13 reasons to give stuff away for free

1. Because the more you give away for free, the wealthier you will be. Read more about this theory here.

2. Because stuff that you create doesn’t do you any good sitting in a folder on your computer.

3. Because you can let the world be your editor. By sharing your ideas (for free) with lots of people, you will get unexpected, unsolicited feedback on how to improve it.

4. Because the more stuff you have out there for free, the more fans you will create.

5. Because the Internet was founded upon the idea of free. And some things (like information, articles, videos, content,) are so readily available, that if you DON’T have at least SOME stuff for free, people are going to find them elsewhere.

6. Because if you dropped a piano and a plum off of the Empire State Building, which one would hurt more if it hit you? Exactly. The piano. Because More Mass = More Power.

7. Because who’s more of an expert: someone who wrote 12 articles or someone who write 1,200 articles?

8. Because, “The act of giving away our knowledge makes it again fresh in our mind,” says my hero, Julia Cameron.

9. Because it boosts your Google juice.

10. Because it increases the odds of someone NEW reading your stuff, thus earning their loyalty.

11. Because it increases the odds of someone OLD reading your stuff, thus reinforcing their loyalty.

12. Because it delivers multiple forms of value.

13. Because it increases website revisitability.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Why do you give stuff away for free?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Share your best reasons here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag


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Read more blogs!
Rent Scott’s Brain!
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Watch training videos on NametagTV!

Make a name for yourself here…


Always have something to give

PICTURE THIS: you plop down next to a friendly guy on the plane.

After a brief greeting, he asks about your work.

“I’m an author,” you say.

“Cool! What kind of books?” he asks.

So you tell him. And he becomes very excited. Obviously, he’s a perfect reader for you.

“Wow, that sounds great,” he replies. “My entire office needs to read your book! You wouldn’t happen to have an extra copy in your bag, would you?”

“Oh, uh … no. Sorry,” you say. “But I’m sure your local Borders has it in stock.”

“Oh.”

Yeah. “Oh” is right.

LESSON LEARNED: being in the right place at the right time does you no good…

Until you deliver VALUE.

That’s one of the keys to sticking yourself out there: always having something to give.

As an author, I don’t go anywhere without at least one of my books.

Because you never know whom you might meet.
You never know who might ask for one.
And you never know what business opportunities might arise by one.

Of course, this isn’t just about authors.

This is about ANY entrepreneur, artist, solo practitioner, consultant, writer, speaker, performer or musician … who wants to make a name for himself.

Always have something to give.

See, people need visuals. They need proof that you’re the real deal.

Unfortunately, first impressions don’t take very long. That’s why having something to give the perfect shortcut.

I remember a few years ago, I was chatting with a guy while waiting in line at Kinko’s. Turns out he was an up-and-coming DJ.

When I asked him if he had any of his music handy, he said, “Sure, follow me…”

We walked over to his car, he popped the trunk, and this guy had five boxes of CD’s ready to go!

“Here ya go! I always keep a few copies handy, just in case,” he laughed.

Think that guy is going to be successful?

Absolutely!

Because he’s always ready to pitch on a moment’s notice.

Because he always has something to give.

See, Strategic Serendipity is about preparation.

And if you want to make a name for yourself, consider all the potential things YOU could be ready to give!

1. Philosophy cards
2. Tip sheets
3. Demo Videos
4. Copies of your CDs
5. Copies of your books

…all of these items deliver value, support your brand and enable a conversation to go from mundane to memorable.

So whether it’s in person, on the plane or even waiting in line at Kinko’s, remember this:

Being in the right place at the right time does you no good…

Until you deliver VALUE.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Do you always have something to give?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Make a list of 10 potential freebies you could give away at a moment’s notice. Try one a week.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag


Are you a friend of The Nametag Network?

Read more blogs!
Rent Scott’s Brain!
Download articles and ebooks!
Watch training videos on NametagTV!

Make a name for yourself here…


ALL YE WHO ENTER BEWARE!

You’re a creative professional.

That means you make a living off of your ideas.

SO, HERE’S THE BIG QUESTION: how do you deal with people stealing your material?

Tough issue. Has been for a long time.

Plagiarism comes from the Latin plagiare, meaning, “to kidnap.”

It’s defined as “the practice of claiming, or implying, original authorship or incorporating material from someone else’s written or creative work, in whole or in part, into one’s own without adequate acknowledgment.” (From Wikipedia.)

Because idea piracy is such a big issue, here’s a list of seven potential solutions to deal with it:

1. Take legal action. This is an expensive, frustrating and timely pursuit. However, it could pay off in a BIG way if you win. Not to mention, become a deterrent for future offenders. HINT: ask more experienced creative professionals (or lawyers) if you have a case first.

2. Catch it early. You can’t control your online image. You can only monitor and participate IN it. That’s where Google Alerts come in handy. And if you’re tracking the right search terms, you’ll be the first to know when someone is stealing your material. Do you know every time someone is talking about you?

3. Kill ‘em with friendliness. Sometimes “stealing” and “using” isn’t the same thing. Still, it’s your job to find out. For example, last year my Google Alerts informed me that someone WAS using one of my taglines. So, I found they guy’s email, dropped him a line and cordially asked him to stop using my registered trademark. He was totally respectful and apologetic. He had no idea! So, if this happens to you, be friendly first. No need to get nasty or defensive.

4. Karma. Be honest with yourself: have YOU ever stolen someone else’s material? Just something to think about.

5. Protect thy content. On your blog or website, include a piracy notice or reprint policy. Tell visitors they are welcome to use your material if they:

a. Email you to ask for permission
b. Give you full credit with your specified BIO
c. Send you a copy or a link for the inclusion

Most people will respect this, especially if you drop Creative Commons on them.

REMEMBER: people respond to policies.

6. Validate. OK, let’s say someone DOES steal your material. Ask yourself three questions:

a. Will this person’s dishonesty, unoriginality and lack of creativity cause their execution of the idea to fizzle anyway?
b.Is this SUCH a minor incident that I shouldn’t even bother worrying about?
c. Is there really anything I can even do about it?

REMEMBER: Lincoln said, “You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.” Eventually, most thieves get caught.

7. Let it go. The nature of the Internet makes it VERY easy for people to steal material. The question is: how concerned are you?

Creativity Guru Lee Silber says, “Very few people have the intent, ability, follow-through or malice to steal your ideas. Don’t let this fear hold you back. Do what you can to protect yourself and your ideas, and then go out and spread the word.”

So, this isn’t about naivety, this is about reality. Is it really worth losing z’s about? And is it a problem or a predicament?

Those seven approaches notwithstanding, here’s my answer to the idea-stealing issue

The best way to block a punch … no be there.

Those were the words of Mr. Miyagi from Karate Kid II.

IN OTHER WORDS: if you don’t want people stealing your material and using your ideas, make them unstealable.

Create and position your material in a manner that is SO unique to you, your brand and your voice … that nobody COULD steal it.

And if they did, people would know it.

That’s what I would do.

Ultimately, whichever approach you choose, just know this: idea piracy DOES happen.

Your challenge as a creative professional is to create a plan that effectively and efficiently deals with it when it does.

And, if you’re one of those unfortunate artists who DOES get her ideas kidnapped, remember this old scripture: (I learned this from my high school English teacher)

“And let us not be wearing in well doing: for in due season we shall reap a harvest if we faint not.”

Because at the end of the creative day…

People who steal ideas are cowards.
People who steal ideas are unoriginal.
People who steal ideas are uncreative.
People who steal ideas are going to get caught.
People who steal ideas are not going to sustain themselves.

So, don’t let it get you down. Piracy is flattery.

After all, if your idea was so good that somebody wanted to steal it, maybe that should tell you something 😉

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How do you prevent and/or deal with idea pirates?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Share your best piracy story here, along with how you handled it.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag


Are you a friend of The Nametag Network?

Read more blogs!
Rent Scott’s Brain!
Download articles and ebooks!
Watch training videos on NametagTV!

Make a name for yourself here…


The Nametag Guy gives away his 4th book for FREE!

2,372 days ago, I made the most important decision of my entire career…

I decided to wear a nametag all day, every day, for the rest of my life.

My name is Scott Ginsberg.

I’m That Guy with Nametag.

And this is my story.

It’s called Make a Name For Yourself.

Friends, this book will knock your socks off.

It’s the best work I’ve ever created to date.

And if you read it, study it and put it to action, you WILL make a name for yourself too.

But don’t take my word for it. Listen to what a few of my heros had to say about it…

“Scott Ginsberg is THAT GUY. His book will make YOU that guy, if you buy it read it, and put it into action, not only will you make a name for yourself, you’ll also make a bank account for yourself. Sweet.” –Jeffrey Gitomer, Bestselling author of The Little Red Book of Selling

“Scott’s fourth book is funny, informative, educational, and compelling – all rolled up in one book. I am strongly recommending it to my network!” –Dr. Ivan Misner, Founder of BNI and NY Times Bestselling author

OK. So, here’s the deal guys. You have three options:

1. Buy the book on Amazon.com.
2. Buy the book on my website.
3. Download the ENTIRE BOOK for free, right now.

Obviously, I recommend options 1 or 2. However, if you simply can’t wait, please feel free to download the ENTIRE book for free, right now, no strings attached.

WARNING!! Understand that if you DO download this book for free, you WILL want to buy it by the time you’re done.

Because if you don’t make a name for yourself, someone will make one for you.

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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Buy Gitomer’s Little Green Book and Get The Nametag Guy’s New Ebook

Gitomer’s back!

His new book, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way hits the stores today!

I’ve already read it, and it ROCKS.

A few excerpts I liked:

*Being a person of influence means that you have a reputation, character, credibility and stature enough that people will take your message seriously.

*Practice with passion. If you don’t love what you do, practicing will be a chore. If you love it, practicing won’t just be fun – it will be something you look forward to.

*Writing becomes persuasive when others are willing to act on, or coment on, what you’ve written.

*Allow the other person to feel a valid reason for your persistence. If they do, they will embrace you rather than avoid you.

The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way is the newest addition to Jeffrey’s best selling Little Book Series, and gives you the critical tools you need to speak, write, present, persuade, influence, and sell your point of view to others.

HERE’S THE BEST PART…

Buy the book on Amazon.com TODAY and get hundreds of dollars of free stuff from Jeffrey and 33 other top business leaders around the world… including me!

I’ve donated my latest ebook 117 Phrases That Payses.

BUY THE BOOK TODAY – APRIL 24 on Amazon.com, send your receipt to myway@gitomer.com and you win!

You will receive hundreds of dollars worth of downloadable e-books, white papers, articles, audio MP3s, video MP4s, reports, and chapters of best selling books being offered by dozens of sales, marketing, publishing, communications, public relations, and business growth leaders.

It’s that simple, and that valuable.

For more details about the offer, go here!

To buy the book now, go here!

The more you give away for free, the wealthier you will be

In 1999, Seth Godin wrote a book called Permission Marketing.

In addition to selling the book on Amazon, Seth also offered it as a downloadable ebook … for free.

The ENTIRE book. For nothing. A publishing first!

Not only did millions of people download it…

Not only did millions of people tell their friends about it…

But millions of people also BOUGHT Seth’s book too. And it would later become one of the fastest, best selling books in history.

He now has a cult following, comparable to the likes of Tom Peters and Peter Drucker. (Oh, and his speaking fee is more than some people’s annual income. Sigh.)

The more you give away for free, the wealthier you will be.

Speaking of Tom Peters, let’s talk about Tom Peters.

Notwithstanding his existing reputation as a brilliant author, speaker, thinker and consultant, he (still) gives everything away for free.

Every article. Every ebook. Every rant. Every special report. Every set of PowerPoint slides.

Everything.

He gets it.

(And you don’t need me to tell you how wealthy Tom is!)

The more you give away for free, the wealthier you will be.

Also understood by Ryan Adams, one of my favorite songwriters.

In 2007, he recorded eight new albums (yes, eight) all at once. Each of his new CD’s was available as free downloads on his website.

Media outlets worldwide gasped at his prolificacy. He made music history.

And scores of fans old and new swarmed his homepage for days at a time (not hours, but days) to download all the new tunes from their favorite rocker.

Including myself.

Make no mistake: Ryan Adams’ generosity won’t go unrewarded.

Because while many Gen X artists are cowering beneath the shadows of unstoppable American Idol atrocities, Adams is only growing bigger and better.

Because he’s not afraid to give at all away.

The more you give away for free, the wealthier you will be.

And as Tim O’Reilly says, the problem isn’t piracy, it’s obscurity.

Just do it.

Don’t be scared.

Let the world pay you back.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How much are you giving away for free?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
In what way has free led to wealth in your life?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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17 Reasons to Write a FREE Ebook

If you’ve been to this blog before, you’ve probably read my position on the power of free.

Anyway, to keep the tradition going, here’s 17 reasons to write a FREE ebook:

1. Storage. You have all that great material already, right? Blog posts, articles, rants, whitepapers, etc. It’s time to put them together into a nicely packaged document that delivers more value. Content = useless until it’s accessible to all.

2. Reach. Sure, you could charge $7, $17 or $47 or whatever other shrewd pricing strategy you learned from those Internet marketing dudes. But if it’s free, more people are going to see it. And if your ebook ROCKS (and has some, but not too much, cross pollination of your additional services) the revenue will bounce back ten fold. Er, seven fold.

3. Differentiation. Most ebooks out there, especially the ones people charge for, suck. Very little value given. Just a teaser to get you to buy something bigger. And I’m all for using ebooks to cross-promote, but don’t chince out. Don’t give away one or two good ideas; pack it full of dozens of ideas and content that is SO good, people want more.

4. WOM. Seth Godin wrote the best-selling ebook in the history of ebooks. Funny thing is, he didn’t charge for it. At least, not if you didn’t want to pay for it. He offered people a choice: get it for free, pay a small donation, or pay full price. Your choice. BRILLIANT! More people talked about that ebook than anything else ever written!

5. Value. You’re smart. You’ve got lots of good ideas, tips, techniques and philosophies that can help others. Don’t be selfish with your knowledge. Share it with the world. Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas.

6. Fans. Your duty to your company, yourself and the people you serve is to cultivate fans. NOT customers. Fans. The people who loyally love your stuff and tell everyone about you. Free ebooks = new fans.

7. Free. Statistically speaking, research proves that people like free stuff.

8. Traffic. Kind of a no-brainer, but yes. Ebooks drive traffic. I’ve written ten of them and received more website (and blog) traffic that I can possibly keep track of. NOTE: remember, however, that “hits” is an acronym for “how idiots track sales.” So before you post that ebook, make sure your website ROCKS and is CONVERTIBLE. Still, the ebook will enable you drive web traffic the “old school” way: content. Forget ad words, sponsored links and pay per click. That’s interruption. You need interaction.

9. Sales. I don’t believe in selling. I believe in enabling people to buy. And that’s exactly what a free ebook does. You deliver value FIRST in a manner consistent with your brand and philosophy. As a result, readers are interested, educated and excited about you. That’s why at the END of the ebook, be sure to include plenty of info about what ELSE you do. And not some ridiculous five-page sell sheet. Just a note that says, “Hi! Hope you learned a lot from my ebook. Actually, I’m more than just a writer. I also do these other things. If I can help you, drop me a line.”

10. Time. As an author myself, I know cranking out (real) books is an arduous process. In 2007, I’m putting out five new paperbacks. It’s not going to be easy. That’s why ebooks are a nice “placeholder” for your content. You don’t have to go all the way and publish a real book per se. You can simply do the ebook, post it on your blog and wait until you’re ready for the BIG one to do it for real.

11. Testing. OK, so you’ve got these ideas, stories, tips, etc. You want to test the waters before writing a real book, right? Cool. Write the ebook, post it for free, and see what people say. Maybe you’ll get glowing emails from around the world saying how great it is! Or, maybe nobody will download it except your wife and even she’ll tell you that it sucked. Either way, you’ll have a better idea of how the market responds to your content before spending $5000 on the real thing.

12. Content. Content is king. People might forgive sub-par packaging, but they’ll never forgive crappy content. Work hard on making your ebook meaty and chunky. Like Campell’s. Full of great stuff. People LOVE that. Plus, writing a content-rich ebook will put you in the 90% percentile, since most ebooks are total fluff.

13. Authorship. Writing an ebook doesn’t make you an author. Author = actual, tangible books. However, it’s one step closer. You’ll feel like an author. And once you write an ebook (that everybody loves) perhaps you’ll be inspired to get that real book out of you.

14. Practice. I’ve written four paperback books so far. And I don’t think I discovered my true voice until the third one. So, practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes polished. And starting with an ebook or two is going to let you sweat out some potential sub-par stuff until you get it right. The more you write, the more clear your voice becomes.

15. Credibility. Providing that your ebook gives useful, sound advice, you will be perceived as an expert. An authority. Maybe not THE expert or THE authority. But the more you write = the more credible you become.

16. Build your list. It doesn’t matter what you sell. If you’re reading this right now, odds are, you’re in the business of NAME ACCUMULATION. You need to build a following and stay in front of these people (your fans who love you) on a regular basis. Your ebook will help accomplish that. Especially if you give it away as a bonus to anyone who signs up.

17. Google. FINALLY…post that bad boy on your blog, website, myspace page and everywhere else you possibly can. Go back after 1, 3 and 6 months and search on Google. Just watch the hits come up!

Good luck. May the e-Schwartz be with you.

Oh, and to spice up this post, here’s my latest free ebook:

Sticky Note Success:
25 Self-Motivating Messages to Pump Up Productivity and Stimulate Sales

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What’s your favorite ebook?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Share your favorite ebook with us. Post a link to it here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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Jeffrey Gitomer and The Nametag Guy Team Up Again!

Buy Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude on amazon.com today and get hundreds of dollars of free stuff from Jeffrey and 27 other top business leaders
around the world… including me!

The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude is the newest addition to Jeffrey’s best selling Little Book Series, and gives you the critical tools you need to find, build, and keep a YES! Attitude for a lifetime of success.

I’ve already read this book. Finished it in three hours.

IT ROCKS.

This is Jeffrey’s best work to date, and it’s written for the professional salesperson, the entrepreneur, the small business owner, the sales leader, the sales executive, and anyone who wants to create a YES! Attitude in every aspect of their business and personal lives.

BUY THE BOOK TODAY – JANUARY 9th on amazon.com, send your receipt to yes@gitomer.com and you win! You will receive hundreds of dollars worth of downloadable e-books, white papers, articles, audio MP3s, reports, and chapters of best selling books being offered by 27 top sales, marketing, publishing, communications, public relations, and business growth leaders.

It’s that simple, and that valuable.

For more details about the other 26 freebies in this offer, go here.

To buy the book now, go here.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What’s your best attitude secret?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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The power of FREE

You could argue that free is bad:

That free gives no value.
That free wastes people’s time.
That free is setting your business up for failure.

Or you could argue that free is good:

That free DOES give value.
That free captures attention.
That free brings customers into your sales funnel.

I’m gonna go with door #1. For 6 reasons:
FREE helps others. Don’t be selfish with your knowledge. Give stuff – information, ideas and like – away for free to help people.

FREE pays it forward. How many times have you been give priceless pieces of wisdom? Did you pay for it? Doubtful. Return the favor. Except, don’t return it; pay it forward. Great example here.

FREE gives value first. Huge rule in business. Free information shows that you have knowledge and expertise. I’ve given dozens of free speeches in my life, and subsequently booked paying gig as a result. So, give it away for free the first time, and the people who received value from it will come back to you the second time. And the third, and the fourth, and the fifth…

FREE wins fans. How many times have you heard a song on the radio, LOVED IT, then went out and bought the album? Probably lots. Because you were a fan of the music. Hence, free creates (and ultimately helps retain) fans. Think iTunes’ free music Tuesday. Brilliant. It’s a simple formula: break the silence, make the mundane memorable, turn strangers into friends, friends into fans and fans into sales.
FREE tests the waters. Maybe you have new ideas that you’re not sure about yet. I say, post them on a blog and get free feedback before you break the bank. Maybe people will see stuff you never thought of. Maybe people will love your ideas! Maybe people will say, “That sucks!” Either way, it’s good to know.

FREE culture of dishonesty. Thanks to Enron, James Frey and a multitude of other big name liars, customers are skeptical before buying stuff. So, give something to them for free first, disarm their immediate preoccupation, and win them over. If they like you, they’ll be back.

The reason I posted about this today is because a woman called me recently and said (jokingly, I think), “Scott, you have way too much free stuff on your website! I’ve been there all afternoon!”

First of all, thanks! All afternoon? Wow. Most web users stay on the average sit for 90 seconds. Nice.

Secondly, are you complaining?

Thirdly, maybe you’re right. Maybe 100+ articles, 5 FREE ebooks and several videos are too many things to give away for FREE. Maybe I’m afraid to sell. Maybe I’m afraid that charging people will lose people.

Maybe.

All I know is, in the history of my business, FREE has been the absolute #1 most valuable marketing technique for spreading WOM, attracting fans and increasing visibility, thus increasing sales.

So there.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What are you giving away for free?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Email scott@hellomynameisscott.com with your best “free offering,” and I’ll post the top three on this blog next week.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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Yet another free ebook from The Nametag Guy

Last month I released a free ebook about speaking.

It was downloaded a few thousand times, which ain’t bad.

Because I got so many positive emails, calls and comments about it, I decided to write a companion ebook for authors and self publishers. Here she is:

203 Things I’ve Learned about Writing,
Selling and Marketing Books

Three of my favorite tips are:

#37: I would recommend you give away at least one free downloadable ebook a year and post it on your website/blog. It gives value, increases traffic and often results in future sales via click-throughs. (Kind of like I’m doing RIGHT NOW.)

#84: If you don’t want to make this a business, don’t bother.

#196: People don’t want to rent a car; they want to get out of the airport. Think about it: what does your book REALLY DO for your readers?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What does your book really do for your readers?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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