Monday, February 22, 2010


10,000 followers and growing!

OK, so what can I say, I've been trying to figure out Twitter (for business) for a few months now. Of course, you're familiar with Twitter. Who isn't? But most folks get up and running, then peter out and fall off the Twittersphere. Those that remain are a mix between celebrities (and their ghost tweeters), spammers, get-rich-quick-by-being-an-affiliate Tweeters, groupies, gamers, and average everyday Joes.

Let's break them down and determine just who they are and whether or not there's any benefit to the medium.

Celebs: Personalities who most of us recognize, from actors and athletes to business gurus and reality TV divas. It's possible to attain a certain B-status celebrity by obtaining 100,000+ followers (to which we'll address below). Ashton Kutcher may be most famous of the actual celebs, making the cover of Fast Company because of his 3,000,000+ followers.

Spammers: The bain of Twitter and one of the key reasons that folks dump the whole lot. Just inundations of product come-ons sent out by automated programs with the hope of clicks by the shear volume of their Tweets. Percentage of success is low and the builds exactly -1,352 points on the Goodwill meter.

Affiliate Tweeters: These are the folks who tempt you with Tiny URLs affiliate links that are "sure to earn you over $3000/mo." Too bad almost none of them are actually succeeding at this. Lots of ways to make a buck out there - but the truth is... there's no such thing as a free lunch. Oh, we click the link from time to time, but we seldom buy the $79 e-book and revolutionary system it describes. Maybe we should? Maybe I would be an instant millionaire, as well?

Groupies: Those that profess that they are the real Tweeters because they only have a few followers and friends. You can't get in their group unless you truly know the person. What a concept... a real conversation amongst equals. Great for closed networks of folks who find Twitter to be their cell phone tool preference, but that's not most of us. And, these people never get insight from outside sources. Good if you work for ESPN, maybe not so good if you're actually looking for traffic to your post.

Gamers: As alluded to in "celebs", gamers are those everyday folks who have amassed 50,000 to 100,000 or more followers. Twitter is game to see who can get the most followers. The process isn't unlike any good Arcade gamer. You just keep putting in your time on the machine until you can post your 3 letter acronym for all to see. The difference between Celebs and Gamers is in how many friends they follow. Celebs follow under 1,000, Gamers will have an amount equal to their followers.

Average Joes: That's the rest of us, trying to figure out if we should use this medium or not and if 140 characters is helping or hurting our ability to communicate and make further connections.

- - -
Want to benefit from my 10,000 clicks? Do not try unless you are game...

Here's what you should do in "3-steps" to improve your chances:
1. Use Twitter to grow connections to the world and improve the likelihood for various folks to get to your web page, blog or transactional tool. Understand, they're not going to come by the truckload... just a small trickle to start. But, like any little snowball, it gets bigger and easier the larger and longer it rolls down the mountain. The question is, how high is the mountain? (see point 3 - but do not skip point 2).

2. Understand who you are and what you are "selling". Your website or blog or end destination for those that will follow you needs to be clear in your mind - so that you can articulate what benefit you bring to anyone who will listen. Too many of us sort of skimp on this part. Frankly, it's the most important part of the equation. You don't have to be handsome or pretty, thin or even rich. You just need to be genuine and smart about one particular topic that you have mastery of. (I suspect there is something you master - a hobby, a skill, TV show trivia perhaps?) Whatever it is, there are others in this world who share your love, but not necessarily your particular talents. That's what you're selling.

3. Get the traffic by becoming a Gamer to start. Not completely, mind you, always put out good content. Don't worry about directing too much traffic back to your site. Maybe 1 in 4 Tweets. The rest are to show that you really do know something or can at least spot something worth sharing on the Net. What you need to do is click and click and click on "following" and "unfollowing" to acquire 10,000 followers. That's how high the mountain is. Once there, your snowball is ready to move down hill. From there, you can continue your Gamer status, or you could begin to develop a Groupie mentality - cultivating your group into like minded folks who share your passion. Let's put it this way: if you could have only 1,000 "devoted" fans, you can make a healthy living for the rest of your life!

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There are a whole host of strategies to generate web traffic, but for $0, this is one that anyone can do. Keep Twitter in your Social Media package? Yup... but you may wish to work on Point No.2 pretty hard. Becoming unique in this world is available to anyone. There are lots of mountains and hills to "plant your flag". Most of us never do because we are afraid to get knocked off. Some will try, but hey, that's the difference between winning and losing...

Besides, you said you were game!

Become a follower of JacksonSpencer and we'll follow you back! 

* Special promo for reading this: link to our fan page on Facebook and you could win a new Flip camera.

** Super secret promo for reading this: connect to my LinkedIn page (and join the Big Ideas Group) and I'll see that you get a free customized Twitter background like the one I use. (that's a $79 value - I just made that up, but you be the judge!)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Are you Summa Cum Laude at Brand U?

Personal branding done right... but what's the tuition? What are the pre-requisite courses? And, how do you get a diploma from Brand U?

What we're really talking about is taking ownership of a brand that suits you. Everyone of us is a "brand" - a collection of traits, benefits and skills that can be translated into positive or negative feelings about who we are, what we do and how people interact with us and the things that we do. By borrowing from time-tested marketing principles that the dominant products of our generation use (i.e. McDonalds, Coca-cola & Nike), we, too, can move up the charts, gain marketshare, increase our chances of making the sale or even getting a date for Saturday night.

All of that in one blog post? Well... no. (You'll need to stick around longer for that, but this ought to get you started) Here's your Brand U course curriculum:

Self-awareness 101: In this course, you'll discover who you really are, what your likes and dislikes are and how to properly assess where your first step on the road to happiness lies — as well as a dynamic path to your own success.

World-awareness 201: This is the advanced course that gets you to understand how others perceive you. It's blatantly honest and can be pretty rough on our students to pass the class. But once done, you'll stay more focused on what's really important.

Branding 105: Understanding how icons, symbols and text can be cultivated to create "trigger" opportunities between you and your universe.

Iconic History 210: Looking back at the brands and personalities who have succeeded in capturing a space in our brain. Our instructors ask, "If it can work for them, what is it that you can adapt to your own personality?"

Brand Theory 300: This upper level course challenges you to find a unique aspect of your psyche and make it tangible. Not for the timid, but incredibly powerful once you've mastered the art of the "Powerline".

Social Media 100: This basic course introduces students to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and a cadre of other websites that can advance your brand opportunities. You may test out to begin with the 200 course.

Social Media 200: Students have not only a grasp, but are actively using at least 3 SM tools and have already figured out how to create custom URLs within their social media pages. This class will begin to carve out a strategy that helps make the individual a thought-leader within their field.

Web Presence 995: Getting established with your own personal website will be part of the coursework, along with a nominal charge for a domain and hosting.

You'll also need to choose from a slew of electives, including, but not limited to: Salesmanship 221, Evolving Resume 145, Public Speaking 330 and Entrepreneurship 401.

When you've completed your coursework, you'll emerge an expert; a guru; a leader of your own tribe; capable of attracting and galvanizing people to your leadership. So let the hard work begin... become your own best ally in shaping the opinion that others hold for you, as well as promoting yourself to the point that your good reputation precedes you. Isn't that what's at stake? Ultimately, building a personal brand that is Summa Cum Laude is what our entire lives are all about. Why not take careful stock of your own brand now?

Enroll at Brand U!

Sign up today!

Monday, February 8, 2010

I love you, [ Client ]

Why not make this year's Valentine's Day more memorable by showing "the love" to your clientele? How many times do we miss an opportunity to do something special for our clients... just because?

Well, don't let it go unnoticed this year. And as for ideas... you can use all the tried-and-true methods from your personal life - just re-gifted as original thoughts for business!

1. Write a love letter. Start off your hand-written letter with this phrase: "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways..." And list the ways in which you are thankful for your relationship. You might find the exercise enlightening (as well as helping you regain your focus on why this particular clients makes for a good fit with your firm.)

2. Send a romantic card. Find the sappiest, drippiest Hallmark card available and send it to your client, complete with a lipstick kiss on the envelope. Memorable, cheap and good-natured fun.

3. Send flowers and chocolates. Make sure that the flowers and the chocolates are fresh. Few businesses are expecting anything on this day. Your thoughtfulness is sure to score a few points - and the gatekeepers will hold a warm spot in their hearts for you.

4. Send anything heart shaped and edible. OK, almost anything (you may want to skip the panties). Pizzas, cakes, pies and cookies can all be used quite effectively. Remember, even though it only takes a phone call to order, the effects of ordering enough for everyone at their office will make quite a nice splash, next time you walk through their hallways.

5. Buy a ring. Well, maybe not a ring per se, but why not a trophy, plaque or anything else that can be displayed in their reception area? Even if you don't have a Top Vendor Award, or a 5-Year Partnership Plaque... you do now. If it can mean something special — fantastic! And if not — fantastic! What client doesn't want to display an award that at least looks the part?

Coming up with something further for your client? Be our guest, but when it comes to this special holiday, send something off soon. The 14th is this Sunday and your best laid plans should be in their hands by Friday. It just might save you in 2010 from the slings and arrows that are par for the course in any client relationship.

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