Self-promotion is hard to do. I hate it. But it must be done.
Read this little collection of tips from The 99% to further gird your loins for the battle.
You should read this article.
Its about how to tell if you’re being boring.
And read this list, too. It’s a list of topics to avoid if you’re interested in not being boring:
1. A dream.
2. The recent changes in your child’s nap schedule.
3. The route you took to get here.
4. An excellent meal you once had at a restaurant.
5. The latest additions to your wine cellar.
6. An account your last golf game.
7. The plot of a movie, play, or movie—in particular, the funny parts.
Yes, you. Pay attention to this stuff. The people who have to listen to you will thank you.
I recently heard about Kickstarter on This Week in Google, but then I found this interesting article in the New York Times about the company. Here’s how they describe it:
Kickstarter, a start-up based in Brooklyn that uses the Web to match aspiring da Vincis and Spielbergs with mini-Medicis who are willing to chip in a few dollars toward their projects. Unlike similar sites that simply solicit donations, patrons on Kickstarter get an insider’s access to the projects they finance, and in most cases, some tangible memento of their contribution. The artists and inventors, meanwhile, are able to gauge in real time the commercial appeal of their ideas before they invest a lot of effort — and cash.
I wonder how this is going to affect those of us who dream of dropping their day job.
I like the way that Dan Schawbel has grouped some major aspects of personal branding:
*Discover *Create *Communicate *Maintain
And while I may not agree with the specifics of the article, and some may not apply to my situation, through these divisions, I can see more clearly where I excel and where I fall short.
I believe this’ll help me be more organized and focused when the time comes to unleash myself upon the world.
This is a nice list of marketing and PR tips that I’ll be filing away for the day when I actually have a book to sell.
I’ve been thinking about elevator pitches lately.
The elevator pitch is one of the most difficult aspects of marketing for me (aside from the walking up to perfect strangers and asking them to give me their time and/or money).
Because my product is discovered and accessed online, I’m lumping this verbal pitch in with a short textual one that people will read on an About page, or a description that they’d see on a community site or in a forum profile.
If you offer a service or have a product like a book or comic, you need to have your 15-second marketing spiel chambered and ready to fire into the face of anyone who’ll listen.
So, how does one successfully convey a lot of information, enticingly, in a short amount of time? I’ve been thinking about this aspect of marketing for a couple of reasons.
1) I want more traffic coming to my site and more readers of my comic. But I have a big challenge: the Q-Burger storyline is rapidly becoming too dense and impenetrable. And knowing what I know about Season 5, it’s not going to get any better. So I need to find a way to interest readers quickly and entice them to join up.
2) I’m developing a new strip. Which means that I’m going to be faced with the same challenges, only with a new and even MORE unknown property.
3) BONUS REASON: I’ll have TWO strips to pitch to people. How in hell do I do that?
Before I took on my current gig of full-time child-wrangling, I spent a couple of years as a freelance copywriter and web/print designer offering a very wide range of services. This is great from a flexibility standpoint, but it’s a pain from a “Quick, tell me what you do and make me understand it all instantly so I can pass judgment” perspective. I had a lot of trouble finding the right balance of informing and selling.*
Steve Pavlina’s suffered through similar problems when trying to sum up a broad range of services and talents into a sentence or two, and he’s written a lengthy post on the subject:
I’ve struggled with crafting a good elevator pitch because I do a lot of different things. For starters I’m a blogger, an author, a speaker, and an entrepreneur. But I don’t identify with any of those exclusively.
Often when someone asks me what I do for a living, I’ll say, “Well, it’s a bit complicated because I do a lot of different things.” Then I’ll mention some of the things I do. Typically the other person will give me a strange look while they process this overload of information, and then they’ll say something, “Ok, so you’re a writer?” And then I’ll have to explain some more.
As the creator of a weekly webcomic and writer of a blog, I’m once again faced with these challenges when explaining things to friends and family, when I’m writing an About page, or when I finally embark on a concerted effort to bring in new readers and increase traffic.
Originally, the strip was supposed to be about a fast-food crew and their restaurant. But now, the story has gone wildly astray and grown huge and sprawling. Which is incredibly fun for me to write (sometimes), but which exponentially increases the challenge of bringing a new reader up to speed.
*Ironically, I have a much more difficult day-job now, but my elevator speech was incredibly easy to create. “I’m a stay-at-home dad and I take care of two kids, age two and nine months.” I always get the desired reactions from the people I tell: Admiration and/or pity.
I knew it was coming. Thanks to the New York Times, I had a chance to prepare mentally for the onslaught of Snacklish. I’m not confident it was enough.
They come at you in the mornings and afternoons as you stand at the train and bus stops. They cause freeway traffic to slow down as people struggle to interpret the billboards. The familiar brown, red and blue logo that should say SNICKERS, but instead says something nearly intelligible.
For those of you fortunate enough not to have been exposed to this yet, here’s Stuart Elliot of the NYT to break it down for you:
Snacklish is a humorous way of speaking that revises everyday words and phrases for a Snickers-centric world. To underscore their origin, they are printed in the typeface and colors of the Snickers brand logo.
For instance, the basketball great Patrick Ewing becomes Patrick Chewing. Combine the rapper Master P with the peanut, a main ingredient of Snickers, and he turns into Master P-nut — perhaps a hip-hop relation of the Planters brand mascot, Mr. Peanut.
Other examples include a Snickers taxi, or snaxi; peanutarium, for planetarium; and chompensation, for compensation. And the Sigma Nu fraternity is transformed into Sigma Nougat, after another Snickers ingredient.
I’m supremely irritated by the campaign, but I must admire it for it’s effectiveness. Relying purely on familiarity with the logo, your eye is drawn to each ad, and held there against your will as your mind attempts to puzzle out the silly little word game.
And whether or not you wanted to, you’ve spent precious seconds thinking about Snickers bars.
Well played, Mars. Well played.