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TIPS TO BUILD YOUR BUSINESS
By: Pam Perry, www.MinistryMarketingSolutions.com 1. Self-Promote. Nominate yourself for awards, send releases, invite media to your events. Get published! Go on cable talk shows and create a video on your business. 2. Visibility. Build and maintain your network. Join major industry associations (join committees) and become involved. This is good for your reputation. 3. Publish a newsletter with useful information for clients and prospective clients. 4. Ask clients to write reference letters or endorsements for media kit. (include a GOOD photo, brochure, credentials and press clips, etc.) 5. Send out announcements stating ”now accepting new clients…” to prospects. 6. Mail out announcements (build a database) with reply cards that allow prospects to request additional information or an appointment. 7. Use outgoing message on your answering machine to promote your firm. (Make it a: 60 spot and use it on the radio). 8. NETWORK! Attend all conferences, seminars and club meetings to build your database. Know the names and faces of media folks! 9. Invest in hiring a photographer to take photos of you “in action” and send out to media or in an Eblast. 10. Hold a press conference with a community relations slant. Organize a charitable event. Do good and good will come back to you!
TOP 10 PR SECRETS FOR CHRISTIAN AUTHORS
1. Pray. Ask God to show you WHO to contact and WHEN. If you are hiring a publicist, ask God to lead you to the right person. Know in your “knower” that it is a divine connection. 2. Be a database collector. I have been known to go to my 30-year class reunion and add folks from there to my database. Eblasts are great & blogs. It’s called viral marketing – it spreads like virus. Have a system to stores and retrieve your names/contacts. 3. Join groups where media attend. I joined the National Association of Black Journalists as an associate member. I go to their meetings and some have become friends and it’s a lot easier to get things in the press if people know you. Go! 4. Read what the “best sellers” are doing. Go to their websites. Look at their previous hits. See if you can get their galley and see what their marketing plan entailed and modify to fit your book. 5. Ask your target market (you have defined one right) what they read, listen to and how they get their news and information – and you read the publications too. Research. 6. Go to other author book signings. You reap what you sow and you will learn a lot in the process. They may even share their “secrets” with you. Fellow Christian authors are never competitors…. we are all in the business of spreading the Gospel. 7. Know what constitutes a best-seller. How many copies need to sell? What stores report? How do they report? 8. Contact at least two media people a day. Building relationships is key. Use your “signature” on everything. Never let something go out without your website on it! 9. Look at other author press kits. Go online and see other author’s “press rooms” on their sites. Embellish your kit to add the “best” ideas of the best. 10. Apply at least ½ the information you know about PR and marketing from conferences, books and articles you read. You’ll be ahead of the game for sure. Pam Perry, www.MinistryMarketingSolutions.com
BRANDING…..THE REAL DEAL! By Andrew Bass
The use of brand and branding has become the catch phrase for businesses in the 21st century. But exactly what does that mean? Simply put, a brand is the unique business, product or service that you bring to the market. Branding is the action in which you apply that uniqueness across all items related to that brand. It becomes the strategy of how you make your brand and its customers relate to one another. When folks talk about brand and branding, Fortune 500 companies are usually mentioned in the same breath. Most small businesses believe creating a brand is out of their reach. Most small businesses think of branding as a luxury expense that they believe they can’t afford. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Nothing can be further from the truth. All businesses have a brand. What they have to figure out is what makes it different from the rest of your competition. Branding can benefit ALL companies no matter their size. By careful planning, prioritizing what is needed and aligning yourself with dependable vendors, you can create a branding system for your business at a lower cost than you think. Branding has become a big business in itself. There are different philosophies and many methods on how to create an effective branding campaign. What I am presenting is a straight to the point outline of what is needed to begin branding your business.
So Where Do I Begin? You have your brand (your business, product or service). Now you have to figure what exactly separates your brand from similar brands. What is your unique selling point? Some examples of this would be Nike, which is known as the company of “Just Do It.” It represents the feelings of action, adventure, and being unafraid. Everything connected to Nike exemplifies that. So you have to figure out your unique selling point. Once you do then a strategy can be developed to have all the components of your brand showcase that unique selling point. This is how you begin branding. The next step in the branding process is making sure your strategy is applied consistently through all components and extensions of your brand. There are constant elements that help make your brand more recognizable to potential customers and fellow businesses. Elements such as your identity (which is explained a little later), your colors, your images, your words, or your slogan become linked to your brand. All your tools, which I will discuss next, along with any extensions of your brand, advertising, promotions and so on must always contain linked elements. If your brand uses the colors of gray and orange with a slogan, then your website and advertising would use gray and orange with a slogan. This just reinforces your brand exposure to customers. Repeated exposure is how FedEx or Xerox has become part of our lexicon.
You have identified your brand. You have figured out your unique selling point. You now have a branding strategy. Let’s look at the tools you will need for the next step.
Building That Brand You need some basic working tools. All businesses no matter how big or how small will need these basic working tools. If you want to stand out from your competitors and be a beacon for potential customers then this is the basic start you need. There are other tools you can develop later on as your brand grows but for now, it is wise to do some long term investing to try and profit in the short term. The first tool you need is a face to your brand. What you need is what is called an identity or more commonly known as a logo. An identity can consist of a logotype (a type treatment), a symbol or a combination of both. This identity becomes the face for your brand and it must reflect the essence of what that brand is. You don’t want to leave your house with your face all crusty and unkempt while the rest of you looks sharp as a tack. The same goes for your “brand identity.” Many companies today have an identity that gives off the wrong impression of what kind of business they are running. Just as you would think about how your personal appearance is, you must give the same sort of attention to your business’s appearance. The second tool will be a letterhead, envelope and business card. These tools are how you will communicate on a day-to-day basis with customers and other companies. Say you meet someone one day and after you two get to talking, the other person asks for a business card. If you don’t have one, are you going to write your business phone on some stray paper? How do you think that makes your look professionally? You know how, like a joke. The same goes for the letterhead and envelope. As a business you send out correspondence every day from invoices to inquiry letters. You’re not going to write it on a blank piece of paper, right? Of course not. The third tool needed will be a website. A website, why? In today’s world, the internet allows you access to places all around the world. Today everyone wants instant constant and having a website provides you that. Also, having a website allows you to have an email address that reflects your business name. Free email services like Yahoo, AOL, Earthlink and Hotmail are great for personal emails but having a business email will let other businesses and customers know that you are serious. Which would you respond to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com? At one time having a website was a costly proposition. Not today. With thousands of Internet Service Providers (ISP), you can get great monthly deals with a lot of features such as 2-gigabyte mailboxes, multiple email boxes and preset templates for easier self-building. Yahoo and Earthlink offer business hosting plans in addition to personal email services but they are not for free although they charge low monthly fees.
The fourth tool needed is a brochure that sells your brand. The identity is your brand’s face, the stationery system is your clothes, the website are your arms and the brochure is your body. With a brochure, you can sell your brand with words and images that potential customers can actually hold and feel. It can be as complex as you want, it can be as lavish as you want or it can be a simple as you want. Trust me, it still makes a difference to potential customers (and competitors) when they can hold and feel something tangible of your brand. For now, the virtual world won’t replace printed promotions because of our need for tactile stimulation.
Hire A Graphic Designer, Please Just because you have a computer and they sell tons of do-it-yourself graphics doesn’t mean you can now design your own branded graphics. Just because your niece likes art doesn’t mean she can design your brand’s graphics. Creating a coordinated system of graphics that fall in sync with the soul of your brand takes time, research, thought, lots of ideas—some trash, some great—and skill. Hire a graphic designer, please! Your brand will thank you. Graphic design is now becoming a known profession thanks in part to TV shows and movies. Graphic designers are trained by degree in the principles of design that really becomes part science and part artistic impression. When hiring a graphic designer to help give your brand a visual life, he/she will work in tandem with you on how your brand is conveyed creating a unique look all to yourself. Most graphic designers have honed their skill by working with other businesses developing their graphic systems. You want to work with a graphic designer that has had solid working experiences. But a word of caution—just like all professions not everyone is as competent as they claim. Do check their background, talk to their past clientele and always ask to see a real live portfolio. I personally have seen some so-called designers pass off someone else’s work as their own. Be aware of the numerous design “chop” shops that offer to do logos for $59, brochures and postcards for $199 and so. These places promise numerous ideas and unlimited revisions on projects because they have large numbers of “artists” to work on your project. What they don’t tell you is that your project will be from a prefabricated template that Acme Made Bakery in Anytown, USA also uses. No self-respecting graphic designer will churn out 20 to 30 ideas with an unlimited amount of revisions for any dollar amount. That is not productive for the designer and certainly not productive for your brand or business. Many factors go into the pricing of developing a branded identity. The designer has to take into account the complexity of the brand, its message, how it will be applied, where it will be applied, and what other components will be added to it and other details. As each end result is uniquely different so is its fee structure. For example, fees for completing a branding system can range from $6,000 to $50,000 as a small business. But keep in mind the designer customizes his/her fee based on the details of the project as well as the size of the business. Design “chop” shops don’t follow the principles of design nor do they
calculate all the factors that go into development but rather they are modeled like an assembly line— cheap, repetitive models—that is why their fees seem so “reasonable.” What you receive is nothing of a unique character or perspective that will be related to your brand and quite possibly you may see your brand on some other company one day. The old saying is true—you get what you pay for. Hiring a graphic designer or a graphic design studio will cost much more than $59 but you can be certain you will have hired someone who is skilled in graphic design, someone who is concerned how your brand will look and most of all someone who will give you that unique and original perspective that your brand deserves. Let’s Get This Started Congratulations! You decided to hire a graphic designer. So the question now is where do I find one. Do you look in the yellow pages? The web? Ask around? Actually you can do all three. The yellow pages can provide you names of individual designers or design studios but depending on where you’re based the listings may be slim. The best places are the web and referrals from other businesses. On the web you can do a local search for graphic design. Go through the listings and visit their websites for information. Your search doesn’t have to be contained to local areas. Try different cities around you even different states. Visit graphic design organization sites to search member directories such as American Institute of Graphic Arts (www.aiga.org) and Graphic Artists Guild (www.gag.org). You can also check out The Workbook Phonebook, a directory of artists including graphic design studios
(www.workbook.com/phonebook). Another great resource is referrals from businesses you admire. Ask them whom did they go to for help. If your friends have their own businesses ask who helped them in developing their brand. Listen to what they have to say about their experience with the graphic designer. Get as much information as possible before meeting with anyone recommended. So hopefully this helps make it easier to understand what a brand is, the importance of branding and the value of hiring a graphic designer or studio to help create your brand identity. It is all about using the same tools as the big guns but without the high cost. Just as we know customers are what ultimately make a business thrive, having all the right tools at your disposal definitely won’t hurt it.
Andrew Bass is Principal & Chief Idea Maker of Straight Design LLC, an award-winning boutique graphic design studio. His graphic expertise spans over 18 years creating winning logos, brochures, annual reports and magazines for many small business and not-for-profit clientele. His work has been recognized by GD:USA, The Ozzies and ASBPE.
Here's a formula for developing your personal brand:
Register your name.com. Go to www.obtainyourname.com, or some name registration site, and register your name as fast as you can. Register your kid's name, too. Be willing to give of yourself -- first. It's not the only way, but it is the best and most long-lasting one I've found. Dedicate time to make it happen. Or it won't happen. If you want to make a lasting mark, it must be preceded with a master plan. Get others to help you. List the people you think can help you connect. Ask for their support. (The easiest way to get support? Give it first -without keeping score.) Make a brief 30-second personal commercial. About what you do and how you can help others. Deliver it AFTER you have asked the other person what they do. (You will do this at the CAMP) Combine outreaches. Examples: Get your charity to get you into the community as a spokesperson. Donate a scholarship to the trade association of your best client. Give a talk and donate the speaking fee to your charity. Make a donation in honor of a significant event in a customers life. Do everything with a creative flair. Something that makes the time and effort you gave worth remembering. Memorability is a vital link to building market awareness. Get the best business card money can buy. It's your image -- and it makes an impact every time you give one -- either WOW!, positive, mediocre, or negative. Engrave it, blind emboss it, foil stamp it, logo it, graphic design it, multi-color it. Here's the acid test: When you give out your card, if someone doesn't look at it and say "Nice card," get it redone.
Stay in front of the people you want to do business with. By combining your outreaches, you can create a steady flow of your images (in the paper, weekly e-zine, on TV, your newsletter, etc.) to your target market. It takes between five and ten images to create awareness great enough to make a buying decision. Become a resource. It's much more powerful than someone perceiving you as a salesman or entrepreneur. People will want to be around you, and pay attention to what you say, if they believe what you say and do has value to them and their business. Persistence and consistency are the secrets. Don't do anything once - and then sit back and wait. You must keep plugging without expectation. If you're good, have patience. Your phone will ring. Have a good time doing it. People who take it too serious have problems sorting out what's important in the world. Treat it like an important game -- play as hard as you can to win. Strive to be the best at whatever you do. Go for your personal goal. Be the best. Not the material goal to make a lot of money. Be the best and the money will automatically show up. Ignore idiots and zealots. There are a lot of jealous people and naysayers in the world. Ignore them. People rain on your parade, because they have no parade of their own. (Dump the “haters” in your life).
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, and The Little Red Book of Selling. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts internet training programs on sales and customer service at www.trainone.com.
WRITING and USING A PRESS RELEASE by Christopher Cathcart
Don’t let a limited marketing budget keep you from getting your project in front of the right people via the media. An effective public relations campaign does not have to cost a lot of money. And the press release is probably the most inexpensive form of publicity. However, if an editor doesn’t pick up your release, you are most definitely getting what you paid for - nothing. A successful press release will have the following key elements: 1. 2. 3. Strategic Placement – Make sure it is targeted to the right media Relevant Content – It must offer NEWS that the media considers important to its audience Proper Structure – Your must adhere to professional standards in terms of form and structure (hint: the shorter the release, the better; it should be free of flowery language, over-hype, etc.)
It cannot be overstated that your press release must convey some form of real news, not an ego stroke, or a nice item of relevance only to you, your company or immediate circle. It must pass the – “would the average consumer care about this” test. It is not an essay where you can wax poetic, it is a news story that reviews the facts…and nothing but the facts. Based on your research, you should know which publications/outlets are most likely to find your story of interest, and the more you know about a publication the better. You should become a student of the media; know the differences between outlets, including their audiences and deadlines (the cut-off time for publications before they go to print for the next issue):
(For Example) Daily Newspapers (deadlines are everyday, generally at the end of the work day) Weekly Newspapers (deadlines are the day before publication) Monthly Magazines (deadlines could be 2-3 months ahead of street date) Weekly Magazines (deadlines are the day before publication) On-line services (deadlines vary – do the research) Let us assume your press release has reached the right person. After the editor picks up your piece, you have about 10 seconds to grab his/her attention and make him/her care about your story. An editor acts as a screener of material for their “clients” – the readers or audience. He knows what they want and if he wants to keep them as clients, he has to give it to them. That keeps everybody – the reader, the publisher and the advertisers – happy. So, you have to think like a newsperson and make the content relevant; and make the relevance obvious. In short, make the editor want to read on and, through that, share your news with his/her audience. -morePage two - How to/Press Release Obviously, if your press release does not go to the proper outlets, or convey relevant content, then the structure will matter little. However, let’s assume you hit the mark on those points. How do you structure the information? Following are a few tips that are underscored by an actual press release the OneDiaspora Group prepared for a client, each of the following tips are illustrated on the sample. 1. Press Release should be on your letterhead or have a logo. Contact information (name, phone number, email address) should appear at the top of the release (you should also repeat it at the end of the release). It should be stated at the top that it’s a press release and the release date.
The headline is your chance to catch the editor’s interest. It is the angle of your story. Make it eye grabbing; the use of a sub-headline can also be effective, though not necessary. The headline should be in bold type. The dateline includes the location and date of the press release; this should be in bold as well. The first sentence of the of the first paragraph is called the “lead.” It tells what the release is about; this sentence and the remainder of the first paragraph should answer as many WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, and HOW questions as possible. Middle paragraphs should continue to answer the key questions (if necessary) as well as offer quotes from authorities/key parties (usually you or who you are representing) explaining why the news is important to the readers/audience. Middle paragraphs also summarize and further detail the facts, issues, persons discussed in the release, etc. The final paragraph should always be the “boilerplate,” a concise statement about your firm’s/group’s services and mission (very important in promoting yourself; you should draft a standard paragraph that can be used over and over again). Repeat contact information – very important if the publication runs your release in its entirety – which many small outlets do.
10. End each release with # # # in the middle of the page. Here’s a helpful hint…press releases and news stories read very much alike. Start paying closer attention to how the articles in your favorite newspapers are written; check out the leads, how information is introduced, and the transition from one paragraph to another, etc.
OneDiaspora Group | P.O. Box 36191 | Los Angeles | CA | 90036
Publicity Resources There are many excellent ways to build a media list that is best targeted to a given book and author. Here are some of the tools publishers, authors, and book publicists often use. All are available for sale, and many are available in library reference rooms, but libraries don’t always have the current editions. The Gale Database of Publications and Broadcast Media www.gale.com This premier media directory contains thousands of listings for radio and television stations and cable companies. Print media entries provide address, phone, fax numbers, and email addresses; key personnel, including feature editors; and much more. Broadcast media entries provide address, phone, fax, and email addresses; key personnel; owner information; hours of operation; networks carried; and more ($950). All-in-One Media Directory www.gebbiepress.com Gebbie Press products include an annual All-in-One Media Directory, print version ($155) and an annual All-in-One Media Directory, data-only CD versions: Daily and Weekly Newspaper CD, Radio and Television CD, and Trade and Consumer Magazines CD ($155 each, $415.00 for all three). Gebbie also sells an annual All-In-One Media Directory, PR Pro CD software ($565). Harrison’s Guide to the Top National TV Talk and Interview Shows www.freepublicity.com Contains detailed profiles of over 600 key contacts at more than 280 top national cable and TV shows that interview guests ($267–$497, depending on options). Contact Pam Perry for details! Dan Poynter’s Para-Publishing www.parapublishing.com Many reports, lists, and other products and services. Book Marketing Update www.bookmarket.com This twice-monthly subscription newsletter is edited by John Kremer (author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Book) and produced by Bradley Communications (Radio TV Interview Report; www.rtir.com). It keeps you up to date on key media contacts where you can get free publicity for your book ($227 at the one-year author/small press rate). PartyLine www.expertclick.com This media placement newsletter is a weekly roundup of opportunities. It’s available by email only ($167.50 per year).
Bulldog Reporter www.bulldogreporter.com Bulldog issues Lifestyle Media and Business Media bimonthly newsletters ($449 each per year) and National PR Pitch Books media directories. The directories include contact information on the 43,000 most influential journalists and 30,000 top media in the United States—plus Bulldog Reporter’s exclusive PitchingTips, which give details on how these journalists want and don’t want to be pitched. Its volumes cover Business and Consumer; Health, Fitness and Medicine; Investment, Banking and Financial Services; Travel, Food and Hospitality; and Issues, Politics and Policy ($450–$499 each). Bulldog also offers custom list-building. Prices vary from $195 base price plus $7/name for its Master List of unusual subjects or when traditional beat definitions aren’t precise enough, to $195 base price plus $3/name for its Express list, when your story topic or press release matches traditional beats. ProfNet info.prnewswire.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 888/776-0942 Links reporters quickly and conveniently with expert sources. The Publicity Hound www.publicityhound.com Special reports, lists, free articles, and much more. Travelwriter Marketletter www.travelwriterml.com This award-winning monthly newsletter offers current market information, news, and tips for travel writers and photographers as well as PR professionals. TM details new markets, pay scales, editors, specs, and more ($65 per year via email; $75 per year in hard copy). Gordon’s Radio List www.radiopublicity.net, or 949/855-0640 This list provides contact information for more than 1,100 radio shows that interview authors and other guests. It includes hosts' and producers' names, addresses, e-mails, and phone and fax numbers, plus notes on what each show is about. Unlike other lists, it is updated daily. Results are also guaranteed; William Gordon will investigate any listing that appears to be out of date and report back to you. Available in Word or Excel for $329. Joe Sabah’s Radio List www.sabahradioshows.com A Current Database of 953 Radio Talk Shows Who Interview Guests by Telephone includes call letters of the station, name of the show, hosts’ and producers’ names, address, phone and fax numbers, Watts (power of the station), email addresses, and Web sites. Available on PC or Mac CD in ASCII format, which can be imported into any program with an import feature. Note: Joe updates this database every six months, because the turnover in radio stations is so high ($99). Web Resources The Web has a lot of media resources, of course. Some are free; some cost. Some give only a little information—company name, address, and basic email address—while others are more detailed. Useful Internet resources include a Media Directory of Local, Daily and Weekly Newspapers at www.bizmove.com; and, for radio stations, www.radio-directory.com. A little searching will lead you to many others.
Recommended Reading List for Next Level PR 3.0!
1. Taking Your Business To the Next Level: An Essential Step-By-Step Success Plan for Small Business by Frances McGuckin 2. How to Be an Entrepreneur and Keep Your Sanity: The African-American Handbook & Guide to Owning, Building, and Maintaining Successfully Your Own Small Business by Paula McCoy Pinderhughes 3. Complete Publicity Plans: Create Publicity That Will Spark Media Exposure and Excitement by Sandra Beckwith 4. Branding for Dummies: Discover a Dynamic System for Brand-creation & Management by Bill Chiaravelle and Barbara Findlay Schenck 5. The Brand YU Life: Re-Thinking Who You Are Through Personal Brand Management by Hajj E. Flemings 6. The New Influencers: A Marketer’s Guide to the New Social Media by Paul Gillin 7. The E Code: 34 Internet Superstars Reveal 44 Ways to Make Money Online Almost Instantly – Using Only Email! By Joe Vitale and Jo Han Mok 8. Advanced Email Marketing: How to Deliver the Right Message to the Right Audience by Jim Sterne 9. Blogs, Wikis, MySpace, and More: Everything You Want to Know About Using Web 2.0 but Are Afraid to Ask by Terry Burrows 10. Permission-Based E-Mail Marketing That Works!: Everything You Need to Know by Kim MacPherson 11. What No One Ever Tells You About Blogging and Podcasting: Real-Life Advice from 101 People Who Successfully Leverage the Power of the Blogosphere by Ted Demopoulis 12. Red Hot Internet Publicity: An Insider’s Guide to Marketing Your Book on the Internet by Penny C. Sansevieri 13. From Book to Bestseller: An Insider’s Guide to Publicizing and Marketing Your Book! by Penny C. Sansevieri 14. Publish & Market Your Christian Book in 10 Easy Steps by Tamika Johnson-Hall 15. The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing & Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly by David Meerman Scott
16. Blogging for Dummies: Set up, publish and maintain a blog that draws readers by Brad Hill 17. Amp Your MySpace Page: Essential Tools for Giving your Profile an Extreme Makeover by Eric Butow & Michael Bellomo 18. Be The Media: How to Create and Accelerate Your Message…Your Way by David Mathison 19. Sell Your Book on Amazon: Top Secrets Guaranteed to Increase Sales for Print-On-Demand and Self-Publishing Writers by Brent Sampson 20. Syndicating Web Sites with RSS Feeds for Dummies by Ellen Finkelstein 21. Branding Faith: Why Some Church and Nonprofits Impact Culture and Others Don’t by Phil Cooke 22. How to Win Sales & Influence Spiders: Boosting your Business & Buzz On the Web by Catherine Seda 23. Success Secrets of the Online Marketing Superstars by Mitch Meyerson 24. Start Your Own Blogging Business: Generate Income from Advertisers, Subscribers, Merchandising and More by Entrepreneur Press and J. S. McDougall 25. iPod & iTunes for Dummies by Tony Bove and Cheryl Rhodes 26. YouTube for Dummies: Share Your Home Movies or Videoblog Online by Doug Sahlin and Christ Botello
Prepared by: Pam Perry, www.MinistryMarketingSolutions.com, 248.426-2300
All available on Amazon.com & in fine bookstores
See the blog: http://www.ministrymarketingsolutionsblog.com Join the facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pamperryfanpage Tweet her at www.twitter.com/pamperry Watch her at www.youtube.com/pamperry1 Listen to her at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ministrymarketingsolutions
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?