You Can’t Do Nothing

by Jonathan Goodman on September 16, 2013

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This is Jonathan Goodman. Welcome to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. It’s great to have you with us. Today’s episode is “You Can’t Do Nothing.”

And now the news….

Social Media

Humankind Design recently agreed to a ban from the online car dealership website, Edmunds.com, on using fake accounts to publish inaccurate reviews. Edmunds.com alleged that Humankind Design created over 2,000 fake accounts in order to run their posting service, Glowing Reviews.co. Humankind Design quickly took down the site, but now the domain redirects to a site entitled “Local Business Listing Robot,” also an automated posting service. Let me just advise that if you’re thinking of using any type of automated posting service like this, you’re going to get bounced from the Google index. It is an attempt to steal your money. It is a scam. I would highly advise you to stay as far away as possible from any automated anything out there.

Google recent announced two new services. Users of Google+ are now able to embed posts directly into content, which is something Facebook recently enabled their posts to do. Once the Google+ post is embedded on the third-party site, visitors to that site can then share via a +1 button underneath the embedded post. The other service is for people signed in under Google+. They won’t have to go through the tedious process of confirming their attribution tags for Google Authorship. Google Authorship will be automatically added when you sign in. WordPress and Typepad will be the first sties to work with this new feature.

Now let me just say that I have used Goggle Authorship in the past and it was a terribly cumbersome process. At the end of the article that you were a guest writer for, you then had to add your Google+ URL and then go into your Google+ profile and tell Goggle+ where your article was going to reside. So if they’ve been able to figure out how to fix this and make it easier for everyone to do, I’m sure they’ll get a lot more people who might not be technically knowledgable as to how to really do the Google Authorship to now actually successfully get that done.

Your Semantic Minute

WordPress dashboard interface WordPress dashboard interface (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A new iPad app that uses semantic technology launched recently. Web company, Scoop.it, released a smaller version of their popular web page. The app allows users to discover content either by viewing curated content from other users or searching through their sematic-based search engine. The Scoop.it suggestion engine scours millions of websites daily to find websites that qualify for the users inquiry. Now at Halyard Consulting, we do something similar for our clients. We build up RSS feeds and aggregate content onto their website because it is industry specific and it really helps to build community. I don’t necessarily know if adding this additional step of selecting articles to be on your website is worthwhile. They’re doing self-monitoring that way. It just sounds to me like it is an aggregated content step that is then manually being monitored.

Kirobo, the Japanese-made robot, became the first robot to speak in outer space. A joint project by Dentsu Inc., the University of Tokyo’s Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST), Robo Garage Co., Ltd. And Toyota Motor Corporation, Irobo was launched via H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 4 on August 4 from Japan. Kirobo will interact with a future astronaut from Japan who will arrive at the International Space Station in November.

Hacker News

In a recent report by The Hacker News, iPhones were revealed as being the NSA’s favorite smartphone device to access. Documents released by Edward Snowden show that the government can obtain lists of contacts, text messages, call logs, traffic and location information from data communications with mobile providers. These newest revelations come on the heels of Apple’s latest product press conference. A fingerprint security device will be installed on the home screen of the next phone, which leaves some people wondering further about their security in Apple’s hands because not only will Apple know information about you, but they’ll also have your thumbprint or fingerprint.

Nearly 80% of the world’s websites, including Facebook and Wikipedia, are being threatened by hackers who focus on the susceptibility of PHP’s Super Global Variables. Two specific vulnerabilities allow for code to be executed on a PHP server and prevents outside modifications. It’s unclear the specific purpose of the hacks, but it could greatly affect multiple websites.

App Highlight

Today I want to do an App Highlight for BuiltWith.com, which isn’t exactly an app. But we do tend to move off the subject of apps themselves. Regardless, BuildWith.com was introduced to me when I went to Affiliate Summit East. I was having a conversation with somebody and they showed me this website. It’s another great tool to have a conversation with potential clients or to better understand what is going on with your website or potential client websites. For me, I use it when I’m talking to potential clients. I can pull this up and talk to them about their website as it is right now. So I went in this morning and I typed in HalyardConsulting.com. I’m going to walk you through a couple of things that I immediately know about Halyard Consulting. Now this is public domain information, but you can see it really leads to a great conversation that you can have.

First of all, it’s built on Apache. Apache has been the most popular Web server on the Internet since 1996. Its content management system is WordPress. That should be no surprise. I talk about WordPress all the time. We are running advertising. We’re using something called SkimLinks. Maybe I’ll do an App Highlight about SkimLinks at some point. I like it a lot. It’s very easy, hands-off. Considering the amount of traffic that Halyard Consulting gets, which is minimal, it’s the website to promote my company. It’s not a community website, a news website or anything like that. But still, we use SkimLinks on some of our affiliate websites and some of our client websites and see great things from it.

Image representing Skimlinks as depicted in Cr... Image by None via CrunchBase

We’re running Facebook Domain Insights. It’s a tracking too that allows me as the administrator to see further information about what’s going on and interactions with my website and Facebook. We running Google Analytics obviously because that’s one of the best software tools to see all the data. We do run jQuery. It’s a fast, concise Java script library and it simplifies the HTML documents that we have there. We have a PNG fix that allows PNG, which is the other thing opposed to JPEG. So you can either save images via PNG or JPEG. We have a fixer on there. We have a whole bunch of jQuery stuff. We have Google+ one platform. We have Yoast SEO plugin, which we use for all of our clients.

We use W3 Total Cache to help load balance the server. Not that Halyard is getting a tremendous amount of traffic, but we do have other websites, so we like to put things into W3 Total Cache and work on that delivery content system using Amazon. We have RSS obviously. We have Pingback support, which is really simple discovery and a way to help client software find the services needed to read, edit or work with web logging software, It just has an amazing abundance of information. Content tagging, cascading style sheets, open graph protocol. And it lists all of these elements that are on any website out there. They also have a Chrome extension, a Safari extension and a Firefox extension. It’s a really a great service. You can put in any website that you want free. I don’t know where the point of cost comes in, but it’s a great website.

The Main Event

The main topic for today is “You Can’t Do Nothing.” Now this is an English sentence that I butcher on a daily basis. It’s my catch phrase. Everybody has a catch phrase. If you’re in marketing or advertising, you probably have something that they like to say over and over again that allows the other person to get the gist of what the conversation is about. I knew someone who used to use the phrase “You don’t know what you don’t know.” He used to say it so often that it just drove me bonkers. So I try not to constantly say “You can’t do nothing.” It is used for very specific instances, particularly when I’m talking to potential clients who know that they need to do something, but are hesitant to put money into advertising and marketing.

Obviously if you have a larger business, you know that the more money you put into advertising and marketing, the more sales that you get. But it’s a very big hurdle for a small or medium-sized business to put money into advertising and marketing. When I say medium-sized business, I’m talking about under $2 million. You’ve got a staff, you’re paying healthcare, you’re paying estate tax, you’ve got constant revenue coming in, but it’s at that medium stage where it pains you every time you have to write a check. Now on the bottom end, you have solo entrepreneurs who are making $40,000 to $150,000. They don’t have any employees. But in the middle part between the $150,000 and the $2 million, you have companies that have the need to grow and understand growth, but are so hesitant to move forward in advertising and marketing that it actually pushes them back further than where they were originally.

Going into any industry, whether the industry is a day old or 100 years old, there is going to be competition. It’s up to the individual running the company to understand the competition, understand the avenues they’re advertising in, the demographics they’re working with and how they’re gaining those clients. If you don’t understand your competitors, you’re going to lose business. I talk to many companies, particularly small to medium-sized companies. Of course, I’m talking to them with the hope they’ll sign a proposal and we’ll do work together. If I’m talking to good friends at parties and people have questions, I’m certainly always willing to answer those questions. You pay for a meal and you’ve got me for an hour and a half. That’s a great way to break open the conversation and ask me a ton questions. I don’t hesitate to tell you what you need to know and what you should be doing.

Of course, all of it is wrapped around advertising and marketing. A wall then comes up. ‘Oh, we don’t have any money for advertising or marketing.’ Well, you can’t do nothing and expect the same results. What is the definition of insanity? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. So if you’re not putting any money into marketing or advertising and you’re expecting a hundred people to magically come through the door, you’re fooling yourself. And you’re a bit insane. So when I say you can’t do nothing, it’s critically important to understand that means you need to do something. That’s the beginning of the conversation.

Now if you’re a company that has had a major setback, whether it’s financial or you’ve lost an integral person within your corporation or you see dwindling numbers, that is the time to push for advertising and marketing. It’s not a year or two after when the slump and the sludge of the sales coming in have hit rock bottom. If you’re looking at your numbers on a monthly basis and you start to see a trend downward, you know you need to do something. You know you’re going to have to allocate some funds to get advertising and marketing going. There’s a way to put in $100,000 on advertising, but there’s also a way to put in under $10,000 in advertising. Are you going to get the same results from $10,000 that you’re going to get from $100,000 worth of advertising? Absolutely not. Are you going get to get some results from $10,000 worth of advertising? Yes.

What should you expect? At any rate, you should expect a 1% to 2% return. So your return on your advertising investment is a 1% to 2% return. So if you put in $10,000, you should be getting back $1,000 to $2,000. If you put in $100,000, you should be getting $10,000 to $20,000 back in return. But that means out of that, you’re possibly gaining. Let’s say you’re working with a gym. So a new person signs up and it costs the person $40 a month. Well, $40 a month over 12 months is getting you $480. (Unfortunately, my calculator isn’t working. If you’ve ever met me and you’ve seen one of my calculators, I’m not trying to use one of those calculators. I’m using a solar battery that is always on my desk, but has died as I’m talking to you.) But anyway, that right there is one person walking through the door and gaining for you $400 or $500 in one year.

Now $10,000 of advertising can mean not $1000 to $2000, but it could mean a 1% to 2% increase in your overall number of members. If you have 100 people coming to your gym and you now put in $10,000 worth of money into marketing and advertising and that results in 10 more people coming in the door and signing up for the year, you’re now $4000 to $8,000 better off. You’re making up because as those customers stay with you year after year, that one investment compounds itself to be a huge addition to your business bottom line. You can’t do nothing unless you want to go out of business. Whether you’re a gym, a law firm or a painting business, you’ve always got competition. There’s always someone around the corner who wants to take business away from you. You have to realize that a certain percentage of people are eventually going to move away from your business. It’s acceptable and understandable, but you have to do marketing and advertising in order to combat that. That’s why you can’t do nothing.

My Rant of the Week

Before we get into the Rant of the Week, I want to clarify something I said in the Main Event. When we’re talking about a 1% to 2% return, we are hoping to get the money back that initially funded the advertising and marketing and then 1% to 2% return on the bottom line. That is really what I was trying to say. I know I wasn’t clear in saying if you put in $10,000, you’ll make $1,000 to $2,000. What I was really talking about was the 1% to 2% of your overall bottom line. So I wanted to clarify that.

Also before we get to the Rant of the Week, I wanted to promote a really incredible article in the New Yorker by Jon Krakauer called “How Chris McCandless Died.” I didn’t really have a good place to put this since my Rant of the Week is just me talking about different subjects, so I thought I’d put it into this section. If you’re not familiar with Chris McCandless, I highly suggest that you read “Into the Wild” and watch the movie. They’re both really incredible in their own right. And Eddie Veder’s soundtrack for “Into the Wild” is probably the most beautiful soundtrack that I’ve ever heard. I own it and I listen to it all the time.

This article, “How Chris McCandless Died,” focuses on the technical questions that still linger about Chris’s death. It comes with a lot of controversy, but Krakauer does a very good job of explaining it in the article. It’s a fascinating read. Although I’ll admit to being a huge fan of both the book and the movie and they both had a profound effect on how I view the world around me, this article in the New Yorker is a great follow-up for anyone to read. I just wanted to give you the short URL link so you can read it. Despite the fact that it is somewhat technical and it does talk about chemistry, I found myself reading the entire thing very carefully. The URL is http://nyr.kr/162baF3.

So now here’s my Rant of the Week: One Thousand Doesn’t Equal 100,000 Doesn’t Equal One. I have kept quiet about the Syrian conflict so far. I had my opinions, but they’re not technical. I do feel that we were very, very close to the brink of World War III about a week ago. We seem to have stepped away from that. I know this is a volatile subject in America right now. I just wanted to give me two cents about it. I think you’ll probably agree, but I’m going to go to a deeper level. If I offend anyone, I do apologize.

One thousand is the number of people who have died from the sarin gas attacks, and 100,000 is the number of people who have died in the Syrian crisis over the past 2 years. One is an American soldier. My opinion is that one thousand doesn’t equal 100,000 and doesn’t equal one. One thousand people have been killed because of sarin gas doesn’t equal the 100,000 people who have already died and it absolutely doesn’t equal one American soldier dying for this cause. We are not the police of the world. We belong to the UN. The UN has very specific propositions and legislation that states when you can attack another country. If we go into this, if we drop one bomb, we have violated UN sanctions.

Despite the fact that I do not like Russian president Putin, the opinion editorial that he wrote for the New York Times does make a valid, legal point – although his piece was seen from the viewpoint of a person whose ego is incredibly inflated. Still he makes a valid point: You only can attack another country in self-defense or in an act of war and aggression. So if we are the aggressors who are going to step into the mud pile when we haven’t been attacked by Syria, what is the clause that we’re going to use to get out of doing this attack? Whether Syria and Russia are really going to work with the UN peacekeepers to remove all the chemical weapons and how long that might actually take is a political thing.

To drop a bomb is an act of war, and there are no good people on either side of this war. Yes, children have died. Yes, the elderly and young have died. Yes, there’s a horrific series of photos up today on Huffington Post of an execution of a young guy who was beheaded. It is horrific. A friend of mine also posted something on Facebook of a girl who was beheaded and everyone is shouting, “God is great.” But there are no good sides to this war. Assad is a murderer. He’s killing large numbers of people in his own country. On the rebel side, you have Hezbollah and al Qaeda in that mix of the Syrians. You shouldn’t be arming them. It is a war that we probably should have gotten into in the first two months of the war, bombed the heck out of Assad and gotten him out of there. Now we’re two years into the war.

All of these fanatics are spilling into the country. All the helpless people are spilling out of the country, which is putting significant strain on the surrounding countries. All of this insanity is going on in there. To give any of these people weapons on either side is a crime. I just wanted to voice my opinion. I know my opinion is similar to many others. The death of one American soldier for the life of anybody in Syria is a horrific thing. If we do that, it’s going to put us against more countries in the world and we simply can’t afford that.

We’re involved in two wars already. We’re leaving one country in ruins, and we’re involved in another war. We can’t be involved in this war. I understand from the Army’s perspective that all we have to do is send a couple of drones in and bomb these things. What happens when all the chemicals are exploded? How many more people are going to die? How many more chemicals are going to go into the atmosphere to kill unsuspecting individuals? The death from sarin gas, although atrocious and horrific, cannot definitely be blamed on Assad. It can’t be proven it was done by Assad. Most likely there was Iran’s involvement or Hezbollah’s involvement or al Qaida’s involvement.

You can’t go in there. You can’t step your toe into it because you’re never going to get out of there. It’s an atrocious situation. Hundreds of thousands of people have died. And you know what? We already know that there have been other chemical attacks. This is not the first one. So to now scream and shout that 1,000 have been killed and half of those are kids, it’s already happened. We already have video footage like this. We already know that this happened before. So to say that 1,000 equals 100,000 is wrong. And to say any Syrian involved in this conflict on the rebel side or the Assad equals one American human life is wrong.

Speaking Gigs

Let’s talk about some of my speaking gigs. I’m be at Affiliate Summit NYC Meetup on Thursday September 26th at 6 pm at Mercy College at 66th West 35th Street, 7th Floor. The subject of my conversation and presentation will be this podcast. I’ll also be at SMX East 2013 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center on October 1-3. If you are planning to attend SMX East 2013 and you want a private meeting with me, you can call me or you can email me.

I’ll also be speaking at PubCon Las Vegas on October 21-25 at the Las Vegas Convention Center South Halls. You can schedule a private meeting with me for that one too. We have a setup at PubCon for private meetings. You can work with them to schedule a private meeting with me at a specific time. If you are going to any of these events, please send me an email. Let me know.

Again, this is Jonathan Goodman. You can follow me @HalyardConsult on Twitter. New episodes of the World of Internet Marketing can be heard every Friday. You can access the archives of my previous shows on Spreaker.com – user name Jonathan Goodman. The podcast is also available with transcription at halyardconsulting.com and geekcast.fm one week after the episode airs.

Thank you all for listening to another episode of The World of Internet Marketing. Don’t forget to pick up my book The World of Internet Marketing on Amazon, and if you like this podcast please share it with your network of friends and family. Have a great week.

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