Marketing From A Woman's Point of View

Category — Women In Marketing

Conquering Twitterbutt – How To Lose Your Twitter Love Handles

Oh my, how we love Twitter.  We love Twitter so much that we sit on our soft behinds in front of the computer for hours on end tweeting the latest articles, talking with our Twitter friends, and building our online relationships.  In return we are rewarded with new business, new friends, and new junk in our trunk.

I’m not sayin this is you… but many of us are suffering with what I call Twitterbutt.

If you’re a Twitter addict like most of us social media people are, chances are that you can log in to Twitter at 8am to start your day and the next time you notice what time it is it’s past 1pm when you can no longer stand the grumbling in your stomach.  You just sat there in one spot with your butt glued to the chair (or couch) for 5 hours.

So, what do we do?  Well, we get up and feed our hungry bellies, right?  While we’re snacking we sit back down in front of the computer to “just check in” on Twitter.  We engage and talk and become engrossed in our Twittering until we suddenly realize we can’t see the keyboard anymore because it’s 7pm and it’s completely dark in the room.

Okay…this explains WHY we are rocking our new Twitterbutt handle, but how do we get rid of the extra poundage and still stay engaged?

I became fed up a few months ago and decided to change my sedentary lifestyle before I became a permanent fixture in front of my computer.  Since I’ve begun practicing these few changes I’ve lost a little over 15 lbs.  Not a huge amount, but I can’t tell you how much better I feel when I am going up the stairs and being able to play with my kids without crumbling to the ground in a massive lump of sweaty, hyperventilating, sad sight.

How to Conquer Your Twitterbutt

1.  Set a schedule

Social media marketing doesn’t take all day in front of the computer.  It really doesn’t.  Start your morning by going through your RSS Reader for the best posts to Tweet and throw out a few links.  Save a few and use Hootsuite or another program to schedule others at later times during the day. (Noon to 3pm is busiest). Spend 30 minutes engaging on Twitter, thanking your followers for retweets, asking questions, and paying it forward.

This whole process should take no longer than one hour.  Do this twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.  In between those times, turn off your Twitter platform so you are not tempted.

2.  Get Your Butt Up and Move

Don’t just say you’re going to do it.  Do it.  Schedule it in. Just get up and do it.

I started a MeetUp group to help me stay committed because I know I am a flake when it comes to exercise.  If I tell myself I’m going to exercise my mind and body fight it all day. Rather, I tell myself it’s time to go on my walk with my new friends.  We made this a regular habit at regular spots in our local parks and trails.  We started at 1 mile and have worked up to a faster pace and walking 3 miles.

I also schedule other fun stuff like volleyball, Zumba, Badminton or just throwing the football or frisbee around for 30 min.  Again, I schedule it.  It may not be easy to break your Twitter habit, but it does get easier.

3.  Take Breaks

Go ahead, do it….set the mouse down.  Walk away.  I know you can do it.

Go outside and enjoy the sunshine.  Feel your energy start to return as you get your mind off the computer screen.  These breaks will remind you that you love to be active outside of your Twitter world too.  You need these little boosts not only for encouraging more activity but they are also great to find inspiration for new blog posts or those witty Tweets you are so famous for.

4.  Track What You Eat

Are you a snacker? Or are you like me and just don’t eat at all until 8pm rolls around and then you splurge?  Either way, start tracking what your eating habits are and the nutrition your giving your body.

There are several social networks such as SparkPeople or MyFitnessPal that will help you track meals, nutrition and exercise.  I recently signed up for SparkPeople and have been using their online tools to enter my meals and track my goals.  Some of my goals are to eat 30-40 grams of fiber and around 1400 calories per day.  Yours may be different, but you can set those up and the sites are great at providing nutritional pointers.

5.  Exercise At Your Desk

Right now are you sitting straight up with your belly muscles pulled in?  Are you breathing deeply to expand your lungs or are you taking short breaths?  Just become aware of these things and begin to notice when you are slouching.

Just contracting your stomach muscles, releasing and contracting again while sitting at your desk is a modified crunch.  There are other exercises you can do while at your desk as well.  This blurb was taken from WebMD.com and has some great ideas to get more exercise in when you work at your desk all day:

“We are made to move, not sit at a desk 12 hours a day,” says Joan Price, author of The Anytime, Anywhere Exercise Book. “As ergonomic as your desk or chair may be, sitting produces back pains, headaches, and listlessness. You become less productive.”

Twitter rocks but with summer nearly here,  don’t you want your glutumus maximus to rock even more??  Get rid of the Twitterbutt and get your groove on with all of us!

What tips do you have for getting rid of Twitterbutt?  How have you fit exercise into your social media filled day?  Share them in the comments below for all to learn.

To Your Success,

April 20, 2010   26 Comments

5 Online Resources For Finding Women’s News

As a woman entrepreneur I like to stay abreast of any breaking women’s news, statistics or generally interesting stuff that has to do with women in the marketplace and business world.  It’s important to know what’s being said about women, how our gender is being reflected in society and business, and to have the ability to interpret and spread the news.

Today’s Women To Watch post consists of my 5  online resources for women entrepreneurs that I’ve found helpful in keeping up to date on who’s who and what’s what in all things for women entrepreneurs, social media and business.

1.  Forbes Woman – ForbesWoman.com is one of the first things I read in the mornings.  The Forbes name is known for it’s business savvy news and they do a wonderful job at recognizing women rising to the top.

You may not have known this, but one of my articles was picked up by Forbes last month that featured 20 Top Social Media and Marketing Blogs Written by Women.  I was also honored to have been names one of Forbes Top 30 Women Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter! Maybe I’m a little biased, but you will not go wrong in staying up to date with the Forbes brand and adding their site to your online resources.

2. WomenEntrepreneur - Full of excellent articles written by talented women, I always find something inspiring to share when visiting.  Such as the article Lena West published today titled “The Two Best Ways To Respond To Positive Blog Comments”.  Can you guess what they are?  I will tell you this..I have not been doing them and I should!  You’ll find tips like these from women entrepreneurs to help you in your business.

3. Google Alerts – So, this isn’t exactly one site I turn to, but it is an excellent online resource for finding women’s news or any news you are particularly interested in.  I set Google alerts with keywords such as “women entrepreneur” “marketing to women” or “business women” and have Google send all the latest news results to my Reader.

You can use whatever keywords are significant for your niche, including your own keywords to keep up on what the competition is up to. (Tip: set up alerts with your own name, website and misspellings of your name to know when you’re mentioned somewhere else  and follow up with a comment)

4. Twitter Searches - Sometimes your Google alerts just don’t catch everything out there that may mention women’s news of some sort.  You never know what other keywords are being used when an author writes an article, so set up some searches on Twitter with similar keywords and Twitter will help you find any relevant info mentioned in tweets.

If you use HootSuite or TweetDeck you can do your search from there and set up a separate column just to monitor those keywords.  I’ve fallen in love with HootSuite for monitoring all my little niches, brands, etc!

5. Subscribe To Blogs – I can’t say enough about the power of Word of Mouth…if you are not staying in touch with the friends, mentors, and cwomen entrepreneurs in your target market you are doing yourself and others a disservice.  It is important to your growth to get to know other bloggers and recognize them when you come across anything that you’ve found interesting.  You’re building your own credibility along with theirs and you will learn a lot!

If you don’t know where to start in finding some great blogs to follow, be sure to check read my 20 Best Marketing and Social Media Blogs By Women and check out the blogrolls here and on other blogs you’ve found helpful.

What are your top resources for finding breaking news or information relevant to your niche?  Share them below in the comments…I’m sure I’ve missed some great ones and love new ideas!

To Your Success,

P.S. ~~> If you would like to be featured on Market Like A Chick, just check out the details on my Be Featured page.  You can choose to write a guest article of your own or be featured in an interview like this.  We want to hear from you!

February 3, 2010   15 Comments

Woman To Watch – Holly Hanna of The Work At Home Woman

Today marks the first official “Wednesday’s Women To Watch” post and I’m excited to start it off with such an inspiring lady as Holly Hanna.  Holly has built a wonderful network for women earning their living from home and given them many resources and opportunities to learn from one another.

Take a few minutes and learn a little more about Holly and how she brought her business to the success it is today.

Woman To Watch – Holly Hanna of The Work At Home Woman



To start off, Holly, could you please describe what you do and how you earn your living?

I am the publisher and founder of The Work at Home Woman, an online business resource dedicated to helping women and mothers acquire the skills and knowledge to be able to successfully work from home or become self-employed. To fund this business I also work part-time as a social media marketer for a small publishing company.

What most influenced you to launch your business?

My beautiful daughter… before I had my daughter I worked full-time as an RN Clinical Research Coordinator, but from the moment she was placed in my arms I knew that I would not be able to leave her in daycare and return to my full-time job. With the support of my husband, I was able to quit my full-time job and become a full-time stay a home mom; but after nine months of caring for my daughter I felt the need to exercise my brain.

I started my work at home search by asking past employers and friends if there was any work that I could do for them while caring for my daughter at home. My networking efforts paid off and in December 2007 I started working from home as a social media marketer. While working for the publishing company, I learned a lot of valuable marketing skills and decided to launch The Work at Home Woman as a way to help other women and moms find legitimate work at home jobs and opportunities.

Why do you think the female factor is so important in today’s economy and business world?

I believe that women bring a new and refreshing outlook to business and the economy. I think because so many new businesses are owned by women that the business realm is starting to reflect a more caring and nurturing environment that is conducive to a more altruistic actions. I think as more and more women start their own businesses that we will see many new and exciting changes that benefit all members of the community.

Have you used the marketing concept of tribes in your business?  Do you feel this concept can help other female entrepreneurs in their business pursuits?

Yes, I do use this concept in my business practice. I find that women are very receptive to helping each other out by sharing knowledge and lending emotional support freely – you just need to ask.

How do you use social media for your business?

I use social media first and foremost to meet new people and cultivate new and existing relationships. It has also been a wonderful way to moderately promote my site and get important news and updates.

What aspect of social media have you found to be the most help and/or most hindrance to your business?

Social media has really broken down the wall to physical boundaries; I am now able to connect with people from all over the world.

The downside to social media is that is can be very time consuming and distracting.

Have you had a mentor and if so, how has that helped you?

I haven’t had a specific mentor, but there have been a bunch of wonderful women who I have been able to ask questions and lean on in times of need. If you don’t have a mentor or career coach, I highly suggest joining a local business group where you can reach out to other members for support and information.

What would you say is the single biggest reason for your success?

There are really a couple of reasons… one because I am very motivated to make this work and secondly, I absolutely love what I am doing. I am able to help other women while taking care of my daughter, what better scenario can you ask for!

If you could step back in time to when you were just starting out, what advice would you give yourself knowing what you know now?

My advice to myself and other entrepreneurs would be to be more vocal. My very first graphic designer was totally unreliable and ended up taking advantage of me and the situation. I now know that if something doesn’t seem right, speak up and let your voice be heard. There is a difference between being polite and being taken advantage of.

Can you share with us any plans or lifetime goals (personal or business) that we can look forward to from you?

I have started to write a book and I hope to be finished with it by the end of 2010.

What is the best way for our readers to learn more about you or contact you for more information?

People can visit me at The Work at Home Woman, on Twitter @Holly_Hanna or on Facebook. They can also contact me at holly (at) theworkathomewoman (dot) com

Many thanks to Holly for stepping up and getting back to me after this week’s call for women entrepreneurs to be featured here!  Please leave your comments and any questions for Holly below.

To Your Success,

P.S. ~> Would YOU like to be featured on Market Like A Chick? If you have a great success or marketing journey you would like to share and use to inspire other women entrepreneurs let me know!  I will be featuring one woman each week for my new Wednesday’s Women To Watch posts.  You can find all the details and guidelines on my Be Featured page.

January 13, 2010   11 Comments

Sex In Marketing – Calling The Pot Black

So today, my friends, we talk about sex.  Not the actual act of sex, but the subject of sex and how women are affected by the mention of the word in business or blogging.  It should be interesting.

It was my intention today to make this post a tutorial on setting up your blog advertising using OIO Publisher. (Maybe Thursday) Instead, when I woke up this morning I noticed a pingback (a notice letting me know someone else had mentioned my blog and linked to it on theirs) from another woman entrepreneur that seemingly took offense to one of my article headlines.

You may remember that back in October I entered a contest to win passes to Blogworld 09 from John Chow’s blog.  John’s a pretty big name in the Internet marketing world, so I expected a lot of competition.  I was pretty stoked when I actually WON a weekend pass to the expo for my article!  There were a few tactics I used when I wrote that piece that I may share in a later post, but one of the main things I did was use a headline that would catch attention. It’s called baiting.

My “Offensive” Article

The article is titled “Will Give Great Blog For Passes To Blogworld“.  Catchy?  Provocative? A little shocking?  I hoped so.  Demeaning to women?  Umm…not so much.  But Adria Richards seems to think so and has included me in her rant on using sex to promote yourself and how it is demeaning to women.

So why is this article from October being brought up now? I was mentioned in Adria’s article “What’s Wrong With Using Sex To Sell Your Wordcamp Session?” because of my Blogworld article. Note the headline here.

Someone uses a sexual innuendo to promote their work. It works. Someone else cries “sexism” and “women’s rights” by quoting it & promoting their work. How are they different? It’s the same marketing ploy with a different spin.

The Drama

Adria was given the opportunity to speak and placed on the schedule for Wordcamp Boston. When Danielle Morrill submitted her subject “Getting the Money Shot: Making Screencasts Without Going Insane” for her shot to speak at Wordcamp, and made it to the finals, Adria protested by backing out of her scheduled session and has stirred up some controversy over the subject.

Here is the subject description that has offended Adria so much to leave the Wordcamp people high and dry:

Danielle Morrill – Producing a useful screencast, where an online product or service is demonstrated for the user and they are introduced to the UI of your website, can increase the number of people who convert to customers. This talk will leave viewers with practical advise for creating their own screencast, including a list of tools and resources. It will also outline some of the things to avoid, the pyschology of the editor, and how thinking like a porn director will help you be sure to achieve the “”money shot””. Take 1 Mac, 1 Flipcam HD, a whole lot of coffee, and one really sleep deprived Danielle and hilarity ensues.

When I read Danielle’s description I see more than just a reference to porn.  I see the opportunity to learn a lesson on screencasting that will be entertaining as well as educational.  Porn is a multi-million dollar business and I would love to learn psychology behind the marketing strategy even if I am not a big supporter.  Danielle never mentioned having shots of naked women in her presentation, (sorry guys) but rather, jokes about how fun she will make the session.

Coree’s Take On The Sex Issue

I’m a chick that’s okay with talking about sex fairly openly.  I don’t get offended at sexual innuendos, and in fact, am often the one that starts them.  Not all sexual reference is bad.  Not all porn is bad.  If a woman is being abused or oppressed then it’s different.  I know plenty of women that actually enjoy watching porn or visiting a strip club with their male partner. That doesn’t set that woman back 20 years in our progression to fight discrimination.

By not taking offense to sexual innuendos I am placing myself on the same playing level as a guy.  No longer do they have that power over me to think they can offend me or make me uncomfortable by talking about sex.  Now, if someone is openly being rude, discriminatory or demeaning they will have to watch out!  But, all in all, I’m comfortable with my sexuality and can laugh at our human desires because we are sexual beings.

I am all about respect for women and treating us fairly in all areas of life.  Women have definitely had to fight to gain the respect as an equally intelligent and capable being and not just a man’s sex toy.  It irks me when I see women displayed as good for nothing other than eye candy or as a dumb bimbo that can only get ahead by sleeping her way to the top.  But, that’s an extreme.

This whole controversy over something as simple as a tongue in cheek wink at our infatuation with sex is also extreme.  We know sex sells, we know that men are all over any mention of sex like flies on …well, you know.  So, to be intelligent enough to use a discreet marketing ploy to win a competition and call it demeaning is a little out of order.

The Humor Behind Sex in Marketing

Adria says in her article, “I don’t find pornography to be funny“.

No one was laughing about pornography itself.  The humor is in the obsession we have with porn or sex and how we can laugh at ourselves because of it. Every comedian I can think of has become wildly popular for the ability to get us to identify and laugh at our own humanity.

You may not agree with everything that comes out of Jenny, The Bloggess, mouth but I can tell you that she is very popular with both men AND women for her ability to do put a funny spin on the sex subject.  I consider myself pretty extreme at times, but sometimes Jenny can even have me going “Whoa!”.  Jenny just began writing for Sexis Magazine where her entire mission is to make fun of porn in her articles.  It’s not demeaning to her, and I’m pretty sure if someone tried to demean Jenny she would have her own unique way of turning that back on them.

Of course there is a point where it’s gone too far.  Having the chicks in ultra tight shorts and tanks to gain attention at a convention is blatant and out of place.  On the flip side, if a woman sponsored booth used a guy in a speedo to attract attention would you go over there?  Probably not cuz that’s just creepy. But I think we can make rational decisions on what’s extreme, what’s funny, and what’s tasteful.

Share Your Thoughts

I say more power to Danielle for not being afraid to use a man’s tactic in marketing her submission! She has my vote for Wordcamp Boston…and if you’d like to join me you have til 11:59pm EST tonight to add yours.  I think Danielle and I could have been great Mae Wests in another life, or at least women that know how to dish it up with the best of them.  :)

What’s your opinion on using sexual innuendos in marketing?  I know I’m opening up for some lively conversation,  but feel free to leave your comments below.  I look forward to hearing them!
To Your Success,

P.S. ~> I have several advertising spots available for bargain prices.  I feel like maybe I should be selling some sex toys along with the advertising after this post, but alas…it’s just an awesome deal on advertising your business where other women entrepreneurs voice their opinions.  ;)  Check out the pricing and availability and reserve your spot today.

January 12, 2010   17 Comments

Featured On Market Like A Chick: YOU!

Does your passion lie in giving women a creative, supportive and “smart” community to launch and sustain their businesses?  Here’s your chance to share your social and business mojo as a Featured Guest on Market Like A Chick.

There will be several ways to be featured and become a part of our community of super cool marketing chicks.  Even if you’ve never considered yourself cool…or a “chick”…you will find we have a wonderful group here that are all looking to learn, grow and support one another.

Write For Market Like A Chick

One-time guest bloggers or even ongoing guest contributors are welcome.

Are you passionate about a particular marketing topic?  I’m always looking for experienced writers who can write original and quality articles for Market Like A Chick.

Not a chick but still want to be featured?

Don’t be scared, guys…we welcome you too. Just check out this guest post Jim Gaudet wrote on the Blueprint to a Successful Future on the Internet. There are times when men are able to shed a different perspective on things that we, as women, may not have thought of. If you feel you can write an article that female marketers can relate to and benefit from then you are welcome to submit your article as well.

Before you submit a post, please take the time to look through and read some of the older posts and comments to get an idea of what the Market Like A Chick community is like. You can get some topic ideas from my first call for Guest Posts in this article.  Then read the guidelines on my Be Featured page and use the submission form there to submit your article for review.

Email Interview

Do you have a great success or marketing journey you would like to share and use to inspire other women entrepreneurs?  If you’re a woman entrepreneur (sorry guys – only women for this one),  and would rather participate via an email-interview format I will be featuring one woman each week for my new Wednesday’s Women To Watch posts.

To be featured in an interview format, please download and answer the interview questions you can find on my Be Featured page, then submit to coree (at) marketlikeachick (dot) com with “Guest Interview for MLC” in the subject line.

If you’d like to submit your interview as a video you can do that too, just keep the length between 5-10 minutes max.

More Features On The Way

I have another really cool feature up my sleeve as well.  I’d hoped to have it ready by this week, but there has been some delays.  (Mostly just me trying to figure out all the techy stuff!) I don’t want to give away too much right now, but you’ll love this new resource for both advertising your business and collaborating with others women entrepreneurs.

Hopefully I’ll have the bugs worked out and ready for you by next week.  Until then if you want to Be Featured here on Market Like A Chick I would be thrilled to work with you.    Send in your best and if you have some creative ideas for being featured, feel free to run them by me!

To Your Success,

January 8, 2010   16 Comments

Passion In Marketing – 10 Tips Kreesha Turner Can Teach You

Everyone is passionate about something.  Without a passion for your business or niche your marketing plan just becomes another j-o-b.  You need passion in your personal life – being married more than 20 years, I’m reminded that sometimes a smoldering passion is just as important as love-at-first-sight passion – and you need passion in your professional life as well.

Guest Post by Sharon Mostyn

Our teenage daughter put Kreesha Turner’s song, Passion, on my iPod (I’m hoping she likes it because the song’s use of whistle, horns, and drum line reminds her of marching band halftime shows from high school football games and not for any other reason!) Ms. Turner’s lyrics have inspired my New Year’s resolution to be more passionate in my professional life in 2010. Writing this (my first) guest blog post is how I’m beginning to keep that resolution.

You can listen to Passion on Kreesha’s Myspace profile here

Here are 10 tips Kreesha Turner’s lyrics may inspire you to put more passion in your marketing:

1)           “I’ve got a passion that’s burning to win.”You need to start with something that you’re passionate about. If you’re not passionate about your job, your company, or your product, you’re not going to have the desire to win that you need to succeed.

2)           “If you plan to come and claim it, hope you called all your friends” because your company’s friends/fans/followers can become your biggest brand advocates. Let their testimonials be part of your marketing strategy.

3)           “You’ve got a long road ahead full of trouble” but don’t let it get you down. No matter how passionate you are about your marketing, you’re going to have problems that need to be overcome because your competitors are working just as hard as you are.

4)          I done come too far to get here and lose, and I done paid a million something dollars in dues” acknowledges struggles with results that are not as great as you hoped. Use your money wisely by always testing and use what you’ve learned from your initial tests to develop more tests and refine your marketing strategy.

5)           “I’ve got passion and it’s deeper than yours, passion, and I’m-a use it to score” speaks to the fact that if all other things are equal (price, promotion, features, etc.) your marketing strategy must be better than your competitors in order to score with, and ultimately win over, the customer.

6)           “My determination keeps me patient & strong.” Although it may seem contrary to Chris Brogan’s recent post http://www.chrisbrogan.com/never-give-up-no-give-up/, you can’t give up because of a few bumps in the road. Be patient with your long-term strategy, even if your test results show that you need some short-term modifications.

7)           “Forty hours countin’ dollars ain’t been suitin’ too well” suggests that if 9-to-5 isn’t working for you then be creative on when and where to get your inspiration, even if it means working somewhere or sometime other than the ordinary.

8)           “See that I’ve got the heart to make my dreams come to life.” Marketing is not easy. You’ve got to have determination and tenacity to make it work.

9)           “Ain’t no slackin’, no distractions, got no time to lose.” You need to take the initiative and get started now, don’t let anything distract you from your marketing goals.

10)      “Victory is mine so let the trumpets blow.” When you have a marketing success, blow your horn! Sharing the story of your success helps keep you passionate in future marketing endeavors.

I’m going to use Kreesha Turner’s Passion as my 2010 theme song to make myself a better marketer. Are you passionate? What’s your theme song? Please leave a comment below to let me know.

Sharon Mostyn is a Certified Inbound Marketing Professional and author of her own blog SharonMostyn.com where she writes about Motherhood, Marketing, and Medical Mayhem.

January 6, 2010   14 Comments

20 Best Marketing and Social Media Blogs by Women

Over the last year I have learned a great deal from women in the field of marketing, social media, branding and entrepreneurship. While there are many female thought leaders in the marketing industry that I may have missed, this list contains the women that have made a difference in my life, my viewpoint, and continue to lead the way for women in business.

It’s up to each of us to find online content we find valuable to our growth and business needs, and then to consume and put into action the advice and tips from the experts.  This list is full of women that I have found to be leaders, women that are consistently providing relevant and useful information to the marketing and social media industry.  I appreciate each and every one of them and recommend these ladies as the Chicks Pick Best in Blog – Marketing and Social Media 2009.

Update: This article was picked up by ForbesWoman and published on Forbes.com.  Now these ladies have some promo they really deserve!  See the article here: Forbes 20 Best Marketing and Social Media Blogs by Women

Conversation Agent, Valeria Maltoni @ConversationAge Valeria helps businesses understand how customers and communities have changed marketing, PR, and communications – and how to bring value in this new environment. She also hosts the #kaizenblog Twitter chat on Fridays where other professional and aspiring conversationalists share their best tips.

Lipsticking, Yvonne DiVita, @Lipsticking – Yvonne heads up a very talented group of women bloggers including Lena West, Donna DeClemente, Mary Schmidt and Robbi Hess.  These ladies bring a powerful female voice to the marketing world assisting many brands, agencies and not-for-profits in their marketing to women strategies.  You’re sure to appreciate the honest and outspoken articles found on Lipsticking.

WonderBranding, Michele Miller, @MicheleMiller -Wonder Branding brings you the latest news and views on marketing to women. Michele keeps us up to date on how brands are responding to the female customer.  You can read the interview with Michele Miller that I conducted earlier this year here.

She Takes On The World, Natalie MacNeil, @NatalieMacneil – Women entrepreneurs will come to find She Takes on the World a necessary add to their RSS reader.  Natalie offers excellent articles focusing on building your business from the ground up and often brings in other female experts for her “In Her Heels” interviews.

Women On Business – Susan Gunelius @Susan Gunelius – Find news and information you need to be successful in the business world from this network of female thought leaders.  Articles focus on leadership, market trends and entrepreneurship.

V3 Integrated Marketing – Shelly Kramer @ShellyKramer – Shelly and Laura Lakes run the Kansas City based marketing company V3 and offer their best tips here on their blog in areas such as social media, blog marketing, public relations and traditional marketing for businesses.  Shelly is a firecracker that has a knack for engaging with her community and immediately putting a smile on your face.  A must follow on Twitter as well as her informative blog.

Client Magnet – Bernadette Doyle @BernadetteDoyle – an amazing website that teaches how to attract Clients Like a Magnet, Bernadette teaches how to use attraction marketing to change your mindset to begin having clients seek you rather than you grasping after them.  A very positive blog which is sure to have an impact on your business and your life.

Women Grow Business – Jill Foster, @JillFoster - As Editor for Women Grow Business, Jill brings together a network of female entrepreneurs to discuss  leadership, marketing, operations (especially in tough economic times), benefits of social cause partnership, talent retention, online presence, entrepreneurship, social technology, mentorship, failure, and success. You will want to come back often.

Sheconomy – Stephanie Holland @SheconomyStephanie takes pride in being able to reach a guy’s mind on marketing to women.  Sheconomy is a great resource to come back to for statistics on women in the marketplace as well as getting a clearer perspective on WHY brands should be marketing to women.

ClickNewz – Lynn Terry, @LynnTerry – Lynn has been in internet marketing for years and knows how to give you the step by step process on how to recreate her success for yourself.  You’ll find tips from article marketing to search engine optimization and everything in between.  Lynn also has a forum community that is a great tool for getting quick answers. –

Startup Princess – Kelly King Anderson @StartupPrincess – Kelly operates Startup Princess, an organization for women entrepreneurs everywhere to network, learn, share, and mentor one another. Kelly and her Fairy Godmothers are always willing to help you grow your business.

ConnieBensen.com – Connie Bensen @cbensen – Connie Bensen is a leading authority on cultivating online communities.  Her blog is an excellent resource to find mentorship and inspiration for others pursing a career in Community Management or for brands seeking to improve their community engagement strategies.

Beth’s Blog- Beth Kanter @Kanter – Beth is the leading expert on cause marketing and using social media for non-profits.   A place to capture and share ideas, experiment with and exchange links and resources about the adoption challenges, strategy, and ROI of nonprofits and social media.

Gwen Bell -Gwen Bell @GwenBell – Gwen knows social media and is the example of what a networker does to create connections across the world with seemingly no effort at all.  Her posts will cause you to stop and think, not just hand feed you information.  Perky, smart and a must read for those interested in anything Web 2.0.

HorsePigCow – Tara Hunt, @MissRogue specializes in community marketing—delighting and enchanting the people in the communities a company serves through product, communication and experience.

MarketingProfs Ann Handley @MarketingProfs – For anyone interested in successful marketing of their business, Marketing Profs is not just a blog to follow, but a necessary tool in your marketing toolbox.  You will find useful reports, statistics and viewpoints from many experts of both genders, but Ann and Beth Kanter are the female voices behind Marketing Profs.

MariaReyesMcDavis.com – Maria Reyes McDavis, @WebSuccessDiva – Maria’s specialty is in developing strategies that help small businesses and Idea Entrepreneurs leverage the power of online technology.  She is an inspiration to many women and men alike and a must read.

Altitude Branding – Amber Aslund @AmberCadabra – Amber is an upbeat breath of fresh air in the social media world.  You’ll find a thought provoking viewpoint that focuses on elevating brands through social media and communication.

IttyBiz – Naomi Dunford, @IttyBiz –   IttyBiz is a place to get tips, advice, motivation, and support for your very small business.  Naomi is a kick in the pants that shares her marketing expertise in a style only she can, loaded with wisdom, wit and an occasional F-bomb.  A fun place to learn.

Diva Marketing Blog, Toby Bloomberg, @TobyDiva – Toby has an accomplishment list a mile long from speaking at major new media conferences to sitting on the board for the American Marketing Association.  On her blog she brings all her experience and offers it to us in a fun and bold voice that’s sure to bring you back for more.

Who have you found to be your top influencers in growing your business and business knowledge? Share your contributions below.

To Your Success,

December 20, 2009   267 Comments

How To Build An Online Marketing Strategy When Marketing to Women

There are millions of online shoppers eager to buy products and services, but only a few of them will be your target market. If your target market is women, you should really consider a multi-channel online marketing strategy that will drive qualified traffic to your website. Qualified traffic increases the likelihood of turning visitors into paying customers. Generating huge amounts of unqualified traffic won’t result in sales, it will only result in noise. There are three basic steps in creating an online marketing strategy to target women.

1. Understand Your Market – In its basic form, your target market is of course women. Based on your resources, knowledge and customer database you could fine tune your market based on demographics.
2. Evaluate Different Paid Traffic Generators – Some forms of qualified traffic generators will require financial investment, some will be within your budget and some won’t.
3. Evaluate Different Organic Traffic Generators – Organic traffic generators are sources which drive free traffic to your website.

Evaluate Different Paid Traffic Generators:

Search Engine Paid Ads – Although both Yahoo and Bing have their own versions of paid ads, Google’s AdWords is by far the biggest. The idea is simple. You select keywords which best describe your products and are therefore more likely to convert visitors into paying customers. Each click will cost you based on keywords competition and your website. While AdWords content network (ads on other sites) has an option to target visitors by gender, the search network does not. To work around this, select only those keywords that potential women customers will search for and use the right wording on the ad explaining who this product is aimed at. If you are new to AdWords, help is at hand using AdWords online help tutorial.

Affiliate Networks – The principle behind affiliate marketing is that through banner ads you can reach your target market while they are surfing a closely related site. For example, if you were able to sign an online women’s magazine to take part in your affiliate scheme, they will display your banners and when visitors who come from your affiliates make a purchase, you’ll pay a finders fee also known as ‘affiliate commission’. Sounds great, no? The problem is that in order to attract the big players and generate qualified traffic, you’ll need to offer high commission rates and normally have a recognized brand name.

Evaluate Different Organic Traffic Generators:

Natural Search Results – The holy grail for most online businesses is getting this channel working right. There are couple of reasons why that is, however the most important is the fact that it’s free. The second, is that no matter how much investment you pour into paid ads, some web users will only click on a natural search result. On the surface, getting this channel working right has no or little costs but that’s not entirely the case. The key to building natural traffic is selecting the right keywords to optimize your site and providing great content together with building the number of links pointing to your website. To market to women, you’ll of course need to select the right keywords and put them in the right position across the site. Google has a really useful guide which is a must-read for anyone trying to optimize their site for natural search.

Social Networks – While social networks such as Twitter and Facebook can often result in large amounts of web traffic which seems qualified at least in terms of gender, it’s often not the case. Web users clicking on paid ads or natural search results intend to make a purchase but web users coming from social networks think about almost anything but buying at that moment. Therefore you should consider whether it’s in your best interests to actively pursue traffic from social networks.

When building an online marketing strategy specifically targeting women, you should weigh up every channel on a case by case basis. In fact some products within a product line might suit one channel, while other products might not. Keep an open mind and whenever possible experiment, if you don’t try, you’ll never know!

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Guest article by Michelle Strassburg Head of Sales and Marketing at online wooden worktops vendor Wood and Beyond. Michelle has over 10 years experience managing online marketing.

December 8, 2009   11 Comments

Marketing to Mom – 3 Quick Takeaways

Is marketing to moms your target market?  I don’t spend a lot of time talking about it, but I am a mother of four children…and a single mom at that. My goal has been to focus on marketing to all women, not those with children, but in the process I want to recognize the importance of identifying with mothers and what makes us buy a certain product or service.

FACT: There are approximately 75 million moms in the US who influence 85% of all household purchases. In fact, moms spend approximately 2 trillion dollars each year.

That’s enough right there to make you stop and realize just WHY brands are flocking to mom bloggers.

Today’s article is a guest post from Kat Gordon who runs her own agency, Maternal Instinct,  helping  brands understand how and why to  market to moms.  You will enjoy this!

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I could write a tome on this subject. It’s just that meaty of a topic. Instead, I’ll crystallize everything I’ve learned about marketing to moms over the past decade down to three overarching truths that apply to most every stage of motherhood.

1) Make It Easy

When it comes to mothers, especially those with small babies, you simply cannot be helpful enough. Your customer is tired, distracted, and overwhelmed.

  • She drives alone in the car and utters out loud “I am driving the car!” to remind her weary brain that it is not playing a video game, but operating a real piece of heavy machinery.
  • She forgets to buy bread at the supermarket, even though her husband asks in the store “don’t we need bread?” (His fatal flaw: gesturing to the baguettes instead of the needed sandwich bread, trusting her brain synapses to make the leap.)
  • She greets the first book group member on her doorstep with a gasp of “Oh, my God, I forgot I was hosting tonight!” The visitor inquires “But didn’t you send out the email reminder this afternoon?” The answer, of course, is yes.

These are all real stories from real mothers. Never underestimate how exhausting being a mother is, and the toll it takes on one’s memory, energy, and capacity.

What you can do:

  • Let moms research and/or buy your product online, preferably from their phones: 89% of moms use the Internet at least twice a day and 70% use search engines to research online purchases. Working moms are 42% more likely to download mobile content than other consumers. Invest in search optimization so it’s easy for moms to find you and optimize your site for mobile use.
  • Send email reminders: preempt key buying cycles or important personal events (like a child’s birthday) with a brief email reminder embedded with links that let a mom act (buy a product, save to a wish list, sign up for a pre-release, download a coupon). Guess who’s really leading the charge on this front? Surprisingly, public libraries. Web-enabled libraries now send non-judgmental “Courtesy Reminder” emails the day before materials are due; a fabulous tip-off to busy moms.
  • Create shortcuts: Let moms link directly to age-appropriate areas from your home page (even better, let her customize your site for her children’s precise ages). Let her link directly to “wish lists” from an email and to saved searches from your home page.

2) Go Viral

Moms are heavily networked, both socially and technologically. A survey conducted by BabyCenter.com found that 40% consider other moms to be their best sources of consumer information — well ahead of famous spokespeople, family, and the media. Moms average 109 word-of-mouth conversations per week about products, brands and services. And pregnant and new moms have even more.

What you can do:

  • Sponsor mom communities: consider underwriting a popular mom blog or a highly trafficked area of a top site for moms.
  • Give moms a mechanism to share their enthusiasm: include “Forward to a Friend” links in your email newsletters, create reward programs for moms who recruit friends, let moms post reviews or blog on your site about your products.
  • Join the conversation: 20% of tweets reference a brand or product by name. Lend an ear so you know what you’re doing right. And lend your voice so disgruntled customers know you’re committed to making it right.

3) Walk the Walk

If you want moms to be your loyal customers, then run a business that honors women. Hire women, promote women, consult with women, and create advertising that depicts women in positive ways.

Obvious, you say? A quick anecdote. A large multi-million dollar ad agency (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) pitched a major car account. Their “pitch” team consisted of 16 men and one woman. Worse yet, they photographed each of these team members and put their photos in the presentation leave-behind. Face after face, male, male, male. When they didn’t get the account, they issued a macho announcement within the agency saying that “those fools obviously don’t know good advertising when they see it.” What these fellas failed to realize is that women influence 80% of automotive decisions and account for over $80 billion in new car sales.

Lastly, whatever you’re doing — get an outside opinion from folks who aren’t drinking the Kool-Aid. Sometimes a subtle observation can uncover an opportunity to launch your marketing to a new level.

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Remember, there is a reason I am a recovering multi-tasker addict…but how did I get that way?  From raising 4 children single handed, working full time and surviving through toddlerhood into my present teenager filled house!!  Re-read Kat’s opening paragraphs on what a typical mom’s life is like and ask yourself how to make her life more simple.  How can you implement marketing to moms in your marketing strategy?  Find the answer and you find a huge market.

To Your Success,

P.S. ~~> Would you like to add your link to my blog?  Take a peek at the ScratchBack widget I recently added.  You can add your link now for a small $10!  If you’d like more exposure email me via my Contact page with your ideas.

Kat Gordon is the founder and creative director of Maternal Instinct (maternalinstinct.net), a Palo Alto agency of creative problem solvers for marketing to moms. Her 20-year advertising career spans both coasts: in New York and San Francisco where she worked at Hal Riney and Anderson Lembke. She has peddled products for every industry: credit cards, wine, cars, jewelry, hotels, software, phone service — and even picked up a Clio and a few ADDYs along the way.

Photo Credit: Perfecto Insecto

October 27, 2009   2 Comments

How To Build Your Value In Social Media

If you have been in social media or online marketing for any amount of time, chances are that you have heard people talking about “branding yourself” or “building your value”. You’ll find, especially in social media, that the amount of perceived value you provide to those following you is what will determine your success and growth in your industry.  So, how do you build your value and brand yourself as an authority?

1.  Continue To Grow

So, you might be saying, “how can I be a Leader in my niche if people think I don’t know it all already?”.  NO ONE knows it all already.  There are different levels of expertise, but for every level of leadership you are at there is a mutual group of people not quite where you are that is looking for guidance.  Your job is simply to research your niche and learn as much as you possibly can.  Attend webinars,  read the blogs by your mentors, and dig in!  By adding knowledge to your skill set you are building the amount of value you have to offer.

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in learning is by attending live conferences in your niche.  For example, October 15-17 should be booked on your calendar to attend the BlogWorld and New Media Expo 2009 in Las Vegas.  Sometimes you just have to get away from the distractions and the mundane tasks to get inspired by the experts!  (If you can register tonight before midnight you will save 20%.)

2.  Share What You Learn

It really is your experiences that are valuable to others. Everyone is on a road leading somewhere.  I can tell you from experience, that drive from Palm Springs,California to Phoenix, AZ is not an interesting one.  You travel through miles and miles of barren desert where every mile looks the same as the last.  I can remember the first few times making that trip that I kept wondering if I had gone the wrong way or taken a wrong highway and kept checking the map.  Now that I’ve done it a few times I am confident and can tell people what to expect and what it will be like so they are prepared and don’t fret as I did.

It’s the same thing with learning something new about your niche or industry.  Now that I have my blog set up and running, I could tell someone how to do it from scratch..how to buy a domain, pick a name, install WordPress, which plugins to use, set up an auto-responder, and so forth.  That stuff used to boggle my brain and send me into fits of exasperation!  So, now I share what I have learned.  Whatever it is that you have learned, whether from your present experiences online, or from past employment…you possess something very valuable: your experience.

3.  Don’t Hide Your Mistakes

Even your mistakes are valuable, because you can save someone else the time & confusion you went through to finally solve your challenge.  Be authentic and share your silly goof ups once in a while.  It makes you human and relatable.  I love to make people smile…even if it’s at my mistakes.  Don’t let your ego get in the way of your success.  Your mistakes aren’t really mistakes at all, they are just lessons that teach and test you.  The faster you learn what you were meant to learn from them, the faster you can move on.

When I read a blog or story of someone that is laughing at their mistakes and sharing how they got out of their mess, I get this feeling of relief to know that I am not the only one!  Don’t you?  Some of the best comedians base their whole act on life’s little blunders.  By sharing how you fixed your dilemma and being open about it you are opening the door for loads of comments from others that relate to you.  Comment love is a good feeling, especially when you know you just provided value to your readers.  :)

Remember that every time you learn a new skill set you are adding value to your “value bank”.  Be a source of knowledge and information to your niche or industry.  Get out there and learn, grow & share with other people.  The only people that ever create any kind of success are those that are willing to step outside their comfort zone and challenge themselves.  This is how you build your value and brand yourself as a source.  Invest in your own self and your own education, so get out there and start making those deposits!

So after reading this post today, how are you going to work on building your value this week?  What specific action steps are you going to take?  Please share them below within our little community… I always love reading your comments!

To Your Success,

PS~~> Don’t forget to run on over and get your registration done for Blogworld 09 done NOW! Prices go up at midnight & you can still use this 20% off coupon: Save 20% NOW on BlogWorld and New Media Expo 2009 registration with the code “BWESEP20″
PPS~~> One of the best ways to keep learning is through E-Courses that are delivered right to your inbox.  Right now you can get FREE instant access to my 21 day “List Marketing Transformation” training series.  21 days of training to save and learn at your own pace ($197 value)Claim it now below…for FREE!
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September 14, 2009   6 Comments