I had the opportunity to hear Tom Post speak, and meet him, at the Annual UTC Members Meeting in SLC today. Tom’s speech was very powerful and not something you would normally hear coming out of a successful businessman’s mouth: prepare for disaster. He cited his own industry as the background for his pronouncement. 100s of newspapers and magazines have been going out of business; journalists have been laid off right and left; the shift in how people consume information (on mobile devices; which he called a grenade with the pin pulled out)
He posed the question to the crowd: What is going to disrupt your industry in 5 years? He then proceeded to walk around the room with a mic and ask people point blank if they were the best at what they do; who was going to steal their success (out of their current competitors) and how they were going to prepare for it.
I think the greatest opportunity for someone to make a lot of money from Forbes right now is the person who can monetize their mobile traffic the best. That’s Tom’s (and Forbes’) biggest headache right now.
It’s been almost 3 months since I started working at Snapp Conner PR. In that time, I’ve started the company newsletter, (design and management of content), created the new site (should go live next week) and have been developing a pr scorecard tool that lets users check their PR score in about 60 seconds for free, automatically. Also going live next week.
I have also gotten a few clients coverage in places like the WSJ, BusinessInsider, Forbes, and CEO Blog Nation.
I have relied heavily on forums, friends, and people from 3rd world countries to get all that stuff done. In the process, I’ve managed to learn plenty of new things about myself; the most important being that little mantra I always say to people when I tell them how I got into doing what I do: Fake it till you make it.
2 years ago, I had no idea what wordpress, php, DNS, bounce process, spam traps, honey pots, or LAMP were. Now I use those words on a daily basis, and can even impress people with all my amazing knowledge in those areas. And get paid for it! That’s a great perk for sure.
But I had to create my own opportunities to be able to utilize those things that I learned. I had to figure out solutions to my problems, and do it quickly. And being efficient with my time and with others’ time has been critical. I don’t know if I am just innately efficient, or if it was something I was taught. Either way, efficiency is something I prize most dearly in life.
This is a post written much later than the actual lunch took place, but it’s results have affected my work life tremendously so it bears talking about. And the timing is important as well, as you’ll see if you keep reading.
Cheryl took me to lunch at Costa Vida in American Fork. It was late afternoon on January 2nd, 2013. Earlier that day, I had just gone through the worst emotional stress I’ve ever dealt with in my professional life. Needless to say, I was a little unprepared for any socializing at that point. However, Cheryl essentially listened to my rantings, and then offered up some advice. And then she offered me a job building a top secret tool (which is still top secret and being built) that will help online PR rock. We worked out the details then and there, and the next day I started becoming a regular fixture at the Snapp Conner offices.
Yesterday however (January 22, 2013), Cheryl was so impressed at my awesomeness or something that she and I decided I should just come full time to Snapp Conner, and it was done. I am now a Senior Associate at the most progressive (no exaggeration) PR firm in Utah.
This is a career move that I know will involve making all the people involved really happy. Me, the Snapp Conner team, and their clients.
And just fyi, I am legally obligated to abstain from mentioning any more details about my ordeal.
I met Scott thru Chase Murdock, who I wrote about earlier. We ate at a small place in Orem UT, called the Tortilla Bar. And yes, they have the best tacos I’ve ever had. I really love mexican food.
Anyway, Scott seemed like a very genuine person. He name dropped all over the place, which doesn’t mean much to me, but it just seemed like that is who the guy is at his core. He’s looking to connect you with whoever he can that makes sense for everyone involved.
And that’s what he does for a job. I consider myself somewhat like that, although most of the connections I make are online via social networking sites. By the way (and this is a tangent) I read the book ‘Social Media is B.S.’ by B.J. Mendelson. It took about 3 hours, and was horrible. I make a living with social media, therefore I am living proof that Mr. Mendelson is a crackpot.
Back to lunch: Scott has charities and non profits that he works with and promotes, alongside of the normal clients that pay the bills and keep his kids in diapers (he’s got 5 kids by the way, none of which are literally in diapers anymore).
It’s good to see someone who puts that much importance in doing non profit work. I feel like it’s important as well, which is why I donate consulting time at Grassroots.org, and help family and friends with their online marketing as much as I can for free.
I live by a few different mottos in my life, depending on which hat I’m wearing at the moment. As an efficiency expert, my motto is: Perfection Is The Enemy of The Good. As an SEO, my motto is: It’s Who You Rank For, Not What You Rank For. As a regular human being interacting with my fellow men, I live by this: When You Are in The Service of Your Fellow Men, You Are Only in The Service of God (Book of Mormon).
Let me explain my SEO motto. I’ve been quoted before about SEO dying. I still believe that the industry as we know it will be dead in about 1.5 years. So my vision of what SEO will morph into will revolve around marketers being able to target very specific groups of people with their marketing message; whether on a social network, a search engine, an app, a game or what have you. If you take that a step further (because we’re pretty much already there to a certain degree) you should be able to target individual people where ever they are online.
And the job of an SEO will turn into ‘ranking’ their content #1 for the exact person on Facebook who is looking for their product/service. Someone on Google who is searching for ‘Death of SEO‘, and comes across a Forbes article ranked #1 for that phrase and finding you. Someone in the App store looking for the top productivity app, and ranking that app really high through reviews, downloads, and other social like signals.
So hopefully now you understand a little of what I mean when I say ‘It’s Who You Rank For, Not What You Rank For’ because I’m trying to take the focus away from just targeting keyword phrases (which at least 50% of the time don’t let us know what the searchers intent even is) and focusing more on getting your (great) content in front of the right consumer where they are, whether socially, organically, mobilely (made up) and so forth.
Photo credit: Hubspot
Chris was such a nice guy to meet! He almost constantly had a smile on his face, and was also a great listener. We talked about his past experiences, working at SEO.com, and now he’s at Tech Media Network. He also runs a side hobby called Top Gun Reviews. And no, it’s not a review site for the movie. Which ironically enough would be apropos because often times I get people asking me “has anyone ever told you, you look like Tom Cruise?” to which I often reply “Yes”.
Anyway, Chris told me about how he grew up in Tracy, CA. A place which I’ve actually lived in previously, while on my mission. I’m sure we know some of the same people, we played that ‘do you know’ game; it didn’t bear any fruit though. Additionally, Chris told me that he was about to meet the new CEO of TechMediaNetwork right after lunch, which I thought was cool for him. And lastly, Chris and I are going to hopefully do some cool content marketing things together using his writers, and my content placement skills. I’m excited for the opportunity!
I had the pleasure of taking Lincoln Cannon to lunch today. Lincoln has a strong background in Technology, and actually started a non profit called the Mormon Transhumanist Association (which promotes change toward radical flourishing in creativity and compassion through technology and religion.) We didn’t talk much about his non profit, but that’s an area of the internet where I have spent quite a bit of time, so I was really intrigued at how successful he’s been with it. He was able to get a Google Grant, and spends nearly $10k a month in free Adwords ads, and also has a ‘Donate’ button right on his youtube channel. I don’t claim to love Google at all, but they’re sure making a good thing happen when they support people like MTA.
Anyway, Lincoln has 3 boys, and likes to travel. That’s kind of a recurring theme with most of the people I’ve taken to lunch (the traveling part, not 3 boys). Lincoln was a great listener; I told him about the lawsuits I’ve been in, some of the things I learned (contracts are very valuable only to the extent each side interprets them the same way; never do business with family), and we also talked a little about the shooting in Connecticut today. I was pretty upset by it, since I’ve got a son in Kindergarten right now; it really made me pause and analyze how I treat him (and my other family and friends). I’ve lost a brother to diabetes already, so I know what a loss it is and how easy it is to feel guilty for not spending more time with those you love.
I guess it shows I’m a little depressed still. Lincoln was a very personable, easy to get to know guy. I sincerely enjoyed lunch with him. I had the Creamy Potato and Ham soup, he had the Smoked Turkey sandwich
My lunch date with a complete stranger, connected via Linkedin, took place today at Cafe Rio in Draper. I found Jason Carlton by searching for Linkedin people who were members of a PRSA chapter in either Salt Lake or Utah county. I then sent a friend request. Of those people I sent friend requests to, nearly 1/2 have connected back. And about 1/8 of those connections have agreed to lunch, with a complete stranger: me.
So here’s what happened. Jason was asleep in his car; I actually pulled into the parking spot right behind him, and granted, it is hard to tell what someone looks like when all you have to go off is their Linkedin profile; even so, I thought I recognized him. My first ever encounter with a sleeping Linkedin connection. Anyhow, I called him when I got to Cafe Rio, so he could gracefully wake up in semi respectableness. We ordered, and chit chatted about what it’s like to work in healthcare PR; Jason’s the Social Media Specialist, Urban Central Region at Intermountain Healthcare. He told some cool stories about using Life Flight as part of a PR campaign to increase facebook fans; using a pass along coin to increase awareness for breast cancer; things like that. Jason is also on the board of the SL chapter of PRSA, and he tried to recruit me. I turned him down. But he tried his best, so kudos Jason
There was an older woman who stopped by our table and tried to sell us some Christmas ornaments, $2 apiece. Jason politely shook his head no. I had no idea people did that at restaurants, so I was kind of speechless.
Finally, Jason left off our conversation by saying he and his wife were planning on going to the airport next month for a random journey; where ever the next 5 flights happened to be going is where they would end up. I will believe it when I see it, so I’ll be stalking Jason on Facebook to see what happens. Until next time; Linkedin strangers unite!
I had a great time getting to know my 3rd complete stranger in as many weeks: Chase Murdock, CEO of Dress Code. I first heard about his company through a friend on Facebook, and since I’ve been trying to get in better shape and dress more stylishly, I was really intrigued by their model; from their site:
Dress Code is a custom menswear brand – but we don’t operate a single storefront. Instead, our Style Consultants meet individually with each New Member to take measurements and personalize each order one-on-one.
It sounds different, but by doing this we’re able to offer a much more personalized experience and bring it all straight to you. We like to learn about our customers’ personal style and current wardrobe before we build a custom product for them.
To me, that sounded like the best of both worlds of high fashion for a great price. Some of the things we talked about were investments, where his company is headed in the next 4 months, Forbes, suits, Michael b, PR strategies, SEO dying, his engagement, and hiring smart people.
I think Chase and his company are going to do really well, so I was excited to meet a fellow Utah entrepreneur. I had the Tuscan chicken salad, and Chase had the Cream of Broccoli soup.
Josh and I had lunch at NY Pizza Patrol in Draper. I got the eggplant parmigiani,
and Josh got a calzone. We swapped stories about growing up, he in CA, me in ND. Then we talked about home school, he does that for his kids, and I was home schooled for 7 years growing up. Then we talked about his plans for his family (they’re moving to Hong Kong next year), how much he loves the adoptions he’s been able to go through, and his plans for his SEO firm and his Self Storage company. Yet again, taking a complete stranger to lunch was really fun since I didn’t have any agenda other than to try and spend lunch time with someone new as much as possible in the coming months. I also learned that Josh’s dad was a rocket scientist, and that he’s related to the most famous pool making people in the US. Random facts yes, interesting nonetheless. Anyone who wants to get to know Josh, here’s his Linkedin profile