A Puzzling Mystery Solved
In our last episode, we talked about how right before we went on hiatus from podcasting last year, the official Web.Search.Social puzzle was left in the hands of Alisa Meredith. So we called on Alisa to get back in the game and start recirculating the puzzle among listeners again.
And then we heard from Alisa.
Turns out, at the same time that she got the puzzle, she also adopted a stack of kittens. And it appears that in the game of Kittens vs.Puzzle, kittens win.
Alas, the puzzle is no more. But fear not, Carbon Nation, we’ll find another, and if all you can think is, “OMG, I want to be in on the game and do the puzzle too!” Then let us know and we’ll add your address to the recipient list!
Dumb Marketing Strikes Again
We’ve talked about “follow the leader” marketing before but since it’s not going away, today we bring up an email that I received recently where the subject line was “Please unsubscribe.”
We know this hustle. It’s the “I’m cleaning my list and if you’re not going to buy something from me then get off it” silliness. Which really boils down to the “I’m doing this because some other marketer told me this was a good way to jolt my list into action” folly.
Come on, people. If your only trick for getting people to act is to insult them, then maybe it’s time to stop marketing until you come up with something better.
First of all, I’ve been on this person’s list for a long time. I’ve read and shared her content. So to be told to “unsubscribe” only makes me say, “Ok. Bye.”
If you really can’t think of a better way to get someone’s attention then at a minimum segment your list so only people who haven’t opened, read, clicked or shared will get your dumb unsubscribe email.
Better yet, how about an authentic and human way of getting someone’s attention? How about reaching out and asking WHY someone hasn’t opened or read your emails. How about asking whether there is anything better you can do to help or inspire someone?
When we were sending out regular emails, we would often take time just to say “hi” to our readers. No marketing, no selling, no expectation. And when that happened, we got feedback from people we never heard from otherwise.
Imagine if we had asked them to unsubscribe.
Well, once we sort of did…
Actually, we wrote a tongue-in-cheek email playing off the whole unsubscribe thing. It was meant to be a joke, over the top, a goofy way to get a response.
Well, we got a response. We got unsubscribes in droves. Turns out that some people were not amused. Some were, and we got some great feedback and lots of folks enjoyed the joke. But some didn’t and boy were they mad.
Just goes to show that even with the best of intentions you can’t always figure how someone will react. So keep that in mind as you follow tired advice. Consider how your reader will perceive your words, whatever you say.
Working In Your Pajamas
I admit it. I love working in pajamas. Well, more like sweats, but I wear them from bed to work to the bank to the grocery store. I bet lots of work-at-home entrepreneurs and business owners do that, at least sometimes.
Turns out that may not be the best idea.
We got a comment from a listener recently who told us that when she gets dressed, even just to work from her kitchen table, she is much more productive. And it’s true. How you dress affects your mindset. If you’re in raggedy old sweats, nice and comfy on your couch, you’re probably in a pretty relaxed and comfy mindset. But put on a nicely ironed shirt and an actual pair of shoes and you’re dressed for “work.”
We’re not saying you need to get dressed in a suit and tie but if you want to be successful then you need to dress the part.
Figure out what works for you, then do that. And we bet it’s not sweats! For our listener, Sarah Dawn, wearing the knitwear that she designs is perfect.
When I taught kindergarten years ago, I used to wear clothes that had big giraffes up the leg, complete with matching earrings and accessories. For painting with kids, that was great. But when I transitioned into marketing, that wasn’t so great anymore.
As Sarah said, she’s a walking advertisement for her clothing. But even if you don’t design clothing, you’re still a walking advertisement – for yourself. You may run into clients or prospects. You may run into perfect strangers who present networking opportunities. And if you’re wearing your pajamas or sweats or pink fuzzy slippers, you’re probably not presenting yourself at your best and most professional.
My father is an accountant and the CFO of one of our businesses. During tax season, he made a lot of trips to the post office to mail tax returns. One of the people at the post office noticed, and asked him to be her accountant. He got a new client that he may not have gotten if he’d slouched his way into the post office wearing sloppy clothes.
So you never know.
And it’s true that people who run into you may understand that you’re just a busy person running errands and they’ll look past your fuzzy slippers. But probably not. Admit it – you make snap judgements. And so do other people. So give people every reason to make a positive judgement about you – one that accurately reflects the successful business person that you want to be.
On The Flip Side…
We actually lost a job once because we appeared too successful. We had pitched a prospect and were pretty sure we’d get the job. Except one day, he saw us pull up to his office driving a BMW. And he told us that we clearly didn’t need his money, so we didn’t get the job.
Like we said before, you just never know! You can’t always figure everything out. But you can do your best to be the best. And that’s all that really matters.
One of the side effects of working in pajamas and sweats is that I gain weight. If I don’t have to get dressed and go out and look professional, I tend to sit around the table eating cookies while I work, and before you know it, stuff stops fitting.
It really all goes back to taking care of yourself. When you get up and get dressed you’re demonstrating a certain level of self-care. You’re taking care of yourself physically, which helps you take care of yourself mentally.
Ralph says that he is in better shape when he makes it a point to get up in the morning and dress professionally. That makes it easier for him to draw delineations in his mind between work time and relaxing time and exercise time. So physically changing from one set of clothing to another helps him mentally shift gears, too.
Clothing As Networking
Here’s a tip someone shared with me once. The next time you’re waiting on line at Starbucks or the bank or wherever, instead of checking Facebook or your email, strike up a conversation with someone who is wearing a t-shirt or jacket with a company name or logo.
For example, if you see someone wearing a t-shirt with a painter’s logo, ask him whether he works for that company. If he says yes, explore the opportunity to network. If he says no, ask what he does and use that as an opportunity.
Try it, because if there’s one thing we’ve established today it’s that you just never know!