Haiku Deck, Presentation Poetry

Haiku Deck presentation softward

One of the discussions that I’ve had with clients on a regular basis, is to take advantage of SlideShare. The power of SlideShare is in the visuals, how easy it is to share your ideas with others. The presentations can be shared via your social channels or embed into your blog efforts.  The concern most frequently expressed by clients, was the time it would take to find suitable images, build the presentation in PowerPoint and then upload it to SlideShare. In reality, it doesn’t take that long, but if you’re not familiar with the software, it can seem daunting. I’m excited to say that now, it’s even easier to build great looking presentations that you can share with your audiences and extend the life of your content, thanks to Haiku Deck and it’s partnership with SlideShare.

Not long ago I received an invite from SlideShare to take advantage of a new partnership they’d entered into with Haiku Deck. Curious I popped over and took a look. I built my first deck within SlideShare using Haiku Deck (the example is below). There are some really useful demonstrations and tips to help you navigate through the build. There are some limitations as well, such as, the number of images (you can upload your own), fonts and colour selections. But I enjoyed the process and have subsequently shared it with others.

One of the things I learned quickly was that once built and uploaded in SlideShare, you can not edit the presentation (I wanted to add a final slide with contact information). This is not a problem in the Haiku Deck sight itself, only if you’ve uploaded it to SlideShare. The other at the moment is that the mobile version of Haiku Deck is only available for the iPhone and as an Android user, currently not available to me. I understand that this will be corrected, but have not heard when. However, you can create your presentations on a laptop or desktop with ease.

Recently, I’ve read a lot of blog posts noting that to be successful with our online efforts going forward, we’ll need better visuals in our content and marketing efforts. Haiku Deck certainly gives you the tools to help you achieve that end. For the general user; as Canva has done for graphic design, Haiku Deck will do for presentations. It truly is the art of building poems with images.

Currently the site is free to use, but will eventually have a paid portion (premium design elements).

Haiku Deck Resources and Demonstrations:

My first foray with Haiku Deck:

Marketing Plan Template – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

10 Tips to Transform your Presentations by Haiku Staff:

A Stunningly Simple Path to Creative Business Presentations by Mark Schaefer {Grow} blog December 5, 2014

Note: this blog was revised after Mark Schaefer’s post came out. Mark does an excellent job of highlighting the pros and cons in his post (above) and I saw no need to duplicate them here.

Interacting with Slides by Jerry Weissman from Duarte.com Blog 2009

Struggling with Content Creation.

Struggling with Content Creation, What to Write
Struggling with content creation?

As a consultant, my focus is on helping small and medium businesses (SMB) find, attract, and convert customers.  As a result, you’d think that I would be all over creating original content. In my business, I’ve encouraged and coached others to do just that. To balance content curation with creating their own content. I’ve helped clients take stock of the material they have already on hand. Then used that material to generate useful information for their audience and created processes (content calendar, etc) to consistently develop and distribute their message. I’ve sourced tools to help with the creative tasks (Canva, PowToons, Snag-It, Haiku Presentations, etc.) or introduced them to appropriate professionals (video, graphic design or in-depth SEO) when they need more. It’s what I do and enjoy doing; yet I’ve not delivered on creating consistent content for myself and those that I serve.

So why am I struggling with content creation?

It might be easy to frame the issue with, I’m a sole-proprietor and there are only so many hours in the day. But, I’d expect to be called out on that. I’m the biggest proponent of utilizing time appropriately and focusing on what matters most. So does that mean that I believe blogging (or content creation) is not a fundamental part of digital marketing. No, that would be highly hypocritical of me. After all, I speak about it constantly in my social posts. I invest time daily reading and sharing what I learn from respected specialists that I and my audience can learn from. For the most part, my efforts to date have been curating the good work of others. However,  I know it’s not enough, yet I’ve not maintained a consistent blog effort – why?

There are likely a few causes, and some were driven home powerfully in the last few months.

First, I recently read a wonderful guest blog post by Besty Kent, on Mark Schaefer’s {grow} blog. Entitled “Impostor Syndrome, How I finally learned I was Smart“, her post resonated with me.  It wasn’t so much that I felt unintelligent. I just questioned why you would read what I have to say. Especially when you could just read the works of talented folks like  (insert your favorite resource/author/”thought-leader” here). Ms. Kent’s post reminded me of many things. The biggest being that I have different frames of reference. I learn from my “virtual mentors” but frame the lessons based on my own experiences and environment (as we all do).  And thus, have something different to offer from my talented colleagues.

Secondly,  I started reading Ann Handley’s latest book, Everybody Writes. To understand why this is significant, you have to understand I was in the same class with some highly creative and talented artisans (now a world class playwright, a successful film director/producer, a published author and more). I stood in awe of their skills and still do. But Ann’s book reminded me that we all have the ability to write (even if some require a good editor – like me). Working through her book, I’ve felt encouraged to spend time regularly at my craft. To quote Allan Iverson “we’re talkin’ about practice”. More importantly, to allow myself the opportunity to find and develop my voice. I know my “why” to write – it’s always been to be of service to others. My favorite stories with clients always center around helping them first develop their definition of success. Then to work with them as they get on the right path to it and achieve results along their journey.

Lastly, the work of two bloggers who are kindred spirits; Stephen Lahey and Beth Browning. Lahey’s Small Business Talent, is a podcast focused on sales and marketing for small businesses. Each episode is also a useful blog as it includes a complete transcript of the conversation*,  thereby becoming a valuable resource to return to. Browning is a  very good SEO consultant/trainer (direct feedback from my clients that she’s worked with). She consistently produces for both her professional and personal blogs, despite a hectic schedule.  I can relate to Beth having watched her overcome the ongoing battles of sole-proprietorship and the stress that goes with it. If your interested in SEO, and you should be; follow Beth’s Discover Your Customers blog. It’s good to have other voices that are up and coming.

So if your struggling with content creation, these resources might well get you back on track. Please consider investing your time in the resources above. Since I’ve come across them, they have helped me refocus and strengthened my commitment to blogging consistently and well.   Like you, I’m working on my plans for 2015, what areas I’ll focus on and share.  I know that I want to focus on micro and small business, they are of real interest for me, doing as much good as you can with limited resources. To that end, I’ll continue to curate and share the great resources that I come upon. It’s my hope that my efforts to curate and generate content will allow you to get useful information and help you achieve your goals.

Thanks for reading.

Struggling with Content – Resources to help you get back on track:

Schaefer’s: What would I do if I were starting my blog from scratch? Nov. 25, 2014

Diverse Messages: Why You’ll Want a Content Calendar 

Content Marketing Institute: 5 Mistakes that hold back Content Marketing 

*Other Podcasts that include full transcripts: Marketing Profs, MarketingSmarts and Rich Brooks, The Marketing Agents podcasts.

Ann Handley: This Simple Strategy will Stuff Your Business…


 Hemingway App – Help make your writing clear, reduce complex sentence and know what reading level your post is aimed at.

Smart Easy Content Creation

Creating content for social
Imagine what it was like.

In my talks with clients and future brand advocates, a central theme for the vast majority of them is their concern around their limited resources. Specifically, the time they will need to invest in creating content for their website, blog and social platforms. It is a somewhat valid concern, as content creation can be time consuming if you don’t plan ahead. However, once you’ve done your planning, you’ll have a clear idea of what you want to create (theme), where you want to share it (medium) and for who (which segment of your audience).

Lately, I’ve seen some exceptional examples of content creation that is full of useful information, easy to produce (no big elaborate budgets) and material that is easily consumed, then shared by the audience with their friends and followers. I’d like to highlight a few of my favorite resources and examples of content creation. A good example was demonstrated on this blog in our last post. Mark Schaefer’s re-purposing of a chapter from his latest book, into a powerful ebook that he shared on SlideShare and distributed through his various social channels. At the end, I’ll share more links of rich media (podcasts) from some of my favorite content creators.

Video Examples:

Social Media Today, provides excellent materials to browse on a multitude of topics about Social Media. Recently, they’ve added some powerful short videos with leading knowledge specialists. A great example of the power of these quick chats in “SMTShorts” are the two recent additions with Ted Rubin. As a passionate social media/business advocate, Ted brings insight, hands on experience and authenticity to his appeals for us to all be more human. The nice aspect of these is that they are under 2 minutes, have a clear focus and answer questions that a great many are likely asking.
The first video discusses the best platform for the consumer. Be sure to heed the advice at the end.

The second video, how do you get an audience to engage with you on Twitter. Again, listen to the end.

Both videos provide great insights and may not have taken all that long to shoot and edit.

For another example, Jay Baer (Convince and Convert) recently launched his “Jay Today” segments on his YouTube channel (in addition to iTunes, Stitcher and his own website). Jay is a generous sharer of content, the author of “Youtility“, and has a lot of great content on his YouTube channel already, but these quick videos deal with one topic and he’s promised to keep them to around 3 minutes. In this episode, Jay shares the key to being a successful blogger (and a tip on how this video was created).

These are some quick examples of what you can do to be of service to your audience and become their favorite content creator. To plan for these very useful snippets of information, talk to your client facing staff and find out what questions they are getting from your clients and prospects, then shoot a quick video to provide them with the answess.  Check out this resource from Wistia to set up your own “DIY Office Video Studio”. The keys to good video; a key message, good lighting, and good sound.

Now as promised, the links to some of my favorite content:


I generally listen to these over lunch, at the end of the evening before turning in for the night or when on the road. Most are under 1/2 hour and all have provided great information that I’ve used personally in my business or shared with my clients (listed alphabetically).

Fan-Dam-Tastic Marketing Show – Host Mack Collier, Author Think Like a Rock Star, Host of Twitter Chat #BlogChat

The Marketing Agents PodcastRich Brooks of Flyte Media. Focus on small business primarily.

The Marketing Companion Show – Hosts Tom Webster and Mark W. Schaefer – Been listening since inception.

The Marketing Smarts Podcast – Hosts Kerry O’Shea Gorgone. Full of great guests, topics, humor and usable tips.

Small Business Talent Podcast – Host Stephen H. Lahey. Focus on networking, sales and marketing for small biz.

There are many more entertaining and informative podcasts out there, what’s your favorite?


With your Social efforts, measure what matters!

Social ROI, Measure what Matters

In my conversations with small business owners, I can guarantee that a portion of our conversation will center around how to measure their “Return on Investment (ROI)” on social media efforts. In most instances, it becomes clear relatively quickly that they don’t have a clear social media strategy or are trying to measure their social efforts against their business objectives. In many instances, they are spending money on creating content or community management, which relates to posting on preferred social platforms x number of times per day; with no themes or understanding of why or who they are serving (everyone is not your perspective clients). The issue is knowing what to measure and how to measure it. Fortunately, there are many great resources available to help you do just that; books, eBooks, whitepapers, online measurement tools and much more (my favorites you’ll find in the resources listed below). Do you know what to measure? How do you define “your success”? Your definition of success is likely as different and unique as you are from your competition and neighbor.

It is such a common issue with big and small companies alike, that Mark Schaefer felt compelled to write “Social Media Explained” released earlier in 2014. Thank goodness he did. I’ve given his book to clients as a precursor to starting their work, especially with small business owners concerned about issues like;  is social just a fad and the “time suck” that social will have on their business. The book is not a how to do social media, but really more of “why” you should invest in the latest business practice that has made a significant impact on how we connect with our key stakeholders today.

In Chapter 2, Schaefer relates his experience with Home Depot and likely one that we can all relate to (mine was purchasing a new car). He describes how there were many opportunities for small interactions with him. Schaefer notes; that when done well these small interactions lead to customer loyalty, referrals and increased business:  “creating these small,  consistent interactions that delight, educate and inspire people to become customers and then reward their loyalty with personalized attention and meaningful content”.  In his case, none of these small interactions, ever once alluded to getting a discount coupon. In fact he quotes research from Edison Research that indicates: “57% of American social media users follow a brand on Facebook for no other reason than they have an affinity for that brand”.

For purposes of this post, Chapter 6 is where I’ll direct you to. It is here where Schaefer demonstrates the 4 reasons “why you MUST measure the results of your social media efforts”.  I’ll let you read the points yourself, and you really should (the book is readily available in many different online and retail outlets and takes about 1/2 hour to read).  My concern is that you know what to measure. We were told early measurements with social was initially to  accumulate a high like/follower count to show your value. Then with follower buying,  the measurement of how many of those likes/followers that were interacting with your content (engagement), was the goal. However, just chasing followers without the interactions leading to a sale or influencing a sale, means your popular, but likely soon to go out of business. In the resources, you’ll find information to help guide you, but really, you have to decide what to measure as it relates to your business goals. Beyond the tangible benefits, Schaefer makes a case and highlights clear examples of intangible benefits, that are a little harder to track, but not impossible.

If you’ve not yet got the book, here is Schaefer’s great SlideShare post entitled “Engagement is not a Strategy” based on chapter 6:

But are dollars and cents the only measurable outcomes. Many pundits note that you can’t really measure social media efforts and I hope that the paragraph above and resources below, destroy that notion. But as noted, there are softer benefits that may seem harder to track. For example, is it possible to measure how happy your key stakeholders are (clients, prospects, employees, volunteers, vendors, etc.). Would you get a straight answer if you asked them? Fortunately research indicates that you likely would, if you were sincere in receiving the feedback. I find that most metrics we use to measure social media are equivalent to measuring the Gross Domestic Product where the indicators are focused on pure tangible economics. What can the country of Bhutan, teach us as business leaders?

Since 1972, this small Asian country has been using a Gross National Happiness index to determine the health of the country, it’s economy and it’s citizen’s. The work has been adopted by other jurisdictions around the world, but can it be applied to business? The answer appears to be yes, but we are being slow to adopt it in regular business sectors, likely because it seems “airy fairy”. Fortunately Chip Conley, founder of “Joie de Vivre”, a successful hotelier, author and speaker – made the connection in his 2010 TED Talk below. In his presentation, Conley urges us to return to our school days when we learned to count, but change what it is we count. Using the illustration of a highly valued employee (Van Quach) and her impact on guests, Conley began to look at the way his hotels and his business counted. After reading Maslow and reflecting on leadership, Conley noted: ” One of the simplest facts in business is something that we often neglect, and that is that we’re all human. Each of us, no matter what our role is in business, has some hierarchy of needs in the workplace”. 

Conley continued reading and doing research and noted that a high percentage of leaders believed that intangibles (he notes intellectual property, brand loyalty and corporate culture) had an impact on the success of their businesses, but also that they believed there was no way to effectively measure them and only 5% even tried. The presentation makes a good case for adding some additional measurements to your equation. How valuable is that customer that maybe only visits you once or twice per year but has directed many more friends and acquaintances to you?  If you don’t track that, you’ll never know.  The TED talk is 17 minutes, but I believe that as you reevaluate what you track and measure, it’ll be 17 minutes invested very well.

Ask yourself, does a business model designed for a highly industrial and manufacturing based world, really work well for a 21st century knowledge based economy (where a full 68% of our businesses are service based). As Conley asks, maybe it’s time to add some new tools to our toolbox. We understand that happy employees = happy customers and that results in improved profits, but are we focused on it?

The first step to measuring your success and social media efforts, is to know (remember) why you got into business in the first place. What is your why? I believe that we intuitively understand that engagement is a tactic, that money is an outcome and not an end goal. As many have said before, you could have the best product/service in the world, but if no one likes to conduct business with you they won’t. You could also have the best priced product/service in the world, but if it’s of substandard quality, eventually you’ll lose that customer and spend the rest of your career on the acquisition trail of new customers. Set your business goals and have your marketing, customer support, sales and social media strategies align and flow from those goals.

What do you measure?



Return on Relationship: Ted Rubin

Return on Influence: Mark Schaefer

Maximize your Social: Neal Schaffer

The New Relationship Marketing: Mari Smith

On Line Links:

Not Tracking Social Media ROI is Your Fault: Jay Baer, posted in Convince and Convert,

How to Measure Social Media Influence; Debra Eckerling posted in Social Media Examiner March 26, 2014

10 Questions to Ask When Measuring your Social Media ROI – Kim LaChance Sandrow, Entrepreneur November 18, 2013

Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Metrics/ROI: Moz Blog


Resources Page:  from Razor Social




Social is hard, but not with these Resources

Content Marketing, social media posts

The crowd has spoken and once again the most popular social media posts were about leadership and resources. From a look at some “Free SEO” resources to a well written and timely review of what your agency should be doing for you with your social media efforts. Without any further delay; here are the five top social media stories that you might have missed last week.


It’s a popular topic with those in leadership roles and those aspiring to be effective leaders. This topic posted in the HBR Blog is getting a lot of attention recently. After all, who really wants to be the “pain in the A$$” boss that employees just don’t like. However, being too nice can have a major impact on your organization as well. I always appreciated seniors that would fall into the “hard but fair” category, how about you?



Creating really effective visual content has never been easier (if you take a little bit of time to play and watch some very useful videos), but finding the right tool to help you with the smaller graphic tasks can be confusing with so many tools available. That’s why this post Social Media Examiner, like struck a cord with readers.


Facebook, the platform that everyone loves to hate but can’t help but continue to pay attention to. With all of the changes and their impact on the newsfeed and your ability to connect with your communities, it can be hard and frustrating. Yet,  finding useful resources can make the journey friendlier and more effective. This week I saw a very useful post on the MarketingProfs blog.


Search Engine Optimization is an ongoing and ever evolving requirement for any size business. It’s impossible to stay relevant with a “set it and forget it” mentality. I always encourage clients to do a SEO Audit at least annually, but the biggest concern is budget. If you feel you don’t have the cash, than it’s imperative that you exchange some time to gain more knowledge. These SEO resources that I came across on the Kissmetrics blog, may just be the ticket to resolve your concerns.


Community Management:

Let’s not confuse things, participating in an effective social media strategy can be hard work, time consuming and a little bit daunting. What to talk about, where to post and when are the stuff that can keep you awake at night. It might be easier to abdicate your responsibility to that agency/marketing consulting firm that said they’d just do it for you. The issue with that is simply that these are your current and future customers that you are trying to build and develop a lasting relationship with. The firm may curate and post on your behalf, but are they qualified to converse with your customers with the same level of understanding, empathy and commitment that you are. In my experience, the best results have always come from a collaborative approach to social and community management. That’s why it was so refreshing to see this post from the Arcompany.


I hope that you find the information compiled here of great value to you. If you have any questions, drop a note in the comment section or fire off an email, I’d be thrilled to hear from you.