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!

Happy New Year!

If you’re like me, you’re back at work thinking bigger and bolder, looking ahead to a New Year filled with opportunity and promise. And, staying on top of everything, right? Who doesn’t want to be on top of their game?  Truth is, it’s never easy with so much information out there!  I’d like to help with that and share three articles about changes (and updates) happening as of January 1, 2015 about marketing and how it might affect your outreach.

The first platform we’ll look at is Facebook. In a nutshell, Facebook has always been about sharing the best content at the most optimum time to the most targeted audience. None of that has changed. But, Facebook has updated some of their Terms of Service.  Here’s an article that spells it out best from Andrea Vahl for Social Media Examiner; “New Facebook Terms: What Marketers Need to Know.” It’s the best article I’ve read so far explaining how to understand the terms and why it’s important.

Next up, Pinterest. If you’re an active Pinterest marketer, take note. Pinterest released a new feature in December allowing you to move groups of pins from one board to another. This feature works for web only, and isn’t available on mobile. Moving large number of pins comes in handy as your boards get overcrowded or if you’ve decided to dedicate a new board to a previous subcategory. Online marketers have welcomed this feature with open arms to clean up their boards.  You can read about it here ‘A new way to edit pins on the web’ via the Pinterest blog.

The last platform we’ll talk about is Twitter. Back in November, Twitter announced their 2015 plans and changes. Here’s a glimpse of their updates:

“We’re experimenting with better ways to give you what you come to Twitter for, a snapshot of what’s happening. We can use information like who you follow and what you engage with to surface highlights of what you missed and show those to you as soon as you log back in or come back to the app.”

Twitter is also working on ideas such as an instant, personalized timeline for new users who don’t have the time to cultivate one on their own, and updates to make a public conversation private.

A good marketer stays informed about changes to the platforms they’re using.

A great marketer implements them.
Cheers to 2015!

Dear New Year, Bring it On!

I’m always excited about possibility and my senses are keenly aware of the expansion that’s forthcoming in 2015.  Not just for me and my business, but for my friends and family, and fellowpreneurs I don’t even know yet.

Every year I like to look at highlights of my life in a visual timetable. I’ve borrowed this concept from one of my speech coaches because I’m nervous of forgetting important topics on stage.  We’re not presenting (except to ourselves) so I love this exercise to identify life events and business accomplishments.

Here’s a portion of my timeline for 2014 – want to draw one for yourself?

(Click to View Larger)

(Click to View Larger)

January – Lived in a ski house, seaside furnished apartment and Puerto Rico.

February – Worked from the slopes. Triple time on weekends.

March – Moved in to my farmhouse – I love it! A bittersweet time in my life.

April – Traveled to Prague and Budapest. Got pampered. Really fell in love.

May – Grateful for 3 new clients and writing projects.

June – Wonderful recruiting project.

July – Finished my first children’s book. Family time. Working at the island and Rye Beach.

August – Super busy with client work.

September – Woo Hoo!  The team is cranking! Speaking gigs, articles and panels.

October – Expo talk, trips to NY, birthday love, VIP days.

November – Hiring to fill positions – VIP days.

December – Big expansion plans  Great referrals Family time  Holiday surprises.

Late December – Booking new work, webinars and FUN for 2015!

Remember, you can add whatever events or accomplishments you like to your own timetable.  They can be words or images. Simple or complicated. Pictures or photos. If you create a digital version, it can have links or music or…

In reality, this is a visual map you’ve created for yourself, much like a PR or Promotions Business Building Map we create with clients (with your goals in mind)!

It’s no surprise that I love to schedule my life around my business and am blessed with a talented team to help me get there. I’ve never been a 9 to 5 er, but I can work like the dickens!

When you buy your new calendar, fill in your vacations first, even if it’s just an idea. Then plan your work around it. Writing your dreams on paper is the first step toward making it happen. Then, keep writing.  

Wishing You Happiness, Health and Prosperity in 2015.

PS –Thoughts really can turn into reality. And, it’s all possible. Share your big hopes for 2015 below.

Happy Tuesday!

This is one of those weeks of the year where you’re half in, mostly out – and hopefully spending time with those you care about, and those who care about you. I know I am! And, I feel blessed to have friends, family and a community who have a special place in my heart.

This will be the last Robin’s Rainmakers for 2014! Can you believe this year is almost over? I can’t help but feel that we all probably have one leg in the old, one leg in the New Year. This Robin’s Rainmakers will reflect that feeling with one article that looks ahead to 2015, one article to hopefully inspire you to work on your website as it did for me and one article to help you prepare for things when they’re not so great (aka, a crisis of some sort perhaps an opportunity in disguise).

First up, the article 7 Public Relations Trends To Watch in 2015 by Brian Greene for PRNews, highlights seven trends to watch. You and I both know ‘predicting’ anything is just that – predicting – yet it might help you focus in the first few months of 2015. I especially like the ‘real-time marketing’ and ‘more visual content’ (keep a look out for my videos)!

If you’re going to do anything work related this winter break (if you’re so lucky to get one), read this article 6 ‘About Us’ Pages That Are Probably Better Than Yours by Sonja Jacob for HubSpot and evaluate your own ‘About Me’ page. This might be a great time to get a fresh new page up on your site to start 2015 of with a bang. I love the ideas in this piece and love to be inspired!

Last but not least, Fight or Flight: Responding to a PR Crisis by Stacey Hood for SpinSucks discusses how to respond (because you can’t – or shouldn’t ignore an online crisis) in a negative PR situation. Use the lessons here to build a social policy and as my Dad always told me, “Robin, make lemonade out of those lemons”.

I hope you’ll be enjoying your holidays with family and friends. I wish you magical days, rest and relaxation, and of course a Happy New Year!

The holiday season is upon us, really upon us, and if you own a business, you’ve been strategizing and planning your marketing since, say August, right?
If that just shocked you, have no fear. There are plenty of (last minute) marketing techniques and tactics you can apply to have a rockin’ holiday season. It’s never too late!

I’ve rounded up several articles about holiday marketing and all of the articles include easy-to-implement ideas and tactics you can use to move your business forward this season, all the way into the New Year!

Check out Mandy Edwards article ‘Blending social media marketing with your traditional marketing this holiday season’.  She touches on four important points, one stating you should reserve some of your best content and information (and pricing) for your exclusive social community. Pretty smart!

Rapid Advance came out with a great infographic I’d like you to see called ‘Wrapping Up Your Holiday Marketing Plans’ It gives a great timeline overview for you to double check to make sure you’ve got everything covered! See it by clicking here.

Next up is an excellent piece by Constant Contact. They give us 30 creative holiday email marketing examples! What’s not to love about that since we all know email marketing is a vey effective tool in your marketing toolbox. Click here to get the 30 new ideas and to get excited about your holiday email marketing!

Last but not least, and I truly believe this — the holidays are a great time to have F-U-N! What’s more fun than a contest? How about a photo contest?! Here’s a piece from Facebook that gives us 20 holiday photo contest ideas anyone can run!

As always, I’d love to know how I can help and support you or your campaigns this holiday season. If you need a boost in promoting your special or another set of eyes in strategizing for the New Year, just give me a call!

It seems like ages since I last wrote to you though it hasn’t been.  I’ve been tucked away in my farmhouse thinking about the New Year and spending lots of quiet time to look at my PRiorities for my business and life with 2015 just seven weeks away. Every year I feel this way, with the start of the holiday bustle and plans for ‘what are you doing for Thanksgiving?’ With my PRomotions work and contracts with retail giants, I see it even more as we gear up for an aggressive 4th quarter of PRofitable PRomotions.  It’s a mindset of wrapping up the year in a strong way, and starting the New Year even stronger.

Let’s look at PRiorities, PRofit and PRomotion: (And Bring It On)

  • As we look at the year in review, it’s always interesting to see where our dollars are coming in from. Are you surprised in any way and are the sources different from what you expected?
  • Are you willing to look at those PRofit centers and develop them even further with PR and PRomotion? I’ve had more than one opportunity to have an Ah ha moment and see untapped possibilities, but it was difficult to see on my own. I’ve always been open to receive guidance and help, and suggest you may consider the same before 2015.
  • When you look at what’s important in your life – the PRiorities – and match it with how you want your PRofits to look, then the time comes for a plan.

One of my favorite ways to spend time with a client is to work with them for a VIP day focusing on the next 90 days to get a clear and concise plan on what they really and truly want their business and life to look like, and then PRomote the heck out of that!

What’s your PRiority, PRofit and PRomotion plan for 2015?

Now is the time to take your best shot for your best life, your best business and plan for one best day after another. You can spin your wheels like a hamster or make a roadmap for where you want to go to be seen, heard or remembered.  The choice is up to you.

Me? I’m reviewing, refining and then redefining what’s best for me, and using my best talents to help others do the same.

PR and Promotion don’t have to be perfect across the board.  They just have to be perfect for you.

Let’s talk shop! With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s time to buckle down the hatches and be ready for increased web traffic, increased sales and a positive start to 2015. And all of that starts with your online presence!

The first article I’d like to share is More Than Keywords: 7 Concepts of Advanced On-Page SEO by Cyrus Shepard for the Moz.com blog.

“As marketers, helping search engines answer that basic question is one of our most important tasks. Search engines can’t read pages like humans can, so we incorporate structure and clues as to what our content means. This helps provide the relevance element of search engine optimization that matches queries to useful results…”

Next up, A Google Analytics Setup Checklist is a great read to better metrics and insights about your web traffic. Brian Massey writes a solid column on the behavioral database that we call “Analytics” that’s generally only used by clients for basic reporting: sessions, visitors, revenue and conversions. Yet, there are so many other insights to be gleaned…”

To work on your social sites, I’d recommend you implement  The 15 Minute Social Media Audit Everyone Can Do by Kevan Lee for the Buffer App blog. It’s so easy to update your image, keywords and marketing message. Giving it all a fresh look right around the holidays and the New Year is a great way to make a great impression! Remember we want to Be Seen in 2015!

Whether you do the work behind the scenes yourself, or you have a team of assistants helping you, it’s important to have the technical aspects of your website in place so you can monitor your promotional efforts and tweak for peak results.

Hope you enjoy these articles, and please feel free to share using the buttons below.

In a world with over 7 billion people and an internet that never sleeps, I’m guessing there must be at least a million experts who can comment with some authority on ways to increase visibility and offer positioning advice for success.

There is no one formula that works, and every entrepreneur, professional or business owner has to create their own promotional mix that they can commit to, to get the results they are looking for.

The bottom line in both cases is:

If you don’t create a visibility or promotions plan, and ‘work it’ to get your brand, products or services out there, chances are that you won’t build the recognition, leadership position,  or ‘buzz’ that you’re looking for to increase your rates, expert status, or income.  

Here are 5 Ways to Increase Your Visibility in 2014

1.       Choose 3 – 5 Vehicles as the Keys to your Promotion Strategy

Whether you choose Google +, your blog, LinkedIn, video marketing, Twitter, Pinterest, industry-specific websites, or any other vehicles, pick 3-5 and make them the centerpieces of your promotion strategy over the next year. Remember to populate them with engaging and original content that is first and foremost relevant to your target audience. Give them a reason to like, trust, respect, and ultimately, partner with and/or refer you.

2.       Deliver Workshops and Lectures

Don’t worry about not being paid – you’ll be paid a hundred times over with new business opportunities that may come immediately afterwards, or weeks, months or even years after. Just be sure that whatever your share is congruent with your brand, adds value, solves a problem and offers solutions. And if you’re one of the millions of people who dread public speaking, this is the perfect opportunity to face that fear and finally conquer it!

3.       Showcase Your Brand

Make it a point to put your name and website url not just on your business card, but on all collateral material – as well as when you post comments on other people’s blogs, if you’re answering an Op-Ed or publishing a white paper. Be sure to take advantage of every opportunity to promote your business in personal and business settings. The more often you share your brand and what you do, the greater your chances are of success.

4.       Volunteer at Community and Industry Events

Volunteering isn’t just good for the world, it’s also good for you.  And, being of service in your own backyard helps your community as well as presents an opportunity to network one- on- one with fellow business owners and C-level executives. Choose community or industry events that resonate with you and volunteer with an open heart.  You’ll feel rewarded and be of service to a cause that’s important to you as well as make a difference.

5.       Be a News Source

There are free press opportunities every day that can increase your company’s visibility if you know where to find them. One of my favorites is HARO (HelpAReporterOut.com). Sign up for their complimentary service and you’ll receive emails on a daily basis from reporters, researchers and talent scouts who are looking for experts like you – to share their opinions on various platforms. Being published or on the air is an instant way to build credibility and leadership position within your industry, and add content to your all-important press kit.

The Bottom Line

Lastly, I urge you to do yourself what could be the biggest favor of your professional life and ditch attitude of waiting until your marketing is “flawless” before you get out there and start making waves. Yes, you want to make a great impression and build strong relationships, but if you keep holding back until the stars perfectly align, then you’ll be waiting…and waiting…and waiting. Don’t be an obstacle to your potential: take the plunge. It will be worth it.

YOUR TURN:

What will you do differently this year to liven up your PR/promotion plan?

What’s on your list to try – to be more visible in your industry?

Do you have any tips you’d like to share, so others can benefit from your success?

How can you be more charismatic in your presentation?

Questions for thought…as we increase visibility in the New Year.

 

I’ve been so fortunate to spend a good amount of time with my daughters and nieces this holiday season. I don’t always see them as much as I like, since they’re busy with school, consulting, travel and just ‘plain living large’, but I’m aware of how they grow and measure it in a few ways;

By what we talk about – content, the way they look and carry themselves – presentation, their emotional space – attitude, and of course, their communication to not only me, but others around them and the world at large. Year to year, there’s growth – not what I’ve chosen, but what they and life have delivered to their doorstep.

Christmas2013

A photo shows how we might change visually year to year, but what about how we grow year to year, on the inside?

Here are 6 Things You Might Look at in Your Own Life to See How Much You’ve Grown:

1)      Have you chosen to be ‘different’ than who you were last year, because it’s not who you are?

2)      Did you consciously make a stand on what’s important in your life, and say NO to the BS?

3)      Have you noticed the more you give the more you get, and seen the results first hand?

4)      Do you have toxic people in your daily life and if that’s a yes, have you set healthy boundaries?

5)      In the scheme of things, are you happier now, or last year? And if happiness is a choice, why aren’t you happy now?

6)      Have you made a decision to make 2014 the best year ever, and every day commit to it?

YOUR TURN:

Resolutions are words that we put on a piece of paper. Verbal promises to ourselves and others can be broken.  A real decision is just that –hardcore, no turning back.

What are you scared to death to do that will change your life for the better?

If you believed that freedom lies in bold action, what bold action would you take to set yourself free?

What items have you crossed off your bucket list, and are they crazy enough to make living worthwhile?

Questions for thought…as we begin the New Year.

Here’s to your health, wealth and happiness in 2014…