Archive for September, 2009

Tonight’s the night!

Posted by at 29 September, 2009, 12:35 pm

Hello all! I hope you all have your DVR’s set for 8:00. The hype is pretty cool! They are leaking all kinds of little teasers. On Friday I appeared on a local TV show called LowCountry Live. Here is the clip from that:

Tonight I’ll be on twitter at #sharktank while the show is airing. I’m having my very closest friends and family around me to share in the moment. We are keeping it small because it’s going to be hard watching it. In case you don’t have all the pieces of the puzzle, this was all about Shark Tank and I couldn’t say anything:

I’ll be reliving “the event” for the 3rd time. It will be hard, but in a strange way, I feel closer to Pa when doing Shark Tank stuff. The two events are so intertwined for me that I can’t really separate the two. A physiatrist would have a field day with me!

So I have done all I can do. Every buyer I know has been made aware, every media outlet I can think of has been notified, and now it’s out of my hands. Hopefully my dream of having Grill Charms™ in every home with a BBQ is on its way to fruition! (Okay… so maybe that dream is a TAD bit lofty, but if you’re gonna dream, dream BIG right?!)

Tonight I’m going to try to tweet as much as I can live during the show. To follow I’m

The Sharks are

@ BarbaraCorcoran

You can join me tonight at #sharktank. If you don’t know much about twitter (and believe me, I’m no expert) and want to join in on the party, I’ll give you the REAL easy 411.

Sign up for an account at then go to and you’ll be asked “Hashtag to follow” and simply put sharktank. You will then be in on all conversations “shark tank”.

If I don’t see you tonight, I’ll write when I can REALLY talk about what happens in the tank! Start chumming the waters!

Leslie Haywood, Founder and President of Charmed Life Products, Inventor of Grill Charms™

Category : Media Coverage | Public Relations | Success Stories

Three Ways to Build Relationships Beyond Social Media

Posted by at 25 September, 2009, 10:44 am

Two of the biggest components of effective marketing are reach and frequency. Reach refers to the number of people you “touch” with your message; while frequency refers to the number of times each person is reached on average. Frequency is a way to build trust and drive your particular message home.

In the marketing world, it is often said that you need to “touch” a prospect 7 to 11 times before they buy. Online, someone needs to hear your message at least that frequently-if not more–before they will be ready to spend money with you.

We know that social media is great for building relationships, but what about outside of that? Just as there is more to the Internet than social media sites, there are many other ways to grow and strengthen relationships with potential prospects online. Here are three of the most effective ways to do that:

1) Build a list of email subscribers. It is important to build a list of targeted subscribers to market your products or services to. You want a list that’s responsive and your job is to keep in touch with them regularly so that you remain top of mind for them. Most people won’t be ready to buy after only interacting with you a couple of times on a social site or visiting your website once or twice. It’s the building of trust and the relationship that makes it more likely they will make a purchase down the line. Having permission to contact them on a regular basis means your emails do the heavy lifting.

2) Maintain a blog and build a list of blog subscribers. What makes a blog a blog and not a website is the fact that it’s updated frequently. When people visit your blog and see that it has consistent, fresh content, it’s likely they will keep coming back for more. The goal here is for those visitors to become subscribers of your blog via RSS feed or email. This allows them to be notified as soon as your blog has a new post published, either in their email inbox or their favorite feed reader.

3) Send a regular email newsletter. Once you’ve begun building a list of email subscribers, your job is to provide value to them on a regular basis. It’s not enough to send emails that only promote your offerings or ask for the sale. The members of your list have given you the privilege of contacting them because they have decided they want to hear what it is you have to say. An email newsletter is the perfect way to give them valuable content while staying on their radar screens. A newsletter does not need to be in HTML or be especially long. A few tips, a top ten list or some recommended resources are fine. The key is for your list to see your information as useful, and to keep you and your business in front of them.

Once you’ve attracted people into your community and begun furthering that relationship, be sure to take good care of them. It can pay off handsomely in the end.

Category : Social Media

Extending my 15 minutes

Posted by at 22 September, 2009, 11:42 am

It is so ironic…  Last week I was going to post an entry about the biggest lie in business and it related to Press and sales.  I’m going to post it now and hope beyond hope that the biggest lie turns out to in fact be the truth.  Here it goes:


“I’d like to share with you one of the biggest lies about business and a mistake that many new inventors and entrepreneur make. 


I naively thought (as you might too) that Press = sales.  That is simply not the case….unless maybe you get on Oprah.  PR is necessary and gives you the creditability to go GET the sales, but it is not the golden goose that newbie inventors and entrepreneurs think it is.   I thought that a few big newspaper articles, a national cable TV appearance and a few national magazines would mean life on easy street.  NOT SO!  There is no substitute for good ol’ fashion pounding the pavement.  Making sales calls is where my money comes from, not from an article in a magazine or a few appearances on The Big Idea.  Had I understood that sooner, I would have made a lot more sales calls early on and wouldn’t have been so preoccupied with the press.  New entrepreneurs think that there is some ”golden ticket” out there and I’m here to tell you, it’s a lie.  Don’t get me wrong, PR and marketing are important, but you have to understand what it is, what it does and how to use it to increase revenue.   It (in of itself) is NOT instant millions! Press alone does a lot more for your ego then it does for your bottom line. Now I might wind up eating my words someday and lord knows, I sure hope that day comes, but if you are looking for that 1 golden ticket or are basing your business plan on fame and not sales, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.  I do what I do to keep my name in the media to continue to build brand awareness, but I no longer hold out for that “one big break”.  Sales Sales Sales is where my bread gets buttered. “


Since Shark Tank has come along, I have talked with some new friends who have been on the show the past few weeks and the ones I have talked to have said that being on the show (regardless of whether they got a deal or not) has been “life changing”.  Maybe, just maybe Oprah is not the only golden goose.  Regardless, I still stand by my original statement in that basing your business’s success on press is a BIG MISTAKE and in most cases, if you don’t parlay your media attention into something more then your 15 minutes, then you will be no better off a month down the road, then you were before you got your “big break”.  I can’t wait to put this little experiment to the test.  7 more days and counting!!!  Now, in order to maximize my 15 minutes and try to turn into 30, I am trying to do all the “right things” such as notifying other media, current customers, target customers and pie in the sky accounts as well.  The day after the show airs, my press release will go out to the media and I’m already setting up interviews with folks who have been there for me in the past.  I’m trying to do all the right things to make this attention do more then just flood my inbox with people wanting to know if I can get them on the show too or soliciting everything from closeout inventory offers to warehousing.  I do know one thing for sure…..  sitting back on my 15 minutes would be a HUGE mistake and it’s going to be my job to use the attention for what it is… a door to get more sales and not rely on it to bring sales all by itself.  In the days and weeks after the show, I will call every account I possibly can.  24/7 sales baby!  Then and only then, I think it will it be everything I hope it can be.   

Leslie Haywood, Founder and President of Charmed Life Products, Inventor of Grill Charms™

Category : Marketing | Media Coverage | Public Relations

Shark Tank

Posted by at 13 September, 2009, 8:15 pm

Here are a few links and stuff for you:


If you have a small business or want to help one, here:


With October being Breast Cancer awareness month I have been sending out press kits to my “short lead media list” regarding The Pink Collection.  I have my media contacts in two categories.  My long lead which includes most magazines, and my short lead which includes newspapers, TV and radio.  The magazine’s editorial calendar is about 6-9 months out so I submitted my stuff to them around the first of the year for October.


Okay… enough small talk, I’M GOING TO BE ON ABC’S SHARK TANK!!!  OMG, that felt good!!  I have been holding that little secret in for MONTHS.  Well…. Not that I was going to be on, but that I even taped the show.  Up until you see yourself on the screen (which I did in the promo on tonight’s episode) there really is no guarantee that your segment will air.  Now that it’s “public knowledge” well…. It’s public knowledge.  It’s fun to follow the sharks on twitter. Sometimes you get an inside scoop!
@ BarbaraCorcoran


Also there is a show on TV LAND called “How’d you get so Rich”.   Joan Rivers is the host and she is HILLARIOUS! There are a few episodes where she features a few of the sharks. Just to get to know them better, check out this one to meet Robert Herjavec


This one to meet Kevin O Leary:

I’m hoping she’ll do the other sharks too in upcoming episodes.


Now whether I sink or swim in the Shark Tank, you just have to tune in and see.  I am still not 100% certain when my segment will air.  I’ll let you know as soon as I know.  I’ll be back again soon!


Leslie Haywood, Founder and President of Charmed Life Products, Inventor of Grill Charms™

Category : Marketing | Media Coverage | Public Relations | Success Stories

Simple Ways to Get More Visitors to Your Blog

Posted by at 10 September, 2009, 7:43 pm

You’ve picked the domain, decided on the design and started posting great content that showcases your expertise.  The hard work is over, right?

Not exactly-after all, you need people to actually read that useful content that you’re diligently cranking out. So how do you get those eyeballs to your site? There are literally hundreds of ways to drive traffic to your blog or website, but here I will highlight just a few of the ways to drive traffic and generate interest in what it is you have to offer.

Write articles: Most of the article directories online are free to submit your articles to. They usually allow you to add a resource box at the end, which can include a blurb about you and your business and a link back to your site.  Some of the directories I like to use include EzineArticles, Go Articles, Idea Marketers and Articles Base.

Comment on other blogs: When you comment on other high-traffic blogs in your niche you not only get a link back to your own site, you’re also boosting your site’s visibility in front of the blog owner and the others leaving comments.

Social media: Provide links to your latest posts on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and invite your friends and followers to leave their thoughts on the particular topic in the comments.  You don’t want to do this for every post as it might be viewed as spamming–but it’s perfectly acceptable to occasionally encourage others to click through and read a post you feel particularly proud of.  Also, be sure to include your site’s URL in all of your profiles.

Hold a contest: A great way to generate interest in your site is to hold a contest where the entries are comments left on your post.  For example, you could give away someone else’s product in exchange for writing a post about it and then publicize the contest through your social networks.

Email signature: Most of us send numerous emails in any given day-capitalize on this by adding a link to your site in your signature line.

Basic SEO: You don’t need to be super-knowledgeable about search engine optimization to benefit from it.  If you use the WordPress blog platform, install the All in One SEO Pack plugin. This post gives some simple and easy to understand tips on SEO in general.

Post in forums: Many online forums and message boards will allow you to use a short signature line at the end of your posts.  You can include a link to your site here.

Blog directories: A simple Google search will reveal that there are many blog directories online where you can list your site for free.  These sites are important because they provide a way to get links to your site–which boosts your ranking in the search engines.

Guest post: Reach out to fellow bloggers in your niche and offer to guest post for them.  Make sure you find out specifically what kind of topics they are looking for and that your audiences both compliment each other.  Offer them a spot guest posting on your blog as well.

Link to other blogs: It’s a good idea to give “link love” to other bloggers by mentioning them in post once in awhile and providing a link to their site.  Think of it as good blogging “karma.”

Post valuable content regularly: I’ve saved what is probably the most important strategy for last.  Many times, this is what makes the difference between blogs that succeed and those that fail.  The above tips are effective for sure, but in the long run this is what will keep people coming back for more as well as draw new readers in.

Category : Blogging | Social Media

Stand Up and Be Recognized – Ideas for Team Meeting Recognition

Posted by at 10 September, 2009, 2:12 pm



If you have recruited even one person, then you are a TEAM leader! For those of you doing monthly or weekly TEAM meetings, you know that recognition is one of the things that keep people coming from month to month. Here are some quick ideas for fun recognition of your TEAM members. You may also consider using some of these ideas for your hostesses as a thank you!

1. Pay Day candy bar For trying extra hard

2. Tub of icing “You’re the icing on the cake”

3. Trial Size toothpaste For always smiling

4. Flower seed packets For helping others grow

5. Light Bulb For bright ideas

6. Snapdragon seed packet For “snapping into place” whenever needed

7. Chocolate gold coins You’re worth a million bucks

8.. Chocolate Kiss You have a sweet heart

9. Gems candy You’re a gem!

10. Paper fan I’m a big fan of yours

11. Decorative tacks for being sharp as a tack

12. Stick, magnet, or glue For sticking it out

13. Can of green beans For always saying “I can”

14. Can of cinnamon You spice up our meetings

15. Comet cleanser Willing to do the dirty work

16. Flower arrangement For handling arrangements well

17.. Lemon drops For turning around a “sour” situation

18. Orange candy slice For making the most of your slice of life

19. Deck of cards For winning even when dealt a losing hand

20. vitamin C For being a source of energy

21. Red Hots candy For someone who is red hot

22. Mint candy You’re worth a “mint” to me

23. Can of Pepsi For having a lot of pep and sizzle

24. Box of ready mix pizza For having “pizzaz”

25. Sure Deodorant For “showing your confidence”

26. Puzzle For being an important piece in the puzzle

27. Car Broom For making a clean sweep

28. Box of “highlighters” For making the world colorful

29. Yardstick You really measure up

30. Trial size product For giving it a “try”

31. Bubble bath Your enthusiasm bubbles over

32. Pillow For making dreams come true

33. Gold stars For reaching for the stars

34. Stuffed plush bear You always listen

35. Sea shell You’ve come out of your shell

36.. Runner’s headband You’re in it for the long run

37. Toy ball you’re on the ball

38. Life savers candy for a real “lifesaver”

39. Feather Put a feather in your cap

40. Map Mapping out your own success story

41.. Rubber band Expanding your business –or- bouncing back-or snapping to it

42. Chicken and Stars soup For someone who was chicken to do something, did it anyway and is now a star

You get the idea! Just wander the aisle of your local drug or grocery store…you’ll come up with ALL kinds of ideas of your own!

Category : Recognition

4 Ways to Get Raving Fans

Posted by at 9 September, 2009, 2:47 pm

A customer testimonial is key in a PR program because it’s one of the most powerful marketing tools out there.

Customers raving about your company gives you third-party credibility – which is so important for small businesses. Potential buyers are more likely to believe a customer talking about their experience than a slickly written brochure or ad. A testimonial tells other people that they can trust your business and that you offer a quality product or service.

So how do you get them?

1. Make it easy for them to say Yes

Most people hate writing so non-urgent tasks will get put on the bottom of their list. You’ll have to make it so simple, they have to say yes. See if anyone has emails to you with something nice to say and ask if you can use it.

2. Ask them a few questions by email or phone, such as:

• What did you like about our product or service?

• How can we make it even better?

• Would you recommend our company to others?

3. Offer a freebie

If they’re already fans of your company, they’d love more of your stuff! Offer a few customers a freebie (pick some you’ve already interacted positively with) to answer the questions listed above.

4. Ask your friends and supporters

If your business just got off the ground or haven’t made any sales yet, let several of your friends try your product or service for free. If they honestly like it, ask them if they’ll write a testimonial you can use in your marketing. To be really useful, pick those that are in your target market.

I know it may be hard to ask, but in my experience, most people are incredibly helpful and more than willing to give testimonials to help you succeed in getting PR for your company. Of course, always make sure you ask permission to use someone’s testimonial in your marketing materials!


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Category : Growing Your Biz | Public Relations