Mike's blog

Change Your World With A Positive Attitude

I’ve always felt strongly that a positive attitude combined with hard work leads to success in most things – your job, business, or sport, for example.

Internet

And it used to be easy to insulate yourself from negative stuff. At work you could simply ignore the whinger in the corner who was going nowhere, and friends who wanted to whine all the time were relatively easy to drop.

But social media has given a huge and depressing voice to life’s negative people.  read more »

Road Test - Lexus RX450H

I’m a recent convert to SUV’s. I never really understood them, but having run a Land Rover Freelander now for over a year, I’ve grown to love the space and comfort of these vehicles, and to understand the huge safety benefits in sitting above the traffic.

So it was with real interest that I tested a Lexus RX450H recently over ten days. The promise of this hybrid SUV is that you get petrol V8 performance and diesel economy from it’s unique hybrid drive train.

Lexus 1  Lexus 2

I’ve never thought of the big Lexus as an attractive car – the lines at the rear have always somehow looked awkward, but the addition of the Lexus “Spindle grill” to the new model gives it real presence on the road, and the F Sport trim, which includes black wheels, turns the RX into a striking machine, particularly when teamed with pearl white paintwork.

Engine, performance and economy  read more »

Get Personal With Your Potential Customers To Win Their Business

Most people are all over the web these days. Check the social media platforms, look for a Google profile and sometimes for a personal blog, and you can find out tons of information about them:

  • How many kids they have
  • Where they go on holiday
  • Where they work
  • What hobbies they have
  • What sports they like
  • What their partner’s name is

Mike

Social media has made researching people an absolute doddle. Within 5 minutes, you can find out pretty much all you need to know about what makes a particular person “tick.”  read more »

How To Get Links That Google Loves

I’m aware of several fairly high profile bloggers who have come unstuck with the recent changes to Google’s algorithms. Here are some tips from guest writer Dana Viktor which may prevent the same happening to you.

Several updates to the Google algorithm have left bloggers scrambling to re-evaluate their link-building strategies as their sites lost rank for seemingly spammy practices. The Google Penguin update penalized sites that had backlinks from low-quality sources such as link farms and article directories.

Links  read more »

Getting Your Book Published For Kindle

I have no doubt that Kindle is the future of publishing. I’ve been using mine for over a year now, and I love it!

As a consumer, then, I’m sold on the Kindle. Which is why it’s strange that although I’ve had a book in print for some years, until today, it was only available in paperback, or as a rather clunky PDF download.

Book

The reason is simple – Amazon’s “Front end” is brilliant and so easy to use, but, speaking as someone who also sells “things” through Amazon, their “back end” is fiendishly complicated and not at all user-friendly.  read more »

Switch On To The Fact That Every Person In Your Business Is A Marketer

I was talking to someone who runs a decent sized company the other day. He was thinking of employing a "Social media guy” to run his business’s Twitter and Facebook profiles. His plan was to:

  • Find someone who is “good with social media” and has a reasonable understanding of marketing
  • Hire that person and pay them somewhere around £16,000 a year
  • Get them to spend a month or so training to learn the company philosophy and understand all about the products they sell
  • Set them loose with some clearly defined objectives in terms of followers, likes and everything else we measure on social media

Social media guy

It all makes sense, doesn’t it?

My friend had obviously thought it through carefully, so he was a bit perplexed when I told him not to bother!  read more »

I Am A Triathlete

The trouble with writing across so many various websites, blogs and social media platforms, is that you forget who’s up to speed with what’s going on!

swim

And you, my very dear Mike’s Life readers, have been sadly neglected in terms of my progress as a triathlete.

This post should put that right.  read more »

iPhone Review - Why Doesn't Anyone Tell You About The Little Things?

I managed to resist the iPhone bandwagon for years.

Until last week.

My mobile weapon of choice for a long time was the Blackberry – I considered it a robust “serious business person’s” phone, and I had several models, all of which saw sterling service.

Apple

But like so many Blackberry users, I was a little jealous of the whole “app” scene, and let’s face it, Blackberry isn’t good at providing users with those fascinating little pieces of software that you feel you can’t do without.

So I switched to Android.

And I opened myself up to a whole new world of large touch screens, a universe full of apps I could never tire of, and the knowledge that I had, unlike my iPhone using friends, an almost infinite range of customisations I could make to my phone.

And then I bought an iPad.

The iPad introduced me to the retina screen and the IOS ecosystem. I began to understand what all the fuss was about.

The final link in this chain of events was that I managed to literally fry my Android phone by leaving it on the car dashboard on a 40 degree day.

I switched to the iPhone.  read more »

Increasing Sales In Your Bar

I’m in the process of writing a book about increasing retail sales for independent and small group shop owners.

It dawned on me that one of the issues they face is neither they, nor the people they employ, think of themselves as sales people.

Empty Bar  read more »

Doing Social Media Badly Is Worse For Businesses Than Not Doing It At All

I was researching a product I want to buy today, and I found a company’s website.

The site was good, and they also had a Twitter button and a Facebook button on there – I was impressed, they were obviously a switched on company.

unlike

I went to check them out on those two sites.

On Twitter, they have a few thousand followers, so I joined them, and immediately got an automated direct message asking me to “like” their Facebook page.

Their stats are interesting:

  • On Twitter, they have a few thousand followers, and they follow 26 other people
  • On Facebook they have almost 1000 likes, and they like 3 pages back

I bet their management team think that’s pretty cool – I bet they regularly tell people they reach several thousand people in social media.

I think it stinks.  read more »

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"Mike's Life is where you can stay current with the life, thoughts, successes and failures of Mike Cliffe-Jones. Never knowingly ordinary, Mike shares as much as possible about his work as a marketer and in business, as well as his enviable lifestyle on and in the oceans around The Canary Islands."

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