Today’s training is all about Friendfeed, a service that will be a pretty crucial element for us in this year’s Thirty Day Challenge. Let’s take a look at Ed’s video below…
Using Friendfeed for the Thirty Day Challenge
Before I start in with my notes, let’s take off our internet marketing caps for a second. I know it may not be easy – but shift gears with me here…
Internet marketing, making money online, affiliate marketing – call it whatever you want to. At the end of the day, money is moved whenever a sale is made. If nothing is sold – there’s no money to be made. So – to successfully make money online, you end up having to talk about a sale of some kind. Let’s talk about sales…
There are a few ways to approach sales – without turning this into a sales seminar…Let’s say there are approaches that could be described as “adversarial” and on the other end of the spectrum – there are approaches that could be described as “advisory.”
I don’t want to knock on any specific person or job – but one of the most prevalent stereotypes involving salespeople is the “used-car salesman.” The image brought to mind is the guy sitting across the table – being pushy, trying to close the deal – overcoming the objections – and creating urgency by limiting the time the price is valid.
I’ve met car salesmen who truly seemed to have my interests in mind. I’ve also come across a few who were out to sell me a particular car. They sized me up and decided what they wanted to sell me before I even had a chance to tell them what I wanted or what I could afford. In those instances, it felt adversarial – their intent was to line their pocket, not serve their (potential) customer.
An emergent sales approach in the last decade or two involves taking on the role of consultant or advisor. It means asking a lot of open ended questions, finding out what a customer is looking for, what they need. An advisor wouldn’t try to push any certain product or agenda – rather, through conversation – they would begin to work out a solution that is the ideal fit for the customer’s problem.
In one sense, it takes more work – more of an investment on the salesperson’s part to make sales this way. But if done well, if the salesperson has used conversation to connect with their client – to assess the problem and come up with a solution – the end result is a customer who trusts you, who is ready to make their purchase and will remain a satisfied customer.
It’s this idea of conversation Ed is talking about here. The conversation can now happen online. And that is the power of services like Twitter and Friendfeed. You get to have those conversations with potential customers. You get to create those relationships, and become known as a problem solver. Solve enough problems for enough people – the money will follow.
I know, I know – I’ve digressed from the lesson. I’ll get back to it in a few sentences. Just think about this – a conversation probably brought you here. Maybe a blog post or an interesting article or a search – whatever it was, you’re still reading this. So, something has held your interest. You’re seeing the process in action, you’re part of this conversation – and you’re going to learn how to put this process into action for yourself in your own niche….I’ll get off my soapbox now, let’s get back to Friendfeed…
Friendfeed is a great way to communicate with a group of people. It will be an important tool for communication. We’ll take it kind of slow, because if you get into Friendfeed too far, too fast – it could be like trying to take a drink out of a fire hose. (I’ve heard that can really hurt.)
One of the key concepts to keep in mind – it’s not about the volume of content Friendfeed sends out – it’s about the ability to create conversations around bits of content. This is where Friendfeed excels as a conversational platform.
By the way, the use of the word “conversation” here implies a two-way communication.
People try to do this with Twitter, but Twitter isn’t designed as a conversation platform – like Instant Messaging or Skype. It’s a micro-blogging platform – designed around the idea of short, 140 character posts. People try to use it as a two-way conversational tool – and it can sort of work that way. But at the core, that’s not what micro-blogging is meant to accomplish.
Friendfeed takes any piece of content and provides a mechanism to filter and stream that content – allowing people to vote and/or comment on it. It doesn’t “generate” the content per se – it gives you a place to gather or aggregate this content from several sources, turning it into a feed – and then turning it into a conversation.
If you follow Ed on Friendfeed, you’ll see just about everything Ed is doing online. It could be a new picture on Flickr, a new video on YouTube, a new blog post, his latest “Stumble” – etc. It’s been referred to as a “Life-streaming” application.
When it’s all said and done – the more times you are able to communicate to your market in a non-threatening way – without getting in their face with a “hard-sell” – the more successful you will be. The more times you’re able to make contacts, build rapport and get your offer in front of them – and they can respond to you – the more likely you will be to make sales and the more successful you will be.
In this regard, Twitter and Friendfeed are two of the most powerful tools currently available for opening up the conversation and allowing online business people to interact with their potential customers.
As you read on, we’ll see how to create a Friendfeed account and sign in. We’ll also take a look at Ed’s feed, so you can get familiar with using Friendfeed. There are a lot of tools and options that we will be able to explore later on. But let’s take it slowly, to keep from getting overwhelmed and/or distracted…
So let’s get started – click the picture below – and let’s go sign in to Friendfeed:
In my case, I’m going to have to create an account. So – step one: create account
Step 2 – Find your friends – here, we can find Facebook friends and/or import our address book.
Friendfeed is a great way to keep your Facebook news feed up to date. It’s a bit advanced for today, but it’s something we’ll want to look at later. We could also add people from our e-mail address books. Again, we can come back to this step later.
We could also add popular Friendfeed users – but we’ll skip it for now to avoid getting overwhelmed. Beware the fire hose…
Next Step – Share something – here we can add things like our Google reader or blog or YouTube, Twitter, and many other services (Seesmic, Flickr, etc.)
Look at that list! I mean seriously, that’s a huge list!
I’m going to go ahead and share a few as I’m writing up this post. I’ve been dying to do this. Watch how easy this is…
First, Google Reader – I click on the link that says Google Reader and this pops up:
Uh-oh – so far I haven’t paid attention to my “shared items” page. Where do I find that?
Just log in to your Google Reader account – in the upper left corner, you should see something like this:
Notice the link under “Your stuff” – it says “Shared items” – go ahead and click that. Here’s what I got:
Nothing like Google letting me know I’ve been a slacker…
Okay, so I can do this two ways. I can select the link text above and copy it – or I could click the link. That would take me to the actual page and I could copy the link right out of my address bar. I chose to copy it from here – and paste it like this:
Click on the “Import Google Reader button and that’s it. Let’s do another one…StumbleUpon:
Just click on the “Share Something” link to StumbleUpon and here’s what pops up:
I just add my username and click the “Import StumbleUpon” button. That was easy. How about another?
Let’s try Twitter – I click on the Twitter link in the “Share Something menu and here’s what I get:
So far, so good. What about something trickier – maybe something like, oh – I don’t know – this Blog perhaps? Glad you asked…I click on the “Blog” link in the “Share Something menu and get:
Seriously, that’s it – now whenever I update anything on any of those services – it will show up on my Friendfeed.
So now, I’ve shared the following services:
I could keep going – but I think you get the idea. You can always come back and add services as you start using them.
Now, just for giggles – I made a special Twitter post – just for you…
Now let’s see what happened in my Friendfeed:
So – I do something in Twitter, and it gets picked up by Friendfeed….
Now, let’s take a look at what Friendfeed pulled in from my shared items:
It actually went a brought items in from as far back as July 12th – let’s see, today is the 21st – so it went back a little over a week. That’s pretty cool – it keeps me from looking like a slacker, well – at least a little bit. just don’t compare me to Ed 🙂
Speaking of Ed – Let’s go look at Ed’s personal Friendfeed page:
(You can click on the image above to go to Ed’s current Friendfeed page…)
So in looking at Ed’s page, you can see he follows several people and a lot of people comment on his items.
You know, sometimes I look in on stuff like this and feel like the nerdy little freshman who wandered into the cool upper-classmen party in high school. Oh well – at least I didn’t wake up on stage singing – and realize I was naked 🙂
The thing to notice here is the conversation that is taking place. Granted, the niche here is “thirty day challengers.” Well, that – and there are some people who are members of the Immediate Edge. But the key is the conversation. Ed posts something that should be of interest , something that adds value – someone else comes along and adds a comment – or adds a link to a related item. Friendfeed keeps the flow of the conversation going in a way that is “seamless.” Yes, I DID just use that word – if you watched the video, you know what I’m talking about…
Let’s take a look at the “rooms” functionality – using the “Thirty Day Challenge” room.
You can click the image above to go to the Thirty Day Challenge Room.
You can join the room – go ahead, join the room…the link is over on the right hand side.
You can take this little link (pictured above) and use it to share items to the thirty day challenge room. Everyone gets an opportunity to contribute and jump into the conversation.
Here’s the important thing – everything in Friendfeed is…..drumroll please…. an RSS feed. So you can add feeds from Friendfeed into your Google reader.
Remember how you can “share” from within Google Reader – that means you can interact with a feed from Friendfeed from within Google Reader. Talk about cutting out interruptions to your workflow…
We’ll be learning even more killer ways to use Friendfeed for our internet marketing endeavors throughout the thirty day challenge.
Ed encourages every team to create their own room – all the members of your team can interact and share. It’ll become a one-stop-shop for everyone to keep track of each other, their activities, and the sites they’re looking at. And with the commenting capabilities, the feed capabilities and the privacy options – it’s very powerful. It’ll be something to get used to, but it will be absolutely worth it.
Remember, once you create your team room – you can subscribe to your feed and interact with your teammates directly from Google Reader. Nice!
So if you haven’t done it yet – go get signed up for Friendfeed and start getting used to it. Share a few things like your Twitter, maybe your Google Reader – join the Thirty Day Challenge room and subscribe to Ed’s Friendfeed page.
The next lesson will take us deeper into Friendfeed….
If you got something out of this post, please take a moment and spread the word…