Elaborate Tools Are Great, But It’s The Skills That Make Us Pros

Can good tools make you better? Sure, but don’t forget it’s the skills that make you a pro. Watch the video for a great example of this.

What skills do you have that make you a pro?


Is Mashable Subtly Convincing People to Say Nice Things About Them?

I came across this today when I was reading a post on Mashable.com and I found it a bit curious.

Mashable comments

I guess you can interpret “constructive” as constructive criticism, but it sort of comes across as “say nice things so the community will like you?”

What do you think is this a good practice or does it sound like they are subtly saying they only want you to post nice comments.

Virgin Logos: Branding or Arrogance?

I was talking with a client to day, and we were discussing a logo for one of their new divisions. The client found a logo from a another company that they really like. I liked it too. However, to me it doesn’t fit in with Virgin Logothe rest of their branding. So, I wasn’t sold on creating something similar.

I could have just said, “Yeah, I like it too. Let’s create something for you new division that looks like that.” That would be the easy route and I’m afraid that’s what other consultants have told my client in the past. There has been talk about creating a group that would encompass all their divisions and companies. With this in mind I decided to recommend we take a step back and look at how the new division’s logo fits into the image of the whole group.

One of the companies that I admire is Virgin, and something they are great at is branding. If you look at all the companies that are part of their network, almost all of the companies that carry the Virgin name use the name Virgin with the same font somewhere in their logo.

By including this simple piece in every logo it makes their brand recognizable. It doesn’t matter what the company is, people will recognize it as part of the Virgin organization. Right away the consumer has an idea of what to expect. You can see a number of the examples below:
virgin company logos

What do you think? Is this a good example of branding or arrogance?

Wondering About the Cost of Social Media? Think: “Time is Money”

Their is a misconception among a lot of businesses and business owners that Social Media is free. When I come across people that believe this, I try to explain to them that even though many of the tools and platforms are free, using the free tools correctly is not. The old adage always comes to mind:  “Time is Money.”  Here’s some data to back up that up.

Social Media Examiner recently published their annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report (<– Get the full report). Some of the most interesting data to come out of the report is the amount of time that marketers spend on Social Media:

A significant 58% of marketers are using social media for 6 hours or more each week and 34% for 11 or more hours weekly. It’s interesting to note that 15% of marketers spend more than 20 hours each week on social media.

Those with more years of social media experience spend more time each week conducting social media activities. For example, 63% of people with 3 or more years of experience spend more than 10 hours a week doing social media activities. Only 41% of those with 1 to 3 years experience spend that much time.

time commitment for social media

I typically estimate that companies need to invest at least 5 hours a week in Social Media in order to see a real benefit. In my opinion this is an absolute minimum! This includes, blogging, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, forums, video, social bookmarking as well as others.

How much time do you spend on your Social Media activities?

Some other useful reading:

Social Media ROI – What’s Your Plan?
How much do you need to budget for Social Media in 2011?

How To: Five Things You Can do With Social Media Marketing

How much do you need to budget for Social Media in 2011?

I came across a blog post today from a respected speaker in the Social Media Industry (Mack Callier) about costs for social media projects and I thoughtSocial media dollars it might help some of you with budgeting. The data is kind of a barometer for the industry.

One of the Mack points out and I completely agree with is that you can’t cookie cutter social media. When talking with consultants or marketing firms, if they try to give you prices without asking any questions, then you are better off moving on and finding someone that is really interested in understanding your business and why you want to use social media.

Here are some of the questions we’ll ask you:

  • Why do you want to use social media. What are your goals?
  • Who is your target market? Do you know where they hang out?
  • Do you have the resources to manage your social media efforts in house after it is launched?
  • ETC..

A little background on the data.

These figures come from rates shared with me by fellow consultants and agencies that specialize in social media marketing, in addition to my own research, as well as what I charge for similar services. – MC

Here are some of the numbers:


Launch a blog from the ground-up, outsource all content creation (including customer interaction, handling responses to comments, etc) — $1,000-$12,000 a month

Most Charge — $3,000-$5,000 a month

Launch a blog from the ground-up, outsource some content creation — $1,000-$8,000 a month

Most Charge — $2,000-$3,500 a month

Restructure an existing blog to improve your efforts — $1,000-$5,000 a month for 3-6 months

Most Charge — $2,000-$4,000 a month for 3-6 months

Ghostwriting blog posts — $50-$500 per

Most Charge — $100-$250 per


Launch a new presence on Twitter and outsource all content creation and customer interaction — $1,000-$7,500 a month

Most Charge — $2,000-$4,000 a month

Launch a new presence on Twitter and then provide ongoing training for company — $1,000-$6,000 a month

Most Charge — $1,000-$3,000 a month

Restructure an existing Twitter presence to improve your efforts — $1,000-$4,000 a month for 3-6 months

Most Charge — $1,000-$2,500 a month

Limited coaching to improve your existing efforts on Twitter — $1,000-$4,000 a month

Most Charge — $1,000-$2,500 a month


Launch a Facebook Page from the ground-up, outsourcing all content creation and customer interactions — $2,000-$9,000 a month

Most Charge — $2,500-$5,000 a month

Launch a Facebook Page from the ground-up, with limited ongoing training — $1,500-$7,500 a month for 3-6 months

Most Charge — $2,000-$4,000 a month

Social Media Strategy:

Comprehensive Social Media Strategy Creation, assuming outsourcing of all content creation through all channels(minimum 2)  — $3,000-$20,000 a month

Most Charge — $4,000-$7,000 a month

Comprehensive Social Media Strategy Creation, assuming limited outsourcing of content creation and/or ongoing training  — $3,000-$15,000 a month for 4-12 months

Most Charge — $3,000-$6,000 a month

Audit of existing Social Media Strategy Including Recommendations for Improvement — $2,000-$10,000

Most Charge — $2,000-$5,000

Social Media Consulting:

Hourly rates — $50-$500/Hr

Most Charge  — $75-$200/Hr


On-Site Training/Workshops (All fees excluding travel expenses)

1-2 Hours — $500-$5,000

Most Charge — $500-$2,000

Half-Day (4 hours) – $1,000-$10,000

Most Charge — $1,000-$4,000

Full-Day (6-8 hours) — $2,000-$50,000

Most Charge — $2,500-$5,000

One thing you need to keep in mind is that when a consulted does a training session or webinar there is a lot of behind the scenes work. I very rough estimate for calculating how much is 2 to 1. So for every hour of presenting there is at least 2 hours of preparation.

Read Mack Collier’s full post here: How much does Social Media cost companies in 2011?

The Slide Definitely the Slide – VW Fast Lane

As an advertising stunt Volkswagen built a slide in a Subway station in Berlin. The slide was placed between an escalator and a set up of stairs. Great way to use a physical action to enforce their marketing campaign: Fast Lane. Then to make it even better they filmed it and put the video on YouTube and Facebook. Well done VW.

“A long staircase. Next to it a slide. Which way would you go?”

The slide, definitely the slide..

Seth Godin Talks About Standing Out

Marketing expert Seth Godin explains why strange, outlandish and sometimes even bad ideas get our attention more than boring ones do. Today you can’t market to the masses: “Be remarkable.”

The New Information Age and the Rise of the Marketing Technologist

In the last few years technology and the internet has changed the face of marketing from blogs, to videos, to social media platforms. You now have to understand a host of different types of technology to be able to market effectively. Check out this presentation it gives a good overview of the new type of marketer.

B2B Marketing with Social Media

Do you think B2B marketing with social media doesn’t work? Check out this video, it gives information on how today’s executives and decision makers are using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. It also shows that they are using social networking to find B2B leads for their business. Are you using social media marketing for your B2B Business leads?

Bryan Coe of Blackbird e-Solutions to Speak at SCORE Lancaster

Bryan Coe, President and owner of Blackbird e-Solutions will be speaking at the Retail Owners Roundtable at 8am on Tuesday, March 23, 2010.
Bryan will be talking about using Facebook as a marketing tool for retail stores. After his talk there will be a Q&A session as well as a group discussion on Facebook.