I’m a big believer in using events to grow your business. Events provide a forum for you to showcase your expertise, grow your database, make new contacts and attract new clients.  And, if you’re in the front of the room as the expert and love engaging with the audience, it’s also fun!

In this article  5 Ways to Grow Your Business with Events by Eventgenioso, you’ll find events other than tradeshows to increase your ROI. Some examples? Experiential events for brand activation or product launches which pique the media’s attention. Training or seminars with high profile speakers in your industry, that even the fussiest client can’t refuse. And, incentive travel for new prospects and to jazz up your sales team. Fuel prices are low, everyone loves to travel and you can mix and match programs to target your goals. Have the courage to make it a mystery trip? 

As an INBOUND Guest Blogger (blogging is a great way to get media mention BTW), Joel Comm talks about using live events to drive business. In his post Live Events: The Fastest Way to Grow Your Business, he discusses the importance of meeting new people and building rapport with your audience. First, there’s getting to the like, know and trust stage. Then comes the opportunity to do business. Yes, live events can be fun and should be – but don’t forget the value of finding out what’s new (and trending) from vendors and starting conversations with strangers, who may one day be your client! 

Lastly, Constant Contact’s UK blog lists 7 Events to Grow Your Business with content definitely worth mentioning. You may be thinking networking or throwing a party right off the bat, but what about an Open House? I’ve suggested this to hospitals to Meet the Doc. There are also events to Get a Taste of “your subject”, expert/customer panels where advice and testimonials can be shared openly (great PR) and of course, Breakfast n’ Learn, to start the day off right. Make your own waffles, anyone?

Events work to build business, expert status, reputation and credibility.

PASSION 

Passion ignites the fire of your brand. Without it, you’re just like everyone else. The press wants to highlight intriguing and passionate people, products and services that their readers will be interested in.

Ask yourself:

  • What’s your passion and why?
  • Do you include your passion in your “story” so others can get to know you, your products and services, and what you stand for?
  • Are you willing to be transparent and let the world know who you really are?

Remember: A passion for your work + life enhance your
brand and celebrate your uniqueness.

POSITIONING 

Positioning is a mindset for success. Combine it with a road map for where you want to go, be seen and heard. Determine where you want to go not just in your imagination, but on paper and as part of a PR/promotions plan.

Ask yourself:

  • What does your road map look like for media and audience attention?
  • Are you following the same highway as others in your industry, or are you willing to be bolder and combine traditional with non-traditional tactics?
  • Who will set the course for the journey, and who’ll read the map?

Remember: Welcome those who fortify, strengthen and evolve your positioning, and be willing to help others do the same.

PREPARATION 

Be prepared for success and consider yourself an expert, even if you don’t think you are. The road will come to meet you if you’re doing the work and course correction is part of the journey. You’ll find it easier to leverage publicity with every new press mention.

Ask yourself:

  • What is your competition advertising or promoting on and off line?
  • How is your competition utilizing PR in the media and in what formats? (e.g. feature stories, articles, interviews, quotes, podcasts, book jacket reviews, etc).
  • Who will support you to ensure success?

Remember: You can create a PR swipe file of what you like, resonate with,
and aspire to. Imagine yourself in the story, on TV, as a featured panelist. What makes you different? 

PERSONALITY 

Make yourself unique interesting to the press. Start with a BIO that’s full of personality and passion, and ensure that it tells your story in a way that holds the reader’s attention and makes a positive and memorable impression.

Ask yourself:

  • Do you have both a long and a short version of your BIO for different purposes? (e.g. media interviews, teleseminars, articles, email signatures, LinkedIn and Twitter profiles, etc.)
  • Are you reviewing your BIO 3 months to keep up with your professional growth?
  • Is your BIO transparent and human, yet highlights your credentials and expert status?

Remember: Include at least 5 things others don’t know about you. They can be accomplishments, hobbies or interests that others may find fascinating. 

PRESENTATION

A professional presentation, photos and website get you past the gatekeeper for a longer look. Ensure that all of your on line and off line branding, photos, collateral and correspondence have a professional look and feel, and that you represent yourself as an expert – with all the bells and whistles expected of someone of your caliber. Look like a million dollar brand.

Ask yourself:

  • Are you maintaining a congruent look and presentation design with your website, newsletters, blogs, Facebook and Twitter pages?
  • Are you investing in professional headshots and lifestyle photos that portray you and your brand in your best light?
  • Are your promotional materials well written in a style and tone suitable for your industry?

Remember: Presentation is equally important for in-person meetings and media interactions. You are your brand wherever you go so dress the part at events, interviews, conferences, speaking engagements – even community gatherings. Be stylish and honor your brand!

PITCHABILITY 

Pitching an idea to the media takes some practice and perfecting, but once you understand how each media works, and how to get pitch ideas, the easier it becomes. Start by reading a reporter’s writing for insight on “how to pitch” them.

Plus, check out their Twitter, Facebook and website pages for insights on their writing style and preferences. You can also use pitch query services like HARO to reach reporters looking for your expertise, and check editorial calendars of magazines in which you’d like to be featured.

Ask yourself:

  • What story can I tell that highlights a new way of doing something, a product that will make life easier, an opinion that’s contrary to popular thinking, or a tie in to a movie or celebrity event?
  • What are some major trends right now, and what are the best ways to tie your pitch to them?
  • What are some national events that can be localized?

Remember: Don’t pitch stories already covered.
You can also try turning your pitch into a “top 10 tips” list. 

Take these 6 P’s and apply them to your business today!

White Iphone 5S With Site Youtube On The Screen And Headphones L‘Viral’ and ‘Video’ are two words that go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly. Think #icebucketchallenge and you know what I’m talking about!

How can you leverage this moving forward into 2015? Here’s one way — get recording and publishing your own videos! It’s not as hard as it looks or sounds and if you’re in budget mode now, put some money into your marketing plan for creating video. Whether you’re teaching, promoting or ‘splainin’ á la I Love Lucy, video is an investment in yourself and your business, and honestly, there are no substitutions for who you really are!

Here are a few great resources to help you get in the video marketing mood:

First up is “4 Ways To Elevate your Personal Brand With Video” via the Huffington Post by Sunny Lenarduzzi. The take away? “Nothing showcases your personality better than video. Whatever brand you are looking to create, give it real thought, and then put it to the test. Along the way, you’ll make lots of mistakes, but the key is to pick yourself up and make the right enhancements.”

Second is an article by one of my favorite blogs, Marketing Profs. “Mixing Video With Email Marketing: Four Inspiring Examples and Three Quick Tips” by Emily Konouchi. “Video can be key to conversions and sales…but a recent study confirms for email marketers, using video should be a no-brainer; but the email-video combo still feels like a rare pairing.” If you can believe it, not more than 25% of marketers use video in their email marketing! Let’s change those statistics, shall we?

Looking ahead, here’s an infographic with “10 Video Marketing Trends for 2015.” The trends are very revealing and can provide a road map of what types of videos to create in 2015 and how to ‘humanize’ a brand.

I’m editing my own videos over the next two weeks and hope to share them with you soon. Practice makes perfect, though imperfection makes us unique!

RSI SlamdunkMarch Madness in basketball doesn’t have to mean madness in your own self-promotion or in your business. In fact, madness with the right intention and mindset can become a positive energy to get things done in a quick and efficient way, especially if you have a plan. Your plan  doesn’t have to be complicated or color coded, but there is one secret – you have to get off the sideline, and make a move.

Here’s my take on March Madness and How to Slam Dunk Your PR:

  1. Keep your eye on the ball. Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing. It’s distracting and throws you off guard. Think about the big picture and your role to ‘get er’ done. During times of madness (the crazy kind) we lose our vision and clarity. Stay in the moment and be the best you can be.
  2. Stop Dribbling. If you want to get somewhere, you’ll need a road map for sure, but there’s no time like now to take bold action. There’s plenty of time for course correction along the way. The go for it, pause, go for it, pause tempo gives you action and an opportunity for reflection. Liken the pauses to a short time out!
  3. Motivation to succeed is an inside job. You can hear it, you can feel it, but it’s only you who can make the decision to take action. Success is the result of getting off the couch or from behind the computer and doing what you hate to do, but need to do. A mentor of mine tells me (often) to do what I hate first thing in the morning.  Once it’s done, there’s relief.  Procrastination is a silent killer.
  4. The tallest person isn’t always the best player. Each one of us is blessed with a set of skills, and none of us are fantastic at everything. (Sorry, honey) Share the blessings of your collective team and make the most of it. I don’t know many who won’t offer their best game, when it’s their best skill. If they’re not playing full out, blow the whistle. You want everyone on board if you’re going places.
  5. You have to be in it to win it. Want to score? You have to be in the game, ready for action. That’s not to say you have to be ‘in it’ 24/7. But, when the iron’s hot, the iron’s hot. Work like the dickens, and then dance like there’s no tomorrow.

YOUR TURN

How do you keep your eye on the ball with madness all around you? Take a walk in the morning to clear your head? Work from a quiet restaurant in the middle of the day?

What’s your best tempo for work? Calendaring your time? Setting a timer?

Have you developed a reward system for yourself after a job well done? Do tell!

The act of writing down my vision for my business and life has brought me great clarity and almost a step-by-step map (if I follow it) to fulfill my greatest dreams — acknowledging, of course, the potential for adventure and a sense of humor in a plan bigger than my own, and an automatic course correction lever that is sometimes out of my reach, like a 7th shift on a manual transmission. (Little did I know until yesterday, that race cars have these shifts on the steering wheel!)

When you have a plan and create a road map before you start, you can work with speed. Just be open to the journey and accept surprises along the way. When you’ve mastered the trick of enjoying life’s attractions and distractions with curiosity, you can keep the momentum going — towards success as you define it.

My passion as a business and PR strategist is to help you be more in tune with where you want to go and to act as your business GPS to uncover the most productive way to get there, even if we sometimes find ourselves “recalculating” the route.

My ultimate goal for you is always the same — to make more money, get recognized in the marketplace and stand out in the crowd in a career built on your passion. By doing this, you can lead a bigger and bolder life, and ultimately, give back, big time. Not just helping one, but helping thousands.

My map is worn and torn, but serves me well.

What does your map look like?