To Give is To Get. The Importance of Blog Comments.

By Dorien Morin-van Dam

You are business owner. You are active on social media. You even have a blog on your website and you are doing your best to keep your blog original, fresh and active, posting new articles on a regular basis. You send out updates on your social media sites and you might even have joined a blogging community to share articles of like-minded bloggers.

Does this sound like you?

To Give is to Get

But…you knew there’d be a ‘but’ right? What else can you to do ‘spice up’ your blog? What are you forgetting? I am here to tell you that many bloggers forget to do one important thing. Blog commenting. Asking for comments as well as leaving comments.

To my own clients who want to get more eyeballs on their articles, one of the first things I recommend is for them to start seeking out the blogs of other bloggers & experts in their industry and to start leaving intelligent, well thought-out blog comments.

Not sure you’d know what to say and what to comment on? Go read some comments!

Seriously! The best way to learn blog commenting is to go to (larger) publications and to see first hand what types of articles generate what types of comments. According to Jeff Goins, there are 7 types of commenters. Read his article here and decide which one you are, or want to be!

Who Should You Give Your Blog Comments To?

There is no ‘right or wrong way’ to leave blog comment, because in essence any blog that accepts your comment should be grateful you’ve taken the time to give them feedback.

However, if you’d like to target and leave blog comments for the purpose of getting blog comments back, I suggest starting here.

Leave comments for:

• Those in your industry

• Local (business) blogs

• Your colleagues

• Those in your blogging community

Why Should You Take Your Valuable Time To Leave Blog Comments?

There are many reasons behind blog commenting, that is another post on its own, but I did want to start you thinking about a few reasons why leaving blog comments could be beneficial to your business, your own blog and your writing skills.

• To show your expertise – Leave a comment that adds value to the article

• To make new connections – Leave a comment

• To find collaborators – Leave a comment and connect with like-minded people

• To start online conversations – leave a comment and get noticed

• To give feedback – Leave a comment for a specific reason

• To get backlinks – Once your comment is approved, you’ll most often get a link to your own site

• To get noticed for guest blogging – leave a comment and show off your writing skills

What Should You NOT Do When You Leave a Blog Comment?

Don’t make these five blog commenting mistakes! It might seem like common sense to you, but I often get these types of comments on my blog. When I see these types of comments, I am always happy I’ve set my blog commenting system up so that I have to approve any and all comments before they go live.

Now that you know the importance of commenting on blogs, how about I help you figure out how to get some comments for yourself? Consider how you should go about attracting the right audience to your blog and how to entice them to interact with you and leave a comment.

Why Do You Want Blog Comments On Your Blog?

There are multiple reasons to want to have an active commenting community on your blog. Here are some of the more obvious reasons to want to get blog comments.

• To build your online community

• To get potential customers to notice you

• To develop strong relationships with your readers

• For economic growth (get new customers!)

• Give-Away/Promotion

• To get feedback on your writing

• To become an authority in your field/industry

• To drive even more traffic to your blog


There are a few things to watch for once you start to encourage blog commenting on your own site. Here they are in no particular order.

• Watch out for spammers

• Take time to moderate any and all comments

• Deal with, and process, negative comments

Ideas on How To Get Comments

An active community of commenters is a sign of a great blog. Comments inspire new comments and the cycle continues. To insure this commenting will go on and on, here are some ideas to get, and keep generating, good quality comments!

• Ask for comments

• Include a call-to-action at the end of each article

• Ask a specific question of your readers to be answered

• Give comments to get comments back

• Write provocatively (or ‘shake things up a bit’)

• Make commenting easy for the public, hard for spammers. Check your settings!

• Create a blog comment policy outlining what is expected of your community

• Respond to comments! You will get more comments that way. First, as people see you reply, they are more likely to leave a comment in the first place and once you reply to their comment, you can ask a follow up question.

Whether commenting has been on the back burner or not, ramping up your commenting can make a huge difference in the quality and quantity of your blog comments going in and out!

I’ve had fun writing this article (my first on this site!) and I have just one question for you:

Will you let me know what your most successful blog commenting strategy is? I can’t wait to read the answer!

Author’s Bio: Dorien Morin-van Dam is owner and social media marketer at More In Media, a social media consultancy in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Dorien provides social media consulting, management, training and education; she is passionate about teaching social media to small business owners. She services clients all over the USA and has worked in many different industries as well as with several NPO’s. In her spare time, Dorien manages four kids, three dogs and a husband. She runs marathons and loves to bake, travel and read.

Asking For Feedback From Clients: How and Why It’s Vital

By Jennifer Escalona Dunn

Every business owner likes to think that his or her business is great and is operating at 100% efficiency. If your clients haven’t complained and your bank account is fine it’s easy to pretend that nothing is wrong. However, you could be setting yourself up for huge problems down the line if you maintain this illusion.

Undoubtedly, one or more of your clients has something to say about the services you’re providing. Whether or not they’ve told you personally is irrelevant; sometimes people don’t like to upset the apple cart and won’t tell you what you think…unless you ask!

Why Feedback is Important

This isn’t to say that your business is falling apart at the seams. It’s only natural that a problem might crop up from time to time.

However, one problem that occurs all the time may end up harming your business in the long run. Wouldn’t it be terrible if some little thing you could have easily taken care of irreparably damaged the work you’ve done over the years?

It may seem like you’re tempting fate by bringing these issues up in the first place. After all, if you’re asking about the problems people have, doesn’t this give them a chance to focus on what’s wrong?

This may be true, but you want these problems coming up when you can control them rather than out of the blue. If your problem is being late with assignments, one or two won’t kill you – a whole year of it, though, certainly won’t help your bottom line.

How to Get Feedback

Feedback is pretty important to the long-term health of your business, but how do you go about getting it? Is it as simple as just asking each client or should you use other methods?

Ideally you want as wide a sample as possible. As stated before, some clients may not be very receptive to freely giving out their opinions. Their ideas are still valid, though, so you need to provide an avenue for these people as well.

One idea is to make an anonymous survey on Facebook or a service like SurveyMonkey. This way all clients can provide their opinions without fear of backlash from you. Not that you would yell at them, but some may have trouble getting over their hesitation. Of course you can always email clients individually. In the email you can provide a link to the survey or they can just reply to your message.

One helpful tip is to have specific questions in mind. If you have concerns about your timeliness, for example, ask questions about this. Focusing your efforts can yield better results as it concentrates clients’ energy on that issue rather than fumbling around trying to figure out what might be wrong with your business.

Also remember: not every piece of advice you get is going to make perfect sense. In fact, you may receive flat out terrible advice from clients. Don’t immediately discount it, though. Try to figure out what they’re really saying and get to the root of the problem. It may end up helping you in the long run.

Have you ever received negative feedback from clients? Were you surprised? How did you rectify the situation?

Author’s Bio: Jennifer Escalona Dunn is the owner of Social Street Media where she writes about small business, tech and finance for sites like WePay and Outright. You can find her on Twitter @jennescalona.

Solve Communication Breakdowns with Your Blog

By Brian Milne

Communication Breakdown,
It’s always the same,
Havin’ a nervous breakdown,
Drive me insane!

– Led Zeppelin, “Communication Breakdown”

Is it just me, or is all of this technology that’s “connecting us” actually discouraging real communication.

By definition, communication is an “exchange of information,” but even Webster suggests it should include a “personal rapport.”

But in today’s fast-paced, attention-deficit world, personal phone calls have given way to occasional emails and text messages. And, in many cases today, those one-on-one messages are being replaced by shotgun Facebook and Twitter blasts to a faceless social mediasphere.

So what about those defining moments in life, or business, that warrant more than 140 characters? Babies being born, companies doing actual good in the community and for the environment?

Those are the types of communications blogs were made for. Whether it’s a personal or corporate platform, your blog is your most important communication tool online.

Not only does the blog allow you to let your hair down, and write more freely about topics that will engage users, but it allows you to share that narrative with hundreds, thousands, even millions of readers.

And it allows you to complement your prose with strong images, videos and all of the other assets and plugins we can integrate into our blogs today.

But how do you make sure your blog doesn’t turn into another source of one-sided noise in this overly-saturated blogosphere? Here are six tips to help turn your blog into a two-way communication tool.

Use the Blog Often, and Well

They say quality over quantity. I say quantity AND quality.

For a majority of the blogosphere, blogs are successful because they do both. Their content is solid, so it gets shared. Their content is frequent, so it gets traffic.

A good blog is a two-headed monster, and you have to feed it often if you want your site to become a beast to be reckoned with online.

Don’t have time to blog as often as you’d like? Here are 10 tips for finding more time to blog.

Use the Blog to Keep Connections Updated

Ever have a situation where you’re traveling in a remote place, or are in the middle of an adventure and don’t have time to update all of your friends on your whereabouts? The blog is a great vehicle for updating the masses on your situation.

I used this same approach in 2007 when I paddled nearly 100 miles of California’s coast, and again this past fall with a photo blog from McCovey Cove during the World Series.

Posting updates to your blog will not only keep your friends and family informed, but it also saves you time so you don’t have to reach out to everyone in your social circle to give them a unique update.

Use the Blog to Share and Engage

For corporate blogs, running diaries like the examples above probably aren’t realistic, but taking the same, real-time updates approach will work for major events and conferences when content ideas are coming your way at a furious pace.

Take advantage of these events (which are content gold mines) by posting frequently around the topics and using social media (and the appropriate hashtags) to promote your work, because these types of milestones are often more timely and newsworthy than everyday posts.

Use the Blog to Collaborate

Have you ever thought of your blog as a collaboration tool?

Active online communities and blogs have amazing potential when it comes to collaborating online.

Turn your blog into a collaboration tool by: concluding posts with open-ended questions to drive reader comments, driving interaction through mobile engagement, and embedding polls, surveys and forms to pull user-generated content from the community.

The key is driving at that engagement and making sure your blog isn’t just a one-way communication.

Use the Blog to Motivate

The best part about having a phone conversation with a friend, colleague or mentor that you respect, is that the call is a two-way conversation.

Two-way conversations help resolve issues, breed new ideas and inspire and motivate both sides to strive for more.

Take the same approach on your blog.

The best posts in the blogosphere (think about all of the great content here on motivate and inspire, and your blog shouldn’t be any different.

Use the Blog to Listen

In conclusion, don’t just treat your blog as a one-way communication tool. Allow for comments on your posts.

Listen to and engage with those in the comments section and continue the conversation beyond the author tagline.

Take the discussion to your social networks to engage more connections in your social circle, and, gulp, even offline in the real world.

Imagine that, actually communicating with folks offline.

Robert Plant would be proud.

Author’s Bio: Brian Milne is the founder of the Hyped Blog Network and Meadows Interactive, an authorized seller of the WorkTraits behavioral assessment and work compatibility program. Share your communication tips and challenges with him on Twitter @BMilneSLO.

5 Steps to Increasing Your Blog Comments

How to blog series

Virginia Cunningham


You’ve created a blog, made a few posts, maybe even installed some ads for the extra income. You’re locked and loaded to take the Internet by storm. But where are all the comments? Where is the dedicated audience breathlessly hanging on your every word?

Don’t worry, you don’t have to succumb to the tumbleweeds just yet. If you’re eager for more fans, here are five steps to increasing your blog comments.

1. Comment On Other Blogs

Before anything else, you need to establish your presence in your field. This is most easily achieved by commenting on other blogs and making a name for yourself as someone worth listening to. By making smart, funny and helpful comments on other blogs, readers will be interested enough to follow you back to your own.

2: Respond To Comments

No one likes to be ignored, and if your commenters feel like they’re shouting into an empty void, they become much less likely to comment in the future. To gain (and keep) an active community of followers, you’ll need to make a habit of responding to their comments. Answer their questions. Suggest new tech. Outsource their problems if you have to. Regardless of the content, just make sure their comments don’t go unnoticed. They’ve taken time out of their lives to comment on your blog; the least you can do is offer them the same courtesy.

3. Create A Community

It’s basic psychology: people like to belong. Take advantage of this by turning your commenting pool into a community – a place with its own language and lingo, a place where people can build friendships and swap stories without feeling out of place. If something happens to one of your followers, spotlight it. If you think two people would really get along, mention it. Make introductions among your followers. Create memes. Reference inside jokes in your updates. When new visitors feel the urge to “fit in,” you’ll know you’re doing it right.

4. Ask For Opinions

The best thing that can happen to any blog is a lively debate, so inspire some passion by soliciting the opinions of your followers. Make polls, ask leading questions (“what do you guys think?”) and encourage the most vocal of your readers. Don’t be afraid to touch on scandalous topics, because those often create the most heated (and long-running) exchanges.

5. Be Interesting

What makes you comment on a blog? What pushes you from a mere reader to an active participant in an exchange of ideas? It wouldn’t have happened if the blog wasn’t interesting or engaging enough to merit your response.

To this extent, if you want comments, you just have to be a good blogger. You need to be active, interesting, and well-informed in your field. Your post should be entertaining and relevant. Your comments should be smart and useful.

Simply put, if you want more comments on your blog, make your blog worth commenting on.

Author’s Bio: Virginia Cunningham is a freelance technology writer based in Los Angeles, California. She currently blogs about id security, social media and gadgets.

Thank you, Virginia! Engagement is always a noble quest.

–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz on your business!!

Are You Ready to Claim the Right Things You’ve Done?

We’re Awfully Good at Debriefing Failures and Just Toasting Our Success

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It takes a team to achieve a major business initiative. The research, the trials, the final product, the sampling effort, the trade shows, the tests and metrics, the PR, marketing, and social media effort designed amplify the buzz all took people, time, money, resources invested where it counts.

And when that sort of investments fails, we’re all over it to figure out where it went wrong. We hold meetings to debrief our choices, our missteps, and errors like so many grains of broken glass ground down to sand. In the name of learning from our mistakes we own our loses like so many merit badges. Sometimes we beat the losing horse until it’s long past dead with a mantra never to forget or to repeat the mistakes we made again.

But when we win, we toast to our success and move ahead.
What if we put the same rigor to debriefing our success?

How to Claim the Right Things You’ve Done

We’re great about learning from our losses. We’re not so great a learning from our success. A quick look at Bloom’s taxonomy will show that what we often do when we debrief a losing situation is we work all of the way up from knowledge through evaluation of what didn’t work.


Suppose we followed that toast to our success with an equally granular discussion of what worked with our success? It might look like this.

  • Knowledge – What it is we accomplished? What were the key parts that led to the success?
  • Comprehension – What do we know now about the project, the team, the customers that we didn’t know before?
  • Application – How can we use what we’ve learned from this success to build the next initiative like this one?
  • Analysis – How is this project similar and different from other projects we undertake?
  • Synthesis – What overall learnings can take forward from this success?
  • Evaluation – How as this win change what we understand about what we do as a business?

Raise that toast to your success. Then ask the six simple questions to claim what you’ve won.
The moments of reflection that bring you to the answers are the time you need to incorporate, internalize, and own what you’ve done — to move the “winning behavior” from a possibility into a natural response.

The evaluation of the win is the way to claim your rewards, to own them, and to leverage that learning from then on.
When you own your success, it shows every time you walk into a room. That’s how claiming rewards from success leverages itself into more success.

The good news is we can all go back — alone or with our teams — and claim our rewards for every success we’ve ever won.

Not everything we learn has to come from what we do wrong. Are you ready to learn from every right thing you’ve done?

Be irresistible.

–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz on your business!!

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Thanks to Week 269 SOBs

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Successful and Outstanding Bloggers

Let me introduce the bloggers
who have earned this official badge of achievement,

and the right to call themselves
Successful Blog SOBs.

I invite them to take a badge home to display on their blogs.

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They take the conversation to their readers,
contribute great ideas, challenge us, make us better, and make our businesses stronger.

I thank all of our SOBs for thinking what we say is worth passing on.
Good conversation shared can only improve the blogging community.

Should anyone question this SOB button’s validity, send him or her to me. Thie award carries a “Liz said so” guarantee, is endorsed by Kings of the Hemispheres, Martin and Michael, and is backed by my brothers, Angelo and Pasquale.

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Want to become an SOB?

If you’re an SO-Wanna-B, you can see the whole list of SOBs and learn how to be one by visiting the SOB Hall of Fame– A-Z Directory . Click the link or visit the What IS an SOB?! page in the sidebar.

–ME “Liz” Strauss

How to Be Ever Grateful for What You Have


Thanksgiving. Families. Rooms filled with people. Old torn relationships and new relatives. Or worse. A diner and a meal alone with faded memories.

We can’t bring back or remake today into what once was.
We can’t get the folks we love to behave exactly as we might want.
We can’t orchestrate the world to turn slowly to our best thoughts.

But we can be grateful for what we’ve got.
Every day. No matter what. We can recognize and celebrate what we value most of all.

How to Be Ever Grateful for What You Have

When that clerk in the grocery shop snaps and cracks and can’t even look up to see the person that you are, think about the generous person might have seen. Smile anyway and say “Thank you.”

When that person at work treats you like an inconsequential robot, think about the value you add every day. Smile anyway and say “Thank you.”

When that family member takes over the center of the universe, think about how much nicer you can be when you’re able to see the view from the perimeter. Smile anyway and say “Thank you.”

When that person you misinterprets your good deeds, think about good feelings that came with the doing. Smile anyway and say “Thank you.”

When that gossip says things about you that aren’t true, talk to your friends who would never believe such things about you. Then smile anyway and say “Thank you.”

Thank you
for showing me I don’t get thrown by little things.
for helping me see who I am is not what you say about me.
for the opportunity to try a positive response to your negativity.

Thank you can be an invitation to set the table differently.


But most importantly,
When the people who help you thrive show up,
smile every time and say thank you.
You’ll know them by the way
they consistently say and show they have faith in you,
by the hope and time they invest your dreams,
and by the endless love they provide to see you through.

Make every breath a smile and a thank you.
Say it out loud and show to proudly in every way you know how.

It’s a forever gratitude … a generosity that goes both ways.
Smile and say “thank you” out loud to recognize how rich your life is.
Every day.
Thank you to everyone who has changed my life.
My gratitude is huge and will always come back to you.

–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz on your business!!

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#DellCAP: From Behind the Curtain to Next Steps

Fodder to Focus


Wed through Friday last week I was honored to be part of the inaugural DELL Customer Advisory Panel (CAP) event at the DELL HQ in Round Rock, TX. (Thank you, DELL, for generously covering the costs of our travel.) I arrived with curiosity about the experience fueled by the information sharing that introduced the event.

Now I’m home and my mind is filled with the experience — so much “fodder.” This is a case study in a new sort of customer outreach. It was participatory anthropology. The people studying our responses were in the room asking questions, adding thoughts, and most importantly, listening and hearing.

This was NOT a focus group.

What Impressed Me

This was the first #DellCAP event.


Here’s a little about the event that impressed me:

  • Two groups attended each on a different day. The fifteen invitees on Tuesday were people who might be considered DELL critics. Some in that group told me they didn’t see themselves as anti-DELL. The fifteen invitees on Thursday were people who might be considered DELL evangelists. Some in that group said they didn’t see themselves as particular pro-DELL either. The idea that DELL invited people they saw as both ends of the spectrum impressed me.
  • The morning sessions included C-Suite and senior executives. DELL interest in the event was high. The room had an audience and folks outside the room could “dial in.” DELL considered the event a valuable experience. Conversation with people at every level of the organization proved their excitement to be learning from outside sources what they need to change.
  • The breaks and side interviews showed DELL employees interested in extending the conversation and forming relationships that went beyond the day that we were there.
  • The tenor and the tone of the morning conversations, especially that around customer service was particularly open and centered on learning. The people who work with the outsourced and overseas help talked frankly about their goals and their focus on price. Their ownership of policy problems led to some great discussion that went beyond service to strategic positioning — ideas that could bring the awesome DELL of the past back to us.

What Might Have Worked Better

The afternoon was in the DELL Labs and took the form of a presentation. Personally I see some ways that it might have invited more interaction to pull more value from the event.

  • The product presentation about the specialists and generalists DELL serves was enlightening. It might have been fun to ask the invitees which group most described them and invite the larger group split off to explore more deeply the products designed for them. A chance to discuss one product line might have triggered a more invested discussion than a survey view of the whole product offering. Smaller groups might have offered a refreshing change in the day and a chance to see who’s most like us.
  • The upcoming new product (NDA session) naturally had to be a “talk at us” session. At this stage, our input is moot. It’s nice to get insider information, but it might have been more exciting if DELL had said, “If you’re interested, we’ll send you more information right before the release it so that you can play with it and be the first to share news about it, if you choose.”
  • The session on sustainability and recycling was also Web 1.0. Imagine how engaging it might have been if DELL had shared what they’re doing; then invited us to brainstorm ideas on how they might use social media to spread the news about the worldwide efforts on I had no idea they have so many sustainability partnerships going on.

Information to Strategy?

I can only imagine the wealth of ideas and information compiled throughout the two long days of conversation and demonstrations. Graphic conversationalist, Sunni Brown, recorded key points throughout in this murals like this one …


DELL said they’ll be displaying the murals where customers and employees can see them often. The calls to action throughout are both inspiring and almost overwhelming. It’s hard to move a huge company — every huge company becomes less adventurous and more protective of what it already owns.

DELL how will you report back on what you’re doing with what you’ve found out?

Strategy that Leverages Opportunity

The task before #DellCap is to keep the conversation going, to refocus on people who grow the company — inside and out. It takes strategy and company-wide focus to reconnect with customers in a true value relationship. Change isn’t easy. Without a deep commitment and strategic plan the vision is just a nice thought.

Some strategic thinking I’d love to see (and be part of) include:

  • Building a strategy about finding opportunities, not holding ground.

    True strategy combines mission, position, current conditions, resources, and well chosen tactics set out incrementally to move us forward.

  • Build from strengths and eliminate ‘thinking poor.”

    Thinking poor leads us to throw away the good things without seeing them and to increase our chances of following them down into that hole. Some great examples of poor thinking include … discounting prices for unlimited periods … customers who value us only for discounts will leave when they’re gone … reducing services … just tells customers we don’t value them at the time we need them most …

  • Build out the social media leadership group.

    Macro and micro businesses get stuck in process models that they’ve outgrown, but keep using. Fear of change, love of past success, bias that interprets history in our favor leads us to repeat and re-imprint bad or outdated behaviors in our organizational brains.

Tactics: Where I Might Go From Here?

I sat in a room rife with opportunities. Fine minds were jumping into help and offer ideas on how to reach out and grow.

What might I do if I were in that “OK, big shot, moment?” What next steps seem possible to gain the most traction from what started at #DellCap? Here are a few ideas to get the folks who want to stay with it moving forward with you.

Premise: You can’t be inside and outside the system at the same time. Know that the real value of the event was that the people who came weren’t part of the thinking that built the system. Every system needs a clear outside view.

What I might do:

  • Compile, reflect on, and share the ideas and issues came out of both groups in an open report available to anyone interested in the event.
  • Invite 2-3 attendees to write a presentation — a case study on the event itself.

Premise: Follow through is the loudest thank you. Honor all valid input and the time of those who contributed. Asking for opinions and insights is good. Valuing and honoring what you get is imperative to keeping communication open. A change in behavior is a tribute and shows respect to people who inspired that change. Show that commitment.

What I might do:

  • Talk about what’s been learned with gratitude online and offline. Just as you’ve been doing.
  • Blog about the event. Thank the people (inside and outside of DELL) who gave time to be part and link back to what they write with your thoughts.
  • Compile one major list of all posts people write from one main blog and use individual blog posts as fodder for ideas and future blogs posts when they might be relevant.
  • Start a newsletter that shares changes that came from this conversation. Send it out to people both inside and outside the company who have interested in #dellcap.

Premise: Intentionally extend relationships. Make room for the best. At least two people in my group are looking to work full time with DELL and several others would be delighted to keep working together.Value truth tellers who won’t let you fail. We all need to invest in the people who help us thrive.

What I might do:

  • Gather more information about the areas of expertise of the invitees. You might invite managers to consider this group when opportunities to test new products, discuss new ideas, or train new employees might benefit from an outside view.
  • Invite employee volunteers to keep in touch with one guest as a personal “customer advocate.”
  • Arrange for attendees to manage one relationship with DELL, not one with every department.
  • Invest resouces in the building the online #dellcap channel you’ve opened to solicit ideas.
  • Invite each guest to advocate for their customer segment from the “generalist / specialist” pie chart. Offer those who do a chance to be advisors, community builders, or “prototypical customers” for products in the appropriate product line. Make a long-term plan of building some ambassadors for each distinct product line.

Premise: Gather ideas and new process innovation by partnering strategically at every level and across industries. As the world becomes flatter and more social, the opportunities to raise a company to a category of one come from partnering with people and businesses who want the same things.

What I might do:

  • Build partnerships outside technology circles with companies, customers, and employees who have passionate values that align your values.
  • Invite social media, marketing, and PR students from UT to build a campaign to get the word out about DELL sustainability efforts.
  • Partner DELL interns with entrepreneurs to bring in new ideas.
  • Sponsor think tanks and events and send DELL employees to learn how other industries solve similar problems.
  • Invite experts into your building to for a learning exchange.

Premise: Claim your rewards and leverage them for the future. Find a way to commemorate and claim the investment and growth that took place. Make it something special to have been there — something special that we’ll all look back on with pride.

What I might do:

  • Build a #DellCAP Hall of Fame page as the first step in a TimeLine of Change. Include the biographies of all who attended — employees and guests. Record the event and add to it as you move forward. Share the page url with the company.
  • Pick a #dellcap team to brainstorm ways to extend the breadth, depth, and reach of the event before the momentum fades.

I’ll stop here.

The Wizard of OZ and Trust

In a sidebar discussion about the new iPhone and the DELLStreak, I was mentioning how some folks are feeling an anti-Apple sentiment over their closed system. The designer I spoke to said …

Open is a huge thing.


In the Wizard of OZ, OZ, the great and powerful, was just an image. Remember the saying?

Pay NO ATTENTION to man behind the curtain.

Dorothy didn’t have a relationship with OZ. She feared him.

Fear doesn’t inspire fiercely loyal fans. Trust and fear can’t exist in the same space.

It was when the little man came out from behind the curtain that the problem solving began.

Thanks for coming out from behind the curtain. Now on to the problem solving. Thank you Chris, Carly, Sarah, and Vance, for inviting us. Thank you, Mack, for an outstanding job at moderating a group who likes to talk.

What ideas do you have for DELL? What problems do you think they should be working on?

–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz on your business!!

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Social Media Book List: #PARTNERtweet and Endless Referrals

A Weekly Series by Teresa Morrow

I’m Teresa Morrow, Founder of Key Business Partners, LLC and I work with authors and writers by managing their online promotion. As part of my job I read a lot of books (and I love to read anyway!). I am here to offer a weekly post about one book author I am working with and one book I have put on my reading list. This week I will be highlighting ‘#PARTNERtweet: 140 Bite Sized Ideas for Succeeding in your Partnerships ‘. and ‘Endless Referrals’ by Bob Burg . The books will cover topics such as social media (Facebook and Twitter), organization, career building, networking, writing, self development and inspiration.



#PARTNERtweet is written by Chaitra Vedullapalli.

Here are few of the tweets from #PARTNERtweet:

~Smart Partnering helps you to deliver functional solutions.
~Smart Partnering provides you access to valuable resources (technology, money, and education).
~Smart Partnering provides you the arsenal to compete on an ongoing basis.
~Smart Partnerships provide a gateway for international expansion.
~Your relationship to the customers does not end with the sale of your product. It begins there.
~The best way to know what your customers want from your products is to ask them.

About the Author:
Chaitra Vedullapalli is the Senior Director of WW Sales and Marketing Communications, where she oversees the information workplace for Microsoft Sales Force. Past work includes shaping the Microsoft Customer and Partner Self Service Experience which touched over 10M Customers & 1M Partners. She was also an integral part of creating the Service Culture at Microsoft and an architect of the Microsoft-IAMCP (International Association of Microsoft Certified Partners) innovation program. Chaitra has also served as Director of Licensing and PartnerNetwork at Oracle where her projects drove licensing simplification and enabled state of the art innovations in Partner Self Service Experience.

Chaitra holds a Patent in WebMethods and Bachelors of Electrical Engineering from RVCE, Bangalore, and is currently active in community efforts to help children in need.

You can purchase a copy of #PARTNERtweet online at ThinkAha books or at Amazon.

This blog post is part of a virtual book tour done by Key Business Partners and I have received a complimentary copy of #PARTNERtweet by the author.

Endless Referrals by Bob Burg

Now I would like to highlight a book on my “review” reading list–Endless Referrals.
I have to admit before I go any further. I have read some of this book and I enjoyed what I have read so far.

I would like to share a bit of this book that I feel has great points (and believe me there are many more in the pages of this book) about the six essential rules of networking etiquette.

1) Don’t Ask for Immediate Repayment – Yes, so true. Don’t go into a networking event with expectations of getting (or asking) for something in return.
2) Treat a mentor like a mentor – When I see this, it reminds me of “do to others, what you would like done to you”.
3) Keep an eye on the clock – Don’t overstay your bounds…with the people you are getting to know. Be sure to allow yourself to meet people within the event you are attending.
4) Follow through on your promises – If you offer to send an email or offer to someone, do it.
5) Be extra careful not to offend a referred prospect – Don’t offer to refer someone to someone else without knowing it is a good fit.
6) Say (and write) a Thank You – still one of the greatest and simplest ways to create lasting connections.

About the Author:
Bob Burg shares information on topics vital to the success of today’s business person. He speaks for corporations and associations internationally, including fortune 500 companies, franchises, and numerous direct sales organizations.

Sharing the principles contained in his bestselling books, Bob has addressed audiences ranging in size from 50 to 16,000, sharing the platform with notables including today’s top thought leaders, broadcast personalities, athletes, and political leaders including cabinet secretaries and a former United States President.
*courtesy of

You can purchase a copy of ‘Endless Referrals’ on Amazon.

I truly hope you will check out these books and please comment and let me know your thoughts on them.

What if FDR’s Ideas Ran the C-Suite and Your Social Media?

These Times Ain’t So Different


As part of a my quest to move outside my dad’s story, to learn from it as a business case of a growing business in a bad in economy, I’ve been studying the climate, conditions, and character of the people who lived through the terrible economy after World War 1 through the 1929 Stock Market Crash and the Great American Depression.

One hero, a pivotal leader in changing the world, was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States, the only president to serve more than two terms, the man married to the famous Eleanor Roosevelt, also called FDR.


He’s of particularly interest because he was elected in 1932, at the height of the depression and took office in 1933, the year prohibition was repealed and the year that my father opened his saloon.

What if FDR Ran the C-Suite and Your Social Media?

FDR was faced with a jobless population and a world that was preparing for a second war. I don’t wish to devalue the power or gravity of what he said then, but as I read his speeches and his conversations, I can’t help to think his words and wisdom might serve us all now as we look for leaders — not dreamers — to change the world and get growing again.

1: Try Something.

To the students of Oglethorp College, he set this challenge in 1932, but every commencement speaker knows the audience is more than the graduates and as a presidential candidate he was speaking to the country as well as to those before him.

The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.

2: Don’t Wait.

The millions who are in want will not stand by silently forever while the things to satisfy their needs are within easy reach.

3: Connect with Young Hearts — your own and others

We need enthusiasm, imagination and the ability to face facts, even unpleasant ones, bravely. We need to correct, by drastic means if necessary, the faults in our economic system from which we now suffer. We need the courage of the young.

In his first inaugural address , FDR laid out the challenges we face and pledged himself to leadership for change in ways that resonate to this day.

4: Speak the Truth

This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper.

5: Fear paralyzes.

So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.

6: Confidence requires deep commitment.

Confidence… thrives on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection and on unselfish performance. Without them it cannot live.

7: Achievement and creativity are joyful and thrilling.

Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.

And from his speech at the Citadel in 1935 …proof in his relentless, fearless, strategic leadership.

8: Our strategy will save us.

Yes, we are on our way back— not just by pure chance, my friends, not just by a turn of the wheel, of the cycle. We are coming back more soundly than ever before because we are planning it that way. Don’t let anybody tell you differently.

9: Leaders embrace change and value social justice.

Throughout the world, change is the order of the day. In every Nation economic problems, long in the making, have brought crises of many kinds for which the masters of old practice and theory were unprepared. In most Nations social justice, no longer a distant ideal, has become a definite goal, and ancient Governments are beginning to heed the call.

In his speech before the Democratic National Convention in 1936, he summed up our mission.

10: Leaders rise to the call.

There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.

It’s good to have heroes. It’s good to learn from them and carry their wisdom forward with us.

The tools may change. The speed of connections may get faster.
But the values that move and motivate people to great things are unchanging, authentic, and core to our species.

These new social tools are only as good as the leaders who pick them up and the strategies and cultures they choose to bring to them. This new reach, this new speed the tools offer can help us, our friends, our clients, and the people we meet grow our businesses to get our economy rolling again … we are the difference in whether that happens.

What if FDR’s Ideas Ran the C-Suite and Your Social Media?

How will FDR’s words guide you to grow your business? How will you his wisdom to enlist those around you to join you to bring the economy back?

Start small. Raise a barn. Don’t build a coliseum.

We can change the world … just like that.

–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz on your business!!

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