Shel Horowitz’s Speech Topics

Meeting Planners, Please Note: Shel is happy to work with you to design a custom presentation on any of these themes, just for your group.

Listen to some of Shel’s interviews on Green, ethical, and frugal marketing

Speaking Testimonials

About Shel Horowitz


Hear a brief message from Shel:


Transformative Green/Marketing the Transformation: How Deep Green Can be Deeply Profitable

  • Going a deeper shade of green—while saving big money
  • Changing the internal culture toward sustainability
  • Educating and marketing to existing customers
  • Building loyalties with new constituencies and markets
  • Reaching the green consumer with effective marketing messages

Green and Ethical Messages to Reach Green and Ethical Customers


  • Why responsible business is more profitable than traditional business
  • How to identify and market the Greenest and most ethical elements of your business
  • How responsible businesses are better poised to build lucrative alliances with other businesses and nonprofits
  • What the continuing Green trend means to business over the long term

Practice—learn how to:

  • Identify existing actions and policies most conducive to attracting socially and environmentally conscious fans
  • Create marketing strategies AND message points that easily bring these to the attention of your best prospects
  • Turn your customers into active participants in your marketing, telling their friends and colleagues about you because they are so in love with the experience of working with you, they have to share it

Getting Buy-In (Advanced): Building Support for Eco-Initiatives From Politicians, the Press, and the Public

In times of tight budget, many government and corporate clients often think sustainability measures are an easy place to cut.

This session will provide you with some tools to

  • Demonstrate the benefits (financial, quality-of-life, environment) to both decision makers and the general public of the work you do
  • Examine systems with a more holitstic lens, where the interconnectedness of multiple systems exponentially increases the good results
  • Get a stronger understanding of marketing psychology that will help you not just defend your territory, but be seen as an active advocate for a better community who can harness a powerful constituency to lobby effectively for the work you do

Getting Buy-In (Level 1): Building Stakeholder Consensus for Sustainability

Real progress happens on the environment when all the stakeholder groups in an organization (or in an entire community or region) understand the need for action—and a majority are ready to move forward. This is a marketing/education challenge, and therefore wants a solution rooted in marketing and education. Shel Horowitz, award-winning author of eight books including Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green and the monthly columns Green And Profitable and Green And Practical, will show you how to:

  • Demonstrate the consequences of inaction
  • Show practical, inexpensive, and easy ways to go green
  • Turn stakeholders into green ambassadors

10 Career Opportunities in the Green Marketplace

Overview of some of the job possibilities helping to make the planet a better and more sustainable place–and the types of preparation appropriate for each. Aimed especially at college students, but also at those already in the workforce who want to shift to a greener position.

Tired of Chasing Customers? Let Your Customers Come to You!

Strategies and messages to change from the “pesty sales creep” to the valued advisor that clients actually seek out:

  • Establish yourself as the expert and the go-to person when your clients need help and advice, because you’re looking out for their best interests
  • Come to new audiences on the arm of an already-trusted partner who paves the way for you
  • Be known as the helpful consultant who helps solve problems and meet customer needs

Staying Profitable AND Ethical in Tough Economic Times

The market is crashing. Housing has tanked. Retirement savings are evaporating. If ever the temptation to cut corners, to bend the rules raises its head, now would be the time.

A word of advice: Don’t! In a down economy, it’s even more crucial to be the kind of company people want to do business with, and that gives you a big edge to survive and even thrive in troubled times.

  • Why companies based in Green and ethical principles can charge more for products and services, command much better buyer loyalty and evangelism, and slash marketing costs while retaining and increasing profits
  • How ethical lapses can kill your company (and jail your leadership) when times are bad
  • Why being ethical actually protects you from a broken economy

How Business Ethics is Like Spinach: Don’t Make It Mushy—Make It Mouth-Watering

Too often, when you get served spinach, you get a shapeless, overcooked, flavorless mess. Yet, when properly prepared, spinach is a gourmet treat that warms the taste buds and makes you feel like spring.

Similarly, ethics is too often forced down the throats of unwilling students and business leaders “because it’s good for you.” It keeps you out of jail and has lots of vitamins and iron, but it may not feel good, or feel profitable.

Yet ethics, served properly, can be the magic key that unlocks the future of successful, profitable, sustainable businesses. It’s not only good for you, it’s the gourmet treat that makes it all worthwhile. It builds long-term customer, supplier, and employee relationships that actually make it much easier to succeed, if you understand how to position the enterprise to harness the benefits it creates.

  • How a commitment to ethics directly feeds a healthy bottom line
  • Why market share is the wrong metric
  • What Johnson & Johnson, Saturn, and Nordstrom understand about today’s changing business climate that Ford, Tyco, Worldcom and Enron failed to grasp
  • How Apple and IBM, GM and Toyota, even FedEx and the US Postal Service grow their enterprises through competitor partnerships—and how you can use the same principles to build a business of any size (even a solopreneur)
  • What Arthur Anderson would have thought of the fate of the company he founded, and why

Making Corporate Responsibility Sexy: Building and Marketing a Culture of Business Success Through Ethics.

  • How to build a stellar reputation that builds powerful referral business, even from competitors—and how not to get the legs knocked out from under you by messing it up (as happened to the CEO of Whole Foods)
  • How corporate stupidity and lack of social responsibility can kill even very strong companies—while accepting responsibility in a crisis can dramatically grow a business
  • Why most businesses shouldn’t worry about market share—and what they should concern themselves with instead
  • Why “nice guys” of either gender finish first, not last
  • How ultra-green practices can actually reduce expenses while providing marketing advantages

Green is Gold: How to be Market More Profitably by Being More Green

Suddenly, Green is chic. Everybody’s buzzing about climate change, carbon footprints, alternative energy, and more.

And if you have a business that takes Green positions—particularly if this is a long-lasting part of your operation that predates the current fad, but even if you’re new to it—you can convert that buzz into very profitable dollars

  • Why Green business is more profitable than traditional business
  • How to identify and market your Greenest elements
  • How Green businesses are better poised to build lucrative alliances with other businesses and nonprofits
  • What the continuing Green trend means to business over the long term

Frugal Marketing 101: How to Slash Your Marketing Costs and Boost Your Results
Successful marketing campaigns don’t have to be expensive. Let the author of four low-cost marketing books show you how to…

  • Get free publicity in mainstream and alternative media, from the Wall Street Journal and New York Times on down to your local shopper
  • Inexpensively set up and promote an effective multipronged Internet presence that extends far beyond just having your own website
  • Make excellent contacts at trade shows without even having a booth
  • Find ways to actually get paid to do your own marketing

Publish and Promote Your Book
Books are potent marketing tools for any business. Shel Horowitz, author of Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers, has published under his own imprint as well as with three major publishers, and has helped several clients not only get their books done but also start their own publishing companies and create marketing momentum for their books. You’ll learn…

  • Which of the four paths to publishing is right for you
  • Why even if you have an outside publisher, the marketing is on your shoulders
  • Several strategies to successfully build an audience for your book, at minimal cost

    Cross-Marketing: How to Turn Competitors and Complementary Businesses Into Partners

    Why do some of the biggest and most successful companies collaborate closely with their supposed “enemies”?

    We hear over and over again the “wisdom” that business is a cutthroat arena, and that you have to stab your competitors in the back. Well, oddly enough, the reverse is actually true. And that’s why we see wildly successful joint ventures among companies who should, according to the conventional wisdom, be sabotaging each other—but who have found it far more beneficial to work together.


    • General Motors and Toyota jointly brought out the 1986-88 Nova/Corolla and other cars
    • IBM, Apple, and Motorola combined forces to develop the PowerPC chip architecture, which powered many computers during the 90s and early 2000s
    • FedEx moves USPS express mail across the country in its airplanes—FedEx benefits by selling cargo space and filling planes that might have otherwise flown half-empty—and thus amortizing the costs of fuel, pilots, etc. over a larger load—while the Postal Service benefits by knowing that mail will actually arrive at its facilities in time to guarantee overnight delivery

    Even the tiniest businesses can emulate these giant corporations and create successful partnerships with competitors. As one among many examples, I reprint in one of my books an ad from a group of 11 local florists, touting the benefits of getting flowers from a florist in an ad much bigger than any could have afforded alone.

    This session will include a hands-on segment where attenders will network and explore partnerships with other attenders for businesses they might start after school.

    Turning Your Values Into Sales: Effectively Marketing Your Social/Environmental Commitment

    Is your company’s commitment to improve the world a “best-kept secret?” Or are you openly using your values in your marketing, but not getting the results you want? Learn how to get the most possible marketing value out of your values. Treating the earth with respect, providing a healthy and welcoming atmosphere for employees, donating a portion of your profits, supporting social and environmental goals—are all marketing points to help you stand out in your prospects’ mind. Harness these points to build not only sales, but customer loyalty—to the point that they become part of your unpaid word-of-mouth army of fans and ambassadors.

    • Identify the existing actions and policies most conducive to attracting socially and environmentally conscious fans
    • Create marketing strategies that easily bring these to their attention
    • Involve your customers with a feeling of “ownership” and participation
    • Turn this reservoir of good will into a powerful, virtually free, marketing machine

    Embracing Abundance: How to Get Past “Market Share” to What’s Really Important

    • Market share is usually irrelevant; the world is abundant and there’s room for everyone to succeed
    • You can actively profit from your competitors’ successes!
    • Harness the awesome power of your own customers to do your marketing
    • Honesty, integrity, and quality are far more important than quick profits-the Golden Rule actually WORKS in business
    • As you create value for others, you build value in your own business
    • The most important sales skill isn’t even about selling
    • How to turn marketing from a cost into a direct revenue stream

    Putting Your Best Foot Forward: Affordably Starting a Business Based in Ethics and Integrity

    You want to start a business but it seems the odds are against you. The vast majority of businesses fail within the first year; most of the rest are gone within five years. How can you be one of the successes?

    This talk will give an overview of starting a successful ethical business, and using that ethical stance to leverage business, grow, and succeed

    How to:

    • Analyze your skills and interests to see what businesses they can lead to
    • Determine if there is a market
    • Build ethics in from the ground up and use that cornerstone to drive success
    • Launch with little or no capital
    • Develop and execute affordable, effective, ethical marketing strategies

    Note: This is an overview workshop. Any of those bullet points could be its own workshop

    How to Be a Success in Business and Still Hold Your Head Up High

    We’ve learned a lot about how NOT to do business from the likes of Enron and Arthur Andersen. The crooked approach doesn’t work; eventually, it catches up with you. Fortunately, it’s actually easier to run a business based on integrity, honesty, quality, and value. You’ll have better profits, better health-and when you look in the mirror, you’ll see someone to be proud of!

    • What Arthur Anderson, the man, would have said about the collapse of Arthur Andersen, the company
    • How to cope with crisis: What Johnson & Johnson understood that Firestone and Intel did not, and why its business is better for that understanding
    • How YOU can run a business based truly on ethics and service, and build a lasting legacy for future generations

    Turn Customers Into Raving Fans! Energize Your Clients Into Sales Ambassadors

    When you make a purchase, is it in spite of the firm?s marketing ? or because of it? The best marketing is non-intrusive, reaches the right prospects?and tells them how and why your offer can solve their problem or improve their lives. The way to get clients isn’t to beat your chest and say how great you are?it’s to identify and solve your prospects’ problems, meet your prospects’ needs! Learn the secret of turning other people’s problems into your opportunity, and watch your business grow. Learn to focus marketing efforts on benefits to the client or customer, rather than product features: keep it ?you? focused, not ?me/we? focused.

    • Find the right prospects.
    • 10 points to great copywriting.
    • Objections as a sales tool: learn how to really listen.
    • Match the ?personality? of a presentation to the individual person you?re addressing.

    Sales From a Marketing Mindset

    Most studies say it costs at least four times more to get a new client as to retain an existing one. To the skilled marketer working in sales, this means three important things: 1) If you’re spending all that money to go after new business, do it as effectively as possible. Nurture the leads you get from your sales force, website, trade show appearances, etc. 2) Romance your existing customers to build those long-term—and cost-effective marketing relationships. 3) Learn to identify the most likely prospects, and how to spend your sales efforts on them, instead of wasting them talking to non-prospects

    The “Triangle of Expertise”-How to Turn Marketing from a Cost into a Direct Revenue Stream

    Are you getting paid to do your own marketing? If not, why not? At least some of your marketing should be earning money not only in the new customers it brings, but in direct transactional sales where people actually pay to receive it.

    • Understand the “triangle of expertise”
    • The three points that I’ve used to generate revenue from my marketing
    • Find the right points in your business
    • How to leverage referrals and develop an unpaid marketing army


    Shel Horowitz shows the world the value in your values

    Author, speaker, traveler, community organizer, journalist, marketing consultant, résumé writer/career consultant, poet, storyteller, frugality expert—Shel Horowitz lives intensely and fully. Born and raised in New York City, Shel watched his Orthodox Jewish parents divorce each other-and God—when he was ten. His special-needs sister was institutionalized at the same time.

    As a high school student during the Vietnam War era, Shel became involved in journalism, marketing, and social change. His work against the war and for students’ rights and environmental causes was the beginning of more than three decades of activism. He published the first of more than a thousand articles at age 15.

    A year later, he was off to Antioch College in Ohio, where he learned an important lesson about marketing when the press releases he sent to a local newspaper from a controversial campus group, were rejected, but the same paper gave repeated front-page coverage of its own refusal to publicize the group. Shel was Associate Editor of the college paper, a stringer for the nearby metropolitan daily, a member of a campus speakers bureau, an actor in several plays, and on-air personality for two campus radio stations. Also at Antioch, he got involved in the safe energy movement after doing a class research project on the problems of nuclear power—the topic of his first book, published a few years later at age 23. He completed college in 1976 at the age of 19, and hitchhiked across the US and Canada (spending just $100 in three months) before settling for a year in Providence, Rhode Island, where he volunteered as publicist for both the Clamshell Alliance-the safe energy group that spawned a national mass movement for appropriate technology—and the Rhode Island Folk Music Society.

    Returning to New York for three years, he met his future wife, Dina Friedman, at an open poetry reading in Greenwich Village. The pair moved out of New York in 1980 to attend a Philadelphia-based training program in community organizing/group process, and then to Western Massachusetts, where they still live. They now live in Hadley, Massachusetts, with two children, two cats and a dog, in an antique farmhouse nestled between the Mount Holyoke Range and the Connecticut River.

    —In Massachusetts, Shel started Accurate Writing & More, which now offers strategic marketing consulting and copywriting to clients across Europe, Japan, Cyprus, and throughout the US and Canada. Shel credits his marketing skills to the combination of promoting social change groups with severely limited budgets and working in the business world with a wide range of clients. Five of his eight books—Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet (co-authored with Jay Conrad Levinson), Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First, Grassroots Marketing: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World, Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers, and Marketing Without Megabucks: How to Sell Anything on a Shoestring-have won awards and/or been translated into other languages; he’s also the author of the only book on how to have fun cheaply, as well as several e-books.

    Shel embraced the Internet in 1994, and put up his first website in 1996. He now operates about a dozen sites, reachable through the portal at

    His community activities include a multitude of organizations working on housing, environmental, minority rights, and good government issues. He founded the environmental organization Save the Mountain, which mobilized thousands of people and successfully blocked a massive housing development proposal that would have desecrated the Mount Holyoke Range-and, with Shel doing the media work, was featured in over 60 articles in its first six months.

    Speaking Testimonials