4 Keys to The Science of Blogging...

This Week (Sunday, March 9, 9pm EST) in Mack Collier’s #blogchat we’ll be talking about “The Art and Science of Blogging.” Blogging covers a huge spectrum of skills, everything from configuring your servers and domain name to web analytics, to coming up with the graphic design and color scheme for your blog (but thankfully, it’s easy to outsource or use tools for all of this). If you have time left after all that, you may even do some writing. I use the word “Science” simply to emphasize experimentation and (hopefully) repeatable results. For our purposes we can use the experiments other people have done to make our blogs better. Week 2 will cover the “Art” side of the discussion. That part is more fun than science but there’s a reason why you have to put science first, and that will a big part of the second week’s discussion. Although you can steal all the scientific results for your own gain, once you start stealing someone else’s art you become a cheap knockoff. The Keys: Follow “The Rules” Build the System Measure Everything Always Be Testing/Closing/Selling Follow “The Rules” As you begin your study of blogging you will look to “The Rules” to guide you and keep you from getting in your own way. For example, in the past you didn’t have to think much about how your blog would look on a phone but with the huge explosion of handheld devices, it’s not uncommon to hear of sites having more than half of their traffic coming from mobile. In other words – if you tune your blog so it also looks great on mobile platforms, you could double your current results. We don’t need to spend much time here, you’re smart enough to be hanging out in #blogchat so you...

Jason Calacanis – Google Wins Everything...

Last month I had a chance to speak with Jason Calacanis in an interview for Marketing Over Coffee. Here’s the audio if reading isn’t your thing: John:  Hello, welcome to Marketing Over Coffee. I’m John Wall. We have Jason Calacanis with us here today. I’ve got two links if you want to check out his history. You can go back and look at This Week in Startups, an interview they did at Penn State where he talks about coming up as an entrepreneur. In another link, an interview with Jerry Colonna which has some great stuff as far as start-ups and coaching. The biggest thing that pushed me to give Jason a call to try to get him on here was back in November he did a post called “Google Wins Everything” on his newsletter. As we get right into this, Jason, you just blew me away with this post. I don’t understand why it didn’t get more action and run further. Before we dig into it, can you set it up for us? What drove you to write this? Jason:  I’m in a fortunate position as a writer in that I don’t write for a particular publication. I write for myself when something is on my mind. As a writer, I tend to write about the things that I’m fascinated with that I feel people aren’t talking about. When I used to be a full-time journalist and editing a magazine back in the days working as a reporter, you had to file. So sometimes you have a weak piece, and sometimes you have a strong piece. I only write something if it’s really strong. Most of the stuff that I write is thrown away and I don’t hit the publish key. I don’t...

Doing Business in Asia...

Here’s the discussion with Derek Sivers, if you’d rather listen you can get the podcast here. John:  Hello, everyone. We have a great interview today with Derek Sivers, author of a number of books on doing business in the Far East. You may know him as the man behind CD Baby. He was on last in 2011 when he had done a book for The Domino Project called “Anything You Want.” We had discussed what went into that project, but he’s had a whole bunch of stuff since we talked to him last. Derek, welcome aboard. Thanks for talking with us. Derek:  Thanks, John. I can’t believe it was 2011. It feels like it was maybe a year ago. You’re right. It’s been a while now. John:  The great thing is that your blog is active. You have a ton of people who follow you and everything over there, so I was able to go in and read what’s been going on. First, let’s get you caught up before we jump into the Wooden Egg Project and what this is all about. When we last talked, you were in Singapore and now you’re in New Zealand. I’ll have a link to the post you have about that, but tell us a little about how that all came about. Derek:  Sure. To back up a bit, I’m so American. I was born in California and I’ve lived in California, Chicago, Boston, New York City, Woodstock, Portland, Santa Monica, and I almost moved to Texas until I realized that America had become kind of like my glass jar – like I was a fly bouncing around inside the jar and I needed to lift off the lid and go out into the rest of the world....

Migrating to Air

Two weeks before Christmas it finally happened. I wanted to edit some video and could no longer stand the thought of doing it on my PC. I drove over hill and dale to the Albany Apple Store just in front of the lunch holiday shopper rush and brought home a new MacBook Air. The great migration began more than 6 years ago as I got sick of doing anti-virus updates and Windows reinstalls. As most geeks can relate, I am the family CIO, and getting married doubled my workload. As we started to spend a lot more on computers and other Apple devices, my maintenance time and expense fell far enough to put me ahead in spite of the increased workload and everyone else started having less trouble with their use. My Dad noticed that a lot of email attachments from his buddy Koz no longer opened. Primary family virus source identified. I considered buying a Mac in 2010 but the company I was with ran on ThinkPads and I had over 15 years of software and tools on the PC side. The deathblow for the last PC standing came when the next company I worked for gave me a Macbook Pro and the Palm Smartphone platform breathed its final gasp. So! Who cares about the details? Nobody. Who cares about specs and workflow? We do! Of course the SSD is blazingly fast, I already knew this having been an SSD fan since 2006, however my photo and iTunes libraries were too big and I wasn’t about to drop a grand on a 1TB SSD so it was all about Western Digital Black Caviar drives. I decided to migrate the iTunes library to an external drive to make up for going from 1TB down...

What is Growth Hacking?...

Ryan Holiday is the author of Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising. This month he stopped in to Marketing Over Coffee (if you’d prefer to listen to the audio) to talk about his new book and his previous book, Trust Me, I’m Lying. John:  Give us the elevator pitch on growth hacking. What’s the idea here? Ryan:  The idea was one morning I was going about my day as a traditional marketer and I sit down, I read this article and the headline is, “Growth Hackers are the New VPs of Marketing.” I’m a VP of Marketing. I’m director of Marketing at American Apparel and I’ve never heard of a growth hacker. I have no idea what it is. But I look at the companies that growth hackers are responsible for – Groupon, Airbnb, DropBox, Facebook, Twitter – a handful of billion dollar brands that were built right in front of us in the last five years, and they didn’t do any traditional marketing. They used a strategy they call growth hacking. I thought, “What does it mean that these people build billion dollar brands using none of the services that I provide or I pride myself in being good at? Maybe they’re better marketers than me.” I sat down to study what growth hacking is and how it works. The book is a result of those interviews, that research, and trying it myself. John:  One interesting point – I was talking more about what it isn’t than what it is. Like you said, you were doing VP of Marketing so you have the book of business that you provided, but really it came down to stuff that was testable, tractable, scalable. That was a big three...

Marketer’s Dream Schedule for Dreamforce 2013...

This weekend I poured through the sessions for Dreamforce, the annual Salesforce.com event starting November 18 in San Francisco. Between the website and the iPhone App I was able to put together this schedule that takes into mind all the topics I think will be hot, what sessions are already full, and some value judgments when there were conflicts. If marketing is your thing, this list might save you a ton of time on your first view of the schedule. Of the 314 marketing sessions I reviewed… Monday Cloud2Car – Force.com and the Internet of things 1:00pm The Magic of Force.com + Heroku – Mon 2:30 (Full) Unifying SF & Physical Devices: An Internet of Things Customer Study – Mon 3:00 Marc Benioff on Dropbox 3:30 Integrate Salesforce and Google Apps with Cirrus Insight – Mon 4:30 Marketing Alliance Party 5:30 Tuesday Hands-on Training: Build a Website using Site.com – Tue 7:30am Opening Keynote 8:30 Parker Harris 11:00 Marketing Cloud – Cross-Channel Strategy – The ET 4D Framework Tue 2:00 BCA Podcast 2:00 Benioff Press Q&A 3:00 3 Insider Tricks of How the Best Marketers Use Salesforce – Tue 3:30 Sales Cloud for Marketing? Get Out of Here! – Tues. 4:30 Benioff and Mayer 5:00 Blogger Event 5:30 Wednesday SalesCloud or Chatter Keynote 9:00 Driving the Internet of Things – Wed 9:45 Developer Social Apps Keynote 10:30 Learn How GoodData Analytics Can Make You Into a Customer Company – Wed 11:30 Marketing Cloud Keynote – Noon BCA Podcast 1pm Press w Scott Dorsey 1:30 SMB Keynote – 2:00 Press wine tasting 3:00 Data.com Keynote 3:30 Benioff and Sandberg 5:00 Thursday Fastest Path to Pipeline – Best Practices for Inside Sales Teams – Thur 8:30 Hands-on Training: Utilize ExactTarget Email Data– Thur 10:00 (Already have...

Dreamforce 2013 for Marketers...

Marketing nerd summer camp is now only 2 weeks away. I have my flight and room ready for Dreamforce (Nov. 18-22 at the Moscone in San Francisco). Last year we did Marketing Over Coffee live from the Expo Floor (following up after Tony Robbins!), and this year I’ll be doing even more coverage for MarketingCloud. For anyone that’s going to be at the show feel free to tell me what you are up to on twitter @johnjwall as I’ll be looking for all the coolest products and biggest stories. On my to-do list so far: Stop by to visit Todd at InsideSales.com they do over 1,000 demos, if you are looking for best practices, talk to him (and be sure to tell him I sent you). Vocus is on my list since they’ve added email to their product mix for full marketing automation, and of course Marketo always has a huge presence. InsightSquared has been doing a lot of interesting stuff. If you are into Marketing Dashboards you have to check them out. Catching up with Mike Gerholdt of the Button Click Admin Podcast. Also looking forward to whatever David Spark has going on as brand journalist. Isaac and Lauren from Tinderbox will also be there. Very interested to see what Xively is all about (if you are into “The Internet of Things” or “Commercial Internet”), thanks Ben Heyman for reaching out on Twitter. To wrap it up on Thursday there’s the MarketingProfs Happy Hour, so if you’re around to wind down after walking 50 miles in 4 days, sign up and say hi! Ok, enough with the link bait, if you’re in, tell me so! Here’s the clip from last year, the only MoC in glorious...

2011 Interview with Steven Pressfield...

Two years ago I had a chance to speak to a key player on The Domino Project, Ishita Gupta, and one of the authors involved, Steven Pressfield. When Steven’s next book came out the email I had for him had been shut down. I contacted his admin about an interview for the new book and was told there wouldn’t be any. We get plenty of books in for review so I moved on to the next one, but was disappointed because I like his work and really enjoyed speaking with him. My bruised ego thought “I’m sure if Oprah called they’d find some time on the calendar.” Well, guess who showed up on Oprah today? When I heard about this earlier in the week I grabbed this interview from the archives (click here if you’d rather listen to us) and sent it to transcription. No reason for me not to take advantage of a probable search boost from Steven getting an hour with the greatest name in TV. John:  Good morning. Welcome to Marketing Over Coffee. Today we have a special interview with Ishita Gupta and Steven Pressfield. We have two special guests with us today. Ishita Gupta works on The Domino Project, a series of books and some new ideas on book marketing. She also works on a number of projects with Seth Godin, whose book “Poke the Box” was the first book in The Domino Project. Ishita, thanks for talking to us today. Ishita:  Thank you for having us on. John:  Also joining us is Steven Pressfield, the author of “Do the Work,” the recently released second book in The Domino Project. His previous books include “The Legend of Bagger Vance,” which in 2001 was made into a movie with Will Smith,...

Jay Baer on Youtility...

Jay Baer is an acclaimed keynote speaker, New York Times best selling author, entrepreneur, technology investor, and social media and digital marketing consultant. His latest book is Youtility, and I had a chance to chat with him on Marketing Over Coffee (click if you prefer audio). John:  Today, we have a special episode. We have the author of Youtility, Jay Baer, with us. Jay, Welcome to the show. Jay:  Thanks very much. Time will tell whether I am a special guest or not. John:  We’ll be watching the numbers, and I think given the Jay Bayer freight train that has been accelerating over the past couple of months, I’d put money on you. Jay:  Thanks. John:  So, you’ve written NOW Revolution with Amber Naslund a while back. Your latest book is Youtility. It’s made the New York Times Best Seller List. Congratulations. Tell me a little bit about the book. Let’s give everybody the elevator pitch. What is Youtility about? Jay:  The difference between helping and selling is just two letters. But those two letters make all the difference. If you sell something, you could make a customer today. But if you help someone, you can make a customer for life. And the way you do that is by creating something that is so useful, people will pay for. It’s marketing that is truly and inherently valuable. It has intrinsic value. If you do that, you will win in the end. John:  Right. You’ve got a bunch of great case studies in there, too. It’s a perfect example of a strong business book. You’ve got a big idea, and then you’ve got a bunch of great examples. I have to give you credit for that because so many of these books, I can only...

David Spark on Brand Journalism...

David Spark is an 18 year veteran of tech marketing and journalism. He’s been in over 40 media outlets in print, radio, TV, and online, has been involved in podcasting, video, and came on to talk about Brand Journalism. John:  Give us your elevator pitch. What do you do and how do you do it? David: I own a company called Spark Media Solutions. We are brand journalists, which means we create media for companies to increase their thought leadership in this space. The angle that we’ve been really successful with is building influencer relations through content. That is, I think, the best way to make a friend with somebody: to create content or interview them. If you want to be their best bud, that’s probably the best way to do it. I don’t think I’ve failed at that yet. John: You were just quoted recently in Forbes. They had a whole article about content marketing. There are a lot of ways to fail at content marketing. You can’t just jump into this and assume that because you are doing what everybody is doing it’s going to be right.  Talk a little bit more about that. Where do people screw this up and what do we have to look at? David: I should say I despise the term “content marketing” because I think it’s insidious. I think to say to someone, “Here is some content.” But it’s also marketing. It’s like someone would want to drop it like a hot potato: “Ah! I don’t want this! Who wants this crap?” The industry uses content marketing for their own selves and understands, “We’re generating this content to ultimately sell product.” But if it’s delivered to someone as marketing material, even though it’s “subtle,” as this...

Podcast Player Test

Marketing Over Coffee is available on Stitcher if you listen to podcasts on a mobile device. I wanted to test out their...

Always More Complicated...

Lying with statistics is a topic that comes up all the time on Marketing Over Coffee and you’d think it would get old, but the latest crazes of dashboards, infographics and the like just continue to fuel the fire. Point #1: Statistics that show you a pie chart to make you feel better are misleading you and hiding a bunch of thorny questions. For better or worse, every time I’ve dug into the numbers I’ve found questions that are difficult to answer and force you to ask even more difficult questions. Over the 4th I found an interesting article on the fact that many flags and patriotic clothes are not made in the United States. That article claims only 2% of the apparel sold in the US is made here. Wearing clothing that celebrates America that wasn’t made here is an interesting issue, it then gets pushed much farther by talking about U.S. flags being used on caskets for our military and proposed legislation to require that they be made in the United States (the majority are made in China). This is the “digging deep gets complicated” phenomenon, clothes being made outside the U.S. seems like not a big deal on the surface, 4th of July items being imported feels strange, our tax dollars for flags for those who made the ultimate sacrifice paid to a nation that’s not that big on freedom feels like a crime. The article then cites research from Consumer Reports (a favorite publication of mine): “Given a choice between a product made in the U.S. and an identical one made abroad, 78 percent of Americans would rather buy the American product”. This brings to light three more important points: Point #2: Creating a survey question that is not biased...

Advance Campaign Management...

The reporting suite in Salesforce.com is sort of like the $100 tool kit you get at Home Depot. It has all the standard stuff (screwdrivers, sockets, wrenches, pliers in a stylish red box of some kind), and if you know what you’re doing it will work for most everything, and for more advanced stuff you could make it work, although if you are a pro you’ll want more power tools. As part of a webinar I did with Salesforce we started to discuss one of the big problems with campaign measurement – the fact that your data is only as relevant as the number of closed deals you have. I had done a presentation on this a few years back and had some requests for it and found that it was the classic “Consultant’s Powerpoint” – lots of pictures, and useless unless you know the story. So here’s the story. In a perfect world you’d measure how many closed deals came from your campaigns, have a simple dashboard showing the dollars generated and go home a hero. In reality, odds are you’re going to start tracking and measuring, right to the point of reallocating budget prior to the first deals closing – a classic “Fire, Aim, Fire.” The first thing to confirm is that you are getting a primary campaign source for every opportunity. This is one of the more recent adds to marketing tracking and it’s the closest thing you’ll get to a silver bullet. Doing an initial pass and confirming that every opportunity has a primary campaign (even if it’s “Unknown”) allows you to run some interesting reports and start to get a picture of where the deals and inbound leads are coming from. For most cleanup like this I’ve found that...

The Next Thing

For those not chronically addicted to LinkedIn, I’m no longer with Glance Networks. I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about what’s next and as it usually happens, things have been coming up on their own. Thanks to all of the listeners of Marketing Over Coffee I’ve been able to talk to many people, and I’m so thankful for having a great network of friends keeping an eye out for me. While catching up with everyone that I haven’t had time to talk to over the past year I’ve had a number of people ask if I’d be interested in doing some contract projects. Some consulting, some all the way through to execution, and all with companies I’m very interested in. Although I’m not thrilled about figuring out my own healthcare and payroll (at least the M Show Productions LLC that was set up for Marketing Over Coffee is already in place), I’m very excited to have a chance to work with different organizations rather than just parachuting into a single project. The big question will be if I will eventually turn all the time towards a single company if things work out, or if I find out that I can make an agency of some kind work. I’m very excited for this next step, it’s a big...

Mitch Joel on CTRL-ALT-DEL...

I had a chance to talk with Mitch about his new book for Marketing Over Coffee, if you’re an audio kind of person check it out at the website, or on iTunes or Stitcher. If you’re the kind of person that prefers to read, well, here’s the copy: Of course you can get CTRL-ALT-DEL from Amazon. John:  This is your second book. The first one ran like wildfire. Take us from when we talked to you last. The book did well. You did the speaking thing. When did you realize you needed to write something else and what did you come up with for a big idea? Mitch:  “Six Pixels” came out in 2009 (I wrote it in 2008) and I really felt it was a book where I was explaining how, as a small agency – a very small shop under a handful of people – we leveraged these ways in which we connect. I don’t want to lump it all under social media because I didn’t think “Six Pixels” was just a social media book, but how we leveraged it to really build attention, build clients, and use it as a springboard to what we can do, which is very different from the way traditionally you would think you would grow an agency and market it. I was already latched onto the blogging bug, and for sure, the podcasting bug had bit hard, too. You go through the process and wonder, “Do I need to really write another book? I’m still blogging every day. I’m podcasting every week. I write for the Harvard Business Review one week, and the opposite week I write for Huffington Post. Magazine offers and newspaper stuff.” Life is sort of good. I just came to the point...

Top 7 Confessions

This month I’ll be talking about some of the info in B2B Marketing Confessions in a webinar with MarketingProfs! Reg info to follow… Of course you could free yourself from the calendar and just get a copy of the book for yourself! Lastly, this week’s edition of Marketing Over Coffee is now available. Bonus: As mentioned in the session, here’s the chapter on Email for free!...

Prayer for Martin Richard...

Martin Richard, 8 years old, was taken from his family and friends at the Boston Marathon on Monday. I was crushed when I heard about him. He came to celebrate the race, the place where we stop for a day and a huge crowd of over 15,000 take a bold leap. Courage, fear and heart on display for all to see. His loss hits me personally because of my love for this race, and here’s why: I’ve already written at length about running the Boston Marathon, and what it meant to me. I can’t stop thinking about the tragedy there this week. As I went through my 20’s sources of inspiration began drying up. The church, mired in scandal, and a symbol of pain. Fictional characters were recognized as just that, people that weren’t real. I began to run more often just because it was too difficult to try and find anyone left that played tennis, and there were no trails for rollerblading like there were back in the Bay Area (does anyone rollerblade anymore?) The first race I ran was a 5k in Cambridge and I won first place in my division (Fat Bastard) by cracking 7:30 miles, a pace I haven’t seen in years. In the finish chute a guy behind me was lamenting how he was in better shape when he had run the marathon. This was a spark – I had outrun somebody that was able to run the marathon. The next step was to go to the finish to see what it’s all about. The first time I went late in the day. The winners tear across the line in a split second. The true drama is to see the people coming in as the clock climbs to 4,...

New Supreme Headphones...

All the way back in 2007 I started writing about various headphones that I had been trying out (Shure vs. Bose vs. Sony). Somewhere around 2010 I did the same for headphones and other technology (GPS, Heartrate Monitor) I’ve been using for running, most recently this post. The latest updates: My Shure E500’s were traded in when the cable broke on one of them, a common occurrence which they have resolved by now having screw mount cables that are easily replaced. I was able to exchange my 500’s for 530’s, basically an upgrade (but still one model earlier than the replaceable cable). The same thing happened with the Bose QC 2’s that the rest of the family uses, a break at the swivel above the ear, another common problem that was resolved with the QC15 design. So the good news with going higher end is that if they break you can replace them at a discount. On the running front all the gear has changed – I unloaded the Sennheisers and was using some old school Sony’s until Glance gave us all a set of Bose SIE2i sport earphones. At $150 I never would have bought them for myself, my track record is to ruin sports headphones in about a year or so. The surprise is that they are worth every penny and sound incredible. With the soft rubber loops that retain the ear bud you get great sound but still can hear what’s going on around you. The iPhone and Runkeeper has crushed all competitors on the GPS front, with the ability to serve up music, record data as a heartrate monitor and track your route via GPS it’s the runner’s holy trinity on one device. And, all this was kicked off by...

Marketing Over Coffee Live...

I forgot to mention that as part of my relocation I’m no longer able to meet up with Chris on Wednesday mornings at the Dunkin’ Donuts to record Marketing Over Coffee. We’ve settled on Google Hangouts, which actually works pretty well for two reasons – first, it dumps the recording straight over to YouTube so now you can watch the video, and second, if it’s a normal week you can watch it live on Thursday mornings at 7am! Chris posted the show on his blog this week and I realized I should be doing the same! In this week’s Marketing Over Coffee, we discuss all things Pinterest analytics, Google Reader getting killed off, and much more. Watch it...

Seth Godin on The Icarus Deception...

I was fortunate enough to have a chance to interview Seth Godin about his new book, The Icarus Deception, last month. I’ve had the interview transcribed, check it out below. Note: I’m trying out a new transcription service so if you notice anything out of order below please leave me a comment (I’ll send you a copy of my new book)! If you’d rather listen you can hear it at Marketing Over Coffee. JOHN: Welcome to Marketing Over Coffee. I’m John Wall. We have a special holiday gift for you today, a guest we’ve had on the past. He’s written over a dozen books, many of them best sellers, spoken at TED, and is here today to talk about his new book, The Icarus Deception. I’m very happy to welcome Seth Godin. Seth, thanks for coming on today. SETH: Thank you, sir. It’s always a pleasure to talk to you, John. JOHN: Great. So, the new book is The Icarus Deception. Give us the elevator pitch. What’s the big idea? SETH: I think it’s a pretty big idea, which is that we all grew up during the Industrial Age. Everyone knows about the Industrial Revolution. It revolutionized the world, invented jobs, created productivity, made us all rich, and now it’s over. And there’s a Post-Industrial Age here now and growing every day. I’m calling it the connection economy. The connection economy is coming to us via the connection revolution. The important thing to understand is this: we have been brainwashed by eight generations of propaganda into believing things about the world that don’t have to be true. When we start keeping score of things like permission and trust and reputation and connection, many of the things that used to be part of our life—like...