Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Kool-aid Drinkers- The NEW Normal - it's Unsweetened!

A new Kool-aid drinker will be caught off-guard to realize there is a 'new normal' when it comes to business today.  Being a consumer yourself, you probably already know first-hand, about being ignored, hung up on, spending hours waiting for help ...... the new 'customer service' business model.  

Total and utter frustration

When running a business with technical website issues, there is nothing worse....
This idea of 'live chat'  leaves little comfort to anyone and when you have a missing independent real tech-person, who 'decides' when they would like to return a frantic message....usually by that time, you have pulled the last remaining hair from your head.

Bad manners have become the new way-of-the-world.  Ignoring someone is the NEW  'I'm not interested' AND 'I don't even have a second to tell you either.'   For people employed this is largely due to 'survival mode' in the workforce, but it's still bad manners nonetheless.  

What happens as it relates to Kool-aid drinkers; is your inability to actually reach people - those who you need to help move your business forward.  It is another futile exercise in frustration.   And to note; 'follow- up' as a word is a very out- dated and unrecognized term these days.

Your thoughtful well-written emails will go unanswered and if you're like me, you'll be bright-eyed and amazed until you hear the reason why.... (which is coming) ...

For at least a year, I was absolutely amazed that after reading my thoughtful personal emails,  someone couldn't hit 'reply' and actually 'reply'.... seriously! is it really that hard?  or just tell me 'no thank you' ....  In fact, I was so sure that this was so unimaginable that I thought for a time I had 'email halitosis' -- a frightening new odor which my computer surely was omitting. 

Then, when a wise friend (I have a lot of smart friends)  enlightened me with two simple words ....'DELETE BUTTON' -- Those words hit me like a brick to the head --- of course .... tsk, tsk.  actually brilliant! 

If you 'hit' the delete button on all correspondence which you don't care to care about.... it will just go away -- like magic!  poof! 

Months later when you do find this person (like running after rats on a sinking ship)... they will then tell you that your email must have fallen prey to their unfortunate spam folder.....!    ............................................ohhh, so sad.

 Brilliant again!   

That is, until you find yourself continuously on the 'DELETE' side of business, you will quickly find another term.... extreme frustration (along with other swear words)  and very much in need of a 'Plan B'  This is the unsweetened side of Kool-aid drinking.

glug, glug, glug ....    :)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Kool-aid Rehab Harnessing Rocket Fuel

Those who are drinking Kool-aid you may already know that your business activities do not stop on Friday at 5:00 pm ... it is for that reason I decided to write again today.  I hope you're having a great weekend!

If you are a true 'Entrepreneur' the breed of human who rarely 'stops' .... your brain will always be spinning (is it the Kool-aid? :)   so many ideas, so many problems to solve! massive opportunity.... so little time....  it's endless.  I get 'it'.... in fact, all too well.

Your small business efforts are further amplified when you hear the term 'LAUNCH' in reference to your new start-up business - it inevitably fires up something deep in your brain to stimulate and boost big thinking.... and with that, sky rocketing sales.  Let the games begin!

The optimism is like rocket fuel for the brain and that's not a bad thing- it just needs to be harnessed a bit.     I have been there with that :)    Everyone wants to think they have the next 'pet rock' - (that guy sold 1.5 million 'rocks' and became a millionaire)  - just anything - an overnight success .... to then be able to conquer your next assignment with your brilliant ideas.   

What is forgotten is the small print.... and it should be noted that most of the 'overnight successes' have years of hard work, sweat, tears and chewed nails behind the process....

All should be reminded; if business were this easy
 then everyone would do it.  

I don't mean to sound so cynical, miracles do happen, (crazy sales)   but then, the inevitable brings you back to earth in the way of manufacturing issues.  It's just the reality of this business .....  PR 'spikes' are usually the culprit- absolutely impossible to forecast..... and they usually 'hit' without warning.    When blended with the consumer-of-today (demanding as they should be, with ZERO patience to wait for something they have purchased) and with the new variety of attention spans - that's the recipe for immediate refunds ...  the interest in your 'new shiny object' will melt quicker than unrefriderated ice cream.  (no kidding!)
Sadly you'll not be able to get them back.

Game over as they say! .....or for Entrepreneurs
like me, it's on to plan 'B' :) 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Kool-aid Rehab; A Sharp Pitch 4-Prong Approach

I hope you had a nice recess break!   :)

Now back to Kool-aid Rehab.   Today's theme is going to reference point  #3. from the 12-step relief plan (My introductory blog)  titled; 'Write Your Own Press Releases'......and 'then what?'.... this idea hearkens back to the idea that 'yes', you can take the PR 'step' - but be aware of what you are 'stepping' intoI have said this before... it is tricky - put on your helmet and start 'pitching' :)
Professional caliber writing in today's world of zero-attention-spans should be thoughtfully written and very concise. No time for fluff or clever adjectives.   It's more important to carefully articulate your pitch in short sentences and support these words with bullet points (and pictures).

To note;  on any given day a media person is receiving hundred's of emails and many of those are press releases just like yours.

Even with crisp wordsmith techniques this effort can still be in vain if you can't get your story placed - so be aware are still pitching from the bottom of a haystack looking for a needle.

In this wildly competitive arena, it is really important to create a snappy headline in the subject line which will grab someones attention. Think about your own 'in box'.... you can tell immediately the things that you will quickly delete - that same rule holds true for media. 

Soliciting someone to write about your product or service is a very challenging ordeal....Staff writers and freelancers finishing paid assignments are usually not looking for new projects that they initiate.....pitching new concepts, ideas or (God forbid) a  commercial brand to their editors is a stretch in most cases. Not impossible... but a stretch.  Getting 'reviewers' is also competitive.

I have shipped expensive samples with great succinct story ideas to appropriate writers with targeted notes to learn after repeated follow-up that ('it's still in the box') or .... it will be 'fun' to write about later.... 'if I ever decide to write on that subject' -- woo hoo!  This 'approach' is really frustrating so (in my humble opinion) I recommend going to the next prong of this 'pitch'-fork.

Become a quick reader (3 x's daily) to HARO (Help A Reporter Out) inquiries (40-60 individual posts)  .... it's  a free subscription to an ass backwards (brilliant) way to reach media by helping!  The idea is; busy reporters and writers currently writing stories - many who are under deadline,  need specific information to support what they are doing and you just may have what they need
But Beware!  This is also crazy competitive and it's important to answer quickly --- short and sweet is the ticket here --- no attachments or pictures are allowed.  It's just the facts ma'am...... JUST GO FOR IT!    If a reporter needs you they will very quickly be in touch.  

After time, you will get into a rhythm about this - there are days when I feel like an EMT - reading fast (with flashers on) and writing like a manic to get in their pipeline for consideration! That's just the facts!


So in conclusion;  Here are the headlines for this 'lesson'.... 

1). Boil down your 'pitch' to very simple concepts.  Short paragraphs with bullet points are best.

 2). Budget time for researching timely newsworthy topics which you can 'attach' your message to.

 3). Pitch appropriate news outlets and freelancers.

 4). Subscribe to HARO (Help A Report Out) answer even those inquiries that are on the just never know!

Have a nice weekend and take some time to .... NOT drink Kool-aid but be realistic in your endeavors. :) 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

RECESS for Kool-aid Rehabers!

Recess time! For those how have carefully paid attention to the 3 previous posts on Kool-aid Rehab you have earned this side-bar-of-a-thought for today....  :)  Maybe we can all join together for this new way of thinking!  For those who are new to this blog you are also entitled to join in!   Help yourself!

I am constantly amazed when reading job postings on Linked in for positions that have criteria that isn't too far from looking for left-handed people born on a Wednesday under a full-moon... just crazy.  

Looking at job-posting jabber is stunning to me; this noted criteria is for a Director level or VP;  (first, to protect your keyboard... keep liquids away from your mouth)  

"Develop and manage product messaging framework to enable organized marketing of product capabilities and differentiation" 

WHAT?! is that a new variety of English?

"Synthesize complex or diverse information; collect and research data; use intuition and experience to complement data."  AGAIN... What?!

and my favorite;

"Approach others in a tactful manner; accept responsibility for your own actions; follow through on commitments."   Seriously!  can we all say 'DUH' !  

....and for 'requirements'.... just found this one;
Minimum eight (8) years of relevant experience- (in the same listing) Must be 18 years or older.   HUH?  if you're over 50 it's hard to compete with that!

I've even seen a detailed 'laundry list' of things on a job posting ending with speaking German as a 'requirement' :)

So there you have it ... the 'needle in a haystack' search for-the -impossible - seriously??.... how could all these 'brilliant' attributes be stacked into one person?!
Don't employers and HR scholars, know they could just go to their local Starbucks and 'whistle up' amazing talent (?) !! - The wasted talent sipping coffee  are highly motivated, smart and willing to get the job done.  Employers could probably get  a two-for-the-price-of-one deal in there!

It's amazing to think of this but people who are skilled with real experience can actually follow directions and guess what?..... they have the ability to learn new things and even add to the task-at-hand with their own creativity!    no babysitting needed! WOW - what a concept! 

Matching employers with the right people shouldn't be such an  arduous process but then again, the people who are thoughtfully thinking of crap to write down are  just like everyone else with a precious real job.... they're frantically paddling for their own 'careers'.....

 Just think, (?) here's an idea.....  if loyalty and treating people like adults (instead of organ donors) returned to the workforce these crazy long searches wouldn't even be a topic to think about. Productivity would rise and everyone would be happy.   

'Generous 'Perks' like; (I didn't make these up either) would be abolished.

'FUN FRIDAY HOURS - get a head start on your weekend by leaving at 2:30 every Friday (year-round!)'     nothing like viewing your business like prison....   and for the happy inmates; 'FREE FRESH FRUIT provided daily (plus free coffee)' woo hoo!  and for the 'uniform' .... 'BUSINESS CASUAL DRESS CODE' (EVERYDAY!) -- wow!  keep your people look'in sloppy!  now that's motivating!

At the risk of sounding like an old person bumping the gums in thought --- it seems to me that a return to basics is needed; real adults need to have an opportunity to contribute to this mess .... a work force recalibration is in order (hire 20+ years experienced people only) .... decent pay for a fair-day's work, decent healthcare and respect for all.  That concept just may equal 'loyality' - a lost word in the vocabulary of younger generations.

Would love to hear from you!  Have a great (and productive) day!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Kool-aid Rehab; Before You 'step' in PR Read This!

Never short of content here! For an entrepreneur,  this can be a lonely  path, but don't worry - my 'tips' will help! :) 
Put your Kool-aid away!  

To continue --- and I applaud those who have actually stuck with this blog, I promise to not disappoint.  My goal here is to provide useful information to keep new bright-eyed entrepreneurs from a frightening derailment which can lead to burned money and heartache. 

For many small businesses an aggressive paid advertising schedule with lots of frequency is usually not a viable option.  Awareness is probably needed for your brand or service and PR can be a logical step.  So before you 'step' in it read this...

Item #2. from  Kool-aid Rehab... 12-step relief plan (from my first posting) -  Public Relations

In our 'new world' of communication and personal discovery (a la no more direct selling because consumers aren't listening) PR can be the most powerful 'voice' available to small business for awareness and actual selling.  Be warned;  It is wildly competitive, but it is a very effective way to get in front of your audience.

To begin with basics; 'Public Relations' is NOT advertising.... it's so much more and it is lasting.   When a company is fortunate to receive a positive PR placement (especially with national exposure) it is like getting a golf hole-in-one. Conversely, when things go wrong or you have a bad review ... PR is a devastating ink stain on the Internet which is difficult to remove.  Care and expertise must be taken before starting down this track.

To be clear, PR is high-risk (with your time) and if done correctly - high-reward  (like spiting on lucky dice) .... and full-on heart-stopping when after months of prospecting, paying-by-the-hour..... equals..... zero results.   To minimize this outcome you must  read whatever you can about the process of Public Relations and specifically 'Media Relations'.  To get the most bang-for-your-buck... I recommend thoroughly researching media outlets/writers which relate to the audience you would like to reach.

Next, clearly define this group to help articulate this to a professional who can be of help to you.  Note: 'a professional' (singularly) an agency may not be needed. Because this area of business is about relationships, creative thinking and clever resourcefulness you need a person.     What you are looking for is an independent superior PR/Media Relations professional and someone with VERY current contacts... (or move on).   Those who are really in their game will have an active list of contacts (within the area you would like to reach) to minimize time (which is your $$$).  Also, if selling something tangible, be prepared and plan to distribute product samples to your targeted media prospects.  (there's no way to get around that) 

If you decide to take on the Public Relations responsibility  yourself - get a helmet to wear because it is like banging your head on concrete. I am not going to sugar-coat this -  I do know this 'activity' well ...  after paying for superior-talent (without contacts) after time, I decided to make my own 'friends' (err, I mean contacts)

One of my new 'friends' I cleverly cultivated from a round-about-crazy-way was behind-the-scenes of ThE Dr. Oz Show... and as anyone knows... getting in there is SOLID GOLD (like Oprah) ... so after a very tenacious 7 months of follow-up ... the stars lined up and we were 'in' waaay 'in' ..... under the unimaginable banner of 'Secrets from Dr. Oz's House'! can you imagine?! ... even then, it was a tough process that is, until the segment actually ran nationally .... whew! This program even ran twice!    I was bruised and exhausted but  it was well worth the effort in the way of skyrocketing sales and brand awareness which continues today.    We have also had other PR 'hit's not to that level again (for now) but we know it works in finding our audience and it can be a powerful tool for you as well.  You will need to allocate time, determination and patience. 

Things to think about, right?  


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A No Kool-aid Needed Start-up 'Tip'


For the many people who have taken the time to read my introductory blog on Kool-aid Rehab I want to personally thank you.  For those who made it to the end of that manifesto - you may have actually learned something.  
For today's 'lesson' I wanted to explain my snarky tone regarding 12-step relief #1. (from 'introductory blog) when starting  a website; Why it is important to NOT trust people to have your best interests in mind.  Sounds pretty horrible doesn't it?....  well, here's why;

As anyone knows, when you are viewing a project from your own area of expertise (especially when you are being paid) the outcome in many cases, will be slanted in that direction.  Like having blinders on to what you know best, other options are never a consideration for your client… not malicious, but it does happen.  

Start-ups and new people to this arena are especially venerable.
So when you’re planning to create a website.... a 'web builder' naturally (even with seemingly low hourly fees) will be most interested in 'building' a website (end-of-subject).  This person will also suggest 'building' a cart. And the platform they will use will be ‘easy’ (for them).   For people who are not familiar with this process (and it is intimidating to those who know nothing about it) you will think... great! ... 'Build me a beautiful (which also means ‘custom’) website AND cart so I can start my business.’   whew! You will then have a big gulp of Kool-Aid.  aahh !

The flaw in this happens (after you pay thousands) you’ll discover later that if questions and research had been done (instead of trusting) you might be better off having said to that person…. “Hey, I know 'web building' has become available to average people and web platforms are now user-friendly -- can you direct me to a place where we can work together to develop something more suited to my start-up needs?”  You will then continue this ‘conversation’…. "I've heard these platforms for web building are inexpensive compared to just a few years ago with easy templates that can be modified to 'look' custom and they also have tech support" hmm?
.....and you’ll then be proud thinking… that is a smart move because I need to really watch my spending when I am first starting out.   right? ! 
These words alone will put you in a peg-above-brilliant and your ‘web builder’ will have a difficult time to argue with this approach. (if that’s the case, find someone else to help you get started)  This approach is truly what you need to do and they aren’t going to be suggesting it! (end-of-subject)  Even with limited knowledge on website building, management and maintenance – you will be thanking me for this advice. 
Websites need to be viewed as a fluid communication piece. ‘Banners’ (you’ll learn about) will need to be changed and if you have a temperament like mine, you will not be in the mood to ‘hunt down’ a ‘web builder’ to do editing on your site.  That is a ridiculous waste of time.   Moreover, social media integration is a must-have if you are interested in competing on the Internet. Web platforms today are very integrated with these functions.   Another end-of-subject statement.  .....    and to side-bar this advice… after I crawled from the ashes-of-hell (another story) … I found Big Commerce (just click to link) and haven’t had to look back.  The tech support staff is English speaking, patient and competent and most importantly… available to help. 

Please connect with me if you have other ideas to 'save' the innocent. 


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Welcome to Kool-aid Rehab...It's not too late! I can help you!

My name is 'SARAH' and I am a business Kool-aid drinker and Kool-aid-aholic - OK, I admit it. Isn't that the first step?! It's a horrifying addiction that I need to control on a daily basis. The leaking optimism is here... it might even spill over to you... but I can help with tips and tricks grounded from my own experiences. 

For business people everywhere those who care to join me, this is my platform to help others. Kool-aid Rehab is a place for engagement, ideas, laughter- also, guest blogging! (just write me). No reason to be ashamed ... lots of good ideas come from drink'n... :)

Always 'splanin'  :)
You will immediately 'get' this blog if you, like me, have tasted a big tall wonderful glass of Kool-aid to later find (after gulping), that it can have a very bitter aftertaste with a lasting effect in your bank account. Sadly, with my wildly creative brain, unbridled enthusiasm, I have been sipping and gulping for years and have even earned the pet-name of endearment;  'Lucy Ricardo' by my good-sport husband.

Being in self imposed Rehab at the moment, I still find myself - nose in the air, catching a waft of dry Kool-aid... tempting me to get off the wagon (or is it a rocket) and start dreaming. Lots of opportunity ... lots of market problems to solve, but need to stay calm! I'm now relevant and current with integrated social media too so each time I turn on my laptop it's a challenge to keep focused and not shake. Kool-aid drinking is a very complicated emotional issue which begins with a spark of an idea.

For me, my journey in this area has given me grand experiences and deep rooted  'life lessons' to share and I'm now ready to 'talk.' To put a nice spin on this... I have just received an EXPRESS MBA and I graduated with honors.  I'm now on a mission to help others! So before you lift a glass of Kool-aid to your mouth, (or even start mixing) you may need to read this blog.

To begin, I am very skilled and experienced in the area of traditional marketing, creative branding and public relations, but something I recently did; (launching a brand at the bottom of a rotten economy) is not something for the faint-of-heart.  I do remain optimistic and we are doing a lot better, but the 'tricky' days have practically killed me.   

In today's horrendous economic times - great jobs (like we used to know) are at a premium or is it impossible!? Everyone must think outside-of-the-box (note... it's really a coffin if you are over age 48) What has spawned from this desperation to find something meaningful to do, is an abundance of Kool-aid drinking people who have ideas that sound and look brilliant to find out they're not exactly what they are cracked up to be. This is especially true for people like me (a little older- a true Baby Boomer) with God forbid real experience. I don't really have a 12 step program for recovery (yet) but I do have some useful tools which might just save someone heading down this path. For those scrapped and bruised from entrepreneurial life feel free to comment! You can even use 4 letter-words here!

So to begin my theory on how this business 'movement' started ........

Way back when, about 25 years ago, I can still remember the days when you would sneak into an off-rack discount place like Sims, Loehmann's, TJ Maxx etc. to carefully find a fabulous designer outfit at a huge discount... you would quickly take it home and hide the tags - NEVER admitting to the 'find'... the goal was to look expensive and gorgeous. :)

Now in today's times (which has been happening for awhile), you will compliment someone on something to immediately hear even without asking... the complete run down; 'shoes $9.00 - scarf $3.00, earrings $1.00 and jacket 85% off' along with details on where it was purchased. Huh? Price reporting has become a badge of honor! It's all about the hunt.... never mind 'quality' which speaks to goods within our new global economy. The quality is not great and likely made in some remote factory in Asia by children for a couple of bucks a day. After washed or used will need to be replaced sooner - hence, the new 'volume' sale.

Retailers are excited to embrace 'volume' of these goods & feed this appetite with Black Friday pricing all year-round .... 50% off is no longer even good enough! and taa da ! This mindset becomes part of our culture.

Deals are everywhere now and this thinking has found its way into the job market. Employers are looking at valuable experience as a drag on the bottom line... selecting instead, an inexperienced professional who appears to be able get the job done for a lot less $. For the experienced (myself included) .... this breeds a mindset that older workers are more expensive in every way and promotes the idea; 'why would I hire someone to work with 20+ years experience when I can get someone to do the same job (for a lot cheaper) who may have only 8 years experience' 80% off rack! + thinking; I can also give them a big title and they'll be happy. huh?

This then leads out of necessity (and survival) to new variety of 'entrepreneurs' those who are developing ideas based on very limited skills and experience stemming from hobbies (and passions) rather than real work skills. You will now find 'Experts' on the Internet in many areas of business.... people who are not too bad with computers become 'web builders' and social media 'experts' are now 140 character 'writers' .... those with websites and blogs are quickly trying to sell something to their followers- just anything! Bloggers now fancy themselves as 'journalists' - 'reviewing' anything they can get for free. It's crazy.

People who have hosted birthday parties for their kids, or planned their own weddings can now with a simple website become full-on 'Event Planners' ... 'Interior Designers', 'Caterers', 'Photographers' pretty much everything you can think of! Have a 'story'?.....a new 'author' is born through self publishing a book! ..... Having a 'Good Year'?...become a 'Life Coach' !

The direst in this scenario are those inventor-types who have an idea to make something to then 'design' prototypes, manufacture & 'sell' leading in most cases, to an Armageddon of their savings and anything that remotely relates to future security. This high-spirited optimism also by the way, radiates to others who join in the Kool-aid drinking ... it's happening everywhere today. Such excitement abounds!

The idea of this has also been glamorized by ABC's prime-time 'Shark Tank' program and the heart-felt 'mom-stories' connected to products relayed with ferment on the home shopping television shows. The reality here is real the stories are heartfelt (I know this first-hand) - and in most cases, success is possible by lining up lots of stars in perfect alignment. Even the hardest fought experienced people are still at the mercy of timing and luck.

In our crowded world of advertising and in-your-face messages (EVERYWHERE) The odds are astronomical to break-through to lucrative markets without enormous bags of money at your disposal. Everything you do or sell is scrutinized and as one very wise woman once told me; you can have the greatest idea ever, but without distribution it will go nowhere fast - on the flip side, a crappy product with distribution, just might stand a chance. It's paraphrased ... but what a concept!

Without enormous bags of money to garner awareness and distribution, you are faced with the daunting task of trying to get someone to read or even 'open' an email to be able to start the process of telling them about it.  To note: don't ever write more than a few sentences -- no one has any attention span (other than to hit the delete button) .... Also, it's best if your 'pitch' looks like a child's flash card.

Those individuals with precious jobs are feverishly treading water- paddling for their own 'careers' and surviving by working in the minute..... No time for new things - absolutely out of the question! Nothing personal (except it's your livelihood) ... the odds are equally crazy to get a call back or a written response in the form of an email. You will spend your day writing to 'Santa' and after time, you begin to lose the holiday spirit. Ho, ho, ho.... so exhausting. I'm afraid Kool-aid can't even resuscitate you.

So in summary, if you are still convinced of moving forward after drinking reasonable amounts of Kool-aid... I am here to provide you with some valuable tips; you could call it a 12 step program of survival which will help you to 'recover' and not be swallowed into the abyss of financial disaster that may be before you.

These are 'lesson's' learned the hard way...are they not the best kind?  :)

1. If you are starting a new business... do NOT hire an independent 'Expert' (err, I mean Predator) to help you - that is, unless you want to be ripped off. There are sophisticated affordable  web building platforms with built-in templates (and English speaking tech support) + and most importantly, you will need to update and edit your website yourself - so just suck it up and learn this important function and heartbeat of your new business. DO YOUR HOMEWORK! TRUST NO ONE TO HAVE YOUR BEST INTERESTS IN MIND.

2. If you hire a publicist for your business, be assured that this person (or agency) has relevant and current contacts no older than last week. You are not going to be able to pay for people to make 'friends' and prospect on your dime. And most importantly, if you hear the words 'Evergreen' as an approach to 'catching on' --- run like the wind.

3. Write your own press releases (it's not that difficult) - especially with boiled down messages and distribute and populate through free web channels. Be sure and use 'Google Insights' to research key search words to your industry and use them in your text and also sprinkle them into your website pages  - this will help with the almighty search engines. Pick your favorite 5 words and stick with them!

4. Note;   Consumers today do not want to be told (or sold) about products or services....they want to 'discover' what you are offering themselves  (period)'s all about 'search' these days and real  testimonials on FB and Pinterest.

5. Do not EVER launch a shopping website without a reputable security certificate on your cart. (Can you imagine, I had to actually 'learn' that lesson? I paid for that experience  from a 'brilliant' agency web builder!  high-traffic sales (hmm?.... or to use my words, WTF?!!)

6. When an agency says we can 'test' your product to 'see' if it is worthy of a direct TV media campaign.... again, just run like the wind.(or write me!)

7. Spend ZERO time pitching magazines for PR exposure. Note: they won't tell you this, but Editorial is very much intertwined with paid advertising (period) ... if you are not buying ads they will have nothing to do with you. Most editorials in magazines have a connection to something that has been purchased and it's not a single magazine.  Lead times are long... most stories are now written by freelancers - that whole industry is on the skids. 

8. DO NOT SEND EXPENSIVE PRODUCT SAMPLES TO BLOGGERS unless you have thoroughly checked them out. This is a horrifying $$$ waster.... People that 'follow' blogs could care less about your brand - let alone buying later!... they just want free things (period) I think they move through cyberland in clusters.... same for the blog writer. I have seen this time-and-time again... still scratching my head over this channel of ‘influence’. Many are like modern-day pan handlers just looking for gifts for themselves and watch out during Christmas- that's when they are really 'shopping'.

9. Think about your target audience and focus, focus, focus.... when you believe there are lots of audiences for what you are selling....there aren't- and your efforts will be spread too thin and every area will suffer.

10. Drill all your messages down to something you would be presenting to a 3-year old and be sure to have lots of colorful bright pictures. No one has time to read anything any more!

11. Here's a secret...if you want to reach someone, just pick up the phone and call them.   I know, absolutely shocking... but it's what has worked for me in the past! 

12. Too tired to think of anything else.... nite, nite...  I'll be better tomorrow after some sleep -- going to reboot now! xo

Thank you to those who have gotten to this point... you get an 'A+' for paying attention -- Good for you!

I am very much interested in connecting with others who have 'lived' this type of experience (and are still standing!)   I wish everyone all the best and I look forward to your thoughts and contributions! ;)

Hang in there!  xo 


About Me- I'm everywhere!

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anywhere and everywhere, USA, Illinois, United States
I'm a sassy, very distracted older mom...with lots of wild stories (and rants) about my family and life...Daughter 20, college student, sassy, unpredictable, violin playing, animal enthusiast...Son, 17 video addict, Chess playing-star / trombone player...husband (old, tired, chronically stressed and impatient, but a good sport nonetheless) The underbelly of life for me; I’m a bright eyed ‘entrepreneur’ – just now completing Kool-aid Rehab a frightening 12 step process to figure out what I am doing with my life. On the home front, we have a gang of animals that keep the place lively too! 'Emma', dirty ungroomed Sheepdog, 'Lollipop' a smart Border Collie/Chow Chow also referred to as 'Daddy's Little Fatty', 2 cats; one eyed 'Winky' and emotionally disturbed- beyond crabby ....'Babycakes' (it's complicated,) 1 bird 'Tutu', and finally 'Templeton' (a.k.a. Little Shit)- a teeny dog who loves to 'run' .... more trouble than all put together and dumb as a stick. but we love him! :)