How many conferences do you attend each year? It can be a lot of money for you (or your boss) to fork over. Yet, they are so worth it! Conferences don’t just provide continuing education for your industry, they also provide priceless and countless networking opportunities.

The BEST way to get the most out of your money and time is to prepare well ahead – so you can plan the networking and follow up process to your BEST advantage.

21 Tips For Meeting People That Will Rock Your Next Conference is packed with excellent ideas and tips on what to do before you get to the conference. Tips like ‘bring business cards’ are a no-brainer, but also ‘check out the gym’, ‘be a mindful fan, not a nuisance’ and of course, ‘tweet that you’ll be there to meet other attendees’. I highly recommend this read to be best prepared. I’ve written an article on this subject myself and you can read it here.

While you’re at the conference, there are several must know’s that will come in handy – especially if this is your first really big conference. I like the featured article because it gives you five good tips that you’ll want to implement.‘If you’re going to spend money and sacrifice a valuable chunk of time that could be spent taking action, then it had better be worthwhile.’ Take a few minutes to read 5 Tips for Making the Most of a Conference.

Once you’re home from the conference – or on the way home – trust me, you aren’t done! The real networking and relationships come after you’ve met. They continue online and across multiple platforms. Here’s Nataly Kogan’s take on it: 10 Tips to Maximize Networking After a Conference.  She gives several do’s and don’ts on how to continue those conversations and give tips on how to make those relationships blossom.

I’d love to know where you are headed this year and what your most valuable tip is to someone who is a first time attendee.

Happy February, friends! Even though Valentine’s Day has passed, it’s still the month of love and relationships — so let’s keep that theme for this week’s Rainmaker.

In business relationships, much like personal relationships, communication is a key component to growth and success. How are you communicating with your prospects, your team and your clients?

First up, I recommend this read, ‘Three meetings you need to schedule right now’ by Jonah Engler via Everything PR. By following his advice and scheduling a few important meetings, he promises we’ll grow our business. Who will you be meeting with this week?

Next up is actionable advice from Cathy Miller, ‘Business Communication Shouts Action’. This is the first in a year-long journey through the alphabet. I’m looking forward to reading the next few letters. “C” for yourself!

Lastly, ‘How to write better emails and make them work for you’ by Alex Strike for B2Community highlights the importance of academic vs. business writing, words to kill and clarity in your message.  How many times have you read an email that could be shortened to a few sentences? Or, you were left wondering, huh?

How are your communication skills? Could you use a refresher?

Let’s chat!

Happy Tuesday!

This is one of those weeks of the year where you’re half in, mostly out – and hopefully spending time with those you care about, and those who care about you. I know I am! And, I feel blessed to have friends, family and a community who have a special place in my heart.

This will be the last Robin’s Rainmakers for 2014! Can you believe this year is almost over? I can’t help but feel that we all probably have one leg in the old, one leg in the New Year. This Robin’s Rainmakers will reflect that feeling with one article that looks ahead to 2015, one article to hopefully inspire you to work on your website as it did for me and one article to help you prepare for things when they’re not so great (aka, a crisis of some sort perhaps an opportunity in disguise).

First up, the article 7 Public Relations Trends To Watch in 2015 by Brian Greene for PRNews, highlights seven trends to watch. You and I both know ‘predicting’ anything is just that – predicting – yet it might help you focus in the first few months of 2015. I especially like the ‘real-time marketing’ and ‘more visual content’ (keep a look out for my videos)!

If you’re going to do anything work related this winter break (if you’re so lucky to get one), read this article 6 ‘About Us’ Pages That Are Probably Better Than Yours by Sonja Jacob for HubSpot and evaluate your own ‘About Me’ page. This might be a great time to get a fresh new page up on your site to start 2015 of with a bang. I love the ideas in this piece and love to be inspired!

Last but not least, Fight or Flight: Responding to a PR Crisis by Stacey Hood for SpinSucks discusses how to respond (because you can’t – or shouldn’t ignore an online crisis) in a negative PR situation. Use the lessons here to build a social policy and as my Dad always told me, “Robin, make lemonade out of those lemons”.

I hope you’ll be enjoying your holidays with family and friends. I wish you magical days, rest and relaxation, and of course a Happy New Year!

I’m not the most active networker in the world, but I love to keep in touch with my colleagues and friends during the holidays. And, being a long standing member of a few groups, I especially like to reconnect and see a familiar face (or ten) when there’s no pressure – just to have a good time.

Last night, I had the pleasure of going to one of my Boston networking Holiday parties where I’ve been a member of years. Colleagues I haven’t seen in some time approached me saying things like:

“I read your newsletter all the time and want to talk the first week of January about a new project.”

“Your Cyber Monday promotion was a great idea and I should have taken advantage of it. Can I get feedback on a couple of ideas?

“I’m so glad you’re joining my group and your workshop idea is perfect for our members.  Maybe you can be on my advisory board?”

Not only was I having a great time, learning a couple of new dance steps (I’m rusty on that one), I also took the initiative and approached a new rum company with an amazing product and talked about representing his brand in the marketplace (after a sample or two).

The point is, business and pleasure can be mixed and when you’re not looking for the next ‘big thing’, doors open and conversations begin. Opportunities present themselves all the time, and it’s our attitude and openness that welcome them.

How will you welcome new business this Holiday Season?

I hope with a smile, handshake and for the chosen few, a meaningful hug.

PS – Lots going on in the Partner Promotions world. And so looking forward to a fun and prosperous 2015! How ‘bout you?  Share your thoughts and let me know why…

It seems like ages since I last wrote to you though it hasn’t been.  I’ve been tucked away in my farmhouse thinking about the New Year and spending lots of quiet time to look at my PRiorities for my business and life with 2015 just seven weeks away. Every year I feel this way, with the start of the holiday bustle and plans for ‘what are you doing for Thanksgiving?’ With my PRomotions work and contracts with retail giants, I see it even more as we gear up for an aggressive 4th quarter of PRofitable PRomotions.  It’s a mindset of wrapping up the year in a strong way, and starting the New Year even stronger.

Let’s look at PRiorities, PRofit and PRomotion: (And Bring It On)

  • As we look at the year in review, it’s always interesting to see where our dollars are coming in from. Are you surprised in any way and are the sources different from what you expected?
  • Are you willing to look at those PRofit centers and develop them even further with PR and PRomotion? I’ve had more than one opportunity to have an Ah ha moment and see untapped possibilities, but it was difficult to see on my own. I’ve always been open to receive guidance and help, and suggest you may consider the same before 2015.
  • When you look at what’s important in your life – the PRiorities – and match it with how you want your PRofits to look, then the time comes for a plan.

One of my favorite ways to spend time with a client is to work with them for a VIP day focusing on the next 90 days to get a clear and concise plan on what they really and truly want their business and life to look like, and then PRomote the heck out of that!

What’s your PRiority, PRofit and PRomotion plan for 2015?

Now is the time to take your best shot for your best life, your best business and plan for one best day after another. You can spin your wheels like a hamster or make a roadmap for where you want to go to be seen, heard or remembered.  The choice is up to you.

Me? I’m reviewing, refining and then redefining what’s best for me, and using my best talents to help others do the same.

PR and Promotion don’t have to be perfect across the board.  They just have to be perfect for you.

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!

RSI Shower PRIf you’re in sales, PR, business or a field where you have to communicate and influence someone, there’s a common problem we all have — the ability to share our story without losing someone’s interest. Ever think it’s possible to shower your personal and business brand without getting someone wet?

Here’s my take on it:

Talk yourself or your business up, but know when to stop. If you’re at a theatre and paying for a monologue performance, you know what to expect – one person carrying the show. That’s not the way it works anymore, or has for some time. We’ve been taught to be polite, but honestly – it’s boring, irritating and alienates conversation and opportunity for connection. It’s a two way street in life, love and business, and if you’re not getting that message, you’ll get it in ways that don’t serve you. Give room for dialogue, not monologue.

Engage, Express, Excite. PR, business building, networking, sales and even dating should follow the ‘3 Big E’s‘ strategy — Engage, Express and Excite. Communication involves the give and take of engagement, expression and excitement. Naturally, there are other factors, but when we can engage an audience, tell our story, and excite them, we’ve got a willing audience who wants to hear more. Ever go on a date with someone who doesn’t engage you, express themselves, or excite you, at least with their words? We’re not going anywhere else with this. B O R I N G .

Be consistent in your desires, but don’t be too overzealous. Your over-desire will fight you all the way. Ask and you shall receive, yes. But ask too much, want too much, or demand too much fights a basic universal law, the Law of Paradoxical Intent. Sandra Anne Taylor, who’s a great author and prosperity expert talks about how if you’re desperate to make something happen, you’ll push it away and turn your original intention into failure instead of success.

I’m an advocate about mindful and purposeful promotion and self-promotion, where there’s a benefit to all sides, and there most often is – otherwise we wouldn’t have business.

I’m also an advocate of getting out there, sharing your gifts and strutting your stuff, in a cool way, because if you don’t, you’re doing a disservice to the people who need you.

I’m not into too much blah blah that I didn’t ask for or a monologue I didn’t pay for. But that’s just me.

Next time someone’s showering you with their brand and getting you wet, you have the choice –to take out your umbrella, or move. Remember, you have the control to let what you want in – or out – of your space or head.

YOUR TURN

What are your tactics for exiting when someone is carrying on with their monologue?

Besides engage, express and excite, what other words would you use when we talk about communicating?

Have you ever wanted something so badly that you turned it away?

Please share your answers below.

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 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!