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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Are You Sneaking Up On The World?

Clarity is overrated.

The better our work is, the harder it should be to talk about.

Because if we can explain it, if we can write down a step-by-step process of how we did it, and if we can find other people to do it faster and cheaper, then it’s not really art. It’s just a task.

Our goal is to become unclassifiable. To become somebody who reminds everybody of nobody else. And to express ourselves in a way that, when people tell their friends about our work, all they can say is:
“Look, I can’t really explain it. Just go to the website. You gotta see this.”

That’s the mark of a master.

Not the one with a polished positioning statement.
Not the one with a clearly defined target audience.
Not the one with a perfectly crafted elevator pitch.

The one people aren’t sure about. The one who sneaks up on the world.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you too clear?

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For the list called, "12 Ways to Keep Your Relationships Alive," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What Small Business Can Learn From Artists

Not every businessperson is an artist, but every artist is a businessperson.

Whether they’re performers, painters, writers or sculptors, they can teach all of us key insights to help grow our business. Straight from my regular column on American Express Open Forum, consider these ideas:

1. Access. It’s impossible to matter in a void. If we want to win, we need an audience. Otherwise we’re just winking in the dark. Fortunately, our work is no longer limited to living in one place. Thanks to the web, access is the new currency. Thanks to the web, we can reach anyone, anytime, anywhere.

Artists who used to be chained to a single gallery now have multiple entry points to their marketplace. Businesses whose sole distribution used to be limited to a few channels now have the advantage of infinite digital shelf space. Foundations whose financial support used to flow from a few wealthy donors now have access to social microfunding worldwide. Access doesn’t lead to the value – access is the value. Are you offering it?

2. Audience. Shakespeare didn’t open in twenty countries. He had one theater, one audience. The people cherished the art. The artist cherished their attention. And together, they made something magical. Outside of that sacred space, nothing else mattered. Of course, that was four hundred years ago. A lot has changed since the Renaissance.

Or has it? Maybe not as much as we want to believe. Because when you consider what technology has enabled, what culture has created and how information has evolved, Shakespeare’s artistic approach is more relevant than ever. Now, we can figure out which of the mainstream hoops are not worth the time, money and effort to jump through – then forge ahead without stopping. Just ask Derek Sivers of CD Baby. Now, we can stop buying tickets for the starving artist lottery and go out and create the market for what we love – even if it’s a small one.

Just ask Hugh McLeod of Gaping Void. Now, we can run into the corners, nooks and crannies, make something we love for the people who love us – and do pretty well. Just ask Kevin Smith of Smodcast. Now, we can focus our time on creating brilliant work that speaks to people in a way they have never been spoken to before – and change everything. Will you continue waiting around for the masses, waiting for the revolution to begin?

3. Costs. Art is expensive. Not for the customer to buy, but for the creator to make. It costs more time than we’d like to devote, more friends that we’d care to lose, more sweat than we’d expect to wield, more money that we’d wish to spend and more annoyances that we’d care to put up with.

It costs more anxiety that we’d prefer to manage, more uncertainty that we’d care to tolerate, more money that we’d wants to spend, more criticism than we’d choose to draw and more blood that we’d hope to shed. It costs more pain than we’d like to endure, more pressure than we’d prefer to absorb, more expectation than we’d care to handle, more energy than we’d want to invest and more bandwidth than we’d wish to consume.

And we never see it coming. There’s no manual, no class or no college degree that forewarns us about the gory realities of professional artistry. It’s easier to romanticize an idealized lifestyle than confront the hell of taking the road less traveled. But if want to play for keeps, we have to know what’s at stake. We have to understand what our art expects of us. And we have to prepare for the inevitable waves of complexity that come our way. If it were cheap, it wouldn’t be art. What costs is your business unwilling to incur?

REMEMBER: Just because you’re not an artist, doesn’t mean you can’t think like one.

Make your business a masterpiece today.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What makes you an artist?

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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Do You Perfect the Performance or Extend It?

It’s not just about perfecting the audience experience.

It’s about extending it.

Right before Bruce Hornsby sits down at the piano and dazzles the crowd with his famous spider fingers, he walks over to the edge of the stage and scoops up a fresh pile of handwritten song requests, art pieces, love notes and other messages from the very audience he’s about to play for.

Because while he was in the green room relaxing, individual fans got up from their seats, put down their drinks, walked up to the front of the stage and personally delivered a gift that they spent time preparing for the man himself.
That’s anticipatory engagement.

Right after Henry Rollins finishes one of his trademark spoken word shows – none of which last less than two hours themselves – he towels off, chugs a few bottles of water and heads outside to the tour bus where he shakes hands, answers questions, signs autographs, snaps pictures and has a real conversation with every single person in line.

Because while he was on stage sharing eclectic stories, dropping disturbing ideas and asking hard questions, listeners dreamed of nothing more than to look him in the eye and tell him that his voice was the music they’d been waiting their whole lives to hear.

That’s the second bite of the apple.

If we want to extend the life of our act for the audience, we need both.

Because the best performances are the ones that start long before the audience gets to the theater, but last long after the audience has left.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you perfecting or extending?

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For the list called, "19 Ways to Build Buzz about Your New Website," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Are You Knocking Or Going Where the Door is Already Open?

Knocking is an interruption.

The days of darkening doorsteps to bother people into buying from us are over.

Instead, we need to go where the door is already open. To follow the path of permission, greet the people who invited us in once before and gently remind them why we’re worth keeping around.

What if, during a slow season of business, we spent a few days personally emailing every single person who ever gave us money, and asked them to buy again?
I tried that once, and it worked like a dream.

Not because I used a clever subject line or a strategic sales letter template. Rather, because I had already spend years delivering a value forward campaign that brought them joy, left them better and made them hungry for more.

And now, when I walked through the door, all they had to do was say yes.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you still knocking?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "13 Service Phrases That Payses," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Nametag Manifesto -- Chapter 2: The End of Exclusion

[ View the infographic! ]

"Everyone should wear nametags, all the time, everywhere, forever.”

That’s my thesis, philosophy, dangerous idea and theory of the universe.

My name is Scott, and I’ve been wearing a nametag for past four thousand days.

And after traveling to hundreds of cities, a dozen countries, four continents, meeting tens of thousands of people, constant experimentation and observation, building a enterprise and writing a dozen books in the process, I believe, with all my heart, that the societal implications of wearing nametags could change everything.

This is my manifesto:

CHAPTER 2: The End of Exclusion
If everybody wears nametags, we'll sustain an overarching sense of social belonging.
Now, everyone belongs everywhere. Now, everyone fits in everywhere. And now, everyone is welcomed and nobody is alienated. People are citizens of the world instead of outsiders to each other’s worlds.

We’re united through a common humanity. We’re positioned to receive the gift of each other. Instead of merely recognizing and accepting each other’s differences, now we can actually celebrate them. We can respect everybody’s right to be.

And as we proudly wear our truth on our chest, we can view each other’s self-assurance as an inspiration – not a liability.

If everybody wears nametags, no more segregation, no more loneliness and no more outsiderness.

# # #

You are now ready for chapter three.

Or, you can download The Nametag Manifesto, in full, for free, right now, here.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What's your manifesto?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "10 Ways to Help Your Customers Know You," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Where Have All the Original Ideas Gone?

Everything that comes out seems to be a sequel, a prequel, a remake, a revisit, a reboot or a reinterpretation of another artist’s work.

Which is fine if we want to ship easy, predictable safe projects that appease our corporate masters and their incessant pressure to create fail proof work.

But there are no cover bands in the rock and roll hall of fame.

And if we want to walk with greatness, we need to walk a new path.

Not an old path in a new way. And not a supposed new path that’s really just a nicely packaged book report of a bunch of old paths.

Something new. Something scary. Something people don’t even have a name for.

Tony LaRussa changed the face of baseball forever by leveraging bullpen statistics. Morphine created an entirely new genre of music by inventing the low rock sound. Kevin Smith shifted film making by redefining the theatrical exhibition window.

This stuff is possible because it’s always been possible.

As long as we’re willing to cede permission, put our face in and step across the lines of artistic safety – at the risk of getting a few black eyes – originality can happen. We wage a war against mediocrity at our own peril.

But first, we need a change of posture.

Instead of copping out by reminding ourselves that there’s nothing new under the sun, we might consider that the sun is really, really huge, and if we can’t find something new under it, perhaps we’re not looking hard enough.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you original or just an echo of somebody else's brilliance?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "17 Ways to become a Thought Leader," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Nametag Manifesto -- Chapter 1: The End of Strangers

[ View the infographic! ]

"Everyone should wear nametags, all the time, everywhere, forever.”

That’s my thesis, philosophy, dangerous idea and theory of the universe.

My name is Scott, and I’ve been wearing a nametag for past four thousand days.

And after traveling to hundreds of cities, a dozen countries, four continents, meeting tens of thousands of people, constant experimentation and observation, building a enterprise and writing a dozen books in the process, I believe, with all my heart, that the societal implications of wearing nametags could change everything.

This is my manifesto:

CHAPTER 1: The End of Strangers
If everybody wears nametags, there is a higher overall intimacy level.

People no longer resort to using impersonal name substitutes like buddy, ace, boss, sport, dude, chief or hey you. Instead, through the basic unit of self-disclosure, we reduce the social distance between each other. We don’t have to snap our fingers to get someone’s attention. We just say their name and start engaging.
The nametag is a conversational entry point. It’s an interactional accelerator. Permission is granted, socialization ensues and the lines of communication are sparked open.

Now, we’re not just amicable strangers – we’re sharing our humanity with each other. We don’t have to wait to warm up to each other. We can just cut the crap and connect.

Nametags humanize us. They enable a tightly knit social fabric. They make it easier to treat each other with dignity, respect and compassion. And they give us permission to reveal ourselves to each other quickly, openly and honestly.

As a result, they reinforce the understanding that we’re all one, and that hurting another individual is no different that hurting ourselves. So we stop. Instead of a call to arms, it’s a call to connect.

If everybody wears nametags, no more fighting, no more intolerance and no more disrespect.

# # #

You are now ready for chapter two.

Or, you can download The Nametag Manifesto, in full, for free, right now, here.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What's your manifesto?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "10 Ways to Help Your Customers Know You," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sugar Packets and the Magic of Mundanity

A few years back, I wrote a post about sugar packets.

At the time, Equal launched a campaign that printed clever slogans like “Ban the bland,” “In taste we trust,” and “Power to the packet,” on their packaging.

They transformed an ordinary confection into a mini billboard.

I still have the packets to this day. Better yet, my article was reprinted on dozens of popular blogs within hours of its release.

And what’s neat is, the reason I noticed those condiments was because wearing a nametag has forced me to stay focused on the ordinary. As a result, I’ve become obsessed with the unmarked. Interested in what usually goes unnoticed. Curious about the trivial aspects of everyday experience.”
Considering I’ve made an entire career out of a sticker, I figure I owe it to the world to spend a little time each day celebrating the magic of the mundane.

The point is, we need participate in everything. To fascinate ourselves with the ordinary.

Mundane is the poetry of life, and it has the power to illuminate more than we know.

Watch for it.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Is your brand a friend of it?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "99 Questions Every Entrepreneur Should Ask," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Do You Have a Profit Motive or a People Motive?

My friend Bill is a chiropractor.

In the past five years, he’s sent over one hundred of his patients to the yoga studio down the street from his clinic, where he is also a student himself.

The other day his assistant yelled at him for sending too much business away. He feared Bill's patients would fall in love with yoga and never come back for another adjustment again.

But Bill, a true professional, a true artist, a true champion of human health, told his assistant that a good doctor tells his patients, “I hope you never have to come in here again.”
That's the difference between profit motive and people motive.

One earns money – the other earns trust.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Which does your brand have?

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For the list called, "35 Ways to Leverage Your Next Media Appearance," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Friday, December 09, 2011

The Value of Ridicule

I get hatemail.
For wearing a nametag. To make people friendlier.

I’ve had people start fights with me.
For wearing a nametag. To make people friendlier

I’ve received death threats.
For wearing a nametag. To make people friendlier

And only from men, too.

I don’t understand this.

Is it resentment? Jealousy? Animosity? Does a sticker threaten their sense of self?

Oh well. Better to be hated for who you are then loved for who you aren’t.
Besides, they get the laugh once – I get the laugh forever.

The point is, revolution without ridicule, isn’t. You’re nobody until somebody hates you. And if your idea isn’t being attacked, it’s not big enough.

Being attacked is a sign that you are important enough to be a target.

It’s like Nietzsche said: “Those who were seen dancing were said to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Who hates you?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "52 Random Insights to Grow Your Business," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

The 3 Words Guaranteed To Grow Your Business Next Year

Next year is going to be the best ever for your business.

But only if you enhance your company’s usage of the following three words: Knowledge, reassurance and conversations. Straight from my regular column on American Express Open Forum, consider these ideas:

1. Knowledge. The tendency is to hoard knowledge is a seductive one. It makes us harder to replace, enables greater leverage, increases promotability and gives us a competitive advantage.

But a lot of the time, in those moments when we operate from a scarcity mentality, we act selfish with our knowledge. We avoid telling people what we know for fear of losing power. And then everybody loses. Like pushing a rock up hill with one eye over our shoulder, it’s not especially productive, it doesn’t contribute to the greater good and it rarely proves to be a worthwhile investment of time and effort.
But thanks to the connective beauty of the Web—via blogs, social media, discussion boards, forums and other digital platforms—we’ve found a way to reverse the trajectory. With the click of button, we send the snowball down the hill, hoping it will grow a little bit more with each revolution, growing a little bit stronger with each person’s individual contribution. Knowledge might be power, but sharing that knowledge with others is priceless.

2. Reassurance. When privacy is at stake, reassurance is priceless. I once gave a workshop to a document destruction company. Their specialty was paper shredding and hardware demolition, mainly for large financial institutions. Stockbroking firms paid them big bucks to destroy old client records, annual reports and other sensitive materials.

Naturally, prospective clients were skeptical. Outside of the standard disclosure agreements, and outside of whatever trust was established between the firm and the destruction company, there was really no way to guarantee that their information could be fully protected. So I asked the president how he handled the issue of client privacy. And said that most players in his industry struggled with it. To the point that it became a barrier to growth.

“But at our company, it’s easy,” he said, “Most of my employees can’t read.” Wait. What? That’s right. The majority of his warehouse staff was blind, mentally retarded or cognitively impaired. They didn’t steal the information because they couldn’t read it.

That’s reassurance. And don’t forget, this document destruction company staffed dozens of permanent and temporary workers each year, most of whom could never get a job anywhere else because of their preexisting conditions. That’s reassurance too. I wonder what your company does to deliver it.

3. Conversations. Our priorities are way out of whack. The assumption is that we need to make something better, sell something cheaper or ship something faster. No, what we need is to have smarter conversations. We might change the interaction model, by being unreasonably accessible where the rest of the world is hard to reach. That’s a smarter conversation.

We might build our listening platform, by turning social media into a hearing aid while the rest of the world uses it as a sales tool. That’s a smarter conversation. We might position ourselves as teachers who solve expensive problems while the rest of the world is selfish with their knowledge. That’s a smarter conversation.

We might create acts that make emotional connections while the rest of the world is bothering and interrupting people with advertisement. That’s a smarter conversation. Point being, customers already have everything they need. Except us. In the flesh. Ready to listen to them. Why don’t we sell that?

Next year truly can be the best year ever, as long as you implement these three words.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Will your business be ready for January 1?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "17 Behaviors to Avoid for Effective Listening," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Do You Give Customers the Cookie or the Fortune?

I published my first book when I was twenty-two.

There was no plan. No marketing strategy. No publicity campaign. No social media push. No finely orchestrated plan in perfect alignment with my personal vision statement and life purpose.

I just handed out copies to every single person I knew. With one catch:

Every copy of the book came with two free nametags.

One for you, one for a friend.

Readers loved it. They showed everybody. Some even wore the nametags in public to start conversations – with complete strangers – about my idea.
What’s amazing is, people didn’t care that much about the book itself.

They just wanted the free prize inside.

So I spent dozens of hours staying up late the night before speeches, gluing those little buggers into the back of each book. Wasted tons of money. Signed every copy. Burned my fingers with hot glue a hundred times. And hated every moment of it.

It was worth it.

Extras matter. People don’t want the cookie – they want the fortune.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What’s your free prize?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "7 Ways to Out Attract Your Competition," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Watch Scott Ginsberg's Marketing Workshop @ goBRANDgo!



LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What's your act?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "71 Things Customers Don't Want to Hear You Say," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011-2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Face to Face Is Making a Comeback

Screens are fine.

But we can’t solely filter our lives through pixels. Not if we want those lives to matter.

Face-to-face is making a comeback.

Which doesn’t mean information is irrelevant. It’s just that contact offers an unquantifiable humanness that content can’t provide.
Only face-to-face can you truly learn who you are. Only face-to-face can you truly discover how the world works. Only face-to-face can you truly resonate with the soul of another human being.

I don’t care what line of work you’re in.

Every time we touch each other’s skin, look each other in the eye and talk to each other with our mouths, the world feels a little bit more connected.

Create an act of humanity in a moment of distance.

That never goes out of style.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How many people did you go out of your way to ignore last week?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "23 Ways to Learn a Lot at a Really Young Age," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

The Profitability of Mystery

“I just have so many questions!”

I get that a lot.

When people find out I wear a nametag everyday, they’re instantly curious about a number of issues. And I’m happy to oblige. Comes with the territory.

I once met a guy in a jazz club in Hell’s Kitchen. Noticing my nametag, he asked me if I had just come from an episode of The Price is Right.

Good guess, but no. Even though I’ve always secretly wanted to be on that show. Just let me play one game of Plinko and I’ll be out of your way.
People are enthralled by mystery. They never grow tired of things that invite constant interpretation. And our ability to fascinate them is a tremendous asset.

Like Houdini, we have to emanate an aura of delightful unpredictability.

We have leave the public always wanting more, wondering about our next move.

Never underestimate the profitability of mystery.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How mysterious are you?

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For a list called, "10 Reasons (Excuses) You're Not Blogging Yet," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

“After investing in your mentoring program, I've become centered on who I am and what I have to offer. Now, I am attracting clients I want to work with. Life is great and I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart."

--Melanie Jatsek, Diet Busters


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