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.
You have gotten some incredible publicity
including CNN, USA Today, and The Washington Post. What's
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
What can you do to be more approachable?