Are you sending emails to your customers? Using social media to promote your latest offers, deals, cool pictures and behind the scenes action? Tweeting interesting tid-bits? Awesome! And guess what? So are most of your competitors. So how does a biz stand out from the crowd and get some attention?

Maybe it’s time to think like a rock star. Rock stars are rarely wallflowers. They’re often larger than life in both looks and personalities. Think about Lady Gaga, Madonna and even Guns N’ Roses frontman, Axl Rose. These stars are not only larger than life, they’re controversial, a bit wild and certainly in the news – a lot.

We recently attended the New Media Expo conference in Las Vegas (a definite rock star locale), and got to listen in on a presentation by Craig Duswalt, called How to Create New Content & Think Outside the Box. Craig is the creator of the RockStar System For Success – How to Achieve RockStar Status in Your Industry and his background includes touring with Guns N’ Roses, as Axl Rose’s personal manager, and Air Supply, as the band’s personal assistant. Craig combined his backgrounds in both music and marketing, and is now a professional speaker and author, promoting his “RockStar System for Success” seminar all over the country, teaching entrepreneurs, speakers, authors, coaches and info-marketers how to promote themselves and their business. According to Craig, “What made me stand out from everybody else was the little outside of the box marketing type techniques that I learned with Guns N’ Roses, how they attracted 80,000 people to a concert, and how we can take those theories, and put them in every day life, and the corporate world.”

Craig shared a few rock star marketing tips to help your biz stand out from the competition:

1. Be Unique: In order to stand out, you have to do things differently from your competition. For example, some of us struggle to market a business that might not be terribly exciting, sexy, or rock and roll. But, take a look at what the folks over at Fiskars are doing. Yep, you heard me right, Fiskars, as in the scissors. But they’re not just any scissors. Fiskars is the #1 scissors brand, and one look at their website, you’ll see why. Instead of jamming their features and benefits down your throat, they actually focus on providing help, resources and ideas for projects and crafts. Ding-ding! Perfect for their users.

And, take a deeper look at their community called Fiskateers. According to Fiskars website, “Back in 2005, Fiskars was looking for a way to connect and communicate with some pretty important people—the very crafters who used their products on a daily basis. With the help of Brains on Fire, Fiskars launched a four-city casting call for the loudest, proudest paper crafters across the country. During an 11-day road trip that accompanied the casting call, more than 100 creative folks stepped up to show their work, tell about their lives, and share their passion for crafting. This was just the type of communication Fiskars was looking for!” Eight years later, they’ve got their own Facebook page, Twitter handle and are a vibrant and engaged community of Fiskars loyalists. Pretty cutting edge (pun intended) for a scissor company, eh? How many businesses would love to have a community like that? And remember, this is about scissors. But Fiskars made it about customers and their interests, which is what makes them unique and what continues to propel their success.

2. Be Current and Timely: Craig Duswalt uses Google Zeitgeist to see what topics people are searching, then crafts his content around those themes. You may remember a few years back when Kayne West interrupted the young Taylor Swift during her VMA acceptance speech. Immediately, the internet was a buzz with chatter about it. So what did Craig do? He leveraged all this buzz for his marketing biz. How? According to Craig, “I wrote a post about what happened because my brand is Rockstar, and it was a very Rocskstar thing that happened. It was a very bad thing that happened, but I tied into some marketing principles and I posted it on, which went to my Facebook site. It went to my blog. It went to my website. It went everywhere and I got a ton of hits that night because people were Googling Kanye West. I had a ton of hits because I used something that happened in the news, and tied it into my brand.”

3. Reverse Shoplifting: You may be thinking, “What the heck?” because that’s what we also thought when we first heard Craig speak about this, but it’s brilliant in a controversial, rock star kinda way. Here’s how it works: Craig advised the crowd to first write a short book and self-publish it. There are all kinds of tools available now to do this, and you can repurpose content you already have on your blog, website or other channels. Once you’ve got your book in hand, it’s time to get it on the shelves of some of those big box retailers like Barnes & Nobel. But how do you go about doing this? Here’s where the “reverse shoplifting” comes in: Craig advises walking into a book store with 5-10 copies of your self-published book, and simply place them on a shelf in the appropriate area, hence the “reverse shoplifting.” Craig doesn’t get any proceeds from the sales,  but when a customer brings his book to the register, and the barcode on the back is scanned, (he teaches you how to do the barcode in his seminar), it tells the cashier the book is out of stock, and to place an order for more! Crazy right? While this tip may not work for everyone, it’s definitely an off the charts idea.

If you try any of Craig’s marketing tips you may go from singing the business blues to Welcome to the Jungle in no time! Let us know your thoughts about these marketing tips.

© 2013, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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