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Make Friends, Not Competitors

So you probably already know who your competitors are, right? You probably feel a little animosity toward them. Am I right?

But what if I asked you to change your thinking? Instead of seeing them as a threat, what if they could be valuable allies?

Let me tell you a story. I attended a huge networking event three years ago, and saw another marketing professional on stage. My immediate thought was, this room isn’t big enough for the two of us.

A few days later, I saw an ad she posted looking for someone to take on some of her overflow work. My perception shifted. Rather than see her as a threat, what if we could work together and get more business as a result?

And so I called her, and she brought me on to a client project that Egg eventually took over, and which was the longest running client relationship I’ve had to date. All because I shifted my thinking. Read more

How Bloggers Create PR

You know I’m all over bloggers, but I may not have explained why and what role they play in terms of public relations, so here goes.

You know how you can send a press release to editors in the hopes that they’ll cover your news in their magazine or newspaper? The same can be done with bloggers.

The great thing about bloggers is they’re looking for interesting content to blog about. And sometimes they’re lazy. I mean, come on. Finding content for 3-7 days of posts is hard! Especially when you’re writing on 3 other blogs and running a marketing business. But enough about me.

So by sending them info on your product or service, you stand a pretty good chance of them interviewing you or doing a review of the product, thereby helping you reach a wider audience through their readership. Read more

Becoming an Expert (or Eggspert)

I talk a lot about becoming an expert. It’s the best way to show people you’re worth hiring. But how does one become an expert? Here I will discuss everything I’m doing to establish myself as an expert in marketing, social media, and PR, and even things I’m not yet doing that you can start.

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1. Blog. I think you know how I feel about blogging. I’ve been writing this blog for three years, and recently started a parenting blog. Not to mention me contributing to Dell’s Small Business Blog and a soon-to-be-announced e-marketing blog.

Why: Blogs are full of information. On what you know. What better way to show the world that you know your stuff than to blog about it regularly?

2. Public Speaking. This is one I decided to work on in 2009. I’ve spoken at the Hispanic Business Expo (something I won’t be doing in Spanish again) and I am frequently found on teleseminars about marketing.

Why: Speaking to a crowd really shows your confidence and your knowledge in a topic. The idea is that people are so impressed with you , they come up to you afterward and hire you on the spot. I’m still waiting for that.

3. Interviews. In the last year I’ve been interviewed several times, for blogs, podcasts, live webinars, and other e-products. I love letting my inner marketing geek out and helping people do their own marketing.

Why: Again, it shows your stuff. And if you sell ebooks or other products like I do, interviews are a great way to drive people to your website to buy.

4. Social Media. Another big one for me. I don’t do enough talking about marketing, but when I do, people listen. People who follow me on Twitter have approached me for projects. You can’t always see the results but they happen.

Why: People are on social media to learn. If you can teach even just one person, you’ve done your job.

Now, what are you doing to establish yourself as an expert?

Working From a Home Office

Many of you work out of your homes, like me. And I’m sure you have distractions. But have you ever stopped to think that you might not be the only one getting distracted?

If you have children at home or pets, people calling your office may be able to hear them. Above all, you need to maintain your professionality, so here are some tips to keep your office quiet.

  • Please the pets. If pets are the noisemaker, put the dog outside and cover the birdcage when you plan to be on the phone.
  • Give the kids something to do. Kids want your attention, and it’s inevitably when you’re on the phone with a client. Explain to your child that you have certain times to spend with them (try for their crankiest hours) and certain times you have to work in your office. Alone. With the door closed.
  • Create a balance. Do spend some dedicated time with your child, and do work alone. But also allow for some time where your child can quietly work in your office, perhaps coloring on the floor. Let them know that if they get noisy they have to leave.
  • Involve your kids. A lot of times, kids just want to know what Mom or Dad are doing. Put them in your lap and let them type on a Word document or explain what you’re working on. If they’re young enough (like mine) their eyes will glaze over and they’ll soon leave you in peace!
  • Pick a better time. If there’s no way around a screaming baby, choose to work off hours, like when your spouse is home or after bedtime. You’ll get more done if you can concentrate.