Why Collaborating with Other Freelancers Can be a Great Idea

Being a freelancer is a great way to work for a lot of designers and creatives. To be able to give your clients the best possible package though, you may have to look at doing things a bit differently. By considering to collaborate with other freelancers, you’ll have an even better chance to offer something great, along with getting more social in a job that often is quite lonely. Here are some of the reasons why working with others can be a great idea!

Being a freelancer means a lot of responsibility on your shoulders along with many “lonely” days at work. Being specialized in one field can definitely appeal to clients if you’re good at what you do, but today the ability to be versatile becomes more and more important. Clients know what they want and with all the designers and companies in the market, they can also afford to be a bit picky.
How to collaborate with others?

This can be done in different ways and you need to have a look at your options, who you know, who are available in your area and if they’re interested. A collaboration with other freelancers can mean to share office-space with them, have “unwritten” agreements on helping each other out with things you excel at and pointing clients in the direction of others when getting enquiries that involve projects that are a bit outside your comfort area.

Picture by Oliver Tam

The collaborations can be small or big depending on what you prefer. In many cases freelancers can take on bigger projects together, dividing parts of the work between them according to their different skills. As long as you’re able to find a way of billing and time-tracking that can be dealt with in a legal and correct way, you have many options.

Here are some reasons why you should consider working alongside other freelancers to get more clients by offering what they want!
Being able to compete better with bigger companies

Picture by Martin Boulanger

As companies with several designers also have more knowledge and a broader skill-range, collaborating can help you get up to that same level. This means that as you are more people doing the project, you can offer the skills and deadlines that usually are some of the benefits clients get when choosing to work with companies over freelancers.
Offering more

A bit of the same as the first point. If you are a web designer collaborating with a freelance writer, graphic artist or photographer, you will most likely be able to offer the client a more complete package. Clients love it when they don’t have to look around for many different people to work with. If you have a deal with others you can simply tell the client that you’re able to also take the pictures for the website, design the logo and so on.


By Hilde Torbjornsen | http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/design/freelance-collaboration/

Being a freelancer is a great way to work for a lot of designers and creatives. To be able to give your clients the best possible package though, you may have to look at doing things a bit differently. By considering to collaborate with other freelancers, you’ll have an even better chance to offer something great, along with getting more social in a job that often is quite lonely. Here are some of the reasons why working with others can be a great idea!

 

Being a freelancer means a lot of responsibility on your shoulders along with many “lonely” days at work. Being specialized in one field can definitely appeal to clients if you’re good at what you do, but today the ability to be versatile becomes more and more important. Clients know what they want and with all the designers and companies in the market, they can also afford to be a bit picky.

How to collaborate with others?

This can be done in different ways and you need to have a look at your options, who you know, who are available in your area and if they’re interested. A collaboration with other freelancers can mean to share office-space with them, have “unwritten” agreements on helping each other out with things you excel at and pointing clients in the direction of others when getting enquiries that involve projects that are a bit outside your comfort area.

Picture by Oliver Tam

The collaborations can be small or big depending on what you prefer. In many cases freelancers can take on bigger projects together, dividing parts of the work between them according to their different skills. As long as you’re able to find a way of billing and time-tracking that can be dealt with in a legal and correct way, you have many options.

Here are some reasons why you should consider working alongside other freelancers to get more clients by offering what they want!

Being able to compete better with bigger companies

Picture by Martin Boulanger

As companies with several designers also have more knowledge and a broader skill-range, collaborating can help you get up to that same level. This means that as you are more people doing the project, you can offer the skills and deadlines that usually are some of the benefits clients get when choosing to work with companies over freelancers.

Offering more

A bit of the same as the first point. If you are a web designer collaborating with a freelance writer, graphic artist or photographer, you will most likely be able to offer the client a more complete package. Clients love it when they don’t have to look around for many different people to work with. If you have a deal with others you can simply tell the client that you’re able to also take the pictures for the website, design the logo and so on. Leer más “Why Collaborating with Other Freelancers Can be a Great Idea”

Como un artista sabe más de mkt online que publicistas y empresarios. [ Prgtl. a Blockbuster, out of title…]

En un entorno donde los conceptos publicitarios clásicos se están quedando cada vez más obsoletos y donde, quien no controle los medios digitales están más cerca de estar fuera, de lo que podemos entender por comunicación y promoción, resulta cuanto menos curioso el pequeño caso de estudio que hoy presento.

El caso en cuestión es el del músico norteamericano Trent Reznor (no voy a entrar en detalles de quien es, os pongo un enlace a la Wikipedia), aunque ahora lo escuchareis por haber realizado la BSO de la película “The Social Network”
http://www.thesocialnetwork-movie.com


En un entorno donde los conceptos publicitarios clásicos se están quedando cada vez más obsoletos y donde, quien no controle los medios digitales están más cerca de estar fuera, de lo que podemos entender por comunicación y promoción, resulta cuanto menos curioso el pequeño caso de estudio que hoy presento.

El caso en cuestión es el del músico norteamericano Trent Reznor (no voy a entrar en detalles de quien es, os pongo un enlace a la Wikipedia), aunque ahora lo escuchareis por haber realizado la BSO de la película “The Social Network
http://www.thesocialnetwork-movie.com

Para ello me baso en conversaciones mantenidas con empresarios de la publicidad y como cada vez es más frecuente que estén “fuera de juego” de lo que está ocurriendo en Internet, como entorno, donde la nueva publicidad se está llevando a cabo (y la consiguiente pérdida de negocio). Me encantó este artículo donde define genialmente bien lo que quiero plasmar con este párrafo  . En muchos de los enlaces que os adjunto podréis ver ventas para ver la rentabilidad de sus proyectos.

Antes de nada, el detonante de todo esto fué el abusivo precio que la gente de marketing de su compañía les puso a su LP Year Zero argumentando mucha popularidad del artista.

Leer más “Como un artista sabe más de mkt online que publicistas y empresarios. [ Prgtl. a Blockbuster, out of title…]”

Evolution of Websites: A Darwinian Tale

The web is constantly evolving. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how quickly new technologies are being adopted and how fragile design trends are. While the web is still an infant relative to other mediums such as print, TV and radio, and still has fair amount of growing up to do, it has already amassed a rich history. Let’s take a look at how the medium has evolved throughout the years.

A Matter of Carbon Dating

Evolution is inevitable. As British philosopher Herbert Spencer put it — inspired by Charles Darwin’s theory on natural selection — it’s “survival of the fittest.”

If we examine any aspect of web design, we can see that trends and technologies being discarded, improved on, or superseded by something better is common. Evolve or die, pick one of the two options. And if we delve deeper, we can see three core elements that dictate this natural selection and evolution.


by Alexander Dawson | http://sixrevisions.com/web-technology/evolution-of-websites-a-darwinian-tale/

 

Evolution of Websites: A Darwinian Tale

The web is constantly evolving. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how quickly new technologies are being adopted and how fragile design trends are. While the web is still an infant relative to other mediums such as print, TV and radio, and still has fair amount of growing up to do, it has already amassed a rich history. Let’s take a look at how the medium has evolved throughout the years.

 

A Matter of Carbon Dating

Evolution is inevitable. As British philosopher Herbert Spencer put it — inspired by Charles Darwin’s theory on natural selection — it’s “survival of the fittest.”

If we examine any aspect of web design, we can see that trends and technologies being discarded, improved on, or superseded by something better is common. Evolve or die, pick one of the two options. And if we delve deeper, we can see three core elements that dictate this natural selection and evolution.

A Matter of Carbon Dating

 

Certain web browsers tend to be more evolved than others!

Code

One of the core elements of the web is code. As web designers and web developers, the success of a particular language largely depends on how much value it brings to our work. I’m sure only a handful of you remember VRML with the fondness of the concept that we could soon be browsing the web using the same virtual reality as used in the movie Tron. Alas, virtual reality didn’t take off.

A Matter of Carbon Dating

 

The idea of virtual reality and 3D objects fascinated developers. Leer más “Evolution of Websites: A Darwinian Tale”

The Power of Customers’ Mindset

re your customers in a concrete or abstract mindset as they think about purchasing your product? The answer can affect how much they buy.

Every day consumers make purchase decisions by choosing among large sets of related products available for sale in the aisles of stores. What factors might systematically affect how consumers make decisions among an array of products? Our research explores one aspect of that question.

As most marketers realize, not all shoppers are created equal. Within the same store, one may be searching for a specific product to meet an immediate need, while others may simply be browsing. Just as they can have different goals when they enter a store, individual consumers may approach purchase decisions with different mindsets that can affect how they shop. In social psychology, a mindset is defined as a set of cognitive processes and judgmental criteria that, once activated, can carry over to unrelated tasks and decisions. In other words, if you get a consumer thinking a certain way, that way of thinking — that mindset — can influence his or her subsequent shopping behavior.

In particular, social psychologists have identified two distinct mindsets that are relevant to how consumers make decisions when choosing among large sets of related products: abstract and concrete. An abstract mindset encourages people to think in a more broad and general way. Consumers in an abstract mindset who face an array of related products will focus more on the shared product attributes associated with an overarching purpose — for example, the general category of hair care or car maintenance. Conversely, a concrete mindset draws attention to lower-level details and attributes associated with execution or usage; consumers in a concrete mindset will thus focus on factors that differentiate between products.

(…)


By Kelly Goldsmith, Jing Xu and Ravi Dhar
Full article [PDF]
http://sloanreview.mit.edu/the-magazine/articles/2010/fall/52112/the-power-of-customers-mindset/

Are your customers in a concrete or abstract mindset as they think about purchasing your product? The answer can affect how much they buy.

Every day consumers make purchase decisions by choosing among large sets of related products available for sale in the aisles of stores. What factors might systematically affect how consumers make decisions among an array of products? Our research explores one aspect of that question.

As most marketers realize, not all shoppers are created equal. Within the same store, one may be searching for a specific product to meet an immediate need, while others may simply be browsing. Just as they can have different goals when they enter a store, individual consumers may approach purchase decisions with different mindsets that can affect how they shop. In social psychology, a mindset is defined as a set of cognitive processes and judgmental criteria that, once activated, can carry over to unrelated tasks and decisions. In other words, if you get a consumer thinking a certain way, that way of thinking — that mindset — can influence his or her subsequent shopping behavior.

In particular, social psychologists have identified two distinct mindsets that are relevant to how consumers make decisions when choosing among large sets of related products: abstract and concrete. An abstract mindset encourages people to think in a more broad and general way. Consumers in an abstract mindset who face an array of related products will focus more on the shared product attributes associated with an overarching purpose — for example, the general category of hair care or car maintenance. Conversely, a concrete mindset draws attention to lower-level details and attributes associated with execution or usage; consumers in a concrete mindset will thus focus on factors that differentiate between products.
(…) Leer más “The Power of Customers’ Mindset”

How to Diagnose and Improve Website Crawling

Sitemap Statistics

If things are radically out of whack, you can download a table of pages in the index from webmaster central and diagnose on a page by page level to see what is or or isn’t in the index.

Next, you want to try and do a full crawl of the website using something like Xenu. While it’s usually used to check for broken links, in the process it does crawl the website. If you have a large website, you are going to want to limit the crawling.

Another product that I like to use is Website Auditor. One of the interesting things about using Website Auditor is that you can specify crawling depth, which is how deep you want a crawl to go. Start at the homepage and go only one level. Run it again, this time with 2 levels, then 3. Additionally use your Webmaster Central report on most linked pages (think of them as link hubs). If your important pages aren’t within 2-3 pages of linking hubs on your website, you will have problems. IMHO it’s more important than ever to cultivate deep linking and to use that deep linking to spread your link equity, inbound trust, and authority wisely around your website.

In recent years Google has done away with the term/classification “supplemental index.” IMHO this was more of a public relations move, as they just grew tired of hearing from people who were upset that any part of their site was in the supplemental index–but I digress. There are certain parts of your website that aren’t as important as others or, as in the case of say a privacy policy, are important to people but not for rankings. To help you understand what pages Google thinks are important, you need to look at last crawl date in the Google Cache.

Pages that have the most links are going to get crawled more frequently. Pages that have the most trust and authority are going to get crawled most often. Pages that are linked to from those linking hubs, or trusted and authoritative hubs, will get crawled next most frequently. At each step away from the linking hubs, or authority points, crawl frequency will decrease–think of it like a classic pagerank model.


Michael Gray - Graywolf's SEO Blog

Michael Gray

By Michael Gray | http://www.wolf-howl.com/seo/diagnose-improve-crawling/

When you are reviewing a website, whether for your own projects or for a client project, one of the important areas to review is crawlability. In this post I’d like to talk about some of the ways you can look for and diagnose crawling issues.

If your important pages aren’t within 2-3 pages of linking hubs on your website, you will have problems …

The first step to diagnosing a crawling problem is to use a simple [site:example.com] search and compare how many pages you really have with how many Google thinks you have. Now, bear in mind that this number is an estimate. What you are trying to do is get a rough estimate of how many pages Google knows about, as Matt Cutts recently discussed in a Webmaster Central Video:

If you have several hundred or thousand pages but Google only shows 100, then you have a problem. Depending on how large the site is, anywhere from 10-30% accuracy would be a good rule of thumb.

The second thing you would want to look at would be Webmaster Central. If you submit a sitemap, Google tells you how many URLs you submitted and how many are in the index. The closer those numbers are, the better. Don’t worry if it’s not a 100% match because sometimes you include pages in your sitemap that get blocked at the page level with a robots meta tag. At this point, you are just concerned with gross numbers. Leer más “How to Diagnose and Improve Website Crawling”

Niveles de atención | …lo dejo a tu criterio! :_)

Uno de los fenómenos más interesantes fruto de la digitalización es el cambio en la gestión de la atención. Ya hablé sobre la Economía de la Atención y analicé el impacto de la misma sobre el mundo de la publicidad. Hoy me gustaría profundizar un poco más en este tema.

Una reflexión

Los medios (y las agencias de medios) se han ocupado de trabajar los contextos y las agencias creativas el contenido. En un mundo saturado es imposible la eficiencia -la atención focalizada- sin el trabajo conjunto de ambos. A día de hoy apenas existe entendimiento, ni procesos reales de colaboración. El resultado es que el anunciante no consigue una atención focalizada de sus mensajes y, en consecuencia, baja el valor de los mensajes que recibe el consumidor. ¿Hasta cuándo seguiremos sin entendernos? Lo veremos.

Como ya sabéis, la atención está relacionada con dos variables (interés & relevancia), por lo que podríamos plantear un esquema con dos ejes:


Uno de los fenómenos más interesantes fruto de la digitalización es el cambio en la gestión de la atención. Ya hablé sobre la Economía de la Atención y analicé el impacto de la misma sobre el mundo de la publicidad. Hoy me gustaría profundizar un poco más en este tema.

Una reflexión

Los medios (y las agencias de medios) se han ocupado de trabajar los contextos y las agencias creativas el contenido. En un mundo saturado es imposible la eficiencia -la atención focalizada- sin el trabajo conjunto de ambos. A día de hoy apenas existe entendimiento, ni procesos reales de colaboración. El resultado es que el anunciante no consigue una atención focalizada de sus mensajes y, en consecuencia, baja el valor de los mensajes que recibe el consumidor. ¿Hasta cuándo seguiremos sin entendernos? Lo veremos.

Como ya sabéis, la atención está relacionada con dos variables (interés & relevancia), por lo que podríamos plantear un esquema con dos ejes:

 

¿Qué significan los ejes?

El interés tiene que ver con el contenido del mensaje. El producto me interesa, la marca ha conseguido que tengamos algún tipo de relación y eso hace que me fije en ella. También puede ser que el contenido de su comunicación me resulta interesante, ya que conecta con mi forma de vida. Este eje nos ayuda a graduar el mensaje como ‘más’ o ‘menos interesante’.

La relevancia tiene relación con el momento de recibir el mensaje. Y pueden ser muchos y muy diferentes momentos: nuestra situación vital, el período del año, el momento del día que lo recibimos o incluso el estado de ánimo en el que nos encontremos.  El eje vendrá definido por la graduación entre el momento ‘adecuado’ y otro ‘menos adecuado’.

4 Áreas de Atención… Leer más “Niveles de atención | …lo dejo a tu criterio! :_)”

SEO Mistakes That Make You Look Like an Amateur

Everyone thinks they can win at SEO, but some SEO hopefuls make some pretty amateur mistakes – ones that can even hurt your rankings. Nancy Strauss, today’s guest poster, thought it might be a good idea to remind you of 5 SEO mistakes that make you look like an amateur… and I agreed. Enjoy!

I keep getting spam from “SEO companies” who promise that they can improve my website rankings for Google.

I figure if these companies were actually good at SEO, then they wouldn’t have to spam anyone. Customers would come to them. That’s the whole point of SEO — people who search on Google for the service you provide find your website in the top results.

The benefits of SEO are clear, and because it doesn’t have to cost money, it has become a particularly important tool for freelancers and small businesses with limited marketing budgets.
Want to optimize your website, or even your client’s? Avoid these common SEO mistakes…:


Everyone thinks they can win at SEO, but some SEO hopefuls make some pretty amateur mistakes – ones that can even hurt your rankings. Nancy Strauss, today’s guest poster, thought it might be a good idea to remind you of 5 SEO mistakes that make you look like an amateur… and I agreed. Enjoy!

I keep getting spam from “SEO companies” who promise that they can improve my website rankings for Google.

I figure if these companies were actually good at SEO, then they wouldn’t have to spam anyone. Customers would come to them. That’s the whole point of SEO — people who search on Google for the service you provide find your website in the top results.

The benefits of SEO are clear, and because it doesn’t have to cost money, it has become a particularly important tool for freelancers and small businesses with limited marketing budgets.
Want to optimize your website, or even your client’s? Avoid these common SEO mistakes…: Leer más “SEO Mistakes That Make You Look Like an Amateur”

Best Blogs of 2010


Why the Internet Isn’t Making Us Stupid | V.I.A read! ;)

Nick Bilton lives in the future. But he knows the rest of us aren’t there yet, so he offers up I Live in the Future & Here’s How It Works — a book from his world on what we all might be in store for down the road. It’s a world The New York Times reporter and lead Bits blogger inhabits so fully it has gotten him in trouble at work (when he admitted publicly in 2009 that he doesn’t read the print edition of the newspaper) and into public spats, defending Twitter’s honor against New Yorker writer, George Packer. Bilton talks to TIME about what the media industry can learn from the porn industry, why you should let your kids play video games and why the Internet isn’t making us dumb.

Your book is called I Live in the Future…, so why print a paper book?
These analog models — they still work, for the most part. The perfect example of that is the fact that The New York Times sells a million copies of the print paper every day. So when I thought about what the best way was to get my message across a book format was the best way to do that. But I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t just a book — that it was a fully interactive experience — on nickbilton.com you can watch videos that I’ve created, you can comment on chapters, things like that.

You provide a lot of counter-arguments to those things people always say about the Internet and technology. For one, why should you let your kids play video games?
They are incredibly good for our brains. They increase hand-eye coordination, they increase working memory, kids that play video games in a balanced way perform better on certain test scores. And to tell kids that they cannot have access to these technologies is essentially like telling a kid that they couldn’t read a book when the printing press came out. Not giving kids access to this stuff is going to hurt them in the long run.

That was quite a kerfuffle between you and George Packer [of the New Yorker] over Twitter. What are the takeaways?
This happened at the time when everyone was still defending Twitter or lambasting it. When I first started engaging with Packer I was a bit abrasive. I was fed up with the ‘Twitter is a waste of time’ line because it’s the complete opposite for many of us who use it. What happened after, as we started to discuss online, I came to understand completely where he was coming from. He was coming from a place where he is comfortable with his newspaper, the quiet car on the train, all of these things, and the idea of those things being taken away just didn’t make him feel good. What I really tried to do with that chapter in my book was to try and explain that, if you use it in the right way, Twitter can actually be extremely beneficial to the way you navigate content on the web. It’s understandable that people are afraid of it because it’s new, it’s different and it looks like this uncontrolled anarchy is taking place, but in reality it’s actually extremely useful.

You say you use Twitter as your own personal newspaper?


Nick Bilton lives in the future. But he knows the rest of us aren’t there yet, so he offers up I Live in the Future & Here’s How It Works — a book from his world on what we all might be in store for down the road. It’s a world The New York Times reporter and lead Bits blogger inhabits so fully it has gotten him in trouble at work (when he admitted publicly in 2009 that he doesn’t read the print edition of the newspaper) and into public spats, defending Twitter‘s honor against New Yorker writer, George Packer. Bilton talks to TIME about what the media industry can learn from the porn industry, why you should let your kids play video games and why the Internet isn’t making us dumb.

Your book is called I Live in the Future…, so why print a paper book?
These analog models — they still work, for the most part. The perfect example of that is the fact that The New York Times sells a million copies of the print paper every day. So when I thought about what the best way was to get my message across a book format was the best way to do that. But I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t just a book — that it was a fully interactive experience — on nickbilton.com you can watch videos that I’ve created, you can comment on chapters, things like that.

You provide a lot of counter-arguments to those things people always say about the Internet and technology. For one, why should you let your kids play video games?
They are incredibly good for our brains. They increase hand-eye coordination, they increase working memory, kids that play video games in a balanced way perform better on certain test scores. And to tell kids that they cannot have access to these technologies is essentially like telling a kid that they couldn’t read a book when the printing press came out. Not giving kids access to this stuff is going to hurt them in the long run.

That was quite a kerfuffle between you and George Packer [of the New Yorker] over Twitter. What are the takeaways?
This happened at the time when everyone was still defending Twitter or lambasting it. When I first started engaging with Packer I was a bit abrasive. I was fed up with the ‘Twitter is a waste of time’ line because it’s the complete opposite for many of us who use it. What happened after, as we started to discuss online, I came to understand completely where he was coming from. He was coming from a place where he is comfortable with his newspaper, the quiet car on the train, all of these things, and the idea of those things being taken away just didn’t make him feel good. What I really tried to do with that chapter in my book was to try and explain that, if you use it in the right way, Twitter can actually be extremely beneficial to the way you navigate content on the web. It’s understandable that people are afraid of it because it’s new, it’s different and it looks like this uncontrolled anarchy is taking place, but in reality it’s actually extremely useful.

You say you use Twitter as your own personal newspaper? Leer más “Why the Internet Isn’t Making Us Stupid | V.I.A read! ;)”

El poder transformador de la economía de experiencias.

La experiencia del cliente no es simplemente una forma más de agregar valor a un producto o servicio. Es la base de un nuevo tipo de economía. Esa es la nueva postura de quienes a fines de los 90 describieron por primera vez “la economía de experiencias.

“Los clientes siempre obtienen más de lo que buscan porque el producto o servicio siempre viene con una experiencia.” Se refería a claves que afectan, para bien o para mal las percepciones del cliente y que surgen durante la compra y uso del producto o servicio. Claves funcionales (forman parte del producto o servicio), claves mecánicas (creadas por el entorno) y claves humanas (que surgen de la gente). Las tres se combinan para entregar experiencia del cliente.


La economía de las experiencias nació mucho antes de que tuviera nombre. Podría decirse que al menos uno de los originadores del concepto fue John D. Rockefeller Jr., hijo único del fundador de Standard Oil, cuando allá por los años 20 comenzó a comprar el pueblito de Tidewater para convertirlo en museo viviente sobre la vida en Virginia durante los años coloniales de 1770.

El pueblito transformado recibió el nombre de Williamsburg, la restaurada capital de la Virginia inglesa y desde aquel entonces atrajo a cientos de millones de visitantes. También dio origen a una economía local totalmente nueva basada en alimentar, alojar y entretener a todos esos visitantes además de brindar casas y servicios para toda la gente que trabajaba allí en brindar esos servicios. Toda Williamsburg y sus alrededores son demostración viviente del poder transformador de la economía de experiencias, afirma Theodore Kinni, director de Strategy and Business, en un anàlisis de la evoluciòn de este tema.

Nadie relacionó lo que ocurría en Williamsburg con un nuevo tipo de economía hasta 1998, cuando B. Joseph Pine II y James H. Gilmore, publicaron The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre and Every Business a Stage, un libro que inmediatamente tuvo eco en la Harvard Business Review. Los autores hablaban de negocios exitosos – como el parque temático de Walt disney, que ofrecían mucho más que productos y servicios: brindaban experiencias memorables que atraían a millones de clientes.

La experiencia del cliente no es simplemente una forma más de agregar valor a un producto o servicio. Es la base de un nuevo tipo de economía. Esa es la nueva postura de quienes a fines de los 90 describieron por primera vez “la economía de experiencias. Leer más “El poder transformador de la economía de experiencias.”

Cuando me preguntan si podemos crear una página de fans en Facebook siempre respondo con la misma pregunta ¿la mereces? | DESTACADO ;)

Si estamos hablando de que la gente recomienda en las redes sociales sus marcas favoritas ¿por qué tantos se centran en la parte de “redes sociales” y tan pocos en la de “marca favorita“? ¿O es que esperan convertirse en marca favorita por estar en Facebook? Ni lo sueñes. Ni siquiera haciendo comentarios ingeniosos en Twitter. Lo siento, no es tan fácil.

No veo un interés similar por contratar profesionales para mejorar la experiencia de marca: ni ingenieros para mejorar los procesos, ni coaches para mejorar las relaciones, ni diseñadores o comunicadores para mejorar las percepciones… las redes sociales no han provocado una estampida de gerentes queriendo mejorar su producto o su propuesta de valor.

¿P o r q u é?.

Las experiencias irrelevantes son igual de irrelevantes en Facebook que en el supermercado, no nos engañemos.

Una marca que genera experiencias irrelevantes, en el mejor de los casos y con mucho esfuerzo, podría conseguir unos cuantos fans y seguidores a base de machaque, promociones, sorteos y demás tácticas de “push” que bien podría hacer igualmente en el supermercado.

En cuanto dejas de invitar las copas, se acaba la fiesta y cada uno a su casa.

Me parece estupenda la preocupación creciente de las marcas por estar en las redes sociales, pero yo me preocuparía, antes, por proponer a tus consumidores una experiencia singular, única, apasionante, inmejorable. Una experiencia que valga la pena recomendar. Me preocuparía por ser la marca favorita de, al menos, un puñado de personas.

Pero si empiezas por el final, si lo haces al revés, corres el riesgo de convertirte en el que paga las copas para tener algo de compañía. A que sería patético, ¿verdad?.


Marketing del retail
Artículo original de Mau Santambrosio “¿Dónde están mis fans?”
http://www.marketingdelretail.com/branding/donde-estan-mis-fans/Desde hace un tiempo, no mucho realmente (unos pocos años), empezamos a ver, cada vez con más frecuencia, titulares como estos: 

“El X% de los usuarios de internet recomienda su marca favorita en las redes sociales”.
“A la hora de comprar, los usuarios de internet aceptan las recomendaciones de sus amigos en las redes sociales”

Corren tiempos difíciles para las empresas y toda oportunidad debe ser atendida. Así que “a por el social media” dicen muchas, y sin acabar de entender muy bien de qué se trata, se lanzan a la batalla por los fans, seguidores, amigos y “recomendadores” de gusto y click fácil.

Y de repente, empiezan a crecer como hongos las páginas y perfiles de empresas en Facebook, las cuentas de marcas de Twitter, los blogs corporativos… Todo el mundo quiere estar en las redes sociales, los profesionales elaboramos maravillosas y convincentes presentaciones sobre por qué y cómo hay que estar en las redes sociales. El mundo se llena de Social Media Strategists, Social Media Evangelists, Social Media expertos y especialistas en todo lo que tenga más de 5 usuarios conectados, y por supuesto, Community Managers.

El Community Manager se convierte el perfil de moda: medio mundo quiere ser Community Manager, y el otro medio quiere que su primo, el informático, le haga de Community Manager para su empresa (por supuesto sin tener la más remota idea de qué debería hacer un community manager).

Si buscas hoy “Community Manager” en Google, te devuelve aproximadamente ¡291 millones de resultados!. No está mal ¿no?.

Dejad que lo ponga en contexto:

Why American Airlines Is Stuck at the Gate

Through it all, AMR’s (AMR) American Airlines looked healthy enough to go it alone. Once the global leader, the Fort Worth-based carrier managed to avoid bankruptcy. Now, as other airlines recover, American is paying the price for sidestepping the near-death experiences of its competitors. It’s bleeding red ink. Its stock price has dropped 20 percent this year, the only decline among the six biggest U.S. carriers. And its pretax margin in the first half was -4.3 percent, the only negative among its peers. “They’re playing the hand they were dealt by avoiding bankruptcy,” says Stifel Nicolaus analyst Hunter Keay. “It’s unfortunately costing them dearly.”

Labor costs remain the big challenge. Of the almost 50,000 workers represented by unions at American, only a group of 90 technical specialists has approved a new contract. The carrier has been negotiating with its pilots for more than four years, while its flight attendants, airport ground workers, and mechanics have been in contract talks for more than two.

A continuing obstacle to labor agreements is the $1.6 billion in annual concessions the unions agreed to in 2003 to help keep the carrier from seeking bankruptcy protection. Filing for Chapter 11 protection would have allowed American to alter its labor accords unilaterally. Workers want the airline to restore at least some of the concessions. Management says that on labor costs alone, the carrier is still at a $600 million-a-year disadvantage to rivals. “It’s a big brick in our backpack to being competitive in this industry,” says Senior Vice-President Jeff Brundage.

The Transport Workers Union scrubbed a tentative accord for 10,600 baggage handlers and ramp workers in June. Mechanics and stock clerks rejected a three-year contract in August and authorized TWU leaders to call a walkout among their 12,700 members.

It’s much the same with flight crews. About 9,600 American pilots are working at 1993 hourly rates, leaving them with “massive anger and frustration” over a lack of progress in the talks, says David Bates, president of the Allied Pilots Assn. Adds Laura Glading, president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, which has 16,550 active-duty members at the carrier: “You can’t come to labor and keep taking and taking and taking.” Glading will meet with a federal mediator on Oct. 19 to press a union request that bargaining be declared at a stalemate, which could trigger a countdown toward a strike, the first at a big U.S. airline since 2005.


Once the country’s largest carrier, American has been grounded by labor woes and high costs

By Mary Schlangenstein
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_42/b4199019823300.htm

For much of the past decade, U.S. airlines have scrambled to remake themselves. United Airlines (UAUA), Delta Air Lines (DAL), US Airways Group (LCC), and Northwest Airlines all made trips through bankruptcy court and emerged with trimmer operating and labor costs. Then many carriers went into acquisition mode. Delta snapped up Northwest in 2008, United this month completed its takeover of Continental Airlines, and on Sept. 27 Southwest Airlines (LUV) said it will buy AirTran (AAI).

Through it all, AMR’s (AMR) American Airlines looked healthy enough to go it alone. Once the global leader, the Fort Worth-based carrier managed to avoid bankruptcy. Now, as other airlines recover, American is paying the price for sidestepping the near-death experiences of its competitors. It’s bleeding red ink. Its stock price has dropped 20 percent this year, the only decline among the six biggest U.S. carriers. And its pretax margin in the first half was -4.3 percent, the only negative among its peers. “They’re playing the hand they were dealt by avoiding bankruptcy,” says Stifel Nicolaus analyst Hunter Keay. “It’s unfortunately costing them dearly.”

Labor costs remain the big challenge. Of the almost 50,000 workers represented by unions at American, only a group of 90 technical specialists has approved a new contract. The carrier has been negotiating with its pilots for more than four years, while its flight attendants, airport ground workers, and mechanics have been in contract talks for more than two.

A continuing obstacle to labor agreements is the $1.6 billion in annual concessions the unions agreed to in 2003 to help keep the carrier from seeking bankruptcy protection. Filing for Chapter 11 protection would have allowed American to alter its labor accords unilaterally. Workers want the airline to restore at least some of the concessions. Management says that on labor costs alone, the carrier is still at a $600 million-a-year disadvantage to rivals. “It’s a big brick in our backpack to being competitive in this industry,” says Senior Vice-President Jeff Brundage. Leer más “Why American Airlines Is Stuck at the Gate”

Daily-Deal Study: Good for Customers, Bad for Businesses

The study, conducted at Rice University’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business by associate professor Utpal Dholakia, polled 150 businesses that did Groupon deal offers in the past year. The results: About one-third of participating businesses said their daily-deal offers were unprofitable

More than 40 percent said they wouldn’t do a daily deal again. Business owners who were unhappy with their deal experience reported Groupon deal users didn’t buy additional items beyond the deal offer. They also reported the Groupon customers tended to be one-time visitors and didn’t become repeat customers. [Más…]
Some of the study’s recommendations on how to make a Groupon promotion successful:

* Design your deal so that it will appeal to new customers and not cannibalize sales to existing customers.
* Know whether your business type is well-suited to benefit from a daily deal — the study found restaurants and education companies fared the worst, while salons and spas were the most successful.
* Offer the deal on merchandise you’re looking to unload or underutilized services you want to grow
* Design your deal to build a customer relationship. Make it good for $20 off on each of your next three visits instead of $60 off the customer can spend all at once.
* Avoid offering a discount off the total bill — you may end up giving away too much margin, as you aren’t in control of the size of your discount.

Has your company done a daily-deal offer? Would you? Leave a comment and let us know what you think about daily-deal promotions.


If you haven’t turned on a computer lately, the hottest thing in online marketing is the daily deal. Mega-successful company Groupon started this trend, and a million imitators have sprouted. Another daily-deal startup, Woot, was recently snapped up by Amazon.com for more than $100 million.

So the business of being a daily-deal company is great. But how are those daily deals working out for the businesses that offer them? A new study says: Not so hot.
For the uninitiated, a business that offers a daily deal through one of these sites must provide a substantial discount — often 50 percent off. Then, a minimum number of customers must buy the deal, prepaying up-front and getting a coupon they present to the company. If not enough customers buy into the deal, it’s cancelled. The tradeoff is a guarantee of a large volume of new-customer traffic in exchange for the discount.

The study, conducted at Rice University’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business by associate professor Utpal Dholakia, polled 150 businesses that did Groupon deal offers in the past year. The results: About one-third of participating businesses said their daily-deal offers were unprofitable

More than 40 percent said they wouldn’t do a daily deal again. Business owners who were unhappy with their deal experience reported Groupon deal users didn’t buy additional items beyond the deal offer. They also reported the Groupon customers tended to be one-time visitors and didn’t become repeat customers. Leer más “Daily-Deal Study: Good for Customers, Bad for Businesses”

Bloggers detained … but others write on

(CNN) — Across the world blogging has become a way of spreading your message but for some that message can cost them their freedom.

From Iran to Vietnam, bloggers take risks going online to spread news and views authorities have no wish to see or hear.

In Egypt, Wael Abbas is an award wining blogger and international human rights activist recognized for his work by institutions such as the Human Rights Watch and Reporters without Borders.

His blog Misr Digital which translates as “Egyptian Awareness” gained worldwide attention for video posts of torture sessions in prisons, mass sexual harassment of women, and police brutality in the streets of Egypt.

“In oppressive regimes you get both sides of the story from bloggers, who can tackle taboo issues such as torture, homosexuality, and corruption. Bloggers are a necessity in countries where media is not free; they are the main source of free information,” Abbas said.



(CNN)
— Across the world blogging has become a way of spreading your message but for some that message can cost them their freedom.

From Iran to Vietnam, bloggers take risks going online to spread news and views authorities have no wish to see or hear.

In Egypt, Wael Abbas is an award wining blogger and international human rights activist recognized for his work by institutions such as the Human Rights Watch and Reporters without Borders.

His blog Misr Digital which translates as “Egyptian Awareness” gained worldwide attention for video posts of torture sessions in prisons, mass sexual harassment of women, and police brutality in the streets of Egypt.

“In oppressive regimes you get both sides of the story from bloggers, who can tackle taboo issues such as torture, homosexuality, and corruption. Bloggers are a necessity in countries where media is not free; they are the main source of free information,” Abbas said.

We refused to let them destroy us
–Wael Abbas
Leer más “Bloggers detained … but others write on”

What Can You Learn from 7 Awesome Corporate Blogs?

A winning corporate blog can bring new traffic to your website and added attention to your company. According to one study, businesses that blog get an average of 55% more traffic on their websites than those who don’t. It adds value to new and existing customers, and can make you stand out from your competitors. But how, exactly, does a business go about creating a blog that their customers will actually read?
Zappos.com CEO and COO Blog

zappos ceo coo blog
Zappos.com, the giant online shoe and apparel retailer, has a number of blogs. Some focus on their products and general company news, but one in particular stands out: the shared blog of their CEO and COO.

What sets this blog apart is the transparency it offers to Zappos.com customers. Internal emails, memos, and other corporate news are all shared. The fact that internal emails are copied in their entirety and shared with the general public is something a lot of corporations would scoff at. But it’s all about building trust. Zappos, for instance, recently posted an extensive internal email that marked the 1-year anniversary of their deal with Amazon, and included the original email they sent out when the deal with Amazon was announced.

If the public sees you as honest and straightforward, then they’re more likely to do business with you. It’s that simple.

Zappos.com also has another blog that’s noteworthy: Zappos Insights. It’s hosted on a separate domain, and includes tons of information about the way they do business and their corporate culture. They also offer information on outstanding company culture at other businesses. They have regular features on things like books they’re reading and fun posts like the Zappos Family Music Video. It’s aimed at other entrepreneurs and businesses, and has tons of valuable insider information on how to build a corporate culture as outstanding as what Zappos has.
The Takeaway

Transparency builds trust. If you want your customers to view your company as honest and straightforward, don’t be afraid to share internal documents and be as open as possible about what your company is doing. Having that information come from a higher-up within the company lends more credibility and gives it extra impact.
The Facebook Blog

the facebook blog
The Facebook Blog is clearly targeted at existing users. And when you have an active user base of more than 500 million people, it’s important to keep communication not just open, but streamlined. The blog serves as a perfect, unintrusive platform for keeping users updated on new features and important information.

The Facebook Blog is another great example of how having multiple employees posting can result in better, higher-quality content and a more consistent posting schedule. Included in the people who blog is Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook. Having your CEO or other high-level executives blog when something important is being announced gives it more credibility in the eyes of customers.
The Takeaway

The Facebook Blog can teach us two things. First, when you have to communicate with huge numbers of people, a blog can be a great way to do so. Second, having a huge blogging team that includes employees from throughout your organization makes your blog much more engaging for users. Your CEO should be blogging, but so should your interns.
Lulu

lulu blog
Lulu takes a different approach to their blog. Rather than just promoting their company and their services, they offer valuable information to their customers and prospects related to self-publishing, the industry they serve. Sure, they also talk about their own products and services, and how to get the most from them, but it’s always with the customer in mind. You won’t find any regurgitated corporate press releases here.

When your customers are do-it-yourselfers or a similar demographic, providing information that empowers them to do what they do better, you become their go-to point for knowledge. When they have a question about something, they view you as an authority on the subject and turn to your blog for advice.
The Takeaway

Think about what your customers are doing, and how you can help them do it better. That should include not only how you can help them directly, but also how they can help themselves or get help from others who do things your business doesn’t. If you put the needs of your customers first, they’re more likely to respect your company and turn to you when they need something.


7 Awesome Blog Ideas

A winning corporate blog can bring new traffic to your website and added attention to your company. According to one study, businesses that blog get an average of 55% more traffic on their websites than those who don’t. It adds value to new and existing customers, and can make you stand out from your competitors. But how, exactly, does a business go about creating a blog that their customers will actually read?

Zappos.com CEO and COO Blog

zappos ceo coo blog
Zappos.com, the giant online shoe and apparel retailer, has a number of blogs. Some focus on their products and general company news, but one in particular stands out: the shared blog of their CEO and COO.

What sets this blog apart is the transparency it offers to Zappos.com customers. Internal emails, memos, and other corporate news are all shared. The fact that internal emails are copied in their entirety and shared with the general public is something a lot of corporations would scoff at. But it’s all about building trust. Zappos, for instance, recently posted an extensive internal email that marked the 1-year anniversary of their deal with Amazon, and included the original email they sent out when the deal with Amazon was announced.

If the public sees you as honest and straightforward, then they’re more likely to do business with you. It’s that simple.

Zappos.com also has another blog that’s noteworthy: Zappos Insights. It’s hosted on a separate domain, and includes tons of information about the way they do business and their corporate culture. They also offer information on outstanding company culture at other businesses. They have regular features on things like books they’re reading and fun posts like the Zappos Family Music Video. It’s aimed at other entrepreneurs and businesses, and has tons of valuable insider information on how to build a corporate culture as outstanding as what Zappos has.

The Takeaway

Transparency builds trust. If you want your customers to view your company as honest and straightforward, don’t be afraid to share internal documents and be as open as possible about what your company is doing. Having that information come from a higher-up within the company lends more credibility and gives it extra impact.

The Facebook Blog

the facebook blog
The Facebook Blog is clearly targeted at existing users. And when you have an active user base of more than 500 million people, it’s important to keep communication not just open, but streamlined. The blog serves as a perfect, unintrusive platform for keeping users updated on new features and important information.

The Facebook Blog is another great example of how having multiple employees posting can result in better, higher-quality content and a more consistent posting schedule. Included in the people who blog is Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook. Having your CEO or other high-level executives blog when something important is being announced gives it more credibility in the eyes of customers.

The Takeaway

The Facebook Blog can teach us two things. First, when you have to communicate with huge numbers of people, a blog can be a great way to do so. Second, having a huge blogging team that includes employees from throughout your organization makes your blog much more engaging for users. Your CEO should be blogging, but so should your interns.

Lulu

lulu blog
Lulu takes a different approach to their blog. Rather than just promoting their company and their services, they offer valuable information to their customers and prospects related to self-publishing, the industry they serve. Sure, they also talk about their own products and services, and how to get the most from them, but it’s always with the customer in mind. You won’t find any regurgitated corporate press releases here.

When your customers are do-it-yourselfers or a similar demographic, providing information that empowers them to do what they do better, you become their go-to point for knowledge. When they have a question about something, they view you as an authority on the subject and turn to your blog for advice.

The Takeaway

Think about what your customers are doing, and how you can help them do it better. That should include not only how you can help them directly, but also how they can help themselves or get help from others who do things your business doesn’t. If you put the needs of your customers first, they’re more likely to respect your company and turn to you when they need something. Leer más “What Can You Learn from 7 Awesome Corporate Blogs?”