Welcome!

My name is Jason Yormark and welcome to my personal blog where I write about social media, entrepreneurship, technology, and other life lessons I've learned. Learn more about me here, and if you're looking for help with your digital marketing efforts, check out my agency Studio 9.

Why Sometimes You Have To Say No To New Business

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Not every lead is a good one. In my first year of starting my company, while few and far between, I’ve actually had new business prospects that I’ve turned down. For a startup, that seems a bit crazy, but sometimes, it’s unavoidable.

I was inspired to write this blog post by something that literally just happened in our office that is driving me nuts. What initially started out as a very promising lead for our company, turned into the most ridiculous showing of disorganization and disrespect I’ve faced since launching my business.

A week or so ago, I was delighted to hear that someone drove by our office and saw our sign and actually stopped in to learn about us. I didn’t think that we’d ever get a lead from our sign, but lo and behold, we did. She set up an appointment to discuss marketing needs for her new business. Here is a list recap of events that happened since:

  • Cancelled an hour before her meeting because she wasn’t feeling well. She rescheduled for a few days later
  • Does not show up to rescheduled meeting. We call her and she says she didn’t get a reminder call from us so she forgot. She reschedules for a few days later and asks us to call her the same day to remind her. Reluctantly, we agree to this even though I think it’s ridiculous that a grown professional adult requires a reminder service for a meeting SHE initiated.
  • We call her on the day of the rescheduled meeting and she tells us that we didn’t give her enough time with our reminder call to make it work

Now, does that sound like someone you’d ever want to go into business with? One of the choices I’ve made when starting my business was that no matter how desperate we may be for the income, I would never take on a client that I had red flags about because it usually ends up in disaster. In this particular case, it was a no brainer. Could you imagine the potential headaches we’d encounter with someone that is incapable of being organized enough to know when their meetings are or has no accountability for their actions? No thank you.

How To Guarantee Your Facebook Page Content Reaches Your Fans

Times are changing. The good ‘ol days of free advertising on Facebook have pretty much disappeared. You can’t blame Facebook entirely for this as it was just a matter of time before they really needed to monetize all those users and all that data. There’s plenty of uproar over this as organic Facebook reach is starting to dip into the single digits, and companies are scrambling to figure out what’s next. Some are proclaiming they are leaving the platform, while others have begrudgingly bit the bullet and started paying to promote their posts.

While I certainly enjoyed the free ride, I don’t really have as big of an issue as others do. I have no problem with Facebook trying to make money. For a business to expect a free ride forever is being a little naive. It’s still incredibly affordable to reach a very targeted, actionable audience on Facebook. In my opinion, certainly still more affordable and effective than traditional marketing channels.

That being said, there is a little known work around that won’t cost you a dime. It’s a bit of a workaround, and requires action on part of your fans, but it’s still a free option. Have your Facebook Fans hover over the Liked button, and select Get Notifications from the drop down menu. 

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As you can see from the screenshot above, it’s a relatively simple process to actually do. The trick is how you can actually get your fans and future fans to actually do this. It’s not likely that you’ll get all of them to do so. But it can’t hurt to communicate such to your fans, and come up with some creative ways to encourage them to do so.

It’s not an ideal solution, but if you’re completely adverse to paying to reach your more of your Facebook fans, here’s your option.

Social Media Isn’t Going Anywhere

I often get asked from folks whether there will ever be a “social media crash”. Similar to the 2000 dot com bust, will all these social channels just crash and burn at some point. My simple answer is always no. The fact is, social media at its core isn’t some newly formed concept that just popped up over the last few years. As a society, we’ve always been “social”. It’s the technology that has changed that has allowed us to do so differently. So while I’m sure there will be a fair share of social channels that will come and go, our social interactions online will never go away.

So as a business, it’s critically important to ensure that investing time and/or money into social as part of your overall marketing strategy is a priority. Below is a terrific infographic that demonstrates the sheer volume of audience and activity online in the social sphere.

Some highlights:

  • Facebook has reached 1.5 billion users while Twitter has recently passed 550 million
  • 93% of marketers use social media for business
  • In the US, people spend on average, 16% every hour on social media sites
  • Fastest growing segments on the big 3? (Facebook, Twitter, Google +), 45-64 years old.
  • 47% of Americans say Facebook is the #1 influencer of purchasing decisions

If you’re business is not currently tapping into these huge opportunities, please call me today and I’ll walk you through what’s available to you and how you can use the social web to grow your business.

The Growth of Social Media v2.0 [INFOGRAPHIC]
Source: The Growth of Social Media v2.0 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Rick Pitino & The Cauldron of Social Media Poison

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Sounds like a Harry Potter movie doesn’t it? Today an article was posted that quoted Rick Pitino, the head coach of the Louisville Cardinals Basketball Team, as saying that social media poisons the minds of his student athletes, and most people in general.

As quoted from the article linked above:

I think technology is a great thing in many instances, and I think it’s poison in others, and for people in sports especially.

He goes on to explain how social media and technology have created a environment where kids and athletes specifically are having a harder time communicating in real life because of their dependence on using social media and technology to communicate with one another.

It’s an interesting argument, and on some levels, I can certainly agree with some of his points. However, just like anything in life, times change and so do our ways of life. Technology advances create new ways for us to live our lives. Whether it’s how we drive our cars, prepare our food, or communicate with each other, change is the only constant. Social media is not to blame for a person’s inability to hold a real conversation with someone. That’s called bad parenting and/or bad schooling.

I have 2 young boys who LOVE their technology, and I enjoy sharing those experiences with them. But I make sure that like anything in life, it’s experienced in moderation. Blaming technology or social media for society faults is a cop out. Yes, of course our lives can be transformed regardless of how much balance we try to incorporate in our children’s lives, but there’s no escaping that. Life changes. How we communicate with each will continue to evolve, and it’s up to us to continue to reinforce the importance of still having real world communication skills.

Sorry Rick, while I agree with your analysis of the symptoms, social media is not the disease.

What do you think?

The 5 Top Things That Practically Guarantee Relationship Success

1I interrupt the usually scheduled program of social media and technology posts with this little relationship post I felt compelled to write. My blogging has always been inspired by helping others in any way I can. Sometimes that strays from my professional world. This time around it’s about relationships. Over the past few years, I’ve been through some tremendous life challenges and changes and have learned so much that I feel compelled to share what I feel I’ve learned. One of the biggest things I’ve experienced is meeting and being with someone that works on every level. And honestly, I’m not so sure I could have figured it out without going through what I have.

It goes without saying that being attracted to someone, sexual chemistry, etc etc, certainly needs to be there, but those are surface things that you should know pretty quickly and should be a given with anyone you’re with for a short period of time. So without further ado, here are the top 5 things I think can contribute to relationship success. If you have these 5 things nailed down, lock that person down!

  1. Being Best Friends – A lot of couples probably think that they are, or pretend that they are, but this is actually pretty rare. So how do you know if you truly are best friends with your significant other? Well, I don’t know if there is an exact science, but I think it comes down to a few things I’ve noticed now that I’ve found someone where I authentically feel this way. First off, I ALWAYS want to be with her. Not in a creepy, pathetic way, but I honestly never get tired of being with her. In every relationship I’ve been in, I’ve reached a point where I’d definitely long for some me time in some way, but this time around, not so much. Of course it’s healthy to have other friends, and do other things, and we certainly do, but even when I do, I miss her, and prefer her to just be along for the ride every time. She’s the first person I want to tell about anything, the first person I go to for advice and to bounce things off of, and there isn’t anything I wouldn’t tell or share with her. She’s the first mate I’ve had that can honestly say is my best friend and it is certainly the #1 reason we work.
  2. Common Interests – Too many times this is an area that can get overlooked early in relationships. You meet someone, you have the hots for them…everything is new, and not having too many (if any) common interests isn’t that big of a deal, because you guys just like being with each other. Fast forward a few years, and a lack of common interests rears its ugly head. Because that honeymoon period won’t last forever, and you’re going to need to have some things that you both love to do together. Without it, it’s a recipe for disaster. You don’t have to have everything in common, but something…anything is going to go a long way towards maintaining a long term relationship.
  3. Emotional IntelligenceHere’s a good article to begin to understand the concept of emotional intelligence and assess your own. I love this mode of thinking and I’ve come to really appreciate being with someone that shares this with me. A few years ago, I just wouldn’t have gotten this, but having been through a failed relationship, and now meeting someone who matches me in this area, it’s just huge. It contributes to us practically never getting into fights, dealing with disagreements and personality differences with ease, and just overall, making our relationship effortless.
  4. You’ve Both Dealt With Lots of Adversity – I have found over the years that the people that I have gotten along with the best, and have built the deepest relationships with are those that have experienced their fair share of adversity in their life. The bottom line is, if you are a person that has had to deal with some significant life experiences and rebound from them, chances are, you don’t sweat the small stuff. You don’t fight about the dishes, dirty laundry, argue about silly things. It’s not worth it. You’ve been through much deeper shit, so why waste any anger or stress over the little things? Typically people that that have been through a lot have learned to do just that. It only makes sense that being in a relationship with someone that shares a similar life path will lessen the amount of things you bicker about.
  5. Shared Sense of Humor – We laugh all the time. ALL the time. I make her laugh, she makes me laugh, we laugh at the same stuff. There are few days that go by that we don’t. It feels amazing. I mean…outside of sex, does anything really feel as good as laughing? No. And it’s good for you.

Those are the 5 things that I’ve learned. Everything else is icing on the cake. And I’ve got a pretty amazing cake going. I’d love to hear from any of you reading this your thoughts and any additional ones you’d add to the list.

You Don’t Have Any Competition

raceI remember attending a networking event and a talented speaker was up talking about how to grow your business. One of the things he said has always resonated with me, and it was the idea that you have to operate your business with the attitude that you have no competition. At first I kind of shrugged off the idea, but as he spoke more about it, I loved it.

Being a business owner (and incredibly competitive), I’ve always found that I would often peruse the web to do recon on other companies that did the same thing as me, and in many cases be irritated or jealous of how well they presented themselves, the client portfolios they possessed, or the talent they had on staff. While it can certainly be healthy and useful to see what others are doing in your space, it can also derail your focus on what’s truly important…what makes you unique and different.

The reality is, no matter what business you own or get into, there are going to be plenty others that already do it, and do it well. But here’s the awesome thing…there’s plenty of business to go around. As long as you do your thing, and do it well, you’ll get your piece of the pie. The key is to find that one thing that makes you different. The one thing that is unique to your business that no one else can touch. And when you can figure that out, and position yourself effectively, in essence, you don’t compete with anyone else.

Stop thinking of others in your same industry as competitors, but more as colleagues. You’d be amazed that by establishing relationships with those that are in the same industry, how much more you have to gain by working together vs. not.