Jeff Zelaya

Marketing Podcast of the Week: Brendan Cournoyer of Brainshark

Click play below and listen to this week’s featured marketing podcast:

A full summary and transcript of this marketing podcast is available on the Triblio B2B Content Marketing Blog. In this B2B Marketing Podcast we interview Brendan Cournoyer the Content Marketing Director at Brainshark.

Brainshark is a tech company that enables organizations to improve productivity with cloud-based business presentation solutions for sales, marketing and training. Brendan Cournoyer is in charge of content planning and management for inbound marketing, demand generation and sales enablement initiatives.

 

Social Media & Business: A Perfect Pairing

Social Media and Business go together like; rice & beans, peanut butter & jelly, salt & pepper.

From Facebook to Twitter to Pinterest, people gather virtually to initiate conversations, share musings, be entertained by videos and mull over thought-provoking images. Although businesses with visual elements or fun products can thrive on many social platforms, any business can build an engaging and even fun social presence. So if you think your business is too boring for social, think again. Here are a few companies that are proof you don’t have to be in the jazziest of industries in order to master the game of social media.

Social Media and Business

ChildHelp

ChildHelp’s mission is to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect. This is a non-profit whose daily work is focused on trying to quash tragedy, and the subject matter the business is exposed to continuously is dark and emotionally difficult. But despite this, ChildHelp still has found a way to have strong social media profiles, especially on Facebook. The non-profit uses its page to enlighten people about the realities of its cause, as well as to entertain. By regularly weaving in relevant events and pop culture tie-ins, the Facebook page isn’t depressing, but rather uplifting and enjoyable.

H&R Block

You might think that a business like H&R Block would not have an easy time with social media. After all, tax preparation is not a notoriously sexy subject. But H&R Block has been able to create a very successful Pinterest page. By putting together boards that run the gamut from “Fashion on a Budget” to “Travel” to “Sports Finance,” the business displays its creativity and offers something for everyone.

HubSpot

Software is not usually the first thing that would come to mind when you think of something hip and fun, but HubSpot has managed to lay claim to both adjectives. One visit to the inbound sales and marketing platform’s Twitter page, and the company culture is undeniable. Every tweet shows personality and originality. HubSpot doesn’t forget to post pictures, infographics and shout-outs to its company blog in order to keep followers interested and engaged. So maybe software in the past wasn’t synonymous with a party mindset, but HubSpot sure makes it seem like it is now.

LifeLock

Few things in life are scarier than identity theft. But LifeLock, the well-known identity theft protection company, doesn’t use fear to sell its products. Instead, the company takes to its social pages to connect with prospects and deliver useful information. LifeLock’s Facebook page is a prime example of one that educates its audience about the industry and preventive measures, all while still having a good time. By regularly sharing timely news and relatable posts, the company acts like a friend to its customers via social media.

Nielsen

Nielsen, the global consumer and media insights business, is another one that you may not think is an immediate fit for social media. To the contrary, the company has found a way to be relevant and fun through several social channels. One example is Nielsen’s Twitter page, which is rife with things you’d expect like glimpses into the percentage of people engaging in certain behaviors. But Tweets also include things about pop culture and sports that lay people are likely to enjoy, like a random comment about an NFL game or commentary on TV shows. By catering to more popular areas of interest, the company doesn’t limit itself on social media.

If you’ve been feeling like you couldn’t possibly make your business lively enough for social media, think again. With a little creativity, you can use social channels like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to share your company’s personality with your target buyer. Just let loose, think outside promotional posts and prepare to get social.

The High Five Heard Around The World

My friend Alex Cequea (who you might recall from our Guinness World Record for Longest Speech interview) just got back from an around the world trip consisting of  adventures across 13 Countries, 4 Continents and logged in over 40,000 miles.

Alex confessed that this was something that he’s had on his bucket list for a while. He booked the whole thing as one package, with a service called Airtreks. The whole trip lasted about 3 months and he spent about 1 week at each of the locations on his itinerary.

He recommends anyone who wants to travel..to JUST DO IT.  “Save up your money and go for it” Alex says. Abroad you can find many opportunities to make money or get a free place to stay, like teaching english, working at hostels, or working remotely. As I mentioned in my most recent post on life lessons before 30 “Your 20’s is the ideal time to travel the world, you typically have more energy, stamina, can tolerate higher levels of risk, and have less obligations to worry about like mortgages, kids and caregiving duties. Additionally, traveling in your 20’s can boost your career by helping you broaden your view of other cultures, countries, and it’s diverse people.”

ALERT: New B2B Marketing Podcast Now Available On iTunes

A new b2b marketing podcast debuts on iTunes today. This podcast show is a series of value packed interviews with the top b2b marketing professionals behind breakthrough B2B brands.

The B2B Content Marketing Leaders Podcast will feature two new episodes per week starting on January 18.

Each episode is promised to be full of valuable content that’s relevant to B2B marketing professional.

Topics that will be covered include:

  • Content Marketing Trends
  • Content Marketing Tools and Technology
  • Marketing Strategies
  • Marketing Funnel Strategies
  • Conversion Optimization
  • Sales Enablement
  • Content Auditing
  • Content Planning
  • Content Creation
  • Marketing Automation
  • Demand Generation
  • Branding
    and much, much more….

Each new episode is also accompanied by a blog post that recaps the interview and includes the most valuable takeaways, along with additional resources.
If you’re interested in learning if this is a podcast that you should add to your queue, take a quick listen to the introduction of the series:

Still unsure if this is the right podcast for you, listen to this short intro and decide.

Here’s the schedule of upcoming B2B marketing podcast episodes:

Week of Jan 18, 2015
Brendan Cournoyer, Director of Content Marketing @ Brainshark
Patricia Mejia, Chief Marketing Officer @ Siteworx
BONUS EPISODE: Scott Linabarger & Amanda Todorovich @ Cleveland Clinic

Week of Jan 25, 2015
Meagen Eisenberg, VP of Marketing @ DocuSign
Karen Gardner, Chief Marketing Officer @ Sonatype

Week of February 1, 2015
Adam Wexler, Founder @ Insightpool
Rachel Balik, Sr. Content Marketing Manager @ Demandbase

Week of February 8, 2015
Tara Meehan, Head of Social Content @ Guardian Life Insurance
Danny Schreiber, Content Marketing @ Zapier

Week of February 15, 2015
Amanda Nelson, Director of Marketing @ RingLead
Kaitlin Stich, Senior Marketing Manager @ BrightTALK

Week of February 22, 2015
Tami McQueen, Director of Marketing @ SalesLoft
Geoff Livingston, Founder @ Tenacity5

Week of March 1, 2015
Lisa Fugere, Content Marketing @ Radius Intelligence
Jason Miller, Senior Manager of Content Marketing @ LinkedIn

Week of March 8, 2015
Megan Tonzi, Director of Marketing @ Quota Factory
Gerry Moran, Head of Social Media & Content @ Cognizant

Subscribe_to_B2B_Marketing_Podcast

Click here to subscribe using ITUNES

Life Lessons Learned From Age 20 to 29

I turned the big 3-0 this week and am excited about the great things in store for me in this upcoming decade. I also took time this week to reflect on the life lessons learned in my 20’s. I came up with this list of the 12 most valuable lessons for your 20’s. Check out the article (it’s reposted below) and let me know your thoughts. Thanks to everyone for the overwhelming amount of birthday well wishes, I’m very grateful and appreciate everyone that has been a part of my life journey so far. Here’s to many more great years!!

life lessons for your 20s

 

 

12 of The Most Important Life Lessons To Learn Before 30

Originally featured on LinkedIn Pulse

This week I celebrated my dirty thirty and welcomed a new year, a new decade and new opportunities. As I prepare for my 30’s I wanted to take some time to reflect on the past decade. Looking back, I realize that I barely made it into my 20’s and was on the brink of completely screwing up my life and going down the wrong path. Fortunately, I started making better decisions and surrounded myself with the right people that poured into my life. I’m very grateful to those that have helped me on my journey (you included!) and admit that I wouldn’t be where I am today without their love, support and the valuable lessons they taught me along the way.

Although, I don’t regret my past I now understand that life is indeed a cruel teacher, she loves to give you the test first and the lesson later. So that you’re best prepared for your own test, here’s my cheat sheet with 12 of the most important lessons for surviving and thriving in your 20’s and beyond.

1) Do what you love for a living

I witnessed too many of my friends regret pursuing a degree or a career in a field they didn’t really like because: they thought the money was good, they liked the prestige that came with the job or because they were “pressured” by their family and friends. In my 20’s I learned that the one life we have to live shouldn’t be spent living someone else’s life.

Chances are that early on in your career you’ll have to do some work that you aren’t necessarily thrilled by for meager pay but that’s ok! Just make sure to have a game plan (and a time frame) for how you’re going to leverage your current situation to get to where you really want to be and then execute on it! In your 20’s avoid falling into the rat race trap of following money, instead be courageous enough to follow your passion and then watch how money and happiness will follow you.

2) Get uncomfortable with being comfortable

You only truly grow when you’re pushed outside of your comfort zone. If you find yourself getting too comfortable it’s a sign that complacency is starting to set in. If you want to make the most of your life, stay hungry, stay foolish and continually seek the uncomfortable zone (that’s where the magic happens).

Comfort Zone

Get out of your comfort zone…it’s where the magic happens

 

3) Live within your means

If you play your cards right, in your 20’s you’ll experience your first taste of five figure pay increases, bonuses, promotions, commissions and a steady salary. For a young person that was just living off ramen noodles and leftover pizza in a tiny college dorm the experience can be overwhelming and disastrous if you’re not properly prepared.

Similar to what happened to me when I got my first credit card at 18. Within days of receiving the shiny new MasterCard in the mail I maxed it out and spent a year digging myself out of that hole. Older and wiser, I vowed to not repeat that mistake but temptation will rear her ugly head.

In your 20’s it’s the allure of having more disposable and steady income that makes it “justifiable” to live beyond your means. For example: Start a new job with a higher salary, time to upgrade the old dependable Toyota to a shiny new BMW. Receive a bonus check, time to splurge on a shopping spree or on a new TV etc…

Before you know it your 20’s have come and gone and you’re welcoming the 30’s with the same lint that you had in your pockets back at 20 with a few sprinkles of student loans added in. Your 20’s are a time of learning and earning but also the ideal time to save and invest. Build a cushion of savings, max out your retirement contributions, build an investment portfolio. By starting now you will maximize what Albert Einstein calls the 8th Wonder of the World: Compound Interest.

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.” – Albert Einstein (click here to tweet this quote)

In your 20’s commit to living below your means, pay yourself first and create a budget that you actually stick to. Don’t spend money you don’t have, on things you don’t need, to impress people who don’t care.

4) Social media is overrated

I’m very grateful for social media for introducing me to new friends and for helping me stay in touch with family across the globe. Although, tweets and Facebook status updates are nice, it won’t ever replace the feeling of having a loved one in your arms, or shaking the warm hand of a new person you meet. People first, technology second! Stop staring at your smart phone like a zombie and get busy making real human connections with the people that are right in front of you.

“I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” – Albert Einstein (click here to tweet this quote)

5) Attention is the most valuable gift you can give others

I used to think that time was the most valuable gift that you could give others but my wife made me realize that’s not the case. In my mid 20’s I was coming home to spend “time” with my new wife only to be distracted or checked out. She quickly put me in my place and made me realize that it’s not just about the hours you spend with others but it’s the quality of the time that matters most and specifically the attention that I gave her while we spent time together mattered the most to her.

“The simple act of paying attention can take you a long way.” – Keanu Reeves (click here to tweet this quote)

6) Travel the world now

Your 20’s is the ideal time to travel the world, you typically have more energy, stamina, can tolerate higher levels of risk, and have less obligations to worry about like mortgages, kids and caregiving duties. Additionally, traveling in your 20’s can boost your career by helping you broaden your view of other cultures, countries, and it’s diverse people. Business is becoming more globalized every day so the earlier you get exposed to different parts of the world the better.

Travel the world before 30

Travel the world before 30

 

7) Don’t rush into marriage

Short marriages suck just ask Kim Kardashian

Short marriages suck just ask Kim Kardashian

Marriage is a serious decision and impacts your life significantly (for better or worse) so don’t take it lightly and give it serious thought before deciding to tie the knot. If you do get married in your 20’s don’t quit at the first sign of trouble, understand that marriages aren’t perfect and you’ll have to put in time, effort and make sacrifices for each other. The right life partner will push you to new levels of greatness and light a fire under you when you need it. Marriage is a beautiful thing that I admit I’m still learning a lot about and look forward to the new lessons that it will teach me in my 30’s.

8) Don’t ever stop learning

Learning doesn’t stop once you finish college, that’s just the beginning. College is a great environment to perfect the skill of “how to” learn, how to work well with others and a place where you’ll be exposed to a diverse array of subject areas, learning opportunities and people. But learning doesn’t stop once you leave school because in a fast paced technology driven world, chances are that much of the subject matter you cover in college will be outdated in a decade or so, especially if you’re in a field like computer programming or marketing. In your 20’s commit to making self learning part of your lifestyle. Read books, attend conferences, get certifications and take on additional responsibility at work to get valuable hands on training.

“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” – Jim Rohn (click here to tweet this quote)

9) Forgive and move on

I was raised by a strong, single mother that made lots of sacrifices to give me the best upbringing she could. My dad abandoned my mom and I days after I was born and for almost 30 years I heard nothing from him but that recently changed. My biological dad reached out to me for the first time last year and wanted to apologize for not being part of my life, he admitted to making a huge mistake in abandoning me and although he couldn’t take back what happened he did want a second chance at building a relationship with his son.

As my father looked me in the eye and made his plea many emotions came over me, I thought to myself, why should I forgive this man that wanted nothing to do with me, I thought about all the sacrifices my mother had to make because dad wasn’t around and flashbacks of the resentment and anger that I had towards him came back to me. But instead of focusing on those emotions I opted to look at the courage that it took my dad to admit he was wrong and to seek forgiveness and reconciliation, I also realized that nobody is perfect and that people who make mistakes and admit them, can change for the better. Holding a grudge and anger only makes your heart heavy and cold.

It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody. – Maya Angelou (click here to tweet this quote)

It was at that moment that I chose to forgive my father and to make the effort to start building a relationship with him. It wasn’t easy to do but it is such a powerful place, because it frees you to start a new beginning. That’s us together in the picture below.

Oscar Zelaya and Jeffrey Zelaya

Father and son reunited!

 

10) Making friends is harder as you get older

Calvin Friends Cartoon

Calvin is wise beyond his years

Once you’re out of college it gets more difficulty to make friends. The workplace might not be the ideal place to make close friends so instead work on nurturing the friendships that you already have and join volunteer or interest groups that make it easier to meet like-minded people. In my teens it was important to have lots of friends, in my 20’s I realized it’s more important to have real friends.

11) Take care of your health now

One of my biggest mistakes in my 20’s was deprioritizing my health and fitness. I started my 20’s hovering around the 180lb mark with a single digit bodyfat percentage and finished the decade at 220lbs with a bodyfat percentage that I’m way too embarrassed to share in this post. Fortunately, I’m realizing this now rather than later and have started making improvements to get my health back in order. As you get older, health needs to become a top priority.

No matter how busy you get, don’t neglect your diet, your fitness, your mental health and your routine doctor visits or it will come back and haunt you in the next decade.Build the foundation in your 20’s that makes it easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle, if you wait to start building that foundation in your 30’s it will be exponentially more difficult.

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn (click here to tweet this quote)

12) Your best days are ahead of you

No matter what’s happened in your past, realize that your best days are ahead of you. The 20’s were but a single chapter in your story, the best part of your life’s story has yet to be written. When you choose to live life with that optimism you’ll attract happiness, success and blessings beyond your wildest imagination.

Your best days are ahead

Your best days are ahead

 

So 30’s BRING IT ON! I’m ready for you.

What were some of the most important life lessons you learned in your 20’s? I want to hear them, please leave them in the comments below and if you liked reading this post pay it forward and CLICK HERE TO TWEET IT!

Yard Signs: Are They Still Relevant in Real Estate Today?

Funny Yard SignIn this digital world it can be very easy to get caught up in the newest trends for marketing real estate. Creating advertisements online, posting photographs for viewers to see, and connecting with potential buyers through social media platforms are all very great avenues for marketing, but they should not be your only concern. Let’s think back for a second. Do you remember how home buyers would look for a place to purchase? They’d check newspaper ads; ask those closest to them, and….drive around looking for sale signs in the yard.

In the year 2014, one might think that the best way to drive in traffic is by utilizing internet marketing strategies. While it is true that integrating new marketing efforts is essential for broadening your home buyer base, it is not the only method. The old fashioned way of doing things still holds true, and below are some reasons why.

Many Consumers Use Old and New Fashioned Shopping Methods

There’s no denying the fact that the internet has changed the way consumers shop for everything. It’s an easier method for conducting research and getting a glimpse of what they’re looking to buy. However, when it comes to real estate, it’s not always what seals the deal. It’s very rare for home buyers to fall in love with pictures online and make an offer. Generally they use the online advertising as a starting point, then they drive around the area to look around and finally based on what they find, they make an inquiry to get a look inside.

  •  According to the National Association of Realtors, 53% of all home buyers still reference yard sale signs as their method for finding a home to buy.
  •  Another statistic reports that about 40% of millennial still prefer to see the product in person as opposed to shopping for it only. This in turn means that even though the new home buying market is changing, younger, tech-savvy individuals will still more than likely do a drive by before they inquire about a particular property.

When you consider the percentages listed above, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t still be implementing yard signs into your real estate marketing efforts.

Implementing Old Fashioned Advertising in Your Real Estate Marketing

So now you can see how well yard signs will work for getting the word out about your property for sale. All that’s left to do is put a plan of action in place. However, it is important not to haphazardly implement new strategies. Coming up with a plan will improve your chances of getting noticed and making a sell. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

Consider the Design – Don’t simply choose a sign for the sake of having a sign. Esigns yard signs aim for something simplistic with bold features that will draw the reader’s attention. Remember, too much on the eyes will distract the reader’s attention from important information.

Consider Focal Points – When placing yard signs, consider the focal points of the property. Simply placing the sign in a window on the second floor is not going to cut it. Instead, place a sign in an area that most home buyers will look such as near the porch or on the front lawn near the curb.

Don’t Forget Contact Information – For Sale only lets the buyer know that the property is for sale. However, you still need to provide them with necessary contact information. Make sure that you’ve placed your name (or company’s name), address, website, and several means for contact (i.e. phone number, social media page, email address).

No need to argue the point that digital marketing is an increasing trend for the real estate industry. However, this doesn’t mean that old methods should be tossed aside. If you’re trying to sell your property, consulting with a real estate and marketing expert is best. They have the necessary training and experience to combine both old and new concepts to get buyers through the door.
real estate sold_sign

 

Top 13 Social Sales Influencers

The people below are ranked as the most influential Social Sales Leaders according to Klout. Klout analyzes social media influence by using data from LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram and several other platforms. The highest possible Klout score is 100, the average Klout Score is 40 and those with a score of 63 are in the top 5% of all users (the average score of the 13 top social sales influencers is 72). The higher your score, the more influence you’re believed to have within your digital networks. Klout score changes often so the list below is subject to change, luckily Rise maintains a Social Sales Leaderboard that is updated in real time. 

The social sales leaders below can be found across social media channels and are consistently providing innovative ideas, tips and insights on the topic of sales and social media. If you’re a sales rep that’s been wondering how to leverage social media to close more deals make sure you give the folks below a follow. 

 

1) Brian Fanzo

Brian Fanzo Social Sales Influencer

Brian Fanzo

 

Brian Fanzo is the Partner and Chief Digital Strategist at Broadsuite. He specializes in helping enterprise technology companies leverage social, mobile, analytics and cloud computing to be more productive and engaging. He’s also a dad of three beautiful girls.

 

2) Jeff Sheenan

Jeff Sheenan Social Sales Influencer

Jeff Sheenan

 

Jeff Sheenan is an author and a B2B sales and marketing pro!  He has extensive experience in working with companies of all sizes and in multiple industries throughout the world and with global brands like Intel, Apple, Cisco Systems, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Dell and many more.

 

3) Jon Ferrara

Jon Ferrara - Social Sales Influencer

Jon Ferrara

 

Jon Ferrara has been recognized as a pioneer in the CRM space. He’s the founder of Nimble, a next generation CRM product for small businesses. You can frequently catch him tweeting and talking about social selling and sales.

 

4) Koka Sexton

Koka Sexton - Social Sales Influencer

Koka Sexton

 

Koka Sexton is one of the most recognized social selling experts and a leader in the LinkedIn social selling evolution. He’s a frequent social selling speaker and conducts trainings on how to use LinkedIn to drive lead generation, create new opportunities, and engage customers.

 

5) Jill Rowley

Jill Rowley - Social Sales Influencer

Jill Rowley

 

Jill is a Social Selling Evangelist and one of the most recognized social sales influencers and leaders. She’s walked her talk and has a background in sales management and as a software sales rep. She’s approachable, tweetable and a giver. You can frequently catch her keynoting and doing sales kick off speech on the topic of social sales. She currently lives the Bay Area is a wife and a mother of four kids.

 

 

6) Jeff Zelaya

Jeff Zelaya - Social Sales Influencer

Jeff Zelaya

 

Jeff Zelaya  is a leading social selling and LinkedIn expert. He’s a professional public speaker, an entrepreneur and the Head of Sales at the content marketing software company: Triblio. Jeff is a dad and husband and currently lives in the Washington D.C area.

 

7) Rachel Miller

Rachel Miller - Social Sales Influencer

Rachel Miller

 

Rachel is an experience social media marketing professional, community builder, listener and an influencer in the CRM space. She has been able to strategically increase community engagement and brand awareness through social media and content marketing, first at Nimble and now at Pipeliner CRM.

 

8) Timothy Hughes

Timothy Hughes - Social Sales Influencer

Timothy Hughes

 

Tim is a social selling evangelist that hails from the other side of the pond. He’s based out of the UK and works at Oracle. At Oracle he runs the UK Commercial Industries and using modern marketing and social selling techniques he’s been able to create a $61 Million pipeline.

 

9) Gerry Moran

Gerry Moran - Social Sales Influencer

Gerry Moran

 

Gerry Moran is the Global Head of Social Media & Content at Cognizant Technology and the Founder of the popular blog: MarketingThink.com. He’s an experienced Social Selling Strategist and helps people and brands in creating high level strategies to drive real results.

 

10) Gabe Villamizar

Gabe  Villamizar - Social Sales Influencer

Gabe Villamizar

 

Gabe is a Social Selling Expert & Social Media Marketing Manager at @HireVue He has extensive multi-cultural experience in developing and implementing new SaaS social marketing tactics to build strong B2B relationships and generate targeted leads. He’s currently in the process of organizing TheSocialSellingEvent.com a huge event with the top social selling influencers.

 

11) Jack Kosakowski

Jack  Kosakowski - Social Sales Influencer

Jack Kosakowski

 

Jack Kosakowski is young and up and coming leader in the social selling space. He’s a Regional Sales Manager at Act-On.  He loves to educate businesses on the importance of marketing automation and helps these organizations “Cross The Chasm” quickly and adopt new marketing technologies.

 

12) Brynne Tillman

Brynne Tillman - Social Sales Influencer

Brynne Tillman

 

Brynne is the CEO of Social Sales Link and an expert sales trainer who has over 3 decades of sales experience. She’s been able to unlock the power of LinkedIn for Sales and Business Development Professionals and teaches social selling curriculum globally.

 

13) Ken Krogue

Ken Krogue - Social Sales Influencer

Ken Krogue

 

Ken Krogue is the Founder of InsideSales.com and a thought leader and evangelist on all things sales. He is continually creating content on the topic and you can see tons of his content here. He and his team offer great tips, webinars, research, and best practices on inside sales.

 

 

 

Who else is tweeting about #SocialSelling? Check out the live twitter stream below:

Cutting the Cord: Alternatives to Cable TV

My wife and I have been seriously considering cutting the cord and getting rid of our cable tv package. It seems like we’re not alone either, according to Bloomberg the number of Americans who pay for TV through cable, satellite or fiber services fell by more than a quarter of a million in 2013, the first full-year decline.

See the issue is that we rarely watch TV and paying a $100+ for big cable package seems like a waste. However, we still want to be able to watch a handful of our favorite shows like: Scandal, The Walking Dead, How to Get Away with Murder and a few Bravo TV shows like “Housewives of Wherever” that my wife can’t seem to let go. Also on Sunday nights we like to cozy up with a bucket of popcorn, a glass of wine and a good movie. So with this dilemma and no idea of where to start looking for a solution we did what most millennials do in this day and age…we asked Facebook…and boy did our friends come through!

Here are the alternatives to cable TV that our friends suggested:

Netflix

Cable TV Alternative - Netflix

Netflix a popular cable tv alternative?

Netflix by far was the most popular suggestion. We used to be long time subscribers of Netflix but actually terminated our subscription after growing tired of a subpar selection and struggling with finding interesting things to watch. However, we are considering joining again but if we do rejoin we plan on also getting the DVD option to expand the selections we could make. At about $20 a month for the streaming + DVD package it’s definitely a top contender to replace our cable TV…but it still doesn’t solve our desire to watch the latest Scandal and Walking Dead episode. All in all, Netflix is a worthy investment for us just for House of Cards!

Thanks to Johanna Felipe, Cherri PRbuzz, Ana Milena Vega, Tiffany Barranco, Lovely Bien-Aime, GeGe Pierre, Melissa Marie, Tara Hargadon, Lisa Maria-Conchita Walker for making this suggestion.

 

Hulu Plus

hulu-plus- alternative to cable tv

Can Hulu Plus replace cable tv?

Many of the same friends who suggested using Netflix as an alternative to cable also mentioned Hulu Plus. Although there seems to be a bit of overlap with these two, Hulu Plus is more concentrated on TV shows where Netflix is more focused on movies. I did try Hulu Plus a while back but the shows that it streamed weren’t my favorites and I mainly binge consumed one TV show series in it’s entirety before abandoning Hulu Plus completely. I don’t know if they still do this but one of my turn offs was that they still showed commercials to the paid premium users.

Thanks to Johanna Felipe, Cherri PRbuzz, Ana Milena Vega, Tiffany Barranco, Krystin Torres, Lisa Maria-Conchita Walker, Rashawnda Daniels for making this suggestion.

 

Roku

Roku as an alternative to cable television

Roku makes cutting the cord of cable tv really easy.

I was surprised by how many of my friends suggested Roku as a way to cut the cable tv cord. Frankly, I knew very little of Roku and found myself wanting to learn more about this option. With Roku you purchase one of their hardware packages that plugs into your TV’s HDMI port. Roku then offers you a selection of channels and movies. Some are free but others require a pay as you watch fee. You can also integrate your Netflix or Hulu Plus subscription for a seamless TV watching experience. Roku has definitely grabbed my attention and I plan on looking into this option some more.

Thanks Naomi Preston, La Toya Jackson, Shari Maxwell McConahay, Adrienne Sheares for turning me on to Roku.

 

Chromecast

Chromecast alternative to cable tv

Chromecast got some mentions but Apple TV none..hmm!

Although, I haven’t purchased a Chromecast for personal use I do use one at the Triblio office daily and I love it. However, after learning about Roku, I don’t think Chromecast can compete with their more robust and features specifically designed for a TV and movie watching experience. But for $35 Chromecast is a powerful little gadget that I’ll be sure to ask Santa Claus to stuff in my stocking this Christmas (wink, wink Emma).

 

Smart TV

Smart TV replaces cable television

Can a Smart TV replace cable?

Marisa Campbell suggested that we get a Smart TV. She mentioned that you can watch any TV show right from the show’s website, like Walking Dead for example. She also likes the seamless integration that a Smart TV has with Hulu, Netflix and even Spotify. Jim Gilbert also mentioned a similar idea of logging onto the network stream. For example ABC.com streams Scandal and you can watch it on your PC or use a Smart TV or Roku to stream it on your TV screen.

Other interesting suggestions mentioned were:

g-box can help you cut the cord

I’m still learning about the G-Box

The Gbox by Gabrielle Grant.

I admit that I had to Google this one since I had no idea what a Gbox was but after a couple searches I discovered that it’s the World’s #1 XBMC Android Set-Top TV Box, but to be honest I don’t really know what that means. At first glance this solution seems a bit complex and it looks like it will take more energy and time to truly figure out how to use it best. It also seems a bit sketchy but I admit that’s probably because I don’t know too much about it. Ease of use is important to us but especially to my wife, she doesn’t like over complicated machinery, I don’t know if the G-Box falls into this category but it’s something that I fear will be off putting at first. I will definitely have to do more research on the Gbox option as an alternative to our cable tv package…(Gabrielle if you’re reading this I would love to learn more about your experience).

Plex.TV by Renise Desiree Alexander

Lil’Miss NaNa & Jesseca Absolu recommended an app called Show Box. They says it’s amazing and FREE! It doesn’t seem to be an app for iPhone but if you’re #TeamAndriod take a look at the video below and see if it’ll work for you as a cable tv replacement:

The library by Elta Lannis (The library…what’s that Elta? lol)

Illegal means aka Pirate Bay was suggested by….well you know who you are!! (I don’t want the feds knocking at your door so I won’t mention any names or point fingers 😉

Thank you everyone that offered a suggestion and helping us in solving this dilemma. I know that we aren’t the only people pondering cutting the cable cord so I decided to create this blog post so that the awesome advice that my friends offered could also be helpful to others in a similar situation.

Liked this post? Click below to share it on Twitter.

[Tweet “Thinking of ditching cable? Here are some great alternatives to consider.”]

And in conclusion I would like to share with you the Facebook comment of the year left by my awesome friend Joyner Perez.

Joyner R. Perez

Joyner “Professional Cord Cutter” Perez

Here is Joyner’s comprehensive answer/guide for cutting the cord:

“If you love sports and need to watch anything other than local football, cutting the cord is difficult. Otherwise, you’re covered my friend… I’ll reiterate some of the above.

Content: FREE
Network TV is still free, and with the digital, over-the-air antennas you get beautiful HD picture quality (better than your cable box as it compresses the signal). With a free Hulu account you can catch up on a show if you missed a few recent episodes. You can do this also by visiting each TV network’s website, but Hulu just makes it easier by compiling them. And finally (someone else mentioned it above) don’t overlook your local library. They have a huge catalog of TV series and movies all for free. And you can create a Hoopla account with your library card number (if it’s supported) and you can stream movies, TV, and music.

Content: Cheap
Netflix is an easy go-to because of price and wealth of content. . Whether Hulu+ is worth the $8/month is debatable, but my wife and I have kept it around for some of the shows that have the entire series available. Now, if you have all the above options, adding on Amazon Prime is probably overkill. Other than Veronica Mars, we haven’t watched anything. There’s a cool series they have available though, Orphan Black, which we saw the pilot and we’ve been meaning to watch, but we’re currently tied up watching content on all the above . Oh, and don’t forget that HBO will soon be offering a standalone subscription (I think it’s slated at about $16/month, but I could be wrong).

Content: Pay as you consume.
With all of that, you might still find there are some cable shows you can’t watch, like The Walking Dead. For these, you have some options. Wait a year until they’re released on Netflix (a lot of them are there), or buy each episode on Amazon if you can’t wait. Even buying individual seasons of shows on cable is way cheaper than paying a cable subscription. For example, if you’re paying for about 3-4 shows’ worth of seasons, you still save over $250/year over a typical subscription. Oh, and don’t forget, you can always borrow someone’s login. If you offer to chip in or get them a gift card, it works out pretty well .

Hardware: FREE
Really, you don’t need to get any hardware to watch. With a computer and/or a SmartTV you’re pretty much set. However, there are some convenient options that other folks have mentioned.

Hardware: Cheap
With a Chromecast, you can cast anything on your Chrome browser to your TV. Netflix, Hulu, and a few other apps are supported natively from within the app so it’s even easier (and you can cast from your smartphone/tablet). The Roku stick is another good alternative. They’re both about $35-$40.

Hardware: Midrange
Roku, Roku, Roku. There’s a reason they’re so popular. It’s a wonderful little device, with a beautiful interface and a well-thought-out user experience. We have a SmartTV with Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, and we still prefer to use the Roku because the apps in it look/feel/navigate better. And it’s updated with frequency.

Wow… I did not set out to write “the definitive guide on cutting the cord” (kidding lol) but once I got going I couldn’t stop. We’ve been cord-free for over a year. It was a tough sell with the wife at first, but once we cut it we never looked back. She refuses to go back to cable. Good luck on your decision!”

Jeff Zelaya Featured on The Sales Evangelist Podcast

Evolution-of-the-Sales-Professional-Podcast

The Sales Evangelist Podcast Episode 86

Thank you Donald Kelly aka The Sales Evangelist for inviting to be a guest on the Sales Evangelist Podcast.

You can click play below and hear my interview with the Don about the evolution of the sales professional. If you’re in sales you should definitely subscribe to his podcast for some of the reasons I’ll mention below.

As of today Donald Kelly has produced 91 episodes of The Sales Evangelist Podcast. Donald is a Brigham Young University alum, former Student Body President, millennial sales enthusiast, public speaker, sales executive and podcaster. In his Sales Evangelist series he conducts interviews with sales influencers and shares valuable “Top Producers” insights. Some of his previous guests include Marcus Sheridan, Jill Konrath, Amar Sheth, Joanne Black, Josh Shipp, Amy Porterfield, Patricia Fripp and other marketing and sales heavy hitters.

What I like best about Donald is that he is a real life B2B sales professional that hustles everyday in software sales. Don’s climbed the sales professional ladder and is a current top producer thanks to training and coaching from top sales experts. As he succeeded in sales he felt it his duty to pay it forward by sharing insights that were working for him and he does does through an superbly produced podcast.

And by giving so unselfishly he also receives (givers gain) in a recent interview by the South Florida Business Journal, Donald confesses that podcasting has grown his network and sales but he’s not stopping by just helping salespeople Donald has now helped formed the group Podcast South Florida to help businesspeople land new clients and network with leaders in their field through podcasting. Make sure you connect with this awesome leader, follow Donald Kelly on twitter @DonaldCKelly and make sure to subscribe to The Sales Evangelist Podcast, I promise that you won’t regret it.

The_Sales_Evangelist- Donald Kelly

Donald Kelly is the Sales Evangelist

3 Tips to Make Your Company Technologically Efficient

Technology That Saves You Time

Office supplies manufacturer Brother International found in a 2010 study that corporate America loses more than $177 billion annually due to disorganization. Researchers concluded that the average employee wastes about 76 hours per year searching for files, documents, and even calculators in cluttered cubicles.

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can ill-afford to lose that many hours in productivity and expect positive results on their quarterly profit reports. Technology has streamlined many business processes, but there are still many owners and C-Level executives who refuse to embrace these advancements.

Cloud Computing

Most office workers have likely seen the 1999 comedy “Office Space” and its classic opening scene. Peter Gibbons had apparently misplaced a memo that described a new process for handling “TPS Reports.” He was first asked by the main office manager if he got the memo, followed by his immediate supervisor a few minutes later—then got a phone call from another manager asking if he received it. These time-wasting situations can easily be eliminated by incorporating cloud computing solutions.

Google Docs is a word processor, spreadsheet, and database tool that allows real-time collaboration between several individuals. In other words, it has all the features of Microsoft Office, but with online storage that makes documents accessible to anyone with the password. It’s especially useful when several team members are working together on a project, as it keeps edit logs and allows in-line communication for everyone working on it to see.

DropBox can be used as a one-stop online hard drive to store everything from employee handbooks to blank W4 forms. It allows remote access from any computer or smartphone, along with the ability to synch documents across all devices. DropBox saves money by eliminating the need for paper documents and increases efficiency by neatly organizing important documents all in one place.

BYOD Policies

The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon has quickly evolved from a trendy option to a near necessity for SMBs. Technology research firm Gartner predicts that 38 percent of companies will stop providing devices to employees altogether by 2016. Half of employers will require employees to supply their own devices by 2017, according to the same study. Further, a 2013 Cisco survey found that BYOD employees gain an average of 37 productivity minutes per week over their non-BYOD counterparts.

Devices today like the Samsung Galaxy Note are designed to collect and share ideas with advanced accessories like the functional S Pen that can be used to jot down notes without the need for pen and paper. These devices are also equipped with an enormous amount of battery life—25 hours talk time and up to 420 hours of standby time.

Despite all the advantages of BYOD, data security continues to be a primary concern for IT managers. But mobile device management (MDM) solutions, such as AirWatch and Amtel MDM, are not only compatible with every mobile operating system, but also allow administrators to both remotely lock or wipe any device. Some MDM solutions even allow administrators to keep work and personal data completely separate on devices.

Gerald Hetrick, COO of Vox Mobile, told Business News Daily that companies need to draft enforceable BYOD policies that all employees can easily access. The standards should, at minimum, include an acceptable-use policy, enforcement methods, and a means to contact technical support.

Virtual Appointment Setting

SMBs that deal with numerous inbound appointment requests from customers likely cannot afford to hire someone specifically to field calls and cannot waste time playing phone tag when customers leave messages. Cloud-based scheduling systems can handle the entire process, while keeping everything neatly organized.

Genbook allows customers to go straight to your website or social media page, and book appointments based on times you make available. They automatically receive email confirmation once they book the appointment. KickServ and Mhelpdesk are two more options to consider.

Technology has made it possible for any business to run as smoothly and efficiently as ownership wants it to. It’s simply a matter of learning and embracing all the technological possibilities to maximize profits and minimize risk.