Worthy of imitation

Building Trust in Marketing Messages

Michael Katz just published a great newsletter issue about building trust with your audience. It's fun to read, and I won't give away the message here!

Blue Penguin Development: Trust-Based Marketing, 2023-Mar-16 by Michael Katz

Trust is Not a Given

Since that day [first-time paragliding], I’ve given a lot of thought to trust (and life insurance). More specifically, what allowed me, with all my fears, to move ahead?

I think it came down to three things, all of which also relate to how prospective clients decide to commit (or not) and work with professional service providers like us…

#1. Professionalism....

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Our Favorite Peacenik on the Ukraine War

Nonzero Newsletter: The Ukraine Archives 2023-Feb-23 by Robert Wright:

I’m proud of the things this newsletter has published about the Ukraine war—not because I think they’re all great, but because collectively they represent a clear alternative to the perspective offered in mainstream media, where both reporting and commentary have tended to succumb to the conformist pressures that emanate from wars.  

So I thought I’d mark this dark anniversary by listing some of these NZN posts—both written pieces and podcasts—along with a brief summary and/or reflection for each. I’m confining the list of written pieces to the first six months of the war, but a few of the podcasts are more recent than that.

Almost all of these posts are “unlocked”—available to the entire reading public, not just paid subscribers.


Learn about yourself and your 4000 Weeks

Leader, software engineer, and designer Lee Byron has created an interactive tribute to Oliver Burkeman's book, Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals.

Lee's creation is lovely and thought-provoking. If you visit, you are asked to share your age so the number of days you've been alive can be counted. However, you don't have to put your real birthday into the form to enjoy the story.

Lee Byron:

A tribute to the book by Oliver Burkeman, an exploration of time management in the face of human finitude, and addressing the anxiety of “getting everything done.”


See it here.

How to plan a great pitch to a potential partner

Are you facing a crucial business proposal? Here's a way to make sure you have the issues covered. Tq221117juicy600p
Sales Hacker: The JUICY formula for a B2B business partnership pitch by Belinda Aramide, 2202-11-7

Tired of Rejection? Make Sure Your Offer is JUICY

Continue reading at https://www.saleshacker.com/juicy-offers/ | Sales Hacker
  1. Justify their investment of time, money, and/or foregone revenue for even exploring the partnership.
    1. Recognize their operational costs of working with you... displacing a cash customer? supervision? recruitment?
    2. What will the first (pitch) meeting accomplish?
      1. Will you show them how they can profit or grow?
      2. Will you show them how you'll help with unexpected hurdles and expenses?
  2. Show Unique advantage of doing this proposal with us instead of anything/anyone else.
    1. Ask ourselves: with whom are we competing?
    2. How can we uniquely help with the needs of their members and partners? Do we reduce the time and money they would have to invest in training? Can we demonstrate that? Can we help them innovate their own business? Can we make them confident it would help?
    3. What is unique about us?
    4. What makes us different?
    5. Are they hearing promises they've heard before?
  3. Be Irresistible
    1. How can we help them 'seize the day'?
    2. Identify with them
      1. What's pressuring them? Profitability or growth?
      2. How will we make a difference sooner rather than later... to avoid getting a 'we'd love to have you ONE DAY ' answer.
      3. How can we avoid adding to their costs? (Get them to tell US.)
      4. "Is there anything we could help you fix RIGHT NOW?"
  4. Consequential
    1. Being important: "We can make a BIG difference in your creativity & effectiveness NOW."
    2. Success stories from people who have worked with us?
    3. We need to communicate what a BIG impact we can make.
  5. YES, that's an easy offer to accept!
    1. Make the offer easy to accept by offering alternatives. "We could do it Xway or Yway."
    2. Don't let saying NO be easier. See THEIR challenges, i.e.
      1. "Jeez we have to juggle our schedule"
      2. We have to convince the finance guy to forego potential revenue... it's just not worth it."
      3. Try and find out what their 'utilization rate' is. What are we up against?


Improve Your Learning Agility with "after-action reviews"

Sometimes we make a decision and things go well... other times, not so well. This is a good reminder to take a breather and figure out what you've learned.

Center for Creative Leadership: Tips for Improving Your Learning Agility, 2020-Dec-2

Learning occurs when you take the time to reflect, to shift your thinking beyond merely what happened to ask why things happened the way they did. Reflection helps to surface the intuitive and lock it in for future reference. So step back from the busyness and figure out what you’re learning from a project, from an interaction, from a new experience. Talk about what’s currently working well and what isn’t — or debrief what’s already happened. Conduct after-action reviews where you, and relevant others, reflect by asking questions: What happened? Why did it happen that way? What should we stop/start/continue doing in order to ensure success in the future? What changes in knowledge, skill level, attitudes, behavior, or values resulted from the experience?

Email newsletters are "not for the faint of heart"

As a newsletter publisher, I was heartened by Chris Short's story of a conscientious journey to responsible mass emailing. It shows me that I've been relying too hard on what any one email service provider does. I'm going to become better educated, and I aspire to be as conscientious as he is. I also appreciated the way he mentions his newsletter when networking with people.

ChrisShort.net: Things no one tells you when you start a newsletter, 2020-Mar-24

Mail delivery on the modern internet is one of the single hardest tasks out there. First, every administrator and engineer from the network to a user’s inbox assumes your mail is garbage. Second, the number and size of hurdles to sending mail out to thousands of people every week are enormous. Conquering the knowledge of mail servers, DNS, internet routing, networking, not to mention, design, and writing skills necessitate the services that are available to help.


How to be a good listener on Zoom

I just realized that I've been making the dumb mistake of looking at someone's image when they're talking on Zoom. I should be looking at the camera often. 

Fast Company: How to do a better job of listening when you’re remote, 20-Aug-12 by Judith Humphrey

Listen with Your Body

Use your physical presence to listen. This goes far beyond using your ears to absorb what people are saying. Our entire body needs to convey attentiveness.

For starters, turn to the person who’s talking on the screen and physically align yourself with them while they’re speaking. This makes a huge difference. I recently attended a Zoom meeting and the host was talking to a small group, and one person was turned away at a 45-degree angle. She probably didn’t realize that the message she was sending was, “I’m not interested in what you’re saying.”

Use your eyes, too, to show that you’re listening. Don’t stare, but keep your eyes centered on the person who’s speaking by looking into the camera. Maintain an open and interested expression in your eyes. Avoid the temptation to look down at your phone, or around the virtual room. Focus your eyes on the chat line from time to time, but don’t let it distract you from the audience you’re addressing.

Use gestures, too, to show you are listening: nod when you agree with the speaker; move your body forward to listen to something you find particularly interesting, and gesture with open arms to acknowledge agreement.

When you’re speaking, bring physical energy to your delivery. The individuals you’re talking to are probably suffering from Zoom fatigue, and they need your energy to stay engaged and alert.