green vertical lines of data on a laptop - Lead validation

The Critical Importance Of Lead Validation In Internet Marketing

green vertical lines of data on a laptop - Lead validation
Got leads?

Your lead generation website may not be generating all of the leads you think it is, and you’ll never know exactly how successful it is unless you have a means of validating all of those leads. Nearly half of all website conversions are completely unrelated to sales — things such as job applications and customer service requests. Unless you can separate these from true sales leads, you might end up chasing shadows and wasting resources. The following presentation details how important lead validation can be for Internet marketers, so make sure your efforts aren’t being wasted by chasing leads that turn out not to be leads at all.



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Aaron Wittersheim is Chief Operating Officer at Internet marketing agency Straight North. His focus is on Internet marketing and website services, and technology. 




P.S: Sam here; I want to thank Aaron and Straight North for offering me the opportunity to feature this guest post here. Check them out, they rock!

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The secrets of marketing success

Image for - Marketing success

The secret to success (or marketing success). A winning formula which sounds like an offer of flowers and rainbows for your business world. Yet, there is no actual secret to success – and that may be the secret – or maybe there is. Work. The “secrets” I mention are actually more pointers than actual magic formulas.

They, however, bear one promise. No bullshit. Just plain stupid and efficient plan to moving forward, building momentum and growing something amazing.

First step: Stop wanting to and start doing!

Or, actually, just start. Take one step forward and get going.

Do not be yet another of these people buying a gym membership for a fortune with the “strong” will to get ripped but will never come for more than 5 sessions. The secret here is not about wanting or having subscribed to a membership. It is all about getting a move on and having consistency. Marketing success relies even more on consistency. The “buzz” is nice. But consistent presence and traffic are great.


Let go of all the BS!

Second step: Plan

Get a notebook, a calendar or a blackboard and define the plan. The starting point and the finish line. They will serve as the line on which to draw a frame. Frame that you will then have to fill with content, products, services, etc. As long as the goal is there and the frame solid, you can add new ideas and new content, change it or create variations. The point here is to have direction and keep the focus on the end game.


Third step: Be yourself

In the early days of my career, I had this talk with my boss about the fact that our products, pricing and offers were very similar to our competitors and was offering advice about how to differentiate them. Little did I know that, while my points were right and taken onboard, I would learn the most important lesson of my professional life.

In my Manager’s words (those I recall at least 🙂 ): “Yes our offers are quite similar to our competitors. And if the products, their quality or even the pricing are not decisive selling points, it does not really matter. We still have a better argument and a difference that our competitors can not beat. YOU. You are the difference. No other Sam is out there. There is only one you and you are the quality, the product, the service you are selling to our clients.”.

Marketing is the same. Bring personality into your strategy and actions. Nobody else has the same.

Do you want a bonus tip?

There is an X factor which will allow you to achieve success. That is actually still giving a f**k about this piece one hour, even one day, after you have read it.

Motivation works in this funny way. You see the piece, get inspired, then forget about it or, at least, just wish you were taking action towards achieving your dreams. Success comes to the one percent who do actually take action, plan and deliver.

So get going! Do not close this post, open a blank page or grab a sheet of paper and start working. Plan and take a first action.

Repeat tomorrow.

And let me know, a month from now, where you stand.


Photo of disappointed man for long post on International Women's Day at

Why I don’t give a f&$k about the International Women’s Day

Photo of disappointed man for long post on International Women's Day at

Women, rejoice! Not only the International Women’s Day but also the International Women’s Week are happening now.

Hell yeah! Picture that, a whole week dedicated to the “weaker sex” and a special time to acknowledge women’s achievements, struggles and path to walk forward.

A time to elevate women, celebrate them and (try to) shatter gender inequality.

Not being against a little controversy, I decided to put together this post to add my two special cents to the discussion – and seize the opportunity to blatantly bait trolls at the same time (maybe). For those of you, 10%ers, who have actually opened this article and read it this far, well done! You will understand (or, for those who know me, confirm) what I really mean by my teaser of a title.

One Week, One Day

In a similar way to Valentine’s day (ONE specific day to celebrate love and finally care about your other half, once a year…) why just a week to show respect to women? We should not need to have a dedicated week. We should not even need to have this talk about gender inequality. Why inequality in the first place?

In a somewhat candid way, I only saw this matter become a major topic in recent years and, as such, started paying more attention.

But I did not notice it before not because I did not care nor because it did not exist; I did not notice it because, for all the years I can remember, I had never even thought about seeking a difference between men and women (beyond the obvious gender difference, of course. Yes, I am not completely dumb 🙂 ).

A historical bias

Looking back, I come from a background – and family environment – where equality existed de facto. When I started my career, entering the “professional” world, in my first job, women represented 60% of the staff and held positions at all levels; over the years, I actually worked under more female bosses than males and actually brought more women onboard projects I worked on than men.

I had never really taken the time to look at my career in terms of gender presence but here are the facts. That does not make me a “good guy” but it just illustrates how easy it is not to care about gender and actually consider people for their skills and personality instead. Oh and if you are too lazy to bother, no worries, it does not require any extra effort to be a decent human.

A tie or a dress do not shout “skills”. People are the ones with the skills, the ability to deliver, to empower, to… get shit done!

Why create a difference where there is none? Why perpetuate some prehistoric crap?

manly man vintage picture

History and stereotypes

At the end of the day, are you a man because you wear a beard and a checkered shirt (while my grandmother can certainly chop more wood than most modern “lumberjacks” do) or are you a man/(decent) human because you are actually able to show respect to everyone and do not create differences and inequality where they do not exist?

Inequality, segregation, etc… have all been created by so-called civilisations, by self-proclaimed “superior” people.

Yet, I have learned from these normal, if not inferior people, that these “differences” do not matter. An awful lot of women are smarter than I am, stronger than I am and I am more than happy to say that. What in the world would give me the right – or power – to belittle these women, to require that they earn less or give me their seat at the table of success?

So, while I applaud women, while I fully back the International Women’s Day’s message and purpose to celebrate and empower women, I do not give a f&$k about the International Women’s Day.

That day is every single day.

Photo of tattooed hands holding a cane and hat on

Influencer Marketing: What is an influencer on social media?

Photo of tattooed hands holding a cane and hat on

Have you recently come across “Influencer Marketing” in publications or on social media? Do you actually know what it relates to?

Well, it is THE marketing for 2017. A tactic that relies on influencers, key opinion leaders, stars, or whatever you decide to call people with “influence”. Whether they be self-proclaimed or publicly acknowledged as people with influence.

At the end of the day, influencer marketing is little more than actual marketing – or even, advertising.

Do you remember George Clooney sipping a cup of Nespresso on TV?

Influencer marketing is about George Clowney ( 😉 ) snapping a picture of his Nespresso cup and posting it on Instagram (or any other channel of influence) with a witty or delighted comment about the brand.

That is influencer marketing in a nutshell.

Of course, the influencers need to have influence (…). The latter being defined by their profile, number of followers, niche, etc… . The criteria vary a lot, showing that the industry still has to get to grips with the concept and define a way to vet said influencers. And that goes beyond the scoring of the likes of Klout, Kred, etc… .

Yet, influencer marketing works. Not only because of audiences but because of the one quality advertising can not offer: trust. This tactic builds on the authority of influencers and the trust they have built with their audience in order to create a “word-of-mouth”-type of advertising which, compare to traditional media publications, boasts far higher conversion rates.

With an average – lowest – return on investment of about three times the funding spent, the road ahead looks quite clear for influencer marketing and the growth potential is basically rocket sitting on the launch pad – ready to soar.

With 2017 already underway, is influencer marketing on your plans? If not, it is time to get take action and shift gears to high growth!

PS: I write this piece while bearing an influencer status (as a Huawei Key Opinion Leader and recent shortlisted member of the Australia Top 50 Influencers Award among others).

Design of pirate skull on

Death is certain…

Design of pirate skull on death and life

The world is filled with natural wonders. Among these, the most amazing one is what brought us all here, on this planet, life.

Life takes many forms, stems from so many organisms and is born in so many ways. But life, for all, bears one certainty: Death.

As ominous as this post may sound from this short introduction, my point here is actually a positive reminder.

Death is certain, LIVE with it! -Samuel Pavin

In a world where uncertainty surrounds us, why bother or fear the only certainty we have. We are born to die. As such, life is precious and should not be wasted.

Live life for the moment because everything else is uncertain! -Louis Tomlinson

Now, spend a few moments reflecting on your own life; in particular think about its importance and meaning to you; how much it is consistent with your personality and values; whether your life brings you joy or stress and frustration;

From there, make it your goal to (truly) LIVE life.

How does this translate to business? To marketing?

Do not let fear hinder you. Do not let failure stop you. Never settle for the minimum but shoot for the stars!

Make the most of every minute of this life. You know for sure that it is going to end someday.

Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows. -Pope Paul VI