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When one of Maria Barraza's friends told her American Express was looking for women- and minority-owned small businesses to profile in an advertising campaign, Barraza, 43, immediately sent her information to the credit card company. The New York City-based Barraza Associates Ltd., a clothing design and manufacturing company, turned out to be just right for AmEx, which put the owner's face-and her fashions-in magazines nationwide.
As testimonial advertising gets hotter, more entrepreneurs are finding themselves in the media spotlight, which is doing great things for their businesses at no cost to them. Barraza's AmEx campaign has led to publicity in the New York Daily News, The Wall Street Journal, on television as well as at national speaking engagements.
If you want to star in an ad for your favorite product, take Barraza's advice:
1. Network, network, network. Meeting people increases your visibility.
2. Have your information ready at all times. You never know when opportunity will knock, so prepare your materials now.
3. Be flexible. AmEx wanted to hold the shoot at a location other than Barraza's studio, so she went along with it.