Who knew that at an email marketing seminar for real estate agents one would find an alchemist , shaman and coach ? Kelle Sparta, @kellesparta.com presented recently at Constant Contact headquarters in Waltham, MA. She is a dynamic, full of life personality who made up her mind to gain control of her personal power and she shares her wealth by helping others find ‘grace under fire.’ She pays it forward every day.
She had me at hello! In a few words, when you are pointing a finger look at your thumb; know your buttons so when they are pressed you control your reactions. This resonates with me, as I feel my buttons are frayed. Is it a result of recovering from a physical injury, no exercise? Is it more?
Listening intently, I came away with some pearls to ponder and practice. Sharing them here in hopes it helps others. My goal is to be more conscious of the idea of ‘personal power’ and the positive energy that flows from gaining a perspective that the universe is healing and loving.
Some of the Elements of Personal Power:
What are the challenges of owning your personal power? Symptoms to watch for:
What prevents us from protecting our own personal power? Dr. John Gottman's work describes the four horsemen of the apocalypse for a relationship. They are defensiveness, criticism, stonewalling and contempt. When we lack trust or do not allow others to make decisions, when we constantly strive for perfection, vacillate with feelings of depression; ultimately we suffer a lack of self-love and self-esteem. We are too hard on ourselves and consequently on others. The goal is to practice self-awareness and self-control.
We can’t control what others say and do, but we can control how we react to it and them. The next time someone tries to entice me into a discussion, negotiation, conversation which begins making me feel uncomfortable, rather than thinking about a response, I will listen to my feelings, be present in the moment, take responsibility for my actions, and respect the now. Most importantly, I will trust in the universe for a brighter tomorrow.
For 30 years tourists drive on Route 1 in Wells, Maine, passing Jake's Seafood , a year-round restaurant located conveniently, two miles north of Ogunquit Center (in area called Moody), just a mile from the beach. Since 1987, they have been serving up delicious lobster rolls, fried clams and the best lighter-than-air onion rings!
Today tourists are using mobile devices to discover local places. Jake's Seafood Restaurant had not claimed their business presence on the Internet. Sites such as Google Business , Google+ , Yelp , Trip Advisor , or Foursquare did not have consistent up-to-date business information. Jake's listing is similar to another Jake's restaurant in another state which has a higher ranking on Google. Jake's does not ask for customer emails or keep a database of regular and returning tourists.
For many business owners and decision-makers the challenge is finding time or having the knowledge or interest to setup and manage Internet, email and social media marketing. However, today businesses are optimizing their Internet presence and expanding their services on social and professional networks as part of doing business.
Facebook and Google Adwords are powerful tools to locate clients, find new ones and extend your brand's reach. Using specific criteria: gender, age, state, city, zip code and interests, the Ads populate on those peoples pages who meet the set criteria. Those who click the Ad; find their way to your website or place of business are potential customers.
Authenticate interactions through a concerted effort with monthly emails, weekly social posts and follow-up conversations create and sustain true demand creation, brand recognition and a loyal network, organically.
In January 2015, Nicastro consultants was hired to redesign Jake's website, claim their business on Google Business , Google+ , Yelp , Tripadvisor and Foursquare . We also implemented a strategy for Jake's to capture email addresses. In addition, we set up a business Gmail account, a Google+ Business Page and a Youtube Channel. Jake has a presence on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
An email template was created to match their new website, their social icons are connected to the email newsletter. Jake's is ready to collect customer email addresses at the restaurant, on their website and on their Facebook business page. Tourist, regulars and fans can easily find, connect and engage with Jake at the restaurant and online. Jake is poised to grow a virtual network through monthly email newsletters about the restaurant with regular posts to their social channels to encourage brand loyalty, recognition and expansion.
Where do you begin? Google your name and the name of your business. Consider claiming or setting up a business presence on sites such as Google Business , Google+ , Yelp , Trip Advisor , or Foursquare . Start with a social audit. Determine: 1) where you are, 2) where you want to be 3) and a plan to guide you there. Its more about where your clients reside. However, expand your presence and increase your brand recognition so you can easily be found and quickly engage with potential customers and opportunities.
Consider building a brand and presence with a Google Business account, a Google+ Business Page, and a YouTube, channel. Create and or optimize a Facebook business page, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram presence. Make it easy for 'like-minded' people to find you. Customers are checking-in and leaving comments. Businesses that are not engaged online are at risk of not responding with potential clients, resulting in missed-opportunities.
Roberto’s is a beloved fixture in Ogunquit, Maine, a beautiful place by the sea. For over 30 years, Roberto’s has brought the finest in hand-crafted Italian food to tourists and local residents. They take pride in selecting the finest ingredients; they stock only the finest imported olive oils and produce is delivered to their chef's daily, as is fresh native seafood.
In January, 2015, Nicastro Consultants , an Ogunquit Chamber Member was contacted by fellow member, owner and host, Kathy Cammarota, to update Roberto's website , establish a social media presence and expand Roberto's brand using email marketing. Their Facebook business page was at a respectable 587 likes and Twitter followers at 100. They had no way of capturing customer email addresses.
During the snowy months of January and February, Kathy in Florida and Doreen in Boston, they defined Roberto's business goals for the upcoming 2015 season; increase the restaurant's visibility in searches and on social media. It was determined to use engagement marketing to build an email list of loyal fans. We started with a social audit. Did a "Roberto's Italian Restaurant' Google search and learned that Roberto's had not claimed their presence on Foursquare , Yelp or Tripadvisor .
Roberto's had no way to engage with current customers outside their venue. Although Roberto’s uses Open Table for reservations they have no way of interacting with Open Table customers once they leave the restaurant. When Roberto’s opened its doors for the 2015 season, they had a mechanism in place for guests to connect with Roberto’s once they left. In addition they are easily found on the Internet and on social media sites.
The owner is reluctant to place social media icons in the establishment's window or on the menu. The question for brick and mortar venues is if you don't let your customers know or give incentives or reasons for social engagement, what's the point?
To keep costs down we used the current restaurant logo, images and pictures. We also created a new consistent branded website along with a matching Newsletter template. We implemented Constant Contact email marketing solutions to capture customer email addresses: at the restaurant via a text message sign-text OGTROBERTOS to 22828 to join Roberto's mailing list- (JML). We added a JML icon on the new website and on Roberto's Facebook business page. We uploaded Chamber Members emails and customer emails from Roberto's Opentable reservations. We sent monthly email Newsletters from April-September.
It started with a Memorial Day 10% off coupon. It was sent to 857 emails which we complied, segmented and uploaded to Constant Contact . Three-hundred seventy three people (46%) opened the Newsletter. This was Roberto’s first time interacting with customers outside the restaurant . Ninety-three people ( 25%) clicked a unique link and seventy-one clicked on the coupon link and four coupons were purchase.
Today, Roberto's Facebook business page has 869 likes and growing (50% increase over five months) and 120 Twitter followers. They are also have a Google + and Pinterest presence. This season, Roberto's increased their customer email list from 0 to 857. The last email they sent was in August to 869 people , 285 (36%) opened it. They had a total of 30 click through to their links.
What are the takeaways?
Customers like to engage with their favorite brands and products.
Bricks and mortar businesses who start using social media and mobile app's
may consider placing those social icons in the window, on their menu, or create an incentive for customers to engage with your brand.
Is your business easy to find on mobile Internet searches or on social media? Does your establishment provide incentives for customers to interact or check-in at your venue? Do they share their experiences with their friends and family on social media? We are ready to help your business or organization connect and engage with customers and fans.
Are you ready? Start today with a Social Media Audit .
Boston, MA — February 5, 2015
a social media agency and a Master Certified
empowers clients to use social engagement tools to expand and amplify their voice, vision and brand(s) over the Internet effectively and responsibly
has been named a 2014 Solution Provider
All Star Award
Constant Contact®, Inc.
, the trusted marketing advisor to more than 600,000 small organizations worldwide. The award, given annually to the top 10% of Constant Contact’s international customer and Solution Provider base, recognizes these select organizations for their significant achievements.
“We're happy to be recognized by Constant Contact for achieving strong marketing results on behalf of our clients ,Institute for Community Health and Assabet After Dark Classes . Constant Contact’s tools have helped us better manage customer/constituent relationships and engagement marketing." said, award recipient, Doreen Nicastro.
Nicastro Consultants , It Pays to be Social, is a social media agency, offering monthly social media engagement marketing packages. We empower individuals, small business and non-profits to use social engagement tools to expand their voice, vision and brand(s) over the Internet effectively and responsibly.
Constant Contact Solution Providers are businesses that provide services tailored to the needs of small businesses or nonprofits—everything from web developers, to online marketing consultants, to advertising agencies and more. They use Constant Contact’s online marketing tools to generate more business for both themselves and their clients. Criteria used to select this year’s All Stars included the following
“Our Solution Providers are a core extension of our business, helping those small businesses and nonprofits who need some assistance with their marketing,” said Arthur Steinert, vice president and general manager, channel partner sales and marketing, Constant Contact. “That’s why we’re thrilled to recognize Nicastro Consultant’s for their commendable achievements – it’s truly a win-win for both Nicastro Consultants, and Assabet After Dark Classes and Institute for Community Health, the small organizations it serves.”
About Nicastro Consultants, It Pays to be Social
Doreen Nicastro, a small business owner, operates Nicastro Consultant’s a social media agency. She is a Master Certified Constant Contact Solutions Provider and a Hootsuite Partner. She offers social media and engagement marketing monthly packages. We empower clients to use social engagement tools to expand and amplify their voice, vision and brand(s) over the Internet effectively and responsibly
About Constant Contact, Inc.
Constant Contact helps small businesses do more business. We have been revolutionizing the success formula for small businesses, nonprofits, and associations since 1998, and today work with more than 600,000 customers worldwide. The company offers the only all-in-one online marketing platform that helps small businesses drive repeat business and find new customers. It features multi-channel marketing campaigns (newsletters/announcements, offers/promotions, online listings, events/registration, and feedback) combined with shared content, contacts, and reporting; free award-winning coaching and product support; and integrations with critical business tools – all from a single login. The company’s extensive network of educators, consultants/resellers, technology providers, franchises, and national associations offer further support to help small organizations succeed and grow. Through its Innovation Loft, Constant Contact is fueling the next generation of small business technology.
Constant Contact and the Constant Contact Logo are registered trademarks of Constant Contact, Inc. All Constant Contact product names and other brand names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Constant Contact, Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.
Frank Shear, owner of the Brick Wall Kitchen has a passion for food and a love of art. Both can be found both on his new website and at his venue . BWK is also expanding its reach through email marketing and local coupons . Frank is using the large brick wall in his venue and on his new website to showcase local artists in the community. Its his way of giving back and paying it forward.
BWK Scope of Work:
Working closely with Frank, we were able to set up the brickwallkitchen.com domain, create a wordpress site and choose a theme which emulates Brick Wall Kitchen’s vision. We also implemented a menu database, uploaded and edited the content and photos in less than sixty days.
Is your website mobile or responsive ready? TEST HERE . Do visitors have to scroll to the right and to the left to read your web content? Perhaps its time for an investment in a responsive-mobile-ready website. Call me. 617-271-3769 .
On a rainy fall day, my husband and I made our way from Boston to NYC, and to the Empire State Building to visit our
son, Alex, at LinkedIn Corporation’s, “Bring-In Your Parents to Work Day.” It wasn’t long ago I took Alex to work. Over a few summers, he was my teaching assistant at Harvard School of Public Health, International Summer Institute. At 13, he was introducing computer and information technology skills to senior public health students. For many, it was their first time seeing a computer. They would delight as he came to their workstation and showed them how to use a mouse. He made them feel at ease immediately, helped them to overcome their fear and barrier to technology. As we made our way to the elevator, a feeling of great pride and accomplishment came over me. Sixteen years later, he works at one of the hottest technology companies in the world; he’s living his dream and we can’t be happier. Our dream is coming true; we get to experience a day-in-the-life at LinkedIn.
We piled into a packed elevator heading to the 25th floor. A few parents joked about the fact that they had no idea what their kids did at LinkedIn nor how the company made its money. A father stated, “I have two girls: one is a socialist who works at a non-profit, the other a capitalist who works at LinkedIn.” The comment struck me. What did he mean? One valued social equity while the other did it for the love of money? The elevator was a short ride; otherwise, it would have been interesting to engage in a conversation about the fact that LinkedIn is no ordinary company. His ‘capitalist’ daughter probably leans more toward social than he realizes.
LinkedIn is a social company. What does that mean? It connects and brings like-minded people together. LinkedIn’s core values center around relationships, innovation, transformation, collaboration, integrity, results, humor and most of all: passion. The elevator door opened to a floor filled with vibrant white walls with the vivid LinkedIn blue. Bouquets of white and blue balloons dotted the greeting area. As we walked onto the floor you could feel the energy and passion; it was contagious. A long white table with three young women greeted us, giving us our name tags, gift bags and directions to breakfast. We made our way down a hall to a large glass door which opened to a larger area with open ceilings and big windows overlooking sky scrapers; canary yellow and white couches lined the walls. In the center of the room stood a big open kitchen with a long table filled with pastries, muffins, bagels, fruit, juice and coffee. On one side of the kitchen was a counter with refrigerators filled with cold beverages, yogurts and snacks; above baskets of cookies and protein bars, fruit filled the shelves. Adult children laughed and talked with their proud parents while others snapped selfies and posed for pictures by the corporate LinkedIn Logo. On the opposite wall, employees’ photos danced as children playing with their toys, bikes, parents and friends. It was followed by their LinkedIn profiles. We noticed our son’s absence. “Mom, I’ve been really busy.” He’s in sales. At home, I hunted down the only possible picture to go along with this story.
It was relatively easy to match the successful adult-kids with their equally successful parents. As selfies snapped, two camera men from NBC walked the room with their video cameras recording while photographers captured the moments. Many hovered by the LinkedIn logo waiting for a picture together. Some were being taken on tours to see where their kids sit. The entire place was open style with desk cubes on the perimeter and large tables in the center of the room filled with markers, crayons and color paper. Floor to ceiling glass enclosed conference rooms and fabulous doodle drawings, sayings and art work filled the walls. I heard one mother ask, “How can they work in this environment?” I spied a few air hockey tables, some games and basketball nets. The two most striking things that I noticed was not a single clock donned a wall and the lightening was brilliantly bright. It was like working outside in the sunlight. Young, happy faces sat behind computer screens. We were ushered into a large room with white folding chairs. In front was a big screen displaying additional childhood photos.
A total of 200 parents from all over the country sat on the three floors which make up LinkedIn Corporation. We watched a video featuring young children talking about their career dreams: educator, researcher, computer scientist, and engineer. Each described how they wanted to make a difference in the world. It showed them as children, then as young adults fulfilling their dreams. It is exactly what our children are doing right now. They are sharing their dreams with those who made it come true; their parents. LinkedIn is no ordinary company.
CEO, Jeff Weiner,welcomed parents via video message, driving home the previous video that our adult children are living their dream, making a difference in the world while earning a living. Some of the best talent spoke from the panel. They work in sales, engineering, relationship management, publishing, advertising and marketing.
LinkedIn officially launched in 2003. At the end of the first month in operation they had 4500 members; they never looked back. Today they have 332 million subscribers and are growing at two members per second. Ninety-two percent of Fortune 500 companies use LinkedIn Talent Solutions to hire. Four million companies have a company page on LinkedIn. Not too shabby for an 11 year old company.
During the panel discussion, each employee gave an overview of their position, how long they worked at the company and what it means to be working at LinkedIn. They shared something that was not on their LinkedIn profile. They spoke of the generosity which embodies the LinkedIn for Good Program. Employees can apply for grants to help them make a difference in the world, while at the same time follow their dreams. One employee talked about her mission to start a cancer clinic in Africa; LinkedIn helped her realize that dream. A senior team executive spoke about her vision. She always wanted to sing professionally. LinkedIn gave her an opportunity to follow her passion and she now sings on the weekends in NYC and gets paid too.
As the panel discussion drew to an end, it was time for Q&A. The moderator asked if anyone had questions. After a moment of silence, a father in the back of the room stood up and asked, “Can you give me two sources of revenue?” Nervous laughter filled the room. “Sure, I can do better than that,” she said without missing a beat:
1) Talent Solutions-helping companies find the best talent.
2) Marketing Solutions-helping brands target their ideal audience.
3) Sales Solutions- turning cold calls into warm leads.
4) Premium Subscriptions-enabling professionals to be more productive.
She gave specific examples of how each drew its revenue. Coincidentally, the stock is doing well. In this moment, feeling the need to bridge a technical if not generation gap, the moderator asked, “Any other questions?” After another moment of silence, I raised my hand - how could I not? After spending my entire career in technology, seeing firsthand how the Internet and social media has transformed the way we live, learn, find love, pay our bills, make plans and connect with family and friends. We are looking at the face of a new economy. I asked if they could speak to my experience that people are either passive or active users on LinkedIn. People use it in many different ways, it depends on what you are seeking or more importantly what you are willing to give. You see LinkedIn is no ordinary community; it is a community, a social-economy, where people from around the world come together to forge relationships, create new ideas, businesses and opportunities. They advance, transform get involved in things that are bigger than themselves. They seek to support, foster, watch it grow, and along the way, they prosper. It’s a new world, a new economy; we got to experience it for a day. It was real Zen moment.
Doreen Nicastro is the mother of