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Posts Tagged ‘amarillo’

The Competition

In Image, Marketing, networking, Personal Branding, Personal Development, Sales on June 22, 2017 at 11:00 am

You know them well. It’s that company that offers the same products and services that you do. The athlete wearing the other team’s colors. Yourself. 

Whoever you have identified as the competition, flip the script. Think of yourself as your competitor’s competition.

Are you the type of company, athlete, or person that the competitor looks at and says, “they’re easy they do ‘xyz’ we can overcome that”. Or are you the type of competitor that they do not mind losing to. 

Over the years, I have had several competitors in business and in athletic arenas. A few stick out in my mind. You knew when you were up against them that you had to bring your “A-Game”. But the ones that truly stand out are just good people to their core. When you lose to them, you say, “I get it, people like them”. It reminds me of that scene in Firgetting Sarah Marshall when Jason Segal’s character is surfing and bumps into Aldos Snow, his ex-girlfriend’s current lover and says, “…you’re so cool. I can see why Sarah likes you”. 

I long to be that competitor to my competition. I like when I run into a competitor and they have “heard of me”. I like when my competition is “job searching” on my behalf because they know the impact and the relationships I have and the ones that I foster. It means I’m doing something right. I’m competing without malice. Doing my job serving others. Not going down the path so commonly traveled by others which is to trash the competition. 

My challenge to you is be that competitor that takes the high road. Be the competition that your competition wants to introduce themselves to. Be that competitor that others talk about in a positive light. Be that competitor that the competition does not mind losing to. 

Failure Casts A Long Shadow

In Image on December 13, 2011 at 10:39 am

I heard the title of this post on a podcast the other day. It was so profound. Before I give up the source of the quote, hear me out. The quote in full reads: “Failure casts a long shadow, but the minute you begin to fear that failure you’re done.”

We are trained to fear failure from an early age. Failures are foolish. Failures are different. Failures don’t get it. Failures don’t fit in. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Fitting in? If you really consider your fear of failing I’m willing to bet that it is not a fear of failure at all. It’s a fear of failing to fit in.

A Hall of Fame baseball player will fail at batting seventy percent of the time. Advertising fails at converting prospects into customers ninety-six percent of the time if not more. We tend to magnify our own failures more so than others do. And that magnification is what makes us freeze up and do nothing.

A bit of honesty from me: I still have a bit of the fear too. But I’m working on it. My challenge to you is the same one that I am involved in. Question your fears. What is your fear? Failing at what? What are the consequences of that failure? Instead of saying “failure is not an option” start saying “fear of failure is not an option”. Take that first step. They say (I love quotes from they, their credibility is impeccable) the first step is the hardest.

As for the source of the quote: my favorite comedian Jay Mohr; taken from his podcast Mohr Stories. Comedians are a different breed. I’m guessing they know a thing or two about the fear of failure. After all, they walk the last ten feet. That ten feet from backstage to the microphone and then bear their souls for the audience every night. What if they get heckled? What if they are not funny? They still walk the last ten feet and make it happen.

What are you afraid of? Failure? Or Failure to fit in?

Google+…Really, One More, Why?

In Interactive on November 17, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Well, I did it. I finally signed up for Google+. I’m told there are 40 million Google+ users. Where are they? No matter.

Why did I do it? Vanity is probably the best answer to that. Really it’s because I am in the middle of starting a new business and since Google controls the majority of search traffic in this world, I figured I could not afford to be there. So I signed up and created a personal page and a business page. If you are wondering whether you should join or not, here are some questions to ask yourself:

Do I have a business or a cause to promote?

Will I log in and use it?

Can I grow personally from being on there?

Really that is what it comes down to. I find it has the format of Facebook, seems to have a news feed layout and the ability to add photos, but is a lot like Twitter in the sense that the recommended people to follow are for the most part people you don’t know.

I’m sure that once I have downloaded the app and played around on it for a while that I will come around. As for now, the jury is still out.

What do you think? Are you on Google+?

Thank You Mr. Jobs

In Image, News on October 6, 2011 at 12:28 am

I have a confession: I used to hate Macs. When I was in college that is all they had in the libraries to type your papers. Keep in mind this was just before the dot-com boom. In fact, you could take a course to learn how to search the Internet.

Fast forward just three years and I hear if the iPod for the first time. A doctor friend of mine had his entire music collection on a 40G iPod. And the sound quality, “forget about it”. I had to have one. I became obsessed. Two months later I opened a Christmas present from my wife…a first generation 10G iPod. I took it everywhere. No more burning CDs to make long road trips bearable. Airline flights became nightclub-like.

In 2007, I saw the first iPhone. No way. It’s actual real Internet pages. Once again I became obsessed. The only problem was, now I had a BlackBerry. I lived BlackBerry. I had one of the original Motorola two-way pagers so the keyboard was right up my alley. I was even using the HP iPaq before most. For some reason I became content to stick with the BlackBerry.

Two years later, my wife got an iPhone 3G. I admit I was jealous, but still could not part ways. I did not like the spring board for typing. Then my oldest daughter list her mobile phone and iPod touch privileges for about three months and I discovered the world I had been missing. All the apps. My email. The web…real Internet pages. And Twitter, can’t forget Twitter.

I cashed in the BlackBerry for an iPhone 3GS. Ad I sit here typing out thus blog post, I’m doing it from…you guessed it, my iPhone. This thing has changed my world. It has changed my perception of Apple and Macs. After using the iPhone, I realized that my next desktop computer had to be a Mac. Two months ago, I did it…I purchased a brand new iMac. Holy Cow it is amazing. Just because a visionary made it possible to sir all 350 of my CDs on a tiny music player.

For the record, my household owns 4 iPod Touches (3 now, one got stolen), two iPod Nanos, an iPhone 3, two iPhone 3GS, an iMac, an 80G iPod Classic, and the one that started it all. The original 10G iPod.

Mr. Jobs thank you. You’ve made the world realize that tech and art can coexist. You’ve changed the world of not only art, and tech, but that if business, marketing, production, etc.

You will be missed by many.

We Are A Mobile Society

In Interactive, Marketing, Planning on September 7, 2011 at 8:46 pm

I love my smart phone. I love mobile friendly web sites. Last Saturday my wife and I were at my daughter’s volleyball tournament and were discussing how uncomfortable the seating was. We’ve had this conversation many times before, but for once we were empowered. She broke out her iPhone and we started shopping for portable stadium seats. Problem solved.

I then poured over email as we waited for the match to start and came across a Mitch Joel blog post discussing…you guessed it, mobile marketing.

I then jotted a few ideas in Evernote for future blog posts (this one included). All from our iPhones. And we didn’t make one single phone call. I love my smart phone.

You Have My Mobile Number, Please Don’t Abuse It

In Uncategorized on May 11, 2011 at 4:54 pm

My dental office sends me a text message to remind me that I have upcoming dental appointments. I think it’s a great service. Especially for those that do not manage calendars and schedules well. I am a time management machine. What do you expect, I have four kids going different directions almost every day of the week. I also don’t mind when my dental office text me to wish a happy birthday or Merry Christmas…you get the point.

I however, do not want to be informed of their Facebook contests, bleaching specials, etc. Am I over reacting? What do you think? I have several mobile numbers of clients. I feel honored they have entrusted me with this contact info. If I were to text them with a sales message, I’m sure they would feel I was abusing the relationship. Again, what do you think? I know everyone thinks that having thousands if Facebook friends or follows will be their marketing savior and that it does nit cost anything, but if you abuse a privilege to draw attention to that page, it might cost more than you think.

As for me, I will continue to use my dentist, but rest assured they will hear about this. It would be a disservice for me not to bring it up.

IMAGINE Marketing Part 7 of 7–Events

In Events on February 11, 2011 at 6:00 pm

IT’S PARTY TIME!!! Events are one of the most enjoyable elements of the marketing mix. It is usually the most work too. And depending on the event, a great number of times it is the hardest to measure.

Plan. Loosen up and have some fun. Remain professional and follow-up.

Plan. Give yourself plenty of time to plan for your event. Bring in some outside perspective. Use what you like from other events. Make sure you think about every possible scenario and have a back-up plan if things don’t go as planned.

Loosen up and have fun. You are not going to please everyone, so loosen up a little and have a good time. If you do not allow yourself time to enjoy it, you will not want to do it again. Be yourself. Leet your guard down a little and get to know those attending your event as well as letting them get to know you. It is great for your image, it is interactive, and it is very generous (are you seeing a theme yet?). While you should have fun, remember professionalism trumps all. Have a problem with a vendor, customer, or co-worker? Now is not the time to address it. Do not do anything that you will regret either. If you have alcohol at your event, be smart. you do not want your event in the news for the wrong reasons.

Follow up. No question you will make contacts at your event. You will make these contacts on a personal level. Be sure to make a follow-up call and a thank you afterwards. Do not forget to thank those that came through in the clutch to help you out either. You could not have done it without them.

Got an event coming up? A ribbon cutting, open house, diner party, etc? Plan. Have fun. Follow up. Let me know about your successful events.

IMAGINE Marketing Part 6 of 7–News

In News on February 10, 2011 at 11:24 pm

For immediate release. In an interesting development in Anywhere, USA, Brand X would like to announce that we are awesome and everyone should take notice. We are so confident in how good we are that we are not going to buy the advertising, we want you the media to put it into your content “free of charge”.

Sounds pretty one-sided, right? Press releases are tricky and most of what companies feel is newsworthy, often times is not. At least not on the scale you think it is.

Before you hire that PR firm, ask yourself: Is this really news that others will find useful, important, or newsworthy? If not, you can still send it, but don’t just assume it is good enough to be published. I am not going to spend a great deal of time telling you how to convince a newsroom to publish your content. There are plenty of other blogs and books that can do that for you. I want to focus on how you can control your news story distribution.

If you are reading this blog, you probably understand that any “yeah-hoo” on the planet can publish their content. And there are so many platforms in which to do so. Corporate blogs, YouTube, Facebook, etc. (am I starting to sound like a broken record yet?). Take “your news” and deliver it to your faithful. Your tried and true. Those who are already tuned in. Ask them to share with others, your content. It may not have the reach of your local paper (however, with decreasing readership it very well may) but you are reaching an audience that is already engaged with you. An audience that actually cares and is more likely to give attention to the content.

What is your news story? Can you publish content on a regular basis that your customers will pass along? I’d love to hear from you.

IMAGINE Marketing Part 5 of 7–Interactive

In Interactive on February 4, 2011 at 10:51 pm

I know, I know…blah blah blah social media blah blah blah. Another schmo telling you about the importance of social media.

Yes and no. While social media plays a part in interactive, it is not the sole platform for interaction. Just because you have a Facebook page or a Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. does not mean revenue will fall out of the sky. If used properly though, it can improve your chances.

What do I mean when I say interactive? A simple exchange of ideas between customers and corporations. Social media can aid that conversation. But there are several other ways to interact with your customers. And by interact, it has to be a two-way communication. If it is only one-sided then you are just another “spammy commercial” interrupting my updates of what my friends are cooking for dinner, who needs help on Farmville, and photos of my friend’s friend’s cousin’s kids birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese’s.

What makes interaction work? Again, simply interacting without necessarily doing commerce. If you have a questions/ comments page on your website, respond in a timely manner. And not with corporate/ PR/ HR approved gobbledygook gibberish. Respond as a human being. Engage with others ar networking events (and by networking events, I mean anywhere you might see other people–and for crying out loud, please quit acting like you are networking and be yourself). Make yourself available to speak with customers when they ask for you by name or email you.

Now. If you are not sold on social media, feel free to skip ahead to the next paragraph. OK. They are gone. Since you are still here it is clear that you get it. Facebook, blogs, Twitter can all be effective when used the right way. So what is the right way? remember my post on image? It is going to vary from person to person. Update people on your industry or how you are helping the community. It can be as simple as posting your flavors of the day (FrazzleBerry Frozen Yogurt), updated designs and openings (http://www.facebook.com/nailsforgirlygirlz) events (http://www.facebook.com/lmfao) the options are endless. Some people follow only for exclusive offers. Again, it’s going to vary based on your product and your market.

Think about your interactions with the companies you shop with. You more than likely continue doing business with them based on these interactions, unless you are a bottom line lowest price only shopper. Learn from these interaction.

How are you interacting with your customers?

IMAGINE Marketing Part 4 of 7–Generosity

In Generosity on February 3, 2011 at 10:45 pm

“Generosity is the key to success.” That is what Keith Ferrazzi tells students in his book “Never Eat Alone”. Can you think of a time when you bailed someone out? Not just held the door open (although that is a good start) or gave someone a lift somewhere. I mean helped them out in a bind and did it because it made you happy, not because you were expecting payback. That is generosity.

How does generosity fit into marketing? Donations. Service. Giving to your community. Teaching the next generation.

Charities are easy to find. I’m sure you have seen a telethon or two in your lifetime. If you’re in business long enough, phone banks of people are out there dialing for dollars armed with a script, overusing your first name, and asking you if the kids can count on you to donate some random amount of money (who really donates $419?).

Find charities that make sense. Charities related to your industry. Resaurants=Food banks. Clothing stores=shelters. Doctor’s offices=medical charities. The examples are endless. Give with a happy heart. If you don’t feel good about giving, then don’t be “guilted” into giving. Don’t expect a return on investment. Chances are it will come back around. Give because it is the right thing to do. Try to give to charities that are doing work in your community. Your community takes care of you and your business. It makes sense to take care of your community in return.

True corporate generosity does not stop with cutting the check. Serve the community which you live. Offer your services to charities. Coach a kids sports team. Serve on the board of directors. Volunteer at their fundraisers and events. Don’t do it because it is the “in” thing to do. It seems that everyone has read the same books and articles: “join as many boards as possible so you can network with people who can benefit your career.” Give me a break. Serve on boards because you care about the cause. People will see right through false service. Make a difference in the world.

What do you have to offer the next generation? Your knowledge, your influence, and your encouragement. Do you remember a mentor, teacher, or a coach from your childhood or early adulthood that had a positive impact on your life? First you should call them and say thank you. Second, emulate them. Find someone to mentor. Help them get over the obstacles they are facing with the knowledge you gained from overcoming them. Don’t preach at them. They have enough people in their life doubting them and the decisions they are making. Encourage them. Believe in them. Do it because they are the future and they can make an impact.

Generosity is the secret to success. Further, it is not just the secret to your success, it is ultimately the secret to the success of future generations. What are you doing to foster generosity in your corporate culture?