April 25, 2015

BrandingBlog Radio: Irene Watson on Book Publishing

Irene Watson’s media empire focuses primarily on self-published authors who need reviews, publicity and coaching for making the most of the book creation and promotion experience.

Her site, Readerviews, offers a wealth of knowledge archived over years of helping authors. Her services are priced and sized just right for authors trying to break into a bigger pool of  exposure.

I first met Irene at Wizard Academy. She took the Blog and Web workshop from Paul Boomer and me several years ago.

I really had a good time catching up and learning about the many things she can do to help someone maximize the potential of their book.

Business Problem Topology Mapping: Using Kinect in Merchandising

Business Problem Topology Mapping is taking a technique or a technology that has been used or developed for a specific purpose in one field or business category and applying it in an unrelated category to solve a similar problem.

In the video game world, the Kinect was invented to allow the game console to “see” what the player is doing in order to provide a richer and more realistic game experience. They use a device with cameras and spatial sensing to capture this movement.

A company called Agile Route is taking the Kinect and placing it atop a store shelf so that shoppers can be tracked. They are using the captured data to help design better ways to display merchandise for increased sales and a better customer experience. Brilliant!

With thanks to Jeff Sexton for sending me a link.

Using Kinect to build real world Google Analytics from Administrator Agile Route on Vimeo.

BrandingBlog Radio: Year-End Tax Advice from Adrian Van Zelfden

I’ve been getting Adrian Van Zelfden’s “Tidbits in Time” emails for several years. He’s a huge history buff and he enjoys a historical almanac to the point that he started sending out a monthly missive to share his celebration of what happened when. He started by sending it to his friends. None of that opt-in stuff, just a “hey, you might enjoy this as much as I do” kind of spirit. And, when you get an email, any email, from the smartest CPA/Lawyer around, what do you do? You open it and read it.

For his friends who also happen to own businesses, he started putting a section at the end “For Business Owners Only.”

The December issue had a 12-page, single-spaced PDF attached to it full of Adrian’s best Year-End advice to business owners. As I skimmed and scanned it, I knew that this was information that would be helpful to a lot of my readers, so I got Adrian to join me for conversation and this podcast is the result.

If you’d simply like to get to know Adrian, you could bail out after 15 minutes or so when we start to get our hands dirty in the numbers.

If you’d like a copy of his checklist, go to Adrian Van Zelfden’s Facebook Page, Tidbits in Time and click on the “Join My List” link in the left column. He’s also given me permission to send it out, so if you join my list you’ll also get a copy. A third option is to go to vanzelfden.com and shoot him an email. You’ll get a good sense of his dry humor if you google the latin phrase in the header of that page.

So…how good is he?

In 30 years of helping clients with taxes and going with them to countless IRS audits, he’s often walked out with the IRS owing his clients money. More importantly, he’s never lost a dime of his client’s money in an audit. That is, his record is perfect. He’s never had a worse outcome than having the IRS say, “Yep, this tax return is just fine. No changes.” Damn. That’s good.

I like doing interviews that get me a bit out of my comfort zone. Finances, taxes, government…you get the idea. For an example, if you haven’t listened to my interview with Pamela Yellen, you missed out on her surefire way to grow your cash without exposing yourself to risk. And now, I hope you enjoy Adrian and that you find his timely advice worthwhile as you seek to keep more of that hard-earned money for yourself while staying out of trouble with the IRS.