Saturday, May 30, 2009

Iowa Songwriter Coming to Hampton!



Mark your calendars for Friday, June 5, when Dago & Criminal History will come to Hampton. The fun begins at 9 p.m. at Coconut Lounge and Dance Club, downtown Hampton. Dago (J.M. Marchellino) has been writing and performing original works for several years. His third album, Unbreakable, was just released in April. In addition to performing Dago's original works, the band plays great cover tunes from the 70's and 80's, so there's sure to be something for everyone.

"I write honest music about life," said Marchellino in a recent interview. Hugely popular among military personnel and motorcycle enthusiasts, Dago's songs talk about freedom, fighting for what you believe in, and touching what is real in life. Styles range from country, to blues, to folk, to rock-n-roll. "I guess I've invented a genre. We call it Biker Lifestyle Music, which just about sums it up," said Marchellino. If you're new to Dago's music, you should know before starting to listen that he pulls no punches. There's definitely adult content -- just like in real lives -- and it's part of what makes the songs so compelling.

The newest album, Unbreakable, was recorded, designed and produced right here in Iowa. Keri Holmes from The Kaleidoscope designed the album insert. "I'm so pleased with the way this CD design turned out. I was able to incorporate artwork and photos that mean something to Dago, so there's a lot of him in there, along with a lot of me. I designed his second CD too, Heroes, Legends, Monkeys and Me, and I like it, but Unbreakable is something special. Dago continues to grow as a songwriter and performer. This is his strongest work to date, and I wanted the album artwork and format to be just as strong.

You can order CDs from Keri Holmes by sending an e-mail request to keri@ourfocusisyou.com. If you want to order on-line, you can use Pay Pal. Otherwise send a personal check for $25 (tax and handling included) to: Keri Holmes;PO Box 383; Hampton IA 50441. All three CDs are available from Holmes.

Coconut Dance Club and Lounge, Friday, June 5, 9 p.m., $10 cover charge. Be there!

More than just a cup of coffee

My friend Jon always has a cuppa in the morning.  Suze was freaking out because she thought she was out of coffee.  I NEVER  run out of coffee in the morning.  Like any good junkie, I have it stashed all over the house.  

So I decided I'd take this picture and send it over the twitter lines so Jon and Suze and I can share a virtual cup of coffee.

This picture is a microcosm of my life.  How is that?

Penguin Classics mousepad -- I'm an avid reader and huge penguin fan.  I even have a penguin tattoo.  

Coffee cup -- at least one cuppa day.  It's summer time and we are switching to frappes.  See the recipe for that here.   

Quarterly Coffee flyer -- just joined the local Chamber of Commerce and already we have a meet and greet!

Real Choices sticky pad -- I teach a few classes at Iowa Valley Continuing Education, and they do provide real choices.  

Rustic Touch -- only the best furniture cleaner/polisher/conditioner in the world.  One of the many non-toxic products we use in our house.  Click here to take the toxic house tour. 

Pen and pencil holder with a baby picture -- nope, no relation.  Just a great picture of baby whose last name happens to be Brown.  Franklin County Historical Society has a box with old pictures they can't identify.  You can take any number of the pics you want.  I saw this baby and decided she should come home with me.  

Telephone -- speaker phone has saved my neck.  I no longer have to try to hear through headsets, or crook my neck to hold the handset.  Bought locally. 

I find that we surround ourselves with the people and things we need.  What little touches are within your reach?  

Friday, May 29, 2009

Birthday Goals


Monday, June 1 is my birthday.  Did I mention I love birthdays, especially mine?  

So what's different this year?  What have I accomplished this past year?  And where am I going?

This past year I have:
  • written more
  • traveled on my own path
  • stood up for myself
  • lived with joy

Okay okay -- I know, you want to know WHAT I did this last year, right?  
  • started a local newspaper and expanded it to online
  • helped over 20 people make their homes safer and non-toxic
  • started my own social media consulting business 
  • attended a life changing conference in Chicago
  • told a couple of people to get lost
  • spent a lot of time with my parents
  • write a blog, that got picked up by the Des Moines Register
  • decided to get fit and took the beginning steps 

Now -- what's going to happen for this next year?  
  • writing and publishing a book 
  • achieving Senior Director - that's helping five others develop their business
  • work with local businesses to change the shape of their marketing plans
  • travel to (and organize a few) conferences
  • a few road trips with the parental unit
  • keep writing my blog and fine tune it
  • Be fit - and help others realize they can do it to.

So HAPPY 54TH BIRTHDAY TO ME!  And hey, hold me to it.  I'm counting on you too! 


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Generic or Brand Name?


70% of all prescriptions nationwide are generic ($58 billion in sales in 2007). Your health insurance company wants to pay the LEAST amount for a drug. The generic manufacturers just piggyback on the research and marketing done by Big Pharma, thereby cutting costs. Some pharmacists just automatically switch you to the generic version (some states REQUIRE they do this).*

Is Big Pharma behind the "generics are no good" scare? Maybe. Of course they want you to use brand name drugs – they cost more therefore making more money for Big Pharma.

Let's take a look at that. Here's a few new facts:

90 percent of factories providing active ingredients are located overseas.*

FDA's inspection rate dropped 57% between 2001 and 2008.*

So who do you trust?  My guess is you don't trust either one

Why are we different? What we do at Melaleuca is Deliver Wellness

We offer products that we KNOW are tested, reliable and safe. We make the products ourselves, not some factory overseas.   Our raw ingredients are certified by the USP.org.  Our organic ingredients are certified by Quality Assurance International.  We do follow the FDA standards.   Our fragrances meet the Research Institute of Materials standards. 

We make products that bring your body back into balance, and keep it there. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, constipation, menopause, declining eyesight, low energy, weakened immune system, prostate problems, stress, urinary tract problems, weight management – we address all those issues with safe, consumable supplements. Wouldn't you rather take a natural supplement with no side effects?

Remember, we are not doctors and don't even pretend to be giving medical advice. We are consumers of wellness products and have been doing so for quite a number of years. We are smart people and know how to do research and track the things that work.  We make decisions based on personal research, scientific documentation and results we feel and see. 

Work with your doctor. Ultimately, it all comes down to you. You decide which doctors you want to work with.  You decide which avenue works best. You decide if being healthy and staying healthy is more important than treating the symptoms.  

Me, I'm supplementing with products that work. From a company I trust, that makes the products here in the U.S. And I share my information with my doctor!

Call To Action:     Read the Smart Living News  and fill out the Contact Form!   



photo from flickr.com 

*Statistics about generic and big pharma taken from:  http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/30940044/from/ET/



Monday, May 25, 2009

God Bless The USA


Decoration Day was conceived by a group of mothers following the Civil War.  They decided to decorate ALL the graves of fallen soldiers - Union and Confederate.  The first official Decoration Day was May 30, 1868.  

The National Moment of Remembrance happens at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day.  Please take a moment to remember the men and women who have died for our country.  

We decorated graves at Geneva Lindenwood Cemetery and had a public ceremony yesterday.  We closed with God Bless The USA by Lee Greenwood.

If tomorrow all the things were gone,
I’d worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,
with just my children and my wife.

I’d thank my lucky stars,
to be livin here today.
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can’t take that away.

And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

From the lakes of Minnesota,
to the hills of Tennessee.
Across the plains of Texas,
From sea to shining sea.

From Detroit down to Houston,
and New York to L.A.
Well there's pride in every American heart,
and its time we stand and say.

That I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

And I’m proud to be and American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.

And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Are You Talking About What Your Customers Want To Hear?


She Speaks did a survey on how we are shopping during this economic downturn.  Here are some interesting results
  • Many of you are more uncertain (52%) and more stressed (42%) because of the economy, but many of you are also more grateful (29%) for what you have.
  • Overall, you are spending less on jewelry (68%), dining out (60%) and travel (58%), but more on groceries (73%), make up and beauty (58%), gifts (53%) and chocolate (52%)!
  • Sixty-eight percent of you consider yourselves thrifty and over half of you use paper coupons (57%) and online coupon codes (52%) to save money during the recession.
  • Price is the top driver of your purchases of household products (59%), food (58%) and clothing (51%), but brand reigns supreme when shopping for personal/beauty products (34%) and cars (31%).
Let's just consider these results - put them in context of your network marketing business.  I will use Melaleuca as the example here.

  • Women are spending more on make up, beauty, gifts, chocolate. 
  • Over half are using either paper or online coupons. 
  • Household products are bought according to price. 
  • Brand still dictates what personal care/beauty products women buy.  

That means when I give a presentation about Melaleuca products I'm going to emphasize this:
  • Our personal care/beauty products line is Nicole Miller.  She's a well known fashion designer who decided she wanted safer products for her customers and teamed up with Melaleuca.
  • Our household cleaning products are concentrated and price actually turns out to be less expensive than the dollar store.  Imagine: safe, non-toxic products that are less expensive than the dollar store! 
  • Our marketplace is where you can shop online at stores like Target, Kohls, Dell, overstock.com, Sears (and 70 other stores) and be guaranteed to save up to 15%!  No more cutting out coupons - just shop online and receive the discount or have the rebate sent to you.
  • We've got all kinds of great gift ideas.  What woman doesn't like to be pampered?  You can put together a great gift selection with our products! 
picture courtesy of flickr.com

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Being; not Doing.


Today I was busy.  Updates to a website I'm contracted to improve, enrolled a new Melaleuca customer, teaching my great nephew to ride a bike like a big boy, dinner with a friend and a board meeting with Historical Society.

Everything was perfect.  It was a great day.  I felt in the groove all day.  

I was being.  Being in the moment.  Being passionate.  Being decisive.  Being excited.  Being me.  


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Wild Workshifters


I've been an independent for over ten years now.  

No silly, not politics.  An independent worker.  Inveterate writer.  On the road blogger.  Take it to the streets Melaleuca executive.  

I have a friend who says "I am psychologically unemployable.  I have to work for myself."  I fall into the category.   

Here are some benefits of working for yourself:
1. set your own hours.  I often work from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.  Don't be alarmed!  In between I visit my elderly parents, work on the garden, do laundry, and watch one favorite t.v. show.  
2. most expenses are tax deductible.  I can deduct travel, meals out, my home office, and much more!
3. I can work on more than one  project.  If you go to an office and work for someone else, your work is pretty much pre-determined and almost always related to that company's mission.  I blog, write a newsletter, present Melaleuca and followup with my people, write grants -- all different missions!
4. No dress code. Most often, it's a tshirt and pajama bottoms.  

Now let's take this show in the road!  My husband works out of Chicago most of the time.  On occasion I travel with him.  I can do that with my work, have computer will travel.  The picture above is my Nicole Miller rolling computer bag.  Dell computer, cords, Melaleuca paperwork and I am good to go anywhere.  

I attend conferences as well.  I can do that with my laptop, and still keep working.  

Then there are the parents.  They are older.  My dad is pretty sick and we spend a lot of time in a town 40 miles away at the doctors' offices.  Mercy Medical Center is a free wifi zone, and I will always love them for that.  A trip to Mason City is a day long affair.  Have rolling computer bag, will travel I say.  

My local newsletter (www.readhampton.com) is about my community in Franklin County Iowa.  I go into town often and write about different events, people and activities in town.  My Canon PowerShot A550 is starting to get a lot of use - it will make movies as well as take pictures!  

I used to take a lot of notes, and hope that when I got home I'd remember what they meant and transfer the info to my desktop.  With the introduction of my Dell laptop and Nicole Miller rolling bag into the family -- we are now truly wild workshifters!  

This was another writing assignment from my friends at Get Paid To Write Online.  

Friday, May 15, 2009

I Need Your Help


Click Here to take survey


Oh yes, I'm asking you to take a survey.  Ten questions.  

I work from home and part of my job includes giving presentations.  I need your help.  I want to be the best presentation-giver ever!  In order to do that, I need to know some of things you want to know about.  

So please, take the survey -- and then let's have a conversation! 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

8 Things I Learned While Boating


I like group writing projects.  They make me think.  Today I'm to write a list post on sailing.  

I've been on a boat, in Greece.  I don't think I'd really call it sailing though.  It was more like riding on a boat to an island.  

My new friend Yeorgio had a boat - he fished for a living.  Over backgammon one night he said he'd take Aggie, Cruzanne and me to this deserted island for lunch.  Sounded great to me!  

List: why you should NOT go on a boat unless you are prepared.

1. life jackets: okay, so I can swim across the pool.  That does not qualify me as a swimmer.  We had to swim into shore (about 2 city blocks).  Only one life jacket on the boat.  I didn't think I'd need it, and besides - the beauty queen had her eye on it.  I could have used one to just float for awhile.  I was tired!  I guess I'm not really a swimmer. (not too mention, what if there was a storm and I got thrown off the boat?  fish food)

2. seasickness: There was a beauty queen on the boat with us, at least she thought she was.  Yeorgio picked her up the night before.  She threw up all the way to the island.  Didn't handle the waves well.  Did she not know she was prone to seasickness?  

3. ladders: To get off the boat you could dive in the water.  Not an option for me, not really a swimmer usually means not really a diver either.  I used the ladder.  This ladder was not straight up and down.  It curved around the boat.  Getting off was easy enough.  Getting back on -- sucked.   I had very little upper body strength and I'm big.  I got stuck.  Yeorgio pulled me on the boat, which was a bit embarrassing.  

4. sunburn: The sun reflects off the water and you tend to burn quicker and harder on a boat.  I travel with spf 45 and a bandana.  I was okay.  The beauty queen was not.  Her Coppertone tan turned into a fierce sunburn rather quickly.  Her scalp was beat red - and I'm sure painful.  

Let's extend this list post and consider the lessons learned.  

1. be prepared.  What idiot gets on a boat without a lifejacket?  You can't always listen to your friends, sometimes you have to listen to your own mind!

2. Know your body.  Surely the beauty queen knew she'd get seasick.  She could have been prepared (see #1) and had dramamine with her.  

3. Be in good physical shape.  Just a powerful lesson for all of life -- we should walk more, be more physically active.  Makes it easier to climb ladders on boats.  

4.  Wear a hat in the sun.  Wherever you are.  Skin cancer is no laughing matter.  

I realize this was not a list post ESPECIALLY about sailing.  I do believe the lessons are still appropriate to being on a sailboat.  


Sailing Lists Group Writing Project

pictures: Yeorgio's boat and Aggie and me on the private, deserted island -- why we went in the first place! 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ignorance or Courage


I found this fascinating quote today:

Ignorance for me.  Courage for you.  Maybe it doesn’t matter why you leap.  Just that you do.Drew McLellan, The Marketing Minute, May 2009

Where in your life have you let ignorance lead the way?  What amazing things has it brought to you?  Or courage -- where did you step out knowing it was off the edge of the cliff? 

I tell a lot of stories, I'd like to hear yours now!  


photo courtesy of flickr.com and creative commons 


Monday, May 11, 2009

Four Reasons Why To Volunteer


Let's talk real quick about volunteering.

Do you?  

Where?  

Why?  

Let's answer the WHY first -- the benefits of volunteering are many.  Here's a few from the World Volunteer Web:

1. learn or develop a new skill.  I'm learning to write grants.  Who knew it would be this involved?  It's also exciting to put together a grant and see it come to fruition.  
2. Be part of a community.  I volunteer at the Historical Society and have gotten to know some pretty incredible people right here in my town.
3. Motivation and sense of acheivement.  Let me tell you - one person CAN make a difference!  
4. Boost your career skills.  94% of employees who volunteered to learn new skills had benefited either by getting their first job, improving their salary or being promoted.

You can read the entire article here. 

Where are some good places to volunteer?  That depends on you really.  What would you like to do?  I have an interest in history, so the historical society was a good fit.  Like to read?  Hit up the library - see what they have available.  Like to work with the earth?  Try the Department of Natural Resources - they always need help.  You can also visit www.volunteermatch.org and enter in your info - and they will direct you to places that need volunteers. 

I'm a big believer in volunteering - it brings you into contact with new people, expands your horizons and shows you the power of one to change the world!

Please check out these sites if you need some direction:

http://trainforhumanity.org  Do any of the armchair athletes need your help?  It's not always about money -- there may be some service you could provide!  Just ask.

www.liveearth.org  One world. One Climate. Be the change.  

That's just a start.  Where do you volunteer?  I'm looking forward to your input and sharing opportunities with my readers! 

The picture is the Leander Reeve Home 1/2 mile away from where I live.  I give tours and write grants!  

A Trip Down Memory Lane


Taking a little trip today -- back to the 80's.    That's it.  Just some music for you to listen to.  No moral to the story, no deep thinking, no tips and tricks.  Just some music.

Enjoy!


On The Dark Side - Eddie and the Cruisers click here if you can't see the video below 


Separate Ways Remake of original video by Journey  click here if you can't see the video 


Land Down Under by Men At Work  click here if you can't see the vide


Another One Bites the Dust by Queen  Click here if you can't see the video 



Tell me one of those songs did not make you smile!  Another good reason to visit www.youtube.com every once and awhile.

















Sunday, May 10, 2009

I See Beans: A Garden Tour

The garden out at my house is a family affair.  We've got bush beans, peas, onions (lots of types), potatoes, garlic, tomatoes, asparagus, radishes -- and room for a lot more! 

My husband and I did the tilling and weed/grass removal.  My brother and sister in law are doing the planting and thistle removal.  We will all weed and EAT!  

I made a video with my two year old neice taking a tour of the garden.  She doesn't see dead people - she sees beans!  Watch it here.  





Shawna Coronado, author of Gardening Nude, is also tracking gardens from around the states.  You can visit her website over here.  Shawna is sponsoring a challenge, why not send her pictures of your garden? 

Got dirty hands after all that great gardening?  Watch a great video on washing your hands (with non toxic soap). 

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! 

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Communities: Four Lessons Learned



It's that time again.  The Group Writing Project!  Our assignment this month is to write about What I Learned From Community (assignment found here).

I attended a conference last week (SOBCon) in Chicago.  Chris Brogan spoke about being in the center of  a community of 150 people.  More than that and you can't really communicate.  However, you can have several of these 150 people communities!  It's actually called Dunbar's number and 150 would be the mean group size for communities with a high incentive to remain together.  

As I've aged, I've been more diligent about the communities I choose to be involved with.  There is lesson number one: be picky, choose a community wisely.  I have a close circle of friends (group one), my church community (group two), my Melaleuca community (group three).  Each of these groups have a high incentive to remain together!  

I've also moved myself closer to the center of the group.  I CHOOSE to be active in these groups, it helps to define my life.  Lesson number two: find communities that move you, be involved.  My friends value my input and call me on the crap I might be spewing.  My church friends are committed to becoming closer to God and to working together to see God in the everyday.  My Melaleuca community believes in enhancing lives, helping people get out of debt and providing safer products to the world.  

Social networking is becoming a community I've flirted with in the past, and am now helping to build.  There are a group of people I follow on Twitter and friend on Facebook.  The friendships are not as tight, but they are connected.  Lesson number three: everyone has a lesson to teach.  I listen hard, respond well and learn a lot from this community.  It's a changing community - rather like riding a canoe downstream.  Sometimes fast and running the rapids, sometimes you sit and watch the bank.  It brings me connection to places I might have never ventured to.  It brings me joy.  And sometimes there are overlaps into my other communities.  

Lesson number four: when we work together, we accomplish more.  And that is the most valuable lesson.  As humans, we need our own communities!  The interactions are necessary to move us out our own heads, to join together to make necessary changes.   Much like the ants above, it often takes more than one person to change the world

picture courtesy of fdecomite at flickr.com



Twitter speech: Your Work In 140 Characters


We are taught to have a 30 second speech prepared for when you are on an elevator with someone.  It's called an elevator speech. 

It's a new age.  It's good to adapt to the online universe.  Rule of thumb is people only look at a page online for 8 seconds.  Facebook is good for a sentence or two.  Twitter is 140 characters.  

To that end, here is my twitter speech:

I get paid to assist people looking for a way to grow financially, mentally, in better health-by helping them reach their goals. 

What do you do?  Can you tell me in 140 characters or less? 

picture provided by pavieta at flickr.com

Visit www.debrareneebrown.com for more information (not the elevator speech) on what I do! 

Friday, May 8, 2009

Does Controversy Work?


Probably the most controversial speaker at SOBCon09 was Lauren Freedman. She professed to having no real social media skills, refused to answer questions during her presentation, said she was usually home with her child during this time - and stated a lot of facts and figures.

It was the presentation that made the biggest difference for me! A real case of don't shoot the messenger. Let me give you a little background info on Lauren, share some of the things she talked about and show you how this made a difference for me.

Her bio states:In 1994, Lauren Freedman leveraged her 15 year retail and catalog career and passion for merchandising to found the e-tailing group, inc. The firm’s mission was, and continues to be, providing strategic and e-commerce solutions to online merchants as well as businesses targeting that market. An extensive client list has included Fortune 500s and start-ups. From involvement with the initial launch of sites like Toys “R” Us, The Vitamin Shoppe and Kodak to specific initiatives for clients including Scholastic, J.Jill, Orbitz, USA Today, CTW and MSN, her role becomes Strategist, Merchant, Facilitator, Educator and Spokesperson.

Here are just some of the notes I took from her presentation.

shoppers choose the online channel of shopping because:
 it saves time (54%)
 they can locate hard to find items (40%) 
and they can save money (34%).

who is shopping online?

  • Surgical shoppers (list shopper)

  • shopper who needs something specific, the hard to find products

  • deal seeker – free shipping, discounts, give me something

  • information seeker – need a new dishwasher and need ideas

  • gift givers – gifts, gift cards, etc

What percentage of time shopping involves researching?
42% of shoppers spend ½ their time researching

women rule shopping!

These items are considered to be blessings:

  • opt in daily emails 68%

  • video on demand 70%

  • tivo/dvr 77%

  • online coupons 81%

  • cell phone 85%

  • rewards, loyalty cards 88%

Beauty customer is very much interested in the information

Strategic placement of promotions is mandatory

gifting evolves from wish list to mobile access

34% of consumers have purchased from wish lists in 2008

phone texts are really sending people to the stores (1 800 flowers)

product page content must be robust

white glove service includes: 

  • people want to shop at a risk free environment

  • stellar service across the board should be non-negotiable

  • lead with loyalty – remind them about loyalty rewards programs


Now, how can I convert this information into usable ideas? Let's talk a minute about that. I am starting a blog specifically for network marketing and my Melaleuca business. I want people to follow that blog and become business builders with me, or become a customer of mine.

So I know that:

  • the content must be robust

  • I need to lead with loyalty rewards

  • There should be excellent customer service

  • My promotions should be placed strategically

  • I need to offer the reader ondemand video and email subscriptions

  • I will be talking to surgical shoppers, information junkies, deal seekers, special item seekers and gift givers.

All of those items are also key to my Melaleuca business as well. Lauren has helped me target my customer, shown me what that customer is looking for, and began the planning process for the blog (and for my offline business as well).

Not bad for controversy. Better lesson is to listen to the speaker and hear the message - and don't dwell on the delivery!

And here's my action item:  visit www.debthinksgreen.com and see where you might be using toxic products in your home (take the tour).  Get the free ebook, and request more information.  Want to just call me? 641-458-1114



Thursday, May 7, 2009

Take Aways: ROI for SOBCon09


Successful Outstanding Bloggers Conference 2009

I'm going to mash three days of conversation, listening, meeting and greeting and instruction into just a few sentences. These are my takeaways. They should stand by themselves – and anyone can use them to further their objectives

I wanted to be able to look back at these mashed items, and be reminded of the entire conversation. I also wanted to give these items as a gift to those who were not there. The items are enough for you to say “ahhh, I get that.” And they should spur you to find a way to be at SOBCon10!


Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

Make your own game: stop playing by other people's rules.

    Its about standing out -- everyone will think of you as the specialist. Stop trying to be someone else, that is already taken.

    There is a system to everything. Discover it, and profit. You can be in the system, or you can understand the system. Find out what the rules of the game are – and then be yourself in them.

Don't be that guy.

    handing out biz cards without talking to people – is that guy.

    I'm reaching out to shake your hand and you put your tongue in my mouth. That guy.

    Good leverage: build karma bad leverage: pyramid scheme

Brian Clark from copyblogger:

Don't be a digital sharecropper. Own your content, write your own content. Use the tools to refer people back to the blog. Don't live on the blog.

Denise Wakeman and Chris Cree:

Are you a blogger with a blog or are you a business owner that uses his blog?

Try a joint venture partnership. Work with someone on a project, share in the outcomes – then on to the next project. No long term commitment there.

Brad Shorr and Stephen Smith

I need to learn about this stuff. Tags, categories, metatags, internal links, above the fold, F shaped pattern, SEO tools.

Jeff Willinger and Terry Starbucker – Back Office

You have to be disciplined. In life go for the lowest hanging fruit – do the same in business. What is the easiest thing for me to do with work in mind – I go for that. What is the easiest thing with the biggest return – go for that.

you need a business plan – because you'll need it. What product, what you think that product is going to do, who your audience and why they are going to buy it, the expenses assessment, how you're going run your business

do an exhaustive amount of research on your client and figure out how to prepare an ROI report for them to show them the value of your work

Terry Starbucker intro on Saturday

The better you are at the traditional stuff, the better you will be able to transfer it to the digital stuff

The value targets of social media:

(easiest to hardest)

  • keep my faith in humanity

  • make me laugh or sing

  • inform me

  • teach me

  • inspire and challenge me

  • SELL ME

Zena Weist, Lucretia Pruitt GeekMommy, Chris Garrett, Jason Falls : PANEL

Conversational marketing is what social media is. It doesn't need to be complicated, or hard. Its just having a conversation. ... Jason Falls

there's certain etiquette on twitter. At least get to know me before you try to pitch me. ...Geek mommy

It's not a magic bullet....It's a tool, a tactic. It doesn't replace the good stuff you are already doing. .Chris Garrett

Twitter is a start, but sometimes it can be a finish. 85% of our conversations we have to take offline. ...Zena

there is a solution for whatever you are trying to achieve in this space. It is a huge powerful tool that allows people to connect. It's also a persistent connection – word of mouth that does not go away...Geek Mommy

Kali from the Image studios

- connection between presence and business.

Tips:

Get feedback on your handshake, business card etiquette, send personal notes

edit your smartphone signatures, love your outbound voicemail greetings

grammar articulates intelligence and exposure, maintain consistent pitch

10 second elevator speech

visual impact has greatest impact

current hair style that fits lifestyle, make up applied daily, look at your teeth

retain wardrobe support, alter 70-80% of your wardrobe

honor your space

disorder at home creates disorder at work

Geoff Livingston – A complete and integrated approach to an online – offline customer outreach strategy

How to make social content deliver:

Create a call to action

email newsletter is a great way to engage your customer

outbound:

  • email

  • webinars

  • white papers

  • events

  • offers

  • ads

  • loyalist activities

inbound:

  • more information

  • participation invites

  • feedback loops

  • harness group intelligence

  • user generated content

  • fluid enterprise

ROI KD Paine

am I selling stuff – or doing stuff that leads to revenue?

Decide up front what you are doing: tracking sales or measuring relationships

Liz Strauss

if you have 18 fishing poles in the water, you run up and down the bank and if you catch a fish you throw it back in because you think you'll get a bigger fish

  • be clear on what you want to do

  • be clear on who you want to reach

  • find out where they are

  • listen to what they say

  • find out how to engage them (twitter, facebook, linked in, myspace, guya, - depending on who they are)

  • sit back and try to imagine if I were those people, what would move me

  • try to be irresistible (from heart and vision) – what would make it easier in my life


A few useful tools:

The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki

www.freshbooks.com for time tracking

Free by Chris Anderson 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Do What You Love


I went to a convention this week, Successful Outstanding Bloggers Conference, in Chicago.  I got up at 5:30 and went to bed at 11 - for six days.  It was non-stop learning, taking notes, talking to people, planning and being on the go.

You'd think I'd be tired.  That I would need a day or two off to 'relax'.  

I don't.  I actually feel energized.  I feel like I am doing the right things.  I've been planning and taking action.  I'm working with new people and participating in group joy! 

I'm doing what I love.  Writing, making sense of things, being with people, having conversations. Connecting people. 

How often are we out of sync?  Do you have days where you feel 'blah', where you'd like to sleep in, where you don't want to go to work?  

I propose you find a way to do what you love.  Or you bring what you love into the equation of your day.  Why shouldn't we all have HAPPY waking hours, doing what we love?  What could you be doing today, what small step could you take, to bring yourself closer to doing what you love?  

The picture is the lights at Fullerton Avenue on Lake Michigan.  It reminds me that even in the dark, we can look for the spark that lights us up.........

Monday, May 4, 2009

Liquid Hand Soap: Let's Get Dirty!


In today's environment we need to wash our hands! For more information, contact me (Deb Brown) at 641-458-1114, deb@debworks.com or www.debthinksgreen.com 

Sunday Afternoon Joy

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Trust Agents Chris Brogan and Julien Smith



Chris Brogan and Julien Smith: Trust Agents

They two wrote a book , but first they wrote a change this manifesto – and then someone bought the idea of them writing a book

advice: don't own a piece of clothing you don't love (liz and julien)

Chris and Julien met at a podcamp and clicked, saw people incredibly successful at what they did even though they started from nothing – and then there were those who were not successful.

why is it that people are successful on the web and why are some not?


One: Make your own game: stop playing by other people's rules.

  1. make your own game - stop playing by other people's rules Perez Hilton a good example: tried to get hired by the mainstream press, People, they said no. He said ok, I'll just blog. Be the damn best small business online marketing consultant in the world – becky. Antibrand – geoff livingston. Inspire someone. Go around giving hugs.

  2. Inventing your own. Constantly.

  3. Its about standing out -- everyone will think of you as the specialist. I stopped trying to be someone else, that is already taken.

  4. There is a system to everything. Discover it, and profit. You can be in the system, or you can understand the system. Find out what the rules of the game are – and then be yourself in them.


Two: membership has its privileges. Be one of us.

  1. outsiders do not influence insiders

  2. search marketing conference (considered to be spam) – he knows everyone and he is one of us.

  3. Be where the people are in your industry – be an insider. Having someone on the inside encourages us to be insiders too.

  4. Insiders forgive each other more and forgive each other faster

  5. its about belonging


Three: Archimedes principle. Wrong guy!

Leverage engine – use it or be used.

  1. big switch rewiring the world, from edison to google – nicholas carr (book)

  2. big companies are getting into social media because they see the leverage

  3. banners, ecommerce, -- leverage points

  4. danny brown does a lot with cause marketing

  5. less work: higher worth ( and more time with the kids) do it once, and then do it over and over and over again

  6. write it down – put it on paper or on the web (indexed by search engines)

  7. free hugs campaign: started in australia, he videoed it, the band sick puppies put their music in the video --- it went viral 47 million and counting

  8. where the hell is matt on you tube – guy out of college, does a stupid dance on his tour of the world stride gum picked it up and sent back to do it and get a better filming -- people say I've been there, I wish I were there, how did matt get that job?

  9. Be the center of the network and then build relationships.

  10. Dunbar's number theory – have group of 150 people or less. Be the center of that. You are the connector of that. Be part of as many 150's as you can – that is the magic trick.

  11. Linked in - sucks. It does not facilitate good behaviors. Two groups by industry or location.

  12. It's about access. So what instead? Find people, the ones who matter. Connect with them


Five: don't be that guy.

  1. handing out biz cards with talking to people – is that guy.

  2. Have empathy towards other people.

  3. Think constantly how other people feel. What can I do to help other people.

  4. I'm reaching out to shake your hand and you put your tongue in my month. That guy.

  5. Make it about the other guy.

  6. Its about empowerment. Make sure people have a voice.

  7. Know when to be visible and when to ghost.

  8. Good leverage: build karma bad leverage: pyramid scheme

  9. reputation comes from empowering others

  10. 826 project (see Dave)


Six: The power of many. Build an army.

  1. educate others

  2. from craft to craftsperson --- make it from craftsperson to cottage (build an army)

  3. from cottage to factory – it's about mass.

  4. From factory to cafe – its about mass customization. Be agent zero – at the center of every network.

  5. chris@chrisbrogan.com juliensmith@gmail.com