In part 2 of my interview with Solo Business Coach and Entrepreneur, Trish Lambert she tells all about her Fuzzy Bunny Slipper Contest and the lessons learned in putting together the promotion. If you missed Part I, you can read it here.
Contests can be a great marketing tool for solo and small business owners. It’s a fun way to promote your business while giving something of value to your community. So Trish, tell us about your contest?
I have wanted to find a way to really celebrate solo business owners for some time. We should be proud of ourselves for what we achieve and how committed we are. So I conceived the Fuzzy Bunny Slipper Contest (named after one of the elements of the Success in Sweatpants logo). It asks entrants to submit a photo and an essay that answers the question, “Why are you a solo business owner?” in a creative and interesting way. To make the effort of preparing a submission worthwhile, I’ve put together a great prize list that includes: 64G iPad (Grand prize), networking Blu-ray disc player(2nd prize) , and a Flip HD Mino videocam (3rd prize) . There is also a bunch of business building products and programs in each prize level, courtesy of our expert panel: Donna Amos, founder of International Association of Solopreneurs; Peter Bowerman, The Well Fed Writer; Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur; Adam Urbanski, The Marketing Mentor and Denise Wakeman, The Blog Squad.
Submissions are open until October 19. Then the entrants need to kick into high gear and get everyone they can to vote for their entry. The 12 entries with the most votes will be passed on to an impressive panel of judges, who will select the winners.
How can people enter?
Go to the Success in Sweatpants page on Facebook and go to the “Contest” tab if you have already landed on it. “Like” the page to get access to the opt in box. Fill this in, and you will get directed to the contest entry page.
Can you share some of the things you have learned from running this contest?
I am learning a lot with this contest. One thing is that you need to be prepared to launch a very aggressive promotion campaign. By “aggressive” I don’t mean “in your face.” I mean that promotional activities need to start well ahead of the contest (a month is not too long a time frame) and they need to continue at a high volume every day once it is launched. I have been amazed at how much promotion is needed to get noticed by people.
Another thing is certainly thought-provoking for me. You know how we are told all the time that we need to think big, go beyond our comfort zone? I think I need to come up with an edited version of that…something along the lines of “think big, act practical.” This contest is definitely a result of big thinking: photo PLUS essay, popular vote PLUS judging panel, “sexy” prizes. And in addition, I plan to create an ebook of all the entries and a 2011 calendar of the 12 finalists. If I had it to do over again, I would have scaled this down quite a bit. Perhaps just a photo contest, with winners selected by popular vote, because I have found that making it as big as I have has also added layers of complexity, both for me and for the entrants. I promise you that the 2011 Fuzzy Bunny Slipper Contest will be much simpler!
Any other words of wisdom for solos?
It is so very important to remember why you started this journey, because going solo is always a challenge. Always. Sometimes the challenges are small, and sometimes the challenges loom above us. Progress can seem slow, results elusive, tasks disorganized. And there are simply those days where nothing is right, you wonder why you went out on your own, and thoughts of spiffing up your resume and going back to the old way flash across your mind.
Remembering why you are flying solo is your anchor any time the going gets tough. When you are in the middle of one of those big challenges, getting in touch with the real reason for all this will help you get through.
And celebrate yourself. You achieve more in one day than three people do back in the corporate world, and you need to stop and acknowledge that from time to time. It takes courage and commitment to be a solo business owner, and we need to keep remembering that!
Well said Trish, thank you!
Do you have promotion or small business questions for Trish? Please feel free to add your thoughts or questions in the comments. Don’t forget to enter the contest and please tell your friends and colleagues!
Trish Lambert is a solo business coach and entrepreneur. Her coaching helps solo business owners to stop spinning their wheels and produce the right results in their business. A fervent believer in no gimmicks, just RESULTS, she helps solos to move forward toward their goals.