crowd of monkeys

Why the People Who Don’t Know You Matter Most

Posted by | Guest Posts, Internet Marketing, Personal Marketing, Personality, Social Media | No Comments

On a recent episode of Conan O’Brien’s self-titled TV show, the wildly famous entertainer had an impromptu conversation with several young women from South Korea. The basis of the joke was that the girls had no idea who he was. To western audiences, this, of course, seems impossible.

All of us could have a similar interaction with a group of strangers. Unlike Conan, however, we wouldn’t need to find a group of giggly foreigners to do so. As non-celebrities, practically nobody knows who we are. This isn’t a judgment of your worth, but rather a statement of mathematical fact. In a world of six billion people, the number of individuals who could pull you out of a crowd is vanishingly small.

In the modern age of social media, it’s a bit easier to get a sense for the value of this figure. Everybody who is your friend on Facebook would probably also be able to spot you. So if you have a couple hundred Facebook pals, you may have a couple hundred people who have something to say about who you are. When specifying your personal brand, it might seem like this group of people is your audience. After all, you’re friends because you know them. If you are working to refine your image, won’t these be the people most likely to witness the new, carefully polished you?

It turns out, however, that there is no one who will have a harder time accepting your new brand than your friends and acquaintances. We all develop impressions of those around us based on interactions. Your new look, your new hobby, your new philosophy or your new career is just a minor, recent variation on a long history of conflicting information. Ask anyone who became a vegetarian how long it took their extended family members to stop handing them plates loaded with meat. Most will tell you that very few people seem to be able to remember such a crucial detail. Change is tough to accept, and even harder to remember.

The anthropologist Robin Dunbar notes that the brain of the average primate can only hold about 150 meaningful social relationships. Beyond that, we start to generalize what we know about others. This finding has two important implications. First, if your personal brand isn’t laser sharp you’re going to appear to be lots of different things to lots of different people. Second, and more importantly, there are a lot more people outside your Dunbar circle than within. Of all the people who have heard your name before, most are people you don’t really know.

It’s nearly impossible to convince the people who know you that you’ve changed. That’s why people change jobs to get a new salary or move to new cities to escape the aftermath of a bad relationship. It’s easier to broadcast your personal brand among people who don’t have any preconceptions than it is to make adjustments in the minds of those who have already formed an opinion.

But if you aren’t planning to fake your own death or delete your Facebook profile, you still want to focus your personal marketing efforts on the people who don’t know you yet. If you are seeking a new job, you want those who Google your name to be impressed with your commitment and your online presence. If you’re positioning yourself as a consultant, you want those who have only heard your name to associate it with your area of expertise. If you are trying to impress potential clients, then you want those who have only heard about your services to use your preferred language when spreading the word about what you do.

It’s not easy to establish a clear and effective personal brand. But it is easy to know who will be best to hear it: those who have no idea who you are. The best market is always the blank slate.  Thank goodness you are not famous. Instead, you get to decide how others will come to know your name.

Robby Slaughter is a workplace productivity and workflow expert. His consulting firm is

How to Measure Marketing Campaigns Online

Posted by | Guest Posts, Internet Marketing, Personality, Social Media | No Comments

Guest Blogger – Brandon Coppernoll is the web solutions architect at Ball State University. He has 5 years of experience in web development, content management, and content management systems. He currently assesses and aligns marketing and communication needs with functional and technical requirements to ensure solutions meeting communications goals.

Recently, I have participated in a discussion on how to include measurement of analytical data from internet marketing efforts. With tools like Google Analytics, there are countless possibilities on how and what to measure. Campaigns can include a blog, social media, video, print, and even the traditional website. How can you measure all of these different tactics to create a full view of your campaign?

Tools are irrelevant. The process in which you define and measure the goal is what is important. There are hundreds of tools that do similar things to fit your style. The importance is how you want to measure your marketing data.

Here are some tips on how to set up measurements for marketing campaigns online:

Brainstorm with your team
Put a list together of all your upcoming marketing campaigns. Leave no campaigns off the table. Pick a campaign that has a variety of tactics being used: blog, print, video, social media, email marketing, or other marketing vehicles.

Take objectives and translate
What are your campaign objectives? Is it to increase sales via your shopping cart? Is it to have more users register their products? Do you want more members for your website? Are you promoting white papers? The goals you measure must be measurable through online transactions. A transaction does not have to be monetary. A transaction can simply be the exchange of information.

Identify tactics
Now that you know your online objectives, you can define the tactics you are implementing. This can be hundreds of combinations, but the key is to identify where the tactic originates. For example, if you have a specific URL published in your print pieces, be sure to trigger your system to identify when that URL is used to append the analytical code. This is an easy way to track success in print. If you have content coming from social media, identify what networks you are using and what content you’re promoting.

Create content
You may have all your objectives, tactics, and metrics defined, but the most important step is creating the content that will get you results. Online content should focus on your target audience with a emphasis on keywords (which may be defined by your campaign). Included in your content should be the links, images, and media which will direct your users to where you need them go to lead them to your online objectives.

Measure and adjust
You’re not done with your marketing campaign yet. An analyst who understands reading web metrics is valuable in not only helping you define the metrics you wish to measure, but they are great for analyzing the data and suggesting next steps. If your campaign is short, take note on methods that met or exceed expectations. Do not underestimate the value of learning why other tactics did not work. If your campaign is long, schedule a monthly meeting with your team to evaluate the progress of the different tactics. Discuss why some may be working while others are not. Making modifications to them and execute. When you meet again you have a benchmark to measure against to see if you’re succeeding in your plan.

The hardest campaign to execute is the first. Once you run through this process a few times you’ll realize you’re measuring multiple campaigns. Eventually you may have all your internet marketing efforts in neatly wrapped online campaign format for measurement. This is why I don’t believe it matters which tool(s) you use. The most important part is the process. Find the process that works for your team, and you will have a great start to succeed.

If I Weren't So Afraid | Jenn Lisak - Marketing. Writing. Life.

If I Weren’t So Afraid

Posted by | List Your Self, Personality, Random | 3 Comments

The second list in my List Your Self project definitely struck a cord with my current internal struggle: “List all the activities you’d do if you weren’t so afraid.” Now, most people don’t like to admit that they’re afraid to do something. They generally come up with an excuse as to why they shouldn’t do it, and ultimately, never face their fears.  And you guessed it, I am definitely one of those people.

As I list all of things that I am afraid of doing, I will also make a promise to myself to put these things on my bucket list. What’s life if you’re constantly living in fear?

So, here it goes.

List all the activities you’d do if you weren’t so afraid:

  • Fail. Fall flat on my face and get right back up. Growing up in a highly educated and successful family, I have always had a hard time with this concept. My friend, Robby Slaughter, has helped me with this with the release of his new book, Failure: The Secret to Success. The message of this book is definitely true, taking risks is the recipe to success. It doesn’t matter if I fail, I learn something from it. In the future, I promise to take a big risk with a high probability of failing. If I succeed, great. If I don’t, then it was meant to be.
  • Speaking my mind. While this might seem surprising, given that I am currently writing a blog post that broadcasts my thoughts to the world, I have always had a hard time speaking up and telling people what I think. I’m afraid I might be wrong, and I am not the best debater in the world. So, if there is a counter to what I said, I don’t always know how to effectively defend my thoughts. But speaking your mind is necessary in the business world. This is something that I need to do in my daily life to grow as an individual.
  • Starting a business. It is no secret that I hope to start my own business someday, complete with a great staff, swanky office, and socially responsible mission. But it scares the life out of me. What if I don’t succeed? What if I go out of business? This shouldn’t matter. This is one of my goals, and I should be able to do it with a confidence that will lead me to success. I promise to do this in the future, and whatever happens, I will be proud that I had the guts to do it.
  • Roller coasters. Go ahead and laugh. I have only been on a couple of roller coaster in my life, and I was terrified. Especially when I went on one that had upside down loops. *Shiver*. This summer, I want to go to an amusement park and face my fear straight in the face. Even if it means holding my friend’s hand and crouching in the fetal position at the end of it.

There it is, folks. Although it is a short list, it’s still mine to face. Now, it’s your turn. What are you afraid of?

Self-Development Through Lists | Jenn Lisak - Marketing. Writing. Life.

List Your Self: Self-Development Through Lists

Posted by | List Your Self, Personal Marketing, Personality, Random, Writing | One Comment

Recently, I picked up a self-help book (don’t laugh) called “List Your Self: Listmaking as the Way to Self-Discovery” while I was browsing at the book store. At first, I guessed it would be a book that listed the different ways that I could be happier with myself, coming from a person who has no idea who I am (or for that matter, necessarily cared). As I flipped through the book, I found that the book allows you to write lists about random things like “list the memories you’d like to forget” or ” list what’s consistently in your garbage.” It also has different sections of lists, including Yourself, Daily Life, Business, Change, Culture, Men and Women, Greater Truths, Growing Up, Health, etc. Might sound strange, but I personally find it intriguing.

Lately, I have been thinking about what I like or don’t like about myself and how this affects my work performance. How am I going to help my company grow if I don’t help myself grow into a proficient and educated individual first?

Therefore, I have decided to start posting my answers to the lists presented in this book on a fairly consistent basis. While these might be personal, I think it’s important to share and give others the opportunity to share as well. If you want to share your list for that day, do so in a comment, or you can email me your list if you’re embarrassed. Either way, thank you for being involved in this personal project.

So, let’s get this project started off right. Here is my first entry:

List all the qualities you love about being human:

  • Emotion
  • The senses (sight, smell, touch, hear, talk)
  • Interaction with other humans
  • Personal thought
  • Community
  • Uniqueness (every human is different)

What do you love about being human? What did I miss?

Goals for 2011 | Jenn Lisak - Marketing. Writing. Life.

Goals for 2011

Posted by | Internet Marketing, Personal Marketing, Social Media, Writing | 4 Comments

Personally, I’m a person that believes that New Year’s resolutions are somewhat irrelevant. If you want to do something with your life, why do you have to wait until January 1st to put those goals into place? Make those goals happen when you think of them. Don’t procrastinate because you’re “too busy.” You only live once (theoretically), and the older we get, the time goes by that much faster.

On the other hand, I definitely think it is important to make personal goals for yourself, and what better time to do so than the beginning of a new year? Goals are important on a short-term and long-term scale for measurement and encouragement. It also gives you a vision for your plans moving forward.

Enough philosophy. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

Goals for 2011:

1. Represent myself and my company as a professional, knowledgeable individual with a drive to help my clients become successful. In order to do this, I will learn as much as I can about Internet marketing, design, and branding, as well as develop and maintain my skill set in the web industry. I cannot help my clients if I do not continually grow my skills as a project manager and marketer.

2. Grow my client base so that I can continue to help a list of individuals meet their marketing goals. I get my energy from people, and I have found that my calling in life is to help others succeed. I want to help you find a job, discover the wonders of joining the social media community, and make you feel good about your personal brand.

3. Demonstrate my motto of “Creativity. Leadership. Integrity.” throughout my personal and professional life. These are the qualities that I would like to emulate as an individual, and I think they are ideal for me to succeed.

4. Serve my clients to my best ability. This means answering emails at 11 p.m., providing a recommendation to a friend in need, and providing an ear when they need someone to listen.

5. Establish myself as a social media marketer and advisor. I love social media marketing just as much as I love interacting with people in real life. If I love it so much, why not make a career out of it?

6. Meet the goals listed above!

Now it’s your turn. Think about what you want to accomplish in 2011. Can I help you with those goals? Maybe. But you have to figure them out first.

Happy New Year everyone!

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