The week is finally here -- the official launch of my new book, The Invisible Sale and I want you to buy it TODAY!
It's a small ask on my part -- but if you've enjoyed the information I share here or learned a thing or two that you've applied to your company or career -- then I'd ask you to help me out by buying the book. I'm going to keep providing a ton of free, helpful content here and in our Insight & Information and Painless Prospecting newsletters, but this one time I'd really appreciate if you'd trade a few dollars to get some of my best content ever.
Or if you live in Chicago, Milwaukee, Boston, New York City, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Nashville, Dallas, Austin or New Orleans -- attend one of the private happy hour parties to celebrate the book's launch. You'll get a copy of the book and I'll be there, so I can sign your book and we can talk shop -- over cocktails of course. Best of all, 50% of all ticket sales are donated to one of 10 worthy charities and we're even providing free food and in most of the cities your first drink is on me!
Click Here to grab a ticket to any of the #ivs4charity book tour events.
I loved the book as with each chapter you walk away thinking differently and sparking some ideas on how you can master the invisible sale. - Suzanne
Excellent book. I own a marketing company and some of trends and events that Tom talks about, I have experienced, but I thought they were anomalies. I'm realizing now that Tom has officially labeled this new type of marketing as the invisible sale. The radar is a great resource. I couldn't put the book down. - Erik
For the love of God please stop sending the standard, LinkedIn connection requests. As soon as I see, "Hi, I'd like to add you to my LinkedIn Network" I hit delete. It's a pavlovian thing. When you send the standard LinkedIn connection message you're basically telling me that you don't really want to connect, you're just trying to build your rolodex or worse, you're a salesperson and you've got something to sell me.
Take the time to personalize the message. I'm not asking you to write War & Peace, but write something. Even if you just pick something out of the person's LinkedIn profile or I don't know, maybe take a second to check out their company, their Twitter profile or any of the information folks often connect to their LI profile. If at all possible, consider crafting something truly creative that rewards the prospective connection with a good laugh or something in exchange for reading your request to connect. The photo for this post is an actual LinkedIn Request sent to Ann Handley -- you can read her entire post here and see if she accepted the connection.
And lastly, while we're on this subject, don't ever try to connect with someone you don't know via the LinkedIn mobile app. When you click the connect button on the mobile app, it automatically uses the standard LI connection message. You can't change it or personalize it. It's a HUGE oversight in my opinion, but till they change it, you're better off just using the mobile app to connect with folks you actually have met in real life.
Read the rest of this post originally posted on my new Digital Sales & Marketing Blog
I can't tell you how excited I am to finally be able to tell everyone this incredible news -- my first book, The Invisible Sale is finally available on Amazon and B&N for pre-order. While the book won't actually publish until this October, you can make sure you're first in line to get this puppy when it comes off the printing presses. A recent BtoB Magazine survey of US B2B marketers found that in 2013, 60% of respondents cited generating more leads remained their top challenge. And an Ascend2 and Research Underwriters survey revealed that B2Bs continue to struggle with leveraging social media marketing for lead gen purposes with nearly half saying this was one of the most difficult strategies to execute. I don't find either of these stats surprising because I hear clients and prospects saying it every day. And that is why I've written The Invisible Sale.
Well if your company is one of those 60% that need help generating more leads or haven't yet figured out how to use Social Selling techniques... this book is for you. On a larger scale, if your B2B or B2C company sells a product or service via a sales force and wants to start leveraging digital selling techniques, then this book is going to be a must purchase for you and your team. Here's why. Today's digital savvy buyers are sophisticated and silent. They’re doing recon work on your brand, product or company -- searching for product reviews and tapping into social networks for recommendations and first-hand experiences. These invisible buyers are slipping past your sales team, stepping out of the shadows only after they’ve decided that your company is in the running for their dollars.
To court the invisible buyer, your prospecting process needs to be digitally powered and deeply rooted in the science of relationships. You'll have to coordinate communications outposts, digital embassies and your own relationship hub to earn the business of these invisible buyers. A relationship-based approach is key to moving your sales strategy from top-of-mind awareness to the more powerful top-of-mind-preference and winning the elusive invisible sale.In the book I reveal the techniques I have refined over 20 years of developing sales and marketing programs for myself and my clients. I'm sharing the techniques I've used to drive consistent double-digit growth in my own company without doing any cold-calling or paid advertising. And I'm not writing this book at some 30,000 foot theory level. This book is a tool not a trophy. It's a field guide for anyone that wants to understand the brave new digitally powered world of the self-educating buyer. I'm boiling everything down to simple, straightforward, and understandable language — and actionable solutions.
The book is broken down into four sections, each designed to help you move your company one step closer to a world of painless prospecting...
Click here to read the rest of this post on my new blog, ConverseDigital.com.
Companies continue to create ways to monetize Facebook fans. Today I found this one and thought it worthy of sharing with you.
On one hand, there is a huge hurdle -- your fans have to register with the company to set up payment and shipping details. So I'm thinking this is really only valuable for companies or brands that have multiple products and where their fans make multiple purchases from them over time.Think music, shoes, clothes, or books.
Talk about your impulse purchase. Show your fans a big, beautiful hero shot of your product and they only have to comment "SOLD" in your Facebook comments to buy.
Now that's interesting.
You can check out the company over at Soldsie.
Give it a peek and then let me know what you think in the comments.
And if you're new here -- you might want to visit and subscribe to my new Digital Strategy Blog. Where I'm sharing helpful and insightful information on Content Marketing | Email Marketing | Mobile Marketing | B2B Digital Sales Prospecting Strategy & Tactics and of course, Digital Strategy. Come check it out.
And dear readers, that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Mack Collier (who's also speaking) and a few other smarties have pulled this conference together and they have hand picked each and every speaker (including yours truly) and worked with each speaker to craft truly useful sessions. Best of all, the sessions aren't all just lecture style. There is plenty of hands on time and networking time with each other and the speakers.
But as crazy excited as I am to be speaking at and attending this conference, the reason I'm taking a few minutes to today to tell you about it is that Mack just let me know that TODAY and TOMORROW ONLY -- that's right this offer expires on Friday, January 11, 2013.....
You can get $300 off the early bird pricing!
So GO REGISTER... go now. And then drop me a note in the comments to let me know you're going to be there so we can grab a beer.
And one more thing... if you've noticed, I'm not blogging here nearly as much -- I've moved most of my blogging over to my company site -- so pop over to Converse Digital to see what I've been writing lately and to subscribe to get that blog by email!
Have you switched your RSS or eMail sign-up to my new blog yet?
If not, you missed my latest posts:
As you can see, I'm trying to pump out a lot of great stuff for you over at the new site, so why not check it out?
Once you get there, you'll see the Blog Sign Up and the Newsletter Sign-Up boxes... I think you'll like both.
After almost three years of trying to maintain Positive Disruption and my Converse Digital (corporate) blog, I've decided to consolidate the activity over there.
I'll still be blogging here occassionally, but it will be more about stuff I just find cool, maybe some tech toys, and the occassional rant... but if you're reading here to learn more about any of this stuff:
You'll likely want to go over to Converse Digital and SUBSCRIBE to the blog.
BIG NOTE: If you subscribe to THIS BLOG via EMAIL, we've already ported you over, so you get to just do nothing. BUT if you're reading this post on the internet or via an RSS subscription, you're going to want to SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEW BLOG right away to keep the free goodness coming!
Here's a little taste of what we posted this morning:
So you just returned from a big trade-show or conference and now you’re wondering what to do with all of those business cards you collected.
Start an email list. That’s right, before you connect with them on LinkedIn, follow them on Twitter or attempt to friend them on Facebook, send them an email. It’s the single, best, most powerful CRM tool ever invented and you’re crazy if you don’t invest more in it right now.
In fact, here is a simple 7-Step process to turn those business cards into behaviorally profiled business development targets that you can begin a conversation with today. Then over time, if you do it right, that conversation will turn into a customer.
As you can see, the focus of the new blog is going to be a lot tighter in terms of content buckets. But you know me -- intellectually ADD, so don't fret, if you're a fan of the purely cool, digital wow stuff -- I'll still be posting that here, just not as regularly.
But if you want to get the good, meaty, helpful marketing stuff -- you'll need to subscribe to the new blog.
As always, thanks for being here and I look forward to seeing you around... just not as often ;-)
photo credit: Steve Snodgrass
There is too much crap in the world and we have social media theory to blame for a lot of it.
In their efforts to be internet famous, to amass armies of followers, likes and whatever, brands and bloggers have created a flywheel effect of crap.
So please stop.
I know all of the research that says you have to blog X times a week.
If you blog more you get more traffic, more readers, more followers, more...more...more.
Bloggers, especially of the inbound marketing type, will trot out their research that shows people and blogs that blog more frequently do better. Brands that blog more frequently get more leads, etc.
Those same bloggers will tell you that if you don't blog frequently you'll lose influence, traffic and such.
Don't believe it. Their research is based on a moment in time. Sure they examined 10,000 blog posts over 3 months or something... but that is simply a blink of content's eye.
Consumers have been and continue to consume episodic content in all channels including TV, radio, print, newspaper, and my personal favorite episodic example (because it's not published on any kind of regular schedule) books!
That's right people -- books. The ultimate non-regularly scheduled programming. We all know authors that continue book after book to draw old readers back and new readers in... for what?
That's right... for kick ass content that rewards the reader for their time and money.
So, please for the love of all that is holy and unholy.....
Stop writing crap just to meet a schedule or to follow someone's "system for success."
And for those of you that are sharing that same crap so you can "be active in social media" -- stop.
Seriously, before you share something try reading it and asking yourself if it's really worthy of sharing.
You're just ruining the very channel you profess to love. And you're really not active.
Running through a crowd of people yelling "hey look at this" without stopping long enough to respond to anyone, isn't active... it's just annoying.
As I sat in front of my computer seven years to the day from when Hurricane Katrina plowed through the Gulf Coast and watched the coverage coming out of New Orleans, I was struck by how much things have changed in just seven years.
During Katrina the biggest challenge we all faced was lack of local information -- boots on the streets local level real-time intelligence about the current state of our homes, neigborhoods, schools, friends and families. With phones not working, you were litterally in the dark.
Fast forward seven years to hurricane Isaac -- what I've effectionately begun calling the social media hurricane.
Last week social media was leveraged by my friends to stay in touch and share updates; by the media as they called on citizen journalists to help them get real-time, accurate information on the air and by smart brands that leveraged the opportunity to fuel nascent brand journalism efforts.
In short, as I sat safely typing in McComb, MS, I was feeling so very comfortable because I was just a click away from a tsunami of information that was showing me pictures, videos and updates of my city, my neighbordhood -- even my home, with most being fueled by social media and/or media footage captured with mobile phones.
All of our local New Orleans stations were calling on New Orleanians that stayed behind to ride out the hurricane to take and post pictures, videos and updates about their part of New Orleans. These Twitpics, YouTube and Facebook videos were making their way on to the TV screens and proving to be great sources of real-time information and insight into what's was going on in New Orleans.
And it wasn't just the news stations and newspapers. Individual reporters were taking to the social media airwaves to report, interact and in some cases cajole locals.
My favorite by far was WDSU Reporter Scott Walker who wasn't just using social media to ask for more content, he was interacting directly with local citizens to engage them and I'm sure drive more of them to favor WDSU's coverage over Fox's or WWLs. He was answering questions, pointing folks to helpful information or stories and he even drove down the streets of his neighborhood to show his neighbors the current state of affairs. Scott and a few of his fellow reporters really showed a wonderful grasp of the brave new digital world of media reporting, especially during major events like a hurricane.
But New Orleans' journalist were not alone in this embrace of new media. In fact I just finished a wonderful account by Gina Masullo Chen over at the Nieman Journalism Lab site, where she (a very recently transplanted southerner in Mississippi) talks about how she used a combination of professional and citizen journalism to keep up with the storm and find out the status of her new home.
Interestingly enough, this flood (pun intended) of information was being powered by brands as well as friends and media outlets.
The Hyatt Regency, itself just recently reopened after a seven year hiatus due to enormous storm damage it received at the not so gentle hands of Katrina, took the Isaac opportunity to engage and inform its followers on Facebook.
These updates were finding their ways into my stream and the stream of countless others, further ingratiating the brand and reminding me that it's one worth following on Facebook and beyond. Of course, given that my friend the brilliant Lauren Cason, is behind the marketing and social strategy over there, can't say that I'm all that surprised.
Still though, really smart work on their part. By Newsjacking the storm, they proved themselves a helpful brand and surely picked up additional brand awareness without having to spend a dime on additional advertising.
So how does all this instant access to digital assets change storm coverage? That's the question I keep coming back to in my own head.
Today's news producer is used to managing a dozen or so reporters during a natural disaster. That's a pretty manageable river of information to consume, synthesize and then determine what information gets passed along and when. Further, the producer and the news anchors can realistically process all the information in totality to provide context to their reporting -- which is the real value of professional journalists in my opinion.
But with today's mobile technology, that same producer might be managing thousands of reporters. Are they ready? Are they equipped and are the systems they rely on today optimized for the fire hose of information social and digital tools can place at their fingertips?
I (and I know a lot of my friends say the same) can't even play today's first-person video games. There is too much information coming at me on the screen, too many buttons to remember and manage. My brain litterally can't keep up. Yet my 13 year old son cruises along with no problem -- even having enough extra brain power to make fun of the old man.
My generation may have grown up with MTV, but today's generations grew up with HALO and Madden NFL. I had Pong. They have Call of Duty. And because of it, their brains are simply wired differently. Science has shown they can actually process information faster and make decisions more quickly than their elder brethren.
So does that mean news organizations shouldn't hire producers over 25?
Hee hee... but seriously, one has to question whether or not today's news organizations are staffed for the brave new digital world.
Does every newsroom need their own Neal Sampat? (Sorry only you The Newsroom fans will get that one)
Are we on the verge of witnessing a cataclysmic shift in news reporting bigger even than the invention of televised news?
What do you think?