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Tim Peter Thinks

Tim Peter

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February 28, 2014

A Good Week

February 28, 2014 | By | No Comments

A good dayThis has been a really good week for me. I’ve just finished up a couple of big, successful projects, signed a few awesome new clients (Hello, and thank you, new clients!), moderated a panel at a very cool conference, and started discussions with some really interesting companies about how we might work together in the future.

By any objective standard, that’s a good week. Really good.

The funny thing is, none of those represent the best part of my week.

The best thing that happened this week? I celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary.

And, it occurred to me that so many of the good things in my life—every day, every week, every year—happen because of the support I get from my family, starting with my wife. Just before I launched my business, I was offered an amazing job, with a great salary, excellent benefits, and plenty of interesting work. I remember asking my wife, “What will happen if I don’t take this job?” And she said, “You’ll succeed, that’s what will happen.”

Cool lady, huh?

Someone, I think maybe Woody Allen, once said, “80% of life is just showing up.” And the only secret I’ve ever found in life to getting what you really want comes down to that simple truth. Doesn’t matter if it’s business, or relationships, or marriage. It’s showing up. Doing the work. Day after day. Week after week. Year after year. It’s a truth demonstrated to me by my father, my most influential teachers and mentors, and, these days, my wife. Day after day. Week after week. Year after year.

I hope you’ve had a good week. I know I have. I’m going to enjoy myself this weekend, take a little rest, refresh my mind and my body, spend time with the people I love. I hope you do that too.

And I also can’t wait for next week, to start again.

Have a good weekend.

Got some time to read later this weekend? Interested in learning more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web? Register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

And, finally, you might want to check out some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

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December 18, 2013

3 Steps to Digital Marketing Success in 2014 – Thinks Out Loud Episode 55

December 18, 2013 | By | No Comments

What can you accomplish if only

3 Steps to Digital Marketing Success in 2014 Headlines and Show Notes

Focus

Diversify

Joy

Final Thoughts

There’s still time to get something from our 2013 Thinks Holiday Gift Guide for that someone special. It doesn’t even have to be me. ;)

And, as mentioned here are my slides for “The Truth: How the Social, Local, Mobile Web Affects Sales Online and Offline”:

And also for “Today and Tomorrow: The Changing Customer Journey”:

You can also register to receive a free copy of my special report, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World,” produced in conjunction with Vizergy, here. While it’s targeted to the hospitality industry specifically, most of the lessons apply across verticals.

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using a Shure SM57 microphone
through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 17m 30s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or better yet, given that Google has now killed Reader, sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below:

Tim Peter

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December 12, 2012

Repetition, repetition, repetition

December 12, 2012 | By | No Comments

RepetitionToday’s a funny date. 12/12/12. Lots of repeats there. It also happens to be a significant birthday for me, one with a repeated number.

Repetition is a funny thing. Some folks hate it. For example, D.H. Lawrence once said,

“…better die than live mechanically a life that is a repetition of repetitions.”

(Well, sure, when you put it that way.)

Of course, not everyone sees repetition negatively. That great philosopher Reggie Jackson stated,

style=”float;position:relative; left:25px;”"A baseball swing is a very finely tuned instrument. It is repetition, and more repetition, then a little more after that.”

And Norman Vincent Peale noted,

“Repetition of the same thought or physical action develops into a habit which, repeated frequently enough, becomes an automatic reflex.”

Though I suppose that last one could be both positive and negative.

So here’s a thought for today, this very repetitive date: What’s worth repeating in your life? What’s so worthwhile that you’d do it again and again and again, happily honing your life’s habit? What’s automatic? And are you glad that’s so?

If not, what’s stopping you from changing?

Habits can ease you through your day. They can just as easily hold you back. Don’t forget, one habit worth repeating is changing the things that don’t work for you.


If you can help those dealing with the after-effects of Hurricane Sandy, please visit the American Red Cross.

Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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December 3, 2012

What creates success?

December 3, 2012 | By | No Comments

What drive success?The Atlantic has a great interview with author and, more relevant to the story, bookstore owner Ann Patchett discussing why her new venture succeeded. And there are lots of reasons: good market, strong demand, excellent timing, amazing PR. But I can’t help thinking the main reason comes down to this quote:

“Amazon doesn’t get to make all the decisions; the people can make them, by choosing how and where they spend their money. If what a bookstore offers matters to you, then shop at a bookstore. If you feel that the experience of reading a book is valuable, then read a book. This is how we change the world: We grab hold of it. We change ourselves.” [Emphasis mine]

Just because you want something, won’t make it so. You have to work for it.

But, if you really want something and are willing to work for it and are willing to change yourself and what you do? Then very little can stop you.


If you can help those dealing with the after-effects of Hurricane Sandy, please visit the American Red Cross.

Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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July 25, 2012

Raindrops Make a River

July 25, 2012 | By | No Comments

Raindrops make a river

“Raindrops make a river” – Unknown

Let’s talk baseball for a quick second — don’t worry, this will come around to your business in few moments. In baseball, and just about any other sport for that matter, the objective is to outscore your opponent. So it probably won’t surprise you to learn that teams that score the most, win the most.

But, in baseball, there are two ways you can score. One is to hit lots of home runs. The other is to just keep hitting the ball, getting player after player on base, and moving your teammates around the bases more or less one at a time until you reach home (score).

Guess which one results in greater scoring?

If don’t follow baseball closely, you probably suspect it’s the teams that bash the most home runs who score the most.

But that’s not the case.

In practice, it’s the team who get the most hits, irrespective of the number of home runs, who score the most runs (i.e., “points” for those non-fans among you).

So, what has this got to do with your marketing? Well, it’s another demonstration of what I was talking about in my Biznology post the other day. You see, to use an old baseball phrase, “raindrops make a river.” Just like in business.

Many people I talk with are overwhelmed by all the possible things they could do. They struggle to prioritize. They chase every single latest thing, looking for another ever more elusive “home run.”

But, here’s the thing. You don’t have to crush the ball over the wall. You can build meaningful results a bit at a time. Instead of worrying about the home run (not that they’re not nice), you can continue to churn out one base hit after another, learning from your actions when things go right (or not), adjusting when they don’t, and continually moving your results forward.

Using this approach doesn’t mean you’re not trying to move the needle. It means you’re taking a deliberate approach on how to get there. Instead of chasing “the next big thing,” you’re building towards a big thing one step at a time. Among the great things about this approach: If you stumble or step off course (i.e., have an initiative that doesn’t work as well as you want), getting back on the path is much, much easier. And you build on each success to drive your overall results.

Just remember, raindrops make a river.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

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Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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January 12, 2012

5 Steps to Online Marketing Success in 2012 | Biznology

January 12, 2012 | By | No Comments

Is it better to be lucky or good? Why can’t you be both? After all, luck favors the prepared, right? Which is why, as you hit the ground running here in 2012, it’s important you’ve prepared in all the right ways. How you can do that is the subject of my latest post for Mike Moran’s Biznology blog: “5 Steps to Online Marketing Success in 2012.”


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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Tim Peter

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December 12, 2011

Birthday Reflections

December 12, 2011 | By | No Comments

I don’t usually go public with this, but today’s my birthday. And, between my birthday and the impending end of the year, I’ve been fairly reflective the last few days. In the last 12 months, I’ve met many great people, launched a new business and worked with amazing clients. I’ve also had some setbacks and have had to say goodbye to a few people I loved. But, through everything, I’ve had more happy days than sad the last year. Which I hope is true for most people.

I suspect it’s not.

I look around and see people challenged in many different aspects of their lives. Some are unhappy in work. Others are unhappy in love. And still others are unhappy in life, generally.

Now, to be fair, many people face challenges that I can scarcely imagine. We’re sitting in the middle of the worst economy any of us will ever see (we hope). Lots of people are struggling to pay their bill or are worrying about what happens if they get sick. Some aren’t sure how they’re going to pay for their kids’ college or their retirement. Others face very real medical situations for themselves or their family. These are huge problems and ones that I don’t see any easy answers to.

At the same time, I’m excited whenever I talk with a business owner or an entrepreneur or a kid fresh out of school who looks at the world and sees opportunity. Many speak of their plans with such enthusiasm and passion and drive, that they breathe life into everyone who hears what they’ve got to say. You can’t help but get caught up in their excitement for what they’re going to do.

Sure, some won’t succeed, at least not at first. More than a few will likely adjust their plans or their goals along the way once they learn a bit more about their customers, their market, or their assumptions that weren’t quite right. But many will succeed in the long run. And not because they had a better idea or a better business plan or a better operating environment.

No.

What will help them reach their dreams is that enthusiasm, that passion, that drive. We all get knocked down from time to time. The most successful people I know often have suffered serious setbacks or losses somewhere along the way. That’s not cliché. That’s reality. It’s the enthusiasm, the passion and the drive that helps them deal with those setbacks, that helps them overcome the challenges, that helps them get back on the horse when they fall off.

Research seems to show that smiling makes you happy, not the other way around. And I believe that your passion makes you successful, not the other way around. I have long held you should do what you love. And I’m increasingly convinced it isn’t crazy to chase your dreams.

So, today, don’t wish me a happy birthday. I’m already there.

Instead, my birthday wish is that you find whatever it is that engages your energy and prods your passion (even though that sounds a little dirty when I say it out loud). Each year goes a little faster than the one before it, so don’t waste your time worrying too much about what could go wrong. Some bad stuff will happen no matter what you do. That’s life. Just make the most of your time and do what it takes to make yourself—and the people you love—happy.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

Tim Peter

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October 10, 2011

Is it crazy to do what you love?

October 10, 2011 | By | 3 Comments

In my commentary on Steve Jobs’ passing, I both quoted and reiterated the idea that you must do what you love. Yesterday, I got an email from a reader asking,

“What do you mean by ‘do what you love?’ The economy’s in a shambles, unemployment is ridiculously high… I don’t care whether I do what I love, unless you include putting food on my family’s table in that category.”

Additionally, I spoke with a local business owner the other day—one with 16 years in business here in town, in an industry he’s passionate about—who told me he’s having his worst year ever. He’s downsizing his operation and looking for less-expensive real estate.

Some argue that those who say “do what you love” are bragging or offering bad advice.

So, is it crazy to think you can both do what you love and earn a living?

In a word: No.

At least, not if you don’t abandon reality along with it. There’s no harm in asking how you can make money doing what you love. In fact, most successful people do just that.

Wired Magazine’s obituary of Steve Jobs notes:

“[Job's 'fall back plan'] changed when Steve Jobs saw what a high-school friend, Steve Wozniak, was doing. Wozniak was a member of the Homebrew Computer Club, a collection of Valley engineers and hangers-on who were thrilled at the prospect of personal computers, which had just become possible with the advent of low-cost chips and electronics. “Woz” was among several of the group who designing their own, but he had no desire to commercialize his project, even though it was groundbreaking in simplicity and also was one of the first to include color graphics.

When Jobs saw his friend’s project, he wanted to make a business. While other home-brewers were also starting companies, Jobs was unique in understanding that personal computers could appeal to an audience far beyond geeks.” [Emphasis mine]

Jobs loved computers. And he loved the idea of building a business around them. Tony Hawk loves skateboarding. And he figured out how to get paid for doing it. Nathan Sawaya has built a business out by building things out of Lego.

None of these people got where they were by ignoring their passion or by ignoring their need to make a living. Instead, they looked for the intersection of the two.

The economy sucks. No one’s arguing that. And you’ve got to work to figure out exactly how to make a living doing what you love. No one’s promising overnight success. But, you can do what you love and feed your family at the same time. In fact, I’d argue that you’re more likely to succeed at something you actually enjoy than something that’s soul-crushing drudgery.

But, I will close with this thought about whether you can do what you love and still earn a living, from Henry Ford: “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you’re right.”


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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February 18, 2011

6 Solutions for Social Commerce Success (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – February 18, 2011)

February 18, 2011 | By | No Comments

Alright, Big Thinkers, another week is in the books. And as you gear up for next week, here are 6 different takes on social commerce to help you succeed in the future:

  1. First up, we’ve got a long piece on TechCrunch about how e-commerce got its groove back. Given the length of the article, I can summarize how e-commerce “got its groove back” in one word: social. Now, the writer—tech investor James Slavet—is quite literally invested in the success of social commerce, having just financed social commerce site One Kings Lane to the tune of $23 million. But, don’t mistake him for just a money guy out of touch with consumer wants and needs. For instance, check out this quote:

    What makes a social commerce business work at the core is an experience that is fundamentally worth sharing. The act of sharing involves social capital – you’re withdrawing a deposit from the social capital account with a friend when you share something lame with him, and you’re earning social capital when you share something cool.” [Emphasis mine]

    Sure sounds like a guy who get what social commerce is all about.

  2. James Slavet has some numbers on his side to back up the notion that social commerce activities require experiences worth sharing. According to another TechCrunch post, data shows that Facebook “shares” are worth 3x as much as tweets on Twitter for e-commerce.
  3. Of course, having something worth sharing isn’t always good enough. It also helps if you make it easy to share. Fortunately, long-time Friend of Thinks Linda Bustos offers one way to do that with a look at whether Facebook Connect for e-commerce is right for your business. Linda shares Slavet’s view that success in social commerce doesn’t come from adding a shiny new share or connect button, noting “Your feature must be on-brand, on-product and on-customer.”
  4. Still want more information as to whether Facebook Connect might work for you? Than take a look at this Marketing Vox post that suggests social sign-in increases profits and customer satisfaction. And we all know how important online customer satisfaction is.
  5. Now, don’t be discouraged if you’re struggling to get social right. Google does too. But they’re taking another stab at it with an update to their social search product.
  6. And finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t point you to at least one dissenter in our midst. Read/Write Web takes a good look at why most Facebook marketing doesn’t work. The simple answer, as with Linda Bustos and James Slavet’s point is because it fails to connect with customers. Fortunately, the Read/Write Web folks also show what does. Good stuff.

That’s the round-up for this week, folks. I hope it helps you forget your social commerce sorrows and move you on to sunny days. Have a great weekend, Big Thinkers and we’ll see you right back here next week.



Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

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February 3, 2011

If only…

February 3, 2011 | By | No Comments

What can you accomplish if only...I spent part of my lunch the other day listening to a young woman at the next table bellyache about how dissatisfied she was with, well, just about everything in her life. I’d feel worse about eavesdropping but she griped with such fervor and fierceness that not listening would have required both noise-canceling headphones and a booth in a different restaurant. Possibly one in New Hampshire.

As she groused and grumbled her way through her lunch, I was struck by how often her sentences started with “If only…”. Y’know, things like, “If only my boss gave me the time of day…” “If only I were older…” and “if only there were more hours in the day…” and so on. As if, somehow, an extra hour each day or an extra year in her life would make all the difference to her accomplishments.

Lots of different things can affect our ability to accomplish our goals. Some of these are trivial. Some are significant. Years ago I knew a blind man who I frequently witnessed facing challenges great and small getting through his day due to his inability to see. Yet he was a successful small business owner, a proud parent and a really great guy to boot. If only he could see? I think not.

It’s easy to make excuses. Fun, too, sometimes. There’s nothing like a good rationalization to get you through the day. But… imagine what you can accomplish, if only you set your mind to it. Imagine all you can be, if only you envision it. Imagine where you’ll end up, if only you take the first step.

If only this lamenting-at-lunch young lady accepted accountability for her own actions, maybe she wouldn’t have so much to bellyache about. It makes me wonder what she’d think today. If only I’d bothered to call it to her attention…



Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

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