In a recent board meeting, I heard the phrase “teacher affiliate.” Having been to Affiliate Summit, my ears perked up and I wondered if my worlds were colliding.
Here’s how this works in the teaching world:
There are national professional development groups.
These groups need teachers as members.
Therefore, they national professional development groups form state affiliates.
These state affiliates are responsible for recruiting members and holding state conferences.
And the national professional development group.
Simple enough, right?
Well, if you have a background in performance marketing, then yes, but if you don’t, then it’s like stabbing in the air hoping that you land 75 members every year so that you have a budget for the following year.
But, then again performance marketing and teaching are separate fields. They don’t pertain to each other.
I can’t say that I’ve caught the wave of Pinterest pandemonium.
Maybe it’s the facebook posts repeating so many of the same things found on Pinterest that make me feel like I am already experiencing what it’s like or maybe it’s the suspicion that Pinterest, like Branded, is using woman for marketing research…well, actually it’s not a suspicion, I know companies are hiring women to work from home and post their products to Facebook and repin them….or maybe it’s the assumption that women, in particular, will fall for anything that I detect is an undertone of the whole concept.
Maybe, I am just too sensitive and read too much into everything.
But mainly it’s because every time that I go to the site to overcome my countercultural tendencies, I encounter something like this:
I read a lot of blogs.
When I was starting out, that’s really how I started with reading and reading and reading.
After I got in the habit of reading, there was something in me that wanted a place, a space to record my thoughts about what I was reading.
I didn’t start wanted to get a certain number of views or a certain number of comments. I just wanted to write.
As I was starting to blog, I read a lot about what makes a good blog and how to get in the habit of blogging.
Throughout the different posts, the theme of a predictable place and time to blog was consistently regarded as important.
Interestingly, that’s what Ralph Fletcher in his book Writer’s Workshop says about helping students become writers.
Maybe bloggers and students aren’t so different after all.
It’s interesting to find a gem in the middle of a podcast where you don’t understand half of the conversation, but I did! They were talking about the ins and outs of producing and referenced the polishing of the track as “adding twinkles.”
As a female blogger, I am finding that there are a host of other female bloggers that are trying to find their voice as well. So what am I going to do here in this space that’s different?
Why should you be reading my blog rather than the host of other (award winning) female bloggers?
Because of my twinkles.
As Vinny O’Hare said in his presentation at Affiliate Summit West:
Customers don’t buy from a website, they buy from you.
Just so you know, I have this problem with sitting still. I jump at opportunities to experience and learn something new.
So what I can promise you in this space is that you will walk (or maybe jump) with me as I try to squeeze everything I can out of the time that I’ve been given.
If you lose track or can’t keep up, just follow the twinkles : )
In my research and reading, there is a one absolute certainty in creating student success…
So how does student engagement start?
By creating and building relationships.
This idea that educators have been fostering for years (it’s why you still remember where you sat in third grade!) is now entering the business world:
Jeff Jarvis‘s book Public Parts offers:
“Businesses used to be hierarchies of business units whose assets were called customers and products.” Now “they are changing into networks of business units whose assets are called relationships and capabilities.” Turning that perspective into an investment strategy, I’d bet money on start-ups that put relationships at their center so they can disrupt old, closed industries
So the important question for my fellow affiliate marketers is: What are you doing today to create and build relationships?
If you have ever been a middle school teacher on lunch duty, you realize that some absolutely absurd information gets shared, but it’s a phenomena that aspiring blogs and affiliate marketers would benefit from exploring.
What gets shared and why?
This framework describes the three criteria that must be met before someone will spread an idea in any format:
- The person must be exposed to your content. This means that the person has to be following you on Twitter, be a fan of your page on Facebook, subscribe to your email list, and so on.
- The person must become aware of your specific piece of content (the idea you want to spread). S/he has to read your tweet or open your email message.
- The person must be motivated by something (generally in the content itself) in order to want to share the idea with his or her contacts.
Are you tweets and blog posts shareable?
There are many middle schoolers who are being told to be quiet in class, to sit still in class and to not be distracted by all their technology. For 6 hours a day, they are often unengaged and disconnected.
Then they go home.
They pull out their iPods, turn their phone off of vibrate, check their facebook, post pictures through Instagram, text, chat and completely forget about their day at school because it’s so unlike the individual engagement that they experience.
Marketing teams ask for contact information and birthdays in order to engage their audience.
What??? You didn’t know it was my birthday? Shame on you for not asking!
Your competitors didn’t have any trouble asking me for it when I subscribed to their email list or liked them on Facebook. Simply asking me to let them know when my birthday was, so they know when to send my gift, did the trick. Because hey, who doesn’t like gifts on their birthday?
Something teachers would benefit from remembering.
Content curation is going to continue to be a part of conversations in the classroom and out of the classroom because of the availability of so many different resources.
In the classroom, many teachers are lamenting the fact that students are going first to the web for information rather than perusing the library and using information that…well…the teachers used when they were in school.
It’s not information failure, it’s filter failure.
Outside of the classroom, parents, grandparents and young professionals are trying to shift through the information to find reliable resources that pertain to their jobs and to share with their families. This isn’t going to stop being an issue.
It’s time to start being smart shifters.
After visiting a conference that like Affiliate Summit, it is easy to think that you need to rest and recoup; however, if you take too long to start acting on what you have learned it may not get done at all.
It’s not unlike teachers’ argument for homework: if students don’t practice what they have learned, then how will they remember it?
But this isn’t 3rd grade.
Taking what you have learned and putting it into action is your choice, but I guarantee if you do you’ll be happy with the results.