Transition to new site

I'm likely going to transition this blog over to my new destination at 

It's been a good run on typepad but I'm going to transition everything over to the land of WordPress and have been hanging onto this site as it has great traffic, rank, etc.

Let's hope I can build the same over at the new site.  If compelled, I'd love for you to grab the new RSS feed or get some email updates. 

This site won't disappear for a while....but I'd love the linkage to the new one.  Thanks so much all and welcome to

Blogging for Business - class 4 (the last hoorah...for now)

I had a great time teaching Blogging for Business in Des Moines.  We had a wonderful class filled with robust QA and fantastic people.  Our last class was held at Mars Cafe on University where we had wifi drinks, and a much cooler environment to conduct class. 

A special thanks to Rush Nigut for stopping by and impressing the class with his #1 business blog talk and pointers for our newly indoctrinated students.

It was a pleasure and privilege to teach the class. It was very pleasing to hear those "aha moments" and some oohs and ahhs :)

We can probably lobby for a 201 level course or simply make this one longer if we build some momentum.

Thanks to all!

Our first blogging for business class in Des Moines was such a pleasure

Tonight was the first meeting of our Des Moines blogging for business class at Roosevelt High School.  What a fantastic group!  I'd like to say a special thank you to the class for welcoming me and having fun with me as we dispelled blogging myths, touched on some "blogging basics", and did some "live blogging" with conversations, comments, and "linkages" to resources using our voices vs. our computers.  It was a real hoot.

Since this is my first time teaching the class...every one is a learning experience.  I couldn't have had a better "first class" so thanks a million.  I shared my very first post with the class too.  That one always elicits a few chuckles...and jerks at my heart strings.

We left off tonight discussing RSS feeds and WISHING the wifi worked in the building.  No sweat.  The team has a homework assignment to leverage a feed reader to subscribe to some feeds (mine are required reading!). 

I can't wait til next week and possibly our first guest blogger/speaker.  I better tighten up my presentation to allow for lots of QA. 

Thank you for giving me this opportunity Des Moines community education, class, and community.  I owe you all.

Introducing createWOWmedia

Hi folks:
The team has been working on some very exciting things here at Midwest Command.  Over the last year, we've been producing robust multimedia content for our Interactive Learning Environments (ILE).  We had many firms contact us and ask if we could do the same for them.  They asked us to:

  1. Turn so so presentations, marketing material, speaking engagements, and documents into rich multimedia with sound, voice over, imagery, and professional appearance.
  2. Shoot company intro videos that capture the mojo of their brands in video that is "good enough for the web".  Flaming fireballs optional.
  3. Create robust and good looking blog based corporate websites for them that had a bunch of great organic Search Engine Optimization tools (SEO) working for them behind the scenes. 
  4. Create Interactive Learning Environments so businesses extend their brands and digital product offerings globally online.
  5. Develop web video strategies and some stock "intros and outros" that companies can reuse over and over again.
  6. Help them understand the online world, social media, and their online BUZZ. 

We have been working under the radar to form

Createwowmedia_logo_small createWOW provides Brand Amplification to small and medium businesses through  multimedia, blogging and social media, and Interactive Learning Environments.

Ask your small business owner friends how much their "Yellow Pages" ads cost per month? Ask the same group how many of them go to the Yellow Pages to look up services/products available themselves?  Could that resource be re-tasked? 

It's a pleasure to work with SMB's.  I know they get the shaft sometimes when it comes to these kinds of services because their budgets are small and their dreams are big.  Well we're tired of you being on the receiving end of the shaft...and believe its our job to help you take advantage of as much of this technology as makes sense for you.  We know how to provide IMPACT and RESULTS on a budget.  It's how we've modeled our own business and we believe you should get the same treatment.

We're already making an impact locally.  Feel free to contact Ryan @ Nutrisport - Full Potential Training and ask him what it's like to do business with the createWOW team.

If you can spare a couple minutes, please watch some of our videos in the products and services section of the site. 

Blogging For Business Class: If interested, fill out the form below

Please forward this post, reblog/repost if you know people who would like a solid foundational course in "Blogging for Business." 

Hi there:  If you're contemplating taking my Blogging for Business Class in WDM or DSM, please add your information into the form below.  That way, I'll be able to notify you when the registration book/ class catalog comes out.  Of course it's not online "yet" but you know...government agencies are slower to adopt these things. This is NOT actual course registration just a pre-gathered interest list.

Usually, the catalog comes inside the newspaper and is strategically placed around the DSM metro I guess.  I'd love to have you and I think you'll get your money's worth (it's about $50 I think for 4 weeks, 8 hours total).

If you're an expert blogger of course, you're welcome to pay to support our schools, boost my numbers,  and heckle me from the back.  Just be prepared to get a laser pointer burn to your retina.

Fields Marked with a * are required
*Full Name:
*Email Address:
Title (at your company):

Are you an SMB looking to use multimedia to support or EXPLODE your brand?

Let's say you are an SMB (small to medium business) in the Des Moines metro.  You have a nice website that's well put together and appealing.  You've got a nice "about" page with little JPG's of your employees and a quick bio about them.  Not bad.  But in the SMB space you CAN and SHOULD be able to STAND OUT and be heard from!  But what to do?

Here's a quick checklist we've been working through.

When I visit your site:

  1. Is there anything there conveying what it's actually like to do business with you? Blog posts, videos, interviews, audio clips, testimonials, case studies?
  2. Does your site in any way indicate to me that you're different than "everyone else that provides the same service or product as you do?" 
  3. Do you make it easier to say "yes" than the competition?
  4. Do you offer multiple modes of contact to reach different demographics?  In not too many years, those "kids" who text message all day may be running the office.  Do you accommodate that mode of communication deemed critical by current and future generations?
  5. Do you offer RSS feeds for news releases and/or blog posts?  Most likely if you are blogging the answer is yes.  Blogging is NOT a requirement to provide RSS feeds of your news releases however so don't count out one because of the other.
  6. Are you leveraging any social media platforms?  Twitter is a prime example.  The other day I put out a call for someone to create a  I got 4 replies from Twitter from local designers and within 4 HOURS I had prototypes in my inbox.  Maybe people won't ask you questions about your accounting business in twitter that often today...but just give it a while.  (HINT:  That's code for do something about it now).

We'll add more to this list soon but hopefully there's some food for thought in here.  If you'd like to chat more about some of these things, give me a shout

Blogging For Business Class now being offered in Des Moines also

Image via Wikipedia

Starting Oct 21 - Nov. 14, I'll be in front of another group of progressive business leaders eager to understand the key aspects and tools used in social media marketing in Des Moines.  (West Des Moines class starts on September 24).  The Blogging for Business class is offered through the Des Moines Community Education program and it's VERY affordable. (Most likely $50).

Spread the word to friends, blog lurkers, and business leaders you know if they'd like to get a great lay of the blogging land...along with a great quiver full of other tools to become findable on the web.

The class will take place Tuesdays from 6:30pm-8:30pm and will last 4 weeks. 

Watch for the catalogs to show up in your newspapers and/or mailboxes. 

Agile Non-Development

I got the call last Friday afternoon from another highly respected destination site in the IT world asking my permission to do an expose on my "Confessions" book.  I decided in that moment that the book deserved its own website where I would:

  1. Aggregate a list of subscribers that may enjoy future e-books I write or that may enjoy the expanded version of "Confessions" in the works.
  2. Brand the e-book accordingly since before, it was merely linked on a page at my corporate website at RentalMetrics.
  3. Provide a survey so readers could offer their feedback on the book and opinions on its expansion worthiness.

I emailed my technology guy and said, "Hey, I'm going to design a static web page with an opt in form built in, can you put it up and host it for me?"  (Sure no problem). 

I began with the usual suspects:  Google page creator, MSFT Publisher, Dream Weaver, NVU, then MSFT Word.  I was leveraging templates and trying to edit them in the WYSIWYG editors but ended up frustrated and always

Then I accessed that part of my brain that I'd tucked away for safekeeping.   It's the part that uses Typepad for EVERYTHING I do (on my own) on the web.  The next 4 hours were a flurry of keystrokes and configuration and I had:

  1. Purchased a domain and mapped it to my newly created typepad blog site.
  2. Chosen a template and using TypePad's "pages" function, created a "static home page" that will always show when you hit the site (vs. the always updated blog posts).
  3. Created an opt-in auto responder in Aweber.  That little gem of a software application is the best auto-renewing $20 I spend a month. This includes 2 follow up messages that get sent at a pre-determined interval, etc.
  4. Created custom "thank you" pages on the blog site (again...all easily created in typepad.
  5. Added some "right nav" content by sharing some of the TypeLists I have on other blogs here.
  6. Configured/laid out the content blocks.
  7. Made navigation links to pages in the right navigation at the top right including an Author Bio page (scraped from my company site at RentalMetrics)
  8. Created a survey in Wufoo and had embedded this into a page.
  9. Used Feedburner to create easy subscribability and pleasant RSS feeds including "Feed flare" to become more easily linkable.

Effectively, within 4 hours I'd created the full circle marketing and PR destination hub for my e-book on my own.  Now, this will not wow anyone in tech circles. In fact, it may seem rather Luddite.  However, for the entrepreneur, consultant, solo-preneur, small business...this power should NOT be underestimated.  A few simple skills will save you big bucks and big headaches (and be more effective than any generic site will be for you). 

This site is findable, link-able, comment-able, sign-up-able, pleasure-able, and functional-(able :)

It cost me exactly 4 hours on a Saturday and since I already use the hosted applications in all of my other businesses, there was zero out of pocket, only opportunity cost.

Invest little bit of your brain power in some simple techniques to build your own sites and for goodness sake, use a BLOG platform to do it!  Blog platforms come chock full of widgets and nifty little code bits that make your site go from zero to hero in minutes.  Well, at least 240 of them.

That's Agile.

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!

Use of Video in Company Promotion

Are you using video/rich media in your web/marketing/PR/media execution (notice I didn't say plan) for 2008?  I have turned the corner and have just gone live with my new firm's "Porch Pitch" (Like an elevator pitch but smaller).  The company is RentalMetrics.  Take a look and see if you "get what we do".  If not, it's back to the video drawing board :)

Special thanks to Mike Sansone for pushing/coaching/exposing we business bloggers to the power of the uncomfortable new technologies that await us when we try.  Double secret probation thanks to Chris Punke at Focal Point.  Chris is the uber video studio production genius that makes me look like I'm standing in front of tractors and such using chroma key technology (green screen).  I'd highly recommend both gentlemen who can make some magic for your business.  More thanks to Paul Gratton for key production support.