Bill and Kirby Go To SkuCamp

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hasseman content commonsku I love going to events that educate and inspire me.  For me, it’s a great way to get out of the whirlwind, and learn and create ideas.  One event I had the chance to attend this year was Skucamp.  I talked about 5 of the takeaways from the event here. I was also honored to speak at the event with my good friend Bill Petrie.  Bill and I took on the topic of Content Marketing in pretty raw form.  We were honest about how we got started, and our struggles in doing so.  And hopefully we were a little funny too!  Here is a link to the presentation.   This presentation is for: *Anyone that wants to do Content Marketing…but is not sure how to start. *Anyone that is not sure Content Marketing actually works. *Anyone that has tried Content Marketing in the past and failed. Bill and I also dig into our overall philosophies about Content Marketing.   Feel free to check it out and let us know what you think! Make sure you never miss an update.  Sign up for the VIP Newsletter here. 

5 Lessons from #Skucamp2018

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kirby hasseman skucamp I love to go to educational events.  Whether in or out of my own industry, I enjoy digging in and getting new ideas…and getting inspired.  So this week, when the Commonsku gang put on their 2nd Annual SkuCamp event, I was in my element!  Skucamp was a 2 day intensive event designed to entertain and inspire entrepreneurs in the Promotional Products business.   I know the goal was to provide great education and networking opportunities.  I know their goal was to have a packed house, with a cool vibe and an awesome environment.  That’s every event’s goal, right?  But the culture of people around this event might be it’s real special sauce.  The Commonsku team has created a sandbox where some amazing industry pros want to come and play.   But what did I learn?  The answer is…a lot.  Here are just a few key takeaways from #Skucamp2018. There is no “one way” to do it:  There are many people doing really cool things in our industry that gathered at Skucamp.  But it was amazing how different each business and business approach is.  Some people were super focused on e-commerce.  Some business owners had no interest in that.  Some businesses were diverse and some were niche.  There is not one formula that leads you to success. Vulnerability is cool:  You never learn anything (or at least anything good) when you think you know everything.  Skucamp was a place where a lot of really smart people admitted that they didn’t know everything.  It wasn’t a weakness.  It was a strength. You Grow By Saying No:  You don’t have to be for everyone.  I talked about that here.  Opening speaker Mike Michaelwicz talked about this in his opening talk.  He discussed the idea that you don’t need to be for everyone…in fact that might be a bad thing!  Bring A Big Idea:  I love this concept from speaker Caryn Kopp.  She had a great session about getting the door open to companies and opportunities you wanted.  But this simple idea really resonated with me.  If you are meeting with a client, bring one BIG idea that could be huge for them and you.  Are you doing that consistently?  When I asked myself that honest question, the answer was “no.” Nice People Finish First:  In a world where we are under a constant barrage of negative, it was a wonderful reminder that good people are out there doing amazing things.  One of my biggest takeaways was just that…good people are doing great.  You don’t have to be a jerk.  You might not be perfect (I know I am not).  But you can be a good person and grow an amazing business.   Finally, it was a true privilege to get the opportunity to speak with my buddy Bill Petrie about the power and importance of Content Marketing.  Thanks to the gang at Commonsku for having us…and thanks to Bill for making me look better than I deserve.   Make sure you never miss an update!  Sign up for our VIP newsletter here.  We are creating new content every day.  It’s a lot.  Once a week we email you a list of all of it one place.  Sign up here.   

Brand-ecdotes: Bill Petrie

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 Welcome to a super awesome new blog post series for Hasseman Marketing called:“Brand-ecdotes!” Each week we will talk to a branding all star about what make the Promotional Product advertising media so special!   This week we talk with Bill Petrie.  Bill (as you can see from the picture above) is a Branding Rock Star.  He is a veteran of the Promo industry and is currently the President of PromoCorner 1.  What is your all time favorite Promotional Product and why?I’d have to say it’s “Van Halen-ized” Aurabox 2.0 from Origaudio. I travel quite a bit and bring a Bluetooth speaker with me everywhere I go. Outside of my family and work, music is my passion and by bringing the music with me, I can mentally transport anywhere. Plus, it’s got WAY cool Van Halen stripes. 2.  Can you name a Promo Product that you have that STILL reminds you fondly of an event, person, organization?  If so, can you tell us that story?I remember back in 2014 when I started brandivate – it was a time filled with both excitement and anxiety. The strangest thing about beginning my own business is that it didn’t feel real…until I received the first promotional product with the brandivate logo on it: a padfolio from Hit. Immediately, brandivate felt real, tangible, and concrete – and that’s the real power of promotional products: the ability to turn ideas into reality. Even though I sold the company to PromoCorner in 2017, I still keep that padfolio as it reminds me of the power of my own dreams. 3.  What is the current product you use all the time? Call me old school, but I still hand-write notes in meetings. As such, I’m a sucker for a great writing instrument such as this one from Goldstar. I’m picky when it comes to pens and always gravitate towards the ones that write really well. This one, writes REALLY well. Plus, it’s powered by pumpkin spice so you know you can’t go wrong. 4.  What is an idea/product that you think organizations UNDER use?In a mobile society, people live on their phones. As such, the best branding opportunity – the one that will kept, used, and remembered – is a high-quality power bank. While I’m partial to the TenFour from Origaudio, there are a number high quality power banks that will keep portable technology powered so you can share that picture with a distant friend, post a live video from a wedding a loved-one couldn’t attend, or simply just finish that game. 5.  What do you think is the best thing about Promotional Products as an advertising media?Promotional products (which I think is an outdated term, by the way) is really tangible, experiential marketing. The logoed backpack you take with you everywhere, the writing instrument you can’t bear to lose, the speaker that keeps you sane on the road, or that padfolio that instantly takes you back to when you started your business – all of those things make marketing tangible in ways more traditional forms of advertising simply can’t.


And…that’s the another edition of Brand-ecdotes!  Thanks to Bill Petrie for taking the time to jump in on this brand new project!  


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The Voices In Your Head

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  It’s hard to keep track.  In today’s cacophonous echo chamber of content and constant “news,” it’s hard to know what to listen to.  It’s hard to know what is worth clicking on.  So many of us default to the the latest trending topic or soundbite.  It’s understandable, but it’s reactionary.  I think it’s more important than ever to be intentional about the voices we allow into our head (on a regular basis).  Just like we become more like the 5 people we hang out with the most, we start to parrot ideas we hear on a regular basis.  So here are some voices that I seek out as I try to “fill my head with good ideas and thoughts.” Jeff Haden:  If you are in sales or an entrepreneur and you are not reading Jeff Haden already, check him out now.  He is a leading contributor for LinkedIn and  He is a really good writer (and a good dude).  Every time I see something that he has posted, I read it.  Here is the latest. Bill Petrie:  This one is a little self-serving since Bill and I collaborate a lot.  But his Monday blog posts are great.  Bill is a veteran of the Promo Industry and understands the idea that we are all “media companies.”  Read his latest piece here. Gary Vaynerchuk:  If you have not seen or heard of Gary, I am surprised.  But he is a huge motivator for me.  I can’t listen to all of his content (I have other stuff to do!) but it seems I get a nugget each time when I do.  He is direct and foul-mouthed and awesome.  He is best on Youtube and you can find that here. Bobby Lehew:  If you are wanting thoughtful insights and wonderful interviewing, you need to listen to Skucast with Bobby Lehew.  Bobby is with Commonsku and is their Chief Content Creator.  He also often gets to interview Mark Graham…and you just won’t find two brighter minds in the Promo Industry.  Listen to an example of Skucast here. Seth Godin:  One of the leading minds in marketing, Seth Godin is a true thought leader.  Want motivation and education every day?  You need to read his blog.  Yes he posts every day.  I am also super proud to have had the chance to have him on Episode 100 of Delivering Marketing Joy! John Lee Dumas:  I would be lying if I said I listened to all of his podcasts.  That’s because JLD interviews a new entrepreneur EVERY SINGLE DAY!  John is an inspiration on how to build an entire business around content.  He is also a great person to help you blow your “don’t have time excuses!”  Check his site out here. There are MANY other great content creators I read, watch and listen to…but this is a good start.  Who have I forgotten?  What other great content creators are out there that we should listen to?  Let us know! And if you never want to miss our content, sign up for our VIP list!  Each week we make sure you see our latest content and get some special offers too. 

8 Speakers For Your Next Event!

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 If you are planning an event (or planning to attend one) you want to go where speakers resonate.  You want speakers that entertain, inspire and educate.  We get it.  So we compiled this quick list of some of the best speakers we have seen over the last 2 years.  This list is NOT comprehensive (there are lots of great speakers out there) but it’s a fun start! Kirby Hasseman:  Forgive us for the shameless plug, but it’s true!  Kirby has been in demand lately as a speaker!  He has given talks on Marketing, the Give First Economy and Building a Business “on Purpose” and more.  He has even just written a new book called “Fan of Happy.”  If you want to laugh and cry, find out about Kirby speaking here.  Bill Petrie:  Bill is a rock star when it comes to providing value to an audience.  As CEO of Brandivate, Bill works with companies from around the country to help them raise their game through differentiation, process improvement and even social media.  He brings this experience with him to the stage.  Real stories.  Real takeaways.  Learn more about Bill Petrie here. Paul Keiweit:  There was not a dry eye in the house at a recent SkuCon event where Paul was a featured speaker.  Paul gives real talk about the ups and downs of life and business…and how to succeed.  In addition, Paul is just a really great guy!  Learn more about Paul speaking here.   Jason Lucash:  Speaking of SkuCon, Jason was another speaker at that event and he brought down the house.  Jason is funny, irreverent and relevant and a true entrepreneur.  He does a great job telling the “entrepreneur journey” through his own eyes.  Combine that with the fact that he is a “Shark Tank Survivor” and a business builder and you have a home run.  Learn more about him here. Dave Ramsey:  Dave is a ball of energy and a true teacher and leader.  Though he is probably most well known for his Financial Freedom program and his syndicated radio show, he Entre-Leadership talk is valuable for any entrepreneur or business owner.  If you want to have a better company and be a better leader, it’s worth listening to Dave Ramsey. Jon Acuff:  Of all the speakers we have seen over the past several years, Jon Acuff has been the most pleasant surprise.  We knew he was a great writer (Start, Do Over, and more), but wow!  Combine his message with funny delivery and you have a rock star on the stage.  If you are speaking to entrepreneurs or employees that need to find their mojo, Jon can dazzle.  Learn more here. Seth Godin:  Let’s keep this simple.  Seth Godin is one of the most influential people in marketing in the last 20 years.  If you can afford him and he will agree, you should hire him.  Go!  Gary Vaynerchuk:  Brash, unapologetic and real.  Gary Vaynerchuk (or GaryVee) is a business builder, best selling author and host of the Ask GaryVee show.  He has become the simple of the “hustle” entrepreneur.  In addition, Gary changes his talk to his audience and loves Q & A sessons.  He really brings it.  Learn more about hiring him here. Let’s face it.  Most of these folks do not need our endorsement.  But it does make for fun discussion.  Who have we left off?  Let us know!  Want to keep up all the time?  Make sure to join our VIP List!  Our VIP’s get an email with the latest content…and other special offers as well.  Join here.