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The Case Of The Citation Screwup

The Case of The Citation Screwup

My name is Art Williams. I'm a Citations Detective. It was a quiet Sunday night. I was sitting at home contemplating next week when I'm supposed to have a root canal. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? It's times like this when I need some cyber-screwups to distract me and lighten my mind up a little bit.

And then the phone rang. It was 'Bob'. (Names have been changed to protect the innocent). Bob sounded very frustrated. He explained to me that he has owned a hardware store in the city for several years but that he had recently moved and since that move his business had slowed down considerably.

Bob wanted to know if I could help. He said his business is very competitive and he was worried that somebody was trying to sabotage his business.

I said, "Well Bob…let's start with the facts. Nothing but the facts."

Bob said, "OK, but my wife doesn't have to know about this, does she?"

I said, "No Bob, it'll just be between us men. How's that?"

Bob said, "Oh that's wonderful. Let's roll!"

In my preliminary interview with Bob, I asked him if he got much business from the net. He told me, "Yeah, I do Facebook, a little Instagram, an occasional YouTube video, and I think I'm on a few directories like Google+, Yelp, Bing Places, Mapquest, Citisearch…..I don't know. It's hard to keep up with that kind of stuff, you know?"

That was my clue!

Bob didn't know it but maybe he already had the answer to his problem.

So I asked…. I said, "Bob, I wanna ask you something…and tell me the truth, OK, because this could be very important."

Bob said, "Sure Art, I wanna cooperate. I'll tell you whatever you wanna know but I don't think I know anything. That's why I called you, right?"

I said, "Ok Bob..OK, Ok….I know how you feel. Just relax. You work hard, you try to do what's right. But sometimes things just don't work out and now you're in trouble and you need an expert, right?"

Bob said, "Well, yeah…I guess you sorta hit the nail on the head."

I said, "Yeah Bob…that's why I've got this badge. I know we're on the phone but, trust me, I've got one. It says, 'Citations Detective'. It's very impressive but I try not to flaunt it."

So Bob said, "You've got a badge??!! Oh…Saints Be Praised!. Sure…sure…so, what's the question?! I'll tell you whatever you wanna know!! Just help me, please!"

Yeah, I could tell Bob was in a very emotional state of mind. After all… work all those years to build a business and then see it slip away like this for no apparent reason (that he knew of). Yeah, sometimes I have to walk a very thin emotional line in this business.

I said, "OK Bob. Here's the question. Listen very carefully: Did you or did you not change you name, address, and phone number on each and every one of those citation sites you told me you were listed on?"

The phone went silent.

I was just about to suspect something really serious was wrong but finally I heard Bob's quiet voice say, "Weeellll, no. I didn't. Why?"

Then I said, "Bob, I think I've solved your problem already. I think you've got a case of Citation Inconsistency. Do you realize how serious that could be?"

Bob said, "No….how serious is it?"

I went on to explain to Bob that Citation Inconsistency is potentially very serious if left untreated.

I explained to Bob that when there was inconsistent information on citation sites, review sites, social media sites, etc., that it confused not only old and potential new customers but it also even confused Google itself.

Bob said, "What do you mean. I'm innocent! I told you…I didn't do anything wrong!!"

I told Bob, "OK Bob. Just calm down buddy. I'm not saying you did anything intentionally wrong.. but let me explain something to you that every online business owner should know."

I went on to explain to Bob that if Google sees inconsistent information, pertaining to any business, on citation sites it is less likely to highly rank that business. The reason for that is because they (Google) doesn't want to publish information that could be wrong or incomplete. Information is, after all, their product, right?. 

Bob listened in silence. In fact…he was so silent I had to ask him, "Bob. Does that make sense to you? You know what I'm saying, right?"

Bob said, "Yeah Art. It's all so clear now. Man….if I could do it again, I'd make sure that all those citation sites… of course there weren't really a huge number, but…wow…that little omission sure made a big difference didn't it. It cost me a lot of money! Even my wife noticed I'd been preoccupied lately."

I said, "Well Bob….at least you're willing to change. Everybody makes mistakes. But you are willing to do something about it, aren't you?"

Bob said, "Oh yeah…absolutely! I'll do anything I can to make it right again. What should I do?"

I then proceeded to tell Bob that part of my crusade as a Citations Detective was to not only find bad citations for business owners but also to help them correct the problem. I told him I had a highly trained staff who could find all of his incorrect citations and update them with the correct information that would put him back in the good graces of Google.

And I also mentioned that additionally, I could find out not only the exact number of citations his closest competitors had but also what citation sites they were using, thus enabling him to get those exact same sites his business. And I explained that if he just added about 10% more citations, he would outrank his competitors (at least as far as citations go). 

So… I asked Bob if he was ready to take action and put a stop to how his SEO was hemorrhaging money. He said he was ready so I told him my secretary would send him some forms to fill out first thing on Monday morning so that me and my team could get to working on his problem.

Bob asked how long it would take before he started seeing any improvement in his business and I informed him that it took citation sites anywhere from a week to several weeks to update their databases and that he probably could start to see results in a couple of weeks. But I reminded him that the situation would continue to improve over the next 2 to 4 month as more of his newly updated citations went ´live'. 

He sound excited about that.

And just to make sure I 'managed expectations' properly, I asked him, "How does that sound to you?"

He said, "Oh that sounds great, Art. I'm soooo glad I called you! How can I ever repay you?"

I reminded him that my secretary would send an invoice too but that the money we charged him would be a pittance in comparison to the advantage his website would enjoy with the proper citation strategy which we would be putting into place for him.

So Bob and I said, 'Goodnight', I sent my secretary an email and voice-mail to tell her what to do about setting Bob up as a new client first thing Monday when she came into the office. Me…I'm not a morning person so I don't usually get into the office til after lunch. And besides, I'll be up late thinking about that root canal. I think I'm gonna get drunk. God…I hate root canals.

 

Art Williams
Case Study Writer, Google My Business Consultant, Markethive Developer

MarketHive

Mobile Minutes: Monetizing digital assistants; Google for GIFs; Snapchat overtaking Twitter; Automakers fear Apple

Siri

 

How Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant will make money off you

Apple, Amazon, and Google say their virtual helpers—Siri, Alexa, and the less snappily named Google Assistant—can make our lives easier by acting on our commands to book cabs, order pizza, or check the weather. Read more on Technology Review

A Google for GIFs? How Giphy plans to turn GIFs into big business

Giphy is a revenue-less three-year-old start-up, gets 150 million unique monthly visitors on its site, and all it does is curate and allow users to search for GIFs. So why is it worth $300 million? Read more on CNBC

Snapchat may already be bigger than Twitter, leaked data suggests

Snapchat didn’t just file SEC documents for a massive new $1.8 billion round of funding this week, the company also had its pitch deck leaked, revealing some interesting insights into the company’s usage and revenue. Particularly striking: Snapchat may already have more daily active users than Twitter. Read more on Variety

Why automakers should fear Apple, not Tesla

Tesla Motors TSLA gets credit – deservedly so – for lighting a fire under the global auto industry, inspiring carmakers to speed up their product development times and to get serious about introducing long-range electric cars and new technologies like over-the-air vehicle updates. Read more on Forbes

Article Source:
http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/content/22951.html

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Are The Days of Cheap Mobile Search Over?

The new expanded text ad from GoogleWhile Google’s recent AdWords update is receiving a warm welcome thanks to larger ad formats, fewer top paid placements means marketers will have to pay more to get noticed on mobile

With mobile search volume surpassing desktop a year ago, marketers are looking for better experiences and Google is under pressure to boost mobile revenue generation, which continues to lag desktop. Google tried to deliver against both of these needs this week with a number of AdWords adjustments, including separating tablet and desktop bids, new ad formats and a tighter integration with Maps for clearer online-offline engagements. 

“Google's new AdWords changes are very significant and marketers should prepare to increase their mobile SEM and SEO budgets for late 2016 and beyond,” said Brian Klais, CEO and founder of Pure Oxygen Labs. “Most of the changes are systematic in nature and designed to increase advertiser competition. 

“Google's theory is that larger ad formats will result in more clicks per impression,” he said. “More expansive headlines mean a bigger canvas for advertisers to compete on. The larger ads will mean fewer ads per page, creating further upward pressure on CPC rates.

“As with other recent AdWords changes – like removing the side rail – the new ad format will suppress organic listings further down the page. If you're not advertising or ranking naturally in the top 5 spots it will be difficult to get visibility. The days of cheap mobile search ads and mobile SEO are over.”

Getting to work
The big changes include the provision for two 30 character headlines, replacing the one 25 character allowed previously. Additionally, marketers can now write an 80-character description whereas previously there were two 35-character description lines. 

Additionally, there are now two paid spots appearing above organic results whereas there used to be four. 

Marketers are likely to be happy about being to include additional text in their search ads. 

Ads in Maps include promoted pins and a business page

Ads in Maps include promoted pins and a business page

Advertisers who move quickly and adapt to the new format can leverage the additional creative real estate to weave in new messages that could result in more clicks and purchases. Additionally, ads in the new format are likely to look more aesthetically appealing compared to any older ads that are still showing up in results. 

However, marketers should not assume the switch over to the new formats will be easy.

“Simply pushing line one and line two descriptions together won’t work, plain and simple,” said Tim Krozek, CEO of Boost Media. “Advertisers have written the two lines of text as disparate ideas, and when they are placed side-by-side, they don’t flow logically as a cohesive message.”

A win for big brands

The reduction in the number of top paid spots could have a significant impact on some marketers. 

“Advertisers that used to depend on being in bid positions 5 to 7 on the sidebar, and more recently lived off of cheaper clicks in the top 4 paid search ad spots, those marketers will struggle,” Mr. Krozek said.  “This change is a mainly a win for bigger advertisers that can afford to pay for what is now an even more scarce resource – fewer spots on the SERP.”

Another welcome change is that keywords and bid options are now more closely tied to a device type, walking back some of the changes Google made several years ago with Enhanced Campaigns. However, some would like to see Google put even more control back in the hands of marketers. 
 
“These changes are not large enough that it reverses Enhanced Campaigns, where we’d be able to create, optimize, and track separate campaigns by device type,” said David Lau, vice president of paid search and programmatic at iCrossing. “However it does help with the current limitations on bidding for devices – we can now bid on tablets separately again – and having desktop/tablet reporting separated.”

On location
With nearly one-third of all mobile searches related to location, according to Google, new location extensions will help advertisers showcase their business locations in search results. 

Google is investing in more branded, customized experiences for businesses on Maps. For example, Map users may begin to see promoted pins for nearby businesses along their driving route. Local business pages have also been refreshed with the addition of special offers and the ability to browse inventory. 

“The most innovative feature Google announced is the ability to place local search ads inside of Google Maps,” Pure Oxygen Labs’ Mr. Klais said. 

“Geo-based searches are huge among mobile users, and of course Google Maps is one of the most popular apps out there,” he said. “Enabling location-based advertisers to promote their logo as a ‘pin’ seems like an interesting first step forward towards smart location based mobile search ads.”

Article Source: Are the days of cheap mobile search over?

MarketHive

Topics in Mobile Redirect Issues Part 6: SSL- Redirect to Mobile Redirect-Problem and Solution

 

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

(Reposted from Patrick Sexton, https://varvy.com)

There are four common types of redirects that affect how your users and Google see your mobile pages. Each of them is bad for performance (speed). They include:

       *    Initial redirect – canonical (www.example.com vs example.com)

  • SSL – secure pages redirect
  • Redirect to mobile version
  • Content driven redirects

Content-Driven Redirects

  1. Problem

          Content-driven redirects are not required to display a page. These redirects have been added because mobile and                   desktop versions of a given webpage may not display the same content.Thus, some mobile pages are redirected to                 other locations.

          Bottom-line: Content-driven redirects are more of a design issue rather than a technical issue.

       b. Solution

         The use of content-driven redirects should be avoided if possible.The solution here is to utilize responsive web design.            This will ensure that both website versions (mobile and desktop versions) display the same content with no need for a              content-driven redirect.

MarketHive

Topics in Mobile Redirect Issues Part 5: SSL- Redirect to Mobile Redirect-Problem and Solution

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

(Reposted from Patrick Sexton, https://varvy.com)

There are four common types of redirects that affect how your users and Google see your mobile pages. Each of them is bad for performance (speed). They include:

       *    Initial redirect – canonical (www.example.com vs example.com)

  • SSL – secure pages redirect
  • Redirect to mobile version
  • Content driven redirects

Redirect to mobile version

  1. Problem

            When you have a different web address (url) for your mobile pages than you do for your desktop pages, the mobile                 device must somehow get to the mobile version. The way it does so is through a redirect.

           In other words, the mobile redirect is the method in which your mobile page gets displayed.This redirect only occurs                when a different url is utilized for mobile devices versus the desktop version. This redirect does not happen when a                  responsive web design is employed.

 

       b. Solution

         As previously mentioned, a mobile redirect only occurs when a different url is utilized for mobile devices versus the                  desktop version.

         Using responsive web design or dynamic serving will remedy this issue by eliminating the need for separate urls for the          same website (i.e., mobile v. desktop version).

MarketHive

Topics in Mobile Redirect Issues Part 4: SSL-Secure Pages Redirect-Problem and Solution

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

(Reposted from Patrick Sexton, https://varvy.com)

There are four common types of redirects that affect how your users and Google see your mobile pages. Each of them is bad for performance (speed). They include:

       *    Initial redirect – canonical (www.example.com vs example.com)

  • SSL – secure pages redirect
  • Redirect to mobile version
  • Content driven redirects

SSL-Secure Pages Redirect

  1. Problem

               Pages that use SSL will often be redirected from the url

              "http://www.example.com" to the secure version of that page at "https://www.example.com"

              This redirect usually occurs when a webmaster uses a site-wide 301 redirect as a simple step to forward all pages to               the secure versions of the page.

       b. Solution

              A redirect exists for SSL sites typically because the webmaster used an "easy fix" of doing a site-wide 301 redirect to               make all traffic forwarded to the secure version of their pages.

             A better option would be to use HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) which forces all traffic to use secure pages.                  This means your pages will be more secure and load faster by not using that 301 redirect.

 

 

MarketHive

Topics in Mobile Redirect Issues Part 3: Initial Redirects-Problem and Solution

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

(Reposted from Patrick Sexton, https://varvy.com)

There are four common types of redirects that affect how your users and Google see your mobile pages. Each of them is bad for performance (speed). They include:

       *    Initial redirect – canonical (www.example.com vs example.com)

  • SSL – secure pages redirect
  • Redirect to mobile version
  • Content driven redirects

Initial Redirect (Canonical)

 

  1. Problem

Example: The url "www.example.com" and the url "example.com" are actually two different urls even though they typically will have the same content.

One has the "www" and one does not. Oftentimes webmasters will choose one or the other throughout their site (www or no www).To ensure that pages are always using the same version of the url, a site-wide redirect is typically used.

Thus, when typing "google.com" into a browser, the end-result is "www.google.com".

  1. Solution

This type of redirect was typically implemented for SEO purposes.The common logic was to obtain credit for each link given to a page because some people link to the "www" version and some link to the non-version of a page.

As a webmaster, one must decide if this value even still exists and if so, is it worth the redirect?

Google understands pages and sites much better now than it did when this redirect became a common practice and Google even offers you a way via Webmaster Tools to choose which version you prefer (without the redirect).

Take Home Points:

*Regardless, make sure your site-wide redirects are smartly working with other redirects like ssl.

*Do not redirect users to one version of page just to be redirected again to the secure (ssl) version.

*The way to actually review / update / remove it for most webmasters is to go to their htaccess file and find it:

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^domain.com [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.domain.com/$1 [R=301,NC]

MarketHive

Topics in Mobile Redirect Issues Part 2: Consequences of Redirects

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

(Reposted from Patrick Sexton, https://varvy.com)

Consequences of Redirects

In the past, redirects were oftentimes utilized for various reasons (i.e., SSL redirects).  As a result, extremely long redirect chains have occurred. 

The below example illustrates a typical conversation that occurs often on the mobile web. Please note that this conversation has to take place before any of your webpage even begins to be displayed at all:

  1. Mobile device: "Give me http://example.com"
  2. Web server: "http://example.com has been moved to "http://www.example.com"
  3. Mobile device: "Okay, give me "http://www.example.com"
  4. Web server: "http://www.example.com has been moved to "https://www.example.com"
  5. Mobile device: "Okay, give me "https://www.example.com"
  6. Web server: "https://www.example.com has a mobile version at "https://m.example.com"
  7. Mobile device: "Okay, give me "https://m.example.com"
  8. Web server: "https://m.example.com has a better version at "https://m.example.com/better/"
  9. Mobile device: "Okay, give me "https://m.example.com/better/"
  10. Web server: "Okay here is that page"
  11. Mobile device: "I will now start loading the page."

In this scenario, several seconds have passed before the mobile device even starts loading the page. In other words, even if that page loads in less than a second, it would still take several seconds for a user to see that page because of the redirects.

*Note that the above process is just for the html of your page. In some scenarios, this process will occur for every request. Each image, each css file, each JavaScript file, etc. on your page may end up with the same issues if you are not careful about how you are doing things.

MarketHive

Topics in Mobile Redirect Issues Part 1: Definition and Problem

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

(Reposted from Patrick Sexton, https://varvy.com)

Definition:

  • A redirect is a method of forwarding a user from one web address to another web address.  Under normal conditions, when a mobile device requests a certain document at a certain address, the server will normally just provide that document.  There are four common types of redirects which will be covered over the course of this series.  They include: Initial redirect (canonical), secure pages redirect (SSL), redirect to mobile, and content-driven redirects.

 

When there is a redirect, the web server does not provide the document.  Instead, it provides a new address for the document. The mobile device receives the address and makes a new request for the document to the new address. Then and only then does it receive the document.

Why is this important?   Most importantly, the process can significantly decrease the performance of the website in question.  More specifically, a redirect can cause a mobile network to operate very slowly because each time any communication happens between the device and the web server, many things have to happen to facilitate that communication.

Redirects are very slow on mobile devices and should be avoided. If they have to happen, the amount of redirects should be as few as possible.

Redirects can be quite costly on mobile networks. Typically, with very redirect removed from your website, there will be a significant improvement in the speed in which your content is seen by users.

 

 

 

 

MarketHive

OK, Healthcare Entrepreneurs…Your Turn.  Let’s Resuscitate Your Professional Portfolio

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

In this era of inbound marketing, we are constantly discussing the importance of making sure that the traits and characteristics that are associated with our personal lives are congruent with those that define our professional lives.   Many would refer to this as our “brand,” or that ‘intersection’ of values, traits, & characteristics that are prevalent in both our personal and professional worlds.  

For most, it should be easy to determine another person’s character within a specific period of time of interacting with them.  Having this information combined with a decent understanding of that person’s professional background, would serve as a good starting point for understanding that individual’s brand.

As healthcare professionals, many of us are guilty of what many may call outbound marketing strategies.  When we are applying for jobs or looking to advance our careers, we tend to update our CVs and then jump right into the “applying process” but then we forget to do all the other important things that matter.  These include having a completed LinkedIn profile with updated professional photo and publishing articles (or blogs) that further explain who we are & what we do. 

More specifically, we should consider:

*Establishing ourselves with our potential customer base (i.e., patients, hospitals/healthcare facilities, etc) by making sure we can be easily found online

*Making sure our online professional profiles (think LinkedIn) are congruent with who we are and what our mission (or company’s mission may be (i.e., branding).

*Making sure we have a current, professional photograph that clearly shows our face

*Ensuring that our certifications/credentials are highlighted and current

* Publishing blogs (articles) about our product(s) and how it relates to our potential customer base (i.e., areas of healthcare we practice, our target patient population, what services we offer, etc)

In summary, we must take the time to make ourselves more visible.  Gone are the days when patients and healthcare facilities would solely depend on our state’s medical board or sites like Healthgrades to conduct their due diligence.

They want to be able to do a quick Google search and find us along with our current professional photo, our certifications/qualifications, areas of practice, beliefs, etc so that they can make better choices as informed consumers and stakeholders in healthcare. 

Remember that healthcare, like many other sectors, is rapidly changing and will continue to become more like a “big business.”  This means familiarizing ourselves with inbound marketing strategies while ensuring that our online professional portfolio remains current.

Ultimately, the assumption is that we will build a loyal customer base (i.e., patients/healthcare facility/etc) and if our product (or services) is really great, then they will keep coming back for more and they will tell their friends, colleagues, etc about it. 

Because we took the time to establish credibility and online authority through implementation of the above, we will have accomplished two things:  

  1. positive word-of-mouth references from former patients/employers/healthcare facilities, etc (more subjective); and
  2.  a legitimate online “place” for those who do not yet know who we are (or our business) to easily find us to verify the information (more objective).

 

 

MarketHive

Google Uses Alexa’s Information For Ranking and Indexing!

The Alexa Toolbar: Why You Need this Piece of "%#*&%@#".

Google Uses Alexa’s Information For Ranking and Indexing!

So you’re probably wondering why I have the Alexa Toolbar Installed on my browser and why I tell my fellow marketers, webmasters and SEO gurus to do the same.

It’s simple. The Alexa  toolbar monitors all my surfing and collects information about what domains I visit. They don’t know that it’s “me” – they collect it as anonymous user data and use it to rank your web sites. Not only does Alexa use this information for determining where people surf on the web but so does google. Let me repeat that fact so it sinks in:

Google Uses Alexa’s Information For Ranking and Indexing!

Installing the Alexa toolbar and surfing your own site will absolutely help you get your sites indexed by Google more quickly. I just started this blog today, and the GoogleBot has already come by without any inbound links!

Because the Alexa toolbar is such a pile, no one ever keeps it installed. So just by updating and surfing your own site daily, (assuming NO ONE else does), you can get your Alexa ranking from 5,500,000 or “no data” to around 300,000 in under a month and to 100,000 in 3 months.

Alexa Rankings and Google PR are two of the main factors uninformed people look at when considering link exchanges. (Page Rank is completely useless BTW we have a white hat PR 4 site that gets 20 visitors a day and unranked sites that get several thousand per day).

If you remember the Nielsen Company, famous for the Nielsen Ratings, you understand that what is put on television was once determined by what a minute fraction of TV viewers watched: The people with a Nielsen box on their TV Set – The Nielsen Families. Having the Alexa toolbar installed on your browser is like being a Nielsen Family for the web. Your surfing habits will determine what is most “popular” and what sites should be ranked higher in the SERPs.

Alexa’s Toolbar is a Great POWERFUL SEO tool.

That was reason enough for me to install the Alexa Tool Bar. Download it for yourself, and watch your Alexa Rankings Skyrocket over the next several weeks. We know Google looks at the Information, which means that Yahoo and MSN are probably looking at it too.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

MarketHive

How Being Genuine Can Strengthen You, Your Business, and Your Company

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

Recently, I came across an article written by Mamta Chhikara (http://hive.pe/eC), which goes on to list and describe specific qualities that a genuine person possesses:

*They don’t seek attention = Modest

*They’re not concerned with being liked = Confident and Authentic

*They can tell when others are full of it = Intuitive (a good judge of character)

*They are comfortable in their own skin = Self-assured and confident

*They do what they say and say what they mean = Integrity

*They don’t need a lot of stuff = Simplicity

*They’re not thin-skinned = Easy-going

*They’re not overly modest or boastful = Humble

*They’re consistent = Dependable

*They practice what they preach = Genuine, Honest

Always keep these traits in mind not only as business but also as an individual.   As entrepreneurs seeking to gain trust, authority, and a growing customer base, we should always be cognizant of the foundation of inbound marketing, which involves:

*Performing due diligence for you and your company

*Performing due diligence for your targeted audience/clients/potential customers

*Engaging with your targeted audience/clients/potential customers

During the process of engagement, we should always be aware of the above traits of genuineness.  Your future colleagues and customers will be looking for these traits and will likely have the following thoughts/concerns:

*They want to know if you are confident in your company and/or product.

*They will likely be more concerned about the content/effectiveness of your product and/or character more than shiny “bells and whistles.”

*You should be able to eliminate illegitimate leads or potential colleagues within minutes of engaging

*Your customers and your colleagues want to see that not only do you use the product in question, but also that you use the product well and are able to demonstrate the product’s effectiveness to your colleagues and potential customers

*Most of us can eventually “smell” an inferior product or individual within a short period of time.  A usual warning sign is too many “bells and whistles.”  Simplicity is the name of the game.  If it’s too complicated or if it feels like the product (or individual) is too flashy, then it may be perceived as ineffective or disingenuous.

*Your customers and colleagues want to know that they can reach you during tough times or emergent situations.  Are you easily accessible via multiple modalities of communication (i.e., phone, text, email, Skype, etc)?

Now, I am not one who typically needs validation in anything that pertains to who I am as a person but I felt markedly refreshed after reading this article.  Am I a genuine person?  Hell yes!  

Depending upon where you are or whom you are conversing with, we may describe a genuine person as either "the real deal" or "being real."  If you are a fan of Larry Wilmore on Comedy Central, then you are already familiar with his catch phrase "Keep It 100."  It's the same concept and I believe being genuine is parallel with having integrity as well as the other above traits.  

Not only does a genuine & authentic person display his authentic self at all times (obviously with some adjustment for discretionary purposes), but he also "says what he does and does what he says."  He is honest about who he is and his actions reflect his character regardless of the setting.  

 

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