Without sales we wouldn’t be in business. And who brings us business? Customers of course! It might be easier for big businesses to spend more freely in buying customer happiness, but you don’t have to be a Fortune 100 brand to show you care. Small businesses can love even more tenderly!
In 13 Ways to Show Customers You Love Them Frias Kittaneh from Entrepreneur.com shares the love with his collection of customer loyalty secrets. A few suggestions? Break the Rules. Extend Promo Code deadlines. Celebrate an odd holiday with your clients. Or, simply hang out with them at new restaurant in town. (I love that one). In the mood for love? Read more ideas here.
Check out this article too from Helpscout.net 25 Ways to Thank Your Customers. You’ll find some fun and quirky ways to thank your customers and create stronger connections with prospects too. We all can be reminded on how to show appreciation, no matter what stage in business or life we’re in. Give a Good Read with your own book if you’re an author or select a book your client might like. Don’t forget to include a personalized bookmark too! You can also throw a party or hold an in-store event after hours. You’ll have plenty to choose from!
Me? I love love anytime of the year, not just on Valentine’s Day.
If you’re looking for 100 Ways to Say I Love You without having to say “I Love You”, check out these phrases for your friends, family or favorite fans.
Remember them for your own Personal PR.
“If music be the food of love, play on.”
Looking to up your game? Schedule a complimentary Discovery Call with me to see how you can score more PR and Small Business Marketing Success. You can also ask me in person. I’m speaking at Constant Contact Headquarters on March 1 with other social media, email marketing and SEO experts, on How to Develop and Manage Your Online Brand. It’s FREE. Join Heather Jackson, Christina Inge, Jeannette O’Neil and me from 10am – 2pm. Space is limited – Register now!
Goal setting is one of the most important steps to achieving your dreams and a must have when creating a PR Roadmap. Writing down what you want is the first step in making your goals come true and giving yourself permission to revise them as you go along. There’s also a science behind it. Read what experts have to say in this article, The Science Behind Setting Goals and Achieving Them from Entrepreneur.com.
The author, Jane Porter from Help Scout shared some valuable insights from psychologists and experts and broke setting goals into 5 steps.
Let’s look at them one by one.
- Have a growth mindset. Do you have a go for it attitude, not worried so much about how smart you are or what other’s will think? How about what a mistake will mean? Psychologist and Stanford professor Carol Dweck believes that a “growth mindset” can be developed over time and that your abilities aren’t fixed. She shares more information here in this article from Harvard Business Review.
- Set meaningful goals. Challenging yourself to grow on a daily basis to what’s meaningful for you and having your goals be measurable are key points in John Norcross’ book, Changeology. In his words, “small steps together equal a giant leap.”
- Build accountability into your life. There’s accountability for everything you do. If you don’t go food shopping, you can’t cook. If you don’t pick up shirts at the dry cleaner, you may go shirtless. (Kidding, but you get the point). Typically, there’s a penalty you have to pay. How much pain are you willing to tolerate?
- Don’t fill yourself with false hope. As important as ambition is, it can also lead to unrealistic expectations. If you don’t get something done, you can feel like a failure. And, no one wants to feel that way. Janet Polivy, psychologist at the University of Toronto, calls unrealistic goal setting, false hope syndrome.
- Never underestimate the power of positivity. Leadership coach Peter Bregman suggests thinking in terms of focus, not the end goal. If you were a sales person that would mean concentrating on outreach rather than the exact number of sales you closed in a week. “A goal points to a future you intend to reach; an area of focus settles you into the present.”
No matter how you look at goal setting, it can be daunting if you give it power to rule you. Reframe your attitude, take small steps that build upon each other and focus on what’s in the present, not far down the road.
That way you’ll feel like you’re making progress which will propel you even further.
PS: Changing your viewpoint and attitude can make a big difference in your end goal and how you see yourself and your business. Schedule a PR discovery session with me to talk about what you’d like to accomplish this year. My calendar is here or feel free to email me at Robin@RobinSamora.com. Entrepreneur hours. So anything goes.
Building a brand isn’t a paint by numbers project, and if it was, you probably wouldn’t be interested. You can’t follow exact directions to create the perfect picture, but you can paint in your own style. The same with PR and marketing. You’re the artist.
To be a successful marketer, your mindset, attitudes and particular way of thinking have to be flexible, focused and free thinking. Imagination counts. Reeling it back in matters. It takes a certain creativity to blend your world with that of your target market. Plus, come up with ideas (and results) week after week.
To All the Marketers Out There – Is this Your PR Mindset?
- You’re creative, positive, quick to connect the dots
- A natural influencer, sales person and networker
- You recognize opportunities in a flash
- Know how to pitch as well as ditch (ideas, copy, stories)
- Believe that consistency trumps random effort
- You ask zillions of questions and just can’t help yourself
- Don’t need others to be entertained
- Appreciate a great campaign, laugh and pat on the back
- And when things are tough – or not, wouldn’t mind a kiss or hug at the end of the day
I understand, as well as you, that mindset varies day to day. If your dog ate the only copy of your media contact list, your mindset might change.
It would also change if Publisher’s Clearinghouse knocked on your door with an oversized check or you won the Powerball jackpot Wednesday for an estimated 1.3 billion dollars.
Say that happened. You might quit your job, sell your business or get out of Dodge. But one thing I do know, you’re PR mindset won’t change. It’s who you are.
Buy a ticket and challenge me. And make a promise that if you win, you’ll give a big chunk of change to your favorite charity.
That, my friends, would make my day.
PS. I’ve only got 2 client spots left for January! Let me help you skyrocket your brand, business or speaking career with online and offline PR and promotional strategy. Woo! Last week I got 2 articles in USA Today! Select a time on my calendar and let’s talk. Or email me at Robin@RobinSamora.com. It’s almost mid-January. How’s Q1 working for you?
Landing a story about your business in USA Today is what’s called a mega media kit.
But two in one week? While you’re on vacation?
Almost unheard of.
One Pitch = Two Stories
Earlier this week, I was soaking up rays off the coast of Belize when I received an email that my pitch from November was picked up by USA Today. Woo! The article featured an interview on responsible tourism and how my business, Pay It Forward Global Retreats, was helping women around the world.
In addition to my initial pitch, the editor took an interest in the company that I co-founded and asked to feature it again in another story on female-founded travel businesses. Another Piña colada, please!
Check out my two major media hits in USA Today (lots of other businesses paid thousands for ads but I got these stories for free):
Pay It Forward Global Retreats Blends Business Travel with Responsible Tourism and 6 Female Founded Companies that are Changing Travel for Women
You Can Do It Too
You just have to know HOW!
Let me teach you this year in one-on-one or private groups training for your team.
What will more press do for your business? And how can you leverage it to the max?
Let’s find out! Rent My Brain for an hour and I’ll explain how you can do it. You can ask me anything else about how to capture thousands of dollars in publicity in online and offline media.
P.S – Publicity snowballs. Period. If editors of trade journals, daily newspapers, weeklies, blogs, and online magazines like covering you in one of their stories, they will sometimes love giving you a second story because you’re such a great source. I’ll take you by the hand and show you how. Rent My Brain for an hour and see for yourself!
1. It’s OK not to know everything. There’s a learning curve to trying something new. Scuba diving for the first time. Making the perfect crepe. Creating killer graphics with cool tools. Inspiring hundreds to take action when you speak. Some say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. But, when you embrace that we’re all really experts in training, you’ll find it easier to receive and share information. Viva the 80/20 rule.
2. Sometimes you don’t know what will happen. At the bottom of the ocean, you don’t know what you’ll see or what you might have to do. So, you have to be trained. Your mask might fill up with water. You push the wrong button and go flying to the top (don’t try that). When we’re in execution mode, the best PR and marketing plans might have to be tweaked at the last minute or even scrubbed. Being trained and knowing the options can be a dream come true.
3. Follow best practices. PR specialists and marketers in every stage of their growth learn from a variety of sources. The internet, coaches, books, You Tube, fellow colleagues and the list goes on. To save time and to be more effective, learn from the experience of others and follow established guidelines, hopefully not repeating their mistakes. Best practices in marketing can increase revenue, expert status and visibility, and showcase the star you really are.
4. Paying attention matters. There have been a number of instances where paying attention has been critical to my survival. Scuba diving is one example, hot air ballooning and surfing others. I could say jumping out of a plane, but I haven’t done that yet. As influencers and marketers, we need to pay attention to what’s going on around us, and what’s really important to our brand, not just what would be nice. Paying attention can put you ahead of the crowd or keep you at rock bottom. It’s always your choice.
5. Listening = Watching. There isn’t one of us who couldn’t learn to listen better. When you’re underwater, listening means watching the signs – of your instructor and fellow divers. In business, learning to read the signs could include understanding body language or noticing office discord, without hearing a word. Watching for positive and negative signs of your team and key players could save you time, effort and a big HR mess. Keep your eyes and ears open. Your gut reaction is usually right.
Everyone in my family is back to work on Thursday. One of my daughters is prepping for a 3 week trip to Australia, another is head high in client work and training for a trek to Patagonia. I’m excited about new business opportunities this month and upcoming speaking gigs at Constant Contact and Sleek Marketing University.
This New Year will bring us new adventures.
What ‘bout you?
Ah, the year in review! I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the Top 10 of a few categories in 2015.
The top 10 business lessons compiled by Fastcompany, top 10 leadership stories by Entrepreneur.com and for visual learners in the public relations and marketing world – a look at the top 10 infographics by Marketingprofs.
In this article from Fastcompany staff, top business lessons from 2015 are shared from a variety of leaders and entrepreneurs. What were they? Calling yourself a freelancer might not be such a good idea, world travel can teach you how to expand your comfort zone and stepping back from the CEO position may actually prove to be the best leadership move. Other lessons? Alone time works, crisis can help your company and more.
Could you have improved your leadership this year? Entrepreneur.com’s Laura Entis shares top 10 leadership stories worthy of mention and each has a valuable lesson. What’s important to note is that successful entrepreneurship starts with successful leadership and we can all learn to be better communicators and more effective leaders. Worth reading — 50 Rules to Be a Better Leader, 7 Toxic People to Avoid When Starting a Business, 10 Examples of Companies with Fantastic Cultures. All here.
And where would we be without visual stimulation? Marketing Prof’s Editor, Veronica Maria Jarski gives us insights of her company’s top 10 infographics of 2015. Take a look at 12 Secrets of Human Behavior to Use in Your Marketing, The Only 10 Slides You Need in a Pitch and Best Days and Times to Post Content — and how could we forget the Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Social Media. These are great infographics to post on the wall (if you like doing that sort of thing).
A year in review by observers, seasoned marketers and entrepreneurs.
All good for your business. All good to keep in mind for the New Year!
- Do you know your audience? It’s important to know who you’re pitching and what they want. Don’t sell ice to an Eskimo living in Hawaii unless they own an ice making business! What’s your big vision and does it fit with who’s buying? Think it through on paper and make sure it works!
- Are you passionate about your idea? Passion makes a big difference in presenting a concept and often, enthusiasm is lost if there’s a publicist or hired gun doing the talking. If you’re the presenter, make sure you have positive energy and communicate with a high vibration. It shows not only in the voice, but also in the body. Twinkling eyes are a bonus!
- How professional are you? Professionalism is critical not just in writing, but in delivering. For Good Morning America, Tory needs to know without a doubt that the company presenting is totally operational and can deliver great customer service – even if the company is tiny! Talk the talk and believe it yourself!
- Are you prepared? Many entrepreneurs want ‘it’ to happen, but aren’t ready and launch discussions prematurely. If you’re overly excited and not ready with all the facts and figures, there’s a chance you may lose an opportunity and be passed over by someone who’s got their ducks in a row. When you speak up – be ready!
- Will you leave a positive or negative impression? Often negative impressions are longer lasting than positive ones. Make it a point to practice your pitch not only in front of a mirror, but test it with people who’ll give you honest feedback. If the feedback is similar from all parties – it doesn’t mean you’re bad, it just means that you need to tweak your pitch!
- Are you crystal clear? When it’s your moment to shine, be crystal clear about who you are and what you’re offering. A confused mind never buys and certainly won’t put you on Good Morning America. Again, clarity comes from practice. At our last SBANE meeting (Smaller Business Association of New England), we talked about this article from Forbes on public speaking lessons from the world’s greatest Ted Talks. It’s worth reading.
- How about your confidence? Competence and confidence go hand in hand. Sometimes, we get nervous when there’s a big opportunity and ask for what we want. Frankly, it’s silly because we KNOW OUR STUFF. You might get lucky and who you pitch may be gentle and work it out of you, but that’s not always the case. Go for it. Be confident or you may lose the opportunity if you’re weak in your presentation.
- Are you concise and to the point? Tory told the audience she has three minutes on-air to sell five products. So, a thirty minute lunch for her with a prospective entrepreneur is out of the question. She suggests networking and practicing your elevator pitch for brevity – so others can repeat it in a sentence.
You might not know it, but you pitch on a daily basis. Keep it simple. Practice passionately. And, deliver from your heart.
Twinkling is a bonus, especially this time of year.
As a business owner, your website is your ‘hub’. It’s where you show off your goods, products and more importantly – yourself. The more people see your website, the more they know about your awesomeness!
Are you thirsty for web traffic? Let’s explore the concept of SEO juice, especially with 2016 just around the corner!
The first way to get more SEO juice is to squeeze more juice out of your current content. That means you should always be linking back to the content you’ve written or shared before. It’s called internal linking and should be done deliberately and often. KissMetrics wrote the Seven Commandments of Internal Linking. According to the author, “It’s not overwhelming, complicated or difficult.”
So, what are you waiting for? Start learning the rules of internal linking and may the traffic begin!
Besides linking to previous content, there are several other tactics to rev up your SEO juice. Here’s an article by Hello Spark’s, 4 Important SEO Tips for Your Website. It’s easy to read, to the point and actionable. Their tips are really call to actions and everyone who owns a site can benefit from these suggestions.
And, marketing veteran Carrie Morgan shares 3 Ways to Transform Your Blog Into a SEO Machine. She talks about installing a great SEO plug-in like WordPress SEO by Yoast and using keywords efficiently. By choosing one keyword and including it in your post permalink, title and first sentence, you’re sure to get more juice. There’s more of course and you can read it here.
Lastly, what happens when you move or overhaul a site? SEO juice can and will spill all over, without a plan. James Archer writes about the importance of the ‘301 redirect’ in this article on Forty.co. Read, bookmark and apply when needed!
Squeeze the SEO juice so traffic flows to you!
Is your PR plan for 2016 all wings and bones or a comprehensive program built on certain key elements and well prepared strategies?
In Developing a PR Plan, Rachel Meranus of Entrepreneur.com explains the importance of assessing and planning a Public Relations plan – reaching out six months, but realistically looking at three with room for plenty of tweaking. She also recommends examining the tools and tactics you’ll be using — including editorial calendars, speaking opportunities, bylined articles, blogs and social media. Are you following these same guidelines? Compare yourself here.
John Jantsch, who writes a terrific blog at Duct Tape Marketing shares a 5 Step Small Business PR Plan for Today. Why is this valuable? Because it’s simple and makes sense. Listen. Network. Pitch Curves. Release and Amplify. Follow these guidelines for your 2016 public relations plans and tie it into targeted marketing for great success. I’m all into roadmaps.
How about When Your PR Goes Really Right (Or Dead Wrong)? Contributor Cheryl Conner writes about innovative PR ideas – and in this Forbes.com article talks about creating Irish Stew Tacos and attracting traffic to a local animal shelter, with a not so friendly dog. What story can you position to get attention and use the media to promote your cause?
Finally, let’s look at Become a Press Magnet by Following this 5-Step Blueprint by Jonathan Long. Again, solid advice to maximizie your media exposure. One of his points? Be sure to answer HARO or other media requests often. This, and being active on social media, puts you in front of journalists.
With years of hard work to create a strong brand, marketing and visibility, why would you ever create a PR plan on wings and bones?