What Marketing and PR Initiatives Should You Consider?

When starting a small business, what marketing and PR initiatives should you consider? Answer: Publicity. Publicity will help you get in peoples hands and in their line of vision.

How the do you get publicity? Get your business a write-up or a review. This helps people find you in searches, adds credibility and is free.

Before you seek publicity answer these, Who cares about your message? What is your message? What is your core service? What sets you apart from competitors? Where do you want your message seen? Answering these will help find the right hands and eyes that will see your business.

Now tell the world with relentless grit and sincerity.

Decent Luck!

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Seek Out Boutique Shops To Help You

If you need publicity help as part of your PR initiatives and cannot afford a larger company – seek out boutique shops to help you. You do not have to be at the mercy of PR mills.20130516-143307.jpg

Be honest with your goals for a PR or publicity campaign. If you are unknown, with mild accomplishments and have a great ‘thing,’ maybe all you need is a focused local PR effort – I know, it’s so not glamorous but it may be exactly what you need. Maybe you would like a few strategic places to write about you? Just be real with it and swing really hard!

The promotional process has many angles and sometimes, starting small with realistic goals and hiring a smaller boutique agency, is the right avenue to cruise. It’s OK, you need to start somewhere. If your goals are further along, defined by demographic, customer, age group, lifestyle, income, preferences with quantifiable metrics, branded with smooth navigation, then you can really exploit the services of a larger PR company.

Ask for help when needed, know when to hire out and know what size you need, not want. You know your business the best.

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6 Ways To Improve Your Writing

Give these a try for a week:
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1. Set a schedule – Write every day at the same time.

2. Make notes when inspiration hits – Jog your memory.

3. Do not re-read what you just wrote and keep going – If you stumble, power through to get back on track.

4. Do not proofread until after you take a break – Grab a beverage, think about unrelated garbage for a few minutes, a new pet, a color to paint that ugly chair, a video game, an annoying co-worker or friend, something other than what you just typed up!!!! Then go back to your writing.

5. Once you finish an important piece (and time allows) do not read it for a day – Going back and reading with a first-read perspective is paramount.

6. Don’t forget to take time out to learn often – Look for new resources like this forum called AbsoluteWrite

Keep going.

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Accomplish Goals, Ruin Relationships and Become a Multitask Ninja.

Not everyone can manage more than one project at a time. Some people just do not have this art in their wheelhouse. Can it be learned? Sure, I guess so. Are some predisposed to be killer at it? Yes.

A great multitasking person may have experienced a botched relationship, or three, in their day. For the singular task-master, this may sound contradictory because a proficient multitasking person should be able to hold it all together: job, projects, passions, philanthropic work, family relationships, errands, squash blah blah. Sounds right? Well, it’s not.

Typically, someone balancing multiple projects has limited “free” time. It is possible to have a decent relationship, but the other person needs to either be, a great multitasking wiz or the most understanding of canceled plans, schedule conflicts, compromise, compromises that are further compromised due to unforeseen “challenges” and last minute mix-ups.

Some people just cannot multitask. They refuse. Arms crossed, feet-a-stamping. No way and no thank you to balancing more than one thing – and that is the beginning of the ride called, botched/ruined relationship. They hate it. They feel rushed. Their feet hurt. They are hungry and need a snack. They need breaks. While some are go-go getters, dancing, taking numbers and lining up the next what-ever-needs-to-be done, Some just ain’t. It seems employers and career experts think this is a learned and “manageable” skill. I disagree. Some are just better at it. Some like it (imagine that).

This post is obviously just an opinion of mine. I am not a psychologist, matchmaker, expert or the best multitasking director at times. I am sharing some observations from my own life and did not reference my claims or link articles supporting my rant. I like a full schedule and add tasks and goals that line up to what I want to accomplish. I like finding solutions and enjoy a great split-second decision resolve.

If you read this post to find the secret to becoming a multi-tasking ninja, I lied. My other posts explain my aversion to hot buzz guru talk. My demur apology.

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Avoid Being Fodder

Be current, up-to-date and understand what the communication trends are. Many people are reluctant to adopt new, “conversations.” Understanding the benefits of social media is invaluable.

By, “understanding benefits” I mean, ask and research why is Facebook so popular? Why do people sign-on several times a day? Why do people feel the need to share just about everything online? Get into the psyche of it all. It will help you on your DIY approach to marketing.

Don’t be a luddite. It is fine for a skeptical person to tip-toe into the “next hot sh*t” pool. I get that. I like new technologies that increase the reach for the hard-working, small business or small voice. But as everything becomes a “social” event, it’s not always easy to see the benefits straight away, be cautious.

There is a lot of fodder out there.  If you have undeniable traits, services or talents – let it be known. If having several social media sites is too much for you – slim it down. The guide-book is still being written.

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No Pay Clients: On Purpose and By Accident.

As a small business owner I do billing follow up myself. I am going through this irksome process right now. My good nature got the better of me and prior to full payment I completed a campaign – due to time constraints and lead time. On top of that, I shared strategic ideas in hopes to further engage the client.

I keep asking for payment via overdue invoice notices, email, text and calls. Stay true and be persistent, is a repeating theme for Decent Luck and even more so as a bill collector.  I haven’t resorted to Twitter or Instagram for getting payment yet, and I stress, yet. Maybe that is the only way to be a DIY bill collector now-a-days? 2.0 anyone? Instagram an overdue invoice and post it on your wall? I’m kidding. Legal bills are not what I’m looking for.

While performing “2.0” bill collecting, I added a pro bono client. Why? Because the “best practices” flow chart does not jive with me sometimes.  I like the client’s service and it is something I personally enjoy doing in my free time (buying vinyl records). Let me add, I offered this free service on a karma basis.  How come no one ever adds “karma” to their business plan anyway?

In both instances, struggling to get payment and working pro-bono, I work for free. Some may say I’m getting fooled, especially after finishing a service prior to payment. But then doubly self-fooling my business by pro-bono-ing myself during the 2.0 billing-instagram efforts?  Foolish? Possibly, but I am happy I did.

With a good quarter century to my golden years, I have a lot to learn, a lot of work to do and a lot of people to help. Everything is a learning experience and I do not have all the answers, in other words, I like to learn (with all possible haste) sometimes.

Share this post or leave comments, don’t worry we’re all friends!

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Hiring Out Is Just Like Dating and Running Shoes

In many cases, doing everything yourself is a time suck and better allocation of resources would be a better bet. Personally, as a DIY lifer, I learned hiring out was the way to go many times – the hard way.

I gravitate towards getting my hands and mind dirty (yes, this happens too); not based solely on saving a few bucks, but as colleagues and friends know, I like to try first before hiring out. Designing websites, layout, logos, car brakes, making an old track bike a ‘fixie,’ rewiring guitar pedals, fashioning a light box for a photographer friend, welding, installing springs and shocks to a vehicle nick-named rolling–thunder, crap like that. I love working on projects but learned through my “I can do that” attitude, there is a point where hiring out is just better time spent. Learn when to say when.

My enthusiastic DIY spirit comes from the, “if you want a job done right..” attitude. (And do not forget the ‘meh’ feeling, that if, said DIY task brakes/falls apart/fails, it’s cool, it’s cool – I did it – there’s no one else to blame). It’s safe to say we all have experienced hiring out for “X” and wound-up making 30 phone calls to get “X” done right, or just satisfactory. I cannot stand the teacher-over-the-shoulder approach to hiring out with some people!  Where is pride of ownership or a job well done to some people?

Once you do find the right person, or service, it really is a great feeling. They take pride in what they do for you.  Smart businesses know repeat customers and referrals are at the heart of their survival. Hiring out is just like dating and running shoes – some are better than others, some are more comfy, some have reflective letters and insignia, some look great but are hard on the arch, some are just a great fit!

Consider time allocation and using your resources wisely. Know when to say when while DIY-ing! I wish you decent luck with that.

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Buy a House and Pitch a Journalist Using Twitter

I do not agree with cold pitching writers on Twitter. I like Twitter as a private news aggregate and an easy way to keep current with industry discussions. I understand the need for a fast concise pitch but I am not going to do it on Twitter. I may however, after contact, send a follow-up on Twitter (only after contact – meaning they responded to me in the past.) I will admit that down the road I will probably be completely wrong with my current view but right now I’m standing my ground – no political vanilla answers here.  Why would I send a pitch to all my followers and all the writers followers? It’s spamy and in bad taste.

Having an “easy” reach to people using social media is great. Never before has a playing field been so level. Unfortunately, like all great things many people abuse, over play and take advantage of a great service. There’s no sense of exclusivity with a cold Twitter pitch and reminds me of annoying pop-ups you do not look at.

I hold true to targeted well researched pitches via email and if I find out a writer, or site, likes pitches on Twitter, I’ll consider it. I don’t “Twitter stalk” and will not pretend friendship if I haven’t met you in real life. Hey, there is a chance, through cordial contact and helping each other out, a rapport may develop – I really hope so – but so do 10% of their 20K plus followers!

Would you buy a house or rent an apartment from a twitter description?

Mull it over for 4 seconds. Yes, there would be a link to a full description, but after a short while the actually tweets would start to read the same. AMAZING, BEST, CUTE, PERFECT LOCATION, COMMUTERS DREAM, WON’T LAST LONG, YOUR SEARCH STOPS HERE, and more crap like that – look at craigslist if you don’t believe me – it is spam m’fin city!  Even specific detailed housing tweets would start looking like band names like: 3 bdrm, 2 bath, basktbll crt, yacht pking, slip/slde trcks, writing rm, again – just more bull fodder.

Twitter has great uses – Pitching and direct one way selling/marketing is not one them. I’m not being vanilla about it. I don’t like it. Maybe as things progress I will change my mind and give ninja guru pitches on Twitter, but for now it’s still a spam guido bar for me. Just like, “5 Ways to increase you social media..blah blah” fodder tweets. I will occasional read them (and stats show more people do click on them) –txt fodder fodder fodder to consume consume consume.

Go ahead exploit a good thing. Not everything is paint by numbers and easy. Buying a house and pitching a journalist are not easy to do. They take time, research, comparison,and you should have something to back up your bids. If I seem scattered today, so be it, it’s Monday and wanted to share.

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The Easy Road To Sustainability, Luck Happens?

Are you suffering from social media malaise? The symptoms are: no one likes you, no one re-tweets you and the only people who like your posts are spamy leach companies that want you to pay for their snake oil twitter/like follower-getter.

As my World War II vet grandfather says, “puck ‘em.”

Hopefully, by now you realize there is no easy road to the sustainability. Keep this in mind while you work towards whatever goal you set. If you disagree with this, contact me and I’ll share more words my grandfather uses.

If you wish to be noticed, be relentless. If your first short story doesn’t get a response, power-on and continue to write. If your clothing line fails miserably, keep designing. If you have no contacts in your field, do research, then do some more research and start getting out there. We all could add many more scenarios to the, “be relentless list.”

For all the paint-by-numbers businesses/services/experts/strategies out there, there are individuals shooting for long dividends from hard work, continued learning and constant striving (*hint – the latter should be you). Luck happens from persistence and sweat. The point here, which you have heard before is – don’t stop because it is hard or you get discouraged.

You have to love it and pursue your goal with that love. In doing so, you come to find enjoyment out of the work. The avenues named “work” and “persistence” lead to, “lucky break” and the freedom from social media malaise.  Keep at it! 

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Promoting In A Sea Of Other Widgets

Let’s talk about promoting your widget. I use the word widget because it’s a lifeless and cold word. Look bluntly as you approach your pitch.

  • What question are you answering with your #####?
  • What makes your ##### different?
  • Why should someone write about #####?

Your widget is swimming in a sea of other widgets. Separate yourself from your work and look at it as a commodity. Eww. Yes, a frigging commodity like corn. I dislike our human tendency to neatly categorize everything but we do it.

If you want to self-promote, market, pitch and sell you must separate the creative processes and the promotional process by thinking of your work as a widget. Why are people so heartless? Why do they have to categorize? Why do I have to compare my unique store to another store? Through this process you will, for better or worse, create what avenues to try with your marketing plan.

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