Twitter can be amazing: Check this out!

I just fell back in love with Twitter!

As some of you might remember, I was once one of the world’s top 40 most followed people on Twitter.  Then, in January 2009, after being swamped daily with hundreds of DM’s and junk emails via Twitter, I left.  I later rejoined after totally wiping my account; zero following and zero followers.  Over the past year I have built a small Twitter network, which as you are about to see, is massively more valuable!

Here’s what happened and why I fell back in love with Twitter yesterday…

Twitter contacts

I was in a small village pub last night, when David Spinks from contacted me via Twitter.  David and I have never met in person, though we have spoken on the phone a few times.  Anyhow, David wanted to know if I could help him, to help a Twitter contact of ours, who is having some real challenges right now.  By the way, you will be hearing all about this very shortly.

I called David and within an hour, I had spoken with a number of my Twitter friends, to see about getting our mutual friend the help he needs.  Everyone I spoke with was eager to get involved.  Each of these relationships were initially formed, via contact made on Twitter and I’ve never met any of these people in person.

Twitter at its best

In my experience, Twitter is at it’s best (from an interpersonal point of view) as a way of connecting with people; rather than as a way of building relationships.  Once a connection is made, it’s super-easy to take that connection away from Twitter, so you can get to know the person better; either face-to-face, via the phone or email etc. 

For example, each of the people I called after speaking with David Spinks, were people I met initially via Twitter, but had built a relationship with away from Twitter; including Scott Gould from Like Minds and The CEO of Headway Themes, Grant Griffiths.

The community of people I know via Twitter, are of massive value to me and last night, the way many of them wanted to get involved and help a guy they have never met, was breathtaking.  REAL people, who right now are about to make a REAL difference to the life of a fellow Twitter community member.  I have never been more impressed with the value of Twitter or more delighted that I rejoined it.

I’m no social media guru, but surely “people” are what it’s all about?

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

Who owns YOUR name online?

How many Internet users have the same name as you?

For most of us, the answer will be in the thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or more.  Right now, this represents a challenge for a growing number of consultants, entrepreneurs, trainers and authors etc, who trade or work in their own names.  That’s because right now, it’s almost impossible for them to register their name on social networks or to buy

Whilst there is something nice about owning, there are also a number of good reasons why it’s useful for some people to own a version of their name online.  For example, if you are an advisor and trade in your name, it’s easier for people to remember your URL / web address, if it’s

Also, as Gina Trapani, the founding Editor of recently pointed out, there are some great SEO benefits from owning at least one version of your own name online, IF people are likely to be searching for you, by name.  I experienced this myself, when I used as my primary website and was the number one result on Google for anyone searching for me.

Social media name grab

Until quite recently, it was pretty easy to get  I was able to buy with zero effort at the first attempt.  However, in more recent years the Internet “got social.”  Today, hundreds of millions of people are building social networks and blogging.  For example, I was the first Jim Connolly to register their name on Twitter, so when my friend, who’s ALSO called Jim Connolly (From Thomas, Connolly & Phelps in Bloomington Illinois) joined Twitter, “his” name was taken.

To resolve this name issue, there are stories of people creating unique names for their unborn children, so that they can get them their own .com address and social media accounts!

Some possible answers

Here are a few suggestions for businesspeople, who do not already own their own name based URL, but would like to:

  • The most obvious suggestion, is for you to check now if your name is actually taken.  This is especially the case, if your name is uncommon or uses an uncommon spelling.  Even if your name was not available the last time you looked, it could be now.  I use to check URL availability.  By the way, that is NOT an affiliate link.  It’s just a service I use.
  • You can also try and get an alternative to the .com top level domain or TLD.  For example;,, etc.  However, some TLD’s come with restrictions on how you can use them, so check before you buy.
  • Another suggestion is to get creative and add something to your name, such as or or Mary etc.  This is still pretty effective and provides an easy to remember option, when giving out your web address to people you meet or in radio interviews etc.

So, what if even the most creative versions of your name are taken?

Don’t panic!

As you can see, even though I own, I still choose not to use it here on my primary marketing website.


By including the words marketing blog in the URL of this site, almost every link that points here also includes those 2 words.  This means there are thousands of links, which point here and tell Google that this is a marketing blog.  As a result, anyone searching for marketing blog or marketing blogs etc on Google, will find this blog on page one; even though there are over 100 MILLION results listed.  It’s also pretty easy to find me here using Google, just searching for Jim Connolly.  BTW: Keep an eye on!!

With the annual price of a URL around the same as a quick trip to Starbucks, there’s no reason for business owners not to try and get at least one version of their name.  Even if it’s not something you plan to use immediately, it could prove useful for a future project.

Feedback Please: Is frequently changing your avatar a wise move?

I would like to know what you think about this…

When someone you follow via Twitter, Facebook or blogging etc, suddenly changes their avatar (the picture in their profile), do you find it causes you any confusion?

I see some people and brands regularly changing their avatar.  With so much of marketing being based around building awareness of a brand and reinforcing the brand’s image, on a professional level, I find it interesting that some people regularly replace the image we associate with them.

Your feedback please

I would like to know what your thoughts or experiences are; either with other people who have changed their avatar or your own personal experience of giving your avatar a makeover.

What do you think?

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

How to make great decisions when things go wrong!

It’s a fact: The way we respond to challenges is a key factor in our commercial success.

This is why I want to share a simple piece of advice with you, which may help you make better decisions AND avoid making mistakes when you are next faced with a challenge (particularly, a BIG challenge!)

I have coached, mentored, trained and worked with thousands of businesspeople and have found that often, it’s their response to a problem that seals their fate and NOT the original challenge or problem itself.

This is because they go into a mindset, which I call scrambling mode.

Scrambling mode is the term I use to describe the wild and often illogical actions, which many entrepreneurs and business owners take, when they are suddenly faced with a big challenge.  Scrambling mode sees the person so desperate to do “something,” that they become more focused on movement than they do on progress.  Rather than develop a properly thought out plan of action, they panic.  This leads to poor decision making, which in turn creates more and more problems.  So, they start off with one, often easy to resolve issue and end up with a stack of far more serious challenges.

A common example I have heard of many, many times, is what business owners do, when they unexpectedly see a worrying drop in sales.  Faced with this situation, the logical thing to do is figure out what caused the drop in sales and either fix it or replace it with a more effective way to attract new business.  However, I have personally witnessed business owners decide instantly, to take seriously damaging action!

In one case I know of, the business owner immediately dropped her prices by 15%, without realising that her existing customers would expect a similar deal.  She eventually offered the 15% discount to everyone, unaware that she NOW needed to increase sales by over 40%, just to cover the cost of the 15% discount – never mind recovering the lost revenue!  She was broke within 4 months.

In short: Scrambling mode sees intelligent people looking for answers in all the wrong places and creating unnecessary additional problems.

How to avoid getting into scrambling mode

To learn how to avoid the damage caused by entering into scrambling mode, we need only observe how people that respond effectively to sudden, unexpected problems act.

In my experience, there are 2 steps, which these people take:

  1. They take time to identify exactly what the challenge actually is.  As soon as they know what’s wrong, they focus all their attention on getting the challenge solved.  I wrote about this last week in this post, focus on answers, not problems.  When we focus on answers, one of the by products is that we start to feel more in control, which lowers our stress and makes us more resourceful.
  2. They immediately seek qualified advice, so they make good decisions.  Typically, they will have already identified knowledgeable people in each key area of their business.  This means they know exactly who to speak with, when something goes wrong and don’t have to blindly go into the marketplace and find someone.

This means a good time to build YOUR team of advisors is now; not when you are working against the clock!

A short comment on short comments

Have you ever left a comment on a blog and wondered why it was not published?

There are many reasons why this can happen, including:

  • Your comment included links, words or phrases that triggered the blog’s software to block it.  Like most wordpress blogs, this blog uses a trackback  / comment spam plugin.  The one I use is called Akismet.
  • The blogger deleted your comment for some reason.
  • Your ip address, website or email address is somehow listed in the popular comment spam databases.
  • Your comment was too short. This is the one I want to focus on here.

Comments too short?

Yep! Legitimate comments like yours, can get trapped in blog spam filters, simply because they are too short.  Blog comments like; “I totally agree” or “This is a great blog”, are regularly used by some SEO’s, as a way to build backlinks for their clients sites.  They simply paste the same generic phrase into thousands of well ranked blogs, hoping they will find some, which do not have comment-spam  / trackback spam plugins installed.  Whilst these brief comments are pretty harmless (in my opinion), some bloggers really don’t like them and as a result, filters now try and stop them appearing.

Here’s an example of how a genuine comment can get lost.  I just found a legitimate comment in my filter, which contains only 5 words; “what’s your bookmark plugin Jim?”  This was instantly filtered it as spam and it would have been missed, had I not spent 20 minutes reading through the last 12 hours worth of comment spam, for this post.

By the way: 99% of the spam I get is NOT from SEO’s! The SEO comments I see are largely benign and tend to point to regular sites.  No, the vast majority of the comment spam I see (and don’t want published) is sent via zombie computers and links to everything from porn sites to drug sites and malware.

So, if you want the best chance of seeing your comment published on a blog, use more than 3 or 4 words if you want to avoid the blogger’s filter.  This also helps you add to the conversation and adds value to your input.

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

Floppy disks in 2010? Give me a break!

Last week, something occurred to me, which I would like to share with you.

I suddenly realised that right now, in 2010, many software companies STILL use that little image of a floppy disk, as the icon for the “save” feature on a software program!

It’s years since computers came with floppy disk drives as standard and many more years, since they were the primary way to save information.  As a result, there is a whole generation of young adults in the workplace, to whom that floppy icon will be pretty irrelevant.

Marketing and relevance

In marketing, we know that our message needs to be relevant to our marketplace, if we want it to resonate with them and motivate them to; buy from us, call us, visit us, click our links or email us etc.  This means that we need to avoid making assumptions and base our marketing around the challenges and opportunities, which are currently facing our prospective clients.

However, it’s NOT just about your marketing message…

You see, no matter how good your marketing is, its effectiveness (and your sales results) will always be capped or limited by the value of your services or products.  This means your marketing AND your products and services need to me relevant to today’s marketplace.

The bottom line: Great marketing by itself is NOT the secret to sales success.  For any company to enjoy sustainable sales success, it needs to be marketing something that is just what the marketplace needs.

If you offer a range of services or products and they have remained fairly similar for a while, it might be time to review them and see if they are still 100% relevant to your clients and prospective clients.  Speak with people in your target market and find out what their challenges and opportunities are today and moving forward.  Your commercial success will always be linked to how well you adapt to, and service, their requirements.

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

No matter how good your marketing is, its effectiveness (and your sales results) will always be limited by the value of your services or products.

Over 180 marketing and business development ideas!

marketing tips, business tips, ideas

Here you go: Access to over 180 ideas and answers to help you with your marketing and business development – all in one post!

21 Powerful habits behind successful business owners.

12 Tips from extremely successful business owners.

7 Habits of the most influential leaders.

25 Reasons to write a business blog.

12 Things every business owner needs to know.

10 Reasons your business isn’t growing… and how to fix it.

5 Power tips to keep your business growing.

7 Motivating tips to help you get things done.

6 Ideas to make clients fall in love with your business.

10 Amazing ways to get people talking about your business.

7 Honest truths about marketing, which you need to know.

3 Critical steps for a profitable, successful business.

15 Proven ideas to help you grow your business.

7 Ways to improve your sales results… right now.

5 Reasons to get passionate about your business.

4 Ways to attract more client leads or sales from your website.

7 Ways to make your marketing more powerful.

15 Reasons why you should start a business blog.

5 Ways to build a massively valuable newsletter list.

FREE: Marketing and business development tips and ideas

If you find this list useful, you can get future marketing and business development ideas delivered direct to your inbox for free! Simply click here and receive my free marketing updates.

Are you building a business?

One of the best pieces of business advice I ever received came from my mentor, Mr Jim Rohn.  Jim used to say; “start with the end in mind!”

In other words, know where you are going, before you get going.

Here’s the thing: Most small business owners I speak with (and I speak with them every day), have only a fuzzy picture of what they ultimately want to do with their business. Many have no real idea at all!  With that lack of clarity, it’s impossible to make the right decisions, as all planning is done in the short or medium-term at best.  Moreover, without knowing your destination, how can you even know if you are on course or not?

I have spoken with many consultants and advisers, who have faced ill-health or approached retirement, only to realise that when they stop working, their income will stop too.  They exchange their time for money and as such, even if they earn well, once they stop exchanging their time, they stop receiving the money.

Such people have NOT built a business – They simply bought themselves a job!

No matter what stage in the life journey you are at right now, here’s a great question to ask yourself:  Am I building something that has value in itself or am I simply employing myself?

You will be amazed how things will change for you, when you have a clear picture of your end game.  Decisions that were once hard, will become easy.  Questions you have never asked yourself will suddenly come to you and with these questions, you will find answers that will drive you forward, with a purpose.

Another reason why I love blogging

I switched my computer on this morning and was amazed with what I saw!

Last night, while I was sleeping, there were interesting conversations going on here; across 4 different posts and with dozens of comments.  That kind of feedback or interaction, is one of the things I value most about blogging and yet another reason why I believe blogs have a bright future, as a marketing tool.

Marketing and blogs

There are many reasons why blogs are extremely powerful as marketing tools.  One of these reasons, is that it is easier to build a targeted community around a blog.  For example, each of those 4 active conversations last night were directly relevant to the theme of this blog; which is marketing and business development for small businesses.

Now, some of the people involved in these debates, shared the debate on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter, which saw a massive increase in new readers and blog subscribers.  In simple terms, if I had written those posts as traditional articles on a website, with no comments section and no way for readers to contribute, there would have been far less interest and far fewer people would have seen it or shared it.

My posts acted as a catalyst, but it was the interest caused by the reader comments, which created the real surge in interest.  In addition, the people who commented on those posts increased the value of those posts enormously, with their insights and ideas.  I will be writing a lot more about the marketing benefits of blogging in the future.  For now, I simply ask business owners that are not already blogging, to consider the opportunities.

More marketing pests: Your feedback please!

Several times a week, I get email from people, who claim to enjoy reading this blog and want to know if they can be one of my guest bloggers.  Clearly, they have never read the blog, as there is no guest blogging here. (The clue is in the blog’s name!)

Several times a day, I get email from people, telling me they enjoy reading my blog and would like me to link to them.  Clearly, they have never visited the blog, or they would know there are no link-exchanges here.  I link to a few sites, all of which are owned by people I know and trust.  NONE of them asked for the link.  BTW: I just added Danny Brown’s blog to my links (Get well soon Danny!)

In yesterday’s blog post, I wrote about the mindset that says it’s ok to piss-off 99.9% of people you contact, to reach that 0.1%,  who may listen to or read your message. That post was about cold calls from unprofessional tele-marketers, but the same applies to other forms of impersonal, mass produced junk marketing too.

…and the best part?

The massive majority of email I receive, asking for links and postings, comes from marketing companies or SEO / SEM (search engine marketing) companies; on behalf of their clients and in their client’s name! It’s their client’s reputations that are being rendered toxic – and I’m willing to bet that in many cases, their clients don’t even know the damage being caused to their name or brand.