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Marketing Any Small Business

Today, I was thinking about a subject that I am passionate about for the company I work for in commercial real estate. I am marketing a new development to open in 2021.

So, when should you start marketing a new development? Before groundbreaking, right after, or wait until they have the ground cleared, and the first piece of construction materials show up to start the job. Right when you have begun the process. Why wait? From the architectural renderings underway, city approvals you’ve completed, etc., is the best time to start the marketing process.

With any new development, there can be hurdles. Not everything goes as planned; there could always be delays, etc. However, getting your progress in front of the people you know first, business colleagues and your social media channels is essential right from the get-go. They are your best audience. Word-of-Mouth!

Marketing is a must, and works simultaneity with Advertising and PR as everyone already knows, although it can be a little tricky–but you should be up for the task. It’s like any business. If you are thinking about opening a new store, there is a great deal of time beforehand that needs to go into the project first. Your first thought is a website and business name. You have to think about the licenses, taxes, insurance, purchasing, building the space out, maybe an employee or two and of course advertising. Sure, this will all have to take place in an orderly fashion to get the business off the ground. And, marketing starts the ball rolling.

There are a lot of small business folks that don’t give this area too much thought at first. Businesses buy ads and use their social media, but, there is a lot more to do in bringing buyers and sellers together with short and straightforward messages.

So, what makes Marketing so different from advertising? Advertising is essential and part of the visual component of your business. But, purchasing a big splashy ad in a magazine on a one or two-time deal is wasting your money. Buying a small ad for 12 months is your best bet with your advertising dollars. Marketing, on the other hand, is preparing your product and services to get out there to the marketplace. Compelling messages that describe your message, interaction with customers before, during, and after you open. All marketing choices should work towards the larger goal with “your message.” It’s the gateway to telling your story, getting the conversation started between the consumer and your company or development.

There are so many ways to get the word out, so what’s stopping you?

My Rant on Pop-ups and trying to read the news!

The other day I was looking at several news websites. I was trying to read the daily paper, or should I say browse through it looking for the sections I like most and of course Dear Abby, Haha!

With each website, there were numerous ads and pop-up screens to sign away your email address, and well, it got to the point I just kept clicking each one away. With automatic videos starting, music and ad pop-ups flashing, how in the heck is someone supposed to read the Paper!

I’m on social media all day. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Linkedin. Heck, even with all the posting on social media, it’s not nearly as bad as going to read some stinking news.

I know print is more time-consuming. Paying for the paper to be delivered each day, finding some space and time to read it, and so on. The internet news is a lot easier, but by the time you deal with all of the fluff in the way, it would be easier to read print.

So, I guess I’m going to continue in life the old-fashioned way of reading the news. I do get my feeds on Google via my iPhone, so with both sources, I can get my news in a more relaxing way. Sometimes no news is good news, and I try to keep that in mind when reading the headlines…sometimes its just better to pass!


Motivation and Finding a Purpose for Writing!

These last few weeks I’ve not wanted to write anything. I’m still working the 9-6 weekly and find myself looking at so many RSS feeds and working primarily on social media and graphics during the week, that by the time I make it to Friday, I am not in any mood to sit and think of a subject, let alone to try to write. But, today and this week, in general, was a good week.

I was extremely busy with a property closing for the company. I handle the utilities turn over, seeking an auctioneer for interior items for sale, writing our public relations, a media email blast, graphic design work for marketing, video production of the interior, finding vendors to service the new property, and the list goes on. So, why, at the end of this week make me want to pick myself up and write? Motivation and purpose!

There is something about being really busy that motivates me. The other is that I find purpose in myself when I am handling several tasks and completing them all in a short period. Sure, I am always busy, but it was a new property with more to do than in my normal week that made me feel motivated.

I am also thinking about what I will feel like later on in life when I retire. If I am not always doing something different and finding purpose, how am I going to feel? I think many people find themselves feeling this way from time to time. Having a job to go to and our “routine” for many years keeps our purpose, but it’s also motivating us to stay engaged in life.

So, at this time, look for ways (while you are still working) to keep you motivated and with purpose when you decide to leave the 8-5 routine. It will make a huge difference in waking up in the morning!

Happy Friday, Happy New Year and looking forward to a great 2018!

You can also follow me on Twitter at @DanielleFWatson

Building Followers or Relationships?

I’m a huge Twitter fan. Sure, we have a few programs to keep our communication flowing with auto-responders, auto-posting, and I get several notifications a day trying to sell me more followers. Personally, I don’t want followers that aren’t paying attention to what I have to say or my brand. If they are following me because they are interested in technology, commercial real estate, real estate, IoT, and what’s happening in the world, then, by all means, follow away, but, if its to fill a quota, don’t bother.

The same with Facebook. It used to be a family thing. Meet up with family and friends on Facebook to keep in touch. Find long lost people you want to reconnect with, and so on. Well, we kinda got away from that, and now we are bombarded with ads, crap we can “hide,” but for the most part, my family gets buried in there somewhere in between politics and hand soap! I’ve gone in and made my family member posts top priority, but it doesn’t seem to work. Facebook is all about selling you something, and we just have to wade through everything else unless we really want some hand soap, then we’re good!

Which brings me to Instagram. Now I’ve talked about this app before, and I remain the same. Stalkers and phony profiles run deep on this site and followers are important for Movie Stars and Businesses. Company branding is totally different than personal, so in my opinion, Instagram is great for businesses and tons of followers are fantastic! It’s a visual thing! Similar to Pinterest, there are many ways to be creative and make your posts count, and follow the right people.

Linkedin used to be just about b2b, but with their constant updating and new format, it’s looking a lot like Facebook. I made the over 500 club organically long ago, and most of my connections are within my business group. It’s still the best of the best in business connections and recruiting. Following is essential on Linkedin and making connections is important for future business dealings.

So, even though I have quite a few “organic” followers on my personal Twitter page @DanielleFWatson, I still like to choose my thoughts and posts in real-time. For my business page, auto-posting keeps your branding alive on the internet when you can easily get lost nowadays. Small companies need auto-responders and someone maintaining their social media for that purpose but don’t expect huge returns on your advertising dollars immediately because it’s all about branding! Remember, it takes at least 7 to 12 times that you pass a store on your way home do you even remember where it is.

In conclusion, build your brand, make it look good, choose your page, logo, and everything you do with consistency but follow someone who you want to do business with and make the connection. A simple note of introduction works best.

Have you seen this website? I recently joined with an invitation from a colleague, and so far it looks pretty good. There are local business to business pages in several states, so check it out.


Happy Friday, and if you would like me to follow you, send me the link!


Additional protection for internet and phone scams, talk with each other!

I don’t know other types of precautions older people can take (and the younger ones too for that matter) to be safe in this day and age of technology. Nothing is foolproof.

On a personal level, old-fashioned “safe words” or a memory that only friends and family would know would be the first thing anyone should ask if someone says they know them. It would be so easy just to say “remember when…” Since the scammer doesn’t know all the little details that only your circle would know, this would be a good test before this person on the other end could advance in their tactics. If more elderly people did this, there would be less of a chance of being scammed on a personal level. It’s scary out there, and the elderly are preyed upon exponentially. All family and/or friends should get together and discuss these things that would be very helpful in any phone call situation. Some older folks get frustrated and could be giving out information they didn’t intentionally mean to give out. Heck, I’m sure kids give out tons!

To give an example of an internet scam. I recently joined Instagram. I got a request for someone to follow me. Well, their profile looked great, so I accepted. A few days later they thanked me when I followed them back, and then came the inquiries. How old are you? This question seemed innocent enough. What town do you live in? Most people don’t have a problem with answering that one either. The next question. How many kids do you have and what are their names and ages? OK, now you have my attention scammer. They sure didn’t waste any time. For me, the “game” was on! So, without giving them any more information and just being slightly engaging, I posted a few things with links where I could trace them if they checked them out. Got ya! Nigeria. After doing some photo recognition in both Google Image Search and Tin Eye, it turns out they had copied someone’s entire identity from that person’s posts on various social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, their own website and Instagram and just changed the name and made it their own. Of course, I sent them back this pretty cool post letting them know they asked the wrong questions. 🙂Never Underestimate

There are so many people that know this stuff, but I can assure you that many older adults do not know about all of it, and I think it’s our duty to keep our friends and family safe. Especially during the holidays when that’s a majority of preying time for all the scammers out there!

Be Safe this Holiday Season and Happy Friday!

Follow me on Twitter @DanielleFWatson

The Future of Consumer Advertising for the Aging Population

I read an article this month about assumptions in the aging population and advertisers are missing the boat when marketing to them.

Retired people don’t always eat dinner at 3 pm, do their shopping and entertainment and are in bed by 6 pm. More and more of the aging population is fit, enjoying technology and many are still working.

Also, in this mix of assumptions is advertising medication, hearing aids, stool softener, mobility and the like. And, there should be no assumptions that older people are just leisure-oriented either.

I don’t know about you, but every time I see a medication commercial I am now starting to list all of the side effects and compare notes. It seems we, as older adults, aren’t taken seriously anymore. We want to stay in the mainstream for as long as we possibly can, and advertisers need to start working on their advertising campaigns for us too! We are sick and tired of commercials being geared towards needs rather than what we want. Sure, we may “need” blood pressure medication, but we will discuss this with our physicians. We “want” a new smartphone, but not some cheap version pushing a consumer cellular plan as the preferred “senior” phone. Geez!

“…With technological innovation applied to older consumers’ actual wants, needs, and goals, older adults may soon find themselves living not just longer lives, but better lives, defined by independence and connectedness…” ~ by Joseph F. Coughlin

“Why Businesses Misunderstand Old People.”

Happy Friday, December 1, 2018

Visit me on Twitter @daniellefwatson

Clutch and Grasp that idea!

Are you passionate about an idea? There are differences in wanting something and clutching on to an idea without grasping the reigns.

We all want to hold on tightly to an idea. Sometimes we hold on so tight that we never let it go. We don’t move forward because of thinking that someone might “steal” the idea, or maybe we just don’t have a complete grasp on what it takes to get your idea off the ground.

I read a post on LifeHacker a few years ago, and it really made sense! “How to Motivate Yourself to Actually Start That Passion Project.” Clutching on to that idea isn’t going to move it forward, and getting started is the hardest part, but once you find your rein, don’t let your idea go down the drain (unless your idea has something to do with plumbing of course!), Haha!!


via Daily Prompt: Clutch

Forward Thinking… Don’t Label Us!

I am writing something short and sweet about a passionate subject of mine. After all, it’s #BlackFriday, and shopping is on most people’s minds.

If you put a group of children into one classroom and teach them all the same subject, what do you get? As a parent and teacher all well know each child (and adults for that matter) learns differently and unfortunately those that don’t keep up they just slap a label on these children.

If you read this list of 37 Common Traits of Dyslexia, written by Ronald D. David in 1992, ( many of us adults would be on that list. I was never labeled anything, but I struggled with hearing, math and time management, and was a class clown to help me through my awkwardness as a child. If it had not been for a few great teachers, and a grandfather who worked with me and helped me to grasp things (and to be appreciative of my artistic abilities), who knows what my adult life would have been. I am an avid reader, love to write, comprehend well, and although Math is still not my strong suit, I am a productive and engaging adult. I have never had any signs of dyslexia, but multi-tasking was so important in my career choice.

In this day and age, we really should be “forward thinking” and stop looking for traits to label children, but rather assist them with inconsistency. A label doesn’t help the child as much as the people putting them into a group of the same stereotypes and teaching them all the same thing. I know us as a society can’t have individual learning experiences in a classroom, so it’s up to the parent to find alternatives to increase their knowledge, and find out what works best for their child. And, do these parents even know that their child may be more than average in their abilities, but have no knowledge of how to help them excel.

Here are but a few good resources for parents and educators.
– JAM:
– MIND/SHIFT (How we will learn) guides to help with BIG IDEAS:

Visit me on Twitter @DanielleFWatson

Happy Friday!