Friday, February 27, 2009

Marketing Yourself Through a Book: It's easier than you think!

By: Mark Helfen

Ever thought about writing a book?

According to Mitchell Levy, the speaker for the March 9 marketing SIG meeting, it's easier than you think, and will do great things for both your career and your business. The title of his talk is "Marketing Yourself Through a Book. It's easier than you think."

I spoke to Levy briefly about his upcoming talk at the Marketing SIG meeting. He is the author of 11 business books, and the CEO and Executive Editor of Happy About, and independent publishing house.

Levy says that the reputation you get from writing a book is the same as "spending 3 years getting your PhD."
The book will take 50 to 150 hours to put together, considerably less.

"It's instant credibility."

Anyone interested in establishing themselves as a "thought leader" should consider the idea, says Levy.

He expects to publish between 25 and 50 books this year, and says that 90 percent of what he publishes is profitable, so the author makes some direct income from the book. But the key benefit is "indirect income," consulting and speaking fees.

What if you aren't a consultant or independently employed? Levy recommends a book on your product, which could bring benefits both to you and your company.

He summarizes his talk with three points:

- If you ever had an idea that you thought should be in a book,

- If you didn't realize how easy it can be,

- If you have no clue to the significant benefits having "author" next to your name will bring you,

... than the Monday meeting is for you.

You can read more about Mitchell Levy's publishing business here

For the details of the next SDForum MarketingSIG, see here

Hope to see you there..


Mark Helfen is a Marketing Consultant and Freelance Writer. He can be reached at

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Job Resources II

I attended the SDForum Volunteers Meeting last night (my first one).

I want to thank Nixon Peabody LLP for hosting the meeting. The food was at least 10 steps up from the pizza at the SIG meeting - not that I don't like pizza, but its nice to take a break.

One discussion topic was how SDForum can help people who are looking for work in these difficult times. A few things that I learned (or knew but hadn't thought about recently).

The SDForum web site actually lists jobs available. There aren't a lot there (but you only need one)

at, -->resources-->classifieds

You kind of need to know where to look, but if you know of a job that would fit the profile of forum members you might list it here. I would vote for this to appear in a much more prominent place on the web site.

ALSO - did you know the SDForum has a Linkedin group?? Currently there are
1,235 members. I believe that you must be a paid member to join the group.

Groups on Linkedin are a great way to find out about people you are otherwise not linked to, and to communicate with them. If you are a paid member and aren't in the group, you can request membership from the web site.

We discussed how the forum can help members get work. I'm not sure we resolved anything specific, but the need came through loud and clear.

If you have an idea of what SDForum could do to help you, either email me (and I will post it here) or the forum management

Mark Helfen

Job resources I

At our meeting Monday, 12 Rules for Marketing Yourself, was packed. I would guess 75 to 100 people, maybe more - we had to move chairs in from another room.

Thanks to:

Sue Connelly,
Connelly Communications, Inc.
Founder of the KIT List


Gretchen Sand,
Senior Partner and Co-founder
Skyline Recruiting Corporation

For an excellent and informative talk.

The presentation slides (50 pages worth!) is slowly making its way to the SDForum web site. If you just can't wait, drop me a line and I will be happy to send out a pdf.

I plan to write a somewhat longer article on the meeting highlights in the next few days. But here are the 12 Rules:

1. Pay Attention to First Impressions
2. Focus on the Details
3. Make Your Interview Special
4. Choose your Attitude
5. Practice, Practice, Practice
6. K.I.S.S.
7. Dinosaurs CAN Fly
8. You Don't Have to Do It Alone
9. Button it Up
10. Dump Networking - its about Relationships
11. Have a Smart Job Search Strategy
12 Just Do One (Little) Thing More

Not much detail here - I will write more when I get a chance. But the slides are pretty complete, with lots to read and lots of detail.

Mark Helfen

Monday, February 9, 2009

Need a job/have a job???

Need a job? Please post a short bio in response to this post (ie: 1-2 paragraphs) and a url where people can see more information. Maybe your Linkedin page, or your web site.

Have a job? Please post a short description in response to this post and a url for more information.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Marketing Yourself in a Tough Market

Meeting preview
By: Mark Helfen

Our meeting next Monday (2/9) is on the topic:

Marketing Yourself in a Tough Market

Speakers are

Sue Connelly
Connelly Communications, Inc.
Founder of the KIT List


Gretchen Sand
Senior Partner and Co-founder
Skyline Recruiting Corporation

You can read the full details of their backgrounds, along with the meeting announcement here:
( )

I spoke to Sue Connelly briefly and asked her what people would learn by attending.

"We both want to share our life experiences" in the job market, said Connelly. She had tips and techniques to share, not only for a normal economy, but also for these "historic times."

The objective is not only find work, but to find a job you really enjoy, for which you are fairly compensated.

She said that the real issue is "people helping each other." While there are tools to aid this, the "person to person personal touch" is what is key.

People will leave the meeting with some practical steps.

"There are some commonsense things that people actually don't do. And some common mistakes that cause you to shoot yourself in the foot," she said.

If you aren't getting called back, aren't getting follow-ups and return phone calls, her advice can help you analyze why.

Connelly promises that you will leave the meeting with some practical steps that you can take the next day.

-- -- --
I saw an advance preview of part of the presentation, which included a bullet point "Dinosaurs CAN fly." This I got to see.....


Mark Helfen is a Marketing Consultant and Freelance Writer. He can be reached at

Monday, February 2, 2009

What's your mindset?

Meeting report
SDForum Marketing SIG 1/12/09
By: Mark Helfen

What's your mindset?

Or more importantly, what is the mindset of a successful entrepreneur?

That was the question covered by Frauke Schorr at the January 12 SIG meeting. Schorr, who provides "Coaching for Professional and Personal Excellence," discussed the results of her research that characterized the mindset of successful entrepreneurs.

She described the output of her work as defining "how successful people think."

A mindset is a specific way of thinking, leading to a specific way of acting. It might be described as how you see the world. Schorr claims that the success of entrepreneurs is only based 20 percent on specific skills, and 80 percent on the thinking and acting mindset.

Her May 2008 study was based on in-depth interviews with ten successful entrepreneurs. They ranged from 23 to 67 years old, were located in several countries, and owned between 2 and 42 business over their professional careers. They founded, inherited, or purchased their businesses, and at least one of their business needed to have "sustained, consistent asset growth for at least the last three years."

The types of business ran the gamut from photography to technology, and were not all the typical Silicon Valley high-tech startup.

Analyzing the responses to her questions, Schorr divided her subjects into "growers", and "maintainers." In each of these groups, they were either "satisfied" and "unsatisfied," for a total of four categories.

Schorr was asked if an individual's mindset could change over time. Her answer was that different people would have different answers, but in her opinion a new mindset could be learned.

Growers see their career as a path they are traveling on, and work at ways to keep moving along the path. Maintainers see their career successes as discreet points or plateaus, and work to maintain the success that they have.

"Growers are always looking at the next opportunity, there is always something else," said Schorr. "Their past achievements were not a success, but more of a stepping stone."

Growers tend to shift their roles within their companies frequently over time, "innovating who they are in their business."

Maintainers reflected on specific points in time when they felt they were successful. They said they "want to maintain that level," They like what they have and how things are working for them, and want to keep that level of success.

Some maintainers start out as growers, but over time shift their mindset.

The satisfied - dissatisfied scale reflected whether these entrepreneurs were focused on the present, versus feeling a constant internal pressure to either achieve more and focus on the future, or to keep themselves sharp and competitive.

"The satisfied growers were really curious,' said Schorr. "Lets see what's on the next level, lets explore the next thing."

The dissatisfied growers felt more "internal force."

"They said things like 'I really need to be uneasy, because as long as I'm uneasy and keep myself on the edge it keeps me going, If I get too comfortable I'm not going to achieve anything any more."

Overall, Schorr found that the satisfied growers increased the values of their business the most.

Despite their differences, all of the people she interviewed had a number of common behaviors, though they acted differently on them depending on their mindset.

You can view the presentation materials that were used at the meeting on the SDForum website, in the archives (listed under "resources")

You can find more information on Frauke Schorr at her web site:

Mark Helfen is a Marketing Consultant and Freelance Writer. He can be reached at