Our May/June 2016 newsletter highlights thought leadership as a requirement for establishing a presence in the minds of prospects.
Are you a boss or a leader? Here is a short list outlining the difference.
Scott Robertson had a great post up last month on how to make content marketing work: be relevant, be different, be real, be useful, and be consistent. Here are some excerpts along with additional thoughts and commentary.
Henna Inam, CEO of Transformational Leadership Inc. has released a new book “Wired for Authenticity”, leadership book addressing the challenges by showing up authentically, expressing yourself fully for the benefit of others.
“I hired Theresa to create a survey tool for me for my book Wired for Authenticity. What I liked best about Theresa is how she was as passionate about the project as I was. She took full ownership, always went the extra mile to make sure that the details were taken care of. The quality and timeliness of her delivery was outstanding. I would highly recommend Theresa.” Henna Inam, CEO
In an 1983 radio interview Margaret Thatcher defined Victorian values as hard work, self-improvement, self-reliance, living within your income, cleanliness, self-respect, a duty to help others, pride in country, and being a good member of your community. Here are some excerpts from an April 15, 1983 radio interview with Peter Allen on The Decision Makers program.
Q: How do you develop good content for blog posts and newsletters on a regular basis?
One rule of thumb for sources of good content for an e-mail newsletter is to revise something that you have already written that would be appropriate for your target audience.
David Morse left a detailed comment today on my Sep-26-2014 blog post “Lessons Learned Blogging 1400 Posts in 8 Years” that I thought I would promote to a guest post that offers some practical tips about how to add graphics and video to a blog. Here is his bio on B2BSalesVP:
David Morse helps startup founders and sales teams achieve revenue nirvana. He is President of consulting firm B2BSalesVP and CEO of SaaS company Kindoo which is like a private YouTube for sales teams and sales training and development.
Creating value for others is the core of the entrepreneurial mindset. It enables the exchange of value that fuels entrepreneurs efforts to bring new ideas and products to market.
Dan Sullivan: Entrepreneurs Make Two Decisions
Successful entrepreneurs differ from other people–not in their abilities but in their mindset. They have internalized two fundamental commitments, by making these two decisions:
- Decision 1: To depend entirely on their own abilities for their financial security, because they realize that the only security is the security they create themselves.
- Decision 2: To expect opportunity only by creating value for others, because they understand that this is the only unlimited source of economic opportunity.
I got the following unsolicited E-mail this morning; I think the marketing term for this is “blogger outreach.” I have redacted the name of the sender (“YYY”) and the name of the firm/product (“XXX”) but “[press kit]” and “[review/checkout]” were included verbatim in the original. There was no footer with an unsubscribe option although phone number and address were included after the person’s title.
My name is YYY from XXX. We have developed an online innovation platform that allows businesses to create insight-driven ideation networks.
Each company has their own ideation network allowing them to set ‘challenges’ to their employees, and employees are able to suggest ideas to solve these challenges.
XXX is exciting and completely different to anything else on the market in that anybody can sign up at XXX and start their innovation network for free within minutes (much like Yammer). All you need to get started is an organisational email address.
I thought you and your readers might be interested in our service. We’re currently in beta at XXX, with currently over 120 companies signed up and using the product since a very soft launch last month. I have a [press kit] I’d like to send your way to [review/checkout] if you’d be interested, and if there’s anything else I can help with let me know!
Head of Product
<phone number and address>
One Good Thing and Five Mistakes
Good Thing: It’s from a real person with a phone number, physical address and personal email address.
- No Pricing
- No Target Customer
- Premature Send
- No Unsubscribe
“Good Morning” as an opening is mean to be a catch all. While politer than “To Whom It May Concern” it would be better to format this as an announcement. If you cannot take the time to personalize an email it has substantially less impact, or more accurately less positive impact.
I wondered how much this would cost. I checked the FAQ where there is a question:
How much does XXX cost?
Full details of our simple pricing structure is available on our pricing page.
But there is no pricing page, which indicates to me they have not worked out their business model. If this were intended to be a freemium app that might be OK, but idea management systems normally capture company proprietary data so it’s unlikely most companies want their internal process improvement ideas or their new product ideas posted on the Internet.
No Target Customer
The FAQ also has this question
Who uses XXX
Organisations of all shapes and sizes from across the globe use XXX. Due to the ease of getting started, organisations with as few as 10 employees are benefiting from using XXX, and thanks to its customisation capabilities, XXX is suitable for large enterprises too.
Based on this FAQ answer it does not appear anyone is actually using your product, or they have not figured out who their target customer is.
This sentence: “I have a [press kit] I’d like to send your way to [review/checkout] if you’d be interested, and if there’s anything else I can help with let me know!” leads me to believe they were not done editing the mass e-mail template before they hit send.
No Unsubscribe Option
This is clearly a mass e-mail without an unsubscribe option, technically it’s “unsolicited commercial e-mail” or “spam.”
I am not entirely clear on the thought process that leads a startup team to craft this e-mail as an outreach strategy. Their about page says “After lots of long nights and coffee runs, the first release of XXX was unleashed on our first customers in April 2014.” Unleashed would be a good verb for what happened with this “blogger outreach” campaign.
When I spoke on Thought Leadership at the San Bruno Rotary Club on August 6 this “four way test” was printed on all of the placemats. It was the first time I had encountered it and I found it to be a useful insight for evaluating a course of action.
I gave a briefing to the San Bruno Rotary on Thought Leadership on Aug-6-2014. Here is the audio for the core of the talk (I have cut the introduction and about ten minutes of Q&A)
Or download from http://traffic.libsyn.com/skmurphy/ThoughtLeadership140806c.mp3
Here is my handout from the talk.
SKMurphy develops highly relevant and valuable content to attract, engage, and acquire customers. We help our clients organize and clearly articulate their experiences and insights in ways that generate inquires. We develop an editorial calendar that complements SEO strategy and ecosystem partner relationships. We always consider audio, video, and animation options in addition to leveraging public speaking events for lead generation.
There are two kinds of bloggers, referential and experiential.
The referential blogger uses the link as his fundamental unit of currency, building posts around ideas and experiences spawned elsewhere: Look at this. Referential bloggers are reporters, delivering pointers to and snippets of information, insight or entertainment happening out there, on the Internet. They can, and do, add their own information, insight and entertainment to the links they unearth — extrapolations, juxtapositions, even lengthy and personal anecdotes — but the outward direction of their focus remains their distinguishing feature.
The experiential blogger is inwardly directed, drawing entries from personal experience and opinion: How about this. They are storytellers (and/or bores), drawing whatever they have to offer from their own perspective. They can, and do, add links to supporting or explanatory information, even unique and undercited external sources. But their motivation, their impetus, comes from a desire to supply narrative, not reference it.
SKMurphy Blog is A Blend of Referential and Experiential
I think we tend to blend these two styles on this blog. We do a fair amount of “reporting” on events that we attend, particularly when we think we heard something useful worth sharing and the event was lightly covered, if at all, by other bloggers or press. To the extent that we are trying to offer advice, we try and back up our prescriptions with reference to both supporting and contrasting perspectives in the blogosphere or in other reference material.
Experiential Blogging Key to Startups Telling Their Story
As you think about your own blog for your startup I think it becomes more compelling to the extent that you talk about
- real experiences with customers,
- interactions with prospects,
- internal issues including team discussions and different perspectives,
- the decisions you’ve reached and why you’ve reached them,
- the decisions you’ve revisited and why you’ve revisited them.