Target Audience:  Who Collects Purses?

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

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?

Digital Storytelling:  Making an Impact

Digital Storytelling: Making an Impact

Digital Storytelling was definitely not part of my job as an IT Support Specialist for the past 17 years.  Technical writing of knowledge base articles was my specialty.  This communication style is defined as a functional communicator and storytelling is a whole new ball game.

Digital Storytelling Tips

Talk to Your Audience

Know who your target audience is and talk directly to them in an active voice and show your passion.

“Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.” –Robert McKee 

What is Your Ultimate Goal?

Know your goal of the blog and what you want your readers to do.

Begin with the most important information using the “Inverted Pyramid Writing” method because many readers skim for useful information before reading the entire article.

Keep an active list of subjects that you’d like to write about using a tool like Evernote.

Make it Visually Appealing

Try to answer the 5 W’s.  Use short paragraphs and catchy headings that include keywords.  Include your keywords in sub-headings.  Always check and double check spelling, grammar and punctuation.

If you are not comfortable writing, try creating a video or photo blog, giving credit if required.

Use links to external sources that provide additional information about the subject.

Question?

End your blog by asking a question to provoke comments and create a conversation.

Four Communication Styles

  1. The analytical communicator uses facts and is an unemotional style of writing.
  2. The intuitive communicator gets right to the point and doesn’t dwell on little details.
  3. The functional communicator uses detail and outlines each step in the process.
  4. The personal communicator uses emotional language, is diplomatic and is a relationship builder.

In writing blogs, I would like to combine the functional and personal communication styles of writing.

Which communication style best describes the way you write?

Staycation

Staycation

My staycation began in January when I was laid off and until I decide to go back to work, I will enjoy my freedom, spend time with my family and friends and learn some new skills.  The cover photo was taken on the Byward Market in downtown Ottawa at Inspiration Village.

I’m not one to go on extravagant vacations, but I do love to be on vacation.  Fun will find you where ever you are.  For the past two years, my husband and I have enjoyed taking every Friday off from June 1 to August 31 to spend time at home on the deck beside the pool.  We took day trips to different cities or towns, stopped for lunches and took in the views.

Last year, we took an extended long weekend to rent a cottage at Cherry Beach near Picton, Ontario in the picturesque Prince Edward County along Lake Ontario.

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My favorite Aunt and Uncle own a cottage at Cherry Beach.  Our two families have spent holidays together all of our lives and we always have a fantastic time when we are together.  My cousins are like brothers and sisters to me and love making new memories and reminiscing.  I’d like to share some pictures but my family is private and I don’t have permission to post my photos.

There is so much to do in Prince Edward County including visiting the infamous Sandbanks Provincial Park, wine tours, shopping in unique little shops in Picton and so much more.  Prince Edward County Attractions

Last year, I booked a Pontoon boat tour that took us on the back “lakes” route and through a narrow canal lined with cottages to Sandbanks where we spent time walking along the sandy beach.

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If you hate lineups as much as I do, this is the stress free way to visit Sandbanks.

It looks like the remainder of my summer will be spent studying on the deck beside the pool with a cold drink and maybe a few short day trips.  We may even sneak in an extra long weekend in Picton with my family.

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Have you ever tried taking every Friday off and making every weekend a long weekend?

GiftsInASnap – My Blog

GiftsInASnap – My Blog

Here is a link to my blog for my Magnolia and Vine snap jewelry business, GiftsInASnap.  I selected this name because my product makes a great gift for the ladies you need to buy for (even if it’s for yourself).  Find a great gift fast and we have over 500 snaps to create an individual look.

I have written two articles so far and am in the planning stages of my third.  I am so excited to read your comments.

Have an awesome day!

Vicky Langton

My Blog: GiftsInASnap

Like my Facebook Page:  www.facebook.com/giftsinasnap
My Website:  www.mymagnoliaandvine.ca/C435

Photo by Vicky Langton

What Happened to Common Sense on Social Media

What Happened to Common Sense on Social Media

I have two children and when they were younger they never wanted for technology.  I believed that it was important for them to be exposed at a young age so they’d be ready for life.  They were both given cell phones at the age of 10.  That was the age they began to get more freedom and it was my way of feeling more secure so I could reach them when I needed to.  We had an agreement that when I called, they answer the phone or the phone was gone.  To this day, they still answer when I call.

Why close doors on your future?

I also told them with their phone, computer, iPad, xBox, etc. came responsibility.  I believe if kids are going to have this technology and have access to Social Media they need to be taught what it can and can’t be used for.  I have been really lucky with both of my children that they share pretty well everything with me and are both very smart when it comes to social media (maybe they had a good teacher).  I warned that in advance that when they are using social media, what they post is there for life.  My daughter would like to be in law enforcement of some type in the future and what she does in high school can affect her future career choices.   What they might think is cool now, may not be cool to a future employer.  I am shocked by some of the things kids post on social media and I worry about what their future holds.  One day they will regret posting those photos on the internet for the world to see.  Here is a useful article with tips on how to monitor your children on social media.

Are your posts seen as negativity?

Have you every posted your negative thoughts about something that happened to you or about someone’s business on social media?  When I see bashing of other businesses on social media, it makes me leary of doing business with that person.  For some reason, negativity gets everyone commenting on social media but you are taking a chance of loosing customers.  Unless negativity is your brand, it’s best to stay positive.  If negativity is directed at your business here is a link to some good advice.

Controversial subjects.

People posting controversial subjects on social media which can also be risky if you plan on finding a job in the future or doing business with people.  You can loose customers if they don’t share your views.  American politics these days can be a real divider.  You just don’t know who you will offend.  My views will stay private.  This is an interesting article on Controversial subjects to avoid.

I’m leaving town for 10 days!

My all time favorite is the trip announcement.  The family photo on the plane headed away for 10 days in the sun.  I hope you categorize all of your contacts so that only close trusted friends will see these posts otherwise everyone on your friends list will see that your home is empty.  Here are some good tips about what posts to avoid while traveling.

I could go on but you get the idea.  Think before you post on social media. What kind of posts do you think should not be shared on social media?

Facebook Post:  What you post on Facebook today may come back to bite you in the future? Link to article

Twitter Post:  What are you posting on Twitter?  Think before you post.   Link to article

Featured Image:  https://pixabay.com/en/doors-choices-choose-open-decision-1767564/

Images:  https://pixabay.com/en/positive-be-positive-smile-smiling-725842/

SEO Tips for Bloggers

SEO Tips for Bloggers

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.  When I think of a search engine, I think of Google before any others and it’s probably your first thought as well.   There are others like Bing and Yahoo but my focus today is Google.  Our goal in SEO is to have our blog or website recognized by Google as one of the top sites to visit.

How Google Search Works

In order to accomplish SEO, we need to understand what Google has determined to be important qualities of a blog or site.  Google uses “spiders” to “crawl” webpages looking for specific indicators.   Things like keywords, headings, backlinks, content, popularity (traffic), page rank, etc.  Here’s a link to learn “How Google Search works“.

Google Ranking Factors

I found this article written by Brian Dean to be very interesting and it gives 200 indicators that google searches for.  “Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List“.  In addition to blogging, Brian Dean also has a series of video’s on YouTube on the topic of SEO which I found to be very informative.  Link to watch video

Since Google is one of the most commonly used search engines, you can use it to find keywords related to your product.  Open Google.ca and type your word in the search field and you will see, in the drop down, the most commonly searched items related to your search.  You can use this to your advantage by adding these keywords/phrases to your blogs.

Using Google+

This article explains how to use Google+ to increase your search ratings in Google.

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/use-google-increase-search-rankings/

 

Do you have any SEO tips you’d like to share?

Facebook:  Click on the link for a few tips on how Google Search Engine Optimization works.  https://goo.gl/49ruRZ

Twitter:  SEO for the beginner. #SEO  https://goo.gl/49ruRZ

Featured Image:  https://pixabay.com/en/seo-google-search-engine-1018442/

Success Stories of Personal Branding

Branding Success

When I think of branding, I think of three Facebook friends that have successfully branded themselves through networking and social media.  I am proud to have each of them as loyal Miche Customers.

Tara’s Story

First on the list is Tara Heinbuch, A.K.A. Stelllaa of Stelllaa Licious Soap.  Stelllaa  “got her groove back” in Cuba when she found her purpose in her life after her children moved out of the house.  A friend told her to stop giving her fabulous soap away for free and turn it into a business.  A year later, she has a successful all natural soaping business creating innovative scents using beer, wine, goat’s milk and essential oils.  Tara uses Social Media to promote her brand on Facebook with the use of a Facebook page.  Even though her name is Tara, people call her Stelllaa.  Tara has an orange Mini Cooper Convertible with the license plate STELLLAA. If you honk at Stelllaa she will throw soap at you, not just any soap Stelllaa Licious Soap.  She also makes soap for other companies to help them advertise their business.  Stelllaa uses Social Media to promote her business on Facebook and on her personal website and in real life she has a personality larger

Stellla soap

Carol-Chantal’s Story

Next on the list is Carol-Chantal Seguin who is the creator or WOW (World of Women).  Carol started WOW in Montreal and almost two years ago started the Ottawa Chapter.  I’ve been a member since it first came to Ottawa.  She also has a Facebook Group and they promote events using Facebook and Eventbrite.  After two years there are close to 1,000 members of WOW in Ottawa.  It is a networking group based on building strong relationships with other women entrepreneurs and helping each other grow and celebrate successes.  Carol plans to expand to many other cities in the future.

Linda’s Story

And last but not least, Linda Babulic who is a Personal Business Strategist and the author of “Zest Your Life“.  Linda is also the host of Momondays at the Heart and Crown on the second Monday of each month.  Linda has branded herself as being zesty and by wearing the color orange and driving an orange Punch Buggy.  I’m proud to say that Linda is one of my Miche Customers and she proudly promotes me at Momondays whenever I attend as you see in the featured image above (photo by Jon Babulic).  Linda is very successful at promoting herself and her events on social media by use of video and creative stories and photos.

Who do you know that has successfully promoted their brand?  I’d love to hear their story.

Facebook Post:  Creating your own personal brand isn’t easy. Learn how these ladies were successful at just that.  Click on the link to learn more https://goo.gl/cCcIPs

Twitter Post:  3 Success Stories of Personal Branding.  Click the link to read more https://goo.gl/cCcIPs

Social Media Tools for Promoting your Business

Social Media Tools for Promoting your Business

Making Life Easier

Social Media has changed the way people do business by making it much easier to keep in touch with customers and to find new customers. One thing that I’ve found with Social Media is that people who may in the past have only been customers are now becoming friends. By definition, Social Media is any internet based applications used to share content such as: Facebook, Blog, Twitter, MailChimp, Video, Linkedin, etc.

Social-Media-Tree

https://openclipart.org/detail/221725/social-media-tree

 

Incorporate Face-to-Face Networking with your Social Media

In addition to Social Media, Networking is a huge part of my business.  I go to networking events a couple of times each week.  Every new Customer I make, and almost everyone I meet, is added as a friend on Facebook and, if appropriate, they are invited to like my business page.  My business page is used to post current specials and new products and interesting photos.  It’s important to make your content personal, informative and fun and creative so people can relate to you on a personal level.

Try Blogging

I plan to incorporate blogging into my Social Media even though I’ve never thought of myself as a writer.  Blogging is way out of my comfort zone but I am always trying new things so why not this.  I see the importance of creating a blog and to create your own personal brand and promote your brand by providing interesting content.

Interesting Read

I read a book this week written by Gary Vaynerchuck named, “Crush It!”. Gary is a social media marketing guru and talks about the importance of blogging in his book and how he used blogs to build his business. Once you have a Blog, post a link to your blog in Facebook and Twitter or whatever you are using to attract more people to your blog.

Why I Mail Out a Newsletter

As most of my friends and contacts are on Facebook, I do the majority of my work there but I also have friends who are not.  For these people, I send out a monthly newsletter using MailChimp.  It is very easy to use but it’s important to keep your contact list updated regularly with new contacts. I like the reporting aspect of MailChimp because I can see who has read my newsletter and who has clicked on links, what links they click on and more.  It’s a great tool to find out what aspects of your business people are interested in.

Have you tried Twitter?

I use Twitter to post photos of my products as well as videos with a link to my webpage or Facebook page with a short description because of the 140 character limit on posts including links.  Once I start my own blog, I will post a link to my blog using a URL shortener to save space when posting a link.

Video/Slideshow

Posting video on your Blog, Facebook or on Twitter is an easy way to get your message out.  Some people should stay away from creating videos and stick to writing if they are not confident on video.  It’s a personal choice but you need to be comfortable in front of a camera to make video.  Personally, I would use the tools in Facebook that allow you to make a slideshow of your photos.

Your Online Resume

Linkedin is like an online resume.  I like to use Linkedin to post my work experience and it also gives you credibility when people endorse you for your skills.

Stand Out

It’s important to put your own personal touch into everything you do on Social Media.  You have to stand out in the crowd and make people want to learn more about you and your brand.  Click here to see my Facebook Pages Giftsinasnap and MyFavPurse. I’d love to hear your opinions on my content and click “Like” if you’re interested in my products.

Facebook Post:  Here’s a link to a blog that I wrote with a few tips on promoting your business on social media.  Please comment and tell me what you think.  https://goo.gl/2RQAew

Twitter Post:  Do you want tips on promoting your business on Social Media.  Here’s a link to my blog post.   https://goo.gl/2RQAew