Friday, December 12, 2008

Promotional Genius?

We could talk for days about how you can promote yourself, company, etc. I’m sure we all have our favorites that stood our in our mind – hey, put yours in the comments, if you like. The picture you see above is of the Lincoln Highway and was taken in 1920. Those billboards were not the first of their time, but I thought it was a good example of thinking outside the box.

In those days, promotion was done locally, since majority of businesses catered to the neighborhood which their establishment existed. For some of the companies to take a shot at a billboard miles from their shop was a very risky, but logical, form of marketing.

Speaking of the Lincoln Highway, lets touch on the one of the people who spear-headed the design and construction of this pre-interstate route from New York City to San Francisco; Carl Fisher. Many people considered him a promotional genius for the antics that he came up with and pulled off. While others thought he was out of his mind and didn’t understand the subliminal message.

Take this for example, Fisher staged an elaborate publicity stunt in which he attached a hot air balloon to a white Stoddard-Dayton automobile and flew the car over downtown Indianapolis. Thousands of people observed the spectacle and Fisher triumphantly drove back into town, becoming an instant media sensation. Unbeknown to the public, the flying car had its engine removed to lighten the load, and several identical cars were driven out to meet it, to allow Fisher to drive back into the city. Afterwards, he advertised, "The Stoddard-Dayton was the first automobile to fly over Indianapolis. It should be your first automobile too." Now that is thinking outside of the box!

Fisher was a man who pushed the boundaries, and looked for new ways to develop ideas and make money. His wife said afterwards that he didn’t even see the money as a motivator, but incidental. You might be different, I know that I started looking for different ways to make money because I like to learn new things and money plain motivates me. There are too many good causes, places and things in this world to support visit, and enjoy.

Let’s jump back to the future, and pushing the bar forward with promotions. You can make a lot of money by being the promotional means for companies. It is not uncommon to supplement and eventually live very well from affiliate earnings. Its out there, and it is not a “new” way of cashing in, but many people are just being introduced to affiliate or referral marketing.

Personally, I don’t think you need to take as much risks as Carl Fisher did during his lifetime, however, this isn’t going to be a get-rich-quick scheme or money being given to you. There are many programs out there, and take a look – find the one that will work for you. It seems as though every successful affiliate comes out with their own system, and why wouldn’t you?

If you already know that you get paid to direct traffic and sales to a company who has a product worth buying, why couldn’t you direct that same traffic to yourself and a product that you have developed? It makes perfect sense!

Get your name out there, and direct traffic. The right companies will pay you for your efforts, and it helps to have a bit of background knowledge with their products. Don’t let that scare you, if you’ve ever taken a vacation, you’ve got enough background to work with someone like Expedia.

Interested? There’s a lot to this industry… keep following, as it would be much too long for a single post.

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