Marketing My Business Through Flags

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To succeed in our current business landscape (not to mention the amazingly down economy we are all living with) you need to smart about every single choice in your marketing and advertising. The main drivers of business, you could have the world’s most important product at an impossible to refuse price, but if people are unaware of your or your solution you can forget about making any money on it. And though the internet has been getting more than its share of the limelight when it comes to marketing tools, the more traditional methods are still just as (if not more) effective than ever.

The reason that I say more effective is that as one method becomes ultra-saturated (like the internet currently is), people develop “blockers” to more easily ignore the constant flow of ads that are bombarding them. Outdoor advertising, and feather flag banners in particular, are an amazing sort of “throwback” method of marketing that is seeing a huge spike in popularity – it just plain works.

When it comes to effectively marketing your business, the very first component of getting people into your stores is grabbing their attention – and in a world filled with marketing clutter, this is harder than ever before

If you’ve opened a business in the recent past or have been running one right along for years and years, you most likely understand that you are not the only person in the world (or your local area) that is offering what you are selling – the odds are fantastic that there are at least a handful of other companies looking to gobble up your share of the market. Business is as cutthroat and competitive a world enough as it is, and to succeed you’ll need to make sure you are able to effectively market to people and give them an incentive to buy from you. To even begin to build that kind of relationship though you need to make sure they know you exist, but even this must be carried out in a smart manner.

Feather flags are an essential component to smart outdoor advertising and can be used to effectively drive new traffic to your locations – not to mention they are incredibly cost effective and evergreen

Called feather flag banners because they look similar to feathers, your custom feather flags are a major part of drawing people into your sales funnel and storefronts. Eye catching and well designed, the uses and applications for these marketing pieces are many and varied – you can use them as a special discount notice, have custom feather flags printed for different seasonal sales, or even have a handful of wholesale flags ready when you need to move some product right quick and in a hurry.

Smart and savvy businesses owners also understand that they need to watch every single dime invested in their business, and this is another thing that makes feather flab banners and custom feather flags so attractive – the cost to have some printed up and created for your is negligible, and they are an evergreen product (meaning that you can use the same ones for years and years without a degradation in quality or effectiveness). As cost effective a marketing tool as there is, you’ll be able to get fantastic results from these amazing solutions.

How to Use Scottsdale Wedding Photography for a great wedding

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Your special day is fast approaching, and with it there is an understandable and oblivious amount of pressure to make sure everything is perfect. It’s not every day that you marry your best friend and make a commitment like this in front of all your friends, family, and loved ones, and while you’ll be sure to soak up as much as you can only the best wedding photographers in Arizona can help make sure you are able to keep every moment fresh as well as have the ability to share them with people who couldn’t make it.

The best of the best Scottsdale wedding photography understand that the ultimate wedding photographer is one you barely notice – no one wants to remember a bunch of canned shots that look like they were set up and planned. The best and most special moments of your perfect day will come completely unscripted, and the best Arizona wedding photography professionals know how to blend in and permanently preserve every one of them.

If saving every special moment from your wedding is important to you, then you need to consider the services of one of the finest wedding photographers in this great state – the folks behind Patchwork have been at it for a long time and will make sure your moments will be able to be shared for generations.

4 Factors to Consider When Buying Roll Up Banners

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If you’re planning on attending a trade show in order to display your products or services, you’ve likely been deciding how best to set up your trade show booth.  One of the most important aspects of a great trade show display is graphics.  There are a number of options out there for displaying your graphics each with its own advantages and disadvantages.  However, one of the best display options is roll up banners.  However, if this is the first time you’re shopping for trade show banner stands and roll up banners you likely have a number of questions on what to look for.  Below are 4 factors to consider when purchasing roll up banner stands and roll up banners including: size, cost, portability, and material.

Size

One of the main factors to consider when purchasing roll up banners are their size.  As the main reason to set up trade show banner stands are to increase visibility and attract customers to your booth, size plays an important factor in whether your roll up banners will get noticed.  Fortunately roll up banners come in a wide variety of sizes to suit all of your needs.  When considering the size you should also factor in the size that your roll up banner stands support as you don’t want to get to the trade show and realize your graphic is too big for your stand.

Portability

Another factor to consider when purchasing trade show banner stands is their portability.  There are many models out there and some are more portable than others.  When searching for roll up banners and roll up banner stands search for ones that are compact when rolled up and possibly one that includes a travelling case as chances are eventually you’ll be going to a trade show not located in your home town.

Material

Roll up banners come in a wide variety of material and each comes with its own pros and cons.  The most common materials are cloth, satin, polyester, PVC, and polypropylene.  Be cautious when deciding on a material as it will affect durability, how easily it can roll up, how colors will be displayed and whether or not they’re washable.

Cost

If you’re just starting out in business chances are you’ll be on a limited budget and roll up banners and roll up banner stands aren’t likely your primary concern.  However, if possible you should invest a fair amount into quality roll up banners and roll up banner stands as it will ensure the longevity of the display.  As expected all of the aforementioned factors will affect the cost including the size of the banner and banner stand, the portability factors and the material it is constructed out of.

Conclusion

When shopping for a banner stand it’s important to do your research before buying as roll up banners and trade show banner stands are likely an investment you’ll have for a while.  Take into consideration the size you’ll require, any portability issues you might have, the material of the banner, and the overall cost of both the roll up banners and the trade show banner stands.

 

 

NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH SINGLE WOMEN RULE!

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I’ve got an awesome announcement to make this morning. I have partnered up with my East Coast comrades over at Single Women Rule to create a Los Angeles chapter of their organization. They’ve been rockin the Tri-State area and now we’re going to take all their power and energy and show them some West Coast love.

 

Ladies, check out the site, sign up and become a member to start receiving news and info about our upcoming events. So exciting!

http://www.singlewomenrule.com/

ALL THIS GIRLY LOVE MAKES ME TEARY…

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Ladies, please help support – or rather, let her support you – a great friend of THTM, Jill Brown over at the Duchess Guide. She is an all around great gal who took a brave step last year and left a marriage that simply wasn’t working for her. She moved to Los Angeles and started a new life, which we all know, ain’t easy in the best of times.

She has her own website and blog and so kindly mentioned yours truly in her post today. Yes it’s true, she and I had dinner last night and had fun the way only two girlfriends can; yammering on about this and that over pasta and wine. Honestly, I could spend every moment of my day doing just that, but unfortunately it’s hard finding partners in crime willing to ditch their day job and carbo load for eight hours. Anyway, we talked about life, work, and boys, (probably in that order) and got to brainstorming a bit about ways we could expand our circle. After all, if we found each other in this big, crazy city, surely there are other rockin’ chicks out there we’d like to meet, right? So, she is telling the truth, we do have some wicked plans up our sleeve, but they are still in the beginning stages so don’t go too crazy yet. I promise, you’ll be the first to know.

Browse her site, she has a really good post about what it took to get her to read Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love” last year and what she got out of it when she finally did. She also writes a great weekly blog for www.singlemindedwomen.com too.

All hail the Duchess!

http://duchessinc.wordpress.com/2009/01/14/duchess-digest-wednesday-7/

The Road Less Traveled

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“Life is easy. We make it difficult.”

He was quoting someone or another and evading the issue of trying ‘us.’

That was a month ago, before we decided to try by meeting halfway.

Last weekend, we lay in each other’s arms and talked about the road ahead and how it isn’t going to be easy.

We’re both 39 and battle scarred.

He divorced young. He’s also not-quite fresh out of a long-distance relationship.

I’ve had a handful of relationships, never with someone quite worthy of my attentions, however.

We have a path of broken hearts – our own – behind us.

The easy choice is to never again invest our mended hearts, never take the journey with someone else.

In fact, we’d both grown comfortable with the idea we might be single for the rest of our lives.

And that would be OK, too. We’re both independent and self-sufficient. I can take care of myself and I rather enjoy the time I spend with myself … and my dog, of course.

Now we’re complicating things, though.

We live 700 kilometers away from each other, divided by a border between our countries. Depending on road conditions, pee breaks and traffic, that’s usually a little more than seven hours of driving.

It’s a long haul.

It’s expensive.

It’s a pain in the ass crossing the border sometimes.

Wouldn’t it be easy to say ‘nice to have met you but …?

Wouldn’t it be easy to save the wear and tear on our trucks?

Wouldn’t it be easy to invest the dollars spent on fuel on other things?

Sure, the easy choice is staying home and being alone.

Trouble is, that doesn’t sound like a lot of fun.

Because, you see, each of these battle scars is evidence of a life lived well, a life of adventure, a life of sucking all the marrow out of the bone.

Does the end of the road signal true happiness?

Can anyone ever know?

I’m certainly not taking the easy route to get there. I like taking the side roads, stopping at the roadside diners to try the pie and pulling over to gasp at the beautiful vistas I see along the way.

The difference now is someone wants to be my co-pilot.

IT DOESN’T MEAN SOMETHING UNTIL IT IS SOMETHING

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I recently went out on a date with a new guy. We started with dinner and drinks. He was a pretty quiet guy but I was having a genuinely good time with him so we decided to go to another bar for a couple more drinks. I also felt like that was a pretty good sign since he wanted to continue to another bar.

Anyway, we ended up at a bar drinking beer and doing shots of Jameson (which really isn’t normal for me on a first date). We were mildly buzzed and decided to leave the bar to go back to my place. And trust me, I know how that sounds but nothing happened at all. We just sat on my couch and talked which was actually kind of nice (not that I would have minded making out).

We ended up falling asleep on my couch for a few minutes. It was super early in the morning and we were both tired so when we woke back up I told him that he could stay the night. Again, this is not normal for a first date. I don’t even know exactly how it happened but I told him he could sleep in my bed (he offered to sleep on the couch). And again, I know what you are thinking, but nothing happened. We just talked some more, cuddled a whole lot and fell asleep. Then when we woke up in the morning, he left.

A few days later I was telling a friend about the date. I realized that it had been so long since a guy stayed the whole night at my place. It had been so long since I had actually slept with a guy. I mean no making out until 5AM and then sleeping for 30 minutes before the guy leaves. No, I mean actually having a guy stay the night and sleep.

My friend responded that it must mean something since he was the first guy in so long that stayed the night. You know, the idea that subconsciously something inside of me really felt this guy was special or that I really liked this guy so something might come out of it. So that is why I wanted him to stay the night.

Honestly, I didn’t really think about that since I was just realizing that he was the first guy in so long. So maybe it could mean something. And then I really thought about it.

It was purely by chance that he ended up sleeping in my bed. I didn’t really pick it apart or analyze it. In fact, I don’t recall thinking that I would die if he slept on the couch but it just seemed silly. I mean I liked him and had a great time. Plus, I live in a studio apartment so my couch is like five feet from my bed.

Here it is, a week later and I have yet to hear from this guy. And honestly, I would like to say that it bothers me but I really don’t think it does. I don’t mean to sound like a horrible person when I say that but I just think I lost the desire to see him again a few days after the date and it seems clear that he did as well.

If sleeping in my bed truly meant something I feel like I would have wanted to see this guy again and I feel like I would have done all I could to try to make that possible. Instead I did nothing.

I don’t want to sound all cynical here because I try not to be but honestly I am not sure if I believe it means something until it actually is something. But actually I don’t really think it’s cynical but it’s just being realistic. There is no sense in picking it apart and wondering what it all means until there is actually something there.

A NEW CHAPTER

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Most of you don’t know my story. I grew up in a wonderfully typical upper-middle class family, wanted for nothing, went to a private college, and was blessed to graduate and transition right into a full-time job. A few years after graduation I met a boy who would eventually become my husband. We had the wedding of my dreams and we were featured on TheKnot. From the outside, everything seemed perfect, however, my reality was anything but.

Just seven and a half months after that fairytale wedding I was moving out and starting over again. That was in May of 2008. Even though we were separated, I remained legally married for over two years due to a bitter fight. The fight ended January 4, 2011. Just last Tuesday my divorce was finalized and my maiden name was restored.

I had prepared myself for an emotional day. Even though I wanted this to be over more than anything in the world, I expected to feel a sense of sadness coupled with extreme happiness. The fact is the day was pretty anti-climatic for me. He didn’t attend the final hearing. He wasn’t there to hear the judge state that she was restoring my maiden name. He didn’t know that we were divorced. I walked out of the courthouse feeling no different than I did when I walked in.

Don’t get me wrong it felt great to tell my family and friends that this nightmare was over and it still feels pretty awesome every time I see my new name, but I expected to feel different. Happy. Sad. Maybe a little of both. Something. I expected to feel something. Maybe it’s because we were separated for so long, maybe it’s because there is a very real chance that he still hasn’t received the court order informing him that we are divorced. Whatever the reason, I feel pretty much the same as I did before that court order was signed.

At first it kind of bothered me that I felt nothing, but after a little reflection I realize that maybe it’s a good thing. Maybe it means that I have healed more than I thought. Whatever it means, I’m happy to start this new chapter of my life!

Jennifer Whitter Adams is a regular contributor to THTM. She also writes her own blog,www.fromstilettos2sneakers.blogspot.com

MAKING THE NEW YEAR WORK FOR YOU

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This is one of the first New Year’s Eve’s in history where I’m able to sit back, reflect on the year behind me and feel incredibly proud and grateful of how far I’ve come. A year ago I was worried I would have to leave Los Angeles and move in with my parents; I was so stressed out about finances and where my career was taking me (or not). I made some poor decisions in 2009 – mostly fueled out of reacting to circumstances and being a big fat victim vs. proactively creating the life of my dreams.

I ended the year scared, uncertain and ready to give up on my dream and quite frankly myself. I had lost the most important relationship of my life earlier that year and had just gotten over my third (and thankfully final) surgery for the ovarian and cervical cancer I had been diagnosed with in late ’08. What a shit year!

As I sit here on the eve of 2011 I know that it was the willingness to take total accountability and responsibility for my situation and how I got myself there that changed my life and my circumstances. Now I’m starting off ’11 totally cancer free with a book deal in the works, a happy and healthy love life, great partnerships and opportunities and even talks of a television show. Life is a FAR cry from the sad state of affairs I found myself in a year ago.

The biggest turning point for me came when I realized how much I was looking outside myself for things to happen and for my happiness. Being a victim sucks and I was playing into the ‘poor me’ mentality so hard it was literally effecting my health.

I decided to stop bitching, stop complaining and start working hard. Yes really, really hard. But I didn’t stop there. I also decided to play hard and enjoy my off time, making a clear break between work and play time (because both are crucial). I decided to be single. This time not because a man had left me but because it was not right to be in a relationship with all that baggage and metamorphosis happening. I wanted to get things right with me, my emotions, my health and my finances and business before I went out there into the world again. And deciding to take the majority of the year of 2010 to reclaim me was the best decision I’ve made in a long time. It was tough. I lost some friends I really cared for and it was very hard to let go of them for good. I had to lose the hope that the relationship I had wanted was ever going to happen with a man I loved. I had to focus on getting healthy so my body didn’t have to go through the ordeals of surgeries again. It was a year of letting go of a lot of things, ideas, people and relationships that were no longer for my greatest good and development.

But I did it and I’m continuing to try to move forward toward a fearless 2011 full of responsibility and honest assessment of myself as well as the people and things I surround myself with at all times.

My challenge to you as you sit down this year and start writing out your goals is to take a heartfelt assessment of what went really well in ’10 and what didn’t. And then think and write down in concrete specific language what you would like to accomplish in the New Year and how you plan to do it. Come back to those goals daily and watch your life transform. Taking honest stock of the people, ideas, language, environment and career you’ve chosen to surround yourself with will help you determine perhaps why you are where you are (good and less good).

It’s something I’ve been practicing for just over a year now and it’s transformed my life unbelievably. I know it will do the same for you.

I WOKE UP ON CHRISTMAS ALONE

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I woke up alone on Christmas Day 2003.  I mean alone.  Really alone.

Eight months earlier, I moved to Calgary from a smaller city in British Columbia.  I left behind a boyfriend and multiple friends to take a job that I thought would advance my career in the sportswriting industry.  I figured ‘he’ll move to Calgary to be with me, I’ll become a famous hockey writer and we’ll live happily ever after.’

Not so.

He refused to move.  In fact, we broke up several months later when I pushed the issue.

I cracked.  I tried to hang on.  I tried to convince him we could work out.

He moved on.  Quickly.

I sank into a deep depression, finding it impossible to get out of bed some days.

Then I learned I would be spending Christmas alone.

I had no friends outside of work in Calgary.  I was the lowest in the pecking order and, thus, had to work Christmas Day.  There would be no trip home to Nova Scotia to visit my family.  No Christmas tree.  No turkey and all the trimmings.  Just me and a big, empty house, vacated by my roommate who did get to go home.

I made it to Blockbuster on Christmas Eve and stocked up on movies.  I spent Christmas Eve and Day huddled on the couch, watching stupid chick flicks and bawling my eyes out.  I stopped long enough to make the customary phone call to my mother.

Fast forward seven years.

I woke up alone on Christmas Day 2010.  Not so alone as seven years ago, though.

I am single.  I have been since 2003.

Through a couple of flings, a devastating layoff from the job that I thought was going to take me places and any number of obstacles and barriers, I have learned to love being single.  It’s the freedom, the independence and the rewards I get from being entirely self-reliant.  I’ve been told I’m too picky, that my standards are too high, that maybe I should pretend to need some help in order to catch a man.

Huh …

I’ll be no damsel in distress to boost anyone’s ego.  I’ll be no helpless waif to make someone feel big and strong and useful.  I’ll not change who I am to suit anyone else.

I climb mountains now.

I travel alone … well, not completely alone.  My best friend, Shep, is forever by my side, drooling on my arm to let me know when it’s time to stop for a roadside break.  I have an incredible network of friends in this city, a myriad of them offering me the opportunity to spend Christmas with them.  I’ve done that before, getting ‘rescued’ by friends who didn’t want me to spend Christmas alone.

This year, I said no, but thank you.  I needed to find Christmas for me.

In my heart.

And on my own.