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Old School Manners Meets New School Marketing

How often does a company you buy from do something remarkable?  Has your hair stylist, dog groomer, dry cleaner, sushi chef or dog sitter ever sent you a hand-written thank you note?  I am guessing not, or at the very least, not very often.

Today, I received a thank you note from the most unlikely source and it blew my mind.  It was sent by a woman, named Deb (@Debng on Twitter), who is the Director of Community for New Media Expo, a conference I will be attending in January.  In her own writing, Deb told me how glad they are that I registered and will be attending this year.  She also offered to help with any questions or feedback I may have about the show.  Deb understands what community is all about.

As a marketing geek, I couldn’t wait to shout this to the world and as an attendee I feel valued.

I met Deb briefly, about 2 years ago, and we are connected in social networks, but I knew this was bigger than me.

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What Small Businesses Can Learn From ‘Shark Tank’

This blog also appears on the Redondo Beach Patch.

I am a big fan of ABC’s Shark Tank for many reasons. How the “sharks” interact with each other is definitely entertaining, but how they interact with the candidates who are seeking an investment can actually be educational.

Each week, entrepreneurs who believe they’ve come up with the next great thing, visit the Shark Tank and try to convince one of them to invest in their company.  They ask for an amount of money in exchange for a percentage of their company.  One by one the “sharks” ask questions to determine the company’s value and whether or not they want to invest. It’s fascinating to see how each company brands itself—some are fantastic and some are horrible.

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Grow Your Business Workout: 30 Minutes a Day, 3 Days a Week

As a small business owner or entrepreneur, you’re not only the brains behind the operation, you’re also the brawn. Try this easy workout routine to flex your small-business muscles.

Monday (30 Minutes)

Do some market research. Search Google for your business name, professional name, industry and local news. Make a list of 10 things you can respond to, add your expertise to, dispute or promote to your customers. Repeat on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest if you’re so inclined. The more aware you are of how your customers behave online, the better your ability to reach them.

Tip: Use Google Alerts to monitor this on a regular basis.

Wednesday: (30 Minutes)

Share your expertise. Take steps to respond and react to the 10 findings from Monday. Don’t forget to tap into the power of photos and videos as you go through your list.

Tip: Always have a camera nearby—even if it’s your phone.

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