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Announcing the NMX14 Sunday Keynote: “QR Codes Kill Kittens” with Scott Stratten (Plus a Free Book)


scott stratten We’re proud to announce that the NMX Sunday morning keynote will feature one of our favorite speakers: Scott Stratten. As an added bonus, if you attend “QR Codes Kill Kittens: How to Alienate Customers, Dishearten Employees, and Drive Your Business into the Ground” you’ll receive a free copy of his new book of the same name.

Make his triumphant, angry return to the NMX keynote stage, Scott will rant about technology, social media, and practically all “new media” has hurt business, and what to do about it. From the lunacy of logos, to the kitten killing QR codes, this will be a ride that will equip you with the tools to make sure you do the most important thing in business: stay out of Scott’s next book.

The first 500 people will receive a copy of Scott’s new book, and you’ll even have the chance to get it signed afterward. This is a keynote you definitely don’t want to miss.

Mark your calendars and be in the audience at 9 AM on Sunday, January 5. Don’t have your ticket to the show yet? Grab one here now! LOYAL20 is good for 20% off your ticket to see Scott and all of our other amazing speakers.

12 Days of Giveaways: How to Find and Work with Bloggers (Free Download from Gary Bembridge)



Today’s final giveaway for the 12 Days of Giveaways is one you don’t want to miss. If your brand isn’t working with influencers, you’re missing out. Bloggers are some of the most influential people online, with more followers than celebrities at some point, so partnerships with them can be perfect for spreading your message.

But how do you find bloggers who fit your marketing needs? And how do you work with them to reap the most benefits of what bloggers have to offer?

Gary Bembridge is here to help! His ebook, How to Find and Work with Bloggers is currently available for free during the NMX 12 Days of Giveaways! This guide will teach you:

  • Why you should start working with bloggers
  • 10 criteria to use to find best bloggers for your brand
  • Key tips for approaching a blogger for the first time

And more! Just let us know where to send your free copy of How to Find and Work with Bloggers by entering your information on this page.

How to Get the Most out of New Media Expo


antonio centeno

Editor’s note: Big THANK YOU to Antonio Centeno, one of our NMX 2014 speakers, for writing this guide to NMX based on his past experiences. Feel free to add your own tips with a comment below. Are you new to NMX? We’ll be having a New Attendee Orientation on Saturday for everyone who wants to learn more about getting the most out of NMX.

New Media Expo 2014 is only two weeks away.

Are you ready to get the most out of it?

If you’ve got a business that you’re hoping to promote or attract interest to while you’re at the New Media Expo, start the groundwork immediately. Don’t wait until the last minute — start you preparation now, so that by January you’re way ahead of the game.

1. Craft Your Elevator Pitch

Just what do you have to offer that other people at NMX will want to hear about?

Whatever it is, learn to say it in 30 seconds.  Yeah – you want to keep it short and to the point. Your “elevator pitch” is a quick summary to quickly determine if people are interested in hearing more or not.  It’s not your life story!

These are the pieces I include in mine:

  • Name
  • A statement  of a problem that the person you’re meeting will agree with and clearly understand
  • How you solve that problem

My Example:

Hi, I’m Antonio.  You know how most men have no clue when it comes to dressing sharp?

Most people at this point agree – in fact they often state they have this problem themselves or their husband/brother/boyfriend does.

Well, I help men dress better by creating practical videos and articles that show them why style matters.  I use Science and my background as a former US Marine to show men how a strong personal presentation can help them achieve more both professionally and personally.

This type of pitch is VERY effective because it involves the person you just spoke with and therefore is much more memorable.  They may not need my services – but they’ll remember me and that makes me very referable.

Don’t try to improvise; practice your pitch ahead of time and then write it down.  Rehearse it and make small improvements here or there depending on people’s reactions and what naturally feels right to you during delivery.

Remember that an active networker is going to meet upwards of fifty people each day at NMX. Develop a pitch that gives them something to remember you by. You want to look professional, practiced, and referable — someone who can’t help you personally may know someone else who’d be interested in hearing your pitch, if it’s a good, memorable pitch.

And yes, hand ’em your business card after you’ve properly introduced yourself and ALWAYS ask them about their business/reason for being there.

2. Dress Sharp

Most of the businesses represented at NMX are online businesses. The people behind them might only have one or two face-to-face meetings with their customers every year.

That means that you’ve only got one or two opportunities to fix an image in people’s minds that goes with your brand name.

Don’t believe the line that the tech industry doesn’t care about appearances. Entrepreneurs may not care if you wear a tie or not, but how we dress matters.  This is especially true when we’re meeting people for the first time – we’re human beings, and we take mental shortcuts and classify others based off how they appear.

For men – dark jeans and a classic sports jacket work well; so do light gray slacks and a blazer if you want to look a little more conservative.   At the very least wear a crisply ironed dress shirt with grey/navy/khaki slacks and dress shoes.

For the ladies – dress in a manner that befits the message you’re looking to send.  Are you and up and coming professional looking to raise awareness of your social media firm?  Keep the jewelry and accessories to a minimum but spice up the black suit with a pair of fun shoes.  Skirts are perfect for Vegas, but bring two pairs of leggings (just in case) and if you’re wearing heels consider a change of flats for the second part of the day (you’ll be walking a lot).

Take the time to think about the image you want to project — and to find the clothes that do it.

3. Use a Packing List

Don’t rely on memory the night before the Expo. Pack from a list, not from your head.

It only takes one small slip-up to sabotage yourself. Forgetting your business cards or the power cord for your phone or laptop can result in, at best, an added delay and inconvenience while you run around Las Vegas searching for a replacement — and at worst, could result in you meeting less people, or leaving a worse impression with the people you do meet.

Create a list for yourself that includes everything you’re going to need:

  • clothing for the full three days — plan specific outfits and pack them!
  • electronics — your phone, your laptop, and all the peripherals
  • analog networking tools — business cards, pens, and a small notebook
  • travel supplies — snacks, a book, whatever

Make a list for yourself. Don’t rely on someone else’s pre-printed checklist (their needs might not be the same as yours), and don’t try to pack without a list. Jet pilots and astronauts use long, detailed checklists for a reason — and so should you.

4. Research Other Guests

Is there someone at NMX that you specifically want to talk to?

Check the schedule ahead of time to see who you’re interested in. Then spend time browsing their websites, checking them out on Twitter and Facebook, and so on, learning how they like to do business and interact with fans or customers.

If you’re hoping to approach a speaker, remember that right after their speech or presentation is the worst possible time to do it. They’re going to be tired, and they’ll be swamped with 15 other people vying for their time.

A better tactic is to build a relationship ahead of time.   Comment on their posts.  Interact with them on Twitter or Facebook.  Build an online friendship – then mention you’ll be at NMX and leverage this warm online relationship into a real face-to-face one.

If you can’t get in touch with the person you’re interested in, see who they are talking to — it might be easier for you to connect with their inner circle.  Form real friendships, and they’ll help get you in touch at a later date.

5. Schedule and Prioritize

What are the most important things for you to get out of the conference?

There are probably two or three presentations that are really important to you, but most of the value lies in meetings and chat. Spend a little extra cash to get the presentation recordings if you’re really interested in them. Plan on spending the rest of your time meeting and greeting – this is the part of NMX that can’t be done except in Vegas!

Also, leave plenty of flex time for impromptu meetings and try to schedule some sit-downs with the people you’re most interested in. They’ll remember a planned meeting that they set time aside for more than an elevator pitch with a total stranger.

In conclusion – spending a few hours planning your NMX trip is going to have a very high return on investment.  You’re spending quite a bit of time and money to attend – get the most bang out of your buck by showing up prepared for success.

Setting Goals, Objectives and Metrics for Achieving Your Desired Outcomes with Social Media Marketing (Sponsored Post)


Does this story sound familiar to you?

Your boss calls you in.  She wants to know if all this social media marketing is accomplishing anything; if it is impacting your bottom line. Is it?

You know social media is very important in today’s world. You, or an entire team in your organization, have been investing your time and effort to make sure you’re regularly posting and sharing great content, following relevant people, tweeting and retweeting, pinning, liking, writing thoughtful blog posts and sharing your knowledge. On top of that, all of the constant changes on the various social platforms and new marketing tactics that you must learn to employ keep you incredibly busy.  It’s easy to lose sight of why you’re doing it, and if it’s making a difference.

It’s very often the case that your social media activities are not closely tied to the larger purpose, vision, and overall goals and objectives of the organization. If we dive into social media without clear goals, we might not be prepared for that boss’s question.

Goal Setting Aligned with the Larger Purpose and Vision

How do you justify the investment and prove that yes, social media marketing is helping to contribute to your success? How do you plan your campaigns and goals so that they are in line with the larger purpose of your organization? How will you measure and prove your social media marketing efforts are valuable? You do this by creating a social media plan.

DragonSearch’s presentation at NMX in Las Vegas in January, 2014 will follow the same format as our workshop on how to create your social media strategy. In this post I will talk about the first steps in the process:

1.     Understand Your Purpose and Vision

In his book, Social Marketology, Ric Dragon focuses on outlining a framework for creating a social media marketing strategy and process. As he describes the first step of the process, Ric dives into the importance of focusing on desired outcomes and how every social media activity needs to be tied back to the organization’s purpose, vision and goals. The purpose and vision are principles that guide and inspire your goals and objectives.

“… [vision, values, and mission] bring cohesiveness to business actions, provide teams with focus, and act as a heuristic or innate set of rules guiding bigger actions.”

“Values provide us with what I call passion points – things that our organization’s leadership and culture get behind passionately and that allow us to connect with people.

The importance of values becomes even more pronounced in social media marketing, where great agility is needed. The individuals working for a brand need a framework.”

“By having clearly articulated passion points, marketers can focus on communications that people will want to be a part of. In the process, the brand’s association with those values will be stronger, and the sense of brand personality will flourish.”

— Excerpt from Ric Dragon’s “Social Marketology” book.

Landscape of desired outcomes from Ric Dragon’s Social Marketology book.

Landscape of desired outcomes from Ric Dragon’s Social Marketology book.

2.     Set Goals and Objectives

For anything you do in marketing, your first step should be to set your desired outcomes. Desired outcomes are your goals and objectives outlining the benefits or changes you aspire to achieve with your work. Setting goals and objectives for your social media activities should be based on the purpose and vision you identified in the first step in the process.

“We all know social media is changing marketing. We know it’s changing customer relations, product development, human resources, and other key areas. We know we need to be doing it. But we’re often unsure of the bigger picture, or how we’re going to create real sustaining value. In marketing in general, we need a clear understanding of what we want to accomplish. If we jump in and start activities without first tying them to organizational goals, we won’t even know when and if we’re succeeding.”

— Excerpt from Ric Dragon’s “Social Marketology” book.

Why Set Goals?

You could go ahead and start tweeting, Facebooking, and posting on all the social media platforms right now – and many organizations and individuals do just that. But how will you know what you achieved and if you were successful? How will you make decisions when situations arise if you don’t have that guiding light in front of you showing you the way? The only way to know is if we understand where we want to head and what results and benefits we want to achieve.

What Should be Your Social Media Marketing Goals?

At the end of the day we all have the same ultimate goal; to make money. But we also have a larger sense of purpose behind why we do what we do. It’s not only about the money.

This is especially true for social media. Why are you doing social media marketing? It should not be just about driving sales. If you approach it like that you will fail. People don’t care about what you want to sell to them. Your social media marketing should be about adding value for your customers.

Examples of Setting Goals & Objectives

Take inspiration from Ritz Carlton. Their purpose and passion is to “create indelible memories that last a lifetime” for their guests. Their social media goal is to deepen the engagement with current and potential customers and be central to storytelling in social media. In line with this, they can plan their micro-goals and objectives and then map metrics to measure their progress and success.

Example of mapping out your purpose, goals, objectives and metrics for social media

Example of mapping out your purpose, goals, objectives and metrics for social media

As a blogger your goal might be to establish yourself as an authority in your subject matter. Based on this you may set objectives, like writing well-researched blog posts and building up your following and engagement on social media.

As a next step you’ll want to focus on defining some metrics you will use to measure your success.

Use SMART Objectives

Setting SMART objectives will help you create realistic, measurable plans for achieving your goals.

I like the way the Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence Against Women and Girls uses the SMART criteria for setting campaign objectives and how closely it can apply to social media marketing:

 “Specific” doesn’t imply “unchangeable”: As the campaign is unfolding, its different elements and the internal and external actors and factors influencing success need to be constantly monitored. Substantive positive or negative changes may make it necessary to adjust the objectives.

“Measurable” does not necessarily mean “quantifiable”: For example, in social campaigns aiming for behavior change, qualitative observation tends to provide a more accurate picture of the complex processes campaigns may contribute than numerical data.

Being “realistic” doesn’t mean being pessimistic: If a campaign is grounded in robust research, a clear idea should emerge as to what can and what cannot be achieved within the context and the resources available.

“Time-bound” is for planning purposes only: Time limits need to be adjusted as the campaign unfolds (see also above, “‘specific’ doesn’t imply ‘unchangeable’”).

3.     Map Out Your Metrics

Map 3 to 5 metrics with milestones to each goal and objective. Measuring is very important so you can track your progress and know what is working and what is not.

Depending on your goals and objectives, metrics may be similar to the examples in the illustration above, i.e. number of comments on your blog, number of shares on Twitter, etc.

Excerpt from the Desired Outcomes Worksheet used in DragonSearch’s social media strategy workshops.

Excerpt from the Desired Outcomes Worksheet used in DragonSearch’s social media strategy workshops.

Quantity or Quality? How About Both?

Keep in mind that quality is just as important as quantity. As Patrick Lencioni quotes Jim Collins in his book: “qualitative field research is just as reliable as the quantitative kind, as long as clients and readers attest to its validity.”

How Do You Measure…

Not everything can be measured and some things are hard to measure. Social media allows us to have a direct relationship with our customers. But how do you measure those relationships in terms of ROI? How does owning your brand and messaging affect customer perceptions? What is the value in having an engaged audience? What can consumer loyalty and trust do for your brand? Brand awareness, loyalty, engagement all have tremendous value and are difficult to measure. However, with a well-planned and executed social media strategy, there are ways to map these metrics to your goals.

In his SMX Milan presentation about measuring social media ROI, Ric Dragon talked about a landscape of social media values.

Why Measure?

Measuring will help you:

  • See if you are on the right track to achieving your goals
  • See if what you are doing is working
  • Know when to adjust your strategy and how
  • Know when you achieved your goal
  • Justify your budget or position. Or even get you a raise
  • Justify your investment into doing the great things that are hard to measure

Follow these 3 basic steps for setting your social media marketing goals, objectives and metrics and you will have the structure in place that will guide you through everyday tasks and help you make important decisions on next steps. Whether you work for a large company or are a blogger working for yourself, this approach will help you make the most of your social media efforts. Most importantly it will help tie your efforts into your big picture vision and purpose so you can achieve your desired outcomes.

What are Your Experiences and Approach?

Are you ready for that conversation with the boss now? What are some of your goals and how are you tying them into your larger purpose and vision? What metrics do you use to measure your progress?

Please share your experiences or ask any questions and I’ll do my best to help you get started.

Hope to see you at our presentation about creating a social media marketing strategy at NMX in Las Vegas.

12 Days of Giveaways: Nail Your Content Writing with Barry Feldman



We’re nearing the end of the 12 Days of Giveaways, but we still have a few great giveaways for you. Are you interested in learning how to write more effective content for the web? This gift from NMX speaker Barry Feldman is for you! Get it here.

Barry’s two-part video lesson begins by examining the critical steps you’ll use to plan and prepare to write powerful pieces. Barry will then guide you through an extensive series of tips and tactics to inject excitement into your writing, engage your readers and compel them to take action.

If you want to succeed with content marketing, this presentation will give you the tools you need to nail the writing.

But this giveaway won’t be available forever. Get it now before the NMX 12 Days of Giveaway ends on December 31 by submitting your information on this page.

17 Brilliant Bloggers – Blogging During the Holidays


Brilliant Bloggers is a bi-weekly series here at NMX where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every other week, we’ll feature a brilliant blogger, along with a huge list of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: Blogging During the Holidays

Blogging during the holidays. Are you excited about it? Or do you dread trying to keep up with it? There are many ways to handle blogging during the holiday from refraining from blogging altogether to just writing a fluff post every day. Neither of these is a great idea if you are really building a business.  We found some bloggers who have really great ideas to help you out.

The following list of brilliant blog posts will give you some practical help. And don’t forget to check out our own post about how to effectively schedule blog posts.

Brilliant Blogger of the Week:

  MelACulbertson 4 Steps to Prepare Your Blog for the Holiday Season By Melissa Culbertson

This is a complete guide to blogging during the holidays, with Melissa covering everything from planning your content to editing older holiday posts to writing gift guides. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with blogging this holiday season, check out Melissa’s advice.

Don’t forget to follow her on Twitter at @MelACulbertson when you’re done reading!

Even More Brilliant Advice:

  1. 4 Ways To Blog And Brag About Your Business On Holidays By Ryan Rivera (@ryan_rivera)
  2. 5 Tips to Help You Blog During the Holidays By Ginny Soskey (@gsosk)
  3. 5 Ways to Make the Most of Blogging Over the Holidays By The SitsGirls (@SITSGirls)
  4. Blogging During the Holidays By Emmanuel Banks (@techwalls)
  5. Blogging During the Holidays By Heidi (@TheBloggerBabes)
  6. Blogging through the holidays – and how to keep going without becoming overwhelmed By Paula Rollo (@Paula_Rollo)
  7. Enjoying the Holidays By Allison (@LifesaBowl)
  8. Holiday Blogging: Two Essential Ideas to get You Started By Ashley Robison
  9. Holidays Ahead: Keep Updating Your Website and Blog  By Aaron Hockley  (@ahockley)
  10. How Podcasting Breaks and Frequency Affect Subscribers By Daniel J. Lewis (@TheRamenNoodle)
  11. How to Blog During the Holidays  By Bethy Jones (@bethythewriter)
  12. How to Keep Your Blog From Losing Weight During the Holidays   By Taylor Lindstrom (@GoodInkInc)
  13. How To Make Money Blogging During the Holidays By Taylor Davies (@shutupilovethat)
  14. How to Motivate Yourself to Work During the Holidays By Alyson Stanfield (@abstanfield)
  15. Make Holiday Blogging More Fun: Connect with Other Bloggers  By Leigh Ann Dutton (@ladutton)
  16. Top Notch Tips for Blogging During the Holiday Season  By Hub Staff (@printinghub)

Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about blogging during the holidays? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link.

Next Brilliant Blogger Topic:  YouTube Versus Vimeo

I’d love to include a link to your post in our next installment– and if you head to the Brilliant Bloggers Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts. We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

12 Days of Giveaways: Guide to Jaw-Dropping Content with Paula Pant

It’s Day 8 of the 12 Days of Giveaways, and we’re back with another great freebie. Content is still king, and in this ebook, NMX speaker Paula Pant from Afford Anything talks about how to make sure you’re writing the absolute best content in your niche. You can get it for free here.
This guide includes 23 tips and techniques to help you write better content. Find out…
  • How to tighten your writing by cutting words
  • Which words you should avoid to keep your content strong
  • A often-overlooked trick for making your list posts better
  • How to choose killer verbs
  • Basic and advanced hacks for using adjectives
  • And more!
Enter your information now on this page to get this can’t-miss guide sent directly to your inbox so you can start creating better content today.

12 Days of Giveaways: Maximizing LinkedIn from Neal Schaffer



Thought LinkedIn was just for job seekers? Think again. Today’s gift might change your mind! You can get it here.

For a limited time, you can get free audio recordings of the first several chapters of Neal Schaffer’s book, which will teach you how to develop business on LinkedIn with Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Create a sales-oriented profile and connections policy to attract more leads
  • Become an industry thought leader by establishing your own community within the lucrative Linkedin demographic
  • Set up your LinkedIn Companies Page to improve your reputation–and drive more traffic to your website

This giveaway is only available during the 12 Days of Giveaways, so if you’re interested in learning how to maximize your presence on LinkedIn, grab your free audio downloads now! Just enter your information on this page so we know where to send them.

12 Days of Giveaways: Social Media Goal and Growth Plan from Andrea Vahl



It’s time to set meaningful social media goals and lay out a plan to achieve them. That’s what today’s 12 Days of Giveaways gift is all about! You can get this giveaway here.

Making and following your social media marketing plan is as quick and easy as answering a few questions and filling in a few forms.This worksheet from social coach and author Andrea Vahl was developed to help you lay your goals out in an easy-to-follow format and it includes an easy-to-use spreadsheet to help you track your progress.

Why spend your time re-creating the wheel when you can start working on your success plan immediately with this simple worksheet and goal tracker spreadsheet?

Plan for your best year EVER in social media by having a system in place for you to succeed. Hurry: this freebie is only available during the NMX 12 Days of Giveaways, which ends December 31.

Simply enter your information on this page to tell us where to send your free guide to achieving your social goals. And stay tuned – yet another great giveaway is coming this afternoon!

Be Part of the First Ever Podcast Documentary


uncasters Today, we have an incredible opportunities for podcasters at NMX. If you’ve been on the fence about buying a ticket to the show, this is an opportunity we don’t think you’ll be able to refuse.

Grab your ticket now to be part of the first documentary about podcasting.

Mark Ramsey has been podcasting since 2006, the audio and video shows, Tasty Logic, Pigskin Radio, The Tech Tards Show and starting in February 2014, ATX Talk. In October he started shooting a podcasting documentary film called The Uncasters. He will be at New Media Expo on Sunday January 5, in a booth on the show floor shooting footage for the film. He is looking to talk with podcasters famous and not so famous.

Don’t miss this opportunity to possibly be in the first documentary about podcasting. You could be part of history!

Submit your show and why you should be interviewed for the documentary over at http://uncasters.com/ and remember – this is an opportunity only available to registered attendees, so if you want to part of this exciting film, you need to be registered.


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