Friday, December 22, 2006

Daily Eats

Don't miss the news about the Daily Eat podcast on the New Buzzoodle Blog

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Buzz for Small Business

Anita Campbell of SMB Trendwire reviewed Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing and it looks like she is buying some extra for the staff. See how she is using it to create more buzz in the comments on her review.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Best Marketing Blogs You Have Not Heard Of

For the obvious reason, I am posting this entire post from the new Buzzoodle Blog over here as well.

A Marekting Blog Called the Viral Garden is leading the charge of listing the top 25 marketing blogs. And another more interesting charge, the notable z-listers. I moved from a Blogspot blog to this Word Press blog a while back and I knew it would hurt my traffic. I accepted it and got on with life. Thus, I am more a z-lister now than before.

The cool thing the viral garden is doing is asking people to put up his list of notable z-list blogs on your blog, if you have one. Just copy and paste. Blogs are given rank by traffic and by links to the blog. I love this viral, grass roots effort to help people find good blogs that have less buzz at this point. I love it more because I am on the list. Here it is.

Nice idea and I am looking forward to visiting all these blogs. PS: Mike at Converstations is the one responsible for getting me on the list and I own him a big thanks. He has some excellent articles over there as well, that fit perfectly with what I write about.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Employee Moral

If you are wondering how buzz can impact employee moral, read this post. It is about how management can impact employee moral and the buzz for the company at the same time.

It links to several other articles that will give you a wealth of information on crafting your buzz strategy and enhancing employee moral.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Selling Different Levels of Products Increases Buzz

You can increase your buzz by having more ways to help more people. Plus you can make more money. Check out the Revenue and Conversion article on the new Buzzoodle Blog.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Buzzoodle Direct

I just put up a quick store so you can buy the book direct. If you would like it signed, just let me know to who in the comments area. Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Buzzoodle Amazon Blog

I really like what Amazon is doing to give authors the ability to enhance their book listing. See my Amazon Blog here. The great thing is that I can post testimonials from other people's blogs to the main amazon product page. It does not effect ranking the same way people posting comments would, but I think it adds more value for the person doing a review or making a comment.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Software - Buzz Marketing

If you are interested in creating buzz for a software package or website you have developed, read the new article on the new Buzzoodle Blog - Creating Buzz for your software

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

http://blog.buzzoodle.com/index.php/2006/11/21/the-art-of-perseverance/

Read the Art of Perseverance in marketing on the new Buzzoodle blog.

If you want the world to start buzzing about your business, buy Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing, the book that shows you how.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Are you keeping your promises?

Buzz is about being remarkable. If you are not keeping your promises, you are failing.

Read about it on the Buzzoodle Blog

Friday, November 17, 2006

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Tire Review - Trade Magazine Publishing

Consider publishing in trade magazines, such as my recent article in Tire Review, to get create some buzz. Read about it on the new Buzzoodle Blog.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing

It is official. Great word of mouth and buzz marketing tools are now available in a simple book format. Get Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing today.

The strategy works best if you get more than one person involved. If you would like to order 10 or more copies you can order from the Buzzoodle site and get a big bulk discount.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Your only marketing problem

Trust me, I work with a lot of people, and this is the only marketing problem.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Did you miss any?

Several new posts at our new location:

Buzz Marketing and Politics

Three Kinds of People that Create Buzz

How Managers Effect Buzz

Be sure to update your book marks and feeds to the new Buzzoodle Blog

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Could your email go viral?

Read the post about how to get your email to go viral. Some form of this post will be in an upcoming book. I will let you know more as we get closer to the date.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Too Busy to Blog?

Click HERE if you are too ________ to blog. (Fill in your excuse)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Success Patterns

What are success patterns and how does it effect the buzz you create every day?

Find out on the new Buzzoodle Blog

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Buzz Marketing Coach

Read the new post about getting a buzz marketing coach to help you get a small team of people in your organization to create buzz and increase your sales. A Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing coach is the way to get results fast and have employees that know how to do it.

Blog Article Milestone

If you go over to the new Buzzoodle blog you will see I am coming up on a blogging milestone. 500 Blog posts!

I am giving away a free gift for the first person who comments on my 500th post. Go visit the new location and find out what it is.

Monday, October 16, 2006

10 Tips for creating New Product Buzz

If you have a new product and want to create a buzz, read the post on the New Buzzoodle Blog entitled How Soon Should You Start Buzzing? 10 Tips.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Monday, October 09, 2006

Thanks for the updates and new links

My most recent post on the new Buzzoodle Blog is thanking people who have updated their blogrolls or newly linked to an article over there. If you update your link or add a link to the new buzzoodle blog, be sure to let me know so I can publicly mention it the next time.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

What is going on with your buzz?

Find out what is going on with your buzz. Read Quality and Enthusiasm on the new Buzzoodle Blog.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

How Blogs Help You Succeed

Read the latest post on the new Buzzoodle Blog on how blogs help you succeed. So many options!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Individualism

The newest posts are up on the new Buzzoodle Blogs!

Individualism - Does it Exist? - English

Individualismo - ¿Existe? - Now is Spanish hi-fi.

Thanks for visiting and if you are a regular visitor, please update your feed or bookmark to point to the new location.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Are you invisible?

Over on the new Buzzoodle Blog we have a post about how you might be losing opportunities. If you are still visiting this blog location, you are loosing out on all kinds of new features and resources. Visit the new blog location at blog.buzzoodle.com

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Buzz, Buzz - A Fly on the Wall

Check out the new post on the new buzzoodle blog: Buzz, Buzz - A Fly on the Wall It is about employee advocacy and project management.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Buzzoodle Español is released!

Buzzoodle Blog de mercadotecnia de Boca a Boca en Español. Thanks to those of you that have been visiting from Spanish speaking countries. The new Spanish Language Buzzoodle blog will be adding translations of old posts and keeping up with relevant new posts. The new location of the English Buzzoodle Blog is blog.buzzoodle.com

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Buzz Marketing Podcast

Listen to the new Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing podcast. Details and links on the new Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing Blog.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Bookmark Buzz

One of the reasons I moved from this blog to the new one is the great plug in's I could get to help the Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing blog provide better value and create more buzz.

Check out the post on the new blog about bookmarks and the cool bookmark options at the bottom of the page.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing - Espanol

Now that the Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing blog is released, keep your eyes open for Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing - Espanol. In the coming weeks we will be launching the spanish version of this blog.

Why? First, to build our brand in different markets and reach a wider web audience. Next, some people in the US prefer to read in Spanish. Also, there are fewer Spanish marketing blogs and we think we will stand out more, although I have seen some excellent Spanish marketing blogs.

Lastly, we are working on partnerships with people in other parts of the world that will resell our products and spread our message as part of their marketing services. Having some of our content translated into other languages will speed the growth and adoption of Buzz Marketing with employees.

If you were to put up just a few pages welcoming people in other languages and explaining your services, how much do you think your audience would grow? Just keep in mind that they may think you have someone on staff that speaks the language. If they call be prepared to handle it. There are more and more services that can help you with this. Some call centers are fielding customer calls just in different languages. This can help you start the buzz in places where you will not even know what they are saying.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Blog Traffic - The 9 Month Wait

Starting over is rotten. The reason you want to start out in a professional blog solution is because starting over really is not fun. It is a lot of work only to see your numbers drop for the short term. I moved to http://blog.buzzoodle.com because there is a long term advantage. However, moving sooner would have been better. It is great to now have full control of the blog, but I know it will be about 9 months before I start seeing the same traffic that this one sees. If you are starting a blog and are thinking "I will just use a free one and try it out briefly." , think again. Commit to pay a little bit and commit to make it successful. You will be glad you did.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

What do your customer see?

Read the post about how a small business is not paying attention to detail and putting nasty stuff in plain sight on the new Buzzoodle Blog.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing - The Blog

In the first of what will be steady enhancements to Buzzoodle (the brand), I have moved this blog to http://blog.buzzoodle.com I will continue to post here as well for some time, because I do not want to lose you as an audience and because this site does get great traffic. However, I needed better control and more flexibility in my publishing so I used Outstanda to set up a blog. I hope you will follow me over. I have a lot of great stuff planned to help you grow your organization.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Promoting as a way of life

Certain people do a lot of self promotion. It is required for success. What would happen if your paycheck depended not only on doing a good job but also promoting yourself and your business? It does. You may not see it on a daily basis, but your paycheck and your payrate is dependant on your organization's success. Buzz will make you more successful. Rock Star's promote themselves all the time. They have to. They do not do it between 8 and 5. They do it as a way of life. - You may say, "Yeah, but they are rich..." but that it the end result of doing all of that promotion before they were rich. Take charge of your future by learning to promote yourself and your organization as often as you can.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Giving Up

Today is an off day. I have a bit of a headache and the work is piled to the ceiling. I want to do a blog post, but what on? I started pondering how people give up. At what point do just say enough? Some people will tell you never give up. On life, I agree. On a particular products or service I do not. Sometimes it is just your baby that no one else cares about. Buzz is a great indicator of your likelihood to succeed. Here are questions to ask that use buzz to judge if you can stick to it or throw in the hat:
  • Does anyone else besides you, close family and friends get excited about your product or service?
  • When you meet people, do they frequently say they have heard about you?
  • If you stopped all sales efforts, would some sales continue to come in through word of mouth?
  • Do you appear to be gaining a little momentum in many places?
  • Are people blogging about you?
  • If you closed your business, would people be upset?
  • Does your product or service have a positive impact on people's life?

These may be good things to ask yourself if you have been trying to sell a product or service for years and have been just getting by. Maybe it is time to try something new.

Another thing you might do is ask yourself these questions and then figure out how to repackage what you are doing to improve the answers to these questions. Giving up on the way you operate today is breathing new life into tomorrow.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Building Something Great

Rule #1 of Buzz Marketing is to create a great product. Great products create buzz without effort. What can help make your product or service great?
  • Great Support
  • Transparency
  • Listening to clients
  • Great design that is easy to use. - Easy like small children can use it....not your standard ot easy.
  • Solve a problem people care about
  • Help others succeed

Even a great product needs a smart jump start, which is why you do marking. The test of your products greatness is whether it takes on a life of it's own after that jump start.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Technology Interview Questions - Create a Buzz

If you employee technology people, they often may not seem the most social or outgoing (compared to your sales staff, at least.) However, here are some interview questions for technical people that could uncover a wealth of buzz that you did not know could be tapped. #1 - How often do you participate in online communities? #2 - Do you use any collaborative news services where you post interesting stories and links for others to read? #3 - Do you publish code or write technical articles? Is doing that something that interests you? #4 - How big is your network? How many people do you know online? #5 - Do you have a blog? While many technology people will participate in these kinds of activities, they may not think to promote the business while doing it. You can use these interview questions to identify the potential, but you will probably need clear guidelines and expectations to be successful in creating buzz with your tech staff. If you have additional ideas for technology interview questions that help identify candidates with buzz potential, please add them to the comments on this post.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Great Lakes Geeks

Last night at a local tech summit I met Dan Hanson, Technology Editor of Inside Business Magazine. He was kind enough to post a picture of us at Great Lakes Geek along with a few other more noteworthy people like: Guy Kawasaki - Great speaker and blogger. Very gracious in answering some questions via email with me late last night after the presentation. Cathy Panzica - Cleveland area economic developer, advocate for the region and trouble maker #1. ...and too many more people to list here. Please note that pictures are in order of importance. You can quickly see us by scrolling to the bottom.

Promoterz - Dave Free

Dave Free is a reader of this blog and asked me to mention Promoterz. Here is what he said about his company and it may be of interest to some of you. (I am not paid to say this, but I have also not used the service as yet.)
Promoterz is a hands-free, word-of-mouth marketing service for businesses. It identifies the happiest customers and gives those customers a megphone to share the good news with their friends. Promoterz(tm) does this by asking customers about their experience with a remarkably short survey. Promoterz(tm) then invites customers to become a hero by sharing a valuable offer with their friends. Most customers then request to be notified of other special offers or newsletters. The net result is an increase in word-of-mouth referrals and an increase in repeat business.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Buzz Marketing and Advocates under your Nose

An advocate is someone that tells others about the benefits of using something and encourages others to use the product or service. Wouldn’t it be great if you had 10 people out their strongly advocating you? If you are looking for advocates among people you do not know well, then you have a lot of hard work in front of you. However, there is another group that many small and mid-sized businesses overlook: Employees. If your current work culture says employees work a set time limit on a set of tasks, and does not take into consideration the extended network of people each employee knows, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. Employees in the right environment and with the right encouragement will create buzz and word of mouth for their organization. They need to understand that buzz is everyone’s responsibility and they have to have success stories and good information that will help them create buzz more easily. This phenomenon is called Employee Evangelism. Some key strategies that can help you begin an employee evangelism movement in your organization are:
  • Let people know how and why you want to do it, and how it will benefit them.
  • Create a Buzz Guide that spells out the do’s and don’ts of creating buzz.
  • Publish and distribute success stories, company information and interesting trivia to employees and customers. Encourage them to share it.
  • Publicly recognize employees that create buzz.
  • Encourage reporting of buzz efforts.
  • Set a goal of a minimum number of buzz attempts each week.
  • Encourage employees to become experts in a given field.

If you do those things, and also give your advocates clear examples and instructions on buzz tools, you will find your business growing quickly. Some examples of buzz tools are:

  • Blogging
  • Podcasts
  • News sites where you can post news, such as www.digg.com
  • Email follow-ups with stale connections
  • Build a Squidoo lens
  • Bookmark company pages with social bookmark tools like del.icio.us
  • Hand out coupons to people they know

There are 100’s of variations of this kind of buzz creating opportunity. The most important thing to remember is that one or two of these things occasionally is not going to do much. If you successfully build a culture of buzz and a culture where every employee feels like they are responsible for the success of the organization, then you will be able to sustain the buzz effort and eventually hit a crucial mass where you have customers lining up for what you have to offer. The best part of this whole thing is that this technique costs less than traditional marketing and advertising and word of mouth is shown to be one of the most effective and influential mediums to get your message out to potential customers. It is well worth the extra effort, and in a relatively short period of time it will be paying off.

Word of Mouth and Buzz Marketing

In case you are wondering what Buzzoodle does: Organizations that want to increase sales and visibility by creating buzz and word of mouth use Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing. Buzzoodle helps them energize and focus their advocates while measuring and improving upon the buzz created. Buzzoodle Philosophy: Create sustainable, steady new buzz with an organization’s existing advocates, including employees and customers. This leads to high visibility and more customers without directly marketing to them. Buzzoodle specializes is small business and mid-sized business success via a low cost, high impact strategy of creating intentional buzz. Buzzoodle is a catalyst to help organizations achieve better results through strategic planning and services. What does Buzzoodle offer?

Corporate-wide Evangelism is the surest way to help the company and the individuals succeed. Buzzoodle can show you how: www.Buzzoodle.com

Friday, September 01, 2006

Hedge Hog Training Facility

This is an example of doing the right thing. Sure, the British Hedgehog Preservation Society wishes it would have been done sooner, but McDonald's did do the right thing. What are some of the wrong things McDonalds could have done?
  • Ignored them forever.
  • Tried to open a free Hedge Hog Training Facility that would teach hedge hogs the buddy system so if one got in trouble the other would pull him out.
  • Genetically engineer hedge hogs to not like sweets.
  • Eliminate the contaner for their McFlurry. It becomes a handful of ice cream.
  • Claim hedge hogs are a pest and they are doing the world a favor.
  • Start selling hedge hog strips so the dead hedge hogs do not go to waste.

Why didn't McDonalds see this coming you ask? I don't know either. But now if I were McDonalds I would take a page from the book of those line-caught tuna canneries and put a big emblem with "Hedge Hog Safe" on the side of the cup along with a website where people can find out more.

Side Note: Did that article give you the impression that England is full of litter and millions of wild hedge hogs too?

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Passionate Users

This is a must read for people wanting customers to buzz about them. It is about user manuals and why we stop selling the customer after they buy. I found it through Seth. Thanks. Seth's comment is that Marketers should write the user manuals. I think that employees should be trained to think like marketers. (Or like the customer, for that matter.)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Back to School Marketing

How can a local university help you with your marketing? Here are 6 tips.
  • Be part of the curriculum - I have never met this prof, but he uses us as one of his blogging examples and has students monitor our blog.
  • Continuing Education - I speak at least twice a year at the local university and help people studying entrepreneurship learn about how to be more successful.
  • Course Guest - Professors that teach marketing, business administration and technology have all invited me in for presentations on what we do in the "real" world.
  • Career Fair - Career fairs are a great place to show off your company a bit and maybe find your next employee.
  • Organizations - I have been invited to participate in events with several organizations that are business oriented and run by students.
  • Interns - Don't overlook finding an intern to help you do your buzz marketing. One part time person that does nothing but create buzz on the web can really help your business grow.

Remember that universities and colleges want to help their students succeed. Most will be eager to have you participate on campus. If you contact one person and they are not interested, try some others. This is not something where there is one person in charge of managing these kinds of opportunities.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Clarity – Get What You Want

Please read this post all the way to the end. If you want to get people to take action, you have to give them clear direction. Does the person understand exactly what you want and do they know the steps to completion? If you make assumptions, you can be sure that you will not get what you want and you will all feel more frustrated. For years I dreaded working with print shops. They always seemed to think that their customers should already be certified design specialists that knew everything about how a file should be prepared. If the experience of working with you is frustrating or makes the new client uneasy, they will probably not come back. Please help me illustrate this point by posting a comment on this blog post. Describe the worse example you have experienced where a vendor was not clear and created a negative impression because they were hard to work with.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Guy Kawasaki - Cleveland

If you are in NE Ohio come see Guy Kawasaki speak on September 6th. Buzzoodle will also be showcased at this event as an innovative company in the region.

Do you have anything new to say?

I was reading another very popular blog a week or two ago and it said they never publish the same idea twice. Always new stuff, it claimed. Obviously your blog will not have repeat visitors if you do not add new and interesting ideas. However, can anyone really say that each blog post is completely new? The whole idea of a blog is that it is a continuum of thoughts and ideas. The same goes for being an expert. If you are developing yourself as an expert in a particular field, do not be afraid to repeat your message, but in a new way. I have probably written about the buzz you can create by following up with old contacts 10 times, but never in the same way and I am sure you have not read them all. If I did today’s post on Brain Surgery it would be new. But it would not be effective. The real key is to be able to take your old content and make it new through adding different viewpoints, uses or examples. Begin by looking through your old posts and seeing which ones are popular. Since you wrote that post, you probably have new experiences and insight. Now write the same post with a different angle and add the new insight. Even the people that read your older post will probably appreciate the refresher. We rarely read something once and immediately act upon it.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Exit Interview Questions

Can Exit Interview Questions help you create buzz? If you do not conduct an exit interview when one of your staff quits, you should start. Not only is it an excellent source of information on how to improve your business, but it is also an excellent way to maintain an advocate that might create buzz about you. Of course, this post only counts for people that are leaving on good terms. There are a lot of exit interview question sites out there that can provide you with excellent basic exit interview questions you can use. I wanted to come up with some additional questions that are often overlooked during the exit interview. What do you consider your biggest success story during your time with us? This can be used to build your database of success stories and it helps you hone in on what the exit interviewee liked best. Would you like us to keep in touch with you? I stress to people that are leaving on good terms that we respect their decision and if I can ever help them in any way down the road, I am willing to do that. If they have been willing to contribute to our success, then I should be willing to contribute to their career success. What do you know about our referral program? Make sure anyone leaving your organization knows about your policies on referrals and on referring job candidates. All of our former employees can get a sizable commission on anyone they refer to us. Are you willing to continue to create a bit of buzz about us in your spare time? If you already encourage employees to create buzz on a regular basis, be sure to ask the employee to continue to do so and email you every any time they create some buzz, just to let you know. With these questions added to your other exit interview questions, you will be able to build a stronger relationship as people leave that will help you create more buzz in the future. Once you have some ex employees on your list, start using it and really keeping in touch. Make your email to them personal and let them know about your successes, your job openings, your new clients and big news. Few companies do this, and it is easy to do.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Debunking 5 Buzz Marketing Myths

Myth 1: Buzz Marketing is not ethical Any broad marketing category may be ethical or unethical depending on the truthfulness of the message and the means for delivering the message. If you create a powerful, truthful story that highlights your best points and everyone starts talking about it, you actually have one of the most highly ethical forms of marketing. How many other marketing types can have sincerity and permission to interrupt someone’s day? Myth 2: Buzz Marketing takes a big budget Most things in life are easier if you have a big budget. Buzz marketing can benefit from a budget, but it can also be very successful with no budget. People that lack money are forced to be more creative, and buzz marketing is more effective as a grass roots, highly creative effort. If you want to blow a big budget, buy a Super Bowl ad. Myth 3: Buzz Marketing requires street teams Many people think that buzz marketing requires street teams. Groups of people that run around talking about stuff on busses, in bars or in stores. They talk loudly enough to be overheard and try to get noticed. When I started Buzzoodle, I got contacted by many people that did this, offering their services. That is not a proper Buzz Marketing tactic. Buzz Marketing is far more effective by training your existing advocates, such as your employees, in ways to create buzz on a regular basis. Myth 4: Buzz Marketing is a fad The name Buzz Marketing may be a fad. The techniques and the strategies will stand the test of time. In fact, because of technology, there are constantly new ways to create some buzz and generate word of mouth. Buzz Marketing techniques that involve ongoing buzz creation are becoming more relevant and more essential all the time. Myth 5: Buzz Marketing requires a blog Blogs are a great marketing tool. They help you create buzz, generate sales leads and get speaking engagements. However, blogging is not essential for Buzz Marketing. It all depends on your goals. If you are focused in a particular city, you may find that more off-line buzz strategies will help you create buzz. Some people rely more on eNewsletters than blogs. One of the reasons blogging seems synonymous with buzz and word of mouth marketing is because many marketing agencies use blogs to see what people are buzzing about. That does not mean you have to have a blog to create a buzz. These 5 Buzz Marketing Myths may be stopping you from getting started. Do not be intimidated by buzz marketing. A few minutes a day can lead to big buzz down the road, but you will never get their unless you start walking.

Making Money with Blogs

If you have not figured it out yet, Blogs are a good marketing tool. Blogs can also make you money. If you want to be see how much money a blog can make you, read this cnn article. Thanks to Dan Barker of Barker Software & Consulting for pointing it out to me. Before you think you are going to get rich with your blog, consider some things.
  • It takes a while to build an audience, unless you are Guy Kawasaki.
  • Millions of blogs are being created. The good thing is most will fizzle.
  • You have to enjoy writing every day, or pay someone else to.
  • While their are free blog sites, you should pay for one. I have been trapped here at blogger for a long time because I do not have the time to migrate.

Making a little money with blogs is not hard. Generating leads and speaking engagements with your blog is not hard. It does take time and you should keep in mind that the people in those articles are the exception. Start your blog because you love to write, you are passionate about the topic and you want to be seen as an expert on your topic in your industry. You might be making money with your blog in a year, but have realistic expectations in the beginning.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing - Author's Pricing

Special Discounts on Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing. Be one of the first 100 people to sign up before September 30th, 2006 and you will be able to purchase Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing at author's cost. I will let you know by email when I get the first shipment and will personally send them out. Sign up for Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing and be the first to know the 57 word of mouth marketing challenges that can make your organization the one everyone is talking about. - Because many people are requesting multiple copies for their staff, I am limiting it to one copy at cost per company, please.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Snakes on a Bandwagon

Does your story have the trappings of a bandwagon? One filled with snakes? Considering this is a buzz marketing blog, you may have noticed the absence of any mention of snakes on a plane. Lots of buzz. Some huge names in word of mouth marketing seem to have converted their blogs to speaking of nothing else. I, however, don’t like to jump on the bandwagon and pretend it is more than a movie. Don’t get me wrong, it is great that so many people have gotten behind it and felt like they could participate in the story. It is fun. A small group of people decided it would be fun to make a big deal about the movie, and it worked. Other people joined in and eventually the buzz was big. Let’s forget about snakes, bandwagons, and Mr. Jackson for a minute. Have you considered that there are people right around where you live that, if they decided to passionately promote you, could start a huge buzz on your behalf? What is important to remember is that they will not do it because you want them to or need them too. They might do it because they can, if it seems fun. Do you have a great story that will make it easy for people to get on your bandwagon and make you successful just for the fun of it?

Buzz Marketing in Turkey

If you blog or do Buzz Marketing and you are expecting to see an 8% increase in sales in the first month, think again. Blogging, and Buzz Marketing in general, have something in common. They spread at their own pace and do not create a sudden upsurge in sales unless you are very lucky. Instead, much like the 6 degrees of separation theory, your efforts lead to connections that lead to additional connections that make unexpected things happen. Take for instance this buzz marketing blog and my 9 year old daughter's business, Kids Roar. Some wonderful people in Turkey read my blog and flew over here to discuss a partnership deal. At dinner, I briefly mentioned how Alexandra had a business and it was a lot of fun. The one couple had a young daughter as well, so we talked at some length about that. Now these people know someone that is the editor of CEO's Magazine in Turkey and they went back and told him about it. Bang, now Alexandra is featured in a CEO magazine in Turkish and even though it will probably not generate sales directly for her, it is another great story she has in her arsenal to help create buzz. See her press release she and I did last night here. My blog gave me the chance to meet them, Alexandra's blog gave them interesting information to use in their article. The buzzworthy story made it right for the magazine.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Commercial real estate buzz

How do you create buzz about your commercial real estate? We are moving offices right now and one thing I have noticed is the difficulty of finding a good source of commercial real estate listings. I am sure they are out there, but as I browse I have not been able to find one good source. It got me thinking, if I owned commercial real estate, how would I start creating buzz long before I wanted to sell it to make it easier? Much like anything else, I would work hard to develop commercial real estate success stories. For example, have your tenants stayed longer than in the average property in your area? Have your commercial tenants been more profitable because of the location? Did you get a great deal on the location and is it highly profitable for you? Constantly be looking for stories to tell and tell them frequently. People that do not have commercial property yet will start thinking about getting into the business. Then, when they start asking for advice from you, you know that they are potential future purchasers of your property. If they are not, there is still a good chance they are going to talk about you to others. Once you begin thinking about selling the commercial property, start telling people about it. For example, “You know that plaza I have? I am thinking about selling it, even though it is very lucrative, and putting the money in a new venture…” Listen to what people are saying and see if anyone bits. This works best if you are not in a hurry, of course. You could even mention that if someone offers to buy it before you list it with a realtor, you could part with it for less. I would also always keep a list of business owners I met that were currently renting. They are a source for potential new renters if they outgrown their existing space, and they probably often think about the benefits of owning their own multi-suite business site. Send them all out updates and opportunities once in a while to keep them dreaming about the possibility of owning their own commercial property one day. The great thing about buzz is that it fits in nicely with life. It is really just cool small talk. Real Estate is usually a long term investment. Be sure to invest in creating buzz and awareness as well to get the highest profit from your commercial real estate.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Web 2.0 Web Traffic Watch List

One of the things I have struggled with is how fast new buzz opportunities spring up. How can I spend day and night looking at each one and letting you know about them? There are millions of niche places you can create a little buzz. Which ones are the best depends on your goals and which day it is. Seth Godin has a link to a list of top Web 2.0 companies as measured by Alexa for traffic. This is a gold mine if you are looking for new places to create buzz. The disadvantage of this site is that it does not describe them. But if you have some time to kill and want to explore new opportunities, it should keep you busy for a week or 10.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Opportunities - Buzz and Word of Mouth

A good friend of mine is publishing a book on marketing tips. He is getting 100 tips written by various people to be included in the book. He already has some big names involved. The cost is only to buy 100 books at $6 per book. You can sell them, give them away, etc. He has about half the slots full. This is a good buzz opportunity because you will be in the book, and you will have a gift to give people when you talk to them. Win/Win. Check him out here Also check out the upcoming WOM Conference in England - They have done a good job of simply asking me to talk about them. That is all buzz usually takes.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Great Deals on Buzz Marketing

What? Great Deals on Buzz Marketing? What does that mean, you ask. I consider a great deal on buzz to be something that I spend less than 5 minutes on and it is likely to get 2 or more people to spend more than 5 minutes on my website, blog or making a purchase. So what are some great deals on buzz marketing? Great Buzz Deal #1: Email - Each day follow up with two stale contacts and touch base. This should take under 5 minutes and all you have to do is filter through your email achieves. Great Buzz Deal #2: Social Bookmarks - Go to del.icio.us or another social bookmark site and bookmark an interesting page on your company website or a post on your blog. Be sure to use compelling descriptions and tags so that more people are likely to click on it when they see it. Great Buzz Deal #3: News Voting – Go to Digg or GoBigNetwork and post a link to your blog or website. With the right title you might generate a huge buzz return on your investment and it should not take more than 2 minutes once you have an account and have done it once or twice. Great Buzz Deal #4: Drop an email to a popular blogger. - If you provide a link and something interesting to say, they may add it to their blog and you will get buzz. Great Buzz Deal #5: Forum or Blog Comments- Add a thoughtful comment to someone’s blog post or message board/forum. Provide a link back to your site or blog to get more traffic. You could do it right now, right here. That saves you at least a minute! These are just five of the many great deals on buzz marketing that are on the internet these days. Be creative and bargain hunt for deals that give you a bigger bang for a smaller investment of time and keep doing them frequently.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Newspapers and Blogs

Yesterday the local Akron Beacon Journal did an article on business blogging that heavily featured me. Including a huge picture of me smiling that made me look fat, my wife says. The funny thing about the article was that it did not have a link on the web and did not generate any internet traffic at all. I was actually down yesterday. What it did generate was a lot of emails from people, some of whom I had not spoken with in a while. That was nice. Then, local Small Business Guru and blogging expert Anita Cambell mentioned it in her blog the next day. That did generate more traffic. The moral of the story is that buzz is not isolated. One thing leads to another, that leads to another, and can build up to nice buzz for you.

VOIP and Viral Bad Buzz

When you change your phone number, you have to tell people. When you change it back, you have to tell them again. VOIP easily spreads good and bad buzz when people send out their new contact information. Consider the email my sister just sent out to 50 people: ------------- Hello Just wanted to let you all know we are back to our old phone number. # 610-xxx-xxxx We tried the voice over internet protocol (VOIP) and it has been an absolute nightmare. I will be glad when it is all over!!! Hope all is well! -------------- If you are in the VOIP industry, you need to be sure to make people happy, because bad experiences from you and your competitors travels fast. As a side note, I have been very happy with our VOIP 2nd line in the office.

Buzz and Busy - Now Hiring

Buzz is good. It makes you grow. Sometimes buzz makes you grow fast. I am looking for at least one good software engineer. Must be in the greater Akron area. Ideal candidate will enjoy how technology can enable content management and marketing. Send resume to jobs@outstanda.com

Make It Great - Phil Gerbyshak

I finally got my copy of Phil Gerbyshak's new book, Make It Great. It came to the office, and I took it home when I went home for lunch, planning to reread it again in the evening. (I'd read the advance copy before.) When I got home, my wife, who met Phil on a trip to DC, had already read it. So instead of me rehashing my thoughts on it, here are hers.

It provided a nice wrapper for the other business and leadership books I have read. Phil mentions Zig Ziglar and others that I have read, and ties them up into an actionable work book. - Neofita McDaniel

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Soul of an Amusement Park

I have been working long hours lately and wanted to do something fun with the family on Saturday. At the last minute we decided to go to Geauga Lake Amusement Park. It is less than an hour away and with young kids, it is not necessary to drive the extra distance to Cedar Point, as it is famous for bigger roller coasters, which I could not have gone on with them anyway. For those of you that do not know the history, Geauga Lake used to be an amusement park across the lake from Sea World. Then they bought Sea World and merged them. Then they became Six Flags. Then they closed the Sea World section and made it sort of a lame part of the park, with some minor attractions. Then Cedar Fair bought it and really changed things up. All of this happened in about a 8 year span. There is buzz marketing relevance coming, stay with me…. The constant changes have left the park without a vision or a soul. The coasters are still fun, and they have invested heavily in turning the old Sea World side into a water world theme park, but there is a real lack of identify. There are lots of places that once used to be cool restaurants on the lake and great little shops. Now many of them are boarded up or employee only areas. It was fun in the past to listen to live music and have a drink in the late afternoons. Riverboats still sit on the lake and I have not seen them move in years. The whole park seems like a carnival in a parking lot. Here today, vacant tomorrow. Amusement parks usually thrive on the buzz they create by adding the next “world’s largest rollercoaster” – replace largest with fastest, highest, etc. Sometimes you do not need buzz. In fact, you are better off without it. In the case of Geauga Lake, it is fine but I hope the current owners stay in place for a few years and care enough to make it seem special. To give it an identity it has clearly lost. Maybe next year it will be the Aurora metro park zoo and video arcade.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Generating Sales Leads with Buzz Marketing

Sales leads can be generated with buzz marketing only if you are prepared. Buzz Marketing is not going to make people come and get in line to buy your service. It is going to create curiosity that will cause an investigation. If you are trying to generate sales leads with buzz and word of mouth marketing, consider the process a prospect will go through for your particular product or service.

To increase sales leads with buzz marketing:

  • Make sure your website has clear, easy to find information about the product or service.
  • Make sure it is easy to purchase online or request to request more information.
  • Make sure your product or service name is memorable and you are ranked high on search engines when people start investigating.
  • Have every staff member know how to handle a call from a sales lead.
  • Make the purchase an easy to understand decision with multiple ways to find out about it. Acknowledge and reward people that do a referral and generate a sales lead for you.
  • Be ready for a sudden increase in sales.
  • Don’t let your buzz die. Keep generating a steady stream of buzz and word of mouth. When people hear about something from multiple sources they are more likely to investigate.
  • Follow up with your sales leads quickly and multiple times. More than likely the buzz has made your lead curious, but you are not their top priority.

If you take the Buzzoodle approach and keep generating a steady stream of buzz, you will generate more sales leads. Be prepared to educate and handle the leads well, or you may be wasting your time.

- And yes, this is one of those many things I have learned the hard way.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Unfortunate Fact of Customer Service

I am lazy. If I am spending a nickel, I expect to be treated like a king. Not like during some revolution, but like a king during a good, stable, firmly in control of the countryside kind of way. Tomorrow is a meeting I am scheduled to go to. It is a membership organization that requires a sign up. I am already in another group, and told the owner to add it to my bill and I would join this one as well. He told me (nicely) to go out and sign up on the website. He does not realize how lazy I am. (I am actually busy, but lazy seems cuter.)

Now I will miss the next meeting because it took too much effort. Far less effort than writing this blog post, but I write this post because I want to.

If you want to create buzz you have to make your story easy to spread. If you want more sales, you need to make the purchase as easy as possible.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Little Buzz Here, A Little Buzz There

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that our thing is creating a little buzz all the time with as many advocates as possible. Doing that can lead to a long tail effect for buzz and grow your organization. I have a form up where you can sign up to get information on my book, Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing as it nears release. I have been promoting it in a variety of small ways, and the funny thing is that each different way gets me a little more results.
  • My Network - My personal network is the only thing that has resulted in a lot of interest right away. Some people have pre-ordered copies for all of their employees already.

The rest are all about even. All of the following areas have generated 1-5 people interested.

  • My Squidoo Lens - Had I not taken 15 minutes the other night in bed to update my Squidoo Lens, I would have lost out on a couple of interested people.
  • This Blog - Even with 50-150 readers a day, this blog has underperformed with sign ups. Only a few.
  • eNewsletter - I have not made the announcement in our eNewsletter yet, but it landed in someone else's and resulted in someone being interested.
  • Trackback on Seth Godin's Blog - Making comments and doing trackbacks on popular blogs also generate interest, and has generated conversions.
  • Google Search - Yes, even the traditional search engine is bringing in contacts, and I didn't even pay anyone for SEO.
  • The great unknown - Several people have personality flaws and refused to let me know how they found the page. I might delete them, but then again, I might not.

This is in about 10 days of working at it in my spare time. The real lesson here is that Buzz Marketing should not be about hitting a home run. It should be about creating a little buzz here, a little buzz there and building it into a roar that sticks around and grows.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Agency.com

Tim Raines pointed me to his post that points to what agency.com is doing to win subway business. If you have not seen the video yet, it is interesting. Thanks Tim.

Yellow Pages

We are doubling our office space soon and it was time to do some cleaning. One trip out to the dumpster was with my arms full of yellow pages phone books. New ones, because I throw the old ones away. It is expansive to buy a yellow page ad. You could create a great, interactive website for less than the monthly yellow page ad cost. I'd kept the phone books because I used to keep the phone books, but I always look up people's phone numbers online now. It took a layer of dust on the cover to get me to realize I was never going to need the phone book again. Even if the power was out, I would look up a bill in a filing cabinet to call the power company. If you want to create buzz, you have to have a buzz-worthy message and you have to put it in a place people will find it.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Win the Buzz Game

Creating buzz really can be thought of like a game. There are lots of ways to measure your success (points.) Here are the different point options you have. And by the way, you can help measure ROI with this as well.
  • Sales Increase - Are your sales going up and Buzz is the only thing different?
  • Website Sales - Can you track where sales are coming from on your website through your ecommerce store?
  • Website Traffic - Is your website traffic growing faster? Do you see a bump after a buzz marekting effort?
  • Blog Mentions - How often are you mentioned on blogs? Is it going up?
  • Google Trends - If you are popular enough, google trends will show you website search trends.
  • Call and Email Volume - If you are getting more calls and emails for information, it is a good sign that buzz is paying off. Be sure to ask people how they heard about you.
  • Search Engine Ranking - Believe it or not, Buzz effects search engine ranking. Every time someone links to your page from a credible site they are helping you achive better ranking. Measure your search engine rank for main keywords.
  • Inbound Links - The same as search engine ranking. You can measure your inbound links on the major search engines.
  • Referrals - If you are creating good buzz and have good products and services that people understand, you will see an increase in referrals.

I am sure there are more ways to measure your results. I know of some more sophisticated products out there but this is a simple list you can start with today. Be sure to write down your measurements so you can compare them over time.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Seth Godin for Authors

As I am going through the final stages of publishing my first book, I was very pleased with Seth Godin's blog post with advice to authors. If I could get on Oprah, Seth would have to blog about me and then my evil plan would be complete. One thing I will adjust on his list: He says blurbs are not very important. I agree on the back cover they may not be very important to selling the book, but blurbs are a good way to build advocates (people that are not famous but are quoted on your book will talk about it.) and a good long list of blurbs with names and titles is going to produce a lot of search engine hits on a website or blog. Thanks for the advice, Mr. Godin.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

WOM BUZZ VIRAL Marketing

This post is my personal opinion on the differences between Buzz Marketing, WOM - Word of Mouth Marketing and Viral Marketing. There is so much overlap, that some people think that it is all just word of mouth marketing. Some people think Viral Marketing takes place only on the internet. Some people think Buzz Marketing is when you go out and pay people to fake buzz. WOM - Word of Mouth - Word of mouth is really people recommending something to someone they know or writing about something in a public place, like the internet. Referrals from a friend are very likely to trigger a purchase, and this is the goal. Viral Marketing - Making something viral does not necessarily mean someone is willfully recommending the product or service, as in word of mouth marketing. It could be that the message attaches itself to something that someone does, such as an email footer for hotmail, and spreads. Or it could be something that is easy to spread and people enjoy spreading it. Viral marketing spreads very quickly and with little effort once the marketing virus is released. Buzz Marketing - Buzz Marketing I refer to as word of mouth marketing with the volume turned up. It is the art of getting more people to talk about you more often. Word of Mouth Marketing experts are often trying to do the same thing, but buzz has a stronger focus on increasing volume and passion about the topic. Good Internet Marketers will use all of these to be successful on the web. Their Internet Marketing Strategy will include:
  • Word of Mouth Internet Strategies such as a Refer a Friend website feature
  • Viral Marketing Internet Strategies such as a video that is funny or options to easily Digg a page.
  • Buzz Marketing Internet Strategies such as creating more content and connections that get people to link to them, write about them, reference them and email about them. One way is to be controversial or exciting, another way to achieve this is with volume of smaller buzz efforts.

With Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing, we prefer a disciplined approach to creating consistently more buzz over the long term with your existing advocates. My upcoming book will address how to do this on a limited budget.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Life as a Carny - Day Four

Yes, this is a buzz marketing blog, but I am working a carnival with my daughter this week and I am recording my new marketing insights as a carny through Sunday. See here , here and here for earlier posts. ----- Sunday the carnival ended. I am so tired from the whole thing. Alexandra made about a $40 profit for the whole four days of work. I believe the carnival was most effective from the Marketing standpoint for vendors, and not from sales. Steak and Shake was giving away tons of free food coupons when you signed up for the raffle. They donated $600 to the band, but more importantly, when we stopped down to collect on on milkshakes, the restaurant was packed. While the carnival was a bust, it did teach Alexandra about money and work. When her foot started getting soar and bleeding a bit on Saturday night, she refused to leave. When people told her about other shows, she knew she did not want to waste her time and money again. That gave me the chance to talk to her about not judging too quickly based on one result. She will be doing an analysis over the next day or two and post it on her blog at Kids Roar. Thanks for tolerating my divergence from the core buzz marketing topic.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Life as a Carny - Day Three

Yes, this is a buzz marketing blog, but I am working a carnival with my daughter this week and I am recording my new marketing insights as a carny through Sunday. See here , here and here for earlier posts. ----- Yesterday was the big day. 13 hours of work with no breaks. In the office it would not be a big deal, but in a tent on black top in 85 degree weather....yuck. Alexandra did a good job with being elastic on price. At first she would drop the price right away, but we made the rule that she would offer to drop the price if they took a step away. She will probably loose money. She is up to $230. If she sells $60 more today she will break even on the booth... Speaking of booths. I guess my carny slang is not very honed yet. Tom Hoey wrote in a comment

"FYI. Carnies do not call their games or food operations...booths. They call games their joints and food operations are grabs. Check out the Carny Lingo at http://www.carnytown.com/ They occasionally do say, "we'll make the rent" or it's a blank or a bust. They would never say booth. A booth is in a restaurant or bar...where you sit. Just a little info from a real carny."

Here is the cool thing. I wrote my blog post about being a carny and within 24 hours I had carnies reading it. My post was quoted in other carny blogs and I never promoted it. It just shows how quickly you can reach different people. It also shows how quickly you can reach your target market if you know what your target market is.

Carnival Business Lessons Learned:

  • Wear sunscreen even if you are under a canopy.
  • Coming down a buck or two does make a difference.
  • Many vendors at carnivals are highly educated people just trying to create buzz in the community.
  • Be nice to the other vendors because they will buy things from you. (It is almost a BtoB setting. Or I should say Joint to Joint setting)
  • Talk to the other vendors and get an idea of where the good shows are. They all agree this one we are at is not a busy/profitable one....but then why are they there?

I know I am looking forward to going back to my nice cool office, where I do not have to move heavy boxes and try to talk kids into buying $11 dinosaurs.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Life as a Carny - Day Two

Yes, this is a buzz marketing blog, but I am working a carnival with my daughter this week and I am recording my new marketing insights as a carny through Sunday. See here and here for earlier posts. ------ Friday was tiring. I talked to some of the other booths and they are getting worried as well. "Will we make our booth", they were asking. That is new carny slang I learned for making enough to cover the cost of booth rent. Alexandra, my nine year old, spent $145 for the booth, $600 for inventory, $95 on a tent and $20 on a sign. In two days of hard work she has brought in $85. Of course, Saturday will be a big day and she is selling some of that inventory on the kids roar website as well. Alexandra quickly learned that when people say they are coming back they are liars most of the time. (I would lie too, it is just human nature.) I told her then she needs to close the sale when they are at the booth the first time. Today she might try dropping the price one dollar if they buy the first time. On a different note, beside us is a Steak and Shake booth that is doing a raffle. You buy a ticket and get in the raffle to win a bike.....but then you also spin a wheel and get coupons for free stuff at steak and shake. It always works out to be worth more than what you put in. They are donating the proceeds to the band boosters. What great buzz marketing. Alexandra and I have already had shakes. In my upcoming buzz marketing book I talk about unexpected booths and organizing fund raisers to create buzz for yourself and this is an excellent example of restaurant buzz marketing. Their booth is always packed. There is also an insurance agent that has a booth and it has been interesting to see him work. He is so friendly and knows enough people in the community that he always has a bunch of people around talking to him. He also keeps giving the vendors free drinks, and when one vendor accused him of trying to buy him as a client, the insurance guys response was "hell yeah". Not beating around the bush and a great way to work the vendors. All in all I think that promoting on the web is more effective than being a carny, but I have heard that some of these festivals you can really do well at. For now I am just trying to keep Alexandra's enthusiasm high. She is tired, but gets very excited every time someone buys something.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Good Stories Spread

A good story that makes people smile will spread without a lot of effort. The same goes for eCommerce. Thanks Guys

My Life as a Carny

OK, so working one day at a carnival booth may not get me into the inner workings of carny life, but it is a different environment. For those that do not know, my daughter started a business called Kids Roar last year when she was 8. She sells her products on the web; she does speeches and puts on events. To pump up sales we decided to try a booth at a local fair. Here are some observations from the first day.
  • I didn’t realize so many people still smoke.
  • Teenagers love carnivals and buy silly things at them.
  • People are very guarded at a carnival, even when a little kid tries to hand them a piece of paper.
  • Vendors buy a lot of stuff from each other. The steak and shake booth was responsible for half of Alexandra’s sales yesterday.
  • People do not notice stuff lower than 3 feet off the ground.
  • The crowds have more tattoos than the carnies.
  • Always have a back up plan. Many parents bulked at Alexandra’s items that are over $10. She gave them the option of buying 3 small plastic horses for $1 so that kids did not walk away with nothing. Some adults bought these from her just because they wanted to contribute to her success.
  • It is possible to create a buzz in schools. Kids were coming up to Alexandra and saying they had studied her in their class, and that what she is doing is cool

So ends my carny diary for day 1. Absolutely something outside of my comfort zone, which means I am learning a lot. We will return to your regularly scheduled buzz marketing on Monday.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Kids Roar Booth

This post is purely personal. My daughter is having her first booth for her company, Kids Roar. If you are in the Akron, Ohio area please come over to Streetsboro and say hi. It is This Thursday through Sunday. Here are the details on the kids roar blog.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Your most important trait

What is the most important trait you can have, personally and professionally, and how does it manifest itself at home and in the workplace? I guarantee that this one trait defines your success, or lack of success, at home and at work.

Only today it hit me that people carry traits from work to home, home to work, and they just show up differently even though they have the same root. I know that I am going to get blamed for ruining people's day with this post, but here it goes....

The trait is: Taking responsibility instead of looking for people to blame.

You have heard this before, I know. But have you considered how it manifests at work and at home for the same person?

Keep reading. There is a marketing point I am getting to.

At home and in social settings, someone that takes responsibility will give people the benefit of the doubt. They will get burned occasionally, but they will chalk that up as a learning experience. Since they see themselves as the master of their domain, they will feel confident that they are improving and they are helping the people around them improve.

The opposite of this trait are those people that blame. The world is not easy for them and it is everyone else’s fault. Sometimes it very well could be someone else’s fault, but by not taking responsibility for their contribution to a situation, they are not learning or improving. These people start building arguments for why other people caused a situation or why they failed before it occurs.

Based only on my own unscientific observations over time, which has included many years as an entrepreneur and manager, I am going to make a troubling statement:

There are many times the numbers of people that blame than there are those that take responsibility, and people that blame are not employable.

Ouch.

Why are blamers not employable? It is probably obvious by now.

Blamers will never be happy. No amount of money, no cushy job and no relationship can ever make them happy. They are planning for the failures in their head all the time. At work, they will try to take less responsibility and they will be upset with any task that is outside of their narrow job description. Instead of thinking about how to be successful at a new task, they will start devising excuses for the failure that they are sure is coming.

Buzz Marketing with Winners

Buzz Marketing with employees is only going to be successful if you have a group of people that take responsibility and enjoy the challenge. They accept the responsibility of helping create a more successful business and they do not feel entitled to anything that they did not earn. People that take responsibility are winners even when they fail. They are not afraid to make a mistake and take responsibility when they do make one, and learn from it. They also enjoy life and celebrate success because they take responsibility for the good and the bad.

The good news is that once a blamer becomes aware of this, they can work at it and make the shift. I would suggest reading all kinds of empowering books and keeping aware that they are in charge of their life.

Two good friends of mine have books that, at their root, address this issue.

Career Intensity is excellent at taking responsibility for your career.

Make It Great is about not settling for good. Make your life great.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

More Stuff vs. Better Stuff: How feature creep effects buzz and your future?

This is a buzz marketing note to those technology entrepreneurs out there. Feature Creep is when people keep asking for new features and you keep adding them for clients. You end up with a bloated system that is difficult to manage. It is easy for entrepreneurs to fall into a trap. The trap is in your mind when you rationalize that it is a good idea because it will make the product better. It is also difficult for new entrepreneurs to say no. The simple truth is, you should listen to your clients and you should consider every suggestion, but keep some simple things in mind.
  • People buy software that they understand and can easily use. Not because the software has 100’s of features.
  • Better software that is easy to use and easy to achieve results with, will be sticky and generate buzz.
  • If you continue to add features but not improve the base product, you will end up with a support nightmare at some point as you try to support many features that each have a few users and are mediocre.
  • Just because one person wants it does not mean everyone wants it.
  • Just because you can do it does not mean you should.

Feature Creep is a big Buzz Marketing issue, believe it or not. Buzz and Word of Mouth happens for products that are easy to use and have a surprisingly big benefit. If you are a technology entrepreneur focus on making a great product and choose your new features wisely, and you will be on your way to generating the sales you dream of.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Long Tail and Buzz Marketing

I am currently reading The Long Tail. While I already had an understanding of the basic premise, it is still a fun read. It got me thinking about how Buzzoodle is the Long Tail of buzz marketing. A normal buzz marketing or word of mouth marketing firm is going to try to sell you on a campaign. A set of activities that will climax and achieve incredible buzz. Of course, the idea of 3 or 6 months leading up to buzz that changes the company is not practical. In some cases it may work, but in many more it will just produce noise and a blip in marketing that will quickly fade. The Long Tail says that the majority of products are not best sellers. But when you take them in aggregate, they produce incredible sales. (I am simplifying) Instead of focusing on one buzz marketing or word of mouth marketing campaign, create a culture of buzz. Buzzoodle instructs clients to get everyone involved in creating a little buzz on a regular basis. In aggregate, you get more buzz and longer lasting return on your investment most of the time. The long tail makes perfect sense in marketing. If you consistently choose marketing that continues to give you a return after many months, you will develop a long tale of people hearing about you.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Why Smart Employees Create Buzz

The Employee as Advocate It is obvious that organizations benefit from employees creating buzz. How do the employees and other advocates benefit? The reality is that employees who create buzz for an organization benefit in many ways.

  • The organization has more success which provides employee with more security.
  • Employees that contribute more to organization’s success could expect more opportunities and rewards in the future.
  • A work atmosphere that encourages buzz is frequently a more open and fun environment.
  • Creating buzz gives employees an opportunity to learn about and use new technologies and improve communication skills.
  • Employees who become active buzz creators become can become respected as industry experts over time and may get invited to speak and write.
  • Employees who are good buzz creators will have other opportunities from within an organization and from outside as well.
  • Good buzz creators tend to know more people and can accomplish more in life via their extensive network.

Remember it is a win/win situation. Sell yourself, sell your expertise and sell your employer.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Publishing your Marketing Secrets

A good friend of mine is putting together a marketing book with 100 marketing experts contributing to it. Here is the info: --------- I'm sending this invitation to you to join me and 93 other marketing experts to contribute one chapter in a new book, 100 Marketing Secrets to Small Business Mastery, written by Marketing Experts. Although marketing is one of the most important aspects of the success of a business, it can also be the most difficult. In fact, as a business owner, how do you bring fresh marketing ideas to your business that work? We are looking for Marketing "secrets" that are proven , that works and you are willing to share. We have no preconceived ideas about marketing and as a result we know there are some unique and different ideas that would be well accepted if known and understood. Our objective is to find the best 100 marketing secrets that work and put all these great secrets into a book for the small business owner. Once I have 93 ideas I am going to shut down the process so if two people have the same idea the first one wins. Here is how it works: I would ask you fill out the form and tell me the topic you wish to write about. When I received your draft of between 600-1200 words I will let you know if our team of judges a will accept the article. If your article is accepted you agree to purchase 100 books at $6 each. You may give the books away, sell them to recoup your investment, send them to prospects to show them the elite company you are in, etc. If there are changes or someone else has a the same or similar topic you will be notified and given an opportunity to submit a new topic or correct the existing article. Once accepted, we will take all the articles and have them edited to ensure they fit the guidelines and send them back to you for review. When we complete the book you will receive your 100 books. Out first run is planned at 10,000 to 15,000 copies. Of course you are not limited to 100 copies. If you want to purchase more let me know and we will give you a price. As the publisher this book, and author of two of my own books, I plan to bring a voice to subjects that benefit others. Your contribution will allow business owners to achieve a greater understanding of business and business marketing. Let me tell you more about the other marketing experts have joined me in this book. We have seven highly skilled and very accomplished authors who have joined us so far. They include: Join Dr. Tony Alessandra, author of The Platinum Rule and 14 other books on sales and marketing, Rick Barrera, the best selling author of OverPromise and OverDeliver, Terry Brock, a genus in relationship marketing, David Garfinkel, a world famous marketing copyrighter, Dr. Pete Johnson, an internationally acclaimed expert on Competitive Strategic Marketing, Bob Scheinfeld, author of The Invisible Path to Success and The 11th Element, and Thomas Winninger, the author of the best selling books MarketQuake, Price Wars, Full Price and Sell Easy and his just published book BULLSEYE! - What Market Leaders are doing to consistently HIT the BULLSEYE! They have teamed up me, Ron Finklestein, Small Business Success Expert and author of Celebrating Success! Fourteen Ways to Create a Successful Company, to provide this unique and one of a kind solution. This is not self publishing. We are different in that we already have a contract with New York Publishing House. As a contributing author you would be able to state that you are published with some of the biggest names in the industry. We will get this book on Amazon and Barns and Noble. We are negotiating with several different book marketing companies to promote the book and gain the widest possible distribution. What's in to for you? There's the obvious advantage for the contributors that they are now published authors. Many of the authors speak about the topic, and having a book is a great way to establish credibility. There is the benefit of cross promotion between the authors, and of course, the book will be a very effective marketing tool and a useful gift for current and past clients. Being a published author and having a book to your credit...
  • Establishes your credibility as an expert. Potential clients will be more inclined to work with you knowing you are a published author.
  • With your credibility, you will be able to increase your fees.
  • A published book raises your influence and prestige like no other marketing tool.
  • Your book becomes a magnet to attracting clients.
  • Having a book creates new opportunities, including speaking engagements.
  • Of course, your name is listed on the back cover.

The short bio will be included at the end of your chapter to give you credit for your contribution and position you as an expert in your particular brand of marketing.

When you indicate an interest in becoming a contributing author, I will set up a phone call to discuss your ideas and direction of writing. When you let me know you have decided to participate, I will email you a contract for your review. Contributing authors will be completely confirmed only with receipt of deposit and signed agreement.

The spaces have been filling. If you want to contribute a chapter, Press the link below and fill in the required information and we will contact you within 24 hours of receiving your information. I recommend that you respond now, and let me know you want to do it.

http://www.yourbusinesscoach.net/marketing-anthology-registration.html

This is an exciting opportunity for all of the contributing authors to have a product to sell. Joining give you the opportunity to reach audiences you might never reach on your own. If you know of any other marketing experts who might be interested in participating as a contributing author, please let me know their name and email address. I'll send them this letter, and tell them you recommended them.

If you have additional questions email me at ron@yourbusinesscoach.net or just click on this link http://www.akris.net/marketing-anthology-registration.html and enter the required information.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing - Coming Fall 2006

The Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing Book

Put Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing in the hands of every employee in your organization and watch the world start talking about you.

Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing contains clear steps to creating buzz online and off. Most of the buzz marketing challenges can be done by anyone and many can be done in 5 minutes or less.

This book is a quick read with clear steps to building buzz for individuals and organizations.

Add your name to our waiting list if you are interested in developing a clear buzz marketing strategy that gets the people in your organization working together towards bigger success. You will be notified as soon as Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing is available for preorder.

Sign Up Here

I am perfect

It is nice to be me because I am absolutely perfect. One of the many qualities that make me perfect is my ability to forgive the people around me for being less than perfect. It is a tough world for people that don't forgive others for their lack of perfection, just as it is a tough world for people who do not look in the mirror and smile. If you want to create some buzz you have to build relationships. You have to be confident in who you are, and you have to accept the fact that EVERYONE will eventually do something that makes you mad, annoyed or upset. Accept that fact that you are the only person in the world that is perfect. You are the only person you are always going to agree with. When you build honest, forgiving relationships you will have more advocates and friends. Who turned this thing into a damn self help blog! I have to go have a talk with myself.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A baby among blogs

Congratulations to Dan Tudor. He and his wife just had a son. Dan has an excellent blog on landing the deal. My favorite thing about blogging has been the great people I have gotten to know. Dan has been fun, frank and active in promoting others as well as himself. I have not gotten to know people in the social networking sites like I have via blogging. Stop by and tell him congratulations.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Are you letting your Army drift away?

Growing up, we always looked forwards to walk-a-thons and bike-a-thons. I guess the money went to help some cause or another, usually cancer I think. I do not remember if we got a thank you after the fact. We did it because it was fun. Now I wonder why they did not keep in touch. Sure, I am old and keeping in touch was more expensive back then, but we were an army of kids going door to door collecting money for them. They could have built a much more powerful advocacy group if they got creative. Who is your army of advocates and potential advocates? What are you doing to keep them your advocates when they are not directly involved? Your Potential Army is bigger than you think:
  • Employees
  • Customers
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Ex Employees
  • Co-workers from previous jobs
  • Classmates from school
  • Suppliers/vendors you do business with
  • Other business owners in your community
  • Business Reporters and bloggers
  • Local government officials (While they cannot promote you, they like to talk about success stories)

OK, so you have a lot of potential advocates. Now what? Begin by setting some very long term goals for yourself and for your business. Some examples might be to double your referrals. One may be to find a new job or to find new employees. Now build a database of your advocates and start communicating with them periodically. Do not start your first communication as “I need…” Build the relationship back up and when they ask how you have been, that is the opportunity to say, “I am well, thanks. I would be much better if I could…” Don’t do it for the goals though. Do it because you want to. Do it because you want to help the people that also care about your success. This is the road to growing your army of advocates.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Blog comments - How do they effect you?

The funny thing about blogs and the comments is that it is an open invitation to slightly promote yourself. People are so self conscious of the comment that they fear posting something. Our friend Phil at Make It Great has a lot of traffic and is asking for people to post, but still only has 2 comments as of 10:00 AM on July 17th. Get over there and post something. Create a little buzz for yourself. He even gives you a format, to make it really easy.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Do they love work?

David Lorenzo at Career Intensity has a nice post about knowing if your job is right for you.... If your employees feel this way, they are waiting on direction from you on how to create more buzz.

Ingenutiy Festival - Cleveland

Today starting at 2:00 (until late) I will be volunteering at the Red Room Revolution booth at the Ingenuity Festival in Cleveland. Stop by and say hi. If you follow what I write, you know that I practice what I preach. (This blog is one way of many I create buzz.) Volunteering and being involved in local economic development are other ways I create buzz. I will make about $10 today in drink money, but I will also get to meet a bunch of people, and that I find fun and valuable.

Go Big Network - Building a place for entrepreneurs to meet.

I was down in Columbus to meet a client yesterday, and we took time to meet up with some local entrepreneurs. We met Eric Corl and Wil Schroter from GoBig. They had great energy and vision, and it was a lot of fun. If you are involved in business, the goBIG network is great. I get a lot of buzz by posting select blog posts in their blog tool (which is more of an aggregated.) Check them out at: www.gobignetwork.com and feel free to look me up and add me as a connection.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Creating Buzz with your Existing Customers

Yesterday I was talking to one of our long time clients. He is enamored with a new feature in our Outstanda eMarketing solution that allows him to build databases on the fly. I am worried he is going to spend his whole weekend building simple data forms. As I was guiding him through some of the special features he asked if there is a way to do a grid. Why not use surveys? I asked. Those are just for eNewsletters, aren't they? He asked back. No, You can do huge research projects with this thing..... He'd been a client for years and never realized some of the key features and products he had under his nose and free for him to use. Within 24 hours of finding this out, he was so excited he was out creating buzz and sent us a referral. My point is this: Make sure your existing customers know everything you do, even if they do not need everything you do today.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Success Secrets for your Personal Buzz Marketing

Here are some basic principles that will help you be more successful with buzz challenges. These success secrets are centered around building quality relationships and being generous. Keep these in mind when buzzing and you will be building good will and standing out from the crowd.
  • Talk less than half the time. A good listener will always stand out more than someone that dominates a conversation and does not give others a chance to express themselves
  • Build a personal network even if you do not need it. You may not be in sales and you may not need to know lots of people, but start behaving like a network is essential to your job and success. A strong network will always pay dividends eventually.
  • Don’t be afraid of Link Love. Link to other people’s websites, blogs and other online resources and they will often link back to you.
  • Don’t hold back. Connect with people when you have the chance. Say hi and smile more. Don’t wait for someone else to break the ice.
  • Give generously. No, don’t give away your money. Give people value by making introductions with people they will benefit knowing. Give people information they will like reading. Give value and knowledge without worrying about how you are going to make money that day.

Buzz depends on people talking to other people. It starts with you. Build good will and great relationships and creating buzz will be a much easier task.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Amanda Congdon & Rocketboom

First my confession. I'd heard of this Rocketboom before but had never taken the time to check it out. I'd never heard of Amanda Congdon. This post is for people just like me. You see, I started seeing so much news about it that I had to check it out. If you are unfamiliar with this, check out the CNN article. The article mentions blogs, Craigs list, video blogging and how to become well known on a shoe string. If you go to Technorati, Rocketboom and Amanda Congdon are top searches. I have seen mention on several big name blogs, which is what first brought them to my attention. I frequently talk about making every employee into an expert or celebrity. Here is a great example of someone who has done it. Just be sure to have a back up plan.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Frontier Towns and the Internet

I live in a city that is celebrating 200 years of history this year. It got me thinking about what it was like back then. With a few thousand dollars and the spirit of adventure, you could set off into the wild and not just strike gold, but build a city. Heck, lots of people were founding cities. You bought some land, ideally along a river, path or railroad, and you started your buzz marketing campaign. “Come live in the best new city in Ohio…” Practically anyone could do it. If you got a good location and good buzz, you succeeded. The Internet really is the new frontier. Myspace is a big city. Look at the July 2006 trend briefing at trend watching. If you think of your new Web 2.0 system as a new city you need to create buzz for, you have a much bigger chance to succeed.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

What is your Niche Attitude?

In business, we know that by focusing on a niche we can often be more successful. If you try to be everything to everyone, you are a watered down jack of all trades and no one will see you as a specialist. Many small business owners water down their attitude as well. They are afraid of offending someone and loosing sales. By no means am I suggesting you go out and upset people, but take some time to figure out what attitudes make you who you are and take pride in them, even if not everyone agrees. For example, I have an attitude that many business owners do not like. I believe that if an employee is not willing to spend 5 minutes a day on their own time creating buzz for where they work, it is grounds to fire them. I believe that is the owner’s responsibility to provide guidance, encouragement and incentives to do this, and that employees along with owners and management must do it. Period. You would be surprised at how many owners have said “But my employees hate working for me…” Then stop worrying about buzz marketing and fix that problem first. That is my Niche Attitude. Love it. Hate it. I don’t care. (And yes, I know it is easier said than done.) What is your niche attitude? Use the comment option on this blog to let us know, if you are brave enough.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Reenergize your advocates

Whether you have a small group of people that care about your success or a world cup soccer stadium full of raving, fanatical fans, it is always good to reenergize your base whenever possible. How do you do this? Ideally, you have a way to contact people that are fans of yours. It may be an email list, it could be a newsletter and it could be doing presentations at regular networking or social groups. How do you reenergize them?

  • New product release
  • Big Success Story
  • Discount offered for referrals only
  • Contest
  • Survey

For example, for the last week I have been doing marketing research on the mock up’s of our new book cover. People stay after meetings just to participate and one person today said “Make sure you let us help you promote it.” (As if I will say no….) Don’t assume people are keeping you top of mind. Having something new and interactive will help you energize that base and get people to actively think about you again.