fifteen minutes of free video from my workshop in England

Hey there,

I haven’t posted a blog in a while because I’ve been traveling and I won’t be able to post much for the next month so I thought I’d give you something extra special.

It’s the entire video from my evening, introductory, ‘Marketing for Hippies’ workshop that I led in Chertsey, England which hosted incredibly graciously by Julie Bryant of Naked Dragon events. This is a workshop that cost $40 at the door. And I’d like you to have it for less than that – only £15.

You can watch a 15 minute summary of it when you click on the video below and then click the play button here on the page it takes you to . . .

It was filmed beautifully by my new friend Anadi who runs SoundsOrange.com (which is worth checking out as an incredible online resource of all things personal growth).

If you like the preview you can watch the whole thing for £15 – when you click here.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and reflections. You can write them below.

 

 

 

it’s time

This wonderful, two minute video is a great example of marketing for social change. Give it a watch. I promise it’s worth it. You can watch it here.

occupy wallstreet – the revolution is love

I just watched the most lucid and incredible video about the ways that spirituality and love meet economics and the current Occupy Movement.

In a blog post I wrote on November 18th, I said,

At its heart, the occupy movement questions how the richest 1% of the world became so rich and whether the systems that fostered that are truly just. Was it just because of hard work, ingenuity and positive thinking? The occupy movement questions that. Is the time of a CEO worth so hundreds of times more than the time of a factory worker? The occupy movement questions that.

And this all reminded me of a workshop I went to in the summer of 2010. It was called ‘The Compassionate Trickster” workshop. And it was led by Caroline Casey.

I first saw Caroline Casey speak at the Bioneers conference a number of years ago. Instantly, she became my favourite thing. Who was this woman? I’d never seen anyone more spontaneously artful in her language – improvised craftsmanship.

But it’s only now that I’m beginning to understand what she means by the Trickster.

And why it matters so much.

We live in a day and age of so much hidden, obscene devastation highlighted most recently by the devastation in the gulf of the United States. And the oil gushing out was bad enough – but it was made far worse by the cover ups, the lack of media access, the obfuscation. And this is one of the roles of the Trickster – to illumine that which is hidden. The word ‘obscene’ is perfect for so many of the troubles going on today as it translates into ‘off stage’. So many things we will never heal unless we look at them. So much hidden from the eyes of the public.

The Trickster is that mythic part of all of us that comes alive when times are most dire. Unlike Han Solo’s ‘never tell me the odds’, the Trickster thrives on the impossible. The Trickster finds the way out of no way by seeing through the false oppositions created by the ‘reality police’. Even more so – the Trickster sees that these ‘team a’ vs. ‘team b’ dynamics as part of what has gotten us into this mess in the first place.

The Trickster doesn’t take sides, but is on the side of Life.

The Trickster is not interested in giving people easy labels of ‘you’re a redneck’ or ‘you’re a heartless CEO’. What use is there in putting people into boxes and prisons?

 

“Clever men place the world into cages,

but the wise woman

ducks under the moon

and throws keys to the rowdy prisoners.”

– Hafiz

 

The Trickster transcends dualities like Republican/Democrat, Conservative or Liberal. And, while provocative, the Trickster is not interested in creating opposition – but inviting everyone to play. Not polarizing but liberating. Nothing is demonized – everything and everyone can be called forth into the service of life. It doesn’t see the world through the lense of, ‘do i like this? do i approve of this?’ That’s all irrelevant. It only wants to know – ‘how can this be used for the greater good?’

Radical collaboration.

Everything welcome. Everything useful.

 

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

– African Proverb

 

And if it isn’t useful in its current form it can be thrown into Pluto’s Cauldron to be boiled back into what it wanted to be.

The Trickster knows that even the most toxic things on the Earth can be transformed into healing tonic. That every shadow has its light side. That impositions can be transformed into offerings, shame into remorse, constraining certainty into liberating mystery, punishment into restoration, celebrity culture into deep mythology, vengeance into accountability, triggered reaction into creative responses, unconscious rage into wrathful compassion, rape into ravishment, the addiction to purity into a deepening wholeness, seduction into magnetism and the conman into the Trickster.

The Trickster doesn’t just want you – it wants to fullest, most magnetic and charasmatic expression of you. It knows that there’s a right relationship or angle of approach between all things.

The Trickster knows that whatever we speak to in others we are animate. Whatever we speak to we invite to dance with us. Are we speaking to what is Tonic in others – or what is Toxic? Are we seeing and relating to the best in others? Or the worst?

There is no time or use for shaming, blaming or finger wagging. There’s no time for posturing – only the passionate and creative protection and upliftment of Life everywhere. There’s no time for the whining and complaining about how bad it is. There’s no time to be caught in instant reaction to the forces that destroy life – but rather the Trickster slows down to go fast and offers up infinitely creative responses because to walk around in reaction is to carry around a portable jail.

The Trickster is capable of seeing things from multiple lenses and holding multiple stories as true at the same moment – but then discerning which story to animate.

The Trickster is that force that wants to liberate ALL forces in the world for the uplifting and healing of Life.

Certainly the Trickster wants to see the abused and exploited protected and safe – but has no interested in punishing anyone. Because, while incarceration and punishment or ostracizing people might work for the moment – in the long term it does not. How many revolutions of hope have imposed far worse tyranny’s than were there to begin with?

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” – Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

The Trickster knows that the only long term answer – the only sustainable thing is that everyone is welcomed and everything finds its proper place. Like Sheherizad in 1001 Arabian nights knows – it’s not just enough to get rid of the tyrants (even the ones who have murdered their own hearts) – but to compost Tyranny itself. To change the hearts of the Tyrants. A radical sense of hospitality, equality and democracy is the only true answer to Tyranny.

The Trickster wants to see everyone liberated.

Let’s all get free.

Watch the video here.

case study: panty by post

Natalie Grunberg (pictured below) had an idea for a business.

Mail women pretty panties. Once a month.

This business is a brilliant example of some many things: niche marketing (panties are for women), having a point of view (it’s about confidence), having a simple, well crafted offer (a pretty panty. mailed monthly), doing something provocative that gets people talking (panties!).

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What is the name of your project?

PantyByPost.com!

What’s the story of how this came about? What was the need you saw in the community that it emerged from?

PantyByPost.com is an online business that sends a pretty panty every month in the mail to your loved one, or maybe to you (you deserve it)!

I thought of the idea on a trip to Paris some years ago and the plan was to spread the confidence of those enchanting and stylish French women. That’s exactly what we’ve done, one panty at a time (wink).

I saw a need, to spread French style all over the world. Even if your daily uniform is a Lululemon pant, you can wear a panty by post panty and feel better. Self confidence may just start with the panty you choose to wear. My company helps to make women’s panty drawers sexier, more colourful and playful.

 

 

Can you share a few examples of how your project works?

We always support local charities and we are collecting panties right now to donate to the Vancouver Downtown Eastside Women’s Center. Some of our customers have even donated a month of their subscription to the Center, which is very cool. We are currently supporting a local theater group in Victoria BC by outfitting their set with panties (it’s called NANA’S NAUGHTY KNICKERS).

To order a subscription you click on the shop button and select the line, Signature or Bridal and then proceed through to check out. It’s very easy! We ship worldwide now, so there…your whole Christmas list is done!

Who do you find it’s working best for?

Women made up our biggest supporters when we launched. Now the men are starting to hear the good news! Men like to gossip too, so our customers are a pretty even split of men and women.

What are the top three most effective ways you’ve found to market this?

Online marketing for an online business is the best approach. Magazine and newspaper advertising doesn’t work. PR is the most important fuel for customer acquisition but after you have enough customers and you prove you have an incredible service and product, they will talk. My customer to customer referrals and referral perks (one free panty for every customer you refer) are how I gain more traction.

What are the three biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way?

  1. Don’t risk more then you have.
  2. Trust your gut, listen to others and then make the choice that is right for you. Always do the honest and right thing. Never let money ruin relationships.
  3. Nurture relationships authentically. Be real.

What does that mean for you? “Nurture relationships authentically”

Many business people share that relationships are what matter. I added the nurture and the authentically component mostly as a response to some of my early experiences. Be real and be yourself. I really don’t like it when people are just trying to get something from me. I’m not a big fan of business mixers or networking. I find it to be a huge effort, it’s unnatural to be so self serving.

It’s icky.

By all means, get out there and make connections but for me I like to keep it small and keep it humble.

What’s been most effective for you in the online marketing arena?

CPC, cost per click advertising has been effective. We use Adroll to help remind customers who have visited our site, which is a good marketing tool. Bloggers from all over the world help spread the word about PBP and they do it very authentically because they get a panty by post to try.

What’s the next level for your project? What are you most excited about that’s coming up?

We are going international BIG TIME! We have our first international office in Moscow and our next operation opens in Paris this November. How exciting! We will continue to create relationships in other languages and in other countries. This is the jet setting (and carbon offsetting) that I dream of doing!

At its heart – what is this project really about for you?

At the heart of PBP there are two old fashioned ideas: customer service is key and self confidence comes from within.

We have been told we go above and beyond the call of duty for customers, but we don’t see it that way. Doing a job well and promptly makes us feel good. As the owner of the company, I set the tone. I’m an absolute perfectionist because having a top notch consumer experience is rare these days. When PBP staff delivers incredible service, every day, we make customers happy and they return.

This seems so basic but I can’t tell you the last time I had a quality “old fashioned” consumer experience. It’s our edge in a competitive online shopping environment.

The other pillar of the company is about confidence. I was inspired by the women in France and they continue to remind me (lucky me I go to France each summer) that looking beautiful is about self respect. French women put effort into their appearance and so do the men for that matter.

It’s a different ethic and for me, I think it represents their commitment to finding beauty and style everywhere, spreading that style and also enjoying the pleasures of life. Everywhere you look in France people have put effort into beautifying their environment. The least I can do is run a company that makes getting a French style panty easier.

Now those of us non-Frenchies have no excuse.

What has the response been this this project?

Each year PBP builds and grows. I put very little money into advertising because our product and excellent service does the work of spreading the word of PBP. Men especially seem to appreciate the gift giving service. We basically are the answer to all their gift giving issues.

Why do you think your customers love you so much?

Our customers love us because of our high quality of service but really our product is very unique and totally fabulous The panties are very special, colourful and sexy. Once you start wearing our panties, it’s shocking that you once settled for plain Jockeys or Victoria Secret. Our panties are accessibly priced (about $16 per panty), durable but mostly they are adorable

You’ve got such a unique idea that I imagine a lot of PR came from that – but what are the three biggest tips you could give people to be ready for it, get it and take advantage of it?

  1. Get a communication coach. We had Maria LeRose coach us at the very beginning and throughout our launch. Having a profession coach like Maria will help you get clear on your company goals and will make your media interviews really stand out. She videotaped us and we reviewed the way we looked and the way we delivered our story. This kind of practice is key.
  2. Hire a professional PR person to work with you on your media pitches. We had a coach for 3 months to support us to improve our media writing and understand what the media is looking for.
  3. Start local and aim national. There is no such thing as a small enough media outlet.

If people want to find out more about your project, support it or get involved – what should they do?

Email us,

Anything else you’d like to add?

If you think panties don’t matter, try a panty by post and I beg to differ. We have something special here! Oh yah, right now I’m wearing a Raven Beauty hipster in noir. It has buttons all down the derriere and when I wear them I feel like a Paris runway model (note: I’m 5’2″, so clearly the panties give me super powers).

 

If you’d like get cool posts like this in your inbox every few days CLICK HERE to subscribe to my blog and you’ll also get a free copy of my fancy new ebook “Marketing for Hippies” when it’s done.

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Want Help? If you’d like some more direct guidance and hand holding on figuring out your niche then go and check out my Niching for Hippies coaching program http://marketingforhippies.com/niching-for-hippies/

oakland’s pay what you want holistic clinic

Imagine a holistic health clinic where you didn’t have to pay.

Last August, I was emailed a link to a video about just such a clinic in Oakland, California. Since people know I do most of my workshops on a Pay What You Can basis – they tend to send me lots of stories and examples. I watched the video and was so moved and posted it onto my blog.

And then, just a month ago I was in Oakland leading a marketing workshop with my pal Alex Baisley called, ‘Marketing for Hippies and Gyspies’ (myself being the hippie and alex being the gyspie). As we did the introduction circle at the start of the day – a woman, Aumatma Binal Shah (pictured right), introduced herself and the amazing, gift economy holistic health clinic she ran.

Levers and gears clicked in my head. I burst out in the biggest smile and blurted out, ‘You’re on my blog!!!’. I was so excited. I think you will be too when you read about it and watch the video below.

Aumatma’s project – The Karma Clinic – is special, brave and generous. I want to see it get every scrap of support it can. Spread the word.

Below is my interview with her.

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What is the name of your project?

Karma Clinic

What’s the story of how this came about? What was the need you saw in the community that it emerged from?

I had a vision when I was 18 that I would be doctor running a ‘free’ clinic.

At the time, I wanted nothing to do with either- medicine or free! Fast forward 4 years of pre-med undergrad and at the end not having a clue what to do with my life since I really did not want to go to medical school, I was discouraged and confused.

At that time, I got a piece of “junk mail” at my parents’ home from a Naturopathic College. I took one look at the curriculum and knew that I was meant to become a Naturopathic Doctor and that I was being called to be of service. Through school, I volunteered at numerous free clinics and noticed that something was missing- people mostly took us for granted, and did not follow the suggestions/ recommendations given to them.

After graduation from Naturopathic school with a Doctorate in Naturopathy and Master’s in Nutrition, I felt the need for an inward journey for discovery and deepening of understanding the world from a wholistic perspective.

That desire led me to a monastery where I spent a year, living mostly in silence, without any contact with money, and lots of time to connect with myself and nature while living harmoniously & sustainably with community and the earth. After a year, I felt called to re-start my service to the world on a broader scale so I left the monastery to join a naturopathic office, with my mentor.

Within a few months, I started to notice a repeated uneasiness in the pit of my stomach after each session, upon walking out of the office and telling the client they now owed us a large sum of money (usually between $300-500). I did not like the equation of this connection and relationship with another person with cash or transaction.

In complete synchro-destiny, I received an email from a dear friend who runs an organization/ hub for gift-economy projects, saying that there was some talk of a ‘karma hospital’- similar to Karma Kitchen, but instead of serving food, the intention was to serve health. Very excited by the possibility, I moved across the country 3 months later, to converse and create with others that were inspired by the same vision.

This closed a loop for me of the vision I had in meditation 10 years prior, and I knew that I was following my path, my truth.

Can you share a few examples of how your project works?

The way it works is: a client contacts me (or some other practitioner within the network) for an appointment. They get sent an extensive questionnaire which they fill out and send back. Then, they make an appointment to come into the office. We have our first session, generally about 2 hours.

At the end of our time together, I say something like (it changes to what’s most authentic in the moment): “Thank you for this opportunity to be of service, and a small conduit for your healing process. I offer this to you as a gift, because there’s no price tag that is enough- and any price is too much! Your session was made possible by someone that came before you and if you wish to pay it forward, so that someone else may have this experience, you can do so- now or at any point in the future.” At that point, the client may have questions, or an offering, or a ‘thank you’ and a hug! All are received with trust and generous heart.

Who do you find it’s working best for?

In terms of the gift-economy component, it works best for those that are wishing to grow in their generosity, don’t have access to medical care and are in need of it, and are willing to make a shift in their life for the better.

In terms of my own specialties, I work with a variety of issues but focus on: anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and stress-induced chronic illness. The reason that I focus on these is that they often get ignored and eventually result in greater imbalances and diseases in the body. So, its the way I feel I can be of the most service to those that need it the most!

how do you deal with the ‘guilt’ that can come up when people are afraid they won’t pay enough – i get this all the time.

The ‘guilt’ is a feeling that’s an internal measure that can actually be used as an indicator light for internal truth, rather than intellectualized truth. However, that feeling of guilt is internal- understanding that it is not coming from the gift-economy practitioner because there’s no pressure to give back in the gift-economy. The “right” amount should feel light and joyous. So, when giving a gift, one should give the amount that feels good- its a different place for everyone, but each individual has that place that feels “light and right” to them! It’s not too much, not too little.

 

What are the top three most effective ways you’ve found to market this?

I haven’t marketed at all! My clients spread the word all on their own. So, the best thing I have found to do is to be present with the person immediately in front of me.

do you have any fancy marketing and promotion ideas coming up?

No. Just moving with the flow of what the universe brings in.

what advice would you give to someone wanting to try a gift economy approach?
Put on your gear (of compassion and trust) and dive in! It does help to have a mentor though- because inevitably, things arise which need to be talked through.  In the beginning, it’s also helpful to have some period of time that your basic needs are met to start out (I say 6 months is a good period of time), to allow yourself to really dive into the gift-economy, without expecting anything in return. Last but not least, connect with community that inspires you and connect with your own gratitude regularly.

What are the three biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way?

TRUST. TRUST. TRUST. I have deepened (and continue to deepen) my trust in the universe- that all my needs will be met if I just allow my gifts to flow through me.

What’s the next level for your project? What are you most excited about that’s coming up?

Excited about the growing network of gift-based healers across the country! I am going to be on tour June 5th-July 15th, doing funshops on “Money & Media for healers”. These workshops are also offered on a gift basis and am looking forward to having conversations with other healers around money, sharing gift-economy model for healthcare with them, and inspiring them to try new ways of practicing their art/ service/ gift.

Go watch this little video about the Karma Clinic:

 

 

If people want to find out more about your project, support it or get involved – what should they do?

Come visit our site at:

http://www.karmaclinic.org

 

If you’d like get cool posts like this in your inbox every few days CLICK HERE to subscribe to my blog and you’ll also get a free copy of my fancy new ebook “Marketing for Hippies” when it’s done.


7 marketing lessons from the egyptian uprising

You might have heard – Egypt is having an uprising.

And rumour has is that it’s all because of this one video recorded by Asmaa Mahfouz.

Asmaa is a woman so tired of injustice and the lack of basic human rights in Egypt.

In his book “The Soul of a Citizen” Paul Rogat Loeb argues that social uprisings are never about one person.

Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. came out of social movements and were supported by them. The story of these people creating the movement is just that – a story. And I suspect that this is true in Egypt. There are likely circles within circles that we can’t even begin to understand from outside the of that region.

But sometimes years of community building, coalition building and education can be sparked into flame by unexpected things.

So . . . here’s the video that’s being credited with starting the uprising we are witnessing today. Here’s the spark.

And it has some powerful things to say about marketing I want to lift up.

Because marketing can be terrible – it can be gross, contrived, exploitative and leave people with less self esteem than they had when they turned on the TV. But, at its heart it can also be a beautiful and uplifting thing. It can be about ‘getting the word out’ about positive things. It’s about communicating our messages clearly. It’s about getting people to change their habits that our destroying the world. Marketing can be an art and as Ton! Cade Bambara said, “The goal of the revolutionary artist is to make revolution irresistible.”

I believe that all of the solutions to our environmental and social justice problems in the world exist already – but if no one knows about them – functionally they don’t exist. And getting people to hear about them – and be willing to try them out is, I would suggest, a marketing issue.

Imagine a world in which strawbale homes, permaculture design, holistic health and local, organic food were normal. Marketing should be about making good things seem normal – not the about making the status quo seem good.

This world requires us to speak up and be ‘out’ about what we’re doing.

Here’s a disturbing thought: what if Asmaa has never done this video? What if she’d been to shy or scared? What if she’d never tossed out that spark? Do you see how different the world could have been?

And what if your work is this kind of a spark for another community. Perhaps not as dramatically. Perhaps not with as much global attention. But if you have a spark in your hand and you don’t give it to the world – there are many others who won’t move. Asmaa threw her spark. Millions moved. What we give to the world not only sets us free but can set them free as well.

Seven Marketing Lessons from the Egyptian Uprising

Lesson #1: Social Media is Powerful – The Egyptian government cut access to facebook very early in the uprising – because they saw what it could do. These days, when something strikes a chord, it is spread fast. And this is how word of mouth works with everything – business, personal or activism. People talk to each other and spread gossip.

Social media has given us a more powerful platform to do this. When this video hit, it was spread fast. All over Egypt. And it had an impact.

If your business, NGO or cause isn’t engaging deeply in social media – you may be missing out. You may be making it very hard for people to spread the word about what you do. Facebook events, online video, blog posts, tweets etc. are all incredibly easy for people to share with others. Make the good things you’re doing easy to share too.

Lesson #2: Speak to the Why – More powerful than her just talking about WHAT she is doing and HOW – she focuses on the WHY she is doing it. And repeats that again and again. When you can clearly articulate the why and uncover the point of view behind what you’re doing you will reach people in ways you never thought possible before.

Lesson #3: Be RealThis is a crap quality video. Let’s be real about that. It breaks all the rules of good online video. The lighting is okay, the quality is bad, she’s against a wall. Meh. Sometimes ‘high production values’ can actually hurt you. Don’t believe me? Imagine this same video being done Hollywood style – with her in make up, special effects etc. Don’t you feel how much less powerful that would be than he just sitting down and speaking from her heart with the web cam she has?

And she’s real about how she sees the situation. She calls her government and the security forces out as corrupt. Most entrepreneurs are terrified of taking that kind of stand – about anything. She’s 100% authentic.

Michael Drew (who’s put 67 out of 67 books he’s worked with on the NYT best seller list) argues that we are no longer in an economy that wants hype – we’re in a civic cycle that wants (and craves) people to be real with them.

Lesson #4: Speak to People’s Values – Ask yourself, ‘what’s most important to me and my crowd?’ Notice her appeal to men’s honour and dignity. Her appeal to have them come and protect her, ‘if you’re really a man’. She speaks to what matters most to them as people. She appeals to their values and gives them (fiercely) a chance to step into an even deeper integrity.

Lesson #5: Ask for Something – So many ads don’t make an offer. So many fundraisers don’t ask for the money. And here Asmaa is beautifully, shamelessly and powerfully asking them to come out on January 25th. She must repeat it a dozen times. She’s not coy about it. She’s to the point. She repeats it. Again and again. And then she ends with it.

If we want to change the world – we need to start asking. We need to not only start asking – but start asking big. We’ve gone far beyond the point of trying to lead a horse to the water to get him to drink – we’re now faced with the epic task of trying to lead entire herds of horses to the water.

Just educating people is not enough. Just speaking passionately about issues is not enough. We need to ask. We need to give people simple things they can start with. And how simple is her ask? Come join her protest. It’s not without risk – but it’s simple. It’s focused.

Lesson #6: She Voices Their Thoughts – She’s real with people about what else they might do and reminds them that those aren’t options. “Want to stay at home and watch this on the news?” she says. And you just KNOW that most of the people watching were thinking that. “Don’t think you’ll make a difference?” Any good copywriter will do this when they write an ad. They anticipate people’s concerns and speak to them directly. A good sales letter will read more like a conversation. A good author will do the same thing. It’s a more gracious and effective way of communicating to acknowledge you’re not speaking to a void. What are your people afraid of? What might stop them from doing something that could not only help them – but their community? Speak to that. People need reassurance that they will be safe – or at least that staying where they are is less safe than moving.

“And the day came when the risk to remain in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom.”

– Anais Nin

Lesson #7: Tell a Story She starts this video off with a story of the last protest they did and how only three others came. She’s real about it. And the story is engaging. We need to get better at story telling. When people get passionate they tend to rant and lecture. But we need to tell stories that speak to people’s hearts.  That help them get back in touch with what’s most important and dear to them.

Asmaa Mahfouz recorded and posted this vlog on January 26th, after an eventful Tuesday on January 25th, the first day of the revolution. She describes what she saw and urges people to continue and join her after Friday prayers, on January 28th.

What other lessons do you think we can all learn from this?

 

If you’d like get cool posts like this in your inbox every few days CLICK HERE to subscribe to my blog and you’ll also get a free copy of my fancy new ebook “Marketing for Hippies” when it’s done.

 

the cool vegetarian blog

A nine minute video. I met Jeff Golfman almost 15 years ago in California.

We lost touch for a while but then got back in touch recently. He spoke about how he’d been raw vegan for so many years and I could feel his passion around it. He was looking to shift careeers but couldn’t figure out what or how. The threads he knew were fitness and the whole vegan and vegetarian world.

I suggested that he might start a blog and he made it clear that he didn’t want it to be another blog of recipes or the ‘science’ behind why a plant based, raw diet is better. The theme of having a great lifestyle kept coming through.

“So, create a blog about that.” I suggested. “And call it The Cool Vegetarian.” Watch the video below to see the results of this latest case study.

Jeff wasn’t sure exactly what a blog was or how to use it (if you need a primer on what a blog is just click here)

And, even better – go check out his site:

http://thecoolvegetarian.com/blog/home/

 

If you’d like get cool posts like this in your inbox every few days CLICK HERE to subscribe to my blog and you’ll also get a free copy of my fancy new ebook “Marketing for Hippies” when it’s done.

 

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Want Help? If you’d like some more direct guidance and hand holding on figuring out your niche then go and check out my Niching for Hippies coaching program http://marketingforhippies.com/niching-for-hippies/

14 lessons on making a welcome video for your website

A few days ago, I invited people to weigh in on which welcome video was better – my old one that I made myself or my new one made by Donna Santos.

The overwhelming majority felt the new one was better.

You can learn my basic take on how to make a great welcome video here (and also check out this new one from my colleague Colette Kenney).

Here’s what I learned from the process about welcome videos:

lesson #1 – open body language: my arms were crossed for the first part of it and some people felt this was ‘closed’ body language.

“In the new version, your experience shines through your words, however, your crossed arms and hunched shoulders make it appear that the experiences you’ve had in doing this work have taken a lot from you. . I found I was holding my breath until you finally moved your arm and opened up the space. I would actually like to see you talking about Marketing for Hippies while standing up.”

lesson #2 – eye contact: look into the camera directly. Imagine you’re speaking right to the person who’s visiting your website the way you’d speak to them if they were there in person. Eye contact. This creates warmth and connection.

lesson #3 – the thumbnail matters: when you see a video there’s often an image paused from halfway through the video. Always at the exact moment when you’re drooling with your eyes half closed. I’ve heard that, on Youtube, you can edit the video to change this to one that’s not so appalling. I’m going to look into that.

“To be honest… ugh… sad admission… I never watched the old one because I didn’t like the first opening screen shot, it didn’t make me want to click. Ever. In, like, 3+years. So this is definitely an improvement.”

lesson #4 – be careful with humour: the hippie jokes at the end were funny to some and offensive to others (‘how dare you make fun of hippies!!’). I tell those jokes all the time at my workshops and people love them. And it made me realize that a welcome video might not be the place for unnecessarily controversial jokes. I’ve got other jokes I could use. Controversy can be great. Taking a stand and having an opinion is important – it can really draw people to you. But creating controversy for no big reason? Not much use. I’ll likely get those jokes changed.

lesson #5 – lighting: this matters! the new one is so much better lit than my old one. this is something that a professional can help with big time. you might not have the kind of equipment you need.

lesson #6 – home spun is good: another valuable lesson – almost no one hated the old one. most people still liked it. you don’t have to go pro to have it work.

lesson #7 – closer is better: a number of people commented that the old video felt a bit more intimate because it was shot more close up than the new one. i felt more distant in the second one because I was further from the camera. i think being close to the camera made my right arm look fat . . .

“The only problem with it is you seem a bit far away and hidden behind the desk at first, but I quickly forgot about that as you are so charming. Great job!”

lesson #8 – don’t confuse them: we put in a bit of me doing a card flourish and a magic trick – but it’s not explained that I’m also a close up magician. so it’s confusing to people. entertaining but – if you don’t know i do that it’s a bit like, ‘wahh! why’d he just shove a pen up his nose!!! Mostly people loved it – but a few people didn’t understand what was happening there.

“If I were here for the first time, as a visitor and not a film critic, I would have clicked the stop button at 1:20 when the music kicks in and the magic tricks start. That part showcases your entertaining side, so we know you’re more than a talking head (which I know from attending your workshops). But it’s distracting, confusing and does not flow. Chop it. If you want to keep it, I believe it belongs elsewhere, as part of a get-to-know-me-more video. I find you very entertaining, and others should have a chance to see that side of you, but, another way in another place. Just my humble opinion.”

“I like the little bonus of showing little bit of who you are in the end…but the people who see you at first time may not understand what that is all about!”

lesson #9 – formal vs. professional: an interesting distinction someone lifted up for me. Formal means you’re being really stiff and wooden and there’s no warmth. Formal is likely the result of trying to script things and then losing all the spark of life from it. People want to feel YOU in the video. The role of a welcome video is not just that you convey information – but also that they get to ‘feel’ you and your vibe. Professional means you’re on point, staying focused, not being self indulgent, being of service, being clear etc. Be professional in your video – but don’t be formal. People like warm, human and quirky. One of the main noticings of my new video was that it felt a bit more formal and slick than my old video. Ultimately, I want one that is focused, warm, professional – but not at all slick or professional. Tinkertinkertinker.

“The new one is more polished, yet not over practiced”

“There is less “err..” and “hmm..” in the new one”

“I liked that you were closer (larger) in the older one, the colour seemed a bit brighter. Somehow the older one was a bit quirkier, and not perfect, maybe that’s what I found more appealing. You somehow conveyed the information so that I cared about it a bit more. If you could just squish the two videos together… The first one with the spunk and without the fumbles and throw in the fun clips at the end.”

“The old one was like visiting an old friend. The new one was better for making new friends.”

“warm & easy way when you communicate. There’s also something non-judgmental in your attitude in both videos which puts the viewer at ease. Your authenticity comes across which is the most important thing.”

lesson #10 – tell them how the free stuff will help them:

“Structurally, there is one potential gap for viewers. You are clear on the audience, their problems, and highlighting free/important bits. The gap is this: how exactly will the free bits help relieve their problems? Perhaps it feels obvious. Still, I suspect that if it were more explicit, it would make the freebies more logical and appealing to your audience. You gave a clear problem:solution link for your marketing diagnostics, and that bit works well.”

lesson #11 – positive language: one person noted that my language felt clearer and more positive in the new video . . .

“The language in your new video has more positive connotations, and thus, it is more appealing. For example, you moved from “Thanks for stumbling across the Web site.” to “Thanks for finding my Web site.” You also changed “There’s just a few quick things I wanted to flag…” to “The main thing I want to say is…”. Flagging has negative connotations (warnings, problem areas, emergencies), while “The main thing I want to say” tells listeners that you’re getting right to the point, ostensibly because they appreciate clarity, and brevity.”

lesson #12 – web cam vs. someone else filming: I never would have considered this – but there’s something about the interaction with the person filming you that will likely bring out your human side in a way filming it all by yourself won’t.

“Before I met you I’d already seen the older welcome video. And then when you started to speak that day at IHN I was totally surprised because the way you are and the way you presented yourself in that video did not match up at all. You are a very dynamic speaker. You are comfortable, animated and warm. Yet in that video, you pause a lot, you seem uncertain, you say “um” a lot. Realizing how different you are was a pleasant surprise, the key word being surprise. You were better. Are. Are so much better.

Here’s what I think it is: you feed off the crowd. You are so good with people and you seem to draw on their energy, use that to give more back. With the video that is Tad + webcam, it is obvious that you have no audience to feed off of. But then a real person filmed you, and you came to life.  That would be the person I would hire.

So it’s a no-brainer to me. From awkward and incongruous to who you are in real life, to something just so appropriate and charming, clean and confident. Even fun. Well done Tad, it’s a keeper.”

lesson #13 – get to the point: there was a lot of feedback saying that it was clearer faster who it was for in the new one. But also that I talked faster than was ideal. So, get to the point – but don’t rush your speech.

“The new one is clear as to whom the video is for … i.e., for those having trouble with marketing. The initial one is good and likeable but I wasn’t certain where the conversation was going. I don’t like the words ” thanks for stumbling into …etc”. It makes me feel like perhaps I took a wrong turn in my search for whatever”

“your intro lets me know who your blog applies to (your niche) so I know right away if this is for me or not.”

“The site’s intended audience is now immediately clear.”

“The first 1:20 of the new one is perfect. Relaxed and genuine, and also organized, and tells the visitor specifically what to do to get something useful. I followed it easily and appreciated the information. The old one was too vague (this site has stuff) and did not keep my attention.”

“I really don’t care about your website – I want to know how I can make more money marketing on the internet.”

lesson #14 – simple background:

“Considering the visuals, the new one is much easier to watch. The composition of the old one had my attention split, as my brain was trying to figure out what to focus on (your eye totally stops on the painting to the right).”

“The background in the first one is too distracting. I found myself looking around at the guitar in the background and out the back window and always back to the art in the foreground”

 

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welcome video vs. welcome video

As you may know, I’m a huge fan of people having welcome videos for their websites.

So, I just got a new welcome video done for my website by my photographer pal Donna Santos.

You can see it here.

It’s replacing the old one (you can watch it below).

I’m curious what you think? The first one was done by me on my webcam, I took the first take and ran with it. More home spun. The new one by Donna is a bit slicker, better lighting etc.

I’m curious what you think. I really like the new one – but I’m open to your thoughts and reflections. And celebration for how cool it is – that’s okay too.

Is the new one better? Or the old one?

 

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Chevron Thinks We’re Stupid

So, Chevron’s just come out with a new ad campaign showing how much they care. But is it real?

Consider that British Petroleum spent more money rebranding itself as Beyond Petroleum than they did on renewable energy. And that was before they destroyed the gulf. Good deeds or goodwashing?

Watch the videos below and leave your comments . . .

THE CHEVRON VIDEO:

THE SPOOF VIDEO:

 

 

Want to see how Chevron came up with this campaign? Click here.

What do you think?

 

If you’d like get cool posts like this in your inbox every few days CLICK HERE to subscribe to my blog and you’ll also get a free copy of my fancy new ebook “Marketing for Hippies” when it’s done.