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Welcome to Volume Three of “Your Twitter Questions Answered on a Plane! This episode comes over the grey skies of Germany, as I fly from Hamburg to Cologne, to keynote the Leading Hotels of the World annual Sales and Marketing conference. Remember, you can ask me any question about anything here, and I’ll answer it on a future plane flight.
Let’s get to it!
@dartthrowtrader asks: “What’s the best way to train an intern to answer the HARO queries that apply to my business?” Well, that’s a dual-edged sword. HARO has a ton of queries that match thousands of businesses each week, and doing it yourself can be a bit time-consuming. But, in the same way that you wouldn’t let the intern handle a NY Times interview herself, you need to be wary of letting her answer HARO queries without help. I’d recommend working with the intern who has the PR or journalism background to start, then reading How to Answer a HARO Query blog post I wrote a while back. That’s a start.
@lisAfRosT wants to know how to get her artwork shown around the world. I think it’s all about connections, Lisa. Who do you know? To whom can you show your artwork? Who’d like to see it, and who’s in a position to help you grow it? Perhaps offer your art to a non-profit or the like as a goodwill gesture. This will get it in front of some influential people, as non-profits usually have rich and powerful donors.
@npantner wants to know if I’ll come to the next University of North Florida Marketing Expo as a speaker. I’d be happy to! Email my assistant Meagan (Meagan – at – Shankman.com,) who can share the process with you of how that could work.
@ablenetinc is starting to market a new ecommerce website that caters to the disabled, and wants to know the best way to market it. http://www.webstore.ablenetinc.com – Well, to do it for not a lot of dough, which is usually what everyone wants, I’d recommend starting out on Facebook – Chances are, a good portion of your audience is already there. From there, you can generate interesting content on the fan page that will give potential buyers reasons to head over to your website. Remember – interesting content drives sales.
@outsideismylove raises a question that’s near and dear to my heart. “Peter- I’m getting ready to do my first marathon and I have found that the endurance isn’t what hurts me… it’s the pain in my joints and legs that make this so hard. How do you keep your knees, ankles and feet from hurting too bad to finish?” For me, the answer is one you’re not going to like – Ice baths. After every long run, I come home, dump a bunch of trays of ice in the bathtub, run cold water, grit my teeth, and get in. I usually curse a bit as I’m getting in, as well. Ten, fifteen minutes in there, and my muscles feel better, my joints are looser… It’s brutal, but it works.
@mightyboognish wants to know if there’s life after pharma, medical, and technical writing for 15 years. I believe there is – a career change isn’t hard when you switch over to what you love. The question for you is, what do you love, and how do you make that make money for you?
@jessicaonline asks simply, “What is meaning of life?” Well, Jessica, obviously, the answer is simply “42.” Barring that, I think the meaning of life is to be happy, and to help others, both people and animals.
@Davequinn247 wants to know what I eat to battle fatigue when I get up as early as I do. Dave, for me, the answer always comes down to protein. Carbs fade, protein lasts forever. Your mileage may vary, but a good sandwich around 1pm with either meat, chicken, or fish, helps me get through the day.
@Act3 wants to know how I think the media is handling Donald Trump as a candidate. I think they’re giving him waaaay to much exposure and airtime. It’s like showing 300 different angles of a massive deadly car crash – There’s always something to see. As long as he continues saying outlandish, douchey things, the media will sadly, continue to cover him.
@DogGuideTrainer wants to know how to convert followers and fans into financial supporters. I think one of the easiest ways to do that is to offered “tiered” levels of support, with gifts to match specific tiers. I.e., a sweatshirt for $100, a free dog walk for $500, etc. Be sure to include very small amount tiers as well ($10, $20, etc.) The average online donation for sites like “kickstarter” and the like is $77, so it might be a good way to donate.
@linds_meredith wants career advice honed towards someone stressing over career choices at age 22. Linds, I didn’t have a DAMN CLUE as to what I was supposed to do with my life at 22, and I STILL DON’T! That’s the beauty of it! The goal is to have fun. If you’re not having fun, do something else! Keep trying new things, and find something you enjoy. And don’t worry. The universe really does tend to unfold the way it should. 🙂
@kenhelmanopco (Hi Ken!) wants to know how the universe was formed, and which came first – the chicken or the egg. I defer to Carl Sagan: “We are all starstuff.”
@Scherecwich wants to know if I’ll be on a plane next week. Is the sky blue?
@holly1pr wants to know how what kind of computer to get her neophyte in-laws that won’t drive her crazy with tons of questions. Go with a Mac, Holly. Go with a Mac. Simple, easy to use, rarely crashes, doesn’t require drivers or any other crap, almost immune to viruses, and they can be up and running in about eleven seconds.
@Scherecwich wants to know if I’m worried about flying as much as I do, with OBL dead and Al Qaida vowing revenge. I’m actually not. Flying right now is probably the safest thing I can do. Why? Because if something looks even remotely “off” about someone on a plane, chances are I and the rest of the cabin will neutralize the threat in about five seconds. Flying is completely safe. Sadly, I think the next attack will come on the ground – a mall, a train, etc. We just have to keep being vigilant. That DOESN’T mean, however, giving up any more of our rights. We’ve gotta find a balance somewhere.
@iwearyourshirt (Hi Jason) wants to know – If I could go back in time and invent something before anyone else, what would it be? What an awesome question! I think I’d create MTV, but with the caveat that it could never turn into a reality channel. Heh. On a more serious note, I’d want to create something that fundamentally changes the world. Perhaps the printing press or the car.
@katedonlon wants suggestions on how to fund her new Yoga studio. Other than Kickstarter or the usual suspects, what about holding “pay what you can” classes in the park on weekends or early mornings while the weather is good, with all proceeds going to help fund the studio? Also look at grants from the government – Yoga could be considered a wellness program, and the government will occasionally offer money to those doing those types of programs.
@AlanFitzsimmons wants to know my thoughts on LinkedIn. I see some value in it, but for me, it’s really all about Facebook – Knowing where my audience is and learning about them seems much easier on FB than LI – for me, it’s knowing about my audience as individuals – all about their lives – not just their sanitized business resume. Go after finding contacts on FB, and really nurture them for your new job. Don’t just reach out and say “FIND ME A JOB!”
@Kd2muchh wants to know if I’m an actor. I used to be! Mostly musicals and musical comedy – HMS Pinafore, Company, etc. Would I like to do it again? Most definitely.
That’s it for this quick 45 minute flight, we’re close to landing in Cologne, and I’m being yelled at to put my laptop away. At least, that’s what I think they’re saying – It’s in German. Another episode coming soon – stay tuned, and thanks for reading! 🙂