Tag Archives: marketing

Try Anything!

If you’ve followed my journey for any length of time, you probably noticed that I’m always trying new things: freelance writing, which led me to writing for the healthcare industry, real estate, travel, and many other industries; marketing, which led me to become “partner of sorts” to a local entrepreneur with three businesses of his own; public relations, leading me to become publicist for the region’s oldest jazz organization, as well as contributing writer for the area’s only professional indoor football team; online radio talk show host; and now author of the soon-to-be-released eBook, “YOU Can Become a Freelance Writer in 59 Days!”

Whew! I’m exhausted just thinking of this stuff……but my point is this: sometimes you just have to “try anything.” Opportunities are few and far between, and exceptional opportunities are a definite rarity.

So take whatever you have and make something out of that. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or even a lofty goal; it just has to be ‘something.’

In other words: try anything.


Smile…and then start talking…

It happened suddenly.

I was coming out of a meeting with a client, when a most charming and friendly gentleman walked pass.

“Hey, how have you been?” he asked.

“I’m fine, how are you?” I responded, not knowing whether I really knew him, or whether it was that his face was familiar. It must have shown on my face because his next statement was, “I know you. Where do I know you from?”

“Well, you look familiar to me, but you might be getting me confused with my twin sister [I actually HAVE a twin sister].”

“Hmmm. Where have you worked?”

“The House of Representatives,” I responded. He answered quickly: “That could be it,” to which I said, “Okay, that’s my sister. I never worked for The House.” (Frankly, he just SEEMED like a House of Rep type of guy…whatever that means.)

And that’s how my latest endeavor went into full throttle. Turns out “Bill” is an internet marketing guru. Having learned of my new eBook, he wanted to know whether it’d been published.

“Not yet. Still looking for someone to help me load it online.”

“Well, I can do that for you. Have you also…”and Bill began unleashing a series of inquiries the likes I’d never heard.

…and that’s when realized I had absolutely NO CLUE about internet marketing. But the good news was that I now had a real professional to help steer me in the right direction. Since that encounter just two weeks ago, I’ve totally revamped my eBook, hashed out a marketing strategy and feel as if I have a new life just over a most reachable horizon.

And to think it all started with a smile and lite conversation.

7 ways to WOW them with your workshop!

Conducting a workshop has its advantages: it generates much-needed revenue, puts your name out there and helps you reach a mass audience. But to maximize your success, you’ll need to follow these seven directives. Don’t worry…they’re (mostly) painless.

1) First things first. Before you do ANYTHING ELSE make an outline of your curriculum. In other words: the hotel, the marketing efforts, the purchases from that office supplies store – should all be put on the back burner – for now. You ‘cannot pass Go!’ until you know for a certainty what you’re presenting, and what, if any, props/added features will be needed to conduct your workshop. NOTE: Make sure your outline includes time frames of how long each portion will be, including your breaks (restroom break(s), lunch, etc.). These will help you to stay focused on your message throughout the course of the workshop.

2) Notify an appropriate meeting venue (hotel) BEFORE promoting your workshop. Nothing is more embarrassing than having to re-email, re-call, and re-iterate to everyone you know just why you have to postpone your much-hyped workshop. This happens frequently when the conductor doesn’t finalize the date with the venue before advertising the event. “Finalizing” includes reading over your contract thoroughly before signing, as well as your meeting set-up (see #3).

3) Meeting set-up. Make sure you have an appropriate setting for your particular topic. For instance, if your workshop topic is “Beading Jewelry,” you’ll likely have a totally different set-up than “Blogging for the Internet.” Meet with the hotel sales team to confirm room set-up, needs (such as audio/visual equipment), refreshments, etc. You don’t want to wait until the morning of to realize that something has gone wrong.

4) Advertise! Whether you use flyers, brochures, word of mouth, TV, radio, the Internet, forums, social networks – or what have you – if you don’t advertise your upcoming workshop, you’re sabotaging the outcome. Any materials should include the date, time, location and cost of the event, as well as what the participants should expect.

This is no time to be humble. SELL YOURSELF AND YOUR SERVICES! And don’t forget to send a friendly reminder, including a link to your Web site, to friends, neighbors, colleagues, frenemies, enemies, and anyone else you can think of – just make sure it’s not in the form of “spam” so that it doesn’t get filtered and go straight to the trash bin. By the way, advertising also includes periodic “teasers” up to the day of the event. So be creative.

5) Practice makes perfect. You might not spend an entire day in the mirror laboring over each word of your upcoming presentation, but it’s a good idea to at least give a general synopsis in private before going public, if for one reason only: Your audience is willing to sit through an hours-long (sometimes days-long) presentation to watch you. The least you can do is to give them something of interest to watch. So go through your outline with a fine-tooth comb. Note where and when you’ll distribute handouts during particular portions of your workshop, when to open the floor for questions, and any other particulars to be noted. This will assure the smooth flow of your presentation and the certainty of hitting all major points of your material.

6) Supplies. Traditional supplies include: pens, tablets and easel/easel board (or Post-It poster board). Always bring additional copies of all handouts (for those last-minute attendees who forgot to RSVP). For an added touch prepare individual packets (or folders), with materials/handouts already enclosed, for each attendee.

7) Evaluations/surveys. For your own personal enrichment, include evaluations or surveys in each participant’s packet. This will allow attendees to provide feedback from which you will benefit. Ask questions that truly will allow you to grow as a presenter and that will help you to improve the structure of your workshop.

Each of the seven points is a tried and true method in conducting an effective workshop. Why not put them to good use by conducting your own workshop? It’s a great way to bring in revenue, present yourself to your peers and is a marvelous way to teach others.

Judith Brown is a nationally published freelance writer out of Harrisburg, PA. With nearly 30 years in the work force, her varied background represents county and state governments, non-profit organizations and the advertising industry, among others. A writer and editor for a health care publisher, Ms. Brown also conducts writing workshops, provides on-site staff training in matters pertaining to workplace culture, and serves as a PR/marketing consultant for small business industries. She can be reached via email at jbfreelancewriter@yahoo.com.