Jerry Gitchel

Jerry Gitchel

Tuesday, 28 February 2017 05:29

How to Extend Your Reach Beyond Your Street

You see the signs everywhere, "Todays Special". Street-side signs have been used by established businesses, many from their opening day. The concept is simple, capture the attention of those who drive-by the business location. What about those who use the Internet "Highway"? Restaurants, flower shops, or weekly events are great candidates for capture and post treatment. It's a quick, simple and inexpensive way to extend your reach beyond your street. For restaurants, start with specials boards, and move on to photos of plated meals. For the ultimate, move to the kitchen and reveal the secrets that make your best dish special.

The process is so simple you'll wonder why you didn't think of it before. Update your specials board or changable text street sign. Snap a quick photo, publish on social to share with your loyal community of shoppers.  

When the Smith Brothers Butcher Shop returned to downtown Savannah, they launched a Facebook page instead of a website. Each morning they would publish a post to Facebook. It became a mouthwatering expectation for their loyal customers. 

Tips for Turning Your Daily Specials Extra Special

  • Snap a photo immediately after your daily update
  • Post to social immediately, same platform, same time of day.
  • Include info on how to take advantage of your offer, "call now", "Limited time offer", etc. 

Using technology to extend your reach is a powerful way to create digital leverage. How will you make today special?

 

LinkedIn continues to evolve their user interface. In a blog post titled, How to Use the LinkedIn Notifications Tab to Stay Connected, LinkedIn provides an update highlighting how you can view real time info on your network. Often all you need to connect with a lead is something to talk about. Conversation Starters is a new feature you will find under the Notifications tab to help you get started. 

The other feature under this tab is Calendar Sync. It was developed to provide intelligence on those you are about to meet. I'm not so sure I want to share my calendar with LinkedIn at this point. 

For now your ability to manage notifications is limited. LinkedIn promises to give you granular control. Check out their post and did in to this new tab. Let me know what you think.

 

 

Friday, 24 February 2017 05:50

Email and Video Don't Mix

Trends are easy to spot on arrival. It's the hoopla. Embedding videos in emails started just like that. Eventually, trends lose steam, fade away, but rarely go away. Thom Winninger showed this trend the door, "The video we supplied was not getting enough click throughs". Knowing when to let go takes experience. Online marketing has become a legend in its own mind.  I sat through a seminar this week where the presenter claimed 50% of people love to receive emails containing video. Is it time to let it go? Author Ezra Fishman asks, Should You Embed Video in Email?  I think it's a definite maybe. 

An even better first question is, what are you trying to accomplish? It is much too easy to get wrapped up in the content and forget why you adopted a trend in the first place. If you embed a link in your email that takes them to your site, you've met your goal. Ezra's post outlines how to make that happen. 

Online Marketing - Too Big for its Britches

The premise, "Everybody is doing it" is a trap. We read about a new online marketing trend, eagerly grasp it with a huge hope, and hold on for dear life. Thom stepped back, took the measure of embedded video and made a choice. Be like Thom. 

Tuesday, 21 February 2017 22:11

High Security Without the High Cost

I use a secure password vault. It's device independent and lives in a secure cloud. It's also expensive, and not as user-friendly as it should be. For the longest time, I simply accepted it as the price of keeping passwords secure.

All that changed yesterday when a client mentioned she keeps her passwords with her contacts. Cue the lightbulb over my head.

It never occurred to me. My contacts are organized, secure, and with me at all times. All I did was add two new fields to my CRM: Username and Password. Done and done. We all need a place to keep our passwords. This idea makes a lot of sense.

Strong Passwords

As for passwords, the best resource for creating secure passwords was written years ago by By Bruce Schneier in his post Choosing a Secure Password.

Have a safe day!

 

 

Tuesday, 21 February 2017 08:14

First, Find the Clipboards

They are everywhere. Whenever you find yourself in a check-in line, you will find someone holding a clipboard. If it is in the hands of a team member, congratulations! You just discovered one of the easiest and most profitable ways to streamline your business. In their annual CEO Survey Report,

In their annual CEO Survey Report, Now or Never - CEO's Mobilize for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, KPMG International reports this key finding: Your company will experience digital disruption sometime in the next three years. The fundamental way you conduct business will change, forever. You can either wait for it to happen, or you can make it happen. Let's get back to that clipboard. Take a close look at the form under the clip. I'm willing to bet it was printed from a computer. It may even have checkboxes, either to confirm attendance, take inventory, or to document readings or metrics.

Let's get back to that clipboard. Take a close look at the form under the clip. I'm willing to bet it was printed from a computer. It may even have checkboxes, either to confirm attendance, take inventory, or to document readings or metrics.

Clipboards as a Crutch

 Here at Leverage Unlimited, we work with companies in three areas: tools, talents, and techniques. We make sure you have the right tools and that your team is trained to leverage their talent. Streamlining techniques increase profits. It's the point where we discover ways to upgrade processes, either by lining up the steps in your customer journey or automating manual processes that free up staff. They can focus then on what they do best: help customers buy your goods or services. 

The Art of Digital Leverage

All it takes is replacing a clipboard with a digital tablet. Clipboards are used to build a bridge between the information in your computer and the people who need that information. However, working with a clipboard requires many steps:

  • Type information into a computer
  • Turn it into a report
  • Print it out
  • Put it on a clipboard
  • Check some boxes
  • Take it back to the computer
  • Enter or update the info 
  • Run another report

There is a Better Way

Replace the clipboard with a tablet and you receive immediate, positive results. It eliminates the need to print. You deliver real-time information to the right person in the right place, right now. Using a tablet instead of a clipboard eliminates all of the post-event follow up. The impact is immediate, profound, and permanent. 

Clipboards are just an obvious place to start. Once you start streamlining, you will find many other ways to eliminate unnecessary steps. The next three years are critical for established organizations who have not embraced a digital upgrade. By 2020, your industry will have experienced digital disruption, if you haven't already. Many firms will not survive.

The question is, who will survive, you, or your competitor?  

 

  

Monday, 20 February 2017 15:58

Practice Makes Your Pitch Perfect

It was a single sentence in a recent BunkerLabs article that brought me to a full and complete stop. In his article, How To Master Your 2-minute Video Pitch, aAuthor Harry Alford remarked, "Public speaking has the highest ROI with the lowest amount of exertion." 

I've spoken professionally for 17 years, I've pitched, I've coached those who are about to pitch and I've seen the strange simultaneous combination of flop-sweat and dry mouth while judging pitch competitions. The lowest amount of exertion has not been my experience. Launching a startup is tough. Just when you think you've got it all figured out, you get to stand up in front of a bunch of folks with knitting needles in their hands waiting to burst your bubble.  

Once I calmed down and read to the end, I realized Harry has some great tips for you who are about to enter the pitch arena. Here's a few of my own.

The Worth of a Word

Harry's example of two minutes means you don't have 120 seconds, you have 300 words. Divide the number of words by the investment you seek and you'll discover the true worth of each word of your pitch. Suddenly, "hello", "thanks", "the" and "um" come with a high pricetag.  Here's a trick you can use to figure or the true cost of your pitch. Open a word-processing document on a mobile device. Tap the mic key and speak your pitch. Like magic, your words will be transcribed. Select your speech. Use the word-count feature to arrive at the total word count. 

You could try to speak faster to cram more words into your pitch. instead, I hope you'll consider all the words that fail to bring value to your presentation. Like a backpacker who sheds every piece of equipment they really don't need, soon you'll find yourself on an easier journey toward the funding you need.

Practice, Practice, Practice

This is going to be painful. Take your much lighter pitch and record it for your personal review. Jacksonville Certified Speaking Professional Richard Hadden says it's the only way to pick up the difference between the written and spoken word. The good news is the pain dissipates quickly as your pitch improves. Reducing the number of words infuses each those that remain with power and weight. 

Monday, 20 February 2017 06:55

Resistance is Futile

I was on a call last night with 30,000 people. Less than a dozen spoke. They joined the call from around the United States. Each was positive, respectful and inclusive. Most importantly, everybody learned, in real time. each attendee showed up with their particular worldview. Before I begin, let me share my worldview. I believe digital technology can be a force for good. My big brother Lee taught me that when he found me on the Internet. I believe technology works best when it stays backstage, when it becomes invisible, allowing people to leverage the power of ideas. 

Before I begin, let me share my worldview. I believe digital technology can be a force for good. My big brother Lee taught me that when he found me on the Internet. I believe technology works best when it stays backstage, when it becomes invisible, allowing people to leverage the power of ideas. What I am most excited about is when technology helps people reach farther, bring them closer, help them move faster. This is for those of you who lead or develop leaders. It's about how technology can help you gather followers and start a movement. Here's how they used existing technology to create a customer journey/

It started at Facebook where attendees discovered the organization. The posts from the organization included a CTA (Call To Action). Following the link took folks to a landing page, where they received information relevant to their needs. The landing page included downloadable resources, 'Learn More' links to additional information and an invitation for an email subscription. Subscribers received an RSVP for the last night's conference call. Fifteen minutes before the call they received a reminder with a landing page destination.

The Call

No software to download, settings to adjust, just show up. The slides were in view, the audio used a music bed to confirm your sound was working. An MC invited folks to use the on-screen form to submit a question. They host welcomed everyone, thanked them for arriving on time and asked everyone to standby while everyone else arrived. All we heard was music and announcements. Gone were the annoying beeps as everyone joined. Everyone was muted, so no bathroom noise. It was organized, so much so that the technology disappeared. How very cool. 

The Art of Invisible

Here's what you couldn't see:

  • The organizers used a single slide deck to eliminate the ugly switching in mid-streaming. 
  • The upfront assumption was that everyone was using a mobile device.
  • Polling was conducted by pressing number keys. Poll results were delivered in real time.
  • Each presenter was scripted and timed. Each focused on teaching instead of promoting.
  • The host muted her mic to take notes on the presentations.
  • Links were provided on-screen, via upload and on-demand.

Resistance is Futile

The US is experiencing tremendous conflict right now. There is a clash of ideas, a battle for power. There is a call to just shut-up and listen to President Trump. From my experience last night. Stopping the resistance is futile. 

 

 

 

Wednesday, 15 February 2017 09:54

The #1 Person Who Creates Value For You

Oh, I'm sorry. I don't know their name, but you should. In a recent Daily Dairy post titled What Do You Mean - Contented Cows? author Richard Hadden proposes a method to identify that #1 (and #2) top performing individual as well as a neat way to raise up rest of your team.  

It's mind numbingly simple. Find your best, ask them why they stay, make it a rule, copy/paste. 

Here's a trick I pulled on myself after reading Richard's post. I sat down and had a similar conversation with myself. If you are a solo practitioner, try this, and write down what you learn. We all have days where we need a good talking to. Wouldn't it be great if it were a pep talk?

 

Wednesday, 15 February 2017 08:25

Instant Revenue Boost

Sales Slump? Not a prospect in sight? Here's how you can take steps immediately to boost your results.

Do you know your sales from yesterday, this month, year to date? Of course you do. I'll bet you could quote the numbers for your team, provide a count of FTE's and last week's payroll. Everyone on your leadership team is constantly aware of business performance. Unfortunately, established businesses rarely have the same awareness of the firm's digital performance.

My research indicates that businesses who wish to compete in the coming years need to start now to achieve an awareness of the performance metrics of their online presence. Yesterday I met a client company that uses a web analytics platform to identify companies who visit their site. Not just user visits, companies. Yesterday we used it to uncover the possible theft of intellectual property under the guise of "content curation."  

More than Awareness, Intelligence

Is the social base growing or declining? Are they engaged? Who are your advocates, your influencers? How many prospects signed up for your newsletter this week? In our current market environment, your online presence serves as the first impression your prospects experience. Is your organization putting its best foot forward? 

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

KPIs for business are well-known. Digital performance indicators are often unfamiliar. Business development now relies on the Internet to generate brand awareness, reputation, and lead generation. Sales force automation has surpassed online marketing as the engine for growth in both revenue and profit. 

Your Most Valuable Business Asset

Your most valuable business assets in the digital age are the contact databases containing contacts, social followers, and newsletter subscribers. Focus on quality over quantity. Break down your lists into segments. The more you know about each segment, the better the quality of your conversations. Cultivate influencers, elevate loyal fans, keep frequent visitors close.

Same Thing, But Different

When your Career was bright, shiny, and new, you were forced to learn the language of business. Now it's time to learn a new language, with a new vocabulary. The language of digital performance.

 

 

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