Today, marks the release of my great friend, Mitch Joel’s, book Six Pixels of Separation. You may have never heard of Mitch, I promise you that you will. In Canada, Mitch Joel is considered an Internet Marketing Rock Star. It is well deserved nick name, especially if you have ever seen him present on stage. Mitch has an extremely popular marketing blog, podcast and soon to be best selling book. Mitch is also President of Twist Image – an award-winning Digital Marketing and Communications agency.
I had the chance to ask Mitch a few questions about his new book, Six Pixels of Separation:
With so many Social Media books out there, how is Six Pixels of Separation different than the others?
I’m not sure that Six Pixels of Separation is a “Social Media book.” I think
it explains how some of those channels are very important to business today
and going forward, but I don’t think that’s the crux of Six Pixels of
Separation. Also, a lot of the Social Media books I have read tend to be
written by people giving their perspective of the new online channels either
through the lens of a Marketer, Consultant or Technologist. I wrote this
book as an Entrepreneur for businesspeople. Using real business language and
case stories that really illustrate how business can grow (and yes, that
includes making money). This book is the strategy, tools and tactics my
business partners and I used to grow our business (as Entrepreneurs) from no
employees in 2002 to nearly 85 full-time team members with multiple offices.
Basically, by taking part and engaging in the many online channels, my
company, Twist Image (with me as “the voice”), was able to build this
multi-million dollar business. We continue to grow by still using the same
channels. This book is much more about how to think strategically different
and engage in a much more human way in this new world. It’s also not a book
written by a pundit. It’s written from one businessperson to another. There
is also a lot of influence from the Future Now Inc. people too – especially
the work that both Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg have done. For me, and the
audience of Six Pixels of Separation, having great “scent” for your
marketing and driving to conversation is also a big part of the message in
If you think the Digital Marketing channels are so powerful and important for business, why not just publish this on your Blog? Why a book?
Yeah, I get that a lot! The reason I wrote a book in the first place – and
did not just tell people to read my Blog – is because when I go out and
speak in public (which I do about 70 events a year), it is amazing to me how
many businesses are simply not engaged online or thinking like the way
people online tend to think. So, I wrote this book using a medium they are
comfortable and used to.
That being said, I am hopeful that you (and anybody else reading this) will
pick it up. I think there is also a ton of value for those who have already
gotten a tipsy on the Kool-Aid. I have been told that there are some
different and unique perspectives even for someone who is highly engaged in
these digital channels. I’m also hopeful that you (and your community) will
see the value in passing a book like this on to clients or peers who keep
asking the questions we get asked on a daily basis.
What are some takeaways people will get from the book? What priorities do they need to focus on for the next quarter?
One of the main takeaways that I hope people get from this book is the
notion of “Digital Darwinism”. Companies quickly jump on to YouTube and post
videos, they add widgets and downloadable applications to their websites,
they start a Facebook Page and then sit around the boardroom slapping each
other on the backs and handing out lollipops for how well they have managed
to “evolve” their digital and online properties from where they were.
The general train of thoughts is that if you add Twitter or a Blog into the
mix you were able to evolve your Digital property by the simple act of
having these new channels as a part of your digital ecosystem.
Digital Darwinism favours the community, not the creator or enabler of the
Digital Darwinism is what your users, community members and readers do with
your content. If you don’t have any of those, you don’t evolve (you become
extinct). If you have readers and users but they’re not active (taking part,
reading, adding their own comments, passing your information around), again,
you become extinct.
Charting a course to evolution is a process (not a campaign).
Can you continue to create content in hopes that people will connect with it
and help you evolve? Of course, but you have to do the heavy lifting at this
point. You have to be the one out there beating the drum and letting people
know that it’s not a self-promotional environment you have created, but
rather one to benefit the community. It’s easy to see why this can be
challenging. In one breath, we want people to connect to our content so they
become loyal customers. In another breath, we have to be sensitive to the
fact that the more self-promotional we are with our material the less likely
it will be that a community spawns and extends our evolution.
For me, the next quarter is about taken a very hard look at your website,
database, micro-sites, search engine marketing campaigns, web analytics and
social media platforms and make some tough decisions: which ones are
working? Which ones are duds? How are you going to open up and let your
community engage and help you “evolve”?
What other books should people be reading now?
I think you mean, besides Six Pixels of Separation? Seriously, I have broken
.. New business thinking:
o The Cluetrain Manifesto – The End of Business as Usual, by Rick
Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls and David Weinberger.
o Here Comes Everybody – The Power of Organizing Without
Organizations, by Clay Shirky
o Life After the 30-Second Spot – Energize Your Brand With a Bold Mix
of Alternatives to Traditional Advertising, by Joseph Jaffe
o Made To Stick – Chip and Dan Heath.
o Purple Cow – Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable, by Seth
o Re-Imagine! – Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age, by Tom Peters
o Trust Agents, by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith.
.. Tactics to get it done:
o Call To Action, by Bryan Eisenberg and Jeffrey Eisenberg (no, I am
not sucking up!)
o Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? – Persuading Customers When They
Ignore Marketing by Bryan Eisenberg, Jeffrey Eisenberg, and Lisa T. Davis.
o Web Analytics – An Hour A Day, by Avinash Kaushik
o Winning Results With Google AdWords, by Andrew Goodman.
Mitch has been one of my best supporters and he deserves our support as well. If you need more information about the book you can read a synopsis, see some videos and read testimonials from the Twist Image website. Take a couple of moments and order the book. I am sure you will enjoy it.