On a trip from Chicago to LA, I decided I needed a pair of those noise canceling headphones. Now, I did not plan ahead and go to the Bose store and buy those cool ones advertised in the SkyMall. I chose to stop in a terminal news store and buy some from Sony. They were 1/3rd of the price and convenient. After we took off and I finally had the chance to try them, I was completely underwhelmed. They were OK headphones for $60, but not what I was expecting. I was expecting them to filter out all the noise around me and bring clarity to the content I was focused on (my movie and music on my laptop).
Don't you wish there was a program on your computer that would act like those (what I hoped for) headphones? Something that could give you only what you wanted and clearly filter out the noise? Imagine how much more productive you could be if the only things in your browser or email in-box were things that were solely focused on making you more money or finding you more customers?
Being the Noise
We all want to be heard. You want to be the thing that people talk about, but you also want to be known as then one who made people think… not the one people think about blocking or unsubscribing to. You do this by stretching thoughts and realities and not just regurgitating stuff you read. Seth Godin, Chris Brogan, and Michael Hyatt are just a few of the people I follow because they challenge conventional wisdom and stretch your limits. Do I always agree? NO! Do I almost always click to read? Well, almost always! If you are telling me that clean windows are better than dirty windows, or you can make more profit by selling the same product for more money, then you are noise. If you can tell me that I can have my windows cleaned for free by helping a windows cleaning company market their revolutionary cleaner, or if you can tell me where to find people who are willing to pay a premium for what I do, then I am all ears (mouse, keyboard, and screen).
Keywords Are No Longer Key
Content Marketing is all the buzz… but now it's more about Content and less about Marketing. Google analytics no longer reports Keywords. Google's Hummingbird changes everything. No longer can you just dump keywords everywhere and get found. “Best Something” has been replaced by “Something relevant in your area that has positive reviews and is found on other websites”. It levels the playing field and makes Google more money, because if you want to be “Best Something”, you can still buy AdWords to try to convince people (Google is not worth $1,045.93 a share because of your website or blog).
You have to sometimes create content good enough that people would be willing to pay for (and sometimes give it away) to be found. You can sell people once they find it, but you have to understand the currency of internet marketing! It's a combination of your website, email marketing and social media. You have to understand what Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ (plus), Instagram, Foursquare, Vine, YouTube, and others mean to your brand and business! It's just not enough to be found… It's important to be relevant.
There is this little game that I play with myself on Facebook. I have multiple pages that I post to daily or more (along with my personal profile). I look at the analytics or insights, but I can gauge success by the following…
- Like = 1 – Someone takes the time to notice (out of the 20% that actually see it based on their boost policies).
- Comment = 5 – Someone who is moved enough to actually point the cursor and give their feedback (positive or negative).
- Share = 25 – Someone feels that this is significant enough that they think their friends or fans will acutely appreciate this content and the effect it will have on THEIR audience!
I have learned that pictures and funny get the highest scores. Also posts with social consciousness get incredible interactions This one post got over 100 likes, 22 comments and a share (238 points)…
“True Story… I pull up to the window to pay for my iced coffee this morning and the Mc D's person told me that the women in front of me paid for my meal. I handed her my credit card and said pay it forward! It was a good day!”
Earn It – Pay It Forward!
It's not about you… It's about your audience! What matters most… is ‘What Matters Most' to those people you communicate with. Is what you are saying, expressing, conversing, dissecting, disseminating, or dissing, important to them? Are they paying attention enough to like, comment or share it? IF so, or if not, why? Are you asking them? Are you polling them and responding to their comments? Is it really you, or can they smell your robot or hired hand a mile away?
Write or share something different and inspirational. Make it worth taking about. That means that it has to be controversial, conversational, and contemplative! Just don't be too divisive because you have the potential to polarize. Give it some legs and make it shareable! Do something different or else you will become more of the noise that I hoped my headphones would cancel!
P.S. On the trip back from LA to Chicago, I realized that those $60 Sony headphones needed a AA battery to work. Once installed they worked much better, but still not nearly as well as in the SkyMall ads!
Pay it forward… your thoughts? Comment away!