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The Necessity Project

What is truly necessary to have a thriving business today? Does every business need an online presence? Is social media replacing websites? These, among others, are questions that we'll seek to answer here through interviews, articles and research. Join me in finding the answers.
Job creation

Job creation

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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.

Here’s mine.

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.)

July 7, 2014Read More
Features, Benefits, Results and Emotion. (And how they work inside your brand)

Features, Benefits, Results and Emotion. (And how they work inside your brand)

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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.

July 5, 2014Read More
Patriotic

Patriotic

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You don’t have to be outgoing with flags and red, white and blue banners to be patriotic. That’s marketing.

What you do have to understand is the land in which we live in (if you do in fact live in the US) is the greatest country the world has ever known. That’s not an opinion either, it’s a hard fact. The evidence shows it. (As does Dinesh D’souza in his new movie, America.)

And so on this day, I find it proper to recognize how incredibly thankful I am that I can even write this blog on my own free will. That I can talk about challenging the public school system or the government policies I don’t agree with. The simple fact that I can voice my opinion without (much) hate, is incredible.

Recognize that we have a choice to make right now. A choice to stand up and make something that matters versus following the status quo. A choice that will not only impact our lives, but our children and the world as a whole. Whatever you’re created to do, I hope you’re doing it. You’re a hero. Thank you.

July 4, 2014Read More
You’re a freak, until you’re not.

You’re a freak, until you’re not.

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Since we’re on the subject of questioning things, let’s think about it more for a minute.

Our entire lives have been spent learning to listen, pay attention and obey the first time. I’m not against obedience by any means. My life guide, The Bible, requires it. But that doesn’t mean we can’t challenge authority or the status quo. And too many of us have been conditioned to not challenge, myself included.

When someone challenges the system, they are harped on. Thrown out. Punished into compliance. Where I see the majority of this is in our school system. I have written about how broken it is in the past. And I intend to begin offering solutions, starting here.

Where are the dreams we had as children? And when did they disappear for most of us? Maybe around 2nd or 3rd grade? If we really think about it, the ones that challenged the system are the only ones we remember. They are the only ones we salute and the system actually promotes their creativity and drive to change things.

You’re a freak, until you’re not. That should be the motto of every person that has ever made a change in the world. Jesus was a freak. Einstein, Darwin, The Wright Brothers, Martin Luther King Jr. The list goes on.

But what is the common thread that runs through each of them and connects them? What is it about each of these significant figures in history that made such an impact that we celebrate them and talk about them in our schools, workplaces and research papers?

The common thread is that they were all freaks. The system did it’s best to beat them down. They were killed, beaten, made fun of, arrested, thrown in prison, kicked out of class. You name it, it happened to them. Not everything to each one, but something to all of them.

Our system is so broken that it celebrates the very people that challenge it. It doesn’t even recognize that it is hindering more people than it helps.

A starting point for a solution to the problem lies in the dreams of our children. We must promote the dreams they have to make things. We must help them see an idea to fruition, even if it seems silly to us. We must not allow society to look down upon them because they decided to wear a tiger costume, clip on tail and all, to the store.

When we begin to help the dreams of our children, we will begin to see a culture that recognizes innovation again. Not innovation within the framework of what we think can be done. But innovation within the boundaries of nature. Those are much larger and more robust boundaries than we could ever conjure up on our own. Those are the types of boundaries we need to play with. Find the edge and dance on it.

Challenging the traditional ways of doing things will get you some funny looks. It will get you some interesting comments and blank stares as to why you are doing it. But I feel it’s a main way we can begin to instill in our society the need for dreamers and creators that we have locked up over the years. It might be too late for many of us who have had a lifetime of compliance training, but it’s the perfect time to unleash the next generation to not fall in the same constraints we have been given.

 

July 3, 2014Read More
A time of questions

A time of questions

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When culture tells you to do something, question it. When the media tells you to think a certain way, question that too. As a matter of fact, it’s a good rule of thumb to question everything. Authority, yes. Processes, definitely. Status quo? Absolutely.

I find that the more we question the ways of our world, the better off we’ll become for ourselves and the audience we are looking to serve. This is particularly hard to do when raising children though. Training them to question authority is a fine balance. We have to show right from wrong, but often, we don’t even know which is which ourselves. And so when our little one raises the question of “Why?” we freeze. We don’t know the answer. And thus, the famous, “Because I said so!” line. (Or the even worse, “Because that’s the way we’ve always done it.”)

Of course, this causes problems of it’s own. It means we have to question the things we believe to be the best. And that we have to take into account that the way we have always done something might not be the best or most efficient way to handle it anymore.

The root of all this is that we are living in a time of question. An economy that doesn’t have the answers. Leaders that don’t know the best course of action. Parents that aren’t sure whether public, private or homeschool is the best choice. All we can do is make sure that whatever we are doing, we’re making a ruckus. Because if we’re not, we’ve entered a race to the bottom. The main problem in that situation is that you don’t want to win.

July 2, 2014Read More
We had a mishap

We had a mishap

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You might get an email with 3 or 4 articles because I paused my campaign for editing and never reinstated it. My bad.

I hope you’ll get caught up though…and sorry for the mishap.

Selling Eggs to Chickens

The Worldview of Your Market (Change yours, not theirs)

Falling vs. Failing

Thanks for being here.

June 30, 2014Read More
Selling Eggs to Chickens

Selling Eggs to Chickens

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In some instances, you’re going to find that what you have to sell isn’t for the people you’re wanting to serve. If you have eggs, chickens won’t buy them. They can make their own and they don’t care how awesome or cheap yours are. 

When you have something to sell, find the chickens that can’t make their own or the ones that don’t have the time or desire to do so. Those are the ones you can sell. Those are the ones you can add value to their life because you’ve filled a need they knew (or didn’t know) they had.

The twist is that sometimes, chickens just might not be quite ready to get your eggs. They won’t tell you, but you better figure out when enough is enough.

June 27, 2014Read More
The worldview of your market (change yours, not theirs)

The worldview of your market (change yours, not theirs)

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Markets are different everywhere you go. In every town. In every state. They vary and it doesn’t necessarily depend on your experience or technique as to whether you’ll appeal the market or not.

What will not vary is the consistency in which you serve your market. You will have to figure out what works, and what doesn’t, then do more of the former. It will take time and trial to get there.

If the market you’re trying to serve isn’t responding, it may not always be because you’re doing something wrong though. It could be, just maybe, that they aren’t responding in the same way you want or think they should. That means you have to adjust your worldview of your market so that you have a better grasp on what it will take to reach them effectively.

Badgering will not work. Not today. What you need in any market, is permission.

June 26, 2014Read More
Falling vs. Failing

Falling vs. Failing

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Falling is not fun. It hurts. It stings. It makes you feel like a failure. But it’s part of our growth and part of life. If we don’t fall, how will we learn what not to do? How will we build up the confidence to stand strong when it’s hard?

I say fall and not fail for a reason. Failing carries the connotation that we’re never going to be able to get back up. It seems like a harder word to overcome. Falling though…it could simply mean a trip. A stumble where you almost go down but you catch yourself and keep going strong. Falling seems to be easier to bounce back from.

The thing is, falling or failing, isn’t bad. It’s important for learning. For growing. For using different muscles than the ones you were using when you encountered the problem.

Today, we may fall. Tomorrow, we may fall. But it’s completely our choice if we decide to fail.

June 25, 2014Read More
Some would never do that. Others wouldn’t have it any other way.

Some would never do that. Others wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Doing something different is strange. It always has been. There is no way you can do something different from most other people and someone not think you’re crazy.

However, it’s what we do with that crazy look that matters. If we believe it, we succumb to the crudeness of the world. The one that says “If you’re not doing it like this, you don’t belong here.”

More and more these days, this is exactly what happens though. People look for places to belong. Places to be different and find others that were kicked out because they were different too. People like us do things like this. Or don’t do things like that.

Uber is a good example. And I recently heard about FlightCar. And of course you know about AirBnB. They all say this same thing to those people that are different. Some people would never in their lives loan out their car or their house to a stranger. While, for some, it’s the only way that makes sense.

Being different has always been in style. It’s the only thing that’s ever caused much needed change. Once again, it’s marketing that causes us to believe it’s bad.

[I'm not saying it's bad marketing or that marketing is bad. Neither. It's actually pretty incredible marketing if can make us think it's our own belief. The source is what would cause us to think something is bad or not.]

June 20, 2014Read More