We often think of the 'calm before the storm', but rarely do we recognize or even witness the 'calm after the storm'. This sunset occurred less than an hour after a severe storm, near Otter Falls, MB, that brought down a hundred trees near a cabin we had rented. The clouds became soft like cotton balls (mammatus clouds) and the sky was at peace.
Just a short thought this evening, as I have been asked as a favor for a friend to come up with a kick ass name for an amazing piece of software that generates leads for sales professionals in various markets. I can’t discuss the niche, but what I though I would give you is my simple technique for generating names! Generating new ideas & names will help your sales efforts period, as you need to do this every day to create catchy subject lines for your emails, tag lines for advertising campaigns, and countless other sales based communicables!
Warning: This isn’t for generating cool names, this is for generating highly targeted names that your potential customers will immediately recognize. There’s a reason Microsoft named their browser Internet Explorer… because that’s what it does!
Here it is:
1. Immediately put yourself in the mindset of your audience, in this particular case they are looking for (Lead) (Generation)(Software) (Specific Niche)… that’s my starting point. If you have no knowledge of your audience, it is very unlikely your idea (name) will appeal to them. Know your audience.
2. Now I go and analyze the competition by doing a Google search for, you guessed it, “lead generation software + niche” I’m not going to bore you with the results, but what I found were that most names were obscure and unrelated to the niche. In fact, 99% of companies had to heavily advertise to be noticed 1st page on Google. You can pay attention to whose advertise if you want, as its good to know your competition, but I think its really important to zone in those names and tag lines that make their way to the top of Google naturally.
3. Armed with my audience in mind, and ideas from the strongest competitors, its then time to get down to business generating a kick ass name. But I do so something crazy here. I try and forget about the task for at least an hour, or best case scenario overnight, then come back to it. You will be amazed what you come up with when you sit down with a piece of paper or open up a .doc on your PC. The ideas will flow.
That’s it…quite simply really, but highly effective!
Since your still here I have a favor to ask, join my list off to the right there…download my book, and shoot me your thoughts!
For some strange reason when I was reading Seth’s latest blog post entitled ‘Sing It’, I was reminded of a saying I haven’t heard in a while, “Say it…don’t spray it!” I’ll get to that in a second, but really think you should take the time to read Sing It Please first! Its a great reminder to not just show up! In today’s business world and life period, showing up isn’t half the battle anymore, it is how passionately and well you sing when you arrive. Here is Seth’s post: Sing It Please
Back to my point, “Say it…don’t spray it!” reminds me of the quasi-polar opposite of the point Seth was making in his post. There are people who try too hard, and although they may be passionate, this isn’t how they are perceived in business meetings, sales appointments, musical performances or other interactions. Now don’t get me wrong, I would rather have a passionate loud talking occasional saliva sprayer in front of me any day, as opposed to someone who just shows up, lacks passion and goes through the motions.
Sometimes people love and are passionate about things they just aren’t really good at…YET! That’s why its always a good idea to seek feedback about your performances in life whether your are in sales, a professional presenter, musician or even dare say a blogger! If you have true passion, you will engage people even if you aren’t seething with raw talent!
So in Seth’s case he saw a band perform, and the singer just didn’t seem to have passion or gusto, so he reminded all of us to put some effort into our performances and ‘SING IT PLEASE’. Good point Seth, but what if the singer didn’t know he/she gave a less than stellar performance, because everyone was too busy clapping. Group think tends to take over and we tend to applaud a performer just for performing, and a speaker just for speaking, and so on. All it takes is one clap of the hands. As a performer, the best thing and worst thing is to hear is constructive criticism, but it sure does the trick.
Please read to the end for the surprise Angelina Jolie twist…
So there I was, hanging with the family on short vacation, paying for those insidious Happy Meals at an undisclosed location in Grand Forks, ND. Then it happened… the counter girl handed me my change, with a smile. As I was about to stuff the bills in my wallet and go stuff my face, the red ink stamped next to George Washington jumped out at me. I was intrigued, curious and wondered what mysterious message awaited my discovery.
For a brief moment, I felt had just won a mini lottery until I read the following message: See where I’ve been Track where I go next www.wheresgeorge.com A little deflated, I cursed my decision to not bring my laptop on the family vacation, but having to wait a few days to check this out probably added to the excitement. Honestly, I thought I was seeing a knew viral marketing tactic with America’s best viral medium… money! Who was behind this? The movie industry, an ingenious charity, the US Government… I was wrong, wrong, way wrong!
After getting home and pulling up www.wheresgeorge.com I discovered the United States Currency Tracking Experiment has been going on for more than 10 years (where have I been!!!), and exactly as the message suggests it is designed for the curious at heart to track where a bill has been and after you release it back into the world, where it will go next.
So today, wanting to know the history of this particular George Washington, I signed up at the site and entered in the serial number, current location of the dollar bill I had found and short little story. In hopes, that I would discover a vast history that I have so vividly imagined. Of course, this bill must have traveled thousands of miles, and touched the hands of Angelina Jolie in Hollywood, passed though the casinos of Las Vegas, and worked its was north by some hitch hiker who was trying to get home to see the love her life, and kept this last dollar to have a cheese burger at McDonalds while she waited for her long lost love to come pick her up where they first met .
So it turns out, this bill has travelled a measly 337 Miles, from Minnesota, USA to Manitoba, Canada in a little over a year. A big, big Yawn! But that doesn’t mean the story ends here. Here is the Angelina Jolie twist. Let’s give this George Washington fellow a real trip. If anyone reading this on the other side of the world, or at least not in North America, has a great cause to support… I’m buying!!!! Your cause will get the Wheres George 1$ bill and I will throw in an additional $100. Just reply to this post, and we can work out the details via email. I will continue to update this story as it unfolds!
Maybe we can eventually get this bill to Angelina Jolie or to someone who will help change the world with it, or at least give this George Washington guy a little sexier ending than 337 measly miles and a McDonalds Happy Meal. According to their site WheresGeorge.com hasn’t made the news in 6 years, and their blog hasn’t seen a fresh post in 2 years. Maybe its time the owners and the estimated 50,000+ registered users of www.wheresgeorge.com start using those dollars to help out those who are less fortunate, and see just how viral money can be when it has some good karma attached to it.
Update # 001- Thursday, July 31/2008 – Wheres George user Amy stopped by and straightened me out on a few things, namely not exposing the serial number of a bill. That was confirmed when a few minutes later came from none other than Hank Eskin, the creator of WheresGeorge.com (pasted in a comment below)! So NO, requests for a charity on the other side of the world yet, but as per Amy I will be heading over to the Wheres George forum to see the users section devoted to Charity. Kudos to Amy for helping raise money for Breast Cancer.
This post will continue to be updated as it develops.