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Internet Marketing Basics: What Great Marketers Do

It’s All About Building Influence. One thing you will learn about me, I like simple answers. I think the most complex problems are solved by the easy answer, so here goes. An Internet Marketer uses the Internet to influence people’s decisions to do things. Notice I didn’t say “buy stuff.” There’s a reason for that. If you are an Internet Marketer for a not-for-profit trying to get awareness of an issue, or an Internet Marketer for a political candidate trying to get votes, or an Internet Marketer for a company trying to build brand awareness (the list could go on) you are not necessarily “selling” a product, rather you are trying to influence opinion. By influencing opinion you can do anything. Now Wikipedia and other sites will give you laundry lists of the things that Internet Marketers do. If you are interested in that click the link above. At the end of the day, however, Internet Marketing is really about getting people interested in what you are doing online. If you want to know what great marketers do, read on. What Great Marketers Do. Seth Godin is a great marketer. He has written a dozen best-selling books on marketing including the bluntly titled “All Marketers Are Liars” (Seth recently re-released this book with the work “Liars” crossed out, and the words “Story Tellers” written in). In a 2005 article Seth wrote his own laundry list of what every good marketer knows. He said things like: Anticipated, personal and relevant advertising always does better than unsolicited junk. Making promises and keeping them is a great way to build a brand....

Gamification Basics: What is Gamification and How Can It Help Your Business?

Nike has changed the game by creating a game. Each pair of Nike running shoes has an accelerometer that wirelessly syncs with your online Nike+ account. It tracks things like how far and fast you ran, how that compares with other runners, and it awards you virtual trophies for meeting milestones.  Most runners who engage in the Nike+ game would never think of owning another brand of running shoe. Nike has created the ultimate brand loyalty with a little thing called “gamification”. Learning The Basics of Gamification I love to play video games. Ever since I picked up a pong paddle way back in 1982 I was hooked. When Professor Kevin Werbach of the Warton School at University of Pennsylvania offered an online course in Gamification on Coursera, I jumped on it. This was the first week of class, and as we go through the course I hope to publish blog posts every Friday on the main subjects we covered, both to help me develop my knowledge and to share that with you. Ultimately, I hope that readers of this blog will find ways to use the information to inject some life and engagement to their own marketing and business efforts. Gamification is a hot topic right now in business, but so many people have the wrong idea about it. They think if you add a point system, create a few badges and reward people publicly then an exciting game has been created. Not so much. As we’ll learn in the next section of this post, those are just game elements. Companies may try to add them to the marketing...

Trust Me: Fool Proof Formulas to Get LinkedIn Recommendations on Your Profile

Can you trust anything online these days? According to Bing Liu, a data mining and “opinion spam” expert from the University of Chicago, “about one-third of all consumer reviews on the Internet are fake“. The New York Times revealed that book reviewers-for-hire will write favorable reviews of your work on for a fee without even reading it. And don’t get me started on fake Twitter followers (about 34% of Lady Gaga’s 28-million followers are fake). If it is so easy to fool people with fake endorsements, then why do LinkedIn Recommendations even matter? Employers Will Not Hire Applicants With Less Than 10 LinkedIn Recommendations Despite all we know about the credibility of online reviews they still matter. According to The Undercover Recruiter blog, many employers will not even consider you for a job unless you have more than 10 LinkedIn Recommendations on your profile. Some members are so desperate to beef up their recommendation count that they ask friends and family to write them or “trade” recommendations with other members whom they have not done business with (“I’ll write one for you if you write one for me”). These practices are not recommended (pardon the pun). So what drives the need for recommendations even though statically online endorsements are not trustworthy? The Psychology Behind Online Reviews: Cognitive Biases Cognitive biases are like subconscious shortcuts the brain takes to help a person act more effectively in given situations or make faster decisions when necessary. Influenced by evolution and experience, cognitive biases are beneficial when they result in good choices. Whether or not a persons’ biases are leading them to “good choices” can be determined...

The Best and Worst LinkedIn Profile Photos

If a picture speaks a thousand words the last thing you want is to be mute on LinkedIn. Your profile photo and summary are the first things that other members see when they visit your profile. Choosing the right photo can mean getting a gig, connecting with a key contact and making the right impression on other members. The photo represents who you are. Don’t make a mistake in which one you choose. People Will Judge Your Face: Facial Perception and Social Cognition Some professionals refuse to post a profile photo on LinkedIn. This puts them at a huge disadvantage to build an effective network. Since the LinkedIn profile consists mostly of text, the photograph serves as a stamp of authenticity, a way to build trust. This is not my opinion: science tells us that facial images have a huge impact on human behavior. “Face perception is the process by which the brain and mind understand and interpret the face.” (Source Wikipedia). When someone sees your LinkedIn photo, their brain immediately begins to create associations and categorize the image into a social schema. At this point social cognition brings to mind other information linked to the image by association. As a result judgements are formed which go beyond the image presented, pulling in outside information and influencing social behavior, such as whether to accept your connection request or email you for an interview. This process happens almost instantly and unconsciously. You cannot afford to create a negative judgement either by lack of photo or a bad photo. If you want to know how to take advantage of psychology and...

Get to the Point: How to Draft The Perfect LinkedIn Profile Summary

With 93% of recruiters using LinkedIn to discover new talent and 89% saying they have hired an applicant through LinkedIn, you cannot afford having a profile that does not deliver results. A few changes can mean the difference between being “in the stack” of profiles searched and at the “top of the pile.” Your LinkedIn profile Summary is just the place to start. Human Psychology Demands a Digestible Summary: What Do You Do? The first thing most people ask you at a party is “what do you do?” They are not looking for your elevator pitch, executive summary and certainly not your life story. Rather they are submitting to a basic psychological need to process and understand information as a whole before delving into it’s detailed parts The Geschtalt school of psychology, developed in Germany in the early 20th Century, says that “the brain is holistic, parallel, and analog, with self-organizing tendencies,” and that “the human eye sees objects in their entirety before perceiving their individual parts.” This means that people need to quickly categorize you. By understanding quickly “what you do” people then remember you as Mike the lawyer/blogger, rather than trying to hang onto all the other details you gave them. You need to do this and more on LinkedIn. You’ve heard the expression, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”? Well, you LinkedIn profile Summary is your chance to make a first impression to anyone viewing your profile. You don’t just want them to “get” what you do. You want to make a connection and get the lead to a new opportunity....

We’re NASA and We Know It: Marketing Lessons from Mars Curiosity

We landed on Mars. It’s some of the biggest space news since the Challenger blew up in 1986, a man walked on the moon in 1969 and the Russians beat us to the punch in putting a man into orbit – and God knows NASA needed the PR boost. In recent years, many wondered whether NASA was worth it, afterall the X-Prize had an entire generation of grassroots rocketeers lining up to put people in space for a fraction of the cost. With Mars Curiosity, NASA punched through the stratosphere of doubt and revitalized their brand. Mars Curiosity Shows Every Business How to Boost Their Marketing Efforts When travelling to the moon a space shuttle is off course 99% of the time. It is only by making small adjustments that astronauts bring it to the intended destination. It is so easy to find yourself off course with your own marketing. Businesses big and small can find themselves in a black hole of doing the same old thing or missing the mark. The good news is that you can start to recalibrate your marketing NOW to hit the mark. Since you are all suited up and ready to shoot for the cosmos, we are going to talk about the big moves that you can inject into your marketing at anytime to give it that liftoff it needs. Let the countdown begin … One small step for you, one giant leap for your marketing. 3-Seconds to Lift-Off With Your Marketing NASA missed the marketing mark for years. Sure they did some cool stuf: lots of shuttle launches, the International Space Station and...

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