All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

Creatures Of Our Generations

Earlier today I was officially introduced to Google Buzz on Ari Herzog’s blog Ari Writer. That link will take you to his synopsis on it, as well as a video showing what it’s all about. Very informative stuff.

The main thing about Google Buzz is that you have to have a Gmail account for it all to work. I don’t have a Gmail account. Truthfully, it’s never occurred to me to get a Gmail account. Not that I don’t understand how many people use it; I just have my own hesitations in even thinking about using something like that, and therefore I won’t do it.

What are those hesitations? It has to do with giving out too much of my information to one entity. I talk to many people who use things like this, and I notice that overwhelmingly most of the people are much younger than I am, at least 10 years younger. Not that there aren’t some people who are my age or older that aren’t using these things, but it’s not common.

I’ve been wondering more about these types of things, wondering why it seems to be going that route. At what point did the generations decide it was such a good thing to be sharing so much of their personal lives with so many other people? At what point did recognition of such a high magnitude become vogue?

Sure, I guess one could look at me and say “you share things about yourself through your blogging.” I’d have to agree with that, but at the same time, what I share is controlled. The skeletons are buried very deep; not that I have many of them, but there are things that I’ll never divulge anywhere. You know what’s even better? I’m the keeper of secrets for many more people, the one person they felt they could trust with their lives, and since loyalty is at the top of my list of morals, with trustworthy being second, those things are theirs and mine forever.

You don’t see that kind of thing these days, though. I hate to be the one saying this to you folks who are parents, but at some point your daughter, if she’s either attractive or is interested in some boy, is going to have a picture taken of her that she’s going to later wish she hadn’t done, if she hasn’t already done it. Truthfully, it might not even be her taking it, but she knows about it. That’s something I don’t think women from my generation would have jumped at; as it is, there are women my age who won’t even put a picture of themselves up on Facebook or Twitter, for fear that someone will recognize them, and will give very few personal details either. That second part I fully understand, but the first… I guess I get it to a degree, but I’m of the mind that once you establish yourself in some fashion online, putting your image next to it will keep others from thinking you’re someone else with that same name. Then again, I’m Mitch Mitchell in a world competing with Jimi Hendrix drummer, so my take on that would be a little different. lol

I remember being at a seminar in 2008 when one women in her early 30s was talking about a problem she was having with the school her 12 years old was going to. Seems she gave her 12-year old daughter a cell phone so she could call her mother whenever she wanted to talk to her, and whenever she wanted to talk to her daughter. A teacher took away her phone because the daughter was using it during a class, and the mother was livid, saying she had the right to talk to her daughter whenever she wanted to, even if it was during a class. I was stunned at that; when I went to school, parents weren’t even allowed in the classroom, then they were encouraged to come to the classroom after I was gone, then parents can now be arrested if their kids skip school and now parents want to talk to their kids while in the classroom?

Do you notice the differences in how people’s perceptions on things change depending on being in different generations? I’d love to hear it if you’ve noticed it in any way. Oh yeah; Happy Valentines Day!

Microsoft Store

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Marketing Or Advertising Your Business

Yesterday I gave a presentation on the above topic to a consultant’s group I belong to, The Professional Consultant’s Association of Central New York. I’m also on the board, write the monthly newsletter, and I’m the webmaster of their website.

Anyway, it was interesting talking to these folks, most of whom are older than I am (scary since I’m 50), and though I got through it all, it seems they all got hung up initially on social media and just what its purpose was. One guy kept asking the question “did you get any business out of it”, to which I could answer to each one “yes”. He didn’t ask if I got a lot of business out of it, but he was missing the point.

The idea of doing things online isn’t always to immediately get a return on your investment (ROI). Yeah, that would be pleasurable, but the truth is that unless you’re already well known, or fill a need that the market has nowhere else to turn to, it will take some time before you really start making money. Sometimes it takes years, but I digress.

The basic thing about marketing a small business as opposed to a large business is that you probably don’t have a budget set for advertising. Oh yeah, let’s get the definitions of the two terms out of the way, just to be clear. Marketing is planning for how you want others to learn about your business and products. Advertising is money spent on producing materials to help you market your business and products.

Small businesses usually start out doing the same thing because it’s the only thing we know. We buy a lot of business cards, which isn’t so bad except often we haven’t fully defined ourselves before we buy the first batch. We either buy or make brochures, which means we spend a lot of money buying supplies or paying someone else to design and copy these suckers. We buy a lot of paper and envelopes to attack things that way. And we try to make endless calls (well, those who have the mettle to do it; I don’t) trying to talk to people who won’t return phone calls. It’s a tough life sometimes.

What we all eventually find out is that, through some kind of networking, we finally have a chance to make some money and do some business with others. It can be a long struggle for some of us, whereas others find success pretty quickly. There is no one way that it happens for everyone.

It’s the same with marketing online. We have read some of the stories of marketers who seemed to hit the ground running into success with internet marketing, and that’s good for those folks. But that’s not the norm. Even Darren Rowse didn’t make money initially, and it probably took him a couple of years to really ramp up his empire, so to speak. And here’s the next part; almost none of these guys continued making money the way they started out making money.

Don’t believe me? Joel Comm started out making money through Adsense; he’s moved on from there. So has Darren Rowse, who actually makes his money through many other services rather than just blogging. Lynn Terry and David Risley make most of their money in other ways than blogging, and John Chow has always said he makes more money from other sources than just blogging. Everyone has to be ready to diversify in some fashion to keep making money; you can only prime this particular pump so many times before the effect wears off. Think about 10 big name internet marketers from 6 years ago, then think of how many of them you still see on a regular basis, unless you’ve stayed on their mailing list forever. If you need to, check out Gurudaq, which I wrote about back in October 2008.

Enough of that. I figure that some might be interested in my outline for the presentation, and at the risk of someone stealing it, well, I really don’t care this time around, although it seems some of my content has been stolen by a site calling itself Lua Cheia (they stole an entire article from my business blog; I wrote them and they said it’s a version of Digg & Stumble Upon, only I got no attribution; here’s the link to it if you want to see it, but I’m not making it an active link: http://luacheia.soup.io/post/44468305/When-Protecting-Your-Reputation-Isn-t-Worth). Anyway, here’s the outline; enjoy, and do NOT ask me where I got the statistics from, as I just took the first stat I found on each of these from wherever I could find it.

Traditional Marketing Ideas

1. Mail
     A. Letters
     B. Flyers
     C. Postcards

2. Printed Materials
     A. Flyers
     B. Brochures
     C. Business Cards

3. Networking
     A. Join Groups
     B. Get On Committees
     C. Work on getting people to know you

4. Hire someone to market you
     A. Agency
     B. Sales people

5. Phone calls

6. Media
     A. Magazines/Newspaper
     B. Radio
     C. Television

New Ways Of Marketing

1. Email

2. Websites

3. Blogs

4. Social Networking

5. Speaking/presenting

Costs of Advertising

1. Printed materials can cost a lot of money

2. Cost of postage

3. Costs of joining groups

4. Costs of labor in hiring others

5. Websites can be expensive to create, but are easy to change

6. Blogs are inexpensive to create and maintain, but still need to “advertise” in another way

7. Social media is free, but can be time consuming

8. Email is free, but some people don’t respond well to it

Effectiveness/ROI

1. Mailings only convert at an average of around 1%, and only if you submit in high volume

2. Business cards only convert at an average of around 2%, but once again, volume drives the figures

3. Websites have a 2.5% conversion rate, based on high traffic

4. Blogs can help conversion rates go up by 3% if you have a niche market

5. Email converts at less than 1% for people you don’t know, around 25% for people you do know

6. Phone calls convert around 2 to 3% for product based companies, less for service based companies

7. Speaking engagements convert around 1% initially, but can increase to 5% over time for some

8. Networking converts at around 1% short term, but can increase to 5% over time for some

9. Advertising on media depends on product & location; products always do better than services

10.No figures on social networking yet, but people have gotten business from it

What Personally Affects How / What We Do

1. Comfort level

2. Finances
     A. What can we afford to spend on stuff
     B. How much in need are we of making money “now”

3. Control

4. Knowing our market too well / too little

5. Trying too hard / giving up

Big Question – What do you do in marketing/advertising & how does it work for you? Are you missing ways that might be beneficial to you long term?

Transaction Holdings THAF0919 Romance and Valentines- Love Eternal

Transaction Holdings Romance and Valentines – Love Eternal

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Your Creativity Is There Inside You

I’ve written enough times on how it seems I’ll visit a blog because a topic got my mind going, only to see that it’s something I’ve not only read before, but almost word for word at the same time. A question I addressed in my blog writing series was how to think about what to write about.

Here’s a great example of how I find things to write about. Someone I met on Twitter named Rachel Lavern writes a wonderful blog that used to be called “Fearfully ‘n Wonderfully Made, but is now called… actually, I’m not quite sure what it’s called. If you follow the link below, you’ll see what I mean. Anyway, it’s a great blog with lots of content made to make people feel good and to think about things, but it’s one of those Intense Debate blogs, kind of like Disqus, which you know I don’t like, so I won’t comment there. Instead, I will comment through this blog which she’ll see on a trackback.

Anyway, her post is entitled What Will You Create, and in this case she has a short video on creation, then 10 ways to stem creativity by a guy named Jeffrey Baumgartner, whom I thought I knew but I don’t. Anyway, his 10 ways to stem creativity aren’t bad, but no one says you have to do it his way. As a matter of fact, though I’m not going to go through the 10, as I want you to check out Rachel’s blog, I will counter one of them.

He recommends that you don’t watch TV. I’m not going to suggest that, but what I am going to suggest is that you think about what you’re watching and see if there’s any concepts in any of those shows that you think are something worth commenting on. I mean, could I have written a top 10 TV shows if I’d never watched TV? You know, the most mindless drivel is entertaining to someone, and maybe if that person wrote about it, others would see it in a different light; or not. lol

I once wrote that I thought creativity was obsolete, but I really don’t think that’s the case. What I believe is that there are some of us who don’t want to challenge ourselves to be different, to make a statement, to give something that no one else has given before. That’s the safe route; what fun is being safe all the time? Well, unless you’re thinking about doing something really stupid like this (this is going to take you to a video that’s kind of an adrenaline rush; no embed, otherwise I’d put it up here). Then again, watch that video and tell me this guy wasn’t creative.

Probably one of the most creative blogs out there is Marelisa’s Abundance Online. Man, talk about wonderful words to read each time I’m ready for it. She really puts a lot into each post, like her latest one called The Paint By Number Approach To Accomplishing Your Goals. She writes beautifully, gives a lot of information, often gives a lot of leads, and I’m telling you, if you ever needed to find ideas on what to write about, her blog will give them to you.

How will you show the creative side of yourself in your next few blog posts?

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My Top 6 Super Bowl XLIV Commercials

This was an interesting year for Super Bowl commercials, I couldn’t believe how many of them had men and women in their underwear, mainly men. And let’s just say that these weren’t people almost any of us would consider as “hot”.

Overall there were 68 commercials of mainly what we’re used to. There were car commercials, beer commercials, Doritos commercials galore. There were a few Denny’s commercials with screaming chickens because they were running the free Grand Slam breakfast promotion like they ran last year (and for the second year in a row I missed it, since it was today until 2PM). There was a lot of pre-game controversy over an anti-abortion ad that didn’t quite live up to the hype, and was a much nicer commercial than I was expecting it to be. And there were the usual duds, but that’s to be expected.

Anyway, I have my favorite six, which I’m going to rank in reverse order. It seems that most of my favorite choices weren’t ranked all that high by other consumers, but hey, this is my list. And the commercials are here for your review as well; I wonder how long they’ll stay around this time before I’ll have to go back and find updated ones. Anyway, here we go.

6. Coke, Sleepwalker. This one had a guy who sleepwalks through the jungle and all its dangers because he’s in search of a Coca Cola. I thought it was really creative; critics said they didn’t get it. What’s to get? Course, throw in a little Bolero and I’m a happy guy.

5. Doritos, Dog. This one has a guy sitting on a park bench when a dog comes wanting a Dorito, but has a dog collar that zaps the dog if he barks. My wife didn’t get it, but I loved it. The critics didn’t like this one either; shame.

4. Budweiser, Clydesdales & Steer. Every year we all wait for the Clydesdales, and Budweiser, which wasn’t initially going to do one this year, eventually came through. This time they added a friends back story which included a steer with the same colors as the clydesdales; I thought it was cute, the critics thought it was unoriginal.

3. Letterman, Leno & Oprah. Man, no one saw this coming, and it’s one of two that the critics agree with me on. All we’ve heard over the past number of years was how much David Letterman and Jay Leno have been after each other. And of course we heard how Oprah first didn’t like Dave, and now was against Jay because of what’s going on with Conan. Great spot, and great satire also.

2. Snickers, Betty White & Abe Vigoda. This is the other one critics loved, and it seems it was the most popular ad of the night in most surveys. Having Betty White utter the line “that’s not what your girlfriend said” is a classic, and pulling Abe Vigoda out for another cameo was just a great touch.

1. Doritos, Little Boy. This one started out with a creep factor, but when this little boy drops his video remote, you know it’s on. I liked the sass it showed, and a little boy protecting his mother against someone whose values seem skewed… big ups for me.

And there you are, my favorites. I’m sure you have your own, if you watched the game, or saw any of the commercials; share your thoughts.

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Pot Odds In Internet Marketing

Many of you know how much I love going to play poker. I get a lot of enjoyment out of it because I love the camaraderie that eventually is created by spending just a few hours with a bunch of people you’ve never met before, commiserating with everyone else who’s either won a big hand or gotten beaten in a big hand. We’ve all been there, and we all have stories to share.

One thing I like to believe I’m good at is figuring out what the odds are that my hand is good or not. Of course, having a good hand doesn’t always mean it’s a winning hand, but more often than not it works out just fine. What I’m not good at is figuring out the numbers, as in what the actual percentage is that favors my hand.

I was reading a blog post called Easiest Way To Understand Math In Poker, where the writer, named Mitchell Cogart (knew I liked him for some reason) was giving some formulas for how to calculate it fairly quickly. It’s still somewhat beyond me, mainly because it takes time to do those calculations, and unless I was playing in a tournament, I don’t like taking that kind of time figuring out anything.

However, it’s the other thing he was talking about that starts to get me into the point of this post. There’s something called pot odds that, to poker players, is very important and very intriguing. In essence, it’s figuring out how much the pot is worth to you in odds versus the odds of you having a winning hand. Just to throw out numbers, if you only have a 30% chance of winning a hand, but the dollars in the pot come out to you having a 55% chance of winning the pot, many poker players will take a chance on the money rather than their hand because they perceive the dollars are so high that you can’t afford NOT to play the hand.

I hear this on poker commentary sometimes on TV. The guy will say “there’s so much money in the pot that so-and-so absolutely has to call the hand, even though he’s going to lose.” On TV, you always know what the players hands are, so you know who’s going to win or lose. But the players don’t know that, so you see them taking time, running through all the calculations in their minds, and then they’ll pull the trigger on hands that most of us would say we know better than to play because we have no idea on how to calculate pot odds.

In a way, you can relate that to trying to learn more about internet marketing. There are a lot of products out there that will teach you something about it. Some are very good and some aren’t all that good. However, what most of us believe is that the more expensive something is, the more we should be getting out of it. Truthfully, that may or may not be true. The “pot odds” are in your favor; after all, why would someone put a $500 product out there that wasn’t going to deliver on what’s been promised, right?

Here’s the thing. Just like everything else in life, nothing works for everyone. It’s possible that the $500 product might tell you everything you need to know to make money, or it may not. It may tell you things to do that your morality won’t allow you to do. For instance, if it said that in order to make lots of money you have to kill a lot of puppies, would you do it? If it said that you had to do what’s known as black hat principles, would you do it?

While I was at my mother’s house on Friday, she was watching this network that was advertising a program called Kell On Earth, about this fashion designer who’s very successful. However, she’s a terror; there’s no way I’d ever want to deal with that type of person on a yearly basis, let alone a daily basis. She berates her employees and other people around her, but justifies it by saying she has to do what she has to do to stay at the top. I’m sorry, but if you have to treat people as if they’re inferior to you then I don’t want to be successful. It’s not my style, and I couldn’t live with myself. Yet there are thousands of people who subscribe to that and believe it’s the way to go. Notice how some are successful, but others aren’t? Once again, no one size fits all.

Some folks thought I was being too lenient when I reviewed Six Figure Blogger Blueprint. The thing is, the book wasn’t really for those of you who have been doing this for awhile. It was also free, not a full course on internet marketing. It got me thinking about things, and any book that does that for me works for me. We all judge things differently. We have to know ourselves, and what we might respond to. Like that book to the right side there, 20 Ways To Make $100 A Day Online. I bought that book, and I think it was perfect for me because I was able to take just one of its principles and turn it into a way to make money. It wasn’t overly expensive, but turned out to be just what I needed. I calculated my odds for finding something I thought I could use, and I turned out to be right.

How do you determine whether something might work well for you or not? Do you even try anymore? I say that at the risk of jumping into Sire’s response, because I know he’s said more than once that he won’t pay for anything anymore, after being burned many times early on. Has that happened to some of you as well? I’d really like to know.

14K Yellow Gold Diamond Heart Bracelet

14K Yellow Gold Diamond Heart Bracelet

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