I argue about, harangue, debate and insist that in most Craft Product or service businesses you Should Never Give The Customers What They Want. But instead you should Give Them What You Do Best. I have even written an entreaty about how Customers Don’t Exist. So it should come as but a trifling surprise that I would ponder the as good as existential question: How Do You Know What Customers Want? I mean it literally. How do you know what customers want? When those poor, mistaken souls weakly blather that you simply must give customers what they want, how do they determine what it is precisely that customers want? Clearly they don’t ask them, at least not all of them. Here are some ways I could think of to find out what customers want in order to give it to them. (and presumably become a billionaire) Ask each and every one of them personally and studiously record the answers and then data crunch to your heart’s content Do a mass survey and ask them all at once (or smart marketing: in carefully sliced segments) Do scientific product/market trials and use data to analyze which products/services you sell appease to the most Continue reading How Do You Know What Customers Want?
I’m a huge fan of discipline. In other people. I prefer to hire that trait. Writing is hard. Well technically writing is stunningly easy. Writing either consistently or well are both supremely difficult. Doing both? Nigh on impossible for mere mortals. About a week ago I decided to issue a 15 articles in 15 days challenge to myself. A short version of last years fabulously successful 30 posts in 30 days challenge, which resulted in my actually writing a total of 45 articles in that period, five paid and ten published in other publications. I m not attempting that level of prowess this go ’round. But even though I write a lot for my job, it is still really hard to actually write. I truly love writing. I literally enjoy the process and the machinations of opening the floodgates of my addled mind and corralling the flow into as much sense as I can. Words and stories. Both have appeal to me for differing reasons. My daughter says I am a talker and a “converstioner”. I have been known to engage in periodic conversations on subject varied and sundry. Before the slip-sliddery-suck of regression wraps its moist tentacles around my intended mental direction, Continue reading Sometimes in Writing It’s The Mechanics of Writing, Rather Than The Glory of Writing
Today marks the 30th blog post I have written in the last 30 days. One a day for 30 straight days. I did not miss a day. I even managed to write an odd little ditty the one day I did not get to my computer until 11:30 pm and only had 30 minutes to crank something out. It was not spectacular but I wrote it. To recap: I decided on April 22nd to write 30 blog posts in 30 days – just because I did not set any particular topics or ideas I made it a self rule to not go back and edit or change any of them unless there was a mistake It was an awesome experience and fantastic, highly recommend exercise. I am not sure if my writing got any better but my ability to write has improved dramatically. I can not fairly easily start typing a title and then find that I have written 800-1000 words on that subject. I have managed to not wander too far off the reservation in each post and sometimes I have managed to actually capture my thoughts into ill-formed, wiggly little words. Many of my marketing friends have expressed Continue reading 30 By 30, Writing 30 Posts In 30 Days And Liking It
I don’t really consider myself a writer. But I write a lot. All signs point to one incontrovertible truth: I am, in fact, a writer. In fact I am a professional writer. As in I get paid to write. Apparently some people like either what i say or how I say it. That’s good cause I tend to say it my way. At my last project I built a foundation of social media and content marketing along with buyer personas, editorial calendars and more. I wrote a lot every day, from blog posts to white papers, case studies, emails and more. It seems the written word dogs my every step. I have actually written since I was a preteen. I am what the industry terms a ‘voracious reader’. I read like other people watch TV. If it was up to me I would not even have a TV or cable. As it is I have not turned it on myself in more than a year. I read very quickly and comprehend even faster. I always have. When I was young it was my one escape. Now it is my love. I got the reading bug from my mom who is a Continue reading The Day I Realized I Was A Writer
The dreaded passive voice. It sucks the life out of your writing. If you want to understand why the passive voice is so horrible listen to a defendant in a murder case explain what happened: “There was a struggle. A shot was fired and she got hurt.” What he meant to say was: “I was beating her up, I got mad and shot her and killed her.” Much clearer. I can not stand the passive voice (although the passive-aggressive voice really pisses me off.) It robs your words of power, strips them of meaning and makes you a captain mealy-mouth. However it is hard to avoid it when writing. When writing it often feels like the way to sound all academic and ‘writerly’. The passive voice makes sentences much harder to read and understand. That’s exactly why lawyers love it so much. You can say something without actually saying it, and too many blogs already excel at saying something without saying anything. A lot of research has shown that most people find it easier to read text that is in active rather than passive voice. Here is a quick and dirty overview from Quick and dirty tips on passive and active Continue reading The Dreaded Passive Voice- Why Shame Should Be Felt When Passive Bombs Are Dropped