Monthly Archives: September 2010

Christmas Wreaths as Corporate Gifts

Christmas is coming!

Last year I promised myself I would get the word out about my Christmas wreaths in September or October.  I had several friends discover that I make wreaths after they have already purchased one.

Custom wreaths are great for your own home, for gifts to friends or staff and they also make great corporate gifts.

I discovered I have a knack for this sort of thing by accident.  I was helping my kids with a school projects and got way more into it that they did! It sort of took off from there.  I started painting Christmas ornaments that quite frankly looked rather juvenile.  I gave a few away as gifts. Then after a few years went by I got several requests to wrap gifts for others using large colorful ribbons. That led to wreath-making.

It never crossed my mind to sell them until I started getting requests. That brings me to today. Click here to see more samples of my work.

To place your order send me an email and let me know what you would like your wreath to look like.

88 days until Christmas…



Thursday Threads

Social Media Do’s and Don’t’s for Small Business


    • DO set realistic expectations and goals for your social media strategy
      • DON’T assume that you will not get leads for your social media efforts
    • DO have a solid, well-planned strategy
      • DON’T let your strategy become robot-like
    • DO seek out help to execute your strategy   
      • DON’T be afraid of the technology (that’s why you get help)
    • DO push yourself to get the most out of social media   
      • DON’T over commit yourself with an unachievable strategy
    • DO contribute to the conversation in a meaningful way
      • DON’T only Tweet about your latest blog post or your products
    • DO look for people you know and connect with them through social media
      • DON’T assume they will all be as focused as you might be
    • DO be deliberate in getting your message out there
      • DON’T be repetitive
    • DO remember that what you say will always be “out there”    
      • DON’T let that stop you from being authentic

    See you next Monday…


    Taking a break

    Hello Everyone,

    I wil be taking a break from the blog this week but should return next week to share more of my insights and experience.

    Be back soon…


    Say What?

     Social Media Guidelines for Your Brand

    On Wednesday I talked about achieving brand consistency on a budget.  Common voice (tone, wording, etc.) is a key element in brand consistency. The great thing about consistency of voice in social media is that it does not cost much, if any, cash.  It does require a time and thought investment.

    Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn all have status updates.  This is not news. 

    What may be news to many small business owners is that you can easily set your Twitter status to appear on your LinkedIn and Facebook status plus on your blog too (depending on what blogging service you use). This is one way to be sure your voice and messaging is consistent across all platforms.

    This may get a little tricky if there is more than one person engaged in social media on behalf of your company but it is achievable.  Here is where the time and thought investment comes in.  This can be done by establishing guidelines for any representative of your company to who engages in social media. 

    Keep these things in mind when establishing social media guidelines:

    1. Be clear on the voice of the company
    2. Be clear on your policy to engage (or not engage) negative comments
      1. You may want to designate one person to be the voice in these situations
    3. Don’t make the guidelines too narrow so that you squash the individual’s voice
      1. Especially about things unrelated to your brand
      2. But…don’t make them too loose either
    4. Don’t make efforts so coordinated that everyone is saying the exact same thing
      1. Like automated Tweets to multiple accounts
      2. It can get boring and your audience will lose interest
    5. Add guidelines specific to your brand…

    As always, I encourage you to seek the help of a marketing coach.  They can help guide you in the right direction.

    If you would like to learn how to link your updates feel free to email me.

    Working to add value…


    Thursday Threads

    Changes are… consistent

    1. This week Google announced Google Instant. Need to keep a close watch on this one to see how it affects my clients’ Adwords campaigns.
      1. How do you think Google Instant will affect paid search?
    2. It will be interesting to see how popular keywords increase in bid price.
      1. A WSJ article speculates that the most common terms(which are already expensive) will jump in price.
    3. A key element of a good marketing coach is to help their clients navigate major changes like Google Instant.
      1. Perhaps I will write something brilliant and get credited by AP as a blogger news source…
    4. The Associated Press (AP) begins crediting bloggers as news sources. It will be interesting to see how this affects the news cycle – if at all.
      1. I doubt I’ll get quoted by the AP tomorrow but it could… happen!
    5. I would guess that to be a cited source by AP one must be consistent in delivering news-worthy information
    6. Speaking of consistency… the use of the same or complementary colors across different marketing platforms can help tie your campaigns together
    7. The use of consistent wording can help do the same
    8. Using consistent (positive) wording is also a good practice with children and families. This is not big news but perhaps it should be…


    I Can’t Afford That!

    Brand Consistency on a Budget

    As a small business owner it is possible to create a comprehensive marketing strategy with a consistent look & feel that matches your brand and does not break the bank.  I am currently executing a marketing strategy for a small business client which includes a social media component. 

    Here is an overview of the approach:

    1. Create website (includes new logo, corporate colors, etc.)
    2. Create Twitter account (created custom background and colors to compliment the website).  Promote branding messages through Tweets (be careful not to over do this).
    3. Create blog (using (Custom header and background colors to compliment the web site).
    4. Leverage existing LinkedIn account.  Incorporate new logo and promote branding messages through updates.
    5. Create Facebook Page with new logo. Promote branding messages through updates.
      1. Next step will be to create a unique tab for her business that can take a “basic” Facebook page to another level. Click for Skittles example
    Note: all elements are linked to each other so that the user can easily get from Facebook, to the blog, to LinkedIn, etc.

    Once all the components of the strategy are live I will do a case study to show the final result and include a budget review. In the meantime, call your marketing coach to help you plan and execute an achievable strategy for you!  Don’t have one? Get one, I high recommend it!

    This is the basic overview.  More details to follow on Friday’s post. Stay tuned!


    I Am Not Good At…

    There are many things I am NOT good at.


    Imagine our world if everyone were completely up front about what they do well and what they do not do well. Then, imagine what the world would be like if we lined up our passions with the gifts and talents God gave us.  We could change the world!

    I wrote my first guest blog post today and talked about this very thing. It is amazing to me how many people pretend to be good at something when they know they are not.  It takes more confidence to say “I do not do that well” then it does to say “yes, I can do that,” when you know you really can’t.

    There are a couple of things in which I am really gifted.  There are a few more things I am “ok” at doing and there are thousands of things I am not good at – period.  I am very grateful to be at the place in my life and career where I can recognize this – at least most of the time.  [No matter seasoned we are I think we all have moments where we experience delusions of grandeur.]

    So, I will continue to serve my clients by doing the things I do well and leave the rest to other experienced professionals.

    I would love to hear about what you do well (and what you don’t do well too)…


    Happy Labor Day!

    Happy Labor Day!  I hope you are spending today with family and friends. See you tomorrow!


    Throwing up Facebook

    Throwing up a Facebook page is not a strategy

    Even a great Facebook page by itself is not a strategy. It is a component of your Social Media plan which is only one component of your overall marketing strategy

    There have been many bloggers recently talking about examples of great Facebook pages. Check out this blogger’s Top 35 list from July 30. Most are well-known brands with deeper pockets than the average small business but that does not mean pages for small businesses have to be boring.

    Included on this list is BlackBerry. I like their page because it integrates a tool accessible to everyone: YouTube.  A small business could incorporate a YouTube video and some well done graphics to create an attractive, dynamic Facebook page.   

    As mentioned frequently in this blog, if you need help with your marketing strategy, including your Facebook page, contact a marketing coach/professional. They can help you create and execute a solid strategy and help you avoid the pitfalls of going down the wrong path.

    I am continually looking for ways to improve the effectiveness of Facebook.  If you have a success story to share please post a comment.

    Always looking to improve…


    Thursday Threads

    The Gratitude List

    I often make gratitude lists.  Especially if I have a bad attitude or things are not “going my way”.  Gratitude lists help me focus on the important things in my life and gain perspective. The priority items on my gratitude list include God, my husband, my kids, my home and my dogs.

    But wait, there’s more…

    More Things I am Thankful for:

    1. Grace – without it I am not sure where I’d be
    2. Perspective – it keeps me from overreacting
    3. Age – there are certain ages I DO NOT want to be again
    4. Experience (even the “bad” ones) – every experience has brought me to the place I am in my life and career
      1. I Like it here
    5. Failures – they teach me about me and about what not to do again
    6. Difficult people – they also teach me about me and give me opportunities to practice tolerance
    7. Speed limits – without them I would really drive too fast

    Full of gratitude…


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