My daughter recently discovered this in a sketchbook – it’s a portrait of me from two years ago, when she was eight. Propped up with my laptop on a lap desk, I’m well stocked with news and candy. She knows me well :o)
Using a mix of advanced online searching and old-fashioned elbow grease, sales-lead generators gather, cross-reference, clean, and deliver email, phone, and postal data, often matched with business intelligence, such as employee-growth rate, initial public offering history, office square footage, and salary information. Besides selecting targets by number of employees and industry, you often can aim within a radius of ZIP codes you designate.
Whether you want to shake out new contacts on your home turf, or cast a wider net, your dollars can buy you time to spend on the rest of your to-do list. Below, we survey four of these services, Jigsaw, InfoUSA, Hoover’s and Sales Genie.
Three friends just had babies, two nieces and an honorary nephew had birthdays, two friends dodged an earthquake, and a friend with a wife and two kids just landed a finance job after a long post-meltdown stretch. Let’s keep that sun coming.
Let’s keep it going. One friend just opened a new office for her practice, and one friend left a giant company to co-found his own company – and was pleasantly surprised to win the giant company as one of his first clients! And one friend’s long-time dream start-up was just funded by investors. Woo hoo!
I have to go on: One friend switched from real estate to filmmaking and is writing/directing/starring in his own movie; one friend is finishing a two-year career plan to go work in China; one genius songwriter friend is posting her own videos to YouTube; one genius technical author friend is self-publishing his fiction; one genius painter friend is on the wagon and creating some of his best work ever …
Boy, you can see a lot once you start looking :o) I’m getting a boost just reciting their accomplishments. Actually, it’s not so much about accomplishments or good luck or things or money – it’s the initiative they’re taking. (Gotta tip my hat to Seth Godin on that.)
My Grandpa passed away on January 12th. He would have been 96 yesterday. One summer, he played this song for me (Stevie Wonder’s I Just Called), in between some Tennessee Ernie Ford and country classics, while he drove me through my family’s hometown of Monticello, Indiana.
Always up for hard candy, a snort of brandy, some KFC, and a laugh, Papa John – or Mick, as they called him at work – had a tough childhood, orphaned as a teenager. Leading a mule cart at the limestone quarry, delivering papers, laying railroad track in the CCC, becoming foreman at the RCA TV cabinetry shop – crafting products that were truly Made in the USA. His forearms had the girth of my legs. We had great times shooting baskets out by the barn, sitting on the porch swing, going to Dairy Queen. The man would eat raw onions from his vegetable patch.
He wasn’t perfect, and those closest to him knew him best, I know. But I only received love and generosity from him, much undeservedly, especially in his last years. May he rest in peace.
What’s interesting is that what started as a proof of the power of packaging turned into a proof of the power of pricing — increasing from $10 per cube to $50. Ultimately, the success of the product and the pricing seems to have improved its quality, too — it’s somewhat curated, and more than a careless scoop of litter.
So, think about your content, services, and products. What’s trash to you — and could it be repurposed into something meaningful to others? Could the process of packaging and pricing lead you to view it as more than trash — as a product worthy of your brand?
I do some editing and copywriting for a computer-book publisher, Pragmatic Bookshelf, but I was pleasantly surprised when its magazine editor, Michael Swaine, asked me to comment on the iPad for PragPub magazine, just a day after Steve Jobs’ announcement.
Professor Michael Wesch created the following video – it’s “Web 2.0 in five minutes” – using “CamStudio for the screen captures and Sony Vegas for the panning/cropping/zooming animations.”
Beyond the content itself—remarkably current for a March 2007 release—we should study this use of media. It represents an emerging (if not “new”) way for businesses and thinkers to present information.
But rather than be discouraged by these stats, we are intrigued. Millions of people are using Facebook, fanning pages, joining groups, reading news, and spreading the word. Whether you work as an individual or organization, offering a service or a product, you must create a page and offer your stream.
You can create a page yourself—and claim your brand name: Just go to Facebook and follow the instructions to create a page.
(And if you need help, Wordsupply is ready to start the news stream and keep it flowing!)
Participants are encouraged to write at least 50,000 words from scratch. Your inner wordsmith gets the keys to a gassed-up muscle car and an endless row of green lights. Your internal editor gets locked in the trunk or ditched at the rest stop.
What’s new this year is that a computer-book publisher I’m starting to edit and acquire for, Pragmatic Bookshelf, is encouraging would-be high-tech authors to write in November. The result is editor/author Daniel Steinberg’s PragProWriMo.
No participating authors are under any obligation to submit their results to Pragmatic, and I’m not directly involved—I’m just cheering this on. (Personally, I may do NaNoWriMo to finally finish my coming-of-age novel!)
From my perspective, Gary Vaynerchuk—the boy from Belarus who grew his family’s liquor store in New Jersey into a multimillion-dollar business, and who is now teaching others to use customer service (especially via social media) to grow their businesses—has set a new standard for all authors supporting their books.
I’m piecing together a write-up of his efforts—and maybe a college course—but check out GaryVaynerchuk.com and his Twitter account to see how he spent several months engaging his audience and building anticipation for the October 2009 release of his book, Crush It!, which as Gary announced should hit #2 this Sunday in The New York Times.
For an example of Gary’s promotional efforts, consider his “experience” bundles, offered through his site: http://crushitbook.com/crush-it-the-experience/. If you buy 35, you get a personalized video; if you buy 150, you get an hour on Skype; and so on. This sets an expectation for bulk sales—which I think motivates single-copy sales—and demonstrates the way premium/ancillary offerings will help authors sell books in a world in which content is expected to be (nearly) free. [Authors: What experiences or ancillary offerings can you share?]
In line with his belief in contact and word-of-mouth promotions, Gary hosted a launch party last night at The Bell House in Brooklyn—very cool bar and performance space—exposed brick and rafters, cement floor, set in a warehouse. Gary went through the crowd, thanking everyone.
On stage, Gary said he sees himself benefiting from the “thank-you economy,” in which the people who have received his free videos and advice are purchasing his book out of gratitude. He said that his success comes from actually caring about his audience—by giving, he is getting. [Authors: How can you give to, care for, and support your audience?]
Let me round out this post—a sort of long thank-you to Gary, actually—by embedding two other videos: His powerful presentation at MediaBistro’s Circus in August 2009, and his adventurous Wine Library tasting of the best pairings for breakfast cereal.