Pink Fire Pointer 2012

Silver Seas PR Launches 12/19/12

  I am excited for this new venture launching in Roanoke, Virginia! River Laker is somewhat of a local celebrity in his own right. I admire River for doing things most people are too afraid to take the risk to do. Follow your dream.
  He worked for the Roanoke City library and built up the library's reputation as a go to spot for local culture and culture outside the area. He spent a year creating music, something he had never learned before but always appreciated, and released an album.
  Now, he has developed a public relations company that promotes ideas and people that are culture-based. Please, take a look at his promo video. And show his new venture some love via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

Not all controversial subjects are bad business.

  As told by many social media gurus, when there is negativity on your Facebook page or website, you need to deal with it in the best positive light for your company or business.
  But what about a special interest page? Let's take, for example, a page about global warming. This is quite a controversial topic and people have strong feelings in support or against it.
  Here is an important fact you need to remember. Controversy works for the person(s) who run that page. It increases their influence in that particular topic. Why is that important? All the hits, comments, likes, go into the algorithm that increases the capability of that page or website to "rise to the top" of search engines. The content goes viral.
  This does not mean you should go creating controversial threads or posts on purpose because it can eventually backfire. However, when it does happen, don't shy away from it. Moderate!

Small Business Focus: One Step Above

  I have to admit, I love small boutiques that remind me of New York City shops. You know the stores that are filled from floor to ceiling with goods and fun things all in the square footage equivalent to a shoe box? Donna's store offers fun jewelry, scarves, and is handbag heaven! But hands off the Burberry knock off! It's mine! See you on Main Street Salem on Black Friday!

Cute necklace made of glass!

Groovy hobo bags!

Fun rings, bracelets, and necklaces

Great apron for your favorite vino friend

Louis Vitton knock-off. I think I need a new purse!

Small Business Focus: Tinkerings

  Tinkerings has been in Salem, VA for longer than a year. One of my Christmas presents came from her shop last year. She houses local craftspeople and artists and there is always something different in her store! Take a look at some of the unique gifts in her shop! And watch for updates here on what she has in store for this holiday season!
Matching handbag and dog carrier

Crocheted Turtle Earrings

Homemade wood bowls
Christmas Craft display

Hand carved wood Santas
Cute cross-stitched hand towels

Small business focus: Plantagenet Rose

  I have been friends with the owner of Plantagenet Rose for a few years now. How did we meet? During a discussion on Facebook about Roanoke's art museum. Over the years, I have met many people through Facebook or other social media sites. I have been on the internet since 1992 and never looked back. So, I don't think anything of meeting people and developing more personal relationships off the social media sites. I consider it a part of growing a network. At any rate...
  Plantagenet Rose is located on 16 South College St., in Salem, VA, it is just right off of Main St. Gwenda is a decorator and businesswoman by trade and her shop reflects some of her, and more importantly, her clients favorite things. It is a gift boutique and design center. With gorgeous items for the home, such as vases, decoratives, candles, original artwork, floral arrangements, etc. There is a room that is her design center for curtains, bedding, and blinds. The store also boasts pretty things for yourself such as purses, scarves, and unusual jewelry. The items that she carries cannot be found anywhere else! So why are you shopping in big department stores for the holidays? Check them out! 

Collaboration is key to growth

  I met a wonderful and energetic woman yesterday. Her name is Cathy Dick and she is building a start-up company called One Degree Forward and her Facebook page is found here. We found out that we have quite a bit in common and strong philosophies of the disservices that occur to adults, children, and families who cope with ADD/HD on a daily basis. Educating the community about learning disabilities, which are learning abilities to me, is one of the passions we share.
  I love this collaboration already. We have lots of ideas and are finding ways, as businesses, we can support each other. That was one of the goals that I had in mind for Learning Connections, to create or become a part of a business community that has a focus on education and service. Now for the brainstorming and the work! Love it!

One Degree Forward Logo. Yes! We are all connected!

City pages on the rise in Social Media.

  It takes a real commitment to build a business. The same commitment is required when building a social media campaign. One thing that is coming out of our country's downturn is the rise of people building business pages for their hometown in order to attract more people to the small business. The backbone of this country.
  The team of Jason Turner and Brenda McGuire created the page Roanoke Doesn't Suck because they were sick and tired of people complaining that there was nothing to do around town. They talk about local businesses and fun events that are coming up. They do everything they can to bring a sense of community awareness to the city.
  Lora Trout began on Facebook with a page called Promote Commotion because she kept hearing about the same thing. She loves promoting people within the community and their services.
  Gwenda Kellett began a website named Main Street Salem upon hearing some of the local businesses possibly closing due to lack of foot traffic and sales. This website is the most comprehensive of all the local sites. Pages with different types of services are locked and loaded.
  However, none of these sites could exist without help. Usually in the form of advertisements and space on their page that describes your business and links to the business web pages. The amount of traffic that these sites are receiving is ASTOUNDING. Main Street Salem began recently and is receiving hundreds of hits daily! This exposure is better and less expensive than taking an ad out in the newspaper or making a commercial. The more hits these pages receive, the better word spreads about your business. Since my business started it's listing with Main Street Salem, visitors to my page have TRIPLED. My job? Making sure my site stays current, fresh, and relevant to the client I envision being able to reach. It's nice to have traffic, but you have to be able to use your site and yourself to close the deal! My advice? Get your business listed with one of the above or ask about their services!

Like me? Like my brand!


With all this talk of branding and social media influence, it led me to thinking. About what? To the idea that the person behind the brand is the brand! As the force behind Learning Connections and strategist for Talin Creations I had to stop and think long and hard about who I am and why I am doing these things. 

Who I am:
  • A lifelong learner. I am in college full-time at Roanoke College majoring in Chemistry. Chemistry is not my only passion but it seems to meld well with my many interests.
  • A teacher. I love to communicate and share knowledge about science and math and I believe that these subjects are the gateway to a better future for the citizens of the world.
  • Cultured. It is my firm belief that learning does not happen in a box. That integration of all subjects, especially through sports, art, and music, is a necessity to greater understanding. Hence, the Connections in Learning Connections.
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Why are these definitions important?
  • They define who I am and how I do business as an entrepreneur
  • They define the principles of the businesses I become involved in or people that I promote. 
  • There is no second guessing as to who I am. My description in every profile on every social media site says it. A Renaissance Woman
I want you to share with me. Who is your brand? How did you define it? When did you discover your passion? How do you continue to keep the fire burning when things don't go according to plan? Let me hea rfrom you!

Stop making "To Do" Lists

  How stressed do you get when you look at a big project and think about all the steps you have to take to get there and get it done? If you are like me, these lists make me anxious and just give me another excuse to procrastinate even more. I already have everything I know I need to do in my head, why am I wasting time writing them down? I just get stressed about the tasks that are still left on the list and exhausted from trying to do it all.
  Lately, I have been writing "Done" lists. Sounds different, right? This is especially good for people who are dealing with time management issues. I write down what I did, check it off, and how long it took to complete the task.
  Why does this work? Many of us underestimate the time it actually takes to complete a task. This is the essential cause of the anxiety from looking at an incomplete "to do" list. Not only that, we don't take distractions into account. Write those down too. Are there ways you can eliminate them or minimize them? More than likely. Once you understand how much time you need to get your tasks done it will be easier to make a "to do" list based on your time frame.
  But, most of all, allow some flexibility and time for yourself!

All politics aside...

  As we draw nearer to election, it is not an easy pill to swallow to watch the vast stratification in beliefs in our political system. It is a bit troubling to think that if people are unbending in their personal beliefs, will it transpire to our political system? And yes, it has. It has taken a major toll on progress because of the lack of willingness to compromise. Not only is the base of our economy, the middle class, shrinking, so is the moderate Republican and Democrat. Any politicians out there reading this, please, Please, PLEASE, buck the trend of your party and the lines drawn in the sand! The public is looking to you!

  Until then, while we are waiting for our politicians to figure it out, we must go it alone. We must rely on the community, ebb fears, and act as psychotherapists in our activities daily. We are the ones that must bend and compromise in order to be successful. We have to keep our personal political views out of our business or at least not a focus of our business. In the realm of an education business, we have diverse belief systems. Most have a tendency towards progressivism, celebrating the individual, and supporting the community at large. We have to be accepting of all people. A lot of good businesses keep politics and and activities separate. Unless, your business is politics.

  For example, I have a very liberal approach on religion and do not attend church. However, I do teach hymns and traditional Christmas music to my students. Am I somehow a hypocrite for doing so? I don't think so. It's smart business. My business focus is tailoring each lesson and their curriculum to them. Now, if I was asked to teach Christianity to someone, I would have a problem with that and would recommend them to their minister or a church that fits their personality and their needs. I don't claim to be an expert in that arena. My services only fulfill certain parts of certain people's journeys. A good teacher or life coach recognizes those limitations.

  So please, let's get through the next 20 days holding hands and agreeing to disagree, ok?

Being an Agent of Change

  There are two types of changes in this country, quick changes and slow growth changes. Quick changes are highly experimental and the effects are not felt for a very long time. Slow growth changes take time and are used to generate a paradigm shift. Quick changes can be used to play with new concepts and create excitement over the business. Slow growth changes can be used to rewrite company policies and set long range goals. Slow growth changes evolve over time. Entrepreneurs and small businesses use both of these techniques interchangeably. 
  When instituting changes, take the time to test your ripple effect. What is that? That is how far your influential reach goes. How do you test it? There are several ways. The best is through personal change. By taking care of yourself and making yourself an example to your friends and family, you will see which ones institute their own changes based on your change. Don't think that others respond to your changes? Try it. They will. I know it is having a major effect in my personal life. 

Community and Civic Activity are Key to Growth

  I am really tired of politics because, to me, neither side has really drafted a workable plan to get the economy going in the direction it should.

  But let me ask you something, why are we waiting on politicians? Did politics ever jump start economic growth? At this stage, how much should politicians and politics play a role in the growth of the country?

Revelation: Only we, the community, are responsible for our own growth. 

  Sure, a lot of things could not happen without government funding. And sure most of us have brilliant ideas for company start-ups. However, it is truly up to the community and the individuals in that community to keep the economy going. It is up to us. As businesses, we should be leaning on each other. We should be more involved in the community in a way that reflects who we are as a business. 

Revelation: Low civic activity is not good for business. 

  Hrm, that's an interesting thought. Why? In Floyd County, VA, everyone banded together and developed an economic plan based on a central theme. Not just civic leaders and businesses, everyone. What's the big deal in that? With a set goal and plan in mind, they have grown enormously. Not as fast as they would like to but they are sticking with the plan because it has worked so far. Floyd County has become the weekend destination for a quick getaway. 
  In Salem, VA, we have the same people running the same show and very little growth and a lot of struggling and no plan of action for continued success and growth of the community. I might get in trouble for this. But, I even feel like I am a "nobody" in my own community. How do I get involved in this community? I don't know. I don't have kids, which might help. I have no idea how to get involved in the place I live in. If I don't know how, then how does anyone moving in know how to either? 
  Roanoke City is on a turnaround because they have taken time to develop a plan and the community is actively partaking in the activities. The two revelations above are the key, folks. Stop waiting on your politicians at the state and federal level. 

Making SEO Work For You And Your Business

You have heard and stumbled upon various tips and techniques that talk about SEO. If you are business owner or even someone who promotes his services and items online, then you need to wake up to the fact that SEO is important for you. It is good that you have a Facebook page where you tell the world about what you have to offer. But you should not rely on those thousands of “likes” on your page or the “follows” you gather in Twitter to lift your branding and sales up. Give SEO a chance to surprise you.

SEO strategies are essential in any social media campaigns that small and big companies alike run. It would help if you have an expert or consultant in SEO to see things through for you. But if you want to give it a try yourself, remember these essential SEO tips and techniques you find in this page.
  1. You must commit to the process. This is not some one-time event or some party that you can spend all your money and time in a short period of time only. SEO is mostly for long-term plan and will give a long-term result.
  2. Keep your cool. You have to be patient when running any SEO campaign or social media campaign that involves SEO methods. Results will show after a few months if you are doing great with your techniques.
  3. Welcome learning. There are many strategies in SEO that can help you achieve your goals. Learn as much as you can in order to determine the kind of methods you will include in your strategy.
  4. Do web analytics. One of the tools that will help you is web analytics. You need to have goals that are clearly defined and you will need web analytics to do it properly.
  5. Make your site the best. Build a great website and optimize it well. Assess if your existing website needs some improvement or you can consider building a new greater website.
  6. Keywords in your URL. Having your chosen keyword in your website URL will give you better results compared to the regular URL assigned to you.
  7. Know your keyword. Do a keyword search before you would even start your campaign online. You don’t have to spend when doing a keyword research since the free ones work just fine.
  8. Content is king. Never be tempted to settle for quantity over quality when it comes to content in your website. Users and the search engines will love you if you are known to provide quality contents.
  9. Link your way up. You have to plan how you build links to your site or page. It helps to determine the location where you place your links and whom you share your links with. Exchange links with those who are known influencers in their fields—if possible, choose those who are influencers in your chosen industry or keyword.
  10. Use social media marketing wisely. Social media is playing a great role in the increase of web traffic to websites and eventually boost up sales. You need to have more engagement in these social networking sites to create a buzz about your business.

SEO and social media can benefit your business but it also requires dedication and commitment. If you don’t have the time yet you want to optimize your website and run an effective social media campaign, you can contact RMB Business Solutionsand let them know what you want to achieve. You can “Like” them in Facebook or “follow” them at Twitter

Why you should invest in Co-Working.

  I am sure you have heard me talk about The Business Lounge in the past couple of months. Yesterday, they held their doors open to any who wanted to try the co-working experience. I was finally able to partake in that experience.
  My friend, Leslie, has already jumped on the bandwagon and works there 2-3 days a week for at least a few hours a day. Why does she do it? She says it helps her keep her focus and meet people who walk in through the door. Now mind you, you are not really there to start a presentation on yourself. You are there to make connections in the community. What does this do? After a few discussions, there may be ways that both businesses can help each other out. Sounds like a win-win to me! Oh, while I am thinking about it, I need to make that quick change to my LinkedIn profile that Leslie suggested. Hopefully, I have given her enough suggestions on where to get some design help from. Yeah, win-win. 
  And lucky me! I got a sneak peek and tour of their new expansion! LOVE! There are a few more private spaces after listening to some suggestions from the people already invested in the business. I encourage everyone to try it and soon! The rates that they offer are not going to stay locked in forever as this business grows! They are going to have to cover the costs for expanding and remodeling the new space. Plus, it will eventually have a PinPad installed so that the space can be used 24 hours a day. Why would you need that? Do you really want to wake up everyone in your house with that all important overseas or West Coast conference call at midnight your time? 
Are you looking for "website traffic"? Check out adwebtraffic The passionate experts in this field are ready to answer all of your requests.
  I just received word that they are having another free co-working day today! Really, go check it out! 

Cutting the Ribbon Ceremony back in May. 

3 Reasons Why Baby Business Owners Should Accept Amusing Media Marketing

                         Social media and amusing media business assume to be the abracadabra back the accomplished brace of years. We apprehend a lot about means that companies can use to tap amusing media communities and the strategies absorb in architecture a afterward on amusing media platforms. In this article, I will try my best to advice you as a baby business buyer on why you should accept amusing media marketing.

Reason #1 Huge Admirers on Amusing Media Platforms

If you don't apperceive about it yet, Facebook, the better amusing networking website on the Internet, is growing by 600,000 users per day, yes, per DAY! Twitter, the microblogging belvedere angry amusing alternation site, grew by 600% in just 2008 abandoned and currently abode 6 actor registered members. Imagine just 1% of the users of these platforms talking about your baby business.

Also, these sites acquiesce you to accept your ambition admirers as they compartmentalize their users application absorption groups and chat capacity so that you can attenuated down your business efforts. Users of a amusing networking website are actual participative and if chip properly, your bulletin can advance from users to users rapidly and the after-effects ability even outshine the aftereffect of an big-ticket TV commercial attack which is now getting apparent as an abeyance for most.

Reason #2 Low Cost Business and PR for Your Baby Business

TV ads and abounding page ads are not as able for big corporations as they acclimated to but still, business admiral are paying for it. As for baby business owners, humans nowadays skip bi-weekly classifieds and don't pay absorption to Yellow Pages anymore so stop spending bags in commercial account on these mediums. Today, humans are so alive and apathetic with commercial as able-bodied as business letters that they advance a 'disease' alleged advertisement blind.

Instead, you should get assimilate amusing media communities and alpha interacting with your ambition market. Apart from accomplishing so, you should absorb time brainstorming for agreeable account that are potentially viral in adjustment to get humans talking about you. Give abroad chargeless accessible agreeable on the Internet to position yourself as an expert. Trust will boring body up as you become an alive actor on amusing media platforms. All these do not crave a huge bulk of money.

Reason #3 Crowdsourcing and Understanding the Market

Unlike Fortune 500 companies, baby business owners consistently face difficulties in accustomed out an able bazaar analysis due to the limitations in their budget. With amusing media, baby business owners can apprentice about reactions of the bazaar appear new artefact announcements by companies aural the aforementioned industry. All they charge to do is to browse through conversations on amusing media platforms!

Apart from that, they can aswell advance the platforms to accumulate account and suggestions on how they should advance their accepted band of articles and services. Often times, humans don't acquaint companies what they are assured via a acquaintance anatomy or an email because it is alarming to get to the aggregation site, acquisition out area the acquaintance anatomy is and ample out a anatomy with assorted fields. A cheep with 140 characters of beneath via Twitter will be abundant easier.

Fellow baby business owners, jumping assimilate the amusing media appearance now is the appropriate best to accomplish but afore that, accomplish abiding that you accept absolutely accepted amusing media marketing. Click on amusing media business now to apprentice added about the 7 Errors in Amusing Media Business that Businesses Should Avoid.

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What is Amusing Media Marketing?

                      As far as bulk is concerned, there is no added bargain adjustment out there that will bear a ample bulk of visitors, whom can appear aback to your website afresh and again.

Whether you are affairs articles or services, or just publishing agreeable for ad revenue, the ability and allowances of amusing media business is an incomparable adjustment that will achieve your website assisting over time.

Social News Websites:

The allowances of a amusing media website vary, but a accurate adjustment is creating viral agreeable and announcement it through amusing media channels. Hotlink Baits, contrarily accepted as agreeable created for the purpose of accepting humans to hotlink to it, are a abundant start. Successful hotlink baits are not harder to achieve - you just accept to apperceive how to do it. Creating top superior agreeable and again accepting it listed on amusing media websites like Digg and StumbleUpon will advance to a bulk of allowances for any website.

There are two methods to this madness:

Primary and Accessory Traffic: Primary cartage is the bulk of visitors who appear anon from amusing media websites. Accessory cartage is the barometer cartage that appear from websites that hotlink to your agreeable and ultimately forward you visitors aback to your website.

High Superior Links: Amusing News websites, like Digg or Reddit will get you a ample bulk of links - that accept the possibility, with top superior beat content, to accompany you cartage and ultimately accession your baronial in seek engines.

There is no abstruse to this. As SEO has demography a bashing over the accomplished few years - abounding SEO firms and specialist action aback and alternating on the accent of keywords, Meta tags, hotlink purchasing -you name it, they accept fought over it. In the end though, the abstruse isn't that harder to uncover, superior content, sewn calm with admired keywords and architecture entering links, are the three apparatus to agreement your website in the top of seek engine results.

When a website receives a ample bulk of natural, abiding links from trusted domains, seek engines activate to assurance you. Afterwards accepting this trust, you continuously body aloft it to either accretion baronial or advance it. And if you activate to optimize your website and activate hotlink baiting - you can calmly alpha baronial for aggressive keywords, which in turn, accompany you seek engine visitors.

Continue this adjustment of business and your website will assuredly access its traffic. Abounding bloggers and Webmasters will see an commodity on Digg or and assurance its account and again advertence through a commendation link.

Even new websites that alpha with little cartage or trusted links - will acquisition amusing hotlink baiting to their advantage and can bound authorize a acceptability and activate to body aloft it. But just remember, it's the superior of the agreeable that ultimately matters. Agreeable is still baron and consistently will be if it comes to online marketing. Optimizing it in a bulk of means will bound accretion you the assurance bare by seek engines to rank highly, and ultimately bear the cartage you charge to your website.

The Naysayers Are Out There

They're out there. The Naysayers. The ones who adamantly accede that amusing media business is a decay of time and brings in abortive traffic, arch to visitors bound abrogation afterwards they clicked aloft a website. Animation ante are assured - even to your a lot of loyal customers, they aren't consistently traveling to be interested. But don't aberration animation ante for a abridgement of absorption - if your absolute website is accordant to the accepted absorption of a amusing media website, there will consistently be a scattering of users who will activate to clue your website for approaching content.

Don't overlook about the accessory cartage either, which I anticipate is added important in the end. Accepted websites or blogs with the aforementioned absorption will hotlink to your agreeable because it helps add bulk for their users and readers alike. A lot of of the time, this is done by itself on a circadian basis.

Primary cartage ability appear in beyond volumes, but accessory cartage body links from added websites and ultimately delivers their cartage to your website. This advice body your brand, authorize your attendance online, ultimately authoritative it added admired in the end.

Why you accept to accede Amusing Media Marketing?

You could avoid the ability of amusing media marketing, who needs it? Afterwards all, you could stick with hotlink exchanges, banderole purchasing, beat ads and seek advertising. You absolutely could, but why would you?

Social media marketing:

Is natural. Not alone do you get accustomed links aback to your website, it is aswell is apparent to ample groups of humans in an capricious fashion.

Successfully baffled amusing communities can be a abundant antecedent of web cartage that helps addition your baronial and add to your already accustomed seek engine results.

It's a low-cost/high acknowledgment business model. If you do it yourself, costs are bound and the alone time and bulk you accept involves hiring freelancers to do it. Ultimately, the allowances beat the bulk - it would yield you bags of dollars to acquirement links, which some seek engines amerce you for accomplishing now, or are starting to. Amusing media gives you all of the aloft FREE!

Social Media enhancement and business commonly won't baffle with any methods of accepting cartage to your website. This new akin of business will alone add to your already accustomed campaigns - and a lot of of the time, beat them.

So How Does This Achieve Me Money?

Directly? It won't - that is not how this adjustment works. Your website needs to bolster itself and body aloft its accustomed exposure. The added supporters you have, the faster chat spreads about your website. And amusing media websites bear added cartage on a circadian basis, compared to all added web communities. Because amusing media websites can be advantage for links and bigger seek engine rakings, they ultimately access your website's potential. For example, you will be able to bulk ads college or accomplish acquirement from any paid business model.

The Blog Secret

It is as simple as it sounds, an accomplished blog will accompany you cartage and sales you charge to succeed. There is a abstruse to blog autograph and business thereafter - it's actual simple. Instead of creating abundant blog posts that ultimately go nowhere, just one accomplished blog post, which is again pushed through amusing media channels and emailed to added bloggers through email pitches.

You can address just one column and get a astronomic bulk of links and cartage to your website through the use of amusing media.

Social media business is not a secret, but to do it accurately and monetize your brand, and accompany in the new cartage you charge to accomplish - it takes ability and the alertness to 'give in.' Everyday, I allege with anyone who has absorption in amusing media marketing, but are just not abiding of how it ability plan for them and amount it may not be account the investment. And that is the exact acumen why humans don't accompany amusing media marketing, because they are blind and are not abiding to access it .

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