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Congratulations. You’ve been promoted. December 20, 2011

Posted by David Dirks in marketing, Strategy.
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The title of my post today is not mine really.  It’s from an ad that really caught my attention.  As I go through my daily reading routine, I am intent on finding information that suits my interests, needs, or wants at the time.  Of course, I scan the ads and am rarely stopped by them.  However, this ad drew me in.  Here’s the rest of the copy of this ad:

You’re now the boss of your own life.  That’s right, today you officially become your own Chief Life Officer.  At Lincoln Financial, we’re here to help all Chief Life Officers take charge no matter where you are in life.  So here’s to long weekends and longer retirements, 14-year-olds and 401(k)s, and to passing on wisdom and opportunities.  Of course, this job doesn’t require you to punch any clock, or fill out any time sheets, because life isn’t just about what you make, but what you make of it.  And while your boardroom is more likely filled with family photos than mahogany, we’d be honored to join your inner circle to help you make important decisions with confidence.  After all, the future success of any organization comes down to the one making decisions today.  Let Lincoln Financial help you take charge.

Calling all Chief Life Officers.

I don’t know about you but that call to “all Chief Life Officers” really appealed to me.  Born at the tail end of the baby boom generation, I can appreciate the appeal to my deeply rooted “need to achieve”.

I’m sure if I was in the room at the time this ad campaign was conceived, I’m sure they were aiming for baby boomers just like me.   Chief Life Officer…yup…that’s me   (and many of my fellow baby boomers too).

Great strategy.  Great ad.

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The Deliverance of No December 19, 2011

Posted by David Dirks in Communication, Confidence.
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Often one  of the early words (not the first of course but not far behind) in a young child’s vocabulary is the word “no”.  Of course, as we age we tend to spend more time using the word “yes” and the word “no” begins to fade from our vocabulary.

We say yes to just about everything.  Surely there’s plenty of times when “yes” must be deployed.  Like the time you get your first big job offer or promotion early in your career (and then a few more times after that).  When your future spouse asked you to marry.  When your kid asks if he or she can have that special something for their birthday.  When a close friend reaches out and asks you for help.  When a client has a major problem and asks you if you think you can help them resolve it.  These are all great times to say “yes”.

Then again, there are many times to use the word “no” in our personal and professional lives.  Here are a few of my favorite times to use the word “no”:

When someone who can afford the work asks me to work for free (or next to free).

When someone I work with makes a commitment for me without consulting me first.

When someone spams me on the phone.

When some stranger approaches me for cab fare giving me a story on why they don’t have it (it’s a scam…you’d be surprised at how many people give in to it and give money to a criminal).

When your teenager thinks you owe them a car.

When the person who just sent you an email sits in front of their computer or cell phone waiting for an immediate response.

When your cell phone rings in the middle of a meeting or conversation with anyone.

When someone asks if you received their text message on your phone.

When someone asks if your interested in serving on yet another non-profit board or taking on a “fantastic” committee opportunity.

I can think of a lot of reasons to say “no” these days.  The deliverance of “no” is simple.  It frees you from having to wear yourself down with a plague of insistent questions or queries.  It frees you from taking on responsibilities that only bog your life down and yield little to anyone.  It clears the air of constant interruptions and forced ADD.

Just try it sometime.  It’s quite habit forming.  And you’ll learn to enjoy the sometimes jolted look on the face of the person who fully expects (and in their minds insists) you say “yes”.

No.

Digital Self-Publishing Still Requires… December 15, 2011

Posted by David Dirks in Self-Publishing in the Digital Age.
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Going through Mashable on my iPad a few minutes ago revealed an interesting story.  Comedian Louis Szekely aka Louis C.K. made a $200,000 profit in four days after selling his latest online video.  What makes this interesting?  He hired a professional crew to film his latest act and then proceeded to produce, publish and distribute the video himself on his own website.

Szekely did what digital publishing promises: cutting out the middleman, in this case a studio and sold his product directly to his customers.  And he sold the video for five bucks!

As he noted in the Mashable piece (by Lauren Indvik), “This way, you only paid $5, you can use the video any way you want…I got paid nice, and I still own the video (as do you).  You never have to join anything, and you never have to hear from us again.”

But here’s the real deal noting that he’d “continue to follow the model of keeping my price as far down as possible, not overmarketing to you, and keep as few people between me and you as possible in the transaction.”

That’s the promise of the constantly innovating digital publishing world for anyone who has a hankering to publish their work (whatever that is).  It’s the ability to publish your book or collection of essays or your video and have it listed on Amazon or in iTunes the very next day.

Flash forward now to a great literary publishing story named Vook.  What is Vook?  I’ll let Vook tell you:

A vook is a new innovation in reading that blends a well-written book, high-quality video and the power of the Internet into a single, complete story. You can read your book, watch videos that enhance the story and connect with authors and your friends through social media all on one screen, without switching between platforms.

I could go on and on with examples of where access to publishing to market is getting more direct to consumer than ever.  People selling novels for 99 cents and selling thousands and thousands of ebooks…introducing themselves to their new customers…who they can sell more novels to.

You know Amanda Hocking?  She’s an author that in January of this year sold 450,000 copies of her nine ebook titles that were priced from .99 cents to 3.99.  She went from ‘zero to sixty’ in publishing…something you couldn’t imagine not too many years ago.

Would be authors and video producers need not get too excited just yet.  No matter what the publishing model, it still takes that one thing to make a successful endeavor:

TALENT.