How Racing My Cats Got Me Thinking About Online Marketing

racing_catsAs you probably already know, Danny, Robyn, Amanda and I have spent the last week relaxing, recharging and planning for the coming months away up in the great white north outside of Montreal.

It was a heck of a week, and I think I can speak for all of us when I say: we’re glad to be back.

It wasn’t all fun and naps, of course – we spent a lot of time talking about the wonderful experience we had launching the Audience Business Masterclass, running the Awesome Engagement Strategies Contest AND some of the exciting plans we have for the future.

I’m in the happy position today, of being able to tell you a little bit about something we’re planning.

But first – I’d like to tell you about one of my favorite Montreal events.

In November of 2012 and of 2011, I, intentionally and with enthusiasm aforethought, made a rampant fool of myself. I ran around the city (sometimes in costume!) making videos, snapping photos and writing bizarre little pastiches. My spouse ate a jar of mayonnaise. For real.

I was participating, with a double handful of friends, in the absolutely epic Impossible Montreal. What else but the thrill of competition could make otherwise sensible adults dress up like pirates and ride the metro for hours? To re-enact internet memes? To invent web-slingers? And yes – try to race cats.

I can tell you – it worked – we did – or at least attempted all of those things and more; meeting people, getting creative and generally having a really, really good time. (In case you were wondering my team won in 2011 and came in third in 2012.)

So what does all of this have to do with you?

Well, I noticed a few things during the course of the weekend. I noticed that I was working hard. I noticed I was meeting and getting to know really interesting people. I noticed that I was stepping well outside of my comfort zones. I noticed that I was learning new skills, (I don’t know how useful making a bridge out of recyclables will be in my future – but that’s not the point) and I noticed that if I didn’t have a background in marketing and education – I wouldn’t have noticed any of that because it was fun.

Ever since November of 2011 I’ve been pondering a little idea. What else can be made into a fun and challenging game – that has benefits beyond the joy of tomfoolery? What else can you teach while playing? Can people from around the world play and learn and work together? How can I share a little of the joy and excitement and challenge and satisfaction with the Firepole Marketing community?

I finally can.

I am pleased and proud to announce the first ever Great Online Marketing Scavenger Hunt.

The Great Online Marketing Scavenger Hunt

This will be a five week event with over 100 challenges to complete for points, skills and glory. We’ll be taking you through the paces of networking and guest posting, mastering the social web, multi-media, writing, researching and maybe even stepping away from the computer and into the real world once in a while.

If you start and stick it through, by the end of the hunt – even if you don’t win a prize – you will have expanded your reach online, made new connections, deepened existing relationships learned new skills and generally levelled up your business. This, I promise you.

And yes – there might be a little tomfoolery, too. ;-)

Registration is open as of today, it won’t cost you a penny, and the official list, rules and prizes are going to be made available on Friday, February 22nd.

All you need to enter is a computer, a couple of hours a week and an intense desire to be legendary.

If this sounds fun to you – if you like the idea of getting to know amazingly talented people, of becoming familiar with new technology, if you want to sharpen your writing skills, get more traffic and have a hell of a good time doing it – then all you have to do is enter your name and email address below – and await further instructions.

I warn you – this is not for the faint of heart, I’ll be putting you through your paces in a whole bunch of different marketing activities – and while I and the rest of the team will be here to help – it IS going to be hard work.

If you’re ready to get started – you know what to do.

(The Scavenger Hunt is over – but you can check out the results right here!)

Megan Dougherty has been with Firepole Marketing since 2010, first as Danny's Assistant and more recently as Education Lead. When she's not working with wonderful students and readers here, she's building her own audience based business helping the young and underemployed handle their money at Paying For Life. You can drop her a line on Twitter or Google+.

Comments

  1. says

    This sounds awesome – always up for learning before I share my wisdom. I just signed up to improve my personal brand – well, that’s the goal for 2013!

  2. says

    That whole idea made me so uncomfortable that I had to sign up for it!

    Goodbye comfort zone; if I keep on avoiding the same new things then I’ll probably stick with the same old things, and that would be no good at all.

    My favourite pachyderm, Cecilia, is bein’ prepared for fast action as we speak. Blow the ruddy horn and let’s get this thing started.

      • says

        Indian elephant – best for work in scavenger hunt type traffic; combines the handy manoeuvrability of an eighteen-wheeler with the speed of a Hindustan Ambassador taxi.

        I love my comfort zone – but I want what is beyond it.

    • says

      Excellent! In all fairness, you should know that these activities are going to be more on the tactical side than we usually go – but there is lots of learning to be had!

  3. says

    I’m still gleaning insights from Engagement from Scratch – left a recommendation on LI for that content – but hey, I can enjoy more exciting information.

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. says

    Hi Megan,

    Two things…First, I opened this post and almost fell off of my chair. I saw the pictures of the cats, and I said to myself, “OMG! Those look my cats, Benny (black and white) and CeCe (tabby).” I now have another idea for a children’s picture book and or middle grad book. Thank you!

    Second, the scavenger hunt sounds educational and fun at the same time. :)

    • says

      Cool – I can absolutely get behind cats starting in kids books!

      Mine are called Snoot (Black and White) and Supperchunks (Tabby)

      Edutainment – that’s what we’re going for! ;-)

  5. says

    YIKES!!! This and the class. I cannot believe that I am going for this. I knew that 2013 was going to be a stunner year for me I just didn’t know how. I am glad I have kept my schedule somewhat open this spring!!

  6. Ralphy Boy says

    Seems like a lot of extra (and un-paid) work.

    Your response would be:

    “Yeah, but you can promote your business, through our business, which can hopefully land you more business.”

    Too many “what ifs” for me. Too much extra work. Truthfully, this is a thinly disguised (and clever) lead generation campaign for you to generate more business.

  7. Barb Johnson says

    You got me too. I love scavenger hunts. Used to run them every year when my boys were in Cub Scouts. This sounds like fun.

  8. Laura Puma says

    Well, here goes! I am jumping in and at my age that ain’t easy. I work 40 hours a week, am working on the Business Masterclass homework assignments and hopefully will get through the hunt in one large piece. Thanks for pushing me!

            • D Hayes says

              I just have to say ladies, this is about the coolest thing that could happen with this hunt. You not only are jumping all in to learn something new, you also have made some new friends.
              Danny should be beaming from ear to ear about you gals :-)
              Once “Danny’s Grannies” get signed up on Tumblr, find me. I am discoverauctions.tumblr.com I would love to follow along with your journey on the hunt. If I can help at all, let me know.

            • says

              Hi Ladies,

              I fall in between you all. I’m 66 and think I might have been crazy to jump on this but I love a good challenge. I’d love to join you.

              BTW: Are you going to use the group title “Danny’s Grannies”? Let’s show these young whipper-snappers what we can do !!!

              Judy

            • says

              Hi Laura, Lynn, Katherine, D Hayes and Judy,

              Just want you all to know that I have decided not to do the hunt. I know, I can hear the collective groans. I looked at what was required and what scared me away was tracking three other people and having to do team things. I just feel that it is more time consuming than I can do. I get much of this business taken care of late at night after i work a job and tend to family. It just didn’t seem like it was going to be a fit. However, I am going to do the tumbler thing if I can. Frankly, it has been a bit chaotic here for a few weeks because my daughter and her family of six have moved into my apartment for a few weeks? while they sell their home and find another one. YIKES it is chaos here. Then all eight of us became ill, all but me VERY ill for days. Still not all well yet. All during this illness we have been moving them, and painting. Home last night after 10:30. this all after working my other job before heading over there. so it has been a grueling couple of weeks. It is a good thing that I am extremely resilient and strong.

              So I have personally been on hold for a bit. I will check out tumbler on Monday morning : ).

              I have gotten Katherine’s email and we have been communicating and it is enjoyable. It would be cool if each of you would go to my blog and shoot me an email. I like email for “talking”. I would also love it if you all would friend me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mary.a.johnson.908
              I am in Facebook prison right now and so I can’t send a friend request to you. : ) You can also see my fanpage at https://www.facebook.com/HomeSchoolCoach

          • says

            Ok I went to tumbler and signed up. YIKES!! What in the heck is this site for. I can’t make heads or tails out of it and I cannot find any tutorials or even any place that answers real questions. D I put in your address and now I am connected to you somehow but I don’t know how to actually see any of your pots or follow you. Any help you can give here?

            • D Hayes says

              Hi Mary Ann,
              Sorry that I didn’t get to this sooner. Just got off work. I just sent you an email through your website contact page. While you are doing what that one says, I am writing you a second one. We will go from there.
              Tumblr isn’t as hard as it makes itself look. You will get the hang of it in no time. Especially if your own site has been built with WordPress.

            • D Hayes says

              Hi Mary Ann,
              Sorry to see you won’t be able to partake in the hunt. Family does come first and it sounds as if you are incredibly busy.
              Good luck with your Tumblr page, and you did a great job getting started last night on it.

  9. says

    Well, I’m either a glutton for punishment or the smartest person alive – ha! I’m totally intrigued and if nothing else, I think this will make an interesting story to tell at some point.

    Add building my website to this, plus paying work and right now the glutton for punishment thought is winning.

    Should be interesting…
    Shirley

  10. says

    Really, Megan? Really? You had to do this? *facepalm*

    My plate is already pretty full, but this whole thing scared the living hell out of me, and it would have been completely contrary to my guest post here if I DIDN’T sign up!

    *laughs* Thanks so much – the FPM team is going to be the death of me. But if it’s the death of the not-epic me, I’m so game. ;)

    • says

      Heh. Sleep is over-rated – or so I hear. As an insomniac I may see it a little differently, but hey – we’ll either have a ton of stuff to keep us up at night, or we’ll have stuff to do when we’re keeping ourselves awake anyway. :D

      I’m curious to see whether this is difficult to juggle with ABM, or if it actually compliments it well.

  11. says

    Hi Megan,

    Glad to know you’re behind cats in kids books. I’m developing a children’s picture book series based on my cat Benny. The first two books are with a publisher; I’m waiting for feedback. I’m thinking about spinning off two other series from Benny’s book, but nothing is definite, yet. :)

  12. Annika S says

    This sounds great, might be just the kick I need to finally succesfully launch my diet & exercise coaching business & get the exposure to get some more clients! Thanks for the kick up the bum, I’ll be along for the ride! :)

  13. Grace Marshall says

    I don’t have the time, but I am going to make time and give this priority. I am looking forward to the mayhem.

  14. says

    Blitzkrieg! That’s what Danny is all about I guess. Hell if I know what a scavenger-hunt is, but count me in. We’re all holding on to the shirt-tails of FPM staff and hanging on for dear life!

    • says

      *laughing* Rodney, any scavenger hunt I’ve personally seen or been involved in had a lot to do with dumb kids running around in search of useless items – but I know Danny will have something educational and useful planned.

      And I like the mental image of hanging on for dear life. The funny thing is that I think we’ve all got manic smiles on our faces while we do it. :D

  15. says

    I have no idea what I’m doing. This is scary. But Danny seems like a regular guy. Even answered my emails, and maybe I have something to contribute. Besides, this might be like rubbing elbows with some “REAL” writers. Ha haaaaaaa ha-ha-ha-haaaah.

    Besides, now that my book is finally finished and at Kindle Direct, I may have a little spare time. Or did anyway. See Ya! Oh, and thanks guys.

  16. Helen Robertson says

    I’m in too.
    Bring it on…… figure it will be either kill or cure for getting my new venture off the ground.

  17. Robert says

    Interesting.
    I feel like I want to join this with a completely new blog. I want to see how far this can take me assuming I have zero readers. Is it a good idea to try this out with no readers at all?

  18. says

    Megan,

    Please pass on to Danny my thanks for his communication with me. I’ve decided that he is the guy to listen to, as he understands me more than the many other gurus I’ve heard. I just used a couple sentences that he wrote, specifically these “What else can you teach while playing? Can people from around the world play and learn and work together?” on my Facebook page as this is what I’ve been trying to communicate to others – you can learn by playing! It’s fun, really, really fun.

  19. Meryl says

    Leave it to you guys to come up with something like this! Way out of my comfort zone, but how can I refuse?

    Got everything you say we need — the computer, a couple of hours a week (barely) and an intense desire to be legendary.

    Really enjoy a good game, especially of the edutaining sort, but… don’t yet have a business set up and have absolutely no web presence. Is the game playable for those in my position?

  20. Robyn Rochelle E. says

    Totally overwhelmed! But refuse to be left behind. I have loved reading Engagement from Scratch — the whole authenticity of it all! Submitting my review this weekend. Still behind on my e-mails but knowing that I am watching this as it should unfold because I am giving it all I have in the moment.
    Looking forward to playing a little bit.

  21. says

    Okay, I’m in! Might be a little insane at the same time as doing the masterclass (which I’m already back to redoing the first two lessons of before I can move on to lesson 3!), but what the hec? If I can really do it in ‘a couple’ of hours a week? Sounds like fun!

  22. says

    Ok, Ok, I am in! I loved scavenger hunts when I was a kid and as an adult organized them for my kids. My schedule is now REALLY full with the other classes as well. Both I am going to be sooooo smart with all of this information…
    But Katharine and Mary Ann I am older than both of you!!! So Let the games begin!
    Sandra

  23. says

    Ok, Ok, I am in! I loved scavenger hunts when I was a kid and as an adult organized them for my kids. My schedule is now REALLY full with the other classes as well. Boy I am going to be sooooo smart with all of this information…
    But Katharine and Mary Ann I am older than both of you!!! So Let the games begin!
    Sandra

      • Meryl Brusser says

        Waving with my hand up to join your group. With the 3 of you 63 and older, and me at just 60, I’d be the youngest member. That doesn’t happen very often anymore.

        • Sandra says

          Ok, as much as I hate to admit it, I still “gotcha all” beat. I would say that should make me president of the seniors club but that takes wayyyyy to much energy.
          See you at the starting gate and the goal line. Be funny if all of the seniors won… and no it is not because we have more time. I do more now than when I “worked” for money.
          Sandra :-)

            • Mary Ann Johnson says

              I haven’t answered the new oldsters because I can’t figure out how to find you in all of this. That is why I jumped on now so that Kataharine’s comment doesn’t get lost in the melee before I can post. Ah technology, I love it!! Love the Dannie’s Grannie”s. Frankly I am relieved to realize that there are others in my age position in this class. Sometimes I feel too old to be doing this as I am surrounded by young people who “get” everything. I have to slog along and it isn’t always easy to understand the terminology or the thinking. It would be great to pick your brains occasionally and to be able to have you to cry too when throwing in the proverbial towel looks like salvation ! I do find it challenging here though, because there are so many comments and just finding the one you want to respond to is daunting. : ) I would love to just check into your sites too, if you have them. Want to see the faces. I would post my face here but haven’t been able to figure out how to do that yet. Hahahahaha

  24. says

    This is a CtA, or Call to Action, to those Ladies of a Certain Age: i.e. Danny’s Grannies…those of us over 60 who have some issues with today’s technology and who feel out of our depth. I have asked Danny if it’s okay for us to start a Mastermind group so we can discuss the ABM programme and work out the kinks together. He’s okay with it (thank you, Oh Wise One!), and I’d like to get your contact information if you’re interested in being a part of this. To let me know off-list, go to my (brand-new, WooHOO!) blog http://widgetjonesdiary.com and on the contact page, send me an e-mail. (It will go to Widget Jones, my dog, but I am her human so I’ll get the message. What can I say? It’s a crazy world.) I’ll get back to you and we can get together as a group to work through it all.

    Hope to talk to you ladies soon,
    Bev.

  25. says

    I’m in! At first, I thought, “Gee, I hope I don’t have to do anything crazy like dance with a lampshade on my head” but after reading the comments, I don’t care if I do! It will be fun to be around entrepreneurs who don’t let fear keep them from taking the leap into the unknown.

    Ready…set…jump!

    Robin

  26. says

    Hi Megan and Danny.
    I’m in for the Scavenger Hunt. Looking forward to some fun times with you guys. As today is 2.22 and everything starts today so where do we start? Got my Tumblr acct up. What’s next?

  27. Jean Buschke says

    Woot-Woot….Nothing like an InDoOr :) Scavenger Hunt to make the next five weeks of winter fly by! (My apologizes to all you snow lovers but I have a little wiener dog who is tired of snow already!) I am off to Tumblr!

  28. Jean Buschke says

    I signed up for the hunt…and have gone to Tumblr four different times to sign up. Each time it tells me my email address is not valid. Apparently I can’t figure out the first challenge!!!
    Good lord…what is a valid email address? If it’s too late to get in the hunt I will just play along on my own…but could you help me out with this Tumblr issue?

    • Helen says

      Hi Jean, I’m no techno whizz myself but I’m just wondering if someone who shares your email address is already on Tumblr. Quite often a site will only allow one membership per email address. So maybe try with a different email address.

      • Jean Buschke says

        Thanks Helen! I will try again…I shall feel quite accomplished when I figure the first step out! LOL :)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] what we’re trying to do right now with our Great Online Marketing Scavenger Hunt for bloggers and business owners; we’re using all of the gamification elements I’ve talked [...]

  2. [...] We’re running a live experiment over at Firepole Marketing, called the Great Online Marketing Scavenger Hunt. [...]

  3. [...] forward to yesterday, I saw a tweet announcing Firepole Marketing’s Great Online Marketing Scavenger Hunt while scouring Twitter for [...]

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