Hank Moody inspires me to Write, Find out why…

Yes, Californication is a misogynistic, sadistic and downright disgusting piece of premium television at times, especially for this Christian man, but I can’t help but downright idolize Hank Moody, David Duchovny’s amazingly brilliant, egotistical, womanizing author/sociopath character on Showtime’s Californication.

We all want to be the writer Hank is.

He doesn’t care, write what he feels, people drool over his words and he makes tons of money doing it.

Don’t act like you don’t want the same thing.

We all want to be admired for our skill with the written word and “yes, some money would be nice.”  Name that movie….I’ll give you a hint, Jason Lee.

Again, I am not saying that the basis of the show, and yes even “Hank’s” behavior isn’t obnoxious and disgusting, but he inspires us to write, to be a writer, and that I can appreciate.

 

 

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If it matters, put it above the fold

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One of my favorite blogs, Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing Blog, defines “above the fold” as:

A design term that originated in the printed newspaper days. “Above the fold” describes the part of a web page that the visitor can see without scrolling, and is usually considered the most important real estate on your page

Scroll tracking undeniably shows that anything below the fold gets a cold rating.  Cold means less than 50% of your users actually go down there.  That’s not good right?

So why have anything below the fold? Great question.  Most sites were traditionally built on the old ideals of “get all of the information we need on the page, no matter how long it is.”  Oh and “build as many pages as it takes to give an over abundance of information about us.”

No longer.

This thinking has shifted to “get only what’s needed on the page, and keep it above the fold.”

Trust me, this is the way to go.

Now, some new age websites use an anchoring technique whereby they build a VERY Long 1 page website and put anchor links, or links at the top of the page that teleport you directly to the section you desire, which are all well and good but they still beg the question.  Are you putting too much on your website?

Can you make it simpler and keep it in an area where no one has to scroll?

The answer is yes.  Smart, responsive, web design today is built on the framework of never having the the end-user scroll and only putting the most important information and pages on your site.  Period. 

Go back to your site and ask the question, how can I simplify the information and keep everything and everyone above the fold.

Do this and your conversion rates and bottom line will rise, I guarantee it.

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Web Optimization is all about putting things where THE CUSTOMER & THE BOTTOM LINE need them to be

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Through countless hours of studying CrazyEgg Web Analytics (amazing tool, highly recommend)  for our company’s website, I have been able to acquire some great learnings that I will share with you over the next few blog posts. My goal is to help you so you can implement them on your web site as soon as possible.

 

The first lesson is: Put things where your customers want them

 

Not all websites function the same but most websites would classify themselves to have two main purposes for their customers: To make a purchase and to find information.

 

With that said, how can you make the most popular products and most popular information available in simplest way possible?  These are two quick tactics

 

1. Put it above the Fold – the area on a website where most users would not have to scroll down

 

2. Make it easy to find – We have 33 direct clicks and over 100 total links on the homepage of our website.  Our goal is to get this number trimmed WAY down to make information, the right information, easier to find.

 

Challenge yourself today, either through empirical data or good ol’ gut instinct (data is the better route) to make the important stuff, both to your business and your customers, easier to find and above the fold.

I promise your conversion rate will rise, your customers will be happier and maybe, just maybe, you will get a raise. :)

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3 Keys To Public Speaking Success and When to Have Necessary Endings

Dr. Henry Cloud was one of the best speakers at this year’s Chick-Fil-A Leadercast because of a few extremely fundamental public speaking tactics:

  1. Humor – Guy was funny and that loosens everyone up
  2. Ups and downs – He told you the challenge, then the solution – see Nancy Duarte
  3. Stories that resonate – Personal, funny and relatable

Those 3 simple keys can make your speech a success.

Dr. Cloud’s topic dealt with necessary endings, also the title of his newest book.  Those critical moments in an organizations life-cycle when, although painful, it’s time to tell someone and some initiative goodbye.

The reason he called them necessary endings are two fold:

  1. They are usually best for the person AND….
  2. They are usually best for the organization

He equated these scenarios to the upkeep of Rose bushes, and gave 3 concrete examples of necessary endings for the Rose bush so that the flowers (your A players or the organization as a whole) can prosper and bloom:

  1. Clip the non-prospering roses to let the nutrients get to the flourishing roses. Do this with even the roses that have potential but you know will never quite get there
  2. Clip the sick and dying roses.  Ones that are bringing down the organization and if they stay, could take down the whole bush
  3. Clip the dead roses. Create a quick and necessary ending with people (roses) that are poison to the organization.

Great advice from a very interesting guy.

Take care!

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EContent Live!

Just recently, I had the privilege to be invited on EContent Live for Econtent Magazine (can be found at econtentmag.com).

EContent Live is a new series that will be exclusively held on Google+ Hangouts On Air (which worked awesome).

The show was hosted by my good friend Jose Castillo and featured online content wizard and writer Scott Abel.

We talked about some relevant content, including:

  1. Does Facebook make us sad?
  2. Responsive Web Behavior and Design
  3. Aren’t Gmail tabs killing content creators?

And more…

Check out the Video below. I hope you enjoy.  Talk with you soon!

LINK to EContent Article

 

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Does Your Idea Solve Someones Problem?

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Ideas.

Everyone has them.  Is yours going to save the world? Maybe.

Is mine? Maybe.

But no one will ever know about these genius ideas unless you tell someone about them.

I had one of those just recently.  That do all of the things that good ideas should do: Solve problems.

My idea, my solution, is called ReadyCallMe. You know those silly contact forms on people’s websites that say “Enter your information here, we’ll call you?”  Well the idea stems from that.

In my work life we send lots of email blasts. LOTS OF EMAIL BLASTS.

But we have two main “Calls to Action” on each blast.  Click or call (I sound like John Krasinski from those Esurance commercials).

Sounds like every email blast you have ever seen right?

Well, my product is in between that.

A solution based on the age old need to stop waiting in line and have someone wait on me.

ReadyCallMe would, in essence, become a 3rd CTA for brands to say this:

If you don’t want to click, and don’t want to call, click this button….and we’ll call you.

If you want to know the rest of the idea, email me, we’ll talk numbers ;).

But that idea isn’t worth shit if I don’t pitch someone.  So first I am pitching you and then maybe someday I will get the balls to go pitch someone else.  You know in a room with windows and use slides etc.  :)

Fail or not, that will be a good day.

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7 Reasons You Should Be on Google+

 

I am a big fan of Google+. Period.

Experts like Chris Brogan and Robert Scoble are huge advocates for the still young “social network” (just turned 2 years old) for a reason.
In his book Google+ for Business, Brogan boasts that “Google+ is built toward making it easier for people to FIND YOU and connect with you.”

Over the past few months I have grown quite fond of the land of Google Glass and Hangouts and here are my 7 reasons I think you should join me on Google+:

1. Integration with other Google Services

  • I, like a lot of people, use a plethora of Google Services and Google+ is baked into every single one, one way or another. Whether it’s the fast follow features in Gmail or Google Search or its quick share features from Calendar and YouTube, G+ makes life simpler for me and I like that.

2. It’s beautiful

  • Google+’s redesigns (and there have been many) have made the interface into a stunning work of digital design. So beautiful in fact that Facebook looks poised to closely mimic Google+’s look in their next iteration of the news feed.

3. Your mother and father are not on it (maybe they are, but your family isn’t)

  • Don’t get me wrong, I love my mother, father, godmother, brothers, sisters, cousins etc. but Google+ feels like a safe haven for me and my posts. Facebook has become overrun by not only ads, but your brother’s sister uncle’s dog who comments on your life. Not everyone understands Google+ and that’s good for those that need some breathing room. :)

4. Hangouts

  • Hangouts have made online chatting cool to me. FaceTime is reserved so the grandparents can see the kids. Skype has always felt a little creepy to me but Hangouts have found a sweet spot somewhere in between and since they can be broadcast on the G+ interface and YouTube, I am a fan.

5. There are no ads (Yet)

  • For the business pages I am involved with I am looking forward to being able to build those pages through ads, but for right now it’s a nice place to be without the constant bombardment of ads by Clash of the Clans.

6. Ranking in Google Search

  • Yowser, I love this one. I have been absolutely shocked and amazed by the posts that I place and the rankings they get in Google Search. We have seen examples that if we title something right (TIP: Focus on your headline in your posts. Make sure the headlines are search optimized and you may surprise yourself where you show up) that a high ranking, first page in fact, is not far behind.

7. Google Authorship

  • Google Authorship gives you the ability to link your written content on a domain to your Google+ profile. This allows Google to create a linkage between you and all of your activities. Likes, dislikes, specialties etc.

Google+ has grown exponentially due to their enormous Google user count but I believe they will continue to grow because of the refreshing interface, integration into search and exciting product innovations.

To start a G+ page today go to https://plus.google.com/. Oh, and add me to your circle. I look forward to talking to you over there!

 

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4 Simple Ways to Unearth Your Passions [Think Marketing Show Podcast Episode 015]

 

This week we dive into how to unearth your passions. Here are the 4 simple ways (and we are sure there are 5 trillion more but these popped up in our minds).

1. TALK - Talk to a mentor, a person that challenges you, someone you love or that knows you very well.  Open up and explain things about yourself and you will find through that sou searching a passion set

2. Examine your hobbies - If you were a millionaire, what would you do everyday? What excites you?  What fires you up?  There you will find passion.

3. Be honest and be vulnerable - Share your deep, dark secrets with someone.  Tell them what makes you tick and what you truly enjoy.

4. Help someone else - Amazing what can happen when you help someone in need.  It can recenter and refocus you on what really matters in life.

Thanks for reading and listening!

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I failed to reach my goal but I’m not done yet…

failed

I think this is a common thing that people go through when they want to get a product out.

It doesn’t always go as planned.

A week ago I wrote a post that stated that, by today, I would have a Kindle Book ready for you to read.  Well, I failed to reach that goal.

But, as the title of this post states, I’m not done yet.  There’s a little fight in this cussing Christian.

Here are the facts and action steps I have taken over the past week to reach my goal of publishing a book:

1. I have written over 3,000 words (just a little bit more to go.  Target for this short book is 5,000 words and I already had 1,000 written)

2. I had a Kindle Book cover made for me.

3. I have lined up someone to copy edit and proofread as soon as I am ready

I have taken action every single day since my last post to reach my ultimate goal.  And that is the true test.  Did I fail to reach the goal I set for myself last week. Yes.

Will I fail to reach my ultimate goal. No.

Stay tuned…

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[Volume 4] – MAKE ACTION DECISIONS – 17 Leadership Maxims from the 2013 Chick-Fil-A Leadercast

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Volume 4 – David Allen – Make Action Decisions

Back to David Allen for this weeks edition of the “what I soaked up at the 2013 CFA Leadercast.”

This has to be my favorite takeaway from the entire conference. That’s a bold statement, I know.

This very topic is what I think I want to start my personal platform about (man, have I been listening to way too much Michael Hyatt ; no such thing…)

Make action decisions every day. Live by that.

Move forward

Fail fast

Scare yourself

Now, while I am a prolific action taker at work (to the point where I drive my team and everyone around me crazy) I am not for my personal platform because of the challenges of being a full time corporate marketer, husband and dad.

But, that’s no longer an acceptable excuse. If you want something bad enough, you will do it.

My goal is to have my short 5 D’s of Differentiation book on sale for my 10-12 passionate followers (I love you all very much) by the end of June. That’s right, 10 days.

On July 1st, you will see a post on this blog with a Kindle Link to purchase.

I will move fast, take quick effective action (to the best of my ability), learn by either failing or succeeding and have something for purchase in 10 days.

Its time to take action. Who’s coming with me? The End of June Challenge is on. What will you do in the next 10 days to take action and change your life for the better?

See you soon!

 

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