LizzyJo Fudge

#LizzyJoFudge

People often fudge on how much they weigh. One thing you can’t fudge on is the delicious sweet taste of LizzyJo Fudge.

Really is it fudge? Is that my next hustle? It is. And I want to share exactly how this turns out in the starting process. I worked a total of eight hours to put together the social media part of LizzyJo Fudge. EIGHT HOURS!!! I charge my clients $2200.00 to do the kind of set up I provided for myself. Treating myself to my professional side. Being my own client.

About three weeks ago I was pouring through some old recipe books. I LOVE cooking. However I have never really been a dessert maker. Even my chocolate chip cookies are not something people ooh and ahh over. Looking at a fudge recipe with boiling chocolate and babysitting every single step I no desire to make fudge. A house full of kids and the thought of trying to remember and follow all the steps was just not the order of any day.

Three weeks ago I took a picture of the fudge recipe. Made a grocery list and left the list on the kitchen counter. My boyfriend called me from the grocery store. He saw my list and was getting everything on my list. He had no idea what I was up to. That evening I made fudge. It was smooth and delicious. I thought, I am 54 years old, I have five children and never made fudge. I loved the entire process. I loved that people loved it. I loved that I could do this with no distractions of little people because they are all grown up.

#lizzyjofudge

I made a silly Instagram story about making fudge. And asked people to message me if they wanted me to send them some fudge. My inbox was not busting at the seams. Six people wanted fudge. And six people wanted to pay me.

After working to put together some kind of marketing I started praying. I asked God to show me that this was an idea to build and pursue. Like hit me with a 2×4 because I might miss it. Then I got a text from my sister. She knows someone who just closed up their candy store, specializing in fudge. She told me she had passed my information along to that person. She told me to answer my phone if there was a 425 area code. Moments later the call came.

Here I am, for 45 minutes talking to a successful fudge maker who is excited to pass along all her ideas, tips and answer my questions. Even putting together her kitchen wares to sell to me. Sadly Covid19 shut down their business. They were able to hang on with hopes of Phase 2 opening back up. Being in WA state it was inevitable they would close. What a delight and joy to be able to speak to experience.

#lizzyjofudge

For today this is the start of a beautiful story. Not sure where God will take this, but the goal is to bask in the delicious sweet fudge and have fun along the way.

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Posted in Uncatagorized

Let’s Talk & Get Started

Let’s talk & get started. How many times have you tried to get started? How many times have you wished you had someone who understands to talk to about your business development and process?

Many years ago I sat down and tried to figure out how to get started in the social space. I had 3 businesses I was operating with success. I could not figure out why this social media stuff was important. It was also very confusing. I also could not decide which business to put online. My retail store, my consulting business or my mentoring. I decided to spend a little money on a business coach.

After a THREE HOUR phone call it was decided. All three of my passions, retail, consulting and mentoring would go up on social sites.

With three little boys under foot the home office was painted and updated. I purchased a new laptop and overnight my Advertising & Marketing skills were transfered into the social space. The designer in me found it all easy. So easy that within a week a company noticed my Pinterest and reached out. They wanted to hire the person who set up Pinterest. And that day they hired me.

Let’s talk about how a consultant can come alongside to help. Let’s face it we have had to emotionally, mentally and intellectually face challenges we never dreamed up.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an outward process unedited. An experienced consultant can advise on those next steps.

Let’s Talk 503-686-1109

I would love to help. That first conversation costs you nothing. Call to schedule a call today.

Posted in Uncatagorized

Alaska Airlines Is Doing It Right

A couple of weeks ago I was a little disappointed that Alaska airlines cancelled my flight. I had to get home to a sweet 16 birthday for my fourth child. After I realized that that was not going to happen my five children and their boyfriend and spouses all assembled in the quarantine mode that we are all in and put on a party.

The mountains are, “social distancing”.

I gave my daughter instructions on how to cook his favorite meal. She also turned a chocolate cake recipe into beautiful cupcakes. I realized that in having a big family the party could go on without me. If I’m being honest I do believe that it was a better party put on than I would have done myself.

Let’s get back to Alaska airlines. When I called to make the arrangement home, after my flight was cancelled, it was decided that I would extend my stay by another week. Being able to work remotely my delay home had no affect or impact on my clients. When I talked with the gal who was booking my schedule and scanning to find a flight for me this is what I heard. I heard this delightful voice who was encouraging, who is apologetic, and asked how I was managing this crisis She probably knew that her days as an Alaskan employee working may be numbered yet nothing about her service to me was short of cheerful professionalism.

Now fast forward two weeks. Once again a flight that was scheduled two weeks out was changed. My traveling is limited to being in my own home and being in the home of my boyfriend where this all started. I figured there’s not much risk in traveling because I’m in two homes that I was quarantined to.

When this all started I was visiting my boyfriend in Palm Desert and ended up there two weeks in quarantine. When Alaska Airlines changed my schedule the second time my heart just sunk. It did not sink because of the change of schedule but just to know that in every way the coronavirus is impacting our country. It made me sad to think that of their employees. They had furloughed over 2,000 employees in that 2 weeks. Getting on a plane yesterday with my mask, with all my safety gear and with social distancing all in order I was met with smiling, happy, and a cheerful staff. I have flown with Alaska for years I have flown with them probably 20 times in the last year and 6 months ago when there was no such thing as coronavirus in our frontal lobes the employees were just as happy and just as chipper. You would not know the struggles that this airline is having based on the fact that they are still showing up, still serving their customers and smiling.

I write this today because this is how we can all live out this next season of our lives and how we manage our businesses both big and small. Look to the people in the companies who are doing it right. We all have businesses to run. We all have businesses we are trying to keep afloat. When we’ve got that customer in front of us,at a safe distance, or on the phone we want to encourage them. We want to smile and we want to give them the best service based on the circumstances.

I did not get my Starbucks coffee on my flight. I did get a nice bottled water and I still got my favorite cookie from Alaska Airlines. If you’ve have bottled water and you’ve got a package cookie give it to your customer. I guarantee in the current cycle of this season anyting you do, big or small, for your customers will make a difference.

Flying @AlaskaAir into Seattle

The views on the detour to Seattle were worth it. Had to fly north to go south.

With being at home and all your creative thoughts around each room of your house how are you making a difference with your customers? Look at those companies doing it right. Thank you Alaska Airlibes for doing it right.

May we all find creative, cheerful and encouraging ways to serve our customers.

Give your customers your best, “face-time” smile.
Posted in Uncatagorized

A Different Reality

This is a time in history when we are all living a different reality.

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Discovering new favorite flowers on unexpected journeys, 

How are we doing? Something I have personally learned is that I have raised five children who are adaptable. As I watch them evaluate their jobs, their finances, and how they are using this time I am simply amazed. 

I was told many years ago that adaptable people are successful people. Think of the young entrepreneur who is wearing multiple hats and learning to adapt of the ebbs and flows of business. Running your own business has so many highs and lows and everyday is a challenge where adapting to different realities is part of the job. You prove to yourself every day your true strength. 

A different reality has had me looking to my future and defining more  of what is most important.  I am also daily taking the steps to make this as manageable and enjoyable as possible. This is not just a different reality this is a crisis.

The Coronavirus has paralyzed our country. We are living in a state of unknowns for out future. Unknowns for our jobs, our families, our favorite restaurants, our social events and guess what? We are ALL an adaptable species.

Our adversities draw us into our support systems, strengthen our family bonds and have all of us reaching into parts of our DNA we did not know existed.

Here are three, maybe four or five, ways that help navigate change and can teach us to be more adaptable when living in a different reality.

1. A Sense of Humor

No this is not funny as in joke telling haha’s. Let’s face it the big reveal is underway. Those blond highlights are a ticking bomb of growth. Have a sense of humor. That dropped cut GQ hair is going places. And it’s a good think we are not heading into work wearing our designer finest because the cleaners are closed, too. Just look at your circumstances, breath and remember that you are not alone. We are in this together.

2. Get Up & Do Something

Daily, no matter your mood do something. For almost weeks quarantined with my boyfriend. I try to get outside, get 10k steps in, take a walk, ride a bike, reading a book and planning meals and trying new recipes. Honestly I want to impress my man with my mad cooking skills. One night, with two new recipes, I bombed but failure is not trying. Try doing something new. Surprise your family or those you are quarantined with by doing. Creat something even if it’s a flop.

3. Reach Out And Encourage Someone

There is someone who may need your call, your text, your email message of encouragement. No matter the condition of your new and different reality there is one common thread. We are all graveling with the same. Make that call. Make it a daily habit of your new reality. I am using up years of stationary thanking my friends for being there, thanking former clients.

4. Zero Expectations

One day at a time. We are all in this together. Try to work together with zero expectations. This will add a surprise to your day as it unfolds. There is no real way any of us know how to navigate. Not your bosses, not your family members and not your friends. Be an example of doing  the best, and be surprised. 

May we all look back, in years to come, and be able to say, “I became the best version of myself, learned new strengths from within and am better for it.

Stay cool!! Elizabeth

Smile into the face of challenges.
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Posted in Sales & Marketing

Building Your Advertising Message

 

Building your advertising message is a challenge that both larger and small companies face every day of every hour. Digital Media has placed the never ending pressure to be present every hour and minute to stay ahead of the competition.

 

I have time and space to help you stay present on your two most relevant social platforms. With a one year commitment at $850.00 a month. You will receive the following…..

1. Full analysis of your current advertising both off and online to measure two of your most relevant platforms to focus on and build your strategy.

2. Twenty well written advertising messages, including graphics, and prepared for sharing on your two most relevant social platforms. Updated monthly with the growing changes in your business.

3. Designing & sharing weekly strategies, messaging and advertising implemented on two most relevant platforms.

 

If this sounds good then let’s chat. You can call me or email me directly at

elizabethtraubconsulting@gmail.com

 

On the subject line please include, Advertising Message”.

 

 

Posted in Business Spotlight, Uncatagorized

Chatter That Is Going To Matter

Let’s Talk

In 2011 I read a book called, “If You Can Talk, You Can Write” By Joel Saltzman. I thought it was fascinating. Through the many stories, events, and excitement my life seems to have been stories have been told through countless blogs and social media platforms. I can talk, but writing? Is it true that, “If You Can Talk, You Can Write?”  Is the person currently running your online messaging a great speaker? Can they chat up YOUR story away from a computer? Do they have what it takes to have strategic chatter that is going to matter?  This picture, an attempt at costuming up for a Roaring 20’s Party. How is this relevant to this post. The chatter around your business is going to matter whether in images or written stories and messaging. We are heading into the 20’s a century later and you definitely want your business roaring.

Many businesses face the daily challenges of telling their story. Advertising is no longer that one great tag line that carries a company for the next year. It’s all about creating content, messaging, stories and sharing in both written text and images that will attract your customers. Chatter is going to matter more in 2020 than ever before. Are you ready?

If your website and social sites are not telling the same story your customers are going to be confused. Here is the dilemma for many companies. They hire the tech savvy person to run their social platforms with great messaging, telling YOUR story, and sharing what is the best of your best.   Your company provides the information and you are off and running. In that off and running process there is no real change in your business and you begin to question if the expense and efforts are worth the dollars going out but not the dollars coming in.

There is a lost art in understanding the strategy behind the chatter. The design of content, telling your story, and seeing that the underbelly of your efforts is all connected.  In today’s culture of advertising it is not enough to just be talking.   There has to be a well written strategy to integrate all your content with your best. If you can talk, you can write, and you can be your best. But if you cannot talk and write then you need to hire someone who can.

I would love to help set your company on a path of strategic chatter that is going to matter in 2020.  Let’s get those roaring 20’s off to a strong start.  I can do a complete analysis of your online efforts and how they integrate with your offline efforts. In doing so I can provide a strategic plan to fit your budget. it may not be the roaring 20’s but 2020 is coming and it’s time to set you company on a path to success. If you would like to speak with me, Elizabeth Traub, please take a moment to fill out the contact form and we can set up an appointment.

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Posted in Sales & Marketing, Social Media, Uncatagorized

Get Your Social In Order

Elizabeth Traub Consulting

When was the last time you evaluated your business profiles on your social platforms? It is time to, “Get Your Social in Order.” I think this goes without saying. But does it? Several years ago we all jumped into the social pool of apps, and social connecting and updating and chatting and engaging and forgot a few key things. We thought that all was good and well if we had our proper links on our websites. We thought if our social platforms are set up for optimization we would not fall off the edges of potential business. We thought since all was linked up and in place we could go about our business. And we did. Because who has got time for what has not becoming the fastest moving freeways in the digital era we live in.

Elizabeth Traub Consulting

These Were The Golden Days of Advertising

Remember the days when you could quickly scratch notes on a yellow notepad, run across town to drop off with the graphic designer, then approve the ad copy and you were done for the month. That was it. One great ad that was then placed in all the print options you could afford. Each month you would get a call from your advertising sources to renew or bring in new and fresh ad copy. You were so busy running your business that often you would say, “Just run the same ad”. I know I did The reality for many companies is that they are just running that same ol’ ad in the social space.

With the fast pace of digital it’s not just a good idea but it is imperative for the success of your business to, “Get Your Social In Order”. Every detail of your digital footprint matters. I type to fast. (Thanks to my mom insisting I take typing my freshman year of high school). I was an early user. Back in the 80’s which meant turning in your class assignments neatly typed and double spaced. Today in a meeting I had a typo on my bio on a social platform. Thankfully I also have an editor (Thank you Emily Otteson who reads, and rereads and fixes what my fast fingers dance over). She was not the one who made the typo. I did and it was pointed out to me and quickly fixed. All this to say that you have one job that wears many hats. You are great at what you do. But you did not go to the Art Institute of Seattle and get your degree in Graphic Design & Advertising. (Thankfully I was able to attend this school and get that degree). So you sit in the social space and think you have it all together because you did what the blogs tell you what to do. Or you hired some young kid for minimum wage to set you up. You also asked that young kid to tweet, share, like and make a few comments about your company. No offense to the young people out there but strategy has to be behind each and ever share, tweet, and conversation. And strategy comes with experience.

Elizabeth Traub Consulting

My Business Card~Call Me

I get that you do not have time to manage it all. But for all things good and bad in business do something good for yourself, “Get Your Social In Order”.

Hire someone to do this. Hire me. Shameless to add in my business card? Not at all. If you need help then by all means ask for it. If I cannot help you I can refer some great resources. Or do it yourself. I have great references on those who hired me to teach them. Make sure ALL your social platforms are in order with the kind of message and business you want to present.

This post was prompted today by talking with and visiting with two companies. While we were chatting I checked in on their social presence and I was mortified for them. During the meeting of one company, as we were screen sharing, I landed on their the company Twitter page. It was linked to a wrong account. How long had it been that way? She handled the situation well. Because in her business it is all about your digital footprint. Another company had no bio, no brand imaging. Nothing. Yet they are scratching their heads over why their business is stalling. They thought that since they had their social accounts linked to their website it was enough.

Elizabeth Traub Consulting

Ten years ago it was enough. Not today friends. Not today. Today is the day to get it right. I am here for you. Let’s work together to, “Get Your Social In Order”.

Give me a call 503-686-1109

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Posted in Sales & Marketing, Social Media, Uncatagorized

Make It A Good One

Weath of knowledge to share
“There is a wealth of knowledge that can spin off of one well thought out and intentional share on your social platforms. Make it a good one. #SavvySocialTip #marketing #entrepreneur #socialintelligence #socialbusiness “
In the past six years I have received some very nice pieces of business through Twitter. Of all places, Twitter. A platform that is linked to my personal Facebook account. A platform that I share both personal and professional content. I have been asked over the years how my Twitter account has grown. It’s been slow and steady. I have spent the least amount of time on my Facebook page. However in the past week I am jump-starting that one. I have used Facebook pages for my clients and know how to navigate and grow, but my business has predominately been referral business thus no need to really spend time on Facebook pages. I have always used Twitter for quick tweets and engagement. I sent potential clients to view my website to learn more about my advisory and consulting roles.
Thanks President Donal Trump for making Twitter even more about opinions and conversation. Perhaps his media team can learn a little from this #SavvySocialTip. A “…well thought out and intentional share on social platforms…” can go a long way when a potential client is looking in on your social platforms.
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Many years ago I made this silly video. It was at a time when companies were trying to learn how to navigate business on Youtube. I had two employees who were young and hip and talked me into this one take video.(images are screen shots thus the quality).
You can watch it here now: https://youtu.be/fS3R3WR_yrs
I thought it was silly. Actually I was a bit embarrassed that I let them talk me into going to a local grocery story and, “borrowing” the grocery cart. We drove into the back corner of this shopping center, quickly snagged a grocery cart, took it to my house, shot the video and returned it.
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I reluctantly put it up on Youtube. The video went live. The young Portland hipster employees were cracking up and said, “THIS IS IT!!” I then shared across twitter for about a week. Admitting my reservations about the video with each tweet. I carefully thought out each tweet and was intentional with my messaging. I invited people to look in. It did not go viral. And if you watched you will understand why. However it did get the attention of two clients. One a major TV network, and then a small investment firm. What the heck!!!
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Imagine a 69 year old fellow calling you up. Laughing at your creative attempt at YouTube. At first I was quiet thinking this was some kind of a joke. However after the laughing and teasing were moved aside, this man got down to business. Asked me all kinds of questions and then hired me. He told me that he decided that anyone who can put themselves out there in the manner that I did must be fun to work with. BAM & BOOM.
I have come along way in navigating this digital era with business. And I am still not able to really connect via video. I am a people person. I know that about myself, and I know that being intentional and thinking through all the elements of sharing on social platforms are important for my clients as well as for how I represent myself.
Now back to the shopping cart. There is a popular rapper named “NF” and he uses a shopping cart in his videos. I would like to think he stumbled across my shopping cart video and got the idea from me. But really the premise of this post is simple.
“There is a wealth of knowledge that can spin off of one well thought out and intentional share on your social platforms. Make it a good one. #SavvySocialTip # #marketing #entrepreneur #socialintelligence #socialbusiness “
Want to link up and meet-up in the social spaces. You can follow my links here.
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Posted in Sales & Marketing, Social Media

Your Brand Should Be Telling Your Story

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Your brand should be telling your story.

Are people reading?

I recently worked on a campaign that challenged me in every aspect of the word. This campaign sharpened all the tools in my toolbox. Some tools collecting dust from years past. Let me break this down in one sentence. A candidate enters the race with only six weeks before voting day. Prior to the start of this campaign he had zero online presence in social media. His website was affiliated with his private business and was built around 15 years ago and only used merely has a landing page with no activity. Okay, so it took more than one sentence to break down. Now add-in the simple little piece of knowledge that Facebook is under scrutiny in the politics of their platform. What do you think happens when a personal Facebook page & then a political page are thrown up in one day? Red flags and hoops that are taking weeks to unlock with any kind of sponsored/paid advertising.

I realized very quickly that I had to go back to the basics of digital and social sharing and building of a brand (the person) and get people reading. I had to dust off those old tools in my toolbox. The most important word in this title is, “People.” How to get people reading from a person that they did not know, and in today’s culture using only, “organic” sharing. Anyone who has ever navigated the organic process of advertising and marketing know the hours spent daily to get eyeballs, and eyeballs belong to people, and people are who we want reading.

I come from the earlier years of advertising and marketing. I also come from a deep level of experience in strategically working and bringing the story, the key elements, and the brand melting into a pot of advertising and marketing. However in this case I had become so savvy with all the tools for advertising and the bumps of analytics with paid advertising. It has been years since I sat at a desktop, daily to push the message and story of a client. Yet here I was faced with the challenge.

There were no weeks of trial and error and breaking down designated demographics, votes, voter information and running all the systems we now use to analyze the best possible strategy. This was a no name, never on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram for this individual.

Are people reading? I learned three things in this six week challenge.

1.Well written content that captures the heart and emotions of the people will get people reading. Stay on point. Keep people coming back with YOUR story.

We marketers use brand new memes daily. We share other brands that we think our potential customers, voters, clients will be interested in. When in fact, each time we share someone else’s content and information, we are asking that person to read elsewhere. We are asking that person to go to THEIR story. Before social and digital marketing, in what world would we stand around and hand out business cards for other companies? In a referral manner with companies we did business with, yes. In the online world, in my humble opinion, no. Why send the people elsewhere? Why send someone who has landed on your page to another person’s page? Your brand should be telling YOUR story. Are people reading?

2. Find an important element of your brand, product and service. Then share that story. Believe me that if your are sharing well written content people will start reading and then coming back to read more of your story.

The more personal information I shared about my client, the more readers, followers, likes and engagement (organically) was built. I think Ronald McDonald decided that no matter what kind of medium is out there, the clown story is still important to kids. My client was not a person who grew up and around the daily deluge of selfies. When faced with a strategy that required exposing his personal life and story he had to trust the process. We had to tell his story. And guess what people were reading.

3. Tell and re-tell the most important parts of the brand’s message.

You really can take one message and rewrite it 40 different ways. If you want your readers to have your information imprinted on their frontal lobes then you better be telling/sharing that message over and over with the same graphics, designs and messaging. I am really beginning to wonder if we have been directed down the wrong path of advertising with so much in social media. Sharing has become so busy with trying to share so much of many different aspects of a campaign. Losing  your audience and focus.

Working on this last campaign drove analytics in a very strong direction using what seemed to be tools that were dusty, outdated and old. Only to be reminded that well written content will capture the heart and emotions of your readers. Once you have narrowed in on the important elements of your brand, product, or service people start reading and keep coming back to hear the rest of your story. That is why it is important to tell and re-tell your story. Your Brand Should Be Telling Your Story!!

July 2019

If you are reading this and realizing that you are in need of a Brand & Marketing Strategist I would love to come alongside and help you, your brand or your business.

Please contact me here: https://elizabethtraub.com/contact-me/

Follow me on Twitter: @elizabethtraub

Follow me on Facebook: Elizabeth Traub Consulting & Design

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Posted in Sales & Marketing, Social Media, Uncatagorized

Start Your Campaign Strong

 

Promotion all logoOver the years I have received phone calls that start like this, “How fast can you…..?”  There was a dream that developed a solid idea. That idea became a daily thought process, that thought process presented an opportunity to become a reality.  And the next thing you know you are running at full speed ahead meeting deadlines to make that idea your reality. Whew!!  I get tired of thinking of all the late nights staring down a strategic plan with a time crunch.  And I love it!!!

And currently working on getting Dr. Bart Rask hired onto the Hillsboro, OR School Board. Which is the inspiration to write this particular blog. The idea of running for a position, a campaign, and that call for help. Next thing you know we are off and running.

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Amazing when Dr.Bart Rask can be endorsed by his biggest critics, his children.

Starting your campaign strong is simply being ready, when you are ready to let the world know you should be taken serious. That requires planning. Careful and strategic planning. If  you are currently sitting on a dream may I suggest you start now.  Starting now puts a solid foundation on what your building.  It may be months down the road before you take off. It may never even happen before you move on to the next big idea, but in the event it becomes a reality you are ready. That call of, “How fast can you…..?” is a challenge for everyone involved. Yet a few easy steps to get you started can make all the difference.

The, “How fast can you….” is something that needed to happen fast for the good doctor. Dr. Bart Rask knew  he came into this race at the 12th hour. A few long meetings, serious and deep research, a strategy, and we are off. For most who have no plan in order this would have been difficult to pull off. Fortunately Dr. Bart Rask came for my help, and all the systems were in place waiting for him. He had the foundation started, and it took careful implementing to build a strong campaign.

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Election is May 21, 2019-Vote for Bart Rask

In this past year I have really wondered what has so many plunging in with speed,  no plan, no strategy and a bleeding budget. I know a little of that answer. It’s about being the first one to market. It is also the simple fact that social media has everyone operating at lightening speed. Here are three things you should do the moment  you scratch that dream on a cocktail napkin.  Working with Dr. Bart Rask  and charging forward required these three things I am going to share.  And let’s be real. He’s an Orthopedic surgeon. He is not a brand and marketing strategist. He knew he needed to move fast, he knew he needed help and we got right down to work.

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Dr. Bart Rask working on his campaign.

You’d be surprised how many quick starts have gone on to be very successful with starting these first three ideas strong. Strong enough to jump in and build a strong campaign.

1. Get A Logo

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It may change over time, and be refined a thousand times, but this gives you an opportunity to get all your identity secured. Your Logo. Hire someone to make it exactly as you want. I love that Dr. Bart Rask had his logo in place. It states exactly what his objective is. If you hired a creative person who can get inside your head, you will not have to change it. That logo can then be used to give your idea a tangible reality. This image will be spread over the internet, so make it a good one.

2. Write A Short, One Paragraph, Elevator Pitch

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Writing out this elevator pitch will give words to your dream. Write it out on a 3×5 card. Practice saying it over and over. Practice with your friends, family and strangers. Practice in the car. Change it up until it the most natural thing to talk about.

Dr. Bart Rask has a story of passion,  “Excellence in Education for all Children”. And being the father of six kids is the beginning of his story. All six kids attend Hillsboro schools which fuels his passion. Some may argue that he needs a fancy blue button down shirt with a grey tie head shot of his hair combed. Professional photos are great. But his story is being in the middle of kids in elementary, middle and high school. A man who shows up, and will show up with his vision for Hillsboro School Board.

3. Set Up Your Social Media Platforms

Bart Rask Hillsboro School Board

Time to build your social media presence. You now have your logo and you have your pitch. Months before you ever start development or production you are building a foundation to start your campaign strong. And you look good. It feels good and others think you really are taking this idea serious.  As others take interest you slowly start telling your story. And people begin gathering. Watching, wondering and waiting.

This picture with Dr. Bart Rask walking off the field with a football player is part of his story. He has been the school physician for various sporting events for 21 years. Long before he had his own kids he was helping others. Your story starts with you. What are you are doing today to build YOUR story?  I am pretty sure that Dr. Rask had no idea how I would use this image to tell his story. And to date this one image has had more shares, reach and engagement than any other image. Why? It shares his story and qualifies him all the more to be elected to the Hillsboro School Board.

To many seasoned entrepreneurs this is all to easy. However I have sat across from some of the smartest people I have ever met ready to launch their brand, product or campaign and guess what? They have no one to launch to. They have not built a foundation. They waited until all was pretty and ready to go.  And then opportunity came along and they had to scramble and make that call, “How fast can you?”

When you slowly build a solid foundation you are well on your way to Starting Your Campaign Strong. In my experience strong campaigns are winning campaigns.

Please visit www.votebartrask.com to follow his campaign

#sponsoredpost ( but not really just using a client, with permission as an example)

If you would like to learn more you may contact me, Elizabeth Traub here: @elizabethtraub

 

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Daily Acts of Kindness for YOUR Employees~Part One

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Written by @elizabethtraub

I was pretty young when I started my first business. I had no clue about the importance and value of daily acts of kindness with my staff. I suppose I was not any younger than most entrepreneurs, and actually it was my second business I am writing about today. I knew nothing about taking care of my employees. I am so glad that I could grow into the position of being a boss because most of my staff were more like my peers. I am pretty sure they had a lot to say behind my back of my youthful ways, but when it was go-time we were a fun, happy and kind group of people serving our customers with great success.

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Over the years I am often asked by my customers how I was able to find the nicest staff.  And I had to agree. I have had THE nicest employees. Not only were they good to me as their boss, but they were good to our customers and our customers returned and my staff stayed for years. It was often a new marriage or a new baby that moved an employee along in life and out of my employ. And many of my staff, actually most of my staff, are friends on social media and we continue to interact and keep up with each other’s day to day lives.  Years ago, one staff member who had moved out of town was back in town for a weekend. When she called and said she wanted to see me, my then, business partner said, “How do you get your employees to like you? I never liked any of my bosses.” I told her that it took kindness, a verb played out through note cards, intentional actions, fancy snacks, shopping trips and lots of practice.

For the month of January I am focusing on ways to treat your staff. This is not big corporate stuff. This is small town, ( The Portland, OR area is not really small town) boutique business, less than 60 employees kind of stuff. In each post I will talk about one of the five acts of kindness I showed my staff.  I highly encourage all the big guys and gals in big business read, as this all applies to big or small business. And what is that key ingredient? Kindness. And it

Here are my best  Daily Acts of Kindness for YOUR Employees” Part One

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  1. Note-cards

Not just cards with nice pretty little notes with a hand written gesture of appreciation in them, but actually using a note card. Let’s face it. We business owners have ALOT running through our minds daily. The last thing to remember is the few details of an employee’s personal life. Yet, as the leader of the troops the measures to embrace the heart of who our employees are is a gift in ways that go beyond the next sales.

Let me explain. Shelby was a fantastic energetic young employee. Her first big move to the big city of Portland. During our interview she explained a few things to me about her personal life and I took notes.  I took notes on an actual note card like this. I put the card in her file. I then hired a few more staff members and did the same. My business was growing in leaps and bounds and my staff grew from 2 to about 20 in less than six months. One day I pulled those note cards out, reviewed them and went on to my sales floor.

I took time that week to connect personally with each of my employees. Asking them questions about the topics on the note cards. They had no idea I had written down these details about their personal lives. Nor did I ever tell them I had made notes. I could not believe what happened over the next few weeks. It was as if magically moral was raised. Employees seemed happier and the biggest change was one by one each employee felt they could come in my office to discuss. Discuss what? Discuss customer situations, their own thoughts on the store, and it was not just one employee. It was ALL of them. And during those times at my desk I asked about their lives, and made more notes and more note cards.

This became a regular habit. I did not wander the showroom with my note-cards. I reviewed the note-cards.  I would then have a brief chat with an employee after reviewing their updated note card. Asking about the details, “How are your wedding plans coming?” “Is there anything I can do to help out?” “Did you get all moved into your apartment?” “What store is your husband working at? I will be sure to get my tires from him.”

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It only takes a minute to make a note.

Why? Why did any of this matter?  I believe that we sometimes forget the influence, role model, and culture we are are responsible for providing our staff. I wanted each of my employees to know that I genuinely cared.  And I know I failed at this the first year or two in business. I was focused on running a successful business  and assumed that by hiring good people success would follow. Yet, when I took a personal interest in each employee it made a difference.

I remember working for my dad in a company called Supra Products. I worked out in the factory building locks. This company was big and worldwide and later purchased by General Electric. Yet I watched this man, my dad, the president of the corporation walk into the factory every other week and hand out paychecks. He shook hands, asked the employees questions about their lives and believe me when I say this, IT MADE A DIFFERENCE!!!

There does not have to be this brick wall between you and your staff. It does not matter if you are a business owner, manager, or a staff of two. Be intentional. I do not fault myself for having to write on note-cards to remember the details of my staff and their personal lives. Go today, buy a package of note-cards, or open a file on your phone just to log what makes your employee happy outside of work, what challenges they are facing. As you ask questions and just listen, it is only 3-5 minutes of your time. The impact will be better that what you expected. Even if you are an ogre by nature I am pretty sure that putting money in the bank is important. No matter what kind of business you are in, your staff will perform better when they know the big boss cares.

Plain and simple NOTE CARDS.

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Daily Acts of Kindness for YOUR Employees

 

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The Pain of Amazon (Not Really)

Oh the pains of Amazon. I made a vow that as long as I had my own store I could never buy or subscribe to Amazon.  I felt that I had to shop local and support ALL local small mom and pop shops. That is until one night, late, or in the wee hours of the morning I could not sleep.  I was thinking of all the weeks leading up to Christmas. I was thinking how my boys were asking to set up the tree early and if I got all my shopping and wrapping done before Thanksgiving I could spend all of December getting little things for stockings. But the main shopping, when? When could I get it all done?

I was also trying to figure a specific day when I would ever start my Christmas shopping. Living out of town and in the country makes late night driving not so fun. And shopping, hauling in gifts, wrapping and hiding just felt like too, much. I did it. I wandered over to Amazon. I started searching for the things on my kids’ lists and before I knew it I was placing orders left and right. Even became a prime member. Even ordered the toilet paper I forgot to pick up at the grocery store.

Here are three reasons why online shopping is a good thing. ( Coming from someone who maybe ordered 3 things since online shopping started.)

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  1. No, as in no impulse buying. I look at the items on each of my kid’s lists. I search for that item. I add to my cart and move onto the next things. Which of course leads to saving money, which leads to more gifts for family and friends. I had no idea how much impulse buying I have done in past years.  My kids know this because they actually tell me to NOT to get them things they do not need. But the moment I see that display that has nothing to do with what’s on the lists I buy five, one for each kid. And I even tell them to just re-gift if they don’t like all those impulse purchases NOT on their lists.

20171126_1113442. You might stumble at 3am to search for a supersize box of toilet paper. And order it. Which reason number two is really just those practical everyday things we use and never think to order online. I mean for real. Hauling that super size TP into a cart in the store then out to the car and then into the house….delivered to my front door. Believe me it did not stop at TP. I had been out of my favorite hand-lotion for months. The traffic in the Portland area makes me cringe. To think of driving to Nordstroms to buy. So what did I do….Amazoned it.  And I bought two. One for home and one for my handband.

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3. Savings on products that actually do cost more at other stores. Because I am a seasoned shopper I was shocked to find things that were A LOT less at Amazon. Even beating out some of my favorite stores like Target. Bummer because I really do love Target.

My older kids swear by Amazon. And I have turned up my entrepreneur retail nose for over a decade. Today as I finish up this blog I am reporting that I have spent half, yes half of what I budgeted on what I spend from one year to the next on family and friends. I am shocked. I mean really really shocked at what I saved. I don’t just credit Amazon for great savings as I am sure there are many other buying sites to save on. I credit the three things I have learned.

Am I late on the online shopping wagon? No, you are never to late. But if you do have the time please first shop the small local stores. Give them your business. I know that I always appreciated my customers and every single dollar they  spent in my store. Time, work, and living way out in the country have changed my Christmas shopping habits and directed me to online buying.  Now guaranteed I will not change the habit of going to the malls on Christmas even, buying a special Christmas drink and sitting on a bench and watch the frenzy of last minute shopping.

I still have a number of $10.00-$20.00 gift items to buy. If you have a small boutique online shop then buy ( pun intended) all means, please direct me there.

Merry Christmas and happy shopping where ever you are.

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Your Employer, Your Pastor, Your Lawyer & Your Mother are watching.

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I will never forget the day I saw my 80 something year old mother update her Facebook. I asked her how she learned how to do that and what her interest in social platforms might be. I mean really you are in your 80’s. She said she wanted to keep up with her grand-kids. That in order to stay in touch she had to be in touch and she was going to learn. She also informed me that she had no idea I had a blog until she got on Facebook. She said she had spent hours reading my blog after I posted a link on Facebook.

I got a “lead” for a great job opportunity. I was excited about the idea of this job once presented. My instincts felt a bit different. Something, and I could not put my finger on that something, did not feel right. Then I did some due diligence.  I want onto Facebook to check out the person I would be working under. I looked at all the social platforms around this individual. I was appalled and shocked. And I saw how this person complained about former clients who had fired him, and how he blew up his streams with profanity. I thought it might be prudent to let this opportunity go.

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Today a young woman posted on Facebook about her job. I have watched this sweetheart grow up. I love her heart and her story and love how she does life. She was sent home from work for not having the correct attire on. It was a simple innocent post, however if one single person knows her employer, or another co-worker this could be taken out of context and misinform her employer.

This past week I had to have my entire 10 years of being on Facebook downloaded and handed to an opposing party for a personal legal matter. At first it felt highly intrusive. But then  I thought of the messages and content that will be viewed. I have been hired by national brands for the very messaging and content I share. My online space has been one where I try to encourage, share real life events, and hope that one person may laugh, be blessed, be encouraged, be challenged, will learn something new and most important feel love and kindness. Rest assured that anyone can take your goodness and turn it into something not so favorable, but the realization that whoever reads my streams may come away feeling blessed made me feel more joy than intruded upon. Why?  These are public platforms.

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Today, more than ever, decisions are being made about you based on your content shared. What are you sharing? What messages are you communicating?  If you knew your mother was watching would share what  you are sharing?  Do you care what your employer, your pastor, your lawyer, your mother thinks? If you are called on to download your history in social media do you panic or do you smile over the simple fact that someone is going to come away blessed? Someone is going to be reading what Jesus is doing in your life daily.

Your social sharing is your resume for life and for opportunity. I later learned that this person who wanted to hire me was really not a nice person. His response to me when I declined the job was similar to his sharing on Facebook.  Instincts were correct and going to social media to look over this person was very helpful.

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We are in an age of now having to accept the simple fact that social media is not going away. Although I have had my Facebook sharing open to friends and family, my own community of people, the bottom line is that this information is still subject to be public. Not because of court orders. But for the simple fact that anyone in your community can share you content, take screen shots, and share outside of your intended community.  I have had to spend a great deal of time teaching my children this very fact. Does your walk and talk in real time reflect who you are online? Today that answer should be yes. It better because the eyeballs of the future are in the palm of everyone’s hand. Our employers, our pastors, our lawyers and yes even our mothers are reading up. You may have the skills needed for a job. Skills that should have nothing to do with your personality or personal life. However we have moved into a space of relational thinking on all the levels of life we live. Being called to a higher standard of performance because today your integrity and character will help you with that next job. And your employers, your pastors, your lawyers and your mother’s are watching you.

personal-blog-header-updatedThis picture is the header on my personal blog. The one my mother reads. It’s true to my heart. Those who know me in real face to face time embrace this kind of sharing. They know my story. I love sharing the stories of my heart and how God steps into my everyday life. I love sharing that others may know and understand my life as a Jesus person. And perhaps be encouraged and take courage in the journey of their stories. My journey of mothering, once upon a time being wife, my journey with a deaf son, and experiencing a brain tumor. God showing up in the middle of my everyday story may offend a future and perspective client. I take that risk. Why?  I am about relationships with people. We are in relationship whether we are working or playing, mothering, being a wife, single divorced mom, and on our jobs.I love that IBM Commerce invited me in as a guest for an online chat. I love that they  called me a “customer experience expert” because in both my business life and personal life people matter. The experiences we provide through our social sharing is important to your relationships. It’s how life is lived and learned.

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Your social networks are the platform for your story. Make it YOURS. In the social space I view as I would if we were sitting in a room together. Be kind. Be respectful. Be encouraging. Be the wonderful you that God designed.

Want to follow me in the spaces and places I post.

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Be Who You are Online As You Are in Real Time

I have learned something about myself this past year.  It is actually kind of embarrassing. So much so, that to overcome I am going to write about it. I 100% stink at promoting my own brand. I actually have a line I use in all my interviews….”I am terrible at my own brand, but I can deliver on the marketing and branding of my clients.”  To which I then turn over letters of reference.

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Why?  How can I be a marketing gal and not know how to market myself? Let’s start here. What a pretty picture. A story about one of my companies.  The Sherwood Gazette has made an appointment to come and interview me about my shop. I know the time and I think, “I can quickly finish painting this sign.”  While most would be in the mirror trying on the right outfit, and doing hair and make up I am in my paint clothes. I did have a clean shirt to change into, but that never happened. When the interviewer left I was, once again, faced with the reality that I suck at promoting myself.

I have been very blessed with an enriching career. I have worked mostly on referrals. I did not understand the blessings of referrals until I took a detour out of the Portland area for a few years into a tiny little community. My first consulting job in that community came by way of taking a hike up a mountain with a local business owner. She later hired me for a small project. Another gig was through Skip To My Room. I got to know a local artist who later hired me to assist and teach her how to market her business. I did not have to really go and look for work. Even while living in this small community I came into three more consulting jobs outside of town through what? Referrals.

But then one day, that small community had to much snow and ice to get into the city for meetings which altered taking in more work.  I soon learned that there was not enough work in a tiny little town. So back to Portland I came and sitting at my desk asking myself….”gosh how do I market myself?” I love social media, I am good at marketing and branding, I know how to do all this great work for my clients but for myself. It feels kind of like bragging. It feels dirty and wrong. Look at me. Look at me. Over here. I can do this for you, and that for you. You see when you work on referrals, someone has already come along and bragged on your work. Someone has already spoke on behalf of your credibility.

The question is simple. How do you market yourself?  How do you, as the face of your brand, market the work you do?

In the past three months I have been hired by a company that had nothing to do with work. I sat next to the owner at a picnic. She asked what I do. I shared. The kind of sharing that went something like this, “I work to help companies tell their stories and branding and marketing kind of stuff.” I am at a picnic in shorts and flip-flops. I have most likely had a couple of hard ciders and this is not a working event. Yet a few months later they contacted me.  I also have a company I worked with from five years ago. Five years ago they found me through another client. They are ready for some more cocktails of marketing and branding. And now another project is facing me. All came by way of being out and about, here and there. Could this possibly be my business strategy? Image result for Image of  a struggle with marketing

How do you market yourself?  By being  yourself. How do you market the work you do? Do a swell enough job that someone else is doing the talking for you. However I am going to take this a step further. Because I asked these people why? Why they ultimately hired me. In six specific cases, without knowing my client list, or seeing my work they “heard” about me. A trusted friend, a trusted colleague, a trusted former client all sharing their company success after having hired a consultant, me. Are you worth talking about by others?  What happened for me, is that, by nature I am a social person. I invited all of my clients into my personal social space. Outside of the work that I do, they see I am a devoted mother. They see my hobbies, my interests and my passions. And through those interactions on social media a level of trust is built around my character.  Trust is because in reading your public postings…you communicate more of who you are personally and professionally.  I mean, really look at my Twitter feed. How “professionally” positioned is that. NOT!!  But you might get to know more of my personality.

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Now back to the simple fact that I still stink at personally marketing myself. My best advice is be your real authentic self in all your social media platforms and those looking in will either like what they see or not. And those who do like what they see will end up taking you out for drinks to learn the knitty-gritty of what you have to offer.

Be who you are online as you are in real time.

And if someone wants to interview you, might I suggest you hold off on the painting project until afterwards and clean yourself up a bit. @elizabethtraub

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If you would love to have me work on behalf of your next project please do not hesitate to contact me. I do keep my Facebook public so you can look in and get to know more of me. Message me or contact me HERE.

 

 

 

 

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