What Would You Do To Win A $50 Amazon Gift Card???

Maybe you’d sign up for my super-awesome exclusive reader list???

If you’re reading this and have already signed up, FANTASTIC! Thank you!!! But for all of you who are still not convinced, give me a chance to make you a fan!!! I think I’m a lot of fun! And you may find we have a lot in common!!

You’d get a monthly email with great giveaways, the inside scoop on book updates, new releases, my favorite beauty and fashion finds, contests, and cool posts from my entrepreneur blog, The Idea Mama.

So, for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card, all you need to do is sign up by clicking this link!

The giveaway will be open until August 5 at midnight EST. Don’t miss out!

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Think Twice Before Joining The Style High Club

Hubby recently joined the Five Four Club. For $60 per month, he was promised an entirely new and fashionable wardrobe. Upon registering, he completed a detailed questionnaire so the company could gauge his style and taste and send him items according to his preferences.

Sounds simple enough, right?

The first shipment came the other day. I had to include pics because not only were the styles completely off, but the quality is extremely sub-par. The jacket is some kind of flimsy nylon material and the shirt is just a plain black t-shirt with a couple of buttons. Neither one of us was impressed and Hubby decided to cancel the membership.

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After keeping him on hold for about twenty minutes, Hubby found out he couldn’t return the clothing items for a refund. That’s part of the program, not one they widely publicized, by the way. He was definitely cancelling after hearing that.

But then the customer service rep said if he’d like to continue the membership, they would send him higher quality items the following month. Hmm.

Can you say swindled???

That first month tells this company a lot about their subscribers. If customers let it go without complaining about the crappy items they’d received, the company continues to send them shoddy items, saving themselves wads of cash because they’re able to keep costs down and send the lower quality merchandise.

For the subscribers that may not be happy with the quality, they may not want to sit on hold for eons so they’ll just suck it up, take the clothes and not wear them (at least they won’t if they have wives like yours truly).

Only a few will be disgusted enough to call, sit on hold and complain to customer service. These are the ones who they still have a shot at retaining. Offer them better quality to keep them happy. It’ll cost the company a little more, but they’re already making money hand over fist with the others who are just accepting what was sent.

Then there are the dissenters…the ones whom they can’t convince to stay. These are probably few and far between and not the true target for this company anyway, so better to let them go. Not cost to the company since they don’t give refunds. They still sucker them for $60 a pop (even if it was only ONE pop).

The Five Four team is not really embracing the concept of customer loyalty. Or maybe they just don’t care. Seems like a scam to me. Buyer beware. Big time.

Stash Your Phone And Enjoy The Moment!

Back in December, I wrote a post about product offerings from some super-cool female-run startups. Hubby took note of my list and proceeded to get me some of them for Christmas.

I’m happy to report that one is being crafted as I type.

Meet Ringly, the cocktail ring that will keep you connected with an app. You can keep your phone tucked safely away in your handbag without worry that you’ll miss an important meeting, update or call.

The rings are made with an 18K matte gold 3 micron plated setting and precious and semi-precious stones. They are available in US sizes 6, 7 and 8 and new orders will ship in the spring.

LOVE!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

My only reservation is the potential skating…I have pretty small fingers so I’m a little concerned that the weight of the stone will make the ring skate around my finger, a pretty huge pet peeve of mine. But judging from the look of my new finger candy, it’ll be a small sacrifice to make.

This fab creation works with iOS and Android devices. Through a downloaded app, you will decide what notifications come through. Waiting for an important call from your sweetie while you’re out at happy hour in a super noisy bar?? No problem! Ringly will let you know when he calls through one of your selected color and/or vibration patterns.

You’ll never need to have your phone glued to your hand again. With Ringly, you can actually hold your cake and eat it too. =)

How Do You Keep The Music Playing? How Do You Make It Last??

So you’re sitting in front of your laptop a couple of months post-launch scratching your head, thinking “What the heck should I do NOW?”

Very good question. It’s one that I’m pretty sure most small business owners have.

Launch week ROCKED!!! We sold a TON!!! But now? Two months later? CRICKETS.

You’re still a ways off from releasing 2.0 so what are you supposed to do in the interim? Twiddle your thumbs while you obsessively refresh your sales numbers? How long can you publicize your initial offering while you prep for the new one?

It’s not easy, especially if you don’t have a ton of discretionary capital to toss at promotional services. When our Krina handbags debuted in InStyle magazine and OK! Weekly, sales skyrocketed. But the problem was maintaining that momentum when those issues were off the newsstands. Sure, we tried to capitalize on the wins but it only got us so far. Everyone wanted to see what was coming next…and we were still trying to figure out how to find the funds to produce what would come next.

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Building momentum takes time. So instead of panicking that sales are dropping off, consider different ways of reaching customers. Your primary goal is to keep your brand name top of mind. So get it out there to the masses and establish yourself as a source of knowledge in your industry. All of your efforts will indirectly help raise awareness of your brand. It may take time for your sales numbers to rebound but if you reach people on another level, they just may be interested enough to find out about your offerings. Don’t shove the buy links down their throats…try some new ways to build your customer base.

Consider these ideas:

  • Create a website and BLOG – Figure out what your audience wants to read and create a content niche for yourself.
  • Submit guest posts on websites where your target market congregates – This will help associate your name to a particular type of content. Say you run a handbag design company and you love fashion. Find blogs that cater to fellow fashionistas and inquire about submitting articles about topics in fashion and style. When you include your social media contact information in the post, readers will be able to see that you are also a designer/entrepreneur and maybe they’ll be interested enough to buy one of your handbags!
  • Post in forums that focus on your product and market – This is a networking opportunity, a chance for you to find fellow fashionistas who love handbags! Tell them about your faves and begin nurturing relationships (and hopefully, future fans)
  • Identify channels for cross promotion – Research owners of complimentary businesses and ask about cross-promotional opportunities. Offer to promote their brands if they do the same for you. Share the love and see how it positively impacts your business.

In the early stages of a business, the most important thing is to raise awareness of your brand. The more people that know about your products/services, the more of a chance you have to convert them to customers.

Want To Digitize Your Closet? There’s An App For That!

I am a self-proclaimed fashionista.

Clothes-horse, shoe-whore, handbag junkie…you name it, I’m all over it.

But sometimes having all the components makes assembling the perfect outfit even more difficult. Like, where the heck do you find time to sift through everything and put it all together so it looks effortlessly chic????

Ahhh, luckily for me, there’s an app for that. =)

ClosetSpace is a new application from fashion analytics company Stylitics that wants to give you a digital closet for your smartphone as well as supply you with daily fashion inspiration and access to a personal stylist for only $25.

Yikes, the thought of snapping pics of everything in my closet makes my head spin!! But to have my phone feed me daily outfit suggestions, saving me oodles of time in the morning? Well worth the money!!!

The app can even offer weather-based suggestions and “style stats” from over 140 fashion bloggers providing fashion advice and fresh ideas on rejuvenating your personal style.

ClosetSpace Brings Fashion Inspiration And Recommendations To Your Smartphone – TechCrunch

“It’s for anyone who wants to dress better, feel more organized, or do more with the clothes they already own,” says CEO and co-founder Rohan Duskier.

Additionally, ClosetSpace will work to connect users with offers and deals from retailers based on the makeup of their closets, as well as other services they might like to try, like laundry delivery or beauty services like GlamSquad.