Posts Tagged ‘Celebrity’

How To Build Your Own “Million Dollar Rolodex”

By: Dan Kennedy on: January 24th, 2013 4 Comments

This month, in the No B.S. Marketing Letter I talked about the only two ways to think about the 1% and 99%.

If you read it, you got a big lesson in how certain thinking and complaints can virtually guarantee you will never be rich—and what to do if you want to change your circumstance and become a member of the 1% club.

Another complaint that comes from the unsuccessful is that success or wealth has more to do with WHO you know than WHAT you know.

Some people may think this is unfair. When they see someone getting ahead because of who they know, they think it’s not right.

But why they feel that’s bad or unfair is beyond me. Like it or don’t, it’s the way the game is.

For as long as people have been conducting business, one of the ways to win at it is to surround yourself with successful people.

In NFL football, it takes 10 yards to get a 1st down. Maybe it should be 8 or 12 yards instead, but it’s 10.

So the coach and his team need to figure out how to get 10 yards in three plays.

It’s the same with your business. Determine your goals and put a plan together to achieve them. For example, if you know you need to get some “who’s” on board, you’ve got to figure out how to get to know the people who can contribute to your success.

My “Million Dollar Rolodex” is called that because I value it that highly. Case in point, a specialty printer I use came from my rolodex. At the time, we had called and gotten three quotes from local printers and one from a little-known, specialty printer, out of state, who did the kind of printing we needed. We saved 55% by knowing about the existence of this printer.

In preparation for February 3rd’s Superbowl, next week, the NFL’s annual traveling NFL Experience will be underway in New Orleans.

The “interactive theme park” spans more than 850,000 square feet and costs $25 for adults and $20 for children 12 and under.

If you’ve ever been to one of these things, there is plenty to do. Interactive stations where you can test your football skills such as punting and throwing. Obstacle courses and chances to try on actual pro football gear. There is a Pro Football Hall of Fame. Food vendors and, of course, an NFL shop.

This is also a good place to meet one of your favorite pro football players, celebrities or some of the major players in business as they are known to be there for the big game and will wander near or around the “Experience”.

There’s a lesson here if you look for it. First of all, if you want “who’s” that can help you be successful, you need to do your homework to figure out who those people are or what type of people they are. If you don’t know who would be helpful to you, how can you expect to recognize them should the opportunity arise let alone find anyone to introduce you to them? It’s worth mentioning that while you may not always have specific names of “who’s”  that can help you, identifying a specific industry or company will help you quickly recognize a successful “who” for you to connect with.

Second, once you’ve identified some “who’s” you should do a little research to figure out what they are interested in, something about their company, etc. This way if you happen to get the opportunity to talk to them, you can establish immediate rapport by discussing something you know they will be interested in.

Third, determine if you know someone who might be able to make an introduction for you.  Remember it’s a small world. You may already know someone who is friends with, works with or plays golf with your “target who.” Usually they are more than willing  to make an introduction for you.  You just have to ask.  (Hint your GKIC membership might be a good place to start. Use your online Success Club, GKIC Chapter meetings, and GKIC events as place to meet “who’s”. Not a member yet? You can take a test drive FREE here.)

Not that I’m suggesting stalking, but if you see that a “who” is an active member of an organization or club or you find out from scanning the paper that they will be speaking at an event, attend the meeting or, if it makes sense, become an active member of that club.

Fourth, know what you are going to say ahead of time.  Make a great first impression and good things are bound to happen. Almost every event I speak at, people want to ask me about their business. Unfortunately, what I often hear are vague generalities. Be specific about what it is you are looking for. No one can help if they don’t know what you want.

Fifth, you should have a follow up plan in place.  Just like a sales letter that is sent out with no follow up, not following up on a potential hot lead will have a similar result.

Start to build your “Million Dollar Rolodex” by putting yourself in situations where you will be surrounded by quality people and then taking action to build rapport and relationships with them.

NOTE:Want more insider information on how to leverage marketing and sales to improve your business?  Click here to claim your special free bonus of $633.91 worth of marketing materials.

Slay The Dragons In Your Business

By: Dave Dee on: December 13th, 2012 11 Comments

Tomorrow the movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens in theaters.

Based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel The Hobbit, the movie is basically about killing dragons and finding treasures. (Great metaphor for business, wouldn’t you agree?)

There’s been a lot of hype and excitement surrounding the movie, so let’s dig deeper and see what you can use to slay the dragons in your business.  For instance, things like how to sell more and market better so that you can find the treasures in your business…

More customers, money, time, and the freedom and flexibility you’ve always wanted.

In the Ultimate Celebrity Promotions Swipe File, Dan Kennedy says, “Celebrity is the most powerful marketing force.” People are obsessed with celebrities and can’t get enough news about them. Incorporating celebrity into your promotions is something that works in virtually every market with any product or service.

Denny’s Restaurant tapped into the celebrity of The Hobbit movie, scoring a lot of free press in the process, by creating a Hobbit-inspired menu that will run through January.  The menu basically has the same items, only they’ve changed the names to include Hobbit-related terms and characters like the Hobbit Slam, Gandalf Gobble, and Frodo’s Pot Roast skillet.

To seduce people back to Denny’s and increase sales, Denny’s also made collectable Hobbit playing cards. You can collect up to 12 different playing cards. Plus they engaged their audience further by creating a treasure hunt. Placing QR codes on their placemats, restaurant goers can use the codes to find additional content.

What fun celebrity-related engagement ideas can you think of to skyrocket your sales and gain instant attention?

People love to have fun and be entertained. No surprise there. And, of course, Denny’s isn’t the only company having fun and cashing in on the Hobbit celebrity factor. The airline Air New Zealand is featuring crew members dressed in Middle-earth garb in a Hobbit-themed safety video. Branding themselves as the “Airline of the Middle of the Earth,” they took something that could be boring and monotonous and made it entertaining.  (Not to mention they’ve already received 9.9 million hits on YouTube.)

Getting customers to read about insurance, taxes or how-to or safety instructions, for example, might be important, but typically they can be rather boring—which means stuff like this might not get read even though everyone should read them.

How can you make something that is dry, but important in your business more entertaining?

In a review I read about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the reviewer said the last two hours were “full of cliffhangers.” Presumably this is because another Hobbit movie is expected to be released in December 2014 (with the third and final chapter arriving in December 2015.)

In your business, the single most expensive thing to do is getting a new customer. That means that once you get a customer, you want to do everything you can to hold on to them, right?

In fact, Dan Kennedy taught me that you want to spend a lot of attention on turning them into the best possible asset they can be.

In How to Create Personality in Copy, Dan talks about the reasons why some customers become “customers for life,” none of which are obvious. For example, you will not keep customers for life based on the value of the education or information you give them.  What keeps them coming back for more is that they see you as an interesting person.

By creating a relationship with your customers, when you write emails, letters, and other ongoing copy to your customers, clients and patients, using cliffhangers in your story will compel them to come back to find out what happens.

How can you start including cliffhangers in your marketing stories to keep customers coming back?

You don’t have to use all of these in your business, but incorporating at least some of them will help you slay the dragons that plague you. Imagine how using them can lead to long awaited and even unexpected treasures (like creating a viral video such as Air New Zealand.)

So think about how you can use these in your business to get the results you desire. Your comments are always appreciated, what other tips can you learn from The Hobbit?

NOTE: If you like this blog and the tips and strategies provided here…but haven’t checked out the GKIC Success Club at go there now and enroll.  Members just need to enter their e-mail address and password (if you don’t know it you can enter a new one) and you can get into various groups and forums to learn what other members are doing, ask questions and share your best tips or go to one of my favorite forums “101 Best Marketing Campaigns of All Time”   If you aren’t a member yet…don’t worry, we’ll let you preview our membership for free for 60 days.  Just go to and you can then get instant access to the social site as well. 

No fireworks needed: 5 tips to make sure your next event is packed full

By: Darcy Juarez on: July 3rd, 2012 3 Comments

With tomorrow being the 4th of July, a lot of competing events are happening here in Chicago…

One of the events is the annual Naperville Ribfest which brings sixteen of the nation’s best rib vendors together in a head-to-head competition to win the favor of judges and festival goers.

The vendors have rib samplers (among other things) that you can purchase to try their sauce. In addition to ribs,  regular festival-type food such as kettle corn and funnel cakes are available. Plus they have activities like music, a family area with a petting zoo and activity tent, a Chicago White Sox training camp and of course, fireworks.

Here’s the interesting thing—unlike many events that take place over the 4th of July weekend, you have to buy a ticket for $10 to get into this one.  Which means they are competing against tons of FREE events…

Yet not only is it packed every year, it’s been voted “Best in the Midwest” for the past 15 years by Festival Magazine.

At GKIC we obviously believe in the power of events and we teach you to hold your own events for your customers and clients.

Events are great for building loyal customers. They show clients and customers that you are “real.” They not only build relationships between you and your client, but between clients themselves, which sometimes can be even more powerful.

Because your audience is captive, you can give them a lot of valuable information in a relatively short amount of time—often taking them through material that would take them months to complete on their own.

This means they can experience success at a much faster rate.

Events are also perfect for selling more product, coaching/consulting and mastermind groups.

Just like the many events happening over the 4th of July—an issue you have to deal with when planning your own event is competing events.

The most common reaction is to offer your event free or at a deep discount. The problem is that offering an event free means you either need to sell a lot at the event to make up the costs of the event or you take on debt to hold the event.

This is not what you want to do.

And you won’t have to if you follow these five tips when planning your next event:

1) Begin promotion early. For the best results you want to give your potential attendees plenty of notice—before they commit to something else. Depending on the number of people you want there, how long your event will be and how far people have to travel to get there, ideally a year out.  Less time, say six months, can work too, however the more lead time you give, the more time you have to promote and the more likely you are to fill your event.


At the end of each event, you should already start promoting next year’s event.  Strike while the iron’s hot as they say. People are excited about what they just learned and they don’t want to miss out next year.  Offer a one-time only price that won’t be matched the rest of the year, and you’ll have a good head start for next year’s event.


2) Create a multi-step campaign. Unless you’re Justin Bieber or the latest hot celebrity, chances are you are not going to be able to send one email to your list and sell out your event. In fact, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you really need to create a multi-step, multi-media approach. Ideally you have mailing addresses for your prospects and customers so you can use direct mail, like mailing a sales letter and postcards in addition to your online promotion,  such as emails. (If you don’t have addresses, consider creating a step in your campaign to acquire those.)

When we promote SuperConferenceSM we mail out a sales letter (multiple times with different lift notes, grabbers, etc.) and postcards. We send emails and promote at other events…and you should too.

3) Add some fireworks. People like to be entertained, so when you add an entertaining element to your event, believe it or not, it helps push people over the edge.  The Naperville Ribfest already had a lot to offer, however they added fireworks on one day to boost attendance. At SuperConferenceSM, there is tons of great info, celebrities, chances to network—many reasons to attend.


However, we always add a fun event. For example, at SuperConferenceSM 2012 we had an after-hours event with cocktails, book signings, photograph opportunities, a mock casino with card games and spin the wheel, and more. While that is on the elaborate side, simple entertainment like showing a movie and serving popcorn and candy can work well too.

4) Invite a celebrity. People are fascinated with celebrities and having one at your event can help fill it. The celebrity doesn’t have to be a well-known main-stream or even necessarily known to your audience, although if your audience already knows them, that can be very helpful.

When we held our event for transforming a professional practice into an entrepreneurial business, we asked Ben Glass, CEO of Great Legal Marketing LLC to present. Chances are you aren’t going to see Ben on the TV show Access Hollywood or on the red carpet at the Academy Awards and many of our members may not know who Ben Glass is, however he is a celebrity in his field having helped thousands of attorneys and professional practice owners and law firms nationwide transform their practice by providing advertising, marketing and business training tools and done-for-them services and coaching.

Think about who you can get that would hold a “celebrity curiosity” and draw people to your event. For example, let’s say you wanted to sell a coaching program to veterinarians.  Maybe a “dog whisperer” would be a good choice.

Another way to add celebrity is to tie the celebrity to your event theme. At Info-SummitSM this year, our theme is super heroes so we’ve invited Adam West, the actor best known for his lead role in the 1960’s Batman TV series.

Sometimes the “celebrity” isn’t even a person, but a thing. At Info-SummitSM we will have the Batmobile, an inanimate celebrity of sorts. For you, it might be a new piece of equipment or tool that your industry is curious about.

5) Create a new twist. Present something that your potential attendees won’t be able to get from you any other way. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to create new material. In late November 2012, we are offering a “Done-With-You” event where attendees will take what we teach about lead generation and help them create their own campaign with the guidance of our GKIC copywriters.


We didn’t have to create how to do this, we just gave it a spin in that not only will attendees learn first-hand how to create their own campaign, they will get professional assistance and leave with a complete campaign ready to send out to their list.

You don’t need fireworks to get people to your next event, however incorporating these five things into your plan will help give you the same “big bang” – adding excitement and increased attendance. Plus you’ll find it easier and less stressful to fill and more profitable too.

Want more insider information on how to leverage marketing and sales to improve your business?  Click here to claim your special free bonus of $633.91 worth of marketing materials.

Can You Get Up Everyday and Go to War?

By: Dan Kennedy on: October 12th, 2009 5 Comments

In the 2-hour CELEBRITY APPRENTICE aired the week of the Super Bowl last year, the actor from The Sopranos wimped out, quit, and went home, unable to handle the stress of the in-fighting and the competition.

He asked Trump a question and couldn’t understand Trump’s answer. He complained about the war-like atmosphere, it not good for his health, and asked Trump:

“Surely you don’t get up every morning and fight like this, do you?”

Trump was as confounded by the question as the actor was by Trump’s answer. Trump said:

“My whole life is a war. Everyday I get up and go to war.”

How Gene Simmons Can Put Your Small Business Marketing On Autopilot

By: Bill Glazer on: September 17th, 2009 9 Comments

Celebrity P-O-W-E-R!

I first learned about the power of celebrity from Dan, but I really didn’t fully embrace it until I saw it with my own eyes. Dan has often used his client, Guthy-Renker, as an example of how they have become the ‘top dog’ in the infomercial world by using famous celebrities such as Victoria Principal, Jessica Simpson, and Sean John (a.k.a. P-Diddy).

Why is a celebrity so powerful? Think about it. What happens when you’re up late at night and you’re pushing the remote control button while watching TV and all of a sudden you arrive at a show where you see Jessica Simpson (or some other celebrity you recognize)? What do you do? It makes you stop channel surfing and say to yourself…what’s Jessica doing on at 2 AM in the morning?

Five Tips for Making Your Small Business Famous on National TV

By: Bill Glazer on: August 6th, 2009 13 Comments

A single appearance on national TV can drive a flood of sales, spark more word-of-mouth and raise the percentage of people who buy from your small business.

When your clients see you on national TV, they’ll never look at you like a salesperson or marketer. They’ll see you as an expert – even a celebrity.

Here are five tips for marketing your small business in order to get it on national TV:

  1. Try to tie-in with something timely or in the news.
  2. Tell the viewers something they don’t already know.
  3. Offer producers ideas for visuals.
  4. Write a tailored one-page pitch that sells the show idea.
  5. When possible, meet producers face-to-face.

Now let’s take an actual case history so you can see how to apply this. Gold Plus Member Mahesh Grossman came to Steve & Bill Harrison (Platinum Members) because he wanted to get more publicity. He took advantage of the training and resources provided and did all five things to get himself booked on Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends Show.

1) Try to tie-in with something timely or in the news.

Mahesh runs a ghostwriting business in which he gets books written for people who don’t have the time or talent to do it themselves. But let’s face it, the average Joe or Jane watching TV isn’t looking for a ghostwriter. So what did Mahesh do? He created a timely topic he could address and which would interest the average viewer. At the time, the presidential primaries were going on. Mahesh offered to talk about how each presidential candidate had hired a ghostwriter to write his book and then went on to compare how honest and appreciative each candidate had been.

2) Tell viewers something they don’t already know.

A producer at Fox News Network liked the idea of having a ghostwriting expert pull back the curtain and reveal things most people wouldn’t know about the candidates and their books. In fact, when they introduced Mahesh on the air, they called him the “ghostwriting guru” – a description that will be quoted on his web site and promotional literature for years to come.

3) Offer ideas for visuals.

Remember, TV is a visual medium. Producers usually want to show the audience something rather than just telling them something. With Mahesh, they knew they could use “B-roll” of the candidates campaigning – file footage they had and could run a couple times during the segment featuring Mahesh.

4) Write a tailored one-page pitch that sells the show idea.

You’ll increase your odds of getting booked tremendously by giving producers a compelling one-page pitch letter that immediately sells them on your show idea. Think of it as a sales letter going to the media where you’re selling yourself. But unlike most sales letters, be sure to keep your pitch letter short. Media folks are very busy and don’t have a lot of time to read, so make your proposal in one-page and then send it to producers. (For an example, go to

5) When possible, meet media face-to-face.

Producers are busier than ever. The best way to stand out from all their cluttle of faxes, phone calls and emails is to meet them in person if they come to one of your industry trade shows. Or attend an event like my National Publicity Summit in New York City which is where Mahesh met the Fox producer who booked him.

Creative Thinking for Small Business Owners

By: Dan Kennedy on: June 9th, 2009 9 Comments

Entrepreneurs and marketers are constantly challenged to be creative.

But creativity as it is commonly thought of and practiced is sin not virtue, because it is slow and ponderous; because it begins with a blank slate. One of the most profitably creative entrepreneurs of all time, Walt Disney, said “… .stop talking and begin doing.”

To be profitable in the real world, creativity must be fast, decisive, practical, implementable and implemented. There’s little room for creativity for creativity’s sake.

I tend to practice “creativity cheating” – and thought I’d give you a few quick “cheats”, from the many I talked about at my one day Creative Thinking For Entrepreneurs Seminar.*


From Tony Baxter, Senior V.P., Creative Development/Imagineering at Disney: “For the climactic scene in the Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland, we wanted the ride vehicle to suddenly start backing up as the giant rolling boulder comes thundering toward us. Having a ride vehicle back up in the middle of a ride is SOMETHING THAT’S NEVER BEEN DONE, BECAUSE IT’S NOT POSSIBLE. With eighteen vehicles traveling down the same track at the same time, a vehicle going in reverse would collide with the next vehicle coming behind it along the track. But if you’ve ever ridden in the Indiana Jones attraction, you know your vehicle does suddenly start backing up. At least that’s your perception. Your vehicle has actually stopped. It’s the walls and ceiling that are moving, giving you the undeniable feeling that you’re traveling backward… … .so, where did we come up with this solution? A car wash. One of those self-service machines at the gas station where you pull your car in and park while a series of brushes and spray heads mounted above and beside your car travel back and forth.”

There’s more to Tony’s story, but enough here to make the point: whatever you’re trying to do, somebody has already figured out and built — just not in your business or industry or in an application you might ordinarily, easily think of in connection with your business. You do NOT want to invest umpteen days, weeks, months duplicating all the figuring out and innovation and engineering – you want to find the thing that’s already built.

Oh, and a key question to ask every time you see anything, go anywhere, experience anything: how can I use that?


Most people approach creative thinking from the front – the idea. Let’s say you’re going to open up a new restaurant. You’ll probably start with the name, maybe the theme, the menu. But the best place to start is with what will insure a customer keeps coming back. Or his final few minutes in the place. What goes on at the cash register. What will create the highest average ticket. In short, you start thinking about outcomes and then build backwards. Right now, in the movie business, a ton of very important money comes from stealth advertising and product placement. So very, very, very early in the creative process, in many cases prior to script and definitely prior to picking actors, the list of every possible product/advertiser that can be integrated into the film is thought through. I am told in one blockbuster movie of 2005, a scene that took place inside a ski resort’s dim-lit bar at night in the book was moved to daytime, outside on the restaurant’s deck because they could get a sunglasses company, a parka company, and a liquor company with its name on patio table umbrellas to pony up money.


I started out, ever so briefly, in the

traditional’ advertising business, and have occasionally been involved – such as a few years back when I butted heads with Weight Watchers’ big name Madison Avenue agency. They tend to start their creative process with random ideas. If you watch the advertising-related exercises on ‘The Apprentice’, you’ve seen this same mistake made. So, gather a bunch of ad industry creative types together to talk about advertising for a new perfume, they’ll instantly leap off a dozen creative cliffs: names, colors, package, celebrity, music. I say: wait a damn minute! Tell me who the ‘target’ is – don’t even bother telling me about the product. I don’t give a rat’s patootie that it smells like jasmine or ocean breezes or beached whales in the last throes of death or is made from cedar planks or horny minks’ glandular secretions. I want to work backwards from who the intended buyer is. And it matters whether she’s 18, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, single, married, etc. I catch clients constantly playing BLIND ARCHERY. Don’t develop a product or service or offer or Marketing Message unless you are developing it for a particular somebody. Not only is that the best and surest way to make money and avoid flops, it’s a terrific creativity shortcut because it narrows your range of creative work from the git-go. If you want to manage time better, by now you probably know my best strategy is to give yourself less loose time to manage. If you want to get through the creation process quicker, give yourself a smaller canvass.


I get real joy out of hearing from GKIC Members as I did the day I wrote this, and hearing one after another telling me how they took an example from the NO B.S. MARKETING LETTER, etc., etc. Again, you should never start with a blank slate. Too hard, too slow. Gather up some stuff to give you a jump start.


One of my favorite shortcuts is finding the little doodads, promotional items, grabbers that are available, that suggest or furnish the theme for my marketing campaign — especially when doing direct-mail. The copywriting I did for Rory Fatt’s boot camp one year, ‘The Magical Business Life Boot Camp For Restaurant Owners’, was because I first found a bunch of magic stuff in the Oriental Trading catalogs: tricks, cards, top hats, etc. I picked the theme because these things were available cheap.

If you don’t get these catalogs, you must:

Oriental Trading Hands On Fun – Creative Tools

Oriental Trading/Business

Fun Impressions

Here are just a few items that beget ideas:

Magnetic Construction Set

“Build a better _____________”

Foam Fall Leaves

“The leaves have started to turn colors – your reminder to __________”


“Once upon a time, mighty dinosaurs ruled the earth. They no longer even exist/ Why? Because they didn’t adapt to change. Don’t risk extinction!”

Jumbo Foam Dice

If you want to gamble, go to Vegas.

If you want a sure thing: ________________”

Seasonal Themes… .a little more obvious. For example, Chinese New Years, St. Patricks Day

So, for example, instead of the Magic theme, next year Rory might use : Build A Better Restaurant Business. There’s the construction set I just talked about, hard hats, toy hammers and tool kits, sales letters printed on architects’ blueprints, building permits, and on and on and on. Who else could use this? Kitchen remodelers… center (build a better body)… … karate school (build a better kid)… .

See, wandering through one of these catalogs is another creativity shortcut.

There’s a business term: “speed to market.” It’s extremely important. The entrepreneurs I work with who make the most money are “speed to market” people. They rely on creativity shortcuts. You should too.