6 Ways to Use Your Blog to Close More Sales

One of the great leverage questions you could EVER ask yourself is, “Now that I have this, what else does this make possible?”

That’s how you kill two stones with one bird, as my mantra says.

And the cool part is, when you plug your blog into that equation, the creative sales possibilities are endless.

SO, HERE’S THE SECRET: Your blog is non-threatening, not salesy, value-driven tool that you can use to close more sales, if you do it right.

Today we’re going to explore six strategies to incorporate your blog into your sales process.

1. Attraction. Can’t seem to fill your prospect pool? No worries.

Consider writing practical, focused, pithy, not-to-long, meaty blog posts that help people make more money. Use emotional headlines, limited self-promotion, consistent humor and of course, list-based content, which, according to my experience, will work for these forty-three reasons; and, according to Copyblogger, will always work because of these seven reasons.

Make your posts easy to read and easier to spread. Oh, and include basic contact information at the end of each one. Do this every day for six months, and I guarantee you’ll have more new prospects than you know what to do with.

2. Outreach. Can’t get new customers to email YOU? Fear not.

Just remember: Your writing becomes persuasive the moment your readers take action on it.

Now, ideally, you want them to contact you. Either to thank you for your awesome post, ask a question, or, hopefully, to buy. The secret is to include a Call to Action or Response Mechanism at the end of each post to garner a response.

For example, you could offer a fifteen-minute phone consultation, a complimentary ebook or a free price quote. Anything to get your readers to personally reach out to you, right now. (See the end of this post for a perfect example of this strategy.)

3. Objections. Noticing some resistance to the sale? Understandable.

Check this out: Next time a customer says something like, “Well, we’re not sure if we want to buy yet because our budget is cut and…”

Simply respond with:

“Actually, I’m glad you said that. Just last week I wrote an article on my blog that explains the five best ways to preserve your budget…” Who could resist?

4. Testimonials. Current prospect still need convincing about whether or not to hire you? No problem.

Consider sending him a link to a blog post that includes one of the following:

*A funny, yet practical success story from a recent business trip to visit one of your clients.
*A video testimonial from a variety of past/current clients, each of which are positively describing their experience with you.
*A glowing email you received from one of your customers – not saying how great YOU are, but rather, how great their lives are now that they’ve started working with you.

5. Follow-Up. Not sure how to approach that indecisive client? That’s cool.

Instead of emailing your prospect with the vomitous, “Just wanted to see if you had any questions on my proposal…” you could use a value-driven follow-up approach like:

*“Hey Steve – I thought of you when I wrote this blog post this morning…”
*”Mary! I just wrote an article using your company as a perfect example of (x)!”
*”Morning, Mr. Randolph! Today I blogged about your biggest competitor. You won’t want to miss this.”

6. Repeat Business. Got an old customer you’d like to work with again, but don’t have a non-salesy reason to contact her? No biggie.

Try this. Send her an email request for an interview. Explain that you’d like to share her company’s philosophy, mission and unique approach to doing business with your (thousands?) of readers.

Email her a half-dozen powerful, penetrating questions. Let her think about them for a while, then conduct an informal, virtual lunch conversation/interview over the phone or Skype. Then, when the piece is published, send her an email right away.

Oh, and make sure to remind her to send it to everybody in her company. (Which she’ll probably do anyway.) The odds of her buying from you again will double.

CAUTION: Keep in mind that none of these six blogging practices will work unless you’ve already taken preparatory action.

That means you need to actually HAVE a blog.
That means you need to be WRITING, every day.
That means you need to POST on your blog, every day.
That means you need to attract decent TRAFFIC to your blog.
That means you need to gather TESTIMONIALS from your customers fans.
That means you need to earn your readers’ TRUST through (consistently) practical and helpful content.

Hey, come on. If my Pitt Bull can write a blog, so can you.

Look, these strategies work. I’ve been using them weekly for years to close LOTS of sales. And I’m not the only one.

SO REMEMBER: The ultimate leverage question to ask is, “Now that I have this, what else does this make possible?”

The answer?

A more creative, more unique, more unexpected, more value-driven; yet a less threatening, less salesy, less pushy and less predictable sales approach.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How are you incorporating your blog into your sales process?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “75 Ways to Take Your Blog from Anonymous to Award Winning,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Nobody seeing YOUR name anywhere?

Bummer. Perhaps my monthly coaching program would help.

Rent Scott’s Brain today!


6 Ways to Monopolize the Listening

My doctor, the great Steve Edmundowicz,, once told me, “If I listen to my patients, they give me their diagnosis. If I listen to my patients long enough, they give themselves their cure.”

LESSON LEARNED: Monopolize the listening.

That means patience. Breathing. Relaxing. Affirming. Acknowledging. Questioning.

“Loving someone with your ears,” as I officially define listening.

So, whoever you are, whatever your role is, whenever you’re listening and whomever you’re listening to, your goal is simple: Judge nothing. Accept everything. Facilitate someone’s understanding.

For growing bigger ears, that’s pretty much it!

Here’s a list of seven practices to help you monopolize the listening:

1. Ask without expecting answers. Enter the conversation with curiosity. Just ponder the question. Listen to the type of thinking your question provokes.

2. Attend to someone’s energy. It’s a gateway into the domains of their lives. Sense it.

3. Begin the exploration. Because listening is archaeological in nature, your task is to explore the energy and emotion behind a subject. To facilitate an exploration of the other person’s experiences.

4. Let people be wrong. This isn’t the same thing as YOU being right. This is about having trust that people’s inner resources will serve them. This is about enabling them to discover their own solutions within, using you as a pointer.

5. Knock, but don’t enter. Illuminate the truth and help them recognize it. Let someone’s brain take them where it wants to go.

6. Build a space. Allow space for people to hear themselves so they can feel the impact of what they just said. Give them the choice to continue and elaborate. Allow people to hear themselves through pausing, note taking, asking them to repeat something or repeating their exact words back to them.

REMEMBER: If you listen, people will tell you their problem. But if you MONOPOLIZE the listening, people will give themselves their solution.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How do you monopolize the listening?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “17 Behaviors to Avoid for Effective Listening,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

How are you using your ears as a sales tool?

Tune in to The Sales Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on enabling customers to buy!

72 Ways to Take Your Blog from Anonymous to Award Winning

1. Anytime you share link love, email the person you mentioned in your blog and thank them. They’ll probably find your post through their Google Alerts eventually, but still, a personal note from the actual blogger is always appreciated. It’s also more likely to stimulate word of mouth AND cement a new relationship, since it is grounded in value, respect and connectedness.

2. Ask your readers QUESTIONS. Here’s why: Questions aren’t questions. They’re catapults. That’s the best part. Once they’ve been asked, it’s neurologically impossible for the human brain not to seek answers. And when you change your questions, you change your world. You also change your reader’s worlds.

So: Ask dangerous questions. Ask disturbing questions. Ask dumb questions. Ask killer questions. Ask ouch questions. Ask penetrating questions. Ask upside-down questions. Ask soul-shaking questions.

When you do this, when you enhance your Questioning Practice, you stretch your (and your reader’s) mind into unexpected, unencumbered territory, surpassing that threshold level of understanding that so desperately tries to hold you back. What questions are you asking that the other 300 million bloggers out there AREN’T asking?

3. Use lists. Here’s a helpful list on how to use them.

4. Vonnegut was right. Be a great date for your reader.

5. BE HONEST: Would YOU read your blog every day?

6. Brainstorm. What have you accomplished that people would not only respect, but also desire to learn and utilize to gain the same benefits for their company? Blog about that.

7. But, don’t ask too many questions. This is a seductive writing trap that’s easy to fall into. And the challenge is, without context, without meat and without solid content to support your questions, you look like an amateur writer who couldn’t think of anything good or original to say, so he just decided to ask a bunch of questions.

8. Close each post with a Call To Action or Response Mechanism. If you don’t know what that is, wait until the end of this post. You’ll see what I mean.

9. Compile a Post Cue or Editorial Calendar in your Content Management System. This prevents you from throwing together some half-assed post last minute. I suggest staying at least two weeks – approximately 10 posts – ahead. (Wait. You DO have a Content Management System, right? If not, email me immediately.)

10. Create a writing schedule. This practice will force you NOT to rely on inspiration.

11. Don’t “use humor.” It won’t come out funny. Any over determined action produces its exact opposite, says The Tao De Ching. Just be funny. Allow your natural hilariousness to shine.

12. Remember: Don’t make your readers do your job for you.

13. Get Meebo. Coolest thing ever.

14. Secret: Give people ideas they can implement TODAY.

15. Give people the meat. If they wanted fluff, they would have taken their kid to Build-A-Bear.

16. Horn Tooting. Higher quality content earns you the right to be a little more self-promotional.

17. Ideally, your blog and your website should be the same thing. If I had to do it over, I would have designed it that way. However, if that’s not a possibility, no worries. Here’s what you do. Make sure your blog has a few static pages built in about you, your products and services and your philosophy.

If your blog host doesn’t allow that, just make your static pages actual blog posts with the comments turned off. Cool little trick. Click on the “Meet Scott” at the top of this blog tab for a perfect example.

18. Identify your TRUE expertise and inventory your negotiable personal assets. Then blog about that.

19. Imagine someone was going to pay you $1000 an hour to rent your brain. What questions would they have to ask you to get their money’s worth? Blog about that.

20. It’s not just about the experiences you’ve had. It’s not just about the lessons learned FROM those experiences. It’s the direct and practical application OF those experiences to the daily lives of your readers, hopefully having something to do with making more money.

21. Read the best Just read Seth Godin’s blog and Brian Clark’s blog everyday. Do what they say, do what they do. Learning from the best increases the chances that you will become the best.

22. Make a list of what do you do that people are eager to pay money for. Then blog about that.

23. WOM. Make it easy for people to share your blog using social bookmarking composite tags, i.e., “Share This” at the end of this post.

24. Make your own words up. Here’s a fun experiment: Go into the preferences section of Microsoft Word and click on “Custom Dictionary.” Then, click on “Edit.” It will formulate a list of every word you’ve right-clicked on and added to the dictionary while writing. You’ll be able to go back in time and see what terms you invented. Then, write out their definitions. Then blog about that.

25. Make your readers stop, nod, gasp and say, “Wow.” A powerful example is a question like, “What are you doing that makes absolutely NO sense?”

26. Be BEAUTIFUL. If it were physically possible to make sweet love to my own blog, I would do it. (Hell, I would even cuddle afterwards.) Anyway, before I get too graphic, here’s my point: Hire a professional blog designer. Don’t download one of those crappy templates from Blogger.com. DEFINITELY don’t try to do it yourself. And certainly don’t commission your sixteen year-old to whip it up on Photoshop during study hall when he should be reviewing for his calculus final.

Call Lucia Mancuso at The Blog Studio at 1-800-SEXY BLOG. (Just kidding. It’s 647-428-7038.) Tell her The Nametag Guy sent you, and I guarantee your blog will become gorgeous. NOTE: I receive no affiliate commissions or referral fees for this recommendation. I just think The Blog Studio rocks. And my blog won an award for a “Top 100 Business Blog on the Web” within three months of implementing their new design. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

27. Nobody cares what you’ve done. They only what you’ve learned. Is that what you’re blogging about?

28. Remember Seth’s Tip: Notice things and give them names.

29. Also: Pick a lane; take a side.

30. Picture the people who would give their right arm to acquire the valuable expertise you now realize you possess. Then email them every once in a while to tell them you were thinking of them when you published a specific post.

31. Post every single day. If you’re on vacation or sick, have about a dozen posts ready to go in case of emergency. Most blog platforms have future-posting capabilities.

32. Purchase URL’s for specific blog posts. For example, I have a series of articles called, “Attributes of Approachable Leaders.” So, I bought the domain www.approachableleaders.com and now redirect it to the post series.

This makes it easier to share the entire sequence with my readers. Plus, this strategy enables me bookmark key topic ideas for future products and protects my copyright, as trademark is a function of usage.

So for now, The Approachable Leader is just a series of blog posts. I’m sure it will become a book (er, “blook”) eventually. Either way, it’s still MINE. Remember: He who owns the domain owns the idea.

33. Recall what it is everybody is always asking you about. Then blog about that.

34. Remember the headline of this very blog post? Re-read it. Ask yourself what drew you to it. Then replicate that persuasiveness in your own posts.

35. REMEMBER: Nobody cares about you. And I don’t mean that literally. What I mean is, people don’t care how good you are; they care how good you’re going to help them become.

People don’t care what you do for a living; they care what you’re passionate about. People don’t care if you’re having a bad day; they care how you’re going to help them have a better day.

And lastly, people don’t care about your company, they care about the problems your company can solve. Got it?

36. Select either a Niche Topic or Niche Market. Generalism will only succeed if you are (1) really, really good, (2) really, really smart, or (3) have a really, really huge following.

37. Share link love in every post. But don’t overdo it. A confused mind never buys.

38. Sit down and physically write out your answer(s) the question: “If everybody did exactly what you said, what would the world look like?” Once you’ve got 5-7 answers, consider that to be a framework of your personal philosophy. Then, every day when you post, all you have to do is ask this follow-up question:

“Is what I’m blogging about right now giving my readers the tools they need to BUILD that world?” If it’s not, trash it. Simple as that.

39. Comments. Some blogs don’t allow comments from readers unless they’re registered users. I think this is a stupid strategy. So you get a few spam comments. Who cares? Community is more important. Dialogue is more valuable.

40. Some blogs require readers to subscribe before they’re able to read full posts. I think this is also a dumb, fan-alienating strategy. If you’re good, they’ll be back. If you’re really good, they’ll be back with their friends. If you’re really, REALLY good, they’ll be back with their friends and their wallets.

41. Stop quoting Einstein, Rumi, Jesus and Seneca. Quote YOU. If you want to position yourself as a Thought Leader, you need to quote yourself, or else nobody else will.

42. Relevancy. Sure, nobody cares about your dog, but they MIGHT care about the 47 lessons your dog taught you about customer service. Remember: Meat. Content. Guts. Lists. Lessons.

43. Relevancy again. Sure, nobody cares about your dog, but they MIGHT care about the blog your dog writes every day. Make it funny and cool and use great pictures. Create a personality and writing voice for your pet. Wiggle over to www.paisleyblog.com for an example. Yes, my dog has a blog. Why don’t you?

44. The attention span of a human being is about six seconds. If you do the math, that comes out to reading four lines of written text. So, unless you want to bore your readers and risk them tuning you out like a Tony Little infomercial, remember two words: LINE BREAKS. Understand The Caveman Principle.

45. Remember: Teach people the secret to something.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Want the remaining 27 strategies? No problem…

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the (entire) list called, “72 Ways to Take Your Blog from Anonymous to Award Winning,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
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!

13 Types of People You Need to Stay Away From

Let’s juxtapose two famous quotations, neither of which Google credits to any one source in particular:

1. “Show me your friends I’ll show you your future.”
2. “A man is known by the company he avoids.”

SO: You are a reflection of the people you hang out with. Which also means you (aren’t) a reflection of the people you (don’t) hang out with.

What kind of people do YOU attract? What do the people closest to you value? And how much of your time is spent with people who are examples of the way you want to live?

As someone who used to make the mistake of attracting (and surrounding himself with) the WRONG types of people, I’ve put together a checklist of sorts for you.

First, each example will compare and contrast two different types of people.
Then, a penetrating question will challenge you to make some evaluations of your current relationships.

13 Types of People You Need to Hang Out With/Stay Away From

Hang out with people who make money.
Stay away from people who just want to learn how YOU make money.

ASK YOURSELF: Are you being fair to yourself by continuing this friendship?

Hang out with the kind of people you want to be like.
Stay away from people who aren’t doing jack with their lives.

ASK YOURSELF: What relationship(s) do you need to end?

Hang out with people who are smarter and more successful than you.
Stay away from bloodsuckers, negatives, complainers and chronic time abusers.

ASK YOURSELF: How many pointless relationships are you nurturing?

Hang out with people who have already done what you’re trying to do.
Stay away from people who are just trying to exploit your time, money, resources and brainpower for their own benefit.

ASK YOURSELF: What are people trying to steal from you?

Hang out with people who are better than you.
Stay away from people whose laziness constantly begs your assistance.

ASK YOURSELF: How successful are the people you associate with?

Hang out with Potential People.
Stay away from Problem People.

ASK YOURSELF: Are you surrounding yourself with the kind of people you want to be like?

Hang out with people in whose presence you feel most alive.
Stay away from energy vampires.

ASK YOURSELF: Are you having too many lunches?

Hang out with people who reciprocate your energy.
Stay away from people who sap your enthusiasms.

ASK YOURSELF: How does your posture change when you’re with this person?

Hang out with people who keep you accountable and occasionally kick you in the ass.
Stay away from people who zap your commitment to your priorities.

ASK YOURSELF: Who’s nudging you?

Hang out with people who set healthy boundaries.
Stay away from people who don’t respect your boundaries.

ASK YOURSELF: Is this an opportunity, or an opportunity to be used?

Hang out with people who give you the space you need to breathe and think and BE.
Stay away from people who suffocate you.

ASK YOURSELF: Whom do you need to help you succeed?

Hang out with people whose thinking sparks your own.
Stay way from people whose words pollute you.

ASK YOURSELF: Whose advice have you outgrown?

Hang out with people whose creativity inspires your own.
Stay away from people who do nothing but piggyback on your ideas.

ASK YOURSELF: How much time do you spend with those who inspire and challenge you?

REMEMBER: You are a reflection of the people you hang out with. Which also means you (aren’t) a reflection of the people you (don’t) hang out with.

Choose wisely.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Whom are you staying away from?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “23 Boundary Questions to Help You Draw the Line,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about sticking yourself out there.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Scott Ginsberg Gives NBC a Tour of Nametag Headquarters!

To watch Scott’s interview, head over to KSDK St. Louis!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What will you leverage this year?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “7 Ways to Out LEVERAGE Your Competition,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Nobody seeing YOUR name anywhere?

Bummer. Perhaps my monthly coaching program would help.

Rent Scott’s Brain today!


Attributes of Approachable Leaders, Pt. 4

Past Posts
ATTRIBUTE #1: Have conversations that change people.
ATTRIBUTE #2: Meet people where they are.
ATTRIBUTE #3: Vortex people in.

Today’s Post
ATTRIBUTE #4: Share the spotlight.

It’s one thing to shine; it’s another thing to create an atmosphere where OTHERS can shine.

Richard Tait, founder of Cranium, practices this principle daily.

At the 2008 Fire Sessions, a Brains on Fire conference where he and I both conducted workshops, I remember him saying this:

“When you give each individual person a chance to shine, everybody wins.”

So, it’s all about permission. Making people feel like it’s OK to be awesome. Like it’s cool to kick ass. Hooray!

Here are three ways you can start LIVING this attribute today:

1. Three simple words. “What about you?”

2. Accomplishment introductions. Without making someone feel TOO awkward, introduce them along with something they’ve accomplished. For example, “Carol, this is my colleague, Sasha. She recently published a cool photography book about her adventures in Venezuela!”

3. Make ‘em shine. In a group conversation, highlight someone’s successes by saying, “Hey Courtney, didn’t you have a lot of success with that strategy year?”

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How are you unlocking people’s brilliance?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “68 Things Employees Never Want to Hear Their Manager Say,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

All Posts In This Series
ATTRIBUTE #1: Have conversations that change people.
ATTRIBUTE #2: Meet people where they are.
ATTRIBUTE #3: Vortex people in.
ATTRIBUTE #4: Share the spotlight.
ATTRIBUTE #5: Respond to what IS.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about sticking yourself out there.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Top 10 Brand Building Strategies to Bank BIG in ’09

This week my friend Paul asked me a solid question: “What are your All-Time Top Ten Branding Lessons Learned from 3,000 Days of Nametagging?”

So, I spent some time coming up with a sort of “Greatest Hits” list. Here are ten brand building strategies to BANK in 2009:

1. Approachability wins. We live in a culture of sales resistance. Consumers are skeptical and require confidence before deciding to buy. They’ve been advertised to, marketed to, duped, fooled, conned, scammed, sold and screwed over too many times.

Approachability establishes comfort, creates connections and builds trust.

So: Return emails right away. Call back the same hour. Make communication a relaxing experience. Ask unexpected, penetrating questions. Cultivate your creativity and passion and embed that into the pavement, and people will want to sit in your radius.

Remember: If they can’t come UP to you; how will they ever get BEHIND you?

2. Be That Guy. We live in a hyperspeed, A.D.D. culture. Clients need to know they’re getting YOU. The world demands specialists and people need shortcuts. And that’s exactly what personal brands are.

Ask yourself: Whom are you known TO? What are you known AS? What are you known FOR? What are you known for KNOWING?

Remember: Anonymity is bankruptcy.

It’s not who you know, it’s who knows YOU. You need to create a monthly plan for making people more aware of you. Create a reputation that accurately describes you, often precedes you and humbly serves you when you’re not there.

3. Be The Origin, not The Echo. There are no cover bands in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Similarly, in business: The more imitable you are, the less valuable you are.

So: Be un-competable. Be un-confusable. Be un-disputable. Be un-stealable. Be The Only.

The secret is: Don’t be different; be unique. “Different” is something you do intentionally; unique is something you are inherently. Being “different” is for amateurs. Extract and magnify your uniqueness.

4. Create Points of Dissonance (POD). Curiosity is a natural motivator of human engagement. So, there’s a certain dissonance when people observe an unexpected or unexplained behavior. And THAT dissonance in increases the probability of an encounter. Because people just HAVE to ask. They just GOTTA to know.

So, it’s about stimulating curiosity, breaking patterns and attracting interest. The goal is to create a fulcrum point from which the conversation can advance. Because before someone gets to the “Aha!” about what you do and who you are, they have to be captivated by the “Huh?”

This permission is a valuable asset because people’s time and attention are being vied for by an infinite amount of forces. Ultimately, it’s about leveraging remarkability to trigger an emotional engagement.

5. Don’t be stopped by not knowing how. Focus (first) on the WHAT, and the HOW will eventually appear.

Here’s why: The “WHAT” can be defined right away; the “WHAT” can lead to immediate action; and the “WHAT” can lay groundwork for the “HOW” to materialize.

Here’s how: Dare to do it badly.

Which might mean making an idiot of yourself. Spending time paying your dues. Which might mean fighting your attitude of instant gratification. Seeking progress, not perfection. Which might mean asking for feedback to find out where you suck.

Remember: Ideas are free; execution is priceless.

6. Fans, not customers. More Fans = Less Selling. You need fans; and you need to give them megaphones. Fans are people who will do your marketing for you, encourage and support everything you do, and most importantly, tell all their friends to become fans of yours too.

The secret is three words: Build a following.

Don’t be selfish with your knowledge. Post on your blog everyday, because writing is the basis of all wealth. Practice Fanagement 101 by asking for people’s email so they become part of your permission asset, then constantly delivering a value message.

7. Get a cool company name. If your company name contains words like “Solutions,” “Associates” and “Communications,” you send the following messages to the world: (1) You’re lazy, (2) you’re amateur, (3) You’re unoriginal and (4) You’re uncreative.

You don’t want a generic company name. Generic names = generic products. And generic products = generic value. And generic value = generic service. And generic service = generic business And generic businesses … rarely stay in business.

If people don’t react in SOME way when they see the name of your company, change your name.

8. Make the mundane memorable. If you consistently do this through all of your touchpoints, or brand moments, here’s what happens: (1) Customers start talking. (2) Employees have more fun. (3) The brand lives and breathes in a new way. (4) Uniqueness shine through. (5) Loyalty increases.

The secret is: Nobody notices normal.

Positioning yourself as “normal” is like asking customers to find a need in a stack of needles.

Remember: Those who get noticed get remembered; and those who get remembered get business.

9. People buy people first. Find a way to lead with your person and follow with your profession. Values before vocation. Individuality before industry. Personality before position.

Ultimately, every interaction you have with somebody either adds to or subtracts from the positive perception of your brand.

Remember: People don’t buy from, trust or have loyalty to COMPANIES, but rather, people.

10. Shtick must be supported by substance. The word shtick is defined as “A characteristic attribute, talent, gimmick or trait that is helpful in securing recognition or attention.”

But shtick is not enough. Shtick needs substance. Shtick doesn’t sustain you. Shtick only sells temporarily. Sure, shtick is catchy and cool and clever and fun and different.

But in business, that will only carry you so far. Sure, shtick might get you in the door. But in marketing, that doesn’t guarantee you’ll stay in the room. Only VALUE and SUBSTANCE can do that.

In business, you CAN’T be all sugar. Customers want value. Customers want substance. Customers want to take a few licks and then discover your Tootsie center.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How will you build your brand to bank BIG this year?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “12 Dangerous Doozies to Avoid in 2009,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
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!

40 Major Misconceptions That Are Hurting Your Business

As the 3,000 Days of Nametagging celebration continues, I thought we’d spend today talking about misconceptions. Here are a few I’ve discovered in my own business. I challenge you to come up with a list of your own:

1. Access isn’t presence. You can still “be there” and offer value to your clients if you’re across the country.

2. Activity isn’t results. Beware of mistaking one for the other.

3. Advising isn’t listening. Especially if the person didn’t ASK you for advice.

4. Aloneness isn’t loneliness. It’s just a healthy form of solitude that all humans need.

5. Art isn’t linear. So, beware of imposing too many rules.

6. Attention isn’t infinite. Make sure your message is quick, simple and digestible.

7. Biography isn’t destiny. Because you ALWAYS have a choice.

8. Change isn’t weakness. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

9. Complaining isn’t attractive. Like farting, complaining relieves you but annoys others.

10. Create without responsibility. And just make art for the sake of making art.

11. Creativity isn’t enough. Nope. You need talent, discipline and passion.

12. Difficult isn’t impossible. Keep plugging away.

13. Duplicity isn’t advantageous. Don’t allow your mind to split.

14. Education isn’t knowing. No matter how many books you read.

15. Evidence isn’t proof. It only suggests the possibility of proof.

16. Excellence isn’t optional. It’s the price of admission.

17. Facelessness isn’t accidental. Companies are monoliths because they choose to be.

18. Faith isn’t fact. You don’t “know,” you simply “believe.”

19. Fit isn’t thin. Magazines are liars.

20. Growth isn’t automatic. It’s a choice. It’s a daily duty.

21. Humility isn’t weakness. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

22. Information isn’t communication. Make your emails shorter.

23. Information isn’t wisdom. Because we learn not from our experiences, but from intelligent reflection upon them.

24. Knowing isn’t understanding. You have to LIVE it first.

25. Listening isn’t agreeing. It’s OK to say, “I respectfully disagree.”

26. Motion isn’t progress. Is what you’re doing RIGHT NOW consistent with your #1 goal?

27. Obvious isn’t easy. Be careful what you dismiss.

28. Passion isn’t unrealistic. It only seems that way to people who are too afraid to express their passion.

29. Pressuring isn’t listening. It’s just awkward.

30. Quitting isn’t failing. Not if you do it at the right time.

31. Reading isn’t believing. Doing, living, being – now THAT’S believing!

32. Respect isn’t weakness. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

33. Retreat isn’t defeat. Walking away is smart.

34. Satisfaction isn’t retention. The real question is, “How many of their friends did they tell about you?”

35. School isn’t education. Where’s your classroom?

36. Success isn’t bestsellers. It’s contribution, significance and validation.

37. Success isn’t perfection. How often do you screw up?

38. Sunday isn’t enough. Your spiritual practice is daily.

39. Suspending isn’t losing. Don’t be such a control freak. Gosh!

40. Technique isn’t enough. Nope. Your heart and soul must be there too. Or else the audience will KNOW.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What misconceptions might be hurting YOUR business?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “65 Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me When I First Started My Company,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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22 Compelling Reasons Why Wearing Nametags Will Change Your Life Forever

A nametag isn’t just a sticker; it’s a statement.

About friendliness. About identity. About culture. About human nature.

Now, as The World’s Expert on Nametags, I’m not suggesting you should wear a nametag everyday. However, in my experiences over the past 3,000 days, I’ve discovered a series of simple truths that answer the question, “What’s in a nametag?”

THEREFORE: My challenge you to is twofold: (1) consider the following list of the twenty-two elements a nametag symbolizes, and (2) reflect on how well each of those elements are practiced your own daily life.

Ultimately, if reading this list inspires you to wear nametags more often, cool. If not, that’s cool too. The goal is for you to use these elements, lessons and questions as mirrors for your own personal growth.

1. A nametag is a permission slip. It’s OK to talk to strangers. If you say hello to a random person, he’s not going to snap. He’s not going to kill you. Don’t be afraid. This person might actually be nice. And cool. And interesting. Hell, you might even learn a thing or two. How are you giving strangers permission to talk to you?

2. A nametag is a conversation advancer and engagement tool. The hardest part about conversations is getting the ball rolling. That’s why names are so great. They are THEE basic building block of conversation. The sooner you know people’s names, the sooner you feel comfortable around them. How could you expedite the conversation by self-disclosing first with people?

3. A nametag is an invitation for friendliness. It’s like walking around saying, “Here. Take it. I’m giving you an opening. I’m making this really, really easy. All you have to do is say hello.” How could you make it really, really easy for people to start a conversation with you?

4. A nametag is a simple act of self-confidence and comfort. It’s also like walking around saying, “Alright world. Here’s who I am. This is ME. I’m proud of my name and my existence. I gladly wear it over my heart. Perhaps this will inspire the people I encounter to do the same.” How comfortable are you with your personal Truth? How often does your state of being inspire others to be comfortable with theirs?

5. A nametag is a disarming gesture. Sigmund Freud discovered that a person’s name is the single context of human memory most forgotten. So, wearing a nametag means one less name people have to worry about remembering. Thank GOD. How are you relieving psychological pressures? How are you lowering the probability that someone will lose face in a social encounter with you?

6. A nametag is an immediate tool of accountability. If you’re wearing a nametag, you are statistically less likely to lie or cheat, steal, litter or start fights with people. See, when everybody knows your name, you kind of have to be nice. If you’re not, people will know that “Dave” is a jerk. How are you painting yourself into a good corner?

7. A nametag is an alarm clock. If I’m in a rush and someone says, “Hey Scott!” or “Dude, you’re still wearing your nametag…” I have no choice but to stop (or at least S-L-O-W down) to acknowledge that person. Their greeting – in jest or not – has acknowledged my existence, and the proper, HUMAN thing to do is to reciprocate. How do you find your center of gravity at the moment? What will keep you mindful today?

8. A nametag is a bell of awareness. When standing in line or waiting for something, I often find myself daydreaming. Or brainstorming. Or thinking. Or writing something in my jotter. Or playing on my iPhone. Either way, when the cashier or person behind me says something like, “Scott, you’re next in line!” it’s a gentle nudge away from La-La Land and back into the present moment. How are you getting out of your mind and into the now?

9. A nametag is a cue for fun. It makes people smile. It makes people laugh. It invites jokes and playfulness. Even in the most serious and formal and professional situations, the hand-written, casual, relaxing – yet curious – nature of an adhesive nametag is impossible to ignore. How much fun are you having at work? Do you give others permission to be playful around you? And when you, how does that positively affect productivity?

10. A nametag is personalizes and humanizes someone. Instead of being a nameless statistic or just another face in the crowd, now I have an identity. A name. I’m a person. Which, in a fast-paced, overpopulated society, is almost an accomplishment. How are you shining (and helping other people shine) in a sea of sameness?

11. A nametag eliminates labeling. Instead of people looking at me and making a judgment about my identity, gently broadcasting to them that I’m simply, “Scott” gives them nowhere to go. I’ve labeled myself before they got a chance to do so. I beat them to the punch, and all they can do is agree and say, “Well, I guess this guy’s name is Scott.” How are you silently disarming strangers?

12. A nametag reduces psychological distance. The minute you know someone’s name, you immediately feel closer and more connected to that person. Simply stated, names reduce the distance between people. How are you reducing the distance between you and the people around you? What are you doing to reduce the conflict level around you?

13. A nametag is a reminder to be open. A reminder that it’s important and necessary and powerful to be open and transparent with everyone. A reminder that radical honesty actually works. Especially in our hyperspeed, A.D.D. and (increasingly) socially isolated culture, openness isn’t just valuable, it’s demanded. How transparent are you? How transparent do your customers perceive you to be? And how much money are you losing by not being totally open?

14. A nametag is honest. In a world of mistrust, dishonesty and non-stop bullshite, it’s refreshing to see even the tiniest symbol of truthfulness. What’s fascinating to me is when people look at me with a furrowed brow and a finger on their chin and ask, “Is that your REAL name?”

Now, I know they’re just joking around with me. But in the back of my mind I’m asking two questions: (1) “Why would I lie about my own NAME? It’s the most basic element of my personal truth!” and (2) “Has our society demonstrated SUCH a consistent pattern of dishonestly that a stranger would be skeptical about another stranger’s willingness to share his real name?” How honest are you? How honest do your customers perceive you to be? And how are you branding your honesty, every day?

15. A nametag stretches you. By way of self-disclosure, by way of forgoing anonymity, wearing a nametag LITERALLY causes you to “stick yourself out there.” Sure, it might be uncomfortable. But that’s the best way to learn. Comfort zones are overrated. You have no business there anyway.

In the words of Henry James, “To risk is to risk being shattered. But without the shattering, there is no glory.” What are you shattering? How did you step out of your comfort zone yesterday? And what three lessons did you learn from that?

16. A nametag is a white flag. Human beings avoid conflict, and nametags are natural eliminators of conflict. Think about it: Ever avoided someone because you couldn’t remember their name? Remember: Psychological Distance. Disarming people. Building comfort. It works. Does conflict dissolve in your presence? How are you increasing the probability of an encounter with the people around you?

17. A nametag is a time machine. The farther you go back in time, the friendlier people become. Spooky, but it makes sense: Decades ago, the world was smaller, slower, simpler and safer. So, of course people were friendlier. Ironically, at this point in our world’s history, friendliness is so rare it’s become remarkable. All the more reason to amp up your “hello count.” How many people did you go out of your way to ignore last week? What are you doing to reverse the trend of unfriendliness and interpersonal fear in your daily actions?

18. A nametag is a mini-sacrifice. Sure, you feel dumb when wearing a nametag. It’s uncomfortable. But think about how many people whose lives you just made easier. Like the guy who’s been working down the hall from you for six years but didn’t know how to spell your name until now. Like the shy person across the room who didn’t have the courage to walk up and say hello until now. Like the new yoga teacher who had thirty new students, yet only 29 new names to memorize. Whew! How are you practicing mini-sacrifices each day to make other people’s lives (even a LITTLE) easier? What comfort are you willing to forego?

19. A nametag is a signal of bigger ears. One of the more fascinating outcomes of wearing a nametag every day is: People just start talking to me. It’s the strangest thing. Complete strangers will open up about topics they wouldn’t normally discuss with someone they just met ten seconds ago.

So now, after nine years, I’ve finally figured out what the deal is. Apparently, listening is so rare these days that people will jump at any opportunity, any opening, to actually have someone open their ears to them. Wow. Are you all ears or all mouth? Are you monopolizing the talking or the listening? And when was the last time someone complimented you on your listening skills?

20. A nametag INSINUATES instead of IMPOSING. A nametag is non-threatening. It doesn’t force anybody to do anything. People can choose to say hi or ignore it. No hard feelings. Either way, it’s still an act of friendliness. The nametag is there if you want it. It’s the difference between interruption and interaction. The difference between music and noise. Are you interrupting people or interacting with them? Are you trying to get people to join you, or taking the first step to join THEM?

21. A nametag is an equalizer. When nametags are worn CORRECTLY (which means no last names, logos, titles, acronyms, degrees, positions or designations – just the first name your mama gave you) you successfully level the playing field. Plain and handwritten. Values before vocation. Individuality before industry. Personality before position.

This allows you to lead with your person, NOT your profession. This allows people to know you first as a human, not a statistic. What labels could you delete? How could you make it impossible for people to pigeonhole hole you?

22. A nametag is a chisel. Because nametags are permission slips, because they invite encounters and encourage engagement, and because they personalize and humanize people, nametags are ALSO chisels. Now, I say that because Michelangelo famously remarked, “The sculpture is inside the stone.”

That’s been the coolest outcome after 3,000 days. Wearing a nametag hasn’t created my identity; it’s revealed it. The nametag excavated and amplified who I always was as a person. It enabled me to continue becoming the person I was in the process of becoming. As a chisel, it chipped away. And the sculpture – that was there the whole time – turned out to be pretty damn impressive.

So, here’s the best part: Every time you meet someone new it’s an opportunity to learn more about yourself. Which means: The more people you meet the more you learn about yourself. Cool! What did you learn about yourself today? What natural, lifelong inner sculpture are you chipping away at?

– – –

Well, there it is. 3,000 days of wearing a nametag.

Whew!

What’s in a nametag? Looks like a lot.

Here’s to 3,000 more!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How have nametags changed your life?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “57 Lessons My Nametag Taught Me in 2008,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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Scott Reveals Branding & Business Growth Secrets on “The Rise to the Top”

A few weeks ago I sat down with my STL homebody, David Siteman Garland, for an interview me on his new show, The Rise to the Top. We chatted about branding, writing, commitment and, of course, waking up early.

Watch both segments of our episode here!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How will you rise to the top?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “22 Questions to Sidestep Entrepreneurial Atrophy,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Nobody coming into your new store?

Tune in to The Entrepreneur Channel on NametagTV.com.

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

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