Karl Schmieder M.S./M.F.A.

My Billboard

Posted in 3x5, Advertising, Influences, Marketing, messagingLAB, Observations, Writing by Karl S. on February 14, 2018

I Built a 22,000 Contact Network on LinkedIn. Here’s Why You Don’t Need To. Part 1

Posted in Marketing, messagingLAB, Uncategorized, Writing by Karl S. on February 10, 2018

22,000 people is a big network to maintain. Do you need this many people in your network?

TL;DR I grew my LinkedIn network to 22K contacts. You *might* grow yours to advance your career.

“You want to have as large a LinkedIn network as possible,” he said.

At the time, I didn’t understand.

What was this investor was telling me?

I’d been on the professional social network for a few years. I’d cultivated a decent group of contacts.

“A large network,” he explained, “makes it easier to get introduced to people who can make a difference for your business. Or career.”

I could agree with his logic.

“How do you do that?” I asked.

“Work on it every day.”

I asked a few more questions and learned he had grown his network to just over 3,000 contacts.

He repeated:

“A large network will give you greater access.”

My competitive fire was sparked.

I was determined to grow a larger network.

I became a LinkedIn Open Networker (a L.I.O.N.) and spent one year sending out invitations and helping others grow their own networks.

It took less than 15 minutes a day.

The result?

By the end of the first year, my network had grown to 7,500.

By the end of the second year, it was more than 10,000.

At the beginning, I wasn’t selective at all about inviting people in my network.

I started with the people known to have the largest networks, moved my way through the LIONs in my industry, and accepted everyone who asked to join my network.

Today, my network is nearly 22,000.

Do You Need A Large Network?

Before I give you a few tips to grow your network, let me ask Do you really need that big of a network?

[To be continued]

 

Product Market Fit

Posted in 3x5, Book Reviews, Marketing, messagingLAB, Observations, Writing by Karl S. on January 24, 2018

Figuring out product-market fit’s probably harder than this game. Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash

To paraphrase, Lean Startup author Eric Reis,

“We can build any product. The question is: Will anyone buy it?”

True Story:

She is developing a new chip set. It’s revolutionary in its design and potential applications.

When I ask about customers, she answers, “We’re building a platform, like the app store.”

When I ask about validated customers, she answers, “It will be a hundred times cheaper. Than the competition. They’ll all buy it. Wouldn’t you?”

When I asks about product-market fit, she asks, “What is that?”

It means, I explain, you have a product that people want to buy.

She repeat her statement about cheaper cost assuring – not just driving – sales.

To me, that’s the end of the conversation.

I can’t help people who haven’t spoken to their potential customers.

Or, those that think they don’t have to.

I can’t draft messages in a void.

I can. Sure. 

But there’s no guarantee they’ll work and I won’t take the risk.

If we agree with Reis (and I do), we’re lucky we can build almost any product today. We also have more knowledge about building businesses.

What we don’t have is insights into customers.

Will they buy our product?

Or not?

The Lean Startup methodology forces you to get in front of your customers.

It helps ensure that you’re developing something the market wants. Before you create it.

Wouldn’t you rather know that up front?

Image from SeekingWisdom.io

Why You Need a Bio Strategy

It’s No Secret, Your Presentation Matters

Posted in Advertising, Influences, Marketing, messagingLAB, Observations by Karl S. on July 21, 2017
If you can't see the image, you're missing a picture of a guy blowing a very long horn. He's dressed in lederhosen and calf socks. His presentation matters.

Sunday Morning Alpenhorn Presentation by John via Flickr

How you present your business, your story, your offer is no secret. In many cases, it’s the presentation that matters.

The voice you use, the magazines your content appears in, the social channels you engage in. Your presentation is the articles, blog posts, and white papers you publish. It’s the videos on your web site and on YouTube.

A consistent message presented regularly builds and engages your audience, and can increase trust.

In my humble opinion, presentation is also about reminding your audience that you are present and that your product or service can solve a very real problem they are having.

A few weeks ago, I asked my readers to take part in a project to help a product I’m working on creating. They asked me a number of questions, I provided answers.

Q. WHAT DO YOU DO TO ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE?

A. If you’re already blogging or sending emails, go back through your logs to figure out what your audience has been most engaged by. Look for patterns. They should be obvious. Create new content based on those patterns.

Maybe you don’t have a lot of content. In that case, survey your audience (like I did to create this post). Run surveys on social media targeted at your ideal audience. Pay for ads on Facebook. It’s the easiest, fastest, most inexpensive way to target very, very specific audiences.

Q. HOW DO YOU INCREASE INTEREST TO EXPAND YOUR AUDIENCE?

A. Use social channels to promote your content. If you must, pay to promote your content on those channels, they allow for very specific targeting.

Q. IS THERE A GREAT WAY TO RE-ENGAGE OLD CLIENTS?

A. Run a reactivation campaign. Remind the ex-clients of the successes you had together. Describe your new products or services, and how they can solve new problems. Also, remember that you can never stop marketing to old (or new) clients.

Let me know if you have any questions.