Caffeinated Marketing

Gettting through all the noise, one cup at a time

Kuddos to WalMart October 12, 2009

Filed under: My Favorite Products — jenharris @ 2:15 pm
Tags: , , ,

To my shock and preconceived notions that I have of WalMart, I was pleasantly surprised on my not-so-common shopping trip to the giant superstore on Sunday.

I was power-shopping with three kids (I had miserably failed the previous day and turned around with-out anything in my cart) and I was determined to get my stuff and get out.  First on the list: a shelf that stuff can also hang from (similar to what I did in my daughters room the week prior).  I was looking and looking and looking…and then a WalMart employee actually stopped and asked ME if she could help me find something!!!!!  I explained what I needed and she took me 3 isles over to EXACTLY what I was looking for…I got help at a WalMart with out asking for it! Wow.

Our list was now complete, kids were doing ok and we headed for the check out.  The twins were in the basket (hint: the carts where toddlers can “drive” and not disturb me- IDEAL, just so you know) and the new shelf and eggs were below out of reach of a disaster in the making.  There was a guy waiting, we pulled up and unloaded.  He checked the eggs…one was seriously broken.  He looked at my situation & deep into my eyes of “awwww maaannnn!” and said: “how about 11 eggs for free”.  I wanted to kiss him.  What a great idea – taking care of me, when I needed taken care of.

I will seriously re-consider my aversions to WalMart and take advantage of future interactions with nice employees.  Thank you WalMart.

 

Shop208 Beta to Release This Friday August 6, 2009

shop208For those that haven’t heard the buzz about Shop208, here is the simple low-down of why it is one of the smartest business sites to come around for a LONG time.

First, you should know that there is a limited amount of Beta users that will be able to be the first on board to give feedback & help with tweaks etc…all that good stuff that comes along with being a Beta user! Click HERE to sign up!

Why Should We Try Shop208?
Shop208 is a place for businesses to keep have an online presence with a plethora of marketing options on a platform that is built by a VERY smart, local, group.

If you don’t have a site, you need Shop208 to CREATE CONTENT! (Content is what makes you be found on the web & it lives FOREVER on the web.  The more content you provide, the better your ranking).

If you have a site, but it is a “brochure site”, you need Shop208.  Most likely, your site is just a presence where your clients can find out info that would normally be printed on a brochure.  If you have to call a “web master” to change your content, you need Shop208.

If you have a site, but have control of the backend (CMS: Content Management System) but want to get more out of your site (web analytics, form building, email marketing) all in one site for an AMAZINGLY Cheep price, you need Shop208.

What Does Shop208 Cost?
$0 – $60 a month. Amazingly cheep if you were to go with the  Premium Business package.  You could easily pay 3x this amount to get the features & quality that is expected by the end user (aka: your current & potential clients!).  You can’t afford not to do this.

What’s Your Role, Jen?
I met Nathan Barry just over a week ago & grilled him on why people should take advantage of Shop208. There have been at least 3 local developers try to make this sort of site (all of them not successful) in the past 3 years, but this is the first one that I have seen that I would support.
And since we all know content is what makes the web go around, I am here for Nathan and all Shop208 members to help them develop that web content in the form of blogs and a blog calendar of what they should write about.  This is an additional service, but one that people are finally catching onto that is extremely important, but not required.

Again, I have seen at least three similar type ideas formed the past few years, but not as well designed, thought out & released in such a smart forward thinking way. It starts out at FREE, so what do you have to loose?

 

How I use Utterli August 4, 2009

utterliAll the rage right now is Posterous for their backward cross posting aggrigation.  I love the premise & can’t wait to start using it, just other things to conquer right now (j.o.b being one).

The cross posting tools in Utterli are fantastic for sending text, audio, video & still pictures to your blog.  When we (Mike Boss & I) were at MPC Computers we used Utterli (what was then called Utterz) for this very reason to reach out to publication editors at one education/tech conference in particular.  Mike set up interviews with editors to talk about the changing hardware needs of the education market and where they saw the need for certain pieces in the future.  After the interview (which he recorded for a future pod cast) he would take a picture of the editor, with text & send a “voice mail” with-in 10 minutes of each other & it would show up on Mike’s blog as one post.

In doing this and nurturing other relationships via email and Twitter, Mike was able to get MPC off of the blacklist & get coverage in an industry magazine (physical & web) with-out “paying” for it.  Traditionally, MPC would spend their media dollars (around $250,000) to get the inside front cover of a magazine & a few banner ads on the website.  ROI sucked.  Honestly, I don’t know the end result ROI of Mike creating relationships…but it was a whole lot cheaper than $250k!

On a personal level, I use Utterli for my personal blog for the Grandparents.  I take pictures of the kiddos on my Blackberry & send it and audio to the family blog at least 3 times a week.  The kids sing Happy Birthday, tell of their first poops on the potty & I just recently let them jabber in the background for a few minutes on the ride home.  Grandma said she felt like she was in the car & how nice it was for me to share something like that with her.  :)

How can you cross post to your blog to engage others on a daily basis & make them feel like they are “right there”?

 

Salida Colorado: Shavano Custom Log Works June 23, 2009

Shavano Custom Log Works is nestled on the side of the road on Hyw 285 between Salida & Buena Vista with THIS backdrop…..nice corner office if I do say so myself!  Adam Rhude has been building custom homes for 5 years now in this location & the only “advertising, promoting or marketing” he has ever done is 100% word of mouth…and a KILLER location!

Adam has literally sold homes off of drive-by’s.  He doesn’t have a website, a dedicated email, an “office”…just a reputation.  Ahh, the power!  Of course those items he doesn’t have are going to change soon *ahem…he “knows” people* but what a great way to start an online reputation…with a great REAL LIFE one!

I write this off of personal experience.  Adam & his wife, Amy, are some of our closest friends ever & I adore them, trust them and know that whatever Adam sinks his teeth into is going to be a success.  A really good guy.  Couldn’t ask for a better client.  Stay tuned & http://www.ShavanoLogs.com will soon be live, kickin’ and his fantastic reputation will live on.

Ohh! And if you want to call Adam, please do! 719-207-1001

When you look at the Shavano Custom Log Works Photos, you see craftsmanship that is beauty.

LOGO-01

 

Salida Colorado: BeadSong June 22, 2009

First, a bit of disclosure: Tami Sheppard, owner of BeadSong, is one of my bestest friends.  Her & her husband Duke were in our wedding, I have worked for her (actually, I was paid in beads) and I just stayed in their cottage at their house during a recent visit to Salida…with that said: if you are ever in Salida, her store is a must see (I would send you to her website, but she doesn’t have one…yes, we are working on that!)

BeadSong got it’s name due to the AMAZING opera voice of Tami.  She spontaneously sang a beautiful Italian opera at our wedding that brought the house down.  She began beading many, many, MANY :) years ago & after settling into Salida, and noticing a niche that needed to be filled in this ever growing art community.

Tami just celebrated her 14th year in business in downtown Salida with a customer base of tourists shopping after they come off the mountain at Monarch in the winter or off the Arkansas river in the summer.  She has an AMAZING selection, loyal local customers & fanatical tourists who come back year after year to see “the bead lady”.  She tells stories of getting mail addressed to her as “The Bead Lady, Salida, Co.” & it gets to her.  Got-to-love a small town!

My favorite part about Tami is that she really enjoys beading.  Yes, she gets burned out like all of us…so what does she do? She travels to the Czech Republic and tours a glass bead factory!  She brought back some beautiful beads (which I of course purchased 2 bracelets) and stories of how they make, string & sell their beads.

Tami’s secret? Take a break from what you love or you will burn out quick.  Tami works 3 of the 6 days she is open (my assumption is that she is paying in REAL money, rather than beads) and loves to travel.  She and Duke get away to Mexico at least twice a year to fish, sleep, relax and ride their motorcycles.  Balance.

 

If I Were New to Social Media… February 4, 2009

Filed under: My Favorite Products,Twitter — jenharris @ 12:44 pm
Tags: , ,

I am thrilled to be speaking/teaching the basics of Social Media to the NetWorks! group today at the Sockeye Grill.
This is a value add for TSheets, so I am going to tell you how to get started with Social Media & the time it takes for one week.  (or I have plenty of friends that will charge you $100+/hour to get you going).
As I wrote last week, YOU are your marketing budget – this will be the best use of your time/money than any bus stop ad you will get.

Phase One: Getting “it”

  1. Google Reader.  Find your favorite people you love to read & be diligent in reading at least every other day.  Total time: 45 minutes
    1. who are the most influential in your field? get that feed
    2. what publications do you most admire? get that feed
    3. what are some fun things you are interested in? Google it &….get that feed
  2. Post relevant comments on others blogs.  Big NoNo: “That was a great article, Bob-thanks!”  (boring! & it does nothing for you & your future blog)  ;)Total time: 30 minutes
  3. LinkedIn.  Yes, it is a big, fat Rolodex.  Ummm, why wouldn’t you want to be part of THE BIGGEST Rolodex in the world.  Remember, it’s not what you know, but who you know.
    1. Answers.  Answer at least three questions a week.  Could be all in one day – Total time: 20 minutes
    2. Ask a Question.
  4. Now stop. Evaluate. Is this for you? do you see the value of communicating online now? Investment for one week so far: 95 Minutes

Phase Two: Stepping in “it”

  1. Evaluate your commitment time.  Can you spend an additional 60 minutes a week blogging?  Can you see yourself contributing to the lives of others?  If not, that is OK!  Keep active in phase One & you will see the reward.
  2. What do you have to say?  Can you contribute to your readers in a way that is not pitchy?  Can you write with out selling?  What is YOUR value ad?
    1. fyi: my value ad to TSheets is that I represent the company when I go and speak to others about SM.
  3. WordPress.  Best blogging tool out there.  Huge possibilities to customize…for free.

Phase Three: Participating with “it”

  1. Tagging. There is a place for you to tag with those that are like you – promise.  Digg, Delicious. Diggo, Stumble Upon, Skirt…etc etc etc
    1. See what others are reading.
    2. Find new content to blog on
  2. Twitter.  Yes, this can be a HUGE time suck.  But it can also get you a job, get a new client, and find new friends.  Ask yourself this – how many 1:1 conversations do I have on a daily basis that can be observed by MANY.  One of those “many” might see something relevant in the fact that you just planted your organic garden & can’t wait for beet stew.  Will that fellow beet stew lover need your product? Meet for coffee (or webinar) and find out!

Weekly time Invested? Right about two and a half hours. What is your hourly rate?  What would this new marketing venture cost you a week? A month?
There is a ton to be said for having the right message, voice & touch out there.  This is where you want to invest your time in a coach, a marketing message or an industry expert.
If all you want to do is sell & pitch on any of these forums, please spend the $100+/hour and help someone guide you to see “it”.  Or not.  Marketing changes every 100 years, now is the time to start.

I could go on & on & on….but this is what a Social Media “Expert” would help you set up in a few hours.  I consider myself an enabler, not an expert – so I dish out for a latte.  :)

 

 
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