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Why You Shouldn’t Be Aiming for Viral Marketing

Viral marketing seems like the business success a marketer can strive for–your message is out there, and everyone is sharing it. What could be better? Well, a lot, actually, because going viral says a lot about how many people see your message, but not a whole lot about how many people are buying your product.

Some of you might remember the feel-good stories or days gone by, such as Blendtec, that great blender whose messages went viral when they pulverized an iPod with that powerful little motor. And that viral marketing definitely led to sales–huge increases, in fact. So, why am I so down on viral marketing? A few reasons:

  • You’re not so unique. Nowadays, there is way more content vying for attention. The possibility of any marketer breaking through the way Blendtec did is much less than it was.


  • Facebook makes it hard. Facebook used to show any content–now it suppresses marketing content in the free feed to make you pay them for ads.


  • You’re not looking for everyone. This is probably the most important reason. If you’re Coca-Cola, then maybe viral is great, because your target market is anyone with a neck. But you’re probably not.

But the biggest reason that viral marketing doesn’t work, is that even if it goes viral, it doesn’t persuade anyone to buy. The best thing about those old Blendtec videos were that they showed off their differentiation. If it can obliterate an iPod, you can bet it won’t leave any lumps in your smoothies. But most viral attempts focus solely on sharing and reach and not at all on persuading all those people that they reach.

Focus on reaching the right people instead of all the people. Maybe that finally give you the boost in sales you really need.

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Tips for Performing Under Pressure: The Resilient Mind

Over the past 35 years, I have worked with many high-achieving professionals – athletes, actors, dancers, speakers, and business leaders in a variety of fields. One of the common denominators that is true across the board, is as soon as we raise the stakes of the game and more is demanded of us, new skills and new perspectives are required.

It’s interesting to note that emotions are processed in the brain as predictions based on our past history. In other words, if we had a bad experience at an earlier time in our lives, our brain remembers that experience and expects the same result in the future. This is why telling ourselves to “just get over it,” doesn’t always work.

At the time of this writing, the Winter Olympics are just ending. What can we learn from these athletes about performing under pressure? A number of them have come back from heartbreaking defeats and devastating injuries. How do they work with their minds to overrule the brain’s natural tendency to avoid pain and danger?

There are many factors that go into that answer, but again, to play at a very high level, new skills and perspectives are required. We can summarize the needed qualities in one word: “Resiliency.” Some people are more naturally resilient than others. But resiliency can be learned and nurtured from a very early age.

Let’s look at three essential qualities of a resilient mind:

1. Attitude – Resilient people look back at difficult experiences as challenges to invent a new future. They see solutions, strength and inspiration. So, one’s attitude can mitigate the brain’s natural tendency to see the world as an unfriendly place. By changing your attitude, you are actually building new neural pathways, which now means you are writing a new story.

2. Positive Self-Image – Resilient people are constantly evaluating themselves from a NON-JUDGMENTAL perspective. What worked, what didn’t work? They are willing to make course corrections based on their objective analysis.

3. Sense of Purpose – in order to subject ourselves to the high demands and challenges that “going for it” requires, we need to have a powerful reason. Simon Sinek, in his Ted talk, called it “Your Why.”

When your attitude, your self-image and your purpose are in alignment, you have the magic ingredients to forge a new future. Even though your mind “remembers” past negative experiences, you are not destined to repeat them.

If you find that you “know” this information, but are still not able to let go of situations you feel are still holding you back, I invite you to take the Mastery Under Pressure quiz on your level of peak performance skills at www.masteryunderpressure.net.

And join our Facebook Community at Mastery Under Pressure Community, where you’ll learn more about strengthening those building blocks to greater resiliency and
peak performance.

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The Long, Hard Road

I recently interviewed Rick Wartzman for my Business Builders Show podcast. Rick is the Director of The KH Moon Center for a Functioning Society at the Drucker Institute, a part of Claremont Graduate University. Rick has written a great book, The End of Loyalty, The Rise and Fall of Good Jobs in America.  This book has 363 pages and 25 pages of citations and sourcing. This is a very well -written, well documented account of the topic of the book. At the beginning of the interview I pointed out that he started the book in 2009 and it was not published until 2017. I asked him why did it take that long? After he made a joke about him being “slow”, he pointed out that it took that long to check on and validate all the information he wrote about in the book. It simply was the long, hard road to get the book done right.

Todays blog from Seth Godin is “Low & Slow (vs.fear)”. He talks about how he rushed the baking of sourdough rye bread. He did not let the dough ferment enough and he turned up the oven, so he could get it done faster so he could meet someone. It did not turn out well. Then he points out a flipside to the story – “Sometimes, we mistakenly believe that we’re building something that takes time, but what we’re really doing is hiding. We stall and digress and cause distractions, not because the work needs us to, but because we’re afraid to ship.”  BTW, remember that Seth Godin has been blogging for I’m not sure how long (a long time) and has not missed a day.

When do we decide to take the long and sometimes difficult road? I see the value in the long view. Just like baking bread correctly, getting a story (your work) right so you can share your insights usually takes time. Be patient. Stay focused. Believe the work you are doing is worthy of the time and effort. So, unless there is an immediate need for speed, consider the long term. Think of the lasting impact your work can have if you take the time to complete all the steps in the process. Those steps will include diligent study, bouncing ideas off family, friends and colleagues and being committed to producing work which will have a positive, lasting impact.

Rick Wartzman, congratulations on taking the time, the long, hard road, to write a terrific book. Seth Godin, slow down and better luck next time with the sourdough rye bread.

Best Practices Growth Management Personal Development Technology

Cybersecurity Checkup

Most people understand that going to the doctor and dentist on a regular basis is good preventive practice for their health. Getting your teeth cleaned and x rayed can help prevent future damage, and getting regular blood work and physical exams can catch issues before they become serious.

The same is true for your technology and business practices around cybersecurity. Regular checkups and exams are necessary for the basic health of your systems and to prevent more serious problems later. Knowing early on if there is an issue that needs to be fixed can help you before it becomes too late or more costly.

As a security consultant I am akin to your general practitioner at the doctor’s office. I conduct checkups for systems and processes to determine the cybersecurity health and potential future needs for organizations. Having someone with this skill set to come in at least annually and look at your systems is key in maintaining a healthy network. The result of ignoring your security checkup can lead to an unavailability of system resources, which happens when attackers use Ransomware to keep you from accessing critical business data. Another concern that the checkup addresses is ensuring there is no weakness in the integrity of data or what seems to be the most common headline, the loss of data to hackers or attackers.

Let’s look at three important elements of a cybersecurity checkup.

First let’s look at your infrastructure, which you can think of as the bones that make up your organization. If a device or system on your network isn’t configured correctly it can cause many problems. Systems and data can become unavailable to users and customers, or worse, malicious users or hackers could gain unauthorized access to your systems and data. During the checkup your security consultant will look at system configurations to help identify any weaknesses and provide recommendations for fixing any breaks they find.

Second you need to look at the hardware and software that makes up your network and is part of your infrastructure. These devices can be infected by what are known as a computer virus or bug and in broader terms referred to as malware. With people we have ways to detect if there is an infection and ways to prevent them or cure them. For your systems, the main way this is accomplished is through the use of anti-virus or anti-malware software. This software can test the system looking for vulnerabilities and weaknesses (bugs and infections). Your security consultant conducting your system check-up will make sure that the software is current and working properly, and look to ensure that all current patches have been applied to fix known issues.

When you go to the doctor there are many tests in which you get poked and prodded, many of which are not fun, but incredibly necessary. A good friend of mine was recently diagnosed with cancer as a result of his prostate exam. I am quite certain the exam was not something he was looking forward to and he could have easily put off, but since he didn’t put it off he was diagnosed early and has a very good prognosis for being cancer free.

This takes me to the third and one of the most important and often underutilized type security checkup – penetration testing. This is the most important, but least common checkup. This type of test should be conducted by a subject matter expert, i.e. a specialist rather than a generalist. This professional conducts very technical tests against your organizations systems to try and break in like someone who is up to no good, but doing so with permission and ground rules. They can do this from the Internet like most malicious hackers and they can do it from inside your network to mimic a malicious internal user. External and internal penetration tests are some of the most important tests you can run against your systems to make sure you truly understand the cybersecurity health of your organization from the inside out.

These important security health checks should also be conducted throughout the year by your IT staff as part of their ongoing operating procedures in addition to at least annually by an independent third-party. If you have outsourced your IT to a service provider make sure they are conducting regular security checks in addition to having an independent third-party or internal audit group do an annual checkup as well.

Don’t be caught with a diagnosis that is hard or expensive to fix because you decided to skip the annual checkup. If you have questions and want to discuss all the elements of a security checkup in more detail email sharon@c-suiteresults.com.

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