The story of two small town businesses

Once upon a time there was a dance studio in a small town with a population of 5000 people.  Every Tuesday my daughter has ballet and tap lessons at this local studio.  In the small downtown district there is only a handful of other business, in which, for the most part people take for granted that they are even there.

dance studio

Then one day, a grandparent came to pick up her granddaughter from dance.  She had in her hand a very delicious looking drink.  I ask her where she got something like that in our small town.  She explained that there is a coffee shop around the corner.  Really?  The name of the business is Cafe not Coffee?!  So of course, I had to investigate.  Our town is too small to have a Starbucks and I really miss gourmet coffee drinks.

Sure enough, the shop served coffee, ice cream shakes, smoothies, desserts!  Wow all of this goodness tucked away in a little off the beaten path place!  Caramel Espresso Shake  — that is now my favorite, or is it the White Chocolate Cheesecake shake – can’t decide.

As dance studio parents began to talk we realized this a great place to wait while our little ones are taking their 45 minute dance class.  Not sure if I should have spread the word now! Because my Tuesday treat is beginning to be worth waiting for.  Get the “waiting” part because the “cafe”/ coffee shop is busy!

The two businesses networked off of one another passively.  It was a simple word of mouth transaction that took place.  The cafe is now on Facebook with 401 Likes!  The Social Media word of mouth is even more POWERFUL and multiplied his word of mouth advertising.  So now I must wait more :) – worth the wait but about to see if I can get him a call ahead line! :)

Now, here is the challenge – start liking the businesses in your community Fan Pages.  Start commenting on their pages with your Fan Page!  You are making your presence known on their Facebook wall – Passive Word of Mouth Advertising!  — don’t know how to do this! contact me and I will make it happen.

Here is a pic of an actual shake from my favorite coffee shop!  Sorry Starbucks you are now #2!


Just look at that caramel dripping on the inside! yum.

Dream Big


I Need Money Now

This is my honest report on how I am able to generate FREE capital for my business.  There is so much valuable information on the internet but these people for the most part DON’T give it away for free.  The really good “gurus” charge $67, $297, $697 for their courses (I think it is a guru thing – that all programs end in 7).  I will admit it is investment, the instructor took a lot of time making videos and posting content on how to run a business on the internet.  However, when the money is leaving the bank account and not returning it can be VERY discouraging.

I find valuable information that I am willing to pay for but my pocketbook is starting to scream.  I don’t want to replace the green in there with spider webs.  Now please understand my mindset, I look at this as an investment and it is cheaper than going back to college.  In my line of thinking, I was wishing for scholarships for learning on how to use the internet to create a business or promote my business.

Then I found the system better than a scholarship and especially better than a loan.  I am so excited about the results and the ease of use. Does this program cost $1000’?   Does this program cost $100’?  Does this program cost $10?  NO – this program is 100% completely FREE!!  Finally, somebody gets it!  Finally, somebody understands the need of the Internet marketer!  Cash

So if this is you – love to internet market, want to create an internet business, or just trying to pay off debt – you MUST be a part of this program.  FREE!  You will be generating an income while trying to build your business, empire, dynasty, etc.!

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My Top Five Favorite Fan Pages!!

Betty Crocker Banner

1.  Betty Crocker – They know how to interact fans.  The picture above is their Page Banner and features a Fan of the Week.  This little girl gets to be famous in front of 955,863 fans.  I love this fan page because the fans interact and post lots of pictures.  For a busy mom like me – the inspiration is priceless!  I think making cake pops is next on my list of things to do.  Who knows – I might submit the pic of me and my daughter making cake pops and my wanna be chef will be the next fan of the week.

Jack in the box

2. Jack in the Box – 365,196 fans get to enjoy Jack’s sense of Humor –

“Now that we are on Daylight Savings time let’s never change it back. The revolution of the clock starts right now, people. Who’s with me?!”
– Ok, maybe this post is the REAL reason I put them on my top five – because I don’t like Daylight Savings Time.

Really, the fans are very active on posting.  Plus – Right now – you get a $1 coupon off a shake, sounds like a plan to me.

Did I mention Jack’s Likes – Everything starts with Jack!  Very creative


3.  Kimkins – This is a diet website and  the fans are all organic fans all 1653 of them.  This is quality posting.  I appreciate the tips they offer for a low carb lifestyle.  A recent post is:

“DIET TIP: Another tip for “bored” hungry! Walk barefoot in the grass. The sensory stimulation works on the part of your brain that “desires”. OK, so this wouldn’t work if you live where it snows …”

Mari Smith 

4.  Mari Smith – Great Facebook Resource #1 but with 35,413 fans you can guess that her advice and tips are well sought after.  I mostly enjoy her change for March with her St. Patty’s day attire!  Keeping things fresh.  She may be a “guru” but she is fun too!  Fun always wins in my book.


5.  Guildcraft arts and crafts – This one is very selfish because I NEED THIS!!  I am very involved with VBS (Vacation Bible School) at our church and this site has VBS supplies for Less!   Plus, the Freebie Friday craft is great!  Before their catalog came out they used their Fan Page to preview some items.  Great idea!  Get everyone talking before the catalog arrives.  Clever!!



Facebook Revolution? what happened to www.?

One major thing I have noticed here lately is missing websites.  There is still a web presence but it has morphed into a Facebook Fan Page.  The first advantage is instant feedback.  Ritz Crackers is the first one I noticed to advertise the Facebook Fan page versus the traditional website.  How likely is someone to click the “Like” button?  412, 802 people have clicked the “Like” button.  Below is the Ritz commercial:

Guy Fieri prepares a tailgate appetizer with Ritz Crackers and makes some delicious looking “Steak Sliders”.  The end of commercial references the Facebook Fan Page to get more recipes.   When you visit the fan page it automatically brings you to its Welcome Page.  The Facebook wall has a video show Guy Fieri making the “Steak Sliders”.  Instead of searching through a website it is bringing the current ad with a current system of getting information. 

Pepsi has place there facebook page in their commercials instead of

Advance Auto Parts only has a Facebook and Twitter Logo at the end of their commercial – no website!

A Revolution has begun and it is Social Media.  A business must take advantage of social media and use the leverage it contains to help advertise.

Dream Big!


5 Fun Ways to Use your Facebook Page

Creating Fans is one thing when building your Facebook page, but keeping them interested is another.  Here are a few ways to gain interaction between you and your fans.


1.  Give something away – FOR FREE!  Contests are always fun and everyone likes to win something.  Offering something for free can entice people to recommend and comment on your Facebook Page.  Picky Palate gives away all sorts of gifts.  The latest giveaways were a Nestle Cookie giveaway, a McCormick Spice Rack, and a Mediterranean-style Gourmet Gift.  Just for one contest entry there was 50 comments on her blog, plus 10 comments on Facebook.  Now this might seem like a lot, however, it is a traffic generator plus the chances to win are big!  One winner will brag on their Facebook about Picky Palate to their average 200 friends.  Great word of mouth.

2. Joke Day – Humor is a universal language.  My favorite is the Clean Jokes from Bubbles Car Wash.  A great joke will catch peoples attention and get them talking.  They recently posted this:

How do you think Jack Frost gets to work?
By icicle, I suppose!

A quick chuckle causes people to remember.  Laughing actually enhances memory – Here’s the medical jargon – Endorphins stimulate your brain’s frontal lobes. This can lead to increased focus and attention span.

Tell a joke and have your fans remember and look forward to the next joke!

3. Ask a Question – Keep it current and keep it general.  Unless you are running a Republican Party is #1 Facebook page, try to stay away from politics.  Next, unless your page is Gender Bashers Unite – don’t gender bash.  Do you get the picture?  A heated debate might come over your Page if you ask – Steelers or Packers? – but at the end of the day no one is going to judge your company based upon a Superbowl Game because the players will change next year.  Jack in the Box recently asked:

How those resolutions goin’? Yep, mine too. – 453 Likes – 132 comments

OK, you may not be a National Fast Food chain, but you can get people talking which leads to branding.

4.  PicturesLe Reve Bakery shows off constantly what she produces.  I love the cake below, her most recent photo.  The customer can even tag this photo and show off their cake.  In addition, pictures show off exactly what kind of product she produces.


Don’t forget event photos and random business pictures.  Event photos can get customers talking about the event and possibly tag themselves in photos.  Random event photos can help customers see new updates about your business.

5.  Tips and TricksBox Tops for Education just hosted a webinar Tips and Tricks for submission.  A simple event that could help their 351,943 fans in the submission process for those 10 cents box tops.  You may run a restaurant and provide simple tips on how to prepare food or share recipes.   I could really make a huge list on this topic alone.  Use your imagination and get people talking. 

Talking, typing, tweeting, etc.  all equals promotion for you business.

Dream Big!


I want to get noticed! Get your wings out and SOAR!

BabyBirds_Miller_061705 – Picture Source

This is a normal client, the baby bird in a field with a bunch of Eagles.  They need to be fed and learn to fly.  However, in their DNA their were born to be an Eagle.  It makes a complete difference when you know what you are made to become in life. 

Really I want to get noticed and so do my clients.  A business owner has a product or service that needs to be advertised to a mass group of people.  Advertising is expensive and can feel like a trip to Vegas.  Come on Newspaper…..mama needs to sell off these clearance items!   I have to say there has to be a better way.

When I started in advertising way back in 1994, part of my education to my customers was letting them know that “Word of Mouth” advertising was the best and cheapest advertising.  Now I wasn’t selling “Word of Mouth”, I was selling print ads in a magazine.  I was the black jack dealer coaxing people to come to the table, place a bet, and let’s see what the cards deal out.  It worked for some and didn’t work for others.  Honestly, it came down to what was our customer base looking for when they opened the magazine.  Now, some of my clients back then didn’t hang around the table long enough to see any payoff, they folded on the first round.  The ones who saw the biggest payoff where the ones who stayed several rounds and built their image.

With the new line of Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Blogs, and YouTube (just to name a few) it is easier and cheaper to stay in front of your current clients to build “Word of Mouth”.  The domino effect is simple and just a few clicks for the average customer.  For example, you have a friend on Facebook who just clicked that they like, “Rose’s Resale on Main Street”.  You read your Facebook page and notice this post, “I have been there once, or I didn’t know there was a resale shop on Main”, you click Like and now you are a Fan.  Rose’s Resale just made a fan without spending extra money and it turned into a form of “Word of Mouth” advertising.  Now, Rose’s Resale makes a post that they are having a 50% clearance sale and 15% of their fans are interested in this sale.  15% may not sound like a lot but it increases actual foot traffic in store, which is the ultimate goal of the Facebook post.  The end cost of this advertising is virtually ZERO!  What a great return on the investment!

Businesses need to be on Social Media outlets and need to stay current.  A new generation of consumers are about to be the main stream consumer.  They are fluent in Facebook and Twitter and do it all on a mobile device.

Bald Eagle

As my clients begin to take to the sky and fly like an Eagle, others will begin to understand the power of “Word of Mouth” advertising and the platform for it on Social Media.

Dream Big!


Get Me Started! Measuring up for my clients.

facebook and twitter

I read this article today and wanted to measure myself up to the points listed.  Basically, if I was a potential client of mine what would I need to know to hire myself.  This article is great!  So I wanted to ask myself these questions and give answers.

1.  Do you possess intellectual curiosity?  I possess A LOT OF CURIOSITY.  I am virtually known as a walking trivia bank.  I can go into any situation and quickly pick up on the lingo, the rules, and the tempo.  My friends call me a sponge because I pick up on new things really fast.  I may not want to know where the fuel injection filter is on my car, however, with a few swift key punches on my computer I can look up the information and pass it along to my husband (he has to be the one to change it out).  Don’t get me wrong, I will be sitting on the concrete beside the car watching him because that is where husband’s want their wives.  I am also everyone’s GPS – my friend’s call me to get directions and find places.  Don’t worry if you get stuck in downtown Houston, I WILL get you out!  Basically, I love to learn new things when I stop learning is when I am dead.

2. Do you have passion?  I must let everyone know, I am money motivated.  I love to make money and especially love to see others make money.  I do not live in a jealous state of mind.  If you have a mansion – yeah! – because that means I am closer to mine.  I have a high drive to make money.  In addition, I have a high drive to give.  I love to give to charity and good causes.  I need  a lot of money to be able to give to everyone I want.  So get ready, can I make you some money?  Yes!  Because I want to make money to give.

3. Do you have knowledge of your business?  YES!  I absolutely love my business.  In my current sign business I love being able to help customers with their advertising needs.  Suggesting the design and the words that will grab someone’s attention.  When I worked in print advertising, I loved designing effective ads for clients.  Social Media is no different – the key is to get people talking about you.  Social media is creating your own paparazzi that will get people talking about you.  A celebrity will actually tip off paparrazi and let them know where they are going in hopes of a photo op.  In turn that photo op will be broadcast on TMZ or on the gossips magazines at the check out counter.  For example, The Kardashians are not actors and not super models but just really great promoters of their crazy life.  Everyone will soon be talking about them or wondering who they are.

4. Do you love people?  I have to be honest, I have been called to love all people.  Everyone has a story and it is awesome to sit and listen to the story.  Everyone has to deal with some level of dysfunction and some people are amazing over comers.  I love to see people succeed and most love to see business owners succeed.  I know how to use the computer but I also know how to talk to people.

5.  Are you a problem solver?  I may not have the best idea but I can point in the right direction.  Sometimes you just need to be honest and admit you made a mistake with someone and APOLOGIZE.  Next, you may need to negotiate to compensate for a problem.  Last, be the first one to admit their was a problem and don’t live in denial.  These are the best ways to quickly diffuse any situation that may arise with a customer, coworker or employer.  Quick to forgive and move on.

6. Are you thoughtful?  I am thoughtful for the fact that I am respectful.   I am not going to beat you up because your opinion differs from mine.  I want to acknowledge your birthday and I want to help you celebrate who you are.  I want to congratulate you on an anniversary.  However, I do know the bad stuff happens.  I will admit I have flaws and I know that you do too.  Basically, no is perfect. 

7.  Do you have strategies?  My strategies are AMAZING.  I want to target the bulls eye.  I love to research and find that bulls eye and go after it.  As a result you may pick up some points on the whole target, but get some top points for hitting the bullseye more than one time.  A novice can hit a bulls eye – ONE TIME.  A pro hits the bulls eye – MOST OF THE TIME.

8.  Are you a “guru” or “diva”?  I am only a diva for the fact that I want to get my hair done, and like a nice vehicle that’s it!  Otherwise, when you think you KNOW IT ALL, you just put a roof top on your knowledge.  You won’t go any higher.  You are not flexible.  If you are not flexible – you are hard and you will break.    I don’t know it all and will never proclaim that I know it all, I will keep learning and keep moving and striving to keep my clients and my company in forward motion.

Get Me Started! Where do I sign up?

Ok, here’s the background – I am cruising the job field on Craigslist.  I am always trying to see who is hiring.  What companies are moving and shaking and need to hire people to help?  I come across an ad for hiring a Social Media Assistant.  My immediate thought is that I CAN DO THIS!  Let’s face it, I can post on Facebook, Tweet on Twitter, and cruise the Internet.  You can really call me a technology addict.  In fact, yesterday Martha Stewart said, “You can never have too much technology,” while she was bragging about her Kindle.  I knew I LOVED her.  Not only is she crafty creative like me but she loves technology!Martha picMy husband has a crush on her too.

Social Media Assistant – I googled it and NO Wikipedia definition.  I believe this will change in the next year.  Let’s face it, the Yellow Pages are dead.  My sign business is great but I must be honest, most of my business comes from bandit signs.  The law change in 2007 and my customers do not want to get in trouble and pay big fines.  There has to be a better way to advertise.

Want to check it out more – go to

Google Adwords is one of the BEST advertising systems on the Internet.  It has produced big results but has also cost us big in advertising.  Yes, you can spend $100 a day just trying to get 10 clicks in the Houston area, which only produces perhaps 7 customers, which are only one time orders with no residual.  Repeat business and residual are the keys to any business and their longevity.  If a business does not have repeat business they must charge high rates to stay in business.  Well, I have a LOT of competition, so charging high rates to stay ahead will actually put me behind.

Word of mouth advertising is FREE.  This is my favorite advertising.  Your customers should be speaking, bragging, and advertising for YOU!  I love my phone calls – “John told me that you have a very fast turn around and I need to order 100 signs.”  Did I have to spend a dime to get that customer? NO. 

FREE advertising is found on Social Networks like Facebook or Twitter.  Your friend’s friend’s cousin just put her kids picture on Disney Junior contest so her kid can have 30 seconds on fame on TV.  However, the child with the most votes wins.  The email, Facebook or Twitter campaign begins.  Then you want to help because everyone wants to see someone get 30 seconds of fame, so you tell everyone to vote for this person.  The same is seen when you have read the same Angel email that give you money if you send it to 10 friends in the next 10 seconds.  It is really called Viral advertising.  As a business owner you want to go Viral, you want everyone talking about your business at some point during the day.  This is also called branding.


Branding  Definition

Entire process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product (good or service) in the consumers‘ mind, through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.

So here my journey begins – I am going to be a Social Media Assistant.  I want to help small companies do what I already do, become successful on the internet but not have to spend a fortune doing it.  New start to a new year, cant’ wait to see what it has to bring.  The Best is Yet to Come!!