How to stand out from the crowd – literally!

Baseball is a way of life in St. Louis. We love our Redbirds! And for the past few years, Cardinal fans have eagerly anticipated the completion of The New Busch Stadium. Thanks to my friend and fellow author/speaker Andy Masters, I had the chance to watch the game from the bleachers. The place was amazing, the Cards looked great on the field and the nachos were delicious.

I even ran into some of my favorite “front porch friends” like Father Time, who you might remember from last May’s post.

I said, “Father Time! I’m Scott, The Nametag Guy. We met @ Kinkos last year.”

He actually remembered me! Cool.

The Easter Bunny walked around the stadium all day too, which I thought was awesome. Talk about approachable! Kids and adults alike ran up and jumped into the bunny’s arms. (And I still think it’s funny when you hug a mascot. You’re never quite sure if it’s a man or a woman inside. This particular Easter Bunny was a “she.” Or a high talker.)

And finally, the coolest part about the game…

Look at the picture of Andy and me again. Notice anything about the colors? That’s right, Andy is the only person in the bleachers wearing blue. (He says it brings out his eyes.) After the game, I got an email from Andy with this link to that showed this picture (on the right) of “The Sea of Cardinal Red,” and noticed something that literally “stood out from the crowd…”

Look closely.

Under the “E” in “OPENING DAY.”

It’s a little blue speck.

That’s Andy Masters!

Now that’s what I call “standing out from the crowd.”


How do you stand out from the crowd?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

MySpace: valuable marketing tool or a thief of time?

It’s been almost one month since I started HELLO, my name is MySpace. As you probably read from my initial post, I was a bit skeptical. Wasn’t sure if it would be a valuable business tool or a theif of my time.

However, now that I’ve been actively MySpace-ing for 30 days, I thought I’d share several interesting observations, statistics and experiences about the 8th most popular website in the world (which, by the way, recently passed the 70 million user mark).

Significant Traffic Increase
I think “hits” or “traffic” of a website don’t neccessarily indicate success. I guess it depends on the site’s goals. In fact, I once heard an acronym for HITS as “How Idiots Track Sales.”

Nevertheless, I used to get about 7,000 hits a day and 1,100 unique users. Not bad.

But check this out: THE DAY I started posting on MySpace, I began to average about 10,000 hits a day with 1,600 unique users. Wow.

NOw, did I sell significantly more books? Did more speaking engagements come my way? Not really. Which leads me to my next point…

Fans, Not Customers
I believe in fans, not customers. And if there’s one benefit I’ve seen with MySpace, it’s the ability to create, stay in front of and build relationships with fans. I think that’s why MySpace is so successful for bands, comedians and the like.

God I Love Blogging
As if I really had time to do another blog. Still, I decided to officially chronicle past and present nametag related stories on Adventures in Nametagging.

What’s the point? Well, perhaps you’ve read some of the recent articles on blooks, or “collective blog posts which turn into books.” That’s exactly what I’m going for.

Old Friends
Although I’m using MySpace primarily for business reasons, it has been nice catching up with old friends from college, Portland and St. Louis. That’s one of the best parts about MySpace: staying in touch. When I graduated from college and said goodbye to many of my friends, I thought, “Wow, we’ll probably never see each other again.”

Don’t be so sure!

All in all, I’m glad I jumped onto the MySpace bandwagon. And even though the sexual safeness of MySpace has once again made the news, I still think it’s awesome.

I take back every negative thing I said about it.


What benefits (biz or personal) have you experienced from MySpace?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

Behold! The world’s largest nametag

SUFFIELD, Ohio (AP) – Goodyear says it needs some help filling in the world’s largest nametag. The company is launching a nationwide contest to name its newest blimp.

A website will be ready to receive entries starting TODAY at noon. Ten finalists will be announced next month. And the name of the winner — to be picked in June — will be posted on a giant 18-foot-by-12-foot sign on the blimp. The name will fill in the blank on a nametag reading: “Hello My Name Is…”

(The Grand Prize Winner also gets “a day in the blimp.” Sweet.)

The names of the two active blimps in the Goodyear fleet are “Spirit of Goodyear” and “Spirit of America.” Goodyear says it’s looking for a “creative” name for its newest airship. That float will replace the “Stars and Stripes,” which crashed in June during a Florida storm.

CONTEST TIPS (from Goodyear’s website)
Be as creative as you’d like, but there are probably a few things you’ll want to avoid:

  • Don’t use inappropriate language or references
  • Don’t use the name of another company, brand or product
  • Don’t make the name too long. There are plenty of boxes for letters and words on the entry
  • Don’t be trendy – what might seem like a great name now may not be so good in the future

    Ideally, we will be looking for a name that is befitting one of America’s great icons and reflects the following elements:

  • The storied 80-year history and tradition of the Goodyear airship program
  • The grace and majesty of flight
  • The Goodyear airships’ long history of public service
  • Goodyear’s innovative personality, products, and progress

    Good Luck!


    What would you name the new Goodyear Blimp?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

  • If you don’t smile, they won’t believe you

    During a recent speech at a Prudential conference in Minneapolis, we spent some time talking about the value (and practice) of smiling. And I was thinking to myself, Am I beating a dead horse? Is the topic of smiling completely overdone?

    No way.

    This particular picture (thanks Ryan, those black & whites look great!), captured a moment when I introduced myself to someone in the audience. I shook his hand, offered my name and said, “Nice to meet you.”

    …without smiling.

    It was hard to keep a straight face! But in so doing I think the message was clear: if you don’t smile when you say “nice to meet you,” people won’t believe you.

    Too many businesspeople STILL don’t get it: smiling is the number one indicator that conversation is desirable. What’s more, according to a 2004 poll of 1,500 registered voters, “A smile is the leading indicator of a person’s approachability.”

    But alas, common sense is not common practice. So, here are my tips:

  • Humans have a natural tendency to evaluate others upon an entrance. So, use this opportunity to project approachability to all who watch: smile for the first ten seconds ever time you walk into a room. Make everyone think, Hmmm…wonder what she’s so happy about? or Hey, he looks like a friendly guy!
  • Read Kevin Eikenberry’s post about handshakes. Good stuff.
  • Next time you order a coffee, buy a book or approach the check out counter, count how long it takes before the cashier smiles at you. If the number is more than 1.5 seconds, that’s not good. In which case, you might need to smile first 😉
  • Smile when you say goodbye. After all, sometimes the best FIRST impression is a LAST impression.


    Is smiling overdone or underused?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

  • FastPitch: Internetworking at its finest

    FastPitch is a online networking company that helps you develop a clear, concise summary about your business which can be easily understood by thousands of professionals eager to do business with you.

    Often called the ‘Business Resume,” the Fast Pitch! Profile summarizes important aspects of your business allowing you to “cut to the chase” and tell people exactly what you have to offer.(Thanks for the link Phil.)

    It’s pretty cool. Not sure how effective it’s going to be, but I just signed up for the heck of it to see what it’s all about. Here are some of the offerings:

    1) Create your online profile
    2) Tell the world about your business
    3) Join the growing FastPitch community
    4) Pitch your Business online during free “events” with other professionals
    5) Google your pitch and market your profile to the world
    6) Email your pitch with “no-nonsense” advertising to the Fast Pitch Nation


    What’s your favorite technique for Internetworking?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    RSS: It’s like TiVo for the Internet

    I think I finally got this RSS thing down: it’s like TiVo for the Internet.

    What you’re looking at are all of the appropriate buttons (located on the right of the page) that will enable you to subscribe to this blog.

    Now, since RSS (which stands for “Really Simple Syndication”) is on the cusp of its tipping point, I thought I’d use Seth’s explanation to help you (and me!) understand what the heck it means:

    RSS is just a little peep, a signal, a ping that comes from a favorite blog or site, telling your computer that it has been updated. If you have an RSS reader (they’re free and easy and you don’t even have to install anything), whenever a blog is updated, it shows up in your reader and you can catch up on the news. If there’s nothing new, it doesn’t show up and you don’t have to waste time surfing around.

    RSS is just about everywhere you want it to be. So, add other RSS feeds on stuff you care about. And if you want a downloadable reader, just go to google and search on “RSS reader” and the name of your computer’s operating system. You’ll find a bunch.

    Okay folks. Got it? Cool. Now, all you have to do to subscribe to this blog is ONE of the following:

    1) Scroll to the top right corner of this blog (right under The Nametag Network) until you see a bunch of colorful buttons for Google, MyYahoo and the like. Click on MyYahoo, (or whichever reader you choose) and you’ll be taken to that provider’s homepage where you can add this blog to your personal list. If you don’t have an account you can add a personal page – like MyYahoo, for example – to subscribe.

    2) You can also click the link below:

    HELLO, my name is Blog – powered by FeedBurner.

    3) Easiest of all, enter your email into the box that says “Subscribe Me!” and you’ll receive instant updates via Feedblitz that include my most recent post.

    If you have any questions, just let me know. If not, RSS away!


    Is RSS the next big thing?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Washington Monument now “more approachable,” says AP

    In landscape architect Laurie Olin’s mind, the approach to the most soaring of the capital’s monuments had to be friendly and simple – and safe, says the breaking story from the AP wire.

    In addition to “anti-terrorism design measures,” softer lighting and more benches “that lend themselves to comfort and sociability” were placed around the monument’s base.

    “It looks like a pillow,” said a nearby tourist sitting on one of the benches, “so it tells you how you should feel.”

    This is funny/ironic to me.

    When I was writing The Power of Approachability two years ago, I considered using the metaphor “monument” throughout the book.

    Then a few of my editors (thank you, Todd Brockdorff and Andy Masters!) told me to remove the term since monuments are, in fact, UNapproachable.

    But this new image (along with the pic @ the top of today’s post) come from designer Laurie Olin’s Landscaping Plan, which is pretty amazing. Now, I don’t know if it really looks like a pillow; but it IS nice to see The US Government trying to increase the friendliness and approachability of their monuments. Hey, with any luck, maybe it’ll rub off on some of their employees too.


    What’s your favorite monument?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Vote for Scott’s Manifesto on ChangeThis!

    ChangeThis is creating a new kind of media. A form of media that uses existing tools (like PDFs, blogs and the web) to challenge the way ideas are created and spread.

    And just like them, I too am on a mission to spread important ideas and change minds. That’s why I need your help:

    Please vote for my manifesto!

    (It’s called, not surprisingly, The Power of Approachability.)

    It takes no more than 25 seconds to read and 3 seconds to vote. And all you have to do is click YES! Write this manifesto! no later than April 20th.

    If enough people vote, I will be approved to write a manifesto based on the following proposal:

    The Power of Approachability
    Approachability is a way of life that enables people & companies to magnetize more opportunities, more mutually valuable relationships and more business. The word derives from the Latin verb “apropriare” or “to come nearer to,” which means it’s proactive AND reactive; it’s about stepping onto someone else’s front porch and it’s about welcoming someone onto your front porch. For PEOPLE, approachability is building social capital, what you say, what you don’t say, maintaining authenticity, being easily reached, openness of personal space and openness of mind and heart. For COMPANIES, approachability is being “that guy,” owning a word, doing something cool, being unforgettable, telling your story, creating fans (not customers) and marketing yourself daily. ULTIMATELY, approachability works because confidence is king; nice always wins; and you can’t afford to miss any more opportunities. From a brief hello to a deep conversation to a friendship, you’re always richer because of it.

    Thanks for your help!


    What would your manifesto be about?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

    Does a name make the person, or a person make the name?

    In a recent article from the Oregonian, Albert Mehrabian, a psychologist at the University of California at Los Angeles, says his research shows that names can evoke desirable or negative images.

    “A person’s name is intricately intertwined with his or her self-image,” he says.

    But Martin Ford, an education psychologist at George Mason University in Virginia, says such images are superficial and fall away like vapor when a face is attached. “Names are associated with real people,” he says.

    Studies show school term papers and job resumes are rated lower when connected to names with undesirable connotations, Mehrabian says.

    He developed surveys in which people rated the images that names evoked about intelligence, morality, success and other qualities. He found that familiar names are more attractive than unusual names or names with alternative spellings. Nicknames — Dick for Richard, for example — convey images of a person who is approachable but not trustworthy.

    Mehrabian’s surveys associate Chad with popularity, fun and success, and Bud with low morality and failure. If Chad and Bud were twins, Chad would be treated better by peers, teachers and bosses and have advantages over Bud throughout life, Mehrabian argues.

    Bruce Lansky of Minneapolis advises parents to avoid names ending in “ie” or “y” — Debbie, Britney — because they are associated with superficiality, according to his surveys of more than 100,000 people for his “The Baby Name Survey Book.”

    This article reminds me of the chapter in Freakonomics when the authors question whether or not poverty is linked to children who are given oddball names.

    It also reminded me of Jack, the baby pictured above. This picture was given to me by Lisa Morgan Anderson, friend and former audience member from Columbus. She said:

    “When Jack was younger, I had a bunch of bibs personalized with his name. Whenever he wore one of the bibs out in public, everyone would come up to him and talk to him and call him by name! Besides the fact that he is just plain adorable (although I may be a bit biased!), I do believe the ‘name tag’ on his bib made people more comfortable talking to him. Like you said, it gave people ‘permission’ to talk to him. It was always a great conversation starter, and I could tell that he loved hearing people say his name so much!”


    Does a name make the person, or a person make the name?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag

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