What’s the difference between being spontaneous and impromptu? Both are valuable skills when you’re at a conference – and especially shooting video.

Impromptu: Done without being planned, organized or rehearsed

Spontaneous: Having an open, natural and uninhibited manner

Sylvia Clare, Author of Trusting Your Intuition: Rediscover Your True Self to Achieve a Richer, More Rewarding Life says: “Being spontaneous is being able to respond with confidence; calmly trusting that, whatever the outcome, you will have a positive if challenging experience that will lead to greater self-awareness and success.”

I say, yup. I’m on board with that, especially if you’re trying to capture real time content at a conference and have an amazing videographer like Ellen Lacey from NewTV for only two hours!

It must have been my lucky day, because the booth in front of ours was empty. We didn’t have the nerve to take it over for the entire day, but we did manage to make it HQ for Robin’s Rainmakers videotaping.

The question to all attendees on the hot seat: What’s your biggest marketing challenge?

  • How can I get more engagement with my cause on a local level?
  • What do I have to do to grow my expert status as a scientist?
  • How do I become the go-to person at work?  (Hint: Candy works, but getting the job done rates higher)
  • What do I have to do to get my boss to notice me so I can get a raise?

The questions and answers were on the spot. Live on camera. I’ve never interviewed in this style before, but I liked that is was natural and almost the same as mentoring a client on the phone or in person. Ideas flow whether you catch them on paper in the middle of the night, in a conversation, get an intuitive hit or remember a fact or figure from years of study or experience. Being open to answers and trying new approaches is vital in video – being impromptu and spontaneous just like real engagement, live.

When you really think about it, what’s the big deal? You wave your hand in front of the camera when you make a mistake. You go with the flow. You have fun and stop being so serious.

Remember, we’re human and people are comfortable with like-minded souls who aren’t afraid of getting out there and learning from experts willing to share. Plus, when it comes down to it, we’re all really experts in training.

My hot seat advice as I write this? Let’s all learn from each other and have a good time doing it.

I haven’t met a smarty pants in years.

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.

All I have to do is look out my window and see a garden that is full of potential, without much help from yard workers. You see, left in its natural state, a flower will bloom without much encouragement as long as the environment is cooperative, and it’s not held back.

So are we, full of life and potential until we’re held back – by what we think are outside forces, but are actually inside forces – fear, doubt and worry. “I’m not good enough, smart enough, I don’t have the time to do it right, what will others think of me”, and on and on the list goes.

Today, we’re weeding early in the season so there will be nothing holding the flowers or you back from your beauty or greatness. Because in truth, we all are great and have unique gifts to share. No one flower is the same, and how boring would it be if every bouquet were the same!

I once took offense to being different, and carried on as a teenager when my BFF told me ‘when they made you, they threw away the mold.” I felt as if something were wrong with me, rather than celebrating my uniqueness. Now I know better so I can help others and share with you:

3 Ways to Blossom So You’re Awesome

1) IDGAF – It’s an acronym for ‘I don’t give a &^%&’. One of my dearest mentors taught me this, and although I was a little shocked hearing it come out of his mouth, I got it. What I find more interesting is that far wiser people than me have coined it, IDGAF, which tells me that they have the courage to be themselves and live their truth. When you live someone else’s truth, you forget who you are. IDGAF has color and personality and can be expressed appropriately in multiple ways in your personal and business life – kindly, boldly, passionately and quietly. When it pops up, take notice then decide how to communicate. Use IDGAF as a meter.

2) It’s wonderful that you’re blessed, but are you a blessing? I heard this on the radio as I woke up this morning. Somewhat groggy, I tuned in a little more closely. It’s fantastic that the world has given you so much and you are grateful. The question is, are you sharing that (your gift) not only in your work, but in your everyday life? Start the habit and watch not only your personal work blossom, but your career too. Don’t be surprised when opportunities seem to come to you more readily. Remember how the floodgates open.

3) Use your gut. We are so conditioned to use our head to make big decisions that we don’t listen to our intuition, one of the most guiding indicators of if we’re on track or not. My thought is that when we check in with what’s right, we’ll never go wrong. Perhaps it’s that I’ve lived a full life, had my share of ups and downs and can see things more clearly. When I reflect upon those tumultuous times when I didn’t use my gut, things didn’t turn out so well. We wait, when sometimes we should run. Listen to your inner music.

Blossoming will happen when you marry your inner most with your outer most. Your intentions with your desires. It’s a natural expression of who you are and a DNA-able blend of your greatness. If you like yourself, fantastic. If you love yourself, even better. Loving yourself is the first step in having others love you!

In business, PR, marketing, sales or any field where you share your thoughts, ideas and strategy, it’s the blossoming of your personal brand – who you are, your message, and clarity. Are you vibrant and growing, or is your season done?

Everyone wants to work with someone awesome – why wouldn’t it be you?

YOUR TURN

If ‘IDGAF’ had a color, what would yours be?

Do you prefer random acts of kindness, or are you strategic in your blessings?

My gut has saved my life. Has yours? Do tell!

RSI RainsApril showers bring May flowers — in your yard and sometimes in your business. Showers come unexpectedly and rain dampens the best intentions of a well thought out plan. What’s a small business owner, expert or marketer to do when it rains, or worse downpours on all your hard work?

Plan(t)!

PPrepare for the worst and expect the best. I once had a boss who insisted we bring 40 bricks to an event in case the wind was blowing and we needed to secure sponsor table skirts. It seemed over the top at the time, but the lesson was learned and we saved them for a ‘rainy day’. I know they’ll come in handy for that yellow brick road…

L Listen to your intuition. More than a handful of times, I’ve been swayed to make a decision to ‘save the day’, but the decision was based on someone else’s vision of what the outcome should be. If you’re ‘saving your day’, make your decision based on your inner guidance. Czech in (I’m in Prague, couldn’t resist), be open and surrender to what reveals itself next.

AAsk a mentor. Many of us have been blessed with a mentor, or a group of colleagues that we trust. If you’re in a pickle, and it’s not so sweet, be brave, be vulnerable and ask for help. There’s a certain calm that comes with asking and temporarily stopping the swirl. The answer may not be what you want to hear, but it may be what you need to know.

NNever forget that today too shall pass. When the bottom is falling out, keep the pieces together by staying in focus, working off a list and remembering that in less than 18 hours, you can go to bed and tomorrow will be a new day. A new day and a new dawn, coupled with some sleep, recharge even the weariest souls.

TThink about your role in this snafu. Do you believe that in some way we’re creatures of our own cause and effect? There’s a great lesson to be learned when we reflect upon our own behavior and how it impacts our personal and business bottom line. We typically attract what happens to us and in some of the most bizarre ways, it serves us and mirrors our beliefs.

Rainy days are inevitable, as are storms – in life and in business. It’s your strategy for weathering the storm that makes the difference, and whether you bring your boots on the journey.

YOUR TURN

If it rains on your business for what seems like 10 days, how do you not get soaked?

Are you a believer in ‘if it rains it pours?’ If so, what have you learned from the downpour?

What shift is necessary to turn a downpour into a flood of opportunity?

Please share your answers below.

Have the courage to follow
your heart and your own intuition.

Today’s Words of Wisdom comes from Paul Martinelli’s daily quote. I resonate with it because it challenges some of the thinking we were brought up with. Did any of you hear the words, “Use your head!” when you were growing up?

I’ve used my head, I’ve used my heart, and I’ve used both. Truthfully, when I use my heart, I’m happiest – even if I’m not feeling courageous at the moment .

Your gut reaction is a non-verbal signal to take the time to listen.

If you’re quiet enough, there’s a message. Perhaps even a symphony — of ideas, possibility and solutions presented without an editor’s mark.

No red pencil allowed.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how good is good enough, and where you’re willing to draw the line to have the life or business you really want. Is it about having vision, intuition, or skill? Or could it be the courage and leap of faith to make a drastic cut to make room for what‘s coming? You can only decide what’s important and meaningful for what you truly want, and where you want to go. Not something that’s just OK. For now. Until something better comes along or in the meantime.

Do you ever get a feeling in the pit of your stomach when something’s not right – and you know it, but silently sigh and then catch yourself sighing? It’s interesting to stop and listen to what you say to innermost self, quietly when no one can hear. It’s amazing how we justify answers to questions that are tough, and sometimes teeter on the edge because there are positives in every situation or relationship – business or otherwise. The answers you’ll hear are not always true, but they can be safe. They protect you from harm in some way, and make the road easier to travel, and often, tolerable.

Is good enough, good enough? Depends on what’s important to you, and what you think you deserve.

It’s a Universal Law that nature abhors a vacuum, and where there is a void (and a desire) it must be filled.

Making the decision to make space can be terrifying.

Just as you can’t jam new clothes in a stuffed closet, you can’t bring someone new into your life if you’re busy every night of the week. Or, add new exciting clients to your roster, if you’ve got a handful of yucky ones who drain your time and energy.

For just a minute today, think about what you are settling with in your life. The future of your business? Getting rid of a toxic situation that you are so done with? Plans for bringing your company to a new level?

You know what’s important, and ultimately know where you want to go.

It’s powerful to make choices to change.

“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room,
drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.
Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk
through the rooms of our lives…
not looking for flaws, but for potential.”
~ Ellen Goodman

I love this quote by Ellen Goodman because it stirs up unfinished feelings and thoughts in all of us. Longing, ideas, and “I should, but I’m too busy. I can’t , because I don’t know how. I’d like to, but how can I manage something like that?”

It’s amazing that most of us use only 10% of our potential. Where is the rest? Hidden in our fear? Dormant in our dreams? Buried in a “to do list” that doesn’t really even matter? After years of listening to clients, I’m convinced people know (some of ) their potential but it’s too much trouble to uncover the brilliance of their own true light. Decisions have to be made, changes need to occur, relationships may be affected, and most importantly — it’s uncomfortable to address our innermost desires, and then make a plan and stick to it, to make our dreams come true.

As we start the New Year, and you make plans for 2011, I’d like to ask you three simple questions:

  • Where are you now?
  • Where do you want to be?
  • What does your perfect life look like?

When answering these questions, be open for what comes up for you. Journal if you like. Chew on it a bit. No judgment. Be brutally honest with yourself and look at your life –every part of it. Then ask, “how is this serving me?” You’ll be surprised that sometimes the answer is “not so well”. Listen to your intuition. Part two of the question requires further thought. “And, what are you going to do about it?” If the answer is “nothing”, or a “hmmmmm” then it could be you aren’t willing to risk living at your fullest potential, for whatever reason (or excuse), and sometimes that’s OK for where you are in your life. I’ll be perfectly clear. Risk is involved if you want to change. That’s just part of the process.

Here’s the good news. We all have greatness. We all deserve to live in the light and share our gifts. If you are aligned with your true purpose then you are living in some way to serve – not always through your day job, but through your daily life. It all starts with a decision. To be more, to do more, to live more, to have a more amazing life, which in turn will help someone else along their path. It’s funny, one small gesture, or kind word, or phone call can be the catalyst toward making someone’s day a bit brighter – or can be a lifesaving comment to change how they look at the world. I’ve been witness to it many times, and it is humbling.

Your words and your actions are all dots that connect to a much bigger picture. When you aren’t being your glorious self, and living to your maximum potential, you’re not only doing yourself a disservice, but also not being who you were meant to be. You know those “tingles” you get? That’s your connection to what’s really happening in life. Follow those tingles, and your intuition, and take a real look at who you are now, and peek into the future of who you were meant to be. I can assure you, that you are way cooler than you ever thought you could be, and here to make an enormous difference in this world. I’m tingling as I write this now.

Happy New Year!