Social Media Enthusiast or Expert/Guru/Genius?

I’ve been reading GaryVaynerchuk’s book titled “The Thank You Economy.”  I’m also reading his other book “Why Now Is The Time To Crush It.” Both books are very well written by someone who has mastered social media. If you don’t know of his social media pedigree, go to You Tube and listen to some of his talks at conferences or take the plunge and purchase his books through

Essentially social media has been around for about 14-15 years with the advent of the first recognizable social network site launched in 1997. allowed users to create profiles, list their Friends and, beginning in 1998, surf the Friends lists.

Since that small inauspicious beginning there have been literally hundreds of (SNS) or Social Networking Sites with members, friends, connections counting in the millions.

So where am I going with this? Okay, since you asked I’ll tell you. There are thousands of people in the United States that refer to themselves as Social Media Experts, Social Media Gurus etc. Some of the more humble call themselves Strategists and bill out to other companies to tell said companies how to build a social media strategy that will guarantee an almost immediate ROI.

Granted most companies have a FaceBook, Twitter & LinkedIn profile but have no clue as to what to do with that profile to make it work for them. I know this to be true because I’ve been given the privilege to talk to Sage partners and I would estimate that 80% of those that have a profile don’t know how to utilize it. How did I come up with that percentage? I always ask at the beginning of each session and the number has remained pretty consistent.

So what do they do? They find someone who will work inexpensively and promises to increase their Social Media profile if they will just do the following…blah…blah…blah…etc…etc…etc…

But the partners trust them because their business cards says they’re a Social Media expert and they wouldn’t stretch the truth on their business card, would they?

I just corresponded with a business partner whom sat in on my session at Sage Summit 2011 and afterwards he wanted to talk about increasing his profile and tailoring it for his needs. Guess who is helping him? His girl friend because she’s his girlfriend. Good luck with that.

In a business arena that is as young as Social Media is there are very few experts. There are, however, people who have learned how to monetize Social Media and I guess that makes them experts in making money. There are also those who have studied it enough to be able share their knowledge with others.

I don’t have anything bad to say about someone who is lucky enough to work for a corporation that believes that Social Media is our future, because that’s what I would like to do. No, my problem is the Experts and Gurus out there who are giving the rest of us that really care about our customers a black eye by taking the money and running.

To borrow from Gary’s book “The Thank You Economy” Blockbuster didn’t think that the Internet was going to be around very long and basically they handed the business to NetFlix. Can anyone tell me who is no longer in business as the direct result of not recognizing the power of the internet? The same goes for Borders, they handed a goldmine to Amazon, as the Founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos says, “If I had a nickel for every investor that said that this (Amazon) wasn’t going to work”……. 

I recently changed my e-mail signature to read LinkedIn Enthusiast because I am very enthusiastic about all things LinkedIn & Social Media as a whole.

Be leery of those that call themselves experts, ask to see their certification, ask them for business referrals, ask them if they wouldn’t mind you calling some of their customers (that you get to pick)

Embrace the Internet and Social Media, they’re here to stay and if you’re not spending time there you’re missing out because I’ll bet your customers are spending time there.

My Top 17 Vendors To Visit While @ Sage Summit 2011

1. Azamba Consulting; SageCRM & Sage ACCPAC ERP Implementations See Peter in Booth 636

2. Juice Marketing: Cost Effective Marketing Programs; See Mark In Booth 124

3. Hall Web Services; Develop & Maintain Web Marketing Strategies, Attend  Amanada O’Brien & Jenika Scott’s sessions.

4. ISM Technology; ISM Shipping Link & ISM Ecommerce Gold Providers, See Carla & Angela in Booth 632

5. Scanco; Barcode Technology Integration to MAS 90/200, distribution, manufacturing automation, RF & RFID technology. See Lauren & Her Team in Booth 731

6. ACOM Solutions Automate your manual document & payment processes. ACOM integrates with ERP & CRM Solutions, Meet The Team in Booth 401

7. IN-SYNCH allows for full control and flexibility in designing, creating & customizing your corporate web site & store front. Meet the Team in Booth 319

8. SPS Commerce offers supply chain solutions for every trading partner in the retail ecosystem. Meet Dane & His Team in Booth 813

9. Alchemex Business Intelligence Developer, enabler and support-provider of affordable and flexible Excel-based Business Intelligence software. Meet The Team In Station #4 In Sage ERP/Accounting Section

10. IndustrioOS Manufacturing Software for your Sage ERP Accpac & Sage ERP PFW
Meet Dan, Linda & Their Team in  Booth 319

11. JobOps, Automating job management functions for manufacturing, installation, & field service organizations. Works with Sage MAS90 & MAS200 Meet The Job Ops Team in Booths 701, 703

12. Mapadoc by SWK; an integrated Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) software solution built specifically for Sage MAS 90, 200, and 500, Meet Jeffrey Roth in Booths 725, 727

I thought that I would get by with just a dozen top Vendors but it seems that I missed just a few so here they are: 

13. Fisher Technology showcasing TaskCentre,  provides integration,workflow & alerting to all Sage applications. Introducing our new web service connector tool enabling connection to virtually any cloud application. Come meet Paul Cannon & Nicole Laurier Booth 230

14. Altec enterprise document management. Altec’s doc-link® integrateswith Sage MAS 90/200, MAS 500, PFW & ACCPAC ERP addresses paper intensive processes such as AP, AR, & Sales Order Processing. Come & see what’s new, say hi to Kerry Gardner & Kevin Dudevoir Booth 407

15. Suntico, all the way from Ireland to join us for their 2nd year. Stop by & see whats new with Transact; a SaaS application built on the Suntico connected services platform;  delivers mobility, online access, & extended functionality to users of Sage Peachtree & Simply Accounting. See Derek Stewart in Booth 431

16. This list wouldn’t be complete without the addition of xkzero. Learn how z.Find puts Google-like search in your hands. Visit our booth and compare z.Find search to traditional system navigation. Also, don?t miss our innovative Route Sell Solutions for Sage MAS 90 / MAS 500. Visit Paul Ziliak & his team in Booth 824

17. Blytheco LLC. I include this company for 1 simple reason, respect for Stephen Blythe.  Blytheco offers quality enhancements, vertical applications & customizations that provide a meaningful ROI for you. Training is available in our award-winning training centers, at your facility or online. See what Blytheco has to offer in Booth 812

This is the entire list of recommended Vendors to stop by, say hi, & see what’s new in the industry. I hope you find this list helpful as you wander through the maze of booths at Sage Summit. If you can’t remember a vendor & see me stop me & I’ll be more than happy to direct you to the right booth.

These aren’t listed in any particular order.

Did You Forget To Pack Anything For Sage Summit 2011?

We’re only 3 weeks away from attending the Inaugural Sage Summit 2011. Prior to leaving San Diego I think that it’s time to get out the checklist. If you’re like me, you’ll discover that if I don’t prepare a checklist I’ll always end up 1 pair of socks short, Too few business cards, forgot toothpaste, brought 2 bottles of shampoo, no conditioner. You name it, I’ve forgot it on one trip or another. That’s why I pack like I’m leaving for a year around the world. I can pack just as much for 3 days in Las Vegas as I can for a 1 week trip.

Airline Ticket √
Sage Summit Registration √
Room Reservation √
Luggage √
4 Suits √
2 Pair Slacks √
1 Pair Jeans √
8 Shirts, Dress, Casual √
3-4 Pair of Shoes, Including Flip Flops √
6-8 Pair of Socks √
6-8 Pair of Underwear √
3 Belts √
4 Tee Shirts √
Assorted Toiletries √
Laptop √
Camera √
Cell Phone √
Chargers For Laptop, Camera, Cell Phone √
Extra Batteries for Wireless Mouse √
Verizon Broad Band Card √
Extra Batteries for Any Emergency √
Necessary Travel Documents √

Just writing this list wore me out to the point that I had to go upstairs and take a nap. I get teased a lot because I just don’t know how to pack lightly. I operate under the “You Just Never Know” Theory. I enjoy wearing suits so I mostly wear suits at conferences so I need those. I have to wear different shirts so I need those.  Of course extra socks & underwear are a must, Duh. Different shoes for each suit are very important. There’s nothing worse than wearing a black suit & let’s say you forgot the black shoes, all you have are your brown ones. It doesn’t look good & I trust me when I say, you will spend the entire evening looking at the brown shoes wondering how many people are figuratively wondering why you’re wearing brown and not black shoes.  I know this to be a fact because I’ve see me do it.

Should be all set, right? Wrong. Don’t forget your wallet! I’ve done that before also. If it can be forgotten I’ve forgotten it on some trip to somewhere.

I think that someone could make a decent living hiring themselves out as professional packers. Hand them your list, they go through it with you, and voila your only job is to start your car and head to the airport. She’s already packed your luggage in your car and included your entire itinerary and any other necessary documentation.  After giving her a credit card number she pats you on the head and wishes you a safe flight and reminds you of the Power User discount. I might be willing to pay for that because when I say it takes me hours to pack, I’m not exaggerating.

Alright, I went out and purchased a new piece of luggage. One of the local luggage stores was having a killer sale on London Fog luggage. Had to have it! Retail Therapy is so rewarding & satisfying (until you get the credit card bill)

 Now if we could just someone else stand in the TSA lines for a reasonable price.

Sage Summit 2011; It’s All About Location

Location, Location, Location. It’s the most important axiom in real estate. An axiom is a universally accepted principle or rule that requires no proof.  Thus the setting for this year’s Inaugural Sage Summit 2011 where you will get to experience many firsts for Sage’s Premiere Conference.

Despite it teeming population of politicians Washington D.C. remains a can’t miss city. The history of the country is incomparable & it certainly has lots to offer in the way of museums, opera, major theatres all abound in great numbers offering the best in entertainment value as most if not all the museums don’t charge an admission fee.

One can literally walk through American history by visiting The Lincoln & Washington monuments, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. (The White House) The Mall, site of Martin Luther Kings’s “I have A Dream” speech, an event that attracted 250,000 people without the help of the Internet, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter & of course the black granite Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall where the names of 58,267 service men and women who died or remain missing are listed in chronological order. It is a powerful monument that is both reflective and contemplative in character. It doesn’t make any political statement about the war. You could spend several days visting all the quality sights that D.C. has to offer but please  take at least one day to visit them while you’re here.

The Gaylord National Hotel & Conference Center is actually located on the Potomac River in National Harbor in Maryland which is only a short ride from Reagan Airport making it very accessible to Washington D.C. I’ve included a link to a site that details getting around the D.C. area.

The Gaylord hotels are known for their splendor, size & overall attention to small and large conferences. There is plenty to do while staying at a Gaylord property from great accommodations, fine restaurants to fantastic shopping available without ever stepping outside the Resort.

This year’s National Conference has changed its format to include both Sage Partners, Vendors and now Sage customers. This should prove to be a winning combination. I’ve had the privilege to interact via e-mail with Suzanne Spear who is Sage’s Director of Events and members of her team that include Danielle Cote, VP, Event Marketing @ Sage. They have been working on this year’s conference for at least the past year to make sure that we all walk away better educated by a plethora of breakout sessions, including many interactive ones. 

Please make sure that if you see them or any member of their team at the Conference to thank them for all of their hard work that they’ve put into Sage Summit 2011.

In addition to the breakout sessions the Keynote Speakers should be a big hit. I’m looking forward to Wednesday afternoon’s Keynote Speakers Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy. They are the Memphis couple who took a homeless teenager into their home and treated him like their own. That youngster is Michael Oher who went from living on the streets, to living with the entire Tuohy family,  to being picked in the 1st round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. If you haven’t a clue of what I speak watch the movie “Blindside.” It chronicles Michael’s story in a very compassionate way and reminds me that no matter what obstacles may be put in front of me I can always succeed if I want something bad enough even though the deck is stacked high against me.

On Wednesday evening the site for a Dinner Reception will be at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum. It promises for great evening in a relaxed environment and fun.

You have to show up for the Fire and Ice Partner Party on Monday from 7:30 to 11:00 This year partner appreciation party will offer live music, games, great food and drink, plus other surprises. You won’t want to miss one-of-a-kind performances by talented musicians from all across the Sage partner community, who are going to rock out together at the party!

I could go on about what is shaping up for an incredible event, but simply put don’t miss out on attending.

On a personal note I love going to the National Conference and making new friends and catching up with old ones. I get to spend time with some of my favorite Sage people. One of my goals early on was to meet this partner who is highly visible with his online presence, Wayne Schulz. He and I now talk each week about all things Sage and I consider Wayne a good friend. If it weren’t for Insights I would have never had the opportunity to meet him. I also try my best to get to each of Ed Kless’s sessions as they’re always jam packed with great information. 

This is shaping up to be a benchmark conference, one that will stand out as a template for future conferences. Don’t miss out on this annual event. It’s far too important to not attend. For more nformation go to:

I hope to see each of you there.


The Value of Attending Sage Summit 2011

There has been much discussion about the value of attending Sage Summit 2011. I am one of those who have found Sage Summit 2011 to provide me with great value & I have learned a great amount of useable information that I’ve been able to use. The technology industry changes daily & there’s no way to know about those changes if we don’t talk to the source. You can find the source(s) & other partners who have utilized those changes very successfully by attending events such as Sage Summit 2011.

Look at the BP’s who consistently make the top ten lists. Go to their website & see what they’re doing that you’re not. They’re involved in Sage Summit 2011, BPAC members, etc. It’s time to be accountable to ourselves for our failures or successes. It’s time to stop blaming others when we fail. It’s time to stop blaming the economy.

First, there is long term value of creating lasting relationships with other BP’s or 3rd party solutions & there are many knowledgeable partners & company representative who will gladly share that knowledge with you.

How do you put a price tag on product information you receive at Sage Summit 2011? What about face time with Sage executives? Truth be told, you can’t put a price tag on these items.

Too often we get caught up on doing business as we’ve always done it, not knowing that there are better ways of streamlining & making our individual businesses more cost effective. But if we don’t go to Sage Summit 2011 & attend sessions, talk to other BP’s, then we’re going to stay in that same spiraling vortex & will get the same results.

One of my favorite quotes is: “If you keep doing what you’re doing you’re going to keep getting what you get. If you want something new you’re going to have to try something new.”~ Author Unknown

 I have spoken to BP’s who have concerns that they have never “pulled” any new business from attending conferences  occasionally or even those who go each year. Then there’s the camp that has bought booth space, collected business cards & found that most of those cards belonged to other BP’s & not potential new deal opportunities. Is it worth the expenditure, they ask?

First, if you’re heading off to Sage Summit 2011 with the sole intent of closing deals then you’re going to be disappointed. It’s kind of like going to a Barnum & Bailey Circus expecting Shakespeare; or going on vacation to Northern Minnesota in January wearing shorts, flip flops & sun tan lotion; you’re going to be disappointed.

Unfortunately most companies don’t look at non-revenue generating items as having any value. Unless there’s a dollar amount involved most BP’s don’t “get it.” Here’s an example of one who does.

“It has always been MY rule that if I am serious about selling Sage products I need to attend Sage Summit 2011. I need to “breathe” the air, sense the mood of the Sage community, and get enough inspiration to see me through another year.” ~ Arlie Skory; Managing Partner at Skory Employer Solutions LLC

To the partners who don’t get it, there are three questions you need to ask yourself.

  1. What value am I adding to the equation?
  2. What Solution can I provide?
  3. Am I participating in the success of my business?

Come to Washington D.C. & see what’s new at Sage. You’re going to be surprised & more importantly you’re going to go back to your business with a new attitude & isn’t life itself about how you approach it? I think so & I hope to see each of you in Washington D.C..