What Happens when your Personal Brand Grows Up #Blogworld

BlogworldPanelists – Peter Shankman and Jelena Woehr, Social & Community Communications Manager, Yahoo! Contributor Network

Just an aside. Peter started off with this: “everyone knows me, so I won’t introduce myself.” Dude – no offense, but I don’t. I think you wrote a book? I just found your website to link to your name… Go ahead and give a brief introduction next time. Just sayin!

Now onto the panel discussion. This panel was sorta kinda about millennials, their personal brands, and being a good employee while maintaining a personal brand. So discussion floated around those concepts.

Peter – entrepreneurship is the new MBA. I disagree… anyone can get an MBA, most people don’t have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Or maybe I missed the point :-)

Millennials – 1 in 4 move back in with their parents…

People over 25 – more college grads are unemployed than those who have a high school degree.

Get a real job, then go home and work on your business.

Peter – claimed that CEOs don’t trust millennials, so a new employee needs to gain a level of trust. Don’t embarrass the company you work for.

A lot of talk about trust…

Millennials need to learn that for the boss, “it’s all business, never personal.” Bosses have to make business-oriented decisions, and you won’t necessarily be their friend. Instead, find a job that you love, then post that. That loyalty will shine through. But don’t fake it.

Giving a comparison between Anthony Weiner and Elliot Spitzer. Elliot did something wrong, then disappeared and owned it. He’ll be forgiven. Anthony didn’t own it, and will probably never be in an elected position again. The point – own your mistakes.

Mentorship is important. Ask “what did I do wrong,” learn from the mistake and fix it. The mistake won’t come back to bite you, but the lie about it will.

Gave some examples of bad use of social media … people getting fired, bad dates, etc. Point – be smart. Do better work thatn everyone else (which isn’t hard – just try a little harder than everyone else). Do that, and you will be noticed.

Jelena told a funny story – two guys in the woods, and a bear starts chasing them. One guy said “run!” The other guy said “what’s the point? The bear’s faster – we can’t outrun it.” The first guy said this: “I don’t have to outrun the bear. I just have to outrun YOU.” Point – just outrun the next guy, and you will do ok!

ou can get away with a lot with your personal brand, as long as you still produce (i.e., produce good content, good results, etc).

They claimed young adults have a 2-3 second attention span… this panel had some good info, but you had to tone out some of their big blanket statements that weren’t really accurate (i.e., the attention span thing, the MBA thing, etc.).

Q & A:

How to write better – take a class, read good books. Travel? Seriously? Travel is cool, but travelling will not help you write better. Thankfully, someone else piped up and said “write a lot, get people to critique you.” Thanks Mr. Attendee Man!

Older people in business – they have something that millennials don’t. They have experience.

12 Imperative Must-Dos for the Serious Blogger #Blogworld

blogworldPresenter: Jay Baer, @jaybaer

Jay works with other companies to take their blog from good to great. Cool.

He briefly shared his business model or funnel – social – blog – speaking – clients.

Jay’s 12 Imperative Must-Do’s for the Serious Blogger (this was good stuff!):

1. be patient.

  • Give it some time. Don’t get frustrated. Took him 3 years before he made any money for the blog

2. Be specific.

  • What is your blog about? Be someone’s favorite blog. Who are you writing for? Figure that out.
  • They actually make personas for their blog, then write for them. Cool.
  • Sharpen your focus. write 50 headlines of posts you want to create. Identify questions you’ve answered and the topical scatter pattern. Who needs those answers? That’s your audience.
  • Audiences aren’t static. They have changed their focus quite a few times since inception in order to match up better with their goals and their audience. Redesigned for that audience too.
  • Key question: Answer this – “Because of this blog, <specific audience or persona> will <specific benefit>.”

3. Be consistent.

  • You are in the magazine business as a blogger.
  • You are a publisher. Don’t just post when you are inspired or when “you have something to say.” You always have something to say.
  • More = more. The more you post, the more success you will have. If you write more, more people will visit your blog.
  • Share the burden.

4. Embrace variety.

  • If you think it’s not very good, it’s not. If yoga re bored by it, others will be too.
  • Break it up with podcasts, videos, interviews, reformat a presentation. Do at least one non-standard post a week.
  • Again … it’s a magazine. If Sports Illustrated had all the same stuff all the time, it would get boring fast.
  • Best posts of the week… weekly cartoon… uses exam software to do a side/side Skype call, then dumps that to youtube.
  • Awards – do them.
  • Fun thing – Tom reads his spam. Tom does a dramatic reading of one of his spam emails! How fun.

5. Be a YOUtility.

  • How can you actually help people?
  • Helping is the new selling. Give away knowledge snacks to sell information meals.
  • quote to remember – giving someone a list of ingredients doesn’t make them a chef.

6. Find an anchor.

  • a blog post that you can go back to again and again.
  • More of those weekly post thingies. Like a best posts or the week, six interesting links every week, etc.

7. Have a call to action.

  • it’s about behavior, not page views. You are not selling ads. So have a call to action. Make it clean and clear.
  • Key question. After visiting this blog, I want readers to do this. The second best thing is this. At a minimum, they should do this.
  • So figure out what behaviors you are trying to get.

8. Cultivate community. 

  • I Love This Place! Community drives repeat visits and sharing behaviors. Chris Brogan – “the difference between an audience and a community is the direction the chairs are facing.”
  • WFACT – Welcome, Facilitate, Answer, Connect, Thank – cool idea from Valeria Maltoni
  • Vulnerability drives community.
  • If you lose the human element of your blog, you will lose readers.
  • self-validate. Your community isn’t your validation. You are. Blog comments are not a business model – nor even a particularly sound metric. Comments don’t necessarily drive behavior. Those people probably already did the Call to Action…

9. Be Findable.

  • Your most important reader is Google. Always optimize.
  • Every page is the home page. Only 14% actually landed on his actual home page. So don’t put Twitter icons only on the home page. Sign-up page …. etc.
  • Inbound Writer – it helps with optimization. Costs a bit. There’s a WordPress plugin!!!
  • Key question: what search term will people use to find this post in Google realistically?

10. Keep Score.

  • Only some metrics really matter.
  • What is your real goal? Comments, traffic, ReTweets – not real goals. They are links in a chain that possibly get you towards your real goal.
  • Measure behavior, not aggregation. Numbers that are ratios and percentages are usually measuring behavior. Numbers that count up aren’t as useful.
  • Set up goals, funnels, and event tracking in Google Analytics. to measure behaviors that drive sustainability and financial meaning.
  • What he measures:
    • visits to the newsletters page and conversions
    • visits tot he podcast page
    • visits to the speaking page
    • % visits to the consulting page
    • Then he looks at conversions by source – where are they coming from (twitter, blog posts, etc – and what posts or search terms)

11. Embrace Extensibility.

  • Your blog is a trampoline. Or home base. So also live on slideshare, linked in, scribed, comments on other blogs, youtube, interest, instagram, etc.
  • Quote to remember – think small. You need to be a digital dandelion. People can find you in many places.

12. Be sharable.

  • be social, don’t do social.
  • shine the light on others, and the light will shine back on you. If you want to be shared, be a great sharer.
  • Share down, not just up. Find the new peeps and bring them up. Find new voices. Better strategy.
  • Write great headlines. It really matters. Lists work. Unexpected words. Incorporate keywords.

Enter the Library Market & Drive Sales with Lessons from Patron Profiles #BEA

BEAThis is a presentation all about book research and the library market… could be interesting…

Rebecca Miller, Editor in Chief, School Library Journal

giving an overview/breakdown of public library book budgets

2011 – public libraries carried an average of 4000 ebooks.

ebook budgets spiked in 2011 over 101%

Kelly Gallagher at Bowker Market Research

talking about their Patron Profiles study…

9046 US public library ssytems

16,698 public library buildings

169 million public library users …

Meet the power patron – customers who visit the library at least weekly (physical visits):

  • 61% female, average age – 48
  • average income – $61,000
  • 62% with a college degree or higher
  • 39% with kids under age 18
  • what do they do at the library? 65% borrow books and media. 59% browse shelves. 40% search the catalog. 43% place holds on stuff.
  • clear link between borrowing and buying: 61% – purchased books by an author whose works were previously borrowed from the library. 37% – purchased book previously borrowed fromt he library. 35% – used the library to discover new authors or genres
  • library patrons are also buyers

Ebook users read more.

Ebook users – 67% purchased books by an author whose works were previously borrowed from the library. Wow.

Takeaways – libraries are a win-win system for marketing, sales, and discovery for books and publishers.

Skip Dye (Random House)

wants to encourage discoverability – this research helped them

wants to be format-agnostic

Said it’s up to the consumer how they want to read/listen. However they want to do that, that’s what is important.

future of print – Skip is old-fashioned. Thinks the format will survive, but change.

George something from Baker and Taylor

talking about exploding digital content in libraries

He also said they should be device agnostic

66% of public libraries experienced a “dramatic” increase in ebook requests

average holdes-to-copy ratio target is 6:1, but actual is closer tro 12:1

Hmm – claimed their Access 360 desktop reader is format agnostic. To that I’d say no it’s not. Can you open up a book from Overdrive through it? I’m guessing not.

showed Orange County Library’s Axis 360 ebookstore – an example of buying the book through a library

What Librarians Wish Publishers Knew: We Build Buzz #BEA

BEAA panel with five people… moderator – from earlyword.com

publishers have been talking about libraries as discovery venues

Why? Brick & mortar stores are disappearing, so libraries are a great place to actually still touch stuff.

Modern public library is designed to display books, library websites are just starting to display books

Michael Colford – their catalog

  • they use Bibliocommons
  • Bibliocommons sites sorta share audiences – if you put up a book trailer, it’s shared across all sites
  • interesting comments about books as our brand. He thinks we should embrace that instead of distance ourselves from it
  • discovery – make the book easy to find, make similar books easy to get as a second option, make a buy it now button easy to find too. Have all of this be a complete library experience, rather than sending someone off to an outside store.
  • Reader’s Advisory – reviews, book trailers, aggregation of book blogs – pull all of those together
  • hook events into the catalog – mentions of, other libraries, live stream these from the catalog, etc
  • de-emphasize the best sellers. We build the reader, and are market-makers for books and authors. Connect people with other books besides the best sellers

Sari Feldman, Cuyahoga County Public Library

  • 40% of their materials budget is for print books, 60% for other things
  • They focus more on best sellers than Boston Public does
  • They consulted with Nancy Pearl to help them re-work their readers advisory focus
  • She said there are no bookstores in Cuyahoga County (then she said there are two independent bookstores). They are The Place for books
  • They use their Facebook Page heavily. Readers advisory – tell us three books you love, we’ll tell you three more you will love. Love this idea!
  • People are looking for recommendations on Facebook – people come there to chat about it, and other people answer (the librarians do too).
  • They want their website and catalog to have that energy too

Lynn Wheeler, Director, Carroll County Public Library

  • They chose a book – The Dressmaker – bought a bunch of them and displayed it in all of their branches, promoted it in all branches, held an author talk, did programs around the event, etc. Made the book a local best seller.
  • you can do partnerships – example was a partnership with schools
  • battle of the books – bought a bunch of books, then had kids vote for books. Gave a set of the books to the schools who were competing. Held a trivia type event in the schools. Gave a huge trophy to the winners.

Virginia Stanley, Director, Library Marketing, HarperCollins

  • library marketing
  • do Skype sessions with the authors

Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading #BEA

BEAPresenters – Len Vlahos, Executive Director of BISG

October 2010 – ebook sales exploded.

hardcovers, paperbacks, etc – taking a huge dive at the same time

last year, the ebook curve flattened out quite a lot – it’s more incremental.

But – think of it more like a bowling average – it’s still fluctuating. Adult fiction is huge in ebook formats, other types of books not so much.

“Power buyers” are the ones buying ebooks – they buy 4 books a month, have a good income, and are younger.

What keeps people from buying ebooks?

  • lack of a good eroding device – some
  • difficult downloading process – some
  • biggest – prefer print, and difficult to share with others

He thinks the market is maturing and becoming more predictable

Value of power buyers – 53% of books purchased, 60% of ebooks purchased

trying to compare music to books – he’s missing the point. me here – can’t really compare. There’s one format in music. There are a ton of ebook formats and devices.

Kept mentioning a maturing market – again, he’s only thinking of sales. Format-wise, ebooks is still int he betamax/8-track phase. Me here

Excellent – just said that 57% of people who borrow from the library then go out and buy – same author, same genre. So sharing does drive sales.

Next presenter – Kelly Gallagher at Bowker Market Research

What about the global ebook experience

Comment from second speaker – definitely NOT a mature market – mentioned devices. Thank you!

Gave a global view of ebook sales

Lots of people globally like free content. Go figure!

US – 59% still have no interest in digital content.

In US and other anglo countries, fiction and leisure reading is driving sales. On other countries, like Brazil or India, the professional/business genre is HUGE. They have a growing middle class, etc.