COM0014 Blog 7 – Personal Reflection

We all have a story to tell and people want to hear your story.

A well written story can make a boring topic seem more interesting.  I can’t think of one of my friends that would enjoy reading about SEO and ROI, but I you turn it into a story that relates to someone’s business by outlining the steps taken to improve SEO or ROI they may be more likely to read it.

When the goal of your content is to provide value to your reader they are more likely to read, like, comment and share.  By using real life situations, it will be more interesting to read.  For instance, I could select any direct sales business or small business from one of my networking groups and write about it.  I can highlight people and talk about what we did to improve their content or how we were able to increase interaction and so much more.  I currently share posts from friends that are getting a lot of interaction as an example of “doing it right”.

My content will include subjects like the following:

  • Are you committed to social media?
  • Why listening is important.
  • Why it’s important to have quality likes on your business page.
  • Stories about women in direct sales.
  • What is your why?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • Where is your target audience?
  • How to build engagement.

My writing style is aimed at teaching and helping small business and at the same time I plan to write about successful women in small business and show how they have used social media to build their business.

Have you read “Content Rules“, by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman? It is a very good read for anyone wanting to find their writing “voice”.

Do you know any other good books about writing good content?


COM0015 Blog 4 – CinchShare

CinchShare is a company based in Melbourne, Florida.  They offer an application much like Hootsuite but less expensive.  You can use CinchShare to schedule posts to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Their target audience is women in direct sales and MLM companies.  They offer free online Facebook training on their Facebook page geared towards people in direct sales, such as:

  • Creating Amazing Customer Groups,
  • Instagram 101 for Direct Sellers,
  • How to Sell Yourself on Facebook,
  • and much more.

When you logon to CinchShare for the first time, it connects all of your Facebook pages, it links any groups that you’ve created.  You have access to all of your Facebook photos and it advises you to register for Canva which is a design program that makes it really easy to make creative content to post.  Many of the photos in Canva are free and there are some with a small cost.  Many are only $1.  You have to link your Twitter and Instagram accounts, much like you would in Hootsuite.

I’m looking forward to using CinchShare and to share this great tool with others in direct sales.

COM0015 Assignment 5: Free Social Media Planning

I attended a free Social Media Planning Session – Encore Presentation with Jennifer Walker at Collabspace on August 21st.


Since I’m planning to offer similar workshops, it’s helpful to see what other people are offering in the way of training.  I have attended other marketing workshops in the past and in addition to learning, I also met people with similar interests.

After the event, there was time for networking and I noticed a lady in the room with a Miche purse.  I went over to introduce myself, and it turns out that she knows a really good friend of mine that purchases Miche from me.   It was such a coincidence that she won her Miche bag at a breast cancer fundraising event and guess who donated the purse?  Small world!

One thing that was reinforced by attending this workshop is the need for training in social media and the need for services for small business.  Many people are afraid of social media and they believe they are too old to learn, or don’t have the time to commit.  They would prefer to have someone do the work for them.

Offering seminars, such as the one I attended last night, will give people confidence to in my abilities to help them with social media or deliver a social media strategy that perfectly fits their individual needs.

At the end, Jenn offered future paid workshops that go into more detail as well as services that her business offers.

Quote from the workshop:

Jenn’s 3 ‘Be’ s

Be consistent – in language – look – frequency – timing

Be genuine

Be engaged

I will attend future events not only to network and meet new people, but to observe different teaching styles and gather ideas of what to teach.

Why do you think social media is so intimidating to some people?


COM0014 Blog #6 – Stigma

Would you like to work from home, have flexible work hours, stay home with their children, build your confidence, make lasting relationships, have fun and make money doing it?  Women join direct sales and MLM (Multi-level Marketing) companies not only for these reasons, but also to be part of a social network and have a sense of belonging.

Many women are becoming very successful in direct sales or MLM companies by networking and by using social media.  In the past, it was much more difficult.  Do you remember back in the day when the Avon lady came ringing your doorbell?

So why is there such a stigma attached to this industry?

People associate direct sales with pyramid schemes.  The truth is, pyramid schemes are illegal.  When people are paid to recruit, but not to sell a product, it’s called a pyramid scheme.

The difference in direct sales or MLM, is that we have a quality product to sell.  We build a team with the intention of helping each representative become successful and we are paid to mentor them.  Go-getters can even surpass you in this business.  How many times do you see that happening in other industries.

The other side of direct sales, that many people don’t know about, is the relationships that are built.  These women are truly supportive of each other. Whether you are in the same company or not, everyone has the same mindset that we want to see everyone succeed.

Do you support women in small business?

COM0015 Blog #3 Do you have a Business Card?

You could say I’ve become a professional at networking.  Over the past few years, I have joined several networking groups such as WOW (World of Women), GR Business Networking, VAWBN (Vars and Area Women’s Business Networking).  In addition to these groups, I regularly attend Entrepreneurs in Action at Collabspace as well as breakfast meetings with OCW (Orleans Connecting Women).  Momondays at the Heart and Crown, on the second Monday of each month, is a great place to meet new people, as they say, “You meet the nicest people at Momondays”.

On any given week, I attend several events hosted by my networking groups, or hosted by people I meet at these groups.

In addition to networking, I frequently have a booth at events like the National Women’s Show in October.  I will be setting up a display in a model home on Inspiration Day for Tamarak Homes in September.  I try to do at least one event per month.

Have you ever been at a networking event where someone was passing out business cards like they are dealing cards, without even introducing themselves.  That wasn’t me.  I’m the relationship builder.  I prefer to introduce myself and start a conversation by asking about the other person’s business.  That will strike up a conversation and in most cases they will offer you a card.  If not, you can show interest in keeping in touch by asking for their card.  They will most likely ask you what you do and ask for your card as well.  If I think there’s a chance that we can help each other in business, I may even ask if they’d like to go for coffee and set up another meeting.

I always meet someone in person before adding them online.  If there’s one thing I dislike is receiving a friend request on Facebook and trying to determine if I know the person or if I’ve met them before.  If we meet at an event, I will send friend request along with a Facebook message with a reminder of where we met.  I also ask if they would like an invitation to my Facebook page.  People appreciate it much more if you ask before just assuming they would like to join.

How do you feel about people sending you Facebook friend requests without sending you a message to explain who they are and how they know you?


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Blog #5 Personal Brand – Don’t be Afraid of Change

It all started with a Vic 20 that my father bought back in the 1980’s and my interest was peaked.  I have always been interested in the latest and greatest when it comes to applications, technology and tools.

Earlier this year, I was laid off from my job of 27 years, and it’s been the best thing that has ever happened to me.  I worked as an IT Support Specialist for 17 of those years and it was time for a change.  We’ve all heard that change is good and I’ve never been afraid of it.

After a short break and a lot of soul searching, I found myself enrolling for Social Media Marketing.  That in itself, at the age of 53, is quite an accomplishment.  Social Media has always interested me.  I have always used it, and it’s something that I always wanted to learn more about.

While I was working full-time, I also had a side job selling purses and accessories.  I’ve been involved with direct sales for 10 years and I found that many entrepreneurial women are looking for help with social media.

I started a new Facebook page in June to help my business contacts in small business learn more about social media.  By sharing a few tips here and there, I’ve been able build a following and create interaction in just a little over a month.

I plan to use my 17 years in IT Support, combined with 10 years of direct sales experience and my social media training to start a new career in helping small business with social media.

At my age, this is a bit daunting but exciting at the same time.

I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Wish me luck!

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Blog #2 Social Media Strength for Yoga

The practice of Yoga has become a very popular form of fitness.  It is a process of well-being that has been in existence for over 15,000 years.

Moksha Yoga Orleans

I live on the outskirts of Ottawa in Orleans and when I think of Yoga, I think of Moksha Yoga in Orleans.  They opened up on St. Joseph Blvd on December 2011.  They have 1,566 likes on their page.  There are 85 reviews on their page.  They offer discounts on classes at, and  They have a Twitter account with 865 followers.  Their instructors participate in the free Parliament Hill Yoga and it’s advertised on their social media accounts.  On Twitter they retweet from popular yoga sites.

Yoga on the Hill

Have you heard of Parliament Hill Yoga in Ottawa, Ontario every Wednesday at noon from May 3 to August 30?  Yes, and it’s Free!  It’s hosted by Lululemon and their Facebook page has 3,536 people who like their page.  Their hashtag is #phyoga which they use consistently in posts.  They create their events inside the Facebook page with a photo of the instructor and a description of the class.  They also post photos of participants on Parliament Hill and receive a good amount of interaction on their posts.

Yoga with Jas

I met Jas at a networking event.  Jas has been a yoga instructor since 2002 and she reached out to me for help with social media.  She uses Facebook and Instagram in her business. Yoga with Jas currently has 271 likes on her Facebook page and her page has been active since April 2016.  Her website is  Her target audience is beginners and people who want to deepen their meditation practice through yoga.  Jas has a class on Thursday nights at 8pm in Orleans at Downsize Fitness and the drop in price is $10/class.
Jas currently has a good mix of posts, video and inspiration.  Outlining the benefits of yoga and what poses will help resolve what issue will also be useful information to post on her page.
The consistent use of keywords and hashtags in posts and headings, for example #YogaWithJas #Orleans #Yoga.
After a quick Google search I found this article with the top 10 hastags for yoga.  #yogapants #meditate #meditation #fitness #health #mundra #love #workout #yogi #namaste.  It’s a good idea in Facebook to limit the use of hashtags to two or three per
Jas would also benefit from more interaction on her page by asking questions.  I noticed one photo of a class she taught with the following caption:

What a wonderful group of people!  End result = #BlissedOut #YogaWithJas #Sip #skill #YogaBasics #beginner

Change the words around to create interaction.

“What a wonderful group of people in class today!  Describe with a #hashtag in the comments how you felt after class. Look for my #hashtag is in the comments.” #YogaWithJas #Orleans (many people also ask for a GIF)

Use Facebook to boost posts to the Orleans/Ottawa area using keywords that focus on her target audience.  Boost to people who like your page.

Create events inside your Facebook Page of all of your upcoming classes and workshops.

Use video to promote the business on Facebook, use Facebook Live.  Create a Twitter account and/or blog.  Use the blog to distribute content to Social Media accounts.
Yoga Inspiration is a page with over one million likes so it would be a great place to share content from and get ideas on posts.
Like this post if you love to #Handstand
This post with a photo of the handstand pose received 5.1K likes and 241 shares.  Found on YogaInspiration.
What advice would you give to Jas to promote her yoga business?

COM0014 – Blog 4 – What is #SSZ1035

While checking trending hashtags in Twitter, one hashtag stood out to me a few days in a row; #SSZ1035.  I clicked on it to see what it was and it belonged to a radio station in Toronto called Z103.5.  After visiting their website and clicking on Listen Live, it was clear that this station targets young adults with dance hit music.  They have 39.9K followers and quite often they show up in Trending hashtags.  On Facebook they have 208,171 Likes.

Z1035 has been a leader in Dance Hit Music in the Toronto market for over 20 years. Our listeners are active, trendy, tech savvy new consumers who are in the new-product acquisition stages of life. Z103.5 listeners are the most lucrative of all age demographics for retailers to target.

 Use of Trending Hashtags #longweekend

This weekend they have a new hashtag .  This seems to be a popular theme with their listeners.  The reason I noticed it again today was because one of the trending hashtags is #longweekend and below it says “@Z1035Toronto is Tweeting about this”.

They are listening to their fans on Twitter because no tweet goes unanswered.  Fans tweet that they are looking forward to the weekend even more now that #Z1035WaybakWeekend is back and the station replied by asking “Love it Sarah.  Can we share this on our Facebook page?”

Here’s what they say about their social media.  In my opinion, they are move visible and have more interaction on Twitter.

Z103.5 represents a loyal REAL audience – An audience, which is ENGAGED …Z103.5 is a TRUE influencer
Z103.5 is among the top stations in the Toronto CMA connecting with its listeners through Facebook.
Radio Station App on iPhone, Blackberry, and Android with 1,000,000’s of connects each month!
Over 1,000,000 listening online.
YouTube’s Z-TV engages Z103.5 listeners online.

Several listeners have requested songs and again the station has replied saying “I’m sure at some point this weekend you will hear the original.”

They are consistently posting on Facebook and Twitter.  Not only the station but the announcers and fans.

Radio stations define their target audience to a specific personality and actively interact with them.  What other type of business does this?



Target Audience: Who Collects Purses?

Last week, my wake up alarm was set to Chez 106.1, a classic rock radio station in Ottawa.  Doc asked if it was normal that his wife had 37 purses and then posted the question on their Facebook page.  One women replied that she had a Miche bag and 37 covers for her purse was not too many.  I need to meet this woman!

On July 31, Magnolia and Vine will release a new line of interchangeable purses and it’s a known fact that many women collect purses.  These are the only images that have been released so far.

Magnolia and Vine purses are not the same as a Miche Bag, but similar.  Technically, you only have one purse and the number of faces are unlimited.  I have sold Miche purses for five years and once you have a customer with the base bag you have a repeat customer several times per year.

The collections are targeted at women between the age of 30 to 55.  My customers are professional women who want to have a put together look, and in most cases have a college or university education and make over $40,000 per year.  These are women who like a designer bag, but also like the idea that they can get two purses from between $60 to $150 and coordinate the covers with their outfits.  It is also appealing because they can very inexpensively update their purse with a new face.  In many cases, my customer will also purchase a purse for their mother or daughter.

Family members love this because it’s so easy to shop for gifts, so it’s a good idea to boost posts every so often to “people who like my page and their friends” to reach their family members.

How many purses are in your closet?

My Top 2 Picks for Tools & Sources

Why Listen and Monitor?

Social media listening and monitoring is an excellent way to keep an eye on the competition, find new content ideas and keep up-to-date with current trends and news.

Top 2 Picks for Listening and Monitoring

  1. Facebook is my primary platform for social media content for my business since 90% of my customers have profiles.  It’s also where my competition is, so it is the perfect spot to find ideas for new content for my Facebook Page.  Our head office posts photos which we can use and news about new products and specials.  Searching Facebook gives me most of the information I need related to my products.  As for Monitoring, I also like to use the “Insights” tab on my Facebook Page and my blog stats.
  2. Tweetdeck is another source of information for me to keep track of my competition and to listen to what’s being said about my areas of interest.

Top 2 Picks for News and Updates

  1. Google Alerts is a great source of information.  I use keywords for my business and for social media news to set Google Alerts.  Each day, updates are delivered to my mailbox with all of the posts related to my business and quite often, I see some of my own.
  2. Feedly is one of my new favorites for finding blogs and influencers related to my interests or as they say “what matters to you”.  You can create categories and browse through content of unlimited sources of information in a very organized manner.

What are your tools and sources of choice?