I gave a talk yesterday at a Leadership CEO Forum and was excited to present PR and Social Media ideas to a room of executive women, who ran successful businesses – and invested in their growth.  (I love that).

After the meeting and comments from the group, I was thinking of ways that entrepreneurs and experts could get noticed, without all kinds of fuss, muss and time restraints.

  • Walk into a room with power. What I’m talking about here is exuding confidence.  Knowing you’re the expert when you walk in to a room full of strangers. You’re well dressed, ready for action and prepared to share your knowledge.
  • Spend time getting to know your group. Before any speaking gig or meeting, it’s always good to know the players. Ask for a list beforehand if it’s available and do some research on your own. That way, you have some background information and can ask intelligent questions and give thoughtful responses.
  • Give without expectation. I often speak without getting paid because it opens the door to new circles and there’s so much possibility for potential business.  Some might say, “Nah, you’re wasting your time.”  If you’re doing something that you believe is getting you towards your goal, then go for it.
  • Make time for Q + A privately, in person if possible. After a presentation, don’t schedule yourself so tightly that you don’t have room to breathe and have a chance to talk with attendees.  I’m all for clustering a day of activities in the area I’m visiting, but there are hidden opportunities in NOT rushing. It took me a while to figure that out.
  • See an opportunity? Act on it.  I was on a tour yesterday of NewTV for an upcoming TV series and saw beautiful artwork on the wall.  I commented on it and asked if they showcased artist’s work on a monthly basis.  The answer was yes and it was a perfect opportunity for my client, Lidia Kenig-Scher to feature her paintings.  Had I not popped my head in the Director of Marketing’s office and said hi, that never might have happened.

This list could go on with other PR and marketing opportunities to increase your brand awareness and visibility – with referral programs, highlighting influencers, news jacking, podcasting and more.

But we’re looking at easy tactics here, that don’t require hours of thought. They’re free publicity tactics that are worth their weight in gold.

When it comes to branding and lead generation, while new strategies and tactics emerge on what seems like a weekly (if not daily) basis, there’s one “old favorite” that continues to withstand the test of time, and re-establish itself as both a cost effective and results-based way to create valuable mind share and visibility – which, ultimately, boosts sales and profits. Of course, I’m referring to promotional products.

From upscale laptop and tablet bags to functional flash drives and everything in between, promotional products are trusted by business of all sizes – particularly solo, small and mid-size operations — to get and stay ahead of the competition. Indeed, a giveaway that’s of some value to a potential customer creates an opportunity for engagement – which is the gateway for the lead generation process. This is especially true when the service or product is more complicated to explain, or has a higher perceived value.

Of course, not all promotional products are created equal, and it’s important to choose the right item(s) that will make the strongest and longest impression. Here are five key things to keep in mind to help achieve this important goal:

  1. Use Your Promotional Product to Create Differentiation

    If you want to stand out from the crowd as a leader, then you need a promotional product that your audience will like, talk about, and appreciate.  Even if they choose not to keep the giveaway, chances are they will pass it on to someone who they care about – provided, of course, that they find it valuable.

  2. Choose a Promotional Product that’s Functional

    Align your promotional product to the season and/or event where they’ll be used more than once.  For example, my company has given away extremely well-received insulated cooler bags during the summer months, and branded wine openers at Wine Expos. When audiences perceive that a product is functional, they’re less likely to discard it (think of how many lanyards end up in the garbage can at the end of an event).

  3. Don’t Over-Spend on Promotional Products – but Don’t Cut Corners, Either

    Many companies are now giving less expensive promotional products to their audiences in a high traffic location in order to make an impact, while keeping costs under control. When done properly, this can be a successful strategy. Just ensure that you don’t give out ‘junk’ – it’s better not to give out anything at all, than to be associated with something that will diminish or damage your brand.

  4. Match your Promotional Product to your Audience

    Audiences with large buying power and who represent high potential value (as customers) will be expecting a promotional product that aligns with their position. Also keep in mind that big ticket audiences expect more — even if it’s free — especially if they’ve been loyal to the brand.

  5. Remember to Fully Brand your Promotional Products

    Promotional products can have a lifespan that lasts for years – often decades. We’ve all seen everything from memory sticks to stress balls pads that feature a company that we may never heard about or, at least, are not currently doing business with. As such, it’s essential that everything is fully branded with your name, logo, tagline and contact information. You never know who will see it, and how it may influence them to choose you vs. the competition.

Ultimately, and above all else, keep in mind that today’s customers have more marketing savvy than ever before – regardless of whether they’re buying farm tractors or the latest ultra thin smart phones – and, like all customers, they want to be appreciated. If you choose the right promotional products and distribute them in the right way, you’ll fulfill that expectation, and set your business apart.

 

 

As a busy entrepreneur, running two businesses, and having a full life, I sometimes work till the wee hours of the morning, writing, planning, and listening to programs that my colleagues have presented. Kind of my own Continuing Education if you will.

This past Tuesday, I was in the zone and didn’t realize I had worked till 2 AM till I checked my kitchen clock. Late to bed and early to rise was the plan since I had a 9:30 AM appointment with a prospective client. A hockey advisor. The kind of man who invests time nurturing talented athletes across the country, and watches them grow and become NHL stars. Good thing I was meeting him at my favorite coffee shop (where I was also this past Monday for my Make Money Monday series).

Long story short.

I dropped a pen during the presentation, and looked down at my feet.

I was wearing two different shoes!

No one noticed but me. Both shoes were black – one with an open toe, the other a closed toe. LOL – the joke was on me.

What I love about this story is that it’s a great lesson that “if the shoe fits, wear it.” If you’re working at your optimum level, and making a great impression to a client, and know – deep down – that you are in your own zone of passion, truth, helping others and closing a sale – in your yoga pants, or mismatched shoes, does it really matter?

It’s your MESSAGE that counts. The MINDSET of Success. The power of all your MARKETING. Not the MIS-MATCH.

I’ve always believed that “variety is the spice of life”. Never thought it would include my shoes.

Thought this may make you smile.

Have a great weekend, and Happy Spring!

 

Expect the best from people, situations and plans, and watch your attitude, your results — even your life — change for the better.

Expecting positive outcomes puts you one step closer to manifesting what you truly desire. Why not give it a try? Day by day, expect the best and know that you can have it all.

After all, don’t you deserve it?

“The more you seek security, the less of it you have.
But the more you seek opportunity, the more likely it is that
you will achieve the security that you desire.”
Brian Tracy

Sometimes you’re just guided — to stop at a coffee shop and ask directions –to help a stranger in distress — to make plans with an elderly person who needs company — to get involved in a community organization and make a difference — to make a decision that will change your life. Life offers each of us endless possibilities. If you aren’t open to them, possibilities pass you right on by.

If you give yourself permission to be open to possibility — if you’re willing to stay open and stray from your ‘plans’ — you’re off to a great start. Add in being aligned — from head to heart — and I know for a fact , that amazing things can happen.

Opportunities abound. People show up just when we need their knowledge and wisdom. Life becomes different, without the usual struggle. With the right mindset and the knowledge that you truly do create your life, you can flip your internal switch at any time and propel yourself forward. I like to call it Manifesting on Demand®.  It’s not always instant, but it’s a process that works, and can be accelerated with practice.

Manifesting on Demand® means putting your desired outcomes ‘out there’. Think about what you really want and how it will make you feel. Put your dream down on paper… talk about it… hope for what you want and begin to expect it! When you’re in a good place mentally, emotionally, physically — feeling happy about realizing your dream — you are on your way. It may take time to get what you want, so place your ‘order’ today! Then, move forward with good intentions and a sense of gratitude that your dream is already being realized. It’s all about the feeling you have in the NOW and expectation that your dream is on its way — which it is! Positive thoughts and openness to possibility produce positive results. Find that positive, open place within yourself, then you are able to manifest the life of your dreams and it will be delivered.

This week, I’d like you to notice how open you are to possibility. Do you wake up dreading another day, or are you open to what the world has in store for you? Are you going to bed at night praying for rest from the madness, or are you creating the life you’ve always wanted? I’ve lived both ways and from my experience, the way to go is to be open to possibility, because there’s so much delight in the unexpected!

Live the life you deserve. Isn’t it about time?