Kidding Around – Are you ready to have fun?

How quickly we lose the simple pleasures of childhood.

Plan now to have a great time when the weather is perfect for outdoor activities. Make sure you accomplish all that you hope to do. Now is a good time to plan for some fun before summer gets away from you. Yes, schedule these activities on your calendar.  We all need more childlike moments to balance our serious natures. This is the kind of carefree, timeless moment that children experience while having only one goal in mind ~~ FUN!  How quickly we lose the simple pleasures of childhood…. Kidding Around - Are you ready to have fun?

In the spirit of lightening up, here are some ideas that might help you to reawaken that little kid in you.

  • Buy a giant pad of paper and some pastels and schedule a time to draw, using your fingers to smudge the colors together. Buy several cans of Play-Doh and keep them in your office.  Create a new monster every week.
  • Spend an hour in the mountains noticing the height of the trees, the color of the grass, and the little pine cones, sticks, and rocks.
  • Close the shades, put on your favorite dance music and dance in your living room.
  • Get dirty. Go out and weed the yard, plant a tree, or simply dig holes in the dirt.
  • Visit a local toy store and spend some time picking out a favorite coloring book. Keep this book in your office and between your adult duties, steal some time each day to color.
  • Spend an hour sitting on the grass looking for a four-leaf clover.
  • Buy a hula-hoop and see if you can still swing it. Learn how if you never could.
  • Have a serious conversation with a dog.
  • Gather a group of friends for dinner and play musical chairs.
  • Grab a friend, buy a watermelon, and have a seed-spitting contest.
  • Buy a teddy bear and/or sleep with a stuffed animal.
  • Spend fifteen minutes mimicking your cat or dog.
  • Camp in the mountains and talk to the squirrels as the sun comes. Enjoy them as they throw pine cones at you and chatter away.

These are the kinds of things to create joy in your life. Do them for no other reason than to upset the apple cart of life and interfere with the rigidity of our daily lives.

Strategy: Create your JOY list of things you want to do for fun. What’s on your list for fun? Need more ideas?

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16 Tips for a Sweet ’16

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Constant Contact developed these tips to make your year especially sweet in ’16.

Start with a plan and set specific goals. Set one big marketing objective for the year, one for each quarter, and maybe one for each month. Keep them simple and specific so you can focus on how to achieve them. Ask for referrals. Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most powerful sources of new business, so think back to all of the customers you’ve helped. Chances are that they have a network ready to buy from you. Don’t be afraid to ask!

Make it easy for customers to find you. Whether someone is searching for your individual business or the answer to a problem that your business can solve, taking steps to improve your website’s visibility on Google will make it easy for your next great client to find you. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Be mobile friendly. People are relying more and more on their mobile devices to consume and find information. It’s time to give serious consideration to making your digital communications mobile friendly. Make sure your website and your emails are optimized to work with mobile devices.

Take it offline. Nothing holds the same power as getting together in person. Whenever possible, leverage those online acquaintances with offline events that bring people together. You’ll strengthen the relationships that can lead to long-term growth.

Grow your list. Growing an email list may seem like a lofty goal, but remember: 90 percent of consumers like to receive promotional emails from the companies they do business with. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.

Stand out in the inbox. Make sure people recognize that your emails are coming from you by using a consistent from name and from email address in every message you send out. t. Craft a compelling subject line that catches your readers’ attention and lets them know why they should click to open.

Turn your Facebook fans into email subscribers. It’s important to connect with your Facebook fans in multiple ways, and one of the best ways to do that is through your email list. Email marketing works because it allows you to reach people in the place they go every day—their inbox! If you’re a Constant Contact customer, you can easily add an email sign-up form to your Facebook Page.

Expose your business to new people with Instagram. This social network built for sharing photos is surging in popularity. Here’s how you can use it to get in front of new audiences.

Create content that your customers care about. Finding content ideas can be easier than you think when you turn to your customers to guide you. After all, they’re the ones who will be reading and engaging with the content! Here are a few ways you can easily keep them engaged.

Know the essential elements of a great fundraising email. For non-profit organizations, email marketing is a critical component of donor engagement. Want to know five things to consider when designing your next fundraising email?

Look great on social media. Great visuals have become a crucial aspect of online marketing—in fact, 63 percent of social media is made up of images! Use this handy sizing guide to make sure that you’re creating great images for your business’ social media channels.

Take time to learn. Whether you’re looking for email marketing tips, general marketing advice, or other subject-specific guides, Constant Contact’s blog and YouTube channels are full of great resources to help you #BeaMarketer!

Offer a discount or promotion. Whether it’s a coupon in your local paper, an annual sale at your store, a trackable coupon, or a special offer for your most loyal customers, discounts can be a great sales driver for your business. Consider putting together a special offer or promotion to attract new—or reward your best—customers.

Welcome new email subscribers with an automated message. A good “welcome email” can set the tone for the relationship you plan to build with your new subscribers and helps engage them in your business or organization. I can help you with eight tips to help you create a more effective welcome email.

Get feedback from your customers. Consider sending a survey to your customers to create a two-way communication channel. You can ask for ways to improve your services or products, get topic suggestions for your blog, or even just do a little customer research.

Get started with Constant Contact to stay in touch with everyone you meet. Use this link and I can help you get started. Constant Contact with Mariner Company

Call me next week so I can help you get started on a Sweet ‘16!

 

All Dressed Up and Ready to Sell?

When your business plan is formulated and you are ready to take on the world, be certain that you are making a great impression. Are your networking tactics going over like a lead balloon? “I networked all the time and still never got any clients.” If these are the resultsMarketing tactics for networking you are getting, then it is time to change your tactics.

Stop selling. We’ve all attended events where someone has a stack of business cards in their hand and just starts handing them out. They often fail to even ask anything about you. AND they start telling about the advantages of what they offer. Or the only thing we can think of to say to someone is, “And what do you do?” Networking isn’t about selling. You really want to build relationships and let people know what you do so they can refer to you.

Anne Randolph told me that when she stopped selling, she actually received more clients when she shifted to networking to build relationships. The purpose of networking is to give and get information. You are not selling, you are telling. You are not asking for favors, you are giving valuable information.

I’m on the Board of Creative Connections and enjoy meeting new creatives each month at our meeting on the first Friday at 9:00 a.m. in the Denver area. Check us out at http://www.meetup.com/Creative-Connections

Strategy: Build relationships first. Identify your ideal alliance partners and get to know them. They are business owners who market to your same niche. Ask questions to learn more about them. Learn how to soar and not come away feeling like a deflated balloon.

Tactic: Attend networking events with a goal in mind. Identify how many people you want to meet. Be clear about your niche so you can clearly tell someone whom you want to meet.

The 30 Magic Marketing Words You Should Be Using

Carol Naff Creative Marketing Coach

Secret Trigger Words to   Elicit Responses

Savvy business owners, copywriters, and designers know how language influences emotions and persuades action. Certain words and phrases are time-tested to boost response and conversion rates  almost across the board. Of course, different motivating words and phrases work better in different situations, and it’s up to you to figure out which work best for your business. It isn’t all that difficult to figure out, though: If your intuition doesn’t tell you, your customers will. Test the following 30 “magic marketing words” in your next email, social media or blog post, on a direct-mail postcard or website to see which yields the best response.

  1. You – Write as though you’re speaking to the customer and about the customer, not about yourself.
  2. Because – Give customers a reason why they need to take action.
  3. Free – “Because” we all like free things, right?
  4. Value – This implies customers are getting something versus losing something (i.e. money when you say “cost” or “price”).
  5. Guaranteed – Give customers a guarantee to minimize risk perception, so they feel they have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
  6. Amazing – Customers will respond to something that is incredible.
  7. Easy – Make it simple for customers to take the next step in the purchasing process, and let them know how much easier life will be with your product or service.
  8. Discover – This implies there is something new and unknown to the customer, something that has supreme benefits and gives them an edge.
  9. Act now – Motivate an immediate response with a limited-time offer.
  10. Everything included/everything you need – This establishes that your product or service is all your customers will have to buy in order to achieve their goal.
  11. Never – Point out a “negative benefit,” such as “never worry again” or “never overpay again.”
  12. New – Your product or service is the cutting edge in your industry.
  13. Save – The most powerful word to showcase monetary savings, or even time savings.
  14. Proven – Remind customers that your product, service or business is tried-and-true.
  15. Safe and effective – “Proven” to minimize risk perception for health and monetary loss.
  16. Powerful – Let customers know that your business, product or service is robust.
  17. Real results/guaranteed results – Your customers want results, after all.
  18. Secret – Not everyone succeeds, and there are secrets to success. Let customers know you can reveal those secrets.
  19. The – This implies your solution is the “end-all-be-all.” Consider the difference: “3 Solutions for Marketing Success”/”The 3 Solutions for Marketing Success.”
  20. Instant –Instant access or downloads are more appealing than waiting.
  21. How to – Start off with a solution so customers read the rest of your copy.
  22. Elite –Your customers are among the best in the world. Invite newbies to join a highly desirable club.
  23. Premium – Premium helps denote high quality.
  24. Caused by – If your marketing literature builds a case for your product, transitional phrases such as “caused by,” “therefore,” and “thus” can help reinforce the logic of a purchase.
  25. More – Do you offer more than your competitors? Let your customers know, because they want the best deal, after all.
  26. Bargain – Because customers want a great deal, remember?
  27. No obligation – Create a win-win situation for your customers.
  28. 100% money-back guarantee – Again, no risk.
  29. Huge – A large discount or outstanding offer is difficult to resist.
  30. Wealth – If you’re selling products and services related to money, wealth is a desirable word for customers.

The key to success is to combine these words into phrases that trigger buying behavior. For example: “Get real results instantly – 100% money-back guarantee – act now!” Keep your copy short and sweet, play on emotional triggers with these words and phrases, and you’ll increase your conversion and response rates. Vertical Response published these ideas.

Marketing with a Vision in a Job Search

Carol Naff, Marketing Coach

Create the magic in your job search and marketing

Marketing to attract more clients as a business owner is very similar to hunting for a new career position. In both cases, you need to come in #1 as their choice.

Every business owner needs to identify a niche. That is the audience for your marketing. If you have unlimited energy, time, and money, you can market to everyone. We would need to have lots of marketing messages. When you are searching for your next opportunity in your job search, identify what you want. That is your niche and drives your search.

Visualize

Think about activities you enjoy doing when you choose your path to pursue.

To turn your job search goals into reality, plan backwards. Visualize yourself one year from now. Your daily actions must be guided by your vision. Learn to be proactive and identify your best strategies. When we let everyone else decide how we spend our time, we miss the important things. The important things are often those activities that impact our bottom line or impact our job search. Your job search coach can help you identify your best activities and shorten your search time.

What would you like to accomplish or be able to say about your life one year from now?

Visualize yourself one year from today. Complete this sentence:

Wow, this year has been great because I…

When you know exactly what you want, it is much easier to find it.

Marketing: Let Freedom Ring

Hudson GardensAs I think about the celebration of Independence Day, I compare it to being an entrepreneur. I think of freedom, self-determination, pursuit of happiness, independence, risk, self-sufficiency, self-reliance, control, and creativity.

I never felt freer than when I no longer had an employer. When they call it full-time employment, they really mean it. It is full time and consumes you. As an entrepreneur if I don’t like my boss, I can decide to make some changes in myself. Believe me, I’ve had some great bosses and those that missed the mark. If I had never had great supervisors, I would think that perhaps it was my fault. NOT, some people were never meant to be in charge. I really do have control over my current boss with the help of the energy in the universe. If I wish to play tennis in the morning and work later, I can. I can choose to take a walk, go out for lunch, volunteer at a school, and just plain have fun with some people I know. I have the freedom to decide how to spend my time.

As an entrepreneur, I better choose activities that will bring business in the door. I like to think of it this way: “If you are self-employed and you are not talking to people, you are unemployed.” My best advice: Identify your best strategies and eliminate or postpone the activities that won’t serve building your business.

We are not guaranteed happiness. We are guaranteed the opportunity for the pursuit of happiness. How do you like to celebrate your freedom?

Powerful Women Reflecting Power

Powerful Women Reflected in Taylor’s Lens

These powerful women reflect the power in the universe. When we surround ourselves with powerful people and learn how to be proactive, we can share our power with everyone. I love reflecting the beauty and greatness all around me with courage and love. I want to see the greatness in everyone and help them find their passion. Thank you, @Taylor Boone Photography, for capturing this power and reflecting it in your lens. I’m so honored to be in this collage. 

For every action, there is a reaction. When we let others decide how to spend our time, we are reacting to everyone else and everything. We lose our power. We need to learn how to be proactive and create our own success. Every person is unique and has something to offer. When you find your passion and love what you do, the universe reacts and reflects this passion. You will feel confident and powerful in your actions. Always find the positive in everything. Often people cry, ‘woe is me’ and forget to find the rainbow after the rain.

Create your joyful life of meaning and purpose. Always focus on the positive and powerful, confident actions. The universe will reflect your greatness. My mission for Mariner Company is to chart a course for action. I hope to help every business find their ideal clients and lots of them. Every one of you has the power to find your success. Thank you, Taylor, for capturing this power in our brands.