I never thought I’d start a club that would have me as a member.
Happy Birthday, Serial Marketers!
Here are a few thoughts about the launch and life of the community so far:
1) I waited years to start this. When I renamed my blog and launched my consultancy under the Serial Marketer brand in 2016, I thought there should be something for Serial Marketers more broadly. It’s a term that was barely used, and it seemed like something many others would identify with. But I didn’t want to just start a community where I would be the center of it. The Groucho Marx line rings true; I’m wary of joining any club that would have me, so why would I start one?
2) Slack is the best option, at least for now. The most active groups I’m part of are email-based; the response rate is typically fantastic. But email is all-or-nothing; you’re on the list and get everything (or a digest of everything), or you get nothing. Facebook groups work pretty well as most people use the social network, but there’s a lot of fatigue, and group notifications easily get buried. I can’t remember the last great LinkedIn group I’ve seen, and group engagement is typically terrible there. As for Slack, the best part is how easily it works for a mix of mass communication, niche topical areas (#bookclub, #atlanta, jobs), and one-to-one conversations.
3) But Slack isn’t perfect. The downsides are that it’s hard for some to juggle multiple Slack groups (I use the Station app on my PC and the Slack native app on my phone), it’s yet another thing to join if you’re not part of any others, and Slack is designed for business teams and not communities. Still, Slack is by far the best of any mainstream option, and I’ll stick with it. The biggest downside? We’ve blown past the 10,000 message limit, so unless I paid for every monthly active member (totaling thousands of dollars annually), I can’t get access to the archives, and the number of app integrations is capped at ten.
4) I am always stunned by who’s in this group. While this isn’t just the ‘friends of Berky’ community, I still know the vast majority of people there, and I’ve met face to face with many members who were referred by others. There are now more than 500 people who have joined, and it’s incredible to see the kinds of people who showed up.
5) People there are on remarkably good behavior. I haven’t had to kick out anyone or even reprimand anyone. There was one heated discussion when someone posted an event with an all-male (or nearly-all-male) speaker roster, but even there, the criticism was constructive. Maybe the jerks are all lurkers? Whatever the reason, it’s a relief to be part of a group where there is so much respect from one person to the next. We don’t even have someone griping when someone shares a post about themselves in #lounge instead of #selfpromo.
6) A lot of people within the group have done business with each other.This is what excites me most about the community. I hear on a regular enough basis from members who have worked with each other on a project or something larger. I get other updates from people who had great calls with people in the group or wound up meeting someone for coffee or drinks. I love this, and it’s the one thing that most motivates me to keep doing this, and to keep finding ways to do it better.
7) I’m constantly learning by doing. Everything feels new to me while I do this. We tried a video chat with an author (Joe Jaffe), a happy hour mixer when a member came to town, and then a structured event last month that wasn’t just for community members. We’ll try more too, like meetups in other cities. It will evolve, and I can’t wait to see what will happen.
8) I love lurkers. I often meet people who say they’re around but don’t post much, if at all. I love that. It means there are so many others who I don’t see in there but who are still getting value out of it. I hope a lot more lurkers join; they’ll be able to add value to others when the time is right.
9) The Serial Marketers seal (see serialmarketers.net) is the best deal I got on Fiverr. The artist, Indonesia-based “bangbend,” has since delivered several other projects for me. When he replied to my RFP on Fiverr, he had one other review; now he has 375, with a 4.9-star average out of 5.
10) I don’t know what the right size is for a community. I imagine it will keep getting bigger, but if it’s too big, that becomes problematic too, as there winds up being even more noise to sift through. That’ll be a great problem to have.
Thanks to everyone who took a chance on this pilot project and turned it into such a vibrant, productive, respectful place. The profit I’ve reaped from it comes from starting and deepening relationships with so many people who are there.
Most importantly, thanks to all of you Serial Marketers for having me as a member.
Enough about me. What are you making of yourself?
LEARN. TRY. SHARE.
Those of us who work with sales prospecting tools may not be shocked to come across a business-focused email client that includes trackers. But the depth of tracking with no opt-out provisions presents problems for Superhuman, according to Mike Davidson. There should be a way to opt out from the recipient side (I mean this for all email tracker tools – a kind of pixel blocker), and senders in Superhuman should be able to turn this off. Also, Superhuman defenders can’t say this is only a business tool; I’m not sure how many people keep business and personal emails 100% separate; I’m always cc’ing, bcc’ing, or forwarding to one account from the other.
The post above was so effective that Superhuman’s CEO responded to it within days and changed many of the worst elements of the tracking. I wrote the summary above once I saw the original critique, and it remains a valid warning for startups and software users alike, but I’m impressed with the decisiveness and responsiveness from Superhuman’s leadership. (Note: Mike Davidson responded and is not that impressed with Superhuman’s course correction.)
CAN’T STAND AD TRACKERS?
Here’s a twisted way to fool them.
ADVERTISING: SAME AS IT EVER WAS
Mark Avnet laments how every new tech ‘innovation’ comes with a chorus of people shouting about how it’s the end of advertising. Instead, he recommends putting people and their needs back at the heart of every advertising program.
WANT TO WATCH NETFLIX AT THE OFFICE?
Make it look like it’s in a group chat window.
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July 31-August 1
CommerceNext, the summit for next level customer acquisition (and one of the best events I’ve ever sponsored), is coming back to NYC. The 700+ person conference will have 80+ speakers from leading retailers, DTC brands and innovative tech companies. Speakers include Purple, TechStyle, Victoria’s Secret, Men’s Warehouse, Bonobos, Casper and more! Learn more:
ANA DIGITAL & SOCIAL MEDIA
The 2019 ANA Digital & Social Media Conference is July 24-26th at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. Check out this agenda including top marketers from Target, Domino’s, American Express, Sephora, Bayer, Organic Valley, MGM Resorts and more.
INBOUND 2019 INBOUND is an annual experience uniting professionals with industry thinkers, high-octane events, and education sessions. Spotlights from Janelle Monáe, Katie Couric, Elizabeth Gilbert, Jada Pinkett Smith, and more, plus 225+ breakout speakers including executives from Google, Facebook, Kimpton, Adobe, Survey Monkey and more. Breakout tracks for sales, customer service, startups, leadership, and of course, marketing. Get 25% off your four-day AA or CP pass with this code.
CROWDSOURCING WEEK: BREAKTHROUGH
I’m proud to partner with Crowdsourcing Week for Breakthrough. #CSWGlobal19 is the leading global conference on crowdsourcing and open innovation, offering a platform for innovators and other growth champions to learn, network and collaborate. As a benefit of this partnership, members receive a 15% discount on conference passes with code CSWSERIALMARKETER15.