Month: August, 2010

30 Aug

Are you executing?

Mike Koehler Content, life, SmallBiz, social media 0 Comments

I was looking over all of my iPhone apps the other day and I have a ton that continually feed me information and tips – about social media, small business, management, leadership, finance, living and parenting.

Lots of great information. More Top 10 lists and suggested links than I can read in a lifetime – and a tidal wave of information that is perpetually updated.

Then it dawned on me. The time I spend reading this information is time I don”t spend executing it.

Whether you are building a business or building a barn, there has to be a clear line drawn after you have digested the basics and need to pick up the hammer. You can spend a lot of time Players can enjoy an impressive range of 80+ casino games – predominantly slots, scratchcards and instant play attractions. reading about paint, hay bale storage and weather vanes, but your cows are going to be cold until you build the dang barn.

The same can be said about social media. The difference between real and fake – and this goes back to the whole “expert” conversation – is the difference between someone who continues to regurgitate tips they”ve read and trends they see to those people who spend the day executing.

There”s a time and a place for great advice from the people, websites and books you respect, but eventually you have to do the work.

Go on, build the dang barn.


25 Aug

Selling or yelling?

Mike Koehler SmallBiz, social media 0 Comments

Quick post.

How are you selling yourself and your business online?

Are you blasting out messages only about your services, your clients, your low, low prices and deals?

Are you only putting messages on your social networks about partying with your buds, how bored you are or how you can’t wait for the waitress to get here with that margarita?

Somewhere in between is the strike zone. The right mix of personal, professional, helpful and informative.

It’s not easy to pitch strikes.

But that’s what makes the game so interesting.

23 Aug

Self-loathing and social media

Mike Koehler Content, life, Nerd culture, social media, the internet is great 15 Comments

Maybe I just don’t get it. Maybe it’s because I’m in the middle of it and have no perspective or maybe it just doesn’t make sense.

Enough already with the self-hating social media consultant.

The latest to set me off was this blog by a guy named Tim Baker, which was retweeted by Guy Kawasaki. Baker works at a social media marketing firm, who wrote a blog called “Never Hire A Social Media Expert.”

Kawasaki tweeted last week about how “social media expert” is an oxymoron.

What point are you trying to make exactly? That you know what you’re talking about, but other poseurs out there in Internet land don’t?

Is it all just semantics and the term “expert” or “guru” just give people the willies?

Let’s face facts folks. Social media is being sold. I’m selling it. Guy Kawasaki is selling it. Chris Brogan is selling it. Brian Solis is selling it.* In order to sell it, you have to pitch your expertise to the folks writing checks. If you’re not an expert, then what are you? If you don’t know enough about the strategy and technique that goes into making businesses successful online, what are you doing?

I find it a little disingenuous for the household names in this business to shrug off newcomers and roll their eyes at the folks who use the buzzwords they created. There were a few lucky folks who came up with great strategies, were at the front of the way of the technology and built a following when people were looking for someone to follow.

Is the advice I give different that what Tim Baker is giving? Maybe, but a lot of it is probably similar. Business should share great content with their customers, look for ways to connect and don’t mistake quantity of followers with quality.

How do you learn this stuff? From reading what people you respect have to say – like Brogan, Seth Godin and other innovators in the field – by keeping up with the latest news about what each platform has to offer and by doing the work.

Where that puts me on the guru scale is up to other people. It’s my job to convince them to trust me with helping their business craft the messages which will make the Web effective for them.

The bottom line is that bashing on other social media folks has become an easy punchline, especially if you are looking to write a blog post that gets you retweeted and some attention. Look around, there are a lot of people who have come out of nowhere to enter this space. I’m not the only person in Oklahoma looking to convince businesses that social media is a great tool for them to add to the mix of how they promote their business.

Do I feel like some of these folks are less qualified than I am? Sure I do. I mentioned that on The OKC Show podcast and I’ve had conversations about it off line.

But it’s my job to talk to clients, write interesting blogs, engage online and walk the walk.

I hope that would make me an expert. All I can do is try.

* – These pros will say they aren’t selling social mediahat they are selling strategy, relationships or evangelism. I get it. It’s like when someone asked Captain Kirk if he was from space. He said, “No, I’m from Iowa. I just work in space.”

17 Aug

What are you listening to? How about the OKC Show?

Mike Koehler life, OKC, Oklahoma, social media 1 Comment

I can’t recommend highly enough Jason Baffrey and the new podcast, the OKC Show.

I was lucky enough to be a guest on the second show and feel very proud of the discussion that we had about the new media, the newspaper industry and what motivates and inspires a new business. I have to admit that I speak from the heart most of the time and some of the things I say about newspapers, other social media consultants and businesses may push the envelope. But I try to be honest, so enjoy it warts and all.

This was recorded on July 13, a day after we founded Smirk New Media. It seems like a lot longer ago than that.

There are two other episodes available with a couple of powerhouse folks – Dan Gordon of Samuel Gordon Jewelers and Chris Forbes, the non-profit marketing wizard. We’re privileged to have these folks – and all the other future OKC Show guests – in our community.

Here’s a link to the OKC Show. Don’t miss an episode.


16 Aug

What do your updates mean?

Mike Koehler Uncategorized 2 Comments

So you”re walking the walk on social media, updating like crazy, replying, retweeting, following and DMing.

You”re wishing people “Good Morning”, suggesting links, following on Friday. Everything right down the Twittertown checklist.

But what do those updates mean?

I”ve been thinking a lot about the impact of the effectiveness what you say online and your real reputation.

If you send a strategic link at 2 a.m., does that really work? What about 4 a.m.?

If you broadcast tips 10 times a day, is that effective? What about 12 times? Or 20 times?

Are your spending more time tweeting about what you had for lunch than promoting your business? Are you tweeting about what you had to drink?

With each Tweet, Facebook update or YouTube video you post, think about the audience on the other end. It”s still possible, even with the best content, to annoy, bore and frustrate your readers.

There”s no magic formula. But there is thoughtfulness.


06 Aug

What’s your motivation?

Mike Koehler Content, life 0 Comments

Why are you doing what you’re doing?

Right now, look around and think. You may be in an office or a coffee shop or sitting with your laptop propped up on the couch like me.

But why?

Once you find your reason, you find your motivation. And that will be the fuel in your engine to make you innovate, work with excellence and dream about the future.

  • Giving your kids great opportunities.
  • Putting someone else in a position to succeed.
  • Boosting your financial resources.
  • Giving glory to your God.
  • Getting attention.
  • Solving a problem in your community.
  • Expanding your influence.
  • Providing for your family.
  • Promoting your point-of-view.
  • Keeping yourself on the straight-and-narrow.

Why do you do what you do?

05 Aug

Do you think before you Tweet?

Mike Koehler Content, social media 1 Comment

There is nothing accidental about a social networking update.

You might be embarrassed by a Facebook update or the occasional Tweet, but no one could ever say those things just slipped out. You have to log-on to your network, type it in and hit send.

Oops? Those things just happened?!

Sorry, updates on the Internet are intentional.

So what does that mean for most folks? Installation of a multi-faceted filter in their brains and on their keyboards.

If you’re in business, that means flipping the filter on if you are talking about your pending deals, potential clients, sensitive competitors, troubled employees or the media.

On the personal side, maybe you’re not totally honest about what’s going on at home, or at that dysfunctional Thanksgiving dinner.

We love the transparency that social networking have given all of us, assuming we want to embrace that transparency.

But it should be noted that, like all communication, there are going to be different levels of honesty in social networking.

That’s where strategy comes in. Personally, professionally, those updates should have thought behind them. Why are you saying what you are saying and who is listening.

That’s important.


04 Aug

Who’s ready for the social media flip?

Mike Koehler OKC, Oklahoma, SmallBiz, social media 2 Comments

There are many small businesses that are having great success in the social media space right now in Oklahoma City, but are not necessarily the No. 1 brands in their business.

Daniel Gordon has Samuel Gordon Jewelers ruling the OKC jewelry market online, but B.C. Clark still has brand recognition and their catchy Christmas jingle.

Iguana was packed to the rafters last night during #tacotuesday, but most people take their visiting relatives to Ted’s.

And the list could go on.

But what happens when social media becomes more and more mainstream and the lead that digitally  savvy business have online becomes more important? What happens when the Teds and the B.C. Clarks of the world find themselves having to play catchup for the years that the Iguanas and Dan Gordons have invested online.

That’s the social media flip.

Sometime soon, social networking will become the No. 1 source for information online. That’s where word-of-mouth will originate and where a majority of the people will make their decisions about where to do business.

If your business in a leader online right now, then bueno. But if your business thinks that you can ignore what’s going on online because you are No. 1 right now in the real world, just wait.

You could wake up tomorrow and your world might be flipped.



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