A Truly Unique Barber Shop Experience

“So how do you want it cut?” Peter asks as I sit in the chair.

“Short on the sides and the top, but watch out for the cowlicks in the back,” I tell him.

“I’ll make sure those really stick up for you.” Peter jokes.

I am not a snob when it comes to getting my hair cut.  I’ve had the fancy-pants haircuts from the salon where they massage your head, wash your hair thrice (once before the cut, once after, plus conditioner) and I have even had my fair share of “supercuts” where my hair was buzzed with a razor in McDonald-esque precision.  But I have never had an experience quite like the haircut I just received from Peter.

The haircut doesn’t look much different than any other, but the process was fundamentally different because of Peter.

“So how did you hear about us?” Peter asks.

1.  He starts by throwing the black cape over me and putting those little protectors over my collar- so it doesn’t get hair on it.

“Actually I was just driving home from lunch, needed a haircut, and yours was the first place I saw.” I tell him.

“We have been in this same location for 30 years.” Peter explains.

2. He proceeds to cut my hair using a combination of 2 different electric razors and 3 different types of scissors, with the best part still to come.

“So I’m guessing this is your place?” I ask.

“Yep, me and Vince over there own the place.”

“Are you from Buffalo?” I ask, knowing the answer since EVERYBODY in Buffalo- except for me and my family- are from Buffalo.

“My family has lived in Buffalo and Western New York for generations.”

3.  After I think he is finished with the haircut, he pushes the button on a very old looking mechanical shaving cream dispenser that nosily pumps out shaving cream (the kind they used back when clients came in for a Sunday morning shave and haircut Peter tells me) and he uses the cream to plaster my ears and neck- then he pulls out a straight razor and makes sure that my haircut is completely clean.

“They don’t offer a shave and a haircut anymore, not even sure if it is allowed.” Peter adds.

4.  After he cleans off the shaving cream, Peter applies the aftershave- which stings a little, but smells like cologne from a different era.

“Great food here in Buffalo,” I add.

“That’s because the restaurants are privately owned and operated, they actually want you to come back,” Peter explains to me.  “Whenever I travel outside of Buffalo, all I see are chains.”

“There is just something different about the Ma and Pop restaurants.”  I say, as Peter nods his head.

5.  He finishes off my neck and ears with a light powder

“How does it look?” Peter asks me as he shows me the back with a large hand mirror.

“Great.” I answered, a little disappointed the haircut was coming to an end.

6.  To clean up he starts with the light brush that takes all of the excess hair from my face and head.  Then he pulls out a larger brush that looks like a mini broomstick and after removing the tabs from my collars he sweeps all of the excess hair from off my shirt.

“How much?”

“That will be $17″  Peter tells me as I quickly hand him the money with a tip.  Peter then hands me a business card, but he has to write his first name on it with a pen.

“We do accept appointments as well,” he tells me.

“Good to know, I will definitely be back.” I tell him as I leave the place.

It was a truly unique experience- which is not something you come to expect from a barber shop.  Are your clients getting a truly unique experience from you?  Do you offer the extra details like Peter did?  Or are you in a rush to get to the next client?  I stumbled upon this Barber Shop completely by accident, but I guarantee they have won a customer for life.  How can you make sure that your service creates a similar response?  How can you make sure that your customers are completely delighted when they finish working with you?

We hear a lot about streamlining the business process and taking the individual out of the equation.  But this strategy doesn’t work very well at barber shops, and it certainly doesn’t work in the social media world.  My friend Tom Larsen recently said to me, “Online it seems a lot like the 1950’s where people used to sit on the front porch and chat with the neighbors as they passed by.”

Or perhaps like the barber shops back in the 1950’s?  I thought as I drove back from getting my haircut.  Peter is a Linchpin, as Seth Godin describes them in the book Linchpin.  People or businesses that offer that kind of service and experience will never lack clients that are delighted not only to pay the bill, but to add a tip.

Adrian Dayton is a New York lawyer, social media consultant, and author of Social Media for Lawyers: Twitter Edition.  Join him ever Friday morning for his FREE conference calls as he learns from professionals around the country who are providing unique experiences to their customers.  Adrian gets his hair cut at Avenue Hair Parlour, 2199 Kensington Ave. Amherst, NY 14226.  (716)839-1020 Be sure to ask for Peter.

Leveraging Social Media to Get Major Publicity

 

It was a warm sunny afternoon in December when I first met Ken Colburn.  Since we were in Pheonix, it came as no surprise to me that Ken pulled up in a red convertible 68 Camaro.  He was wearing sunglasses and trying every bit to play the movie star. We sat down at a great Thai restaurant that Ken had recommended and had a great meal where I learned all about how he has built a massive data recovery franchise with stores all over the country.

“How do you get so much publicity?” I asked Ken, knowing that besides having a weekly show on CNN he was also regularly quoted and interviewed in major news publications all over the country.

“With budget cuts, they’re under-staffed, overwhelmed and in need of fresh content almost daily.  Especially nowadays, they don’t have time or money to look for sources, so you have to do is make their job easy.”

“And how do you do that?” I asked curiously.

“For starters you need to check out http://muckrack.com/ – an awesome site that aggregates the Twitter messages of journalists all over the world.”

With just that link I have been able to start conversations with multiple journalists.  Muckrack aggregates Twitter messages or “tweets” by BEATS.  World, US, Politics, Sports – really whatever you like.  Think of this as a cocktail party attended by every journalist you could ever hope to meet.  Now you just need to say something interesting enough to get their attention and join their conversation. This may be no small task.  Perhaps you could tell them your child has flown away on giant balloon?  (I wouldn’t recommend that approach.)  It is your job though to figure out ways to engage them, or answer questions that they are asking.  Monitor the conversations, and sooner or later you can find an in.

Now that I have monitored http://muckrack.com and started conversations with journalists, I want more.  I have asked Ken to come on this Friday’s conference call and share 4 Tips to Getting Major publicity.  During this call you will learn how Ken got on CNN, and a number of other pointers to help you build your online reputation.  Perhaps in the next call after that we can find out where he got his muscle car and sunglasses.

1.  Use Twitter & MuckRack.com to see what is trending & to pitch story ideas as they are looking for you.

2.  Subscribe to services like HARO (http://helpareporter.com) & Pitchrate (http://pitchrate.com)

3.  Follow-up but don’t be a pest; the media lives moment to moment & if your story isn’t in that moment, it won’t get picked up.

4.  If you want to be on TV, start building a library on YouTube, Vimeo, etc. for practice and exposure.

This Friday morning at 10:00 AM EST, Ken Colburn, will be joining us on the Weekly Voir Dire.  CLICK HERE to sign up for the free call.  Spaces are limited, so be sure to call in at least 5 minutes early.

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Spam Evolves: Watch Out

A few weeks ago I wrote a simple blog post “How do I get more comments on my blog?” My brother Damian Dayton wrote this thoughtful reply in the comments section:

I forget about this often, but when I teach, I spend more time thinking about the questions I will ask the students than the material I teach.

questions lead to engagement. I forget this when I am blogging. Hey, Why didn’t you ask a question in your blog post.

P.S. great use of Old 97’s.

I approved the comment, it didn’t have perfect punctuation, but it came from my brother, so I quickly approved it.  A few days later, I had a new comment awaiting approval (always a nice sign) except this time it was from someone named “Karen” who has a goal setting website (which I will not link to here for obvious reasons.)  What did she have to say about my blog post?

I forget about this often, but when I teach, I spend more time thinking about the questions I will ask the students than the material I teach.

questions lead to engagement. I forget this when I am blogging. Hey, Why didn’t you ask a question in your blog post.

P.S. great use of Old 97’s.

The second comment was EXACTLY the same as my brother’s previous post, and if I hadn’t read it carefully I might have just approved it out of habit.  This spam comment is obviously created by some sort of automated SPAM bot that copies comments, and then automatically posts them under another name.  Since then I have had 8 more comments that were similar trying to get me to link to different websites.

There are a couple of problems with these new “spam” comments.  First, Worpress doesn’t recognize them as spam comments because they seem legitimate- so they need to be moderated. Second, if you have somebody else moderating your blog (that moderates many blogs) then these messages will likely slip through sometimes.  Be on the lookout.

There is one other form these “spam” comments take.  They will also quote Twitter comments about your post, and then link back to the their site.  Don’t approve these!  It will only encourage those dastardly spammers.

3 Things Every Lawyer Should Know About Social Media

Have you ever listened to NPR for so long that the news broadcast is played a second time?  I always change the channel, because A. I have already heard all of the news and B. it is just kind of annoying hearing the same voice, same tones, and same jokes over again.  This past year I have been sharing the message of social media with all types of lawyers- from large law firms in the US to boutique firms in Australia.  The funny thing is, they all the same doubts, the same reservations, and some of the same excitement.  Hearing these same doubts over and over can get as annoying as a repeated NPR broadcast, but there is something that makes it all worth while.  There is a moment when it finally clicks for professionals- where they no longer view social media as a toy or a novelty.  It suddenly becomes real for them, a powerful device for engagement and communication.  When they finally have this “aha” moment- that is something I really enjoy.  If lawyers, or really any professionals are going to get to that point, they have to first overcome their doubts and fears.

Here are three powerful concepts that every lawyer must grasp before they can arrive at that “aha”moment.  (These brief excerpts from Social Media for Lawyers: The New Frontier by Carolyn Elefant  and Niki Black)

ONE: SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT A FAD OR A FRIVOLITY, BUT A PARADIGM SHIFT SWEEPING BOTH THE LEGAL PROFESSION AND SOCIETY AT LARGE.

TWO: A SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE IS A TOOL FOR ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS AND NOT, IN ITSELF, A GOAL.

THREE: USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA DOESN’T TRANSFORM OTHERWISE APPROPRIATE CONDUCT INTO SOMETHING UNETHICAL.

While these seem like simple principles, they are barriers that keep the skeptics from appreciating the value of social media.  Once a skeptical lawyer experiences the thrill of making a great connection- or receive a phone call from a major news publication as a result of their online activities, they won’t ever want to give it up.  How can we help those in our organization to get there?

This Friday morning at 10:00 AM EST, Carolyn Elefant, co-author of Social Media for Lawyers: The New Frontier, will be joining us on the Weekly Voir Dire to discuss her new book and how you can help your firm or organization get started reaping the benefits of social media.  CLICK HERE to sign up for the free call.  Spaces are limited, so be sure to call in at least 5 minutes early.

Paid Twitter Ads, Spice, and Real Time Search

He who controls the spice, controls the universe!                                                                                           –Baron Vladamir Harkonen, Dune

In the classic science fiction novel, Dune by Frank Herbert there is one substance more valuable than anything else. (please forgive the nerdiness of the analogy) The spice on the planet Arrakis, which prolongs life and makes space travel possible.  Is there anything on Earth as valuable?  The only thing that comes close is INFORMATION- and time and time again over the last year Twitter has proven to be the best source of real time information.  Whether it is breaking news of Micheal Jackson’s death, an earthquake in Haiti, or gossip about Justin Bieber- Twitter is scooping all of the major news stations in real time.  This is an impressive feat by Twitter, but how does controlling all of this information make money?

After years and years of not making a single dollar, Twitter announced last week that they were in fact interested in cash.  This entrepreneurial endeavor is taking the form of paid ads- of which there are two types.  First, paid ads that will be shown on the top of the organic results through searches (like those that can be seen on http:// Search.Twitter.com) and second, embedded within conversations.  Think about this second one as an interruption of your Twitter conversations with an advertisement.  All of these paid tweets will be marked clearly as ADVERTISEMENTS.

Advertising tweets will have far less credibility and will be much more likely to be ignored, and here’s why.  Any company can currently use any number of free apps to search conversations and reply to them in real time (join the conversation) without having their tweet marked ADVERTISEMENT.  This could even be automated by the companies, for free, with the right applications.

One thing that people on Twitter hate is SPAM.  Ads for teeth whitening, FOREX automation, get rich quick schemes, and the new Donald Trump MLM (which apparently will create a larger GDP than the People’s Republic of China).  These advertisements are not only annoying, but they lose all credibility in the minds of readers because they are so obviously SPAM.  Why will these automated Twitter advertisements have any more credibility?  They won’t.

In addition, why does Twitter have to mark them as advertisements?  As long as the the tweets are being created in a way that follows the terms and conditions of Twitter (which Twitter could adjust in any way they like), they shouldn’t have to be marked that way.  The fact that they are advertisements will be obvious to anybody that clicks on the profile of the individual or company sending the message.

I’m really not bugged by the Twitter advertisements at all.  In fact I don’t even notice them. That is exactly the problem, if we never see them, and nobody ever clicks on them, how is this business model going to sustain a company that believes itself to be worth $1 Billion?  Paid ads won’t begin to get them there.

As Google has proven already to those who doubted them, he who controls the information, controls the world.  Remember when Google had their IPO?  Everybody said, how can a company go public, if all they do is offer free searches?  It is all about the value of the right information- and how that information is organized.  Twitter controls a massive amount of real time information, superior in many ways to the info that Google handles- there have got to be some powerful ways to monetize that.  Time for Twitter to be a little more ambitious.  If they want to take over the world- it will take more than just a few Twitter ads to do it.

How Do I Get 100,000 Hits in 2 Weeks?

This morning on my Friday morning conference call we will learn how Kineto Pictures was able to produce this music video on a shoestring budget, and have it viewed over 100,000 times in just a couple of weeks.

The video is awesome, but the real secret behind the success? Engaging a single thought leader online in promoting the video. Her name is Michelle Phan. Hear Damian Dayton, owner of the production studio Kineto Pictures, break down what is so special about her Youtube videos, and some powerful video tips that can help you create effective videos, even if you are just shooting from your office.

Link 1: http://www.youtube.com/user/MichellePhan

Link 2: http://www.youtube.com/user/MichellePhan#p/u/0/Bu836l-AlAo

Link 3: http://bit.ly/9CC3Jw (lawyers using video effectively)
CLICK HERE to sign up for this morning’s call

Once A Day- The Rainmaker’s Rule

I met Nick as I walked down to the take the ferry in to Sydney.  I wasn’t exactly sure where I was going, so he was nice enough to guide me to the dock. He was wearing a suit, I was wearing a suit, and we were about the same age- so we quickly became friends. Nick is a highly successful architect working in downtown Sydney, and running into him turned out to be a serendipitous occurrence, a happy accident.  Not only did Nick walk me to the Ferry, but once we landed at the Sydney Harbour I had some extra time so he gave me a walking tour of some of the most spectacular architercture in Sydney.  He asked me about what I did, so I told him about Social Media for Lawyers, and he was very curious as to how social media might help someone like him bring in more business.  So I laid out some of the basics for him.  He then taught me something very valuable:

“I just try and do ONE business development activity every day.  Whether it is a coffee with a potential client, meeting someone for breakfast, or even just a simple phone call.”

When he said this, it stopped me in my tracks.  Sure it was simple, no fancy technology required, but what he shared with me is a routine and a process for business development.  He schedules it every single day.  Professionals interested in bringing in business, or “making rain” would be benefited greatly if they would schedule time for at least one business development activity every day. 

There is great power in process.  What is your process?  What are you doing every day?  

Adrian Dayton is a New York Attorney and author of the book Social Media for Lawyers: Twitter Edition  Each Friday you can join the conversation on his FREE Friday conference calls to learn how to bring in more business.  This week the topic is “How Professionals Can Unlock the Power of Online Videos”  CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE CALL 

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