06 7 / 2012

I’ve been following Dan Kennedy for several years.  If you haven’t had the pleasure of being offended by him and his teachings, then let me formally introduce you to your ‘slap-in-the-face’ this day!  Enjoy…

JD


THE SALESMAN AND THE BEAN COUNTER

 ”Worriers and spellers can be hired for minimum wage.” - James Tolleson

I won a couple “spelling bees” when I was a kid, and I’m a reasonably bright guy.  But unless
you’re going to teach English lit, it turns out that mastery of grammar and spelling is not particularly important to most careers or businesses.  I get letters from time to time offering to edit everything from my books and newsletters to my sales letters, to correct the grammar and syntax or present a more erudite, professional image-but these letters always come from people who have never had a book published or never made any serious money from creating advertising.  You CAN hire these folks for minimum wage all day long.  Most of the highest income earners I know have a few of these people around.  The point, of course, is that “perfection” and “professionalism” as defined and perceived by most people has not one darned thing to do with making a lot of money.  It turns out that book publishers all have editors who can fix what you write - what they need is somebody who can come up
with salable books and then sell them.  Ad agencies can hire people to fix grammar easily; what’s hard to find is the guy who can come up with something like “They All Laughed When I sat Down At The Piano…” that can actually sell something.  

See, when you have the ability to cause people to jump up and part with their money, you can hire - or the world will ante up and provide - people to run around behind you and do everything from fix your grammar to get your laundry cleaned to mollifying hotel managers after you’ve trashed the penthouse suite.  This tells you the one and only business skill worth focusing on, worth mastering.  And I can’t tell you how happy I am to have had that revelation early in life.

As an aside, if you really want to do your son or daughter a favor, push them into summer jobs in selling.  Even if they want to become doctors or, God forbid, lawyers later, the most valuable part of their entire education will be the three months spent selling in the store, car dealership or door to door.  (Some years back, I did a survey of 100 chiropractors with practices earning at least $500,000.00 a year; over 80 of them had worked in direct sales, like selling vacuum cleaners, fire alarms, cookware, etc.)

Similarly, you can also hire a bunch of pinheads and bean counters to sit around and worry over every imaginable detail and potential problem for a whole lot less than you can make from the same time selling or causing sales.  In essence, it really doesn’t pay to worry!  Hard to break the worry habit:  most of us are taught this habit by our parents and have it deeply imprinted in our subconscious.  The best antidote or, at least distraction though is positive, productive, proactive action.  I do know one entrepreneur who actually hired a guy to worry for him - he pays him $35,000.00 a year.  Every morning he gives his Vice-President of Worrying a list of stuff to worry about, and then he goes on to focus on selling and causing sales.  This pretty much tells you the only two functions of business worth investing your time and energy in.  And note this:  everybody who takes your time or attention away
from those two things is your enemy.  

DAN S. KENNEDY is a serial, multi-millionaire entrepreneur; highly paid and sought after marketing and business strategist; advisor to countless first-generation, from-scratch multi-millionaire and 7-figure income entrepreneurs and professionals; and, in his personal practice, one of the very highest paid direct-response copywriters in America. As a speaker, he has delivered over 2,000 compensated presentations, appearing repeatedly on programs with the likes of Donald Trump, Gene Simmons (KISS), Debbi Fields (Mrs. Fields Cookies), and many other celebrity-entrepreneurs, for former U.S. Presidents and other world leaders, and other leading business speakers like Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy and Tom Hopkins, often addressing audiences of 1,000 to 10,000 and up.  His popular books have been favorably recognized by Forbes, Business Week, Inc. and Entrepreneur Magazine. His NO B.S. MARKETING LETTER, one of the business newsletters published for Members of Glazer-Kennedy Insider’s Circle, is the largest paid subscription newsletter in its genre in the world. https://gkic.infusionsoft.com/go/newmifge/StickmanGKIC

03 5 / 2012

Ten Brands Doing Post-Advertising Right

Every once in a while, the editorial team at Post-Advertising is so impressed by a brand’s work that we share it with each other. Just the fact that we enjoyed the content so much that we were compelled to share it with the rest of our team proves that it’s worthy of a post-advertising nod.

But since we’ve focused this blog on topics that educate our readers, we’ve spent less time sharing the great work we’ve found with all of you. Last September we decided to feature 10 brands that impressed us with their content marketing and brand storytelling efforts. But as we see more brands embracing post-advertising, we realized that we should start doing our list more often.

So without further ado, here’s our Spring edition of Ten Brands Doing Post-Advertising Right. We’ve included the team member who nominated the idea and penned the description.

Jon Thomas

As audiences, we’re fine-tuned to tune out what we deem advertising. Brands have fought back by holding us hostage with pre-roll ads and DVR-busting hidden bits of show content between commercials. But to truly be remembered, brands have to create content that’s entertaining, useful and worth sharing. SMART Argentinaused Twitter recently for what is being considered the first Twitter commercial. No, it didn’t buy a tweet from Kim Kardashian. SMART sent us back to our days of AOL chat rooms (A/S/L?) and used 140-character ASCII artto create an animated video (of sorts). Simply head to the @SMARTarg Twitter page and scroll down to watch the commercial unfold. Lesson learned: If you want audiences to share your content, create something nobody else has created.

Karen Nagy

The story of Shwood’s handcrafted wooden eyewear collection began with innovation and creativity, and the brand pays homage to its brand story through its “Experiment With Nature” blog. By profiling the Shwood team plus other Portland, Oregon, experimental artists, craftspeople and musicians in Portland, Oregon, Shwood’s hometown, the blog honors the brand’s Pacific Northwest identity and creativity.

Shwood’s latest initiative, “This Is Oregon”, is an interactive photo project that showcases photographs, 360-degree panoramas and Google Maps of 10 stunning locations within a 90-minute drive from Portland. An Instagram contest encourages Oregonians to get out and explore their great state and tag photos with #thisisoregon for a chance to win Shwood sunglasses and other cool schwag.

Katie Edmondson

Mobile-phone providers are often guilty of indistinguishable television ads that fail to resonate with young people, falling into “Wait, was that for AT&T or Sprint?” territory. But Virgin Mobile is doing things differently with a notable online property called Virgin Mobile Live. The blog claims to be “actively stalking your cultural obsessions” with live-streaming music, photo memes and “top” lists of fun and interesting content from around the web. This is a clear play for the elusive and cynical millennial audience, which seeks inspiration online but isn’t quick to trust brands. The design and content of the site are spot-on, as is Abby Braden, the site’s irreverent DJ host. Overall it’s a successful foray into the shark-infested hipster blogosphere.

Read More.

24 4 / 2012

Yet another reason to push for stand-up desks: A recent study by Australia’s Sax Institute says sitting down for several hours a day could bring you to an early grave, even if you already exercise.

The study followed more than 200,000 Australian adults aged 45 and older from 2006 to 2010. It found that those who reported sitting for at least 11 hours a day had a 40% higher risk of dying within the next three years than people who sat for less than four hours a day. It’s part of the Sax Institute’s ongoing 45 and Up study, the largest study on healthy aging ever undertaken in the Southern Hemisphere.

While exercise has numerous health benefits, it doesn’t necessarily take away this risk. As reported in The Atlantic, “while the death risk was much lower for anyone who exercised five hours a week or more, it still rose as these active people sat longer.”

Read More.

20 4 / 2012

Ace Hardware
Westlake Ace Hardware, which operates 88 Ace Hardware stores in several states, used SMS to deliver weather-related text alerts and special offers to help consumers prepare for when the bad weather hits.

Through the SMS initiative, users were encouraged to opt-in to receive weather-related mobile notifications based on their ZIP code.

Additionally, Ace Hardware integrated the campaign with the National Weather Service to provide timely, location-based weather notifications.

SMS was an effective channel for Ace Hardware because it not only gave the company a new way to communicate to its consumers, but SMS also helped the company send out relevant information to help grow its database.

Aveeno
While many companies are placing QR codes on their static prints ads to drive user engagement, hair care brand Aveeno went a different direction.

The company placed mobile calls-to-action on its magazine print advertisements. When consumers texted the keyword HAIRS to the short code 467467 they were able to receive a free sample.

After consumers text-in the keyword, they fill out their contact information by replying to messages.

By offering an incentive – in this case a free sample – consumers are more inclined to opt-in.

This also helps Aveeno start a relationship with consumers and take it beyond a simple static ad.

Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola is no stranger to SMS and it was no surprise that the company was going to tap the channel when it came to promoting its latest initiative centered around March Madness.

Coca-Cola’s Coke Zero ran an interactive SMS program that rewarded users with prizes when they watched March Madness games.

The campaign centered around the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship games and during the games, an SMS call-to-action was promoted with on-air keywords and alerts with the Coke Zero logo that prompted users to text-in to win prizes.

Additionally, consumers could find codes on March Madness-themed Coke Zero products and cups and text them to the short code 2653.

The initiative was a great way to have users interact with their mobile device while they were watching a game at home.

General Mills
General Mills’ Cheerios brand leveraged SMS to help drive mobile donations for its Spoonfuls of Stories program.

The campaign asked consumers to donate to the organization First Book, which provides low-income families and schools with books and educational resources.

Additionally, for each mobile donation made, publisher Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing matched the donations up to 50,000 books.

Through the initiative, consumers were encouraged to text the keyword Books2Kids to the short code 20222.

Then, users received a text message back confirming their donation of $5, which was billed to their carrier bill.

Although SMS is a great channel to build a company’s database, it is also good for driving donations.

JCPenney
Department store JCPenney thought outside the box when it came to promoting its Easter dresses.

The time-sensitive campaign centered around JCPenney sending out SMS messages to its opted in consumers to drive them in-store for a one-day event.

Additionally, the SMS message included a link that let users shop Easter clothing from the company’s mobile site.

This is a good example of a company that is using their current mobile database to reach its customers and drive sales.

The one-day event was time-sensitive and SMS was a great channel to quickly get the word out about it.

Macy’s
Macy’s is another department store that took advantage of its mobile database to drive in-store and mobile sales.

Recently, the company sent out SMS messages to its customers that promoted exclusive looks from NBC’s “Fashion Star” show and let consumers shop them through their mobile device.

Additionally, those that were not opted-in to Macy’s database could also text the keyword STAR to the short code 62297 to learn more about the show and how to get the latest looks.

Macy’s has been using SMS for a while and continually sends out messages to its consumers letting them know about new sales and events.

Read More…

19 4 / 2012

Sony SmartWatch

(via Uncrate) Like it or not, it looks like there’s going to be a lot of companies wanting you to wear a computer on your wrist this year. The Sony SmartWatch ($150) is just the latest example. Sporting a 1.3-inch OLED touchscreen display, Bluetooth 3.0, and four days of battery life, this sleek, square-ish watch connects to your Android phone, giving you the ability to read texts and emails, receive Facebook and Twitter updates, initiate and answer calls, control music playback, and run apps optimized for the small screen from Google Play. Or you could just wear a Rolex/Omega/Casio — your call.


18 4 / 2012

roshagan:

charleslee

In a world where ideas are a dime-a-dozen, talk is cheap. Improving our ability to execute well is essential for giving our ideas life. Here are three thoughts on executing ideas well:

Stop Talking & Start Writing

Recent studies have shown that people who immediately talk about their new ideas are less likely to actually implement them. Talking about an idea prior to doing some initial processing on paper tricks our brains into thinking that we are actually doing something about the concept.

While sharing definitely has its benefits and is highly recommended in the overall idea-making process, taking the time to document our thoughts on paper first will provide greater focus and a practical point of reference for development.

Read More…

03 4 / 2012

roshagan:

What are you working toward? A great friend of mine, JD Crouse, brought this question back to my attention yesterday. I serve as the resident wordsmith and social media strategist for J.D.’s team at Stickman Simple Marketing and yesterday during our weekly Monday morning meeting he subtly…

09 3 / 2012

Cool new way to buy a buddy a brew!

23 2 / 2012

KickStumbler, a StumbleUpon for Kickstarter, Will Steal Your Day
At some point, Kickstarter became more than just a way to fund art, music and other creative endeavors. It became entertaining content in itself. A new website called KickStumbler plays up the entertainment value of Kickstarter projects by applying a StumbleUpon concept to them (StumbleUpon d…

22 2 / 2012

Thirty months ago I got married to my wonderful wife Lindsey. Thirty months ago we also moved from Atlanta to Colorado. Nine months ago we adopted our six year old golden retriever Cam. And seven months ago I became the Wordsmith and Social Media Strategist for Stickman Simple Marketing.

It’s safe to say over the past three years I’ve experienced a lot of “Hmm… That’s New” moments.

While I have enjoyed the newness of Colorado, marriage, and my ridiculously needy golden retriever, I have recently begun to hate the constant New of social media. It’s a never ending assembly line of new applications, content, and ideas. There is always something new to master, get to the bottom of, or experience “for free in this thirty-day trial.” It doesn’t stop.

In an attempt to save myself and my computer from the cost and destruction of tossing it out the window I’m throwing out a few suggestions to keep the New from getting Old in a hurry:

1) Keep it out of the Strategy. Before importing a new technique or platform into your social strategy test it out in safer waters. The quickest trip to computer tossage is to implement New as a part of your social strategy. 

2) Keep it in the family. We all have influencers we trust, that’s what makes them influencers. Don’t go all in on a product or a tip from a source you haven’t established a relationship with. If you’ve been reading Seth Godin’s blog for two years and he has proven his info is legit it’s probably safe to test the waters. If you go all in on Ivan’s info product you could end up peeling your keyboard off the asphalt.

3) Need it. If it isn’t a product or tip that will bring value to your social strategy, leave it alone. Don’t take time to test a new technique that might help you. If you can’t decide by the description if it will help or not, chances are it won’t.

Thanks for reading.

RH