Monday, April 27, 2009

Gary Vaynerchuck Finally Gets the Recognition He Deserves!

My new friend Jennifer over at has reposted my Gary Vaynerchuck parody video, "Man of Many Wines - Episode 1" on her blog.

In honor of the momentous occasion of my newfound fame, I would like to present me with this garland of roses (de-thorned for my comfort, spritzed for due effect) and a kiss on the cheek. Thank me, me. Thank me very much. I am honored. Muah.

Do check out Jennifer's blog. She reviews wines, knows her marketing stuff, and demonstrates Christian pity on dime-store web-cam hacks ;)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My Video Review of the Red Hot Referrals Chapter of Business Network International (BNI)

I attended Visitor Day today at the Red Hot Referrals chapter of Business Network International (BNI). This is my review of the experience.

What is "Red Hot Referrals"? It is the White Bear Lake, MN chapter of an international real-world network of business professionals, called BNI. Similar to a chamber of commerce, members give each other business referrals.

Pretty straightforward.

What sets BNI apart from a chamber of commerce is that each chapter allows a maximum of one member from each type of business. For example, there is only one lawn care specialist in the Red Hot Referrals chapter, based in White Bear Lake. This creates an atmosphere of "preferred referrals" within the chapter and "locks out" the competition. If you join BNI, you will never see a "rival" company in your chapter. This lets you breathe easy and just be yourself. And trade lucrative business referrals with other members.

Pretty smart, right?

It costs about $400 a year to be a member of BNI. You have to attend meetings about once a week. "It's not netsitting, it's not neteating, it's networking," as they say.

The benefits of the organization became obvious to me when I attended Visitor Day today. Many long-time members attested to the effectiveness of the organization. Some members said they get as much as 70% of their business from Red Hot Referrals alone.

Everyone seemed to me very real, very genuine. I detected little to no bullshit whatsoever.

Those at RHR who I spoke with, please feel free to get in touch with me via Also: Comment right here freely.

Those who are not in BNI: Consider joining. It's awesome. And comment here freely.

I hope you enjoy the review.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Product vs. Brand: An Anecdotal Résumé for a Brand Revolutionary

For a rote employment history please view my résumé on LinkedIn. For an anecdotal résumé, please enjoy this post.

Youth was not wasted on the young.

Not in this case, at least. Here are some of my happiest branding memories from the days of yore. (Or my, as it were.)

The Product: Homemade Cookies

The Work: Sold a big plate of homemade cookies for 50 cents apiece door-to-door at age 6. Made six dollars, paid my sweat shop worker (mom) a dime.

The Brand: Big Brown Eyes

The Product: Greeting Cards and Stationery

The Work: Sold greeting cards, gifts and stationery for Olympia Sales Club (R.I.P.) during my pre-teens. Again with the door-to-door.

The Brand: Gumption. Strangers were impressed by a young person selling things to them.

The Product: Money

The Work: Put in my hard time as a telephone fundraiser for powerfully peppy librul organizations. Learned how to sell an idea to a stranger for $270 in under 60 seconds.

The Brand: Peace and Solidarity

The Product: Art

The Work: Post-college years: Assembled a collective of like-minded (and un-like-minded) artists, musicians, writers and misfits to throw shows and sells zines. (What's a zine?) Afunctionul, as the group was called, was more than just about the art. It was about the movement. It was about the method. It was about the activity itself - especially the marketing.

The Brand: Activity

The Product: Ad Space

The Work: While at tiny alternative weekly newspaper Pulse of the Twin Cities (now gone the way of Belushi and Cobain, R.I.P.), co-opted behemoth rival City Pages' Minnesota Music Directory and used it to market ad space to musicians. City Pages sales director threatened "legal action" for having "filched" their public list but ended up offering me a job instead.

The Brand: Big brass balls of steel and impudence.

The Product: Ad Space

The Work: I built a classified advertising section for Pulse from the ground up. Kept it humorous but classy.

The Brand:

The Product: Street Promotion

The Work: Passed out promotional flyers on the streets of Manhattan. The challenge: Holding a piece of paper in front of a New Yorker is like saying "Here, you throw this away." Solution: target one person and start talking to them a half a block before they reach your position, then lunge with the flyer as if jousting. Score.

The Brand: Pure golden sunshine energy charged in the palm of my hand and released.

All Grown Up Now...

But I will never forget those formative years. I never knew I was learning the difference between products and brands.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

How to Use Twitter for Business

A few rules of thumb for businesses using Twitter. For beginners and experienced Twitter users alike.

Are you considering using Twitter to promote your business and communicate with customers and prospects? Whether you are a beginner or an experienced Twitter user, the following rules of thumb will help your business get the most out of Twitter.

1. Relax, my friend! It's a cocktail party, not a sales presentation or board meeting.

2. Link your Twitter profile to your website or blog (and your website or blog should include easy links to the rest of your entire Internet presence.)

3. Have a to-the-point but interesting Twitter bio. Include your title and business name, but follow it up with something personal, distinctive or even wacky. You're a human being, act like it.

4. Tweet. Duh.

5. Vary your tweet content and style. Again, you are a human being living on Planet Earth. Don't try to tell me that your business is the only thing you care about. If something random but interesting comes to mind, tweet it.

6. Balance regular tweets with replies. Reply too seldom and you will be correctly identified as self-absorbed. Reply too often and you will be properly pegged as a follower not an initiator. Find an instinctive balance and I might just think you're human.

7. Be genuine. Are you seeing a pattern here?

8. Make your promo tweets AWESOME. Study great newspaper headlines and commercial tag lines. Take note when you see a great tweet and analyze it to find out why you love it. Apply what you learn to your tweets.

9. Time your promo tweets to coincide with UNUSUAL sales, promotions, events, etc. Timing is everything.

10. Help others. Freely re-tweet great tweets.

11. Share great links you think your followers might love.

12. Make friends. This goes along with that whole "try to pretend to act like a human being" thing.

The take-home lesson here is be human, interact, promote others as well as you and your business, be human, be brilliant, be human, and be...

What's the word of the day?

How to Throw a Yard Sale Using Social Media

This article describes how to leverage social media to supercharge your garage or yard sale and make a few hundred dollars in one day by selling things you do not want.

Do you have too much stuff in your house? Do you need a few hundred dollars to help lessen the blow of the economic recession?

Throw a garage or yard sale. Gather all the things you do not want or need, sort them into groups, put some thought into the prices for your things, and present them to your neighborhood for sale.

But how are you going to get people to come to your sale and BUY your things? How will you target the right people who want what you have?

How will you CRUSH IT and MAKE SURE your sale is worth your effort?

Use social media. If you build it, they will come is WRONG. Or at least incomplete. The quote should be, If you build it AND you market it, they will come.

My roommates and I threw a MASSIVE moving sale in Saint Paul, Minnesota USA this weekend. We got rid of all the things we did not want to keep as we all move on to our respective new homes. We made hundreds of dollars. And: WE HAD FUN!

(If you're not having fun, what's the point. Really. Everyone should know that by now. Come on.)

Here is how we made it happen.

1. Agree to the sale date, time, and mission. Our mission? In our case: to get rid of 90% of our material belongings so as to live a more Spartan - and hopefully more free - life.

2. Market the hell out of the sale, one week running up to the sale date:
3. Make sure your inventory matches the tone of the marketing campaign. (A "massive" moving sale had better have a lot of stuff in it, which it did in our case.)

4. Stay PRESENT during the sale. This means demonstrating a little respect for your customers. Greet them. Answer their questions before they can muster the courage to ask. Listen. Respond. SELL. MAKE FRIENDS!!!

5. Continue your marketing efforts DURING THE SALE. How? Just be awesome. Help carry larger items to your customers' vehicles. Offer coffee to make customers feel more comfortable and at-home. Be fun. Be real. Word-of-mouth will do the rest. In our case, excellent customer service resulted in multiple compound sales referrals.

So, to recap:

How to throw a yard sale using social media? Plan what to sell; market like a hustler; be honest; execute well; and give customers something to rave about.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Parody of Gary Vaynerchuck's Wine Library TV (Man of Many Wines - Episode 1)

This video is a tribute to/parody of Gary Vaynerchuck's Wine Library TV show. Watch an episode or two of Gary's lively wine tasting video series at to get in on the joke, or just dive into Man of Many Wines - Episode 1, right here. Guaranteed to amuse, annoy, or bore you to smithereens.

Then make absolutely sure to check out and subscribe to my blog, Man of Many Words, at, else you shall surely die (of boredom).

I hope you enjoy this loving dig at "the Internet's most passionate wine show", and remember: You, with a little bit of wine? Much more interesting.

- Will Conley, Man of Many Words

Credits:Will Conley, Host and Co-producerBrittany Wheeler, Director and Co-producer
Nicole Christine, Quality Assurance
Gary Vaynerchuck and The Wine Library TV Team, Inspiration
Wine, Truth

P.S. Be sure to get your free issue of Il Mio Vino, the Italian wine magazine, at

P.P.S. Follow me on Twitter for shits and giggles.

P.P.P.S. Please share the hell out of this loving parody of Gary Vaynerchuck.

Friday, April 10, 2009

My First Video Log EVER

Hi. My name is Will Conley, a.k.a. Man of Many Words. I have been blogging since Spring of 2006 and this is my very first video log. I will be talking about everything from social media to Italian wine to just why and how come it rains and snows when all we really want is nothing but bright, bright, sunshiny days.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How to Make 1.5 Cents an Hour on Twitter

Or, How to Be Jaguar/Land Rover and Spend Less Than $1,000 on Your Twitter Marketing Campaign

Screenshot of my Twitter profile with Land Rover's display ad and their first of three promo tweets. (As seen in PowerTwitter, a handy Firefox addon for enhancing your Twitter Web experience.)

So you've tried making money online by embedding ugly Google ads on your website and by the end of the year you had made enough money to buy a sock.

Time for a new get-poor-quick scheme.

Enter Twittad.

Twittad is a way for you to make big, big money on Twitter by uploading a display ad to your Twitter profile and allowing the advertiser to tweet a promo from your Twitter account: one tweet at the beginning of the agreed-upon time period, one tweet at the end, and maybe a little in the middle depending on the ad agreement.

It's not even all that obnoxious.

Me, I'm letting Land Rover advertise with me for 7 days for Two Dollars and Fifty Cents. They tweeted (see screenshot above) the moment I accepted the agreement and will tweet two more times through me. No big deal.

I won't get my Two Dollars and Fifty Cents right away at the end of the week. Twittad makes you earn $30 before they will cough up all over your PayPal account.

My ad agreement with Land Rover is better than some other ad offers. One advertiser wanted to give me Two Dollars and Fifty Cents for a whole month. I was like, "No way, I'm rolling in Land Rover dough, ain't got time for your chump change."

On the other hand, other advertisers will pay a whole ten bucks for just a week. I'm guessing others will pay more - especially if you have a lot of followers.

I have about 1,000 followers on Twitter. I tweet frequently. I engage my followers. I try to keep things interesting. (Follow me.) TweetValue says my Twitter profile is worth $644 based purely on followership. That's bull. A Twitter profile - or anything in the world, actually - is worth exactly whatever someone is willing to pay for it.

Besides, followership means nothing. You can have 50,000 followers, but how many of them actually listen to anything you say? Branding is not about sheer numbers, people. Don't get me started.

Land Rover is pretty smart. They're spending less than $1,000 on their Twitter campaign, recruiting 300 Twitterers to the cause just in time for the New York Auto Show.

Now if I can just get Jaguar/Land Rover on board as a Westward Invasion sponsor.

If you want to make some money on your Twitter account (and you might as well) then visit Twittad and sign up. Give it a shot. If you save your proceeds, and I save mine, and we put it in the bank, it will gain interest and our great great grandchildren will be set for life!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Seesmic Desktop Preview - 9 Amazing Thoughts for Seesmic Founder Loïc Le Meur

    "Seesmic Desktop" is the make and model of the latest and greatest Twitter client for Mac and Windows.

    And that was a triply-parallel sentence.

    And that was a fragment.

    Seesmic founder Loïc Le Meur (who created the soon-to-be-downsized Twhirl, another Twitter client) pre-released Seesmic Desktop today at 6pm PST to the ultra-elite "Team Seesmic" - of which yours truly is a member, thank you, thank you.

    So I gave Seesmic Desktop a test drive.

    (Join Team Seesmic here - no higher brain functions necessary - and become one of the elite few-dozen thousand. Like me.)

    As a loyal and steely-eyed member of Team Seesmic, it is my sworn duty to give Loïc Le Meur some honest feedback about Seesmic Desktop. So here it is - my feedback - blow by blow:

    1. Figure out a catchier name. Something ne sais quoi...more Twitter-esque. Come on Loïc Le Meur, "Seesmic Desktop"? That doesn't sound like a Twitter client to me. Sounds like some Frenchman trying to be incognito. How about "Tweesmic", bub. Try that. Then we'll talk.

    2. Right off the bat, Seesmic Desktop looks and acts much like TweetDeck. You've got your maximizable window with the multiple columns - one for the general tweetstream, one for replies, one for direct messages, and one for groups (sneakily dubbed "userlists" to differentiate from TweetDeck). Very nice, love it, old standby feature, must-have, you're beautiful, don't ever change.

    3. You tweet from up top as in TweetDeck, only instead of a tweet zone that appears and disappears at the click of a button, the tweet zone stays there, right out in the open, encouraging copious amounts of over-tweeting. Again, I-love-you-don't-ever-change.

    4. You can tweet from multiple Twitter accounts using Seesmic Desktop. Awesome. You can't tweet from them simultaneously though. You should be able to do that. Get on it, Loïc Le Meur.

    5. Some of the same bugs I see in TweetDeck and DestroyTwitter (another Twitter client you must try - wins the Will Conley Award for "Most Beautiful and Most Fluid Twitter Client") appear in Seesmic Desktop. For example, I open SD, I see tweets in my Replies column, I close the client, I open it again, and some of the tweets I saw earlier are now missing. WTF, mate? Also: What The Fuck, mate? Probably just Twitter's fault, not that of the client itself.

    By the way, quick commercial break for those who don't know what a client is: In Computer Land a "client" is "an application or system that accesses a remote service on another computer system, known as a server, by way of a network." Some people say "app" or "application" interchangably with "client" but those people are wrong and sad and need therapy and are socially awkward and will fork over their lunch money or else.

    6. Yo Loïc Le Meur, when I go to make a "userlist" or group, when I close the program and then reopen it, the userlist is gone. Userlists are useless unless they are savable. Fix that and you'rebeautifuldon'teverchange.

    What else.

    7. Apparently you can save searches from session to session in Seesmic Desktop. That's like, if you want to track all Twitter mentions of your company name, you will always be abreast of the nasty things people say about your company by using the saved search function on Seesmic Desktop. I don't trust it though, not yet. Fix it and/or give me some assurance of its "saved" savedness, Loïc Le Meur. Love ya. Je t'aime.

    Sorry, I don't mean to keep saying your name and making excessive condescending use of French. I actually parles un peu de francais myself. I'm just "having a go" at you and your culture, as the lousy Brits say. You understand. I gotta play the part of a bigoted Fox News-watching American, being American and all. I loves me some freedom fries.

    What else some more.

    8. Seesmic Desktop is prettier than TweetDeck. Not as pretty as DestroyTwitter.

    9. Make it so I don't have to refer to a Web browser to find out what someone is replying to when they @ reply me. Let me do it within the client like DestroyTwitter does.

    That's all I got. Talk to me. What do you all think? I know you're dying to talk, so get it on. Right here on Many of Many Words. And tell Loïc Le Meur to say hi to me. I'm lonely for some Internet fame.

    Monday, April 6, 2009


    FINAL UPDATE: The links in the post have all been corrected. Thank you for all your patience and feedback. You in the wine industry should now be able to enjoy your free lifetime subscription to Il Mio Vino, the Italian wine magazine for serious oenophiles!

    UPDATE: THE LINK TO THE FREE SUBSCRIPTION IS WORKING, BUT WHEN YOU SIGN UP AND HIT "SUBMIT" YOU ARE TAKEN TO AN ERROR PAGE. Please refrain from signing for the moment. When the sign-up page is fixed I will post the go-ahead for you to sign up and get your lifetime subscription to Il Mio Vino USA Trade Edition. I apologize for sending you down a dead-end. Please subscribe here to be alerted when the fix takes place (and to stay abreast of wine and social media news on Man of Many Words).

    I am NOT kidding you. This is a free lifetime subscription to Il Mio Vino, USA Trade Edition. If you are in the wine industry, you get the magazine for free, for life. No obligation, no tricks, no bull. Just click through to the landing page, fill out a few details, and you're done.

    Il Mio Vino, USA Trade Edition is ad-supported so that you in the wine industry can receive unfettered access to the latest and greatest news about Italian wines and stay abreast of the forces that are shaping the Italian wine world. Very cool, right? All I ask in return is that you pass on the good news. Tweet and re-tweet this article, Digg it, thumb it up on StumbleUpon, re-blog it, anything (see below for quick-submit buttons.)

    You get a lifetime of FANTASTIC information about Italy's best value wines, like:

    • Reviews and comparisons
    • Vintner biographies and winery profiles
    • General education about the Italian wine system
    • The latest news affecting the industry
    • Detailed charts, maps, and lush photographs of Italy's best-kept secret wineries
    • And WAY more.