Monday, March 9, 2009

Zen Marketing With Something Useful

Giving Away Other People's Stuff Works FOR You

If you don't happen to be a programmer that can whip out a little application or widget to pair with Twitter, My Yahoo, Facebook, MySpace, etc., then try to partner with others that do have these little applications that they give away or let people use for free.

Piggy-Back Marketing Is Fun

If you arrange mutual agreements in order to promote cute apps for a development company, your exchange will not cost either of you any money but the benefits can be tremendous. There are plenty of applications that are tools or widgets that you already have free license to use (just so long as you don't try to SELL them). It's already posted to use the apps for free.

Normally, you can look at something and write about it much more objectively than the person or company that developed it can. This approach gives the product an "honest review" in fresh words for use in marketing and posting on the Internet. You will be doing a great favor to those trying to market their development skills.

How Does Piggy-Back Marketing Benefit YOU?

Well, if you have exhausted writing about your goods and services to the point of tears, then it is time to focus on things that your clients would be interested in. Forget about competition - what you are working to build is brand recognition and credibility. These two things are worth their weight in gold.

So, you should look for Internet apps that would compliment your web site and step away from your traditional marketing just for a short while. Just to get re-energized. Just to give yourself some space. Then you come back to your own marketing with refreshed confidence and hopefully new ideas. While taking time to refresh marketing approaches for your own products, your evaluation of other items or applications that are beneficial to your clients will build the close rapport and credibility that you so richly deserve.

When provide your clients with links to free things (relevant to your own market industry of course) or useful things that you do not personally sell, then you are showing that you are a fair business person that cares about what their customer wants and needs. You aren't out just to make a sale. You are here to serve.

How Do You Find Complimentary Apps?

Plenty of programmers post open-source apps all the time for the public to use. I'll give you an example of how to work an "angle" in order to find something that will work for you.

I have a client that has a gift site that has been in existence since 1999. Their 10 year anniversary is coming up. So - coupled with the 10 year anniversary press release announcement, they are launching the use of an app on their site (free app) that is a gift registry and a wish-list service. The programmer of the application gets a generous mention on their very high-traffic site and the gift site provides a new service on their site that is worthy of press release exposure because it has value for the readers. Free value.

Another example: I personally like using My Yahoo. I happened upon a little App that I knew a friend and marketer would be able to use to give to his subscribers and followers since they enjoy training for triathlons, working out with kettlebells, long-distance biking and the like.

The application I ran across is free to use and is developed by Brian Ellin. The app is "Velog", a social cycling log - Velog. It's a simple place to log your bike rides, and connect with others in the cycling community.

Here is Brian's MY YAHOO posted info:
Developed 3 application(s)
with 22647 downloads/visits
Developer Info:
Email: hidden

Yahoo! Technologies that Brian E works on:
Y! OpenID Service

The Zen of Giving

Now, since Brian is giving away useful applications like the biking log app Velog, he is serving the community by giving away examples of his superior development capabilities. I, in turn, recognized that a marketing colleague would LOVE this type of app to pass along to his constituents, so I shared that information with Brett, owner of, who also has just had an article featured on Leo Babauta's site Zen Habits ( which has a following of loyal 100,800 subscribers.

Brian doesn't know it yet - but he has just been royally ZENNED!

Hopefully he'll return the favor ;-)

You see, the point I am trying to make is that giving is a lot more powerful in building relationships with your online community than trying to talk your way into getting something. Old, sensationalistic forms of writing and advertising are becoming transparent and trite.

Practice giving.

Everybody wins.

To you marketing success!

Karen D. Hill

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