Thursday, March 22, 2012

And Justice For All-Sometimes a business deserves to die..

re: It's not nice to talk about the dead...

by Tammy de Leeuw
Mistress of Blend

I know it's considered poor taste to speak badly of the dead...

But when a business that deserved to die, finally does wind up with a "Space for Lease" sign dangling in its window.

It feels good to say, "I told you so."

Such was the case of Pets4All in Brentwood, California.  

P4A is the kind of business I love to hate because, no matter how many chances I gave them, they managed to alienate me EVERY TIME.

Perhaps it is wrongheaded of me to believe that people who own pet stores actually LIKE animals,.know something about them, or at the very least OWN one themselves.

P4A was the perfect trifecta of ineptitude: scowling, stressed-out manager giving customers the evil eye, indifferent employees with  little to no communication skills, customer un-friendly policies and procedures.

I like to give a business, any business, some slack.  So, I visited PetsforAll a couple of times just to make sure that subsequent experiences were as bad as the first.

Gotta give them thumbs up for consistency.  Each time I visited, I had the same experience:

There was no acknowledgement and very little eye contact (save the "evil eye") when I entered the establishment.    No one asked me if I was looking for something in particular.   Heck, no one even bothered to say "Hello."

I would gaze at the tropical fish for a half hour before an apathetic teen would half-heartedly ask me if I needed help.  Then, I would ask questions about basic care, feeding and water temperature and the employees would react as if I had just asked them to explain the Unified Field Theory.

I mention this because, maybe...just maybe it's NOT the economy tanking businesses.  Maybe it's more that in good times, bad businesses manage to get just enough of a toehold to stay prosperous.

When the money gets tighter, however, expectations tend to rise with customers becoming a lot pickier about the quality of services and goods.  With so many out of work, customers are right to believe that there simply is no excuse for poorly trained employees with sucky attitudes.

As a business owner, you are  in a fight for the hearts and minds of your customers and clients; slaving to grab your piece of the pie, however tiny. 

That's why indifference is not an option and every waking day, you need to be actively engaged in EARNING the right to serve your clients.

Question of the day: "Do I DESERVE to be in business?"

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pins With No Needles

re: Pinterest, the addiction that is slowly devouring America...

by Tammy de Leeuw
"Grouchy Marketing Lady"

Although Pinterest has been around since 2008, it hadn't built up much of a following unti this
year...when it exploded in popularity.

Part of the reason, according to social media researchers, is that Pinterest has tapped into a whole new set of people, people who don't necessarily want or need to share the mundane details of their day. ("Work sucked today," "cat threw up on the sofa," blah, blah, blah..) 

Instead, Pinterest acts like a gigantic repository of wish lists; a place where users can ooh and ahh over designer shoes they might not ever be able to buy, plan their dream vacations, or share their favorite artwork and graphics.

Unlike Twitter, which can annoy with its "Look, Ma! No hands!" brand of shameless self-promotion, Pinterest promotes the joys of collecting and curating, then sharing those collections with a group of like-minded individuals. 

Following, unfollowing, liking, and sharing are free of obligation and guilt on Pinterest and the recent updates make it easier for you to do so.

Here are some great resources to help you get the most out of Pinterest.

Everything Pinterest- fantastic collection ON Pinterest of all things related to Pinterest

10 Creative Pinterest Board Hacks

Official Pinterest Blog

How to Use Pinterest

How Pinterest Is Becoming the Next Big Thing In Social Media

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Weight Loss and Biz Opportunity Webinar

re: One of the best direct selling companies

"MLM- eck!"  This was the reaction of someone who got invited to my March 20th webinar featuring one of Visalus' top distributors, BILL NISSEN... 

All I can say is..."Dude, you are missing out!"

Bill is not your typical MLM'er in a number of ways.  For one thing, he is a full time pastor, and not a "professional" network marketing.  Bill was looking for a way to create solid residual income with a company whose primary focus is helping people.

With Visalus, he found just that... and created a steady, sic-figure income in the process.

If you have ever asked yourself:

1. Is it possible to create a nice side income without selling your soul?

2. Do legitimate, home-based business opportunities really exist?
3. Isn't the whole health and wellness and weight loss thing really overdone?
4 What does it take to build a REAL business with direct sales?
5. What IS Visalus and why is it growing so fast?

Then you need to make plans to be there!

Friday, March 16, 2012

BlendoMatic and The Unbearable Allure of Trivia

re: Trivia for the Weekend

  •  Every second, Americans collectively eat one hundred pounds of chocolate (and more when I think I can get away with it!)

  •   Men are 6 times more likely to be struck by lightning than women! 
 A toothpick is the object most often choked on by Americans...

 Your nose remembers 50,000 scents

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Big Old Hulkin Webinar on March 20th..With Bill Nissen

Register now!

Don't miss this special webinar with one of Visalus' rising stars: Bill Nissen.

If you're like most people, you:

  • Understand the value and importance of creating multiple streams of income...
  • Know that having a seasoned professional mentoring you is worth its weight in gold
  • Realize how much work goes into building a successful business...any business
  • Want an enjoyable side business that does great things for ordinary people
  • Wonder if you can really, truly make money in direct selling
Many people have said that it just can't be done.  Finding a reputable, ethical business that helps people AND makes you money is impossible.

If you are one of those people, then you will definitely want to join Bill Nissen on March 20th when he shares with you his initial SKEPTICISM and then his incredible success as part of the fastest-growing direct marketing business in the United States, Visalus Sciences.

You may have heard about Visalus Sciences, and you may have been like me, thinking "Here we go again, another potion,lotion, weight loss notion company."

You couldn't be farther from the truth.  As I discovered, Visalus is truly different, both in how it reaches out to consumers and... how it connects to promoters.  With all the good stuff about direct sales (ie: duplication of effort, networking, relationship-building) and none of the bad (pushiness, over-emphasis on recruitment) Visalus sets itself apart as a company.

Many of you have told me in private conversations that you want to leave your current company...or you need a little extra cash every month, or that you need to feel better and lose weight.

At this webinar, you will learn how to accomplish these things and...why international expansion is putting Visalus on track to be one of the largest direct selling companies in history.

Bill is doing this webinar for me because he has a special offer:  He is looking for  a few more committed, passionate, hard-working people he can put into his inner circle.  Bill  wants to take those special people and help them fast-track their businesses.

So, join us on Tuesday, March 20th for a special session with Bill Nissen and learn how you can
build your own successful business.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Using Gold to Find the Gold

bt Tammy de Leeuw
"The Grouchy Marketing Lady"

One of the biggest reasons financial professionals (and virtually every other type of business owner as well)  give me for not doing database marketing is that they think they have no good reason to reach out to their existing clients.  They don't believe they have anything new to say that would make it worth the client's time, etc...

Personally I don't think that is true. There is always SOMETHING you can do to reach out to your database and remind them you are still around.  It could be something as simple as calling them up and saying:

 "It's been a long time since we reviewed your XYZ policy.  With all the new products that have come out since then, I was thinking I might be able to get you better coverage."

Or, you could invite them to come by and pick up a great investment book you just found, or a new calendar, tickets to the local movie theatre, etc.

Unfortunately, most advisors and agents can't muster much enthusiasm about such mundane and non-sexy call pretexts.  They're looking for something really attention-grabbing, exotic, unique, and exciting.

Well, I may have just the ticket for some of you, especially those of you who like the idea of giving your Baby Boomer clients what they crave- namely, more perceived safety and liquidity in their portfolios. 

I say perceived only because none of us can predict the future and say with 100% certainty that anything is safe these days.   And, it's also hard to guarantee liquidity...

However... I have found something that is proving to be a tremendously attractive marketing tool for advisors and agents.... an irresistible icebreaker, and a source of additional income.

On March 22, I will be introducing you to a program I think will revolutionize and revitalize business for many of you.

Go here now to learn more:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Smart Guy Directory Real Live Results: Are You Kidding Me?

re: Look At This

Thanks to the hundreds of people who reserved a place on the new Google-friendly Smart Guy directory.
If you've had your listing for more than ten days...
you should do a Google search and see where you are.

Check out these real life search results: (and there are DOZENS just like this!)

Search Term: Austin, TX Insurance Advisor Page 1 Organic Position 3

Clermont, FLA Auto Insurance, Page One

Go here now while there is still room in your category:

Also, check out what Smart Guy SEO, Jordan Wexler has to say in this
short Goldmail.

Smart Guy

Video Marketing:It Really DOES Make A Difference to Small Business

re: I know you don't want to, but...

In May of 2011, COMSCORE published a report confirming what most business owners already knew in their heart of hearts:

Businesses that aren't using some form of video marketing are in danger of becoming irrelevant and nearly impossible to find online.

In a competition for online engagement between millions and millions of businesses, those entrepreneurs with a video marketing strategy in place have a decided advantage,

Comscore's numbers reveal, among other things, that:

In May of 2011 alone, 83.3% of the population of the United States viewed online videos.  In fact the average amount of video viewed per person was nearly 16 hours!

There is no sign this of this trend waning, especially in the wake of the smartphone revolution and development of software that allows quicker uploads and downloads of videos via phone.

Why Use Video ?

1.Beyond cute puppy videos: Video is a great PR tool, allowing you to obtain heightened 
   online visibility..for free. Your online audience is potentially HUGE (especially on You Tube) and there
  are hundreds of other places to post video as well.

2. Allows you to create more warmth and intimacy, even when your business is physically hundreds    
   (maybe even thousands) of miles away from your client.  Video lets your potential clients and current clients 
   get a glimpse of WHO you are and HOW your company can help them.

3. People don't read instructions, but they just might WATCH them If your business has tasks that  
    the client must complete, you can maximize your time by putting together step-by-step "how-to" videos.  
    Not only will this save you time by not having to explain the same procedure over and over again, it will 
    allow your client to watch the procedure as many times as he or she needs to- without having to wait  
    online  for customer service. 

4. Capture compelling video testimonials.  While written testimonials and audio testimonials ARE
    powerful, nothing beats a spontaneous client video testimonial.  For whatever reason, people tend to 
    believe what they see.  Using video testimonials is an awesome way to create instant credibility.

5. You can show people actually USING your product or service.  A great use of video is showing 
    someone using what you sell.  For example: if you sell kites, you could spend a day at the beach with 
    some of your customers showing them in action with the kite they purchased from you.

If You Personally Hate Being Videotaped Yourself...

For you shy and retiring types, there is good news: One of the best uses of video may not involve you being on camera, but rather behind the camera.

I have found that helping my business clients use video has been more rewarding than just putting up videos about myself.  It has helped me create loads of goodwill and get some referrals, too.

Below are some actual videos I did for a client, including a video testimonial that I volunteered to shoot myself.  As you can see, videos don't have to be perfect- they just need to convey content of importance to the viewer.

Video Tour of Vitality Spa, Brentwood, California

VIDEO TESTIMONIAL EXAMPLE: Brentwood Massage and Vitality Spa

Friday, March 2, 2012

One Quick Way to Get Your Business Found By Google...

re: Get slighly found using a new online directory...

If you haven't had a chance to register your local business in the SMARTGUY directory (it's free!) you should do it now.

Here are two short Goldmails to let you know what Smartguy is and how it can
help your business get higher page rank than you thought possible.