Monday, October 19, 2009

Fabulous new look, Fantastic new website, Incredible new blog: Same great people!
To see all this excitement click here

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I have "WhatToPost" Syndrome

I suffer from "What to post" syndrome. I sit down to post and my mind suddenly is a blank. I forget what I do for a living...I forget what I like, what ignites my passion, what clever and witty things I talked about with my clients, friends and family that day. I finally walk away from the computer and immediately become the witty, inspired person I know that I am. I Rush back to the computer and...yep, you guessed it. My symptoms return...
I sought help on Chris Brogan's blog.  As I knew he would, he came through for me. Just what the doctor ordered! I'll share his tips here for my fellow syndrome sufferers:

How to Blog Almost Every Day

October 10, 2009 · Chris Brogan
Crowd at IzeaFest I put up a blog post (almost) every day, and sometimes, I put up more than one a day. On top of this, I write for clients, write for other projects, work on books, and other things. Some of you don’t have all these other writing commitments, but still want some ideas on getting more writing out the door. Here are some thoughts into my process that I hope will give you a framework for writing a blog post (almost) every day.

How to Blog Almost Every Day

  1. Read something new every day. Need a starting point? Try Alltop. (Hint: read something outside your particular circle to get new thoughts).
  2. Talk with people every day. I get many of my topic ideas from questions people pose to me, or through conversations.
  3. Write down titles and topic ideas in a notepad file. ( I’ve given you 100 blog topics and another 20 blog topics just to get started.)
  4. Maintain a healthy bookmarking and revisiting habit. I use
  5. Find 20-40 minutes in every day to sit still and type.
  6. Follow an easy framework. Here are 27 blogging secrets to start you on what I mean.
  7. Get the post up fast, not perfect. You can edit if you have to, later. Perfectionism kills good habits.
  8. Dissect other people’s posts to understand what makes them tick. The more you understand of HOW they write, the more you can take the best parts of it into how you write. (hint, my 27 blogging secrets post gives you my patterns.)
  9. Find useful and interesting pictures. I use Flickr photos licensed under Creative commons for most of my photos. This helps me sometimes get a great photo for a post I already have in mind, but it also gives me post material sometimes.
  10. Think about what your customers and prospects need. I write from the perspective of the communities I serve. Every post is aimed at something I believe will be helpful to my community in some form or another. This focus takes some weight off my worries about what I should write about or not. I write about what my community needs.
  11. Mix things up by sometimes blogging on paper first.
  12. Mix things up by writing guest posts for sites that aren’t like yours. This gives your mind new formats to think about. I did this recently as part of a project and I loved it.
  13. Mix things up by changing the lengths of your posts: some long, some brief. Learn what makes an impact how.
  14. Never worry about throwing up the occasional “best of” post, once you get enough material. Example: here’s My best advice about blogging.
It's not going to be easy to kick this thing. I didn't get her overnight and I won't be cured overnight. However, I am grateful to Chris (and others) who truly help us frustrated, well intentioned bloggers. I aspire to get well and get posting!
Wish me luck
P.S. If you have more tips please (!) comment!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

What is a ThinkMap?

I've renamed my blog! I've done this because I really have to write about so much more than marketing. I love, live, breath, sleep, shower, walk and talk marketing - but that is not WHO I am. I am a product of my thoughts...Thoughts are happening every minute - it's impossible not to think. Allowing and inviting positive thoughts is advisable, but the negative ones find their way in too.
Everyday I hit the ground running- traveling with my thoughts. While I know I can't control them, I can acknowledge both the positive and the negative thoughts,  redirect them if necessary and embrace them when they inspire me. It's the choice to allow my thoughts to roam freely that contributes to my creativity and passion.

ThinkMap is an insight into those thought travels I have during my day. My heart's desire is that my maps provide occasional inspiration, a spring board for your own greatness and maybe a chuckle or two!
Feel free to comment or contact me with your own maps - I am happy to publish them here.

So...what do you think about the new look?


Thursday, September 24, 2009

 I had a fellow follow me today, on twitter, and being the good little social media maven that I am, I checked him out (I never just randomly follow people) by going first to his twitter profile, then to his blog.  Am I ever glad I did!

Terry Starbucker's ( philosophy is all about positivity. He has coined the phrase/term "half-fullism" as in the cup is half full. He says: "I’m a believer in what is sometimes called “the law of attraction” – that is, if I can put a positive enough vibe out there, laced with the possibilities of a path to happiness and fulfillment through a personal philosophy, and infused with encouragement and a genuine desire to help other people, then I can transfer some of that to those who read it."

Just really wanted to pass that along. Have a Full and happy day! :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Here I go again...

The big question out there in the blogosphere seems to be whether to blog about what people are interested in or to blog about what YOU are interested in??  This has been tough for me since I am very social and am truly interested in what everyone else is interested in....but that doesn't necessarily translate to an ability write about those topics. So I started this blog as more or less a supplement to my website. Now I am hating that idea. Why would I want to re-write the content of my website on a blog...duh. Dumb idea. And, more to the point - who the heck would want to read it?

So now I find myself writing about a lot of personal stuff ( see blog post from Sunday). I am definitely passionate about that. But I am also passionate about my industry, my clients and the trends that are causing such a "twitter" (pun intended) in the media world.

So here's the deal - a compromise is in order...a little of this....a little of that - how does that sound?
I'm going to talk about -


Those are two of my favorite people...My husband, Ken and our son Chase...I have recently had a major attitude shift, an epiphany of sorts. I am so grateful for this and owe it largely to the sweet little old couple that walk silently, hand in hand, in my neighborhood.  They don't look a day under 90! I was lamenting one morning, as I watched them slowly trudge up our hill, about not having "that" - I decided then and there that THAT was what marriage was supposed to be, dammit, and I wasn't getting it! Then I went down my "what I'm not getting" list and made a mental check next to a whole bunch of stupid petty (seemingly HUGE) items...

I began to cry - not because I was sad about that stupid list, but because I suddenly realized that I wasn't SUPPOSED to have what they had...We hadn't earned it yet! Ken and I have long passed through that "you totally ROCK" phase of our relationship - you know, the phase when all the shit that drives me nuts now was so cute and endearing then. That lovely time when I just couldn't get enough of him....Oh ya, those days are long gone! I realized, standing at my kitchen window, the elderly couple now long gone, that Ken and I are in the "business" phase of our relationship. We are in the business of raising children, raising our businesses, managing a household, a social calendar and our shared responsibilities to our parents and siblings....I thought about who else I could be business partners with and the realization that there truly isn't a soul on this planet that I could manage all of this so well with hit me like a ton of bricks.


Suddenly my list was stupid and embarrassing! I couldn't wait to tell Ken how much I appreciated him and how grateful I am that he is my partner. In my mind this new attitude removed all the pressure of nurture, sex, passion, of us. That's not the phase we are in! We are business partners! Hooray!
(Interestingly , he has never been more attractive (okay, HOT), smart, funny and loving....weird how that worked, huh?)

It's been 3 months since that moment in my kitchen and I feel the same right now as I did that day. Ken and I have never been better. We both take time to appreciate the roles we take, the contributions we make and the goodness inside of each of us.

I haven't seen the couple since (odd)  - Perhaps they were just angels sent to save me from my ungrateful self.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dropping our Daughter off at College

I am in a reflective mood this Sunday morning as I sit here both missing and rejoicing in my daughter's newest life adventure: college. I, like millions of parents across the country, am wondering where the time went?? And to think a few weeks ago I was alternately counting the days until she would leave and wondering how I was going to survive the loss.
Taylor and I had our biggest fight 6 days before we were to pull out of our driveway in Eugene Oregon heading for LA....She had one foot out the door and I was holding on tight. Sigh.... I don't have any regrets, but it was quite a somber experience. I won't go into detail, but I wonder if other parents out there experienced the same thing? Tay and I get along great, always have. She was the EASIEST teenager on the planet....didn't stress about clothes or boys (she's gay, as it turns out) or spend hours on the computer or phone. She is a good student and a happy person. Proud mom? You bet.
Then she suddenly grew up on me. I mean, really grew up! It was what I needed to see and feared.

When she came to us a year ago having firmly decided on Whittier College we told her if she wanted to go to a school that (ahem) expensive, she would have to pay her own way. If she wanted to got to the U of O, we'd help and if she chose to go to Lane Community College - we'd pay AND buy her a car! We also told her that she would have to show us that she could handle the basic necessities of life (do her own laundry, feed herself, etc). My husband and I were of little faith (sorry, Tay) and I'll be darned if she didn't pull it off with honors! Really - this kid, smart but a little lazy, kicked it into high gear and secured scholarships, grants, work study to the tune of 44K!!! And yes, she did laundry on Sunday and made sure she left the house everyday with food and snacks to carry her through her busy schedule.

Taylor was wonderful when we dropped her off. The move into her dorm was such a fantastic experience for our whole family. Whittier is amazing! Her roommate and family were fun and sweet and the whole orientation experience couldn't have been more well thought out , moving or inspiring. The convocation was fantastic (I embarrassed our 8-year old by sobbing through most of it). Tay was engaged and loving.
And now I miss her. She was nice enough to send me an update on her life (thank God for Facebook!) but now she is busy working (2 jobs) going to school and being a well rounded, overwhelmed, intimidated, happy college freshman....

What about ME???

Whittier seemed to know exactly what I needed when they published their parent handbook. I took to heart their advice (which is why, I am convinced, I got that first "update" from Taylor so quickly).
I've printed the advice below - or you can click on the handbook link above.

                                PARENTING YOUR COLLEGE STUDENT
Each year, more than two million students begin a new phase of their lives as they enter college.
The coming year will be filled with excitement, joy, fear, pain, anticipation, and discovery for you
and your student. While no one can predict what your student’s college experience will bring,
here are a few suggestions that will help you adjust during your student’s years in college.

                                                        Expect change
Your student will change. It will happen either dramatically within the first months,
slowly over the college years, or somewhere in between. It’s natural, inevitable, and can
be inspiring and beautiful; though change can be difficult, too. College, and all the
experiences surrounding it, affect changes in a student’s social, vocational, and personal
behavior. You can’t stop the change and growth. You may not understand it, but it is
within your power to accept it.
Remember that your student will basically remain the same person that you sent away
to college, aside from interests and experiences. The changes he or she will experience
are part of a maturation process that doesn’t happen immediately.

                                        Remember, it takes time to adjust
The first few days and weeks at school are packed with new experiences. The
challenges of meeting new people and adjusting to unfamiliar situations take a lot of
time and energy. The transition to a new environment may seem overwhelming to your
student. There may be moments when they long for the tried and true life they have left
behind. Still, most students adapt well to their new environment, and in time, will
become used to the new “norm.”

                                       Write (even if they don’t write back)
While it may seem that your student is eager to embrace the independence that
accompanies college, most students are still anxious for family ties and the security
those ties bring. Some family members may misinterpret the quest for independence as
rejection. Many students would give anything for news from home and family, however
boring that news may seem to you.
There is nothing more depressing than an empty mailbox, so write or send e-mail. Don’t
expect a reply to every letter you write—be prepared for unanswered correspondence.

                                             Ask questions (but not too many)
College students are eager to establish their independence and often resent interference
with their new-found lifestyles. Still, some desire the security of knowing their family is
still interested in them.

Family curiosity can be unproductive and alienating or relief-giving and supportive,
depending on the attitudes of the persons involved. Questions marked with “I have a
right to know” feelings, ulterior motives, and nagging can be harmful. However, honest
inquiries and other “between friends” communication and discussion will most likely
enhance the family-student relationship.

                                                         Visit (but not too often)
Visits by family (especially when accompanied by shopping sprees and/or dinners) are
another favored part of the college experience. These visits are a nice time for family
members to become acquainted with, and to gain an understanding of, their students’
new activities, commitments and friends. However, spur-of-the-moment “surprises” are
usually not appreciated; pre-emption of a planned weekend of studying or other
activities can have disastrous results.
Expect and encourage students not to come home every weekend. Spending time on
campus is one of the best ways to make friends.

                                                 Call (but not everyday)
Some students, especially at the beginning of their college career, will call you with all
sorts of questions, maybe several times a day. Questions range from how to do laundry
and how to pay tuition, to advice about a roommate situation. Communication is good,
but try to limit telephone calls to no more than once per day. When you do talk to your
student, rather than telling your student what to do, ask questions like, “Who could you
talk to on campus about this problem?” Encouraging independent decision making is an
important skill developed in college.

                                     Don’t say “These are the best years of your life”
At times, your student’s college years will be filled with indecision, insecurity,
disappointment, and mistakes. They will also be full of discovery, inspiration, good
times, and best friends. But, it’s not always the good that stands out. Your student may
not agree that these are “the best years” while he or she is suffering with the trials and
tribulations of adjusting to a new environment. A great deal of pressure can be placed
on students to always appear to be having “the time of their lives.”
Any parent who believes that all college students get good grades, know what they want
to major in, always have activity-packed weekends, have hundreds of close friends, and
lead carefree lives is wrong. So are the parents who think that “college-educated” means
“mistake-proof.” Those who accept and understand the highs and lows of their student’s
reality can help provide the necessary support and encouragement.

                                                               Trust them!
Self-discovery and the transition into adulthood are difficult enough tasks without
feeling that the people whose opinions you respect the most are second-guessing you.
You and your student may have differences of opinion. It is important to realize that
these differences are not a battle between right and wrong; rather, they should be
thought of as different points of view. It is vitally important that your student knows
you love, respect, and are supportive of him or her. Your relationship and the college
years will be better for it.

I moved my office into Tay's old room (she is ok with that) and it seems to be helping. I only cried once last week! I really like sitting here by her window - looking out at the gorgeous trees (yay Oregon!) and wondering what she is doing. 

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fridays At Five

Hope to see everyone tonight at the new COOL Cafe 440.
Had lunch there today (with the fabulous Pamela Cournoyer ( and I was very impressed! Yum on the sweet potato fries!
Owner Todd is cool, personable and fun - See you tonight


GREENING your business

If you are an owner of a small business, you may be interested in knowing that you can make your small business green easier than you think. Using the following tips will not only save you energy costs, but will help the environment. Go Green! 
Steve Strauss by Steve StraussSteve Strauss, MrAllBiz, author of The Small Business Bible, also writes for

Here are a few simple ways to make your business greener and save some money at the same time:

Around the office: Yes, those funny squiggly bulbs (called CF bulbs) really do make a difference. Sure they cost a bit more, but they are supposed to last up to 15 times longer. Other simple steps include reusing packaging, packing peanuts, and turning old file folders inside out. Even better: Each of these green steps save money.
Reduce paper use: Consider getting a printer that offers two-sided printing (called duplex printing). By doing so, you cut your paper costs, and paper consumption, in half.
For instance, I recently did some work with Brother and was impressed with a printer that automatically prints on both sides of the paper (the MFC-9840.). It was also Energy Star certified, and fast. How easy, and green, is that?
Also, of course, buy some recycling bins, mark them, and use them.
Install timers and motion sensors: By automatically having lights and computers go off when not in use, you can save lots on energy costs.
Buy green: No, green products are not cheaper, but by the same token, these days, they also should not be more expensive since demand for them has reduced prices. You might also want to check into purchasing green power from your local utility.
Buy Energy Star products: The Department of Energy Energy Star certification means that you know the product you are buying is highly energy efficient, and again, it shouldn't cost any more.
Bottom line: Going green has never been simpler, or more affordable.

Here in our own community (Eugene, Or) we are fortunate to have organizations like NextStep Recycling championing the green campaign! Please check out their website

Also, have you heard about one our most informative and fun networking groups, GreenLane?
Check them out:
(they have a facebook group too!)

Then there are our friends at Green Solutions Printing headed up by Daniel Swantek:
(also on facebook)

And, last but not least - go visit Julie at Bring Recycling:

Have a green day!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Blog or Website or Both?

I think I'm over the whole Dr. Seuss thing - visit my website and you'll see what I mean. Time to grow up - put on my "Big Girl" pants and really tackle this business of being in business. Don't get me wrong...I've been tackling, wrestling, jumping, cursing, joyful, sweaty and exuberant about my business for 4 years now. But I have been struggling with exactly who I am. Big no-no in the world of branding. I am listening to my clients, prospects and mostly (gulp) my former clients - most who have left because I efficiently worked myself out of a job, by the way - and now I realize what they need most is a coach. Face it, marketing is the fun part of owning a business. No Excel, Quickbooks or calculators needed! Just creativity, tenacity and guts! I enjoy teaching and our small business community seems to really enjoy learning.
So now that I am sure I have the right formula to take my business to the next level I need to decide what to do with my website. I think I'll chuck it.
I love the idea of a blog instead because it's conversational. It's what I do for a living - I have conversations with my clients about their business - I help them strategize and plan. I like this.
I found this great article by Darren Rowse ( about the benefits of a blog and i have to agree:

1. Blogs give Individuals, Companies and Brands ‘Voice’ - 5 years ago I was a guy with a ‘voice’ that reached a few hundred people on any given week - today what I write and say is sneezed out to hundreds of thousands of people on any given week. My blogs are the vehicle for this.

2. Blogs are Conversational - both in the style of writing, the way they interact with one another and the way that they are designed with comments at their heart blogs are all about the conversation.

3. Blogs build Trust - as a result of being a relational/conversational medium a blogger can build trust with their audience (something that most businesses would kill for).

4. Blogs build Profile - looking to become an ‘expert’ (or at least be perceived as an expert) in your field. Blogs have the ability to showcase your expertise and help you become the ‘go to’ person in your field. Just today my blog brought me the opportunity to appear in Australia’s national newspaper - the result has been numerous other opportunities.

5. Blogs are Immediate - blogs are a great way to communicate with people because they are so quick to use. Have a thought, write it down, hit publish and within minutes it can be being read and commented upon by your readers.

6. Blogs are a doorway to Search Engines and Social Media - one of the great things about blogs is that they are indexed so well by search engines which love sites that are focused upon a topic, updated regularly etc. Social media sites (particularly bookmarking ones) also love blogs.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Client of the Week!

YAY! My favorite part of the week - I get to talk about the wonderful talented people I work with and give them a little plug...
This week I want to talk about The US Gymnastics Academy
The U.S. Gymnastics Academy (USGA) is a locally owned company. It all started with a dream of helping a former Olympic coach create a world class program right here in Eugene, just as he had done before in his home country of Bulgaria.

The facility is amazing and the coaches are top of the line. In fact, the head coach, Rosen Manilov, was the Bulgarian Men's Team Coach for the Sydney Olympics.
At the USGA children always come first. The aim is to develop in students a positive self-esteem by instilling the values of good sportsmanship, self discipline, respect and accountability.
programs range from "Mom & Me" and Pre-School classes to training Elite athletes, Personal Instruction, Tumbling and Home School Classes.


September 12th is National Gymnastics Day around the country. USA Gymnastics has for the past several years teamed up with Tyson Foods to support fitness for children and to raise funds for the Children's Miracle Network. USGA will be celebrating National Gymnastics Day on Sunday September 13th (Duck Football on the 12th!). We are hoping to have an exhibition at one of the local malls and to raise funds for CMN.
We will give you more details as we have them firmed up.
For more information visit

Friday, August 7, 2009

Fridays At Five

Summer has been awesome in Eugene and our networking group continues to thrive. Smaller groups mean more intimate discussions and the ability to ask for very specific referrals. We have enjoyed meeting new local tavern and wine bar owners and can't wait to visit the new sushi hot spot at 5th street market tonight! PURE! Sonny, the owner, is not only gorgeous (love the sparkly eye shadow - she should be on America's Top Model!!) but the food is outrageous and they obviously put a lot of work into their comfy space.

Please comment and suggest locations - criteria: LOCALLY owned, beer and wine served, and enough space for us to sort of "take over". Most places aren't that busy right at 5pm so this works in our favor. Believe it or not, I have only met two business owners int he 10 months we've been doing this who hadve said no thanks....WHHHAAATTT?!??! Are they Nuckin' Futs?! Why would you not want between 15 and 40 business owners coming in and spending money at your establishment? Some want to charge us for space...Id on't htink so.
Anyway - let me know (or my trusty assistant, Ashley) if you know of a spot for our group.
Here are just some of the FABULOUS spots we have visited Which was YOUR fave??):

The Broadway
Campbell House Inn
The District
Billy Macs
The Boulevard Grill
The Loft
Lavelle Winery
Sam's Place
Hop Valley Brewery
Midtown Lounge
Jo Feds (R.I.P.)
Lucky Noodle
Ring of Fire
Oregon Electric Station

More to come!


D :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Client of the Week!

I love this part of my week. I get to highlight one of the extraordinary businesses I have the privilege of working with. Today I want to bring your attention to Next Step Recycling. I cannot say enough about this amazing organization. They are so valuable to our community and to me. On a personal level, I love the Executive Director for her wit, humor, wisdom and depth. Lorraine Kerwood is a true inspiration and mentor. Lorraine was diagnosed as autistic and a labeled a special education child very early on, Lorraine never believed she could ever "be" anything important - or even that she could compete on an equal footing with other people.

To her surprise, when a friend prodded her into getting a college education she graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Oregon, with a bachelor's degree in Family and Community Services. She inspires me to resist those voices that tell me I "can't" and replace them with a resounding "Yes, I Can!!". Thanks for that, Lorraine.
I was so proud when she was honored as the Women Business Leader by the Chamber of Commerce last year.

On a professional note - NextStep Recycling has, with the help of hundreds of volunteers and community support, responsibly recycled more than 800 tons of electronic waste, and refurbished over 18,000 computers and other electronic devices - placing them with people who would not otherwise have access to this technology. They create jobs and bring awareness about the importance of recycling electronics.
We, as a community MUST Step up for NextStep! They need our support and they deserve it. Contact me to find out how you (or you business) can help this fantastic organization. OR, go to
If your organization is interested in having Lorraine speak at a conference or event, please contact me at 541.221.8592

Monday, July 13, 2009

Client of the Week!

I am on a roll...and it feels good! This whole appreciation thing is working for me! I have always considered myself a happy and positive person but I am realizing that that was more of a persona than the person. I am done lamenting about what I don't have and have really started to focus on what I DO have. It is such a happier place...

One of the things I am truly grateful for are the supportive and brilliant clients who allow me to contribute to their ongoing business development. I appreciate that a person's business is near and dear to their heart. It's not just a service or a product but a dream for their family, a journey they have committed to. My clients are small business owners who truly inspire me.
This week the Client of the week is Brooks Brush Clearing. I cannot say enough about the integrity and commitment that Mark and Julie Brooks bring to every job. They love their work and they love their customers. Julie is one of those people that you instantly want to be friends with and Mark is so committed to doing the right thing no matter what. They have a lovely family and I am honored to work for them. For more information about Brooks Brush Clearing go to
Look for more appreciation and gratitude (is that redundant?) right here!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Appreciating your Body

I recently had a medical scare, which never ever happens to me. I have been in the hospital three times (coincidentally I have three children). I don't have a primary care physician because I have never needed one. I don't go to the doctor. I see a GYN once a year for that wonderful annual experience that we women love so dearly and for my mammo. I am NOT a burden to the health care system.I never thought about it until now but I guess I am proud of that.
SO Sunday I find myself in the emergency room, hooked up to an IV, morphine blissfully easing the abdominal pain I am experiencing. A very uncomfortable CT scan later, there is no evidence of anything horrible. No appendicitis, no pancreatitis, tumors or anything serious like that. Apparently a cyst on my ovary had ruptured causing enormous pain but something I will recover from without any evasive procedures. Whew!

So now I am reflecting on how I view this body of mine. Not very well. I take it for granted at a minimum. Worse, I tell myself that I hate it. I do. I say that to myself all the time. This body that shows up day after day and serves me without pain or illness....I hate it because the shape is wrong. How absurd. I am turning a new leaf. It's time to have gratitude for a perfect body.

Why Are So Many Women Dissatisfied with Their Bodies?

How many women do you know who think their bodies are just fine the way they are? The sad fact is that we live in a world in which it has become normal for women to dislike their bodies, a world in which even healthy eight-year-old girls may worry about their size and shape.

This body has delivered 3 healthy beautiful babies, walked 60 miles for Breast Cancer, run a half marathon for Leukemia Lymphoma, carried hurt children to the car, lifted, pushed, crawled, jumped, skipped, hopped, run and walked on command.

It's time for a little appreciation! It is my intention to love my body - to reward it for all it has given me by taking better care of it. I will drop the extra 30 pounds I have forced it to carry for the last couple of years. How unfair is that!

Anyone care to join me?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

SEO for iweb

I recently purchsed RAGE SEO Software for my iweb sites ( and and have been struggling with google....Found great tips from Rage and thought I'd share!

1) iWeb Page Titles

As of iWeb 08 (and now iWeb 09), most built in templates have a large header caption at the top of the page. Your website’s title tag will actually reflect what you enter here. Many users simply keep this as the default caption, not utilizing the most important on-page optimization you can use for search engines.

The trick is to give your page a title that includes both the keywords you want to appear for in search engines and that accurately describes your website content. Your web page title appears at the very top of your web browser, and in a search engines results page. Search engines use your title tag to get an idea of what they will find on your website.

iWeb Page Titles are important for SEO

Update: With the free iWeb SEO Tool you can now edit your web page titles, meta tags and alternative image text after you publish your site. You no longer have to worry about how iWeb gets your title tag.

For templates without these header captions, or if you remove the caption, iWeb will use your page file name as its title. Give it a good title using the advice we provided above.
Add Custom Title Tags To Your iWeb Website

2) Navigation bars

One of the biggest problems with iWeb is the way it creates your navigation bars. Instead of using standard HTML which search engines can use to correctly find all files on your website, it uses Javascript which makes it extremely hard for search engines to scan and index your website properly.

Fortunately there is a way you can work around this problem. Select your main page (or the first page that contains your navigation bar) and open the Inspector window. Click the Page Inspector tab (second tab) and deselect the option ‘Display Navigation Bar’ as shown in the following screen shot;
Add Custom Title Tags To Your iWeb Website

Now you’re going to create your own navigation bar with proper links to each of your pages. Create a new Text Box field and place it at the top of your page, while moving all your other content down. To quickly move all content down, go to Edit – Select All. Hold the shift key as you drag all your content down which will help insure you don’t accidentally move the content off center. Put the new Text Box at the top of your page and add captions for each of your pages separated using tabs or spaces so that they look like a proper navigation bar. Then select each caption and go to the ‘Link Inspector’ tab in the Inspector window. Select ‘Enable as a hyperlink’ and choose ‘One of My Pages’ from the ‘Link To’ drop down menu. Lastly select the page you want to link to from the ‘Page’ drop down menu.
Proper navigation bars in iWeb

Although you should do this for each of your pages for best results, insuring you do it on your main page only is extremely helpful for search engines.

3) The Right Content

One of the biggest issues I see with iWeb created websites is users choosing non-standard web fonts for their website. Just to provide some background information, there are a number of fonts that are considered safe for use on the web. These are fonts that are guaranteed to be installed on a users computer no matter what operating system or web browser they use. If a font is not installed on a users computer and you use it on your website, it will not display properly for them. iWeb works around this issue by turning your text into pictures if you use a non-standard font. This is why your webpage always looks the same no matter where you view it. Unfortunately, search engines can not ‘read’ text that is turned into pictures and this will severely impact your potential search engines rankings.

You must stick to the standard web fonts, which are listed below for you. This insures that your website has the best possible chance of ranking high for the keywords you are targeting.

Web safe fonts include;

* Arial
* Courier New
* Georgia
* Times New Roman
* Verdana
* Trebuchet MS
* Helvetica

*Note: Some of the above fonts may not always be installed on a persons computer but will be easily replaced with a very similar looking alternative if they can not be found. That is why they have all been included in the above list.

You want to make sure that your website content contains the keywords you want to rank high for in search engines. It’s not good enough to “be in search engines”, you want to appear when a potential customer types in one of your keywords. Search Engines will not know what your webpage is about unless you include the proper keywords in your web page content.

4) iWeb Landing Pages

Lastly, something I see very often is users making a so called “landing page” as their home page. This is the type of page where it may simply show your company logo with a “Click here to enter link”. Basically anything that requires a user to take one more step in order to see your website is never a good thing.

This applies to search engines as well. Your home page is considered your most important page by default so make sure you are taking full advantage of it. Link to other important pages directly from your home page and make sure it includes keyword rich content.

Remember, search engines will not simply choose your site out of the billions out there and rank them at the top of their search index unless you give them good reason too. Getting high in search engines for the keywords your customers are searching for can be extremely profitable to you and will take some time to achieve. Don’t expect immediate results and keep learning about the strategies you can employ to get high rankings.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Fridays at Five - June 5th

Can't wait for this week! We are going to be at Lavelle Winery in Elmira - rolling lawns, beautiful surroundings, fantastic hosts....They are staying open late just for us!

Fridays at Five has really turned out to be a phenom (if I do say so myself). I think the reason it works so well is because it's absolutely CASUAL. Perfect fit for small businesses who are intimidated by those huge networking events or by the costs of some of those referral groups or even by the time commitment that is required by some groups. Fridays at Five is just a fun group of business minded folks who enjoy a glass of wine or a beer at the end of a long work week and who, by the design of this program, wish to help other small business professionals grow, learn and succeed. We've called ourselves "A drinking club with a business problem" which cracks people up- but the truth is, we are a fantastic networking group that WORKS! When a business is chosen to speak we encourage that person to ask VERY SPECIFICALLY for whatever it is he or she wants. Example: I want to meet the purchasing manager at the new hospital". Inevitably someone in the group knows that person or can put them in touch with someone who does. Additionally, we don't necessarily offer our product or service up at first pass - as it is done so frequently at other networking events....How annoying is that? You are left with a handful of business cards that you toss, and still have e bunch in your pocket (your own) that no one really cared to ask for....So try this - At your next networking event make it a point to NOT talk about your business - ask about others then ask for more info ("tell me more" works well) then ask how you can help that person succeed or grow. Then watch what happens. Givers Gain!

I love that Fridays at Five is working so well. I am also excited that the spin off group - CEO Roundtable, has been well received. In fact, I'm off to facilitate a roundtable right now. Just thought I'd pop down a few thoughts on this lovely Oregon morning...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Advertising vs. Marketing - What's the Difference?

At Rossetti Marketing we are proud to work with small businesses - many just starting out, some home-based and a bunch who are ready to take it to the next level. One of the first things we "teach" is the difference between marketing and advertising. It may seem basic, but it's worth posting for those excited entrepreneurs who may not understand.
Knowing the difference and doing your market research can put your company on the path to substantial growth.

Let's start off by reviewing the formal definitions of each and then I'll go into the explanation of how marketing and advertising differ from each other.

Advertising: The paid, non-personal announcement of a persuasive message by an identified sponsor; the non-personal presentation or promotion by a firm of its products to existing and potential customers.

The systematic planning, implementation and control of a mix of business activities intended to bring together buyers and sellers for the mutually advantageous exchange or transfer of services or products.

After reading both definitions it is easy to understand how the difference can be confusing to the point that people think of them as one-and-the-same; so let's break it down a bit.

Advertising is a single component of the marketing process.

It's the part that involves getting your word out concerning your business, product, or the services you are offering. It involves the process of developing strategies such as ad placement, frequency, etc. Advertising includes the placement of an ad in such mediums as newspapers, direct mail, billboards, television, radio, and of course the Internet. Advertising is the largest expense of most marketing plans, with public relations following in a close second and market research not falling far behind.

The best way to distinguish between advertising and marketing is to think of marketing as a pie, inside the pie you have slices of advertising, market research, media planning, public relations, product pricing, distribution, customer support, sales strategy, and community involvement. Advertising only equals one piece of the pie in this strategy. All of these elements must not only work independently bu they also must work together towards the bigger goal. Marketing is a process that takes time and can involve hours of research for a marketing plan to be effective. Think of marketing as everything that an organization does to facilitate an exchange between company and consumer.

Social Media Marketing
takes that exchange and makes it between consumer and consumer - a 2-way conversation about your business. Coming soon: Social Media Marketing basics

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Social Media Marketing – an alternative strategy in tough times

Came across a great post by Lance Scoular and had to share. If you want more information about social media marketing or just need an hour long SMM clinic - call Denise at 541-221-8592

To survive the current economic downturn you will need to grow your revenue where possible. Apart from keeping your current customers, the next goals are to increase you customer base and/or perhaps find more cost effective suppliers.

To do this effectively you need to:
1. evaluate your target market and
2. find cost effective ways to reach prospective customers and suppliers.

Whether you have a reasonable marketing/advertising budget or virtually nothing to speak of, Social Media provides some creative ways to make contact with either new suppliers or customers.

The most popular and fastest growing Social Media that can be leveraged by business are Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Businesses that adopt these technologies will have the jump on their competition. Developing a strategy combining these three forms of Social Media can develop three powerful networks without any financial outlay.

Social Media Triangulation

Combing the three media formats provides what can be described as Social Media Triangulating or “smTriangulation the Power-of-3.”

Firstly, this combination provides the development of three separate but complementary networks with the ability to provide exponential growth.

Secondly, it provides a back up situation for your networks, should one of these online companies fail, you still have the contacts on the other networks.

Thirdly, each network has its own strengths which when combined with the others provides quite powerful synergies.

A Brief Overview of these three Social Media Sites

Facebook –
Facebook has taken over from MySpace as the fastest growing social media network. Many businesses are creating Facebook Pages for their business and joining Facebook Groups that are relevant to their business. Also, Facebook has multimedia capability for photos and video which can be used for promotional purposes.

LinkedIn –

LinkedIn is a Professional Network using the format of an online Resume. LinkedIn can be used as a reference point for people to check your credentials and for you to check theirs. I see it as a point of credibility in the business negotiation process. LinkedIn also has many groups for various industries or interests you can join.

Twitter -
Stephen Collins, (trib) on Twitter, extolled the virtues of Twitter for businesses in general and export organisations in particular, at an Austrade conference in September last year.

Twitter is a microblogging site with a limited text of 140 characters. Messages can be distributed and redistributed rapidly. The other advantage from a business point of view is the capability of building networks fast and also converting those contacts or “followers” to Friends on Facebook or “Connections” at LinkedIn.

There are various applications built for Twitter and a significant one for business is This application classifies Twitter members by their interest or business classification as well as by locality.

Targeted Advertising

Whilst Twitter at the time of writing has no advertising options, both Facebook and LinkedIn have targeted advertising models similar to Google Adwords. The advertiser can target their advertising message utilising the demographic data of the site’s subscribers.

Consider Your Strategy
Whilst these online networking services are free of charge, apart from the advertising options mentioned above, there is definitely a time involvement to be considered. Therefore, when considering this form of Social Network Marketing, consideration should be given to the person/s that would be best allocated to this task.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

No Fridays at Five this week (April 10th)
The Inside Scoop

There are lots of good frozen-yogurt shops in Simon Glickman's Pasadena, California, neighborhood. But one—21 Choices—seems to enjoy bigger crowds than the rest, and he explains in his Editorial Emergency newsletter how the small storefront keeps customers coming back from more:

It delivers plenty of atmosphere. Unlike most corporate chains, the environment is quirky and inviting—multiple television screens flicker with cooking shows and vintage cartoons while the teenage staff "sing and shimmy" to a Motown soundtrack.
It makes customers feel valued. When the line moves slowly, staffers require no coaxing to hand out samples, genuine apologies and coupons for free yogurt. If it turns out you don't like a flavor combination, they'll replace it without charge, and Glickman's wife once received an extra scoop because an employee liked her sock-monkey key chain.
"But the company's service ethic goes much further," notes Glickman, "and this is where you should put down your Snickerdoodle Swirl and pay particular attention."

Simply put, 21 Choices excels at thinking in terms of community:

Personalized touches include a poster by the front door that lists regulars by name.
Since customers care about environmental issues, the shop made the switch to biocompostable cups and spoons. "A handmade sign explains that this move has added to their overhead and resulted in slightly higher prices," he says. "No one seems to mind."