Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Here’s your exclusive insider look of SMX West

TL;DR: Here’s my epic 3,000-word preview of all the sessions, speakers and networking you’ll experience at SMX West. Read a little or read it all. Then register by 11:59pm Saturday, December 22 and save big with Early Bird rates. Search Engine Land’s SMX® West, the go-to event for...

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Why some marketers say Cyber Week is just too long

Here's how email marketers can sidestep the perils of a too-long holiday promotional period. The post Why some marketers say Cyber Week is just too long appeared first on Marketing Land.

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12 Tips for Taking Better Marketing Photos for Your Social Media Campaigns

Every business needs to be active on social media to be relevant in today’s digital world.

So if your company is on social media, it’s a safe bet that you’re uploading photos to your profile on a regular basis. Pictures and other visual elements will improve your marketing strategy.

But it can be challenging to find the right pictures to post.

Let’s say you want to upload at least one new picture to a social platform each day. That’s 365 images per year.

Lots of businesses don’t have a library of that many original photos. So they just take a random picture and post it to their profiles last minute without putting too much thought or effort into it.

This is going to be a major problem for your business if you’re using a similar strategy.

Everything you share with your followers on social media must have a purpose. In order to get the best results from your campaigns, everything needs to be high quality.

Fortunately for you, technology has advanced to the point where you have a professional quality camera in your hand or pocket in nearly all waking hours.

You don’t need fancy equipment to take great marketing photos. All you need are some basic photography skills and inspiration for your subject matters.

Every day, 300 million pictures are uploaded to Facebook. Instagram has an average of 95 million photos uploaded daily.

If the photos you add to social media don’t look professional, it’s going to hurt your brand image. That’s why I identified these 12 tips to improve your social media marketing photos.

1. Create balance with grid lines

The rule of thirds is one of the most basic photography skills that you should get familiar with.

This technique will improve the composition of your photos and create balance, which is more visually appealing to anyone who sees the picture.

Your smartphone allows you to enable grid lines when you’re taking a photo.

rule of thirds

This feature makes it easier for you to follow the rule of thirds.

The grid is very simple. It’s just two vertical lines and two horizontal lines that are all spaced apart equally.

You should position your subject matter and anything important in your photo where those lines intersect.

An amateur photographer just centers everything on the screen. But that’s not as appealing.

By using the rule of thirds, the image has more room to breathe.

Just look at all of the open space in the skyline above. This puts more emphasis on your subject matter.

Plus, people are used to this tactic being applied in professional photography, whether they realize it or not. So when someone sees a photo without the rule of thirds applied, it will automatically not seem as attractive to them.

2. Find symmetry

Symmetry is another visual element that we are just naturally drawn to.

So if you have the opportunity to capture symmetry in an image, you should definitely do so.

Here’s a great example of a photograph with symmetry.

symmetry

It’s simple, but it works.

Now, take a moment and imagine what this photo would look like if it weren’t taken from this angle.

If the camera was positioned slightly to the left or right, the symmetry would be lost.

Sure, it may still seem like a nice picture of a walkway going out into a clear ocean on a beautiful day. But capturing the symmetry elevates the image and brings it to a more professional level.

Your pictures need to stand out to draw attention from your followers.

If it looks like an amateur is taking all the photos, it will reflect poorly on your brand. We both know you don’t want that to happen.

3. Crop instead of zooming

Another rookie mistake that I see people make all of the time is using the zoom feature.

Manually zooming in on a subject is a big no, unless you’re using a professional camera to take pictures.

But like I said before, that type of equipment is unnecessary. Your smartphone will capture pictures that are good enough to post.

However, once you start zooming, it damages the quality of the photo.

Instead of zooming, just get closer to your subject. If that’s not possible, don’t worry about it. Take the picture from where you are and use the rule of thirds to improve the composition.

After the photo is taken, you can just crop the image to your liking.

Here’s an example of how to do this in Adobe Photoshop.

crop

For the most part, you shouldn’t need to do this on your computer. You can crop photos directly from your smartphone.

Notice how even though this picture is being cropped, the rule of thirds is still being applied.

The reflection in the water is also a nice touch, but we’ll talk more about that shortly.

4. Embrace natural frames

Framing your image is another basic photography skill. No, I’m not referring to developing your photo and putting it into a wooden box.

Sometimes subject matters are perfectly positioned to be captured within a natural frame surrounding it.

Any time you have the chance to use a natural frame, you should take advantage of it.

Here’s a simple photo of an airplane wing that has a natural frame.

frames

This image is perfect for so many reasons.

First, if you try and get too close to the window to take the picture, you’ll end up getting a glare. Second, the wing by itself is just too boring.

By adding the window to the picture, it elevates the quality of the picture to the next level. You get the see the lighting changes and the shadows as the natural light from the sun comes into the plane.

Here’s the thing, if you’re not happy with the natural frame you can always just edit it out by cropping the image, as we previously discussed.

When you’re taking a photo, keep an eye out for natural frames such as trees, fences, bridges, archways, or anything else that creates a similar framing effect.

5. Look for reflections

I briefly mentioned this before when we were talking about cropping. Taking photos of reflections can add a really unique perspective to your photo.

Check out this example from Todo Bien Tours.

todo bien tour

Todo Bien gives private coastal bus tours in southern California.

So obviously they want to show their social media followers what their bus looks like. But rather than just showing a boring picture of the bus, they use a reflection to capture the water and coastline during a sunset.

It’s a creative way to show off your photography skills.

Taking a picture of just the bus or just the sunset would be average and pretty basic. But by capturing both in the window reflection, it elevates this campaign to new heights.

6. Shoot repeating patterns

Just like symmetry, patterns are another great way to capture the attention of your followers.

Sometimes finding the right pattern is all about shooting from the right angle and perspective. Just look at this photo of bike wheels to show you what I’m talking about.

patterns

This pattern isn’t necessarily present from every angle.

If you step back and photograph these bikes from above, or head on, the pattern wouldn’t be the same. It would just look like a row of bikes.

Yes, the subject matter may still be relevant enough and usable for your marketing campaign, but it can be improved by using this strategy.

7. Get a tripod and mount for your mobile device

Earlier I briefly mentioned how you don’t need a professional camera or expensive equipment to take high quality photos for your social media campaigns.

But with that said, it can’t hurt to invest in something small, like a tripod and mount for your smartphone.

The tripod will allow you to go hands-free when taking a picture. Plus, it helps ensure that the image is level.

You can also use this type of equipment to extend your range and make it a little bit more comfortable to hold your phone securely.

Joby has a bunch of great products for this purpose.

tripod

You can check out their website to browse for what you need.

Otherwise, there are thousands of other similar products available online from other retailers as well.

Most of these are pretty inexpensive. You can find a quality stand and mount for under $50. It’s worth having, even if you don’t use all of the time.

8. Create a new perspective

You don’t want your social media marketing photos to look like everything else out there.

It’s important for your brand to come up with new perspectives to separate yourself from the crowd.

I really like this example from Tropicfeel on their Instagram page.

tropic

The picture itself is beautiful. The houses, ocean, and coastline grabs the attention of an audience right away.

But something about this photo is a little bit different than you normally expect.

It’s not typical for people to put their legs and feet in this type of shot. Usually, you’d expect this to be a selfie or just a landscape shot.

But Tropicfeel uses this unique perspective to showcase their product, which is the shoes in the photo.

Look at the caption.

They created a new hashtag of #tropicselfeet to encourage other people to take this type of photo as well. This is a great way to write instagram captions that drive engagement.

So find a perspective that’s unique to your brand.

For example, let’s say your company sells skateboards. Rather than just taking a picture of a guy on a skateboard, you could mount a camera to the nose of the board.

9. Take candids

You don’t always want to just take pictures of your products.

People are a great subject matter for your social media campaigns. In fact, photos with faces get 38% more likes and 32% more comments than photos without them.

But your subjects don’t always need to be posing.

Candid shots add a human element to your brand. They show people in action, as opposed to just putting on a show for the camera.

Take a look at these photos that were uploaded to the Thule Facebook page.

thule

None of the people in these pictures are posing.

All of the shots are candid.

The reason why this works is because it shows an audience how people behave naturally when they are doing something.

This is an opportunity for you to showcase how your products and services can be used on social media.

I also like the idea of taking candid photos of your employees. By showing your staff in photos, it creates a more authentic interaction with your audience. Your followers will realize that there are real people behind the scenes of your brand.

10. Get abstract

Think outside of the box.

You need to realize how many pictures are flooding the timelines of your followers on a daily basis. If your marketing photos don’t jump off the page at them, they’ll just simply keep on scrolling.

Abstract images are a great way to capture attention, like this one from the Allbirds Instagram page.

abstract

Allbirds has a line of shoes called tree runners. So lots of their posts encompass nature and different photos of trees.

This one is definitely one of the most unique photos that you’ll see on their profile.

It’s art painted onto a fallen tree trunk. The image on this unconventional canvas is a nature scene, which also includes trees.

At first glance, a social media user might not even realize what they’re looking at.

But it’s definitely enough to stop them in their tracks for further examination.

11. Be funny

Stop taking yourself so seriously.

OK, there are certain businesses that need to more serious than others. If your company specializes in things financial investments or funerals, you probably shouldn’t be cracking jokes on social media.

But those types of brands are just a small percent of the population.

If your company sells products or services to a target audience that can appreciate some humor, don’t be afraid to take a funny photo for your social media campaigns.

funny

36% of consumers are prompted to make a purchase after seeing a funny post from a brand on social media.

So taking a humorous photo can do much more for you than just drive engagement. This strategy can directly lead to sales.

Just make sure you stay away from controversial subjects.

I definitely don’t recommend making jokes about subjects like politics or religion. Photos like that can really damage your brand.

So keep it light, but stay professional.

12. Don’t be conventional

How can you make your marketing photos jump off the page to social media users?

You want your posts to make people say, “Wow!”

Leave them in awe. Here’s an example from the Vuori Instagram page.

vuori

This post is advertising their men’s swimwear.

A conventional idea would be just to photograph a picture of the swim trunks. That’s boring.

Another idea could be showing a model wearing the bathing suit, or even swimming in it. But again, that’s boring as well.

It’s conventional, and audiences expect those types of posts from brands.

You know what’s not conventional? A guy jumping off a cliff into the ocean wearing those shorts.

This photo is awesome. It’s definitely the type of post that will grab the attention of users on social media.

Conclusion

If you want to run successful social media campaigns, you need to focus more attention on the quality of your marketing photos.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to buy expensive equipment or hire someone to do this for you. It’s easy to take and edit photos without hiring a professional.

All you need is some basic photography skills to get you started in the right direction.

After that, it’s just all about deciding what types of photos will speak to your target audience on these platforms.

Use this guide as a reference and inspiration for your future marketing photos.

What types of photos does your brand share with people on social media?



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Transcript of Finding Success and Happiness as a Company of One

Transcript of Finding Success and Happiness as a Company of One written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

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John Jantsch: Everybody wants to scale up these days. Big topic, right? Well, in this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I visit with Paul Jarvis and we talked about, he has a nice book; Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business. Check it out.

Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch, my guest today is Paul Jarvis. He teaches online courses, runs several software businesses and hosts a handful of podcasts from his home. He’s also the author of Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business. So Paul, welcome to the show.

Paul Jarvis: Hey, thank you very much John, I appreciate it.

John Jantsch: So your intro, I think is almost intentionally sort of small-sounding, isn’t it?

Paul Jarvis: I think a little bit, but I also think, it was funny because one of the first things my agent and book publisher asked was, “Well, what awards do you have?” Or that sort of thing. And I was like, “I don’t actually have any.” I’ve never actually tried to win an award, I don’t know what I would get an award for. So, I think some of it’s intentional, some of it’s that’s just the way that my work works.

John Jantsch: Well I guess what the point of that comment really is that, those who know you know that you’re quite accomplished in what you’ve done and I think that in some ways you’re maybe giving people hope that, “Hey, it’s okay to record a podcast from your home, you can still have success on those terms” right?

Paul Jarvis: Yeah, exactly. I’m also Canadian, so there’s a bit of a lack of hubris sometimes I think.

John Jantsch: You haven’t apologized yet, though. So, you know the big term, of course the big concept right now, is scaling. So, in some ways, people could make a case for saying you’re sort of anti-scaling.

Paul Jarvis: Yeah, that’s kind of the point, so I guess the point of the book and the point of kind of where my thinking around this idea has been is not that scaling is bad, it’s just that scaling should be thought about first. I think this actually applies to a lot of things, that we should probably think about things before we do things. For the most part, it kind of makes sense to do that. So it’s not really a book about anti-scaling, it’s more a book about considering whether it makes sense or not, because it doesn’t always make sense to scale.

John Jantsch: Yeah, and that’s a great point, because I think a lot of people just get caught up in the, “well if I start a business, that’s the goal”, right? And not necessarily “what do I want?” Is it?

Paul Jarvis: Yeah. I think a lot of times, people kind of, they start the business, and then work backwards, trying to make it work for the life that they want. And to go the opposite way, we can think about the life that we want, and then build a business that, obviously that’s profitable because that’s the point of business, but that also supports the life that we want. Like for myself, I don’t want to have to manage a team or have to work 16 hours a day to make enough money to survive. So I don’t want to build a business like that, because that doesn’t support the life that I want. And I think lifestyle business gets a bum rap, but I kinda think that every single business is a lifestyle business. Like the friends that I have that have venture-backed, Silicon Valley tech companies, they have a very specific lifestyle that their business makes them have, right? So I think every business has the possibility of being a lifestyle business, in so much that you can kind of pick what you want–

John Jantsch: You know, I sometimes think there’s a lot of confusion around the terms growth and scale, that people kind of see them as the same thing. One of the things that I’ve seen at least, is that I think scale can imply doing more with less. I think it can also imply that you’re more profitable, because you’ve developed systems of things. I think sometimes scale gets a bad rep.

Paul Jarvis: Yeah, you’re speaking my language here. I think that there’s things that are really good for scale that don’t necessarily mean growth, and I think a really good example of that is a newsletter. It takes me as much time to write an email to one person as it does to write an email to 30 thousand people. So that to me is a great example of scaling my reach for example that doesn’t require, I don’t need 30 thousand people writing one email to 30 thousand recipients. So I think scale a lot of times, if we do it properly, doesn’t have to require the growth or the expenses required for that growth.

John Jantsch: Freelancing is, I don’t know what the numbers are, but I’m sure it’s in the multi-hundreds of times percentage growth, that pretty much everybody that has a job is freelancing today, it seems like. One of the points I know that you make in the book and I know that you do this in your courses and a lot of the work you’ve done is that, you know, a lot of freelancers just think of themselves as just gig-workers or you know, “I’ve got some spare time to do this…” you know, it’s not really a company. So, how is freelancing different than a company of one?

Paul Jarvis: Yeah, I think they can be the same, but where they’re different is, and I know this just from experience of teaching thousands of freelancers, mostly in creative industries, is that they tend to work in their business so much that they don’t think about working on their business. And what I mean by that is we can get caught up in client work, and I mean if our business is doing well as a freelancer, we have a lot of client work. But if we don’t stop to think about filling the funnel a bit further down the road, then they’ll be this feast or famine thing.

If we don’t think about things like taxes or accounting, we could get into trouble at the end of the year with our governments. So, I think that there’s, and we also need to think about things like how word of mouth is working fr a business. A lot of freelancers, that’s their main source of finding new clients; it’s keeping in touch with people and keeping that network really strong. So I think that a lot of freelancers don’t treat their business like a business, and either way, it’s still a business. So, I think thinking about how to make freelancing into a business, and keep thinking about it like a business is always really, really important, because like I said, it is a business, whether you think it is or not.

John Jantsch: So is there a critical mindset shift that occurs when somebody decides, “Yeah, I’m a company.”

Paul Jarvis: Well, I think that definitely when they start to consider profit, that’s always important. I think there’s a lot of things that can be hobbies, and hobbies are great and you don’t need to worry about profit if it’s hobby. The best thing about a hobby is you don’t have to worry about the money side. But when you want something to support you, you have to start to, especially in freelancing or when you work for yourself and build solo products, I think we have to consider what enough is.

So, what would be enough to sustain this as business longterm, or even in the beginning, what would be enough to sustain this month to month. Like, “how much income do I need?” Because if we figure those things out, then we can work backwards. Say we need $5000 a month ad we wanna charge $1000. Well, can we find five clients per month to cover just those bases? And then six or more to be profitable, right? So I think we need to start to think about what enough is, like, “How many clients is enough?”, “How much profit is enough?”, “How big our audience should be is enough.”, “How much time spent on the business is enough?”.

I think a lot of times, the ‘enough’ question is probably one of the most important things, it’s probably the main reason why I wrote the book. Because we all start from zero, right? We all start a business without a backlog of clients, it’s really hard to start like that. But we all start at zero and build up. So, we all need that growth mindset to get to enough. But where a lot of us don’t think about it is, if we don’t consider what enough is and then change based on if we’ve reached enough or not. So if we have enough revenue, then maybe we don’t need to keep growing and growing and growing, we can start to optimize for that revenue instead. And so I think that’s probably one of the most important things.

John Jantsch: What are the challenges that a lot of people getting started, even if they have that plan like, “here’s where I think I wanna get”, it’s the– and I hate the term shiny object, but no question opportunities pop up, “Gosh, should I chase that? Should I chase that?” Do you or did you have a filter that allowed you to decide? Because sometimes opportunities sound great, and sometimes they’re dead ends, sometimes they just are distractions, maybe they just replace the money you were making over there. So do you have a process that you go through to say, pros, cons, how do I consider this?

Paul Jarvis: Yeah. For me the first thing mindset-wise, is I consider what the maintenance costs, because every opportunity has an associated cost, right? So I consider; if I say yes to this thing, what does that mean for a whole bunch of things, so, what does that mean for my profit? What does that mean for my existing customers? What does that mean for my happiness? And what does that mean in terms of maintaining this longterm? Like say I wanted to add another course to my roster, or add another client, or add another feature to a product. I’m going to have to then be able to sell that new feature. I’m going to have to support that new feature.

I’m gonna probably build other things around that feature to make it work better. So everything has a cost and I think if we start to think about, “What’s a reason we started this thing in the first place? This business, this freelancing, whatever we want to call it. What’s the reason we started this and what do we want to get out of it?” And I think if we have, it sounds a little hippy-dippy, but I think the more that we have and consider what our purpose was for starting, and it can change granted, it can definitely change, but if we have a purpose, I feel like that’s the best lens for decision making we can have when we work for ourselves. So if we have a purpose in mind for what we want to get out of it, or why we’re doing it in the first place, then we can say, “This opportunity doesn’t line up with this purpose, therefore it’s okay if I turn this thing down. It’s okay if I maybe lose a bit short term, but gain a bit in the long term. Because I’ve been doing this for 20 odd years, I kinda think longterm with a lot of the decisions that I make.

John Jantsch: Yeah. And obviously, experience ends up teaching you that. Because I think there’s this like, “I’ll never get this chance again.” Kind of mentality. I think experience teaches you “yes you will”. And so I think once you get confident in that it makes it a little easier to trust your gut I think. My favorite chapter in the book; a chapter called The One Customer, and I think that a lot of freelancers kind of tend to think, you know, you think of an Upwork project or something, you know, it’s done, I never really met the customer, I delivered the product, I don’t really even think of it a customer, its more of a project. But I think that the one big mindset shift that you identify is that I think when somebody decides they have a company of one, all of a sudden this customer is something to grow, isn’t it?

Paul Jarvis: Yeah, I think that in all I’ve done all sorts of types of business and I’ve worked with all sorts of customers, from Fortune 100 startups to entrepreneurs. It’s, business is always, and I hate business sayings for the most part, but there’s one that I actually like, and I think it’s, “Business is all bout who you know.” So I think building relationships and fostering relationships in the longterm just makes a lot of sense. I think, whether it’s startups or freelancers, I think we tend to focus more on acquisition than retention, and its cheaper to retain customers if you’re a freelancer if you’ve already worked with somebody; the sales cycle can be shortened. Because you don’t need to convince them to work with you anymore, they did, they hopefully liked it, they just have to say yes or no to a new project. If it’s a tech company or a SAS product, then retaining the customer just means that they don’t cancel and turn out. So I think focusing on making, and these are the people who are already paying attention, these are the people who probably already like our work if we’re doing good work. Then, it makes sense to pay attention to them, it makes sense to listen to them, it makes sense to not let those relationships die.

Even looking back to when I did freelance work, I had some customers that were probably 13, 14 years of work, and sometimes we would go a year without working together, but because I would keep in touch with them, and because I would reach out to them often, even if there was a bit of a slow time, all I had to do was email my existing customers and say, “Hey, just checking in, see how your business is going, see if there’s anything I can help with.” Just in doing that, I could fill my client roster for a month or two. So I think keeping in touch with people is such an under-utilized skill.

John Jantsch: Yeah. And that one tip really works for any business. If you’ve got a list of past–

Paul Jarvis: It’s a magic email.

John Jantsch: Yeah, it really is. If you’ve got a list of past happy customers, and it’s a slow Friday, just send out an email. So, one of the things that’s made this company of one idea so viable really is all of the tools and technology and automation that we have available. What’s some of your, let’s make this a two-part question. What’s some of your favorite tools for automation, and then what are some of your famous no-nos for abusing automation?

Paul Jarvis: So, I really like email. I think email, so one, email marketing newsletters accounts for most of my revenue, so I would be silly if I didn’t really like that. So I think, and for me, the way that I use it, and it’s funny because everybody’s like, “Oh emails, Dad emails, Dad…”, and I feel like I’m the guy in the back raising my hand, like, “I don’t think so.” So I’ve had a newsletter, a weekly newsletter, which is good because it’s called the Sunday dispatches, so it makes sense that I send it once a week. I’ve had a newsletter since November 2012, so it’s about six years old, and every week I send an article to my list and that just keeps in touch with people, it keeps reminding people that I exist.

And it also, I sometimes have things to sell; not all the time, but sometimes there’s something to sell. And by keeping this cadence as really regular cadence, of showing up for people saying like, “Hey, I still exist, here’s some thoughts that I have.” It shows people that like, “Oh, okay, I really resonate with these things that Paul is saying.” Some people, not all people but some people. And then when I do have something to sell, it’s not like I’m just hounding them to get something for myself, it’s I’ve been providing value for them, sometimes for years; sometimes people are on my list for years before they buy something, so then it feels like there’s some reciprocity there. So then, the sales cycle just becomes, “Hey I made this thing, maybe you wanna check it out.”

John Jantsch: Yeah, you know, I laugh because I get those notes all the time, “I’ve been following you for 10 years, and finally decided to buy–” it’s like I gotta figure out how to shorten the sale cycle so—

Paul Jarvis: Yeah I think that can be good. And then as far as things that I don’t really like using; I don’t like any tool that is realtime or that shows my status. So I really dislike products like Slack because it feels like there’s—so things like that, I don’t even need to single out slack, but just any service that shows my status; even Skype, I only sign in to Skype to use it. And I think that a lot of times we have this FOMO about, “Oh, I’m gonna miss something so I need to stay logged in to everything, or I need to get notifications for all of the things.” I don’t know how I could work, I don’t know how I could accomplish the tasks I need to do on any given day if I was interrupted when I’m doing my work.

So if I’m working on something I can’t leave Slack open, I can’t leave Skype open, I can’t even leave social media open. So, if I’m writing the only thing I have open on my computer is my writing software. If I’m on Twitter, the only thing I have open on my computer is Twitter, and I don’t get notified of things that I’m not focused on or things that I’m working on. So I think that there’s a lot of technology now that allows us, like we were talking about, that allows us to scale without growth, which is awesome, but I also think that we can fall into the trap of just being interrupted by all of these great technologies, so I try not to let that happen as much as possible, because I like to get my work done, and then be done work for the day.

John Jantsch: So, I’m curious, and this is just on a personal note, what is your writing software?

Paul Jarvis: I use, so I like IA writer for just me writing, it’s just a markdown minimal software app. I use for collaboration I use Google Docs, because it’s just the easiest thing when I’m working with copy editor and editor, or collaborator. But then, my publisher, and I think all publishers are old school, so I also use Word, but I begrudgingly use Word. I actually had to buy a license to word for the first time in ten years just to–

John Jantsch:  That’s so funny. We’re getting ready to bore our listeners to tears here, but my current book, I’m working on another book right now, and I’m writing the entire thing in Google Docs and I convinced my traditional mainstream publisher to take the manuscript in Google Docs, can you believe it?

Paul Jarvis: Awesome.

John Jantsch: So excited about that.

Paul Jarvis: Your power of persuasion is greater than mine. I tried to do the same thing; it didn’t work.

John Jantsch: One of the things that, I was really happy to read this line because I’ve believed this forever, but you said this really well. That education is a serious marketing channel. And I don’t think people appreciate that. We’ve all bought into, you know, “Yes, educate, educate, useful content.” But I think you took it a step further really, and talk about it as the tool to actually grow your existing customer base and that you should teach everything, you should look at that as a product opportunity. And I think a lot of people who do, say design or really any kind of work, really underestimate the power of that.

Paul Jarvis: Yeah, I mean, it was funny when I was doing web design, I noticed that the only thing that web designers wrote and shared on the internet were things for other web designers. And I always found that weird because, no web designer would ever hire me because I was a web designer too, we had the same skill set. So when I started to think about content, I thought about, “Okay, well what can I do to create content for people that hire web designers?” So I started to write articles on the subject, I wrote a book on the subject.

And then I noticed that my schedule was so full I didn’t know what to do with it because people were reading the things that I was writing, that were looking to hire web designers, and because they had read that from me, they thought, “Okay, this Paul guy is the expert on this subject, so why wouldn’t I want to hire the expert on educating clients on successful design projects? Because he’s the one who’s sharing this knowledge.” And it became a really easy sell at that point, it was just, people had already heard of me, it was more just a matter of seeing if it was a good fit to work together than having to pitch or sell anything. So I’ve kind of taken that and run with it for the rest of my business life.

John Jantsch: And I think a lot of people, people are getting off of this a little bit, but imagine 10, 15 years ago, nobody was really educating, you know, you were selling. And so, when I was out there telling people that, “No, tell them everything, reveal all the candy, don’t hold anything back.” Because they don’t wanna actually do it themselves, they just wanna know that you know how to do it. And that’s the best way to demonstrate it, and I’m glad we’ve come around.

Paul Jarvis: Yeah, people feel like they’re backed into a corner if they feel like they’re being sold to, but people listen a lot more if they feel like they’re learning something; they pay attention, and that attention is gold when you are trying to sell something. If you don’t pay attention to the selling, you pay attention to the teaching, and then you’re right, they’re just gonna be like, “This person knows what they’re doing, I’m just gonna pay them.”

John Jantsch: Well, or they go out there and try it and they go, “Gosh dang this is hard, I am gonna hire somebody.” So, you mentioned hippy-dippy, so let’s finish on a concept that I love and I’d love for you to expand on how you apply this to a company of one. And that’s this idea of finding your true north.

Paul Jarvis: Yeah. It’s funny because I think that, and even, I think I kinda felt that way too. I mean, I live in the woods on an island that’s very hippy-dippy on the West Coast of Canada, so I feel like I’m surrounded by this, and I feel like I push against it. And so, I think that in the beginning I though that having a purpose or a north star for my business was too in the realm of like, “Well businesses are supposed to be profitable, so why would I worry about applying my values and what I want?” And I think that that was to my own detriment.

I think a lot of times, we get tired from having to make decisions all the time in our business. And if you run a business, you have to make decisions all the time and that tires you out. It’s funny, I was reading an article in the Atlantic about how tiring making decisions is, and I was like, “This article is speaking my life.” So I think to come around to the part about having a purpose, I think like I said earlier, I think that having a purpose alleviates some of the decision making. Because if we know why we started the business and why we want to run the business and kind of where we want to take it, and if I think about success, I see what success looks like in the media, and then I think about, if I applied myself to that version of success, one of two things would happen.

I would either get it, which means I would win at what I was challenged by, but I would be left with somebody else’s version of success which wouldn’t be mine, so I kind of wouldn’t win. And if I didn’t win at achieving that person’s version of success, I would be left feeling like I failed. But I failed at something I didn’t actually want in the first place. So I think if we define what success looks like to us, and it’s different for every single person. I did so many interviews for the book, and what success means to you isn’t what it means to me. There could be similarities, sure, but it’s always different. So I think if we have a purpose then it becomes a wholly pragmatic exercise, which is the opposite of hippy-dippy, at least in my mind.

John Jantsch: I’m getting ready to print t-shirts; “fail at something you wanted to fail at”, I love that.

Paul Jarvis: Exactly. It just makes more sense from a pragmatic standpoint to be able to do that. So I think having a purpose just makes it easier to make decisions and it makes it easier for us to align with where we want to go. Because we’re the ones steering the ship, so if we end up somewhere we don’t like, it’s our fault.

John Jantsch: I seriously am stealing that, you’re gonna see it in my next book. So, speaking with Paul Jarvis, author of Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business, depending upon when you’re listening to this show, it’s out on the shelves January of 2019. So Paul, tell people where they can find more about you and your work.

Paul Jarvis: Yeah. So my newsletter, The Sunday Dispatches is at pjrvs.com, or if you search in Google for Paul Jarvis, I’m the first page. And then the book, Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business, is on all digital shelves and should be in most bookstores as well, and the website for that is ofone.co.

John Jantsch: Excellent. Paul, it was great visiting with you, hopefully we’ll catch up with you out there fishing or something in the West Coast of Canada.

Paul Jarvis: Sounds good John, cheers.

 



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Finding Success and Happiness as a Company of One

Finding Success and Happiness as a Company of One written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketing Podcast with Paul Jarvis
Podcast Transcript

Paul JarvisThis week, my guest on the Duct Tape Marketing podcast is Paul Jarvis. A writer and designer, Jarvis has worked with companies like Mercedes-Benz and Microsoft, sports giants like Shaquille O’Neal, and entrepreneurs like Marie Forleo.

He also teaches a number of online courses; writes his weekly newsletter, The Sunday Dispatches; hosts several podcasts; and just wrote the book Company of Onehitting shelves on January 15, 2019.

On today’s episode, Jarvis and I talk about what it’s like to run your own business, and how to make decisions that will not only make you happier but help you build a sustainable business.

Questions I ask Paul Jarvis:

  • Are you anti-scaling?
  • What’s the difference between growth and scale?
  • How is freelancing different from a company of one?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • How to use the question, “How much is enough?” as a guidepost for growing your business.
  • Why aligning opportunities with your purpose can help you stay focused on the most promising avenues to pursue.
  • How to transform education into a marketing tool.

Key takeaways from the episode and more about Paul Jarvis:

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on iTunes, please!



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Why Being Naive Can Make Your Fortune

Back when I worked in the corporate world, I used to get called naive at least once a week. I...

The post Why Being Naive Can Make Your Fortune appeared first on Copyblogger.



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IAB’s in-app ad viewability and measurement SDK hits 2 billion devices

17 companies across the U.S., Europe and Asia are already certified. The post IAB’s in-app ad viewability and measurement SDK hits 2 billion devices appeared first on Marketing Land.

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Why content marketers don’t want instant gratification

When marketers set realistic expectations, they’re in a better spot to succeed long term. The post Why content marketers don’t want instant gratification appeared first on Marketing Land.

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TopRank Marketing’s Top 6 SEO Predictions & Trends for 2019

SEO Trends & Predictions 2019

SEO Trends & Predictions 2019 The year-end hustle and bustle is on, marketers. We’re all finalizing next year’s tactical mix and strategy, refining targets, and setting goals—all with the intention of driving bigger, badder, and better results in the new year. When it comes to setting your SEO strategy for 2019, here’s an important stat to keep in mind: 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority. For more than two decades, SEO has been a foundational digital marketing tactic. And as algorithms have been refined, content has proliferated, and innovation and technology have changed how we search—competition in the organic search landscape has hit an all-time high. What does 2019 have in store for us in the SEO realm? Here are our top SEO predictions and trends marketers should know now and keep an eye on into the new year.

#1 - The Mobile-Friendly Flag Will Fly Higher Than Ever

After more than a year of experimenting, Google released its mobile-first indexing in March 2018. With over half of all web traffic coming from mobile devices, this move reflects Google’s continued commitment to serving the best quality content to searchers when and where they’re searching. Mobile-first indexing simply means that Google is now using the mobile version of a given page for crawling, indexing, and ranking systems—rather than the desktop version, which had previously been the default. According to Google, mobile-indexing doesn’t provide a ranking advantage in and of itself, and is separate from the mobile-friendly assessment. However, as mobile web traffic has begun to dominate the search landscape, sites need to be mobile-friendly to remain competitive and consistently show up in mobile search results. A poor mobile experience can lead to a decrease in other ranking factors, like bounce rate—as illustrated below. Page Load Times and Bounce Rate Source: Think with Google While many search marketers have seen this shift coming, Google’s research showed that “for 70% of the mobile landing pages we analyzed, it took more than five seconds for the visual content above the fold to display on the screen, and it took more than seven seconds to fully load all visual content above and below the fold.” The mobile benchmark they’re setting for load time is under three seconds. All this means that 2019 is absolutely the time to firmly plant your flag strongly in the mobile-friendly camp. This will mean evaluating your web presence, SEO strategy, and content to ensure you’re able to provide the best possible mobile experience. If you’re unsure where you stand, you can start with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to test how easy it is for your audience to visit pages on your website.

#2 - Voice Search Will Continue to Raise the Content Stakes

The metaphorical cat is out of the bag when it comes to the ease of voice search. One in six Americans now owns a smart speaker, according to TechCrunch. By 2020, Gartner predicts that 30% of web browsing sessions will be done without a screen. Finally, there were over one billion voice searches per month as of January 2018. And with voice search platforms recording an error rate of under 5% with natural language processing (in English, at least) it stands to reason this trend will continue to grow as users find more reliable results. However, the switch to voice search will come with a new set of challenges for marketers—and that’s natural language. As of May 2017, almost 70% of requests to the Google Assistant are expressed in natural language versus typical keyword-based searches like those typed into a search bar. As a result, in 2019 and beyond it will be increasingly important for marketers to optimize and create content that lends itself to voice search. From a technical perspective, the usual suspects of page speed, site security, and domain authority will play an important role here. But at the end of the day, it’s all about ensuring your site content can be easily found via voice search. What will that content need to look like? Backlinko found that the average word count of a voice search result page is a whopping 2,312 words—and those words are written at a ninth grade level. In addition, considering and striving to match search intent will be more important than ever. Marketers will need to focus on what we like to call “being the best answer.” This means focusing on answering those question your ideal audience is and will be asking—whether they’re speaking to a smart speaker, smartphone, or web browser. “Google is essentially an answer engine,” TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden said not long ago. “If companies want to be the ‘best answer’ for what their potential customers are looking for, they’ll want to invest in content that is comprehensive and engaging on the topic.” [bctt tweet="If companies want to be the “best answer,” they’ll want to invest in #content that is comprehensive and engaging on the topic. - @leeodden #SEO #SearchMarketing" username="toprank"]

#3 - Increasing Privacy Demands Will Tip the Search Scales

From the two recent Google Plus data leaks affecting over 50 million users to massive data breaches at some of the world’s largest companies, we’re all increasingly aware of the amount of personal data floating about the digital realm. This coupled with an innate distrust in marketing messages—not to mention the “creep factor” of being followed around by ads—consumers and B2B buyers alike are looking for more privacy and protection on the web. For several years, HTTPS has been considered a ranking signal. And Google made their stance on HTTPS encryption well known this year. Ahead of the release of Chrome 68, Google strongly advocated websites make the HTTPS switch by July 2018—or risk their site being stamped “not secure” in the browser. In 2019 and beyond, marketers can expect Google and perhaps other browsers to double down on this. In addition, with new data protection laws like GDPR in the European Union, marketers can expect new privacy and security to take shape. This will certainly continue to impact paid search efforts, as new rules and restrictions will cause platform target changes. And that means that smart organic SEO will see a revival. Of course, GDPR doesn’t technically affect US-based customers, following data protection guidelines can only help your cause in building trust and keeping Google happy.

#4 - Expanding Market of Alternative Search Platforms

Google is still the king of search. But its market share is being challenged by more traditional search engines with a twist, as well as “non-traditional” search platforms. Case in point: Amazon. A recent eMarketer report shows that Amazon is now the third-largest digital advertising platform, behind Google and Facebook. In addition, according to Kenshoo, a whopping 72% of shoppers now use Amazon to find products, and 56% shared that they typically look on Amazon before any other sites. So, as Amazon search continues to find its legs in the digital advertising market, it’s worth considering their audience size and growth as your finalize your 2019 budget. As for those engines that resemble Google, Bing will continue to be a key player in SEO and paid search marketing in 2019. It accounts for about 22% of the desktop search market in the US and 4.1% of the mobile search market. With their recent rollout of LinkedIn profile targeting, their offerings are becoming increasingly attractive to the B2B market. Finally, alternative search platforms such as DuckDuckGo, StartPage, and Mojeek are growing in adoption—and you can bet that trend will continue in 2019. In fact, DuckDuckGo is will hit record traffic by the end of 2018, according to AdWeek. At the time of this post’s publishing, the “internet privacy company” had recorded more than 8.5 billion direct queries in 2018. DuckDuckGo Example While Google still reigns supreme, boasting well over half of the search market, marketers need to take note and consider additional platforms when designing their SEO and search marketing (and content) strategies—and no just because usage is rising. If you’re looking to get the most bang for your paid search buck, competition on alternative platforms is much lower right now—making it ripe with opportunity.

#5 - Raise The Bar on Content—Or Your Competitors Will E-A-T Your Lunch

While it makes a delightful pun, E-A-T is a serious concept in the SEO game. Google has told us many, many, many times that quality content will help shield from algorithmic changes and updates. Your content simply needs to follow three basic principles: Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. In 2019, this means that it’s time to double-down on quality content creation. As we mentioned earlier, that quality content needs to meet relevant search intent and strive to provide the best answer for the searcher. But it shouldn’t simply be a concern for brands that are creating content, E-A-T also applies to individual authors. Creating quality content isn’t just a question of long-form or short-form. It’s content that’s created with the end-user in mind. High quality content should inform, entertain, or otherwise provide value to those reading it. That’s what ultimately ends up being shared socially, which is another factor in how Google views your content’s trustworthiness.

#6 - ‘Internetization’ Offers New Opportunities, But Requires Smart SEO Strategies

Our world is more connected than ever, thanks to what Constantine Passaris, Professor of Economics at University of New Brunswick, calls “internetization.” “Globalization is not an accurate descriptor of the 21st century and the internet-driven transformational change sweeping the international economic landscape,” he wrote in a World Economic Forum article. “Internetization is the contemporary face of globalization. It includes the modern tools of electronic globalization and embraces the digital connectivity and empowerment of the internet and the World Wide Web.” And as internetization continues to proliferate, B2B brands of all sizes have the opportunity to broaden their global footprint. But when it comes to reaching new audiences whenever and wherever their searching, you’ll need a smart global SEO strategy in 2019 and beyond. “Serving a global audience begins with understanding them,” Eli Schwartz, Director of SEO & Organic Product at SurveyMonkey, told us in an interview earlier this year. “By gaining insights on your audience through People Powered Data, you can create an SEO strategy that matters to them and reaches them in the vernacular in which they speak.” He added: “Depending on the potential value of these global users, it may not be prudent to translate the full site or offer free global shipping, but translating that one page that targets the most important international keywords is not that complicated. Additionally, companies can take the very first step towards global SEO by just having a look at where and how their website ranks on Google internationally. They may very well find some low hanging fruit worth building a strategy around.” [bctt tweet="By gaining insights on your audience through People Powered Data, you can create an #SEOStrategy that matters to them and reaches them in the vernacular in which they speak. - @5le" username="toprank"]

A Little Reminder to Take the SEO “Basics” into 2019

There are plenty of new and flashy trends to keep us all busy in the coming year, but that doesn’t mean that we should forget about the foundational elements of SEO. The Ranking Factors SEMRush Study 2.0 provides an excellent reminder of what truly matters to Google: Domain authority, direct traffic, content quality and website security. The SEMRush study shows one clear winner in the ranking factors category—direct traffic. This metric is typically a measure of brand awareness, and thus domain authority. Focusing on direct traffic as a KPI for your overall marketing awareness isn’t likely to go out of style any time soon. Another key factor along the lines of domain authority is the amount of backlinks to your site. “Every domain that ranks for a high-volume keyword has on average three times more backlinks than the domains from the three lower-volume groups on the same position,” says SEMRush in the same study. Along with having an authoritative domain, it’s also important to provide quality content. Time on site, pages per session, and bounce rate remain in the top 5 ranking factors this year. Content length is also a factor, as the same study shows that there’s a 45% difference in content length between the top 3 and the 20th SERP position. If you want your content to rank, make it worth reading and engaging with. “The data is there,” Lee said not too long ago. “Customers are telling you what they want. The question is, how to connect those dots of data to understand and optimize customer experiences?” Using data to understand customer preferences for search discovery and intent will help you optimize content to become the best answer buyers are looking for.

Ready. Set. Let’s Go, 2019

As you gear up for 2019, keep these trends—and the basics of SEO and search marketing—in mind. Providing the right information, quickly and in a way that is easy will always be in style. The ways we get there may change with time (or algo updates), but the focus remains the same. Content is SEO’s beautiful stepsister. What’s on tap for 2019 in the content marketing realm? Check out our picks top content marketing trends and predictions to watch in 2019.

The post TopRank Marketing’s Top 6 SEO Predictions & Trends for 2019 appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.



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How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Next Event

If you’re planning on hosting an event for your brand or business, it’s time to think about all the ways that social media could be used to enhance the overall experience. Most importantly, social media can be a highly effective tool for driving sign-ups, registrations and ticket purchases. Here are just a few of the ways that social media can be used to promote your next event.

Hashtags

By far, the most popular tool for promoting a new event is a simple #hashtag. There’s a real art form here, though, in creating a hashtag that people are really going to use. You want a hashtag that’s short and easy enough to remember, unique enough not to get confused with other hashtags, and creative enough to stand out in a crowded sea of social media. Moreover, you want to make sure that you are using the exact same hashtag across all social media platforms. Now is no time to get cute.

Video highlights

Another effective tactic is putting together a video highlight reel of past events. In the marketing world, this is known as the “sizzle reel,” and you should treat it much like a Hollywood studio would treat a film trailer for an upcoming film debut. It should grab the attention of potential participants, and highlight the most outstanding aspects of your upcoming event.

Shareable assets

In the social media world, “assets” simply refer to things like properly sized images for social media posts and high-resolution images for blog posts. The idea here is that you want people sharing information about your upcoming event, and one way of doing that is by unlocking a lot of great content that people will be excited to post on Facebook or Twitter. Best of all, try to give a small group of social media influencers or other Internet VIPs “exclusive” content that nobody else has. This helps to reinforce their role as influential voices on the Internet, so you are helping them out at the same time as they are helping you out.

Photos with speaker quotes

If you’re like most people, you probably get a lot of motivational or inspirational memes in your social media news feeds – stuff like photos of a gorgeous mountain sunrise, accompanied by a motivational quote about getting up early and accomplishing things. Well, you can use that same approach for your event. In this case, you will be using photos of your speakers (either past or upcoming), together with snippets of inspirational or thought-provoking things they have said in the past. This helps to generate enthusiasm and passion around the event.

Visual testimonials

Finally, you will want to include visual testimonials of past attendees. Or, if this is a first-time event, you can use “advance praise” from future participants. It’s best if you can use a photo of the participant, and then splice in the text quote on top of the photo. But even a photo of a packed auditorium or busy exhibition hall, combined with an upbeat quote, will suffice.

By keeping these tips in mind, you will be able to generate excitement and engagement around your upcoming event. Just remember that, if you are going to be using video clips or images from past events, that you secure any necessary approvals. Social media can play an important role in promoting your upcoming event as long as you use it wisely.

Want more? Download The Guide to Social Media Marketing and learn how to raise your game on social media, become more aligned with your customers and followers, and create a better perception of your brand.

*This post originally appeared on socialmedia hq.



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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Marketing Day: Facebook’s ad tests, Alexa’s email feature, Hulu’s OTT ad marketplace

Here's our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web. The post Marketing Day: Facebook’s ad tests, Alexa’s email feature, Hulu’s OTT ad marketplace appeared first on Marketing Land.

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Facebook starts testing ads in search results

The test inventory will be available in Facebook and Marketplace search results. The post Facebook starts testing ads in search results appeared first on Marketing Land.

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What email marketers should know about Alexa’s latest feature

If millions of people start listening to Alexa read their email, email marketers will have to adapt to avoid deletion. The post What email marketers should know about Alexa’s latest feature appeared first on Marketing Land.

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