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Monday, January 31, 2005

They call her "The Hugging Saint"


India's most famous woman guru, Mata Amritanandamayi, (Amma, for short) whose name means "mother of absolute bliss", is renowned for many things, namely, she hugs people as a blessing and therapy.

Her followers call the act of hugging darshan, or seeing, the word used by Hindus to describe an audience with a deity.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Do people need to hug each other more?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Are you a phone person, an email person or in-person person?


I recently stumbled across a website for consulting company on which the contact page said, “Whether you’re an email person or a phone person, it’s easy to get in touch with us!”

It was like music to my eyes.

According to this article from Online Publishing News, more than 80 per cent of business people prefer using email to telephone communication. No less than 74 per cent of respondents believed that being without email would present more of a hardship than being without a phone service.

Still, with so many options for communication, your customer might be an email person, a phone person or an in-person person (as silly as the last one sounds). So, when customers ask you, “How can I reach you?” try saying this:

"How CAN’T you reach me?!”

Tell them they can choose whatever medium they prefer, i.e., email, call, fax, snail mail or even leaving a post on your blog.

The problem is, people are hesitant to increase their approachability to this extreme. It threatens their “edge” or “mystique.” But by offering accessibility and openness through this type of front porch attitude, the ease with which people can reach you will make a monumental difference in their perception of your business.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Have you ever worked with someone who was nearly IMPOSSIBLE to reach?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Human Front Porch: Man Sells Advertising on His Head


Andrew Fischer, 20, of Omaha, who put his forehead for sale on eBay as advertising space, received $37,375 on Friday to advertise the snoring remedy, SnoreStop.

Learn more about him on Human Ad Space. He's sharing his brilliant business and culture decision with the world!

Here's what he said on his ebay auction:

"In this age where media rules our wallets, we are buying whatever we are told is popular, and whatever is "in." Some fool walks along the street with his pants down to his ankles, and at first everyone called him an idiot, but he just replies, "no, it's cool" and then a week later you see a lot of people doing it. Then there are these girls who are wearing neckties, only they are about 50% tied, and this is also the "in look." What am I getting at? Well, the truth is that regardless of whether or not others pick up on your new attempt to be cool, there is still one thing that you can always count on. People will always comment on something out of the ordinary.

So what if you could profit from this buzz? What if there was a person who automatically sparked conversation about your company without having to say a word? That already happens. A guy has a shirt with a sports logo on it. "Hey man you are a fan huh? Sweet!" Sure this happens, but what if you took your marketing plan to the next level? Next level you ask? Sure, what if you took your domain name and wrote it on somebody's forehead? Well, that would just be... WEIRD! Exactly. People like weird. People would ask this person about it wherever he or she went. What if this person left it on for a month, or longer?"

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

What have you done to break out of the ordinary to encourage people to start conversations?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

Monday, January 24, 2005

How to Politely Inform Cell Phone Users They've Crossed the Line


The St. Louis Post Dispatch ran a brilliant article about the annoyances and frustrations stimulated by cell phone users' over-disclosure in public places.

Also, check out an organization called Shhh! which is the Society for Handheld Hushing. They offer downloadable cards you can give to annoying cell phone users.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

What's the MOST personal information you've heard someone publically reveal on a cell phone?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Unusual, Unexpected and Uncommon Networking Tips to Boost Business


How did you get your start in business? Did you “fall” into your line of work? Perhaps there was an interesting anecdote, epiphany or event that caused the birth of your business. If so, this is called Your Story. Now, it’s not your Elevator Speech or your 30 Second Commercial. It’s your story. And it’s a fundamental tool for helping people and potential customers get to know you.

Here’s the key: write it out. Practice saying it aloud. Make it funny. And tell it to everybody. Not only does this create a memorable presence, but the more you share it with people, the more they will share Your Story with other people. Why? Because people don’t remember things, they remember stories. And after a while, the word about Your Story will spread.

If you want to hear my story, go here and watch it on video!

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

What's your story?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

Monday, January 17, 2005

How well do your customers know YOU?


Helping customers “get to know you” isn’t just about names, it’s about information. In other words, it’s about self-disclosure, which is the process of revealing your personal information to another.

This process starts with a small piece of information, i.e., your name. Then, as the relationship develops, it progresses into more intimate territory with the sharing of opinions, preferences and experiences. What’s more, because of its reciprocal nature, self-disclosure has incredible power. It creates comfort, establishes rapport, helps discover the CPI (Common Point of Interest) and builds trust between you and your customers.

Great examples:

  • I once worked at a mom-and-pop furniture store in Portland, Oregon called City Liquidators. Their walls donned family pictures, clippings from nostalgic newspaper articles about the owners and various personal memorabilia that brought the store to life! Customers LOVED coming to their store.

  • Ed, a Cornerstone Financial Consultant, spends a few hundred dollars a year buying copies of his favorite books for his customers. He tells them how the books improved his life in the hopes that his customers will reciprocate their similar experiences – which they do.

  • My friend Dennis is a doorman at the Ritz Carlton. When a family with young children pulls into the front drive, he never hesitates to share information about his own family. Sometimes he’ll even show guests a picture! But every time, he makes that instant connection.

    Your ability to educate your customers not only about your products and services, but about yourself, is critical to your success. So, remember what my friend Jeffrey Gitomer says: it’s not what you know; it’s not WHO you know – it’s who knows YOU.

    LET ME ASK YA THIS...

    How do you help your customers get to know YOU?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag
    www.hellomynameisscott.com
  • Sunday, January 16, 2005

    Project Hello restores identity of the homeless


    Welcome to Project Hello! In an effort to give homeless individuals names and put the growing homeless issue in the face of the public and politicians, more than 5,000 Hello My Name Is... signs are being distributed around the world to those living on the streets.

    LET ME ASK YA THIS...

    How do nametags affect your identity?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag
    www.hellomynameisscott.com

    Thursday, January 13, 2005

    Bring your pet to work...as long as it's not a Cobra


    Great article called The Friendly Factor, which discusses various techniques used by businesses to create a friendly work environment.

    My favorite tips:

    1) Bring your pet and keep it in the store. Customers love this! Neil from Signs and Banners Today uses his dog, Angel. Pets are perfect front porches, they make people feel comfortable and encourage customers to come back.
    (Note: Avoid pet cobras; they are supposedly "poisonous.")

    2) Don't just wear nametags, spice up nametags. Add cities of origin, years of experience or other personal information to encourage and empower customers to engage with employees.

    LET ME ASK YA THIS...

    What do you do to create a friendly workplace?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag
    www.hellomynameisscott.com

    Wednesday, January 12, 2005

    What's you favorite conversation starter?


    My friend Jules, from a company called Michigan Works, told me about her best conversation starter:

    "What is the best dish you cook?"

    According to Jules, this question started out as a fun, simple ice breaker.But over time it actually turned into an annual Chili Cookoff! Now, every year in Bay City, MI, people bring vats of their prized chili for judging by other participants. The prize is a stainless steel ladle with a blue ribbon tied to it. It's engraved with "1st Place" and is passed from down from year to year.

    Jules' thought was "People love to eat and are often overlooked as culinary geniuses." As a result, her "Best Dish Question" reaped more interesting conversations than she could ever believe!

    LET ME ASK YA THIS...

    What's your favorite conversation starter?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag
    www.hellomynameisscott.com

    Tuesday, January 11, 2005

    Three Tips to Make Your Technology More Approachable


    1) Reference your other phone numbers on your voicemail greetings: not enough people do this, but it makes it easier for people to get in touch with you.

    2) Use email signatures: ever received an email from someone without any other contact information?

    3) List ALL of the ways people can contact you on your website: give people options for commuication that best fit their technological needs.

    LET ME ASK YA THIS...

    How else can you make your technology more approachable?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag
    www.hellomynameisscott.com

    Saturday, January 08, 2005

    The smartest phone call you can make


    When I receive an email from an organization or business who has a question, wants to work together or just wants to chat, I do something called "Mixing the Medium™." Here's how it works:

    1) The exact moment I finish reading the email, I get their phone number. If there's no email signature, I look at their email address or go to their website. If all I know is their company, I call directory assistance, look them up on City Search. Basically, I do anything I can to get their phone number within the next two minutes.

    2) Then I call them right back.

    3) "Hi, this is Scott Ginsberg - that guy with the nametag. Sorry I missed ya!" I say with a big smile on my face.

    THEY LOVE IT. I have never done this without completely blowing the caller away. They respond with such excited phrases as "Wow, that was fast!" or "I'm impressed you called back already!"

    LET ME ASK YA THIS...

    How could you "Mix the Medium™"?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag
    www.hellomynameisscott.com

    Friday, January 07, 2005

    Is networking is a dirty word?


    In the Online Business Network Blog, Scott Allen posted a great article about the stigma related to networking.

    LET ME ASK YA THIS...

    What's your definition of networking?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag
    www.hellomynameisscott.com

    Wednesday, January 05, 2005

    Born a man, born unapproachable


    Are men raised/taught/expected to be unapproachable?

    Barbara DeAngelis PH.D. on Blog City discusses the emotional challenge faced by men today.

    LET ME ASK YA THIS...

    Compared to women, are men more or less likely to be unapproachable?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag
    www.hellomynameisscott.com

    Monday, January 03, 2005

    I got a nametag tattooed on my chest



    During a recent trip to the Dominican Republic, I observed some interesting reactions to my new (temporary) tattoo. Well, actually...just one. The locals would look at me, laugh, nod their head and say, "Escott!!"

    (Apparently, "Scott" doesn't translate into Spanish very well.)

    I hope to soon muster up the courage to get the REAL nametag tattoo like my buddy Steve.

    LET ME ASK YA THIS...

    What's the best/worst tattoo you've ever seen?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag
    www.hellomynameisscott.com