Market Me First - The Positive Career and Work Action Plan Market Yourself | Make Money | Be Happy

------------------ In Black and White -------------------------------

Since 2005. Market yourself. Find better work. Make a name. Survive Layoffs. Be successful.


LinkedIn IPO - One problem..

Great article on Bloomberg about Web 2.0 companies, VC money, M&A and all the other hububbling W'Street loves.

What is not to love? W2.o companies are exploding and many actually have real revenue streams (Exceptions abound - Meebo $80M valuation vs 5M revenue? Zoiks!).

Allegedly, the article hints that LI may IP later this year...

" LinkedIn Corp., a networking site for more than 9 million business professionals, plans to keep expanding and eventually take a bow on Wall Street with an IPO -- a milestone for a Web 2.0 company. .."


1) No customer support - I have sent an email a day to LinkedIn to remedy my email and Answer problem. One vague answer and then, nada.

2) Stagnant UI - W2.0 means changes and beta tests and test users and constantly experimenting with newer and groovier features. LI is essentially stagnant. Nothing new with the exception of Answers (which has been done already by Google and Yahoo and a bunch of others).

3) Revenue - YouTube had network TV and movie release deals. What is LinkedIn's revenue stream besides a) some users subs paying for advanced services and b) Google ads? Anything pending with Monster? Maybe an exec recruiting deal with F500 companies? How can one further monetize all those users in a recognizable and unique way.

I beat up on LinkedIn (because they won't answer my emails - sheesh) but I really like the service.

Make it better. And maybe that IPO will soar.

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Still need a new phone

I mentioned this before, and now it is getting critical - I have to find a new cellular phone!

- Bluetooth
- Email/PDA type - think Blackberry, Treo
- Not interested in a Sidekick

Three friends have the Blackberry 8700 and swear by it. My carrier, T-Mobile, will not give me a substantial deal on a new phone, so I may get another carrier just for this phone.

Any ideas?

Hot new 25 Web 2.0 Companies

My latest issue of Business 2.0 arrived yesterday in the mail. Oh boy.

This month's cover story features "The Next Net" - 25 hot start ups to watch.

We all know Stumble Upon, I have the widget on my Firefox browser (net surfing app for the channel surfer in your house - highly addictive).

Some of the others were new to me. Some were interesting. Some were shoe-ins.

You can read the reviews online or in Business 2.0 if you subscribe to the tree-killer like I do.

Here at MarketingMe, you get my very own Miss Web 2.0 beauty pageant!

Best New Company * - JanRain. I have wanted this for about ten years. Now, add a universal, profile fill feature and I am sold.
* Best New Company has to be one year old or less.

Most Likely To Succeed - Joost. From the founders of Kazaa and Skype. Billions in their pocket and a proven track record which will attract every major sponsor, investor and channel. Please.

The Stretch Award - FON - Home and small business consumers buy a FON wireless router and allow anyone to use their WiFi network for a small fee they determine of which FON gets a cut. Besides the name having been used before and might be confusing to US subscribers, how is this business plan going to work? Especially in a day and age of free WiFi networks popping up everywhere? Further, I have a T-Mobile HotSpot account which pays for itself on one trip out of the house.

The "Duh'O!" Award (For Why Didn't I Think Of That?) - Simulscribe - Voice mails to text messages or emails. Would like to see the back end system which interoperates with different phone systems. Simple and useful.

The Neat, I Have To Try That Award - Meebo. Portable IM client for your blog or web page which supports all of your current IM logins. Neato.

Brick and Mortar Disruptor Award - 2 won this top spot - LogoWorks and SuccessFactors.

The Yes, When You Sell This You Are Going To Be A Billionaire Award - AdMob.

We Can Hope This Works Award, Because Competition Is Good - Turn.


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LinkedIn Wish List

I was just looking at my cluttered LinkedIn homepage. Which actually is not a home page because I cannot modify it to my liking. I get what they give me. For free so who is complaining.

Which brings up my real quick LinkedIn Wish List for this afternoon.

1) I want to modify my landing page. Arrange the widgets, customize them, choose another background, font type.

2) I want an IM client with other people in my network.

3) I want pictures in my profile. A head shot for instance.

4) I want a blog space available in my profile.

5) I want down loadable business cards. Wait, I think that is available.

6) I want IM with customer support at LinkedIn.

7) I want to remove people from my network because their information is not longer current and they don't bother to login and update it.

8) I want some of the ad revenue from my profile page.

9) I would like to see some a reward program related to LinkedIn usage - like how come contacts are not like frequent flier miles? The more I use LinkedIn and add contacts the more valuable the application becomes and I become to the application.

10) I would like Customer Support to please answer my email and fix my ability to send emails and answer/ask questions!

Time: 7 minutes to post!


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Women and social networking

Tom Peters speaks often on women and their role in business - how few companies employ women in executive roles and how often women as consumers are overlooked.

Also, if you look at the Amazon links on the side, besides the usual titles about sales and time management, there are several titles about raising girls.

Don't worry, I am going somewhere with this.

I am currently working on a new social network platform which addresses these two topics and much more.

This project has been interesting and startling.

Marketing Me is about coaching individuals to (re)-market themselves for greater professional success (eventually this included social networks which I have been following for years).

In the case of women and the enormous, completely overlooked market they represent, business "needs" (and I hate telling others what they need!) to re-market itself for them!

Stay tuned as we build this. I guarantee this will be as interesting to you as it has been for me.


MarketingMe - Public Service Message

Don't join AGLOCO or whatever it's name is.

I won't even link to it.

AGLOCO (loco=crazy as in crazy to fall for this stunt) is another "Join my network, surf using this tool bar and we will all get stupid rich scam" that surfaces frequently on the "Long Tail Network".

Look, I like making money. I like getting little checks from AdSense and other Internet revenue programs. But they are based upon me doing something. You know, like writing content about subjects I actually care about (social networking, etc).

AGLOCO is a low, low, low MLM scheme which eventually becomes a stupid concept few will actually revenue from (like most MLM schemes).

Don't take my word for it. Look at what others here and here are saying.

Thanks - rant off.


Mashable roundup

Mashable tracks current and new social networks as well as stories related to the industry.
Once a week or so, they publish a list of new social networks - my favorite post of the week.

Today's is out and available here.

Marketing Me - Read, Visit and Watch

Someone asked me the other day, "What is your favorite television show?".

I really don't watch very much television unless it is with my children. Otherwise, I don't have time to follow any particular program like most do. I guess that makes me boring or less interesting in some way. I don't know.

I especially am adamant about not watching the news. I keep up on current events online and find out everything I need to know without some coiffed head explaining it to me.

There are some television shows I find entertaining like Heroes; I Tivo the show, well my wife does and I watch an episode from time to time, but get better synopses from her.

Now what I read is another story.


I subscribe to two magazines right now - Business 2.0 and Entrepreneur. Somebody complained that B20 was fluff and spin for VC backed companies only - wow, someone has a full time job pulling that conspiracy off.

Ironically, most of the articles in B20, in my opinion, are directed towards VCs in order to get them to invest in a start up company or industry then might otherwise be unaware of.

What B20 is good for is direction. There are some great companies which are changing the rules which I find both inspiring and prophetic.

Entrepreneur is a good read from the standpoint of starting your own business. But I can do without the half of the magazine which is franchise information like janitorial services, restaurants, etc. I am sure someone likes it because large sections of the publication are geared to that crowd.

Websites - random sampling...

I have a list of links courtesy of Blogrolling which are blogs and websites I read anywhere from hourly to weekly.

Seth Godin - Seth is the king of permission and directed, new media marketing. Formerly with Yoyodine and Yahoo, Seth now has his own company and host of interests (like Squidoo).
I find Seth's blog and books inspirational when marketing you and your product differently. Sometime cantankerous but always eye opening. Good daily read.

Tom Peters - Peters rose to fame over 25 years ago with the publication of "In Search of Excellence" - which explored companies with incredible growth potential and what made them that way. Since then, Peters has written several other books and speaks constantly around the world, a subject which he blogs about often on his site.
Peters regularly interacts with his readers and fans on his blog and the banter is refreshing.

Shoemoney - Jeremy Schoemaker is a web based success story and now shares his wisdom with the world online. Witty, educational and practical, Shoemoney tears through the world of (black, white and gray hat) search engine optimization, ecommerce and marketing with the reverence of a drunk cowboy at a church social. Ignore the grammar and spelling errors, Shoemoney is one of the best sites on the Internet for those wanting to market themselves or products online.

Guy Kawasaki - How to Change the World. First, I have worked for a succession of companies the past 12 years which have been partially or completely funded by VCs making me very opinionated about some capital firms methodologies and motives. Guy appears to be a breed apart in the world of VC's. His blog is eye opening and open to discussion. Great insight on start up companies and the Silicon Valley/Sand Hill crowd.

Freakanomics - Read the book, follow the blog. Economics is fun.

I will post some more titles, sites and reads next time. Keep yourself well read and balanced and expand your mind!


Thursday morning

More questions than answers today.

Article websites

What are the best article submission sites available?

If you market yourself, you know that writing articles for specific niches can improve your visibility as an expert.
And expert status can mean work offers and steady consulting gigs.

Many of the article sites I have seen this morning have articles for the "AdSense Ready" website or Internet Marketer. Nothing wrong with that market, only I am not writing articles about improving click thru rates for AdSense ads.

I am looking for an article submission site which is for specific businesses and industries.
So far, I have looked at EZinearticles (looks very promising), Article Wise looks very professional, but the articles are limited, and Article Blast is full of good subjects, but is very crowded.

Any ideas what are good sites to use?

Social Networking platforms.

I am working on a *ahem* project and am reviewing social networking platforms. So far, I am checked out, People Aggregator, and Social Platform. (anyone know anything about WebCrossing?).

Of course, I am also looking at Drupal.

Any ideas about any other good platforms to check out?


I set up a profile and received my first invite. I am behind on this particular platform. I have to schedule profile updates! (A neat tool would be a social networking profile submission engine).

Hope you had a great Valentine's Day.


Wednesday Morning

I received an email from a mailing list where the author gushed about the latest Internet craze he stumbled upon, MyBlogLog. He went to say how MBL was going to increase his blog's readership, grow his mailing list and facilitate increased revenue for his company.

A little bit later, another author sent me his rundown on a hot new site called - Squidoo. The writer reports that anyone can create a Lens and soon after, make money, increase web traffic and confidently declare themselves an online expert.

And yet another writer sends me a link for a great product which will teach me everything I need to know about MySpace, Squidoo and other Web 2.0 properties which again, will help me "drive hoards of traffic to my website" and grow my sales and revenue.

I use MyBlogLog (see right).

I have about a dozen Lenses on Squidoo.

I belong to two dozen social and business networks.

I faithfully tag with

I ping with technorati.

I digg, furl, backflip and stumble.

Yet, the traffic does not grow, the revenue does not increase and the list stays the same...

Until I add content.

Content is king.

People are content. You are content. Your value in the world of work is the content you bring to work.

The Internet is built on content.

And the Internet has changed everything not because we can buy "The Devil Wears Prada" on Amazon without sales tax.

The Internet changed everything because suddenly each of us became content and a content producer.

The world suddenly became very noisy and is now colliding in ways never imagined before.

Digging, pinging, tagging and lensing are channels for content. But the channels are white noise without coherent content.

People bring coherency. People bring content. People are content.

Driving hoards of traffic and increasing mailing lists are static solutions for dealing with a new world.

Bring content. They will come.



Seth Godin calls them "sheepwalkers" - "the outcome of hiring people who have been raised to be obedient and giving them a braindead job and enough fear to keep them in line" - Seth Godin.

Some time ago, I described these people as Corps

To best experience this malady check out any mega-large corporation or government agency. There are no exceptions.

But I disagree with Seth that "fear" is necessary to "keep them in line".

There are plenty of applicants for this type of work. They place "security" over challenging. Freedom scares them. Sheepwalkers/Corps prefer training over thinking.

Why? It could be that fear of the unknown drives Sheeple/Corps into the cocoon of mediocrity.

Sometime layoffs and economic downturns are the cause. I have a friend who worked for the TSA primarily because he was laid off from his high flying dot-com job. (He now is safely back in the private sector making waves again as he was born to do).

Many times, Sheeple/Corps follow the safe path because they have been taught to. You can't blame people for wanting to do what they know.

Remember, Sheeple have to worry about wolves and Corps worry whether or not they will wake up tomorrow.

Become a Disruptor instead.

Monday morning blurb


I catch a lot of flack for my 500+ LinkedIn contacts. How many do I really know? I have no idea.
Some of the contact requests I receive I ignore. I have a litmus test which determines whether or not I want a contact in my network.

- I like recruiters. Jaws drop when I say this, but recruiters know where the jobs are and which companies are hiring. I contact recruiters frequently when helping friends find work.

- Current co-workers. It makes sense.

- Colleagues in similar markets. I do not get enough of these, so if you are in the wireless space (hardware or network), machine communications, SEO (personal favorite) or social networking, please drop me an invite.

- Interesting people. Politicians, VC's, NPO's, etc. Anyone besides the usual corporate types.

I usually check my LinkedIn filter about once a week and run a mass acceptance for several contact requests at one time.

Note: I still cannot sent out email invites or answer questions posed in LinkedIn Answers. I received a generic response from LinkedIn "while they look into the matter".
Hint: Reid, fix customer service. Many are disenchanted with this one non-feature of LinkedIn.

I joined TEN this past week. TEN is a fairly basic, start up business network with a strong emphasis on Latin American countries (with a healthy dose of EU thrown in). My company does a significant amount of business in Latin America and I thought this would be a good place to do some guerrilla marketing.
Like I said, TEN is basic and will most assuredly improve over time. There are more public groups than LinkedIn from what I can tell. I also like the interface better than Ecademy.

Social Networks
2007 will be the year we see more social networks than ever before. That is the word from.. me. It is nice to cite third-party resources, but the Internet has rapidly become the home of the Instant Expert. Seth Godin has a great ebook on the subject which is free (not really, it is a plug for his latest SU Squidoo).

Nevertheless, social networks are hot this year. Don't plan on starting another Facebook or MySpace. The trend will be on ever shrinking yet potentially profitable niche markets. I think this is the undoing of several social networks in that they attract the anti-social. Rude people, hermits, privacy freaks, anarchists, etc. are tough markets to build the next MySpace with. They simply don't want to interact or build friends lists.

Which brings me next to...


I don't care who is running for office or if this is an election year. Politics are boring. And polarizing. So many social networks are overrun with politics because people are passionate about politics. And that polarization runs subscribers off as the tone of the network changes for the worse.

There is a problem with politics (besides the polarization); no money. I would stack dollars to donuts that political topics on social networks have low advertising click thru returns versus other topics. So why the obsession with turning every social network into a political soapbox?
Who knows? I stay out of that fray altogether.

This is my opinion. And on today's Internet, that makes me an expert. :)

Have a great week.


The Web is (us) ing us

Quite possibly one of the better reasons for visiting YouTube.

Several years ago, I worked in television. I wrote and edited the news for an ABC affiliate in a major market.

At that time, we shot stories with "mini cams" (old analog video tape technology - later replaced with "beta cams"), took the finished product back to the television studio and edited in sound and voice overs to create a "package" - a one to two minute news story.

Watch this video. This is what "news" will/is look like (perhaps sans the music, but quite possibly not).

This video will also explain the Internet if you just joined us.

Relevance to Marketing Me? Obvious. But take the last few frames of this video and add..

.. we will have to rethink work....

... and finding work...

.. and defining work...

... and the workplace...

... and ourselves...

Watch it.


Marketing Me reminders

So you want to start marketing yourself?

So you are wondering why you should start?

You are a product

Forget all that stuff about "being special" kids are taught today; to make money, you have to be a profit making product.

Someone must want to invest money in you because you will make them more money now or later.

Employers hire good people who will either a) make them money (sales, marketing, executives, business development) or b) save them money (everyone else).

If you are a drain on a company's ability to do a) or b) above, then you will find yourself out of work.

Next, you have the ability to produce revenue which is why you need to market yourself.

For instance, you can take a subject and produce intellectual property on this subject which another party would pay you money to obtain.

Writers, lecturers, composers and artists do this everyday. So do a fair number of bloggers, successful business people and observers.

Another example is a deep understanding of a subject and the ability to solve related problems for others who are interested in the same subject.

Consultants and contractors do this everyday in every single industry on earth.

Finally, you have the ability to take a complex subject and are able to verbally break down the complexity and explain it to others who are interested, but perplexed by the subject.

These persons are known as speakers and they can command a fair amount of money for this ability.

So, reviewing the aforementioned:

You must market yourself for desirable employment.

Your marketing must mention your ability to create or extend revenue.

You have skills which others would pay to have explained.

You must market those skills to the world so they can beat a path to your door.

Next, how to do it.

Marketing Me.



I have not spoken much about writing as I have focused lately on Web2.0 stuff like LinkedIn.

I was recently contracted to write an industry specific ebook. It will be about 110-120 pages and will be distributed by a publishing company which specializes in reports and publications for technology and communications related subjects.

I have never been asked to write for a specific request; typically I write what I want when I want however this offer was too good to pass up.

Ebooks are far easier to write due to their short nature. Further they are typically focused on a single subject which is described in both written and graphic format.

The particular subject I am writing about has been tackled before. In order to differentiate my writing and this title, I plan on putting together my own Web 2.0 marketing campaign.

Website - The title of the ebook is an available domain. So I registered the name and put up a place holder page. When completed, the page will have information about the book, downloadable excerpts and ordering information.

Since it will be an ebook, buyers can purchase it using a link to the publisher's website.

Marketing - As a niche topic not related to expensive keywords I looked into a PPC campaign using AdWords or Microsoft AdCenter.

A PPC campaign will only cost a few dollars to setup and most of the keywords will have a maximum bid of .05 making this an affordable campaign. Ads will direct interested buyers to my the above website.

Also, I will post some excerpts as articles on some of the article sites on the Internet. There are several article websites which distribute articles free of charge to publishers. Writers submit their article and include their URL and contact information. Article submission drives interested readers back to your website and builds search engine traffic.

On a more traditional note, I can also submite articles related to my ebook to actual publications, i.e. magazines and trade journals. The byline will include my website and contact information, potentially driving more traffic my way.

Blog - There are a number of industry related established blogs on the ebook's subject. I will send introductory emails to the blog authors and attempt to get a mention on their blog in exchange for a free review copy of the ebook.

I have my own industry blog, (albeit with limited readership) which I will also use for marketing.

Co-registration - there are several email and newsletter lists which cover a related industry topic to my ebook. By contacting the list maintainers, I can ask if they would not allow me to run a co-registration campaign with their mail list sign up campaign. Many times established list owners will do this for free as a value add for their subscribers or for a small fee.

Mailing lists are opt-in meaning recipients joined specifically to receive newsletters and emails. Never spam unsolicited email!

AdBrite, text-link-ads, etc - there are several neat services which will sell you ad space on other established websites. Ad costs can be very reasonable and can target very narrow niche markets.

Finally, WOM or Word Of Mouth.

Using my LinkedIn network and profile, as well as those on Plaxo, Ryze and Ecademy I can market my ebook with my network.

Also, mentioning the ebook to collegues in the industry at conferences and conventions. It makes sense to have some sort of handout for quick "meet and greets".

A favorite tool has been an ebook business card. Basically, a business card with the publication name, website, and personal contact information.

Before any of this happens, I need to get the book finished! But in closing, ebooks are a great way to market yourself and your personal campaign.

LinkedIn "ho"

My friend Steph calls anyone with hundreds of LinkedIn connections a "LinkedIn ho".

I guess that makes me a "ho". I pretty much accept invites from anyone.

Once upon a LinkedIn time ago, I tried limiting my accepts to people I knew or worked in a related industry.

I also had a requirement which stated anyone in my network had to have all of their contacts viewable by others in their network.

Finally, I requested that anyone in my network had to return a short introductory email.

Alas, all of those prerequisites went out the window.

Why? I wanted to reach 500 status as soon as possible. That had to be the a good reason.

Why else? I kept getting interesting emails from strangers wanting to talk to me about my industry, jobs, writing offers, etc. Getting that type of correspondence is quite flattering and addictive. You want more so you the network is increased.

The final straw was when a respected co-worker remarked, "Ask Jack about LinkedIn, he's an expert and knows all about it".

That kicked it. I had to have the largest network and the most friends out there.

Seriously though, a large network is useful. I have benefited from it and have never regretted the number of contacts I have on LinkedIn.
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