Time To Bust Outta That Box!

You’re a startup entrepreneur. By nature, that makes you an idea generator. It also probably means you’re operating on a shoestring budget.

So you have to wear multiple hats – innovator, marketer, developer, designer – and figure out how to get your offerings to market in an expedient and cost-efficient way. Not an easy task…but you’ve got the tools in your arsenal. =)

For those of you without huge marketing and advertising budgets, it’s frustrating to get your voice heard. I liken it to swimming (okay, it’s probably more like furiously treading water. LOL). You jump into a pool, not realizing it’s the deep end. You’re not a strong swimmer and panic sets in. The pool is packed; swimmers are frolicking, splashing, screaming, laughing. And there you are, right in the middle of it, flailing and floundering. But nobody can help you because you aren’t screaming loud enough. Your lungs are filling with water and you can barely choke out a syllable. DANGER LURKS…need a lifeline!!!!

Lost at sea

Yep. That’s how it is for a lot of us. Markets are flooded with companies trying to pimp their wares. But how many are doing it successfully? Is anyone trying to do things differently to stand out from the virtual crowd?

1. The Alternate Reality – Never assume people are only seeking information online. If you come into contact with potential customers, don’t waste the opportunity to tout your offering. I shamelessly hand out postcards advertising my novel (as well as papering restrooms, hair salons, nail salons, fitting rooms at Nordstrom…LOL). Guess what? After a mass distribution, my sales jump. When I work alongside my street team of hot male models, even better. Know your customer, folks! =)

2. You’ve Gotta Have Swagga – Don’t discount the impact of swag, no matter what Mark Cuban thinks. =) Slap your logo and tag line on mugs, keychains, t-shirts, tote bags and bumper stickers. Zazzle and VistaPrint always run sweet deals!!! Put it out there so people can see it and ask about it. If you don’t know something exists, how can you possibly buy it???

3. Incent & Engage – Contests are a fabulous way to raise awareness of your company name. Get prospective customers to engage with you online and have them invite others to join the party! Photo, video, caption, submit your vote – the options are endless! Just make the incentive worth the effort. The trick, of course, is to find participants. That’s where your social media network comes into play. But don’t stop there. Head to online sweepstakes websites and post your giveaways there. You can find plenty of freebies that will promote them and these sites typically have oodles and oodles of visitors. i mean, who doesn’t love something for nothing? =)

Internet Marketing Diagram

Do You Fail Well?

Happy Friday everyone!

Here’s a question to all you self-proclaimed entrepreneurs out there – How long does it take you to get back on the proverbial horse once you’ve been bucked??

Check out this great little clip from Barbara Corcoran on the secret to handling rejection.

It’s not about how many times you fall, it’s about how quickly you get back up that counts. And by “get up quickly,” I mean, how enthusiastic are you to potentially fall again? Are you excited to move on to the next venture? How thick is your skin?

Because if you continue moaning and writhing on the ground, you’d better choose another career path. Just saying. =)

Lego Alert! Fifty Shades of…Brick?

You’ve all seen the movie trailer but have you caught…the Lego version????

I eat, sleep, breathe and step all over Legos on a DAILY!! I need to wear slippers to protect my feet from those tiny plastic pieces which have drawn blood more than a couple of times.

Then I came upon this trailer and thought it’d be apropos to share with you all, you know, since I’m a romance author as well as a mom to a bunch of little Lego master builders. =)

Happy Friday!!

Who Doesn’t Love SWAG??

I’m a big “Shark Tank” fan. Love the way they refer to themselves as a venture capital firm on steroids. Well, maybe only Mr. Wonderful made that reference…in one episode. But it stuck with me…because it’s kind of true. =)

I love ALL the sharks. I think they each bring their own unique elements to the show and I’ve purchased more than a few products while the entrepreneurs are busy negotiating (read: sweating) the deals of their lifetimes. Quick hint…if you know you’ll be featured on “Shark Tank,” make sure your freaking website can handle the excess capacity! For crying out loud, that’s not the time for your site to crash from being pounded by prospective customers!!!

But I digress…

I came across a video clip of Mark Cuban’s 12 tips for entrepreneurs and while I don’t agree with all of them (specifically #s 10 and 11), most are extremely valuable and should be embraced.

My responses to Mark?

Swag is very much worth the money. Not because I’m a total logo-whore but because I know for a fact there are companies in Silicon Valley making money hand over fist and I’ve got their logo-embroidered golf hanging shirts in my closet.

Plus, LazerShark just secured $2 million in venture funding so…

IMG_1723

And never hire a PR firm? I beg to differ. While they cost a heck of a lot if they’re any good, they have the “ins” with folks who can get your company name out to the masses. Sorry, but nobody gives a crap about the founder of a company whose name hasn’t made it public. But given the right PR boost, the founder can write his/her own ticket.

Don’t worry Mark. I still love you. ❤

Watch Me Sparkle…And Grow Facial Hair??

Lucky Hubby. He hopped a flight to Vegas earlier this week and spent three days wandering the strip to visit various hotspots (no pun intended) of the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show.  I, on the other hand, received updates via iPhone as I suffered through the deep freeze that afflicted the Northeast for the better part of the week.

Yes, Hubby uncovered a plethora of electronic treasures during his stay – routers, Audis, Corvettes, Lamborghinis, Iron Man and robotic spiders, not to mention the iFit girls (not electronic but impressive nonetheless).

Sigh. Maybe I’ll get my turn next year.

But while Hubby spent a lot of time on “manly” technology, he completely missed what I call reflective intelligence. LOL.

Introducing…the Panasonic interactive mirror.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

Did you ever wonder how to apply your makeup so it looks best in specific types of lighting – warm, dim, cool, natural sunlight? Darned lightbulbs can change your look from dewy to pasty in seconds flat. Or maybe you’d like to find out if that expensive facial cream you bought is really improving your skin’s hydration levels like the pushy salesgirl swore it would? And…most importantly, wouldn’t it be cool to see how you’d look if someone tossed a can of pixie dust at you? No…seriously.

With this clever innovation, your questions may soon be answered. I say “soon” because there is no available information on pricing or availability. But it’s freaking genius!!!!

Panasonic’s interactive mirror shows what you would look like with sparkles (video) – Venture Beat

How It Works

The glass is both a mirror and a display. You view transparent overlays on top of your own reflection and the mirror can make suggestions for beauty tips, based on your facial features.

Who’s The Fairest Of Them All?

Some days I just hate my hair and I’d love to see myself with a different style and color.

Other times, I want to reboot my eye makeup look but I’m not always sure how to apply it for the best effect.

Or maybe I want to slightly contour my face to change the appearance of its shape.

MIRROR, MIRROR!!!!

Trailer Alert And Giveaway!!!!

YAY!!!!  So excited to share the trailer for “Unlikely Venture!!!”

Aren’t they a perfect James and Jessica??  Matt Lanter…mmm…so delicious. =)

And don’t forget to check out the giveaway. You can enter to win a signed copy of “Unlikely Venture” and $20 Amazon gift card!

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Dancing Is…Prohibited? No Way! We’ve Got BACON!

Okay, so I don’t have any humorous rhetoric for you this beautiful and somewhat spring-like Monday but I do have an entertaining video to share.  The content totally fits my own sunny mood as I prepare an outline of the final scenes for Nothing Ventured.  Not that this is such a literary way of expressing excitement, but what the hell?  YIPPEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

Glad to get the out of my system.  Now on to the video!

Hubby and I love to watch Jimmy Fallon but unfortunately, most nights we are snoozing long before The Tonight Show begins.  We usually navigate to YouTube for highlights, which is where I found this little treat. I tried really hard to stay awake but finally succumbed to a fitful slumber on the couch.  Of course it was over by the time I dragged myself to bed.

Aside from the fact that Footloose was a God-awful movie, I LOVE the song and Kevin Bacon’s entrance is hysterical.  I’m in such a good mood these days and felt like bopping around today.  Enjoy!