All I have to do is look out my window and see a garden that is full of potential, without much help from yard workers. You see, left in its natural state, a flower will bloom without much encouragement as long as the environment is cooperative, and it’s not held back.

So are we, full of life and potential until we’re held back – by what we think are outside forces, but are actually inside forces – fear, doubt and worry. “I’m not good enough, smart enough, I don’t have the time to do it right, what will others think of me”, and on and on the list goes.

Today, we’re weeding early in the season so there will be nothing holding the flowers or you back from your beauty or greatness. Because in truth, we all are great and have unique gifts to share. No one flower is the same, and how boring would it be if every bouquet were the same!

I once took offense to being different, and carried on as a teenager when my BFF told me ‘when they made you, they threw away the mold.” I felt as if something were wrong with me, rather than celebrating my uniqueness. Now I know better so I can help others and share with you:

3 Ways to Blossom So You’re Awesome

1) IDGAF – It’s an acronym for ‘I don’t give a &^%&’. One of my dearest mentors taught me this, and although I was a little shocked hearing it come out of his mouth, I got it. What I find more interesting is that far wiser people than me have coined it, IDGAF, which tells me that they have the courage to be themselves and live their truth. When you live someone else’s truth, you forget who you are. IDGAF has color and personality and can be expressed appropriately in multiple ways in your personal and business life – kindly, boldly, passionately and quietly. When it pops up, take notice then decide how to communicate. Use IDGAF as a meter.

2) It’s wonderful that you’re blessed, but are you a blessing? I heard this on the radio as I woke up this morning. Somewhat groggy, I tuned in a little more closely. It’s fantastic that the world has given you so much and you are grateful. The question is, are you sharing that (your gift) not only in your work, but in your everyday life? Start the habit and watch not only your personal work blossom, but your career too. Don’t be surprised when opportunities seem to come to you more readily. Remember how the floodgates open.

3) Use your gut. We are so conditioned to use our head to make big decisions that we don’t listen to our intuition, one of the most guiding indicators of if we’re on track or not. My thought is that when we check in with what’s right, we’ll never go wrong. Perhaps it’s that I’ve lived a full life, had my share of ups and downs and can see things more clearly. When I reflect upon those tumultuous times when I didn’t use my gut, things didn’t turn out so well. We wait, when sometimes we should run. Listen to your inner music.

Blossoming will happen when you marry your inner most with your outer most. Your intentions with your desires. It’s a natural expression of who you are and a DNA-able blend of your greatness. If you like yourself, fantastic. If you love yourself, even better. Loving yourself is the first step in having others love you!

In business, PR, marketing, sales or any field where you share your thoughts, ideas and strategy, it’s the blossoming of your personal brand – who you are, your message, and clarity. Are you vibrant and growing, or is your season done?

Everyone wants to work with someone awesome – why wouldn’t it be you?

YOUR TURN

If ‘IDGAF’ had a color, what would yours be?

Do you prefer random acts of kindness, or are you strategic in your blessings?

My gut has saved my life. Has yours? Do tell!

TV Commercial (1)It’s May Day – a day of celebration around the globe, often heralding spring – and I’m hopeful here in New England that we’ll see it soon!

I’ve always been a believer in celebrating. Some people reflect their accomplishments at the end of each day, others take stock at the end of each month, and some not at all. If you’re not a celebrator, you’re missing out on one of life’s greatest joys. Taking time for reflection and acknowledging accomplishment is powerful, and creates a visual smile line of where you’ve been so you can determine where you want to go!

This week, I celebrated a birthday with a dear friend at the White Barn Inn in Maine (yes, it was fantastic), and to top it off, we both had a part in a TV commercial for the Nova Star cruise line which is launching its new ferry service from Portland to Nova Scotia on May 15. We were extras with part of the Partner Promotions team, and even had a few wardrobe changes!

Going to Maine without enjoying lobster or the ocean isn’t celebrating in my mind, so we also shared love with Mabel’s Lobster Claw for their famous lobster roll, then walked the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, a beautiful ocean footpath that’s not to be missed.

Life’s journeys take us to places we’ve never been, and you can complain or celebrate. Small celebrations can be just as powerful as big ones. It’s the thought behind it.

In business, celebrations could be a sale you’ve just closed, a positive review of a book, program or workshop, a referral from a former client, a press mention (had a great one this week, thank you Monster) or getting a prospect to say yes to an appointment, after the 8th phone call.

Take a moment to celebrate something today. It’s an opportunity to reflect upon your attitude and interaction with life. A high five is always there – the question is, where’s your hand?

YOUR TURN

What has to ‘click’ in order for you to celebrate?

Did you grow up as a family celebrating small successes with a pat on the back, or something more?

What’s the most fun celebration you ever had – this year, last year, in your whole life?

RSI TURN RAINIf it’s rained on your parade recently on some of your projects that were earmarked for success, it’s only natural to become dampened by the drizzle of what could have gone right, but just didn’t.

I’ve found through stormy times, that one of the secrets of success is turning a negative into a positive by an honest assessment of the situation, facing fears straight on, forging ahead and expecting good things to happen. The Art of Expecting in business, PR, marketing in Boston and all over the world for that matter, combines attitude, tuning and timing. Personal alchemy is optional.

Here are 3 Ways to Turn Rain into Rainmaking

1) Attitude: In life, love and business, the truth is: it is what it is. We can fool everyone but ourselves. The darkest days turn into the brightest tomorrows with a change of attitude, heart and mindset. When we change our attitudes, our results will be different. Don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself. You’ll have more success when you think you’ll make a sale, then if you don’t. And, your energy will show it. Give good aura.

2) Tuning: In and Out. What we allow in our heads has the most profound impact on what will be. Each one of us can tell a story of that in the making. A new client of mine believed his way to health from near death with scleroderma. He’s not only an inspiration to those who face adversity, but a poster child of belief. He tuned in to health, and tuned out the sickness. Magic, no. Magic Mindset, yes. Grateful, absolutely.

3) Timing: Time is a concept we create. Fast, slow, here, now, next year. What matters most is now. Or, as a friend of mine tells me, ‘now and 5 minutes from now’. If you could, what would you do now to tame the rain, and turn it into rainmaking? Regroup? Apologize? Reposition? Look at what’s best for your customer, not just you?

Seneca tells us that ‘luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity’. Perhaps rainmaking happens when you take that luck and ride the wave of desire.

YOUR TURN

What do you believe are the 3 key components of a successful rainmaker?

Is rainmaking, like charisma, a gift or a learned skill? If it’s a skill, how do you learn it?

How does the attitude of a rainmaker differ from that of a salesperson? What makes their dance so special?

RSI Stay on BallNo matter how dedicated you may be to your life and business, paying attention, being mindful and going with the flow – sometimes the ball slips from your hands  and there’s a choice – to run after it, ask someone to help retrieve it, or let it go and find another ball.

Outside circumstances change the landscape of the best laid plans and the secrets of success – and there are many – often include the ability to be flexible in your thinking, adapt quickly and change your attitude. Whether you’re a believer in ‘everything happens for a reason’ or not, I think it’s always helpful to look at what life delivers you and find the good – even if you don’t see it in front of you. Staying on course is a process, and course correction is part of the game.

Here are 3 Ways to Stay on the Ball (even when you lose it):

  1. When you chart a course or a new direction in any endeavor, including your PR, marketing or business plan, expect changes in the roadmap and be willing to see what comes up with an open attitude. It’s easy to get frustrated when things go off-course, but some of the best ideas (and solutions to problems) are discovered during the process. If you’re a note taker, keep a journal handy – you may see patterns in what’s going wrong and be  able to ‘fix the fixes’ sooner than later.  Observation and the ability to make a change are not only a blessing in business, but a necessity.
  2. Crying over spilled milk doesn’t get you faster to your goal. We’ve all had our share of failures and disappointments and moments of frustration. We’re human! One of my Dad’s favorite expressions was, “Next”! It was a family mantra when things didn’t turn out the way we had planned. An onward and upward attitude and faith that something better is down the road can alter your thinking. Don’t let Debbie Downer in your door, unless she’s paying you big bucks. And, then think about it. You own the mental real estate.
  3. If you believe that you’re a winner, you are – despite setbacks and loss, and even tragedy. I’ve lived in a million dollar home and out of a suitcase, and everything in between. But, I believed in myself, and when I didn’t, I had support and love to prop me back up, heal  the boo boo’s , and get my mindset back in the game.  It’s normal to get off track, but it’s one of the best tools in your toolbox – to learn how to snap yourself back into positive thinking and action so too much time doesn’t elapse. If you have doubts of being a winner, find someone who holds that space for you, and believe in them, even if you don’t (temporarily) believe in yourself.

Life happens, business happens, love happens and it’s all easier when we have the ability to recognize that even a flower doesn’t bloom 365 days a year. We all have our off days.

In Boston, Spring is around the corner – so I’m envisioning those flowers. And they’re going to be beautiful even now, that they’re buried deep in the frozen ground.

YOUR TURN:

How do you stay on the ball, when you lose it?

What’s your strategy for success to overcome the stinkin’ thinkin’?

Is there a favorite mantra you use when things go awry to get your head back in the game?

RSI Slow PRIn the sometimes crazy world of communications, marketing and PR, we often find ourselves running from one project to the next, shifting gears, and diving into the deep to solve the latest crisis. Shooting from the hip, more or less – keeping with our March Madness theme this month.

It’s said that ‘slow and steady wins the race’ – but is there a race? Is it self-imposed, or are we caught up in our ‘to do’s’ without enough time?

Here are 3 Reasons to add SLOW PR to Your Toolbox, and Reap the Rewards:

1) “Haste makes waste.” I would roll my eyes when my mother would say this to me, but she was always right. Take the time to get your thoughts together, organize your material, and really know what your intention is with each project, and visualize your end game. We’re running and doing and sometimes miss the most important part of the ‘why’ because we’re in motion. Sitting still has its benefits. (It takes practice.)

2) It’s about the connections – not all about you. Granted, clients want the best from you, and you want to deliver the best to your clients, but you can’t do that without connecting with the right people. That said, instead of trying to connect with 50 reporters or JV partners (use your imagination here), connect with 10 – on a deeper level. Take time to know a little bit about them, including some personal info. The inside scoop is typically available on social media or from my electronic best friend, Google. Dig, scoop, research, be intrigued. Add tidbits of the human touch to break barriers.

3) Knowledge = Information, Data and Experience Use your past experiences and take your awareness to a new level to notice where you need to slow down. Are you talking too fast and not listening? Is your mind ten steps ahead of your presentation? If you’re with a prospect, are you looking around the room, not fully present? Really, why are you in a rush?

Slowing down is a wonderful exercise to be mindful about the connections you’re making.

Remember, we’re humans. For the most part, we’re the same. We look into someone’s eyes and get a feeling. We shake hands and either yay or nay our partner. We connect on many levels – in person and on line.

Yes, PR is positioning, and influencing and getting all of our ducks in a row – but it also involves the human factor.

Trust can’t be rushed. Love can’t be rushed and all good things take time. And so it is with PR.

My thoughts as I build bridges, connect dots and meet so many wonderful people with my work.

YOUR TURN

Where do you see yourself rushing in your communication? Is there a pattern?

Are your goals realistic or are you shooting for the moon? How’s that serving you?

What are the ways you can slow it down to be more in tune with your awareness?

Please share your answers below.

I’m slowing this wagon down, you?

RSI SlamdunkMarch Madness in basketball doesn’t have to mean madness in your own self-promotion or in your business. In fact, madness with the right intention and mindset can become a positive energy to get things done in a quick and efficient way, especially if you have a plan. Your plan  doesn’t have to be complicated or color coded, but there is one secret – you have to get off the sideline, and make a move.

Here’s my take on March Madness and How to Slam Dunk Your PR:

  1. Keep your eye on the ball. Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing. It’s distracting and throws you off guard. Think about the big picture and your role to ‘get er’ done. During times of madness (the crazy kind) we lose our vision and clarity. Stay in the moment and be the best you can be.
  2. Stop Dribbling. If you want to get somewhere, you’ll need a road map for sure, but there’s no time like now to take bold action. There’s plenty of time for course correction along the way. The go for it, pause, go for it, pause tempo gives you action and an opportunity for reflection. Liken the pauses to a short time out!
  3. Motivation to succeed is an inside job. You can hear it, you can feel it, but it’s only you who can make the decision to take action. Success is the result of getting off the couch or from behind the computer and doing what you hate to do, but need to do. A mentor of mine tells me (often) to do what I hate first thing in the morning.  Once it’s done, there’s relief.  Procrastination is a silent killer.
  4. The tallest person isn’t always the best player. Each one of us is blessed with a set of skills, and none of us are fantastic at everything. (Sorry, honey) Share the blessings of your collective team and make the most of it. I don’t know many who won’t offer their best game, when it’s their best skill. If they’re not playing full out, blow the whistle. You want everyone on board if you’re going places.
  5. You have to be in it to win it. Want to score? You have to be in the game, ready for action. That’s not to say you have to be ‘in it’ 24/7. But, when the iron’s hot, the iron’s hot. Work like the dickens, and then dance like there’s no tomorrow.

YOUR TURN

How do you keep your eye on the ball with madness all around you? Take a walk in the morning to clear your head? Work from a quiet restaurant in the middle of the day?

What’s your best tempo for work? Calendaring your time? Setting a timer?

Have you developed a reward system for yourself after a job well done? Do tell!

RSI Boston Love (1)I’m a native Bostonian and have had the pleasure of knowing and loving Boston intimately — from my college days at Boston University, and as a more than frequent visitor having worked and played within an hour of the city for most of my adult life.

At 24, I launched my first real business in Boston (a lobby stand called Robbie’s Lobby in the garment district) which led me to open a small restaurant at the Boston Marine Industrial Park. Little did I know then, that I would be drawn to learn marketing, sales and PR in the cable television world, work with the Boston Red Sox and Major League Baseball, and start a PR and promotions company that works with Fortune 500 companies and helps experts across the country get recognized for their greatness.

Though I love to travel, I’m still a one city girl. I love Boston.

Somehow, when bad things happen to a place you love, you can’t help but love it more. And, from the front row of the VIP grandstand at the Marathon bombing, when your life and those you love are at risk, love becomes more important as loss looks you in the eye.

Closer than many, I saw Boston Strong — defending our city, our wounded and above all, our freedom.

I was inspired this morning by a friend who told me that “love isn’t love until you give it away.”

Let’s send and share our love with those who make Boston Strong, day after day.

Let’s send PR love to a city that bounced back after tragedy — with a fearless attitude.

Let’s send PR love to Boston, a city that has its twinkle back — for the world to see.

After all, ‘love isn’t love until you give it away.”

Your Turn:

What do you love most about Boston?

Do you have memories as a child about Boston that you’ll never forget?

Is there a story about Boston Strong that moves you to share?

In a world with over 7 billion people and an internet that never sleeps, I’m guessing there must be at least a million experts who can comment with some authority on ways to increase visibility and offer positioning advice for success.

There is no one formula that works, and every entrepreneur, professional or business owner has to create their own promotional mix that they can commit to, to get the results they are looking for.

The bottom line in both cases is:

If you don’t create a visibility or promotions plan, and ‘work it’ to get your brand, products or services out there, chances are that you won’t build the recognition, leadership position,  or ‘buzz’ that you’re looking for to increase your rates, expert status, or income.  

Here are 5 Ways to Increase Your Visibility in 2014

1.       Choose 3 – 5 Vehicles as the Keys to your Promotion Strategy

Whether you choose Google +, your blog, LinkedIn, video marketing, Twitter, Pinterest, industry-specific websites, or any other vehicles, pick 3-5 and make them the centerpieces of your promotion strategy over the next year. Remember to populate them with engaging and original content that is first and foremost relevant to your target audience. Give them a reason to like, trust, respect, and ultimately, partner with and/or refer you.

2.       Deliver Workshops and Lectures

Don’t worry about not being paid – you’ll be paid a hundred times over with new business opportunities that may come immediately afterwards, or weeks, months or even years after. Just be sure that whatever your share is congruent with your brand, adds value, solves a problem and offers solutions. And if you’re one of the millions of people who dread public speaking, this is the perfect opportunity to face that fear and finally conquer it!

3.       Showcase Your Brand

Make it a point to put your name and website url not just on your business card, but on all collateral material – as well as when you post comments on other people’s blogs, if you’re answering an Op-Ed or publishing a white paper. Be sure to take advantage of every opportunity to promote your business in personal and business settings. The more often you share your brand and what you do, the greater your chances are of success.

4.       Volunteer at Community and Industry Events

Volunteering isn’t just good for the world, it’s also good for you.  And, being of service in your own backyard helps your community as well as presents an opportunity to network one- on- one with fellow business owners and C-level executives. Choose community or industry events that resonate with you and volunteer with an open heart.  You’ll feel rewarded and be of service to a cause that’s important to you as well as make a difference.

5.       Be a News Source

There are free press opportunities every day that can increase your company’s visibility if you know where to find them. One of my favorites is HARO (HelpAReporterOut.com). Sign up for their complimentary service and you’ll receive emails on a daily basis from reporters, researchers and talent scouts who are looking for experts like you – to share their opinions on various platforms. Being published or on the air is an instant way to build credibility and leadership position within your industry, and add content to your all-important press kit.

The Bottom Line

Lastly, I urge you to do yourself what could be the biggest favor of your professional life and ditch attitude of waiting until your marketing is “flawless” before you get out there and start making waves. Yes, you want to make a great impression and build strong relationships, but if you keep holding back until the stars perfectly align, then you’ll be waiting…and waiting…and waiting. Don’t be an obstacle to your potential: take the plunge. It will be worth it.

YOUR TURN:

What will you do differently this year to liven up your PR/promotion plan?

What’s on your list to try – to be more visible in your industry?

Do you have any tips you’d like to share, so others can benefit from your success?

How can you be more charismatic in your presentation?

Questions for thought…as we increase visibility in the New Year.

 

As an entrepreneur, expert, author or other business professional, you have a great “story to tell.” That is, you offer something special – whether it’s advice, a service, a product or perhaps all of these – that helps people solve a problem and achieve a goal.

However, unless you can stand out and get noticed for all of the right reasons, you’ll wind up being “the best kept secret in your marketplace.” And even worse, that’s a designation with a short shelf life, since it’s only a matter of time before it’s replaced by an even more dreaded label: “out of business.”

Fortunately, standing out in your marketplace is not costly or confusing — provided that your efforts align with these 7 key principles:

1.    Be True to Yourself  

Clients and prospects recognize when someone is putting on an act – it makes them feel uncomfortable and uneasy. Ultimately, that undermines likeability and trust, and it’s an axiom of any business relationship that people only buy from those that they like and trust. By staying true to yourself, you attract the right people – and avoid the wrong ones.

2.    Stop the Negative Thinking. 

Forget multitasking: It’s impossible to do two things at once, much less do them well.  And that means you can’t focus on doing what you do well, if you’re constantly being “cut off at the knees” by obsessive, repetitive negative thinking. Choose to focus on the positive and make optimism a habit.

3.    Be Your Brand…ALWAYS! 

Every step you take in public is another chance to market yourself and your company.  “Invest in your dress” so you are always ready to initiate conversations that might lead to new business.

4.    Bring Joy Into the Room.

Your attention and positive attitude will make people feel good – and, in turn, they’ll associate that good feeling with you. And while that will lead to more business from better clients, there’s an even greater achievement in store: you’ll bring joy into every room you enter.

5.    Project the Right Image. 

Use a professional photo across all of your marketing materials and in all of your social media profiles. This inspires a personal connection and trustworthiness – even before you meet and talk.

6.    Be Your Own Best Advocate. 

Know what you do inside and out, especially as it relates to adding value to people’s lives and helping them achieve a goal. Remember: people don’t buy advice, products or services. They buy solutions to their problems. Be aware of what problem(s) you solve, and then promote this in the context of helping people.

7.    Be the Center of Influence.

Obtain and keep the coveted “Center of Influence” status by staying up-to-date on industry trends, and surround yourself with people you admire, who are experts in their fields, and who know other people of equal caliber.

It’s All About Love

Ultimately, the thread that connects all of these strategies is one thing: passion. Love for what you do – and delegate the rest. When you do this, your creative force will empower you to work wonders, and you’ll take your career to a whole new level…and your bank account will soon follow.

PR expert Robin Samora’s new article highlights 7 principles that experts, entrepreneurs, authors and other business professionals should align themselves with if they want to stand out in the marketplace and surge ahead of the competition. The full article is available on the Robin Samora Inc. website at www.robinsamorainc.com.

PR Expert Robin Samora, the principal and founder of Boston-based PR Firm Robin Samora Inc., has crafted a new article that identifies the 7 principles that experts, entrepreneurs, authors and other business professionals can align themselves with to get noticed in a competitive marketplace – and surge ahead of the competition.

“I’ve worked closely with numerous business professionals over the years, and most of them have a compelling and worthwhile story to share,” commented Robin Samora, who regularly writes about public relations, communications, branding and other business topics on her firm’s blog at http://www.robinsamorainc.com/category/pr-blog/. “However, unless they know how to stand out for all of the right reasons, they’re often relegated to being the best kept secret in their marketplace. My latest article helps them avoid that distinction, and elevates them above the crowd, which is where they deserve to be.”

According to Samora, experts, entrepreneurs, authors and other business professionals who want to stand out should align their efforts with these 7 principles:

  • Be True to Oneself: Clients and prospects recognize when someone is putting on an act – it makes them feel uncomfortable and uneasy. Attracting the right people and avoiding the wrong ones begins with staying true to oneself.
  • Stop the Negative Thinking: It’s critical to stay focused on what one does well vs. dwelling on lack, flaws and repetitive negative thinking. Optimism is a choice that can quickly become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • Always “be” the Brand:  Be ready to initiate conversations that might lead to new business, and remember that you’re always representing the brand.
  • Spread Joy: A positive attitude makes people feel good, which leads to more business, better clients, and most importantly: more joy in a world that often desperately needs it.
  • Project the Right Image: Use a professional photo across all marketing materials and in all of your social media profiles.
  • Be Your Best Advocate: People don’t buy advice, products or services. They buy solutions to their problems. Be aware of what problem(s) you solve, and then promote this in the context of helping people.
  • Be the Center of Influence: Stay up-to-date on industry trends, and stay connected with people worthy of admiration and esteem.

Added Samora: “Ultimately, the thread that connects all of these strategies is one thing: passion. Love for what you do – and delegate the rest. When you do this, your creative force will empower you to work wonders, and you’ll take your career to a whole new level…and your bank account will soon follow.”

The complete version of Samora’s new article “7 Principles to Help You Stand Out in the Marketplace,” which includes an expanded discussion of each of the above-noted tips, is available at: http://www.robinsamorainc.com/2013/06/7-principles-to-help-you-stand-out-in-the-marketplace/

For more information or media inquiries, contact Robin Samora at (617) 921-3448 or Robin(at)RobinSamoraInc(dot)com.

About Robin Samora Inc.

Telling a story is personal. Sharing it is an art. Technology makes it global. Robin Samora Inc., a Boston based PR, branding and promotions firm blends all three to take its clients’ businesses and brands to the next level. With clients like Comcast, WBZ-TV and Blue Man Group, and a roster of authors, entrepreneurs and experts nationwide, the firm prides itself on being a “Promotional GPS” that takes its clients’ brands where they want to go to be seen, heard, engaged and remembered. With over two decades of experience, the firm is as comfortable on major media highways as it is on out-of-the-way niche back roads.

 

Learn more at http://www.RobinSamoraInc.com.