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50 Rocks

50 ROCKS: Put the AUDIENCE at the HEART of your promotions

Want to calculate sweet success in your sponsorship marketing? Treat your prospects like Valentine’s: put their needs FIRST, give them what they desire and make it memorable.

My travels to the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando let to global collaboration, including a guest blog in today’s Valentine’s Day edition of Golf Business Monitor. My new friend (thanks to Linked Golfers group), Hungarian Blogger Miklos Breitner of Golf Business Monitor, shared my expertise with his audience of golf club and association owners, managers and marketers. Our goal: share best practices on how to acquire new sponsors and retain existing ones

All ships rise with the tide: ollaborate with like-minded partners to grow reach, share success? #boomertips #sponsorship

Sports continue to dominate sponsorship spending. Yet IEG’s 2015 Sponsorship Spending Report1 suggests that sponsorship marketers have “reason to be optimistic but must be prepared to fight harder to maintain and grow revenue and return from partnerships.”

Winners in the sponsorship game must indeed put the audience at the heart of all efforts, and use digital tools to maximize impact.

So how do you bring unique experiences, quantify the opportunity and ensure measurable, repeatable success?

1) Understand THEIR “WHY” (the decision maker AND company’s pain or promise)

2) Identify what success looks like (awareness? trial? sales? retention?)

3) Offer innovative, turnkey solutions (easy implementation and reporting)

4) QUANITIFY the VALUE of the investment as it relates to THEIR NEEDS. For example, reverse engineer a sponsor’s investment to reflect MANY facets of their exposure to your coveted members.

  • Leverage member data to specify how your demographics align with their sweet spot
  • How many “touch points” will you deliver over the year via online and offline efforts, eg
    • Digital (PR, paid ads, social media, CRM/email)
    • Events, contests, educational opportunities
    • Newsletters, signage, print
    • Contests, cross-promotions

5) REPORT MEASURABLE, REPEATABLE SUCCESS in a format they can easily share with upper management or their board of directors

Case in point: the Women’s Golf Association of NJ used this “audience-focused” approach across online and offline to grow from 375 to 463 members last year while doubling engagement and participation rates. We attracted new relationships and substantial support from prominent organizations including the Barclays/PGA Tour, LPGA ShopRite Classic, USGA, PGA Tour Superstore and more.

Remember, every deal should demonstrate VALUE: Return on awareness, engagement, participation and satisfaction. Let this be the first step in your five-year renewal strategy. Think about “what’s in it for ALL” and have fun along the way.

50 ROCKS: Life is too short NOT to LAUGH OUT LOUD

My father was a funny, funny man who had more than 600 people at his funeral. Yes, Rocky was indeed bigger than life (literally, at nearly 400 pounds). While he was dying a slow, 6-year death, he made sure to remind us of the importance of laughter. And not to take yourself too seriously. If that included break-dancing in his underwear on the kitchen floor, so be it.

He passed 15+ years ago, yet all my cousins talk about was how funny my father was. He is STILL a legend, and rightly so. I miss his antics and his advice but I try to carry on with his sarcastic humor. Life has not been easy lately and the laughter has become even more necessary.

Apparently, as my dad used to say, “the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree. And apple trees don’t grow pears.” I’m one of those people who prefers hugs over handshakes, and I tell my family and friends that I love them often. Hopefully, they’d agree that I SHOW them often, too.

Once you penetrate my inner circle of friends, you’re stuck with me for life. You’ve been warned!

My friends stem back to kindergarten and high school and college. My mentors include supervisors from my internships back in the 80s. Every one of those people will likely tell you that I work hard, play hard and laugh a LOT through it all. My friends know that they are stuck with me forever. Yes, literally. And I’m the one they call when they need a good laugh or a snarky chuckle to get through a bad day.

In the workplace, I’ve found it’s important to add a little humor and silliness to make the most of a team’s morale. There’s nothing better than nailing deadlines (kicking some strategic and creative booty) while you’re actually having FUN.

Sure, humor has its place and timing to stay positive vs disruptive. But we spend more hours working than with our families – so why the heck NOT enjoy the journey?

Humor is my armor, my defense mechanism. Sarcasm and laughter are how I cope with stress. Rather than run and hide, I tend to laugh in the face of fear (laughing at myself mostly, but I laugh out loud nonetheless.)

RIP Robin Williams and Joan Rivers Click to Tweet.


2015 was a brutal year of loss in the world of comedy: Robin Williams. Joan Rivers. But rather than dwell on what we’ve lost, I’m choosing to take their passing as a reminder to keep things in perspective.

7 life lessons I’ve learned from Robin Williams and Joan Rivers: (Click to tweet)

  • LAUGH OUT LOUD, it’s good for the spirit
  • Don’t take yourself too SERIOUSLY: you’ll have better days and worse days
  • NEVER SUFFER ALONE: share the misery and the smiles. Both are cleansing
  • Enjoy your moments in the SPOTLIGHT and soak up the cheers; they don’t last forever either
  • Laugh WITH others, not AT them
  • FAMILY is EVERYTHING: whether they are blood or the family you’ve chosen
  • APPRECIATE every day: Carpe Diem!

Thank you, Joan and Robin. RIP.

Pat

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50 Rocks: 5 HOT ways TRENDSETTERS help your business BOOM (and why it’s OK to FASCINATE the world by just being YOU)

A cornerstone of my 50 ROCKS journey is about embracing the MANY facets of ourselves that help us shine (and why we should recognize the danger zones in our personalities to live our truest passion). It is dialing up those positives, accepting the gifts we are given and carefully learning to downplay the areas that can get us into trouble. (I admit, I am known for sometimes laughing TOO loud and burning the candle at both ends).

Being YOU is perfectly OK: do not believe that you have to be PERFECT. 

To this end, my latest inspiration comes from Sally Hogshead Hall of Fame Speaker, Author, and Creator of the Fascination Advantage® personality assessment at HowToFascinate.com.

Sally kindly shared her gift for empowering others through the LinkedIn Connect: Professional Women’s Network, Powered by Citi group recently. (This group is FULL of inspiration, every single day, BTW). She allowed members a thoughtful (and scarily accurate) view of our professional personas. Like Sally, my mission is to help folks appreciate their highest values and embrace how the world sees you.

I was touched by advice that Sally Hogshead shared with one of our group members, named Eden: “Your team appreciates how you lead with both warmth and detail. Don’t tone that down. Don’t feel that you should fit into the same communication as others. Instead, make sure others understand that the way you are most likely to contribute is through constructive, organized and practical results.

The greatest value you can add is to become more of YOURSELF.” 

So I invested 5 minutes to explore her theory, and take Sally’s 28 question test. Here are some interesting learnings that may help you in business, family and other teams within your circles.

Not surprisingly, her assessment identified me primarily as an INNOVATOR: Folks like me prefer to blaze a path than get stuck in mundane, repetitive tasks. We find joy in creating a better way to improve efficiency, expedite processes, creatively problem-solve and fast track our measurable, repeatable success.

The test revealed that my secondary advantage is PRESTIGE; I set the bar HIGH and demand nothing less than the best of others and myself (no shock there, either). In Sally’s world, 49 archetypes set a tone for how we contribute value to others. So what does INNOVATION + PRESTIGE yield?

Folks like me are considered TRENDSETTERS who have a special place on growth-oriented teams.

“The Trendsetter is a trailblazer who guides others in often unchartered territories.” 

What 5 HOT ways can trendsetters help YOU grow your business?

  • CUTTING EDGE: Trendsetters sense what the NEXT BIG THING will be!
  • IMAGINATIVE: Our bold, creative ideas make others take notice. Expect the unexpected.
  • ELITE: We pride ourselves in breaking new ground and NOT resting on the status quo.
  • PROGRESSIVE: We help teams look ahead and inspire our partners as we drive change to outsmart competitors.
  • LIFELONG LEARNERS: We constantly read up on industry trends, case studies and help YOU apply best practices – often with a new and exciting twist.

Remember, trendsetters help you stay nimble and creative obstacles where others see only threats. We influence company direction with a FRESH interpretation of marketing opportunities and a systematic approach to SURPASSING your goals.

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As Sally puts it, here’s a lesson that everyone can learn from trendsetters: “Standing still often means moving backward.”

Hope you have fun with this and learn something new. Keep on Rockin!

Pat

[50 ROCKS: GOOD CHEESECAKE] Recipe for sweet, lasting relationships

In my circle, nothing says LOVE like my homemade cheesecake. What can be better than the perfect, velvety sweetness of cheesecake filling contrasted by the buttery graham cracker crust? I’ve even heard it called “the Sandra Bullock of Desserts”…hmmm.

It’s the glue that reunites me with hard-to-see clients. It ties my family and friends together at the end of most holiday meals. Folks fight for the leftovers, although rarely do we leave any! I literally make a dozen or more cheesecakes every year for friends, family, and clients. My Aunt Kay, an AMAZING baker, got me hooked on baking and shared the original recipe that has evolved over time. (Thank you, Aunt Kay!) CLICK HERE to get my recipe! Once you taste it, you’ll want to be included on my annual list for sure.

Cheesecake is the recipe for building sweet, lasting relationships.”

Whether it’s the holiday season or any other time of year, the purpose of giving gifts to clients, business partners or customers is always the same. In short, gifts serve as both a thank-you (showing recipients that you truly appreciate and value them) and a brand-building tool. But with changing regulations about gift-giving in pharma and other industries, I wanted a great alternative to the promotional items that people once received from businesses. So how do you cut through the tchotchke clutter and choose a memorable gift that shows folks that you care and reinforces your relationship?

That’s right, cheesecake!

Here’s 5 reasons why homemade CHEESECAKE makes the perfect client treat

  • PERSONAL – Folks appreciate the time and effort put into it
  • GROUP or INDIVIDUAL – You can bake various cakes sizes, but it’s an equalizer when you interact with many team members
  • FACE TIME – Personal delivery yields coveted discussions – or you can ship a frozen cheesecake to a long-distance client (and they ALWAYS take your call when you check to make sure that it arrived!)
  • NON-THREATENING – Because it is NOT a high dollar value item, teams are able to enjoy the treat without repercussion from compliance
  • BRANDING – Serve the cake with imprinted napkins, ribbons, paper plates, cake cutter and/or cake dishes (a convenience for them and some branding for you). Or, I’ve gotten called back in for follow up appointments with an excuse to pick up the bottom dish!

BTW, I prefer to use low-fat ingredients and folks can take just a TINY sliver if they are calorie-conscious. I also LOVE to customize my cheesecakes to the recipient’s taste: Oreo or chocolate chip cookies, strawberries, heathbar/chocolate chunk and more.

What’s YOUR sweetest tip for showing your clients that you care? Favorite cheesecake recipe? Be safe, and have a SWEET week.

Pat Roque

Pat@rockonsuccess.com

50 Rocks: How BIG is your BRAVE?

Brave: Welcome to my blog series, 50 ROCKS: Life Lessons for Success. It was inspired by my unique 50th birthday gift: a box filled with 50 gold-painted rocks, each depicting a special nugget about me and just how much “50 ROCKS.” It’s my inspiration to share life lessons for personal and business success through a weekly blog. 

God Bless America: Home of the Brave

More than 200 years ago, 56 brave men put their lives and property at risk by signing a historic document declaring America as a free country. It is this act of bravery that led to the freedom of America, and it is the anniversary of this event that we celebrate every 4th of July.

brav·ery:the quality that allows someone to do things that are dangerous or frightening

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

Writing this blog is an act of bravery: it has taken me years to find the courage to believe in myself enough to think that others would want to follow along. Sharing my personal thoughts and feelings in the days of virtual perpetuity is frightening. Every word can come back to haunt you.

Funny, it took my finding an old folder full of testimonial letters to realize that I’m not so bad after all. A year of un/underemployment really kicks the living daylights out of you. Yes, even a tough Garfield girl like me! For a while, it felt brave just to get out of bed in the morning. After so many failed attempts at finding the RIGHT job, and so many steps in the long process to rebuilding my keynote speaking and consulting career, I admit that the comforts of my room were about all I thought I could handle.

Instead I committed to a schedule: rise before 7AM, meditate to set my intentions for the day, check the weather and read the newspaper. (Yes, the real paper kind). Then hit the gym or hike in my neighborhood or hit golf balls after my son leaves for school. When you’re feeling down, it’s important to set a schedule and FOCUS on priorities aligned with a calendar.I now start my workday by 8:30 like the rest of the adult working world I left behind. Now i put the best nutrition into my body, I focus on success as I celebrate my TIME FREEDOM.

The BRAVERY of relaunching my consulting and keynote speaking in this horrendous economy is my badge of courage.. Like those soldiers, I have to step up and protect my property and livelihood. I’m applying the skills I learned from my mentor and social media trainer, @phylliskhare. Her TimeBliss.ME program inspired me to really commit my brave new goals to a calendar so that I properly allocate time to achieve them. This organized approach to bravery led to the freedom of financial worries that once plagued me (and many thousands more like me who have fallen from blazing careers into the fiery pits of under-employment and rebuilding hell).

@phylliskhare‘s TimeBliss.ME inspired me to commit my brave new goals to a calendar so I can achieve them. #50Rocksbit.ly/50RocksBeBrave

There are so many heroes who deserve our prayers and respect for their bravery: firefighters and police officers and the soldiers who protect us. Patients fighting cancer or other serious afflictions. Heck, the FAMILIES and caregivers of those suffering. Single moms trying to make ends meet to feed their kids. workers learning new skills, new languages or new roles to hang onto their jobs for dear life. I could go on. But the truth is, these folks are ALL braver than me. I bow to them all, God Bless them.

“There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else. Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater.

But sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life. That is the sort of bravery I must have now.” 
― Veronica RothAllegiant

Pat Roque

[50 ROCKS: SUPPORTIVE] Life Lesson: Be Supportive

Word for the week: Supportive! Welcome to my blog series, prompted by my unique 50th birthday gift: a box filled with 50 gold-painted rocks, each depicting a special nugget about me and just how much “50 ROCKS.” It’s my inspiration to share life lessons for personal and business success. 

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Last week was the worst: we buried a dear friend who had just turned 50. Nancy was a loving mom, a sister, best friend, wife, community leader: she did all of those “right things” to help others. Yet she still died, way too young. Crap. Crap. Crap.

50 Rocks, when you are here to enjoy it.

Lisa (my dear friend of 18 years) said she was OK after her sister’s untimely passing; she did not “need” anything. However, REAL support stems from anticipating the needs of others and sharing proactively, as well as responding to their requests.

We’ll be there for Lisa when the crowds go away and folks return to their normal routine – minus her sister. We may kidnap her for a walk, drink some wine or to watch an obnoxious movie. Sometimes support involves long talks and other times, silence. Either way, we’re within reach 24/7/365.

It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear. When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month or even your year, I’ll be there for you…”Friends’ theme song by the Rembrandts

How can we help when those in need are too overwhelmed to know how to ask? Strong friends and supportive colleagues put others FIRST with a few simple steps:

  • Listen more, talk less
  • Anticipate wants and needs
  • Don’t over-insert yourself into the situation
  • Take a risk and don’t worry about rejection
  • Just BE THERE!

Living the @Nordstrom customer support model

What makes business partners, like friends, stand out and earn loyalty in this cutthroat market? Results and GREAT SUPPORT!

Nordstrom‘s customer support legacy includes the legendary tale of refunding for a used tire. Just this month, they generously issued an exchange for (unused) sandals that I purchased a year ago. Nordstom earns loyalty by putting the customer first! Their smart business strategy helps drive repurchase rates and positive recommendations.

Professionally, my Business Boomers’s team strives to offer intuitive, proactive support for clients. Whether we are coaching, leading a workshop or serving as a freelance “rent a CMO,” it is gratifying to empower folks by ANTICIPATING their social media and marketing needs. My talent lies in steering folks down a path to prosperity by asking smart questions to identify the underlying causes of their marketing pain or opportunities.

Great support includes helping solutions unfold: folks don’t always know how to ask for what they really need, and don’t know what they are missing. @PatRoque16

Stellar support shout out: 22Social

The gang at 22social.com blows me away with their product innovation and commitment to ensuring our client’s success via Facebook marketing. They teach generously, offer responsive tech support and help us empower brands to succeed. Jerry, Andrew, Marco and Rob offer weekly live training, free tools and handy resources. They encourage interaction and hands-on questions. Most importantly, they do so with huge smiles, great ideas and lightning-fast responses. Andrew even offered to tweak my graphics image, way outside of their “scope of work.” Now THAT stellar teamwork and support earns 22S my 5-star rating! (Yes, we are now 22Social affiliates because we believe in their products and service).

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I hope this week ROCKS for you!

Pat Roque

[50 ROCKS] Never Give Up

 

Top 5 Ways to “Fail Forward”

We plan, and God laughs.

In July 2013, life handed me yet another unwelcomed surprise: My employer lost our venture backing and my whole team was let go. Yes, fired. While it wasn’t personal, or a direct reflection on me, I was devastated nonetheless.

That setback caused my early retirement dreams to crash and burn. No severance pay. No golf course condo at the beach (at least not yet). With one kid in college and another almost there, tuition bills loomed overhead. Meanwhile, if I heard employers say “you’re overqualified” once more, I thought I would vomit. Literally.

But, no worries. My friend Rose said (according to my box of rocks) that I never give up,and she’s right.

Work the plan

I wake up every day and work my plan: to rebuild my consulting company using social media marketing to help grow businesses. Heck, I ran Business Boomers and served as a freelance director of marketing for 18 years. I decided it was time to ramp up again with even better digital tools and a focus on building an annuity model (creating online courses so I can “do once, and use many.”) I leverage the tools and my tribe of 400+ social media and marketing pros to really make businesses BOOM in this connected era. Buy us, rent us. Let us coach you or provide the hands-on help. We’ve perfected the virtual marketing support model so everyone can afford top-quality help. BOOM!

New York Times best-selling author John C. Maxwell @johnmaxwellco wrote in Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success:

The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of (and response to) setbacks. He says, “In life, the question is not IF you will have problems, but how you are going to deal with them.”

So I am applying both life AND business lessons to prove my RESILIENCE. Taking Maxwell’s advice, here are my 5 steps to STOP the pity-party and FAIL FORWARD for a better tomorrow:

  • LEARN: Prove that old dogs can learn new tricks! Social media manager certification #smms has sharpened my skills and built a global team of friends and colleagues.
  • BREATHE: Yes, literally. And stretch. I golf as much as possible and enjoy cardio kickboxing to burn calories and clear my head.
  • GIVE BACK: volunteer for charities you really care about. I provide social media for the PGA Tour, the LPGA, my golf league and I mentor student athletes through uWantgame.org. What a great way to build skills while making the world a better place!
  • MAKE TIME FOR FRIENDS: Grab coffee. Take a walk. Jump on a call or a zoom meeting with friends from around the globe.
  • TACKLE YOUR BUCKET LIST: My husband and kids conspired to grant my top bucket list wish: a summer Mediterranean cruise to Spain, France and Italy. That sparked plenty to blog about – not to mention meeting up with some new LinkedIn social media colleagues from Italy!

How have you overcome setbacks to FAIL FORWARD?

I would love to hear from you!

Pat Roque

[50 ROCKS: INTRO] Life Lessons for Success

 

Life lesson #1: I turned the big 5-0, and the world hasn’t ended.

There, I said it. I admit it. My kids will tell you that I have been “24″ forever, hanging on to silly notions of how I was supposed to look and feel and succeed in “X, Y and Z” by now. Geez – nobody told me my last company would lose its funding in July and I would be reinventing myself once again. It is exhausting, but I am open to what God has planned. No doubt, He knows better!

I enjoyed an uber-successful 16 years consulting, earlier in my career. So let’s consider the relaunch of Business Boomers as an encore. My mission is to help brands ROCK through integrated marketing, PR and Social Media. Meanwhile, reaching this mid-life milestone (and surviving a total health and mindset meltdown) sparked a new mission: blogging about life lessons at 50 for business and personal growth.

In fact, 50 ROCKS!

Life lessons happen all the time, but you’ve got to open your eyes and be receptive to the messages. 50 was indeed a grueling year, yet I’ve been blown away by the kindness and thoughtfulness of others. LinkedIn has been a source of friendship, encouragement and given a voice to my growth plans. Folks here have networked with me like crazy (more on that in my next post).

As I turned 50, my friends and family spoiled me with dinners, treats and more. Meanwhile, my BFF Rose must have spent DAYS crafting a special box full of rocks. Yes, 50 gold-painted rocks! On each is a simple word or two on special things about me – and why I should appreciate just how much “50 rocks.”

Crazy? Perhaps. Touching? Absolutely. But it reminds me how blessed I truly am. And it has motivated me to commit to a weekly blog to share important life and business lessons (another item on my bucket list). My goal is to share wisdom (and some funny bloopers) from influencers, industry icons and everyday folks to inspire your personal and professional growth.

I hope you will join me along the journey…and please share YOUR thoughts on why 50 ROCKS in the comments section, or drop me a line. I would love to hear from you!

Pat

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