guy kawasaki – Stay N Alive

Emailvision Acquires Social Media Marketing Company ObjectiveMarketer

I’m always giddy to report on people I know whose companies have been acquired.  Amita Paul’s ObjectiveMarketer announced today it has been acquired by Emailvision, a leading Software as a Service Email marketing company providing solutions to enable marketers to communicate more effectively.  No details were disclosed as to the amount of the transaction.

ObjectiveMarketer is just one of dozens of companies in Guy Kawasaki’s very successful Advisorship portfolio (“Guy’s Golden Touch”), currently and previously containing several Twitter and Facebook marketing companies.  One of the most recent successes in that portfolio you may be familiar with was CoTweet, which was acquired by the Marketing firm ExactTarget.  I’ve had the chance to meet Amita Paul, ObjectiveMarketer’s founder at BlogWorld a couple years ago, and I must say the acquisition is well deserved.  The acquisition is also near and dear to my heart, as my company, SocialToo, is also in Guy Kawasaki’s Advisorship portfolio in similar fields – it’s exciting when someone else in your field gets acquired!

The acquisition comes on the heels of many other similar acquisitions by more typical marketing companies hiring social media businesses to get a leg up on Social Media and stay competitive in their industry.  The first, more famous acquisition was the CoTweet acquisition by ExactTarget, which I mentioned earlier.  You may also be familiar with the acquisition of Nutshell Mail, the Social Media notification and summary email service, by Constant Contact.

This acquisition is exciting, as all of these acquisitions cross boundaries somewhat with some of the services my company, SocialToo provides.  To me it just gives even more credibility that there is value in Social Media Marketing tools and customers are willing to pay big money to manage their presence on Social Networks.  I’m excited for what the future holds.

Congratulations to who I’m happy to call my peer in the Guy Kawasaki “Golden Touch”, Amita Paul.  This is an exciting day for her and an exciting day for Social Media Marketing tools as a whole.

How do I get People to Interact and Build Lasting Relationships?

Today I received 2 similar requests, so I thought I’d share the answer here so others could learn as well.  The question was, “How do I get people to interact and build lasting relationships?”  Other forms of the question previously have been, “how do I build my followers?” or, “how do I create traffic?”  There’s even a book about it called, “How to win Friends and Influence People.”

While I don’t think the actual answer is very hard, the process does involve hard work.  It shouldn’t be easy.  It’s something that  involves much more than just “creating numbers.”  Actually, the question, “how do I build my followers?” or, “how do I build my traffic?” are probably the wrong questions you should be asking.  The correct question is just what another person asked me today, which you read in the title – how do we build relationships?  How do we build community?  How can you build an audience that will listen when you speak?  Even better:  How do I build an audience of people that listen that have even larger audiences of people who will listen?  I think that’s the key.

When I was asked this earlier, here is how I answered:

“What do you have to offer? Find people that are interested in what you have to offer, and offer to help – it’s pretty much Karma. The more you give, the more you will get back and the more your community will grow. Build cool stuff. Create cool content. Find people that need help and offer to help with the talents you have to offer. The most successful have mastered these things.”

To another person I suggested building a monthly consulting plan where we work gradually towards that goal.  I am worried that person is too focused on numbers though – he will not be nearly as successful.

Earlier I shared my biography of how I got to where I’m at now.  I mentioned an important piece to that puzzle to building influence (in my case, getting published, and building a reputation) was how to network.  I also mentioned to Jolie O’Dell, which she mentioned in a recent piece on Mashable that this is key to aspiring web developers looking to grow their talent (and I argue this can apply to any position out there).  What I haven’t shared is how to network to build that influence.

One of my first memories shortly before I quit my job and started working for myself was Guy Kawasaki visiting Utah to speak.  I heard great things about Guy and wanted to learn from him.  One of the most vivid things I remembered from his presentation was to always tell people after you help them with something, “I know you would do the same for me.”  You see it’s all about Karma – some call it The Golden Rule.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Find the needs of those that can help you, and find ways you can use your own talents to help them in their needs.  Some call this “Social Capital”, or “Whuffies“, being a form of currency for that Capital.

I actually took Guy Kawasaki up on his offer, funny enough, to Guy himself.  As a software developer working a 9-5 job as I mentioned earlier I followed Guy on Twitter – he was a guy I wanted to learn more about, someone I wanted to learn from.  My Dad always taught me to always surround myself with people smarter than me, people that I look up to and aspire to be.  Social Media: Twitter, Facebook, make this possible and the people don’t even have to know who you are.

Guy mentioned on Twitter that he was looking for a script to automatically follow the people that follow him on Twitter.  It had just so happened that I created one of those for myself, and even published the source code on my blog earlier (there’s an entirely similar story with Chris Pirillo, who I now consider a friend, who inspired me to release that due to a similar need he mentioned on Twitter earlier on – I would be wrong not to mention his influence, as well).  I decided to offer this to Guy.  To my surprise, Guy responded!

To make a long story short, I adapted my script to a format Guy could use, and I even made it so others could use it in a nice, easy to use UI.  Thus became the birth of the service I still run, SocialToo.  In a private message, Guy thanked me for setting that up for him.  He also offered to let me write a post about Facebook on his blog, since I had just published my first book with Jason Alba (which you can read here).  My response to him: “My pleasure – I know you would have done the same to me.”

Several months later Guy approached me again, this time with an idea to publish surveys targeting Twitter and other social networks on SocialToo.  We built the product, I launched it on SocialToo, and it became one of many more features we have added to the service since.  Guy at that point officially became an Advisor to SocialToo, and I consider him a good friend, mentor, and Advisor.

Networking is all about relationships.  It’s about how you can help others.  It’s about opening yourself up, saying, “here’s what I have.  How can I help you?”  It’s not about the numbers.  It’s not even about gaming people by pretending you care in order to get them to like you back.  It’s about building true friendships. It’s about building real relationships.  It’s about really caring.

As you build your strategy, are you trying to build numbers, or are you trying to build stuff that helps others?  How are you changing the world?  How are you building relationships?  How are you touching people?  Look at Gary Vaynerchuck – I believe he calls it, “Crushing it.”  He approaches people that don’t even know him and offers to help, one-by-one.  Today’s he’s a brand that even non-social media folk know and turn to for help.  He did that one-by-one, starting with the comfort of his own Wine Store in New York.  I think you’ll find similar stories for each and every successful person or business out there.

So my suggestion to you: don’t worry about numbers.  Worry about relationships.  If you have one person completely devoted to helping you because they believe in you that’s so much better than thousands of people that barely even know you’re there.  Once you have a large audience, keep in mind you have to shout really loud to get everyone to hear!

Anyway, I thought I’d share this while it was on my mind.  After all, I know you’d do the same for me. 😉 (but really, I do this because I want to help!)

I’ve Been BeeDoodled! Utah Cowork Tweetup Videos Online.

I had the opportunity to participate on a panel in the first Utah Cowork Tweetup down in Orem, Utah last Thursday about you guessed it – Twitter. @h0neyb made this perfect impression of me – she does these BeeDoodles on her blog, and I thought this fit the panel perfectly (and she makes me look so skinny!):

Check out her blog for more.

We had an intense discussion on Twitter. For some reason, Guy Kawasaki was brought up multiple times on his uses of Twitter – I was obviously on the defense, as I see Twitter as a marketing tool and a tremendous opportunity to measure relationships. Guy does too. The videos for the Tweetup are online at SocialHat – you can see it yourself on their YouTube Channel.

Erick Schonfeld Misses the Point – It’s About Quality, Not Quantity!

blogging.pngLast week Erick Shonfeld, a writer for TechCrunch, posted a rather uninspiring article after Technorati released their “State of the Blogosphere” stating that “The More [bloggers] Post, the Higher [they] Rank”. In it, he argued that because a majority of the Top 100 blogs tracked by Technorati post more than 5 times a day, and 43 percent of those post more than 10 times a day, that the quantity of those posts is the reason for those blogs entering the top 100 of Technorati. While perhaps true for some, I argue it may be the means, but definitely not the reason the top 100 are where they are.

On Technorati, Quality Trumps Quantity

Let’s face it – every site in the top 100 in Technorati is there because they have put time into their posts. Sites like TechCrunch and Mashable and ReadWriteWeb employ bloggers to professionally blog for them, giving those bloggers the time and motivation to put effort into the posts they write. They have editors which look over the posts each author writes and those editors add an additional level of quality to the posts that they write. They all started small and have grown to the level they are, enabling them to keep the spots they are at.

Because more time is spent on each post, and these sites are able to crank out many of those quality posts, yes, they get more links in a short amount of time. More people are interested in them. They get the breaking news first because startups and other PR firms know that they generate traffic and buzz. This keeps them interesting.

Quantity Plays a Very Small Part

However, I argue that quantity is not the reason most of these people are in the top 100. The problem with quantity is people get bored of you. When you’re cranking out so many posts a day that people can’t keep up they begin to tune out. Sure, they may still subscribe to your feeds, but they start to reduce your importance in their minds. You get links only because you’re cranking out so many posts in a short amount of time. In fact, I suggest this isn’t healthy for the blogosphere. The blogosphere thrives on being personal and unique, not robotic.

Therefore these blogs may have gotten to where they are because of quality, but that does not mean they are invincible. Posts like Erick’s seem to imply that they are and that the little guy has no way of getting “into the blogging elite”.

It is Possible to Get in the Top 100 and Not Post Every Day!

I was reminded of this point when Chris Brogan very humbly made mention on his blog that he had broken the top 100 blogs on Technorati. While Chris does post almost every day and sometimes more than once, he also skips days at times, and I can tell you that blogging is by far his top priority! Chris writes quality, well-thought out posts that make you think and teach you things. He’s not a news breaker, unless he thinks you can learn from it. People like this, so they link to him. He has become more than just a “blogger”, but a “thought-leader” and example.

Seth Godin is another example. Currently Seth is number 17 on the top 100 of Technorati. He’ll never let you know that, by the way. Seth posts short, thoughtful posts, once a day, which make you think. You feel inspired after reading just the short paragraph or two that he writes. Seth too is considered a thought leader because of this. He could care less about quantity. His quality is what has made his blog.

Robert Scoble is another example. There are days and even weeks he goes without blogging, but when he speaks, he speaks with passion. He tries to inspire, and show you by his actions what the upcoming technologies are. Because of this, lots of people link to him.

Then there’s Guy Kawasaki. Guy’s last post was 2 days ago. He blogs because it’s fun. He blogs because he has something to share, not because of a duty to blog. Guy got in the top 100 naturally, not because of an army of bloggers working for him.

You Can Do it Too!

I’ll be first to admit that I’m not there. True, it would be cool to be there, but frankly, it’s not important. What’s important is that you stop focusing on the robotic nature of blogging just to blog, and blog because you care. Blog because you have something to say, and blog because it makes sense.

It doesn’t matter if you blog 5 times a day, once a day, or even once a week. If you write quality posts, lead in your thoughts and actions, and show that in your writing, others will link to you. Despite what Erick Shonfeld says, don’t listen to him – quality trumps quantity any day, especially with Technorati.

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