Oregon Coast Small Business Marketing Classes

Oregon Coast

Small Business Marketing Classes on the Oregon Coast – May 2016

Standout Subject Lines: Get Open, Get Read, Get Results – May 18th 10am

How are your subject lines working – or NOT working – to capture the attention and interest of your audience? This fast-paced seminar will take a deeper dive into the mechanics of truly effective subject lines.

Hoffman Center for the Arts, Manzanita, Oregon – FREE

Automate Your Marketing! Planning Ahead to Convert & Keep – May 18th 1pm

Autoresponder campaigns do what YOU wish you had the time to do! Use them to follow up, inform, entertain, & provide incentives for action & engagement – they work automatically while you focus on your business.
Hoffman Center for the Arts, Manzanita, Oregon – FREE

Hello,
If you’re a small business, non-profit, government organization or have a film or other project you’d like to promote, my upcoming classes on May 18th will go over the best tools to use for marketing – email marketing and social media.  I hope you’ll attend.  They’re free and I’ve been teaching small businesses how to market themselves for the past 8 years.  I’ll be teaching how to keep in touch with clients and customers and keep you top of mind all year long.
http://albertideation.com/coast to learn more and register for each class – here’s a little synopsis
On May 18th the morning class will go into why subject lines are so important and the features that go into writing great ones. If your material is not opened then noone will get to experience your greatness.  There are tools out there that can help with this.
After lunch I’ll go into autoresponders.  That’s probably my favorite topic of all as I’ve been creating autoresponder series since I learned about them last year. They’re a great way to help clients and customers learn about your business in a systematic way that benefits you (they are sent and forget) and your customers.
Please share this notice with someone you know whose business or effort could benefit from some marketing help.
Once again, please register for any class here: http://albertideation.com/coast
Thank you!

Webinar: 5.23.16 11am-12:30pm PST – Getting Started with Constant Contact with Albert Kaufman

Manzanita Coast

A Day in the Life of a Constant Contact Solution Provider Partner

Solution Provider

I love helping small businesses grow and succeed as a partner with Constant Contact.

Since email marketing has been shown to work best, I encourage small businesses that I work with to sign up for a Constant Contact account. For those who are already using Constant Contact- we work together to make the best use of their account - figuring out ways to build lists; improving and tightening branding; working on shortening messages and making sure everything sent out is mobile-friendly.

As technology is constantly changing, part of the challenge we all face is to keep up with it. That's why I spent the time, money and effort to become Master Certified in Constant Contact. That assures the people I work with that my skills are top notch and through frequent trainings, I keep them there!

I love working with my clients. I've learned more about new kinds of businesses in the last couple of years than in the rest of my life combined. From people who take dogs on hikes to all sorts of alternative healing modalities, real estate agents, home inspectors, universities and the list goes on and on! I especially love networking - and bringing businesses that can help one another, together.

The most exciting part of being a solution provider for me is the wide variety of work that I do for clients. Sometimes it's answering a simple question about how to align an image. Other times, the conversations are longer and have more to do with strategy.  Every day brings me new questions and I continue to grow my own knowledge base.  What's really interesting is how everything is constantly in motion, as well.  I also teach classes on how and why to use email marketing and social media. Sometimes in the middle of a class I'll be demo'ing something and a new feature pops up that I've never seen before - Facebook is particularly prone to new changes that roll out, suddenly!  So, one learns how to surf - and get comfortable saying "you know what, I don't know! - I'll have to look into that for you".

Being a Solution Provider is probably not for everyone, but it's worked well for me. I like receiving the training that's offered - it's like being enrolled in a grad school course on small business marketing that never ends. The core certification process is pretty straightforward - and through the master certification process I actually learned some things I didn't know about Constant Contact.

If you'd like to know more about the Constant Contact Solution Provider program or have questions about how I run my business, please get in touch. One way to see me in action is via my newsletter where I share business marketing tips.  I hope things are thriving with your business.

Sincerely, Albert Kaufman, Albertideation

Me at Constant Contact's OneCon convention in 2015 in Las Vegas

Me at Constant Contact's OneCon convention in 2015 in Las Vegas

 

Reasons not to use Mailchimp

Here’s Why Not Mailchimp

Assume for a moment that you want to use email marketing for your business or project. Email marketing brings $44.25 ROI – it’s the best way to reach your customers/clients/friends & family and keep connected – here’s why I suggest you don’t use Mailchimp.

Full disclosure – I am a Constant Contact solution provider, so that is what I use 100% of the time and I encourage others to, as well. For more on why I like Constant Contact, you can read elsewhere on this site, or join my e-list, and I’ll keep you posted.

This one is for anyone considering Mailchimp or using it currently – and why I recommend against that choice. I have used Mailchimp, and I’ve signed up for my share of newsletters – here’s what I think.

  1. It makes you look bad. Unless you do a significant amount of customization (which I’m pretty sure isn’t available in the free version) you tend to look like everyone else. From the sign-up form to the series of emails confirming that I want to receive your newsletter – to the newsletter itself – most peoples’ efforts look similar and that’s not a good thing.
  2. Gray – there’s a lot of gray in everything that Mailchimp does, and which in turn, you’re doing. From the sign-up process to the templates – gray. Do you like gray? It’s the color of the Portland sky much of the time – but there’s a wider color spectrum out there. If you want to improve your use of Mailchimp, find places to replace the gray 🙂
  3. The sign-up process. I join your email list and every time (maybe not 100%) I’m put through a process that has me sign up; I receive a confirmation email; send that back in and get another email. This is a double-confirm. Wouldn’t be so bad except all along the way I’m receiving things from you which are lackluster. So, if you’re going with this process – get in there and customize the experience – brand it – push back against the gray. My first experience of your business shouldn’t be lackluster.
  4. Within Mailchimp things can be difficult. Manipulating lists is one area I’ve felt can use some help.
  5. Mailchimp Support. Like many online companies you don’t get what you don’t pay for. This is one spot where you really want support. Your email marketing efforts are going to be key to your success – you want the best support possible. This is not Mailchimp’s strong suit (it is Constant Contact’s strong suit).
  6. Constant upsell.  List getting bigger – time to pay – want that feature? time to upgrade. Since getting used to a program takes time (esp. as they continually change) – get into something you’re going to want to stick with for a while. I find navigating a Mailchimp account cumbersome and so I will not work it and tend to unsubscribe from mailing lists that use it.
  7. This is a start, and I’ll probably go dive into Mailchimp some so I can fill out this article – but all of the above should be enough to give one pause before going down that road. – and, all of this said – I do advise using Mailchimp over using nothing – happy email marketing!

2.26.16 – This infographic just in from Insiderhub. And, check out their previous writing on the issue – it’s always good to have a second opinion!

OneCon 2015

Takeaways from OneCon2015

I attended Constant Contact’s OneCon in Las Vegas from October 4-6th, 2015. This time I was much better prepared to take advantage of all that was on offer – great keynote sessions; product updates; panels; and lots of time for networking. I learned a ton – some is evident through the pictures and captions below, but some will have to wait until I gather my notes and go a bit deeper. I think one of my main take-aways was that I’m on the right track. Listening to email marketing expert/guru, Michael Katz talk a couple times, reminded me that I’m doing a lot of what he does – and what he does works. He’s himself. He tells stories. He has a relaxed take on things – very refreshing in the world of business. And, he’s a solopreneur, just like me!

I also have been moving to a more philosophical take on what I do. Reviewing the situation… And, I think I’m figuring out a way forward that works for me. Working with great clients who are doing interesting things and taking the time to get things right. I’m not rushing and I’m being more careful and considerate as I go. And, what a great bunch of people I’ve decided to join up with (both within Constant Contact and my current client mix). I’m more convinced by this year’s OneCon that email marketing is THE way forward for small businesses who want to reach their audiences in an easy and inexpensive and REPEATABLE way. Hearing peoples’ challenges in quantifying value from social media was refreshing. Here are some photos and some ideas – enjoy! Your feedback (a gift, thanks Ron Cates for reminding us of that) is welcome in the comments section, below.

If you’d like to get started working together, start by signing up for a Constant Contact account. As one longtime solution provider clearly stated: “If you don’t have $20/mo. to spend on marketing, you’re not really in business”. Take yourself and your efforts seriously and invest in email marketing!

Brandon Klayton of Conscious Commerce in Canada. One of my mentors. Learn more about him here: http://www.cc94.com/

On the left: Brandon Klayton of Conscious Commerce in Canada. One of my mentors. Learn more about him here: http://www.cc94.com/

A brilliant panel about ways to make what we do pay off

A brilliant panel about ways to make what we do pay off

All of the new features delivered this year. I'm going to do a blog post just on this slide. Or, perhaps a short video. Next week, I promise!

New Constant Contact features delivered this year. I’m going to do a blog post on this slide. (Can you say AUTORESPONDERS?) Or, perhaps a short video. Next week, I promise!

Constant Contact making a point by turning off the screen for a moment (clever!)

Constant Contact making a point by turning off the screen for a moment (clever!)

More brilliance from experts on client relations

More brilliance from experts on client relations. Michael Katz, moderating.

A great panel with Michael Katz discussing good clients and how to keep them. Bad clients and how to fire them :)

A great panel with Michael Katz discussing good clients and how to keep them. Bad clients and how to fire them 🙂

2015-10-05 14.36.58

This was a slide shared by Michael Katz that outlines his strategy for running his business. I think I’m going to move towards this model. Lunch, anyone?

Close-up of donut!

Close-up of donut! Who is in your network?

Great info presented clearly.

Great info presented clearly by Michael Katz.

Michael Katz. Simply. The. Best. Here's what I wrote to the Solution Providers post event: Also, one person who continues to inspire me is Michael Katz. Maybe it’s the way he wears his heart on his sleeve. Maybe it’s the fun stories that are always teaching me something. Whatever it is, if you’re not on his email list, join it and you’ll soon see what I’m talking about. If we all did more of what he does, the world would be a better place (and you’d find those clients you wish you had :) http://bluepenguindevelopment.com/ I also like his “Today I…” series… You can sign up for it, here. http://thetodayiblog.com/

Michael Katz. Simply. The. Best. This is one person who continues to inspire me day in and day out. Maybe it’s the way he wears his heart on his sleeve. Maybe it’s the fun stories that are always teaching me something. Whatever it is, if you’re not on his email list, join it and you’ll soon see what I’m talking about. If we all did more of what he does, the world would be a better place (and you’d find those clients you wish you had 🙂 http://bluepenguindevelopment.com/ I also like his “Today I…” series… You can sign up for it, here. http://thetodayiblog.com/

Corissa St. Laurent, Carol Infranca, Don Richardson, Debbie Rinckey and Kathy Day. My fellow PNW ALEs (and Corissa, my Regional Development Director for Constant Contact)

Corissa St. Laurent, Carol Infranca, Don Richardson, Debbie Rinckey and Kathy Day. My fellow PNW ALEs (and Corissa, my Regional Development Director for Constant Contact)

The Team from the Pacific Northwest: L to R: Twanda, Carol, Moi, Debbie, Lisa, Kathy, Don and Corissa

The Team from the Pacific Northwest: L to R: Twanda, Carol, Moi, Debbie, Lisa, Kathy, Don and Corissa

Corissa & Stuart Atkins

Corissa St. Laurent & Stuart Atkins

Ron Cates, fellow ALE - Don Richardson, and Gail Goodman, the CEO of Constant Contact. learn more about Don @ http://www.digitalpopcorn.net/

Ron Cates (watch for him on the stand-up circuit, btw), fellow ALE – Don Richardson, and Gail Goodman, the CEO of Constant Contact. learn more about Don @ http://www.digitalpopcorn.net/

It was gray and rainy... wait, it's not Portland! you can tell by the palm trees. But we did have flash flood warnings on Saturday night!

It was gray and rainy… wait, it’s not Portland! you can tell by the palm trees. We had flash flood warnings on Saturday night!

Marsha Pearson a fellow ALE from Philadelphia. One of my highlights was hanging out together on the ride in. Learn more about her @ http://emailmarketing.guru/

Marsha Pearson a fellow ALE from Philadelphia. One of my highlights was hanging out together on the ride in. Learn more about her @ http://emailmarketing.guru/

When this event comes to Portlandia, we will not have any bottled water. I will see to that!

When this event comes to Portlandia, we will not have any bottled water. I will see to that!

One of my favorite slides. Straightforward and correct.

One of my favorite slides. Straightforward and correct.

Zachery Barron, our area director

Zachery Barron, our area director

Hanging out with my fellow PNW ALEs over drinks in the lobby

Hanging out with my fellow Pacific Northwest Authorized Local Experts over drinks in the lobby. From left to right: Carol, Lisa, Don and Twanda!

My fellow Pacific Northwest ALE team!

My fellow Pacific Northwest Authorized Local Expert team!

Another amazing chandelier

One amazing chandelier

This chandelier was sparkly

This chandelier was sparkly

The chandeliers at the Red Rock Resort are really eye-catching

The chandeliers at the Red Rock Resort are really eye-catching

First panel of the day

First panel of the day on Sunday

Some words about one of my favorite clients, Gaealana Healing Arts: http://www.gaealanahealingarts.com/

Some words about my work with one of my favorite clients, Gaealana Healing Arts

http://www.gaealanahealingarts.com/

There was a nice poster about my work with Gaealana Healing Arts in Portland, Oregon near the front of the room: http://www.gaealanahealingarts.com/

2015-10-04 14.32.24

Thanks to everyone at Constant Contact for hosting such a great, inspiring event! Until #onecon2016 (in Portlandia, ok?)

The graphics were really nicely done

The graphics were really nicely done – sharp and clear – makes a big difference!

2015-10-04 13.07.58

First session on Sunday – everyone was pumped up and enthuiastic

One of the opening sessions featured Richard Israel who leads the Solution Provider Program for Constant Contact

One of the opening sessions featured Richard Israel who leads the Solution Provider Program for Constant Contact

Comfy!

Such a comfy bed – I could get used to living like this!

View from my amazing room at the Red Rock Resort

The view from my amazing room at the Red Rock Resort

#OneCon2015 in Las Vegas - Constant Contact's annual convention for solution providers

#OneCon2015 in Las Vegas – Constant Contact’s annual convention for solution providers – Thanks again! See you at #onecon2016!

Albert at #OneCon2015

See you next year!