Thursday, March 29, 2012

Can I Get 25 Hours in a Day!?

Last week I attended a Women's Business Lunch through the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce. (and yes, if you've noticed from my last few posts—I've been getting around the town lately. I'm workin' it, baby! I'm enjoying meeting new people and businesses!) OK, so back to my story…

At the recent business lunch one key thing most of us wanted help with was better time management and increased productivity. Who doesn't want that, right?  I'm always searching for ways to better my time management skills—I hate that feeling of being so overwhelmed you don't even know where to start, it's the worst. SO, I was very interested to hear the advice of other successful businesswomen. Here's a few ideas I liked and will try to implement in my everyday tasks (business OR personal):

For email productivity, one women suggests the "FAD" technique. A way to quickly sort through your email: F-file it, A-act on it, D-delete it. It seems simple enough, right?

Create a work log to track all the large tasks you've completed. A few women did this and said that after reading through the tasks they actually had completed, they felt a great sense of accomplishment. It's a way to focus on the positive, celebrate the tasks you've completed instead of stressing about the ones you didn't.

Throw in the towel! As women, we tend to want to do things on our own and have a hard time asking for help. One women's advice was to basically to get over ourselves and know when to ask for help. If someone in your business is better at a certain task than you are—ask them for help, so you can focus on the tasks that you are best at. It's more productive for everyone that way.

Get the "ick" out of the way. Set an hour each day (preferably towards the beginning of the day) to take care of the tasks you don't want to do. You know, the ones you keep putting off but are still weighing on your mind because they need to get done. 

Don't be so reactive. Work on distinguishing the things that need to be address immediately versus the ones that can wait. Don't immediate react to something, especially if you're already in the middle of another task.

And last, but certainly not least: Learn to say "No". Along with most women, I constantly struggle with this one!

So, what do you do that helps you with your time management and/or productivity skills? Have you tried any of the suggestions above? How did they work for you?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Marketing to the Universe and Beyond…

In my last post, I mentioned the recent AAF Greater Frederick roundtable session on Guerrilla Marketing that I attended. (which was awesome, thanks to presenter, Whitney Hahn of Digital Bard!). Not only did I learn 7 Great Guerrilla Marketing Tactics, but I also learned a different way to think about who I market to.

Most likely you've already determined who your target market is. And your self promotions are probably created with this target in mind. That's great. BUT, the Guerrilla Marketing approach makes you think differently about where to direct the bulk of your marketing efforts. Here's the breakdown in a nutshell:
1. 10% of your marketing should go out to the universe. This includes your website, twitter accounts, facebook, etc. It's your marketing that everyone can see.

2. 30% of your marketing should go to your target audience. This can include self promotional mailers, advertisements in a certain publications, etc. This is the marketing that is directed with a specific target in mind.

3. And, 60% of your marketing should go to your existing clients! After all, if you've done your job right, delivered your product or service, and met or exceeded their expectations, they'll be your best bet for repeated business and/or referrals. Don't forget about them! This can include eNewsletters, referral rewards programs, thank you notes, self promotional gifts, or even a simple phone call.

So, what can you do right now to start marketing to your existing clients? We'd love to hear your ideas, input or suggestions that have worked for you!

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Guerrilla in the Room: 7 Key Guerrilla Marketing Tactics

Last week I enjoyed a business roundtable discussion through the AAF-Greater Frederick discussing Guerrilla Marketing tactics. First, huge thanks to presenter, and certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach, Whitney Hahn of Digital Bard as well as to the event sponsor, Flying Dog Brewery!

If you're unfamiliar with the topic, according to their official website Guerrilla Marketing is a "body of unconventional ways of pursuing conventional goals. It is a proven method of achieving profits with minimum money." Basically it trains you to think outside the box with your marketing efforts, to think with your creativity, not your wallet. As a small business owner, it is very eye-opening and helpful!

The presentation started with 7 Key Aspects of Guerrilla Marketing. I've outlined for you below and hope they'll help you with your ongoing marketing:

1. Set Goals. Make the goal specific, including a designated time frame and quantifiable outcome.
2. Identify Your Target Audience: Again, the more specific the better. (This doesn't necessarily mean the only audience you will do work with, it means who you will target your marketing to)
3. Define Your Benefits: Know the different between a feature vs. a benefit. It's not what you make what you use to make it, it's why and how does that benefit your client. Always try to see it from the client's perspective.
4. Decide Your Niche: Your niche is partly your targeted audience, and partly how you go about doing what you do. It's your audience AND your process.
5. Use Your Weapons: Guerrilla Marketing identifies several low-cost or no-cost marketing weapons ranging from something as simple as your email signature and/or your voicemail message to more complex things such as your corporate brochure or where a QR code directs to.
6. Identity: This is your entire corporate culture. Who you are, not how you want to be. It's who you are when no one is looking.
8. Set Your Budget: Always be sure to set a budget for yourself. This will keep you from over-spending as well as under-spending. (Under spending means you will be less likely to reach your goals).

If you're interested in learning more about Guerrilla Marketing, feel free to visit their official site at or, contact Whitney Hahn for marketing coaching seminars. Do you have any additional marketing tactics that work for you and your business?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Solving the Mystery of Who Won It…

This past weekend was award season! Yes, we got to watch Hollywood's elite at The Oscars (complete with J-Lo's possible "costume malfunction" and Angelina Jolie's leg). But, more importantly, in my hometown, we celebrated our local ADDY Awards, the American Advertising Federation's awards competition celebrating the best in advertising and design. As president of my local organization, the AAFGF, I couldn't have been happier with the success of our local awards gala, and was thrilled to celebrate the creative and talented advertising community in our region!

This year's ADDY theme was Clue, with an old Hollywood Glam feel to it (yes, I even tried to dress the part, white gloves and all!). The decor and location was amazing, as were the many professional and student entries on display. Despite being extremely nervous (as in practically shaking, people!) about having to start the night off with a welcome speech as well as give an award presentation, the overall night was extremely fun and exciting.

And, best yet, Kalico Design walked away with a Silver ADDY award for our cover designs for Find It Frederick Magazine! We love working with Find It and are thrilled with the accolade! 

Congratulations to all of the Frederick-area ADDY winners. We sure are lucky to be in business in an area so rich with creative talent, and so blessed with such supportive colleagues!

(Event photos to come soon!)