99 Ways To Be An Intrepid Marketer [2011 Edition]

I started my company, and write this blog, to help business people become intrepid marketers.

But what does an intrepid marketer actually look like? Here are 99 suggested ways:

  1. Intrepid marketers take decisive action.
  2. They are bold.
  3. They are fearless.
  4. They do not fear making important decisions.
  5. They create a serious marketing plan…
  6. …but aren’t afraid to make mid-course corrections on their plan.
  7. They read voraciously.
  8. They have a blog.
  9. Their web presence engages. It is NOT static.
  10. They embrace the social web.
  11. The celebrate transparency.
  12. They give back to their community.
  13. They serve others…
  14. …and they even serve their competition.
  15. They don’t hide behind traditional media.
  16. They teach.
  17. They tell stories.
  18. They listen.
  19. They embrace new technology…
  20. …but only new technology that advances their goals.
  21. They don’t tear down others…
  22. …but they learn lessons from the mistakes of others.
  23. They love joint venturing.
  24. They love collaborating.
  25. They love learning. And never stop learning.
  26. They engage with others…
  27. …even with people they disagree with.
  28. They focus only on the customer experience.
  29. They recognize that every employee is in the marketing department. From the CEO to the cleaning crew.
  30. They see every conceivable customer interaction as something that can and should be continuously improved.
  31. They know you can’t automate human interaction.
  32. They worry about communicating well.
  33. They welcome customer feedback…
  34. …especially negative customer feedback. It helps them improve.
  35. They thoughtfully comment on the blogs of others.
  36. They share. Freely.
  37. They only upsell if they are truly benefiting the customer.
  38. They ask a lot of questions…
  39. …but only to really hear and learn from the answers.
  40. They don’t gloat or show-off.
  41. They believe in quality over quantity.
  42. They admire courage.
  43. They know that marketing is a two-way conversation, not a one-way push.
  44. They sense that interruption marketing is evil, and should be mercilessly destroyed.
  45. They don’t compete on price…
  46. …and they won’t. Ever.
  47. They have no fear walking away from prospects who aren’t the right fit.
  48. They love what they do.
  49. They don’t “work.”
  50. They don’t take credit. For anything.
  51. They demonstrate value. With ease.
  52. They know you earn your brand. Not hire a consultant to “create” your brand.
  53. They test and measure. Everything.
  54. They are always improving. Everything.
  55. They understand the power of video, even if the medium isn’t right for them.
  56. They understand the power of podcasts, even if the medium isn’t right for them.
  57. They love networking…
  58. …by which I mean they love learning how to help others.
  59. The relish the chance to connect people.
  60. They know what they don’t know.
  61. They understand the power of images.
  62. They respect differing opinions.
  63. They push themselves, even when there are obstacles.
  64. They aren’t afraid of improvisation.
  65. They know there is no such thing as an overnight success.
  66. When they identify a problem, they fix it. They don’t wait and let it fester.
  67. They don’t spam.
  68. They are creative.
  69. They have patience…
  70. …but they don’t sit around and wait.
  71. They respect the A-listers…
  72. …but they help and push the little guys.
  73. They are innovative…
  74. …and actually know what innovation really means.
  75. They don’t have too many products or services. They focus only on what they do very well.
  76. They are continually trying to improve themselves in every way. Personal development never ends.
  77. They are good problem solvers.
  78. They are NOT afraid to adapt to an ever-changing environment.
  79. They don’t multi-task. They focus.
  80. They are in the moment.
  81. They are deep thinkers. And they make time to do serious thinking.
  82. They sweat the small stuff.
  83. …but spend time focusing on the big stuff.
  84. They know how to apply the 80/20 principle to their situation.
  85. They honor and celebrate referral partners.
  86. They are not conformists.
  87. They aren’t afraid of sharing what they know. They aren’t held back by this notion of “people need to pay me for my knowledge…”
  88. …but they charge a premium for their services.
  89. They embrace relationships.
  90. They live by “serving first, selling second.”
  91. They don’t “sell,” but rather, they co-create solutions by engaging in creative sessions with their prospects.
  92. They don’t have time management problems, because they are always focused on the important stuff.
  93. They have balance, and enjoy things outside of business that drive them.
  94. There is nothing fake about them. They are real. And authentic.
  95. They apologize when they need to. And work hard to fix the problem.
  96. And they are honest. Always.
  97. They love generating content. And know that meaningful content matters to the market.
  98. They have a keen understanding of business acumen, and know how their work moves the revenue needle.
  99. They embrace and welcome failure.

What would you add to this list?

[Note: I published my original list last year. And as time passes, the world changes. And this list will evolve with it.]

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[cartoons by hugh macleod]

j j j

My New Intrepid Mailing List

Hey everyone, just wanted to update you on a small project of mine. I have decided to experiment with a new e-mail newsletter, one that I will send out weekly.

[you can join my intrepid mailing list here]

A few years ago, I engaged in email marketing when I distributed my old e-newsletter, intrepidus, which was hosted on Constant Contact. This e-zine included a few educational articles, book reviews, and frequent specials and discounts for some of my services.

I don’t plan on doing that here. You already get enough of those newsletters…

My simple goal here is to provide you with one small thing to think about…something to take action on.

As you know, the purpose of this blog (and my business) is to make people intrepid marketers, and to help people live an intrepid life.

So, my plan for this mailing list? One email a week (at most, probably less) with one thought on how to be an intrepid marketer, or how to live an intrepid life.

I just want to share one idea that I’ve been thinking about. Maybe it will stir something in your mind. Or motivate you in some way.

I promise the email will take you thirty seconds (or less) to read. I hope it stirs some thinking and/or some creative juices. If it does, would love you to share with others. If it doesn’t, please unsubscribe (you won’t hurt my feelings).

And as always, send me feedback here. Let me know what you think.

[again, you can join my intrepid mailing list here]

Thanks! And here’s to living intrepid!

j j j

My Intrepid Facebook Experiment, And 10 Hopeful Lessons Learned?

I have long resisted launching a Facebook fan page for Intrepid. The main reason? I just didn’t want to overextend myself and take on too many activities. It is enough to manage this blog…

But that said, I don’t think I am taking full advantage of the Facebook platform, and figured it was time to dive in and explore some possibilities. Couple that with my new MacBook (and built-in webcam) and I had my idea. So here is the new page and lessons (below) I hope to learn:

As I say in the intro video on the fan page, this will be very much an experiment. What do I hope to learn through this?

1. Will people be interested in seeing short videos, and responding to them in some way?

2. This will be a community specific to Facebook. The videos that I make there will ONLY be shown on that platform, and not shared on this blog, or on Twitter. Will this increase the value of the content?

3. Will there be some natural organic growth? I am not going to spend my days spamming and respamming people to join the fan page. I am hoping that if people find value here, they will share it with friends…

4. Will this actually foster some real dialog? This won’t be any fun if all that happens is me posting short videos from time to time…

5. I hope to encourage others to add their own thoughts on being intrepid marketers, and living an intrepid life. But will people actually add their own unique content?

6. Will this activity increase business opportunities? For me, and for those who engage here?

7. Will the activity here inspire new business ideas, or at least inspire new content to write about?

8. How much activity on the page will be the right amount? I don’t have time to post something every day, but hope to find the right amount of content that is informative and helpful to the community, but not too much…or too little.

9. Over time, will people be more interested in the business conversation? Or the dialog about living a more intrepid life?

10. I am curious if having a more active and engaging presence on Facebook brings in some new traffic to the blog itself…

Stay tuned, for I will keep you posted on how all this unfolds. And if you have any ideas/suggestions on ways you’ve learned to increase engagement on Facebook fan pages, please share!

j j j

Be Intrepid…And Deliver Happiness!

I was thrilled to receive my two advance copies of Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness today! As you may know, Tony is the CEO of Zappos.com! They are the model for how you can build a business around superior customer service.

I cannot wait to read the book, so be on the lookout for the post with my book review over the next several weeks.

It should come as no surprise, but Tony and crew delivered two copies of the book. Not one, but two. With these instructions: “Ideally, we’d like you to use the extra book we are giving you as a giveaway to readers of your blog.”

OK, done!

HOW TO GET YOUR COPY: So, here is what we are going to do. In the comments below, in 140 characters or less, how do YOU define what an “intrepid marketer” is?

[If you need and idea of what I am talking about, here are 99 ways to be an intrepid marketer]

I will give this contest a week, after which I will reward the person with the best definition their own advanced copy of the book.

Please note: this contest is totally subjective, and I can most certainly be influenced by the amount of RTs and Facebook shares you are responsible for… ;-)

You can pre-order a copy of the book here:

And you can get more details about the book RIGHT HERE!

j j j

Live Intrepid | Change Your Interior Dialog

Here at Intrepid, we are about living an intrepid life. The video below features Roz Savage, who was just like us, living a normal life. But as she describes in this video, she changed her “interior dialog” – and opted to live a life of adventure, and to fight for causes important to her.

So, here are your intrepid takeaways:

1. Change your “interior dialog” – and anything will be possible.
2. You will persevere through any challenge.
3. Free will is the greatest gift – USE IT! Choose to do big things!
4. Decide today to change your life story. It can begin…right now.
5. What do you want your obituary to say? And set out to live that life.

j j j

Solid As A…Static Rock?

Usually, something that is solid, that doesn’t move, that is unchanging, immobile, etc…is something we rely on, something that can be counted on, something that seems like a steady foundation. Almost comforting, if you will.

But not in the modern world of marketing. When it comes to your web presence, you don’t want to be described as unchanging or immobile. Your web presence needs to be…ENGAGING.

That’s what intrepid marketers do. [More text below video]

[In the video below, I discuss the value of an engaging web presence:]
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek9hJljaWQ0]

Here are a few tactical ideas you can use to provide an engaging web presence:

1. Incorporate a blog into your site.
2. Allow comments on your blog.
3. Respond and engage people when they comment.
4. Provide forums to facilitate conversation.
5. Invite guest contributors.
6. Connect people to your social web tools, like Twitter.
7. Utilize surveys tools.
8. Solicit questions from your audience…
9. …and be sure to answer them!
10. Make it easy to share your content.
11. Invite people to join your e-newsletter.
12. Use an Instant Messenger plug in to invite conversation. Hold regular hours.
13. Provide content with various mediums, such as video and audio.

The items listed above are not new. They are not rocket science. In fact, I suppose when you reviewed the list, you probably said something along the lines of “no kidding.”

Yet I continue to be amazed how many entrepreneurs have chosen not to incorporate these simple tactical options into their web presence.

But that said, it is what you do with these ideas that matter. Here are a few reasons why having an engaging presence matters:

1. Strengthens your brand.
2. Allows relationships to develop. This is where the sales come from.
3. Simplifies process of testing – and getting feedback on – new ideas.
4. Does a better job educating people about you and your business.
5. Makes it easier to teach and help and serve others.
6. Allows for better story telling.
7. Not to mention provides fresh and unique content – updated regularly – that keeps people coming back for more.
8. Oh, and added Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strength.

At the end of the day, it is the safe and easy path to build a static website – one that is solid, reliable, and unchanging. But dare I say it is lazy? And boring? Static sites just don’t cut it any more in this fast-paced, conversational, and engaging world we now live in.

What do you think?

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j j j

Spinning Yarns The E Way

cartoon by @gapingvoid

cartoon by @gapingvoid

In my examination of what makes for intrepid marketers, it is clear to me that they are simply master storytellers. They can take complex issues, and make them simple. They can take ordinary people, and make them legends. They can take boring things, and make them scintillating.

In other words, they are master storytellers. They talk about things that matter. They keep you riveted. They make you believe. They are master marketers. They are intrepid marketers.

There are many tools at their disposal. But what most intrepid marketers utilize in their quest to do something remarkable, is a blog. It is amazing to me how many individuals and small business people still do not blog. But the list of people who are achieving big things and living big dreams because of their blog is a steadily growing list.

But just why is that happening to that select and intrepid group? Here are a few reasons…

The free form of a blog is liberating, and conducive to storytelling. There are relatively few constraints on a blog, and spirited, creative thinkers thrive in this medium.

But ordinary people can make something happen too. I mean, look at me for chrissakes…

Blogs facilitate conversation. And as any intrepid marketer knows, this is what the new marketing is all about.

Blogs don’t care if some new idea you are trying out tanks, big time. You can always write new content the next day.

Blogs demand that you be different, edgy, living on the edge, pushing the envelope. That nice tri-fold brochure you have? That is so yesterday…

Blogs just seem to work better when you are being yourself. Be yourself, yes, but speak your damn mind. Be honest. Be transparent.

So, if you currently aren’t blogging, get out there and do it. Try it. Experiment. It can be free. And the lessons you learn, and the experiences you achieve, will be worth the effort. Two key thoughts:

Blogs require a sustained effort over time. Blogging takes a while. Don’t retire after ten posts. It works, but slowly…

Blogs work best when you use them to spin electronic yarns. About whatever the heck you are passionate about. I mean, I really can’t think of a better medium to facilitate good story telling. Use them!

What do you think?

[Read my list of 99 ways to be an Intrepid marketer.]
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j j j

Your Marketing Rituals

2547423465_f1db2aefc9_bI was reading Leo Babauta’s e-book about focus recently, and he was talking about the importance of rituals. He says it is easy to get distracted in this modern age, but when you engage in rituals, you are more likely to be focused and in the moment. He writes:

A ritual is a set of actions you repeat habitually — you might have a pre-bed ritual or a religious ritual or a just-started-up-my-computer ritual. One of the powerful things about rituals is that we often give them a special importance: they can be almost spiritual (and sometimes actually spiritual, depending on the ritual). And when they become special, we are more mindful of them — we don’t just rush through them mindlessly.

And I thought, I bet intrepid marketers have marketing rituals. So let’s examine this idea…

If intrepid marketers (CLICK HERE to learn what an intrepid marketer is) engage in rituals, based on Leo’s writing above, we should assume they are focused. On this point, I don’t think there is any argument. The question then becomes, what are they focused on? And thus, what part of their marketing process is cemented into daily ritual…

Are you focused on the customer? It is my opinion that each business needs to be more customer-focused, and thus, we need to devote more time – each day – to thinking about every customer interaction. We often overlook even the little ways our customers interface with our business.

What to do? Setting a ritual where you review these interactions – on a regular basis – is vital to success of your business. How about creating a series of questions you ask yourself – maybe at the end of each day – that help keep you focused and review how each customer interacted with your business, and how you can improve those. Include everything, from products, to voice mail, to your invoicing process.

Are you creatively focused? If being creative is an important part of your work, and it is for most of us, then ritual is probably a very critical element in your creative process. What does it take to get you in the creative mood? Do you need to remove all distractions, such as email? Twitter? Phones? Do you need to use a specific creative space, such as your studio, coffee shop, or the conference room?

What to do? Figure out what you need and then execute on the ritual so you can deliver your best creative work. And don’t let ANYTHING disrupt the ritual process.

Are you focused on process? Or results? These are two very different things, process and results. How you might ritualize to focus on these two would be different in my opinion.

What to do? First of all, do you have your process committed to paper? Can you measure the results of each step in the process? A regular examination of this process, and ritualizing to determine what is working and what can be improved might be a good thing to always be getting better at what you do.

As for results, well, isn’t this what we are after? Most people are more worried about the process than the results, and that’s why they have NO cash flow. It might be helpful to set a weekly ritual where you focus on thinking through all you are doing to be sure they are leading to actual positive results for your business…

Are you focused on conversation with your marketplace? Is interacting on the social web important to you and your business? Well, then you need a ritual. And I am not talking about getting on Twitter and just doing whatever for several hours.

What to do? What is your goal on the social web? If it is to identify and make relationships with new prospects, then create a ritual where you listen for keywords that are of interest to you, and begin a conversation. Then share information with that new contact. This three-step ritual might work for you. Here is what I do to help bring some sense of ritual to one element of my social web activity.

See, I am thinking most small business people don’t have marketing rituals. We are all too busy trying to manage the mundane and time consuming tasks of running our shop day-to-day. But, if Leo is right and rituals are a set of actions you repeat habitually, then we all need to formulate some new rituals. Life is too hectic, and we probably don’t have the discipline to focus our minds – on a regular basis – on the important things related to our business.

What do you think? What are your rituals? What works for you?

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j j j

Holy Crap! It Is Almost Christmas…

cartoon by @gapingvoid

cartoon by @gapingvoid

OK, so maybe it is not almost Christmas, but when in the hell did March suddenly pop up right around the corner?

It made me quickly realize I am a wee bit behind with some of my goals, projects, marathon training, etc. But the sudden and brutal realization about where we are on the calendar made me step back for a few minutes, take a snapshot of where things are, and reassess where to go next. It was a good wake-up call.

And actually, that’s a good thing.

Although apparently it was two months ago, it feels like only yesterday that I published this post, where I laid out my 2010 goals. I have made some progress on these, keyword on “some.”

But as I was doing this, I was thinking about this tendency we all have to only check progress at very well-defined points in time – the top of the hour, the close of each week, the end of each month.

Why do we do this? Why do we only make resolutions around January 1st? Sure, there is a sense of order around doing these tasks on well-defined points in time. But why do we do that to ourselves?

This recalls one of my favorite quotes, “Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.”  [from the film Vanilla Sky.]

This quote speaks to me. It is profound in that it reminds me that you can make, affect, enforce, and do change – whenever you want to. You don’t have to wait for society-selected times.

As for my 2010 goals, I am not panicked. Yet. I am making progress, and new ideas and new projects have presented themselves since I wrote my goals post. I am not making excuses, I am stating fact. Life happens. Which is all the more reason to keep focused on your goals. And at any given moment, use the inspiration to make the adjustments/changes you need to get back on track.

Sure, the advice we receive to write down goals, and check on their progress at regular intervals is good advice. But you will get distracted. You will get off track. Just don’t decide to wait until March 1st to figure out how to get back on track. DECIDE and take action now.

Be Intrepid. When you want to make change happen, do it.

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j j j

99 Ways To Be An Intrepid Marketer

Intrepid-Logo-1So, what exactly is an intrepid marketer? And why have I built a business – and started this blog – around the idea of making people intrepid marketers?

The definition of intrepid from the Wiktionary is fearless, bold, and brave. It’s etymology is the Latin intrepidus, meaning “not nervous.” Here is a more detailed explanation for why I named the company HERE.

Fear is something that always holds us back. Fear of being rejected, so you never submit that project on time. Fear of never achieving a goal, so you never set out to do it. Fear of taking that leap to do something you love and are passionate about, so you stay in a job you hate. Fear of being truly innovative and taking your small business in an exciting new direction, so you just do the same old tired things…

I want to make intrepid marketers out of all of us. So, here is a partial list of attributes that make people intrepid marketers:

  1. Intrepid marketers take decisive action.
  2. They are bold.
  3. They are fearless.
  4. They do not fear making important decisions.
  5. They create a serious marketing plan…
  6. …but aren’t afraid to make mid-course corrections on their plan.
  7. They read voraciously.
  8. They have a blog.
  9. Their web presence engages. It is NOT static.
  10. They embrace the social web.
  11. The celebrate transparency.
  12. They give back to their community.
  13. They serve others…
  14. …and they even serve their competition.
  15. They don’t hide behind traditional media.
  16. They teach.
  17. They tell stories.
  18. They listen.
  19. They embrace new technology…
  20. …but only new technology that advances their goals.
  21. They don’t tear down others…
  22. …but they learn lessons from the mistakes of others.
  23. They love joint venturing.
  24. They love collaborating.
  25. They love learning. And never stop learning.
  26. They engage with others…
  27. …even with people they disagree with.
  28. They focus only on the customer experience.
  29. They recognize that every employee is in the marketing department. From the CEO to the cleaning crew.
  30. They see every conceivable customer interaction as something that can and should be continuously improved.
  31. They see that automation is a bad word, most of the time.
  32. They worry about communicating well.
  33. They welcome customer feedback…
  34. …especially negative customer feedback. It helps them improve.
  35. They thoughtfully comment on the blogs of others.
  36. They share. Freely.
  37. They only upsell if they are truly benefiting the customer.
  38. They ask a lot of questions…
  39. …but only to really hear and learn from the answers.
  40. They don’t gloat or show-off.
  41. They believe in quality over quantity.
  42. They admire courage.
  43. They know that marketing is a two-way conversation, not a one-way push.
  44. They sense that interruption marketing is evil, and should be mercilessly destroyed.
  45. They don’t compete on price…
  46. …and they won’t. Ever.
  47. They have no fear walking away from prospects who aren’t the right fit.
  48. They love what they do.
  49. They are minimalist marketers.
  50. They don’t “work.”
  51. They don’t take credit. For anything.
  52. They demonstrate value. With ease.
  53. They know you earn your brand. Not hire a consultant to “create” your brand.
  54. They test and measure. Everything.
  55. They are always improving. Everything.
  56. They understand the power of video, even if the medium isn’t right for them.
  57. They understand the power of podcasts, even if the medium isn’t right for them.
  58. They love networking…
  59. …by which I mean they love learning how to help others.
  60. The relish the chance to connect people.
  61. They know what they don’t know.
  62. They are trust agents.
  63. 2210598414_19ec1f32be_oThey understand the power of images.
  64. They respect differing opinions.
  65. They push themselves, even when there are obstacles.
  66. They aren’t afraid of improvisation.
  67. They know there is no such thing as an overnight success.
  68. When they identify a problem, they fix it. They don’t wait and let it fester.
  69. They don’t spam.
  70. They hustle.
  71. They are creative.
  72. They have patience…
  73. …but they don’t sit around and wait.
  74. They respect the A-listers…
  75. …but they help and push the little guys.
  76. They are innovative…
  77. …and actually know what innovation really means.
  78. They don’t have too many products or services. They focus only on what they do very well.
  79. They are continually trying to improve themselves in every way. Personal development never ends.
  80. They are good problem solvers.
  81. They are NOT afraid to adapt to an ever-changing environment.
  82. They see themselves as artists.
  83. They don’t multi-task. They focus.
  84. They are in the moment.
  85. They are deep thinkers. And they make time to do serious thinking.
  86. They sweat the small stuff.
  87. But spend time focusing on the big stuff.
  88. They know how to apply the 80/20 principle to their situation.
  89. They honor and celebrate referral partners.
  90. They are not conformists.
  91. They aren’t afraid of sharing what they know. They aren’t held back by this notion of “people need to pay me for my knowledge…”
  92. …but they charge a premium for their services.
  93. They embrace relationships.
  94. They live by “serving first, selling second.”
  95. They don’t have time management problems, because they are always focused on the important stuff.
  96. They have balance, and enjoy things outside of business that drive them.
  97. There is nothing fake about them. They are real.
  98. They apologize when they need to. And work hard to fix the problem.
  99. And they are honest. Always.

OK. So what else am I missing? Remember, this is a partial list. And it is always changing. What do you think?

[photo by ~jjjohn~]

j j j