All posts by Mitch Mitchell

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

“Thank You”; Is It Really That Hard To Say?

You know what irks me? When I hold open the door for someone because I was taught courtesy and the person walking through it acts as if I was supposed to do it and doesn’t even acknowledge that I was there. What’s that about? Is it a privilege thing? Or is it just rude?

happy new year ♥ feliz 2012!
jesuscm.com via Compfight

I tend to say “thank you” a lot. Probably way too often if my wife has anything to say about it but I always figure that there’s nothing wrong with being policy. Truthfully, I’ve even written about it a couple of times on my business blog over the years, though we’re going back some time. One was called The Lost Art Of Thank You, the other called Gotta Love Thank You’s Both of those are related more to business than personal lives but let’s face it, if you didn’t learn it before you went into business you’re probably not thinking about it at work.

I thank people in restaurants whenever they bring me something, including the bill if I’m paying attention, and if I’m still sitting there when payment is made and they thank me I thank them for the attention they gave me. Even though I’m sincere about it, I find that if I go back to that restaurant and I’m recognized I get extra special service from that point on; nothing wrong with that if you ask me. At one restaurant out of town, a Japanese restaurant, they even give me free samples of things as they try to expand my palate; it’s worked slightly but I’m a tough nut to crack. lol

It’s not just in one’s personal or business life where “thank you” is a good thing. On social media, there’s a lot of opportunities to thank people for something they’ve done for you. I don’t do it on all comments but many a time I thank someone for something they said in the comment before a response. On Twitter I try to remember to thank people who share my posts, and I’m much better at it than I used to be, something else I learned from my buddy Adrienne. Oh, as a sidebar one day this month I’ll be the featured guest writer on her blog and I hope you’ll check it out when it goes live; I’ll probably mention it somewhere around here and I thanked her for asking me and she thanked me for writing it; see how that works? 🙂

If you’re a regular visitor you know I always talk about the need to be social on social media. At the very least one should think about ways of thanking people for something when there’s a personal interaction that could potentially benefit you. Heck, sometimes I thank someone for sharing something that I really like like a motivational quote or intriguing and cool images.

I just don’t think there’s enough courtesy these days, and saying “thank you” has to be one of the easiest things for people to do. But maybe I’m being too sensitive, or maybe my generation has it wrong. What do you think? And I thank you in advance for your comments.
 

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The Answer – Because I Like It

Last weekend when I was home I went for a walk at the lake with a friend of mine. He asked me a question about making videos that made me create a video about it. In essence he was asking me what I was getting out of making videos and I believe it was a question about publicity, making money, etc. My response wasn’t bad, which is why I’m popping the video about it below so you can check it out if you so choose.

Picture 70

However, upon reflection I realized that when I responded to the question, I felt like my back was against the wall and that I had to justify what I was doing. Sometimes all of us feel like that, where we see a question or hear a question or are confronted with something we’re doing and we’re not quite sure how to answer it. And I realized that overall my response was, well… because I like it!

Frankly, I think that’s a great answer that can be applied to many things that we do… when it’s true. For instance, anyone who tells me they like smoking when they know it causes cancer and emphysema, or that they like getting drunk and passing out every weekend, I know is lying. Anyone who says they like brushing their teeth without adding “because I want to keep my teeth healthy and cavity free” is lying because it’s not something that’s done out of pleasure… well, there’s probably one or two crazy people who might love doing it. lol

But for many things it’s the perfect and true answer, even if it didn’t start out that way. When I started my first blog back in 2005 it was with the intention of showing business proficiency. All these years and extra blogs later, I do it because I like it.

When I first started doing video I did it with the intention of improving my craft of speaking as well as getting my face out to the public in case someone liked what I had to say and needed a speaker/presenter for their organization that they were willing to pay for. After awhile I realized that I like doing them as well.

Why do I eat so much dessert? Because I like it. Why do I eat a lot of hamburger? Because I like it. Why am I an independent consultant who doesn’t have a full time job, doesn’t have insurance paid for by an employer, and doesn’t get vacation time so I can go to all these exotic places knowing I’m still being paid? Because I like what I do.

Think about the different things you do. How many of them are you doing for the pleasure of it? How many are you doing because you feel obligated? How many are you doing because you ARE obligated? What can you give up? What can you make more enjoyable to move it into the “because I like it” realm?

Anyway, that should have been my true response because, when all is said and done, it’s my reality. I hope you check out the video because in the middle of it all I reveal something about pretzels; did that get your attention? 🙂

 


 

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Quick Ways To Identify Spam On Your Blog

I can’t believe it’s been more than 3 years since I wrote on the topic of how to identify spam. In that period of time a lot of things have stayed the same while there are some new players in the game that try to trick us all.

No Spam
Thomas Hawk via Compfight

This will probably be a short post from me, which is rare, but I’m hoping to make it easy for everyone instead of getting too deep into the issue. If there’s anything here you don’t understand, leave it in the comments and I’ll give it more time later. Here we go:

1. If a comment doesn’t use your name but calls you something, it’s probably spam. Admin, webmaster, buddy, etc.

2. One line comments are most probably spam unless you know the person.

3. If a comment looks familiar look through previous comments on that same post. Most of the time I recognize that someone has scraped a previous comment but not all the time, and I end up responding to both; ugh.

4. Totally off-topic or not on the topic at all.

5. The comment is way too long. I’ve known a few people who leave long comments but in general most really long comments are spammy sales messages or rants about something totally not based on what you’ve just written about.

6. Questions about your blog in general; not on topic, and please don’t even waste your time responding to this stuff.

7. Female picture with male name, male picture with female name… that should be pretty easy to spot.

8. The email address says “info” or “admin” in it. Not always spam but my policy is it all goes into the spam filter because, unless I know the person, it often means someone’s been paid to leave a lousy comment on your blog & they’re never coming back.

9. Keyword names or somewhat offensive names. I don’t allow either and will just delete the comments without reading them because most of the time they’re spam.

I’ll stop at 9 because that’s one of my favorite numbers and it’s the 9th month. Anyone have any other quick ways to identify spam?
 

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Marketing, Promotion And Video

A couple of days ago one of my YouTube friends shared the link of someone new with me & some other folks. He calls his YouTube page Daym Drops, and he talks about food. Well, that’s not quite accurate; he emotes about food, mainly fast food and different items, though he’ll occasionally break into commentary about other foods such as desserts and comfort food.

typexnick via Compfight

There are a few things that are pretty amazing about this guy. First, he’s got over 100,000 subscribers, and I’m a new one. Second, some of his videos have garnered millions of viewers. Third, he’s funny; that never hurts. Fourth, by doing something he loves and promoting it in his own way, he not only makes a pretty good living via YouTube but was able to turn what he does into a TV show for The Travel Channel; what the hey?

I was thinking once again about this once again, this thing about marketing and promotion. In a way, they’re different as well as being somewhat the same. Marketing is where you find ways to market your business to get people to buy from you. Promotion is where you find ways to market yourself and your competencies so that people will buy from you or hire you.

Daym (short for Daymond) actually stated something that I’ve been doing over the past year. In one of his videos, he said that if you have something you want to say that you should create videos and put them out, and even if you only have a few viewers that you should continue doing it; find something you love to talk about and go for it.

I’m now up to 90 videos on this particular channel, the 90th being below, and many of them haven’t cracked double digits. My other channel does much better because I fill a void that no one else can touch, but I don’t do a lot of those and I need to start doing way more.

Why? Because it’s a niche that I can claim as my own and one where there’s actually the possibility that I could make money off it via people hiring me for my services. That might be a lot easier than trying to get hired because of my personality, that’s for sure. lol

Someone like our buddy Adrienne’s got it right. She promotes herself by also promoting others, is pretty much everywhere, and is now starting to show up on lots of lists regarding bloggers that people should know about. It takes a lot of work and consistency, but that’s really what promotions is all about.

I’m bad at it; what about you? No matter; check out the video or comment based on what I’ve said above. The question you’re addressing… are you promoting yourself enough, are you marketing your business enough, and are you using video in any way to help you along? Here we go:
 


 

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5 Ways Blogging Is Like Traveling Through Airports

Yes, this is another one of my comparison posts on the overall subject of blogging, this time relating it to airports. I’m in my consulting mode these days which means I’m flying a lot, although most of the time when I’m consulting I drive. However, I’m 17 hours away by car, thus this didn’t seem to be the smart thing to do, as I kept hearing from my wife. Lol

Syracuse Airport

The thing is that there are some things about blogging that really can compare to being in airports. If you’ve only ever been in one or two you may not be able to relate to these, but if you’ve flown at least 3 or 4 times you’ll see that I’m right on this one, even if you never thought about it before. Let’s begin.

1. There are some processes that never change. In airports, you always have to first get past the person who checks your ticket against your ID. Then you have to pull all your electronics out and put them in a tray, take everything out of your pockets and put them into a tray, take off your shoes and belt and put them in a tray, walk through the scanner and hope you’ve passed, and then put all that stuff back into where you took it from. Then you wait at your gate, walk forward when it’s your turn, put your stuff in the overhead, sit down, put on your seatbelt & fly to your destination. No matter what else happens, no matter the deviations, you always do these things.

When it comes to blogging, you probably always do these same things. You think about what your topic is going to be that you’re writing on, you verify your facts or your opinion, you open with your premise and then you write your post. Afterwards you check it for spelling (please do this lol), verify your keywords, then publish your post so others can read it and bask in your brilliance. Your process almost never changes once you get it down; if it does, you’re probably not writing all that often.

2. Often things are out of your control, no matter what you do. I’ve had a couple of flights canceled or altered because of the weather. I’ve had seats where I’ve paid for an upgrade taken from me for whatever reason. I’ve been pulled out of line and I’ve been selected to have a bag or two go under extra scrutiny. These are irritations but we get through them and move on with life.

With blogging, you can write what you feel is the best thing you’ve ever written and have no one read it or comment on it. You can set up all sorts of protections on your blog and still get hacked. You can have your hosting company suddenly go buggy and no one, including you, can get to your site. Some of these things are more critical than the others but you need to know that you can always overcome anything. Waste just a little bit of time worrying about it, then either get back to what you know or move on.

3. You can never find enough charging stations. At least there are places where we can charge up our phones, laptops and electronic readers these days. But there are never enough of them, and they get scarfed up pretty quickly. Every once in awhile there might be one last remaining spot but there are no seats close by, so you have to make a quick decision as to whether you trust the people who stand around the station or not.

For many bloggers, there are those days when you think and think and think and just can’t figure out what you want to say. Maybe you have a germ of an idea but you just can’t put it together. One of the realities of blogging is that you write an article, put it out, and at some point you have to write another post. It seems like there aren’t enough ideas or enough ways to come at your topic. But there are; look at what I’m comparing blogging to in this post. : – )

4. If you travel a lot you get to a point where you see the same thing over and over and some of it loses its excitement. When that starts to threaten to happen, you have to try to find new things to concentrate your mind on because, in reality, there’s always something different. For me, I’ve started people watching, and it’s the most amazing thing. As I write this there’s a kid who’s climbed up on one of those arrivals boards, a really attractive woman in very high heels and the tightest pants standing at the charging station in front of me typing away on her phone as if there’s nothing else in life to do, a Hasidic father and son, both with high black hats, looking for their gate and next flight, a young mother playing with her cute baby, and some people just chilling, watching TV or talking on their phones because they have a long wait for their next flight.

In blogging, sometimes it seems like you’re seeing the same thing over and over, whether it’s your blog or someone else’s blog. I lament often that I see multiple blogs writing the same thing all the time, as if they’re copying each other. The thing is that you should be able to have 30 people write about the same thing and end up with 30 totally different perspectives and taken on that subject. If you’re seeing the same thing over and over you need to broaden your perspective and look for other bloggers who can offer something different. If it’s your writing, work on your creativity and stop being so pedantic in using the same language and terminology.

5. Even in airports it can be all about networking and relationships. This is the 4th month of traveling for me and what I never really thought much about until it started is how often I see the same people. What’s also stunned me is that with so many people passing through airports every day that some of those people will remember my face. Though I don’t remember their names I’m familiar with certain flight attendants, the guys who load and drive the bus from one terminal to the next, some of the people working in certain restaurants, and some of the security people who check to make sure I’m not trying to sneak anything onto the plane. There’s a comfort in the familiarity and it helps in knowing that those times when they have to pull me out for a random heck there’s nothing personal about it.

The best blogs will have a consistent group of people who stop by to read and comment, and if you’re a smart blogger you’ll not only welcome them by responding to their comments, but when you can you’ll visit their blogs and try to find something to comment on. When all is said and done true blogging is about relationships and networking, whether you’re trying to make money or not. I wouldn’t go out on a limb and say that you’re building friendships as if those people lived in town all the time, but you’re building friendly interactions and trust, and some of those people will help to promote you when they like you without your asking. There’s never anything wrong with that.
 

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