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When Your Imagination Reaches Out to Touch Someone

When it comes to marketing your home business, your imagination can be your lucky charm. Read how others have used their creativity (and not their money!) to leave a lasting impression, and then exercise your brainstorming muscles!

© 1994, by Silvana Clark

Tip #3: Brownie Marketing

If I could sum up my philosophy on gaining publicity, it would be "Brownie Marketing."

Donnajeanne Goheen, a talent manager and owner of the Young Performers Studio in Seattle, is a master at marketing the children she represents to film and commercial directors. She also coaches the young actors about how to appropriately catch the attention of casting agents and producers.

While filming "Hand that Rocks the Cradle," eight-year-old Rachel Glenn had a part as an extra. The day before filming, a wardrobe director told Rachel to arrive for work wearing earth-tones. No bright colors or outlandish styles, that was saved for the child in the lead role. Goheen, knowing extras often get their roles upgraded if a director finds they are talented, gave great thought to the term "earth-tones." What could she do to make Rachel stand out from the other children hired to play background scenes?

The next day, the children assembled for filming. All were dressed in drab beige and brown outfits, exactly as the director wanted. Rachel was also in an earth-tone outfit, but with a difference.

She wore her Brownie uniform.

Tip # 13: Fresh as a Daisy

Your community probably has several daycare centers, accounting services, and house cleaning businesses. What makes one business stand out from all the others?

In many cases, the services provided are the same, but one business always provides the "extra touch."

In the case of house cleaning, one town had four companies competing for business. The "Fresh as a Daisy" company charged similar fees and had approximately the same number of employees as their competition. They cleaned in a professional manner and always left their trademark gift: a vase with three daisies sitting on the kitchen table. "We've had more people call and tell us they've heard about us because of those daisies," said the proud owner. "We don't have to do any other form of advertising, since we began leaving the flowers."

In every aspect of your business, the question is the same: "What makes my service or product different from others?" Do you offer quicker service, higher quality, lower fees, or one-of-a-kind items?

A small grocery store found an increase in business after placing a large sign at a checkout counter, saying "This checkout lane has no candy on display." Parents appreciated being able to pay for groceries without having to listen to demands for candy from their children.

Remember: Leave them flowers!

Tip # 64: Finding Your Uniqueness Factor

The "uniqueness factor" of your business cannot be overstated. People frequently call me to say they want to become a professional speaker, or want to sell a product already on the market. I always reply by asking, "What is your uniqueness factor?"

When presenting keynotes or workshops on "Taming the Marketing Jungle," I begin the presentation by apologizing to the audience for forgetting the usual costume I wear. (This makes the audience very uncomfortable, and they wonder why they hired such an unprofessional speaker.) Then I hesitantly ask if anyone by chance brought an extra safari blouse. To everyone's surprise, one of their peers stands up and offers to share a blouse with me.

Then I ask to borrow a safari skirt and pith helmet. Again, audience members come through with the requested items, which I wear throughout my presentation. Because of that opening, I frequently receive calls asking, "Are you that safari lady? We'd like to have you speak at our upcoming conference." They may not remember my name, but they remember something unique about me.

A small business owner running a dog kennel encouraged owners to send letters to their pets. She faithfully read the greetings to the dogs. She even encouraged people to call and would take the cordless phone into the kennel so dogs could hear their owners' voices! Her kennel always was filled to capacity.

Silvana Clark is a professional speaker on such topics as Marketing With a Big Imagination and a Small Budget, and the author of four books, including Taming the Marketing Jungle. You can contact Silvana directly at: [email protected].

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