Thoughts Are Not Actions!

Attention Era, Bravery, Changing Times, Failure, Goals, Motivation 18 Comments »

“I should have dinner with her.”

“I really ought to spend time on that.”

“I must stop doing this.”

It seems like our society has never had more thoughts and less action.  Instead of action, let’s tweet our thoughts or Facebook poke our loved ones.  Right?

Here’s one fellow 8pm Warrior’s brilliant thoughts:

“The reason I think life gets harder as we get older is that we get used to thinking that a thought is an action.  We lose spontaneity.

When we were little we had a thought and ran out and did it. But we learned to sit still and be careful.  

But when you learn to be careful about some things, you become careful about most things, even important things.”

- Betsy Cross on the “It Doesn’t Get Easier” post

 

Don’t wait until someone dies for a visitation.

Don’t wait for the perfect time to do what you love.

Don’t wait.

Do something crazy tonight,

Aaron @Biebert

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3 Reasons the “ROI of Social Media” Debate Continues

Attention Era, Changing Times, Leadership Thoughts, Marketing, Social Media 23 Comments »

After years of case studies showing social media’s power to connect people (customers, partners, and employees), you would think the debate would be settled.

It’s not.

In fact, it’s just beginning in some companies…now in a new way.

While nearly everyone is probably willing to admit there is some value to social media and that “it works”, a new question is arising.

Exactly how much is it worth?

This video parodies what’s going on in some companies as the new year begins.

How do situations like this happen?

Sometimes decision makers are not educated enough on what they were buying, had their expectations set too high, or don’t have patience to see it through.  It might even be a combination of all three.

Here are three big reasons why leaders are beginning a new round of debates about the value of social media in the marketing mix:

1) Poor Education


Leaders are not being educated on what they are buying, how long it will take, or what it actually does.

Sometimes, overzealous marketing leaders used the “Everyone’s Doing It” pitch and got approval without explaining that social media is a new kind of war, not a single battle.

2) Wrong Expectations

Have you heard or said things like:

  • “Social media is free advertising!”
  • “Social media will make sales explode!”
  • “Let’s make it go viral!”
  • “We won’t have to spend money on other expensive marketing routes.”

In reality, using social media is only one part of building a modern business.  Setting expectations too high, too fast, or too easy makes for trouble.

3) Lack of Patience

Some leaders have been properly educated with correct expectations, but just don’t have the patience.  Their ADHD leadership tendencies make them lose focus or patience and they withdraw support so they can focus on their next great strategy.

 

Social media is not a strategy.  It is a method of communicating.

Communication can be good.  Communication can be bad.  However, for most industries there is no way to calculate return on investment of communication.

It is everything.

If you choose to do social media poorly, you are choosing to do business poorly.

Don’t stop something you’ve started because you’re impatient or afraid.  This social media stuff isn’t going away and your competitors are only spending more time and money each quarter on finding ways to connect with your clients.  Ignore it for too long, and your clients may begin to ignore you too.

Finish the debate tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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When You Have Someone’s Attention: Don’t Waste It!

Attention Era, Changing Times, Family, Leadership Thoughts, Marketing, Social Media, Time 6 Comments »

A couple quick thoughts at the end of the week.

Humans are no longer limited by a lack of information.  We’ve never had more Wikipedia articles, Google search results, emails, updates, and every other way we get information when we need it.

We even have Siri or other artificial intelligence like Big Blue to do the work for us.

Information is not the problem.

 

We are now limited by the amount of attention we have available.

When you earn someone’s attention, you shouldn’t waste it.  It’s precious!

 

Does your page respect people’s time?

  • Do you dominate Facebook with a ton of trivial posts?  We only have so much time and you’re wasting it.  We will unfollow or hide you.
  • Why are our comments awaiting moderation on your blog? You have a spam filter.
  • Are you deleting Facebook comments that are unfavorable to your brand?  You are asking for trouble.  Comments will go somewhere.
  • We won’t do business with you if you ignore questions or comments on your page.

 

Why are your customers waiting?

  • I spent 3 hours on the phone with AT&T yesterday.  Now I’m switching to Verizon.
  • My favorite grocery store has no parking.  I now have a new favorite.
  • Sam’s Club always has 10 people in every line.  I’m not renewing my membership.

 

How are you one on one?

  • Are you constantly checking your phone?
  • Are you dragging the conversation down by spend too much time on meaningless stuff?
  • Are you actually listening?
  • Do you spam your contacts with unnecessary emails or other deferred communication?
  • Do you say stuff just for the sake of saying it?

 

For the sake of humanity, we must stop.

 

The developed world is out of time.  Relationships are suffering.  People are overwhelmed.

If you want to keep people’s attention in the Attention Era, you must respect it.

It starts by not wasting it.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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3 Types of Human Communication

Attention Era, Changing Times, Failure, Family, Leadership Thoughts, Loneliness, Marketing, Social Media 16 Comments »

Are we truly communicating? Are you engaging people?

Humans are not at their best when sending and receiving messages that are either delayed or blindly broadcast into “the stream”, desperately hoping someone will see it.

It is inefficient, impersonal, and too easy to lose, ignore, or forget in an Attention Era where each day means more new signals.

It will kill our society.

How are you doing business?  How are you leading people?

Here are three ways we can choose to communicate.  As the list progresses, communication degrades and becomes less effective.

 

Concurrent Communication

  • Personal Meeting
  • Skype / FaceTime / Google Hangout
  • Phone
  • Instant Message Conversation

 

Deferred Communication

  • Personal YouTube message
  • Voicemail
  • Text Message
  • Email
  • Facebook Message
  • Social Mentions (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.)
  • Comment
  • Twitter DM
  • Mail
  • Telegraph

 

Broadcast Communication

  • Bullhorn yelling on corner
  • Sandwich boards
  • TV Commercial / Online Video Ad
  • YouTube Video
  • Radio
  • Pins on Pinterest
  • Billboards
  • Twitter Update
  • Facebook Update
  • Social Check-ins
  • Smoke Signals

 

If people are really your people, you need to talk.  Real friends don’t spend years trading delayed snippets of communication with each other.

Communication is more than words. True engagement is harder than you think.

Engage in real communication tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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News Flash: Pinterest Isn’t Just For Girls Anymore

Attention Era, Business Opportunities, Changing Times, Marketing, News, Social Media 37 Comments »

Pinterest is being invaded by men.  It’s true.

Ready or not, here men come!

 

I first heard about Pinterest.com from a woman who was telling my wife that she and her daughter are addicted to “pinning” things and looking at “pins” all day.  Since I never want to miss the next big thing (addictive is indicative), my ears perked up.

That is until they started talking about the cute hairstyles, pretty dresses, and neat craft ideas they found on Pinterest.

I took a pass and let my wife be the pioneer on this one.
Pin It

However, about a month ago I started paying attention again after hearing that it was the #3 social network for time spent, #5 traffic driving social network (beat out Google+), and had growth of 400+% in the last six months.  On Tuesday, Hitwise tweeted that Pinterest’s visits have grown from 10 million to 17 million in just this month!

I also started noticing more visits to 8pmWarrior.com from Pinterest.com, so I did some research.

This is what I found

 

There are men on Pinterest?!

 

I don’t ever want to be a latecommer to the next big party.  Plus, I was an art minor in college and enjoy graphic design & video production.  Many people (all women) told me that Pinterest was right up my alley.

So I signed up.  Yep.

Once on the inside, I found great infographics, inspiring quotesinteresting real estate, funny stuff, and other suitable “pins” for men.

I also learned how to braid hair too.  (You can’t win ‘em all)

I might get kicked out of the men’s club for sharing these names, but to prove that I’m not the only guy on Pinterest, I’ve assembled the entire list of other men on Pinterest:

If you’re a guy on Pinterest, please post a link to your profile in the comment section below so I can follow you.  The more men I hang out with, the less feminine I feel.

In all seriousness though, I strongly believe this will become something big.

 

As an entrepreneur, I see the potential for businesses.  As a marketing thinker, I see the potential for exposure.  In the Attention Era, I see the best stuff in the world getting attention.

Essentially, it’s a visual version of twitter.  Instead of links, there are pictures to click.

17,000,000 people went on it this month, which puts it in the top 10 social networks in the world.

Pinterest is going to be big.  If I was you, I would check it out.

It isn’t just for girls anymore.

If you need an invite to Pinterest (it’s still private), I’ll send invites to email subscribers of my blog since I already have your email address.  Let me know if you need one.

If you’d like to connect on Pinterest, my profile is http://pinterest.com/abiebert.

Try something new tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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Do You Miss Social Media Connections When They’re Gone?

Attention Era, Leadership Thoughts, Marketing, Social Media 26 Comments »

I’ve been gone on vacation and then focused on digging out upon my return.  I’ve been “gone”.

As I got back into the stream of emails, tweets, voicemails, messages, updates, check-ins, texts, questions, phone calls, pins, shout outs, uploads, appointments, posts, sharesscores, and more…I realized something.

Someone is missing!

 

The sad thing was I didn’t know who.  I just knew they were gone.

I wonder if we’re talking to so many people on so many channels that we don’t even know who we’re missing anymore.

Are we forgetting?

  • Clients
  • Family members
  • Friends
  • Mentors

They say the human brain can only maintain an average of 150 weak relationships at a time (Dunbar’s Number), and only 10 strong ones.

You know who was missing?

Me.

You forgot me!  Sadly, I also forgot you too.

Isn’t this crazy?

When we are honest, many of us with a modern social network would admit that we forget each other when we’re gone.  Yes, we remember each other right now, of course.  That’s why it’s so important that people, brands, and blogs stay active and “out there”.  That may be the only way we’re unforgettable in the Attention Era.

When we’re gone, we’re most likely forgotten.

Let’s reconnect tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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The Secret Way Leaders Make People Disappear

Attention Era, Failure, Leadership Thoughts, Loneliness, Social Media 17 Comments »

Many leaders are finding themselves developing a new skill set.

They’ve become magicians.

Like the movie “The Prestige”, they’ve become very good at making people disappear. In some cases, they don’t even know how they’re doing it and are confused when it happens.

Even though it’s against the strict “Magicians Code”, I’m going to let you in on the secret.  Maybe you can learn something from it.

It’s really easy to make people disappear.

 

Just ignore them!

  • Clients getting annoying? Ignore their needs.
  • Talented team members monopolizing your schedule? Close your door and don’t return emails.
  • Friends or family taking up too much time? Stop talking to them.
  • Annoyed with pesky investors? Don’t share information with them.

It works for social media connections, mentors, and significant others too.  Almost everything will disappear eventually if you ignore it long enough.

That’s probably not something you should ignore.

Have a good night,

Aaron@Biebert

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5 Reasons Brands Should Stumble Upon the New StumbleUpon

Attention Era, Changing Times, Marketing, News, Social Media 19 Comments »

After its update this week, StumbleUpon.com has a new logo, new channel feature, and improved profiles.

The “Explore” search feature is also out of beta and ready to change the way people search for interesting pages on the web.

Just like the recent YouTube upgrade, I think these changes are notable.

Here are 5 reasons you should check out StumbleUpon:

1.  StumbleUpon sends more traffic than Facebook

Yep, you read that correctly.

With well over 1 Billion pages visited through their service each month, leaders can no longer afford to ignore it.  If you’re producing great content on the internet, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to have your work seen by people who have opted-in to see the very topic you just wrote about.

2.  StumbleUpon now allows brands to have their own channel

This has huge potential.

In the past, it was frowned upon to open up an SU account just to share your own blog posts.  Recently they’ve done a 180 and now encourage brands to share their content via integrated RSS feeds, Twitter, and Facebook.  The only problem is that it’s not an easy process to set up a branded channel.  In fact, there is absolutely no instruction on how to create a StumbleUpon channel, despite the fact that their blog clearly states that it’s open to everyone now.

Stay tuned.  I’m sure they’ll work it out soon.

It will look something like the 8pm Warrior profile:

 

3.  StumbleUpon has 20,000,000 users and counting

It’s definitely not a passing fad.  It’s been around since 2001 and is now seeing tremendous growth. More members means a larger community of people exposed to your content and sharing it through the Su.pr shortlink system or the StumbleUpon “Submit” buttons (see example on the left or bottom of this post).

Almost all top blogs have these “Submit” buttons and now services like Triberr have it built in too.

Ubiquity + 20,000,000 users = Success

4. StumbleUpon Paid Discovery

For as little as $0.05, you can have someone on your site without another click (beyond clicking the “Stumble” button).  No banner ads.  No miniature square Facebook ads or small text-based Adwords.  An impression is an impression of your whole page, not just a small logo.

It’s also not too expensive either.

You can target it to interests, locations, or demographics and it integrates with Google Analytics so you can see what’s happening with your traffic.

5. New “Explore” Search Feature on StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon.com is not a full-blown search engine (yet), but it does allow you to search almost 500,000 topics and find pages at least one person found interesting.  Yes, it takes some of the serendipity out of finding a cool site randomly, but it allows for a more customizable feed of stuff that is more likely to please.  A big win for users.

The “Explore” feature looks like this:

 

Any leader, marketing pro, producer, or blogger needs to be aware of the positive impact that StumbleUpon can have on your business if you use it correctly.  In the Attention Era, there’s nothing as valuable as free attention.

If you’ve never heard of it before, check out the 45 second video below and learn how the new site works:

If you’re already on StumbleUpon, let’s connect. Here’s the link. I always follow back my fellow 8pm Warriors.

Stumble around tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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