The Most Rewarding Marketing Mistake I Ever Made

This is a guest posted article from Marsha Friedman. Learn more about her at the end of the post. I wanted to share this because she has some amazing advice that I totally agree with!

Recently, a colleague asked me, “What was the most rewarding mistake you ever made in business?” It’s a great question, and I quickly had an answer for him because it was an incredibly painful mistake. However, it proved to be an invaluable lesson that has served me well in the years since. I’m sharing so perhaps you can learn it the easy way.

The lesson: Don’t ever stop marketing because you think you’ve reached the point where you don’t need to. And, secondarily, believe the old adage that warns, “Don’t put all your eggs into one basket.”

There’s a story, of course!

Celebritize Yourself

Years ago, my public relations company connected with a large publishing house that served many prestigious authors. The first few of its authors we accepted as clients had such successful campaigns, we quickly became the publicity firm of record for this publisher. I thought we’d tapped the mother load! The publisher kept a steady stream of clients flowing to us, and eventually, they became about 80 percent of our business.

We were so focused on delivering for these authors that we became much less focused on getting our company name out to prospective new clients. We slowly stopped marketing. Our newsletters ground to a halt. We didn’t waste time networking. We quit our efforts to get the same publicity for our company that we get for clients. Why bother? We didn’t need new clients!

We had a whole basket full of beautiful perfect eggs and we were happily skipping along with it.

And then … it broke.

The publisher ran into some serious problems with its investors and the business came crashing down. And guess who almost went with it? Our eggs were cooked.

Faced with only a few clients and no prospects, we got busy fast and cranked up the marketing department (me!) again. It took awhile to regain the momentum we’d lost but, thankfully, we had a side business that could help pay the bills in the interim. Slowly but surely (this was before the age of social media, which really speeds things up), we built up a new list of prospects and clients – only this time from a diverse array of sources.

It was a terrible but powerful experience that demonstrated very clearly: No matter how great things seem to be going, you never stop marketing. It needs to be a constant hum because if that hum stops, you know there will be a big problem ahead.

I stopped marketing because I thought I had all the clients I needed. Over the years I’ve seen others make the same mistake but for different reasons. Here are a few:

One great publicity hit is a really bad reason to stop marketing. I’ve talked to people who believed if we could just get them on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” (before 2011) or “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” that was all they’d need. They’d be done. Yes, a big national show can give you a tremendous launch, but you won’t keep soaring unless you do something to stay in the public eye. I guarantee you, there are plenty of people you never heard of who got their “big break” and then disappeared because they stopped marketing.

Most of us won’t get those huge hits – and that’s not a reason to stop, either. I haven’t been on “Oprah” but I often hear from prospective clients that I or my business was recommended to them by someone I’ve never met and don’t know. That’s what good, sustained marketing does. It may not always create fireworks, but that doesn’t mean it’s not working for you.

Yesterday’s story is old news. Look for fresh new ways to stay in the public eye. The publicity you get today can continue to work for you online, but eventually, it’s going to be old news. We encourage our clients to post links to their publicity on their websites; it shows visitors that they have credibility with the media. But if those visitors see only publicity and testimonials that are five or 10 years old, they’re going to wonder why no one’s been interested in you more recently.

Just as I put all my eggs in one basket by relying on one source for clients, it’s also a mistake to rely on just one marketing tool. Maximize the reach of the publicity you get in traditional media by sharing it on social media. Put a blog, or other content you can renew and refresh, on your website. Write a book. Do speaking engagements (for free, if necessary). Your audience is likely not all huddled together in one corner of the world. To reach them, use a variety of marketing tools.

Whatever it is you’re promoting – your business, your product, your book, yourself – keep the momentum going. If you want people to know you’re out there, you have to stay out there.

Marsha Friedman

About Marsha Friedman

Marsha Friedman is a 24-year veteran of the public relations industry. She is the CEO of EMSI Public Relations (www.emsincorporated.com), a national firm that provides PR strategy and publicity services to businesses, professional firms, entertainers and authors. Marsha is also the author of Celebritize Yourself: The Three Step Method to Increase Your Visibility and Explode Your Business. Follow her on Twitter: @marshafriedman.

What the Heck is Affiliate Marketing?

What is Affiliate Marketing? Well, according to Wikipedia, “Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.” Except that just makes it sound even more confusing, doesn’t it? Which is maybe why people have a hard time getting started with affiliates. So, a great post if you’re just getting started is this one, from my fave blogging genius, Darren Rowse from Copyblogger {his book, Problogger was the first blogging book I ever read, and it really helped me get my blog rocking from the very beginning – I can’t recommend it enough.} – the post is called, simply enough, What is Affiliate Marketing? He breaks things down in a simple way, to give you a basic understanding of how affiliate marketing works. What I found most interesting were the survey results that he shared – when he asked his readers about affiliate marketing:

  • 29% of readers regularly do it
  • 24% occasionally do it
  • 27% have never done affiliate marketing on their blogs
  • 6% used to do it but don’t any more
  • 14% don’t know what affiliate marketing is

I shouldn’t be surprised by this, since while speaking at conferences, chatting with bloggers I know personally, and just reading comments in blogging groups, I hear so many people say things like, “affiliate marketing doesn’t work for me,” or “I don’t even really know how affiliate marketing works?” But I’m here to tell ya – it is SO worth learning about. While not everyone will make a huge amount of money right away, it is entirely possible to make a six-figure income with affiliate marketing. How do I know this? Because I’ve done it. And I know other bloggers who have too. And – I’m pretty much a one-woman show. The Mister is learning to contribute to the blog, and works with me as a partner. Other than that, I’ve run this blog on my own for the past 4 years, learning as I go. If I can do it – so can you. Pinky-promise. My goal is to help every blogger find new ways to earn money from the amazing content they’re creating – and you’d be amazed how easy it is to earn with affiliate marketing is once you figure out a way to use it consistently.

So… To get you started, I found this super fun infographic from Pepperjam, that breaks the whole affiliate marketing idea down into seriously simple terms, so you can see how it all comes together:

Affiliate Marketing 101

by darlingstewie.
Explore more visuals like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.
This is part one in Getting Started with Affiliate Marketing. Upcoming posts will cover:
  • A huge resource list of affiliate companies to join.
  • Examples of different ways to use affiliates in your posts.
  • Tips for encouraging people to click on your affiliate links.
  • Ideas for using affiliates, depending on what type of blog you have.
  • Success stories from other women who have used affiliates successfully.
  • So stay tuned – I’ll update links here as they get posted!

If you’re not familiar with this blog yet – My main blog is Sunshine and Sippy Cups, creative solutions for busy moms. The blog you’re reading right now was born when people were regularly asking me for advice on blogging, and I realized there was a big need for realistic, do-able blogging advice and tips. It is {obviously, if you look at the home page, lol} a work in progress! But if you’d like to stay updated as I turn this baby into a big ol’ resource filled with tips on blogging, online business, and balancing it all while running your household and raising a family – please take a minute to subscribe to the email updates.

4 Tips for Starting Your Own Home-Based Business

 A Stay-at-Home Mom & Entrepreneur Shares How-to’s on starting your own home-based business… You know that I’m a BIG supporter of women in business, and love to help people learn more about how to start their own successful business from home. The MOST popular post of all time on my other blog, Sunshine and Sippy Cups, is 10 Ways to Earn Money from Home, which tells me that there are a lot of women out there like me, who are looking for more ways to earn an income, but on their own schedule. Which is also why I recently launched this site – to share the tips, tricks, and tools that I’ve learned about in the past 3+ years as an at-home, online entrepreneur. Or as I like to say, “MOM-preneur,” :) If  you’re reading this site, you’re clearly looking for more tips on this subject too, so keep reading to check out some great advice from another amazingly successful entrepreneur….

4 Tips for Starting Your Own  Home-Based Business [Read more...]

Moms Making Money Online – 35 Lessons to Follow

Moms Are Making Money Online Every Day, Are You? I just came across this amazing set of resources from MomsInaBlog.com – 35 lessons available digitally, so that you can follow along at your own pace, on your own schedule. {As busy moms, that’s pretty darn important, right?} You can access them on any device – iPad or tablet, laptop, or even your phone. As soon as I get done with this overwhelming month of conference travel I plan to set aside time weekly to go through it all, so I’ll definitely give you an update once I do. But I’ve heard great things, and it’s available at a really discounted introductory price right now – which is why I’m sharing the info already! Read on to learn more – and if you’ve gone through the lessons yourself I’d LOVE you to leave feedback in the comments below!

Moms Making Money Online

For the past 5 years, Tracy Roberts has worked online a professional mom blogger & affilate manager using her experiences to leverage opportunities to make more money while being a work-at-home mom.

She has created several products & participated in many product launches for herself and her clients with great success. Her sense of what works for particular target markets has her currently focusing on helping other bloggers and product owners understand and profit from their own target markets.

After 5 years of wading through information to get to the place where she makes a decent living online she decided it was time to come out of the shadows and share what she’s learned (and who she learned it from ) with other moms that have the same hopes and dreams of building an online business and working from the comfort of home.

Her Moms Making Money Online resource is a complete “help you get started and make this dream happen ‘how to’ guide” for work at home moms.

Moms Making Money Online has 35 lessons that cover everything from things like:

  • Discovering and understanding your work at home personality
  • Uncover and get excited about how your natural gifts & abilities affect your business success.
  • Figure out how to use your existing work history & existing skills to your best advantage.
  • Evaluate your financial needs so you can better plan how to reach your financial goals.
  • *A list of the many ways to make money working from home online.

To learning how to:

  • Create an online presence that makes you shine so that people get to know, like and trust you.
  • Get to know who your target market really is and how to best connect with them.
  • Choose a domain name that speaks to your chosen market.
  • Connect with the best hosting company for your business needs. (Hint: it’s MomWebs)
  • Unravel the world of WordPress & Themes to make your site easy to work with.

After you’ve mastered the basics she introduces you to strategies that will help you:

  • Formulate a content creation plan that will become the basis of your money making empire.
  • Design your very own blogging schedule so you’ll always have something to “say”.
  • How to create a mailing list so you can keep in touch with your community and how that same list can make you money.
  • Learn how search engines & keywords can help increase your traffic and ultimately make you money.
  • Understand how creating your own ebooks, membership sites & other products is important to your passive income goals.
  • Create an affiliate program so that you have the ability to generate even more income.

She’s got other goodies in the works like a monthly resource webinar and a private Facebook group too – but more than that, she’s always available via email to help you over the humps and answer your questions. How helpful is that? Even as someone who’s been blogging and publishing online full-time for over 3 years, there is always something new to learn, and new challenges to overcome.

I urge you to put the feeling of overwhelm and fear of the unknown behind you and start putting those hopes and dreams into action and get your copy of Moms Making Money Online right now.

Moms Making Money Online 200x232

I promise you’ll love the low price, too! Check it out: Moms Are Making Money Online Every Day, Are You?

Headed to SNAP? Join the Instagram Fun! #SnapDaily2014

In just a few weeks I’ll be traveling to Salt Lake City to attend the SNAP Conference for the very first time – I can’t wait! My goal over on Sunshine and Sippy Cups {my parenting blog} is to move towards more creative posts: fun recipes and entertaining ideas, pretty DIY and crafts, and cool tips and tricks. So, what better way to kick-start that transition to more sparkle and pizzaze than by spending the weekend hanging out with some of the most talented creative bloggers and brands, right? I’ve been to loads of conferences, but this one looks to be very different – lots of glitter and girl time.

snapdaily-1024x1024

So – to build excitement and get to know some of the other awesome peeps I’ll be meeting soon, I’m joining in on the #SnapDaily2014 Instagram challenge. {FYI: You can join the challenge even if you aren’t heading to SNAP.} Just “snap” a photo each day, share it to Instagram using the #SnapDaily2014 hashtag, along with the daily hashtag. Each day that you join in the fun you’ll be entered to win a Canon t3i camera and one of several gift cards. Love it!

Make sure to follow @nobiggie and @snapconf if you’re going to participate – and me! I’m at @sunandsipcups on Instagram. And if you’ll be heading to SNAP too, leave me a comment so I can follow you beforehand and connect!

How to Use and Track Hashtags

Did you know that tweets that include hashtags are much more likely to get interaction and retweets than updates without hashtags? It only makes sense – they’re more searchable, they can help build your personal branding, and they can help you connect with new like-minded people. Check out this super helpful infographic that explains how to use hashtags effectively, the benefits, and some tips on how to track your hashtags across the web. And – hashtags might have started on Twitter, but they’re now able to be used on almost all of the major social media sites too! Leave me some comments below – do you use hashtags? What are your favorite ones to follow? And what are some tips you would suggest people keep in mind when using hashtags?

How to Use Hashtags to Increase Your Online Presence
Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

Discovering Blogging, Online Business, and Balance

“Are you bored with life? Then throw yourself into some work you believe in with all your heart, live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness that you had thought could never be yours.” - Dale Carnegie… I only found this quote recently. It wasn’t something that I’d heard prior to doing a complete change of course in my life 3 years ago. But it fits me perfectly.

A little over 3 years ago I became a first-time, totally unprepared, brand new mom. A month and a half into my paid maternity leave, I very unexpectedly lost my job. With a new baby. A full time load of online college courses. In the worst economy that I’d faced in my working life. In a word – terrifying. But after a brief period of freak-out panic {I mean, who doesn’t freak out a bit when life throws a major curve ball?} I decided to jump into action.

I’d worked in retail for over 10 years at that point – I’d covered just about every aspect of it: sales, merchanding, fashion marketing and displays, logistics, and on into store management. It was tough work, but I was good at it; I’m definitely a people person, I love the challenge of meeting new goals each month, and truly enjoyed the creative part of it all. But while retail works ok as a single chick in her early 20′s, it’s not the lifestyle you want as a new mom – crazy hours that change daily, nights and weekends, no predictability, no holidays off. So, I took a huge jump into the unknown, and decided that I could start a blog. Not as a hobby, but as a career. I’d been following a ton of them to learn new tips about motherhood, new ways to stretch my budget, and fun DIY ideas, and figured that I could do the same. So, I bought a couple of books. Did some online research. Bought a domain and hosting, and just threw myself into it all – with no real computer skills, no tech knowledge, just some major enthusiasm to find a way to earn an income from home.

Discovering Blogging, Online Business, and Balance [Read more...]

Sample Post 5

Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post.

Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post.

Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post.

Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post.

Sample Post 4

Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post.

Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post.

Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post.

Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post.

Sample Post 2

Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post.

Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post.

Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post.

Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post. Sample post.