Just the Words: Online Marketing Inspiration for Your Business from The Tools Show

Go here to watch the video!


This week’s episode is from Sage, who was on the road in Houston, Texas. And apparently his big, new hat took up too much bandwith and wouldn’t let Greg on the show! *g* (I’m sure it was just tech problems, really.)


Sage was in Houston at a conference, teaching a session about social media marketing, and was inspired to share some inspirational marketing with everyone. Around the SageRock offices, we can all pretty much agree that we are living in an exceptional era, full of art, creativity, and innovation unsurpassed since maybe the Renaissance. If you don’t think we have it pretty good here, just think about some dark days in American history, like the Civil War for instance.

Anyway, on to the Inspiration!

Humans of New York

Humans of New York

Check out this page! If you don’t already follow this Facebook page, you’re one of the few. Over 12 MILLION fans!

There are some very inspiring stories here, folks, about regular people and the stuff they do and think and hope for. The page catalogues “New York City, one story at a time.”

Check out the HUGE number of Likes and Comments and Shares on each post. These are crazy incredible. But the takeaway here is that we love stories. We humans have the desire to connect with one another.

Think about it–(pre-)historically, one human alone was lunch. A crowd of humans at least had a chance against the saber-tooth tiger! So survival was dependent on connecting.

How can You use this in Your Marketing?

Connect! Remember that companies and customers are actually PEOPLE! Interview your employees, your customers, you suppliers…get them to tell their stories! We all want to be asked to talk about ourselves, our Big Ideas, our hopes. This is what HONY does so well–and there are pictures!


I F*cking Love Science


(Apologies to those with sensitive ears eyes)

Another super-cool Facebook page, with almost 20 MILLION fans! The cool stuff you can learn here is usually pretty mind-blowing. And of course, one of the best quotes, by Isaac Asimov:

“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘That’s funny….'”

They are so obviously INTO science here; it’s their thing, right, the thing they are so passionate about that they had to curse!

Lesson for you: Too many businesses we see are ones where the owners are not into their business anymore (if they ever were), and it shows. If they loved the industry once, they have lost the love in the details of running a business every day. If this is you, do yourself a big favor and find something to really dig in your business again! Find something to be passionate about.

What can be cool in your company? We beg you–find a part of your business to fall in love with again. For your own sake, if nothing else. But once you do, it will be easy to communicate that to your employees, your customers, your leads, everyone.

And only have people in your organization who can find something to love, too. One negative, fallen-out-of-love employee (especially if it’s the owner!) will rot the whole company from the inside out. The thing that sets Great companies apart from Good ones are that the people in them really care about the business.

More and more people are starting companies every day; this is not going to change. If you aren’t with it, you will get run over by someone who’s passionate and loving their business.

One more for today:


Sage uses Instagram in a very specific way: he follows lots of artists, so when he opens the app, it’s full of beauty and innovation. This is where Art is happening online, and it’s inspiring to see so much creativity and talent. I would also add that this is a good example of using social media the way that suits YOU-not just how us marketers want you to use it–both as a user and a business owner. Just because -insert giant corp- wants to sell you stuff on Instagram doesn’t mean you have to use it that way. 

Takeaway: Think of social media as a CANVAS that you’re working on to create something to share. You’re not just pushing out marketing messages to get people to pay attention to you; you want to inspire, share, create, show your story (see #1). Humans love stories, and we love beauty. The best people on social media see it as a tool, a place, to create ART, to express themselves.

Use a beautiful canvas and create something deliberate on it; don’t just scribble on a pice of scrap paper and throw it out there. You get back what you put out–if it’s junk, don’t expect to connect with people in a meaningful way.

It all comes down to this:

If you want to stand out online, create something amazing!

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