Wednesday, December 30, 2009

End of Year Product Reviews

Well, it's the end of the year and this is my last newsletter
for 2009. Like many of you, I am eager to see this year end, and
I wish I could help push it out the door so 2010 and all of its
goodness could come rushing in. I have never been so happy to see
a year end, and it is indeed a cause for celebration!

I wanted to leave you with three reviews of three products that
recently crossed my desk. Some are free, and some you have to
buy, but all will help you with your online marketing efforts.

The first is a service from a friend called KnowEm. With this
service you can immediately search to see if your personal name,
product name or company name -- your brand -- is taken or
available across hundreds of social networks. Why is this
important to you? Well, there's a lot of unscrupulous identity
thieves out there, and you need to be careful. Part of this
service is free and the other part is a paid service but well worth
your consideration. Check out the review here:

The second product is a free software tool that enables you to
add video to your web site in a very cool and Web 2.0 kind of way
without any skills required. The free version is for
non-commercial use and a low cost version for business use is
also available. Learn more and see demos here:

The final product is a new collection of Photoshop Action
Scripts that offers 50 very unusual product image templates,
2 video tutorials, a collection of 2000 sales graphics plus 40
different professionally designed cover templates. If you create
your own products or create images for others, this is one of the
best deals I have seen in a long time. Hint: don't click their
buy link -- try to exit from the sales page and it will make you
a counter-offer for $30.00 less -- a steal! More info here:

OK, I hope you find these mini reviews helpful. Until the new
year (next week!), I wish you everything good in life -- happiness,
love, peace, health, prosperity, and clarity of vision.

All my best,


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Are You A Survivor?

Good afternoon. It's been a frigid week in Tulsa with temps
dropping from the balmy 50's on Sunday to teeth chattering teens
on Monday. Yeesh! Not fun considering I have been driving around
in a car without a heater for two years. It's one of those
expenses you tend to forget about until you realize you're
freezing your butt off again. After our frigid Monday, I made
sure to get the car fixed yesterday. Now I'm all toasty and
feeling happy again!

Of course, not having a car to get to the office, I worked from
home and realized that most of my "stuff" was in my downtown
office. So I spent the day catching up on processes and people.
As I've said over the past few weeks, I tend to get very
introspective this time of year, so having some time to myself
was good. I asked myself where I've been and where I'm going. One
thing was clear: I'm definitely in survival mode.

What amazes me is how many people I know who don't know how to
survive during tough times. It's like they are walking through
life and suddenly come across a brick wall blocking their little
nature walk. And then they stand there, trying to look over it or
around the sides, and then they just stand there, idly waiting
for the wall to be broken down by someone else.

After a while they may cry or whine about the wall, but then
they just become complacent, accepting of the situation, and just
sit down and camp out by the wall. Waiting. Hopelessly waiting
for something to change. Waiting. Slowly dying.

Is that you?

Has something changed in your life this year: job, money,
relationship, faith - something big - and now you are facing
something you don't feel prepared for? You're stuck. You've
fallen and you can't get up?

I understand this reaction. Shock. Fear. Feeling of overall
helplessness. Anxiety. Worry. Concern. Clueless on how to move
forward because, after all, there is this huge freaking wall in
front of you.

A therapist once told me she was fascinated by the way I lived
because I have this tendency to find myself on a precipice but
rather than look down and worry about falling, I tend to look up
and leap upwards. Frankly, I was too close to my issues at the
time -- a love relationship gone bad -- but once the therapist
made this statement and then reviewed anecdotes with me I had
shared of various turbulent times I had faced, I realized she was
right. Despite my frequent bemoaning of my fate (the sky is
falling), I was and am undoubtedly a survivor.

Here's some survival tactics I use when faced with difficult or
painful life-turning events:

1. Accept the worst that can happen, and then try to make things
better. This is an over-simplification of something I learned
while teaching the Dale Carnegie Course in Human Relations over
20 years ago, but I dare say it works! If you can truly accept
the inevitable -- job loss, financial loss, love loss -- then it
is easier to clear your mind and begin thinking of ways to
improve the odds in your favor, and as they say, make lemons into

2. Remember the power of prayer. I know for some this is a
stretch. It was for me. Raised as a Jew to the age of 13, then
turning away from God from the age of 13 through 45, and then
finally understanding there had to be something bigger than
myself and the world I lived in -- well, it took half a lifetime
to get there. I regret not understanding my place in the universe
sooner. Prayer is vital to my well-being and the well-being of
those around me. Try it. You'll like it. And remember He loves you
as a Father loves a child. He listens. And He responds.

3. Count your blessings. It is easy to forget the good things
about yourself and the good things (and people) in your life.
When tragedy strikes, it is easy to get lost in your emotion and
anxiety and worry. Guess what. The world will go on,
whether you want it to or not. But if you remember your good
qualities and the good people around you, you can turn your
attitude around and survive anything. Write these down and
re-read them often. Pat yourself on the back. You deserve it!

4. Learn to pole vault. Just because a wall drops down in your
path and seems insurmountable does not mean it is so. Some walls
are easily broken, but when you can't break it down, leap over
it. Look for new opportunities. Be clever and creative. Seek the
help of others if you get stuck. Learn to scale walls.

5. Determine your strengths. If you have been working the same
job or in the same industry for a long time, or have been a
mother or wife or care-giver for decades, when changes occur
through job loss or marital problems or death of a loved one, we
tend to get stuck because the comfortable role we have played for
so long has been threatened. Draw a circle and list ALL of your
strengths. Then draw lines like the spokes of a wheel around the
circle and start listing various ways you can apply those
strengths to improve your position. Focus on what makes you truly
happy. You'll be surprised what you discover.

I've been trading emails with many of my subscribers lately. I'm
bordering around 3000 subscribers across all of my lists now, but
I try to make personal time to respond to each of you. If you are
battling something and need a person to share that battle with
during this normally happy season, send me an email at It would be a blessing to me to share our
lives with each other. We will both be stronger for it.

Final word: I'm raising my rates January 1st by 25%. Starting in
the new year, my hourly rate will be $200.00/hour for web and
graphic design, copywriting, related marketing services and
coaching. If you've thought about leaping upwards rather than
fall down, and need some help along the way, I'd like to assist
you however I can. Drop me a line before the end of the year to
discuss your needs and challenges, and I'll grandfather any work
you need in 2010 at the existing rate of $150.00/hour.

Until next time,


PS: Please share this email with a friend:

Schneiderman Marketing, LLC, 1811 South Baltimore, Suite 203, Tulsa, OK 74119, United States

Monday, December 07, 2009

Stop Posing!

Good afternoon, friends, and I hope you are all well and rested after your weekend. On Saturday we celebrated my daughter's 13th birthday, and took a bunch of her friends on a scavenger hunt at the mall, a shopping spree at Aeropostle, a visit down Memory Lane with a ride on the carousel, back to the house for cake - ice cream - and gifts, and then midnight bowling and pizza followed by a sleepover. Some of the girls didn't leave until Sunday night! We're exhausted!

Have you been making some time to get a little more introspective and think about some of the challenges I have been laying down these past few weeks? Last time we spoke about gaining some understanding about your strengths and weaknesses and developing a plan to either delegate or outsource those tasks which don't play to your strengths or work on developing skills in those areas of weakness.

Today I want you to consider whether or not you are a "poser".

A poser pretends to be something he or she is not in order to gain acceptance or respect from others. As children, we don't know a lot about posing and we're just naturally ourselves -- innocent. Then as we get older, and we begin to understand the type of behavior that our parents expect from us, we begin to learn about posing. Or perhaps we don't receive the attention we want, so we adopt new behaviors to get the attention we truly seek.

OK, I always try to be totally transparent with you, so let me give you some personal examples ...

As a child, I learned early on that to become the center of attention I needed to pose as an entertainer, whether that be singing, telling jokes or doing magic tricks. When I posed, I pretended to be a different person, and this continued well into high school. Being small for my size, the only way I could get attention for myself was to entertain. I was quickly dubbed the "little magician". Not exactly a great moniker but it achieved the purpose.

But I wasn't being myself, and it took an enormous amount of effort to pull off performance after performance. Deep inside I am probably more of an introvert than extrovert, but when I pose as an entertainer I become much larger than life. Two different people. Most people think the poser is really me and enjoy being around that entertainer, but it ain't me. Not really.

We all get stuck in these posing roles at various times in our lives. Young people good at sports may pose as jocks and adopt a BMOC (big man on campus) persona. It may become part of their survival tools in a new school or to make new friends.

People often pose based upon their religious beliefs. I hear more and more about how so-and-so is being a "good Christian". People adopt these poses to please others and become accepted in larger social situations such as a church. The truth is they may not be any better than the person standing to their left or right, but if they strike the pose right, no one ever questions them. It's funny, but growing up a Jew in NYC, I never heard anyone called a "good Jew". Strange the way that works.

In business, we frequently strike poses just to survive the corporate rat race. Back in 1993, when I was invited by WilTel to relocate from NYC to Tulsa, it was because the perception was I was type-A, rough and tumble, take no prisoners, get it done at all costs, executive. I learned quickly that senior officers liked this, so I adopted this as my persona and posed the way they wanted me to pose. It enabled me rapid growth in my career and to accrue tremendous wealth. It did not, however, make me happy, or portray me accurately. My close friends knew me better than that.

Obviously, posing can have some short-term gain -- social acceptance, monetary gain, popularity, etc. Long-term, however, it can cause tremendous damage. We get miscast in roles that do not accurately or truthfully reflect who we are. Posing blocks us from making new friendships, changing careers, etc. because it causes people to see us inaccurately.

So here's the question of the day, how and where are you posing in your life today? What is posing truly achieving for you? How are people's perceptions of you actually doing you more harm than good? What changes might you expect if you let people see the real you? Will you lose or gain their respect? Will your career or business take a wrong turn?

What would happen if we all started acting like the people we truly are? Hmm. Imagine a world where everyone was honest and you could truly judge someone by their words and actions.

Will you ultimately be happier being yourself than you would if you continued posing?

I know. It's a tough question, and I warn you, once you make the decision to stop posing, you need to be vigilant about it because it is oh so easy to fall back into the bad habit of posing. I know. I face that problem on a daily basis whether I am sitting across from a client or speaking to my wife and children. While the "little magician" inside of me might be very entertaining, I am much more than that and I want people to know that. Hopefully you do.

If you've been a long-term subscriber, then you have seen me make a concerted effort to change the direction of my newsletter. When I started it 10 years ago, it was focused on selling the latest Internet widget or ebook or software I developed. But about 2 years ago, I made a conscious effort to be 80% focused on building a relationship with my subscribers and 20% on making money. Thus far, I'd say this has been a step in the right direction for me, but it an act of faith.

Right now I have 1300 friends -- subscribers -- and some of you have introduced me to your friends by forwarding my newsletter to them -- and some of you have become pen-pals -- and others have become clients. Whichever it is, I am grateful to have you join me on this walk.

Stop posing.

Be yourself.

Until next time,


P.S.: Please help me to reach more people by sending the URL to this newsletter to your friends. Help me to help more people.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Don't Become Invisible

Steve Schneiderman here. Hope all is well on your side of the
screen. Things have gotten unexpectedly busy this time of year.
Usually during tough economic times, companies tend to reel in
their budgets in an attempt to save some money for next year's
expenditures including taxes. Oddly I am seeing a reversal in
this trend. I am thinking it is because people have been
postponing investments in their business -- like marketing --
until they weathered the 2009 storm. If they are still alive, and
many are not, then they can most likely afford to start some
projects now.

Traditionally, closed-minded companies will reel in the funds on
all marketing and training and events. This is, however, the
wrong thing to do. If 99% of your competitors are reeling in the
dollars, they are essentially removing themselves from the
consumer spotlight. This means a huge opportunity for the wise
company who actually invests in marketing and training and events
because they will have less visible competition. I don't know
about your specific job/company, but it is something you need to
consider. When times are bad, invest in marketing to capture the
spotlight. Don't become invisible for a protracted period of time.

Last time I wrote to you, I asked you to spend some time,
in preparation for the new year, to consider your strengths and
weaknesses. Have you done this exercise yet? If not, do so now.
It's that important. Many of the people who I meet have a very
poor sense of self. They are not introspective nor do they
challenge themselves. They tend to define themselves in very
simple terms (I am an accountant, a lawyer, fill in the blank)
and merely plod along, year to year, without making any real
strides in their career or personal growth.

I know this process can seem daunting, but the easiest way to
start is to simply pick three things you do well and three things
you need work on. Also list three things you like about what you do
and three things you hate. Then beneath each of these mini lists,
list the steps you need to take to improve and be happier. This
is not rocket science. In some areas it may be simply a question
of reading some books or taking a course or getting some coaching
or mentoring. In other areas it may be delegating or outsourcing
those tasks to another. The key thing here is to TAKE ACTION!

Many people write to me about creating mini sites for their
digital products. If you have a body of knowledge -- subject
matter expertise -- unusual experience -- you should be
considering how to monetize this knowledge and how to position
yourself as a SME -- subject matter expert. Writing an ebook,
creating a series of audio files or producing a more elaborate
video series are all fine ways to accomplish this. Doing this
will generate passive revenue and help you to gain visibility.

I always suggest using this combination of tasks to accomplish

1. Define your subject matter expertise.
2. Produce your digital product(s).
3. Craft a compelling sales letter.
4. Create a squeeze page to capture first name and email address for
future marketing efforts.
5. Create a mini site focused on the features, advantages and
benefits of your product(s).
6. Integrate an autoresponder like GetResponse.
7. Write a series of 10 moor re emails to send subscribers back to
your site.
8. Write a press release and distribute it.
9. Promote through blogs and social networking and article
10. Measure results and tweak.

Oddly enough, task #4 -- create a squeeze page -- is frequently
omitted from most people's game plan. They prefer to send people
directly to their mini site's sales letter. But consider this:
what do you when people arrive at your sales page and do not buy
from you. Without capturing their basic contact info via a
squeeze page, you have no way of marketing to them and getting
them to return to make the sale. Thus a squeeze page is critical
and if you are not using one, then you are missing the boat.

Here's a new product from my friend, Max Rylski, that makes
crafting and implementing a squeeze page quick and easy:

Go check it out. For $27.00 it will easily save you hours and
help put you on the right road to email marketing.

Until next time,


P.S.: Give your friends a cost-free subscription to my
newsletter as a Christmas gift. Click the link below to forward
this newsletter to them. They will thank you for it!