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The Innovative Millennial's Guide To Success

content, storytelling, growth, & engagement

Creative problem-solving is not a plastic pie sitting in a bakery display case

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Creative problem-solving is not a plastic pie sitting in a bakery display case

Growing up I detested the idea of being a teacher. That's not to say I have anything against educators; in fact, I quite prefer them to most marketers I meet. (Just kidding!)You see, it's that every person on my mom's side of the family had been in education. The women, all of them teachers.

I wanted to forge my own path. Make my own choices; new choices, and risky ones at that! I didn't want to be like them. I couldn't stand the thought of it. I had to be my own person; I had to do something new. But, what? I wanted to be someone who was indispensable. Not necessarily to the process, but to the vision for the final product. I wanted to be a linchpin.

Ironically, education is an intricate part of everything I do in my career today. Whether I'm meeting a new marketing client, giving a keynote, leading a team or even serving at a volunteer organization it's my job to demystify the seemingly complex.

education

is an intricate part of everything I do in my career today.

 

Creative problem-solving is not a plastic pie

A situation can always be worse. Life isn't like one of those plastic pies you see sitting in the display case at Martha's Bakery that will forever have one slice removed. Your problems are defined by the way that you see them. Thus, the extent to which any challenge can go so far as to change your intended course of action is irrelevant. Nothing in life or, politics, or even business is a zero-sum game.

If we hit a roadblock, disagree with a co-worker, or get passed up for a promotion does that mean it's the end? Do you march into your editor's office on Monday and quit working at the local newspaper just because the dice didn't fall where you thought they would? The answer is no. Or, at least, I wouldn't recommend it as your best plan of action for getting what you want.

Failure isn't an end point, it's a jumping off point for building something greater than what you started with and only dreamed possible! The avenue to success is rarely paved. There are always unexplored options, solutions, and paths to be contemplated. Change, risk, and failure are inevitable outcomes.

So, what is it that I do? I illuminate unidentified opportunities.

But, so do teachers.

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#MktgProbz (11): How millennials can create content to share their expertise, while also maintaining the privacy of their clients and employers

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#MktgProbz (11): How millennials can create content to share their expertise, while also maintaining the privacy of their clients and employers

This #MktgProbz question was submitted by Ernest, after my last Millennial Playbook webcast with the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions team.

Question: How do millennials create content that shares expertise while balancing not releasing potentially sensitive information from their employer? In the early stages, creating content feels high risk low reward.

 

 

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#MktgProbz (09): HOW TO GAIN SOMEONE'S TRUST

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#MktgProbz (09): HOW TO GAIN SOMEONE'S TRUST

The Key to Gaining Trust

—this one is for Brenda, Joshua, & Katherine

#MarketingProbz? Everyone's got 'em.

 I'm on a mission to be part of the solution. Enjoy these two minute marketing solutions to solve your greatest marketing challenges (#MktgProbz) in this series of short videos.

Brenda, Joshua, and Katherine all have one major marketing challenge they're facing right now and what it boils down to is winning trust. 

In the episode below, I address the challenges facing Brenda, Joshua, and Katherine below in this minute marketing video. Watch below to find out our best strategy for gaining the trust of your target customer or audience, no matter what odds are stacked against you.

 

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What should marketers be afraid of this Halloween?

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What should marketers be afraid of this Halloween?

#SophisticatedMktg on camera ... Check it out!

We asked top marketing influencers including Ann Handley, Tin Washer and Matt Heinz and Katherine Lisciani what they're most afraid of and what marketers should be most afraid of.

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Millennial #MarketingProbz—guest host Alex Rynne from LinkedIn

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Millennial #MarketingProbz—guest host Alex Rynne from LinkedIn

SHOW NOTES—

Here's the 101 on Alex Rynnebasically she's a top millennial marketer, contributor to Social Media Examiner, and all around boss.

Alex Rynne is on the front lines of content marketing at revolution at LinkedIn. She's passionate about social media and the power it has to connect and inspire people around the globe.

Today, Alex manages Global Content & Social Media Strategy at LinkedIn, elevating the brand to marketers looking to grow their business and careers. Specifically, Alex serves as the voice of the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions brand across all channels, guiding content marketing strategy as well as managing paid, owned and earned distribution and amplification.

Alex started the Millennial Minute blog to clear up some misconceptions about our generation in the media, and to provide other marketers a better understanding at to "who" millennials really are.

THIS EPISODE—

In this episode Alex and I share our experiences at Advertising Week 2016 (#AWNewYork), our strategies for consistency in content creation, insights on hiring, and Alex shares how she landed the job of her dreams at LinkedIn!

As much as I love talking with Alex, we really want to hear what you have to say. So follow up with us both on Twitter and LinkedIn with #MktgProbz!

 

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HOW TO FIND THE BEST CHANNEL FOR YOUR CONTENT

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HOW TO FIND THE BEST CHANNEL FOR YOUR CONTENT

PART DEUX—A mathematical equation

I am of the belief that everyone should experience working in a restaurant at some point in their lifetime. The food biz teaches you discipline, teamwork, the perils of becoming a grumpy old bar patron, and every disgruntled consumer’s favorite mantra: the customer is always right. The theory “your customer is always right” is a great for teaching one how to maintain his or her poise under pressure and uphold the standards and quality of the brand or company he or she represents. Generally, I think most people would agree that “the customer is always right”... until you realize that the customer you’re working with is actually the wrong one.

On #MktgProbz this week we answer the question, how to find your brand’s best channel for social media. In the video I share the strategic approach I employ when preparing to open up a new channel of communication with my audience. But, truthfully, the answer to this question is more complex than a 3-minute video would allow for. Below I deconstruct what makes a channel the right one for your brand, and you can refer to #MktgProbz episode 06 for instruction on how to apply this for your company or personal brand.

I) What is social media good for? More than you think.

Communication has two major purposes. One, to share information and, two, to create understanding. This seems simple enough, right? Good, so we can all agree that social media is just a technologically enhanced way of communicating. Right? Wrong. Social media is a lot more than that. Social media is most often utilized by brands as a public form of discourse. What’s the difference? It’s visibility.

Social media platforms are visibly public channels of communication that enable us to have personal conversations across time and space. Not seeing the importance here? Public communication or symbolic expression has way more implication on the world around us than does private, interpersonal conversation. Social media rhetoric (aka—activity, media, communication) doesn’t just create one-to-one impact and understanding. Rather, the unprecedented visibility of social media communication creates meaning is society which, in turn, helps us make sense of our experiences, construct our identities, and live our public lives.

Why does any of this matter? Because it alters the reason for communicating in the first place. When your customers are on social media they’re not looking for a sales pitch, a giveaway, a promotion, or a product demo. They’re looking to gain some greater understanding about the things they are experiencing, themselves, and everything going on in the crazy world around them. But, when you take a look at a lot of the content marketers are serving up on social media few brands are putting out content that satisfies an audience's’ hunger for deep understanding and identification in a technologically enhanced world.

II) Why is this absolutely vital for you?

All this to say, that your blog, your Twitter, your Snapchat, your Facebook, Instagram, and more are not about you. They are about your customer. And, it matters A LOT as to who that customer is, what he or she wants to understand, and where they’re looking for it.

The fit of each marcom (or “marketing communications”) channel can be assessed through a simple PQ x CP equation. PQ is the prospect quality, or how closely the audience on a specific channel matches your target customer. CP is the conversion probability, or where this individual is in your customer lifecycle journey. Each channel has a different combination of PQ x CP fit. AKA—there is no single channel by which you should communicate to individuals at every stage in your customer lifecycle. Instead, think about each channel as being perfect for communicating with intent at a specific stage in the customer journey. In #MktgProbz I start and end my strategy with why. I did this intentionally to make the point that before you can determine where is the best place to communicate you must first identify for what reason and with whom, specifically, it is that you want to communicate with.

So, before you decide to open up a new marcom channel first ask yourself why. Take a look at your customer journey. Identify the areas in which you see targeted or qualified leads fall off the funnel. Figure out “who” that person is. What characteristics do your fallen prospects share? What about their journey is similar? Do some research and figure out what this segment is looking for that you are not supplying. Once you identify who this audience is and what are they seek to understand, you can then appropriately assess the different social media channels available to you for best fit. Ultimately, in marketing it will serve you well to remember that your brand is not a Denny’s. The customer is always right mantra has no place here. Instead, marketers should live & die by the theory theory that only the right customer is always right.

 

Are you communicating by default, or by design?

—this #MktgProbz episode is for Jason!

 
 
 

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Youth Empowerment Podcast

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Youth Empowerment Podcast

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Personal branding in the context of college football

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Personal branding in the context of college football

My method for building your personal,“hero" brand.

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Internet Role Models (Vertically Wired)

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Internet Role Models (Vertically Wired)

This is a story of influence, impact, and the power people can have over an audience and the individuals within that audience.

 

VERTICALLY WIRED

Get the story here.

Internet Role Models (www.verticallywired.com)

Internet Role Models (www.verticallywired.com)

 

As always, comment or tweet @millennovator to discuss.

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3 tactics to align your marketing efforts

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3 tactics to align your marketing efforts

#Marketing Probz? Find the answers to your greatest marketing challenge here!

QUESTION OF THE DAY GOES TO JOSH: his SaaS software company needs help finding a clear direction and purpose for their marketing efforts

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Communicating the value of social media

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Communicating the value of social media

#Marketing Probz? Everbody's got 'em, and I'm eager to help them get solved. 

Today's question was from Searcy: her greatest marketing challenge is communicating the value and ROI of social media to her prospects and customers

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A Glimpse into my 5 min meeting with @GaryVee

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A Glimpse into my 5 min meeting with @GaryVee

Putting your ideas and yourself out there isn't easy. But, when you push yourself to do the hard things you go places you never dared to dream 💪🏽

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Personal Branding 101: the stuff of heroes

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Personal Branding 101: the stuff of heroes

No matter your arena, or the audience who crams into the bleachers just to watch you perform, we can all benefit from identifying the standout qualities and characteristics that make us the right person for that big championship title, leadership opportunity, new client, or job. Here’s my method for building your personal, or “hero" brand.

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3 Reasons your content marketing isn't working

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3 Reasons your content marketing isn't working

Here are 3 reasons why you may not be finding a pot of gold at the end of the content marketing rainbow.

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Why you need to take Tim Cook's letter as a serious warning

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Why you need to take Tim Cook's letter as a serious warning

If ever there were a point of no return in the conversation on tech companies, encryption, and the liberty of data privacy, then we're about to cross it. This morning Apple CEO, Tim Cook, published a letter to Apple customers. A letter that we all need to take as a very serious warning. If you haven't read Tim Cook's letter yet, please do so immediately. Then, come back here and read this blog post to understand what it all means and why this is an important issue that we all must grasp and understand.

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Can't buy love. Or, can we?

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Can't buy love. Or, can we?

Nike signed LeBron James to a lifetime contract. Is influencer marketing worth it for your business?

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4 Ways to Win CYBER MONDAY

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4 Ways to Win CYBER MONDAY

Let's face it, Cyber Monday feels like a MARKETING MOUSETRAP. But, it doesn't have to be like this forever. Holiday marketing is wrought with challenges. This year I made myself a Cyber Monday cheat sheet to keep my marketing savvy on point and ahead of the game. Check out my infographic cheat sheet with 4 simple strategies you can use stay savvy as you kickoff your holiday campaigns.

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Qualities of a marketing badass (& how to become one)

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Qualities of a marketing badass (& how to become one)

This is the first in a series of posts explaining my top takeaways from spending 48 hours with the pro's of SEO, content marketing, and internet gaming technology at Internet Summit 2015.

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