Browsing Tag


Find your persona! Be your blog’s product manager


So I’m sitting at SOBCon and I’m amazed at the interesting content and discussions online and in the room.   The side discussions at the table and on Twitter are just as engaging, if not more so than the formal presentations – definitely lively as you can see from the above Tweet from @amandachapel.  For most of us there are a huge number opportunities to change the path forward based on the things learned during the sessions.

The biggest thing so far at the conference is understanding what a persona is in context of blogging.   Not a buyer persona, but the persona you put forth on a blog and I realized that Brian Clark hit a chord with the concept that you need to a develop a persona, one that’s authentic and one that you as a person are willing to invest in.

Clark’s recommendation of finding your persona is definitely something that I’ve been working on over the last year.  If you look back to when I first started here it was all over the place from a content perspective and at points of laziness the content may still be a little meandering .   That being said, I’ve continued to refine the topics and narrow the focus over the last year and the readership has grown multiples.  Subscribers and comments have grown mainly because the content consistently addresses a market need for product management and marketing/brand folks.

This narrow focus has helped me become a better marketer and product manager in general.  Most recently I’ve apparently become an archetype for a product management buyer persona for Pragmatic Marketing, which you can see in the screenshot below.  This essentially represents the coolest thing I’ve had happen with this whole blog thing to date.   To that end, my personal experience is very consistent with the Sobcon discussions throughout the last couple of days around focusing your content and developing/evolving your persona.


Be a Persona!

Lorelle’s presentation from last year was the key nugget I took away – have a purpose or mission on your blog which can be explained in under 10 words.

Persona’s Have Problems

Persona’s are pervasive!  Bloggers, social media types and marketers in general ya need to know your personas.    The other thing which occurred to me is that — where personas and their problems intersect are more or less how markets are defined/emerge.    Blogging is more than just creating content (features) and setting it free in the ether – it’s essentially a market plan.

So I’ve not only come to this by way of Brian’s content, but if I look at the lesson’s learned by some good folks who have shared their marketing ideas with me here previously, they can easily be abstracted to blogging:

  • Steve Johnson – Know your Market/Problem
  • Chris Brogan – Change the way you approach the market to be successful/find your crossroads
  • Mukund Mohan – Research your competition and market to build good products
  • David Daniels – Know your buyers
  • Ben Cody – Create products that matter and innovate
  • John Mecke – Differentiate your positioning

Find a way to be your blog’s product manager – know the problem and the persona’s – not just buyers persona’s, but your own.

Persona’s as it relates to social media and products is not an easy thing in social markets, which is why it is one of the 4P’s of Social Media being examined at the 2009 Mountain Social Media Summit.

Don’t be a product management victim.

Josh has some good quotes and some good ideas. Good communication, cross functional engagement and clear plans are essential. The presentation conceptually represents the type of content you will find on his blog, A Random Jog, check him out.

I hope to get back to writing in the next week or so, just way too busy with travel and stuff. Excited about being in Chicago for the weekend, so those of you who will be at SOBCon. Cheers!


The Social Media Mountain Not Coming to You? Go to the Mountains!

So after attending a good deal of quality events over the last 18 months, regionally and nationally, few outside of SOBCon focus on delivering ongoing value after the conference.  Most conferences are “over and out”, except for the recap posts.   Ultimately you end up with a bunch of business cards, new twitter adds and some swag which probably doesn’t even make the plane.  So Mountain Social is a concept I’ve been working with friends on for about a year, exactly a year in June when I first spoke to some of the planned speakers and the real event planner, Emily.   The event became real after others were willing to share the risk and do the work, so with risk mitigated, commitment in place and folks signed up to help this is now a reality.  Mountain Social 2009 kicks off in the Mountains this fall.  A place which allow communing with nature, wireless, newly made friends and even family.

Many thanks to the folks which are making it happen and basically doing the work – John, Leti and Em.

So What is Mountain Social Focusing On?

The main focus is connecting people, enjoying the environment and providing an place for open discussion.  Each session, panel or workshop will provide real-world use cases of things that worked, didn’t work and those which the results aren’t in on.  With the increasing scrutiny on marketing budgets the group at Mountain Social will explore participant situations and collaboratively work scenarios as a group to help drive meaningful takeaways for the participants.  Below is the not-so-elevator pitch from the site:

The 2009 Mountain Social Media Summit focuses on the 4 P’s of Social Media: Personas, Problems, Projects and Profits.

Personas: Who leverages social media, what are the opportunities and why is social media important in a personal, professional and commercial context.

Problems: What challenges exist for social marketers? What problems does media address? What problems exist for social media.  Understand the opportunities, obstacles and value social media can bring to your business or your personal growth.

Projects: Understanding use cases and case studies which highlight key lessons and themes which are important.

Profits: Where is the market opportunity, revenue channels and process improvements.  Can social media increase customer acquisition, drive cost reduction and improve customer/market awareness?

Why a conference in the Mountains?

Why not?  Because the site works – scenic, wired and more to do than just geek out and drink, of course most will geek out and drink, but there are options and your headache is you own fault.  The facility rocks and so does the community, at least this time of year.

Nestled about 95 miles outside Hartfield Airport and equally drivable from TN, NC and SC, Helen is about one of the most scenic place in the whole state – Alpine Splendor and the Appalachian Trail.  The city of Helen also kicks off it’s biggest event of the year, Oktoberfest which is very similar to Alpenfest which was the local festival in the place I grew up, Gaylord, MI.

Rationalization: Helen’s Oktoberfest is like 3X the size of Alpenfest due to it’s closeness to other population centers and in a much more scenic landscape.  Unicoi also offers options for every budget (rooms on resort, cabins, and camping), level of comfort and general interest in things like mountain biking or hiking the water falls which may be of interest of others you know, who otherwise might not consider traveling with you on one of these events.  It is after all about relationship and building a sustaining community of folks to call on, get insights from and work with in the future.

Reality: Emily and I basically dig the mountains and sharing experiences and developing relationships is critical to succeeding in the marketplace.ustry over a weekend and carrying forward the relationships.

The first Mountain Social should be a great time, hope to see you there.

The Facts

What: Social Media Conference

Topic : Social Execution and Branding.

Type: Panel

Date: 9/11/09-9/13/09 – I think I’m just taking the 10th-14th to relax in the mtns.

Price: $495 through 6/20, after $545 to $595

Would be cool to catch up with y’all.  Cheers!