Always Say Thank You

William Wilson, CEO William Wilson Clothing

On my birthday, I was blessed with a plethora of well wishers. From FaceBook, Twitter, texts, emails, and personal conversations I was wished Happy Birthday. One of my friends, who commented on my birthday on FaceBook, eventually expressed her aggravation with the amount of updates she was getting on her cell phone every time someone said happy birthday. But she was more aggravated because she kept getting my thank you’s also.

She asked, “Are you going to thank every single person?” I told her, “Yes. If someone feels I’m worthy to take the time to express a thought to, the least I can do is say thank you; and I prefer to do it personally.” I know the time will come that I will be too busy to answer them all personally. When that happens, I have a plan.

Some NASCAR drivers are backed up 2-3 years on autographs requested from fans in the mail. Now I know many of them are busy, but some are just lazy. Before Dale Earnhardt died, he was BY FAR the most popular driver in NASCAR. He received 1000 of autograph requests per week. This is not news. What is news is the fact that when he died, he was only 3 weeks behind, while at the same time, I’m told, Dale Jr was 2 years behind. The difference. Dale Sr took time every day he could just to sign things. Arnold Palmer and Richard Petty would sign every autograph until the last fan left the golf course, and the race track, respectively. Phil Mickelson does that now, too.

This is the right thing to do. I’m no big star (yet); but I am beginning to generate a following. People are listening, processing, and some following my lead. I inspire some of them to do better, or to just do more. And when they take the time to reach out, I’m humbled and I’m honored. The least I can do is to say thank you. I hate when I reach out to congratulate or praise someone, and they ignore me. It makes me think differently of them, and makes me wish I hadn’t contacted them. I never want to do that to anyone. When I get to the point my schedule is too busy to thank someone. I WILL hire a person whose sole purpose is to thank everyone that reaches out to me. That may sound silly but you know what, without the people supporting me, I wouldn’t be busy. I consider that just a part of giving back to them. I owe them that much. If i have never said thank you for supporting me, following me, or reading my blog; I want to take this time to say thank you. From the bottom of my heart. I truly appreciate all of your support

God bless and dress well,

William Wilson

My Great Night at the 25 Most Stylish Event

Last night was a great night for William Wilson Clothing. It was a testament to what God can do and how he can change your life on a dime. But before I get into why it was so great for me, let’s talk about what was really important: the real purpose for the event.

First it was to benefit the American Heart Association. Every dollar made went to the AHA. Brother Fred from 96.1 and Britteny Cason, (from everything else on the Charlotte Scene – I swear she has more jobs that a temp agency) were the hosts and they did an exemplary job. Various local celebrities and designers donated their time to help make the night special. The event was indicative of what you would expect from JSW Media Group and Charlotte Style Magazine, top notch, classy, and professional. Of course, Charlotte Seen was on hand taking care of the red carpet, and Kevin Hughes captured all the glory in pictures for posterity.

William Wilson with the cover of Charlotte Style Magazine. His client Mike Minter is on the cover in one of his suits.

Now, the reason it was a great night for William Wilson Clothing. First, my client Mike Minter was named as one of Charlotte’s 5 Most Stylish, and was featured on the cover with the other 4 finalist including T. Strong (aka @therealtstrong on Twitter). He was wearing a navy blue wool suit by yours truly. Then my client, friend, and fellow Arkansas Chris Harris of the Carolina Panthers participated in the Celebrity Go Red fashion show, and he tore it up as only “The Hitman” can. And lastly, I was named one of Charlotte’s 25 most Stylish people, myself. I’d say that is a pretty good night for a guy that just opened his door for business a little over a year ago, and isn’t open to the general public. This was a great night for me both corporately and personally, and I’d like to thank Charlotte Style Magazine and it’s staff for the honor.

But what I’m the most thankful for is that I have another testimony to the power of God, to tell when I speak to businesses about business practices, branding, and faith; or when I’m counseling my friends that are down and feel like they are never going to get ahead. I can even use this to lift myself up as well sometimes. It’s hard to believe how fast God works when you practice his principles. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect and I have my vices like anyone else. But God knows my heart and always over delivers to me. I hope this never stops. I hope that people can look to the goodness that God has bestowed upon me, a country boy from Arkansas, and see that if he can do it for me, he can do it for them. So again I thank those that nominated me, Charlotte Style Magazine for choosing me, and most of all God for blessing me.

God bless and dress well,

William Wilson

Why You Should Ask People to Follow You on Twitter

William Wilson, CEO William Wilson Clothing

There is a school of thought out there that suggests you shouldn’t ask people to follow you on Twitter. They think if people want to follow you, they will just magically find you and follow you; or if you’re tweets are cool enough they will follow you. There is even a school of thought that says you should tweet often and if what you tweet is interesting enough, the people you want to follow you will follow you. There’s an old Asian saying, “Starving man wait long time for roast duck to fly in mouth.” This could not be more true. The idea that if you tweet it they will come from a business aspect is asinine, if not just plain reckless.

From time to time I get people that ask me to follow them on Twitter. And usually I do. Now if these people didn’t ask me, not only would I not have followed them, I wouldn’t have even known they existed. To take the position that it is wrong, silly, or desperate to ask someone to follow you is either pride or ego; neither of those is profitable. There is NOTHING about NOT asking someone you want to follow you to do so, that makes sense.  It’s the basic equivalent to wanting to take a girl out, but instead of just asking her for her number, you dress nice everyday, make sure you are in her vicinity, and have random conversations around her in hopes of saying something she finds interesting, and then she just gives you her number. If we did that the population would shrink by 70% in my lifetime.

James 4:2 states”…Ye have not because ye ask not.” If you want something ask for it. If they say no, so be it. But at least you know. Now I have given you the common sense reasons why you should ask for people to follow you. Now I’m going to give you the fiduciary reasons. I asked a person to follow me, and a friend of mine had the audacity to tweet a smart remark about it. That’s cool. They have that right. Well that person followed me, and one of their followers found me also. They both became clients. Since then I have sold them about $15,000 worth of clothing, and it has led to 3 speaking engagements, paying my standard day rate. So all in all, had I took my friends position, I would have made over $25,000 less money in 2 months, and had 4 less target market contacts in my cell phone.Now maybe her position makes since in a social environment. But when you are an entrepreneur, everything is about business and everything is about your brand.

Daymond John, CEO of FUBU speaker, author, and star of Shark Tank

I don’t expect her or other non-entrepreneurs to understand that. By the things some business owners tweet, there are some entrepreneurs that don’t fully grasp personal branding themselves. She is very, very good at her job and doesn’t rely on social media as part of her brand marketing for financial gain.

Being on that wants to build the most powerful personal brand possible, I recently asked FUBU CEO, Daymond John to follow me. I also sent him a Facebook friend request. Many of you may know him from Shark Tank on ABC. He is a very successful, highly driven, man that took an idea and turned it into a $6billion brand. He is also one of the world’s leading authorities on branding. Now as an aspiring entrepreneur, don’t you think this is a person worth me taking the chance to get to know? I could tweet cool stuff until I’m a thousand years old and he may never hear of me, let alone follow me. Since I have been following him on Twitter,I have been inspired by an number of his interviews and knowledge, and I have learned valuable lessons that have helped my business already. If reading his blogs, and listening to his interviews can do that, imagine the wealth of knowledge I could learn from getting to know him. My goal by the end of the year is to have lunch or dinner with him. He has a wealth of knowledge and I would like to learn from him. He may decide to follow me. He may decline. I have no idea. I’m sure I’m one of thousands that are seeking the same thing. But what I do know is: if I don’t ask, I won’t get it. But I have 25000 reasons so far to show me it’s smart to ask.

Until next time,

God Bless and dress well

William Wilson,

You Can’t Always Charge Full Price For Everything

I’m a businessman. I love what I do, but I don’t do it for free. And I don’t expect others to either. However, I do expect to have an idea of what I am paying for. Especially if you deal with a visual medium, like websites or you are going to be managing something I can’t readily qualify, like PR. I was looking for a someone to design my website and I spoke to a number of great people.They had great words, but none of them gave me anything with which to connect. Just my own mental pictures, which history has shown is’t always the other’s picture.

There is a reason there are pictures in catalogs, because if you selling something meant to be seen, people need to see it. Especially if your describing a concept. Websites are concepts. In some manner suits can be as well, so I have to be able to draw out my idea for my sewers and my clients. Does this take time, of course it does, but it is necessary to get me to fall in love with your concept. Many business don’t want to take the expense of doing work they are not getting compensated for. They don’t see the big picture. In business this is called a loss-leader. You are basically doing work for free, or a reduced price, in order to gain business that will profit you down the road. It’s an investment in your success.

When I started William Wilson Clothing, I offered reduced pricing to specific people who could easily afford my suits. Why? Because having them as clients gave me credibility. Doing that for just one client gained me 3 more. I also donate suits to charities. This is not only a good thing to do morally, but it also gains exposure and brand recognition. All of these cost me in the beginning, but they paid off in the end. One of my best clients won one of my suits at an auction. He was so impressed with the quality and speed, that he continued to buy. To date, he has bought about 10 suits and 15 shirts in the last year.

If any of the web designers had taken the time to build even a quick mock up that I could have an emotional reaction to, I probably would have signed with them. But they didn’t. Sure they will have their reasons and excuses why, but at the end of the day, the end result is, they lost my sale and anyone I would’ve referred to them, because they weren’t willing to put in the sweat equity to earn my business. Same goes to the PR people I have talked to. None of them have given me a plan of action that they would take for my situation. They just tell me things that are possible. A lot of companies like to put the minimum into their client until they have a contract and are getting their money. Which is why, many of them are struggling.

Here is the takeaway for this. There is a reason dealerships let you test drive cars, why department stores have display televisions and appliances, why there are mannequins with clothing on them; to garner an emotional reaction. To allow you to visualize your self using the product. Can this be costly? yes. Is it effective? Absolutely. When people feel a connection or  emotional response to an item or idea, they will more than likely purchase it. Put in some sweat equity and give me something to fall in love with. Give me something other than words and proposals. Give me something to like, not just something to sign, and maybe we can do some business.

God bless and dress well,

William the Clothier