Dear Loser…

Dear loser,

I want you to know that I lose too. We all do.

The difference between a winner and a loser is your attitude.

Succesful People Have Different Answers

Losers let losing define them. They let losing be their judgment, instead of their stepping stone. They spend the rest of their time trying to make excuses, instead of making improvements. Losers don’t win, because they see a loss as the end, not the beginning.

Winners see losing as a way to measure progress and know that they are pushing themselves. Losing means they’re not where they need to be…yet. Losing means needing to make adjustments. Losing is progress.

Winners don’t lose, they just run out of time.

Don’t be a loser tonight,

Aaron @Biebert

__________________________
Get future posts by subscribing to “Thoughts from an 8pm Warrior” via email for free.

3 Gifts for the Entrepreneur in Your Life

What to get the entrepreneur in your life?

For my birthday (which is today) or Christmas, loving family and friends sometimes ask what they should “get” me.  Last year, I asked for support in digging a well for a village in Africa.  This year I’m asking for something closer to home.

I get to work with some of the most talented video artists on the planet.  There are even more waiting eagerly in the wings, demo reels in hand.  It’s my job to keep them busy and it’s never easy.

For my birthday, I’m asking my friends and family for their help.

Below are three ways you can help me and other entrepreneurs chase their dreams:

Aaron at Milwaukee Art Museum

 

1) Seek to understand their chase

 

Just like it’s nice to understand that a farmer needs rain or an athlete needs to win, entrepreneurs appreciate being understood too.

Leadership can be lonely.

Many of them are risking their retirement, friendships, and health to follow their dreams.  If you care about them, join them on the journey.  Follow their business on Facebook.  Subscribe to their blog.  Have discussions with them more than once a year on their birthday.

(Personal note:  this is my life goal if you want to understand what drives me every day)

 

2) Share their story

 

In the Attention Era, even well funded marketing campaigns get lost in the shuffle. Small business owners don’t have a prayer without help from their family, friends, and happy customers.

If you see a friend of yours doing remarkable stuff, share it.  We all lose when we let great work go unnoticed.

(Personal note:  for my friends looking to help, it will make my day if you share one of our videos with your network)

 

3) Refer people to them

 

In the “old days”, it would have been unheard of to travel to another town’s general store if your own town had what you needed.  We have to stick together and referrals are one way to do it.

Since I don’t sell to consumers, I personally don’t ask my friends or family to buy our video production services.  However, I do love when my friends tell their marketing friends about me.

Many people prefer to buy from people they know and trust.  Help your friends know and trust your other friends.

  • Make introductions
  • Write Linkedin recommendations
  • Encourage people to shop locally

 

The entrepreneur in your life doesn’t need more sweaters, ties, or birthday cards.

They need you…to care more…not just on their birthday.

Give a great gift tonight,

Aaron @Biebert

__________________________
Get future posts by subscribing to “Thoughts from an 8pm Warrior” via email for free.

You can’t change where people look. All you can do is move.

Call me crazy, but it still irritates me when people don’t see me or respond when I’m trying to get their attention.

Time to look in the mirror.

 

I’m not proud of it, but I miss a lot of important people or things that are right in front of me too.

8pm Warrior - You Cant Change Where People Are Looking

It’s the same with your potential customers, employees, or others that really ought to know about you or your company.

Why are they ignoring you?

Why won’t people respond?

Why aren’t they seeing the updates, blog posts, tweets, videos, emails, etc you’ve worked so hard to create?

It’s because they’re not looking in your direction.

For better or worse, I sometimes miss what’s in front of me because I’m looking too far ahead. Other times, I’m intensely focused on something close.  Sound familiar?

In the same way, your customers might be focused on cute cat videos instead of your funny commercial. Your email might not be returned because they’re looking forward to vacation.

We all have blinders on.

The key is doing something about it:

  1. If they are focused on the future, write and share big picture content
  2. If they are intensely focused on solving a problem, help them out
  3. If they are addicted to cute cats, put cute cats in your videos
  4. If they are focused on vacation, talk about their vacation pictures

In the Attention Era, you can’t change where people are looking.  All you can do is move.

That’s why the best leaders are always moving.

Thanks for seeing me tonight,

Aaron @Biebert

__________________________
Get future posts by subscribing to “Thoughts from an 8pm Warrior” via email for free.

USA Today: Hiring via Twitter is Back #ICYMI

On the front cover of this morning’s USA Today, you’ll see my contribution in a piece called “Tweets, not résumés, are trending #icymi“.  My fellow 8pm Warriors were the first sounding board for the idea back in 2011 when I wrote about my experience screening and hiring a social media manager based solely on tweets:

Since the experiment went so well, I honestly thought I would hear of someone else trying it.  Nope.  Not until years later, when Bruce from USA Today contacted me last week for an interview.

Why is that?

Twitter is very public and even though it makes sense for some positions, most hiring managers would be afraid to interview someone in public.

Not because they’re afraid for their applicants, but because they’re afraid for themselves. Afraid of everyone watching them.

Fear drives most business decisions.

Why else did it take so long for most businesses to get into social media?  Same reason why it’s taking so long for them to follow the online video wave now.

Twitter isn’t the right tool for hiring most positions.  However, we need to celebrate people that are boldly using Twitter.

We need to celebrate leaders like Vala Afshar, chief marketing officer at the tech firm Enterasys Networks, who is filling a six figure senior social media strategist job via tweets only (no resume accepted), or Kristy Webster at The Marketing Arm (part of Omnicom Group, a big advertising firm) who is filling five social media internships based on tweeted answers to five questions over the course of five days.

Cool times we live in.

What say you?  Is hiring via twitter here to stay? Or, will we be back here in 2 years talking about it again?

Have an innovative night,

Aaron @Biebert

__________________________
Get future posts by subscribing to “Thoughts from an 8pm Warrior” via email for free.

Idiots Hate Applebee’s (and They’ll Hate You Too)

I was super busy all week with two productions and just got to this.

Now that the dust has settled and the real facts are available, I wanted to quickly weigh in on the giant “Applebees Unjustly Fires Poor Waitress” fiasco.

I’d like to get your thoughts on it too.

Here are the facts before I get started:

 

1) An Applebee’s waitress received this stupid note from Pastor Alois Bell on the signed credit card receipt.

It says “I Give God 10% Why do you Get 18”

2) Chelsea Welch, a different waitress (not the one who served the customer), took a picture of that credit card signature receipt with her phone and posted it on Reddit.com along with the caption:

My mistake sir, I’m sure Jesus will pay for my rent and groceries.

3) Customer found out about it and complained

4) Chelsea admitted to doing it and Applebee’s fired her

5) Hell broke loose on the internet.

The media ran to the server’s rescue.  Competitor’s ears perked up, fan pages popped up, and 20,000+ fans commented on Applebee’s first Facebook post about the situation:

“We wish this situation hadn’t happened. Our Guests’ personal information—including their meal check—is private, and neither Applebee’s nor its franchisees have a right to share this information publicly. We value our Guests’ trust above all else. Our franchisee has apologized to the Guest and has taken disciplinary action with the Team Member for violating their Guest’s right to privacy.”

6) Applebee’s social media team tried to engage upset people.

People called them names and accused Applebee’s of hypocrisy for breaching their own privacy policy by sharing a customer’s “receipt”  earlier in the year.

(looks like an informal positive comment card to me)

6) Applebee’s posts a larger update and temporarily hides the old post.

Enraged Facebook fans claim that Applebee’s deleted their comments.

7) Applebee’s unhides the original post and denies manually deleting any negative posts.

8) 20,000+ more comments go onto their Facebook page.

Thousands of people now “hate” Applebee’s

 

You know what this is?

 

We’re witnessing an old-fashioned online lynching.

What we’ve got here is a company protecting their customer’s privacy (I don’t want my signature online) and being dragged through the mud by idiots looking to lynch Applebee’s.

The idiotic pastor’s note was truly stupid.  Great servers deserve great tips.

However, it would take another true idiot to think it’s okay to post a customer’s signature (customer is the key word) online while mocking them, even if what they were mocking was indeed stupid.

No, I don’t think Applebee’s had the perfect response on Facebook.
No, I don’t think there is such a thing.
Yes, I’m calling a lot of names here.

Here’s why:

  • It’s not okay to hurt a business because you don’t understand how to run one.
  • It’s wrong to post nasty stuff about companies or people when you don’t have the facts.
  • It’s easy to play armchair quarterback when it’s not your business.
  • The local owners, people that work at Applebee’s, and their family members are real people who get affected by idiotic boycotts, 40,000+ nasty comments, and all the distractions this has caused.

But this isn’t just about Applebee’s.  It’s about you and me.

I had something like this happen on our Attention Era Media Facebook page last year when we posted this video and asked if people liked their idea:

A large feminist group began saying we supported misogyny and tying women up for commercial purposes.  It wasted a ton of time and hurt our new brand.

For what?

For entertainment.

People like to hear themselves talk on social media, especially if there’s an ignorant mob that agrees with them.

I know people that work for Applebee’s.  This is not amusing.

This is not entertainment.  Don’t kid yourself. Idiots hate Applebee’s and they’ll hate you too.

That’s why we need to stick together.

Have a great night,

Aaron @Biebert

__________________________
Get future posts by subscribing to “Thoughts from an 8pm Warrior” via email for free.

The Flip Side of Muting Tweets

Jonathon Brewer is a genius social media marketer and true 8pm Warrior. I also consider him a friend and fellow Milwaukee neighbor.

However, I have to respectfully disagree with his recent post about muting tweets through the Tweetbot app or Tweetdeck filters.  He is dealing with a difficult dilemma that I’ve struggled with (mute tweets or miss them), but I think he’s muting some of the most important tweets ever made.

“Proud new father of Frederick Aaron Biebert” Would have been the muted birth announcement on Twitter and Facebook via Instagram

Here’s my thinking.

There are six networks that aspiring 8pm Warriors should use regularly:

Plus a couple more sites I highly recommend:

The world of Social Media is getting very very complex and it seems there are new networks sprouting up every month (i.e. Vine, Chirp, Chirpify, Conversations, Flayvr, Medium, Pheed, Thumb, and more).

My solution?

 

Use sites simultaneously in real-time.  If I want to announce my new baby is born, I snap a picture on Instagram and it posts to Twitter and Facebook.  If I upload my latest Attention Era Media creation to YouTube, I have it share to Twitter and Google+ at the same time.

Even though Linkedin isn’t very interactive (yet), I don’t want a stale profile.  I keep it fresh by posting discussions there and have them start discussions on Twitter at the same time.

By doing this, I can start conversations with my friends without having to go to every network I use and posting the same thing again and again and again.

This plan makes social media doable and successful for me.

The problem when you mute all tweets from Instagram, Linkedin, Facebook, Tumblr and others is that you’re muting real thoughts from real people.  For me that’s a big loss.

Even if I save some time, knowing that I’m missing birth announcements or funny stuff from my friends just creates a bigger issue.

Brew is a great guy (follow him here) and I’m happy that his feed is less cluttered.  However, he’s muting some of the most exciting moments in my life and the deep conversations started around pictures, videos, and locations.

That is the flip side of muting tweets with Tweetbot or Tweetdeck filters.

Which way do you lean?  Mute some or miss some?

Have a great night!

Aaron @Biebert

__________________________
Get future posts by subscribing to “Thoughts from an 8pm Warrior” via email for free.

6 Ways to Help Fix Your Facebook EdgeRank Problem

Since 2008 I’ve done a lot with Facebook pages and seen a lot of data.  We used these pages to promote new ventures or create communities (like the 8pm Warrior page) and my team tried to be as engaging as possible.

The EdgeRank problem (fans not seeing your posts in the news feed) is not a new one, we’ve been dealing with it for years.  However, Facebook recently made changes to it and irritated a lot of people.  I am one of them.

I got this private message today.

As I’m sure you know, Facebook has their “Edgerank” and interactive ranking systems that determine who they think should be able to see liked page comments. You may or may not have found the lack of fan reach from your page frustrating.

From one page admin to another, do you mind if I ask…how do you personally deal with the limitations Facebook puts on page reach?

Here’s what I’m seeing now.

Going off the “XXXX people saw this post” report on the bottom of unshared updates, I looked at some recent numbers.  Updates from my older community pages (like this one) get viewed by up to 75% of the fans for free.  My newer brand pages (like the page for my new Attention Era Media video production group) don’t do nearly as well, getting in front of up to 50% for free.  Most are about 40%.

For less active pages, like the 8pm Warriors discussion page, only about 15% are seeing the posts.  When I share this post, only about 80 people out of almost 500 will see it in their news feed.  Not so good for discussion.  In fact, it’s the least discussion of any major platform I use.  Blog comments, Google+ communities, and Twitter are all far more active.

Edgerank is not so nice for casual pages.

What I do about EdgeRank

The first thing I do is try to share the best content possible, as regularly as possible. Facebook rewards pages that earn engagement by giving them more attention.  Pages that don’t update often, get fewer likes/comments/shares and don’t get Facebook EdgeRank love.  Pages that people aren’t passionate about, don’t get seen.

That’s the point of EdgeRank.

So, while we continue to keep our various Facebook pages active and engaging, here are five other things we’re doing to help make sure people still see our content:

1) We buy ads

Starting at $5 per day, their new system of promoting a page is pretty slick.  Only problem is once you get the fans, they have a very low EdgeRank page history rating because they probably aren’t engaging with the page much at first.  They only clicked the “Like” button on an ad.

If you do #1, you probably need to look at #2 shortly thereafter.

2) We pay to promote posts

We only do this on posts that are really important.  It does get more eyeballs than pre-EdgeRank days.  However, it’s gonna cost you some money.  The cost starts at $5 and goes up from there.  It depends on how many fans you have.

The Dallas Mavericks have to pay $2000 to reach 40% of their fans.

3) I’m trying to move away from Facebook as much as possible.

There’s no getting away from Facebook.  It’s too big, too important.  However, I am trying to diversify my investment of time and money for community building.  I blog here and at AttentionEra.com, as well as use Twitter @Biebert, @AttentionEra, and @8pmWarrior extensively.  I’ve also been using Google+ communities and Linkedin more lately too.

4) We tag people in posts and comments to get them to talk.

Facebook will be more likely to show future posts to people who Like, comment or share the posts they do see.  Tagging them gets them involved.  Don’t be spammy, but don’t hesitate to tag someone if they are in an article or should be part of the discussion.  If you look at our updates, you’ll see that we don’t abuse it.

5) We “Like” and comment on our own stuff.

Pure and simple, Facebook rewards posts with more likes/comments/shares with more views.  Sadly, even our own likes and comments count.  Yes, it’s weird.  Yes, we do it anyway.

6) We’re utilizing our personal pages when appropriate.

Even though EdgeRank applies to people’s personal updates too, they are much more generous with people compared to pages.  I used to use my personal Facebook profile exclusively for private stuff.  No longer.  If we’ve had some good conversations online, I’m looking to connect personally via Facebook.

I recommend that every single member of your team Likes your updates and then comments/shares the update when appropriate.  That will be a good start.

 

That’s about about all I got on this topic.  Hope it helps.

I would discourage folks from using the EdgeRank system as an excuse.  It is actually quite brilliant and makes Facebook more user friendly.  Plus, everyone has to play by the same rules.

Yes, it does give a bigger voice to bigger companies.  The level playing field is gone now.  However, if you’re posting regularly and intelligently (non salesy, engaging stuff), you’ll get engagement and more views.

What are you seeing out there?

Have a great night,

Aaron @Biebert

__________________________
Get future posts by subscribing to “Thoughts from an 8pm Warrior” via email for free.

Your Stuff is Really Ugly

I work with a lot of small businesses.  I own a small business.  My friends are fellow 8pm Warriors too.

I see a lot of stuff.

Unfortunately, your stuff is really ugly.

I know, I know I know.  It sounds mean.  That’s why I was too nervous to tell you directly.  I feel bad.  If you found this article on Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin, your friends probably feel the same way.  Everyone (including me) is afraid to tell you, so they nominated me to be the bad guy this time.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • The visual elements on your website look old and worn out.
  • Your logo looks like it was designed on Microsoft Paint 10 years ago.
  • The fonts you’re using say more than the words you’re using.
  • Your videos look like a 13 year-old made them with a webcam and iMovie.
  • Your background music is cheesy.
  • Your clever designs aren’t clever.
  • Your photos are dark and grainy.

Your stuff is really ugly.

It used to be endearing….a right of passage for new entrepreneurs. “Just design it yourself,” they’d smile and say.  I was an enabler, nodding in agreement while adding:

“Entrepreneurs can’t afford great design.  Creative people are too expensive for small businesses!”

However, that is poor advice in an online world dominated by Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and other visual media sites.  I’m embarrassed to share your site. I don’t want to buy from you because I mistake your ugly stuff for a lack of competence.

Good design is achievable for the average small business now. All you need to look good is put an ad or two in Craigslist, use countless crowd-source design websites, rely on templates, find hungry design students willing to intern, or look up tons of design companies that are slow right now.

Your stuff doesn’t have to be so ugly.

With so much ugly stuff out there, it is a crying shame that there are so many creative 8pm Warriors unemployed or underemployed.  I see them everywhere I look…I get resumes upon resumes.  We had to take our career page down. I feel bad.

For you.

This is your chance to look like a million bucks without spending it.

There is no excuse for ugly stuff.  It hurts my eyes.  It hurts your reputation.  It hurts your business.

Get a decent designer tonight,

Aaron @Biebert

__________________________
If you weren’t offended, get future posts by subscribing to “Thoughts from an 8pm Warrior” via email for free.