Bloggers say the darndest thiings ... on Michael Jackson

Did you know ...

"Michael Jackson had a patent."
       - You can read about it on the Advertising That Works blog.

"You know the morphing effect that we take for granted in movies and commercials, can even do at home on our laptops? What was the first time you ever saw that? If you're like me, it was in the Black or White music video. It was so cool, so cutting edge that I remember sitting in my living room watching it, right after an episode of The Simpsons, even now."
      - From The Exact Target blog.

"My question to you - How did you hear about Michael Jackson’s death?" 
      - Was it via Twitter version 1.0 or 2.0? Check out this interesting post called "Michael Jackson and the Twitter factor" on the Wikinomics blog. 


Who's The Leader of The Brand That's Made For You and Me?

I'm a brand. He's a brand. Wouldn't you like to be a brand, too? Now, you can be ... 

When it comes to personal branding, Tom Peters wrote the book - well, an article actually - for FastCompany magazine way back in 1997, and you can read the reprint here - "The Brand Called You."

How well does Peters' advice hold up ten years later? You can see what this blogger has to say about that here. But even more telling is how many followers Peters seems to have ... people who have given the concept of the personal brand their own twist.

Larry Genkin has taken the concept to new heights with his Personal Branding Power Pack, which you can read about here. Here's Larry's ad ...

Click to view larger.

Of late, this ad, by the way, has been running regularly in USA Today. I love the subhead, which I think should be the headline on this ad ...

"Honestly, Do You Chase After Business Opportunities or
Do Opportunities Chase After You?"

Mr. Genkin is the creator of The Thought Leadership Marketing(R) Method, in case you haven't heard of him. Sort of like a Tony Robbins...

He's not the only one to get on the personal branding bandwagon. Dan Schawbel is the leading personal branding expert for Gen-Y. His blog, "Personal Branding Blog(R), Navigating YOU to future success" is worth a look, especially if you want to pump up the volume on your social networking sites. FastCompany magazine called him, a "Personal branding force of nature." Business Week said he's "A leading voice in the area of personal branding." Entrepreneur Magazine called Dan Schawbel the "Gen-Y branding expert." His personal brand, it seems, is personal branding. Kind of like a rose is a rose is a rose, to paraphrase Gertrude Stein. In fact, on a Google search of the words "personal brand," Dan shows up third from the top. Not bad, beaten only by the 1997 Peters' article for FastCompany and a Wikipedia description of the phrase.

I'd say Dan beats Larry on that score!

Nevertheless, all this personal branding stuff got me to thinking ...

It's all wonderful IF you have something to back it up with. You can brand the heck out of something, but if it does not deliver the goods, all you've got is a lot of advertising and no sales. 

I'd rather take the $299 for Mr. Genkin's Personal Branding package and spend it on a course to sharpen my skills, a membership in a professional organization, or certification to boost my credentials.  And read all about how to enhance my personal brand online - for free.


More catchy phrases

Google "catchy phrases" and you'll inevitably find yourself here. Such is the power of Google. For my blog, which does not specialize in "catchy phrases" per se, is apparently receiving a LOT of visits from people plugging those very keywords into their search engines. In fact, my single blog post (until now) on this specific topic, which you can read here, has been viewed a whopping 1,400 times since it's original posting back on January 28th of this year - and that number is growing daily.

Which got me to thinking ... it's amazing how many people are searching the web for that kind of information, and if you're reading this now, chances are, you are one of those people. Keywords people use for this search have included "catchy financial phrases," "catchy direct mail phrases," "catchy summer phrases," and even "catchy chicken phrases" (I kid you not). 

In an attempt to not disappoint my somewhat newfound audience for this kind of information, I bring you MORE CATCHY PHRASES, starting with ...

Catchy financial phrases:  
Nothing beats "FREE money" for me or "get cash now."
Even better, show dollar figures - "$1 MILLION" is a good one.
But only if you can - that is, no false advertising.

Catchy direct mail phrases:
It's easier for me to give you tips on this, since direct mail IS my specialty.
In direct mail, some people think that one of the biggest "catchy phrases" is "Act now!" It's been around for so long that it's a cliche. More cliched phrases are "The sooner you act, the sooner you can save" or "But hurry! This offer is for a limited time only." Actually, these are not so much cliches as time-tested, proven phrases that get people to respond to the mailing. They are used so often because they work. They're plain English. The tell it like it is. And they're kind of catchy. 

To learn more of these phrases, you need to be a student of current and past direct mail. So start forming an archive of the direct mail that comes to your mailbox and circle phrases that are consistent no matter who is sending the mailing. Those are likely to be phrases you should be using in your direct mail, too. They're usually action oriented phrases that get people to do what your direct mail piece is intended to do - and that's get people to RESPOND.

Catchy summer phrases:
- "Ain't no cure for the summertime blues."
- "In the summertime, when the weather is fine ..."
- "Fun in the sun"
- "Life's a beach and then you die."
- "A cloudy day at the beach is better than a sunny day at work" 
- "Get in the swim ..."
I think you get the idea.

Catchy chicken phrases:
I'm stumped here. It all depends on the context. So I just brainstorm and come up with stuff like ...
- "What came first?"
- "The chicken or the egg?"
(After all, we're talking phrases here - not full sentences. If I had to come up with a headline for a chicken ad, let's say, I might write two headlines - one with the first phrase and one using the second phrase. Of course, my colleague/competitor might be doing the same thing. So ...)
I'd move on to the chicken joke ...
"Why did the chicken cross the road?"
And maybe try to do something with "drumsticks," I don't know.
This is not getting me anywhere, I'd probably be thinking ...

So maybe I'd do something totally removed from chicken.


The whole idea behind catchy phrases is (and this is the real secret) ... YOU HAVE TO MAKE THEM UP. You can't rely on phrases other people have used. You have to play with words. A catchy phrase is memorable. You want to repeat it many times. It sticks in your head like like a song lyric or the title of a book. 

And so I leave you with this YouTube video, which serves as a good summertime example of a great catchy phrase in use. (Can you tell me what the catchy phrase is?)


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