As our regular readers may recall last week was an extraordinary week for us here at Cape Cod Branding – a week of many firsts. To name a few it marked the highest number of visitors to our blog – CCB Buzz, the highest amount of web traffic in a given day, and above all the first time we hit over 1,000 in a single day, and over the course of the week we maintained over 1,000 visitors a day for the whole week. Although this week has really just begun, it has been phenomenal. First, we reached over 2,600 visitors in a single day. To top it all off we reached a total number of 10,000 visitors to CCB Buzz, all within 21 days of launching the site!
A former classmate from the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Carey Business School had contacted me and asked how we ramped up so quickly. Since there was interest on his part, I thought others might be interested as well so I am providing the top three items that we here at Cape Cod Branding believe attributed to this. My plan is to touch briefly on each of these points for today’s discussion and then follow up at a later time and discuss each in greater detail.
Driving Web Traffic
When we launched CCB Buzz in early December I recall our traffic was in the single digits for about the first week. After a short time we ramped up quickly, double digits, and then triple. In my mind I had a goal of attempting to drive towards doubling web traffic every day. Initially this equated to something as simple as increasing web traffic from two hits to four hits, which of course does not sound very exciting and was the equivalent of watching paint dry. However over time as the numbers grew, so did our excitement.
That being said I thought about the top three things that got us to where we are today and they are the following:
- Partnering – Two are better than one.
- Content – Offer value to your readership.
- Frequency – Post often.
Please keep in mind the following when reading this article and reviewing the accompanying WordPress screen captures:
- The three items identified in this article are in addition to the Five Keys to Success that I identified in my previous articles titled the The Five Keys to Success Parts I and II and serve as a foundation for the more blog specific topical items of partnering, content, and frequency
- The CCB Buzz blog was launched on 12/1/08
- The screen captures were taken at approximately 1:30 PM EST on 12/23/08
Above all, keep in mind that there is not one set method of generating traffic – this is simply our view on the world. My thought is that there is a certain magic that takes place based on a convergence of factors; for me it was a mixture of partnering, content, and frequency but for you it may be different. Experiment a bit – try an approach, monitor the results, and then adjust if needed. Stick with it and enjoy yourself.
For today I just wanted to introduce the topic and identify the three items which I believe were instrumental to our success in such a short time. After the Christmas holiday I will delve deeper in each area providing a separate blog article for partnering, content, and frequency respectively. In the meantime, Amy will be providing a feature of our first client at Cape Cod Branding which will be similar in scope to the first feature from Amy on Why We Started Our Business Cape Cod Branding.
Partnering, content, and frequency have been the formula to our success!
Nothing is more Cape Cod-ish than a seashell stuck in the snow. Now say THAT 10 times fast!
Yesterday was a pretty exciting day and evening as we had just received the first major snowfall of the season here on Cape Cod. It was another first as it was also my first time of being on a beach in the Winter with snow. As part of this blog I have provided a few pictures to share with you the beautiful, almost magical atmosphere in the aftermath of the storm which occurred most of the day and into the evening. While walking around town and down to the beach and looking at the snow covered streets and beach I was thinking of a book I had just read that is on the New York Times Best Seller List at the time of this posting called The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life. There were three items of interest that I would like to share with you from this book:
- Accumulating wealth may be likened to building a snowball
- Zig when everyone else zags
- Marry up, not down
I will discuss each of these items in greater detail as a two part series.
Like a Snowball
For those not familiar with The Snowball, it is a biography of the life of Warren Buffett, excellently documented by Alice Schroeder. The title The Snowball comes from the fact that Warren Buffett likened his slow but steady accumulation of wealth to building a large snowball – he started with a few flakes, but gradually over time as more snow (or money) became available he added to it, with a snowball that grew dramatically over the years. Although the author discusses the snowball in terms of money, I believe it may also be applied to business or your brand (either as an individual or company). In the Five Keys to Success Parts I and II, I had identified time, persistence, and patience as three of the five keys – Warren Buffett possessed all five, but most certainly these three attributes listed here. I will elaborate on all three a little more.
Building anything of quality takes time, especially at the start. In the beginning everything is a blank slate, a hunk of clay ready for the molding. However the more effort and time you put into accumulating wealth, building a business, or establishing a personal or professional brand, the greater the results you will see. As you accumulate more snow and pack it into your snowball, so to will you accumulate money, clients, and a reputation which will grow larger as you accumulate more and more. As the snowball grows, the results will compound and be greater than the sum of their individual parts.
Because building greatness takes time, it will require a large amount of patience and persistence. Success does not occur overnight and you will need to persist day in and day out, slowly but steadily to achieve your end objective and patiently await the results. Of course from time to time you will need to persevere through some difficult obstacles which will seem insurmountable at the time, but I guarantee you they are not and will appear trivial in hindsight, especially if your perseverance is fueled by passion. This was certainly the case with Warren Buffett; in The Snowball there are many examples of obstacles that Warren Buffett had to overcome to achieve greatness and build his snowball.
To Be Continued…
In Part II I will discuss why following the crowd is not the way to greatness and the concept of marrying up.
Building a snowball of wealth, a business, or individual or company brand takes time!
Another Thank You!
During Part I of this series I had mentioned that CCB Buzz had exceeded the 1,000 site visitor milestone for the first time and that 722 of those visitors were from yesterday alone. Today, for Part II I have the pleasure of announcing that we have exceeded over 1,000 visitors in a single day! A fitting accomplishment given the title of today’s blog, The Five Keys to Success Part II. Once again I would like to take a moment and thank everyone for making this happen as we certainly could not have done this without you.
The Five Keys of Success Part I identified five attributes that will lead to success in a given endeavor which were the following:
I had discussed where in my experience I had come across each item and how they were relevant to success. In The Five Keys to Success Part II, I will discuss limitations, or constraints with the five keys as well as provide a practical example using this model.
In my experience I have found that given enough time, patience, perseverance, passion, and persistence one can accomplish anything. There are a couple of constraints here though. First, keep in mind that it may take some longer than others based on their level of experience to accomplish a given objective. For example, is this an individual’s first new business or their tenth new business? In most cases the person who had started other businesses in the past will ramp up faster due to past lessons learned.
Second, this model requires a certain level of sacrifice. With Cape Cod Branding, Amy and I will often ask one another, “How much is it worth to you?” Really, meaning, what are you willing to sacrifice and how bad will we let things get before we pull the plug. Will you sacrifice your present quality of life in order to launch the business in trade for a quality of life that is estimated to far exceed anything prior known? Obviously the sacrifice and difficult questions are asked with most intensity on day one and generally reduce with frequency as time passes, progress is made, and results are witnessed; but it is an important factor nonetheless.
Passion Fuels Excellence
What does this mean to your business and brand? Let’s use CCB Buzz as an example. During the first few days of launching the blog there were greater ups and downs. We would spend time researching information, writing, and then publish. While monitoring the analytics, one would be less than optimistic, at least initially. However, Amy and I are both passionate about CCB Buzz, it’s really a labor of love. So we persisted. Gradually traffic increased, and then increased, until we reached our high points this week which exceeded our wildest expectations.
So my point is if you are really passionate about something, whether it is your individual brand, company brand, or a profession – then stick with it. It is always difficult to overcome gravity in the beginning. However, over time, with your passion fueling you to patiently persevere with great persistence, people will take notice, word of mouth will spread and it will become easy, and eventually effortless over time. If you are not passionate, you will likely not overcome gravity, so if you lack passion, find something you are passionate about and then press forward!
Passion Fuels Excellence And Will Push You and Your Brand to Success!
Cape Cod Branding and our blog CCB Buzz had a phenomenal day. It was a day of firsts in two important ways. For the first time we reached and exceeded our 1,000 site visitor milestone. Second, we had 722 visitors to our blog in one day! I wanted to start today’s discussion by thanking all of you, whether you are a regular reader, or just stopped by to check us out; we would certainly like to see more of you and hope that you join us throughout our growth and journey. Not too shabby for a blog slightly over two weeks old!
In commemoration of achieving two significant milestones today I decided to move this two part series up in the rotation and mix things up a bit due to the relevance of this series. I’ve entitled this series the Five Keys to Success as I believe they are instrumental to nearly anything that you do, especially to starting a business or promoting a brand. The five keys are as follows:
Perseverance and persistence are arguably the same, however I found each in a different context and therefore thought it important to separate the two.
Time, Patience, and Perseverance
The timing of this milestone was interesting in that I am currently reading a book titled Born in Blood by John J. Robinson . This book provides a history of the Knights Templar and a potential connection to Freemasonry, which at first seems to have nothing to do with business, or branding for that matter. However, at one point the author describes a monument erected to honor a legendary Masonic character that contained a Figure of Time which “reminds us that time, patience, and perseverance accomplish all things.” This statement struck a chord with me given the basic simplicity yet ultimate truth implied. Also, this statement triggered recent thoughts I had that seem particularly relevant to personal, business, and brand development which lead to the passion and persistence pieces I had picked up in another experience.
In yesterday’s Branding and Outliers post I had discussed the 10,000 Hour Rule as outlined by Malcolm Gladwell the author of the best selling Outliers: The Story of Success book. The gist of this theory is that a person or group is usually considered world class when they have achieved 10,000 hours of experience within their chosen area of expertise, with an assumption of 20 hours a week over 10 years.
My opinion is that this is the time portion of the time, patience, and perseverance statement. Not that it should take you 10,000 hours to turn a profit, or be successful, just generally to be known as a top contender in your field. My thought is that it also takes a great deal of patience and perseverance to achieve 10,000 hours of anything. Patience to wait for something good to happen, and perseverance to push through the low points or valleys that all entrepreneurs know all too well. If one has the patience to wait for the resultant good things to happen, the perseverance to push through the tough times, and the wherewithal to achieve 10,000 hours of deliberate practice in a given field, then excellence will be achieved and many good things will happen along the way.
Passion and Persistence
Gene Theus, a former classmate at the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Carey Business School had prompted a discussion concerning “passion and persistence” while we were wrapping up our MBA program. The statement was in response to a faculty query concerning business opportunity within the new economy and may be summed up as follows: “Recognizing the opportunity and delivering a cost effective solution needs to then be followed with passion and persistence.” This statement has stuck with me since that point and has resurfaced from time to time during the peaks and valleys that I have experienced since founding Cape Cod Branding with my business partner Amy.
To Be Continued…
In Part II of this series I will discuss a practical example of how the five keys to success may be used to propel your brand.
Time, Patience, Perseverance, Passion and Persistence Are The Keys To Your Brand’s Success!
Just recently I had read the book Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell which occupies the top spot for hardcover non-fiction on the New York Times Best Sellers List. Reading this book prompted me to think about branding and outliers. Today’s blog will focus on the key points I found form this book and how they relate to your brand.
What Are Outliers?
In layman’s terms an outlier is a scientific term that describes something that is outside of a normal group and different from the majority. In this book the author speaks of the factors that make certain people (outliers) successful in their careers and ultimately in life and what they have done differently than the ordinary rank and file to achieve such extraordinary success. I found two important points that relate directly to branding:
- Outlier performance has been said to be linked to the person being exposed to a set of circumstances that uniquely positions them for success; sort of like being in the right place at the right time.
- It has been determined that in order for a person or group to be considered world class that they generally had achieved 10,000 hours of experience within their chosen area of expertise. This was based on an assumed 20 hours per week over ten years.
In the next section I will discuss how this relates directly to your brand.
Although there are no substitutes for hard work, drive, discipline, education, and experience; for a person or business to achieve greatness they must be at the right place at the right time. For your brand this means putting yourself out there for people to find you. A clean, simple, creative website which effectively communicates your brand is a great way to do this. In addition, in my three part social media series I had discussed the effectiveness of social media tools for promoting your brand which will drive traffic to your website and ultimately to you. A solid web presence ensures you are always virtually there, ensuring that you are at the right place at the right time.
Secondly, it is important that your brand drives towards world class performance as represented by the 10,000 hour rule. This is really a guidepost but seems realistic in my opinion and a good rule of thumb. The Outliers book provides a number of examples of well known superstars in their respective field to prove this point. Researchers have coined this term “deliberate practice” meaning activity that’s explicitly intended to improve performance, that reaches for objectives just beyond one’s level of competence, provides feedback on results, and involves high levels of repetition.
I am recommending that you deliberately practice the creation of your product or service in a manner that is consistent with your exclusive brand. You should strive for this 10,000 milestone; but ensure it is consistent with what you want your brand to become good at and as a result known for. By the mere act of consistently practicing and promoting your brand you will by default improve your product or service offering and as a result your standing within the marketplace. Make your brand stand apart as an outlier among a sea of common offerings.
Position Your Brand To Be At The Right Place At The Right Time and Strive to Achieve 10,000 Hours of Deliberate Practice Within Your Brand!