Gini Dietrich

Prom Queen or Prom Geek?

By: Gini Dietrich | July 11, 2011 | 

Something weird is happening: We’re the pretty girl who isn’t getting invited to Prom because everyone assumes she’s already been asked.

In the past month, I have had three different people ask me if I can recommend a PR/digital firm. With all three I asked more about their needs (because I assumed they already disqualified us) only to realize we’d be a perfect fit for them.

So I’ve responded with, “Uh…us?”

To which all three said, in some form of the same response, “OH! You’re taking new clients? We’d love to work with you. We thought you were too busy.”

At what point, while you’re growing a company (or two) does being too busy equate to not taking on new clients? Maybe I’m weird, but growth equals more clients, in my mind.

But, like I always do, I took those three conversations to heart and became introspective. What are we doing that makes people think we’re too busy to take on new clients?

Is it because we’re working to launch Spin Sucks Pro, which will have clients in a non-traditional, non-client service way?

Is it because I, personally, am really busy?

Is it because people trust me to make recommendations, but don’t want to work with us?

Is it because I don’t make a clear enough delineation between the blog and the work we do for clients at Arment Dietrich?

Is it because there is a perception that we’re too big or too expensive or not the right fit?

Is it because no one really knows what we do?

It it because our accounting process is the Sort ‘N Bank, which apparently makes people nervous?

I don’t have an answer, which is why I’m blogging about it.

We want to go to the Prom! It’s not fun sitting at home brushing your hair and painting your toenails on Saturday night because no one is asking you out.

What are we doing wrong?

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • kmtirpitz

    @ginidietrich They orobably feel like I do on twitter and seldom have tweets returned. A black sheep.

  • KenMueller

    I get the same thing all the time, and I think part of it is that people think I’m bigger than I really am, and in some cases assume that they can’t afford me. I’m just a little guy. Also, since I’ve been quick to offer free advice here and there for friends, etc, I’m seen as the nice guy, but perhaps not the “serious” agency. I have no idea, but that’s some speculation on my part.

    Maybe people think you’re too nice. Oh…wait…nevermind…

  • adamtoporek

    Assuming a business is too busy is sort of odd. However, you’ve done such a good job branding yourself with SM, I can certainly see someone thinking you’re too big for certain accounts. (and you might be). But if you do work with individual SMBs, you might want to put that on AD site. I could absolutely see people feeling they would be too small an account and never even making the call.

  • I’ll just comment on the fact that this is cool, that you’re writing about it here, like this. Maybe they do think you’re too busy! (or too expensive) It definitely could appear that way, for both of those. Actually, I think it could be a bit everything you said… I mean… right? At any rate, awesome post to read first thing Monday morning.

  • @gini , someone last year told me they thought I wasn’t taking on new clients because I they assumed we were at capacity. Like you, I was a little taken aback. We’re in growth mode, so *of course* we’re taking on new clients. We’re a tiny little company, so I’m very careful to make sure that we grow responsibly and don’t scale in a way that will hurt clients, but that doesn’t mean we’re not looking to take on new short-term projects and/or long-term clients. I still don’t know what the solution is. I’ve seen some people be very direct and say “If you’re looking for PR help, I’m available.” but I don’t think I’m comfortable being that direct. I don’t think I’ve found the perfect solution, but when I’m talking with people about what we do and the clients we work with, I try to weave in the fact that we’re have a strong list of clients that keep us busy, but we’re always looking to take on new projects if they’re the right fit. Our leads generated through referrals have grown steadily in the past 6 months or so, since I’ve tried to be more cognizant about it. Not sure if that’s the best solution, but it’s a start …

  • ginidietrich

    @adamtoporek The weird thing is that two of the people are from Fortune 50 companies. Both looking for a boutique agency. The SMBs I get because we likely are too expensive. Totally strange.

  • Perception sucks.

    I can see understand why some peeps would think you are too busy to take on new clients. You are a whirlwind of activity Gini. Most of us would think there is no way you can fit another account in your schedule.

    Perhaps they don’t understand there is a team at AD and that you don’t run it alone. Although once again, it’s made quite clear on SS.

    Still I think it’s because you are personally very busy. On the flip side, I don’t think, writing posts about sitting watching TV all day would be helpful either. Umm. Tricky balance.

  • ginidietrich

    @KenMueller And that, right there, is why I should never be concerned that if I get too big for my britches, no one will call me out.

  • ginidietrich

    @RyanCritchett Do you think it’s really the Snap ‘n Save?

  • @KenMueller I think you’re right, Ken! I have the same issue and it wasn’t until I made my infamous video saying, no, wait, I’m dying here, send me business that people realized they could and should send me business. The appearance of busy-ness is a double-edged sword!

  • ginidietrich

    @johnfalchetto Hmmmm. Maybe I should try that – write about watching TV.

  • ginidietrich

    @prtini I’m with you – I’m not comfortable being that direct. Although when they ask for a recommedation, I have no problem recommending us. Ha!

  • ginidietrich

    @RyanCritchett I mean Save ‘N Sort. I should learn our accounting process.

  • ginidietrich

    @RyanCritchett Or Sort ‘N Bank. Oy.

  • I just have to say that I LOVE that Sort ‘N Bank system…I esp liked their marketing approach: “I’d like you to see that again.”

    But, back to your situation. While ADG is nowhere near on the same level as AD, I can say that I have experienced what you’re going through. I was comfortable back in the fall and had a colleague say she would have referred work to me, but it looked like I was too busy. My immediate thought was “what?”. It then dawned on me that our social media/online experience is a “window” into our business that can sometimes have an unintended consequence – appearance of too busy or at capacity.

    As I said in my comment to Ken below, it wasn’t until I made a video publicly saying “hey, I need more business” and that I was dangerously low on fuel that I started getting new referrals and business. It is a delicate balance, for sure. We all want to look successful and yes, busy, but we also want to make sure people know we’re always looking for new business.

    That’s why from now on, I’m constantly scanning the horizon for more work and making sure people I come into contact with know that I’m open to new business and in growth mode. I didn’t answer your conundrum, but definitely see how it can happen!

  • @ginidietrich @johnfalchetto You’d be amazed at the clients you’ll attract with that approach!

  • KenMueller

    @ginidietrich you wear britches? I thought you wore spandex…

  • KenMueller

    @EricaAllison A lot of my closest friends seem to think I”m rolling in money….

  • ginidietrich

    @KenMueller I wear britches to work. Spandex is only for coffee shops.

  • ginidietrich

    @EricaAllison I just think it’s odd that three people would call and ask for a recommendation and never even consider us until I say Yoo Hoo! On the commercial, did you also like the note to Canadians?

  • @EricaAllison Sounds like a good post, 🙂 @ginidietrich Or write about how you only work 4hrs a week

  • KenMueller

    @ginidietrich thank you for clarifying. And just remember, if and when we ever meet, it will be “work”…so no Spandex

  • If you don’t ask the question, the answer is always no. When asked for a referral your first question should be “I can make a recommendation, but is there a reason you would prefer not to work with me/A-D?” but in a more articulate less confrontational way. Your professional availability must also be stated. “Never too busy to help a friend/ make a new friend/ something that indicates paying client “.

  • You’re not wearing jeans on stage – problem solved.

    Seriously, though, maybe sometimes you can have a post box with the words “Enjoy this post? See how we can help you with your needs in this area” (or something similar and better) and link to your Arment Dietrich services page.

    Just a thought. 😉

  • @ginidietrich @RyanCritchett Geez, how difficult is it to get just one frickin’ product name right???

  • @ginidietrich @EricaAllison First…note to Canadians…hmmmm

    Second: I wonder if some people just think you’re “out of their league” (cue music, Patrick Swayze). Perhaps they didn’t think enough of themselves to believe that a company of your stature would take them on, and were to embarrassed to do the ask. Just a thought.

  • Steve Birkett

    Interesting conundrum Gini. I would assume it’s the level of activity you display in spheres such as this one and your public speaking. Perhaps people equate you to being Arment-Dietrich on first glance.

    That could mean a mixture of assuming that you’re both too busy and, perhaps in some cases, beyond reach in the minds of some folks. It would explain why people still ask you for the recommendation: they value your professional experience and expect that anyone you refer will be the next best thing. Hopefully posts such as this will remind everyone that you can be not just a first port of call, but the final destination 🙂

  • @ginidietrich @prtini “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” Gini, perhaps you would be comfortable with “being that direct” if you couched your statement in a tone of light-heartedness…which is what you do delightfully anyways. Always do the ask, in a way that opens the door but doesn’t punch someone in the face as soon as they walk through it. Be direct baby:) Cheers! Kaarina

  • @DannyBrown @ginidietrich I KNOW!

  • @ginidietrich OY! Who knows. Explain more about how your operation is like Sort ‘N Bank?

  • @DannyBrown At least she didn’t erase the comment and redo it! @ginidietrich

  • @ginidietrich @adamtoporek Wow, didn’t read down this far before making my comment. I thought perhaps the people looking for PR agency might have felt that they were too “small potatoes” to work with you. Blows that theory to bits.

  • I would take you to prom any day – but it would take me a lot of guts to ask and I’d probably lose my lunch…perhaps this is how they feel so it’s easier to ask if you know of anyone else that still needs a prom date…?

  • @rachaelseda That was my sentiment exactly Rachael. But later (after I commented a similar sentiment to yours), it appears that the companies doing the search were more Prom King and less Wallflower Wally. Go figure. But maybe it’s still about perceiving that they weren’t at a level to work with the amazing Gini. Cheers! Kaarina

  • rustyspeidel

    I agree with Danny that your blog and speaking are such strong parts of why folks know you that you might need to establish a stronger link between the advice you give and the agency’s ability to execute on that advice. It’s really pretty hard to find the relationship when you’re so caught up in the good posts and the conversations that follow. Maybe a “Work With Us” link? Make sure there’s a strong call to action after every post. I assume that’s why you’re writing all this, yes?

  • JGoldsborough

    @DannyBrown I think you’re right, DB. And this is a hard situation. I just think people feel weird about doing business with folks they are friendly with. It shouldn’t be that way, especially when you know the relationship can be benificial for both parties. But if you asked everyone who commented here privately or maybe even publicly, I think many would tell you that.

    But @barryrsilver is right…You have to ask the question. If the answer is no, be ready to move on. But you never know if you don’t ask, which is why your post box is a good idea.

  • @johnfalchetto The “team” aspect is an interesting element of agency life. I recently signed a new client that was working with a larger agency. They’d been sold by the firm principle, but when it came time to do the work, it was an entry-level staffer managing the account, and they hated that. Because I’m a smaller company, I’m involved in all the strategy setting and much of the ongoing work. I have an account exec assigned to the account, but I’m still the client’s primary contact (I guess that’s one benefit of being a smaller shop.) @ginidietrich While you probably are too busy to take on another project, that’s why you have a staff. I wonder if people would be more open to AD’s services if they felt like they knew the people they’d actually be working with as well as they think they know you?

  • I am not sure that I have ever looked for a link to your website, until this post that is. Once I did I found the drop down menu at the top of the page, but I truly never see that. It might be because I am so focused upon the posts and comments here, but I think that I forget about the business side sometimes.

    I think that is important to ask for business and to make it easy to find links to case studies/testimonials about what you have done and something that offers a “free” consultation for businesses that need help. Some sort of active movement that funnels potential business your direction.

    Again, that might already be happening and I might be “blind” to it because I am not looking for it, but that is just my impression.

  • jacobstoller

    I’ve found that people who are a little shy of declaring their desire to take you to the dance may have a low budget, and may be think they can’t afford you.

  • yourgreatlifetv

    Hi Gini, I agree with @DannyBrown I think you could add something to each post that lets people know they can work with you. I would also do a short video in an area of your site that explains in your own words what you can do and who is an ideal client for you 🙂 I think most people probably assume (at list I did) that you usually work with very large clients with very large budgets, so educating everyone with easy more obvious links to how to work together would be an invaluable service to your viewers and a cash opportunity for your company 🙂 <3 -Bern

  • Soulati

    @ginidietrich I am thinking about this problem and have a thought for you.

  • ginidietrich

    @KDillabough I would understand that if two of the companies weren’t Fortune 50. It’s just bizarre to me.

  • ginidietrich

    @barryrsilver That’s exactly what I did with all three. I just find it bizarre that we’re looked at for great recommendations, but not to hire.

  • ginidietrich

    @DannyBrown You don’t think that’s too forward for a blog?

  • ginidietrich

    @JGoldsborough And here we keep telling clients to develop content that creates a relationship because people buy from people they like. Perhaps I’m not putting the “buy” out there enough.

  • @ginidietrich @JGoldsborough I can’t possibly write out everything I think about this…. 😉

  • ginidietrich

    @Sean McGinnis If it has anything to do with badges, take it up with lisagerber !

  • FocusedWords

    Maybe I am a part of the problem, Gini. I love the blog but I don’t think to tell people that if they are looking for PR to give you a call. That is about to change. Maybe if we (your readers) combine with the recommendations for the digital side, you will find yourself so busy that you won’t have time to write. Oh wait, not that busy, OK???

  • ginidietrich

    @FocusedWords LOL!! OK! We actually have a great system here and I have a fabulous (and growing) team who backs me up. Thankfully part of my job is to continue blogging so that’ll never end.

  • @yourgreatlifetv @DannyBrown I actually think that approach is a bit too in your face. I like a much less direct approach but that’s just me. I do like the “work with me” concept (work with us in this case?) where you could indicate that you are accepting new clients.

  • HowieSPM

    This happens more than you think. I was Western US Sales/Biz Dev for a small high tech company that sold custom designed parts that took months to years to close the sale, then months to years to design, test, and ship production product. My mission and pay was to grow the company. The mission of the conglomerate was keep costs down. If your firm is mostly engineers that means not hiring more. So for a year until I left I traveled the Western US hoping not to get a sale, but still selling because we were maxed in Engineering. 6 months of that time we contracted a sales group with 6 reps to help and they spent almost 2 years talking up what my ex company could do knowing they couldn’t take more business so they cancelled the contract. I left because we let down Ford after I spent 2 years trying to close their hydrogen fuel system dev program as the high bidder (I did) then we couldn’t start for 4 months, then first article flunked (I left before this) and now Ford hates them.

    My point being I think people and businesses look at companies that are outwardly busy looking and wondering how they can possibly get good service because so many have experienced what Ford (and my client/partner we bid the project with they made the hydrogen fuel tank) experienced that you get gunshy. This makes a fine line of being took public with lots of activity (unless you are a news/media brand putting out content)

    I can see someone thinking they can’t afford you. That is completely reasonable. Up to you to ask what they are seeking because if they are asking for a referral they trust you.

  • FocusedWords

    @ginidietrich Whew!! That’s a relief.

  • kosmowskivkbt2
  • Hey Gini!

    Hope you’re coming off of a great weekend! I am. Finally pretty caught up on some things that have taken me away from my normal blogging activities.

    I think this is an interesting position to be in…in a good way. When I look from the website view into what I can only imagine as your operation may look, I see A LOT of activity. You’ve amassed a lot of notoriety and people see and respect you as a leader in your field.

    What this can do is make people feel like they aren’t in the league of the types of clients that you work with maybe. I remember when I got out of college and started my first job, someone offered to mentor me. He was a sharp guy, very successful. But I never took his offer because I didn’t want to expose that I was really not sharp and that I may not be deserving of his time. He obviously didn’t feel that way, but I put myself in that bucket. I think that happens in business too. People think that they may not be the right fit because of perceptions that they form, that may not be accurate.

    Little do I know – but I think this move is the great one in making sure that people know that Arment Dietrich is happily taking on new business (this blog post). By the way, what does “Arment” mean?

  • ginidietrich

    @RyanCritchett I just want to go to the dance!

  • ginidietrich

    @JohnFalchetto Ha!

  • ginidietrich

    @jackielamp I just want to go to the dance. Why is that so hard?

  • @ginidietrich In conjunction with other comments and suggestions maybe this is print “We’ll help you or suggest someone that can”. The words need work but the idea of “Ask me to help before asking me to refer” needs to be accessible.

  • ginidietrich

    @Soulati Um…OK?

  • @ginidietrich Yeah, I saw that in your later comment, after I’d commented. Totally bizarre.

  • I’m going to give you the simplest suggestion of all: add a “Work with Us” tab on your site that addresses this issue. I don’t know if it’ll work, but it isn’t forward or presuming. It’s addressing a valid business concern.

  • @ginidietrich lisagerber LOL! Nope. No badges this time.

  • yourgreatlifetv

    @hackmanj @DannyBrown I think there is room for experimenting. Anyone who appreciate Gini’s work and the value she adds through her posts would likely respond favorably to either approach but do understand that a few people might feel it’s too much. Definitely adding a section to her site that more clearly establishes the connection would not be much for anyone. 🙂

  • jennwhinnem

    You’re too darn attractive. It intimidates people.

  • @ginidietrich lisagerber I’ll limit my comment to this: You need to drink some of your own cool-aid on this one. What would you advise me to do if I were asking you this question?

  • @ginidietrich @DannyBrown Oh I can see the whole monetizing a blog debate opening up here, where is mschechter ?

  • Soulati

    @ginidietrich You had a scheduled tweet about the prom post; I’ve been thinking hard about that since I read it.

  • RyanCritchett

    @ginidietrich #withit

  • hazelwoodmkting

    @ginidietrich Interesting blog. Perhaps as U’ve cultivated g8ter awareness of yr expertise some don’t C the company behind U @JohnFalchetto

  • HowieSPM

    @jennwhinnem Gini makes me nervous just typing my comments here.

  • HowieSPM

    @yourgreatlifetv @hackmanj @DannyBrown what about a Will Work for Space Daiquiri’s button?

  • HowieSPM

    @Sean McGinnis @ginidietrich @DannyBrown @JGoldsborough What about an interactive gumby on the landing page that you can press the cursor on his belly and make him laugh while he says ‘Want to be a client? Click Here’

  • HowieSPM

    @johnfalchetto @EricaAllison @ginidietrich But Gini actually works 6 hrs a week but I agree 4hrs is must more dramatic.

  • jennwhinnem

    @HowieSPM Ha ha well on one level, yes, Gini is attractive, but I feel like as one smart woman to another it is not respectful to bring up. Could be my crazy feminist views at work though.

    I was thinking more in terms of the prom queen analogy. You’d think everyone rushes to ask the prettiest girl, but actually, she’s the last to get asked, because everyone’s too intimidated or figures she already has a date. And here “attractive” would mean high-caliber. Gini I’m thinking people think AD is out of bounds. Is this a useful observation? Possibly not, I’ve seen some of the other comments trying to help Gini so I’m going to shut up and let them do it.

  • ginidietrich

    @Sean McGinnis I’d tell you to do the things we’re already doing.

  • ginidietrich

    @johnfalchetto I don’t want to monetize the blog. We’re already doing that with Spin Sucks Pro. But maybe we change the links at the top to things like “work with us” or something similar?

  • ginidietrich

    @barryrsilver I like this – thank you!

  • FocusedWords

    @HowieSPM @Sean McGinnis @ginidietrich @DannyBrown @JGoldsborough LOVE IT!! If Gini doesn’t want it can I have it???????? LOL

  • ginidietrich

    @HowieSPM @johnfalchetto @EricaAllison I’ll see if I can notch it down to four hours a week.

  • ginidietrich

    @RyanCritchett @DannyBrown I’m a mess.

  • ginidietrich

    @Steve Birkett I love the word conundrum. LOVE. And I hope you’re right…let’s see if lots of business comes through the door now. 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @rachaelseda HAHAHAHA! LOL!! And I would love to go to the prom with you!

  • I’m spitballing* here… but how about some Case Study blog posts?

    * – Maybe you do that already, but I don’t remember them off the top of my head and I’m 100% too lazy to check right now.

  • ginidietrich

    @rustyspeidel Now I have to figure out how to do the call-to-action to Arment Dietrich when there is so much around Spin Sucks Pro. Got any advice for that?

  • ginidietrich

    @jacobstoller Those darn wallflowers!

  • ginidietrich

    @TheJackB I suppose we should do some inbound marketing too, huh?

  • ginidietrich

    @fitzternet I do do them, but I’m far too conversational about them because I don’t want them to punch people in the face, as @KDillabough says.

  • ginidietrich

    @jennwhinnem HAHAHAH! I just want to go to the dance. I don’t even have to win the crown (for now)!

  • ginidietrich

    @jennwhinnem @HowieSPM It’s odd that anyone would think a company is out of bounds, in my mind. But maybe not everyone takes on new clients the more busy they get. I’m the opposite…if you want something done, give it to the busiest person you know.

  • ginidietrich

    @Shad Boots OK. I’m going to do it. And if anyone complains, I’m giving them your phone number!

  • ginidietrich

    @Jk Allen Do you want the real story or the story I made up when I opened our doors?

  • ginidietrich

    @HowieSPM I think you’re right in that people see my own flurry of activity and the perception is that I can’t possibly do one more thing. But I have an entire team behind me…some of them you never hear from because they’re doing client work and don’t have the time or interest to build their personal brands through our company brand. And that’s totally cool with me, but I also see it lends to the perception that it’s just me.

  • ginidietrich

    @HowieSPM @yourgreatlifetv @hackmanj Or just a “Will Work for Wine” button?

  • Well, at least I know where to go when I need help publicizing my book. Want me to “invite” clients to your office for a friendly chat/

    Actually, if you start adding it in blog posts, that would defeat the purpose. I think a ‘work with me ” tab is way better.

    If not, there are always threats…

  • @ginidietrich @KDillabough Oh ok. My bad. Then here is my suggestion: PUNCH US IN THE FACE. Make the title something like “Case Study: Blah Blah Blah”

  • ginidietrich

    @NancyD68 Except…we don’t do book publicity. If we did, we’d be super busy. But I refer that business out all the time. I was really hoping the Slugger would make its appearance. That’s clearly the only way we’ll get a return.

  • ginidietrich

    @fitzternet LOL! Deal.

  • @ginidietrich Then I can be the trailblazing author that breaks the mold! Me and my Slugger!

  • @HowieSPM @yourgreatlifetv @hackmanj @DannyBrown there certainly is a fine line between being in-your-face, and doing the soft-sell. I sat in a session at BlogWorld – can’t remember who said it – but they said if you are offering all this great content, and you’re not asking people to buy your book, your product, or your service, then shame on you.

    I agree (again, to a certain extent), but we shouldn’t be apologetic for the real reason we are out here doing all this. It’s not purely out of the kindness in our hearts!!

    and I took too long to type, was going to add in the Will work for wine comment but Gini beat me to it while I was writing this out. We would so win The Newlywed Game.

  • ginidietrich

    @Lisa Gerber We TOTALLY would win! Maybe that’s part of our new business strategy?

  • @ginidietrich Gladly! I’ll set ’em straight. Though you’d have to have my number first. ; )

  • MSchechter

    @johnfalchetto I think there is mentioning your business on your blog and making the entire blog about it. Would I want to see what Danny mentioned. To be honest no. I think it always feels a little sleazy and would take away from some of Gini’s more generous posts (e.g. a follow friday).

    But for the posts where it is really Gini talking about what she does, I agree and think it is a miss to not at least throw in a “and if you need help, we are always here for you at Arment Dietrich”. Remind people of who you are and what you do is never a bad thing…

  • spreadingJOY

    @JoyFull_deb afternoon sweet friend sending driveby HUGS as my lunchtime is almost over! {{HUGS}}

  • ginidietrich

    @MSchechter So how do you feel about a “work with us” tab up there at the top of the blog?

  • MSchechter

    I’m right there with you, I’ve always been good at selling the idea, but I’ve always been terrible on going for that final ask and closing. I never know when to do it, I never quite know how. It’s a very specific skill and it is one that isn’t exactly in my DNA, but recently on my little sandbox (read: my blog) I find myself willing to ask people to subscribe in order to stick around. That’s my ask. Considering this blog isn’t lacking for that, it seems utterly reasonable that you would throw love Arment Dietrich’s way every now and again.

    To be totally honest, I always thought that was the CTA at the bottom of your videos, but now realize that it isnt there.

  • MSchechter

    It’s a start and that is certainly not in your face. I’m certainly going to have a buy our pearls button on any pearl blog I have 🙂 It still leave a pretty large hole as you are neglecting your RSS readers. I was lurking on this blog for a LONG time before I ever jumped back to comment.

    It also seems like that would be a very logical sales funnel for you. They come to Spin, see what they like and subscribe. Over time, they connect with you and eventually some portion of that is hopefully becoming AD customers.

    Again, not against monetization, it’s essential. I just think when it is at the bottom of every post, it takes away… especially on a sight that has a lot of guest posts…

  • MSchechter

    @johnfalchetto Thanks man! Just a heads up (but you probably know already)… think your site is down.

  • jackielamp

    @ginidietrich The crazy thing is: how could they ever think you wouldn’t want to go to the dance?!

  • @ginidietrich Not if it’s a business-focused blog.

  • @ginidietrich Heck, you have such a strong community you could probably have some of it done for free.

  • JohnFalchetto

    @mschechter I know buddy, get ready for my new site…mostly dealing in pearl trading 🙂

  • @MSchechter @johnfalchetto That’s why I said “Sometimes” in my comment, Shrek… geez… 😉

  • MSchechter

    @johnfalchetto Don’t make me make whip you up and down the court all over the internet… 🙂

  • JohnFalchetto

    @mschechter Promises…

  • @Sean McGinnis @ginidietrich Speaking of badges. Wait til you see tomorrow’s blog post. the end. I like to be suspenseful. It’s part of my content strategy.

  • MSchechter

    @johnfalchetto Don’t make me finish my How To Demolish An Expat Pearl Dealer post 🙂

  • MSchechter

    @DannyBrown yeah, may have skipped that word… kind of changes the meaning doesn’t it… 🙂 Gini, scrap my previous statement. I totally agree with Danny!

  • mitchellfriedmn

    @ginidietrich you’ve asked the right questions; how about some research on how you vis a vis your firm are perceived?

  • mitchellfriedmn

    @ginidietrich While I’ve read about your work style, I wonder how you do what you do individually AND do client work. Unfathomable!

  • ginidietrich

    @MSchechter I agree with you on it being on every blog post. And SS is a great funnel of leads for us. But the genesis of this blog post is that three times in one month someone asked me to refer them to one of our competitors. And two of them are very good friends and very avid readers. It’d be like you looking for a firm and calling to ask me to refer you to someone. I’d have your head!

  • BlogLibrary

    @mitchellfriedmn it’s because @ginidietrich is made of 100% pure-grade awesomesauce. It can’t be understood in rational terms 🙂

  • StephanieBaron

    @mitchellfriedmn @ginidietrich I suspect the answer is “Ritalin” 😀

  • MSchechter

    @ginidietrich True, but the fact that they asked you shows the true benefit. There is the opportunity for the ask. To be honest the fact that you never solicit business through the site could logically lead to me assuming you are at current capacity (sometimes people aren’t looking to grow, crazy, but true).

    I also think those kinds of emails are often indirect ways of asking. Remember I’m a PR moron, that’s why I would think to ask you where to go and I may not want to assume that you are the right fit as it would only make me look dumber than I already feel 🙂 I did this with Danny once, but he never responded to the damn email…

  • mitchellfriedmn

    @BlogLibrary @ginidietrich @StephanieBaron #cultofgini ??????

  • Maybe they think you only offer lawn mowing services 😉 lol.

    Hey Gin – this might sound silly or maybe you don’t have it cause you don’t want it but ever consider having a “Hire Us” type tab up ^^ next to AD and Follow Us?

  • Yes…I’m replying to myself to remind myself that it’s something I should consider having on my blog as a separate tab as well ;).

  • JGoldsborough

    @HowieSPM @Sean McGinnis @ginidietrich @DannyBrown Use of Gumby and Pokey always closes the sale. Of course, what industry it always closes the sale in? Now that is a different question :).

  • @Griddy what – a lawn mowing service tab? LOL!!

  • ginidietrich

    @Soulati LOL! I know…I was asking OK about your advice

  • ginidietrich

    @hazelwoodmkting Well, let’s beat someone up!

  • ginidietrich

    @Sabrina_PHR My favorite comment? @johnfalchetto telling @mschechter he was building a pearls website.

  • ginidietrich

    @jackielamp I don’t know!

  • ginidietrich

    @gingerconsult It’s true isn’t it?!

  • BlogLibrary

    @mitchellfriedmn @stephaniebaron @ginidietrich just so long as we don’t have to wear pointy hats 🙂 #cultofgini

  • ginidietrich

    @mitchellfriedmn I don’t do client work anymore. I am growing the business.

  • ginidietrich

    @BlogLibrary HAHAHAH

  • ginidietrich

    @StephanieBaron It’s actually called cycling

  • ginidietrich

    @MichaelBowers No!

  • gingerconsult

    @ginidietrich Yes, very. I have proven it time and time again.

  • jennwhinnem

    @ginidietrich @HowieSPM ah by out of bounds I mean “so expensive.” Not that you want to have that discussion here.

  • ExtremelyAvg

    @NancyD68 Nancy makes a great point. I would never consider asking you to help with the promtion of my book, because my assumption is that you are too busy and too expensive. In fact, I assume EVERYONE in PR is too expensive.

    How much does PR cost anyway? I imagine it starts in the 5 figure range.

  • MSchechter

    @ginidietrich That’s nothing, just wait until @johnfalchetto sees my American based coaching business for Europeans….

  • ginidietrich

    @MSchechter That’s because Danny calls you name behind your back. They’re worse than they ones he calls you to your face.

  • ginidietrich

    @ExtremelyAvg It really depends. We have minimums, but some agencies are smaller and can work with smaller budgets. Most book publicists I know charge in the $3,000-$5,000 per month range.

  • ginidietrich

    @Lisa Gerber @Griddy I really hope she means a “hire us” tab and NOT a lawn mowing tab!

  • ginidietrich

    @MSchechter I think the difference is that you have a product to sell. It’s a pretty easy jump to pearls from the stuff you generate. I guess my product is our services. SO BUY, DAMMIT!

  • @Lisa Gerber LOL!

  • @ginidietrich @Lisa Gerber Of course a “Hire Us” tab! Or Work with Us or whatever…

    Only Mel and her boyfriend have a lawn mowing tab ;).

  • MSchechter

    @ginidietrich Thanks for saying that last bit so I didn’t have to… by the way, do you have a good PR agency you can suggest?

  • ginidietrich

    @MSchechter HAHAHAHAH

  • You know what’s funny – well maybe not funny but whatever…I’ve had a few clients ask me the same thing over the last few months – whether I could refer them to someone. They figured that since I blog now that I was no longer working with clients. I corrected them but it did get me thinking…

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  • mitchellfriedmn

    @ginidietrich And no doubt you’re doing that quite well!

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  • sussexmouette

    @ginidietrich lol – i choose peace 🙂

  • Maybe you might add a brief bio to your blog page?

    Gini Dietrich leads her team at Arment Dietrich positioning her clients…….

    It happens when people see you as extremely successful and ultimately, too busy. I’ll invite you to the Prom!!!!!

  • ExtremelyAvg

    @ginidietrich Then I guess I was right. 🙂 I can’t afford it. But I do appreciate the information, because, I intend to one day be able to spend that sort of money on Henry Wood.

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  • @MSchechter @ginidietrich Heh. Awesome.

  • @Lisa Gerber @ginidietrich I’m waiting with baited breath…

  • ginidietrich

    @janbeery Well really, Jan, I wrote this blog post for you because I’ve been waiting and waiting for the invite. My work here is done!

  • ginidietrich

    @Griddy It’s crazy, isn’t it?

  • ginidietrich

    @MSchechter No. There is no such thing as a good PR agency.

  • ginidietrich

    @ExtremelyAvg Honestly, you don’t really need it. Unless you have some weird ideal of going on a book tour and being on The Today Show, your network is large enough to sell some books.

  • ginidietrich

    @sussexmouette That’s probably better

  • MSchechter

    @ginidietrich Oh, trust me. I know. I mean they let dannybrown run one of those things… it does set a certain level of expectation… 🙂

  • @ginidietrich Phew I was a wreck all day until I checked this…great now I know I will be able to keep my dinner down at least!

  • @ginidietrich Phewww I was a wreck all day until I just read this. I’m glad I can actually eat dinner now! 😉

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  • HowieSPM

    @ginidietrich @Griddy when people ask me what you both do I say you are bloggers and that you aren’t accepting new clients but for a small fee I sometimes can help them change their minds.

  • HowieSPM

    @ginidietrich @Lisa Gerber @Griddy have the Lawn Mowing Tab take them to the place they can ask to hire you for PR

  • ginidietrich

    @HowieSPM @Griddy LMAO

  • ginidietrich

    @MSchechter EXACTLY

  • ginidietrich

    @rachaelseda HAHAHAHA! You dork.

  • Leon

    G’Day Gini,

    I’m sorry. This is one temptation I am far too weak and self indulgent to resist. Now…..

    The first thing is phrasing questions. From what you’ve said the question you should be asking us us is something like; “What should we be doing to ensure that prospects call us to discuss what we could do for them, rather than call us for the name of a PR company we’d recommend?”

    Next, you seem to have a marketing problem. If genuine prospects are asking for advice instead of preliminary consultation with a view to agreeing on an assignment, you are not representing AD as a viable PR option to them. You may think you are. But it seems clear that ‘s not the way they see you.That’s a marketing issue.

    Finally Gini, never, ever again ask what you’re doing wrong. It gives all us lot carte blanche to make suggestions even though we may not have the faintest idea of what we’re talking about or what’s good for Arment Dietrich.

    Remember what Henry Ford said when asked why he didn’t ask people if they wanted a motor car. “They’d have wanted a faster horse” he’s said to have replied.

    Well… did ask, Gini. If in doubt, please reread para commencing, “Finally Gini.”

    Jump on your bike and go and have some fun.

    Hang Loose


  • ginidietrich

    @Leon I was kind of hoping you WOULD take carte blanche. What’s the fun in it if you don’t? Good point about Henry Ford. We don’t want a faster horse.

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  • MSchechter

    @Leon I so have to disagree with you here. There is a massive difference between asking what you’re doing wrong and acting on everything your told.

    You’re never going to learn much from asking people to pat you on the back. @ginidietrich had a question, asked it honestly and now has a pool of 180+ thoughts to come up with a better way forward.

    Don’t forget that Ford also said this: I invented nothing new. I simply assembled the discoveries of other men behind whom were centuries of work.

    Not everything is an innovation, sometimes it takes a few good observations and Gini just got a hell of a lot more eyeballs and opinions on her problem (and likely a few people thinking of reaching out).

    Call me crazy, but I have faith that she can separate the wheat from the chaff in these comments.

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  • Leon

    @MSchechter @ginidietrich G’Day MSchechter,

    Aint perception an interesting thing? Never in a million years would I have thought that I was asking anyone to pat Gini on the back.

    But if that’s what you read, that’s what I said.

    THanks Leon

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  • @ginidietrich @janbeery Ha! Love you Gini!

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  • ginidietrich

    @Leon @MSchechter I didn’t take it that way at all, Shrek. I took it as….If you really want to hear what we have to say, here it is! Which is precisely what I want to hear.

  • MSchechter

    @ginidietrich @Leon Perhaps I hadn’t quite eaten my after-nap snack before I responded 🙂

    That said, the idea of “never, ever again asking what you did wrong” just sounds so very wrong to me.

  • Forgive my tardiness to the party, Gini. I tried to scan all of the meat down below before commenting, but not sure if what I’d like to share has already been stated? Forgiveness, please. As said via Twitter, this is a conundrum — you’re a product of your own success; however, Arment Dietrich has been sorely neglected.

    The Spin Sucks et al brands are powerful and have amassed a boatload of, likely, non-paying clients gleaning from your learnings. Who knows where for art a referral amongst us? If we don’t know what AD does and for whom, then how can we push your firm front and center?

    Like shonali who was encouraged by you to blog about her awesome Blue Key campaign for UNHCR (is that correct), I’d like to see more case studies around AD (ala what was also suggested).Case studies can be open-ended crowd-sourcing opportunities to ask “how would’ve you managed this?” blah blah.

    I went to follow your company page on LinkedIn; had no clue your firm is the size it it; was duly impressed. Although your name is on the door; when I provide you with link love in posts, my inclination now is to use the Spin Sucks brand. Before I knew you, I used the AD brand to showcase your talents.

    So, these were just some thoughts to share…nothing earth shattering but more fodder in the fuel.

  • ginidietrich

    @Soulati | PR I appreciate this tons, Jayme. I guess I’ve been so focused on using Spin Sucks to build the membership base for Spin Sucks Pro (big email coming to the private beta users today!) that I have been neglecting Arment Dietrich. We gets TONS of inquiries because people read the blog, but my concern (and the genesis for writing this post) is that two of the three people who called me looking for a referral are close friends. As in, it’d be like you calling and asking me. So I don’t know if it’s a too top-of-mind thing?

  • @ginidietrich @MSchechter I like the Work with Us tab…not to sales-y at all!

  • @ginidietrich @KDillabough Do you know if those 2 companies read your blog on a regular basis? Test that theory of promoting the blog rather than AD and how it could lead to that perception. If they’ve never seen or read your blog, there’s one part of the equation that you can remove. If they do read your blog on a regular basis, that may in fact influence their perceptions.

  • Newish idea: plop a video on the side bar with the title “What is Arment Dietrich” and from there you expand on the business, the work you do, etc. It’s a reminder that hey, you have a business and by the way, we’re more than the blog. It may also be a more palatable piece of the puzzle for you than the Work with Us option or more sales-like approaches mentioned. Just a thought.

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  • BestRoofer

    Maybe you could just charge by the comment. I think that you would make a killing!

  • ginidietrich

    @EricaAllison Ah man. More video?!

  • ginidietrich

    @BestRoofer Now THAT is a brilliant idea!

  • ginidietrich

    @BestRoofer Your idea is the best one!

  • When I was in high school this new girl moved to town. She was extremely cute and very easy to look at. She fit into the ‘A’ crowd right away which meant she was untouchable as far as I was concerned. I knew her peripherally but would have probably jammed a pencil in my ear before I would have asked her out. You just assumed she’s out w/ the quarterback and whoever she wanted to go out with.

    Fast forward 10 years and I had a chance to talk w/ her and we reminisced about high school. I told her how nice I thought she was but never had the nerve to ask her out. She said she was miserable in high school; she said nobody was asking her out and certainly wished I would have.

    My point is, other than letting everyone know I was a total dorkamundus in high school is, you reach a certain stature, pinnacle or perception and people assume you have it made. You don’t need someone asking you out or you could take or leave new business. How you let someone know yes, we are open for business and always looking for new clients is maybe something you just need to make more obvious. I didn’t even know you did PR; I thought being Bones on TV was keeping your plate pretty full…………………..just sayin’……………..

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  • @EricaAllison @ginidietrich @johnfalchetto Sweet, I’ve written about TV so clients should start pouring in. 😉

  • I’ll agree with you @JGoldsborough It’s part of my personality as I’ve was taught or advised to be cautious when letting business get too personal, the ‘unspoken’ rule was not to work with family or close friends. I guess I’ll let this be my comment @ginidietrich that yes we buy what we like from those we like and maybe somehow that’s all part of it. People like you, you like them, they like that you like them.. and they want to keep it that way. And per @jennwhinnem comment on the intimidation factor, b/c they’re friends with you, maybe they don’t want you to know their secrets, see their dirty laundry as they have to come clean about their businesses or the problems they’d be hiring you to fix? IDK… more food for thought.

    Everyone has good ideas on the other misperceptions about your business (availability, costs, expertise) along with some good fixes. FWIW I share your “not that direct” attitude, not wanting to monetize the blog, etc. So when you figure out what you (we) are doing wrong, I’ll look forward to reading it.

  • ginidietrich

    @3HatsComm I think it’s the geek

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  • ElissaFreeman

    @ginidietrich @Soulati | PR I would have to say you are totally top-of-mind. And you do have…well..a certain ‘celebrity status’ attached to you. So, I don’t believe that people don’t know WHAT you do, it’s likely they think they are out of your ‘sphere’… Sigh. The price of fame…

  • Ditto that, Elissa! Celebrity = Untouchable = Unaccessable = Bling yet Gini is far from that and shouldn’t change. The fact she’s created this, ahem, Monster, ahem means what I said — she’s the product of her own success.

    Which begs the question — should she tone it down, keep it toned up like her quads and calves, or should she just ignore all this and keep on bikin’?

    Oh, hi, Gin, how are you today?

    @ElissaFreeman @ginidietrich@soulati

  • ParkRidgeDDS

    There is definitely some truth to your analogy about not getting asked to the Prom because you appear to be so popular and beautiful that the assumption is you probably already have 200 Prom dates….your popularity can create that kind of illusion but that is not necessarily a bad thing….You have worked hard to create a community and the credibility and respect that you have generated is well deserved and due to lots of hard work on your part. In regards to people assuming that you are too busy to take on new clients…ironically I think that is because of the business model that you have set up that talks very little to almost not at all about self promotion. You are so generous with your support of not only your clients but colleagues and friends as well that you rarely spend time promoting yourself. I completely understand the philosophy behind that…it is very attractive to deal with someone who is not cramming hard sell down your throat…I get it….but at some point, you may want to throw in an occasional “and that’s exactly what I can do for you” here and there. Or, “the information that I share on Spin Sucks is just the tip of the iceberg…call us to find out what else we can do for you” Maybe with those gentle reminders, people will have that aha moment and think…”wow…she’s brilliant, awesome, funny AND she’s available to help me!!” Buy me a glass of wine and I’ll share a story with you 😉

  • lauraclick

    @Shad Boots I agree that the “work with us” tab would be a great addition. I agree with @TheJackB – the Arment Dietrich link in the navigation just doesn’t pop and I don’t think most folks would think to go there. I’ve already been to your site, but I could see where new people might not think to look there.

    Another thought, from a design perspective, might be to add something about Arment Dietrich in the header. It might make it too cluttered, but somehow making it more noticeable that this is the Arment Dietrich blog might be a good thing. Just a thought.

    Just wondering – do you think it hurts at all that the blog is on a separate site altogether?

    P.S. This discussion has generated a blog post idea on my blog. Look for it this week! 😉

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  • ginidietrich

    @ParkRidgeDDS You know I will ALWAYS buy you a glass of wine!

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