50 top entrepreneurial blogs for your reader

May 27, 2012

Every year the team at Evan Carmichael round up some of the best blogs out there and put together a top 50 list.  This year’s list for the 50 best blogs for entrepreneurs is a doozy.

Here in the States, we have a long weekend for Memorial Day…so why not use a little of that extra time and load up your RSS feed reader with some of this great content?  I’m excited to be on the list again this year and discovered several new blogs that are now on my radar.

It’s quite a wide array of blog topics — from gift cards to marketing with some strategy and law stuff to boot.

You’ll be glad you checked these out…


http://www.toprankblog.com  – TopRank Online Marketing is a digital marketing agency founded by Lee Odden and Susan Misukanis that helps companies increase sales, brand visibility online and develop better customer engagement. We specialize in content based customer acquisition and relationship programs that emphasize social media marketing, search engine optimization and email marketing.

Small Business Trends

http://smallbiztrends.com  – Small Business Trends was founded in 2003 by Anita Campbell, in Cleveland, Ohio. Small Business Trends is the premier source of information, news and advice covering issues of key importance to the small business market.  Small Business Trends appears repeatedly at the top of lists of small business websites.

The Small Business Newswire

http://www.sbwire.com  – SBWire is an online newswire specializing in the needs of small to medium-sized businesses. Thousands of businesses and organizations in over 150 different countries rely on SBWire for commercial news distribution, media contact management, online news room hosting and other public relations related tools and services.

KISSmetrics Marketing Blog

http://blog.kissmetrics.com  – KISSmetrics is different from other analytics platforms due to a combination of three key features. We focus on funnels and conversions and make them easy to track and interpret, use people as the basic unit of measure, and support custom tracking. KISSmetrics is run by a team of designers, developers and entrepreneurs that are passionate about helping online businesses measure, grow and monetize.

Thirty Six Months

http://www.thirtysixmonths.com  – Marissa – recent grad who has credit card debt. and student loans. Unfortunately, I learned my money lessons a bit later on in life.  Even though I worked all through university and grad school, I also spent a great deal of it, foolishly. This blog will document my efforts to have a positive networth and pay off my debt as soon as possible.  There might also be stories of my life and other goals in here as well.

I heard somewhere that it is advisable to be able to pay off all of your consumer debt within THIRTY SIX MONTHS, otherwise debt fatigue sets in. My goal to do it way before that.

The College Investor

http://thecollegeinvestor.com  – Robert – I’m a recent MBA graduate who has always had a passion for investing and personal finance. I’m not uber rich, I don’t run a hedge fund (yet!), and I’m not a millionaire. What I do have is a beautiful wife, a loving family, great friends, and a passion for helping others with their personal finance.

Brian Solis 

http://www.briansolis.com  – Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research-based advisory firm. Solis is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging media on business, marketing, publishing, and culture.

Coyote Blog

http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/  – Coyote Blog is the work of Warren Meyer, a small business owner in Phoenix, Arizona. The name Coyote Blog came from two sources. First, it’s a reference to my adopted home of Arizona. Second, it’s a salute to my favorite all time cartoon character Wile E. Coyote, and, of course, that most famous of small businesses: ACME. The original mission was to cover some of the day-to-day travails and lessons learned in running a small business.


http://www.dollarversity.com  – This blog is a service provided by GreenBridge Advisors, an accounting and consulting firm located in Coral Springs, Florida.  Taking that fact into consideration, you can expect to find articles on topics such as taxes, entrepreneurship, credit, debt management, personal and business finances, and a variety of other financial and business related issues.  More than that, the blog’s goal is to inform, teach, and hopefully entertain you as well.

Faith And Finance

http://www.faithandfinance.org  – Faith and Finance was founded by Tim in 2010.  Tim is a Christian, husband, MBA grad, and entrepreneur. After competing a full-time MBA in less than one year (crazy? yes) he and a fellow MBA grad started a marketing firm designed to help small businesses with their online presence. You’ll find his approach to personal finance to be straight forward and practical.  His love for learning and teaching others is what drives him to write such interesting articles and eBooks.

Small Business Marketing Blog from Duct Tape Marketing

http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog  – John Jantsch has been called the World’s Most Practical Small Business Expert for consistently delivering real-world, proven small business marketing ideas and strategies.  John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, award winning social media publisher and best selling author Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine .

Caribbean Media Vision

http://cmvlive.com  – Caribbean Media Vision is a contemporary graphic & website design studio located in St. Kitts. We here at CMV Specializes in helping companies to make their presence online and in the media by utilizing technology. Encompassing services that are geared towards giving companies a solid and comprehensive Internet presence, as well as services aimed at making the presentation of information much more professional and insightful, allowing companies to leverage competitive advantage off of the end results.

Inkling Media

http://inklingmedia.net/  – Inkling Media is an inbound marketing shop based in Lancaster, PA with an emphasis on social media. We provide consultation on utilizing social media as part of an overall marketing strategy. In addition to Social Media, we work with you to help implement a strong blogging plan, as well as organic search engine optimization.

Accounting and Small Business /Beverly Shares

http://www.bjconquest.com  – Beverly J Conquest, Owner and CEO Accounting and Small Business, LLC — Knowledge + Expertise + Experience = Solutions. Over 20 years experience providing accounting solutions for established and startup businesses.

Living Locurto

http://www.livinglocurto.com/  – Living Locurto is published by Amy Locurto, a designer, stylist and mom of two from Dallas, Texas. What started in July 2008 as a blog about creative things I did at home with my children, Living Locurto has since turned into a top craft and party blog with great resource for moms.


http://www.cloudtweaks.com  – With a team of content creators from around the globe, including CTOs, CEOs, CIOs, cloud bloggers, engineers and technology enthusiasts, delivers in‐depth articles, the latest news, interviews and other valuable content on cloud computing to a growing audience of technology professionals, including representatives government agencies, financial institutions, technology firms and Fortune 500 organizations.

Litigation and Trial

http://www.litigationandtrial.com  – Maxwell S. Kennerly – I’m a trial lawyer for injured people and businesses at The Beasley Firm. Founded in 1958, we have recovered over $2 billion for our clients through hundreds of verdicts and settlements in excess of $1 million.

Sramana Mitra on Strategy

http://www.sramanamitra.com  – Sramana Mitra has been an entrepreneur and a strategy consultant in Silicon Valley since 1994. Her fields of experience span from hard core technology disciplines like semiconductors to sophisticated consumer marketing industries including fashion and education.

E-junkie Blog

http://www.e-junkie.info  – Since E-junkie’s inception, our mission has been to lower the barriers to online selling. As E-commerce has grown more diverse and competitive, it occurred to us that merely providing good technology, such as our copy-paste E-junkie shopping cart, along with good customer service and tech support aren’t by themselves sufficient to meet our mission fully. We started this blog to provide such information to anyone who is selling online or has ever considered doing so.

Intuit Small Business Blog

http://blog.intuit.com  – This blog is dedicated to a discussion of small business, including advice, resources, and insights we think will help you be more successful . We’ll talk about broad topics of lasting interest to small business owners, such as Money, Customers, and Employees. We’ll also share information on current Trends as well as stories about Local businesses. Authors include professional journalists, people who work at Intuit, our customers and research partners, and guest experts we invite to share their perspectives.

Marketing Trenches

http://www.marketingtrenches.com  – The Marketing Trenches Blog is designed to provide marketers and business executives concrete examples of successful marketing strategies and tactics.  The content is largely focused on internet marketing, but given that internet marketing should be integrated with traditional/offline marketing, the content is relevant for all marketers.

Inventor Spot

http://inventorspot.com  – InventorSpot.com is a fun and informative website focused on Inventions, Innovations and Interesting Ideas from around the world. We offer serious fun for the inventor in all of us. We believe we are the most popular and most referenced invention related website on the internet. We also support the largest community of independent inventors in the United States.

Jim’s Marketing Blog

http://jimsmarketingblog.com  – Jim Connolly – worked in marketing for 25 years, with my own successful marketing business since 1995.  I specialise in helping small and medium sized businesses to make massively more sales and boost their profits.  I achieve this by sharing my most effective marketing strategies with them and then coaching them on exactly what they need to do, to achieve ongoing, amazing results.


http://smedio.com – Founded in January 2010, Smedio is the new media and social web guide for businesses and marketers. Our aim is to continuously define the business value of new media and the social web by equiping you with the needed insight and innovative ideas to help your business grow even more, using technology, new media, and the social web by bringing you useful breaking news, latest trends and techniques that you can use immediately.

Rewards Cards Canada

http://www.rewardscardscanada.com – Your complete source for finding and using the best rewards cards in Canada.  Rewards cards can be a great way to supplement your everyday spending and help you save for amazing products and experiences. Here you will find detailed reviews of every major rewards card in the country, including the major credit cards that offer rewards points.

Crafty Raffle

http://www.craftyraffle.net  – I started this site because I have serious craft envy.  I love handmade stuff.  Love it.  It is a minor joke in my family that half my gifts for anyone are bought on Etsy (it’s not untrue).  I used to make quilts as wedding presents before I was overrun by children, and I’m a photographer, so I am capable of pursuing creative outlets, but sometimes my efforts fall flat, and sometimes I don’t know where to start.  I also love entering giveaways.

Drew’s Marketing Minute

http://www.mclellanmarketing.com/  – Drew McLellan – a 25+ year marketing agency veteran who lives for creating “a ha” moments for his clients, clients’ customers, peers and audiences across the land. His blog is written in a pragmatic, “how to” focus.  He wants his readers to be able to learn, dicuss, challenge and implement the ideas they get from reading his content.

Recently he has appeared in the New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, Business Week and Fortune’s Small Business. The Wall Street Journal calls him one of 10 bloggers that every entrepreneur should read.


http://under30ceo.com  – Under30CEO is the leading media site covering news, advice, trends & events for the young entrepreneur. Under30CEO is dedicated to everything relevant to a young person starting a business or anyone looking to learn more about the space.  Now, nearly 1000 small business articles and over a million readers later, Under30CEO has developed into a thriving community for young entrepreneurs. Under30CEO is based in New York City.


http://www.roundpeg.biz  – A full service marketing firm, serving the Indianapolis small business community, we create websites, press releases, newsletters and brochures to help you launch your ideas and most importantly, close sales!

Content Marketing Today

http://contentmarketingtoday.com  – By creating conversations with your customers we build your brand and your bottom-line. We bring more than 25 years of successful business experience to our content marketing strategist role.


http://diversity.net.nz  – Ben Kepes is an analyst, an entrepreneur, a commentator and a business adviser. His business interests  include a diverse range of industries from manufacturing to property to technology. As a technology commentator he has a broad presence both in the traditional media and extensively online. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud.

I of the Consumer

http://www.zachhellermarketing.com  – Zach Heller – My goal is to create a place of open communication about marketing, advertising, small business, etc. I invite comments, emails, and connections of any kind.

Point Blank SEO

http://www.pointblankseo.com  – Jon Cooper – Here you’ll find all the information you need to start building high quality, white hat links in order to move up in the SERPs. This blog helps all link builders, both beginners and experts, in learning how to build quality links in a productive & time efficient manner.

Young Entrepreneur Blog

http://www.youngentrepreneur.com/blog  – YoungEntrepreneur.com was launched in 1999 and has grown to become one of the largest online forum communities for entrepreneurs worldwide. YoungEntrepreneur.com has become a “must visit” resource for start-up CEOs, founders, aspiring entrepreneurs, mentors and investors worldwide, reaching an audience that very few can match.

Indie Fixx

http://indiefixx.com  – Indie Fixx is a lifestyle blog with a very healthy mix of indie design love, crafting and diy, some gardening and cooking mixed in with plenty of commentary and a healthy dose of joie de vivre. Indie Fixx had its roots as just an indie design blog, but has morphed into more than just a review of independent art & design. Plenty of that still goes on, but man can’t live on design alone (although one can try) and so the focus has shifted to include more aspects of living a well-rounded life—cooking, eating, creating, gardening, playing, loving, discovering, learning, meeting, sharing & more.

Vandelay Design Blog

http://vandelaydesign.com/blog  – Vandelay Website Design exists to help businesses and organizations build a stronger presence online. By working directly with our clients to identify and address areas of need we are able to provide a customized experience and an end product that will produce results and lead to increased profitability.


Mike Sansone is an independent business consultant specializing in teaching professionals in various fields about using their voice (in-person or digitally) in ways to better reach their audiences. His experience in public speaking, sales and marketing, writing, and real-time online communication are strengths Mike relies upon in his role as a Conversation Conductor.

Rex Hammock’s RexBlog.com

http://www.rexblog.com  – The blog of Rex Hammock, founder/ceo of Hammock Inc., the content marketing, strategy and media company founded in 1991 in Nashville, Tenn. Rex is also founder/helper-in-chief of the wiki, SmallBusiness.com.

Jeff Korhan

http://www.jeffkorhan.com  – Jeff Korhan is an authentic, informative, and inspiring speaker who helps mainstream small businesses use social media and Internet marketing to increase their influence, enhance customer relationships, and accelerate growth. After 20 successful years he sold his business, and now applies three decades of marketing experience to helping clients develop sustainable marketing practices that capitalize on emerging business trends.

Business Pundit

http://BusinessPundit.com  – Drea Knufken – one of the writers at BusinessPundit.com. Before joining Business Pundit, I worked in a variety of business and content production positions. Most recently, I was a travel writer. My book, “The Backroads and Byways of Colorado,” covers the best road trips in the state, mile-by-mile. Before that, I helped create two major websites for the Los Angeles tourism bureau, worked for Google (specifically, AdWords and Blogger.com) for three years, and worked for several technology startups in Silicon Valley at the tail end of the .com boom.

Aweber Blog

http://www.aweber.com/blog  – Founded in 1998, we create email marketing software to help small businesses automate email follow up and email newsletter delivery. Our growing team shares a wealth of experience and knowledge about permission-based email marketing services with over 102,000+ current clients we work with daily.

Live and Love…Out Loud

http://liveandloveoutloud.com  – Kristin O’hea– Encouraging, empowering and celebrating the everyday woman is what this here blog is all about. I’m living it up, loving out loud and laughing it off as I navigate my way through the challenges and triumphs of motherhood. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll realize that you’re not alone.

Understanding Marketing

http://www.understandingmarketing.com – The majority of small businesses realize the importance of marketing and PR in today’s ultra-competitive environment. They know the key to success is driving awareness and engaging with their customers in a way that enhances their brand. But they also know that margins can be razor thin and they typically don’t have the budget to hire an expensive marketing/PR agency to create exciting campaigns that increase the bottom line

Ohio Environmental Law Blog

http://www.ohioenvironmentallawblog.com  – Joe Koncelik is an attorney with the law firm of Frantz Ward LLP which is based in Cleveland, Ohio. The focus of Joe’s practice is in all facets of environmental law as well providing counsel on issues relating to renewable energy and climate change. Joe has also fulfilled U.S. Green Builders Council’s requirements to qualify as a LEED™ (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professional.


http://sbs.seandaniel.com  – Technology Tips, Tricks & News – featuring WHS, SBS and other Microsoft and Related Technology.

Simply Business

http://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/knowledge/ – The Simply Business team offers a range of business expertise which we are keen to share through articles, downloads, guides, news and more.
We can also answer questions about business insurance.

Small Business Mavericks

http://www.smallbusinessmavericks.com/internetmarketing – Founded by Caroline Melberg Steve Melberg. Small Business Mavericks offers Website Marketing and Social Media Strategy for small and mid-size businesses.


http://business901.com/  – Joe Dager is president of Business901, a firm specializing in bringing the continuous improvement process to the sales and marketing arena.  He takes his process thinking of over thirty years in marketing within a wide variety of industries and applies it through Lean Marketing Concepts.


http://runapptivo.apptivo.com/small-business-university – Apptivo’s platform is a collection of 40+ cloud based Business Apps. All the generic Business Apps are free and have absolutely no limits on usage. All the Apps communicate with each other and share the data so Apptivo users never have to worry about syncing or duplicating the data manually.

Mind Your Business

http://blog.bizelo.us/  – Bizelo’s small business apps (“mini-apps”) are web-based applications that work simply, and simply work!


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What can content marketing do for your business?

May 22, 2012

Content marketing.  It seems like everyone’s talking about it. But what exactly is it and what can it do for your business?

Odds are, if you’re doing any marketing at all — you’re at least accidentally dabbling in content marketing.

First — it goes by many names.  Some people call it custom publishing or branded content.  Other people slap the label of social or digital marketing on.  And all of those names are accurate.

Content marketing is a broad term for any marketing technique that creates and distributes valuable, helpful and relevant information that demonstrates that you know your stuff.  These tactics draw the attention of people who are already your customers or could be your customers and they consume, share, and value the content.

The ultimate goal of content marketing is to create a sense of trust and comfort that will lead to someone making an initial purchase, making an additional purchase or referring you to someone who’s ready to make a purchase.

There are other benefits as well.  It’s a powerful way to establish yourself as an expert, to shorten the sales cycle, to impact SEO results and depending on your business – to educate, entertain, and inspire your audience.

I found an infographic from Visual.ly that I think does an excellent job of not only demonstrating many of the different possibilities when it comes to content marketing — but also gives you a sense of which tactics deliver what outcomes.

Check it out! (click here to download larger version)

Browse more data visualizations.

With all those possibilities — are you confident that you’re doing all that you can to harness the potential and the power of content marketing?

Are you doing some things that you could be doing better?  More often?  More intentionally?

I want to challenge you a little — are you really leveraging this marketing strategy to the extent that you should?  If not…why not?

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Content marketing is important but not free!

May 21, 2012

One of the things that irks me is when I hear a marketing “expert” extoll the virtues of content (or social or digital) marketing and to close the sale — they remind their audience — “and best of all, it’s free.”

Poppycock. (I know…such language!)

At MMG, we believe there’s not really an organization in existence that can’t benefit from a content marketing program.

But like most good things — it’s not free.  Access to some of the social networks might be free — but creating compelling content that demonstrates the value of working with you is going to cost you time, attention, dedication, money, and a host of other things.

I elaborated on this thinking over at the MENG (Marketing Executive Networking Group) Blend.  Check out my post (by clicking here) and let me know what you think.



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Photo courtesy of BigStockPhoto.com

Can packaging help you sell in a new way?

March 27, 2012

How we package our products and services often communicates more than we think.

Sometimes — a fresh look at packaging can introduce you to a new buyer, make you more attractive to prospects you’ve known for awhile or reinforce a buying decision for your current customers.

I was in Walgreens the other day and a end cap display caught my attention.  They were little boxes of pills but rather than being named/described as some generic brand — they were packaged according to why you might use them.

  • “Help, I have the sniffles.”
  • “Help, I have an achy body.”
  • “Help, I can’t sleep.”
  • “Help, I have a headache.”

I thought it was a brilliant strategy.  Rather than get into a brand war with the category leader, why not just re-define how the category is packaged and go right at the consumer’s need.  I’ll be curious to see how this new line sells.

We had a bit of the same problem at McLellan Marketing Group.  Everyone assumed that we could only work with large clients with really big annual budgets.  While we love those kinds of clients — we also love working with entrepreneurs and small businesses.

But how do we communicate that to the marketplace?   We repackaged ourselves.

We knew that this group of potential buyers had very unique concerns about working with an agency:

  • I won’t know how much it’s going to cost
  • I don’t have a big enough budget
  • I don’t know what I’d be buying

And we repackaged ourselves to eliminate those worries.  We literally created packages — with a pre-determined monthly fee.  Think of these packages as the garanimals of marketing.

The buyers can pick and choose from the menus and with our help, create a custom package that fits their business’ needs.

(You can download a PDF of the MMG packages for easier reading by clicking here)

But they have 100% control over the cost (because they decide which monthly fee they want to pay) and they can see all they get for their small budget and they know exactly what they’re going to get.

This packaging strategy has brought us a whole different category of clients — who are enjoying agency expertise at a price they can afford (and control!).

How could you re-package yourself or a particular product or service to either overcome buying hesitation, to introduce yourself to a whole new audience or to do an end run around the category leader?



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Social media strategy workbook

March 8, 2012

On Monday, we kicked around the notion that while access to social media tools like Facebook and Twitter may be free — that doesn’t mean they’re cheap.  Especially, if you do it wrong.

I promised you a chance to download the social media strategy workbook that we’ve created at MMG as a guide to thinking through the why, who, how and whats of your social media strategy.

I’m a man of my word….so just fill out the little form below and we’ll get you your own copy (you have to confirm you want the workbook by clicking on the link you’ll be emailed).

After you’ve had a chance to look it over or better yet, begin to apply it to your organization — we’d love to hear from you on how it’s going.


Free isn’t necessarily cheap

March 5, 2012

I was having a brief conversation with @NealShaffer on Twitter yesterday and the gist of our conversation was:

  • Half of small & medium businesses are using social media for marketing (Neal)
  • Yes…but few are doing it well.  They don’t apply marketing smarts (Drew)
  • True, but huge potential to maximize social business (Neal)
  • No doubt.  But when done wrong, potential for damage is equally large (Drew)
  • I agree completely (Neal)

See — that’s the problem with free.  Business owners (or many so called social media experts) look at the price of entry for having a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or (fill in the blank for whatever’s hot in SM) and they think….”you can’t beat free!  Even if I suck at it, it didn’t cost me anything.”

Wrong. So wrong.

Would you buy a TV commercial that had misspellings?  Or instruct the announcer to swear or say something off color?  Or better yet…would you buy radio time and then not put anything there…so you basically bought :60 of silence?

Would you promise that your newsletter would be packed with useful information and then blather on about yourself, your sales and your products when you get around to sending it?

I’m sure you’re saying (or at least in my head) “No, Drew of course not.”  So why in the world do you (universal you, not you you) do it on your social media sites?

We see unprofessional behavior on FB pages all the time.  And abandoned blogs, Twitter accounts etc.  And the biggest sin of all — being boring because you can’t stop talking about yourself.

Here’s the thing.  People have gotten a little numb to selfish, self-centered marketing in the traditional marketing space.  It’s not right, but it’s been going on for so long — we accept it as the norm.

But social media is different.  Social media promises real people.  It promises relevance.  It promises a relationship.  It promises timely interaction.

And if you violate any or all of those promises, here’s what happens:

  • The good feelings I had for your brand/company are gone
  • I feel like you lied to me/tricked me
  • I will simply choose to disconnect from you
  • I won’t be interacting with you anymore…which means my feelings for you have no chance at turning more favorable

Keeping those promises takes a lot of time.  And keeping your eye on the big picture. It’s easy to get sucked back into old habits and begin marketing instead of connecting.  If you really want your social media efforts to work, you have to make a big investment.  No, it may not be money (unless you hire some help) but it’s a time crunch.

Maybe this analogy will help.  When you do social media badly — you are basically enticing someone to come close to you with the promise of a gooey, fresh from the oven chocolate chip cookie and when they walk in and reach out their hand for the cookie — you smack them with a ruler, over and over until they leave.

The cost is huge.  The damage is real.  And too many businesses are stumbling over themselves as they rush to a “free” marketing opportunity.

So what does a small business do, Drew? you ask. (again, perhaps it all takes place in my head).  You put together a social media strategy that is built on SMART goals and best customer personas.

How do you do that?  Come back on Thursday and download the absolutely free 18 page e-book that walks you through how to build that strategy, step by step.

It’s a tool we use at MMG with clients every day.  And we’re glad to share it with you.  Really.

And….there’s not a sales pitch or MMG promo in sight.  I promise.  Would I offer you a cookie and then smack you with a ruler?

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Marketing tip #83: Less but better

February 29, 2012

I just wrapped up a 4-part webinar that focused on creating a marketing plan that you’ll actually use.  The final element we covered was marketing tactics.

Now that I know why I am doing this (goals), who I am talking to (best customers), what to say to them (key messaging), how much I can afford to spend (lifetime value of a customer) and the stories I can tell to generate interest, word of mouth and attraction — WHAT am I going to do?

Most people are looking for some secret answer.  The one marketing tactic that they hadn’t heard about or the trick to doing something in a way that no one else has heard of.  That’s actually not the secret.

The secret is — before you add more marketing tactics, take the time to examine what you’re already doing and ask yourself — could we do this better?

You’re far better off to do fewer things but do them better.  Less but better is greater than more.  Seriously – repeat after me.  Less but better is greater than more.

Look at the marketing tactics you’re already deploying.  Could you do it:

  • Better?
  • More often?
  • More consistently?
  • More fun/funny/memorable?
  • More professional look/feel?
  • Shift from being about us to being about them?
  • More storytelling and less telling?
  • Give up some control and let your audience drive the conversation?

Before you add a thing — add some quality, value and depth to what you’re already doing.  That may be exactly what needed to be added.

No small business has the resources (time or money) to be everywhere.  So be significant and memorable in the few places you choose to be.  Less but better really is greater than more.


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What are the digital jobs of the future?

February 27, 2012

digitaltalent SODA
What digital talent will be in demand down the road?

Wondering where the marketing and digital marketing jobs will be down the road?

Look no further than this chart.

As you can see, content creators/writers are in huge demand right now.  With the push to creating quality content, I don’t suspect this need will diminish any time soon.

I’m pleased and relieved to see that strategic planning/thinking is still in demand as well.  I worry that too many companies will leap without looking simply because digital/social is easy and/or cheap.  It doesn’t matter how fast you can climb a ladder if you’ve propped it against the wrong building.

Whether you’re a college student trying to decide how to direct your studies, a marketing professional thinking about course corrections or you’re responsible for hiring within your agency or corporation — this is your future.  Better introduce yourself.

Note: This chart is part of the 2012 edition of The SoDA Report, from the Society of Digital Agencies.*

*If you haven’t heard of SoDA — the Society of Digital Agencies was created five years ago to advance the industry through best practices, education and advocacy. Their membership is made up of digital agencies and production companies throughout the world, on five continents in 24 countries.
They also have a Peer Collaboration Group program with 350 members across 12 disciplines.
For the last four years, they’ve done this research and produced the SoDA report. (click here to download the entire 96 page 2012 report)
In terms of who participate in the research: 53% of the participants were marketers representing corporate brands (25%), consumer brands (30%) and other related industries (45%). The remaining 47% were creative service leaders from traditional agencies (23%), digital agencies (64%) and production companies (13%).
Over 76% of respondents were key decision makers and influencers (CMOs, senior executives, VPs and directors) with annual marketing budgets ranging from under US$1M to over US$100M and whose key markets are North America (57%), Europe (19%) and APAC (11%).


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Let’s talk business, social and joy!

February 25, 2012

I’m fortunate that I am invited to guest blog in some of the most prominent and cool spots on the web.

Every once in awhile, those opportunities converge and it’s raining Drew‘s thinking everywhere you turn.

Come join in these conversations around the web:

Marketing Profs Daily Fix: In this post, I suggest that many business owners would be smart to think differently about how size matters.  By staying focused on your organization’s sweet spot — you can actually get smaller while your profits, reputation and opportunities get bigger.

Come read what I had to say and join in the conversation by clicking here.

Marketing Executive’s Networking Group’s Blend: In the social media space, we sure seem fascinated with toy talk.  Pinterest is our latest obsession.  But we often lose sight of the most important social media tool of all.  Do you have it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Click here to read/share.

IowaBiz:  Some companies just exude a cultural joy that makes you want to do business with them.  And guess what — that doesn’t come from some company manual or marketing plan.  It comes from letting the employees share their genuine joy.

Come see a very real example of this sort of joy and tell us where else you’ve see it by clicking here.

I’d love it if you wanted to jump into any or all of these conversations!

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Put your email auto response to work

February 11, 2012

With the volume of emails we all get every day, we can’t afford to let our emails go unattended.  We don’t want the people who email us to think we’re ignoring them, so if we’re going to be out of the office — most of us use some sort of an automated response system.

You know what I’m talking about:  “I will be out of the office until Tuesday, March 3rd.  If you need assistance, please call my co-worker Biff at 555-123-4567.”

And that does the trick.  They don’t freak out if we don’t answer within an hour or two.

But if you’re at a conference, spending the day shooting a TV spot or attending a strategic planning retreat (or doing anything else that establishes your expertise) why not let your your email auto response do some marketing for you?

I’ve spent the last couple days conducting a workshop.  During the workshop, I emailed a link to the participants and got this back from one of them:

I am attending a conference of leading PR/MarCom agencies from around the country to discuss new MarCom trends and techniques and will be out of the office through Friday, February 10th. 

I will be checking my email periodically.

Brilliant!  What did this auto response tell this person’s email senders?

  • That he’s considered one of the leading PR/MarCom agency professionals in the country (otherwise, he wouldn’t have been invited)
  • That he’s honing his skills and staying current
  • That he believes in investing in his professional development

Who wouldn’t want to work with him?  We certainly get a better sense of who he is and what he’s about than if he’d used the standard language.

Often we think marketing has to be complicated, expensive or done over a long period of time.  But every once in awhile — it can be just this simple.

How could you leverage this idea?

~ Drew


Stock photo courtesy of www.BigStockPhoto.com

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