Posts Tagged ‘ marketing ’

Honorary Sexy G: Marketing Guru Ken Stram

Ken Stram may be earning his living as the think tank behind 2Bridge Communications, a public relations firm that helps small and growing businesses reach the next level, but he’s earning his reputation as an entrepreneurial thought leader by sharing his business acumen freely and generously on his blog, Ken and the Art of Entrepreneurship. If you’re starting a business, growing a business, or re-thinking your business strategy, you should be following him.

Each one a precious gem, his posts sparkle with clever ideas about conceiving, building, and marketing a business. Learning from Ken, I’ve fallen in love again with the value of the old-school SWOT analysis and acquired the useful habit of asking my own business writer clients, “Who’s your Jenny?” I like his straightforward approach and cupcake-sized servings of marketing wisdom. His writing style challenges and inspires me to think about marketing another way. That’s what I call a Sexy Grammarian.

So in the name of all that is sexy and grammatically correct, go sharpen your marketing skills with Ken and the Art of Entrepreneurship, and tell him what you think by commenting, punching a like button, subscribing, or telling your friends on Facebook and Twitter about him. And thanks for celebrating Sexy Grammar Week with us!

What is Sexy Grammar?

It’s the fun way we present writing tools and grammar guidelines. But it’s also a philosophy—that writing and art satisfy a human urge to create, not unlike sex. Sexy Grammar is about letting your inner writer be sexy—aroused, engaged, and unapologetic. When you do that, your writing gets sexy, and that attracts readers. You can get Private Sexy Grammar Lessons here.

What is Sexy Grammar Week?

We conceived Sexy Grammar Week three years ago when we noted March 3rd as  America’s Sexuality Day and March 4th as National Grammar Day. Then we established a flirtatious Sexy Grammar Week tradition: we crown honorary Sexy Grammarians and glorify them here on the blog. This year we’re featuring bloggers who really put out, like Ken Stram. Did you miss this week’s other Honorary Sexy Grammarians? Each one’s a star! Meet some bloggers who really put out: Dave X Robb, Mags & Stu, Lisa & Jenni, and Elizabeth O’Brien.

Inspired! How To Engage or Build A Community for Your Business with Edith Yeung

Edith Yeung‘s got some great ideas about community building, and she shares them freely. And that’s really her message. Share your great ideas freely. It’s Seth Godin‘s message in the TED Talk above too. And although I took several pages of notes in this session, I encourage you to check out Edith’s many resources on the web. And in this post, I want to share, not what she said but what she inspired.

During this workshop, I got struck by lightning, as if many ideas about marketing and the Internet suddenly coalesced and became clear and beautiful:

  • If you are participating in social media from a perspective of sharing your expertise with the world, then you take steps to increase your magnetism to search engines by cross posting, linking, using descriptive titles, headlines, and link names, and participating in online conversations.
  • If you participate in this way, the Google algorithm likes you, so SEO marketing becomes about doing it right, participating, being engaged, and leading others to be engaged.
  • What is the highest good you can achieve with your knowledge and expertise? Putting your company’s contribution where people can find it, offering free, useful, well-written information to the Internet is the best way to get your message to the world and to be generous with the world.
  • This participation makes you a thought leader and a community leader. Being a leader makes you a better, more successful business owner.
  • It becomes possible that your marketing efforts are actually your gift to the world, the noblest thing you and your company can do.
  • Doing this well destroys negative business owner thinking about marketing being evil, self-promotion being creepy, and social media being a waste of time. Instead, this is the best, noblest, highest good you can offer. In return for your generosity, your community will find you and support your life’s work.

Last week, entrepreneurs nationwide celebrated Small Business Week, and San Francisco marked the occasion with several fantastic events including the Small Business Conference, more than 30 workshops to help small business owners succeed. This week, I offer my notes and inspiration from the four  fabulous workshops I attended:

I’m integrating what I’ve learned into my coaching practice, especially for small business owners. Do you know a small business owner who needs help keeping up with the writing demands of Internet marketing? I can help, and my first session is free.

Ten More Tips: How To Become A Sought After Speaker and Make Your Business THRIVE! with Caterina Rando

Caterina Rando organizes her inspiring and helpful talk around ten points, which she will send to you as a PDF if you give her your business card (see tip #1 below). But during her presentation I collected plenty more than ten useful tips to steer my future career as a sought-after speaker. Since you can probably get hold of her official list of ten tips by writing to her, I’ll share some notes that fell outside her organized presentation outline but still impressed me.

1.   Everybody loves a handy handout, and Caterina knows it.  She leverages this information to collect the contacts sitting in her workshop, saying, “I am trying to be more green so give me your email address, and I’m going to send you the handouts plus a special gift.” She hands a box around the room for us to fill with our business cards. Shazam, she’s got your number and a reason to send you email. Brilliant.

2.    She speaks to audience members who’ve arrived early before her presentation begins, which makes her more approachable, provides her information about her audience, and cultivates especially attentive audience members.

3.    Invite potential clients to hear you speak–impress them with your audience and your performance.

4.    Caterina on speaking fees:

  • Unpaid gigs let you snag clients more than paid gigs do.
  • Don’t be attached to fees.
  • It’s the client connections that matter here—get yourself in front of your potential clients.

5.    “The more you do it, the easier it gets, until you do it with ease.”

6.    If there’s a microphone—use it!

7.   Caterina expresses and exemplifies a great consciousness about quality of voice for public speaking.

8.    Required business owner qualities:

  • certainty (ahs and ums undermine this)
  • enthusiasm
  • positivity

9.    Caterina does this thing where she coaches her audience to breathe. I wonder what her cue is for this—her own mood, or the audience’s, or some planned transition. Whatever the cue, it works to keep us relaxed and focused.

10. Image: wear a (light) jacket, or any “3rd piece.”

Caterina’s a charmer and a real professional. I’m inclined to do what she says and wear the light-colored jacket no matter how hot it gets talking about Sexy Grammar.

Last week, entrepreneurs nationwide celebrated Small Business Week, and San Francisco marked the occasion with several fantastic events including the Small Business Conference, more than 30 workshops to help small business owners succeed. This week, I offer my notes and inspiration from the four  fabulous workshops I attended:

I’m integrating what I’ve learned into my coaching practice, especially for small business owners. Do you know a small business owner who needs help keeping up with the writing demands of Internet marketing? I can help, and my first session is free.

Hitchhiking to the Stars: Effective Goal Setting with Todd Sotkiewicz & Gary Purece

It is 1995 and my dear friend Mike is in my little Tenderloin studio, preparing to leave town. He’s got the cash he needs, the packed backpack, a full water bottle and—“Can I cut up this box?” he asks me, holding up an old boot box. “I need to make my ticket.”

“Sure, but what are you talking about? You’re making a ticket? You don’t need to buy a ticket?”

I’m thinking of buses, airplanes, and trains. Mike’s thinking about hitchhiking.

He grabs my scissors and a Sharpie pen and cuts the bottom panel out of the box. He pops the cap off the pen and writes MEXICO in bold letters. He holds it up at me and says, “My ticket.”

He explains to me that motorists will be more likely to trust him if he has a destination. It is, after all, 1995, not 1965, and hitchhiking conjures images of psychokillers and missing teens in the American imagination. By stating his goal, Mike’s earning the trust of those who might help him along his way to Mexico.

Before I attended Effective Goal Setting with Todd Sotkiewicz  of 7×7 Magazine and Gary Purece of Lee Hecht Harrison, goal setting served my business in one concrete-if-metaphorical way: Reach for the stars, and I might just land on the moon.

So this idea they presented impressed me: a clear goal facilitates support and trust along the way. Gary and Todd know their stuff and have obviously collaborated on goal setting successfully, actively, and prolifically. They are also both accomplished, charming, and delightful presenters. And it’s a good thing. I’m guilty of having a pretty bad attitude about goal setting. I’ve shot at a lot of stars over the years, only rarely landing on the moon.

But I have collected amazing mentors and colleagues. I have enjoyed the support and trust of my clients and friends. And maybe that’s because I’ve diligently set goals. After all, who’s going to give me a ride on the highway to success if I don’t have a ticket?

Last week, entrepreneurs nationwide celebrated Small Business Week, and San Francisco marked the occasion with several fantastic events including the Small Business Conference, more than 30 workshops to help small business owners succeed. This week, I offer my notes and inspiration from the four  fabulous workshops I attended:

I’m integrating what I’ve learned into my coaching practice, especially for small business owners. Do you know a small business owner who needs help keeping up with the writing demands of Internet marketing? I can help, and my first session is free.

Writing Out Your Brand

Branding may be the most overlooked step in building a business. Small business owners often jump straight to logo design, website building, or advertisement without strategizing a foundation for those marketing efforts.

I’m learning a lot about branding myself, so I’ve been digging around for direction, wondering about the big ideas behind the concept of company brand.

I like the approach offered in this free pdf offered by the Linney Group in England. They explain branding using a tree metaphor.

roots: your company’s attributes and the promise you make

lower trunk: the personality of your company

upper trunk: the essence of your company

branches: what kinds of marketing you do

foliage: what your company looks like

Writing out your brand, that is, writing down your thoughts about each of these things–from the promise you make to your customer to the color of your metaphoric leaves–will help you to build a meaningful brand and simplify other decisions about logo, marketing, and even service policies.

Spend some time answering the following questions, based on the Linney Group’s Branding Tree, to identify the elements of your company’s brand:

Promise:

What do I do better than anyone?

How do I connect emotionally to my clients?

Personality:

What kind of person is my company?

Who do my clients want to engage with?

Essence:

What do my products and services stand for in the hearts and minds of my clients?

What do I do?

What sorts of marketing tactics reflect my promise?

How do I look?

What colors, shapes, symbols, and images appeal to my target market and communicate the essence of my company?

As entrepreneurs nationwide celebrate Small Business Week, May 16, The Sexy Grammarian helps small business owners overcome fears and embrace sexy writing to reach new customers. Get involved with Small Business Week in San Francisco. And check out The Sexy Grammarian’s stellar reviews on Yelp.

Maureen Futtner and Associates Offers Uplifting Social Media Tips

Last week, I attended a fantastic workshop at the LGBT Center. Thank you, Ken Stram and the Center’s Economic Development Program for bringing this free event to my community!

And thanks, colleagues Sueann Mark and Dorothy Pang, for suggesting I make my notes available. Here they are.

Maureen’s PR for the People mission is clear–on the MF&A website as well as in her voice when she explains, with bursting enthusiasm, how social media can increase business. In this presentation, she introduced social media platforms I am already using: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blogging. But I still learned a lot and left with a to-do list that will catapult me from social media casual user to a social media intentional powerhouse. And that’s what I went to learn.

So here are the ten hottest tips I took home from Maureen’s presentation:

  1. Remember that my participation with these tools is my participation in a conversation. What can I contribute? Am I listening?
  2. Create a social media marketing plan. Be strategic. Think before you click.
  3. Start using Google Alerts.
  4. Start using Google Analytics.
  5. Connect my Twitter feed to my LinkedIn page (done!)
  6. Review my biographical information on all platforms. Are my keywords present?
  7. Make tiny vanity links for long URLs such as Facebook and LinkedIn pages.
  8. Aim for 3 to 5 Tweets a day, mostly practical information my followers can use with only a tiny sprinkling of self promotion.
  9. Search Trending Topics, followers, and folks I follow to identify my target audiences on Twitter.
  10. Being social is fun! Keep my participation fun too!

So I’ve got my work cut out for me, but I feel a little more organized and a lot more motivated. Thanks, Maureen!

I’m Launching My Blog!

Welcome to The Sexy Grammarian. I’m Kristy Lin Billuni, your editor, collaborator, instigator, coach, and teacher. Teaching– teaching people about their writing and teaching people about sexual health–is how I make a living. Click here for more information about my Services For Writers.

In this blog, you’ll find:

Sexy Grammar lessons–my own secret recipe for helping you remember old grammar rules you might otherwise forget. Here’s a sample Sexy Grammar Lesson.

Cafe Reviews that focus on great places to write. Check out my recent review of Coffee Bar, in San Francisco’s Mission/Potrero neighborhood here or on Yelp.

Inspiration and other treats for writers, like these cool stickers.

Writing Tips direct from your coach’s lips. Check out the perspective on Feedback I shared in my guest appearance  on Renata Razza’s blog last week.

News about writing events like the La Jolla Writer’s Conference, where I’ll be next weekend, and National Novel Writing Month.

And speaking of National Novel Writing Month, I’m participating again this year. And just to raise the bar, in addition to writing 50,000 words in November, I will blog about the experience here at The Sexy Grammarian Blog. Ever wondered what goes on inside the mind of a person crazy enough to try to write a novel in 30 days? Read it here.

 

Summer 2009, San Francisco,