30 Second Commercial 6 of 8

Now clearly articulating WHO you are, WHAT you do and WHY you are uniquely qualified is nice however. In a sense, it is like having a souped up car with no wheels. To complete your 30-second commercial, you need to clearly state WHAT it is you need.

Now I hear lots of 30-second commercials and many of them have a weak finish. This is because they have a wimpy ASK or request. The best way to illustrate this is through an example … An example of what not to do. Do not make your HOW statement something like, A good referral for me is someone in transition or not happy with the direction of their career. Rather, here is a better example.

“If you know of someone in transition or not happy with the direction of their career please introduce me to them.”

The main difference between these two, is that the second has a “call to action.” If you see or know of this, please send it my way … Or give me their number … Or invite them to my seminar.

The first example … A good referral for me is someone in transition or not happy with the direction of their career … gives the same information, but it leaves someone wanting to say, “That’s nice.”

It is like my kids. They will say, “Dad, I am hungry.” And my response is, “Thanks. That is good to know.” They know now they need to make a Strong Definite Request. “Dad, can you cook me Mac-n-Cheese?” They are asking for action, which is far more powerful.

Silver modern Stopwatch

Perseverance Is Key To Success

I woke up today thinking, “what a lucky guy I am to have the life that I have!” I’ve been blessed with a wonderful wife, good friends, family, and a business that I love to run every day. I also started thinking about what things have enabled me to be successful in my business thus far.The #1 reason is that I have followed a process consistently that has delivered results. Too often we give up before we ever see the fruits of our labor. This made me think of an incident that happened to me when I was about 12 years old.Every summer during my youth I spent a good amount of time fishing and camping with my family. On one of our camping trips, I spent an entire afternoon fishing off the end of a dock. I patiently watched the bobber at the end of my fishing line for at least a solid 2 hours with nothing to show for it, not even the slightest nibble.

During that same time there were probably 4 or 5 others fishing off the same dock, but after 20 minutes of inactivity, they all left. I sat and waited, and waited, and waited…

All of a sudden the bobber disappeared underneath the water’s surface like someone had attached cinder block to the end of my line!! I jerked the line to set the hook and began reeling in whatever was on the other end. At the same time I began yelling for my Dad to come down to see what was happening.

I reeled in a “Channel Cat” (catfish) that was one of the largest fish I had ever caught, weighing about 10 lbs. and almost 30 inches long. When everyone in the campground area heard me yelling several made their way down to the dock to see what the commotion was all about.

Next thing I knew, there were about 10 other fisherman on the dock casting their lines into the water. Funny thing is, I don’t remember if any of the others caught any other fish that afternoon.

What happened to the Channel Cat? I took him home in a very large bucket of water. Later that same day I delivered the fish to our neighbor next door, an old man who lived by himself by the name of Seif Friend. Dad said he loved to eat catfish and would really be surprised so see what I had brought to him. I’ll never forget how his eyes lit up when he saw what was in the bucket!

The reason this story is relevant to me is that it is a perfect analogy to why some people are successful following processes and persevering, while others give up too soon. Whenever I get the least bit discouraged about business or networking in general, I remind myself to persevere just like I did that afternoon on the dock with my fishing line in the water.

Long term success in networking and business comes from following processes that work and not giving up too soon.

 

The Power Of The Status Update

Many of the more popular social media applications (LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, for starters), give you the ability to post an update that reveals to the world, more or less, “What are you doing now?” While there are some who only utilize this as a means of sharing the type of bagel they are consuming, the truly savvy social media adventurer sees this as a great opportunity.One way you can start to maximize the benefits you garner from social media is to take advantage of the power the status update holds. You can do this in one of three ways:Mini Press Release: The status update allows you the opportunity to periodically forward out short pieces on the happening in your world. Like tiny press releases, you can provide others a quick summary of the meaningful things you are doing. “Giving an insurance presentation to the Association of Executives,” tells the world you give speeches. “Delivering imprinted mugs to Dale’s Deli,” announces a sample of your product offerings. Or, “Working on writing a blog piece entitled The Power of the Almighty Status Update,” alerts others (and yes, this went out) that you have a blog.

Add Value: Effective networking is about adding value to the world and trust that the value will come back to you in some form or fashion. Your status update is a wonderful place to give a lot with just a little effort. “Your most valuable possession is your attitude,” gets people thinking and helps them have a better attitude. “Remember, now is the time to start thinking about ordering calendars for next year,” serves as a reminder to many, even if you are not the one selling the calendar. “Ask your agent how the new car insurance laws affect you,” provides those around you a potentially valuable insight.

Create Discussion: A big part of success is being relevant and a big part of being relevant is creating exposure for yourself. Your status update affords you an opportunity for exposure on a daily basis. “Who is going to win the Super Bowl?” This draws people into a conversation that you have created. “What is the best ad specialty item you have ever received?,” This not only creates discussion and potentially valuable market research. “Other than Chamber functions, what are some good networking activities?” Responses to this serves to demonstrate the value of your network.

Yes, your status update can be just another means of imparting cute and trivial information about life. Or your status update can be a powerful tool you can use to cast yourself amongst all those curious eyes on social media.

LISTEN

Listen: There is an easy way to grow your network. It has nothing to do with getting your business card out. It has nothing to do with the amount of people you meet or the number of events you attend. The easy way to grow your network is … well, click AmSpirit-Listen to listen for yourself.

And The Capital Of That Font Is…

Blog logo-from Jacci Adams

The use of capital letters in social media, IMing, and texting should be reserved for times when extreme emotion (i.e., anger) is felt. It has been widely accepted in IMing platforms as a form of yelling, but I have also seen it used for emphasis in the social media.

Using capital letters sparingly in print media adds a more professional touch. Like using underlining in HTML coding, all-caps letters can be a good addition for emphasis, but only if there is no other way to call attention to that text or if it has to be all-caps (i.e., headline or call-to-action, such as “TODAY”). Using larger text in a different color is a good alternative, particularly if used in lowercase. Using a different member of the same font family is also accepted and professional. Sometimes you can mix serif and sans-serif by using one for emphasis and the other for your body text, but this depends on which two fonts are used.

One reason to not use capital letters all the time throughout your print media is the difficulty of readability; simply put, using capital letters can make it more difficult to read what was written. Another reason is the font or typeface itself. If you are using Brush (a calligraphic-type font) in all-caps throughout your print media (let’s say a postcard), the shapes of the letters in this particular typeface make it impossible to clearly read the contents. Keep it simple so your marketing material looks great in print!

Happy designing!

Cheers,
Lisa

GIVING

 

Giving: The secret to getting more out of life (contacts, money, success) is not working harder or even being smarter. The secret is … well click AmSpirit-Giving to listen for yourself.

Be Full Of K.R.A.P.

Heritage Bucket

Patty Boerger, 2013 President of the Heritage Chapter set the tone for the new year with a message that “we need to be full of K.R.A.P.”. That sounds bad doesn’t it, but didn’t it get your attention. K.R.A.P. is an acronym and is explained below.

‘K’ stands for ‘Knowledge’. Do you let your fellow members know what it is you do and more importantly ALL that you do. Too often we get stuck telling only part of our story and it is the same over and over again for our 30 second commercial.  Mix it up and mention something that is not global, but is a small thing that you can do. Knowledge is power and the more they know about you and your business the better they can get referrals for you.

‘R’ stands for ‘Referrals and Responsibility’. This is a two way street. When you give a referral, especially a 2nd generation one, make sure the other person knows who will be calling them. AND more importantly it is the responsibility of the member getting the referral to contact the other party within 24-48 hours.

‘A’ stands for ‘Achievement’.  We are all good members in AmSpirit, but to reach our potential and use this organization to its utmost, we must all help to achieve our Goals… both individually and as a chapter. That means Giving Referrals, attendance, and participating in the various events that our club or others have. Only by giving can you expect to receive.

‘P’stands for ‘Participation’. Don’t expect others to be enthusiastic about doing business with you IF you are not at the meetings. If you don’t give referrals… or if they don’t know enough about you. Be there each week and live up to your responsibility to give at least 2 referrals each month… and participate in the lunch buddies, and go to a MORE meeting at least once during the year.

Come on lets ALL be full of K.R.A.P. this year.

Document Design 101: Imagine Manipulation No-No

Blog logo-from Jacci Adams

I just read this article, and quite honestly, the stoopidity (yes, I mispelled this on purpose) absolutely amazes me. Just when I thought I had seen everything in my industry, I read this article about a magazine called Outside taking extreme liberty with Lance Armstrong and photoshopping text onto his T-shirt. Here’s the article link:

http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/media/outside-owes-lance-armstrong-an-apology/19521104/?icid=main|aim|dl9|link3|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailyfinance.com%2Fstory%2Fmedia%2Foutside-owes-lance-armstrong-an-apology%2F19521104%2F

The stoopid part comes into play when the magazine’s editors try to defend their actions: “…it’s not Armstrong’s real T-shirt.” … “…[magazine] doesn’t typically consult cover subjects on all editorial decisions…”

This is the worst case of non-professionalism I have seen in my twelve years as a graphic artist. Granted, editors have the final say in how their magazine is represented, what articles to showcase, and final editorial edits/changes. That is a far cry from actually photoshopping something that isn’t there onto someone’s shirt and not telling them. I can see maybe doing this as a school project, but in this situation, Mr. Armstrong should have been asked for and [magazine] should have obtained his written permission first. It is not okay just because “it’s not his shirt”; it is not okay because they deliberately TAMPERED with Mr. Armstrong’s BRANDED IMAGE, period.

In a day and age when print advertising is suffering enough damage, there is now a rouge magazine basically giving viewers and potential models the impression, “hey, thanks for your advertisement / thanks for posing for our cover, but we’ve decided to change it up a bit and we can do that because we can. Thanks for playing our game!” Definitely NOT professional, and not a magazine I would recommend anyone paying any attention to now and in future issues.

Cheers,
Lisa

To Proofread Or To Palliate

Blog logo-from Jacci Adams

Have you ever created a print job for a client, sent it to your print shop, then picked it up only to have the client find a typo? Unfortunately, this senario happens more often than you might think. Several months ago I was perusing my favorite magazine when I came across an advertisement for a new online company; the ad looked great – except for two glaring typos. Early spring 2010 I was visiting the vendor booths at our local Womens Expo, and an advertisement at a landscaper’s booth had a large typo – unfortunately after over 10K copies had been printed.

Typos are an unfortunate part of creating advertising, but it does not always have to be the case. A professional designer/proofreader can help you go through your copy through for both accuracy and readability. A professional designer/proofreader can help you shine above the rest of the competition by coming across to the consumer as highly professional rather than “I just threw this together at the last minute.”

Here’s a few tips to consider:

  1. Outside eyes. Always have another pair of eyes look your work over, preferably someone that is outside your company. You should still use the spell-checker option, but don’t trust the program or your own eyes to see everything. Having another pair of eyes unfamiliar with your work can save you time, money, and embarrassment.
  2. Read backwards. This might sound strange, but reading backwards does help catch typos or misused words. The human brain becomes accustomed to making adjustments visually, which can be applied to typos and misspellings. Remember the landscaper’s booth at the expo? The people in the booth told me they had at least 14 people read through the copy, yet no one caught the typo. Why? The human brain finished the word, so to most just glancing through, the typo would not stand out. I saw it by reading the copy backwards.
  3. Check dates and times. This might sound elementary, but after having working in a newspaper for over six years, it was surprising how many times people called in to complain about a wrong date or time for an event published in our newspaper. Always send in your event information typed out for ease of reading on the part of the editors/reporters; this also allows them to copy/paste the information so nothing has to be typed out. Before you hit the SEND button, however, read through for accuracy. If it does print wrong, go back through your copy before calling to complain.
  4. Turn on grammar/spell checks. You may have won the National Spelling Bee as an elementary student, but even the best of us make mistakes. Turning on the grammar and spell checks in your software will help keep those mistakes to a bare minimum.
  5. Copy/Paste your text into a word editor. This mostly applies to those of us who blog regularly. If you are not using a word editor to write your copy prior to posting, it is highly recommended this be done. This allows the spell check and grammar check to help you prepare your copy as error-free as possible.

Now it’s your turn! What steps do you take when proofreading? What works and what doesn’t?

Cheers,
Lisa