The month of March has been great for new books in my office, I love social business books, and I like this one, Gary has a special way of saying what’s on his mind and what he sees. CRUSH IT was just a sampling of what’s yet to come out of Gary, he describes his first book as his Keynote(s), and this second book is his consulting. This book is packed with example after example, be sure to pay attention while reading.
I finished the book today, I am full, this book has more to digest than CRUSH IT, more to think about, and it makes you look at your own business again and again. The book grabbed me right from the first paragraph, why, I’m older and remember small town thinking, maybe you do to. Everyone knew each other, everyone helped each other for the most part, and we watched out for each other. The neighborhood watch was invented back before Jesus walked the land. The first chapter has you reminiscing, Gary starts the book with, “Think back on the last time someone did something nice for you.”
That opening sentence really sets the tone for the rest of the book, I’m sure that’s no accident, he touches the nerve-endings that make you remember back to a better day. A couple paragraphs jumped out at me, ironically, near the end of the book, but I enjoyed the book from beginning to end.
Gary says, “the biggest disconnect for business leaders is in their understanding of how they should treat customers they meet face-to-face, and how they should treat the ones they meet through their computers, iPad, iPhone and what have you, there should be no difference.” He’s right of course, I’ve always said, Social Media is not new, it’s just gone digital, so your off-line conversations have merely moved to the Internet.
Later on he makes another interesting statement, “companies that soar in 2011 and beyond are those that will figure out a way to balance the short-term demands of what wall street or investors with the long-term demands of The Thank You Economy.” Think about that for a moment, maybe read it again.
I loved his few words on how fear blocks innovation:
“It’s becoming more unusual for a big consumer brand to really innovate and create a great product. Vitamin Water didn’t come from Coke; Pom didn’t come from Pepsi. Too many companies get stuck in the muck of their own fear and short-term concerns, which prohibits them from taking risks and following through on great, creative thinking. They’re too wrapped up in meetings and procedure and stock value, or worst of all, the politics of keeping their jobs, whereas smaller, scrappier companies are often still ruled by passion and have the freedom to experiment.” WOW! I couldn’t say this better!
On page 228 he lists the biggest mistakes companies make with social media, keep in mind this what most companies and individuals do in my humble opinion, here is Gary’s list:
1.) Using tactics instead of strategy
2.) Using it exclusively to put out fires
3.) Using it to brag
4.) Using it as press release
5.) Exclusively re-tweeting other people’s material rather than creating your own content
6.) Using it to push product
7.) Expecting immediate results
I’m not going to add much here, I can’t improve upon anything Gary shares in his book(s). As a futurist, I see much of what Gary claims, and some things he doesn’t, in the end we are shouting from the roof tops to pay attention to what’s going on in the world of business. Great book Gary, thanks for being who you are.
I hope you enjoy the book, if you don’t have it, you can buy The Thank You Economy right here.
Gary’s point is this, The Thank You Economy is about the life-time value of a customer, brands / businesses need to be human, period.
Tell me, did you like the book, and what was the best part for you?
I know your scratching your head wondering what I mean by this, stay with me and let me share some thoughts on the topic. We’ve been and still are under the bondage of control & protectionism, just look at the Newspaper & Music industries as an example. I’m not opposed to the creators, writers and artists from being compensated for their work, I’m suggesting that there is and will be a better ways to ensure that compensation happens.
I’m a firm believer that making content readily available and free will create new ways of monetizing, eventually most will figure out how to monetize around that content. If the music industry is smart, they will make collective agreements with those distributing music now, especially those doing it illegally by today’s laws. Pirates if you will, are not really the enemy, they are however breaking new artists all the time, the music industry benefits while the pirate(s) don’t get paid for finding them. The model is now beginning to reverse and is becoming open, the pirate will still find and break new music while everyone else benefits including the pirate. Collaboration is far better than the closed system of control we have today in the music industry. In Matt Mason’s book The Pirate’s Dilemma: How Youth Culture Is Reinventing Capitalism (affiliate link) he states, “To compete or not to compete” that’s the question music labels have to answer. That is, to compete with the pirates not against them. The pirate is not going away so it makes more sense to change copyright to usage rights, to rewrite these binding, closed mechanisms to open collective agreements. So instead of fighting the pirate, work with them and feel the benefit, distribute the music freely through systems like Apple’s iTunes. Apple could essentially pay the labels a fee for that distribution, hence they still make there cut and everyone is happy. It sounds simplistic but it’s not, I’m merely sharing this is how it will be in the near future, I don’t know the details of making it work.
You & I won’t tolerate gate keepers and closed systems, you can’t put content behind walls and generate new money, only in an open & free environment will you make new money. Those words are Gerd Leonhard’s , he is a media futurist and his focus is the music industry. From his book called Music 2.0 he makes an interesting statement in the segment called, Access Will Replace Ownership and the Consumer Will Drive the Business:
In three to five years, consumers will have access to “their” music anytime, anywhere, and the physical possession of it will in fact be more of a handicap, or a pastime for collectors. Music will feel (and act) more like water, and music providers will become utilities.
Keep in mind this book was written prior to 2008, it is a collection of essays previously released. I’m not an authority on the music industry, I do however preach his message and see open and free as a sound business model. His new book I have yet to read but you can get it here: Friction is Fiction: The Future of Content, Media & Business (Affiliate Link)
Gary Vaynerchuk has also seen the shift long before it started, he produced 40 minute video’s on Wine Library TV and gave you the content free for 17 months before anyone really knew who he was. How do you think he is doing today, he took the family business from 3 -4 million a year to over 60 million a year doing that show. Today he has a 10 book deal due to the open & free business model, he continues to build his legacy in this new model. His goal is simple, buy the New York Jets NFL team and spend more time with his family. Gary’s message is simple, embrace who you are, your DNA, work hard, work really hard, and never give up on your passion. He doesn’t promise you you’ll make it big, nor does he claim you will be a millionaire, he does however promise, if you do what your passionate about you will win. Winning does not mean lots of money, it may however mean you will enjoy and maybe even love what you do. he preaches his message everywhere and to anyone who will listen, his book hit the New York Top Sellers List and is still available, Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion (Affiliate Link)
There are other examples of this business model working, the true test will be if and more like when Industries see the revenue streams around what they sell, how they look for gaps, create vehicles and harness the power of their audiences.
How will you embrace this new environment of Open & Free as a business model?
If your are interested in coming to one of my Open & Free Business Model Workshops, please email me Here
Now that you have read the 3 Core Traffic Drivers, let me share with you how blog traffic = dollars here on Owen Greaves Consulting.
Those of you who know me, know I’m a big time promoter of other peoples products and services, even must get to know people. I’m not your traditional Internet Marketing Junkie, but I do like to make money, I suspect you do to. A few weeks ago I decided to get my feet wet, yes I purchased some products and services, which means I’m eating my own dog food. I believe in the products and services here on my blog, they have helped me, and they actually made me money in a short period of time! I hope they can help you too.
I would be lying to you if I didn’t tell you I spent many, many hours reading, listening and learning about how to make money with a Blog. The truth is, I have done so for two years, studying, and still I did not participate. Why? There was one thing I needed to do before I took the plunge, that was build some traffic.
I’m a stubborn lot and I don’t buy-in to alot of what I see on the Internet, the reason is, I believe I can figure out what those are doing without me spending money. I know, I hear ya chuckling. I will say this, I have figured out the process on my own, it’s not better, it’s just different. Some of you have purchased good products and services, I’m not bashing them, good for you and I hope they are working for you.
I’m merely here to give you hope and share how I was able to generate a few dollars through the little amount of traffic I have been able to attract. No I’m not financially independant, and no I didn’t make 10’s of thousands of dollars here (yet). This story may not impress you but it did me, what impressed me wasn’t the money, it was seeing the process work. The key of course was the traffic, how I got the traffic is now no big secret, it was however the largest investment of time.
The processes that worked for me are the 3 Core Traffic Drivers, Traffic = Dollars, pure and simple. The key is to have something the traffic wants, visitors come to places they find useful, that provide value and help them solve specific challenges.
Before I get into this, you need to know, everything I share, I use, and I believe in. If you don’t use or belive in the product or service you decide to promote on your Blog, DON’T. Eat your own dog food and only then will you be able to convince anyone else to try your recommendations.
– I started monetizing by trying a couple things, one of them is called Ad.ly, Ad.ly is an in-stream advertising platform that matches top-tier Twitter publishers with top-tier brands. I don’t pretend to be top-tier, but I looked into it anyway. This has done nothing to date, but that may be more about me than their system.
– One of the other products / services I looked into is selling products from Amazon, the commisions are actually very, very low so I’m not all hopped up on the program from that stand point. What I like about Amazon is, the huge variety of products available to you, no matter what your Blog or site is about. I promote books from Amazon, Chris Brogans Book TRUST AGENTS, and Gary Vaynerchuks CRUSH IT! are just a few.
– I sell a couple of books on my blog as well, one of them is called Beyond Blogging, this book sells, why, probably because of the 15 Top Bloggers in the book. They share their story, provide direction and enspire you at the same time, I highly recommend you get this book and then go through the worksheet that comes with it.
Another incredible book is called, 31 days to Build a Better Blog By Darren Rowse of ProBlogger, this book is a step-by-step book, also you should know that for the next few days (until 19 January 2010) Darren is offering 3 extra exclusive New Year Bonuses to all buyers of this downloadable workbook. It’s not the same as Beyond Blogging because it’s a How To book in more detail, this book covers daily tasks in considerable detail. These two books are the largest revenue generator on my blog as of this writing.
– One of the other things I looked at was Google Adsense and Chitika, I chose the later, no real good reason other than it was different and not Google. I have nothing against Google, I wanted to try something different. I use their Chitika Mini-mall on my site, it works in conjunction with Google search. I suggest you go to their site to get a much better description of how they work, rather than me trying to explain it.
– And finally my secret weapon, I have used for years now free stuff, but then I bought a theme for my Blog, which I swore I would never do by the way. This purchase is the best move I have ever made for Blogging, I highly suggest you look at what it does and can do for you. I will say this, my traffic has tripled by merely installing the theme, why, SEO is improved dramatically without any configuration by me. Once I learned the Visual Editor and played with the configuration, traffic got even better. The theme in question is NOT Thesis, it’s Headway. Headway Themes has put something together that flat out gets me fired up, I can modify my site on the fly, and the support is Top Draw. I love this product so much, I decided to join their Affiliate Program and promote / sell the theme here on Owen Greaves Consulting. If you want more information, just click here.
So there ya have it, that’s what I’ve been doing so far, I may drop or add depending on what vistors want / need, that’s business on the Internet. All these things also driver traffic to this blog, the 3 Core Traffic Drivers are the backbone, but these products / services are also driving traffic. As you can see it’s not simple thing, nor is it easy, it’s time consuming and strategic. So remember, nothing happens without Traffic, so build it as quickly as you can, then start monetizing, Blog Traffic = Dollars.
I rarely ever review Books and or eBooks, in fact, this is probably 1st one I have ever taken the time to write about that I can remember. At my age I wouldn’t be surprised if I reviewed a book a week ago. <grin> Now, I’m not saying books or ebooks are good, bad or otherwise, but lets face it, books are not what they used to be due to the Internet and the digital movement. I do like to having something in my hands I can use a highlighter on, so many times I’ll print the ebook off just to put chicken scratches all over it, but not usually. Enough about my stuff, let’s talk about this new ebook by Nathan Hangen & Mike Cliffe Jones called, Beyond Blogging – The Secrets to Blogging Success! (Affiliate Link)
I have to admit I was hesitant to spend $47 bones on this digital effort, but sometimes your gut talks to you and you just have to invest in your future based on that alone. I bought the ebook, afterall I have some serious goals set for 2010 so invest I did. I started going through it and for some reason I felt kinda weird and deja vu-ish. Maybe it’s because I have been following those interviewed in this ebook and knew alot of their content based on videos, interviews and reading their Blogs. I’ll even admit I didn’t know some of these successful bloggers even existed.
You’ve probably heard already that this ebook is not a step-by-step how to ebook on Blogging. Its actually written more like Think and Grow Rich, you have to actually dig in and figure out what your passion is and what track you should be on. Oh, these guys even include a worksheet to help you work through the exercise. The layout & presentation of this ebook is actually pleasing and easy to read, color choices are pretty good too. After reading through the table of contents I felt like this ebook was more about name dropping and leveraging relationships. But I moved on and to my surprise I found myself enjoying the stories and struggles behind some of these successful bloggers.
There is actually some solid content and advice given throughout the ebook, some smart interesting ways to monetize a blog or website. You will read much of what you may have already learned in Social Media circles. One thing you will get from this ebook, blogging is hard work and requires patience. Blogging is not for everyone, much like driving a forklift, you have to have a passion for what you do.
I recommend you use the shopping cart method when it comes to reading this ebook, some things you buy into and some things you won’t. The things you don’t buy into, just leave them on the shelf and keep the things you do agree with in your cart.
Like Norman Vincent Peale’s Think & Grow Rich, you have to study the book and read between the lines alot to figure out why your stomach has a nervous feeling. That feeling is the not knowing whats coming, it’s ambiguity, it’s knowing there’s something there but you just can’t put your finger on it. You will feel something similar when you read Beyond Blogging, I think there is value in this ebook and what it’s trying to show, tell and lead you through. You will also see a common denominator throughout this ebook, there is a system, a plan needs to be developed, a road map if you will, you need to know what the end will look like to make the principles in this ebook work for you. Keep the end in mind.
You will invest in something, it should be you, it should be books or ebooks, systems,and strategies that provide knowledge you don’t have already. Don’t get stuck on price, approach your journey with a positive attitude and humility, you will go much further than a bad attitude will ever take you.
So, I recommend this ebook as I do Chris Brogan’s Trust Agents and Gary Vaynerchuk’s CRUSH IT! (both affiliate links) I even make them all available for you here on my Blog. Enjoy Beyond Blogging – The Secrets To Blogging Success, I’m certain you will earn, learn and make more than the amount you pay for this 202 paged ebook.
I hope you like the ebook, I would like to hear what you think of the ebook as well.
Happy Learning and Happy Blogging.
I can’t get enough of Gary’s passion and his message no matter how hyped he gets or how direct he is, I love Chris Brogan’s more laid back approach too. They both work for me, I’m pretty hyper myself when I speak in front of crowds, they juice me up. I love getting a response from people and large audiences, but more than that I love listening to people like Gary & Chris for their passion and commitment to service and hard work. They are a good example of getting out there and hustling as Gary put’s it.
Gary just released this message on his Blog “The Thank You Economy” and yes I’m posting it.