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Stick(er) it to Breast Cancer

October 12, 2011

We’ve long gotten a sticker for voting…

…and when you give blood.

We’ve even added flu shots to the guilt-inducing badges.

So, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month,
I submit this sticker for your consideration:




QR Codes…Briefly

September 21, 2011
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As you’ve heard me say many times before, great marketing happens when you get the right message to the right people in the right WAY. QR (quick response) codes are popping up everywhere and seem to be the latest “we’re hip” gimmick.

Certainly we are moving into the digital age, where people prefer text to talking and use their phone as an excuse to not talk to one another, but depending on your product or services audience, using a QR code might be a total miss.

Consider the following:
83% of adults own a cell phone – great.
35% of adults own a smartphone – less great.
QR codes require an “app” to be read – getting worse.
QR codes don’t always link to mobile-friendly content – boo.

If your audience is a young, smartphone-owning, app-toting someone…consider using them.
And if you do, at least create a location for them to land that is specific to the ad, t-shirt, cup or whatever you’ve bothered to place the QR code. Remember, QR’s aren’t just for URLs. Depending on the generator you choose, you can select the code to connect to:

  • Website URL
  • Telephone Number
  • SMS Message
  • Email Address
  • Email Message
  • Contact Details (VCARD)
  • Event (VCALENDAR)
  • Google Maps Location
  • Wifi Login (Android Only)
  • Paypal Buy Now Link
  • Social Media
  • iTunes Link
  • YouTube Video

Still want one? Me too.
Simply google “QR code generator” and BAM!, dozens of options.
I like GOQR.Me, because I like simple.

Alright, so now let’s take it to the next level.
Apparently these little buggers have about a 30% error correction rate and can be modified a bit to incorporate graphics, colors and slight distortions.  Get your QR and push it to its limits…like these:

Designed by CustomQRCodes.com …amazing!

I’m not so sure about this one…
A way to remember Mom?

Can’t wait to create mine. Later.

Hi Blog. I Miss You.

July 11, 2011

Happy Monday and shame on me. Due to my total lack of entries during the entire month of June, my once-a week-blog doesn’t even qualify for “once-a-month” As I logged back on to the WordPress page this morning, I couldn’t muster any excuses, just an “I miss you.”

I am an avid Etsy shopper and found these cards from Russel and Salguero that say I miss you in clever ways…

…which you must admit is way better than getting:

QR codes next week. See ya.

Favicon-vinced!

May 30, 2011
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What I learned today: it’s too easy not to add a favicon to your website!

What is a favicon you ask?
It’s the cute 16 x 16 pixel icon that pops up next to the web address, tab or bookmark of a website.
I just added mine on my home page today, but when added to your site’s template, will populate the entire site.

more examples:

There are plenty of options for generating favicons. I used IconJ — tons of options for generating icons that feature special styles and even animation. I like it because it’s ultra low tech.

Browse to your image and upload. IconJ generates the .ico (icon) file you need and the code needed to embed in the head of your website. Naturally a seasoned web designer can do this all on his or her own, but for the growing DIY web designer, it’s a mistake-proof option.

Use a favicon to draw attention to your site, further customize a blog or ensure your site stands out in a list of bookmarks.

Easy.

Do it.

That means you, favicon-less Sea World.

Today is the Day

May 16, 2011

A bit “reflective” or perhaps “forward-looking”…
All book-ended by the wisdom of Dr. Seuss.

Genuine beginnings begin within us, even when they are brought to our attention by external opportunities.
William Bridges

There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth…not going all the way, and not starting.
Buddha

Don’t look further for answers: be the solution. You were born with everything you need to know. Make a promise to stop getting in the way of the blessing that you are. Take a deep breath, remember to have fun, and begin.
Jonathan H. Ellerby

You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Start right where you are.
Julia Cameron

Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.
Alan Cohen

Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.
Meister Eckhart

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.
Nido Qubein

Quotes-DrSeuss Profile Graphics and Comments

If the day ends with “Y,” you can expect it to be good.

Are Clams Really Happy?

May 11, 2011

I didn’t know that answer to my seven-year-old’s question.  Apparently after using the term one too many times, she challenged my thinking. My only guess was that they are always “smiling,” so they must be. But these cartoons explain that “happy as a clam” might mean you are down right depressed.

Have a “happy hump day…” Now what is that supposed to mean?

A Quick 9.

May 3, 2011
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Being able to incorporate fun and laughter into my day is a must. While it also comes with an equal balance of frustration, coaching golf, especially young golfers, provides ample opportunities to giggle.

Here’s what’s happened in just the last two weeks:

While helping a golfer on the driving range early in the season, she could not figure out why her wedge shots were not traveling higher in the air. After examining the iron, she was mistaking the ‘6’ on her iron as a ‘P’ (for pitching wedge). I still don’t see the resemblance. I’m not sure if I would have felt better or worse if she was confusing a ‘5’ with a sand wedge ‘S’.

While helping a group of girls to their hole to start an event, I reminded them they should “play the red tees today.” Responding to me quickly with concern, a young girl exclaimed, “but I only brought white tees.”

I’ve spent plenty of time trying to explain the “line” on a putting green that you shouldn’t step on, why you can’t shoot a score of 91 (nine holes) when there is a 10-stroke rule in effect and why applying lotion to your hands on the first tee is a bad idea.

Outside of coaching, I have hosted (and attended) a golf outing our two. Here are “quick 9” golf products I found for your next event or when you just want to be sure you incorporate fun into your day, too:

1. Buttheads. I can’t say much more than brilliant.

2. Butthead covers is now AB Golf Design.
They have branched out to do custom covers that can really draw attention to you!

3. Golf pencil sharpener, marketed as “Saving Trees One Pencil At A Time.” …Really?

4. Or this one, at least it also fixes ball marks.

5. You can negotiate with China for these ball-shaped balms.

6. TeeMates – so cute.

7. Promote your pharmacy, or at least a cure for the shanks.

8. High tech audience? Golf ball USB.

9. If you MUST get a golf towel (“yawn”)…get one like this.

Happy hacking.

Sum is Better than One

April 18, 2011

True success comes from connecting the individual actions of your employees to your shared organizational goals. More than anything, employees want to know that their individual contributions actually make a difference. If they are working hard, yet spinning their wheels towards an uncertain destination, you’ve failed them. And no matter the riches, high performing employees will leave you.

Great leaders are great team builders.
They understand that a goal must first be defined and then the team and tools organized around making it happen. If you aren’t shining a light on what the path is, how can you expect your team to find the way? The sum of the parts will be stronger than individual efforts.

In an increasingly competitive business landscape. You must be ready to function as a team.

Step 1: Be sure your mission is defined and widely known.

Step 2: Create specific goals that focus you towards achieving your mission.
Make sure you have “SMART” goals.
S
pecific Measurable Attainable Realistic Timely

“Gain new customers.” Not SMART.
“Grow customer base 5% by July 1st, 2011.” CORRECT!

Step 3: Organize the contribution of each department and/or individual towards achieving the goals.

Step 4: Goals are your constitution, not just words on paper. Reward, plan, communicate, etc. with your eyes always on achieving the goals and the actions that contribute to them. On the flip-side, correct behaviors that aren’t.

It’s not rocket science. It’s much more difficult than that.
Individual preferences, personalities and passions, if not guided in a shared, unified effort, are simply organizational waste. Even disagreements are that much easier when the goal is shared.

Work on creating teamwork in your organization today.
Meaningful goals, in which everyone shares a stake, will get you started.

B2B Facebook?

April 13, 2011
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A B2B (business-to-business) marketing friend of mine asked me for my advice on using Facebook to promote her organization’s products and services. “B2B? Not Facebook,” was my quick answer. But whether or not her organization was going to use Facebook was not debatable; that decision had been made. What she needed was a way to frame up the goals for using it and establish the elements to consider.

If anyone loves developing rationale out of the air, it’s me. And here is what I came up with.

She already indicated that one of the goals was to “show the fun side of  ______.” (insert B2B company name)
Step 1: Ask: “who am I trying to reach with social media and why?”
This will quickly tell you Facebook will only reach a portion of that target and open the door to other social media that should be integrated.

Step 2: Understand the founding principle of Facebook: it’s about creating relationships.
OK. B2Bs need to do that, too.

Step 3: Acknowledge that Facebook has undeniable loyalty and popularity.
Participation for the simple opportunity to “be seen” is probably worth it.

Step 4: Resolve to look at Facebook as a part of the sales cycle and developing relationships with:
1) folks who might just be your end user (it’s still a human)
2) people who know/influence that person
3) future people in the above two categories
4) general market as a means to create an affinity for the brand

Step 5: Build a page based on best practices.
1) utilize multiple ways to engage: photo, video, games, wall, etc.
2) make sure the landing page sticks to the critical mission of getting people to “like” you
Although not B2B…17 million+ “likes”…not bad Red Bull

3) expand your brand through visitor submissions – fan of the week “product shots”
No matter who you are selling your product or services to, there are always opportunities to collect the shameless product placement shots.

Don’t have a physical product? You can still call for shots that demonstrate a lifestyle associated with your brand.

Examples: Travel Agency – photos of specific destinations
Insurance – photos of daring adventures (no, bad idea)
Office Furniture – photos of locations most in need of a makeover

4) continue to demonstrate/deliver industry expertise…Remember: you are still looking to develop an eventual business relationship

Step 6: Determine Page Design/Theme
– know how well it needs to comply to your corporate standards
– recognize the makeup of the Facebook audience and balance these standards with a fun, fresh style

Step 7: Make the biggest decision: tabs versus pages?

Mari Smith is a social media writer/speaker. And although she uses phrases like “clickety-click” and has teeth that are a bit intimidating, her Facebook page is loaded with great advice, and provides demonstration pages for a ton of page apps that allow for webpage-style customization.

Look at her list of recommendations here.

And while you’re at it, go ahead and like Brandom Acts, too.

Brandom Acts

Promote Your Page Too

WANTED: Anything but Dial-up

April 4, 2011

12397 83rd Ave SW
Motely, MN 56466

This happens to be the home address of two locations:
1. The Erholtz family.
2. The official technology black hole.

$50 finder’s fee to connect me to reliable, useful, high-speed internet.
Here’s what I’ve tried:
1. ACS – no service
2. CTC – no service
3. Qwest – no service
4. Wild Blue – hundreds of feet into the air…no signal
5. Clear Choice – ditto
6. Charter – no service
7. Verizon Wireless
8. AT&T Wireless
Wireless: good idea, right?
It gets worse. Not only no Internet at Casa de Erholtz, but no cell phone coverage either.
You can occasionally call and text if you stand on a step stool near the kitchen window.

My last hope…

I struggle with the “value” of $109.99++/mo for:
1. download speed of 2Mbps
2. upload speed of 300Kbps
3. daily download max of 400 MB

Hughes Net reviews aren’t doing it any favors either.
My favorite comment: “A good choice if there is no other alternative.”
That’s quite a vote of confidence.

Somebody stop me.