Tag Archives: blogging


Nov 15, 2010

Speaking Engagement Tonight At The Gramophone – I’m Goin’ OFF!

Tonight I’ll be at the STLMixtapes.com tweetup at The Gramophone in St. Louis, MO. My friends J-Will (@theobell) and Los (@biglos) invited me to speak about social media with local DJs, artists, and producers as part of the kickoff of their new project, STLMixTapes. I’m really excited to make the case that using social media to take the general public into the world of a rapper, into the process of making an album and touring, will help them meet with even more success.

And I will argue that this is even more important for the up-and-coming rapper/DJ/producer. You might be able to get away with old-school marketing if you’re Nelly (because he’s already highly visible), but if you’re not as well known and you’re looking to bust out, you need to be letting the general public get close to you through social media.

And after I’m done talking (read: after I’m thrown off the stage), there will be live performances by Potzee, Gena, Tef Poe, Rockwell Knuckles, & M.C.

You can RSVP here, or just show up. See you there tonight!





Apr 19, 2010

My Night At The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

On Saturday, April 10, 2010, The St Louis Symphony Orchestra hosted St. Louis bloggers for “Bloggers Night 4.”  Eddie Silva and Dale Fisher of the SLSO invited my wife and I to join them for the evening, and here is my “pre-game show” video as we’re driving to Powell Symphony Hall (with cinematography by Wifey):

We heard a fine slate of music, including:

CHRISTOPHER ROUSE Rapture
PROKOFIEV Violin Concerto No. 2
SIBELIUS Symphony No. 7
JOHN ADAMS Doctor Atomic Symphony

I am a regular listener to KFUO here in St. Louis, and KDFC in San Francisco.  As a business blogger and Heavy User of Social Media, I took a view of the night from those perspectives.  Additionally, I enjoyed a very personal, quiet night out with my wife, which is worth more than anything.

We listened to a pre-concert talk with SLSO Music Director David Robertson.  While an esoteric discussion for a mere casual listener of classical music, hearing the passion in David’s voice conveyed everything I needed to hear.   He shared an amazing story about the Prokofiev piece to be played by violinist Gil Shaham.  It seems that he and Gil were to play this piece over 20 years ago in Israel but were unable to secure the proper musical score.  It was a thrill for them to finally play Prokofiev together.

SLSO President Fred Bronstein has been working to increase attendance and bolster the Symphony’s finances, and I started thinking about the SLSO’s “buyer personas” – who attends the Symphony, and why? Random thoughts:

  • The digital world: 300 cable channels, 24 hour news cycle, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, emails, texts…. if we’re not careful, our brains are going to turn to scrambled eggs.  I’m on Twitter and email 365 days a year. I was even checking my email while in Tuscany. Attending a symphony performance forces you to slow down, breathe, and listen.  Even during the most frenzied piece of classical music, sitting in Powell Symphony Hall by yourself or with a loved one is very soothing.  Amongst a crowd, you can be by yourself. We need more of this!
  • While it may seem like a waste of time to bring a child (“They’ll never enjoy it… they’ll get bored…”), just remember that they will get equally bored doing almost anything you do with them.  Here’s one major bonus the symphony offers: no beer-drinking crazy people behind you, cursing and yelling (I’m talking to you, Rams and Blues!).  You can barely take a child to a sporting event anymore without obnoxiously loud public address announcers, intoxicated people sitting around you, and enough foul language to make Notorious B.I.G. blush. Long story short – it can be a nice night out for your family. (Idea: a seating section for families, so moms and dads don’t have to feel self-conscious about keeping their kids whisper quiet and completely under control).
  • Most of all, Bloggers Night is a bloody brilliant marketing idea. Eddie and the SLSO are reaching out to a very passionate and sometimes influential group of people.  And we’re writing about the Symphony, we’re telling others we went, we’re proud that we were guests of Eddie, we’re providing inbound links to the SLSO website, and we’re likely to return.  Quite genius!

All in all, a very wonderful night, and I think the SLSO reaps benefits from the outreach, as well.  Thanks again to Dale and Eddie for the opportunity to attend. Cheers!

VERY RANDOM POSTSCRIPT: If we started the world over again, from the very beginning, do you think the tuba would have been invented?  In today’s world, I wonder what musical instruments we have yet to invent. (The sorts of things one thinks about while quietly sitting at the symphony!)

POSTSCRIPT PART DEUX: It seems like the most stressful part of being an orchestra member is having to turn the page of music while playing.  Orchestra members need giant-sized iPads that brilliantly display the musical score and automatically flip the page forward on-screen.  Computerize this!





Apr 15, 2010

My Presentation On Business Use Of Twitter, Facebook, and Blogging

See the #2 video  – it’s my presentation Building Communities and Spending Time on Twitter, Facebook, and Blogs – Why Bother?” as delivered at David Siteman Garland’s RISE Lunch.

In the video, I provide my reasons for using Twitter, Facebook, and Blogging for business.  Some of the effect (and humor) is lost without the Powerpoint that was displayed on the room’s flatscreens, but hopefully you get the idea!





Apr 6, 2010

Write a Blog to Enhance Your Personal Brand

A blog is a wonderful tool to help enhance your personal brand.  You may ask, “I have a job. (or ‘I’m a CEO’) Why would I ever care about my personal brand?”  The reasons are all about the Benjamins.

1. If you are an employee of an organization, your personal brand is like your 21st Century Web 2.0 résumé.  Frankly, if I were hiring someone today for Rizzo Tees, I’d check their Twitter feed, their Facebook profile, and their LinkedIn profile.  And then I would check for a blog – through their writings, I might be able to see what makes them tick.

2. If you are the owner of an organization, your personal brand will gain you clients.  It’s as simple as that. You are your company, and your company is you.  Customers want to know who they’re working with and who they’re buying from, and this is getting more and more important.  They are more apt to buy from you if they have a sense of who you are.

Below is a redacted version of an email exchange I had with a friend who owns a business.  He was considering writing a personal blog and separating it from his business.  His goal was to enhance his personal brand. The blog would have contained his personal insights on the field of business he was in, but would not have been directly tied to his company’s website. I argued that the two should be intertwined, because as an owner of a business, his personal brand and his business success are directly tied together.

The text of my response:

The most important distinction here is that you are the founder and CEO of an awesome startup company. Therefore, your company is much more closely tied to you, and you to the company, than if you were just an employee somewhere, for instance.  Employees have great reason to privately build and cultivate their own personal brands. An employee will need their personal brand to be strong (portfolio, blog posts, a good network of people) in order to score that next employment opportunity.

You, on the other hand, are different. You’re not going to be leaving your startup company – you are no longer a nomad – you’ll be at your company until its bought out – you’re going to build up your company to be 100+ talented people, scoring ever larger clients, until you are sitting in your plush offices, smoking your Cohibas.

Let your company itself be your personal branding powerhouse. When potential clients are thinking of hiring you, don’t make them traverse two different websites.  Put your best thoughts right there on your company’s site for potential clients to soak in.  I do see the value in cross promotion (he was going to promote the biz from his blog).  However, let others do that for you. That’s what we’re here for – your friends on Twitter and Facebook – you create a great message in the name of your business (and you), and let us carry it out to the masses.

Your personal brand is your business, because you founded it. I feel strongly that you should put 100% of your best marketing and social media nuggets on your company’s site, making it the strongest, most natural sales pitch it can be.

What do you guys think?  How important is personal branding?  Should CEOs, employees, and entrepreneurs all address this issue differently?





Mar 15, 2010

David Meerman Scott Talks The New Rules of Marketing and PR

Last year I read David Meerman Scott’s best-seller “The New Rules of Marketing and PR,” and I’ve recently purchased the second edition and plan on giving the book a second reading in the next few weeks.  The reason?  As I continue to operate the small business learning laboratory known as Rizzo Tees, I am finding more and more that Scott’s advice is dead-on. I’m not even executing on all of this advice yet, so a pox on me.

However, this blog was borne of his advice. In the video below, you’ll hear him talk of a dentist that started a blog and wrote an eBook, and she was able to generate a ton of online attention for herself…. and all for free.  No Yellow Page Ads anymore – it’s you, all you, writing your thoughts, spreading your word for free online, getting others to spread the word for you.  It’s losing control of your marketing, as Scott calls it.  It’s bloody brilliant.