We really do like to promote ourselves, oh sure we say we don’t like to talk about ourselves, or pump what we do and who we might be in the pecking order. We do want people to know what we do and how well we’ve done it, we merely disguise it as a shameless plug, well we jest that at it. If you ask a person what they do, they’ll most likely tell you their job title, not what they actually do, we want to know some of the tasks, to give us an idea of how complicated your work may be. How important you might be in the hierarchy.

But if I were to ask you what you hated or didn’t like about your job, you could probably go on forever. I can assess you faster by hearing how passionate you are about who you work with or what you like and don’t like about the work you are paid to do.

When you venture to self-employment, you can no longer tell that story, you have to speak about how great your product or service is, how it will solve a particular problem. You have to plug your business all the time, sometimes we give a shameless plug, its an opportunist thing. I might say, have you read the most popular posts on my blog, hoping you might come and check the most popular blog posts I have in a list. That list makes it easy for you to see the most popular, and then the next…you should check it out, it’s on the right side bar. While you’re at it, sign up for my updates, they’ll be delivered to your inbox, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

It’s subtle, it’s effective, and it’s easy. The shameless plug is far better than sending, or spamming every social network, or inbox of people you have never had a connection with, they never opted-in. The shameless plug is no longer called that by name, today it’s called sharing right?



So here it is, its Wednesday March 12th, 2014, a beautiful sunny day here on the west coast of Canada. I fetched my snail mail this afternoon, I opened an envelope addressed to me. No, it wasn’t bills or bad news, it was…well, I wasn’t sure what to think. Most of the world knows who Mayor Rob Ford is, if you don’t know who he is, he is the Mayor of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has admitted to smoking crack cocaine, and is a binge drinker, along with host of other issues. There’s a much deeper story, but I don’t have the time, the patience, or the space to write it.

So, in the mail today I got a direct mail piece, they used Send Out Cards (www.sendoutcards.com), so, a card, I have never done business with them before, or know anyone who works for them, so they’re soliciting via the shotgun approach. This card was from a financial firm in British Columbia, getting the card was fine, but what was on the cover….well…. rather than me say it, I’ll show you:


Now I understand what they’re trying to do, but I felt like they were going for the cheap humor, potty jokes. The question, “What do employee benefit renewals and elections have in common?”gets lost in seeing Mayor Rob Ford’s picture to me. Call it shock marketing, hoping the negative will be a positive conversion experience. The sell inside the card, I removed the company name & phone number. Here’s the inside message:


Would you consider this a good direct mail piece, would you use the picture of Mayor Rob Ford as your cover, is this a good marketing idea or bad? Would you do business with this company? What is your gut reaction, impressions? Remember, perception is everything.

Considering all that is changing, how business is changing, how global and yet how locally our businesses must be, does your business line up with that future? Is your business social, or is it traditional? Does your business advertise on the Internet as part of its marketing mix, or do you stick with traditional modes of advertising. There are many questions to ponder when starting a new venture, but the main questions is, what kind of business, what structure, what type, and will it meet the needs of the economy.

The new economy is a connection economy, how does your business connect consumers, how do you connect to other businesses. Just using social networks is not connecting, depending on how you use them, most use them as another channel to yell, flood, to do what you’ve always done. You use them with a traditional mindset, it’s not connecting, it’s telling.

The traditional way, meant you had to have ads in the yellow pages, maybe you ran radio commercials, and you mostly used Newspaper. You never had to consider the Internet as part of your mix, and most still don’t have a clear understanding of how it works, and how to you use it for business. Today you have to think about where to best spend your time & money, adding the Internet as another way of enticing consumers to your business, to buy. But consumers act differently online, or do they?

More than ever , there is much to consider, it’s not black & white as it was back 30 years ago. The Internet is 25 years old, and brings with it challenges, and incredible opportunity. Asking yourself if you’re on LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus is the new normal today, knowing what to do on them, and how to leverage them, is not normal, not like Radio, TV, and Newspaper. But you’re already figuring that out aren’t you.

Business is getting much more complicated, it’s causing you to rethink what kind of business. Traditional or The Connected. And what does a connected business model look like, it’s the Open & Free Business Model. And that you can learn here on owengreaves.com.


The Internet is cluttered with programs and ads claiming their way to build a brand, is the right way to build a brand. I’m here to tell you, there’s more than one way. Many claim their system is the right way, the best way, the way that works. One of those might be true, but let’s get real, there are so many options to build a brand, so many tools, and marketing companies to use, so many ways, one person could never try them all.

Personally, it comes down to a couple of things, and its old school. Be persistent, and never quit.

If you stick with your strategy, your plan, and you always deliver, or ship. You will eventually have built a brand, you don’t need to buy every program that claims it’s the best way to build your brand, or claims to be the easiest. You can, but it still boils down to hard work, and being there everyday, showing up, shipping, delivering, it works, and is the truest way to know you did something. If you blogged everyday for a year, you eventually would have built a brand, because you shared, you were maybe helpful, you solved a problem, or maybe, you just informed your reader of something they never heard of, thought of, or new before.

That’s the beauty of building a brand, or sharing your work, you never know who is interested, or even likes what you’re doing. The most important part is, you’re doing it. The world needs you, it needs to hear from you, it wants to hear from you, no matter what your product or service might be. Writing, music, photography, the list is endless, whatever you’re passionate about, and you want the world to know about it, then put out there for the world to consume it.

No matter what you choose, there’s more than one way to build your brand, find the way that fits you best, and yes it will take time and effort, but do that, pay that price.

What is fusion marketing? Fusion Marketing is simple really, you do me a favor & I’ll reciprocate – kind of like Barter Advertising – it’s a different way of using old marketing tactics. For example, you put my sign in your store, and I’ll put yours in my store front. To me it’s just a fancy name for helping each other market for free.

It’s not a business model, it’s just marketing.