News

Make Positive Changes…to Succeed

We’ve all been there. Had negative thoughts. Had our doubts about succeeding in our careers or J.O.B.S.  But what about thinking in a more positive manner, will all those negative thoughts just disappear?  No. It takes time, practice and perseverance to overcome those thoughts.  But when you start seeing results, that’s when you’ll start believing in the possibility of it all coming true!

If you’re going to stay in your comfort zone, you will never experience the positive change that can transform your experiences!  If you do anything today, take the first step of many, on your journey to something so powerful, that it’s just impossible to not notice the positive changes.

Positive Steps to Take Today:

change

  • Wake up early!
  • Enroll in a gym or set a regular schedule of going to the gym. (Some form of exercise)  *I go in the morning to pump me up for the day!
  • Or meditate or read a passage from the bible.
  • Get busy with your daily routine of getting ready.
  • Listen to your favorite music to set the tone for the day.
  • Get busy with your daily processes when you get to work. i.e. answering emails, making your “To Do” list, setting up meetings, returning phone calls, checking in with your employees, etc.
  • Make sure to GO OUT for lunch!  *Eat Healthy
  • * Don’t work straight through lunch or eat at your desk.  The break in the environment helps!
  • Make it a habit to always speak with a logical mind.  Be mindful of escalations and don’t let it go too far.
  • Make sure you are always clear with your communication.
  • Pay attention to details to alleviate mistakes.
  • End your day, with a smile for having checked items off your list.
  • Wind down in the car ride home. Listen to softer music. Don’t bring home any problems that may have arisen.
  • Greet your family with wide open arms and listen to how their day went.
  • Engage with others, surround yourself with other positive, goal oriented people.
  • Get out occasionally and “smell the roses”!
  • Get a good night’s rest
  • Press the “Repeat” button every morning, not the snooze button!!

Live Your Life….

Live-your-life-inspirational-quotesSeriously?  What is the most important thing to you, right now, and what’s the benefit it will give toward your future?
We are busy in our lives, working, hustling to make the next dollar, running errands, picking up the kids, running them to their activities, or simply trying to get as much done in one day possible.  There are not enough hours in the day, to get it all done.  Now STOP.
Do you hear your heart racing? Are you breathing a little bit faster?  Is your mind racing to get the next thing checked off your daily list of “TO Do’s”? And then, does your mind really stop thinking even when you do sleep?  It is so ingrained in our everyday lives to stay busy. To be constantly on the go.  So much so, that you have become accustomed to 6 or less hours of sleep a night.  There are some people who thrive on 4-5 hours of sleep a night.  Wow…it’s amazing how the human body can even function on that little bit of sleep.
Why do we do it? Why do we torture ourselves until we are totally exhausted, our eyes burning, burning both ends of the candle  and as soon as we hit the pillow, it’s lights out and we are figuratively speaking “dead to the world”
NOW stop and look back for a second….that’s right, look back.  Do you see the struggle, the hustle, the strained relationships, the mistakes that are made, the things that are forgotten, the stress on our bodies?  Do you see them?  Is it all worth it, in the end?  Yes, the majority of things that get done in any given day is worth it. But the price we pay is so much more priceless. Our health. Our physical health as well as our mental health.
Our mind and body have been given to us as a loan, per say.  We have been given one life, one chance, one moment, to breathe, to intellectually expand our mind, to cultivate our relationships, to laugh at stupid things and to simply love our lives.  Its often amazing how life passes us by so quickly and we don’t take the time to nurture the people and things we should, on a daily basis. It takes time to cultivate a good life. To learn every thing we need to learn to do our jobs to the best of our abilities. To cultivate the growth of our children’s minds, so that they can guide our world to greatness.
One thing is certain, we should take some time out of our every day lives, to “stop and smell the roses” to think about what we have been given.  We live in a time where technology and  innovation have given us so much process to our lives, that we don’t take the time to appreciate the little things in life.  Take a moment every day to “Breathe, Pray, Meditate and Appreciate” what makes our lives enriched by the people who are there for us when we need them, for our family and close friends, for our significant others, for our children and for the blessings of our existence.  Never take for granted that we have another day to get things done….LIFE is too short, not to be happy.

~ Live like there is no tomorrow, Laugh every day and Love with an open heart.  ~ CB

Marketing is like Gardening…. Marketing Automation

marketing-automation-tools
 
 
 
Wrapping your head around a concept like Marketing Automation, still foreign to many, is like wrapping a thinly sliced piece of prosciutto  around a piece of melon dew and it melting in your mouth! It’s so worth it!!

 
So many small to large sized companies are still not on the band wagon when it comes to making their life easier.  What in the world is this marketing tactic that seems to be the new wave of marketing management?  Let’s take an in depth look and see all the intricacies involved in running a software program designed to manage marketing campaigns seamlessly.
Marketing is like gardening. It starts with a seed and you nurture it until it is sprouting and over time, it grows into this beautiful, fruit bearing plant/tree.  It has the tendency to become a mammoth. You take care of it with “kid gloves” and water and feed it daily/weekly/monthly/yearly.  It takes time to grow. There is no end to taking care of the plant/tree.  It needs continual attention, sunshine, and water.
Much like Marketing.  It doesn’t grow overnight and develop fruit instantaneously. It takes time. It takes time to find the right target market, to impress upon them about your services or product, to see the “light” that your company is the best caretaker and blooms full of revenue!  This process, drip marketing, is more smoothly created in a marketing automation program where the client/consumer gradually hears about what your company has to offer. The more “touches” you have with the target audience, the program will slowly nurture and convert them over time to see “the light” of your business and win them over!
Simply put, there is a beginning, the top of the sales funnel, but as you slowly nurture them through the sales funnel until a decision is made, your company must create the story of the “why” they need your product or service compared to any other competitor.  The biggest reason why marketing automation can be used in a successful marketing strategy is that it has the ability to connect the dots through several communication channels.  The multiple avenues of communication needed to reach an audience is necessary to convey the “why”.  In today’s society, we are visual, content driven, value driven and technology savvy individuals and we are EVERYWHERE on the world wide web. Therefore it’s necessary to approach this multi channel marketing in a systematic strategic approach.
The “WHY” and the “Benefits” of implementing a marketing automation platform into your marketing strategy:

  • Streamlines the marketing process
  • The ability to generate and qualify leads across multiple channels
  • Collaboration of the sales and marketing goals and objectives
  • Improved conversions of leads and tracking the measurement of ROI
  • More than “just” an email marketing platform
  • Be  careful of under utilizing the platform and adaption of the new processes or “bucking the system”

 
Here is the breakdown of the multitude of choices to choose from when it comes time to strategically manage the marketing campaigns:

  1. Do you need a marketing automation program?
  2. Choosing a marketing automation platform is not a “one size fits all” concept.
  3. Do a comparative analysis of the different capabilities, pricing and features of the platforms.
  4. Engage in a demo session with each one.
  5. Before deciding on a vendor, get some references from current users of the programs.
  6. Is there a FREE trial period?
  7. Negotiate a contract. With training and on boarding of the processes.

 
With all the choices of marketing automation platforms, there are ones that are specifically designed for small to mid sized businesses and enterprise large scaled businesses.  Take the time to look at all the aspects before deciding.
 
About CBJ Promotional Avenues:
CBJ Promotional Avenues (aka CBJPromos)  is a boutique digital marketing and event management agency, that helps small to medium sized businesses with their marketing and event planning, implementation and execution. To help them effectively convey their messaging across multiple platforms with a concise and clear message. To learn more about CBJ Promotional Avenues or Call to book a consultation..cbjpromos1@gmail.com

 

The Next Big Thing..Social Media…Oh,it’s already here!!

The Next Big Thing..Social Media...Oh,it's already here!!

Oh my gosh! Silly me, Social Media is already a big thing!!
Well, if you’re reading this, then you already knew this and the secret is out!  Imagine how many years ago…(15+) that the internet was just coming about, that AOL dial up was your ISP, and you surfed “THE NET” on a regular basis because there has been nothing like it before…That you delved into something totally new and exciting, to learn about all kinds of things. You were just like a sponge, soaking up all the information and knowledge you could get your fingers tapping about!!
Fast forward to 2015. Technology has progressed so fast and has been so integrated into today’s society, that it’s the norm to be surfing on your tablet, laptop, smart phone or gosh forbid, your desktop computer at any given time! And the millennial’s are passing us “older” folks by leaps and bounds! How are we to keep up with this generation and even compete, in the market place, in the amount of knowledge they posses so easily…like it’s second nature to them?  So, now we have to be like a sponge and soak up all that knowledge too, just in order to be in the “know”!!
The point I am trying to make is, the fact that there is so much information to consume and learn about, that we need to keep up. Not just from a personal standpoint, but a business standpoint.  It is more common to have a personal profile online on some social platform, than it is to find a business whose website is not responsive in design to accommodate the digital devices that everyone is searching for information on. If you know of a business who is not online in some capacity with at least a website, then PLEASE share with them, that if they do not have a social presence or business presence, then they will miss the boat drastically and their business growth will become stagnant or worse yet, go out of business.  Why would any business not have a website? And why would any business, who have products or a service for consumers, not have a social presence on every platform possible?  Yes, there are still businesses that do not have this mindset and are stuck in the old fashioned ways. Let’s help them get a clue!
Here are some ways to “Get with the Program”!!

  1. Sit down and focus on what this whole social media thing is all about. And “WHY” your business needs to be online and speaking or shouting out to the world socially!
  2. There is so much to learn about all the different social media platforms, and digital marketing, that it can be time consuming work….wait, that’s why there are social media managers, specialists and strategists working to make this easier for the business owners who do their best at selling their products or service!
  3. Each social media platform is devised to be utilized and entrenched in your marketing plan to reach different audiences.
  4. Decide who your target audience is, which platform your business will garner the most attention, and then “SHOUT  your clear message” to the world!
  5. THEN, tackle it! Promote your product or service Consistently, Concisely, and Clearly. The 3 C’s. And then if part of the plan is not working and your not getting enough revenue growth from your efforts to be social, then CHANGE it. So, really 4 C’s!
  6. If at any point, your business is growing by leaps and bounds, revenue is soaring thru the roof, you’re having to hire more people…so much so, that you can’t keep up with the social media posts… PLEASE hire a social media manager to help you with your continued growth! We have studied social media extensively, gone to school for it, and live it, breathe it and LOVE it!
  7. Hint: That’s where I would come in and take over the responsibility of promoting your business, event, special offers, etc!

To CONTACT us TODAY , if you are swamped with all the social media platforms and digital marketing to learn about, and the time consuming posting,  CBJ Promotional Avenues , can come to the rescue and save the day!!
About CBJ Promotional Avenues:
We are a Event Management & Marketing Services company that thrives on taking care of all businesses, digital marketing needs. Being in business for 7+ years, (almost 8 years!), we pride ourselves on strategically looking at the ‘BIG” picture and promoting your clear message across multiple media channels. If you’re not on social media, we can build it, enhance it, or promote it for you…
“Build it, and they will come!” …isn’t that what they say?

Christina Blandi

 

Social Selling…Clue Me In!

Social Selling...Clue Me In!

It’s a warm spring day,  the sun is shining and your sitting in an office ready to have a job interview.  Thoughts are racing, you check your breath so it’s fresh, you have on crisp, clean and trendy clothes…now it’s time to get it started.  Interviewee shakes the human Resource Managers hand, smiles and sits down. In your mind your thinking, “Alright, Alright, Alright!  I hope I’m ready!  It’s time to bank this interview and get the job” As the questions are asked for the sales position, situational scenarios are set up on how you would manage it, and then comes the question…., “Can I get a list of all your social links?”  The person quickly draws a blank.  Their thinking ” What’s all this talk about “Social Selling? and What social links do I have to share?, OMG, I’m not going to get the job because I don’t have a twitter account. I didn’t know that a sales position involves marketing too!” These days you need to stay current on social sites, you never know who is searching for you or your company.

In this day and still fairly new technology age, it is so important to set yourself up to look your Interviewee best,  Leader best, or company best.  It’s all about the genuine and authentic portrayal of your company and yourself.  As well as, how decisions are now being made from online sites, as to what product or service, you’re seeking, to provide you with the best customer service and brand experience possible.  Almost gone are the days of traditional media, like TV, Radio, direct mail, the newspaper and so forth.  Granted they are still a vital & integral part of any marketing media mix, but the majority of sales are coming from online.  So, it’s really in your best interest, to not only make sure your company and personal branding as a leader in the community is top notch, but your sales and brand ambassadors are in tune with the company voice and culture.  Otherwise known as Personal Branding.

There are some really simple steps to take ensure your personal and company branding is top notch.

  1. Is your Linkedin profile picture up to date? (not last year’s picture before you got this great haircut!) Hint: You want to be recognizable when you meet with a prospect. They probably looked you up on linkedin to see your experience, what you look like and who you know.

  2. Is your Linkedin  work or volunteer experience up to date?  Hint: It represents not only You, but also who you are working for at the present moment.

  3. Are you updating your status with current relevant content related  to what you or your company does?  This is key when digitally speaking about what matters most to you and what you have to say.  Also in the way of who you are working for.

  4. Are you commenting on group discussions and other people’s posts?  It shows you are current and keeping in the consistent “Top of Mind” marketing tactic.

  5. Is your company page regularly updated?  Who is responsible for managing the content, followers, and influential engagement & SALES conversions of a product or service?  Buyers are searching on Linkedin too!

Linkedin is just one of the many platforms where your buyers or human resource departments are searching to learn about you and a company.  It is by far, one of the best Business Development tools where social selling is occurring.  Your brand needs to be exposed every where on the social media platforms, according to how your targeted audiences are finding you.

There really is so much more to talk about.  If your in Raleigh, NC register to attend the Digital Marketing For Business Conference and learn more. I’ll be speaking on a panel discussion about “Personal Branding”  on May 14th at 4pm.  Bring your questions, we’ll be passing out a treat for every question that’s asked!

Linkedin Training and Social Media Marketing services, provided by   CBJ Promotional Avenues

 

Christina Blandi

Digital Marketing Strategist, Social Media Strategist, Event Marketing & Event Logistics Project Manager

What’s in a Handshake, A Smile or the Service?

handshake
Often times we take for granted that life passes us by unnoticed. That the new neighbor moved in down the street and no one has gone to welcome them.  That a smile or a wave goes unnoticed when passing in the street or driving by.  Isn’t it time we notice and acknowledge others who are there for us, who have our backs when help is needed?
It isn’t always about who is out doing you. Or what the Jones’ are doing and how many things they have. Or about who is undercutting your service or product prices.  It’s about the relationship that gets built over time and the trust that is built from being a person of your word and being true to oneself and your principles and values.  That’s what we are raised to do.  Our Mothers who taught us right from wrong, to give or not, to show respect and scold when you disrespect.  It’s our Mothers and Fathers who gave us the foundation and examples of how we treat others. Though sometimes not always good examples have been set, but the positives that can be learned from the negative outcomes.
All this holds true in business too.  There will always be highs that go along with the lows.  There will always be lessons to be learned from tried attempts and sometimes failures.  But without these trials and tribulations, we would never acquire the perseverance to push forward in our lives to become someone, be a helping hand to pull up someone when they are down, to run a business, or make a difference.  We learn from our mistakes. We take the good with the bad.
So the next time you are going through your day, take a moment to stop and appreciate the time and dedication and respect the works of others. To show others the respect that is due and to pay it forward to help another.  Thank them for being there for you. Whether it be a friend or foe, a business colleague, the service repairman that came out to help in an emergency, or family and/or a stranger, take the time for another human being.
For you never know who needs you in their lives, or what they are going through that is not being spoken..even if but for a moment, take the time.  Personal or business…Give the love! You’ll be amazed at the results given back tenfold!  This world needs more of it!

Take a Journey into your LIFE!

journeyWhat Kind of life do you really want to lead?  Are you the quiet type?  or Type A personality, who lives life out-loud and purposefully?
Consider this….you’re sitting at your computer right now reading this blog and you start to wonder what type of person you are.  As the title says, life is about one step at a time.  read more

Social Media Marketing..The REVolution


What is it about the new media that attracts so many people to being online and spending a quantified amount of time devouring, scouring and being mesmerized by this evolution of how marketing to the consumer has taken over?

I say for one thing, since I began my quest 3 years ago with my business, an Event Management and Marketing Services company, I myself have become entranced by the amount of information that is on the web to gather, research, learn, entice, socialize, and analyze the complexities and psychology of what is happening to the way people communicate their messages.

Most notably, I attended a panel discussion on Social Media Marketing, to learn or at least to confirm from experts in the field, just what kind of phenomenon that has overtaken our society and thrown us into the new wave of marketing to businesses and consumers. I was not only enlightened, but totally in tune to what they had to say and decided on the spot to: BLOG!

 

Some relevant Stats on Social Media and it’s use to effectively communicate a business or individual’s message:

Facebook ALONE:
* More than 500 million active users
* 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day
* Average user has 130 friends
* People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook
Activity on Facebook
* There are over 900 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups, events and community pages)
* Average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events
* Average user creates 90 pieces of content each month
* More than 30 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each month.
Global Reach
* More than 70 translations available on the site
* About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States
* Over 300,000 users helped translate the site through the translations application
Mobile
* There are more than 200 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.
* People that use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users.
* There are more than 200 mobile operators in 60 countries working to deploy and promote Facebook mobile products
source
Twitter…To Tweet or not to Tweet:

Here are some of the questions and answers of some of the top experts and “people in the know” about Social Media Marketing,
with a big Thanks going to Race Point Group who hosted the discussion before Linkedin Live in Raleigh, Nov. 9, 2010:
Panelists:
* Paul Gillin – Author, The New Influences
* Chuck Hester – Communications Director, iContact & Host, LinkedIn Live
* Pamela Meek – Senior Director of External Communications, SAS Institute
* Dan London – Director of Online Marketing, ShareFile
Interactive Panel Discussion Questions:
? How are Companies organizing their strategies around Social Media:
Pamela Meek: “We are creating a central management system to monitor, analyze and update the integration in the overall core structure of the company.”
Dan London: “We monitor SEO, demographics and other aspects on a daily basis”
Paul: “The culture of social media model must match the company culture.”
? How do Businesses use the technology to effectively communicate its message:

Chuck: “They say that Facebook is the “Backyard BBQ” culture and that Linkedin.com is the “Office/Business community” culture. To get messages across to the consumer and/or other businesses, one must effectively communicate in the Linkedin groups and answer questions in the related field.”
? How are regions influential in the use of Social Media:
Pamela: “It’s primarily US-based and is being seen and heard by other countries that are getting trained to effectively communicate a message.”
Paul: “Some of the most notable Facebook users are from Denmark and Asia. With the least active FB users coming from Germany” “As for Bloggers the region most active is Korea and Texters being from India”
? What Works well and What are the Barriers with Social Media
Dan: “It is very much data driven to measure the ROI of Social Media. With a big effort in the employee culture to drive the presence of the companies. It helps having the employees say good things about a company, it is a testimonial as to how a company treats them.”
? Is paid Media (traditional print, direct marketing, etc.) in B2B still effective and What is the Relevance to the Sales Mix
Paul: “Print media is down, ad dollars and subscriptions, because it has become a digital world. The mix has to be more diversified than before and leaning more toward digital.”
Pamela: “It is still the same budget allotments as before, only more emphasis is directed toward “where the eyeballs are” focusing their time. YouTube, Business communities, Google, etc.”
? Is the B2B culture aggregating Content in their own Social Communities
Pamela: ” Knowledge exchanges and feeding content into the communities that build links into others is the hybrid approach to gaining more exposure.”
Paul: ” Communities and B2B go together and members are feeding these communities with content.”
Chuck: “Communities monitoring the content and watching for spamming is key to building it.”
Dan: “You have to engage the customer to do posts, make comments, and post links. It is how Goggle is indexing it and coming up high in searches.”
? What are some of the Social Media Marketing tools and what is measured
Pamela: ” Volume, competitors, trends, business analytics is important to determining if something is working”
Dan: ArgileSocail.com “is a good software we use to measure all the different platforms. It tracks leads, & ROI for each of them”
Paul: “Lifetime value of a customer = Value of lead and paired with the unique tracking code, in turns gives you the source of where your lead comes from”
Chuck: ” Managing the expectations and managing the expectations of the sale and where the lead is coming from is a must.”
? Lastly, What is the wisdom behind company Social Media Marketing and How it is Planned
Pamela: ” Marketing is being driven by Social media presence with Hits, Mentions, tweet, likes, and so forth. It has the appeal factor built-in and going viral”
Chuck: ” Integrated communications. Making sure that all involved in what is being driven to the market is coordinated and departmental cohesive. Reputations can be and will be destroyed by a bad experience and if you’re not watching it and being counter intuitive to what is put out there digitally.”
Dan: “Education and monitoring what is put out there, especially Twitter.”

FYI- What not to do on Linkedin…


Here is an interesting article I found while scouring and doing my daily research on Linkedin.com. I have advised many times on the powers of Linkedin.com and what you can gain from having a presence there. But in order to have a presence and get noticed whether it be for your business or for connecting to potential employers, clients, or prospects, you must always be present. A consistent presence is the key to building your online reputation as well as offline.
If you have connected with someone from a networking opportunity and then connected online, occasionally follow-up with them and post relevant topics of interest in your industry. There was a reason why they connected with you in the first place. Not only because they had an interest in you, but also what your company or who you work for can provide immediately or down the road. The rules of engagement online is just as crucial as offline. There are an abundant number of offline networking opportunities to choose from, just like online. Networking can happen just about anywhere really, not just at “networking events”. But the key to it all is to engage!
Make your connections, but make sure your Linkedin.com profile is in tip-top shape… stay on top of the game and you will get the connections and provide your products and services at any given time when needed. Businesses are depending on this tool to search for you, engage with you and most importantly, find out what you are all about in a concise manner. It’s the new version of your resume and business profile. And don’t forget to add any examples of what you do or have done. There are plenty of applications to add to your profile to highlight this information, i.e. slide share, box.net, video, etc. That is the other reason why it is so important to maintain that up to date information, so they know to choose you when making that decision related to what you do!
http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/7040/The-9-Worst-Ways-to-Use-LinkedIn-for-Business.aspx

LinkingRaleighnc.com’s OpenLink Holiday Networking event, DEC. 2nd

DON’T MISS OUT…REGISTER TODAY!

LinkingRaleighNC.com will be holding it’s second annual Holiday Networking and Charity Event at the downtown Raleigh Sheraton on 12/2/2010. Come to network with local professionals and business owners. Refresh your connections and make new ones while supporting a charitible cause.
Last year the event was attended by over 225 local professionals and business owners. We collected over 425 pound of food for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. This year we have partnered with them again. We are expecting to have more people attend this year as well as collect even more donations for the Food Bank. We are asking attendees to bring at least one non-perishable food item to contribute to the Food Bank which will then be distributed through out the 35 counties that they serve.
Sponsors include:
GoldLink Sponsors
Jason’s Deli
Toni Drapkin – Edward Jones Logo
Storr Office Environments
Raleigh Downtowner Magazine
AdzZoo
3 GoldLink Sponsor Tables Left!
SilverLink Sponsors
Triangle Healthy Vending
TekSystems
2 Silver Sponsor spots Left!
Media Sponsors
Connect Marketing and Design (Graphics) One Vision Photography (Photography)
We are still accepting sponsors. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a sponsor for this event please contact Christina Blandi-James for more information.

Event Coordination by: Christina Blandi-James with CBJ Promotional Avenues