Greg Voakes recently wrote a column in Business Insider on the ‘current’ trend of so called authenticity prevalent in the advertising world.
The irony of authenticity is that the last thing you ever need to do to achieve it is ask for it. It’s rather like the word ‘quality’. Academics have been trying to define that one for a long time.
Anyway, the thing I absolutely loved about Voakes article was his reference to an open letter from Johan Liedgren, ex Microsoft Director of Channel Policy and now an independent consultant.
If you haven’t read any of Liedgren’s other stuff, go seek it out. Here’s one I particularly like.
His open letter is published as an image on Imgur.com and should make you laugh.
This is how to speak to your audience and have a pretty good chance of going viral all in one. Here’s the formula for doing this sort of thing yourself:
- Look at all the holy cows in your industry
- Question every one of them
- Find one that doesn’t hold muster
- Get creative and milk it for all its worth
Telling it like it is wins trust and if you do it enough customers may actually trust you enough to buy from you!
Like many people, I have been using Google search for a long time, but today for the first time I was challenged by Google when I searched for ’0118′ (I was trying to find the location of this UK STD number).
Google said that in order to check that the search was not coming from a ‘bot’ it needed to check that I was human.
Now here’s the thing. Google said it would block me from searching for anything else unless I complied.
Being someone that has spent most of his life fighting beaurocracy, red tape and authority, I wondered if anyone else was experiencing this.
So I fired up Firefox (I was using Google Chrome when I got the message) and searched via Yahoo and sure enough it is hitting a large number of people, and has been for some time now. I guess I have just been lucky.
As this was happening, a colleague searched Google for ‘why is Google asking for a captcha’ and irony of ironies he got the same block message as me!
My guess for all this paranoia from Google is that the number of scammers, hackers and black hat operators is increasing so fast, they are finding it almost impossible to keep a cap on it.
The Panda and Penguin updates to stop scammy sites, link-wheel and other backlinking techniques have been having a large effect too but have also hit legitimate sites.
The internet is a massive battlefield and whilst it seems the machines are taking over, we can rest-assured they will fail so long as humans still have some input.
The blogger Seth Godin has said in the past that the only thing that matters in any business is shipping; that is, the ability to finish something and ship it to customers.
Another hero of mine, CD Baby founder, Derek Sivers, has an interesting chart that compares ideas with actions and the value of them. In short, the best idea on the planet is worth didly-squat in comparison with the worst idea that has been actioned.
So when it comes to productivity, only one thing counts: action.
There are hundreds of books on the subject, and I have read quite a few of them (mostly when I should have been taking action) but it all boils down to the following steps:
- Write a list of your most important projects (do this first and amend as and when)
- Write a list of the actions you need to take to progress each project (as many as you can think of, and amend as and when)
- Each evening or first thing in the morning (and that is the most important bit), prioritise the top 3 or 4
- At the start of each day, do those prioritised tasks before you do anything else (i.e. no email, facebook, twitter, pinterest, linked in)
- There are some different takes on this, including a great tip from another supreme marketer and all-round great guy, Brendon Burchard.
He recommends making a list of those people on whom you are waiting for something. Then opening your email and only scan the From field to see if any are there. Then see if the subject is about what you were expecting, and if so open it. But the most important thing is to only do that. Do not open any other emails. Only those. Then close up your email client until you have finished all your tasks.
Productivity is all about doing, and the main thing that stops you from doing is distraction. The question I always use (and ask my staff to think about) is ‘will what you are doing increase sales?’. The answer can be subtle of course. Reputation management may be a priority if someone has placed a bad review somewhere – so whilst it may not increase sales, it will help stop them getting worse.
If you liked this short and productive bit of help, enter your email in the box on the top right and help yourself to a lot more. I would be delighted to have you on board.