Pervasive communication is the fancy pants way of labeling CHAOS in communications. Maybe that’s not entirely fair. You see the Internet has given us access to the world’s largest water cooler. Anyone who has been around the water cooler a couple of times knows, that the conversation is often scattered and quick — non-linear — bits and pieces of the bigger communications picture.
While older generations perfected direct communication through sharing written language and spoken language, culture has changed to the point where those same generations may not even recognize communication as we use it today.
Let’s take my favorite social media – Twitter – as an example of the pervasive communication phenomenon.
Twitter is a social media platform that was based on SMS texting technology. That technology was limited to 140 characters of text that could be sent in one message. Only having 140 characters severely limits your ability to write in complete sentences and get your point across.
Let’s try an example: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. ” This famous opening to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is 30 words and 175 characters (yes spaces do count).
Now if Lincoln were to tweet this same sentence on Twitter, it might go something like this: “87yrs ago the USA was born – liberty and equality for ALL! TY forefathers. You ROCK!” which is only 84 characters leaving Lincoln’s followers 56 characters to comment during a retweet.
Lincoln was engaged in traditional written and verbal communication that was heard live on November 19, 1863 by approximately 15,000 people and reported by newspapers around the United States the days following, increasing the audience substantially. By today’s standards, based on Barack Obama’s Twitter following, Lincoln would have had upwards of 4 Million followers in 1863. His tweet could have potentially been seen, in real time, by 267 times the original 15,000 people.
That’s just one way pervasive communication has changed our language and the reach of that language.
Pervasive Communication is not a death knell.
Just because our communications practices have become more chaotic and non-linear does not mean they’re not effective. It also doesn’t mean you can afford to ignore the methods. They are imperfect and certainly not as beautiful as the Gettysburg Address, but they occur in greater quantity in more places than we ever imagined. And that is an opportunity.
Your strategy can be simple. Start by listening to what and where your ideal customers and clients are having conversation. There is a search function built in to all social media platforms. Google Alerts can help you set up other ways of keeping tabs on your business name or your personal name.
My recent guest on ACT LOCAL Marketing, Fred McClimans, encouraged businesses to simply monitor social media for their name and respond when mentioned. That’s really simple while keeping your business on top of things in the eyes of an increasingly savvy pervasive communication inspired public. Fred also mentioned how online is THE place where word of mouth escalates dramatically. “Word of mouth is dominant,” he states.
Word of mouth definitely carries a lot of weight with consumers. Pervasive communication has made word of mouth easy to spread. Bad word of mouth will move like a virus through the online world, but good word of mouth moves fast too. Much faster than traditional face-to-face local communication mediums.
Rather than peg pervasive communication as the ubiquitous (I just love that word) sludge gumming up the wheels of communications, see it as an opportunity to engage with your clients, customers, vendors and employees on their terms. Don’t be the last one to take this new style of communication seriously, because that’s asking to be left behind. Or as our good friend Abe Lincoln said, “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”
Thanks to @fredmcclimans for his thoughts on pervasive communication, 11-19-2012 on ACT LOCAL Marketing.
Sales Training and Sales Tips That Build Business
Not all entrepreneurs have the great fortune to have been part of a large corporation where they received expert sales training. And that, my friends, is unfortunate. Because without sales there is no business.
No Sales = No Business = No Money
That’s a very simple equation.
The Privilege of Voting – Presidential Election 2012
For the first time, my first born child is old enough to vote and he’s taking the privilege of voting in the Presidential Election 2012 as seriously as any good American citizen. My goal as a parent has always been to raise productive members of society who can add to the common good by being active citizens in a country where exercising our collective rights is really a privilege.
And that’s where we get off track sometimes. Voting is a privilege that many have fought and died for which is why it kills me every election day to hear the media tell us that roughly half of our citizens even bother to vote. And I fear that today, the Presidential Election 2012 will be no different.
Digital Literacy – It’s Time For A New Definition
Digital literacy is a term coined by academics for academics about academics. At least that used to be the case. When I first came across the term around three years ago, the only books I could find on the subject were academic treatises that were difficult to digest at best and weighty at worst.
The common theme around the term digital literacy, however, was always centered around literacy in terms of learning and using technology in the classroom. It was often synonymous or closely regarded with terms like information literacy, computer literacy and media literacy. While some of these terms were getting closer, I feel the academic world was doing the rest of us a disservice by co-opting the phrase for themselves. Even the US government website was focused on literacy in the classroom for our young people and not a broader terminology of literacy in the digital world.
I’m happy to report that things are changing. When I Google the phrase, “digital literacy” now, the definitions are getting broader and I believe that’s a very good thing. Because as the phrase suggests, digital literacy should be a far reaching terminology that encompasses the enormous paradigm shift that has occurred in our digital world over the last 20 years.
How To Build A Platform – Local Business Marketing in 3 Easy Steps
It’s very likely that you’ve heard the term “platform” or building a platform related to authors, musicians and other arty types. But building a platform is necessary for every local business. This platform is the stage from which your message gets heard. It used to be that only celebrities or those seeking celebrity had a platform. But thanks to the interwebs, that’s no longer true. Anyone can be a celebrity in their business, local community and industry.
How to build a platform – grab these three tools and we can get started.
You were expecting hammer, nails and work gloves? Well, aren’t you cute. Our platform is going to be more cerebral and less elbow-grease. Although, some headlight fluid may not be a bad idea.
Systems Thinking – 10 Key Small Business Systems Systems Thinking Audio Version
Even if you are the only employee in your small business, you need to apply systems thinking to the activities that make your business run. It’s important because like a Rube Goldberg machine, every activity within your business has an impact on all the other moving parts. And yes, moving parts are happening throughout your business structure even if you are strictly a service based company.
Systems thinking and change management are integral parts of your small business. Without them, you’re wasting time and making work “hard” when it doesn’t have to be. These systems often require no more than writing down the procedures behind every common activity that happens within your small business. While you as the business owner know how YOU do it, when the time comes to hand off tasks to an employee, they will need direction or they’ll waste time reinventing the wheel and not handle tasks the way you want them DONE.
Why Your Small Business Needs A Marketing Calendar Marketing Calendar Audio Version
Having a marketing calendar saves you from making a common small business marketing mistake…or what I like to call…spaghetti marketing. The throw it at the wall and see if it sticks approach to small business marketing is a real killer. And here’s why.
It’s very easy to make a wrong decision based on anecdotal evidence. We tend to hang with other people who reflect our values, likes, dislikes and habits. In fact, funny enough, if you were to write out an avatar or profile for your ideal client, you would notice that they start to resemble…YOU!
The mistake happens when we decide that the people we interact with personally represent the majority. Take for example, the Director who decided that her company would stop using tele-recruitment to contact existing and potential clients because from her point of view, EVERYBODY has a cell phone now and the warm and cold calling from the phone bank to the home number was ineffective and a waste of resources.
Not Your Usual Social Media Management Article Social Media Management Audio Version
Oy, enough already with the social media management, the pinning, the liking, the following…
Sometimes it feels like this is all anybody talks about, all I’m training on, all my audiences want to know more about when I’m sharing with novices in the online world.
And therein lies the key factor. Novices in the online world. There are your early adopters and then there are those that come late to the party. Now I’ve often been an early adopter much to my own detriment [the Saturn automobile, Gateway desktop computer and iPad one to name a few] but in business, early adoption can be really stupid or a one-way ticket to SUCCESS.
The problem for small business marketing, is knowing when to pull that trigger. And sadly, most small and medium sized business owners take the wait and see approach, which as a fiscal conservative, I can’t blame them for.
Lead Systems – A Sure Way To Increase Business
Do you have a follow up system for your leads? Does it look a lot like the photo on the left?
A shoebox where you throw all the business cards you collect. You have every intention of sorting them out later but later never comes.
As the immortal Tom Jones sang, “It’s not unusual, it happens every day, no matter what you say.”
Basically, we’re lazy. However, the fortune is in the follow up. So having viable lead systems that you find easy to use become critical to building small business success. (more…)
Mobile Apps – Local Business Marketing
Mobile Apps For Business
Part of marketing for small business today is the consideration of mobile apps. What is a mobile app? App is short for application. An app is a program on your phone or other mobile device that makes it easier to do tasks.
We use mobile apps to email, text, play games, check the weather, read news, track finances, keep a calendar and address book, and to find local businesses just to name a few tasks. Every mobile device uses them and many come free with the device or are free to download from the app store associated with your particular device.
In the last 60 seconds, over 13,000 mobile apps were downloaded from the iTunes store.
An app is not a website. Your small business website is accessible on the Internet from a computer or laptop. It can also be found over an Internet browser app on your mobile device. For best results, your website should have a mobile version designed specifically for Internet access via mobile, but that’s another post for another day.
Effective Leadership Requires Diligence
September always feels like the beginning. The beginning of school, the beginning of my favorite season, the beginning of a new year; I guess that’s because I loved school, my birthday is in the Fall and duh, Halloween!
Fall is a time when everything seems possible again. No matter how beat down or tired the calendar year has made me, the air is crisp in my lungs and possibility seems tangible.
This is the time to reevaluate. Steer toward your goals and course correct if you need to. Whether they be personal or business goals, take the time to reflect on where you’re headed and if any changes could get you there faster, better or stronger.
Don’t hesitate to make those changes in your business when it becomes obvious the “old” way isn’t working any more. Effective leadership requires you to see distractions and sidetracks that have you veered away from your original intent and to take corrective action now. (more…)
Marketing With Social Media
As with anything, it’s best to have a plan before you get started and that’s equally true of marketing with social media for small or local businesses. Otherwise you will find yourself overwhelmed and wondering if you’re just wasting your time.
1. Define your objectives or goals
Why are you getting involved in social media? There are plenty of good reasons, just make sure you define them. Are you looking to build a following nationally, regionally, locally? Is this social media strategy a way to bring visitors to your website? Do you have a movement that you’re trying to perpetuate? Or are you seeking sponsors for your cause or business? Define a handful of goals first. (more…)
Is Business Coaching Really Necessary for Small Business Owners?
Let me start by saying, I’m not in the business coaching arena.
A coach is someone who uses their knowledge to guide an individual or team toward better results. And whether we are referring to sports, business or life, a coach simply employs tools and methods to facilitate achievement.
I’ve always considered myself a consultant. Someone that a business employs to perform a certain set of expert tasks. Is this coaching? Not really. A consultant’s goal is not to teach you how to do the work, but to take the load from you and get it done for you so you can concentrate on the things you do BEST. Do consultants end up educating their clients? Of course we do. But not with the intent of making the client self-sustainable which is why it’s not coaching.
So why is business coaching (and a plethora of other types of coaching) so immensely popular today?
Multi-tasking is for losers. Multi-Tasking is for LOSERS! Audio Version
That’s right, you heard me. L O S E R S.
Why so harsh today Kalynn, somebody puke in your coffee? No, I’m just tired of repeating the same mistake and my guess is 9 out 10 of you small business owners are doing the same. So the buck stops here.
I’ll tell you a quick story. I was with entrepreneur Joel Comm of Infomedia, Inc a couple of years ago. Joel, if you don’t know him, is the author of The Adsense Code, Click Here to Order, Twitter Power and maybe another book or two, but those are his books on my shelf. Anyway, Joel told a small group of us, there were about 10 of us in the room, that, like many of us, he started his business himself, wearing all the proverbial hats.
That’s the typical journey of nearly all entrepreneurs and small business owners. You start a business because you want to help people, or you’re really really good at something and decide to make it your vocation not just a beloved hobby, or you had an innovative idea that you knew would change an industry or the world at large so you made the leap to business ownership. The story is very familiar for every entrepreneur.
But what Joel told us, and I’ve always kept at the back of my mind, is that every time he reached the decision that it was probably time to hire an employee to take some of the workload, he resisted for a while. Kept trying to take care of it all himself, whether it was not wanting to let go of control, or not knowing what to delegate or worry that the income wasn’t really there to support hiring another person. When he eventually bit the bullet and hired, his revenue ALWAYS, increased as a result.
So just what is marketing?
Marketing has held many definitions since the Mad Men days. I saw that Seth Godin, on his blog back in March had this to say,
“In the Mad Men era, we added marketing last. Marketing and advertising were the same thing, and the job was to promote what was made.
In the connection era, the marketing is the product, the service and most of all the conversations it causes and the connections it makes.
Marketing is the first thing we do, not the last. Build connection and remarkability into your product or service from the start and then the end gets a lot easier. Build it into your app, your book, your movie, your insurance policy, and the red soles of your shoes.”
If you ask me, what is marketing, I view it as a much larger umbrella that covers the entire operation of your business. Marketing is in your customer service, your sales process, your networking, community outreach and advertising (if you’re doing any) both in your offline and online worlds. (more…)
Why Blog for Business – Your Small Business Marketing
Why indeed! If you think blogging means having to sit at a computer everyday thinking up something important or witty to say to a non-existent audience, then you’ve missed the boat on the important questions of, why blog for business.
Business blogs and blogging are not generally about making money or churning out content daily or worse, several times a day. EEK!
No my dear fellow small business professionals. Blogging is about marketing small business. Business blogging is a way for your company to build a background and platform that lets customers and potential customers understand the core business philosophies underpinning your brand.
I believe it’s less than 1% of blogs [noun: online web logs written and read on the interwebs] that actually make the blogger [noun: person who writes a web log] a full time income.
Nope. Most blogging [verb: the act of writing a web log] is not done for profit. Although that is often the intent of starting the blog for many Internet entrepreneurs.
If you want to reach the under 30 Millenials,
then you better know how to text.
Mobile Marketing in Local Business
I believe that mobile marketing will be the bridge that connects traditional direct marketing for small business with the world of online marketing. Let’s face it, the world has changed and it’s not finished yet.
If you want to converse with a Millenial [AKA: Generation Y, Echo Boomers and Generation Next] who in general terms is anyone born from approximately 1980-2001, warm up those thumbs!
It’s very difficult to communicate with a Millenial if you don’t text. It’s their preferred method of communication and they are the second largest age demographic after baby boomers.
To ignore them in your local marketing is a serious mistake. Generation Y were the first to grow up with computers in their homes and 500 television channels. They think nothing of walking around with a phone that has ZERO wires connected to a wall.
Website Lead Generation – Does Your Website Do It’s Job?
In the ’90’s, if your business had a website up and running, you were way ahead of the game.
But it’s not the 90s any longer.
Your website (and you should have a website by now) needs to become an effective lead magnet securing it’s place as a substantial lead generation machine in your small business marketing plan.
Lead generation is something all business owners worry over. So let me give you an idea of how your website lead generation should be implemented so that you can grow your local or small business faster. (more…)
The Art of Marketing to Women
The current way companies appeal to women is to take a male product and paint it pink.
–Michael Silverstein, a partner at Boston Consulting Group
First, I feel the need to make the economic argument for why marketing to women matters. The World Bank predicts that the earning power of women will hover around $18 trillion by 2014, which is $5 trillion increase in current income, and more than double the estimated GDP for growing economic forces like India and China combined.
And if that wasn’t enough to convince you that women make an enormous market for business, check out a few of these facts courtesy of Think Progress:
60% of American women are now the primary or co-breadwinner of the family
87% of women hold at least four years of high school or higher education as compared to 86% of men.
58% of undergraduate degrees in the US were awarded to women in 2010.
78% of mothers with children between 6 and 17 years of age are in the US labor force.
Now without getting into a feminist argument about the fact that women earn only 77 cents for every dollar a man in the US economy earns, a statistic that has virtually gone unchanged over the last 10 years; or the fact that only 12% of Fortune 500 CEOs are female, let’s explore the economic viability of marketing to women. A vastly under served market.
Public Speaking – Biggest Fear or Fastest Path to Cash?
Okay, I looked it up, because I roll like that; fear of public speaking is called Glassophobia. Not that you are expected to remember it but I like learning new words.
It’s said that 75% of people experience some kind of nervousness or anxiety in relation to public speaking. A little nervousness is a good thing in my opinion. It keeps you on your toes and your brain alert.
But for those who find the thought of speaking in public mind numbingly dreadful, I urge you to think of it in a new light. Because as one of my mentors, Suzanne Evans, says, public speaking is your fastest path to cash if you are an entrepreneur trying to run and grow a business.
And truthfully, I have to agree. Public speaking has been the single most important activity in growing my business and continues to be a part of my boutique marketing firm’s success path in acquiring new clients and new opportunities.
When we talk about public speaking, don’t get your panties in a twist imaging that you have to be on a big stage with thousands of people looking at you waiting for you to do or say something brilliant. It’s not that complicated. (more…)