Sunday, January 26, 2014

Being an Expert: 1 Way to Separate Yourself from Nearly Everyone Else

This past week, I made a realization about something that separates ME from most everyone else, even those with MORE ability than me.

It has to do with data.

Yes, I AM good with numbers and patterns.  So those who know me well might claim that I have an unfair advantage that many other people are not able to duplicate.

That might be true; however….

There is ONE thing I do that separates me, and it does NOT require above-average data skills…just a little above-average INSANITY (used productively).


Honestly, a lot of times, I take projects for the sake of trying to learn things.  Usually, I am focused on learning a skill or testing the effectiveness of an idea I have.  I do this a lot.

However, I just realized that I get another extremely valuable benefit from doing (most of) these projects.  I obtain “get my hands dirty” data.

Yes, REAL data!

This allows me to provide suspicions—if not outright conclusions—with more confidence than almost everyone else I know.

Often I will read articles or hear people make claims—especially about online marketing—about what you can or cannot do.  Sometimes, they might be right, but the more data I get, the more I realize that most people are not really speaking from the perspective of actually having the knowledge.  They’re simply taking what they’ve read or heard elsewhere and pretending to make it their own (often without really meaning to “fake it”).

Here are some examples of things I’ve done that give me hands-on knowledge about things that most people wish they knew…and could if they did the same (or similar) work, too.

Google SEO: Searched over 1,000 phrases on Google (within 1 week)…to see what ranks…and what does not.

LinkedIn: Analyzed over 50 search phrases within its Advanced Search (within a day) to see which profiles it pulls…and how they determine it.

Twitter: Charted times (and dates) of tweets with links that generated clicks.

…and I’ve done plenty more crazy but valuable things…just like those.

There is nothing special about what I did, except that I was willing to take the time to do it.

After I get my own data, I can more confidently identify whether you’re telling me something that makes sense in theory, in reality, or is just plain bunk.

I have a lot of abilities, but one of my strongest assets has NOTHING to do with ability.  It simply has to do with effort…getting data and finding patterns within that data.

Key Point: If you want to seem greater than most, then get more data than most (anyone would be willing to get).

I guarantee that if you start getting your own data, you will know more than almost everyone else.  Heck, you just might know more than EVERYONE else.

That is one easy but difficult way to separate yourself from nearly everyone else.

If you want to take a step toward greatness, look for excuses to gather your own data…and analyze that data!

What are some things you wish you had the data to check?  Have you already done some similar data gathering projects?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

4 Things You’re Doing on Twitter That Shows You Don’t Have a Clue about How to Use It for Business

Recently, I’ve been spending more time on Twitter, and I’ve been noticing several things, each within my OWN behavior and by paying attention to what others are doing.

For years, people have been saying that businesses should use Twitter, because it can help them attract more clients for their business.

Truthfully, they are absolutely right.  There are TONS of people using Twitter.  However…

Most of them have NO CLUE about how to use Twitter correctly.  When I write “MOST,” I actually mean “nearly everyone.”

The competitive part of me really likes this, but I know that there are lots of opportunities being lost—LOTS!

Based on my observations, here are four (4) things that tell me that you have NO clue about how to use Twitter for business.

1. You’re only posting YOUR things—never other people’s.
2. You’re only sharing material created by other people—never your own.
3. You’re only posting social Tweets—never any business-oriented Tweets.
4. You’re SCREAMING for attention but don’t have an end goal in mind.

If you’re curious, let’s review each of these in more detail.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

3 Reasons I Will NOT Follow You on Twitter

I wrote another post about reasons I WILL follow you on Twitter.

Of course, that got me thinking…What are the reasons I will NOT follow you on Twitter?

I only could figure a few, because I prefer following most people.  So here we are…

3 Reasons I WILL NOT Follow You on Twitter
1. I don’t know you exist.
2. You don’t align with my goals on Twitter.
3. The pain you bring me outweighs the benefit you bring me.

Let’s take a closer look at each one (if you’re even curious).

Sunday, January 5, 2014

9 Reasons I'll Follow You on Twitter

I go through spurts where I spent a lot of energy on Twitter, but I'll go through long stretches where I don't even log into it to check anything--for MONTHS.

Whether this is right or wrong depends upon whether the decision is born from an intentional, well-thought through strategy...or just plain laziness.  In my case, both have played a major role.

The last couple of days, I've been slowly using Twitter, again.  I'm preparing to do another experiment on Twitter.

Similar: Beginning my (first) experiment with Hootsuite

For now, part of my preparation has been to sift through my "Followers," and I realized that I was following a lot more people than I really could explain "why" to myself.  So I started pruning the people I was Following on Twitter, and the longer I was doing it, the more I was asking myself, "What makes me 'want' to follow someone on Twitter...what makes me NOT want to Follow them?"

I figured there is a good lesson in my self-realization.  So here is what I figured...

9 Reasons I Will Follow You on Twitter...
1. You CREATE material worth sharing with MY targeted followers.
2. You FIND AND SHARE material worth sharing with my targeted followers.
3. You represent a business or social interest I hold.
4. Many of MY targeted followers are following you.
5. You seem to network enthusiastically AND with a purpose.
6. You are someone who SHARES some of MY Tweets.
7. You represent a publishing or news outlet.
8. I see something in you I REALLY want to promote.
9. You represent a group that hosts a lot of local events of interest to my followers.

Let's take a closer look at each of these (if you want).