from the Desk of Keith Parnell

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Coffee with the CEO: Blogging for Business Over Coffee [video]

Our Coffee with the CEO session today covered quite a few topics with a focus on each of our businesses. I sat down with a few of Hampton Roads’ smart business minds and talked about privacy on the Internet, reputation management, WordPress, Moveable Type, blogging for business, brand management, link building, inbound marketing, making your business successful, lead generation, today’s economy, and social media tactics including video marketing.

Today’s attendees:
Bill Boyer, CEO Focus of Tidewater
Mike Key, the Entrepreneurial Ninja
Keith Parnell, JASE Group Marketing & New Media
Stephen Quick, Stephen Alexander Homes
Carolyn Sulcer, World Class Travel
Ruben Vera, Exit Realty Central

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Related information:

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On Twitter? Follow me at @parnellk63.

Listening to Wheel in the Sky by Journey.

Coffee with the CEO: Holiday Coffee & Social Media in Virginia Beach

This week I sat down with several business professionals in Virginia Beach and talked social media, blogging, holiday shopping online, business strategies, marketing concepts, advertising traditions, SEO, return on investment (ROI) measurement methods and economic spending.

Coffee with the CEO attendees: Mike Key, Jeremy Bailey, Anne Bailey, Gerald Briscoe, Bill Boyer, Jaime Krapf, Chris Faircloth, Scott Janney, Cedrick Harris, Anthony Gartner, Rose Thornton, Alison Creamer, Naoma Doriguzzi, Sonya Schweitzer, Keith Parnell

RSS and Facebook readers: click here to watch the video.

Related information:

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On Twitter? Follow me at @parnellk63.

Listening to Sunday Morning by Maroon 5.

Holidays are for Creative Internet Marketing

photo credit:

photo credit:

I agree with Chris. Don’t take the holidays off from creating content for your blog.

Many companies do scale back on a lot of tasks during the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas-to-New Year holiday period. This is our opportunity to shine.

I equate this time period to the efforts we have preached about during this tough economic downturn in our country. While advertising dollars are scarce, be creative, come up with cool inbound marketing tactics to generate leads. Be smart and build your online marketing presence while your competitors are doing nothing.

What do you think? Have you increased your internet marketing activities? Have you increased your blogging?

RSS and Facebook readers: click here to view and enter comments.

On Twitter? Follow me at @parnellk63.

Listening to Boys of Summer by Don Henley.

How We Benefit from Inbound Marketing

A couple of years ago our company, JASE Group, decided that we were going to commit wholeheartedly to inbound marketing. The marketing and advertising strategies we had previously used for our company just were not working as effectively as we hoped.

Our process began as a test project around our blog material and extended out to a few of the social communities we were actively involved in. We began creating a massive amount of content then instigated, created and encouraged as many links back to this content as possible.

Guess what? It worked. And it still works. Every day.

Here are a few ways our inbound marketing strategies have influenced our daily business life:

  1. Lead generation from our company website and blog has easily tripled in the volume of quality leads. We have essentially hired an additional sales member (our website) without the payroll of an additional person.
  2. With inbound marketing we apply less efforts to traditional time consuming advertising campaigns – no more phone book ads, no more (offline) television commercials, no more radio advertising, no more trade show exhibits.
  3. Our internet marketing initiatives have made us more effective towards the goals of our sales team. The leads we generate from our online web entities are more qualified than previous offline initiatives’ leads.
  4. We are more efficient. Period. Time spent is more directly attributable to results.
  5. Our current online marketing initiatives are much less expensive than traditional campaigns. Couple this with the points made above, and we have a winner.
  6. Since we spend much less time worrying every single detail of outbound marketing items such as media buys and almost-impossible-to-measure-ROI, we have more time to work on our clients’ initiatives.

Do you wonder how inbound marketing can work for your business? Our team would be glad to talk with you.

Basics of an Inbound Marketing Plan

Basics of an Inbound Marketing Plan

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On Twitter? Follow me at @parnellk63.

Listening to I’ll Stand By You by Bonnie Rait.

Free eBook or not-so-free eBook – Which One?

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photo credit:

I’ve been working through several major topics the last few months with the goal of publishing them as eBooks on the web. A couple of the topics, including personal and corporate branding strategies, inbound marketing techniques, yes’s and no’s of blogging, and social media business strategies that work, have emerged at the forefront and should be published soon.

With the publication dates drawing near, I’m finding myself at another crossroads, or will be soon. Should I publish the eBooks as free downloads? I’m talking totally free – as in, don’t even collect email addresses prior to download.

I’m thinking in my minds eye that I should, if for no other reason than to increase the posibilities of viral distribution via email, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, LinkedIn, etc.

But being of a marketing frame of mind, I’m also hearing from the other shoulder that I should think lead generation and at least collect contact info at the time of download.

What do you think? Would a contact info gate before the eBook download prevent you from stepping further?

Research from the field:

Did any of these change your mind?

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Blogging Tips for the Wanna-bee and Don’t-Wanna-bee

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photo credit:

Here are a few quick blogging tips to keep in mind so you don’t bore your readers stiff:

  1. Write for your audience. Not for you. Not for your boss. Write for your readers.
  2. Don’t write a book. Booorrring. If your readers want to read multiple pages, they’ll download a new book onto their Kindle.
  3. Have a purpose. Don’t just ramble on your blog. You can do that on TwitterJASEzone or some other microblog platform. Write blog articles that have a point to make or a question to ask. Which leads to the next point …
  4. Ask questions. Get your readers involved in the communication.
  5. Share information. Don’t fall into the old school mindset that you need to hoard your “mojo”. Believe me, it’s not yours. Someone else has already thought of it.
  6. Be Switzerland. This one is hard sometimes. I know. But try to be neutral.
  7. Publish your articles on a schedule. Or atleast a semi schedule. Don’t sweat missing a beat or two but try to be considerate and thankful of your readers that are coming back to you for information.
  8. Link. Link. Link. Out. Link to your competitors. Link to other ‘experts’. They will appreciate the recognition and do the same back to you. Trackbacks work. I promise.

What are some other tips you can think of?

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Let’s Live Social Media in Ghent

Coffee with the CEO: Let’s Live Social Media in Ghent

Date: Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Time: 10:00am – 11:00am
Location: Panera Bread, 739 West 21st Street, Norfolk, VA

Come out to Panera Bread on 21st street in Ghent, Norfolk, VA on Tuesday morning at 10:00 AM and have coffee with Keith Parnell, CEO of JASE Group Marketing & Advertising and CLO of

No agenda. No sales. Just sharing.

Talk social media.
Talk new media.
Talk about your business.
Talk about how to grow your business.

Let’s live social media!

Register here on Facebook:

Coffee with the CEO

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New Book Orders – Trust Agents and Inbound Marketing

I’ve been holding off, not sure why, but I finally gave in and ordered these two books. Chris Brogan, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah are three trusted guys that I’ve been following and reading for quite some time. Their accomplishments and successes are to be admired. Can’t wait for the books to come in from

Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs
Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs Editorial Reviews

Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust

How to tap the power of social software and networks to build your business

In Trust Agents, two social media veterans show you how to tap into the power of social networks to build your brand’s influence, reputation, and, of course, profits. Today’s online influencers are web natives who trade in trust, reputation, and relationships, using social media to accrue the influence that builds up or brings down businesses online.

The book shows how people use online social tools to build networks of influence and how you can use those networks to positively impact your business. Because trust is key to building online reputations,, those who traffic in it are “trust agents,” the key people your business needs on its side.

  • Delivers actionable steps and case studies that show how social media can positively impact your business
  • Written by authors with over ten years of online media experience
  • Shows you how to build and wield influence online to benefit your brand
  • Combines high-level theory with practical step-by-step guidance

If you want your business to succeed, don’t sit on the sidelines. Instead, use the Web to build trust with your consumers using Trust Agents.

Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs

Stop pushing your message out and start pulling your customers inTraditional “outbound” marketing methods like cold-calling, email blasts, advertising, and direct mail are increasingly less effective. People are getting better at blocking these interruptions out using Caller ID, spam protection, TiVo, etc. People are now increasingly turning to Google, social media, and blogs to find products and services. Inbound Marketing helps you take advantage of this change by showing you how to get found by customers online.

Inbound Marketing is a how-to guide to getting found via Google, the blogosphere, and social media sites.

    • Improve your rankings in Google to get more traffic
    • Build and promote a blog for your business
    • Grow and nurture a community in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
    • Measure what matters and do more of what works online

The rules of marketing have changed, and your business can benefit from this change. Inbound Marketing shows you how to get found by more prospects already looking for what you have to sell.

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How do I become a better blogger?

Nacho BloggerI get this question quite a bit. Becoming a better blogger assumes you want to blog and you care about the task at hand: blogging – communicating – interacting. I’ve mentioned below a few points that I try to follow when blogging but I can’t say I’m perfect at all of them. I try. But I fail at times. So I keep trying.

The big rule of thumb though to remember when you’re searching for this kind of answer is to remain patient. You won’t turn your blog or your blogging skills or your blog traffic around overnight. Stick with it. And you’ll succeed.

So, how do we become better bloggers? Read on –

  1. Define the pupose of your blog. Even if your topics are varied. Define them and stick to the scope of the definition(s).
  2. Create visual appeal. Use graphics, photos or art in your posts.
  3. Stay in one place. Once you establish a place (e.g., on the Internet, stay there. Don’t make people hunt you down. They won’t.
  4. Engage and involve your readers. If your posts are not of interest to your readers they won’t stay around or come back. Get them involved in commenting on your blog. Even if you keep most of them hidden (like I do) conversations on your posts are crucial.
  5. Establish a blog schedule. I’m not real good at this but I try to get up a post at least 3 or 4 times per week. I blog on several blogs so sometimes it’s hard; it doesn’t matter. You must be consistent to keep interest.
  6. Proofread your work before hitting the airwaves. Please! If you have this inadequacy and you know it, have someone proofread for you.
  7. Syndicate yourself. Use RSS feeds extensively. A lot of blog readers use feeds to scan many blogs quickly just like the morning newspaper. Personally, I have about 350 blogs that I check daily. I could not and would do this without using RSS feeds.
  8. Make sure you have an “about me” page or a home page link. People want to know that you’re a real person.
  9. Get involved in the blogosphere. Getting involved means post comments on other blogs. Get involved in conversations and when possible link back to your blog.
  10. Submit your posts to other social web 2.0 communities. Reddit, Digg, Delicious, Netscape, and Stumble Upon are a good start.
  11. Interview industry experts. This sometimes bring in a new audience to your blog from which you may pick up new loyal readers.
  12. Interact with your readers. Just as I’ve done with this new post, its origin is a comment from a client on another post. Interaction and conversation is always good.
  13. Write about something you love. This is the only way to keep your own interest. Believe me, if you don’t love what you’re talking about people will notice.
  14. Include lists in your posts. Use bullets or numbers. Readers scanning your blog will be attracted to lists more than thousands of words on a page.
  15. Have fun. Blogging doesn’t have to be work. Feel free to make your posts fun and entertaining without wondering what people are thinking of you.
  16. Give lots of link love! Link to many different web pages and websites. Link to competitors. It’s okay, there’s plenty of traffic on the Internet for everyone.

Hopefully this list didn’t bore you too much and maybe even struck some interest and other questions. Do you have other suggestions?

As I said, have fun with your blogging. Talk soon.

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CEOs that Blog

RSSHere are a few Chief Executive Officers that I have in my Google Reader. Do you have others?

Donald Trump
Trump Blog

Jason Calacanis
Jason Calacanis Weblog

John Bruce
Living Enterprise 2.0

Jonathan Schwartz
Jonathan Schwartz’s Blog

Mark Cuban
Blog Maverick

Keith Parnell
From the desk (and BlackBerry) of Keith Parnell

Ross Mayfield
Ross Mayfield’s Weblog

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My Passion = Social Media on Steroids. What is your passion?

PassionPassion. What a very powerful word. When I think of passion, I think of every emotion I can conjur up directed towards a single center.

Passion. Do we all have passions? Real passions? Not just that we like something, that we thrive to like it and we live to like it.

Passion. I have a passion. My passion is new media. New media from yesterday. New media from today. And especially tomorrow’s new media. I have a passion for tomorrow’s social media. Tomorrow’s social media is today’s social media on steroids.

What do I mean by “social media on steroids”? I can better answer that with a question to you. What do you do with social media today? Imagine that scaled two-fold.

Imagine me talking on my blog and my message getting out to the many social platforms of my network. Imagine the conversations from those networks being aggregated together under the new Internet cloud into one conversation, in real-time. Imagine being able to participate in that large conversation without confusing effort.

Wow. That’s my passion. My passion is tomorrow’s new media. And it gets me excited for the possibilities!

What is your passion?

Ever wonder what Internet Marketing is or how it can help your business?

Advertising Age, JASEzone and JASE GroupHere’s a quick definition of Internet Marketing from the JASE website:

Internet marketing focuses on creating powerful content that will lead potential customers to your brand, product or service line through online methods like searching, referrals, and links from other web entities such as blogs, video and social communities.

If you are not investing in and actively participating in Internet Marketing, you are certainly missing an audience that is looking for you.

I talked a while back during the Coffee with the CEO series about aligning your business to attract Inbound Marketing traffic. See the video here. A quick overview of the video: social media fits into an inbound marketing campaign, inbound marketing fits into an internet marketing campaign, and internet marketing (along with traditional marketing) fits into an overall marketing plan.

Read that again if you didn’t understand. Internet Marketing can be, should be, and (if you talk to us) will be a vital aspect of solid sales leads generation for your sales staff.

Don’t miss out on Internet Marketing. Let’s talk.

Speaking this week on Social Media’s Role in the Marketing Plan

Public SpeakingI will be speaking on Wednesday this week in Norfolk (VA) for the South Hampton Roads Museums Forum (SHRMF). SHRMF is a regional group of public relations and marketing professionals with our area’s museums and historic sites.

During the presentation, Social Media’s Role in the Marketing Plan, we will discuss social media as part of a comprehensive marketing plan for the SHRMF institutions, and our (JASE) experiences in using social media initiatives with our clients.

The event is hosted by our friends at Keep Norfolk Beautiful.

2009 May 06: Social Media’s Role in the Marketing Plan

Ernie Morgan Center
3500-A Granby Street
Norfolk, VA 23504