What’s under your fingernails?

So, I have this buddy named Spike Jones. Pretty smart dude. And in April when we were having lunch a few hours before my workshop, we got talking about the topic of identity.

“Well, what about you, Scott?” he asked.

“What’s under YOUR fingernails?”

A chill ran down my spine.

Wow. What a question. What a thought. I’ll never forget the feeling of allowing those four words to profoundly penetrate me.

What’s. Under. Your. Fingernails.

So, as I racked my brain, Spike said, “See, the work you do – if it truly matters – becomes a part of you.”

“Like the mechanic who never really loses the oil stains under his fingernails, our work stays with us wherever we go. It becomes a part of our language and our very being. Which isn’t to say work is EVERYTHING. But if your work is your calling – not just your job – you will embrace it in everything you do.”

Holy crap.

Ever since that fateful conversation, I’ve been thinking a lot about my fingernails. And I realize there’s really two ways you can answer that question: literally and metaphorically.

So, here’s what’s (literally) under my fingernails:

1. Metallic bronze dust from the strings on my Taylor 814-CE guitar.
2. Stains of blue Sharpie from hand-writing tens of thousands of nametags.
3. A decade’s worth of chlorine from countless laps of stress-relieving freestyle.
4. Metallic silver residue from daily pounding on the 78 keys on my MacBook Pro.
5. Rainbow cotton fibers from every content note card I’ve ever laid out on the floor.

Next, here’s what’s (metaphorically) under my fingernails:

1. Every email from every random person whose life improved in some way as a result of reading something I wrote.
2. Every email from every random person who told me how stupid I was, or how stupid my idea was.
3. Any of the 5000 creative, penetrating, thought-provoking questions I’ve collected, dissected and incorporated into my lexicon over the years.

– – –

Essentially, this question boils down to a new philosophy, a new paradigm and a new approach to our work. As inspired by Spike’s original post and my hommies @ Brains On Fire:

Work IS play.
That means infusing your childlike energy into everything you do. For the advancement and enhancement of your creative spirit. For the reciprocation of that spirit into the souls of the people you serve.

Work IS pleasure.
That means at the airport ticket counter when the agent asks, “Is this trip business or pleasure?” learning to respond, “Same thing for me!” “Always both!” or “What’s the difference?”

Work IS personal.
That means our technology has made it easy to take the personal-ness for granted. Which is exactly why you need to work so hard at getting personally involved. To prove that a few rounds of golf or some Chamber of Commerce meeting isn’t the extent of your “getting to know you” time with clients.

Work MEANS hitting the streets.
That means getting out of your office and actually talking and listening to the people who (really) pay your salary – the customers. And not in focus groups, online surveys or some other form of contrived, unrealistic cross-section of people you THINK speak for the entire group. We’re talking about real-life, face-to-face, organic human inquiry, conversation and connection. Something that doesn’t have a structure, agenda or regimented time limit.

Work MEANS getting your hands dirty.
That means becoming involved (even if it’s just a little) in the production, manufacturing, research, exploration and baseline development of your company’s ideas. Getting your butt out of the office and into the warehouse.

Work MEANS engaging face-to-face with customers.
That means hanging with them. Learning their language. Drinking their Kool-Aid. Watching them in action as they gain value from your product or service so you can more accurately report back on the posture of the masses.

What’s under your fingernails?

For my list called, “72 Superb Songs on Under Scott’s Fingernails,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

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

Buy Scott’s new book and learn daily practices for becoming a more approachable manager!

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

The Caveman Principle™

Imagine you’re a prehistoric hunter.

Your mate is fast asleep in the cave.

The sun is coming up.

It’s time to kill breakfast!

Out in the prairie, you wait. Silent. Motionless. Anticipating even the slightest movement.

Because you’ve learned (in your experience as a prehistoric hunter) … ANYTHING that moves is a threat to your survival.

It could be a lion.
It could be a woolly mammoth.
It could be another hunter trying to steal your catch, or worse yet, clobber you.

Either way, your Caveman Brain is conditioned in the following way:

Movement? —> Change! —> Threat! —> Respond!

No movement? —> No change. —> No threat 🙂 —> No response.

So, unchanging backgrounds get filtered out by your brain.
Because familiar structures lead to mental laziness.
Which means there’s no need to pay attention.

I call this The Caveman Principle.

And although it originated a few million years ago, it’s VERY interesting to note how this prehistoric survival trait manifests in our daily businesses activities.

Especially when you realize that The Caveman Principle can actually make you more money.

Mmm … good … Ug like money!

This brings to mind something I read in the (fantastic) book Mindfulness, by Dr. Ellen Langer:

“A familiar structure or rhythm helps lead to mental laziness, acting as a signal that there is no need to pay attention.”

GREAT EXAMPLE: Ever Watch The Simpsons?

Not only is The Simpsons the basis for my entire personality.
Not only is The Simpsons greatest show in the history of television.
Not only is The Simpsons longest running sitcom in the history of television.

The Simpsons also happens to be the best example of The Caveman Principle in action.

Think about it…

During the opening credits to every episode of show, something always changes.

(Actually, THREE things always change, every time.)

Can you name them all?

Well, if you’re like me and you live your daily life is based on episodes of The Simpsons, this should be an easy question.


1. Bart’s detention chalkboard.
2. The Simpson Family Couch.
3. Lisa’s saxophone solo.

So, why is that important to your business?

WELL, THINK ABOUT THIS: With the exception of The Simpsons, when was the last time YOU actually tuned in to watch the opening credits of your favorite show?

Never! You just hit the fast forward button on your Tivo remote, zipped through the opening montage, skipped the subsequent commercials and started the show at seven minutes past the hour.

See, the reason you never watch the opening credits of your favorite show is because they’re always the same.

No movement? —> No change. —> No threat 🙂 —> No response.

Completely predictable. Ug was right.

But that’s the genius of The Simpsons. By changing three distinct elements to their opening credit montage, they FORCE millions of people to tune in – and never miss –the very beginning of the every episode.

Movement? —> Change! —> Threat! —> Respond!

Predictably unpredictable.

And I’m sure their advertisers just loooooooove that!

NOTE: I’ll be discussing The Caveman Principle in detail as it pertains to online video platforms tomorrow night during my teleseminar for Speaker Net News.

Mmm! Ug like teleseminar!

How are you keeping your viewers’ attention?

For the list called, “7 Questions to Assure People Don’t Tune Out Your Marketing,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

New website go live this week?

Tune in to The Entrepreneur Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

Eyeballs are overrated

In March of 2005, I set up my MySpace page.

Within a week, my website traffic TRIPLED.

Holy eyeballs, Batman!

I was pretty excited. Told everybody about it. Even bragged a bit to my colleagues, jokingly nudging them, “So, when are you gonna set up YOUR MySpace page?”

Yep. I thought I was pretty savvy.

Until, over the next few months, I noticed something.

See, notwithstanding my recent increase in traffic, I wasn’t making any additional sales.

Wasn’t receiving a significant increase in leads from potential clients.

Wasn’t seeing ANY tangible conversations from the dramatic increase in traffic.


And then something occurred to me:

The majority of the 300 million people on MySpace were under the age of 21.

Which meant they were NOT my target customers.
Which meant they were NOT interesting in buying anything.
Which meant they were NOT interesting in hiring me for anything.


At which point, I learned something powerful:

Eyeballs are overrated.

See, it’s not about HOW MANY eyeballs you capture; it’s WHOSE eyeballs you capture, ask Seth Godin taught me.

Because all the traffic in the world doesn’t do you any good (except for maybe a temporary ego boost) … unless it actually converts into something worthwhile.

Maybe that means sales.
Maybe that means sales leads.
Maybe that means phone calls from the media.
Maybe that means email addresses to add to your permission asset.

Whatever your e-currency is, just make sure you remember what really matters.

It’s WHOSE, not how many.

Because eyeballs are overrated.

What else do you think is overrated?

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

New website go live this week?

Tune in to The Entrepreneur Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

NametagTV: What’s in a (User) Name?

Video not working? Click here for Adobe Flash 9!

Or, click here for the original link to this video on NametagTV.com.

What’s the most memorable username you’ve ever seen?

Share it here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Training videos putting your office to sleep?

Tune in to NametagTV.com for an interactive learning experience!

Stick yourself out there!

What does your email say about YOU?

Email addresses are VERY telling.

About your personality.
About your creativity and uniqueness.
About your professionalism (or lack thereof).

What’s more, email addresses elicit certain emotions when people first see them.

Let’s look at a few examples.

NOTE: None of these emails are actually real (to my knowledge). I just made them up. However, if any of them ARE real, I don’t mean to offend anybody. My apologies to Kayla.

1. info@yourwebsite.com


o “He’ll never write me back!”
o “Great. Does this email even go to a real person?”
o “Well, so much for getting my problem answered quickly!”

2. kaylasmommy@aol.com


o “Who still uses AOL?”
o “Who the heeck is Kayla?”
o “I bet SHE works from home…”

3. steveandmaryjackson@gmail.com


o “Wait, are two people going to read this email I’m about to send?”
o “Why can’t Steve and Mary get separate email addresses?”
o “Will the privacy of my letter be violated?”

4. isellcars2U@yahoo.com


o “Do I really want to do business with someone who has an email like this?”
o “Can’t this guy get a company email, or does he just sell junk cars from his back yard?”

5. Dave783@hotmail.com


o “What does 783 mean?”
o “Is Dave so lazy and uncreative that he needed Hotmail to create his email address FOR him? And is that the kind of person I want to do business with?”
o “Who still uses Hotmail?”

6. m_876#8815_gratzy8@gg.com


o “Is this spam?”
o “Is this even a real email address?”
o “Whose email is this?”

7. super_creative_artist@sbglobal.net


o “If this lady was such a ‘killer’ artist, wouldn’t she have her own website, and not have to use SBC?”
o “Kind of an uncreative email address for a ‘super creative artist,’ huh?”
o “Wait, what was her actual name again?”

– – –

Look folks.

Email addresses don’t need to be works of art.

But at the same time, they don’t need to be boring.

So, evaluate the perception of yours. Ask yourself how professional, accurate and unique your email address REALLY is, and what the first impression is when someone sees it for the first time.

What does your email say about YOU?

Post a list right here called, “Types of Email Addresses that Really Annoy Me,” along with the PSD’s (Potential Silent Dialogues) that accompany each one.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Do you have MARKET share or MIND share?

Tune in to The Marketing Channel on NametagTV.com for video lessons on creating unforgettable brands that magnetize more business!

Scott Ginsberg launches NametagTV.com, an Online Training Network!

Video not working? Click here for Adobe Flash 9!

– – –

After 15 months of HARD work, today is the official launch of my latest project!

NametagTV.com is the world’s ONLY Online Training Network that teaches approachability!

For example…

Want your customers and guests to be INSISTENT?

Tune in to the The Approachable Frontline channel for video lessons on delivering unforgettable service!

Ready to enable customers to BUY?

Tune in to The Approachable Salesperson channel for video lessons about getting customers to come to you!

Want to get people buzzing about YOU?

Tune in to The Approachable Marketer channel for video lessons on leveraging your remarkability!

Growing your small business

Tune in to The Approachable Entrepreneur channel to magnetize employees AND customers!

REMEMBER: In order to watch NametagTV, you will need to download Adobe Flash 9.

It’s fast, free and totally worth it. Download it right here!

Stick yourself out there.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Still bummed out about the Writer’s Strike?

Tune in to NametagTV.com for an interactive learning experience!

95 Things I Learned from Seth Godin’s “Meatball Sundae”

So, I’m on vacation for the next two weeks (my couch).

However, I wanted to keep last week’s tradition alive since the feedback from the Ridiculously Long Lists was so positive! As such, I came up with five more lists. This should hold you over until I return on January 7th.

See ya in ’08!

Oh, and don’t forget to read all the lists from last week:
101 Lessons Learned from 2007
101 Ways to Create a Powerful Web Presence
123 Questions Every Marketer Must Ask
69 Mini Philosophies on Just about Everything
49 Ways to become an Idea Powerhouse

But now for today’s list:
98 Things I Learned from Seth Godin’s “Meatball Sundae”

Which, by the way, goes on sale TODAY. And if you don’t buy it here, your 2008 might be DOOMED!

1. An inbound email is an opportunity.

2. Appeal to the reachable.

3. Are you telling people about me?

4. Assume that every chamber is loaded, that every interaction is an interaction with a critic.

5. Be customizable, upgradeable and discussable.

6. Be on the lookout for everyone.

7. Being well rounded is totally overrated. (Actually from The Dip.)

8. Blogs validate our three desires: to hear our own voices, to be heard by others and to hear what the crowd thinks.

9. Build a permission asset.

10. Build the foundation of your idea around your marketing.

11. Bundling isn’t necessary. It slows people down from finding specifically what they really need.

12. Businesses grow because customers tell other customers.

13. Capture the attention and commerce of the people who truly care.

14. Create a story that spreads from person to person, from blog to blog that moves through a community and leaves an impact as it goes.

15. Create art not to please a gallery, but to please yourself and to please the people who are attracted to your vision?

16. Customers are saying, “I’m not a hostage any longer.”

17. Customers are working overtime to ignore you.

18. Do you quit when it’s HARD or quit when it’s RIGHT.

19. Don’t find 100,000 people, find 10 people each of whom know 1000 people.

20. Don’t hype it up. Just appear.

21. Don’t send users away from your site, claim them as your own.

22. Embed the idea into the experience itself.

23. Embrace the chaos of your industry and figure out how to weave it into a long term asset for the future.

24. Enter the public square and enable conversations.

25. Every interaction with a customer is a make or break proposition. You don’t get a chance for a learning curve. You don’t have the opportunity for the user to overcome initial discomfort.

26. Everyone can be the best in the world at something, they just need to figure out what that is.

27. Everyone picks the best one when given a choice.

28. Find a market that hasn’t been found yet. Create something so remarkable that people in that market are compelled to find you. String together enough of those markets so you can string them together as a business.

29. Given the choice, people want the choice.

30. Going through all the trouble and time to get halfway there is a waste.

31. Humans hate to make commitments because commitment is risk and risk is frightening.

32. Ideas that spread through groups of people are far more powerful than ideas delivered at an individual.

33. If it doesn’t cost your life, it isn’t a quest. (Also from The Dip.)

34. If it doesn’t sound perfect after a sentence or two, it’s easy to glance down at the next ad.

35. If you can’t see a curve, how dare you go into that field.

36. In a free market, we reward the exceptional. (Also from The Dip.)

37. In a transparent world, people avoid the deceitful.

38. In a world of choice, compromised solutions rarely triumph.

39. In a world of choice, nobody picks something that is good enough.

40. In a world of networks, few pick the isolated.

41. Instead of how well you use a paintbrush, success in the world of art is how compelling your idea becomes.

42. Instead of racing around trying to find attention, stand around and allow attention to find you.

43. Instead, focus on creating an environment where other people could have a conversation, work hard to offer enough value that people will choose to have the conversation in your place – and make it from you from time to time.

44. Invest what it takes to be seen as the best in the market you choose to compete in.

45. It’s easier than ever to sell something.

46. It’s not us and them, it’s us and us.

47. Live a story that matches the story you want people to tell other people.

48. Make something worth talking about and make it easy to talk about.

49. Make sure the architecture of your idea is viral.

50. Make sure the FIRST group of people you share your idea with are open to big ideas and have big mouths.

51. Most people, most of the time, want to be like most people, most of the time.

52. Movements are at the heart of change and growth. A movement – an idea that spreads with passion through a community and leads to change – is far more powerful than any advertisement ever could be.

53. Movements come from out of nowhere, from small companies or impassioned individuals.

54. No dip = no scarcity = no value. (Yep, from The Dip.)

55. No dips = begging to be frustrating. (Yep, from The Dip.)

56. Nothing deserves to be viral, it becomes viral if the selfishly motivated consumer spreads the word, and if they’re not spreading the word, there’s something about the idea that makes them NOT CHOOSE to spread the idea.

57. People have control over the attention they give marketers.

58. People who are perceived as the best get rewards that DWARF the people who are third and fourth and fifth.

59. People who really care will find you.

60. Practice a calm and patient approach to permission marketing.

61. Quit or be exceptional. Average is for losers. (Best line of The Dip.)

62. Quitting is winning.

63. Realize that you’re not in charge.

64. Satisfy people who can best leverage your ideas.

65. Selling is about a transference of emotion, not a transference of facts.

66. Settle only for mastery.

67. Some external force has to make you a safe choice, i.e., media, book.

68. Speaking fee range is based on what serves the needs to the person who made the decision.

69. Starbucks offers 19,000 different beverages.

70. Stuff that stands on its own tends to be more remarkable. They have to be, the creators figure, because without a helping hand from a wealthy partner, that’s all they’ve got. It’s their only chance.

71. That’s why being a doctor is worth something – because not everybody’s a doctor.

72. The average length of video is five minutes, but the average length of viewing time is ten seconds. Ten seconds is all you get to prove to the viewer that it’s worth it to invest another ten seconds, and if you get someone to stick with you until the end, you’ve hit a homerun.

73. The distance between the brain of the designer and the ear of the consumer is shorter than it ever was before.

74. The internet doesn’t forget.

75. The Internet has nothing to do with what the movement is; the Net merely makes it easier than every for a movement to take place.

76. The moment your message ceases to be anticipated, personal and relevant, you cease to exist in your customer’s world.

77. The question isn’t, “How do you get Dugg,” the question is, “How do you make stuff worth Digging?”

78. The Web is like Santa Claus, but without the gifts.

79. The world is competitive, and you can only pick one, so why not pick the best.

80. The world now acts smaller and works faster.

81. There isn’t a mass market anymore: you’ll do great if there’s a niche, if your customers have natural peers.

82. There must be something about it that makes the people eager to spread it.

83. There’s not a lot of reason to persist with something that isn’t engaging.

84. Things become viral because the AUDIENCE wants to be viral, not because of you.

85. Today’s spoiled customer is willing to pay almost anything for the exclusive, noteworthy and indulgent.

86. Track attention and monetize interaction.

87. Treat every interaction, service, product and side effect as some kind of media.

88. Trust comes from repeatedly delivering insight and truth.

89. We don’t need to look for things to use our spare time because we don’t have any.

90. We feel safe and secure and validated when we choose the popular records.

91. When you get to the end of the dip, compounding your activity works, but once you’ve earned the respect, keep getting better at the craft, but stop promoting yourself because it takes away from the story – get out of the way so the people who are in love with you can talk about you.

92. Who knew? The Web knew.

93. Within you world, whatever world that is, you can see who is winning.

94. You can buy tiny slices of attention for a fraction of what it cost a decade ago.

95. You can harness the power of thousands of people for very little money.

96. You don’t have the money to command people to listen to you.

97. You’re always on the record, everyone is a critic, and the Web remembers forever.

98. Your people want to be heard

123 Questions Every Marketer Must Ask

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 Ways to Create a Powerful Web Presence

But for now:
123 Questions Every Marketer Must Ask

1. Are other people telling their friends about you?

2. Are other people repeating your “story”?

3. Are people talking about you?

4. Are the very first words out of your mouth consistent with your brand?

5. Are you broadcasting your brand to the right audience?

6. Are you building things worth noticing right into your product or service?

7. Are you concerned with traffic or transactions?

8. Are you everywhere?

9. Are you giving away enough stuff for free?

10. Are you listening to the word of mouth about you?

11. Are you pushing or pulling your customers?

12. Are you specializing enough?

13. Are you starting positive epidemics?

14. Are you still ripping off that lame-ass “Got milk?” campaign?

15. Are you thinking about your non-customers?

16. Are your products positioned, or do they just have clever slogans?

17. Can your target market afford you?

18. Do people know what you do?

19. Do people know what you’re DOING?

20. Do people know what you’ve DONE?

21. Do you find unusual places to show off?

22. Do you have customers or fans?

23. Do you have them at hello?

24. Do you know which of your marketing efforts have been effective in the past?

25. Do you provide a value message to your customers every week?

26. Do you really think anybody is talking about your yellow page ads?

27. Do your beautiful, award-winning marketing materials actually influence customer decisions?

28. Does a lower fee make you more affordable, or less attractive?

29. Does your website offer proof or just list a bunch of adjectives?

30. Has anybody ever done this before?

31. Have people heard about you?

32. How are you allowing customers to participate in your brand?

33. How are you building a following? (If you’re not presently doing this, send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I’d be happy to show you how!)

34. How are you building a permission asset?

35. How are you enabling your customers to do your marketing for you?

36. How are you getting permission from people to market to them?

37. How are you making it easy for customers to tell their friends about you?

38. How are you marketing yourself daily?

39. How are you staying in front of your fans?

40. How can you be visible to the highest number of people?

41. How can you become the best marketer in the world?

42. How can you keep marketing, even when you tell customers no?

43. How can you make yourself more marketable in the next year?

44. How could you encourage strangers to break the silence and talk to you?

45. How do you measure your permission asset?

46. How good are you at attracting attention?

47. How many different ways are you interacting with your market?

48. How many different ways can you leverage this?

49. How many different ways did you leverage your media appearance?

50. How many people anticipate your marketing?

51. How many people do you think really read your press release?

52. How much money do you spend on marketing?

53. How much time do you spend on marketing each day?

54. How often are customers retelling your company’s story?

55. If you have to jump through hoops to defeat someone’s efforts to avoid your advertising, is the result going to be worthwhile?

56. If you have to trick people into looking at your advertising, is the result going to be worthwhile?

57. If you showed your idea to a teenager, what would she think?

58. If you showed your website to a five year old, what would he think?

59. If you stopped advertising, would anybody even notice?

60. If you were your customer, what would you LOVE to have from you next?

61. Is anybody else doing this now?

62. Is your idea simple enough that a five year old could understand it?

63. Is your idea so good that other people are copying it?

64. Is your idea so good that SNL would parody it?

65. Is your idea so remarkable that people make fun of it?

66. Is your marketing interrupting or interacting?

67. Is your marketing making music or noise?

68. Are you creating a website or a destination?

69. Are you sharing link love FIRST?

70. Can your business afford not to have a website?

71. Did you buy the domain first?

72. Did you get their email address?

73. Did you register all of the misspellings and accidental permutations of your URL?

74. Do you have a web-SITE or a web-PRESENCE?

75. Do you really care if your non-customers don’t like your website?

76. Does your website honestly reflect your business personality?

77. Does your Website leave a perception of value or vanity in the mind of a visitor”?

78. Does your website scream, “Look at me!” or “Here’s what you were looking for”?

79. How are you getting customers to come back to your website just to see what you’ve been up to?

80. How are you participating in your online image?

81. How are you taking advantage of the infinite shelf space of the Web?

82. How powerful is your online platform?

83. Is content king on your website?

84. Is your website an experience?

85. Is your website something you can proudly reference?

86. What are the Potential Silent Dialogues when people first come to your website?

87. What makes your website a destination?

88. When someone comes to your website, how do you want them to feel?

89. When someone comes to your website, what’s the ONE THING you want them to do?

90. When was the last time you added new content to your website?

91. When was the last time you bought something from spam email?

92. When was the last time you checked your website stats?

93. When was the last time you Googled a word or idea?

94. When was the last time you Googled somebody?

95. When was the last time you invited your audience to participate at your website?

96. Where are most of your hits coming from?

97. Who’s blogging about you?

98. Why aren’t you blogging yet?

99. Why wouldn’t anyone spend more than 60 seconds at your website?

100. Why would someone come to (and stay at) your website for more than 60 seconds?

101. Why would someone give you her email address (and therefore, permission) to market to her regularly?

102. Why would someone return to your website consistently?

103. Why would someone tell her friends about my website consistently?

104. Why would you put links on YOUR website that send customers to someone ELSE’S website?

105. What are three reasons ANYBODY would want to go to your website?

106. What are you doing to stimulate, harness and increase word of mouth?

107. What are you giving away for free?

108. What could you do to strengthen the relationships with your biggest fans?

109. What have you recently learned about marketing trends?

110. What is it about your idea that makes people eager to spread it?

111. What is your total marketing capacity?

112. What part of your marketing makes people stop and ask, “Huh?”

113. What type of marketing will you use?

114. What would the twenty-second word of mouth ‘sound byte’ be if your customer were to tell a friend about you?

115. What’s the most important word in marketing?

116. When was the last time a complete stranger come up to and said, “OK, so, I just HAVE to ask…”?

117. When was the last time you actually bought something from a telemarketer?

118. When was the last time you invited your audience to participate in your brand?

119. When was the last time you picked up Yellow Pages to find a product or service?

120. When was the last time you updated your brand identity?

121. When was the last time you were THRILLED to get junk mail?

122. Why are you marketing?

123. Why are you (still) wasting money on advertising?

What three questions MUST every marketer ask?

Post your lists here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Practices, THEN principles.

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

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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.”


(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?

What makes your site a destination?

But Seth’s new book. Where do you think I got all these ideas? 😉

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

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Approachable Service: 18 Ways to be UNFORGETTABLE!

1. Answer in advance. Make a list of the 101 most frequently asked questions your customers. Write a short answer for each one (no more than one paragraph). Then give away that little booklet FOR FREE to every single person who walks in your door. (You could also make this into a CD, audiocassette or podcast.)
2. Use magic. Write letters, thank you notes and proposals to your clients on paper that changes color when you touch it. Everyone in their entire office will see it and talk about it.

3. Send it back. Take a prospect’s business card, scan it, blow it up, make it into a small pack of postcards, luggage tags or notepads, and then send it to him. This appeals to someone’s ego AND helps him build HIS business as well.

4. Gift Certificates. Mock up gift cards, gift certificates or “Dave Dollars,” for example, that you could us as giveaways to get new customers into your funnel. Offer 15-minute consultations, a free oil change, a free appetizer, etc. Then, when they come in once, WOW them. They’ll come back forever.

5. Added value. What if you included a little 10 tips laminated card with every purchase? For example, dry cleaners could include ideas for fall fashion and emergency stain removal. Just staple it to the receipt. Or better yet, MAKE IT the receipt!

6. Encourage repeat business. What other days of the year will customers probably need your product or service? What if, every time someone bought something from you, you included a calendar with your logo on all of the potential dates on which they would need you? Father’s Day? Valentines Day? Secretary’s Day?

7. “Celebritize” your customers. Have a featured “customer of the week” on your website. Interview him, plug HIS business and show a picture of him USING your product or service. He’ll take ownership and tell everybody he knows.

8. Banners. If you only see a few clients a day, what if you hung up a new banner, welcome sign or dry erase board for each person? Talk about a first impression! Or, what if all your employees wore nametags reading, “Welcome, Dave!”

9. Customer Advisory Board. What if, once a quarter, you invited an elite group of your biggest customers out to lunch? Form an official Customer Advisory Board. Get feedback on trends in their industries, along with tips on how to serve them better.
10. Tours. Airplane pilots often invite children into the cockpit for a tour. Then they give them official wings to pin onto their shirt. What if you held a tour of your warehouse or control room? And what if, after each tour, you had a little pin or sticker to give to each customer? Crown Candy, the greatest restaurant in St. Louis, has been doing this for decades. (Except instead of pilot’s wings, you get licorice. Sweet.)

11. As long as I’m here. What else could you do as a free add-on to your service? For example, if you provided on-site tech support, maybe you could also clean people’s computer screens or towers! No extra charge = mo’ extra value.
12. Now that you’re here. When your customers walk IN the door, what welcome gift could you offer that’s consistent with your brand? I once stayed at a hotel in Hawaii. When I approached the desk, a stunning woman wearing a native Hawaiian dress and a flower in her hair offered me free glass of freshly squeezed pineapple juice. Aloha, indeed!
13. Wait, before you go! When your customers walk OUT the door, what “until next time” gift could you offer that’s consistent with your brand? A few years ago I ate lunch at a grill in Chicago. Beside the door was a tub of cold bottles of ice water (with their logo on the labels) along with a homemade oatmeal cookie for my walk back across town. Unbelievable!

14. Signing bonuses. Once the contract is signed, what congratulatory gift could you offer that compliments your service? My realtor gave me a $100 gift certificate to Pottery Barn after I closed on my condo. I told everybody about it! Other examples: car salesmen could offer car wash coupons, clothing stores could offer free lint brushes, kennels could offer free milk bones or shoe salesmen could offer free lotion. The possibilities are endless!
15. Solve problems you didn’t create. What problems do your customers have (before they see you) that you didn’t cause? For example, if you work at a hotel, you probably encounter many guests who lose their luggage. What if the front desk had a book of gift certificates to a nearby clothing store that they could give to desperate guests? You could say, “Just tell the guys at Men’s Warehouse that Gary from the Fairmount sent ya. They’ll fix you right up!” Imagine the impression! Imagine the loyalty! And the increase in return visits will massively outweigh the cost of the gift certificates. Not to mention, it builds a mutually valuable relationship between you and the other company.
16. Make personalization easy. What can you include in your service to make the customer feel more at home? A hotel I once stayed at had iPod alarm clocks in every room so guests could wake up to their favorite songs. Rock on!

17. Donate en masse. At what gathering, event or conference could you donate your services to get in front of hundreds of buyers at once? At a recent book expo, I noticed three massage chairs positioned by the escalators for attendees with aching feet and backs. Think they “booked” any future business?
18. Remember your non-customers. What types of “poor suckers” do your customers drag around that don’t want to be there? Kids? Men? Women? What could you make available to keep them busy while the other person shops? Years ago while my girlfriend was shopping at EXPRESS, I noticed a stack of MAXIM magazines by the dressing room, right next to The Boyfriend Chair. Reading them sure made the time go by quickly!

What company offered you approachable service that was UNFORGETTABLE?

Share your best story here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

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