Simply Friday

Business & Marketing Strategy

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

That’s it for Simply Friday 2012; we’re wrapping up today and leaving for Scotland tonight!

If this year was about making plans and getting them in place, 2013 is going to be all about execution. 

The explosion of tablets, the dominance of smart phones and the rise of mobile, the acceptance of Facebook, Twitter and god knows what other platforms means that 2013 will be the most exciting and accessible year yet as far as digital marketing goes.

There will be new players, new tools and new best practices when it comes to marketing your business.  I’ll continue to publish this weekly missive in order to share some insight and hopefully bring a little humor and amusement along the way.

The first newsletter of the year will come out on Thursday 10th of January, but if you need some homework before then – here’s a great article from SEOMOZ on how to really get your Facebook page going.

I wish you and your family a fabulous holiday season and hope you get to take a break before the New Year arrives, until then,


Why you do Content Marketing and why it's so hard

I don’t know about you but purchasing stuff that costs more than $100 or so tends to freak me out.

It’s a complex world

Whether it’s wondering if the mechanic is stiffing me for a new starter motor or if one attorney’s better than another – I just don’t know – and because I don’t know, I don’t feel terribly good about buying their services.

Educate your customers

The purpose of adding content to your digital footprint is to educate your customers – to teach them what the variables are in your business and to demonstrate why your firm is better.

That’s it. This isn’t rocket science.

The more a potential customer knows about how your world works, the more confident they are in making a decision. If you are the firm educating them, you’re going to get viewed more favorably than the competition.

Why it’s so bloody difficult

Incorporating the requirement to produce and publish a new article every week is hard – I know – I practice what I preach.

Content is at the heart of everything in the digital marketing world – it is what gets shared, it is what raises your profile and visibility, it is what drives your “SEO” and ultimately your bottom line.

Content marketing requires behavioral change from you and your team, and that is the hardest thing of all to accomplish.

If you’d like to get back on track – reply to this email and book a session.


Bad password - is it you?

According to the stats around 3 people reading this email use the password “password

People are predictable

There’s a list that comes out every year of the worst passwords – it’s collated by security experts and the data is pretty incredible.

Aside from the fact that almost 5% of all the passwords on the planet are “password” – 91% of people use a password from the top 1,000 passwords.

Think about that!

Website hacks

If you run a Wordpress site and you still have an admin account on there – all I have to do is go to – put admin in the login box and then run a small script that cycles through the top 1,000 passwords; 91% of the time I will gain access.

Once I’m in I can probably gain access to your email, then I have your data, your bank account, your life.

Thank you!

What you should do

If your password (for any system) is in the top 25 pasted below, stop reading and go and change it.

Then when you have a moment, go check out the top 500 passwords– if your password is in there – go change it.

What to change it to?

Current thinking recommends the use of passphrases rather than passwords, so instead of password, how about,this_is_my_password; it’s longer (good,) involves non-alpha characters (good,) and is pretty memorable.

To be safe you should add a few numbers and maybe misspell a few words but of course, that makes it less memorable!

I’ll leave you with an XKCD comic – click the link. 

Oh, and if you’d like a security review and hardening applied to your site, reply to this email and book a session.

Top 25 most common passwords

1. password
2. 123456
3. 12345678
4. 1234
5. qwerty
6. 12345
7. dragon
8. pussy
9. baseball
10. football
11. letmein
12. monkey
13. 696969
14. abc123
15. mustang
16. michael
17. shadow
18. master
19. jennifer
20. 111111
21. 2000
22. jordan
23. superman
24. harley

25. 1234567


It's Tool Time!

So we’ve pretty much consolidated round the following platforms:

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Yelp
  • Foursquare

(Pinterest will be more for retailers & Yelp and Foursquare will be more relevant for local businesses.)

Hopefully you’re all writing content for your website and having that automatically seeded out to the different platforms where you engage with people to develop your client base. Awesome!

For the time-starved

I know the thought of having to go to each network and check what’s going on horrifies most of you – yes in the ideal world you should be spending time out there interacting with other people, but if you can’t manage that – you should at least be interacting with people who interact with you!


All of you can handle email, so why not have a daily summary of what’s been going on across your digital footprint? Constant Contact’s NutshellMail allows you to hook up all your social media accounts and receive a daily email containing all activity that has happened – allowing you to react in a timely manner should someone interact with you.

Here's a short video that explains it beautifully:

Here's where you can sign up for free:

Perch App

Want to find out what your competition is up to? This app is a great business information tool that shows you what similar merchants in your area are doing. If you’re just starting out with your marketing campaign, this tool should give you plenty of ideas. Free download for iOS or Android.

Here's the website with another nice video and links out to the relevant app stores:

Time to act

Don't have your footprint set up, not writing for your website, losing business to your competitors? Reply to this email and book a session.


You killed my father, prepare to die!

Today we’re going to be learning from the classic 1987 romantic comedy The Princess Bride. If you’re not familiar with this movie – stop work, go home, grab the spouse and kids and watch as a family; it’s awesome!

Inconceivable SEO

When I hear business owners talk about SEO I immediately think of Vizzini and his use of the word Inconceivable; he uses it so often and so incorrectly that ultimately his intellectually challenged but gifted swordsman of a colleague is compelled to say:

“You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Conceivable SEO

Search engine optimization is a process that involves a number of different things, but that ultimately is driven by your ability to produce unique and compelling content about your business and services.

It’s not rocket science but it does require your time and input and you can’t half-ass it.

Inconceivable SEO

If you think SEO is the kind of business function that you can outsource then you’ll need to have at least ten to fifteen grand lying around as an annual budget. This is what areputable and professional firm will charge you for a talented individual to come and manage your business.

Conceivable SEO

As a small business, this might not be an option yet, so in the meantime, you have to do it yourself. This requires the development of a plan, allocation of resource, familiarity with tools and ultimately actual production and publishing of content.

It’s not rocket science but it does require your time and input and you can’t half-ass it.

As you wish

If you would like to achieve the metaphorical business equivalent of killing the six fingered man, defeating the evil count, getting the girl (or boy) and riding off on a white horse, reply to this email and book a session.

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