No one wants you to tell them their baby is ugly. Even you.
It’s easy to be a critic of everyone else’s work, but what about your own? How can you be sure the efforts and resources you are investing for some expected outcome are actually going to deliver that outcome? And how many times do you invest months of time, effort, energy, and budget dollars only to come out on the other end completed dumbfounded it didn’t work out as intended?
In today’s business climate, you can’t afford to be wrong for very long.
Being data-driven is all the rage. Some would consider it a fad or trend that will pass soon enough. The only problem with that is data is a natural byproduct of how you and I engage with the world. Whether it's as a consumer or business leader, data informs our decisions and captures what we—as well as our constituents—want, desire, or need.
Dashboards and data aren't futuristic aspirations anymore. They are now and have already become part of the normal mode of operations for many in society.
Data visualization empowers every leader to take raw data and use it to inform thinking, strategy, and action. Technology typically takes complex and expensive things and makes them simple and affordable. Moreover, that is exactly the current state of data visualization tools today.
You have no excuse not to be on your journey to proficiency with a data visualization tool. It is really up to you and your willingness to push through the discomfort of learning something new and acquire an essential skill set for successfully leading to a dynamic and iterative business climate.
If you’ve been a pastor for any length of time, you’ve likely led your church through a capital campaign. It’s a special time filled with excitement, wonder and a world of possibilities. This can be one of the healthiest vehicles for spiritual growth any church can deploy.
When God inspires you to do a Kingdom project, it will always feel bigger and more complex than your current knowledge, resources and congregation’s experience. That’s why a capital project can be a time of tremendous growth.
But There Is Too Much At Stake To Leave It To A Game Of Chance.
Not that "F" word!
That's another post for another time. I'm talking about F-O-C-U-S in your content and messaging strategy. The ability to stay on target until you determine the campaign is a horrible failure or a raging success.
Too many give up before they give an idea the chance to succeed.
Marketing will never be the same.
There was a time when desktop computing skills (remember that phrase?) moved from optional to required. Then, employees had to understand the Web. Now, no organization can afford to hire people in their marketing department who don't understand social networking and mobile engagement. My prediction is that every new hire for any professional position will one day have to demonstrate a proficiency in social and digital media.
The discipline of content marketing is forcing businesses to become publishers and publishers to become businesses. The person who wins in this equation is ... EVERYONE.
People win because they feel empowered through knowledge to make better decisions, whether that's a local contractor for home improvement or deciding on the next ERP system to purchase and implement for your growing business. Inbound marketing changes the game in that it reverses roles. Instead of the business or vendor finding the customer, the customer finds the business or vendor.
Google is a verb you can't afford not to use.
Google Trends measures search volume of keywords or phrases. If Google is the number one search engine and the first place most people go to find the information they need, then indexing search volume and our ability to quickly compare different words or phrases are vital to successfully and consistently being found online.
Essentially, our ability to identify the words other people are using to find—or not find—you or your service, brand, or company is the difference between being found organically within searches or being buried deep within the Google ecosystem forever.
If you’re new to the marketing world, this type of functionality is EPIC. It used to only be available to big companies who could afford to staff people who loved doing things like polynomial regression analysis and interpretive analytics.
But now this keyword research tool is now available to you ... today ... and at no cost.
I never thought I would say this, but I am quickly approaching the point of dropping Evernote for OneNote.
I have been an avid Evernote evangelist for years. I have more than 7,300 hundred notes in my Evernote account. It has been an integral part of my digital experience for a long time. If I do decide to break up with Evernote, it will be painful to unencumber myself for good.
Bottom line, Evernote has stopped developing and innovating at the rate that it was. Since Microsoft finally released a version of OneNote for Mac about a year ago, it has been a legitimate contender in the digital note-taking space. Given my relentless curiosity about productivity tools, I decided to give it a try.
Analytics, when spoken, is a word that can divide a room of people. It will intrigue some and send others mentally and emotionally somewhere else believing that it is "someone else's" responsibility or simply unethical and irresponsible.
Yet every person interested in engaging others in meaningful conversations should pay attention to analytics. Every communicator wants to make the most of the opportunities he or she is presented with. But too often our game plan is based on a whim, grounded in the success of others, and left to intuition. As is often said, "Hope is not a strategy."
You can't fix stupid. Sorry. This is my fundamental skepticism of depending on corporate policies to control [sic] behavior on social media.
I'm not a huge fan of rules of any kind but especially when it comes to social media. That being said, I'm beginning to develop an appreciation for social media policies as a way to help businesses, brands, and causes focus their work in the age of influence through digital communications.
I find myself saying this over and over again. The temptation for organizations is to just keep creating more and more messages while sending them across the most efficient and established models for the organization. The fatal flaw is in that logic is that the consumer controls the conversation now, not the organization. That means I can "mute" you, and you can't do anything about it.
The lies that organizations buy into is that ...
They constantly need to have something new to say.
They intuitively know the communication preferences of others.
They believe everyone likes to be reached in the same way.
None of these are true.
Like it or not, most people still manage life through their inbox. The ability to write clearly and effectively for this medium will ensure your comments are read, considered, and acted upon.
This is a compilation of 11 tactical ways to improve your email communication habits.
Social media is still being treated like a magnetic sticker you just slap on the side of your car to advertise your newly minted business. In many respects, social media is talked about more than ever but still doesn’t have a legitimate seat at the strategy table.
What that means is there are a lot of social media consultants, speakers, writers, etc. who are not held accountable to true metrics of any kind. I’m not talking about metrics akin to a high school popularity contest such like “likes” and “follows.” I’m talking about metrics that demonstrate movement through the life cycle of engagement—whatever that looks like within your nonprofit, cause, or charity.
You should stop wasting your social content.
You’ve spent too much time, too much energy, and too much creativity on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc. not to harness the potential of all of that raw material. The ability to create a completely searchable database filled with content you’ve already curated, collected, created commentary around is more than a pipe dream; it's reality.