Creating a blog is not only one of best examples of your owned media, it’s also a wonderful tool to showcase your expertise, get visibility, publicity and PR.  Bottom line, blogs help you get noticed, but you have to write and post on a consistent basis.

Robin’s Rainmakers has been a platform that has helped me increase online and offline credibility, reputation, speaking opportunities and form valuable partnerships, like the one I have with Constant Contact. I’ve also revved up my personal and professional brand. Blog all you like, but pull in traffic!

Here are 5 Ways to Pull Traffic to Your Blog

  • Use images. Take your own photos or create graphics on Canva.com. You can also use one of the hundreds of free online photo resources. Google free images and read sites like Entrepreneur.com for suggestions.  I like Gratisography.com because it’s fun. Pixabay.com is also a resource we use. See what’s here too at com/FreeBlogPhotos.
  • einstien-robinsamoraMake your images fun. Have you used Photofunia.com? You can put yourself and others in the picture. Here’s an example of a fun graphic I use in presentations. It gives me credibility and aligns me with experts.  Right?
  • Don’t forget Infographics. HubSpot has an amazing example of templates to create infographics.  Take your tips and create a visual that will be shared over and over again.  What’s to gain? Higher visibility and brand recognition.  It’s all about sharing and pinning. The Art of Engagement. Can you use any of these ideas from HubSpot? tinyurl.com/HubSpotTemplates
  • Make the most of your headlines with a title generator. Here’s a cool tool you can use to get ideas for headlines and articles. Some may be way out there – but use what looks good and think of this as an inspiration tank.  Co-Schedule also has a free headline analyzer, but start with this one first to get the swing of it. tinyurl.com/CoolTitleGenerator
  • Take advantage of YouTube. You know YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.  And, you probably know that you can create a welcome video and mention your blog, as well as link to blog posts from video descriptions.  Did you also know that you have 5000 characters to work with in the video description area? This isn’t the place to stuff keywords, but rather be strategic in your marketing and SEO efforts.

Of course there are other ways to pull traffic to your blog.  Guest blogging, podcasting, speaking gigs, book signings, Amazon Author Central, Good Reads, by-lined articles, networking, interviews and more.

“If you just keep moving forward, you’ll amaze yourself” – Anonymous

LinkedIn has so many opportunities to showcase your skills, expertise and talent. And, one of the most underutilized PR and marketing opportunities is publishing on LinkedIn Pulse. It’s a platform to write about your expert topic, repurpose your blogs and presentations and engage an eager audience who want to learn more. Posting on LinkedIn Pulse increases your credibility, reputation and ability for others to like, know and trust you, as well as share and comment on your work.

Publishing Articles on LinkedIn is Easy – Here’s How You Do It

  1. First, you need to have a LinkedIn account which can be as simple or complex as you want, but please make it key word rich and complete in all categories – highlighting your experience. Thumbs up to everyone who takes more than 30 minutes to create a compelling profile and posts a professional headshot. (A high resolution photo is always preferred for when you’re picked up by the media.)
  2. There are two ways to publish on LinkedIn Pulse, but the easiest is to post an article from your home page where you see “Publish A Post”. You’ll have an opportunity to write about your signature topic in depth, create a catchy headline, upload a recent image (or create your own graphic on Canva) and then post your The format is user-friendly and whether you know anything about WordPress or not, it should be a breeze. (this is the end)
  3. Consider writing at least two times a month, but weekly is even better. A longer article with about 500 – 750 words is preferred to provide valuable information and insight on your expert topic, and aim to pen at least five paragraphs. Remember, this isn’t a sales pitch. Publishing on LinkedIn is all about showcasing your knowledge.
  4. If you’re short on time, it’s possible to repurpose older blogs and change up the titles, intros and outros, but only if they’re not already posted on Pulse. You probably have a wealth of digital assets and information in your head, so plan to get it all on paper/online and create an editorial calendar to stay on target and for tracking success. Be sure to vary up the times and platforms posting your articles so there’s consistency but not duplication.
  5. Need Inspiration? Even the best writers get stuck for ideas. Feel free to check out topics that are trending on LinkedIn and Twitter, research BuzzSumo, refer to questions clients and prospects are asking, dive into Quora to see what others are inquiring about – and always be listening to what’s going on in your industry and what your target audience should know to stay ahead of the game.

One of my clients is having great success with LinkedIn Pulse. She blogs regularly and writes a weekly article about her expert topic. I love how she’s built her credibility and reputation from writing and engaging with her readers, as well as networking to the max. She’s taken what’s in her head, put it on paper and tweaked it multiple ways to reach a wide and growing target audience.  Always improving her analytics to match leads and sales, she pays attention to the various groups she’s a part of, listening then writing.

Now, if you’re wondering what days are best to post, recent research has shown that it’s typically Thursday and Sunday, but you should check with your own industry trends. Again, don’t send your blog and post your article the same day.  Mix it up to get the max.

Be strategic in your thinking, writing, and sharing.

You’ve worked hard to write outstanding content. Now promote it via LinkedIn Pulse and other social media platforms to reach your target audience, and turn prospects and customers into raving fans.

And the good thing is, it’s all free!

I admit it. I was seduced by this promotion. One of my favorite restaurants in Cambridge, Bergamot, partnered with Ford Motor Company for #EdgeNightOut.

Here’s the skinny on the promotion:

The offer was sent to Bergamot’s list and you (or all of your friends) had to act fast.  The ask was to take a spin around the block in the Ford Edge. The reward was a complimentary three course meal and beverage for you and a guest at Foodie Favorite, Bergamot.

You didn’t have to protect yourself with promotional armor. The Brand Ambassadors wore handsome jackets, shirt and ties and were GQish. This was a classic example of local event marketing gone right with the hopes of reaching an upscale crowd.

Ford targeted Bergamot, a chic urban restaurant near Inman Square and gave it a Hollywood feel. Stanchions for guests waiting in line. Spotlights to attract attention. A logo’d backdrop like at the Grammy’s®.  Plus, you were treated like royalty.

Ford bought Bergamot for the night and made their patrons very happy.

Drinks and dinner were – ummm,  yummamazing.

What great inspiration for a promotional partnership! It showed how responsive and loyal a list can be when presented with a coveted and limited availability opportunity, and for Ford, a steady stream of willing drivers to check out a pretty cool SUV, possibly unenchanted with the brand of the past.

So there you have it. Food, Ford and Fun.

What are you cookin’ up for your next promotion?

One of my colleagues has some food trucks that are awesome…

 

Ever since I was a kid, I always liked to talk. I wasn’t necessarily a Chatty Cathy, but I loved the opportunity to share my thoughts and sit at the grownups table to listen and give my two cents.  My parents encouraged table talk and it seemed natural, so eventually I went to school for Public Communication.

Fast forward quite a few years, and I still like to talk.

Only now, it’s lead to speaking– on stage, at workshops and to small groups who have interest in promoting themselves or their businesses.  I’ve had several opportunities to speak recently and each time I’m grateful, humbled, excited, nervous and experience a range of emotions – including getting choked up when I’m speaking my truth!

In preparing a speech or talk, the lion’s share of the work is done beforehand– researching your audience, connecting with insiders and choosing your stories and words carefully – to elicit an emotion, inspire a call to action or teach, without preaching.

Inspiration can come from many places and sometimes my inspiration comes from TED talks. You may know their tagline as ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’.

Below I’ll do my part today and ‘spread’ these ideas on design, marketing and branding.  Let me know what you think!

What physics taught me about marketing.

Design is in the details!

The greatest TED talk ever sold.

One last mention. Did you know there’s a TED talk app? I downloaded it to my phone so whenever I have 10 minutes or an hour to wait somewhere — I can choose a talk that inspires me at the moment and listen.

I call that Inspiration on Demand.

I’m so lucky to have a host of colleagues, spot coaches and friends who share amazing info, websites and tools to make my life easier. They help me save time and brainpower, and I’m grateful for all of their resources – so I can share with you!

Let me introduce you to Tweak Your Biz – Title Generator.

Faster than you can say ‘Give me 100 titles for a newsletter, blog or article’, you pull up the website, type in your key words, hit enter and Abbacadabra, you have a stream of ideas and titles to work with about any given subject.

>> I typed in Real Estate as an example. Here are a few of the titles that came up for me:

  • Apply These 8 Secret Techniques To Improve Real Estate
  • Believing These 8 Myths About Real Estate Keeps You From Growing
  • Don’t Waste Time! 8 Facts Until You Reach Your Real Estate
  • How 8 Things Will Change The Way You Approach Real Estate
  • Real Estate Awards: 8 Reasons Why They Don’t Work & What You Can Do About It
  • Real Estate Doesn’t Have To Be Hard. Read These 8 Tips
  • Real Estate Is Your Worst Enemy. 8 Ways To Defeat It
  • Real Estate On A Budget: 8 Tips From The Great Depression
  • Knowing These 8 Secrets Will Make Your Real Estate Look Amazing
  • Master The Art Of Real Estate With These 8 Tips
  • My Life, My Job, My Career: How 8 Simple Real Estate Helped Me Succeed
  • Take Advantage Of Real Estate – Read These 8 Tips
  • The Next 8 Things You Should Do For Real Estate Success
  • The Time Is Running Out! Think About These 8 Ways To Change Your Real Estate
  • The 8 Best Things About Real Estate
  • The 8 Biggest Real Estate Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid
  • The 8 Most Successful Real Estate Companies In Region
  • Think Your Real Estate Is Safe? 8 Ways You Can Lose It Today
  • Thinking About Real Estate? 8 Reasons Why It’s Time To Stop!

Click Here to View the Whole List

When you’re struggling with ideas on what to write about, or need some inspiration for a magazine article, newsletter, blog, white paper, webinar – or you name it – check out this new tool. Every title might not work but you can sift through the list to find out what works for you.

I love it!

More on things I love next week. It is Love month you know!

RSI TURN RAINIf it’s rained on your parade recently on some of your projects that were earmarked for success, it’s only natural to become dampened by the drizzle of what could have gone right, but just didn’t.

I’ve found through stormy times, that one of the secrets of success is turning a negative into a positive by an honest assessment of the situation, facing fears straight on, forging ahead and expecting good things to happen. The Art of Expecting in business, PR, marketing in Boston and all over the world for that matter, combines attitude, tuning and timing. Personal alchemy is optional.

Here are 3 Ways to Turn Rain into Rainmaking

1) Attitude: In life, love and business, the truth is: it is what it is. We can fool everyone but ourselves. The darkest days turn into the brightest tomorrows with a change of attitude, heart and mindset. When we change our attitudes, our results will be different. Don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself. You’ll have more success when you think you’ll make a sale, then if you don’t. And, your energy will show it. Give good aura.

2) Tuning: In and Out. What we allow in our heads has the most profound impact on what will be. Each one of us can tell a story of that in the making. A new client of mine believed his way to health from near death with scleroderma. He’s not only an inspiration to those who face adversity, but a poster child of belief. He tuned in to health, and tuned out the sickness. Magic, no. Magic Mindset, yes. Grateful, absolutely.

3) Timing: Time is a concept we create. Fast, slow, here, now, next year. What matters most is now. Or, as a friend of mine tells me, ‘now and 5 minutes from now’. If you could, what would you do now to tame the rain, and turn it into rainmaking? Regroup? Apologize? Reposition? Look at what’s best for your customer, not just you?

Seneca tells us that ‘luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity’. Perhaps rainmaking happens when you take that luck and ride the wave of desire.

YOUR TURN

What do you believe are the 3 key components of a successful rainmaker?

Is rainmaking, like charisma, a gift or a learned skill? If it’s a skill, how do you learn it?

How does the attitude of a rainmaker differ from that of a salesperson? What makes their dance so special?

[contentbox width=”650″ borderwidth=”1″ borderstyle=”solid” bordercolor=”000000″ dropshadow=”0″ backgroundcolor=”FCFCFC” radius=”0″]PR expert Robin Samora shared advice on how to create a PR map and generate buzz at the inaugural Women in the Pet Industry (WIPIN) on August 23-25 in Portland, Oregon. Joining Samora as her special guests were two extraordinary women who beat out a number of worthy candidates to win a scholarship to attend the event. [/contentbox]

Robin Samora, the principal and founder of Boston-based PR firm Robin Samora Inc., shared her experiences, insights and advice on how to create a PR map and generate buzz at the inaugural Women in the Pet Industry (WIPIN), which was held on August 23-25 in Portland, Oregon.

Samora’s talk, which took place on August 25 at noon, was delivered to an audience of women pet professionals, including renowned CEOs, award-winning entrepreneurs, product manufacturers, vets, sitters, groomers, trainers, artists, writers, boutique store owners and others. Coverage of Samora’s talk included:

  • understanding the real purpose of PR
  • why good PR matters today more than ever before
  • how to create a customized and practical PR visibility plan
  • little-known PR secrets that elevate – or undermine – the best laid plans and strategies
  • the right way to pitch news and how to build valuable relationships with the press

Samora was also tapped by WIPIN organizers to join a panel of PR and Marketing experts to field questions from audience members and provide advice and tips on how to position a business for greater visibility, how to make a positive difference in the pet industry, and more.

In addition, joining Samora at the WIPIN Conference as her special guests were two extraordinary women who beat out a number of worthy candidates to win a Robin Samora Inc.-sponsored scholarship to attend the event:

  • Kathy “Kat” Albrecht, a pet detective, author and trainer who was formerly a police officer, field training officer, police detective, and K9 trainer
  • Beth Larsen, the chief dog bed wrangler of Waggletops, which makes custom-fit covers for dog beds and shelters around the world

All candidates were required to submit an essay describing how they were making a positive difference in the pet industry today, and how they would leverage the scholarship to “pay it forward” in the future.

“I’m thrilled to have sponsored these female entrepreneurs who have a vision to help animals and make a difference,” commented Samora. “My late dog Lucy was my best friend, and also an inspiration. In Lucy’s memory, I’m honored to support these amazing women, and help them make a lasting, positive difference in the lives of pets and people in their communities.”

For additional 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 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

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.

If you’ve written articles and blogs, they can be a great resource for developing a podcast series. With minimum effort, you can bump up your content, record a script or thoughts on your smart phone, and upload to your website or other places where your recordings live. Today’s smart phones have above average recording capabilities and sound quality. Talk to the phone, not to the hand, and share your expertise to inform, teach and edu-tain others.

I submitted this story to a blog. It was published at http://blog.ziprecruiter.com/2012/05/11/mothers-day-mom-influenced-career  and I thought I would share it with you.

My Mom, passed almost three years ago, but she began her entrepreneurial career at the age of 22, and inspired me to live a freedom based life and to take advantage of opportunities, as they came up.

Before public kindergarten existed, she opened a private nursery and kindergarten north of Boston.  She was a recent college graduate (the only one of 7 siblings) and came from a first generation Greek Family, who resisted higher education, especially for women.

Sleeping three to a bed, and insisting on a better life, my Mom became a teacher.  With a year under her belt, in 1953, she opened up “Musical Nursery and Kindergarten” and catered to parents from better neighborhoods who could afford $15 dollars a week for a full time program. Loving the piano, she had a musical curriculum, made everyone play an instrument, and offered door to door pick up service for students.  I remember mapping out the route in our station wagon, Fridays as prize days, and the swings in the back yard of the school.

My Mom had her business for twenty years, and we enjoyed summers off, skiing vacations and trips to Filene’s Basement. She had no problem taking us out of school for an unexpected opportunity or travel, and from time to time, let us eat ice cream for dinner, because it was OK.

Perhaps an entrepreneur by default, with inspiration from my Dad, we knew no other life. Up, down, and everything in between; it’s the life of an entrepreneur.

It’s no surprise that I’ve followed in her footstep, and my Dad’s. And, I was inspired to raise my two daughters the same way with a love for freedom and the flexibility it affords.

I’m honoring my Mom, Aphrodite (who was indeed a Goddess of Love), with this story.

You would have loved her.

Happy Mother’s Day,

Robin

PS – Attention: Entrepreneurs who want to be noticed! Take advantage of a new service I’m offering as part of my Press without Stress program. Tell me what topics you’re interested in, and I’ll find press opportunities that are available from reporters worldwide. I’ll answer HARO Ads, and reporter’s requests, on your behalf, in your voice. Getting publicity is good for business.  It gets your name out there, boosts your income and helps you Stand Out In a Crowd!  Email me at Robin@LetsMakeYouShine or call (617) 921 – 3448 to find out the details of this affordable program. It’s working for me, so I’m offering it to you!