If you’re looking to beat the competition, common sense will tell you to stay ahead of the game.  Study new strategies, implement to your ability (or hire out) and see what works. If you’re a perfectionist and want everything just right, get over it.  Join the ever-growing club of marketing professionals who try, test and tweak. Learn what works and make promoting without a PR budget fun.

Want to Learn about Beating the Competition?  Read These Articles:

11 Facebook Marketing Tips That Will Leave Competitors in the Dust by SproutSocial.com

How Storytelling Can Elevate You Above the Competition by Inc.com

5 Steps to Kickstart Your Marketing Plan by Shade Wilson

It’s no surprise, marketing on a budget is my sweet spot and I love to see other expert’s strategy. How to Scale Your Marketing Without a Marketing Budget, featured in Entrepreneur.com, shows you how to dangle a juicy carrot to generate leads and sell a less expensive product to gain an audience – and make money. Read it and let me know what you’ll offer.

Have big plans but still want to save? Check out this list of 50 free marketing tools from my friends at SmallBizTrends.com. Some you may know Yoast and HARO, but what about Majestic, Sniply, Promo Republic, Recite This and Answer the Public?  See how these tools can help you.

And lastly, if you’re looking for a cheat sheet, download 50 Ways to Promote Your Business on a Dime. Thousands of marketers without a million-dollar budget have used this resource to grow their business. It’s a collection of marketing and PR tips that I’ve curated over the last year to increase your visibility and sales – without breaking the bank.  Download a copy for your files.

Every savvy business owner knows that a combination of offline and online marketing strategies work to increase visibility, customer loyalty and sales. But, many don’t think about guerilla marketing.  In simple terms, it’s getting in front of your target audience, up close and personal.

Guerilla Marketing is About Being Creative

  • Think about promotional tactics as a way to build brand awareness. Find your target market at events, big Meetups and create a buzz on the street or at an industry event. Engage!
  • Develop a well thought plan for creative and execution. What are your goals? Best location(s)? Right offer? And, have you hired the right staff to carry out the mission from start to finish?
  • Think about Graffiti art on buildings, sidewalks or empty storefront windows. Interesting or funny build outs. Unusual creative in likely spots. Be bold, but ask for permission first.
  • Consider Geo-Fencing, which uses your smart phone’s GPS to offer deals in targeted locations. Snapchat has Geofilters which features location specific marketing and Instagram launched Story Search for hashtags and locations.
  • Create a program that works hand in hand with your current marketing campaign. Think pop-up stores, free samples, branded promo items. I once held Make Money Mondays at Starbucks in the Greater Boston area where I was the PR Pop Up!
  • And finally, be a happy marketer, not an annoying one. In your face is so much different than up close and personal! It’s all about building relationships that last.


Many of my clients want to up their speaking game and get paid to speak. I’m all in favor of that to increase your brand and business – but it takes time, effort and planning to do it right.  The first step is to create a roadmap to get there.

Want to get Paid to Speak?  Here’s How.

  1. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Speaking for Free. Every speaker I know has spoken for free, at least in the beginning. You need practice in front of a room, and in front of your target audience to see what works and what doesn’t. Start with a small group, gain your confidence, then set your goals higher. You’re in the driver’s seat. It’s up to you how fast you want to grow.
  2. You’re Not Just a Speaker, You’re the Show. Event organizers have to be sure that when they hire you, you’re not only a serious speaker, but an amazing one! To be a great speaker you have to master your topic, connect with your audience and be in command. That takes a lot of practice, feedback, and there may be setbacks too. Consider a speaking coach if you want to be top notch.
  3. You Deliver Results. As you build your speaking career and go from free to fee, you’ve got to add value. Have you identified your target audience? Do they have a particular problem or pain?  Do you have the answer with a branded program, system or training? If you’re solving a problem and have credibility with supporting results, you’ve built value.
  4. Your Video Reel Rocks. If you want to be paid to speak, invest in a professional sizzle reel (video), speaker sheet, headshot and marketing collateral. Before you send out your first pitch, make sure that all of your materials are professional, well branded and showcase you at your best – speaking! You have one shot to make a good impression. Be smart, strategic and have your act together.
  5. Visibility Counts. Speaking frequently makes you a better speaker and also widens the opportunity for others in the audience to hire you too. You are your brand wherever you go, so make marketing a way of life. Remember, you’re in the speaking business.  Use social media platforms where you’ll get attention. And, include lots of video.  Launch a YouTube Channel, feature testimonials and promote your upcoming events as a way to say you’re in demand. Earned media like PR counts too!
  6. Get Out There. To gain experience, some speakers align with a company that’s in their industry where they can be hired as a brand ambassador. This might be an option if you want more stage time and a chance to promote your own services. Look around and see what’s happening in your field. You just might find the perfect gig and get paid!
  7. Sell Products from the Back of the Room. I’ve known more than a few savvy speakers who’ll speak for free to a room full of their target audience. That’s where they sell high-margin programs, products or books – even if they have to pay a percentage to the house. When you’re negotiating, remember it’s not just about hard finances. Payment can also include email marketing to a designated list, speaking at a future event, webinars, VIP workshops or sponsor mention. Be creative in how you want to be compensated.
  8. Speaking is a Business. It Takes Time. Like any business, getting paid as a speaker takes time to ramp up and be profitable. Your job isn’t just to build a brand, but an amazing brand that’s recognized in your industry. To master the speaking game for a big fee, you have to be committed to excellence. Get on stage. Put in your time. And, reap the rewards.

If you’re an author just starting out, you probably have another source of income and are always looking for free ways to promote your book.  But published or not, you should know about Goodreads, a social media platform for authors and readers with over 20 million members.  It’s free to join and you’ll find a wealth of information there – plus a marketing program that you’ll definitely want to check out to get the max from your PR budget.

Just like any social media platform, you don’t want to just dive in and ask people to promote your book – even though you want the PR and marketing help.  You have to establish a connection first and get people to like, know and trust you.  Then, they may be willing to help you – especially if they like what you have to say! But remember the all-important rule – You Have to Give to Get.

Goodreads is a PR and marketing gold mine for authors who want help promoting their books and don’t want to break the bank. Here’s how you start:

First, sign up for Goodreads. Explore the website and see what it’s all about.

Next, after you feel comfortable with the format and what members are doing, go to the author marketing program.  There you’ll see a number of ways to promote your book including:

  • Setting up an Author page
  • Connecting your blog
  • Asking for reviews
  • Giving away books
  • And so much more

When you’re a part of the Goodreads community and engaging as an active member, you’ll see the power of PR and marketing at its best.  All of the members have a serious interest in reading – and many are authors so you’ll have a chance to not only ask, but get feedback.  You’ll also have a chance to ask for book reviews, which is important for every author. Note:  Develop a thick skin. Everyone’s not as kind as your mother.

As a small business marketing expert and PR mentor, I can’t stress enough the importance of getting free PR and visibility – as well as advice from marketers in the trenches.  Although most books may be in different genres than yours, the same marketing philosophies and tactics are applicable.

Let go of being perfect and get your message out there. See what works and what doesn’t and change it up according to the results.