Okay. What’s next?

In Toastmasters today I was supposed to read an inspirational message to close the meeting. I found a quote that is both inspirational and terrifying.

It’s from the wise hamburger-sage Ray Crock of McDonald’s fame.

“When you’re green, your growing. When you’re ripe, you rot.” -Ray Crock

This kind of makes me feel insignificant, but it really is the climbing of the mountain, or the raising of the kids, or the first beta version of the software that is the fun part.

It seems to obvious to thing happiness comes from the end result of your work, but it’s just not true.

Every time I’ve made it to a goal it’s gone the same way.

Stop for a moment, then say “Okay. What’s next?”

Josh’s 3 Reads of the Week – 2014-09-05

Hi all! There is so much great content about business, ecommerce, technology, and marketing out there that I wanted to get in the habit of posting a few every week. Feel free to post comments with links to anything you think it on topic with these. I hope you enjoy them.

1: How to Create Massive Value Content & Blow your Readers’ Minds

Pooja Lohana wrote a great guest post about writing fewer epic posts making content instead of doing several simpler posts. Here’s an excerpt:

It’s getting harder and harder to be found in the blogosphere and this is not changing in the future.
If you’re passionate about your topic, perhaps you won’t mind blogging without traffic. But eventually, you will end it all in frustration.
You want people to share your message and to have great conversations with.
You want to stand for something.
The only way out is to stand out by writing unforgettable content or as I like to call Massive Value Content.


2: Why Your Content Marketing Team Needs A Link Builder

I thought finding people that can make great content would be hard. It turns out that lots of people actually like writing. People totally go to college for it! What’s harder is finding people who will get out there and hustle to get that content read and build the links that we all know we have to have to improve SEO. Here’s an excerpt:

Content marketing requires writers, industry experts, graphic designers, etc. Sometimes one person can play several roles, but no one person can fill every role on their own in a meaningful way. One role not often discussed is that of promotion – specifically, link building.


3: A Step By Step Guide To Building Customer Journey Maps

Every 6 months or so I will act as if I have had a moment of genius and say “Wait, let’s try and use the website as a customer and see how we would use it.”

I know.

I am totally insightful.

I think we all know that we should be focusing on how real people actually do real things in our creations, but sometimes you get lost in the details. Conversion XL wrote a great guide to creating a Journey Map as an activity to think like a customer. I support anything that makes business easier for customers. We’ll be doing this at work soon. Here’s an excerpt:

“How do you get your customers to do what you want them to do on your website?”

Optimizers get asked this question all the time. Without realizing it, the businesses who want the secret sauce, the quick fix to more “conversions” are asking the wrong question.

What they really should be asking is, “How do I help my customers achieve their goals on my website while still achieving mine?”

Bonus: A great infographic from Hubspot on how those AdWords ads we see daily (and that many of you buy daily) work in the behind the scenes auctions. It’s not just based on who pays the most. Like all things at Google, it is lots more complicated than that.

How Google AdWords Works [Infographic]

How Google AdWords Works [Infographic]

Growing a website with products don’t like to chat about.

I run a photography business on the side at 1in5photo.com. Whenever I post photos family portrait session this set of events almost always plays out.

  1. I post the photos on Facebook and tag the mom.
  2. Mom shares the photos and thanks my photo business for doing such great work.
  3. Mom tags dad in every single photo.
  4. Grandma likes every singe photo.
  5. Grandma shares 5 individual photos along with her comment on the photo.
  6. Grandma likes photo business page.
  7. Dad sets one of the photos as his profile picture.
  8. Dad likes photo page.
  9. 5 other friends of the family like the photo business page.
  10. 30 people comment on how beautiful the youngest daughter is and how “You better watch out when she gets to high school!”
  11. 40 people comment on how they “simply cannot believe how big the kids are getting. They were just babies!”

That’s on a $125 transaction that I get that much traction! Hundreds of people see my brand and I often get contacts from people right after posting new portraits.

Now at my day job, here’s what kind of engagement we typically get when we sell $3000 worth of product to a restaurant.

  1. Customer leaves review for the web order.
  2. Customer begins to receive our emailer.

That’s it. Maybe we get a Facebook like or a product review, but the average transaction is just not something our customers feel like sharing with their social circles.

So how do you build up a website that people are not eager to talk about? That’s what Moz’s whiteboard Friday was about this week.

Are you a person that gets passionate, or looks for passion?


Ever get stuck at work?

You have a few weeks in a row where work plans not working the way you assumed they would. Next steps are not immediate and clear like they seem used to be. The changes you make seem to complicate things more. But once you get a moment to stop and breath you realize something.

I’m happy to be here with a problem to solve.

Seth Godin had a great short post this week.

Instead of, “do what you love,” perhaps the more effective mantra for the entrepreneur, the linchpin and maker of change might be, “love what you do.”

If we can fall in love with serving people, creating value, solving problems, building valuable connections and doing work that matters, it makes it far more likely we’re going to do important work.
Turning passion on it’s head – Seth Godin

Now that I’m fifteen years in to my career and have started stretching myself out of my comfort zone more and more often, I can see the wisdom in this.

I think what really happens is that after taking a step back and reframing their lives, ambitious people get addicted to making bigger and bigger dents in the universe. You rarely can do that from a safe place.

Get out there and find the spots you can swing the hardest from, especially if they are a few paces past your comfort zone.