Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Give Me Back My Five Bucks

I've just entered a contest to win either 1000 business cards or 500 brochures, the details are on this blog post on Give Me Back My Five Bucks, a great blog with some interesting readers.

You readers of mine don't actually get to help me win the contest, but I'll bet any one of you wouldn't mind winning, either. Go on over and check out the contest....tell them I sent you. :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Trust Only In Yourself

Especially in freelance work.

But, in general as well. Don't take someone's word over yours about something you've created just because they're more experienced than you, or a higher level than you, or any reason. If you have to strike out on your own, then do it, if its feasible. You are the one that knows what's best for you, what's best for your projects, and so on.

You are responsible for what goes out with your name on it, not anyone else...YOU. If you weren't, your name wouldn't be on the project. If you aren't happy with it, nobody is. Be prepared to defend yourself, even over the smallest things if necessary. If you develop a reputation as a pushover, you'll never make it where you want to make it to. You've got to be the one that's comfortable at the plate if you're going to get anywhere.

If this seems like obvious advice, it is. But so many people overlook the obvious, looking for the little things.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 20, 2009


You're not good enough.

There, I said it. I'm not saying it to myself, I'm saying it to YOU. Hearing the word "no" sucks, because that's exactly what it means, in just about any situation in our marketing and advertising world...heck, in most of the world in general.

Does it make you mad that I just told you you aren't good enough? Yes? Good, now calm down and prove me wrong. No? Both good and bad; Good, because you don't take things that may be out of your control personally. Bad, because you may just not care. I'm going to assume you care for the rest of this post. You're welcome to stop reading if you don't care about hearing no, because chances are that you don't particularly want to hear what I have to say to begin with. Lets take a moment and let those people take off.



Okay, everybody that wants to be here, are you still reading? Good.

Let me start by taking what I said earlier back. You are good enough. You wouldn't be doing what you are doing if you weren't. Hearing "no" from a client you're trying to sell to, or from a client that asked you to design something, or from your boss who asked you to do a task for them is not the end of the world. Hearing "no" basically means "try again, do it better" for the most part. If you learn to not take "no" personally or learn how to harness your anger into productivity when you hear "no", you will be much better off than most.

The biggest effect that "no" can have on a person will actually extend OUT of the current project. If you only ever learn one thing from reading my blog, this is what you need to learn. A "no" on project 1 CANNOT affect project 2. You cannot let yourself be gun shy, or be hesitant to step out of the box on a separate project or idea because you were told "no" on something else. Separate projects may as well be in separate worlds, even if they are both to be presented to the same person! Someone who would hold something from one project over you during a completely separate project doesn't deserve to be in the place they are in, in the first place.

I'll admit it...sometimes a "no" can really hurt. There is not a universal cure or workaround for a "no". I wish there was, and I honestly wish someone was making a crapload of money selling that cure, because never having to even consider fearing rejection would be amazing.

Please don't attempt to avoid "no", because that will be even worse for you. Do what you have to do to be able to UNDERSTAND "no" and you're on your way to greatness, I promise.

Anyone have a good story about overcoming a "no"??

Thanks for reading...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Web 2.0 = Marketing 2.0??

For some reason, lately the need to classify things has been bouncing around in my head. Not trying to classify my own stuff in my house, but why its done. Of course, general classification is obviously and correctly used to differentiate things that for the most part are blatantly different, with small variation.

Animal. Vegetable. Mineral. Mammal. Fish. Arachnid. Whatever, they're for the most part useful.

But what is Web 2.0? What is new marketing? For that matter, what compromised Web 1.0? What exactly is included within traditional marketing? Who's traditions? Mine? Yours? Nostradamus? Bill Clinton? Dave Chappelle? Where do you draw the lines...is it really necessary to draw them?


To concentrate on marketing for a moment...how do you know when to draw the line? Was it when the first spam email went out? Was it when the first banner ad was clicked on? Was it the first television commercial? Was it the first magazine ad? The line is useless....marketing is marketing is marketing. The music industry is full of the same bullshit...everything has to have a label to make it digestable to the latest and the greatest of whatever. Fuck it. Music is music is music. Its all music....leave it at the general classifications that you see in a record store. I don't need new this, or post that, or cross genre classifications. Its music. Get over it. Its marketing. ITS ALL THE SAME! The method of delivery is the difference. Since day one, marketing has been about getting your product or service in front of as many of the right people as often and as cheaply as possible without pissing them off. Thats what it is, thats what its been, and thats what it will always be.

Same with the internet. If you really want to get technical, Web 1.0 was the millitary defense network before any of the concepts of the internet beyond BBSs was even a thought in Al Gore's mind. Which would mean by classification of evolutionary ideas, we'd be on like Web 9.2 at this point. So why aren't we? Because the classification doesn't mean a damn thing. Its subjective, its made up to pigeonhole stuff, much like what I spoke about above. Its the internet. It has a wide variety of uses and has gone through a wide variety of generations...but its still the internet. No need to call it anything else...no more classifications needed. Just leave it alone.

What are your favorite useless classifications?

Thanks for reading...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Do What Nobody Else Is Doing

The other day I wrote about not doing something just because you have the opportunity, just so you can get your name out there, just so you can have the experience.

Today, I'm very nearly going to contradict myself, but I promise it will make sense.

If you can take a look at what you want to be doing, and everyone within that field is doing it the same way, the time is ripe for someone to come in and be different. Take a look at how everyone else is going from point A to point B...there's probably another way to do it. Maybe it's been thought of, maybe its been tried, maybe it blew. But sometimes the best way from point A to point B is actually backwards, by going from point B to point A. Be the one doing it differently.

Yeah, I realize those of you familar with Seth Godin will recognize that idea, its pretty much what he's built his career on. Doing it differently. Doing it how nobody else is doing it. He's right, though. Why be just another person when you can be the only yourself? If everyone is wearing blue, why aren't you wearing red?

There are plenty of companies and individuals out there who have taken advice from Seth Godin and ran with it...and there are plenty who have not. But that doesn't matter...the way most companies flourish these days is because they're different. Zappos started selling SHOES on the internet. Who would have thought that would work? Now look at them.

This is no new phenomenon either. Since the massive commercialization of the United States, and a large portion of the world, really...very few companies or people have made money by being the same. It happens, of course, but it's not likely. Be different. Be you.

What are your favorite companies or individuals that were successful by being themselves or by doing something different from everyone else?

Thanks for reading...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Here Comes The Money

I belong to a networking group of unemployed folks, and every week, we have a speaker come in and talk about whatever it is they do, or something we can do to help ourselves, etc. For instance, recently we had a guy from our local chamber of commerce come in and talk about starting small businesses, an account executive from an employment placement agency, and things like that. Generally, they have good advice, because they have been able to do something that those of us in the group are in, and find a job that the economy didn't eliminate.

There's a great mix of people, some old, some young, some with experiences you wouldn't believe, and some with none whatsoever. I've been noticing one particular attendee asks every presenter about how much they make, or what the money is like in their particular industry. This person has also been somewhat of a career hopper, not suprisingly.

I think that person is going about it all wrong. Even in today's economy, don't do something just because it's where the money is. Don't do something you don't know how to do, or something that would compromise you just because its where the money is.

Its not just advice for the unemployed, either. Following the money is not a good way to do things. Freelancers and Consultants know this firsthand. Just because someone offers you a project that's going to give you a lot of money, doesn't mean you should take it. If you don't know how to do it, or can't do it, because of time or whatever, in the end, you won't get the money anyways, because you will more than likely have to halfass it just because you need to finish it. Don't do it that way. Take the stuff that comes along that makes sense for you to take. Things may get a little tight in the meantime, but in the long run, it will be worth it.

Thanks for reading...