+digital strategyFirst and foremost a marketer, I'm a digital strategist and content creator. I love engaging communities and building properties that inspire action. I'm the co-founder of Just Media Design, I've worked for a Silicon Valley Incubator, I co-host the iTunes #1 podcast Living Outrageously, I'm the author of the Amazon best selling Entrepreneur's Guide To Outsourcing and am a world record holder.
This is a copy of my latest article over at the JMD Medium account.
My name is Matt Kelly, I’m the co-founder of Brisbane’s brand new digital agency, ‘Just Media Design’ and for the past 12 months, I’ve been actively participating in the technology community of Silicon Valley in Northern California. Working at a startup incubator in one of the fastest environments in the world has been an incredible experience for me, but before I go any further down that path, I should probably introduce myself.
The prospect of social networking started to spark my interest back in 2005. I was preparing for a business degree, and the prospect of scaling real-time conversations for personal and business was particularly interesting.
Shoot forward a few years, and I now have a degree in marketing and management, worked some fantastic marketing focused roles in Queensland and overseas, wrote a book, and got really lucky when the podcast I co-host topped the iTunes charts in its respective category.
12 months ago, I moved to Silicon Valley (based in San Francisco), to take on the role as Head of Product Marketing at a tech startup incubator (/accelerator/idea lab). While there, I had the absolute privilege of managing marketing initiatives throughout the re-acquisition of Bebo (including being part of the team that created ‘that infamous viral video’). I worked on consumer focused apps and online platforms (from new products in their infancy through to established platforms with over 50m users). But most importantly, I worked with a team of some of the most well established engineers in the world, and perhaps one of the brightest up and coming minds in product and strategy. This experience provided me with an incredible about of insight into the way the world is going for tech centric companies.
Brisbane will always be home for me, and while my experience in the USA was amazing, I knew it was time to return.
Here are a few of the reasons why I’m excited to be back in Brisbane, building Just Media Design…
Results orientated delivery
I’ve spoken with a few industry friends since arriving home, and it seems that (especially for the local dev houses), the trend is going towards delivering a result, not just an online product. In the past, many agencies focused on designing a tactic, and spent a lot of time and money building, then launching. The deliverable was the product, whether the result was achieved or not. With the growing movement around being ‘lean’, agencies who focus on crafting solutions that can be validated and iterated on over time to achieve the best possible result (for the client), will win. I’m excited to see more agencies adopt an iterative approach to get the best results for clients.
Brisbane startup scene
The startup scene in Brisbane is (obviously) still very much in its infancy, but with more and more incubators, accelerators and tech-focused investment entering the market, this is a promising space. I’m extremely keen to get more involved in local startups and do what I can to continue the community growth curve. Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp for $16b this week validates that apps with high engagement (75% of WhatsApp users come back every day) are ultimately treated as assets, it’s time we take a step forward onto the global stage.
Awareness of the growing social space is becoming even more evident in our conversations with so many of the business we engage with every day. Whether the focus is on a low risk ‘off brand’ community growth tactic, or an all-out assault on the digital landscape, this is something that I’m passionate about?—?and I can’t wait to see (and be part of) the growth!
First and foremost, I’m excited to get involved, to participate in the community, and to help local founders not let a lack of funding (or even knowledge) get in the way of their big idea coming to fruition.View comments →
A fan of emerging technology, I’ve been excited for a while to get my hands on Google Glass, and with Google’s December announcement of the MyGlass app being available for iOS, I knew the holiday period would be the perfect opportunity to give my undivided attention to the famed headgear.
Ten minutes into wearing Glass, I’d begun to realize that this really was unlike any technology I’d ever used (read: I didn’t know where to look). Because the Glass display sits above your right eye, perhaps the most challenging hurdle is learning that you don’t need to look at the world through it the transparent monitor.
Once mastering the upward glance, I found my default reaction was to keep the display focused in my peripheral vision. Don’t do this, it will put you on a bullet train to headache- ville. For those first few of hours, the display seemed like a fly hovering around my face, it took all of the control in my being to keep my head straight and look below the display when it’s not in use.
The software presented an inevitable few minutes of fumbling around with a whole new experience to navigate through. While the browsing experience takes some getting used to, all in all the menu structure makes sense. The touch sensitive side panel makes flicking through the navigation and selecting options with your index finger a breeze.
And then it hit me.
As I walked down a sunny downtown San Francisco street on my way to the office, I had a realization… I’m staring at a glass display, in the sky, using my finger as the primary method of navigating menus. Essentially removing myself from the ‘real world’ to focus on the technology. Isn’t this the exact predicament Glass was designed to prevent?
Well I needed not fret, Google had an answer. Their heavily promoted “OK Glass” voice commands. Five minutes in and I was quick to realize that voice doesn’t work. It just doesn’t. Extremely simple commands with no background noise worked from time to time, but any time I had to narrate at any length, the results were dismal (in Google’s defense, I do have an Australian accent).
By this point, I’d also started to take note of the camera quality. While snapping a photo is one of the best ways to demonstrate Glass to friends, the camera just ended up being a novelty. With the lengths that mobile handset manufacturers are now going to raise the sensor quality game, the camera built into Glass left much to be desired, especially in low light.
Another major flaw that no one seems to have raised is that virtually every pair of glasses on the market today has arms that fold inward. Except Glass. Folding arms have been the standard for decades, providing ease when storing spectacles that are not in use. Unfortunately the processor and battery is built into the right arm, and as a result, the Google Glass frame doesn’t fold at any point and is fairly rigid in its design. This means that every time I slid the unit into a pocket, or bag, I was living in fear that the display would come out scratched, or worse, broken off completely.
In saying that, the hardware isn’t particularly heavy and once you’re accustomed to wearing Glass, it actually feels quite natural. Any weight I did feel was easily forgiven – I had a computer strapped to my face, so I expected to feel it. It’s also hard to deny the beauty in the industrial design. Glass is pretty damn nice to look at with smooth lines and a simple form factor, that isn’t littered with logos or buttons.
But I’m still not going to wear it…
Lets face the bigger issue at hand. Even if Glass were the most amazing new gadget experience on the planet, I couldn’t wear it right now. Every moment it was on felt like I was part of an awkward social experiment. The minute the demonstration is over, I’d come to expect that inevitable vacant stare, with everyone around you wondering when I was going to put it away. Hell, even my wife didn’t know how to talk to me while I wore Glass.
Whether I was in the office, sitting in a coffee shop, standing in line at the bank, or walking home from work (with a fifteen hundred dollar computer strapped to my face and the fear of being mugged), I found myself taking Glass off and putting it away far more than I thought I would.
I just couldn’t work out where Glass fit in my life.
This led me to wonder, am I being too picky? Are my expectations too high? In a world where we’re so used to upgrading to solve our problems, did I have an unfair expectation that straight off the conveyer belt, this piece of emerging technology should change my life?
I settled on the fact that wearable technology should supplement our lives and extend our capabilities, not obstruct us. If a piece of wearable technology caused me to feel uncomfortable, then for me, it’s just not usable.
All is not lost
This might not be the Glass I want, but it’s the Glass we need. As with all emerging technologies, early iterations need to be invested in and actually used for data to be captured and markets to buy into the future. I’ve got no doubt that wearable technology will soar in the future, but as for now, it seems that I’m just not ready for Glass… And Glass isn’t ready for me.
Over the past few years, I’ve run hundreds of social experiments, built communities with tens of thousands of participants, used the power of social to validate business decisions with real target market data and created solid brands using Facebook, but from time to time, when speaking with small business owners about social media, I’m often hit with some fairly basic questions, so rather than go deep into strategy today, I thought it might be a good opportunity to go back to basics for those new to the medium!
Whether you’re looking to create a corporate Facebook page for your business, your personal brand, or an online community, the process you go through is actually very simple. Many people find this intimidating, and procrastinate on creating their corporate presence, but with a few simple steps, you can be up and running in minutes. Let’s get to it!
Step 1: Sign up and log in!
If you don’t have a personal Facebook account set up as yet, you’ll need one. Don’t worry, this doesn’t need to be a page you actively use, it will simply be the account that you use to manage your business page.
Head on over to www.Facebook.com and enter in your personal details (again, these should be your own, not your business). If you do have an existing personal Facebook account, jump ahead to step 2.
Step 2: Claiming your page
Once you’ve logged into your personal account, you’ll need to head to: https://www.facebook.com/pages/create/
Step 3: Selecting your page category
Here you’ll select on the category most appropriate for you. You should choose the most accurate representation of your business here as different functionality is provided to you based on the category you select.
Once you’ve selected your category, enter in the details requested (I’ve provided an example below).
To provide an example, I’ve elected to create a corporate page for my personal brand. As a result, I’ve selected ‘Artist, Band or Public Figure’, then ‘Business Person’, and I’ve entered the page name as ‘Matt Kelly.
Step 4: Adding your page description
Here you’ll need to add a short description about your page, be aware that this only provides you with 255 characters, so be succinct! The website link you provide will later be accessible by visitors to your page via an ‘About’ button which will appear on your profile.
In my case, fitting with the theme, I’ve once again provided an example of what I would enter for my business page.
Step 5: Upload your profile photo
While you don’t have to complete this immediately, I’d recommend uploading an initial profile photo. This could be a photo of yourself, your team, your product or your logo. The profile photo will display at 160×160 pixels, but I’d recommend uploading a file that is as large as possible, so to ensure the quality of the image remains high.
In my case, I’m uploading my usual profile photo.
Step 6: You’re finished!
Now your page is live! When you’re ready, you can upload a ‘Cover’ photo, this is a large rectangular image which will appear as a banner along the top of your page. You should also start to post some content before telling anyone about your page to maximise the likelihood of your following hitting the ‘like’ button and ultimately subscribing to receiving your content in their newsfeed.
Be aware that anything you see above the thick blue line below is part of your Admin Panel, and is not visible to viewers of your page
When you’re ready to start posting, simple click in the text box titled ‘What have you been up to’, and enter in your first update.
View comments →
In late 2012, I was offered a unique chance to do a 1 on 1 coaching session with David Siteman Garland, the *Mediapreneur* behind The Rise To The Top, one of the longest running web shows in the world. As 2013 comes to an end, I’ve been reflecting on some of the tactics I’ve implemented most successfully over the past 12 months, and interestingly a few of the more effective have stemmed from his advice last year.
Here are just a few learnings that David shared with me in our interview (hey, better late than never).
1. PR isn’t about targeting a media outlet and pitching your product
Don’t push the book, the course, or the product… Push the concept. Push the insight, the learning or the finding. This positions you as an expert and makes your product a ‘by-product’ of you. One of the more effective methods that can be applied are to make a list of your target media outlets (blogs, news sites, etc), and pitch them a story. If you focus on sharing your content and expertise with that journalist, when they write that piece they’ll generally be more than happy to wrap it up with: “by the way, the book is available on Amazon.”
Sneaky quick tip: A ‘study’ sounds far more authoritative than a ‘survey’. A quick trial tactic might be to survey your current audience, write up a media release highlighting your unique findings, and share it with a few major media outlets. Test and learn.
2. Be willing to change your brand based on changes in your target audience
Your brand should be an evolution that you build and modify on over time. This is about designing your entire identity around a combination of your current and targeted customer to maximize your reach. Mediapreneurs will often panic and are quick to change their whole brand based on a new insight, but the reality is that small changes are OK.
Be willing to change your tagline and direction multiple times until you find your market fit (especially if your overarching name stays the same). Your current customers won’t care if your brand changes over time, likelihood is, they won’t even notice it.
3. In new media, niche is often better
Mediapreneurs often struggle by trying to go too broad in their content in an effort to appeal to a wide audience. In turn, they’ll often miss everyone. A key example is in the complexity around the word ‘entrepreneur’ – by definition, the word means every type of business owner (for example, you could be running a web startup, big business, or the corner store). Think about what your brand means to your current customer, and be willing to go niche to ensure that it truly resonates with your specific target audience. A smaller, hyper engaged audience is often more valuable to a brand than a bigger, however more passive audience.
The Rise To The Top has been seen over 7 million times, by viewers in over 100 countries. You can watch the full episode of the Rise To The Top that I appeared in here (I appear at 56 minutes). In this interview, David and I discussed what it’s like behind the scenes of the Living Outrageously Podcast, The Entrepreneur’s Guide To Outsourcing With Confidence, and my latest interview series, as well as David’s story on how he built his media empire!
To learn more about David Siteman Garland and The Rise To The Top, click here.View comments →
It’s been 557 days since we launched episode 1 of the Living Outrageously Podcast, and I can legitimately say that on the day episode 1 shipped, we had no idea what would come of it. With a lot of learning, research, strategy, recording, editing and hustle, each week we shipped a 40 – 60 minute uncut, uncensored episode of story telling with the intent to engage, motivate and encourage those who stumbled across our videos.
With some hustle (and a lot of luck), we found ourselves receiving a range of emails each day from viewers who were excited about the show, and wanted to tell us their story. Each email was humbling, and on almost every occasion, a phone conversation was sparked where Dave and I would discuss not only how amazing the viewers were, but the learnings we received from them, and what we could take from these to improve.
Some 60 hours in front of the camera has taught me a bunch. I’ve learned how to build and engage, I’ve gotten better at story telling, and I’m significantly more confident in front of the camera. However I always thought that our ‘product’ was the video we shipped each week.
This week I realized something. The tangible result of our work was a video and a number of viewers, but the truth is, on a deeper level we created a reason, an excuse, a manifesto, justification and connection. We put a methodology around living the life you want to live. The product is the wider groups application of that methodology, and without a passionate group around you, it’s impossible to execute on that.
It’s been 2 months since we released our most recent episode of the LOP, and our community (the Samurai Lounge), have taken it upon themselves (completely unsolicited) to take over the channel for a week and share their stories. The above realizations and reflections came from this video.View comments →
When working on new web projects, there is a specific exercise I use in almost all cases, and each time, it’s proved to be an incredibly powerful activity providing a sense of target market clarity (even if it’s assumed). This is in the development of a customer archetype (often referred to as avatar or persona, with some differences), and is most useful because when you attempt to build for everybody, you actually build for nobody. This exercise helps in identifying and getting clarity around exactly who your customer might be (early in a project), which in turn provides a strong foundation for decision making and acts as a foundation for future validation.
A customer archetype is a fleshed out, detailed, hypothetical profile of your absolute ideal customer, user, viewer, client, etc. It’s also sometimes referred to as ‘the average of your most common customers’, however I prefer to view this as a single customer, and follow this up with secondary or additional archetypes (when there are a number of clearly defined unique customer segments).
Once you’ve completed this exercise, you’ll have a much stronger clarity for who you’re designing, creating content, or building for. When you know explicitly whom you’re building for, it’s incredibly easy to ensure that your content adds huge value. Think about it this way, if you’re writing a blog article, your content is far more valuable to a key audience if it is specific and applicable rather than high level and generic. If I’m writing an article for a blog for ‘owners of large dogs’, I’d be adding far more value for a specific audience if my article was titled ‘how to remove fleas from highly energetic golden retrievers’ rather than publishing an article titled ‘what are fleas?’ Without having a clearly defined archetype, I can’t write my article in a way that resonates and adds maximum value.
The tactic here is to document every aspect of your ‘true’/’ideal’ customer. This doesn’t just mean considering their demographic ranges and listing these in a bound, point 8 font business plan, which gets filed. This means listing all of their personal characteristics and using this as the foundation when considering any/all new ‘interaction points’.
This is an example of a cut down customer archetype I’ve drawn up as the key reader of my book, The Entrepreneur’s Guide To Outsourcing With Confidence (I also have 2 secondary archetypes).
Location: Austin, Texas, but plans to move to San Francisco, California in the next 18 months.
Current role: IT – Internal helpdesk operator for an online shoe retailer
Living arrangement: Shares a 2-bedroom apartment with a friend
Marital status: In a relationship (for just over 12 months)
Family: Mother and father, 2 younger siblings
Interests: Reading tech news, heavy user of social media, early adoption of new social and web products, loves lifehacker.com and productivity tools. In his spare time has a four-wheel drive that they take off road (rarely), and still enjoys buying the hard copy of wired magazine.
Aspirations: Has a vision to launch a web based start-up company in the next 2 years. Wishes to get married in 2-3 years to current partner.
Fears: Anxious about the ‘future’, unsure/insecure when it comes to his ‘business’ knowledge which is why he hasn’t yet started his company. Also concerned about money, as they currently are saving a minimal amount of money.
Just a side note, this is actually a cut-down version of my primary archetype, however this serves as a pretty good starting point. Often the customer archetype is hypothesized, however as your ongoing hypothesis are validated (correctly, or incorrectly), the archetype should be refined based on your findings. This will ensure that the archetype always remains an accurate representation of your ideal customer. (phase 2 is to document ‘a day in the life of’). Your archetypes should always be the result of your data driven findings.
Want to talk about your current customer archetypes? Get in touch.View comments →
Starting his career in the jewelry industry, and moving to Apple in the early days working under Steve Jobs, Guy Kawasaki’s role entailed growing the Mac community. Guy has since built Alltop.com, has written a long list of very popular titles, and is the Managing Director of VC firm Garage Technology Ventures.
In this interview, Guy talked to me about his publishing experience, what it means to be an author, he chimes in on the ‘traditional versus self-publishing’ debate, and provides an all around dose of action packed insights!View comments →
Ever wanted to start your own restaurant? What about innovating on the existing model? Trevor Ragan took on the challenge, built the world’s first online restaurant. He tells the story of starting Sabi Sushi while in college, learning how to be ‘lean’, bringing on a big name TV chef, winning tens of thousands of dollars from business competitions, creating huge guerrilla marketing tactics and innovating in a big way.
This might possibly be my shortest blog post ever, but after spending so much time talking about this topic on the Living Outrageously Podcast, I feel it’s necessary to put some of these words down on paper. Many of the readers of this website will have found me through either the Living Outrageously Podcast or my book, The Entrepreneur’s Guide To Outsourcing With Confidence, those people know that I love being a content creator.
If you have a skill, capability, passion, piece of knowledge – or have even just read something interesting, I truly believe it’s your responsibility to add that value to the world. Become a creator of content. If you’ve got that capability, its your responsibility to add that value to the world – improve it for yourself and others around you by empowering others with knowledge!
There are thousands of platforms like; YouTube, iTunes, Amazon, Blogs, Twitter and Tumblr and these each make it so simple to take the first step (Tip: Want to write a book, check out Lulu.com – It’s made publishing my book a simple process!).
Do it! Add your value! Improve the world! Why wait?View comments →
Remember in school where you’d get into trouble for disrupting your class? Times are a changing, and we know that in business, those who disrupt, who update, who change industries for the better.
If you’re not being attacked by someone in your niche, if everyone immediately understands what you’re doing, likelihood is your start up isn’t the game-changing, industry moulder you might be hoping it to be.
Disruptive innovation occurs when a new market player enters by providing an enhanced product or service offering at a more compelling trade off (ie: price). Forcing competition to adapt, and ultimately changing the way an entire industry operates.
We’re in a transitional phase at present, whereby traditional business still ‘owns’ the bulk of the global the markets (as they have done for a long time). These are typically prime industries waiting to be disrupted by their smaller, more agile, competitors. If you’re watching a traditional business, operate the same way they have for decades, without adapting as technology emerges, it’s quite likely they’re in limbo, just waiting for someone new to come in and disrupt their market.
When this happens, that large organization will either adapt, or die. However in most cases they don’t even see the disruption taking place until its too late.
The contrast of this is sustaining innovation. With sustaining innovation, one market player iterates or advances an industry, allowing existing players to iterate on their presence while continuing to compete.
Start-up founders often target a disruptive market entrance due to a frustration or pain in the way things have ‘always been done’. These founders have typically identified a cheaper, more efficient or more enjoyable method of service delivery and take the view that the old guys ‘shouldn’t still be doing that, I can do it better.’
You’re probably building a disruptive business if…
Before launch: No one understands what you’re doing. Everyone around you doubts you’ll have any success. You are constantly getting negative feedback about what you’re trying to do. You are being asked; “What happens when ‘X’ joins your space” (substitute ‘X’ for Google or another large organization).
After launch: You receive threatening letters your traditional competitors. You get attacked, both indirectly and directly from your competition.
I ultimately believe that business models are made to be disrupted. In many cases, traditional businesses need to adapt in order to create the strongest possible service offering for their clients, and if they don’t, they’ll become undone when someone else does.View comments →
- Name: Matt Kelly
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org