Your legacy

via The Last 5 Most Frustrating Things about Simplicity.

Thought leadership strategy and tactics

Thought leadership strategy is essential for getting found in Google but how to execute with the fewest moving parts is elegance! DaVinci said “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” but what does that look like in a thought leadership workflow? Let’s start with some thoughts from Google Plus ‘meister’ Mark Traphagen:

Of Mark’s 5 points, items 1,3 & 5 are what Covey would call ‘private victories’ and items 2 & 4 are related to ‘public victories’. You can possess items 1, 3 & 5 in abundance but unless you using the wonderful tools we have at our fingertips to make your thoughts searchable, findable, knowable, shareable and memorable, you are missing the opportunity to become credible on a bigger scale. You will never be found in the ‘zero moment of truth‘ unless you treat Google as an ally, not an adversary to be tricked or gamed.

So then, if you’re with me so far, let me propose a workflow for thought leadership strategy with only 3 moving parts for you to consider:

A thought leadership workflow

I’ll talk you through it here:

Bonus Feedly video!

How to become a thought leader on $137.88 per year…

A couple of days ago, Craig Badings of the Thought Leadership blog asked me to complete the following sentence: “Thought Leadership is _______”. My response? Fundamental. As in “thought leadership is fundamental”. Craig asked me if he could post my definition on his site with attribution and frankly I don’t know if it’s because he thought my response was stupid or brilliant or somewhere in between. Let me explain however, what I meant…

At a time in history when almost 90% of people search Google before making a buying decision you need to show up in search in a good way. To me a thought leader is someone who uses the incredible good, fast and cheap tools we have at our disposal to get found when people are looking for what they do, or, in what Google calls the Zero Moment of Truth. They use blogging and social media to attract and retain fans who either buy into their ideas or by their products.

It was Leonardo da Vinci who said “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. I maintain that if you aspire to thought leadership there are only two activities you must master: finding and sharing good information. When I teach my college classes, I call this deepening your expertise and documenting your expertise. Any person who aspires to thought leadership has probably done Malcolm Gladwell‘s 10,000 hours of work to gain their expertise but if you want to be a thought leader you must continue to nourish that expertise and stay current on the things that are important in your field of study. That’s what I called deepening your expertise. The second part, documenting your expertise, simply means to use the publishing tools available on the Internet to provide social proof of your work. If you’re a great thinker who aspire to thought leadership that’s all you need to know — hence my statement that thought leadership is fundamental.

I have developed a simple workflow that I call a ‘Me’cosystem which anyone can use to establish a thought leadership position over time. All of the tools are best of breed, free or freemium, and completely cross platform down to the smart phone level. There are nine different activities in which the thought leader must engage and I outline them here:

I’ll be going into more detail in each of these stages later on in the series. Organized efficiently from the beginning to the end of the process, it looks more like this:

And again, I’ll be going into more detail in subsequent posts. All I think you really need to know at this point is that the process really does work and that it’s simple enough and cost-effective enough that even someone who does TED talks can use my system. :-)

Next week I’ll start with the analysis phase in the flowchart. Questions? Feedback?



Thoughts that guide me. Click image to enlarge…

Simplify the Internet

Leo Babauta writes:

The Internet is overwhelming for many people — it never ends, and our connection to it is consuming more and more of our time.

When things get overwhelming, my advice is always the same: simplify.

But how do you simplify such a complicated beast as the Internet? It’s impossible! Actually, no, it’s doable, but it takes a willingness to let go.

Without letting go, there is no simplicity.

Let’s take a look at some ways to simplify the Internet.

Full story at: » Simplify the Internet :zenhabits.

My favorite suggestion? “Pay yourself first. Before you get lost down the digital rabbit hole of distractions and socializing, do the work that matters most to you first. Before you check email and social networks and start online reading, do important work. Find distraction-free spaces, and let go of the need to check your online addictions.”

The Beauty of Simplicity

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

By Leonardo Da Vinci

via Daily Quote: The Beauty of Simplicity.

Challenge: Buy Nothing Until 2013

Leo Babauta has an interesting answer to this season of rampant consumerism. Don’t buy anything except essentials until next year:

Today is one of the worst days of the year: overconsumption day (or Black Friday as some call it). Or you could call it one of the best days of the year: Buy Nothing Day.

I prefer the latter — it means we waste less, consumer fewer resources, stop looking to shopping to solve our problems and make us happy, and instead find simpler ways of finding contentment.

And so today I extend a challenge to all of you, and the world: Buy Nothing Until 2013.

Yes, I’m taking Buy Nothing Day and extending it through the end of the year.

Why the hell would you want to do this challenge?

Do it as a protest against consumerism and corporate influences on our lives. Do it as a tool for contentment, for simplicity. Do it to reclaim the holidays as a time of connection and love, not of buying and debt. Do it just to see if you can.

And yes, you can still do it if you’ve already done some Black Friday shopping. We’ll forgive our past sins and start afresh. :)

Get the rest of the plan here: » Challenge: Buy Nothing Until 2013 :zenhabits

Me, I think I could easily do this — it’s the other people in my family I’m not so sure about! What about you? And how do you plan to proceed this holiday season?

The best of for 11/11/2012

  1. Todd’s tweets…

  2. toddlohenry
    Unexpected Smoothie Ingredients, Beating Yoga Burnout, and More
  3. toddlohenry
    Was out walking 2.24 miles with #Endomondo. See it here:
  4. toddlohenry
    The Ten Theme Songs Anyone Born In The 80s Must Know My Heart
  5. toddlohenry
    The Ten Theme Songs Anyone Born In The 80s Must Know My Heart
  6. toddlohenry
    To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.
  7. toddlohenry
    Want to see HUGE CHANGE in your life? via @wordpressdotcom

How We Find the Path to Peace



Kerri Baruch writes:

The simplicity of life is exactly that: simple.

Yet we complicate things.

We interject hatred, insert judgment, cling to rightness and wrongness.

We are attached to beliefs that are in complete contrast to our purpose and our essence: the expression of love.


Get the answer here: How We Find the Path to Peace

Incredibly Simple 2-Step Program for Better Photos

Kudos to Bill Pevlor of PopsDigital — you see his images here all the time — for his recent post on Darren Rowse’s photography blog:

“I’ll be the first to concede, I am not a great photographer. The eternal optimist in me likes to think all things are possible. The pragmatist in me realizes I have a long way to go on my personal journey to photographic greatness. It may be a long way to go, but I’m on my way and serious about improving. I subscribe to photography magazines, glean articles and tutorials online and follow the work of some truly great photographers. All of that is valuable, but I’ve stumbled upon something that has dramatically improved my images more than everything else, combined.

I use an incredibly simple, two-step program. I revisit the plan every now and then and always gain something new. I believe it is essential for beginners, will advance the intermediate and can even boost top professionals a notch or two. As powerful as I believe this program is, it comes with a natural deterrent – its simplicity.

This program is so simple I’m afraid many will dismiss it without giving it a try. So, before I lay it out, take a moment to relax, inhale deeply, find your happy place and open your mind to a novel concept. Resist the urge to roll your eyes and scoff when you realize how simple it is. I guarantee, if you put it to the test and follow each step fully, your photos will immediately improve. (I’m already upgrading my account to handle all the flood of “Thank You” emails.)

Alright, enough of the sales pitch – let’s move on to my incredibly simple, two-step program for better photos. (Remember, no scoffing.)” Get his two step program here: Incredibly Simple 2-Step Program for Better Photos.

Spoiler alert! It all comes down to RTFM; ‘read the frikkin’ manual’. Life is all about the basics, no?

Image via Wikipedia

Two years ago, I wrote an epic post called ‘From Thinker to Thought Leader in one easy workflow’. The original title was ‘By Jove, I think I’ve got it‘ [shows how little I knew about writing effective post titles, eh?]. Well, it took me a couple of years, but I’ve finally found it. It? That elusive personal niche that everyone keeps talking about. I call it ‘content management and marketing for thought leadership‘ and it is my passion and my purpose in life.

What is content management and marketing for thought leadership you might say? First some terms…

Content management?

“Content management, or CM, is the set of processes and technologies that support the collection, managing, and publishing of information in any form or medium. In recent times this information is typically referred to as content or, to be precise, digital content. Digital content may take the form of text, such as documents, multimedia files, such as audio or video files, or any other file type which follows a content lifecycle which requires management.” Source: Content management – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Content marketing?

“Content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation and sharing of content in order to engage current and potential consumer bases. Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action. Content marketing has benefits in terms of retaining reader attention and improving brand loyalty.” Source: Content marketing – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thought leadership?

I like the perspective Mindy Gibbins-Klein’s shares in her book 24 Carat Bold:

“What does a real thought leader look like? How would you go about finding one, or becoming one, if that is of interest? Well, let’s start with the Wikipedia definition stated earlier: ‘A futurist or person who is recognized among their peers and mentors for innovative ideas and demonstrates the confidence to promote or share those ideas as actionable distilled insights.’ Not bad, but there is one important word missing here: market. It’s not just about being recognized by your peers and mentors. To effect real change, you need a market, or followers, or fans or constituents or a congregation… you get the idea.

Gibbins-Klein, Mindy (2009-09-01). 24 Carat BOLD: The Standard for REAL Thought Leaders (Kindle Locations 309-313). Ecademy Press. Kindle Edition.

So to me, a thought leader is a person who…

  • Is an expert in their field
  • Has innovative ideas or perspectives
  • Promotes and shares those things using the “good, fast, and cheap” tools available on the internet
  • Becomes recognized

So then what is ‘content management and marketing for thought leadership‘? My simple definition goes like this: It is “becoming and being known as the expert“.

Here’s a little riff that I did last summer on the difference between thinking and thought leadership…

When I first rebooted e1evation, llc 3 years ago and shifted the focus from lead management to lead generation using inbound marketing tools, my tagline was ‘marketing, sales and technology for small business, non-profits and academic institutions’. I laugh now because that focus is so broad that not even Mashable! with their massive staff can cover it comprehensively. As time has gone on, I’ve continued to sharpen my focus so that I can increase my expertise in this emerging area. This is who I am and what e1evation, llc and this blog is about; content management and marketing for thought leadership.

When Michelangelo was asked how he created his classic work ‘David’, he said “”Ho iniziato con un blocco di marmo e scheggiato via tutto ciò che non aveva l’aspetto di David” [loosely translated: “I started with a block of marble and chipped away anything that did not look like David”]. I was inspired last week by Chris Brogan‘s comment “My blog is a piece of crap. Time to work harder.” If his blog is crap, what is mine? Why am I settling for less than sharp focus and clarified outcomes? In the month of February, my goal is to chip away from this blog everything that does not look like ‘content management and marketing for thought leadership‘.

Henceforth, this blog will be about the following topics:

  • Content Management
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media [including blogging, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter]
  • and the strategies, tools and tactics that make them available for every thinker who aspires to thought leadership

…and I will parse out my thinking in the following categories…

  • Thoughts
  • Tactics
  • Tools and technologies
  • Trends

I’m going to continue to perfect the ‘e1evation workflow’ — my ‘lather, rinse, repeat’ cycle for ‘thought leadership’ marketing — while applying the zenlike simplicity of ‘getting things done’ principles to content management and marketing for thought leadership.

If that’s what you’re looking for, stick around. Watch me. Interact with me. Let me know how I’m doing now that I’ve found my niche. If you want If you’re looking for something else let me recommend

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The Four Laws of Simplicity, and How to Apply Them to Life

Self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci. Red chalk....
Image via Wikipedia

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. – Leonardo da Vinci

The problem with many books and guides on simplifying your clutter, your work life, your desk, your life, is that they are usually too darn complicated.

We need a simple method of simplifying.

It’s been nearly a decade since I first started trying to simplify my life, and in those years I’ve struggled with clutter, I’ve had surges and ebbs of complications and simplicity, I’ve tried dozens of methods of simplifying from as many sources. It’s been an interesting journey, although not one that I can recommend to everyone. If you’re looking to simplify a certain aspect of your life, you don’t want to go through that kind of confusion.

So I’ve boiled it down to a simple method of Four Laws of Simplicity (apologies to John Maeda) that you can use on any area of your life, and in fact on your life as a whole:

1. Collect everything in one place.

2. Choose the essential.

3. Eliminate the rest.

4. Organize the remaining stuff neatly and nicely.

Follow the ‘via’ link if you’d like the rest of Leo’s thoughts on the matter…

the android logo
Image via Wikipedia

Leaving for Germany as I am tomorrow morning, I’m moving way too fast to do this justice, but if you’re a social media maven or online community manager [or both!], tumblr is a tool that you may have overlooked for it’s sheer simplicity. If that’s the case, look again. Here are at leas 5 reasons why I’m adding tumblr to my social media utility belt..

  1. Simple yet powerful
  2. It can auto-publish to both Facebook profiles and fan pages making it a great community manager tool
  3. It has a great iPhone interface making it the perfect onsite reporting tool
  4. It works with Shareaholic or it’s own bookmarklet making it a perfect page sharing tool
  5. Marc LaFountain, the Community Ambassador. He’s a god amongst men in the social media space…

This is just a partial list of all the cool things that tumblr can do — you’ll want to go here to get a more complete inventory. As I head to Germany to cover the Agritechnica show for AGCO, I’ll be liveblogging the trip as well as the event. Track me on my Dashboard and see how well it works as I run it through my FriendFeed…

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Focus: A new book on simplicity in the age of distractions

Leo Babauta of Zenhabits is generously providing a free version of his new book ‘Focus’ online…

The free version is simple: it’s 27 chapters that you can download for free, without having to give an email address or do anything else. It’s uncopyrighted, and you can share it with as many people as you like.

Download free version here (a pdf download).

Grab it!

8+ tools for upgrading your Twitter experience

HootSuite Fluid icon
Image by yjsk via Flickr

Admit it: You might love Twitter as a social network, but you probably don’t love it as a service. Twitter is the Yugo of social tools — it can take you wherever to need to go, but there aren’t a whole lot of bells and whistles. Of course, Yugos probably broke down less often.

Twitter’s simplicity is probably a big part of why it has attracted so many new users over the last four years, but once you master the basics, it isn’t long before you find yourself wishing there was an easy way to unfollow inactive users or send private messages to several people at the same time. The good news is that Twitter makes it easy for developers to create tools that can take your Twitter experience from Yugo to Lexus without too much fuss.

Here are eight Web applications that you can use to kick your account into a higher gear. Note: For simplicity’s sake, I won’t get into full Twitter clients, mobile apps or analytics tools today — those weighty topics will have to wait for their own posts.

What’s the + for? HootSuite. If you follow the ‘via’ link, you can read the author’s perspective. For me, however, HootSuite is the one tool that rules them all. Why? As a web based app with great mobile apps for iPhone or Android, it’s always available to be my social media dashboard — not only for Twitter, but for Facebook pages and other social media sites as well. HootSuite — don’t tweet home without it!

Make the switch to Posterous [+ WordPress]

A couple of weeks ago, the brilliant guys at Posterous started an even more brilliant marketing campaign to tout the efficacy of their Posterous platform against other blogging tools. They culminated their campaign with a post on the ‘Top 5 reasons to switch from WordPress to Posterous’ by saying…

“We’d be crazy to declare war on WordPress. It’s the most popular blog platform in the world — gazillions of bloggers have custom WP installations with plugin functionality that Posterous won’t touch anytime soon.

But WordPress isn’t for everyone, a fact supported by the thousands of WordPress users who have switched to Posterous in the last two weeks. So we thought we’d let some of them tell you why they switched.” Source: Top 5 reasons to switch from WordPress to Posterous – The Official Posterous Posterous

I encourage you to follow the link and read the 5 reasons. They conclude by saying…

“We’ve made it easy for you to make up your own mind by making the move from WordPress to Posterous hassle-free. We’ll copy over your blog content, URL slugs, comments and tags. Just go to and enter in the url of your blog and email address.

We’ll take it from there. You don’t even need to set up a Posterous account. We’ll email you when we’re done copying your blog. And don’t worry, your WordPress blog will still be there.” Source: Top 5 reasons to switch from WordPress to Posterous – The Official Posterous Posterous

Here’s where I’ll add my two cents — which I think is actually worth quite a bit more! While I have used Posterous alone to take down website competition with much bigger staffs and budgets, the point I’d like to make here is that the answer in business is rarely either/or — many times it’s both/and. IMHO, WordPress still reigns supreme when it comes to the ability to theme a site and leverage plugins — they said it themselves: “custom WP installations with plugin functionality that Posterous won’t touch anytime soon” but Posterous handles some of the more difficult WordPress tasks automagically. So, why not use BOTH?! Posterous can automatically post to over 25 different internet platforms so I post to my Posterous blog and then autopost to my WordPress site. That way, I can leverage the 5 reasons to switch while still using my powerful WordPress site with the theme, the plugins and the seo that I’ve come to love AND generate valuable seo links from my Posterous blog to my WordPress blog as well. As you can see below, it’s working like crazy…

My ‘e1evation workflow’ leverages the simplicity of Posterous and the publishing power of WordPress in one, easy to use approach. I used this workflow for the 2nd quarter of this year and my traffic increased 590%. What’s even better is that thanks to Posterous, it’s drop dead simple to teach. Comment, call or use the contact form to discuss how we can apply the ‘e1evation workflow’ to your business…

How I Build Links Automatically With Posterous!

While blogging via email isn’t new, Posterous took the idea and made it dead simple to blog. All you need to do is to attach anything – photos, video, MP3 or any form of content and send it via email to your account.

Yes, it’s just so dead simple.

Touted as a direct competitor to tumblr, it’s been one of my favorite blogging (bookmarking, link building) tools of late, not because of its simplicity and ease of use but simply because it does allow me to build link automatically.

Posted via web from e1evation, llc

I Tweet Therefore I Am

The fascination with Twitter has less to do with the number of users and everything to do with the ability to observe and study a notable online community of passionate short-form content creators and consumers. This is of course, not just any online community. Twitter is quickly becoming the lens into all that moves us as individuals and also as a global society.

Twitter’s simplicity is part of its brilliance. The ability to interpret, analyze and in turn, predict behavior, currently sets it apart from most other social networks. Twitter has become a human seismograph,  measuring and broadcasting the pulse of not just the Web, but also world and local events. News no longer breaks, it Tweets. And if you’re plugged-in to the human seismograph, you are part of a movement, one that defines trends and distributes information before the rest of the reverberations are felt across the rest of the world. You become part of the new information system.

In many ways, Twitter’s openness creates a new genre of digital anthropologists, sociologists and ethnographers.  Twitter users reveal the state of all things captivating attention and inspiring action, all in real-time. As new found social scientists, we learn everything. Most notably, we can pinpoint how Twitter, as well as Facebook, is transforming popular culture and the behavior that defines it.

Posted via web from e1evation, llc

Google Reader and Feedly

John Jantsch is validating what I’ve been telling you for months

“If you use an RSS reader to subscribe to and read blogs (and you should) then you know what a great tool it can be to keep you up to date, well-read and inspired.

I’ve used the free Google Reader tool for a long time and love it’s simplicity. However, a reader of this blog (Rob Kirby) pointed out a very cool tool called Feedly that takes my subscriptions and creates a much better looking magazine like interface. To me better looking translates into more useful when it comes to scanning a hundred blogs or so. Feedly immediately brought all of my feeds and organization folders over from Google so set-up was instantaneous.

But that’s just the beginning. Feedly is a Firefox add-on that functions using my Google Reader account so all my Feedly activity is still saved to Google Reader. Adding blog subscriptions as simple as a click, but I can also pages I find, video, images, anything I want to bookmark and organize. I can share and email articles I find and the tool analyzes the content I seem to like and gently suggests where I might find more.” Source: A Beautiful Way to Read More Blogs | Small Business Marketing Blog from Duct Tape Marketing

Go to the source for the rest of the article! Perhaps you’ll like his version better… ;-)

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