Archive for February, 2006

Blogging for money – and a couple of good biz blogs

Monday, February 27th, 2006

I usually write about using blogs to promote your business. But some people out there write about actually making money from your blog–also an inviting idea.

Jim Kukral’s been helping people make money with blogs for a while. I knew about his cool BlogKits concept, but I just discovered one of his efforts called ReveNews (short for Online Revenue News and Opinions). He writes here about how the media only follows the money, when really there are all kinds of good reasons to blog. I’m certainly with him on that–in spirit and in practice. And I think I’ll add to my link list of worthwhile kindred blogs.

I’m adding Jim’s ReveNews, where lots of different bloggers contribute, and Anita Campbell’s Small Business Trends where you’ll learn a lot about what’s going on in today’s small biz marketplace.

If you don’t already knows these folks, take a read and get acquainted.

Consultants: use multimedia to "explode" your sales

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

This teleseminar sounds pretty good–it’s on how to develop your own multimedia products so that you can help more clients–and maximize your income while you’re at it. It tells you how to design them for maximum impact and how to sell them with maximum efficiency and profitability–including on the Internet.

Bob Scheinfeld explains his rarely shared mind-blowing techniques for using multimedia (audio + video + text) to design your products and also promote them on the Internet. If you’ve heard him before, you know he’s on the cutting edge. You know he delivers information in easy-to-understand style. What he’ll be sharing on this call is brand new.

Because technology has made it so easy to incorporate so many senses in our marketing, we should take advantage of them as often as possible. This guy can help you do it more easily and more efficiently.

What you’ll learn:
* The 7 things you absolutely must know about using multimedia in product design and promotion
* How you can dramatically increase your sales and profits by using multimedia
* What to include — and exclude — in your sales and product “presentations”
* What equipment and software you need to work your multimedia magic
* How to easily apply what you learn and “get the job done”
* Plus much more …

See the link in the sidebar or go to SpeakerNet News to register or order the CD or MP3.

A placebo trial on excuses

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

Sorry for such a protracted absence from blogging. Been doing the overworked-entrepreneur-cum-road-warrior thing a lot lately. Didn’t realize I’d been at it this long…

Ever have an employee who was a master at making excuses for less-than-stellar performance? Interesting study here that says having a ready-made excuse can lessen people’s performance on mundane tasks–if they’re told it can be challenging to do well on this somewhat boring task, they find it easy to do less well.

Conflicting findings elsewhere indicate that having an excuse for a tough task, such as learning math or facing a difficult social situation, can make people feel at ease and actually do better.

Holy mackerel. Reminds me of the Grimm’s fairly tale of the guy who threw out the visiting traveler because he figured he was a witch with magic breath–because he’d used it to blow on his hands to warm them up and then to blow on his soup to cool it off.

Telegram sends important message

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

Wrote a post yesterday about the death of the telegram. And I was looking for some examples of how easily brief telegram-like messages can be misread…when my sister sends along an email today with just such items.

Read and smile.

Crack Found on Governor’s Daughter
[Imagine that!]

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
[No, really?]

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
[Now that's taking things a bit far!]

Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
[What a guy!]

Miners Refuse to Work after Death
[Good-for-nothing' lazy so-and-sos!]

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
[See if that works any better than a fair trial!]

War Dims Hope for Peace
[I can see where it might have that effect!]

If Strike Isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile
[You think?]

Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
[Who would have thought!]

Enfield (London) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
[They may be on to something!]

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
[You mean there's something stronger than duct tape?]

Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge
[he probably IS the battery charge!]

New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
[Weren't they fat enough?!]

Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas
in Spacecraft
[That's what he gets for eating those beans!]

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
[Taste like chicken?]

Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
[Chainsaw Massacre all over again!]

Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
[Boy, are they tall!]

And the winner is….

Typhoon Rips Through
Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

A mode of communication finally dies

Monday, February 6th, 2006

The era of the telegram, an icon of communication dating back 150 years, came to a quiet end last week. Western Union says it delivered its final telegram on Friday. Check it out here.

The thing about telegrams is, because you paid by the word, they demanded careful thinking and precise use of words. In that sense, I lament their end. With the ubiquitousness of computers and email, most of us are not forced to think through what we want to say. Often, we just spew–and whole books are written about the troubles we can get into for writing the wrong word(s) in emails.

So just for fun, next time you have to write a business email, pretend it’s a telegram. I bet your readers will be glad you did.

We've come a long way, guys

Sunday, February 5th, 2006

Dead at 85, Betty Friedan gets credit as the explosive force that finally told the truth about women’s lack of opportunity in the world and in the workplace, dated back from way beyond the 50s.

It’s certainly a mark of how full the circle has come when I hear a 50-something man remarking to another man of similar age that he’s lost his job because of women. That his male friend told him when he asked him to give him a job, I just can’t hire you Joe, when I can get a woman who’ll work twice as hard for half as much money.

Thanks, Betty. Even if women haven’t yet achieved pay equity across industries, they now have opportunities their mothers and grandmothers weren’t even allowed to dream about.

Word to the wise–wit wins!

Friday, February 3rd, 2006

People have been saying this for years, but we are daily gaining more scientific evidence to back it up. Here’s a University of Maryland School of Medicine study that shows—ta-da–laughter helps blood vessels function better.

Seems the endothelium (lining of the blood vessels that helps maintain their tone, regulates blood flow, controls thickening and helps heal wounds) expands when you laugh. Stress does the opposite. In fact, the study concluded that laughter has approximately the same effect on your system as aerobic activity!

So instead of worrying that your employees are wasting time, let ‘em keep those email jokes comin’, folks.

Investing in customer service

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Hey, big news. The fast-food megagiant McDonald’s–which in 2003 posted its first-ever quarterly loss in FORTY-SEVEN years!–has come back strong because they decided to put customer service first over profit margins on individual orders.

They took a hard look at themselves and realized that people were going elsewhere because they were disgusted with long waits in line–caused in large part by employees struggling to make change for cash purchases. Why? Because McDonald’s wouldn’t let you buy small amounts with a credit card. And because this massive corporation had the power to negotiate better rates with credit card companies, all bets are off for status quo on small-time e-commerce buys as well.

Just think. Very soon we’ll be able to use our credit/debit cards to spend just a buck to do something quick on the Internet. This will revolutionize the world as we know it because Americans thrive on mini-transactions. A recent study says we spent “$1.3 trillion last year on purchases that cost less than $5, and 99 percent of that was paid for with cash.”

The day of virtual money has arrived. Start thinking about how to take advantage of this in your business. What can you offer in small quantities that will invite your prospects to establish a relationship with your company? That’s where it starts–with the first purchase, no matter how small.