Can Startups Break the Rules?

Subscribe to the Eazl YouTube channel in January for a chance to win a copy of Michael Lewis’ bestseller on business and the irrational brain!

Many startups have realized that it’s extremely difficult to launch new products and services. A new culture of “winning at all costs” is emerging which begs the question: do startups get to play by a different set of rules?

Links mentioned in this week’s Brain Boost:
Are most startups unethical? (VentureBeat) 
Interview with Amy Webb (MIT Technology Review)
The Undoing Project (Amazon)
Attend the Launch of the Watson Twitter Bot for Free

Like this video? Leave us a comment below!

From Social Media Examiner: How to Create a Facebook Messenger Chatbot

facebook messenger chatbot

“Does your business want to do more with Facebook Messenger?

Interested in using a chatbot for customer service and marketing?

Facebook Messenger chatbots can help your followers get answers to frequently asked questions and more.

In this article, you’ll discover how to set up a Facebook Messenger chatbot for your business.”

facebook bot

successful content

Learn how to set up a Twitter bot here.

Can Startups Break the Rules?

Many startups have realized that it’s extremely difficult to launch new products and services. A new  culture of “winning at all costs” is emerging which begs the question: do startups get to play by a different set of rules?

Links mentioned in this week’s Brain Boost:

Subscribe to the Eazl YouTube channel in January for a chance to win a copy of Michael Lewis’ bestseller on business and the irrational brain!

 

Chatbots are the Future of Online Marketing

chatbots

At Eazl, January is the month to #beyourowninspiration. We’re featuring people who are working on interesting and important things AND we’re empowering each member of our community (including you) to believe that they have the ability to achieve the seemingly inevitable.

In the world of business and marketing right now, it’s all about AI and chatbots. In the next 5-10 years, you can expect chatbots to become much more a part of our lives and how we interact with companies.

The thing is…you can make one right now. And you don’t even have to know how to code!

We’ve gathered up all the resources we have for you on bots at the moment and put them all here so you can catch up with what’s happening in the world of bots and maybe even make one yourself!

Chatbots: The Next Frontier
What’s a business bot?

They’re text-based services that let users perform tasks like scheduling a meetings, ordering a product, booking a flight, or getting recommendations–all via chat. Chat apps also integrate beautifully with what’s happening in AI and machine learning.

Three big players are already getting into the game: Microsoft, Kik, and Facebook are all likely to announce chatbot marketplaces soon. Chatbots would serve many businesses much better than having a full-fledged app.

The Scoop on Using Bots for Social Media Marketing
Often times, using bots for social media marketing violates the policies of platforms like Twitter and Instagram. There are some kinds of bots invited to participate in the network, but generally, any bot that “pushes” interaction onto users is outside of platform policy, and therefore can result in warnings or account bans. In practice, the platforms don’t always police bots effectively.

The easiest bots to deploy are those like Roboliker (robolike.com). These bots basically follow a search query that you design and “like” content related to that search from your account. The result is that, often, you attract followers who legitimately share interest in topics related to your search query.

We’ve tested Roboliker here at Eazl and it was pretty effective. Note that this kind of bot is officially OUTSIDE of platform policy.

For more sophisticated bots, one way to approach bots is to blend something like Google Sheets with a social media platform’s API. By developing in the backend of your Google Sheet (you’ll be developing in Javascript), you can automate recurring actions that pull data from the platform, “massage” it in some way, and then take actions on the result. More on this to come!

From Diversity in the Ocean to Twitter Bots
Twitter has been on a downward trend recently (lower users, etc.) but they’ve released some great new tech. Now, it’s pretty easy to build your own Twitter bot.

If you visit Amit’s tutorial (below), you’ll be able to do it in less than 10 minutes.

Building with IBM’s Cloud Brain
IBM Watson is spawning an exploding world of AI-powered technologies and this tech isn’t that complicated. YOU can build the skills it takes to use Watson… it’s not that hard!

 

Attend Eazl’s Twitter / IBM Watson bot building webinar with Davis Jones and Tanmay Bakshi on January 19th. Early bird registration is free here.

If you want to learn some more advanced information about bots, you can follow the conversations on this bots Facebook group. We are affiliated in any way…we just think it’s a good group that enables further learning on this topic.

Build Your Own Twitter / IBM Watson Bot (No Coding!) with Eazl

ibm watson

Join Davis Jones from Eazl and Tanmay Bakshi, IBM’s 12 year old programming wizard, and go from zero to intermediate in your ability to use IBM Watson, your “artificial intelligence brain in the cloud.” During the event, you’ll get access to a brand new Twitter Bot interface designed by Davis and Tanmay. After the live event, the replay will be only avilable for a paid replay. Click on the video below to learn more about what Watson is and how it works:

During this event with Davis and Tanmay, you’ll learn how to:

  • Set up an IBM Bluemix account
  • Launch a Watson service (we’ll be working with the Natural Language Classifier)
  • Copy and then integrate the Google Sheets/Watson interface we’ve built
  • Use Twitter’s advanced search functions
  • Train Watson to automatically find Tweets that are meaningful to you
  • Automate the tool to “listen” to Twitter for you all the time

 

 

We can’t wait to unveil this new Twitter / Watson Bot and we hope you’ll join us! To find out more about Eazl, visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/c/eazlco.

Be Your Own Inspiration in 2017

be your own inspiration eazl

There’s no denying the celebrity worship culture that exists in our world today and it bleeds over into the celebrity entrepreneur world as well. How many articles have we read about Richard Branson, Sheryl Sandberg, and Gary Vaynerchuk this year? How many MORE of the same will we continue to support with our clicks and our bandwidth?

It’s honestly exhausting that all of our praise goes to just a few at the top.

We want to spend the beginning of this year recognizing those who work hard without personal branding being the focal point of their hard work. These people should be appreciated and they have some lessons to teach but we don’t know who they are because they are too busy trying to provide value in whatever way they can to the world and communities around them.

And some of them are trying to tackle complicated issues that don’t come with instant success or gratification.

For the next few weeks, I –and the team here at Eazl– will be spotlighting people in our community (both physically and online) who we think are doing great things and deserve a shoutout. Some of these inspiring individuals are entrepreneurs and others are contributing their talent to companies.

I want to make sure we are encouraging the people around us to spread the love instead of supporting those who are already clearly supported in their work.

If you know someone who deserves a shout out (even if it’s yourself), fill out one of the forms below and we’ll see if we have a way to make it part of this next month of appreciating those who do the hard work.

Be a featured entrepreneur
Be a featured marketer
Be a featured professionals

Why submit one of the forms above?

  • Inspire others and share your experience
  • Increase your brand reach
  • Deepen your relationship with the Eazl team for potential future partnerships

Be on the lookout for content that encourages you to be your own inspiration for the next few weeks and happy creating in 2017.

Don’t Get Your News from Social Media | #WhatsInYourFeed

It’s so easy to get complacent and start using social media networks as your primary source of news. Don’t do it! We need to feed or brains good stuff–not stuff that’s designed specifically to get us to click, comment, and share.

In our Advanced Management Training course, we recommend that you migrate your news-gathering to Feedly.com–a free RSS reader that has a few key benefits. First, you’ll get your news on chronological order rather than an algorithm that’s designed to get your attention. Second, you’ll be able to customize your news feed to include very specific elements–like the RSS feed from a competitor’s blog.

Here are a few of Davis’ RSS feeds:
(1) The Financial Times global headlines
(2) The Latin America Daily Briefing
(3) The MIT Technology Review

What’s your favorite news feed? Tweet at us with #WhatsInYourFeed.

 

For Marketers and Entrepreneurs: Create More Leisure Time with These Productivity Tools

productivity tools

Productivity hacks have been on-trend for several years now with leaders like Tim Ferriss and Seth Godin. It’s more than just a trend, though, and goes beyond trying to be a super human who does it all and eats their cake too.

Beyond those hardcore individuals who want to master fitness and be the ultimate money making ninjas, there are plenty of folks who just want to be able to spend more time with their families and do non-work activities that they enjoy. This includes activities that are enriching outside of a typical work day but directly influence your performance at work.

Eazl is a family business and it’s important to us that we not only continue to provide value for our communities but are able to live the kind of life that we prefer. We want to keep this ecosystem going and ensure that all are benefitting from the existence of this company.

This often involves strategic maneuvers and decisions on how we spend our workdays, the creation of processes and habits that support both the lifestyle and the creation of value, and long-term foresight that enables us to go towards things that makes sense while steering clear of anything that would dilute or misdirect the combined mission of Eazl and our lives.

These are some of the tools that we use to make sure that we have time to stay inspired in both life and business.

MailButler
If your work involves spending a lot of time with email correspondence, MailButler can serve as your digital assistant so that ongoing outreach doesn’t fall into the cracks. You can schedule emails for the future and reserve bandwidth for other activities.

Another feature that we like is the ability to see if an email has been read. Whether you are a freelancer trying to push forward payment for your services or a project manager who wants to keep a team on schedule, this can be useful.

MailButler works with Apple Mail and should save you a lot of time while maximizing your effectiveness.

Getting Ahead with Content
Committed hours or workdays for content creation are essential (if content is part of your job description). Try tackling all the elements of your content strategy in one go rather than spreading it out over the work week. If you are in the mood to create, keep going rather than changing focus to other tasks because you don’t want to end up strapped for time to finish up your content on a day where you are feeling particularly not inspired to write.

This can be applied to other duties beyond content creation as well. Try to cluster your activities and focus on completed tasks to make room for other things that need your attention.

Google Apps Suite
The toolbox that Google provides is a straight up time saver. You’d be surprised how much time and bandwidth you save when you don’t have to move from app to app to get your work done.

PayPal Mobile App
If you collect payments of any sort online, the PayPal mobile app is a great way to stay on top of billing while you are on the go.

BufferApp
So easy to use if you naturally read news on mobile. No committed sessions for coming up with shareable resources and, from my experience, it has increased the quality of shared content by eliminating frenzied content searches.

Do you have any productivity tips or favorite apps that we didn’t share here? Comment below!

From Hubspot: 5 Personal Assistant Tools That Actually Make Life Easier

personal assistant tools

“With the recent release of Google Home in the U.S., voice-activated devices are a big topic du jour lately. But which personal assistant tools are the most helpful? What do you need for each one? And how much do they cost?

While a simple search for ‘personal assistant apps’ seems to yield countless results, shifting through them can be a task.

Today, consider us your digital personal assistant. We narrowed the options down to our very own top five. Read on, and discover which ones will best fit your needs.”

successful content

eazl courses

Top Google Searches in 2016

In this week’s Brain Boost: top Google searches in 2016.

We’re going to talk about some of the surprises in 2016’s Year in Search so that you can use some of these concepts, perhaps in your marketing on your social media profiles, etc.

One of the top breakout searches of 2016 was minimum wage related content. We saw soaring interest in the future of work as people fear job displacement from AI and automation. A related breakout term was Universal Basic Income. If you’re interested in learning more about this, you should watch the TechCrunch Disrupt interview with Y Combinator founder, Sam Altman, about tech, the government, and the future of wages.

On the lifestyle front, people seem to be in love with the beach. Specifically, drinking cocktails related to the beach. Some of the most searched terms in 2016 were sangria, strawberry daiquiri, Sex on the Beach, and mojito.

Also, 2016 was the year of true crime. Millions of people became obsessed with true crime shows like Making a Murderer and The People Versus OJ Simpson. As a wave of distrust in government sweeps the country, people want to hear about the breakdown and failures of government institutions.

I want to know what trends you saw breakout in 2016. Tell me your 2016 trend in the comments below.