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OK, We Can Do This!

Wouldn’t you think that I would learn from my own experience? I would think so, but I just caught myself NOT doing that! Not a good example.

Finding My Voice was My First Step
On my first post, I talked about how appropriate the exercise of “Finding Your Voice” was as the place to start developing a blog. I believed it then, and I believe it now. On my third post, I described an important client, the Tri-Town Teachers Credit Union and our efforts to develop and implement a content marketing strategy. I said then that a blog was an important component of that strategy and we hoped to get that going soon.

Tri-Town Apple blog
Well, that time is now. We are moving toward the regular publishing of posts on the “Tri-Town Apple”, (the name of their blog), beginning in September. Now, from my previous…

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OK, We Can Do This!

Take a look at this Infographic from Constant Contact…

Constant Contact surveyed 728 small businesses earlier this year to determine “how things were going” particularly about their marketing strategies. As you would expect there were some differences between B2C and B2B, but not a lot. For more information about the survey and to see a copy, click here.
We’ll take a more detailed look at this survey in a later post.

Small Business Pulse 2012
Like this infographic? Get more social media marketing tips from Constant Contact.

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OK, We Can Do This!

In a recent post, I mentioned that I had made a presentation to our Chamber Leads Group on Content Marketing and that I would be covering that presentation in a later post. This is that post.

Don’t Touch That Dial
Wait, before you quickly click to leave me, I am not going to go through that presentation. Just the major points that I think are important and worth consideration. These being:

  • What is Content Marketing (briefly)
  • Why do we care
  • The challenges and what we can do about them
  • Takeaways

A Brief Definition – My adaptation of Joe Pulizz’s Definition

“Content Marketing is the art of understanding exactly what your customers need or want to know or experience and delivering it to them in a relevant and compelling way.”
Adopted from “Get Content Get Customers” by Joe Pulizzi & Newt Barrett

Why Do We Care ?

One Word: Internet

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OK, We Can Do This!

One of the key participants (or “character”) in this story is the Tri-Town Teachers Credit Union. Our internet marketing strategy was described in an earlier post. Over the last 6-7 months the key marketing activity has been a weekly e-mail program. During this period 28 e-mail letters were sent to an average of 834 recipients.We tried to focus each e-mail letter on one topic.

Strategic Objectives
The strategic objectives of the program are to:

  1. Demonstrate that the credit union was competitive with most banks for being the members’ primary financial institution by making them aware of the wide range of services and financial products offered.
  2. Increase member use of the many services such as loans, credit & debit cards, and share accounts (checking).
  3. Increase overall Tri-Town Teachers Credit Union membership.
  4. Be the agent that brings readers to the other key components of the internet marketing strategy, namely the Facebook…

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OK, We Can Do This!

On May 9, 2012 I faced up to the fact that this blog needed an editorial calendar but I did not have one. My comment then was…

I know it. I tell the few people I’ve been coaching about the importance of planning their blog posts with an Editorial Calendar. “Try to go out 3 months”, I tell them, “6 weeks minimum”. Their reply, “Yes, I know, but that’s hard to do”.

You know something, they’re right! I’ve been rolling ideas around in my head over this for a while. “Should I begin with a description of the clients I’m working with or should I deal with specific topics?”, I ask myself. So far, I haven’t heard too many clear-cut answers.

What’s a blogger to do? Well, what I’ve decided to do is produce a few posts, like this one, to learn a few things. For instance,”How much can…

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OK, We Can Do This!

Continuing the introduction of the “characters” in this story, today we’ll meet the Wilton Chamber of Commerce Leads Group (see Tri-Town Teachers Credit Union). This group of about 18 people, all members of the Wilton Chamber, have been meeting twice a month for going on two years. We have only one person from any particular line of business. The purpose is to foster lead generation, both within and outside our group. As you might guess, the group is made up of individuals representing small businesses. A few members work in a local branch office of a larger corporation. In that sense they too, are small business people.

Not Much Experience
As far as I can see, except for one other person, there isn’t much experience with blogging or using social media. For the most part, the members are not really doing what would be required to gain that experience…

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OK, We Can Do This!

Since this blog is primarily a story about small businesses and organizations using the internet for marketing, or more accurately, learning how to use the internet for more effective marketing, it is important, as in any story, to introduce the main “characters”.

At this time, the most important character in our story is the Tri-Town Teachers Credit Union. I have supported them for about eight years as their “webmaster”. Until late 2011, the web site was their only foray into the world of internet marketing and it was essentially an information reference for its members.

Their membership base of approximately 2400 members is primarily the teachers, active and retired, from three local communities in Connecticut; Westport, Weston and Wilton. Membership is also available to family members of eligible employees.

In September 2011, the management held two listening sessions with members to learn how communications could be improved. The message was…

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Recent post on “OK, We Can Do This”

OK, We Can Do This!

I know it. I tell the few people I’ve been coaching about the importance of planning their blog posts with an Editorial Calendar. “Try to go out 3 months”, I tell them, “6 weeks minimum”. Their reply, “Yes, I know, but that’s hard to do”.

You know something, they’re right! I’ve been rolling ideas around in my head over this for a while. “Should I begin with a description of the clients I’m working with or should I deal with specific topics?”, I ask myself. So far, I haven’t heard too many clear-cut answers.

What’s a blogger to do? Well, what I’ve decided to do is produce a few posts, like this one, to learn a few things. For instance,”How much can I bite off in one post?” or “How much time is it going to take to produce a post?” Since there are very few readers currently, any…

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The First Post: Finding Your Voice

Here’s the first post on my new blog, “OK, We Can Do This”. If anyone would like to offer a comment, I’d be grateful.

The First Post: Finding Your Voice

Posted on May 3, 2012

Like the title says, this is my first post on OK, We Can Do This. Even though it is not my first post ever, I struggled nevertheless, trying to come up with the “momentous” idea that would make this first effort noteworthy. That, in spite of the fact, I knew almost no one would ever read it!

Find Your Voice
Then I remembered the phrase, “Find Your Voice”. I heard that said by Rob Petersen during a presentation at the Wilton Library. Rob was talking about Content Marketing on the internet, particularly the use of Social Media and his thought, “Find Your Voice” was a point made on how to get started. Incidentally Rob makes an excellent presentation and has an impressive resume. You can find out more about Rob at BarnRaisers and I recommend doing so.

Now I didn’t write down exactly what Rob meant with his point, “Find Your Voice”, but I’m sure it included thoughts about style and audience. A while ago I took his advice and drafted a short “white paper” for my own use. It was my attempt to find my voice, particularly for this blog and wherever else my efforts might lead.On reflection, it seemed like a good place to begin. (continue reading)

Creating an Efficient Daily Mail System

“Creating an Efficient Daily Mail System to Capture Your Important Papers”

 Not a lot of people enjoy the 11th hour rush of gathering important documents for their annual tax return, nor the endless shuffling of paper which comes into the house on a daily basis.  Follow these simple steps to create a system that handles your daily mail and captures your important papers at the same time.

Create the following folders:

  • Tax-related documents
    • Make a list of all documents required for your annual tax return preparation.
    • At the beginning of each year, create a folder for these documents and label it accordingly.  (2012 – Tax Documents.)  Affix the list of required documents to the inside front cover for easy reference.  Documents are placed in this folder as they are received.
      • You may want to have sub folders for tax documents (2012 – Bank/Investment Statements, etc.).  Whether you use the sub folder system or not, you have captured all necessary documents in one place.
  • When tax time rolls around, you have a completed folder of documents you and/or your accountant need for tax preparation. 
  • Bills to be Paid
    • As you open your daily mail, place all bills in this folder and process according to their due dates.  Schedule bill payment in your calendar two times per month.
    • This helps you stay current and avoid late fees.
  • Attention Required
    • Mail which is not time sensitive but does require your attention is placed in this folder to
    • review at a later time.  Review its contents weekly or bi-weekly so the volume does not become overwhelming.  Make a habit of handling or filing each item as you review it.
    • You will manage your paperwork once, not repeatedly.

This method takes moments to accomplish if followed routinely and achieves the following:

0  you have an efficient method for dealing with paper that requires your time and attention

0  you save countless hours gathering documents as tax time approaches

0  you avoid piles of paper

0 you avoid reprocessing those same piles over and over again.

Robin Roscillo, founder of Back Office Solutions, is an efficiency coach and speaker.  She has a deep knowledge of office management, with experience managing the operations of small businesses.  Robin designs educational forums on optimizing individual and office efficiency and is available for presentations, workshops or roundtables tailored to the needs of any business organization or individual.

 

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