5 PR Tools to Perfect Your Public Relations Campaign

Pulling together a public relations campaign can be time consuming and extremely labor intensive. While you can’t avoid sweat equity all together, a number of tools have been developed to accelerate and make the process a little easier. Check out a few of the most popular below:

1. Muckrack

Putting together a media list – a contact list of journalist – can take hours. That’s where MuckRack comes in. Its primary purpose is to provide PR professionals and marketers with an easy way to find contact with journalists. It connects the news to be shared with the distribution channels and writers, who want to find interesting new content to build their portfolio. Many people consider MuckRack to considerably faster than other programs in alerting its users to industry news.

2. BuzzSumo

This is a site that gives information about industries and the content popular within that category including views, shares and reach. Not only will it keep tabs on your competitors, what they publish and the response they get but it gives insights on the right steps to take to yield similar results.

3. Help a reporter out (HARO)

HARO is a database of journalists and public relations professionals. Its sole aim is to connect the two so that one can get access to new content and things to right about, and the other can get their clients in the press. Once a reporter signs up and lists their needs HARO will notify PR professionals of the opportunities available for media coverage.

4. Google alerts

Sometimes journalist will find you, without you even knowing it. Google alerts are simply free notices that will send you an email any time you or your organization is mentioned across the web.

5. Moz

Moz helps you measure, monitor, and improve a website’s onsite and offsite level of search engine optimization. It provides both free and paid tools to help businesses which would like to rank better nationally and on a global scale.

Happy Pitching!

3 Must Haves for Your PR Media Kit

Journalists are busy. Really busy.

For every pitch you send to them, there may be 100 more like it just waiting in their inbox. Its not enough to just have interesting pitch, you must make sure that you include all of the deliverables to ensure that producing your article is as easy and seamless as possible.
This is where your press kit comes it. It provides a consolidated snapshot of your brand story in a way that is informative and timely to getting the coverage you need.

A good press kit includes…

1. Press Photos

A picture is truly worth a thousand words when it comes to PR. Including high-quality photographs of both the product itself as well as the managing team are always hugely convenient when assembling together a story.

2. Press Releases

A press release should not only describe what the brand is, but WHY the journalist should be writing about it.

New product release?

New features added in?

Name change?

Highlight it here. Use these 1-2 pages to outline info and pertinent facts that summarize your brand, its relevance and its newsworthiness today.

3. Brand Assets

You’ve included your photos, but what about screenshots? Your logo? Imagery or video to show how it can or should be used? Brand assets help give writers context and full understanding of the product and the story around it.

All of these items should accompany a solid pitch that quickly grabs the writer’s attention and briefly outlines why you’re contacting them today. The press kit can be attached to an email or included in a file for the writer’s convenience. You also have the option of keeping these items online in a repository to be shared with the click of a link.

PR pitching is an art and it takes time to perfect, but an all inclusive kit can get you moving in the right direction.


Being a blogger is on the top of many people’s dream job list. And while the allure of the role is obvious, what’s not always so clear is how many content creators make enough money to sustain themselves.

If you’re thinking about jumping into the blogger seats, here are three ways to start producing revenue so you can evolve your hobby into a job.

1: Placing ads on your blog.

One of most accessible ways to start generating income is to place advertisements on your page. There are dozens of ad networks, like AdSense, that will work with you to integrate banners and advertisement opportunities into your blog.

If you’re going to go the ad route however you should make sure you focus on driving enough traffic to really produce some revenue, and that starts with great content. Keeping your content timely, relevant and relatable and working with brands who tie in to your theme will put you in the right direction.

Sidenote: Your page isn’t the only avenue to make money. Don’t underestimate the power of your email list. You can use your email list to further build and nurture relationships with your readers. Then via emails, you can drive them back to your website to purchase your products and services.

2: Connecting with brands for sponsored campaigns.

If you’re a subject matter expert on a particular topic brands may be willing to leverage your expertise and influence to promote their products to your readers.

Sponsored posts are like a cousin of traditional advertising in which instead of relying solely on traffic, you get paid up front to review a product or share information about a product with your readers or followers. Depending on your following, sponsored posts can bring you anything from a couple bucks to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Bonus Tip: If the product you’re promoting is a subscription service, make sure you use a service like VigLink to receive recurring payment

Don’t bother signing up for programs you only plan to promote once. Instead, use a service like VigLink to affiliate those links. You will still make money on resulting sales. If it’s performing well you can sign up for the affiliate program later on. This is a great way to monetize before reaching out to premium partners you want to promote.

3: Using affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is the practice of driving traffic to a product, service or page through a link and receiving a commission on any purchases that happen as a result of your referral.
What’s great about affiliate marketing is that it can work for you regardless of how large or small or your audience is. While having more followers may increase your odd, a small dedicated group of people who are vested in what you’re promoting could generate just as many sales.

Bonus Tip: VigLink is one of the best beginners sites to get acquainted with affiliate marketing. The program identifies products mentioned with you content and links the words to campaigns that can generate cash for you.

Remember blogging is a marathon not a sprint, it takes time to build revenue streams to the point you can make a living off of it. However with a little consistency, great content and discipline (and a whooole lot of patience!) its possible to get to the next level.

The difference between PR (Public Relations), Marketing and Advertising

Pr, marketing and advertising are all tactics that can be use in promotion of the brand…but knowing the difference between them can be essential to how you run your business.
I’ve assembled a few notes outlining the differences between each and how each can be used in your favor.


Marketing is a set of conditions to aggregate a sale. Think of it as an overarching umbrella in which pr and advertising fall under.
In regard to your business, marketing can be used to communicate about a product or service and delivers it to a target audience using a mix of price, location and promotional incentives.
Marketing works best through strategic planning. It will guide you in deciding on issues such as which promotional activity to use where and the resources to assign or allocate.
The plan should:

  • Be research driven
  • Speak to potential customers
  • Leverage potential and effective communication tools.
  • Include a calendar
  • Be budget aligned
    Map your marketing efforts across the calendar with the aid of our Marketing Roadmap Planner.


Advertising is a paid tactic promotional tactic used to persuade an audience to buy or use a product or service, through such media as print (newspapers/magazines etc.) television, radio, the internet, posters or billboards etc.
Advertising is traditionally the domain of agencies that specialize in creating and interpreting marketing ideas and goals into effective advertisements for enticing customers to purchase a product or service. Businesses usually outsource or collaborate with advertising agencies to create the ads they require however there are many tools and resources these days that can help you run campaigns yourself.

Public Relations (PR)

PR focuses on the image of a brand, business, product or service to create, develop and maintain a good reputation. Public relations in is simply to have and keep good relations with the customers or market.
Think of it this way, advertisement essentially sells the brand; public relations’ aim is to get noticed by the media by putting the product, service or brand in the public eye through:
Press releases.
Contact with media to informing and push the brand.
Speaking about a brand at public forums.
Writing in-house newsletters and magazines.
Tracking media or press mentions of the brand, product or service.
Public relations role is to convey a positive image of a brand to the market through the media. If you’re interested in exploring PR for your business I would recommend you using our PR Power Kit to help you get the word out.

Have questions? Hit me up on Instagram or Twiter and ask me directly.

Brand Archetypes: Which Genre Does Your Brand Fall Under?

If your business was a movie, what genre would it fall within?
We call this an archetype. It’s a universal collective of unconscious patterns, symbols or imagery that people use to assign meaning to something.
Why is it important? Well people have a tendency to accept and embrace feelings and emotions that they can understand. So aligning your brand to an existing archetype will save your time and money by helping you clearly define how people connect with you.
Check out the 12 most common archetypes and think about which one you might apply to your business.

1. The Lover

This brand archetype evokes erotic and loving experiences and is for brands that want to be associated with intimate moments.
Ex. Victoria’s Secret, Godiva Chocolate

2. The Everyman or Regular guy

This is the most challenging brand archetype because it appeals to everyone across all demographics; it promotes ordinary virtues and creates a sense of belonging for all.
Ex. Home Depot

3. The Jester

If you want to brand to be associated with entertainment, fun and happiness, this is the archetype for you. Sell happiness and optimism through a sense of humor for clients’ satisfaction.
Ex. The Onion, Ben & Jerry’s

4. The Outlaw

This is the branding genre for the fearless; the outlaw isn’t afraid of taking the path less followed and building a following.
Ex. Harley Davidson

5. The Magician

These brands tap into your dreams and fantasies, they manifest your thoughts into tangible products in an out of this world type of way.
Ex. Apple, Disney

6. The Creator

These businesses turn visions into reality. They nurture innovation and the actualization of ideas.

Ex. Lego, Crayola

7. The Hero

The Hero is an action oriented brand archetype which promotes perseverance and evokes courage in times of hardness; the hero makes the world better by striving to be the best.
Ex. Nike, BMW, Duracell

8. The Caregiver

If you are in the business of protecting and caring for people, this is your archetype; these are brands whose value is mainly direct customer service and care such as schools, hospices, hospitals, caregivers etc.
Ex. Campbell’s Soup, Johnson & Johnson

9. The Ruler

These brands value power and dominance and often are associated with being able to restore or maintain order or control
Ex. Mercedes Benz, Microsoft

10. The Sage

This is the archetype for knowledge, truth and wisdom; it explores positive ideas by seeking and using intellect and analysis to understand the world.

Ex. Google

11. The Explorer

This type of branding is all about discovery of a more authentic, better and fulfilling life. It is about selling freedom to fulfill life’s goals and dreams.

Ex. Jeep, Red Bull

12. The Innocent

These brands are in the pursuit of happiness. They bring about feelings of childhood, simplicity, goodness, and nostalgia.
Ex. Dove soap, Coca-Cola, Cottonelle bathroom tissue
Tweet me at @AmandaSpann and tell me which archetype your brand falls within!

20 Epic PR Quotes

Navigating your perception to the public and especially the press can seem like a daunting task. But getting ahead of your own story is possible and an empowering way to position your way for success.
I’ve have compiled a list of 20 epic quotes that will help you quickly garner insights and tips on how to steer your PR campaign in the right direction.

1. Bill Gates:

“If I were down to my last dollar I would spend it on PR.

2. Oscar Wilde:

“There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and it is not being talked about.”

3. Jean-Louis Gasse:

“Advertising is saying that you are good. PR is getting someone else to say you are good.”

4. Brendan Branson:

“There is no such thing as bad publicity except your obituary.

5. Richard Branson:

“A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front-page ad.”

6. Warren Buffet:

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

7. Malcolm X:

‘The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and the guilty innocent, and that’s power.”

8. Allan Harrington:

“Public relations specialists make flower arrangements of the facts, placing them, so the wilted and less attractive petals are hidden by sturdy blooms.”

9. Jay Baer:

“If your stories are all about your products and services, that’s not storytelling. It’s a brochure. Give yourself permission to make the story bigger.”

10. Albert Einstein:

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

11. Douglas Smith:

“Everything you do or say is public relations.

12. Stuart Ewen:

“The history of PR is a history of a battle for what reality is and how people will see and understand reality.”

13. Nikos Kazantzakis:

“Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality.”

14. Al & Laura Reis:

“It’s PR that needs to be creative. It’s PR that needs to be new and different. It’s PR that needs to be original. The best way to establish a brand is to create a new category requires creative thinking of the highest order.”

15. Benjamin Disraeli:

“Without publicity, there can be no public support, and without public support, every nation must decay.”

16. Jeremy Bentham:

“Publicity is the very soul of justice. It is the keenest spur to exertion, and the surest of all guards against improbity.”

17. James E. Grunig:

“We believe PR should be practiced to serve the public interest, to develop mutual understanding between organizations and their publics.

18. Thomas Paine:

“The art of publicity is a black art, but it has come to stay, and every year adds to its potency.”

19. Daniel J:

“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers.”

20: Yakov Zel’dovich:

“Without publicity, there is no prosperity.”
Learn the secret to press pitching success with _______________________. Your ______________________ to __________________.

20 Epic Marketing Quotes

Marketing is the backbone of any successful organization. As you build and grow your business baby here are 20 amazing quotes to inspire your startup strategy:

1. John Costello, Dunkin’ Donuts: On expanding to digital platforms: “Mobile and marketing go hand-in-hand.”

2. Sheryl Adkins-Green: “Marketing momentum is about the everyday energy and relevance that you keep pulsing throughout your brand and organization.”

3. Doug Collier: “The world is changing so fast, particularly from a marketing standpoint, that if you’re not interested in learning new things you’ll be left in the dust very quickly.”

4. Lorraine Twohill: “The way I think about marketing—and the way I tend to talk to my team about it—is knowing the user, knowing the magic, and connecting the two.”

5. Peep Laja: “Tell people why they should buy from here, don’t just hope they’ll figure it out.”

6. Anne Finucane: “If you create a purpose, make sure you deliver on that purpose. It is the filter through which you make every decision.”

7. Trevor Edwards: “Marketing exists to serve our consumers – one at a time.”

8. Deborah Wahl: “Good advertising creates emotion.”

9. Joseph Tripodi: “We can’t be obsessed or seduced by data. At the end of the day that emotional response is still a necessity.”

10. Joanna Wiebe: “Think about your prospect. Know them personally. And always message with what they want – not what you want to say or what you think they might want – in mind.”

11. Diane Dietz: “Years ago it was more about a price proposition, vs. today, where it’s more about developing brands with promised solutions to the consumer.”

12. Robin Korman: “Always think about the next horizon. Customers own the conversation now. You must play among them to influence them.”

13. Karen Quintos: “Real-time marketing means moving at the speed of the customer, understanding their pain points or interests, and serving up the right information at the right time.”

14. Jeff Jones: “As a marketer, you have to be driven by the consumer that you are serving, and you can only do that when you are insanely curious about them. You can’t change the world if you are not curious about it.”

15. Nigel Burton: “A big part of [marketing] success is that the client has to be fully involved and stay involved.”

16. Brian Massey: “Consumers expect consistent quality of experiences and consistent use of brand symbols.”

17. Ann Handley: “Quality content means content that is packed with clear utility and is brimming with inspiration, and it has relentless empathy for the audience.”

18. Christopher Gimmer: “People are more persuaded by actions of others more than any proof you could offer them.”

19. Neil Patel: “One of the main aims of content marketing, is to help people before they actually purchase something from you.”

20. Jeffrey Eisenberg: “Conversion rates are a measure of your ability to persuade visitors to take the action you want them to take. They’re a reflection of your effectiveness at satisfying customers. For you to achieve your goals, visitors must first achieve theirs.”

Quotes got you thinking? Continue to map your marketing plans with the help of our Marketing Roadmap Planner.

20 Epic Branding Quotes

When it comes to making a purchase, the decision for many consumers ultimately comes down to brand recognition. As the culmination of the identity, messaging, feelings and themes surrounding your company, a brand goes a long way in fostering lasting relationships with the clients and affecting your profits and revenues. Whether you’re building the foundation of a Fortune 500 company or launching a new app, any business owner could gain branding inspiration from the insights provided below:

1. “If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.” ― Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks

2. “I am all for conversations. But you need to have a message.” -Renee Blodgett, President, Blodgett Communications

3. “By publishing content that shows buyers you understand their problems and can show them how to solve them, you build credibility.”-Ardath Albee, Author of Emarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale

4. “People share, read and generally engage more with any type of content when it’s surfaced through friends and people they know and trust.” -Malorie Lucich, Facebook Spokesperson

5. “Marketers need to build digital relationships and reputation before closing a sale.”-Chris Brogan, Keynote Speaker, Founder, New Marketing Labs

6. “There is no black magic to successfully attracting customers via the web.” -Rand Fishkin, Founder, Seomozhttps://www.nomorewackpitches.com/

7. “Before you create any more ‘great content’, figure out how you are going to market it first.” -Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett, Authors of Get Content Get Customers
8. “Make sure you test your brand story’s recipe with whomever you’re cooking it for.” ― Laura Busche, Lean Branding

9. “Too many companies want their brands to reflect some idealized, perfected image of themselves. As a consequence, their brands acquire no texture, no character and no public trust.” ― Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group

10. “People change, and so do their aspirations, and so should brands.” ― Laura Busche, Lean Branding

11. “A business has to be evolving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative interests.” ― Richard Branson

12. “Content is of great importance, but we must not underestimate the value of style” ― Maya Angelou, Author

13. 13. “No matter what, the very first piece of social media real estate I’d start with is a blog.” -Chris Brogan, Keynote Speaker, Founder, New Marketing Labs

14. “If you have more money than brains, you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing.” -Guy Kawasaki, Former Chief Evangelist, Apple, Co-founder AllTop.com

15. “Doing well with blogging is not about writing one key post, it is about performing day after day and helping a few people at a time.” -Aaron Wall, Author of the SEOBook Blog

16. “Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business.” ― Zig Ziglar, American author, salesman, and motivational speaker

17. Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” ― Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com

18. “Entrepreneurs average 3.8 failures before final success. What sets the successful ones apart is their amazing persistence.” ― Lisa M. Amos

19. “Tell a story. Make it true. Make it compelling. And make it relevant.” ― Rand Fishkin, Founder of Moz
20. “In this ever-changing society, the most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart. They are real and sustainable. Their foundations are stronger because they are built with the strength of the human spirit, not an ad campaign. The companies that are lasting are those that are authentic.” ― Howard Schultz, Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time.
Enjoyed these nuggets of wisdom? Pair what you learned with the #LaunchLove Brand Identity guide to take your brand to the next level

20 Free or Easy Ways to Promote Your Startup or App Business

It’s nearly every entrepreneur’s biggest hurdle – how to marketing your business, without breaking the bank.
Fortunately, some of the most successful promotional tactics come at little to no costs. Check out just few ideas on budget friendly business promos below.

1. Partner for a Giveaway

Know someone with a large audience? Partner with them to provide their friends, fans or followers a few of your business goodies. Whether you’re giving away a product or even just a consultation the exposure can’t be beat.

2. Join a Business Directories

Directories don’t start or stop with the Yellow Pages – there are literally thousands of free and low cost business directories, on and offline, for every industry. Including yourself in them can increase visibility, improve your SEO and route prospective clients to your site or establishments.

3. Create Mutually Beneficial Business Partnerships

Link with businesses working in or around your industry to route traffic to one another. Have a floral shop? Partner with wedding planners. A realtor and home insurance company could complement each other well. You scratch their back and they’ll scratch yours.

4. Host a Happy Hour

Nothing brings people out like free drinks. Bars are happy to work with entrepreneurs to draw out new patrons in exchange for publicity. Leverage the mixer as opportunity to educate people about your company and secure signups for your mailisting.

5. Post a YouTube Video

When you post on the internet, it’s forever. And in the event you post a promotional video, this may work in your favor. Having a promotional video not only makes articulating the value the product easier but improves your SEO. If you have the money to pay an YouTube influencer for review or to create original content, you can amplify your exposure ten fold.

6. Free seminars

Give a little to get a little. If you’re a subject matter expert giving free or low cost seminars and webinars are a great way of attracting people specifically interested in your industry and building a following around your expertise.

7. Creative Business cards

Get crafty with your business cards to make them keepsakes for your customers. For my cocktail app Alchomy, I made our bottle opener business cards that could be attached to your key chain. As they used the openers more and more they began to associate their social drinking experiences with the app.

8. Launch a Blog

Not only do blogs provide an opportunity to share content, updates and announcements around your business but they’re a great way of attracting interested parties to your thought leadership.

9. List Your Product on Groupon

Flash deal sites are a great way of selling a large influx of products and services quickly. It can be a great way to build your mailing list or to ramp up the volume of purchases within a matter of days. But buyer beware – make sure you can meet the demand that a site like Groupon can bring. There have been countless horror stories of businesses being run into the ground for failing to gauge the amount of business they culd handle.

10. Community Giveaways

Actively participate in community events by occasionally donating service or prizes for example to bring social awareness and build goodwill.

11. Pitch or Contributing to a Publication

Whether online or off, publishing free professional advice allows you to connect with new audiences and will get people interested in learning more about you and your business.

12. Build or Leverage an E-mail List

If you Do an email marketing blitz; it will get you enquiries and conversions. Here is a resource for emailing success; #LaunchLove Email Marketing: Get an Insider’s Look Into the Tricks and Tools I’ve Used to Grow My Mailing List by 500+ New Subscriptions a Day!

13. Public demo

This is an old tactic, but still works very well; set up a stand outside your premises or at a place with a lot of traffic and demonstrate to passersby and onlooker what your business does.

14. Local business reviews

Reviewing other business in your area is promotion for them; will respond by promoting you as well.

15. Referral and reward program

Start a reward for a referral program with existing customers and have more people seeking your products or services in a short time.

16. Online forums

Online forums are a great way of getting noticed and attracting a following; join like minded forums and actively participate in discussions or answer questions.

17. Google My Business

This is the ideal promotion tool for local listings; online searches are becoming more and more localised.

18. Social Media

Open profile pages for your business on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc. Start writing about your business and interacting with the online audience.

19. Networking events

There are many free to attend or subscribe business networking meetings and reap the benefits of meeting people and businesses- a free audience to sell your business.

20. Unique online content

Ensure that the content on your website is unique and relevant; great content attracts online traffic.

There you have it! Get on with promoting your business.

5 Ways to Identify and Engage the Right Audience for Your Startup

One of the most common mistakes that a startup can make is trying to appeal to everyone. I’ve even done it myself. With my first app Alchomy, I wanted to include every feature for every body but at the end of the day everyone isn’t going to buy…and that’s what counts.
As a founder you must clearly define a target audience to be more efficient, effective and make the best use of time and money.
Here are 5 ways to identify and engage the right audience for your startup:

1. Profile your potential customers

Profile your potential customer by creating detailed customer personas. Customer personas should contain details on their demographic, needs and what they care about. The more detailed the customer persona is the more likely you are to the audience you want, and you will easily identify potential opportunities to guide leads through your sales funnel. Customer profiling and targeting is an ongoing process that should never stop; customer needs, desires, likes, are fluid and constantly changing.
Our Find Your Dream Customer: The Perfect Personas Guide will help you in starting the process of customer discovery

2. Leverage Social Media

Explore hashtags and tools like hashtag trackers to find out who is talking about what and in what regard they’re talking about it on and offline.
One of the most underutilized resources is Facebook Audience Insights. It helps you learn who is liking what and what related pages those users have taken an interest in.

3. Build an Online Community or discussion Forum

When it comes to engagement an easy and cost efficient way to engage is to Create a group or social media forum for your customers. Free Facebook groups enable you to connect and build relationships with your audience; answer questions directly, discuss your brand, send updates and share information relevant to them.

4. Tap In to their Emotions

At their core, what do your customers care about? Tapping into their emotions can be major key in helping them foster and affinity for your company. Connecting with your audience evokes the human side of the brand and reminds the audience that they are dealing with actual people behind the numbers.

5. Analyze the competition

The reason for any service or product offered in the market is to meet a need; analyzing your competition not only allows you to identify audiences you didn’t recognize before but to spot gaps which you can then exploit. Research everything to know what similar businesses are doing and how you can offer a better product or service.
Hopefully this gives you a leg up in the game – good luck!

20 Free or Easy Ways to Promote Your Business

Every business is always looking for ways to get more people in the wider market looking their way. Branding and marketing is even tougher for small start ups since they do not have the money to invest in capital intensive promotional campaigns run by the bigger or more established entities.

Here is our list of 20 ways to promote your business:

1. Charity

Volunteering your time and donating to charity will get you noticed; give advice, your service or product, but most important some of your time and get people calling.

2. Free business directories

There are already many free business directories out there where you can list your business such as Yellow Pages, Just Dial etc.

3. Business partnerships

Get in partnership with similar businesses for more exposure and greater network.

4. Offer free beverages

Once a week, offer free coffee, tea or cocoa to any luck person who reads the sign on your window.

5. YouTube

All you have to do is create a video of your service or products and upload for the world to see; you can even create your own channel.

6. Free seminars

Print out notices of free seminars in your community and get people coming; free advice is a cool way of getting people interested in your services and you.

7. Business cards

Making business cards does not cost much; make an order for your business and leave a card with everyone you meet. State clearly who you are, what you do, contacts and where you are located.

8. Blog

Create a Blog to sell your business and promote your service or products.

9. Groupon

This is a deal offering site; all you have to do is agree to their discount rates and they will do the promotional work for you. Look for and make use of other deal sites as well.

10. Community service

Actively participate in community events by donating service or prizes for example, or CSR organising and participating in social awareness events.

11. Free publications

Whether online or off, publishing free professional advice will get people interested in your articles and will start contacting and seeking out your business.

12. E-mail

Do an email marketing blitz; it will get you enquiries and conversions. Here is a resource for emailing success; #LaunchLove Email Marketing: Get an Insider’s Look Into the Tricks and Tools I’ve Used to Grow My Mailing List by 500+ New Subscriptions a Day!

13. Public demo

This is an old tactic, but still works very well; set up a stand outside your premises or at a place with a lot of traffic and demonstrate to passersby and onlooker what your business does.

14. Local business reviews

Reviewing other business in your area is promotion for them; will respond by promoting you as well.

15. Referral and reward program

Start a reward for a referral program with existing customers and have more people seeking your products or services in a short time.

16. Online forums

Online forums are a great way of getting noticed and attracting a following; join like minded forums and actively participate in discussions or answer questions.

17. Google My Business

This is the ideal promotion tool for local listings; online searches are becoming more and more localised.

18. Social Media

Open profile pages for your business on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc. Start writing about your business and interacting with the online audience.

19. Networking events

There are many free to attend or subscribe business networking meetings and reap the benefits of meeting people and businesses- a free audience to sell your business.

20. Unique online content

Ensure that the content on your website is unique and relevant; great content attracts online traffic.

There you have it! Get on with promoting your business.

3 Simple Ways to Tell If Your Marketing is Effective

It’s probably one of the most common questions I get – How do I know my marketing efforts are working for me?
Measuring your marketing efforts can depend on the goals you have for your company, which can change from week to week. I’ve listed a few of the most common ways to gauge your success:

1. Sales numbers analysis

Bottom line, you’re in business to make money. This is the simplest way to measure the effectiveness of a plan; actual sales figures can help establish the success rate of employed marketing strategy. Assuming that at the close of a fiscal year, sales totaled to $200,000 and the totals for the new fiscal year is $ 230,000, it would be correct to conclude that your marketing plan is effective. One thing to be mindful of however is all the changes in the macro environment i.e. inflation, changes in prices of goods and services, subtle increases could make a big difference in actual revenue.

2. Customer evaluation or response

This can come in a number of forms. General awareness and engagement surrounding your brand is generally always a good thing.
On social media take note of increases in comments, follows, engagement, likes and views.
On your website, see if there is a spike in commenting, in shares or even completion of survey responses. This is all indicative of increases in affinity and connect to your brand, customers are beginning to feel a great enough attachment to what your building to offer it feedback, insights and criticisms to make it better.
There are plenty of surveying, social media measurement and share of voice tools that will help you see your growth as it scales.

3. Sales people, ambassadors and partners

Like Henry Ford said a 100+ years ago, if we would have asked people what their transportation needs were they would have simply said they needed a faster horse. They couldn’t even envision a car because it simply didn’t exist yet. Today is no different, many customers don’t know what they want and how they want it before you show it to them.
This is why intuitive sales people and partners are so important. Depending on the nature of your business you may have people on the ground or interacting with customers daily who can get a first-hand glimpse into their responses, feedback and behavior surrounding your product.
If in-tune with your brand and the goals of your marketing efforts, sales representatives can report back on how people are interacting with product and if necessary how to edit your efforts to make them more effective or efficient.

Again, your marketing success depends on your goals. Measuring the effectiveness of an article ran on you in the paper is a lot different than that of a running a Facebook ad. There are dozens of benchmarks you can use but these three are among the simplest and easy to implement for a quick evaluation.

3 Tips for Finding the Perfect Publicist

The power of publicity for business success and brand visibility and growth cannot be understated. Having the right publicist by your side to help and guide you through this process is important; you want someone who will understands who you are, the vision for who you want to be while simultaneously bringing the experience, insights and work ethic to meet your brands goals.
When might you need a publicist:

    •  New product launch
    • New business
    • Rebranding
    • Crisis management
    • Here are a few recommendations on finding the right representation for you:

Do your research

Many people make the mistake of settling for the first publicist they meet and find out when it is too late that they hired the wrong person. Before hiring, do a thorough research of publicists and meet several; you really want the person who understands your brand and can effectively tell your story.
Remember to use your list of expectations; How do you want your publicity campaign to be run? What medium do you want to explore? What can you afford?

Some of the things you may want to look at are:

  • Industry – Publicists have specialties. Finding someone who works within your niche could be the difference between you getting visibility or not
  • Potential conflict of interest – Do they have exclusivity contracts or other clients that may compete with you?
  • The publicist’s reputation; ask for references and contact them. An ideal candidate would be one with long term engagements and recurring clients.
  • Résumé & placements – What media or partnerships have they secured in the past?
  • Vibes – Speak with him or her directly. Does he or she understand your business, your brand, your product or services?

Forget promises, look for verifiable and measurable achievements

Although mentioned in passing in the previous point, the résumé is probably the most critical pointer to the ability of the publicist to deliver; very often, publicist claim capability or even experience of things that they haven’t done and aren’t really competent to execute. Review the publicist’s client list for experience in the area you want help in; you want someone who is consistent with measurable and verifiable achievements.
Let them take you through similar campaigns to gauge their abilities and help you decide whether they are fit or not. Always keep in mind that the publicist is only coming in to expound on what you want by engaging the expertise and skills, experience, and professional insight.

Referrals work best

There is no better examiner and judge than someone who has dealt with a publicist before; through referrals, you can get the best person to work for you by simply getting a name from a similar business to yours. Seek recommendations from closely related or complimentary brands to get objective and relevant perspective of what you might need. If you don’t have people you can immediately access explore PR and Marketing Facebook groups where you can openly engage with or chat with industry proessionals.
Your dream PR campaign is just a few steps away. Get more insights or our startup DYI media kit by copping our PR Power Kit , it includes a pitch template, checklist & press release guide that will help you ensure you include all of the things you need to review before you or your representative start reaching out to the media.

5 Tips for Branding Your App

So you just developed your dream app. Congratulations Founder!
You’ve perfected the product and now it’s time for you to build, grow and establish your brand and identity so you can connect with the perfect audience.
I’ve included a few tips below to help kickstart your app branding process.

1. Know your business and the RIGHT customer for you

You would be surprised at how many entrepreneurs I meet that don’t understand what is special about their business. Coming to understand all of the features or services you provide, their benefits and why they make you one-of-a-kind is key. This will be the thing that sets you apart from the competitors.
In regard to your customers, think about how the benefits you provide will solve a problem for them. Which group is so affected by this problem and so interested in solving it that they would be willing to spend? This is who you should invest in targeting.

2. Unique value proposition and message

Your USP or unique value proposition is the one thing that is so unique about your business that is sets you apart from competitors. Sometimes it’s a feature, sometimes it’s a service, sometimes it’s your price. Ultimately it should be the thing that moves people to buy.
Once you’ve determine this, build messages around it so that prospective customers clearly understand the value and how it solves their problems.

3. Create a clear branding strategy

Develop a clear marketing plan specific to the app and tailored for the mobile devices market with your target audience in mind. In strategy building, you may want to consider professional help to assist you in navigating the changes surrounding app store marketing and your presence on and offline.
Your strategy should help tell a story and provide a compelling narrative surrounding what your business is all about.

4. Establish your identity

Branding your app does not end with the strategy. You must now create aligning assets to accompany the plan including logos, colors, imagery and more.
Our Brand Identity: Get the Step-by-Step Guide to Brand Self-Discovery will help you walk through crafting your identity and the direction you’d like to position your app in.

5. Analyze and Measure

Sometimes you get it right the first time…..but most of the time you don’t. And even when you’re on the right track, there is always room for refinement. Remain competitive by regularly analyzing and tweaking your assets, messages and more to ensure you’re delivering on goals but also accounting for customers growing needs and marketing changes.
Find more app marketing tips and more on our blog at http://spannandcompany.com.

5 Tools to Measure Your Social Media ROI

Measurement Matters.
For the sake of your money and your time it’s critical that you constantly gauge and evaluate whether your social media tactics are working in your favor.
There are dozens of tools to measure your efforts, here are a few that may meet your needs:

1. Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics is designed to optimize social media marketing success and ROI; it will track your customers anonymously on the first visit and subsequent visits, as well as keep tabs on conversions. It is good for evaluating customer behavior and ROI.

2. RJ Metrics’ Cloud BI

It gives a very detailed analysis of customer behaviour and lifetime value – Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). Apart from the automatic evaluation of CLV, this tool will give you insights into such as the social media channel that referred the customer, as well as details about marketing ROI in relation to the cost of acquiring a customer. Get help from this tool with determining customer behavior, assessing ROI and getting an accurate CLV report.

3. Google Analytics

It is the most popular tool for social media performance assessment; it will give track and let you see where your traffic is originating and how online visitors interact with your sites and social media pages. Find out which social media campaign is really working and bringing visitors to your site and track individual conversions as well.

4. Cyfe

Cyfe helps you gauge how wide your contents reach is; by customizing your dashboards for the information you want, this tool will provide feedback on your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and other social media networks and it tracks activities related to emails, blogs, and adverts as well.

5. Customer Lifetime Calculator

How much does it cost you to get or retain each customer your social media campaign? Customer Lifetime Calculator is the tool to get you the answers. Use CLC to determine whether your efforts are worth the investment. CLC will give insights to help you decide whether a campaign should be ended or whether it ought to be boosted, and is a good tool for short and long term strategy for your social media marketing campaign.

Happy Posting!


I’m Amanda Spann and it’s great to have your company.

As a serial entrepreneur I know first hand that building a company is hard. And it’s even more difficult when you don’t have any help or guidance to steer you in the right direction.

I’ve built Spann & Co. to help entrepreneurs actualize their dreams. Regardless to where you are, where you started, what your experiences are, your education or lack thereof, our tips, tools and resources aim to offer a helping hand when kick starting your company.

Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur looking to bring your idea to life or a budding founder looking for your big marketing break, I’ve got options for you – Select a learning track below to get started today!