As seen on BusinessTips.com

This year, I was awarded a promotions recruiting assignment for a Fortune 500 company to help find marketing reps for their car share program in Boston. Since I’ve interviewed hundreds of candidates over the last 13 years for brands like Comcast and CBS, it seemed easy to do, except for one caveat – most of my recruiting had to be done via Skype and not in person.

Having to go online to research someone’s background and variety of social profiles gives a recruiter an opportunity to see what a candidate’s personal brand is really about – and the ability to not just rely on testimonials from past employers and an ‘above the waist ‘ interview, playing nice for the video camera.

That said, I’d like to share my thoughts for preparing for an online interview using common sense and social media savvy.

5 Tips to Remember Before a Skype Interview

1) Just because you’re not interviewing in person, doesn’t mean you should cut corners. Think about who you’re talking to and take more than five minutes to find out their role in the company. Are they the VP of Marketing, a National Sales Director or a HR Manager who may be overworked, underpaid and generally sporting a bad disposition? A few minutes on Google or social media may give you a big ‘heads up’ on their attitude and mindset. This kind of intelligence in my work is mandatory and especially helpful if you’re intuitive. Information in hand is always a plus.

2) Think about the profile picture you’ll use as your icon. Like Facebook or LinkedIn, most social media profiles have an opportunity to present your image, real or not. Men, please don’t take a selfie of yourself without a shirt and use it as a profile picture, or ladies – in an outfit you’d wear to the beach. I had to interview a candidate last minute for an important sales position via Skype and it was difficult to take him seriously staring at his half naked body icon before the call. I wondered what kind of judgment he had to represent himself that way. Lucky, in real time on camera he showed up in a shirt and tie. Phew!

3) Be mindful of the videos you share on social media. It’s fine to share funny videos from YouTube and other sites, but when you’re looking for a job, consider deleting videos that are degrading or off-color. Politically correct still applies in Corporate America, and although we all may joke in private, beware of what you’re sharing in the public’s eye. Remember that a company is looking to you as their next Brand Ambassador and if you’re ranking on society in any way, you’ll lose rank in the hiring process. Mindful does matter and the Delete Button can be your friend.

4) Consider deleting personal comments that would make your mother blush. I had the privilege recently of checking out a highly recommended referral for a full-time marketing job only to see his twitter feed filled with inappropriate comments and profanity. Sadly, this wasn’t the image my Fortune 100 client was looking for to represent their company. Sadly, he didn’t get the job. Professional does count – online, all the time.

5) Be light, bright and polite. Be as gracious online as offline, even if you don’t agree with a concept or comment. It’s ok to share your voice, but there’s always a right way to do it, especially on an interview. If something negative comes up, learn to say thank you for the feedback. As a recruiter, employer, and entrepreneur, I want gracious people on my team. It’s easy to pass someone by who isn’t.

Start positioning yourself now as a top candidate for the job, internship or alliance you’re looking for – whether or not you’ll be using Skype.

Remember, you are your brand wherever you go.

Your Turn

What are your favorite tips for a smooth and easy presentation or interview on Skype?
Is there a favorite background you prefer, or lighting?
How much time do you allow for technology and signing in? And, what happens if Skype ‘goes wrong’?

I’m blessed to work with clients who want to increase their visibility and take their message to the next level.  They understand that public speaking – or speaking from the stage – allows them an opportunity to reach a bigger audience, have more impact and connect on a deeper and more personal level. 
 
That said, many speakers who haven’t had the privilege to work with Toastmasters, or practice with a private coach or mentor, may feel anxious in front of a room and stop themselves by not sharing their message because of fear of going blank, looking stupid or freezing on stage. I’ve had all those fears and  still take a deep breath and ground myself (as best as possible) before every presentation.  
 
Yes, it does get easier after every speech – and with practice – but it’s always helpful to learn speaker success secrets along the way.  Here are a few I’d like to share:
 
5 Speaker Tips to Take You to the Top

  1. Divide the room into three, and pick one person in each section to look at. This will allow you to connect eye to eye with at least 3 people in the audience, but also give you an opportunity to scan the room.  Think of each of these three people as your friends. They like you.  They want you to succeed. Let them feel that.
  2. Put some energy into your smile. Showcase your personality. Even if you feel like you’re ‘putting it on’,  overdeliver.  Audiences typically have chosen to hear you and want to see that you’re not only an expert, but also enjoy your topic, are informative and in some cases, entertaining. You can be a boring speaker, or an upbeat one. Ask me, I’ll tell you that upbeat trumps boring, any day of the week.
  3. Have a kick to your step. When you walk on stage, come in from the side of the room (so people aren’t looking at your backside, lovely as that may be). Let the audience know you’re enthusiastic about speaking to them. Movement, except jiggling change in pockets, helps a speaker relax and look more experienced as they address the audience from different angles of the room.
  4. Go with the flow.  I once spoke in front of 200 people and the wrong presentation came up on screen. At first I was horrified, then laughed and acknowledged my shock to the audience.  I’m grateful that they laughed too, seeing my vulnerability. The moment of truth came, I showed up fully and got 3 new clients.  Phew!
  5. Give to the audience. Offer to share your presentation. Promote a special offer to connect with them on social media.  Ask for their support  — you’ve got the stage!  This may be the first time you personally engage with them, but it doesn’t have to be the last. Remember that members  of your audience could one day be prospects or clients – and refer you to other revenue generating activities.

Above all, be grateful and appreciative for the opportunity to be in front of a willing audience who is there to hear your message. Practice does make perfect, but you’ll never  know your full potential and power  if you don’t put yourself out there.  

YOUR TURN:

Do you practice a ‘lucky’ routine before every speaking engagement? Care to share?
Who is your favorite at home audience? Your iPhone, kids, or BFF?  
How do you pamper yourself before and after a speech?  

Speak your truth, share your voice, and show up 100%.

What an amazing week we’ve had with the Robin Samora PR team and Partner Promotions! It was an honor to be featured as a social media panelist at IBM sponsored Women’s Toolbox conference, participate at Mara Glazer’s BizCon 2014 event, be a right hand to CBS for their Price is Right TV auditions and represent the Xfinity brand at Harvest festivals and retail venues in New England.

Next up – getting ready to speak at the #BostonSmallBizExpo on October 2.

Now for the Rainmaking – PR, marketing and social media articles (and video):

First up, check out this fun YouTube video by Dutch Royal Airlines KLM.   This is plain and simple ‘brilliant social media, engagement and brand loyalty’! It’s quite adorable, too (and features a cute puppy, so if you love dogs like me – you’ll definitely want to watch and learn!)

Next, we found a Duct Tape Marketing weekly round up we wanted to share with you. Last week’s round up included three useful social media tools. We like ‘em. You’ll love ‘em! Check it out and see if you agree.

Last, but not least ‘17 Advanced Methods for Promoting Your New Piece of Content’ via Kiss Metrics. This is for you if you are ready to promote your content beyond posting to Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter. I read it more than twice, whoa baby!

I hope you enjoy these articles and other bits of information we’re collecting at Robin’s Rainmaker’s – the Web’s best PR, marketing and social media wisdom.

Have a great week and feel free to share below!

If you’ve ever been in a wobbly situation where your confidence was down – join the club! I can bet that we’ve all been there in our professional and personal lives. The trick is to reframe the brain and cancel all the negative chit chat that’s ‘not paying rent’ in your head!

One thing I love to talk about in all of my coaching programs is breaking the terror barrier and building confidence – as well as enhancing charisma. It’s easier to be charismatic and magnetic when you’re feeling on top of your ‘A-Game’– and, it’s especially important as you project your best self in PR, marketing and social media. Confidence is a mindset!

Here are some confidence building exercises I’d love to share with you:

7 Tips to Feel More Confident

  • Begin with a pep talk every day. Make one up according to where you need to go, who you need to see, how you need to feel.

  • Say hello to at least 5 strangers and have a short conversation. It’s a great way to meet new people and especially helpful if you want to widen your circle or build up the courage to date.

  • If you like jokes, practice telling a joke! And, get good at it. Pick three favorites and change them up. You’ll never know when you need one to break the ice!

  • Challenge yourself in some new way. You don’t have to learn Chinese overnight, right? Think about a new hobby. Join a meetup to expand your interests, Every journey begins with one step.

  • Give yourself lots of chances. Throw a party! There are so many adjacent possibilities to trying something new. Just like marketing and PR, you don’t put one media pitch out there, you have a MIX. It’s the same way in building confidence.

  • Move the chi – it’s your life force energy! Meditate or do some yoga. Try acupuncture to feel more balanced. Feeling calm helps you feel more confident.

  • Review your progress. How are you feeling on a day by day basis? What are you accomplishing in your career or in other parts of your life? Make note of your accomplishments and take a look at the week’s end. See how small changes in your attitude, change you!

Your Turn

What exercises make you more confident?

How do you change the stories in your head, so you can be more confident in the heat of the moment?

Do you have a ‘persona’ on stage – if you need a boost of confidence – or when you’re ready to speak? (Mine is Rockin’ Robin)

Believe me, confidence is a game changer. And we wouldn’t have courage, without fear.

The Web’s Best PR, Marketing & Social Media Wisdom

If you’re tight on time, but want to stay up to speed on our industry’s latest news, stories and ideas, I hope you’ll like the articles we picked this week to feature on Robin’s Rainmakers – The Web’s Best PR, Marketing & Social Media Wisdom.

Our goal, as always, is to provide you with a variety of content on PR, Marketing & Social Media to gain more visibility, revenue opportunities and expert status.

Here are this week’s picks for Robin’s Rainmakers:

PR Is The New SEO by Uwe Schmidt for PR Insider

There was a time where you could ‘game’ the system by only buying SEO services. That’s now over. Long live unique, user-oriented content and be sure to eliminate this…

Brands Under Fire by Rosanne Mottola for PRSAY®

Take a look at five brands that have come under fire for ill-advised ideas or mistakes. Read who they are (you may be surprised), see what they did (or didn’t do) to make this list and learn from their mistakes, like Malaysia Airlines…

7 Types of Content Reporters Want in a Press Release by Serena Ehrlich for PR Insider

The Business Wire 2014 media survey asked reporters what types of news they want to see in a press release. Besides the obvious — breaking news — here are six more. Keep this on your desk when you’re writing and make sure to include…

Hope you enjoy these articles, and feel free to share with a friend!

If you’re tight on time, but want to stay up to speed on our industry’s latest news, stories and ideas, I hope you’ll like the articles we picked this week to feature on Robin’s Rainmakers – The Web’s Best PR, Marketing & Social Media Wisdom.

Our goal, as always, is to provide you with a variety of content on PR, Marketing & Social Media to gain more visibility, revenue opportunities and expert status.

Here are this week’s picks for Robin’s Rainmakers:

PR Is The New SEO by Uwe Schmidt for PR Insider

There was a time where you could ‘game’ the system by only buying SEO services. That’s now over. Long live unique, user-oriented content and be sure to eliminate this…

Brands Under Fire by Rosanne Mottola for PRSAY®

Take a look at five brands that have come under fire for ill-advised ideas or mistakes. Read who they are (you may be surprised), see what they did (or didn’t do) to make this list and learn from their mistakes, like Malaysia Airlines…

7 Types of Content Reporters Want in a Press Release by Serena Ehrlich for PR Insider

The Business Wire 2014 media survey asked reporters what types of news they want to see in a press release. Besides the obvious — breaking news — here are six more. Keep this on your desk when you’re writing and make sure to include…

Hope you enjoy these articles, and feel free to share with a friend!

Last week, I was a guest at the New England Speaker’s Association meeting and auction, and got reacquainted with Belinda Rosenblum – a Wealth Expert, CPA and Founder of OwnYourMoney.com. Belinda and I sat next to each other and talked about business, blogs and babies. She has a one-year old, and mine are traveling the world!

Because her expertise is so vital to entrepreneurs and growing yourself and your brand, I asked her to write a guest blog about money and how it relates to spending hard earned cash on your business and self-promotion. See if you agree with her findings!

Money, Self-Worth &
Promoting Yourself

by Belinda Rosenblum

Spending – and earning – money for entrepreneurs is a tricky subject. Every dollar earned is essentially one you had to ask for – directly or indirectly – so we attach more weight to the spending of it.

In particular, spending money on promoting ourselves feels counter-productive since it causes money to go out with an initial unclear return.

However, when we hold on too tight, we literally stop the flow of money – both out of and into our business. Since this clearly thwarts our larger goal of business growth, we as entrepreneurs need to become more unemotional and powerful when it comes to making decisions with our money.

As a start, watch out for these 5 culprits that hold people back from spending the money necessary to grow their business (including promoting themselves):

1) Fear of being seen (or being a fraud) If you really go big, then people will see you for who you really are. And if that happens, then will you suffer a case of the emperor’s new clothes. Of course not! You are brilliant – and doing the world a disservice by not letting them in on the inadvertent best kept secret.

2) Afraid you won’t be able to handle the volume. I call this a “high class problem.” If you have a lot of people interested in your work, then be willing to call in the staff and the advisors to support your growth. It does not mean you’ll have to work 80 hours a week, but it does mean you’ll have to ask for help. (It’s ok, you are actually more powerful not less powerful when you do this. This has been a tough but crucial lesson I’ve learned along the way.)

3) Afraid of laying out the money with an uncertain return. As business owners, we take way more risks than the average employed person. AND, for sustainable success, it is imperative that you learn how to take risks and recover quickly from whatever feedback the risk shows you. It is all helpful feedback. The key here is leveraging the opportunities you create for yourself – and then building momentum and excitement around your business with the visibility.

4) No depth to your offerings. The concern here is that if you got the exposure, you wouldn’t have anything to sell to all the people who come to your site. So what are you waiting for? Create a free awesome juicy gift to collect their names. Start with an easy $97-$197 product that people can try you out – allow them to “date” you before you want them to “marry” you with a higher-end offering.

And the kicker…

5) Lack of belief in your own worthiness. Are you really worth spending money on and allowing people to get to know you and your services more? Absolutely – but it all starts with you believing in you.

Get out there in a bigger way – the world needs exactly what only you can offer!

I hope you enjoyed this article, and as always, please feel free to post your comments on the social media platforms below!

Belinda Rosenblum, Wealth Expert and CPA, just got you started with today’s guest blog post. If you’re ready to really make more, save more, and stress less about your money, start with her complimentary “Money Makeover Kit” available here: www.OwnYourMoney.com/gift.

Starting today, and most every Monday for at least the rest of the year, I’d like to share three (3) articles about PR, Marketing, Social Media or other topics that relate to promoting a brand, encouraging entrepreneurship and the quest for more visibility, profitability and revenue opportunities.

Think of it like me searching the internet, to see what you (and I) might like to read, learn, forward or talk about at our next team/client meeting.

That said, here are my three picks for this week, that I’d like to share:

The Difference Between Marketing and PR? It’s All in the Inflections by Steve Goldstein

In this article, “PR News asked its community how it would define the difference between marketing and PR. Most of the responses fell along the lines of “marketing is all about the product and PR is all about the relationships.” We suspect that many marketers and PR pros (and those officially straddling the two) would object to this kind of blanket statement, but the variations on the same theme is telling.” Read to find out the difference as told in short social media posts. Fascinating!

Why Do-It-Yourself Public Relations Is An Urban Legend by Shelley Pringle

“Do-it-yourself PR may sound enticing to you . . . a good way to save a few dollars. However, as someone who has spent 20+ years working in the PR trenches, I’m here to strongly discourage you from taking the bait. The notion that anybody can do their own PR is an urban legend promulgated by folks who think they know what they’re talking about (they don’t). In many cases, they’re actually in the business of selling media lists and related PR products.

At best, DIY PR will lead you to waste a portion of your communications budget. At worst, it’s a recipe for corporate disaster.”

6 Fun Perspectives on PR, by PR Practitioners by Brian Greene

“We queried our audience on Twitter and Facebook, asking for some fun facts about PR that most people don’t know. Here are some of our favorite answers…”

What fun fact about PR would you be able to share?

I hope you find these articles interesting and informative. If you’d like to forward them to a friend or colleague or share with your own community, please click on the icons below. Let them know your thoughts!

RSI PR waveSummer in New England is the most fantastic of times, especially when you’re a guest at a magnificent beach house near Weekapaug, Rhode Island. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be relaxing for a few days with friends and enjoying fresh oysters from the pond, lobsters that were harvested hours earlier and a new mussel recipe, that I’m happy to share!

Vacationing doesn’t mean that you have to stop all PR efforts while you’re riding actual waves – it just means knowing how to capitalize on current PR and extending it to maximize exposure, especially if you’ve got some good press going on.  And, what’s great is that you can ride the PR Wave whether the sea is flat, or it’s a surfer’s dream.

3 Ways to Ride the PR Wave

  1. Quoted? Make sure you’re noted!  If you’ve had the good fortune of being quoted in the media – whether it’s in a newspaper, blog or article, make sure to share that mention as part of your own PR plan.  Quoted content is better than any advertising – it comes from an outside source.  Share notable links on LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook or other social media channels you’ve designated as part of your PR and marketing campaign. Be sure to vary it up, and don’t post the same material on all media, at the same time.  It takes a few extra minutes, but it’s worth it!
  2. Add Expert Content to Your Press Room. If you have a website and are proud of your accomplishments, you may want to build or add to your press room, or a media room as it’s sometimes called.  When you’re ‘in the news’ you can showcase your story and why you’re an expert – from the media’s viewpoint. Ask permission to use logos from selected media to jazz up visuals, and don’t be afraid to feature video, radio, podcasts, articles, sections of white papers you’ve created or presentations. It’s not bragging, it’s sharing!
  3. Keep Your Clients and Prospects up to date. We’re all so busy with projects and planning for the future that we often don’t stay in touch with our client base as much as we should.  That’s a lost business opportunity in some ways because out of sight may mean out of mind. Create a postcard (and send via snail mail) of a recent press success with a special offer, and target those you want to be ‘in the know’. Monthly communication via direct mail, email campaigns, phone calls, lunch appointments, birthday cards, and networking meetings are but a few of the fantastic ways to share your good news, build business and share opportunities to help others.

PR is all about putting your best foot forward, and positioning your product or service in a way that helps you stand out from the crowd.  It’s creating messaging why you or your product may be a better choice to help solve a client’s problem.

This summer, heck this year, ride the PR wave with confidence.

YOUR TURN

Where have you been noted recently and how have you shared that content to make a splash?

Besides social media, what other innovative ways have you used to broadcast media mention?

How many of you have a press room, and what are you most proud of?

5 WAY TO GO FROMThere must be a time clock in my body that screams ‘be invisible’ around the 4th of July. It lasts about two weeks and happens when I go to my island house on Lake Winnipesauke. My kids and their friends come to visit, I connect (multiple times) with my favorite internet techs for service, and generally enjoy time off without guilt, remorse or worry.

That of course doesn’t mean I’m not conducting business, or having important calls helping clients with their Grammy® nominations, developing signature speech campaigns for authors, or reviewing social media strategy and training for bloggers. It just means business and life take on a different feel in the summer — while rain storms rock the boat, chipmunks sneak a rub by my feet on the porch, and a sea of colorful beach towels dry on a line.

Scheduled time out is important for rejuvenating PR, Marketing and Visibility. It’s as important to disconnect, as it is to connect. That said, I wanted to share some insight.

Here are 5 Ways to Go from Invisible to Visible and Still Enjoy the Summer:

  1. Plan PR and marketing campaigns and tasks in advance with your team. This sounds like a no brainer, but if we don’t communicate, how will we everyone know what’s going on? Put marketing and social media on auto-pilot as best as possible, schedule conference calls or video skype appointments early or later in the day, and get-er-done while getting tan.
  2. Challenge yourself to read email only twice a day. If you’re a recovering perfectionist or work hound, it may be difficult to do. But try it. You’d be surprised at how many people are working less, but still in touch at the office. In fact, announce your policy in advance of a vacation, and to those who are resistant, repeat often.
  3. Be accessible by cell phone and text more often. Being flexible in how the media, your clients, prospects and colleagues contact you gives them comfort in knowing you’re there, and you won’t let them down. As much as I love to talk on the phone, sometimes island reception isn’t all that wonderful, but a text always gets through.
  4. Review your swipe files and brainstorm/write new concepts at least partially. You’ll be surprised at the good ideas you have while on vacation, or driving a boat or talking to someone who seems interesting. It’s summertime here in New England and CEO’s as well as well-heeled prospects all dress down. Remember, we meet people for all different reasons, and they just could be the conduit for your next promotion or biggest sale of the year.
  5. Don’t forget about pitching to the media. It doesn’t matter if it’s 85 degrees or not. There’s always an opening for a good story, a comment on what’s happening in the news, a contrary opinion to what’s going on in your industry or an opportunity to connect with a reporter who has an open spot in his/her editorial calendar now, or 3 – 4 months out. Say hello. Send a postcard. Be seen, heard and known.

YOUR TURN

Is being MIA a guilty pleasure for you? Why?

How do your prolong your summer schedule, without losing momentum in your business?

What are your secrets for balancing home, family and business — especially when it’s vacation time?

Please share your answers below.

I’ve been living on an island for over 30 years, and despite the challenges, I love summers here.

I just wish my cell phone got frequent flier miles. I’d use them to go surfing in Puerto Rico next year.