Revolution of Influence

I've always felt strongly that thoughts and ideas are the great equalizer of brands. No longer do we live in an era where only the largest of companies dictate their degree of influence based on how much money they spend to get in front of more eyeballs with one more 1-way message that's all about them.

The greatest influence can now be in the hands of the most helpful, transparent and personal brands of the world. Are you ready to be one of them? Caliber's Revolution of Influence blog aims to equip you with the strategies, content know-how, tools and trends to find the path that catapults you to newfound success.

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“Jazz It Up”
“It’s Not There Yet.”
“I Don’t Like It.”
“Can I See Some More?”

It’s not easy for a writer to hear these. But it’s not that I have a problem with making changes. In my career I’ve probably made more than 25,000 changes. It’s that this kind of feedback is so vague that by itself, it does nothing to help ensure a better product for the next round.

Therefore, what we need to do is probe deeper with questions that draw greater specificity out of clients, even if it has to get slightly uncomfortable or difficult. If you’re an AE or Creative Director, you owe this to your team. There have a been a few times where said AE/CD flippantly replied “figure it out,” to my request for greater detail. But perhaps they were too scared to ask the client. After all, how dare we ask the people paying us for more information so that we can do our jobs well for them.
When you’re a position to have to tell a client that they have a weakness or two or seventeen, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to do. Someone asked me that recently: “So, um, what do you do when you have to tell a client that, uh, a few things they’re doing aren’t…quite…good?”

“You’re asking me how do I tell someone their baby is ugly?”

“Well, I’ve never heard it said that way.”

“It’s exactly like that. Because when someone is close to their brand, it’s their baby. Some people know that deep down, their baby isn’t perfect even when they talk about it to other people. And they’re right. After all, a baby is a human being and humans are far from perfect.”
It took me a few days later than usual to find my New Year’s Resolution. It’s not to lose a few more pounds (although that’s fine with me) or the other usual stuff.

This year, I’m going to protect my professional time like nobody’s business.

I’m going to make more meetings count.

I’m not going to attend cocktail hours to merely exchange business cards, but to connect.

I’m going to value the increased speed in helping someone clarify a decision, whether that is a yes or a no.

In short, everything I do has to go somewhere beyond that original meeting.

Here’s why I was inspired. I was recently in a conference call where it took the better part of an hour for me to discover that there was not a fit. Actually, scratch that. I knew it was going nowhere within 15 minutes. I was being nice for the rest of the time.
The other day I was watching a show called “Hotel Impossible” in which a consultant gives shabby, unprofitable hotels and resorts the makeover treatment from a design and operations standpoint. As you can expect, he didn’t pull any punches on what was wrong with these places, whether the rooms were dirty, the color scheme was boring, the staff was disorganized and more. Many times the hotel owners thought the location would make up for a lot of these miscues (nice try). Worst of all, these shortcomings had translated into an awful time for the guests, who would surely never come back if the hotel remained in that condition.
A few years back, when I was working in a 900-person ad agency, a new Copywriter entered our group. As he set up shop in the office next to me, he asked:

“So…this Creative Director. What kind of stuff does he like?”

“Excuse me?”

“You know, what kind of copy does he typically approve? What’s easier to get through and flies with him? Does he have a style he likes to see?”

I was taken aback by the question.What does it matter if it’s a smart idea and the right kind of idea for the brand? If you’re a compelling strategist and presenter, so what if you have to sell a little harder to persuade someone to choose it?

It's not hard to connect with us.

Are we a fit for you and you for us? We certainly could be. But let’s start simple. Take a look at your calendar and see when you have no more than 45 minutes to talk further about your goals while receiving greater insight on next steps.

Let's Schedule a Time

  • "I hired Dan to freshen up the writing on my website, and am delighted with the results. Dan GOT what my consulting business is about in a way that I hadn't experienced from anyone outside my field! More importantly, he was able to take that understanding and write clear and compelling language about my services – AND suggest format changes to the site to make it more effective. I highly recommend him."

    Dina Petrakis, Renovation Coach, Littlerock Construction, Inc.
  • "Dan did a great job crafting our website's language as well as developing our brochure. His work was top notch and very impactful. We really appreciate the way he worked his "magic." Dan has our strongest recommendation."

    Michael Casaburi, CEO at Revulus Growth Partners
  • "Dan is not only a person with creative ideas, he is a professional with high intelligence and integrity. He has tremendous energy and technical acumen. Dan is is focused and loves what he does...creating brands and building relationships. He is always willing to offer a helping hand and brings a strong dynamic to any team he is on. I highly recommend Dan to any company that is seeking exposure, growth, financial results and brand development."

    Chadia Meroueh, V.P., Auto Tech and Body

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