A Peek Into How This All Threads Together for ME
I’m sharing MY personal setup. You can do yours any which way you want. But There’s some method to the madness, and it’s all contained in that picture above. I wanted to show you how it works for me.
My mom (and sometimes my dad) blog quite regularly on a site called Mom Pop Pow. I can’t post the link, because it’s thrashed with spam right now. The site was hacked. Last time Mom checked, there were many WordPress plugins that needed updating. Those might be the culprit, too. WordPress maintenance can be a part time job, I swear. And even if everything were 100% buttoned up, there are still malicious people out there looking to take over your site. It’s happened to me. Twice. Expensively.
So Now My Mom and Dad are Drug Dealers
You’d think that if you visited their site on the day I wrote this. But they’re not. Mom writes book reviews. She writes about trips to museums. She writes about things that face the Boomer generation. It’s a pretty awesome blog, says her biased and overly proud son, because it’s about what SHE wants it to be about.
A friend recently emailed me and said she was having a crisis of faith, that her attempts to work with people weren’t going especially well, that she felt a bit lost in it all. I gave her some fairly harsh feedback, but all in the service of love. The shortest version of my response to her? “You have a white truck, not a business.”
Define Your Business As Clearly As You Can
When I talk about a “white truck” business, here’s the thing: if you buy a white truck like the one in the picture above, you CAN do pretty much anything with it. You could be a landscaper. You could haul stuff. You could help people move. You could start a logistics and delivery organization. Whatever. There are LOTS of ways to use a white truck.
This post won’t change your life. Just the same, I wanted to tell you that I see a lot of shifts in the whole online/social networks landscape. Some of it kind of saddens me. The rest of it points to the weakening state of effectiveness of various platforms as business tools. You can disagree. That’s fine.
Social Networks for Business
I should note that most of my opinions have changed dramatically (180 degrees level) in the last handful of months. I’m basing this on business. Not on whether I like or don’t like something, unless I state it as such.
I’ve been teaching online courses for the last three or four years. When I started out, it was because Julien Smith told me that I ought to teach people how to create their own blog topics. That evolved into Blog Topics: The Master Class, and since then, I’ve launched a dozen or so more.
The folks at Blendtec sent me a Designer 725 super duper high tech smart blender. As a fitness and health guy, it’s a pretty cool thing to own. My parents own a competing brand of blender, and I’ve owned a much less expensive blender that I used to use to make smoothies until it died after about a year. So it was neat to get the chance to try it out.
Blendtec Designer 725
For those of you who ask such things, I was not paid to write a review. They didn’t even ask me to write a review (which was weird, because they sent me a pretty expensive blender to mess around with). Yes, if someone is given something, it means you probably have a little bias towards saying something nice. No, I never just say something nice. It’s not worth it for either of us. Finally, these words are all mine, because someone asked if they were. Yes.
The people who work best with me are trying to grow their business. They may or may not be employees of some other company, but they want to grow their business, their part of the story. They are looking for next-level advantages.
I was asked by Lee Odden to contribute to an ebook that relates to the upcoming Authority Rainmaker conference. I would’ve said yes anyway, but they added to the story that Henry Rollins was going to be in this same ebook. Having read most of Henry’s books, to actually be on some other page in the same book as him was reason enough.
The fact that the information’s really useful? Well, that’s another thing.
I was the keynote speaker at Perry Drake’s UMSL digital marketing event last week. The room was a mix of agency people, business owners, and students. With that in mind, I asked them if they wanted to see what I speak about with businesses who are asking about how to use media and community to earn more customers. They said that would be okay (I mean, I was the keynote. If that wasn’t okay, would they have asked, “What else have you got?”) I thought I’d share WHY I picked what I did as my keynote speech.
Make Media That Serves
The premise of the speech was “Winning in the Choose Your Own Adventure Economy.” If I boiled the whole speech down to one slide, it would be this one:
First off, I should be honest right up front: I lied. I’m definitely NOT going to give you 37 blog posts to stop writing. Instead, stop writing list posts just because you read somewhere that they’re good.
We are TRASHING the opportunity to create great content marketing
Attention gimmicks are just that. They earn us attention. Briefly. And then what? If you’ve got no “next,” then you’ve just wasted it. Your “71 productivity tips” post is like Stewie (and all children):