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Archive for April, 2008

Here’s a quick video of Joel Comm getting over his writer’s block. His idea may help you, too.

I know, whenever I have any kind of creative block, I do as Joel suggests, and I remove myself from where I am. I saw a video years ago, can’t recall where, and they talked about this. They said when a ‘man’ (their words not mine) has a problem he needs to solve, he will usually do something to blow off steam. They showed a guy going out and playing basketball.

Then they said, LADIES, are you listening: “Women” (again, their words not mine) tend to dwell on their problems and don’t move pass them as easily. So, to prove them wrong (about women), I have always gone for a walk, gone for a drive, or even moved to another project. While I am doing the other activity, almost always, a light bulb goes off and I find my solution.

Just keep a small notebook and pen handy, so you can pick up where you left off…and bring your mittens (if you take Joel’s ‘uniquethink’ for locations to visit…)
Enjoy

By the way, if you have your own ‘uniquethink’ (a special trick or tip) for removing writer’s block, share it with everyone here, by commenting below.

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I’ve wanted to write more about social media, so when I saw the following video on Click Newz with Lynn Terry, it seemed like a worthy post to share with you.

It’s with Boulder’s own Dave Taylor, who you may know from AskDaveTaylor.com – if not, you need to check that out too.

Just choose how you want to watch it, either flash or quicktime, and watch it from this page.

Dave discusses a little bit about blogging, as well as each of the following: LinkedIn, FaceBook, and Twitter. By the way, if you didn’t know you can find me on each of those, as well, just go to the following links:

FaceBook: http://profile.to/BethanySiegler/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/uniquethink
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/uniquethink

If you aren’t on any of these social media sites, now is the time. Don’t wait to know everything about it, just sign up and start adding connections and knowledge, as you go. (But take Dave’s advice, from the video, that this is a combination tool, half professional/half personal, so don’t post something you don’t want the world to know).

What? You don’t know who to invite as your ‘friends’? Well, these tools make it easy, they let you add contacts from your Outlook Express (or other mail clients). They will search and see if anyone whose email address you have is already on these services. And, you can always add me, too! Follow my shorter online actions, when I am not writing on this blog.

Then come back here and ask me questions that need more in depth discussions.

Hope this helps – watch the video now:

Dave Taylor - Technical and business expert, Internet wizard

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So many people ask me for PR advice that I decided to provide you with some links:

1. The first one needs to be read right away, because, though it is available for free right now, it will only be open to the public until April 11th!

It’s called:

How to Do Your Own PR Campaign: 8 Steps & 3 Mistakes to Avoid

And it was written by Charles Epstein of BackBone Inc. I found it in MarketingSherpa’s newsletter and I would say, if you haven’t joined their free newsletter, you should definitely do that, too. Or at least check out their free reports section. I wish I had time to read everything in there, because just about everything I’ve read from their site has been useful!

Now about this PR advice, Epstein states a lot of good info, but this was one of my favorite things he wrote:

Tip: Think about what is going to happen during the next 3-6 months. What initiatives, new products, new partnerships can be announced? Come up with a rough schedule so you can plan when you will release the first, second and third press releases.

I think people tend to do one press release and leave it at that. But aren’t you always involved with new things, so why not make each one its own release?

For example:

1. New website or new blog – this is a great start, you are doing something fresh, tell people what your plans are and why you started the site/blog. What are you hoping to offer your visitors?

2. Partnering with someone – I often hear from authors that when they do book tours now-a-days they partner with another author. Isn’t that press worthy? After all, not only one great book author, but two are appearing at a store near you! If you let the press know, even if a particular publication is only interested in one of you, it is still more exposure for both, when people who read about it show up!

3. Awards – Karl Hirschmann (who designed my UniqueThink logo) of Hirschmann Design recently won 10 awards from a single competition. 10 awards is definitely news worthy, but so is one! Write about it!

These are just a couple of examples to get you started. But really, there is always something happening, so why not write up a simple release. Here’s what Charles says about writing up your first release:

The first press release should achieve three things:
o Let people know what you’re offering
o Let people know what problem you can solve
o Let people know why your solution is better than anything else

So, go read his article while it is available on MarketingSherpa.com – and sign up for their newsletter.

2. Publicity Hound – This is a great set of tips, 89 in all!

Publicity Hound Free PR TipsJoan Stewart of Publicity Hound offers up great advice. I signed up for this a year or two ago and I still go back and reference it. Your never too old or experienced to learn something new. Even though I have done PR since I can’t remember, it is not something I focus my business on (I am more interested in helping people build their online presence and things like that). So, when a client does ask me for help with a PR campaign, I like to check in and see what others are saying. Joan’s advice offers a lot of “new” PR insights.

What I mean by new PR is that traditional methods of doing press releases have been altered, like everything else, by the Internet.

Joan addresses that, and she does it for free!

So sign up for her 89 tips. You’ll receive them in your inbox each day.

89 PR TipsIf you can’t wait to read them all, she does sell an ebook with all 89 Tips in it for only $27. Having read the tips, I still consider purchasing the ebook, because then I’d have them handy when I went to look for them. (Oh, and I don’t get any commission on this ebook, I just really think it is well worth it).

Consider signing up for her free email of the tips, and decide later if you want to purchase the book, but sign up now. Because it is well worth the read.

Well, I hope that helps.

Let me know if you have a specific question about P.R., but first check out these links, because they might have already answered it.

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MindControlMarketing.com: How Everyday People are Using Forbidden Mind Control Psychology and Ruthless Military Tactics to Make Millions Online

I received this email about Mind Control Marketing (a book that the author pulled off the shelves, when it originally came out) and I hesitated mentioning it on this site.

After all, I don’t like the idea of someone controlling me. And I don’t like the idea of other people being controlled, either.Is this guy trying to control you?

But since the site and the book in question comes from Mark Joyner, I have to hope it is going to be done with the best intentions to help the newbie to ethically market their stuff. So hopefully it has helpful info.

Besides, if those ‘unethical’ marketing guys out there are about to get their hands on it, I wanted to make sure you guys could get your hands on it first!

Yeah! We’ll show them. If we all read this report, then those who shalt not be named won’t be able to control us! Right?!

So, if you want to see what all the hype is about, why not go to Mark’s newest site and take a look.

And, please let me know, by commenting below, what you think of the whole idea of mind control marketing and can it be used ethically.

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A down side of working in a home office is you don’t have someone to bounce your copy off of before you release it to the world.

So, I have become very reliant on Victoria, the voice on my computer that reads text back to me.  Text to Speech Rules!

It’s not that I was lonely – after all – with email, blog comments, Skype, Meebo, Twitter… I’m always talking with or hearing from people.

The beauty of Victoria and her friends (most of which are too robotic for my liking) is they can read back to me what I just wrote – without bias opinions. Instead of saying, “You should say it this way…” (which is usually someone else’s voice not mine), she just reads exactly (well almost) what I wrote.

This means I can hear how it will sound to others.

Of course there is the occasional words:

1. “Read” is always read as “Reed” not “Red

2. It won’t tell you of a typo like using “Their” when you mean “There

3. If a product name is a made up word, sometimes it can’t figure out how to pronounce it

But overall she is a wonderful reader.

On the Mac, you can even choose which keystrokes you want to use to hear her reading. The default setting was Apple T, but since I am a Firefox tab user (which defaults to Apple T), it made for complications. I use Ctrl Z.

If you are on a Mac, and want to set this function up just follow these simple steps:

1. Open System Preferences

2. Click on the Microphone Icon that says “Speech”

3. Click on the Text To Speech tab

From there you can pick your System Voice and Speaking Rate. Also, you want to Check the box that says “Speak selected text when the key is pressed” and click the box next to it that says “Set Key.”

Again, the Set Key function is automatically set to Apple T (or at least mine was), so choose your preference.

That is it, you are done.

Unless you are on a PC. On a PC, there may be an easy function like the Mac, but on my old dog of a PC, I had to get a software application to do the same thing.

Good News, there is a free one that works fine:

ReadPlease can be downloaded for free from download.com – a reliable source for downloading free applications.

Bad News:

It makes you cut and paste your selected text and has limited voices to choose from, but it is free and I think it has an upgrade option to allow more functionality.

Either way, just to hear your words being read back to you can be a delight (if you write well) or a saving grace (if you are half a sleep and didn’t catch a typo that the spellcheck would never find).

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