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
by Silvana Clark
#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
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.
# 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
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
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!
# 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].