Brands often spend lots of time and money investing in their pr campaign, from pitching to branding materials, and then forget one of the most simple rules for getting lots of visibility - have your product on, with, or near you at all times. This doesn't mean toss your business cards in your handbag, but involves great preparation, which we'll talk about now!
You never know who you will meet or what chance encounter could turn into a brand breakthrough. You also can't ever forget that when walking around you pass hundreds, even thousands of people every day. If you are visibly wearing or making a point about your brand, thousands of people have a chance of experiencing that message, here are some examples of how you can better ensure this:
1. If you have a product that can be worn (accessories, apparel, or even a shirt with your logo on it) wear it. Wear it to parties, to the gym, out to dinner, to parent-teacher conferences, and give it to your friends and family to wear. Make sure it pops up everywhere and it's visible. Every single day I wear my clients or Tin Shingle members products and I wear them proudly. If I'm at a media event I'm especially going to be wearing them. Just today I was wearing my Entrepreneur T-shirt from Tin Shingle to the gym (more because I was feeling inspired and proud to be an entrepreneur, less because I wanted to promote my company). Well low and behold, not only did I attract the attention of several people at the gym (hard not to with the word ENTREPRENEUR emblazoned across your chest, with my company name and website on the back), but I was approached by a blogger outside of the gym who was curious about my tee as well - missons accomplished: cardio and creating relationships!
I also must tell you, and this is the truth: Tin Shingle members create stunning accessories, and there has not been one day that I was wearing one of their pieces that I have not been approached by someone who asks who created it. See them in our Accessories section of hte Entrepreneur Directory, and also see those in Jewelry.
2. Be sure you and everyone you know who wear your product (family, friends, employees) can deliver a 15-30 second piece of information about your product so when they wear it or are asked about it they can not only entice someone with their response, but also tell them your website. No use wearing your brand if no one can find out more about it!
Not only do I tell them the designer and the website, but I add a cool note about their story ("lawyer turned designer", "west coast designer who creates the modern woman's best friend necklaces", "chronic illness was the catalyst fot this cool bracelet") and believe me, people listen!
3. Don't fret if you don't create a fashion product, there is still hope. If you have a food or beverage line, find a way to bring it with you wherever you go. We all know there is not a party, event, meeting, or gathering of any kind that Gourmetibles, Sweet Muse brownies or Fretzels don't arrive at without snacks. That's great marketing! If you create a product that requires it being used outside of a public setting, bring it with you anyways if you can fit it on your person, you never know when it will come up in conversation. If that is an impossibility, bring a small look book, photo, or other piece of information you can easily leave with someone as a reminder. Also be sure you deliver your tagline or soft elevator pitch to leave a lasting impression.
4. Service professional? Live and embody your service. If you don't sell products then you must be your own product, your own living embodiment of your brand. Health expert? Look good, feel good, give off that vibe, and when people ask you how you do it, give them a few pointers and the link to your website. Stylist - look the part! Make-up artist? Show up with a great "face on" and when people ask why you look so good reveal a beauty trick or two and leave them wanting more! Even if you have a website that helps families take care of the aging, or one that gives tips on finding a great playground for kids, be sure you are a fountain of knowledge about these topics - your stories can be your "product" you take with you, and thusly you can always have it on you.
5. Remember - being a great source of knowledge or having a cool product on you is one thing, but being a pain in the behind is another. There is a fine line between interesting and sharing useful information at a good point in a conversation, and being the person everyone avoids at parties because they know you just come to network profusely and talk about yourself or your product. The key with always having your product or story on you is to be subtle. Wait for people to come to you and tell your story naturally. Otherwise just be there and be interesting and believe me, people will start talking!