The Left Handed Study Promotion: Day 1

The Left Handed Study Promotion: Day 1


I launched The Left Handed Study quietly at first because I wanted to see the results of what self-publishers call a soft launch. The early results were better than I thought. Of the million or so ebooks available for downloading on Amazon The Left Handed Study quickly rose to 52, 169 (if memory serves) in the rankings. If you think about rankings in terms of percentages, 52,169 is not bad. Amazon claims they have over a million ebooks in their ranking database so The Left Handed Study was near or in the top 5%. So what is a soft launch?


A soft launch can be characterized as notifying your network and seeing what happens. And since my last name isn’t Kardashian, my soft launch promotional activities were as modest as my network and consisted of a few posts to my 50 or so Facebook Friends, a couple of Tweets, a posting on LinkedIn to my 500+ contacts and a dozen or so free books I sent to friends and relatives. Those activities completed, my ranking dropped like a bomb out of an airplane over the following days. I sank steadily, first to the low 100,000’s, until The Left Handed Study was all the way down to 455,000+ after a week of non-marketing. But success is always a cocktail and and I had a secret ingredient planned.


Before getting to that ingredient, allow me to digress and explain my marketing strategy. My marketing strategy is built around finding 500-1,000 avid readers, fans. One way to do that is to give your ebook away for a few days, Amazon let’s you have five free days within any 90-day period, and hope broad exposure and massive free downloads will produce a cadre of dedicated readers. Of course free ebooks need to be promoted too so I again leaned on my network and hired Ebook Booster to blast my free-download days promotion out to 40 other websites that do nothing but promote free ebooks. My $35.00 booster investment exposed by book to well over 100,000 potential readers and the results were astonishing.


My free copy promotion was scheduled to start on April 1. However, and this is interesting, on March 31, the day before the promotion, The Left Handed Study started climbing in the rankings. On March 31 The Left Handed Study’s ranking rose from the mid-400’s to 109,771. As context, my guess is that ranking rise represents a few dozen sales. When you’re that far down it doesn’t take much to see a significant rise in Amazon’s rankings. I believe those sales came from the websites Booster used to promote by give-away and were caused by them doing some kind of advance announcement. Some curious readers read my teaser copy, my short description of the story, and went to Amazon early, found The Left Handed Study, and bought the $2.99 version. That was nice but the promotion really exceeded all my expectations.


The next day, April 1 at 5:00 in the morning, my ranking had declined to 139,105. I have no idea why and don’t care because by noon, The Left Handed Study had surged to a remarkable 10,124 and ranked #26 in the “Crime Fiction – Murder” and #77 in the “Thriller – Crime” categories, respectively. That was incredible but it gets better.


The Left Handed Study continued to climb throughout the day and by 2:30 was ranked 4,333 out of over a million ebooks, in the top 0.04% of all free ebooks. By 5:00 that afternoon the free copy must have been burning up Amazon’s servers because The Left Handed Study was ranked at 3,038 and at 10:00 pm, my last check, The Left Handed Study was ranked 2,384 overall and was #12 in the “Crime Fiction – Murder” and #34 in the “Thriller – Crime” categories. I suspect that first day will be the high-water mark for the promotion, which is fine.


This morning (April 2 at 7:00 a.m.) The Left Handed Study ranked at 2,114 (#11 for Murder and #35 for Crime) but by mid-morning it had dropped slightly to 2,281 and by mid-afternoon it was at 2,538 and ranked #13 in “Murder” and #37 in “Crime”. Those remain respectable numbers but the tide may be ebbing. We’ll know more tomorrow. I’ll explain the rest of my strategy then as well.



Public Speaking Tips

Public Speaking Tips

Public speaking is not easy. It’s well documented that the only thing people fear more than public speaking is death. If public speaking scares you, you’ll want to read this post.

What not to do:

Last week I attended a dinner hosted by a wealth management company. It is the first time they sponsored this type of an event and, unfortunately, it showed. Their public speaking skills and selection of presentation material, which is a key part of the job, was dull and poorly conceived. These are really nice people so it makes me feel bad for saying that but the evidence is clear.

Here’s what jumped out at me:

  • The comments were adequate but came across as unrehearsed and generally unfocused.
  • If the goal was to demonstrate that the firm is full of nice people that truly care about serving their clients then they met their goal. But if the goal was to (also) inspire confidence in the firm’s capabilities then they came up short.
  • The presentation lacked any coherent message. They handed out hard copies of a presentation that appeared to be a laundry list of economic information (see below).

What could they have done better?

Public Speaking tips

Public Speaking tips

I’ve done a lot of public speaking and made a lot of mistakes. The following tips would have improved their presentation considerably but anyone who does public speaking would benefit from following these six tips.

  1. Every speaker needs a clear objective or objectives. Multiple goals are fine. You can accomplish multiple goals by assigning different roles and responsibilities to different speakers. For example, the first speaker’s job is to convey the firm’s human side by smiling a lot, introducing each team member and sharing short biographies. The second speaker might focus on the firm’s record of results and years in business. The third speaker might demonstrate the firm’s exceptional research capabilities, and so on. Everyone has a role and specific goals and they stay on task.
  2. Practice is public speaking magic dust. Practice builds confidence. The keynote speaker said he was worried about finishing his talk before dinner was over. He said he was prepared to speak for 20- or 60-minutes. He wasn’t. Practice would have uncovered the issue. If they’d practiced for 20-minutes and then for 60-miuntes using the same content, which was all they had, they’d have realized the folly of their strategy.
  3. Script your opening statements. Most public speaking experts will tell you that getting started is the toughest part of the presentation. Scripting your first comment or two is a great way to get started and sooth beginner’s nerves. Once you get started you’ll be amazed how your presentation just seems to flow. Every speaker seemed to struggle to get started.
  4. Have a specific purpose for each slide. My guess is someone went through a really large stack of slides and pulled out what he or she found interesting. Unfortunately, sharing what one person finds interesting is not necessarily the same as constructing a coherent message. I have given passable presentations where I introduced every slide by saying, “The purpose of this slide is…” Every slide should have a purpose and the speaker must know that purpose. If the presentation starts to go astray, then fall back on your purpose statements.
  5. Stay focused/stop talking. The keynote speaker went off topic frequently. He’s a genuinely nice guy and the audience was a bit older so no real harm was done. Besides, an anecdote or two within a 60-minute presentation is welcome and is a nice way to break up a long presentation. But constantly drifting from one anecdote to another dilutes your message and undermines your credibility. When you catch yourself drifting, stop talking and get back on topic.
  6. Gain experience. Your speech represents you as a person as well as your message. You want to do it well. The best public speakers have a lot of experience. Experience builds confidence and confidence is critical to effective public speaking.

Fiction Writing

Fiction writing is a first love for many bloggers.

It certainly was mine.

fiction writing

Fiction Writing

I was cleaning out my computer the other day and came across an old file full of my fiction writing. Some files were the product of me having fun, practicing for my dreamed of future life. Most were writing assignments completed for one of the many fiction writing classes I took as a youngster. I think the one below was written in the late 1980’s as part of a Fiction Writing class I took while living in California but I really don’t recall when it was written or why.

It jumped out at me not because it’s a great example of fiction writing but, rather, because it’s so different than the copy I wrote during my working career. It reminded me of young Steve. He was naive. I can’t recall the last time I had a storybook thought but this fiction writing sample brings back many of those cluttered thoughts from youth when life was a jumble but full of promise.

When is the last time you wrote fiction just for fun?

Below is something I wrote decades ago. I can’t tell you how much fun it was to read it again.

1980+/- Fiction Writing Homework Assignment:

The forest roiled with anger. The young trees swayed and the old trees stood erect in defiance. The cold rain hit hard against the ground. The wind howled and the dead leaves crackled as they skipped across the frozen earth. In the distance, the gray skies turned black as night.

Shania moaned in distress.

Jason’s horse stirred beneath him. He pulled the reins tight to steady his steed. His head moved from side to side, his eyes wide and alert. “What does it mean?” he asked.

Tonya couldn’t answer. She was shaking badly, as badly as the forest. She reached out to touch Shania and recoiled as if pained. Tonya’s face showed suffering. “I don’t know.” Weeping, she collapsed to the ground.

“Tell me!” Jason commanded sharply, regretting it instantly. His tone made the girl howl like the wind. But he was a cavalry soldier, used to suffering, so the wailing angered him.

Shania continued to moan, tears streamed down her haggard, cracked, face.

Jason dismounted quickly, removed his heavy coat and wrapped it around Tonya. “Does that help?” he asked softly.

She nodded. “Thank you.”

“Is it a storm?” he asked. She shook her head. Jason tried to think. “Are they returning?”

“Worse! I’ve never felt such madness from the forest. The smell of death is everywhere. Somewhere people are dying violently. I feel it.” Tonya looked up at her mother. “Shania feels it too. We will die soon.”

The battle toughened young man stood erect and widened his stance. He withdrew his sword and his pistol. “We will die for sure my love, but not soon and not here.”

Writing is hard work but it’s also supposed to be fun.

If what you’re writing during your day-job isn’t giving you pleasure but happens pay the bills, maybe it’s time to do a little fiction writing in your spare time. Even writing for 15- or 30-minutes is fun when you enjoy the topic. So find some time and start writing fiction, it’s fun.

The Do’s and Don’ts to Managing Your Boss

Managing your boss effectively is a critical skill. Manage your boss well and you have a long and productive career. Manage you boss poorly and life, for you and him, is a horrible grind.

Below are a few Do’s and Don’ts that make managing your boss easy and fun.

Managing your boss takes discipline and skill.

Let’s start with a familiar scenario: Your boss calls a meeting and announces that you’re responsible for the next impossible project. Everyone else in the room exhales in relief and nods in agreement. Your blood pressure skyrockets. You slip into some kind of pre-stroke condition and the meeting adjoins.

possible-impossible street sign image

Managing Your Boss

You stumble back to your office in a fog. The minutes pass slowly but eventually your composure returns. You gather your team together and tell them about the project, hand out the tasks and offer some words encouragement. They roll their eyes, again. They exit the room grumbling about not enough people and too little time; their discontent in full view.

Sound familiar?

It should because it happens every day in meeting rooms and offices across America.

How can you and your team handle the situation better?

Managing your boss comes down to a few Do’s and Don’ts. Learn to execute the Do’s like a machine and avoid the Don’ts like a plaque and you’ll be more effective and happier. Teach your team to do the same and everybody wins.

This is what you and your team should Do in this situation:

  1. Do listen intently and respond positively to your boss. He appreciates it when you withhold judgment until he’s finished describing the project and he respects you when you respond positively. Just say, “Okay, got it, or no problem,” and nothing more at this point. If you must say more say, “I understand. I’ll get back to you if I have any questions,” and leave the room. He needs people he can depend on and does not need any more drama in his life. Said another way, if you think your to-do list sucks you should see his.
  2. Do ask for his input as soon as possible. Asking him for input gives him a chance to reflect further on the project’s goals. It gives him and opportunity to brainstorm ideas with you and, most importantly, be part of the process. Your boss doesn’t want to be prescriptive. He hired you to do a job and wants you to do it without him giving you step-by-step instructions. As such and out of respect for you, he may have been holding back information. Asking for input allows him to speak more freely, to open up. Take advantage of this opportunity.
  3. Do create a plan. Once you have your project and his input your next task is to create a project plan. Your plan needs to include a list of milestones and tasks to be completed, a deadline for each task, who is responsible for completing each task, and any potential issues you’ve uncovered or expect along with suggestions for resolving each one. The sooner he sees your plan the better. It is your responsibility to get your boss to agree with your plan, no matter how detailed or vague. Not sharing your plan with your boss and getting him on-board can, and probably should, get you fired. Communicate.

Now that you know the Do’s for managing your boss, it’s time to learn the Don’ts:

  1. Don’t argue about deadlines. Everyone knows projects and gamesmanship go hand in hand. Deadlines are set aggressively because executives set them and executives live in the rarefied world of PowerPoint, where anything is possible and yesterday is the same as late. Even if you violently disagree with the timeline given, be smart and fight over deadlines on another day. You’ll have a chance to negotiate a new deadline when your boss gives you input or when you review your project plan.
  2. Don’t complain about resources and budgets. Your boss knows how big your budget is, how many people are on your team and your workload. Complaining is whining and, having been a boss most of my career, your boss does not want to hear any whining. Your boss has your responsibilities plus his own and whining wastes time. This is work. It’s hard. Get used to it.
  3. Don’t slump in your seat and roll your eyes. That’s an exaggeration but you’d be surprised at how many people are unaware of their body language. Dropping your shoulders and opening your mouth is no different than saying this project is a loser and management is a bunch of dolts. All you’ve accomplished with that act is adding more stress to an already stressful situation and potentially damaged your relationship with your boss. He needs and deserves your best effort whether the project is a winner or not.

If you think the core message of this post is, you need to suck it up and do your job, you’re right. Every company has more opportunities than capable people and financial resources. Peter Drucker wrote about that in the 50’s. It’s not new.

Your job is not to judge the wisdom of the projects you’re given. You’re job is to get them done. You’re job is to help your boss succeed and, while you’re at it, keep your job.

If you can’t do that with a can-do attitude then find something else to do.

What am I missing?

6 Blogging Tips

These blogging tips will save you time and reduce your stress.

Quick Blogging Tips

Quick Blogging Tips

Most people understand the benefits of blogging regularly but, even with the best intentions, many struggle to keep their blogging schedule. Creating regular blog posts is challenging because we all have competing priorities and important tasks demanding our time and attention.

To help you here are 6 time-saving blogging tips for getting that post out on time.

  1. The first blogging tip is to simply get organized. Set-up a basic blog calendar in an Excel spreadsheet. Across the top, in the first row, enter the headings “blog title, category, keywords, key points and key point descriptions.” You can add Author, Due Date, and anything else that fits your needs and goals. These headings help you outline your post, give you a place to keep ideas and notes, and keeps you on schedule.
  2. If you are not especially creative this blogging tip will help you come up with new post ideas. The tip is, think of an industry problem your target audience has yet to solve or is constantly debating and write an opinion. If you are a member of an online or offline industry community, take a look at the most frequently asked questions and answer those. The point is to provide valuable answers and your perspective to discussions your target audience is already debating.
  3. I was nervous about the next blogging tip but found that it does, indeed, work. Invite guests to contribute to your blog. This lets your audience hear a different voice and fresh content. Plus, you may be asked to reciprocate and write a guest blog for them, exposing you and your blog to a broader audience. Guest blogging helps build your reputation as an expert and new links can increase your site traffic.
  4. Our fourth blogging tip is similar to our third: Have your friends or fellow employees write blog entries. They bring unique experiences. Be sure to explain the guidelines, such as word count, and approve everything before it is posted. This tactic lowers the pressure you’re feeling as the sole source for content.
  5. If you are comfortable in front of the camera add a short video. Check out our blog post on creating videos for tips on what to talk about and how to present through video. This is an important blogging tip because it’s been shown that most people would prefer to see a video than read a post, thus the tremendous success of sites like YouTube, Vimeo and Pixability.
  6. Our final blogging tip involves outsourcing. If you don’t have the bandwidth or inclination for blogging, consider outsourcing your blog writing to a reputable writer. You still set the guidelines and can use the spreadsheet described in Tip #1. Or, you can let your freelance writer get creative as long as they are familiar with your industry and target audience. Mix it up a little. Write posts yourself when you have the time and inspiration and sprinkle in a few outsourced posts when you want a break.

Do you have any other time-saving blogging tips? We welcome comments. Happy blogging!

Here’s My Blogging Process

Here’s My Blogging Process

According to Hubspot:

  • Nearly 40% of US companies use blogs for marketing purposes.
  • Companies that blog have 55% more website visitors.
  • B2B companies that blog get 67% more leads per month than those who don’t.

You can’t ignore those numbers. So the question is, how do you start?Blogging Process image

Successful bloggers, if you believe what they write, have an established blogging process they use for creating posts. They do this because converting a blank page into valuable content is  difficult. Without a repeatable blogging process you may struggle to consistently produce quality content that attracts your target audience.

A well-defined blog creation process will save you time, lower your stress level and produces better results.

Here’s my blogging process:

  1. Visit topic and industry sites, including your competitors, and locate hot topics. Any topic that is generating lots of most comments and social sharing is a good candidate for you to write about. Consider this a process for your target audience to communicate to you, through their behavior, what they want to know more about. This tactic is not unethical in the slightest. It is research.
  1. Select your keywords. Keyword selection is always a balancing act. Keywords that are seldom searched on Google won’t deliver much traffic to your blog because they lack “relevance.” However, keywords that are searched a million times a day are probably too “competitive” for all but the largest blogs and sites to exploit. It depends on your goals but for beginners, effective keywords are those you can rank on page one of Google’s search results for your target audience and get at least 30-100 searches a day. Note, some people prefer to draft their post before selecting keywords. Do whatever works for you.
  2. Test your keywords. Google changes its search algorithm several hundred times each year, so it is important to test your keywords for relevance and competitiveness. Google, Bing, Market Samurai and several other sites have tools to help you compare search estimates for keywords and phrases. Use the tools and do your homework. Don’t fly blind.
  3. Outline your blog post. Select one main idea for each post. Under your main idea list 2-3 primary points to support your opinion. This will also help you write your draft more efficiently. Make sure you have an opening that compels your audience to keep reading and encourages you to write a great post. Finish your outline with an attention-grabbing headline. Here’s a link to help you: How to Write Magnetic Headlines from Copyblogger.
  4. Draft your blog in 250-750 words, and include your keywords several times. Inserting your keyword five times in a single post is not too many but I wouldn’t go far beyond that. Overusing keywords, or keyword stuffing, is seen as a black-hat tactic by Google and can result in your being excluded from their search results (permanently!). Write 2 or 3 sentences to expand on each primary point in your outline, thus converting your primary points into paragraphs. Finish your draft with a closing summary and a clear call to action.
  5. Proofread. Personally I like to let my draft sit for a day or two so I can percolate on what I’ve written and get some distance between my writer role and my editor role, they are two distinct jobs. Make your edits, check spelling and grammar, and let someone else read your post. It’s amazing what a fresh set of eyes can see. If you are blogging on something fast-moving, like a current event, it’s even more important to let someone else proofread your post.
  6. Optimize. We’ve covered some of this but it’s important so let’s review. Make sure your keyword is used several times in the post, especially at the beginning. Five times is a good working number but it also depends on the length of your post. Inserting images with your keyword in the URL, Alt Tags and HTML (H2) heading tags are highly recommended. Many blogging platforms such as WordPress offer free or low cost SEO plugin tools. You should familiarize yourself with and use them.
  7. Promote your posts on your social media accounts and submit them to blog directories (Search Engine Journal: 23 Blog Directories to Submit Your Blog To). The more visibility you have, in theory, the more readers you’ll earn. In can take a year or more to grow a large following of readers so be patient. Stay in touch with your audience by responding to comments. Monitor your competitors. Be open to experimenting so you can learn works best for you and what doesn’t. And, in the end, be ready to adapt to a changing audience.
  8. Evaluate your results at least once a week. Install and use Google Analytics and other tracking tools. Check the number of visitors, time on site, “shares” on social media for each post and determine what topics attract your target audience. Respond to post comments, as mentioned. Engage your audience through social media. Feed what you learn back into future blog posts.

To a certain extent I think every blogger has their own blogging process. Some are formal and some are more free-flowing. My blogging process is somewhere in the middle.

In any case, I hope this is helpful.

Please feel free to share your ideas about future posts you’d like to see and be sure to join me on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Still Don’t Get Social Media?

Still Don’t Get Social Media?

Many people still don’t understand social media and a lot of them are in a position of authority. They control the budgets.Caveman thinking about social media

They envision teenagers posting selfies, slackers talking about nothing, Grandma’s pictures or the latest guacamole recipe. It’s a long way from the serious business at hand and, besides, who has the time to Tweet, post and Like all day? On surface, that’s not an irrational point of view.

But social media is deeper than that.

To understand social media we need to start at the beginning. And I mean, The Beginning!

Social media is our connection to the first humans. There’s some debate over when the first humans arrived. Some say we stood up 6 million years ago. Most experts think we went erect more recently, about 150,000 years ago. The difference depends on how human is defined.

Whenever we arrived it’s clear that we can thank our hairy little great6 grandparents for social media.

Language is a new phenomenon.

Our grunts and groans took on meaning approximately 50,000 years ago. With or without syntax, there is an enormous expanse of time and eons of experience within each of us that knows how to decipher noises, pitch, body language, and facial expressions. A set of wide eyes implies fear or disbelief. A mouth hanging open infers we are listening and thinking, trying to understand. These common interpretations cross languages and cultures, we now know human beings are astute at sorting truth from fiction through sound and sight regardless of their understanding of the language. If you don’t believe me put an angry look on your face and just stare at a 1-year old.

Fast forward to today.

Advertising lies. Marketing manipulates. Sales people are too often deceitful and our Politicians are as trustworthy as your average felon. The absence of trust in society and business is the reason social media will continue to flourish. And, with all due respect to marketing professionals, a recommendation from a trusted source is a valuable commodity in a scheming world.

Social media is there for us because when we want the truth we want another human being, a full human being, not some pitch-artist, hired mouthpiece, or hack. Social media connects us to other full human beings. That’s the thing.

Then we can decide who to trust and who to ignore. In the absence of another human being, it’s mostly just blather.

The supporting data

  • 70% of consumers trust brand recommendations from other consumers and only 10% trust advertising. (Forrester)
  • 46% trust customer reviews and only 9% trust text messages. (Forrester)
  • Social Media Link conducted a survey of more than 10,000 social media-connected consumers. Their infographic (full graphic) revealed the motivations and vehicles behind consumer trust. As you can see, social media is highly influential for both B2C and B2B purchases.

Social Media data graphic

If the data is clear, why isn’t the conclusion?

If all this is so easy to understand then why is it that so many executives, those with the power of the budget, are reluctant to fund social media personnel? The answer is they do not see a direct correlation between social media activities and sales revenue. They need to be educated.

How do I show a relationship between social media and sales?

  1. Social media is just a new channel. It is a low-cost direct channel to customers, old and new, to promote traditional marketing activities such as sample giveaways, discount offers, training opportunities, product demonstrations, and products alerts.
  2. Social media is critical to organic search success. B2B marketers rate social media as the second-most important factor (64%) in search behind strong content (82%). (BtoB Magazine)
  3. Among B2B companies, 65% acquired a customer through LinkedIn; followed by company blogs (60%), Facebook (43%), and Twitter (40%). (Marketing Charts – Hubspot Study)
  4. One-third of global b2b buyers use social media to engage vendors and 75% expect to use social media in future purchases processes. 41% of B2B companies on Facebook generated sales leads. And companies who blog generate 67% more leads than those who don’t. (
  5. 79% of B2B marketers post articles, 74% use social media (excluding blogs), 65% blog and e-newsletters were used by 63% of the surveyed B2B marketers. (Smart Insights)
  6. A quick Google search can produce more data to support your specific need. Note, if that doesn’t work email me directly and I’ll help you find the data you need. In most cases at no charge.
  7. Facebook marketing, blog writing and other social media activities are specialized and time consuming work. You’ll need people and/or funding to do this work well. Mack Collier compiled an average monthly rate sheet to help you budget. (Social Media Rate Sheet by Mack Collier)

The sales process has always been a social experience. Social media is just the natural extension of that norm. Social media expands the reach and lowers the logistical cost of networking. While face-to-face meetings, industry events, and social gatherings will always be important in the B2B selling process, the web and social media platforms are becoming a likely starting point.

If you’re not taking social media seriously, perhaps it‘s time you did.

4 Good Posts on Social Media Marketing

Following up on my December 13 post, The Changing Face of Marketing: The Social Media Professional, here are 4 good blog posts from around the web further defining social media marketing.

4 items   2 followers   0 votes   219 views

social media marketing

Here is a list from the search term social media marketing.

Dec 16, 2013 - - 24
How Social Data Changes Everything We Know About Marketing Strategies

for ClickZ The emergence of social media and the steady decline of mass media are the two biggest marketing stories of the decade. Both print circulation and TV viewership have been falling consistently since the turn of the century; TV viewership, for instance, is down almost 50% since 2002.

Dec 16, 2013 - - 31
Social Media Marketing: A Small Business Primer

Social Media Marketing: A Small Business Primer Get The Dash A free weekly marketing to-do list, straight from our desk to your inbox every Wednesday. Leveraging social media marketing is just plain smart if you're a small business on a budget. How else can you reach thousands of customers and prospects all over the globe without zero advertising costs?

Dec 16, 2013 - - 29
What Is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media sites. Social media itself is a catch-all term for sites that may provide radically different social actions. For instance, Twitter is a social site designed to let people share short messages or "updates" with others.

Dec 16, 2013 - - 26
7 Simple Social Media Moves That Work

STEP-BY-STEP SOCIAL MEDIA Likeable founder Dave Kerpen personally responds to thousands of Tweets, emails, and messages every day. Crazy, or genius? Before he started to dole out social media advice for entrepreneurs like you at Inc.'s recent GrowCo conference in New Orleans, Dave Kerpen, chairman of Likeable Media and now founder of offshoot Likeable Local, had a few things he wanted to get out of the way.

The Changing Face of Marketing: The Social Media Professional

Marketing is changing dramatically. Brochures and tradeshows remain important marketing tools but they are clearly being diminished in favor of online interaction. Having an online relationship with your target audience and building an online community through social media is exploding in popularity. Social media marketing is a driving force and the future of marketing.

People want to have a conversation and feel connected. Social media marketing meets that need. Handing someone a brochure that, in effect, says read this and get back to me if you have any question is impersonal to the point that, it has become, impractical.

Traditional marketers producing formal documents describing features, functions and benefits are giving way to social media marketers who produce those same materials and more. They also produce a lot of informal online content on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. And the production of new content, the process to get it online in a systematic way and somehow manage conversations and communities and, then, report the results, requires a much broader skill-set than the traditional copywriter or graphics designer. This shift has produced a rise in the need for social media professionals. Social media marketers jobs are like those of a newspaper publisher or museum curator: They gather information on a particular subject, distill it down to its essence, package it in an appealing way and, then, promote to target audience.

Here’s a brief primer with some data to illustrate the point and help you understand what it may mean for you.

Note: Some browsers may experience problems accessing links in the presentation. To make is easy to access those list, I’ve listed them below individually.

Scoopit Test

Blogging Board by Steve Hartkopf

This example of a search for the term “Blogging” using

The search resulted in 100 daily feeds that I could review, gather onto my board, share and then continue to build over time.

This post is simply a test to see if I can insert the full board instead of a link into my blog.