Author Archives: Robert Phillips

About Robert Phillips

With over 15 years in the marketing field, Robert Phillips brings insightful marketing strategies that are useful for both small & medium sized enterprises. Robert Phillips is a full time marketing consultant to growing businesses around Australia. He is also a part time entrepenuer.


Cheap Public Relations

If you believe you are having difficulty with publicity, then maybe it is timely that you already employ these simple DIY PR tips to help you out.

Start getting the kind of publicity that you want by employing these four simple techniques:

1. Simply ask

You do not need to wield complex procedures to generate publicity for your business. It is not really as hard as you might think it is. You simply ask the media people to promote your business for you and some of them will be more than willing to spare a few minutes of their precious time writing and talking about your products and services.

2. Do your PR works personally

I am not saying that securing the services of a PR firm will do you no good; in fact, it is a great help in conveying your message to your target audience. However, it is a known fact that PR firms and agencies cost a lot. Sometimes the monetary requirement is just beyond your capacity to pay. That is why it is only justifiably practical to suggest that you handle the PR works for your own business as long as the tasks are still manageable. Sometimes it will even work to your own advantage if you are the one dealing with the journalists because most of them prefer to extract comments from the business owners rather than just with public relations representatives.

3. Research before you plunge

Publicity could spell your demise if you do not know how to handle it or you are not ready to engage. This happens if you did not make sure to make the needed research about vital information before you made contact with the journalist. Make sure you have already pretty much covered anything that you wish to talk about by the time that a spontaneous interview will materialize.

4. Make good use of the principle of timing

Make your story trendy to make it more appealing and newsworthy for the media people to work on.

Customise your new business according with the latest outfit

When your business is something new and is conceptualized according to the latest ideas, the media might generally like it to use in their story.

Always be ready on opportunities of associating your stories on the latest happenings. Nothing could be more in timing than that. Like at the height of economic crunch, the media feasted on stories about financial management.

Use the seasonal holidays to provide you an idea of what materials to produce to create a great impact for your message.

When you share your expertise to the public, your story will definitely gain popularity with great impact and effect.

5. Deliver only relevant news materials

You have to be able to determine the kind of headlines of which you want to hook your own generated news. Make sure to give your best in offering only significant news.  These are a few pointers to help you out in determining whether the news will interest your target audience.

  1. It has to be relevantly new. Time is of the essence if you wish to capture the interest of your audience.
  2. Make sure your news is within the premises of your area of concern.
  3. As much as possible, your news must feature people that are readily identifiable, such as politicians, celebrities and sports figures.
  4. Unusual news will definitely generate curiosity and interest, so it is also a great way of gaining publicity.
  5. News with a touch of conflict is another way of tapping people’s interest.
  6. Some hyped-up products use suspense to entice the audience’s attention, capitalising on the people’s building curiosity.
  7. News that has a shade of human struggle and success, emotional and inspirational will definitely capture the interests of the readers and viewers.
  8. Your news must be something that will have a direct impact to the hearers. It is a lot more enticing to listen to news when you know that you are involved, directly or indirectly, with the given situation.



Your Business’s Salability

After spending a good part of your life establishing and eventually growing your business into a profitable entity, could you honestly say that everything was worth your while? Do all your efforts even make a sense? Is your business even sellable?

I had a pep talk with someone who ran his own agency for two decades and our conversation steered to retirement; he said he was already planning to call it off. So I asked him what his options on his business are, whether he has some plans made. His response really caught me off guard. He said he probably will just literally call it off, close his business for good and refer his loyal clients to other professionals of his field. I know that selling a business is not as easy as selling pancakes, but if you have ran the business for a score of years then you must at least have a fighting chance of being able to sell it somehow. I can’t quite figure out the waste of the amount of effort and time making up your business only to close it for good after some time.

The scenario prompted me to muse about my own business. I run a successful copywriting business for 7 fruitful years, and this really got me thinking about its future. I haven’t had contemplated of ever selling my business if ever it comes to that, not before, not now. I think it does not stand a chance of a sale as of today, it does not have the form and I have not the slightest inclination.  Had I only thought of selling my business, I would have done things differently in preparation for a future sale. For those contemplating of selling your business, you should groom it from the start.

If you wish to make some money on your business you could rent it out to someone and secure for yourself regular revenue while you are out there enjoying your freedom days. Or you could make your business formidable, make its finances sound and healthy, making huge profits along the way, and then sell it for a hefty price by the time you want to call it off already.

Most of the business owners are more short business term oriented because most are also into servicing in nature. But in any way, anyone could still sell a business when it is called for.

You ever think of selling your business? Does it have what it takes to entice potential buyers?


Using Articles For PR

You can make your articles work for your benefits; its advantages are great. It will help you project the right image for you and your business as long as you inform your customers that you are the writer of the said article.

1. Notify people about your written article by placing a link from your email

This is a very reliable method in advertising your article. There is a great probability that people will click the link in your email signature, thus paving a way for them to be informed that you have recently written an article.

2. Post your articles in the website regularly

When you regularly update and add articles to your website’s content, the greater your credibility becomes. And when your credibility increases, so is the number of visits you get in your website because people trust your ideas and opinions.

3. Submit articles in prominent article directories

There are free article directories for which you can post your articles for exposure and coverage. Make sure to post them in prominent article directories to ensure greater possibility of viewership. These directories may have some strict guidelines, but once you get through the process, you will have an opportunity to secure massive viewership from its readers.

4. Post your articles in the open

Do not be limited to posting your articles online only. There are various ways of promoting your article. You can post it in the open like placing your article in an area where it can easily be seen by people such as reception area and bulletin board in the office.  You are trying to project an image of confidence and authority in your area of expertise.

5. Have a portfolio of your best articles

You will certainly create a very good impression when you are ready to show your portfolio when the client asks for it spontaneously. It allows your client to think highly of you. Always carry your portfolio with you, bring it wherever you head.

6. Make your article a great promotional tool

You may also utilise the power of article marketing by promoting your other methods to achieve the common goal. This is a very good avenue where you could create an image of being a true expert in your chosen field. When you are in any events, hand out any form of marketing materials together with your article piece.

7. Send your articles regularly to your current and prospective clients

This makes you look more professional. You may send each of them a copy of your articles as your way of reaching out to them on a regular basis. This will help you maintain brand recognition among these people.

Writing Great Articles For PR

Is my content relevant?

Your content should make a difference to your readers. They must find it worthwhile. Make sure that every word you pen down is beneficial to your customers. Make every effort to have every bit of your information relevant.

Does it have integrity?

When you write a factual article, make sure you are not just making up the details. Make sure to be ready to provide proof of its authenticity. A writer’s work is only as good as its integrity. When you say you are an expert, then you must mean it in every sense of the word.

Do you have the integrity and credibility?

You have to ask yourself whether you have established enough credibility and integrity in your field of expertise. Can you name other people to support your claims? Have you acquired various recognitions and commendations to fortify your credibility? Do you have a good standing within your association and community?

Establish and develop your expertise further

Continue to learn the systems of your business. Establish your expertise by submitting more articles and any other materials that will establish your authority on the subject. Be steady and reliable with your trends and routine. And make every effort to build meaningful relationship with people from the media. Make yourself known; establish your name and reputation until you start getting recognized for your efforts.

Writing an article may take some time to practice but once it gets going, you will become better in crafting and writing ideas. You can start slow while you are learning until you have enough experience to go full blast. Start crafting your article, start learning and posting your articles online until you get noticed.

Be sure to make a collection of your work. Keep it ready to be shown to your potential clients. Any copy of your work that you can keep, include it in your portfolio, you will need it soon enough.


Brilliant Customer Handling Hints

Every business thrives with the support of its loyal patriotic customers. Every businessman’s secret fantasy is to rake in as much people as he can get to patronize his product to get his business going.  Just how is that possible?  Simply show them thoughtfulness and caring.  Make them feel important because that is exactly how they are:  Important.

Recently I came across an internet write-up made by a self-confessed food lover and apparently a good cook too.  And just like any other kitchen fanatic I know of, he searches for food outlets anywhere he wants to which offer just the right ingredients for him to concoct his own majestic dishes.  According to this guy, he came to find a new deli downtown which offers almost the same excellent ingredients as any of the other stores.   That is, the new food house doesn’t offer exclusivity when it comes to parma ham, parmesan cheese, pepperoni or what have you.  He doesn’t even notice if this new-found place offers fresh picks at a cheaper price.  So as a new customer, what made him patronize this place when it does not particularly offer an edge to other food stores?  The answer is pretty simple: he was made to feel important there.  Unlike any other store, he experienced careful customer handling within its walls.  I believe the words he chose to describe his experience were “they have good customer service and are just so darn thoughtful.”

If every businessman’s goal is to gather more and more customers each day, every customer’s desire is to feel valuable.  Customers don’t like to wait.  But of course, in reality, it can be unavoidable at times so making them realize their wait will be worthwhile is the trick.  As a businessman here’s a suggestion: try to rustle up what may appear to be impromptu activities to entertain your waiting customers.  As our blogger experienced while waiting, he was offered a little bit of everything that is being sold in that establishment!   Bits and pieces of everything sure can’t hurt your day’s income most especially when you are not looking to spend costly advertisements.  At the close of business, surely you will have chuck up bits and pieces of everything anyway so why don’t you convert these loose pieces into advertising tools, right?

Give and receive is the golden rule we’ve learned for ages.  This time, it’s not just being said but it’s actually being done.

Every now and then, a businessman encounters an indecisive customer.  This is your typical fence sitter who wants something but due to the vast choices available, finally falls into the indecisive trap.  The key to reading this customer’s mind is to offer them what you have.  If for example he wants to buy coffee beans, offer him an idea how to choose!   Just how to do this? Make him a small cup of coffee of that recommended bean. Make him taste it.  Start from that little gesture and work your way to getting him to buy it.

In the end, it all boils down to one thing: let them feel important.  In all honesty, this is how you get to have loyal patronizing customers who will get your business going.


Tell Customers If You Can’t

In the digital age of communications, business owners scramble to cover all data information highways just to ensure that the target market finds their product or service immediately and if the need to purchase it arises, the avenues to contact, inquire and seal the deal is present.  Speed and availability is the name of the game.  Sadly though, the abundance of these so-called avenues often does not match the time and focus business owners must allocate to keep everything going all at the same time.  More than helping, too much glass balls over a juggler’s head may end in disaster especially for serious consumers who expect to basic customer service: attention.

Take this multinational cosmetic production company, for instance. With all their paid advertisements and collaterals plastered with their official website and fan pages, one blogger shared that she once tried to write them a straightforward note via the contact form available on their website for something about their product to be further clarified.  Upon hitting the ‘send’ button, a computer-generated reply promptly appeared in her inbox thanking her for her very important query with a smart assurance of “We will get back in touch soon.”

Unfortunately, several months have passed and yet, no “getting back in touch soon” happened.  To most clients, this is a sign that that company clearly does not feel that that effort poured into contacting them did not merit any kind of reaction so they will simply bring their business elsewhere.   This is a glass ball falling to the ground in pieces.

Remember that no matter what the size your business is or how wide your distribution network covers, you are not only responsible for managing customer expectations by letting your customer know how to contact you but also to actually pay attention to your customers by ensuring all these contact information centers are manned and attended to.

Review where your target market is and what avenues are easily available to them.  Is it landline voice calls, facsimile, short messaging services or email through your company website?   Depending on your capabilities to handle these lines, prioritize which ones you will adopt and ensure sustained interaction in them once you make them available and known to the public.  Beware of falling into what others call the “Always Available” trap by giving customers every option available just because you can take advantage of it but not really be capable of sustaining it in the long run.  A phone line that goes unanswered can be more detrimental to your business than an unpublished number.

Your customers are sensible enough to understand that you are not going to be available 24/7 (unless you are in the business of saving lives) but when you say “Thank you for your inquiry. We will get back in touch soon,” mean it.


Boost Your Self Confidence By Dreaming Big

I and my husband watched Roger Federer play, and my husband had been adamant on me asking Federer to coach for him. The idea really sounds absurd, but my husband was clearly driving a different nail; he wants me to believe I could be a coach.

How would I ever feel, offering my services to one of the most successful athletes of all time? It does not seem right for someone like me, with nothing to show for compared to Roger Federer, to literally go and point blank ask him to make me his coach. He made his millions when I was still dreaming of making one. He is popular, and nice, and smart, and gorgeous. But my husband’s point is: so what? My hubby wants me to think far beyond the way I think now. He wants me to realize that if I need to convince people on something, I need to be convinced of it first. I’ll tell someone it is black when I see it and know that indeed it is black. I just wish it was as easy as that to ask Roger to make me his coach.

In business, you need to project an image of self confidence. You need not flaunt an image that does not project the real you; No, that is exactly not what I meant to drive out. You have to be genuinely confident; you should be able to answer your clients’ questions without gaps and uncertainty. You must assert you authority on things you know you are really good at. But of course it is entirely different from bragging. Your clients will trust you based on your track record and on your confidence that you will deliver what you promised.

How do you exactly do this; by dreaming big! When you set your goals real high and you eventually achieve it, the rest will become a lot easier to handle. If I get to make myself Roger’s coach, don’t you think it would not be simpler for me to approach lesser players to play under my tutelage? That is exactly my point. Expand your tent. Make your dream bigger and your goals loftier each time. Not long from now, you will just realize that in the process, you were helping yourself build up your self-confidence. If need be, affirm yourself. Speak words of affirmations:

  • Say you are the best
  • Say you are becoming the man that you ought to be
  • Say you are a success everyday in every way

When you believe that you are capable of reaching a lofty goal, the necessary ability to do it will automatically follow. So when you are having trouble with self-confidence, just dream big.


Six Steps on how to Prepare Your Perfect Media Pitch

Here a quick guide on how to prepare that media pitch so that you can get that wanted attention from the media and generate some newsworthy information on your business.

1. Identifying your targeted Niche

In creating your media pitch it is always important to take the demographics of your ideal customer. Always put into consideration a potential customer’s age, income, location, and interests. The more honed down you are to your target audience, the better. Tailor-fitting your PR tactics make it more likely for you to spend less time and effort in getting a message across your target market.

One other important consideration is that you need to focus on what type of media your target niche actually read. Doing this would require a little bit of research on the part of the business owner. A younger target audience means that blogs and online news syndications would be more accessible to the group. Professional target audiences would prefer industry-specific magazines, business journals, websites, and publications. A much more mature target audience would prefer print, radio stations, or TV channels.

2. Analyzing your Target Media

Read issues, download podcasts, listen to radio broadcasts, or watch a few episodes of your targeted media. Moreover, take note of the names of contributors, writers, and journalists covering the topics that you can share your views on.

Taking a closer look at your target media allows you to get more clues on the material that would most interest media people and their readers, listeners, or viewers. The more practice you get in analyzing your preferred media, the easier it becomes to know what opportunities are available for you to capitalize on.

3. Thoughtfully Crafting Your Media Pitch

Write a short presentation that will present your news angle to the media. Make sure that you write it in a very concise and involving manner. Keep your pitch to fifteen seconds at the most. Facts show that this is the average time that a person gets to talk with a reporter over the phone.

4. Always Having your Facts Handy

If your short pitch catches a journalist’s attention, given the curious nature of their work,  they’ll phone you to ask further questions. Make sure that before you answer that call, you have your facts either printed out or are in front in your computer. Have all the facts that support your business and your news story. This is very important because these are the things that give credibility to your story. They can  also act as your cue cards if you suddenly experience a mental block during the interview itself.

5. Having More than One News Angle Ready

Don’t waste your time and the media person’s time by having just one news hook. Have a few stories or perspectives to suggest.

6. Taking note of the Proceedings as they Happen

Always have a piece of paper or a worksheet open in your computer while entertaining or making media calls. It would be your guide on what transpired during the call. Make sure to take note of what was discussed, real time. Moreover, it will be your main device when trying to recall details like what’s going to be the next step in the process, or even the place, date and time of your interview or TV show appearance. I’m pretty sure you don’t want to lose those.

mobile phone

A Phone Call Can Save the Day: A Story about Keeping in Touch with your Clients

There really are times when projects aren’t going that well, but keeping your clients informed  in spite of shortcomings or challenges, can save that treasured relationship and even boost business. One of the rules to providing exceptional customer service is keeping  in touch with your clients and how often.

Here’s an example of a project that almost ended in a complete disaster, but it was saved by a single phone call.

Bill was a new client; and he had contracted my services to promote an upcoming event. The project was halfway done as Bill had let go of the services of the first publicist, mid-way. Just by looking at the project timelines, objectives, deliverables, and goals, I realized that the planned event was difficult to sell to the media. The previous publicist wasn’t able to successfully do so; but still, I decided to give it a try.

In one of my meetings with Bill, he had complained about how my predecessor handled the project badly. Bill mentioned that she had badly laid-out media release plans, basic spelling and grammar errors, and never called him back. The last one made me cringe: “never called back.” When Bill mentioned this, I knew that from the tone of his voice, being consistently informed was his main concern. And yes, like Bill, being ignored is the thing that clients hate the most.

With this in mind, I made sure that I found out when Bill likes to be contacted and how. I gave him regular updates, whether him or I had anything much to say didn’t matter. These calls just lasted  just about three minutes each, two times a week. More importantly, if he called, I’ll make sure to call him back within the day.

At the start of the project, Bill liked my media plans and he found that the releases didn’t contain any spelling or grammatical errors. Even though this was the case, I still didn’t get much publicity for the event. Still, I consistently gave him a call, reported the challenges, and explained what my next action plans were. Even though we faced big challenges on the project, our conversations always ended on a constructive and positive note.

Bill wasn’t the only client I was providing services to. During the time, I had multiple clients all with high-demand projects. While I am proud of my efficiency and reliability when handling multiple projects, something unforeseen happened with another client. This caused a snag in my timelines; and the deliverables for Bill’s event were delayed by two days.

I picked up the phone and explained the situation to Bill. I told him what my action plans were, and assured him that everything was still on target. Bill could’ve been furious at these delays. Yes, he was disappointed; but at the end of the call he appreciated my honesty and was satisfied that he wasn’t forgotten. He was also happy to know that I was getting a move on.

In the end, we did get some publicity, but not the amount that we were shooting for. The event didn’t get the numbers that was needed; and it was ultimately cancelled. Based on the results, my relationship with Bill should’ve gone sour; and that would’ve been bad publicity on my end. Yet, Bill still paid me in full.  He also told me that he would have me handle another event in the future. He must’ve noticed my doubtful look, and so he said, “I know you did everything you could.” Bill was right, I did everything that I can; and he knew that because I consistently kept him in the loop of what’s happening.

A year later, Bill fulfilled his promise and phoned me back. The event, this time, was the perfect one for media attention. It was a huge success for Bill, myself, and everyone involved. The event also generated new clients for me. Never had I been so grateful that someone called, just like they said they would.

Pretty woman with open sign

Strategies of growing your solo business

In business, there will always be a time when you feel like you are already up against a stone wall. When you feel like you have already drained all your resources and that you have already used up everything you knew and yet you still have the burning desire to bring your business to a higher level. Try these strategies of growing your business.

1. Make connections

You can never grow your business to a certain level of growth that you want if you do not have the right connections. It is therefore imperative that you have a network of relevant people that could be instrumental to your growth. No relevant growth can be achieved by doing things all by yourself, you do it rather with a network of like-minded associates.

2. Learn, learn, learn

Never stop learning. Learn while you work, Learn while you build your business up. Learn while you fail. Learn in every way you could. You could learn through experience or you could go back to taking up classes. If there is a particular skill that you think is relevant for you to implement growth, and then by all means go enrol in a class, study and learn it with passion. By learning, you learn to grow your business, and while you grow, you’re learning to grow all the bigger

3. Have a business consultant

You need guidance while you grow your business. You need someone to steer you in the direction you want your business to tread. A business consultant will do just that. He can make your goals clearer and make it practically achievable. They know how to fill the gaps. By tapping their services, you are taping as well their rich reserve of vast experience that they have acquired through the years, thus, ensuring you that there is wisdom in their words.

4. Make yourself accountable to a higher office

Even if you own the business, you must have your own mini advisory board of which you make yourself accountable to. This way, you can put a restrictive rein to your impulses and make you think twice before making major and risky business decisions. They could become your boss, to whom you are answerable to your actions. In my case my mini advisory board is composed of my father who happens to be a retired executive, my accountant brother and a businessman friend. This is my group, my advisory group who have the heart to help me tread the ladder to success. The board becomes my boss. I report to it, discuss my plans, justify my actions and lay out my financial activities without reservations. These are people who think like me and have the capacities that could exactly complement me as I run my business efficiently. The advisory board helped me achieve bold new heights for my business, it helped me grow my business at a rate that I envision it to. It made me feel and think like I am running a huge company which altogether helped me gain confidence in my bearing.

Let us also hear what strategies you employ with your business.


Keeping Abreast Of Gloom

You need to change your gloomy outlook in life if you wish to succeed and make a great impact. You could be surrounded by various reasons to be down, but you can always tap on your inner self to rise above the circumstance. Here are 5 steps to help you out change your gloomy outlook.

1. Keep a distance from gloomy people

Your company is a big influence on your mood, perspective and actions. If you want to have a positive outlook in life, what better way to do it than to associate with positive people? Keep your distance from people who make storms out of a simple breeze.  It will do you no good to keep their company. If you cannot beat them, then walk away from them. Stay away as possible. Allow your ears not to hear their senseless talks.

 2. Pick your clients

You need not accommodate every client that comes your way. You have to gauge what kind of people you are dealing with. Politely decline business dealing that will reinforce gloomy outlook. Choose your associates that provide a positive vibe; ones that assures a regular flow of work and at the same time who allows a friendly environment. If you think the work deal you are offered is not worth your while and will compromise your perspective, then say “NO”.

3. Get yourself involved

Get involved in helping people sort out their dilemma. In therapy, people who are depressed are encouraged to go out of their self-made cages and associate with people and offer to help. When you help, you release an aura of kindness that automatically influences you to be proactive and positive in your outlook and ways. Take time to give your best ideas in every way possible. There a number of social sites that offer vast opportunities for you to showcase your skills of helping people out.

4. Encourage your customers

Never be short on making encouraging remarks. You have to give your customers the needed reassurance that they will do just fine. You do not need to flatter them; it’s no good to do that. You uplift their spirit in a way that is sensible and sincere.

5. Make things exciting, all the time

Have fun. Excite all your loyal customers. It does not need to be fancy all the time, but just enough to make things lively and happy.


Share your thoughts.