Friday, February 17, 2017

What You Make of It

Everything is what you make of it. Life. Work. Even marketing. And that means seeing opportunities to leverage your assets. 

Recently a marketing friend and I went to a wine-n-sign class on a snowy Sunday evening. (You drink wine at a lovely winery while creating a hand-crafted sign to take home as you munch on tasty snacks.) The painting firm - Turquoise Top Hat - is the small business brainchild of a former teacher. And she leveraged every branding  and promotional opportunity during the event:

  • The paint kit included a unique smoothing tool - her business card.
  • The back of the signs were stamped with the Turquoise Top Hat logo.  
  • Selfies and use of the custom hashtags for the event were encouraged.
  • Next event was mentioned.
  • Everyone was invited to host their own event and getting their sign for free.
The owner told her brand origin story about being a teacher and doing this on the side until she built the business up. She then cross-sold/up-sold her other (complementary) business - supplying the paint fixative for the signs for other projects and offering Cricut lessons. It's a family business and her partner is her mother who has slightly different interests. The scope of the business is their interests, but always stays on point with their vibe - hand-made, fun and intimate. 

It was a pleasure to attend this event, not just for the creation of the sign but also for a glimpse into the promotion and branding of a small business.



To think about...
What are your opportunities? Whether small or large, you have opportunities -  leveraging them is your choice.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Welcome and Thank you

Welcome and thank you for stopping by!
Photo Credit: Unsplash

I invite you to click over to the "RESOURCES" page - I update that piece of the blog often with tools and resources (many are free) which I've found helpful in my everyday marketing. My goal is that YOU find something on this blog that helps you or your business, so let me know if you like something you find on that page!

If your business could use some branding insights, common sense marketing or marketing strategy to make a difference, please check out the "SERVICES" page to see how I can help you or your business.  



Sunday, January 24, 2016

New Perspectives

Yes,  jazz hands happened
As I have for the last several January's, this past weekend I had the pleasure of taking part in the American Marketing Association's Midwest Regional Leadership Retreat. This year it was hosted in Cleveland (home of Duct Tape and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.)

That experience was one of those life lessons about how serving is being served. I've volunteered on the local board of the American Marketing Association for over 7 years. I've done everything from being President to being Secretary to being on the Social Media Communication "team"  - and more. (This is common in volunteer organizations - you pitch in where needed.) In giving service, opportunities like this Leadership Retreat - in turn - serve me.

I'm a marketer. A good one with a curious mind and a wide array of knowledge. But each year, in that room, I'm just one voice of many and I'm not the one with the best answer every time to various marketing issues. It's a different mental space from my everyday world to be with people "like me". And it totally super-charges my creativity.

As a department of one by day and a solo-prenuer the rest of the time, I don't often get a chance to brainstorm with like-minds of different perspectives and similar marketing experiences. I don't often get to hear business experiences and current challenges from other marketers. I came back awed by the dedication of these ALL VOLUNTEER AMA boards who not just give their time weekly, but also gave up part of a winter weekend to participate in the leadership retreat. As a personal bonus, I also came back with  fresh ideas for both my clients and my day job. 

To think about...
Another view sees different angles. Many hands create light work. How can you serve and be served in return?


From top left: Shane Frost, Edgar Diaz, Amy Heline, Julie Sisco; from bottom left: Alexandria Trusov and Christine Walsh. For more on the Michiana Chapter of the AMA, head over to our website, www.amamichiana.com 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Failure of Systems

Photo credit: Unsplash
January and September both feel like fresh pages - new year, new school year. This January, I decided to try a fresh, new organization system. This September, I decided to give it up. And that system failure has been the best business productivity change I've made all year!


I'm a list maker. My to-do list is always a mile long. Sticky notes help with quick reminders. I've done this for year. It didn't feel productive or like a very efficient system. So, starting in January I came up with a new system. 


"Losers have goals. Winners have systems" - Scott Adams

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Yard Sale




A recent move meant decorating changes and too much stuff in too little space. As a result I've been downsizing, which meant a yard sale + a demonstration of every day marketing in action. 


Yard Sale Plan = Marketing Strategy? Yes! The same 3 factors come into play for both:
- Placement 
- Offer
- Imagination


Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Rose by Any Other Name

Recently I spent several days in beautiful New Orleans for both business and pleasure, during which time, I shopped. I actually went to a store and looked at different things. I went to several stores that aren't my usual haunts. This is rare. I'm a very structured shopper - I go in, get what I need, and I leave. I do not browse. I do not dawdle. I do not gawk. I do not windowshop.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

What Changes

There have been a wide variety of changes on a number of fronts in the last few months. Are you keeping up?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

What You Can Do

Of late, I've attended a large number of parades in a variety of venues. Small towns. Neighborhoods. Fairgrounds. A few weeks ago while walking to the parade route, I stumbled across this message set in concrete in front of a small house with a beautifully tended yard. I've always been a fan of the similar phrase  - "Do what you can with what you have." Sometimes that philosophy is called being resourceful. Occasionally it means being creative. This sign was a wonderfully generous and always timely reminder that you have more resources than you realize.  And that philosophy can be applied to business/ marketing resources, too.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

When Does Learning Stop?

The view at my home desk
The answer is never. If you want to continue to serve your clients, you must keep pace with the marketplace. And in the case of marketing, the pace keeps speeding up. In person learning options abound - conferences, seminars, webinars. As time allows (aka every day) you can increase your knowledge by reading - blogs, articles, industry magazines and, of course, books! Industry defining, game changing books. Insightful classic books. Books.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Professional vs Personal

I have a confession - I have multiple Twitter accounts. While not a Social Media Superstar - knowledge of and partaking in the social media landscape is part of my day job. (And it's fun.)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Check It Twice

Santa isn't the only one who should check his list twice. You should be checking what you post and blog.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Getting It Right


Read about The Guy Tip Book
It's a "Shake & Bake - and I helped" moment! My friend Ethan just published a book. My help included:
- Writing the subtitle
- Writing his bio
- Suggesting the organizational structure
- "Gently" pressuring him for a year to publish it

In a lot of ways Ethan is getting it right. He has amazing self-confidence - even when faced with challenges, and he is willing to do the unconventional to make his dreams a reality. (A great blog post from Ethan on some of the challenges). Plus, he's exploring ways to leverage his brand:
- Increasing his accessibility with a blog
- Remaining active and engaged on social media outlets
- Focusing his social media outlets rather than being spread thin
- Seeking out opportunities to work with other brands and authors

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Why be on LinkedIn?

As a B2B marketer, one of the things I do is press releases on new staff. Part of the need for those releases is to position the staff to our clients - "we hired this expert because they do X and Y" or "we heard you needed more support, we have expanded support staff to better meet that need" except in fluffier language. That release is usually the first introduction to new staff. But it is not the only one.

In this digital age, LinkedIn is a professional hotspot. Your profile on LinkedIn is your professional face to the world. (By extension, it is part of your company's brand - it is who you are at work.) As such, it is very important you spend a little time with your LinkedIn profile. It doesn't have to be long – 10 minutes a day for a week and your profile is built! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Channel or Strategy

Working in marketing and being a consumer, I am exposed to more social media than most. And when I'm in consumer mode, that's not always a good thing as I probably have higher expectations than most.

If I were to point at one marketing error I see consistently, it would be this - social media is a communication channel, not a communication strategy. You must still have a story to tell.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

What Color is Your Logo

Color speaks to us in ways words do not. This I believe. And pictures can tell a wonderful story. So this infographic on color is my new favorite resource.


Monday, July 8, 2013

Do Your People Know Why?

Quite often when I'm in discussions with a business, we talk about their customers. After all, external communication is a huge part of marketing. What I'm often astonished by is how in medium to global businesses, internal communication is neglected and causes marketing chaos. Two recent personal examples come to mind...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Do What I SAY......

Confession? I've committed the cardinal business sin - I've neglected my own business in favor of doing work for clients. A classic case of "Do what I say, not what I do!"

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Information is Power

There is a new phrase in the marketing world, Big Data.  Seminars are being presented on big data.  Additional degrees in statistics are being added to various masters degree programs. Companies are buying layers of programs to add to their websites and social media to generate more data about customers.

The promise - better insights, better decisions and (of course) business growth. 

How does this apply to your business?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Social Media and Your Business

There has been a lot of talk about social media over the past few years (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIN, YouTube). Chances are you use one or more of of them for fun or socializing now.  The question is, how to use these communication channels effectively for business.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Why Polite Counts

Anyone who knows me professionally has heard my favorite phrase about marketing - common sense and politeness will cover a lot of ground in marketing.