Writer, avid reader, sustainability nut, gardener, wine enthusiast, sci-fi/fantasy geek Branding & Communications at @5gear & @12most gal.
@SuzannePhillipsJennings I'm glad you feel less intimidated. Really its nothing more than another tool to communicate and chat like you would face to face. Just start slow and build your comfort level over time.
1 year ago on Big Takeaways From The 2013 Writer’s League of Texas Agent’s and Editor’s Conference
@Dave Deming Glad it was so productive for you! Of course I always find that conferences inspire more work, highlight more problems, and spark opportunities that take me weeks to sort through. It can be daunting but inspiring!
Great post Paul! Its a good reminder to creatives. I especially love #3 "Give a creative person a box and they will find a way out of it." So true! Creativity stems from restrictions. When you have to get creative with your resources and changing paradigms, you come up with so much more. If you have total freedom you'll just rehash something that's already out there, get comfortable, spend too much money, etc. Some parameters keep us in check while driving us to do more with less. That's true creativity!
1 year, 3 months ago on 12 Most Paradoxical Reasons Why Creative Limitations Are Not Limiting
@Martina801 Hmmm, I'm not familiar with that specific industry but I would start by doing some research both online and in-person. See if there are any lingerie/boutiques in your area and offer to buy them lunch/coffee to pick their brain. Be upfront about your interest in starting a new shop. Some people don't take kindly to potential competition but others are happy to share their experience. I know there are several organizations and magazines such as the National Retail federation that cater to retail businesses and have great resources. Victoria's Secret has changed the game a bit, so be sure to have a game plan for addressing that issue. Also check out your local SBDC (small Business Development Center). They have so many resources and experience at their finger tips. You can search for one at sba.gov. Hope that helps!
1 year, 5 months ago on 12 Most Overlooked Essential First Steps For Starting A Business
@DeborahHerriage Thanks for being the first to jump in Deborah! And I'm laughing out loud because I too am often accused of talking to much. When you're a communicator you just need to communicate (whether anyone gets it or cares or wants it or not). Thank goodness for blogging right? Well I'm glad you've found an outlet and even though writing is an end in of itself I do hope that people read and enjoy your work. Happy writing!
1 year, 7 months ago on Why Do You Write?
@ginidietrich @Sean McGinnis The author percentage on ebooks/kindles is factored differently. For hardcover (esp through non-Amazon channels) returns and other issues affect final quarter sales totals, which is why the average sales cycle is 120 days for books. The key is having a book for direct sales and for securing high paying speaking engagements. A book is a marketing tool nowadays, and less of a revenue stream.
1 year, 9 months ago on Traditional Book Publishing vs. Self-Publishing
Great post! There are many things to consider and both traditional and self-publishing come with their own pros and cons. Despite its many downfalls, traditional publishing does come with a great deal of credibility as well as some pretty high standards in terms of content and production. Self-publishing varies greatly in both quality and distribution reach. Instant gratification aside, we still want quality and we still expect traditionally books to be more thoroughly vetted than self-published books. Not to mention as a self publisher you are in charge of everything--editing, book design, printing, distribution--the works. That's often more than the average writer--fiction or nonfiction--can handle. So its important to do one's homework, weigh the options, compare each option to your unique needs and goals, and go their direction that fits best. There no "right' answer and certainly one size does not fit all. Congrats on getting your book out (a feat in itself). I look forward to the next!
Newman thank you so much for writing this! I have tried to work with clients whose main marketing and publicity strategy has been to criticize the competition and it doesn't work. People may stop and listen for a minute, but if all you do is criticize others, people will leave. 1) Because no one wants to be around that much negativity and 2) They start to worry about what you're saying about them when they're not in the room. We're more attract to positive people who are sharing information, providing solutions, and leading others toward greatness. It's a better marketing strtaegy too. Thanks again Newman! Glad to see you're still a man focused on discussing ideas ;-)
1 year, 10 months ago on A Message To America’s Leaders: Respect The Competition
@margieclayman I think many people don't want to invest in it because its not a physical, tangible thing. Intangible goods are hard, conceptually, for people to value--hence the need to demonstrate ROI.
2 years ago on 12 Most Wacky Marketing Myths In the Online World
Oh Margie, how you made my day! I kept nodding all the way through. A brand is an experience, vision, and mission, and more that encompasses every aspect of the business from HR to customer service, from R&D to Accounting. Integrated marketing is social media PLUS traditional marketing, networking, etc. Your website is your calling card--and for many--your business front. Why wouldn't you want to invest some time and money into it? ROI is measurable for ALL types of marketing and is an essential piece of your overall marketing strategy and evaluation. I suggest anyone who cares how their marketing dollars are spent read Data Driven Marketing by Mark Jeffery. Okay enough ranting from me. Thanks Margie for assuring me I'm not alone!
Agreed Dan. My blog is where I discuss the questions of the day. Whether or not they're hot, trendy, or even get read isn't really what I'm going for. I'm just sharing my thoughts on questions people asked, things clients did, or issues that I think are important. If they stick great if they don't so what. I can't live and die by metrics or I'd go insane. I find that the more thoughtful and in depth my posts the less comments I receive, but my off the cuff rants invite a ton of people to talk back and forth. So I mix it up, go with my gut, and if I have a hot commenting day then great if not, I know I'm being honest, consistent, and doing my work. That's all that matters.
Thanks Dan! And you're always on the top of my lists--unfortunately I make lists and then forget where I keep them but you're on one of them ;-P
2 years, 7 months ago on An Ironic Blog Post About Getting More Comments
@dbvickery No doubt! haha--well, in the end you've gotta be natural and focused on building connections. Calls to actions and guidelines can help give you a framework but you never know what each interaction is going to be like. Its always best to go with the flow and be authentic :-)
2 years, 7 months ago on 12 Most Annoying Things You Can Do In Your Marketing Campaign
@douglaserice Thanks Doug! Yes its okay to cheat and prepost links to events and things but you can't place a recorder next to a phone and have a real conversation so what makes people think they can do the same on the net? Thanks for commenting!
@BruceSallan Hey bruce I totally agree! Even supporting your competitors is good because lets face it everyone is different and different companies are better suited to deal with different kinds of people. Healthy competition and good sportsmanship go hand in hand.
@AmyMccTobin Thanks Amy. Yes I'm surprised by how many of these things are still happening, especially when no one likes them. We have to keep educating our clients.
Yes @danielnewmanUV ! I am so tired of the self proclaimed "gurus" of everything and even more tired of the people who "live for customer service." Social media simultaneously demands authenticity and makes it easy for people to falsify their credentials (heck even their photos). The same rules that apply in every realm of business apply in social media, but it seems that whenever something is new anyone who looks like they know what they're talking about gets play. For me, if I don't see something unique, real, and honest in your bio I won't engage.
2 years, 7 months ago on Buyer Beware: The Social Media Bio
@healingmuse Great point! I have found that working out clears my head, gives me focus, and helps me solve issues too. Sometimes we get so in to forcing a solution, when sometimes we need to take a break and give our minds time to process. Exercise is a great way to do that. Thanks for the suggestion!
2 years, 8 months ago on 12 Most Unavoidable Challenges You Will Face As An Entrepreneur
@PRbySweetTooth You're definitely not alone. The time thing gets me to but often its because I'm looking at enormous goals that in reality need several years to execute. We have to break it down into doable pieces and focus on what can be done with the time we have. You'll get there!
@samfiorella I agree, and it does take time to find like minded people to either form a mastermind group with or to join your team. The first year or two are pretty solitary.
I realized I forgot to mention another challenge--people playing Angry Birds when you're trying to work! There are all sorts of crazy noises coming from the other room.
Looks like they hit all of the marks. Its difficult to find people who can communicate and execute across multiple channels. Many of the people who reach out to me are only wanting to focus on print, or certain industries, or certain clients. I need people who can handle traditional and digital media and can think critically about finding the right angle and executing a campaign.
2 years, 8 months ago on The PR pro of the today: What do employers really want?
@DixieLil Exactly! Local media will share your news over and over again. Its hard to get that kind of coverage from a national outlet with so much ground to cover. Thanks for commenting!
2 years, 8 months ago on 12 Most (Unfortunately) Typical Mistakes Companies Make In PR
Exactly. I can understand having limited resources, but success in PR and marketing is a matter of hitting the right person with the right message at the right time. That means hitting multiple impressions across multiple channels--or being psychic.
Love it Sam! YOu can have a high Klout score or you can have a life. Now I don't feel so bad for having a life (not that I did feel bad before--maybe more justified I guess!). I'm going to go earn a living now! :-D
2 years, 8 months ago on 12 Most Influential Perks for People with Low Klout Scores
@GrandmaOnDeck Thanks for the kind words and yes, we should always know what to expect from our leaders in any situation, anywhere.
2 years, 9 months ago on 12 Most Attractive Qualities of A Great Leader
@eduk8andlead Thanks! People really are the difference in any organization. All the systems and documents in the world won't do any good without the right people to implement them.
@danielnewmanUV Well I also forwarded it to my dad and he sent it out to his entire company. He also thought it was great ;-)
2 years, 9 months ago on A Call To Action: Leadership Is Up To Everyone
Oh and by the way I'm printing this off and posting it in my office.
Wow Dan great post! Were you listening in on our conversations this week? My husband and I had a vent session this weekend about our businesses and you lined out absolutely everything we discussed. Leadership and initiative takes place at every level of an organization. No one will led you to greatness and no one will hand you what you need. You have to ask for it, you have to earn it, and most of all you have to be focused on finding solutions. Great post!
@dbvickery At least you realized it! Too many people think their's are great when they aren't. Let us know when the new site goes live!
2 years, 9 months ago on 12 Most Disgustingly Obvious Signs You Have A Crappy Website
Yes planning, cohesion, and good execution across all mediums is important. Your website, social media, networking, print, and customer service materials need to all be in sync, thus equally un-crappy :-) Thanks Margie!
@RachelTaylorChi Biggest thing is make sure its accessible, easy to navigate, and provides value :-)
@mantywebdesigns Exactly--when I said cheap and easy I didn't necessarily mean DIY. I don't know why people don't put more care into their websites. It is an investment in your company's image and sales funnel. You should put a little money into it. Thanks Jill!
@danielnewmanUV I know. I'm redesigning the website for my husband's company and I can't get him to dump the flash. I talked him into minimizing it. Maybe a little more nudging will do the trick ;-)
@BrandFlair Yeah between the two of us one of us should know where we're going . . . I hope.
2 years, 9 months ago on 12 Most Undeniable Reasons Why Austin Is a Great Place To Do Business
@margieclayman Let me know when you do. Brass Monkey and I will take you out!
@BrandFlair@Biebert I didn't!
@dbvickery Yeah, this week is the first week in at least 3 months that we've been below 100. I had to pull out my sweater finally! Oh well, that's what patios, Barton Springs, and Mexican Martinis are for! Hope to get you back to Texas soon!
YOu can always come visit us during one of our many fantastic festivals. I play guide and rabble rouser during SXSWi for all of my #Usguys buddies!
@sanchezjb Great points! I totally agree. Leaders can't do it all themselves. They need a great team to get things done (which means delegating and giving people the support they need to get things done). Thanks for the great addition to the conversation!
2 years, 10 months ago on 12 Most Attractive Qualities of A Great Leader
@douglaserice Exactly Doug! Thanks for the great comment :-)
@margieclayman Hey Margie! The S@*t rolls uphill is a military one. Morale is so important in teh military especially in a combat situation. The second a unit sees their leaders waiver or turn negative the nerve of the whole team is gone. Not good when bullets are whizzing by.
You bring up a good point about the vulnerability. Leaders shouldn't be stoic--we have to know you're human, we just want to believe you're stronger than the rest of us ;-) Thanks as always for your wonderful insight!
@Biebert And its often the most heartbreaking part of being a leader, but its also the best! Thanks for your comments :-D
@pbehnia Thanks girl!
@EmmaofCEM Thanks so much for the great feedback! I've actually held several leadership positions and come from a family of leaders. I just sat down and thought about what we've seen in great leaders (and the bad qualities on those who didn't impress me). I have read John Maxwell's book on leadership and several others, but most of it is based on over 20 years of experience in business, community service, and my time in ROTC and Civil Air Patrol (so yes, some military philosophy thrown in).
@danielnewmanUV Exactly! :-D
@westfallonline Chris you're reading me right--situational leaders aren't leaders they're actually followers. Leaders sometimes have to go against the grain to charge the way. Someone who changes their ethics to fit the situation isn't someone leading the way (and often they're the first to bail ship when things go south--mixing metaphors again I know:-D).
@prosperitygal Yes, we are a society that values instant gratification, but the best things in life take dedication. Totally feel ya!
2 years, 10 months ago on 12 Most Imperative Rules of Social Media
@janetcallaway Aloha Janet! Yes, its better to focus on quality over quantity. When someone can have 3,000 followers with 1 tweet its obvious that number of followers is a false metric. You can't measure the power of a great relationship!
@rncpatel Thanks Rishi!
@mdyoder Exactly! Social media is still in its infancy. The people who are making waves and seeing results are those who are approaching it with curiosity and adventure. There are also so many free and paid tools that make it easy to both automate and monitor so you can have a vibrant presence, without chaining yourself to the computer. Thanks for the feedback!
@pbehnia Thanks girl! Yeah, we have to learn to be forgiving and let people be themselves in social media--that is the point. Genuine interactions. We can't have a genuine community if we standardize everything and set the bar so that only mega corporations ca succeed. Its all about what works for you :-)
@PaulBiedermann Yeah I'm surprised by how often people think if they don't see $20k increase in 30 days then they dump the whole program. I've also seen people dump it after 3 months even with a demonstrated ROI above $50k. Oh well you can only do so much. ANd yes, we are in agreement. The golden rule heavily applies to social media!
@douglaserice@Biebert Thanks Doug! Glad you liked it. I know how much of a challenge it can be to stay consistent. I had to pare back and rethink what I truly could commit to at the beginning of the year with my own social media. It should be fun, not stressful. Thanks again!
Thanks Margie! Yes I agree. When I teach classes and talk to new clients the #1 concern is having to be on every platform. You should see the relief flood peoples faces when I say not to do that. I think its the #1 thing holding people back from engaging on social media. But you and I know that once your in it sucks you in! Thanks fro the great feedback!
Hey Miles great post! I use slideshare and animoto and have been trying to find the time to play with Prezi. I think a good follow up would be tools for translating powerpoints into video (e.g. Readytalk, Go To Meeting and such) with a presenter speaking. Also, how would you rank these tools in terms of Easy-Intermediate-Advanced skill level? Again, great list!
2 years, 11 months ago on 12 Most Helpful Tools to Create and Distribute Your Presentations
@AndreaGenevieve Damn straight this isn't a fad! Its a revolution, a paradigm shift that will drive business back to where it started--people helping people. Thanks for your support! You rock!!!
2 years, 11 months ago on 12 Most Damaging Myths About Social Entrepreneurs
@rncpatel Hey Rishi! I think that there are ways for you to easily integrate socially conscious practices in your offerings and of course your support is one step in that direction. Thanks for the feedback!
@bcarls Yes Beth, its a matter of education but everyone I've spoken to is intrigued and inspired by the possibilities. We'll get them all converted eventually!
@prosperitygal Hey girl! Thanks for the great feedback! I don't know Simon and will look him up--thanks for telling me about him. I believe there are strength in numbers in terms of getting this idea out and tumbling around in people's heads. I'm taking notes for #12 so I can get it out ASAP. Talk to you soon!
@westfallonline Absolutely! Whole Foods, Eat Right America, Jamie Oliver, and more all have created socially conscious businesses that address obesity and other health concerns (while making a handsome profit). Threads For Thought adressess sustainability. TOMS shoes, Alter Eco, and Progreso Financero all attack poverty while creating profitable for profit and hybrid ventures. A social entrepreneur can fight crime, fight poverty, fight ignorance, injustice, health, and more. They do it by either:
1. creating a product or service that directly address the social problem, like when Vestergard Frandsen created a filter that African villagers can use to filter water straight from the polluted river.
2. By segmenting their offerings so that certain products solve social concerns like Starbucks offering Fair Trade coffee and selling Ethos water whose proceeds go to build wells and get clean water to remote villages.
3. By employing or buying from vendors who employ underserved groups in need. For example, Alter Eco buys goods from poor farmers at a price at or above market so they can improve their way of life (can also include employing ex-convicts, single moms, teen runaways, etc.).
4. By employing a hybrid model that lets you sell a traditional for profit product and using the proceeds to address a social need. E.g. TOM's shoes buy one give one program and Greenleaf Book Groups Tree Neutral program.
I'll let you know when the white paper is done that details all of these examples. I'm halfway through!
@danielnewmanUV There you go instigating again! Ha. I think there will be many posts about social entrepreneurs coming out of me my friend :-)
@prosperitygal@pbehnia Hey girl!
Saying someone isn't a right fit isn't being a prima donna. Its acknowledging ahead of time that you and them won't make an inspired team. Its understanding the difference between taking just anybody for the sake of having work and working with people who really drive and inspire you (which means you work harder) and who value you the way you are. I recently turned down someone because they were trying to get me to change key elements of my brand and my voice. I won't date a guy who tries to do that, why would I want a client who does the same? Plus, I have plenty of clients whom I enjoy and who no other firm would take on yet I did and give them the same level I do to my Inc 500 clients. I give them what they need to grow their businesses and we work well together, which is the point--built a lasting working relationship.
Thanks for the discussion!
2 years, 11 months ago on 12 Most Valid Reasons You Should Disqualify a Prospective Client
Wow awesome post and totally in line with my philosophy! Its gotta be a great fit or there's no reason belaboring a relationship that in the end won't work. Both parties need to appreciate and respect the other while also bring value to each other's organizations/projects. I still think I'm going to print this of and keep it handy when turning down a high dollar client starts to feel wrong, I can remember why I said no in the first place. Thanks!
@wadvisor Thanks! You're right, narrowing down a niche/finding a hole is a key component to developing a viable and competitively sound product. Too many people try and do exactly what their competitors are doing instead of finding that hole and giving the market something new and fresh (and that it needs!). Thanks for the insight and good luck on your 3rd journey!
2 years, 11 months ago on 12 Most Overlooked Essential First Steps For Starting A Business
Thanks Jeannie! #5 is important for many things not just business. Its amazing what we can accomplish when we get real about what we're good at. Thanks for he feedback!
2 years, 12 months ago on 12 Most Overlooked Essential First Steps For Starting A Business
@ProSales_Mike @prosales_mik Mike that is so true! We need to focus on what we're good at and hire or partner up with competent people with complementary skills. You can't be good at everything, but you can be great at a few things. Thanks for reminding us!
@danielnewmanUV Thanks Daniel! Yes vision is key. Whenever I consult or mentor someone I make sure they have this in place before we start talking about the nitty gritty stuff. It gives us a clear direction and a foundation on which to build a lasting organization. Thanks for the feedback!
@katestewart Thanks for your support Kate!
3 years ago on 12 Most Basic Elements For Building A Community Around Your Brand
@EmilianoV Thanks Emiliano! People need to buy in to a system and need to feel like they are apart of it before they can be called to action, so #6 is a great one to remember. Thanks for the feedback!
@danenow Hey Dane!
Yes, its so important for any venture that people have something to believe in. If you're going to do something it should be something that matters. Good luck on your project and thanks for the kind words!
@SoloBizCoach A few ideas are you can start a closed group on either Linked In or Facebook so they can converse directly with each other while still allowing you to monitor the interactions. You can also create a forum or community section on your website. Google connect enables this to a point, but you can talk to your developer/web manager to see what capabilities you have. Also look into ways you can add user generated content and to let them share as much as possible.
@danielnewmanUV Thanks Daniel! Yes, you can shorten it in post. Sometimes it's too long for me to type :-) I look forward to being a part of the 12 Most Tribe!
I agree with you. Frankly I do most of my business on twitter. I even met my business partner on twitter, secured referral sources for myself and for clients, funneled people from prospect to conversion through twitter, get news in real time (especially technology and business news), and get media coverage through twitter. It's cheaper (and more effective) than a chamber luncheon and more targeted than most seminars. It's my personal favorite among the social media tools.
3 years, 7 months ago on 12 Reasons You Should Use Twitter for Business