Archive for May, 2013

Writers – Specialists Or Generalists?

May 30th, 2013

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Most writers will say that they just like to write, no matter the topic. From white pages to blog posts and technical documents to copywriting, myriad types of writing can overwhelm even the most talented and trained scribes.

If you’re thinking about pursuing writing as either a serious side job or full-time gig, generalizing is absolutely the wrong way to go. No matter how good writers may be, it’s common sense that whatever we practice more, the better we’ll get. So why not specialize in what you’re best at?

 

Specialists Earn More Money

Specialists get to charge more. It’s why knee surgeons make more money than generalists. –@grtaylor2 #brownbag

— stephanie (@boldave_steph) May 29, 2013

While it may seem fun to write about a variety of topics, potential clients are typically willing to pay more for knowledge they can’t find anywhere else. If you’re looking to start a successful writing career, find a niche and run with it.

 

Specialists Enjoy Better Job Security

Specialists survive. When economy is bad and dollars are tight, people want to hire the best. –@grtaylor2 #brownbag

— stephanie (@boldave_steph) May 29, 2013

If you’re the best at what you do, and what you do is useful to someone or many people, the chances you’ll always be able to find clients increases immensely. As Seth Godin talks about in his book Linchpin, cogs can always be replaced. Only those that provide unique value can count on either being respected by current clients to stay on as long as possible, or be sought after enough that as soon as one gig ends, another will be waiting in the wings.

 

Specialists Can Be Pickier About Clients

Think about who you don’t want to work for or who wouldn’t find you particularly valuable. Differentiate yourself. –@susanbaier #brownbag

— stephanie (@boldave_steph) May 29, 2013

Most entrepreneurs don’t start out that way, they first spend months and years figuring out what kind of people they DON’T like working with, what type of industries DON’T interest them, and what sort of projects DON’T get them excited. While many generalists would cringe when thinking about turning down potential clients, specialists with skills unavailable anywhere else get to pick and choose far more often.

This approach works for other industries, too. Here at Pagely, the staff focuses on managed WordPress hosting only — no web design, no backend development, no marketing campaigns — which allows them to devote all their time to making the best product possible. This approach also works great for referrals, as specialists need each other to survive.

Now go specialize. Here’s Greg Taylor’s full presentation:

16 OZ. Acrylic Spirit Tumbler With Straw 5042

May 29th, 2013

16 OZ. Acrylic Spirit Tumbler With Straw

Specifications: These double-wall, acrylic, reusable tumblers are all the rage these days. Drink your favorite beverage in style time and time again! (Note: Not microwave or dishwasher safe)

Size: 16 oz: 6”(w/out straw) x 4”(diameter)

Imprint Area: 3” x 3 ¼”

Product Color: Purple, aqua, clear, blue, red, graphite, tangerine, apple green, green, fuchsia

Imprint Color: White, black, blue, pink, orange, purple, green, brown, red (don’t see your color listed? Give us a call, we just might have it available!)

Setup Charge: .00

Layout & Design: .00*

Shipping Weight: 15 lbs/24

Price Includes:

1 Color Imprint**

1 Imprint Locations**

Digital Proof

FOB Gardner

Shipping Additional

Waterbottle

(Price Per Piece)

36 72 144 288 576 1008
.99 .99 .39 .29 .19 .99
Terms:50% Deposit. Balance due upon delivery. Most printed items are printed per “Standard Trade Practice”, meaning 10% over/under and billed accordingly.
*This quote accounts for a half hour design/layout time. Additional design time will be billed at our Standard Hourly Rate of 0/hr.
**For additional imprint color(s) add $.75 per piece per color and an additional setup charge of .00 per color. Please specify whether you want the imprint on one side, two-side or a wrap.
NOTE: Prices are subject to change.

Color Changing Gel Stress Ball – #LGB-CC01

May 29th, 2013

Color Changing Stress Ball – #LGB-CC01

Specifications: Liquid-filled Gel Ball changes colors when squeezed. Great for stress relief, physical therapy, and exercise!

Size: 2.25” Diameter

Imprint Area: 1.25” diameter

Product Color (Call for Availability): Blue/Pink, Black/Red, Green/Yellow, Orange/Yellow, Red/Orange, or Yellow/Orange

Imprint Color: Yellow, Gold, Orange, Red, Burgundy, Pink, Purple, Violet, Process Blue, Navy, Royal Blue, Blue, Reflex Blue, Teal, Light Green, Dark Green, Brown, Light Brown, Cool Gray, Black, or White

Setup Charge: .00

Layout Design: .00*

Shipping Weight: 30 lbs/ 75 balls

Price Includes:

1 Color Imprint**

1 Imprint Locations**

Digital Proof

Delivery to Your Location Additional

StressBall

(Price Per Piece)

150 250 500 1,000
.01 .93 .84 .76
Terms: 100% Prepay or 50% down with approved credit. Most printed items are printed per “Standard Trade Practice”, meaning 10% over/under and billed accordingly.
*This quote accounts for a half hour design time. Additional design time will be billed at our Standard Hourly Rate of 0/hr.
**For additional imprint location(s) and/or color(s) call for a quote.
NOTE: Prices are subject to change.

What’s Your Selling Style?

May 29th, 2013

When you work with your prospects/clients do you tend to be . . .
More formal or conversational?
Technical or do you “dumb it down”?
More passive or more assertive?
Do you like to chit chat or get right down to business?
I could go on and on but there’s a much bigger point . . .
Nobody cares how you […]


Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).

Waking Up With Your Smartphone

May 28th, 2013

IDC Research did an interesting study back in  March.
They collected data from 7,446 iPhone and Android users between the ages of 18-44 and found that 4 out of 5 people check their smartphones within the first 15 minutes of waking up and . . .
For 80% of them it’s THE first thing they do in […]


Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).

BBQ’s, Beers & Remembrance

May 27th, 2013

Every now and again, life has a way of delivering powerful messages via left hook.  At least that’s how it played out for me one day in a Memphis airport.
My flight had been delayed so I moved to Plan B . . . earphones so I could tune out all the pissed off travelers. Somewhere […]


Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).

Maintenance Window: Monday, June 10, 2013 12:00 AM CDT – 5:00 AM CDT

May 24th, 2013

Our primary datacenter provider Firehost is performing scheduled maintenance on: Monday, June 10, 2013 12:00 AM CDT – 5:00 AM CDT.

Scheduled Maintenance: Monday, June 10, 2013 12:00 AM CDT – 5:00 AM CDT

Impact: We anticipate up to 20 minutes of total downtime  and connectivity may be intermittent during this total  5 hour timeframe. We will be restarting primary and secondary services.

If you have any questions please contact support.

The Power Of 1000 True Fans

May 24th, 2013

1000 True Fans

One of the scariest things about writing in any medium is the fear of being disliked. Too many of us make writing decisions based on fear, instead of making those same decisions based on interestingness, shareability, and plain ol’ informativeness.

While this approach may attract a few corporate copywriting jobs, it certainly will not be remembered, make a difference, or substantially improve your standing as a writer and professional.

The key to success isn’t avoiding the people that dislike you or staying away from topics that other disagree with, it’s finding topics that resonate with the market YOU want to associate with. While this may sound like semantics, it’s absolutely not.

1000 True Fans

Years ago, Kevin Kelly wrote a fascinating blog post about finding 1000 true fans. These diehards are the ones you can expect to ask about your new work, peruse your archives, and buy based on their connection with you. Gaping Void, Seth Godin, and Apple are all fantastic examples, as their die-hard followers can be counted on time and again.

Connect With Your Fans/Readers/Followers

A key part of a long-term connection with any number of fans is access; people want to feel included and they want to feel special. Newsletters, emails, giveaways and video messages are fantastic ways to give insider access. For instance, every time Louis C.K. announces a new, to-be-recorded performance, he sends a typed-from-his-iPhone email to his entire mailing list. While the grammar nazi in many of us would cringe at this obvious first draft, the fan doesn’t care — they can picture Louis typing away on his iPhone while at a coffee shop, and that connection means way more than typos and misspellings.

Choose A Side

The opposite of love is hate and it’s hard to have one without the other. People constantly rail on flip-flopping politicians, reviewers that seem to give every product high marks, and sports fans that don’t seem to root for any one team. If your goal is simply to be known, don’t worry about choosing sides — but if your goal is to be loved and successful, pick one until proven otherwise.

Now go stand for something. Your fans will reward you for it.

 

Do our habits create us?

May 23rd, 2013
Rat mazeEver hear the expression:  ”First we create our habits…& then our habits create us”?
In my opinion, it is only partially true.  If you create new habits, they produce new results…yes, absolutely.  But new habits don’t need to be permanent ones.  What you need to add into your routine is the stopping along the way to monitor and evaluate your progress.  Just make sure you take inventory monthly…weekly…daily if you need to…so you can continually tweak or adjust your behavior (habits) to best your chances of achieving your desired results.  Example:  I wanted to lose 10 pounds in two months, so I created the habit of eating frozen yogurt instead of premium ice cream.  Okay, so I changed a habit.  After a week, I noticed I only lost 1 pound.  If I didn’t stop, evaluate, and  tweak my habit, I would have only lost 8 pounds in 8 weeks (and would not have achieved my goal).  So, I tweaked my habit further and changed from frozen yogurt to nuts and berries with a little exercise on top.  The next week I lost 4 pounds and was now on track to achieve my desired result of losing 10 pounds in two months.  And for you people who are thinking, “Yeah, but you gave up ice cream for nuts & berries!”…remember this:  ”Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.”  That’s about having the proper attitude about your goals and you can read my past blogs about that subject.  Contact me to comment.  I won’t WISH you luck, instead, go make it happen.

 

Do our habits create us?

May 23rd, 2013
Rat mazeEver hear the expression:  ”First we create our habits…& then our habits create us”?
In my opinion, it is only partially true.  If you create new habits, they produce new results…yes, absolutely.  But new habits don’t need to be permanent ones.  What you need to add into your routine is the stopping along the way to monitor and evaluate your progress.  Just make sure you take inventory monthly…weekly…daily if you need to…so you can continually tweak or adjust your behavior (habits) to best your chances of achieving your desired results.  Example:  I wanted to lose 10 pounds in two months, so I created the habit of eating frozen yogurt instead of premium ice cream.  Okay, so I changed a habit.  After a week, I noticed I only lost 1 pound.  If I didn’t stop, evaluate, and  tweak my habit, I would have only lost 8 pounds in 8 weeks (and would not have achieved my goal).  So, I tweaked my habit further and changed from frozen yogurt to nuts and berries with a little exercise on top.  The next week I lost 4 pounds and was now on track to achieve my desired result of losing 10 pounds in two months.  And for you people who are thinking, “Yeah, but you gave up ice cream for nuts & berries!”…remember this:  ”Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.”  That’s about having the proper attitude about your goals and you can read my past blogs about that subject.  Contact me to comment.  I won’t WISH you luck, instead, go make it happen.

 

Your Dream Is Scarier Than Joe’s

May 23rd, 2013

I was taking a drive to my favorite campground (and lending some really bad background vocals to a song on the radio) when it happened . . .
Some dude in a really nice Corvette convertible passes me. The guy is happy as can be (as well he should be for being able to pass my […]


Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).

6 Pack Nonwoven Cooler Bag – LB125

May 22nd, 2013

6 Pack Nonwoven Cooler Bag – LB125

Specifications: Durable eco-friendly cooler bag made of 80 GSM Nonwoven Polypropylene exterior and thermal food safe foil lining. Includes zippered closure and front open pocket. 25” l reinforced webbing handle. Holds up to 6 cans of your favorite beverage. Nonwoven poly is 100% recyclable and made of 40% pre-consumer recycled contents and 60% post-consumer recycled contents.

Size: 8” W x 6.5” H x 5.5” D

Imprint Area: 5″ W x 3″ H (Front Pocket) 3 1/2″W x 3″H for Multi-Color Imprints

Product Color: Orange, Yellow, Lime-green, Hunter-green, Reflex-blue, White, Burgundy, Red, Purple, Black, Navy, Pink and Khaki

Imprint Color: Navy, Reflex Blue, Process Blue, Carolina Blue, Red, Teal, Hunter Green, Emerald Green, Yellow, Athletic Gold, Orange, Purple, Magenta, Pink, Burgundy, White, Black, Gray, Metallic Silver, Metallic Gold, Brown

Setup Charge: .00*

Layout and Design: .00*

Shipping Weight: 22 lbs/150 bags

Price Includes:

1 Color Imprint**

1 Imprint Locations**

Digital Proof

FOB Gardner

Shipping Additional

CoolerBag

(Price Per Piece)

1000 2500 5000 6100
.25 .10 .96 .85
Terms: 100% Prepay. Most printed items are printed per “Standard Trade Practice”, meaning 10% over/under and billed accordingly.
*This quote accounts for a half hour design time. Additional design time will be billed at our Standard Hourly Rate of 0/hr.
**For additional imprint color(s) add $.35/color plus an additional .00 setup charge/color.
NOTE: Prices are subject to change.

“Send Me Your Information” Stall or Opportunity?

May 21st, 2013

Most sales reps consider the old “Send me your information” line as a stall or perhaps a substitute for “I’m really not interested”.
I know many of you will push back for various reasons.
Here are a few of them with my thoughts.
“Why should I go through the effort when I don’t even know they’re serious? If […]


Go to Sales Playbook
Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics where he oversees the training and development of 700 sales Jedis.

Prior to working for Consolidated Graphics. Paul was the Director Of Corporate Solutions Sales for Dale Carnegie & Associates and the owner of two successful businesses.

Over the last 27 years, Paul has trained and mentored over 3,000 sales professionals, written sales training content for several Fortune 500 companies and is the author of Castain’s Sales Playbook (which just won a Sales Pop award for best sales website).

Holiday Hours for Memorial Day

May 20th, 2013

MC900410795inConcert Web Solutions will be closed Monday, May 27th. Our office will reopen on Tuesday, May 28th. All website maintenance requests and website changes that are requested within this time period will be completed upon our reopening in the order that they were received.

Have a fun, safe holiday weekend!

Additional mitigation protocols added to combat botnet load.

May 17th, 2013

We have implemented additional measures to mitigate the ongoing botnet brute force attack.  While we feel we have a handle on the security side of things, the large volume of traffic was adding load to the servers and slowing down the overall user experience  We tightened down rules to drop these requests at the network edge and implemented other changes to regain system performance.

In some cases users like yourself will be redirected to simple Captcha page when attempting to access their WP login page. Completing the Captcha will redirect you back to your login page where you may proceed as normal. Periodically (every few days) you may have to verify again when logging in to your site.

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we work to keep your WordPress sites secure and fast.

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