7 things about visionaries who puts purpose before profit

7 things about visionaries

– Visionaries does, almost by definition, sell more in the long run, compared to those who are all about profit.

– Visionaries can be woken in the middle of the night and answer the question “what are you fighting for” in one question- where some people can only give you their value statement.

– Visionaries knows that creativity is the most rebellic thing ever – together with creativity’s just-as-equal right hand: action.

– Believes in the power of relationship instead of cold (dead?) canvas when it comes to sales.

– Stays curious and is eager to learn new stuff

– Look at problems as opportunities for growth

– Know that babysteps will get you there too

People copying your work


People copying your work will make you stronger. It’s something that only happens to the best of us (she said, time and time again, while rocking back and forward). No honestly. Getting copied by others sucks big time. It makes you want to do something completely different with your work, life, sweat, joy and tears. I have tried it around 5 or 6 times now and it’s not fun, it hits right up on the ego, and you end up having this small voice inside your head saying “see? I told you, that you wheren’t good enough”.

But you can take a couple of precautions for when it happens. Like having a good lawyer and friends to discuss your approach to it. And some time to craft a polite, yet a “stop using my stuff/terms/whathaveyou” email to the person who has been ripping you off.

I would strongly disencourage everyone to ever rip other peoples work off, and instead use their work, but make sure that the person who created it in the first place they know, they’re thankful and they get a karma boost of a couple of 1000 because you’re using their work. I have written about this before in an article called “getting credit matters”.
As the ever awesome Danielle Laporte has said:

“People say “It doesn’t matter who get’s the credit” – well screw that, it matter a lot”.

Stuck in the middle with you, rockers!


Going to Düsseldorf for Shift Relays as a keynote speaker on branding

On Friday I’m flying to Düsseldorf to be a keynote speaker for Shift Relays  about being real, branding for startups and how they stick together.

(Actually I am just going there to be a speaker, but I am opening the programme, and for SEO purposes I need to have some content saying “Keynote Speaker” – so there you go).

There’s a lot of stuff that I am not an expert in, but being real and branding combined is a speciality of mine. I’m sitting here trying to figure out what should be my key points and I am building the whole presentation. I think it’s going to have some elements from this presentation that I did in Stockholm for Aggro Pekuliar in May:

Some casestudies and finally my own casestudy around rockbandism, rockbands and how it became/I made it my brand.

Trigger creative conference – brand your band workshop

Last week I did a workshop called “Brand your Band” on my thoughts on rockbandism, at Trigger Creative Conference in Borlänge, Sweden. (and my “oldie-but-goodie ebook “why every company should be a rockband“).

It was co-hosted by Niclas “Deeped” Strandh and Jesper Wallerborg Almerud.

In addition to having the time of my life running the “Brand your Band” workshop at my first ever music industry conference (and hopefully not my last), I loved the feeling at Trigger. All the nearness that are sometimes missing from tech-conferences-of-today (that I normally write from and speak at) was there. Bart Omlo, the organizer and his team gave me a couple of epic nights and I will be able to tell my grandchildren that I heard a swedish rockband (they’re called Great Garb and they where awesome) play a gig, just for us “VIPs” right next to the swedish Lake Runn.

great garb at trigger creative

The lake where nearby Gustav Vasa hid from the danes, kicked them out of Sweden and became king of Sweden (I’m not totally sure about this story, so if any swedes reading this, and are thinking “boy, is she wrong” then please mention it in the comments so I don’t look like a total ass =)

Being at my first music conference ever, was a blast. The crowd wasn’t too big or too small, just as I like it. Why? because it makes sure that you actually get to meet everybody. I got home to Helsingør being energized and with a ton of cool ideas, inspiration and a ton of cool people in my pocket (well their business cards at least) that are also working creatively – just with music instead of branding, activism, substance and involvement.

trigger creative brand your band workshop

 Heres Niclas, Jesper and I, in the midst of the brand your band workshop

Here’s the slides from the workshop:

And… Here’s our collective worldrecord for very bad ideas summed up in a “bad idea manifesto” (you can’t see the words here, but head over to pinterest for full insights on bad ideas )(remember rockers – it’s all about the statements)

bad idea manifesto

Unfortunately I had to leave on the 2nd conference day, and missed the last party, but people told me it was crazy fun.

Some of my other highlights was – the people at the conference (they deserve second mention), the bands: me the tiger, The Deer Tracks, Good Harvest, Doris Hopp, Million Dollar Babies,

And a special mention to BoomTown (a music incubator to support music in Dalarna – how awesome is that ?)


So if any of you ever want my curly head in Borlänge again – I would love to come!

Social media value chain: the brand is human

value chain social network

In this age of social media and networking, people are reaching out rather than merely waiting for brands to approach them. As a result, discoverability is important – a brand and its offerings need to be discovered with ease on every platform. This is one way of putting your name and brand out there, in social networking.
But making sure that your brand is discoverable is not enough. Today savvy marketers are adopting the full measure of how people consume information and create buying decisions. Audiences are consuming media in different ways – through all kinds of screens, phones, tablets and computers. They have more control of when, where, and how they engage brands making the landscape for marketing so chaotic. But as a brand you should not only navigate the chaos, you should be enjoying it, because it’s so much more creative and exciting At the same time, advances in technology have also made relationship marketing and content marketing more effective.
Marketing based on relationship should make sure that all involvement channels are focused to advance prospects from awareness to consideration to purchase and use so that they become brand advocates. Is that the social media value chain ? Yes it is. I have even published a free downloadable ebook about this, called “Rock your identity” or “rock din identitet” (in danish) which is consisting of my value chain for social networking called the “social media value chain”.
To engage effectively in social media, it is essential to know where all those relevant conversations are taking place, what is being discussed in those conversations and who are the most influential conversationalists. Before you dive headfirst into those conversations, it is important to know that it requires full transparency – identifying yourself and your affiliations – and brands that have tried underhanded tactics in social media such as pretending to be someone else other than they are have generated negative reactions from the communities, often extreme ones.
But transparency is easy – it merely requires simple acknowledgement of who is joining in online conversations – “Hey, I’m from brand X, I hear you talk about this. Here’s our take on this topic.” Or even, “I see you have some concerns about the technology. I think this is where our technology fits in.”

You have to be careful not to engage mindlessly into any conversation, plastering sales pitches all over the place. If you enter in conversations that don’t have natural and immediate connections to what you’re dying to say, don’t bring it up. Just go with the conversation flow, participate based on what the community members are talking about, and stand out from the crowd by making thoughtful and intriguing comments.
By providing valuable insights to the topic at hand, brands can gain the respect of the community. And later, when the context is perfectly relevant, you can bring out your pitch, Or even if you’re lucky they will ask for your pitch themselves.

Surely, this will generate more of a positive impact on your brand by showing the brand is involved, that the brand cares, and that the brand is human.

Business Unusual: create the best viral videos and make your message stronger

I have for years and years been a huge fan of ImprovEverywhere and the work of Charlie Todd.  I’m psyched because it seems like the happenings shakes the status quo for a lot of people (in particular the people in the videos).  I mean if I would have been in one of them, I would surely see the world as more creative and as a place where everything can happen. Well I already do. I think it’s awesome that some people are committed to this instead of watching TV. I loved how they staged a fake U2 concert in the middle of NY Anyway here’s a few of my personal favorites from ImprovEverywhere:

Best Buy uniform prank:


Open Mini-Golf tournament:

And an oldie but a goodie: “Look up more”:

You can’t stop smiling watching these right ? There’s a ton of them over on ImprovEverywhere’s Youtube Channel. And if you’re in need of inspiration I would suggest to go in and pick a random video and watch it. You will instantly feel better. But enough of the fan-whoring. Here’s some of the commercials I think is largely inspired by ImprovEverywhere and they grabbing attention as well as some of the best viral videos.

So What makes them into the best viral videos?

Well first of all they have a huge element of surprise. Something is completely out of context.

Then they have a huge involvement of people and community they are both very staged and very planned. Almost in a flashmob kind of way, but then again not quite.

They give the spectors a huge experience with a strong message. I can almost guarantee you that everyone of the people who experienced either the action happening or the stop traffiking happening will tell their friends about it.

They are shot in one take. And you even feel that when you see them on social media and in casestudies afterwards.

I think that’s what you have to aim for to create the best viral videos – here’s two of my favorites:


A dramatic surprise on a quiet square campaign:

Stop the Traffik viral campaign:

I love how these campaigns are inspiring and how they speak strong. But I am wondering how the people who where watching the actual events they felt ? I mean do they go ” oh it’s just a campaign” – well it’s not just a commercial message, it’s a viral video! and even though the actual event only have taken maybe 5 minutes to record think about how many times it’s going to be looked upon on the internet.

Business unusual: Becoming a relatable company in tiny steps

Ever since I was an activist teenager rebelling against the world and myself, I have been a sucker for change and companies- my definition of business unusual. I guess it was one of the things I learned most from hanging mentally out with Naomi Klein and Kalle Lasn and staying a whole summer in super rebellic Montreal, at that point in time where you could actually buy a coffin up there to sleep in (hello electronic goth days!). But I can get into total handclapping spasm if a company actually does something to better the world around them, or better themselves to be a larger part of the world around them. And I can as quickly grasp my pen and paper and write columns to the local newspaper if I think they are doing something wrong. Like when I was a teenager, I got so furious because the first thing you see when you enter my hometown Helsingør on top of a hill suddenly wasn’t the beautiful coast of Sweden but a gigantic McDonald’s sign (that was my first column and my mother vetoed me sending it to the local newspaper).

When I was a kid, if the teacher asked us to draw a company or a business we would draw a factory with smoke coming out of the chimney and wastewater coming out of a pipe in a lake and a couple of fish with x’ed out eyes (so they were dead). I wonder what people would draw now if you asked them to draw a company. Some would draw brands. But one problem that a lot of companies encounter is that they are not relatable. This is a HUGE internal problem for a company doing business in a world where business is largely personal and social. I see these companies as standing on the sideline of a football match saying “hey, why won’t you play with us?” and the companies and people playing shouts back “Because we don’t know you well enough”.
We all know that the conditions for business have changed. From business as usual to business unusual. Today the pace of society has made it hard for companies to brand themselves, not only on the aspect of technological pace but also more about how our buying behaviors changed – largely because of the internet and the closeness that social media has brought us together as overall societies. You can’t really do a standalone brand value chain anymore because it has become so incredibly disruptive.
When I get lucky and get hired into a brand brainstorming session, an advisor role or a concept building role (which could happen more you business people out there with a lot of money!) with a new client, I tell them that step one in making your brand more “cool and filled with substance” is to make sure that every touchpoint they have with their surroundings has a person attached to it. Normally the management hesitates for a second and then burst out: “But that would mean every person in our organization would be some sort of personal brand.”

Yes it would. And that’s a good thing. Yes, I want you to do personal branding galore. No, it’s not enough to create personal branding solely for the CEO because normally he doesn’t have a lot of time to talk to people. No, you can’t keep personal brands as a part of your organization if they leave. It’s personal. It’s something that creates legacy for the person who has the brand, and better their chances of getting a job someplace else. See it as employee maintenance. But what if every piece of information going out from a company has a sender attached to it. What would happen if Mr. Larsen asked to talk to Betty every time he has a problem, and Mr. Jensen would ask for Sandy because they became the one to one face of a given company? It would mean that the trust of the company would increase. What if everyone in the company had their name as email addresses? Would you rather write betty@giganticboringcorp.com or BCM57@giganticboringcorp.com? The same on social media – what would happen if everybody knew the blogger/twitter/facebook/instagram team of company xx? It would turn a tiny part of the company from unrelatable to relatable.

Try it out and show the rest of us who you really are.

Elevator pitch tips from a business avantgardist

Whether you’re trying to raise capital, promote your business or, endorse yourself, it’s necessary to have an elevator pitch. Your elevator pitch needs to communicate your message quickly, accurately, and distinctly to someone who doesn’t even know you. A good elevator pitch takes planning and practice to deliver it fast – on the spot, and under pressure.

Yes, rockers, you only have one minute – the time it takes for an average elevator ride – to explain yourself, your goals, your passions and your business. Your listener knows none of these things. Are you prepared to deliver an awesome message? Can you present your visions smoothly, seducing your audience to know more exciting details about you and your business?

You might have wondered about the awe-inspiring ability of smooth talkers who can speak their way straight to your wallets. Well everybody has an ability to develop these skill – cause every skill can be learned.

Personally, I have struggled through low self-esteem throughout my teenage years because I have always been different from my peers. As a result, I ended up suffering from stage fright.

Today, I am as confident a speaker as I can ever be. And I think I pretty much rock on stage.

Based on my humble experience, these are the simple steps I continuously follow whenever I do my pitch, be it inside the elevator or in the inevitable after-conference cocktails that I always attend.

I call it the elevator pitch wheel, it’s shown in this article and you can read more about it here

Describe what your mission is: Here is where you state your value phrased as an impact. It may help to organize your thoughts by thinking of this as your tag line.

Describe what makes you stand out:  Now’s the time to show the exclusive benefits that you and your brand bring to a business. Show what you do that is different or better than others.

Describe how you serve: What is it you really do – in detail. So many times I have overheard conversations at conferences where a person basically tell another person “so I think it sounds awesome, but what is it you really do?”

Always keep your message simple, authentic and personal. Avoid jargon, trendy buzzwords, or business-speak. Your listener has sat through all those boring meetings, has attended those seminars, has read those books. You want to be memorable, and that means using your words.

Be passionate yet flexible. Listeners may be fascinated by your business logic, but your passion will create an even stronger impression. Now, if your listener wants to clarify something, be ready and willing to go in a new direction.

After all, the elevator pitch is designed to start a conversation. If that conversation starts sooner than later. Well done. Your pitch has worked perfectly.



3 ways to break down Word-of-Mouth

We have long known the value of word-of-mouth. While word-of-mouth has always been done the same way since we’ve learned to talk and socialize in such forms as a person-to-conversations as in the city square’s since forever, or over-the-phone interactions since 1961, the internet has provided a much faster way to share our opinions about the stories from people or brands that touches our emotions, needs or demand.  However: even today offline Word-of-Mouth consists of more than 90 % of all conversations.

The rise of social media where people are sharing their opinions and others’ opinions the agree or disagree with, or are inspired by,  in close-knit communities is changing the context of word-of-mouth from the primary social interaction between two people who knows each other well and trust each other, to engagement between total strangers, or between people who only know each other online.

However, I don’t personally regard the online and offline word-of-mouth as an either/or situation – even though only a dismal 10% are happening online, this is where a lot of my work is done and inspiration found. And those 10 % gives an extremely good outlook for the remaining 90 % (business talk: enormously large focus-group anyone ?) I have always regarded the digital world as an extension of the real world. Each complements the other. You hear from a friend about this product holding great promise and then you read reviews of it online before you make your purchase. Or someone from your social network forwards you a great viral advert and you showed it to your hubby over dinner. Or you walk into a clothing store, find a great pair of sneakers and go home and buy them online. Yeah that happens a lot these days.

I think the only reason why this online vs. offline debate continues to linger is because online word-of-mouth is much easier to measure than the offline. We’ve got tools to track brand mentions from brand conversations to following word-of-mouth on social networks so companies can gauge consumer sentiments – whether positive or negative – on 24/7 basis. On the other hand, offline measurement of word-of-mouth is so much harder to obtain and, it usually relies on asking people to remember conversations on a certain brand they have had, a costly and time-consuming endeavor within the time-compressed virtual world..

Given the inherent advantage of measuring online word-of-mouth as opposed to the overwhelming dominance of offline word-of-mouth in terms of sales, I have tried to tame the tiger and identified three forms of word-of-mouth that business leaders should understand in order to have a fighting chance – experiential, consequential, and intentional.

I think the most powerful and common form of word-of-mouth is the experiential as it results from consumers’ direct experience from brands. It is worth noting that people rarely complain or praise a brand for performing what’s expected but will go out of their way when the experience deviates from the expected. Criticisms when airlines lose luggage are classic instances of experiential word-of-mouth (United breaks guitars anyone ?) negatively affecting brand sentiment and reducing the effect of positive word-of-mouth from other sources. Of course, positive word-of-mouth resulting from exceptional service will generate windfalls for the brand.
But marketing activities can also trigger word-of-mouth, the most common of which is the consequential word-of-mouth. It occurs when people are exposed to traditional marketing campaigns, such as t.v., pass on messages about the ads or the brand they broadcast. The impact of these handed down messages is often more compelling than the direct effect of the advert as marketing campaigns that trigger positive word-of-mouth have relatively higher campaign reach and influence.

And the least common form of word-of-mouth is intentional as when business use celebrity endorsements to generate excitement around the brand. Before the advent of social media, only a few brands ever invest in intentional word-of-mouth because its effects and execution are hard to measure. Today, however, the shift of power from the brand to the increasingly opinionated consumer has forced the companies to look for brand advocates to amplify the brand within a given community.

At the end of the day, the vast expanse of opportunities that brands have to connect with their peers to boost awareness, appreciation and conversation with the goal of increasing sales doesn’t occur in the online world as many marketing pundits would have us believe. I like to emphasize that, sure, online is also important. But where the real sales are created – that’s offline. It’s where real stories are created and lived because that’s where we live and breathe.

What are the rewards of being digitally literate?


Digitally literate ? New beginnings require new perspectives.  As we experience the awesome unfolding of a new world, there has been a lot of talk about what literacy means in this rolling realm of the digital and further more – can digital literacy save the world ? Most of these talks around digital literacy are not sexy, so I want my simple share of the pie, too. For me, digital literacy is simply knowing what online tools to use and how to use them. But rather than waste my time and your time debating on what the official definition should be, I think it’s more appropriate to start getting my folks to care and to engage:

The number one reward is it saves me money. Between those coupon codes, comparison shopping sites, daily deal sites and mobile apps, the consumer within me is better informed than ever to get – only the best product but also – the best price. Throw in the ubiquitous free shipping, and this one incentive alone can make those digital immigrants wish they’d been born today

More than just the money, the digital saves me a much more important commodity – my valued time. Juggling a demanding career creating strategies + advice, several speaking gigs, a dalmatian grand-dane, bookwriting, a family + a house; I think it’s impossible without the internet. I literally can’t stand using time on shopping anymore. It has never been my “thing” but I would rather use 30 minutes look over the entire clothing catalogue at asos.co.uk instead of going to the local H & M and look 100.000 different items of clothes.

I also learn faster using the web. I can still remember so vividly the time when, during primary school years, my teacher used to encourage the class to read books with the dictionary right next to us. If there were words we did not understand, we could easily consult the 10-pound dictionary. Now, I don’t exactly remember the time when I last opened my dictionary. I simply go to an online dictionary to look up for the definition with an audio clip on how I should pronounce the word. Isn’t this awesome?

The digital allows me to connect to a wide variety of people. However, when social media took off, a lot of people criticized it for its negative effects on real relationships. I refuse to share the burden. That’s totally bullshit because I firmly believe social media is an awesome platform to start or maintain a relationship which I should nurture in the real world.

I can influence the world. I’ve been using the wonders of the web to spread my revolution about business unusual.  I’m lucky to meet people as passionate as I am who share this same ideal of instigating profound change in small doses around the business world. In a sense, I am blessed to be able to use the internet to exchange exciting ideas and at the same time tell my compelling story.

If you look at these things. Some of our ancestors where killed to speak their minds, yet alone save the world on a small scale – amazing isn’t it ?

How about you, rockers?  How digitally literate are you ? how are you making digital literacy saving your world, bit by bit ?

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