Social Media

The “Pay it Forward” approach to business. A powerful marketing tool.

As my 29th year in the marketing business wraps up, I felt compelled to share a philosophy of doing business that might shock you. In fact, revealing my enthusiasm for this approach may make me look like a kook or worse. I call it the Pay it Forward (PIF) approach.

What prompts me to write this article is a reoccurring circumstance that leaves me befuddled. I find myself attempting to explain to people that I’m willing to help them in some way just because I like their product or perhaps I am inspired by their story. I don’t assume that I can help or that I’m some sort of omnipotent business savant – I just offer to help if I can. Call me kooky.

As a purveyor of PIF, I expect nothing in return for making introductions, sharing knowledge or supporting their endeavor. This lack of expectation is a challenge for many people in business that are conditioned to look for the “catch” or the sales pitch. When they find none, they pass on the opportunity because it sounds too good to be true.

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Crowdfunding and Marketing. A recent report by Clarity.

Late last year I completed a research project for a client that was interested in crowdfunding. It occurred to me that others might get some value from this research and my experience raising money via the crowd. You can download the report below. The power of the crowd is shaping up to be a valuable tool for entrepreneurs. If/when the SEC decides to let people crowdfund for equity, I believe it will finally become a viable tool to raise capital. My experience with crowdfunding and my research tells me that success is predicated upon a sound marketing strategy. You’ll need to create your program to reach far beyond your friends and family if you are attempting to raise any real money. The most successful crowdfunded projects embarked on significant marketing and promotion campaigns. In other words, they didn’t just rely on word of mouth – they pulled all the levers,[…]

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What is your head shot strategy?

Head shots are a vital part of the entrepreneur’s or executive’s tool kit. Think about it. The first thing someone looks at on your LinkedIn profile is your photo. The first thing they see at a meeting is your face. The days of the Sears portrait style are over. And, no, Virginia. A selfie won’t cut it unless you are looking for love in all the wrong places. Some of the worst offenders are realtors and insurance sales people for some reason. These hyper perky, over caffeinated gummy grins and poses don’t add credibility or make a true psychological connection with the viewer. The lowly head shot is usually considered an afterthought. Instead, it should be thought through strategically to maximize the value of your personal image. In other words, your selfie is leaving value on the table and could be harming your professional reputation unless you are a twenty-something[…]

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Viral Brilliance Defined

The guys at Emergent Order have done something amazing and it’s not just the videos. They have proven that viral marketing is possible if you make something topical, entertaining and dazzling. Even more interesting to me is how the high production value viral component has driven significant traffic to a series of other videos that are essentially well produced talking heads. In other words, they engage and entertain people with the big video and then educate them on the follow up. These guys are going to change the world. [youtube d0nERTFo-Sk]

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Where are your future knowledge workers? In elementary school right now.

I believe the person who cures cancer, solves the energy problem or invents the next insanely great thing is in elementary school right now. Over 90% of these bright young minds enter elementary school with a passion for science and an insatiable curiosity about their world. By the time they reach 7th grade, it is barely above 30%. That is a loss of 60% of America’s future innovators before they even reach high school. I think that is unacceptable so I’m willing to do something about it. [youtube -IqIe9wZe24]

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#occuppy Wallstreet. Classic Ready, Fire, Aim Strategy.

Regular readers may or may not have noticed I stay away from politics. I also don’t mention religion. And I sure don’t write about the place of religion in politics. But the #occupy protests over the last few weeks are just too juicy for me to ignore. Yummy, juicy, deliciously stupid. Uh oh. I said it. Stupid. “But, Pete…” you might say. “You live in Austin, TX. You’re gonna get fried for that comment”. Bring it people. I call it as I see it and I see stupidity. Here’s why.

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Making Facebook sing with IFrames

I talked to my friend Steve Golab at FG Squared the other day and we both got hot and bothered by a new development at Facebook that looks like it’s going to completely change the face of the ubiquitous personal networking site. The details are a little technical so I will attempt to explain this development in terms anyone can understand. Basically, you can now make Facebook bend to your will inserting just about any functionality (e-commerce, entire web sites, blogs, whatever) right into your company or personal page. So what you say. Facebook is for teenage wienies and creepy guys stalking past girlfriends. So why is this such a big deal?

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