September 30, 2009
The wonderful and generous book giveaway offers continue to flow in to make the 10-16 Publici-Tea™ Express an even more high value event.
Susan Harrow has offered “Sell Yourself without Selling Your Soul” as a prize.
Stacy Karacostas has offered “The Small Business Website Bible.”
Whitney Keyes has offered “Media Tips for Small Business.”
These are quality tools to guide your DIY publicity and business success, and you can win them as a PUblici-Tea™ Express guest. Have you registered yet?
Oh, by the way, the article I wrote “Ready to Say Bye-Bye to Your Boring Bio? Here’s How” has now been read by 4030 members of BizNik. It’s the 13th most read article ever on the site. That just goes to show how much folks want to ease the pain that goes with boring bios.
Now, folks who opt-in to receive the Authentic Visibility Ezine receive this article as a free bonus report. Enjoy.
September 28, 2009
Great news. Guests who attend the 10-16 Publici-Tea™ Express Workshop at Seattle Design Center will benefit from even more value than is already packed into the program. That is because local authors including Maria Ross, Lori Richardson, and Hoan Do are offering gift copies of their books to guests who are lucky enough to have their business cards drawn on event day.
- Maria Ross wrote Build Your Own Brand Strategy in 10 Easy Steps — And Why You Need One Now.
- Hoan Do wrote Succeeding in the Real World
- Lori Richardson wrote 50 Ways in 50 Days: Inspiration and Tips to Fiercely Energize Your Business and Score More Sales.
- By event day, I know I’ll have even more high value gifts from prominent local and national authors to share.
- And, event guests will also enjoy custom label Publici-Tea™ Express dark chocolate bars from Seattle Chocolate Company. Must be present to indulge!
- Plus, register early and benefit from early registration gifts. The 20 guests to register by Friday, October 2 receive the Authentic Visibility Publicity Tips eBooklets (a $10 bonus value) that offer 147 powerful ways to profit and boost business through the power of free publicity.
- So much value is waiting for you at Publici-Tea™ Express. Isn’t it time to get over being a well kept secret and get into action to ease that pain now? Publici-Tea™ Express is a great event that offers delicious and business building rewards that will serve you and your business success in a powerful way. Register today.
September 27, 2009
Be Heard, Measuring Results, Personal Branding
This blog is about DIY publicity. However, publicity combined with other ingredients can create a powerful success recipe for whatever you have brewing in your business.
Help a Reporter Out is a fabulous and free media query service created by Peter Shankman that now boasts over 100,000 loyal subscribers who are interested in getting seen, head, and celebrated in the media. HARO also offers advertising opportunities to reach these loyal subscribers, and the success stories I’ve read about are certainly compelling.
I wanted to talk to HARO advertisers to get the skinny on what really happens with HARO advertising as the secret sauce. As luck would have it, Maria Ross, founder of Red Slice and the author of Build Your Own Brand Strategy in 10 Easy Steps — And Why You Need One Now, is a colleague of mine here in the Seattle area. I asked her to share her success story as a guest blog post. This blog post is longer than typical, but it is well worth your time. And, you just might want to link back to it so everyone else in your community can read it, learn from it, and benefit from it.
I wrote my eBook, How to Build Your Own Brand Strategy in 10 Easy Steps, to
1) help small business owners who couldn’t necessarily afford my consulting services, but needed guidance when embarking on branding to launch/refresh their business and
2) help educate and inspire business owners about what brand really means and help them create good, authentic brands in a sea of mediocrity.
My mission with Red Slice, my branding, marketing and communications consultancy, is to help businesses engage, inform and delight their target audience and keep them coming back for more.
The premise of the eBook is not only to offer a bit of Marketing 101 terminology and clarity, but to explain that brand is the core, the essence of your company. It’s more than just your logo. That would be like judging a person’s entire complex personality based on their shoes. Your brand is how your receptionist answers the phone, how you price your products (the quality of your products), how easy or difficult you are to do business with, how your store is laid out. It’s not just the visual “logo and website” elements or pretty pictures; it’s the mind share you occupy in people’s brains. What parts of their brains light up when they hear your company name or think of you?
The eBook is a labor of love to help save the world from bad marketing – and to help small business owners save thousands of dollars when working with designers and writers, as well as on investing in the right marketing tactics and opportunities. I constantly see people trying to communicate things visually with their logo, their website, etc. without giving poor designers a clue about WHAT they are trying to communicate and TO WHOM. Also, nothing about what they want visually – or what marketing tactics they want to do – is consistent with what they offer or the company personality.
Without a map, every road looks like the right one. A $250 booth at an event attracting 5000 people is NOT a bargain if none of those people will buy from you – and I hear that kind of thinking all the time.
I heroically completed the eBook while recovering from brain injury and a long hospitalization, so it was hard work to finish. So once it was up on my website, I knew I had to drive people to it and not waste that effort. I had been subscribing to HARO for awhile, making note of the ads at the top. I loved that Peter Shankman had a tone similar to my tone in the book and how he personally crafted the ad to endorse the product. This email list is extremely targeted to small business owners and marketing/PR professionals. I knew these people were the exact audience for my book – if you are subscribing to HARO, it means you are most likely trying to get press opportunities yourself, which means you need to save money, which means you have smaller budgets, which means you must be a small business owner in many cases (or know someone who is). Bingo! A ripe audience for this eBook.
The ad was pricey, I won’t lie, but the CPM is very cheap for (at the time) 75,000 targeted members with a reported 90% open rate. He probably has an even larger list now. Take it from me as a marketer: that is an unheard of open rate in email marketing. I personally know I usually open all his emails and scan them for opps, so I don’t doubt this number. He also sent over testimonials to show the effects the ads had on people’s businesses.
As of April 2009 (he may have changed), he offered four types of sponsorships:
NON-JOBS (Company/Client email) – most of the product/service ads
JOBS (Jobs/Hiring) – for job postings only if you are a firm who is hiring
HARO Gift Bag Product List – This list hits 30,000 “product” people – people who run companies that have products to donate to gift bags, people who want to get their products in front of celebrities, and the like. Virtually everyone on this list is also on HARO. if your company works in corporate events, this is a great one for reaching Event Planners and finding items for auction or goodie bags.
WHOH (What’s Hot on HARO) – 2-minute video-cast that goes out every morning, highlighting what’s hot on HARO for that day. You get a mention in the video, and a link from his blog below the video on that day. That link stays up forever.
Armed with this info, I purchased my ad (he requires payment upfront) for two months out, which was the first time he had inventory. He offers a morning, noon, and evening edition and I got to choose. I sent him a write up on the product, told him the points I’d love for him to emphasize, and set up a HARO discount code for $10 off. I calculated how many books I needed to sell to break even– everything after that was profit.
I can’t say enough good things about this ad – if this is the target audience you need to reach. My email started lighting up the day the ad ran, with PayPal alerts about all the new transactions. I got some great monetary rewards, as well as future marketing opportunities.
- The four months before the ad, I sold about 3 eBooks. Within four weeks, I sold 45 eBooks from the ad. Some sales trickled in much later.
- I got two paying clients directly from the ad – in Pennsylvania and the Netherlands!
- A very-well connected marketing consultant in California saw the ad and absolutely loved the eBook – she started following me on Twitter and we met when she was in Seattle. We might be partnering in the future.
And I will be using HARO again for other products targeted to small business owners and marketers.
Rules to Follow:
Make sure this is the right audience. Make sure your product appeals to the target audience of small business owners, PR or marketing professionals or it will be a waste of money.
Offer some HARO Love: Offer a HARO discount code for dollars off or a freebie. Not only is this a good incentive to entice conversion, it seems to be the standard on HARO ads. This is a very loyal, tight-knit community.
Know there will always be a bad apple. One woman demanded a refund, saying my eBook was just a huge ad for my business. I got pretty bent out of shape about this, especially since I wrote the eBook SPECIFICALLY for people who did not want to purchase my services and I gave lots of useful and unbiased marketing advice and information. She also really thought Peter was endorsing the product and that this was not a paid ad. But I got so much other great feedback, I had to let it go. Peter assured me there is one in every bunch – so make sure you don’t take this personally.
Price Right: Make sure this is a decent price point that is not too high. These folks are all over the country and may not know you from Adam, so you may have better luck with products priced between $10-50. That’s the price point I typically see on his ads for physical or digital products. Make it easy for people to respond. If you are merely advertising your services and they are thousands of dollars, I’d suggest creating a Starter Kit or Trial Package priced at $100-200 and make it a HARO exclusive.
Have a goal in mind. I knew exactly what my goal was for this ad, and anything else – the clients, etc. – was just gravy. Are you trying to sell a certain amount of product? Are you trying to get more names for your email list? Are you trying to encourage people to sign a petition? Clearly state the call to action – the action you want people to take – in the ad. Don’t just say, “Hey, Look at my Business. We do cool stuff. This is not only not measurable (except maybe web hits?) but they have no incentive to act AND targeted email marketing like this is not meant for branding and awareness – it’s meant for direct, action-oriented marketing.
Negotiate – Fairly. Never just pay the Rate Card price without seeing how flexible they can be on price. Once you get the rate card, try to negotiate down closer to your budget. I did this and got to a fair number for both of us (although it was still pretty high). Be sure to make a reasonable offer back in good faith and hopefully you can meet somewhere in the middle. If the ad is $1500, then $100 is not a reasonable offer so use your best judgment and think about how you would want to be treated.
Thank you, Maria Ross, for sharing your favorable experience as a HARO advertiser so the loyal and growing readership of this DIY publicity blog can profit from the wisdom of your experience.
Maria’s ebook is really, really good. I invite you to check it out if your brand strategy needs improvement.
And if advertising your business to this targeted audience of marketers, business owners and PR professionals is a perfect fit for your business, connect with Peter Shankman at HARO to arrange for your ad in perfect timing with your needs.
DIY Publicity Tip for Today: If you are serious about growing your business and inviting meaningful results at the cash register, remember that DIY publicity — combined with other high powered advertising ingredients — can pack the punch you are seeking. As Maria writes, PR is just one aspect of promotion. It is about making sure the truth of your story surfaces clearly and is heard. She also writes, “PR cannot just come along and — poof — make you thinner, prettier, or more popular if the fundamentals are not there — if the BRAND is not there.”
Here’s a red apple for Red Slice Founder Maria Ross, who taught us a few valuable lessons today. Delicious, and so good for you and your business. Love that.
September 25, 2009
Be Heard, Media Skills Training
Dresser After Dark is a radio program on the USA Radio Network for authors and experts to spread their word. If you have interest in sharing your word, visit the “Be a Guest” tab at the website and make your pitch. I was interviewed on the show yesterday, and here is a link to the program during which I cover the four cornerstones of a fabulous bio.
Host Michael Ray liked the information I shared and asked to post information to make it easy for his show guests to buy the Bye-Bye Boring Bio Action Guide on his site. He told me that the information within can do a world of good for guests who come on the show. It turns out that many guests don’t have short, compelling bios. That means that Michael and his producer Suzy have to scramble to edit long and rambling bios into brief introductions that work on the radio.
DIY Publicity Tip: It’s challenging enough to produce a radio show without having to impose on the hosts and producers to re-write your bio to work for their purposes. Don’t submit a long and rambling bio to a radio station. Edit your bio to its most essential elements so your stunning results, succinct stories, sassy sound bites, and social information to help your ideal customer connect are front and center. Leave everything else behind. Otherwise, you run the risk that your on-air introduction is out of your own control. If you don’t have a short, compelling bio, write one today.
September 25, 2009
Be Heard, Personal Branding
Maria Marsala, founder of Elevating Your Business, tuned into the recent PitchRate Happy Hour interview with Michelle Tennant and me to learn how to say “bye-bye” to her boring bio and “hello” to something much better. She also attended the 9-16 Publici-Tea™ Express to get a second helping of DIY publicity tips and inspiration.
Yesterday, Maria shared her “before” and “after” bios, and she did a great job refreshing her story to attract more perfect clients.
Old and Very Good:
Maria Marsala, the founder of Elevating Your Business, is a business consultant, coach, speaker, author, and former Fortune 500 Wall Street executive. She entered the business world selling Avon at 14 and landed on Wall Street three years later. Maria was rewarded for her fierce determination and keen insights when she became a bond trader and department manager at a time women executives were a rare commodity. Since 1998, Maria has helped thousands of B2B service industry CEOs/presidents, professionals and management teams to eliminate the problems of quickly growing businesses by streamlining and automating their planning, operations, and marketing processes. The results? They increase their bottom line, work smarter, and enjoy a higher quality life. Would you like to be next? Contact Maria today!
New and Better:
An irrepressible entrepreneur, Maria sold AVON at age 14 and landed on Wall Street three years later. Fiercely determined and keenly insightful, Maria became a bond trader when female executives were as rare as pink diamonds. In 1998, brimming with over 25 years of business expertise, Maria Marsala created Elevating Your Business, a company dedicated to helping professional service business owners maximize their companies’ value and profits. Is your existing business structure draining your time, energy, and profitability? Drawing on her experience as an advisor, speaker, and author, Maria will tailor a solution to detect and overcome your unique obstacles, helping you create the business and lifestyle you only imagined. Contact Maria today and take the first step toward an elevated bottom line, turbo-charged productivity, and a sparkling quality of life.
By the way, If you missed the PitchRate Happy Hour, you can still tune in by visiting this link. Folks are still raving about it, acting upon the tips, and having great success writing better bios.
DIY Action for Today: Send me your “before” and “after” bios and a digital photo of you putting your best face forward. I’ll be happy to share your story here.
September 24, 2009
Event Promotion, Special Savings
And, for all of you who wish to earn similar recognition and rewards as Betsy Talbot is enjoying (read blog post below), the next Publici-Tea™ Express workshop takes place 10-16 at Seattle Design Center.
Inspiring Tea Cup Treat to Reward Early Event Registration: If you are among the next five guests to register for the 10-16 Publici-Tea™ Express workshop, you’ll receive a Prosperi-Tea cup ($11.95 value each) on event day to reward your initiative. The inside of this delightful mug reads: “The condition of having good fortune while drinking tea.” As the weather turns cooler, this is just the item you need to stay motivated as you enjoy “comfort and joy” with every sip. Just be sure to be among the first five guests to register online by Friday, September 25 at midnight.
September 24, 2009
Event Promotion, Publici-Tea™ Graduate Success Story
Here’s another Publici-Tea™ graduate success story from Married with Luggage Blogger Betsy Talbot:
“I’m so excited to share with you my recent media placement in the October issue of Redbook Magazine. Since I write about lifestyle design, it was a real perk to be talking about making friends at 40 in a magazine geared toward my ideal customer!
Your instructions from the Publici-Tea events I have attended over the last two years keep paying off, and it is almost second nature now to pitch the Married with Luggage story at the drop of a hat. I would have been way too shy to do that before. You taught me to:
Find story ideas that logically tie into my expertise
Utilize free resources like HARO to locate journalists who want my story
Craft a compelling pitch to a journalist and include all the resources needed to make their job easy
Have a professional head shot available
Promote the heck out of any publicity.
I answered a query from HARO looking for women who were good at making friends in adulthood. I am very good at this (partly from moving around, partly because I’m curious about other people), and the subject tied in well with my blog about lifestyle design and happiness. The journalist wanted specific tips as well as a head shot, so I included a brief story, bullet-pointed tips with examples, and a professional, high-resolution photo. And then I waited. After a couple of weeks I assumed I had not made the cut and went about my everyday business. And then I got an email asking me to ‘fact check’ my submission before the print deadline. Wow! For the first time, I didn’t even speak to the journalist. We just exchanged emails. And because I was prepared and had everything she needed, I made it into the magazine (the online version does not have my picture, but the actual magazine does). There are two other women with a similar storytelling style in the article with me, and I’m guessing they both used the same PR-Ninja strategies that you teach. Thank you again for the gift that keeps giving. This is my second national magazine placement this year, and I’ve got several online and newspaper placements in the same time period. Things are really heating up for Married with Luggage, and I want to thank you for teaching me how to sizzle!”
Congratulations Betsy. You practice what I preach, which is to be consistent, tenacious, and passionate about the pursuit of favorable publicity that puts your expertise in the spotlight. Keep up the great work and enjoy the recognition and other rewards that result.
Publici-Tea™ Express Anyone?
September 22, 2009
Last week, Nicole Donnelly got in touch and asked me to quickly makeover her “first person” bio to introduce her to a worldwide audience of “mompreneurs” who can benefit from her sage, proven, and practical business advice.
She provided her “before” version. I upgraded it in time for Nicole’s to share her “before” and “after” versions with a high level audience to top performing business decision makers. Her “after” bio actually earned applause!
And now that bio is proudly posted as an accompaniment to Nicole’s new Ask the Expert column that debuted on Hybrid Mom last week. If you would like the benefit of Nicole’s advice in helping your solve problems that are causing you pain in your business, post your question at Hybrid Mom.
If you want a bio that earns applause and the attention of your ideal client, sign up for your own Extreme Bio Makeover. Telling your story so others will listen has never before been this easy or this much fun.
By the way, Publici-Tea™ graduates enjoy preferred rates. The next events are 10-16 and 11-06 at Seattle Design Center. Sign up here. Then, you’ll have the benefit of the lessons learned from this empowering event AND the fabulous bio to support your DIY publicity journey still ahead. Sounds like a winning approach all the way around, don’t you agree?
September 22, 2009
Be Heard, Media Savvy 101
If you could share your message with 4,000 radio station producers in one paragraph, what would you say that would make your message jump off the page and invite more of the right kinds of on-air conversations? Here is what the copywriter for Radio TV Interview Report and I came up with to tell my story:
Tired of Being a Well Kept Secret?
There’s been a mass exodus of people fleeing cubicle nation. 27 million people have broken free to make it on their own and many more are ready to follow them. For those people, there is nothing more important than a winning bio that will have people not only saying yes, but wow! DIY Publicity expert Nancy Juetten says you shouldn’t be afraid to reveal who you are on your social network page and she’ll share how to use that to your advantage. You’ll learn how to tell your story and make it memorable, remarkable and repeatable and connect with the people you need to know. Nancy is a publicist, newspaper columnist, DIY publicity blogger, speaker, and the creator of the popular Bye-Bye Boring Bio Action Guide. Contact her at (425) 641-5214 (WA), firstname.lastname@example.org.
DIY Publicity Challenge of the Day – Follow this format to create YOUR radio pitch that puts your expertise in a timely, newsworthy, relevant, and interesting perspective that will appeal to your ideal customers right now.
– Come up with a catchy headline that is relevant right now.
– Share data that makes clear why the issue at hand is important right now.
– Offer your credentials as an engaging expert who is well qualified to ease the pain at hand.
– Make it easy for the decision maker to get in touch to schedule an interview with you.
– And double check the accuracy of the phone number and email address so there is never an issue about making a winning connection.
It’s not as easy as it looks, but it is well worth the exercise to get to the meat of the matter of what makes you special and media-worthy right now. I’ll keep you posted about what happens with my own radio pitch. Wish me luck! And, if you have suggestions to make it even better, I am all ears.
And, if you would like me to speak to your professional association, business group, or upcoming conference or to host a teleseminar on this topic, let’s chat! I am on a mission to banish boring bios and wake up decision makers fast to bring better results for all and can’t wait to spread the good news.
September 21, 2009
Event Promotion, Publici-Tea™ Graduate Success Story
Do press releases deliver results? Yes, they do. Especially when you have timely, newsworthy, relevant, and interesting information to share.
Case in point — on September 3, I got a call from Beatles Expert Bill Stainton. The new Beatles edition of the popular game “Rock Band” was scheduled to debut to the marketplace on September 8. Bill wanted to get some media attention for his expertise to coincide with the release of this new game. I recommended he post a press release to PRWeb for September 8 so he could invite invitations to speak to the media in short order. The headline he used invited attention: Noted Beatles Expert Explains Continuing Appeal of the Fab Four.
Bill embedded engaging video in his press release to showcase his expertise, and he even played a Beatles tune on his piano. Is it any wonder his schedule was packed with interviews? In this email to me, Bill writes:
Just wanted to let you know that, unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend your Publici-Tea™ Express event tomorrow…because I have radio interviews scheduled! I did about 8 or 9 last week, have three scheduled for today, a couple tomorrow, and a two-hour guest slot on an San Diego station Thursday evening…
— Bill Stainton
It’s amazing what great results can manifest if you just get into action. If you want to achieve similar results to those that Bill achieved by taking some of my publicity advice, attend the next Publici-Tea™ Express event at Seattle Design Center on Friday, October 16 from 9:30 a.m. – noon.
Guests from the 9-16 event had GREAT things to say about Publici-Tea™ Express.
Clarina Morency of Renee Blackwell Design said, “Nancy didn’t just share a few pearls of wisdom. She gave us her entire pearl necklace. I got so many great ideas that I took four pages of notes.”
Leslie Irish Evans of Calm by Leslie said, “More useful information falls out of Nancy Juetten’s pocket than most of us have in our most secure spots. She’s a gem!”
Joli Mosier of Mosier McCann said, “Simply the best informational presentation I have been to in years.”
Erica Rado from The Center for Vibrant Life LLC said, “The program lit a fire under my PR quest! A must-do for all businesses!”
Mary Stursa of Noble Furs said, “I’d recommend this event and these speakers to others because Nancy and Social Media Expert Steve MacDonald share relevant and useful information without holding back. Only true experts can do this.”
Retirement Coach Janice Williams said, “Nancy and Steve team up to provide valuable information on how to maximize all forms of media to establish business presence and credibility.”
Vicki Draper, owner of Vi Miere, said, “This is a great workshop. An invaluable resource for business owners ready to grow.”
Kris Kero said, “I am just starting my own business. This workshop gave me hope, inspiration, and a boost.”
Ann Rohlman, CFA, CFP™ for Sonata Capital said, “Your seminar and the materials provided beforehand gave me actionable steps that I can immediately implement to begin my DIY marketing.”
Inderjeet Ramgotra, owner of Inner Renewal and the Healthy Path, said, “This program was highly informational, light-hearted, and motivating. I am inspired to become media savvy.”
With glowing feedback like this, Is it any wonder that I can’t wait for the next event on October 16? Register today so you can benefit and find your place in the media spotlight FAST. It happened for Bill Stainton, and it can happen for you, too, if you just get into the game!
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