by mkedave on January 20, 2014
The media just wants the simplified sound bite.
So, Richard Sherman wears Beats.
by mkedave on January 3, 2014
People have needs.
You have answers to those needs.
If you focus on the user need, then your task is easy. Think about the specific thing that people are trying to do. What are they really trying to accomplish? Getting food faster? Replacing an old version?
Your solution should be to give them the easiest and quickest way to accomplish that.
I know. Easier said than done, right? Get design and engineering involved – they’ll know how to help.
by mkedave on January 2, 2014
You probably didn’t sit down to write a long list of big things you wanted to achieve in 2014.
That’s pretty awesome if you did (I’d love to see what that list looks like). But, it’s also admirable if you’re happy to focus on one thing at a time. That’s easier. That’s manageable. And, if you’re goal-oriented, that’s achievable.
As I was just getting back into the swing of things in this new year (because I resolved to write more every day) I found this bit of wisdom from Austin Kleon. A simple and refreshing message: something small, every day
You get it already. Small is easy. Small is doable. Small is that first step towards something that will, inevitably, become even bigger.
So, when you’re thinking about what you want to achieve this year: think smaller.
Forget about the year as a whole. Forget about months and forget about weeks.
Focus on days.
- Austin Kleon
A “day” is a solid unit of measure. Within any given day, you’ll give eight or nine hours of that day to working the “job.” You’ll need to save a little something for yourself. Whatever it is that you might want to achieve, you’ll need to apply the effort. Give yourself the time. (May I suggest just one measly hour?) Give yourself the tools. (May i suggest Evernote to help keep a record of your thinkings?). Give yourself the permission.
I’ve written all this entirely for myself. But, I hope you might also find it inspiring.
We have 364 more chances to do just one small thing, every day.
by mkedave on April 28, 2013
I’ve spent the better part of the past week writing a response to an RFP. Yes, in most new business and pitch opportunities, there is a lot of writing involved. Much of that writing is about how we’re proposing a solution, or demonstrating our expertise, or maybe we’re extolling the virtues of our excellent work environment, or maybe we’re just saying too much altogether.
Without ignoring the ask in the RFP, there’s probably a better way to respond than adding detail after detail inside of endless descriptions that do nothing more than support a single bulleted idea.
I get it: By nature, we’re storytelling creatures. We’d prefer to create a beautiful metaphor and surround that with magnificent rationale for why that proposed solution is such a perfect fit for that particular brand. In the end, the best ideas win. And most often, the winning idea is the one that doesn’t need a fluffy narrative and graphic explanation.
Over the past ten days, I’ve learned two things:
1) Persuasion is an art form.
2) Talking too much is a sin.
Actually, I don’t think either of those two statements are always true, but I will go one further and summarize what I think is the crux of good RFP response:
Think in terms of provocative headlines.
A headline doesn’t have to do all the selling, but it does have to stop the reader from skipping over otherwise important information. Just focus on getting their attention.
If you want people to listen, then say what you mean.
Here, I’ll just quote John Doe, from Se7ven: “Wanting people to listen, you can’t just tap them on the shoulder anymore. You have to hit them with a sledgehammer, and then you’ll notice you’ve got their strict attention.”
Be creative with the response itself.
As a freelancer, I once responded to an RFP with nothing more than a receipt from the local electronics store. In one shopping trip, I bought one item from the company that issued the RFP and one item from their competitor. I wrote: I went shopping and now I know how to get people to buy this (circled their product) and not this (underlined their competitor’s product). I didn’t win that particular project, but that did help me earn a long-time client relationship.
Don’t be afraid to tell them they can do better.
If it’s the truth, tell them. We’ll never earn new work if the previous work was better than what we can provide. Everything is always an upgrade. Prove why. The truth is easily told.