Today I’ll be speaking at Constant Contact about PR Power on a Budget. There should be about 100+ people in the room and I’m on first. All good with me.  I sent in my presentation last week, practiced and decided on an outfit, with a backup just in case.

Does What You Wear Make an Impression on Your Audience?

If you said no, I’ll beg to differ. If you said yes, you’re right! I always tell audiences, “you are your brand wherever you go” and it’s no different on stage. There could be a roomful of prospects that are interested in what you have to say and perhaps wonder what you could do for them. In my case, they want to see me at my best, and I want to give them my best. The total package. I’m also speaking about my passion, “How to Market Yourself” or a variation of the PR theme.  Clothes do count so wear them well and smile for the camera!

Here are 5 Tips on Styling for the Stage or Giving a Presentation and Elevate Your Brand:

  1. Always dress a few steps above your audience. You are the expert and should dress like one. If you’re speaking from stage and are any good, the audience wants to aspire to be like you. Confident and successful. And if you’re selling, it’s even more important. Play the part with your dress, attitude and aura. You’re probably not selling a $49 service.
  2. Many years ago, I made the huge mistake of wearing a red jacket with a leopard collar to a blue chip law firm for a Ryder Cup Event meeting.  I thought I looked jazzy, but the client apparently didn’t think so.  I should have worn a more stylized ‘dress code’ selection, but I didn’t even think about it.  If you’re going to give a presentation to a conservative client or firm, don’t wear the leopard collar. Find something appropriate and accessorize gently. Learn from my 5 figure mistake.
  3. If the audience can smell your cologne, perfume or moth balls from the stage, that’s bad. I’ve been in elevators where I’ve held my breath and the ride to the 30th floor almost did me in. Everything you do has to be brand on, and that includes how you smell.  It seems foolish to even have to mention, but I’ve been at 2 events lately where it mattered.  I suppose I didn’t have to sit in the first row.
  4. Shoes count, especially with women. Women check out other women’s shoes. In fact, women check out everything.  And ask questions like, who cuts your hair and other sometimes personal questions you might think off limits.  My advice, answer at your own risk, or not. You were brought up to answer questions, but you don’t always have to.
  5. Tight dresses and short skirts. Men check out how tight dresses are and how short skirts are, but women take it all in too. Needless to say, refrain from daisy duke dresses and ladies, wear Spanx. Also walk in from the side of a room if you have the chance.  I talk about it in my upcoming book, why. Hmmm.

A few other suggestions.  Men, be sure that your pants are zipped because there’s nothing more horrifying than to have your fly open on stage.  No joke, not that I look, but I saved two speakers from a very embarrassing moment and let’s just say they were grateful.  And ladies, make sure that you have extra pantyhose, because runs really do look bad on stage. And the pink polish to stop the run, is so yesterday.

Wake up extra early too and get to your location well ahead of time. Have 3 copies of your presentation in different places or devices. As another piece of advice, just keep the most recent version. I once delivered a presentation to 300 people and it was a near final draft with notes I made to myself.  When I realized it on stage, I covered my mouth in horror then laughed. It was the most authentic presentation I ever gave and one of the most successful.

Go figure.

Style up your brand. Speak to build an audience. And have fun.

Life is short and you can’t be working all the time.

PS – Remember I gave 2 talks to University Students in Puerto Rico? The University of Puerto Rico had a television crew before my event and did a news segment on me, in Spanish and English.  I never expected it, but it was fun.  You can snag publicity while you’re on vacation! I’ll post the interview on Twitter. Follow me @RobinSamora.

It’s been said (and felt) that a #1 fear of many people is public speaking, with death a close second. Death may be feared because you don’t necessarily know when it’s coming, but speaking in front of an audience is usually a choice.  Why be judged? Why put yourself at risk?

Right off the bat, public speaking gives you an opportunity to convey a message. To make a difference. To showcase YOU and your expertise.

Overcoming the fear of public speaking will open more doors than you can imagine.

To get you started, I’ve collected a few articles that offer some insight on this fear. And, as in many fears and phobias, the first part is acknowledging that you have one!

Let’s start with Five Reasons Why The Fear Of Public Speaking Is Great For You. I read the title twice before diving in.Yes, there are 5 reasons! Find out why a fear of public speaking can actually help you become a better public speaker.

If you’ve ever watched a TED talk, you know they have some of the best and most interesting speakers in the world on their stages. Check out 7 Powerful Public Speaking Tips From One of the Most-Watched TED Talks Speakers. You’ll find tips and a few tricks you can use today.

Then, when you’ve read these two articles and you just KNOW you want to move past your fears, learn from someone who’s been there and done just that.

How I (Finally) Got Over My Fear of Public Speaking gives you a good idea on how to tackle and overcome the jitters of public speaking.
Now as for me? I’ll be giving a keynote address for #GoBrandYourself week at Fresno State in April.

I’ll read these articles again and share.

Last week, I was a guest at the New England Speaker’s Association meeting and auction, and got reacquainted with Belinda Rosenblum – a Wealth Expert, CPA and Founder of OwnYourMoney.com. Belinda and I sat next to each other and talked about business, blogs and babies. She has a one-year old, and mine are traveling the world!

Because her expertise is so vital to entrepreneurs and growing yourself and your brand, I asked her to write a guest blog about money and how it relates to spending hard earned cash on your business and self-promotion. See if you agree with her findings!

Money, Self-Worth &
Promoting Yourself

by Belinda Rosenblum

Spending – and earning – money for entrepreneurs is a tricky subject. Every dollar earned is essentially one you had to ask for – directly or indirectly – so we attach more weight to the spending of it.

In particular, spending money on promoting ourselves feels counter-productive since it causes money to go out with an initial unclear return.

However, when we hold on too tight, we literally stop the flow of money – both out of and into our business. Since this clearly thwarts our larger goal of business growth, we as entrepreneurs need to become more unemotional and powerful when it comes to making decisions with our money.

As a start, watch out for these 5 culprits that hold people back from spending the money necessary to grow their business (including promoting themselves):

1) Fear of being seen (or being a fraud) If you really go big, then people will see you for who you really are. And if that happens, then will you suffer a case of the emperor’s new clothes. Of course not! You are brilliant – and doing the world a disservice by not letting them in on the inadvertent best kept secret.

2) Afraid you won’t be able to handle the volume. I call this a “high class problem.” If you have a lot of people interested in your work, then be willing to call in the staff and the advisors to support your growth. It does not mean you’ll have to work 80 hours a week, but it does mean you’ll have to ask for help. (It’s ok, you are actually more powerful not less powerful when you do this. This has been a tough but crucial lesson I’ve learned along the way.)

3) Afraid of laying out the money with an uncertain return. As business owners, we take way more risks than the average employed person. AND, for sustainable success, it is imperative that you learn how to take risks and recover quickly from whatever feedback the risk shows you. It is all helpful feedback. The key here is leveraging the opportunities you create for yourself – and then building momentum and excitement around your business with the visibility.

4) No depth to your offerings. The concern here is that if you got the exposure, you wouldn’t have anything to sell to all the people who come to your site. So what are you waiting for? Create a free awesome juicy gift to collect their names. Start with an easy $97-$197 product that people can try you out – allow them to “date” you before you want them to “marry” you with a higher-end offering.

And the kicker…

5) Lack of belief in your own worthiness. Are you really worth spending money on and allowing people to get to know you and your services more? Absolutely – but it all starts with you believing in you.

Get out there in a bigger way – the world needs exactly what only you can offer!

I hope you enjoyed this article, and as always, please feel free to post your comments on the social media platforms below!

Belinda Rosenblum, Wealth Expert and CPA, just got you started with today’s guest blog post. If you’re ready to really make more, save more, and stress less about your money, start with her complimentary “Money Makeover Kit” available here: www.OwnYourMoney.com/gift.

RSI Boston Love (1)I’m a native Bostonian and have had the pleasure of knowing and loving Boston intimately — from my college days at Boston University, and as a more than frequent visitor having worked and played within an hour of the city for most of my adult life.

At 24, I launched my first real business in Boston (a lobby stand called Robbie’s Lobby in the garment district) which led me to open a small restaurant at the Boston Marine Industrial Park. Little did I know then, that I would be drawn to learn marketing, sales and PR in the cable television world, work with the Boston Red Sox and Major League Baseball, and start a PR and promotions company that works with Fortune 500 companies and helps experts across the country get recognized for their greatness.

Though I love to travel, I’m still a one city girl. I love Boston.

Somehow, when bad things happen to a place you love, you can’t help but love it more. And, from the front row of the VIP grandstand at the Marathon bombing, when your life and those you love are at risk, love becomes more important as loss looks you in the eye.

Closer than many, I saw Boston Strong — defending our city, our wounded and above all, our freedom.

I was inspired this morning by a friend who told me that “love isn’t love until you give it away.”

Let’s send and share our love with those who make Boston Strong, day after day.

Let’s send PR love to a city that bounced back after tragedy — with a fearless attitude.

Let’s send PR love to Boston, a city that has its twinkle back — for the world to see.

After all, ‘love isn’t love until you give it away.”

Your Turn:

What do you love most about Boston?

Do you have memories as a child about Boston that you’ll never forget?

Is there a story about Boston Strong that moves you 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.

We never know where the day will lead us, or the leads that will take us down the path of meeting new people and creating opportunities that may impact our lives, and our business.

As a member of ProfNet, a PR Newswire service, I get press leads that I respond to by reporters nationwide.  I respond to these leads for my two businesses, www.PartnerPromotionsInc.com and www.LetsMakeYouShine.com.  Both promote visibility in the marketplace; the first for Fortune 500 companies that want a big bold presence with Brand Ambassadors and Brand Educators, and the latter for entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to get noticed, with traditional and non-traditional PR and promotions strategies.

One (of many) WWW Surprise(s) came when I found a hot lead for an Etiquette Expert and was unable to retrieve my database. I asked my best business buddy, Google for some help, and reached out on the great WWW to share an opportunity.  What would Google show me?

The answer was clear. Jodi Smith, from www.Mannersmith.com showed up with high rankings, and we corresponded by email over the course of a few months. As life would have it, she also lived in the same seaside town I would eventually move to.  When we met for coffee, I was not only blown away by her accomplishments and expert status, but we also shared a sense of entrepreneurial comradery.

As a fellowpreneur and great marketer, Jodi gave me a list of people who I should meet. She made a virtual introduction to the Director of PR and Communications at Salem State University, and shortly thereafter we met for breakfast.   That in turn lead me to new connections of interns and social media assistants, as well as an upcoming visit to the Enterprise Center, an incubator for new businesses that are growing stronger every day.

Taking a risk, making a phone call, breaking patterns, and just having conversations – it’s all about connections that may lead to surprises – in person, on the web, at networking events, on the street, or at an upcoming holiday party you may be attending.

Oh, there are great surprises out there. I’ve always loved the power of possibility.

How ‘bout you?

About a week ago, I was at a restaurant and heard an expression that I wasn’t familiar with.  I asked our server, who was from Toronto, to repeat the phrase, and asked what she meant by the expression, “All talk – No rock.”

As I listened, it reminded me of what I know as “Actions speak louder than words.” And, whichever expression you’re more familiar with, I’m a believer.

Talk is cheap. Actions do speak louder than words.

So, why do people promise and not perform? To be polite? Because in the moment they want to please? Or, is it easier to ‘yes’ someone, and not deal with the disappointment of a no, or an explanation of a ‘why not’?

Truthfully, it could be a combination of reasons. But, if you happen to depend on an all talk – no rock person for something important in your life, or business, you may already know to have a backup plan, just in case.

All talk – no rock people eventually build a reputation as non-perfomers and risk being earmarked as undependable – not necessarily the first time, but perhaps down the road.

If you’re all talk and no rock, all talk and no rock, all talk and no rock, eventually people will believe you.

That’s how reputations are born.

A reputation is an awful thing to waste.

Make yours count.

Recently, I’ve had some new opportunities come my way and they’re challenging me more than I expected, and causing some restlessness that I’m unfamiliar with. Going out of my comfort zone for sure, in fact, more than I remember, and ramping up all kinds of questions and second guessing that I normally wave aside. Sometimes it’s easier said than done, and to practice what we teach is the ultimate lesson.

Given the fact that business decisions can sometimes be more costly than planned, it’s interesting how we handle the inner chatter, especially when fear and uncertainty come into play. On one hand, we know that we want to play bigger, but there’s a risk. It’s crunch time and the only way to play bigger, or make a splash is to be “all in”, take the risk, have faith in yourself and your abilities, and expect the best. I’m sure that even the CEO of a major corporation has these same thoughts, though he/she may have a Board of Directors, and the decision making is shared. With an entrepreneur, the decision and results most often rest on our shoulders. A few wrong decisions can make an impact that can alter the course of history. Conversely, a few right decisions can do the same.

Ultimately, I decided late last night to just stop thinking. To stop carrying on a never ending dialogue in my head, and go to bed, asking for what the best solution would be.

I slept like a rock and woke up with a plan.

The Dream Team helped, and delivered the answer which I had been seeking all day.

Ask and you will receive.

Have you asked for the help you needed lately? Better yet, have you listened?

All the best to you,

Robin

Many entrepreneurs have multiple income streams. A passive income, rental properties, dividends from profitable stocks. Even a second job, from time to time.

I tend to not put all my eggs in one basket, as it gets heavy, and can empty at a moment’s notice. My Dad, and other mentors would always caution me, and I, you, to keep your eyes open for opportunities that come to you, and fit in your life. That’s why I always keep my eyes open for a fun job,that’s easy and brings me joy.

Truth be told, sometimes, I get hired to be a costume character. I’m small, short, and have a chance to anonymously play with kids. I like it, and the pay. It gets me out of my thinking head, and into my playing head.It’s good for me to let loose, and mix it up. Laugh, and fool around,where it’s ok to be silly, all the time.

From time to time, you may get the opportunity to mix it up, for fun or profit.

Perhaps it’s risk taking, perhaps it not.

Bottomline, it can be freeing.

Milton, MA…Business and Life Strategist, Robin Samora, recently interviewed celebrity photographer, Nikki Incandela from La Jolla, California on her monthly interview series.  The title was Put Some Pizzazz in Your Picture: What Your Image Says About You.

Nikki spoke about the importance of images in your personal branding. “With the prominence of Facebook and other social media, consistent branding is very important for your on-line presence and distinguishes you in the marketplace,” she said.  Nikki also offered some pointers on the different ways to use your image in your marketing and collateral, and shared her vast experience about being comfortable in front of a camera, style, and how to have an image that “attracts business.”

“A bad image can follow you for years,” said Nikki, “but a great image makes you confident and empowers you in your professional and personal life.  You have about four seconds to create an impression to say who you are as a person.”

“Nikki incorporates an important lesson I’m offering,” said Robin.  “No risk, no reward. Go for it. Don’t wait for someone to discover you. Put yourself out there and celebrate your brand – and  pretend it’s bigger than it is. If you do what it takes, you’ll grow into your new shoes. Nikki works at her public image using networking, social media, and she is a fabulous photographer,” continues Robin. “She also aligns herself with who she is, and where she wants to go!”

Incandela, who started as a fashion designer, was just at the Oscars not only to shoot the most glamorous Hollywood stars as they came down the runway but also had an opportunity to get fitted for a couture dress to wear at the gala event.

“Nikki and I have been working together informally for a couple of years,” said Robin, “but recently – she made a decision to make it big. I see fireworks in what she’s doing. It’s a combination of her inner flame, talent, and doing what she loves. Nothing makes me happier.”

About Robin Samora

Robin’s career began in advertising and then transitioned to media buying in the film industry. She owned two restaurants, became a Major League Baseball licensee, and worked in cable television as an Event and Promotions Manager – with major networks such as ESPN, HGTV, CNN, and MTV.  Robin eventually started her own company in 2002, Partner Promotions, a

Brand Ambassador firm for Fortune 500 companies like Comcast, Tivo, and NBC, marketing products and services – one-on-one in the retail sector, at business events, and in the community.

Wanting to utilize her talents, and years of coaching experience, Robin realized she loved working one on one, with clients, entrepreneurs and small businesses – not just major corporations.  She couldn’t help but notice that she would attract people who wanted to talk, and ask her advice. It became clear to her and those who sought Robin out for her insight, wisdom and advice — that she would be a “calm voice of reason, in a storm,” and provide a path for “next steps” to get recognized and promoted in the marketplace.

With years of business knowledge under her belt, Robin launched — Let’s Make You Shine a business and life strategy company for entrepreneurs who want to boost their bottom line, get attention and stand out in the marketplace. Now, Robin takes great pleasure in teaching others how to realize their dreams and potential, while also making a difference.

Let’s Make You Shine has been created with more than two decades in business development, operations and execution, sales and marketing, and extensive professional training. It’s Robin’s mission to help her clients make more profit, share their gifts and passion with the world, and get recognized for who they really are.