Do you ever think that everyone knows what you’re doing and where you’re going, and they’re inside your head? I do that all the time. I figure that you know what’s going on here, because clearly, I do. Right? That’s how communication falls apart all the time. I realize that I need to crack open the skull and try to explain a bit about what I do in any given day, and what I do with this site, and where this is all heading. Fair?
Let’s start with what I do for a living.
A Show of Hands
How many people know what I do for a living?
For years, I’ve heard some really interesting answers to this question. The answer right now is that I’m President of New Marketing Labs, a social media agency and education company, comprised of myself, Justin Levy, and Colin Browning, and backed by CrossTech Media. We work with companies like Citrix Online, Bresnan Cable, Titlelist, and many more on everything from strategy to execution in the world of business communication, community management, listening, and more.
As part of this, I run the New Marketing Summit conferences (yes, the site needs a refresh- and it’s my fault – I’m late getting back my parts). There will be three in 2009 in the US: San Francisco, Dallas, and Boston. We’re also working on an event in Milan, Italy (and no, you can’t come in my suitcase). The theme of these events in 2009 is “strategy into action,” and we plan to work with marketers, PR types, and anyone using the online world to build their company on helping them solve business challenges. That’s right, one plan of our events is that we’ll invite some people to bring their real world challenges to the show for intensive workshopping live and in person.
Another piece of this are the New Marketing Bootcamp events. We’ll be doing one-day intensive training events all over the country. For $395, you’ll get keyboard-level training on all the tools and strategies that you will use to execute social media projects in 2009 and beyond.
New Marketing Labs is how I make about 80% of my money.
I am also a professional speaker. I have spoken at over 50 events professionally over the last few years, and have several more slotted for 2009. If you’re curious, that’s where I make another 15% of my money (the last 5% comes from things related to blog sponsorships).
How the Blog and Other Stuff Fit In
What I do most days is research. I do this by reading, by experimenting, by observing, and by talking with others about what they’ve done. Some of that research I do directly here, on my blog, in plain sight. Other times, I use Dadomatic, the parenting blog I started, which is now run by Paisano. Other times, I do it on social networks like Twitter or Facebook or other new services. In lots of cases, I’m trying new things all the time, experimenting, seeing what works.
The other thing this blog does for me is gives you a big window to walk by while you’re on tour in the plant. If I’m doing lab work, you’re able to swing by and see what I’m cooking up. That might spark your interest in a few ways. You might ask me to share my findings with your organization. You might just share some kindred ideas. Or, you might decide that what I’m demonstrating is something of business interest to your organization.
That’s not unplanned.
My goal is equipping you. Why? Because for everything you can pick up for free yourself, that means fewer hours of giving you the easy stuff. That way, you and I can work on the more unique items specific to your line of work, or to whatever ways you hope to use social media and online communications to change your business.
Ultimately, the more I give away for free, the more time I have to do the more complex work that I really want to do with you.
My Research in 2009
The goal of my business in 2009 is to help put “strategies into action” for people seeking to do something with social media. On one side, that means equipping my clients and event participants with information that they can use in a marked and measured way. On this blog (and throughout my online presence), my plan is to share more and more research in two primary areas: finding obvious leverage points for businesses, and equip media makers with ways to make money via the web.
In the first case, it’s exactly what I’m doing with my clients at New Marketing Labs. For instance, I’m working with Citrix Online (the folks behind GoToMeeting) in understanding how listening technology improves customer response time (as one example).
In the second case, I’m going to learn more about affiliate marketing, about in-line content advertising/sponsorships, about blogger relations campaigns and more. I want friends and family to find ways to make a living off the web, should that be their interest. Why not? There’s plenty of commerce happening here, and more than one model to find it. I’d love to define some of those models. Further, this kind of thinking helps me equip my clients with another line of business, should they seek relationships with media makers in that manner. (Make sense?)
Beyond this really clear and business-minded stuff, I’m forever looking at what my friend Geo Geller would call “social sculptures.” I’m looking at nonprofits (one a month is my goal, don’t forget). I’m looking at new enabling technologies, including more in the world of mobile applications, geo-location applications and more. I’m looking at deeper social software’s integration to the larger organization (especially after a great meeting with David Cutler). But that’s not what I write about as often.
Oh, and Julien Smith and I will be published in August. Our book, Trust Agents, will talk about how people use the web to do business, and how businesses have a shot at rehumanizing themselves in the process.
Now That You’ve Seen Inside the Labs
Do you have any questions? Does this clarify a bit of what I do with my days? Does it change what you get from coming here? Is any of the above even why you come here at all?
What else haven’t I covered that you’re interested in? What are your thoughts? Hey! What’s inside your lab?
Photo credit, Steve Jurvetson