Monday, April 14, 2008

Episode 35: Tips to Enhance the Selling Power of Your Blog

Is your primary reason for using a blog to drive traffic to your website? Is that the real reason for writing a blog and taking the time to spew thoughts and ideas and tips in a word document and then transfer them to the internet. I almost said, put them down on paper? Boy, would I have dated myself. Except for a personal touch, pen and paper for journals and blogs are really passé in the day of people taking their lap tops on vacations with them just to upload their pictures and journal about their trip.

Well, writing a blog, it is still called that, to drive traffic to your website is a good start and a great reason to get motivated. But it’s sort of like having an ice cream sundae with just chocolate syrup when you could have jimmies and walnuts and marshmallow and m and m’s and Reese’s pieces. You have really limited your selling options.

Blogs as marketing media for your website is only the first stage of what business owners can do with a blog to promote their business and increase their selling power. The most powerful use of a blog is a revitalization of Dale Carnegie’s tactics in the much read book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

If you will take your proverbial heads out of the sand for a minute and think like Leonardo Da Vinci instead of an ostrich you will figure out that doing business on line is no longer about telling people about what you do. It’s about customers getting involved and sharing their experience about a product. People do not want to interact with customer service machines with multiple options at the front end or representatives who have no authority to do anything. Savvy customers now want to interact and become part of the decision making process. Debbie Ducic of Gutzy Women discovered the Dove Cream Oil website where internet users could devise their own commercial and other users could see which commercials were viewed the most. What an interactive marketing idea and great way to get customers to interact and find out what needs and benefits would motivate these internet users.

Your blog can do the same thing. If you thought I was going to tell you how to sell on your blog, you were wrong. You can include a friendly low pressure offer and you can also talk about your latest joint venture, but that should not be the theme of your blog.

Your blogs ultimate goal should be to share knowledge, get people comfortable with you, make friends, and better yet—create fans. In other words, increase your credibility. How many times have you told someone about a great restaurant, mechanic, and hair stylist? Do you actually think it’s any different in the internet world? Actually it works faster, because instead of telling one friend over lunch, a fan can send a link or an e-mail or copy of your blog to ten, thirty, one hundred at one time. It’s called viral marketing.

When you refer to that hotel or garage, restaurant or hair salon, you are making a referral because you have intimate knowledge of how the management or owner operates. It’s the same with your blog, that’s the kind of relationship you want to build with your readers.

Okay so maybe you are thinking, “I already do that with my newsletter, and now you want me to do it with my blog also.” Well, e-mail is a wonderful, inexpensive viral marketing to; nothing comes close to it except “SPAM” Just one wrong word in the title and you can be forever relegate to junk mail.

People are wary of scary e-mails about identity theft, self defense tactics in a parking lot, and how many have you gotten attributed to Kris Kristopherson or Art Rooney? Fake emails abound. With a blog, you are not asking for anything, you are not even asking them to react. Your readers can return on a regular basis to read what you have to say about things and never make a commitment, however once they trust you, they will not only give you’re their e-mail, they will give you their business.

So the first goal of your blog, should be to create trust and credibility and to “warm up your prospects.”

So the first thing that I want you to get out of your head is the idea of blogging to sell but realize that you are blogging to make friends and you will make them and friends will become loyal customers.

Okay, next tip, what do I blog about?

If you are like most bloggers, you will start out with writer’s block. Everyone does, but you will eventually wake up in the middle of the night with ideas or want to pull over in your car to write one down. I suggest carrying a digital tape recorder to record your ideas as you get them and then create an editorial calendar for your blog, just like the newspapers have. If you check out my show Positively Pittsburgh Live, another Talk Shoe hosted show; you will discover an editorial calendar for each month with subtopics. That’s what most successful bloggers and talkcasters and radio shows use. Learn from the giants. I did, wasn’t my idea, it was someone else’s. Please don’t plagiarize but you can learn from other bloggers formats.

Here are some tips to get through your initial confusion about what to write about:

1.Subscribe to other blog feeds about your industry or your target market.
For instance I subscribe to tons of marketing and selling letters for this talk cast. Excellent marketers learn from everyone.

I also have Google alerts set up for this show and for Techno Granny Show which is on at 7 AM before this one. For Positively Pittsburgh Live, I have other positive Pittsburghers sending me their press releases. Result is I know what I am going to blog about or talk about on my shows for months in advance.

2. Read trade magazines in your field. If you are selling a legal product then you should be reading Legal Journals. If you sell pharmaceuticals, then you should be checking out anything that has to do with the medical field. If you sell baby products then please read anything with credibility that you can find on raising babies, the safety of babies, the care and feeding of babies.
3. Keep a notebook or file on your computer. Notebooks get lost for me until sometimes years later so I keep a file on my computer, one entitled future shows, and another entitled future blogs.
4. Milk your content. How many of you are bible readers. When you read a chapter or verse in the bible, it almost always has another chapter or verse you can read. It’s okay in your blog to refer people to content on your website, or a former blog or an archived podcast or talkcast.
5. Product reviews, you could review a product to help people make choices or how about adding testimonials that others have given you about your product. Please be honest. If I am reviewing products on my Techno Granny show, I try to set up a comparative analysis ahead of time.
6. Involve your visitors. When they e-mail you a question or comment, ask their permission to post it on your blog. Then do two things: Share it with your readers and save the return e-mail with their permission to post.

So two tips:

Use your blog to make friends, and use it to create credibility which means knowing about and having a passion for what you are writing about.
I have a friend who I recently referred to Talkshoe—Greg Matthis who has a business called Smells Like French Fries. In his search to do something to increase his credibility, market his business and make friends, he hit upon a format for interviewing Pittsburgh Area Restaurants. This flows naturally as they are his clients in a business where he recycles kitchen fry oil. Also it’s something he is passionate about, eating, and so he has a Talk Show which features Pittsburgh Area restaurants and his blog features a recipe each week from that restaurant owner. How many friends do you think he’s making and guess what? He doesn’t have to worry about content for his blog.

This blog post can be reproduced in its entirety with the following information:
© Joanne Quinn-Smith, Monday Morning Marketeer 412-628-5048
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Friday, April 11, 2008

Conference for Entrepreneurship for Girls 12 to 18

Girls Going Places Conference, April 23, 2008

The second annual Girls Going Places Entrepreneurship Conference will be held on April 24, 2008 from 8:30 – 2:30 p.m. at Chatham University. Girls Going Places is an exciting and interactive day of learning for young women ages 12 – 18. The conference will partner 120 female students with local women executives and entrepreneurs for activities and discussions that introduce students to the concepts of financial independence, entrepreneurship, and business ownership. This event offers girls an experience that will stimulate their interest in pursuing enterprising careers and developing financial acumen. There is no charge for girls to attend, but the school must approve and submit registrations, which can be done on-line at The conference is sponsored by Hurley Associates, Guardian, the Pittsburgh Chapter of National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), the Chatham University Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship, and Communities In Schools. Any questions can be directed to Kristine or Nicole at Communities In Schools at 412.471.7911 or via e-mail at

April 2008
Press Release

Hurley Associates, a local agency of The Guardian Life Insurance Company (Guardian) is proud to extend this invitation to six of your students to participate in our second annual Girls Going Places Entrepreneurship Conference for girls ages 12-18. The conference is sponsored by Hurley Associates, Guardian, the Pittsburgh Chapter of National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), the Chatham University Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship, and Communities In Schools.

This program will be held Thursday, April 24, 2008 from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm at Chatham University. We would be delighted if your students could join us for this unique and inspiring day. Attached please find a conference program and agenda.

The conference will partner 120 female students with local women executives and entrepreneurs for activities and discussions that introduce students to the concepts of financial independence, entrepreneurship, and business ownership. This event offers girls an experience that will stimulate their interest in pursuing enterprising careers and developing financial acumen. In our changing economy, financial independence and security are on the minds of young people who have watched as their parents are “down-sized” and friends worry about finding a job.

Teens need to understand the opportunities to “make a job” as well as those to “take a job”. The overriding objective of the conference, therefore, is to promote and communicate the advantages of business ownership, entrepreneurship, and financial independence.

In the past, we have found that the best conferences involve a diverse audience of girls; hence the program is not limited to high academic achievers. If your school participated last year, we hope that you will send different girls than those who attended in 2007.

Please note the following conference details in selecting students to attend:

§ There is no charge for the conference.

§ Breakfast and lunch will be provided, but the schools/attendees must arrange transportation to and from Chatham University.

§ You may register on-line at (click “Registration” along the top of the page) or you can go on-line and print off the Registration Form, Permission Slip and Photo Release Form that should be sent home to parents for approval and signature. Please be sure to get the required signatures and submit to our attention. Also, please keep copies on file!

§ Please be sure to select only students that can attend the conference in its entirety, from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm. STUDENTS MUST ARRIVE ON TIME and NO EARLY DISMISSAL IS PERMITTED.

§ Space is limited! We can only accommodate 120 female students, so let us know as soon as possible if you are interested in having your students participate by completing and returning the attached Registration Form and Permission Slip & Photo Release via fax to 412-471-7882 as soon as possible to reserve seats. There are still a few spots availabe for interested parents or counselors, you can contact Nicole Molinaro at Communities in Schools: 412-471-7911

In addition to this conference, Guardian sponsors the Girls Going Places® Entrepreneurship Award Program for girls 12 to 18. How does Girls Going Places® work? It’s simple. A girl is nominated by an adult who must submit an essay of 750 to 1000 words, endorsing the candidate and touting her accomplishments as a young female entrepreneur. Prizes are awarded as follows: first place $10,000, second place $5,000, third place $3,000 and 12 finalist prizes of $1,000 each. There is no cost to participate. Recipients are awarded prizes to pursue further education and to support their entrepreneurial projects. Additional information is available at:

Hurley Associates supports this award program because of their commitment to promoting to girls and women in our community the values of entrepreneurship and financial independence. We encourage you to share this information with colleagues and students.

We are looking forward to the participation of your students in a great Girls Going Places® Entrepreneurship Conference and working with you in making a difference for the next generation.

If you have any questions about the conference or award program, please contact me by phone at 412-471-7911 or Thank you!


Nicole Molinaro

Nicole Molinaro

Executive Director, Communities In Schools

Girls Going Places ~ Girls Committee Chair


8:30 a.m. Registration
9:00 a.m. Opening and Welcome
9:15 a.m. Hot Company® Board Game
—Participation in a board game that introduces the girls to the vocabulary, history, and creative problem solving of business ownership.
10:15 a.m. What is Economic Power for Teen Women?
—Short opening discussion on what economic power means and how to obtain it.
10:30 a.m. Women Who Dare® Video: Exploring the Entrepreneurial Adventure
—17-minute video highlighting three young women entrepreneurs and their successes and challenges in establishing and running businesses.
10:45 a.m. Interviews with Women in Business
12:30 p.m. Product in a Box®
—Interactive, group activity requiring the girls to create or invent a new product and business.
1:30 p.m. Budget Savvy®
—An activity that connects career and lifestyle choices. Girls connect their dreams with reality through a financial budgeting exercise.
2:10 p.m. Girls Going Places® Entrepreneurship Award Program
—Short video highlighting past conferences and winners of the Girls Going Places® Award Program.
2:30 p.m. End

Economic Empowerment

Economic empowerment is critical to addressing the needs of today’s young people, particularly girls. Research shows that women have made tremendous progress toward gaining economic equality during the last several decades. Nonetheless, according to published reports, US women earn less, are less likely to own a business, and are more likely to live in poverty than are men. Consider the facts:

§ In the US, women working full time earn 76 cent for every dollar men earned in 2000 (Institute of Women’s Policy Research)

§ In 2002, the median income of full-time, year round U.S. workers was $39,429 for men and $30,203 for women. Source: U.S. Census Bureau – Income in the United States: 2002 (

§ Older women are more likely to face poverty than older men. Source: Institute for Women’s Policy Research (

§ U.S. women represent 51% of the population, but comprise less than:

§ 1.2% of Fortune 500 CEOs. Source: Catalyst Census of Women Corporate Officers (

§ 2.7% of the highest paid officers at Fortune 500 companies. Source: Catalyst

§ 15% of the members of Congress (Source Women’s Research and Education Institute. (

§ Of the 15 million people age 15 or older who were full-time workers in 2001, 4.4% of women reported earnings less than $10,000 as compared with 2.8 percent of men. At the opposite end of the economic spectrum, 5.5 percent of women as compared with 15.8 percent of men reported earnings of $75,000 or more. Source: U.S. Census Bureau (

§ Women have made progress in entering occupations predominantly held by men; however as of March 2001 the majority of women in the workplace were still in traditional “female” occupations, i.e., 79% of administrative support workers were female. Source: U.S. Census Bureau (

§ During retirement, women’s median annual Social Security benefits reach only 70 percent of men’s benefits. Source: Institute for Women’s Policy Research (

§ Women are much less likely than men to receive pension income in retirement, but for those who do, their annual benefits are only half the amount received by men. Source: Institute for Women’s Policy Research

Monday, April 7, 2008

Three Great Marketing Tips for Under $100.00

Three Great Marketing Tips for Under $100.00

One of the requests I hear from time to time goes something like this:
“Never mind the philosophy, never mind the talk about ‘branding, ‘centers of influence’ and ‘the buying experience,’ just give me a few, low-cost, anyone-can-do-it marketing tips for busy professionals.” Try these on for size.

Tip Number One:NOTE CARDS

Every Monday morning, have your assistant put a stack of 50 fold-over note cards on your desk. If you don’t have an assistant, pay one of your children to do it. It’s a great way to get them into the entrepreneurial experience. Childless? Do it yourself on Sunday night, put them in stacks of 10 with rubber bands around them and write the day of the week on them.
Your task is to write a quick, one- or two-sentence note on each card and then send out all 50 cards that week, 10 per day.
You should send the cards out to anyone and everyone. These include fellow professionals and referral sources, your clients, old clients who haven’t heard from you in years, prospective clients, and the person you saw in the elevator last week, your minister or priest, to anyone you’d like to meet and to anyone you recently met.

How many network events have you gone to this week that you may never call or even scan into your database or add to your e-mail list? This old fashioned way of correspondence is a great “new” way to communicate and get the word out, connect with people and “hello,”—form relationships. Personally I always open a hand written hand stamped envelope. Even if it’s one more invitation to a charity event! I always open that note card or invitation. From the time I was ten I have always loved to get mail.

Take this a step further. Go and buy a copy of your local newspaper. In the business section there is usually a page or so devoted to announcements–who has been appointed, who has been promoted, who received an award, who attended an event, etc. It may take a little doing but get their address and send them a congratulation note.

Send every one of these people a note. When you are finished with your ten notes a day, five days a week, you will have 2,600 personal touches back in the 1960s; a car salesman in Detroit was something of a legend in the world of automobile sales. One year, he made $200,000, at a time when the chairman of General Motors was earning a salary of $125,000. When interviewed about his outstanding success, very little about him seemed remarkable. One of his habits seemed strange, however. Every month he sent out 13,000 postcards.

Each one said the same thing: “I like you.” Asked why he did this, he replied, “I just want folks to know I like ‘em.” If you send out 50 cards a week, you will send out 2,600 cards each year. That’s 2,600 personal touches that will give someone an overwhelmingly positive impression of you. Here’s a great idea, also put your business card inside so that when they are thoroughly impressed, they can call you.
Many will mention it or show it to someone else. You do the math. Weekly cost: about $25 in cards and postage. If you send out 50 cards a week, you will send out 2,600 cards each year. If you are a three AM person like me and forget to mail your mail even the utility bills sometimes, then you can use a service like Send Out Cars, for under $1.00, including postage, you can personalize the card and Send Out Cards will send it for you.

Tip Two—A Welcome Sign

You heard me!
A warm welcome Have a welcome sign in your lobby. No matter what business you are in, you are in the relationship business. Your relationship with your clients and potential clients begins in earnest when they step through your door. A welcome sign demonstrates the importance you place on your relationship with that client or prospect, your attention to detail, and the courtesy each person can expect from your entire organization. Years ago, I remember a sign in someone’s office that said, “Through these doors pass the finest people in the world, our Customers.” You know thirty years later I am not sure I remember the name of that business, but I remember how the sign made me feel. Today, much older and wiser and more cogniscent of things like that, I would remember the business. A simple sign that can be purchased at most office-supply stores for less than $85 can make your prospects and clients feel special. Kinko’s or Staples or other stores will personalize it for you for that price.

How many times a year do you think people will echo my sentiments of telling you, “That sign makes me feel special.” For a few dollars and very little effort, you can demonstrate your commitment from the very first moment you meet with someone and for each visit thereafter.

Gift Certificates

For under a $100.00 you can print a special gift certificate. Make sure it’s graphically impressive. Many of my clients use one that looks like a dollar bill, but you can make it in any denomination you want. The gift certificate entitles the potential client to a one-hour planning session (or consultation, or evaluation). Whenever the opportunity presents itself–at a seminar or a networking event, or simply when you meet a prospect–give him a gift certificate. However, I suggest you write two things on the certificate: the person’s name (the certificate is nontransferable), and an expiration date (usually in three weeks). This is because you are giving a workshop next month and all your available free consultations soon will be taken. The gift certificate helps you overcome a number of challenges.

First, one of the biggest obstacles of marketing a professional service is that the service is invisible and intangible. The gift certificate gives form to something you do, something you offer. Another problem you usually face is procrastination on the part of the client. The gift certificate creates a perceived shortage (of your time) and a sense of urgency (he has to use it in the next three weeks). It capitalizes on those two great human motivators–fear (”I might lose out if I don’t make the appointment̶, this gift certificate expires in three weeks and greed (”I can get a $500 planning session for no cost.”).

Finally, the certificate helps you create an emotional bond that is far more important than any demonstration of expertise. People do not perceive the certificate as a sales effort; they see it as a gift. Cost: approximately $78.00 for 200, four-color gift certificates. Give yourself a break and have them printed up professionally.

Now go on, put at least one of these on your "to-do list." If you do not, an organizer friend of mind, Deirdra Gross of Makk Strategies says, “If you don’t schedule time on your to-do-list “to do-it,” it won’t get done.”

Any part of this blog may be reproduced with the following information:
© Joanne Quinn-Smith, Dreamweaver Marketing Associates, 412-628-5048
Host: Monday Morning Marketeer, listen 9 AM every Monday for fifteen minutes of free or low cost marketing tips for your business.
Listen at:

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Generating News

Generating News*Newsrooms across the country are on the lookoutfor: -
Taxes, taxes and more taxes. Are you a financial entity inundated with customers? What are the common mistakes everyone seems to be making this year? What about the stress of taxes? Are you one of those last minute filers? Pitch this story like crazy. Newsrooms want to know. -

Gas prices are hitting the roof yet again! Industry folks say it's going to hit a record high. How will this impact your city, your state? What about your business, tourism or even your school district? -Are you a business that actually benefits from rising gas prices? Like bicycle retailers or motorcycle dealers? Great angle. Newsrooms will love it. -

April always brings out the spring cleaning stories. How about de-cluttering your home, garage, patio or even your backyard? What about experts who talk about how a little clutter can lead to more clutter? How does it impact us when we de-clutter or DON'T de-clutter? How does it affect your lifestyle, self-esteem, motivation?

Reprinted from "ShawneTV Guide," a free ezinethat generates amazing news stories andconversations. Subscribe and receive a free giftat © Copyright 2008 by ShawneDuperon, ShawneTV Inc.ShawneTV 29558 English WayNovi, MI48377US

Generating conversations

Generating Conversations
Do your conversations focus on what you want,rather than what you don't want? Do you tell yourteam you want them on time, rather thancomplaining they are late? Do you ask your teenager for help with thedishes, rather than rolling your eyes anddemanding they be responsible? Whatever you focus on you get. Today, focus yourconversations on what you want. "The real secret of power is consciousness ofpower." ~ Charles Haanel
Thanks for letting me contribute,Shawne ShawneTV Guide works from the premise that mediaconversations and cultural conversations are thesame. We assert through a concept calledTransformational Media®, changing your everydayconversations will ultimately transform media. Shawne Duperonwww.ShawneTV.comGossip, Media & Networking Expert ShawneTV29558 English WayNovi, MI 48377248-669-1868 **************************************************

PERMISSION TO REPRINT:************************************************** You may reprint any items from "ShawneTV Guide"in your own print or electronic newsletter. Whenyou do, please include the following paragraph: Reprinted from "ShawneTV Guide," a free ezinethat generates amazing news stories andconversations. Subscribe and receive a free giftat © Copyright 2008 by ShawneDuperon, ShawneTV Inc.ShawneTV 29558 English WayNovi, MI48377US