Small Business Marketer: Do you Know Where Your Audience is?

Marketing & Publicity
July 21st, 2010 No Comments »

For many home office and small business owners, marketing is like a first-time shooter unleashing a shotgun blast on the skeet range. He aims in the general direction of the clay bird (their audience), closes his eyes and pulls the trigger.

Then he wonders why he missed – laughably, miserably.

Don’t get me wrong. The shotgun approach is great for marketing. It doesn’t offer the precision of a rifle. But you have a greater chance of hitting some target, any target.

Assuming your target’s there. Are they?

In my latest conversation with Jim Blasingame, we discuss finding your targets (note plural) — and going where they are.

Podcasting Broadens Home Office, Small Business Media Empire

Creativity, Marketing & Publicity, social media
November 19th, 2009 No Comments »

Simple Tools & Dedication Make Audio Media Key And Business Boom for Small Business Promoters

As he was preparing to publish his book, The Disciplined Investor, South Florida financial planner Andrew Horowitz was considering ways to promote its arrival.

podcastudioAlready a savvy self-promoter among friends, peers and the media, he wanted to take his guide to investment strategies to the masses. If only he could speak more widely about it, he thought.

Today, Horowitz does just that with podcast. The audio show is recorded 10 days or so and uploaded to the Web. A link is sent to some 3,500 subscribers, and it’s downloaded about 50,000 times a month, he said, making it among the top business and financial planning downloads on iTunes. (To see some of the podcasting tools available, check out this review of Podcastudio or the Samson Zoom H2, a powerful and handy digital micro-recorder that I’ve used with my bands and event recording.)

“It’s like a radio show, but it’s directed to a clear and defined audience,” said Horowitz, who has recorded and uploaded 46 podcasts today from his desk at his Weston, Florida, office. Read More »

Starting Conversations From Your Home Business

Marketing & Publicity, social media
October 27th, 2009 No Comments »

Adam Singer with The Future Buzz doesn’t work from a home office. But he knows the power of “voice” for today’s home-based and small business owners.

In this recent post, Singer discusses the role of conversations as a “starting point” of dialogue. As participation by companies and individuals explodes, social media is fast losing shiny new object syndrome.? Even those who ignore the social web probably realize that at this point social media is not new.

The advantage of being early is probably gone for most industries.? Yet, if you’ve got the right strategy which plays into the fact that many are now participating, you don’t need to be first.? To this, the Chief Home Office adds that for many innovative home officers, “first” is a constantly evolving opportunity.

This leaves more people participating, and that means more potential conversations, more potential subscribers, and more potential paths to set your brand on fire. Read More »

Journalists, Bloggers, and the Fourth Estate

social media
October 24th, 2009 No Comments »

rick-sanchezOK, so you write a blog.

Or maybe you Tweet.

Your stuff may be about working from home, your home office, some home-based business, telework, or some cottage industry making cheese in rural Vermont.

But are you honest? Are you truthful? Should people trust what you say and come back for more?

Some bloggers-turned-journalists do their work, their reporting, and create killer content.

Yet much of today’s blogosphere commentary is regurgitated stuff from the maw of the ether. Members of the Fourth Estate, they’re not. And when they get it wrong, the manifestation of such may be best summarized by a line from Animal House, sanitized here for your enjoyment: “You screwed up. You trusted me.”

In a world where everyone owns a media channel, I guess that makes us all journalists. But does it…? Read More »

Home Officers, Listen Up, Part II

Create & Run Your Biz
October 23rd, 2009 No Comments »

Think you’re a good networker?

Whether you work from a home office, or you telework, or you’re a corporate citizen, communication skills are critical to career success.

So, does that mean you should be verbose in your face-to-face encounters? Actually, quite the opposite! What it really means is that you should be a good listener who can ask the kinds of questions that get others to talk about themselves, says Owen Frager (, who provided this column…

“Poor listening skills rob us of the ability to build long-term, mutually beneficial relationships. They cheat us out of the opportunity to gain valuable information that we can use or share with others. Most importantly, poor listening skills can sabotage job search efforts. Read More »

Home Office Networking: Are You REALLY Listening?

Marketing & Publicity, Motivation & Inspiration
October 21st, 2009 No Comments »

In the age of social media, hitting Enter does not suffice as effective networking.

I interviewed Jeff Stay of BNI and yesterday for an upcoming column on effective face-to-face (or as Jeff calls it, “Belly-to-belly”) networking.

It got me to thinking about each of our personal brands and how we put ourselves out there. If each public presentation — in person, on the phone, and – yes – via email, Facebook or Twitter — is a representation of us, what would we like others to take away?

Among Jeff’s tips:

– Prepare before arriving at your next business networking event. Check out the attendee list. Know who’ll be there and whom you want to meet. Read More »

TechCrunch & Godin to Home-Based & Corporate PR Pros: Learn a New Lexicon & Write Well

Marketing & Publicity
September 16th, 2009 2 Comments »

Writing Well Is More Than the Best Revenge. It’s Vital to Good Business – No Matter What Your Business May Be.

As a journalist and corporate copywriter, I ride a fence in my home office.

I write press releases, Web copy, SEO-laced verbiage, and corporate documents for small- to mid-sized businesses. And I tend to look on with amazement (and some alarm) at the press releases sent to me — documents that some companies actually paid some PR firm to write.

Badly written and poorly punctuated, they’re often an eyesore that stymie the brain and prohibit it from getting past what the grammarian’s eyes have seen.

(If you think this doesn’t apply to you, just imagine the looks on people’s faces the next time you send an email with a misplaced apostrophe, a typo or other error that could easily have been caught and fixed…) Read More »

Home Office Tip: Harvest New Opps Via Old Source – Old E-Mail

Marketing & Publicity, Productivity & Efficiency
September 3rd, 2009 No Comments »

I was in my home office cleaning out my Google Gmail account this week, and stumbled upon a old New Business Opportunity.

Then another.

And another.

Before you know it, I had reconnected with a half-dozen prospects whom I hadn’t corresponded with in months – if not years. It was great getting back in touch. Did I close any deals? No. But I threw a few new lines in the water. And that’s always worth something.

And, I cleaned out my Inbox. That feels pretty good, too.

Listen as I discuss New Biz Prospecting with Jim Blasingame of Small Business Advocate.

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