Newsletter: Issue I (4/15/2011)

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In this newsletter:

Attention 101
Introducing the 247Toolset Newsletter
Upcoming Feature Releases
Love the Feedback!

Attention 101

Everyone wonders how to get attention, so pull up a chair and listen closely. Here are my top-ten tips for gathering an audience:

1) Go where the people are. In your niche, where do people congregate? Make a list of the popular online and offline hangouts in your niche, start connecting with the people who frequent them, and invite them to coffee. Find the groups and people who can ripple what you do to others - and then connect outward.

2) Publish your content as broadly as you feasibly can. The vast majority of your potential audience won't be available when you're talking about what you do. This is the TiVo generation. We pay attention at our own convenience. If your work is not available to people at their convenience, you'll have a hard time attracting people to you - therefore, publish in such a way that they can check you out when they choose.

3) Remember: three things sell. Humor, how-to, and passion. You have about 30 seconds to grab new people to you, and if you don't quickly pull them to you with one of those three, they'll lose interest. Your content has to start out with a punch.

4) Talk and write directly to the person in your audience - script as little as possible. Being personal works. If you read from a piece of paper with something canned that you wrote, it comes off preachy and disconnected. Make it personal. Ad lib. It's okay if you don't touch every point... just roll with it - exactly like you do in everyday conversation. Let me ask you - if you stood on a street corner and read aloud from something you wrote to the people around you, everyone would likely ignore you, right? But if you looked one person in the eye and just talked with them in conversation, your audience would be 100% larger. Reach and connect as personally as you can.

5) What you do is not about you - it's about your audience. If you fail to interact with them, they will likely fail to interact with you. Provide a method for contact. Recognize their recognition of you. Relationships build loyalty. And remember names... Cheers had it right - people want to go where everyone knows their name.

6) Get involved in what others do. Offer your expertise in activities and events around your niche. I've given away programming and strategy advice and some of my art. Heck, some even say that I'm giving away 247Toolset at $19.95 a month. But trust me - it will come back to you later.

7) Work to do something unique within your niche. In my strategy consulting, I ask companies and individuals what they do that differentiates them from others. If you don't have an answer for that, this is a great time to work to find or create one. If you do have an answer to your uniqueness, highlight the bejeezus out of it. You may not know this about me, but I created art on a cell phone using its childlike drawing pad (see picture at right). Weird, huh? But Steve Karlin at KCCI in Des Moines, Iowa, wanted to interview me for it, 40,000 people watched my videos on YouTube about it, and LG contacted me about it - and two months later paid me with money and a free trip to Beverly Hills to shoot a video about what I was doing. Why did that happen? Because I was different.

8) Celebrate failure. Want to know what gets a ton of attention on the Internet? Failure. All those videos of crashing and falling... it's web-based rubbernecking. But you know what else gets attention? The underdog. People root for the underdog. People love a good story. A little drama in your story is good for the telling. And it keeps you honest and transparent.

9) Use your position as a leader in your niche to create opportunities for others to succeed. If people see that you believe in them, they'll hang around you. We all need positive energy to succeed. If things are going well for you, look for ways to create opportunity for others who choose to create their own luck through you. Then applaud them as they move toward success.

10) Finally... Radiate joy in your niche. However it is that you specialize, you are an evangelist for your specialty. You are out to convert people and motivate the converted. Is your niche music? Politics? Religion? Business? Health? The environment? Whatever it is, joy is contagious. Even if I'm not interested in your niche, when you smile, I'll reflexively smile with you. Since your niche is something you love, let the love shine through... it will attract others to you.

That's my top at-ten-tion getters. Go get 'em!

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Introducing the 247Toolset Newsletter

A long time ago, a friend of mine, Matt Ortiz, told me that the only software worth buying is the software actually used by the software makers. He referred to it as "eating your own dogfood."

I totally agree.

As 247Toolset grows in its capabilities, Jonathan, Krishna, Aaron, and I will be using my.247toolset.com as our 247Toolset portal. It will be our contact management portal, our hub for newsletters and events, and the place where we track our projects and to-do lists and reminders.

In other words, we'll be using it much like you. Our use of it will only strengthen an already unique product, and enhance its ability to help you grow your audience and deepen their engagement with you.

We'll use this bi-weekly newsletter to keep you up-to-date on the release of new features. We'll share best practices from other organizations. I think you'll find ample reason to remain subscribed :)

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Upcoming Feature Releases

Jonathan and I are busy about giving you the best platform available on the web today. Here's what you can expect by May 1st:

  • Time zone management - does your organization span time zones? Problem solved!
  • Email template management - for saving that routine verbiage that answers commonly asked questions and circumstances, you can pull from a library of content you create to send an email.
  • Tiered event payment through PayPal - we've already written the code that allows you to set up payment options for events ($100 for the seminar or $150 for the seminar and dinner). We just need to fold it into 247Toolset. (In an upcoming enhancement, we'll release integration with Dwolla and after that, we aim to allow credit card processing outside of these two vendors.)
And as always, enhancements are free to you.

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Love the Feedback!

Whenever I get an email that tells me about something that could be better for you, I love it. And as most of you know, when you talk to me about your needs, my team and I burn the candle at both ends to give you a fast response.

So keep that feedback coming!

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