Tag Archives: Relationships

10 Tips to Address the Pint Consulting Phenomenon in the Digital Media Industry

Cup of Coffee
Pint Consulting: Coffee < Information

Let’s face it, Digital/Social Media Marketing is a HOT industry topic right  now. Facebook Founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, just made Time Magazine’s Cover Issue as Person of the Year for 2010. Everyone wants a piece of the information pie…..

CC Chapman’s ( speaker, author, digital marketer) 12/15/10 blog post :  “Nice Guys Get Paid Too” addresses the growing phenomenon of people seeking out industry knowledge holders to siphon off their expertise for free.  Whether it’s an individual, a company or a group seeking a keynote speaker, the trend seems to be that information is not a product to be purchased, but rather something to be shared and passed around freely.  Chapman notes that numerous conferences offer no remuneration for speaking services, nor travel expense reimbursement, claiming that the mere appearance of an audience should lead to increased business for said speaker.

Chapman mentions that often the individual or small group offer is to meet for a cup of coffee or for a beer at a local pub which he refers to as “Pint-Consulting”.  While many folks in the social/digital field are extremely giving of their time and knowledge, they simply can’t be a veritable public library for the removal of information on a 24/7 basis.

What I want to address here in this space are those individuals and small companies who are in the “Pint Consulting” camp and those individuals who are not even tuned in enough to be part of that group.  How many times have you been approached by someone who basically wants you to do a core-dump over the phone for them?

I believe in giving back to the community and count myself as one of the more generous souls out there (to the consternation of my financial advisor!), but even I have had to draw the line.  As CC states:

I make a living as a consultant, speaker and creator. In order to continue doing that, I must be paid for the services I offer.”

Here are some tips for parties on both sides of the coin:

Seeking a Knowledge Consultant:

  1. Be brief and to the point- explain what you are looking for.
  2. Offer how this might help the consultant.
  3. Treat them to lunch or dinner (come on, not coffee!) and allow for general overviews on your questions.
  4. Want deeper info? – Pay for an hour of their tim.e
  5. Need a speaker? Be up front about what you can offer: fee, gift certificate, notoriety…

Knowledge Consultant:

  1. Choose your speaking engagements wisely. A good friend and 5- figure speaker gave me some great tips years ago.  She chooses her engagements based on these factors:
    1. Fees- does it meet her requirements, including travel expenses?
    2. If not: – Will the audience be made up of potential clients?
    3. Is the conference notable?  Would it look good on your resume to have spoken here?
    4. Is the venue or city enticing?  Does it offer some other value to you?
  2. Don’t feel that you have to give away the farm.  Set a limit on the time or amount of information that you are willing to share.  I have met with quite a few people over coffee who took pages upon pages of copious notes on everything I said to them…..and never offered to pick up the tab for my single cup of java.
  3. Set a limit to your pro-bono efforts per month.
  4. Offer folks a chance to sign up to meet with you for a free consult.
  5. Choose a venue that is most convenient for you and set a time limit to your meeting.

I recall seeing one digital marketer solve this “Pint Consulting” situation by inviting individuals and companies to sign up for a couple of monthly slots on his web-site that involved taking him out to lunch for the chance to completely pick his brain for those 90 minutes.  This put a limit on his pro-bono, gave people a fair and equal chance to meet with him for the cost of a lunch and also gave him their coveted email addys so that he could continue to connect with them through his newsletter, etc.

Hopefully this post will raise awareness on both sides of the coin.

Knowledge is Power.

Knowledge has Value.

CC Chapman says it best:

“So, the next time you think about reaching out to someone to pick their brain or to give them exposure so your company/event/organization can make money, stop and realize that they need to make some as well.”

Would love to hear your thoughts…..


New Media Cincinnati: Where Everyone Knows Your Name

Imagine being at a point in time where a revolution is occurring around you. Perhaps you were an early entrant in the community; one of the early adopters of digital technology. Maybe you happened to work for a company or agency that had the proverbial crystal ball on the Web 2.0  Tsunami that was coming. Or maybe you were a person who heard the chatter and wanted to increase your knowledge for personal use.  Add in an evangelist with knowledge, passion and guts to dare differently who extended invitations to people from all points above to come together to share and to learn. Imagining that scenario would put you at ground zero of the digital community: New Media Cincinnati.

New Media Cincinnati

That evangelist would be Daniel Johnosn, Jr.. Every month for the past three years, Dan has organized and extended invitations to people all across Cincinnati from various walks of life to come share and learn with each other.  From these monthly meetings, great friendships have been born; clients and service providers have connected and companies incorporating digital/social media have been launched.

The best way to describe attending an NMC meeting is to conjure up the image of the ‘80s t.v. show Cheers. NMC at the Pub is the place to go because everyone knows your name (especially if they check the Eventbrite list for the Twitter handles and follow prior to coming!!). Seriously though, it is a place to come to be among friends.  There is no competition, no snarkiness, no prima donnas- just a place to share what you know and ask questions without feeling like you’re a misplaced Web 1.0 jockey.

Continue reading New Media Cincinnati: Where Everyone Knows Your Name

If Not Today, Then When? Passion & Career Co-existing

Burning Candle

Remember the dream you had long ago; the one that was set aside because life got in the way? Perhaps it has remained a spark burning within the deep recesses of your soul. Every once in a while you may capture a glimpse of it before the light returns to a flicker.  Why not expose that spark and fan it into reality? Why not put your feet onto the path that is your life purpose? If not today, then when?

News headlines blatantly tell us that tomorrow is not guaranteed.  There is only now, this very minute. What have you got to lose?

I attended the “Imagine…then do it!” event put on by my friend and business collaborator, Julie Shiffman of Act Three today.  Julie brought together nearly 250 women to hear the stories of successful women who followed their dreams and passions to make a difference in the world.  Listening to the amazing speakers:

  • Shevaun Voisin, publisher of the international business magazine, Motivated
  • Patty Brisben, CEO and Founder of Pure Romance & The Patty Brisben Foundation
  • Heather Ingle, Mother of 14 children, 11 adopted with special needs
  • Arna Poupko Fisher, Internationally noted lecturer and educator

I was struck by the singular voice that emanated from these women with diverse stories admonishing us to say YES to the opportunities that unfold along our path. Sometimes the tiny voice in our head becomes our worst opponent; the voice that says: ‘not now’, ‘too old’, ‘too young’ ‘too difficult’.

Continue reading If Not Today, Then When? Passion & Career Co-existing

Facebook Friend Pages Privacy Fail

Facebook Friend Pages
Facebook Friends Reveal ALL

Woke up this morning remembering a post that flew by my radar screen yesterday.  You know the ones, where something catches your eye, but you don’t have time to read it. You keep the tab open on your browser hoping to get back to it and then Mozilla crashes and you can’t do a restore and it becomes lost in the ever-flowing river of new content across your screen.

In this case I was hoping it was just a bad dream from the night before.  Googled the keywords ‘Facebook-New-Friends’ and discovered this lovely post from the Facebook Blog written yesterday (10/28/10):  Telling the Story of Friendships No dream but a potential real-life privacy nightmare!

Writer Wayne Kao states:

A few months ago, I began a small project to build a page devoted to friendships. A few interns and I started a prototype during an all-night hackathon, and then one of our designers jumped in. For all of us, it’s been a labor of love.

Basically Facebook has created a way for all of the interactions between ‘Friends’  including comments, pics, videos, events you have RSVP’d for, etc. to be depicted in one place.  Very similar to the Wall-to-Wall conversations that you could see between friends that you were also attached to.

So I see this as major voyeurism with huge stalker opps and a good reason why you should choose your Friends wisely.  I realize that we are all responsible for the content that we put out and that a basic assumption should be that absolutely nothing is private on the net, but there are still those moments when you are alone with your phone or pc screen and you forget that there is a whole big world out there watching you….

(And don’t even get me started on the teens & young adults who post like they’re in the lavatory….)

So take a look, check out the new Friends Pages and let me know what you think.

Facebook Groups: It’s the End of the World…

It’s the end of the world as we know it…….

Perhaps I’m being a bit melodramatic here, but I certainly feel a cosmic shift due to Mark Zuckerberg’s launch of the new Groups tool on Facebook. Membership in various Groups (all professional at this point) is thrusting my personal Facebook profile out on the world for all to see.

Because “Friends” can automatically add me to a group, due to their personal connection with my private profile, I am now visible to others in the group. Yes, I can remove myself from the group and receive this pop-up nasty-gram from Facebook that makes me think twice about hitting the ‘remove’ button. But these groups are extensions of organizations that I am a part of in RL and virtually on LinkedIn.


Leaving a Facebook Group


Why so paranoid? While I have many friends who claim they maintain a combo persona on social media sites (Personal/Professional) and spout rhetoric that this practice makes them completely authentic and transparent. I disagree.  These self-avowed combo profiles read more like professional profiles to me. Their personal comments, status updates and choice of links all scream professional and industry-related content.

My personal profile talks about real things in my life:

  • My family
  • My church/faith
  • My friends from 4th grade
  • High school antics
  • Correspondence with relatives that I never knew
  • Pictures of my children’s awards/first day of school/braces removal
  • My poetry
  • My short stories which can be shocking
  • My fail moments
  • and yes, some industry posts & links

I wouldn’t wish my personal profile on my worst enemy!  My friends, family, and close colleagues put up with me, or at least dial me down in the Facebook algorithm. Some of the stuff I say is what you would say to your best friend at a back-yard BBQ and NOT what you would necessarily say to the CEO of P&G at a business dinner. There is a DIFFERENCE!

And that, my dear Blog friends, is the critical disparity to which I will not acquiesce.  I want you to know about what’s going on in the realm of social media; how it’s revolutionizing the way we communicate and interact with each other and the repercussions that we will reap in the future.  I don’t think you give a flip that I’m a former PTO School Board Secretary and Girl Scout Leader and that my daughter scored a perfect 99th% on her high-school entrance exam.

So the cultural shift for me is that my Facebook personal profile which has been hidden from Search Engines and within the Facebook platform search (except for Facebook Friends) and even has the ‘Send Me A Message’ option disabled, is now being found by many ‘Friends of Friends’ within these Facebook Groups. And I now have the unenviable task of explaining why I won’t accept a Friend request.

If you want to connect with me on Facebook, I invite you to find me here on my FB Business Page or join me on LinkedIn; otherwise marry one of my many cousins and get an instant entrée into the personal side of my life.

It’s just business as usual…..

Creating International Connections

I love meeting new people and speaking to them in a deep and intentional way.  I tend to ask probing questions that go far beyond surface talk, because I truly am fascinated with people and want to know their inner core.  I want to know what they think, what they feel, and what their dreams are. I want to make a connection.

I recently met someone quite famous in a really weird, ‘no one would ever believe it’ kind of way.  The thing is I had no clue of who he was when we met.  As I spoke to him, I automatically began assessing his characteristics, qualities, etc. and I gave him my candid impression of his “personal brand”: rocker, writer, sensitive guy, yada, yada. These were all characteristics that he did not mention himself. Apparently, I was dead on because he was a little freaked by my description and asked if I knew who he was.  Considering that he was from another country, I was quite certain that we had never crossed paths in any way before and he certainly didn’t look the least bit familiar to me.

He told me that he was indeed a musician and a songwriter and gave me the name of his band and one of their biggest hits. I was so clueless that I had to ask which was the band name and which was the song.  Being the skeptic and ardent Googler that I am, I quickly did a search and came up with a very slick video on YouTube for the song in question. Yup, the guy I was talking to looked like the guy in the video sans dark black eyeliner and tight leather pants.  Still slightly skeptical, I half-joked that if he was a celebrity, he probably had a Twitter account.  I assumed he would tell me that he didn’t, instead he promptly gave it to me and suggested I send him a Tweet later.

We could have left it at that and gone our merry ways, but curiosity got me and I later found the Twitter account he mentioned and sent an @message to him. He immediately followed me and fired back with a response. Did some research and discovered that he was truly the lead singer and front man for the group that he mentioned. Apparently they were very hot in the 90’s, disbanded for a time and reunited in 2007.  They have released 4 albums; received two Juno nominations; and one of their albums has received platinum and gold awards.

Their music has been described as Industrial Alternative Rock which means, according to a musician friend of mine: “..a mix of techno and heavy metal. See Nine Inch Nails and/or Marilyn Manson.” They have a pretty keen social media thing going on: MySpace, Facebook Page, Twitter and a very cool engagement campaign on Indie GoGo where fans can contribute dollars to the band’s next EP release in exchange for a hierarchy of fan goodies (signed CDs, limited edition T-shirts, personal phone call, show tix, etc.).

My new Twitter friend comes across as being very intelligent and creative with a keen sense of what is important to him: entertaining audiences and sharing his creativity vs. a focus on purely making money.  He is sensitive and articulate and was a pleasure to bump into. Really glad I did.

And the mystery Tweeter is?

Meet Trevor Hurst of Econoline Crush

Be part of the action on their new EP

Listen on MySpace

Check out the EC vid below:

The Power of Influence: Fast Company’s Relationship Experiment

What does the term ‘influence’ mean to you? Thinking about this question due to a recent post on Facebook with a link to Fast Company’s new virtual experiment: The Influence Project. The premise is that each person who signs on to the project is given a profile page with a pic that will ostensibly grow larger (more on that in a bit) and space for a short 140 character bio. A personalized link is created for users to share and spread the word. The more people who click on your link and create their own link, the more juice is generated that enlarges your pic in the graph.

Here is Fast Company’s explanation of how this works:

“The scale of your influence, and therefore the size of your photo, is based on two measures.

  1. The number of people who directly click on your unique URL link. This is the primary measure of your influence, pure and simple.
  2. You will receive partial “credit” for subsequent clicks generated by those who register as a result of your URL.”

Read more here.

The question for me is, “Does this truly measure influence?” What exactly does ‘influence’ mean? A Fast Company Influence Project (FCIP) user can launch their personal link out to many social media outlets and depending on reach and virality and yes, notoriety, can watch their picture grow. Are they really exercising influence? Could they be accused of spamming?

The Dictionary definition of influence is:
“The capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others”

While I tend to think of influence as power to create (positive) change on a large scale, the act of getting another person to take action, in this case, clicking on a link, does fit the dictionary definition of influence. While this may be true, I tend to see the Influence Project more as Pavlovian operant conditioning and the need to satisfy the curiosity factor in all of us versus some true delineation of the power of influence that is wielded.

Here’s what Fast Company has to say about the power of influence:

“Influence is not only about having the most friends or followers. Real influence is about being able to affect the behavior of those you interact with, to get others in your social network to act on a suggestion or recommendation. When you post a link or recommend a site, how many people actually bother to check it out? And what’s the likelihood of those people then forwarding it on? How far does your influence spread?”

Leadership = Influence

I see a huge difference between influencing someone to click a link, whether the end result finds them here at my FCIP page or a link to a Mashable blog post vs. having them click a link that calls them to a greater action that makes an actual difference in the world or in the life of another person. Sounds like my view of influence borders on personal leadership.

It will be interesting to see pictorially just who has bought into the project on someone’s behalf. Everyone participating between 7/6 and 8/15 will have their image (at the appropriately influential size) displayed in the November issue of Fast Company magazine.

Want to help track the Cincinnati ‘influence’? Follow my link here, click and join up if you like!

Some other Cincinnati Social Media folks participating in the project include:

Dave Knox, Brand Manager, Global Branded Entertainment at P&G
Michael Rubin, Social Media Strategist for Fifth Third Bank

*Cross-posted here on Cincinnati Social Media Examiner