Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Promote! How I do it, Baby

When several multimillionaires say to you, "Marilisa, you are a natural self promoter." You take note. I must be doing something right.

The earliest memory relative to the promoting groove happened while I was still in junior high.

Other kids had a group, this group would stand at a certain place in the mornings as everyone arrived for school. They'd wait for me. Was I selling drugs? Nope. They just wanted to see what I was wearing that day.

I dressed flamboyantly. I had access to three different wardrobes. My mother's, who was seriously stylish and remained the same size since high school, my sister-in-law's, my brother was way older than I was and, therefore married, and my own. I never wore the same thing twice to school.

My next attempt at self promotion didn't go well. I moved from the liberal school to the conservative school. Why the administration was all up in my boobs, I can't say- but I got in trouble for not wearing a bra to school.

So, I had an idea- on the very last day of school, I decided to wear a bra, like I had been doing, but decided to put a little spin on the whole affair.

Recruiting all my friends, I instructed, "Okay. Here's what we're going to do. We will wear our bras outside of our clothes! What can they say? We have our bras on. It's the last day of school. Who's with me?"

Word spread about my "bra protest" so much so, that when all my girlfriend's went into the bathroom to make the switcheroo, the teachers busted us! Still, I liked the attention. I started noticing that I was good at making you notice.

Yesterday, while I was meeting with a client, the following occurred.

Over 90% of my companies do business with other companies. So my client in this case, was a business too.

Tracy had my competitor's card. She also had my superior marketing materials. She literally walked over to the trash can and threw his card away in front of me!

Am I bragging on my marketing materials? You better believe it. Those materials came from the input of a lot of talented people. I steered the process along, but it was the advice I received and took to heart, that makes my materials pop.

Cliff and George just happened to be in my client's business at the time. Who are Cliff and George? The best promoters in the world, are who Cliff and George are.

Cliff and George play with the big boys. The heavy hitters. Businessmen out of Russia and China and huge national firms call on them for their expertise.
When any of these companies need to change their product image, guess how much it's going to cost right off the bat? Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. That's just to get started!

I haven't seen them for a long time and was delighted- because the talk always turns to business and I'm always learning something new from them.

P.O.D., what's that? George, Cliff and I had a big discussion on P.O.D., Point of Difference. If nothing your company is bringing to the table does not stand out in any way, differentiate itself, George and Cliff tell you- sorry. Can't accept your job. Not even worth the trouble.

The greater issue is:

Unless your business has something of value that is unique in the market place, you're going to have a terrible time promoting it!

Back in initial creation stage, if you scrimped on your branding, being just mediocre, or you scrimped on your offering, being average at best, you can promote until the cows come home to no avail!

An efficacy exists between the original creation of your business and the ongoing promotion.

Synergy between both is a must.

But specifically, how to I promote?

In three distinct ways.

I promote generally. I promote specifically. I promote creatively. I promote by pushing myself forward and saying, "Look at this!" I do not apologize for it either.

General Promotion:

I make sure everyone knows about me and my companies. They might not need something from me now, but they will, or they'll know someone who will.


Specific Promotion:

When I want to target a niche group, I do this. Who's my buyer? Where are they? When are they ready to buy? These are my key questions.

No Cost Promotion:

Heck yeah, I'll call up the t.v. stations and the newspapers. The last time I was in the paper, the owner of the paper was saying to me-

"I own the paper. I can do anything I want."

"Well, Max. As you said, you own the paper and can do anything you want- did I mention I'm going to need the front page?"

What could he say? I got front page.

Bashful and promoting do not go hand in hand.

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