#Fresh5 – Seth Godin, Time Savers and Word of Mouth recos online

I’ve been reading more Seth Godin recently than I care to admit so today I’m sharing a couple of recent gems for those who may not follow him.

1. In “First, ten” Godin discusses a theory of concentrating your efforts on ten customers that trust, respect and need your service. Theory being that if you make them raving fans they will tell ten friends, who will tell friends, and so on. There is nothing terribly groundbreaking about what Godin is saying here but what really caught my interest was the line “If they don’t love it, you need a new product. Start over.” Good advice. If you can’t convert those initial ten there is either something wrong with your offering or your managment.

2. I’ve yet to work in an environment that did meetings rights. They are always too long, too frequent and have too many people. Here Godin shares 9 tips for better meetings. They are a bit harsh, but they will work.

These are two great tools for anyone who enjoys spending their time on things other than menial tasks or waiting in line. So basically, for everyone.

3. QLess is a virtual queue management system that may just eliminate the need for anyone to wait in line again. Simply check in to a line via text or voice message and receive a text message when your up. If I was a retailer in a mall with one of the big box restaurants I would be paying their bill to use this service. Instead of all those people waiting for a table, they could be browsing my wares.

4. I’m not sure I would personally ever use this service but it is interesting. Shoeboxed takes your paper reciepts and business cards, scans and uploads them to your online profile where you can organize, tag and even generate expense reports. Cool service. There are a couple demo videos here.

No ad campaign, promotion or PR initiative can do for a business what a personal recommendation can.

5. GigPark lets business owners and services providers set up a profile where their satisfied customers can recommend their work. Looking for a good freelancer, handyman, photogrpher, whatever? No problem its all there. I’m loving this concept and will be adding myself under marketing services first thing tomorrow.


#Fresh5 – April 2, 2009

I can no longer keep up. My Google Reader is overflowing in unread articles, Twitter hits me over the head a hundred times a day with links to articles, sites and presentations that daily change the way I think, and then there is Delicious where I “save” all this stuff in hopes of viewing, reviewing and passing along later. In the spirit of the name of my blog I am going to change way I organize and pass along all the cool stuff I am exposed to day after day. Instead of collecting in Delicious I’ll collect theme here, with some commentary. I invite you to check them all out and would love to hear your thoughts on them.

Welcome to the first, of what I intend to become the daily, “#Fresh5” –

  1. Here’s a great example of two brands who clearly get what the new marketing world is all about – find your fans and make them part of you’re doing. Make it real, make it accessible. Chictopia is a social site where users can source fashion trends from one another searching by style, body type, etc. Everyone knows American Apparel. In teaming up the brands have opened the doors for real people to be real models. No agent required. All based on the legitamcy of an individuals personality and personal style. Smart move by American Apparel, they have been using their own staffers as models for years, so the idea is dead on for the brand. You can check out a Chictopia member blog on the subject here or take a look at the Mashable post.
  2. I hate business cards. I never remember to bring them with me and really they feel about as relevant as carving your contact info into a rock slab with a sharpened Brontosaurus bone. Contxts takes you business card to SMS. Including links to all your relevant social networks. Thanks guys you have saved my life. (note: This site is in Alpha and is not functioning today)
  3. This is cool, and someone clearly has too much time on their hands. Check out these hip-hop tracks reproduced as 8-bit Nintendo. Now someone needs to hack my old system to overdub these into the boss battles!
  4. I recently met with a veteran marketer who said to me “I just don’t get Twitter. It makes me feel like I’m in an elevator listening in on people’s conversations”. He didn’t see how it was a marketing tool. I spoke to him about this Vancouver hot dog stand that drove business on only their fourth tweet. My mind races with the possibilities for local businesses and time sensitive promotions.
  5. A wiki of social media campaigns organized by brand and type of activity. This is going to come in very handy.

The new resume

I had a few pints of Guiness the other day with @danielrose and we got to talking about the future of the resume. Our discussion, although too short, was centered on what the “new” resume looks like. We are both of the opinion that the paper version is something of a dinosaur. Its obviously the easiest thing to fax, or post on job search boards but really how many people get jobs that way? Don’t get me wrong, its important to show potential employers your work history, accomplishments, etc., but what about the rest? Who is this person in real life? What are they interested in? Who do they know? Think these questions are less important that what someone has done in their career? I would argue they are equally important. We spend more time Monday to Friday with our coworkers than with our families. Whether I am hiring, interviewing or partnering with someone I want to know what they are really all about.

In the job market? Wondering why your phone isn’t ringing? Google yourself and see what you find. If there’s nothing there you may be irrelevant.The tools for building a strong online presence that highlights who you are are easily accessible. For now mine consists of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, VisualCV and this blog. The chart below outlines how I use each of these site on a professional level.

Finely crafted a simple Googling of my name should provide potential employers, clients and business partners with a picture of who I really am. Its evolving, alive and who I am today.
Consider this my application to anyone who is looking for a strategic, creative, leader for their promotion, interactive or social media team.

The Best Social Media in the NBA – plus WIN a FREE pair of Toronto Raptors tickets!

**UPDATE** I have been contacted by MLSE and they have agreed to meet with me. So thanks to everyone that emailed them on my behalf. They also also asked that I remove the email address of their employee as it seems to have crashed her email. I’m a nice guy, so I complied.

The Phoenix Suns – FTW!

Someone at the NBA’s Phoenix Suns deserves a bonus. A big bonus. In a world where brands are searching for the perfect social media strategy, it seems that the Suns have hit the proverbial jackpot. Their formula is pretty simpleĀ  – multiple Twitter accounts, a Social Network dedicated solely to the team, plus Facebook and MySpace pages. Groundbreaking formula no, but the magic is in the execution.

Planet Orange – The Official Social Network of The Phoenix Suns

Planet Orange, the social site, is pretty standard fare as far as social networks go. You can build a profile, add friends, share media, join groups, etc. But you have to give kudos to the brand for not just defaulting to a Facebook fan page. The site itself has a decent interface, and member videos and game photos are nice bonus for even a casual Suns fan. There is certainly a lot of room for the site to grow, but what they have going (6500+ members) is a decent start.


The Suns on Twitter

The real brilliance in what the Suns are doing is on Twitter. The charge is led by Amy Jo Martin, better know as @PhoenixSunsGirl. With over 4,200 followers Ms. Martin actively tweets everything from Twitter specific contests to game day “bets” against other official NBA Twitters. Recently, she even started a Suns running club (#SunsRunClub).

There are also several players, coaches and official club personalities actively posting on Twitter. A less than comprehensive list (shame on you Suns) can be found here. Perhaps the most famous, and definitely most followed, of the Suns is @The_Real_Shaq. The Big Quotatious is an active, make that extremely active, Twitter user and currently has over 270,000 followers. Known for his comedic nature and great personality Shaq lends authenticity to all the Suns are doing on Twitter. Following areĀ  highlights of recent Phoenix Suns Twitter activation.

  • While on a road trip @The_Real_Shaq is enjoying lunch and tweets his general location. The challenge is to find him, touch him and mention Twitter. The first person to do so received free tickets to that nights game.
  • A Tweet-up was held for local followers of the team. Fans were invited to buy discounted tickets and get a behind the scenes experience. Video here –
  • The newest member of the Suns, Jason Richardson (@jrich23) has joined Twitter and is running a fan poll to select his new Twitter identity logo.
  • Last week was Shaq’s birthday. In celebration Shaq Day was held. Via Facebook and Twitter, @PhoenixSunsGirl challenged followers to create birthday messages for The Diesel and share the urls via Twitter. The best video as selected by Shaq would receive a special gift from the man himself. You can see all the videos by searching @ShaqDay on Twitter search.

Calling All Professional Sports Franchises

The buzz around the Suns in social media is only getting louder. By combining player involvement and the great personality of PhoenixSunsGirl, the team is clearly on to a winner. So why are other professional sports teams not following suit? Are there risks in social media for sports teams? I don’t see what they would be. No matter how well a team is doing there are always going to be haters writing negatively about them. Does a social media presence not extend valuable tools from which further marketing efforts can be leveraged?

My Mission, and your chance to WIN Toronto Raptors tickets

**Paragraph deleted at the request of MLSE**

Every brand is searching for the right entry point into social media. I belive the Suns have found theirs, and that others can learn from the approach – it doesn’t have to be complicated, you don’t need to have an offer, you just have to add value and be real.