Thursday, March 23, 2006

Nuke Your Comfort Zone...Another Lesson From Kid Rock

First of all, I’m sorry to all of my blog readers about my lack of posting.  Many interesting things are happening around me that you will all find out more as they come to fruition.  

But for today, I thought I’d go ahead give you one more thing I learned from Kid Rock (I’m telling you…watch Behind the Music on VH-1, it’s a marketing treasure trove).  

One big lesson I learned from Kid Rock is...

…never be afraid to take chances and venture into new areas outside your comfort zone.  

Consider Kid Rock for a second.  He started as a straight hip-hop icon and morphed himself into a country singer and rock star.  

I mean what happened to all those other rap/rock bands that came out at the same time as Kid Rock?  

Kid Rock has staying power because he went outside his comfort zone, and it paid off BIG TIME for him.  

Truth be told, if someone would just pay me big money to sit at home and write my opinions I wouldn’t be happier.  But the truth is I have to go out there to get clients.  

Sometimes, we have to go outside our comfort zones.  

I, myself, am now in the process of doing something that will leverage my 10+ of international work experience, specifically working in South Korea, working for Korean companies, and working with Koreans.  It is outside my comfort zone, but it could be a big opportunity.  (I’ll keep all of you posted on how it goes).

Personally, I’m going to take the Kid Rock approach.   It will require me to go way outside my comfort zone, but what the hell...

…comfort zones are for wimps and excuse-makers.  

To Your Continued Success,

Carlon Haas

A Good Article For You Internet Marketers

I found a good article for any of you who do internet marketing.

Carlon Haas

Four Reasons Why The Smaller Search Engines Matter
Copyright ?2006 Bill Platt
the Phantom Writers

These days, all search engine optimization gurus seem to only
talk about Google, as if Google was the only search engine on the
Of course, we all know that there really are hundreds of search
engines and directories available to us, and we know that some of
the smaller search engines serve a very tight niche of users.
Honestly, I can understand why there is a lot of press on Google,
because after all, granddaddy Google is the biggest of the big.
We know that millions of people use Google daily for their search
activities, and we know that our websites receive a lot of
traffic from Google.
There are actually four reasons why you would want to extend your
search engine marketing activities beyond Google. I will discuss
each of those reasons here:
REASON #1: Targeted Traffic
Niche content search engines can be a very powerful force in your
marketing arsenal.
For example, suppose you have a website dedicated to helping to
sell real estate. Does it make better sense to list a house for
sale in Google or in one of the many real estate search engines?
Let's face facts. When we look for tightly focused content such
as real estate listings, we generally seek out a search engine
that will serve our search the best. When searching for a new
home, an individual may begin his or her search at Google to find
the real estate search engines, but once the niche search engine
has been found, there is no need or desire to return to
granddaddy Google. The real estate search engine will allow the
individual to search through cities and neighborhoods, prices,
features and pictures, to find just the house they feel might
strike their fancy.
Even in the game of Internet marketing, a niche content search
engine or directory can be a very powerful addition to your
marketing portfolio. It is only a matter of searching out and
locating the niche content search engine or directory that serves
your particular niche the best.
REASON #2: Costs Management
The Big Three have each developed their own pay-per-click search
models. And, because they are the Big Three search engines, they
can also afford to charge advertising rates that permit them to
be among the most profitable enterprises on the Internet.
The perception of pay-per-click pricing at the Big Three is that
the little guy can afford to advertise with them. But with every
Internet marketer on the web trying to compete for the Big Three
search traffic, their five cents per click easily increases to
sixty cents per click, and in some industries, it can climb to
five or fifty dollars per click.
The pay-per-click "auction mentality" really kicks into hyper-
overdrive in some industries. And the Big Three eat it up, as do
their stockholders. Each day, they dance their way to the bank
with your money in tow.
The smaller niche search engines may not serve as much traffic,
but they definitely allow you to reach more people for the same
money. You can reach people who are more inclined to buy your
goods and services, because they were searching on a niche
website, and you can get their traffic for a lot less money than
it would cost you to get the same prospect from any of the Big
Three search engines.
REASON #3: Linking for Google Placement
For those of you who are still involved in the Google PageRank
chase, the smaller search directories can be counted on as a
really valuable asset in your linking portfolio.
Many of the smaller search directories carry some pretty decent
PageRank with them.
For example:
* carries a PR6.
* carries a PR6.
* carries a PR6.
* carries a PR5.
* carries a PR5.
* carries a PR5.
* carries a PR5.
* carries a PR5.
* carries a PR4.
* carries a PR4.
As you are already aware, the PageRank of a website that is
pointing to your website plays a role in determining the value of
your own website in the Google PageRank calculations, thereby
increasing your chances of gaining ground in the Google SERP's
(Search Engine Ranking Pages).
Targeted directories pass their PageRank value to the websites
that list with them, which is great for your website.
Additionally, getting placed into these directories is often
cheaper and easier to accomplish, than with any other method of
linking for the purposes of increasing PageRank.
REASON #4: Extra Traffic
Yahoo, MSN,,, and many others are
making changes, improving their results, and trying to position
themselves to compete toe-to-toe with Google or to compete for
searcher's not happy with Google's search product (yes, there are
actually people out there who do not like to use Google). These
non-Google engines are currently serving millions of additional
searches a day or month.
The Big Three: Google, Yahoo and MSN only served 73% of the
Internet's search traffic in July 2005
(, and
81% of the search traffic in November of 2005
( These
percentages are based on a rough estimation of just over 5
billion searches per month.
Even on the November 2005 numbers, search engines that are NOT in
the Big Three are delivering 950 million searches per month. That
is a lot of additional traffic!
If your search engine marketing activities are focused only on
the Big Three, or even worse, only on granddaddy Google, you are
throwing away anywhere from 20% to 53% of your potential customer
Locating The Smaller Search Engines and Directories...
Here are a few resources that can help to find hundreds of the
smaller search engines and directories that may be available to
Independent Search Engine & Directory Network -
Yahoo Search Engine & Directory Listings -
International Directory of Search Engines -
Small Search Engines and Directories Really Do Matter...
I have just outlined four reasons why the smaller search engines
and niche directories should matter to those of us who market our
goods and services on the Internet. I have also given you a
starting point for locating these excellent search websites.
Sure, it might take a little bit more time to get listed in these
smaller resources, but if you calculate how much time you spend
developing your positioning in the Big Three, then it really is
not that much of a time investment after all.
The smaller directories can help us to improve our Google
PageRank. They can help us to get more mileage from our
advertising dollars, than what we can get from the Big Three.
They allow us to tap into additional sources of targeted traffic
with a real potential for increasing our sales and profits. And,
the best reason to use the smaller search engines and directories
is that they actually serve another 950 million searches a month.

Bill Platt is the owner of
Article Distribution Service. He has been ghost writing for
clients since 1999, and he has been distributing client articles
since 2001. Bill regularly maintains his database of submission
resources, and he applies the human touch to every article
distribution. By reviewing every article and manually selecting
where it will be distributed, publishers and webmasters trust
that he will send only the most appropriate articles to them.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

3 Lessons Every Professional Can Learn From Kid Rock

Today I watched an interesting “Behind the Music” on VH-1 about Kid Rock.  I actually think that all independent professionals and marketers should watch this show.  You'd be amazed at some of the marketing techniques musicians (and the recordcompanies behind them) use to promote their music.  

Anyway, I learned more about Kid Rock than I ever cared to know, but I learned A LOT of lessons from it.  I won't go through all of them, but I can tell you one thing--Kid Rock is one heck of a businessman.  

So, here are 3 important marketing lessons I learned from Kid Rock:

#1  You’ve got to say it if you want to make it

If you happen to own a copy of Kid Rock’s “Devil Without a Cause,” pop it in now and go to the title track.  Kid Rocks exclaims," I'm goin' platinum".  When he wrote this, he was nowhere near platinum.  He was lucky to have gotten signed to a record contract, let alone go platinum.  

But if you want to make it, you’ve got to say it and believe it.  I don’t mean “fake it till you make it.”  I mean put yourself on the line and BELIEVE it.  

#2  Be a shameless promoter

If you’re afraid of tooting your own horn, then you better consider another line of work.  I’m all for being humble, but if you can’t rave about how good you are at what you do and give compelling reasons why people need you, then why even be in business?  

When Kid Rock was negotiating with record companies, he noted that he wanted “Elvis money and Matchbox 20 money.”  That means he felt like he was on par with the King and the top alternative group of the time.  

That took B-A-L-L-S given the fact that he was a nobody outside Detroit at the time.  But, hey, he wasn’t afraid to promote himself as the next big thing.

And guess what?

They treated him like the was the next big thing.

#3  Never give up

This is the #1 lesson I learned from Kid Rock.  This guy’s career should have been over a long time ago.  Signed and then dropped from his record label at 18.  Told that he couldn’t make it as a white rapper.  

So, what did he do?  He went out, learned to play the guitar, and evolved as a musician.  

He worked harder to make it happen.  He went out and drove 10 hours to mix tracks.  Worked for peanuts at a studio to record his music.  And the list goes on.
Too many times, I see independent professionals give up at the first sign of hardship.  Or they quit when the going gets tough.  All I can say is that the music industry is probably the hardest industry to break into...and when you look at stories like Kid Rock's one thing stands out…

…it’s not always the best that make it, but the ones that persevere through adversity.  

To Your Continued success,

Carlon Haas

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Ignore Deadlines At Your Own Risk

It’s 5:36 AM.  

I haven’t slept all night.  And our 2 year old will wake in a couple of hours.  

Why am I still up?  It’s not insomnia.  The fact is my wife and I were working on a project together, and we had to burn the midnight oil to make an 8:00 AM deadline.  

This is not the first time we’ve done this. And one reaction I have typically gotten when I tell stories like this is that we’re “nuts.”  

The truth is we could come up with excuses about how the program the client wanted us to use on the project caused our computers to crash, and I spent a good portion of time repairing the computers (which is true).  

But here’s the deal: I am not about to tell that to the client.  We promised this client the work would be delivered by the deadline. Do you think he cares about our excuses?  The client is depending on this to be delivered on time—plain and simple.  

We take our clients’ deadlines very seriously.  If you want an idea of how serious, go have a look at my wife’s web site and read her headline.  You’ll see what I mean.

But am I “nuts” for staying up all night to make sure I made a deadline?  

I don’t think so, and I am actually shocked by how many people I meet in business that don't take deadlines seriously.  I used to find it strange that clients would compliment me on getting jobs delivered on time.  But now I see that it is not as common as it should be.  

But that is an opportunity for you to deliver high-quality customer service.  A simple thing like meeting deadlines can endear you to your clients and bring you their repeat business and referrals (just be sure to ask your satisfied clients for referrals).

In marketing, many times we concentrate on the bigger things and lose sight of the small things.  Don’t make that mistake.  You may have a great marketing system in place, but you should never lose sight of the things that are most important to your clients.  And I guarantee you that deadlines are one of those things that are most important to them.

To close, here is my deadline mantra (feel free to repeat this):

“Deadlines…meet ‘em or beat ‘em—no excuses”

To Your Continued Success,

Carlon Haas

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

When The Most Brilliant Marketing is Not Enough

Yesterday, I went to a picture-taking place in the mall.  My wife's brother was in town with his family, and we wanted to get some pictures taken of our daughter with her cousin--ages 2 & 4 respectively.  


..all I can say is that the picture-taking place  had one slick marketing and sales operation…and I mean that in a nice way.

They had it all…brilliant upselling…a great customer-loyalty program…compelling offers…a 100% satisfaction guarantee.  

If I told you the name of this place, I would tell you to go there and observe their sales team.  As a marketing consultant, I can think of some things they could do better, but not much.  They had just about everything covered to maximize each sale and keep you coming back again and again.

There was just one problem…

…the photographer stunk.  

It became dreadfully obvious that this woman was clueless on how to take a picture…and we became painfully aware that she was not use to dealing with children (at a place that supposedly specialized in children’s photography no less!).  

In the end, because of time restraints, we ended up buying just 2 5 X7 pictures just so we’d have something.  We were prepared to spend much more money, but the quality of the photos just weren't there.

So, the big lesson for today’s blog is this…

…a well-done marketing and sales system can skyrocket your business, but only if you are  able to deliver the goods.  

To Your Continued Success,

Carlon Haas

P.S. If anyone has a marketing question they’d like answered (no matter if you think it’s stupid), send it to me at  I'll be answering questions from my readers every Friday.  

Friday, March 10, 2006

Things To Think About Over The Weekend

For the weekend, I’d like to share some thoughts with all of you independent professionals out there:

#1  The goal is not to be perfect, but “good enough”.  

#2  If you are waiting for someone's approval before marketing yourself, then you'll be waiting a long time.  

#3  If clients are drying up, market harder.  

And the last thought…

…doing something is better than doing nothing.  

These thoughts tie into the next issue of the No Excuses Marketing Newsletter that my readers get on Mondays.  You won’t want to miss it.  

One last thing, I have gotten so many great e-mails form readers of this blog that I am inviting you to send me any questions you might have about marketing, copywriting, or anything else you might think I can help you with.
Send your questions to:

I will answer questions from my readers every Friday…provided people send in questions to be answered.  

To Your Continued Success,

Carlon Haas

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

More Pitfalls of Not Following Up

Yesterday, I talked about networking and the lack of follow up.


…it looks like I am just getting started.  Because…

….I am shocked and amazed by the lack of follow-up I receive.

Just recently, I’ve met 3 different people in the web design business.  I gave these 3 people my card and expressed my interest in re-doing my web site due to new services (other than copywriting) that I will be offering.  

I even sent out follow-up e-mails to them the next day

The response?  

Nada, zilch, zip.  

Honestly, I’m stunned.  And, naturally, I will not be giving my business to any of these people.  I'm sure they've got their excuses), but just like I make no excuses I accept no excuses.  

The sad thing is that I’m always on the look-out for web designers.  As a copywriter (especially one who writes a fair amount of online copy), I get clients who also need their sites re-done.  

Now, guess what?  They not only lose my business, but any future business I could have brought them.  

Here’s the deal, people:  FOLLOW UP.  Even if it’s a brief e-mail to say that you are swamped and will get back to your prospective client later (and then do get back with them when you say you will).  

And here’s a story to illustrate this: I am about to embark on a pretty big project, and I scouted out web designers for it.  One guy quoted me a price which was 6x higher than other people.  

But he’s the one who will get my business.  

The reason?

He bothered to follow up with me when no one else did.  

To Your Success,

Carlon Haas


Why Most People Fail At Networking

Last night I attended my favorite networking event, the 8 Minute Ripple.  It was a lot of fun.  In my newsletter this week, I talked about networking.  But as I was at the event last night, one thing occurred to me.

I notice one fatal flaw most people make at events.  It’s not the elevator speeches or bad impressions.  Nope. The fatal flaw most people make is...

…lack of follow-up.  

I employ a sound follow up strategy.  I send out e-mail to the people I meet.  But typically, I try to make connections with people at the events, so that when I do e-mail them it's not something like:

“Hi X,

This is Carlon Haas, copywriter and marketing consultant.  I would be interested in helping your company get better results from its advertising…blah, blah, blah,”

Instead on the initial follow-up, it can be more personal focused around a point of interest we both shared.  For example,

“Hi X,

This is Carlon Haas from X event last night.  I really enjoyed talking with you about the meaning of life and about your work as an acupuncturist.  As I told you, I lived in South Korea for 6 years, so I am interested in Eastern medicine because of the results it got for me when I hurt my back in Korea…."

See the difference?  Following up is crucial to networking…without it, you’re just wasting your money to attend the event.  And by trying to make interesting connections while you’re at the event, it makes the follow up process a whole lot easier.  

Try this method at your next networking event.  

To Your Success,

Carlon Hass

Monday, March 06, 2006

Debt & The Winner's Mentality

You may have noticed that I was away form my blog last week, but that's because I was guest blogging on the blog of author and speaker Steve Harper (who is also someone I am proud to call my friend).  I hope all of you had a chance to catch my post

Last week, I ranted a bit about personal debt and the excuses people in debt make.  You may think that because I stress the values doing without and sacrifice when you don’t have the financial resources that I believe that all debt is bad.  

But nothing is farther from the truth. .

When it comes to business, I love debt.  In fact, I think you should spend as much money as you can—especially on marketing…

…provided you are making a positive return on your investment.  

And that’s the ticket right there.  

I see all too often when my clients get cheap on their marketing spending...

…to their determent,  

And I see it a lot when companies are either just starting out or sales are down.  This is when most people want to “tighten their belts.”  

But I say phooey.  When sales are down this is exactly when you need to spend more money on marketing.  Because when you market correctly, your marketing should make you money.  

And if that means you need a little debt to keep up cash flow until the money comes in, I say do it.  

You can cut costs on a ton of things, but marketing is NOT one of those things.  I will admit that I am biased here.  As a marketing consultant and advertising copywriter, I do profit when people spend money on marketing.

But I have seen the results when money is spent wisely on marketing. I’ve seen people who spend thousands of dollars a month on a yellow pages ad, but balk at paying a professional copywriter to write the ad--even though a good copywriter can almost always boost the response of an ad (one case I know of boosted a yellow pages response rate 400%).

Smart marketing is not an expense but an investment.  

So, if you are thinking about cutting expenses and worried about business debt, my advice is…

…borrow some money and launch a strategic marketing offensive.  

Sure you're spending money, but if done right (with the right strategy and solid copy) you'll be making it back and then some.  

To Your Success,

Carlon Haas

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Debt & The Failure Mentality

A reader of my blog and newsletter e-mailed me the other day and made the observation that I seem “older” than others in that I advocate “old school values.” For the record, I’m 32…but it got me thinking about the generation I am in.

Well, that just so happen to coincide with a book I recently read about called Generation Debt. Basically, the book goes on about how this is a bad time to be young because so many young people are in debt.

In debt?

Well, I’ll go ahead and “solve” the whole debt problem for the nation’s youth.


It’s that simple.

Have a massive student loan? I sympathize. I really do. I worked full-time when I was in college so that I could minimize my debt. And when I graduated I had $150 to my name, a student, and had a one way ticket to South Korea in search of a job.

A year later, the debt was gone—and that was in the midst of the Asian Financial Crisis that saw a loss of 60% in the Korean currency against the dollar.

How’d I pay it off?

It’s called doing without. I lived like a monk for a year. A small sacrifice to be debt-free.

But I see too may whiners and excuse-makers who want everything and want it now. They don’t think before they buy. And these are the same people who start businesses, find out that owning your own business is hard work, quit, and then whine about how impossible it is to have a business.

And they wonder why they're in debt.

Wake up…stop making excuses. Then, you’ll get out of debt.

I appreciate you letting me rant a little. But now that you know my opinion about personal debt, tune in on Friday and I’ll tell you how I feel about business debt (you might be surprised) and how penny-pinching on marketing can destroy your business (I see it happen all the time).

Tomorrow, I’ll be guest-blogging on my friend Steve Harper's blog. So, catch me over there.

To Your Success,

Carlon Haas