Independent Thinking Blog

Why Your Business Needs a Content Audit

How long have you had a website? I know, it sounds like a trick question. The first commercial sites started popping up two decades ago -- and chances are your site has existed in some iteration for a while now. Like my own business, you probably started out with a...

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Social Media Productivity Hacks 6

I’m using the phrase “productivity hacks” because it sounds a lot sexier than saying “tools I found online to help me do my job a little better or a little easier.” And, yes, my best hacking days (such that they exist) are ahead of me. This edition is a little bit of...

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The Future of Design is Immaterial

The first time I watched CSI: Miami I was hooked. No, not on the show -- on the uber-cool screen in the lab the characters were manipulating with their hands to pull up information. I wanted one. If that was the future of design, it was pretty awesome. Today, of...

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Does Your Website Navigation Work for Your Customers?

Your website shouldn't be a maze. The last thing you want to do is make your visitors work. Prospects shouldn't get buried 3 clicks in. Nor should they have to rely on a site search bar to find the information they want. Or have to call you because basic information...

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Social Media Case Study: #NatsRide

I sold my tickets to a must-win baseball playoff game because the regional transit authority in the capital city of the United States refused to keep the trains running to get fans home. The options, including leaving the game early or being stranded on the opposite...

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Your Awesome LinkedIn Responsibility

I was updating an old article recently that had a wonderful line about Rolodex(es). I used to have two large ones filled with mostly business cards stapled onto index cards that contained the contact history of my business life. Now we call that Google Contacts. And...

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Text Messaging is Becoming a Business Imperative

Are you using text messaging in your business? SMS is rapidly becoming a business imperative. Not an optional customer channel. Not a "nice to have but we'll deal with it later." If you're not giving your customers a way to engage with you via mobile then you're going...

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What Makes Customers Engage with Your Content?

What makes for engaging content? AOL -- yes, that AOL -- looked at over 55,000 customer interactions with online content to try to understand what makes people engage with different kinds of content. The study identified eight distinct content moments: inspire be in...

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People and Profits

I keep hearing people say they want to do business with companies that put people over profits. I don't. If a company isn't profitable, then it isn't sustainable. Show me a company that doesn't prioritize profitability -- or a nonprofit that isn't dialing for dollars...

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Facebook Ad Profile Knows a Lot About You (Right and Wrong)

Facebook believes I'm "very liberal" and like the UK's Conservative Party. The social networking platform also believes I'm a technology early adopter with an African-American "ethnic affinity" who likes words and alarm clocks. Here'a little more from my Facebook ad...

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Are You Telling Customers What They Need to Know?

Your marketing is awesome. Your website looks great. The descriptions are descriptive. The photos are top quality. The colors are realistic. And the e-commerce piece is working without a hitch, Your marketing may be awesome -- but is it effective? Here's a quick case...

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Will Chatbots Solve Customer Service?

Comcast received a lot of praise at one time for being an early adopter of Twitter for customer service. Really, people said nice things about the company. Look it up. If you took to Twitter, you could get "escalated" help. Otherwise? Good luck. We talk a lot about...

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Publishing Platforms & Your Business

Do you publish? If so, where? The folks at Atomic Reach asked me to be the guest on a Twitter chat about publishing platforms to grow your business. Because I had to pull together some ideas on the topic, I thought I'd share them with you here. That fact that more and...

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