By k | October 21, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Today I was manning an information booth
and was swarmed by a team of student journalists. 
I happily did interviews for their class assignments,
easing them over their nervousness, and
treated every… well… rather junior question seriously. 

When they left a few hours later happy,
one of the other women at the booth said
“I can’t believe you gave them so much time.” 

I can’t believe I didn’t give them more. 

You see, student journalists graduate
to become “real” journalists or
go into public relations or…
and they never forget their first few interviews.

I was lucky enough to be one of those interviews.

By k | October 20, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When looking for project staff,
there’s one personality trait I insist upon. 

They need to have project thinking,
not linear thinking. 

Linear thinking is…
do Step 1 first, Step 2 second, Step 3 third. 

Project thinking is…
do all three Steps as soon as possible
if they’re not dependent on each other. 
If Step 3 is dependent on Step 2,
do Step 2 either first or at the same time as Step 1
and THEN Step 3. 

Linear thinkers add days,
even months,
to project timelines.

By k | October 19, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I received an email promoting an event. 
At the end of the email, I read this…

“We will begin at 6 p.m. sharp. 
Please be on time!

No Cancellation after Wednesday October 17, 2007
and No shows will be charged . 

Advanced Registration Required.
Payment required in advance by credit card only.” 

Was this sent to a bunch of high risk attendees? 
Nope, professional accountants. 

And it was for a bowling night. 
With this fun, fun email,
what do you think attendence was?
(I don’t know… I didn’t go)

By k | October 18, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

On one of my projects,
customers, in the past,
contacted a business partner first. 
These contacts were filtered for junk and
then forwarded to me. 

A couple years in,
the partner left the company. 
It was only then that I discovered there was a problem
with our system. 

What was the problem? 
The partner’s definition of junk was
VERY different from my definition of junk. 
She was filtering out possible media opportunities. 
These opportunities could have
built the business quicker. 

So if you’re using filters,
and I do recommend using them,
check them every once in a while. 

By k | October 17, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

In the writing community,
there is an ongoing discussion
about “free” writing. 
I give away free short stories
on my writing blog
Should I be trying to sell them
to magazines instead? 
Or is it keeping the “discussion” going? 

Communications specialist Renate Zorn in
“The Woman in the Red Dress” points out
“When most conversations falter,
they do so not because the participants
don’t have anything in common to talk about,
but because one or both participants
aren’t giving or using “free information.”…
Free information includes
any unsolicited comments
or information provided by the speaker.” 

So to communicate well,
you have to give some information away. 

By k | October 16, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

With services such as TiVO,
TV commercials are increasingly ineffective. 
Networks know that so
they are experimenting
with other forms of advertising. 

Two of the latest are snipes and bugs
Bugs are the static logos that
watchers often see on
the bottom left hand corner of the screen
(Why left?  
Because that is where the viewers eyes go first). 
Snipes are very similar to bugs except animated.  

As advertising evolves, so will content. 
To leave this space of the screen clear
for bugs and snipes,
I soon expect to see
little to no programming content there.

By k | October 15, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I was reading this post on writers and
how they have to be selfish. 

That rings true for entrepreneurs also. 

I’m continuing to build a venture
while working a contract gig. 
I got offered an after hours week long contract gig.
It pays more than a month of regular billings. 

I took it. 

Now my own venture, my own future,
is on hold while I help build someone else’s. 
Not smart. 
I have to be “selfish” and
put my own business first.

By k | October 14, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Sandra Wilson, founder of the
indoor baby shoe company Robeez said
that one of their biggest decisions was
“are we a shoe company or
are we a baby accessory company?” 

How did she solve that? 
She asked herself “what are we really good at?”
and at that time,
“we knew we weren’t shoe manufacturers.” 
You have to “know what you’re good at.” 

Will that decision hold? 
In 2006, the $30 million in annual sales Robeez
was acquired by Stride Rite. 
Their expertise IS in the shoe business.

By k | October 13, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

A local businessman,
in his low budget tv ads, 
dresses in tights and calls himself Cashman
(”I give you cash for your old jewellery”). 
He is laughed at, ridiculed,
and… adored. 

Everyone knows these ads. 
Everyone knows his chain of stores. 
And by acting crazy,
he makes crazy amounts of money. 

It might not work for every business but 
it works for his store and for his prospects. 
And now, he has imitators
(but no one can beat the original Cashman). 

With Halloween fast approaching,
there are opportunities for businesses to
get creative with marketing,
with promotions,
with advertising. 
Most won’t for fear of looked crazy. 
But a few brave businesses,
as Troy White encourages,
will and
those will break away from their competitors. 

By k | October 12, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

During October,
Personal Finance Bloggers are using their sites
to help promote financial literacy in schools. 
They are encouraging readers to donate

This being a cause near and dear to my heart,
I decided to give. 
But how much to give? 
I wasn’t sure. 

Then I saw that the fundraising was
broken down into projects.  
I had a choice.  
I could give what I usually give to charities or
for a little bit more, I could support an entire project. 
I decided on the entire project. 

Most customers or donors or…
would do the same. 
If you give them an option
between partial and total ownership,
they will choose total ownership.
An easy way to upsell.