Kaplan comes a-knocking

Ari Kaplan will gladly tell you about his flaws before his accomplishments, and in a sense, that’s his triumph Because people will listen. And, more so, people will remember because they can relate.

“No one wants to hear about how perfect someone is,” Kaplan told a crowded ballroom at the Chicago Hilton, where the consultant-speaker-ghostwriter-marketer on Thursday delivered the keynote address for this year’s ABA Techshow.

But if the lawyers and technology leaders had come for more than the chicken and deconstructed salad, and wanted to hear about Kaplan’s foibles, he seemed happy to oblige.

He recounted a foray into public-access television 10 years ago when he was trying to ignore incessant pounding on the studio door as he tried to interview his subject. The show was live and the banging was trying to take the soundtrack hostage if he let it.

Or so he thought. The person at the door was vigilantly trying to tell Kaplan that the audio feed was nothing more than a droning test tone. The knock-knock-knocking at the door was someone who may have figured that anyone who had been watching wouldn’t stay tuned without the talk half of a talk show.
More recently, Kaplan was set to deliver a webinar and was a full 10 minutes into the session when he noticed the button on his computer screen that read, “Click to start webinar.”

“I’m not a super-techno guy,” he confessed. Kaplan had been talking to himself during that time and believed his audience had gone the way of his cable TV viewers years earlier.

To his astonishment, Kaplan said, his audience stuck around, patiently waiting for the online session to begin. He theorized that people are forgiving of technology and more interested in the message. To him, that’s what he’s dubbed “The New Big Bang – The Convergence of Technology and Marketing,” which was the title of his speech before the luncheon audience.

Kaplan, who heads  Ari Kaplan Advisors, pointed out that technology has made it easier than ever to get your message out and connect with people — strangers as well as friends — in new ways.

Even so, Kaplan cautioned that marketing yourself shouldn’t at all be about you but, rather, should be about others. This may mean sending a colleague or associate a lead for a speaking engagement or a chance to be quoted in the media. By making putting the focus on someone else, you’re making that person think of you.

The Brooklyn native gave the example of an online survey he conducted that asked people what charities they supported and why. The response was huge, he said, and the marketing value was in shining the light on the respondents.

Still, Kaplan listed several ways to market oneself, though the bashful may be unwilling to, for instance, look up television producers on LinkedIn, call them and arrange interviews, as Kaplan said he did before coming to Chicago for the Techshow.

If you question whether this tactic works, just ask WGN-TV and the producer who put Kaplan in front of the cameras. And when the interviewer asked about ways to get exposure, Kaplan suggested doing a LinkeIn search for “producer + WGN.”

While the television example may be out of the ordinary, Kaplan said news outlets are routinely on the hunt for experts of all sorts, and you can check for the latest opportunities on such sites as HARO – Help a Reporter Out, where reporters post requests for sources to speak on various subjects.

Besides heading his New York-based firm, Kaplan is the author of The Opportunity Maker: Strategies for Inspiring Your Legal Career Through Creative Networking and Business Development.

~ by CDLB on March 26, 2010.

One Response to “Kaplan comes a-knocking”

  1. […] Kaplan presented the keynote address “The New Big Bang: The Convergence of Technology and Marketing” on Thursday, March 25. He spoke about how technology is making marketing easier as podcasting, […]

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