Category Archives: newsletter

Is Pinterest the next REALLY BIG deal?


Pinterest for business

I must admit – I love Pinterest. I even have a few boards myself and I love looking at other people’s boards too. Certainly for visual it’s fantastic, but as a social media platform it seemed to be kind of niche and maybe several pegs down in the order of where most businesses might want to concentrate their SM efforts.

Times are changing! check out these stats for Pinterest

  • 70 million users and growing quickly
  • 5 billion dollar valuation, 200 mil recently acquired for international expansion
  • women make up 80% of users and they have created 750 million boards

Don’t women also control about 80% of household spending?  hmmmmmmmm.

There’s a great article over on Forbes by Jeff Bercovici and he makes a pretty good argument that It won’t be long before advertisers will be flocking to Pinterest. There’s some serious testing going on right now.

If FB is about the past, Twitter is about the present, it seems Pinterest is about the future, and what peoples aspirations are all about. That’s a very compelling concept for marketers.

Check out the article here.

Oh and here’s a follow up article on Pinterest Marketing you might like.


Doesn’t really matter what size your business is, there’s a good chance you’ve got some millennials either working for you or you’re looking for some to hire.

Do you really know what motivates them? Can you offer them the kind of things they are looking for in a company they would like to work for?

The Young Entrepreneur Council penned an article recently in Inc. mag and it focuses on the four area’s that are key to how millennials evaluate your company.

It’s all about transparency, structure, managing expectations and fostering creativity. You can see what it’s about here.

Don’t get too comfortable


Kevin Harrington made an interesting observation in the Business Insider about a tried and true saying:

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.

He used the Tonight Show as an example and how Jay Leno got a little too comfortable and how Jimmy Fallon swooped in.

He also talks about how he’s changed his ways on spending for social media…preferirng now to spend a few dollars on millions of channels vs spending millions of dollars on a few. ( his infomercials )

See what he says here.


Is taking real time off Important?

You bet your ass it is!

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You know I really enjoyed the summer. But as they always do, it just went by awfully fast.

And here’s the thing…until last week I hadn’t had a real vacation.

Now before you start calling me a dumbass, it’s not like I didn’t take time off. I am the master of working very few Fridays and turning long weekends into extra-long ones.

And, if there’s a sunny day during the week and the weekend weather report looks iffy I could easily play golf, go boating or do both by cruising over to the Toronto Island and playing frisbee golf.

2014-09-12 16.44.13

But last week I flew to Winnipeg, met up with a friend and we drove back through northern Ontario via the lakes and provincial parks. Lake Superior is fantastic. The largest freshwater lake and at it’s deepest 407 metres or 50 metres less than the CN tower.

And the waterfalls, canyons, mountains and unique little stops along the way were just a lot of fun.

I love the outdoors, water and mountains and RV camping is pretty cool. Getting away from TV, traffic, the news and just getting to be is really wonderful.

I love the rush of positive ions you get from the water crashing the falls.

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Nature has an amzing way of grounding you.

How about you?

Have you gotten away recently. Been able to kind of shut it down. Quiet the mind. Stop checking your phone.

Not worrying about what you should be doing. Allowing yourself to just sit, think, not think, read, not read, journal, not journal.

Just flow…enjoy the days experience and then, move on to the next day.

just do it…planning my next adventure soon.


Do Negative Ad’s work?

A Clothing Company Discourages Customers from Buying it’s Stuff – and Business is Booming!



Patagonia is a great brand and it’s philosophy is refreshing. It shuns the current trend of fast fashion embraced by some consumers and the likes of H&M and Forever 21.

“A generation of consumers has grown up wearing what is often referred to as ‘fast fashion’ — trendy, inexpensive versions of runway looks that shoppers wear for one season, or one occasion, and often toss,” according to the WSJ. “Now, many of these shoppers are graduating to a philosophy of quality not quantity.”

“We design and sell things made to last and be useful. But we ask our customers not to buy from us what you don’t need or can’t really use. Everything we make–everything anyone makes–costs the planet more than it gives back,” the company told Fast Company.

The “socially and environmentally conscious practices” have helped profits triple since 2008. This strategy appears to cater to it’s outdoor active tribe that not only loves their product but their operating principles.

Five Visual Design Trends to Inspire You

The folks over at marketing profs have some interesting thoughts on design trends.

1. Photo’s – real life imagery
2. Video – motion graphics
3. Illustration – flat design
4. Colour – soft pastels and Pantones colour of the year
5. Typography – textured fonts

See the complete article here.

Amazon just dropped the price of it’s smartphone to .99 cents

Instead of $199.00 the Firefly phone is now available at .99 with a 2 year contract. The results of the initial launch were disappointing. So Jeff Bezos in his usual fashion said we just need to get this phone in peoples hands ( at a huge loss/investment ) and then we’ll make it up in sooooo many ways.

Here’s a list of what is on offer:

Dynamic Perspective, Firefly, world-class customer support with Mayday, free unlimited cloud storage for photos, 32GB of storage—and, for a limited time, customers get 12 months of Prime membership with Fire phone, which includes unlimited streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes from Prime Instant Video, access to over a million songs to download or stream from Prime Music, over 500,000 books to borrow from Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and free two-day shipping on tens of millions of items.

You must admit watching Amazon, Google, Samsung, Apple and Facebook battle it out in mobile is really interesting.

Speaking of Facebook – Video is booming

Facebook was the primary vehicle for spreading the recent ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, most of which was the sharing of folks vidoe’s of them dousing themselves and then challenging their friends.

Beyonce recently posted vids on both FB and Youtube and the share results via FB totally dwarfed youtube. Now youtube is still king but FB is coming on strong, just as they are challenging Google on advertising.

See the full story here.

How Successful People Think

Brendon Burchard – has been around for a number of years but he’s just been killing it the last 2 years. He’s published a number of NY Times best sellers, he’s the ultimate online marketer who’s launched plenty of multi-million dollar info-product launches, and his events rival those of the great Tony Robbins.

He has a rare gift of being completely positive, upbeat, motivational and his delivery is fantastic. So he’s great for personal development. But he’s also a master marketer…he’s spending big big bucks on Facebook these days…in fact he says it’s so good he says you should be spending 1000.00 a day if you have a great product or service.

Here’s some advice he has on how incredibly successful people think…it’s 6 1/2 minutes

Brendon uses video in an amazing way. He teaches from his offices and uses kind of an old fashioned style that I personally still like, which is a whiteboard. He’s got a variety of programs and while I’ve never invested in any of his programs, the notes I have from his free trainings are tremendous. Better than other peoples paid trainings.

You can check him out at his website. This will also lead you to his youtube channel, his books, his various programs, his podcast (very recent). I use a one page productivity planner I downloaded from his high performance academy…you should check it out.


Marketing tips from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge


Certainly the ALS ice bucket challenge has been one of the most viral campaigns to happen in some time and the power of social media has again shown it’s strength. But there are a number of factors that were in play here and for marketers it’s worth a quick review.

Here is a post by Darling Jimeniz of

If you are familiar with Tony Robins, you have also probably heard his theory on the 6 human needs. According to Robbins all of our actions are motivated by the following 6 human needs: Certainty, Uncertainty/Variety/Excitement, Significance, Love/Connection, Growth, and Contribution.

The ICE bucket challenge managed in one swoop to fulfill 4 of these needs that we are constantly seeking to fulfill.

check the full post here


So we all know that Netflix has become hugely popular. You are able to stream from pretty much all your devices and if you have chromcast and other tools well you can see it on your TV too. Pretty good deal for 9.99 month…and people have been cancelling the very expensive cable packages that you have to buy in bundles even thou you’ll never watch half the channels.

For example I like the golf channel so I need a package for that. And then there’s a few shows like Dexter, True Detective and Ray Donovan…so I need the VIP channel for that.

Well two of the big 3 cable/telecoms (Rogers and Shaw) here in Canada just announced they are coming out with Shomi which is a Netflix knock-off. As much as I dislike these behemoths and their monopolies, strategies and poor customer service; I must give them credit for not standing pat. If people want movies on their tablet then lets give it to them or someone else will and has!

Hopefully better choice of more specific cable packages isn’t too far off either.

Are there things on the horizon, threats to your business you should be thinking about?

Hyperlapse from Instagram

I haven’t personally started using Instagram yet but many have. My 12 year old nephew and his friends are all over it and of course teens and the whole entertainment business is as well.

I also thought it was more about using for pictures but video is the big deal ( like it is everywhere now ). So instagram has now developed an app for IOS devices (Apple) that steadies the video for you especially for action and moving shots.

check it out here

Google Docs and a couple other great tools


Google Docs

I am always amazed when I come across some new ( and especially free ) tools that can help me in my business. Maybe these will be new for you as well.

I have google apps for business and love how I can co-ordinate all my emails and calenders across all my devices. But I haven’t really explored google docs.

There are tons of forms, templates (like for invoicing) and I just found out you can have multiple calendars…so if you wanted to set up say a content calendar that you could share with someone but you didn’t want them to see your personal schedule calendar, well that’s easy.  Check it out here


Now this is a cool tool. You just type in a topic or keyword on some content or if you are looking for top videos or infographics on a subject or market…boom…you get the listings with highest views, shares etc.  Try it out and bookmark it.


Finding images that you can use for blog posts…to make picture quotes or for any illustrations is always a challenge. Sure there’s lots of sites where you can buy images. Again free is good. For good free images check out Pixabay.

It’s great to find tools that just make life easier and affordable.


Canadian anti-spam law and more!


Well the Canadian anti-spam law is up and running. Are you ready for it?

I’m not sure how heavily they will try and enforce the 1 and 10 million dollar fines for non-compliance, but there certainly has been lots of companies trying to re-confirm my consent to various email lists.

I mean everyone knows you must ask for permission to send people emails. Having said that I am on a few peoples lists that I did not give permission. They got my business card at an event or from some other engagement and just assumed I wouldn’t mind. Generally I didn’t and if I did I just unsubscribed. Being a marketer myself, maybe I had a little more tolerance.

Anyway, I thought you might like this article from an American point of view. This is from Jeff John Roberts at Gigaom and I kind of enjoyed it. Check it out.

The Cost of continuously checking email:  I mean this is a huge issue for most of us and only the very dedicated and focused of people can avoid constantly checking email, twitter, Facebook etc. I have been trying to curb myself of it. I mean being a sales and marketing consultant and publishing a digital magazine on empowering entrepreneurs means I’m on a lot of lists and exposed to tremendous info. I could go down a rabbit hole everyday for hours.

But I read a recent article in the Harvard Business Review by Ron Friedman, and he has an interesting take on it and re-inforced a strong realization I experienced this week. I needed most of a day to put together a fairly encompassing marketing plan for a client and decided to be very focused so as not to let distractions throw me off.

I did a pretty good job and even kept lunch really short but couldn’t help but check in on email at that point. Now I didn’t spend a lot of time, but I found that it then took me some time to re-orient myself ( as Ron points out in his article ). I had been on a roll with my thoughts and assembling my notes from my planning process prior to lunch and then I had to ramp back up. That equaled a little more lost productivity time.

Something to think about…go hard and just get er done! The rest will wait, or at best just scan for really important stuff and only react if absolutely necessary. Read the article here.

New Keyword Tool: I love using Google’s keyword tool to see what and how many people are searching for various products or information. There’s another new tool out there that is free and does a much broader search on the variation of the search term you use. You can check the tool out here.

Hubspot: You may be familiar with Hubspot. If not, they are an inbound marketing company and have really good software. I don’t have experience with it and I know it’s fairly expensive…but it’s the Cadillac.

But here’s the deal…they give out great info and I recommend you sign up. Lots of great ebooks and templates…Take a look around here.

Type 2 Diabetes: I know a few people who have diabetes and had a little knowledge about it (but not much) until recently. I was shocked to learn that this sugar thing is more out of control than I imagined and they say that in the next 5 years one out of two people will have some form of it. Yikes.

I found one of those health experts Joy Bauer and I really like her site and had seen her on TV as well. I took a quiz to see what great foods are good for combat and was thrilled to get a list that includes things I love. Like, beans, oatmeal, fish and especially wild salmon, egg whites, avocado, almonds…and the best yet…decaf coffee which I have been drinking more of after having given up for many years.

here’s a link to the quiz … and here’s another for some great recipies.

Treating your body right always makes sense and the only way to do that is to educate yourself.



Bitcoin, Trends and Marketing Secrets Revealed

A Bitcoin wallet on a smartphone.


So Bitcoin has been around for awhile and I don’t know about you but I have found it very confusing. No one or any article has been able to let me see the value or even the future of it so basically I’ve just ignored it. But it’s hard to ignore things that have the potential to be disruptive and that can change a very established game.

I am subscribed to Peter Diamandis and his recent post really put things in perspective for me on this. I think you will find it interesting. Read the article here

Trend Hunter/Spotting : I wanted to point you to a site that I find fascinating for searching for trends and you can really go down a rabbit hole here so be careful how much time you spend on it. It has dozens of folks scouring the world for products, concepts, new services and basically every imaginable topic is there. Have at it at Trend Hunter

Marketing Secrets Revealed: I’m going to start making more PDF’s and ebooks available and start incorporating some of my sales and marketing content ( from my Razor Smart Marketing consulting business ) into this newsletter. For people that maybe haven’t subscribed to the magazine yet maybe some inticement for the newsletter is required. One of my first incentives will be the marketing secrets revealed. It’s all about:

  • the marketing message vs the medium
  • using innovation to create your USP
  • 3 things you should never say in your advertising ( and you already are )
  • problems to avoid with web design
  • the new SEO
  • how to use video

you can check it out here



Think and Grow Rich…and my mind map!

think and grow rich


The June issue of E2mag of course is live and because it was the mastermind issue I hauled out my Think and Grow Rich book by Napoleon Hill to reference and utilize a few quotes.

Now I pretty much just looked at chapter 10 on masterminds and then put the book aside as I was busy finalizing the publication. But since the book was out I decided to to skim through it again over lunch. It’s the type of book you can go back to over and over again because all the lessons are so good.

When I read a book in my hand or electronically I am a ferocious highlighter of things that resonate with me. This actual book is quite dog eared.

I thought so many of these highlights are worth noting and I’d like an easier way to reference them. So I thought I would make a mindmap. I downloaded ithoughts the other day to my ipad…the app is like 2.99  It’s really easy to work with and I haven’t got it completely figured out but enough to create a map. Here’s what it looks like:

think and grow rich


This is actually a PGN image. you can also save it as a word doc, a PDF and all sorts of other formats…I opened it in ibooks…I’m just thrilled to have discovered this.

There are so many applications for this in my consulting business where I can create the mindmap as a discussion point vs creating a powerpoint, or drop it into a powerpoint or keynote. Ya I probably could have changed the colors but it was really just an exercise and I’m just learning. Another lesson I’ve been learning…just do it …80% is better than 100% never done!!!! it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Check out the content of the mind map…I love this book…and if you haven’t already you might want to give mindmapping a try.

Cheers, Brent


Gratitude – what a gift, are you seeing the benefits?


This is a photo I took from my deck the other morning. It’s so cool that I have figured out how to make my own picture quotes. You can do it in powerpoint or keynote easily.

Happy Thursday! I know, I missed my post yesterday. No excuses but it was a different day that I spent more on reflection and remembering a good friend of mine who passed away last week. His funeral and then celebration was yesterday.

Dougie passed suddenly last week while playing volleyball. Obviously it was a shock. Only days before we had played, BBQ’d and thrown sticks in the water for his black lab Romeo.

It’s a tremendous loss for his family, friends and all who met him. There were 100’s at the church yesterday…this was a man that was truly loved. And certainly a huge reason for that was his positive attitude, the way he treated people and the way you felt good when you were around him. It was a wonderful service and then a celebration of his life was held after at the balmy beach club overlooking the lake and volleyball courts where he loved to be. Our mutual friend Brett had some great words and insight into Dougie for the guests at the Balmy and those who spoke at the church were very good too.

I felt sadness yesterday but also gratitude for having known Dougie. It reminds you to make sure you express your gratitude to the people you know and love.

On that note, for this post I thought I would pen the article I just wrote on gratitude and if you are a subscriber to E2mag you will see it in the June issue in just a few days.

Gratitude – I think it’s something a lot of us might take for granted.

I’m sure most of us consider ourselves to be grateful and try to express gratitude. Certainly by recognizing, acknowledging and saying thank you to people, we can make everyone’s life more enjoyable.

I’ll never forget the training video I saw at a company conference of about 1200 people. It was in a retail setting and it was about customer service. A customer was approaching the cashier with her basket of goods and you could see the cashier was not in a great mood. The customer put the merchandise up and the cashier went about her business ringing in the sale without so much as eye contact, smile, or even a greeting. The transaction was then completed. Still no word from the cashier. As the customer left she said to the cashier – don’t I get a thank you? The cashier deadpanned her and said “ It’s on your receipt!”

Ha…you can imagine the gasp from the audience. You’ve got to be kidding. No, not really. Happens everyday. Maybe not that exact example, but you get the picture.

So that was an external gratitude illustration. What about the internal? This is where it gets interesting. Your internal sense of things you are grateful for. These can be applied to the past, present and future and have a HUGE effect on your happiness quotient.

There’s lots of experts out there on this subject and believe me I’m not one. But because of my yoga, and meditation and maybe just being more aware, I have actually made it a point to think more about gratitude and have created a journal for it. I like keeping journals, making lists, mindmaps etc, so this wasn’t a stretch. It forces you to spend some time thinking, and by writing it down I find it resonates.

Listen, a quick google search will produce a laundry list of the benefits…happier, sleep better, build better relationships, be more positive and optimistic, less envious, have better energy, deal with adversity and so on.

Hey there’s cool app out there developed by The Strategic Coach and it’s called Win Streak It’s for recording your wins each day and even predicting the ones for the next day as well. Recognizing your accomplishments is another great way to keep positive.

Here’s to your happiness!

Cheers, and live your best life now,