Marketing Execution

Good Old Fashioned Sales Letters Still Work

The venerable sales letter is somewhat of an anachronism these days. With all these newfangled electronic gizmos, apps, FaceThingies, LinkedIns, utilizing sales letters seems sort of…well…quaint. But the reality is that a good sales letter (snail mail, delivered online or as a landing page) can generate high value sales leads. The secret lies in the concept of “good”.  A bad sales letter not only gets a fast, one way ticket to the trash bin, it can actually damage your brand. Writing is one of those skills/arts that everyone thinks they can do. “I done learned it in grade school. I forms words with letters and strung ’em together….” And while that is true for most people (I hope) writing for sales and marketing purposes is different from writing a comprehensive review of To Kill a Mockingbird.  Let me show you how the right approach can make the register ring.

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Download Networking One Sheet Template

When I hear someone say that referrals are what drives their business, I often ask if they use “Networking” as a business development tactic. Often they are fairly active in some form of networking but not seeing any real business impact unless you are measuring in waist line diameter from hundreds of coffee shop meetings.

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What is your head shot strategy?

Head shots are a vital part of the entrepreneur’s or executive’s tool kit. Think about it. The first thing someone looks at on your LinkedIn profile is your photo. The first thing they see at a meeting is your face. The days of the Sears portrait style are over. And, no, Virginia. A selfie won’t cut it unless you are looking for love in all the wrong places. Some of the worst offenders are realtors and insurance sales people for some reason. These hyper perky, over caffeinated gummy grins and poses don’t add credibility or make a true psychological connection with the viewer. The lowly head shot is usually considered an afterthought. Instead, it should be thought through strategically to maximize the value of your personal image. In other words, your selfie is leaving value on the table and could be harming your professional reputation unless you are a twenty-something[…]

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Viral Brilliance Defined

The guys at Emergent Order have done something amazing and it’s not just the videos. They have proven that viral marketing is possible if you make something topical, entertaining and dazzling. Even more interesting to me is how the high production value viral component has driven significant traffic to a series of other videos that are essentially well produced talking heads. In other words, they engage and entertain people with the big video and then educate them on the follow up. These guys are going to change the world. [youtube d0nERTFo-Sk]

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Web video done right.

A few weeks ago, I worked with my friend Amy Hardin to create a series of short web videos. Here’s the result. It got me thinking about web video since I get asked at least once a week about how to do it or why. So here’s my easy guide to on-line video. But first, see how it’s done. [youtube wdfoDtBUClM]

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Rise of the Service Economy

We hear so much about the decline of our “industrial base” and how sad it is that all we are creating are low paying service jobs. Here’s a 10 minute video with Gary Hoover’s take, which is a bit different than what you may hear on the news or talk broadcasting. [youtube O9h2EBdCu6I]

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Making Facebook sing with IFrames

I talked to my friend Steve Golab at FG Squared the other day and we both got hot and bothered by a new development at Facebook that looks like it’s going to completely change the face of the ubiquitous personal networking site. The details are a little technical so I will attempt to explain this development in terms anyone can understand. Basically, you can now make Facebook bend to your will inserting just about any functionality (e-commerce, entire web sites, blogs, whatever) right into your company or personal page. So what you say. Facebook is for teenage wienies and creepy guys stalking past girlfriends. So why is this such a big deal?

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Gary Hoover class on entrepreneurialism

Gary Hoover knows a thing or two about starting and growing companies. You might have heard about a little Austin based company called Hoovers Online… Gary is putting on classes for kids and parents sharing his ideas and advice for would be entrepreneurs. I recommend you go to this once in a lifetime opportunity to hear it from the source.

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Final Notice. Please, God, let it be true.

You may have noticed (or perhaps you didn’t) that I took a break from blogging for a bit. OK, a long bit. I just needed to clear my head and didn’t think I really had anything of value to add. But lucky for you (or not) I’m back at it and full of piss and vinegar. (not much vinegar, really). So what hot poker of stupidity has prompted this triumphant return to the blogosphere? Idiocy in email form. I sometimes wonder what goes through the heads of people who use email marketing thinking they can trick us. Note to spammers: we are not that stupid. Note to one Eric Johnson (if that is your real name) from some joint called “D3 Intelligence” in Seattle Washington (oh irony…) I don’t know what “D3” stands for. I can only guess it’s Dumbass to the third power. So what offense has this guy[…]

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Creativity: Thy Name is Powerhouse

I get a lot of promotional emails in my inbox. I know, you’re stunned. You know the kind – “We are the best.” “You can’t survive without us.” “Viagra!”. Like you, I’m like a ninja with the delete key, tossing these zero value missives into the trash can like Rosie O’Donnell tosses cheeseburgers down her gullet. But today, some of my faith in the power of email was restored! My friends over at Powerhouse Animation poked my brain with a delightful, hilarious, snide and perfectly executed little promo that shows what can be done with the medium – and reminds us that we shouldn’t take ourselves (or our marketing) too seriously. We need to have some fun. Push it a little. And seriously kick ass when it comes to execution.

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