Archive for the ‘seth godin’ Category

Business of Software Conference 2008

April 16, 2008

Announced earlier this week, the Business of Software 2008 – A Joel On Software Conference is now open for registration. The conference will be held in the Seaport Hotel on Boston’s waterfront on September 3rd and 4th.

The confirmed speakers include:
 

  • Joel Spolsky, founder of Fog Creek software, author of several books and the man behind the joelonsoftware blog.
  • Seth Godin, Business Week’s “Ultimate Entrepreneur for the Information Age”, is the best-selling author of 7 books (including Permission Marketing and Purple Cow) as well as the most popular eBook of all time.
  • Eric Sink, founder of SourceGear, author of “Eric Sink on the Business of Software” and the person who coined the term “Micro ISV”
  • Steve Johnson of Pragmatic Marketing and winner of last year’s Software Idol competition
  • Richard Stallman launched the development of the GNU operating system, now used on tens of millions of computers today. Stallman has received the ACM Grace Hopper Award, a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Pioneer award, and the the Takeda Award for Social/Economic Betterment
  • Paul Kenny is one of the UK’s top sales trainers, consultants and speakers. He has worked with many customers in three continents, including IBM, Perot Systems, The Guardian and tens of others.
  • Dharmesh Shah is a geek, serial entrepreneur, founder of HubSpot and blogger at OnStartups.com
  • Jessica Livingston is author of Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days and a founder of Y Combinator
  • Jason Fried is founder of 37signals (developers of Basecamp and Ruby on Rails) and Signal vs Noise blogger

This looks to be an incredible conference full of insightful personalities and great ideas. I highly recommend anyone who is in the world of software startups plan on attending.

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Seth Godin on TED

April 4, 2008

During a Ted presentation filmed in 2003, Seth Godin talks about the importance of making your products remarkable.

Sliced Bread and Other Marketing Delights

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3 Ways To Drive Traffic To Your Site

April 3, 2008

Here are 5 easy ways to drive traffic to your website. Do them well, and you’ll be swimming in traffic. Do them poorly (or not at all), and the worst thing that can happen is….nothing.

  • Comment on other people’s blogs
    • First off, it’s an easy thing to do. If you are an active reader of blogs and see a topic to which you can add value, do it!
    • Your comment will be there forever, so that any future crawls by Google or views by people will pick it up.
    • When you provide a link back to your site, it helps with your own site’s ranking.
    • Ensure that your comments are inspired enough to add value. The world has enough spam and mindless comments, so don’t add to it.
    • Don’t do this as an afterthought to your traffic-generation plans. Do this daily and on a regular basis. Your traffic and other bloggers will benefit.
  • Write good, “sticky” content generates a response in people.
    • When other people comment on your blog entries or Digg your site, it gives social proof of your authority on a topic and will cause search engines to index the relevancy of your site.
    • The more authority that you have on a topic, the more people will write about/link to your content further establishing you as an expert.
    • If you need an example of this, think Seth Godin. What image comes to mind? Aspire to that.
  • Adwords and Pay-Per-Click are good, but nothing is better than good ole’ free search engine traffic
    • LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) Algorithms are how Google analyzes the content of your site for relevant and related keywords. In the old days, Google would look at the frequency of words on your site and index them appropriately. For example, if you sold cars and had a site littered with the word “Cars” in an attempt to rank highly in Google, you’d be all set until someone did a search on “automobiles.” With Google’s old algorithms, you’d miss out on that traffic. If you write in a natural language and have good, solid content that is related to the topic that you are promoting, then you should see traffic coming through search engines.
    • Evaluate the content on your site thoroughly to ensure that the search engines are seeing you the way you want to be seen. Open an account with Google Adwords and use their keyword generation tool to scan your site. It will come back with a list of recommendations for words that it thinks would work well were you to start an Adwords Campaign. Do those words describe what you are hoping to accomplish with your site? If you, you’re golden. Odds are, there are some surprises or omissions. Correct those by creating or refining your content.
    • Traffic coming from search engines is much more likely to convert to a sale or a prospect. Why? You answered their need early on in their search.

Each of the points above deserves a great deal more detail, and I will continue to delve into each in the future. However, I am a big fan of lists that tell me what to do quickly (and I also don’t like long, drawn out blog posts), so I thought that I would keep this list short.

Please share your thoughts on these ideas or let me know if there are any other topics you would like me to cover in later posts. My next post will delve into topics such as how to benefit from social bookmarking, email lists and RSS feeds.

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Paying Attention Is Hard

March 19, 2008

I frequently post about the value of focus, and how we, as marketers and business owners, need to get away from interrupting people in favor of delivering value.

This video perfectly captures why I keep beating that drum.

Thanks to Seth Godin for pointing this out.

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Democratic Primaries: It’s Time To Quit

March 12, 2008

Let me start off by saying this isn’t a political blog. I have no intention of delving into that kind of stuff here (though I might start a separate blog later for that subject matter). What I do want to call attention to are the marketing tactics of the campaigns for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. If you take a step back and look at how they are campaigning at this point in the cycle, it is fascinating to behold.

Campaigns are all about marketing. Who is your core audience, and how do you get your message across to them? Barack Obama has chosen to focus his efforts on a younger market segment. His website has been very effective in relaying his message, and he has run a very “Web 2.0” style campaign. His goal has been to build a community of supporters. His supporters are passionate about “their” candidate. They self-produce YouTube videos and spread them virally. The campaign is geared to the young and the connected.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is staging a campaign with the tied and true tactics. Television commercials and mailings are her primary means of communicating her message to supporters. Her campaign is a one-way message detailing her plans and aspirations for the country. When things don’t go her way, her rhetoric becomes increasingly caustic delving (but not quite getting to) negative campaigning. People have historically responded to these tactics, and this is how Hillary has traditionally done well.

Hillary’s style might work with this campaign, and there is a decent chance that she could win the Democratic nomination because of her “toughness.” However, the old guard needs to take note of what is happening with Barack’s campaign. He hasn’t gone negative. He doesn’t insult Hillary’s supporters. He is about spreading his message through supporters and not to supporters. Barack Obama represents the new version of politics while the Clinton campaign is the old style. Personally, I’m hoping that the new style wins.

Seth Godin articulates the current status of Hillary’s campaign and how it relates to quitting for the betterment of your brand. It’s a fascinating read, and it is worthwhile to wonder if Hillary should quit now.

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Measuring Greatness

March 7, 2008

In an earlier post, I gave an introduction to measures and how measuring the right things can lead you to success. In this post, I will detail some of Hinutech’s Key Performance Indicators and discuss what we are doing to improve or sustain.

Hinutech has two arms of business: web portal design/hosting and assisting customers with obtaining more business through driving traffic to their website. So, a key metric for us has to be web traffic.

As a relatively new company, it is essential for us to get the word out and ensure that we have a significant number of people checking us out on a daily basis. Some of these hits turn into sales while others turn into nothing. Each type of traffic is important to us because it informs us on the effectiveness of our marketing efforts. If only 3% of our overall traffic turns into a prospect, then we have a problem with our site and the message that we put forth. It is unreasonable to can expect 100% of our traffic to generate sales, so the sweet spot of effectiveness lies somewhere in between.

To get to this sweet spot, we have two key measures:
1. Total traffic. We try to grow traffic to our site by 5% a month. That means that we have 5% more opportunities to make impressions on potential customers. If we grow traffic by this much a month, we’re happy and wear party hats around the office. If we don’t, we analyze everything about our marketing plan and determine where we are going wrong or what we could be doing differently in our efforts. For example, one of our primary traffic generators is Google Adwords. We have a budget in which we work, and are constantly watching the effectiveness of our campaigns and tweaking words to ensure we are getting the most bang for our buck. If this traffic driver doesn’t contribute to our goal in a meaningful way, we have to reevaluate everything with our campaign.

2. Quality of traffic. Getting people to your site is one thing, but getting the right people there and getting them to take meaningful action is another. This speaks directly to Seth Godin’s rule of three for web traffic: Useful, Unique, Updated.

Useful:
If people come to our site and find nothing of value, then we just wasted their time and an opportunity to deliver a solution to them. We might never get them back, so it is essential that the message we have on our site is useful for their needs. They have to be able to find what they are looking for quickly, and we have to have a clear message (FWIW, I am working on refining our message now. I don’t think we are as effective as we could be).

Unique: This should go without saying. You must have a unique offering and message. Visitors must get to your site and think that this is the best thing they have never thought of before. They need to send your link to their friends and co-workers to check out because there is nothing else on the web like it. There can’t be a million other you’s if you want to be the best in the world.

Updated: Site content must be continually refreshed and relevant. If you don’t have the commitment to keep your site updated, how can you expect customers to commit time, resources and money to you? Also, by keeping your site fresh, Google and Yahoo put more credence in your site. Finally, consistently working on your site to ensure that the message is fresh makes you continuously improve your marketing message. Nothing bad happens when you do this. Nothing.

We feel that if we watch these three areas, then our quality of hits will be higher. We measure the number of visitors that turn into prospects to determine the effectiveness of our site. We want this number to grow by 5% a month as well. We are yet to hit this number, and that tells me that 1, 2 or 3 of the 3 biggies noted above is out of whack.

These two measures are the biggest contributors to Hinutech’s success. I will discuss some of our others in a later post and will also report back on initiatives that we are taking to improve our progress with these two.

Recipe for Failure

March 3, 2008

From Seth Godin:

News flash: almost every time, the sure-fire recipe for success is actually a sure-fire recipe for disappointment. Almost every time, the products and services that succeed wildly are the ones that everyone expected would fail.

From me: Take a chance on failing. It might be the biggest success you’ve ever experienced. After a particularly bad day and very nasty mis-step that resulted in me bringing an entire company’s email system down, a very good friend said to me “Don’t worry about it. Those who don’t take chances never mess anything up. They never do anything.”

Moral of the story, the biggest successes stem from those who take extraordinary chances.

What’s Your Website Doing For You?

January 31, 2008

Is it declaring to the world that your business is for real? Is it something that you point friends, family and customers to with pride? Is it enabling your team to sell more? Is it helping your marketing? Do you even know?

Your website shouldn’t be an event that happens once. Your website should be a living, breathing branch of your business that you use to make life better for customers, prospects and employees. It needs daily feeding to make it better and more relevant.

There are no strict rules for making your site great. Try something. See if it sticks. If it doesn’t, try something else. In the words of Seth Godin, “The reason that there’s so much pressure and focus on finding an ironclad list of musts is that the big and the slow demand it. That doesn’t mean you have to listen to them.”

Curiosity

January 21, 2008

I can add nothing more than what is said in this video featuring Seth Godin other than Hinutech was founded on exploring curiosity and helping our customers realize and exploit technology to push their own curiosity about what is possible forward.