I'm just sayin'…

Image representing Alltop as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

As a father of 6, parental analogies are always close at hand for me. It’s why I sometimes say that clients are like children in that when you see them take the things you teach them and they make it their own and excel, you can’t help but burst with pride. Recently, the AGCO blog was included in the agriculture feed at Alltop, the internet’s best source for news aggregation, becoming the only Farm Equipment manufacturer to do so…

AGCO’s success should rightly be credited to Jamy Johnson, a budding online community manager and social media practitioner who took the time to embrace the ‘e1evation workflow’ and make it her own. Last month, their blog had over 10,000 visits and it’s rapidly becoming a key factor in lifting the corporate website to new heights in search and traffic rankings as well…

Kudos to Jamy’s manager Sue Otten who had the courage to embrace social media in the ag space before ag social media was cool! If Jamy and Sue can rise to the top using “good, fast, and cheap” social media tools for agriculture, imagine what you can do in your industry!

Offers That Convert Website Visitors into Qualified Leads

Website stats
Image via Wikipedia

Getting qualified visitors to your website is only half the battle. The other half of the equation is converting those visitors into qualified leads. To earn a positive return on your website investment and to support your sales team, you need to have a strategy that gets those visitors to take an action on your website—to “raise their hand” and let you know where they stand in the sales cycle.

Generally speaking, there are five types of visitors who will visit your website…

…you’ll have follow the ‘via’ link to learn who they are!

Go figure…My wife loves the Chrome Notebook!

A couple days ago, I explained why I was passing my Google Chrome Notebook on to my wife. It was a grand experiment and also a way to make sure that when I used my computer I wasn’t still logged in to her Facebook account. It’s been less than a week, but my technophobic wife completely surprised me when, from day one, she genuinely liked her new computer.

“It’s easy,” she explained. “It does exactly what I need it to and it takes me exactly where I need to go. I like how you set up a little button for my email.”

I can’t take credit for the Gmail icon that appears in the default browser window. It’s just a link to your default account with which most Chrome users will be familiar. However, for a person whose only reasons to get online are email, Facebook, and the occasional bit of research, shopping, or homework help for the kids, it’s a nice approach.

For her, it was always a struggle just to find the browser. “What do I use again? Foxfire? Chrome?” It wasn’t as if she was looking Adobe InDesign. She just wanted to get online. With Chrome OS, of course, you are online. That’s the whole point. Open the notebook, enter your password if necessary, and you’re there.

Not my wife — the author’s wife, but mine is the same way. These might be the perfect computers for most end users. Follow the ‘via’ link to go to the source…

365 ways to build your personal brand

There are few people I know that have leveraged the internet more effectively to build their personal brand than ‘Green Bay Greg‘ Dallaire. The video is one that he shot for a client of mine, Tailwind Flight Center, and it demonstrates the quality of the work he’s doing at ‘365 Things to do in Green Bay’ along with Tony Rouse from MindSeed Labs. If you want to know how to use the internet and social media to build your brand you don’t need to look much farther than Greg Dallaire…

95 Days of Cluetrain for 2011

Looking southeast from Bixby Park, Alamitos Be...
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Back in 2000, I picked up a book at Barnes & Noble in Long Beach, CA.  The Cluetrain Manifesto (affiliate link) was on the end cap display and having been involved in “Internet stuff” for a while for a few years, I was keen to explore what the book had to offer.  Little did I know (same for most of us I’d imagine) that Cluetrain would be even more relevant over a decade later than when it was first written.  Frankly, I can’t think of too many business books that can make that claim, so that in and of itself is really something. Over the past several years I’ve read and re-read Cluetrain a few times and have kept the 95 theses document close at hand. As we all look forward to what 2011 brings, it seems an appropriate time to get reacquainted with the full Cluetrain set of 95 theses albeit with a bit more depth. (one liners such as “markets are conversations” don’t have the same immediate resonance with everyone and thusly some explanation may be required.). So, in in the spirit of getting fully engaged in the Cluetrain mindset that I’m embarking on the project of bringing all 95 of these to life over the next 95 work days.

Dana VanDen Heuvel of MarketingSavant Group is engaged in a rather ambitious project over at his blog, but as I have said so many times before — when Dana talks, I take notes. Follow the ‘via’ link over to his site and track his ’95 days of Cluetrain’ — I know I will…

$38.67 that will change your year

If it’s true that the first hour is the ‘rudder of the day’ than the next few weeks are the ‘rudder of the year’. If you lead an organization like I do, here are 4.5 books that will give you all the insight you need to chart a course for the year…

http://ws.amazon.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&MarketPlace=US&ID=V20070822%2FUS%2Fmakrai-20%2F8003%2F974832f3-cfc8-4f4e-a456-7f7a36b9a700&Operation=GetDisplayTemplate null

Here they are in their recommended order of reading:

  1. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. There’s a reason why this book is one of the most popular of all time. Read or reread it!
  2. Getting Things Done. Another book that has become so popular that people have forgotten why.
  3. Awesomely Simple. This one is new, but powerful enough to be a ‘must read’ recommendation for me. John Spence defines what a ‘book’ should be in the new millennium by hosting a website with bonus materials for readers. He’s also active in social media and eagerly engages readers…
  4. Your Best Year Yet! Enough said.
  5. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. What? Yes, read it. Franklin’s systematic approach to building new habits is outlined here.

Now for the how. Yes, I’m even going to tell you how to read them. Read them via Kindle. “What”, you say? “I’m not going to buy a Kindle just to read these books!” “Well”, I say, “you don’t have to”. Kindle software runs on Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry and via web browser. It synchronizes wirelessly between devices creating a virtual library of all the books you download allowing you to access them anywhere at any time. So, if I’m reading a book on my Sprint Evo and highlight a section that I want to go back to later, when I get to my computer and synchronize my books, the same selection will be highlighted, along with any notes I’ve made, on my PC. Did I mention that most Kindle books are around $10 as well? The total in the title is the sum of all the Kindle books I recommended and you can click on any title in the slider to order it immediately…

This video will help you get the picture…
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9aeH99g-vM

Now as much as I love all things Google, Kindle content is cheaper than the new Google Books by about 50% in my informal testing and although the Android reader for Google Books is more full featured, imho, Kindle software is a more compelling offering at the moment. btw, if you’d prefer to listen, there’s always Audible — another service from Amazon.com! Again, no special device is required because there’s Audible software available for Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry and web browser. Instead of listening to talk radio, now you can get smart while you’re driving around!

According to Einstein, doing the same things and expecting different results is the very definition of insanity. These books, combined with new ways of consuming their wisdom, will help you get from where you’re at to where you want to be as a business leader in 2011. Really!

All the best to you in 2011!

How to choose the Twitter client that’s right for you

Good, better, best

More than a third of all tweets are sent by people visiting Twitter’s default Web client. Which is too bad, because Twitter, as a website, is by far the least effective way to use Twitter as a network.

But even though just about any third-party client will provide you with a better way to use Twitter, picking the client that’s right for you can be daunting. Should you install a client or use one that runs in your browser? Which features are really necessary? Should you pay for any of these services?

I typically prefer browser-based clients because I think its easier to move between browser windows than separate programs, but I wouldn’t turn my nose up at an installed client with a really great feature set just for that. The best client for you is the one that fits your workflow — if you really need to be able to schedule tweets to be effective and a client doesn’t give you that option, then it’s the wrong service for you, even if everyone else loves it.

Agreed — browser based is the way to go. Platform independent and always available. Me? I’m a HootSuite guy — I love everything they do from the web to their Android app. How about you? btw, you can follow the ‘via’ link if you’d like to go to the source…