Gandhi’s Top Ten, from content marketer Paul Coalho

Gandhi’s top ten fundamentals for changing the world come to you via Paul Coalho’s blog. Coalho strikes me as a masterful content marketer though I doubt he’d classify himself as one. He has 2,268,197 Twitter followers (I just became the 2,268,298th) because he gives so much, like great content marketers always do.

1. Change
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.”

2. Control.
“Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”

3. Forgiveness
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
“An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”

4. Action.
“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”

5. The present moment.
“I do not want to foresee the future. I am concerned with taking care of the present. God has given me no control over the moment following.”

6. Everyone is human.
“I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal. I own, however, that I have humility enough to confess my errors and to retrace my steps.”
“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”

7. Persist.
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

8. Goodness.
“I look only to the good qualities of men. Not being faultless myself, I won’t presume to probe into the faults of others.”
“I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.”

9. Truth
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
“Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.”

10. Development.
“Constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position.

Photo of Gandhi with Nehru from taruntej via Flickr

What “Mad Men” can teach us marketers

Yes, I have a serious Mad Men addiction, but this post isn’t about Don Draper or the other mesmerizing characters on the best TV series ever produced. It’s about how the show exemplifies our obsession with looking good and marketing ourselves.

Most of humanity’s deep-seated drive to be attractive (not just physically) hit home for me shortly after Oprah promoted the author Eckhart Tolle. I finally read his book, THE NEW EARTH. Tolle writes about our need to build up our egos at the expense of others.

At the same time, I’ve been involved in a summer-long writing workshop with Ian Graham Leask, Twin Cities literary consultant, author, publisher. In our last meeting, the group discussed how we’re all engaged in the endless quest to ‘look good,’ not just physically but professionally, socially, and intellectually.

We are driven by our egos to impress others so they will value, admire, even love us. Most of what we do (I admit, I’m a prime example) is done in an attempt to be liked, to appear superior, appealing, smart, expert or funny so others will be drawn to us. Case in point: this blog and all the other bloggers out there. We all want to have our say, attract some attention and market ourselves. No wonder Technorati estimated there were over 200 million blogs at the start of 2009, with exponential growth slated for 2010 and 2011. Current estimates: 450 million ‘active’ English language blogs, according to SEO – Focused Web Content Writers. Wow!

A surprising number of our daily activities are focused on marketing ourselves, i.e. most runners do it to look thin, , writers write to appear smart, people earn MBAs or PhDs (not for love of knowledge) to impress an employer. Ad men like Don Draper, as well as our entire consumer culture, has been making a fortune off our insatiable need to look good in every way possible for the past century. Go Don.

Mad Men’s season 4 cast photo on Flickr, by tigerlilyO

About the Author: Maureen Fischer is QuirkyMarketing’s author and resident conversationalist. She provides content marketing–both strategy and execution–to clients in a range of industries.

How to Market yourself the Genteel, Delicious Way

Dinner parties are on the decline in Washington D.C., says Washington Post columnist and former White House social secretary Lea Berman in her August 6, 2011 column titled “Fewer dinners means meaner politics.” Berman, who was social secretary during the Bush administration, 2005-2007, says “Washington doesn’t go to dinner anymore and it’s bad for the country.”

This is not good. I admire Obama and his gorgeous wife, Michelle, and can’t imagine any couple who would be better hosts. Still, after one of Obama’s typical days, a dinner party might be a bit much.

I would like Berman to know that dinner parties are alive and well at my house in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. I hold about one every 4-6 weeks, not out of a compulsion to prepare elaborate meals or one up my neighbors. I do it for the reasons Berman suggests– when you sit across from a small group of people for three hours talking and eating, friendships are born.

Besides that, the trend for entertaining at home is becoming increasingly popular, particularly as the recession/recovery continues. With celebrity chefs and TV programs inspiring us to try and recreate a fine dining experience in the comfort of our own home, the pressure to deliver gourmet meals can be very high. Ignore the pressure and just make what you know will taste good. If you’re at a loss, here is a sample menu you might try: Grilled Asian Flank Steak, sweet slaw, mashed potatoes, green beans, french bread, Pinot Noir and easy key lime pie

Remember, it isn’t all about the food anyway, it’s the conversation and the time together. Sometimes, when people don’t know each other that well, the conversation centers on mundane topics like pets, trips or someone’s children. This is fine for a while, but as the host or hostess, you have the responsibility to steer the conversation in an interesting direction. I like to pose a few “Vanity Fair” questions (the last page of the magazine always features an interview with a prominent person. The questions are fantastic).

The more you learn about each other, the more quickly the relationship progresses. Dinner parties aren’t about creating a masterpiece in the kitchen, they’re about forging a friendship around the table. So give it a try. Market yourself and others over a glass of wine and dinner.

P.S. When entertaining, please don’t worry about cleaning the entire house. Just tidy up the few rooms the guests will be in, particularly the powder room. Then you’re ready.

Because after all, aren’t dinner parties the ultimate example of content marketing?

About the Author: Maureen Fischer is QuirkyMarketing’s author and resident conversationalist. She provides content marketing–both strategy and execution–to clients in a range of industries.

Obama dinner photo by Artur ‘TAUTER’ Taurus
Moth to a flame Photo by jαγ △

5 Keys to Career Maintenance

Salaries are slated to go up this year. According to the 2012 Culpepper Salary Increase Budget Survey, employees globally can expect a 3.39% salary increase in 2012, though that figure varies by region.

If you want to compare your income to what others with your same title make, go to Salary.com. This site reports, for example, that the median salary for a marketing manager nationally is currently $86,485.

In order to grab the highest salary possible when starting out OR when making a mid-career jump, it’s important to practice the basics of career maintenance and personal branding.I suggest skimming Me 2.0 and following some of author Dan Schawbel’s suggestions for growing your network and maintaining your career. Though the book is geared to Gen Y, it has relevance for Gen X and Baby Boomers, especially the online section that tells you how to use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs etc. to expand your network. It’s summer, however, and life is full of so many wonderful things to do. To keep things simple, here are five quick steps to keep the maintenance of your career on track:

The five basics of career maintenance
Have an up-to-date resume at all times; post it on your LinkedIn profile. Add your education and work history to Facebook (just copy and paste from LinkedIn).
Attend networking events and go through the attendee list ahead; know who you’ll want to meet. Know your industry’s best jobs site—for example, for IT it’s DICE.com, for marketing it’s MIMA.com. Be on the make.
Make sure your website and/or blog are featured on LinkedIn.Make sure your Twitter profile includes your location.
Put key words in your bio, your resume, your LinkedIn, your blog.
Then Google yourself. See what others see. Make sure you’re easy to find.

One caveat– building your personal brand and ensuring your future won’t happen overnight. Make it a habit like doing the laundry. It’s free, it makes you friends, and it’ll give you immediate options if you aren’t handed that 3.39% salary increase you deserve.

Money Roll Photo by Gnerk

The Top 20 Marketing Blogs

Ad Age’s Power150 list of marketing blogs–top 20 as of July 4, 2011 shown below– proves the world has plenty of topnotch marketing blogs.

And yet, after a cursory investigation of the list, no one is covering my niche: the discovery and sharing of cutting edge, quirky, cottage industry techniques by marketers doing their own creative, unorthodox or just plain desperate thing. For now, this appears to be a subject no one has claimed. No one but me.

As for my compatriots listed below, Ad Age DIGITAL ranks a total of 1186+ marketing bloggers all judged by a range of numerical data on a daily basis. Click here (it takes a second to load) for the complete list.

The Top 20 list is worth checking out. I can recommend Copyblogger and Chrisbrogan.com  Some of the others listed above are business operations that hit you up for a monthly subscription fee. Many feature guest bloggers rather than posts from the founder. Rand Fishkin (SEOmoz) and Jay Baer (Convince&Convert) are examples of highly knowledgeable pros who’ve grown so popular they require a monthly fee or rely on a retinue of guest bloggers. Still, no one beats Rand Fishkin for SEO expertise. And Jay Baer remains state-of-the-art on the ever changing world of social media.

As we all know, life is short and summer is sweet. Still, I hope you’ll take the time to check out a few that pique your interest. It pays to have experts like these to consult when it’s time to step up your efforts.

About the Author: Maureen Fischer is QuirkyMarketing’s author and resident conversationalist. She provides content marketing–both strategy and execution– to clients in a range of industries.