January, 2010

A Clever Viral Marketing Technique: “Fresh Balls”

January 4th, 2010

How would you like people to email your website link to everybody they know — for your site to go viral, as they say.

Think about it: Why do people forward links, pictures, videos, to their friends? How can you create a website or a marketing campaign that would lead people to hit the forward button? Jokes and sex are obvious examples. Check out the internet store link below. This link, with a clever video, has been popping up in inboxes:

http://freshballs.com/

Now, keep in mind: this is only one part of a campaign. You got them to your site. Then you have to convert them and convince then to buy. Does this sales pitch do it? It’s funny, it’s clever, it’s well produced, but will they buy it? We’re just asking. One downside to using humor, is that people don’t take your product seriously; you may not develop the trust necessary. Ultimately, there has to be a market for your product and those consumers have to be convinced — and trust — that your product is what they need (beer seems to be an exception). It’s one thing to get viral buzz; it’s another to convert.

A quick check of Alexa reports that “time on site (in minutes) peaked on Dec 21 at about four minutes. That doesn’t give much time to go through a shopping cart. Now “time on site” is down to two and a half minutes, which is roughly the length of the video.

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Book Review: “The 4-Hour Workweek: Expanded & Updated” by Timothy Ferriss

January 4th, 2010

We originally reviewed “The 4-Hour Work Week” here. As we said, the three chapters on “Income Autopilot” are probably among the best, concise step by step guides to building a successful, profitable, automated internet store. But this book is more than that — it’s how to reboot your life. Reading this book is like taking the red pill and discovering you have been living in The Matrix. It’s about escaping the rat race, yes, but — to use another movie metaphor — “You’re no longer part of the System. You’re above the System. Over it. Beyond it…. We are” the New Rich (NR), as Ferriss calls it. The author says: “How is it possible that all the people in the world need exactly eight hours to accomplish their work? It isn’t. Nine to five is arbitrary.” This and other “rules” are just so much software that has been plugged into our brains. Ferris teaches you DEAL (or DELA if you are currently employed), which stands for Definition, Elimination, Automation, and Liberation. The new expanded edition has over 100 pages of new content, including updated resources and more real word examples and suggestions from members of the NR.  It’s about how to use technology more effectively, but it’s also about making more effective decisions — i.e., applying the 80/20 rule to everything, ruthlessly. Topics include outsourcing, mini-retirements (rather than waiting until you’re older) and the concept of geoarbitrage. We recommend you take this red pill. Here’s the link to Amazon:  The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated: With Over 100 New Pages of Cutting-Edge Content.

(Reviewed by Rich Dog Millionaire.com)

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A Lesson From “The Twilight Zone”

January 1st, 2010

We were watching  “The Twilight Zone” marathon on Sify and saw the stopwatch episode (“A Kind of Stopwatch”) — where Patrick Thomas McNulty gets a most unusual stopwatch that can freeze time. What struck us was the scene — the black and white  office life of the early 1960s. All of the employees — each at his or her desk — each doing seemingly monotonous, repetitive tasks — only to be interrupted by the favor of a breakfast cart, with coffee and a coffee cake. The protagonist, McNulty, is the oddball — in a world where oddballs do not fit in. In his narration, Rod Serling calls McNulty “the biggest bore on Earth.” He fills the office suggestion box with all kinds of ideas — oddball ideas — that have no place in this world (but could perhaps be a fantastic product for an internet store, a half-century later). It’s like this episode is a parable (or fable) in which the stopwatch is the key to escaping this black and white world. Only the story was written by someone from this world, so the stopwatch becomes immoral (McNulty uses it to rob a bank).

But this is what really struck us: Human beings are still doing the same damn thing a half century later — the same habits, the same lifestyle patterns. Of course we have and use the our technology — the internet, email, etc  — but we use it in ways that essentially reinforce obsolete routines. For example, we all get in our cars to sit on the highway during rush hour, to go to and from offices — back and forth, nine to five. We spend hours at our desks and hours in meetings. When we should be harnassing our ideas and dreams, like so many McNultys, using current technology to build internet businesses instead of filling suggestion boxes.

(original content by Rich Dog Millionaire.com)

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