101 Ways to Create a Powerful Web Presence

Since this is my final workweek of 2007, I’m going to post a ridiculously long list … every day. Be sure to check back all week!

And, don’t forget to read the other ridiculously long lists in the series:
101 Lessons Learned from 2007
101 Questions Every Marketer Must

But for now:
101 Ways to Create a Powerful Web Presence

1. Blog every single day.

2. Comment on other people’s blogs, especially when they link to your blog.

3. Post at least three videos on YouTube. Make them fun, cool, and most importantly – let the videos show you doing what you do. No more than three minutes each.

4. Post pictures on Flickr of you being yourself, working with clients, doing things you love, and most importantly – doing what you do.

5. Publish at least one article a month on public databases like www.ezinearticles.com. They get AWESOME Google rankings for ya.

6. Write and give away at least one free ebook a year.

7. Any time someone asks to reprint one of your articles, SAY YES!

8. Any time someone wants to interview you for her podcast, blog or newsletter, SAY YES!

9. Post your tour, schedule or travel calendar on your website.

10. Blog every single day.

11. Make use of social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn. Just try not to get addicted. Accept friend requests from everyone.

12. Create a lens on Squidoo.

13. Publish a regular ezine. Share 1/2 of the main article in the body of your email letter and then publish the rest of it online to drive traffic.

14. Google your name, company name and tagline every week. It’s a great motivator to boost your web presence, especially if the only thing that comes up is your high school golf team score.

15. Publish your profile on ZoomInfo.

16. Post pictures of your customers using your products. Great testimonial.

17. Post videos of your customers using and talking about your products. Even better testimonial.

18. Don’t have (just) a website. Have several. Create an interconnected network of various sites that all point to your MAIN site. Think octopus, not earthworm. And think destination, not website.

19. Get yourself on Wikipedia. (This is REALLY hard to do, but it’s a great goal to shoot for.)

20. Blog every single day.

21. If you’re an author, make ebook versions of your books available for download. I say give ‘em away for free.

22. Include a Media Room on your website. This builds your credibility and expertise. Which will attract other media outlets to seek you out. Which will lead to more interviews. Which will lead to more hits on Google whenever someone types in your name or your area of expertise.

23. Interview other people and post the transcripts or audio files online. They’ll take ownership of the piece and tell everyone they know to come to your site.

24. Start an online TV network.

25. Just be remarkable.

26. Give more speeches. Even if they’re free. See, what happens is, the organization you speak for will include your name and bio on their website. They’ll also post the conference agenda as a PDF online, which will come up as a hit on Google when people type in your name or area of expertise. Sweet.

27. Figure out what everyone else in your industry is doing and then do the opposite.

28. Post lots of lists.

29. Blog every single day.

30. Post your PowerPoint slides on Slide Share or your blog. (NOTE: don’t do this if your slides SUCK. And most people’s slides suck.)

31. Capture emails and build your list. Create a permission asset. Emails are GOLD.

32. Register misspellings, permutations and variations of your main URL and redirect them to your homepage.

33. I don’t know much about Search Engine Optimization, Google Ad words and Pay-Per-Click, but I hear that stuff works pretty well. Something to think about.

34. Got a book? Cool. Get it on Google Book Search.

35. Speaking of Google, get lots of Google alerts on your name, company name, product name, etc. This will help you stay current with what’s being said about you on the Web. (And if nobody is talking about you on the web, you’re in trouble.)

36. Review books on Amazon.com.

37. Do surveys on your website and publish the results.

38. Do audio podcasts.

39. Do video podcasts.

40. Then post them on your blog.

41. (And of course, blog every single day.)

42. Google the names of the leaders in your industry. Evaluate their search results. Check out their web presence and see what they’re doing right. Then copy them.

43. If possible, get on CNN. That really helped me.

44. Join organizations, non-profits and trade associations. Get listed on their directories. Also, consider taking a leadership position or becoming a board member. They might even give you your own page on the organization’s website! (NOTE: don’t sign up just to get listed. Sign up to learn, grow, give back and make friends. Let web presence be incidental, not a intentional.)

45. FACE IT: you’re not giving away enough free stuff. Give more. The more you give away for free, the wealthier you will be. More on that theory here.

46. Share link love FIRST. People will be happy to reciprocate.

47. Send blog posts to people who would appreciate them. BUT, don’t ask them to blog about you. Just deliver value. Reach out to someone new. I did this once and the guy ended up blogging about me, which led to about 1 million hits in five days.

48. Learn about Digg and get dug. Unbelievably powerful.

49. Every time you meet someone who says, “Yeah, I’ve heard of you!” or “Oh, I’ve been to your site before,” write it down. Keep a Word of Mouth Journal. Notice patterns and soon you will hit a critical mass.

50. Dude: just be everywhere!

51. Leverage your expertise in every possible way.

52. Tell your story and make sure other people are telling it too.

53. Don’t cheap out on your website. It’s worth it.

54. Every time someone comes to your website, make sure they know THE ONE THING YOU WANT THEM TO DO, right away.

55. Blog every single day.

56. Blog every single day.

57. Blog every single day.

58. Blog every single day.

59. Blog every single day.

60. Blog every single day.

61. Blog every single day.

62. Blog every single day.

63. Blog every single day.

64. Blog every single day.

65. Blog every single day.

66. Blog every single day.

67. Blog every single day.

68. Blog every single day.

69. Blog every single day.

70. Blog every single day.

71. Blog every single day.

72. Blog every single day.

73. Blog every single day. (Any questions on this one?)

74. Install Google Analytics. Figure out where people are coming from.

75. Post in forums. Write intelligent, value-added responses. And have a cool signature.

76. Blog every single day.

77. Personally, I think press releases are WORTHLESS. However, many people have had great success with PR Web and other press release websites. Something to thing about.

78. Have some kind of lead-capturing device.

79. Submit your RSS feeds to Feed Burner.

80. Buy lots of domains and redirect them to your main site until you find another use for them.

81. Connect with other like-minded professionals who are ALSO creating a web presence. Have virtual lunches, regular email conversations and listserve discussions to brainstorm ideas and keep each other accountable.

82. SIX WORDS: Send This Site to a Friend!

83. Google the phrase “creating a web presence.” Read up.

84. Email scott@hellomynameisscott.com and ask me what the biggest marketing mistake made by entrepreneurs is. I’m happy to share it with you.

85. Figure out your Noticeable Number. Quantify the most remarkable aspect about your business and put a counter on your page that encourages word of mouth and revisitability. (Think McDonalds’ Billion Hamburger Counter).

86. Everything you write (articles, blog posts, press releases) MUST have a response mechanism built into it. Your writing becomes persuasive and effective the moment it compels the reader act upon (not think about) something. Here’s a mini-list of different types of response mechanisms to try:

o Go to this website, login if you’re a first time user…
o Email me with your three biggest questions about…
o Call me for your free consultation on…
o Send me a copy of your…
o Post your best story about…
o Link to this post on your blog, along with your list of…
o Leave a comment with your three best techniques for…
o I challenge you to try this for a week. Email me after you’ve…
o Try this on your blog and then send me the link…
o For a free downloadable ebook on this topic, go to…
o To receive my weekly ezine for tips on…
o Send an email with the words “I need sales!” in the subject line…
o If you’d like to know the rest of the formula, fax your letterhead to…

87. As you can see, I’m big on writing. And not just because I AM a writer. Mainly because writing is the basis of all wealth. Writing is the basis of all wealth. Writing is the basis of all wealth. Writing is the basis of all wealth. (GOT THAT?)

88. Speaking of writing: blog every single day.

89. And use Technorati to promote your blog.

90. Also, think about getting Meebo Messenger. Coolest thing on the Internet.

91. Contribute to entries on Wikipedia.

92. Start your own group on Facebook.

93. Use lots of colorful, singing, dancing pop ups on your website. (No, wait, sorry. Wrong list.)

94. Read Seth Godin’s blog. Do what he says.

95. Read Top Peters’ blog. Do what he says.

96. Read Bob Baker’s blog. Do what he says.

97. Evaluate your website’s hit and unique user ratio. Set a goal to double it within 12 months.

98. Evaluate your present newsletter, RSS feed or other type of subscriber number. Set a goal to double it within 12 months.

99. Just google “Gitomer.” Now THAT’S a web presence!

100. Read the book Naked Conversations. Totally awesome.

101. Read the book The Cluetrain Manifesto. Absolutely the best book ever written about the Internet.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How’s your web presence?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Right here, right now, post your list: Top 10 Ways to Create a Powerful Web Presence. We’d love to see it!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Consultants, schmonsultants.

No systems. No formulas. Just someone who listens, asks KILLER questions and facilitates creative breakthroughs.

Rent Scott’s Brain today!


Here’s the story … of two inventors …

During the late 1800’s, two inventors had almost identical ideas for this AMAZING new transmitting device called “The Telephone.”

You can probably guess who ONE of those inventors was.

Alexander Graham Bell, of course.

But here’s a name that you might have heard before: Elisha Gray.

See, he actually recorded his schematics the telephone about six weeks before Bell did.

SO, YOU GOTTA WONDER: “Why is it that nobody remembers that guy?”

Well, Elisha Gray received a lot of criticism for his telephone invention.

Believing speech transmission to be a waste of time, the top technical journal of the industry, The Telegrapher, put down his idea.

“It is NOT a new idea,” claimed the publication, “…the telephone is an invention with no direct practical application.”

According to the (awesome) book They All Laughed, even Gray’s colleagues were unimpressed.

So, under the weight of criticism, he slowly started to give up on the idea that the telephone was a moneymaking enterprise.

Now, he didn’t give up totally. But he DID continue his research with heavy doubt.

Meanwhile, a determined young man named Alexander Graham Bell was still cooking up his idea for the same invention.

AND HERE’S THE CRAZY PART: although he had no affiliation with Gray, Bell’s initial sketch of the telephone was almost identical to his counterpart’s.

SO, YOU (STILL) GOTTA WONDER: “If Elisha Gray had the idea for the telephone first, why does Alexander Graham Bell always get credit for the invention?”

Well…

After constant legal struggle between the two inventors, the idea of the telephone was eventually deemed fair game for both parties.

So, on the morning of March 7th, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell walked into the Patent Office and secured his name as the official inventor of the telephone.

AND HERE’S THE BEST PART: later on that same afternoon, only two hours after Bell walked out with his patent, guess who walked in the door hoping to do the same thing?

You guessed it: Elisha Gray.

Too little, too late!

See, Elisha Gray didn’t show up in time, because he didn’t BELIEVE as much as Bell did.

He allowed criticism to stunt his creative momentum.

And as a result, he forfeited the opportunity to be recognized as one of the most influential inventors in modern history.

Two hours. That’s all it took.

What are YOU waiting for?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What is your biggest creative regret in 2007?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Post it here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Consultants. Bah.

No systems. No formulas. Just someone who listens, asks KILLER questions and facilitates creative breakthroughs.

Rent Scott’s Brain today!


14 (Random) Keepers to Mold Your Melon, Secure Sales and Build Boundaries

Every have a bunch of random thoughts you need to get out of your brain and onto the page?

Me too.

So, here’s a list of 14 things I’ve been thinking about lately. Bon appetit!

1. Always think on paper.
2. Art comes through you, not from you.
3. Do everything creatively.
4. Do experiments everywhere.
5. Let experiences change you.
6. Premature organization stifles creative generation.

7. Customers become comfortable when YOU are comfortable.
8. The goal is to get them to learn it on their own.
9.. The listener controls.
10. Everything communicates something.
11. Foster customer activity.
12. Other people who do what you do have already miseducated your customers.
13. Help people get beyond their misconceptions.

14. Recognize threats to your ownership.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What are your three random thoughts of the day?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Post them here! (Also email them to me at scott@hellomynameisscott.com – I’d love to hear from ya!)

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Coaching, schmoaching.

No systems. No formulas. Just someone who listens, asks KILLER questions and facilitates creative breakthroughs.

Rent Scott’s Brain today!


4 Ways to Create a Question-Friendly Environment

People need permission.

Permission to open up.
Permission to request help.
Permission to offer feedback.
Permission to share their victories and mistakes.
Permission to volunteer information and voice concerns.
Permission to discuss workplace problems before they snowball.

Most importantly, they need permission to ask questions.

BUT HERE’S THE CATCH: your employees, affiliates, team members, students (or whomever else you serve in your organization) are ONLY going to give you credit for what they SEE you DO consistently.

Therefore, you must provide them with constant reminders that they work in a question-friendly environment. Here’s a list of four ways to increase the approachability of your organization:

1. Make anonymity optional. It’s important to give employees, customers and members the option to remain nameless. This will increase the probability of a question being asked.

For example, you could introduce an anonymous question box, (NOT a suggestion box, but a QUESTION box) or a secure online forum or a name changing policy for all questioners.

REMEMBER: people tend to speak up when their name isn’t on the line.

2. Diffuse defensiveness. Yes, it ALWAYS exists. Consider these suggestions:

*Instead of saying, “Does anybody have any questions?” consider saying, “What questions do you have?” It’s less threatening.

*Encourage people to write their questions on cards ahead of time and pass them to the front. This approach is less aggressive and diverts attention so people aren’t put on the spot.

*If you’re holding a group meeting, having a one-on-one interview or delivering a speech, make sure to say, “We’ll have plenty of time for questions at the end!” or “Feel free to ask questions at any time.” That way people can prepare themselves.

REMEMBER: your primary task is to make the other person(s) feel comfortable.

3. Post past questions. On your website, in your marketing materials and all around your facility/office/building, post lists of frequently (and infrequently) asked questions and their answers.

This tool accomplishes several goals. First, it’s a VISUAL representation of your question-friendly environment.

Secondly, it immediately addresses the key issues faced by the people you serve.

Thirdly, it builds a foundation of comfort and enables people to move past their primary concerns.

Ultimately, your employees and members will start to ask more specific, more penetrating questions, now that they’ve been given permission to do so.

REMEMBER: pose the first question and people will follow.

4. Be curious, not judgmental. This is the foundation of approachable managmenet. After all, “if people can’t COME UP to you; how will they ever get BEHIND you?”

So, honestly ask yourself: Are you genuinely curious to hear people’s answers?

If not, don’t bother asking. See, we live in a sort of “Gotcha” Culture. And it’s easy for people to assume that your questions are just a means to an end. Just a way to catch them in the act.

So, give signals to people that you’re their PARTNER, not PERSUADER.

Prove to them that questioning is merely a small part of the discovery process. That way, they’ll perceive your questions as helpful, not threatening; curious, not interrogating.

REMEMBER: ask with the intent to listen and learn, not to control the conversation.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How does your organization create a question-friendly environment?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Share your secrets here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Wanna write a book?

If so, perhaps I could help on a more personal, one-on-one basis.

Rent Scott’s Brain today!


How to be a Wordsmith, Part 2

Welcome back, Smithy!

(FYI, if your name isn’t Smithy, please read Part 1 of this series before continuing!)

Today we’re going to continue our discussion on Wordsmithing, one of my favorite activities.

Over the years, I’ve been accumulating quite the collection of derivations, origins and etymologies of key business terms.

The other day I (finally) finished going through all of my articles, chapters, blog posts and writings from the past six years (yikes!)

And what’s fascinating about Wordsmithing, especially etymologies, is how your entire philosophy on something (say, “customer satisfaction”) can change once you figure out the TRUE meaning behind the word.

So, we’ll do six today and seven tomorrow.

Let’s get our Smith on…

1. The world APPROACHABILITY comes from the Latin apropiare, which means, “To come nearer to.”

LESSON LEARNED: it’s a two-way street — sticking yourself out there AND getting them to come to you.

QUESTION: Are you doing both?

2. The word DEPRECATION stems from the Latin deprecari, which means, “To avert by prayer.”

LESSON LEARNED: self-deprecating humor avoids threatening, offending or alienating people.

QUESTION: Are you making fun of yourself enough?

3. The word DOMAIN comes from the Latin dominium, which means “property.”

LESSON LEARNED: he who owns the domain, owns the idea.

QUESTION: What’s the first thing YOU do when you get a new idea?

4. The word SATISFY comes from the Latin satisfacere, which means, “Content, to do enough.”

LESSON LEARNED: satisfaction proves nothing.

QUESTION: Do you (really) think “satisfied” customers are telling their friends about you?

5. The word LOYAL comes from the English leal, which means, “faithful.”

LESSON LEARNED: loyalty trumps satisfaction.

QUESTION: Why are YOU loyal?

6. The word INSISTENT comes from the Latin insistere, which means, “To be demanding and repetitive.”

LESSON LEARNED: insistence trumps satisfaction AND loyalty.

QUESTION: Do you have customers or fans?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What’s your favorite etymology or word origin?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Share it here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Wanna write a book?

If so, perhaps I could help on a more personal, one-on-one basis.

Rent Scott’s Brain today!


34 Questions to Keep Yourself Growth-Minded

As we approach the end of 2007, it’s important to ask yourself (and your team) Growth Questions.

So, grab a cup of hot chocolate, relax, and let’s start thinking about the future!

REMEMBER: growth, not comfort.

Enjoy!

1. Are you cloning yourself through teaching others?

2. Are you doing business at the level you want to?

3. Are you growth minded?

4. At what point are you making a living vs. building your business?

5. Does this client represent long-term business potential?

6. How are you being stretched and forced to grow?

7. How are you making sure that everything you do is leading to something else you do?

8. How are you typecasting yourself?

9. How can you duplicate yourself?

10. How can you use this to add more value to yourself?

11. How do you self-renew?

12. How often are you bringing in work that improves your skills and keeps you competitive?

13. In what ways are you currently obsolete?

14. What are the most important things for you to work on that will grow your business the fastest?

15. What are you building?

16. What are you doing in the next five years that’s going to set you up for the next ten years?

17. What are you doing to prepare for the next phase?

18. What can you do differently today to add value to your business?

19. What else does this make possible?

20. What is creeping up on you?

21. What kind of clients would you like to have in three years?

22. What kind of work would you like to be doing in three years?

23. What new markets should you be entering?

24. What percentage of your revenues this year came from products and services you didn’t offer three years ago?

25. What’s next?

26. What’s the movement value of this idea?

27. What’s your sequel?

28. When was the last time you brought new skills to your clients and prospects?

29. When was the last time you created new value?

30. When was the last time you entered a new market?

31. When was the last time you reinvented yourself?

32. When was the last time you upgraded your qualifications?

33. When was the last time your business embraced change and did something innovative?

34. Will it make your company more competitive?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you growth-minded?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Share your Top 5 Questions for Keeping Yourself Growth-Minded here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Enjoy this post?

If so, perhaps I could help on a more personal, one-on-one basis.

Rent Scott’s Brain today!


Why you DON’T need a website

15 to 30 billion.

That’s the (approximate) number of websites that exist on the Internet, according to a research study published by Pandia Search World News.

This statistic leads to four crucual questions every online marketer must ask himself:

1. Why would someone come to (and stay at) my website for more than 60 seconds?
2. Why would someone give me her email address (and therefore, permission) to market to her regularly?
3. Why would someone return to my website consistently?
4. Why would someone tell her friends about my website consistently?

The good news is, all four of these questions have the same answer:

You don’t need a website –- you need a destination.

There’s a MAJOR difference between these two words.

First, let’s talk about the word “website.”

I actually looked up the word website in the dictionary for the first time today.

It’s defined as, “A set of interconnected web pages prepared and maintained as a collection of information by a person, group, or organization.”

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

(Oh, sorry. I dozed off there for a sec!)

Mainly because a “website” is B-O-R-I-N-G.

Hell, there are like 14,999,999,999 other ones out there besides yours!

See, a “website” is not going to get people to come TO, hang out AT and tell their friends ABOUT anything. It needs to be MUCH more than just information.

It needs to be interactive.
It needs to be participative.
It needs to be updated regularly.

It needs to be THEE source, THEE go-to-place, the El Dorado, The Mecca … for a certain kind of people who want a certain kind of thing.
That’s a destination.

It needs to scream, “Here’s EXACTLY what you were looking for!” and not, “Hey, look at me! I’m a cool, flashy website with a dancing Alligator!”

That’s a destination.

Most importantly, it needs to be the LAST place your customers look for whatever it is they need.

That’s a destination.

Which, by the way, is defined as “the ultimate purpose for which you are destined.”

Wow. Has a nice ring to it, doncha think?

SO, ASK YOURSELF THIS: Do your customers want “A set of interconnected web pages,” or “the ultimate purpose for which they are destined”?

I think you know the answer to that question.

* * * *

Of course, the big challenge is transforming your website INTO a destination.

The first thing you need to do is evaluate your present site. Ask yourself (and your team) these ten questions:

1. Does your site leave a perception of value or vanity in the mind of a visitor”?
2. How are you getting customers to come back to your site just to see what you’ve been up to?
3. Is content king on your site?
4. Is your site an experience?
5. What are the Potential Silent Dialogues when visitors first come to your site?
6. When someone comes to your site, how do you want him to feel?
7. When someone comes to your site, what’s the ONE THING you want him to do?
8. When was the last time you added new content to your site?
9. When was the last time you invited your visitors to participate at your site?
10. Why would anyone spend more than 60 seconds at your site?

OK, now that you’ve gauged the effectiveness of your present site, it’s time to transform it into a destination!

NOTE: this IS an ongoing process. It may take months or even years! So, consider the following ideas simply as starting points. (And be sure to click through to each of the examples to see the principle in action!)
1. Build a permission asset. Seth Godin defines this as, “The privilege (not the right) to deliver anticipated, personal and relevant ideas to the people who CHOOSE to get them.”

So, use ezines, blogs, RSS feeds, widgets, ebooks or subscriptions to build your list. Get their email!

DESTINATION #1: www.gitomer.com

2. Content is king. Whether it’s articles, blog posts, videos, pictures, audio files, transcripts, tips, recipes or PDF’s, have enough content to keep people around.

If you get emails from people who say, “I just spent the last three hours on your website!” consider that a mark of a TRUE destination.

DESTINATION #2: www.faith.com

3. Foster community. With the advent on online social networking, web users are looking for other people with like-minded interests and worldviews to share and connect with.

So, make the site about connecting other people to each other, while occasionally promoting yourself. Make it about them. Give them a platform and they’ll be all the marketing you’ll ever need.

DESTINATION #3: www.squidoo.com

4. Membership. Offer various levels of involvement. Have free trials available. Get people hooked so they come back on a regular basis.

This not only creates subscription-based passive income, but works hand in hand with your permission asset.

DESINTATION #4: www.visualthesaurus.com

5. Regular updates. “Websites” are like newspapers: nobody wants to read them if they’re two years old. So, for your “destination,” consider embedding a blog into the site, or having regular updates, quotes, questions, videos, pictures or other forms of revolving content.

Cause people to think, “I should go back to that site and see what they’re up to today!”

DESTINATION #5: www.mobuzz.tv

– – –

These self-assessment questions and destination examples should be enough to convince you of the following face: websites are meaningless and destinations are magnificent!

So, be honest with yourself. Think hard.

Do you have a website or a destination?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What makes your site a destination?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
But Seth’s new book. Where do you think I got all these ideas? 😉

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Enjoy this post?

If so, perhaps I could help on a more personal, one-on-one basis.

Rent Scott’s Brain today!


How to be a Wordsmith, Part 1

Are you a Wordsmith?

Someone who loves to explore and research the TRUE meanings behind the words people use every day?

If so, congrats! You’re one step ahead of everyone.

Because word exploration is GOLD.

For learning.
For research.
For branding.
For satisfying your curiosity.
For expanding your expertise.
For enhancing your creativity.
For clarifying your understanding.
For changing (and challenging) your thinking.

Even if you don’t like to write, read or do research, becoming a Wordsmith actually creates value for you AND your customers.

PICTURE THIS: you’ve been given the task to come up with a new company slogan. And just for fun, let’s say you’re in the waste removal business.

Let’s go through five Wordsmithing techniques to help clarify your understanding of the subject:

1. Etymology. Always begin with the word’s derivative. It’s usually Latin, but whatever language it comes from, this technique will open your eyes to the true meaning of the term.

For example, the etymology of the word “garbage,” derives from an Anglo-French word meaning “refuse.”

Hmmm. Interesting. Maybe your tagline could say something like, “What your dog won’t chew, our company won’t refuse!”

It’s silly, but it’s fun! And the creative process is just beginning.

2. Books. Whatever industry you’re in, you need to have read every book ever written about that industry.

For example, if you go to Amazon and search for “garbage,” you’ll find books like:

o Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash, by Elizabeth Royte
o Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage, by Heather Rogers
o Rubbish! The Archeology of Garbage, by William L. Rathje

I’m not even IN the garbage business, and I kind of want to read those books.

REMEMBER: there are always at least three books written about everything. Expand your expertise regularly. You will become a better-educated authority and a more valued resource to the customers you serve.

3. Google. Every time I work with new company, I always make it a point to google their one-word industry category when preparing my talk. Then I usually show a screen shot of the search results during my slideshow.

It’s amazing what comes up first.

For example, I was working with Verizon’s call centers. I discovered the first hit on Google was a Wikipedia page. It indicated the most common complaints of call centers, according to a worldwide study.

During my speech I asked the audience, “Anyone ever googled ‘call center’ before?”

Not a single hand went up. Interesting.

What about you? Have you googled YOUR job title lately?

4. Articles. Speaking of Google, another great resource is to do a search on your word (in this case, “garbage”) along with the word “article.”

This will bring up every published article on, about and connected to garbage.

Just for fun, I did a search on garbage while writing this article. And I learned something pretty cool.

DID YOU KNOW: Joseph Longo, from Bristol, Connecticut, has built a career around uniting trash and tech?

That’s right! According to the article from PopSci.com, he’s known as “The Prophet of Garbage.” Joseph Longo’s Plasma Converter turns our most vile and toxic trash into clean energy—and promises to make a relic of the landfill.
Sweet.

If I had a client in the garbage business (which, strangely enough, I actually do), this is the kind of stuff I’d want to know.

5. Definitions. Although it’s sort of cliché to say, “Webster’s dictionary defines ‘garbage’ as…” there’s still validity in this Wordsmithing technique.

What’s more, it’s amazing how many businesspeople don’t know the TRUE definition of the industry in which they work.

OK, back to garbage again. If you look up that word on dictionary.com, you’ll find several definitions.

I happen to like this one the best: “Garbage is anything that is contemptibly worthless, inferior, or vile.”

Wow.

(I disagree, seeing as how I’ve made an entire career out of a nametag I saw in the garbage!)

Who knows? Maybe a definition like that will spark the creative impetus you need to make a marketing breakthrough!

HERE’S THE POINT: Ultimately, googling, researching and exploring words probably won’t get you promoted. It probably won’t change your life. And I doubt it will make you any more money.

But.

When you take the time to explore a single word, a word that summarizes the entirety of your industry, it could only…

Help you learn.
Help you understand.
Help you be more creative.
Help you start to think differently.

So take a few minutes today to become a better Wordsmith.

And next time you see your garbage man coming around the corner, tell him I said what’s up!

(To read Part 2 of this series, click here.)

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What Wordsmithing techniques do you use?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Post your ideas here!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Enjoy this post?

If so, perhaps I could help on a more personal, one-on-one basis.

Rent Scott’s Brain today!


9 things people don’t care about

1. PEOPLE DON’T CARE … how good you are.
They care how good you’re going to help them become.

2. PEOPLE DON’T CARE … what you’ve done.
They care what you’ve learned, and how those lessons can help them.

3. PEOPLE DON’T CARE … what you can’t do.
They care what you CAN do.

4. PEOPLE DON’T CARE … what they hear you say.
They care what they SEE you DO.

5. PEOPLE DON’T CARE … what you do for a living.
They care what you’re passionate about.

6. PEOPLE DON’T CARE … if you’re having a bad day.
They care how you’re going to help them have a better day.

7. PEOPLE DON’T CARE … about price.
They care about value, convenience and risk.

8. PEOPLE DON’T CARE … about your company.
They care about the problems your company can solve.

9. PEOPLE DON’T CARE … about being apologized to.
They care about answers, solutions and resolutions.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What three things do YOU think people (don’t) care about?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Post your list here!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Enjoy this post?

If so, perhaps I could help on a more personal, one-on-one basis.

Rent Scott’s Brain today!


The problem with tolerance

Let’s talk about “tolerance.”

FIRST: “Tolerance” as a word.
It comes from the Latin word tolerare, which means, “to bear or endure.”

SECOND: “Tolerance” as an idea.
The word tolerance was first recorded in 1539, although it wasn’t until 1868 that it was used in the context of “a physiological ability to take large doses.”

THIRD: “Tolerance” as an attitude.
As our country – and our world – becomes more connected and more integrated, our society’s attitude has also become more sensitive.

Sometimes overly sensitive, too.

Too many campaigns for “Zero Tolerance.”

Too many organizations and leaders callously throwing that word around.

And the worst part is, very few people who maintain a “tolerance attitude” don’t give a second thought to the true meaning of the word.

LASTLY: “Tolerance” as a relationship status.
OK, now it’s time to put together those first three factors you just read. Let’s use two examples:

1. If you say that you “tolerate” your spouse, what you’re really saying is, “I suffer when dealing with my spouse.”

2. If you say that you “tolerate” those annoying customers who call you every day (who, by the way, pay your salary) what you’re really saying is, “I’ve grown physiologically accustomed to taking large doses of those customers who call me every day.”

Doesn’t sound very positive, does it?

After all, if YOU were the customer – or the wife, or the partner, or the friend – how would it make you feel if the other person said she had to “tolerate” dealing with you?

Probably not like a “partner” at all.

More like a pain.

So, the word, the idea and the attitude of “tolerance” can send the wrong message.

In Chip Bell’s seminal book on service, Customers as Partners, he discusses the dangers of “tolerance.”

According to Bell, “tolerance” is about sufferance and continual resignation. It’s about endurance and fortitude.

More specifically, he explains three key problems about relationships based on tolerance:

1. Tolerance-Based Relationships maintain a degree of rigidity. They have the volume turned up on every flaw and error.

2. Tolerance-Based Relationships make people suffer in silence. As if they were perpetually pained by partner imperfections. What’s more, they propagate the attitude that, “This unfortunate disruption comes with the territory,” as Mr. Bell said.

3. Tolerance-Based Relationships are exercises in long-suffering. And unfortunately, they assume superiority by one party.

So the challenge, Bell says, is to view partnerships not with “tolerance,” but rather with “elasticity.”

Great word.

Coined in France in 1651, elasticity was a scientific term first used to describe certain gases. However, it derives from the Greek word elastos, which means, “ductile, flexible.”

Sounds a lot better, doesn’t it?

Being FLEXIBLE WITH your customers, as opposed to being TOLERANT OF your customers.

Being FLEXIBLE WITH your partner, as opposed to being TOLERANT OF your partner.

LESSON LEARNED: people would rather be dealt with “flexibility” than “tolerance.”

AND HERE’S THE BEST PART: elastic, or flexible relationships…

*Expand and are accommodating.
*Grow and unfold in their acceptance.
*Absorb the negatives without attention.
*Stretch so the relationship can breathe.
*Experience little bumps in the rocky road of the partnership.

Bell was right! (Thanks for the great quotes, Chip!)

Wouldn’t it be great if all your partnerships – in business AND in life – looked like that?

REMEMBER: elasticity, not tolerance.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you “tolerating” people or “being flexible” with people?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

First: consider what you’ve just learned about the meaning, the history, the implications and the attitude of the word “tolerance.”

Second: take some time in the next few weeks to monitor and evaluate how often that word enters your mind or exits your mouth.

Third: ask yourself the following question: Whom are you tolerating? Make a list. Be honest with yourself.

Fourth: make the CHOICE to change your thinking about that word.

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Enjoy this post?

If so, perhaps I could help on a more personal, one-on-one basis.

Rent Scott’s Brain today!


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