Seth Godin (demi-god) On Being Remarkable

What might it look like for you to stand out online and offline from the crowd? This is what we are tackling week after week and this will be the theme of the new series starting February 29th. And once again I return to a virtual mentor of mine whose message is always helpful to hear again and again and again. He’s as purple a cow as can be.

Purple Cows Forever

Seth Godin on Standing Out

This TED Talk from 2003 in Monterey, is for me evergreen. Technology mentioned by Seth aside, has changed SO MUCH since Seth gave this talk. He mentions getting on the home page of Google might be important, or these days first on any of the major search engines?  He speaks to the TV Industrial complex as being “dead” but the state of TV seems healthy and has healthy competition among the bevy of cable channels and distribution sources Provided you are a member…( Hulu, Netflix to name the two I access.) I still see ads. Clever. Shorter. And Frequently.

Provocative. Shocking. Different. Can you present your ideas this way, somehow?

Timely. Infused with enthusiasm. With total belief. Can you write and speak to your subject matter Just in Time and full of conviction for it?

One video or post at a time we COULD create a tipping point. One person sharing with another and being a champion or advocate, we will create a tribe that follows us with devotion, opens our newsletters, our specially time emails, BECAUSE they care, BECAUSE we speak of something that matters to them.

And, this is not to say that the random non-sequitur is not appreciated. It is. For it is surprising to a reader expecting another Power Writing Tip to get something different from time to time. As a recipient of many newsletters (for I like research to come to me) I too can fall asleep at the wheel of monitoring marketing activities of admired colleagues. (Truth be I really appreciate the Power Writing Tips! and hence they come first to mind as an example to share. Good form and great content.)

As creature of habit, we like to be soothed with what we like and expect and I propose we appreciate a shake-up every now and then. It reminds us that Change is a Part of Life.

Being Remarkable could appear as us being more transparent than normal, or sharing an extreme viewpoint we are prepared to back up; Something other than towing the line of public opinion.

Being Remarkable to me says that we are saying: “I am comfortable in my own skin. I know first my personal brand and I know when and how I will deviate from the formula.”

Take Significant Relationships (where we work, who we date, who we marry): classically it is suggested they will eventually grow dulled and grey, UNLESS, we shake it up and stay conscious/awake and try new things from time to time to mix up the mix of what works.  Surprises are always revitalizing in life and can be in business.

For example: Let me just say that there has been nothing boring about raising a child from Zero to her current age of 12 (and to think I have 6 more years officially as her “ruling parent” (smile).Parenting is my greatest teacher where it comes to writing, negotiating, marketing and politics and it is a gift I treasure daily (even when I had to restore my balance with another walk!)

If you were to think of your business venture as a relationship you wanted to stay “awake, fun, profitable, productive, enjoyable, interesting ( to you and others) and meaningful (again to you and others)”  WHAT would you be prepared to do? To create? To maintain? To keep fresh and relevant. (Or in otherwords, P.U.R.R.fect)

My mission remains to create enthusiasm for the written word, penned by us, the thinkers of the thoughts and ideas. I’ll do this one person and client at a time knowing when I do remarkable work, the impact I have is amplified. I invite you to learn to do for yourself, the same.

Why? It helps more people all around when we do so.

And if you have already read Purple Cow, Free Prize Inside, The Dip or all the other Seth Godin offerings, but not this one yet, go ahead Poke the Box and jump in.

We can’t be reminded to do the key things that are crucial to maintaining awareness where marketing and promotion are concerned. And with all the DIY ways to start up yourself, why not?

It’s about finding TRUE enthusiasm. First yours. Then theirs.

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Are you FABULOUS at what you DO and CARE about but hesitant to boldly express and market yourself?

I look forward to supporting you with…

Writing Coaching (Interested in enjoying writing for yourself?)…
Writing Services (Developmental Editing, Ghost Writing, Copyediting)…
Practical Marketing Coaching (Let’s determine what works for you!)…
Extremely Productive Brainstorming (will surprise you)…
Market Research (My favorite hobby!)…
Social Media Marketing Strategy…(It’s always about being relational)

It all starts with saying yes to an exploratory conversation.

Your Authentic Voice for Self-Expression will thank you for it.

To your thriving and success as defined by you.

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Deborah Drake ~ Catalyst, Writer, Editor
deb@deborahdrake.com
206.250.1855

Because Authentic Work represented by Authentic Writing and Self-Expression is Magnetic…

Does Your Marketing and Writing Pass The Four-Way Test?

From the earliest days of the organization, Rotarians were concerned with promoting high ethical standards in their professional lives. One of the world’s most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics is The Four-Way Test, which was created in 1932 by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor (who later served as RI president) when he was asked to take charge of a company that was facing bankruptcy.

This 24-word test for employees to follow in their business and professional lives became the guide for sales, production, advertising, and all relations with dealers and customers, and the survival of the company is credited to this simple philosophy. Adopted by Rotary in 1943, The Four-Way Test has been translated into more than a hundred languages and published in thousands of ways. It asks the following four questions:

“Of the things we think, say or do:

1. Is it the TRUTH?

2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?

3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?

4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”

Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking to the Redmond Rousers Rotary members and it was special for it was my inaugural Rotary speaking engagement (with opportunity #2 coming soon!). It was exciting to be the program speaker and it was simply a lot of fun. The members were good sports as I took control of the literal “classroom” we occupied and they “winged it” in a writing prompt I customized for the evening (smile).

A fine curry was served for dinner and my “non-speech” went off without a hitch and we accomplished good stuff in 20 minutes. Keeping the content simple and the conversation flowing worked like a charm. Yes, I easily stayed within the time limit and facilitated a rousing dialogue. (Communicating with heart and simplicity works pretty much all the time too!) Turns out the Rousers each have a favorite story to blog about in the future and I look forward to seeing the Rouser’s Blog feature many more contributors and perspectives. (Keep me posted Kelly!)

I had been invited to speak two months back by Kelly Kyle, current President of the Rousers, who is an enthusiastic leader of a now growing chapter. Kelly has done a lot of PR in the last 18 months that has boosted awareness of the Service Projects of this Rotary Chapter via blogging and writing and social media marketing.

The most recent fundraiser, the Coupe de Cascades, (a 425 mile bike ride in a single day) even attracted the attention of Race Across America and may soon be an official qualifying race that occurs in Washington State. Here again Authentic, Heartfelt and Savvy Social Media Marketing and yes, blogging and writing, helped raised the level of awareness on what one local chapter of Rotary is up to.

How did the Rousers get so “SMART?” I happen to know this story because it was more than a year ago, Kelly also started coming (when her busy schedule allowed) to the weekly Writers/Bloggers Support group I host. I remember the day that Kelly shared how the Rousers had invested and wisely so into learning how to use blogging and social media practices to genuinely attract new members AND community support for their events.

The Rousers as a chapter agreed to “invest” in something significant. Kelly received excellent coaching and support and training from Blaine Millet of Word of Mouth on Steroids. What Blaine suggested and trained Kelly on intensively (at first) is what I suggest all my marketing and writing clients embrace as well. Some do and some don’t and frankly, “It’s Simply A Smart Marketing Strategy.” (And if your hurdle is authentic self-expression, well there is a solution for that…close at hand) Writing (for Marketing YOU) is best done with a truly authentic voice (yours~not someone who writes for you) that can also pass the Four Way Test. Yes, I know  that last statement is my strongly held opinion.

Developing that “voice” may not happen overnight but working to discover yours and refine it is worth the effort. Then with thoughtful timing of social media efforts and all other marketing, you will see positive results. And like all great relationships, it takes time to develop and may seem like a whole lot of work at first ~ and it’s worth it!

Over the next year plus, Kelly got into a writing and PR rhythm and beneficial things began to happen that were good for the recipients of the Rouser’s support and good for the chapter’s membership base.Guess what grew? (Imagine, your business and you experiencing the same kind of growth and good will!)

I’d like to make a suggestion that I hope you dear readers take to heart and put to work post haste.

Please take a lesson from the principles of 1.) the Four Way Test and 2.) the application of it through Social Media and specifically blogging about the wonderful activities supported by the Rousers of Redmond. If Kelly can do it with the right support, so can you!

Why not let the Four Way Test be a litmus test each time you consider the writing and promotions you will be publishing in the name of growing your business and creating and supporting your online presence and reputation? And let being social while marketing with bold truth and colorful story and authentic intentions be your guiding tenets.

Being Real Inspires. Telling Stories Captivates. Paying It Forward Feels Great.

May you feel comfortable in sharing YOU in your marketing message and writing and know where to go for a champion if support and a push is needed.

P.S. (Funny thing, I’ve been hoping to meet Blaine ever since I heard that story from Kelly the first day I met her and “rumor” has it we are having a cup of coffee sometime soon…I’m counting the days!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Your Mission Clear to Those Who Want to Help You?

Is it?

I’ll start the dialogue I hope this post creates with my own attempt to be CLEAR and have a little fun in the process:

“Deborah Drake is on a Creative Writing Mission (be you writing for business or otherwise) : To get you to love doing your own writing and express yourself confidently and with authenticity and whole heart. Writing in this age of “the world being your oyster,” what will it take for you to chase out “for good” the disbelief that you can’t write as yourself and for yourself and attract GREAT readers and clients? Consider this writing coach like an assignment a la Peace Corps…she will teach you how to not only plant that garden and harvest the yield, but craft your own recipes in a cookbook you can then self-publish and market boldly with enthusiasm that lights up a room. Writing is good for the soul, good for business and therapeutic and to be able to authentically self-express who we are, what we do and what we care about in this age is PARAMOUNT. Can you?”

Now here is the challenge for you reader: Add yours in the comments so that we all who read here can see that you want us to understand who you are, what you do, what you seek to cause and what you care about. What will this do for you and us? Make it easier for us to identify opportunities that fit you. Those who know you want to understand how to help and recommend YOU! Trust me on this.

We MUST, MUST, MUST be able to both succinctly, colorfully and effectively express our mission, vision and purpose…okay, so we don’t “need to” to get work done and earn that living, but it makes doing business a whole lot more fun when we attract the clients that choose us because they “get us” even before they might meet us face to face.

Here is one example of some I love…and it’s not quite a brief bio or mission statement but it is in my opinion a home-run….Randal Hart I want my profile to be like yours when mine grows up!

http://biznik.com/members/randal-dehart-pmp-qpa/about

DO try this writing prompt at home and let yourself go. You’ll surprise yourself I bet.

Set a timer for five minutes (yes, all of five minutes and no more initially). Kitchen timer or your mobile phone or what ever timing device is easiest and at hand. Ready, Set, Write…and don’t over think it. That is why we get stuck people! We obstruct the flow of channelled brilliance when we stop and think, “Oh, does that sound good or make sense?”
Write what wants to be written for a change. Trust that it has pearls of wisdom to exploit! Write what comes naturally and then edit it to a piece that is finessed. Or ask a trusted advisor to assist.

The intention is to generate a statement that is bursting with truth and freshness…and I believe you can do just that!  (And help is always at hand when we ask for it.)

Authentic Writing Provokes…Every Time.

We all need an online presence that is “about us”: Not “stealth”

In an age where you can create an online profile as easily as you can start an email account, it makes sense to me to populate your new profile with some basics–at the very least.

Ideally, your online profile tells a wonderful story about you, making it that much easier for me and others to match-make on your professional behalf.  If I know who you are before you get to my event and my room, I assure you I will create opportunities for you connect with others I know are coming.

The other day I made an introduction to a first time guest, who oversees a blog all about dogs that needs contributors, that she might be interested in knowing the writer/illustrator/artist in our circle, who is also a storyteller, creator of toys and who does custom dog portraits that are very cool! They struck me as a good a match because I knew what each did for their livelihoods. I enjoy connecting people with each other and especially when business grows out of it.

There could be a grand synergy between any two people if each knows what the other is and does and needs.

If you are seeking that next perfect client or a full-time position, doesn’t it make sense to make the effort to share the really good stuff about who you are, what you seek, what you have accomplished and give us a strong picture that is current and lets us spot you quickly at an event we are both attending?

So many seem to initiate an account, barely start a profile, promise themselves to come back to it, and never do. There is a solution to this scenario, but it involves some in depth critical work initially and gentle maintenance thereafter.

As I see it, the key is to develop your full professional profile from the ground up, fill in the stories behind your accomplishments, commit to maintaining it and then get back to working on your business, out in the world. Would you not rather be meeting new contacts online and at events that might know who you are before you get there and seek you out? Or would you just as soon tell the same story over 10+ times to those attending?

If I could ask every member of this community to do but one thing in the next week it would be:

Check your online profile for its “greatness” and a story that reflects who you are. Does it tell your story clearly, engagingly, authentically?

And if you find your canvas is pretty blank (no picture, no summary, no promotion, no involvement in discussions) there is no time like the present to make it happen. And if your profile needs a dust-off and some fresh new content be it your image or logo or links to associations and your contact information, by all means, take that on!

Who will thank you? Who is the winner? I will as one of your community members who looks forward to knowing you should our paths collide online or in person at an event. The future client who can now identify you is another.  And what about the referral partners that are in abundance that you don’t yet know. We all win when community member profiles are current, interesting, multi-dimensional reflections of who we are and what we do and what we seek and offer.

If you need a little guidance on how to go about creating a vibrant profile that showcases you, I can wholeheartedly recommend a book originally written for jobseekers. Résumés that Resume Careers byDon Burrows puts one systematically through a discovery process that yields a great final piece on Brand and Company You. Or you can repurpose your profile content for your website, your blog, or to launch article ideas or seek work if that is your goal. It may take you weeks to complete, but it is worth the sweat equity.

As I see it and experience it, Biznik, in particular, as a community is a stellar example of the hybrid use of online and in-person opportunities to connect and help each other and ourselves.

Are you making it easy for us to do so?

 

Must Love Dogs…or Cute Kids…or Both?

“Kids and puppies go viral.” So says one dear writer friend of mine who keeps her finger on the pulse of what goes mercurial within Social Networks.

Is this true?

What other emotional elements trigger your compassion and enthusiasm to pay it forward?

And is it “fair” and authentic to travel on the coat tails of puppies, kittens and cute kids?

Of course, as a writer of the authentic, I strive to share my head and heart and HOPE that people resonate with my offering. As for adding bonus features and accessories such as timely news, and heart touching stories, I am all for it, if it really ties to my thought, my post, my message BUT I draw the line at adding extras that don’t belong.

Have you ever noticed how the original intention of writing shines through? At least it does for me. Perhaps I am at better at reading between the lines, because I read with the intent to do just that. I do this like second nature after all the years. And I tune into what messages clearly come through for me.

Please don’t sell out. Be Real. First with yourself. Then with others. It will work.

What’s the bottom line for me and what I strive to co-create with you?

Authentic Writing Provokes.

Authentic Writing Could…

Inspire a Recommendation from a friend…

Act like a Muse on another Dreamer…

Clarify for New People who you are  and what you do and why…

Make a reader smile, ponder, engage, respond, and express gratitude…

Support your Credibility Gracefully (or Provocatively)…

Further tap into your unknown wisdom and creativity…

 

…Be exactly what is needed to move a Lost Soul forward.

 

So how Transparent are you willing to be?

Authentic Writing: May the Buddha in You Shine

Please stop trying to be clever. How about being real?

I’ve got a question I’m really hoping a reader or two answers:

Where did you learn how to writing business and marketing copy?

I invite you to pause and think about the origins of your beliefs about what makes for good messaging and ask yourself a follow up question:

Does it reflect who you are OR did you borrow someone else’s specific set of writing instructions to attract so many customers you’d be making a five figure income by way of internet marketing strategies PROVEN to work by many others before you…or so they say on that website with the neverending cascading style sheet that allows for an unending page with multiple opportunities to CLICK HERE NOW to register for this SPECIAL PRICING and BONUSES…(gasp!)

Here endeth the run-on sentence and begins my attempt to make a point that I regard as extremely important.

Being a 20+ year student of marketing, and a 35+ year student of writing for both pleasure and my profession, I appreciate, cherish, study, analyse, scrutinize and celebrate language for all that it makes possible among us humans. In short, the written and spoken word and communication is dear to me.

Now,  I know that there is always going to be an attempt to crystallize and systematize writing as the creative and technical skill it is.

The point is there are two sides to the coin.  The raw, fun, juicy, heartfelt, honest, vulnerable, tactile, passionate and meaningful content deserves to be expressed AND at the same time it needs to be somehow organized into a coherent and logical format that can be read, understood, digested, integrated and acted upon–once the reader determines that the solution needed is before them–in the form of you or your service or product offering.

And the truth is, I’m not a huge fan of cookie cutter systems. I also though see the value of having a plan and sticking to it long enough to discern what is working.

I see value in systems and best practices (within reason). Yes, within reason do I myself follow the plan, with permission to go with  “plan b” in the wings  (typically based on spontaneous inspiration from a current event).

Blogging for business for example: there is a question that comes up pretty much weekly when new participants attend a group I host weekly. Can I blend personal and business? Put another way,  how much of me do I let shine in my writing?

I first heard this “true story” many years back.  And I even found “the story” and its picture today. And I hope it illustrates well what I am attempting to communicate.

World's Largest Golden Buddha

At one end of Bangkok Chinatown, in the temple of Wat Traimit, is hidden the world’s largest solid gold Buddha image. Weighing in at five and a half tons, the 15-foot tall seated image is uncountable worth.

The Golden Buddha was cast with solid gold sometime in the 13th century and is an excellent example of the gracious Sukhothai style that is still very much in favor to this day. At some point, it was covered in plaster, most likely in an attempt to hide the valuable icon from thieves or looters.

The disguise was so good that everyone apparently forgot about what was hidden beneath for more than five centuries. King Rama III had the statue moved to Bangkok and installed in a temple that later fell into disuse and was completely abandoned around 1931.

The true nature of the Golden Buddha wasn’t discovered until it was moved to its present location at Wat Traimit in 1955. When the image was being prepared for its move, some of the plaster was chipped off, revealing the gold underneath.

The statue sits in a plain building just barely big enough to hold it within the temple compound. On the terrace outside of the room housing the Golden Buddha are some interesting fortune-telling machines.

By the end of this year the Buddha image will be relocated to a newly built grand hall nearby which all people will never get too close to it.

Please don’t encase yourself in a protective coating…so that your writing is dulled by convention established by those who design one size fits all best practices.

Best practices and ideas that work deserve to be observed AND I see the value in bending the “rules” and being yourself.  For in tossing out the rules and really showing the world who lives through your writing, I have to wonder who you might catch “in your net” you might not have?