Article on using web video to increase findability

Yours truly has written an article on leveraging web video to increase organic search findability (and ultimately revenues) for the American Rental Associations Rental Management Magazine.

I'm passionate about the equipment rental sector because I spent the last 4 years prior to starting RentalMetrics and createWOWmedia immersed in its challenges and opportunities for improvement. 

Article by me from the Business Record

Here's a piece I wrote that appeared a while ago in the Des Moines Business Record. It's called "Shopping for Software? Ask Questions

My article: "Educating Employees on New Technology" just published

I wrote a piece that is now live on the Construction Business site called Educating Employees on New Technology.

Here's a quote:

Change is a Four-Letter Word: I.C.A.N.

New technologies in a construction business environment fail most often because employees are not educated on why the change is happening and how that "upgrade" will improve the business. 

Too often, companies mistake training for true education. The training session, which most often comes after decisions have been made, contracts have been signed and IT has invested a tremendous amount of time configuring the new system into the overall structure of the company, is too often an employee's first introduction to a technology upgrade.

The article highlights the I.C.A.N. change management process that we recently debuted in our Change Management Course inside the RentalMetrics ILE.

Enterprise Confessions e-book gets its own site

My Confessions of an Ex-Enterprise Salesperson e-book is still generating a lot of interest and buzz out there in some pretty exciting IT circles.  So much so, that the book has now earned its own site at:

If you're in the business of buying, selling, researching, or recommending solutions for your business...PLEASE grab a copy of the book.  It's informative, fun, and will leave you armed with tools to defeat even the most stunning suited software schlepper!

Enterprise Software Sales Handbook Strikes a Chord

It_project_failures_number_1_post_2 It was social media connections made in the cloud that got my e-book in the hands of Michael Krigsman at the IT Project Failures blog (a ZDNet blog).  I didn't know then how many people around the world would find "Confessions" to be relevant....but I'm still getting large amounts of downloads per day.  In other words, I'm experiencing "The Long Tail" of the Internet daily.

If you note in the graphic below, the post that Krigsman did on "Confessions" is both number one in ratings and popularity.  A month ago, Michael and I had never heard of each other.  I don't read a ton of IT centric blogs...and I'm guessing he doesn't read many blogs on the heavy equipment rental sector or geographic arbitrageurs living the dream in the Midwest.  But here we are.

If you're still "just not able to find the time to write your book" (e-book or otherwise), schedule the time now to chisel away at it...and hop onto the long tail.

Some nice coverage for "Confessions" book

Book_download_image_for_blog My "Confessions of An Ex-Enterprise Salesperson:  What I Really Meant When I Said ___________ " was picked up by the IT Project Failures Blog.  Michael Krigsman characterized the book properly as it's not a "hit piece" on sales people (we're all selling).  Rather, it's a more of a handbook to help cut through the clutter and noise of the enterprise selling process.

Each side of the sales equation (the one with the money and the one trying to separate him/her from it) will be served by the book I think.  If you'd like your copy, simply visit this link and request it.

Commentary on my Confessions E-Book Coming In

I'm humbled by the responses coming in for my e-book "Confessions of an Ex-Enterprise Salesperson:  What I Really Meant When I Said: ____________ ."

Here's an example:

Doug Mitchell’s Confessions exposes the realities of buying and selling enterprise software in a humorous, straightforward way.  He dispels any remaining notions that the process of selling enterprise solutions is done on the up-and-up and translates the vocabulary of the enterprise salesperson into something the buyer (“target” in sales-speak) can understand and, more importantly, act on.  The list of questions he suggests that the buyer use is the real goldmine here.  With them, Doug helps the enterprise solution buyer unmask the salesperson on the other side of the table and avoid many potentially expensive pitfalls in the acquisition and the implementation of large systems.

    --Will Herman, Former CEO of way too many companies to list,   Corporate Director, and über blogger.

If you have about 15 minutes to download and take a peek at a virtual handbook for saving your company millions of dollars and months of wasted effort...please fill in your email address below.  Within seconds you'll receive your e-book packed with goodness.


I've gotten another article published...

Hello all.  I've written an article that has just been published in Rental Product News.  (I even got special permission in advance to post it on my own blog)

If you don't already know me personally, I do a fair amount of work in the industrial/heavy equipment rental sector helping these companies leverage technology solutions to their fullest potential while accurately measuring and recouping their investment in them.  I've written an article that introduces the often "old school" rental business to blogs and their power.  This article "wrote itself" after I attended a "Guerrilla Marketing" seminar for the rental industry...that didn't mention blogs whatsoever.  Shame.   

Here's the piece:

Ready for a blog?

You've heard of them. Perhaps you read them. You might even be one of the 50-plus million people that have created one. But it's not likely that you've drawn a clear connection between blogs (short for WeB-LOGs) and your rental business. In this article, I will shed some light on business blogging, the often misunderstood marketing tool, and provide some reasons why it might make sense for your rental business. (HINT: Blogging can be the most powerful weapon in your marketing arsenal … and it's free!)

Background on blogs
When all of the hoopla is stripped away, blogs are simply websites that make it easy for non-technical folks like you and me to show the world what we think in words and pictures. Disappointed? Don't be. The simplicity of blogs and the tools used to create them have spawned an entire industry focused on providing tools enabling the rest of us to make very professional looking blogs that complement our corporate websites.

Also, blogging is not just about writing, it's about reading. Although I won't focus on reading blogs in this article, using the power of RSS feeds (RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication) and feed readers, your company can search once and subscribe to feeds delivering real-time news and information on your industry and your competition. At least equally important, you can subscribe to what the industry and others are saying about your company, so you can answer.

But I already have a website!
If you ask 100 people on the street where they go first to look up a business, 80 percent will likely say, "I Google it." Have you spent some time searching for your own website using common key words? If you don't come up in the first page and your competitors do, don't feel lonely. Most corporate websites are put up with great intentions and many look great. However, they quickly become stale and stagnate.

Often, business owners are held hostage by the webmaster or design company that created the site. Want to put up a new event, press release, or product information section? Get out your wallet. As a result, most sites transition from "web" to "cob web" in less than six months. Stale websites do not impress search engines.

While there are techniques to make your website rise in rankings, typically called SEO or Search Engine Optimization, you can help your company ascend the ranks by posting quality content to your blog with regularity. Regular blog postings (three to five times per week) are consumed by search engines voraciously. As more people find and link to your quality posts, they become more "relevant" to the search engines and the site rises in the rankings. By linking your blog site to your corporate website, you can complete the circle and drive more people through the front door. Of course, simply posting random thoughts about the weather will not attract the masses.

Business blogging is really two-way communication between a business and its clients or potential clients. Blogs provide the platform for your company to become more findable and for the public at large to comment and link to what they're reading.

Before you jump in with both feet, it's important to establish the reasons why your business should blog in the first place. After all, you're probably not looking for more workload to fill the day. Let's not forget that your goal in creating this business blog is most likely increasing revenues and differentiating yourself from the competition.

Blogging tools
The most common blogging software platforms today are Blogger(, WordPress (, and Typepad ( Each has strengths and weaknesses but all allow the author to create a blog site and start posting with zero upfront expense. If your company outgrows the software or desires more technical tools, they're readily available. These products allow even the most technically challenged among us to put a blog up and post entries in minutes.

Eventually, you might want to employ someone to match the look and feel of your blog to your website. Or, you might even go so far as transitioning your entire corporate site into a blog site. Remember, "findability" is what you're after and a blog's freshness of content provides the fresh new treats that search engines love to eat.

Be different, honest, informative
Your company blog is a platform to highlight what makes your rental operation special. Here are some blog post topics that come to mind if I were posting to your blog:

Share stories that highlight interesting customer service experiences. Share your unique ability to resolve problems and satisfy customer demands.

Share times that things went wrong and what you learned from them. Sometimes I get bored with hearing about how well things go. Tell me about some times when you messed up and how you made them right. These tales get my attention.

Discuss specialized solutions your company provides the industry. I love hearing out-of-the-box solutions to complex situations. If your firm has innovated, tell the world! If you think the competition won't find out eventually, think twice. Share with the industry.

Mention specials or other unique promotions your company is offering. A blog is not merely a site for your electronic sales pitches, but it can be a place to strategically share your specials. If you offer your clientele something they need, they'll likely forward the deal to their friends.

Expose the unique talents of your employees. It's really cool to see that your sales coordinator is a drummer in a rock band and that your shop foreman is a gourmet cook, specializing in French cuisine. Expose a little bit more of what makes up your company's unique personality. These details give outsiders a glimpse of what it's like to deal with you before they walk through the door and might provide "instant rapport" when the potential client walks in the door.

Your unique blogging voice
Your company's "blogging voice" and flare will evolve over time. You should encourage many in your organization to write for the blog and see where they take it. Of course, the software makes it easy to moderate and edit the posts in case someone decides to post a rant about your management style. Also, don't forget that there might be a budding writer out there operating your equipment.

Engage your organization in blogging passion and watch the results!   

Doug Mitchell is the vice president of business development at Dispatching Solutions Inc., a provider of logistics software and GPS tracking solutions to the equipment rental industry.

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Copyright 2007 Cygnus Business Media

A special thank you goes out to the Godfather, Mike Sansone who ignited the business blogging gene in me almost 2 years ago.

Time to submit my manuscript

US News & World Report published my comments on an article discussing Ethanol and its promise and challenges for the future of US energy policy.

When are we going to see "The American Writer" series on Fox? 

Article of mine...Pubished August 2005  Click Link for full article text.


Scenario: Rental revenue is up substantially but the P&L is suffering from escalating equipment transport costs. Quantity of rents and number of hauls likely went up last year at a similar pace. Inefficient transport and poor sub-hauler management are pushing the profit pendulum into the red. Counter personnel and management view equipment transport as one of the most important bargaining chips in the salesperson’s arsenal. “Give transport away if you have to,” is the daily battle cry.

The company should expect a loss in this category, right? Wrong. A company mind shift toward breakeven transportation will tilt your P&L in the right direction.