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So I watched 30 days of Derek Halpern’s vlogs, and here are 3 things I learned

sirvatka creative services derek halpern

Derek Halpern is a successful entrepreneur for several reasons. One reason is his understanding of how to sell. On his website,, he is described as “… an expert marketer and entrepreneur.” I have followed him online for several years and am a die-hard fan.

Recently Derek started a vlog (video blog) on YouTube called Planet Derek. I’ve watched it from the beginning and I will continue because he is both entertaining and educational. And it’s not fluff. Seriously!

One minute he’s being overly dramatic, loud and hilarious (all on purpose) and the next he’s telling you the psychology of sales.

Here is one thing that I love about Derek Halpern:

He reads all the research and psychology reports about sales, marketing and human behavior. I would rather walk on broken glass than read those articles. But he condenses them into bite-sized chewy chunks of super helpful content. Then he presents it in practical and actionable ideas for business owners.

I am a web designer and have been for many years. I did not major in business or sales or anything like that. So now I must learn these things if I want to make my business successful. I want to grow and I need to learn how from those who have succeeded. Derek Halpern is just such a person.

Here are just 3 of the many nuggets I’ve learned in 30 days.

  1. Keep a file of observations.
    This is super helpful for content creation. It means writing down great quotes from books, videos, my pastor, friends or anyone/anything that really strikes me. Even taking photos of visual observations that are interesting. I may not have a specific plan for these items but I keep them filed in two places. Digital stuff goes online and hard copy stuff goes in an index card box.

    They are at the ready for me to reference in my content or to springboard new ideas.The point of this is that I’m building a wealth of references and ideas for future content at my fingertips.

    This quote is up on my computer monitor to keep me focused on the right things:
    “Successful people spend their time where they find maximum opportunity.”

    I’m not sure if this originated with Derek but he’s the one I heard it from.
  2. Using hand gestures when speaking.
    You might think this is something that would come naturally. But that’s not always the case. I have done a few webinars and I always have the camera zoomed in to my head and shoulders. You can sometimes tell that I’m using my hands as I’m speaking but you can’t actually see them.

    Maybe you’ve heard of the 55% rule, or the 7-38-55 rule? It means that only 7% of communication is verbal. Then about 38% is your tone and 55% is body language.

    As an example, you’ve probably experienced a miscommunication in email due to the lack of tone and body language to support the content. Good thing some smart person came up with emojis!

    In one of his videos Derek shows us how to incorporate hand gestures into presentations to help illustrate the message. He actually shows each gesture and describes when you might use it to improve your message. He’s convinced me to zoom my camera out so viewers can see my hands and ‘hear” me better!
  3. Learn great business strategies by reading about the successes and failures of those that came before me.

    Derek makes a lot of references to biographies he reads of former business stars Coco Chanel, Sam Walton, Warren Buffet and the like.

    Though today we have different venues for communicating, marketing and selling, the tactics and psychology are still the same. Solve a problem. Sell stuff. Build your brand.

    These stories offer so many amazing ideas and examples of creative thinking.

    For instance during Coco Chanel’s era jersey material was considered low-end material used mostly for men’s underwear. Coco recognized its comfort and incorporated it into her designs. This was unheard of but it really caught on.

    I find this inspiring and exciting! I can take something that already exists and change how it is perceived. So now I’m trying to look at my services differently. What makes mine different from everyone else’s? What makes ME different from everyone else?

This is just a small sample of the gold that can be mined from Derek’s videos. I continue to watch, listen and learn!

Go check him out at, and keep these things in mind as you watch:

  1. Accept his fresh, unapologetic delivery. He’s loud. He’s not angry. He’s a New Yorker. And he’s enthusiastic about teaching.
  2. Be teachable. Be open to what he’s saying because some of it may fly in the face of what you’ve heard or have been doing.
  3. Glean what you can. Not everything he says will hit the mark with you but a lot of it will. As the saying goes “take what you like and leave the rest.”

About Cathy Sirvatka

Cathy Sirvatka is the founder of Sirvatka Creative Services Inc., and owner of Voice Over Web Design and Web Design For Speakers. Cathy has been designing and developing websites for almost two decades. She brings all her experience and knowledge to your project.

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