Posts Tagged ‘Brad Thor’

Tweet This!

May 1, 2013

At a recent speech, I was asked: “As a business person, a manager or supervisor within a company, do you really NEED Twitter?”  Of course not. Should you use it anyway?  I think so and here’s why:

Twitter and texting are preferable over e-mail or phone calls among recent college graduates and others in the “under 30” age group.  Companies are starting to post jobs via Twitter.  As more and more of these younger workers become your direct reports – and perhaps even your boss – being comfortable with their preferred medium is important.  Staying current with technology makes you seem younger and more critically,  relevant in our ever changing world.

120606094003-twitter-logo-change-story-topSo how do you “use Twitter” that isn’t a foolish waste of time for a busy professional?  

First, download the free app from your phone’s app store.  If you still are using a flip-phone or other “non-smart” phone, go back and read the sentence about staying current with technology.

I treat Twitter as the “crawl” on the bottom of the screen fox-news-logoof my favorite cable news channel.  Personally I “follow” a couple of general news sources, one local and one national.  Your favorite news television channels all have Twitter too; Fox News, CNN, NPR, ABC and all the rest.  Same for your local news channels.  Add one of those to stay on top of local news and events.

I live in West Seattle and the West Seattle Blog is the consummate source for everything happening in my neighborhood.  They post road closures due to both construction and accidents, crime, local events and even lost pets.  If you neighborhood or homeowners association has Twitter, you might want to add them to your list.

Next I’d add business publications.  Mine is the Wall Street Journal but also their All Things Digital.  I meant what I said about keeping current with technology.  I may not have use for it all right now, but I still want to know it exists and for what purpose.

Your industry may have a news source.  If they Tweet, you may find keeping up with the latest via these 140 character tidbits easier than the pile of trade journals on the corner of your desk.

alaska_logoDo you travel a lot either personally or on business?  Your favorite airline has Twitter.  So does the USA Today Travel section and many others.  Those can provide timely updates on airport delays as well as special deals.

Then, have some fun.  If that means following Kim Kardashian,Lit Lounge I won’t judge.  For me, it’s comedian Dennis Miller, OMG Facts, Snoqualmie Casino (their cigar Lit Lounge for my hubby), a local comedy club to see who is coming soon as well as a couple of other entertaining sources.

You can follow your favorite authors for updates on their newest books.  Brad Thor writes great thrillers and is a master at branding.  His “tweets” are as alarming in 140 characters as his books are in 300 pages!

If someone tweets more than you like or you don’t like the nature of their tweets, you can always delete them from who you “follow”.  By the same token, if you find your custom news feed (that’s what I use Twitter for) is missing something, ask yourself where you typically go to get that missing component and see if they have a Twitter account, then add it.

Once you have it all set up (less than 30 minutes) you can open the app anytime you have a few minutes and get caught up on the world and everything that’s important to you.  The 140 character limitations of Twitter give you just enough information without overloading you or taking too much time.

I check Twitter when I’m meeting someone and I arrive a few minutes ahead of them, when I’m waiting my turn in line for anything, when I’m having lunch alone – anytime I don’t have enough time to get into something more involved (like email or a book) but when I have a few minutes.

Then when your younger colleague apologizes for your wait you can just say “No worries, I was just checking Twitter”.  Sure, they may look at your graying temples or receeding hairline and be a little surprised but hey, you still have a few surprises left in you, don’t you? 

Creative Business

November 28, 2012

Many artists have not yet realized they are also a business.  If you are in a creative field and want to be more than a starving artist, its important to know how to woo and keep customers.

Every year the Women’s Board of the Arizona Kidney Foundation  hosts an Authors Luncheon.  A thousand women (my sister and I included) fill the ballroom at the Biltmore in Scottsdale.  Each of the invited authors has about 10 minutes to speak.  Both before and after the lunch, a bookstore is open to sell books and the authors are available to sign them.

Could you maximize the opportunity described if presented?  Would you be comfortable talking about what you do for 10 minutes?  Sharing what inspires you?  Amusing stories of your struggle?  Most artists not in one of the performing arts,  find these interactions challenging.

Just as you can perfect your craft, you can perfect your interpersonal skills too.  Enlist a friend or pay a  speaking coach to help you if needed.  Whether at a podium in a ballroom, a gallery during a showing or at a dinner party- sharing these tidbits is the secret to wooing customers.

Most of us would love to be able do to what you do but God gave us all different talents.  Let us peak behind the curtain of your world and we will enthusiastically sing your praises. In the business world that’s word of mouth advertising and nothing is more powerful.

That is true whether the word is positive or negative.  Three years ago, one of my favorite authors was featured at the charity luncheon. I was so excited!  While getting my armful of books signed as holiday gifts for family and friends I gushed that I really loved his work and  looked forward to each new adventure.

His response?  “What do you want written in these?”. No acknowledgement of my comments and a “didn’t want to be bothered” tone. I was so disillusioned and, while I still read his work, I wait for paperbacks rather than buying hard covers as soon as they come out.  I don’t give his books as gifts and don’t recommend his books to friends who ask what I’m reading.  It also makes me a little sad each time.
Contrast that with Brad Thor at this year’s event.  I gushed, talked too fast,too much and generally made a fool of myself.  His response? He listened, laughed, talked, posed for a picture with me and most important – he thanked me!  How many people do you think saw the picture and heard the story?  Friends have been texting, emailing and posting that they picked up a copy of his new book, Black List and are loving it!

Authors, painters – artists of all types,  practice simply make eye contact, smiling and saying “thank you” when we compliment your work. Once you master that, feel free to add “People like you make it possible for me to do what I love.” Acknowledging the valuable role your customer plays is a sure way to earn their loyalty and their referrals which will allow you to  do what you love for many years to come.

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