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Improve Your Facebook Marketing

Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 3.02.10 PMAs Snap falters shortly after going public, Facebook looks stronger than ever. They have the eyeballs, no doubt about it. So, how can we leverage their strength and market better on their platform? The company Wordstream, who became famous by helping people to do better with Google AdWords, is now offering advice to run better campaigns on Facebook. There are some good ideas in there such as:

–       Target the leads you already have on Facebook

–       Clone that audience and market to them, too

You’ll get these and other ideas from this free guide. Get it here.

Digital Marketer also has a short video series to help you get up and running with Facebook ads. You can find the videos here. Facebook marketing can be complex, but with the ideas presented by Wordstream and Digital Marketer, you can be in a much better position to succeed. If you have questions about what you’ve read or seen from either firm, ping me and we’ll talk about it.

Be Very Careful About How You Incent Staff to Perform

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Wells Fargo is now believed to have set up more than 3.5 million fake accounts. (The previous number was 2 million.) This is according to lawyers investigating the matter. See the story here. Incidentally, doesn’t it seem as if bad news about companies usually goes from bad to worse before it gets better?

The reason I bring this up is because I’m reading a book called Drive by Dan Pink and it’s about how people are motivated today. Dan says that using the carrot and stick approach to incent the behavior of knowledge workers could backfire on you.
Here’s the connection to the Wells Fargo story. Dan says that giving people rewards for doing things could make them addicted to the behavior and could lead to corruption. Whoa, that fits this situation perfectly. Worse, you generally have to provide more money for the behavior to happen more and more. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Wells increased payouts for the fake account setup over the years to continue to goose the numbers.


If you’re thinking about paying incentives to get better performance, be aware of the risks involved. Here’s an article from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) that highlights how this can go wrong and cause cheating. Ever heard of a salesperson cheating to make a commission? Well, it’s not just salespeople who are tempted to do the wrong thing when money’s the reward.

Leaders need to know what really motivates people beyond the traditional carrot and stick tools. Drive shares four decades of research to help you better understand what really motivates knowledge workers aka heuristic workers as Dan likes to call them.

By the way, if you’re a parent, here’s a tip on motivating children at home. Don’t pay them to do things you think they won’t like to do like washing the dishes or taking out the trash. When you paint the picture that this is dirty work and you shouldn’t want to do it, so I’ll pay you to do it, that sends the wrong message in a few ways. They won’t ever want to do it without being paid, and they’re likely to do it less well than if you motivated them some other way.

Surprisingly, financial payouts tied to performance often don’t bring out a person’s best work. You could learn a lot by reading this book. Get more information about Drive here. If you’d like some tips on motivating a team, American Express has tapped some experts to pull together a guide, which can be downloaded here.


Uber (Finally) Shifts Gears

If you’ve been a regular reader of this newsletter, you know I’m not a big fan of Uber. I deleted the app after I read the blog post from Susan Fowler. I don’t plan to re-install it anytime soon. I think the “former” CEO, Travis Kalanick is bad for business and their culture is (hopefully, was) toxic. I had to share this cartoon from Chip Bokwith you that says a 1,000 words about the change with Travis stepping aside as the company seeks new leadership to remake their culture.

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The bottom line for me here is that you must lead with integrity or else. By the way, I noticed that Lyft is advertising on the cartoonist’s site relating to the post with this cartoon. Pretty smart.

Online Video Watching Continues to Rise and Morph

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I get a weekly email called Think with Google and it includes a detailed story about trends in marketing we should be aware of as business owners. In this week’s email, they highlight a very interesting trend about online viewing.

People are starting to watch online video on their TV sets with increasing frequency. People have doubled their viewing of YouTube videos on their TVs in the past year. And 2 out of 3 viewers say they watch YouTube videos on a TV. Lastly, they like to watch videos during prime time over the weekend. So, our TV viewing habits haven’t changed as much as the content we’re watching. You can see the story I pulled this data from here.

Maybe this is why ESPN is in such trouble. They’ve lost 12 million subscribers in the past 6 years, and are laying off as much as $100 million dollars of on air talent. Their model is dependent on people watching TV via a cable provider. The trend is clearly in the opposite direction. Read more about ESPN’s woes here and here.

So, what does this mean for you? Two things: 1. Make video. People want it and will get it from another provider in your category if not you. And 2. Release video on Thursday or Friday in time for weekend viewing. This is unless you’re in the fitness space. YouTube found that people like to watch fitness videos on Tuesdays. Go figure.

Have You Heard of Eclipseville?

The first total solar eclipse since 1979 is coming on August 21st. There’s a band going across the US that day with different regions experiencing differing levels of totality. The San Francisco region is expected to have about 80% blockage of the sun by the moon. There’s one town being hailed as the place where the eclipse will be at its greatest and that’s Hopkinsville, Kentucky aka Eclipseville. Yup, no kidding. They have the URL and everything. See their site hereScreen Shot 2017-07-12 at 2.52.02 PM

In my book, these people are pretty smart marketers. They are just one of a handful of towns that will see the total eclipse, yet they’re the only one I’ve heard of that’s branded themselves and turned it in to a festival. They are preparing for an onslaught of visitors who want to see the total eclipse and they’re going to make as much money as possible from the excitement. Maybe it’ll be a total bust, but you know that’s how business is. No risk, no reward.

If you’d like to learn more about the solar eclipse, NASA has built a great site on it. And, if you’re one of my valuable past or present clients, I have complimentary eclipse viewing glasses for you. Just drop by the office and ask for a pair.

Why am I sharing this science news with you in a newsletter about business? Well, I’m a big fan of leveraging what’s on the minds of the public for marketing purposes. To me that’s easier than creating awareness and interest from scratch.

San Francisco is going to have 80% coverage. How can you create a marketing promotion around the eclipse? Black Monday specials anyone?

Let’s get your creative juices flowing with a recent example on how well tying in to pop culture can work. Are you familiar with the Nissan Rogue SUV?

This crossover vehicle is not only the best-selling SUV in America, it’s also the 4th best-selling vehicle period! 5 years ago, it was the 22nd most popular vehicle. What’s made the difference? Well, of course, SUV’s are hugely popular now and so the car’s riding a trend. However, what’s added a double dose of growth to those sales figures is the tie-in to Star Wars. Remember Rogue One? That movie was a smash. Nissan decided to go all in with cross-promotions and it worked. You can read more about the Rogue’s success on the USA Today website. This is how marketing can ride a wave of pop culture momentum and create success.

So, back to the eclipse. Would it make sense for your business to somehow leverage the blackout? How about 80% off for 2 minutes and 41 seconds? Not all businesses can do that on everything they sell, but what if you could? That might get some publicity. Now’s the time to consider how you might stand out when the lights go out on August 21, 2017.

Amazon Shows Their Cards

By now you already know that Amazon is taking over Whole Foods. It’s big news and welcomed by many who think Amazon’s ownership of Whole Foods will be good overall.

As I’ve been thinking of this it’s dawned on me that there’s possibly a big long-term strategy that’s been revealed by this massive purchase. I’m going out on a limb with this, but here’s what I think.

Amazon wants to put most brick and mortar retailers out of business. Then, once they are mostly dead, they will come in and open their own retail shops.

It’s already happening in books.

The company started out aspiring to be the world’s largest bookstore (online). They’ve certainly achieved that and in the process have put most retail bookstores out of business or in serious trouble. Barnes and Noble made just 22 million dollars in profit for their last fiscal year coming off a 6.3% decline in annual sales. They expect further declines ahead. Guess what Amazon’s doing in response? Opening bookstores! You can see here that they already have 8 stores with 5 more on the way.

Now there’s nobody who’s a bigger Amazon fan than me. I’ve been a Prime member for more years than I can recall. I just had a box of coffee delivered to my house on a Sunday. I get a box of various sundries automatically delivered every month on the same day. I listen to Audible books continuously.

But, I’m starting to worry that Amazon’s end game is to put as many retail shops out of business as possible so they can put in their own stores. The reason they bought Whole Foods is because they couldn’t get serious traction going with their own grocery delivery service, but they obviously strongly believe in retail. At their size, they can basically buy who they can’t replace.

Is Amazon too much of a good thing? Do we really want to buy everything from them? What will retail look like in 10 years as Amazon enters fashion, food, appliances and whatever else comes to mind? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. As SMBs and consumers, I believe we need to be concerned with the topic of Amazon dominance and talk about it.

Book Recommendation: Originals

Originals by Adam Grant. I alluded to it in the last issue of this newsletter. Originals is packed with examples of how originals – people who aren’t like the masses – think and act differently. I was really taken by a few of the characteristics of originals.

– They procrastinate to get more creative. Martin Luther King was still working on his most famous speech until the wee hours of the night before he gave it. He came up with the, “I have a dream.” line that day!

– They take risks, but also hedge their bets. The 4 guys who started Warby Parker still had day jobs while they were launching the company.
– They build up influence and respect, then share their pretty radical ideas. It creates an environment more likely to accept their ideas.
– They churn out lots of ideas to discover those that are truly great.
In the book, you’ll learn about the women’s right to vote movement in the US, how our US intelligence agencies finally agreed to use a common database of knowledge about the bad guys, and how Milosevich was overthrown in Serbia. It’s a fascinating book that covers a lot of ground and is sure to give you new ideas for yourself and your business. You can learn more about Originals by watching Adam’s TED talk.

Make HABU your mantra: Time management Tip

At some point productivity peaks, then you just need to resolve to get more rest and leisure. In case you’re not there just yet I have a few ideas to share with you.
First up is a video I created with the help of my talented uncle at 1 Minute Reel. You’ll notice we took a different approach with this video adding in more variation. It’s not my usual straight talking-head style. Hope you get something from it.

Now if you make HABU your mantra, you may not get
more done, but you will get more important work done that moves your business forward. We can always find more work to do, right? That’s not the issue. It’s what ranks at the top of the list. That’s what you should be doing most of the time. The less important work will get done eventually or not at all. It’s not important. Get it?
Speaking of lists, Fast Company recently released an article where they talk about the 6 things the most productive people do daily. That title caught my attention. Turns out it’s a good piece. Here are the few I’m on board with now:
– Start the day with a morning routine. Have you been with me since the Miracle Morning days? I keep hearing this again and again. In fact, I just watched a video from Will Marre, who was a right-hand person to Stephen Covey at Franklin Templeton when they were huge, in which he says the same thing. If your morning routine is getting ready and rushing out the door with coffee, here’s encouragement to add a step or two to read something uplifting, write something you’re grateful for, meditate, exercise, journal, affirm yourself, and have a healthy breakfast. If you only changed this one part of your life in 2017, it could have a profound effect on each day.
  – Productive people practice self-care. I joined the gym for the first time in years late last month. No more talking about it. I’ve got the rest, diet, and proper amounts of stress parts down, but the exercise part always remained on the horizon. Until now. I’ve been to the gym 3 times so far. Not a lot because as I was getting in to a new rhythm, I got the flu. First time in 16 years!
Funny how big roadblocks appear as you get closer to a goal. I recognize it and it’s fine. Once I’m healthy again I’m going back. What about you? Which part of self-care are you neglecting? You’ve no doubt heard the phrase, “Sitting is the new smoking”. Maybe this is the year to get a desk that elevates or one of those Wurf boards. Or you start meditating with a tool like Headspace. No matter how healthy you are now, I’m willing to bet there’s something more you can do in 2017. Vow to do more. Self-care and productivity are linked.
Those are just 2 of the 6 things successful people do daily. You can read about these and the other 4 on Fast Company’s website.

Want Free Ideas on Creative Marketing For Your Business?

Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 3.21.42 PMThis quick tip comes from Mel Robbins who writes for Success Magazine. She says you can go to Google and do a search for “creative marketing [your type of business]”.
I did a search for creative marketing general contractor and came up with a page full of articles to review. Here’s one article that was pretty good. Try this simple idea for your industry and get your gears whirring.

Book Recommendation: Beyond Measure

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A nice little book (100 pages) by Margaret Heffernan (former CEO of 5 companies) that highlights the big impact of small changes. To me it’s a book about corporate culture and how we can positively influence its development with little shifts.
One shift is to have more conflict.Now this might seem like a big shift to some but it can start small. As a major influence of mine, Patrick Lencione, likes to say on this subject, “What’s worse than conflict is no conflict.”
Do not be afraid to bring up opposing viewpoints on ideas. The workplace needs counterarguments. Some organizations will actually appoint a Devil’s Advocate for a meeting to ensure a different perspective is shared. Think of ways you can incorporate the steady advance of non-personal conflict in to the workplace.
Another idea that Margaret shares is to monotask. I have been a staunch advocate of this idea that we cannot do 2 things at the same time that require intelligence. This article on talks about a Stanford study that also supported the idea. You can expand on this concept and think about how to handle whole days. For example, Asana has days where meetings are not allowed. Guess what? Workplace productivity zooms on those days!
The last idea I will share with you here is to Go Out. Margaret avers that the best ideas come when you are out of the office. Jack Dorsey came up with the idea for Square by talking with a friend, not by having a meeting at work. Many CEOs say they came up with new thoughts on leadership by coaching little league. Expand on this idea by having people get out of their jobs and in to others. At Method they have people swap jobs for a period so they can see how another part of the company works. Now that’s bold. By the way, the company got started because two friends got together and talked about observations until they came up with an idea they could really get behind.

This book is packed with wisdom in its small footprint. You can learn more and get it at Amazon or learn by watching a video from Margaret here.