If job creation is such a hot topic these days, let’s create some. Not in the sense of starting a company that makes and sells more widgets, but a completely new job that few or no one else has.
Today’s assignment, create a job for yourself.
Title: Webmarketing Consultant
Description: I would be a 3rd party consultant works with various companies to help them navigate the waters of marketing and the web. This would include web design projects, social media marketing, general marketing ideas and campaigns and anything related to communications from the company.
I would not do any of the work myself (such as web design, social media marketing, etc) but would advise them who would be good to work with and who would not. No incentive money would be exchanged for recommending a particular company or individual.
Since I would not get paid off the money spent on marketing, my interests would align with the client. A monthly fee would be negotiated based on how often consultations would be needed.
As a matter of fact, if you know someone that needs this, recommend me. Thanks.
What’s yours? (Blog about it and link to this.)
Features, Benefits, Results and Emotion. (And how they work inside your brand)
When you have features for sale, you’re in a race to the bottom. You have to either have the most or have the best or sell it for the least. Very rarely do we see where more features equals more value.
And yet, most of us sell the features of our programs or widgets.
Then you have benefits. Benefits are great to sell until virtually every item can get you the same benefit. Then you’re right back in the features race (to the bottom). (The same goes for selling results.)
So if we can’t sell benefits or features, what are we selling?
More and more we are selling emotion. Not, what does this do for me results-wise, but what I think it should (or does) do for me. The key word there is ‘think.’
If I think this computer by this brand makes me fit in with my peers, I’m going to buy it. I’ll find the money to do so. If these sunglasses are the kind that ‘people like me’ wear, I’ll buy them, expensive or not. If I feel better owning this brand over that one because it brings back childhood memories, I’ll go with it. If I want to do something off the beaten path, I’ll find a brand that fits that lifestyle.
Features are worthless. Benefits are hard to differentiate. Emotion, when appealed to correctly, trumps most any scenario.
I’m fairly certain it wasn’t all a waste.
Last year I spent an inordinate amount of time creating stuff. Content, podcasts, ebooks, guest posts, etc. It was awesome and a great experience.
But the problem was that I forgot that I needed to make money. Which, as you can imagine, posed a little bit of a problem.
Towards the end of 2013, I got a handle on things and have since been doing a little better with my priorities. But I have been thinking a lot about all those resources I created and what I could do with them. I’ve been thinking how I could leverage them with my web design clients and if it was a waste in the sense of not being my target audience, or if they could help provide more value to the services I offer as a designer.
My conclusion is that I can use them to help my brand as a web designer. It wasn’t a waste, though I definitely should have handled it all differently. The podcast I created was about branding. The ebooks were branding and small business tips. And the guest posts were about everything from branding to fear to blogging and marketing. All that very appropriately fits into my brand as I have it today.
So I would encourage you to look back at what you’ve done. Don’t think that your time was a complete waste even if you royally screwed up. It’s likely that you added a lot of value to your brand without even knowing it. And also likely that you accomplished more than you realize.
Recognizing a major shift in business today
Well. I was right.
I was the only one wearing Vans. And brown corduroy pants. And no blazer/jacket/whatever. And comic cards for business cards. See what I’m referring to here.
But I have to admit that I did have a good time. It wasn’t as stuffy as I had imagined, to be honest. However, it did make me realize yet again how different I think.
The rules of business have changed. What works has changed. What gets noticed has changed. It’s all different and it seems to me that very few people realize that. I’m not sure if they are caught up in mimicking what others in the past have done or if they are taking too much direction from today’s leaders. Or something else.
I recognize that I don’t know it all. Nor will I act like I do. But at the same time, I have always been someone that recognizes change before it occurs. I used to work for a company that I saw no future for and I was right. I’ve directed clients who didn’t take my advice for web related things and they haven’t prospered. Does that mean they would have if they took my advice? Maybe. Maybe not.
The one thing that I can tell you for sure is that I’m not the only one preaching the changes in this world. Look around at the top of the marketing or creative industries. These people understand the way the world is going much more than us average people do. They see changes and have been for some time.
One last thought. Blazers are a thing of the past. It doesn’t convey professionalism anymore, not to the average person. It conveys a sense of “I’m better than you so respect me.” Respect isn’t commanded. It’s earned. And I’ll spend my life earning it while wearing Transformer shirts and Vans Off The Wall.
On fitting in with the crowd
My tendency is to want to fit in. To want to blend in with everyone and be “normal.” But I have to fight that.
Today I’m going to a local event for a new business center that will have a ton of businesses, most of which appear to be corporate and will probably be wearing suits and ties to look all professional. Which is perfectly fine…for them.
But more and more I find that I don’t fit the traditional mold of anything. I have a disdain for the public school system, the corporate structure of our economy, big government, etc. So what I have elected to do is try to stand out.
When I went into my closet this morning, my thought was not, “How will I look professional?” But rather, it was “How will I stand out?” This, I think, is the ultimate question for anyone in business today. Heck, anyone doing anything that matters today. It’s no longer about fitting a mold or fitting in. It’s about being weird. Purple in a world of brown. (Yes I took that from Seth Godin.)
I’ll let you know how it goes. My hope is that I’m the only one wearing something bold. If they think I’m weird, good. If they think I’m not professional, great. My best case scenario would be that I’m the only one not wearing a black or blue blazer.
This thing you’re doing, it’s real life.
You know, this thing we’re doing right now, it’s real life. It sounds simple but I would venture to say that you’ve forgotten as did I.
In life sometimes we get caught up trying to make awesome stuff happen for us. Or for others. But either way, we get caught up. And I want you to take a step back for a moment and decide if maybe you’re in that place where you got caught up a bit.
Maybe you’ve forgotten that this is real life. That the things you do on a regular basis can never be taken back, never “redone”, never 100% forgotten.
Don’t get scared and do nothing, but be aware that every minute is only lived once. Make sense?
What Man of Steel Can Teach Us About Building Better Connections
This is a guest post by Kent Sanders. He teaches music, art and guitar at St. Louis Christian College in Florissant, Missouri. You can find more of his writing, as well as his podcast, at The Artist’s Suitcase blog. You can also connect with him via Twitter.
Last week we saw the release of the highly anticipated movie Man of Steel. I thought it was a fantastic movie, and you should be in for a real treat if you’re a fan of comic book movies.
Superman is the most popular superhero in the world. I’ve read that aside from the Christian cross, the “S” on Superman’s chest is the most recognized symbol anywhere. (I can’t imagine the Apple logo is far behind.)
But what explains his popularity? Is it the story? The costume? The previous versions of Superman we’ve seen on film and television? The thoroughly American nature of the character?
All of those elements play a part in the character’s success. But there is a defining set of qualities in Superman that helps make him the most popular superhero in the world.
His super powers.
1 thing we need to fix all that’s broken
Beating people up with your ideas isn’t always a good thing. We get tired of it and tune out if we don’t care much or believe in it.
But the funny thing is, we need to accept that to be okay with it. The people that will give us attention are the ones we need. They are the ones that will help us build that small army to thrive today.
Connection branding is no different. I’m beating you over the head with it not only because I want my idea to spread, but because it works.
It works because it’s where we’re at. It works because it’s what this economy needs. It’s what business owners and individuals need to understand over the coming years. It works because it’s simple and gets back to the core of business.
What I’ve come to understand about connection
What I’ve come to understand about connection is that it’s actually quite simple. It doesn’t require an insane amount of strategy or expertise. It doesn’t require an inordinate amount of time.
As a matter of fact, it requires nothing more than a passion to fill a need in someone’s life. That requires action, of course, but it’s still quite simple at it’s core.
5 Things I Noticed Immediately About the New G+ (and why you need to join me!)
Today’s a bit different. It’s about a tool that we can all use to help spread our message.
I was floored by the changes that G+ came out with last night (actually just a few hours ago as I write this) and I wanted to share a few of my personal insights with you.
As you know, I’m a designer so visuals, functionality and user experience (UX) and all very important to me. Google in general has made strides in the past few years first making major updates to their gmail platform. I knew they must have finally decided to focus some attention on visuals and UX at that point.
Now, I’m certain of it.