Music (Video) Marketing

okgo
I’m not a big music person myself, but it sure seems like a tough business to crack. Professional musicians are passionate people who want to share their art with the world – how else could they support themselves or become rock stars? However, having your music heard by the public must be tough. There is just so much out there that performers have to find ways to differentiate themselves. For example, Lady Gaga traipses around in outlandish costumes, Kanye West (in my opinion) acts like a buffoon, and the judges on shows like The Voice use their TV platform to publicize themselves and their music. One of my favorite means of marketing themselves that any band uses is music videos. While MTV, VH1 and the like might not run these constantly like they used to, the really cool videos now go viral via social media. And the band that does these the best is OK Go. They’ve performed with the Muppets, made music with a Chevrolet, and now they have a new video in which they ride around on little drones. It’s very cool and I have seen it everywhere, from The Today Show to my Facebook feed.

To watch the video, click here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. And if you know of a band or artist that markets itself and its music in a unique way, please share it with us all in the comments below. Love the creativity!

Business Events and Halloween

Trick or Treaters Business events are a lot like Halloween. Now I know this sounds weird. But, when you think about it, how weird is trick-or-treating?! You go to people’s doors and ask for candy while wearing a costume – utterly bizarre! However, it is a little bit like attending a networking function! No, I haven’t lost my mind, hear me out.

OK, OK, unlike trick-or-treaters I know that you don’t wear a costume when you’re at your local chamber of commerce…or do you? When I walk into a business breakfast I slap on a grin that I don’t necessarily always feel like wearing – that’s not to say that I don’t want to be there, I’m just not particularly smiley before my second cup of coffee. I don’t misrepresent myself, I just try to act friendlier than I feel. I enhance myself. That super-outgoing side of me? Not the usual Lillian – it’s my costume!

Sadly, conferences don’t necessarily involve candy, but just like you were looking for sweets as a child on Halloween, as an attendee I know you’re after something – business cards! And when you’ve collected them all day, don’t you get back to your office and sort them, just like you did your candy when you were a kid? There are the Reese’s cups of cards – cards you are thrilled to receive from people you were hoping to meet. Then there are the Mystery Flavor Dum-Dums – cards from people who could turn out to be great contacts, but aren’t sure things. And you always get one or two homemade treats – the cards that you throw away just like you would homemade candy (which my mom always said was full of razor blades). Tell the truth – if you attended an event with a coworker, don’t you compare your haul just like you did as a kid?

Think Halloween at your next networking event. Maybe the trick-or-treating comparison will make it more fun. Or maybe you’ll be as confident as you were when you knocked on strangers’ doors all those years ago. Or, better still, maybe someone will actually have candy!

If you need something to talk about at your next business function, check out this YouTube video of a very patient cat wearing Halloween costumes…that’s an ice breaker for you!

Why are Promotional Business Products so Effective?

notepad
Have you ever wondered why promotional business products are effective? Or have you ever questioned whether those types of marketing materials work at all? Well, now you have an answer. Click here to head over to Danette’s other website, SalesPromotions.org, and learn all about it!

Marlins Man!

thebiglead.com

thebiglead.com

I know that I write a lot about Miami sports. Probably too much for most of my readers’ tastes. Today might seem like it’s no different in that regard because I am going to introduce you to Marlins Man! The so-called Marlins Man, whose real name is Laurence Leavy is a huge fan of my hometown baseball team who can not only be spotted behind home plate at Marlins Stadium, but is also at seemingly every other major sporting event – always in fantastic seats and always wearing bright orange Marlins gear.

Because he was behind home plate at the World Series, a lot of media outlets have covered Marlins Man lately. But my favorite piece about him was from the On Cloud Conine blog (a reference to Mr. Marlin himself) because they focus on how Laurence Leavy “pays it forward” in an effort to help fellow sports fans. Check out the post by clicking here.

And for more info on Marlins Man, click here, here, or here. He’s a pretty cool dude!

Fun and Games for Business Networking Events

photo from www.benicialibrary.org

photo from www.benicialibrary.org

Why do you go to business networking events? Everyone has different reasons for attending these types of casual proceedings. Entrepreneurs are looking for prospective new clients, as are lawyers, chiropractors, sales representatives, ad infinitum. Some people like to attend a local Chamber of Commerce networking event when they want to grow their prospect field and when they are new to the area and are looking to find out “who’s who.”

Whatever your reasons, the business networking event often evokes fear and loathing in many. If networking is not one of your natural talents, take heart. When you turn these events into your own personal game with goals that once you’ve achieved them gives you permission to leave, you can at least learn to enjoy them and may even get good at developing your game. Who knows, you could land a great big client and develop some very useful, and interesting relationships.

Game On!

All games have goals. Kids turn everything into a game. For instance, racing to the house screaming, “The last one in is a rotten egg!”

Make up your own networking game and set specific goals. For instance, decide to approach a specific number of people at the event you are attending. Establish rules, such as I’ll only speak to women who are wearing dangling silver earrings and a blue blazer and men wearing horn-rimmed glasses, and a brown tweed sport jacket with a handlebar mustache. You get the idea.

When you make networking a game, especially where you are not likely to know people or at very large events, you become interested in achieving your goal. You look interested. Perhaps people will approach you as you search out the specific traits you’ve established. Also, you give yourself an excuse to leave once you’ve met your goal. No one else needs to know your game or your rules for playing.

Necessity is the mother of invention. When you attend business networking marketing events, do so with enthusiasm. Challenge yourself to achieve a few goals that may seem silly at first. You never know where that attitude for fun and games may lead!

Blinged-Out Promotional Products

photo from fancy.com

photo from fancy.com

I’m not sure how I missed this but last holiday season, Stella Artois teamed with Swarovski to create limited-edition crystal-encrusted beer chalices. That is precisely the kind of unique promotional marketing product that I like to blog about because it’s kind of off the wall! So this post is a little bit behind the times, but I am going to go ahead and discuss last year’s promo item just because I want to!

According to the Anheuser Busch website, “Stella Artois was first brewed as a holiday gift to the people of Leuven, Belgium. In time, its popularity prompted Stella Artois brewers to make the beer available year-round. However, every year the brand pauses to honor its holiday origins, and to honor the fans that have made Stella Artois the world’s best-selling Belgian beer.” Last year the brand paid tribute to its history with the aforementioned blinged-out chalice.

The limited-edition drinkware was available to the beer-drinking public via the website Fancy.com, and although they cost a whopping $500.00 each, they sold out. I guess they were a good gift for the Stella enthusiast who has everything?!

Regardless as to who may have purchased the holiday chalices, this kind of promotional item is always a smart way to do a little bit of extra marketing. They are unique, difficult to obtain, and because of that they made it into the news cycle. While most people who saw them probably didn’t run out and buy them, they might have forwarded the image along to friends, and I’m sure somewhere along the way they inspired someone to go out and buy a Stella Artois. If nothing else, then I’m still talking about it nearly a year later – that has to count for something!

Happy News!

photo from feistees.com

photo from feistees.com

There are a lot of bad things going on in the world right now and every time I open up my browser or turn on the news, it feels like I’m inundated with negative stories. But there are good things happening presently too. Just to prove it, here is a list of happy, funny, and positive news stories!  Just click on the links within and enjoy.

No sibling rivalry here – an Oregon man won the lottery and kept his longtime promise to split any winnings with his brother.

This might not float your boat but all of my friends are pretty excited that HBO is starting a streaming service that is not linked to your cable subscription.

Everyone loves Lucy! Here are some fun facts that you might not have known about Ms. Ball and her famous show.

Did you hear about the English-speaking parrot who was missing for years and returned speaking Spanish? Can’t make this stuff up!

In another animal-related story, dogs really are not sneaky at all.

Hopefully these little stories will make you happy too. They sure bring a smile to my face!

Bring Your Networking Back to Basics

photo from revandy.com

photo from revandy.com

Remember The Basics: Business Networking Marketing Events Are About Meeting People and Building Relationships

Sometimes it pays to return to basics. So let’s pay a little visit to business networking marketing 101. If you’ve been attending these events so frequently that you’ve become a bit bored or jaded and only spend time with people you know or if you are a complete novice, hopefully you will find something of value here.

Like anything that we do repeatedly, attending business networking marketing events can become run of the mill. So, how do you spice things up when this happens? One of the best ways is to do what you might do in your daily routine when you get bored. You shake things up. If you are accustomed to driving to and from work the same way, day in and day out, every now and then you might alter your route. Here’s how to do the equivalent of altering your route when it comes to the routine of business networking marketing events.

Go To Give Not To Get

Remind yourself why you are attending. The purpose of business networking marketing events is to become a familiar and trusted face in your particular community or industry. The idea is that you see these people often enough that you build relationships. You become helpful to them. And they become helpful to you.

Take a Vacation

If you are a regular at a specific event, skip that event once in awhile. Of course if you are the organizer, you can’t skip it. If you are simply a longtime attendee, find another event that you’ve never attended perhaps one in a different industry that may or may not be relevant to your business just for the practice of seeing how you function in a room where you are not known. Think of it as vacationing in a different country. At first, stand back for while and just people watch. Watch for how people respond to others and see if you can tell who is enjoying the event for the right reasons and try to identify those who seem bored, shy and perhaps don’t know why they are there. Listening and observing can be the best way to learn. Stepping out of your routine can help you feel refreshed and reinvigorated when you return to your usual event.

Speak Up

Another way to bust through the monotony of business networking marketing events is to offer to be a speaker at an upcoming event. That will get the adrenaline flowing! Challenge yourself to present something unique about your business or service. That way people will get to know more about you, your abilities and your business. Very likely people you have not met will approach you at future events to comment on your presentation. Perhaps you’ll be invited to speak at other events.

Notes for the Novice

If you are completely new to business networking marketing events, be sure you are clear about why you are attending. Like I said before, the purpose of attending these events is to build relationships first and foremost by becoming familiar and helpful to those people we meet.

Being open minded, friendly and interested is a given. Overcoming shyness and the fact that we may not be naturally gifted at networking can be personal goals. But the purpose never changes.

The idea is to meet people and find out how you can help them. In other words, build good will. Another reason to attend is for the sheer joy of human interaction. We spend so much time on our computers and devices. Always turn them off when at networking events. And look into the eyes of the person you are meeting. We don’t want to forget what it’s like to have one-on-one interactions with another human being. Reason enough to hit the next business networking marketing event. Go! Meet people! Have fun! The payoffs are sure to come.

Promos for the Cure

pink pony
My husband needed a new tuxedo shirt so he went to Macy’s to buy one. He likes shopping there as a cardholder he knows that he will always get some sort of deal, and his most visit purchase was no exception. The store was running a deal where if you gave $5.00 to support the fight against breast cancer, you received a Polo Ralph Lauren Pink Pony pin and a discount off of your purchase. My husband really enjoyed the price markdown and the fact that he gave money to charity, and as someone who works at a promotional merchandise distributorship, I appreciated the pin.

The Pink Pony Pin is cute. You can see it in the image above – it’s the same logo that you see on Polo apparel, but made out of pink enamel. Here’s the thing about the pin. I like it, but I’m not going to wear it, nor is my husband. While I support breast cancer research and prevention, if I’m going to wear anything to show that, then I’d rather it be a pink ribbon than what someone might perceive as a weird status symbol. However, I also feel weirdly guilty about throwing it away, so I will actually keep the little sucker. I will either stick it up on my corkboard at work or throw it into my jewelry box, and either way I will see it a lot. That will remind me to continue supporting the cause and it will expose me to the Polo logo – which might subliminally make me want to buy their apparel.

While neither my husband or I will wear the pin, I’m sure that other people will (don’t think I’m judging them for this. I’m not, it’s just not my taste to wear a polo player on my lapel). Just like when I see the pin at home or at work, the wearer is going to touch and feel it and remember their reason for having it and its affiliated brand each time they put it on. That’s good for breast cancer awareness and for Ralph Lauren’s clothing line. Similarly, those people who see it on will most likely ask the person sporting it why and how they have it – again, spreading awareness and helping to build Polo’s brand.

Long story short, Macy’s and Ralph Lauren are doing a good thing by offering customers the opportunity to donate to cancer research – and by getting some marketing in at the same time.

Recipes and Home Remedies

photo from rsanityrvtravels.blogspot.com

photo from rsanityrvtravels.blogspot.com

Good thing we have a section in this blog in which I can write about whatever I want because today’s chosen topic has absolutely nothing to do with promotional marketing materials, business networking, or anything else that I’ve ever discussed in this forum. Nope, this post is about me burning my hand!

I’ve been in a cooking rut lately, so I decided to have an “Experimental Dinner Week” during which I would only make recipes that I had never before attempted. It was going smashingly well because my first dish was goop’s Kapama (Braised Cinnamon Chicken). Say what you will about Gwyneth Paltrow, this bird tasted amazing!

After the Kapama, my next new dish was Real Simple magazine’s Skillet Soufflé, which was a cinch to whip up and is an incredibly inexpensive way to feed yourself dinner. If you take a look at the dish’s name and/or the recipe, you’ll see that it is an egg dish cooked in a skillet in the oven. I took my soufflé out, slid it onto a cutting board, and then proceeded to grab hold of the fiery hot skillet handle with my bare hand. Needless to say, I got quite the burn, featuring blisters on my palm and every finger. I hadn’t done that in quite a long time and man does it hurt!

A few days have gone by since my Skillet Soufflé incident and since then people have been offering me their home remedies to assuage the pain. Two topical treatments that several individuals have recommended are honey and toothpaste. Just spread a layer of either over the affected areas and they’ve said that the stinging and tightness will abate. So here’s my question to my readers out there. Do you have any burn relief home remedies? Now that I’m asking things of you, what about more “Experimental Dinner Week” recipe ideas? Leave either or both in the comments below and wish luck as I begin to cook again!

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