It’s safe to say that everyone would love to make $1 million. But is it really possible?
“Absolutely,” says Christine Clifford, CSP, CEO and president of Christine Clifford Enterprises, a speaker and entrepreneur. Clifford owns five businesses and is the author of You, Inc.: The Art of Selling Yourself. She says any average Joe can hit the jackpot if they follow these five simple rules.
1. Create multiple streams of income
“If one dries up completely, you have more,” she says. “I make most of my living as a full-time speaker, but within the last few years, as the economy has gone south, I’ve written books and sold various products.”
2. Use the media
“Advertising is expensive,” Clifford says. “The media can get your products and services to millions of people at virtually no cost, Start with local newspapers and magazines and free weekly publications. Set a goal of getting any type of local publicity.”
One way to reach larger markets is to register as a source on HARO (Help a Reporter Out), a popular service many writers use to find interview candidates. Bill and Steve Harrison’s Reporter Connection is another site that functions similarly.
Another way is to befriend editors at local and national papers, Clifford says. “I’ve been featured in small and large papers because of establishing and maintaining relationships over the years.”
One tip: Write up a press release about your life, your alma mater and any associations you belong to, Clifford suggests. “Those organizations may be interested in you because you already have something in common with them. Also, write to the paper in the town where you grew up and graduated from high school. Small papers eat up human interest, where-are-they-now stories.”
3. Become a spokesperson
“Look at your business and what it offers,” Clifford suggests. “Then ask yourself if you are an expert in your field. Based on your expertise, you could become a corporate spokesperson.”
Clifford is a breast cancer survivor and when she heard that HealthEast Care System was opening a new cancer center, she asked to be a spokesperson. It worked and since signing on, she’d made more than 300 media appearances on their behalf.
Not sure how you can be a corporate spokesperson? Lets say you are a boutique shop owner. “Offer seminars on image consulting as a spokesperson with a local, related company.”
4. Create a product
Clifford recommends making a product companies may want to buy en masse.
“Lets say you are a CPA—go out and create a DVD on the top 20 tips for bringing profitability to a company,” she says. “Create this single product. Then, the company can sell it to their corporation and their clients at a markup. Even so, you are still making a profit.”
5. Give back
“I’ve had some of the most successful sales of my life come out of a product or service I initially donated,” Clifford says. “For example, I was asked to do a keynote presentation in Washington, D.C. They couldn’t pay me, but the day of the conference I was interviewed for eight minutes on CNN. That opportunity was invaluable in pushing my career to the next level.
“Give pro bono and you never know who you will meet and what you can get.”
Image credit: Christine Clifford