All posts by Mitch Mitchell

I'm an independent consultant in many fields, so I have a lot to share.

Social Media Marketing Strategy, Phase III

If you’ve been following along, you know that I’m going to be doing this social media marketing workshop on July 22nd locally, which is next Thursday. My friend Renée Scherer of Presentations Plus! and I have been working this thing both online and offline, although she’s much better offline than I am either online or offline. I initially brought up this subject in a post talking about my social media marketing goal, which was to put bodies in the seats at Hope Lake Lodge in Cortland, and wrote a follow up post on how I was applying the social media strategy early on. I’d like to progress from that point to tell you where things are now as far as the marketing efforts.

Hope Lake Lodge

You might want to know why I’m talking about it. Whether it’s a great success or not, when I do the workshop next week, I’d like to talk about the online strategy I undertook in trying to promote this event. My goal, of course, is to put bodies in seats. My other goal, however, is to make sure that there’s not a single local person who I’m in contact with online who can say that they didn’t know I was doing this thing. If people can’t come, that’s one thing; after all, it’s summer, vacations and the like. It’s another if someone who would have wanted to come said “You were doing that; man, I’d have loved to come to that.”

How have we progressed since the last post on the subject? First, I finally went down to see the place, and I have to admit that I was amazed. You know, you get impressions about places, and knowing that it’s originally a ski lodge, and I don’t ski, my imagination was running wild. It’s an amazing facility overall, and it’s much bigger and more spread out than I’d known it would be. The lodge is pretty big also and they’ve laid it out so that you can get either basic accommodations, which are fairly nice, or really soup it up and go luxury, which will include kitchens, multiple bathrooms, fireplaces… the works! The indoor water park wasn’t what I was expecting either, and it’s neat because the outdoor pool actually works like a hot tub when it’s cold, and a regular pool when it’s warm, as it’s always 84 degrees. Just an amazing place overall.

That visit ended up prompting this video that Renée shot, though she shot it up this way in front of the sign highlighting the Greater Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, which we’re both members of, since they’re helping us promote by sending an email blast in support of our putting this thing on. Here’s the video:

Not bad, eh? Anyway, this allowed us to add the link to the video in the latest email blast, and of course to pop the video link on both Twitter and Facebook. I’m going to pop it on LinkedIn as well, and in my last email blast I’ll make sure it goes out. This was actually pretty important because I now know how to help people set up a YouTube account, although for whatever reason it wouldn’t let us upload an image last night; these things can be hinky sometimes.

Of course email blasts are important for us to do, and Renée has been using Constant Contact to sign up for your Free trial, which is offering a free trial, to send her email out. She’s going to be teaching that portion of the workshop, as it’s something I still haven’t tried out, but I really need to one of these days.

indoor water park

Meanwhile, you’ve probably seen the sticky post, and for others who come into the blog they’ll see it as well. I’m going to be leaving it up after next week, but changing the date to August 19th, as that’s the date of our second presentation. I also finally wrote about it on my other two blogs, so that made it a 3-pronged attack on Twitter, since every blog post shows up there.

The rest? I’m making sure I post the link to the registration page at least once a day on Twitter. I’m probably going to step that up over this last week, since I seem to always be up, to make sure I hit both the morning crowd and the evening crowd. I have a lot of local folks following me, so I’m taking no chances. One more email from me and that’ll be that. And get this; we were able to get the people at Hope Lake Lodge to send an email blast to their mailing list, which was around 20,000 people; neat! Renée can talk people into doing some very interesting things, I must say.

Also, I realized that I needed to create an event on my Facebook business page. I was under the initial assumption that creating an event the normal way would move over to my business page since I was the guy creating it, but it doesn’t work that way. So I created the event and popped it onto my business page there, and I helped Renée pop a link on her Facebook page as well. I didn’t have her create a new event because it would have read the same way as mine, and I figured that since we have many of the same people on both of our pages that would be a bit redundant.

Right now, I can say that we have enough bodies so that we can do this thing, and that was the initial goal. Of course we want more bodies, so it’s time for the final push. How will it all end up? Stay tuned!

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Toolbar Overwhelm

I guess it was time for this post. I know I can’t be the only person who is suddenly hating all these toolbars popping up all over the place. It’s almost to the point where you can’t go to any site or blog without having either the upper or lower part of your screen filled with a toolbar that won’t go away. Heck, even my buddy Sire had one (he might still have one, but it’s not coming up anymore & I haven’t seen him talking about it any).

At this point probably everyone has seen either this picture to the right or something like it. These types of toolbars are bad enough because it seems like every piece of software wants to load someone’s toolbar onto your computer. I already have a search engine I used that I specifically loaded myself; why the heck would I want to keep adding other company’s toolbars onto my computer like this?

You go to a news site these days and there’s a toolbar at the top. You go to close it and sometimes it doesn’t close, just reduces itself to this little tab that seems to be saying to you “go on, you know you want to use me; I’ll just be sitting here until you’re ready”. If I closed your toolbar I’m not going to use it; take it away! And, for whatever reason, Firefox’s Adblock Plus can’t block them; what the hey? Guess I have to find some software or plugin that blocks pop-unders, which is kind of what these things are.

Why are most of these sites loading toolbars? It all comes down to money; it always does. Everyone is getting paid to add a toolbar in some fashion. Software companies, if it’s not their toolbar, are getting paid. Blogs that add toolbars get paid if someone actually uses it. I doubt there’s one truly altruistic company out there putting out toolbars. Heck, even Google’s toolbar, which I stopped using, was getting something out of the deal, mainly tracking people who used it, even on their own computers, so they could target advertising towards them based on their surfing habits. I wonder what kind of ads Google sends to those folks who only search for porn all day, since they don’t accept advertising from adult related sites.

Either way, I have to say that I didn’t purchase this 22″ widescreen monitor so someone could invade and fill up my space with a toolbar. Please, if you’re going to use one, at least allow us to be allowed to totally close it and get it out of the way.

Hamilton Beach HealthSmart Contact Grill - 25219

Hamilton Beach HealthSmart Contact Grill

Price – $39.95






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Topic Related Spam

Have you noticed that there’s a new and more sophisticated spam that’s out lately? It’s interesting because it’s actually related to the topic in some fashion, to the degree in which you just might leave it alone because it looks like the real thing.

Only it’s not the real thing. You know it for a couple of reasons. One, it’s mostly a one line item, although I did get one that actually had 3 lines strung together. Second, there’s the little squiggly at the end of the message, which I just figured out where it is. Here’s an example:

my grandfather is also a baby boomer and he is also a war veteran~`”

Here’s another one that was actually on a post of mine on writing articles:

sometimes article writing too much time and effort, specially when you are writing lots of stuff~–

Anyway, all of this stuff is spam, and you need to be leery of it. Sometimes it comes with a link in the message, though neither of these did. They do come with some interesting links as the home domain name, though. The first message came from a site that I assume sells USB related items. The second came from something related to male reproductive systems; hey, that’s actually what it said! lol

I’m also starting to see this on a lot of other blogs, and people are responding to this stuff. Yes, it’s tricky. Sometimes it even comes with an image. But let’s be realistic folks If the picture is of a pretty girl but the name says “David”, it’s fake. Also, if the email address and the domain name don’t quite match up, there’s the strong possibility that it’s fake as well. The first one above for the USB stuff was sent from an email address with “brownies” as the domain name. The reproductive system one was sent from something called “kimber.”

I put it out there in case y’all have been receiving the same sort of stuff and either letting it pass or wondering about it just a bit. It’s spam; kill it.



Champion Men’s Mesh Shorts;
click on image

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Does Your Content Stink? Kind Of A Rebuttal

A couple of days ago I came across a post that kind of intrigued me and kind of bothered me at the same time. Actually, my mind said it was fulfilling one of the points of the author, and in that case it probably worked as he expected. In another, however, I’m in almost full rebuttal mode, hence I’m writing about it on my site instead of his.

Abandoned Kits
vladeb via Compfight

The post was titled 10 Signs That Says Your Content Sucks (updated 6/2015; the blog is gone now). Actually, though it said 10 signs, only 9 of them actually ask you a question for you to determine if your content stinks.

I have to say that I disagree that if these points apply in some fashion that it means your content stinks. I want you to read his post so I’m not going into full details with it, but I will at least mention what I’m countering. This means I won’t hit all his points; no need.

First point, journal entries. In essence, he says no one is interested in our lives. Actually, since I decided to be more personal on this blog, I’ve had way more traffic and received a heck of a lot more comments. Beforehand, I think many folks had no clue who I was or what I was about. You can play it too close to the vest in not divulging any personality sometimes. Remember what my most visited post is all about; it was personal and social commentary, and I doubt anyone learned much from it.

Second point, number of comments. The reality is that some of the best stuff written on the internet is not only never seen, but never commented on. Blogging turns out to be a community, and if you don’t give yourself to trying to reach out to others, unless you’re famous for some other reason, you’re going to get neither visitors or comments. Judging your content based on only comments is useless.

Third point, if time were the great predictor of how many comments people were going to get we’d all take a week putting together our posts. Every post isn’t a home run, just like every song on an album (or CD; I still like to refer to them as albums) isn’t a top 10 hit. If you’re looking for that kind of perfection you’re never going to attain it, and you risk alienating your audience because they have no idea when something new is coming.

Fourth point, fan mail. Yes, I get some fan mail. But I receive a heck of a lot more comments than fan mail. Truthfully, I didn’t start getting fan mail until probably the middle of last year; it threw me off initially. I tend to view it as some people wishing to express a point of view, but not wanting to be “outed” on the blog itself. On my business blog, I get a lot of email responses whenever I write on topics of racism and diversity instead of comments on the blog. Are those posts better, or are they scary enough for some folks to not want to put their name on it in the blogosphere?

Fifth point, hate mail. Why would I intentionally want to put out a post to receive hate mail? Who am I supposed to be, Rush Limbaugh? I don’t ever want hate mail; I’d rather be ignored if someone didn’t have the guts to post their rebuttal on my blog. However, I have received a version of hate mail twice ever; didn’t like it one bit, especially since one was on a tribute to my dad, thus it was way out of place.

Beautiful woman with grimace beacuse of bad smell. Isolated on white.
Aqua Mechanical via Compfight

Sixth point, is it my responsibility to educate or expect someone to learn something from every post? It’s an interesting point, and one that I believe is what finally makes some people give up blogging. If you don’t diversify, you’re going to stagnate and want to go away.

Did anyone learn anything from my cleavage post (which I had to take down because Google hated it & took my page rank away for a year…), easily the most popular post ever on this blog? What about my story about losing and finding my keys? Were people entertained? Yup! Is there anything wrong with entertaining? Nope. Charles Barkley once said “I am not a role model”; well, he got that one wrong, but what’s not wrong is that “I am not everyone’s educator”. I’ll educate when I want to, but otherwise, as Wanda Sykes like to say, “I’m a be me.”

I think that’s enough. Chris actually made me think, which is good, even if I disagree with his premise. Darren Rowse’s blog gets plenty of comments, but at least half of his posts these days are written by someone else. Are those posts all great content, or are those people who visit because he’s the Problogger? Sometimes, lousy content gets lots of comments, even more than good content; I see it all the time. It’s about connections and community as much as the content. Without content, nothing moves. With good content, you’re afforded one type of opportunity; with bad content, you’re actually afforded another type of opportunity.

But does your content stink based on the number of comments you get? There’s no real way to affirm that. What say you?
 

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10 Truths About Health Clubs

By this time some of you know that I joined a health club. My story about my experience with the hot tub was one of my most read posts of June.

I have to say that I went into all of this with some preconceived notions, which seemed to be justified. After all, I did belong to a health club, this same one in fact, from 1988 to 1992. The thing is, that’s about the age of most kids getting ready to go to college, 18 years, and obviously a few things stayed the same, but many things have changed. And some thoughts I had going in aren’t the same as they were when I joined either. So, I figured I would share my 10 truths about health clubs to see if people agree, disagree, or whatever emotion it garners.

1. It does take more than just exercising to start seeing real changes. This means that even if I did 1,000 stomach crunches a day and ran 10 miles a day that there probably wouldn’t be all that much difference in my body if I didn’t change how I ate; that stinks! Yeah, I know we already read about this concept of diet and exercise, but if you weren’t doing either one wouldn’t you think that just adding one of these would still be a pretty significant change? We first visited the health club on May 7th, signed up for the free 7 day trial on May 9th and started working out on that day; that’s 59 days ago. I went in with two main goals; lose weight and bring glucose down. To date, I’ve not lost any weight except for the 9 pounds I gained within weeks after starting. My glucose hasn’t come down one bit. However, I have lost an inch off my stomach and hips. I also gained 3 1/2 inches on my left thigh and an inch on my right; that wasn’t supposed to happen. So I’ve backed off weights for my legs, kicked up stomach crunches because a smaller stomach isn’t a bad thing, work on reaching my cardio heart rate goal, and modified my eating habits a bit.

2. Once you get used to a routine, you’re supposed to change it up so you start hurting again. Okay, soreness, since that’s what they prefer you to say, but so be it. This means always increasing either the weight or the number of reps. They say if you’re not feeling any discomfort after awhile then you’re not really doing anything. Bah!

3. Guys are bigger than they used to be. You know, I’m not a small guy. When I used to go to the health club, I was never a big muscle guy. But the guys who were big muscle guys were pretty much my size, just more muscular. These days, young people are bigger and taller than we were, and thus when they work out they’re absolutely huge. I have to admit that I hadn’t noticed that kind of size difference in guys until I joined the health club; that’s somewhat intimidating, and I’m not used to that. I have to keep reminding myself when I’m alone that there’s no way I can get that big, so don’t even try.

4. Women are still hot. I’m glad that didn’t change, but something you see more these days are these really tall ladies who get on the treadmills and run like the wind. When I was originally going it was always the short ladies who ran on treadmills, so that’s another change.

5. Men don’t wear socks anymore; they wear “socklets”. When did this happen? I don’t pay any attention to fashion, but my wife tried talking me out of wearing my regular athletic socks the one day I decided to show up in shorts. I wore them anyway, then found that only myself and one man probably in his 70’s were wearing them like that. I always thought ankle socks were for little girls; I am still freaking out about this one. I now only wear sweats so my long socks stay hidden; the socklets just feel, well, weird. Maybe one day I’ll get used to it; maybe not.

6. You just can’t look cool while working out. Okay, this one I think I already knew, because I certainly didn’t look all that cool when I used to work out. But I’m coming to grips with some things that I just can’t do; my wife hasn’t really learned this one, though. For instance, I used to participate in a high impact aerobics class; that’s not happening for me. My wife has not only tried going into one of those, but she also went into one of those weight classes and then a yoga/pilates class and injured herself badly enough to need medical treatment and a week or rest. I have to fight all the time walking over and yanking the heaviest weights like I see the younger folks doing. I know I can get it up; heck, until I realized I wanted my thighs getting smaller I was pushing 300 pounds. But that’s not me, so for me, it’s lower weights, more reps, and not looking cool but not hurting myself either.

7. At a certain point in one’s life, they just learned not to care what others think. I admit it, I have some body issues. One on one, I can suppress them, since I like massage. In public, though, it’s just not happening with me. In the hot tub story I talked about men with no behinds. Well, you see all sorts of stuff in a health club that equals or comes close to that; almost nothing will surpass it. You find yourself often wanting to say “cover that up”, but it is what it is.

8. People are nasty. Okay, this is a different direction, and maybe my wife and I are just fastidious people. At the end of using a piece of equipment, we wipe stuff down. There’s a sign asking people to do that. However, almost no one does it, and that’s just nasty. Some machines I actually wipe down before I use them. If there’s head sweat involved I wipe them down. If there’s the potential that I might have followed a heavy back sweating person, I wipe that piece of equipment down first. It can’t be an only child thing since my wife is one of 7, but she’s also in health care and knows sterilization processes, and she’s not having it. I’m not either; ick!

9. There’s a fine line between knowing your limits and suddenly being beyond them. The people at the health club are always saying to step it up. Well, I’ve seen some people stepping it up to the point where suddenly there’s a “pop” and, uh-oh, we won’t be seeing you for a few weeks. Frankly, one of the gripes I have about the health club is that the only training you’re going to get at all is if you pay for it after your first complimentary session. I’ve seen people doing things that my mind has said “someone should show that person how to use that thing”. Heck, the first week that “person” was myself and my wife, the supposed health club expert. When I was younger, I’d just do a machine I didn’t know how to use and risk the consequences; these days, I look and study, and if I can’t figure it out, I’m not using it. I think there should be a trainer on hand at least during peak periods, walking around and making sure people are using the equipment properly.

10. Smoothies are refreshing; are they healthy? Seems it depends on who you ask and who’s making them. This young lady who I get mine from, and only if she’s working, has learned that I won’t drink it if there’s not enough chocolate in it. She’s also stopped adding yogurt to mine and makes it only with ice; tastes good to me. She says it’s saving me at least 150 calories, and she’s adding something in it called “burn”, which is supposed to keep my metabolic system burning more calories throughout the day. I have no clue, and I’m not going to worry about it. Taste, especially chocolate, rules my life.

There you go; long post, but that’s what it takes to get through 10 points. If you belong to a health club, do you see any of these things yourself?


Link to iTREAD

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