The Green and Clean Club, February 2018


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Shel Horowitz’s Clean and Green Marketing Tip, February 2018
ONE deep-discount ticket to the Guerrilla Marketing Summit in Orlando, May 3-5. I bought two tickets in December at the Early Bird rate of $199. Right now, it costs $497 for a pair, and that’s going to keep going up until the last-minute rate of $1497 for a single ticket. But the person I thought would use the other ticket has decided not to go. If you’d like to buy it from me for $99 (slightly below my cost), please write to me. Include a couple of sentences about what you do and why you’d like to go. And if you’re a nonsmoker, let me know if you’re interested in keeping costs down by sharing a room.
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This Month’s Tip: How a Toddler Took Action to Save the World

The 19-year-old who interviewed me for a telesummit on productivity recently asked me some questions I don’t usually get asked. Perhaps my answers about how I got started on this path and how the profit motive can be harnessed to create social good will inspire you (while demonstrating one of the principles in my second response). His questions in italic, my answers in ordinary type.

1. When did you first realize you could positively change the world?
My earliest activist memory was at about three years old. My parents were having a party, their friends were all hanging out and smoking, and I was reacting negatively to the smoke. So I crawled around under the coffee table and started breaking cigarettes in half.

Then I took a break from activism for nine years. At about age 12, I had two radicalizing experiences and I’ve been an activist ever since. First, I bought an adult ticket but was made to sit in the children’s section of a local movie theater. This is the first time I can remember experiencing discrimination against me personally. I was so annoyed that I vowed never to return to that theater. I’ve kept that vow for 48 years so far. And second, a few months later, I went to my first rally about Vietnam in October, 1969. A speaker said the war was undeclared. That destroyed all my faith in the checks and balances we heard about in social studies class. I started questioning everything.

2. What are some great hacks for boosting your productivity?

  • Hootsuite and Buffer, to better manage my social media
  • Reading while indoor-biking
  • Repurposing replies in discussion groups, columns, etc.
  • HARO and Speakermatch: tools that connect me with people who want media sources and speakers.

3. How do we align our professional goals with positive change in the world?
I’ve chosen to motivate business to create positive change through enlightened self-interest. Guilt and shame don’t work. But the profit motive does.

4. How do we determine which problems in the world we should begin changing?
We have many choices. Ask yourself what sings to you—or what so deeply disturbs you that you can’t leave it alone. I’ve chosen hunger, poverty, war, and catastrophic climate change: four that I feel are big and scary enough that many people are shut down about getting them done, but manageable enough to actually lend themselves to creative solutions in bite-sized chunks. I just have to show that we’re not helpless; we all have the power to help create solutions.

5. How do we get others to actively support our cause?
The first thing is convincing them that change is possible. I look at the movement I started that saved our local mountain. All the “experts” told us it was impossible. I set out to prove them wrong. I thought it would take five years, but we got it done in 13 months flat—involving thousands of people along the way.

6. How do we begin to realize we can change the world?
Look at what ordinary people have done throughout history. Rosa Parks was a seamstress; Lech Walesa (founder of Poland’s Solidarity movement and later Poland’s president) was an electrician in a shipyard. Save the Mountain engaged farmers, storekeepers, school children—people from every walk of life.

7. How can businesses generate a profit by positively changing the world?
By finding niches to fill. By creating and marketing products and services that address these issues in some meaningful way. And hundreds of companies are doing this. Two examples among many: 1] Solar-powered LED lights that replace toxic, flammable, expensive kerosene. 2] A gourmet brownie baker that hires and trains people considered unemployable.

8. Why do you love positively changing the world?
It’s in my blood. I’ve been in the activist world since age 12. My mom was an activist before me. If a black family was told an apartment was already rented, Mom would go and try to rent it. What’s really exciting is in the last few years, finding ways to integrate the concept of regeneration—making things better—into businesses that are already primed the think about sustainability. That’s why I set up a website at

9. What are you doing to soar higher?
I’ve spent the last few years figuring out how to connect business success with solving these big social problems. I’ve written the book, Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World. I’ve done the TEDx. I’ve attended and spoken at some pretty cool conferences. Now I want to find a critical mass of clients who will hire me either to create this kind of transformation in their own company or to enable their small business clients or nonprofit partners by sponsoring my work.

10. How do we stay motivated during the most challenging times along the journey?
Understand that it can be a long journey. The first protest against slavery in what is now the US was from a small group of Quakers in 1688. It took until the 1750s to convince fellow Quakers to oppose slavery, and more than 100 years after that before the US abolished slavery. The pace of change has picked up. It was less than a decade from the beginning of the Montgomery bus boycott to the passage of major federal civil rights legislation. The movement for same-sex marriage rights started only in the late 1980s as a fringe movement, but by 2004 it was legal in Massachusetts, and by 2015, it was legal in all 50 states. So we have to remember how much progress we’ve made, celebrate our victories, and strategize on how to expand them and create the society we really want.

11. Please let me know what offer you would like for me to share with my attendees. This can’t be a paid product but it can be a landing page with an autoresponder leading to a paid product.
Social change business readiness assessment:

Sampler from Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World: (click on the sampler link)

New on the Blog
Hear & Meet Shel

Ask Me Anything (#AMA) is a new (at least to me) model for conversations with experts, basically a live chat. I’m doing one on social entrepreneurship. I’ll be answering live Tuesday, February 27, 10 a.m. ET, 7 a.m. PT, 3 p.m. UK, 4 p.m. CET—but you can get a jump on things. Go any time and post your questions. I am visiting every few days and answering the latest batches, though you won’t see my answers until the air date. 

Stephanie Chandler of the Nonfiction Authors Association interviews me on Copywriting for Authors: How to Write an Author Bio, Book Jacket Copy, and Press Releases That Get Results Wednesday, March 7, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT. (follow the link and scroll down to “How to Participate,” then click “Join Here” to get a no-cost member profile and the dial-in instructions. If you’re a paid (Authority) member of NAA, you can also listen any time over the following 90 days.
Carole Murphy of Heart Stock Radio interviews me live Friday, April 20, 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT. Carole has a very interesting green business of her own, making purses of wild-collected Indonesian rattan, which grows among the rainforest trees and makes them too valuable to log. KBMF 102.5 FM, Butte, Montana, on Facebook, iTunes, and elsewhere.

Have you ever been to a Pecha Kucha? It’s 20 seconds each for 20 slides. I’m one of several speakers presenting one on April 24, for the Family Business Center of the Pioneer Valley, in Holyoke, Massachusetts—and I’m working as hard on this as I did for my TEDx talk back in 2014. If you’re interested I attending, I can bring two guests who own businesses in or near Western Massachusetts. Respond to this newsletter and tell me you want to come on April 24.

Guerrilla Marketing Summit May 3-5 in Orlando. I’m doing a 50-minute solo talk on social entrepreneurship as the next big thing for guerrilla business success, and also moderating a panel of several Guerrilla Marketing co-authors, each with their own subject expertise.

Watch for These! I’ve got taping dates but not air dates for:
MaturePreneur with Dina Todd-Hardy
Revenue Chat with Tony D’Urso (who did a fantastic interview with me several months ago for his other show, Spotlight—scroll down to his name to see what we covered—and to listen)
Profitability Revolution with Ruth King
Mark Struczewski Podcast, focused on productivity

Is Anyone REALLY Reading Your Sustainability or CSR Report?

Repurpose that expensive content, without using any staff time. I will extract the key items and turn them into marketing points that you can use immediately:

Friends Who Want to Help

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Order your copy of Shel’s newest book, Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World

Learn how the business world can profit while solving hunger, poverty, war, and catastrophic climate change (hint: they’re all based in resource conflicts). Endorsed by Chicken Soup’s Jack Canfield, business blogger and bestselling author Seth Godin, and many others. Find out more and order from several major booksellers (or get autographed and inscribed copies directly from me).
Download a free sampler with several excerpts, the complete Table of Contents and Index, and all the endorsements.
Another Recommended Book: Don’t Sell Me,
Tell Me
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Don’t Sell Me, Tell Me by Greg Koorhan (Crossbow Studio, 2017)

Like December’s review choice, Blue Collar Proud, this is a bit of a sleeper in a small package. It’s another book that pays careful attention to ethics before getting into the more obvious topic (storytelling as marketing)—and I see that as a positive. For Koorhan, in order to succeed with story-based marketing, you have to build a company worth telling stories about. Since I’ve been writing about ethics, green principles, and social change as business success principles since at least 2002, I happily agree.

But many companies get this all wrong. The trouble usually starts, he says, not when someone makes a mistake, but when the company tries to cover up that mistake (p. 15). Honesty is a great differentiator—but some business leaders can’t be honest because they’re not aware of what’s really going on in their company: “you cannot share the truth if you’re not aware of it” (p. 18). Thus, be prepared to do deep self-examination—to admit your vulnerabilities (p. 20).

With that all understood, NOW we can look at the storytelling piece. According to Koorhan’s research, telling stories is 22 times more effective than trying to convince with only facts

Koorhan sees infallibility as just not that interesting—so the stories can’t be about showing your perfection. Better: show the struggle—how you (or your client) got from a bad place to a better one, for instance. After all, filmmakers telling the stories of “broken heroes” are the most effective storytellers ever (pp. 29-30).

When you stay true to your mission, your stories create high trust for your brand (p. 38). As I’ve said for decades, your brand is not the visuals and slogans, but the “the sum of all experiences the customer has with you” (p. 41). In other words, your reputation is at stake every time anyone in your company interacts with a customer.

Koorhan makes lots of lists in the middle of the book and then elaborates on them. Here’s a list of some of his lists, each presented with explanation, and context:

  • Seven ways to brand your strongest benefits (pp. 43-47)
  • Six types of stories (pp. 47-51)
  • Four more elements of a good story (pp. 72-74)
  • Six steps to identify your brand message (pp. 79-82)
  • Twelve archetypes to factor into your psychographics (pp. 82-92)

The last third of the book continues the tutorial on how to create successful stories, with an emphasis on the aspect of connection. Some of his tips:

  • When considering which pieces to add and which to leave out, ask yourself if including this bit serves the story (p. 102)
  • Remember that authentic and humble will always be more meaningful than jargon and spin (p. 103)
  • Make both the video and text about them, not you (p. 115); a great way to do that is to dig for how a client felt before working you, and how that same client feels afterward (p. 100)
  • When networking in person, just listen first. If it’s appropriate, tell your no-pitch, relevant story. Then, and only if asked, do you go into your very brief pitch (pp. 118-119)
  • If doing anything in installments, use TV-style teasers to build interest for the next episode (p. 124)
  • When you tell your story the right way, the right people will respond (p. 134)

One little gripe: poor design. We’ve all heard, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” That’s very true of this book. The information inside is good, but the cover would have looked dated and amateurish in 1990, and the interior layout, while better than the cover, is mediocre—easy to read, but again, not professional. I was actually quite surprised to see a self-publishing coach listed in the acknowledgments, because if this had come through my shop, I would not have let it go to press without hiring someone to improve the design. (Yes, I still help people get their books published, even after adding the business-social change work). So forgive it the design flaws and go read it for the content.

Recent Interviews & Guest Articles: 

Shel’s done 28 podcasts recently, ranging from 5 minutes to a full hour. Click here to see descriptions and replay links.
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About Shel & This Newsletter

As a green and social change business profitability/marketing consultant and copywriter…award-winning author of ten books…international speaker and trainer, blogger, syndicated columnist – Shel Horowitz shows how green, ethical, and socially conscious businesses can actually be *more* profitable than your less-green, less-socially-aware competitors. His award-winning 8th book Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet was a category bestseller for at least 34 months (and is now available exclusively through Shel), his newest book, Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World, has already won two awards and is endorsed by Jack Canfield and Seth Godin. Shel also helps authors/ publishers, small businesses, and organizations to market effectively, and turns unpublished writers into well-published authors.

Shel Horowitz’s consulting firm, Going Beyond Sustainability, is the first business ever to earn Green America’s rigorous Gold Certification as a leading green company. He’s an International Platform Association Certified Speaker and was inducted into the National Environmental Hall of Fame in 2011.
He began publishing his monthly newsletter all the way back in 1997, making it one of the oldest marketing e-zines (it’s changed names a few times along the way).

“As always, some of the links in this newsletter earn commissions—because I believe in the products and services enough to promote them (I get asked to endorse lots of other programs I don’t share with you, because I don’t find them worthy).”
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