‘Writer’s Digest’ recently reviewed our book, ‘Celebrity Leverage.’ Here’s what they had to say…
“Celebrity Leverage’ is filled with excellent pointers and practical information on the nature and nuances of this diverse field of publicity. Many examples illustrate the various tips, including their genesis and resolution to some extent. Key subjects include how to attract celebrities initially and then handle their involvement in different commercial enterprises, handling of media, how to conduct interviews, etc. The use of a question and answer format is very effective in providing means of garnering useful information. Many sources of information, primarily through web sites, are supplied. As a primer on the subject, the book provides valuable and proven methods of achieving celebrity endorsements. Anyone in the marketing/promotion/public relations/publicity fields would find this book quite useful.”
“The book deftly delivers on the promise on its covers as far as successfully reaching the rich and famous. The slim volume contains a wealth of tips of what to do and not do, and how to make contact with celebrities in many spheres of activity as well as location. One learns how to behave in person, avoiding the charge of being paparazzi; how to contact celebrities by mail and other means; follow-up tactics, etc. How to sell autographs is also a topic. Use of search engines, publications, official and unofficial fan clubs, databases and other resources give readers ample techniques to employ. Many web sites on the general subject and a helpful glossary add to the very practical material. The narrative is breezy and easy to read and follow, and the quotes are quite amusing.”
“This text is well organized, easy-to-read, and has a nice design and layout, which makes it easy to browse its contents. On one hand, there doesn’t seem to be much that goes into compiling a directory of names and contact information, but it obviously takes a lot of patience, careful attention to detail, and excellent design and layout skills. This type of book could end up being a disaster; ‘The Celebrity Black Book,’ however, is a model text for this type of reference, made even better by the accompanying web took at ContactAnyCelebrity.com.”
“Does your website have prominent testimonials? Don’t underestimate the power of having solid testimonials on your website.
You don’t have to call them ‘Testimonials.’ You can call them ‘Customer Comments’ or ‘Client Feedback’ or ‘What Our Customers Say.’
There are several keys to effective testimonials:
1. Testimonials should be a ‘before’ and ‘after’ snapshot of what you offer. If you offer a physical service such as fitness training or car repair, that should be easy. Take before and after photos. But what if you offer an intangible service?
If you offer an intangible service, it still should be a ‘before and after’ in words. Phone your current clients. Ask them to tell you about what was going on with them before you worked with them and what happened afterward.
Here’s an example for a resume service:
“I was looking for a job and only had one interview in 3 months. After working with your service, I got 4 calls for interviews within the first week.”
– Janice Doeski, Chicago, IL
2. Testimonials should be from people just like your prospects. If you want to convert business people, your testimonials need to be from businesspeople. If you want to convert moms, testimonials should be from moms.
3. In addition to testimonials from people like your target market, get testimonials from experts. A testimonial from a respected expert can also get people to buy. To find experts you can use a tool such as Contact Any Celebrity.
4. It should be specific. ‘I got some job interviews with your service’ is not as compelling as the testimonial above.
5. Get permission to use their comments and name in your marketing materials. Have you seen testimonials where they just use initials? People tend to wonder whether or not it’s a real testimonial.
Using initials is not as effective as First Name, Last Name and City or First Name, Last Name and Company.
6. Highlight your testimonials. Whenever possible, put testimonials in quotes in a box on your pages. The eyes are drawn to it.
7. Video testimonials are the wave of the future. Videotape a few customer testimonials. It’s easy to do. Start carrying a small video camera like The Flip with you. That way you’re always ready. As soon as a client says, ‘I love your work’ you can ask them if they would mind giving you a testimonial.
“Want a celebrity to endorse your product or be a spokesperson? It can coast a lot less than you think, if you do it right. I know of one clothing endorsement deal with the best pitcher in Major League Baseball that cost just $20,000 per year. Here are the brokers who can make it happen:
* Celeb Brokers – President Jack King was the one who first turned me on to this fascinating world. He knows it all inside and out.
Contacting celebrities can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming at first. But in his New York Times bestselling book, ‘The 4-Hour Workweek,’ lifestyle guru Timothy Ferriss urges us to step out of our comfort zones with this assignment:
“Call at least one potential superstar mentor per day for three days. E-mail only after attempting a phone call. I recommend calling before 8:30 a.m. or after 6:00 p.m. to reduce run-ins with secretaries and other gatekeepers.
Have a single question in mind, one that you have researched but have been unable to answer yourself. Shoot for ‘A’ players – CEOs, ultrasuccessful entrepreneurs, famous authors, etc. – and don’t aim low to make it less frightening.
Unknown answerer: This is Acme Inc. [or the ‘office of Mentor x’].
You: Hi, this is Tim Ferriss calling for John Grisham, please. [Said casually and with confidence, this alone will get you through surprisingly often. ‘I’d like to speak with Mr./Ms. X, please’ is a dead giveaway that you don’t know them. If you want to up the chances of getting through but risk looking foolish if they call the bluff, ask for the target mentor by first name only.]
Answerer: May I ask what this is regarding?
You: Sure. I know this might sound a bit odd [I use this type of lead-in whenever making off-the-wall requests. It softens it and makes the person curious enough to listen before spitting out an automatic ‘no’], but I’m a first-time author and just read his interview in ‘Time Out New York.’ [This answers the questions they’ll have in their head: ‘Who are you and why are you calling now?’ I like to be a ‘first-time’ something to play the sympathy card, and I find a recent media feature online to cite as the trigger for calling] I’m a longtime fan [I call people I’m familiar with. If you can’t call yourself a longtime fan, tell them that you have followed the mentor’s career or business exploits for a certain number of years] and have finally built up the courage to [Don’t pretend to be strong. Make it clear you’re nervous and they’ll lower their guard. I often do this even if I’m not nervous] call him for one specific piece of advice. It wouldn’t take more than two minutes of his wtime. Is there any way you can help me get through to him? [The wording here is critical. Ask them to ‘help’ you do something] I really, really appreciate whatever you can do.
Answer: Hmmm… Just a second. Let me see if he’s available. [two minutes later] Here you go. Good luck. [rings to another line]
John Grisham: John Grisham here.
You: Hi, Mr. Grisham. My name is Tim Ferriss. I know this might sound a bit odd, but I’m a first-time author and a longtime fan. I just read your interview in ‘Time Out New York’ and finally built up the courage to call. I have wanted to ask you for a special piece of advice for a long time and I shouldn’t take more than two minutes of your time. May I? [Just rework the gatekeeper paragraph for this, and don’t dillydally – get to the point quickly and ask for permission to pull the trigger]
John Grisham: Uh… OK. Go ahead, I have to be on a call in a few minutes.
You (at the very end of the call): Thank you so much for being so generous with your time. If I have the occasional tough question – very occasional – is there any chance I could keep in touch via e-email? [End the conversation by opening the door for future contact. Start with e-mail and let the mentoring relationship develop from there].”
“The most interesting thing about price is the wide range, from very low/cheap to very, very high/expensive there is for just about every product and service.
For every price there seems to be buyers. One of the most important truths about that variance in price for the same product is that it is greatly affected by things other than the product.
One of these factors – available to just about every marketer – is The Principle of Association.
You are probably well aware that TV and movies are, today, much about what is called ‘product placement.’ If Shrek drinks a particular brand of soft drink or James Bond drives a particular automobile in the movies, interest in that product soars and sales increase usually follows.
It’s not foolproof, but it’s real, and hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on it. When a celebrity is seen wearing certain apparel, even a shade of lipstick, or using a product, again, sales often benefit.
Sales of both shoes and sunglasses that Sarah Palin was seen sporting during the 2008 Presidential campaign got a huge boost. This associative effect on sales is well known. What you may not have been as aware of is that association can affect price as well.
There are many ways to develop these associations. Obviously, you can make a point of pursuing influential customers or clients. Create a ‘top 50’ list of local celebrities, owners of well-known and respected businesses, influential civic leaders, and the like, and keep them on your mailing list, invite them to every even your business hosts or sponsors, send them articles that may interest them; make yourself and your business visible to them, persistently.
You may be able to volunteer your services as a resident expert to some organization, charity, or event, that provides promotable bragging rights or good networking opportunities.
By all means, be alert for opportunities. One year in one of the cities that the big seminar tour I mentioned went every year, a young limousine service owner was in the audience. Afterward, she wrote to the seminar company owner and many of the speakers, offering to provide free limousine service the next time the tour came to town.
My client, who owned the company, took her up on her offer. The next year, she chauffeured many of the celebrities appearing on stage with us – they’re a blur, but I believe that time, in that city, that included Mary Tyler Moore, George Foreman, Larry King, the famous defense attorney Gerry Spence, and the famous business speakers Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, Tom Hopkins, and me.
She got her photo taken with each of us, standing by her limo, with its logo on the side door visible. She used this to get some very good publicity immediately: a feature story with the photos in the local newspaper, and an interview on a top radio program. It all migrated to her website and brochure.
Instantly hers became ‘the limousine service of the stars’ in that city. On my advice, she raised her prices to a point above all competition.
Another friend of mine, Jordan McAuley, is an expert in connecting entrepreneurs and marketers with celebrities. In his outstanding book ‘Celebrity Leverage‘, he explains exactly how even small companies can, for very modest sums, get their products in the backstage gift bags given out at Hollywood award shows, given out in celebrity gift suites at various events, and otherwise put into the hands of celebrities.
This tactic has helped unknown, small jewelry and fashion designers, cookies and cupcake bakeries, children’s products inventors, and many others leapfrog to prominence. Keep in mind this all impacts on price as well as demand.
Jordan tells, for example, of jewelry designer Amy Peters succeeding at getting her jewelry worn to a movie premiere by an actress in the movie ‘2 Fast 2 Furious,’ having several ‘Survivor’ contestants seen wearing her jewelry in photographs in a number of magazine, and having her jewelry worn on the TV show, ‘The OC’ – all thanks to sending out gift baskets direct to celebrities, exactly as described in the book.
When she migrates that to her website, catalog, and blog, and provides it to retailers who might carry her line, it not only spurs interest and demand, but tends to make price a non-issue.
In almost every case, fame not only fosters interest and spurs demand, but also diffuses or negates price or fee resistance. Fame is a price strategy.
You can get this benefit by making yourself famous or by association with other famous people, companies, organizations, or brand-names.”
– To learn more about Dan Kennedy, including how you can get a free gift worth $633.91 worth of money-making information, visit DanKennedyPresents.com.
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