Monday, April 30, 2012

1956 Chevrolet Bel- Air: More from the Car Show for Your Viewing Pleasure

1956 Chevy Bel Air- Lumpy's Diner Car Show

Car Shows: Networking Event Extraordinaire

re: my dream car and... being where your target market is...

by Tammy de Leeuw
"Grouchy Marketing Lady"

Nothing better than a find spring day and... a car show.

Whether you love classic cars ( I do) or not, car shows are a fantastic way to connect with
your niche market in a fun, memorable atmosphere.

One of the principles of successful marketing that I emphasize to the nth degree is "hanging out where your desired demographic hangs out."  All too often, people think of marketing soley in terms of getting your niche to CALL YOU or stop by your office, etc.

That's convenient for you, but it doesn't work nearly as well as when you bring your product, service, or just yourself, to THEM.  Car shows are one way to do that, and have fun in the process.

Think about this: car shows attract a wildly diverse group of people, ranging from seniors reminiscing about going to the drive-in in their '56 Buick to young dads who dream of having enough money to build  a hot rod of their own some day.  Just being there provides you with some awesome opportunities to connect with local business owners and self-employed professionals.

Classic car owners are often retirees or small business owners with the time and money to devote to this expensive, all-consuming passion.  For those of you in the senior marketplace, or who sell direct-marketing opportunities, car shows could be  goldmines of leads.

How to Participate

Even if you don't own a classic car yourself, you can still benefit from participating in a local car show.  One way is to rent a booth.  Some car shows allow you to rent booths to promote your product or service.

Usually the fees for these booths are modest and provide you with a place to do product demos, host contests (such as the wheel of fortune, raffles, etc.)  If done the right way, marketers can walk away with hundreds of warm leads at a single event.

Another way is to simply walk around, soak up the colorful atmosphere, and talk to people about their cars.   It's amazing how even the shyest people seem to come out of their shells when asked about "their baby."   Be sure to bring your camera/video camera and ask to take photos and videos.

When you meet someone in your demographic, volunteer to take his or her photo in front of their favorite car.  Or, take a video they can put up on their own website, Facebook page, or blog.  You won't believe how much goodwill you can create by offering to do this.

Check out this video I made for Jim Pagnini, who is a car enthusiast and
Nerium skin care products distributor.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Inexpensive (even free) Ways to Get Found by Google

re: free or cheap ways to get FOUND online

If you are like most business owners you are looking for ways to use the potential reach of the internet to bring in new customers and reach out to old ones

If that's the case, then let me show you two PROVEN ways to break out of the clutter and get found

The first way (you've heard me mention it before) is to take a few minutes and get yourself listed
On the Smart Guy Directory..

A lot of you have already done this... the rest of you NEED to
The Smart Guy networks are growing

And it won't be long before Smart Guy ramps up their advertising to the CONSUMER side...

You might just find yourself getting a free lead or two out of it..

So, take five-ten minutes and get yourself listed

The next way to get yourself found is simply awesome..

It's VIDEO...

Properly optimized, video is an awesome tool for coming up on the first page of multiple search engines...
(especially if you are local)

You already realize some of the downsides of video...

One of the worst "cons" is the amount of time you have to spend to make it work..

However, read on and discover how you can cut that back or even eliminate it altogether...


Gator Bob Sales is a discount warehouse for import items...Things like scrapbook supplies, gardening tools, housewares..I recently partnered with the owners to try an SEO experiment. 

Using a simple pocket video camera, I spent a day shooting customer testimonials and product information videos.  I'm no Stephen Spielberg, and you don't have to be either.  You can find examples of the kinds of videos I used by going here:

discount beading supplies antioch- page one in 3 different places!

discount beading supplies concord  (you occupy 4 slots!)

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discount scrapbook supplies walnut creek

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scrap booking concord

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discount school supplies concord

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discount craft supplies concord

craft supplies concord

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

re: free coaching conference call is tomorrow... VERY limited seating

Here is the slide deck for tomorrow's presentation... If you have not registered yet- go to

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

re: Free coaching call to help you avoid disasters in marketing...Thursday, April 19th...

by Tammy de Leeuw
The Grouchy Marketing Lady

Some mistakes will follow you for the rest of your life. (see above) 

Others, fortunately, can be avoided by hearing the stories of those who have gone ahead of you, made those mistakes, and lived to tell the tale.

On Thursday, April 19, I am sponsoring a free conference call to address the issues involved in marketing with video.    On the call, I will show you mistakes that I MADE, how I corrected them, and how, after lots of trial and error, I learned to use video to generate online conversations that lead to offline connections.

If you have a business, even a parttime or side business, you need to attend this one hour session.  We'll be discussing how to OPTIMIZE videos so that they get you noticed more easily, how to use videos in emails, and as content-creation tools.

Because this is a PHONE session, you can access it from your cell phone.  However, there are only 99 spots available for the call... PERIOD.

So, sign up now... It's free and you'll be glad you came.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Great insights from our friend Scott Ginsberg

Video not working? Click here for Adobe Flash 9!

How Local Businesses Can Stay Relevant and Competitive By Using Blended Marketing

By Tammy de Leeuw
"The Grouchy Marketing Lady”

Across the world, locally-based businesses are discovering that developing a systematic, automated, blended marketing plan is crucial to their success. 

Brentwood, California Massage and Vitality Spa owner Melissa Kirk says that small business owners who haven’t learned how to meld traditional marketing with social media, video marketing, and email are missing out on an opportunity to stand out in a crowded field, create loyalty among their current clients, and make connections that lead to long-term relationships.

“When I started my massage business, I was dependent on the foot traffic generated by the place where it was located (inside a local gym.)  Most of my online traffic came from walk-ins and from the domain name I had acquired when I purchased the business.  That was enough to get me found, but to keep my business growing I had to figure out new ways to attract potential customers,” she says.

Kirk discovered an interesting thing when she began to use traditional marketing techniques such as direct mail and closed circuit television advertising. 

“People would go online to find “massage in Brentwood” and I would usually come up on the first page.  They would see my picture and then recognize me from my direct mail and television commercials.    I began to see that no one thing lead them make an appointment with me.  Rather it was a combination of things that resulted in increased visibility and increased perception of value and expertise,” she says.

Having had success merging offline marketing with digital marketing, Kirk decided to refine her plan even further when she began her new venture, Brentwood Vitality Spa in late 2011.

“Vitality Spa was a bit of a challenge in the area of just being able to increase awareness. Although the spa, like the massage center, is located inside a gym, it is in a place in the gym that has lower traffic and fewer chances of walk-ins.  I knew video would be a big help in getting the word out,” says Kirk.

Kirk set about producing informal videos providing everything from general health education, to demonstrations, to client testimonials.  She then had these videos optimized for local search and distributed via multiple sites, including You Tube.  Integrated with that were video email campaigns to existing clients and prospects.

The results were astounding. In just a few weeks, Vitality Spa was ranking on the first or second pages of major search engines for terms such as “infrared sauna in Brentwood,” “spas in Brentwood,” and “detoxification in Brentwood.”

Page rank is important, especially in a business like mine where people are doing lots of mobile searches.  Still, no one thing is the magic bullet when it comes to client acquisition,” she says.  “It’s a matter of trying different techniques, making adjustments, and understanding that you are, whether you like it or not, a marketer.”

“With the spa, I had to quickly make people aware that it was there, that it was connected with me, and that it offered treatments that were different than those of my competitors.  Video was a big help in doing that and in breaking down barriers and helping me start conversations more quickly.”

Kirk also made sure that the videos lead viewers to her social media pages and multiple web and blog sites and that she was diligent in capturing information.

“I know the biggest reason for having a blended marketing campaign is to compile lists of people who are interested in the solutions my business has to offer.  It is so important not to just throw things out and expect them to generate clients.  You have to have a way to ensure that people engage- and remain engaged.  Building an active list makes marketing a whole lot easier and more productive.” she says.

In addition to video, Kirk has started a blog, which allows her to demonstrate her expertise in health-related issues, as well as create content that can be repurposed for other marketing, such as creating direct-mail pieces or article marketing.

“When you start using a blended marketing approach, you discover that a lot of what you create content-wise can be adapted to multiple mediums.  For example, a video can be transcribed and annotated to rank higher on search engines. It can also be used to create short articles and blog posts.  Photos can also be optimized to improve search and used on multiple web sites.  There is lot you can do to maximize the time spent on marketing,” explains Kirk, who has now hired outside personnel to help her keep her marketing fresh and up-to-date.

“You can’t just create a blended marketing plan and then walk away from it.  People have short attention spans, especially people on the internet.  They have come to expect a constant stream of fresh, relevant content.  You can never say, “It’s done”, she explains.

“It was worth seeking out professionals who could execute my vision and keep up with it so I could spend time building client relationships,” Kirk says.

Kirk’s dedication to improving her marketing and her openness to new ideas is starting to pay off.

“The spa is getting busier all the time, “she says.  “People are starting to join our Facebook page, comment on our videos, and volunteer to give testimonials.  I have enlisted my staff to get the word out about our resources and to encourage people opt in to our mailing lists.  I continue to go out in the community”

So, what advice does Melissa Kirk give to people starting from scratch, who have no warm client base, no inherited clients, and no list?

“You are going to have to go out and hit the pavement a bit.  For instance, do as many local events as possible, especially events that don’t cost too much.  Partner with other merchants who offer complementary products and services to cut your advertising costs. And, it’s really important to continue to refine your referral marketing and reward your clients for becoming your evangelists,” she says. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

You Can DO THIS For Your Clients...

re: get more referrals by helping your local clients GROW

by Tammy de Leeuw
The Grouchy Marketing Lady

      Some of the staff of  Gator Bob's Sales in Concord, California

 Every business wants and needs at least some referrals.  Referrals are the proverbial "low-hanging fruit," the "guaranteed sales," etc.

Actually getting referrals, though, can be somewhat intimidating, even if you an outgoing, people-person.  For some reason, asking your customers to recommend you to others
feels a tad intrusive and as if you are begging for business.

You don't get referrals because you don't ask for them and you don't ask for them because... you fear
rejection (it's only human) or you aren't sure how to do it properly. 

Wouldn't it be so much easier if your prospects and customers recommended you without you even having to ask?

Become An Advocate For Local Businesses...and They Will Start Singing Your Praises

Ever frequent a local business you really, really like?  Maybe it's an Italian restaurant with the best sauce since Grandma, or a printer who always gets your direct mail done on time, or a dry cleaner you'd trust with your most expensive designer clothers...

You tend to be protective of those businesses, a little more vested in their success and well-being.  You don't want them to go away...ever.

Why not take that concern to another level and become a walking evangelist for that product, service, or business?  There are a number of ways to do this and over the next couple of weeks I will be examining them in more detail.  For now, however, let's look at one way I worked to help a local business I love get more customers... and the good will it generated.

Case Study: Gator Bob's Sales, Concord, California

My husband and 10-year-old daughter have been addicted to this giant warehouse of STUFF for a long time now...  You can't beat the prices on things like beading and jewelry supplies, scrapbooking materials, etc.

The stock changes frequently, making it all the more tempting to spend hours poking around in the gardening and housewares section (me) the "guy toys" (husband) and the kids crafting and art supplies (kid)

When Gator Bob's changed their business model from a seasonal operation to a full time store front, I was concerned about them getting the amount of foot traffic they needed in order to stay in business in a brutally competitive retail environment.

So, I decided to VOLUNTEER my services to help them video tape customer testimonials.
1. Helped them record customer testimonials.  I spent three-four hours with my little Kodak pocket
    video camera asking Gator Bob's customers to explain what they liked about the place.
    You can watch one here:

2. YELP review.  There are a lot of things to NOT LIKE about Yelp, but there is no denying that it can do
    wonders to help cure online invisibility syndrome.  Here is the review I wrote for Gator Bob's.

Be sure and visit this blog regularly for more of the story...


Friday, April 6, 2012

If You're Targeting Business Owners... You Need To Get Better At THIS

re: The hidden treasures of Linked In

For several months now, I have been telling my subscribers about one of the few social media courses I can recommend...without reservation.

I have just completed all the modules of Lewis Howes' amazing "Linked Influence," and I think it was time more than well spent.

(see what I mean- go to

Linked In, if properly optimized, can be a rich source of leads, especially if you market to the self-employed.  In fact, Lewis Howes built an entire business using nothing but Linked In.

Lewis' course helps you avoid some of the common mistakes people make on Linked In when they try and use it to promote their goods and services.  Using his proven system, you can easily and quickly create a Linked In profile that is easier to find and more attractive to potential clients or employers.

I tried out this information product long before I became a JV partner with Lewis and found it to be extremely organized, easy to digest and implement, and a real time-saver.

So, check out what Lewis has to say here and start promoting your service to the professional decision-makers on Linked In.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

You Have to Start SOMEWHERE...

re: Getting found on the internet.. just a baby step but a necessary one

by Tammy de Leeuw
"The Grouchy Marketing Lady"

I'll be the first to admit it.  Getting to the top of Google, no matter how great the search phrase may be,
is only the first in a series of steps you need to do in order to GROW your list.

Still, if you can find a way to ensure that your locally-based business pops up on searches, particularly mobile searches, then you have gained a huge advantage over your competitors.

This is particularly true if you operate the kind of business that is perceived as a commodity business.   Examples such as pizzerias, car washes, gas stations, auto insurance agencies, or convenience stores come to mind.

High search engine ranking can be absolutely critical to such businesses because a hungry person looking for a nearby pizza parlor probably isn't going to dig through ten pages of Google to find one.  Similarly, someone stuck in a bad area of town with a flat isn't looking for cool videos about a tire repair business.  They just want THE FIRST FAST RESPONSE they can get.

Other kinds of businesses, particularly service-based businesses such as financial planning practices, life coaching, etc. should approach search from a slightly different point of view.

These kinds of businesses thrive by building trust and integrity, which usually takes a bit more time to
achieve .  Search ranking for these kinds of businesses will probably not be a major source of leads, but rather a way to build up credibilty more rapidly.

Ubiquity is often (correctly or incorrectly) associated with quality.    When a person searching for a psychologist or lawyer or financial professional sees the same name popping up everywhere they look, a kind of celebrity effect occurs.  Name recognition can often be a factor in attracting new clients for such businesses.

In the past, I have recommended that every business do at least three things to get noticed online.

1. Get themselves attached to a high profile directory with great page rank, such as SMART GUY.COM.
    Not all directories are created equal.  I have found that Smart Guy's free site will get you to page one
    pretty quickly for ONE search term.  The premium monthly pay option will get you there for ten different
   desirable search phrases.    I just an email from a user of their free account option
"SmartGuy works as advertised... puts me on 1st page of Google organic listing, although I have not received any phone calls or leads as of 2 months on the premium service.  I think this is because SmartGuy is a directory listing and not a direct link to my lead capture mini-site, .
As a directory listing, they have to look for and click on the link to my site.   I am not sure if my business category of "Insurance Company" is the right search category.   On the other hand, the free listing is a bargain even if it means that your business listing category can be sold out over time.|
Libertyville, IL

2. Start a YOUTUBE Channel and put up 2-3 different videos per month.

3. Write and regularly edit a SQUIDOO page.  Squidoo is great for page rank and helps you create useful
    content that can easily be repurposed.

Doing just those three things will go a long way toward getting you found.    Then, it's up to you to develop a plan to nurture and convert those searchers into clients.