Shel Horowitz’s Clean & Green Newsletter, March 2012

Why Tweet?
(March 2012 Tip)
Twitter BirdIf you’ve been reading my newsletter for several years, you know I’ve been marketing through social media all the way back to 1995. These days, a lot of my social media goes into Twitter.

People either love Twitter or hate it. My wife can’t stand it; I think it’s great.


  • You can have a big impact while investing almost no time
  • It’s easy to gain very targeted followers — and influential “followees” (people you follow)
  • Very short learning curve
  • Interface stays reasonably constant, and the changes are improvements that make sense (unlike Facebook, where you have to keep relearning how to do it, or frequently discover that the expensive tools and processes you invested in before the latest redesign are now them obsolete)
  • Third-party tools like TweetDeck (now owned by Twitter), MarketMeSuite, and HootSuite add enormous functionality: scanning the most important contacts quickly, searching topics, scheduling ahead, adding users to groups quickly
  • Trends, posts, and connections can easily go viral through the power of retweets and other devices — and as they do, you can easily expand your circles of influence
  • You can build real relationships with people by responding personally to their tweets
  • While there are lots of ways around the 140-character limit, it does force you to sharpen your brain and be concise
  • Oh yeah, and it’s fun!

I find Twitter a terrific research tool: I get a lot of my information on new trends in the green, business, and  political worlds by following links. I also find it a great way to get into conversations with people I haven’t met before, some of whom are very well-connected. Often, I’ll start a conversation on Twitter and then move it to 1-to-1 e-mail.

Twitter is also a great way to get noticed by speakers: if you tweet highlights of their talks or Twitter chat presentations — and either include a designated hashtag for the event (e.g., #sustainchat) and/or mention them by their Twitter handle (e.g., @ShelHorowitz), you’ll get on their radar. I can tell you that when someone puts @ShelHorowitz in a tweet, I go visit their profile unless it’s obvious spam, and usually follow back. And when someone at a networking event tells me he or she follows me on Twitter, I pay closer attention.

And yes, I’ve sold books, started conversations about my consulting, copywriting or speaking, and attended networking events that I learned about on Twitter.

This is the first of a three-part series. Next month, what you can tweet, and in May, what Twitter is NOT.

Be in My Next Book with Your Book Marketing Success Story!
I’m revising my 2007 book Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers, and looking for a few more good recent success stories — the more “out-of-the-box,” the better.

I am thinking about chunking up the book into several smaller e-volumes, to take advantage of the Kindle/Nook market — and if this works well, I might repeat the strategy with my consumer book on frugal fun.

Anyway, please submit stories of 500 words or less, using this link to generate a subject line I’ll spot:

Submission constitutes permission to reprint in the book and in any publicity and warrants that you have the right to submit the material. If I use your material, you’ll get a copy of the mini-e-book that includes it.

Hear & Meet Shel
Not one, but three major telesummits on environmental themes in April (Earth Day is that month, after all). Read on for details.

3/19 Triangle Variety Radio has me as a guest Monday, March 19, 8 pm ET/5 pm PT, discussing “Making Green Sexy: Marketing Strategies that Any Business Can Use to Profit in the Rapidly Growing Green Market. and click “Log In To Our Radio Show” or Skype to 949-272-9578; (I’m told only Skype will work — which I find very odd)

3/24, Greenfield, MA Speaking on how artists and businesses can benefit from working together at Creative Economy Summit III: Fostering our Local Economy: Art and Business in Partnership March 23 and 24, 2011, Downtown Greenfield, MA, — my session is from 2-3:15 pm Saturday, March 24

4/2 I’m still pinching myself that I am one of the speakers at the amazing Spring of Sustainability telesummit, along with environment rockstars like Jane Goodall (legendary for her work in Africa with chimapnzees), Bill McKibben (climate activist and founder of, Vandana Shiva (Indian activist who took on Coca-Cola), Van Jones (former White House Green Jobs czar and funder of Color of Change), John Robbins (visionary who puts the Baskin-Robbins fortune to good use), Hazel Henderson (author of Ethical markets and many other key works), Frances Moore Lappé (Diet for a Small Planet and other books, decades of food and democracy activism) John Perkins (Confessions of an Economic Hitman), Thom Hartmann (progressive radio host and author), Aqeela Sherrills (campaigner against gang violence and government violence), Julia Butterfly Hill (she lived in a tree for months to save it from being cut down), Vicki Robin (Your Money or Your Life), Hunter Lovins (energy pioneer and co-author of Natural Capitalism), Joel Makower (founder of, John Trudell (American Indian and earth activist)…WOW! Sessions start March 26 and go through June 22. My slot is April 2, 3-3:30 pm ET/noon-12:30 pm PT. No cost, and all the calls get recorded. If you don’t sign up for this series, I have to question your judgment. Even if you only manage to listen to a few of these world-changing visionaries, why would you want to miss out?

4/16 I’m on the first day’s program for the Green Business Entrepreneurs Success Summit: How You Can Unite Purpose and Profit for a Sustainable Planet, organized by Lorna Li as an “alternative green MBA.” My topic: Making Green Sexy: Guerrilla Marketing Tactics for Small Green Businesses, and I’m on at 5 pm ET/2 pm PT. Other presenters include Alisa Gravitz, Executive Director of Green America; Steven Hoffman, co-founder of LOHAS Journal and LOHAS Forum; Jacqui Ottman, author of The New Rules of Green Marketing, Elena Christopoulos, Interim President of the Green Chamber of Commerce (among others). No charge for this series either!

4/21, Amherst, MA Exhibiting at the third annual Amherst Sustainability Fair, on the common, 10-4.

4/26, Interview with Wendy Meyeroff — to listen, 347-884-8365; to ask questions before the show

4/29 Goodall and I are also among the presenters for the Better World Forum, another remarkable telesummit on the last two weekends in April — along with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Deepak Chopra and others. Again, I feel very honored to be included. You can bring down the already-low cost ($39 through April 12, or $49 afterward) another $10, to just $29/$39 — if you use my link: I’ll be airing Sunday, April 29, 1-2 pm ET/10-11 am PT

5/1, Houston, TX Speaking at the Gulf Coast Green conference in Houston, May 1: “Making Green Sexy.”

Also remember, if you set me up an engagement, you could earn a generous commission.

Friends/Colleagues Who Want to Help
ShiftNetwork’s latest telesummit, Spring of Sustainability, is going to be amazing, and I’m so proud to be one of the presenters. See description in the Hear & Meet Shel section.

Vrinda Normand is another one who puts on great telesummits, and hers are focused on marketing for conscious companies. Her latest, Irresistible List Building Summit, runs from March 13 (yeah, you’ve missed a few) through April 6 and includes people like Lisa Sasevich, Denise Wakeman, Kendall Summerhawk, Nancy Juetten, Christian Mickelsen, and Adam Urbanski. The headline: “How to Attract 1,000s of Your Ideal Clients Online So You Can Make the Big Impact You Were Born For” — nice use of Ultimate Benefits copywriting strategy there.  :-). Another event with no cost.

GreenAmerica’s GreenFest comes to NYC for the first time, April 21-22. I spoke at this event in Washington, DC a year and a half ago, and loved it. I intend to be there Sunday, but I’m not on the program.

Two Book Launches with Lots of Bonuses

360 Degrees of Influence: Get Everyone to Follow Your Lead on Your Way to the Top
by NYT Bestselling author Harrison Monarth

In 360 Degrees of Influence, Monarth provides everything you need to gain the trust and respect of those around you — no matter where they’re positioned in the organizational hierarchy — and expand your influence well beyond your immediate environment. Become the most psychologically astute person in the room — so you can be the most influential leader in the room. Learn how to:

  • Assess your current influencing power
  • Overcome resistance to your ideas and proposals
  • Know what people are thinking and feeling — even better than they do
  • Avoid the most common decision-making pitfalls
  • Create an influence strategy tailored to your organization’s hierarchy

March 22 is the launch for If I’m So Smart, Why Can’t I Get Rid of This Clutter? Tools to Get it Done! by Sallie Felton

Are you conquering your clutter — or is your clutter conquering you? Author and life coach Sallie Felton, walks you through the practical and organizational strategies that make it easy to stay organized; but this book goes deeper and uncovers the hidden reasons why it can be so hard to get clutter free and stay that way.

Another Recommended Book: Writing to Make a Difference: 25 Powerful Techniques to Boost Your Community Impact, by Dalya F. Massachi
If you want to communicate clearly, you have to write clearly. If you want to write clearly, you want this book.

While her focus is tilted toward grassroots and nonprofit/not-for-profit community organizations, about 98 percent of her advice is equally applicable to business — especially green, socially conscious, ethical businesses that need to communicate a bigger message than “buy my stuff.”

Massachi has a light touch that turns a could-have-been-deadly subject into an enjoyable read, and the textbook-like format is full of exercises, nice little interjections, personal experience, and such. Which makes it a lot more palatable than the grammar and style textbooks of my youth. I’d even go so far as to say that this is a book that I’d have liked to have written, and certainly one I wish I’d had when I was starting my career as a social-change and environmental action writer.

Still, I wanted to take it a little at a time, so I could absorb it properly. Now that I’ve gotten all the way through, I’m sure I’ll be referring to it when I hit a grammar snag.

Not to say the book is perfect. Some of the later chapters get a bit bogged down in grammatical minutiae, and there are a few places where I would argue with her style choices. Example: call me old-fashioned, but to me, the only time you’d use an apostrophe after a set of initials is as a possessive: “NGO’s” can *only* mean “belonging to an NGO” [Non-Governmental Organization]. But to Dalya, a generation younger than me, using that construction as a plural noun is a valid if unfortunate choice.

Be sure to read the appendices; otherwise, you’ll miss the excellent brief sections on writing for audio and video, as well as a wonderful list of “visionary” trigger words (right after a list of marketing trigger words) — these are the words that tug at our readers’ heartstrings and help us frame the narrative. And that’s something that far too often, progressives have been clumsy with.

A must for the shelf of any serious business or nonprofit writer, and even more so for employees or managers who are not writers but get thrown a writing project (if they don’t want to contact someone like Dalya or me to do it for them). Nicely indexed and crammed with resources, too.

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