Do you remember this clever piece of advice from the Jefferson Airplane song? We all know how crucial it is to expose ourselves to words, images and sounds that help us along towards where we want to go. In this new column, we will highlight personal and professional development tools—books, audiovisual programs, movies, podcasts or any other media—that have been circulating among networkers.

And while we’re being taught, why not also be moved and entertained? Do you have a must-see or must-hear recommendation? Simply email

Be Visible


Be Visible: Simple Prospecting and Marketing Techniques to Grow Your Pool of Potential Customers and Recruits
By Patrice Matteson (2008)
Reviewed by Donna Johnson

As network marketing and direct sales professionals, we understand we are in an “earn as you learn” business. However, the more mistakes we make and disappointments we face in the beginning, when we launch our business, the higher the rate of attrition. This is where how-to books and tools come in. They generally fall into three categories: mindset, motivation or mechanics. Be Visible falls under “mechanics” and is the perfect how-to resource for the hungry consultant or distributor who says, “Just tell me what to do and say!” Pat Matteson’s book delivers just that. Each chapter is a practical how-to for each niche marketing area, such as:

  • Advertise for free
  • Use business cardsJoin clubs
  • Know your neighbors
  • Gift-giving
  • Exchange product
  • Fairs and trade shows
  • News articles
  • Web sites

The most powerful chapter for me was “Use the Phone.” The scripts in this chapter have been tested for their success rate and analyzed in great detail, including, i.e., how long you should pause after asking the right questions.

You’ll refer to this book often!

Content Rich: Writing Your Way to Wealth on the Web

By Jon Wuebben (2008)

Words are powerful. They help us communicate and connect. They impact society by changing people’s perceptions and driving them to do things, such as buying new products. Nowhere is the power of words more apparent than on the Internet. How do we use the online written word effectively?

Jon Wuebben teaches business owners how to connect with potential online customers and increase their sites’ search engine rankings by using Search Engine Optimized (SEO) web copy.

“Web copy serves two masters,” says Wuebben. “It speaks to search engines and people. Did you know that 75 to 80 percent of all web traffic comes from search engines? But your words also have to mean something and provide value to the reader.”

Different sites need different copy, says Wuebben. His book covers copywriting for blogs, social networking sites, e-commerce sites, lead generation sites, landing pages and “brochure” sites (where the main goal is not to sell).

SEO copywriting comes in many flavors: general site copy, articles for free publicity, press releases, wiki copywriting, banner ads, newsletters, and many more

Also available as an e-book and in audio format, this jargon-free guide ends with a handy list of resources, such as keyword research sites, web analytics tools, style guides, article distribution sites, general marketing blogs and blogs for copywriters.
Double Your Contacts

Double Your Contacts: What Every Network Marketer Needs to Know about Making Contacts and Booking Appointments

By MJ Durkin (2005)

Based on twenty years of research, this book runs counter to most of the conventional sales wisdom promulgated over the past fifty years.

“In order to fully benefit from his book“ says Durkin, “You must believe that your ability to put people on a list, call them and book an appointment is more critical to your success than any other skill, including giving a product or opportunity presentation.”

The book is divided into two parts. Part One starts by showing the importance of belief systems, as opposed to techniques. Durkin helps you assess your own prospecting beliefs and determine whether they are helping or hurting you. He then teaches you how to rewrite non-supportive belief systems. Part Two focuses on how to turn belief systems into action, covering topics such as:

  • How to develop instant rapport on the phone
  • Head games we play to avoid making calls
  • Why we should have scripts and how to use them
  • How to consistently sound strong on the phone
  • How to track your prospecting and hold yourself accountable.

This book clearly establishes that networkers are first and foremost in the prospecting business. “You must get face to face with a steady flow of qualified people,” says Durkin. “As soon as you develop the ability to do this, nothing can stop you from being successful.”

Secrets of Social Media Marketing BOOK
Secrets of Social Media Marketing: How to Use Online Conversations and Customer Communities to Turbo-Charge Your Business

By Paul Gillin (2008)

If you’re familiar with Gillin’s previous book, The New Influencers, this new book is somewhat of a departure. The New Influencers describes the changing patterns of media influence driven by a new breed of citizen influencers, documenting a sea change in the way organizations interact with their constituents.

Secrets of Social Media Marketing is a more practical handbook for marketers and business owners to use in deciding how to employ the new social media for online marketing. Social media has quickly moved from the periphery of marketing into the forefront, but in this new and quickly-evolving field, there are few established formulas for success.

“Today, anyone can be a publisher,” says Gillin. “This new reality gives marketers a broad range of options for reaching out to customers, but they need to think differently about their profession. Social media marketing is about building relationships, delivering value and establishing long-term feedback loops. It’s about listening as much as it is about talking. This is a difficult adjustment for marketers to make, but those who approach this new world with an open mind can gain unprecedented insights about their markets while talking directly to their most important constituents.”

The goal of this hands-on manual is to educate business owners on how to build their brands, generate leads and engage customer communities using online tools.
Fuel: Change Your Fuel …
Change Your World

By Josh Tickell (2008)

We had the good fortune of seeing this feature-length documentary at its premiere in Hollywood last fall, and we couldn’t recommend it more highly to anyone committed to creating a better future. Unlike other documentaries in this genre, Fuel offers reasons for hope and empowers the viewer to make a difference. Fuel received the Audience Award at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, whose spokesperson wrote the following synopsis:

Most Americans know we’ve got a problem: an addiction to oil that taxes the environment, entangles us in costly foreign policies, and threatens the nation’s long-term stability. But few are informed or empowered enough to do much about it.

Enter Josh Tickell, an expert young activist who, driven by his own emotionally charged motives, shuttles us on a revelatory, whirlwind journey to unravel this addiction—from its historical origins to political constructs that support it, to alternatives available now and the steps we can take to change things.

Tickell tracks the rising domination of the petrochemical industry—from Rockefeller’s strategy to halt ethanol use in Ford’s first cars to the mysterious death of Rudolph Diesel at the height of his biodiesel engine’s popularization, to our government’s choice to declare war after 9/11, rather than wean the country from fossil fuel.

Never minimizing the complexities of ending oil dependence, Tickell uncovers a hopeful reality pointing toward a decentralized, sustainable energy infrastructure—like big rigs tanking up on biofuel at Carl’s Corner Texas truck stop, a new Brooklyn biodiesel plant serving three states, a miraculous Arizona algae-based fuel farm, and the Swedish public voting to be petroleum-free by 2020.

Sweeping and exhilarating, Tickell’s passionate film goes beyond great storytelling; it rings out like a bell that stirs consciousness and makes individual action suddenly seem consequential.

Josh Tickell, a leading expert on alternative fuels, grew up in Louisiana, where members of his family suffered from diseases linked to pollution from oil refineries. After discovering biodiesel, he earned an MFA in film from Florida State University’s School of Motion Picture, Television and Recording Arts to chronicle and vitalize the green-energy movement. He has been working on Fuel for ten years. Tickell also authored a controversial companion book, Biodiesel America—How to Achieve Energy Security, Free America from Middle-East Oil Dependence, and Make Money Growing Fuel.

The movie cast includes Senator Barbara Boxer, Sir Richard Branson, Sheryl Crow, Woody Harrelson, Robert Kennedy, Jr., Willie Nelson, Julia Roberts and Neil Young.

This must-see movie is an eye-opener and inspiration to take action for all of us—today and one step at a time.
The Necessary Revolutions BOOK
The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations Are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World

By Peter Senge, Bryan Smith, Nina Kruschwitz, Joe Laur and Sara Schley (2008)

Peter Senge is a senior lecturer at MIT and the founding chair of the Society for Organizational Learning. We interviewed Peter for the September 2003 issue of Networking Times and featured his book The Fifth Discipline.

“Imagine a world in which the excess energy from one business would be used to heat another,” says Peter. “Where buildings need less and less energy around the world, and where ‘regenerative’ commercial buildings—ones that create more energy than they use—are being designed. A world in which environmentally sound products and processes would be more cost-effective than wasteful ones.”

As Senge and his coauthors reveal in The Necessary Revolution, companies around the world are boldly leading the change from dead-end “business as usual” tactics to transformative strategies that are essential for creating a flourishing, sustainable world. There is a long way to go, but the era of denial has ended. Today’s most innovative leaders are recognizing that for the sake of our businesses and our world, we must implement revolutionary—not just incremental—changes in the way we live and work.

A revolution is underway in today’s organizations, and network marketing shows a lot of the signs of this new type of organization that will help us move from old-world thinking to the creation of new economy and world order.
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy BOOK/E-BOOK
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy: The New Order of Things to Come

By Scott Allen, Jay T. Deragon, Margaret G. Orem and Carter F. Smith (2008)

Scott Allen is coauthor of The Virtual Handshake and was featured in the May/June 2006 issue of Networking Times. He is a contributing author to Blog! How the Newest Media Revolution Is Changing Politics, Business and Culture and executive editor of LinkedIn for Recruiting and I’m on LinkedIn—Now What?

In this new book, the authors define the Relationship Economy as “the people and things we are connected with in our personal networks, who or that distribute or consume our capital, which in turn influences our individual production outputs.”

The goal of this book is to provide the knowledge, tools and skills necessary to understand the strategic issues required to succeed in the Relationship Economy, as well as the context of actions that enable success.

“The web economy has largely been fed by advertisers vying for eyeballs and attention,” say the authors. “Today, the social web brings more influential human elements with global reach than any previous technological development in the history of the Internet. Combine the influence of the human elements with the economic power of relationship driven by commerce and you have a scenario that will bring further changes unforeseen, unpredictable and unimaginable. These changes are creating historical shifts that open opportunities for those who prepare and embrace the factors that enable a successful transition from the old economy to the new.”