Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why I Believe in Helpful Marketing

It was Thanksgiving week. Like most years, I started to reflect on what I was grateful for, which brought me to some amazing blessings.

This particular year, I was working for a world-changing company run by a good man with whom I’d wanted to work for years. The work was rewarding and challenging; it put me in touch with inspiring thought leaders around the world. It didn’t hurt that the work was remote, so I had a home office and could go anywhere to work. The money was good – much better than where I was just 7 years earlier struggling to provide for my family in a job I’d grown to despise.

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Why I Ignored Jordan Harbinger’s Advice and Started a Podcast

Recently, podcast guru Jordan Harbinger (The Art of Charm) offered advice to anyone (especially business-focused people) thinking about starting a podcast. The title gives it away: Thinking of starting a podcast? Don’t.

Jordan’s reasons – it’s not an easy money maker, there’s too much noise, competing against big media – all seem legitimate. However, I’m a bit stubborn.

I decided to start a podcast as a passion project. Interviewing storytellers about their craft fascinates me. If I can learn a little something about becoming a better storyteller, while sharing it with others, then I feel like I leave the world a little bit better for the future. Continue reading

A Hero’s Tale

I’m sharing this essay to honor my friend Linda, as well as showcase my oldest daughter. I had the honor of serving alongside Linda with Talons Out Honor Flight. She was taken from us on May 10, 2017. Ava, a 6th grader, chose Linda as the subject of end-of-year essay. Here is her essay.

A Hero’s Tale by Ava Moyle Continue reading

My Personal Brand Journey

Today we say goodbye. Goodbye to a man who made a big difference in the world through small kindnesses. He may not have bragged about his work, but he knew that he was making an impact. I don’t think he knew the depth, but we sure hope he knew something. I can tell you that he would have been happy to know that if there was a house he was living in next to this cemetery, he wouldn’t have been buried here. Because he was still living … his favorite joke years ago; now, a chance for us to laugh a little – which would have made him happy.

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If you’re living next to this cemetery, you can’t be buried there.

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Want to get disconnected on LinkedIn? Try to cold-message-spam-sell me.

Some people I know do not connect with others on LinkedIn unless they actually know them. This is to avoid spam and cold-messaging (like cold calling, but via messaging).

I, on the other hand, am open to connecting and making “new friends.” We don’t have to have a previous relationship in order to connect. While this may lead to an occasional spam message or cold-message that means nothing to me, it’s rare.

However, when one of these messages does come in, it’s the quickest way to cut ties with me. Granted, I’m no one special. So that’s probably okay in your world. I’m okay with it, too. But it’s definitely on less person in your network. And yes, I do have hundreds in my network and it’s a relatively active network.

A quick lesson: If you’re thinking about sending me a message, first do your research. For instance, I do not run an agency and do not have clients (see below). If you think I am, or if your product is aimed at those who do, you’re wasting your time.

LinkedIn spam message STOP

Another spam message I received wanted me to use their “platform” to auto post hundreds of ads on CraigsList (I do not use CraigsList at all) and fake Yelp reviews (which I would never do – research me!). So this also resulted in a delete and removal.

LinkedIn spam message

Using new technology like social media in old, ineffective and annoying ways is a waste. Please stop.

An open letter to “kids these days”

An-open-letter-to-kids-these-daysI’ve been hearing a lot lately about “kids these days.” It’s in conversations about how lazy, unmotivated and generally annoying kids are. It’s a Facebook meme of an old photo of an adult spanking a child with the caption “we need more of this and kids wouldn’t be so terrible.” It’s some article about how the younger generation just doesn’t measure up to us older, wiser and generally more awesome folks.

I’d like to apologize to you “kids these days.” My contemporaries and others don’t mean it. We’re not perfect, and we complain sometimes. Maybe we had a young person we know drop out of school and live off their parents for a few years, only to have that young person become an entitled, demanding person who just doesn’t fit our ideal of a contributing citizen. But we really do know that one person does not make a generation.

Maybe we’ve forgotten what it’s like to be young. Not everyone has the focus of knowing what exactly to do in life. Some of us forget what it feels like to have the world at our fingertips, yet have apprehension that we’re not sure that we’re ready for it.

What we sometimes miss is that our perception of reality is molded by a few things, and we forget that truth can be subjective. Where we see a mooch who’s unmotivated, we may not see a young person who’s scared they don’t know what they want to be when they grow up (newsflash – many of us in the work force still don’t). This young person may be living with mom and dad to help take care of an ailing parent or grandparent, and the family is barely getting by.

Or maybe we, as the wiser, more productive generations see young people who don’t listen to authority and completely conform to the way something has been done for 50 years. What we fail to see in that scenario is the innovative young person who’s trying to change the world in some small way, working smarter rather than harder. Innovation moves the world. We sometimes miss that.

To you “kids these days,” please give us old folks a little grace. Sure, there are kids who disobey their parents or who are rude citizens that interrupt conversations or don’t hold open doors for others. But there are also young people who are petitioning their local mayors for things like “Vietnam Veteran Appreciation” events. There are young people putting up lemonade stands to help pay for cancer treatments for a neighbor or little girl a thousand miles away.

Generations always seem to look back at the younger folks behind them and see the negative. What we need to do is look at the opportunities to mentor our younger folks. Not only can we sow the seeds of greatness based on our experience and wisdom, but we can also learn from our young people. It’s a 2-way street.

So to you “kids these days,” cut us some slack. I’m sorry some of us old folks complain about you. I hope you forgive us. I also hope and pray for those of your generation who do fall down. Get back up, listen to your elders and work hard. Or at least work smart. Make a difference in this world. Leave it better than you found it. Love those around you. Maybe you can teach us a few things about that.

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Do I Need to be on Every Social Media Channel as a Business?

Do-I-Need-to-be-on-Every-Social-Media-ChannelI had an interesting chat recently with someone about social media. The question was basically, “There are so many different social media channels – do I need to be on all of them (as a business)?”

First let me say this: Social media is a personal choice. There shouldn’t be a requirement, and there really aren’t written rules about them.  However, I’m going get up on my marketing soap box a bit here and tell you what I’ve found in the world of marketing.

If you don’t “do social media,” then don’t.

If it’s not in your make-up to share tidbits about yourself with others, or hear from other people on their days (or see pictures of their kids, cats, dogs or vacations), then by all means avoid Facebook. However, if your job relies on personal connections and relationships, social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest can prove to be nice tools in your arsenal.

You don’t have to be on social media. You also don’t have to have an email address or a telephone. However, if you’re not ready to communicate with people in the manner in which they’re ready to communicate, then you’ll miss out on some of the benefits. Instead of simply avoiding the tool, maybe experiment a little with it, or learn from someone using it already…and see if you can put it to use as well.

Don’t spread yourself too thin.

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Vine, Instagram, Path, Tumblr, Pinterest … you have no shortage of sites to choose from in the social media sphere. So where do you go? All of them? Here’s my advice: find the one that matches your strategy and concentrate on that one first. If you decide to branch out, fine. But don’t spread yourself so thin that you don’t use any of them well.

Each social channel has a different use, audience and purpose. If you’d like to connect with housing market professionals like real estate agents, LinkedIn is a great place to spend some serious time. Be sure to join local groups and weigh in on the conversation. Don’t just sell, sell, sell.

If you’re into sharing personal stories with people and eventually getting around to occasionally mentioning how much you love your job, join Facebook and share what you want to share. You can then mix into the conversation once in awhile something like, “Headed to work on a Monday morning and I don’t hate it. I love helping people buy the right home with the right financing. Life is good!” This keeps it in people’s minds that you A) do mortgages and B) love what you do & your company.

If you have shiny object syndrome and you love to follow multiple conversations all at once, join Twitter. You can follow writers, sports stars, actors, real estate people and average people and spout off about whatever you want to in 140 characters. It’s a fun conversation, but it’s not for everyone.

Pick one and get good at it. Then if you want, branch out and try others. But don’t join all of them and leave your account unattended. The downside to being “on all social media” but not really being there is this: Imagine opening an office for your business, paying money on the lease and making a really great sign … then never showing up. If you’re not taking part in the conversation on that particular social channel, then you’re a ghost. When you’re a ghost, no one can find you. And those who do find you are scared to do business with a ghost.

So the short answer is find one social media channel to get good at and practice your art in. Then branch out some. Remember, each social media platform is generally indexed by Google. So if you want people to find you by name when an agent refers them to you, your name will come in Google associated with the social media channel you’re most active on.

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