Friday, September 30, 2005

Business Trends - Buzzoodle

We want to thank Anita Campbell at Small Business Trends for recognizing Buzzoodle as an important trend in the business community. Her blog and work is very impressive, and if you like free business podcasts, her site is a great location.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Highly Horrible Networkers

7 Habits of Highly Horrible Networkers Here is a good write up on networking bad habits. Highly Horrible Networkers . This is a Canadian Blog, so maybe this is only a Canadian problem. Has anyone seen these kinds of horrible habits in the states? Use comments here to tell your networking horror stories.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Step into my Lair

People go to great lengths to get someone to walk into their store. Websites give away lots of free information to get visitors and get them to come back. This same technique can be used for professional services to create buzz. It is not easy or quick, because you must approach it with sincerity, but it can be very effective. I will illustrate this with a current experience. Thompson Hine is not my law firm. However, they are very engaged in economic development and growing the region. I have been invited to be on committees, to come to presentations at the firm and to get free advice from a round table at the firm. I have also attended a party at one of a partner's home. They have never asked me to become a client. They are always helpful, kind and serve good lunches. I know six attorneys at the firm. I am in their offices every few weeks and I have to drive an hour to get there. My point is this. They are giving. I am sure it is not cheap or easy, but they are giving back and I have a better rapport with them than my own attorney. [Who also threw a great party this year] Professional service firms are not easy to differentiate. However, this kind of active engagement is the way they can create buzz and make the news on a regular basis, while feeling good about helping people and businesses. We frequently get asked by professional service people how to create buzz. Giving back to the community is a very good start.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Buzz Marketing - 5 Questions that can lead to Buzz

Some products lend themselves to Buzz Marketing and others need to work harder at it. Ask yourself these five questions and ask other people in your organization the same questions. Identify areas in common and then start creating some buzz about the good stories and special qualities. Everyone in the organization should know at least a few stories they can tell someone that paints the organization in a good and memorable light.
  1. What makes the company different and unique? (Hint: It does not have to be directly about your product or service)
  2. What makes working with us special? (Hint: Find examples of going above and beyond good customer service.)
  3. What kind of crazy things have people in your organization been involved with? (Hint: People like to work with real live human beings that have some personality.)
  4. How does your product or service make the buyer smarter, sexier and more attractive? (Hint: Yes, even selling accounting you have to answer this. It is the question your buyer is asking themselves, even if not consciously.)
  5. What would our current clients likely tell their friends and colleagues about us? (Hint: Find things they can comfortably say about your organization or product and ask them to tell their friends.)

Monday, September 26, 2005

Law of 250

David Lorenzo directed me to a blog on Guerrilla Marketing that has a good post on the Law of 250. What happens with the same Law if you try to create a little buzz with each of those people? It is the same technique, but instead of just looking for someone to give you a referral, you tell them a compelling story about you or your organization that they are likely to repeat. Buzz Mania!

Wedding Event Buzz

Launching a new TV show needs buzz. Our friend Julie at North East Ohio Weddings is having a free party for vendors and the media to introduce the show and meet the host. Register Here - And if you are getting married, check out her site. North East Ohio Weddings

If you knew the buzz was coming on Oprah

Our friend Laura Leggett found out a new MLM product is going to be featured on Oprah soon as part of a self development book. She asked us to set up site that could get her out in front of the buzz, so we did a quick, free blog for her. Low cost and the chance to capitalize on something big. How fast can you react to something if you know buzz is coming? Arbonne Buzz Blog

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Easy Button

I think it is that Staples commercial that has the easy button. You know, a big read button that makes what you want to get done easy. Buzz and word of mouth does have an easy button. Create something so remarkable, so unique and useful, that everyone talks about it. Easier said than done. But don't despair. Much like the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady can win a race. Make creating a little buzz every day a priority. Teach others in your organization to create a little more buzz or word of mouth each day. Like interest on your money, it will start to compound if you stay disciplined.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Buzzoodle and the Future of Buzz

As I have mentioned in previous posts, we are hard at work on updating Buzzoodle to keep it's leadership position as software that measures buzz created by your advocates. We have changed the look and feel of the resource center and I invite you to check it out. We will be adding articles regularly. Buzzoodle Resource Center

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Beacon Journal | 09/22/2005 | Anti-Akron comments a little stale

Beacon Journal | 09/22/2005 | Anti-Akron comments a little stale

I said the issue is dead, but just to keep you in the loop, here is what the Beacon wrote today about it.

I also know of several people who sent Seth very nice emails inviting him back or posted semi supportive articles. Seems there must have been more bad than nice, or Seth is as sensitive as Akron people. :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Personality and Voice

Having worked in Internet Marketing for many years and now in word of mouth marketing and buzz marketing, I find there is one very simple and useful piece of advice most people can benefit from. Have a voice If you are working extremely hard to make your website generic and look exactly like everyone else's in your industry, you are not going to upset anyone, but you are not going to catch anyone's attention either. Buzz is about catching people's attention. Bite the bullet and accept some people will not like you or agree with you, and then have a unique voice. Don't go off the wall and alienate too many people. Don't say things that will jeopardize your credibility, but do not be afraid to be human and have an opinion either. People talk and write about people and companies that are outside the norm.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Start Today

Online spending to double in five years What does that mean for you? This is the average trend, but many eMarketers put up their site and wait. How do you grow faster? Traffic and results on websites are not hard to grow. They do take an ongoing effort, and this is where many webmasters drop the ball. Every week you should have different online and offline buzz about your website and drive traffic to it. You can experiment with your site and easily measure the results. Don't set it up and wait. Don't wait because you are not ready to set up the perfect site. Boil your website down to its primary goals and create a solid core. Then continuously grow it through more content, more buzz and more inbound links. Your sales can go up much faster than average. Although average is not bad in this case.

Issue is Dead

Seth Godin has clarified his his Akron remarks and I consider the issue is dead. (People of Issue, please do not send me hate mail. If there is a city called Issue, I do not mean you.) I think none of this would have happened if it would have said "Judging by the hotel I stayed at, Akron is dead." While this blog is dedicated to Buzz and not to any region, it just so happened we are close to Akron, Seth Godin's Blog creates lots of Buzz, and sometimes the way you write something can create a lot of negative or positive buzz. I think if you look at the track backs of the blogs involved and do a technorati search, you will find it interesting how many people got involved in what was really just Sunday and Monday. My ultimate goal was to get some people in the city to stand up for the city and show it was alive, and they did. Thanks. For those of you that said you would never read him again, I still will, but you have to decide for yourself. One interesting thing to consider is that there are plenty of Blogs that are negative about North East Ohio that are written by people from here. When someone that is recognized from the outside makes comments, it sparks a different reaction.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Callahan's Cleveland Diary

Callahan's Cleveland Diary Did anyone tell the mayor that blogs don't matter?

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Purple Cows vs Akron Buzzoodlers

David Lorenzo in NYC wants to see this issue between Seth Godin and I played out in backyard football. Here you go Dave.

Blogs are not Important?

Seth Godin is the second person in the last two weeks to say that what is being said on blogs is not all that important.

"Anyone who decides to write off Akron because of my blog is the sort of person Akron wouldn't want anyway!" - Seth Godin in comments on an earlier post on this blog.

Compare that to Tim Russo on the Brewed Fresh Daily blog not long ago:

anyway, ron….i seriously doubt that anything i or anyone else ever says on a blog is going to be a deciding factor in “costing people jobs”, or “leaving people without jobs”. if that’s how a business decides where it’s going to locate, by reading comments on a blog, then good luck staying in business.

Really? Anyone working in marketing right now knows that the biggest movement in marketing is word of mouth. The way most marketers measure word of mouth is with software that scans blog posts and comments. And these kinds of comments do not go away in a week or two. This is part of the buzz we teach companies about. That said, I love Mr. Godin's books and blog. I just wish he would have worded things a bit differently.

Hurricane Seth Hits Akron Ohio

Hurricane Seth Godin Hits Akron, Ohio According to Seth Godin, Akron is nearly dead. [If you do not know Seth, trust me, this post is bad for the city] Stale bread and some sad hotel employees are all it takes to know there is no hope for a city. We might as well have the Red Cross send some money so we can rebuild from scratch. Did he meet the most innovative people in the area? Having lived in Washington, California, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Texas and Guadalajara Mexico, I can honestly say the Akron area is not the most energized place I have ever lived, but it is far from dead. Ohio has many great features and is going through an evolution from manufacturing to technology and from bigger business to smaller business. It is filled with opportunity and people that want to get on board with exciting opportunities.

The most bothersome thing I find about Seth's post is that right above it you will find him complaining about stereotypes in advertising. If he is going to judge an entire city by one day, we can certainly judge all people of a particular race by one bad experience with one person. It is the same broad, ignorant stereotype.

In fact, I have decided I do not like bald people based on his post. (Until I am bald)

Seth's posts have the same effect on an image as Alan Greenspan would have on the economy if he said the crash was imminent. I wish Seth would use his influence with as much care.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Hollywood and Buzz Marketing

There is a good, interesting article in clickz that talks about the box office results for the summer and how hollywood marketers need to pay more attention to Buzz Marketing and Viral Marketing. Well worth the read. With the budget and high visibility of an upcoming movie, this stuff should be easy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Shopping Buzz

Seth Godin has a great post about a novel approach to getting more from a retail customer. I am surprised he did not mention that many of these people probably called their friends and told them to get down there that day. Since the promotion was not posted, it could end any minute. If I knew a friend also liked to shop there, I would have pulled out my cell and told them to get down there right away.

Free web traffic ebook

Get your free ebook on creating web traffic and buzz with your employees. The book is easy to read and summarizes some of the ideas from this blog on internet marketing, creating buzz with your employee advocates, and increasing your free web traffic by getting people involved with online buzz.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

What is your best buzz story?

Buzz Story: I posted the question of what has brought you the most buzz to a group of people that are very well networked. Here is one response I got.

In terms of generating buzz, I have to say that writing thoughtfularticles every few days for my Intuitive Life Business Blog --http://www.intuitive.com/blog/ -- has generated more buzz for me thanI ever imagined. From BusinessWeek to BBC Radio 1, all the local Colorado newspapers to national press, The Wall Street Journal to StartupNation, not a week goes by without some sort of media query dueto the buzz generated by my articles.

And today another one came in: a book author queried me for permission to quote an article I wrote quite a while ago about the economics ofthe oil industry and the double standard of profiteering across industries. A book that I'll be in, quoted as an expert, whereas even twelve months ago I wouldn't even have been on that author's radarscreen. Dave Taylor - Online Marketing and Communications for the 21st Century

Website Results Seminar

Want better results from your website? We have space left at our SEO seminar tomorrow in NE Ohio. Sign up here Let us know that you saw it on this blog and get in for $15.

Minor League Baseball

Howard Wolpoff emailed me about buzz he created:

I am a big believer on Buzz Marketing and utilized it as much as possible during my reign as the Director of Fun (unofficial title) with the Brooklyn Cyclones. Minor League Baseball was the perfect place to create a buzz. Had a great experience bringing our mascot out to Good Morning America and getting interviewed by three of the hosts on early summer morning in 2003.

If you have a compelling buzz story, email me and I will post it.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Generosity and Reciprocation

At a time when people are being very generous with Katrina victims, I thought we would post something more basic about generosity and how it will come back to help you on the web. Not to compare web traffic to a hurricane disaster. Just talking about generosity in light of so many people giving to help people. If you have a blog or website, you can link to people. It may be a blogroll or it may be mentioning them in an article. This is a generous thing to do, because most people post to the web to get noticed and read. Links also increase search engine popularity. Once people start clicking the link, the website you are linking to will probably notice the number of referrals coming though. Most likely the owner will check out your site and they may mention you or link to your site. You may also send them an email and let them know about a post that refers to them.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Angry Buzz turned Good

George Nemeth is a premiere blogger here in the Cleveland area. Brewed Fresh Daily! I made a quick comment on his blog that turned ugly, and resulted in a lot of posts. See here Tonight it got fun as buzz came full circle. I was at a party and met someone. He thought he recognized my name. Buzzoodle too. Then he just knew too much about me and we figured out it was because of the comments in that blog, which he had read yesterday. End result of a couple of blog posts? I had a great conversation with someone I later found out heads a VC firm. Not bad for twenty minutes work. Plus I was helpful to people that were helpful to me.

Win Free Stuff at Business Meetings

Buzz is powerful. I just won a free book due to Buzz. That is the real reason I am in business, free stuff. If you attend a lot of group meetings, and are often stuffing your business card in fish bowls, here is a buzz tip for you. Make your card stand out. If I have 500 business cards in a pile, will yours look different from 3 feet away? Mine does, and now I plan to rake in free stuff. Maybe I will be able to live off of selling all the free things on eBay... Now for the really fun part. After I won the book and was talking to everyone, I kept saying something like.. "I only won the book because I have such a crazy card." And I was handing them out like candy at Halloween, because everyone wanted to see it. 24 hours later I have several meetings set up from this. For those that do not know, my business card is shaped like a bee hive (hornets nest, actually) and is also the logo of the company. It is bright yellow and black on one side and the business card on the other. It cost maybe $200 more to get it done this way but was well worth it. We recently got a client that said she had lost my other card but had set the bee card aside because it was special. Had the card not been unique, we would not have gotten that sale. Send me an email with your name and address and I will mail you one to see, if you are curious.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Buzz: Selling is Dead

I like to tell buzz stories when they happen to me. I hope they do not bore everyone to tears, but they illustrate the power of broadcasting your message and creating buzz. About a month ago, Jim Hornyak told me about a book that changed selling. Selling is Dead I'd not hear of it before, but it sounded interesting. However, I am lazy sometimes and did not rush out and buy it. Then I was on Anita Cambell's blog (2 days ago) and saw it mentioned. I visited the book's blog, liked what I saw and added it to my blog roll. Still, I did not buy the book..... but I was a bit more intrigued. Then today I went to a NEOSA presentation and guess who is presenting... Marc Miller, Author of Selling is Dead. Now I have a copy and I will let you know how it is once I read more. My point is that I heard about it from a trusted friends mouth, then saw it on a trusted blogs list, and then met the author and heard about it as part of a presentation. All in about 30 days.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Beauty of Lists

Lists are great and readable. You can create a lot of buzz with a good list. Create a useful list and email it to friends that might find it interesting. Post it on your website, your blog, use it at the center of an article... You can get a lot of mileage out of one good list. Here is a list about negotiation I found interesting on a lawyer's site. Who wants to negotiate something with me? I want to put this to the test.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Free Buzzoodle

Buzzoodle 2.0 development is underway. If you have not signed up for the first Buzz Marketing management system, you may want to do it quickly. Individual accounts are currently free, but pricing will change with the new version and we will be offering free services to people that are already free members. Sign Up Here

Seth has part 2 out - Knock Knock - Who's There?

If you are interested in Blogging, get Seth Godin's free ebook on blogging. It is perfect thing to send to curious people that do not understand blogging or are not doing it well.

Get Updates to you In Box

We have added FeedBlitz to this Buzz Marketing Blog. Now you can get a summary sent to you each day when we post, if you would like. See the subscription form to the right.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Friday, September 02, 2005

Measuring your presentation performance and buzz

Medina Rotary had me speak last night. I found a new Buzz way of measuring the results of my presentation. I took exactly 200 business cards (mine are shaped like bee hives and easy to pass on, because they are fun.) and at the end of my speech, I said, "Here are 200 business cards. Take one if you liked the presentation, and one for each person you think might be interested in hearing about me and pass it on to them. I will measure the success of this presentation based on how many cards I have left. " "If I walk out of here with 195 I know I am not invited back." I wrote up a document on the date, place and makeup of the presentation. I listed notes of people I am going to follow up with. Then I generated the score. 94 cards taken by 25 people. 3.76 is the presentation score for last night. Now I have a number to beat.

The Best Buzz - Customer Support Issues

First and foremost, the best buzz and word of mouth comes from having great products, great service and great support. I just got this email from a friend telling me about her job.

It's a great business to be in, and the growth has been huge (I believe it was 80% increase in profit last year). Somehow they have a difficult time understanding that when they're selling more product, they're going to have more support calls, and will have to increase the support staff. So we've got 1/2 hour hold times and sometimes sites don't even get callbacks for 24 hours. We have more customers, but they're not happy with the support, so I'm sure we'll start losing them soon.

Considering how hard it is to get customers, you would think everyone would work hard to keep them. If you do not want to have good buzz turn bad, have a growth plan.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

When crafting your Buzz Strategy, you must keep ethics in mind. This issue has even forced us to go back and change some of the challenges we have created because of the marginal PR tactics. Word of Mouth Marketing Ethics This document from WOMMA can help you craft an ethical WOM marketing strategy

Buzzoodle Buzz Builder Roadmap

This is the handout for tonights presentation. Thought some of you might be interested. Before you ask your employees or co-workers to help you create Buzz, you need to identify what your objectives are and what your core message is. Then throw a little party. If you want, open it up to employees, family, special clients and friends. The theme of the party can be “What makes us special.” Find out good stories and let everyone know the stories and that you encourage them to repeat them often. Have them let you know when they spread a little word of mouth. Be sure they know what kinds of people you would like to meet and what are ideal prospects. If you want, make it into a contest. Who can create the most buzz? Who can generate the most valuable connection?
  1. Get employees with a computer to post to a Blog or message board once a week, with the link going back to your website. Be clear on what they can and cannot say.
  2. Have your employees call one past client per week and check in with them. They can ask how they liked the product or service, find out how they are doing, and let them know you value their patronage.
  3. Have employees stop by in nearby businesses they have never been in before. They can introduce themselves and let the people they meet know they work by. They can invite those people to stop in some time if appropriate.
  4. Have employees write a letter or email to an author, reporter, or some other media professional and let the person know they appreciate their work. Offer to be a source of information if they ever need information on your industry.
  5. If your employees have email, have them "ping" at least one person per week. This is a quick "Just checking in" email to someone they know but do not know too well.

If you want to get more ideas like this and have a better way of tracking progress, sign up for Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing