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Tag Archives: Jay Berkowitz

Slow and Steady Wins the Race; a Realistic Approach to Internet Marketing

OK we all know the story of the tortoise and the hare.  Everybody wants to get rich quick, and instant gratification has been the name of the game since thehippies were smoking pot and eating acid at Haight-Ashbury. This is especially true in internet marketing.  How many schemes have you seen where you can “make $5000 a month from home with a third grade education and a laptop.”  No typing skeels required! Although few fall for that kind of hype, there is a general tone that I feel to be dangerous:  this is a really easy way to make a decent living without really having to work all that hard.

Most successful people will tell you the secret to their “overnight success” is just plain hard work: 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.  Marketing in today’s environment is no different.  My mentor and instructor at USF Jay Berkowitz, is one of the hardest working guys I know.  He does a free webinar every week, countless public speaking engagements, teaches courses, and still has time to run a successful business.  He must never sleep.

99% of my clients who fail, do so for one reason and one reason alone:  they quit.  The ROI they thought would come in from and integrated internet marketing campaign didn’t show results in the first month.  They sent out an email campaign once and got almost no feedback other than a few people accusing them of spamming, so they quit.

The key to a successful campaign is in the longevity.  After you set up all your social media profiles, after you have syndicated your publications, after you have turned your website into a call to action and optimized it so it can be found on the web, after you have restated your value proposition so many times that your cat has it memorized, then the tough work begins.  That, unfortunately is when most people give up.  They think that they have done so much work they deserve some sort of reward – NOW!

It doesn’t work that way.  Look at my WordPress blog:

I started about 20 months ago at square zero.  I was ripe with new training and wanted to take my internet marketing to the next level, so I gathered all my blogging notes from over the years and jumped into it.  471 posts later (I do have a little secret) I now have had over 25,000 views, 1300 follower, and yes, a decent business.  I work on it a few hours a week, sometimes scheduling a week’s worth of blogs at a time, but I keep at it.  One of the best ways to keep track of everything is to create a “content schedule” and stick to it. There is nothing secret about the secret to success.  If you don’t have the time or infrastructure to do this  there are scores of people out there like Bay Integrated Marketing that will either do it for you, or teach you how to do it yourself.  The important part is that it gets done.

Just like any other program, “It works if you work it!”

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Brand Aid: The Building of an American Dream

What does the advice of most of the world’s most successful people always contain?  There is always some language to the effect that success requires 5% innovation and 95% perspiration.  There is just no easy way.  Sure, there is the occasional “Pet Rock” and some sort of moronic fluke every now and then like Justin Bieber, but most overnight success stories take years.  I am reminded of a story about an aging Pablo Picasso taking a napkin and scribbling one of his sketches on it.  He handed it to the lady who had requested it and informed her that his fee would be $25,000.  Upon this news she was aghast and exclaimed “but that only took you 30 seconds” to which Picasso replied “but it took me 40 years to get there.”

The short answer is that there is no short answer.  Building your own personal brand takes discipline and time.  It’s funny how incremental investments of time and effort can add up though.  Two years ago my gig as a corporate travel development manager fell prey to the recession, and the fact that the owner’s son had the same title I did.  Blood being slightly thicker than water, the writing was on the walls and I could feel a career change calling me.  At this stage of my life it was improbable that I could re-create myself, but what I did was to take an inventory of what was usable, what really interested me, and what was needed to get to a position that would make all of that possible.  Every interesting marketing job that crossed my path I was not qualified for was noted in a log.  Every job skill that eluded my possession was documented, and when there was a statistically significant sampling of what were my most impactful areas of deficiency, a solution began to show itself.  The answer was for me to return to school and pursue my masters in internet marketing.  There was no financial aid available, and it was expensive, but the investment had to be made in myself so back we went.  I say we, because my wife had to sign off on our making a several thousand dollar investment because I was out of work.

The choice to analyze where the investment needed to be made, what skills needed to be learned, was an easy one.  The money was tough, but do-able.  The time it took each day to study and look at a “bigger” picture was an invaluable discipline.   Re-branding myself became my 8 hour a day job.  OK, a good 6 most days, but there were plenty of 10’s and 12’s in there around final’s time.  Paying attention to my mentor Jay Berkowitz, we began to blog, created a reputation as a social media instructor, began publishing other articles in syndication, and established an optimized website for the business.  Everything was new, from what to charge, to billing, to properly setting client’s expectations.  Slowly over the months of my routine (wake up, check emails, publish blog, reach out to my business group on FaceBook and LinkedIn, and at least 2 webinars or podcasts a week to keep current) there began to be a bit of traction.  The last time I Googled my company name it occupied the entire first page of the search results.  It almost brought tears to my eyes.

With a bit of practice we were able to get several of our clients to be ranked #1 for their local businesses in LinkedIn.  It never seemed possible to me to be able to effect search engines THAT much, but the incremental discipline of doing that little bit EVERY DAY is finally paying off.  My routine only takes me about an hour a day in the morning, and the rest of the day can be spent working on client projects, mentoring, or the occasional Giants game.  It’s all good as long as I invest that hour or so every day in myself. I have also learned a few things along the way that keep me from beating my head against the walls.  At first I tried all of the techniques I learned in business school that were taught to me by people who had worked for Coca ColaMcDonald’s, and Sprint.  Some of those techniques were transferable and scale-able, and some not.  I never thought it would come down to abandoning SEO as we know it, but I have to admit the Google/Bing/Yahoo universe is no place to spin your tires.  Its just not worth it.          to be continued.

 

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Cabo Without Uncle Buck is Like Drinking Beer From a Can

It’s good, but it just doesn’t taste right.

I’m tempted to go into my “fear and loathing” mode and begin to reflect tales of drunkenness and debauchery unparalleled in the relatively sane universes of my faithful followers.  It would be satisfying to sit at my keyboard and reflect on the dozens of times we’ve hung upside down at the Giggling Marlin, crashed our Sea Doo’s at 50 miles an hour and walked away without a scratch, or summoned the Mariachis to our room at 2:00AM to serenade our sleeping wives.  Ah yes, that would be tempting indeed; Perhaps another day when I have the time.  Today I must pack.

The past few trips I have made with my darling, and utterly sane, wife.  It is a welcome romantic getaway and much easier on my wallet and liver.  This ends up being a Disneyland storybook vacation filled with whale watching, great cuisine, snorkeling at Chileno, diving at Cabo Pulmo, yachting on a former America’s Cup yacht, and making love on the beach.  It is so wholesome I often anticipate Doris Day or Frankie and Annette approaching us with fresh baked muffins, butter, and honey.

We are trying to eat healthy, will hit the Gym and take long walks about the golf course early in the morning.  Brian Flynn had to give up his bar, but we will probably search the downtown in vain just one more time to see if he has gravitated back to the Cabo Wabo orbit.  Other than that our late nights are now relegated to a rare cigar and a cocktail at Pitahayas before retiring by 11:00.

I have been coming to Cabo since my parents took me on a Mexican cruise in 1968.  I realize that that is most likely before most of you were born.  Things have changed a bit in that time.  When I first saw Cabo there were only three hotels, the harbor was roughed out but no boats were anchored near it.  There were no shops on it.  Bud Parr was the reigning landlord and you could rent a panga for $10 per hour and catch enough fish your first day to eat for a week.

The Office was a thatched shack on the beach, by itself, and  was a common occurrence to have a couple of tequilas with the locals and play volleyball (they cheated) before ambling down the beach to hear the Hispanic version of Hotel California butchered by the locals at El Dolphin as the bartender peddled his little $25 bindles of  10% cocaine to supplement the meager salary and tips left by the gringo ex-pats.

The first iteration of the Giggling Marlin miraculously burned to the ground as a direct result of the lack of proper payment to local “authorities” and employment of a sufficient number of local staff.   The “Trailer Park” restaurant was in the center of town, and there were not 15 other restaurants sporting the same name littering the “corridor turistico.”  Actually, back then it was just a road.

The point of all this is that I will be there this whole week.  Through the magic of technology and incredible foresight rendered me by my mentor Jay Berkowitz and USF, I am able to schedule this blog to mysteriously leap upon your screen even in my absence.   I hoist a tequila in your honor, pray for your continued health and success, and attempt to enjoy the Cabo, and the man that is present now.  It is supposed to hit 25’ tonight in Redwood City.  I will be sleeping with the door open and only a sheet covering me at Hacienda Del Mar.

Vaya con dios

Modern Cabo San Lucas. Cabo San Lucas Before Dredging.

Cabo’s marina was dredged out of a dry mudflat in 1974 and 1975. Until that time, a landing strip and the houses of cannery workers occupied the area shown here. Cabo San Lucas, c. 1970, right, from the construction site of the Hotel Finisterra. Note cannery still in operation, Hotel Hacienda on low sand dune at left, and landing strip where today’s marina is now located. (Reprinted with permission from The Unforgettable Sea of Cortez.)

 

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