Monthly Archives: July 2010

Why not just do it now?

Published in Geek Health by

This May I hired an assistant.  Business had been improving and I knew that one of my biggest weaknesses was my Attention Deficit Disordered self.  Being easily distractible is fantastic when you’re in the creative space, where I spend probably half my day, but when it comes time to returning e-mails, remembering appointments and getting things done, the mind of an ADD child suffers dramatically.

So I now have an assistant, and her name is Sarah, and she completes me in no understated way.  Sarah is detail oriented, organized and difficult to distract.  She is often my nemesis, and I’ll do my part to derail her plans to keep me on task.  I once contemplated giving her Pink Eye so her absent self would be unable to remind me that I should be doing work.  I mean, contemplated, really, I wouldn’t honestly infect one of my employees with a contagious disease.  Honest!

So today Sarah and I were working on Excel and updating the budget for the company, and for myself.  We discussed various aspects of the business, who we needed to contact, who to update, who to assign this or that to, etc.  Sarah pointed at my Twitter client and said, “Why not just Direct Message her now?”  We needed to write some checks, for both personal and business things, “Why not just write the checks now?”

So we did.  Both.  Right then.

We got to talking about a book I had been given called “The Power of Now” and it’s a book I always thought I should read but never did, so you’ll have to tell me if it correlates at all to what I’m talking about here, but essentially, those things “I should really do” are much more easily done if you just… you know, do them.  RIGHT NOW.

I needed to e-mail a client.  Do it now.  I needed to update my spreadsheets.  Just do it!  I was behind on my blog.  Now is as good a time as any right?

Now is truly a powerful thing, and when we sat down, and we identified tasks and as soon as we gave it a name, gave it a purpose, we just accomplished it.  Didn’t create an action item, a calendar entry, or a separate spreadsheet, nope.  We just opened whatever it was, completed the thing, and just like that it’s done!

What are you putting off?  What are you planning to do that planning for, making a list for, or thinking about doing, is taking more time than it’d take to just freaking do it!?  Join me in a culture of now!  You’ll be glad you did!

The Power of Daily Deal Sites

If I’ve learned anything in my time as a business owner, it is that experience is everything.  Every chance you get to interact with a customer, you also get a chance to give them a truly remarkable experience.  How do you create an experience though, for potential customers who have never heard of you?
While of course, an amazing web site is a great start, reaching those who haven’t even heard about you isn’t easy.  For many of our clients we’ve started advertising through Groupon and related sites.  Let’s talk about the experience of a Daily Deal site, and how it can help power your Social Media campaign.
The average deal on a site such as this might offer 40-75% off a product or service.  You’re essentially buying a gift card at a discount, and that gift card can be used at any time within six months of the original purchase.
Let’s take a look at the three big daily deal players in San Antonio.
Groupon – http://www.groupon.com/
Groupon is the first major Daily Deal distributor and uses a model where a certain number of deals must be purchased before “the deal is on”.  According to our sources, Groupon has over 70,000 e-mail subscribers in the San Antonio market.
The current leader in the market, many contracts with Groupon require that you not deal with any other daily deal sites for a period of three to six months.  To our knowledge, Groupon has never actually enforced this exclusivity clause.
Living Social – http://www.livingsocial.com/
Living Social is a newcomer to the daily deal market, formerly a mainstay in the social space with “Pick your 5” and social media polling.  Living Social offers a daily deal, with Friday’s deal running through the weekend.
What separates Living Social from Groupon is the social media influence.  Their “Me Plus Three” offer gives you the daily deal for free if you can get three of your friends to also purchase the deal.  This kind of affiliate marketing encourages the buyer to share their chosen offer with their friends on Twitter and Facebook, thus creating a market of what Seth Godin calls “sneezers” who spread your idea wherever their social networks allow.
Deal of the Day SA – http://www.dealofthedaysa.com/
Powered by local ABC Station (and our client) KSAT 12, Deal of the Day SA advertises your brand during Television broadcasts and delivers not just internet users, but television viewers as well.
Comparing the Daily Deal Sites
Like with all tools, it will depend on your needs which service you choose to advertise with.  Your product may be best served by the built in Television exposure of Deal of the Day SA, or the affiliate marketing aspect of Living Social may inspire your customers to spread your deal for you.
Groupon has the limitation of being the first to market, so Living Social and Deal of the Day SA were both able to improve on the concept with unique directions; however, Groupon still has the largest subscriber base by an impressive margin.
The Experience of the Daily Deal
What makes the daily deal such a remarkable experience is in its very design, it is a coupon you purchase for services, typically slightly above the normal ticket price of a meal, a service, or a product.  This encourages the customer to buy more than they would on a normal visit, because really that meal, for example, is already paid for.
If you have a fifty-dollar certificate for a meal at a restaurant, you’re more likely to try that appetizer; you’re more likely to help yourself to desert.  You’re getting an amazing price, so you’re much more likely to go all out on the menu.
Imagine that same customer on the return visit.  Now that they’ve had that great experience with your menu, they’re much more likely to order that appetizer again.  You’ve offered a discount sure, but now your customers have built up a habit they’re likely to continue on their next visit.
How would buying habits like that help your business?  How might people talking about your deal on Social Sites like Facebook and Twitter boost awareness of your brand?  How would you like hundreds of new customers who didn’t know you even existed a week prior?
Daily Deals are a great way to reach new customers, spread your message and improve your profits.  What will you offer?

If I’ve learned anything in my time as a business owner, it is that experience is everything.  Every chance you get to interact with a customer, you also get a chance to give them a truly remarkable experience.  How do you create an experience for potential customers who have never heard of you?

While of course, an amazing web site is a great start, reaching those who haven’t even heard about you isn’t easy.  For many of our clients we’ve started advertising through Groupon and related sites.  Let’s talk about the experience of a Daily Deal site, and how it can help power your Social Media campaign.

The average deal on a site such as this might offer 40-75% off a product or service.  You’re essentially buying a gift card at a discount, and that gift card can be used at any time within six months of the original purchase.

Let’s take a look at the three big daily deal players in San Antonio.

Grouponhttp://www.groupon.com/

Groupon is the first major Daily Deal distributor and uses a model where a certain number of deals must be purchased before “the deal is on”.  According to our sources, Groupon has over 70,000 e-mail subscribers in the San Antonio market.

Many contracts with Groupon require that you not deal with any other daily deal sites for a period of three to six months.  To our knowledge, Groupon has never actually enforced this exclusivity clause.

Living Socialhttp://www.livingsocial.com/

Living Social is a newcomer to the daily deal market, formerly a mainstay in the social space with “Pick your 5” and social media polling.  Living Social offers a daily deal, with Friday’s deal running through the weekend.

What separates Living Social from Groupon is the social media influence.  Their “Me Plus Three” offer gives you the daily deal for free if you can get three of your friends to also purchase the deal.  This kind of affiliate marketing encourages the buyer to share their chosen offer with their friends on Twitter and Facebook, thus creating a market of what Seth Godin calls “sneezers” who spread your idea wherever their social networks allow.

Deal of the Day SAhttp://www.dealofthedaysa.com/

Powered by local ABC Station (and our client) KSAT 12, Deal of the Day SA advertises your brand during Television broadcasts and delivers not just internet users as new customers, but television viewers as well.

Comparing the Daily Deal Sites

Like with all tools, it will depend on your needs which service you choose to advertise with.  Your product may be best served by the built in Television exposure of Deal of the Day SA, or the affiliate marketing aspect of Living Social may inspire your customers to spread your deal for you.

Groupon has the limitation of being the first to market, so Living Social and Deal of the Day SA were both able to improve on the concept with unique directions; however, Groupon still has the largest subscriber base by an impressive margin.

The Experience of the Daily Deal

What makes the daily deal such a remarkable experience is in its very design, it is a coupon you purchase for services, typically slightly above the normal ticket price of a meal, a service, or a product.  This encourages the customer to buy more than they would on a normal visit, because really that meal, for example, is already paid for.

If you have a fifty-dollar certificate for a meal at a restaurant, you’re more likely to try that appetizer; you’re more likely to help yourself to desert.  You’re getting an amazing price, so you’re much more likely to go all out on the menu.

Imagine that same customer on the return visit.  Now that they’ve had that great experience with your menu, they’re much more likely to order that appetizer again.  You’ve offered a discount sure, but now your customers have built up a habit they’re likely to continue on their next visit.

How would buying habits like that help your business?  How might people talking about your deal on Social Sites like Facebook and Twitter boost awareness of your brand?  How would you like hundreds of new customers who didn’t know you even existed a week prior?

Daily Deals are a great way to reach new customers, spread your message and improve your profits.  What will you offer?

The Sun Always Rises

Published in Geek Health by
There’s something about a sunset.  A sunset slows you down.
My good friend Michelle Poteet (Chief Executive Organizer at Reclaim Order) often repeats something Patti Porter taught us about fear.  Patti asked us once, during one panic or another, exactly what the worst thing that could happen was.
Wait… you mean this isn’t the end of the world?  Truly?
Michelle reminds me of this, I remind her of this, and I guess that’s what accountability partners are for right?  Sometimes we forget that the sun will rise tomorrow, just like it did today.
Spending an evening on the Seal Beach Pier the other day, I watched the sun set.  There’s something about that moment in time that reaches in and lifts you out of your life for a moment, reminds you that this is all temporary, that nothing is permanent
A sunset resets us.  No matter how bad today was, tomorrow is a new day, and it’s up to us to make it better.
April of 2009 I was a fresh face in San Antonio, recently divorced, escaping the collapsing California economy, on my own for the first time in my life.  There were plenty of bad days, plenty of lonely days, but the sun always rose the next day.
We all make the wrong choice sometimes.  I think what will eventually define us how many times we decided to do the right thing, I’ll tell you, speaking from very recent experience that it only takes the tiniest action to turn things around in your favor.
So you lost a client.  So that proposal wasn’t picked up.  So that pretty girl never called.  Life goes on and I promise you the sun will rise tomorrow.
Will you sleep in, hit snooze, let today be as bad as yesterday, or will you rise and greet this brand new day?
Reminds me of a blog I read years ago at Zen Habits, I recommend you read it too.  The most successful people are those who always take action, any action, even the wrong action, rather than choose to do nothing.  That idea comes from the same place, we can choose to be stagnant or we can choose to greet the new day.
The choice is yours.

There’s something about a sunset.  A sunset slows you down.

My friend Michelle Poteet (Chief Executive Organizer at Reclaim Order) often repeats something Pattie Porter taught us about fear.  Pattie asked us once, during one panic or another, exactly what the worst thing that could happen was.

Sunset

Wait… you mean this isn’t the end of the world?  Truly?

Michelle reminds me of this, I remind her of this, and I guess that’s what accountability partners are for right?  Sometimes we forget that the sun will rise tomorrow, just like it did today.

Spending an evening on the Seal Beach Pier the other day, I watched the sun set.  There’s something about that moment in time that reaches in and lifts you out of your life for a moment, reminds you that this is all temporary, that nothing is permanent

A sunset resets us.  No matter how bad today was, tomorrow is a new day, and it’s up to us to make it better.

April of 2009 I was a fresh face in San Antonio, recently divorced, escaping the collapsing California economy, on my own for the first time in my life.  There were plenty of bad days, plenty of lonely days, but the sun always rose the next day.

We all make the wrong choice sometimes.  I think what will eventually define us is how many times we decided to do the right thing, I’ll tell you, speaking from very recent experience that it only takes the tiniest action to turn things around.

So you lost a client.  So that proposal wasn’t picked up.  So that pretty girl never called.  Life goes on and I promise you the sun will rise tomorrow.

Will you sleep in, hit snooze, let today be as bad as yesterday, or will you rise and greet this brand new day?

Reminds me of a blog I read years ago at Zen Habits, I recommend you read it too.  The most successful people are those who always take action, any action, even the wrong action, rather than choose to do nothing.  That idea comes from the same place, we can choose to be stagnant or we can choose to be aggressive.

Even if we fail, the sun will always rise tomorrow and we can try again until we find our moment to succeed.

Have you found your moment?