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Selling Books and Bookselling

The Book Expo America convention in New York is one of those rare places in today’s politically fraught world where conservatives and liberals not only meet (or share the same space) but agree: they both want to sell books. Amazing how economic self-interest helps people put aside political self-interest. That’s just one takeaway from this […]

The Edge of Authentic Communication

You can keep a competitive edge by sharing your soul! Working all day with business owners to have a message to share is my blessing. Assisting them in finding ways to communicate their authentic message is a treat and my favorite way to spend my days. Sometimes though, it’s work. The work is in the […]

Don’t Be Netflix

It’s not often that person can be so tone-deaf he sends his company on the wrong course. Unless that person is the chief executive of Netflix, someone who listened only to analysts, not to his audience. Reed Hastings – who, in a typical instance of overhyped business-journalism myopia, was named businessperson of the year in […]

Transparency and Public Image

We’re in an age now when transparency counts for something. That doesn’t mean you can’t be private. But it means you should be upfront about what you do. And care about your customer. Consider two cases. The late Steve Jobs was famously discreet about his personal life. He also instituted a culture of secrecy at […]

The Eternal Social Learning Curve

I’m a student of society. I like to know what makes people do what they do. I’m interested in what’s behind people’s decisions, their likes, their inclinations. When you understand the social motivations of people, you have a much, much better chance of reaching them with your message. As a marketer and an entrepreneur who […]

Five Tips for Getting the Most From LinkedIn

If you had any lingering thoughts that social media was just a “fad,” you may want to let those go, particularly in light of LinkedIn’s recent IPO — with a valuation of $4.3 billion. I’ve been following the development of online business networking for several years, particularly at the inception of sites like Ecademy.com, Ryze.com […]

Actions Speak Louder Than

I’m a big believer in the power of words. But when words aren’t backed by corresponding actions, talk is cheap. Have you ever felt a disconnection between what a company promised you in their ads and what they actually delivered? I carry a list of companies in my head called the “Never Again As Long […]

Ready. Angle. Frame.

Advertising begins only after you win the attention of your target, a difficult thing to do in this overcommunicated world. May I suggest you do it like the Great Ones? When you’re ready to tell your story, choose an angle of approach. Then frame the scene. Decide what to include, what to leave out: Specifically, […]

The Media Is Not the Message

“I’m in the furniture business. Which media should I use?” “I’d like to target people who are afraid of the dentist. Can you recommend a good mailing list company?” “My uncle uses television ads to attract new customers and they work really well for him. Television ads have made him rich. What’s your opinion of […]

Branding As a Simple Science

Do you remember playing Broken Telephone as a kid? You whisper something in one person’s ear, she whispers it to another, and so on and so on. At the end of the game, the original story that has Bob going to the store, now has Bob vacationing with his neighbor’s wife on the beaches of […]