Are you Googley? No matter what area of business you are in, being Googley can help differentiate you from your competitors, at least according to “What Would Google Do?” by Jeff Jarvis.
In the book, Jarvis examines how Google operates and its core values: creation, openness, connections, uniqueness, collaboration, invention and keeping it simple. In previous podcasts I talked about Googlefying your business – that series was more focused on utilizing the many platforms Google has created to help you operate more effectively and efficiently in many ways. But by becoming what Jarvis called “Googley” a company is in essence taking the core values that Google has employed to better serve their clients. Whether or not you like Google (good reads: “Google Whacked” and “When Google Owns You”) some of the core values Jarvis outlines in his book should be fundamental in any business.
- Listen and monitor – What are customers saying about you and your competition? Where are they saying it?
- Collaborate and link – What do you do best? Focus on that and refine it. Make quality the one thing you do then collaborate and link with others who have different specializations. Linking to other bloggers helps you get found and increases your Google (or Bing) juice.
- Join and distribute – Your audience will likely not come to you, so go to them. Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, YouTube…if this is where they spend their time, it’s also where you need to spend yours. Engage, interact and find out what they want. Think about how you can utilize these platforms, like Foursquare, in a different way beyond a special deal for the “mayor.” If you are a restaurant owner or chef, is there room for collaboration with other restaurants to develop a Foursquare-specific deal?
- Innovate – As Jarvis points out in his book, Google employs a 20 percent rule in which technical employees are encouraged to use 20 percent of their time innovating and working on new ideas, products and businesses. It has spawned many of the new ideas and features that come out of Google. Jarvis recommends spending time each week researching, learning, experimenting and inventing.
Get out there and join your audience, the conversation could be taking place without you. Create, and make it easy for your customers to share you or your product with their friends online. Remember, contributing, creating and linking will make you more searchable. Lastly, innovate! It will likely be one of the most liberating things you do in business.
Question of the week:
Do you implement the 20 percent rule? If so, has it spawned any great ideas that you’ve tested?
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