I’m a believer. Doesn’t anybody believe me?

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Believe

This about sums up the inklings I’ve been feeling since joining the proverbial “other side.” That being, no longer a semi-known blogger or journalist. Just somebody trying to spread the word. Check that: Just somebody trying to intrude and nag someone to listen to me.

Ugh.

The last three months I’ve been working with folks who literally give me epiphone-like experiences. With Tonya Martin and her wellness studio, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve finished a pilates class, sat up and said, “Damn I feel great. People need to feel this. They need to know about this woman.”

And with Justin Catanoso and his new book, “My Cousin the Saint,” I was so moved by the first few pages that I found myself praying, on the spot one early Sunday morning, to his cousin Saint Gaetano Catanoso. Just a few pages of that helped me through a little slump in faith I’ve been feeling the past few weeks.

Of them, I’m a believer.

And since I’ve taken on the task of trying to share it, I’ve been writing to bloggers with similar interests, trying to share those moments with them. Yet something happens when you go from “fan” to “flack.” Suddenly, that damn marketese language take over. I find myself trying to convince them. And the fear of sounding insincere takes over.

Damn.

As I researched and approached bloggers, I was suddenly aware just how far on the proverbial “other side” I was standing. I was now asking bloggers to take a look. And when I didn’t immediately hear anything back, I took it personally. Re-reading the emails, I wondered what I did wrong. Was it too wordy, too sappy, too marketese? Am I liar?

No. I’m impatient.

Great insight arrived this morning, with one of my favorite cuss words in the title, “PR Secrets, Bullshit,” via Loïc Le Meur. The post hit more than a few nerves. Thank you Tara Hunt for pointing me to it.

Inspired and informed to keep trying. Here’s one of my favorites.

Not a secret #6
Do not see bloggers and journalists as target either, they will ignore you

Make sure that the PR team DOES NOT RESEARCH individual preferences for contact before they reach out, they will tell you what everybody knows about them and you will contact them in the most boring way possible. Take bloggers. Everybody tries to pitch Scoble and Arrington. They are tired of the same formatted boring pitches that come to them exactly the same. They are my friends and if I had tried to pitch them like hell they would have never have. Relationships with journalists and bloggers are the same as real life. They take years. Approaching them artificially with a strong sales pitch is the best way to make sure these relationships will never happen.

One note: I do want to say thanks to the Catholic Guy Show. They may self-deprecate about the small readership of their blog, but it’s endearing, and they keep pursuing, giving commentary about the Sirius radio show they love. And when I approached them about Justin’s book, they were open to giving and recieving. And that’s the kind of community I want to live in, and pursue.

A new world

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“In the old world, you were defined by what you consumed*. In the new world, you are defined by what you create.” Christopher Carfi, The Social Customer Manifesto.

Maybe that could help explain the lack of posts and communication. And thank you Darcie for the comment. In the last few weeks, I’ve been helping a few friends create things to spread the word about their creations, and doing a little bit of creating myself.

    Blog coaching Justin Catanoso for the promotion of his new book, “My Cousin the Saint.”
    Recording four new songs of my own to flesh out “Girl with Slingshot” album. These are not quite ready yet, but I’m feeling really good about the work so far.
    Developing more content for Tonya Martin and her pilates blog.
    Recording the music for Bloody Blackbeard.
    Exploring some freelance work with David McLean at the local ad agency King’s English (more to come on that)
    And moving again. For reasons beyond explaining in the blog here, I’m moving again. This time, to somewhere a little closer to downtown, with a pool (!) and an exercise room, and a balcony, and just a short walk away from Sean’s house.
    A little Dotmatrix Project producing. This post is one of the best descriptions I’ve seen Sean write yet–and likely, he’ll up this one in a few weeks, too.

Fitness goals: Part II

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Tonya and I are meeting today to discuss her online community marketing plan. Here are a few things we’ll talk about to help her grow her downtown pilates business in Greensboro.

Create a “Get Fit Pilates” blog. Tonya likes to write. And she has niche topic: Pilates, and, she’s trained in a muscle recovery technique for athletes called Muscle Activation Technique.

Post her schedule online. I have a friend who is interested in taking Tonya’s pilates class, but I don’t know where to find her schedule. She has paper brochures, but I lose them all the time. So we’ll create a page on her blog that’s dedicated to posting her class schedule.

Start a flickr account. A friend and a talented photographer has agreed to shoot some pictures of Tonya, and her studio. When I recently did a flickr search on pilates, there were very few good pictures. Some looked more like people doing yoga poses, or random shots of people in flexible poses, saying it was pilates. We could build Tonya’s online presence by starting a flickr account for her studio. There, we’ll post pictures of all kinds of women and body types doing the poses correctly. Then, in the comments section, we’ll explain the benefit behind the pose. We’ll tag each post with search terms, and her studio’s business location. We’ll use these photos for blog fodder throughout the year.

Create “reminder” emails and texts. One of the biggest obstacles to attending an exercise class is mustering up the motivation that you’ll feel better when you’re done. Email reminders, texts, and other messages strategically timed could do wonders for improving her client’s rate of consistent attendance.

To be continued …