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.

RSI College GradsIt’s a story that’s being re-told pretty much everywhere across the country: on the one hand, we have new college grads who can’t find an opportunity that launches them towards a great career, and on the other hand, we have employers that desperately need an infusion of new talent. So why isn’t supply meeting demand?

There are many reasons for this, including the fact that some employers, frankly, need to do a much better job of making their workplaces more “new grad friendly” – which, by the way, has nothing to do with catering to the whims of Millenials, and everything to do with finding smarter ways to challenge, engage and inspire them.

However, there are plenty of employers out there who “get it” and are offering exceptional entry-level opportunities – provided, of course, that new grads know what really matters at this early stage of their career journey.

So, with this in mind, here are 5 things that college grads like you need to know about building a great career that will reward you professionally and personally in the years and decades ahead:

1. Focus on Experience — not just Income

Landlords, credit card companies, banks, and even the super-friendly Baristas at Starbucks don’t accept “experience” as a form of payment (and showing them this article won’t change that, though you’re welcome to try). Obviously, you need to ensure that you’re being compensated at a level that enables you to, well, live.

However, at this point in your career, experience is far more valuable to you on two levels: one, you’ll significantly increase your earning capacity that will pay off exponentially down the road; two, you’ll discover some helpful – possibly even profound – insights into what really motivates you. Indeed, many of the world’s most successful people in all walks of life started their careers doing something very different. Who knows where you’ll end up, what you’ll do, and how far you’ll go?

2. Master the Art of Networking

If you haven’t discovered this already (though chances are you have), most employers don’t care much about where you went to school or your grade point average. What they’re really interested in knowing is whether you can develop strong relationships and work well with others – because those traits translate very profitably in the business world.

So take that as more than a hint – it’s a pretty blatant signal, really – to start mastering the art of networking. Seek out groups, mentors and like-minded professionals within and outside your current field, and become a proverbial sponge. Soak up every last piece of advice! And of course, find ways to be valuable to others. True, you may not have the influence or power to “make it rain”, but you can certainly find other ways to stand out and demonstrate that you’re a valued member of anyone’s network – including those who will directly and indirectly shape your career journey.

3. Create your own Spotlight

Yes, the job market is competitive. But guess what? It has always been competitive, and don’t let anyone’s nostalgic reflection of the so-called “good old days” convince you otherwise. Hindsight sometimes isn’t 20/20 – it can be fictional as well.

So in light of this competition (which again, isn’t new and will never go away), you have a choice: you can wait – possibly forever – for the spotlight to find you, or you can create your own spotlight by showing prospective employers what you can do!

Now, just so there’s no misunderstanding: this isn’t about bragging or self-promotion. It’s about demonstrating that you’re investing in yourself, and that a savvy employer should do the same. Perhaps you’ll create a website that features your work (it doesn’t necessarily have to be creative/portfolio type work either – you can provide case studies of your projects and successes). Or maybe you’ll volunteer with a professional association or a community group. Whatever you do, remember: don’t be the best kept secret in your field! Shine on and see how many opportunities appear.

4. Learn the Art of Engagement   

Do you look at people in the eye when you speak and listen to them; not in an aggressive way, but in a warm, welcoming and open-minded way? Do you turn off your phone’s ringer when you’re engaging in a conversation?

Believe it or not, but the quality of your attention is enormously important and, frankly, valuable. Other people can literally feel when you mentally “aren’t there” (and even worse, they can see it when you’re checking your email in the middle of the conversation). In my hiring experience, it’s very refreshing to see a candidate who looks at me in the eye, and isn’t tethered to their gadgets. In fact, it often tells me more about them than anything they might say.

5. Audit your Social Media Profiles

And last but certainly not least…

If you’ve traveled in the last couple of years and stayed in a hotel, there’s a very good chance – it’s probably close to 100% — that you did some background research by reading reviews and seeing what other guests had to say. Well guess what? Travelers like you aren’t the only ones doing some background research: employers are, too. And they’re starting with (and sometimes ending with) your social media profiles – e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so on.

Now, this doesn’t mean that your social media profiles should be sanitized to the point of being generic. After all, they’re your profiles, and should reflect and express your individuality. However, this does mean that you need to audit your content and ensure that it’s “work safe”.

Essentially, for every post, tweet, picture or comment you create – on your social media profiles, and those left by you on other people’s or organization’s — ask yourself whether you’d want a potential employer asking you about this in a job interview (whether they will or not is beside the point). If your answer is yes, keep it. If your answer is no, get rid of it. It’s really that simple.

The Bottom-Line

Although this is much harder for a new college grad to see than it is for someone reflecting back on decades of experience, believe me when I say that the journey ahead of you is going to be far more interesting, exciting and rewarding than you can imagine – but that’s not going to happen by itself. You need to play a major part in your career story, and the 5 tips above will launch you in the right direction.