Key factors: Persistence, belief and caution!

The way I see it, anything is possible if you can just find enough people to believe in your project or product, cause or idea.

All you need is enough people to see the validity of what you are doing, and you will soon hit a home run. Whether you are trying to save the whales, or introduce the next craze such as Tae Bo, or the next hot product like Breath Assure or Edible Flowers– It’s all a matter of communicating your message well enough to be heard and understood by enough people in order to succeed.

Marketing does take a certain amount of determination, confidence and a little courage—even some luck. Doing a half-assed job will only bring back what you put out.

Many so-called professional marketing firms are only professional at taking your money, and deliver only negligible results. My best advice to my business friends is to do most of your own marketing; no one knows your product better then you do. Yes, there are times when you will require the help of a professional copywriter, a packing designer or an advertising expert. Use caution, and ask for plenty of references.

One marketing firm, claiming to represent an Oil Sheik, had a friend of mine fly all the way to England. Thousands of dollars were spent on airfares, hotel accommodations, long distance phone calls and other expenses. The whole affair turned out to be a farce. The English marketing pro was an impostor with none of the connections that he proclaimed to have.

On another occasion, while waiting in the reception room at a L.A. firm, I saw a steady stream of people coming and going, some from as far away as Seattle, WA. And one man all the way from Germany.  The supposedly well-connected owners of the marketing firm solicited all prospects for up-front fees.

My friend and I were solicited for up-front money also; yet, when I asked the partners for a list of references and testimonials, the firm’s owners said they could not release any names due to privacy considerations.  It struck us both as weird that they didn’t have a single letter of reference to give us.  If they were really helping people, it seemed like they should have dozens of letters of reference from satisfied clients.

That wasn’t the worst of it. Questioning some very unhappy-looking people, I learned that they had been asked by the owners for additional up-front money two weeks after making their first payment to the firm—in spite of promises that their initial payment was the only requirement for them to get a fair hearing for their product and a marketing plan.

I realized then that many promotion firms offer only empty promises, with no intention of doing any work whatsoever to get real-world results for the striving businessperson.

There are, however, firms with the mission of helping entrepreneurs actually make money with their new products and realize their dreams, many of who work on a joint venture basis. It’s not all bleak out in the world; just use a little caution and good sense, and do your homework.

Like what you’ve read? Buy Jay’s book, Grow Yourself Rich, available for download now.