Do It! Marketing Blog: Marketing for Smart People™

Marketing Coach: The REAL Value of LinkedIn Skills

doit marketing linkedin skillsAs a marketing speaker and marketing coach, I get a ton of questions about LinkedIn.

Although I'm no LinkedIn expert like my pal Viveka Von Rosen, I have learned a thing or two about the REAL value of using the Skills feature on LinkedIn.

Here's a short video to walk you through how YOU can maximize the connection value of endorsing the Skills of folks in YOUR network: 

(Hit the "full screen" icon in the lower right for a bigger, sharper video)

As you've heard me say about many other social media marketing tools and tactics - the power of using LinkedIn Skills is really not about YOU. No good marketing, sales or business development tactic ever is. 

It's about THEM. 

What do you think? Please use the COMMENTS area below to share your experience and opinions about the Skills feature of LinkedIn...

doit marketing using endorsements on linkedin

Tags: marketing for speakers, marketing success, thought leadership marketing, social media, linkedin, professional services marketing, trusted advisor marketing, professional speaker marketing, marketing coach, success tips, marketing for authors, marketing for consultants, thought leadership, marketing tip, social media marketing, public speaker marketing

How to Increase Traffic, Leads and Blog Readers with LinkedIn

marketing speaker marketing coach using linkedin to generate leads

Just posted this 4-minute video on how you can increase your website traffic, leads and blog readership using LinkedIn Groups.

NOTE: You may want to hit the "Full screen" view in the bottom right corner to enhance your viewing experience!

Please leave a COMMENT below about your own advice on using this technique - and your success stories in doing so!

Tags: marketing speaker, marketing success, marketing ideas, marketing coach, motivational speaker marketing, marketing for consultants, marketing tip, social media marketing

Marketing Coach: Chasing Chum Makes You a Chump

marketing speaker marketing coach chumIt's amazing to me how many professionals fall right into the marketing trap of overt self-promotion, pathetic begging, and self-commoditization. 

What am I talking about? 

I belong to several online forums, special interest sites and private message boards for organizations like the National Speakers Association and Vistage International, the world's largest CEO organization. 

At least weekly, there are requests for referrals to various types of speakers, consultants, coaches and training firms.

And sure as the sun goes around the moon, there are desperate goofballs who emerge from the murkiness and respond to these like hungry sharks chasing chum in bloody waters. Instead of positioning themselves as experts and giving the REFERRALS as asked, they see these as opportunities to play their favorite game of "Pick me! Pick me!"

Here is a recent example: 


I'm working with a client who needs a keynoter on growth (franchise-related, if possible). Can anyone recommend a fantastic and engaging executive-level speaker on this topic?


Response 1: I am a professional speaker with topics from communication, diversity & personal & business growth. My firm has grown 15% in the last year, so I have some insights into the topic. [Excerpted]

Response 2: We work extensively with franchise organizations on business growth, strategy, and marketing. I'd be happy to explore whether the vast body of knowledge we have about franchise growth in our industry might be adapted to your client. [Excerpted]

Response 3: I'm a former VP with Hilton Worldwide. Specifically for the Homewood Suites by Hilton brand. I played an integral role in helping double the Brand's size - from 75 properties to 150 - in a four year period. Not sure if the hospitality industry would be an optimal choice for your client, nonetheless I'd be happy to hear more about your client's needs to see if there's a fit. [Excerpted]

Response 4: There is a fantastic niche bureau in the franchise world run by my pal Katrina Mitchell - some of these folks are extremely well-versed in the franchise world: Also T. Scott Gross would be a home run for this type of group as well - which is why he's among the folks Katrina works with!!

Response 5: I'm both a speaker and a retail franchise owner, so I may be a good fit if they are still looking. I'm a leadership keynoter who focuses on building trust in teams. I also own two franchises, and am in the process of expanding into a third. View my profile for more info if I can help.


I'll stop there only because to quote more of these people would make me nauseated. 

Lesson: There was only ONE "trusted advisor" answer in the whole bunch. Can you see which one it was? It was the one that gave the requester what she WANTED - namely, a REFERRAL and not a self-serving sales pitch. 

The definition of a trusted advisor is a professional who puts their client's interests before his or her own.

The folks who respond like #1, 2, 3, and 5 position themselves as PEDDLERS, not PARTNERS. 

Remember: Chasing Chum Makes You a Chump

Don't do it.

What's a smarter approach? There are three:

1. Ask one of your clients for whom you have done similar work to visit that forum and post an honest recommendation of your work. A third-party endorsement means a TON more than a self-serving sales pitch.

2. Take the conversation offline. Connect the referral requester with the person you'd like to refer (or if we're back to promoting yourself, then simply connect your past client with the requester's contact details and ask them to get in touch directly.)

3. Trade referrals and endorsements. This is one of my favorites - smarter than self-promotion and easier than connecting back with previous clients. Establish a trusted circle of 5-7 experts, consultants or professional services providers whose work you believe in and would gladly put your reputation behind. Offer to tee each other up regularly for opportunities like the one above. 

in my circle, for example, I have: 

  • A women's leadership guru whose message focuses on women's sanity, confidence and fun
  • A NY Times bestselling healthcare author and Hall of Fame speaker
  • One of the nation's top experts on building sales culture
  • A top-notch trainer on presentation skills (virtual and in-person)
  • One of the funniest motivational humor speakers on the planet
  • A networking and referral marketing expert in financial services
  • A small business leadership expert, bestselling author and Hurricane Katrina survivor

Stop chasing chum and you'll stop looking like a chump.

Question: Who is in YOUR referral circle? Get busy and create yours today!

Please use the COMMENTS area below to share your referral and lead sharing advice, success stories and feedback.

marketing speaker marketing coach referrals

Tags: marketing speaker, marketing concept, marketing professional services, trusted advisor marketing, marketing professional services firms, marketing coach, small business marketing, marketing tip, sales and marketing, referral marketing, referrals

Marketing Concept: More Success = Get Off Your Ass!

marketing concept tAs a marketing concept, it's hard to find a more basic one than this: 

Get. Off. Your. Ass.

Yes, you!

Yes, right now!!

Here's a quick test to see whether or not you might benefit from APPLYING this revolutionary marketing concept: 

  • Are you tired of endlessly chasing prospects and "tire kickers"?
  • Do you get frustrated because your clients just don't seem to listen to you?
  • Have you ever worked all day and felt like you got nothing done?
  • Let's be real...have you considered packing it in and just getting a J.O.B.?

If this sounds familiar, then I have a solution for you.

Want to know what it is?

Are you sure??

You may not like the answer... it is.

You have to Get Off Your A$$ and Make it Happen!

(See, I warned you.)

Here's the good news. My friend Sean Carroll has a program that will show you exactly WHAT to do and HOW to do it, once you make the decision to Get Off Your A$$ 

By taking advantage of this FREE video training series, you will:

  • Launch your "prosperity cycle" that will REPLACE the "feast or famine" sales cycle

  • Unlock the strategies to close more business, and generate more referrals NOW without being pushy

  • Gain the tools to build trust and rapport with prospects quickly using 5 simple but powerful phrases

  • Learn  the 7 essential traits of the Get Off Your A$$ Mindset - and how to apply them to YOUR life or business

Here is your ticket to the free series

Sean rocks - and once you're done absorbing and applying his powerful system, YOU will too!!

Tags: marketing for speakers, marketing concept, marketing professional services, marketing ideas, marketing coach, marketing consultant, small business marketing, small business marketing speaker, marketing tip

Marketing Coach: 5 Ways to Use Email Without Getting Sucked In

marketing speaker marketing coach emailLike you, I struggle with email.

You probably find yourself...

a. Getting too much email (Duh!)

b. Spending too much time on email

c. Getting sucked into long sessions of email reactionary time (aka swatting email flies)

d. Confusing your all-important business productivity with the amount of email you read, reply to, and process in a day

e. Wondering what happened to all those high-priority money-making tasks that you promised yourself you'd get done today

As a marketing speaker and marketing coach, I know that email is simply a reality of how you do business, how you serve your clients and how you make a living.

And you're probably like most of my clients and audiences in that you've tried dozens of ways to loosen the grip that email has on you day and night - at your computer, on your smartphone, on your iPad and even in your brain cells.

That's right - email is even stuck in your brain. C'mon, admit it - you've had dreams about your inbox.

Sad but true. There's no shame in it - and you're definitely not alone!

Over this past weekend, I made a commitment to stay OFF of email.

Bad news - it didn't work.

Good news - I found 5 great workarounds for USING email without getting SUCKED IN.

Here are the 5 specific strategies you can use to laser target your email activity - and get some important things done in 5 minutes or less without the distraction of looking at the hundreds of messages hopelessly piling up by the minute in your inbox:

1. Targeted Search. Use your email program's search feature proactively when you want to find something in particular. I recall having gotten an email last week from Staples that I had some Rewards bucks that were going to expire soon. I jumped into the search box, typed "" and in 60 seconds, I was printing out my discount coupons and on my merry way to the Staples website and AWAY from my inbox! Like an email commando - quick in, quick out.

2. Send from the Hip. On Saturday, I wanted to send a quick note to a client about our next appointment. Your usual routine is probably like mine - we send from the inbox screen. And there are ALL those distracting messages clamoring for our attention.

It doesn't have to be that way.

This time, I opened my email and immediately hit the Compose button. The new blank email filled my screen. I addressed the email, popped in my subject line, typed out a short note to my client, hit send and immediately closed out of email. Like an email ninja - Silent but deadly!

3. Rapid Reply. Ever get that nagging feeling that you have some unfinished email business - but you just can't quite remember what it is? Then it hits you in the middle of the night: reply to Bob about his pricing question! So you pad downstairs at 2am, sit down in front of your email - and pretty soon it's 4am because you got sucked in.

It's not unusual for folks to spend 2 hours on email, get up from your desk, and realize that you forgot to take care of the original issue that you sat down to email about in the first place. Yikes!!

Here's the answer - and it builds on the targeted search technique. First, search for Bob's email address. If you can't remember it, search for his company name, the word "pricing" or anything else you recall from your last email exchange. Your search results should fill your screen and replace the inbox view.

Once you find the email in question, hit reply, compose your answer, attach any needed documents, and close out of email.

The goal is to use the Rapid Reply technique without looking at your inbox contents - or if you do catch a glimpse, deploy some self-control and consciously do not LOOK at your inbox contents for the few seconds they may be visible on your screen. Good job!

4. Deep Dig. I wanted to find a specific Wikipedia tip that I remembered was buried in an email newsletter I receive. This newsletter is one of about a half dozen that I've subscribed to for years and read regularly. The content is so good that I keep most of the back issues in an email folder I call "Research."

When I sat down to find this tip over the weekend, I did NOT want to get sucked into email. So again, my starting place was the Targeted Search technique (above). But then because these newsletters are so content-packed, I also needed to search the body text of the emails that came up in the search results. Also because I knew this email was almost surely in my "Research" folder, I limited my search to that location.

I tried searching for "Wikipedia" only to realize that this newsletter editor frequently references that site for additional info on the topics that she covers. Then I searched for a few more key words and short phrases. Finally, I remembered the person who submitted the tip and used the above search criteria in combination with his name - bingo! Two entries found. One from 2009 and one from 2011. The older one contained the gem I was looking for. 

Did I spend some "deep dig" research time? Yes indeed. Did I waste any time getting SUCKED IN to email hell? Nope - and you won't either if you stay focused.

5. Do a Money Pass. This final technique I've imposed on myself to specifically combat getting sucked in to email. When you have a backlog of emails waiting in your inbox (for example, my count right now is 226 because I wanted to write this blog before getting sucked into email!!), you need to put on your money goggles.

With those money goggles firmly secured over your eyeballs, go bravely forth into your inbox. Ruthlessly ask yourself this question over and over as you survey your inbox contents: "Will replying to this email make me money?"

For example...

a. Is it a current paying client?

b. Is it an active prospect moving through your sales process?

c. Is it a past client who has paid you money?

d. Is it a referral or other note from one of your advocates, allies or partners?

e. Is it a new lead or opportunity to sell more products, services or programs?

Once you do your Money Pass, you can relegate the rest of your email processing to some down-time or other non-peak "admin" time.

As my friend Marsha Egan says, "Email is not your job."

Put that up on your wall where you can see it clearly from your computer! VERY big insight, if you ask me.

Finally, here are two excellent resources if you want to go further with your inbox management and overall personal productivity:

1. Marsha Egan's awesome InboxDetox program.

2. Franklin Covey's personal productivity tools.

Using these 5 strategies plus some intentionally applied will-power (which will become easier the more you use the 5 strategies!) you will take back control of your time, your day and your life!

p.s. If you'd like some personalized help - and your very own customized marketing and sales toolkit PLUS an easy-to-implement small business marketing game plan with 1-on-1 guidance for 90 days, get all the details here.


Tags: marketing speaker, marketing success, marketing concept, success tips, small business marketing, doit marketing, small business marketing speaker, marketing tip, doitmarketing

Marketing Concept: 8 Mistakes to Avoid When Naming Your Business

Guest post by Phillip Davismarketing concept naming branding

Naming a business is like laying the cornerstone of a building. Once it's in place, the entire foundation and structure is aligned to that original stone. If it's off, the rest of the building is off, and the misalignment becomes amplified. So if you have that gnawing sense that choosing a name for your new business is vitally important -- you're right. With 18 years in the naming and branding business, I've witnessed the good, the bad, and the really bad. Here's how you can avoid the worst of the mistakes and get off to a good start.

Mistake #1: The Committee (Getting all your clients, employees and family members involved) 

We live in a democratic society and it seems like the right thing to do- involving everyone in an important decision. This approach, however, presents a few problems. The first and most obvious fact is that you will end up choosing only one name -- so you risk alienating the very people you are trying to involve. Second, you often end up with a consensus decision, resulting in a very safe and very vanilla name. A better method is to involve only the key decision makers, the fewer the better, and select only the people you feel have the company's best interests at heart. The need for personal recognition can skew results-- so you are best served by those who can park their egos at the door. Also make sure you have some right brain types in the mix. Too many left brains and the name often ends up too literal and descriptive. 

Mistake #2: The Train Wreck (Taking two words and colliding them head on) 

When forced to come up with a creative name, many aspiring entrepreneurs will simply take part of an adjective and weld it onto a noun. The results are names that have a certain twisted rationale to them, but look and sound awful. Someone starting a high end service franchise then becomes QualiServe. It's a bit like mixing chocolate syrup with ketchup- nothing wrong with either but they just don't go together. Other common truncations include Ameri, Tech, Corp, Tron, etc. The problem with this approach is that it’s simply forced – and it sounds that way. 

Mistake #3: Where's Waldo? (Names so plain they'll never stand out in a crowd) 

The first company in a category can get away with this one. Hence you have General Motors, General Electric, etc. But once you have competition, it requires differentiation. Imagine if Yahoo! had come out as It would be much more descriptive, but hardly memorable. And with the onslaught of new media and advertising channels, it's more important than ever to carve out your niche by displaying your uniqueness. Nothing does that better than a well conceived name. 

Mistake #4: The Atlas Approach (Using a map to name your company) 

In the zeal to start a new company, many businesses choose to use their city, state or region as part of their name. While this may actually help in the beginning, it often becomes a hindrance as a company grows. One client came to me with complaints he was serving more of the market than his name implied. He had aptly called it St. Pete Plumbing since he hailed from St. Petersburg, Florida. But yellow page shoppers assumed that was also his entire service area. With a little creative tinkering we changed the image of St. Pete from a city to the image of St. Pete himself, complete with wings and a plumber's wrench. The new tag line? "We work miracles!" 

Other companies have struggled with the same issue. Minnesota Manufacturing and Mining was growing beyond their industry and their state. To avoid limiting their growth they became 3M, a company now known for innovation. Kentucky Fried Chicken is now KFC, de-emphasizing the regional nature of the original name. Both of these companies made strategic moves to avoid stifling their growth. Learn from them and you can avoid this potential bottleneck. 

Mistake #5: Cliché you say? (A good name is worth a thousand words) 

Once past the literal, descriptive stage, the thought process usually turns to metaphors. These can be great if they are not overly used to the point of trite. Since many companies think of themselves as the top in their industry, the world is full of names like Summit, Apex, Pinnacle, Peak, etc. While there is nothing inherently wrong with these names, they are just overworked. Look for combinations of positive words and metaphors and you will be much better served. A good example is the Fortune 1000 data storage company Iron Mountain, which conveys strength and security without sounding commonplace. 

Mistake #6: Hide the Meaning (Make it so obscure, the customer will never know!) 

It’s great for a name to have a special meaning or significance. It’s sets up a story that can be used to tell the company message. But if the reference is too obscure and too hard to spell and pronounce, you may never have the opportunity to speak to that customer. They will simply pass you by as irrelevant. So resist the urge to name your company after the mythical Greek god of fast service or the Latin phrase for “We’re number one!” If a name has a natural, intuitive sound and a special meaning, it can work. If it’s too complex and puzzling, it will remain a mystery to your customers. This is especially true if you are reaching out to a mass audience. 

I pushed the envelope a little on this one myself, naming my branding firm Tungsten, after the metal that Thomas Edison used to create brilliant light. However, my clientele consists of knowledgeable professionals who appreciate a good metaphor and expect a branding firm to have a story behind its name. It’s also a way to differentiate my services (illuminated, bright, brilliant). So while it works for a branding firm, it would not do well as an ice cream parlor. 

Mistake #7: The Campbell’s Approach (Using alphabet soup to name your firm) 

This is a trend that is thankfully wearing off. Driven by the need for a matching domain name, many companies have resorted to awkwardly constructed or purposefully misspelled names. The results are company names that sound more like prescription drugs than real life businesses. Mistake #2 sometimes gets combined with this one and results in a name like KwaliTronix. (Or worse- mistakes #2 , #4 & #7, resulting in KwalTronixUSA). It’s amazing how good some names begin to sound after searching for available domain names all night. But resist the urge. Avoid using a “K” in place of a “Q” or a “Ph” in place of an “F”. This makes spelling the name, and locating you on the internet, all that much harder. 

It’s not that coined or invented names cannot work, they often do. Take for example, Xerox or Kodak. But keep it mind, names like these have no intrinsic or linguistic meaning, so they rely heavily on advertising – and that gets expensive. Many of the companies that use this approach were either first in category, or had large marketing budgets. Verizon spent millions on their rebranding effort. So did Accenture. So check your pocketbook before you check into these type of names. 

Mistake #8: Sit On It. (When in doubt, make no change at all) 

Many business owners know they have a problem with their name and just hope it will somehow magically resolve itself. The original name for one of my clients was “Portables”, which reminded some people of the outdoor restrooms or the portable class rooms- neither one a good association. This added to the confusion when phone operators tried to explain their new concept of moving and storage. After some careful tweaking, we came up with the name PODS, an acronym for Portable On Demand Storage. The rest is quickly becoming history as they expand both nationally and internationally. Peter Warhust, President and one of the original founders states, “For the record, changing our name to PODS was one of the best moves we ever made”. 

Exercise Experience, a former Florida based company, was frequently confused with a health club. In reality, they sold very high-end fitness equipment. This brings up a very key point -- it’s better to have a name that’s gives no impression than a name that gives a wrong impression. Much of the ad budget we spent on Exercise Experience was used to clarify that they sold fitness equipment. This was valuable airtime that could have been put to better use selling the equipment rather than explaining the business. Ultimately, the company folded. It’s not to say it was solely because of the name, but I believe it was a factor. 

Mike Harper of Huntington Beach, CA, bought a thirty-year old janitorial and building maintenance company named Regency. We both agreed it sounded more like a downtown movie theatre than a progressive facilities management firm. After a thorough naming search, we developed the name Spruce Facilities Management. Spruce not only conveyed the environmentally friendly image of a spruce tree, (something important to the client), it also meant “to clean up”. The new tag line fell right in place – Spruce… “The Everclean Company”. 

It’s only a matter of time before Southwest Airlines and Burlington Coat Factory and others who have successfully outgrown their original markets begin to question their positioning. Much like 3M and KFC, they may need to make a change to keep pace with their growth and image. 

In the fever to start your new business or expand a current one, take time to think through some of these issues. According to the late Henry Ford, “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it”. Albert Einstein took it one step further claiming, “Imagination is more important than knowledge”. By tapping into your creativity and avoiding these potential pitfalls, you’ll be able to create a name that works both short and long term – one that allows for future growth. Like the original cornerstone of a building, it will support upward expansion as your company reaches new heights. 

Author's URL:
Phil Davis President Tungsten Brilliant Brand Marketing 

Phil’s life goal of “creating environments where people thrive” reflects his desire to assist in personal, professional and business growth. Phil founded and ran a full service ad agency for over 17 years and now works full time as a business naming and branding consultant. Phil resides with wife Michelle and four energetic offspring outside Asheville, North Carolina.

Tags: marketing strategy, marketing success, marketing concept, marketing professional services, professional services marketing, small business marketing expert, branding, marketing coach, marketing consultant, small business marketing speaker, marketing tip, brand strategy

Marketing Coach: 7 Stupid Ways to Blow Up Your Sales Process

marketing speaker, marketing coach, marketing jackass awardThis week's Marketing Jackass Award goes to... me.

Why? Because I just conducted one of the WORST sales calls of my life. Yes, it was that bad.

Let's count the ways so that YOU can apply these 7 lessons to YOUR sales process. And so you never have to blow it like I just did.

1. Wrong prospect. I knew it in my bones even before we got on the phone. He doesn't fit, he's missing a lot of the DNA markers of our most successful clients, he's sort of "out there."

2. Wrong process. Did he read the material I sent ahead of time? No. Did he know what business we are in? No. Did he understand how we work and what we do - and WHY? No. Is this my prospect's fault? HELL NO - it's my fault for not following my own process (and not making SURE the prospect followed it too). The only thing worse than "wrong process" is NO PROCESS. And as a marketing coach, I've been guilty of that in the past as well, but this time it was all on me that I had a process that my prospect did not follow. I should have rescheduled the moment I found this out. But I didn't.

3. Wrong budget. Why, why, WHY do I keep having sales conversations with people whose initial inquiries start with the phrase "money is tight" or "I don't have two nickels to rub together." (I've gotten both of these - verbatim - in the last 5 days). If they claim poverty on the approach, they will not suddenly become millionaires on the call. Bring up money FAST and EARLY. Not your fees but THEIR own pricing, their ROI, their average sale, their customer lifetime value. Do that and you'll set the context for your fees as an investment and you'll be able to avoid the sticker shock when you drop a number on someone before you've established commensurate VALUE for them. 

4. Wrong words. Do you listen (TRULY listen) to what your prospects say in the first few minutes of your sales conversations? Can you identify when they are using the "right words" vs. the "wrong words" to indicate their readiness to move ahead, their understanding of the value that your products and services bring, and their level of sophistication as an educated consumer? If you did, you'd make more sales faster - and you'd stop wasting precious selling time with price shoppers, tire kickers and broke-ass losers. 

5. Wrong questions. Do you listen just as carefully - maybe more so - to the kinds of questions your prospect asks YOU during the sales call? Can you tell from THEIR questions if they are tracking with your best clients and customers? Can you identify their underlying urgencies and priorities based on the questions that they ask? Have you ever gently redirected a "bad" question with the phrase, "The real question I'm hearing you ask is... And the answer to that question is..." Examples of bad questions include fear-based questions that fixate on guarantees, warrantees, all that could go wrong, insignificant details and irrelevant metrics. 

6. Wrong bravado. When a prospect spends any significant amount of time telling me how successful they are, how financially lucrative their business is, how much money they make, and what kind of car they drive, I know we're not a fit. Here's the truth, folks: Successful people ARE successful. They don't TALK about being successful. Someone who brags like this suffers from low self-esteem - or even worse, he is a mental child who is still psychologically trying to impress their Mommy and Daddy who never loved them enough in the first place. Move on - and quick! 

7. Wrong fit. Put your current prospect in an imaginary lineup with your very favorite clients and very best customers - both past and present. Does this prospect fit? Do they belong there? Are they a natural extension of your business family? If not, that should be enough to get you to hang up the phone right then and there. Like attracts like. If your prospect would stick out like a sore thumb in your lineup of current clients, that means there is something seriously wrong and you should NOT allow that prospect into the circle of the clients whom you love working with - and who love you. 

Fail to heed these 7 warning signs and the best case scenario is that you'll waste a lot of precious time, energy and effort on the wrong prospects who won't do business with you anyway. And the worst case scenario is that you'll end up with a goofball client - or at the very worst, a "nightmare client from hell." 

Friends don't let friends blow up their sales process.

You're welcome.

I love you. 

Thoughts? Insights? Reactions? Please use the COMMENTS section below to share... 

marketing speaker, marketing coach, marketing for authors

Tags: marketing for speakers, marketing speaker, marketing success, marketing for coaches, marketing concept, marketing professional services, professional services marketing, small business coach, professional speaker marketing, marketing ideas, marketing coach, marketing strategist, success tips, marketing consultant, small business marketing speaker, marketing tip

Awesome Book Review: "Say Yes And!"

Say Yes And BookAvish Parashar has just released a new book titled, "Say Yes, And!" and he has a great special offer for people who buy the book by midnight tonight, Feb. 28.  

The book takes a fundamental principle from improv comedy - saying "yes, and" instead of "yes, but" - and shows you how that one simple idea can help you improve your career, your business, your relationships, and your life.  

As a special promotion, if you buy the book today, February 28th, you'll get access to over $200 in free gifts, including PDF versions of two of Avish's other books and over 8 hours of MP3 recordings of some of Avish's most popular audio programs. That's over $200 in gifts in return for buying a $12.95 book.  

To get the book and the free gifts, visit

p.s. Here's my review from

First I have to tell you - I'm a business book junkie. I read 'em all. Big ones, little ones, famous ones, and hidden gems. All topics including sales, marketing, leadership, strategy, the how-to, the what-to, and the why-to kind.

And this books stands out.

Plain and simple, Avish Parashar packages essential wisdom, insights, and practical advice into a small concentrated form factor.

But don't be fooled - this is life-changing stuff.

One small turn in what you think and what you say CAN and WILL make a huge impact. Example after example pours out of this book and will soon spark ideas and memories in your own mind of times you took charge and created success - and other times when you chose the "Yes but" path and created your own obstacles, limits, and barriers.

Whether you are a business owner, corporate executive, sales professional, association executive, or non-profit leader, this book is for YOU. Filled with immediately actionable insights and concrete take-aways, this little book may trigger the biggest and best changes your team, your organization, and your results will ever experience.

Tell you what - STOP reading Amazon reviews of this great little book, say "YES AND I'll buy it right now." In fact, you may want to buy three - one for yourself, one for your boss, and one for the significant other in your life. Yes (and) the ideas in this book work as powerfully at home as they do at work!!

Tags: marketing for speakers, marketing strategy, marketing concept, keynote speaker, passion, personal branding, marketing professional services, entrepreneurship, coaching, motivational speaker, marketing, ceo, professional speaker marketing, marketing ideas, marketing coach, success tips, speaker marketing, small business marketing, marketing tip, success, business strategy, love, clients

Marketing Coach: Your Blogging Quick-Start Guide

blogging for business bwWant to Grow Your Business With Blogging? Here’s Your Quick-Start Guide

Guest post by Claudia Somerfield

One of the easiest and most powerful tools for growing your business is the business blog. Most marketing advisers suggest including a business blog as a sales tool. If you are a business owner, entrepreneur, or thought-leading professional and want to expand your influence with blogging, here is a quick-start guide that will have you up and running in no time at all.

Start with a clear plan

A common mistake that many businesses make when they start a blog is not having a long term plan in place. This applies to various aspects of the blog.

Consider these questions:

  • What is the core purpose of your blog?
  • How do you want it to look?
  • What should be the writing style and tone of your blog posts?
  • How openly do you want to position your blog as a sales tool?
  • What kind of interface do you want to offer your blog readers to contact you?
  • How do you want people to find your blog on a web search?

Having a clear cut strategy makes your blog much more focused, consistent and professional.

The web is often referred to as a fickle medium. If your blog readers do not find your blog of value, they will not return, they will not click through to your products or services, and they will not promote it by sharing it on their social networks.

At the end of the day, your reader looks for value, and your long term plan can help determine the specific nature and scope of the value you will offer.

Select your tool

The interface that you will use to upload and publish content on your blog is known as your blogging platform. There are several popular blogging platforms that you can choose from such as Blogger, Wordpress, and TypePad. While your web developer may provide you with a "home-made" interface on your website to create and add content to your blog, it is much easier and more efficient to integrate one of the more popular platforms. Take a look at what these platforms offer, and choose the one that appeals to you the most.

Create classy content

If you want your business blog to attract readers, and if you want the blog to become an integral part of your business strategy, you will have generate high quality content. You may want to employ the services of a professional blogger or content writer for this or you can do it yourself.

In the context of a business, there is no one who knows the nuances of the business better than you. However, you will want to keep in mind that it takes consistent posting of good content on a regular basis on your blog for it to grow in value.

Many business blogs make the mistake of compromising quality of content for quantity, over-using techniques like link building and search engine optimization to get more traffic to their blogs, but across time, they fail to engage the readers or to get them to respond to their call to action.


The key to popularizing your blog is to promote it. This can be as simple as sending out email announcements every time you update your blog, sharing it on your social networks, and notifying what are known as pinging services that will update web directories with your new content.

Social bookmarking sites are another commonly used promotion tool. The most popular social bookmarking platforms that are worth your time are Delicious, Digg, and StumbleUpon.


Start building relationships with other business bloggers. Promote their work on your networks. This may seem counterproductive especially if they are your competitors, but it will establish you as a fair and open networker. This will also help you study other business blogs and learn the tricks of the trade. Study how they use interesting content to get their readers attention and how they convert it either into return visits or a click through to products and services.

Visit other blogs and leave your opinions in the comments section. As people take note of your opinion, you will find them wanting to network with you and your blog. As with everything in life, blogging for business has a certain amount of give and take involved. The more you give, the greater your chances of taking something back.

Business blogging is proven strategy that will help your business grow. However, for a blog to be noticed and acquire a reputation among readers and clients, it takes time and dedicated effort.

Study the basics of search engine optimization and keyword research so that you are able to bolster your content with the technical strength it needs to reach the top of search results. Make your content interesting and useful.

Remember that your blog posts are not direct sales messages, but rather high-value assets with which to build a community of interested readers who are your potential customers.

As you grow your dedicated readership, you will find that your blog has become a significant source of web traffic, leads, referrals, and new business.


About the author: Claudia is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on luxury and technology. She recently read an article on a t-rex car that attracted her attention. Her next writing project involves a flying car.

Tags: marketing for speakers, marketing speaker, marketing success, marketing for coaches, consulting firm marketing, marketing concept, marketing agency, new media, marketing professional services, blog, done for you marketing, professional speaker marketing, marketing ideas, marketing coach, marketing strategist, motivational speaker marketing, marketing consultant, small business marketing, small business marketing speaker, marketing tip, content marketing, inbound marketing, becoming an expert, internet marketing

Marketing Concept: Don't Be a Jackass

small business marketing jackass awardWow.

That's all I can say. 

Sometimes, a piece of marketing stupidity comes across my radar that is:

a. Almost impossible to believe

b. Too dumb not to share with you as a cautionary tale

Here's an email I just got from a video producer whom I personally KNOW* (and who shall remain nameless to protect the moronic):


From: ""
To: David Newman <>  
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 3:26 PM 

Hi there:  

The attached is something new for 2012 which should make it easier to understand all the kinds of services we provide here at [Video Company Name Changed].  Hope this makes it easier to recommend us to others in the future. Thanks and hope all is well with you! 


Let's review what's wrong with this picture:

1. He sends a mass email to his database with the salutation "Hi there" even though this is a guy who knows me personally, has done business with several of my clients (not on my recommendation, you can be sure), and - if he had a clue as to how to work his email system - could at least have bothered to do the mass personalization required to make this note say "Hi <fname>" to call all his contacts by name. 

2. I was not really having a hard time understanding "all the kinds of services we provide here at" his company. What I now DO have a REAL hard time understanding is why ANYONE would refer such a self-centered goofball to their clients and prospects.

3. "Hope this makes it easier to recommend us to others in the future." Again, I was not losing a lot of sleep over how challenging it was to recommend this guy. Solving THAT problem is a priority for HIM but not for ME (or YOU for that matter).

You know what would make it a lot easier for me to recommend this guy? If he actually provided me with some REAL VALUE. Some insights, tips, recommendations, resources, tools, and ideas to make ME more successful - not him.

4. "Thanks and hope all is well with you!" This totally inauthentic closing simply rubs salt into an already raw wound. Is this guy kidding? His whole tone, approach, and message is "ME ME ME ME" and he "hopes I'm doing OK" while fighting throat cancer, desperately scrambling to put my parents in a nursing home, and heroically trying to make ends meet in my struggling Jewish delicatessen in the middle of the Bronx. Yeah, right - I'm overcome with this idiot's genuine concern for me and my wellbeing.

The worst part of all this? 

He's a phony. A fake. A fraud. And a taker. This is the worst kind of professional services provider there is. A snake in sheep's clothing. [Do snakes wear sheep's clothing? I dunno - this one sure does!!]

You know what would have been 1000 times better? 

Give me some value. Give me some REASON to want to help you. Personalize your note. Or [God forbid] don't send me a mass email at all and reach out 1-on-1.

This guy has a paltry list so it's not like 1-on-1 outreach to his potential advocates, allies, friends, and referral sources would be so hard to do. FYI I don't fall into any of these categories for him (clearly!!)

You want to do better? Sure you do. So leverage your referral blurb. Create one, share it, use it in good health. 

And don't be like this jackass video guy or this moronic firm I wrote about earlier

Please, please, please - don't give me more fuel for the "Jackass Marketing" column. 

* Please note the video firm in question is NOT my video firm. In fact, if you want to get a kickass corporate video or do some video shooting or editing work, I strongly recommend Rob Kates of Professional Speaker Video. HE does a great job AND he knows how to conduct business like a professional, NOT like a goofball! (Speaking of goofballs, this post is worth reading as well about creating your own 9-point Goofball Prevention Screening tool.)

What do you think? Is this too harsh? Not harsh enough? How would you react to the note above? Please share your thoughts in the COMMENTS area below...

p.s. If you'd like some personalized help - and your very own customized social media scripts, email and phone outreach tools, a killer email signature file and more, check out the Small Biz Outreach Action Packs.

Tags: marketing speaker, marketing success, marketing concept, referral blurb, video, marketing professional services, professional services marketing, marketing ideas, marketing coach, marketing strategist, marketing tip, referral marketing, referrals, advertising