Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday Morning Marketeer, Web 2.0, Using Talkcasts to Create Platforms

This show was originally offered on Monday, December 15, 2008 at 9 AM EST and the archived version can be heard at: or

How many times have you walked into an interview or a sales meeting and the decision maker asks these questions:
How much experience do you have?
Who are your clients?
What makes you an expert?
Why should I hire you or your company over your competitor?

What if on the other hand you have a new product, idea, or service that can make you a lot of money but you don’t have a lot of money to promote it?

Or how about this scenario, you have a great idea for a book or perhaps you have already written one and prospective publishers want to know, what’s your platform?

Another one: You have already dropped a bundle on this outlandishly outstanding website and no one visits it.

Well, whatever your marketing dilemma, talkcasting, podcasting or webinars can inexpensively solve your dilemma.

So what are these social media miracle workers?
Podcast: pre-recorded content to be put up later on the web
Talkcast: live, interactive and archived on the internet
Webinar: is also an audio but it usually a teaching piece and one way only although it can have interactive capabilities but usually they are limited to pre arranged guests to help the webinar host establish her credibility.

These are some great marketing effects that you can create by talkcasting, podcasting or doing free webinars that stay archived on line. I love to give examples from my own life. As some of you know I am a serial entrepreneur with twenty-five years long before the internet as a theatrical or entertainment agent. After twenty five years I was well branded in all aspects of the entertainment business. I owned a theatrical costume business and a monthly “print for heaven’s sake” theatrical journal. I was brick and mortar, regular media branded. After selling this business my serial entrepreneur endeavors led me to a limousine business and I soon became thru intensive networking and word of mouth, also before widespread Web 2.0 marketing, known as the limo lady.

After losing my limousines in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan, I embarked on a marketing career since I had always done my own marketing and been extremely successful at it. I was very blessed to be at that time the Public Relations Director on the board of the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. I hung my shingle out and immediately got enough clients thru that association to sustain the business but if I wanted to grow I needed some serious branding.

I had discovered podcasting in my PR efforts for NAWBO and decided that Web 2.0 was the vehicle to not only re-brand NAWBO Greater Pittsburgh but also Dreamweaver Marketing Associates.

One of the ways that I discovered that was quick, easy and definitely within my budget was to use Web 2.0, mainly podcasting which I evolved for my purposes into Talkcasting. Web 2.0 is really not new, just new way of combining your in person networks with on line social networking and viral marketing. So the talkcasting was a great way to go from being the Limo Lady to Techno Granny. Techno Granny is the personification of using Web 2.0 for personal and business branding.

Back to those great marketing results that accrue from using Talkcasts to Create a Platform:
1. First of all you give the people in your extended in person network continual information by making sure that they are on your distribution list that publicizes your talkcast.
2. Under the “New Rules of Marketing and PR” as expounded in David Meerman Scott’s book of the same name, you have created a situation where you do not have to wait for traditional media to cover what you are doing, you use Web 2.0 to distribute your Talkcasts and voila, Get Your Google On!
3. If you are even vaguely good at what you do (and you shouldn’t be doing what you do unless you are great at it) then you are a savant or celebrity in your own field with tons of specialized knowledge. Talkcasting helps you to promote that celebrity.
4. In my seminar “Going Viral When the Economy Has a Virus™, I educate my audiences to understand that you can cure that virus with one good prescription that gets the word out about what you do. Talkcasting if you are diligent and committed to a regular venue and time slot is one of those prescriptions.

Now, do you have to know everything about talkcasting to make it work for you? As internationally known marketing guru Dan Kennedy says, “Good enough is good enough.” Techno GrannyShow™, example of a Talkcast that established me as Web 2.0 Expert, and trust me I learned as I went along. Another example,
Positively Pittsburgh Live Talkcast drives traffic to: . Did I intend for that to happen? No I got the idea when my listeners wanted additional content and I was far too busy to talkcast more than once a week, so I found a platform for an on line community magazine that used audio and video channels, great for getting all of my clients and other Pittsburghers together to Get Their Google On! We weigh in heavily on Talkcasts at this point in time on PPL Mag. Monday Morning Marketeer showcases my trademarked Web 2.0 Gorilla Branding Training™ and my marketing company.
Professionals with Impact™ is a show designed to convince my clients that I can help them Get their Google On and guess what? The experiment works.

I do not talk about these examples to toot my own horn but to let you know that you don’t need to know everything about talkcasting to create a platform for your business, a new product a new idea or even a book. I don’t know what do you think? Is there a book platform in my Talkcasts or any of the others you have heard?

So get started, I invite you to:
a. Use your network to promote your talkcast and at the same time keep yourself in front of it.
b. Don’t wait for the media to toot your horn, toot it yourself by using a Talkcast to give good information to your suspects and prospects to establish yourself as an expert.
c. Promote your niche celebrity by establishing an on line media personality by using the wonders of Web 2.0 by way of a talkcast.
d. Extend your marketing budget without adding anything to it by using talkcasting to brand yourself, your business, your product or your service.
e. Explore the different ways in which people learn by publishing your show notes or turning your talkcast into a blog. This is a 2 for!

Valuable resources: free talkcast resource free talkcast resource on line promotion of your talkcast Google’s free blog site additional free blog site

P.S. I use Talkshoe because it does everything for you including invite and promote and it is extremely user friendly.
I use Blogger because it is owned by Google, now who do you think they are going to rank first?

This blog post can be reproduced in its entirety with the following information: © Joanne Quinn-Smith, Monday Morning Marketeer 412-628-5048
Listen at: or on the Monday Morning Marketeer Channel.
e-mail: infoatmondaymorningmarketeerdotcom

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Web 2.0, Using LinkedIn to Create Business Credibility

This show was originally offered at 9 AM on Monday, December 8, 2008. The archived show can be heard at: or

There are an estimated 30 million experienced professionals from 150 industries on Linked In, what a board of directors or live networking meeting that would be and you don’t have to get out of your pajamas.

By resourcefully utilizing LinkedIn, you can brainstorm with industry leaders and network and meet people without leaving your home. Your recommendations by trusted business associates, clients and colleagues are posted for all to see. What a rainbow of collaboration, recommendation and collective knowledge.
But to make this on line collage work, there are things that you have to do.

Please if your profile says, 55% complete, you don’t get it. If it says 85% complete you are closed to getting it, why not go the extra mile.

1. Fill out your profile completely. This means a photo, your website links, links to your blog, and all your past jobs or businesses. If you are a serial entrepreneur or hold several volunteer positions or additional jobs, please do list them. Also list your education, recommend other associates, add a summary and ask others for recommendations. Refer to previous post and show on Creating a Dynamic On Line Profile.

2. Connect with people that can help your business
. Real time connections that are in the trenches just like you. This is not in the numbers as per I have 500 connections, it’s about quality and synergy with what you do. Think about it, you can only keep up with so many groups and so many people. You must think, “does this person’s profile have some synergy with what I do? Does she have some contacts that can help me. Do I have some contacts that can help them?”

3. Maximize your online exposure by taking your profile public. Often if you search on a person, their LinkedIn site comes up as the first page on a search engine. So take the big kid pill and make your profile public.

4.. Position yourself as an expert. New clients want to hire people who are experts in their field. My old entertainment savvy tells me that if you have got it you have to flaunt it because no one is going to do it for you. Block off some time each day to answer questions in your field of expertise. This will usually come from the groups you join.

5. LinkedIn "Answers" feature has created a “knowledge base” where you can get advive on all types of topics that can save you time, money and heartache. There are experts here willing to answer your questions to let others know their expertise. You literally have hundreds of experts at your finger tips. LinkedIn Answers has an extensive user base, makes use of LinkedIn's network topology, and has a ’suggest an expert’ feature. Linkedin is a social network for business people and professionals, so due to its positioning many of its users are experts in their specific areas. Most experts have to specialize to get a deep knowledge in a certain area.
6. Find a couple of groups are synergistic to your business. You spend a lot of time networking in person, why not save your gas and dry cleaning bills and do some on line networking. Find some groups where you can hook up with dynamic professionals who are movers and shakers in groups that can stretch your professional acumen, add to your knowledge base or increase your network. You can do this from the comfort of your computer.

7. Pimp out you Linked in page like you would pimp out your blog. Whether you want to share a workspace with your colleagues, upload a series of slides or attract new readers for your WordPress or Blogspot blog, be sure to check out the latest bells and whistles that you can use to facilitate the end result you are looking for.

8. Use Your Second and Third Degree Connections. This is a great way to get connected with those you may be acquainted with but not know well, you can send invites telling of your connections with others to establish your credibility or you can use those contacts to introduce you. It’s often a great non-threatening way to build your network and meet new people that can help your business or vice versa.

9. Your best customers are your best referrals: In person or on LinkedIn, you best referrals will come from satisfied customers. Do go to your address book and select those clients or associates who will give you a good recommendation.

10. Treat your LinkedIn Profile like an on line media room, celebrate your success, celebrate new developments and your niche expertise. Whether you are a rooster or a hen you can still crow about yourself. Be sure to fill out “specialties” and “Summary” on your LinkedIn Profile.

This blog post can be reproduced in its entirety with the following information: © Joanne Quinn-Smith, Monday Morning Marketeer 412-628-5048
Listen at: or on the Monday Morning Marketeer Channel.
e-mail: infoatmondaymorningmarketeerdotcom

Monday, December 1, 2008

Monday Morning Marketeer, Web 2.0 Series, Creating an On Line Profile

The audio show of this article was taped on Monday, December 1, 2008 and can be heard in archived version at: or on Monday Morning Marketeer radio channel at

How many times have you felt horrible because you screwed up a first impression? Well it’s even worse on line because that impression stays t there until you update it and who knows how many people see it. Unlike live networking dozens of people may see your social networking profile in a minute. Your social networking profile page is often the first big impression you make on your contacts
When posting on any social networking site, be sure you post profiles that make people want to know more about you and your business. Here are some tips for you to create a winning ad dynamic profile page that makes your friends and followers take notice and want to do business with you! . Here are some things that you want to keep in mind when using Web 2.0 to Market your business and you create your social networking profile.

Create a Dynamic, Magnetic Profile- This is THE first step in utilizing Facebook, Twitter, Ning, Linked In, or My Space efficiently for business. If you think of Social Networking sites as your on line marketing campaign, your profile page can be considered your “brand.” A strong profile should include: a professional picture, a picture is worth a thousand words. Also include your contact information, your website address, hello someone may want to contact you live instead of just writing on your wall, so you also want to include your phone number and your e-mail address. If you are concerned about spammers collecting your e-mail address, then do what the professionals do, spell out at and dot in your e-mail address.

Here are some ways to create that Dynamic, Magnetic Profile:

1. Flaunt Your Expertise, this is no place to be shy!

A dynamic profile explodes onto the page with your expertise and clearly states why you are an expert, what you expertise is, who your synergistic partners and clients are and flaunts the great results of your work. Please don’t start your profile with family stuff, like single, unwed mother or confirmed bachelor, which has nothing to do with your business and distracts from your purpose which is to market your business successfully on line. Always lead with your expert status so people don’t have to dig into all the copy to find out what type of business you’re in.

2. Make Sure Everyone Knows You are a Human.
Once on some kind of social networking site where I was leaving a comment, the little box used for security reasons and anti-spamming that asks you to type on words or letters and number combinations said, “We want to make sure you are a human.” After you lead with your professional expertise, you want to round it out with some interesting personal information. Include what you feel most comfortable with, such as hobbies, marital status, family info, or fun quirky things you think others might find interesting.

3. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Another part of making sure that prospective clients know that you are human is having a great picture of yourself. Remember in some cases you will never meet the person you are doing business on line with and this is how they create their impression of who you are. Just like in person, I think a great smile is always inviting. Your social networking profile always includes space for a photo of you. Choose a photo that shows your face clearly, not a distant photo of you in a big crowd. Experts say that a picture of you looking directly at the camera will create connection faster with your viewer than pictures of you looking away from the camera. Be honest with your profile picture, too… that means to use a fairly recent photo, not the old standby you’ve been using since 1995.

4. Make it Easy for People to Find You and Connect with Your Expertise.

Be sure to leave links to your website, blog, and other social networking sites so people can move into your inner circle. Be sure all your links are “live” by using http:// in each web address. (Many people just use “www” and miss the traffic that can be visiting their site.)

5. Give yourself the First impression Test:

It is said that in person you have 15 seconds to make a great first impression, in this microwave generation, do you think you have any more time than that. Come on this is the internet, the queen of quickness. You have no more than 10 seconds to make an impression on visitors who come to your social networking profile pages. Some experts say you have less than that. So make sure you define who you are immediately and make it easy to figure out what you do. Also one of my pet peeves is the formats that put all of your information into one run on paragraph, so check the formatting and make sure that doesn’t happen and check it often as formatting may change when social networking sites are updated.
When you have A strong profile page that does these things, you have a better chance of finding the right business connections:

· Establish your expertise
· Establish your credibility
· Define your services and products
· Let prospective contacts know what challenges you can solve and how you can help them.

The idea is to stand out and generate visibility and credibility, so take some time and dress your profile like you would dress yourself for a first date or a first business meeting, otherwise you may not get the second date or the second meeting.

This blog post can be reproduced in its entirety with the following information: © Joanne Quinn-Smith, Monday Morning Marketeer 412-628-5048
Listen at: or on the Monday Morning Marketeer Channel.
e-mail: infoatmondaymorningmarketeerdotcom

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Monday Morning Marketeer, Web 2.0 Marketing Using Facebook to Promote Your Business

This Monday Morning Marketeer was originally taped on 11-24-08 and can be heard by clicking on the title link or at on Monday Morning Marketteer's unique channel.

Social Media sites like Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter have long been thought of by businesses as places for teenagers and geeks. That may have been true two or three years ago but now these sites have become places for adults
Online social networks have come along way since their roots as sites for chit-chat, exchanging music, and the like. They are now ushering in sweeping changes in how businesses promote their products and services, and in how business people communicate with each other.
It would be difficult not to notice the staggering growth of Facebook Facebook now has millions of members across the globe and the news is continually rife with acquisition rumors and investment by other large companies.

How FaceBook Works

FaceBook allows its users to connect with each other and share information by posting online profiles, including personal information and photographs, and then connecting to other users who share common experiences and interests.
According to Wikipedia, Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook while he was a student at Harvard University.[4] Website membership was initially limited to Harvard students, but was expanded to other colleges in the Ivy League. It later expanded further to include any university student, then high school students, and, finally, to anyone aged 13 and over. The website currently has more than 120 million active users worldwide.[5]

Connect with synergistic businesses on Facebook

Chances are that your colleagues and business contacts are on Facebook already. Invite them to become your friends.
The Wall, is a great place to post new services and services or opportunities that you are looking for.

Create a profile for your company

To create a foothold on Facebook, create a profile for your company.
1. Create an Excellent Profile- This is THE first step in utilizing Facebook efficiently. If you think of Facebook in terms of a marketing campaign, your profile page can be considered your “brand.” A strong profile should include: a professional picture, a picture is worth a thousand words. Also include your contact information, your website address, hello someone may want to contact you live instead of just writing on your wall. List your interests, I would list business interests and only add a few personal as that makes you appear to be more human and may be a starting point to building relationships.
• Invite your business colleagues, and customers to become your friends, creating a facebook network around your business.
• Make postings which will appear in your facebook friends newsfeeds. These can be about special offers and company news such as job postings.
• List your items in the facebook marketplace (see below)
2. Make you profile "Public". This allows users to view your profile without having your permission to be added to their "friends". Don't worry, however, your e-mail is still kept safe unless you choose to make your e-mail public as well.

3. Create an individual landing page for each social site. Instead of a visitor click on the link in your profile and being redirected to your company's homepage, redirect them to a welcome page for Facebook users. This is a GREAT way for capturing leads and giving your company a professional "edge" in the social realm.
4. Add Friends- This is what makes Facebook really special-the relationships it allows you to build and sustain. The more friends you have, the more affective your marketing and networking efforts will be. The most simple way to add friends is to use Facebook’s own tools to search for current friends already using the platform. You upload your e-mail addresses and look for current contacts who are already on Face Book. Once you have added all current friends, you can start adding acquaintances. One unique feature of Facebook is that is allows you to look at friends of friends. You can build up a huge network this way in no time.
Promote your Blog
Syndicate your Blog- You can syndicate your blog on your profile page. This basically means that every time you make a post, it will automatically show up on your profile page. More Exposure = More Readers = More Potential Leads.

Promote your newsletter or blog – FaceBook allows you to share information that is on your blog by either posting a note or by importing your external blog. You also have the option of integrating an RSS feed into your blog with special notes. When the blog is posted, the note is displayed in your profile and all your friends are notified about it. Other members can also add comments.

List your items in the marketplace
Do you sell something?
Facebook has a marketplace where items can be listed for sale. This is free and could be used promote items for sale on your website or eBay.
Use the Marketplace- Facebook has an online marketplace that allows you to list your services and products for free. This is a great way to gain exposure. You can also list certain things you are looking for.

Join Groups- You can join online groups within Facebook that are related to what you do. There are groups for consultants, coaches, and trainers…almost all professional service providers have some type of an online group. For instance these are the groups that interested me: New Media and Marketing, On Line Marketing, Marketing Professionals, Whose Who in Media. Get the picture, find some groups and make some new friends.

Promote your events – List your Events- Hosting a Teleseminar or speaking somewhere? Create an events page and invite all those you want. You can even see how many RSVP and get feedback from attendees. Marketing doesn’t get easier (or cheaper!) than this.
Create the event and then invite all your contacts to join. In addition to inviting groups, you also have the option of posting the event details in your profile so interested people can RSVP. To increase exposure keep your events open to anyone. What type of events can you create? Webinars and chats are popular for interaction. If you have a blog, as people to make comments. If you have a regular talkcast, invite all of your contacts to join.

Additional ways that you can use Facebook once you have established your contacts:
Use it as as an instant "mailer" to make sure that all of your customers are aware of special deals, update, new hires etc.
• You can also use FaceBook site as a big conference that you are the host and keynote speaker, schedule your webinars and on line events there, what a great way to get additional participants.
• Use Facebook as a daily networking event where customers & potential customers get to know you & therefore know your business.
• The key to social networking in business is that you have to be true to yourself & your practices. Decide as you do in all facets of business, what are your values and goals and pursue the same values and goals on line and off.

This blog post can be reproduced in its entirety with the following information: © Joanne Quinn-Smith, Monday Morning Marketeer 412-628-5048
Listen at: or on the Monday Morning Marketeer Channel.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Survival Tips for Entrepreneurs

Survival Tips for Entrepreneurs:
This Show was recorded live at on October 27, 2008. Arcived version can be hear at: or

If you think you are being affected by the current economic downturn and you are concerned about your business survival you are not alone. Please don’t blame the current administration government as in case you have not noticed, this is worldwide.
If you're affected, experts say there are a variety of ways to cope with the situation:

* Stay on top of sending your invoices on time to ensure your revenue returns are timely.
* Make sure your accounts all are federally insured.
* Prioritize your payments – not just for this month, but for several months out. Negotiate as many as you can.
* Ask new clients for some upfront payments – a third now, a third at a determined date, and a third upon completion.
* Step up networking as a key and inexpensive way to boost marketing, which is key in a tightening economy.
* Maximize all of the time allowed on your payables.
* Offer discounts – but be sure you know the ultimate cost, and don't appear desperate.

Following is an article from Small

Five Survival Tips for Entrepreneurs
What do you do when sales are down and your credit's been slashed? You rethink your business. Because of the ongoing credit crisis, banks are becoming even more reluctant to extend lines of credit to small-business owners. And the sluggish conditions aren't expected to improve any time soon. That means business owners who rely on banks to finance everything from inventory and office equipment purchases to new store expansions are left scrambling for ways to stay afloat without a lifeline.
"Now's the time to make tough decisions," says George Cloutier, chief executive at American Management Services, a small-business consulting firm in Orlando, Fla.
Cutting costs can help free up much needed cash flow during a crunch, but when the economy is expected to stay down indefinitely, more dramatic measures may be in order, he says.
Here are five tactics to help keep your dwindling business capital flowing:
Slash Expenses
Streamlining your business can help you stay in the black even when customers make fewer purchases. Be sure to call in overdue accounts receivables, sell off unsold inventory and analyze expenses such as office space, supplies and even your company's phone bills.
"Cut your costs viciously," says Cloutier. For instance, if you're long-time delivery vendor isn't fulfilling orders on time and it's costing you money, cut them loose. The same is true for employees who aren't pulling their weight. You might even need to do away with some benefits. While having to let go of a trusted staff member or business partner is never ideal, when the economy sinks, business owners need to make tough calls.
Eliminate Unprofitable Operations
Consider spinning off unprofitable business segments, suggests Victor Cheng, a small-business consultant in San Francisco. "Focusing on your core business"—especially if your other divisions are losing money—will serve you in a downturn, he says. To help you figure out what's working and what's not; schedule an appraisal of your business's operations.
Seek Alternative Funding
Some business owners take on a second job. Others use consulting to pad their wallets. One thing is for certain: If you're relying on a credit line to float your business until, say, after the holidays, now's the time to create a backup plan. "Don't assume that line of credit will be there," says Cheng. "If you are in that kind of situation, you either have to have a back up financing source or back up revenue source."
Embrace Incentives
As the nation's unemployment rate ticks up, business owners should think about restructuring their company's compensation, says Dave Waddell, president of Waddell & Associates, an investment firm in Memphis, Tenn. He suggests linking more employee pay to variable incentives such as commissions, which are payments linked to specific sales targets. For instance, if 20% of an employee's compensation stems from commissions, make it 50%. While commissions generally work well for sales staff, linking bonuses and other financial incentives to a company's performance is another compensation technique, which generally goes for everyone. "If employees hit goals for the firm, the firm is going to do well even in tough times," says Waddell.
Cut Production Costs
"The only way to make it through a recession is to be a low-cost producer," says Bob Prosen, a small business management consultant in Dallas. Think about it this way: Inefficient competitors can survive for a time at their current cost structures, but in the end, they'll have to either raise prices or go out of business. In contrast, a low-cost producer may try lowering prices to attract added sales, says Prosen. "You're better off taking a little less profit to keep the business going."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tehcno Granny Show, Jobs on Line,

5 Points about iJobs

Here’s a quick primer about iJobs—what we do and how we do it.
• iJobs makes money posting and promoting career and employment opportunities for businesses
• Never charges fees to jobshoppers for our services
• We help jobshoppers find, capture and keep their dream jobs
• Helps businesses and individuals hiring and recruiting become more successful jobpeddlers
• All this while focusing on “Where it hurts”

iJobs takes job postings to jobshoppers—and jobshoppers to job postings with 1-2-3 distribution:

1. On our websites and over the internet
2. Direct to jobshoppers with alerts & updates
3. To local communities across the US through our networks and at special events
4. iJobs markets jobs to jobshoppers in all 50 US states

iJobs helps jobshoppers obtain dream job success:

iJobs helps jobpeddlers find greater success in making better matches with their jobs and jobshoppers:

• Q&A sessions with jobshoppers—asking them about their dream jobs and jobshopping
• Q&A sessions with jobpeddlers—asking them about their staff recruitment and retention
• Sharing resources, news and information with both Q&A groups about options and opportunities for bringing jobshoppers and jobpeddlers together

We always focus on “Where it hurts” when helping jobshoppers and jobpeddlers create matches.

iJobs, Inc.
1735 Market Street
Suite A#463
Philadelphia, PA 19103-7588

Go jobshopping or post jobs at Jobs By iJobs -

Listen to this espisode from November 10, 2008 at: on The Techno GRanny Show or at on the Techno Granny Show channel.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Tough Times Technology info at 3rd Annual Pa Technology Conference

Low-Cost Tactics for Attracting New Business In A Tough Economy
November 13, 2008 at Duquesne Univesity Power Hall, sponsored by Duquesne Small Business Development Center

Why eMarketing Makes

More Sense Than Ever
With a global economic crisis that has led to tighter lending and spending practices, businesses need to work smarter and more strategically to attract new business and maintain market share. With its affordability and high rates of returns, eMarketing has major appeal, thanks to evolution of Internet technologies and practices.

E-mail Marketing
In the eMarketing arsenal, e-mail reigns supreme for its affordability and impact, making it one of the most powerful business-building tools available today. But to make the most of these opportunities, practitioners need to understand how recipient preferences, best practices and tracking have changed. Current research suggests that shorter subject lines (less than 50 characters) outperform longer ones, e-mail software provides better deliverability and mid-week e-mails have higher open rates. Do some online research of your own on sites like to learn how you can make your next e-mail campaign more effective.

Social Networks
Your prospects and customers are hanging out online somewhere—do you know where they are? Do some online sleuthing to locate user groups that have an interest in issues and topics that pertain to your business and then find a way to engage them. Check out MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and business-oriented networking sites like LinkedIn and Biznik to see what tools are available and how other businesses are capitalizing on influential social networks to advance their businesses. Digital-savvy entrepreneurs and managers are finding that things like tips, videos, product announcements, surveys and special offers are effective at driving traffic to their websites and forging valuable connections with ideal prospects.

Weblogs, one of the most powerful and influential e-media tools today, provides millions access to your published content, ideas and expertise. While they appeal to your loyal readers and customers, their value is immeasurable when it comes to search engines and driving quality traffic to your site. Check out or for tools to get you started and tips for becoming a great blogger. Be sure to register your blog with top blog search engines for maximum impact and visibility.

Give your blog a voice with your very own program through a Podcast. The opportunities to connect with prospects and customers through downloadable audio and video files is almost limitless with the proliferation of MP3 players, computers and mobile devices. No longer reserved for entertainment, Podcasts represent the next generation of communications and marketing tools for progressive business owners and managers. Ideas for downloadable files that can help you grow your business include new product announcements, frequently asked questions, latest industry news, tips and strategies for using products and services, testimonials and special offers. Be sure to familiarize yourself with RSS feeds, podcatchers and blogs and check out or Pittsburgh’s own TalkShoe for tools and hosting options.
Website Optimization

If you build it, they will come might work for fictional baseball fields, but it doesn’t work for websites. Smart web designers and copywriters know that creating a site built with search engine savvy is critical to attracting quality traffic. Research shows that 68 percent of online users do not venture past page one of search listings, so what are the strategies to get your site onto this valuable piece of electronic real estate? First, identify keywords that are best for your business and use them strategically throughout your site. You can use Google AdWords or to help you identify key words that will help your search engine rankings. Other search-friendly practices include building inbound and outbound links, keyword density, sitemaps and meta tags.

For tips on using eMarketing and other business technologies to grow your business and lower operational costs, attend the 3rd annual Pennsylvania Business Technology Conference on November 13, 2008, in Pittsburgh, designed to help businesses and managers utilize innovations and digital practices for productivity, performance and profitability.
The event features 12 expert-led workshops, demonstrations, a Technology Showcase, and a keynote address by Nina Kaufman on Online Sales: How to Create Hot Sales In a Lukewarm Market.

For details, visit

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Morning Marketteer, Don't Be a Slave to E-mail

You can listen to the live version of this blog by clicking the title link or at:, original show: October 20, 2008

Chains of E-Mail: Slave No More

Do you ever feel like a slave to your e-mail, well with four blogs of my own, two social networking sites that I manage, two that I participate in, five Talkcasts, an on line community magazine, a business, mentoring and two board positions, sometimes I will be honest with you. I do! Also that does not count the 900 e-mails in my family in box that are always there and the newsletters that I subscribe to and Google alerts that keep me on the cutting edge which I try to keep in a separate account for when I need inspiration. Oh my……help!
With 5 Talkcasts and 5 blogs, 2 social media sites that I run, 3 that I contribute to, an on line multi media community magazine, two non-profit boards and a marketing company you can imagine that I get a lot of e-mail.
And that does not count all the funny jokes, and stories, and political pundits that I am missing out on from my family and friends. Yes I was guilty of sending them too and forwarding them and now that luxury is rare. There was a time when I overwhelmed my “positive friends list” with inspirational items, few jokes but many inspirational items. Alas those days are gone.
My mother used to say when I complained about housework, that it never got done. Well e-mail never gets done either.

Anyone feeling my pain?
As busy people take on more clients and customers, it does not get easier and the volume does not slow. ,
Solutions from well intentioned friends: A Blackberry! Right so I can spend my down-time to check my e-mail. Hello! I already use drive time and traffic time to return phone calls, sorry if you are reading this in a state where it’s illegal.
This is a part of my life that is seriously out of control and gives me no end of stress, worried that something that I really must attend to is in my in-box.
Some suggestions that I have adopted:
Instead of leaving things in my inbox until I get to it, I have adopted the same rule as I do for papers. Touch it, in this case read it once. Either I get it done or move it to my task list in my Act program. You can put it where you like, I personally like Act.

Now just in case I need to refer back for information from my task list I put this in a folder appropriately marked. For example: NAWBO, PTA, a file for each of my clients, one for each of my internet radio shows, etc This way I know the e-mails in my in box are either new mail or things I am working on right now. If the email coming in creates a task that I can do in less than 5 minutes I just do it and get it done, if not then I plan when I can do the task, ergo, the to do list and assign a time.
What does controlling your e-mail have to do with marketing?
1. Never use "A" time (selling time) to read your e-mail. I tell clients and associates if it is urgent call me, otherwise I will answer your request within 24 hours, 48 if I am slammed with all day appointments.
2. If your mind is clear of all of that e-mail that you “just have to answer,” you will be able to concentrate on the task at hand.
3. Can’t live without your newsletters from friends and associates? Try setting up a separate e-mail account for things that are less pressing like your inspirational ideas or great marketing e-mails.
4. If it’s an event you are worried about missing, put it on your calendar and then file the e-mail under events so that you will have it in case you missed a detail before it comes up.
5. Liberate your mind by organizing your e-mails into folders that you can refer to later, you will be amazed at how much marketing and selling you will be able to get done when you unclutter your inbox.
6. Unread e-mail is a stressor; take a week-end, clear it out. If you are not caught up on Joel Olsteen’s messages or Today’s Inspiration, just take a week-end and clear it out. Joel or the Inspirer will probably send a similar message; even they only have so much inspiration to go around.
7. Feeling guilty about deleting Uncle Jerry’s or Cousin Lacretia’s jokes, put them in a folder for when you have some time and you need a laugh.

This blog post can be reproduced in its entirety with the following information: © Joanne Quinn-Smith, Monday Morning Marketeer 412-628-5048
Listen at: or on the Monday Morning Marketeer Channel.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Monday Morning Marketeer Hosting Social Media Entrepreneur Panel, Entrepreneurial Thursday

Firewater's Grill, 412.323.4688

Musical Networking Happy Hour
5:30 PM - 8 PM
Firewater's Grill,
120 Federal Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Across from PNC Park

Hosted by Jazz/R&B Vocalist - Jessica Lee

Cover Charge: Only $10.00!
Hors d'oeuvres included


Live Music by City's Great Jazz/R&B Artists!
Interviews @ Musical Break with City's Leading Entrepreneurs/Innovators!
Great Business & Professional Networking!
November 6, 2008
"Social media Entrepreneurs"

Featuring Interviews with:
Joanne Quinn-Smith, CEO - Dreamweaver Marketing Associates & Publisher - Positively Pittsburgh Live Magazine (
Bill Weil, LovePong International, LLC
Jill Kummer, President - Blacktie-Pittsburgh
Donna Baxter, Founder & Web Mistress - The Soul Pitt (
Dave Nelson, Founder and CEO - TalkShoe (
"Entrepreneurial Thursdays" Partners
Gold Sponsors
Pittsburgh Gateways
ABG Capital

Marketing PartnersMarketing Partners

Chrysler Corp. (SBDC) Duquesne University
Eagle Ventures Inc.
George Mendel Photography
HDJ Assoc., Inc.
Help Startups
Human Connections
Latin American Cultural Union
MAKK Strategies
MIT Enterprise Forum
National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)
Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Pittsburgh Technology Council
Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project (PUMP)
Pittsburgh Young Professionals
Positively Pittsburgh Live
Sales Star Enterprise
Seton Hill University's E-Magnify®
Sigma Pi Consulting
Technical Products & Supply
TiePGH-Pittsburgh Chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs
Women's Independent Press

Monday, October 13, 2008

Imitate Your Competitiors with a Niche Twist

Let’s talk about how you can explode your business with new profit that won’t cost you anything because you are going to copycat what your successful competitors are doing. Only you will have a niche with a twist. As I said in the description for this version of Monday Morning Marketeer, plagiarism is illegal, however, imitation is the best form of flatter.
You could add a whole list of truism here: If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, why re-invent the wheel and if she can do it, I can do it.

A rather well known author once said that there is nothing new to write about under the sun, just a different way to write about it.
I have been in various businesses since 1976 and some of them extremely successful. Mostly I attribute this ability to continually re-invent myself in various businesses to my ability to think outside the box, do things that others won’t do so that I can have what others don’t have, extend myself always to others because what I teach I manage to perfect but also my ability to be somewhat of a chameleon. I have always managed to assimilate things that others are doing but yet make them my own. Some call this unabashed copycatting but I call it a niche twist.

And where do I get these niche twist ideas to start with? I am constantly observing the habits of other successful business owners. They are not always competitors but they always have some synergy to what my business is. I subscribe to countless newsletters and I at least try to scan all of them, even the long sales letter, infomercial type stuff. As a matter of fact, that’s probably where I got the idea for the information I am sharing with you right now.

As a marketeer I subscribe to advertising, marketing, information technology, sales and self-enhancement news letters always with the goal of every day getting better and better in every way. These are just a few, often I subscribe to financial letters and public opinion newsletters, internet marketing, blogger news, just to name a few.

This is how I discover who is successful, how they are doing it, what trends are out there and I am also able to establish my own perfect customer persona. This is also how I find new applications and figure out a way to niche twist what others are doing to suit my circumstances. As I have said before plagiarism is illegal but an adaptation of new technologies or applications or updating old ones to create a new spin on a new or old idea is perfectly acceptable.

With my technology show I am constantly looking for new technology that I can use to market my products and services. When social proof video hit the marketplace and podcasts became the rage for techies and kids, I found a way to utilize that technology. I now have five Talkcasts thanks to a friend who decided to do an organization show on Talkshoe. She no longer does it, but I am approaching 5,000 downloadable listeners that I can track.
Could I have done an organization show, heck no? But I could talk about Positive things in Pittsburgh and get guests to talk about them.
Most of my news for Positively Pittsburgh Live Talk Cast is culled from e-mails sent to me by lists that I subscribe to.

I find my technology guests pretty much in the same way from the networking and social networking groups that I frequent.

I also get Google alerts on things I am interested in and many times pick up good ideas there.
When clients ask me to look at their web design often my research for them teaches me things that I can niche twist for them or me. I am always on the look out for new graphic ideas, fonts, lay outs and what is the first thing that I see on a successful website. How can I adapt this for myself or my clients?
Also what are they doing badly that I could improve upon?
Is there something that stands out and attracts then I figure out a way to incorporate that into one of my projects, again by adaptation not copycatting or exact imitation, do you thing others are not copying you? Come out from under your rock.

A few years ago I heard the owner of Red Hot Copy talk about a swipe file of really appealing copy or advertisement. I do the same thing. I tear out pages in magazines and create files on great items that I find on the internet, so when I run out of ideas I can go to my magazine or my internet swipe files. All successful marketers do that.

I also have a box of neat things that I get in goodie bags at conferences so when I am looking for an ad specialty for a client or myself I am not constantly trying to come up with something unique, I just niche twist what I have already found.

I also watch other people’s offers to get ideas of what they are discounting, extra services that they are providing, what they are giving away for free. I learned long ago as a child to observe people. I was very shy and so I would sit and watch and make up stories in my mind of who they were and what they did. Sometimes if you will be like a child exploring things with that absolute sense of wonder you will find some great things to copycat or imitate. Observing others success is a great way to increase your bottom line without spending money, and then niche twist it. Find out how you can use similar tactics without exact copycatting and niche twist it for your particular business.

Your calls to action today:
1. Do not assume that a less successful business has nothing to teach you, they may be really good at one thing that you are not. Find it, modify it, and turn it into success for yourself.
2. Dale Carnegie said, "How do you learn how to be a millionaire — ask a millionaire!" Find out what successful businesses are doing and how they are doing it and niche twist it for your own success.
3. Don’t discard those long sales letters, scan them for one good idea you can use.
4. Remember there is nothing new under the sun, except that you find a new application, a new niche, a new turn of technology, that’s where great ideas come from and ideas are usually free.
5. Expect that if you have a great idea someone will copy it. So why aren’t you doing the same but making it uniquely your own?

This blog post can be reproduced in its entirety with the following information: © Joanne Quinn-Smith, Monday Morning Marketeer 412-628-5048
Listen at: or on the Monday Morning Marketeer Channel.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Networking and Leadership Info: We-Do Conference, Pittsburgh

Want to continue to market your business in tough times. Ladies get out and network at this one.

WE-DO Leadership Conference
Womens Economic Development Outreach
Creating Connections, Building Business

Local Leadership Invitation for
Business Women in Allegheny and
Beaver Counties

Business Women! You Don't Want To Miss The 2008 WE-DO Conference being held this year at Robert Morris University's Moon Campus on Tuesday, October 21st! Along with a Fantastic National Program, We'll have These Inspiring Local Leaders:

The 2008 Local Pittsburgh WEDO Tour is pleased to present this years conference:


Impact through Innovation:

Your Competitive Advantage

The only event of its kind for women executives and entrepreuners the WEDO Tour is a resource rich program that will energize your business. ; It's packed with invaluable business advice from nationally acclaimed business women and our own local experts in business leadership. Shaped by Women's Business Advocates, women executives and entrepreneurs, along with organizations representing women business owners the WEDO Tour is your most relevant resource.

Attend this years workshop and gain key insights that will help you:

Introduce an innovation framework that sets realistic goals, leverages cumulative gains and carefully accommodates experimentation.
Create an innovation toolbox that accelerates new product and service developments in an ever-changing business environment.
Snych up company culture and customer demands with a holistic approach to nurturing employee's creativity, responding to new opportunities, and channeling the voice of the customer.

Surround Yourself with Pittsburgh's Smart and Savvy Women Leaders as they connect with Business Women across the Nation by Video Conference.

Enjoy the local panel of Pittsburgh Area Leaders who will help you gain your competitive advantage with Leadership and Innovation!

National City WEDO Tour 2008 for Allegheny & Beaver Counties:
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Robert Morris University
Sewall Center Executive Conference Center, Moon Township, PA 15108

Agenda: 9:00am to 3:00pm

Keynote Presenter:

Maria Berdusco
Author, Leadership Consultant & Executive Coach

Kathy Buechel
President, Alcoa Foundation

Oditza Carrasco
President, American Bank FSB

Kristie Guthrie
Professional Counselor Hope Counseling Services

Deanna Tucci-Schmitt
Owner BNI Western PA

2008 WEDO Allegheny & Beaver Counties Local Committee:

Beth Caldwell
Pttsburgh Professional Women

Ann Callen
National City

Jenn Carr
Credit Justice Services

Lindsay Cost
National City

Christian DeSarbo
National City

Barbara Fisher U.S. Small Business Administration

Suzanne Froehlich Froehlich & Associates Insurance

Sarelle Gross
National City
Donna Herrle Drawing Conclusions
Daniel Hooper
National City
&nbs p;
Kristi Hosko

Tamara Howard
National City

Betty Karleski Home Instead Senior Care

Michele Mook
National City

Janette Schafer
National City

Jill Yahnite
Zoltun Design

10:00 Satellite Video Conference

11:30 Lunch & Leadership Presentation, Maria Berdusco

Author: How To Think Like A Leader
12:30 Breakout Sessions: Small Group Round Table Discussions with Local Leaders

3:00 Door Prize Drawings And Adjourn

Register at:

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Monday Morning Marketeer, Look Larger with 800 Account

Ever wish you had an administrative assistant?
Tired of forwarding calls for your organization?
Want to appear as though your business is larger?
Would you like to have virtual office with your strategic partners on board with same line?
What about non-profits who don’t want to take calls at home?

No Better Business Logos, not endorsing these products, just an investigation, up to you to check them out.
But one does have very prominent customer service number and the other you can search and find at the bottom of the page.
Sales auto response message and fax on demand.
Up and running one day.

Good for small businesses, sales professionals.

All Business Communications
Listen to message and at 6:52 AM, could leave message for return call—using own system.

Not Free All Business Communications/
From the All Biz website
Today, there are many ways to keep in touch. Managing the growing flood of information is increasingly difficult. Yet, cost-effective and reliable communication is VITAL to your business.
Now, for as little as $9.95 a month, you can have a personal, automated assistant that will work with your existing telephones, pagers, cell phones and fax machines for an amazing productivity boost. Each service includes your own nationwide toll-free number for as low as 4.5 cents a minute.
• Personal nationwide toll-free number
• Multiple voice mailboxes
• Follow-me-live-call-transfer
• Voice-on-demand
• Fax-on-demand/Fax-Mail
• E-mail message delivery
For More Information Call: 1-888-932-4299

Virtual PBX—Ring

You’ll have all the power and functionality of a Fortune 500 phone system but with no hardware to buy and maintain. You’ll connect remote teams and employees as if they were in the same room, and allow them all access to your telephone and fax features, no matter where they are. RingCentral’s easy-to-use online tools make configuring and managing your system a snap.

Even if your company has only one employee, you can also take advantage of multiple extensions. You can create virtual departments, make announcements and route calls from any extension to any number—your home, office, cell, etc.

Your callers will be presented state of the art messaging and options at each step they make through your system. Each system user will have unmatched functionality and flexibility to aid him/her in the efficient performance of his/her unique job responsibilities.

Answering the call
The auto-attendant will answer the caller with a professional recording (default or record your own). Callers could hear options such as “Press 1 for service, press 2 for sales consultants, press 3 for account information…” or “Press 1 for Bill Jones, press 2 for Elizabeth Harley…” or “If you know the number of the party…”

Incoming faxes
Incoming faxes are automatically detected and accepted. There is never a busy signal. Faxes are delivered to your email inbox or online account, per your setup preference.

When the caller enters an extension number, the call will go to those telephone numbers you select for that extension: your or your employee’s home, cell or office phones; a sequence of telephone numbers; or several telephone numbers at once. These phones can be anywhere, yet they will all appear as if they are all in offices in the same building. You can even set up extensions to deliver company announcements or Fax on Demand.

Extension owner abilities
The extension owner will be able to identify callers through call screening technology and answer, or the caller will be routed to other numbers or a message mailbox. Each extension owner can personalize his/her extension with messaging and answering options for their unique work and schedule. Extension owners will have the ability to listen to messages in their own way: from computer, email or from any telephone.

Different options for different times and days
You'll be able to create different options for regular business hours, after-hours, holidays and vacations, for both the incoming main line and for each extension independently.

Tracking the calls and faxes
A record of all incoming and outgoing calls and messages will kept in your call log.

RingCentral Online
Your RingCentral Virtual PBX is only one of many features included with your Small Business Communications System. You can begin by using only your Virtual PBX and start using additional features as your business needs require. The richness of RingCentral’s business communication features gives you the competitive edge you need to grow your

As low as 4.99 a month!

At 6:55 AM Live Person, asked about free trials.
7 day or 30 day free trial
Get local or toll free number
Fax on demand

Said registered with Better Business Bureau, but when asked about logo we were disconnected.

Create the appearance of a larger organization

With extensions, multiple greetings, a dial-by-name directory, customizable music-on-hold, answering rules, flexible call forwarding options and total control over managing incoming calls, your RingCentral service outperforms most Fortune 500 PBX systems.

With RingCentral, you can:
Set up departments
Customize your music-on-hold and broadcast marketing messages
Create a company dial-by-name directory
Set up fax and voice mailboxes for employees
Broadcast special announcements, such as directions

Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday Morning Marketeer: Marketing to Good Accounts that You Can Collect From

Credit Policies

I know you are wondering what in the world, credit policies have to do with marketing. Well, just like the fact that pricing is the lost component of marketing, your credit policies are the lost component of customer service. If you cannot collect from your client, then you cannot serve them, unless you seriously like working for free. What good is all the marketing in the world if you do not collect from that wonderful client that you extended credit to. Following some of these techniques that have been used and established by many collection gurus will help you to keep that relationship open by getting paid.

Credit Application:

Know Who You are Doing Your Business
When was the last time someone gave you a credit card without filling out a credit application and getting references. It’s good to not just know a company’s credit score but how well are they paying other people who do business with them.

Defined Credit Policy:

If you don’t know what your credit policy is, no one else will, so decide what you want to happen and write it down so that it will happen, it’s a self fulfilling prophecy, if you expect to get paid and let you clients know that in the beginning, then you most likely will get paid.
This is a policy I recently designed for one of my clients in a Strategic Marketing Plan.

Net 30 days for all accounts
1.5% if ten days overdue
2% after 30 days
Discounted by 2% if paid by 15th

Invoice Schedule:

You can’t expect clients to just send you money; their accountants may not like that. Most of them want an invoice, here are some guidelines:

Invoice all accounts on the 30th,
Out by the 5th
Reminder on 10th of early payment discount
Discounted at 2% for early payment by the 15th
Net 30 days

Address Service Requested

Use Address Service Requested printed or stamped on every billing envelope just below business return address in top left corner. If Customer has moved, the Post Office will research change of address and send you business Form #3547 and correct the address for a small fee.

Contact Overdue Accounts Frequently

Call with gentle reminder if not paid by the 5th of month following when payment was due.
If not paid by 15th, call gain.

Use Aging Sheet

Develop 30/60/90 accounts receivable sheet, move quickly to keep accounts up to date. This will let you accounts know that “floating” the payment due you is unacceptable.

Train Your Staff in Your Credit and Collection Policies

Train your staff to not only keep accounts current with friendly phone calls but to also maintain good will.

Follow the Collection Laws in the State You do Business in.

Things like calling at odd hours and disclosing that bill is late to neighbors or other businesses are not only bad etiquette but against the law.

Find a Third Party Collection Agency Before You Need It!

The hope is that you never need a third party collection agency, but find one before you need one and one that charges a flat fee on collection services. Having someone in place ahead of time can mean saving the company filing charges and attorneys fees and extending the process of getting paid.

Determine according to tax law and advantages at which point you will write off an account as uncollectible according to its aging, don’t beat yourself up if you have an account you can’t collect. No one that I know in business has managed to collect on every account owed to them. If you have, wonderful, consider yourself blessed and highly privileged.

This blog post can be reproduced in its entirety with the following information: © Joanne Quinn-Smith, Monday Morning Marketeer 412-628-5048
Listen at:

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday Morning Marketeer, Want a high traffic business blog? Then give them something to traffic for!

Intelligent conversation is a great way to get prospective customers to take a look at what you do. A good business blog can help here!

The first things first, a blog is a publishing platform for a lot of things, that well dreamed out first book, a talkcast or blog, a product, an idea but it will only thrive when it is frequently updated with fresh interesting content, in the vernacular, good stuff! Marie Antoinette flippantly said of the hungry masses, “Let them eat cake,” however if you want a high traffic business blog, you had better give them meat and potatoes.

Business blogs are a form of conversation marketing. What is conversation marketing? This is what Wikipedia;s unsourced article says> “Conversational Marketing is the engagement of social media by a corporation to promote their product or brand. It differs from traditional forms of "customer touch" because the company may enter into an online dialogue which is stored publicly in a forum or blog”

Conversational marketing may be a new buzzword in internet marketing but it’s been around for a long time. Providing informational and how to brochures to augement your marketing has been around a long time with things lik, “How to keep your new automible in great running order.” How to get the best performance out of your air conditioner. Simply talking about how great your company or product is won't do it, though.

Here are some suggestions for a great business blog- Product and service details
- How-to videos
- Product tips and tricks
- Customer success stories
- News and announcements
- Articles about complementary products
- Recipes
- Requests for feedback from customers
- Things to look out for when shopping for products or services like your own
- When I owned Patriot Limousine, Ltd. I sent out a flier to schools about things a parent should look for in a limousine company for prom night. It got rave reviews and lots of business. If I owned a limousine company today it would be the number one post on my blog for prom and semi-formal season.

Keep in mind that blogging requires a substantial time commitment. Luckily, there are plenty of small agencies and freelancers that can help you with setting everything up. Actually I do a training for companies called Web 2.0 Guerilla Branding Training, where I teach companies about using talkcasts, blogs and social media to create branding on the internet. I also have a cd product that will introduce you to this topic, you can contact me monday or I still use the blogger address because I want my clients to know how easy what I am teaching them is.

Before going down the business blogging path , I would carefully look at all my current sales and marketing programs that are already effective and see if I couldn't improve elements of those before venturing out into the blogosphere—this is a tremendous time commitment to keep fresh content and a blog out there which you do not update or react to comments on your blogposts can really do you more harm than good.

To blog effectively, think from your customers' perspective. Firstly, search the Web for the kinds of websites and blogs that they might be visiting already. Visit technorati, search by category and find out what the most popular business blogs in your niche are doing.
"You can may even offer to contribute to those blogs, and sometimes take out some banner advertising rather than start your own if you are an entrepreneur in a time crucnch.

Connect to your existing website: you will make your existing Web site more attractive to search engines by linking it to your blog. Always try to link to high traffic synergistic but non-compeitive sites also. Remember the idea is to get business for yourself and not direct it to others.

Jazz it up for audience and search engines! People expect to get information quickly online. A how-to video clip would be great for moving your blog and Web site up to the top of search engine results, but you should keep the video's length between 30 seconds and one minute. This is called social proof videos. They can also be testimonials. This also helps your search engine optimization.

Many business owners start a business blog because they think they have to. It is important to understand, that you CAN have an authentic, successfully maintained and trafficked blog even if your topic isn’t as web savvy as the blogosphere itself. We understand that business owners aren’t necessarily captivating writers. But tere are some things that you can do to “good enough” and that’s all it takes. If you are in an industrial or seemingly uncreative business, never fear blogosphere because good info doesn’t always have to be tech savvy.

Because Industrial business owners are experts in their industrial businesses, it’s important that they understand the mystery behind the blogosphere and have a plan
of sorts for their blogs.

In my Web 2.0 Guerilla Branding Training I teach clients that a blog is a great internet branding and search engine ranking tool.
But a tricked out blog without traffic is useless, and the most effective way to gain traffic is to earn it. This is the principle of attraction above promotion. Remember that the goal here is to attract links by becoming a resource. As in all marketing you need to figure out some things about your “perfect” client or customer. What kind of information would benefit them? What kind of info do you have to share that would be of interest. Plan your message, and stick to it. Write in a way that appeals to your audience. Don’t surprise them with Beethoven when you have started them off with Led Zepelin. Keep it real and consistent.
Yes, you want links but not just for links sake, you want complementary, synergistic links.

Links s the point where business bloggers get confused and often give up. . For a blog to really take off, it needs links. In order to get them you’ve got to focus on form as well as content. To achieve things like getting hits on Digg or Stumbled Upon and in order to get your blog on other blog rolls and in social bookmarks, you must convey your content in a unique, web savvy way. Put videos on your blog.

Tell a story! Check out previous Monday Morning Marketeers like “Episode 48: Telling Your Technology Story” or Episode 11, Branding with Creative Story Telling. and EPISODE10 - Brand Your Uniqueness with Your Strenghts For other great ideas also check out: EPISODE9 - Create Your Own Brand, there are more story telling ideas here. If you are really a novice, check out Episode 7—Branding, What is it?

Ridethe coat tails of other news stories and events. If you are a Green company and there is a Rootz, Green City Music Festival, plug into it somehow (there was just one in Pittsburgh.) In this case you could talk about how the Festival used to be called the Smoky City Festival until Green Companies like yourself started working their magic.

Be Prepared for Commitment—put it on your calendar to blog.
An unmaintained blog that says, last post 14 days or 30 days with unattended comments on your posts is worse than no blog at all.
Pimp out your blog with ping backs, widgets and other techno stuff that is not as hard as you think it is.

Bloggers fail to note is that a blog can be optimized much in the same fashion as a website, but with a few blog - specific twists:
- Host your business blog on it’s own domain
- Name your categories after targeted key phrases
- Provide ping backs and internal links to other blog posts, and to your website.- -
- Use heading and formatting tags for important phrases within your post.
A Successfull Business Blog Requires Participication and Promotion.
If you want community to embrace you, you must first embrace the community.
- Post comments on other blogs (Search technorati for posts relating to topics you’ve written about. Cross reference! Start a dialogue!) Always, always add your tag line to your comments in case others want to find you.
- Add blogs to your blog roll (share traffic)
- Research the best blog directories, and submit your blog to all of them. (Be availble)
- Link to your blog in your email signature, and print the domain on your advertizing materials
- Submit your posts as articles at free article directory sites. Link back to your blog and to your website.
- Visit,—these are good sites for pinging your blog and RSS syndication.

Focus! Focus! Focus!
Remember your purpose is give your audience meat and potatoes in stead of cake.. Getting lost in promotion and optimization can sometimes mean less time spent providing good content to your audience, which by now you should know is the back bone of blogging success. Set yourself up with your blog as a credible expert and the traffic will flow to you and so will business.
Calls to Action
• Niche market to a specific audience
• Plan what effect your message should have on your audience
• Menu: Meat and Potatoes—valuable, usable content
• Attract links from your niche audience by being that good
• Focus on Form (for your web savvy linkers)
• Commitment: Be consisten in your posts
• Optimize—I no longer put up recipes on, did it once and destroyed the focus of my blog.-
• Particpiate and Promote –stick your Web 2.0 hand out and embrace the community, get involved, react to other blogs in your niche, join relevant social networking sites
• Focus on good content and positive messaging
This blog post can be reproduced in its entirety with the following information: © Joanne Quinn-Smith, Monday Morning Marketeer 412-628-5048
Listen at:

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Monday Morning Marketeer, Get Customers to Love Your Biz Using Web 2.0 Tools and Old Fashioned Relationships

Get Customers to Love Your Biz Using Web 2.0 Tools and Old Fashioned Relationships

Web 2.0, ain’t it great. I even do a training called Web 2.0 Guerilla Branding Training. Everywhere we go online these days, we read all about it. Unfortunately, the marketplace is overwhelmed with experts who forget one thing. Just as faith without works is dead, high tech without high touch is a recipe for disaster.
When the online marketing community t realized that the internet could be manipulated to make it interactive and used as a marketing platform, ergo Web 2.0, on line and other companies began to manipulate it into mass marketing. They took a new style of media marketing and turned it into the old style of mass media radio and TV tactics that people have grown to love to hate like interruption-style marketing in the form of spam and splogs.

What’s a splog?
splogs, are artificially created weblog sites which the author uses to promote affiliated websites or to increase the search engine rankings of associated sites. inauthentic text or merely stolen from other websites. These blogs usually contain a high number of links to sites associated with the splog creator which are often disreputable or otherwise useless websites.
What’s spam? Spam (electronic), unsolicited or undesired bulk electronic messages

None of these tactics builds relationships with people that'll turn them into lifelong, raving fans for you, your product or service. Bill Gates said back in 1995 that the on line companies who combine high tech and high touch will dominate. Web 2.0 is all about people, participation and persuasion. Forget just one of them, and you'll be forgotten about as quickly as your prospect deletes your well planned e-mail or long sales letter intended to persuade.

The bottom line is people will always prefer to buy from those they know, love and trust, like their family and friends. Their loyalty to their family and friends outweighs any kind of differentiation in the marketplace. If you are sincere about building relationships with Web 2.0 you can convert visitors to family and friends by building relationships.

Turning a Visitor into Friend A visitor is someone who finds your blog or podcast through a search, an article or by chance. Understand that if this visitor comes to you through a Google ad or other Web 2.0 type mass marketing they may already be forewarned about you. But if your visitor comes to you through an article, a podcast, a referral, then she will be more receptive to your message. She has come because she wants to learn more. If you provide authentic content with good information then she will be persuaded to subscribe to your list which is your ultimate goal, your ultimate on line relationship builder. She will subscribe because she wants to learn more. When this happens you now have a visitor who feels at home with you and just like your neighbor will come knocking unexpectedly because she feels comfortable with you, so keep your coffee pot on or keep your newsletters and your web site well stocked with fresh, useful information.

Friend to Family (or Customer)

Family is what your visitor becomes the moment she buys from you. Now it's your job to keep her in the family. Well if she’s a close friend or neighbor, you know what you do, you keep the type of sweetener she likes in her coffee and some of those wonderful sweet rolls that she likes. In other words, you make sure that your customer service to her starts the minute that she buys. When your friends become your family, if you take good care of them, they can’t live without you, your product or service, and they buy from you again and again.
Customer to Raving Fan
Herein lays the secret of extended success. When your customer grows to depend on you for whatever she needs, wants and desires--and tells all her friends and family about you, your product and service--you've got yourself a loyal customer for life. A loyal customer over a period of years, what’s that worth to you multiplied by the number of people she sends to you.
When forming these relationships, you must observe the standard rules of courtship and nothing does that like new media in the Web 2.0 world.
New Media Builds, Friends, Family and Raving Fans

Do you really think the phone companies are idiots, the old MCI, Verizon—they all have their version of friends and family networks? In an overcrowded marketplace, there are loads of people out there that need and want friends. They are being inundated with spam but no hint of someone asking for real friendship. Now all of a sudden you enter their world with an offer to “Be My Friend” from a social networking site and the day is looking brighter. Everybody wants to be someone’s friend. It goes way back to not wanting to be picked last for the playground games. When you enter someone’s computer from a social networking site, she sees your smiling face looking right at her from your page your message reaches her very core. She feels instantly connected to you. Mary immediately subscribes to your blog or podcast and becomes one of your regular viewers, watching your show every week to hear what you have to say. All of a sudden one day she buys from you and then she refers a friend and you have a raving fan or two. Why? Because you stuck your Web 2.0 hand out and said, “Hi, I’m the Monday Morning Marketeer and I not only want to be your friend but I want to give you some free tips every Monday on how to help you jump start your business.”

This blog post can be reproduced in its entirety with the following information: © Joanne Quinn-Smith, Monday Morning Marketeer 412-628-5048 Listen at:

Monday, July 7, 2008

Monday Morning Marketeer, Telling Your Technology Story--You Don't Have to Be a Techno Geek

Episode 48 Telling Your Technology Story: You Don’t Have to be a techno Geek!

One of the things that I learned from doing the Techno Granny show is that people love to hear about technology. It’s not only a favorite topic but no one wants to be left out. Also there are still a lot of people who don’t understand all of the fancy techno geek words. So take a lesson from the Monday Morning Marketeer, also known as Techno Granny in pseudo technology circles: tell your story so your grandmother can understand.

Write your story in simple terms, don’t be embarrassed for it to read like a children’s book. Big words and technology savvy stuff may impress the technologically savvy, but are they your target?

If you consistently tell good stories, and give information that is easily understandable, you will garner a much larger audience and your customers will not find it a chore to listen to you.
A comment was made that they like listening to my Techno Granny show because I act real dumb when I am interviewing my guest who is either people who use the technology and are conversant with it or are experts? I am not trying to impress listeners with my knowledge but to get knowledge out of the experts that will help my listeners.

The same information applies to all kinds of story telling: So what makes a good story?

First of all: Is it a good story?
Second: Is it appropriate to your audience?
Third: Will it hold your audiences attention?
Fourth: Is it easy to understand?
Fifth: Is it fun, even geekdom can be funny?

There is always more than one way to tell your story. Remember: Making mistakes comes with the territory. Capture their attention and make them want to listen.

What kinds of technology stories do you have to tell?

Information about your programs and services: I like to start off any story with a humorous or at least semi humorous dilemma. For instance I tell my cell phone story when I am educating audiences about Web 2.0 and how the paradigm shift from mass media, interruptive marketing is not that great.

Educate groups and committees: whether it is working groups, non profits, employees, business associates or customers—make it interesting, try a bold headline that makes them want to read more. This is extreme but when I wanted people to listen to my Techno Granny Show on Blogging and I knew a lot of my listeners did not quite understand, I wanted them to know it was okay that they didn’t understand so they would listen in? So I titled the episode, Blogging—is that a Country Dance? When I did an episode on Blue Tooth Technology—the title was Blue Tooth: Do I need a dentist or a college degree? Be creative!

Notifications: –Let me know the difference in how this sounds? “Using Web 2.0 to Promote Your Business or “Using Web 2.0 to Get People to Love Your Biz?”

Communication challenges:

Is good communication a priority? Well, with all of the e-mail out there and blogs and the fact that in the information age communication is super pervasive, the answer is that it is a SUPER PRIORITY. Now that communication is so pervasive, people will just not accept poor communication, which includes misspelling if it’s written and poor grammar
Also using too much information is not a good thing. (don’t require scrolling because your customers won’t read it)

Appropriate level of technical details: Don’t use jargon; keep technical info to a minimum; provide a link to more information since people who want technical info will seek it out.

Communication Solutions:

Be simple and direct. Shorter stories are usually easier to write.
Make sure the story and it’s language are appropriate to your audience
How important is IT to the story? Establish what is need to know versus nice to know. How much technology needs to be in the story? Just because you’re an IT professional doesn’t mean you need to load your story up with technology details. You don’t need to impress people even if you are not an IT person with your knowledge of technology. Sometimes less is more and simple is better.
Accentuate the positive. Don’t need to say email will be down because you are replacing an antiquated, out of warranty server. Tell them “we are installing a new, improved state of the art e-mail server for your convenience. Make your message benefit based-- tell them the benefit they will recognize as a result of the service. You will get more consideration and understanding if they see a meaningful improvement following an inconvenience.
Keep a positive focus; do not be overly apologetic.
Use multiple channels for sharing information. One story is often not enough; may need to tell it multiple times or different stories to different audiences. Share your story in different formats, e mail, newsletter, post card, fax, (often ignored with the advent of e-mail—don’t!)
Good communication is everyone’s responsibility.

Framework of your communication for technology challenges which are going to happen because it’s a good day when technology works.
If it’s a technology challenge:

We know there is a problem.
We have a solution.
Here’s when we will fix it.
Here’s what you need to do
Here’s where to go for more information

Here are your resources to help you:
1. Colleagues: at home and other institutions
2. Your customers
Try communications on a few of them to see how it works before you send it.

Proactive suggestions for technology stories:

Take opportunities to make your customers look good for instance when one of your customers starts a newsletter, sets up Face Book or My Space or starts their own Social Networking Group. How about telling their stories briefly as an addendum to your story?

How about starting a Student Advisory Board—get some students to sign on with you as advisors and meet with them monthly during the semester. Students are always looking to update their resumes and being on an advisory board makes him look good. Ask t hem what are the IT issues they think are important and want to talk about this year? Don’t want just the folks who are IT knowledgeable to give you input.

This blog post can be reproduced in its entirety with the following information: © Joanne Quinn-Smith, Monday Morning Marketeer 412-628-5048 Listen at:

Monday, June 2, 2008

Episode 39, How Important is Your Web Logo? Will You Get the Second Date or the Second Click or the Sale? Will You Get the Second Date?

How Important is Your Web Logo?
Will You Get the Second Date or the Second Click or the Sale?

You can listen to the archived version of this show at:

I also chat with Sam from IWW, Irish Whip Wrestling and use his logo as an example.

Being in the Marketing business, I hear all the time things like, my web site is not worth the money or time that I put into it and I don’t believe I have made one sale because of it. As a matter of fact some estimates have found the majority of small-business Web sites fail to generate revenue.

What a sad mistake on the part of entrepreneurs and business owners. Most entrepreneurs seem to make the mistake of blaming their unproductive website’s performance on the site itself or even on the medium of the web in general. . The problem, more than likely not the site, not its design and sometimes not even it’s content—it's the lack of trust in the company behind the site. Most of us found ourselves in Marketing 101 wondering what trust is and why Building trust is important. Building trust via your Web site is essential. Why? In most cases in this informtion driven world, your web site is all inquiring minds experience before they make the decision to buy or not to buy or to do business or not to do business. Now for the reason for this particular topic: How do we build trust for a web site?

One way to build trust is through something right under your nose, and I mean that literally—your corporate logo. Bill Haig has written a book on corporate logos. The title is as long as his academic pedigree. The title is: How and Why Credibility-based Logos are Effective in Marketing Communication in Persuading Customers to Take Action: A Multiple Case Study Toward a Better Understanding of Creativity in Branding.) His premise and argument for it is this:” Used on a Web site, a company's logo can increase (or decrease) conversion rates at first glance.”

As I have alluded earlier, “At first glance” is more important than you think. We're talking about a high-stakes game that's over in an instant. The web is now the super bowl of marketing. There are no timeouts to regroup and certainly no “instant replays.” First time users either “get it” from the logo or they leave Recent Research by Google Ad Words finds that you have about 8 seconds to create enough of an impression for the guest to move on in your site and click further. This means that your logo needs to speak credibly and unforgettable that you have one major characteristic on your side: Credibility. In his book Bill Haig explains unqualifiedly that a logo that conveys credibility will increase conversion rates from lurkers or browsers to customers over four times compared to those that consumers do not consider credible.

This web logo thing is as unconscious as the attitude of a woman who meets a man for the first time who is not a construction worker whose shoes look like he is or a man who shies away from a woman with cracked and unfilled nails even though he will tell you manicures mean nothing to him. These are unconscious mechanisms at play in the mind upon first meeting of a person just as well as upon first glance at a web site. This first glance, very much like that first meeting between a man and a woman when they determine if there is chemistry or not is the Web turn-on or Web turn off point in the visitors click through relationship with you.

How? Well, in this first date metaphor boils down to this elemental characteristic of credibility. Credibility can very neatly be categorized by two traits: expertise and trustworthiness. For instance in the case of a house painting business both the expertise and trustworthiness, Bill Haig says; this can all be expressed as a paint brush shaped like a house. The idea of a logo is to communicate nonverbally, with a clean, contemporary style that suggests such credibility and trustworthiness tenets such as desirable efficiency and on-time execution.

If your website is not thriving, like any good mechanic who is trying to fix a car will tell you, look to the cheapest thing first. Check out your web logo, your corporate logo. What does it say about you? Doest it speak of credibility with the stellar traits of expertise and trustworthiness?

Ask a few friends, put a survey up or a poll, or ask a prospective client or a current one. Whatever you do, do it quickly. The speed at which you do this will determine the status of many of your second web dates or even getting past the first introduction without even a perfunctory, “Excuse me I have a meeting with another web site.” The most you will get is a “turn off” faster than a light switch by a “click out.”

This blog post can be reproduced in its entirety with the following information:
© Joanne Quinn-Smith, Monday Morning Marketeer 412-628-5048
Listen at:

Monday, May 19, 2008

Wendy Maynard, the Marketing Maven's Ideas on Effective Marketing Materials.

This is a blog post from the Marketing Maven and I must give Wendy every credit for it. Someitmes you find something that just speaks to you and cannot be improved upon. These are Wendy Maynard's ideas on Effective Marketing Materials.

A mistake that entrepreneurs and business owners make is trying to create their own marketing materials or to have an amateur - a friend, relative, or neighbor - design their materials. It may seem like you are saving money by doing your own logo, business card or website; however, the reality is that you are making a VERY costly mistake that can make your business more likely to fail.
By trying to create your marketing materials cheaply, you end up looking…well…cheap. Many business owners do not realize the high cost of this mistake. They do not understand that by having a logo, stationery, brochures, and other marketing materials that look unprofessional and poorly designed is creating a sub par impression in the minds of new prospects.
When you are in the building and growing phase of your business, you need everything you do to accelerate your success. Your logo and marketing materials are the first impression people get of your company - a professionally designed logo contributes to your success by enhancing your business visibility and credibility.
Your marketing tools should move your prospects closer to making a purchase. You cannot afford to look unprofessional and "thrown together" because you won't look like the expert you are, and you won't attract your dream customers. If a prospective customer views your materials as unprofessional or confusing, you will lose them to a competitor.
Here are specific reasons why unprofessional marketing hurts you:
1. Your business does not look reliable and trustworthy. Customers may assume your company is more likely to fail because you have not taken the time to create a stable branding presence. No matter what business you are in, people want to purchase services or products from a company that appears established and secure. They want to know that you will be there for them if they have a problem or need your products/services in the future. Well-established, sound businesses need to look that way.
2. You appear less capable. Larger, successful businesses would never conduct business without professional, custom-designed marketing materials. Using marketing materials designed from templates or by an amateur gives your company the appearance of being flighty and inexperienced. You are less likely to attract professional clients when your business doesn't appear professional. It may give people the impression that you don't care about quality and attention to detail.
3. You are less likely to stand out. By using homemade marketing materials, you not only make your business look confused but you also have a problem differentiating your company from your competitors. You don't have a solid branding strategy, your core-marketing message isn't being reinforced, and you aren't memorable.
People make decisions on where they make a purchase based on first impressions and imagery. Anything your company puts out in front of prospects and customers must be of the highest quality. If your logo, website, business cards, and brochures aren't well designed and professional, why would prospects think your services are any better?
Your appearance sells your company first!
Here are some specific tips to help you with the first impression you make through your marketing materials:
• Never hand out a homemade business card.
• Don't print out your own marketing materials.
• Go to a professional designer to create your marketing materials, especially your logo.
• Make sure all of your links on your website work. Avoid "under construction" and simply hide the pages that aren't completed yet.
• Add your website URL to all of your printed materials.
• Avoid clipart in your printed materials and never use jumping animals or rotating whirly-thingys on your website.
Remember, people make decisions on where they make purchases based on first impressions and imagery. Anything your company puts out in front of prospects and customers must be of the highest quality. If your logo, website, business cards, and brochure aren't well-designed and professional, why would prospects think your services are any better?
ACTION ITEM: Conduct an audit of your current marketing materials. What is your logo like? Your business card? Website? Brochure? Are there specific items that need to be designed, redesigned, or rewritten? If so, which ones? Keep in mind, your appearance sells your company first! Spending money to have your marketing materials professionally designed is in investment in the future of your company that will pay off 100-fold over time.
(c) 2006 Wendy Gray Maynard

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Wendy Maynard, the Marketing Maven, publishes Maven Marketing Strategies, a weekly marketing strategy ezine for business owners, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. If you're ready to skyrocket your sales, easily attract customers, and have more fun, get your FREE TIPS now at