How to Make Your Firm’s Services More Requested than Freebird at Florida State Frat Party

“Freeeeeeebirrrrrrrd!!!!!”

There’s always ONE guy in the audience who HAS to yell it.

Every time. Every concert. No matter where you go.

Ah, Freebird. Without a doubt, the most requested song in music history.

Interestingly, in 2005, WSJ ran an article that (finally) revealed the origin of this phenomenon:

“Freebird is hardly obscure – it’s a radio staple consistently voted one of rock’s greatest songs. One version of the tune – and an important piece of the explanation – anchors Skynyrd’s 1976 live album One More From the Road. On the record, singer Ronnie Van Zant, who was killed along with two other band mates in a 1977 plane crash, asks the crowd, ‘What song is it you want to hear?’ That unleashes a deafening call for Freebird, and Skynyrd obliges with a fourteen-minute rendition.”

SO HERE’S THE BIG QUESTION: How often are YOU requested? In the great concert of business, how often are customers holding up their Zippos and yelling out for YOU?

ANSWER: Not enough.

Today we’re going examine a collection of practices – each with its own “reqeustion” – on becoming a more requestable entity.

1. A forced brand is a forgotten brand. Requestability begins with branding. And by branding I don’t mean pumping some twenty-five cent shtick out of think air after three hours of brainstorming with your two teenage daughters.

Rather, truly taking the time to organically pinpoint (a) what you are, (b) how you roll and (c) what the purposeful identification of your unique value is. Then and ONLY then, your mission is to emblazon that brand on the minds of the customer. That’s what really matters: Not marketshare, but mindshare. Because customers can’t request what they don’t remember.

REQUESTION: When was the last time you updated your brand identity?

2. Be someone who offers a dependable perspective. Predictability is the great persuader. It’s also the true trust agent. And trust is the sole source of your level of influence. To enhance the predictability of your perspective, here is an exercise you might try. It revolves around the most important question I ask my clients (and myself):

If everybody did exactly what you said, what would the world look like?

I challenge you to ask, contemplate, clarify, write out and eventually print out your answers to this question. Look at them every day. Consider them as a framework. A governing document for daily decision-making. I guarantee your perspective will become more dependable.

REQUESTION: If everybody did exactly what you said, what would the world look like?

3. Everything you do should lead to something else you do. Cross-promotion is a surefire practice for becoming more requestable, as long is you do it right. Here’s how.

a. Be subtle. Be cool and be casual. And when you promote one of your other services, share as if you were just telling a story. The best marketers are the ones customers don’t realize are marketing.

b. Be specific. Requestability is a function of credibility, which is a function of specificity. When you cross-promote other products you offer, cite their full titles and descriptions. Whet the appetite of hungry customers.

c. Be significant. When you mention other work that you’ve done, remember the two magic words: For instance. “I work with a variety of non-profits on strategic planning. For instance, last week I hosted a two-day with the American Casket Association. I knocked ‘em dead!

Be very careful with cross-promotion. Too much of it turns customers off quickly. It’s only effective insofar as you don’t morph every conversation into a sneaky little sales presentation.

REQUESTION: What else does this person need to know about you?

4. Play to the heart, not the mind. Don’t make people think – make them FEEL. People don’t want to think – it too much work. People are tired of thinking. They think all day. Instead, position your value in a way that elicits emotion. Disturb customers into action.

Remember: Emotion is the final arbiter of the effectiveness of your message. Learn to make people feel, and the requests will come pouring in.

REQUESTION: What part of the customer’s body are you playing to?

5. Discount yourself as a threat. In the book How to Hide a Dagger Behind a Smile, author Kaihan Krippendor suggested, “Because someone seems non-threatening, others offer no resistance.” Your goal is to lower threat level by demonstrating a timeline of credibility. Here are a few ways to do so:

a. Media Room: Dedicate an entire page to chronicling every interaction you’ve had with the media – in print, online and on air. Include links to articles, videos or blog posts quoting and featuring you. (Good example aqui.)

b. Client List: Dedicate another page to listing past clients you’ve worked with over the years. Go back as far as you can. Demonstrate longevity and diversity of reach with cross-industrial references.

c. Testimonial Collection: Video is ideal. If not, written references are the next best. Just make sure to choose testimonials featuring clients who are a good advertisement for your business. And if possible, select testimonials that share common customer preoccupations – then how you overcame those concerns. For example, “When I first met Scott, I wasn’t sure if some thirty year-old writer could actually help a corporate executive like me make a name for himself. I was dead wrong. Scott’s ability to ask the right questions changed my life because…”

REQUESTION: How are you reducing the threat level from red to green?

6. Find out what’s missing for people. Help customers articulate what’s mysteriously absent from their strategy. For instance, when I work with coaching and consulting clients, I almost always suggest that they draw out their current issue. On paper, on a flip chart, on the dry erase, whatever.

And clients are constantly amazed what they learn when they capture their thoughts visually. Ultimately: Thinking on paper produces clarity. The cool part is, the power of comparative analysis overrides (most of) the lies people telling themselves.

REQUESTION: How are you helping people define the white space around their ideas?

7. Project peaceful confidence. Would you request someone who ceaselessly asked for a request every time you crossed paths? Of course not. Customers rarely request people whose stench of neediness requires nose plugs. As I learned from the great Lao-Tzu:

“When you show your strength, you appear weak. When you conceal your power, the more effectively it can be used. When you make your advantage less obvious, the more effective you power becomes.”

Remember: The truest part of you doesn’t need to speak. Customers will hear it either way, and if the music speaks to them, they will request more of it.

REQUESTION: What drenches you in confidence?

8. Maintain prime presence. Finally, requestability is a function of visibility. Which becomes especially challenging when EVERYONE is vying for the same spot on your customer’s set list. The secret is twofold. First, visibility is the price of admission. The ante. The baseline.

And it’s only the first step to achieving prime presence. Second, it’s how you show up. It’s not just that you’re visible, but how you customers experience you – PLUS how they experience themselves in relation to you – when you DO show up. In short: Bring unique value or consider yourself winking in the dark. Remember: Anonymity is bankruptcy.

REQUESTION: Do you have a marketing plan or a visibility plan?

REMEMBER: In the great concert of business, your mission is rock with value SO hard that customers start yelling out requests for YOU.

Consider these requestions. Execute these practices. And your firm’s services will become more requestable.

“Freeeeeeebirrrrrrrd!!!!!”

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Who’s requesting you?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “6 Ways to Out Position the Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!

www.stuffscottsaid.com.

9 Ways to become a Company Your Competitors Want to Strangle with an Orange Extension Cord

1. Abundance of competition indicates unoriginality. If you’re truly unique, the only one who does what you do – the WAY that you do it – then no second-rate, chump-ass imitation should be able to hurt you. Screw the competition. Just because they’re there doesn’t mean you can’t beat them. What do you do that brings people back for more of YOU?

2. Ambition without focus is stalemate. If you’re constantly firing in all directions, you’re never going to hit anything squarely. It’s only when you hunker down into the leaves and concentrate 100% of your energies on one particular target that you become a bountiful hunter.

And not just in the wilderness, but in business too. I meet too many entrepreneurs who impatiently jump from idea to idea, project to project; never picking a lane, never make any progress. Because their ambition is spread too thin. What they don’t realize is that focus is the mobilizing force. What consumes your time but isn’t making you any money?

3. Complacency is the great growth-destroyer. “But I don’t have time to grow right now.” Every time I hear somebody say this, my heart breaks just a little more. I know the economy sucks. I know business is slow. I know times are tough. But there’s never an excuse for not growing. Every day you need to get stronger in SOME way. Size is irrelevant. I’d rather grow microscopically than not at all. Where do you need to get out of your own way?

4. Demonstration of competency proves inconsequential. When you eat out at a restaurant, you assume the chef is a good cook. Why? Because baseline ability is the price of admission. The ante. The buy-in. And this type of customer expectation pervades every industry.

Now, it didn’t used to. First, good was good enough. Then great was good enough. Now, great isn’t that great anymore. People demand WOW. Lesson learned: If you’re anything below a B+, you’re finished. What do you offer besides quality?

5. Diversity of offerings buoys recessions. During the economic collapse of 2008-2009, the smartest move I made as entrepreneur was to diversify my offerings. That way, when the proverbial shit hit the economic fan, my business was ready to absorb the blow. The secret is to out-grow, out-evolve and out-expand your competitors. Here’s a rapid-fire list for doing so:

(a) Clone yourself through teaching others. Self-duplication wins.

(b) Make sure everything you do leads to something else you do. Recognize the movement value of your ideas.

(c) Only work with clients that represent long-term potential. Think 14th sale. Cul-de-sac clients are dangerous.

(d) Identify the most important things for you to work on that will grow your business the fastest. Make a list of those things. Post the list in a visible location in your office. Then make sure anything you’re doing at any given time is congruent with that list.

Remember: Diversity isn’t just equity – it’s a life raft. What percentage of your revenues this year came from products and services you didn’t offer three years ago?

6. Fear of evolution typecasts brands. Evolve slowly and constantly. Evolve regularly and effortlessly. Sure, your genetic reflex to avoid change will try to kick in. But don’t let it. As Charles Darwin suggestion, “Take advantage of slight successive variations and advance by the shortest and slowest steps.”

Remember: Flux IS equilibrium. Occasional moments of stability are nice, but brands that keep moving keep winning. Go stretch yourself. Move mental furniture. Make growth and change a normal part of who you are. What decade is your brand still trapped in?

7. Gradual is the great moneymaker. What’s your hurry anyway? Try getting rich slow. There’s a secret most self-help books won’t tell you: Get rich slow. After all, things that grow fast are easily destroyed. Might as well take a foundational approach.

As my mentor William Jenkins once told me, “It takes longer to do things the right way. And people do them improperly to do them quickly. But what’s the benefit of building a house in six months (that should take a year) if you’re just going to tear it down anyway?” Remember: If you’re willing to practice prodigious patience, you’ll get yours. And it will be worth the wait. How patient are you willing to be?

8. Maintenance of momentum monetizes message. Just do something. Anything. Action stimulates forward momentum. Even when progress is minimal. Even when you have no idea what the hell you’re doing. Just keep moving. Think of entrepreneurship as crossing a minefield: The most dangerous choice is to just freeze. The safest thing you could do is keep moving. How are you keeping your momentum going?

9. Permission is the great delayer. The reason your dreams haven’t materialized is because you’re waiting for permission. From your friends. From your family. From your spouse. From the world. Here’s a hint: You don’t need it. Requirement of permission suffocates ambition. Just go.

Who cares if you’re not ready enough or smart enough? Who cares if you don’t have enough money, experience or credentials? Just go. You don’t need somebody twice your age who knows NOTHING about who you really are to validate your existence and stamp your creative passport. Give yourself permission to not need permission and get to work. Do you ask who’s going to LET you or who’s going to STOP you?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Do your competitors hate you?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “24 Ways to Out Grow the Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!

www.stuffscottsaid.com.

Don’t Start a Business Until You Read These Nine Facts

1. Abandonment is the backbone of entrepreneurship. By definition, an entrepreneur is someone who undertakes and manages risk. Someone vulnerable. Someone courageous enough to stick herself out there.

And so, what she abandons are outmoded traditions. Popular delusions. Stale thinking. What she abandons is any shell that would otherwise choke the budding dream inside of her. Are YOU willing to plunge forward planless into the vortex of action?

2. Dissatisfaction is the ember of initiative. Only pissed off people change the world. Not because they’re negative – but because they notice a blazing fire deep in the recesses of their hearts that will not extinguish until SOMETHING changes. And that doesn’t mean they exhaust their entire energy supply sitting at home yelling at the television. Just because you’re pissed off doesn’t mean you’re productive.

But, take George Carlin – now THERE’S a guy who was pissed off. The difference is, Carlin’s dissatisfaction with the world was the motivation he needed to write twenty pages a day for fifty years. Most people don’t know that about Carlin – he was a creative machine.

That’s how he ended upon The Tonight Show over a hundred and thirty times. That’s how he released twenty-three comedy albums, three best-selling books and fourteen HBO specials. Because he was pissed off. That was the ember of his initiative. And it changed our world forever. What injustice did you set out to fight when you first started your business

3. Execution is the architect of eminence. You know my mantra: “Ideas are free – only execution is priceless.” Consider these suggestions for doing so:

Think on paper immediately. Be impatient. Hack the rules. Don’t be stopped by not knowing how. And, fail like you mean it. Remember: Execution is eloquence. And there are two kinds of people in the world: Those who use their mouths and those who use their feet. Are you a talker or a doer?

4. Imitation is the vestibule of failure. There are no cover bands in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The same goes for business: The more imitatable you are, the less valuable you are. That’s why imitators never make history – only originators do.

Your challenge is to honestly ask yourself if the personal brand you’re building is (truly) an amplification of your uniqueness … or just an echo of somebody else’s marketing. If you don’t display your own creative originality, your brand will become (yet another) interchangeable mediocrity, fading into the multitude of sameness. A needle in a stack of needles. Are you The Echo or The Origin?

5. Impatience is the greenlight of greatness. Just go. Enough limitation-driven self-talk. Enough lame excuses for why you’re not ready. When it comes to entrepreneurship, I’ve got news for you: You’re never ready. And you never will be. So, learn to relax into that realization first.

Next, give yourself permission to plunge into the abyss of ambiguity. Then, during freefall, trust that you contain a multitude of inner resources that will richly support you. What level of greatness are you unable to reach because you’re too patient?

6. Later is the whopper of procrastination. Later never comes. Ever. Your ego just convinces you that it does. That way you don’t have to take any personal responsibility, nor feel guilty for procrastinating.

My suggestion is simple: Write the word “later” on a sticky note. Then draw a big X through it. Look at it every day. That should help eliminate that word from your vocabulary. How much money is procrastination costing you?

7. Maybe is the discharge of amateurism. Maybe I’ll do this. Maybe I’ll say this. Maybe I’ll write this. Maybe I’ll become this. Bullshit. Maybes are lies. If you keep saying “maybe,” then you “may be” a putz. Come on. It’s time to go pro. To go full time. To go all out.

Try this: Make a list of ten actions you can take THIS WEEK toward your ideal future. Next, email that list to three people you trust who will keep you accountable. Tell them to call you on Sunday night. Then, if you haven’t achieved at least five items on your list, agree that you’ll buy each of them lunch. “Maybe” that will make a difference ☺. What are you insufficiently committed to?

8. Duality is the heartbeat of mastery. In Bikram Yoga, students experience the simultaneous practice of complete relaxation and absolute exertion. It sounds counterintuitive, but you CAN execute both at the same time. As long as you know how to listen to your body.

For example, standing bow posture practices an intense stretch of both arms in opposite directions. But it also requires that you relax into your low back while doing so. That’s duality. Without it, the posture is wrong. And the cool part is: Your business (and your life) manifests this same practice of duality in a number of ways.

Another example: Entrepreneurship requires bottomless amounts of patience: With yourself, with others, with your idea and with the world. The patience to take the longcut and work your face off. At the same time, entrepreneurship also requires massive levels of impatience: Restless expectation. Not accepting delay or opposition. Raring to go. A constant desire for change and excitement. The impatience to “just go,” even when you have no idea what the hell you’re doing.

Ultimately, your challenge is to pinpoint, honor and leverage whatever duality exists in your universe. Like your own personal yin-yang. And to simultaneously attend to the opposite parts of the larger whole, knowing that both are required to achieve mastery. What dualities do you need to honor in your life and business?

9. Revenue is the aftershock of usefulness. If you want to make money, make something that people need. If you want to make money, make something that replaces something. If you want to make money, make something that doesn’t require explaining. If you want to make money, make something that helps people say goodbye to something they hate.

If you want to make money, make something that makes people stop, sit up, notice, and yell into the kitchen, “Hey honey, look at this!” If you want to make money, make something that solves people’s expensive, urgent, pervasive and relevant problems. If you want to make money, make something that saves people time and frustration. If you want to make money, make something that is appealing to more than just yourself and your two roommates.

If you want to make money, make something worth making a series of YouTube videos about that people will (actually) watch instead of rolling their eyes and deleting from their inbox when their mom sends it to them. If you want to make money, make something that people never realized they wanted – but after trying it – can’t possibly imagine surviving without. How useful are you?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What will it take to get your business off the ground?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “12 Ways to Out Service the Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!

www.stuffscottsaid.com.

Does Your Brand Pass The Ginsberg Test?

1. What are you doing to become even more visible?

Anonymity is the adversary of success.

I wear a nametag 24-7. In fact, today is my 9-year anniversary. I literally have zero anonymity whatsoever. (Except on Halloween, when I change my nametag as part of my costume.) Other than that, anyone who sees me at any given moment can say to herself, “Well, I guess his name is Scott…”

Now, I’m not suggesting you do the same. In fact, I strongly suggest you DO NOT wear a nametag 24-7. What I AM suggesting is that you consider the adverse relationship between anonymity and profitability. And maybe a good start would be to throw away your marketing plan and begin writing a visibility plan. Because it’s NOT who you know. It’s NOT who knows you. It’s whose life is significantly because they know you.

2. How can you turn your unique personality into a marketing weapon?

Branding is the inevitability of identity.

It’s got nothing to do with marketing and everything to do with the natural extension of your core selfhood. The best, highest version of yourself – paired with the way other people experience themselves in relation TO you.

That’s branding. And it was born about five thousand years before those sleazy advertising jerks starting brainwashing you. Read The Gita and The Tao De Ching. If that’s not branding I don’t know what is.

3. Is your business a friend of simplicity?

Eloquence is the byproduct of simple.

Complexity generates contemplation, and contemplation kills sales. On the other hand, simplicity induces relaxation, and relaxed customers buy. It’s your choice. Sure, it takes more time, energy and courage to create and deliver something simple.

But isn’t it all worth it when your idea is SO simple that a kindergartner runs home from school to tell their parents about it? Stop creating riddles that take too long for impatient customers to solve.

4. Are you drowning in a sea of sameness?

Failure is the destiny of boring.

Nobody buys boring. Not any more. There are too many choices and too little time. So, there’s a direction correlation between how successful you are and how boring you are. Your challenge is to become the most interesting person you know. Which isn’t just some vague platitude – you can literally increase your level of interestingness.

Try this: Amuse people or lose people. Choreograph attention. Build curiosity and expectation into everything you do. Position yourself so, moment-to-moment; people want to see what happens next. And finally, be abnormal, yet relevant to humanity. Remember: If you want to maximize noticeability and spreadability, you need to create a widening circle of interest around it.

5. Are you talking your ideas into the ground when you should be building your ideas into the sky?

Hype is the camouflage of quality.

I used to work in the promotions department for a radio station in St. Louis. And I’ll never forget what my boss told me on the first day of work. “When we record a spot for a new movie release, here’s the rule: The more promotional stuff the production company sends us, the crappier the movie probably is.”

He was right. Box office bombs like K-PAX, Corky Romano and Freddy Got Fingered sent our station truckloads of key chains, t-shirts, posters and other worththless hype. They were compensation for quality. On the other hand, cinematic classics like Memento, Donnie Darko and The Royal Tannenbaums didn’t send a thing. Not even a press release. The quality of those movies spoke for itself.

6. What is your plan for reaching the world with your unique message?

Platform is the artifact of attraction.

While a resume is what you’ve already accomplished, a platform is what you’re currently accomplishing. Think that makes it more relevant than some piece of paper? You bet. Interestingly, the geological definition of the term platform is: “The ancient, stable, interior layer of a continental craton composed of igneous or metamorphic rocks.”

OK. Let’s unpack that scientific idea as it pertains to your Thought Leadership world:

(1) Ancient, meaning long-term viability, of your expertise, that is.

(2) Stable, meaning a solid foundation of value, which refers to your body of work.

(3) Interior, meaning deriving from your core, aka, speaking your truth in whatever you publish.

(4) Layers, meaning multiple levels of content, which denotes intellectual diversity and depth.

(5) Igneous, meaning produced under conditions involving intense heat, i.e., your unique philosophy is fueled by passion and fire.

(6) Metamorphic, meaning specific shape or form to your thoughts, which means you’ve taken a side, picked a lane and put a stake in the ground.

That’s a platform. And without it, the media won’t seek you out. Without a platform, Google won’t develop a crush on you. Without a platform, unsolicited referrals won’t make their way to you. Without a platform, your expertise won’t be validated. Without a platform, your credibility won’t be authenticated. And without a platform, your following won’t grow exponentially. Start building today.

7. Are you a fad or a movement?

Sticky is the start of spreadable.

But that doesn’t mean it’s enough. Sticky doesn’t mean viable and shtick doesn’t mean substance. Sticky literally means “adhesive,” whereas spreadable means, “to stretch out and send in various directions.” Your mission is to prove to people that you’re worth hanging in there for. That their long-term investment in you will pay dividends eventually.

As George Carlin reminded us, “You want people to know the accumulated record, not just a spotty shot.” Otherwise you’ll be dismissed as inherently remarkable, yet ultimately inconsequential.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Does your brand pass The Ginsberg Test?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “11 Ways to Out Market the Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

The world’s FIRST two-in-one, flip-flop book!

Buy Scott’s comprehensive marketing guidebook on Amazon.com and learn how to GET noticed, GET remembered and GET business!

You can’t spell A-T-T-R-A-C-T-I-O-N without…

• Action. That means more doing and less talking. How many times did you blog last week?

• Actor. You’re method acting and the character is YOU. What do people get when they get you?

• Attic. Clear the cobwebs off your old marketing. How often are you reinventing yourself?

• Cantor. Stop yelling and interrupting. Start SINGING. People will listen. Is your marketing making music or noise?

• Car. Successful businesspeople don’t advertise their businesses on the windows of their car. It mars your credibility. How much of your marketing is hurting you?

• Icon. Your logo needs to symbolize something bigger than you. Something powerful and emotional that connects to people’s worldview. Do you REALLY think naming your company after your own initials is remarkable?

• Orca. Be a whale in your industry. Be the man. That Guy. The Go To Gal. The person everybody who does what you do, knows. Are you The Observer or The Observed?

• Ricotta. Cheesy doesn’t always mean ineffective. Are you willing to embrace hokeyness?

• Tacit. You shouldn’t have to explain it. People should “get” it right away, or at least within ten seconds. Anything after that and you’ve lost ‘em. How quickly can you explain what you do?

• Tonic. Be the pill. End people’s pain. They will flock to you. What are you the answer to?

• Traction. Shtick might get you in the room; but only SUBSTANCE will keep you at the party. Are you a Dum-Dum or a Tootsie?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What (else) can’t you spell “a-t-t-r-a-c-t-i-o-n” without?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “11 Ways to Out GOOGLE 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

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

8 Ways to be More Sought-After Than The Jonas Brothers at a Middle School Sleepover

What’s THEE best adjective to come after your name?

ANSWER: Sought-after.

It denotes credibility.
It depicts desirability.
It displays buyability.

More importantly, “sought-after” demonstrates social proof, which is what helps your buyers (finally) relax and think, “Thank God I don’t have to be the first person to trust this guy.”

Successful marketing is about being demand. And the cool part is: The more in-demand you currently are, the more in-demand you ultimately become – because success breeds success.

But you’ve got to start somewhere. Becoming sought-after doesn’t just happen.

THEREFORE: Sought-after-able is the sum of your efforts to increase the probability of people demanding you on an ongoing basis.

The key word there is “probability.”

So, whether you’re a salesperson, entrepreneur, freelancer – or unemployed professional – consider these eight practices for becoming more sought-after than The Jonas Brothers at a middle school sleepover…

1. Become known as someone who finds (and solves) problems. Two words: Michael Clayton. In this movie, George Clooney portrays an in-house “fixer” at one of the largest corporate law firms in New York. If you didn’t catch it, here’s the plot: Clayton is dispatched to hold the hand of a wealthy client who has just hit someone with his car and sped off.

Then, when told he could “make problems vanish,” Clayton responds with: “There’s no play here. There’s no angle. There’s no champagne room. I’m not a miracle worker – I’m a janitor. The math on this is simple. The smaller the mess the easier it is for me to clean up.”

Clayton has no illusions whatsoever about what he does. He finds and solves problems. That’s what he’s known AS, that’s what he’s known FOR, and that’s what he’s known FOR KNOWING. And you don’t have to be a lawyer to leverage that kind of positioning. You just need to “share your expertise generously so people recognize it and depend on you,” as Seth Godin once wrote. What problem do YOU solve?

2. Build a timeline of credibility. “What have you done for me lately?” That’s the question your prospects are asking. And your challenge is to prove to and show them that you provide sustainable value. Here’s why: Before deciding to buy from you, customers are going to want to validate your abilities from multiple sources. Face the fact that resumes are an endangered species – somebody googling your name IS your resume.

That’s why you need to work with clients from a variety of industries. That’s why you need to contribute to a body of work, not just a single piece. And that’s why you need to accumulate and share rich background of experiences. Then, the secret is to leverage those experiences into a tangible, chronological entity that sells you when you’re not there.

Maybe that means an article archive or library. Or ten year’s worth of client lists. Or, a Media Room that links to each of your interviews. Or an online appearance schedule so people know where you’ll be next. Ultimately, customers want to work with someone with good judgment. The kind of judgment that only comes from experience. How are you quantifying that experience to become more sought-after?

3. Find something at which you can become the first, the best and the only. In Alan Webber’s Rules of Thumb, he suggests, “Invent NEW categories that fit the new realities. If you spot a category before it becomes conventional wisdom, you’ve got an instant advantage.”

That’s the road I took with the word “approachability.” Not “communication.” Not “networking.” And not “attraction.” Approachability. That was the word I owned and embodied. That was my School of Thought, my Life Philosophy and Theory of the Universe.

I picked a lane, put a stake in the ground, and hung a big, beautiful flag on it that nobody else could touch but me. I was The First. I was The Only. And that paved the way to become the best. Your challenge is to be the first to tell the marketplace what the criteria are and that you satisfy them. How will your brand transition from being nice to being necessary?

4. It’s NOT “who you know.” Nor is it “who knows you.” It’s whose life is significantly better because they know you. It’s how many people in your network feel honored to be a part of it. It’s how many people in your network believe that they have greater capability than before because they are a part of it.

And it’s how many people in your network see more possibilities in their world because of their connection to you – even if it’s some retired fighter pilot in Frankfurt who reads your tweets religiously. Ultimately, it’s not about the number of eyeballs that see you – it’s how much clearer those eyeballs can see because OF you. How do you want your future network to remember you?

5. Send a continuous flow of education. Not just information. Any schmuck can do that. You need to be a broker of wisdom. An impulsive and compulsive finder and messenger of truth. And it’s your responsibility to deliver that truth in an educational way via your permission asset that helps your customers grow their businesses.

Ideally, in a three-dimensional medium like video. Or, if you’re camera shy, blogging, tweeting, newsletters and the like. All that matters is that you keep the beat going. And that people remember that beat came from YOU. You will eventually compose a Thought Leadership soundtrack that rocks the face off of your market. How are you making your customers smarter?

6. Discover where your great joy meets the world’s great need. Theologian Frederick Buechner suggested this nearly fifty years ago. And although I highly doubt he was talking about small business and entrepreneurship, the lesson still applies: Balance your boldness. Make sure your dreams get acquainted with reality. And deploy your joy with meaningful concrete immediacy so the lives of the people you serve actually get better.

Here’s a helpful formula. Before taking action on your next idea, ask yourself three questions: (a) Am I the best at this? (b) Do I love doing this? (c) Will people buy this? If you can’t go three-for-three, find something else. What actions have you taken to ensure that your market knows what you bring to the marketplace?

7. Get people to physically recognize you. You don’t have to shave your head. You don’t have to get tattoos all over your body. And you definitely don’t have to wear a nametag 24-7. What you DO need is to consider is the value of physical recognizability as an impetus of sought-after-ability.

Running a Google Image Search on your full name in quotes is the perfect exercise to audit your current recognizability. As you explore the pictures (assuming you ARE googleable), look for patterns in your appearance. Note colors, trends and styles that are uniquely yours. Stick to them. You might even consider physically creating a “character sketch” for yourself. That way you can stay consistent. Tune into www.nametagTV.com to see what I mean. What’s YOUR look?

8. Building up a critical mass of interest. I don’t make cold calls. This is partly by choice, since I totally SUCK at cold calls. But the central driver of my critical mass of interest is by virtue of the sheer volume of material I’ve published since 2002. Most people don’t know this, but I write for four to seven hours a day. Four to seven hours. And when I get blank stares back at me, my half-joke/half-serious response to people is: “But I’m a writer. That’s what I DO. What do YOU do all day?”

I’ve been a writer since I was seven years old. It’s the only part of my life that I can’t remember NOT being a part of my life. So, it’s a perfect fit. And as such, writing is my occupation inasmuch as writing occupies most of my time. My job, however, is an author, speaker, consultant and entrepreneur. But writing is still the foundation. Writing is the basis of all wealth. And writing is the strategy that stamps tens of thousands of my digital footprints (in print and online) that lead people back to me.

And, you don’t even have to be a professional writer to leverage writing. You’ll discover that whatever industry you work in, writing is one of the few practices guaranteed to build a critical mass of interest in your brand, expertise and work. The hard part is, you have to do it every day. EVERY day. Because if you don’t write it down – it never happened. What did YOU write today?

REMEMBER: Becoming more sought-after-able makes you more credible, more desirable and more buyable.

I challenge you to put these practices into action, and you’ll be more sought-after than The Jonas Brothers at a middle school sleepover.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Who’s seeking after you?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “29 Pieces of Simple, Easy Advice That Will Change Your Business Forever,” 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

New website go live this week?

Tune in to The Entrepreneur Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

12 Ways to be More Honorable than Abe Lincoln Hopped Up on Sodium Pentothal

The Sanskrit word namaste translates to, “The sprit within me honors the spirit within you.”

The cool part is, namaste isn’t just about honoring people – it’s about honoring everything.

So, if you want to make a name for yourself, consider this list of twelve ideas to be more honorable:

1. Honor all energies. Good. Bad. Ugly. In fact, stop labeling the energies as Good, Bad or Ugly. Attachment to words reduces the reality of something. When you use words, you label. When you label, you judge. When you judge, you react. When you react, you’re unconscious. And being unconscious is unhealthy. Judge nothing; accept everything. Say yes to what is. What is coming into you, right now, at this moment?

<2. Honor the practice. First, by invoking your Muse through prayers, rituals or incantations. Second, by maintaining integrity – that is, the foundation – of your own practice. Third, by respecting the flow, style and artistic idiosyncrasies of others’ practices. What are you practicing?

3. Honor nature’s rhythms. Nature never lies. Nature respects purpose. So, experience it fully. Yield to it. Explore it. Acquaint yourself with it. Wonder how nature would solve this problem. Wonder what truths in nature are applicable in non-nature domains. What would the trees do?

4. Honor the process. That means journey, not destination. That means flow, not output. That means completely immersing yourself in the practice, releasing your expectations about what a “good” result is. What result do you need to let go of?

5. Honor the truth-tellers. Like nature. Like your kids. Like your body. Like your dog. Like your experiences. Like what people remember about you. All of these things around grounded in truth. We need to be looking to them more often. Whom (or what) is your final arbiter of truth?

6. Honor thy tingles. They’re trying to tell you something. Hints. Clues. Omens. Signs. That’s what tingles are. When the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, be sure your awareness stands up as well. Erect your carriage and figure out what it is you’re supposed to be noticing. What am I supposed to be learning from this?

7. Honor your artist. You heard me: Your Artist. Because you ARE an artist. And I don’t want to hear your bullshite excuses like, “I can’t even draw a straight line!” or “I couldn’t write if my life depended on it.” Let it go. Everyone is an artist. Everyone has music inside of them that yearns to be sung. And if that beauty is never released, we’ll never be able fully realize our Truth. What art inside of you wants to be – NEEDS to be – written, painted, sung or danced?

8. Honor your body. Your Temple. Your sanctuary. Your engine. It’s where you’ll find the answer to every question you’ll ever ask. And the best part is, all you have to do is get quiet, relax and listen. Wisdom WILL arrive. There is nothing in the world louder than the sound of your inner voice. How many days did you meditate last week?

9. Honor your discomfort. It’s the single greatest teacher you’ll ever learn from. Comfort zones are overrated, anyway. The secret is to purposely put yourself into situations that S-T-R-E-T-C-H your mind, body and soul. Then, the secret is NOT to fight it; but rather, to embrace, welcome, honor and cherish those moments when you feel like you’re going to (1) Freak out, (2) Die of embarrassment, or (3) Yuke all over the floor. How will you step out of your comfort zone today?

10. Honor unintentional music. In Lane Ayre’s book, Unintentional Music, he says, “The unintentional aspects of the music we make contain more wisdom that we think. Unintentional signals the appearance of God. Unintentional appears at the moment when something ineffable is trying to express itself through us. So, love whatever happens, stay with it and trust that it will lead you to where you ultimately want to go.” Wow. How much accidental brilliance have you ignored recently?

11. Honor your gift. If it’s true that each of us possesses some God-given gift or talent or genius, it’s also must be true that our gift BACK to God is to use that gift in the service of others. Every day. Because usefulness IS worship. How have you validated your existence today?

12. Honor your Truth. Your Being. Your independent identity. Your essential, highest nature. That which cannot be stripped from you. That which cannot be argued about you. The first-rate version of yourself. The inviolable core from which your greatest performances draw their strength. How would the person you’re trying to become do what you’re about to do?

Good luck. Honest Abe’s got nuthin’ on you.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How will you become more honorable?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “29 Pieces of Simple, Easy Advice That Will Change Your Business Forever,” 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

New website go live this week?

Tune in to The Entrepreneur Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

9 Must-Dos for Making Yourself Necessary to the World

Emerson once suggested, “Make yourself necessary to the world, and mankind will give you bread.”

Bread meaning support and livelihood.
Bread meaning money and financial reward.
Bread meaning nourishment and sustenance.

Dee-licious.

Unfortunately, as profound as that quotation is, there’s never been much of a how-to on the topic.

Until now.

Here’s a list of nine strategies for making yourself necessary to the world:

1. Be essential. Whenever there’s a technology-related problem in my family, my Dad is the go-to guy. Not because he’s a computer engineer. Not because he can fix everything. But because he’s a master problem solver. See, as a veteran CEO, the thought process he undertakes to approach challenges – organizational, electrical or interpersonal – revolve around logical, linear thinking.

Not everyone in our family can do that. And that’s what makes my dad necessary to the world: We’d be screwed without him. To whom is your unique thought-process essential?

2. Be inescapable, inevitable and unavoidable. In Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, he revealed the genius behind sales legend John Patterson: “Rather than just trying to sell the concept of a cash register, Patterson create the demand for a receipt.”

Cool. Because that way, Patterson didn’t have to sell. Every consumer who made a purchase and demanded a receipt made the sales pitch FOR him. All Patterson had to do was supply the cash registers. (And then ring one of his own!) He was necessary to the world. How could you make it impossible for people to NOT do business with you?

3. Be the cure, the answer and the shortcut. Halfway through Pulp Fiction, mob hit men John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson run into a BIG problem: They accidentally shoot their key witness, Marvin, in the face. Naturally, the backseat of their car is a bit messy.

In a panic, they call their boss, Marsellis Wallis, for help. And his response is, “You ain’t got no problems. I’m on it. Go back in there, chill those guys out and wait for The Wolf, who should be coming directly. Feel better?”

Upon hearing who was on the case, Samuel L. Jackson replies, “You’re sending The Wolf? Shoot. That’s all you had to say!” Twenty minutes later, Harvey Keitel shows up to their house dressed in a tuxedo, rings the doorbell and says, “HELLO, my name is Mr. Wolf. I solve problems.”

Now that’s what I call being necessary to the world. Maintaining such a positive reputation that when people hear the mere mention of your name, a wave of calm comes over their soul. What are you the shortcut for?

4. Become a possiblitarian. Norman Vincent Peale coined this term in his book, The Tough-Minded Optimist, which I recently bought for three bucks at a book fair in Brisbane.

“With a possiblitarian, you get the idea that he actually enjoys problems. That life would be dull without them,” he wrote. “And when the gloom artists sit around, taking dismal views, they wonder why they never saw the possibilities in the first place.”

Your challenge, according to Peale, is to walk around the problems mentally and prayerfully and see what you see. He contends that you will never see a problem that doesn’t have a soft spot if you just keep on poking.

I totally agree. It’s about facing problems artfully and loving them enough to convert them into something beautiful. It’s about asking people this question: If, overnight, a miracle occurred, and you woke up tomorrow morning and the problem was solved – what would be the first thing you would notice?

5. Become noticeable in your absence. Not only do you want people to notice when you’re away, you want people to miss you, too. To wonder: (1) Where you’ve gone, (2) Why you’ve left, and (3) When you’re coming back. And not in that stalker, micro-manager, Big Brother kind of way. But from a baby-I-love-you-so-please-don’t-go kind of way.

It’s like driving cross-country with so many boxes in the back seat that your rear view mirror becomes useless. And what happens is, you still look in the mirror out of habit, but because it’s blocked, you suddenly realize how often you actually use it.

Ever happen to you? That’s being noticeable in your absence. Compelling customers to look in the rearview mirrors of their daily lives and think, “Damn it! I wish Steve was here.” Who misses you when you’re gone?

6. Develop signature and singular capabilities. After finishing a marketing workshop in Great Falls, Montana, my client took me by Fritz’s Auto Repair Shop. Now, for some reason, I kept hearing about this place from all the locals.

When we arrived, I asked my client, “What makes Fritz’s so popular?” He smiled and said, “Well, just look around. What do you notice about the cars in lot?” And then it hit me: They were all Cadillacs. Every last one of them. From ’56 Coupe de Villes to ’71 El Doradoes. Apparently, Fritz actually worked on the Cadillac assembly lines for twenty years. Then he spent the next five years as a contract consultant for Cadillac.

Eventually, he retied and opened his own shop in Montana. And the promise he’s made to his customers for the past twenty years is: “Fritz will fix any problem, any model, any year – as long as it’s a Cadillac.” He has a three-month waiting list and does ZERO marketing. Customers drive in from hundreds of miles away just to have Fritz work on their Caddillacs. Why? Because he’s The Only. And that’s what makes him necessary to the world. What are you the world heavyweight champion of?

7. Plug your expertise into strategy needs. Which means you have to be a resource. An expert. An advisor. Not a salesperson. Not an employee. Not a consultant. A Thought Leader who anchors her expertise in that which is timeless. That’s how you get invited to strategy tables. When you demonstrate that it’s not about what you do, it’s about the effect of what you do. Do you solve problems that are real, expensive, urgent and pervasive?

8. Position yourself as an unconditional servant of truth. Interface Construction is one of the largest minority-owned firms in my hometown of St. Louis. During their 30-year anniversary celebration in 2008, I had the honor of meeting their president and founder, Sam Hutchinson.

Now, the question I asked him was, “Sam, after thirty years of profitable growth – what’s Interface’s secret?” And his response floored me. Certainly not the kind of insight I expected to hear from a construction guy. He said, “Scott, our job is to respond to the demands of truth.” Whoa. I thought he was going to spout some construction cliche like, “Measure twice – cut once.” No wonder their company is so successful. Have you decided to become a servant of truth?

9. Position yourself as the only path to fulfillment. Position your expertise in such a way that your fans wouldn’t DARE go into the marketplace without your opinion. That way, they wouldn’t make a move without consulting you first. Now, this can happen if you aren’t selfish with your knowledge. Because if you share your expertise generously, people will recognize it, became addicted to it and eventually depend on you for it.

That’s called mindshare, and it eclipses the value of marketshare. Suggestions: Courageously step forth and make your natural talents available. To put LOTS of samples out there. Not just a few pieces of chicken on toothpicks – we’re talking free Happy Meals for EVERYBODY. Also, regularly let people know the different ways they can use you. This will crate a need for what you have to uniquely offer. That will make you necessary to the world. What makes you The Only?

REMEMBER: Your mission to make yourself, your business and your value desirable, needable and wantable to the point of absolute necessity.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How will you make yourself necessary to the world?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “29 Pieces of Simple, Easy Advice That Will Change Your Business Forever,” 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

New website go live this week?

Tune in to The Entrepreneur Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

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