Preparation

You're either ready or you're not. There is no in between. 

It's this type of binary scale that ultimately paves the way for success or failure. 

Are you prepared or not?

Even proper preparation takes us on its own twists and turns. Are you prepared for the many different types of outcomes, desirable or otherwise, that preparation can lead you toward? 

At the end of the day, the more we are able to look ahead and anticipate, the better we will be when the water gets choppier. 

Keeping Pace

Thoughtful individuals often get caught saying "Life is a marathon, not a sprint." 

To dissect that truth a bit further, though, you must first acknowledge that life is a series of many simultaneous races. And much like how you handle so many other things at once in your life, it's how one balances these races to not run out of breath. 

Of the many races that you may be competing in right now, it's important to keep your eyes on each finish line. When you need to sprint, go all out. When you need to keep up with others, maintain your stride, and if you are feeling too tired, don't be afraid to walk. 

Just don't stop. There's no reward for those that don't cross the finish line. 

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LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms

Maybe you've heard about LinkedIn's progress surrounding their advertising options for businesses. Ever since they were acquired by Microsoft, the network's capabilities have extended and the allure for companies everywhere has elevated greatly. 

One example of this is LinkedIn's new Lead Gen Forms. It's a fantastic way to create lead capture forms natively within LinkedIn, rather than forcing users off of LinkedIn to a third party site. 

We are seeing more of this pop up on websites with strong user bases but LinkedIn's targeting capabilities are what makes this such an appealing advertising option.

To help you with getting started with LinkedIn's Lead Gen Forms, I walk you through the steps that will set you up with your first ads. If you have any questions after reading, please do not hesitate to reach out and ask. 

#1 – Choose The Ad Type

Depending on your goals and KPI's, you will want to select the ad type that will help you meet your goals. Advertisers can select Sponsored Content, Text Ads, or Sponsored InMail as ad types within LinkedIn. 

#2 – Choose Your Settings and Language 

Enter a meaningful name for the campaign and then select the language of your content and what you’d like to happen after someone clicks your ad. Then click “Next >” to proceed with Lead Generation Forms.

#3 – Choose Content You’d Like to Sponsor

There are a couple options to get started. Option one is to select existing content that will appear as “Sponsored Content” and will be shown in newsfeeds.  or create a new post to promote. The second option is to choose “Direct Sponsored Content”, which will send customized messages to your audience segments (you’ll need Company Page Admin permission).

#4 – Create a New Form 

If you haven’t already, you’ll need to create a form template that describes your offer. Simply enter your offer headline and offer a deal. Take the time to ensure that your headline and offer are compelling and speak to the needs of your target audience.

#5 – Identify Your Desired User Information

Depending on what information your team has determined is most beneficial for your campaign, select up to seven pieces of data you’d like to collect from each prospect.

#6 – Create A Custom Thank You Message

You can also determine what message your prospects see after submitting their form. This is a great opportunity to redirect the user to your company website for more information.

#7 – Define the Call-To-Action

Depending on your goal, you may want a prospect to sign up, download or request more information. Make sure that your CTA properly aligns with your ad message.

#8 – Specify Your Demographics

In order for an ad on LinkedIn to be effective, you must target your audience appropriately based on your message. You can select everything from locations and industries to specific job titles and even fields of study or skills.

#9 – Choose Your Budget and Time Period

You can choose to either pay when someone clicks on your ad, or pay based on the number of impressions. LinkedIn will also recommend a bidding strategy based on what other advertisers are doing. Typically, it will be best to start out by using LinkedIn’s recommended bid but you should optimize once you see which ads are performing best.

#10 – Review, Confirm, & Optimize (Continuously)

Keep a close eye on the performance of your ads and form completion to identify what is working best, and which ads to pause. That way you can optimize ad performance to increase results.

Test LinkedIn’s New Lead Generation Features

As you will notice, LinkedIn’s new Lead Generation Forms offer a way to make it easier for targeted audiences to convert based on your offer. By removing a barrier, these one-click conversions can help fill your customer database and encourage participation from targeted audiences.

Art Williams: "Just Do It!"

Here's some inspiration in case you're ever feeling lazy.

Here's some motivation for when you catch yourself complaining or making excuses. 

Here's the kick in the a$$ you need when you aren't pumped up to get your work done.

Art has an almost hysterical way of proving that everything we want out of life always comes down to two simple words...

"Do It!"

What's Happening in June?

There actually isn't much on my calendar for this month. I do have plans to go see Finding Neverland and the Deftones in Miami, but other than that, I am happily enjoying a free month of the Florida heat and fatherhood. 

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Aside from events, I'm digging my heels deeper into the sands of the Employee Benefits industry. If you haven't checked it out yet, I've recently written a six-month review article on Medium and went live with The Creative Human Project

By leveraging the Creative Human Project, I can position our Consulting firm more toward HR automation - regardless of the platform or technology being utilized. 

What do you have going on in June? I'll look forward to reading your emails and comments. 

Have a great month! 

A Decentralized Internet

When the hit HBO show Silicon Valley's startup Pied Piper announced they would work on a "Brand new internet" at the end of last season, it sounded vague and utterly impossible. Little did we know, though, that there was a real company already building exactly that in stealth mode.

The company is Blockstack and they just announced their product - The Blockstack Browser.

In short, this browser is built using the Blockchain, which is the decentralized technological underpinning powering the growth of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. 

To ensure clarity, here's a snippet of their announcement and a description of what it actually is. 

Today we are proud to announce the Blockstack browser, which allows developers everywhere to access a whole new internet. This new internet changes the dynamic and brings the power back to the people. Developers can build apps on this new internet by downloading the Blockstack Mac or Linux app (Windows coming soon) and by using nothing more than existing browsers like Chrome or Safari or Firefox.

Blockchain technology powers this new internet. For the first time ever, you’ll be able to access people, communities, apps, and services built on the blockchain from your browser. This new internet reflects how people interact with each other naturally, as they have for thousands of years. In open marketplaces and societies, people transact directly with other people to offer advice, goods, and services. Human interaction has never needed a middleman. The internet should work how real life works.

 Finally, here's Muneeb Ali's TED talk about creating this "Brand new internet."

Basic Income

If you've never heard the arguments for allowing every human being to gain access to a basic level of income, this is a good place to start.

It's an interesting stance and one that is worth the debate.

What do you think about this concept? 

Master of Some

As we all learn about more verticals and obtain skills that span a wider breadth of knowledge and industries, we involuntarily carve out a chasm between ourselves and our unique expertise. 

Is it impossible to not be an expert in more than one thing?

Of course not. But it isn't easy. 

No matter what you learn, you'll always want to bring your own approach and experience to it. That's often what is so valuable about learning something new from scratch. 

Ahhhh... a fresh perspective. 

Fidget Marketing

Call it whatever you'd like, the battle for attention has never been so competitive. Noise has become the white variety, blanketing everything we are presented with a layer of uncertainty. The content marketplace has become more about flair than actual substance these days. 

With such little attention being spent on each item that consumers are inundated with, the opportunity of standing out exists only within a small window of time. 

Create a WOW moment that only takes a few seconds to understand.

For obvious reasons, that's not easy to do. 

So think about the following as you target your fidgeting audience...

  • Does your work draw the eye immediately?
  • Is the gist easily digestible?
  • Are too many actions required to abstract value from the experience? 

This isn't new to folks that live in the world of conversion rate optimization. It's just getting harder and harder to capture attention. 

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It's Gonna Be May!

Following a fantastic trip through New Mexico with the family, I'm feeling refreshed and excited to get a lot of great work done this month. Here's a list of events, albeit not exhaustive, of some of the items on my list:

  1. Matilda at Broward Center
  2. Trip to Orlando
  3. Phoenix at the Fillmore Miami
  4. Braves game at Marlins Park
  5. Muse at Perfect Vodka
  6. Animals as Leaders at Culture Room

I'll keep some of the work-related items hush until further notice. Expect some major news on that front soon, though.

What are you planning to accomplish in May? 

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Take a Deep Breath

Everyone knows how to breathe, yet we're not all expert breathers.

Believe it or not, you can become a better breather. 

This solidifies the fact that everything can always be improved. 

Let's not overlook the small stuff that we can control that we interact with every single day.... In this case, every single second.  

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The Problem with Productivity

When you get more done, you end up finding more new stuff to do. And new stuff is harder than the stuff you love to do. 

Actually getting more stuff done in less time only becomes valuable if you use the extra time to do something other than related work. It's otherwise a vicious circle that continues until you're stuck doing things you hate - simply because you made yourself more time to get to them. 

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When There's Nothing Around

When there's nothing around

There's more to see.

There's less garbage on the streets

There are fewer signs to read.

When there's nothing around

It's easier to hear.

There aren't any cars honking horns

Nor are there crowds to march and cheer.

When there's nothing around

There's plenty of air to breathe. 

There's nothing to distract the senses

Because your senses aren't hard to believe.

When there's nothing around

It's much easier to think.

There are more ideas within clearer minds

And I can say so with a wink. 

 

Learn the Mechanics

Before you can even think about running, you need to know how to move your arms and legs. And before you can move your hands and feet, you need to understand how they play a role.

Everything that's strategic, tactical, and involving action requires a more fundamental understanding of "how it works."

Don't just learn the mechanics. Understand them deeply. Figure out how to make them better. 

Then, try your best never to stray too far from them. For that's always going to be the fastest way for you to run.