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Entrepreneur Mom

with Aliza Sherman

If you own a business - home-based or otherwise - this is the blog where you'll find practical tips and smart ideas about entrepreneurship. I've started and run 4 different businesses so "been there, done that." I'll also invite successful entrepreneurs to share their best advice with you.

To learn more about Aliza, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! and her website, www.mediaegg.com.

How To Market to a Blogger

Categories: Marketing & PR, Uncategorized

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Image representing Technorati as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

Are you trying to get a blogger to blog about your product or even about you? Here are some ways to reach bloggers more effectively in order to get more virtual ink.

1. Be selective.

Don’t use purchased or borrowed lists of bloggers. Do some quick research yourself and compile a highly targeted list of bloggers you genuinely feel would be interested in what you are marketing. Start with a Google search of relevant keywords, then try a Google Blog Search, Technorati search and an IceRocket search to hone in on the right bloggers.

2. Peruse target blogs.

Before emailing a blogger, read some of their blog posts. Make sure they actually review products before pitching a product. Or make sure they blog about people other than themselves or who they know. Just because a blogger has a big following doesn’t mean they’re willing to go “commercial” and blog for free product or for an advertising fee.


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Marketing Basics from Marketing Experts

Categories: Marketing & PR, Uncategorized

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sandwich board displayI received the following question from an Entrepreneur Mom reader:

How do I figure out how to market my business successfully?

Here are my 5 Basic Marketing Tips in response:

1. Know your business. Before you embark on marketing your business, you need to know your business well. You need to be able to summarize what you do in a single sentence that you can say to someone who doesn’t know your business, and they should be able to understand what you do without having to ask for further explanation.

2. Know your business goals. As important as knowing your business is knowing your business goals. What are you hoping to achieve through marketing? Are you trying to increase sales directly? Are you hoping for more traffic to your web site? Do you want people to hire you? Having specific and achievable goals helps to dictate how and where you’ll do your marketing.
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The Art of Self-Promotion

Categories: Marketing & PR

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hornHow good are you at tooting your own horn? I think that many women have a very hard promoting themselves and what they do. Sure, I’m making a big, blanket statement here, but correct me if I’m wrong. Tell me how YOU promote yourself on a regular basis?

I think women often have a hard time self-promoting because we - women - are expected to avoid drawing attention to ourselves. And when we do, it seems that other women are the most offended by this. I’ve had many women over the years label me a “Self Promoter,” their voices dripping with disdain. “Self Promoter” in their minds was synonymous with “Spotlight Hog” and “Egomaniac.” And when I refused to apologize when I tooted my own horn, I was called a “conceited bitch.”

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When To Give Away

Categories: Marketing & PR

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throwing money awayI’ve been thinking about the debate I have occasionally with other business owners about when to give away services versus when to charge. Some are of the mind that you should never, ever provide services for free. Others, like me, feel there is a right time and reason to provide services gratis but that you should apply sound business thinking to your decision.

For me, giving services away is not something I take lightly. I have to be careful how much time I spend on pro bono work, and as selfish as it might sound, I must be able to leverage the job to directly benefit my company - and my bottom line - in the long run.

Here are some tips for giving it away - when to do it, how to do it, when not to do it - and if you have any others to add, feel free!
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Getting the Most Out of Work It, Mom

Categories: Marketing & PR, Uncategorized

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Work It, MomI’ve been writing for Work It, Mom (or WorkItMom.com as I refer to it) for a while now, and it occurred to me recently that I really need to devote more attention to my interactions on the site. Like any social networking site, Work It, Mom provides all the tools to connect to the people and resources you need to address an area of your life - in this case, work/life issues for busy, professional women. But if you don’t use it, it won’t work for you.

Even with cursory efforts, I’ve had some wonderful outcomes from being connected to like-minded moms on the site. One woman interviewed me on her blog. Another just requested to reprint one of my blog posts here and will give credit to this site and my blog here with a link. Both achieve one of my goals of being part of this community and writing for this site: the personal goal of publishing my thoughts and advice to share my experiences with other women in the hopes that we can support one another and the more business-oriented goal of marketing who and I and what I do.

But there is so much potential here that I’m betting few of us are tapping into. Here are a few tips on how to better leverage - but not misuse - the Work It, Mom community.

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More Tips on Pitching Reporters by Email

Categories: Marketing & PR, Uncategorized

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email imageAs we all know and tend to learn the hard way, email is not the perfect communications medium and using it well when you are pitching something to reporters is an art unto itself. In order to improve the success of your email pitches, here are some things to keep in mind before hitting the “Send” button.

1. Don’t pitch unless you have the good match.

Do your homework and learn what reporters are writing about. Read their articles or columns. Get familiar with their “beat.” Your non-related pitch can put sour taste in their mouth, especially when they report on women in business and you pitch them an interview with a male CEO.
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My Favorite Online Marketing Tools

Categories: Marketing & PR, Tech & Net

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Athena Isle on Second LifeI’ve been developing, coordinating and hosting a lot of events in Second Life as part of my online consulting work, and am still honing my perfect mix of online marketing tactics to attract a steady audience, but here are the online marketing tools I’ve been using.

1. Twitter.
I can’t say enough about microblogging and how effective it is once you build a strong following. I have over 500 followers now on my Twitter page, many of whom are avid SL residents, so I have a nicely targeted audience for promos about my events.
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How to Pitch Reporters Using Email

Categories: Marketing & PR

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emailI get pitches all the time from PR folks and business owners. Over the years, I’ve really developed my likes and dislikes in terms of how the information is presented to me via email. Since email is the ONLY way I like to receive pitches, I developed the following tips on “good e-mail pitching.”

If you are looking to make contact with a reporter via email, the following could help your email stand out - in a good way!
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Can Publishing a Book Help Your Business?

Categories: Marketing & PR, Uncategorized

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As an entrepreneur who has published 7 books, I’m frequently asked if writing and publishing books is a money-making endeavor or if having published books helps my business in any way. I initially explain that writing books has been a lifelong goal of mine, however, starting and running a business is only something I first tried 12 years ago.

In my case, starting an Internet company in 1995 led to my first book deal. I had been shopping a book proposal around through a book agent about women and the Internet. I was turned down by every publisher she approached. Then I was featured in the Wall Street Journal for my work on the Internet for women. That week, I was approached by 5 publishers asking if I’d write a book for them about women and the Internet - including the very publishers who had just turned me down a few months earlier. The funniest part of this experience was they didn’t actually know if I could write and didn’t really care. They were willing to hire a writer just in case I couldn’t. Luckily, I could and ended up signing a book deal with Ballantine Books.
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Finding Public Speaking Engagements to Market Your Biz

Categories: Marketing & PR

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In my previous post, I talked about public speaking as a marketing tool for you and your business. If you feel you are ready to get out in public and speak, you should probably start off as a panelist. That gives you a chance to get used to being in front of an audience while the entire “show” doesn’t rest on you. You can also learn from fellow panelists to see how they handle themselves in front of a crowd.

So how do you find speaking engagements?

I mentioned before that if you are interested in public speaking, make that clear on your Web site. But I don’t advise sitting around and waiting for the speaking engagements to roll in.

You have to be proactive about finding speaking gigs by making contacts and sending out your speaker media kit. Here are some places to look.
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