RSI promote eventDeciding to host an event and share your expertise is a bold decision, and one that takes guts – so BRAVO if you’ve got an event slated for 2014!

Creating an event is one of the quickest ways to showcase your expertise to a group who may want to learn more about you, invest in your products or services now or down the road, or have an interest in ‘what you’re up to’, for their own professional growth. Well done, an event provides an opportunity to tell your story, up-level your brand and – let’s be honest, capitalize on your knowledge.

That said, you’ll want not just a boatload of people at your event, (whether it’s live or online) but a boatload of your target audience. They’ll resonate with your message and brand more than anyone else, and you’ll have multiple opportunities to make an impression and suggest that they become raving fans!

Here are7 Ways to Promote an Event in 2014  

1. Get Talking

Step away from the keyboard, and call friends and other people in your network who may be interested in attending your event. Even if your invitation is politely refused (i.e. due to a prior engagement or something to that effect), this is a prime opportunity to make a personal connection that could pay dividends down the road. It’s also ideal for reaching people who you don’t know, since you’re offering them something. Make it an easy, no-stress phone call with no end game in mind.

2. Get Visual

Create flyers and graphics for your event, and post them in an area frequented by your target audience. You can also send these in the mail (yes, the old fashioned way with stamps) to your targeted audience with a personalized post-it note.  Make sure that your graphics have a consistent look, and that the artwork can be re-purposed for invitations, banner ads, and social media.  This saves time, money, and gives your branding efforts maximum exposure.

3. Get Newsworthy

Submit media releases about your event to local news stations, magazines, newspapers and industry publications, as well as on-line blogs and distribution channels.  Be sure to be crisp and clear in your delivery, and include contact information for the press. If you have video, use it here as well. Above all, be media ready to capitalize on the publicity and opportunity for maximum exposure.

4. Get Dialed In

Find local radio stations and targeted blog radio networks that may be interested in an interview. Make your story compelling and be a fun and entertaining guest.  By following these simple guidelines, you’ll build a loyal following, get recognized for your expertise and be able to use the recorded interview in your own promotional strategy. And you’ll probably be invited back!

5. Get Social

Use the power of social media to your advantage.  Post targeted messages to your database and audience on a frequent (though not too-frequent) basis, using various platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube. You can also make a list of groups who might benefit from the event, and target them on-line. Keep in mind that it typically takes multiple impressions (a.k.a. touchpoints) before people notice a message and take action. As the best sales professionals advise: be persistent, but never pushy.

6. Get Wordy

Blog about your event, and ask others to do the same.  If you’ve been a guest blogger, ask your colleagues to give you a mention and share it with their list, and do the same with your social media contacts. This not only extends the life of your promotion, but it allows you to reach beyond your traditional target audience.

7. Get Hooked-Up

If you have a room that needs to be filled, consider asking fellow colleagues who are in a complementary — but not competing – business to publicize your event to their list.  Before presenting this type of opportunity, be sure that you have all the details outlined. Make it easy for your partners to promote you by providing pre-launch copy and emails, and copy for social media postings. Always strive to be a good partner, because your reputation will follow-you long after the event is over.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, if you apply some or all of the strategies above, you’ll:

  • Ensure that your event isn’t a “best kept secret”
  • Provide some valuable help by sharing your wisdom
  • Potentially fill the room with great new customers and clients
  • Have fun doing what you love!

YOUR TURN

What is the most challenging part of promoting a live event?

How do the promotional tactics differ from promoting a live event vs an on-line event?   

Do you typically have a team of people to help with the event? What are their primary roles?  

Let us know your thoughts — and KUDOS to those who dare to dream big, hosting their own event (live or online)!

Best of luck this year, and always!

RSI PR CoachI’ve been coached by a few fabulous coaches in the past five years and individually they’ve made a tremendous difference in my life and business. And, collectively, they’ve blown me way with their wisdom, guidance, practical advice and vision – to not find myself, but create myself!

You see, I have a vision for who I want to be, but frankly, it’s a world apart from the greatness my COACH sees. The best of the best have laser focus and insight to see your potential, much more than you’ll ever see. They don’t carry all that ‘old stuff’ and resistance that you do. Stuff like, ‘I can’t do it’, I stink at that, I don’t know the right people, I don’t have enough time, I don’t know how to do it – and, shall I go on?

But it’s not just killing those demons and saying ‘Sayonara’, a great coach offers ideas, solutions and has the experience to help get you where you want to go, and how to get there. With PR, that could mean help with media exposure, press relations, speaking gigs, social media positioning, and more. And, all together that means elevating your brand, increasing your recognition and leadership status in the marketplace, and ultimately increasing SALE$ – given the odd chance you’d like to make some money.

A PR coach offers real life practical advice and positioning on what works and what doesn’t to get noticed, customized for your particular situation and your goals.

Here are 3 Reasons You Need a PR Coach in 2014:

1) You see others in your industry who are getting media attention and mention everywhere, and you are sick and tired of this not being you; Plus, you’re way better than they are;

2) You don’t have the time, know-how, promotional zing or savvy to create effective pitches, press releases, media kits or use social media to influence your target market, or influencers you want to influence. Plus, it would take forever for you to figure it out;

3) As much as you hate to admit it as a recovering perfectionist and control freak, you just can’t do it all and be good at everything. You know that PR is important, and if there’s something you can do to make 2014 the best year ever, you’re willing to give it a try.

Where do you need the most help with PR?

If you had to choose one, would you want a stronger media kit, editorial plan for press releases and target mention, or the chance to be pitch perfect?

Are you more the spot coach type (consulting for specific problems) or would you prefer a longer relationship for three to six months to co-create a plan on how PR can help you increase your image (and opportunities).

I’d love to know your thoughts!

RSI Press KitIf you’ve taken the leap to become press worthy, first of all, Congratulations! It’s essential that you’re prepared to showcase who you are and your accomplishments, as well as be armed to present your expertise and story in a way that is professional, organized and interesting.

Every reporter has an audience they are catering to, and your expertise may be just what they’re looking for. It’s important that they know you’re the real deal!

A press or media kit (electronic or otherwise) can be as simple or as complicated as you choose. Content can also vary depending upon your industry, the type and amount of press you’ve had, where you’d like to be featured as an expert and how much information you’d like to share.

Electronic press kits, which are typically the most common, can be designed to incorporate the look and feel of your brand. Most often, they are located as a tab or link on a website, and that link can be shared when the press contacts you, as well as when you reach out to be interviewed. A media kit can also be saved as a PDF file, to be used as an attachment.

A media kit isn’t built overnight, so getting publicity and published articles should be part of continuous PR and promotions plan. Whether you start with a strong media portfolio, or are building one from scratch, the basics are important. Typically, experts aren’t featured on CNN or NBC from the get-go. They build their profile, just as they have built their expertise, taking advantage of every opportunity.

Here are 5 Essential Components of a Press Kit

1) A professional headshot is an important part of your media kit. Your photo should be recent — within the last three years — and it should look like you! If it doesn’t, there’s a potential trust factor at risk.

Presenting your photo to the world is part of the integrity of who you are. Look like you say you do. Your headshots should be used everywhere you brand yourself professionally, so make it a point to invest in them wisely. Depending upon your industry, lifestyle photos can also be added to your press kit. They add another dimension to your profile – your personality, which gives your image a life of it’s own.

2) You’ll also want to make sure you have an updated short and long bio. A bio should be written to not only say who you are and what you’ve done (aka a human do-ing) but also portray a picture of your essence. A reporter wants to know that you’re not only accomplished, but also human. Add some personal and fun facts to your bio. I have mentioned at different times that I was a beekeeper, had a dog Lucy, loved to travel and Greek meatballs were my specialty. Not all at once, mind you. The media is looking for a human interest side to stories.

3) For credibility, it’s important to also include examples of published articles, links to past media experiences, speaking engagements, and so on. If you’ve been interviewed in the media, or written about, include the link. It’s proof you’ve ‘been there and done that’. As you grow your media profile, you can edit your portfolio to include more powerful and recognizable brands. If you have none, start getting noticed with responding to HelpAReporterOut.com requests. I’m happy to share with you a format that works, time and time again.

4) Show that you’re connected on social media. The media loves to share. By providing working links to your LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Facebook page (if appropriate), you’re showing that you’re part of several networks with millions of viewers.

Make sure that your profiles are media ready and fine-tuned for the discerning eye. Whether you’ll be interviewed for the press or not, it’s important that your branding is consistent on all platforms. Take the time to complete on-line profiles, update missing information and delete any ‘offbeat’postings. Use this time wisely for a PR check-up.

5) Provide clear contact information. Make sure that you give the press an easy way to reach you. Typically, reporters respond by email, but if there’s a deadline or more information is needed, they’ll contact you by phone. Make sure they have your cell phone number and that your voice mail message, as with all social platforms, are ‘brand on.’

There are, of course, additional items that can and should be added to a media kit depending on the expert, what their specialty is, and where they want to be featured. Other items might include interview questions and answers, testimonials, speaker profiles, press releases, background sheets, credentials and so on. What’s important is that when you’re contacted, you deliver the same expertise and deliverables as in your press kit. There’s a learning curve for sure, but with practice you’ll be a pro in no time.

YOUR TURN

What does your photo say about you? Need an update?

If you were a reporter checking you out, what would be their impression?

What fun or interesting facts would you add to your bio that shows your personality and human-ness?

Thoughts? Share below.

Happy Summer! I’m writing this from my island house on Lake Winnepesauke and splitting my time between taking a well-deserved rest with family and friends, working with clients and speaking from the stage at various events across the country.

My next stop is in Baltimore, MD (Aug 2 – 4) for Mara Glazer’s www.thenextbigbuzzevent.com where I’ll speak about ‘How to Create a PR Map and Generate a Buzzz!”

This event is for women entrepreneurs (and a few good men) who want to learn how to build celebrity status, fine tune their offline and on line marketing skills and perfect their social media strategy.

As a speaker and sponsor, I have a couple of complimentary tickets available, so if you’re interested, you can click here. (This event is now over.)

Another opportunity that I’d like to share is for a scholarship for three (3) women who are interested in making a difference in this world.

Mara and I have teamed up to send three women to the Big Buzz Event in Baltimore. I can’t say enough about stepping up to the plate when opportunity knocks. If you know someone who’s interested in applying for this scholarship and being a Buzzworthy Biz Babe, please send them my way, They can write to me directly at Robin@RobinSamoraInc.com or, they can click here about how to apply.

It’s almost the end of July – a time for music festivals, beach, grillin’ and just plain chillin’.

I hope you’re doing just that.

From my back yard to yours, be well and enjoy this beautiful weather,

 

Marketing and social media strategist Mara Glazer and PR expert Robin Samora have teamed up to offer three women entrepreneurs the opportunity to attend Ms. Glazer’s all-new “The Next Big Buzz” event in Baltimore from August 2-4, 2013. Applicants are asked to submit a 300 word essay by July 21, 2013 that highlights: their entrepreneurial vision and what they hope to achieve; the role they aspire to play in turning their vision into reality; and how their vision will help other women now and in the future.

Globally renowned marketing and social media strategist Mara Glazer, and PR expert Robin Samora of Boston-based PR firm Robin Samora Inc., have teamed up to offer three women entrepreneurs the opportunity to attend Ms. Glazer’s all-new “The Next Big Buzz” event in Baltimore from August 2-4, 2013.

The 3-day event, which will be held at the Hilton Baltimore Camden Yards, is geared towards women entrepreneurs and will feature high-energy workshops and presentations that transform attendees into “Buzzworthy Biz Babes” who are celebrities in their fields, widely known, and highly paid for doing what they do best. Event coverage includes:

  • How to create more buzz in a business by thinking like a celebrity.
  • How to finally demystify online marketing, the web and social media channels to explode a business and capture more leads.
  • How to create a business that supports a desirable and healthy work-life balance – while still bringing in serious income.

The event will also provide valuable networking opportunities with more than 200 notable entrepreneurs and business leaders from a variety of fields, including Ms. Glazer who is producing and hosting the event, and Ms. Samora who is a sponsor and presenter.

“It’s a privilege to offer three deserving women the opportunity to attend this transformative event, and take their professional and personal life to the next level,” commented Ms. Glazer and Ms. Samora in a joint statement. “It’s going to be three days of amazing content – and unforgettable fun and excitement — that will change their lives and make the world a better place!”

Women entrepreneurs who are interested in applying for a scholarship to attend The Next Big Buzz event are asked to write an approximately 300 word essay that highlights:

  • Their entrepreneurial vision and what they hope to achieve
  • The role they aspire to play in turning their vision into reality
  • How their vision will help other women now and in the future

Essays must be emailed to Robin@robinsamorainc.com by 11:59pm EDT Sunday, July 21. Successful applicants will be notified by 5:00pm EDT Wednesday, July 24. Selected essays may also be published (either whole or edited).

Each scholarship covers admission to the event and is valued at $697. Applicants will be responsible for travel, accommodation and other expenses.

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

About Mara Glazer

Leading marketing and social media strategist Mara Glazer helps entrepreneurs build amazing businesses that allow them to live amazing lives. She blends online and offline marketing strategies to help business owners create global buzz, and translate that into money in the bank.

Learn more at http://maraglazer.com/

About Robin Samora Inc.

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

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

Leading marketing and social media strategist Mara Glazer’s all-new three day “The Next Big Buzz” event at the Hilton Baltimore Camden Yards in Baltimore from August 2-4, 2013, features a full slate of high-energy interactive presentations and workshops that promise to transform women entrepreneurs into widely known — and highly paid — Buzzworthy Biz Babes.

Leading marketing and social media strategist Mara Glazer

Leading marketing and social media strategist Mara Glazer

Women entrepreneurs who want to become a celebrity in their field, so that they can get widely known – and highly paid – for doing what they do best, can now visit http://thenextbigbuzzevent.com and register for leading marketing and social media strategist Mara Glazer’s all-new “The Next Big Buzz” event in Baltimore from August 2-4, 2013.

The 3-day event, which will be held at the Hilton Baltimore Camden Yards, features a full slate of high-energy interactive presentations and workshops that promise to transform attendees into “Buzzworthy Biz Babes.” Key topics that Mara Glazer and her team of hand-picked presenters will focus upon include:

  • How to create more buzz in a business by thinking like a celebrity.
  • How to finally demystify online marketing, the web and social media channels to explode a business and capture more leads.
  • How to create a business that supports a desirable and healthy work-life balance – while still bringing in serious income.

In addition, attendees will have ample opportunity throughout the event to network with over 200 successful entrepreneurs in order to find new clients, create joint venture partnerships, and get to know some extremely influential connections.

“This event is for women entrepreneurs who want to get known — and get paid! – for doing what they do best,” commented Mara Glazer, who will also reveal the secrets that enabled her to generate and translate an enormous amount of buzz into multiple 6-figure businesses in less than a year. “It’s also perfect for those who have reached a point where they seriously need to cut the crap when it comes to small business marketing, and get real about what it takes to succeed as a Buzzworthy entrepreneur.”

“Lots of experts only talk about becoming successful – but Mara shows you how,” noted Robin Samora, the principal of Boston-based PR firm Robin Samora Inc., who is an event sponsor and presenter. “She’s all about implementation, action and results. She tells people what they need to know — not just what they want to know. And just as importantly, she’s incredibly fun and inspiring.”

Speaking of her reputation for being fun and inspiring, Miss Glazer also had some comforting words for those who dread so-called professional development events that are little more than boring lectures from talking heads: “Make no mistake: this isn’t three days of being glued to a chair! This event is going to be a party. Yes, we’ll be giving out amazing content, but those fortunate enough to attend will also get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to network, let their hair down, and definitely shake their booty!”

Women entrepreneurs who aspire to be Buzzworthy Biz Babes and reap the rewards of living amazing and successful lives — both professionally and personally — can register for Mara Glazer’s The Next Big Buzz at: http://thenextbigbuzzevent.com/. The registration fee is $697.

For more information or media inquiries, contact Paul Valleau, Executive Assistant to Mara Glazer, at 866-430-4680 or Paul(at)maraglazer(dot)com.

About Mara Glazer

Leading marketing and social media strategist Mara Glazer helps entrepreneurs build amazing businesses that allow them to live amazing lives. She blends online and offline marketing strategies to help business owners create global buzz, and translate that into money in the bank.

Learn more at http://maraglazer.com/.

PR expert Robin Samora’s new article introduces experts, entrepreneurs, authors and other business professionals to 8 powerful, proven, practical and cost-effective ways to promote an event in order to grow their business. The full article is available on the Robin Samora Inc. website at www.robinsamorainc.com.

In her latest feature article, PR expert Robin Samora has 8 powerful, proven, practical and cost-effective strategies for experts, entrepreneurs, authors and other business professionals who want to promote an event in order to grow their business.

“Events are memorable and fun ways to make a business stand out from the pack,” commented Samora, the principal and founder of Boston-based PR firm Robin Samora Inc. “However, many people aren’t sure how to promote their event in powerful and cost-effective way. My latest article helps unravel this mystery and puts readers on the path towards more bottom-line success and personal satisfaction.”

Samora’s 8 ways for experts, entrepreneurs, authors and other business professionals to promote an event and grow their business are:

  • Get Talking: Reach out via phone – not email – to friends, associates and other contacts who might be interested in attending the event. Even if the invitation is politely declined, use this opportunity to make a personal connection that could pay dividends down the road.
  • Get Visual: Create professional-quality marketing collateral (e.g. flyers) and mail them to targeted contacts, along with a personalized post-it note. As a bonus, the marketing collateral can be re-purposed for invitations, banner ads, social media and more.
  • Get Newsworthy: Submit professional news releases to local media, including TV stations, magazines, newspapers, and industry publications. Remember to reach out to the online community, including blogs and websites. Also be prepared with a media kit or other information when contacted.
  • Get Dialed-In: Connect with radio stations who may be interested in an interview. If invited to speak, ensure that the story is compelling, and that there’s an irresistible offer with a time-specific deadline.
  • Get Social: Leverage the power of social media to spread the word. Be sure to post targeted content on various platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.). Also keep in mind that several impressions will likely be necessary before target audiences take notice and act.
  • Get Wordy: Blog about the event and request that others in the network do the same. This not only extends the life of the promotion, but it expands the reach beyond traditional target markets.
  • Get Hooked-Up: Ask colleagues in a (non-competing) business to publicize the event. Be sure to make the referral arrangement simple, easy and clear. It’s also wise to provide referral partners with collateral, such as emails and social media posts, which they can quickly send to their network.
  • Get Educational: Launch a pre-event teleclass to share information with both registered and prospective event attendees. As a bonus, this is also a great opportunity to generate feedback to make the upcoming event even more compelling, relevant and meaningful.

Added Samora: “Ultimately, those who apply these strategies will ensure that their event is well publicized, that they’ll have fun sharing their knowledge, and that they’ll go a long way towards filling the room with great new customers and clients.”

The complete version of Samora’s new article “8 Great Ways to Promote an Event and Grow Your Business,” which includes an expanded discussion of each of the above-noted tips, is available at: http://www.robinsamorainc.com/2013/06/8-great-ways-to-promote-an-event-and-grow-your-business/

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

About Robin Samora Inc.

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

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

 

It’s no surprise that events are memorable, effective and fun ways to make a business stand out from the pack. They’re also perfect opportunities to engage clients and prospects directly and personally, which are also essential for brand-building, and for developing relationships that are both personally satisfying and professionally lucrative.

However, what remains a mystery for many entrepreneurs, experts, authors and other business professionals is how to promote their event – especially if they’re on a tight budget, and need to “do more with less.”

Well, as someone who has been in the event planning and promotion field for years, allow me to happily shed light on this by sharing 8 great – and very cost effective – ways to promote your event:

1. Get Talking

Step away from the keyboard, and call friends and other people in your network who may be interested in attending your event. Even if your invitation is politely refused (i.e. due to a prior engagement or something to that effect), this is a prime opportunity to make a personal connection that could pay dividends down the road. It’s also ideal for reaching people who you don’t know, since you’re offering them something. Make it an easy, no-stress phone call with no end game in mind. Remember, you’re not selling — you’re helping.

2. Get Visual

Create flyers and graphics for your event, and post them in an area frequented by clients and prospects. You can also send these in the mail (yes, the old fashioned way with stamps) to your targeted audience with a personalized post-it note.  Make sure that your graphics have a consistent look, and that the artwork can be re-purposed for invitations, banner ads, and social media.  This saves time, money, and gives your branding efforts maximum exposure.

3. Get Newsworthy

Submit media releases about your event to local news stations, magazines,

newspapers and industry publications, as well as on-line blogs and distribution channels.  Be sure to be crisp and clear in your delivery, and include contact information for the press. If you have video, use it here as well. Above all, be media ready to capitalize on the publicity and opportunity for maximum exposure.

4. Get Dialed In

Find local radio stations and targeted blog radio networks that may be interested in an interview. Make your story compelling, create an irresistible offer that has a time specific deadline, and be a fun and entertaining guest.  By following these simple guidelines, you’ll build a loyal following, get recognized for your expertise, and be able to use the recorded interview in your own promotional strategy. And you’ll probably be invited back!

5. Get Social

Use the power of social media to your advantage.  Post targeted messages to your database and audience on a frequent (though not too-frequent) basis, using various platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. You can also make a list of groups who might benefit from the event, and target them on-line. Keep in mind that it typically takes multiple impressions (a.k.a. touchpoints) before people notice a message and take action. As the best sales professionals advise: be persistent, but never pushy.

6. Get Wordy

Blog about your event, and ask others to do the same.  If you’ve been a guest blogger, ask your colleagues to give you a mention and share it with their list, and do the same with your social media contacts. This not only extends the life of your promotion, but it allows you to reach beyond your traditional target audience.

7. Get Hooked-Up

If you have a room that needs to be filled, consider asking fellow colleagues who are in a complementary — but not competing — business to publicize your event to their list.  Before presenting this type of opportunity, be sure that you have all the details outlined, including commissions. Make it easy for your partners to promote you by providing pre-launch copy and emails, and copy for social media postings. Always strive to be a good partner, because your reputation will follow-you long after the event is over.

8. Get Educational

A pre-event teleclass is an ideal way to talk about something you’re passionate about. Plus, you’ll not only build your database, but you’ll also get a heads-up on who’s really interested in what you’re offering. Create your own mini cheat sheet.  Why should people attend?  What are the benefits? How will they improve their business, life, help a cause? And, who can they tell about the event? While you’re thinking of these big picture concepts, don’t lose sight of the details, either, such as: dial-in numbers and times (and in what time zone). Also send out a reminder email at least 24 hours in advance.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, if you apply some or all of the strategies above, you’ll:

  • ensure that your event isn’t a “best kept secret”
  • provide some valuable help by sharing your wisdom
  • potentially fill the room with great new customers and clients
  • have fun doing what you love!

 

Thanks largely to technology, in today’s marketplace it’s easier than ever for entrepreneurs, experts and authors to launch a business and profit from their passion. That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that competition is flat-out ferocious, which means that marketing is essential. Without marketing, it’s simply too easy for a business to get lost in the crowd and fail to achieve its potential — or even survive.

However, just because marketing is essential, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are 8 ways to achieve your marketing goals on a shoestring budget:

1.    Share your knowledge.

Offer an initial consultation where you provide some meaningful value, and explain what you do, who you do it for, and most importantly, how you help your clients solve problems and achieve goals. Your time investment can be as little as 15 minutes, and it can be done over the phone, via Skype (web cam), or in person if it’s practical to do so.

2.    Stay in touch with your clients and prospects — and often.

While this may strike you as one for the “hey, I knew that already!” file, I’m amazed at how often smart and successful people neglect to stay in touch with their clients and prospects on a regular basis. And really, “staying in touch” doesn’t mean a 2-hour lunch, a 4-hour round of golf, or anything else that may otherwise qualify as relationship-building. Simply sending out a quick email, mailing a hand-written birthday card, or even passing along a thoughtful gift are all excellent – and virtually cost-free – ways to stay on the radar screen.

3.    Create a targeted message in all of your communication.

A confused mind never buys. That’s why it’s important to target your message distribution and branding to customers and prospects via email, blogs, video, invoices, brochures, newsletters, premiums, signage — even your voice mail or call waiting message. Post on social media as frequently as possible and share information. Don’t self-promote more than 20% of the time; it’s not just boring, but it sends people in the other direction.

4.    Build a referral base.

While many successful people rely on referrals and “word of mouth” advertising, I’m continuously struck by how few of them actively build a strong referral base. There’s really nothing to it and, honestly, a little goes a long way. All it takes is a small thank you gesture (gift certificates work great) to those who have helped build your business. Also, don’t shy away from asking for referrals. Just be polite, clear and willing to return the gesture. If a client has enjoyed your product or service, they’re usually happy to recommend you.

5.    Send out a personal “State of the Union” address.

Twice a year, write a personalized letter to your clients and tell them what you’re doing with your work, what charities you may be involved with, and how you’re helping both your professional community, and personal community. Describe how you’ve supported important social events and everyday events — even if it’s for a brief time. Don’t boast about any of your efforts. Instead, thank everyone who has helped make your achievements possible, and single out some of your role models who have served as an inspiration (whether you personally know them or not).

6.    Invite your clients and prospects to hear you speak at an industry event.

Speaking at an industry event qualifies you as an expert. By inviting your clients, you’re letting them know you’re up to something big, and worthy of their business. If the RSVP’s come in as a ‘can’t make it’, send a video, press link or a follow-up article that summarizes your presentation. If you’ve written a book, send a signed copy. This kind of communication and connection strengthens the bond with the people in your network, which in turn strengthens your marketing efforts.

7.    Get your name out there.

If you don’t have a media department behind you, consider hiring a PR, social media assistant or office admin to respond to online media requests such as HARO (“Help a Reporter Out”) or Profnet. Responses to the media should be respectful, polite and on target. Want to know what’s being said about you? Set up a Google Alert. Trust me, you’ll grow to love watching your digital press clippings!

8.    Write an article or publish an infographic that will cite you as an expert.

Promote articles that you have written and post links on your website and social media. Include hard copies in your press kit (and a digital version) in your on line media room. Expand your reach and include articles in letters to clients, and be bold by paper-clipping them and your business card in places that might seem out of the ordinary (i.e. in the cover of airline magazines, in books or magazines that your target audience might buy, in newspapers in high traffic locations — even in waiting rooms or hotel lobbies). Think like your target market. Where would they go, and what would they read?

Don’t Forget to Get Out There

Implementing any, or, preferably, all of the above strategies are excellent ways to boost your marketing power — while spending much less than you imagine. However, no matter how you move forward, there’s one thing to always remember: you’re the spokesperson for your brand.

And that means your #1 marketing job is to get “out there.” Whether that means you support an important cause, make a keynote speech, or are quoted on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, you want to make an impression every chance you get. You never know what relationship will blossom and turn into your next – and possibly greatest – business success story.

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

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

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

1.    Be True to Yourself  

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

2.    Stop the Negative Thinking. 

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

3.    Be Your Brand…ALWAYS! 

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

4.    Bring Joy Into the Room.

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

5.    Project the Right Image. 

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

6.    Be Your Own Best Advocate. 

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

7.    Be the Center of Influence.

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

It’s All About Love

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