Friday, February 25, 2011

Strategic Relationships Are Awesome!

Never underestimate the power of networking. Ever. I recently created a strategic relationship with someone in the same industry that I have also known for years. Now, most people shy away from forming an alliance with someone in the same industry and I have to tell you that you are missing out. Below is why.

1. You may be in the same industry but have completely different product/service offerings. What does that mean? Hello???? Referral work.

2. Shared expenses. Maybe you both want to invest in the same product that would benefit both of your companies, but cannot do so individually. What does this mean? Even more work and a less of an investment expense.

3. Different viewpoints. This will help you strategically with your clients and vice-versa. What is the end game on this one? A complete learning experience.

The M Com blog will return on Monday 3/7!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Breakfast of Champions Part Deux

You think I would learn after the wasabi peas and coffee incident (a.k.a., massive heartburn by 9 a.m.), but no. I have a new breakfast of champions: coffee and red hots. It may not be yogurt, but at least it is a fat free food. I wonder how I will feel at 9:30 a.m.?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Are you bringing your laptop with you?

I was asked the other day if I was bringing my laptop with me when I go on vacation next week. The answer? No way. I plan on bringing sunscreen, a bathing suit and camera. That is about it. I learned a long time ago back in corporate that I am not good about the "stay-a-cations". I also learned I was even worse when I owned my own company. I tried to take time of between Christmas and New Years; but the bottom line is that I was always on my email ... and working. Now, there are some people that never shut and pride themselves on the fact they haven't had a vacation in 10 years, but not me. I think it is good to give your mind a one-week reprieve and I think the author of Achieving the Balance Dream (that would be Bo Bradley) would tend to agree with me. With that being said ... Bon Voyage and happy vacationing.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Why Online Dating is like Bad Marketing

Every week I write a funny newsletter called the M-Dash, usually full of business, marketing and publishing tips & tricks in a very sarcastic way. One newsletter I wrote last year was called "Why Online Dating is like Bad Marketing" and I received a bunch of hilarious responses to my ranting and raving. Well, recently I met someone who would like to publish an online dating book with us and we had a long conversation about profile pictures. Online dating profile pictures are very much like your professional head shot. Also, both can be considered bad marketing. In the business world you see photos taken with web cams that resemble fish bowl shots to other obvious non-professional shots. The worst of the online dating photos are usually photos taken by the user's iPhone ... in the bathroom. Do I have to explain why both of these are bad marketing? You can sign up for the M-Dash by visiting M Communications or clicking here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Local Sacramento School Teacher Gives Back

Local school teacher, Cary Farley hosted a very unique event to give back to the Sacramento community. At his recent performance to benefit the Mustard Seed school, local musician and schoolteacher, Cary Farley performed and coordinated his very own charity concert event. On February 10th, Mr. Farley presented a check to the Mustard Seed School. The Mustard Seed School provides a myriad of survival services for children in a welcoming atmosphere of hospitality, safety and cleanliness. The Mustard Seed School, a free private school for homeless children aged 3 to 15 provides educational assessments, medical and dental screening and counseling services. The proceeds from this fundraiser are helping to cover the additional costs of vital services for many of Sacramento’s homeless children.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I AM High Importance

Why do people feel entitled to put the high importance exclamation mark on emails when the subject matter is clearly not important. For example, I think it is OK to do this if you are one of my busiest clients on the planet and you are at your desk for a period of 15 minutes, and yes, it is important. Important would be – I need to reschedule my national radio interview or I am freaking out about my television spot and need to chat. Important is not: Hi - I just met you and would like you to look at a short video on my skin care line. P.S. And, usually I do not even know who the person is who attempts to do this. My point? Watch your explanation points …

Friday, February 18, 2011

Straw Hat Pizza Spam Email ... Now that's just plain mean

In addition to all of the other spam emails I have been receiving at M Communications, the latest of the annoying has been regarding Straw Hat Pizza. I have been on a health kick for quite some time now and really look at what I am eating. After my little dinner of salad, it is not cool to receive an email about pizza when I am still hungry number one. Number two - this is clearly an email not from Straw Hat pizza (their corporate office would be so embarrassed) and is a virus. So, obviously I have not clicked on the link for veggie, cheese or combo pizza. Either way, it does not make me any less hungry, so please go away.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Things to do During a Power Outage

There is nothing better than coming home from 2 days of traveling to a broken fence and a power outage. All I wanted to do was get online and write about my lovely couple of days. With that being said, I thought that there was no way I could ever survive pre-light bulb days, but I started thinking about things to do when there is a power outage, because there is no wireless, your phone battery is limited and there is no tivo. (Hence, not a good survival person ... can you tell? P.S. I hate camping).

1. Use your cell phone minutes accordingly. I love my iPhone despite the battery drain, but after 3 phone calls complaining to various people I decided that maybe I should start lighting candles vs. complaining. Battery suck going on big time and plus it was getting a little dark.

2. Catch up the household to-do list. Unloading dishwasher = OK. Putting away clothes under candlelight ... not such a good idea. Can you say major fire hazzard?

3. Call PG&E. They won't answer the phone, they will not tell you when the power is going to turn back on. That being said, it is the responsible thing to do ... after you are an adult and you want to know when your tivo is going to be back up and running. And, there is not point jumping up and having a tantrum because the neighbors right behind you on a different grid have all of their lights on.

Happy Power Outage!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bad Social Media Business Behavior

I have to see I see bad behavior almost daily on Facebook and a bunch of bad behavior while out networking out and about for M Communications. The typical personal bad behavior usually are the people who post the girls gone wild photos from girls night out and the ultimate personal medical posting ... I have to have a colonoscopy. Well, the bad business behavior I have seen recently (as of this morning) is beyond ridiculous. Apparently, there are people out there who are friending people on Facebook and then adding their email addresses to mass mailing lists. Where do I get started on this one? I find this particularly annoying because recently I have been added to a bunch of different lists. In fact, I could have a personal assistant unsubscribe me from spam emails all day long. If you are engaged in this type of bad social media behavior please desist immediately. You will not get new business. You will annoy the person you friended. You will not pass go, you will not collect $200. Do you get my point?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Girlfriends Club

Are you in or are you out? I have to say I am lucky to have some of the best gal pals on the planet, both professionally and not. Especially, when hair-raising new situation plops in your lap it is lovely to have the girlfriend club on your side. They will always have your back and most importantly .... they will all collaborate with you on your new book project. You have to just laugh. Stay tuned!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Clueless or Avoidance

At M Communications, I refuse to work with people who demonstrate any of the above characteristics, but on the other hand ... these still people tend to pop up in my life now and then. I was recently involved in an interesting situation. And, by interesting, I mean not funny at all. Well, actually it is so ridiculous it is kind of funny and will a whole chapter in my new book. I did have several people scratching their heads over the weekend. Anyway, a normal person involved in the situation I was in would be pretty darn irritated. The other party is either clueless or is avoiding the fact that maybe some non-cool behavior took place. Either way ... I asked that my contact information be removed from their Rolodex.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Do dogs not care when they turn 8?

Meet Sierra. Sierra turned 8 in September and has decided she really doesn't care anymore. I am talking about barking at everything (unfortunately, my home has an abundance of windows). Also, in addition to the fishbowl set up, I am on a hill - so there is fishbowl backyard and wildlife. What does this mean? More barking!!! I am thinking my neighbors have got to love me at this point. Last, the new I-do-what-I-want doggie attitude includes sleeping on couches. When I catch her ... she just stares at me and has a "what are you going to do about it look?" Last, what is up with waking me up at 3 a.m. and wanting to play? Why do dogs not care when they turn 8?

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Ok. The spam emails really need to go bye-bye. I don't even have an info address at this point to avoid all of this. Here is the deal on the what doesn't apply.

1. Viagra 1/2 off. No. I am a female Viagra people. Are there a lot of Michele's out there that are dudes? Let me know. In the meantime, leave me alone.

2. Psoriasis. Is someone playing a joke? Maybe. Also, not a fit and really? I am the queen of pranks and this could be a lot funnier.

3. PR 101 training. Not elaborating on this one.

4. Retirement Advisers. Um, I have a financial advisor and if I do win the lottery you are not my first phone call.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What Not To Forget To Bring To Networking Events

I have done my fair share of networking and event attendance over the last couple of years with M Communications. I have to be honest ... I am guilty with forgetting an item below on occasion. (This is usually is when and event is at 7 a.m.) Me no likey. Anyway, here is the list.

Business cards and pen. Now I know this seems super-duper obvious, but I have heard "I forgot my business cards" more often than not. I have also been asked by other people if they could take one of my cards, write their contact info on the back to give to someone else. Business cards are not the most expensive marketing materials, but they are marketing materials nevertheless. My point? Don't do this. The same goes for pens ... borrow and give back.

Cash and receipt books. If you are selling product, you need to have both of these bad boys. Period. I know this also seems pretty straightforward, but if you are in the last minute pack up your booth mode, it can be pretty easy to forget. My advice? Pack the night before.

A good attitude. The message here is simple ... if you are having a bad day stay home. Do not attempt to do conference calls either. Cranky comes across equally the same, whether it be phone or in person. People tend to gravitate and want to do business with positive and happy.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I Love My Colleagues!

Yes, once again I am going to babble for 5 minutes about networking at M Communications, but I truly want to impress upon the point that it truly pays off. I have had not only business pouring in, but a bunch of phone calls asking if I needed help, support or anything else for that matter. Talk about the power of creating relationships and not just running around and collecting business cards. Me likey and Cheers to all of you out there. You know who you are.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Key Elements of a Killer Superbowl Party

I know this is not marketing related, but since my Packers are playing in the Superbowl today, I wanted to share two key elements for throwing a kick ass Superbowl party.

1. Good Football Friends. There are a couple of things I mean by good friends and not all good friends are good football friends. You do not want to invite the person who is going to sit there and talk the whole time during the game. No one wants to talk to you ... they want to watch the game. Also, it is key to invite people that will take turns filling up your beverage glass. This is important, because you will not miss the game or commercials.

2. Even better food. I firmly believe that calories do not count on Superbowl Sunday (although, that is not going to stop me from massively working out ahead of time). Preferably food are any dishes that you can make ahead of time (twice baked potatoes, cheese queso dip, etc.)and even more importantly delegate BBQ duties prior to the game. I did this weeks in advance.

Go Packers!!!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

It's All About Who You Know

This is one thing I have learned about effective networking at M Communications (and, yes ... I am still talking about networking)and that is if you develop real relationships you have an arsenal and an amazing support system at your disposal at anytime. Recently, I have had some pretty immediate business needs and all I had to do was pop open my Rolodex. All I have to say is Wow. The next think you know I have new team members, an expert in problem solving (and, I will leave it at that) and new projects pouring in. For those of you who are still sitting at home, scratching your head waiting for the phone to ring ... it's time to get out and about!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Effective Networking

At M Communications, the one thing I see all the time is effective networking and non-effective networking. Here are a couple of pointers for those of you not sitting around waiting for the phone to ring.

1. Do not expect immediate business. networking is about relationship building. Time after time again I see people attend and never return because they did not see ROI the very same day. Really get to know the people you meet and keep in mind that they might not be your ideal client, but they might have some people in their Rolodex that are.

2. Do not run around shoving business cards or promos in people's hands. Here is one word that describes this activity: annoying. Also, when people tend to shove unwanted marketing materials in my hand they end up in the "special file" (otherwise known as the garbage can). Last, if you are participating in this activity you are killing trees.

3. Maximize your exposure. Maximize your exposure at networking events (the event's that are a good fit for your business of course). For example, speak, get a display table (not to dance on) or sponsor an event.

Happy Networking!