Approachability 2.0

CustomInk is the web’s most advanced virtual store for custom decorated merchandise.

Customers are empowered to design and order customized apparel, drink ware and novelties for their businesses, teams, groups and events with greater ease, speed and value than ever before.

BUT WAIT, IT GETS BETTER: they understand Approachability 2.0 better than most Fortune 500 companies.

For example: On their Ink of the Week Blog, each week they award a $100 voucher to the CustomInk customer with the photo showing the most group spirit!

First, customers submit their photo to enter the contest.

Then, blog visitors pick the week’s competition winner by clicking and rating their favorite photos!

Coolest thing ever done by a t-shirt company in the history of t-shirt companies!

See, CustomInk gets it. Their Approachability 2.0 idea WINS because:

1. It’s fun.
2. It’s cool.
3. It participative.
4. It’s emotional.
5. It cultivates fans, not customers.
6. It spreads word of mouth.
7. NOBODY else does this.
8. It builds community.
9. It shows and proves instead of just telling and selling.
10. It’s the best testimonial in the world.
11. It shows the benefit of the benefit of the benefit.

LESSONS LEARNED:

1. Customers need to see PICTURES of other customers using, wearing and enjoying your products.
2. It’s 2007. Get a blog.
3. Approachable always wins.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Why aren’t you blogging yet?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Start a blog TODAY, but don’t be like 50% of all bloggers in the world and abandon your blog after two months. Stick with it! It pays off. Eventually.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag


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7 ways to become a Virtual Extrovert

Anonymity is the greatest barrier to business success.

Especially online.

Because if you don’t exist on the Internet, you don’t exist.

HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS: even the painfully shy, even the most introverted souls, can still become Virtual Extroverts.

A Virtual Expert voices her opinion … online.
A Virtual Expert takes the first step … online.
A Virtual Expert sticks herself out there … online.

Here’s a list of 7 ways to do so:

1. Post pictures. On a photo-sharing website like Flickr. On your blog posts. On your website. Just make sure customers can see you doing what you do..

2. Email the author. If you read an article that touches, educates or connects with your philosophy, respond! Scroll down to the bio box at the end of the piece – it usually lists an email for the author. Send a note with your comments. (If you’ve never done this before, here ya go: scott@hellomynameisscott.com)

3. Blog comments. When you read a great blog post, always leave comments. Even if it’s as simple as, “Great post! Thanks!” Doing so not only sticks yourself out there, but also enables other readers to see who you are and link back to your website.

4. Connect with like-minded colleagues. Do some Googling. Find other people who do what you do. Check out associations, user groups and other online communities. Introduce yourself with the intention of connecting, not selling. Be proactive in developing mutually valuable relationships.

5. Publish! Don’t be selfish with your knowledge. At least once a month, publish an ezine. At least once every few weeks, publish an article. And at least one a week, publish a blog. Be the fhe first one to step out there and share your thoughts. Over time as content accumulates, they WILL come to you.

6. Join up! Part of extroversion is going where people are. Especially your target customers. Consider brainstorming a list called “10 Online Hotspots for My Industry.” From MySpace to LinkdIn to Facebook, create strong presence in a variety of online communities.

7. Message Boards. Another great resource for knowledge sharing, building community and making friends. Don’t be afraid to post questions and ask for help. Most message board types are willing to help AND respond quickly.

With these seven tips, you can be sure to boost your online approachability and become a virtual extrovert!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you sticking yourself out there … online?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Think about your 3 best ideas for becoming a Virtual Extrovert – share them here!

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

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott’s interview on 20/20!

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Comparing the two kinds of web traffic

Today’s original post contained a comparison between organic web traffic and sponsored web traffic.

I realized (with the help of a few candid friends) that I was way off.

So, instead of me rambling as usual, let’s just have a debate:

What’s the most effective way to drive web traffic?

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

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Keep It Alive, Part 1

This is the first post in a new series called “Keep It Alive.”

This collection of techniques will help you stay in touch with (and maintain) your network. Even when you think you’re too busy.

I encourage you to suggest your own techniques at the end of this post!

Guess what? Today you will be taking field trip!

No permission slip needed.

THE DESTINATION: your inbox.

Here’s your first assignment:

Start by going back to your oldest saved email message. Maybe it’s from last year. Maybe it’s from last month. Maybe it’s from last century. But spend the next half-hour working your way backwards to today.

By reviewing past emails, you’ll come across people, messages and issues you’ve completely forgotten all about. You might think, “Wow, I wonder what Karen’s been up to lately!” or “Hmm…I don’t recognize Mike’s name. Better re-read his message to refresh my memory.”

Either way, this trip down e-memory lane is the perfect exercise to workout those out of shape networking muscles. And if you can reconnect with just one person you otherwise wouldn’t have talked to, it will be worth it.

OK. Here’s your second assignment:

Another underused feature for staying in touch is the email auto-completer. Depending on which mail client you use, you should be able to do this in a few quick steps:

1. Go to “compose new message.”
2. Punch in any letter of the alphabet.
3. You should be prompted with a dozen or so potential email addresses starting with that same letter. Pick a name and email away!

It’s actually kind of fun. You’ll see names you completely forgot about!

Gmail is good at this. They provide you with a drop down box. It reminds you of every person you’ve ever emailed (or received an email from) over the years.

TRY THIS: every once in a while, take a few minutes and just go through the entire alphabet. You never know whose name might come up! And a simple, “We haven’t chatted in a while, so I just thought I’d drop a line and say hey!” is the perfect way to reconnect with an old friend or colleague.

Ultimately, running a monthly email search is the perfect tool to Keep It Alive with old contacts, friends and prospects.

Maybe it’s a simple “just checking in” note.
Maybe it’s a reply to an old message you forgot about.
Maybe it’s an email update to an old friend you haven’t talked to in a while.

EITHER WAY: people will appreciate your follow up.

PLUS, YOU NEVER KNOW: you might make a sale, reconnect with old friends, even made someone’s day!

AND SURE, it might seem like extra work.

But remember, the last four words in N-E-T-W-O-R-K are W-O-R-K!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How do you keep it alive?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Post your best Keep It Alive technique here!

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

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The Approachability of Web 2.0

It’s true: blogs, instant messaging, wikis, widgets, podcasts and the like are all contributing to a higher level of approachability on the internet.

This article from Brand Republic says, “It’s better to let users talk about you in a branded environment: A brand can gain so much in terms of the credibility it will receive by being approachable and having a human face rather than just communicating one way.”

<-----Look here. This is a Meebo Widget. It’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen on the Internet.

Here’s how it works: click on the above image (or here) and you’ll be transfered to my website’s Contact page. This widget enables you to simply type a private message in the box below, and if I’m online, I will chat right back!

Unbelievable.

Here’s a toast to you, Web 2.0! (Holds up a glass of Crystal Light)

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What’s your favorite part of Web 2.0?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Get a Meebo Widget today. Start interacting with your customers. Let me know what happens.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

Are you That Guy?
Find out in Scott’s latest book at www.hellomynameisscott.com

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