Yearly Archives: 2010

Dec 7, 2010

Smarter, Faster, Cheaper By David Siteman Garland – Book Review

We are living through the democratization of entrepreneurship. With free-to-inexpensive tools like Flip Cams, Viddler, YouTube, WordPress, Tumblr, Posterous, Foursquare, Twitter, and Facebook (whew!), both existing and budding entrepreneurs have an unprecedented opportunity to make a name for themselves, get attention for their company, and ultimately sell more stuff. But note this: the steps to take that will get you from relative unknown to seller of lots of stuff are many.

You cannot simply shout about your product from your marketing bullhorn. Your goal should be to let people get to know you, and the way to do that is to become a trusted resource. Who do people turn to when they want to know about [insert name of what you sell]?  If they turn to you for such help, they are way more likely to turn to you when it’s time to buy.

I’ve been friends with David Siteman Garland for a bit over a year now – light years in terms of social media! I’ve been attending his RISE lunches here in St. Louis for almost that long, and I’ve been a presenter at two of them. I’ve learned so much from his blog/TV show The Rise To The Top, including how to become a trusted resource. Honestly, this blog and my willingness to do speaking engagements were borne of advice David gave me. Most importantly, I’ve been inspired by him to break out of my comfort zone and try things (like video).

So it was with great pleasure that I received a very special package in the mail last week – David’s first book Smarter, Faster, Cheaper – Non-Boring Fluff Free Strategies For Marketing And Promoting Your Business (Amazon affiliate link). I was actually proud of David when I first ripped open the envelope – what a great feeling to beholding the debut book of a good friend. As I state in the video, David is probably the most famous person that I actually know, and selfishly, that’s pretty cool. I fully expect David to go Hollywood after this book blows up. But, until he starts driving Bentleys around and acting weird (his quote, not mine!), I’ll continue to consider him a friend. :-)

At 230 pages, the book is no lightweight. It contains 16 chapters of very compelling content. David uses real-life examples throughout the book to make the case that online content will generate the inbound leads your company needs to bring in new business (as opposed to cold-calling). He pulls examples from first-hand experience, as he’s interviewed hundreds of the brightest entrepreneurs and thought leaders in the world.

With a tinge of bias but a ton of truth, I can highly recommend this book. Real life examples, behind-the-scenes info on how David does what he does (he’s not secretive about what camera he uses, how he hosts video, etc), and a personal writing style that engages you make this a fantastic must-read. David, thank you for getting me an advance copy of Smarter, Faster, Cheaper. You have a great deal to be proud of, as this book is quite an accomplishment. I’m glad to know you as a friend.

Incidentally, in keeping with the spirit of Smarter, Faster, Cheaper, here’s a picture of the ultrasophisticated Flip camera mount that I used to record the video you see above.

Flip Cam Mount

That’s a roll of paper towels on top of two Frigidaire water filter boxes. :-) David has taught me well!

Dec 6, 2010

Bacon Salt Is In The Hizzy!

Bacon Salt at Rizzo Tees

Almost since the beginning of Rizzo Tees, I’ve been shipping a sample of Bacon Salt with every order. It has been a crispy partnership made in swine heaven. Fans of Rizzo Tees often tweet pictures of their tees with the little packet of Bacon Salt sitting on top of the shirt. And besides, the product comes in Peppered, Natural, Original, and Hickory flavors. Plus they have Baconnaise. Talk about mad scientists!

I reached out to Michael, J&D’s Operbacons Manager (yeah, that’s his title), and told him I was running short of samples. A HUMONGOUS box of Bacon Salt and Bacon Salt stickers showed up today.  Honestly, I was down to my final sample packet. This box is obnoxiously big.  I’m gonna need y’all to start ordering some more shirts!

Speaking of that, anyone that orders three or more shirts will get a sticker, until I run out. Then I’ll start giving away black Bacon Salt stickers. Warning – if the idea of snorting Bacon Salt through a little straw even seems remotely offensive to you, don’t go to that site I linked to above.

I want to thank the good people at J&D’s Foods for believing in my bacondentials (that’s a word I made up combining bacon and credentials). Viva la Tocino Revolucion!

Bacon Salt and Rizzo Tees

Bacon tees I have in stock:


Bacon – You Like This

BILF – Breakfast I’d Like to $%&@!

Dec 3, 2010

Rizzo Tees Talking Social Media At Webster University School Of Business – Video

Webster University

It was an honor to be invited to the George Herbert Walker School Of Business And Technology for the latest installment of their Walker Speaker Series. I participated in a panel discussion on “Bettering Your Business Using Social Media.”

I was joined on stage by fellow panelists Kathleen Manning of Monsanto, Amber Talbot of Scottrade, and Dave Collett of Weber Shandwick. Dr. Benjamin Akande, dean of the Business School, moderated our discussion. He started us off with some questions of his own, and then we took audience questions. Dr. Akande deftly moved us from one topic to the next, and I think the panel especially enjoyed engaging with the audience.

Thanks to Dr. Akande for moderating, Charla Lord for helping us out behind the scenes, and Patrick Powers for inviting me in the first place, and being an all around cool guy.

I did especially enjoy the Webster University blog post linked to above (and pictured above) that includes an autofeed of their latest tweet. That tweet was a retweet of my #FollowFriday tweet for Dr. Akande.  The irony is thick and heavy, no?

Thanks again to Webster University. Let’s do it again sometime!

A Flickr gallery of the event is here, a direct link to the recorded Ustream video is here, or watch below:

Bonus material:

Kanna Taylor’s blogpost on the event

Patrick Powers’ recap of the event

If the Ustream video feed above ever goes down, here’s the hour-long panel discussion on YouTube.

Benjamin Akande and Chris Reimer

Dr. Benjamin Akande and Chris Reimer

Nov 24, 2010

Gwen Works Her Face Off, Then Gets Fired – “The Pain Of It All” Video #3

As part of my ongoing “The Pain Of It All” video series, I interview Gwen about her job loss from a financial services firm. Yes, her name is just Gwen – like a Brazilian soccer player. No last name. :-)

Gwen’s story is unfortunately not atypical. She worked at a company where folks were losing their jobs all around her, even in the face of financial success. As more and more friends fell by the wayside, her workload drastically increased. Cliques developed. Anxiety and depression set in. Finally, she decided to talk to HR about her concerns, and she was almost immediately dismissed.

Several things made her story notable to me:

1. She demonstrated a strong work ethic. It’s always great to see young people working hard at their jobs, and caring. I was not working as hard at my job when I was her age.

2. As coworkers lost their jobs, she was handed their work. Her workload dramatically increased. I can’t imagine the stress of watching friends lose their jobs, while being handed an amount of work that could just not be completed.

3. Everyone’s worst nightmare happened to her – she decided to talk to management about her concerns, and her reward was a pink slip. And this was after receiving a positive review and a bonus just two weeks before her termination.

4. After getting fired, she doubted herself. When talking with me, she used the word “depression.” With no support from her former employer, and getting fired under extremely bizarre circumstances, how else could she be expected to feel? She did say that she had an immediate desire to go kick some ass – do something, achieve something. She had two job interviews that she felt she was highly qualified for, but didn’t get either job. She then wondered if she just needed to take a break and breathe a little bit. However, her impending marriage, bills, and other pressures of life wouldn’t allow her to remain unemployed for too long.

5. A happy ending – she starts a new job after the Thanksgiving holiday! I could tell she was quite excited. She’s filling in for a friend’s maternity leave, with the potential to stay longer term. The best part is that she wants full-time work, and the employer knows this. They have a great up-front understanding that should serve them both well.

Thanks again to Gwen for her candor. After 15 or so minutes working out some Skype audio issues, I think we had a great interview. If you want to find Gwen on the webernet, check her out here:

Twitter: @allthingsgwen
Facebook: Fit Friends

And a reminder: if you’re interested in being interviewed for this series, or know someone who might, have a look at my blog post here where I explain what I’m doing. I’d love to talk with you.

Nov 22, 2010

My Presentation At – A Nervous And Intimidated Rizzo Tees!

(no, that's not me on stage there)

At the invitation of my bestest buddy J-Will, aka @theobell, I spoke on Social Media at a tweetup for This wonderful music project, started by J-Will and @BigLos, allows local St. Louis rap talent – artists, producers, and DJs – to gather in one place to showcase their music. If you have something you want up on the site, send it in and watch this happen: <—– it has 700 tweets and almost 250 Facebook likes. Now that’s great exposure!

Thank you to @RossPR for the first video, and J-Will for the second one.

I have to say, I was nervous up there on stage.  A room full of artists, producers, DJs, and rap fans, all waiting to hear Potzee rap.  They weren’t there to hear me.  I think my nerves made their way into my performance.  I have no problem watching my RISE interview – I can watch it over and over, start to finish. On the flip side, I find it hard to watch this performance. I can’t sit all the way through it without hitting pause.  I just need to get more practice, and do a better job next time. And not drink 4 Guinness before I go on stage. :-)

Luckily a few people came up afterwards and said, “Great job,” “I’m in the same boat you were, trying to break out,” “Very inspirational…..” so all of that makes me feel a little better. Thanks again to J-Will and Los for the opportunity. I met so many great people that night. (S/O to @Entelleckt!)



Nov 19, 2010

Sesame Street Loves T-Shirts

And so do I!