In every job I can recall, I had ideas that were met with raised eyebrows, scoffs, and not-so-veiled contempt."That won't work, Sage."
"We can't do that, Sage"
"That's not how we do things here, Sage."
I guess that's why I started my own business. Nobody would let me try things, so I was curious if I was as naive and idealistic as everyone made me out to be, or if maybe I had some good ideas worth exploring.
If you want small, incremental growth, do what everyone else is doing: lower prices, advertise more, cut costs, raise prices, sell more to customers you have. The vast majority of business growth comes from within those strategies. They work, but they don't lead to explosive growth.
Explosive growth comes from thinking about your business in completely new ways.
I got to thinking about this concept after watching a video from Jim Kukral: "Now Is The Time To Innovate." Kukral is a savvy Web marketer who has contributed to the Web marketing industry in creative, innovative ways.
The premise of the video is that times are hard. People are losing jobs. Layoffs are everywhere. "Now is the time to innovate."
His suggestion: sit down and write down 10 "really crazy ideas" that may get more sales or leads or publicity to your company. "The most outrageous ideas you've ever had." These ideas might be too crazy to ever use, but maybe some of them potentially could be used for some creative word-of-mouth, viral marketing (links, wink wink).
Now this is an exercise I can really get behind. My wife lovingly calls me "idea guy."
It's so fun because there's no risk. You don't have to show anyone these ideas. The sky is the limit, so you don't have fear being labeled as some kind of social deviant pervert. He did say "really crazy."
The first thing I did was define exactly what I wanted to get out of the exercise. I decided my goal was to get more immediate awareness of SageRock. The key for me here was immediate.
Because I care about you so much, dear reader, I'm willing to risk all forms of embarrassment, ridicule and any shred of honor I may have had left. For the good of your Web marketing evolution, here are the ideas I came up with.
Now, I'm sure Jim would tell me that the key to this is to not be overly judgmental of my ideas. "There are no bad ideas," he might say. However, I must say this idea has some difficulties.
Primarily, if I want awareness, that would mean I had to get caught. I believe, in large part, "all publicity is good publicity." This would be sure to gain a tremendous amount of "awareness" (especially because murder was part of my marketing plan).
Ultimately though, I wouldn't get to reap many of the rewards of this awareness as I spent the rest of my life in jail -- if not while I awaited my lethal injection for the shocking atrocities I imposed upon society.
I'm also mildly concerned that society would have enough moral grounding that they might not buy services from a company that was formerly run by a deranged killer.
While I can't be certain about the last part, for the record, I don't think this idea works.
Naked Web Marketing
Do an Impromptu Performance Art Project
Maybe a lunchtime performance that comes out of nowhere. I have a friend who is a performance art choreographer. I bet she would love to work on a project like that. We, of course, would video tape it and spin the hell out of it.
Make a Stop Action Film
Create a Documentary With Beggars
There's a weird phenomenon going on in Akron, Ohio right now. In order to ask people for money, you need to be registered with the city and have your city ID clipped to your outer jacket.
These people are stationed at different street corners throughout the city, holding poorly made signs, and asking for money. They stand erect, not moving, not saying anything, with their head hung down. It's just bizarre.
Maybe I could help them market themselves better. The "Helping Beggars Beg Better Initiative."
Help Someone Start a Business
Maybe I could hold a contest for people who want to start a business, but need help getting started. I would give them a series of mentoring lessons and money to start a business.
Promote Our Work With LGBT Community
We regularly host events at our company for an LGBT group, Plexus. However, it's not something we make a huge effort to promote because I don't want to come across as a person who does good things just for the marketing value.
I want people to know that I do things because I genuinely care about them, not because I'm some sort of shallow opportunist. However, I think the business community understands these kinds of relationships. You, as a business owner, can do well by doing good.
Hopefully by shining light on the twisted inner workings of my creative mind, these ideas will inspire you to try this exercise. It's tons of fun and might lead to a major buzz building (a.k.a. link building) idea for your business.
Join us for Search Engine Strategies Chicago December 8-12 at the Chicago Hilton. The only major search marketing conference and expo in the Midwest will be packed with 60-plus sessions, multiple keynotes and Orion Strategy sessions, exhibitors, networking events, and more.
The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!
SES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start - to help you master being found on search engines. Register today!