Welcome aboard!

Dayton Quest Center Hombu DojoEver joined a gym or enrolled in a martial arts school? The really good ones know that getting you to visit once isn’t nearly as hard as getting you to come back again. Why? You need to be able to understand the value of their product or service very quickly and get some early initial results.

Most of the really good membership programs have some way for new people to feel immediately welcome. Martial arts schools offer a free uniform and a private introductory lesson. Gyms offer a tutorial session on how to use their specific equipment. Even video games like World of Warcraft have special starting areas and tutorials so that you stay enrolled.

In the world of social media, people pay more frequently with their attention than anything else. Are you treating the new subscribers, the new members to your community, as well as a fitness club does? Do you have a way of showing them around? Do you have an introductory “package” that helps them decide quickly whether to stay subscribed, whether to come back again?

New people are stopping by your “gym” all the time. Every new follower on Twitter, every new visitor from Google, every new fan on Facebook – they’re all coming in for the first time just as they would at a health club. Long time subscribers, long time publishers often forget that we need to post frequent reminders of where the really good stuff is for the new folks. Are you welcoming them?

Consider this your introductory package to my blog. I’m glad you stopped by, I’m happy that someone or something told you about this place and what you might find here. Let me show you around a bit.

Who I Am, What I Do

Self Portrait

My name is Christopher S. Penn. I’m a bridge. I stand between different fields, professions, and ideas in order to help people on both sides understand each other. I can speak and sling code, but I’m not an IT professional. I can design campaign strategies and write copy, but I’m not a marketing professional. Where I provide value is in helping IT understand marketing and vice versa. The same is true for the martial arts, for education, for all of the different worlds I work and play in. I play World of Warcraft, but take the lessons from a virtual battlefield and apply them to business. I take solutions from the dojo floor and bring them to marketing.

The net effect of all this is that fresh ideas, insights, and solutions are never far away because I can take a problem in one world, look for a similar problem with a solution in another world, and find solutions when “pure professionals” in just one world get stuck. That’s who I am, that’s what I do.

I speak publicly about digital marketing. I’m also the Vice President of Marketing Technology at SHIFT Communications, an integrated PR agency, a co-founder of PodCamp with Chris Brogan, a co-host of the Marketing Over Coffee marketing podcast with John Wall, a professor of Internet Marketing and lead subject matter expert, curriculum designer, and professor of Advanced Social Media at the University of San Francisco online. I’ve been a practitioner of the martial arts for over 20 years now, and currently hold a black belt in ninjutsu under the guidance of senior master instructor Mark Davis of the Boston Martial Arts Center.

News and Updates

You’ll find me online on:

On Twitter, I do a series of regular posts called #the5. These are short bursts of information about what’s happening and what’s caught my eye in the news, especially in news of digital marketing. Read more about #the5.

Finally, I have a weekly newsletter I send out, filled with tips, resources, and things I’ve found useful. Please consider subscribing to it here. It also incorporates everything from #the5 that week, so if you don’t watch Twitter like a hawk, you won’t miss out.

Literature

If you’re the heavy reading type, I’ve written and co-written many eBooks that are downloadable PDFs. Here’s a selection of my favorites.

Audio

Every week, I record a podcast with my friend and colleague John Wall in a coffee shop in Natick, Massachusetts called Marketing Over Coffee. We discuss what’s getting attention in marketing, tips, tricks, tactics, and techniques for helping you become a better marketer, all in a compact audio program that lasts about the length of the average commute. I invite you to take a listen!

Video

Getting Stuff Done. A video and blog post about my daily productivity system.

Favorite Blog Posts

I’ve blogged close to 2,000 pages worth of stuff in six years. That’s a lot to catch up on. Rather than post piles of stuff to look at, I’ve selected 5 posts that others have said made a huge impact on them.

With that, our introductory tour is concluded. I hope you’ll stick around, subscribe to the blog (use the icons below), take advantage of all the content that’s here, and most of all, I hope you get some value out of what I create. If you do, please take the time every so often to let a friend or colleague know about things you’ve gotten value out of. Share it with them, and hopefully they’ll get the same or greater value as you did.


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