Silence is golden, but publicity is gold.

I just made that up, but it’s a really true statement. One of the biggest problems everyone has in this world is getting their message out. Whether it is Christ who needed his disciples to help proselytize his message of peace and love, or the Beatles who needed publicity events, TV shows and concerts to sell their records.

Publicity, marketing and celebrity are crucial to the success or failure of any venture. Let’s take the Pope, for example. Pope Francis is getting tons of good publicity for the Catholic Church right now as he travels and spreads a message of humility. Contrast that to the tons of bad publicity that Kanye West is getting for his absurd, childish and immature outbursts against paparazzi who are trying to earn a living and, by the way, keeping him in the public eye. The silly excuses made by his baby-mama-in-law Kris Jenner aside, his churlish behavior should not be acceptable for anyone who has made the millions he has based on the publicity that the paparazzi have helped him with.

Not having the paparazzi follow me day and night I have to keep learning about how to market and publicize my family law business. I thought I knew a good deal about marketing, but I have just spent the weekend learning from one of the all-time great marketers, James Malinchak. He is world famous as the Secret Millionaire, and for his award-winning career as a public speaker.

This past weekend hundreds of us packed into a conference room for four days of the most information-crammed seminar I have taken since I was studying family law for the bar exam.

Honestly, I went in with the expectation that this was going to be another “time share” type event. I was totally prepared to do the first session and leave if it was just a sales pitch all day. I’m so glad it wasn’t a little steak and a lot of hard sell on the sizzle. What I found was a huge amount of good, usable, information and yes, there was a sales aspect in that Malinchak offers several options for his consulting and personal development sales programs, but he’s entitled to it. After all, he’s the Secret Millionaire.

Malinchak brought in an inspiring array of tremendous speakers. People like All-American Joe Theisman and Kevin Eastman of the Los Angeles Clippers were speaking and sharing their success strategies. Eastman was a humorous and engaging speaker. He shared his message of how important doing the extra work is to being a success by sharing what a superstar like Kevin Garnett does to succeed. Eastman held the audience’s attention with a dash of slapstick humor and a good dose of behind the scenes, pro sports psychology of top athletes.

For businesses, the extra work is captured in one of Malinchak’s quotes on the wall “Always Be Marketing.” Most of us do far too little marketing and we leave it at bland business cards and a brochure.

I was thinking about this on Saturday night when I was having dinner. I’m at the sushi bar and a guy pulls out a triangle of padded leather that is printed to look like lined paper, and has stitching like a baseball.

My attention was immediately grabbed. I couldn’t believe that he had such a great business card, and then he told me it’s actually a tabletop game like we played in school. On one side is his name, Richard Crasnick, with contact information, and the other is his company — fikisports.com. He sets it up on the bar and flicks it the way that teenage boys all across the country are doing with folded paper. His products are made with logos for NFL and college football, golf, hockey, soccer, MLB baseball and basketball.

This was a natural conversation starter, which brought Crasnick and me together.

Since he’s a Santa Monica guy we chatted about the city, doing business and marketing his product and how to use it as a promotional tool. He’s been selling this great product for about 13 years now, and it’s available in Bed Bath and Beyond and Dick’s Sporting Goods. You can have them custom made with your logo to help promote your business.

Branding, promotion, it’s all part and parcel of making your business or your mission more well known. There’s a reason the Pope wears all white, and why Coke continues to buy ads on TV. Malinchak reminded me of the importance and value in putting yourself out there, and Crasnick and his FIKI brought it home to me in a very real and concrete way how important it is to have a good hook.

 

David Pisarra is a Los Angeles divorce and child custody lawyer specializing in father’s and men’s rights with the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He welcomes your questions and comments. He can be reached at dpisarra@pisarra.com or (310) 664-9969. You can follow him on Twitter @davidpisarra.

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