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Monday, April 30, 2007

7 reasons (excuses) for NOT writing


1. DISCIPLINE: But I can’t just sit down and write!
According to bestselling blogging book Naked Conversations, 50% of all business blogs are abandoned in the first two months. Now, while it’s easy to attribute this trend to a variety of factors, let’s face it: it boils down to a lack of discipline. Blog or no blog.

WRITE THIS WAY: get a writing accountability partner. Every Friday, send each other a copy of what you wrote that week. If someone doesn’t do it, she buys lunch.

2. TIME: But I’m so busy!
You don’t need to sit in front of your laptop and pound away for hours at a time. If you spend 15 minutes a day, every day, for six months, you’ll have accumulated the equivalent of a 250-page book. Besides, if writing is the basis of all wealth, are you telling yourself that you don’t have 15 minutes a day to become wealthier?!

WRITE THIS WAY: chunk it down. Small victories first. Let your content accumulate.

3. CONFIDENCE: But who would want to read MY stuff?
So, you think your writing is no good, huh? Well, with an attitude like that, it probably isn’t getting any better! It may sound easier said than done, but if you want to become a better writer, you just gotta write more.

WRITE THIS WAY: start an anonymous blog. Let your guard down and allow your brilliance to flow. It's easier when nobody knows it's you! Write something every day for a month. See how people respond. You’ll be surprised. There’s always gonna be someone who likes what you have to say!

4. PLATFORM: But I don’t have anywhere to share my writing!
It used to be difficult to find an outlet to share your writing with the world. Letters to the editor or the occasional query letter were your only hope. But now with the amazing things you can do with the Internet, everyone has a voice. Everyone has a platform.

With blogs, ezines, online articles, message boards, social networking sites and the like. It’s impossible NOT to have a platform!

WRITE THIS WAY: go to Ezine Articles, create a free account, and post one article every month. I triple dog dare you.

5. INTEREST: But I don’t like writing!
So, you don’t LIKE writing, huh? That’s cool. I’m not saying you have to like it. But no matter what business you’re in, everyone is a writer. Writing is the basis of all wealth, as my mentor Mr. Gitomer says.

WRITE THIS WAY: stop telling yourself “I’m not a writer.” You are. And you rock. Share it.

6. SELF-UNDERSTANDING: But I don’t know how to get into the groove!
You need to discover your perfect writing “territory,” aka, the environment in which your brilliance flows best. Maybe it’s on a laptop on the beach. Maybe late at night in the basement. Maybe in the mountains. Maybe on the plane coming home from a conference. Locate your territory and return to it regularly.

WRITE THIS WAY: try one new writing territory every week. See what works.

7. ORGANIZATION: But I don’t have any good ideas!
No worries. Start keeping a notepad in your pocket, car, purse, in your office and by your bed. Every time you get an idea, jot it down. Keep a running list of potential topics to address. But be sure to always have it with you – inspiration comes unannounced. And if you don’t write it down, it NEVER happened.

REMEMBR: writing is an extension of thinking. So if you’re running out of ideas things to write about, you’re probably not thinking enough!

ALSO REMEMBER: you probably DO have lots of great ideas; you’re just not capturing them. And that which goes unrecorded goes unmemorable. Just write now and organize later. It’ll come together when it’s ready.

LASTLY REMEMBER: Thomas Edison carried a 200-page notebook wherever he went, just for ideas. At the end of his life, he’d filled up more than 3,400. He also had more patents than any person in history. Coincidence?

WRITE THIS WAY: get yourself a jotter. Best 10 bucks you’ll ever spend.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What's your excuse for not writing?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
How did YOU come out of your creative funk?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

It's All About the Sticker: 7 Ways to Enshrine Your Business

Katz's Deli is a delicatessen on the Lower East Side of New York City. Been around since 1888.

But it’s not just any old deli.

Katz's was the site of Meg Ryan's famous fake-orgasm scene ("I'll have what she's having") in the 1989 romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally.

THE BEST PART: the table at which she and Billy Crystal sat is clearly marked with a sign that says, "Where Harry met Sally...hope you have what she had!"

LESSON LEARNED: enshrine your business.

Think about it. Go to your local Borders and grab any bestselling book. Somewhere on the front cover there will most likely be a little sticker. A starburst. An emblem. A little extra eye-catching piece of signage.

It usually says something like:

“Featured on Oprah’s book club!”
“Pulitzer prize winner!”
“Over ten million copies sold!”
“Now a major motion picture movie!”

It’s about credibility.
It’s about leveraging the media.
It’s about upping the value perception of your product.

It’s all about the sticker.

Of course, it doesn’t actually have to be a “sticker.”

Just something (anything!) that ENSHRINES your product, company, service or website.

Here’s a list of Seven Ways to Enshrine Your Business. By using these leverage techniques, you will create a more valuable, more credible perception of your brand:

1. Media appearances, i.e., “Featured on” or “As seen on”
2. Awards, i.e., “Winner of” or “Finalist for”
3. Time, i.e., “20 Years of Business!” or “Since 1878!”
4. Elite Status, i.e., “President’s Club” or “Million Dollar Society”
5. Quantity, i.e., “Over 99 billion burgers sold!” or “50 million copies in print!”
6. Endorsement, i.e., “Where Oprah buys her underwear!” or “The Official Nametag of Scott Ginsberg!”
7. Expansion, i.e., “Now a worldwide franchise!” or “Now a major motion picture!”

Whichever enshrining technique you use, one thing’s for certain...

Next time a potential customer comes to your store, website or place of business, they’re gonna see it. And just like with Meg Ryan, they’ll be thinking, “I’ll have what she’s having!”

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Have you enshrined your business yet?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Get a sticker. (Or any kind of enshrining tool) Take a picture and link to it here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Are you GOOD, GREAT or AWESOME?

One of the early lessons I learned about speaking (and business, in general) was from Lou Heckler.

(Man, talk about a great last name for a humorist, huh?)

Anyway, here’s what Lou told me in 2003. I'll never forget it:

There are three kinds of speakers in the world.

First, there’s a GOOD speaker. After he’s done with his talk, audience members come up to him, shake his hand and say, “Good speech. Thanks a lot!”

Then, there’s a GREAT speaker. After he’s done with his talk, audience members come up to him, shake is hand and say, “Great speech! That story about that guy you met on the bus really hit a nerve. Thanks a lot!”

Then, there’s an AWESOME speaker. After he’s done with his talk, audience members come up to him; but instead of shaking his hand, they give him a business card and say, “I want you to do that for my company.”

Wow.

Over the years, I learned something else, too:

This isn’t about giving speeches.

This is about value.

This is about perception.

FOR EXAMPLE: a prospect comes to your website. He has a look around.

After a minute or two, he's made his decision. And then he emails you with one of the following responses:

1. Dear You: I just stumbled across your site, and I’ve got to say – it’s really good. Thanks a lot. Sincerely, Mike.

2. Dear You: I just stumbled across your site, and I’ve got to say – it’s really great! Love those articles and video testimonials! Sincerely, Mike.

3. Dear You: I just stumbled across your site, and I want to hire you. Call me this afternoon. Sincerely, Mike.


So. Which email do YOU want?

Because ultimately, this is about excelling at doing what you do … particularly in front of people who can buy from you NOW.

Good.
Great.
Awesome.

The choice is yours.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What's the difference between GOOD, GREAT and AWESOME?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Defend your word here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Paradox of Inspiration

“Inspiration comes unannounced.”

Powerful words. Something I figured out about a year ago.

It means that writing, innovation (or any creative endeavor, for that matter) is a function of “plucking.”

Pay attention, listen, watch, observe (through your personal filters); then capture those inspired ideas onto paper, expand on them, and ultimately share them with the world.

Inspiration comes unannounced. Got it.

But therein lies the paradox.

See, (my hero) Dave Barry once said, “Inspiration is for amateurs.”

Which means that writing, innovation, (or any creative endeavor, for that matter) is largely a function of working your ass off.

Sit down at the same time every single day and discipline (force!) yourself to create new ideas and content, even when inspiration takes the day off.

Inspiration is for amateurs. Got it.

SO, HERE’S THE CHALLENGE: how do you handle inspiration?

Two options:

1. Put yourself on standby and harness (pluck) inspiration ONLY when it crosses your path.

2. Force yourself to create stuff ANYWAY and accept inspiration as a nice added bonus.

The choice is yours.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Do you think inspiration is for amateurs?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
How do you balance inspiration and discipline?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The difference between A and THEE

When I started my company in 2003, I knew the competition was fierce.

I knew there were thousands of other authors, speakers and consultants out there.

And I knew that most of them were twice my age, had three times my knowledge and four times my experience.

Yikes.

Then I heard fellow author/speaker Larry Winget say, “You have no right to write a book on a subject unless you’ve read every other book about that subject.”

Double yikes.

Well then. Looks like I’ve got some reading to do, I thought.

So I spent the next two years doing just that.

Researching. Annotating. Learning. Pouring over hundreds (nah, probably thousands) of print and online resources to expand my expertise.

And then something cool happened.

I noticed a gap.

It appeared that all these resources on communication, networking, first impressions, connecting and the like … had left something out.

That “something” was approachability.

I loved that word.

It was musical. Emotional. Visual. A little long, but still powerful.

And then another cool thing happened.

I started reading a lot of marketing books, namely, Selling the Invisible, by Harry Beckwith.

And I learned the following four truths:

1. If you do not have a focus, soon you will not have a business.
2. Rather than sacrificing opportunities, a narrow focus often creates opportunities.
3. So: to broaden your appeal, narrow your position.
4. And therefore: go where others aren’t.

And that’s what approachability was.

A new lens. A new paradigm. A new philosophy.

A new, more narrow approach.

It was my PDA, as my marketing professor used to call it. My “Personal Differential Advantage.”

So I positioned myself NOT as a “communication speaker,” or a “relationships guru” or a “networking author,”

…but as THEE approachability expert.

Focused. Narrow. Where others weren’t.

AND THE BEST PART: there WAS no competition!

Therefore.

PDA is basically the difference between A and THEE. (In a non-holy way)

For example:

Are you A time management expert?
Or are you THEE time management expert…FOR NURSES?

Are you A small business consultant?
Or are you THEE small business consultant…FOR DRY CLEANERS?

Are you A personal trainer?
Or are you THEE personal trainer…FOR WORKING MOTHERS?

Are you A financial planner?
Or are you THEE financial planner…FOR FAITH-BASED NON-PROFITS?

Pick a lane.

Hit ‘em where they ain’t.

Be THEE, not A.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Is your focus narrow enough?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Explain why you're THEE, not A.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Buy Gitomer's Little Green Book and Get The Nametag Guy's New Ebook

Gitomer's back!

His new book, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way hits the stores today!

I've already read it, and it ROCKS.

A few excerpts I liked:

*Being a person of influence means that you have a reputation, character, credibility and stature enough that people will take your message seriously.

*Practice with passion. If you don’t love what you do, practicing will be a chore. If you love it, practicing won’t just be fun – it will be something you look forward to.

*Writing becomes persuasive when others are willing to act on, or coment on, what you’ve written.

*Allow the other person to feel a valid reason for your persistence. If they do, they will embrace you rather than avoid you.


The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way is the newest addition to Jeffrey’s best selling Little Book Series, and gives you the critical tools you need to speak, write, present, persuade, influence, and sell your point of view to others.

HERE'S THE BEST PART...

Buy the book on Amazon.com TODAY and get hundreds of dollars of free stuff from Jeffrey and 33 other top business leaders around the world… including me!

I've donated my latest ebook 117 Phrases That Payses.

BUY THE BOOK TODAY – APRIL 24 on Amazon.com, send your receipt to myway@gitomer.com and you win!

You will receive hundreds of dollars worth of downloadable e-books, white papers, articles, audio MP3s, video MP4s, reports, and chapters of best selling books being offered by dozens of sales, marketing, publishing, communications, public relations, and business growth leaders.

It’s that simple, and that valuable.

For more details about the offer, go here!

To buy the book now, go here!

Monday, April 23, 2007

The more you give away for free, the wealthier you will be












In 1999, Seth Godin wrote a book called Permission Marketing.

In addition to selling the book on Amazon, Seth also offered it as a downloadable ebook … for free.

The ENTIRE book. For nothing. A publishing first!

Not only did millions of people download it…

Not only did millions of people tell their friends about it…

But millions of people also BOUGHT Seth’s book too. And it would later become one of the fastest, best selling books in history.

He now has a cult following, comparable to the likes of Tom Peters and Peter Drucker. (Oh, and his speaking fee is more than some people’s annual income. Sigh.)

The more you give away for free, the wealthier you will be.

Speaking of Tom Peters, let’s talk about Tom Peters.

Notwithstanding his existing reputation as a brilliant author, speaker, thinker and consultant, he (still) gives everything away for free.

Every article. Every ebook. Every rant. Every special report. Every set of PowerPoint slides.

Everything.

He gets it.

(And you don't need me to tell you how wealthy Tom is!)

The more you give away for free, the wealthier you will be.

Also understood by Ryan Adams, one of my favorite songwriters.

In 2007, he recorded eight new albums (yes, eight) all at once. Each of his new CD’s was available as free downloads on his website.

Media outlets worldwide gasped at his prolificacy. He made music history.

And scores of fans old and new swarmed his homepage for days at a time (not hours, but days) to download all the new tunes from their favorite rocker.

Including myself.

Make no mistake: Ryan Adams’ generosity won’t go unrewarded.

Because while many Gen X artists are cowering beneath the shadows of unstoppable American Idol atrocities, Adams is only growing bigger and better.

Because he’s not afraid to give at all away.

The more you give away for free, the wealthier you will be.

And as Tim O'Reilly says, the problem isn't piracy, it's obscurity.

Just do it.

Don’t be scared.

Let the world pay you back.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How much are you giving away for free?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
In what way has free led to wealth in your life?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Who molded YOUR melon?

Great success comes from great thinking.

Which means you must surround yourself with great thinkers.

In person.
On the phone.
Through books
Via the Internet.

Your challenge is to expose yourself TO and constantly learn FROM as many great thinkers as possible.

The following list takes you through many of my favorite thinkers and the various paradigm-changing ideas and thinking patterns I gleaned from them.

Some are mentors. Some are friends. Some are old dead guys.

NOTE: these aren’t just quotes. Not just lessons learned.

These are thoughts and ideas that molded the way I think.
These are thoughts and ideas that changed my life and my business.

(Big thanks to all the great thinkers on this list!)

Jeffrey Gitomer

*Make ideas into a list first.
*Don’t think of yourself as an author. Or a speaker. Or a trainer. You are a THINKER. An entrepreneur. A resource.
*Writing is the basis of all wealth
*Writing becomes persuasive when others are willing to act on, or comment on, what you’ve written. Elicit more response.
*Don’t say “sorry,” say “thanks”
*It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you
*Don’t cheap out on design
*Give value first
*Platform is the most important word in your vocabulary
*In writing, architecture is everything

Nido Qubein
*Think modular
*Don’t prepare a speech, prepare yourself to speak

Dr. Phil
*Don’t lose weight; get a healthier lifestyle.
*Focus on the umbrella

Fred Gleek
*Content is king
*Imagine your ideal day
*Always get their email
*Your target market needs to see that it’s for THEM

James Redfield
*Why was this meant to happen?
*What synchronistic pattern does this represent?

Dr. David Rosenthal
*Media is nothing without leverage. Make a sticker, put the video on YouTube, anything to make it last longer than the interview itself
*What’s your PDA? Personal Differential Advantage

Marc Leblanc
*Complete three highly valuable activities, every day

Joseph Pollack

*Validate your existence on a daily basis

Dave Avrin
*Anonymity is the greatest barrier to business success
*The media doesn’t care about you
*But, the media is your customer, too
*When you do interviews, you're not there to answer their questions

Dr. Richard Wiseman
*You create your own luck
*Chance encounters change lives
*Trust your gut
*Turn bad luck into good fortune with your response
*Opportunity is knocking all day
*My good fortune will continue
*All of my interactions today will successful

Larry Winget
*If your life sucks it’s because you suck
*Keep it simple
*Be the world’s expert on yourself
*Just be really, really good

Harry Beckwith
*Get remembered and get business
*Everyone is in marketing
*Everyone is in sales
*Narrow your focus, pick a lane
*Sell value before price

Tom Peters
*Cool encounters = cool you
*Stand up, stick you neck way out, or else be counted out
*People who get noticed get ahead
*Market yourself daily
*Make people stop, listen and say, “WOW!”

Roger von Oech

*Order comes later: puke everything out in movable bits of content so that way when it self-organizes, I can easily categorize it.
*Hang on. Let me write that down.
*What’s the exact opposite of what this person is expecting me to do?
*You know what would be cool is…
*I just got a great idea. Better go for a swim or a run to think about it.
*Regularly study, practice and enhance your creativity
*You can never be too creative

Leonardo da Vinci
*Ask myself the same question over and over again for about hours. My favorites are, “So, what have I REALLY learned from wearing a nametag every day?” and “As a result of wearing a nametag, I have become more _______.”
*Also, I like asking dumb questions
*Always be curious about things and people and life

Alan Weiss
*Don’t be afraid of being a contrarian
*Your brand is an umbrella
*Get them to come to you
*Don’t sell, enable people to buy
*If you aren’t being criticized, you aren’t doing much
*State your fee confidently and shut up

John Maxwell
*The water does not flow until the faucet turns on
*Today’s lessons become tomorrow’s books
*Separate yourself from the wrong type of people. Don’t be friends with them.
*Put yourself in a growth environment
*You will never change your life until you change something you do daily

Norman Vincent Peale
*Make daily appointments with yourself

Donald Trump
*It usually works to your advantage to be underestimated
*Be a sleeper
*Figure out exactly who you are, then go be that person every day
*What’s next?

T. Harv Ecker
*It’s OK to make lots of money
*Your ability to earn wealth has a lot to do with the impressions you have about money, especially when you were a kid

Seth Godin
*I don’t have time NOT to blog today!
*Market to people and get out of the way
*Ideas that spread win
*Make the mundane memorable
*Don’t worry about opening BIG
*Be the one
*Be the only
*Figure out what the “always” is and do the opposite
*Interaction, not interruption
*Look! There’s something cool and remarkable. Man, I need to blog that.
*Wow! Something powerful, funny, cool or interesting just happened to me. I can’t wait to use that in my next speech/book!
*Register the domain before you do anything else!
*Now Google it. See what’s already been written about it.

Al Reis
*What word do I “own” in the minds of everyone I meet?
*I wonder what I could learn from the definition and/or etymology of that word…
*Don’t market, position.

Marcel Legrand
*The Internet is forever
*You can participate in your online image, but you can’t control it

William Jenkins
*Did I validate my existence, do something cool and be myself today?
*Is there an article or a speech in what just happened to me?
*If everybody did exactly what you said, what would the world look like?
*You need your own philosophy. Your own school of thought.
*Do not despise the day of small beginnings

Og Mandino
*Don’t say “no”; say “not yet.”
*What’s next?
*“Until now” instead of “I’ve never been able to…”
*Instead of dwelling on failures, say, “Next time…”
*Don’t expect good things to happen to you, expect YOU to happen to good things.

Mark Ginsberg (my dad)
*If (x) happened last year, I can expect (y) to happen this year
*A chicken ain’t nothing but a bird. Abilities trump age, every time.
*Be unique, not different

Bob Baker
*How can I get them to come to me?
*Fans, not customers

Arthur Scharff
*Who lives in the city I’m traveling to that I can hang out with?
*When it comes to networking and relationships, concetrate on keeping it alive

Brian Tracy
*Is what I’m doing RIGHT NOW leading to a sale?
*Did you write your goals down?
*Be brilliant at the basics

Napoleon Hill
*What good could come of this?
*Is this consistent with my #1 goal?

Kurt Vonnegut
*If you want to be a great writer, be a great date for your reader

Jack Canfield
*Nobody sees the 90
*Be a class act
*Success leaves clues
*If everybody says you’re out of your mind, you just might be onto something

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What great thinkers molded YOUR melon?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Share your favorite paradigm-shifting quotations here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

What's on YOUR wall?

If you're self-employed like me, wall motivation decorations can do you some good.

To keep yourself on point.
To keep yourself motivated.
To keep yourself accountable.

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been obsessed with wall decorations. From my house growing up to my college apartments to my present office, “no white space” has always been my motto. (I learned everything from my big brother Steve.)

I even lost my deposit once because the landlord complained that when I moved out I left behind “hundreds of holes.”

Woops.

But from a self-motivational standpoint, covering your office walls with personalized, vibrant and positive decorations can actually help you become more successful. Here are a few suggestions:

Visualizations. “Act as if you already are the person you want to become and you will eventually become the person you want to become,” said my mentor.

So, think about your long-term goals and dreams. Maybe it’s to own a beach house. Or to achieve a senior-level position. Or to secure an appearance on Oprah. Or to be featured on the cover of a magazine. (This is my Vision Board pictured to the left. Thank you, The Secret.)

Whatever your goal is, you MUST actually, physically, literally, create an image of having already achieved it. Hell, sneak into the CEO’s office and take a picture of yourself sitting in her chair if you have to!

I don’t care. Just do it. I know it sounds ridiculous. But trust me. When your goal comes to fruition, people won’t be laughing - they’ll be applauding.

Quotations. These are the perfect tools (er, words) to keep you motivated.

Go see my friends at Quote Garden for some great material.

Then grab a few of those giant sticky notes and post several of your favorite one-liners around your office.

The key is to choose quotations that:

*make you think
*make you smile
*make you laugh

...every time you see them.

Choose wisely.




Questions. First, think about the most important questions you need to be asking yourself regularly.

Then make posters, dry erase boards or signs and hang them high.

Be sure they can be seen from across your office.

This example is the #1 most important question I ask daily.

Because writing is the basis of all wealth.

Here's another one of my favorites.

Other suggestions are, “How many calls did you make today?” and “Is what you’re doing right now consistent with your #1 goal?”


Personal Mission Statement. The one (and only) thing I took away from The Seven Habits was the section about creating a personal mission statement.

Years later, I still keep my PMS posted to the left of my door. That way I see it every time I leave. I suggest you do the same.

Since you probably can't read my writing, I'll just tell you:

Do something cool...

Validate your existence...

And be yourself...

EVERY DAY.



Goals. Take a few of your biggest, most important goals. Post them nice and big - right in front of your face!

Make sure they’re inescapable from your eyesight so you HAVE to look at them at least three times a day.

Odds of you accomplishing your goals will triple. Promise.

And I'm sure you don't need to hear me preach about goals, but here are a few tips:

*Make them specific
*Make them achievable
*Give them a time frame
*Share them with other people
*Cross them off when accomplished


Accomplishments. Every time an article of mine appears in a print publication, I hang a copy on my wall.

Not because I’m an egomaniac, but because surrounding myself with visual reminders of small victories builds confidence.

CHALLENGE: think back to your three best accomplishments from the past year. Find some way to represent them visually, and stick ‘em up there!


Look, guys. I know it seems like a lot of stuff to hang on your wall. But why not? It’s just empty space. You may as well cover it with something productive.

OH, AND HERE’S THE BEST PART: next time a customer or coworker comes into your office, they’re gonna stop and look around.

And they will be amazed.

Because you’ve visually PROVED to them that you’re dedicated to success.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What's on YOUR wall?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Share your favorite motivation decorations here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Marketing plans are for suckers

“So, Scott, what’s your marketing plan?”

It was the first time anyone ever asked me that question.

“Um…yeah. I have no idea,” I laughed.

Maybe because I didn’t realize I needed one.

Maybe because I wasn’t big on writing out long, detailed plans.

Maybe because I just wanted to get my company started, rather then waste time planning.

Either way, I was inspired to give that question some serious thought.

Later that night on a long plane ride back from a speech in Orlando, I decided to write my entire marketing plan.

Course, I had no idea how to do that. Even with a marketing degree under my belt, I was sort of stumped! Guess it’s a lot different when it’s your own company.

Not sure where to start, I decided to mind map it. For the next two hours, I asked myself one question. Over and over:

“How do I market my business?”

I wrote down every possible channel, medium, idea, tip, technique and marketing intitiave I could think of. Everything I’d ever done (or could do) to get the word out about my business.

The result looked something like this:
















When I showed this document to my girlfriend, her comment was, “It makes my eyes bleed.”

Aw, thanks sweetheart.

OK, so maybe it WAS a little complicated. Perhaps I should follow my own advice: make it easy enough that a five year old could understand it.

So I came up with a newer, simpler, less eye-bleeding version of my marketing plan.

The bare bones.
The baseline stuff.
The TRULY most important things I need to do to effectively market my business.

K. Ready? Here it is:

Scott’s Marketing Plan

1. Write for three hours every single day.
2. Be amazing on stage every time.
3. Let them come to you.


That’s it.

Sure is easier on the eyes, huh?

Best marketing decision I ever made.

CHALLENGE: re-think your marketing plan. Keep it (super) simple. Don’t complicate yourself.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What's your marketing plan?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Post it here for the world to see!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Make a list of 100 questions

One of my favorite books on creative thinking is How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci, by Michael Gelb.

It suggests making a list of 100 questions.

About business. About life. About anything!

(According to Gelb, the best questions will come towards the end.)

It sounded liked a neat exercise. So I tried it a few weeks ago. And I came up with a few good ones:

#45: Do I handle stress better than I used to?
#47: If you showed my weekly planner to 10 strangers, what would they say?
#48: If you showed my office to 10 strangers, what would they think?
#49: If you showed my wallet to 10 strangers, what would they say?
#50: If you showed my website to a five year old, what would he think?
#51: If you read my new book to a teenager, what would they think?
#52: What if I didn’t talk for one week?
#64: What if the nametag thing gets old?
#66: What if my (future) son gets beat up because his Daddy is the guy who wears a nametag?
#71: Will I ever sell out?
#74: Do I take enough time off?
#91: Does everyone have a moment when they say, “I’ve made it”?
#93: Whom have I let down lately?
#94: When was the last time I told someone I was proud of them?
#97: What’s the highest price I’m willing to pay?
#99: What’s the lowest I’m willing to sink?

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Ever thought about making a list of 100 questions?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Do this exercise and report back with your best ones!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

www.hellomynameisscott.com
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Saturday, April 14, 2007

People rarely get mad at...

People rarely get mad at a speaker for going short.

People rarely get mad at a writer for keeping it short.

People rarely get mad at a businessperson who was too easy to reach.

People rarely get mad at a businessperson who gave too much value first.

People rarely get mad at a boss who listened too much.

People rarely get mad at a blogger for giving away too much free content.

People rarely get mad at a CEO that admitted her mistakes.

People rarely get mad at a consultant for being too creative.

People rarely get mad at a salesperson for being too positive.

People rarely get mad at a teammate who was too good.

(Of course, there are exceptions.)

Some people get mad at just about everybody.

And if that ever happens to you, don’t sweat it.

Probably says more about them than it does about you.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What else do people rarely get mad at?

LET SUGGEST THIS...
Share your list here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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Friday, April 13, 2007

People respond to policies

The other day I got a phone call from a guy who wanted me to join his association.

He made a strong case: reasonable dues, good people, great networking.

When he asked for the sale (or in this case, the membership), I paused for a few seconds before responding.

“Mark, my policy about saying no is, ‘I don’t say it enough.’ So, for that reason alone, my answer to you is no.”

Dead silence. I smiled and waited.

“Well um, uh … OK,” he stammered. “I-I guess I’m not going to challenge that.”

Dead silence. I smiled and waited some more.

“OK well, uh, thanks for your time Scott,” he resigned.

“My pleasure!”

I hung up the phone.

Whoa. Where did THAT come from?! I wondered.

That was a first for me. Telling someone my “policy” on saying no.

And I tell ya what; it felt GREAT!

Candid, yet friendly.
Honest, yet confident.

And nobody’s time was wasted.

LESSON LEARNED: people respond to policies.

So I looked up the word policy online. And according to my favorite website in the world, the word first appeared in 1406. One of its origins came from a Lithuanian word, pilis, or fortress.

Fortress. Nice. Talk about standing your ground!

But the definition of policy simply means, “shrewdness or prudence, especially in the pursuit of a particular course of action.” Which means:

You’re not being mean.
You’re not being difficult.
You’re not rejecting someone.

You’re simply sticking to your guns. Telling someone, “Look, this is how I roll. This is who I am. That’s my policy.”

NOTE: I’m not talking about company policy. Different animal.

I’m talking about personal policy.

Knowing thyself. Being the world’s expert ON yourself and confidently articulating that on a consistent basis.

The following steps will help you put this idea into practice:

POLICY PREPARATION
1. Brainstorm a list of 10-15 of your most valued personal policies.
2. Organize and type them out on a small card.
3. Carry that card in your wallet.
4. Look at it regularly.
5. Next time someone challenges one of your policies, whip out that card and ask them to physically read it back to you. (THIS IS CRUCIAL!)
6. Smile and wait for them to respond.

Oh, and they will. Every time.

Because people respond to policies.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What are some of your personal policies?

LET SUGGEST THIS...
Post them here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

483 ways to grow your business

So, today is my 483rd blog post.

Do you know what that means?

483 hits on Google
483 (more) hits on Google than someone who DOESN’T blog
483 press releases (but better)
483 instances of delivering value
483 reinforcements of my brand
483 ideas for future speeches and products
483 validations of my expertise
483 expansions of my expertise
483 reasons for the media to inquire
483 opportunities to build community
483 opportunities to stay in front of fans
483 modules to be used for future books
483 (more) links to my website
483 moments of (not selling, but) enabling people to buy

So. WHY aren’t you blogging again?

(P.S. A special thanks to anyone who’s ever read, commented on or told someone about my blog since October 2004. You guys are the reason I keep posting every day. Respect.)

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How many times have you posted?

LET SUGGEST THIS...
Share a few reasons why you HEART blogging!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

23 ways to become a better writer

I don’t claim to be the greatest writer in the world.

But I’m definitely better than I used to be. And ultimately, that’s all that really matters.

Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years…

1. Don’t plan; just write.

2. Write something every single day.

3. Share your writing with others. Blog it. Do it anonymously if you have to. Let the world be your editor.

4. Study writing basics in books like On Writing by Stephen King.

5. Writers are readers. How many books did you read in February?

6. Vary sentence length.

7. Don’t be afraid to use ALL CAPS, bold, underline and the like. It catches people’s attention, breaks up the page and evokes emotion. Read a Tom Peters book, you’ll see what I mean.

8. Typing is a little easier than writing by hand because the speed of thought is nearly matched by the speed of typing. Plus writing by hand is a big pain in the, um…hand.

9. Whatever you’re writing, go back and make it shorter. People just don’t have time anymore. They won’t read it.

10. It takes time to discover your voice. But when you do, it’s the greatest accomplishment any writer could achieve.

11. Lists are your friends. They’re easy to write. They’re even easier to read. And they organize information that has no apparent pattern. Kinda like this blog post!

12. Write everything down. Everything.

13. Make sticky notes for your office with the following statements written on them:

a. Writing is the basis of all wealth.
b. Is everything you know written down somewhere?
c. What did you write today?

14. If you make lists, don’t be afraid to occasionally throw in a point that has absolutely no relevance whatsoever. It’s fun.

15. Become a better writer by studying creativity. How many creativity exercises did you do this week?

16. Get over all that, “But I’m not a writer” stuff. Thoughts like that block positive thought and hinder creativity. Everyone is a writer. Everyone.

17. Every morning when you wake up, dump everything that’s on your mind into about three pages. It doesn’t have to be good. It doesn’t have to make sense. It’s about freeing your mind of all the crap so you can clear the way for the good stuff. Think of it like going to the driving range before a round of 18 holes to get all those shanks out of your system. If you want to write better quality stuff, the REAL stuff that’s deep inside of you just dying to get out, you’ve got to pave the way. Thank you, Julia Cameron.

18. Break the rules of writing. Every day. Nothing too horrendous. But don’t be afraid to start sentences with words like “and” and “because.” Don’t be afraid to throw in a fragment here and there. Nobody’s going to be mad. If it proves your point and looks and sounds good, leave it in there. Be a rebel on paper.

19. Read your stuff out loud. Make sure it flows.

20. You can read books, take classes and study the greats. But the BEST way to become a better writer is to write. Every. Single. Day.

21. Hey, remember #9? That thing I said about keeping it short? I was serious. Odd are, half the people who started reading this very blog post are no longer with us. (Dang it!)

22. Read The War of Art. Best book on art/creativity/writing ever. EVER.

23. When you write something really brilliant, or at least pretty good, take a break. Or stop. Don’t be a greedy writer.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What are your writing gems?

LET SUGGEST THIS...
Share your list of ways to become a better writer here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Befriend the current










Think back to September 2004.

It’s the height of the Napter-Metallica-Filesharing craze.

And Green Day decides to make music history by becoming the first ever musical artist to sell blank albums.

That’s right. Hordes of fans were buying thousands of Green Day CD’s with no music on them!

Were they crazy?!

Not even.

For the sake of taking a different approach in dealing with music downloading - legal or illegal - Green Day released a CD-R 5-pack that contained five blank discs with original album cover art printed on the top and sides.

On the side of the box, the punk-pop trio reminds their fans, “Burn responsibly. Download music legally and burn your own Green Day compilations.”

Nice.

A few days after the CD-R 5-pack came out, I remember watching Green Day on MTV News.

Billy Joe Armstrong said, “Kids are going to copy, burn, download and rip our music anyway. May as well make the CD’s look cool!”

He went on to say, “And for fans that illegally rip our tunes but want something that doesn’t look homemade, we can still make money.”

Dude. That is, like, SO punk!

Yes. But there’s something bigger, though.

Green Day did something that was, like, SO SMART: they befriended the current.

They noticed an unavoidable trend: fans were “illegally” downloading their music.

But instead of panicking…

Instead of getting upset...

Instead swimming against the current, at the risk of alienating existing and potential fans (ahem, Metallica)…

…they befriended it.

Green Day’s blank CD’s, instead of exacerbating the file-sharing process, actually made it easier. And cooler. And more fun.

Not to mention, fans felt a little less guilty about downloading songs for free!

Oh, and here’s the best part: if you go onto Green Day’s official online store, they’re STILL sold out.

Three years later.

Unbelievable.

So. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Identify the unavoidable, unstoppable trend (current) that might have a negative effect on your business.

2. Observe how your competition swims against that current.

3. Reverse your trajectory.

4. Befriend the current.

5. Allow it to carry you where the market is going.

6. Enjoy the ride!

And now, because you’ve befriended the current, you can spend less time swimming frantically, and MORE time focusing your efforts on developing cool, memorable, word-of-mouth-worthy stuff.

Surf's up!

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What's the "current" in your industry?

LET SUGGEST THIS...
List three ways you could befriend it.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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Monday, April 09, 2007

The World is a Mirror, Part 23

A is for ATTITUDE
B is for BREAK PATTERNS
C is for CONSISTENCY
D is for DISCIPLINE
E is for EVOLUTION
F is for FRIENDLINESS
G is for GOOD WITH NAMES
H is for HAPPINESS
I is for IDEAS
J is for JOY
K is for KNOWLEDGE
L is for LAUGHTER
M is for MUNDANE
N is for NAMETAGS
O is for OFF BUTTON
P is for PAINT YOURSELF INTO A (GOOD) CORNER
Q is for QUICK
R is for RUDE PEOPLE
S is for SERVICE
T is for TIME
U is for UNIQUE
V is for VALUE
W is for WEIRD

My name is Scott Ginsberg.

I’m weird.

Always have been. Always will be.

In fact, whenever someone tells me, “Dude, you’re weird!” I respond with, “Hey, thanks!”

See, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being weird.

Actually, I think there are a lot of things RIGHT with being weird.

I’ll explain why in a minute.

But first, a brief etymology lesson:

The word “weird” can be traced back to the Old English term “wyrd,” which means "fate, destiny."

Cool.

However, the modern sense of the word derived from two sources:

1. The use of Weird Sisters for The Three Fates or “Norns” (in mythology), representing the goddesses who controlled human destiny.

2. People who were odd or frightening in appearance, first referenced in Macbeth, led to the adjective meaning of, "odd-looking, uncanny," first recorded 1815.

So, 200 years later, what does it mean to be weird?

And when someone says, “That guy is SO weird!” or “She’s weird!” what message is that person really communicating?

Well, in my experience, criticism often says more about the critic than it does about the subject.

So, is it possible that when someone perceives a person as weird, is it simply because they don’t understand him?

Personally, I think weird is a scapegoat term. An excuse. A placeholder for ignorance. When people don’t understand someone, they just dismiss that person as “weird,” and that’s usually enough to validate their argument.

Think back to college. Or high school. Or even grade school.

Now, picture The Weird Kid.

Maybe it was the dude who wore all black.
Maybe it was the girl who was always reading Ayn Rand during recess.
Maybe it was the guy who wore crazy clothes and walked to school every day.

You called him weird because you didn’t understand him.

And you left it at that.

(Hey, I did it too. It’s human nature.)

But what if you added another step?

What if, instead of being judgmental, you were curious?

Here. Try this experiment:

1. Decide to find out the story is behind someone’s supposed “weirdness.”
2. Approach the person with a curious, (not judgmental) attitude.
3. Tell the person you find them interesting, or fascinating, and would like to learn more.

And most likely, they’ll take it as a compliment, and be happy to share with you.

Or they’ll wind up being a serial killer, take out their ice pick and stab you in the throat.

Just kidding.

(But you were thinking that, weren’t you?)

Look. Not all weird people are bad. And sure, there have been some major wack-jobs out there who gave being weird a bad rap.

But I think (the non-criminal) weird people are important to society, important to business, for several reasons:

Weird people challenge you.
Weird people make you think.
Weird people are often creative.
Weird people break your patterns.
Weird people encourage individuality.
Weird people are interesting and cool.
Weird people aren’t afraid to be themselves.
Weird people tend to have valuable perspectives.

But because we don’t “get them,” we dismiss them.

And I think every time that happens, we’re missing out.

“Nurture the nuts,” Tom Peters once said. “We all know that ‘weird’ can be good, if we don't judge others through our lens. Being weird increases creativity if we allow it to flourish.”

Well put.

Also, I found this anonymous quotation, often quoted around the web: “We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”

Fantastic.

So from now on, I encourage you to embrace weirdness.

That of other people. That of yourself.

Weirdness rules!

My name is Scott.

And I am weird.

Always have been. Always will be.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Do you embrace weirdness?

LET SUGGEST THIS...
What's the advantage of your weirdness?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Yet another company I should be the spokesperson for

















My friend Steve found this article in USA Today.

Pictured is Ernst & Young Global CEO Jim Turley, who talks to Brigham Young University students at Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah, on March 18. The company uses the event, E&Y Extreme, as a recruting tool.

Look closely at the signage on the lecturn behind Jim.

Wow. Not only did they use the name of my company and my brand, but the title of my new book! Woo hoo!

Not that I'm mad or anything. It's kind of neat, actually.

However, along with Paxil, Sharpie, MACO and The St. Louis CVB, I will now add Ernst and Young to my running list of Companies I Should be the Spokesperson For.

So, if anyone out there:

1. Works for Ernst and Young
2. Knows someone who works for Ernst and Young
3. Or knows how to get in touch with Ernst and Young CEO Jim Turley

...please let me know! I gotta meet this guy! Help me make it happen!

Because Jim needs a copy of my new book, pronto.

(By the way, the new book is being printed. I will have it ready for sale this month.)

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What company should YOU be the spokesperson for?

LET SUGGEST THIS...
In 200 words or less, explain why!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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38 Ways to Speed Up Your Learning Curve, Even If You're Not Old Enough to Rent a Car

The other day my friend Jess asked me, “How did you learn so much at such a young age?”

And I realized something: I get that question a lot.

Now, while I’m not claiming to be brilliant, nor am I claiming to be some sort of genius, I DID do some serious thinking on my answer(s) to that question.

So, here’s (yet another) one of my ridiculously long lists:

38 Ways to Speed Up Your Learning Curve, Even If You're Not Old Enough to Rent a Car

1. Develop an attitude of Life Long Learning.

2. Whatever industry you work in, whatever area of expertise you seek to master, read every single book ever written about it. I remember early in my career, one of my mentors said, “You don’t have the ‘right to write’ a book on a certain topic unless you’ve read every other book on that topic.” Well, OK then.

3. So, read two of those books every week. You should be done in about a year.

4. Buy lunches for Big Shots in your industry. Ask them great questions. Take even greater notes. Then compile all of your notes into one main document that you update and review weekly.

5. Buy lunches for Non-Big Shots in your industry, then repeat everything I just said #4.

6. Go to every personal development/motivational seminar that comes through town.

7. The best swimmers are always in the pool. Figure out where you pool is, then go swimming every single day.

8. PRACTICE. Larry Bird shot 100 free throws a day. What are you going to do?

9. Write. Write. Write. Writing is the basis of all wealth. Write down everything you learn or experience. Call it a journal, a blog, a diary, whatever. Write everything down. If you don’t write it down, it never happened. (Thanks for that one, Greg Peters.)

10. Regularly read books about creativity, creative thinking, creative people, creative ideas, etc.

11. Screw up. A lot.

12. Get more than one mentor. Hell, get ten of ‘em!

13. Did I say, “write” already? I think so. But in the words of Mr. Kinney, my freshman history teacher, “You don’t know it unless you can write it.”

14. Ask people, “What mistakes did you make when you were starting out?”

15. Learn something new each day. Yes, an old cliché. But here’s the catch: start a Learnal. Not a Journal. A Learnal. A daily journal of things you learned. Try that for a month and you’ll be amazed at how much smarter you’ve become!

16. Go to Borders once a month. Grab about fifty or so books that look interesting. Sit down with a big fat legal pad. Read through the books and take notes for a few hours. (You should probably buy a hot chocolate or something, so you don’t feel like you’re stealing.)

17. Two words: MASTERMIND-GROUP.

18. Three words: MASTER-MIND-GROUP!!!

19. Find out where you suck. More on how to do that here.

20. Learn how to think. Sure, it sounds silly. I know you already know how to think! But there are dozens, if not hundreds of resources that will TRAIN YOUR MIND, i.e., when you learn to think laterally, or in a non-linear fashion. Do this stuff and you will learn a LOT more. About yourself. About business. About life.

21. Watch the Apprentice. God I love that show.

22. Just start doing it. (Whatever “it” is) Playing guitar. Designing websites. Writing books. Just get crackin’. Who cares if you suck? START NOW. Starting = learning.

23. Google. It’s the greatest noun (and verb) in the world. Google everything. Your own name. Your boss. Your company. Your ex-girlfriends. Your industry. Your competition. Your customers. Google EVERYTHING. Frequently.

24. Carefully watch the people who are AMAZING at doing what you ultimately want to do.

25. Ask dumb questions.

26. Speaking of dumb, don’t hesitate to read any of the “For Dummies” books. Trust me, reading those books won’t make you a dummy, it’ll make you a smarty.

27. Play with people who are better than you. More on that here.

28. Learning comes from discomfort. So, celebrate the offbeat. Cherish uncertain ground. Travel without plans. Surrender your agendas.

29. How many times did you exercise your body last week? OK. Cool. Now: How many times did you exercise your MIND last week? Thought so. Don’t forget to work out your brain.

30. Say yes more.

31. Say no more.

32. Three words: small victories first. They build momentum. They validate self-assurance. They pave the way for later success. They enable you to take bolder action. They stretch your boundaries one mile at a time. Most importantly, they teach you all kinds of cool stuff.

33. Get experience in any way you can. Even if you have to do it for free. Even if you have to give a free speech for ten old dudes at a bible study at 7:00 AM in the middle of friggin nowhere at a greasy Wentzville diner called Country Fixins. (Hypothetically.)

34. Get a coach. An advisor. Someone that you PAY who will keep you accountable. Paying is important because: no investment = no committment.

35. Make it your goal to accumulate WISDOM, not knowledge.

36. Talk to strangers. The greatest learning resource in the world (even greater than The Google) is the person sitting next to you.

37. Two words: Wiki-pedia. (Oh wait, that’s one word. My bad.)

38. Whatever you’ve already learned, impart that priceless wisdom onto others. Aside from writing, teaching is the next best way to learn.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How did YOU speed up your learning curve?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Post your ridiculously long list here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Smile and they will see you

I used to address the issue of smiling in my talks.

Then I realized how overdone the subject was.

So I took it out.

Not that smiling wasn’t important. After all, it’s the #1 symbol of approachability in the world!

But I just figured that most people were tired of hearing another author, speaker or manager talk about “the value of a smile.”

"Smile, you’re on stage!"
"Smile when you answer the phone!"
"Smile for three seconds when you enter a room!"

OK. We get it! Smiling is important. Thanks.

But the other day I had a thought.

I was bumming around New Haven, waiting for my cab to pick me up. To kill time I walked into this cool looking coffee shop on Orange Avenue. Electronic Indian music blasted from the speakers. A few customers milled about. But for the most part the place was empty.

I approached the counter. Saw the barista across the room, working on his laptop.

He didn’t see me.

So, I thought for a second, “What would most customers say in this situation?”

“Um, excuse me…could I get some service?”
“Doesn’t anybody work here?”
“Hell-oooo?”

Of course, I didn’t say any such thing. That’s not how I roll. I like to think I have a little more patience than that!

So, I just smiled.

That’s it.

No words. No flailing arms. Just a big fat, friendly grin. Directed right at the Barista.

Sure enough, he looked up from his laptop.
Sure enough, he offered a friendly smile right back at me.
And sure enough, he walked over to my side of the counter and took my order.

Because if you smile, they will see you.

It’s just that easy.

I’ve been practicing this technique (gosh, do I even have to call it a technique?) for a long time.

Anyway, it’s called the Patient Smile. Here’s how it works:

1. You smile and patiently wait.
2. Positive energy is sent to the other person.
3. They “sense” that a customer is beckoning their attention. (People can just TELL when you’re smiling at them. It’s weird, but it works.)
4. They look up to meet your gaze.
5. They smile back.
6. They approach you.
7. You get better service.

Smile and they will see you.

So, next time you walk into a crowded bar, club, store or restaurant, give it a try.

I triple dog dare you.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Is the whole "smiling" thing overdone?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Share your best smile story here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Anatomy of an Awesome Blog Post

I don't claim to be an expert on blogging.

I have, however, managed to leverage my blog over the years as a powerful tool for:

Delivering value. Earning new business. Generating (a lot of) word of mouth.

Therefore, today I'm going to take you through my daily process of writing blog posts.

NOTE: this is NOT the only, the best or the preferred way to blog.

It's just how I roll. And since 2004, I've had great success with it. Enjoy!

Anatomy of an Awesome Blog Post

1. THE HEADLINE
Think of every single blog post you write as a press release. Make your headline pithy, catchy, (possibly) short, funny, interesting, intriguing, eye-catching, etc. If possible, use words that are "hot," according to current events, Technorati and other search engine resources.

REMEMBER: Your headline might be the only part of your blog post people read before deciding to click the link.

FOR EXAMPLE:










2. THE IMAGE
Amazingly, a large percentage of bloggers DON'T include images for each post. (Not smart.) You don't have to overdo it, but remember that we live in a visual culture. People want to LOOK, not read. Plus, images reinforce your writing.

Think of your blog post like a newspaper, or any publication for that matter. You're creating art with every post!

TYPES OF PICTURES: if possible, try to use your own pictures. Especially ones with YOU in them. (People need to see you being you; and they need to see you doing what you do.)

However, there's a myriad of appropriate (even funny, like Homer over there) pictures out on the Web. Search around.

REMEMBER: pictures are more approachable than words. Make it easy on the readers' eyes.


3. THE BODY
Most posts would benefit from having at least one link. To a relevant article, to another blog, to a friend of yours (aka, Link Love), whatever. Links build community.

ALSO: blogs weren't meant to be prose. So...

Break

up

your

writing.


Use short sentences. People read them more. And people like them more. Period.

DON'T FORGET: use line breaks, bold, ALL CAPS, underlined words and italics.

4. THE CTA







Which stands for "call to action."

Tell your readers to do something. To submit something. To link something. To try something.

Whatever you do, get them involved. Again, blogging is about community. You must elicit response from your readers in the form of comments, email responses, link love, etc.

REMEMBER: A blog post without a call to action is just a wasted URL.

I always close my post with the above two questions. They encourage an open dialogue help increase my link rate.

NOTE: when you do this, your "call to action phrases" will become part of your brand. For example, I wrote ebooks called LET ME ASK YA THIS... and LET ME SUGGEST THIS...

5. THE SIGNATURE
This is huge.

You need to conclude your blog post by reminding the reader who you are.

BUT BEWARE...of "selling" too much in this section. Don't let the reader get to the end of your awesome post and say, "Oh, so NOW he wants me to hire him. Yeah right."

Just include a few basic pieces of info about who you are. Don't make your signature an entire one page sell sheet.

6. THE VIRAL STUFF





OK. The reader knows who you are. You've delivered value. You've created a new fan via your awesome blog post.

Congrats!

But wait. There's one last thing you need to do:

MAKE IT SUPER EASY FOR THE READER TO TELL EVERYONE ELSE HOW AWESOME YOUR BLOG POST IS

I use digg, del.icio.us, and "email this post to a friend."

There are many other social bookmarking options out there, but these are the ones I use.

NOTE: many bloggers also insert tags, key words, categories, search terms, etc., at the end of the post. GREAT IDEA. I personally don't use those things, but I hear they're great tools.

FINAL NOTE: again folks, this is just how I post. It's NOT the only way! For that reason...

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What's your method for creating an AWESOME post?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Share your anatomy lesson here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

add to del.icio.us * digg it! * email this post