Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

Obama’s T Shirt Success and Web 2.0

Friday, November 7th, 2008

Now the election is finally over, a few things are worth noting. I was particularly impressed with how the Obama campaign used printed t shirts along with their use of Web 2.0 in their campaign. It’s no secret the Dems have used social media very effectively in the last two presidential elections with a high degree of success. Howard Dean used it to mobilize his grass roots campaign four years ago and Obama absolutely killed it this time around. When combined with a targeted age group (young first time voters) it was a most effective one-two punch.

Not only did they raise almost $200 Million in donations through websites and blogs, they were equally effective using t shirts as premium items when soliciting $12 - $20 donations.  I traveled around the country quite a bit in the last three months and Obama shirts were noticeable everywhere I went. I don’t know how many shirts they printed, but I do know that a lot of printers took part by printing the official Obama logo and there were tons of other “unofficial” shirts printed as well.

The Obama campaign also took advantage of designer created images ala Threadless.com and Shirt.woot.com. This was especially effective as the images were created by peers in those demographic groups. A perfect match for a perfect delivery.

For the last two days I’ve been listening to the talking heads analyzing the Obama campaign. Everyone, including the Right, has been pretty much in awe of how effective and error free their campaign was. I’ve yet to hear anyone mention the role the “Media of Personal Expression” played. The shirts looked great and they acted as a conversation starter and as a viral word-of-mouth  vehicle. I would love to know exactly how many shirts were printed, but I would bet it was well over a million.Share/Save/Bookmark

How’s the Economy Treating You?

Friday, October 24th, 2008

The last couple of weeks have been pretty scary. Between the ongoing political campaign and the financial markets, very unsettled. People are distracted. I see it in my employees as well as my customers. When I talk to my clients I hear one of two things. The first is that business is way off and it doesn’t look good for the future. I get this alot from the contractors and builders as well as the bankers. Imagine that! The second is, “We are slammed.”

Why is there such a polar difference? On the one hand, you’ve got people who are waiting for something to happen. These are the same people who will always find someone to blame for their current less than optimal situation. If you fall into this category, you can’t blame luck, the stars, the economy, or anything else. You are essentially saying your future is predetermined by your circumstance. In good times, you do well. In bad times, you don’t. You can hope all you want for the good times to come back, but there is no guarantee when that will be. Can you afford to hold out for however long for them to get better?

The second group are the ones that stand up and take responsibility for their direction. They’re the ones who make it happen. History shows the economy is cyclical. There will always be ups and downs. They’ve figured out that it’s their responsibility to even out those cycles, or at the very least eliminate the downside.

The things they do and the plans they make are entirely focused on this concept. We’ve seen on Wallstreet how brokers make money on the upside AND the downside (that’s why they call them BROKERs, we end up broke dealing with them.)  They have a whole bunch of tricky programs to prosper while the rest of us suffer. It’s our own fault. You can’t blame them if we’re too stupid to figure this out for ourselves! I don’t know about you, but I’m mad as Hell and I’m not going to take it anymore! When you put your trust and future in the hands of the government, the banks, or the corporations you’re asking for trouble. Do you honestly think they have OUR best interests at hand? In a pure and honest world I would say yes, but we all know  we don’t live there anymore. It’s been every man for himself for quite some time.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating just looking out for yourself. Quite the contrary. I’m advocating you travel and work in circles of people and company where you really KNOW who you’re dealing with. None of the people mentioned in the above categories has the faintest idea of who you are or what your circumstances are. This gives them insulation against the extreme anger that’s directed toward them. I mean, just look at the town hall meetings both of the candidates have been holding. Both are talking bailout for the big corps and banks and “protection for the little guy,” but who are they kidding? We all know all this will be forgotten as soon as the election is over, regardless of who wins.

The only thing we can do is to take it back, one person and one small business at a time. While just one person or one business will not make any difference, collectively we can kick some sanity back into all of this. This all reminds me of the movie A Bugs Life (Pixar 1997). It’s time we realize where we all fit into the big picture. There are way more small businesses employing multiples of what the corporations employ and yet we’re paying for all of their greed and corruption. This isn’t anything new.

Enough of my rant on this for  a minute. The point is this. Instead of being paralyzed by the negatively and bad news, DO Something. Take it back one employee and one small business at a time. Anything  we do that’s better than where we are today is an improvement. That’s really what this site is all about, looking at things and doing things differently for better results.

Enough, I’m going to lunch. . .

SGIA ‘08 Show one for the Books

Monday, October 20th, 2008

The 3 1/2 day SGIA ‘08 is now one for the books. Thanks to all of you who stopped by the Wilflex Poly One booth to listen to the two presentations I did on their behalf. The programs were well received and many of the attendees came back for a repeat. The programs were scheduled for 45 min, but the Saturday morning progam went 1:40 min. After having seen the program at least once, several companies came back with excellent questions about how all of this is going to work.

On Monday the 20th, I will put up both programs so you can dig down even more than you have to date. And there is another big announcement.  I was originally planning to put my technical articles  inside the Members Only side of the site.

I’ve decided otherwise.

If the article EVER appeared publically in a magazine or other publication, it will be presented and archived for everyone to read and download on the PUBLIC side of the site. That’s right, everything I’ve ever written will be available here, in one place. At last count it was about 315 articles, columns, and articles. It’s going to take a while to get them all formatted, but I’ll be getting at least half a dozen up per week, if not more. Check out the Resources and Technical Articles sections.

The reason I’ve decided to do this is there’s simply too much information needed to get you up to speed. Having access to what I’ve already published will help make it easier to get prepped for what’s coming. I’ll try to upload the most relevant articles first. In the meantime. All the current articles are being switched over to Public Access for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy.

In the meantime, I would appreciate any comments, suggestions, or other commentary from any of you who were at SGIA. I’d like to know your opinions on the state of the industry, the show, and the programs I presented if you were there. This is very helpful to me in deciding exactly what to give you that will do the most good right away.
Very best to all.

See You at SGIA Atlanta Oct 15-18

Monday, October 13th, 2008

Hopefully I’ll see many of you at the SGIA Atlanta Show this week. I will be presenting two different programs at the PolyOne/Wilflex booth. The first is:

TShirt Generation 2.0

The old ways of the industry aren’t working anymore and it isn’t clear what will replace them. TShirt Generation 2.0 introduces the forces and factors that will drive the next generation of sales and profits. If you’re worried about differentiating yourself, increasing profits, remaining competitive, and growing your business, you need to learn about the NINE areas that will change the way we do our business. The factors are powerful and can lead to new sales in as little as seven days.

The Secret To Profitable Growth in a Tough Economy

Sales for most printers have been flat to declining for sometime. The economic conditions today aren’t favorable. Using the secret of Leverage you’ll learn exactly what you can do to rapidly grow your business, regardless of what is happening around you. The techniques you’ll learn are easy to implement and the results can be dramatic.

Stop by the PolyOne/Wilflex Booth and get a schedule of the presentations. I will be doing two per day starting Wednesday.

I’ll also be doing a live T TV interview with Scott Fresner at the USScreen Booth on Thursday morning at 10 am.

It Was the Best of Times and the Worst of Times

Friday, October 10th, 2008

TShirtsuccess.com went live at 11:45 pm Pacific on Wednesday, Oct 8. After all kinds of delays with the credit card merchant account and gateway provider, we got it all together and letter’ fly. Within 15 hours we had over 5000 visitors to the site. Like the other videos I put up during the prelaunch, the site was choked as hundreds of people watched. I even had trouble uploading the new video tour of the site. What should have taken just a few minutes took almost 2 hours. If the site slowed down too much for you to watch, I apologize. This is still very new for us, and we’re making mistakes. Don’t let that keep you from checking it out in depth.

I did get several emails from people saying how much they have enjoyed the emails and are looking forward to taking part, but just not now. They cited the economy as being “too scary” at the moment. They’re holding back until they’re feeling more secure. I can certainly understand that position. Like many of you, I’ve taken some pretty serious hits as the market has continued its nosedive to who knows where. But the fact remains, neither you no I can do anything about that. You need to take action for yourself if you don’t want to get dragged down with everyone else.

If there ever was a time to pay attention to what’s on TShirtSuccess, it is now. If you go back and listen to the very first introduction video, I talked about the need to take action. That is what the Fast Action Contest was about (winners are being announced on Monday,) and I wanted to see just how many people would be motivated enough to move forward. A funny thing happened with the contest. Lots of people signed up and downloaded the template ,and many did get started right away, but there were a significant number that emailed me later in the week to say they hadn’t gotten started yet, but they fully intended to do the promotion. As the financial news continued to decline, more people started to implement the promotion beyond the contest itself. It led me to wonder exactly what the motivating factor was that actually led to action.

The point is this, TShirtSuccess.com is there for you. It’s a very inexpensive investment that will do a great deal to set you on a path you can control for yourself. If you’re worried about the small monthly subscription fee, bring a couple of friends along and the site is free for you. If you haven’t looked at the Partner link, check it out. If you refer just ONE other member, you cost drops to 50%, refer 2 and your membership is free. More than 2, and you start to make money. That’s right, you actually profit from from each referral. When I look at the Affiliate sign-up log, I can see who gets this idea. There are a bunch of smart decorators out there that know other decorators and they’ve referred them. This is an excellent example of using Leverage to move yourself ahead without spending anything. Those of you who’ve done it know what I’m talking about.

So yes, it is the best of times when you look at the real opportunity to control your future direction and it is the worst of times when you consider the paralyzing paranoia of the financial markets. Focus on what you can control and take action. That is the only thing that will keep the economy moving and as a small business, we have MUCH more power than anyone is letting on.

Ironically, this has been the best production week we have had all year. We billed as much this week as some of the earlier months. The unsettling part is that last Friday, we didn’t know what we were going to do after Wednesday. There were also strong new order bookings that are keeping up with what we’re billing. That’s always a good combination.

More later. . .

Mark

More to Check Out at TShirtSuccess.com

Monday, October 6th, 2008

Today I uploaded all the navigation and Departments. You can go there now and click on each link to get a detailed description of what the content is like in each area. There’s alot there and hopefully it will give you an idea of what the site is going to be like when it does go LIVE. Hopefully it will be sometime this week, maybe even today! We are still waiting on the programmers to get the Merchant Card Services connected properly.

At any rate, check it out and leave us a comment about what’s there or what you would like to see. Most importantly, I have over 100 articles we will be adding, a little at a time. Tell me what’s the most important to add right away when the site opens.