SOBCon09 Session 2, With Copyblogger Brian Clark #SOBCon

( — I’m at SOBCon09 in Chicago with @lizstrauss and @starbucker. I’m taking notes as people talk, so there will be typos; deal with it. Now up is @copyblogger Brian Clark, who invariably rocks my socks. I am also tweeting throughout sessions, so make sure you follow me so you don’t miss anything.

You’re not a blogger, you’re an entrepreneur. You’re not creating content; you’re creating an online asset. Positioning is really the most important part of your strategy, especially if you’re trying to get someone to pay you for information. Positioning can also contribute to partnerships and lead to new positioning strategies.

Power Positioning: From Personal Branding to Online Assets

People live and die for stories. if you want people to talk about you, to get the word out, that’s how you need to think about it.

Positioning = unique selling proposition. Unique in a way that no one can copy. Being the purple cow. Having a winning difference. It’s not enough to differentiate you from the competition if no one’s talking about you. (<rant>I am so tired of hearing about Gary Vaynerchuk. Good for him, but come on, talk about something else, people. </rant>)

How are you going to create a positioning strategy if you don’t know who that audience is? Who are you going to attract? Outside of Twitter, it’s good to have a business matter.

Positioning via persona or personal branding

The goal is to be literally remarkable — worthy of being remarked upon. One way is positioning by persona. That doesn’t work for everyone, but the people who love you love you intensely. When you position with persona, your audience will buy anything you sell because they want to identify with you. Extremes are remarkable, criticism is personal, and cashing out is different. As Terry says, the No. 1 thing is to be nice. But no one talks about nice people, and that’s just a sad fact. It doesn’t have to be the foul-mouthed marketing type, but you have to be willing to go to extremes. The biggest reason Brian doesnt’ do this positioning: he likes to sell stuff after he’s built it.

Personal branding happens naturally. Often it’s better if you create something else that focuses on THEM so they get to respect and like YOU. It’s more important to build an independent brand than to build a lukewarm personal brand that does nothing for you or lacks direction.

Google will love you if people love you first.

Positioning via crossroads or intersection

Julien mentioned something about creative intersections. it’s when you take two seemingly unrelated things and you connect the dots for people. Copyblogger is an example, because it’s a blog about blogging but it’s specifically a blog about blogging as copywriting, the intersection of copywriting and content. Be careful to amplify, not constrain when you position via crossroads. And make sure people get it; don’t assume they get it. He cites Medici Effect: What Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach Us About Innovation.

Positioning via metaphor

Metaphorical positioning is the most powerful, and it is the most fertile ground when you’re dealing with information. It’s a means to create an instant identification with someone to communicate the value of what you’re offering in such a way that the audience gets it right away. But it’s sometimes tough to come up with a really solid metaphor. Make sure you don’t get a bad one that works against you. Visit the bookstore and look at titles for examples.

What is your story?

What are you uniquely going to do in the world? It’s not about what other people are doing; that’s just to give you an idea of where to start.

Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King


SOBCon09 Session 1, With Chris Brogan and Julien Smith #SOBCon

( — I’m at SOBCon09 in Chicago with @lizstrauss and @starbucker. I’m taking notes as people talk, so there will be typos; deal with it. Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan) shaved his head and it’s throwing me off majorly. Looks good, but very different. Julien Smith (@julien) is his same adorable self.

Why is it that some people are successful on the web and some are not? Why do some feel like they’re just turning their wheels, and others feel like they’re doing very little work. Here are…


1. Make your own game. Stop playing by other people’s rules.

Many try to at first, but stop. Perez Hilton has more traffic than Time Magazine, and he’s a doughy gay man who usually has pink hair. He’s slaughtering mainstream media because he’s not playing by their rules. It’s far more profitable because you make yourself an immediate leader of your category. Example: Tim Ferris (the 4-Hour Work Week guy) is a “lifestyle designer.” Be constantly inventing your own space. If you don’t invent your own space, you’re automatically playing by someone else’s rules. What you need to be is the damn best small biz marketing consultant in the whole wide world (Becky McCray), the absolute anti-brand (Jeff Livingston), etc. Do all these different things that make you the person who owns your game. It’s about standing out. Stop trying to be someone else because they’re already taken. Just be yourself.

(Slide changes. Julien: “This is just a dog with a shotgun.” Everyone laughs. I nearly spit yogurt on my computer.)

If you like one thing and you like a second thing, find the intersection between the two things. There is a system to everything. Discover it and profit.

(Julien decides to take off his coat. Chris announces wardrobe changes throughout the presentation and says he will later take off his pants. Catcalls abound.)

2. Be one of us. Membership has its privileges.

Outsiders do not influence insiders. Trust agents are embedded inside of communities they care about. Influencers convince themselves, too. Insiders forgive each other more and forgive each other faster. Julien says he has an internal process that tells him that when he is in a group with other people, he helps those people. It’s about belonging. Those who belong are powerful. THose who don’t are not.

Oh my God, Chris Brogan is beatboxing.

3. The web is the ultimate leverage engine; use it or be used.

Banners were first. E-commerce had mixed successes. We use the web for leverage: blogging, twitter, relationships for a cause. Smart companies aggregate; smart people also aggregate. Less work = more time. Put it on paper. The web is so powerful because you can do it once and have it work over and over again. It works for a sales pitch, any page you write, everything you do online. We’ll be speaking this weekend, but if we don’t write it down and put it on the web, we’re wasting our time.

Video of Free Hugs campaign with music by Sick Puppies.

Video from Where the Hell is Matt of him dancing his stupid dance all around the world. “Nobody was in the dancing stupidly with millions of other people all over the world game. Turns out, there was a job opening! Who knew?”

Principle: Never do work twice. Never begin from nothing.

4. Agent zero. The web is a network; the network is all powerful.

Be the center of the network. Certain companies — the smart ones — only have groups of 150 people or less because after 150 people, you stop caring. The web is a powerful network. if you want to be successful on the internet, be like the web. Be part of a lot of 150s. LinkedIn sucks, but the principle is amazing; it does not facilitate good network behaviors because it only give you two groups (industry and location) and no way to demonstrate affinity. It’s a starting point to understand that there’s a pile of people out there.

Be helpful. Be humble. Share. No one likes people who talk about themselves, but everyone likes people who talk about them. When you talk about them, you learn a lot. When you talk about yourself, you learn nothing.

5. Be a human artist.

Some people need to work on their social skills. Don’t be “that guy.” It’s really about empathy, thinking about more than just how YOU can benefit. Think constantly about how other people feel, whether they’re comfortable, how you can help them. Reciprocity. It’s about understanding. Marketing to people you don’t even know: “It’s like I’m reaching out to shake your hand and you stick your tongue in my mouth.” Know when to be visible and when to ghost. Good leverage is building great karma. Bad leverage is pyramid schemes. Reputation comes from empowering others, not just being amazing — you build a reputation by being amazing at empowering others.

6. Build an army; use the power of many.

Empower other people, go from craft to craftsperson to cottage to factory. It’s amazing how little an individual needs to do so long as a group does it. Example is Digg, Reddit; voting up is such a tiny thing, but on a massive scale it creates incredible acts. Finding out how to leverage it is key. It’s about mass. But then the transition from factory to cafe, it’s about mass customization. We can do small things better.

The people who are successful on the web, trust agents, are successful at one or two of theses things. You don’t need to be good at everything, just a few. As long as you can do that, you’ve got something great that you can feel great about, support your family with, all kinds of different stuff.

Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King

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Recommended Reading on Copyright, Trademarks, and Permissions

( — A couple of months ago I came across an awesome book on copyright, trademarks, permissions, and more for folks in the entertainment and media production industries, and it’s been in my “to blog” file ever since.

permission seekers guideThe Permission Seeker’s Guide Through the Legal Jungle: Clearing Copyrights, Trademarks and Other Rights for Entertainment and Media Productions
by Joy Butler

Here’s what Amazon has to say:

No media producer wants to be sued! – – Clearing rights means keeping your media production free of any material likely to spark legal action. The Permission Seeker’s Guide Through the Legal Jungle contains information useful to anyone who produces, acquires, distributes, or otherwise works with media productions. That includes authors, publishers, visual artists, musicians, tv producers, filmmakers, website owners, and software developers. Readers will find detailed guidance for seeking permission and clearing rights to use quotes, music, artwork, names, film clips, and many other protected materials. The book lays out copyright, trademark, privacy, defamation, and other laws relevant to clearing rights; offers money-saving and risk-minimizing techniques for licensing rights; and includes over fifty pages of resources and sample forms.

I spoke with author Joy Butler at an event with the Women’s National Book Association, and found her to be an outstanding resource. This book is a must-have for anyone seeking advice on how to use other people’s work without breaking the law.

Pick it up at Amazon for more than $6 off the cover price.

Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King


Are You Using Social Media Yet???

Social Media Success Summit 2009( — By now you’ve heard the buzz about Social Media Success Summit 2009. And if you haven’t, you’ve probably been living under a social media-free rock the last few weeks. :)

Before I tell you how this online event will speed your path to social media marketing success, let me share a story with you.


A few months ago, Michael Stelzner (the guy who wrote the book on white papers) surveyed about 900 social media marketers and wrote a report on how they use sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  Only three days after releasing his report, Social Media Marketing Industry Report: How Marketers Are Using Social Media to Grow Their Businesses, more than 15,000 people read it and hundreds posted comments.

Within two weeks, nearly 30,000 people had read his report, more than 100 media outlets and bloggers wrote about it (including me!), and it was reposted on Twitter more than 1500 times!  He also was offered $30,000 to do some work directly resulting from the buzz around his report.

Almost overnight, he was being called a social media expert (a term he denies) and popular podcasters were trying to book airtime with him.

This all took place via social media.  He simply leveraged the power of sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to deliver the kind of results that would have cost him a fortune in the past.  This didn’t cost him a dime, just his time.

Now the connection…  The future of marketing is all about social media because it bypasses the middleman and allows you to rapidly connect with your clients and prospects!  AND this presents an enormous opportunity for you.
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Recommended Reading for Writers: Linkety-Link List — Friday, April 17

( — Phew, it’s Friday. Are you done for the week, or will this be a working weekend? Here are some great reads to pass the time if you’re out of things to do today. (Ha!)

Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King


Recommended Reading for Writers: Linkety-Link List — Thursday, April 16

( — It’s almost the end of the week. How is your freelancing going? What do you need to finish by the end of the day tomorrow? And will any of these articles help?

Contents Copyright © 2006-2014 Kristen King