October 2010

Five Expert Twitter Tips For Better Connections

By | 2017-03-01T11:56:07+00:00 19 October 2010|Categories: grow, SandBlog|Tags: , , |

Twitter Logo

Five secrets to make even stronger, meaningful connections with your Twitter followers.

For each and every person who has chosen to follow you on Twitter:

  1. Read their profile.
  2. Follow and explore the link they provided in their bio.
  3. Send a personal direct message to each and every one who chooses to follow you.
  4. If they are listed as a company (instead of a person) visit their site and find out their name. Use their name in your thank you note.
  5. If they don’t allow direct messages on Twitter, visit their website and use an email provided or say “thank you” in their website’s contact form.

My thank you starts with this:

[person’s name], thank you for choosing to follow me.
I hope you find my tweets interesting. – Paul

  • I include their name. I then further personalize the ‘thank you’ with something interesting I read on their site. Something we have in common. Or, call out that we should talk because we have such similar interests.
  • Sometimes, if the follower speaks another language, I’ll even use Google Translate to try to convert my ‘thank you’ into their native language.
  • If it is a company and it is unclear who the twitter’er is, and when visiting the website there is a small team, I’ll address my message to the team.
    Shannon, John, Jeff, and Amanda, thank you for choosing to follow me….
  • If there are too many people listed, I’ll outright ask “who is tweeting?

I’m genuine with my comments. I won’t flatter simply to flatter, that’s dishonest. If I can’t find a meaningful connection due to different interests, or not enough information I will – at minimum – send my basic thank you.

It is an honor to have Twitter followers who, when you write something worthy, pass it onto their following. And, that reaction repeats itself with their followers.

We should respect the relationship we can build with our followers. They are customers of our content. We are responsible to maintain the quality of our tweets, so that with each new tweet, they are happy – all over again – they chose to follow us.

Age Of Conversation III: Great Writers. Great Book. Great Cause.

By | 2010-10-15T18:03:24+00:00 15 October 2010|Categories: SandBlog|Tags: |

Age of Conversation Book Cover

If a marketing book with one writer’s opinion is helpful – imagine a book by over 150 writers from around the world!

Age of Conversation: It’s To Get Busy is that book. As the official description states…

…This collaborative work investigates the roles that community, conversation, experimentation, engagement, and collaboration play in shaping the 21st century’s economy of ideas.

As businesses, public and private organizations, and individuals realize that there’s much more to social media and its impacts than first meets the eye, Age of Conversation III shows which platforms, tools, and approaches truly work.

Not only does Age of Conversation III provide great insights beyond the hype of social media, but the sale of the book funds a group called charity:water. A non-profit organization bringing clean water to people in developing nations.

Charity Water Logo

I feel good about this as “100% of public donations go directly to water projects. All operating costs are covered by a group of private donors so every dollar you give can go to people in need.”

Here are the links to purchase:

If you are interested in who participated in the writing, here is the complete list of Age of Conversation contributors. I’m proud to tell you I was one of them!

Get your copy today!

National Trademark Expo: Oct 15/16 Washington DC

By | 2010-10-12T19:35:53+00:00 12 October 2010|Categories: SandBlog|Tags: , , |

One of the benefits of living near the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is you get to bump into celebrities.

For example, today – just outside our neighborhood Starbucks – we saw T. Markey!

T. Markey Logo

I wonder if he has a girlfriend named Brandy?

He was walking the neighborhood to build awareness of the National Trademark Expo event taking place this Friday, Oct. 15 and Saturday Oct. 16 at the USPTO campus in Alexandria, VA. (600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA)

The event is designed to build awareness of the role and importance of trademarks in the global economy.

I’ll have to attend the event and report back to you…

At this moment, mascots making personal appearances include…

  • The Berenstain Bears,
  • Dippin’ Dots,
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog,
  • Curious George,
  • The Man in the Yellow Hat,
  • Cat in the Hat,
  • Lorax,
  • Crayola Crayons’ mascot “Tip”,
  • Betty Boop,
  • Dennis the Menace,
  • Popeye and Olive Oyl,
  • Pilsbury’s Doughboy,
  • Hershey’s Kisses,
  • Hershey’s Reese’s Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups,
  • Hershey’s chocolate bar,
  • Sprout,
  • 5-hour Energy bottle character,
  • GEICO’s Gecko,
  • Chick-Fil-A’s cow, and
  • Spuddy Buddy character.

Free Guide To Great Reading: Innovation, Remarkability, Brand Building

By | 2011-07-06T20:43:30+00:00 11 October 2010|Categories: create, grow, SandBlog, solve, think|Tags: , , , |

Sand For Your Inbox
October 2010

Guide For Great Reading

I’m excited to share with you a free Guide To Great Reading which includes fifteen books we recommend in the categories of:

  • Creative Thinking & Innovation,
  • Be Remarkable, and
  • Brand Building.

Download Guide Here

I know you’ll love the books listed.

(If you don’t, let me know! – Paul)

More Tips For Remarkable Ideas: Sandbox Innovation

By | 2010-10-06T16:57:31+00:00 6 October 2010|Categories: create, grow, SandBlog, solve, think|Tags: , , , |

The lead at your last brainstorm session probably preambled with something like this:

“Remember team, there is no such things as a bad idea in brainstorming. And there are no boundaries. Let the sky be the limit!”

They were correct.

Yet, the process of coming up with ideas to solve, grow, think or create is a process that expands and contracts. This is technically called divergent thinking (move apart) and convergent thinking (come together). I’ve compared this process to a roller coaster.

  • We start with the broad issue that there is a problem or opportunity.
  • We narrow that down to a laser-focused objective. What we are specifically solving. (This is sometimes called framing).
  • Next, we go broad again – thinking up as many potential ideas as possible – in a world without boundaries.
  • Finally, we go very narrow again – picking the best solutions for our challenge.

Despite ‘broad thinking’ and ‘suspending reality’ during idea generation, we have to re-evaluate those ideas within the walls of real constraints. We always work within boundaries and limits.

We have limited time, funding, labor. We are constrained by factory size, operational capacity, product shelf life, legal restrictions and brand guardrails.

These are like sandbox walls. The sand allows us to be as creative as we need. The walls define the realistic limits.

Sandbox Innovation

Sandbox Innovation is coming up with the great ideas that work within these restrictions.

Your goal is to not only promote the product, drive more sales, and get attention. But, do so in a way that is…

  • engaging to the customer,
  • that is meaningful,
  • that doesn’t make your employees feel stupid to execute, and
  • in a way that adds credibility to your brand.

You’ve got to check ALL the boxes. In fact, you could call this “Check All The Boxes Innovation” but that title isn’t as succinct.

Coming up with promotional ideas for Starbucks Coffee used to be extremely satisfying because of the challenge. The challenge of working within a limited budget, to support a product / service / program, in a way that didn’t overburden the barista (front line employee), that engaged customers, and that supported the brand.

Many are too lazy to work out all of the details. They ignore a wall or two, and the promotion/program comes across as sloppy and/or doesn’t meet the required objectives.

Sandbox Innovation uses boundaries as a way to push us into making a better, more meaningful programs.

Let me know what you think!

Side Note
Idea Sandbox considers it dishonest to take something found in an old business book, rename it something clever, add a ™, and pass it off as a “proprietary business method.”

Unfortunately, branding something old with your own snazzy name happens quite often in the fields of innovation and marketing consulting. This behavior adds needless jargon, tricks clients, and creates bad juju.

The topic of creativity and brainstorming already feels intimidating enough to some people without adding scientific-sounding jargon. We are made to feel that being creative is a talent restricted to those gifted at birth.

This is not true.

We are all creative. And, becoming more creative is as simple as practicing proven methods that have been around for ages.

“Sandbox Innovation” is the closest thing you’ll see me come to this. I just happen to be lucky that a neat way to look at effective problem solving has ‘sandbox’ in the name.