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Scott Ginsberg

March, 2004

Scott Ginsberg works to build front porches (which he describes as any object or behavior that increases approachability, including your books). He has published "HELLO, My Name is Scott" which has been featured on CNN Live, in USA Today, and in The Washington Post.


Scott, you're known as "that guy with the nametag," and you've worn your nametag now for 1244 consecutive days. Can you tell us how you got started?

It all started as an experiment.  I was wearing a nametag for a group meeting in college about 4 years ago when I said to myself, "You know what would be fun?  If I left this nametag on all night!"  So I did - and people were friendlier and more sociable. They were more willing to communicate.  They were more comfortable. And they had an outlet through which they could express their desire to connect with new people.  

I then decided to wear a nametag forever - all day, every day, for the rest of my life.  And that was 1,240 days ago!

What made you write a book about your nametag experiences?
In the first few months, interesting responses began to accumulate.  More importantly, they began to categorize.  So, from a physcological prospective, I thought it would make a great book, and I wanted to share it with other people so they could learn how to become more approachable.  And it was really funny.

You published your book through your publishing company,  Front Porch Productions.  Can you tell us a little about your experience as an independent publisher?  Do you have any advice to others who are considering publishing their book?
I knew nothing about writing a book.  I new nothing about publishing a book.  I never even considered trying to get a major publisher because I knew that self publishing was the way to go.  (At least for where I was financially and professionally)
The only thing I knew was this: I had a great idea that I was passionate about; and I thought it would be valuable to others.  I also wanted to get the book done as soon as I could for the lowest price, considering I was just out of college and a furniture salesman. 
Fortunately Dan Poynter's "The Self Publishing Manual" helped me through the process.  If you are even considering writing or publishing a book (self published or not) you should read Poynter's stuff.  Today.
You have gotten some incredible publicity including CNN, USA Today, and The Washington Post.  What's your secret?
I have absolutely no idea.  I never contacted anyone, never did one press release and never ran a single advertisement.  However, I did start a conversation with a total stranger on a bus in Portland who just so happened to know the editor for a national news publication.  He ended up giving her my business card, and she interviewed me the next week.  As a result of that article, every single piece of publicity, every speech and every book sale was somehow related. 
Therefore, I suppose I have two secrets to publicity.  Number one, "they will call you."  Number two can be summarized by a quotation from the Bible, "Fear not to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have entertained angels unaware."

What's your favorite book marketing technique? 
Give away free books.  All the time.  Not only do people love free stuff, but they love to get free stuff from the people who created the free stuff. 

You're also a speaker.  How does your speaking business help the sales of your book?
It's actually the other way around.  Writing leads to speaking.  As a member of the National Speaker's Association, I've learned that a book will give you credibility, expertise and marketability as a speaker.  My primary income stream is speaking.  As a self publisher, I don't sell that many copies of my books in stores because they're only available in local stores, on my website and Amazon.  Therefore, I understand that a book, at this point in my career, is more for marketing and credibility than it is for making money.

Writers are notorious for being difficult to approach.  What advice can you give writers and authors about their nametags and becoming more approachable?
Wow...I didn't know writers were difficult to approach!  Then again, most of the writers I know are speakers ;).  But for a writer or anyone who wants to be more approachable, there are a few tips I can offer. 
In regard to your nametag specifically, it's important that you use 24 point font size, never wear it below your breastbone and assure that it is visible and accessible from 10 feet away. 
As far as your interpersonal approachability, remember that your body language speaks before you do.  Beware of crossing your arms, non-receptive posture, eye avoidance, lack of smiling and using "involvement shields" such as sunglasses, books or anything else that puts a barrier between you and other people. 
In other words, ask yourself this: Which one of the following is more inviting - The house with the front porch or the house with nothing but a closed door?
Hope this helps Julie!   Thanks.

Scott Ginsberg is "the world's foremost field expert on nametags" and the author of HELLO my name is Scott. He works with people and companies who want to be more approachable so they can connect and communicate with anybody.  For booking or more information, contact Front Porch Productions at (314) 878-5419 or

What can you do to be more approachable?

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