The holiday season is upon us, really upon us, and if you own a business, you’ve been strategizing and planning your marketing since, say August, right?
If that just shocked you, have no fear. There are plenty of (last minute) marketing techniques and tactics you can apply to have a rockin’ holiday season. It’s never too late!

I’ve rounded up several articles about holiday marketing and all of the articles include easy-to-implement ideas and tactics you can use to move your business forward this season, all the way into the New Year!

Check out Mandy Edwards article ‘Blending social media marketing with your traditional marketing this holiday season’.  She touches on four important points, one stating you should reserve some of your best content and information (and pricing) for your exclusive social community. Pretty smart!

Rapid Advance came out with a great infographic I’d like you to see called ‘Wrapping Up Your Holiday Marketing Plans’ It gives a great timeline overview for you to double check to make sure you’ve got everything covered! See it by clicking here.

Next up is an excellent piece by Constant Contact. They give us 30 creative holiday email marketing examples! What’s not to love about that since we all know email marketing is a vey effective tool in your marketing toolbox. Click here to get the 30 new ideas and to get excited about your holiday email marketing!

Last but not least, and I truly believe this — the holidays are a great time to have F-U-N! What’s more fun than a contest? How about a photo contest?! Here’s a piece from Facebook that gives us 20 holiday photo contest ideas anyone can run!

As always, I’d love to know how I can help and support you or your campaigns this holiday season. If you need a boost in promoting your special or another set of eyes in strategizing for the New Year, just give me a call!

Let’s talk shop! With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s time to buckle down the hatches and be ready for increased web traffic, increased sales and a positive start to 2015. And all of that starts with your online presence!

The first article I’d like to share is More Than Keywords: 7 Concepts of Advanced On-Page SEO by Cyrus Shepard for the Moz.com blog.

“As marketers, helping search engines answer that basic question is one of our most important tasks. Search engines can’t read pages like humans can, so we incorporate structure and clues as to what our content means. This helps provide the relevance element of search engine optimization that matches queries to useful results…”

Next up, A Google Analytics Setup Checklist is a great read to better metrics and insights about your web traffic. Brian Massey writes a solid column on the behavioral database that we call “Analytics” that’s generally only used by clients for basic reporting: sessions, visitors, revenue and conversions. Yet, there are so many other insights to be gleaned…”

To work on your social sites, I’d recommend you implement  The 15 Minute Social Media Audit Everyone Can Do by Kevan Lee for the Buffer App blog. It’s so easy to update your image, keywords and marketing message. Giving it all a fresh look right around the holidays and the New Year is a great way to make a great impression! Remember we want to Be Seen in 2015!

Whether you do the work behind the scenes yourself, or you have a team of assistants helping you, it’s important to have the technical aspects of your website in place so you can monitor your promotional efforts and tweak for peak results.

Hope you enjoy these articles, and please feel free to share using the buttons below.

Facebook login pageIf you are keeping up a bit with all things Facebook, you might have heard grumblings and rumblings about how Facebook is not yielding the results it used to give and that in order to be ‘seen’ we need to start paying for advertising. Well I am here to tell you; don’t believe everything you read. I am not saying that Facebook advertising isn’t necessary, you can, however, still be effective on Facebook if you have the right strategy and knowledge — and maybe add Facebook advertising to enhance all your other efforts!

This week for Robin’s Rainmakers, I’d like to highlight a few brilliant posts about the changes in the Facebook algorithm and how we shouldn’t be discounting this big giant. It might be time to update your strategies instead.

First up is These 5 Facebook Strategies Will Prepare Your Business for the Holidays by Jim Belosic for Maximize Social Business. And yes, I read it and realize the 5th strategy talks about Facebook advertising, but it’s just one of many new strategies to implement.

Next, I recommend you read one of both of these Facebook articles by Dorien Morin-van Dam of More In Media. They are both positive towards using Facebook and being creative in using the current Facebook tools and functions available.

6 Surprisingly Fast Ways To Curate Content from Facebook takes the new algorithm  and explains how you can use it to your advantage and post just the content that Facebook is looking for you to post — in a way, giving it a boost. Then check out 5 Awesome Ways Facebook Tagging Produces Positive Results for some creative ways to use pictures and the @tagging function.

If these ideas are not enough to get your creative Facebook juices flowing, read about the 13 Ways to Beat the Facebook Algorithm strategies and tactics. This article by Larry King for Wordstream should leave you with the feeling of ‘Yes, I can do that’!

Enjoy reading, and if you like share and comment below!

It was an exciting week presenting my new workshop, 5 Ways Social Media Can Get You More Sales, Customers and Profits, at the Small Business Expo in Boston. Thank you to all who attended and followed up personally. It’s an exciting time for Social PR and it’s critical to a company’s branding and success – whether you’re a solo business owner, or the biggest fish in any pond!

I love sharing great articles by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs and giving credit where credit is due. The article How to Create an Elevator Pitch That Will Get You Funded by Steve Blank gives detailed information and some great tips on how to perfect your elevator pitch (or speech). Whether you’re looking to get funding or need to promote your consulting services, perfecting your elevator pitch is one of the most important things you’ll want to accomplish this week. Get a few great ‘how to’ tips here from Entrepreneur.com.

You may be familiar with HARO, but do you know about their parent company, Vocus? They’ve got an active and well-read blog that hits the in boxes of industry insiders, experts and small business owners around the globe. I liked this article 9 Things You Should Consider in Your PR Plan by Jim Dougherty because it lays out a PR Plan, clearly step by step. Work on one, three or all nine to improve your current PR plan. (And, if you don’t have a plan, we have to talk!)

Lastly, we’re featuring The Power of Testimonials (and How We Get Great Ones) written by Alex Turnbull.  This is a MUST read for anyone in business. Here’s one little snippet we’ve highlighted, but take a minute to click on the link to learn more.

“Good testimonials aren’t fluffy; they communicate very specifically the type of person the testimonial writer is and the type of problem they’ve been able to overcome. This helps readers put themselves in the storyteller’s shoes.”

And that’s a wrap for this week’s edition of Robin’s Rainmakers! If you ever have a suggestion for a great article to feature, please send me an email. I’d love to include it here.

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!