Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Featured Business: Beauty Call By Liz

Mobile Spray Tanning
 (419) 290-0720

In the dull winter, sometimes we all need a quick pick me up.  Something to remind us of warmer days, something to brighten our smiles.

Sometimes we have that special occasion, and even if we have the perfect outfit, something's missing.

A spray tan may be what you need!

Have you tried a spray tan before, and didn't like the results?  All spray tanning products are not created alike.  The products used by Beauty Call By Liz are made with all natural and organic ingredients.  It allows you to have the look of being out in the sun all the time, without the harmful effects of the UV rays.

What I like about Beauty Call By Liz is that she came to me.  I didn't have to get in my car, drive somewhere, wait for my turn and then be pushed out the door.  I'm a busy working mom - I rarely have time for myself (and have to schedule it weeks in advance!).  

She arrived at my house and set up the mobile spray tent, hooked up her airbrush and we were ready to go.  The process took maybe 20 minutes.

For me, she used the lightest level - as I'm naturally very pale.  As she 'warned' me, the color deepened quite a bit throughout the day.  But after I showered the next morning, it toned down quite a bit, something a bit more natural to my natural color.  

Besides the convince of her coming to you, her prices are very reasonable.  Guys, spray tanning gift certificates are a great gift for your lady!

If you're getting married, your photographer will appreciate the even skin tone and color provided by a spray tan.  Make plans to start tanning AT LEAST a month before your wedding, to find the right tone.  A great thing about Beauty Call By Liz is that she has partnered with Alt B, and the services in this group can also help you prepare for your special day.

If you are interested in spray tanning, check out http://www.beautycallbyliz.com/ and schedule your appointment.  Be sure to check out the Tanning Tips before Liz arrives, so that she is able to give you the best tan possible.  And be sure to ask her about her great products (I love the Cocoa butter lotion!)

Check out Beauty Call By Liz - and make today beautiful! 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Morning With Tim & Jeff

I'd consider Star 105.5 to be one of my favorite radio stations, has been for as long as I can remember.  Great selection of music, I'm comfortable playing it around my kids (there are a few songs I'll turn it down for [never off, I promise]... but that's just my personal preference).

My husband usually would claim the radio before me in the morning - usually podcasts on his iPod.  I don't remember exactly when I regained control of the remote, so to speak.  I remember turning it on, and just cracking up over something they were discussing.  And as I continued listening, I remember being very thankful that they topics of conversation were not of content that I'd have to turn the radio off when my kids were in the room

Over the summer I was incredibly impressed by the City of the Week outings they were hosting.  Working with small businesses, it's important to me to see the 'hidden gems' that drive our communities highlighted.  I looked forward to the pictures each week, and hearing the stories of many businesses that I never knew existed.

Along the same line, "Free Plug Friday" has been a joy to participate it.  Several of my clients have had events over the last few months, and there's nothing like getting a text from a client saying "OMG! We were on the radio."  (Thanks again guys!)  I love hearing small businesses, and local events put on the forefront.  Sometimes it seems that we don't know about these until it's too late.

I remember "Liking" their Facebook page, that first day I heard them.  As social media is my field of expertise - these guys are rawking it out!  When I look at other 'local celebrity' profiles, I don't see nearly the interaction that these guys get.  And it's not just one sided - they are actually conversing with their listeners throughout the day via Facebook or Twitter.  And the conversations are always interesting - there's nothing like when your page gets hijacked and the conversation lasts for days!

I was able to finally meet the guys after months of social networking interactions.  I totally thought they were joking when they invited me to the studio, but there I was.  Super cool, super nice guys.  I spend so much time promoting my clients, that it was actually weird to be talking about myself and my business.  And again there's nothing like getting a text from a friend "Um, was that you on the radio?".

We sat and chatted for about 20 minutes off air, and honestly, these guys are awesome.  

If you aren't already listening to Tim and Jeff In The Morning - you should be!  And if you are, join in on the conversation!  Like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter (@r8dioTim and @JeffNtheMorning).


It was a sad day on March 12th when they announced that they were leaving the Toledo area.  I'm going to miss listening to you every day - the listeners of 105.7 in Fayetteville, AR are very lucky (thank goodness for internet radio!)

Thanks for all you've done for Toledo guys, on the air and off!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Power In An Email

We all get emails.  A lot of emails.

Sometimes we don't remember signing up for the newsletter.  Sometimes we get email forwards from friends (or people we've only met once).  Sometimes we get 5 emails a day from 1 person/business.  Sometimes it's only a few times a year.

An email can be a beneficial tool to your marketing plan - if done properly.  I find myself some how subscribing myself to email newsletters and then getting bombarded with emails.  Now, I signed up for it because I did want to hear something from you, but not all day every day.

So here are a few tips that I've learned about email marketing:

  • Consider how many you get from any 1 company.  If you think that's too much, do less.  Unless you have a lot to say, don't send more than 1 or 2 a month - if that.  If you have a lot to say - write a blog. 
  • Know your audience, and what will get their attention: What key words or phrases will encourage them to open the email, but not be deceitful and cause your contact to unsubscribe
  • Include links - lots of them!  Usually, your e-newsletter provider will track the clicks; you'll know what got the readers attention for next time.  
  • Don't make it all about you, make it about them.  Offer up a great piece of information (suggesting they follow you on Facebook or Twitter to learn more), promote a giveaways, etc.
  • Be a person, not a machine.  Add some personality to it, this is Social Networking, so stay social!
  • Don't get upset if people unsubscribe - you've done it too!
There are several great services available.  I've been using MailChimp to send my messages, and WuFoo for my opt-in forms.  I'm very pleased with it so far - if you're looking to start with an email campaign, start small, and try it out for free!  If you need help, Sociably Cindy is here for you!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Featured Business: NewTrition

6915 W. Central Ave
Toledo OH 43617

I was originally invited to visit NewTrition after I attended a networking meeting.  I was still young in business and knew nothing of networking, but at that night at the NETT at the Oliver House, I met some people who today I can call close friends.

Melonie had invited me to have a one-to-one at NewTrition, and suggested I try the Blueberry Muffin shake.  OMG it was amazing.  I began stopping in on a regular basis, I enjoyed the comfortable atmosphere and good company.  Most days, if you want to find me, that's where I'll be.

NewTrition offers Herbalife products, and uses the variety of products to make dozens of shakes/smoothies to meet your tastes and dietary needs.  The combo includes a shot of mango/aloe water (trust me - it sounds weird, but it is delicious), a 8oz cup of green tea (plain, peach, lemon or raspberry)

Many people who first stop in to the 'club' (as it is know, all of the regulars are known as 'members') assume that it is all about weight loss.  While that is a component to the Herbalife product line, the message is more about becoming healthy. Recently, I was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance.  When I began feeling run down and sick at the end of the summer, Dawn sat down with me, asked me about my daily eating habits and activities.  My doctor didn't even do that with me after I was diagnosed.  I began stopping in everyday, and I felt my energy levels increase within a few weeks.

The weight loss aspect is also a large part of the business.  Weight loss challenges are offered several times every year, lasting three months at a time.  During these challenges, you get the group support that is proven in any weight loss program. But you also receive information that will help you along in your daily life.  Participants are not required to purchase the Herbalife products, but most of them find themselves getting shakes at NewTrition everyday.

One of the best services offered at NewTrition is something that most adults need, but don't know it.  The metabolism scans will help you identify the right amount of dietary needs your body requires for gaining, losing, or maintaining your weight.

As a young mom, my friends and I have often had discussions as to the best way to lose the last few pounds - and the information I learned from my metabolism scan really helped me.  I eat a mostly vegetarian diet, and after the body scan I discovered I was not getting enough protein.  I need between 75 and 100 grams of protein, and I was maybe getting 30-50 each day.  When I began adding the shakes into my daily meal plan, I became a bit leaner (and if I do say so looked AMAZING at my 10 year reunion after 1 month on the 'shake plan').

The shakes have also helped my son.  Steven is almost 4, and about the size of a 2 year old.  He was born 6 weeks premature, and we've had issues with his growth.  I bring him in with me after I pick him up from preschool a few days a week (he even has a special cup).  He's finally gaining weight, and slowly is starting to grow a few inches.  And he's healthy - when his sisters have been bringing home colds and flu's - he's not been sick once this year.  Which is even more amazing, because since he was 9 months old, he'd develop bronchitis at least twice in the colder months and needed breathing treatments 3 or 4 times a day.

If you're in Sylvania/Sylvania Township durning the day, between 8a and 3p, I encourage you; stop in for the healthiest breakfast or lunch that you can get.  
On Feb 16, Dawn S. has stepped down as owner of New-Trition.  
We all wish her well and will miss her.  

The club will now be maintained by Sue B. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I hit "search" and couldn't find you...

While reading the June issue of 'Inc.' Magazine, I came across the "Crunching The Numbers" feature.  A few of the statistics really stood out to me.

In 2009, only 27% of small businesses had a Facebook Fanpage.  In 2010, this number grew to 41%.  It seems more and more pages are being created every day.  But the problem is: how are people finding these pages?

It's hard enough for businesses to get their websites found, and it's fairly well accepted that to increase traffic to your website you need to have a presence elsewhere.  In today's internet savvy society, while we want to believe that just having a website is enough, that someone enters what they want into their favorite search engine and we'll be found.


You are competing, not only with your competitor down the street, but across town, in the next county, the next state and across the world.  Seriously.  If there is a business that could possibly be doing business remotely where you are physically located, they are seeking out your current and potential customers.

Google Ads and Search Engine Optimization are paid services being employed by your competition.  Have you checked out their social media profile... Do they have a Facebook or Twitter?  Are they up-to-date with it? Are they interacting with their fans/followers?  Do they have images of their product/services? Do they link back to their website?

Whether the answer is 'yes' or 'no', YOU need to be doing the exact same thing (but better, and local)!

Your social media should be an extension of your website, and your website should be an extension of you.

Take a look at your website - do you know what it's doing for you? does it represent who you are and what you do? do you know where you come up in a search?

Now look at your social networks - how many fans/followers do you have? are you giving them information? are they interacting? do you use location marketing?

I by no means can help you build your website, but I know several AMAZING website designers/developers that I can put you in contact with.  And I'm not saying that you need to hire me to do your social networking... not every business needs me, but everyone business needs someone to do it properly!  I encourage you, take some time and really look at your internet presence, is it who and what you want it to be.  Sociably Cindy is available for training, assessments, and maintenance.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Highlighting Local Businesses

If you are a small business owner and would like to grow your reach by being featured in local blogs - here's your opportunity.

Business reviews can assist in your search engine optimization, can reach out to new individuals who can become fans/followers/customers, and can educate your current customers about things that they maybe forgot that you do.
I'd be honored to write something for your business!  My goal for the next year is to feature at least one business per week.  

Your review will be featured on:

Would you like to be one of them?

Fees to be featured are reasonable - all I ask is that I'm able to experience your service or products for myself.
Email Cindy@SociablyCindy.com for details - special gifts for the first 10 who respond.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Why I'm glad there wasn't social media 10 year ago, and why more parents need to be online...

I don't know why some kids just seem to be mean. Why someone would actually take time out of their day to write rude notes and put them in lockers, openly make fun of people in large groups, spread awful lies and rumors, and even threaten or cause physical harm. I don't know why, but I know it happens - it happened to me.

Of it all, two things stand out the most after all these years. The first being the lies about me regarding a so-called-made-up boyfriend. Steve is 3 years older than me and was in college when we started dating my junior year (Spring 2000); so even though he went to various school events with me then, and we've now been married for over 8 years - oh yea, I totally made him up.

The other, and most prominently, were the notes and threats. I have clear memories of these: notes in my locker, notes in my choir book, notes in my softball bag. Hurtful words, lies, threats. I'll never know who wrote them, but I've always had my suspicions. 

But in today's world of technology, bullying comes in the form of cyber bullying - and it doesn't go away as easily.  It's hard enough on kids to handle the bullying at school; home should be a sanctuary.  

Today's teens deal with random texts with insults and threats. Comments on Facebook or Twitter.  Blogs dedicated to how much "Kid A" hates "Kid Z".  All happening at any time day or night, in a medium that is very hard to be controlled.

As a parent, I would recommend that you set up Google or Twitter Alerts with your child's name. If anything is said about your child, you'd know, possibly before they do. Sites such at Twilert give you a mile radius to search by, so you can limit your search to where you live, incase your child shares their name with someone on the other side of the Earth.

Computer monitoring systems are available for you to install into your computer to track your child's online activity, and can be monitored from your own computer. Even if they think that they've deleted the history, you've seen where they've gone. Having this will give you the opportunity to see if your child is being bullied, or is the bully.

The hardest thing to monitor are the cellphones, because we can send a text then delete it and there's no record of it. Or is there? I'm assuming, if you're paying a cellphone bill, you look at the report. Look at the numbers being used to call/text in and out, and then compare them to your child's phone. If you're seeing a large number of text from a particular number, but there is no phonebook listing in your child's phone for it, it may be coming from uninvited sources. If this is the case, call your provider about blocking numbers, or change it and encourage them to keep it private.

My personal suggestion would be to not give them a phone until they are driving.  They don't need it at school (and I know many school officials REALLY don't want your kids to have phones).  But they may need something if they are having car trouble or running late.  If they are in school, the office has a phone if you need to get a hold of them or they you.  If they're at work, their employer probably has a phone, too.   (I mean, who doesn't hate going somewhere and seeing someone who should be working on their cell phone or texting?)

If you are giving your teen a phone - do they need internet? do they need a 8 mega pixel camera? do they need unlimited texting?  Probably not.  They just need to be able to call you if they need you. 

If your child is being affected by cyber bullies, understand that it still can happen even if they don't have a phone or a Facebook page. It can still happen if you're not monitoring it. It can still happen offline as well. You can tell them 500 times a day to ignore it, and that in 20 years it won't matter any more. And that's true.. but the pain is here now. Love them, be patient with them, help them find ways to get it out of their mind.

Being bullied can affect all aspects in a young persons life, and changes in behavior should not go ignored. If you suspect, or know, that your child is being bullied, get the school involved, get other parents involved, and if threats of physical harm are given, get law enforcement officials involved.

For all the young people who may read this - yes, it hurts now, and there will be times over the next few years where those memories will creep up on you. But after graduation, you DO NOT have to see them again; continue to grown and be yourself. The hurtful words do not dictate your life - you do… Be who you are, surround yourself with the people you love and who love you, and you will succeed at whatever you put your mind to.

Here I am, (after I was told I wouldn't do anything with my life) owning two businesses, happily married to my high school sweetheart, and raising three kids. Amazing things can happen. I wish I had the answers, but I don't. But as I'm teaching my young children: smile, keep your head up, and be kind to everyone you meet.