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The Mirror Test...Is Your Business Really Breathing? An interview with author Jeffrey Hayzlett

By Guest Blogger, Donna DeClemente, Donna's Promo Talk

Being from Rochester, NY, I have worked with Eastman Kodak over the years and know many people who have and still work there. The company has been going through a huge transformation as the world has moved on to digital. We all in Rochester are very familiar with the company's challenges to become a digital company and have seen what it has done to our community.

Jeff_Hayzlett Jeffrey Hayzlett has been Kodak's Chief Marketing Officer for the past several years and has become somewhat of a celebrity. He has embraced social media for the company and has been a regular speaker at many marketing and social media conferences. He even has appeared besides Donald Trump on the Apprentice. I first wrote about Jeff in this blog post almost an exact year ago when he spoke at a Rochester Ad Council luncheon on the subject of social media. If you read this post you'll get a good sense of Jeff's personality.

Jeff just recently published his first book, The Mirror Test...Is Your business Really Breathing? It hit the bookstore shelves on May 5th. He had a book signing at the Barnes and Noble here in Pittsford that Friday which I couldn't attend, so instead I asked for an interview, which he happily granted. But before I could interview him he announced on May 14th that he was leaving Kodak and his last official day is this Friday, May 28th.

So I picked up my copy of The Mirror Test at the Barnes & Noble and read it on the way down and back from our trip to New York City that we took to pick up our daughter from NYU. Yes, my husband was driving, not me.

In the book Jeff encourages all business professionals, especially small business owners and entrepreneurs, to take the mirror test and ask yourself...Is your business still alive and breathing? Does it fog the mirror? If your company is not growing, then it's dying. Here's some of what Jeff and I spoke about.

The book is a project that he had been planning and thinking about for the past 15 years. His agent finally got it sold in to Business Plus, the publisher. She then proceeded to help find the right co-writer which ended up being Jim Eber. Jeff said that he would get on the phone every night with Jim and dictate to him. He said the chemistry between the two of them just worked well.

Jeff starts and ends most his talks with a personal story, so he based his book on this model as well. So each chapter starts off with a personal story and ends with a lesson that leads into the point of the next chapter. He tells the stories of how he started out as an entrepreneur running several businesses and the lessons that he learned. He says that you can remember and follow all the advice from his mirror tests, but there's still a chance that you can be done in by your competition. So he also follows this formula "Always win the RACE" which stands for:

R - Research: Define the program, objectives, strategy, audience

A - Action: Plan the program

C - Communicate and execute the program

E - Evaluate the results

There is just one chapter in the book on the power of social media and we spoke about how it has helped him get the word out about The Mirror Test. He uses several platforms including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and has also been buying targeted ads on Facebook. He just recently started The Mirror Test Facebook page and a Mirror Test Twitter Page. "I first started using Twitter to stay connected with my family and people started paying attention to what I was saying, so I organically built a following there." Jeff also wrote about "Twankers", a word that he has coined that describes those people on Twitter that are just there to sell themselves and annoy the rest of us. Any of us on Twitter know who they are.

I read many marketing related books and columns, and I find that I connect so much more with what I'm reading when I know the author. This was true in reading The Mirror Test as well. Jeff shared with me that he has already started work on his second book which will be part of the next chapter in his career. We'll probably also see his face on TV again.

So good luck Jeff. Thanks again for sharing with me your thoughts during the interview. We're looking forward to seeing you again soon on your visits back to Rochester.

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I have never heard of the book. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for sharing!

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