Spackle Media today launched Skrib Magazine, a writing website geared towards freelance writers, publishing professionals, and lovers of all things scribed. It focuses on the art and profession of writing, balancing on its many splayed hands the silver platters of industry news one-offs, protracted confessions on the writing life, interviews with established authors, and just what it means to craft a passage that taps the heart of author and reader.
For a rote employment history please view my résumé on LinkedIn. For an anecdotal résumé, please enjoy this post.
Here are some of my happiest branding memories from the days of yore.
The Product: Homemade Cookies
The Work: Sold a big plate of homemade cookies for 50 cents apiece door-to-door at age 6. Made six dollars, paid my sweat shop worker (Mom) a dime.
The Brand: Big Brown Eyes
The Product: Greeting Cards and Stationery
The Work: Sold greeting cards, gifts and stationery for Olympia Sales Club (R.I.P.) during my pre-teens. Again with the door-to-door.
The Brand: Gumption. Strangers were impressed by a young person selling things to them.
The Product: Money
The Work: Put in my hard time as a telephone fundraiser for powerfully peppy librul organizations. Learned how to sell an idea to a stranger for $270 in under 60 seconds.
The Brand: Solidarity
The Product: Art
The Work: Post-college years: Assembled a collective of like-minded (and un-like-minded) artists, musicians, writers and misfits to throw shows and sells zines. (What’s a zine?) Afunctionul, as the group was called, was more than just about the art. It was about the movement. It was about the method. It was about the activity itself – especially the marketing.
The Brand:Pure Activity
The Product: Ad Space
The Work: While at tiny alternative weekly newspaper Pulse of the Twin Cities (now gone the way of Belushi and Cobain, R.I.P.), co-opted behemoth rival City Pages’ Minnesota Music Directory and used it to market ad space to musicians. City Pages sales director threatened “legal action” for having “filched” their public list but ended up offering me a job instead.
The Brand: Big brass balls of steel and impudence.
The Product: Ad Space
The Work: I built a classified advertising section for Pulse from the ground up. Kept it humorous but classy.
The Product: Street Promotion
The Work: Passed out promotional flyers on the streets of Manhattan. The challenge: Holding a piece of paper in front of a New Yorker is like saying “Here, you throw this away.” Solution: target one person and start talking to them a half a block before they reach your position, then lunge with the flyer as if jousting. Score.
The Brand: Pure golden sunshine energy charged in the palm of my hand and released.
All Grown Up Now…
But I will never forget those formative years. I never knew I was learning the difference between products and brands.
Twelve rules of thumb for businesses using Twitter. For beginners and experienced Twitter users alike.
Are you considering using Twitter to promote your business and communicate with customers and prospects? Whether you are a beginner or an experienced Twitter user, the following rules of thumb will help your business get the most out of Twitter.
1. Relax, my friend! It’s a cocktail party, not a sales presentation or board meeting.
2. Link your Twitter profile to your website or blog (and your website or blog should include easy links to the rest of your entire Internet presence.)
3. Have a to-the-point but interesting Twitter bio. Include your title and business name, but follow it up with something personal, distinctive or even wacky. You’re a human being, act like it.
This article describes how to leverage social media to supercharge your garage or yard sale and make a few hundred dollars in one day by selling things you do not want.
Do you have too much stuff in your house? Do you need a few hundred dollars to help lessen the blow of the economic recession?
Throw a garage or yard sale. Gather all the things you do not want or need, sort them into groups, put some thought into the prices for your things, and present them to your neighborhood for sale.
But how are you going to get people to come to your sale and BUY your things? How will you target the right people who want what you have?
How will you CRUSH IT and MAKE SURE your sale is worth your effort?
Use social media. If you build it, they will come is WRONG. Or at least incomplete. The quote should be, If you build it AND you market it, they will come.
My roommates and I threw a MASSIVE moving sale in Saint Paul, Minnesota USA this weekend. We got rid of all the things we did not want to keep as we all move on to our respective new homes. We made hundreds of dollars. And: WE HAD FUN!
(If you’re not having fun, what’s the point. Really. Everyone should know that by now. Come on.)
Here is how we made it happen.
1. Agree to the sale date, time, and mission. Our mission? In our case: to get rid of 90% of our material belongings so as to live a more Spartan – and hopefully more free – life.
2. Market the hell out of the sale, one week running up to the sale date:
- We posted an alluring and descriptive Craigslist ad. The ad included a Google map to the sale location, a laundry list of items to represent the diversity of our inventory, a few photos, and a dash of attitude (“MASSIVE moving sale” is better than “moving sale”).
- We posted the Craigslist ad to Facebook.
- We tweeted the Craigslist ad. (And again, later, with an intriguingly insane twist!)
3. Make sure your inventory matches the tone of the marketing campaign. (A “massive” moving sale had better have a lot of stuff in it, which it did in our case.)
4. Stay PRESENT during the sale. This means demonstrating a little respect for your customers. Greet them. Answer their questions before they can muster the courage to ask. Listen. Respond. SELL. MAKE FRIENDS!!!
5. Continue your marketing efforts DURING THE SALE. How? Just be awesome. Help carry larger items to your customers’ vehicles. Offer coffee to make customers feel more comfortable and at-home. Be fun. Be real. Word-of-mouth will do the rest. In our case, excellent customer service resulted in multiple compound sales referrals.
So, to recap:
How to throw a yard sale using social media? Plan what to sell; market like a hustler; be honest; execute well; and give customers something to rave about.