Mark E Goodman

November 8, 2009

3 Tips on how you use Social Media to become the “Trusted Source”

Filed under: News and Commentary, Social Media — Tags: , , , — markegoodman @ 8:38 am

I was talking yesterday with a person who had been a reporter for a major newspaper. We discussed the fact that print in general and newspapers in particular were losing readers to the internet.  He expressed a concern that no one wanted to pay for what he called a “trusted source”.   While on the other hand, information on the internet was being accessed, but often was untrustworthy.

As we talked more, it became clear that there is an opportunity to become a trusted source in your business area.  While viewers are not going to pay for your content, they will reward your company by purchasing your products or services.  Prospects are searching for answers.  If you provide the trusted answers, people are more likely to purchase.  Video allows for greater trust because they can see and hear you.

Here are 3 Tips that will help you become a trusted source.

  1. Understand what benefits your products/services provides.  Be very clear how your company fits into your overall business ecosystem.  If you have not done a vision/mission, it can be a good exercise to help.  Also, helpful is a competitive analysis. Knowing who you are not is as important as what you do.   You can only be a trusted source in the areas where you are competent.
  2. Reach out to experts in your business area.  Here you can tap your internal resources.  Additionally, consider your suppliers, partners and even your customers.  Being a trusted source does not mean that you need to have all the knowledge, just that you can help point the viewer in the right direction.  A video interview with is an expert, that is facilitated by your company is very powerful.
  3. Find a “host” to provide continuity.  A “Walter Cronkite” does not have to know everything, but your repeat viewer is counting on someone to insure that the subject matter expert stays on track.  That host can also provide continuity.  Reminding your viewers that this interview is consistent with ones done in the past.   Your host also needs a bit of personality.  While viewers won’t tune in just to see a host, the host does provide familiarity.. putting your viewer at ease.

Think about how you can promote your experts in email marketing, trade shows and other events.   For example, when you do a new video posting, let your customers know.  Provide that content to other members of your ecosystem.  If you are doing an interview with one of your suppliers, ask them to also reach out to their customer base.  You can also give them the video that they can embed in their website.

Customer interviews are very powerful.   While these clips enhance your website or blog, you would be surprised how many times customers will want to add it to their website.  Experts often use a good video interview to enhance their personal reputation.  All of those postings will reinforce your company’s position as a trusted source.

Establishing your company as a trusted source takes time, money, and effort.  However, the payoff can be significant.  Mindshare can be translated into market share.  The value of knowledge cannot be discounted.

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November 7, 2009

Try to say yes

Filed under: News and Commentary — Tags: , , , , — markegoodman @ 12:44 pm

I worked once with a boss who loved his job, loved his company, and worked very hard.  As he had progressed up the corporate ladder, he took on tough jobs and accomplished most of them.

As he moved up, he picked up a bad habit.  From his perspective, responsibility was saying “no”.  The tough decisions forced him to say “no”.  Over time, he became known as “No Joe”.

As I have worked over the years, it has become increasingly clear that saying “no” kills more innovation, creativity, drive, and discussion, than any other word.  It’s almost equal to just saying “go away”.

My suggestion to all business leaders is find a way to say yes.  While no is unconditional, yes can be conditioned.

Yes, let’s try it.

Yes, with limited resources.

Yes, with clear goals and trigger points.

Yes, but a little bit slower.

Yes, please flesh it out a bit better.

But, “yes” is hard because you have to listen and help construct a plan.  “yes” takes time.

However, “yes” continues and “no” ends.  Only with a string of “yeses” can a company thrive.

October 30, 2009

How Social Media can increase the value of your company

MONDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2009 – published in http://www.bizbrokerjournal.com

Interview with Mark Goodman of e-Conversation

We are continually asked by owners how they can enhance their businesses prior to pursuing a third party sale. This is a complex question and requires a indepth understanding of the business and its operations. However, ensuring that your top line sales are growing and that you have solid brand awareness are critical to attracting potential buyers to your business.

We recently had the opportunity to interview Mark Goodman who has created a platform to help companies leverage the internet in a unique way to enhance their online presence.

Mark is the CEO of e-Conversation a consulting based business focused around using video and social media to create client awareness and loyalty. Mark has a varied work experience. He was an educational television producer/director and a film buyer for a national theatre chain. Following that experience, Mark spent many years working for Motorola. He was one of the first business people in the cell phone group, rising to positions in distribution, marketing, and business management. Mark also developed and implemented internet strategies. Then he went on to manage service, parts and major account business opportunities. Subsequent to his experience at Motorola, Mark worked in sales management for a Silicon Valley company.


Mark has an MBA and an MA in Radio/TV/Film.

Mark, you are an expert in attracting and maintaining customers using new Web 2.0 internet tools, before we talk about how to use the tools, tell me how this creates value for a business.
There is a traditional value and a non traditional value to taking advantage of the new tools. First, let’s talk about the traditional one. Using the tools and the processes below, you can dramatically lower your costs of selling and customer support. Customers and users are looking to get answers on line. Below, you will find a process that allows for the creation of answer bits in multiple media. Lower sales and support costs translate into greater profits.

Now, let’s look at the non traditional value. The size of your social media audience can increase the value of your company. If you were supporting hundreds of users through Twitter or YouTube, that would be part of your valuation. Recently, companies have been hiring individuals based on their internet following. Companies like Twitter are totally valued on number of participants. Being a “recognized” expert for Google or YouTube, creates value beyond the ordinary.

How does a company need to change how they are creating content to attract Web 2.0 customers and users?
The content creation plan for a small business used to be pretty simple. When you rolled out a new product, you did a brochure and maybe a press release. Perhaps you ran a small ad. You trained your sales force, then got going. When it came to customer support, your technical people trained phone support.

What has changed in the last 10 years. First, your brochure went on line. Then, you decided rather than running ads, you would have buyers come to you using pay per click and search engine optimization. More and more, your buyers and customers did not want to see a sales person, but wanted to find the answers to their questions on line.

How has that changed how you create content?
When searching on line, your users want to find the answer to their individual question(s). The typical searcher is typing in four or five words. In a “decision engine” perhaps even asking a question. So rather than a brochure, white paper or FAQ list, you need to create an “answer bit”.

Also, realize that your buyers or users looking for service want to find the content in the media that they are comfortable with. Some buyers want to find it in a blog. Others, are YouTube viewers, some are searchers of Google or Bing. You can maximize the reach of your content by representing it in various media, if you plan for it in advance.

Our content creation process is based on the “interview” model. The content creation starts with a TV show. This is a 25 minute show that runs once a week. We have found that with the interview process, subject matter experts are more engaging, and answer length is more manageable.

The show is posted in its entirety on BLIP.TV. The show is then edited into clips and put on YouTube. The clips are also turned into blog postings. You can also reference the content in an email campaign. Content is then embedded on your website in the appropriate portions of the website.

Isn’t that a pretty complex and expensive process?
The key to keeping the costs down is designing the interview up front. The interview questions are created so that they can easily be cut into segments. Additionally, the dialogue during the interview focuses on topical issues that can be reconfigured into a blog posting. Lastly, we watch the length and complexity of the answers to insure that the clip will play well in the YouTube environment. Each question is its own answer bit. An answer has to be complete enough to answer a question, but not so complex as to lose the viewer.

The weekly show allows for the creation of continual content. Both users and search engines like the creation of continual content. The more users and viewers that you have in you channel or blog, the more Web 2.0 referrers will route people to you. When you reach a volume on a YouTube channel, you start to get more people finding you. It is not a linear increase, more of a quantum leap.

Mark, can you cite an example of a company you have worked with that deployed these services and experienced an increase in sales?
Absolutely. One local organization that we worked with recently has seen an increase in two of their offerings. Sales of one product line were up over 50% for the last 6 months, as compared to the 6 months prior. In addition, the volume through their local facility was up 30% in September as compared to September 2008.

This client understood the value of our services and the fact that they are most effective when used as part of a total marketing plan. We worked with the client to develop web content and that became the perfect complement to optimized search and pay per click.

How does someone get started?
The first step is making an inventory of what questions prospects, customers, and users are asking. If you are doing search engine optimization, that’s a good place to start.

You can do a couple of segments to try it out, but, just doing one or two segments, won’t help draw traffic. On the other hand, a regular program can have significant value on your sales, costs and valuation.

Chances are your customers are looking for products and services online and your ability to deliver relevant content can easily separate you from the competition. You can reach Mark at www.e-conversation.com to learn more about the above services.

POSTED BY DOMENIC RINALDI AT 3:59 PM

September 23, 2009

Adventures in iPhone land

Filed under: Internet, News and Commentary — Tags: , , — markegoodman @ 7:27 pm

In the post below, you will see that I purchased my first phone that was not Motorola.  I bought an iPhone.  Primarily because of the video and internet features, but also because my wife wanted one.  I figured if I bought one too, it would minimize what I would need to learn to provide tech support.

So, today I am at a client visit.  I want to show some of the video, so I figure I will connect to the internet.  No such luck at the client location.  I thought I was having a problem with the data plan.  Then in the car on the way home, I tried to place a call.  I was unable to place a call.

What was going on?  As luck would have it, I was on my way past the ATT store.  I stopped by the store.   The sales person affirmed that it was not making a call.  He waited a few minutes, then made a call.

I asked what he did.  He said that the iPhone is like a little computer.  Sometimes, maybe once a week, you need to reboot it.  Press the bottom button and the power button together  for about 15 seconds.

Nice to know that even the iPhone has its quirks.  Not just a Motorola issue.

More to come as I explore the features and benefits.

Bought something other than a Motorola phone

Filed under: News and Commentary — Tags: , , — markegoodman @ 7:42 am

I broke my heart this week.  Bought a cell phone other than a Motorola.  For 25 years, in good times and bad, I always bought Motorola.   As I reminded my son,  the Motorola phones put him through college etc.

But there was nothing to buy at either Verizon or AT&T.  A sad state of affairs for the company and people who really helped make it happen.  I remember in 1984, walking around with a portable.   While I thought people would be amazed, for the most part they were ambivalent.  Didn’t see why anyone would want a portable cell phone.

Anyhow, it’s a different world now.  I need to move on.  But, it’s a sad world when “What you never thought possible” is gone.

September 6, 2009

Having Fun at Work

Filed under: News and Commentary — Tags: , — markegoodman @ 11:11 am

This is more a Titter type posting, than a blog posting.  But some one actually clicked on the 3 Tips on having fun at work.  I guess there is one person among the viewers of the SCORE blog that wants to know about having fun.

August 23, 2009

No Interest in How to Have Fun

Filed under: News and Commentary — Tags: , , , — markegoodman @ 5:09 pm

One of the nice things about writing a blog is that you can see what subjects resonate with your audience.  I wrote this piece below  about two weeks ago.  Did my usual promotion on Twitter.  Picked up the usual volume of visitors from our SCORE Chicago web site.   Almost any posting gets traffic.  Some get more, some get less.  This posting got no traffic.

Now, I have a pretty diverse set of followers on Twitter.  Thought for sure that I’d get some traffic.  But, I guess that people aren’t too interested in fun.   Curious, during the glory days of Motorola, there was in the HR world a view that we should at least try to create some fun.  Maybe that is one of the reasons that Motorola is not what it used to be… but I think not.

Probably when you are trying to survive, fun seem to not be a priority.  Too bad

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3 Tips on Having Fun at Work

In today’s times, sometimes it is difficult to have fun at work.  Here are 3 tips to help out.

1. Recognize accomplishment.  When something good happens, you get an order, or solve a problem, announce it and celebrate it.  When I worked in the cell phone business,  when someone, either us or a competitor found a creative way to improve a product, that accomplishment was celebrated.  Then in a competitive situation, we challenged ourselves to do better.  Caution, don’t let someone else’s accomplishment, turn into accusation.

2. Enjoy being in your working group.  Create a regular process of getting together and having a good time.  The most successful collaborative efforts create events to enjoy just working together.  I worked on a project with a customer, internal people, and suppliers.  Every month, we’d get together in another location do a business review and have a nice dinner.  One of my colleagues stated that “you can’t be too upset with someone you eat with”.  Caution: don’t let the celebration become dominated by one person or group. You don’t want to turn it into a coronation.

3.  Announce that one of the goals of the group is to have fun.  Just saying it gets you half way there.  Caution: if you say it, you need to do it.  See points 1 & 2.

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