Do you watch the news or MAKE the news?

There are two kinds of publicity:

1. Being featured IN the news.

This is publicity about who you ARE.

And you need it regularly.

2. Being quoted as an expert BY the news.

This is publicity about what you’ve LEARNED.

And you (also) need it regularly.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Do you WATCH the news, or MAKE the news?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “35 Ways to Leverage Your Next Media Appearance,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who’s telling their friends about YOU?

Tune in to The Marketing Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

Grow Creative Ears, Part 1

You’re a creative professional.
You make a living off your ideas.
Your ideas are your major source of income.

So, naturally, you want to have as many ideas as possible, right?

Absolutely.

The challenge, of course, is getting those ideas to come to you.

Which sounds like a lot of work, but it’s really not.

Because all you have to do is open your ears.

AFTER ALL: Creativity the ultimate form of active listening.

In this first post of the three-post series, we’re going to explore a list of six things to listen to in your creative practice:

1. Listen to your muse.
Because she’s doing most of the work.
And in the words of Erich Fromm, “Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.”

SO, THINK: Are you willing to surrender comfort and control?

2. Listen to the situation.
Because the solution is already there.
And in the words of Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, “Participate as fully as possibly in the world around you. You shape your life by deciding to pay attention to it. It is the direction of your attention and its intensity that will determines what you accomplish and how well.”

SO, THINK: Are you softening your eyes?

3. Listen to other people.
Because they will spark your creative juices.
And in the words of Andrew Finlayson, “Successful people know a universe of people they can ask for help.”

SO, THINK: How would a left brainer, a fool or a cynic approach this problem?

4. Listen to your innermost desires.
Because they know what’s best for you.
And in the words of Chet Raymo, “Let us worship the spine and its tingle.”

SO, THINK: Are you releasing the music that is in you?

5. Listen to the consistencies in your life.
Because they don’t lie.
And in the words of Emerson, “We should learn to detect and watch the gleam of light which flashes across our own minds.”

SO, THINK: Are you a hunter of patterns?

6. Listen to what the world is trying to tell you.
Because life leaves clues.
And in the words of Buckminster Fuller, “Intuition is cosmic fishing, you feel a nibble and then you’ve got to hook the fish.”

SO, THINK: Are you creating what wants to be created?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you growing creative ears?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “49 Ways to become an Idea Powerhouse,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

What are you NOT perceived as?

A tremendous amount of time, energy and money is spent on perception management.

The perception in the eyes of your customers.
The perception in the eyes of your competitors.
The perception in the eyes of your constituency.

Which is good. Perception TRULY is reality.

But, here’s a counterintuitive question for you:

What are you (not) perceived as?

Because that’s just as important.

For example:

Maybe you’re (not) perceived as a salesperson.
Rather, as a resource. A partner. A trusted advisor.

Maybe you’re (not) perceived as a manager.
Rather, as a coach. A leader. An guide for inspiration.

Maybe you’re (not) perceived as a consultant.
Rather, as an expert. A listener. A smart person whose brain you can rent.

Yep. Maybe the question, “What are you perceived as?” isn’t quite enough.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What are you (not) perceived as?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “157 Pieces of Contrarian Wisdom,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

What if THEY came to YOU?

Tune in to The Entrepreneur Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on growing your business!

How to find (er, MAKE) time to write

Here’s another question I get a lot. Usually from other writers.

“How do you find the time to write?”

Well, there’s a fundamental flaw in that sentence.

It contains the word “find.”

Which comes from the Old English term findan.
Which means, “To come upon, alight on.”
Which implies a search.
Which means it’s possible that you might NOT find the time to write.

Which increases the possibility of your saying, “Damn it – it’s already 9 PM? Oh well. Guess I won’t write today. I wonder if Law & Order is on…”

See, if you’re serious about writing – and, if you’re serious about being a writer – then you don’t FIND time to write…

You MAKE time to write.

Major difference.

See, the word “make” comes from the Frisian term makia, which means, “To build.”

As in “BUILD into your schedule.”
As in “BUILD your entire day around it.”

Which implies a commitment.
Which means it’s NOT possible that you WON’T write.

Which guarantees you’ll say, “Well, it’s 6 AM. Time to get up and go to work. I’m due at the page.”

Problem solved.

Of course, that’s a lot easier said than done. The challenge is getting into a routine and (actually) sticking with that routine.

Here’s a list of six daily practices for making (not finding) time to write:

1. Find a writing partner. Someone who writes. Someone who’s trustworthy and dependable. Someone who will keep you accountable. So, at the beginning of each day, at an agreed time (say, 8:30 AM), you call each other. For the sole purpose of saying, “Morning Mike. I’m about to start writing, just wanted to make sure you were doing the same. Good luck!”

Then, at the end of each day, you call each other again. This time with a question: “So, Mike, what did you write today?” (You can also do this via email, although it’s not as committal and a lot easier to skip.)

2. Officialize your practice. Once you’ve decided on your ideal writing time, make it official. Write it down. Put it on your calendar. Think of it as a real appointment. Somewhere you HAVE to be. Due at the page. Same time every day.

And, be sure to inform your colleagues, coworkers (or family members, if you’re like me and you work out of your living room) about your new schedule. Alert them that interruptions are for emergencies ONLY. Setting this kind boundary not only protects your writing schedule, but also builds a sense of predictability and consistency into your creative routine.

3. Ritualize your routine. Customize your own ritual that eases you into the process of writing. You could say a prayer. Or recite an incantation to invoke your Muse. Maybe listen to your favorite song. Or ring a Tibetan Bell of Awareness. Engage in a few breathing exercises. Look into the mirror and say an affirmation.

Whatever works for you. Whatever gets you in the mood to create. The secret is, when you ritualize your practice, it becomes more sacred to you, which makes you less apt to skip it.

4. Eliminate distractions. As you sit down to write, turn off the phone. Close your email account. Remove any other physical distractions that might tempt you to procrastinate further. Do what you have to do to maintain focus, even if that means locking yourself in a hotel room all day. (Hey, that’s what Maya Angelou did!)

5. Set a writing quota. Five pages. Five hours. Five chapters. Five lines. Five new ideas. Whatever form of creative currency will motivate you to write. The secret is, make sure it’s achievable, yet demanding. So, you can start small, i.e., 15 minutes a day, and build from there.

The good news is, when you begin hitting your quota every single day, it starts to expand on its own. And before you know it, you’ll be CRUSHING your original number by a factor of ten. Look how far I’ve come! you’ll think.

6. Do a Victory Dance. At the end of each day’s writing session, you MUST reward yourself for sticking to your commitment. Once again, this ritual should be customized to your style. Take as little as two seconds or as many as twenty minutes. Me, I ring a Victory Bell on my desk.

You, on the other hand could take a walk around the block. Or head over to Starbucks for a cup of Tazo. Or do a little celebration dance around your office. Some people even keep a calendar on the wall on which they put a little red star once their daily writing is complete! Anything to recognize and reward your writing efforts. Make it fun, make it playful and make it YOU.

– – –

Now, I know what you’re thinking:

“Scott, these suggestions are a bit corny. Do I REALY have to do all this stuff?”

Well, that all depends: What did you write today?

If you can’t answer that question, then, YES. You DO have to do all this stuff.

And, FYI, corny doesn’t mean it’s ineffective.

Look. When I started my career as a writer in 2002, I couldn’t “find” the time to write either. I had a full time job selling furniture!

So, I chose to MAKE time.

And I actually DID every single one of those six practices on the list I just gave you.

FOR EXAMPLE: I started with 15 minutes a day. That’s it. And if you do the math, 15 out of 1,440 possible minutes is just over 1% of your entire day.

ONE PERCENT!!!! (Don’t tell me you can’t make time for THAT!)

But of course, that was a long time ago.

Now, I write between four and eight HOURS a day.

Oh, don’t act so surprised. I’m a writer. That’s my occupation. That’s what I DO.

(Why? What do YOU do all day?)

So, that’s what’s under MY fingernails. Because discipline has purple reins.

And here I sit. 6 years, 8 books, 300 articles and 867 posts later.

So, obviously, this stuff works:

1. Find a Writing Partner
2. Officialize your practice.
3. Ritualize your routine.
4. Eliminate distractions.
5. Set a writing quota.
6. Do Victory Dance.

…even if there IS a Law & Order marathon on every Sunday in July on USA Network.

REMEMBER:

If you’re not writing, you’re not a writer.
If you’re too busy to write, you’re not a writer.
If you’re unable to MAKE time to write, you’re not a writer.
If you’re not making writing your #1 priority, you’re not a writer.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What did YOU write today?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “9 Things Every Writer Needs to Do Every Day,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Can’t finish your book?

Bummer. Perhaps I could help on a more personal, one-on-one basis.

Rent Scott’s Brain today!


Three Words of Advice: Listen

(To read past posts in this series, check this out!)

Listen behind words.
There’s always something (else) being said.

Listen for intent.
It may explain why they said what the said.

Listen to listeners.
That’s a great way to learn.

Listen to yourself.
Because you’re pretty sharp.

Listen without advising.
Especially if people didn’t ask for it.

Listen without defending.
It’s a form of emotional reactivity, and it builds walls.

Listen without distractions.
Duh. That’s just good manners.

Listen without labeling.
Since objectivity is best attitude for solving problems.

Listen, don’t fix.
Because people don’t like to be fixed.

Listen, don’t jump.
Just chill. Stay grounded.

Listen, don’t think.
Do you think too much?

Listeners build confidence.
In themselves AND in the other person.

Listeners don’t bulldoze.
Because that isn’t listening, that’s interrogating.

Listening builds friendships.
Which of your friends is a GREAT listener?

Listening is growing.
Your soul, your creativity and your ears.

Listening is loving.
Jesus was right.

Listening is lubrication.
Which allows the conversation to flow with ease.

Listening is marketing.
Wow. Imagine that.

Listening is midwifing.
Allowing the other person to give birth to her own understanding.

Listening is persuasion.
Because the listener controls.

Listening is questioning.
Pointed, creative, open-ended, penetrating and challenging questioning.

Listening is selling.
Which is ironic, since most salespeople SUCK at listening.

Listening means business.
Yeah dude. No more messing around.

Listening means discomfort.
For the sake of the other person’s comfort.

Listening reduces mistakes.
If you don’t know, just ask!

Listening shocks people.
Which is odd. It’s so rare that it’s actually BECOME remarkable!

Listening takes self-control.
Of your words, of your emotions and of your agendas.

Listening takes work.
But it’s not a performance.

Listening, not solving.
Solving is an agenda, and agendas block listening.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you (really) listening?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “27 Reasons People Aren’t Listening to You,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Is your frontline IN line?

Tune in to The Frontline Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on delivering unforgettable service!

The three types of niches

It doesn’t matter WHAT your niche is.

It only matters THAT you have one.

AFTER ALL: Niches lead to riches.

Now, there are three potential types of niches you can leverage:

1. Niche Expertise
2. Niche Market
3. Niche Supreme

Having a Niche Expertise means you know a LOT about a SPECIFIC TOPIC that applies to a WIDE AUDIENCE.

So, it’s the answer to the questions:

1. What, specifically, are you known FOR?
2. What word do you want to OWN?

FOR EXAMPLE: Let’s say you’re a consultant whose expertise is on how to handle angry, pissed off or difficult customers.

Fantastic! If that’s what you’re known FOR, that’s your niche.

(That is, if there’s a market for it and you’re the BEST at it.)

Chuck Dennis is a shining example of this. He’s “The Angry Customer Guy.”

Plus, entrepreneurs with Niche Expertise have several advantages:

They become a big fish in a big pond.
They apply their knowledge cross industrial.
They open wide doors for expanding their businesses.
They diversify their client base, which leads to new business.
They become the obvious expert sought out by the mainstream media.
They allow new markets to add multiple dimensions to their single topic.

That’s Niche Expertise.

– – –

On the other hand, having a Niche Market means you know a LOT about a SPECIFIC GROUP OF PEOPLE to whom you apply MANY TOPICS.

So, it’s the answer to the questions:

1. Whom, specifically, are you known BY?
2. What industry do you want to DOMINATE?

FOR EXAMPLE: Let’s say you’re a consultant who works solely in the Jewelry Retail Industry.

Awesome! If that’s whom you’re known BY, that’s your niche.

(That is, if there’s a market for it and you’re the BEST at it.)

Shane Decker is a good example of this. He’s “The Jewelry Store Guy.”

Plus, entrepreneurs with a Niche Market have several advantages:

They become a big fish in a small pond.
They apply their knowledge cross-topical.
They open deep doors for expanding their businesses.
They specialize their client base, which leads to repeat business.
They become the obvious expert sought out by industry and trade media.
They allow industry trends to add multiple dimensions to their various topics.

That’s a Niche Market.

– – –

Now, occasionally you will run into entrepreneurs that have both a Niche Topic AND a Niche Market.

FOR EXAMPLE: How to handle angry, pissed off or difficult customers … who shop at retail jewelry stores.

That’s a Niche Supreme.

And although it’s rare, if you can pull it off … good on ya!

You get the best of both worlds.

Either way, you MUST remember this process as you uncover YOUR niche:

1. Focus first; THEN spray. Either covering your topic or your industry.

2. Develop specialized knowledge. Either about your topic or about your industry.

3. Pick a lane. Either the topic lane or the industry lane.

4. Go with gusto! Either about your topic or about your industry.

5. Become That Guy. Either “for” the topic or “by” the market.

6. Be the best or quit. Because, as Seth Godin says in The Dip, average is for losers.

REMEMBER: People prefer specialists.

Turn your niches into riches!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What’s your niche?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “18 Marketing Questions to Uncover Uncontested Waters,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Nobody talking about your business?

Bummer. Perhaps I could help on a more personal, one-on-one basis.

Rent Scott’s Brain today!


It doesn’t matter if YOU get it

SECRET OF THE DAY: You aren’t your customer.

So, whether you’re introducing a new service, a new marketing campaign or the new name of your organization…

It doesn’t matter if YOU like it.
It matters if CUSTOMERS get it right away.

It doesn’t matter if YOU think it’s cool.
It matters if CUSTOMERS remember it.

And it doesn’t matter if YOU get excited about it.
It matters if CUSTOMERS tell their friends about it.

Be careful not to fall in love with your own ideas.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Is your tag line inherently remarkable, but ultimately hard to MARKET?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “74 Qualifying Questions to Test the Net Worth of Your Company Tagline,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

What unique aspect of your personality can you enlist to help you sell?

Your humor?
Because laughing = agreeing.

Your creativity?
Because creativity people are magnetic.

Your playfulness?
Because playfulness brings out your inner child, and children are likable and approachable.

Your love of music?
Because music is a form of love, and love is approachable.

Your storytelling ability?
Because people don’t remember facts, they remember stories.

Your obsession with sports?
Because who doesn’t love a good sports metaphor?

Your passion about ANYTHING.
Because that’s not “selling,” that’s transferring emotion and love to the other person.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What unique aspect of your personality can you enlist to help you sell?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “5 Creative Ways to Approach the Sale,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Sick of selling?
Tired of cold calling?
Bored with traditional prospecting approaches?

Buy Scott’s new book and learn how to sell enable people to buy!

Pick up your copy (or a case!) right here.

How to build a fan base

You’re a writer. Or an artist. Or a performer. Or a blogger. Or a consultant.

Some kind of Creative Professional.

So, that means one of your goals is to build a following.

A fan base.
A community.
A group of people who admire or support your movement.

Sound overwhelming?

Because it isn’t.

It’s actually (really) simple.

In fact, I can boil it down to four words:

One at a time.

Here’s what that means…

One person at a time.
With the knowledge that, after a while, they start to accumulate.

And before you know it, you’ve got thousands of fans.

One blog post at a time.
Writing for your ideal reader, contributing to your HOT body and eliciting comments, ideas and feedback.

Which isn’t really that much work, if you do a little each day.

One email address at a time.
Obtaining permission from your fans to stay in touch with them and start an ongoing dialogue.

Because he who has the best list (and delivers the best value to, and has the best relationship with that list) wins.

One email conversation at a time.
Connecting and conversing with fans individually, even if it’s a simple email reply, “Glad you enjoyed my article, Gary!”

Because you must always be thankful for your followers.

One in-person conversation at a time.
Getting out there to meet your fans, even if it’s a simple, “Nice to meet you Terri – thanks for being here tonight!”

Because individual tethering is the heart of building a following.

– – –

One at a time.

That’s the secret.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you building a following?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “23 Ways to Make Your Fans Super Happy,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Sick of selling?
Tired of cold calling?
Bored with traditional prospecting approaches?

Buy Scott’s new book and learn how to sell enable people to buy!

Pick up your copy (or a case!) right here.

Why are you relaxing your marketing efforts?

Think back to the last time you heard an entrepreneur say one of the following things:

o “I’ll get around to doing some marketing when I get back in town.”
o “This month all my attention is focused on marketing!”
o “As soon as the summer hits, it’s marketing time!”
o “I really need to be doing some marketing this week…”

No.

Marketing is something you need to do EVERY day.

Period. No exceptions. Q.E.D. End of story!

Every. Single. Day.

Now, I understand this is a difficult concept for a lot of entrepreneurs to swallow.

And I respect that. Because not everyone has the time, money or resources to do marketing EVERY single day.

…Or do they?

Well, it depends on how you define marketing.

Personally, I think it’s easy to do marketing every day — IF you practice the following:

Find a way to transform EVERYTHING you do into some form of marketing.

Everything.

Every email.
Every blog post.
Every sales call.
Every conversation.
Every networking event.
Every piece of snail mail.
Every phone conversation.

Everything.

Of course, that doesn’t mean shamelessly promoting your products and services at every possibly opportunity.

All that does is interrupt (and, therefore) bother people.

BUT, THE GOOD NEWS IS: Marketing, as a verb, can be simply defined as “sharing.”

That’s it. One word. Sharing.

So, here’s what you do…

At the beginning of each workday, ask yourself ONE question:

How WILL I share my company’s uniqueness today?

Then, at the end of each workday, ask yourself ONE question:

How DID I share my company’s uniqueness today?

Do that consistently, and after six months, you’ll have more business than you’ll know what to do with.

REMEMBER: Entrepreneurs who only do marketing “here and there,” will only get new business … here and there.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Why are you relaxing your marketing efforts?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “101 Ways to Create a Powerful Web Presence,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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