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November 2010
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Five MORE (Of the 10) Low Cost Marketing Ideas

Earlier this week I shared with you the first five ideas that, IF you2011 Image  implement, can impact your marketing footprint going through 2011 and beyond.   I promised you the "Other Five" and here you go:

  1. Take Photos or Video - Really, spend some cash and get a camera that you will take EVERYWHERE.  Then start snapping photos and rolling video about things that have to do with your business passion.  Fashion (check), Flowers (check), Printing (check).  While we use stock photos people always relate better to people and events that are real...and original.  And, video rocks.
  2. Get a YouTube Account - NOW - YouTube is the second most searched site on the planet...and you're not there?  Don't think it will do anything for your career or business?  Ask Des Moines singer/songwriter Roxi Copland who released "I'll Be Groped for Christmas" two weeks ago and now has over 50,000 views.  Folks talking about her now?  You bet!  Timely, thoughtful videos...sell.
  3. Pay It Forward - Help others in your business or folks in other businesses.  I try to offer encouragement and ideas to folks I know...and some I don't.  While some may brush off my suggestion other take them and run.  And...they will tell others.  Do it for that and because it's simple the right thing to do.
  4. Find Alternatives to Traditional Media - OK...shameless plug for Insight on Business with Michael Libbie and Webcast One LIVE...but honestly some of these non-traditional media outlets are not only inexpensive but also very targeted.   You do want to put your message in front of the right folks...right?   There you go...
  5. Think - You know, if you've watched the show, we lift up THINKING as a tool that not enough business people use.  This weekend, spend some time thinking about how you are marketing your product/service.  Break down your client list, who is buying what?  Where are your customers and how do you communicate with them? Pay attention to what is "working" and what isn't. You will find real value in spending time...thinking.

There you go...Ten Low Cost Marketing Tips that can increase your bottom line.  Use one or all...and let me know how things are going?   We can carry on the conversation here with a comment or on Twitter @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV or send me an e-mail. 

Thanks for reading!


Customer Service Tips - Tom Vander Well

Thanks for coming by.  I hope this post helps unlock some great customer service tips for your business.Tom Vander Well MPL Dec 8 2010 

We're fortunate to be able to have "friends in the business".  One of our favorites is Tom Vander Well a customer service master who, during this segment of Insight on Business with Michael Libbie, unlocks a couple of customer service tips  We know you want to not only serve your customers but also...listen.  Check this out.


Tom is with the c wenger group and works with both large and small companies to help them do...what they should do...when it comes to customers.  

Keep the discussion going by leaving a comment here, send me an e-mail or let's connect on Twitter - @MichaelLibbie or @InsightADV.  Thanks, again, for coming by.


Five (of Ten) Low Cost Ways to Market Better in 2011

With an eye to keeping your advertising and marketing budget under2011 Image  control we've cooked up "Ten Low Cost Ways to Better Marketing in 2011".  Here are the first five...we'll follow up with the others later this week.

  1. Get Social - IF you have the social media thing figured out exploit the fact that you are there.  Put your Twitter Handle and your Facebook link on your e-mail, business card and other advertising media.  However, if you don't have it figured HOW to use SM.  Skip this step and call somebody who can help you "get it".
  2. The Mini-Billboard- Get creative with your business card.  How?  Colors, shapes, design, texture.  Think of the business cards that have impressed you over the years and the cards you have saved.  Spend a little extra and get noticed.
  3. Look At Your Website - Or, better yet, have somebody else look at it.  Is it STILL 1st generation?  Loaded with lots of OLD junk?  Too many words?  Old photos?  Old press releases?  Remember, 97% of online users make a decision about doing business with you based on the digital experience you present.  Get this fixed.
  4. Join The Chamber & Go - Nothing beats face to face networking and if your Chamber membership costs $500 a year and you actually GO to the's cheap.  You'll blow more on coffee.
  5. Become An Expert - You know your stuff right?  I'll bet others in and out of the media are anxious to know more about what you know.  Become a local or regional expert.  How?  Watch consumer trends and media responses in your field and then  make contact with local or regional media offering a response or a solution.  Include great tips in your Business Blog (you do have one...right?) and become friends with folks in the media.  It takes some work and effort works.

There you go...the first of ten. 

Thanks for reading and connecting.  If you want to continue the conversation leave me a comment here, send me an e-mail or let's connect on Twitter @MichaelLibbie (Personal & Business) or @InsightADV (Business Baby...all Business).  Our news show about advertising marketing and consumer trends is Insight on Business with Michael Libbie and we have one of those Facebook Thingys...  Michael




Sunday Morning Coffee - December 5, 2010

Grab a cup and let's visit over Sunday Morning Coffee.  Think of this asCoffee Cu ps  some time between friends talking about the past week and looking ahead to next.  We've got gossip, news and a little fun.  (Careful...I'm feeling a bit snarky this morning.)  We'll get back to business tomorrow but for now...It's coffee time!

Have you heard of "Girl Power Business Network"?  Me either until last week when I spoke to a group of business women about advertising and marketing.  Seems that Robin Frederick, owner of Event Impact, thought it's a great idea to mix business with networking and education for busy women.   Here, I'll let her tell you about it:


Girl Power Business Network...thank you for the warm reception and the one hour event that turned, very quickly, into two hours.  You guys rock.

Modern Woodman of America - At the same event I met Tammy Haugen who shared with me the story of this fraternal financial organization.  One word:  Refreshing. more:  Denise Day, Executive Director for the Indianola Chamber of Commerce:  WOW...what a bundle of excitement.  Looking forward to learning more about how we can help. 

Woman Hijack Did you hear that Central Iowa Bloggers (CIB) has been hijacked?  Yikes!  It's what happens when there is a leadership void.  When Mike Sansone "retired" from being the CIB "drum banger" others, like my friend Claire Celsi, stepped in and figured "change is necessary". Here is her take on the story.  So, now rather than meeting in West Des Moines at Panera Bread (Panera U), where we've met for three or four years...with free parking and an easy drive away from the heavy traffic, "they" (you've heard of this shadow group "they" right?) have decided to move the monthly meetings to a downtown Panera Bread.  Or not?  Should the move to downtown be a regular, I wish them's been a fun three years and I'll miss the connection.  What's your take?  Lesson:  In business and even simple non-structured things like CIB when there is a leadership vacuum count on there being division.

Opps...I said "no business".

Now that "Governor for Life" Terry Branstad has been elected expect theBranstad Young  entire state to be let out for bid.   The rush to privatize nearly everything has begun. The first step was the selection of Sioux City Chamber President Debi Durham to head up what Branstad and Durham hope will become the Indiana Model a "public/private partnership to encourage economic growth in Iowa".  Read...more "private" than public.  You must remember that government is is good and when you come to that conclusion all will be well.   Come on, say it with me:  Branstad Older "Government...BAD.  Business...GOOD!"  There, don't you feel better already?  Next:  Toll roads and fee for service fire departments?

Iowa = Low unemployment, smart workforce, efficient state government and...we want to be more like...Indiana with high unemployment and higher taxes?  Hmmm... "Leadership Vacuum?"  Remember...logic is also is GOOD.  "Go to the light Carol Ann..."

Speaking of's Chanukah.  Happy Chanukah!  (Happy Chanukah to you too Governor Branstad!)  If you would like to learn moreJared Bernstein Latke Vodka 1  about the holiday that is NOT the "Jewish Christmas".  Here you go.  I had somebody ask me the other day, "So do you Jews just go from one holiday to another?  It seems like you are always celebrating something!"  It's called "life" woman.

I was up waaayyyy past my bedtime at a great Latke/Vodka Party thrown by my "cousin" and "member of the tribe" (MOT) Jared and Liliana Bernstein at theirneat home near Downtown.  Loads of people coming and going, eating, having Latke Vodka Bernstein a drink and talking.  If I start loading up on everybody there this post will go forever.  Thanks for inviting us and it looks like we're headed to The Oasis on December 25!  Rather than doing Chineese...Mediterranean sounds better huh?   Oh and Jared, getting to visit with Rabbi Edelman-Blank and his bride Deborah was an extra bonus!  Thanks again!

It's taken nearly two years...but I've figured out that our show about advertising, marketing and consumer trends, Insight on Business with Michael Libbie is MUCH easier to write when I have a guest.  Five hours of research and writing comes down to two.  I'm just...slow.Hannah MPL

I had a great conversation with my friend Hannah Inman about real estate sales people and marketing.  What she thinks makes the difference between the professional real estate sales person and the folks who "do real estate".  Hmmmm  Want to weigh in on that?

Two Predictions:  President Obama will be a one-term president and Iowa will lose face because it was the Iowa Caucus that propelled him to the Oval Office.  Today is December 5, 2010.  Write it down.

Does anybody know if there is a KKK chapter in Western Iowa?  Just asking.

Frank Meeink Speaking of the KKK...last week my friend Frank Meeink was a guest on the Bradshaw Show (a local talk radio show on 98.3 WOW-FM).  He had come back from his travels promoting his book and film. The Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead - The Story of Frank Meeink.  He was talking about the hate speech directed to the gay community and he said, "There is always a 'them' for haters to hate it changes but the rhetoric and the hate is always the same."  Well said but one correction:  There have always been TWO groups the haters love to hate.  The Jews and somebody else.  There is a constant.

Speaking of Jews - Did you happen to see the "A-List of Stars who celebrate Chanukah"?   No?   Hey, it's why I'm here...have a look! Yes, that is Paula Abdul.  Happy 4th Day of Chanukah, Paula.

While the economy limps along agriculture continues to boom.  Here is a great piece from my friends at The Des Moines Registerabout the skyrocketing farmland prices with a tid-bit about John Deere and their record year.  It's not always this way...I remember crying the blues just a few short years ago.  One other side note:  I know of no other business where a family or a person owns so much equity and takes such on such big risks.

Whoa - Shades of the Past - I just went upstairs and lit a fire in the stove.  Memories of living on "The Farm" and cutting wood, splitting wood, cleaning fire-boxes, lighting a fire in the "dead of winter" and mind-numbing cold returned.  What a great time!Tina marie johnson

OK, going to push this out.  It's later than normal thanks to some great friends!  Have a wonderful Sunday and my guest tomorrow for Insight on Business - The Metro Monday Edition -  is Tina Marie Johnson - "That Downtown Gal".  We're talking photography and real estate in the Des Moines Market.  Join us at noon here at Webcast One LIVE

If you want to carry on the conversation let's connect on Twitter - @MichaelLibbie (Personal) or @InsightADV (business baby...all business) or we do have one of those Facebook Thingys.  Or, leave a comment here.

Thanks again and have a great day!





























Timothy L. Johnson - Getting Stuff Done

I admit, I'm one of the best and the worst when it comes to gettingTimothy L Johnson standing  projects done.  I love my work and that's pretty easy.  But, ask me to clean the's a three month deal.

Yesterday during Insight on Business with Michael Libbie we had Timothy L. Johnson in to talk about project management.  Tim is CarpeFactum, consultant and author...he knows how to get stuff done.  In this clip from the show we ask him, "What are the TWO things folks need to know before starting a project.  Have a look:


Seems simple enough right?

Thanks for coming by.  If you want to carry on the conversation you can make a comment here, send me an e-mail or take the conversation to Twitter - @MichaelLibbie (personal and business) or @InsightADV (business baby...)



Leadership - Can You Learn It?

Thirty days ago it seemed like everybody was talking about leadership.  Who had it?  Who didn't?  What does it take to get it?  Then we had the elections and nobody, now, seems to care.Jeff Hannah MPL Nov 30 2010

Except us...

This week Insight on Business with Michael Libbie had Jeff Hannah from Touchstone Executive Development in to visit about leadership:  What comes natural?  How can you tell if you've got "it"?  Can you get "it"?  Leadership traps. What makes a good leader and what makes a lousy leader?  Can adversity actually help mold a great leader?

All good things to's a brief clip from the show.


Thanks for coming by.  To see more from Insight on Business you can head to Webcast One LIVE and to continue the conversation, leave me a comment, send me an e-mail or let's meet on Twitter @MichaelLibbie (personal and business) or @InsightADV (business baby...all business)