Finding Courage to Live a Life of Joy

Ga-ga, Oooh, La-La! (Mama Monster Marketing Genius)

Posted by on Jul 7, 2011 | 194 comments

Lady Gaga Marketing Case Study

Things have changed!

[easyazon-image-link asin=”B004K4AUZW” alt=”Born This Way (Special Edition)” src=”” align=”right” width=”160″ height=”160″]My post earlier this week contends that Lady Gaga is a genius of the new paradigm of marketing by giving people “something to talk about.”

Let’s look at a brief case study of the release of her latest album, Born This Way. (If you haven’t read the previous post, I recommend that first).

1. A “WTF?!?” Moment – The Egg

Grammy’s – Feb, 2011 – Lady Gaga startles the music elite by showing up in a translucent “egg.”  Her team reports that she is “in incubation.”  (Notice: everyone asks, WTF?!?  Def something to “talk about”)

She performs the hit single “[easyazon-link asin=”B0051QIH3A”]Born This Way[/easyazon-link].”

2. Love to Hate–Release of “Judas”

Fast forward to later that spring. She releases another single, “[easyazon-link asin=”B0051QIHB2″]Judas[/easyazon-link].” The lyrics are provocative with all sorts of Christian overtones referencing a weird love triangle between the singer who’s “still in love with Judas, Baby…” and a Christ figure.

This definitely gives people something to form (strong) opinions about. People are talking everywhere, posting official videos (which are even more provocative) with their own commentary for or against.

3. “Too Good to Be True” offer – Album Release

The album is released and screams to the top of the charts because Amazon sells it for $.99!

Gaga created a frenzy of anticipation giving the public what they wanted (banal, humorous and shocking). Then she surprises everyone with a “too good to be true” offer.

This flies around cyberspace and millions of people who never would have engaged with Gaga’s brand or music (the author included) figured “what the heck” and plunked down their $1.

Of course, this was a huge sales feat, but look at the other consequences…the press and public was “simmering” about Lady Gaga and this album for nearly 4 months before it showed up (February-May).  Brilliant!

What about your marketing plan? Do you incorporate “WTF?” attention-getters with an opportunity for the public to laud (or b*tch about) your product? And last of all, do you make them all happy with a “Too Good to Be True” offer?

Would love to hear your experiences, thoughts and comments.  Please share this post on Twitter and Facebook….it’s really easy using the buttons and tweet box below.  Thanks!

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“Let’s Give ‘Em Somethin’ to Talk About!”

Posted by on Jul 5, 2011 | 506 comments

“Let’s Give ‘Em Somethin’ to Talk About!”

When I was in college this song was a popular.

It’s a lot of fun, but this post isn’t about country music…or giving the gossips something to talk about!

Brand Building–Make ’em Talk!

When it comes to building your brand–your presence in the world–you gotta give ’em somethin’ to talk about!

Most of us figure want our potential clients to talk about what we want them to talk about and in the way in which we want them to talk about it.

It doesn’t work that way anymore, Honey!

If you want people talking, you gotta give them something that they want to talk about.

Tips to Get ’em Talkin’

1. Be Creative!

This is a MUST! You gotta figure out something interesting, unusual or exciting to give people to talk about (hello…celebrity sex tape anyone?!?).  You don’t have to create your own, but you have to give them something they’re gonna gossip about at the proverbial water cooler (ie, Twitter and Facebook)!

My friend, Ash from The Middle Finger Project, calls this the “Creative Hustle.”

2. What Would You Want to Talk About?

Ask yourself what you would want to talk about (you as a person–not as a brand, not as a marketer). Honestly, most people don’t care about your brand or your product. They probably don’t even know much about you. They’re thinking about what is in their own interests.

3. You Gotta Make Them Care!

It’s the old maxim: WIIFM? (What’s in it for me)

As marketers we like to sell benefits and talk about features and we couch it in the interests of the client. A more powerful method of marketing is giving them something to talk about that feeds into the client’s wants.

What do all clients (or potential clients) want?

  • To ease their stress and pain.
  • To maximize their pleasure (i.e., entertainment).

So as marketers, we must ask ourselves, what do people take pleasure in and how does that overlap with our product and brand identity?

4. You Gotta Think Differently

Normally, the above question would be answered by listing the benefits to the client and then identifying the features of our product/brand that provide these benefits.

That’s not good enough anymore!

The paradigm has shifted.

You have to change your perspective with the paradigm shift. People get pleasure from and communicate different things through Social Media. They share on Facebook and Twitter.

Unlike old methods of marketing, the new methods are free if you give them something worth sharing. That’s where the shift has occurred.

Before, when we marketed, we were paying large sums of money to buy advertising, etc., so we would lead off with the most powerful benefits to the client. We wanted to communicate our message in the most concise and powerful way.

That’s not the way Social Media works. Social media is about building a relationship of trust through sharing. People share the banal, the humorous, and the shocking.

Here’s another powerful tidbit: People often share a point of view with which they disagree. Give them something to disagree with, and you will get them talking.

You not only have to catch their attention, you have to help people create an opinion or point of view about something.

Final Thought

This post is long, but I want to share a final thought for you to consider.

You Can’t Control How They Talk (so don’t stress it)

If you are lucky, your efforts will go viral. You can’t control it, so don’t try. Pop superstar, Lady Gaga is a genius of this kind of marketing. She recently released her album, [easyazon-link asin=”B0051QO4QY”]Born This Way[/easyazon-link].

She released one single at a time, each designed to get  people talking for months in anticipation of her album release. Later this week, I’ll discuss some of the methods she used in a brief case study.

[easyazon-image-link asin=”B002CO3ZT0″ alt=”Duck Brand Corrugate Shipping Boxes, 12″ x 12″ x 10″, Brown, 6 Pack (1150674)” src=”” align=”right” width=”160″ height=”151″]Meanwhile, you have to acknowledge that the method and manner of marketing has shifted. Are you stuck in the same old ruts?  Are you still trying to make traditional mindsets and methods “fit” on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace? It won’t work.

You can’t just think outside the box anymore. You have to throw away the box and make another one, and then jump outside of it as quickly as it is built. Otherwise, there’s nothing worth talking about!

Please share this post on Twitter and Facebook…it’s easy with the buttons and tweet box below. Thanks!

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#Trust30 Is Complete

Posted by on Jul 1, 2011 | 353 comments

True North – A New E-book From The Spark Blog

Over the last month, I’ve been participating in the #Trust30 challenge from Project Domino.

[easyazon-image-link asin=”1936719061″ alt=”Self-Reliance” src=”” align=”right” width=”113″ height=”160″]This was a 30-day journey into Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self-Reliance, which Project Domino recently published as an update.  Each day, a challenge was issued based on quotes from Emerson’s work.  You can check out the posts from each day here.

As I was writing these posts on following intuition, I had the opportunity to explore my own relationship with my intuition. It was an invaluable experience.  So, I wanted to compile my thoughts from the 30 days of #Trust30 and present them in a free e-book.

I will be working on True North: Heeding the Call of Intuition. This e-book will be a 30-day guide to help you connect to, hear and follow your own intuition.  I will use the posts I’ve published here as an outline and framework for this book but will expand my thoughts a little more than is possible in a blogging format.

I hope to have it all done and available before the end of July, so keep your eyes open for this great new resource that I hope will be a help to you.

Looking Ahead

Going forward, I plan to post twice a week (Tuesday and Thursday) at the Spark Book Blog.  If you haven’t done so, you can sign up for weekly updates to your e-mail box by dropping your address in the subscription form in the sidebar.

For the last month, I’ve posted every day and they have all been posts about some aspect of intuition.  In the future, I plan to write about business, communication, relationships and of course, personal development. So this blog will have a bit more variety.

I also plan to do book reviews and recommendations when I come across a resource that I feel will be really helpful to you.  As we go, please give me your input on what you want to see here. What types of content will help you most? What are the obstacles you face in your life, relationships or business?  I’ll address those too.

I’m excited about the future and I’m SO thankful that you’ve joined me on this journey.

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Back to the Future Text Message

Posted by on Jun 30, 2011 | 196 comments

Day 30: The End of the Beginning

Day 30 of the #Trust30 Project

#Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge from The Domino Project that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. It’s an opportunity to reflect on your now and create direction for your future.

Tweet From the Future

Inspirational Prompt:

pic of Emerson

Speak what you think now in hard words, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said today. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Imagine your future self, ie, you 10 years from now. If he/she were to send you a tweet or text message, 1) what would it say and 2) how would that transform your life or change something you’re doing, thinking, believing or saying today?

(Author: Tia Singh)

Tweet or Text From the Future Me

My Response:

  1. @stevenerice – Look at u now! Do u see how worth it facing ur fears was? U wish you’d dreamed bigger. U can’t go back. Do it now! #welldone
  2. Even my “big” dreams aren’t big enough…even they become limitations. I dreamed a “big” dream of writing a book and I became an “author”.

What if I had dreamed of starting a media/communications empire?

What about you? Which of your “big” dreams has become a limitation–a bigger box that you now have to work to think outside of?

Instead, dream your dreams, then imagine blow out the sides of that box with your imagination.

If you want to be a nurse and help people, imagine starting a multinational nursing organization that brings together the best minds in nursing and helps them collaborate and innovate.

[easyazon-image-link asin=”1432748297″ alt=”Why Are All the Good Teachers Crazy?” src=”” align=”right” width=”107″ height=”160″]If you dream of being a teacher and inspiring your students to achieve more, imagine teaching thousands through online tutoring or programs.

What couldn’t you accomplish if you blew the sides of the box in which you have now placed yourself? What couldn’t you achieve if you dared to dream!?!  Do that!

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Fear: The Man Behind the Curtain

Posted by on Jun 29, 2011 | 598 comments

Uncovering the Root of Fear

Day 29 of the #Trust30 Project

#Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge from The Domino Project that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. It’s an opportunity to reflect on your now and create direction for your future.

Where Peace Comes From

Inspirational Prompt:

pic of Emerson

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Write down a major life goal you have yet to achieve or even begin to take action on. For each goal, write down three uncertainties (read: fears) you have relating to each goal. Break it down further, and write down three reasons for each uncertainty. When you have three reasons for your fear, you’ll be able to start processing the change because you know where the fear stems from. Now you’ll be able to make a smaller changes that push you towards your larger goal. So begins the process of “trusting yourself.”

(Author: Sean Ogle)

Pulling Back the Curtain on Fear

My Response:

Many times we focus on our fears, but don’t spend much time thinking about what’s behind them.  We’re like the characters on the Wizard of Oz. We see the scary and terrible Wizard, but fail to pull back the curtain to reveal the man behind it who’s pulling the levers that flash the lights and blow the smoke.

Why pull back the “curtain”?

Identifying and acknowledging what is behind our fears empowers us.

Often, when we know what is driving our fears, we find that it is illogical and sometimes even ridiculous emotion. Once we uncover the “man” behind the curtain, then we can deal with him effectively and decisively.

On the other hand when we continuously focus on our fears, they tend to become bigger and more “real” in our mind’s perspective. We lend to them credit that they do not merit. We give them power that they do not deserve.

Whipping back the curtain to expose the foundation of our fears removes their potency.

What about you? What are your fears? What are the thoughts and feelings you hold concerning them?  What beliefs and emotions can you replace them with which will ameliorate your fears?

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Living, Fully Alive!

Posted by on Jun 28, 2011 | 0 comments

A Life Lived, Fully Alive

Day 28 of the #Trust30 Project

#Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge from The Domino Project that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. It’s an opportunity to reflect on your now and create direction for your future.

The Power of “Aliveness”

Inspirational Prompt:

pic of Emerson

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. If we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

When did you feel most alive recently? Where were you? What did you smell? What sights and sounds did you experience? Capture that moment on paper and recall that feeling. Then, when it’s time to create something, read your own words to reclaim a sense of being to motivate you to complete a task at hand.

(Author: Sam Davidson)

The Power of Living, Fully Alive

My Response:

What do you imagine I mean by living, fully alive?

Energetic, enthusiastic, passionate, intentional, conscious.

All of these adjectives may (or may not) describe a man or woman “fully alive”.

To me living, fully alive, describes the portal or the doorway to powerful and conscious existence. It is easy to go through life unconscious, programmed by habits and patterns that we have adopted from the input of others or that we have adopted through mindless repetition.

1. Slow Down

Living fully alive means slowing down when everything around us urges us to speed up.  When deadlines call, when phones are ringing, when IM notifications are popping up, when text messages are darting back and forth, we are called to slow down. Maybe even to stop.

It seems counter-intuitive, but that is why it is so essential and powerful.

2. Quiet Down

Living fully alive means quieting down. Silence the chatter of your life–mental, emotional and physical–in order to make space for silence.

Be still to allow silence to exist. Sit still in the presence of silence until you become fast friends. Never let Stillness go.

3. Watch

Observe what is happening around you. When was the last time you stopped to notice something? Anything? I thought so.

Stop and watch.

Notice that the pizza guy pulled up in a BMW.  Notice that an hour later another pizza guy pulled up in an Audi. (This happened this weekend at my apartment community).

Notice the wasp humming around the porch or patio. Don’t move. Just be still. Notice that too!

Notice the baby ducks on the small pond following their mother’s example, dipping their beaks into the water chasing bugs.

The world is FULL of amazing things to watch. Observe them. This is not inconsequential. The world changes you when you engage it by observation.

More importantly, you change the world when you stop to watch!


What about you?  When was the last time you were “fully alive”?  What keeps you from living more routinely this way? What value do you experience from living this way? What can you do to create more “aliveness” in your experience?

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The Man I’d NEVER Want to Be

Posted by on Jun 27, 2011 | 337 comments

Who I Won’t Be In 5 Years

Day 27 of the #Trust30 Project

#Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge from The Domino Project that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. It’s an opportunity to reflect on your now and create direction for your future.

The “Genuine, Lower Strain” Life

Inspirational Prompt:

pic of Emerson

I do not wish to expiate, but to live. My life is for itself and not for a spectacle. I much prefer that it should be of a lower strain, so it be genuine and equal, than that it should be glittering and unsteady. I wish it to be sound and sweet, and not to need diet and bleeding. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Think about the type of person you’d NEVER want to be 5 years from now. Write out your own personal recipe to prevent this from happening and commit to following it. “Thought is the seed of action.”

(Author: Harley Schreiber)

Who I Was NOT Born To Be

My Response:

It is difficult to imagine the man I want to be in five years.  Sometimes fear, or even lack of imagination, hold me back from considering the type of person I want to become and what I want to achieve.

Considering the man I do not want to become is more challenging, not for fear that I will become it but because once I have put my energy and focus on what I do not want, the desire to keep it from happening can work like a magnet that draws it to me.

However, if I were to look ahead to what I would regret, one thing sticks out in my mind. I would really be disappointed if I found that in five years, I had settled for mediocrity.

Mediocrity is defined differently for different people, but the idea of settling for less than what I know I was meant to do would be disappointing to me.

What about you? What do you hope for your future? What do you hope will not be included in your “five year from now” self?


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