2009 | Unskippable - Marketing Keynote Speaker - Jim Kukral

Yearly Archives: 2009

How’d You Like To Be In My Book?

I’d love to include you in my upcoming book. It’s called ‘Attention! This book will make you money’ and it will be in bookstores in July 2010. Published by Wiley.

The book is all about how businesses and brands use attention-getting marketing/ideas/tricks/whatever to get noticed, and then specifically how they turn that attention into revenue. Revenue can be defined as anything, but more specifically sales, leads or publicity.

So, want to see your name in print? Got a great story to tell? Just answer these two questions as best as you can. Need some inspiration? Visit my old book blog at Blendthisbook.com first for examples.

Publish your answers here on my blog or contact me.

Question #1 – What have you done, or seen done, by a business or brand, that has gotten attention in an unusual or creative way?

Question #2 – How did they turn that attention into some type of revenue (sales/leads/publicity).

Note: It can be a small win, such as getting one person’s attention, or getting a job or earning enough revenue to launch your company. Anything.

I’m Writing This Book For You

I’m neck deep in writing my book and I wanted to stop and take a break and get this out. I’m not writing this book for me. I’m not writing this book for my peers in the industry.

I’m writing this book for you. The entrepreneur. The small business owner. The business or brand who doesn’t “get” all of this Internet “making money online” getting attention thing.

I tell you this because I fear that you, the people who know all of this stuff, are going to read my book and say, “I already knew all that Jim.” Completely irrational thought, I know, but nevertheless, it’s a fear I have.

Scott is in a similar boat as me. He’s writing a book, with the same deadline and publisher as me, and he has a bunch of fears he has as well. 5 of them in fact.

I think it’s important to face our fears and talk about them openly. As I continue to crank out everything darn thing I know about doing business online, I keep thinking back to my audience and how this book is truly going to help them.

At the end of the day, when my book helps you, I’ll know I have succeeded.

Need A Web Video?

Chock this up as one of those “why didn’t I think of that?” moments. Pixability is a company that will make you a very nice, yet relatively inexpensive video to show off your brand or product or whatever. Here’s the special link they gave me if you want more information.

I just ordered mine and will blog about it when it’s done. Here’s what’s neat about it. They send you a Flip camera, you take a bunch of footage and send it back to them and they have their expert editors make you a tight little video. The whole thing costs $595.

I’ve been pitching this idea to companies for years now, with no takers and I can’t figure out why. For example, I pitched a University that they should get about 100 Flip cameras and send them to 100 select students every year with the condition that the students need to take at least 60 minutes of video each quarter and privately upload to an FTP account. Then I would take the videos and break them out into smaller videos I could upload to YouTube as teaser videos for prospective students. Can you think of a better way to show off the University and the life around it than that? I can’t.

Here’s some more information on the service.

* What does the service include?

This package includes:
o A professionally edited video with music, titles and transitions.
o Camcorder rental
o Branded intro with your logo

Shop around and you’ll see that this service is a $1200 value for only $595.

* How do I know what footage to capture?

Pixability provides a “how to” shot list description based on the type of video you need. We make it easy to capture the most professional-looking video for your event or promotion.

* Can I use the video on my website and Facebook?

Pixability will create a web-sized version of your video that will play smoothly and look great on the internet.

* How do I receive and send the video?

We send a trackable, prepaid, secure shipping box that contains everything you need to safely send the camcorder back to Pixability.

* Can I use my own camera?

Yes. Just upload your footage to your project area on our website.

* Is it hard to shoot video with a Flip camera?

The Flip camera is light-weight, fits in your pocket and as easy to use as a point-and-shoot camera.

* Can I email a copy of my video?

Most videos are too large to be sent by email so we include private video hosting so you can securely invite others to view your videos.

* What is a “Branded Intro”?

At the beginning and end of your video we will include your company logo and contact information set to music.

Motivation

You may have great ideas. You may have best intentions. You may even have a plan.

But are you motivated to succeed? Because if you’re not, you’ll never get it done. You’ll never be successful.

Join me and master Internet marketer Jay Berkowitz when I’m a guest on his podcast for the Internet Marketing Club where we’ll be talking about how to motivate yourself for success. Register here.

What Will You Learn?

You’ll learn how to:

• Get over yourself! – Lose your ego to open yourself to make more money, faster than ever!
• Avoid self-sabotage – Learn the difference between “Failures” and “Losers” and know which one you are… and why it matters to your success!
• Move on to move forward – We all make mistakes. Find out how to overcome your mistakes and strategically use them to your advantage
• Feed the fire – How hot does that fire in your belly burn? Are you really pumped up for success? We’ll help get you white-hot and motivated to “just do it” at last!
• “Fail” your way to success – Master the secrets of the most successful people in the history of the world, and discover how you can model them to surpass your goals!

Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now. Of course, you can also sign up for my free 5 Day Bootcamp for more inspiration.

Making the most of your time at a TweetUp

BostonTweetUp MegaTweetUp

On December 3, 2009 I attended the Boston MegaTweetUp at the Microsoft Cambridge NERD center. I went by myself and didn’t know anyone who was going to be there. I was really looking forward to it and excited to meet new people. However, I am a bit introverted and I have a hard time approaching people directly and thinking of something to say. I do think however that I had a very productive time. Here are some great tips that I thought about while I was at the MegaTweetUp.

Check Yourself before you Wreck Yourself

Put yourself in the right mindset for an event. I was psyched for this event and then drove into Boston. Driving in Boston is something I am terrified to do and something that always makes me a nervous wreck. I thought I was okay because I now had a GPS phone and I’d go right to the door of NERD with no problems at all. Nope, I ended up not being able to use the GPS and got lost, many times getting to the event. Anxiety set in and my mindset was poor. My great mood rushed by my own nervous anxiety. So, the first 1/2 hour I ended up a bit upset and pissed off, things bugged me.

How did I break this cycle of anxiety, nervousness and stress?

I stopped myself and said, “I’m here to meet people, make connections, contacts and friends. I’m not leaving until I accomplish this.” I would not let myself leave the event until I had met at least 10 new people. In an event of 400 people that should be easy, right? Well, for someone who needs a little push it makes it tough. So, I came up with the next tip.

You’ve Got The Touch!

Wear Your Passions

I was wearing my Autobot Symbol Belt Buckle, why, because it is memorable, funny and also part of who I am. I’m a Transformers Fan and very knowledgeable about the Transformers. I’m not talking about the Michael Bay debacle but we’re talking back in 1984 10 year-old me cataloging all of my Transformers toys on an Appleworks Database program. Yeah, I’m a fan.

Well, I was wearing the belt buckle and I had my camera with me so I tweeted:

“BenSpark: At the #megatweetup know no one here. Anyone in same boat come say hi to the guy w the autobot belt buckle and Nikon camera.”

You’ve Got the Touch means that you are the only one who can affect change within yourself so put yourself out there. People want to meet you but they just don’t know it yet, so don’t hide the greatness inside you, put it out there.

Who is that Guy?

BostonTweetUp MegaTweetUp

Be memorable, I wore the buckle because I like it and it is part of who I am, it was also a fun icebreaker. Walking around a few people called me over because I had that as an icebreaker and I had sent out the tweet. I made myself accessible and noticeable so people kinda wondered, “Who is that guy?” Be interesting and approachable.

Bring an Accessory or Prop.

I don’t mean be the guy with the parrot on his shoulder (very few people can pull off this look). I carry a camera everywhere I go and one thing I need to be much better about is taking pictures of people. There was a guy, GregPC, there that I didn’t meet or even see but he took photos of nearly everyone at the event. His set of 1000 faces is awesome. What is fantastic about this is that he connected with so many people in a direct way. Once he uploads his photos there are so many people who will seek him out on Flickr, a simple perfect idea in my opinion.

So, if you have a camera get out there and take photos. If you have a new gadget take it and use it as an icebreaker. That is if you don’t already have that outgoing personality.

Do that Thing That You Do

BostonTweetUp MegaTweetUp

At the end of the MegaTweetUp there was a raffle and the organizer of the event Joselin Mane made sure that he got each person who won prizes to pose with him and the prize. I went and started shooting pictures of each of these interactions. I stood there for an hour taking photos of every single winner. After the raffle was over I approached Joselin and let him know I had the photos and that I’d post them to Flickr the next day. By just doing what I do I was able to make a connection with the organizer of the event, which brings me to the next tip.

Meet the Organizer

BostonTweetUp MegaTweetUp

If you are at an event find the person who organized said event and meet them. Make sure that you tell them what you think of the event, thank them and make a connection with that person. I had a nice in with Joselin because of all the photos I took. That gave me a great way to say hello. We made a very nice connection and had a great conversation.

Talk to Everyone you can, but Listen More

BostonTweetUp MegaTweetUp

Everyone at an event like this has something interesting about them. If you exchange business cards stop and take a look at the card, read it right then and there, pick out something to ask questions about. For instance, I met a woman who is a men’s fashion consultant. I found that out by reading her business card. So I asked her if I was a fashion travesty. She said no and that I was actually put together pretty well. The nice thing about that interaction was that I was able to identify and validate what she was all about (according to the business card) and show that I was interested in who she was. If you take a business card, glance at it and stuff it in your pocket then you’re doing yourself a disservice and also a disservice to the person who gave you the card. I know that someone has read my card when they mention any of my descriptions on the back especially Transformers Fan.

Here’s a tip. Take the card, look at it. Really Read it. Find something to ask a question about based on the card details. When you are done your conversation use the card to write some details about the interaction. This will help you imprint and remember that conversation which is great for the next tip.

Follow Up on those Conversations.

BostonTweetUp MegaTweetUp Recap

So many events I’ve been to I’ve collected business cards and did things all wrong. I have a stack of cards on my desk and I have no clue about the person I talked to because I didn’t follow my own tips. However, for this TweetUp I took the stack of cards and my little notes and then sent a follow up e-mail to each person. By following up you further cement those relationships.

Another Follow Up I did was post all my MegaTweetUp photos to flickr and I used the add person feature to identify people who were in the shots. I also sent a few tweets to the links and asked people to identify themselves in the photos. People love to see themselves in photos especially at events. One more tip would be to get into photos. I have no photos of me at all from the event. That is my one regret from the TweetUp.

Do you have TweetUp tips that I missed?

About the author: Andrew Bennett aka BenSpark is a husband, father, blogger, photographer, wired kayaker and an old school Transformers fan. He takes a photo every day and blogs about it on BenSpark.com. You can follow BenSpark on Twitter.

Think You Know Entrepreneurs? Think Again?

We all develop mind-sets, or virtual images in our heads about who or what certain groups of people are like. The problem with that is we often do it without the facts, so what we “think” is right, is usually wrong. I deal with a ton of entrepreneurs so I found this report from The Kauffman foundation for entrepreneurship very interesting. They released a report titled “The Anatomy of an Entrepreneur”. It’s based on a survey of 549 company founders across a variety of industries, reports OnStartUps.com. Hat tip Dane.

Take a look at this list below. What surprised you? For me, it was definitely the median age of 40. Probably because I deal with so many Internet entrepreneurs who are younger.

1. The average and median age of company founders when they started their current companies was 40.

2. 95.1 percent of respondents themselves had earned bachelor’s degrees, and 47 percent had more advanced degrees.

3. Less than 1 percent came from extremely rich or extremely poor backgrounds

4. 15.2% of founders had a sibling that previously started a business.

5. 69.9 percent of respondents indicated they were married when they launched their first business. An additional 5.2 percent were divorced, separated, or widowed.

6. 59.7 percent of respondents indicated they had at least one child when they launched their first business, and 43.5 percent had two or more children.

7. The majority of the entrepreneurs in the sample were serial entrepreneurs. The average number of businesses launched by respondents was approximately 2.3.

8. 74.8 percent indicated desire to build wealth as an important motivation in becoming an entrepreneur.

9. Only 4.5 percent said the inability to find traditional employment was an important factor in starting a business.

10. Entrepreneurs are usually better educated than their parents.

11. Entrepreneurship doesn’t always run in the family. More than half (51.9 percent) of respondents were the first in their families to launch a business.

12. The majority of respondents (75.4 percent) had worked as employees at other companies for more than six years before launching their own companies.

Surprise! You Can Do It

Nobody likes the “rah-rah” guy. You know, the guy/gal who’s always walking around telling everyone “you can do it!” or “I believe in you!” That dude is annoying. (Most of the time).

However… sometimes it needs to be heard. And it definitely needs to be said.

Too many people don’t believe in themselves. So much so that they never accomplish anything, let alone their dreams of being healthier, owning their own business or whatever. So with all that being said, here’s my rah-rah speech.

Try something, you will surprise yourself! There are so many points in my own life that I have proven this to be true. Most recently I decided that I needed to learn how to get healthy and in shape. So I went out and joined Crossfit. Watch this video if you want to see what it’s like.

The first day at Crossfit I couldn’t do 10 situps. My stomach muscles were cramping at about five in. Screaming at me, “Stop it Jim!!!” It was pathetic. Now I can do 100 pretty easily as just a small part of a bigger workout too. I’m down two pant sizes without dieting and I’m in the best shape of my life. Surprise! I could do it. Never worked out (officially in a program) before in my life.

Back to that first day… When I got back in my car I knew I had a decision to make. Either quit, or come back the next day and try again. As I’ve said before. Loser’s quit. Failures get up and try again, and I’m no loser.

But this attitude it learned, as is everything in our entire lives. The point for you is that you will surprise yourself if you keep trying. You are not a quitter (loser). It will pay off for you.

Rah-Rah.

Shameless plug time. Try my free 5-Day bootcamp if you want to get motivated.

Wanna Be A Supergenius?

I had my flight booked, my car arranged and my hotel ready to go to Andy Sernovitz’s Supergenius event in Chicago on Dec, 16. Then I called MomGoesGreen (my wife) and was reminded of a family obligation I cannot miss. Doh! Note to self: Always call the wife first when booking a trip.

Here’s the good news. Since I can’t go, they’ve given me two, count em, two 50% off tickets to give away to someone who wants to go to the event. I’m so jealous because this is the 2nd time I’ve been unable to go. Take a look at the brands and personalities that will be presenting and tell me you don’t want to be there.

GasPedal's Word of Mouth Supergenius!

So here’s the deal, I’m going to pick two people to give the coupon code to out of the comments on this page. So leave a comment telling me you can go and if you win I’ll send you the 50% coupon code so you can register. Please only enter if you know you can attend.

You can watch a video review of Andy’s book here on my video book reviews page.

Your Request For An Interview Has Been Denied

I’ve never met an interview I didn’t like. Publicity, large or small, good or bad, is publicity, and I like it. Which is why I’m often confused when other people don’t follow my same reasoning.

jfk_richmanCase in point, I’m writing a book right now and I’m actively out there interviewing people for it. Recently, I’ve been denied interviews from two agents/managers they represent without explanation, and I can’t figure out why? The two people I wanted to interview I was denied from was Adam Richman of the show Man vs. Food, and Robyn Okrant of LivingOprah.com.

I reached out to them through their “people” first, which is what I believe the proper thing to do. But both management teams turned me down without explanation. I don’t get it.

Ok, perhaps they don’t like my book idea? I get that could be it. Or maybe they don’t like my publisher (could be competing). Or????

Let me just tell you that I do EVERY request I get. Doesn’t matter if I’ve never heard of you, or if you have zero readers/viewers/listeners, or you’re a competitor of mine… I don’t care. If you ask to interview me or for me to be on your podcast or whatever, I’m doing it. Go ahead, ask me.

I’ve done hundreds of interviews over the last 10-years, and I can honestly tell you that some of the ones I perceived to be the smallest turned out to be the biggest ROI for me in terms of revenue.

Is the lesson here to not go through the representation and instead try to go through Twitter or Facebook? I don’t know, but I still don’t understand it. Any tips?

Their Pitch DOES Suck! A Challenge to All Marketers

Guest post by Dina Riccobono.

We’re in an industry that pushes ads for a living, yet we will fast forward through commercials. We create content we wouldn’t watch ourselves. We sell products we don’t use. This is terrible. The same people who want others to click for cash won’t click for cancer research. Commercials are outdated, banner ad blindness set in long ago, we’re talking, and no one is listening.

So why don’t we set a higher standard? Freshen up your brand. Change your images. Take a second look at your best practices. This should be common sense to marketers- online, offline, in shopping lines. Yet we stay in our safety zones, we can’t break the mold. Why not? We’re in one of the most groundbreaking industries that exists today. Some of the most successful businesses today didn’t exist ten, twelve, fifteen years ago. Let’s change the outlook!

What would really happen if you stepped outside your comfort zone? Take a look at some very successful examples:

Love them or hate them, do you know the following brands:

-Apple
-Microsoft
-Facebook
-WalMart
-McDonalds

Fifty plus years ago, meals were cooked at home. Eating out was a special occasion, and you had to use the library to do business research. If you wanted to buy a shirt, groceries, and a television, you went to three different stores. If you wanted to chat with a friend, you walked/drove to/called their house.

Now? We pick up our laptops and cell phones to do everything. The superstore is the only store. We eat dinner while we’re working, driving, reading the paper, and talking- usually at the same time. If we want to find a new restaurant, we don’t explore the city, we explore the newest app. Why?

Because our Macs, PCs, social media platforms, super centers, and yes, even fast food chain CEOs had vision. They took risks. They broke the mold. I’m certainly not saying there are no fantastic examples out there. Affiliate marketing is one of the most amazing opportunities out there. Kids who are still in high school are making more in a month than their retired parents did in their prime 20 years on the same job. With a few clicks and some technical knowledge, million dollar ideas are launched. It’s great…but it’s got to keep changing…we HAVE TO evolve. So try new things, and take a risk. Hell…take five. But please…

Don’t be the next Steve Jobs. Be the current you- but better.

About the Author: Dina is the founder of TheFreelancerNetwork, a national agency connecting clients with top online media consultants. She specializes in marketing, event planning and social media as part of TFN. Dina also works with MarketLeverage Interactive Advertising as their Marketing and Social Media Manager. Dina on Twitter. Dina on Linkedin.

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