Digital Marketing Academy Lichfield Staffordshire

Posted by Chris on November 12th, 2012

A TRADITIONAL EDUCATION CAN HELP YOU MAKE A LIVING… OUR DIGITAL EDUCATION WILL HELP YOU LIVE THE LIFE OF YOUR DREAMS.

Digital Experts Academy is a global high-level education and training program devised by two of the world’s leading digital entrepreneurs, Stuart Ross and Jay Kubassek, who are committed to sharing their strategies and business success to members starting in January 2013.

by doing the FREE 7 Day Digital Marketing BOOTCAMP.

There are four levels of training Silver, Gold, Platinum and Black.

 

Digital Experts Academy  Chris And Susan Beesley

The objective of this training program is to make YOU totally self sufficient in terms of being able to operate a Digital Marketing System from anywhere in the world with essentially, a laptop and an Internet Connection.

Once you have been through this training program you will have the skills for life – like learning to swim or ride a bike.

 

HubSpot Inbound Marketing Conference London 2012

Posted by Chris on November 6th, 2012

Today sees the start of HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Conference in the Congress Centre in Central London. In January 2013 HubSpot will open it’s first European offices in Dublin – a location which I recommended to HubSpot.

HubSpot was founded in 2006 to address a problem that the founders saw as follows “ That traditional marketing was broken and that the tools needed to do inbound marketing were too complex and disconnected ” .

HubSpot’s name has become synonymous with ” Inbound Marketing ” which is a ” meme ” that it is credited with starting.

I am a massive fan of HubSpot’s but I am actually more of a fan of what HubSpot seeks to achieve for it’s clients. ( HubSpot’s revenue from it’s clients was about $28.5 Million in 2011 ). HubSpot has a ” mantra ” which is ” Get FOUND ” ( for relevant words and phrases in Google and other search engines ) , CONVERT ( traffic and website visitors to leads and customers ) and ANALYSE how you did it.

If you are, like me, a former salesperson ( are we ever former ?? ) sales manager and sales director these three words make it look possible that you can apply offline sales and sales management techniques to online ( digital ) marketing and sales.

In an offline world ( the old world ?? ) success for a salesperson is about building up a prospect list and then nurturing and qualifying that list – through the sales funnel – from prospect to qualified opportunity. Many of us use a percentage qualification system to show the difference between a vague prospect ( 5-10% ) and an increasingly qualified opportunity ( 40% might mean we have visited, 60% – we have put in a proposal that meets the needs, 80 % – we are pretty sure that we are going to get the order, 100% we got it and the money is in the bank ).

We can predict for our Board the amount of orders and revenue that we, as a Sales team are going to bring in. Order Value times Percentage Likelihood equals Actual Order Amount that will be realised. We can also monitor the progress of our sales team and look at sales campaigns that worked and ones that didn’t. We can try and learn from these and do it the way that works going forward.

How did we get our prospects in the first place ?? Actually, we create lists. We know what we have to sell. We know the people that are likely to buy and we find them, contact them ( in some way ) and then nurture them until they buy from us. We sort and prioritise these lists. We put the ones that look like they are likely to buy at the top of the list and we concentrate on closing those deals first.

When HubSpot said that traditional Marketing was broken it actually meant that traditional Marketing and Sales was broken. They were building on the idea that “ PUSH marketing ” ( Advertising, Cold Calling, Mailshots etc ) was failing and that “ PULL marketing ” ( Being found in Google, having your White Paper downloaded, giving training in a webinar etc )  was the way forward.

In sales this is very similar to the idea that you don’t sell ( successfully ) by the ” Hard sell ” you sell more effectively by understanding what people’s needs are and meeting those needs in an empathetic way. ( Telling is NOT selling ).

HubSpot was also correct that the tools required to do ” Inbound Marketing ” ( Predominantly Internet based marketing ) were too complex and disconnected.

Actually in 2007 Stuart Ross ( Founder of the Six Figure Mentors ) was following an Internet Marketing strategy put forward by Jay Kubassek ( Founder of PRO U ) in around 2004. Stuart often describes his Internet Marketing Strategy as basically ” Build a LIST, sell something and then sell something else “. 

Sound too simple ???

Well it is spookily like the ” old, traditional way of selling ” isn’t it ??

Except that it has been adapted for the Internet.

Building on what Jay had started Stuart created a system that was even simpler and more connected than HubSpot’s.

Between them Stuart and Jay will drive more revenue than HubSpot with a system that is more suitable for solopreneurs ( Home based entrepreneurs ) and Small and Medium Sized businesses.

If you would like to find out more about Stuart and Jay’s system please go

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> HERE <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Where you will be able to access a FREE 7 DAY ONLINE MARKETING BOOTCAMP.

 

 

STOP PRESS !!! January 2013 – The Internet Marketing Ecosystem ( mentioned below ) has now been incorporated into Centripetal Network Consultings’ Digital Marketing Ecosystem. Watch this video >>>> HERE <<<< to see how a system that provides all of the functionality of a HubSpot system at a much lower cost has evolved over the last couple of years.

Six Figure Mentors Digital Marketing Mentors Staffordshire

Posted by Chris on October 25th, 2012

 

Six Figure Mentors Staffordshire

 

Internet Business Opportunity – Lichfield,Tamworth,Sutton Coldfield, Walsall, Burton on Trent, Derby.

Hello and welcome to my Six Figure Mentors website. The Six Figure Mentors are a team of people who work with Stuart Ross and Jay Kubassek
( two of the most successful Internet Marketers in the world )  to help individuals and businesses understand how to actually get visitors, leads, orders and cash using Internet Marketing.

I became a Six Figure Mentor after researching for many years the most effective way to do business online. I used various Internet Marketing methods, systems and software to help my clients and the businesses that I invested in but it was only when I found the Six Figure Mentors that I really felt that I had the right system for entrepreneurs, small and medium sized businesses.

What you will learn from the Six Figure Mentors community will change your perspective and your life. Many Six Figure Mentors are experienced Internet Marketers who could not, until they met Stuart, put all the pieces of the jigsaw together in a way that consistently produced income for themselves and their clients. They are special people because they were open minded enough to realise that there was a better and more effective way of working.

Read on and start your journey toward achieving a Six Figure Income………..

P.S. If you already KNOW ME, LIKE ME and TRUST ME and you want to get straight on with it go HERE

“Don’t Waste Another Minute On Useless Internet Business Opportunity Advice!”

On This Page, We’re Going To Show You How To Quickly and Easily Get Started Earning Money from a fast growing profitable market…

…WITHOUT, Any previous training, knowledge or even your own products to sell!

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Are you still struggling to get started earning money online?

Are you desperate — and ready to give up — because no matter what you try, or how hard you work to earn more money, you still take two GIANT steps backward for every step forward?

Imagine how much better your life would be if you were finally able to enjoy the same financial freedom other entrepreneurs are having. Or wake up in the morning knowing you NEVER had to worry about paying the rent or the utility bills ever again.

Even better, think what it would be like to no longer feel like a failure, just because you can’t seem to get the momentum to start earning money, no matter what you try.

Sound like a dream? It doesn’t have to be…

Let us help you quickly and easily get started with a plan that likely defies everything you currently THINK you know about online businesses!

WHY WE CAN HELP YOU START EARNING A REAL INCOME

And you don’t have to give up your current job just yet and here’s exactly why

Any business starting requires a few things to get started, seed money, products and customers…

LET US HELP YOU GET STARTED

Seed money – my best advice is to start from the ground up, you can work part time whilst starting your online business, this will give you the seed money that is needed to get things started…And it doesn’t have to be long till you go full time online!

Products – This opportunity will give you all you ever need to start earning money…

It can’t get any simpler than this…

All you have to do is refer people who want to learn how to build a legitimate, profitable and recession proof online business.

There is a fantastic earning potential, you earn up to $1000 per sale and you can literally start earning as you are learning to become a successful Internet entrepreneur yourself!

Customers – We’ll train you to find leads and convert them into customers and raving fans!

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SOME OF THE BENEFITS WAITING FOR YOU!

  • How to generate as many leads as you can shake a stick at using your very own ready-made personal website
  • No boss, no time keeping –You run your own business from day one exactly how you want
  • Absolutely no tie in or contract – Stay as long as you want (when you start getting loads of commissions, I’m sure you’ll stay ;-)
  • Comprehensive coaching and guidance from experts who earn 7 figures!
  • Ongoing live support and training – You’ll never be on your own.
  • You receive up to 100% commissions – No middle person taking 90% of your hard earned money.
  • No previous experience required – All the training you’ll ever need in one place

REFERRALS ARE LIKE A GOLD MINE!

For every referral you introduce you will get paid a referral fee (affiliate commission) this could be anything from $10 – $1000 per sale! Where else can you get this sort of commission?

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FREE YOURSELF FROM THE RAT RACE!

You could work from anywhere in the world (all I use is my laptop) and the best part is you don’t have to close any sales yourself, that is handled by professional business consultants or automated sales systems using the latest technology. Any referrals received from you will be passed directly to the consultants to begin working the lead immediately, you just have to send the inquiries and the rest is handled for you!

RECESSION…WHAT RECESSION?

The current recessionary climate and increasing unemployment levels mean millions of people are rapidly waking up to the fact that they need to take control of their future.

Because this company effectively teaches people how to start a profitable online business with low overheads, more and more people are turning to them for guidance on how to get started online.

This ever increasing demand means that, whether there’s a recession or a booming economy, it’s always a profitable time to be involved in the Internet entrepreneur and home business seeking market.

MY WEBSITE IS HERE TO HELP YOU TO…

“MAKE MONEY BY LEARNING EFFECTIVE MARKETING STRATEGIES ONLINE”

There are a few steps that you can take (starting right now) to put yourself in a position to make money online selling something to people who are searching for it.

Sounds simple?

YES of course it is…

I am going to grant you access to a great FREE online marketing course that thousands of people use to get started. The course is called “The SFM Marketing Bootcamp” and is completely and utterly free. All I need is your name and email address so I can send you instant access to the first video immediately.

Getting the course is easy…Just Click>>>>>>>>>> HERE<<<<<<<<<<<<

 

Stuart Ross – Six Figure Mentors – my opinion so far ….

Posted by Chris on September 19th, 2012

I came across Stuart Ross of the Six Figure Mentors about a week ago when I randomly clicked on one of his Facebook adverts. ( I hardly ever click on Facebook ads but it looked interesting ). It didn’t take me long to find a video interview that Thomas Power ( co-founder of Ecademy.com ) did with Stuart.

As I ” Know, Like and Trust ” Thomas ( & Penny ) Power I quickly signed up for the initial offer here ..

Step #1

Scroll down and you’ll see our secure online payments form to get started…

The application fee is only $19.95 and don’t worry you wont risk a single penny as it’s 100% refundable within 30 days if you decide this is not for you (or if we determine you’re simply not the right person for us) then just let us know and your $19.95 will be refunded immediately.

I am very glad I did !!!

People who follow me will know that I am a massive fan of HubSpot and that I have been promoting what I call the Internet Marketing Ecosystem here for some time. Actually, I am about to launch a WordPress website which describes the Internet Marketing Ecosystem in more detail.

I have been working my way through Stuart Ross’s video course ( which I gained access to when I paid my $20 ) and also Stuart has been emailing me every day ( well, his automated system’s have ;-) with new video’s and information.

I have also had a telephone call ( skype ) with Martyn Hickey, who is one of Stuart’s team. I booked this through the Six Figure Mentor website for last Monday. Frankly it was too early to talk because I was working diligently through the information that I had already got and was getting every day. I simply said the truth – that this was the best $20 I had spent in years !!! I really mean this.

I am going to explain why it was so valuable and useful shortly but before I do let us digress…..

When I first saw HubSpot a couple of years ago it was a revelation to me. I think they have been going for about 3 or 4 years now and HubSpot is the 2nd fastest SaaS company in the U.S. – next to Salesforce.com. HubSpot’s mantra ” Get FOUND, CONVERT and ANALYSE ” is, as I like to say now ” burned into my brain “.

I have a burning desire to ensure that my clients, friends and the companies I am invested in get the right advice when it comes to Internet Marketing . This has led to me developing the Internet Marketing Ecosystem concept as a relatively simple way of explaining to people what needs to happen. It happens to have components in it that I am highly committed to e.g. WordPress, Twylah and the various social networks that I use like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google + and Pinterest ( to name a few ).

The main reason we developed the Internet Marketing Ecosystem concept was that HubSpot had proved to be a ” bridge too far ” for many of my clients in terms of cost and skills and resources required. As I have said elsewhere in this blogsite HubSpot themselves appear to have realised that they are not quite suited to the small and medium sized business and certainly not to the ” solopreneur “.

Stuart Ross has designed the Six Figure Mentors around individuals:

Discover the unfair advantage of the world’s smartest home business entrepreneurs…

The SFM provides a state-of-the-art comprehensive direct marketing solution complete with the tools, training, coaching and community required to launch and grow a successful business.

but the principals certainly apply to any size of business – it’s just that Stuart has chosen to start with individuals whilst HubSpot is now more appropriate to Medium and Large sized businesses.

HubSpot and the Six Figure Mentors have very similar ( if not identical ) objectives though – to get leads, prospects and customers ( orders and cash ).

For me this was really exciting – just as a concept.

However, when you start looking at the information that you can access with a $20 payment and which comes by email from Stuart every day from the time that you sign up, you can tell that everything you need is going to be here.

For me little things and big things confirmed and reaffirmed what I was thinking. There are too many to relate really but for example: He concentrates on the strategy and outsources the detail; he thinks in terms of what motivates people to buy and how to encourage them to do so; he passionately believes in Internet Marketing; he believes in trial and error but learning quickly; some people might not believe in Facebook but he DOES !! ; He has WordPress at the core of his marketing systems.

Mostly, what is important is this. His system is proven to produce millions of Pounds, Dollars or whatever in actual sales. I am going to say right away that the Internet Marketing System has not ( yet ) produced the same thing.

Hence, I highly recommend that you go to

http://thesfm.com/

and invest $20 – yes just $20 !! – because I think you will agree with me that it is the best $20 you have spent for ages if not EVER !!!

If you want to find out more about Stuart you can go to his personal website here.

http://stuart-ross.com/

Stuart Ross.

I will keep you updated as to my findings with the Six Figure Mentors on a regular basis.

BeachCherry helps pianist Van-Anh crowdfund with WordPress website

Posted by Chris on September 8th, 2012

The simple story is that Costa Rica Headquartered BeachCherry Corporation wrote a WordPress website for Australia based pianist and producer Van-Anh Nguyen. This might have been news some time ago when it was unusual for a company thousands of miles away to produce your website but these days it is accepted that it does not matter where you are based relative to your client – what matters is the service and support that you provide. It happens that BeachCherry also has offices in India and Europe but not, currently, Australia.

Van-Anh needed this website quickly and it had to meet an important deadline. That deadline being the launch of her ” crowdfunding project ” on Australian and U.K. Crowdfunding site Pozible.com. http://www.pozible.com/index.php/archive/index/7624/description/0/0

Crowdfunding ( raising finance online from people who donate or invest )  has become a disruptive force in the world and one that has emerged from the global recession to take the place of banks and to some extent Angel and Venture Capital investment. It is certainly disruptive for the music industry. No longer do artists have to chase managers and record labels ( who previously would have provided the capital to produce and market a new cd ) now they just need to raise money on one of the many crowdfunding platforms that exist around the world. ( Crowdfunding mainly emerged in the U.S.A. but has quickly spread to the U.K. and Australia ).

Here’s Van-Anh’s Budget :

BUDGET

I’d like to raise $4,000 for this project which will be split up into:
$1000: Recording studio time
$1000: Mastering of the 10 tracks
$2000: artwork and pressing of 1500 CDs
Of course if we are able to hit more than the goal, the money will go into the launch events (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast).
In fact she raised over A$5000 and this allowed additional promotion:
NEWS UPDATE| 21st AUGUST 2012:
Thank you to everyone who has pledged and donated so far! I love you and thank you for your incredible support. I’ve set my MINIMUM goal of $4000 as to enable me to hit my target. Of course, pledges are still accepted after that and if I hit $5000-$6000, it which will assist me in:
1. Producing 50 limited edition 1st single CDs of the ‘Libertango’.
2. employing a lighting designer for my launch show to create a reflection of colors, projections and video mapping for an experience you will not have had with a piano concert.
3. Add Adelaide to my official launch tour (and open to suggestions for any other cities)

How did she promote this project ???

Of course she used social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter aswell as her WordPress based website and the Pozible.com site.

No doubt friends and family were amongst the people that helped Van-Anh to get to her goal of A$4000  but there were also many people who did not know of Van-Anh directly. What do they get for their ” donations ” ??? Well everything ranging from posters to cd’s and concert tickets but for A$ 1000 you could have got:

* a 45 minute concert of myself as well as 2 string players and a DJ (just provide me with a great piano and I’ll have the DJ and string players sourced from within the city you are in).

but nobody took her up on this offer !!!!!! ( FOOLS ;-)

Many of the people were happy to be known and others donated anonymously.

Best wishes to Van-Anh !!

Note:

BeachCherry Corporation is offering WordPress web and/or blogsites starting from $250 with a variety of themes available. Included within the pricing is guidance on how to get your website found on Google and other search engines for your products and services. Telephone: +1
(202 )
436-9487 2)and ask for Vick or email  info@beachcherry.com to discuss your particular requirements.

http://www.beachcherry.com/contact.html

Social Media, she said, is full of fakes, flakes, weirdos, liars & creeps !!!

Posted by Chris on August 11th, 2012

This morning I was talking to a good Twitter friend of mine ( we have not actually known one another for very long ) and I found myself defending a social media related company to her for the SECOND time. The first time it was Twylah.com and the second time it was global professional network Brandergy.com.

She basically said that Social Media networks ( particularly Facebook and Twitter ) were full of fakes, flakes, weirdo’s, liars and creeps and that there was no room in her life for any more social networks ………UNLESS there was a clear benefit. Now, this is a straight talking lady that talks a lot of sense. There was that chink of hope .. UNLESS there was a clear benefit !!

The only network that she thought was ( relatively ) safe AND produced business was Linkedin.

It is interesting that Facebook is suffering from many rumours about ” Fake accounts ” and it’s share price is plummeting  http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/FB whilst Linkedin is seen as a much better bet http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/LNKD . Twitter is still a private company but everyone knows that you can buy Twitter followers for a relatively low price. e.g. http://www.buy-followers.org/ .

I think there is a change coming . People want to network and they want to do business – they just don’t want the hassle that comes with social networking – particularly if it does not actually produce business.

Linkedin is pretty safe but I have noticed a number of connection requests from decidedly flakey looking accounts. So far I have connected to nearly all of them as I am an Open Networker and there is an unwritten agreement that Open Networkers connect to anybody.

Personally I don’t find Linkedin very intuitive, easy to communicate with others or productive from a business point of view. Twitter is my most productive business network and well ahead of both Facebook and Linkedin. I don’t think I have had a single business conversation on Google + despite having an extensive network there and being a Google + Beta user.

Twylah and Brandergy have at least one thing in common – they both have great ” Community Managers ” ( Kelly Kim in the case of Twylah and Vincent Wright in the case of Brandergy ). Community Management does not happen in e.g. Linkedin, Facebook or Twitter – unless you are talking about Group managers. Good ” Community Management ” is a new skill and a hard one to carry out effectively.

I dream of a global, positive, supportive network that actually achieves business for it’s members. I have ” sub networks ” on Twitter and Facebook ( Twitter particularly ) which comprise of ” Internet Influencers ” who are “engaged ” with me and supportive.

However, it is one thing to have a global, positive, influential, engaged and supportive network and entirely another to have that network produce results.

Producing results requires that you step from the virtual world into the real world of actual products and services, phone calls, meetings, presentations, proposals and orders. In other words that you monetise your network.

Where most social networks are focussed on increasing numbers what is required is a social network that has ” barriers to entry ” – a Quality over Quantity network.

I actually had a conversation this afternoon with someone who had joined Brandergy and they were ” worrying ” about who they should introduce into Brandergy themselves. They wanted to maintain the ” Quality ” of the network. This ” elitism ” is what is required to contrast with the ” fakes, flakes, weirdo’s,liars and creeps ” that are on other networks. You want the ” SAS ” or ” Seal Team ” of networkers.

You know pretty instantly when you meet them on other networks. ( I always think it is amazing that people’s character comes across in 140 characters ). They slot into the ” team ” instantly and become part of a well oiled machine.

What can a small San Francisco startup do for London’s Hottest startups ??

Posted by Chris on July 10th, 2012

Well it depends who that startup is doesn’t it !! When Eric and Kelly Kim  - founders of San Francisco based Twylah found out about the Guardian’s list of the Hottest 20 East London startups   ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jul/08/east-london-20-hottest-tech-companies ) they immediately responded with Twylah pages for most of them.

Twylah pages are only given to those companies who fulfill a certain set of criteria. Mainly around the quality of the content produced ( on Twitter ) rather than numbers of followers or numbers of tweets.

What would a Twylah page do to help these startups ??? Well rather than go into great detail here this

http://windmillnetworking.com/2011/09/09/twitter-seo-think-twylah/

is a great blog about Twylah and how it might help. For Pinterest users videos and blogs have been collected here http://pinterest.com/chriswindley/twylah/.

Of course there is a lot of controversy about ” Silicon Roundabout ” with some people saying that no such thing exists; some saying that the area has been a High Tech. area for years and years; some saying these companies are not proper ” High Tech. ” companies – they are ” Media ” development companies etc etc etc

http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/09/silicon-roundabout-naysayers/

Of course there is considerable controversy in San Francisco aswell – Rents are going through the roof; Talent is difficult to find in these ” boom times ” ( Startup’s must look beyond the U.S. to other countries like e.g. the U.K. , Spain, South America etc ) ; Investors are desperate to invest in the right startups.

Twylah has already become very popular amongst London based Twitter users and it might not be long before Twylah becomes a neighbour of some of the East London startups that it has just supported. Probably a good move then !!

Some of the East London based startups who received Twylah pages:

Staffordshire poised for ” Silicon ” label via Broadband and Social Media

Posted by Chris on May 9th, 2012

If you combine Staffordshire’s recent commitment to provide ” Superfast Broadband ” with it’s prowess in the use of social media then I think the seeds of achieving the label of ” Silicon Staffordshire ” are there.

What is most important is that at the highest level within Staffordshire County Council there is the belief that this CAN be achieved.

Staffordshire IS putting it’s money where it’s mouth is; walking the walk not just talking the talk – both in broadband and in social media.

Staffordshire Police’s ACTUAL use of social media to communicate with people is a great example:

http://www.staffordshire.police.uk/about_us/social_media/

Twitter ( particularly ), Facebook, YouTube and eBay ( to sell seized stolen goods !! ) are all being used to great effect.

When I visited Staffordshire County Council’s office’s recently I noticed the Cisco phones on the desks of the ( very smart looking ) receptionists.

As I happen to have spent much of my life working with Cisco I immediately realised that here was a Council that put the correct Information Technology Strategy above short term, price driven solutions.

A Google search revealed this article:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/government-computing-network/2011/jul/18/councils-share-networks-infrastructure

on ” sharing networks ” – something I believe in passionately. CIO Sander Kristel said:

” Staffordshire county council is making good progress towards integration with health partners within a shared network infrastructure. Chief Information Officer Sander Kristel expects its emerging Public Service Network ( PSN ) to save the council £10m.

He believes true shared services may only be achieved through sharing a network infrastructure. “To provide better services to the public it is necessary for us to work much more closely with others,” he says. “To do that it is best to share network infrastructure where it is much easier to share data securely.”

Kristel describes the move to a shared network infrastructure as partly opportunistic. “Our current network contracts were up for renewal, our telephony systems needed replacing and some of the other partners in Staffordshire had similar timelines,” he says.

“We have taken a very pragmatic approach, as the requirements of the PSN were not available when we went ahead with it. However, our supplier Kcom is part of the national PSN group.” The contract is valued at £23m.

Working across multiple public sector agencies, the network has to comply with multiple standards including those for N3 and GCSx, but Kristel is confident that the PSN will be closely aligned to those standards.

Staffordshire is bundling the shared network core into BT exchanges at the moment. “Traditionally local authorities have put comms hubs into their own building, but for partners to trust the PSN we found it necessary to put it in BT exchanges.” At the network edge it is rolling out fibre and also quite a lot of copper, in a pragmatic attempt to create a flexible infrastructure.

The council is also putting in Cisco telephony and contact centre technology, which it plans to share. “The idea is the customer should not really need to understand who does what and where,” Kristel says.

He already has an agreement with South Staffordshire Health that it will join the network, and says: “I understand from the Cabinet Office that we will be one of the first in England who will share with health partners We’re also having conversations with Staffordshire Police, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service.”

He describes the process of setting up the shared network infrastructure as less complex than first expected: “We share the costs equally and the county council charges a very minimal administration fee to manage the contract.”

I have not met Sander but there are a number of key views expressed in the above article and in this one

http://www.cio.co.uk/article/3339374/cio-profile-sander-kristels-clear-vision-for-staffordshire-council/

that let me know that Staffordshire is on the right course. Just a few quotes from the above article:

Integration is a term Kristel uses a great deal and it clearly describes the vision he and the authority have of how to ensure residents get the quality of service they deserve in return for being taxpayers.”

” Staffordshire is almost a pioneer of the public sector network model now being demanded by the Cabinet Office in Whitehall. “

“We have taken a pragmatic approach, opting for copper not fibre optic. Copper is easier to deploy at smaller sites and we will rationalise our estate again soon; why dig a trench into these buildings?” he asks.

“The network is step one. We can provide services almost like a cloud so that organisations can run their email or document management over it,” he says.

” The network is just one of a range of cost-saving projects Kristel has led at Staffordshire.

A move to Citrix thin client desktop applications on HP hardware gives the authority’s new HQ a desk-to-staff ratio of 7:10, making the building seem like a bank rather than a council office.

Voice over IP has been added and videoconferencing is on the way.

The authority is proud of its new HQ and screens at reception tell you it is saving the council £250,000 a year. Virtualisation has reduced Staffordshire’s datacentre fleet to two and each datacentre has just three racks in it.

Using the new PSN disaster recovery facilities via a reciprocal deal with a neighbouring authority is also being considered.”

” Influence of IT
While Kristel does not have a direct line to the CEO — “I report to the CFO. I used to report to the previous chief executive, but this very much depends on your chief executive” — he is on the wider leadership team and says IT is very much part of the big picture in Staffordshire.

“You have a lot more influence and early warning of what is going to change in the authority,” he says.

Early warning is the most important thing as the European procurement process can take up to a year. ”

I have italicised some of the key words and phrases that I believe should be taken forward into the next phase of broadband and social media development.

Becoming a ” Silicon Valley ” in the U.K. is not a simple process. This video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTC_RxWN_xo

titled ” The Secret History of Silicon Valley ” explains some of the historical factors ( beginning in World War 2 ) that led to Silicon Valley becoming the start-up powerhouse that it is today.

That is not to say that it cannot be done though. It WILL require a number of challenging pieces of a jigsaw to be put in place.

At the end of this video interview with Marc Andreesson ( founder of Netscape and now a Silicon Valley VC ) he explains what he thinks needs to be put in place to recreate another Silicon Valley:

http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2012/05/andreessen-no-tech-bubble/

There are other articles that I have read that further help to understand the components required.



Silicon Crossroads and Silicon Crossroads VCT – Lichfield, Staffordshire

Posted by Chris on March 25th, 2012

Silicon Crossroads is the High Tech. business area established between Lichfield, Tamworth, Sutton Coldfield and Walsall in Staffordshire, England, U.K. The crossroads referred to is the ancient crossroads of Watling Street ( the A5 ) and Rykneld Street ( the A38 ) which cross one another just below Lichfield.

Notably Tamworth is dominated by Tamworth Castle and Lichfield by Lichfield Cathedral and these are ancient seats of power in Middle England.

The recent discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard may well add to the evidence for the Lichfield and Tamworth area being an area of influence and innovation and Silicon Crossroads and the Silicon Crossroads VCT continue this tradition.

The Silicon Crossroads VCT is a High Tech. Investment fund with a particular focus on areas like Social Media, Inbound Marketing and Cloud Computing.

We have established strong connections with entrepreneurs, business angels and venture capital funds in some of the main innovation areas in the U.S. and Canada like Silicon Valley, Boston, New York, Vancouver, Austin, Toronto and other emerging High Tech Innovation areas like Baltimore.

Aside from Early Stage funding the VCT provides support for start up and early stage companies from the U.S. and the U.K. Included in our support services is ” Outsourced Business Development ” to assist companies to identify target customers and sectors  and to establish contact with them using state of the art Marketing techniques like Inbound Marketing, the creation of Internet Marketing Ecosystems and therefore the use of Social Media and Social Business Media.

It became obvious a few years ago that the rise of companies like Salesforce ( SaaS CRM ) , Google ( Search and Social Media ), Facebook ( Social Media ) and Twitter ( Social Media )  would give rise to other companies like HubSpot ( Inbound Marketing ) , Hootsuite ( Monitoring multiple social media channels )  and Twylah ( Twitter brand pages ).

It was less obvious that there would be such huge angel and venture capital investment in the U.S. but there has been and it is only increasing.

There has also been a revolution ( from necessity ) in funding methods for start ups in the U.S. with companies like KickStarter and the concentration of Angels and so called Super Angels onto lists like AngelList.

In addition companies like SecondMarket have created liquidity in markets like pre-IPO shares and debt.

You can get more information on some of these companies via this blog and my Twylah page   http://www.twylah.com/cwindley.

This is a holding page for more information on Silicon Crossroads and the Silicon Crossroads VCT and websites, blogs and Twylah pages will be developed for these over time.

My contact information is on this blog on the Contact page.

The Internet Marketing Ecosystem – This is the way it is !

Posted by Chris on March 12th, 2012

For a change I am not going to write this blog with a view to it getting found ( recently I was talking to someone about the fact that – for those in the know – most content is ” written to rank ” – in search engines. ) I have loads of content on here that is written to achieve a ranking objective.

I also saw recently some debate about the fact that a website should be built to be found ( for the products and services that you provide ) with some people saying that a website was for ” validation ” rather than being found via search engines and converting visitors into prospects and later, customers. Frankly I think that is ” tosh ” and anyone who builds a website and does not want it to be found is crazy !!

There are still loads of people who think that the only thing a website needs to be found for is the company name – LOL !! ( If someone knows your company name then one of your other marketing methods has already worked ).

The fact is that it is not even about building a website any more it is about building an effective Internet Marketing Ecosystem ( as I call it ).

If we consider what one of the leaders of ” Inbound Marketing ” ( HubSpot ) has done then it has moved from providing software that graded the effectiveness of a website ( Website Grader ) to software that grades the effectiveness of the Internet Marketing Ecosystem ( Marketing Grader ).

An effective Internet Marketing Ecosystem will comprise of the following components:

A ” website “.

A blog.

A number of Social media accounts ( Linkedin, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google + etc etc )

These are the basic requirements. Knowledge and membership of other sites is also required/advised like:

Internet Press Release sites.

Digg.com

Various ” Bookmarking” sites.

Twylah.com

The website and blogsite ( which may be one and the same ) should be based on a ” powerful platform “. WordPress would be a typical example of this. ( WordPress ranks 18 on Alexa so you are building your content on one of the most powerful platforms in the world ). Platforms like HubSpot’s are also becoming important ( for a variety of reasons including being ” powerful ” ).

If you build your website on a “powerful platform ” and then get the on page SEO right ( Titles, tags etc  ), populate it with relevant ( keyword and phrase aware ) content and then keep blogging on a regular basis you will get noticed by the search engines ( spidered ) and you will start to collect links ( from other websites ) to your website.

( In doing the foregoing you will have fulfilled most of the conventional requirements – On page SEO, Relevant changing content and a start on backlinks ).

If you build networks on e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google + and YouTube then in addition to the engagement that you can achieve with fellow members you will be able to post items with links back to your web and blog sites. Whilst the value of backlinks from Social Networks is debated ( amongst SEO types ) there is a value and in any event prospective customers are being driven ( led? ) back to your web/blogsites.

Of course there is a way to build networks ( on social networks ) which will be covered elsewhere, but the fact is that they are a necessary part of the ” ecosystem “.

In order to ” convert ” all the visitors to our website and blogsite into prospects we will need ” email sign up box’s ” and various ” Call to Actions ” e.g. sign up here and you can download a white paper. You may even have a ” Buy one now ” button where appropriate.

Finally you will want to know what aspects of the ” ecosystem ” are working best in terms of ” Being Found and Converting visitors to leads “. Are they coming from you being found in search engines ( for your keywords and phrases )?; are people just typing in your company name or url?; are your email marketing campaigns working best?; is Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or Google + the best at sending you new visitors.

This requires an analysis system like Google Analytics ( plus other apps ? ) or an ” all-in-one ” system like HubSpot.


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