Marketing Lessons from a Victoria Secrets Model

November 29, 2010
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Welcome to the kickoff of:

Marketing Monday!

Carol Perkins, a former Victoria’s Secret model, started Harry Barker (famous for its eco-friendly products for dogs and cats) at a time when she had nearly nothing. She’d had brain surgery to remove a tumor and was unemployed. (That kinda sucks, don’t you think?)

Now, thirteen years later, Harry Barker is global, selling to more than 3,000 wholesalers. Here’s her advice, that you can apply to your own business:

1. You can get started for about $600. Keep reading. I’d say $600 plus sweat equity (a little more if you don’t want to do everything yourself).

2. Trademark your logo and name. Before you do anything, get trademarked at Uspto.gov, or people will rip you off. It’s about $300, but registering and filing is easy.

3. Get a domain and build your website. This one’s a no brainer. In today’s world, you really cannot compete without a website. Getting a domain is $10.69 at Godaddy.com. Hosting is inexpensive – I like InMotion Hosting. Building your basic site is free with Google Sites, Sites.google.com – a little (or a lot) more if you hire a pro.

4. Give away Samples. One of the first dog beds Carol made was for a friend’s pug. She gave it to her as a present. An editor visited her apartment, saw the bed, and 10 weeks later she was in InStyle. As Carol says, “Word of mouth can make you a mogul.”  Word of mouth is the most efficient way to spread the news. People will listen to a credible source. If a friend says try it, chances are that you probably will, right?

5. Cold-call stores and or/business that are relevant for you in your city and ask for an appointment. Carol called and was turned down by just about every store she called. Did she quit? No!! She kept calling week after week until finally she got her products into a store called Canine Styles. After 13 years, they are still her client (along with 3000+ other stores).

7. Be a press whore. Target the popular bloggers. Call editors and features writers, and work your social networks. Not just Twitter & Facebook, your offline networks too! Ask yourself the question: Who do my friends know? Get the point?

How many of these steps can you accomplish? Do you think they will help you get your business to the next level? Do you have some other ideas? Please comment and share below.

Original Source: Elle Magazine

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