Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Say Thank You Correctly Using Video

Saying Thank You is important no matter what the gift.  Some charities have made thank you videos to express their gratitude to major donors.  Here are some things to make sure your video gets the job done and isn't boring or confusing.

November 29, 2011, 8:26 pm

Some common mistakes include:

They’re too long. Too often, Mr. Allen found charities “overestimating the attention span of the viewer.” Viewing one 15-minute video, he says, sapped his desire to watch more after a couple of minutes. “The message wasn’t focused,” he complains.

They don’t explain the gift’s impact. “There were lots of people saying thank you, but never indicating for what,” Mr. Allen says. “That one kind of got on my nerves.”

They’re puzzling. Often the people featured weren’t identified by name or title. Not only did Mr. Allen not know who was speaking but also why this person would be speaking on behalf of the organization. It makes them seem impersonal, he says, and “it loses an opportunity to strengthen the message.”

Read the full article by Raymund Flandez HERE 

Here are some great examples of videos done right.

Don't forget to say THANK YOU!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Merry Cyber Monday- Promotional Giveaway

Merry Cyber Monday!


You can enter to WIN a FREE 30 min. voice lesson and also GIVE a friend or family member a FREE 30 min. voice lesson.
(a $120 value).

Because lessons are offered online via Skype, you can live anywhere and win.

Offer expires 12/2/11 at midnight MST.

How to Enter

Complete these steps to enter to win (don't forget step #3 or else I wont know you entered):

Like Charlie Pants Music's Facebook Page. Click HERE

Copy and paste this paragraph including link below on YOUR Facebook wall or Twitter.

I want to win & give a FREE voice lesson with Charlie Pants Music. Method to 120 Grammy Winners. Lessons are done via Skype so anyone can take lessons. So cool!

Post on Charlie Pants Music's facebook page saying why you want to win and a winner will be chosen at random on Friday, December 2, 2011.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

To Groupon or Not to Groupon...That is the Question

Happy Thanksgiving from the Image Arts Consulting Team.  We wanted to share with you quite the small business nightmare on this day of thanks to help you realize "I am grateful I didn't have to frost 102,000 cupcakes."

Have you seen this story? 

Groupon horror: Bakery must make 102,000 cupcakes

Sometimes, there can be too much of a good thing.
A baker frosts a chocolate cupcake April 19, 2011, in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
A small bakery experimented with using Groupon to attract customers, and the decision -- which in some ways proved wildly successful -- almost shut down the business.

Rachel Brown of Need a Cake bakery in the United Kingdom put an ad on Groupon, a group-discount website, offering 75 percent off on cupcakes to those who bought a dozen, BBC reported. The $40 cupcakes suddenly cost $10.

Turns out, people like their cupcakes. And their deals.

The bakery, based in Woodley, received 8,500 requests for a dozen cupcakes, far above the normally 100 it produces a month. Brown suddenly had to make 102,000 cupcakes.

Brown's company only employs eight people, and she had to bring in an outside agency to handle the orders. The temporary agency cost her $19,500, effectively wiping out her year's profits, MSNBC reported.

"Without doubt, it was my worst ever business decision," she told BBC. "We had thousands of orders pouring in that really we hadn't expected to have. A much larger company would have difficulty coping."

Brown told the Daily Telegraph that her staff was working around the clock, and one person came in at 3 a.m. because she couldn't sleep as a result of the cupcake stress. Brown said she does not plan on doing this again.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fantastic Idea To Engage Followers/Cool Giveaway Idea

Found this HERE A Special 3-Hour Name It and Win It: Words to Wish By – UPDATE: Contest Now Closed!
Why this is so good:
  • gives ownership to customers and followers 
  • creative and fun 
  • short, creates a sense of urgency (only 3 hours) 
  • you can win something great

If you’ve seen our latest stylebook, Imagine That, then you know ‘tis the season for making wishes! And, if you’ve been wishin’ and hopin’ that you’d get to try your witty hand at yet another round of ModCloth’s Name It and Win It Contest, then all your thinkin’ and dreamin’ has finally paid off.
But you have to act fast, because we’re switching things up a little for this installment of your favorite ModGame! Unlike past appearances of this product-naming competition, this time around, you’ll only have three hours in one day to share your well-tailored titles for the piece pictured above. So, if you think you’ve got the the most appropriate appellation, darling designation, or lovely label for this Prussian blue, damask-patterned coat, then let it be known!
Before you go announcing your marvelous monikers for this fine example of outerwear, please read the details below:
  • Your entries do not have to follow any theme.
  • You can suggest up to three names for this item. No more, please!
  • Only suggestions left as a blog comment for each item’s post will be accepted. Entries left on Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else on the ModCloth Blog will not be considered.
  • Submissions will be accepted today, 10/28, from, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m PT. At that time, comments will close.
  • If you repeatedly receive an error message during commenting, please send your submissions to
  • Need more information? See our full Name It and Win It Contest Rules and also our Official Contest Rules.
We’ll announce the winners on Wednesday, November 2. Now, think quickly and creatively, and this coveted coat could be yours!
UPDATE (1 p.m.) — Today’s contest is over! As mentioned above, comments posted after 1 p.m. PT will not be eligible. Thanks for your entries, everyone, and remember to check back on Wednesday to see if you won!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Best Practices in Online Social Media Fundraising

I found this fantastic powerpoint presentation on as I was looking for examples of great best practices in online social media fundraising.  If you are looking for ideas, this is a great resource and tool. Have you heard about Tweetsgiving?  Click on the slide show to hear more about it with a great case study on its success. Check it out.

Power point by Debra Askanase.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

biz ladies: How to Use Twitter to Make Your Business Grow

Found a interesting post on Design Sponge Blog.

Today’s Biz Ladies post comes from Erin Giles, a creative business coach and artist. Erin is passionate about helping female entrepreneurs shine online. She is currently working on a free e-book that will be available October 10th on her site, and today she offers her knowledge on how to leverage Twitter as a powerful business tool. From socializing with other businesses to promoting your goods and website, Erin explains how to use Twitter to its full potential. Thanks, Erin, for this useful post! — Stephanie
Read the full post after the jump . . .

I was the girl who didn’t want to join Twitter. But once I finally caved, it was the best decision I made for my business. If you have yet to take the leap and commit to using Twitter daily to leverage your business, now is the time. I am going to share six key ways you can use Twitter to make your business shine brighter than ever before.

1. Making Connections That Stick: When you first join Twitter, the big “zero followers” will seem unnerving every time you login. How do you even begin to make connections? You must first find people in your niche to follow and scroll through the people they follow. I would not suggest going “following crazy,” but do read through bios, and you will find descriptions of their careers, businesses and passions. By tweeting others and creating conversation, you will soon form connections and friendships that may open up doors of opportunity for your business.

There are a few important do’s and don’ts of communicating on Twitter that you would rather not learn the hard way. 
DO: Retweet great tweets; thank others when they retweet your tweets; participate in Follow Friday; always direct message private messages rather than tweeting them for the whole world to see; and congratulate others on their big successes. 
DON’T: Ask people to follow you; gossip about others on Twitter; tweet about going to the bathroom or other personal foolishness; and don’t incessantly tweet only about your new products or offerings.

2. Being Authentic: As entrepreneurs, our business tends to be our lives. It is vitally important for our business and branding to be authentic to our beliefs. Shouldn’t our use of social media be the same? All you have to do on Twitter is be yourself; no sleazy saleswoman impersonation or super seriousness required. Talk about what fires you up or what you are thankful for, and your true followers will rally around you and your vision, creating the tribe of cheerleaders you have always wanted.

3. Creating Hype about What Your Business Has to Offer: Certainly the most enjoyable and rewarding part of Twitter is involving your followers with your business happenings. So how do you create hype? By tweeting photos of your most recent projects and products, asking for your followers’ opinions or taking a poll when you need an outsider’s perspective. You can even do something as exciting as a book launch count down and have an online party once it has kicked off.

Anything you can do to involve your followers in the current undertakings of your business, the better. When you turn to them for their opinions and involve them in the creating process, a community will start to form, and they will be thankful to be part of it.

4. Promoting Your Website: Sometimes promotion has a nasty reputation. So think of promoting on Twitter as sharing. You will be sharing your business’s website in all its glory to your followers and friends on Twitter.

If you are promoting a blog post or a video post, a good rule is to share it three times a day and to share it in three different ways each time. Get in the mind of your potential consumer. In 140 characters or less, capture their attention with either a question that will be answered in your post, an eye-catching statement that you take out of your post or simply the title.

5. Creating Community by Throwing a Twitter Party: Throwing a Twitter party or a tweet chat is a fabulous way to gather a group of people around an idea or topic. No matter what type of business you own, there are people on Twitter who are passionate about your business’s purpose as well.

By throwing a weekly or monthly tweet chat, you can address individual topics in each chat that may be of concern to other business owners in your niche or even your potential customers. By allowing plenty of time to create awareness of the tweet chat, posting images that invite your followers on your website and Twitter and reminding them several times of the chat, your tweet chat will grow more and more each time you meet.

6. Managing Your Time: Once all of the above is in place, Twitter can get a wee bit addictive. You feel like you’re going to miss something, so you soon find yourself checking in any chance you get. You still need to live a productive life outside of Twitter, so you must manage your Twitter time wisely:

Create lists. Lists allow you to organize whom you are following into groups. This lets you to login and only check your lists for important tweets if you don’t have ample time to read through your entire feed.

Set a timer. By setting a timer, you give yourself so much time to be on Twitter and once it goes off, you log off.
Turn off notifications. If you find yourself getting dozens of alerts and emails throughout the day that distract you from doing your work, it’s best to go into your account settings and turn them off.

Many business owners feel that Twitter is only for the younger generation and that it won’t make a difference in their business. But I’ve found that when you embrace Twitter for all it has to offer your business, it is not only worth the time but also worth breaking away from Facebook, where everybody knows your name.