 digital publishers, we want to know who you are, how much content you create, what type of content you create, how well that content performs in social media and take all those things and attach them to your public profile.

And there are some things that you can do to make that a lot easier for us, and that’s also beneficial for you because we are going to put out what might be the best portfolio that you have of all your works with an accumulation of your works, an aggregation of all of your social mentions across those works, all the publishers that you write for and it really becomes a strong tool kit that you have to make your personal brand more attractive for working with businesses.

Martin: Beautiful. And this is a free thing for writers and bloggers, so everybody watching realize that this is very much for you and there is a service for publishers. So that’s great. Thanks, Joe. Let’s come across to David, who is going to be talking semantics I think.

David: Possibly. Actually I was quite thrilled to see it for a number of reasons, but the primary one is that writers who produce content for a living, writers who write for a living, traditionally have been really bad at actually gaining recognition on the web primarily because they develop blind spot.

They focus on their writing, and they think everything else is just marketing that they don’t want to do because their writing needs to speak for itself. And we end up frequently with great writers either not being recognized or remaining in the shadows and remaining relatively obscure. We do live, as Joe said, in a transparent web right now and it is becoming increasingly so.

So having a tool like this for writers is actually brilliant because it allows them to establish their expectations of authority in incredibly competitive field. I think that’s actually brilliant because then we can start seeing who produces what content, how that content resonates, which is great for writers per se but it is also great for content creators and those who might possibly want to engage them and engage the services. I think it is a brilliant tool to actually have at our disposal at the moment.

Martin: Great. Thank you, David. And we are joined by Eric Enge. Eric?

Eric:  Hello everybody and hello Joe, how are you?

Joe: Hey, Eric. Good. How are you doing?

Eric: Good thanks to you too.

Joe: I know you don’t have a lot of time so thanks for swinging by for a few.

Eric: Yeah, I literally have a couple minutes so it should be good. Martin told me I needed to do something and whenever Martin tells me I need to do something, I just do it.

Martin: That’s good. We are just chatting. We are talking. We are going to go into a presentation in a couple of minutes, Eric. Joe is going to take us through but we are talking about Clear Voice and the benefits to writers, getting the profile and having it set up so that people can find. I mean what are your thoughts generally on authorship. Mark has given his thoughts. Because you may not have seen the start of the show, so I am giving you an easy one.

Eric: Yeah. So look, I think people establishing their authority online is a really important thing. It is integral to every content marketing plan that we put together at Stone Temple Consulting is who is the expert going to be.

We call them subject matter experts or SMEs. Who is the expert going to be? What are they going to write about? Where are they going to write it? And all that, and what’s the plan for building them as up an authority online? And that’s kind of integral to every content marketing client engagement we have. It is like literally discussed in the proposal, at the proposal level. So we are really big on that.

The question, as you know, Mark and I both of the opinion that the notion of authoring doesn’t really exist but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a ton of other value to. There is a ton of other value to the whole process of establishing your authority as an author online.

Martin: Great stuff. Thank you very much, Eric. And joined by Ronnie Bincer. Look at this. It is all happening today. And Ronnie, meet Joe. Joe meet Ronnie. Ronnie is the Hangout helper, and Ronnie produces a tremendous amount of content to help people with Google Hangouts.

He is one of the people on the senior team as are Mark and David. Eric, you are an honorary one today. And we are talking, Ronnie, about authorship but we are going to go into the presentation now. So if you want to hang around for a bit and we will have some questions towards the end. Joe, should we come back to you?

Mark and Eric are now going to be zipping out, so thanks for you two coming in. There is no rush. You have got at least four minutes, but I am going to come up to Joe and Joe is going to show his screen. And we are going to run through the presentation for everybody.

Eric: All right. Nice to meet you, Joe.

Martin: Thanks, Eric. Catch you soon.

Joe: Good to meet you.

Eric: Later David. See you Ronnie.

David: Bye bye take care.

Martin: Nice little social on a Wednesday. So Joe, you are on the main screen so even though you may not see it, I am speaking. So go for it. In your hands.

Joe: Okay. Great. So I think starting with kind of the where is Clear Voice today and we will talk a little bit about where it is going, but today if nothing else, it is a search engine for digital signatures. And when we think about and Eric mentioned just the value of understanding who is producing content.

And there is so much value in that for any customer or any publisher that wants to work with writers to produce content because they really need to understand what are the credentials of this individual, does this individual have a track record of producing content that is shared in social media, do they have what I would call not only social proof but publisher proof. In other words, have high quality publishers allowed them to produce content for that publisher or multi publishers allowed that type of interaction?

So when we think about understanding who are all the content producers out there and what kind of content are they producing, where are they producing content, how often are they producing content and what is the social metrics around that content.

We really have to turn to digital signatures as the primary mechanism that we have to really be able to identify a person. And when you look at Google+ as an example, I think it is the best example out there. And if you look at the definition of Google+ in Wikipedia, it says that Google+ is a social network and identity service. And I think that’s one of the most important things that we have got all keep in mind of what is the point of Google+.

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Not only is it designed to integrate many or all of Google’s products, but it is also designed to be that kind of integral identity service that Google has an understanding of about who are you and what is your activity on the Internet. Really making your identity know when you produce content is really mission critical. So only using your Google authorship mark-up but also making sure you are using Twitter, the Twitter metacards as well that you are making sure that you are using your Twitter handle in the authorship mark-up as well.

And I think we will see other types of mark-ups come out. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see something from LinkedIn. They have taken steps to really become a publishers themselves. They are a huge advocate of publishing, and I think if they take that next step, we will see LinkedIn really go author at some point.

So those digital signatures are things that we look for when we crawl the web, and I can kind of skip a little bit here. So this is just a screenshot of our homepage, but if you notice kind of in the middle, there are some statistics there. And I just want to talk about kind of what we are doing and how we see this.

So the way we look at this is that any publisher that has even a small amount of kind of notoriety or awareness is one that we want to know about and we want to track that publisher. And we are looking at things like how many subscribers does the publisher have, is that publisher readily findable through other links and/or what is their domain authority.

So do they have a certain amount of authority or do they have a certain amount of traffic? So we have got a lot of those types of very high level statistics across really every website, and as we find new websites, we look at those things. If a publisher meets some kind of barrier to entry and I would say that’s a low barrier to entry, then we are going to want to monitor that site.

Currently we are looking at 140,000 digital publishers, and so starting with some of the biggest publishers like Huffington Post and InGadget down to smaller publishers. We are analysing those sites, and within 15 minutes of the time that any of those publishers puts out a new piece of content, we index that content, we extrapolate who wrote that content and we also take a look at what was that content about.

So we do a topic analysis on that content. And what that allows us to do is really produce, kind of reverse engineer that to produce what we call the author graph and if you look at the statistics, you will see inside of our author graph today we have produced now 162,000 profiles of authors that we found by analysing these close to 46 million posts across these 140,000 sites.

And we are analysing about a half a million to a million new posts today now every time they produce content. So we are really I think doing a better and better job every day of finding who all the authors are and then being able to link all their content to them and ultimately put that towards their public works. And we will take a look at an example of that. I will also note that I wish every piece of content was digitally signed.

Unfortunately, only about 30 to 35% of all content today that we are finding is digitally signed. Now that’s great because that’s up from probably 10% 18 months ago, so the good news is that more people are signing their works. Not only are more publishers and people signing their works, but we are finding that the percentage of the time that they sign their works are more frequent as well.

Once someone starts to adopt authorship, we find that they more rapidly adopt that across every post. And we find that those that are adopting authorship are using it about 85% of the time, so that’s great. There are still a lot of big publishers out there. I won’t name names.

That aren’t using authorship. We are definitely looking into a little bit of a marketing campaign to raise awareness about that and contact them directly and do some things to try to get them using authorship because it is important that we as an Internet society take those steps. Before I go on to some of these next steps, Martin, I don’t know if anybody else wanted to chime in before I continue.

Martin: I know that Ronnie can only stay for a second, so I don’t know if you wanted to make any comments on authorship. I know you have got to head off.

Ronnie: I did want to ask a quick question, Joe. There are certain ones of us that do a lot of work on say Hangouts, hangouts on air. And we create video, and this isn’t necessarily text that shows up on a website. And also a fair amount of people that have taken to actually somewhat blogging right on Google+ and they are not necessarily doing it on a website, are your tools going to address that type of situation? Or is it more the traditional website scenario that you are trying to track?

Joe: So we currently are and will be expanding our reach into Google+. So all public content in Google+, we will be expanding that reach and we will be recognizing those works as well. We will be viewing the Google+ network as basically a really important publisher.

So the Google+ publisher will have high scores in our system, and not only will we find that content and list it on your profile but it will count towards your score. And we can talk about the score too and what the value of that is, but it is definitely something that we want to be recognizing.

In terms of the video, any time the video is hosted on a page which has your authorship mark-up or mentions your authorship name in the right places, we will be able to see that video. Of course, we can’t crawl the text of that but we always encourage all publishers, even Google+, to transcribe those videos so that we can actually read that text because we want to understand what those topics are about so that we can associate people to topics.

Ronnie: Brilliant.

Martin: Excellent. Thank you Ronnie Bincer. Excellent. Okay, Joe.

Joe: All right, moving back. So really the next step of this we talked about is we have got 160,000 authors and let’s essentially create those portfolios. So Clear Voice becomes this place on the Internet that has maybe the most public profiles of authors of anywhere else currently on the web, and that’s something that we really aspire to have because not only do we want to be the largest index of authors but also the most transparent.

And we really want to make these portfolios something that look good, feel food. We want these to be something that writers whether you are a blogger or if you are like a paid writer for a brand or if you are a paid writer for a publisher or anything in between, we want these to be kind of a portfolio of your works that you feel good about sharing with your colleagues, with your clients, with publishers.

This should be something hopefully helps people get more work, more freelance work or more full-time work. So that you can direct people to these portfolios and say here are my professional works. The reality is we don’t know about every piece of content on the Internet, and we still know about I would say a shallow piece of content. Every time we find a new publisher, we will go and take a look at their last 10,000 posts.

So we do go pretty far back in the history and that’s going to be all history for a lot of sites. Maybe not for Huffington Post, but for a lot of sites. So we don’t know everything in terms of all the works, and of course any works that you have out there that aren’t digitally signed, we don’t know for sure that that is you.

If a piece of content and maybe this is an example of Martin here, if Martin in the past had a piece of content that was maybe placed on a publisher that did not allow him to use his authorship mark-up or maybe just did not properly integrate it, we may not for sure that piece of content was written by Martin Shervington even it says it was.

That’s not quite enough for us. But what we are allowing people to do is come in, claim your profile and backfill your history. So you can provide us with all your old content and we will go index it within about 15 minutes and come back and tell you if it is signed or not.

All of your signed content that we find will get listed as part of your signed content portfolio, which is what this is. It will potentially increase your score as well. And then, all your unverified content where we are going to go ahead and agree and believe you that you wrote it. We will also list that on your portfolio. It will note that it is unverified. In other words, we can’t technically prove that it is you but we are going to believe it is you.

And we are taking some steps in the future to be a little bit smarter about some of that unverified content. Think about how a Google or a Twitter might do this same process and some of the steps that they would might take as well to say hey, we are only 95% sure that this individual wrote this piece of content but we are going to go ahead and give that person credit. So we are taking some of those steps as well. So that’s a little bit of an overview of the portfolio, and you will also notice that there are two cool things about that.

One, it gives you a little bit of a checklist of all of your unsigned content out there. As you add that, when we tell you it is not verified, you then might take steps to see if those publishers can update that content for you. That’s always a difficult task but it is certainly something that you can attempt. And it is also gives you a little bit more ammo to make sure in the future that when you are trying to get those works signed.

And it also becomes this place where you can see all your social shares. I think there’s a lot of value there, too. And we can see one of the pieces of content that Martin wrote. I think this was on the Social Media Examiner kind of in the middle here. That had 5,000 shares in social media, and that’s very compelling. And it says a lot about not only the publisher that he produced that content for.

In that case, this is a great publisher that really does get a lot of social shares. It can also be telling of certain types of content that perform better. And it is also something that you can look at across maybe one publisher and see what content performs better on a certain publisher and see it across all publishers. It looks like we may have a question.

Martin: We are all good. We are saying good bye to Ronnie. Keep going. You are great.

Joe: Bye Ronnie. So that’s the portfolio. We talked about it just being a beautiful way to showcase your work. So another thing about Clear Voice I think that people of how they can view this is it is also a networking tool. There are some really great influence or marketing tools out there. I am a big fan of Follower Want, which Moz acquired and it is part of the Moz family now.

And Follower Want is a great tool that lets you do key word searches across people’s Twitter bios and lets you find influential people on Twitter that you can network with. And I think Clear Voice has a similar value proposition. It goes a little beyond maybe just Twitter because it looks at Google+.

And it really looks as publishers as a whole, and here is a screenshot, an example of where we typed in content marketing in the topic search of Clear Voice. And we can see these are the people that are coming up, and these are the people that write about content marketing.

So if you keep in mind the fact that every time we index a piece of content, we look and see what’s the content about and we extract the top 20 or 25 topics on that piece of content. Now, Michael Brenner, who is at the top of this screenshot, a couple thing you will notice about him is one he has got a little green check by his name.

That means he has come in and claimed his profile, so that means he is an active member of Clear Voice. We can also see that he has produced 307 pieces of content on five different websites and 67,000 shares. He has got a very high score. But what’s cool is that because we know what all his content is about, we can then aggregate all the content he has written and say when Michael Brenner writes content, this is the type of content he writes.

And so we can extrapolate that to say these are the topics he writes about, so this is a really compelling way to find influencers that write about certain types of topics that you can then network with. And there is not currently the ability inside of Clear Voice to contact him. We will put those tools together in the coming months, and so you will be able to do some of that directly. But we are also giving you everything that you need to know about any of these individuals.

We give you all the tools and the ability to see what kind of content they produce and of course where they are producing it. We talked about that. And just also his social handles. Here is his Twitter handle. Here is his Google+ handle. So we are going to make it easier for you to do some of that networking on your hand. People should look at this as a great way to build relationships. Any questions on that, Martin?

Martin: We are all good. Keep going, Joe. I will interrupt if we have got questions.

Joe: All right. Perfect. Clear Voice is also a marketplace. And this is the third phase of Clear Voice. I talked about we are in phase two. And this phase rolls out approximately October 15th. We are really excited about it.

As people every day come in and claim their profile, many of those individuals also say we are interested in being freelancers. And one of the things that we like about Clear Voice is we are really focused on people that are actively producing content using their name, so we are really focused on I would say really a subject matter expert community.

And it can be novices and it can be experts and everything in between, but we are certainly looking for people that are really engaged online. And so if those people that are coming in claiming their profiles are also joining our marketplace, and so around October 15th or maybe the end of October we are going to open that up. So when you come to Clear Voice, you will be able to actually see people in the searches and we will highlight those people so that they are really easy to see.

You can actually see that there are certain people that are available for freelance work, and you can also get an account as a publisher or a brand and search Clear Voice through a marketplace search similar to what you see on the front end but just specific to the marketplace and find people that are willing to produce content and work with you. And so that’s something we are excited about as well.

We expect that based on our current run rate and trajectory and we have got some marketing dollars that are going to be opening up here in Q4, we will have more than 10,000 profile claims in the next year and assignment desk signups. So we expect to have 1,000s of freelancers that are willing to do work in the system, but of course they will all have portfolios and you can see their works as well. So we are excited about that.

Martin: One quick question on that, Joe. In terms of people signing up, so if you are watching this now and you sign up, it is free. And it is a case of claiming your username as well, isn’t it? I am Martin Sherv. That’s generally where people are going to find me. So this is the most dumb question but I just want to make sure. But if I didn’t claim it, somebody else could claim it. So the point is if people, they want to be involved and want to choose their username, it’s a good time to go and get it.

Joe: There are two sides of that. One is that we are going to make it so that no one else can claim you. If you look at this example, in order to claim this person’s Google+ profile at Clear Voice, he has got to authenticate with his Google+. So we are going to match that. So the fortunate thing is no one can steal his name, but what you said really gets into more of kind of your vanity URL.

So we are allowing and this is in the next phrase, iteration, coming out. We are doing iterations now every two to four weeks, so they are coming out quickly. The ability for people to claim that vanity URL so that you can get your username. So I would definitely recommend claiming your profile and getting ready for that because you are going to want to jump on that before someone takes an alias or name that you might use.

Martin: Great. Thank you, Joe.

Joe: Moving on a little bit and we are getting close to wrap up here too, but the next phase of this is that assignment desk and that marketplace we talked about coming in mid to late October. We have one now, so it is beta currently. Anybody who has got interest, come into Clear Voice now and raise your hand and sign up. Let us know you are interested. We are bringing people into beta. We have clients today that are hiring people. This is an example of an individual, and I blurred out the names and places.

This is a person that is currently working on some projects. We are working with this person to get their content that they have got out there signed so they can get a score a Clear Voice. Otherwise, they won’t have a score. But it is an active system and we have got the ability now to find writers in the marketplace, manage assignments, manage content. We built a really content kind of creation process in the backend, so it is a very real thing that’s coming soon. So again if you are interested, I would definitely get involved. The other side of that, the last side of this is that Clear Voice is also a platform. So when I say it is a platform, that means it is a content workflow management system.

So for publishers and for brands that are creating content every day or maybe every other day or folks that are creating content on a regular basis, one of the things that we find is that there is a lot of really great enterprise level tools out there that are made for big brands that allow you as a publisher or a brand to onboard your writing team, onboard your freelancers and editors, have an editorial calendar, be able to manage your content production process.

And that’s something that is difficult if you are working on Google Docs and emails and everybody is trying to collaborate in these different environment, but if you could bring that together into a workflow collaboration tool, it can really streamline that process and make it 33%, 50% more efficient.

And that’s great because it makes that process faster. It keeps track of those things, and you also want to be able to manage your payments. If you have got in-house people or you might work with 10 different freelancers on the outside, you need a system to be able to manage those payments and manage the editing process. So we are coming in with something that we feel matches those tools but is going to be a lot more cost effective for publishers and for brands.

And there is a missing gap there. So we are bringing that together as well. So Clear Voice is going to be a one stop shop where publishers, brands and writers can come to interact, to create content, to better manage that workflow system and showcase their works. That’s the really the vision of Clear Voice. I kind of call it a content solution. That’s a typo there. But that’s a content solution we are working on, and that’s really the future of Clear Voice. And that’s really the wrap up of the presentation.

Martin: Awesome, Joe. Really, really good. I have used one site for finding freelancers. I have used it 10 years or so. What I see you doing is matching a need and a niche with people and a management system so that people are going to be able to utilize this. I can see. I haven’t gone through the presentation.

I have seen the presentation before, but having watched it again with slightly different eyes, this is going to be great. And for people watching, we have got a lot of people watching right now. It is like this is going to make a big difference so that brands can find writers and manage the process. It is going to be great. It is already there. Just people have got to claim the profile, get all the ducks in a row. Once the ducks are in a row, then it is going to roll. David, what are your thoughts?

David: I have got a question which might be a little bit contentious, so Joe, I apologize if I am putting you on the spot on this one.

Joe: No problem.

David: But here is what it is. Content is really important these days, and writers are critical to this. And I love the fact that you are bringing writers and publishers together or writers and perhaps project originators.

What I am not quite sure about is whether this is going to turn into another of those bidding marketplaces where the normal nature of business tries to drive down the cost per item of content produced, which then squeezes out the real value that could be gotten from the platform and a little bit degrades the fact that suddenly you can have a quality profile created semantically. And I am just not quite sure how you are going to address this, and I know it is not going to be easy. I appreciate this.

Joe: I think that’s a great question. That is actually one of the best questions you can ask because it leads me into a more important conversation, and it has a lot to do with what is the vision of Clear Voice and what are we trying to build. And I think the first thing I want to say is that we are actually try to create a new and improved economy for writers.

Because what you said is actually right is that there are many marketplaces out there, and it is the nature of business and it is what has also led to a collapse of the traditional newsrooms in these major publications. And we have seen in the last 10 years over a third of the people employed in the big newsrooms of these big publishers, they have been let go. They have lost their jobs. And they have started to work for new places like the Huffington Post and Buzz Feed. There are new publishers that have emerged.

A lot of people saw that New York Times document that was leaked, the innovation report. And they talked about the value of the individual and that they lost that value. Somewhere along the way they started thinking about thinking that it was really about the New York Times, but it really never was. They were the voice and the conduit, but it was always about the people. And they lost that.

And I think that’s what we are trying to bring back. We want to bring the power back to the content producers. So we see that very differently. And I will just go out on a limb and say right now that one of the things I see in a lot of the marketplaces is that quality writers sometimes they are getting beat down to $20 dollars for an article.

And that’s an absurd price point. I hate to put numbers out there, but I think that even the lower tiers of writers in terms of maybe their experience and backgrounds but certainly people that have a profile and can show off their works and they are attractive. I mean the prices are going to be three or four or five times that just to start. So we expect that subject matter experts need to get paid for their time and their work and we cannot commoditize that.

I mean that is the opposite of what we stand for. We are trying to have anti-commoditization by saying let’s focus on beefing up your profiles, showing off your works, adding more value to you as an individual. You shouldn’t be getting paid eight dollars an hour if you are a subject matter expert. You should be getting paid $50 dollars an hour, $100 dollars an hour, $200 dollars an hour. So we have really got to change the perception there, and that’s one of the main reasons we built Clear Voice.

We think that there are a lot of amazing writers out there and what they need to do is show off who they are and their works, get reengaged. We want to be that conduit, and sometimes you are going to find writers that may have this glorious history in traditional media but they don’t have a good digital footprint. So if we can help them to jumpstart that digital footprint again, they can use Clear Voice as a platform, as a kind of rolling ball to get reengaged and re-establish their value to that community of publishers and brands.

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That’s the game we want to play. And I also say that the only reason we built Clear Voice is that we understand that brands want to become publishers now, too. That’s a good thing for every writer out there because the economic fact is that publications like the Huffington Post and Forbes, which they have got great stuff, they are never going to pay that kind of model because their whole model is that they spend more of their money marketing their content which is why the Huffington Post is the biggest publisher out there today.

And they are substantially bigger than the New York Times. They spend so much money marketing their content, and that’s great for the Huffington Post but it is not great for the writers. I love the Huffington Post. I think writers should have a presence there. It is great for your portfolio, but you know who is going to pay a lot more money are the brands.

The brands are going to pay a lot more money for content. They are able to monetize content in a way that is much richer than what those publishers can do is because the brands can get people to actually buy their products and services over time. They can take new people that come to their site, and they can have strategies that view those new people that are coming to their site as top of the funnel purchase opportunities.

We target them with retargeting banners and cookie them and take them into their ecosystem and really get them to become customers, so they can make a lot more money. So brands as publishers is something that’s good for everybody. That’s why we want to attract as many brands as we can to Clear Voice, attract as many customers and bridge that gap and marry those two parties.

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There are certainly different kind of mechanics when working with a brand, but it is worth I think the time of the writer. So I mean that’s a great question. I would say we are the anti-commodity. That’s what we stand for, and that’s what we want to see.

David: I think that’s brilliant because you are right. It is a time for a change because the traditional model has not really worked very well either for those who acquire content because it is relatively poor in terms of quality and certainly for those who produce it, the writers, because again they are hard pressed and have to take on a lot of projects and they are lowly paid. So they just churn them out and the quality suffers. So I think this is quite a nice change to see.

Joe: That’s right.

Martin: I think it is fantastic. Great question, David. The content, what you just said Joe, you have got me thinking. There is a model which I think is kind of missing around the utilization of the remarketing. You use the content as a way of bringing people to the site, engaging them and then build the relationship over and over and over using that method.

And I think that’s something – that we are starting to move into, but it is missing for a lot of people because they go hold on a second, if they don’t read the article, then what are you left with? It is like they just don’t leave. Then, they didn’t fill the form in. That’s it. It is like no, you have got to change how you are looking at these. We have got to look at all the tools, and suddenly the value of the writing isn’t on how many visitors do I get in a day.

It is on the relationship that you are building and eventually it has a metric attached to it at the end, which is the customer lifetime value. And then, the acquisition cost and then the cost of the content and you end up with a model. People like ad words because you can go this, this, this equals. I mean I have been doing since 2002, 2003, and this is where I think that you are starting to bring people’s minds. So I really appreciate what you are saying, Joe. It is great.

Joe: You have nailed it on the head. That’s exactly right.

Martin: Super. We are around about 40 minutes in. There is a question here from Andrew Bat, who I am going to tell off because he still hasn’t got his profile picture on the thing that he has posted on Google+. He was how I got introduced to Clear Voice when I was Social Media Marketing World.

So Andrew Bat has got a question. He is actually making a content because he works with Clear Voice, and we talked about this before. How will agencies and brands start to interact with this? What is going to be the process that they use?

Joe: So agencies and brands will be able to connect with writers when we launch that assignment desk and platform, which is the content workflow tools. And that’s going to be towards the end of September and the first version and then it rolls out again at the end of October, so I would just set the expectation that at the end of October we expect brands to be coming in. And we have got just as an agency we have a lot of clients that are chomping at the bit.

We have got close to 100 marquee customers right now that are really interested, that want to join the platform and they want to start hiring writers. So we have got a great base we are going to bring to the table. Clear Voice is going to start an aggressive marketing campaign in Q4 once we launch that platform and then we are going to bring people directly in through Clear Voice. So we are going to bring that audience to the table.

That’s why we want those writers to come in and raise their hand now so we know that they are available to the brands that we are going to bring to the table, but I would also note too that another answer to that question is that when we talk about what are brands looking for and this gets back to that education process that Martin you talked about it of this is not PBC. This is not bottom of the funnel traffic. We are not bringing in readers that are going to go buy a product. We are bringing in readers that are going to interact with the brand.

Then it is the brand’s job to figure out how do we bring them in back again and again and introduce them to our product in a way that we can monetize and get an ROI out of. And if you look at paid search, I don’t know what the average cost per click is these days but it is probably seven or eight dollars for any kind of meaningful keyword. Of course, some are $50 dollars and some are a dollar. But on average, it is $7, $8 bucks for meaningful keywords.

That’s bottom of the funnel traffic. It converts. Sometimes there is an ROI. Sometimes there is not. But when you create a publication as a brand, you are actually producing content that is evergreen, that is going to perform well in organic search because these brands have great domain authority. It is going to perform well in social media because they have got big social media followings.

And the reason why they want to align themselves with subject matter experts is that they understand something which we loosely call content engagement. They understand subject matter experts understand how to create content that people want to read, and I think this gets back to David’s question as well which was that commodization of content. People started creating content just to create content frankly because they knew that they needed it for organic search.

That’s the number one reason they did it. They wanted more traffic and organic search, more pages indexed, but the fact is people come in, look at that content for 10 seconds and leave. Content engagement, if you have good content engagement, someone that comes to a blog post or any article you have, they should stay at least 45 seconds on that page. That means they are reading it. If you are not averaging 45 seconds or greater, you don’t have content engagement.

You have thin, shallow content that’s not good. So subject matter experts put real content that is good that people read. That means that eyeballs are staying on those brand pages longer. They are interacting with that brand longer. They are seeing the logos. They are seeing the offerings of the brand. That’s engagement. There’s value there that the brand can measure because they can understand this is someone that we should retarget.

They really did interact with us. So smart brands who are becoming publishers have more sophisticated content strategies then they ever did, they understand content engagement and they do value things like time on the page, more social followings, which they can track, and more shares. And also I would say subject matter experts tend to have better social followings as well, and of course they promote their own stuff.

They are going to mention they are working for a brand. It is not an ad. If a brand wants to pay you to do that, they can. They will mark it as an ad, but just editorially and generally people will mention their work. So that’s good for the brand too and that’s going to help them tap into those social followings. So there’s a lot of benefits there for the brands.

Martin: It is great because the tribe will follow to where the content is if there is quality content.

Joe: Exactly. That’s right.

Martin: That’s great. I think we will start to wrap up. David, last thoughts, sir.

David: We are really in the grip of semantic webs. Semantic technologies create constant transparency and empowerment for the individual, and I think this is a fantastic initiative, long overdue. I am really, really excited to see how it develops because I know there is going to be a little bit of resistance in terms of the initial uptake of brands to deal at the value level of the monetary transaction.

But it is clearly just a challenge to be solved rather than a de facto thing that’s going to happen, so we know that they eventually will see the value of what they are getting and that will be a win win for everybody. We are going to see great equality across the web. I think it is brilliant.

Martin: Super. Thank you David. Joe, what does everybody need to do? Let everybody know.

Joe:  I think the best thing is go to, check it out, play with it, understand what its strengths and weaknesses are. It is a new tool. We just launched it July 1st. It has only been out not even two months. It is in beta. It is an awesome tool.

There are a lot of things we are going to be adding to it. I think we know a lot of where its limitations are and we have got those things in the hopper, but it still has value today, a tremendous amount. I would encourage people to check it out, type in some key words. There are different ways you can search. You can search by topics. You can search by authors. You can also search a website.

So if you can go today to and click on the site tab, once the search results come up, we actually tell you all the writers that write for a publication, which is tremendously valuable. And again, whether you are networking, whether you want to write for a publication, there are a lot of uses for that. So I just encourage people to go there, check it out, play with it, find your profile if you have got one. Definitely claim it. Backfill your history so that you have got a really portfolio you can use in any of your professional experiences that you have got coming up.

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And if you don’t have a portfolio, we have got a simple form there. Just fill it and say hey, I want a profile. Give us some information about yourself. We will create one for you and get back to you. Right now we are handling all those requests manually so we can just have a good experience, but we will automate those processes. But yeah, check it out and we are looking for feedback.

Let us know what you think and we are also looking for more partners too, people to be mavens, help us spread the word. We think this is something that has a lot of altruism behind it. We are excited about it, and we really want it to reach the market.

Martin: Superb. Thank you, Joe. Thanks to David and thanks to Mark, Eric and Ronnie who popped in as well, and thanks everyone for watching. That was Clear and Joe Griffin. Take care. See you soon. Bye.

[end of transcript]

Everything you need to know about mobile marketing but were afraid to ask!

By | Interviews with great people | No Comments

Everything you want to know – PDF

Transcript – PDF

Martin: Hello, this is Martin. Today we are going to be talking Mobile. For those of you watching live, we are starting a little late because myself and Jamie had been chatting. We would have totally taken up an hour talking. But we thought we ought to probably join the band. Let me introduce you to Jamie who I met at Social Media Marketing World, 2014. I’ll let you introduce yourself Jamie Turner.

Jamie: Hi everybody. Good to see you guys. I’m glad to be here. My name is Jamie Turner. I’m the co-author of several books, one called How to Make Money with Social Media. The other called Go Mobile.

We are going to talk about Mobile today. And just go through a brief overview of Mobile Marketing. But also drill a little bit deep on the targeting aspect of Mobile which is a fascinating world and filled with stuff. But I’m glad to be here. And Martin thanks for inviting me to do this.

Martin: That’s great. Thank you very much. Now I’ve got a presentation that Jamie’s actually going to take us through. But I’m also going to come back to questions at the end. So to start this, what’s going on in the Mobile World Jamie? Before we get to the presentation, only give us just a few of those high-level bullet points.

Jamie: Yeah. Well, the first thing of course is you need to be in Mobile. Your prospects and customers are in Mobile. And if you don’t meet them there then that’s okay because your competitor will meet them there. What I mean by that is basically your customers and prospects are using Mobile to connect with the brands that they love. In fact in I know this is going global, but in the US people spend more time on Mobile devices than they do on their Desktops.

Now Mobile is defined as a smart phone and or a tablet. So when you combine those two things together we spend more time on an average on those two things than we do on desktops. So if your customers and prospects are there than you as a marketer, you as a brand, you as an organisation need to meet them there. Otherwise your competitors are going to come in and say, Hey, if you’re looking for widgets, we sell widgets. And we know where you were looking for the purple widget company, we are the green widget company and we are better, only less expensive. So you have to kind of get there and meet them there.

So what we are going to talk about today is how to do that, what the fundamentals are. And then also talk about some really fascinating stuff again on Mobile Targeting.

Martin: Cool, great. So shall we jump into the presentation?

Jamie: Sure. I will hit the screen-share button and you just…

Martin: I hit the screen and we are just going to ease into this and see.

Jamie:  This should work. You just let me know. Right now you should be seeing everything you ever know about Mobile and were afraid to ask.

Martin: There we go.

Jamie: Terrific. So I’m going to glaze through some of the earlier slides here. I’ll slow down a little bit later. So bear with me as we go through things quickly because I’ve got a bunch of slides at the beginning that we’ll get through. But again my name is Jamie Turner. The name of my company is 60 Second Communications. But you may know me through the 60 Second Marketer which is my blog. So let’s talk briefly. And Martin anytime you want to interrupt or ask questions, feel free to do so.

Martin: I will. And now I’ll have you run, yeah.

Jamie: I’ll just keep blazing through. Let’s talk about how Mobile Marketing and Mobile Technology has changed our lives since the old days, when in 1965 you could reach 80% of a viewing audience or of your target market by running 3 prime time TV commercials on at that time in the United States, ABC, NBC and CBS. And of course in the UK it would have been BBC. And I guess Martin BBC is still not doing commercials, is that right?

Martin: Correct, exactly. Good stuff.

Jamie: Okay, cool. So let’s talk about how Mobile then has changed because in the old days, you just ran a TV commercial. Today things are different. And the technology we use is Mobile.

So in the old days we used to take pictures with our Polaroids, but today we actually take them of course with our Smartphones. We used to take notes with pens, we now take notes with Evernote. We used to surf the Web with our Desktop, we now surf the Web also with our Tablets and our Smartphones.

We used to read newspapers with the paper way, now we read them off of our Tablets, although a lot of us to both of that. That’s what we are finding is that people want cross platform information. We used to listen to music with the CD, now we listen via MP3. We used to play games on consoles, now we play them on our Smartphones. We used to watch VHS’s, now we watch movies on our tablets. We used to even navigate, remember maps, now we are on…

Martin: In those previous days I remember doing a lot of sales meetings. We used to drive with the maps on our laps.

Jamie: Absolutely. Now it’s worse because we are looking at small smart screens, a Smartphone screen. And we used to get discounts on coupons and now we get it via our Smartphones. There’s a lot of different things that we do differently today including shopping, doing prescriptions the whole nine yards. And the bottom line is that Mobile has transformed the way we connect with the brands that we love. And that’s a big transformative change that is changing the world.

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Now Martin, I hate to put you on the spot here, but is your website mobile optimized or how are you doing that?

Martin:  Okay, it is Mobile opted. I think that it’s pretty better on a Tablet than it is on a Mobile Phone, just the structure of it. And I think optimize, is it responsive? You know yes it is. Do I think it’s optimized from a point of conversion to contact? Probably not. And that’s what we are looking at now. Is that all decided. Is it working on Mobile, do you know what I mean? And then tracking the results of how many people for instance are inquiring or signing up.

Jamie: Well, you’re doing all the right things. You’re thinking about Mobile, taking it into a context which is, okay great I did Step 1, which is getting it Mobile optimized. But am I doing Step 2? which is to make it easy to use to convert customers and things like that. So that’s excellent.

So let’s talk about some Mobile Media facts and figures. There are more Mobile Phone owners around the globe that there are toothbrush owners. We did the research on this. If you Google more Mobile Phone owners than toothbrush owners, you’ll see our research come up.

We did an in-depth study. It took us about a month to collect all the data but it does in fact play out. We’ve got a bunch of people who have challenged us on that. But in the Internet it’s more people are more on Mobile Phones than that than they do with toothbrushes.

In the US if someone leaves their home without their wallet, they’ll keep going. But if they leave home without their Mobile device they’ll turn around and go back and get it. So that’s something that is happening a lot for a lot of people because they know they have to stay connected 24/7.

Despite all of this what is interesting is that Mobile advertising spending still lags behind engagement. Here’s what I mean by that. We use Mobile devices 50% of the time more than we use Desktops, right? That will make you believe that more money would be spent on Mobile advertising than would be spent Desktop advertising. And that’s not the case, it’s still way behind. Mostly because marketers are struggling to kind of understand Mobile and catch up. And that’s what we are going to talk about today and get you involved in.

Martin: Let me just dive in. One correcting fact on my end is apparently the BBC do commercials and so in the US, thank you Lee. I’m sorry, thanks, okay. So if you’re watching…

Jamie: Oh I said UK. Oh, I guess that’s true.

Martin: Yeah we are making money, aren’t we? I guess that’s the point.

Jamie: Well Martin as you know and for everybody who’s watching, I was born in London even though I’ve got a Yankee accent. And I do watch BBC here in the United States. But I haven’t noticed the commercials, but I guess that makes complete sense. Cool.

And again I love those kinds of dialogues. So keep interrupting me. I’ll keep rambling on. But Martin I love to take questions from you, your listeners and viewers.

So the foundation for any Mobile campaign is to start with an understanding of consumer behaviour. So lets dive into what get’s people to buy products, because if we can understand that then we could apply it to Mobile or to Tablets or to Desktops or to anything.

Well, the first thing to understand is that people buy products for emotional reasons. And then they rationalize their purchase logically. So believe it or not nobody ever bought a Porsche because of its German engineering. The reason we and I say we being me a middle aged male with a receding hairline buy Porsches when we do is to make up for a shortcoming. So we basically do it emotionally.

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We say, Hey, the bottom line is I want to feel young, I want to feel wero, I want to feel sexy and all that sort of stuff and that’s why we buy it. Now when we get home and our spouse says, What the hell are you doing buying $180000 car? Well you can be damn sure we rationalize that purchase very logically. But I’ve been told that we basically buy it for emotional reasons.

Now what’s fascinating is that they did a study in Texas where they tested an audience and did a blind taste test for Coke and Pepsi. So a blind taste test means they give the soft drinks to people, people drink it, they said which do you like better? It was fifty-fifty. Half the room in the blind test liked Coke and half liked Pepsi.

When they did the same test with the same people when it wasn’t a blind taste test, 80% of the room picked Coca-Cola and said that Coke tasted better. Now the reason for that is because of the brand imagery, the brand association that we have with Coke. So people a lot of times will buy products and services for reasons they don’t even really consciously understand. And that’s proven out with the Coke and Pepsi kind of scenario there.

So there are 13 emotional triggers for marketers that we should be aware of. These have been tested in direct response marketing. But anytime you could have these emotions in your campaigns or in your communication you’re in great shape, Sex, Greed, Flattery, Fear, Self-Improvement, Love, Better Health, Weight Loss, Longevity, Exclusivity, Fame, Uncertainty and Doubt. If you can find a way to weave one or two of those emotions into your communications you’ll see an uptake in your response rates.

So now let’s dive in. We’ll talk about Mobile. A minute ago I asked Martin, Hey do have a Mobile optimized website? He said, Absolutely I do, which is terrific. That’s great news. We are going to talk about what to do on that front in a second. But let’s first do an overview of Mobile and what the landscape is.

The landscape is there are really not that many tools on the Mobile Front or Mobile Websites. There’s SMS, which is Short Message Service, which is just text messaging. There are Mobile Display Ads, Mobile Banner Ads, Mobile Paid Search, Location Base Marketing, Apps and QR codes. Now QR codes are on their way out. But we’ll talk a little bit briefly about them in a second.

So let’s talk about Mobile Websites. On the left side of your screen you see the 60 Second Marketer Website, just as our standard website, what it would look like if we had the Desktop sites on our mobile devices that wouldn’t work out well. So what we’ve done is do a site that looks like the one on the right, where it’s easy to navigate, thumb friendly, it has all those things. It matches our brand so it has the same look and feel of the things. But the one on the right, it just has 6 buttons.

And when Martin was talking about earlier with his site, the ability to convert people, or the ability to generate leads beyond Mobile, that’s taking context into consideration, which is a smart move, which is, hey a mobile device, fine great. I got a screen that looks pretty good on a Smartphone.

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But what am I doing to try to make it so that it taps into the fact that somebody looking at my Mobile Website who might be sitting at a stoplight or walking down a street, or walking through a mall, those are all the things that we have to take into consideration when you’re designing your Mobile Website and when you’re factoring in to how to use it. Does that make sense Martin?

Martin: Oh super. Yeah, that’s a great example.

Jamie: Excellent, terrific. So let’s dive into SMS. This is just text messaging. According to an organization called text messages are read within 4 minutes of receiving as opposed to 48 hours for email. Wikipedia reports that there are 4 billion texts sent daily as compared with f2.9 billion Google searches daily. And the data from an SMS or MMS campaign is easy to track making hour like calculations a piece of cake.

In fact in the UK, at Subway sandwich restaurants, the UK was really progressive in terms of getting into Mobile early. And they did a campaign that basically they were one of the first organizations to do it. Subway in the UK said, hey, opt in go ahead and see the poster in store, let us know that you want to receive text messages from us. And when you’re walking by if you opt in, double opt in, when you’re walking by a Subway sandwich store, if there is special at that Subway, we’ll send you a text message saying, come on in and get the coupon.

So it’s a great use of not only SMS just in general but using a location base marketing which factors in where the people are located to say, hey, Martin is walking by a Subway Sandwich shop, he’s opted in to receive these messages, it’s lunch time, let’s send him a coupon offer right now. And it was as great example in the UK of people using SMS to contact people for marketing purposes.

So let’s talk about Mobile Paid Search. It’s nothing other than Google, Bing or Yahoo done from Mobile. Traditional Paid Search is perfect for products that require in-depth research. So if you are a healthcare company and somebody wants to do a search on cancer treatments they are going to do that on the Desktop because they want to do an in-depth study, they want to look at all that.

But if you are a coffee shop, nobody wants to go in-depth on a coffee shop. What are the things they want to know about a coffee shop? Where you are located, what your hours of operation are, that’s really it. Maybe what kind of coffee you serve and things like that.

So on Mobile Paid Search you can keep it for low consideration things like coffee you can use it. For deep consideration things like in-depth analysis or things like that then you want to stick with Desktop Search. So that next bullet point says, Mobile Paid Search is perfect for quick information on low consideration products or services.

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Look at this third bullet point. This is amazing, 70% of searches complete their task within one hour compared with 30% for Desktop. So what does that mean when you drill down and think about it? Well, what it means is when somebody uses their Smartphone to do a search they are ready to buy. They are standing in a mall, they are at a sidewalk, and they are at their car like we said earlier. They are ready to buy, 70% of the time they complete whatever they have searched for within one hour.

That’s a massively important statistic right there because it gives you a sense of – there’s an old saying in Mobile as far as old sayings can be given that the technology is relatively new, the smaller the screen the close they are to purchase. So if they are on Desktop they may be doing some early research. If they are on a Tablet, they are going, oh you know I’m looking at the Gap, the clothing at the Gap this year. If they are on a Smartphone searching for the Gap they are probably in the mall ready to buy. So the smaller the screen, the closer people are to purchase.

So let’s keep going. We’ll talk about Mobile Apps. You know it’s funny. A quick story about Mobile Apps. I get people calling me in at 60 Second Communications. We are an agency. We do work for Holiday-Inn, some for TransUnion, Coca-Cola and things like that. Although we are a small agency, we’ve got some work with those guys.

But I had a client and one of those guys called me up, a client prospect, and she said, hi Jamie, I need a Mobile App, small business, you know 10, 20 people in the company. I need a Mobile App. I said, Okay. Well, that’s fine. You might not need a Mobile App. Let’s talk about your goals and objectives. She said, No, I need a Mobile App. I’m like, well wait. Let’s stop and think this through. What’s your goal and objective? Well, I need to generate leads for my business. Well, you don’t want to start with a Mobile App then, you’ve got to start with a Mobile Website’ which they did not have. And then move from there into other things. The Mobile App is probably the 4th or 5th thing you should be looking at. I finally got her convinced on that. But it took a little arm-twisting there.

So here is the truth about Mobile Apps. There are more than a million Apps already. If you have an idea for the next Angry Birds, be cautious about investing money in it because the odds are you won’t succeed given the competition. And Angry Birds remember when that did succeed as much as it succeeded, that was their 52nd attempt at doing a Mobile App. So they did 52 other Apps all of which framed out before they got one that went viral. And as Martin will tell you there’s just no predicting what’s going to go viral and what’s not.

So that’s it, Mobile Apps are great. And this is where Mobile Apps are really great, for customer retention and brand engagement. What do I mean by that? Well let me ask everybody listening to this, when was the last time you downloaded a Mobile App from a brand you didn’t know? Probably very rarely. Out of that 20 Apps you have on your phone right now, 2 of them might be from companies you didn’t know. And 18 of them are going to be from brands that you did know.

So Mobile Apps are best for companies that want to stay engaged with an audience that’s already engaged with them and want to connect with them one more time. They are not very good for customer acquisition. So if you need to acquire new customers, the 4th or 5th thing you want to be doing is a Mobile App. Other than that you want to be doing some of the other stuff.

So let’s talk real briefly about Location Based Marketing which is basically Instagram. Location Based Marketing is just using a service in order to connect with a brand or connect via a platform. So let me go deeper on that. Location Based Services include Instagram, Fousquare, Yo, Scavenger and things like that. All it is an app that factors in your location and engages with you based on your location.

So if you’re doing Yo and you’re in London, you’re going to get a different experience that I would here in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States with Yo because it’s factoring in my location to give me information and stuff like that.

Martin: I’m in Google. But I’m in Google of course.

Jamie: And Google of course. And their distant cousins are Bing and Yahoo. But I agree with you Martin and Google of course, and Google Plus for that matter.

New Field Communications I won’t go into the details here except to just say this is what’s going to be used, this little basically Wi-Fi. That’s an over simplification but it’s what’s going to be used for your Google Wallet or Isis or any of the other things coming online to get people to pay.

Martin I’d be curious what’s going on in the UK because in the United States our Smartphone Wallets have not really caught on. And there’s some talk about whether they are going to catch on. And I’m curious in the UK if you guys are starting to see adoption for people using Google Wallet or anything like that.

Martin: Well, I’ve been in the US. And I don’t really, and I agree in the US. But I think in the UK I don’t think there’s a rush. I think it’s going to take time. But I think it’s moving in that direction that conceptually people see that this would make sense. But do I think it’s being adopted a lot? Particularly I’d say London, probably I’ve seen bits and bobs in the coffee shops but it’s certainly not mainstream yet.

Jamie: I’m with you. In London, UK and by the way while I’m thinking about London, slight digression here, I’ll be in London and I know Martin you and I are going to miss each other because you’re going to be in Brazil at that time. But I’ll be in London in late September, early October for the Brand Global Conference. But while I’m there I’ll check and see if people are using their Smartphone Wallets.

But I think and I’d be curious Martin on what your perception is on this. To me the reason they aren’t getting widely adopted is because there is no benefit to it. It’s actually ad added step because you have to load money into the wallet and then you’re at the checkout and then you can open up your wallet and then checkout using it. But I don’t see any benefit. I’m not getting discounts for using the wallet.

Martin: Well that’s outsourced these days, would it need to go that way. Or if you got a preloaded Google Play App and it’s virtual and it somehow allows you to do something in stall books. In that sort of way of going it’s something, I don’t know. But we’ve got to realize that money is one of the most in-trade systems that we have. To display that into a different form having had others in 5000 years of coins and then coins to paper, I’m sure paper probably took a while to take off as well.

Jamie: Yeah, you’re probably right. They probably did. But the benefit on coins or paper is that it’s easier to use. And I just don’t see that the Wallets are easier to use yet. But let’s keep going.

Let’s dive into QR codes. They are on their way out. When I first wrote Go Mobile 2 years ago, 18% of the population of the US had scanned a QR code. Today 19% have scanned it. So in other words in 2 years they haven’t pumped up the adoption rate.

Well, here’s a good example despite the fact that they are on the way out, a good example of QR codes. I went into the Smithsonian Institution, a museum in the United States, much like the British Museum. And went in and did a thing called the Neanderthal exhibit, which is where they actually scanned – I could scan a QR code and super impose over me what I would look like as a Neanderthal. And ironically it matched my High School Yearbook Photo. So that was the irony there. But the bottom line is that I was using that in order to engage with the exhibit and it was a fun way to do it. But again as I said it’s kind of on their way out.

So here’s where things get really interesting is Mobile Display. Mobile Display is just Banner Ads. Novelty of Mobile Display is your greatest friend. So Campbell’s ran a Mobile Ad using the iAd Platform. The results were that 53 million impressions had a 1% click through rate, which is very good. In Direct Mail you get half a percent. In traditional Desktop Display you’ll get I think the figure is .05 to .1%, so very small. They got a 1% click through rate, 10 times what you get on Desktop.

The people spend an average of 1 minute investigating the ad. Their intent to purchase was 4 times greater than with TV. And they remembered Campbell’s 5 times more often than TV ad response. So the bottom line is that actually worked. And Mobile Display is really fast thing. And Martin I’m going to be respectful of the time here.

Martin: Keep going. It’s just great, keep going.

Jamie: Okay, that’s great. I want to make sure…

Martin: I’m enjoying it. And I think everybody else is quite quiet. So they are probably watching intently.

Jamie: Well, actually there’s so much to process on the Mobile front that a lot of times it’s so new and its getting better and better every day. So there’s something new every single day that a lot of times I found people are processing a lot of information.

So here’s what you can do with it. My company goes in and when we do a Mobile Display ad campaign for one of our clients, basically what we do is, we say let’s track our recipient and see where we can target them. So we know that Tim uses his Desktop in the morning to check at 6 o’clock in the morning. But then he uses his Smartphone to scan the headlines at 7:00am in the gym. And then he uses his tablet to check his stocks during lunch. And then he stops by the grocery store on the way home to pick up Powerade.

Now what does that have to do with us? If we are Powerade we can start sending him ads at 6:00am on his Desktop, sending him ads at 7:00am on his Smartphone, sending him ads at noon on his Tablet so that he ends up buying the Powerade. And we can actually tie that purchase to the actual campaign.

What I mean by that is this is not a branding campaign where you just send out ads and hope you see a lift in sales. This is actually we have targeted these people. We know from their frequent shopper card purchases that those people when they buy Powerade we can say, hey this person bought Powerade, let’s track and see if that person received our ad. Oh yeah, they did. So we know there’s a connection between those two things. So that’s what I mean when I say the Display stuff is just getting really crazy.

So by using the newest technologies we can reach Tim across multiple media, understand who, where and what device he used. We can understand when he was exposed. And then look at which campaigns had an impact on sales on a store by store basis.

In other words because we can tie purchase data back to each campaign we can identify at which moments and what messages are working and then quantify the impact each message has on the final sale. In other words, for the first time we can actually really track sales to advertising. Not the first time, but it’s one of the amazing things about it.

So let’s talk about the Targeting Capabilities. Now we just talked about how to tie sales data to Mobile. Let’s talk about how we can target people. There are 7 layers. You can do it demographically, a piece of cake. Behaviourally, we’ll talk about what that means. Contextually, Location Based, Retargeting, Transactional Data and CRM Data Match. Let’s go through each of those really quickly.

Demographic, Piece of Cake, Hey, I want to reach men aged 35 to 44, butter boom butter bing, that’s a piece of cake. That’s easy to do in Mobile Display.

Behavioural is interesting because Behavioural says, hey we want to just know that we want to track people who have visited and and send those people an ad based on their behaviours. You can do that. And you can do that on Desktop of course pretty well too.

So for example my company is running a Mobile Display campaign with an international hotel chain that uses Behavioural as well as Hyper Local Targeting to capture likely prospects inside their hotel. So what does that mean? That means we know which people have a propensity to book hotel rooms digitally.

So we’ve got that data. And then we overlaid on top of it, well we’ve got this pool of people who we know like to book rooms on their Smarphones and also on their computers. But we want to target them when they are in our hotels so that they can book again so when they are back, you know travelling sales people are back in a month, and so we can book them and give them a special discount. So there is really some fascinating stuff going on that front.

Contextual just means, Hey, if I’m selling Tennis Rackets where do I want to advertise?  I want to advertise on and and do that. So Contextual is nothing other than taking the context of what they are reading about into consideration when you run the ad.

Location, we can target people. If you’re McDonalds and you’ve got all these locations around the country but you don’t want to advertise in rural areas where you don’t have a McDonalds that’s okay because we can just do Mobile Display ads to people based at certain locations. And you can do something called Location with Hyper Targeting Overlay.

We had a client that was a developer and they were building homes in Phoenix. And we said lets do Phoenix but let’s heavy up just in a 5 mile radius of their development. So we did an overlay of let’s target Sun City and that neighbourhood. But in our specific developments the streets that we are on we are going to do a heavy up in those areas because we know people will be travelling around.

Transactional Data is we kind or round the bend here. And I know we’ve covered a ton of stuff. I’ve still got a few more minutes. But we’ve covered a lot of ground. But on the Transactional side of the equation we can target people who have bought your product in the past. And we can target people who have bought your competitors product in the past. So let’s take a look at that because that goes kind of deep.

Because we can tie your Mobile device to your purchase behaviour, in fact I know Martin buys pedigree dog food, and I know Martin’s neighbour buys a different kind of dog food. And because we can track that purchase behaviour – and I won’t go into the details on how we do that although there’s not privacy issues, and just trust me on that one, your data point is statistic for us.

We can track whether a Mobile Display ad resulted in a sale down at the household level. So that red house they received an ad, they bought your product. The green house they received an ad but they didn’t buy your product. That’s interesting data. Let’s analyse what worked and what didn’t work there to get that to happen.

Well here’s how that works. We go in and we isolate your target market.

Stage 1- We say, we want to get people in Kensington in London in that neighbourhood and we want to analyse what they were buying in that neighbourhood for the last 52 weeks.

Stage 2- We deploy the campaign which is on Mobile or it could be Desktop or Coupon.

Stage 3- We identify exposed and unexposed households and one-to-one match. And what we mean by that is we go in and we say okay cool, we know this neighbourhood. We are going to look at which homes buy pedigree dog food. We are going to send a coupon to them. We are going to skip over the ones that didn’t buy pedigree dog food. Or we are going to send a coupon to the people who didn’t buy it and see what happens there.

Stage 4- We can measure the sales impact by focusing on purchase patterns.

So I know I’ve covered a lot of ground. Let me just do a quick sort of distillation of what I’ve just said. Mobile Display is Mobile Banner Ads. Targeting is one of the best things about Mobile Display. We can now target base on your purchase behaviour because we know what you’re buying when you go in and use your frequent shopper card to buy products. We collect that data and say cool, Martin’s interested in pedigree dog food, let’s send an ad to him on pedigree dog food. So that’s kind of summary of it.

Let’s talk about tracking the results. When you do the campaign you can analyse where things go. Did the people who got exposed to our ad for pedigree buy more pedigree dog food? And if the answer is yes, we track that data and we say that was a successful campaign.

Other times we’re saying no, it didn’t actually work. And we’ve had campaigns that didn’t work for us. And we are like alright, if this is not working for this product that’s okay, that’s data that we understand.

CRM Data Match, I won’t go into too many details here other than to say if you have signed up for let’s say a loyalty card, but you never used the loyalty card. So let’s say you are a hotel chain, you have a loyalty card, and you signed up for it. But we notice in our data you haven’t used that, we can send you a specific ad that says, hey, use the loyalty card and get a 5% discount,  just to trigger that. And then the people who have used the loyalty card we are then not going to send an ad to you. So there’s really cool stuff that we can do on that front.

And then here’s a B-to-B secret weapon. Mobile Display struggles when it comes to lead generation because most people don’t want to fill out a form via a Smartphone. So when Martin was talking earlier about yes I have a responsive design on my website that looks good on a Smartphone but I’m B-to-B, I’m not really generating the right leads, well here is the trick to do.

Nobody wants to fill out a form on a Smartphone. So the work around on this is to create a click to call campaign that drives calls to a dedicated sales force. Now Martin may say, hey I don’t want everybody calling me on my phone, that’s okay. But if you are a large company and a large B-to-B company and you’ve got a dedicated sales force, you can run a Mobile Display ad, instead of it saying fill up this form and we’ll contact you, click this button and you’ll be put in touch with one of our sales people right now, so great use for B-to-B in terms of Mobile.

So I’m going to very briefly go through calculating the ROI of the Mobile Marketing Campaign and then we’ll wrap up. The bottom line is it all starts with customer life time value. A very basic version of customer life time value is the average revenue per customer you generate times the average number of repeat visits. If you have a product that sells for 10 bucks and people buy it for a year before they stop buying it, then that’s a $120 is your customer life time value with them, a very over simplified version of it.

But now you can establish your allowable cost for sale. A good rule of thumb is that 10% of your customer life time value can be applied to your allowable cost for sale. If you are a big company and your customer life time value is $2600 that would mean your allowable cost for sales $260. So that means you have to convert one prospect into a customer for every $260 you spend.

A typical conversion rate for Mobile Marketing Campaign is less than 1%. So you can go back after looking at all this information and take those calculations and crunch the numbers yourself and see if Mobile would be right for you.

If you go through it and Martin I can share these slides with you if anybody wants to download them. But if you go through that calculation you can see how it all works out here that if you have a customer life time value in that second bullet point of $2600, your allowable cost for sale is $260 that clicks to a Mobile landing page equals 100 for $260 which is well within reason. Your conversion is you need to convert one per hundred people your after the race here. So it work in that kind of math way. So let’s do an action plan and a couple of more sites here and I’ll wrap up.

Step 1- Mobilise your website.

Step 2- Watch how your competitors are using Mobile marketing. Figure out what they are doing because they are making mistakes for you. And you can go in and say, Hey they’ve made that mistake, I’m not going to make that mistake.

Step 3- Start using Mobile Marketing yourself. Coming out of this hangout right here, go in and click a banner ad, go in and do a Mobile Paid Search for yourself. Just start using Mobile.

Step 4-Read everything you can about Mobile Marketing. You can start with or my website

Step 5- Claim your business on location based applications if you have a retail location.

Step 6-Run a Mobile Display ad campaign.

Step 7- Create a 2D or QR code promotion. You might even scratch that one off because God knows those things are not being adopted the way we thought they were going to be.

Step 8-Design an iPhone or Smartphone app, way down the list. Everybody thinks apps are the first thing to do. They are number 8 or this list.

Step 9-Ttrack your results.

Step 10-Test your way in the success.

I am going to turn it back over to Martin and see if there are any questions from folks. My name again is Jamie Turner. I’m the co-author of How to Make Money with Social Media and Go Mobile. And my company is called 60 Second Communications. We are based out of Atlanta and do work with a lot of large brands. I’m going to click stop, shutting down here Martina and turn it back over to you.

Martin: That’s great. I’ve just looked on the thread. Let me just come to one, Greg Cooper says, great presentation there with you Jamie Turner. Thanks. It’s scary how much marketers, and which I’m one, know about our behaviour.

Jamie: Can I address that?

Martin: Yeah.

Jamie: I get that a lot. I speak at conferences around the globe just like Martin does. And that’s where we bump into each other and all that sort of stuff. And the first question that comes up is always hey I’m a little nervous about the way you guys are tracking us. Two things, first of all you’re a data point. You’re not a human being, sorry, but you’re just a data point. And we are tracking statistics. We are saying 37% of the people in this neighbourhood bought pedigree dog food, that’s a statistic, it’s not a person.

However, the people on the Direct Mail industry have been you tracking you to a much greater degree for 50, 60 years now. They know in Direct Mail and by the way I used Direct Mail to market so I’m a believer in Direct Mail. We know your credit score. We know your name. We know where you went on vacation last year. We know what car you bought. We know what bank you’re banking at, all of that data. With the Mobile stuff all we know is that you’re a data point and that you bought Himes Dog Food. That’s really and some other things like which websites you’ve been and to things like that. But there’s less privacy,

Martin: Just small things like that tracking everything on the Internet. I’m just going to come back to the thread. Everyone’s quiet because they’ve also doing questions so let’s pick up one. Liverca says, what about choosing between Mobile website or Responsive Website?

Jamie: Yeah. Let me define those two things going on there. The Mobile Website and by that I think she means…

Martin: It’s he Jamie.

Jamie: Oh sorry. A responsive website takes your existing content and shrinks it down to a Mobile size screen and reformats it. Now the problem with that is that it’s giving all – in most cases unless you use a sophisticated web design firm, but if you are using WordPress it’s taking your existing content and just repackaging it. So what happens is that somebody at a stoplight is getting all of that information that you have. Here’s the About Us Page, here’s direction to our offices and all that stuff. They don’t want that.

You know if you’re on a Mobile device and you are a retailer or a restaurant all they want to know is where you are located, what your hours of operation are and maybe look at your menu and see what your prices are. They don’t want all the other information.

So where I’m going with that is that’s the problem with some responsive designs that it serves up the same content just repackaged. And that’s too much content.

What I do with the 60 Second Marketer and sixty Second communications Websites is I actually have a line-up code, it’s called Sniffer Code. It sniffs out where you are coming from and it says if you’re coming from a Smartphone I’m going to redirect you specifically to web pages that are just designed for a Smartphone. So in other words you are not getting all that extra information that you don’t want from me right now because you are standing on a street corner. And I’m just serving you the very specific information.

So the technique which I actually prefer, and I’m in the minority there, is go through if the sniffer codes say oh this is Martin on a Desktop, we are going to send him over here. Oh, this is Jamie on a Smartphone we are going to send it to these six pages that have been designed just for a Smartphone with less content, easier to navigate, shorter information because we know that Jamie is sitting on a street corner at a stoplight, in a mall or whatever it is, that’s the technique I use.

Martin: Awesome. I love that. Right let’s see what else we have. Everyone is listening.

Jamie: I know one that’s pretty common, if I can just dive in with it. A common question is, where do I get started? So let me address that. There are 3 things to do right off the bat.

The first thing is Mobilise your website. Get it so that it’s responsive or any of the other stuff that we talked about.

The second step and an easy step is run a Mobile page search campaign because you can go into Google and just run a campaign that says free this, free that, whatever it is you want to run.

After that then I would suggest maybe getting into Mobile Display.

Jamie Turner 5

And that typically if you go with an ad agency or Mobile Display ads network it cost a bit of money. The starting point is like $5000 a month and so that really have to be a business. However, you can use Google’s Display ad network which is self serve, do it yourself to run Mobile Display. And you can do that.

So those are the 3 things I’d encourage you to do. One is mobilize your website. Second is run a Mobile Page Search Campaign. And the third is if your small business use Google’s ad network to do Mobile Display ad network to run something or higher an agency or go to a Mobile Display ad Network to run a more robust campaign.

Martin: Awesome. I said it’s quiet, it’s not really that quiet. There’s lots of people saying things. Kenneth is saying, It’s not mind reading, its behavioural reading and that’s what gets you the best results.

Jamie: Yeah, good comment.

Martin: Paul is saying thank you. James is saying thank you. Greg is saying thank you. Michelle is saying thanking you. Now Lee, and we know we are moving towards the end and as a push back he said, using WordPress or not is not the problem, not having the correct design and development is the problem is his view in….

Jamie: Yeah that’s a good point which is it’s really about designing something so that it works on a Smartphone properly. And that’s taking context into consideration. It sounds like he’s a designer and possibly a web designer. And that’s important, that’s why you hire pros to do it as opposed to software to do it.

If you’re do-it-yourselfer, get a theme on WordPress that can do it for you. If you are somebody who is ready to get up to the next level use folks like the person you just mentioned that comment and hire them to do your web design.

Martin: Super. Thank you, Jamie Turner. That was great content. Now I’m going to ask Jamie, can we have the one PDF? Have you got any other PDF’s so I can put them on the website for people? And then can have access and we can do that stuff.

Jamie: Yeah I do. In fact the one we just went through is I don’t remember how many slides that was but I have the full book which is 175 slides. I think I’ll send that over to you. And that’s just got everything you could want to ever know about Mobile going pretty in-depth. So I’ll shoot that over to you.

I also have a book, the second edition of How to Make Money with Social Media is coming out. And there’s an entire section devoted to Social/Mobile, how to use Mobile and Social combined in order to attract customers, that’s coming out in September and it will be available in the UK at the same time.

Martin: Super. Thank you, Jamie Turner.

Jamie: Excellent.

Martin:  And thanks for watching and being a part of that. That was great and I enjoyed that. I think it’s given me a few ideas. But also what was really instant and I’m with you Jamie it’s just like know when people are using mobiles. What they are looking for, if they are looking for that restaurant, if they are looking for that menu, if they are looking for that price, if they looking for that coffee shop, yes sure we want everything and responses so that people can look.

I know from my own stats when people are looking at Google Plus content most of the time they are on a Desktop. And they may look at a YouTube video and they may have that. But really, it is knowing what the thing is used for. And we are doing a lot with Google Local and exploring what we can be doing on Mobile I think it’s very powerful in relation to Google Local.

Jamie: Yeah.

Martin: Well they are Google Plus pages, but they are Local pages, so yeah. Cool, right on that note, so take care. Thanks everybody for watching. And check out the wall post for the PDF’s. See you soon. Bye.

[end of transcript]

The Power of Visual Storytelling

By | Google Plus, Interviews with great people | No Comments

Martin: Hello. This is Martin Shervington. And as you can see, I am outdoors. I’m in San Diego on Pacific Beach. And today we’re going to be talking about visual and visual storytelling. And I have a very special guest who I met in real life about 1 month and a half, two months ago. I said, I’d love to interview you. So she’s agreed. And even though she’s incredibly busy and doing a lot of work for businesses on this particular subject, she’s said yes. So this is very cool.

And Ekaterina, I’m going to bring you up in the screen. I’m squinty. I’m going to have to keep my glasses on half the time. It’s so sunny here. How are you?

Ekaterina: I’m great. It’s actually sunny here as well in Portland. It’s been raining all last week. So looking forward to 80 and warm. I’m looking forward for summer to be here already.

Martin: Very cool. Now, what do you do? Let’s do that first. And then we’ll come on to the book.

Ekaterina: Not much. Just kind of pretending that I work here and there. [laughs]

Martin: I heard that.

Ekaterina: I am a marketer. That’s my passion. I’m really passionate about helping build brands, helping turn those brands into social businesses. I’ve actually helped lead marketing and business innovation for brands like Intel and Accenture and Wells Fargo. And really had a lot of fun with that. Obviously my time at Intel for 8 years, and 4.5-5 of those I helped build social business. And I found that was the most fun.

This is actually a ton of interesting ways that you could take a brand and help make it social. And we’ve had a lot of good times, a lot of tough times. So that was something that I found, especially in the marketing field, my passion – helping businesses realize how to talk to customers in a different way. How to stay on the cutting edge.

So whether it is social coming on or whether right now it is standing out from that noise that now even social channels are so busy and so noisy and so obviously helping businesses shift their content strategy to more visual strategy, and hands to my second book of visual storytelling. So it’s never a dull moment for us marketers, is it?

Martin: It’s all happening. Now I’m going to make it really – we’re going to go for the absolute basics to start with, if that’s okay. Because I know some people –

Ekaterina: It’s fine.

Martin: No-no-no. Because you’re very high level and very experienced. I’m going to make just so everybody can relate to it. When we’re talking about social channels, let’s talk about the top social channels and how maybe they’re different and how you see them as different.

Ekaterina: Each social channel has a slightly different audience and slightly different focus. It should be respected. And just taken for what it is. And I think what marketers tend to do is just blast the content that they’ve created, just because they’re short on resources, across all of the channels, and that’s where sometimes that sort of strategy doesn’t work as well.

So let me give you an example. Tumblr – very young audience. A lot of college students. A ton of millenials. But there’s also unique aspects about a network like Tumblr. One of them is GIFs – animated quick short animations that became really, really popular.

So when brands go on Tumblr and they try to put long-form blog posts or cram it with anything else, people just don’t respond. It doesn’t get re-blogged. There’s no engagement. You can’t build communities. So Tumblr is very image-focused as well as animation-focused.

Other networks like Google+ is very tech-focused. So there’s a lot of thought leaders in tech. There’s a lot of self-starters and people who are at the forefront and using the latest and greatest. So that’s your audience in Google+.

Pinterest is 80% female audience. And a lot of brands like luxury, beauty, retail, etc. do very well on Pinterest.

So definitely each network calls for each its on content strategy and has its own audience. And I think as marketers, we definitely need to respect that fact and adjust not just our social strategy but content strategy as well.

Martin: Okay great. I love that because you brought in – I mean we’ve got the difference between the channels, different audiences. And also you mentioned about building community within each channel as well.

I speak about community on Google+ a lot and the role of that and bringing people together. When you’re approaching a brand, do you start with their content, their story? How do you begin? And I’m really thinking for the people who are going to be watching this in the future. Where do they start? Because I know they’re going to be feeling that it’s all too much.

Do they choose one channel or not? Which way would you go?

Ekaterina: There’s tactical things that you can do right now. What’s timely? First there’s spring, happy holidays. But it only can go so far, because if it’s not tied back to the brand it isn’t that effective. So you do start with your why.

Who you are. What your brand is. Most of the larger brands have already style guide or brand guides, which tells you think like what is the brand about. What’s the voice? What are the attributes of that brand? And how do they want to engage with their communities? So hopefully your brand has something like that in place to refer back to.

Brand also has a high level of strategic guidance. So that comes down straight from the top that talks about the things that, this year, building X community is very important to us. We’re getting a new product out on this line. Internet of things. Big data. What are the critical things that are really important to a brand?

And so what you want to do is you start with your story. And you say, who am I? What’s my brand look like? What are the things that I really want to communicate to people? And those aren’t, here’s our product. These are the things –

We are Intel. We are geeky. We’re nerdy. And that’s okay. And that’s who we are. That’s our voice. We love technology.

So what we’re going to do, everything we do, we’re going to bring you valuable content about not just our products, and hopefully less of that, but actually about the news, the advances in technology, all of the things that we’re really truly passionate about. And hopefully the content strategy really resonates and really resonates has that story all the way across for consistency’s sake.

And then you go, okay, I’ve got my brand down. I’ve got my story down. I understand what I want to do with that. Now let’s take it one level further and ask ourselves a question. What are our business goals? And one step further is what are our marketing goals?

You look at those, and then you say, now my social business strategy as well as content strategy is going to reflect all of those. So then you start building from there per community you have. I don’t even want to say network; I want to say community. Because you can build communities on forums. You can build it on LinkedIn groups, even if it’s not visual. You can build it on your blog, right?

So your customers and your communities are your number one priority. Your number one priority as a marketer is to spark movement around your brand.

Let me repeat that. Not build marketing campaigns. Nobody cares about that. Campaign runs for a month or so. It’s dead. Nobody cares. It is to spark true movement around your brand. It’s to build trust around your brand.

Martin: Great. So have a look at a difference between the communities and the network. I know this is something that comes up now and again. And it came up at the Social Media Marketing World. What is the difference to you between community and network?

Ekaterina: You know what? Some people might disagree with me. But I have to tell you. I personally think there shouldn’t be any difference. And again, it goes back to the reason of as a marketer, my whole purpose is to build advocacy around my brand.

To build advocacy around my brand, the only way I do that is not even by putting out the products that nobody else has and they’re amazing and they’re the best in the market. No! You do that by building communities, and you’re taking care of your current communities so those communities can grow so those current customers that know you, that dig you, that understand you very well can bring new customers in.

And I think Apple vs. PC. Have you ever walked into a Best Buy and tried to buy a PC and some guy who was shopping for something else turns around and literally attacks you. How can you even think about buying PC? Let me tell you why Apple’s the best choice for you. That guy doesn’t even work in the store. And he’s such a huge advocate.

So because of that goal, to me when I look at network, every single network, even networks that tend to be a little less comments, like Tumblr tends to have less engagement. It doesn’t matter.

You want a sole purpose of being in that network, of being in those communities, of putting that content out there, is to drive the engagement, is to build those communities, because community ultimately drives – advocacy drives word of mouth, it shapes what your brand is. And so to me when you say network, I immediately think community. I think commenting, engagement, I think conversation.

Ekaterina Walter - You want a sole purpose of being in that network, of being in those communities, of putting that content out there, is to drive the engagement, is to build those communities, because community ultimately drives - advocacy drives word of mouth, it shapes what your brand is. And so to me when you say network, I immediately think community. I think commenting, engagement, I think conversation.

Martin: Okay. Super. I like that. In terms of the relationship that you see between engagement and with end point sales. I mean, you’ve got the advocacy that’s moving around. What is the relationship?

Because engagement for engagement’s sake is like, you can put out a cat GIF and lots of people plus it and great. What is the relationship from a corporate point of view and a business point of view?

Ekaterina: So I guess your question is what is the relationship between engagement and business impact – is that what you’re asking?

Martin: Essentially yeah. I know this one comes up. So I thought I’d ask it.

Ekaterina: You know I immediately think about one of my favorite phrases by Gary V, and he says, what’s the ROI of your mother? So I guess everything can be measured. And especially now with the tools and the infrastructure becoming more and more sophisticated. So you definitely can draw business impact from the engagements of communities you’re getting.

At the end of the day, there’s soft ROI and there’s hard ROI. So soft ROI is hard to measure. So for example, Martin, you and I have a relationship. Why am I on the show? Why am I talking to you right now? We can dice our ROI back and forth, and we can slice and try and figure it out. But the reality is I have a relationship with you, just like with any brand. If I believe in brand, and I have a relationship with the brand, I’ll probably be more likely to buy.

Now let’s talk hard ROI. Very simple. (And I know it’s not that simple, but the correlation is pretty simple.) You have a community of people that engage with you every single day. That means you stay on top of mind. That means when a person comes to your community member and says, look, I’m looking to buy this product and I’m thinking about this brand and you happen to be part of the community and you happen to be passionate about the community, that particular brand community and it’s on top of mind, you immediately go, you’ve got to check this one out.

And as a matter of fact, I’m a part of this little group, and etc., etc. And you actually have a personal story to tell. The noise on the web is increasing. And to stand out you need two things. One is content comes to attention. That’s visual comes into play. That’s why it’s critical.

Second one is your biggest filter is advocacy. So when people look for something, yeah, they’re going to Google it. But most of all, they’re going to come to their community and say, what do you guys think? And you want to have your advocates of your brand in those communities.

So what you do is then you take the conversations that are happening in the communities and let’s say you have a special offer for your communities. You can track that offer all the way from the marketing offer and we can call it campaign, because that offer would be short term. And then you could track it back to purchase. You could track how that offer travels.

So let’s say you gave that to influences in just your community to give it to friends, you can track every single one of them. You can actually see how influential your community is in driving purchases and then eventually purchasing. So all of those things and all of those steps are measured. You can measure them. And you can figure out what is the passion of your community towards your brand, which is metrics like brand affinity, etc.

You can figure out how much is sales. That community actually drives back to your brand. And you can just generically from those relationships, grow a relationship with anybody else, with vendors, with influencers, with I don’t know, industry analysts, etc. So to me there is a lot of benefits that stem from that.

But is it measurable? Yes. In a lot of cases, it is.

Martin: Okay. This is great context because this is a very corporate view, actually, on the process of engagement.

Ekaterina: Absolutely.

Martin: So next question for you. Let’s return back to the power of visual storytelling. Let’s take it now to a personal level. What advice would you have to people as an individual who are looking to get started on telling their story and how do they use visuals to do that?

Ekaterina: Get started. The biggest thing when people think when they say visual storytelling or just visual content, they say, oh my God, that means I have to produce all these images and I have to produce all these infographics. I’ve got to produce, things like memes or cartoons. There’s a lot of ways you can engage with visuals. And it scares people, especially if you’re a small business. It scares you because you go, oh my God, what do I do?

But I’ll give you an example. I met up with a friend of mine, and she’s a communication consultant. So we had lunch last week. And I met with her and I said, if I was your client, I love the content you’re putting out. I love how you’re helping people. You’ve helped me realize different communication partners, etc.

You have a newsletter. I see some other marketing you do. Why don’t you have more visuals? And she said, how? I said, okay great. So let’s take an example. You are putting out a report, or an ebook, that talks about how the specific communication patterns help, let’s say, lawyers in the courtroom. And that’s another niche that she’s going into. She works a lot with lawyers to help them work with juries, build a rapport, understand their non-verbal reactions, things like that.

I said, you put out this ebook. Are there statistics in the ebook?


-Are there quotes in the book?


-Are there images that you’re thinking of putting together for them?

-Yes. I’m working with this art student that helps me with putting together with design on the side.

-Great! Why not take a bigger, even if it’s a white paper. You know, nobody reads white papers but IT people. But even if it’s a white paper. Why not take the longer from content, even your blog posts, dissect it, and take out the bits and pieces that you think your audience will be interested in. And then work with a designer on the fly real time on putting together an image with a stat. People love to share that. Image with a quote. They loves quotes. Quick infographic that would summarize some of the key message and some of the key data in that report.

So she started writing it all down. A lot of things we think we have one piece of content and that’s it. But what you need to think about, people think in real time. They consume information in real time. And they think in snackable content. So you need to start figuring out how to take what you already have, whatever that is, whatever little piece of content that is. Maybe one of your quotes during the webinar was retweeted the most and you know that resonated with the audience. Turn it into an image. Make something out of it.

And then the other thing people don’t think about is even if you’re not on Pinterest, a lot of people are. So when you put out a blog post, and it’s not accompanied by an image, there’s nothing to pin. You have to pin an image or you have to pin a video. So think about how you want to current content to travel, even if you’re not on the visual networks, to help your audience take it so much further.

Martin: That’s the point, isn’t it? Even if you’re not doing it, this is allowing your content to get legs. And you’ve got to let other people do the work. So you’ve got to have the pinnable posts, the reshare buttons and so on.

But also, you mentioned about Pinterest. The Pinterest button onto the image itself. It’s a straightforward thing if you’re using WordPress.

Ekaterina: Oh, absolutely. I’ll give you stats Martin on this one final thought. You know my book has a lot of statistics from different studies, what marketers say, just to help you think through the scale of this, and the importance of this. Some of the statistics say, for example, people are 180-200% more likely to stay on your product page longer if there’s a video or image.

They are 64%-80% (according to some studies) more likely to buy your product if there’s an image accompanying it. Or if there’s a video. People love videos, especially if your product is slightly complex, you would like to put the video next to it, just so the people understand. Oh I get it. I get how I can use it. They watch 1-2 minute video there. They’re great. Buy.

And there is more data to support that. But purchase intent definitely goes up if you have visual rich media accompanying it. And the same thing with what about website visits. If you just have a website and you’re not even on all social networks as a small business.

Well your traffic goes up 12% if you’re driving the content back to your blog or website with an infographic. 12% increase.

If you have a newsletter and you’re using a cartoon, especially your own current basis, a cartoon that’s relevant to your audience, your open rate will go from average of 5-8% to 45-50%. I mean, who wouldn’t want that?

Martin: That’s amazing!

Ekaterina: And the stats go on and on and on. It’s all tied. So even if you’re not on Pinterest and you say, that stat is not relevant to me, you want website traffic. You want blog traffic, etc., etc.

Martin: So got a couple of questions here. Davey Bates, you mentioned about Pinterest. He’s asking what’s the difference between Reddit and Facebook, which are the two that are, I don’t know that much about when marketing.

Ekaterina: What is the difference between Reddit and Facebook?

Martin: Yeah, in relation to how one would approach the visual elements, I think.

Ekaterina: They’re different because Reddit isn’t really, I may be wrong, not concerned with the social site. It’s more of a bookmarking, social sharing type of site. And I’m not on it often, so I may not be the best expert on it, so I’ll admit up front.

I will say that Facebook is more for community building. Reddit is, there is a slight element of community. It depends on who you are. But Reddit is more how can I take my best content and make sure it’s visible. Because sites like Reddit will pick it up and drive a big amount of traffic if you’re doing it well and approaching it well.

So I think that’s slightly different, right? It depends on what you want to do. You want to house content somewhere. Blog. Even on your Facebook page. Pinterest. And then use Reddit as a sort of distribution tool to drive that content. And as you say Martin you give it legs. So that’s how I see it.

Martin: Okay. Great. And let’s go back to the engagement process. Do you believe, I mean Chris Brogan for instance talks a lot about the conversation, and really he uses newsletters as a way of getting that conversation going.

When you’re talking about that, do you think of a brand, as an individual. Is that what this should be focused on and nurturing that?

Ekaterina: Right. I think the reality is we live in an environment where it is all about current conversation. Once you drop out of that current conversation you as a brand or even a personality, your personal brand, it doesn’t matter, you’re pretty much gone.

So there’s need to be a lot of effort put behind building passionate conversations. So I have two of my favorite books of all time. Brains on Fire by the whole team. Their first book was called Brains on Fire. And the second one was Passion Conversation. And they talk a lot about advocacy and building your communities and how to do it, why this is a long-term thing.

So if you want to detail those books, fantastic, highly recommend it. One of my favorite marketing books.

Now again going back to sort of the purpose, right? Your purpose is to spark advocacy. Your purpose is to build not just brand awareness but brand affinity. And the only way to do that is people engaging in conversations around it. It doesn’t matter which network just as long as people are talking about.

Ekaterina Walter - Your purpose is to spark advocacy. Your purpose is to build not just brand awareness but brand affinity. And the only way to do that is people engaging in conversations around it. It doesn't matter which network just as long as people are talking about.

And people go, what if it’s a negative conversation? I don’t care. You can turn naysayers. And you can turn negativity into positivity by being there, by being present, by being engaged and providing information in real time so those people go okay, they care about me, they heard me, they actually are out there listening. And that’s the brand that really gives a damn, to be honest.

So when Chris talks about your whole purpose is to engage communities, whether it’s a newsletter or it’s a blog post or it’s anything else, really, he’s absolutely right. If you’re just shouting your message out there like most brands do, I mean, most brands, that’s all they do. Put it out there, my God. That’s marketing. They don’t care about how that got picked up conversation-wise. What other sort of discussions or consequences they sparked, whatever they are. Are they negative? Are they positive? etc.

That’s the thread you want to be included in. But a lot of brands, let’s us put it out there. It’s still a one-way conversation. And so it’s definitely true that nowadays instead of just pushing out a TV campaign or pushing out a marketing message in whatever form you want to do it, you have to work so much harder to be present at the current conversation and reply in real time.

That’s why one chapter in my book is Real Time Marketing, because if brands don’t learn to be agile, if they’re not prepared to participate in those conversations in real time, they’re gone.

Martin: Okay. That’s great. So let’s just take on example. There’s two ways I could go. Let’s do that one first. When a brand posts then, do you think they should be there and have the social media manager there waiting to have that conversation?

So on Google+, we have +1, comment, share. For me, there’s an opportunity for brands to go around and say, thanks for the share. Thanks for the +1. And to lift up the level. But it’s a really detailed job. Do you think that they should be doing that?

Ekaterina: Absolutely. You need to understand, and that’s where listening tools become really critical. You need to understand what’s going on, period. It’s not just, oh I have a Pinterest page, an Instagram page. And I want to know what #s are being used in regard to my brand. And I set up Google alerts, etc.

We’re way past that. What you need to know is a holistic conversation that’s happening online. So a couple years ago I saw a stat that only 6% of conversations online are driven by your marketing team. Which means 94% of things that are being said about you, whether they’re positive or horribly negative are basically created by your customers, by folks that know your brand or use your brand, use your products.

Imagine that. You have no control over those conversations. The only way you could have a say. So think about it like a legal battle. Everybody wants their side to be heard. Unless you are present in the conversation, especially if there’s a lot of negativity around a particular topic or you said something wrong, etc., the only way to state your voice or to have a say is to be present.

And so you have to have a full grasp of what’s going on across the whole web, all the social networks, different blogs where you might actually be mentioned, etc. And you want to have your voice in there. So at Intel what we would do is if somebody would blog about something, we would jump in and say, this is social media team at Intel. Thank you so much for mentioning. And we would have one person so it’s more personal. Not just big cold blue Intel logo.

If it’s something that was misrepresented, we would jump in and say, hi there. Thank you for the coverage and opinion and feedback. It’s very valuable to us. But the reality is that the facts are a little bit distorted. Here is the link that would offer a more detailed explanation. If you would like to get on the call and discuss your concerns, and if we could clear something up, we would be happy to do that.

Martin: Oh, you mean you’ve actually got to be nice. You’ve got to go and not hammer them.

Ekaterina: Right. So we had people come to a Facebook page and start with this.

I fully expect that my post is going to be deleted, but here’s the BS. This new product, and Intel’s doing this, this, this. And this feature, this is how it works. It’s total BS.

And instead of deleting, we actually contacted that person. We offered to get on the phone. And that’s just one example of several. And after getting off the call with us and our team where we explained you actually misunderstood how the feature works. It’s not going to tap into your privacy information, etc. It’s actually good for you and here’s how.

That person came back, replied to this current message and said, okay, guys. I will be deleting this message because it was my bad. I misunderstood. The Intel team handled it real well. Deleted that message after a while. And posted a new message to say, kudos to the team. Getting back to me in real time. Somebody who – I’m a nobody, but they got me on the phone and said, we wanted to address your concern.

That’s really giving a damn. You’ve got to care about your current customers, no matter how small they are. A lot of brands are going after influences. Oh my God. Hold on a second. This person has 200K people following them on Twitter. We’ve got to address this. This person has 5 followers. It’s not a big deal. We’re going to let it go.

If you really, truly care about your customers, you will be there, present at conversations, replying to them, thanking them in real time.

Now is it scaleable if you’re a large brand and you’re in over 50 countries like Intel is? No. But you can try. You at least try. And people will see that, even if they didn’t reply to you just to say simple thank you, they reply to others. The brand is trying to do their best. So that’s all you can do. Just do your best.

Martin: Okay. I’ve got two more things for you, and I’m going to let you get on with your day. So the first thing. Where can people find you? Where’s the best place to get you?

Ekaterina: So my business card reads You can find me anywhere really.

I’m really active on Twitter. My blog, They can connect with me there. There’s a lot of content there. They can find my bio, my books, etc.

But like I said, I’m pretty active on LinkedIn. I publish there as well. There is Twitter. There’s Facebook. I’m not as active on Google+, just because there’s only so much a person can do.

Martin: I know, it drags you in. You know my plan is to drag you in, because we want you here as well.

Ekaterina: I know. So Martin, I knew as soon as I said that you were going to totally kill me. But I do have personal Pinterest accounts, etc. But there’s just so many hours in the day. And I don’t have a team of assistants to help me maintain it all.

So yes, you can find me in a lot of places. And I try to be pretty responsive. So if somebody has a question or wants to connect, I try to make sure I don’t miss a request. Happens every now and then just because of sheer volume. But I try to be responsive.

Martin: Very good. I’ve gone a couple of shout outs. Davey Bates, Tim Longwell, Wade Harman. Just to mention a few people. Thanks for watching folks. Thanks for your questions.

And Ekaterina. Last comment. So the power of visual storytelling. If there’s one tip that you would give people that are going to leave them with, what would it be.

Ekaterina: Don’t be afraid to take risks. So I know it’s a more generic one. It’s not a specific tip. Here’s how you do it. Now my book has a ton of by the way free tools, especially if you’re a small business. And I have a lot of tips. Actually one chapter breaks them down by every single visual network.

I also have a lot of free tools that we talk about. Some pages are for bigger brands. But there’s a ton you can use to create your own infographic, to create your own visuals, things like that.

But I think one tip is to not be afraid to take risks, especially if you work for a large brand. It’s very logical that the management puts you in a box and says you can only do so much. But I’ve seen big brands like Dunkin’ Donuts go and take advantage of free tools. Instagram and filters and other things and just post things in real time to show their internal pride.

When you say, I don’t have enough content either, think about what’s happening behind the scenes that people want to know about. Take risks, open up your kimono. And show them your human side. Talk about employee stories. And you can easily do that with free tools. Dunkin’ Donuts does a great job by using Instagram and different filters to put out internal things. Like they have a chef that puts together different recipes. So they would take pictures on the fly and post it on Facebook and Pinterest and Instagram. People love that and they engage with that.

Pick up the book. If not mine, maybe someone else’s. Draw inspiration. There’s a ton of different ideas. And just make yourself a list and start going down the list and say, I’m going to start today. This is my resolution. And I’m also going to take risks. I’m going to try out this, this and this. And the most amazing thing that will happen is that some of the things you think work the best won’t work very well for engagement. And some of the things you think ah, this is lame! You try it out and the community will jump all over it. And you go, oh my God! Now I’m one step closer to truly understanding my community.

It happened to us at Intel when we started doing more low-fi stuff. So we’d take a camera and go around and take pictures of our Intel engineers messy desks. So there’s like ports and hardware. And our management was horrified. But we took risks and found out that people loved that stuff. So we started to do more of it.

We put it out there and our management said, what the heck did you do? It’s the desk of an engineer that’s at Intel that’s messy. But our audience digs it. They’re nerds. They’re geeks. And by the way, don’t laugh. Geek is the new sexy. I was wearing a shirt yesterday that says, I love geeks. And it was all bedazzled. My inner geek was coming out.

But that’s an example of taking a risk and saying, can I just do something on the fly like I would do with my friends. So why don’t I treat my friends like my community?

So here’s just an example of the big brands are taking those risks. Small business understands their community even better as well. So you know what might or might not resonate. Just try it on. And if it doesn’t work, just say, fine. I’m sorry. There’s some negativity around it, which I doubt. But you can say, oh my God. We’re all human. We find that’s something people might not like to see. And you move on. And you’re going to be respected more for it by bringing your human voice into it.

Martin: On that note, that was super. We got Peter saying he’s going to have to watch the hangout again because there’s so much great information. Well done Ekaterina.

Ekaterina: Thank you Martin for having me. And thank you for inviting me.

Martin: We’ll get you onto Google+. You see what we’re doing Ekaterina.

Ekaterina: I am, yes, this is a walk of shame right here. And I’ll engage more on my Google+ community.

Martin: There you go. You heard it here. Soak her up, people. Soak her up.

Take care. Thanks everyone for watching. Thanks to Ekaterina. And we’ll see you soon.

Ekaterina: Thank you.

[end of transcript]

The Freaks shall Inherit the Earth, an interview with Chris Brogan (inc. transcript)

By | Google Plus, Interviews with great people | No Comments

This is the third time I’ve had the honor to interview Chris Brogan. He has been an amazing support to me over the past couple of years, and I believe his subtle influence is making me a better person and the world a better place.

Here is a link to where you too can get your freak on!

As you will see, we had a few tech issues on this interview, but it really didn’t matter.

So, what does this have to do with Google+?

You want to bring people together? Well, as you will see, I believe we can use Google+ to build tribes, mini-communities like never before.

This is what we covered in the interview:

The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth (4)

And here is the interview!

Martin: Hello. This is Martin Shervington. And that was a very loud hello!

It’s warm. It’s San Diego. Beautiful blue skies. I’ve got the ocean behind me. Look at that. Beautiful day. And I’m feeling freakishly wonderful and excited, because I’ve got my buddy Chris Brogan here. Chris, how are you?

Chris: Martin, I’m the very best. How are you?

Martin: I’m super. There’s a lot of people who are on a #FreakQuest right now to celebrate your book, The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth. So we’re running around Google+. We’re running around Twitter. There’s lots going on. We’re creating and displaying their freakishly wonderful characters and qualities.

You’ve inspired us Chris.

Chris: Love it! I’m so excited about that.

Martin: That’s cool. So what we want to do, we’re going to do a high-energy hangout. And I’m going to run through some of the main things. I’m going to just fire them at you. And let’s see if we can guide people to find their true inner freak. And then from there, we’re going to have the next stage of the #FreakQuest for people. And they’re going to find out what this can be doing for them and find their tribes.

So I’ll stop whittering and ask you the first one. Tell me about own your words.

Chris: One of the very first things about being a freak is understanding in owning everything you choose. And you have to own your words first, because that sets your intentions. Are the seeds that feed. So you have to do that. I’m so glad that’s the first one on the list.

Martin: Good. So give me an example how one that does that.

Chris: I will get up this morning. I will go to the gym. I will commit to doing all the things I said I was going to do today. I have three major tasks to get done today. I will do all of those. And you own them. You don’t say, oh I didn’t quite get it done. Or I really had good intentions. You own it and you get it done no matter what. You commit to the success of the activity.

Martin: So you’ve got to be responsible.

Chris: Exactly. I know. We start with the hard ones Martin.

Martin: Great. Let’s now go. Define your success.

Chris: Yeah, a lot of people say I really want to be successful and then they really don’t know what that means. And then I’ll push them and they’ll say, I want to make $1M in a year.

And I go, great. That’s $184K a month. Break that down a little bit more. It’s about $78K a week. You have to make $78K this week to be really true to that opinion. Is that what your success looks like? Let’s get going.

And it’s amazing because once people start looking at what success really means, they may go, well maybe $300K a year. Or maybe this. Maybe success doesn’t have a financial goal to it.

But you have to lay out what that means. Does success mean traveling 5x a year? Does it mean never having to travel? My definition of success is never having to say yes to something I don’t want to say yes to. I love being able to say no.

My definition of success is never having to say yes to something I don't want to say yes to. I love being able to say no.

Martin: Okay. So what tips would you have? I’ve read the book. There’s a lot of to-dos. The book’s fantastic, because it does guide people through.

And I’ve got to say, it’s not a book about social media. It’s a book about finding your voice in the business world really. Is that a way of describing it?

Chris: Yeah, absolutely. It’s an owner’s manual for figuring out how to do the type of business you want to do with the people that you want to do it in the way that you want to get it done.

So absolutely not a book about social media.

Martin: And one of the things in terms of defining your success is that you give people instructions. The one that I really liked is the way you break it down for future-orientated goals. But it’s obvious what you’ve done yourself.

I mean, I know that you’ve been getting incredibly fit. And I can see the patterns that you’ve got within that. So what tips would you give to people for how they can structure how they’re going to define their success?

Chris: Well for instance, that whole point about setting up the timeframe. Just try to make sure that you’ve got you sense of what you want the end point to be. And then how does that break down and what’s it look like daily.

Everyone feels like their goals are something very far away, but it’s when you put things together that it really matters.

Everyone feels like their goals are something very far away, but it's when you put things together that it really matters.

Start looking for things to quit. It’s amazing how many people just have way too much on their plate. I tell people all the time, everyone says, oh you must busy. And everybody’s favorite thing to say to someone else is I’m very busy. I schedule my calendar at 40%. That is you’re no more than 40% scheduled ever. And that way if something breaks or if I’ve got to go rescue a sick kid or something like that, it’s all built into the schedule and it’s all fine and I have the time.

We don’t run any other system in the world at 100% all the time. We don’t run our car that way. We don’t run our computer that way. And yet for some reason we think our schedule is the best place to come up with 100% plan. So I definitely don’t do that.

Martin: Now you talk about systems. And you talk a lot about Ron Hood in the book as well. Do you want to just say what the importance of those systems is to you?

Chris: Yeah, for instance, having systems for how we schedule things. How we have systems for what we do with time. What I’m allowing for time for doing interviews. Everything I do has some kind of plan around it.

How we deal with speaking engagements. How we spend time with classrooms and whatnot. It’s all built into systems. And if I didn’t have something like Ron, for instance, to help me with some of that, it would be bad. But a lot of times, what I’m seeing here is they block against systems but it’s mostly because they’re having the most trouble in the whole wide world with systems that are already preexisting.

So what we tell people is to make sure you build the systems that match your needs. And so we work really hard to make sure that you make your system and follow that. And that’s the biggest difference I think. I show people how to wipe out procrastination. I show people that putting together a framework for your monthly goals incorporated into your day. These are all things that help me –

Martin: You’ve gone quiet Chris.

Chris: How’s that?

Martin: That’s good, I think. Let’s have a look.

Chris: Teeny tiny mic.

Martin: Okay. Super. So we’ve got to make sure the system’s in place and that it works for us. Next one. Willpower is stupid. Why is willpower stupid?

You’ve gone really quiet again. As you’re watching folks, if you click on the events stream, you’ll see all of the activities going on, as Chris has a mild panic. We’ve got lots of time. We’ll sort through the others. So click on the events stream.

I know there’s a lot of activity. And I know there’s a lot of comments on. So hello everyone. And thanks for all the great videos and great contributions.

Chris: Is this any better?

Martin: That’s better.

Chris: Well you can just look at the corner of my eyeball and I’ll just talk into this.

Martin: It’s freakishly fine. Don’t you worry. That’s great.

Chris: I still look the same.

Martin: You can pop in when you want. So let’s go four – willpower is stupid.

Chris: Willpower is like the tiniest little weakest muscle in your body. Willpower is halfway to saying that you don’t want to do that thing.

When people use willpower, here’s how they use it. They say, I really want to eat that Reese’s peanut butter cup, but I’m not going to because I’ve got willpower. You’ve already declared your intention. You’ve already said I’m going to do this thing that I don’t want to do. To me it’s just a silly plan.

So discipline is much better than willpower. And discipline comes from just repeated activity. You just keep training yourself. Discipline is a matter of training plus time. So I find that a lot of times people are using willpower because they haven’t even set their commitments and intentions. And they haven’t said, I’m not the type of person who does – whatever the thing is you’re not doing.

And nobody ever wants it to be not. You have to use a positive version. I’m the type of person who heads towards this goal. And obviously there’s no room in this goal for that.

And whatever, if you do want to eat Reese’s peanut butter cups, then enjoy. They’re delicious. But in my goals, I eat them every 3-4 months instead of every couple of days. So willpower is really one of the dopiest muscles in our bodies. And I just think we should commit better to discipline, which is like I said training plus repeat over time.

Martin: Super. And I know you’re doing this with your gym training. That’s the best. I want to take a screen shot. If anyone takes a screen shot, that’s great.

Next one. Complexity is ego-driven.

Chris: We are so amazingly worried that someone’s going to think we’re not important enough and we do something to make our job look harder than it is a lot of times. And a lot of times everything that we’re really doing is just making everything messier. We make forms and systems and functions for something that is just simple. Or we talk about our title and we use 53 words for our title when it’s basically, the person only wants to know what are you going to do to fix my life?

A lot of times people aren’t worried about their brand. They’re worried about what color sunglasses they should wear to go with their pants. And what the buyer’s looking is is this person going to fix my problem? That’s a good brand to have. I fix things. I make your day better. That’s a great brand.

So I think complexity comes when we feel fearful that someone’s going to think we’re not that important.

Martin: Cool. Great. Next one, I love this one. Make your buyer the hero.

Chris: Yeah. Make your buyer the hero is pretty much the goal of everything I want to do, which is no one really cares if you’re interesting or if you’re successful. Just like what you do on the show Martin. I’ve watched you for a while. You bring interesting people to this show. You have them talk. You give them a much better way to experience the world around them. And then from that comes this really great opportunity to showcase them.

Watching what you did with the whole #FreakQuest was amazing. Getting all those people to take little photos of themselves and write up really cool stories. It was just a beautiful work of art. And that is making everybody the hero.

When the people who support and are a part of your community, the community you have the pleasure and power and opportunity to serve, that’s where all the best business happens.

When the people who support and are a part of your community, the community you have the pleasure and power and opportunity to serve, that's where all the best business happens.

Martin: And I’ve applied that and you’ve inspired me. You know that. And we’ve spoken about that before. And that’s really helped me, whether it be Impact Equation, or my favorite little one, which is It’s Not About the Tykes. Love that book. And now The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth and the principles of that. It’s great.

So thanks to everybody for being part of that. And we’re still on it! Let’s keep going. Next one, fail quickly.

Chris: It’s amazing how many people don’t want to fail, and they think that, I’m not going to try this new idea because what if it goes wrong? It should go wrong. Fail really fast before nobody’s showed up and then do more stuff to get better. If Martin and I had tested this a little bit. If I had got here just a little bit earlier, then we wouldn’t have had this problem, and you can look at my shoulder for an hour.

So I think that failing is a good way to get better at what’s not going to work or what’s going to work. So I know to never use these great $10 e-buds again. And now I’ve failed.

So it’s all good. I think that we learn things. And we just have to kind of get over our fear of failure, because that’s what’s going to get us to success faster.

Martin: I think the audience has got a slightly more intimate interview with you now, Chris. Because you’re speaking to them quietly. You’re very close to the camera. So we’re going to turn it into a positive. We’ll take it on board – fail quickly.

Next one. Worship obstacles and challenges.

Chris: Well sometimes things get in the way. I mean, there’s always something in the way. And it’s amazing how many times people run into a problem along the way. Roxanne had trouble getting in. And Tom Coleman was late because he was working on some other stuff.

These kinds of people who show up late, they know sometimes obstacles get in the way. Sometimes challenges get in the way. But we still persevere, and we still get to where we need to go. So there’s a couple ways to look at it. You could look at every obstacle as a set back or a problem. Or you could do what you and I just did, which is oh well. We’ll get around it. And now you can listen to my shoulder for a while.

Martin: Now this one I spent some time when I was reading it. Fall in love with not knowing.

Chris: It kind of goes nicely with worship obstacles and challenges. A lot of times we don’t do something new because we don’t know how to do it. Well unless you’re a surgeon or a commercial jet pilot, I don’t care that you don’t know. Figure it out.

You can figure it out as you launch. People who don’t know how to make coffee started at some point and then they learned how to make coffee. Everything that we figure out in life comes from trying something that we didn’t know how to do. So if we’re afraid of things, we’re not going to get anywhere. So all the new #FreakQuest people that you brought to this experience, it’s just going to be a big experience. It’s a great opportunity, because the more you fail, the more cooler stuff can happen.

Martin: Let’s go deeper into that. What about that feeling that sometimes people get and it kind of plugs into, whether it be the school feelings, they’re not good enough. How do they overcome that stuff?

Chris: So there’s a really ancient parable about this kind of, and different languages have it a different way. But basically these two dogs are fighting. One of the dogs is attacking this other dog. And the boy and the grandfather come along. And the grandfather says, one of those dogs is the dog of courage and the other dog is the dog of fear and they’re fighting this really intense battle. But you little boy are the one who is going to solve the battle.

And he says, well, you know, which dog’s going to win? And he says, the one you feed.

So if you feed courage then you’re going to keep going. If you feed fear, then you’ll fail. It’s pretty easy to fail things. The world is set up for you to fail.

If you feed courage then you're going to keep going. If you feed fear, then you'll fail. It's pretty easy to fail things. The world is set up for you to fail.

So courage comes from just believing and trusting and doing the work. But courage also comes from the discipline – training + time. Courage is training and demonstration of that training.

So the more things you try and the more things you do, the better you’re going to get at making it all work.

Martin: Excellent. Okay. Next one. Choose your own adventure. This has got to be one of the central pieces to #FreakQuest.

Chris: Yeah, a lot of people are thinking they’re waiting for the world to lay out to them what’s going to make them successful. And I’ve heard people say to me if only the right job would show up. And I always think, why would you wait for the right job? Why not create the right work? Because you could create the job.

Job is just a unit of measurement. Work is that thing that he’s doing. Job is a fake construct. Work is what’s left there to be done.

So if you choose your own adventure, you choose how you want to do whatever. Like people choose that they’re going to go to college and get such and such a degree. And they say, that’s weird, my journalism degree failed me.

Well your journalism degree failed nothing. It’s your job to choose your own adventure to learn how those skills are going to get you to what you want. And no one who has a degree, their degree didn’t fail them. Their teachers didn’t fail them. They failed themselves. Because learning is a self-driven activity, no matter how much money you pay, and no matter who you pay.

And that’s how life is. You have to choose your adventures.

Martin: So follow up question on that – how freakishly niche should people get? If they just love, they’ve got such passion in one tiny thing, should they have confidence that they should follow that? And it’s not just about passion, I know, but –

Chris: So here’s the really simple formula for whether or not a niche is worth it. Are you utterly, ridiculously passionate about it? Would you do it for free? If yes, that’s piece number one.

Piece number two, is it something that anyone would pay for? Like if your niche is collecting toenail clippings in a jar, you are probably not going to find a living from that. You might find some new friends, but it’s not necessarily going to pay the bills. So would someone pay money for it?

Three, is there any other way you could service that industry? If you’re the kind of person that sells quality toenail clippers, then maybe yes. Maybe you are that person.

So you could sit in your niche. But everyone also says, that’s advice you give in business, you should be very, very niche. Well if you’re not by nature into one thing that’s really tiny, then don’t be. I’m into a lot of weird things, and it served me well to be in a variety of things. And my blog over time has been about running, about getting things done, about nutrition and whatever. It’s changed dramatically many times over the years, and I’m still alive to fight another day. So it’s all good.

Martin: Next one, work more than you celebrate.

Chris: Well I always tell people that it’s really easy to rest on your laurels. And it’s amazing. I mean, Inc. Magazine just published a list of the top 50 leadership and management voices right now online or something like that. And I’m on the list.

Martin: I saw that.

Chris: And I should be really proud. And yeah, I beat Bill Gates somehow, which is not true in any universe. But that’s what the list says, right?

So I could go around and try to make that a big thing. And I definitely do want the accolade to be seen by a few people. But it doesn’t pay me. It doesn’t feed me. I’ve got to do my work. And a lot of times, once we think we’ve figured something out, we calcify right on the spot. We start to get solid. We start to think, this is how it’s done.

And that’s not true. Google+ changed 100x in the first 100 days, just as an example of software. So how could we ever possibly know what we’re doing if it’s just changing that fast? It’s a pretty important deal to keep moving.

Martin: So keep on learning. Last two now. First one, say no often. You alluded to this one earlier.

Chris: Well Martin, I am so pathetic at saying no. I say yes to many, many things that I shouldn’t. And then I sometimes deliver poorly on that. Which would you rather? Would you rather a yes that really delivered? Or would you rather a no that meant you weren’t going to get some half-assed version of what somebody promised you? And that is really one of my worst ones, because I hate saying no to people. And I always feel bad. And I always feel like they’re going to think I’m some aggrandized jerk or something.

And yet, we have to say no. And you have to put your own mask on first. And there are only so many hours in a day. So it’s something I think we really need to spend a lot more time doing that better.

Martin: So if you could give a shout out, where can people buy the book?

Chris: It’s easy enough to go to And thankfully Dawn showed up just in time for the ads. And it’s available in all the different physical formats including digital and all that.

And there’s a pre-release deal going on right now for the audio book. So if you buy the audio book right now, which isn’t published yet, I’m giving away the deluxe version for the price of the standard version. So should you like audio, this comes with the full interviews with some of the people like Tony Hawk and Mark Ecko and Kate White and all that, Marie Forleo, who were in the book. I just do the full interview as well as the book’s full audio.

Martin: Super. And all the links are going to be around the video as well.

Now, the last one, and then we’re going to get onto the final about the #FreakQuest, is business is about belonging.

Chris: Yeah. I mean, so this is really first and foremost in the whole experience. Beats just got sold. Dr. Dre sold Beats to Apple for $3.2B. And everyone’s like why? Apple already has headphones. Apple already has inroads into the music business.

Apple didn’t have any kind of credibility with the community that Beats has. I was sitting at the airport in Los Angeles the other night, and a whole airplane of people got off, and almost every single human under 50 had Beats on their heads. All of them! Not just some – all of them!

And all I kept thinking was I know why this sold. Dre has real access to a real crowd. Everyone has this sort of belief that this hip-hop guy made it and all that. And he’s now the first billionaire in hip-hop.

That’s about belonging. Reebok really worked hard with Spartan Race and XFit to make shoes very specific for those groups. That’s about belonging.

My friend RJ Diaz runs a company called Industry Portage, which is all about good design and whatnot for men in the construction and architecture world, or people who like to look ruggedly good. All these businesses are about belonging. And I just think that’s a huge tenant about how we can do business in the upcoming economic cycle, because we’re shifting away from being okay with feeling like a number. We want to feel like we belong somewhere.

Martin: Perfect. Which leads us into the #FreakQuest. Everybody, I said there would be another phase to the #FreakQuest. I said there would be another stream. If you’re watching this in the future, you can click on the link and you’ll find the Google+ stream.

There are 4 different colors from the original post. There’s green, blue, yellow, and red. And there’s around about 20 people in each of those groups. Plenty more joining now. And I’d like you to go and see what other people are up to. I’d like you to go and find out whether you connect with them, whether you relate to them, whether you know them already. And let’s get the conversations going because everybody is on here.

And particularly if you watch this on Google+ or on YouTube, because they want to connect with people and they want conversations. And when you take those conversations and build a community around you, then you start to do something very interesting.

Chris and I love the idea of tribes and this is one way to start finding your tribe. Chris, I know you’ve got things to do. Lovely to see you. And the book is literally flying off the shelves.

Chris: It’s going rather well.

Martin: It is going very well.

Chris: Well thank you much. I had a real blast talking. I’m sorry about the technical problem, but we made it work.

Martin: We did! We made it work, so thank you. And thanks to everybody who’s been watching. I am going to be saying hello to everybody again on the threads. I won’t jump out names now. Chris, have a great day. I’m going to get some more sunshine here. And let’s hook up again. And please let me know how the #FreakQuest goes for you.

I want to know how the fitness goes. I’m watching you on the other channels too. And it’s great to see you really committed. It’s wonderful.

Chris: Very kind of you sir. Thank you. Great to talk again. We’ll talk again soon.

Martin: You’re an inspiration. Cheers Chris.

Chris: Cheers. Bye now.

[end of transcript]


Would you like to join the fun?

Well, here is a link where you can pick a team and meet some awesome new people just by posting and adding in the hashtag #FreakQuest.