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$1 For Air?

My tire got a little bit low the other day so I stopped by the local gas station for a fill-up. Here’s what I found.

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Yep. $1 for air.

Obviously that price is over the top for me and I’m guessing you as well. Sure, I MUST have the air, and they know that, so they can charge whatever they want, however, to me that price is outrageous and I’ll never go to that gas station again because of it.

There are a couple of points at work here.

#1: Luxury vs. Need
There is a definite difference between selling luxury items and need items and how you can price them. I NEED gas to get to work. I NEEDED air so my tire wouldn’t pop. When you’re selling needs, you can price pretty much how you wish, assuming you don’t have a competitor offering a lower priced choice. Because of this, I was forced to pay the $1.00 to get my tires filled up, even though I believe the price was too high.

The other side of this equation is selling luxury items. Water is a need, but bottled water is a luxury item. In other words, you don’t HAVE to have bottled water, but it’s nice to have. In this example, the people who sell bottled water can again charge way too much for something we don’t really need to have.

Are you selling luxury or needs? Really think about it. Then price accordingly. But be careful, read point #2.

#2: It’s Easy To Create Customer Evangelists & Even Easier To Lose Them
Just because I paid the $1.00 for air does not mean the gas station wins. In fact, they lose, big time. I will now purposely not go to that gas station for gas or food or drinks or anything, ever again. Why? Because they’re greedy. Why not make the air free? It’s air! If the air was free I’d remember that and make sure to go there more often. I’d buy my gas there and other things. I’d always remember that they gave me something I needed.

Think about the little silly things you charge customers for that you should probably be giving away for free. The barber should probably include the hot straight-razor shave at the end of every haircut. The restaurant should probably make kids drinks free instead of $2.99 on top of their meal.

Consider these examples:

  • What if a restaurant charged for salt/pepper and ketchup and mustard?
  • What if your mechanic charged you to read the magazines in the lobby while they changed your oil?

How much money are you really making from selling these extra things? Isn’t it possible that your customer is wondering why you’re trying to gouge them for every single little thing? At what point does your customer get fed up with this system and decide to take their business someplace else? How much revenue will you lose long-term because you’ve lost that customer?

These are important questions and thing to consider. Don’t charge $1.00 for air.

How To Make Money With Chatroulette.com

Just had an interesting idea. Have you seen Chatroulette.com yet? It’s this voyeuristic new (fun?) video experience where you randomly connect with people around the world through your web cam. Pointless you say? Well, kinda. But what if you can make some money from it? Here’s an idea for you to try.

Get a computer with a webcam and an Internet connection. Now, design an ad, to be displayed on either your computer monitor or on a sheet of paper, whatever. The point is, it’s an ad.

Example: “Love Snuggies? Get 50% off The Snuggie at XYZSnuggie.com”

Of course, XYZSnuggie.com should be your website, or affiliate link. Now, point your webcam at that ad and turn on Chatroulette and let it run. I would guess that you could get thousands and thousands of views on that ad every single day. Would people buy? I don’t know. It probably depends on the product you’re selling and the ad.

If it was me, I’d try to promote something fun and dumb, kinda like the Snuggie. Something everyone might buy, or knows about. The Chatroulette audience seems to be full of perverts and just regular curious people, so you figure out what what might sell.

On a similar/fun note, check out the video of this guy doing piano songs to random people.

Jim Kukral Does Not Suck (My New Jingle)

I’ve got a new jingle courtesy of a new, very cool, online project called LoveJingles.com. See it below. Apparently, I do not suck, haha.

What I love about this is that not only did he come up with the lyrics on his own, but he also did a very clever video for it. I’m impressed. And the best part is since I bought early in the year, I paid only $20 for this. Want your own jingle? He’s already sold out until mid March. The costs do really go up a lot day after day so if you want in now get in now. I’m not sure if he’ll be able to sell an entire year at this rising costs schedule, but if he does, he’ll make a lot of money, and have 365 jingles to his credit.

A very interesting idea, similar to Iwearyourshirt.com, another project I really love. Both of these projects will be featured in my book.

You can view my old jingle here (or below).


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My Customers Will NEVER Use Social Media!

jfk_lookIn my presentation called “Beyond the Website” (watch here) I have a slide that says this.

“The Internet is for kids and geeks, and MY customers will never be online.” – Unnamed 1990’s executive.

I don’t remember where I found that quote online, and I have no idea if it’s real or not (I bet it is). But I love it because it illustrates the short-sighted approach that many people take when emerging trends and technologies grab the hearts and minds of the world.

The thing is, people are still saying that quote, but today they’re inserting social media in place of “the Internet”. You know, things like Twitter, and Facebook and Myspace and all the rest. All of those things are just for kids and geeks… right.

Let’s redo the quote for effect. You know you know somebody like this.

“Social media is for kids and geeks, and MY customers will never use social media.” – Unnamed executive.

At this point I could go on and on about how that’s a big fail waiting to happen, and most surely a pink slip for the person who said it down the road as their business lags behind competitors who didn’t think that way.

However… let’s not do that. Let’s prove them wrong. On another slide in my presentation I point to a BusinessWeek piece that defines the 6 types of social media users.

bizweek
BIG Image of above graphic

If you could really dig into this slide you would see that it’s not just kids that are using social media. The scale skews to younger, sure, but in fact, this data (which is two years old btw) does indeed show a major trend toward “older” people using social media in all kinds of facets.

Ignore social media at your own peril. This is your last warning!

Book Marketing Secrets!

Today I’m talking with author and book marketing expert Warren Whitlock. You can also find Warren’s stuff at BookMarketingStrategy.com. (Actually, this interview is long overdue to be aired, sorry Warren).

Click the play button below to listen to the podcast!

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I had the pleasure of meeting Warren at Blogworldexpo this year and even had lunch with him and Dave Taylor. Warren is a pro who knows his stuff and has the experience to back it up. If you’re going to write a book, you’re going to need to learn how to market it. Warren gives some good advice for how you’re going to get it done.

He’s a swell guy too! Here are the show notes:

How important is it for an author to be a marketer nowadays?
What’s the first thing I have to do to start my book?
After I start a blog and reserve my name, how much work is involved before I start the book?
You should have a blog or website for you name AND your book title, use both.
Become a thought-leader in the community of your niche.
Use feedback from readers to build your book.

Wine School with Gary Vaynerchuk

A few weeks ago I got to spend a day and a night hanging out with Gary Vaynerchuk of Winelibrary.tv as he was in town for a book signing. The full video experience of my time spent with him will come later, but for now, I have a video about a person I met who was in Gary’s entourage… Marianne Frantz of the Cleveland Wine School.

The video below is an interview I did with Marianne about the Cleveland Wine School, with a funny impromptu appearance from Gary V in a few places. Pretty funny. The video was shot at lunch after a live taping of the Thunder show with Gary in Cleveland Browns Stadium (personal video on that to come later). Go watch, great episode.

Why am I posting this video about a regional company when my blog is read by thousands of people who don’t live in Cleveland? Well, it’s a perfect example of how anyone can make a video commercial for their company with a simple inexpensive camera. Something I encourage all businesses to do. Tell me this isn’t a video you’d like to show to your customers to educate them about your business?

The whole thing took me 10 minutes to edit, and by using the Flip camera, easy to record. Why aren’t you doing video yet? Give me a ring so I can help you get on it, or sign up for my free Online Video Toolkit for some free advice.

Here’s the video on Youtube if you wish to view it there.

Niche Marketing: Your Product + “What’s Hot” = Success

Shmuly gets it. He’s taken a traditional piece of Jewish headdress called the Kippah and combined it with current trends, in this case the Presidential election here in the USA. Check out his product at VanityKippah.com. Pretty smart.

In this video I talk more about how smart marketers like Shmuly know to take their product or service and combine it with current events or trends to make more sales and get publicity. It works. You can do it too.

Take a moment and think about how your product or service relates to what’s hot right now. Sports (the Olympics?), entertainment, politics? You get the point. Now make the connection and do something creative. The press will eat it up.

Music on video from http://cantorgottesman.com/chazzan-first-cd.htm

Win $100 From Zappos.com

You like shoes, no? Well, you will like this contest I’m having with my friends over at Zappos.com. Five people will win a $100 Zappos.com gift certificate to buy anything they want on their site. And all you have to do is… well, watch the video. It’s easy to enter, believe me.

Oh yeah, and are you a blogger or webmaster? You should sign up for the Zappos affiliate program and earn bucks for referring sales. Great program that converts well. And don’t forget to follow @Zappos on Twitter.

Click here to see all the current entries at Flickr. Yes, ladies, you can wear flip-flops to enter. :)


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Dualing Flips with Kevin Savetz

This is a cool video for many reasons. 1. Because my friend Kevin Savetz is a great guy. 2. He’s got a great new site that you should all checkout that is very smart at ReviewRoundup.com, and 3. We did a dual Flip cam video. He pointed his at me, and I pointed mine at him. I flipped back and forth between the camera footage to create a neat interview effect.

Note: Kevin is a smart guy who builds sites like this that do very well. You could learn a thing or two from him by looking at some of his sites and how they’re built. Very smart.

Ukulele Lessons Part II – I Get Better

In part one of my self-imposed goal to learn how to play the ukulele, I showed you how clueless I was, and how out of tune I was. In today’s video, I show you how I figured out how to tune it, and how I learned a few chords.

This is a fun little instrument and I cannot wait to get better and begin writing some songs that I can perform on camera. Give me some time though. Have you ever tried to learn how to play an instrument from scratch? It’s hard. Any tips… send them over!

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