There has been a big shift in how people interact with brands. In the old days, a product or service would show up on the scene, and we’d evaluate whether the product was something we could use. Sure, there were some products and brands where we felt like we wanted to belong (you are either a Coke or Pepsi person, for instance). But most times, when something new came out, the question was whether you could fit yourself into the right category to make that product useful.
This has all reversed. People are tired of fitting in. They want to go where they belong.
This picture is my 13 year old son’s recent project. He printed out the Sunday funnies (we don’t get a newspaper so he went online and found some to print). Then, he chopped up each panel and sliced out each bit of dialog. Finally, he mixed them all up at random to make his own comics to see if anything unexpectedly funny would come of it. It was funny enough. The idea comes (roughly) from “Garfield without Garfield” and other remixes of old comics tropes.
Your Company Probably Doesn’t Pay A Lot of Attention to Memes
Shortly after Barack Obama became US President, a lot of politicians and corporations decided to take social media a lot more seriously. Before then, it was “that thing kids do.” Afterwards, I was hired by some of the biggest companies in the world (Coke, Disney, Pepsi, GM, Microsoft, and so on) to talk about how these tools could drive better human interactions.
Working with companies lately, I keep coming back to the same starting point: marketing is about connecting with a customer and aligning with helping them win their story. Think about yourself when you’re buying something. There’s a challenge in front of you and you’re hoping that what you purchase will improve your life or business in some way. Now, think about how you market.
Marketing is About Connecting With Your Customer’s Story
I’m a big fan of the coffee tumblers that Yeti sells. Their site this morning had all kinds of winter stories (I wrote this in winter) about keeping food warm in their coolers, about bringing a a “ground blanket” (I didn’t know I needed this!) to lay out while out camping or hiking or hanging out. They had a big sturdy camp cup tha would make being outside in the cold so much more enjoyable (presumably full of hot coffee or a thick tomato soup). The products all align with the story: “If you’re going to be outside, we’ll make it more enjoyable and you’ll be the hero of your family.”
The world of real estate has become a lot more software driven in recent years. Sure, ultimately, a buyer interacts with a person, but with the number of real estate apps out there, a lot of up front work happens before a real estate professional is contacted. That’s not necessarily bad, but for a lot of Realtors (and other professionals in other industries for that matter), a personable connection with a buyer matters immensely as well.
If I Were Selling Real Estate Today
For years, I’ve had the pleasure of keynoting various real estate events and speaking at industry conferences. In every interaction, I found a warm, smart, driven person looking for new tools to reach and serve their buyer. My book with Julien Smith, Trust Agents, seemed to resonate with the primary challenge of “how do you build business remotely on the web?” Since that book (over 9 years have passed), I can say that the use of digital tools to evaluate real estate has only grown.
We create videos with the goal of educating and entertaining people. Beyond that, we are all at the mercy of various algorithms in play on the platforms where we hope to share our ideas. In both cases, there are two types of videos that get attention.
The Two Types of Video to Post
- Brief – Less than 3 minutes, maybe even less than 1.
- Long – Ten minutes or more.
We either want the snack or the meal. It doesn’t matter which platform, though YouTube tends to promote long form much more than brief works. What matters is what your prospective audience is meant to do after watching the video.
In 2019, I intend to deliver quite a lot of video as part of my media making. This includes live video on YouTube as well as uploaded videos to other content platforms. If you want my simple live video setup for Mac, here’s what I’m using. (By the way, the only part that is Mac specific is the actual video making software.)
My Simple Live Video Setup for Mac
Software – I’m using Ecamm Live. I love this software because it allows me to use multiple cameras, multiple views, links to Facebook Live and YouTube Live AND lets me record a local copy of every video that I can upload to other places like LinkedIn after the fact. Ecamm Live is simple, super affordable, and works smoothly on a Mac. (Note: I’ve had past business dealings with this company and the owners are friends.)
Instead of a New Year’s resolution, I practice a ritual called “My 3 Words.” The idea is that you think up three words that will help guide your choices and actions over the coming year. This has become quite an event, with thousands and thousands of people working their way through the ritual and planning their year based on their own three words.
What is My 3 Words About?
The My Three Words idea is simple. Choose 3 words (not 1, not 4) that will help guide your choices and actions day to day. Think of them as lighthouses. “Should I say yes to this project?” “Well, does this align with my three words?”
I can tell you how to write better blog posts immediately. Ready? Start with the most important stuff first. That’s it. Start where you’re going to end. Start with the guts of what you’re covering. All of that. Up front. Start there.
I could end the post already. I just told you what you needed to know. But I’ll elaborate.
I feel bad for LinkedIn. I think it’s one of the least understood tools and platforms in the modern digital landscape. Heck, maybe I’m using it wrong, too. But I want to talk you through what I see as the value and opportunity for employing LinkedIn for your business pursuits.
How To Be More Effective With LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a talent and skills discovery platform. When you build your profile, the intent of that action is that people will review that profile, learn what you know and your capabilities and your experiences.
I want to tell you the tale of two companies both trying to reach part of the community they serve and how one failed and the other nailed it. Why this is important is because it ties closely to the way customers choose to spend their money these days. They want companies who understand their world, and they want to feel like they’re with a company that cares about what they like.
This isn’t really a story about Fortnite, but it is
If you have a kid between 8 years old and 50, you might have already heard about Fortnite. The video game which launched in 2017 has already raced to 200 million active users (75 million in just the last six months). They passed a billion dollars in revenue last July, and will quite likely make a big year end revenue goal announcement.