Persuasive Picks For Week Of 6/10/13

SOCIAL-MEDIA1-300x3001Every marketer expects a return on their social media efforts, but many still struggle with prioritizing which social networks to use - and how to allocate resources. In Social Media ROI for Business: Facebook Versus LinkedIn, business strategist and Business2Community contributor, Daniel Burrus explains that when you understand the psychology of social media and the various types of networking that fall under each umbrella, you can make smarter social media decisions for your business.

Many see content marketing as just that—marketing. But smart marketers know content simply provides the avenue for storytelling. MarketingProfs‘ Jay Pinkert provides some advice on how to grab attention and connect with potential customers, through those stories, and to do it authentically in his post Make Content Marketing Authentic: The Case of Customer Stories.

influencersEveryone preaches about building relationships with online influencers, but no one ever shares tips for how to do that. So, How Do You Find Influencers in Your Area to Help Grow Your Business?  SocialMediaToday contributor, Jennifer MacDonald, explains how to identify and build relationships with influencers in four simple steps.

It’s an age old question that nags all marketers at one time or another:  ”How can I get more followers on Twitter?” While quantity shouldn’t trump quality, like it or not, people can and will judge you on the size of your Twitter network. If you want to know how to make your Twitter content more attractive to potential subscribers check out Shea Bennett’s post on AllTwitter7 Tips To Get More Followers On Twitter [INFOGRAPHIC].

Persuasive Picks for week of 10/22/12

In every industry there’s a bellwether that points to future trends. Do you know what it is for digital marketers? And more importantly, are you paying attention? Digital marketing industry insider Shelly Palmer speaks to iMediaConnection about the the changing technology landscape in How to predict the future of digital marketing.

Brand pages aren’t necessarily a new feature on LinkedIn, but recently the professional networking site revamped their brand pages in an effort to better connect the business to the customer and job hunters, with several new features reminiscent of what Facebook and Twitter are currently offering. Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation explains Why It’s Time for Your Business to Get a LinkedIn Brand Page on SocialMediaToday.

With the rise of social media, word-of-mouth marketing is becoming a more tangible form of consumer influence. And, brands are out there in strong force tapping the digital space for “influencers” of all kinds. It sounds intimidating, but Nick Cifuentes, Global Social Media Director for, offers some insightful guidance to Understanding Digital Influence and How to Engage - via ClickZ.

One of the reasons many businesses do not create and publish online content to serve their communities is the assumption it has already been done. Business2Community contributor Jeff Korhan writes that this assumption ignores the fact that most problems are chronic and original perspectives are the only way to slowly break them down to develop sustainable solutions, and provides 3 Ways Content Marketing Makes Every Business Better.

Influencers Who Inspire: Hubspot’s Mike Volpe

Just a little over a year ago, Christine Perkett won a guest spot on Hubspot TV with Mike Volpe.  Christine received 40% of the vote and had the privilege of guest hosting with Mike live from their Cambridge, MA offices.  We’ve always had a huge appreciation for Mike here at PerkettPR, and appreciated him welcoming Christine so warmly and making her guest spot a really fun and rewarding experience. We were psyched he agreed to do an interview for our blog and to be a part of our Influencers who Inspire series.

Mike is the Chief Marketing Officer of HubSpot. He joined in early 2007 as the company’s fifth employee  and currently serves as Chief Marketing Officer.  He heads  HubSpot’s lead generation and branding strategy through inbound marketing, including blogging, search engine optimization, video marketing, and social  media.  Since Mike joined HubSpot, the company has  grown from 10 to 5,000 customers, expanded from five to 300 employees, and raised $65 million in venture capital.  Under Mike’s leadership, HubSpot’s marketing  has won more than 30 marketing awards and has been featured in over 20 marketing  and business books.  Mike is a cutting-edge B2B inbound marketer who speaks at  numerous conferences, hosts a weekly live marketing video podcast on HubSpot TV, is one of the 100 most popular marketers on  Twitter, consistently posts on, and appears as  a marketing speaker at  industry conferences.  He has also guest lectured at Harvard Business School,  Babson University, Carnegie Mellon, TCU, Boston University, and MIT Sloan School of Management.


You wear many hats at HubSpot. How do you manage it all?

The truth is that I don’t manage it at all.  I have a great team.  At this point in our growth, there is little I can do as one person directly that has a huge impact.  The impact I can have is by setting the right strategy and playbook, making sure we have the right people on the team, and mentoring the team members to help them grow.


What do you love about your role at Hubspot? Anything you dislike about your role or would like to change?

I love marketing.  Call me a marketing geek, but I love thinking about marketing problems and talking about marketing.  Doing marketing at HubSpot is like a triple dose of marketing because we’re marketing our marketing software to marketers.  There isn’t much I would change - I’d love it if we had a gym in the office or had a chef cater our meals, both of which we are considering for our next space.


If you could golf with anyone in particular (celebrity or athlete), who would it be and who would win?

I love to golf, and Tiger Woods is the natural choice because his raw talent is a level above everyone else.  But I don’t think it would be much fun to play a round with him, it would be too intense and he’d probably get really frustrated with me really fast, and it just would not be fun.  So I’ll go with Bill Murray.  He is a good golfer and hilarious - nothing could be more fun than to play 18 with him.


What topics do you enjoy speaking about the most?

Is there something to speak about besides marketing?  I actually don’t speak a lot anymore, but when I do, I prefer to speak about my own experiences in marketing.  That is what I know best and I usually hate it when some “guru” is up on stage talking about marketing, yet they have not worked in marketing at a real company in years.


What is next for you in 2012? And, for HubSpot?

In 2011 my wife and I had our first child, sold our condo in the city, moved to the suburbs after we renovated a house, hired a nanny and my wife went back to work.  So we’re looking to have a less hectic year in 2012.

For HubSpot though, I think 2012 will be a huge year where a lot of the groundwork we have done over the past couple of years starts to pay off in a big way.  I am more positive about the next 12 months than I have ever been in the history of the company.  There are so many things to be excited about, most of which are not ready for prime time yet.  All I will say is make sure to join us at Inbound 2012 for an amazing event and some big announcements.


Influencers Who Inspire: Enterprise Software Blogger, Michael Krigsman

This week in our “Influencers That Inspire” series, we interviewed Michael Krigsman, who provides us with some great tips on IT security as well as some insight on his personal love of photography.

Michael Krigsman is a recognized, international authority on creating IT project success and related CIO issues.  One of the most respected enterprise software bloggers, he has written about 1000 posts on enterprise software, cloud, CRM, ERP and alignment between IT and lines of business. In addition, he has written thought leadership reports for analyst firm IDC on project portfolio management, CRM, social business, and cloud computing.

Michael has been quoted or mentioned over 500 times in important blogs, newspapers, television, trade publications, presentations, academic dissertations, and other media. He has also been quoted in over a dozen books.

Michael has worked with companies such as SAP, IBM, Lotus, and many others to create consulting tools, methodologies, and implementation strategies related to project and business transformation success. He has presented to Harvard, University College London, Babson College, Boston University, and Suffolk University. Michael frequently attends and speaks at industry conferences and events.

When you wake up in the morning, what do you look forward to the most?

Every day, even before getting out of bed, I try to establish a positive frame of mind. Early morning is the perfect time to set a mental compass for oneself – creating focus and balance as a foundation for the day’s activities. Joyful meditation leads to mental flexibility and concentration, which benefits all spheres of life while helping one desire to be respectful and helpful to others.

What else do you think you would be if you were not  a software industry “influencer”?

My current plans involve engaging more closely with enterprise buyers and users, in addition to continuing my work with vendors and other technology industry players. In the past, I ran a successful consulting business and now, once again, plan to do more work with the folks who actually buy and use enterprise software and services.

What would you cite as the biggest cause of IT failures today?

Accomplishing successful IT projects requires deep collaboration between technologists and business folks: lines of business know the priorities and pains, while IT owns the means for execution. However, these two groups – IT and business – have different constraints and measures of success. Therefore, the single largest problem is communication and collaboration.

However, there are also distorting factors that cause problems. In many situations, we find that politics, agendas, and poor judgment contribute substantially to whatever challenges might be inherent in the IT project situation.

In addition, many IT projects are flawed from the foundation. Failure is inevitable when lines of business do not articulate clear goals and metrics for their technology-enabled initiatives; tossing a half-baked idea to IT and expecting the project to work is a fantasy.

What type of governance issues cause most project failures? Who is most susceptible (large or small enterprise?)

Governance is like change management – painful topics that everybody talks about as being good for you. At the root, governance means figuring out a consistent way to get things done and then sticking to the plan. However, things get more complicated when a project needs the support of folks across a range of departments, functions, organizations, and so on. At that point, successful governance starts to look like a communication and collaboration plan, because governance requires coordination.

Governance is one of those strings that come loose from the ball of yarn - when you pull it, the whole thing starts to unravel. Looked at the through the lens of governance, IT failures can be prevented through a strategic series of decisions and actions. Obviously, however, it’s easier said than done.

As a software industry “influencer” what type of advice do you find yourself giving over and over? What do you wish vendors and industry members knew the most, that would help with prevention?

The most important thing, by far, is establish a relationship that offers value to both sides. When the relationship is intact, there is a lot of flexibility to adapt on both sides. Without a relationship, communications to so-called influencers are just pitches.

Regarding pitches, I suggest PR folks do at least basic research about my areas of focus before calling, emailing, or sending carrier pigeons. I generally respond to thoughtful pitches where the other person makes a reasonable connection and demonstrates genuine interest and knowledge.

One last thing – calling my cell phone repeatedly, especially when I specifically asked you to stop, does neither one of us any good.

You are an active photographer and quite a few people use your pictures as Twitter avatars. What’s your background in that area? Hobby? Passion?

I love photography! The act of capturing a moment in time is a source of endless delight. People do ask to buy my photos but I do it for pleasure. This post explains my interest:

For me, photography is a highly intimate form of expression. I love photography precisely because it’s such a magnificent method to engage with one’s surroundings and communicate feelings, moods, concepts, metaphors, and sensations non-verbally through images.

One of these days I will pursue a gallery exhibition, but there’s no time for that right now.

What’s next for you in 2012?

The industry has reached a point where we can now discuss IT failure more openly; the major enterprise vendors have accepted that customers want greater success with less risk and hassle. It’s now time for the enterprise software industry to help customers realize the value of their technology-backed business initiative. For me, that means focus on innovation and the positive impact of enterprise adoption on operations.

I’m particularly interested in the transformational aspects of cloud, social, and mobile. My work in 2012 is focused on aligning an enterprise line of business goals where technology is the enabler – that means consulting to organizations, working with executive teams, and continuing to advise vendors.

Right now, we are developing cloud transformation workshops and related consulting services, to bring lessons and experience from the past into an absolutely contemporary context.  It’s an exciting time!


Influencers Who Inspire Series: Ramon Ray of

We begin our PerkettPR “Influencers Who Inspire” series with a chat with Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist,

Ramon is a journalist, technology evangelist & editor of, author of “Technology Solutions for Growing Businesses” & “Technology Resources for Growing Businesses” and a national, in-demand speaker.

What made you choose journalism as a profession? 

I didn’t choose it,  it chose me and it was quite accidental. I just really loved to write and so I started writing, then one day Black Enterprise and Inc. Magazine said could you write some articles for us - and the rest is history :)

What four  or five things are always “routine” in your day?

Deleting email, sorting email, sending email, toggling tons of tabs in my browser, wishing I could do puppet shows for poor kids in Mexico, Dominican Republic or somewhere.

Why is small business technology news of interest to you in particular? What has it taught you?

Not sure. I’ve always been a tech tinkerer (as in take apart talking teddy bears in the 1970′s/80′s, shutting off the lights in my home, etc). I think this love of tech and the blend of my love of reading/writing became the love of small business technology news. It has taught me that things change, companies go and come but relationships are forever, ideas are a dime a dozen, successful execution is all that matters.

 Over the years you have had the opportunity to interview some truly great public figures and influencers (such as Hillary Clinton). What has been your favorite interview thus far? Why?

A few things stand out… Back in the days when I didn’t know how to be a journalist I tried to slip Bill Gates a hand written note. His team saw it and took the note away. I didn’t know you were supposed to asked his PR person to interview him. This was many years ago.  I opened an event for Michael Dell and he said he read my blog - that was cool.  Scott Trip founder of TripIt - his story of his company’s growth was really nice (listen to customers). In another context I’ve meet President Obama, President Bush (both) and several other heads of state.  I also really love SXSW and other events where I can meet with my media peers from the world of small business.

What tips do you have to help PR professionals better work with you?

True relationships are so important; where I like you and you like me. Not giving me a story that does not fit. Knowing that I love the story and the market at times more than the feeds and speeds of a product. I like talking to people, but I’m also a massive reader so I get much more (at times) out of some video, blog posts, pdfs and other things than a phone call with an executive running a prepared PPT.  NOTE: the PPT talks are GOOD I just mean that there are other ways to get one’s message across.

What advice would you give to a small business to help them continue to compete with larger competitors this year?

Wow….I could write a book on that.

1)  Be honest

2) Over give

3) Be very excited

4) Do not take NO for an answer

5) There is plenty of room at the table for the big guys and the little guys

6) Fit in where you can and show your value

7) Don’t be afraid of big companies - even those who are direct competitors

8) Big companies who are evaluating you and a bigger one of your competitors will give you a big chance if you’re prepared

9) If you screw up, fess up and OVER make it right

10) I could go on…

You traveled a lot as executive producer of the Small Business Technology Tour and for other events you attended in 2011. What travel secrets save you time, money or sanity when you are on the road?

Plan in advance. Be redundant (I often have 2 notebooks, a tablet and 2 phones) failure is NOT an option. Leverage your network of friends. Pay people (even friends/or “child labor”) for work done (even if you ask for a discount). Review, review, review. Get a team member (I have lots of areas where I’m not so great - hence my team shine in those areas), have a virtual team - even if you are solo,  your virtual 1099 team can do wonders.

How do you unwind after a hectic work week? Do you have any interesting hobbies or little known facts about yourself you would like to share?

I play piano, love doing puppet shows, love joking around and laughing loud, love great food at restaurants (I hate those restaurants that give you a big white plate and a tiny piece of food and charge you $78 for it), watching movies (Bourne, Bauer, Ethan (as in MI3) are my heroes and others like that). But really in my downtime - I TOTALLY ENJOY email, RSS feeds, Twitter - related to small biz tech (I know it’s lame but I really, really LOVE IT).

What are you most looking forward to in 2012?

I’d love to speak lots more to audiences on tech, marketing/pr and/or entrepreneurship. I’d love to provide more content on my own site and for others. I’d love to speak lots more to audiences on tech, marketing/pr and/or entrepreneurship (you know I think I wrote that twice..hmmm). Event production is tough, but I really love it and I think I do it well so working with bigger companies to produce events for their audiences would be like mint!

I’m looking forward to being 40 years old in 2012!


Do you have any follow-up questions for Ramon? Suggestions for other influencers you would like to see interviewed in the PerkettPR Influencers Who Inspire Series? Please add them in the comments below.