I was recently invited to the annual awards luncheon for a wonderful organization, the Women’s Initiative. It provides high-potential, low-income women with the training, funding and support to start their own businesses and become financially self sufficient.
The stats are impressive–just one year after graduation, graduates of the program average household income increases 60%. Five years after training, 70% of graduates are still in business. It goes on.
During the luncheon, we listened to the three award winners tell their stories, and everyone at my table was wiping away tears. One woman’s story was particularly moving. She is the daughter of Mexican immigrants, a single mother and the first person in her family to graduate from not just college, but law school.
She did this while her epileptic daughter was facing brain surgery. Most women in the program face language barriers and god only knows what other heinous obstacles. The program is supportive but rigorous. They learn to write a business plan, manage money, hire employees and create a customer service ethic.
Like many people in the room of more than 200 people, I was inspired to volunteer. I figure that all of these inspiring women could probably use some help with their marketing, and there are few things I love more than brainstorming about marketing ideas and implementing them on a miniscule budget.
But more than that, think about what would happen if everyone did just one thing to help somebody else. This is something I have always believed in. Be generous with your time.
Ask me about making the most of your marketing dollars–which is really all about your time. It’s what we do at Top of Mind Marketing!
Posted in The basics | Tagged abuse, brain surgery, business plan, esl, funding, support, volunteer, women's initiative | Leave a Comment »
I was at a networking event the other day and someone handed me a business card that was approximately the size of a postage stamp. I just looked at her–you’ve got to be kidding. The lettering was in some tiny little stylized font that I couldn’t read. Her name was missing, though her website appeared to be on it, though I couldn’t make it out, even with my super old-person pair of reading glasses.
Your business card is so totally not the time to be cute. It’s about communication. You have one chance to hand it to a person, make eye contact and shake someone’s hand. Your card needs to look good, but more than winning design contests, it needs to be readable.
I see this kind of skewed thinking all the time and, frankly, it totally mystifies me. People pour their hearts, souls, life savings and maxed-out credit cards into starting their own businesses, then turn around and give their businesses foreign names that no one can pronounce or choose fonts or lettering for them that are so stylized that people can’t read them.
Why does this make a difference? If no one can read or pronounce the name of your business, you’ve just lost word of mouth advertising which is the very best way to grow your business because it’s absolutely free. Make it easy for people to find you–and just as important–tell their friends about you.
Ask me about pragmatic marketing solutions that work. It’s what we do at Top of Mind Marketing.
Posted in The basics | Tagged advertising, business, business card, communication, credit cards | Leave a Comment »
Now that I’ve become a passionate sports fan, I’m seeing something which I find appalling–every sportscast seems to think they need to have a woman–generally a very sexy woman–announcer. Generally just one token female.
I just watched the intro to Sunday night football, featuring the 49ers and the Detroit Lions. There was music, flashing graphics and a woman strutting around the stage wearing what is likely a tiny, size 0 dress and stiletto heels. Of course she had long blonde hair which she shook around as she gyrated. I absolutely hate that women are being objectified like this.
While I’m all for sexual equality, I struggle a bit with women sports announcers. It may have something to do with too much cleavage, too many short skirts and too little knowledge of the game. I think of Marty Lurie, to whose KNBR show I faithfully listen. This guy loves baseball and understands the lore, history and the extraordinary players that make this sport so compelling for the 40,000+ fans who stream into AT&T Park for every home game.
Showing too much skin and being perceived as a sex object is not what women’s liberation advocates fought for more than 40 years ago. This isn’t doing any favors for sports or for women.
Posted in The basics | Tagged 49ers, baseball, Detroit Lions, football, KNBR, sex. sports, women broadcasters | Leave a Comment »