Wednesday, October 17, 2012

YouTube Changes Ranking Rules

YouTube Search is changing the ranking rules again. This time it is a good move I support. I have always hated geting some lame video that has nothing to do with what I just searched for and now it sends you through all the other lame videos this same person made.

Well, YouTube Search is making some changes to address that. YouTube Search will now rank time viewed over click counts. This should take all of those garbage clips and drop their rankings like rocks and put the good content at the top. I won't even make a comment about how long it took them to get to this point, but now we are here...great.

YouTube Analytics also reflects "Time Watched" so you can track your video watch time and pinpoint what is working for you and what isn't.

When you make your YouTube videos keep the new search rules in mind. Put great content up front, give the viewer some sort of promise it will get better and an incentive to stay through the end. Take a fishing show for instance. Early on you need to capture interest with a type of fish the viewer would want to catch. Tell them they will see one caught. Then show them the how to's from knots to rigging, bait, etc.. Be entertaining during this portion, espcially if the clip will go over 5 minutes in duration.

Then give the viewers what they want at the end, actually catch the fish. Any other video should show the final product or the success of the system, or the completion of the magic trick. Here is a sample pattern for this format as a sales video:

Attention getter/intro
General Overview
laugh or interest builder
Soft Commitment

Happy YouTubing

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

"Social" Media Made Simple

Why is "Social Media" so widely misunderstood? This is not named some idiotic brand with some trendy spin that you have to Google to find out what it is. But yet nearly every day I find myself in conversation with people that have no idea what it really is. It's "Social" and it's "Information".

The very essence of your social media campaign should be social-based information. Content, activities, subjects, presentation of material people are INTERESTED in on a social level. Making a Facebook page for your chain link fence product is not going to magically spur 2000 likes. No one cares. A Facebook page featuring content on how to keep children safe from the dangers of unattended swimming you have a shot at social media. Every soccer mom in America would share that with their friend who has kids and a pool or kids that live near a pool or body of water. Swimming pool contractors would send the article out in their newsletters, (if properly distributed). Day cares and home school groups would send it out as well. The list goes on. Why? Because it is now interesting and you have created a message that applies to enough people that they would share it. Now your chain link campaign is moving. 

This is the time when you use your creativity. If you admit you could use a little more creativity, hire someone that has it and knows how to use it. Most social media should cross the typical business lines into creating a personal interest in the material being presented. It is extremely difficult to capture someone's attention on a social level with the same old material spun one more time. This is why some of the old Fuddy-Duddy marketing gurus can't quite get their finger on it. It's a new paradigm altogether. If you stick to the business theme, there should either be real value given to generate the excitement you are looking for. The "free report" gig still works if the content is strong enough and the supply is short enough but it has to be stepped up a notch. 

A few platforms you can start your social media campaign from are: 

Humor- (Be careful not to diminish your brand with this one)
Cause-oriented or Not for profit
Activities, events 
Peripheral and associated interests
Industry good or bad news that directly affects the intended audience
Warnings such as safety recalls and scams
Money and time savings

These are just a few of the platforms that hold interest on a social level. You notice I did not add ball bearings, hospital supplies or insurance to the list. I did not add Dentistry or Chiropractic or limestone to the list. This is not a time for executives and entrepreneurs to be offended that people don't love their product or service as much as they do. This is a time to understand the concept, make money at it and benefit their industry because of it.  

Keep the message short and sweet. This paradigm could accurately be titled as "Hey411plsTTYL". Roll with the times on this one.   

In summary, social media is about giving someone such engaging information that they would want to share it or be a part of it. If it is used correctly it will profit us all tremendously. If it is abused it will become as congested as the highways we call the "Internet Superhighway".  With too much peripheral information making it difficult to find the exact information we really want.         


Monday, September 17, 2012

Intellectual Email Boxes

Lesson for today....Shhh.

Have you ever had something important to say and the person you are talking with said something and you didn't get another chance to say it because the conversation changed? That happened to me the other day when I was briefly chatting with someone who had asked me to mentor them. It happened more than once in the same short conversation.

Especially when you are in a conversation with someone you need to learn or benefit from, shut up and listen. It doesn't matter if it is an intellectual or monetary gain. The strategy is the same. Calculate your interjections and lead the conversation if necessary but do not dominate it or talk over them. Don't yell or be too loud in your speech. This is a conversation, not competing radio ads. For all of you "I" personalities out there this will be extremely difficult and will take some practice and self-discipline, but it will be worth it. Just think to yourself, "Shut up and let the money come".

Compare a person's brain to an email box. If too much filler or irrelevant emails are received you tend to tune them out and delete them before reading them. You may even unsubscribe from the mail list even if you are interested in the general subject. On the other hand, if emails are direct, compact and easy to gain from, you read those emails expecting value and getting it.

Don't clutter people's intellectual email boxes. Give them the good stuff they really want. They will value your content and naturally do business with you.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Stone Coat -- The Original Blown Limestone

Consumer Beware- June 11, 2012 Addison, TX-- I recently saw an innovative product in the building industry that I found intriguing.  It is an all natural, green stone product that can be "blown onto almost any surface".  I found it while looking to resurface one of the real estate projects I own. It is real stone and is a lightweight substitute for more traditional heavy quarried and cut stone.   The company is StoneCoat, and their product is called “Blown Stone”. 
I was so pleased with how the project turned out I asked for an interview with Stone Coat President, Ken Morrison. I always do my home work on companies I interview. I discovered that Stone Coat not only is the manufacturer of the product and the only domestic source in the United States for this product, (I talked to the raw lime stone supplier). This includes proprietary product formulations, intellectual property, etc.
 Interestingly enough the Stone Coat product has been used for hundreds if not a thousand years in Europe but is a fairly new product and process here in the US.  "You must have the special hydraulic limestone to make it work" Morrison said "and although there are huge limestone deposits in the United States, there are no quarries in the United States or North America that have the hydraulic limestone.   We are the only company who has this special and original formulation using the imported Limestone".   When asked about a few others claiming to be installing “Blown Stone” Morrison simply said, “Well, there are a few out there that are trying to imitate what we are doing, but I don’t know what they are installing or telling people they are installing. I can tell you that it isn’t the same hydraulic limestone that has been used and tested over time and years in Europe.  Stone Coat owns all the rights to it and is the exclusive domestic supplier of the product and importing this special limestone where it is naturally quarried overseas.”  

The question then rises, “What material are the other companies installing if they can’t even get the same raw materials?” 

When investigating the subject I found only one company claiming to have a product similiar to StoneCoat.   Besides finding pictures on thier website and promotional material of projects that StoneCoat had done that they were taking credit for, I found that other company to have a questionable and somewhat sordid history in starting similar companies, then closing them and then re-opening in another “blown stone” type of company.  I also found a similar pattern in opening and bankrupting other companies in other unrelated types of products and subsequently finding themselves riddled with lawsuits along the way. I was unable to identify the physical make-up of the product as their salesperson claimed to be currently “shooting blown limestone”.
Another source reported it to be a new product they developed within the past few months which is far different than what they were “shooting” before. I am not sure that I (nor any of my readers) would want their home to be the "guinea pig" for that one. If they are excited about the new product one would think they would be excited to tell people it is a new product instead of portraying their new product as the old product.

Similarly, I spoke with Brian Rizzo of ICE Cables in Los Angeles, CA. Rizzo has been known as an industry leader for innovative packaging and superior material developments included at no additional charge to the customer.  Rizzo comments, “When copper prices went through the roof a couple years ago we were forced to raise prices to reflect our rising raw materials pricing. Some of our competitors mysteriously didn’t raise their prices commensurate with the rising raw material price increases. It was time to investigate.”

An independent team was called in to get to the bottom of the issue. Either ICE Cables was paying too much for copper, or there had to be something physically different. When the team measured and weighed some of the competitor’s wire they found it was lighter in weight than the minimum standard allowed by industry governance. The competitors continued to advertise their wire as meeting the industry standards.

Neither Morrison nor Rizzo shared the names of their “competitors” that were not playing by the rules and held a very professional air and presence.  In the end, it is the consumer that pays the price for what they perceive to be a “good deal”. My advice to the consumers continues to be, “Do your homework”. Take a few minutes to research before making a significant purchase. You will be glad you did.  

Information about Stone Coat can be found at: http://www.stonecoat.com972-380-2700. There is no reference given herein to the identity of the competitors to the entities listed herein. 59809 Sadler 049843 Sadler  

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Monday, January 30, 2012

REI Expo- Richardson, TX

Richardson Hosts The Second Annual Real Estate Investor Expo

There is considerable buzz surrounding real estate investing across the country. There seems to be mysticism surrounding the industry to those who know little about it. Late night television programs promise massive wealth if you “call now” and order someone’s DVD set. There are reality shows, magazines, radio shows, websites, blogs and any other form of media you can think up devoted to real estate investing. You want the inside scoop, but where do you get it?  The answer is simple, from the people that do it all the time. Last weekend those people assembled in Richardson, TX.

The second annual Real Estate Investor Expo, better known to savvy real estate investors as The REI Expo was held in the Richardson Events Center, Richardson, TX for a weekend of education, networking and skill building. When asked why he chose this venue Tim Herriage, Founder of the expo said, “I wanted the show to have an intimate setting where there would be real value exchange for sponsors, vendors and attendees alike”.

It was clear Herriage accomplished that vision as the expo unfolded. Attendees had a choice of 66 classes to attend during the two-day event with some of the biggest industry names in Texas. Even with so many choices the personal feeling was well maintained. Herriage compensated for so many classes by making an audio version of each class available so that attendees could hear every message presented.

 One of the speakers I personally had the pleasure of seeing was David Montelongo. He drew a large crowd I thought to attribute to his having been on the A&E television show “Flip This House”. He however was a very talented speaker and didn’t disappoint anyone in the audience as he confidently expounded on some of his career-building tricks of the trade. Although he has a new book coming out this summer and is building an education business, he keeps his primary focus in real estate. “Without keeping my ear to the street I wouldn’t be able to share accurate information because this business changes too quickly. Anyone who tells people how to do real estate but doesn’t do it actively is out of touch,” says Montelongo.
When asked about his impressions of the expo Montelongo said, “This group was more on the experienced side. They had good flow, communication and energy. I did some good business and will be back”.  
The speakers were asked specifically not to turn their presentation into a sales pitch which gave a comfortable environment between speakers and attendees. Herriage had been concerned about this from day one as most functions in a similar format become a “pitch fest” as he calls it. “People attend events like this because they want to learn how to get into that industry or get better at what they do. The last thing they want to do is sit through a week end of sales pitches.” 

Model My Home President, Jana Uselton spoke on staging homes to attract buyers. She and her team wrote up thousands of dollars in orders at the expo itself and said many more investors committed to work with her. “We didn’t have to do any selling. Once they saw the hard numbers of the results sellers are getting by staging homes it became a no-brainer for them.” Uselton staged nearly 400 homes last year and freely shared her knowledge and data with attendees holding nothing back.

When asked about her experience at the expo Uselton said, “Out of all the seminars, trade shows and expos we have attended, sponsored or exhibited, this was the absolute best event we have ever done.”    

Smiles appeared on the faces of those attending a class taught by Quincy Long, CEO of Quest IRA, inc. as he taught investors how to find funds for their projects. In a press interview Tuesday Long commented modestly, “I have been very pleased with the response to the workshop I taught. There was a high level of energy there that everyone could feel.” Long continues to open new offices and contributes much of the company’s success to freely educating the public through seminars. Long gained popularity amongst attendees as he took time to answer questions one on one after he spoke.

Attending Investors spoke highly of the value they received from the speakers. Local Investor Bryan Dodson commented, “Jillian Sidoti was my favorite speaker. I could have left after that and been happy with what I spent for admission”.

One of the hottest topics for attendees was the immense networking opportunity they found at the expo. Real Estate Investor Sennora Brown invests nationwide with a tight circle of associates. She commented, “I met some strong people that I will be able to do a lot of business with for a long time”.

Everyone I interviewed, in every capacity was in agreement with Tier One Investments President Eric Pollard as he commented, “I will definitely be back next year”. 

For more information about the REI Expo please visit: http;//