Hi, I'm Tim

I work on customer engagement at Bazaarvoice. I co-host The Bat Boys, a podcast about Valencia CF soccer club. And I also write here periodically on what I'm working on, reading, and thinking about.

Find me on email or twitter.

Shipping Daily

Shipping Daily

This morning I tweeted a list of accounts I've been following for some time. These accounts are focused on finance, investing, and personal growth. It got tons of engagement. It was the best performing tweet of mine by far. Two thing stuck out to me.

First, people just want to connect with like-minded people. Just tweeting your appreciation for others who are discussing similar topics is enough for others to engage. People want to work with people they like. They also want to share in common goals. Let this be a lesson to anyone just getting started. Even if you have little to offer, and no experience to speak of, just showing up and participating and listening is enough.

Secondly, these folks create everyday. They ship their content everyday. They have large followers and are on top of their niches. This is the biggest takeaway for me. It's not that they always produce incredible content. No, the content they produce everyday isn't always the best. But they produce tons of content. They show up everyday and they figure out away to get results.

Success is a numbers games. It's simple. It is showing up, never giving up, not listening to others and shipping your art. If you haven't started yet, then your problem isn't your great idea, or your execution, it's your "at bats". You just haven't swung enough times. Instead, focus on shipping daily.

Twitter Growth

Twitter Growth

Earlier I spoke about the power of online courses. This is a prime example of that.

Here are free videos from David Perrell on building audiences with Anthony Pompliano, building a twitter following, and how he uses twitter. This is extremely valuable information that is available for free! This is available to anyone who is ambitious enough to study it and apply it.

Below I'll summarize the major takeaways.

Persistence

The most consistent message throughout all of these is the important of posting often. It's vital to consistently post content on Twitter. Pomp originally posted 10 times per day, for 3 years. David posts 5 times. On twitter, the volume of data is what gives you an edge over other accounts.

Niche

Find what you will post about and don't post about anything else. This is the hardest part. What will your niche of niches be that makes you unique and allows you to stand out? Your goal is to understand what this is and never post about anything else. Only as you increase your followers and engagement can you slowly start to widen your topics.

This is hard stuff

The first lesson from Pomp is to "don't even try". Because growing a twitter audience or an audience on any platform is a grind. It's really difficult stuff. It requires a ton of hard work and persistence. It won't happen tomorrow. It's vital to understand why you want to grow your audience and twitter following, otherwise you won't make it.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

It’s worth the family debates. It’s worth the traveling and putting up with your in-laws, your drunk uncle, and god forbid the noise of Detroit Lions somewhere in the background.

Unlike other days it has avoided the consumerist trap. It’s not too patriotic or kitschy. Nor does it drag on — it is a single day, a nice day-off on Friday, and then you’re back.

It’s red wine and stuffing and game meat and family. It’s simple. It’s also the first step into the holiday season, like a Thursday before a great weekend, you just need to wrap things up Friday. The worst part of Thanksgiving is likely self-induced: you ate too much, drank too much the night before, or picked the fight with that drunk Uncle.

I am thankful to have a family I can enjoy this day with. Many others do not have that family. And for them this day is painful - a reminder of what is lost or never was. I am thankful despite how hard family can be. Families are challenging, strange, and often just disappointing. Family can challenge your faith in family and make you wonder what all the effort is for. But it is worth the trouble.

How valuable a day that requests you pause and reflect on what you have versus the alternative - scrambling for that which you don't. No gifts, no cards, no rituals, just sitting and eating.

Upgrading Your Reading

Upgrading Your Reading

In my twenties I enjoyed reading self-help and motivational books. The greatest of these authors and speakers are well know, such as Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn, and even Gary Vaynerchuck.

My all-time favorite is Jim Rohn. This video was a huge inspiration to me. It is four hours of knowledge and wisdom and not to mention a masterclass in public speaking. It set me on a path of developing my own philosophy.and while I fail to always embody it, the kernel is there. I revisit my notes and rewatch every so often.

It feels good to get a fresh dose and revisiting this old content. But today I receive little value from self-help and motivational content.  Maybe someday that will change. Today the content is repetitive and the messages along the lines of ‘being successful’ provides less value because it’s all internalized.

Literature and Biographies

As you read more you upgrade your reading. You move onto more difficult reading that requires deeper thinking and reflection. This is what separates the great books from the bad books. Today, I receive much more value from literature. The great stories in history nudge open the door to deeper truths and meaning that simple directives cannot.

Reading the Moviegoer, for example, a book whose character is on a quest for finding meaning in life, is more powerful and impactful than a book simply telling me how to find meaning. I experience the nothingness, emptiness, and self-delusion that Binx feel. I heed its lessons and come way  changed.

Another great genre is biographies. I’ve written about this before, but they are vastly underrated for their teaching of history. You cannot tell the story of FDR or Lincoln without also setting the context of the Civil War or WW2. And better yet, they are superior in providing lessons on life through the mistakes and triumphs of their subjects.

I'm Tired of Customer Success

I'm Tired of Customer Success

If you let customer success function towards risk — to fight fires, to placate risky customers, to triage support issues, sales support — it will become that.  Even if you don’t believe it, that will become your role. I've made this mistake before and I'm tired of that approach. I choose a different path.

"Growth" teams get the attention and are sexy while "customer success" can feel like back office operations or an extension of support. Yet customer success is the biggest growth lever companies have. I think it's because the error teams make in their mindset, whether they know it or not.

What’s more fun is focus on growth — focus on the wins, the client stories, and transformations your customers receive — that is when you change the view of your importance as a function. When you view it as an engine for growth and a chance to not only keep your customers, but sell into that customer base and grow it, does it really begin to be fun.

But many customer success leaders still struggle to get a seat at the leadership table. It’s surprising since renewal dollars after a few years of solid growth easily eclipse new sales.

So it’s time to change your mindset….

Focus on your best customers. Focus on what makes your top customers your most loyal, top performing, enthusiastic story generators for your company. Interview them, learn from them, write stories about them and share those with your average and low performing customers. Rather than placate your most challenging customers, or bad fit customers, or frankly most challenging customers, inspire them instead. Point the way and lead as a functional group.

It’s much more fun this way.

When you do this right, the next time you are on that call you’ll chat about your customer’s business, what they’re focused on, their problems and goals, and generate ideas. You won’t be discussing the missing feature or how that X, Y, or Z features work.

Motivate your customers to become the best version of themselves and they’ll be motivated to learn your product, do without features they don’t need, and put in the effort.