Making Sense of Mobile Marketing

Leveraging the Power of Video Marketing

I really didn’t become handsome until the day I shaved my head. It’s the Yul Brenner, Telly Savalas, Mr. Clean thing. On Tuesday night I found out just how handsome I could be when I attended Craig Vollgraff’s  Inspire Video Marketing discovery workshop.


Marilyn Salerno, Plastic Surgery of the Mind

Taking a page from the, “You’ve got to see it to believe it” book, Craig coached each of us on how to write a script, how to stand, act and of course, smile. That last part is important. Many business owners and professionals avoid video marketing because they are simply terrified of appearing on camera. Craig’s workshop was not only focused and effective, it was fun!

I really enjoyed watching the other students including Irene West, of Karat Bars shine as they improved. Craig recorded multiple takes, coaching between. I’ve only seen the rough cut from Craig’s edits. I invite you to use the link below to see Craig’s work, first hand.

5 Words that Define Success on the Net

Jerry’s Rough Cut

Meet Marilyn Salerno, Master Hypnotherapist

Marilyn’s Video

If your business is online and your customers are on mobile devices, online video marketing must be a part of your marketing toolbox.

Call Craig now  (619) 866-7993.

or sign up for his next meetup.

Business Card Gift

What Does The Future Hold For In-Person Networking?

Editors note: I asked San Diego’s master networker his thoughts on the future of personal networking. I decided his ideas needed to be heard. Please welcome my guest blogger, Toby Leflang.

Never before in history has, “In-Person Networking”, evolved into something so critical and paramount in establishing relationships that make a difference in business success.

Businesses & the people that make up the businesses have so many choices today on who they can do business with.  Because of the evolution of technology with the internet and the wide variety of data that is being collected on almost everyone and everything, decision makers can shop almost every aspect of their needs.  Knowing that almost anything can be shopped, what sets apart the options and can make a huge difference is basic relationships.  Price is not always everything as common wisdom may intuitively know, so how do companies get their products and services communicated other than the traditional avenues?  Businesses get heard with passion through networking and building trust and personal equity that is impossible to communicate via traditional advertising.  The other factor that makes a difference for success is, all things equal, who would your rather do business with, someone you know & trust, or a stranger?  Not a tough question.

I have never seen so many Meet-Up groups and networking organizations spring up across the world from BNI to Exceptional Entrepreneurs, the world is networking like crazy.  Trade Shows and media blasts are not enough anymore because isolated markets and buyers are not isolated anymore with a few clicks of the key on their computers.  People still count & in a high tech world, now more than ever.

Technology can play a part in relationships with,, hook ups and blogs, but I believe it is that person to person networking that’s still the most effective means to establishing that long term relationship.  Once trust is established price becomes less important over the long term because dependability & accountability is priceless.

Time to Put the Hammer Down fro 2014

More Than Just an Extension Cord

It was just an extension cord, but from the look on the face of the presenter, you’d think I’d produced the Holy Grail. At a networking event yesterday here in San Diego the presenter needed to plug in a piece of equipment. It was reasonable to expect to find a plug directly behind the TV on the wall. The presenter was ready to give up on making technology work. Not me. With the help of the restaurant manager we found an extension cord and carried on.

When I say “I Make Your Technology Work” this is exactly what I mean. For 24 years I’ve listened to your challenges and concerns about making your business work. Rarely have any of you asked for an extension cord. That’s been my job.

It may be time to sharpen or even replace your tools. Give me a call to day and let’s take a look.


open doors

Random Acts of Rocky

Yesterday, a door was opened for me. Both figuratively and literally. I walked into a building on Broadway here in San Diego to complete a bank transaction. Quick in and out. The gentleman at the desk asked me about my day. I shared my usual reply, “It’s Just another day in paradise.

I completed my task, exited the bank and headed for the front door. Same individual suggested, “Have a great day sir.” and I promised him I would.

Then it happened. As I approached the big double glass doors one of them slowly opened. I stopped dead in my tracks, turned back and said, “Did YOU do that?” in amazement. “Yes I did” he said with a big grin.  I thanked him and I left the building with a big grin on my face.

It took me about half a block to shift back to being present. Much to his surprise, I walked back through those doors to learn more. He said it’s easy. Simple as pressing a button on the desk.

As Vermont Governor wrote in the Huffington Post:

“Holding the door for someone is about manners, it’s about time and it’s about face-to-face interactions, even when the backward glance is in profile. The exchange is often between strangers who may or may not ever see each other again. It takes a few seconds to hold the door; some are heavy and require effort. But it’s not just about the door. It’s about making a split-second decision whether to connect with another person — to acknowledge their existence.”

As I left once more, (yes the door opened again) I reflected on the fact that often, we use the power of technology to create distance between those we encounter each day. Using Caller ID to screen calls and keeping our nose in a mobile device prevents us from experiencing the best San Diego has to offer.

But not that day. Yesterday I learned once again we don’t have to use technology as an excuse to be rude, or disengage from our community.  For me it was nothing less than an Act of #VirtualRespect *

Thanks for opening a door for me Rocky!


* Rocky’s good manners and attitude have earned him a spot in my forthcoming book with co-author Lydia Ramsey, Virtual Respect: The Art of Building Business Relationships Online

Have you encountered a virtual random act of kindness? Lydia and I are gathering stories for our new book. To share your story, please visit: Not going to promise you’ll be in their with Rocky, but we will acknowledge each submission.



Across Worlds - A Tale of Two Lives of Adventure

Magical Evening – Lost Boy of Sudan

I was honored to be in the audience for a very special event last night. I was with Dr. Jeff Salz and Alepho Deng.

Jeff Salz’s tales of growing up in 1950’s New Jersey and the glaciers of South America’s Patagonian Ice Cap, are interwoven with Alepho Deng’s memories of life in an idyllic Africa, unchanged for centuries, before being suddenly swallowed up by gunfire, bombs and starvation. His remarkable story is one of loss, endurance, a thousand mile trek across war-torn Africa and a journey to a place called America…, which might as well have been Mars.

The result was delightful evening of entertainment and a heartening vision of humanity that will remain with me for a long time.

IMG_0060From the stage Alepho quoted Attitude by Charles Swindoll. It was magical to hear the words that have hung on my bathroom wall for thirty years. I first hear them spoken by Wally (Famous) Amos on on an audio cassette. Transcribed, framed and hung so many years ago. I read them each morning.

For more information about this amazing presentation, visit:

Across Worlds – A Tale of Two Lives of Adventure!

What to ditch from your pitch

What to Ditch for the Pitch, Start with PowerPoint

The winner of yesterday’s CyberTECH Spotlight Pitch Nightwas EDGEHome. It was a honor to be invited to judge the competition. I focused on form while substance was handled by an extremely talented, intelligent and experienced group of start-up veterans. including Garrett Borunda, Neal Cunningham, and Ed Lake.

EDGEHome CEO and Founder Scott Steele chose images for his slide deck. The contrast between a futuristic George Jetson image and the reality of the modern kitchen brought his point home in just two slides. It got my vote and more importantly, also the vote of my colleagues of substance.

Other participants chose text heavy slide decks (some in all caps). It cost them points in spite of the substance of their pitch.

What I learned all over again was there are no neutral slide decks. Clear images, a minimum amount of clear, readable text and smooth delivery wins, anything less should ditched.

What to Leave In.

Good Posture, Manners and Dress –  I’m just saying.

Your Authentic Voice - You are the first asset investors consider.

Visual Focus - Please don’t make any sudden, threatening moves.

Fun - If you relax, we will all have great fun.

For more on the subject read, The Art of the Pitch


Time to Put the Hammer Down fro 2014

Technology Is Nothing But a Hammer (or a Pipe Wrench)

[Editors note] this article originally appeared online in
Speaker Magazine. I was asked to share it with my entire community. Enjoy!

Whenever I respond to the question, “What Do You Do?” the conversation immediately takes a sharp turn toward cynicism, “Nobody can make technology work,” or longing, “I wish my technology worked.” Both are accurate, but the truth lies somewhere in between.

Hardware manufacturers, software publishers and the technology press have brainwashed business professionals into thinking that any business challenge can be solved with the immediate application of technology. Definite maybe. So let’s not talk about technology, let’s talk about hammers.

I own an Estiwing E3-20S, steel shank, smooth head, open claw, rip hammer. I’ve owned it for 33 years and I have mastered its use. After all that time, the best that I have been able to accomplish is pounding nails. In the end, it’s nothing but a tool.

And so is technology. I’ve invested three decades evaluating, acquiring, learning, upgrading and discarding software. The facts remain, there is too much of it to use it all, something new will arrive at 8:15 tomorrow morning. Most importantly, it’s time to think differently about the technology you use every day.

When it comes to Internet marketing, it’s not about technology; it’s about connecting with people. You need to find where they live on social, what they learn on your website, and why they buy in your online store.


The challenge for business professionals is to work with only the best tools for the task at hand. After 30 years helping my clients make their technology work, I believe it only takes five elements.

  1. Personal Brand - Your brand is more than your fonts or color scheme; it is a reflection of what your customers profess it to be. If you’re not sure, ask them. Their adjectives and superlatives create the fabric of your personal thesaurus. Everything you say or publish from social through checkout must tell the story of your customers’ success. Who are your customers? What do they need? What would you like them to do?
  2. Acquire - Once you’ve defined your personal brand, this step gets much easier. Instead of chasing everything that’s cool or attempting to keep up with competitors, focus on the tools that help you deliver on your brand promise. Invest your social networking effort where your customers hang out.
  3. Connect - Reject the manual labor of copy/paste. Choose instead to connect all systems within your Web presence. Leverage information and content to deliver better outcomes, faster. Most importantly, connect with your community. Treat them with respect and dignity. They have a name, and it’s not “Dear Valued Customer.”
  4. Create - At no other time in history have individuals had the power to influence so heavily. Why waste the opportunity by simply sharing the inspirational quotes of dead people? The world is waiting for your insight. Use your voice to create value instead of noise.
  5. Master - Choose the right tools and you’ll never have to replace them. Invest the time to gain mastery over the tools in your toolbox. I learned this from a master carpenter named Dean. He arrived for work each morning wearing white bib overalls emblazoned with the red and silver Azola Construction logo. He recommended I buy the Estiwing.
    . I wish the same for you.
Be Present

The Art of the Pitch

When I first started speaking professionally a 45 minute keynote was the standard. At the birth of TED, the model got cut to ribbons when the standard became 18 minutes. On Friday night a small group of entrepreneurs will sweat and squeeze their pitches into an incredibly tight 3 minute box. I wish them luck. Hell, wish me luck, I’ve got the pick a winner! I’ve been invited to serve as a judge for this Friday’s  CyberTECH Spotlight Pitch Night.

Not being one to throw my fellow entrepreneurs to the wolves, I’m going to share with I’ve learned from my 15 years on the platform. Including the nightmare of speaking to Ms. Joanne’s 5th grade class and surviving the ComedyZone’s Stand Up Comedy School.

When it comes to presenting on any topic, to any size audience, there are three areas of focus. Visual, Vocal, Content. We’ll look at each as we walk through the three phases of Pitchfest.


Start with the content. It’s a variable that expands or contracts based on the length of the presentation.  As the duration shortens, each word becomes more important. What to leave in and what to take out also varies. Each investor has their own idea of what they need to hear. Consider asking them directly. It’s not against the rules. If they say yes to your pitch, you’re going to have plenty of serious discussions later. Why wait? Start asking questions.

Rehearse, out loud please – At first it will be too long. Type it up, print it out, cut and slash and pound on it until you are UNDER the time limit.

Once you’re close, record it for your personal review – I know this is hard, but watch the clip Hey, it’s only three minutes!

Review then repeat until you’re satisfied. When you’re done, burn the evidence.

Prepare a list of possible questions. Rehearse your answers. The trick here is to provide a direct answer, then elaborate. If asked about 7, don’t start with 1. By the time you get to 3, no one will be listening.

The Pitch

The key here is to capture the audiences visual focus. As your introduction ends, walk to the center, turn and HOLD STILL. Wait two short beats then start your presentation.

Keep Calm and Pitch On – Don’t stop, but don’t hurry. Like playing the Blues, it’s the space between the notes that count. Bracket each statement with a pause.

You can move, but only in sync with the rhythm of your voice – Speak, stop, move, speak. Focus on an individual and deliver the next statement to them. Don’t stare, share.

 Never. Ever, let the timer have the last word – It’s your pitch, you need to take it over the finish line. Trying to squeeze in a few more words at the end is selfish. Finish before the time calls you out.

Questions are the most important part – Have a member of your team jot down which questions get asked during Q & A. It’s the best feedback you can get for crafting your next pitch.


It’s NOT Miller time. Engage audience members individually.  You already know how do did, so don’t even ask. Asking, “What did you like best?” gets the conversation started on a positive note. “What area would you have liked to hear more about?” eliminates the simple yes or no response.

Put the worms back in the can with a closing that includes a request for a follow-up conversation. Close with gratitude. Thanks for being here wraps up your pitch with a big bright bow.

I’m looking forward to working with San Diego’s finest. If you agree, use the link below to RSVP. You will be amazed!

 Event Details

CyberTECH Spotlight Friday Pitch Night

Is your social engagement nothing but noise?

You Have Previously Been Subscribed

Just received an important announcement from a company out of Dallas. The subject line included the phrase, ” Cool New Tool You Might Be Interested In”. The phrase that came to my mind was, “Look, a virtual squirrel.”

This post is for those sales professionals who are searching for clarity about the definition of permission-based marketing. As I sat at my desk scratching my head trying to figure out who the hell Ryan was and why he thought pushing my “Cool Tool” hot button would be fun, I found the answer in the footer.

“You are receiving this email because you have previously been subscribed to a Distribion mailing list. (Emphasis is mine).

Really Ryan? I have previously been subscribed? By who and when? The mystery was solved as I hovered over the Unsubscribe link. It would take me to the server: My eyesight is better that it used to be, but I swear that link takes me to dump email 1. Apparently this is the digital version of, “Let’s spam all these addresses and see which ones are good.” Nothing new here, credit card hackers do it all the time.

Now I have no quarrel with this company. Before I received Ryan’s UBE (unsolicited bulk email) I had never heard of them. Of course, now things are different. Ryan’s invitation was to check out their Marketing Automation Platform. It was going to give me a boat-load of ROI and “build brand awareness”. Besides, it was a cool tool.

That second benefit contained all of the truth in the message.

I’m going to reply to Ryan in a moment and ask him to go find the person who previously subscribed me without my permission and request they dump my email.

Permission-based Marketing

Yeah, I get it. Standards have changed. Using re-marketing to stalk consumers and using big data to get inside the mind of the prospect are now acceptable methods. Here’s what I don’t understand. Why wasn’t the platform used to make sure I never had the opportunity to form a negative brand awareness in the first place.

Sales professionals, here are some tips for you to consider:

  • Permission is in the hands of the person who receives the email. Screw this up and it becomes part of your permanent record, and the record of the brand you represent.
  • Techies love “Cool”, business professionals despise the word. Take a moment to define your audience before flipping the switch on your next campaign.
  • Deceptive messaging drives your brand to the bottom of a cold, dark ocean.You are never, ever, coming home again.

I wonder, if I click Reply, will it get to Ryan or to that person, “Do-Not-Reply”? (I’ll let you know their response if I hear back.)