Category Archives: success

Kitty Cats and Work Meditation

There is nothing that settles me more than Smidget, my male cat.  He is a tiger; feisty and courageous, has a Siamese cat meow, and is my sweetheart.  He is my purr-furry-meditation blanket that sits on my lap and gives me quiet energy.  Beanie, the one under the blanket is sweet with a loud and steady purr; she is the princess and teaches me how to relax.

I sometimes ask myself how creatures so small and soft can be the Prince and Princess of my heart?  Look at this picture, and it’s clear…

My kitties hang with me in my office.  They nap a lot and look so sweet that I just want to curl up in a ball with them and sleep.  For someone like me with an A type personality, being able to nap in the middle of the day is a big deal.  I could never have done this when I worked at Warner Bros.  The drive for success was on and I had no time for pets.

As a sole-proprietor, I need continual calibration / re-calibration; I have to be the one to harness my own mind.  A 10 minute pow-wow with the kitties on my lap gives me a boost in the day.  Taking a few breaks and allowing myself to quiet my mind and my heart is just what I need to BE present.

Getting out the office to have a lunch or coffee break with a colleague or friend can be difficult.  Pulling myself away from the drone of the computer and creature comforts of the office make going out a daunting task at times.  Brain Exercises are good in moderation however, there are the brain-drains like Sudoku-ville, Scrabble, Words with Friends.  They can be real blood-suckers.

THE POINT:  BALANCE, relax, work, re-calibrate.

For Timely Brain Exercises: http://www.lumosity.com  @lumosity

For cat humor on Facebook:
The World Is Your Litter Box

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Compliments and Rewards

Cindy_Faith_Swain_Brand_Planning_Award

It was an honor and a privilege to receive the award for 2011 Member of the Year from Association for Women in Communications, Santa Barbara chapter. There really is nothing like getting an award to build your personal credibility. I’m so proud to have it hanging on my wall right next to my desk, however, I am always so

quick to discount my accomplishments and “flick the compliments off my shoulder” as my friend and colleague Lois Phillips so eloquently talks about in her book Women Seen and Heard.

I had the opportunity to talk about branding for 10 minutes and provided a hand-out which gives some basic tips.  Noohawk, Santa Barbara’s Online News Service covered the event.

I have always liked sharing information to help people better understand the value of themselves and their brands.  Click here for some basic branding tips.

I would love feedback and to hear some of your ideas on how to brand yourself and your business.

8 Minute Color & Image – Branding Webinar

8 Minute On Demand Branding Webinar
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Social Media and Adults

Adult usage on the internet  is on the rise as per Mashable: “… Growth of social media is largely fueled by seniors, who still aren’t nearly as likely as younger age groups to use it every day. In the past two years, social networking use among Internet users age 65 and older has increased 150% while social media use among Internet users under age 30 has remained about stable (according to Pew, 83% of them use social networks)….”

Rock On Seniors (and AARP)!

Gallery

Internet Advertising – Advantages to Using Google

Google, Facebook, LinkedIn etc., are looking for biggies to advertise. The ‘sell’ on this informative Google video seems to be talking to big companies about diversifying their ad spend/dollars. To do an effective job with internet advertising, I agree that … Continue reading

Using Facebook Landing Pages – How To

Here lies a great example of how to USE landing pages to turn VIEWERS into LIKERS.

Design-wise, the blurriness of the 1st design entices the viewer (it did me) to click on the LIKE button.

Now, the VIEWER has become a LIKER.  The LIKER can now read the page clearly, and if the liker signs up,  they are eligible for a FREE e-book.

GOOD marketing. GOOD branding. GOOD BUSINESS?

Hubspot gives to GET and they’re serious about it.  There is no free lunch.  If you want the free book, you’ve got to give them your e-dress, phone, company, URL, etc. (all required IF you want to free e-book.)

I am not sure if I am the ‘norm,’ but I usually don’t give my real information – I generally opt out at that point though sometimes I may give one of my many alias e-dresses that I don’t use much and fudge my way through the form.  I am sure there are many like me, but there are those too, that don’t mind GIVING FREELY.

Still, I think HUBSPOT is on the right track, doing the right things, setting the right example to help small business think bigger and get bigger.


Building Knowledge on a Budget

I like to be informed. I like to learn. I like to build business.

Free

I’d like to recommend http://blogs.wsj.com. Why?

1) Unlike its pricey mother-lode, www.WSJ.com, reading the blog is free. For those of us on a budget,it’s a great reference. WSJ is known as THE financial authority and they have the content to prove it. Their blog contains a lot of valuable content.

2) Most everything links to the http://www.wsj.com which is a pay site. Eventually, I will be enticed to pay for the mother-lode.

3) It is action packed with LIVE video, commenting, FB & Twitter folllowing icons, and advertising is everywhere but it’s not too blinged out of control.

4) I always learn something when I visit the site.

5) It provides a great way to connect to the world of money and business.

6) It provides ways for me to connect directly to others by commenting and being a part of the convo – getting to know others and building trust in others and hopefully gaining their trust.

7) Learning about global business doesn’t get easier or more affordable than this, does it?

Marketing.. What it is?

The right product, in the right place, at the right time, at the right price. Adcock….and to the right person.  Remember the audience you’re targeting.

One great part of SM is the ability to LISTEN first.  I might have the greatest services in the world (actually I do: www.PlanABrand.com & www.TheVirtualOrganizer.com – nothing like a little shameless promotion 🙂 ) BUT if I don’t understand who my target is, whether they have money to spend, what they are interested in and talking about, why they might be a candidate for my services etc., I will never reach them.  Therefore, active listening is something that Social Media can do that Traditional Advertising can only partially do.
If you are a TV or  Print advertiser, you will probably know the demographics for a show or  readership that the station / magazine shares with you.  With Social Media, as long as one has to ‘register’ (on the right) for sites like FB, Twitter,  there is more psychographic information on your target.   Of course, people can lie about their age,  sex etc. so variables exist.

Will this all come full circle?  When ’emerging’ marketing is not so ’emerging’ anymore – or shall I say, when it stabilizes for a period of time, monopolies & oligopolies such as phone companies, TV stations, and the now Facebook, LinkedIn, Media giants,  etc.  will be the new old… kind of.

The days of traditional marketing are dwindling.  The emergence of streaming video, digital books, the level and ease of computer use is enabling boomers + etc. to more comfortably use internet technology. Therefore, more and more information is going to be available to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.   I think these entities are as powerful as the government – they are the new government. 

– Cindy Faith Swain @PlanABrand  – All rights reserved 2011©

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View  “Two Views of the Same User” from Mashable:
The End of Demographics: How Marketers Are Going Deeper With Personal Data

DeRailed of course, or is that Off Course

And today, will the really Cindy please stand up!

Cartoon via:  Hubspot

The Merging Mind: Tink and Think SM

I am a tinkerer / thinkerer. It is not enough for me to know that something can be done.  I want to know how to do it first.  Therefore, I spend “way too much” time on this computer.

And what is “way to much? ” I can’t say exactly.   The good news is that I am still happily married to a wonderful husband and am capable of caring for my coolest cats and making meals for the family. However, by the time my daily social media journey has ended for the day and the sun has set,  I am ready to withdrawal into the abyss of my TV.   This could very well be an indication that I am spending way to much time on this jalopy.

Since leaving my corporate giant job, I have spent my time reinventing myself with the idea of helping others invent and reinvent themselves.  Something I have done extensive research on.

The activity of thinking through an idea is quite large and I’m not sure that many people take the time to exert brain power on this activity since we all seem to be doing our best at keeping up with our daily work and personal responsibilities. And of course, taking time to relax and remember that there is a life outside of this rectangle is important.

It has occurred to me lately, that my work and life dynamics need to shift and enlarge themselves.  It’s not enough to tink and think.  It’s more about merging the knowledge and ideas into a packaged good.  Therefore, my aim until the end of  this year, is to experiment with what this all means.

My hope is that this  blog will keep me discipline, focused, motivated, and help me to further develop my analytic skills.  By sharing and reading about how others have strengthened their minds is the journey I shall be on.  The aim:  To be more visionary.  I hope to hear your experiences as well.

I am not the lone-ranger but sometimes I feel like one.

I look forward to hearing from you and approaching this head-on.