Applying Godin’s Concept of Otaku to Business

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Seth Godin’s The Purple Cow introduced a remarkable concept called Otaku.  According to Seth Godin, “an otaku is more than a hobby but less than an obsession.”  When I have conversations with CEOs of startups and hear why they are passionate about the product or service they market, this concept comes to mind.  When I read the blog Techsy Talk, I learn of Liz King’s otaku for event technology.  When I read the country music blog Home Sweet Country, I sense Lauren Hoffman’s passion for country music.  There are many ways to express a love of a hobby or a passion.  When a person loves what they do and has an audience who views them as a thought-leader in their respective field, this person is referred to as an influencer.  When I had the opportunity to speak with Private Dining Concierge’s Founder and President, Valerie Ciarlo, I immediately recognized her otaku for making event planning easy.

 

CASE STUDY: PRIVATE DINING CONCIERGE

Private Dining Concierge was inspired by a San Francisco-based venue selection tool that connected people looking to book an event to venue space in San Francisco, CA.  With experience in the restaurant industry, Valerie found that this website was the missing link for planners and restaurants in the New York City market.  By designing a simple way to send one RFP (Request For Proposal) to many restaurants, Valerie was determined to eliminate the time spent on searching for a venue and increase the communication among planners and restaurant staff. Private Dining Concierge is valuable because Valerie knows how planners and restaurants work together.  This service works because PDC connects planners solely to the quality restaurants in food and service and allows planners to search for venues that suit their needs.  More important, PDC is successful because it is fueled by Valerie’s knowledge and passionfor the private dining industry.

Just as Starbucks Founder Howard Schultz has an otaku for coffee, Valerie has an otaku forprivate dining. As a result, she designed a product to make the booking process easier.  We encourage you to think of your personal and professional interests and what is important to you.  Expressing an otaku exists in many forms.  Some of these “forms” include blogging, starting a business, volunteering your time at a charity or joining an association.  The list of ways to demonstrate your otaku is infinite. We ask you to share some of the ways you have expressed your interest in the past or what you plan to do now that you have read this post.

Our Seven Degrees Annual Reading List

 

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As the days become shorter and the 23rd of September approaches, we challenge you to take a few hours to yourself to accomplish summer reading. While “All That Is” by James Salter, “All The Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr, and “The Sixth Extinction” by Elizabeth Kolbert are the top three books on President Obama’s summer reading list, we ask what your summer reading list looks like. Does your list consist of fictional books to help you escape your everyday thoughts? Does your list include nonfiction books designed to help you professionally? Our list consists of both but each of them have one common theme— they are all written by a friend of Seven Degrees Communications.

From a political book to a cook book, a standardized test book to a leadership book, our list displays a large array of topics. While you may not find a need for each of these books within the next few weeks, we ask you to keep this list handy for a time you or someone you know would like some insight on entertaining guests, guidance, or possibly taking the ACT.

Non-Fiction:
HRC by Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen: HRC is a story of Hillary Clinton’s political rebirth based on the eyewitness accounts of her inner circle.

Look, Lead, Love, Learn by Bill Sheridan and Tom Hood: Sheridan and Hood explain how the ability to “Look, Lead, Learn, Love,” will help you successfully conquer the new shift in today’s workplace.

How To Get People To Scream Your Name And Beg For More by Tom Morrison: Morrison’s book spurs the profound changes you need to make in life in order to live a more fulfilled lifestyle.

The Gilded Fork: Entertaining At Home Cookbook by Jennifer Iannolo and Chef Mark Tafoya: With dinner party menus ranging from summer casual fares to an elegant dinner for two, The Gilded Fork includes recipes full of flavors, textures and colors that will impress your guests.

How To Get People To Scream Your Name And Beg For More by Tom Morrison: Morrison’s book spurs the profound changes you need to make in life in order to live a more fulfilled lifestyle.

Acing The ACT by Elizabeth King: Do you know of someone taking the ACT test? Well, we know someone who has an outstanding guide to tricky questions and secret strategies.

Living After Losing by Kendra Von Achen: Living After Losing is a personal account showing the journey, process, and lessons learned from grief.

Fiction:
The Shore by S.E. Brown: The Shore is a romance novel depicting the ride of two individuals.

We want to thank all of our friends for sharing their stories with us. We look forward to ending our summer reading each of these books and finishing the list as a new season approaches. We hope you find each of these reads valuable and can write an Amazon review expressing your thoughts. If you would like to connect to any of these authors after finishing these great reads, we will be happy to make that connection. If you are working on a book or know someone that is, let us know. We are always looking for more books to dig into and will be happy to pass it along to others.

 

Book Review: You are a Badass

You are a BadassSometimes it takes 20 years to find a life-changing book.  In my case, it was at my 20-year high school reunion that Kristy Wexler, fitness guru and official Badass, suggested I read: You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero. Actually, Kristy suggested I listen to it on Audible and I think you should do the same.

Before you keep reading, please note that there are some four-letter words in this post. They are quotes from the book and I love them.   I’ve been reading a lot of motivational books lately and few resonated with me like this one has.  The book is based on the premise that you can live the life you want by speaking in the present and by loving yourself.  In fact, at the end of every chapter, Sincero reminds the reader/listener to love themselves.  You absolutely cannot be successful and make positive change if you don’t love yourself first.

The book is designed for people who are stuck in life or who just need an extra shove off a cliff. It’s for all stages of life, from those who feel like they are at the bottom of the ladder to those who are on the brink of greatness.  Well, actually, she thinks everyone is on the brink of greatness – that’s why she wrote the book.

My takeaways are:

  • Write down your life as you see it as if it’s really happening.
  • Make it happen.  You need to have the right attitude, but you need to do the work.
  • Getting a coach can help get you to your goals.
  • You need to love yourself – this one you cannot avoid.
  • Think in the positive.  Get rid of words like Can’t, Won’t, Never.
  • Like attracts like – put out what you want to get back.

The concepts in this books are not new to someone who believes in karma and the power of the universe.  What made this different is that Sincero is cool.  She’s tough. She walks the talk.  She is a Badass.

So what’s my absolute favorite part of the book?  This quote: “Nothing is more unstoppable than a freight train full of Fuck-Yeah.”

Get the book.  Absorb the book.  Go be a Badass!

 

 

Press Release: Seven Degrees Communications Supports the 9th Annual Kristen Bednar Memorial Surf Camp

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Woodbridge, NJ – August 6, 2015 – Marketing Consulting Firm Seven Degrees Communications is proud to announce the sponsorship of Special Citizen’s 9th Annual Kristen Bednar Memorial Surf Camp for Children with Autism (Surf Camp). Surf Camp will take place on Saturday, August 15, 2015 at Cupsogue Beach in Westhampton, New York.

Surf Camp was founded by Jessica Zufall of Special Citizens in August 2007 to provide children with Autism and their families a free day of surfing with an instructor.

When asked what inspired Zufall to find Surf Camp, Zufall stated, “The benefits of aquatic therapy and its impact on children with autism inspired me.  I started asking what more could I do to aid in the holistic approach of working with children outside of typical ancillary services such as speech, physical, or occupational therapies.”

The success of Surf Camp continues to grow year after year.  While camp hosted 22 active participants in 2007, the camp taught 118 surfers in 2014.

Seven Degrees Communications is looking forward to supporting this year’s Surf Camp.  With community service and social good a fundamental part of our corporate culture, President Jessica Levin of Seven Degrees Communication says, “We support the work that Jessica Zufall is doing because it has direct impact. The camp touches the lives of each family that participates and gives them a day of pure enjoyment. Everyone needs that in their lives and Surf Camp provides that to families who need a break from the challenges of daily life.”

If you know a family residing in the tri-state area interested in signing up for Surf Camp or you are interested in volunteering, please visit Special Citizen’s website here.

About Seven Degrees Communications: At Seven Degrees Communications, our motto is, “businesses don’t buy from businesses; people buy from people.”  With that approach in mind, our goal is to help companies, associations and business professionals create, develop and enhance relationships both online and face-to-face. Our service focus includes Marketing and Communications, Events and Technology.  Our services offer Business Development Training, Content Marketing, Social Media Consultation and Execution. To learn more about our services, please visit our website at www.sevendegreescommunications.com.

Media Contact:
Stacy Hanas
Communications Coordinator, Seven Degrees Communications
Email: shanas@sevendegreescommunications.com
Phone: (929) 322-4418

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Website Audits for SEO Success

Website AuditWe work a lot with the accounting industry and know that many people cringe when they hear the “A” word. Why do business owners alike dread when the auditors show up? Well, it often means more work in an already busy work-day and let’s face it, an audit can be a stressful time answering a million questions and complying with a constant barrage of requests. However, audits are a necessary and important part of every business. Just like businesses need a regular audit of their financial records to ensure accuracy and overall health, websites also benefit from a thorough examination, or dare we say audit, to be sure the site is in optimal shape.

WHAT IS A WEBSITE AUDIT?

So what is a website audit and how is it related to your SEO strategy? Simply put, a website audit gives you a full picture of the effectiveness of your company’s website. It allows you to look at the technical infrastructure of your website, as well as the on-page and off-page elements that affect search engine visibility, usability, and conversion. The main point of the audit is to identify the strengths, weaknesses, and areas of opportunity in website marketing.

WHY ARE WEBSITE AUDITS IMPORTANT?

Website audits are a vital component of keeping your SEO strategy up-to-date.  With search engines frequently updating their algorithms to provide better search results, there is a good chance that what is working today may not work months from now. Therefore, you need to be aware of these changes so you can make adjustments to your website accordingly.

What’s more, you will also be able enhance your SEO efforts by identifying any missed opportunities or poorly executed SEO pitfalls that may be doing serious damage to the success of your online marketing efforts.  These could include strategies started a while ago and have since been forgotten about. An audit will allow you to re-focus your SEO efforts on users first and search engines second so you won’t still be using old tactics just to get in the top of the search engine results pages. 

THINGS TO LOOK FOR

There are a number of common issues that are typically uncovered during a website audit from both a content and technical aspect, including:

  • Duplicate Content— Duplicate content is any content that appears on the Internet in more than one place. Why is this a problem?  If your website has multiple pages that contain the same content, it makes it difficult for Google to pick the right version. Therefore, it is important to quickly identify and either remove or redirect any duplicate content that may exist.
  • Broken Links – It is not uncommon to find a number of broken links. This just means that the intended linked-to page either no longer exists or has been moved. Google does not like broken links and it is important to remove or repair them as soon as they are discovered.
  • Titles, Meta Data, & Images — Title tags and meta descriptions are the first thing visitors will read in the search results. It is important to ensure that they are not only included, but that they are relevant to the content of the site as well. Additionally, there should be alt tags for any images. Remember, Google also indexes images in addition to indexing content.
  • Site Speed – Page loading time is obviously an important part of any website’s user experience. If it takes your website more than a few seconds to load, then your SEO rankings are going to suffer. Site speed can be impacted in a number of ways including large image files and what type of website hosting is being used, to name a few. No one likes waiting forever for a website to download so be sure that your site loads within 1-3 seconds. A fast-loading website is good for your visitors and user experience which equals better rankings.
  • Sitemap and Robot Files – These are important files that help search engines when indexing the website. A sitemap tells Google and other search engines what pages on your site you want to be crawled and indexed. It also ensures that your pages are found and found quickly. Robot files, on the other hand, allow you to specify which parts of your site should be crawled and what parts to avoid. When either of these files is missing or incomplete, it makes the job of indexing a site much more difficult.

When was the last time you gave your website a checkup? As you can see, an audit of your website is a critical part in improving your website’s performance and enhancing your SEO efforts. If you have never audited your website before or it has been a while since you have, let us know. We are here to help!

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    Applying Godin’s Concept of Otaku to Business

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