Mother’s Day

As another Mother’s Day approaches I wanted to take a moment and honor the women that play such a huge role in the lives of our families today.  As many of you know, my mom passed away in 1990 and as I now go into my 22nd year without her, I know her spirit lives on through me and my kids.  I’m also lucky enough to be married to a woman that also shares a lot of the same qualities my mom had growing up.

For Julianne, you are totally appreciated and at least I know I don’t tell you that enough.  You are loved by me and your kids even though at times it may not feel like it.  You are beautiful and each day I find myself appreciating how lucky I am to have you at my side.  So thank you…thank you for all you do and for you who you are.  I know that for at least this family, having you a part of this Reyes clan has been a blessing to Gina, Joshua, Jessica, Luke and me (even the dog, cat and fish)!

For the rest of you moms, Scott Stratten shared this on Twitter tonight and I just had to share it.  Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!  Enjoy your day!

P.S. I’m glad I’m a “real man”…check out the video and see what I mean. 🙂



Keep Going Until We Stop from Scott Stratten

This video has been floating around my social web circle over the last few days.  It is a powerful reminder from Scott Stratten during his talk at Tedx Oakville.  Do we really need to keep going?  Or should we take the time to stop and appreciate where we’ve been and where we hope to go?

One thing that smacked me in the face when I watched this was when Scott said, “Being a big deal isn’t a big deal if we’re not a big deal to the people we care about.” If you’ve been a regular reader of this blog, you know how important my family is to me.  I make every effort to spend quality time with them.  My hope is that through this, my kids and my wife will know how important they are to me and know that of anything that I involve myself in, they will ALWAYS come first.

So this is what I’d recommend to you.  Take a time out every once in a while.  Make certain parts of your day precious where you are not distracted from the busyness of life and work.  Make yourself a big deal to the people in your life who are a big deal to you.  Are you in?

UnMarketing To Your Audience

One of the advantages I’ve found with the social web are the unique opportunities to connect with people with a similar passion.  I’ve started following Scott Stratten, also known as @UnMarketing, a while ago but really started getting to know him once I heard he was coming to Detroit for his UnBook Tour on September 28th during the monthly meeting for Social Media Club Detroit.

The following interview happened during South by Southwest earlier this year.  Scott responds to the following:

  • How can you tell a marketing campaign was successful?
  • How do views on a video translate into sales?
  • What can you do to get people to pay attention these days?
  • What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the spirit of UnMarketing?

I completely agree with his thoughts (big surprise) on the value of building relationships, setting objectives to measure success, and having fun and being personable.

Build Your Community and Embrace It!

Over the past week, thoughts of “community” have been racing around my head.  This started when I heard a podcast with Dave Murray (@davemurr) and Sarah Worsham (@sazbean) talking about the social web and community.  It’s well worth the time and I highly recommend you listen HERE.  I’m a big fan of takeaways and there were 8 that resonated with me after hearing Dave speak.

  1. Don’t build community around your product
  2. Communities are based off of needs and passions
  3. Communities are wrapped around people and communication…product is secondary
  4. True community is allowed to grow through its own organic process
  5. The Social Web is a long term strategy…word of mouth and action happening off line
  6. Introductions are made online but meaningful connections happen in real life (confirmed by Scott Stratten, @unmarketing, today)
  7. Communities cultivate brand loyalty (see Joseph Jaffe, @jaffejuice)
  8. Putting a face / personality to a company allows for a deeper connection

What does this all mean?  To me, if you can develop and embrace a community, you’ll be able to mobilize a group of people around a common interest and take action.  Tools like Google Alerts (thanks Gini Dietrich), Facebook and Twitter allow this conversation to happen immediately.  Why not leverage them to listen to your audience and provide a value to your growing community?  If companies and organizations saw the social web as a long term investment instead of another platform for one-way communication, I’m confident they would ultimately see the ever popular ROI they long for.

I was fortunate enough to meet Jeff Pulver (@jeffpulver) last week, founder of the 140 Conference Series.  His visit to Detroit was to kick off the planning for the conference to make its way to the Motor City on October 20th.  I’m honored to be part of the team to help bring it here and put Detroit on the national stage for 2 days.  Since then, Jeff has mentioned on many occasions that he believes this conference will be special because of the people and the spirit he’s encountered in his brief visit.  I think if you asked any of us that got to hang out with him, this is another extension of the energy we felt after the Future Midwest Conference earlier this year.  There is a community of people that live in metro Detroit that want to help turn this region around and make it a national destination.  The opening video from Future Midwest still gives me chills.  Watch it below to see what I mean.

The final thought I’ll leave you with is this.  The social web is about one thing and one thing only…people.  There is not magic tool or “trick” to be successful at it.  As long as you have a personality and value the people you’re CONVERSING  WITH, you’ll have success.

Your turn.  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.  Have a great week!