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Before You Make Another Move, Get Your Online Presence in Order

Before you market your product or service, get your online presence in order.  Complete an update of your LinkedIn profile, for example. Then to get a visual of your LinkedIn presence,  create a graphic like mine below. I created this on https://create.visual.ly/kelly/ when I learned about it from Guy Kawasaki on Google+

If you don’t like what you see, edit your LinkedIn profile to better reflect who you are and what you do.

Once you’re done, post it on Google Plus, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and all your other favorite social media sites.

create infographics with visual.ly

Meet the Freddy Krueger of Blogging: Interview with Danny Iny

It was my pleasure to interview Danny Iny, profilic blogger and teacher in the Firepole Marketing Training Program. He has distinguished himself as an entrepreneur, marketer and author. His work, The Naked Marketing Manifesto, has resonated with entrepreneurs and marketers across the Internet. He’s especially excited to be the co-author, with Guy Kawasaki, Brian Clark, Mitch Joel, and a lot of other people you’d  recognize, in Engagement from Scratch!: How Super-Community Builders Create a Loyal Audience, and How You Can Do the Same!

Enjoy the highlights of our interview below or if you prefer to listen to the full unedited interview, click the audio button immediately below:

[audio:https://coloryourlifepublished.com/website/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Interview-FloraBrown-DannyIny.mp3|titles=An Interview with Danny Iny]

Entrepreneurship is a high impact activity

Q: In one of your articles, you said that “There are days when I wish that entrepreneurship wasn’t such a high-impact activity.” Would you explain what you mean by that? And then along with that, share what milestones and setbacks have gotten you to where you are right now?

A: Sure. So that was in a post I wrote that was– it was a really a pivotal point in my life. I had just finished my MBA and at that pretty much like exactly the same time, I found that the job that I wanted that was the reason why I did the MBA didn’t count up. So it was very frustrating. It was a very kind of pivotal point for me. It all worked out very well because in a hindsight, if I had taken that teaching position, or I should say if I’ve gotten that teaching position, I wouldn’t be able to do all the things I’m doing with Firepole Marketing. So things worked out.

But what else it kind of alluding to is that it’s a lot like, well like a high-impact sport like I come from a martial arts background so something like ultimate fighting or whether it’s Olympic training of any kind that you really got to be fully committed and give it your all. There is no–– you can’t just do it as a hobby kind of for fun. You’re either in or you’re not. And sometimes, it’s still no mat–– even though you give it your all, you’re going to get kicked in the teeth and you’re going to fall down and it’s not going to be pleasant. And that’s just the nature of the game. But you pick yourself back up and you keep on going.

And I have had my fair share of setbacks and there is this whole MBA leading to not getting the job experience, there was–– I ran a start-up company in 2007, 2008 called MaestroReading, reading software, teaches kids how to read. And I was young and I was inexperienced and the timing was very bad in terms of what happened with the markets. And all that together just destroyed the business and I got stuck with forced to having to let all my employees go and I got stuck with a lot of personal debt. So I definitely had my share of setbacks.

But you see them all as learning experiences. You learn something. You keep on going. And it gets you better equipped to do better with the next thing that you try. And more recently, things have been just going spectacularly well and we’ve been breaking milestone after milestone with Firepole Marketing and with my business.

Danny convinces parents to let him drop out of high school to become entrepreneur

Q. What did you do and say that finally convinced your parents to support you in this decision? I’m just trying to imagine what it would be like if I had my kids made that decision.

That’s a great question and I absolutely have to say I can’t take all the credit for this experience fact that I have. Broad-minded parents certainly allowed me to do a lot of the things and empowered me to do a lot of the things that I ended up doing. The back story to that whole kind of a decision was that I was your stereotypical, goody two-shoes little kid up until about the 7th or 8th grade. I was every teacher’s favorite students. I was the one who had his homework all done before he went home kind of thing, like that was me.

And then I got into the 9th grade and suddenly, I don’t know what switched, but I was just so bored. I was just not enjoying and not interested in anything that was being covered and I thought it was just moving so slowly. And I started cutting a lot of classes. And I, overnight, almost I kind of went from this goody two-shoes  [to missed 152 classes.]

. . .it was a downhill from there.

.. . when I  . . .actually told my parents, “This is what I’m going to do,” my mom. . . saw that I was actually was going to be doing something with my time and she was fine with it. She was very supportive and she’d had her own experience in high school and she didn’t consider it to be a highly valuable use of time

[My mom] also [said] “Oh, look, I mean, worst case–– worst comes to worst, I really want it so you spending a year in night school and you get a high school diploma. It’s like your opportunity cost here is not actually that grade. If . . . you absolutely realize you need that high school diploma, you just go back and get one.”

. . .My dad was much more skeptical and it was–– it was quite a leap of faith on his part and I’m sure he lost a lot of nights’ sleep doing it.

. . .it’s really important for anyone who’s listening to this, do I think high school is a valuable experience? Not really, to be perfectly honest, but I’m not saying everyone should then pick up and quit school. I’m saying that I would encourage them to do so if they can think of something better to do with their time and only at that point.

Is Danny an entrepreneur, teacher or writer?

Q. Do you see yourself as an entrepreneur, a teacher, or a writer first?

A. That’s a really interesting question, and I would say that I see myself as all three but in different ways.

So entrepreneurship is kind of what I do. Teaching is almost the skill set that I bring to there in a lot of the business stuff that I do. And as for writing, writing is actually not significantly different, in my opinion at least, from teaching.

I’m good at communicating that to other people and weigh the two softly down, well that’s all that writing really is. And I think writing, it’s something I’m very good at. It’s a skill set that I have developed and I have always been comfortable with to a certain extent. But I don’t–– I don’t see myself as a writer, kind of like someone who, I don’t know, spends a lot of their time working on the phone and in conversations as part of their work. They don’t see themselves as a professional conversationalist. It’s just it’s–– it’s part of the job, right. It’s part of how you do it.

What is the benchmark of good writing?

A. I’ll tell you how I determine what makes writing good, and the way I know that I have written something and I have done a good job is when people read it and they say, “This sounds just like you.”

That’s how I know if you have done a good job with this. Good writing, if you wanted it to be really good writing, imagine just sitting across from a good friend, having a cup of coffee, having a beer maybe, you’re sitting down, you’re having a conversation, and I asked you a question. And you’re explaining it. You’re answering their question, or you’re sharing an idea. And the way you write minus the um’s, uh’s, or that’s kind of stuttering, minus all that, what you write should sound exactly like what you would say to your friend. And if at the end of the conversation your friend gets it, then you’ve done a good job.

How Danny became the Freddy Krueger of Blogging

Q. You’ve become the Freddy Krueger of Internet. Would you share how you got that moniker and what led you to start using it in your marketing?

A. Yeah, sure. So first of all the important thing to say is I did not come up with this. This was not originally my idea. I started–– one of the–– one of the early tactics that I used to grow my audience with Firepole Marketing was guest posting. So I did a lot of guest writing for other blogs and I quickly found that the more writing you do and the more that writing is concentrated in a short time frame, the more likely it is for people to notice you which is just–– it makes sense if you think about it, right. If they see you on three places in a week, they’re more likely to notice yo

And so I started doing that intentionally, like kind of writing a lot of posts in waves. I’m trying to pile those and go up at the same time. And people started to notice. And this guy, Eugene who’s–– he’s actually has become a friend. We talked on the phone every so often. Eugene Farber over at Content Strategy Hub, he blogs out of New York, he had started even calling[ me] names on some of his post saying, “Wow Danny! It’s like your Freddy Krueger, wherever I turned, you’re there.”

And it just kind of stuck and I found out–– and this is for everyone who’s listening. Pay attention to this because this is important.

One of the most important things that has contributed to my success is paying attention. You can look like a genius. If you just pay attention and notice good ideas when they happen around you and it’s amazing how much credit I get for coming up with brilliant stuff when really all I’m doing is just noticing somebody else’s good idea and applying it.

And so he [Eugene] said this a couple of times and I noticed, “Okay, there was a resonance.”  It’s memorable. It kind of–– it captures–– for anyone who’s familiar with my story, it kind of captures it all.

And so I ran with it. I wrote a blog post saying “How I became the Freddy Krueger of blogging” and it just kind of stuck.

Danny talks about the Naked Marketing Manifesto

Q:  Which product are you the most proud of the things you’ve done lately?

A. Oh, I’m very excited about what’s happening with the Naked Marketing Manifesto. So for those who haven’t read it, I’ll, I’ll–– or who don’t know what it is, I’ll share with you some of the back story on this

The Naked Marketing Manifesto is short and it’s important to stress that it’s short. It’s 42 small pages with pretty large print and I wrote this thing because I felt that marketing has really gotten too complicated. It’s been made to be way more complex than it has to be. If you do a Google search, I don’t remember if the numbers out there are like billions and billions of results about marketing. There are hundreds of thousands of books about it. And yet if you sit down with any set of experts and ask them, “What is the number one go-to starting point book about marketing?”, it’s really hard for them to bring something up. There’s a lot of–– if you want a book about, the right book about buzz marketing, or the right book about copywriting, or the right book about whatever niche, they’ll have one.

But what is the book to start about marketing? It’s like it’s so fragmented and there is none. There is none that a lot of experts could agree on, and I’d like to think that if there’s a list of experts, I’m probably somewhere on that list and I’ve asked a lot of my colleagues and nobody could really come up with what is that one book. And so I wrote this Manifesto with the intention of just making marketing simpler. Marketing is fundamental. It’s just about aligning what you’ve got with what people want and I’m telling you about it, that’s all there is to it.

And so over those 42 small pages of large print, I used the metaphor of an intimate relationship to explain how to go through the process of doing that. And so I just put together the Manifesto. I spent maybe 3 or 4 months doing it. It was quite a lot of work but it was–– I think it was worth it. I put this thing together and I put it online. I made it available for free. It’s–– so you don’t even need to opt in with the name or email address. Just go to NakedMarketingManifesto.com and you either tweet or share on Facebook in order to grab it.

And the responses have just blown me away. It’s in the last month since I released that, it’s been downloaded and shared several thousand times. A couple of dozen pieces of companion material were written and created by the community. They were viewed in combination over 15,000 times. There have been reviews. There have been feedbacks. The response has just been phenomenal and to the point that I’m realizing, “Okay, there is this appetite or there is demand, then maybe I should write a book about it.”

Danny makes plan to turn manifesto into book

A: So I’ve turned around, I’ve asked my audience “Is this something that you like me to do?” And the response has been yes. And what I’m doing now and I don’t want to spill the beans just yet, I’m kind of going to make out an announcement this evening actually. So I guess it will be a little while ago when you are listening to this.

But I’m just about to share how I’m going to go about writing because it’s very important to me that if I write this, it’d not be just another marketing book to sit on the shelf. It’s going to be something that is truly amazingly valuable. And what I can say is that the way the books are conventionally written, that isn’t likely to happen.

Because how books are usually written: the author has an idea about what to write and hopefully that idea is based on market demand and stuff that he’s–– the author has seen that’s something people want. And that’s the case here. I have seen that people like this idea. Okay, great. So the author then goes away to write in seclusion in, I don’t know, a cabin in the woods or something.

They write their book and after six months, they come back with the book that is their best guess at what their best understanding was of the market demand six months ago. And there’s often quite a mismatch between what they end up writing and what the market actually needs. And so that’s what I don’t want to do and I think I’ve come up with a really interesting way of doing things differently.

Find out how Danny is writing his book very differently here.

Danny believes everyone needs a teacher

A: . . .everyone needs a teacher and that comes back to the importance of these gifted teachers that are out there. Many of them are in schools, many of them are not. But people need teachers which is why if you have something to offer, and this applies to every listeners, then you have responsibility to share it. And if you need help, you have responsibility to find the teacher who can–– who can provide it.

Danny’s advice on getting to work with celebrities

Q: What advice do you have for those of us who want to eventually get to be in the Guy Kawasaki circle or we want to be able to collaborate or work with these people. What is your advice for getting into the celebrity circle?

A. I never think of people as celebrities and I am not interested in working with celebrities. I am interested in working with people that have something of substance to offer.

If you want to work with someone like Brian Clark or Guy Kawasaki, then you’ve got to maneuver the situations so that you have something to bring to the table that Brian Clark or Guy Kawasaki will be happy to out their names on.

Grab Danny’s works free, then let him know what you think about them

NakedMarketingManifesto.com and EngagementfromScratch.com

Ready to learn from Danny? Join me in his  Write Like Freddy program to learn to land guest blog posts that will build your list and increase your profits. In this affordable 4-module course you will be amazed how fast you will gain the information, skill and support you need.

Is Marketing Via Press Releases Still a Good Idea?

Press releases (also known as news releases) have been the popular way to get key facts of a news story out since they were invented in 1906 by Ivy Ledbetter Lee.
Considered by many to be the founder of modern public relations, Lee sent out what is believed to be the first press release in 1906 reporting a derailed train in Atlantic City that killed 53.

With the constant pervasiveness of social media many question whether press releases are still a viable way to dispense information to the media. Even though they keep their eye on the Twitter stream, many editorial directors still rely on the press release when it’s created properly.

Press releases are best used to announce an event or the launch of product, brand or company. The most effective press releases

  • contain the “Five W’s” (who, what, when, where, why–and how) in the first paragraph
  • avoid jargon, tech-speak and cute metaphors; stick to simple language that we all can understand
  • reference the specific subject and product in the subject line
  • give brief background information
  • list contact information

Once you’ve submitted your press release, you have no control or idea where it may appear. Typically, announcements of local events appear in local newspapers.
Stories that have a broader appeal may appear in national or even international media. However it’s picked up, your story has the possibility of getting in the hands of bloggers, news media, consumers, retailers and anyone else who is intrigued by your story and sees a slant related to their interests.

Since the media may not contact you when your story appears, set up a Google Alert with your name or subject so you’ll be notified when and if it does appear.
When I offered a publishing workshop in my area, the story appeared in a number of local papers, as well as local directories where I had posted it. Since submitting his press release, my client, Dwayne Carl, has seen his story picked up by The Huffington Post where he was interviewed as well. (See his video interview above.) Dwayne’s book, Out of My Second Closet, is available on Amazon and from other major booksellers.

PRWeb is one of the most popular paid press release services because it goes straight to the search engines. Depending on the package you buy, they will also distribute  to Associated Press, regional sources, media digests and more.

If you’re strapped for cash, there is a long list of free press release sites. These are mostly directories where your release may be discovered, but won’t be distributed.

Press releases are indeed still a good idea. You don’t have to decide between press releases and social media. Use them all to create the buzz your event or launch deserve.

To discover the best ways and places to market your book, service or company, get my free report “20 Free tips and Tools for Aspiring Authors and Proactive Entrepreneurs” below. It includes the three best free press release services.





Get Naked in Your Marketing to Successfully Cover Your Business

When my friend and colleague, Danny Iny of Firepole Marketing published his ” Naked Marketing Manifesto” recently, a few entrepreneurs got worried.  But we all relaxed when we realized that none of his tips involve nudity, just brilliant ways to grab potential clients and market your book, service or product successfully.

If you haven’t already, get your own copy of the “Naked Marketing Manifesto” now.

Danny created a buzz around the Internet because he models his out-of-the-box suggestions. He includes his readers in the excitement by promptly responding to our comments, generously sharing his sources, encouraging us to add to his resources and allowing us to share his resources with our readers.

Even more exciting, Danny has consented to let me interview him soon so I can fire my own questions at him. Heads up for that in the next few weeks.

Check out the resources below to gain loads of new information that will help you market your book, service or products. Then leave your comments or questions.

How to Create a Book Trailer

Video trailers stimulate interest

Video trailers stimulate interest in your book

Book trailers are an important part of your marketing for your book and services. Video marketing is extremely popular because we are drawn to and learn from pictures, especially when they convey emotion along with giving information and/or inspiration.

What is a book trailer?

A book trailer is similar to the previews of coming attractions played  in the movie theater before the feature starts. It should generate interest in your book, get people to go to your website or favorite book retailer and ultimately buy your book. The best thing that can happen is to have your video be shared around the Internet by viewers who find it awesome. That’s called “going viral.”

While you of course want to make your trailer as great as possible, don’t try to force awesomeness. There is no known formula to guarantee that your video will “go viral.” Instead, follow some simple steps to make your book trailer as compelling, informative or intriguing as possible.

1. Do a little research before you start

Visit YouTube to check out book trailers done by others to see what you like and don’t like. For a clever book trailer check out http://youtu.be/uYMmh_H3dJA

2. Keep it simple Sweetie

You are not Stephen Speilberg, so don’t think about including Hollywood effects.  Modern consumers want authenticity. When you present your book or service with passion it will resonate. Think of the videos that have gone viral. They were usually very amateurish, but also fun, thus motivating viewers to share them.

3. Gather your key elements

  • 1. Decide the key concepts or features from your book  and plan a script. You may choose to have script on the screen, record narration or appear on camera yourself.
  • Select some photos that will convey your key points. There are a number of free sites on the Internet, but for my taste they take too long to go through to find what I want, so I use a paid photo site or shoot my own.  iStockphoto.com is a popular site, but I find the photos from www.canstockphoto.com more affordable. Buy the smallest size since it’s adequate for your video and costs less.
  • Select the background music if you plan to use music. Resist the urge to steal music. Bounce over to one of the sites that sells music affordably or gives permission to use it at no cost. By the way, royalty-free doesn’t mean there is no fee.  You will purchase the music, but you won’t have to pay every time it’s played. I like http://incompetech.com/m/c/royalty-free/

3. Decide on your key tools

  •  Use the movie-making tools that came with your computer or check out other low-to-no cost video creators at www.youtube.com/create and Jing by TechSmith (the folks who make Camtasia.)
  • You can make attractive videos using other low-to-no cost services such as animoto or shooting with your mini camcorder, such as Flip or Kodak zi8. I’ve made a few as PowerPoint presentations and then converted to video before posting on YouTube.

4. Promote but don’t annoy

  • Even though you are promoting your book or service, avoid the hard sell and give people just a short (under 2 mins) compelling taste of what you offer and a reason to visit your site for more.
  • Your URL should be quietly prominent at the bottom of the video and be the first thing people see in the description under your video. You can see some of the ones I’ve made at http://floraonyoutube.com

5. Store your videos in a safe place

  • Create your video and keep a copy of your video outside of YouTube before posting it there.  YouTube can (and has been known to) pull down videos at will without warning. After all, it’s their site and you didn’t pay to be there.
  •  You will want to post your videos on your own website, and should also check out sites other than YouTube such as Vimeo.
  • As you get more serious, you’ll want to store your video trailers and training products at Amazon S3, a simple storage system that stores them in the cloud (meaning not taking up space on your computer) and are safely yours to access from any place at any time. There is a fee for Amazon S3, but it’s based on the amount of space you use, and you are only billed for space you use–no monthly or other fees–which for short videos will only be pennies.

For more details on how to or even whether or not to create book trailers, grab  Darcy Pattison’s book  The Book Trailer Manual available as a pdf, Kindle or Nook.