Archive for 'Personal'

Small gestures can yield lasting results

A few months ago, Guy Kawasaki tweeted (made a short announcement on Twitter, the micro-blogging site) that he was done with his next book’s manuscript and was looking for a few people to proofread it and give him feedback.

I was what I assume was a pretty large group of people who raised their hands.  Who doesn’t want to read Guy’s book before it gets published?  Anyway…read it, proofed it, critiqued it and sent it back.

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Fast forward to a couple weeks ago.  I got a package and voila, it was Guy’s new book, Reality Check (released October 30th).  I thought sending it ahead of the release was a nice gesture.  But when I opened it, Guy had also taken the time to write a personal note to me inside.

Class act.

You have to figure quite a few people (like Valeria Maltoni who mentioned she got one too, although for the life of me, I can’t find her reference now.) offered to proof his book.  So it was probably no small task to get handwritten notes into each copy before sending them off.  A very nice gesture but even more than that….smart marketing.

Guy knows how few handwritten notes and cards are used today.  He knows it feels personal and that it makes a connection.

The book is a great read – very irreverent and practical. And the author – a great marketer.

P.S.  If you find any typos….I swear, I told him about it! 🙂

How about you?  What small gesture could you make to create a connection with your prospect, customer or employee?

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Every business owner/leader needs a sounding board.  A safe place to explore ideas or get honest feedback about their own strengths and weaknesses.

I know I’ve sure needed that from time to time.

Blend that with the wisdom of The E-Myth by Michael Gerber (read about their coaching philosophy) and what do you get?  E-Myth Benchmark. 

And they want to give YOU two free hours of coaching.  No matter where in the world you live or work.

I can (and do) personally vouch for the quality and confidentiality you’ll receive because I’ve worked with them for years.  They push, pull and cajole me into seeing myself and my business from a much more objective perspective. 

Here’s how you get your two free coaching hours:

  1. Call them at 515-288-6984 or e-mail them.
  2. Congratulate them on their name change to E-Myth Benchmark.
  3. Ask to schedule your two free hours of coaching.

I’m not kidding….you’ll be elated at the results.  They promise no hard sell and you are under no obligation to go beyond your two free hours.

By the way…they did not ask me to write about this or mention it to you.  (They don’t even know I am.)  I’m doing it because I know you’ll enjoy and value the experience.

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Today’s vote is historic. And I assure you that no matter who you voted for,your guy in some way manipulated you. Once you found yourself making your choice, most people will defend their choice logically. Although as we know in sales 101, we buy for emotional reasons and justify with logic. .

Some interesting lessons for us online marketers have been revealed of late by political experts.

Mark Nagaitis, CEO of 7 Billion People, said “This analysis demonstrates how
the design of a website and the use of language can influence the effectiveness
of that site in communicating the desired message. Too many web designers
underestimate the power of language in reaching the complete audience, not just
their base.
” Key findings from the analysis include:

  • The McCain website uses language that emphasizes risk and problem avoidance
    – such as the section on the Homeownership Resurgence Plan featured prominently
    on the home page during mid-October 2008 in the final weeks before the
    presidential election.
  • By comparison, the Obama website offers voters key language on hope and
    opportunity as the primary focus, with risk items still present but secondary in
    nature.
  • Democratic candidate Barack Obama’s website is designed to appeal to people
    that use peer opinions and other references in their decision-making process.
    Obama’s website speaks to those that see themselves as part of a group. (For
    example, the Obama Everywhere section on the home page includes links to popular
    social networking sites).
  • Conversely, rival John McCain’s website appeals to those people who make
    decisions based on gut-feeling, information and personal choice. McCain’s
    website primarily speaks to the individual, not the group.
  • Senator McCain’s website presents information in a procedural, step-by-step
    fashion that appeals to analytical voters that feel comfortable with process and
    order – there is a clear path from the initial landing page that features Vice
    Presidential candidate Sarah Palin to the center panel of the website home page
    presenting topical videos denouncing his competitor. McCain’s website may feel
    constrictive to some voters.
  • By contrast, Senator Obama’s website appeals to voters that prefer choice
    and exploration of all of the options available to them. The website contains a
    wide array of menu items and clickable section headings representing numerous
    choices for visitors that need to feel that they have explored all the options –
    including a Learn menu section providing backgrounds on the wives of Senators
    Obama and Biden, texting for campaign updates, Obama Mobile for ringtones and an
    official iPhone application for the Obama campaign. Obama may be missing the
    opportunity to talk to voters that prefer order and process on the site.

The Gopac knows this and as such shows us some interesting language patterns that  politicos should use:

Use the list below to help define your campaign and your vision of public service. These words can help give extra power to your message. In addition, these words help develop the positive side of the contrast you should create with your opponent, giving your community something to vote for!:

Optimistic Governing Words

share, change,
opportunity, legacy, challenge, control, truth, moral, courage, reform,
prosperity, crusade, movement, children, family, debate, compete,
active(ly), we/us/our, candid(ly), humane, pristine, provide, liberty,
commitment, principle(d), unique, duty, precious, premise, care(ing),
tough, listen, learn, help, lead, vision, success, empower(ment),
citizen, activist, mobilize, conflict, light, dream, freedom, peace,
rights, pioneer, proud/pride, building, preserve, pro-(issue): flag,
children, environment; reform, workfare, eliminate good-time in prison,
strength, choice/choose, fair, protect, confident, incentive, hard
work, initiative, common sense, passionate

Contrasting Words

Often we search hard for words to define our opponents. Sometimes we
are hesitant to use contrast. Remember that creating a difference helps
you. These are powerful words that can create a clear and easily
understood contrast. Apply these to the opponent, their record,
proposals and their party.

decay, failure (fail)
collapse(ing) deeper, crisis, urgent(cy), destructive, destroy, sick,
pathetic, lie, liberal, they/them, unionized bureaucracy, "compassion"
is not enough, betray, consequences, limit(s), shallow, traitors,
sensationalists, endanger, coercion, hypocrisy, radical, threaten,
devour, waste, corruption, incompetent, permissive attitude,
destructive, impose, self-serving, greed, ideological, insecure,
anti-(issue): flag, family, child, jobs; pessimistic, excuses,
intolerant, stagnation, welfare, corrupt, selfish, insensitive, status
quo, mandate(s) taxes, spend (ing) shame, disgrace, punish (poor…)
bizarre, cynicism, cheat, steal, abuse of power, machine, bosses,
obsolete, criminal rights, red tape, patronage.

How can you use these lessons to better your online marketing?

David Bullock has interviewed the Obama Social Media team and says:

..the key is to look beyond what the world is evaluating
(politics) to ferret out what this campaign can teach us as we grow and
expand the reach of our businesses.

Personal Branding is its own reward

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Each year, Dan Schawbel’s organization recognizes some of the standout brands with Personal Brand Awards. Last year, Rohit Bhargava won the gold award, and this year Jeremiah Owyang was presented the 2008 gold award. An esteemed panel of judges made the selection and people were graded based on a few factors, such as value proposition, differentiation, and marketability.

I’m humbled to tell you that I was one of the 6 people honored with recognition.  It’s quite an honor and even more so, when you see the other recipients.  I’d like to take a minute and introduce you to each of the honorees (well, except me…you know me!)

Gold Award:  Jeremiah Owyang

Jeremiah is probably one of the most trusted and sought after experts in the social media space.  As a researcher for Forrester following media trends is his day job.  He’s very generous with his time and knowledge and the judges wisely selected him unanimously.

Silver Awards:  Daniel Scocco and Laura Fitton

Daniel is certainly a go-to-guy for blogging, people trust him and he constantly rewards his community.  He offers up tips and strategies on blogging and currently holds the #29 spot in terms of popular blogs (according to Technorati).

Laura’s focus is on social media consulting, specifically "microsharing" which is all about harnessing the power of tools like Twitter, Pownce, Plurk and Jaiku.  She’s often quoted on and offline about where the world of social media is headed.

Bronze Awards:  Jim Kukral, Wendy Piersall, and little old me

Jim’s thing is all things affiliate marketing,
social media and internet marketing each and every day. He communicates
his brand through both video and written entries and is a common face
at industry events.

Wendy introduced herself to us as eMoms at Home which has now evolved into SparkPlugCEO.  Wendy’s message is about the power and possibilities of working for yourself and from home.  Her personal story inspires many to take the leap.

Me.  Enough said.  If you want to read what Dan and the judges said…(this link is for you, Mom and Dad!)

Congrats to all the recipients.  As you can imagine, it’s heady stuff to be among them.

If you’re wondering who made the call, the judges were:

 

Read more about the award in the most recent edition of Personal Branding Magazine.

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Direct mail tricks: The envelope

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And the envelope says…..hopefully your direct mail envelopes are saying, "Open me!"  Many marketers put a great deal of time and effort into what’s inside the envelope but completely miss the opportunity to grab the recipient’s attention long before the package gets opened.  Here are some simple strategies for making the most of the envelope.

And these tips work, whether you are a business to business mailer or you’re mailing to individuals at home.  The trick is to catch their interest as they stand over the waste basket, decided what to even open.

Teaser copy.  Entice them to open the envelope.  Say something that will leave them wondering.

Make it personal.  It goes without saying that with today’s technology a personalized message is not only possible, it’s also highly effective.

Don’t fake it.  We’ve all gotten those "official" looking envelopes that were not from the government, an overnight letter or a telegram.  Unless it plays into your creative execution, don’t annoy your audience by being deceiving.

Hit the flip side.  Don’t forget about the back of the envelope.  That’s one of the most visible spots on the envelope and often the most underused. 

Don’t take a chance that your mail piece will get tossed without at least having one shot at delivering your message.  Make every element, including the outer envelope, work for you.

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