I get a ton of emails every day and they build to nearly a thousand a week.  There are newsletters, blogs, podcasts, free books and more. It’s no secret that I love to read and learn new things, especially about marketing and public relations. But, I don’t open every email – unless the subject line interests me – or persuades me to take the chance.

Yesterday, I opened an email and it was about the Art of Persuasion.  It got me thinking about how important persuasion is in business, PR and marketing, and of course, in life.

Do you know how to persuade to succeed?

In 9 Habits of Persuasive Business Leaders, Jacqueline Whitmore tells us that the ‘Art of Persuasion’ really starts with life skills.  Curiosity, honesty and confidence lay the corner stones for leadership and persuasiveness. But, it takes more than just being curious or honest to be an effective persuader. Read here for ways you can be more persuasive.

Naturally, communication is critical for any leader, so it’s no surprise that persuasive business communication is highly valued in the workplace.  Demand Media published this article about effective persuasion which talks about building and trusting business relationships through constant nurturing and a willingness to get feedback. Are you a leader who listens to other’s concerns or are you thinking of your next move (or what to have for lunch)? Be honest….

Lastly, if you’ve already applied persuasion tactics, but haven’t been so successful, check out this article from the Harvard Business Review. With a bold title, Change the Way You Persuade, you may think differently about how to persuade someone. The takeaway?  Determine a business leader’s decision making style and approach them in a way they understand. It’s a must read.

Are you a Charismatic, Thinker, Skeptic, Follower or Controller?

Let me know @RobinSamora. I’m a Charismatic. Always excited about new ideas and concepts!

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.

We’re a society that’s definitely on the move. There’s no denying that!

But, what do you do when you’re busy and on the go? I hope that you hire people to help and outsource as many tasks as you can.

There are times though, that you’ll need to address business in the now — and the only available resource might be your Smartphone.

When you normally have access to your computer and a desktop full of programs, and you only have a phone – where do you turn?

To mobile apps for sure!

The world of apps can be confusing, but here’s a tip that might change your perspective and save you hours of time…

Ask a fellow entrepreneur (or fellowpreneur as I call them) what apps they have on their phone and more importantly, ask them which apps they use every week!

Filling up a ‘toolbox’ is a great way to be more productive on the go! Unfortunately, not every app or program will be for free. I suggest you try out the free version of an app first (usually there is one) and if you like it and use it, pay an extra few dollars for the upgraded version.

Now, here are my three must-have apps for the Business Owner on-the-go!

For photo enhancements, check out the app Over. I like Over because with just a few clicks, I can add a logo and/or text to my images before I post the picture to social media. The spinning wheel is easy to use and once you’ve edited your image the way you like it, you can save it to your photo gallery.

What do you do when someone hands you their business card? I used to put the card in my purse and I know many men who put them in their wallet or suit jacket, where they’ll remain until they are forgotten – or washed till there are no remains! You can download one of many business card scanners and upload the business cards directly (and immediately) to your phone where you can store the info and start the process of connecting!  (You know it’s a process, right?)

Another great tool I love is having a voice recorder app. This article by The Social Media Hat aka Mike Allton talks about using your driving time wisely to record blog ideas. Consider taking this app to the next level and record to-do lists, marketing copy or comments from your last sales meeting – while ideas are flowing.

Here’s to making life easier, more productive and applying these tools to save you time!

Have a burning small business marketing, PR or promotions question?  Email me at Robin@RobinSamoraInc.com or take 15 minutes out of your busy day and call me at 617-921-3448.

Brand Ambassadors, whether paid or unpaid, have a critical role that’s often overlooked and sometimes regarded as a line item first to cut, budget time.

The truth is, the best Brand Ambassadors mirror your voice and attitude in the marketplace. They take a company’s concept, stats and goals and create, then deliver, a message that feels authentic. Their job is to connect with your target audience and influence them in a positive way.

Busy managers and executives with aggressive goals sometimes forget that the Brand Ambassadors who carry your flag are people too.  Unconsciously, they can change their marketing tone if you forget to treat them as part of your team, barely pay attention or put inexperienced managers — who don’t understand group dynamics or the value of outsourced staff — as first command.

Brand Ambassadors who showcase your products and services are valued allies in your PR and marketing efforts.  Maximize their output and high energy when you work together.

Here are 3 Ways to Motivate Your Brand Ambassadors   

  1. Acknowledge that a Brand Ambassador has an important role, just as important as a sales or marketing team member.  They’ll wear your brand, give a face to your company and hopefully convey heart and soul as well.  Show them the respect that they deserve as they interact with your prospects, clients and colleagues.  There’s an incredible upside to being valued as part of a team.
  2. Appreciate Brand Ambassadors as front line reps and show them love, even if it’s in small ways; invite them to company meetings, trainings and give them VIP access and parking if available when they’re working a high profile event. If tickets are plentiful at a certain venue, consider offering them as a thank you. Often, complimentary tickets get discarded, and it’s heartbreaking for some to see the waste. As in life, the gesture of sharing goes a long way and generosity is seldom forgotten.
  3. Allow Brand Ambassadors the flexibility to deliver your message, in their voice.  Every Brand Ambassador, like every person, has their own unique style, tone and timing  —  and the ways that people listen can be as varied. Be open to different communication styles to reach a wide and multi-cultural marketplace and honor their freedom to express themselves within the guidelines of the brand. With the high-tech world that we live in, there’s never been a better time to reach out and touch someone.

Brand Ambassadors touch one person at a time in ways that social media can’t.

Make every touch point count, from the top down.

Like this article?

Check out others I’ve written about promotions —  3 Key Traits of an Elite Brand Ambassador; The Power of PRiorities, PRofit and PRomotion3 Promotion Secrets of the Rich and Famous

If you’re in sales, marketing or a public speaker interested in maximizing their brand and image, think about hiring a stylist.

Your initial reaction may be similar to my first thoughts. “That’s way out of my league and too expensive.”

The truth is, a talented stylist is worth their weight in gold – especially if you want to look and feel your best and command the room with confidence and style.

If (and when) you hire a stylist, be willing to be vulnerable and open to suggestions. Your wardrobe advisor and image consultant has been trained, not just in the fashion sense, but in what flatters your body type. What you see as faults, have been seen thousands of times by other stylists and studied.

And yes, there are solutions.Beautiful young stylist near rack with hangers

Your flaws can be minimized and your most attractive features accentuated with a stylist’s recommendations and guidelines.

Here are 5 Reasons to Hire a Stylist: 

  1. After you’re over the initial, OMG, I can’t believe I’m hiring a stylist, you’ll realize that a stylist is a spot coach — just like I’m a spot coach for PR, small business marketing and free publicity. A stylist helps their clients look their best and improve their image with wardrobe essentials. You are your brand wherever you go. So, look fantastic!
  2. A stylist looks at you with different eyes than you look at yourself.  A trained professional sees your assets, not the negative parts of yourself you want to blink away. Stylists have your image, lifestyle and brand in mind for how you want to show up. They have a strategy in mind and a plan. Follow it to get noticed.
  3. Love the fact that your stylist is connected.  They’ll hook you up with their A-list of resources, tailors and beauty folk. They’ll share their favorite store contacts and will call ahead to make sure you’re treated like a VIP. Guys, listen up. This includes you too. The secrets of stylists could save you thousands of dollars and time that you don’t have.
  4. Shopping can be as easy as you like. It’s possible that you’ll fall in love with your UPS or Fed Ex driver every day when they show up with new outfits. Feel weird about all the attention? Love yourself more and more as you look in the mirror and experiment with new styles. Imagine yourself in front of your audience with only two thoughts; how great you look and how much they want to buy from you. (Think positive, right)?
  5. A paid speaker or professional should look like the price they’re charging. Say you’re charging $2500 for a workshop. Shouldn’t your outfit reflect your expertise and the richness of your work? Heck, yeah. Step into your power and awesomeness!  Upgrade your look to be consistent with your talent, skill and offer.

I’m a fan of virtual styling and like to look at clothes on line because it’s relaxing.  Others like meeting their stylists at their favorite stores, or wherever they’re told to go. Every person and situation is unique.

If you invest in your education and mentoring, why not invest in your wardrobe and image.

Tie everything together for maximum impact.

After all, it’s your PR and marketing brand we’re talking about.

How good are your people skills? Are you friendly, engaging and above all, helpful? I forget how good my people skills are, as it’s just part of my nature – but I know that referrals are a substantial part of my business.  Would you like to increase your referral base even more? I’m hoping that’s a big YES!

New to how this works? Let’s take a look:

Start with Why Every Business Needs a Referral System by Marc Wayshak for the Huffington Post. One of the points Marc makes is “Referrals beget referrals: When you make a sale from a referral, that new client is going to be more inclined to refer you to others in his network as well. Think of it this way: You’re creating an army of unpaid salespeople who recommend you to other potential prospects.”

In Five Formalized Referrals Systems to Grow Your Sales, David Finkel makes this point for Inc Magazine. “The bottom line is for you to make sure asking for referrals is a systematized, automatic part of your business.” I’m sure we all could use this strategy even more, to build a strong prospect pipeline.

Then in The B2B Referral Sales System – The Magical Outbound Growth Engine Most Startups Never Use! we find a referral sales script as well as a referral intro-email template. Is this something you could use? Again, let me hear a big YES!

In the end, if you have great customer service skills and deliver an excellent service or product, referrals will start coming your way. However, helping them along will speed up the growth of your business and will speed up your success.

I’m a speed demon for success, you?

Try it out yourself at http://tweakyourbiz.com/tools/title-generator/index.php

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It’s 83 degrees where I am now in Rincon, Puerto Rico, mecca to surfers from near and far. I’m probably one of the worst surfers I know, but I enjoy the camaraderie of friends, working beach side, watermelon mojitos and fresh tuna pinchos. Life is as good as you allow it!

Traveling the world is something that’s important to me, as is growing my business and staying connected to my team, sales force and clients. Traveling the world also gives me an opportunity to meet new and interesting people who may one day be clients.

Case in point:

There’s a multi-million dollar piece of property that’s breathtaking here with a small raised look out built particularly to showcase the view. Smart Marketing 501.  My friend and I stopped to admire it, took down the contact information and talked with the owner’s son. He invited us to drinks, sunsets and a chorizo and churrasco steak BBQ on the deck that only added to the experience of ‘living the dream at the property’. Smart Marketing 601.

At one of the gatherings I met a rep from a Sun Tan Lotion company who happened to also sponsor a major Surf competition recently.  We talked about his set up on the beach, sampling, brand ambassadors and Partner Promotions — how we’ve been showcasing products and services for the past 15 years.

Got his number.
Got his Text.
Got his email.
Got a Prospect.

Next time you’re on vacation (or not) follow your dream and see where it takes you.

You might be surprised.

Writing from the road in sunny Puerto Rico,

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!

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.

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