Friday, May 15, 2009

I Had the Strangest Dream

I work all the time. I am constantly working on new ways to promote Dapper Snappers, getting new customers, and keeping existing customers happy. It's no wonder then why I dreamt what I did last night. I was at Peter Shankman's home enjoying a very casual meeting. If you don't know Peter of HARO (Help A Reporter Out), you are missing out. He's taken an idea, helping reporters find sources for stories, and turned it into an incredible business. He now has 100,000 members and speaks at engagements around the world about PR. I had written him once about advertising costs for HARO and let's just say it's way out of my range. 

So back to the dream... As I was saying, I was at his home just chit-chatting about business. He asked me, "What do small businesses (like yours) need?" "Free stuff!" I replied. For some reason this struck Peter as incredibly funny. Then I explained to him that we (small business owners) know we won't get anything for free. This is the nature of any business. There is a price for everything, even if it's not money and not apparent. But how do we get out from under the rock we don't want to hide under? We spent a while in quiet contemplation while people filtered past making comments to Peter about meetings, phone calls, and speaking gigs. 
It was then I told him what I wanted. I want to get skinny (39.5 lbs down, 16.5 lbs to my goal!) and get on Oprah. It's either her or Ellen. (I just realized while writing this that I want to be on Oprah and Ellen showcasing Dapper Snappers, what it takes to be an inventor and a Mamapreneur. But I would be happy if I could even get local coverage just for Dapper Snappers.) I told him that if I could do that, then we would finally have enough capital to start working on our other inventions. Then we could start helping other aspiring Mamapreneurs find their success. I then said something clever to make him think (not sure what it was). We parted ways without a plan, but with an understanding. Funny thing about dreams; You don't always get to remember all the answers. He was happy to help me where he could, when he could, and would keep in touch.
It wasn't until I woke up that I understood why I couldn't advertise with HARO. I want Dapper Snappers to be discovered and be famous. All this time I thought that if I explained that what I wanted advertised was for people to help me with my personal/business mission (because if the woman who invented Jibbitz could get on Oprah, why can't I?) and to get more USA product reps, then that might push Dapper Snappers to the next level. Here's the problem; I would attract the wrong people. Instead of generous people just wanting to help because it would be the nice thing to do, I would get PR consultants that "for a small fee" that I couldn't afford, they could help get me, and/or my product, the media attention I/it deserves. Because NOTHING is FREE. I wouldn't get any product reps either, at least not professional ones. It really couldn't end up in anything but disaster.
What am I going to do now? Keep doing what I can afford to do. I throw out my pitches and hope that one of them sticks. I keep writing to news stations, talk shows, whoever will listen, and tell them about me, and about Dapper Snappers and why they are so great. And if anyone out there wants to help me with my big goal, I will appreciate it immensely. I can't afford to pay them, but I could put them in my Thank You credits. 
Oh, and Peter... Thanks. I had been kicking around this idea of advertising for months. Now I understand I'm looking for easy answers where there aren't any. Sometimes discoveries happen. I'm going to keep combing the HARO emails for opportunities to "Get Sourced. Get Quoted. Get Famous." but I won't hold my breath. I'm going to keep working at it. But Peter, if you are so inclined and happen to know someone who is feeling particularly philanthropic...