By k | January 21, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I had a discussion yesterday
with one of my buddies
about whether or not white folks were ever slaves
in the U.S.

She insisted they weren’t,
that slavery was not a white issue.

I knew that not only were the Irish enslaved
but they were valued less than African slaves
because they were cheaper to obtain.

So I told her to Google the subject.
She was shocked and dismayed
with the results

and she asked me why no one ever told her.

Exactly.
Why with all the focus on slavery
and civil rights
did no one ever tell her
these issues applied to everyone?
That we’re all more alike
than we are different?

What IS said can be questioned.
What ISN’T said is much more dangerous.

Do your own research.
Don’t accept another person’s truth blindly.

By k | January 20, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

At the American Express Open booth,
the giveaways
included popcorn and cupcakes.
These weren’t branded with American Express logos.
They were branded with the logos
of the small local companies
supplying the giveaways.

The unspoken message?
American Express puts small business first.

Which is what the brand stands for.

They didn’t have to say it.
They didn’t have to advertise it.
The people who cared
about that branding
noticed.

Walk the talk.
Be the company
your brand proclaims you are.
People WILL notice.

By k | January 19, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Joe Kane, electronic imaging pioneer
and creator of A Video Standard,
presented the first true gray screen
at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.

This screen greatly reduces
the amount of time
spent in post production
and color correction
because everyone in the viewing room
views the picture the same way.

If I’m seated in the middle of the room
and I say the flesh tone is natural,
my buddy standing against the wall
also sees the same natural flesh tone.

There’s no dissension,
and
no time needed to prove what I see.

If you need a project to move quickly,
one of the easiest ways to accomplish this,
is to ensure everyone sees
the problem and solution in the same way.
We give them a common vision.

By k | January 18, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I talked to a product designer
at the Consumer Electronics Show.
He was surprisingly candid
about his issues,
the product’s limitations,
their sales,
their struggles with the competition.

As I shook his hand,
thanking him for the information,
he asked what I did.
(I had industry affiliate on my badge)

When I told him
I was a blogger,
he was horrified.
“But…but…but you don’t
have a red press badge.
We were told not to talk
to anyone with the red press badge.”

Sorry sweetie,
but many bloggers don’t bother
with the hurdles
to get those precious red press badges.

I’m not out to get anyone fired
so I won’t use his information
or quote him
but I could.

Assume everyone you talk to
is press
because we likely are.

By k | January 17, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Displaying at the Consumer Electronics Show
is very, very expensive
yet I was appalled
at the junior jammer mistakes
many companies made.

There was one company
who displayed their logo everywhere
(a green squiggly line)
yet had their name nowhere.
I had to ask a representative.

I spent five minutes
in another company’s booth
and couldn’t figure out what they did.

Another REALLY large company
had a booth
my 11 year old niece
would have been embarrassed
to have designed.

All three of these companies
fell prey to the sin of vanity.
They assumed attendees knew them
(which is ironic
as the purpose of tradeshows
is often to drive NEW business)
and those were the attendees
they marketed to.

In contrast,
American Express representatives
approached me
with “We’re American Express.
We…”,
assuming I hadn’t heard of them.
I found this endearing
and enchanting.
(who HASN’T heard of American Express)

Be humble when you market.
Assume no one knows
who you are.

By k | January 16, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I read a recent article
which stated that an author
should spend $5,000 to $10,000
on marketing EACH story.

WTF?

I don’t make $10,000
on each story
(not yet).
That thinking is nuts.

Then I read who wrote the article.
A marketing firm.

I love marketing.
I think marketing firms
normally do a great job.

Don’t ask them
how much you should spend though.
One of their goals
is to have you spend
as much as possible.

Instead, ask someone
(preferably several someones)
who has recently launched
and been successful
with a similar product.

Don’t ask a marketer
how much you should spend
on marketing.

By k | January 15, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Odds are…
it isn’t.

I was watching
a Storage Wars marathon.

The first season,
the professional storage locker buyers
had very little competition.
They bought lockers
at low prices
and often made their money back.

In the most recent season,
due to the popularity of the show,
there are a lot of new people
getting into the business.
The professionals aren’t worried, however.
They know the business is harder
than the show makes it look.

When I say I’m a writer,
almost every person replies
that they’re writing a book also.
I nod and smile
because I know
writing is a LOT harder
than the average person realizes.

I’ve yet to find
an easy business or career.
If you want success,
you’ll have to work for it.

The good news is…
most of your potential competition
WON’T work for it.

By k | January 14, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Yep, you heard that right.

But Terrible Minds says it better.

“Fuck dreaming.
Start doing.
Dreams are great
— uh, for children.
Dreams are intangible and uncertain looks
into the future.
Dreams are fanciful flights
of improbability
— pegasus wishes
and the hopes of lonely robots.
You’re an adult, now.
It’s time to shit or get off the pot.
It’s time to wake up
or stay dreaming.
Let me say it again
because I am nothing
if not a fan of repetition:
Fuck dreaming.
Start doing.”

You have your dreams.
You’ve set your goals.
Now
DO!

By k | January 13, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Some of us struggle
with whether or not
our jobs
add value to the world.

If the product or service
you help sell
(and by working for the company,
you’re helping to sell that product)
is repurchased by customers,
it absolutely adds value to them
and to their world.

People aren’t dumb.
You may fool them once
with a useless product
but you won’t fool them twice.

If it is a one time purchase product
and your company
has been around for a while,
then it also adds value.
Folks talk.
If your product doesn’t add value,
they’ll eventually know.

Is the product/service adding the value
you want it to add?
That’s your personal call.
Is it adding value
to the people you want to help?
Again, your call.

But the product/service IS
adding value.
Jesse Lyn Stoner has a post
on more questions to ask.

By k | January 12, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Whenever I need to clean the house,
I watch Hoarders.
Seeing folks buried in their stuff
drives me to purge my house
of my own stuff.

Whenever I feel like a lazy ass
about writing,
I read articles about Nora Roberts
and I’m inspired by her almost crazy dedication
to writing
and her absolutely insane daily word count.

Seeing the extremes
shows me that my more average goal
is completely doable.
It blasts through my excuses.

If Nora Roberts can write seven novels a year,
I can write three.
If a hoarder can clean out
a house filled with stuff
in a weekend,
I can clean my relatively tidy living room
in an hour.

If you’re inspired by the extremes,
use that inspiration
to achieve your goals.