I’ve had the pleasure of working with several clients who are accomplished in their fields, but less sophisticated about social media and PR – and how to promote their brands in the digital marketing world. I’m working with four experts right now, in completely different industries and my mission is to take them from more of an offline world to an online world – and combine the two for maximum exposure, credibility and revenue generating opportunities.

Here are 5 Tips to Make the Transition from Offline to Digital Marketing Easier

  1. Be grateful for and take advantage of the wide network of supporters you’ve had in the past. If you’ve been helpful to them, chances are they’ll be helpful to you. What do you need to get you to the next step? An introduction?  Referral? Recommendation? 15 minutes to discuss an idea? “Don’t ask, don’t get.”
  2. Don’t be someone you’re not. Sometimes when we’re afraid, we pretend to be more advanced than we are – to not feel stupid or left out.  Experience has taught me that it’s better to be transparent and in learning mode, then to find yourself out of integrity and not on brand with your core values. You won’t get far spotted as a phony. Just be you.
  3. It’s ok to not know everything.  Give yourself permission to accept where you are and decide where you want to go. If you think it’s boring to hang around a know-it-all, it’s far worse to be a pretend one! I’m not a rocket scientist and I have no intention to learn about the Theory of Aerospace Propulsion.  I am more inclined to learn about PR secrets to get what you want, help others share their gifts and live a freedom based life traveling, teaching and speaking around the world. Note: We are all experts in training – the point is to learn how to share your expertise to a digitally “with it” market of your ideal clients.
  4. Pick one social media platform you like (and will use) and perfect it. I’m lucky that my clients like to write, have a voice and tone to their brand and can express their knowledge fluently.  They’re also willing to “write to be heard.” Though each client is different, they can all benefit from email marketing, blogging, LinkedIn Pulse or Facebook – depending on where their target market is and how they like to engage.
  5. Find someone you like, know and trust who will help you get where you want to go. They don’t need to be your best friend, they should be your advisor. Be sure that they listen, understand what you’re looking for and outline a path. They can’t tell you how it will be done, step by step.  It’s never one thing anyway, it’s always a combination. Sometimes it involves tweaking a website, creating expert reports, speaking to a niche market, teaching advanced classes, launching a JV, getting scholarship clients for testimonials, being interviewed, writing a book for credibility.  These tactics are just a few of the possible hundred to take you from an offline brand to an online brand.

“Oh, the things you can find, if you don’t stay behind.” – Dr. Seuss

PR, Promotions and Publicity aren’t a one size fit all strategy to get you noticed.  And, that’s a good thing.  Variety is the spice of life! In creating a PR roadmap, you want to customize the outreach experience and connect the dots from where a client is now – to where they want to go to be seen, heard and remembered. So the road less traveled is not the journey of choice!

For a handful of our Fortune 500 corporate clients, Partner Promotions is the go-to source for Brand Ambassador work in Boston. Companies like Comcast and CBS hire our marketing teams to promote their brands and actively engage with prospects and customers — to showcase new services, demonstrate products and turn loyal followers into raving fans.

After 15 years of hiring Brand Ambassadors, I’ve concluded that for me, hiring is primarily intuition based. Is the Brand Ambassador believable or not? Do I trust him/her? Would I give them the keys to my car? Eye contact is important too, or lack thereof, and I can’t discount appearance.  If my gut tells me to move forward, I almost always do, followed by a reference check (gut usually wins).

So, how does an eager and responsible college student or professional of any age — who wants to make extra cash get into the Brand Ambassador business?

Here’s An Insider’s Look – How to Get a Brand Ambassador Job at Any Age  

  1. Google Brand Ambassador companies in your area and check Facebook Groups or Craig’s List for event/gig postings; Better yet, make a connection with other Brand Ambassadors and get WOM (word of mouth) referrals.  They’re worth their weight in gold.
  2. Apply online with a headshot and resume. If you don’t have a headshot, use an attractive and recent photo of yourself — with no arms or plants sticking out of your head. Please don’t be half naked unless you’re looking for a swimsuit model job. No experience? Highlight your sales, marketing and customer service skills.
  3. Score an interview by writing a clear, concise and friendly email. Use proper English and provide contact information. This is not the time to be lazy or sloppy in your writing or coy in your contact details. Impressions count to those reading your email and hundreds of others. Trust me. Delete is an easy key to reach.
  4. Meet in person ASAP.  Be early, well dressed and groomed. Bonus points for confirming your appointment by email and text. Remember to mention a personal referral if you have one and highlight that connection. You really could earn thousands of dollars from this one meeting.  Make it count!
  5. You are unique so accentuate the positive. Have an awesome smile? Flaunt it! But, you’re not on stage giving a one person show. Be mindful that if you’re hired, you’re representing not only the client who considers you a reflection of their brand — but the Brand Ambassador company too. It’s OK to stand out, but not like a sore thumb.
  6. Highlight your experience and own it. Why would a company want to pay you double minimum wage or more?  Not sure? Make a list. You’re outgoing, friendly, worked in sales and marketing, love people, sold credit card upgrades – plus you’re flexible. State the facts, show your resume, hold eye contact and be genuine. You can be sincere and still own your power.
  7. Don’t force a square peg in a round hole.  If there’s not a connection with the hiring manager or if you don’t like the brand, let it go. There are better opportunities out there. Follow your gut to see if the fit is right. If integrity is one of your core values, honor it. You’ll be a lousy Brand Ambassador if you’re not all in.
  8. When you’re hired, give thanks. Thank your hiring manager with an email. Read the study guides or marketing materials more than once. Follow directions. Check in frequently to show you’re interested, but not needy. Get more experience, rinse and repeat.
  9. Build a referral network so you can take a team with you. Want to make life easier for a hiring manager? Bring an established team with you to your next assignment. You’ll save your boss time and aggravation, plus be a shining star. There’s also negotiating power here as a manager, which is paid at a higher rate.
  10. Keep business business and personal personal. Don’t overlap the two. News travels fast and not always to the right places.

Side note: My kids, their friends, friends of friends, strangers and people from every walk of life have helped with the many clients and Brand Ambassador positions we’ve had over the last 20 years and counting. PR, Promotions and marketing isn’t just for entrepreneurs and small business owners – it’s for anyone with a message to share.

Share a message in your voice. That’s what makes it authentic.

RSI-EatPRLoveThis month, I’m dedicating all of my blogs to love – not that I don’t pay special attention to it year round, but showing love to those you care for has the power to change the energy within and around you, and transform your life.

Love also has the uncanny ability to make you feel more attractive, bolder and have a stronger sense of self and confidence – all of which are important in the mindset of PR and branding. Blame it on your hormones, the butterflies in your stomach, or just being happy — love works to accentuate the positive.

5 Ways that PR and Love Make a Perfect Couple

  1.  It’s so much easier to talk about, promote, and share thoughts on something or someone you love. Granted, there are a million kinds of love – and they’re not all following in the footsteps of Romeo and Juliet. There’s love of an idea, a service and even love of an underdog, who’s finally being recognized. ‘Like’ can be bumped up to love, when you make the decision to love.  When love meets PR and makes a commitment, anything is possible.
  2. If you’re an expert or entrepreneur and marry PR with love, you’re positioning yourself for success in the most authentic and transparent way. Like love, PR is about sharing someone’s ‘best’ – whether it be their qualities, features and/or services.  Love has a magic all of its own – and positive PR is always welcome on stage.
  3. Love, like PR, requires time to deepen relationships. Rarely does a one-night stand turn into a long term love affair, though it can be steamy for sure! With PR we want to build relationships for better understanding and to foster communication. Just as when we fall in love, we want to like, know and trust the other person. The same holds true with a brand. Ten years from now, we’d like to still be in love — and still be holding hands.
  4. PR is about the Art of Engagement with a variety of audiences, day after day, and year after year.  Engaging our partners in the workplace with integrity, kindness and respect is equally as important with our loved ones. If you engage others with loving kindness, do you believe you’ll receive it in return?
  5. And lastly, when you make love a part of your life, it will become a natural expression of who you are. Every day that you use PR as a positive light and part of your business strategy – even in a small way – you can highlight your expertise, share your story, be part of a community who needs you, and up-level your personal or business brand ping by ping, tweet by tweet and post by post – to make this a better world.

You see love and PR have a lot more in common than you may have ever had thought. When you put love out there – or PR for that matter—the rewards can be overwhelming.

YOUR TURN:

“When love meets PR and makes a commitment, anything is possible.” What would you like to be possible?

If you could bump up a ‘like’ to a ‘love’ in one area of your life, what would it be?

How do you include love as part of your daily life, and how do you carry it over into the business world to share?

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.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the MED (Minority Enterprise Development) Day in Boston, learning more about the benefits of being a WBE (Women’s Business Enterprise) in the state of Massachusetts. I was thrilled to be certified to develop coaching and branding strategies, and find additional ways to grow my business!

At the convention, I met a radio producer who interviewed me about a year ago. His show was called Radio Entrepreneurs, and we talked about setting up a time to discuss Let’s Make You Shine.

Knowing I would be on-air as soon as next week, I revised a list of Radio Interview Do’s and Don’ts that may be useful for your own media training:

Easy Guidelines for Creating A Powerful Radio Interview

  • A picture is worth a thousand words, but your listener can’t “see”. Speak in terms of vibrant images and make sure to use details. Think of ways to describe what you’re talking about so your audience can “see” for themselves.
  • Start with a bang! Talk about something you find interesting, so your listeners will too! Don’t build your talk brick by brick, start strong. Making a positive impression straight from the gate can be a deciding factor in whether the listener tunes in, or out. You want them tuned in and tuned on!
  • Don’t fib. Today’s audience can tell when you aren’t being authentic. A sensitive subject? Learn to sway gracefully, but still hold integrity.
  • Please don’t bore your audience to death. Stand up when you talk – put your game face on and enjoy your time on stage as an expert. If you’re sleep talking, they’ll be walking. They snooze, you lose.
  • Have an important conflict and afraid reschedule? Think twice. If you’re feeling OFF, you’ll most likely come across that way. Better to be 100% IN than 60% OFF. Be media ready.
  • Do some R & D on the station where you’ll be featured. What’s the format? The host’s style? Make it a point to know the culture of the station as best as possible, before your interview.
  • Put yourself in the listener’s shoes. What makes you an expert? What’s happened in your life that can be used as example? What challenges have you overcome and what can you teach others? What’s your story and why would someone want to listen? Be memorable.
  • Don’t be intimidated by the radio host; in truth, they’re just like you and me, with a different job. Not crazy about a question they ask? Learn about the Art of Transition in Radio, and how to get from one sensitive subject to the next without being rude or self-centered. (Interested? Email me for a few subject transition tips).

And finally, be yourself when you’re on air. That’s all you are, have been and ever will be. If you’re an entrepreneur or professional looking to get more visibility and the media knocks on your door (or you boldy seek it xo), be prepared. Go for it. Chances are you’ve got everything to gain, and not a darn thing to lose.

Don’t be afraid to break the ‘rules’. Who made them anyway? Why can’t you eat dessert first? Why can’t you have a babysitter and work from home? Why can’t you have multiple sources of income, and not a 9 – 5 job? Thankfully, each of us is different and has a unique life purpose. Break the rules, if it’s in integrity with who you are.

Click Here to Read the complete article: 63 Things Entrepreneurs Wish They Knew at Age 21

I’​m finding that with the current economic marketplace, I advise small business owners to give lots of added value.

Instead of discounting programs, I suggest that they add to an established program. That often makes a difference;​ i.e., a half day session included with a six month program, for business coaching for example.

There are many vendors that may offer your service, but you have to personalize your products to their needs (not yours) without giving up integrity, or doing it for free.

By adding a little extra, of their perceived value, you’​ll turn a prospect into a customer.

Sometimes you’re unaware of the gifts you’ve been given, or the potential of who you are to become (but don’t know that yet) and the possibilities of an eye, other than your own, to notice greatness busting at the seam.

I’m up in Maine for my last few days of skiing this season, and had the pleasure of meeting a new friend, Eric, who is one of the most compassionate and humble men I have ever met.

Eric has devoted most of his adult life to working with children in private school and also has a passion for sports. Currently, he is a professional umpire for baseball, soccer and basketball – and particularly loves “umping” the middle age school group. “They’re open, eager, and willing to listen”, he told me, and I believe they bring him great joy.

Last night, Eric told me stories that would warm anyone’s heart about his love of sports, but also stories about kids “on the field” and his involvement in their lives during his umpiring career.

While we relaxed, we talked about his life, and possible next steps for his life in transition. I asked if he liked to write. “I don’t”, he said. “That’s not the question”, I commented. “Do you like to write?” “I like it very much,” was his final answer, “but, it’s been years.”

What followed next between a humble umpire and a new friend/professional coach was an energetic connection of possibility and reaffirmation of potential using the gifts, experience, talent and blessings of a wonderful man, with a heart and message that would make an impact to children and parents across the globe. Teaching moments told from the point of a friend, umpire, observer and life expert.

I suggested that Eric may want to write a book for the children he loved. He was already a Dad with two grown boys. But, it was clear – totally clear to me –  that this man had something to say about his passion of sports which was his “passion,” but also about integrity, follow through, intention and The Golden Rule. Perhaps he could write about how the “game on the field” interacts, and is ruled by the “inner game.”

Eric gave me a big hug when he finished our talk. His life right now is isn’t the way he imagined it to be, but we often limit our imagination by “staying in the in-field”, because it’s where we need to be at the time, or we’re there because life has somehow chipped away at our dreams.

My advice to Eric? What about your Field of Dreams? Hit it out of the park, my friend.

You’ve got a best seller in the dugout, but – only you can dig it out.

I’d like to stand as a witness and mentor for his growth, and yours.

Love this, from T. Harv Eker from Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

To get rich and stay rich, develop the following characteristics:

A positive attitude, integrity, trustworthiness, courage, persistence, a hardworking mentality, high energy… and be an expert in at least one area.

Celebrate your worthiness, and the coming of Spring!