Archive for the ‘internet marketing’ Tag

Yelling vs. passion

Bob Hoffman’s guest post at CopyBlogger a few days ago was an outrageous statement going against the tide of popular opinion, yet evidencing truth that we can’t deny. Naomi Dunford applauds him, and so do I. Especially for his pithy revelation that the internet, as a marketing tool, is fast becoming just like television as a marketing tool: “People with stuff yelling at people with money.” Thank God someone finally said it.

The ultimate point is, there are no shortcuts. You and your business will grow and flourish in direct proportion to your heartfelt passion for what you’re doing. No amount of marketing dollars or tricks or blitzes can by itself be productive. Get out there and yell your head off, the return will be short lived at best. Sustainable success originates in our hearts, not in our cleverness or internet savvy.

Awesome potential for deeper and broader communications is certainly available through the ‘net. The resource, however, is a two-edged dagger. Communication methods must not be mistaken for communicated messages. It is the latter that matters, whether scrawled out in longhand on parchment or digitized for instant visibility.

Naomi summarizes thusly: “Stop trying to “harness the power of social media” and start solving problems. Solve real problems and you have a license to print money.”

Naomi’s passion is indisputable, and she certainly has a powerful way of voicing it.

Noise vs. Content

The internet and today’s technologies are a fascinating study, especially for one not bred on cyberspace.  I’ve spent the past six months almost continuously online, attempting to get a grip on commerce represented there, studying social networks and forums and internet marketing techniques.  One thing that strikes me in this investigation is how carefully you have to preserve your identity and purpose amidst all the noise.  It’s very easy for the internet to become the dictator.   You originally approached it as a tool for your business and if you don’t keep it in that place, it can quickly become a mere distraction and little real help.

Content is King, you read everywhere.  But there’s little to no instruction about creating great Content; the directives all pertain to SEO, marketing techniques and strategies, or the latest widgets.  A large percent of the material online makes fabulous use of these systems without first ensuring valuable Content.  In this way, the internet is far more sophisticated than its users and often produces the cyber equivalent of kids playing with guns.

The two social media sites, Squidoo and Twitter, exemplify this distinction.   At Squidoo, you share specific information designed to edify your readers.  At Twitter, you fatuously inform the world that you’re on the way to the airport, eating a hot dog, or coping with the sniffles.  Never having been much of a gossip, small talk, or chatter type, I have a horror of people ‘following me’ and have no interest in sharing the twists and turns of my everyday with anyone except my lover.  My point is that Twitter caters to the glitz and sensationalism with hardly a nod to Content; while Squidoo’s Content is an amazing tribute to the learning and creativity of 21st century human beings. 

It takes a while to understand the differences between the popular sites, and it takes inner strength to avoid being sucked in by sites that seem promising but actually offer only shallow solutions for you.  Depending on your purposes, Twitter may be just the thing you need (to keep track of a team’s progress, for instance).  By keeping your focus firmly on your real-world demands, you can separate the noise of internet hype from authentic and useful Content.

Three Big Words

It’s exciting and heartening to me that some key concepts in the Web 2.0 world match key creativity concepts.  By adopting these ways of working in our businesses, we are also developing personal creative strength.

What are these concepts?  Today, I’m thinking about three:  curiosity, engagement, and generosity. 

Curiosity means a keen attention to both internal and external worlds, and a willingness to explore.  The business that understands constant change; that is tuned in to the lives and responses of its clientele; and that keeps a constant watch for new opportunities is the successful business of our time.

Engagement means the willingness to be responsive on all levels of society.  The business that sees itself in the context of the entire globe; that is not distanced from pressing social issues such as pollution, poverty, and ignorance; and that uses its resources to benefit the world to the best of its abilities is the vital business of today.

Generosity means truly courageous effort.  It doesn’t mean giving away the store; it means conscientious, no-holds-barred follow through on committments.  It means intelligent planning and then all-out devotion to goals.  In order to get, it is necessary to give first, as generally evidenced by the Open Source movement and many other freebies offered on the internet.  The business that cultivates a reputation of true dedication to sharing the benefits it offers is the admired business in our world. 

These three concepts are foundational as well to the development of individual creativity.  I understand the close relationship of individual creativity and business today as our most promising hope for the future.  It’s a future in which the gap is significantly narrowed between the things we do for money and who we are as human beings.

Being Remarkable

I attended a webcast the other day with marketing guru Seth Godin (Meatball Sundae) and other experts.  The message there, as well as in so much that I read these days, is that all the tricks of SEO are fast becoming obsolete.  Though some have managed to manipulate the internet to their purposes through technicalities, and achieved high rankings, those days are coming to an end.  Search engines aim to satisfy search results as directly as possible; sites that only peripherally pertain to keywords entered can no longer gain the upper hand.  As ever, Content is King.

The term Godin used quite a bit was “remarkable.”  If you want to succeed, you must be remarkable.  Your website, blogs, articles and other methods you use to attract attention will be of little use unless the content of your offerings is “remarkable,” unless you can manage to stand out from the crowd through your expertise.

Plus ca change …. It has ever been thus, hasn’t it?  The web, after all, does little to make us rich quick.  The onus we bear is as it ever was … we must identify and maximize our true strengths to be successful.  Rather than relieving us of the responsibility to work hard and achieve, the web actually reinforces this basic ethic.

How can we do this?  How can we be “remarkable?”  It’s a lot to ask of any individual. 

So we come round again to creativity.  In practicing creativity, we do not seek to be remarkable – rather the opposite – but the great gift of creativity is that through faithful practice, it reveals the ways in which we are remarkable.  It’s the instrument we’re given for moving beyond mere survival, beyond the mundane, beyond unquestioning servitude to the greatness we each are born to realize.