Support-A-Thon: The Power Of Collaboration & Engaging

On Tuesday August 16th, I embarked on a journey to develop more social proof and expand my influence, bringing change to the interwebz and fighting the good fight, thanks to Guy Kawasaki’s powerful message in his “Enchanment” book.  (BTW, the guy really shares some neat stuff on Google+)

My current Support-A-Thon mission consists of the following:

  • Get more active on my social networks.
  • Offer my help and free advice.
  • Expand my networks and engage each and ever person.
  • Support and share the content of others.
  • Simply ask that others do the same.

This campaign has been successful thus far but the marathon continues. As I promote my article on adaptive SEO, inbound marketing, engaging your audience, and converting traffic, I am making a deliberate effort to provide a strong CTA (Call To Action) and be helpful.  The discussions we’ve had publicly and privately have been BRILLIANT!Now, don’t get me wrong, being in the Top 5 for the Unbounce.com 2011 #ConversionFest is a focus but it is secondary to sharing useful content and helping others. I get to bring positive change to the social web and help myself while helping others. This is something I feel all small businesses should do today in a world filled with self-promotion, smarmy ways, and manipulative selling.

I thank Marcus Sheridan for remind everyone to be open and provide free infoproducts. Forget about selling and think about how your talents can help others, especially those that don’t have large budgets to work with.  It’s all about being transparent, attracting the right people, and engaging them!

I thank my inner circle, my work-OUT buddies, for taking the time out to spread my message by doing the little things consistently and persistently (without spamming). Laurinda Shaver, Nicholas Teri, Christian Hollingsworth, Klaudia Jurewicz, Keri Jaehnig, Julie Nutter, Stan Faryna, Janet Callaway, and Nate Martin have been particularly supportive and authentic.

They’ve helped without asking for anything in return. They genuinely feed off my joy and excitement. They simply ask, “Is there anything (else) I can do to help YOU?” #authenticity

While my numbers pale in comparison when stacked up against Kristi Hines or even Michael King, I know that I have a good balance here. It’s tough sometimes to make a living and not be pushy. I dislike selling as we’ve come to know it… But the truth is we’re all selling something.

Success is a marathon.

I picked up that gem during my years of network marketing (a.k.a. MLM). There is power there.

A marathon means pushing forward even when the easy thing may be to quit. Thing is, you may not see the finish line but it is there. Every step forward brings you closer.  Go it at your own pace.  It doesn’t matter how fast you get there.  Just get there. #persistence

That fundamental attitude has created the behaviors I need to find my own success and continue to build upon it. #staypositive

The Support-A-Thon concept is a marathon for mutual sharing, collaboration, and cross-promotion. It’s worked so well that I will be expanding the system to Squidoo and other platforms. My StumbleUpon page has helped seed my main touch points, ensuring I don’t exhaust my natural market and meet new people that care and interact. #engage

You should join my Facebook Support-A-Thon and share that special something you are proud of.

I can’t possibly give enough thanks or even backlinks (and link juice, by extension). So I remind you all:

I am here for you.. How can I be of service to YOU?

For those that love metrics, goal conversions, and social proof, allow me to share some numbers. I should be sharing more as we step up promotional efforts (this weekend will be particularly big)… #fordatanerds

  • On the day my article on #adaptiveseo went live, it appeared in the top 3 results on several Google searches.
  • Currently, I have 145 backlinks coming back to the original article, most of which are not my doing.
  • At least 5 sites have featured my article on their sites, proper attribution and all!
  • My social network and true reach (active people that are listening) has doubled in key communities and circles.
  • Several briefs and dynamic pages are displaying my article as it continues to be a top performer (authoritative, relevant, significant, and useful).

If you’ve gotten to really know each other, I’m confident you know that I am as humble as they come. But it is fun to celebrate our success and accomplishments in ways that inspire others. A little friendly competition does not hurt either. #confidence

I’m excited to put what my article teaches to action more and more. We all know it’s easier to give advice than follow it.. But it’s really working – YAY! If you’re curious, just Google my name or article title “The Adaptive SEO Approach”. It’s neat seeing all the buzz going around. #socialproof

What’s YOUR digital footprint look like? What are people saying about you? Who is linking to and sharing your stuff? If you need help, connect with me on Skype and I’ll walk you through some simple SEO research.. For FREE.

If you take anything away from this whole-hearted stream-of-consciousness piece, I think it should be this:

If you consistently take a little time out to just help people, even if it’s just answering questions, then all you have to ask and they will do the same.

This has been an amazing opportunity to revive parts of my network that were fading away. I’ve caught up with old friends and learned some amazing things. I tell ya: I need to carve out an entire week to just blog, podcast, and develop some webinars, e-books, and other free goodies based on this entire experience.

For now, I end my blog wishing you the best day possible. If there is any way I can help, let me know.

…And, please, please, please challenge me: pick my brain, disagree with me, and leave more comments. I’ll gracefully address your concerns and help out whatever way I can.. Or point you to someone more capable or smarter than I in my network!

Thank you all for being awesome and inspirational – this has been an amazing week because of you!

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21 thoughts on “Support-A-Thon: The Power Of Collaboration & Engaging

  1. I have wondered if we can’t build a game out of being first to comment. Within the Triberr community, specifically, but perhaps also beyond that.

    What do you think, Yomar? Are you willing to reward the first five commentors with a tweet up where you tweet links to five of the blogger’s blogposts within 48 hours?

    It’s just a thought. But I’d like to get your feedack on this.

    • I’m all about imbuing game mechanics into just about anything. It’s the programmer and gamer geek in me!

      Way before the term “gamify” got coined by Gabe Z, I saw the trends.. The stickiest sites are the ones that have what Seth Godin calls a “free prize inside”. By now, we all know that giving free stuff is “money” but most think about stuff you can attach a monetary value to.

      Scoreboards and perks work.. And this is where your suggestion is going. Mike King, @iPullRank, has the idea. He ran a promo where everyone that left comments on his guest blog entry would get a video response complete with a freestyle rap. Smart thinking!

      This comment thing could be tons of fun. Be one of the first five folks to comment and get some free natural backlinks from an authoritative site. You can’t attach a dollar value to that but it’s definitely a cool perk.

      This all just reminds me how much I want and need to gamify Y3B. This blog has gaming content in here already so it’d be a perfect fit.

      What else would you give your comment brigade as perks?

      You can even step this up further by doing a scoreboard like they have at http://unbounce.com/2011-conversion-fest. I’d take it a step further and track hash tags and keywords.. The script wouldn’t be too tough to whip up, either..

      You just opened up a can here.. But not worms.. Something delicious! Pringles, maybe? ;o)

      • I like Pringles. I’m also a gamer. And a gambler. [grin]

        I’m giving things away – just need some more help taking some more pictures. I’m even giving away a pair of arm chairs that retail for 10,000 dollars. Hopefully, I can get that started next week. Note: I won’t pay for the packing, shipping, or any taxes that may be consequence.

        You can read about it/listen to the podcast here: Are You Ready for Love? Faryna Podcast EP5 http://wp.me/pbg0R-lX

        How much should five tweets be worth? About one dollar/ Euro in my humble opinion. Anyway, I don’t think it should be about the dollar amount. I think it should be fun and friendly. It should be be something that reminds us that giving matters.

        That’s not to say you can’t build a community around money, but it’s so much better when it’s about people, sharing, and caring, celebrating, and lifting each other up. Like you said, how can we help each other! Again in my humble opinion, we tend to over think the how. Because there’s a lot we can do for each other – all the time. And we often don’t do it.

        Here’s another freebie:

        Once a week, you can personally recommend your top five commentors’ blog posts (posts of your choosing) to three specific friends that would be interested in the blog posts you selected to recommend.

        It could look something like this on Twitter:

        @Yogizilla Dude! I got awesome on the radar. Sign up at @mylifestylemax’s blog post http://bit.ly/oJKbSN

        @Dino_Dogan You’ll want to throw in some thoughts about bringing the game to the blog. Come over to @Yogizilla’s place http://bit.ly/oIucfj

        @mylifestylemax U got to connect with @Yogizilla. He brings all the geek hutzpah and enthusiasm u could ever ask for. http://bit.ly/oIucfj

      • Peas in a pod, Stan, peas in a pod!

        I saw your idea in action today with the tweets and it was awesome. I’ve put the “direct introduction” approach into action several times before, especially on #FollowFriday, which is a game in itself!

        The arm chair promo sounds AWESOME! My concerns would be…

        - How sustainable would such promotional efforts be?
        - What sort of return could someone expect?
        - Would it be better to focus on rewards that have intrinsic value versus perceived value?

        That’s why I’m keeping the Support-A-Thon thing simple for now until I get the framework up for something more: scoreboard, automated tracking, and a web-based tracking form for follow-ups, next steps, and conversions – ENGAGE!

        Right now, it’s a very natural, organic process. There’s a lot of “high touch”. Someone asks a question and I see it is a common concern so I address it via Twitter, WordPress, Blogger, Quora, AskReddit.. Whatever matches the subject matter best and puts the content in front of the right audiences.

        BTW, really smart move including your tweets here – you know what you’re doing! That’s social proof, extra credibility, and SEO value right there! Man, I am so pumped I don’t know where to start…

        My personal next steps are to keep the Support-A-Thon efforts going via Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, and here on Y3B. Of course, first there’s family time and such – it *is* a Saturday, after all!

        Time to put extra effort in to make sure I touch the most active, caring people.. The folks that are truly reaching out, like @YourLifestyleMax – thanks for the intro there! Interestingly enough, I followed her after a #FollowFriday a few weeks back. Loved her tweets but something got lost in the shuffle (my bad).. Thanks for the powerful reminders once again!

        As for gaming.. We’ll definitely have to Skype and bounce ideas around.. I’m adding you to my Mastermind Group on Google Plus as well! I’m curious what your fave games are… Hmmmm…

        Please, give it all away! ;o)

        Time to get busy!

        Connect with me on Google+ – w00t!

    • Haha.. I wasn’t expecting this sort of fanfare so soon!

      Well, shameless plug aside, I really must say that the discussion here is top-notch when it comes to practical SEO:

      http://unbounce.com/seo/the-adaptive-seo-approach

      One thing I’ll say is that it’s fascinating and a bit concerning that so many feel SEO is about mere link-building.

      You don’t have to pay a firm to do basic SEO and, if you’re doing deliberate online advertising, chances are you are doing SEO and don’t even know it!

      In fact, tho SEO is mostly about increasing organic traffic sources, using social media to engage people in more personal, meaningful ways *is* SEO! Why? Because the more your click-through rates increase, the more search platforms know your content matters.

      Which social platforms you focus on depends on your style and interests. I find StumbleUpon is more fun and encourages a culture of peer support. StumbleUpon microblogs are also delicious to search engines. Along with Squidoo, Flickr, Twitpic, and Tumblr, it shows the most in BOTH image and text searches.

      This is going to have to be part of my next blog entry. Time to keep the Support-A-Thon momentum going!

      Thank you so much for the support and reaching out to me. If you have specific SEO and Inbound Marketing questions, with particular focus on engagement and conversions, please visit my hut over at the Unbounce blog.

      Can’t wait to see what new conversations spark up! =oD

  2. I try and live that philosophy of being helpful. All my work has pretty much come through referrals and if you are helpful, people remember and you build a level of trust.

    Is it alot of work to be helpful? Yes. But the reward of making a difference and the organic work that comes out it? totally worth it.

    • Referrals are the “free prize inside”!

      But you’re right that the feeling of knowing you helped people makes a big difference. The more I hear from people that my content really helped or at least inspired them, the more committed I feel to continuing to keep it up.

      Did you like my Support-A-Thon links? I think I will continue this series for the next several posts. I’m looking to do a Squidoo lens where people can link to their best stuff and provide proper context, compelling reasons that address…

      “What’s in it for me?”

      …Which we know implies if the content will be helpful or more self-promotion stuff. ;o)

      We’re long over-due for a Skype session.. Or at least some forums chat.

      Work-OUT buddies UNITE! =oD

  3. Hi

    I think Stan has a great idea with the 5 comments.
    Him and his odd numbers. lol

    All so I was thinking my be to spot lite a member
    do a blog on a member of triberr that comments
    the most or is most helpful to some one.

    I can see i’ll be reading your blogs more often.
    I think Stan needs a medal for all the things he
    does for others.

    Good luck Yogizilla and Stan on figuring this comment
    game out.

    If i think of any thing else I’ll be back.

    Thank you for reposting my link for Nisha.

    Have a great day
    Bonnie Squires

    PS love your atvare here.

    • Hi Bonnie!

      Stan definitely created more urgency here. I’ve been thinking of adding more game mechanics to my content and really going all out. As it is, I already naturally cross-promote the content of my fellows when it matches what I am trying to share.

      So that makes me think: how can we really step things up? Comment scoreboards are more common now. We’ve also seen sharing/promo scoreboards.. What else can we really do to wow people and thank them at the same time?

      Stan does deserve a medal but what’s even better is that I know he doesn’t expect anything back. He’s part of a rare breed, you know.

      We’ll certainly discuss new ways to support others and enhance appreciation/loyalty efforts through game mechanics… I’m already getting some other ideas but gotta leave something for later, right?

      Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, if we don’t chat more on Twitter or StumbleUpon, that is! =o)

      http://yogizilla.stumbleupon.com

  4. Yomar, aloha. Thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to participate in your support-a-thon; I’m absolutely loving it. Thx too for your generous mention.

    Congratulations on what you have accomplished to date. Pretty awesome, in my opinion. Guaranteed, Yomar, that each person on your team is glad you asked for help. People love to help other people–especially those they care about.

    Selling is a word that seems to rile people yet we are selling each and every day in our interactions with others. At the very least, we are selling others on ourselves.

    To me, selling is only “offensive” if it is of the broadcast variety. If someone is telling I need something and they have no idea who I am, what I like or what I might want.

    When I exchange money for services or products, it does not necessarily mean the person receiving the money sold me. Most likely, it means I sold myself that the product/service would be the solution for an existing challenge.

    Quite honestly, Yomar, I absolutely love it when I encounter a good salesperson. Because they do what they do so well, I want to buy from them as a “reward” for a job well done. Celebrities “sell” themselves every day and most people willing pay the price.

    WOW! Sorry for the rant which came in response to your comment on selling. It feels like a must a blog post on selling that needs to be released.

    Thx for the inspiration. Look forward to joining hands with out online friends to make the results of our Support-A-Thon an enormous success.

    Wishing you a week of serendipitous experiences. Until tomorrow, aloha. Janet

    • You took the words right out of my mouth!

      I look at my style of selling as part sharing/education, part volunteering, and part engaging/relationship building. But it’s still selling because you’re right: we all sell.

      I’m glad you went off on a rant because I want to continue this Support-A-Thon series with the following:

      * StumbleUpon Vs. Facebook. I’d like to compare the two biggest traffic sources in the social networking space. My preference: StumbleUpon.
      * Shameless Plugs Here. Share your backlinks and why you feel it will be valuable and beneficial.
      * Selling Without Spamming. Tips on minimizing automation and broadcasting to reach out to the right people (building upon what I titled “The Adaptive SEO Approach).
      * Support-A-Thon Squidoo Lens. Here, we’ll feature the top content amongst our featured content network plus share tools and tips for engaging people in authentic, meaningful, and efficient ways.

      I’m still learning more every day and the process never stops. The opportunity that we’ve been afforded here to learn from and support each other has been fantastic.

      I definitely want to keep the momentum going. It’s been enlightening to learn about everyone’s strengths and experiences.

      With the Support-A-Thon in full swing, I’ve managed to make some new friends. It’s been great!

      Since the #ConversionFest kicked off, I’ve been supporting my competition to live what I preach. As a result, and I did not expect this, I have folks like James St. John (@stjohnmarketing) and others throwing their support behind me now that their social scoring is complete and they know they won’t make the Top 5 out of 21. That’s generous and moving to me!

      Certainly, the entire experience has been serendipitous. I have tons of guest spots and meetings lined up now. Better yet, I think many are more inspired and productive now.

      Looking forward to our next chat, Janet.

      Aloha.

  5. Wow, Yomar! I’m so happy to hear that the contest is going so well! =) I just got your email to Stumble and realized that I already had! Janet is awesome and I first heard about the contest through her — she had made it super easy for all of us in her tribe to tweet your post. =) Now that’s the power of a network!

    Yomar, I just need to thank you again for being such an amazing source of knowledge for me. What an honor to me one of those people who you shared your free advice to. The most important message that I received from you that has truly changed my life and that you express in your contest article as well is that we shouldn’t just listen to the experts — we can pave our own path and learn along the way. That was such an empowering message for me, Yomar. Thank you for being a part of my life! =) Hugs! <– hope you're not hug averse. =P

    • Thanks Samantha!

      I keep wanting to call you Sam.. It’s the Stargate fan in me. Everyone loves Sam Carter! Haha

      Currently, I’m in the Top 5 but starting tomorrow I need to campaign hard by expanding my networks, leaving comments, building natural backlinks, and getting more folks to not just Like but also share my article via StumbleUpon. If I get at least 500-600 points by August 29th 3:00am EST/12:00am PST, I should secure Top 3 for round one.. Then it’s up to the judges if my infodoodle is enough of an “x-factor”. Haha

      Janet has been particularly amazing. If all her tweets counted, I’d be at over 800 points now. If the retweets people were doing outside of the Unbounce.com tweet button counted, I’d be at well over 1000.. But they’re measuring engagement and click-throughs so it makes sense they’re looking at on-page participation only.

      Now, keep paving your own path. I can’t wait to be able to share your success story here and maybe even in a book some day! I have tons of stuff lined up for sure, as I know you do!

      And no worries – I am TOTALLY the hugging type! Prefer it over handshakes.. And maybe even high fives! ;o)

      Thank you for the support, Samantha.. At first, I thought I’d maybe make Top 10 but you all made it so much easier for me to reach higher. You guys and gals ROCK!

      • You can definitely call me Sam! =)

        Great to get the details! I’ll make sure to tweet this every day until then! =) Hope you get it! =)

        And glad you’re in hugs because… *hug, hug, hug*!! =P

      • I just posted an udpate to our Support-A-Thon series as well current #ConversionFest 2011 contest standings. Things are heating up!

        Really, it’s an honor to be amongst such a great group. Had I known blogging contests would be so fun, I’d do much more of them. Consider my horizones broadened! Hehe

        BTW, your comments on the article were particularly insightful. I got similar feedback on LinkedIn so it’s interesting to see that so many people agree on the same things but don’t “air it out”.

        Hugs rock.. Keep ‘em coming! ;o)

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