Category Archives: Marketing

If you want me to call, give me your phone number.

Can I tell you something that just burns me about beautiful websites?

… People who list their addresses, phone numbers, etc. as graphics so I can’t copy and paste the information into my address book.

Look, I know you probably did it because you thought it would cut down on spam. But it also cuts the number of people who actually WANT to get in touch with you.

If you’re a professional organizer (hint, hint — narrowing down the field of people I MIGHT be annoyed with at the moment) and you can’t figure out how to set up filters in your mail manager, then how can you help a person who signs up for every emailed newsletter and offer there is.

Professionals don’t scribble their phone numbers on the torn edges of old envelopes. They have beautiful business cards so the person who gets the info thinks they are a professional. Maybe he even thinks you’re bigger than you really are.

The reason businesses, especially small businesses and solopreneurs, have a web presence at all is so that prospective clients think they are professional. The web is a great leveler. Fancy websites — and by that I mean well designed, easy to navigate, and professional looking — give prospective clients a certain confidence in the product they’re looking at.

Here’s the back story that riled me up this morning.

I am a coach. I work with people who have too many ideas. I’m looking for a few organizers to recommend to clients who want that service.

I personally know one of these professionals. I write to her and ask for some other references so I have more than one person’s info to pass on.

I go to each of the websites of the people she mentioned. The sites were all well laid out and easy to navigate. BUT two out of the three had graphic phone numbers. I couldn’t copy and paste them into my list of people to whom I’ll refer clients.

True, if you’re looking on the web, likely you’ll send an email first. But what if I need the info to send to my aunt who doesn’t use the internet? (yea, i know, it’s sorry to admit.. but facts are as they are.)

What bugs you?
Leave me a note.

Making a schedule

Making a new habit can be complicated for people. On one hand you know you’ll have to do the thing over and over, and depending on to whom you talk, for 7 or 30 or 60 days. But what if you don’t really know what habit you’re trying to get? What if you think it’s getting up on time, but really, its about getting to work on time. They might be related. But they’re not necessarily the same thing.

Sometimes the new habit really means you get out of doing the thing all together.
Check this out:

Margaret Rome is an extremely busy realtor friend of mine. We had some down time together over the last couple days (OK, Yep, she’s helping me look at a house) and, as it often does, conversation turned to marketing. She’s had a blog for about a year and posts faithfully every Sunday. “How do you do that, Margaret – be so consistent?”

“I hired a writer to do the actually writing and posting for me.”

While Margaret is away at a conference, she emails short ideas to Peg Silloway who gathers them up for future reference. When Margaret notices something in the news or at a conference, or she hears other realtors talking or even just has her own brilliant thought, she sends an email to Peg. Peg makes the blog post happen using something Margaret sent her. Peg can write like Margaret talks so no one’s the wiser.

How cool is that? Who do you know that can take over a part of your job that you don’t like.. or that just gets away from you?

But what if you choose to write your own post?

Here’s another interesting bit worth noticing. There’s a schedule. When Sunday rolls around Peg and Margaret know that there has to be something new. Funny thing about Sundays. They come every week! Tie the new habit – the blog post – to an existing habit – Sunday! Maybe that’s not the right thing to which you’ll tie your new habit. But days of the week are sure dependable. Maybe you’ll pick trash day. Oh, imagine what might pop up for you then? Do your kids have a half day on Monday? You could promise yourself you’ll always post on Mondays before they get home.

Here’s the secret. You just gotta DECIDE what to tie the new habit to.

What do you think would be the easiest habit for you to tie a new habit to?

Make your own cool.

I wish I were cool. Really I do.

No need for my parents to worry. My head was “screwed on right.” That’s what my parents friends told them. I was definitely not cool, though.

I wasn’t a real nerd. But I did belong to the library club (I loved fixing the broken books but not shelving them). I also belonged to the radio club. I had a novice ham radio license and everything. WN3OHB I always figured the OHB stood for Old HamBurger. I never got far enough along to be allowed to use voice transmission. I just joined the radio club because what ever “those guys” were doing, I could do it too. (Hey, at least they weren’t jumping off of bridges! I don’t think we had bungee jumping when I was in high school.)

I read in early June about the Webby Awards, given for innovations and excellence on the web. Awarded by The International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences this is the leading international honor for Web sites and the innovators behind them.

What fascinated me in the original buzz I heard about the award was that the acceptance speeches could be only five words long.

FIVE, no more, no less.

There, that coulda been my whole speech!

I’ve been thinking about short stories, short speeches, Short People (I used to sing that Randy Newman song to my kids when they were babies.. “Short people got no body” Perhaps I’m a little warped, but still not cool.)

But this morning I decided check out some of the award winners. and their websites based entirely on some entirely unknown quality that I found in their award speech.

In the Lifestyle category, won a People’s Voice award:

Thanks for always being hungry.

That seemed appropriate and made me smile.

But in the Marketplace category Retail: THE BOOK OF COOL also won a People’s Voice award with this little speech:

Even monkeys fall from trees.

I gotta tell you, I have this thing about monkeys. Maybe I got it from my son who has a thing about monkeys. What ever the reason, I checked out the website.

I found the link to The Book of Cool site in the June 13, 2206 Wired story about the awards. I found such a cool flash intro that I watched it all the way through. Generally I hate those pages that make we wait until I can find the information that I want. I skip them when ever possible. But immediately I got sucked in. Oh yea, I’ll buy this stuff. I want to be cool. Not just live near “cool.”

I’m hoping that maybe, with help from the book and 9 hours of DVD video they’re selling, just maybe I can learn to be cool.

On the otherhand, perhaps:

I make my own cool.

What would you say if you only had five words? What affirmation would you choose? What does that say about you?

Post a comment. Share your five words.

I can’t wait to read what you write.