Friday, December 31, 2010

My Look-Back to Look-Forward

Because Chris Brogan's Ending 2010 inspired me to write this:

Looking back at my experiences of 2010:
  • I rediscovered my "creative content" due to healing of some "stuff" in my life.
  • I dealt with being unemployed for 2 years.
  • But - unemployment pushed me toward launching On High Heels.
  • I learned that the steps to entrepreneurship can be terrifying, but oh-so worth it.
  • I've learned SO much from amazing SM & entrepreneur super-stars like Natalie Sisson, the Mashable crew, Liz Dennery Sanders, Melissa Cassera, Carol Roth, and just a whole host of inspiring people.
  • I am throwing aside the intimidation factor, and harnessing the power of belief (though that sounds cheesy).
Looking forward to 2011, I see:
  • Meeting more successful women (and men) entrepreneurs, and hearing their stories.
  • Learning and applying their techniques and knowledge - and then passing them on.
  • Gaining clients, building my business, and becoming more adept at what may well be the new model of business via social media.
  • Becoming more recognized in my local community as the go-to-girl for publicity, marketing, and coaching. 
  • Helping others believe in their creative content, and teaching them how to use it, show it, and make money from it.  
  • Growth in publicity for Camp Laurel and Platform Color Style Salon (for who I willingly and lovingly offer my pro bono PR services, simply because sometimes, it's just about loving what I do). 
I don't know about you, but the challenges (and heartaches) of the past few years, made me realize my mettle.  That I CAN walk "On High Heels", and that making a difference is what counts!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Getting Fired - It's a Good Thing

Is getting fired really traumatic?  But if you hated your job anyway, see some "good":
1. You don't have to go to bed early to get up for work the next day.
2. You can sleep in!
3. No more driving in rush hour traffic.
4. No more being unappreciated, and underpaid.
5. You don't have to "play" politics anymore.

Going from "fired" to "fired up":
1. You can work for yourself - be your own boss.
2. That idea you've been mulling over?  Start fleshing it out.  
3. Your now have room for creativity and doing things "your" way. 
4. Bye-bye to the cubicle and hello to the park, local coffee house, your living room.  The world is your office.
5. That iPhone is now a true resource - and it's probably a tax write-off!

So if you find yourself out of a job, recall to memory that lawn-mowing business you once had when you were a kid.  That entrepreneur is still there, waiting to launch his adult idea.  Don't fret - get fired up instead!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

6 Sure-fire Ways to Not Properly Launch (Your Business)

Not having a brand name that “clicks”.   The name of your business and logo should turn heads and make people notice and remember it. Creativity and cleverness are always stand-outs.

Not registering a domain name for your brand, name, and business.  Nab your name on the worldwide web before somebody else does.  This includes the name of your business and your personal moniker.

Not getting on the social media train.  Let’s face it, folks.  Social media is here to stay, and if you are not on at least the top 5 SM sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Foursquare), your business will trend backward instead of forward. 

Not knowing what you provide/ stand for.   It doesn’t have to be a brilliant idea, but you should be able to pitch in one succinct sentence what you provide.  And follow it up why we need it. 

Not widening your current network of friends and associates (see #3).   Learn quickly on that your friends and family are not going to be your clients or customers.  Friends and family are fine for your cell phone plan, but necessarily for your new venture.  The only way for the world to discover you is to get out there – and meet perfect strangers. 

Being a know-it-all and not being open to learn from the best/ your peers (or your competition).  Smart people (and successful people) will leverage off the knowledge (and success) of their predecessors.  The only way to learn and get better is from those who have already trod down the path of the initial launch.  

Keep in mind that as your business progresses and grows, you will need to make adjustments.  These basics will help you launch your business on the right path.  And be excited- this an amazing time in your life and the life of your business.  

Monday, December 20, 2010

Four Keys to Effective Event Marketing

When planning your company's marketing mix, one frequently overlooked activity is the event. Entrepreneurs have a tendency to disregard events as effective tools for engaging their target market. But events are a perfect opportunity to bond with customers and deepen relationships in a way that can lead to more sales and many friendly referrals.

Ultimately, the No. 1 reason to consider holding an event is its ability to positively affect ROI and yield long-term benefits for the business. That's why I frequently recommend this strategy to clients.
Full disclosure: One of my companies, MODpaper, creates one-of-a-kind invitations for events of all sorts, and I work with event planners to come up with creative designs that perfectly match their party plans. So I'm naturally biased in favor of events. But I've also seen the benefits firsthand.

Event Theme
Be authentic: Every event should have a theme of some kind. That doesn't mean your event has to be a black-tie-and-ballroom-dancing affair, especially if barbecue and Texas Hold'em is closer to what your business stands for. The trick is to make it suits the needs of your budget and represents the image your company is trying to project. Here are pointers to help you come up with the right theme for your event:   
  • Write down the main marketing message of your business, or one part of your business in particular that you want to promote.  
  • Ask yourself what common threads run between your customers, such as gender, industry type, similar needs, known hobbies, etc.  
  • Brainstorm with your team (include sales and/or customer service, both of which have lots of contact with customers) to determine points of intersection between your marketing message, as well as the needs and tastes of your target customers. 
read more....

Monday, December 13, 2010

2011 Look-Ahead

A New Year always brings about the need to have "resolutions".  Though not really a resolution-kind-of-person, I've decided to write down what my new year plans for On High Heels, and share them as my "tips" to all businesses, entrepreneurs, and success-oriented individuals:

  • Build your brand and business with zest.
  • Plan with wisdom.
  • Focus on your mark and shoot straight.
  • Laugh when you make a mistake.
  • Smile at your customers and clients.
  • Impart your knowledge to newbies.
  • Share your wealth with family and friends.
Jump in and go for it!