5 Ways to Make Small Business Saturday your Best Shopping Day this Holiday Season #ShopSmall #SmallBizSat
Thanksgiving hasn’t even arrived and I’m already hearing Holiday music every where. I wonder if there have been studies done correlating people’s spending habits to the music they hear? With the amount of emails I get and ads I see about Black Friday and more recently Cyber Monday, it makes me feel like both businesses and consumers have mastered these two designated shopping days. So today, I’d like to give you some insight on yet another day you can shop to get into the Holiday spirit. That day is Small Business Saturday. This year Small Business Saturday is on November 30th, 2013! Taken directly from Wikipedia:
“Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. First observed on November 27, 2010, it is a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which feature big box retail and e-commerce stores respectively. By contrast, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local”.
Being a small business owner myself, I love the opportunity to support other hard working individuals. Small businesses create jobs and small businesses boost the economy. Let’s show as much support for our small businesses this year as we do to the big box stores. To make this the best Small Business Saturday for you, here are 5 ways for you to make Small Business Saturday your best shopping day.
1. Register your American Express Card- American Express originally coined and promoted Small Business Saturday and they continue to encourage consumers to shop small on this day. To make Small Business Saturday even more successful, American Express will generously give you a $10 statement credit if you spend $10 or more at a small business on this day. You must register your card in advance here. It takes just a few minutes to sign up here. After you’ve registered your card, you can check out American Express’ directory of small businesses that are participating in their promotion.
2. Shop Smart- Just like you strategically plan out your Black Friday shopping trips, plan out your Small Business Saturday shopping. Think about things you may need, people you want to give gifts to, small businesses that may be owned by friends or family and check to see if any businesses you love are offering specials. I’ve made it a tradition each year to spend Small Business Saturday shopping for things that I’ll use to host friends for my birthday in December. (Speaking of birthdays, make sure you check out 13 Happy Birthday Promotions for You). I know I’ll have to spend money anyway, so why not take advantage and Shop Small on this day. Last year I bought party supplies at a Liquor Box, one of the top local markets in La Jolla. The owner was extremely friendly and he proudly had a “Shop Small” sticker on his window. He made to sure remind me to sign up for the American Express promotion (I had already done it but it was great that he was promoting it). The year before that, I bought delicious cupcakes for friends to enjoy from CUPS.
3. Use your social influence- Help everyone enjoy a day dedicated to supporting small businesses. You always hear small business owners saying that “Word of Mouth” is their most successful form of marketing. Well Social Media is the largest form of “Word of Mouth” so make sure to spread the word online! Tweet with the #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat Hashtags, encourage your friends to sign up for their statement credit on American Express. Share this article and others promoting Small Business Saturday.
4. Dine with Friends- If shopping isn’t your thing, then take this opportunity to try a new restaurant or revisit your favorite one. What a great day to make an excuse to catch up with a friend. Thousands of restaurants are considered small businesses so you’ll have plenty of options to satisfy your culinary cravings. If you both have registered American Express Cards, politely ask the waiter to split the bill so you both get savings. Dining with friends always reminds of the time I met Keith Ferrazzi, the author of my favorite business book Never Eat Alone.
5. Take advantage of Small Business Saturday promotions- Aside from the American Express promotion, see if any other small businesses are offering promotions. I was very happy to receive my first email promoting Small Businesses by Uber, a transportation company that makes a mobile application connecting passengers with drivers. They encourage consumers to sign up for the American Express statement credit and use it on an Uber for $10 off. They also have many small business stories on their blog. (Side note: If you’ve never used Uber, you can use my code: UBERSDMEL for an additional $10 off your first ride. ) Yep, beat the Holiday traffic by taking Uber instead. Pay attention to other small businesses who may be offering specials or promotions on this day.
If you have any other tips on how to be a successful shopper on Small Business Saturday please let me know in the comments. Likewise, if you’re a business owner and you’re offering a promotion for Small Business Saturday, please comment below as well. Happy Small Business Saturday!
I’m currently in Downtown Las Vegas at the Tech Cocktail Celebrate conference. It’s been a few years since I’ve been in Vegas for a conference and I’m doing my best to follow my own tips on how to avoid conference fatigue in Las Vegas. I would like to thank Tech Cocktail for inviting me to this innovative event. It’s an honor to be here in the company of so many successful entrepreneurs and leaders in the tech industry. Tech Cocktail has traveled the nation seeking the hottest new startups and brought them all together here at Tech Cocktail Celebrate. The startup competition that’s currently happening reminds me watching the show Shark Tank. Hopeful entrepreneurs are sharing their business to the audience and panel of judges and up for grabs is $10,000 along with other prizes. I’ve talked to over a dozen startups and am amazed at their enthusiasm and ambition for their companies. To contribute to their success I have created a list of tips that I feel will be helpful for startups to continue their quest for success with both consumers, investors and in this case judges of the startup competition.
1. Keep your pitch short, sweet and on point- I walked around the expo/ startup pavilion this morning and there were several companies that just lost me when trying to explain their company. After leaving their booth I still had no idea why I would use their product. These companies all tried to give me a really long pitch with information that was not relevant to me. The companies that really caught my attention were the ones that could explain their product/service to me in just a few sentences and make me immediately feel like they were giving me a solution to a need.
2. Practice and time your presentation- When presenting to investors or in a competition like the one currently being run at Tech Cocktail Celebrate you have a limited amount of time to speak. Here at the competition, when your time ends, there is a corresponding loud “cowbell” ring. Most companies weren’t done with their pitches when the bell rang because they spent too much time on information unrelated to their product/service such as talking too much about their own background. If an investor or judge is interested, they will most likely ask you about your background after your pitch. I do a lot of public speaking and have learned that it’s extremely important to time and practice your speech to ensure you’re within the time constraints so you’re able to get all the important information across.
3. Make sure your demo works- Nothing is more disappointing than having a demo that doesn’t work. Have a backup plan, have a backup plan to your backup plan and make sure that even if your demo stops working, no one will ever know because you’re so prepared with your back ups.
4. Answer tough questions before they are asked- Investors, judges and even consumers ask the same questions over and over again. Tough questions involve revenue, growth model and safety concerns. Include these answers in your pitch or presentation so that you’re already overcoming objections before they’re asked. This also adds an element of credibility to your company because you’re touching on subjects that really matter. This can even be done on social media. If your startup has a blog (which I highly recommend) utilize your blog and other social media channels to provide answers to commonly asked questions.
5. Know your numbers- This tip is pretty straight forward. When someone asks you a numbers questions, you should know the answer immediately. Know how many people are already in your community, how many users you have, how much revenue you’ve made, how much profit you’re made, etc.
6. Stop saying “we haven’t done any marketing”- As a marketing professional, this phrase makes me cringe! Not doing any marketing is nothing to brag about. I have heard it from at least 3 different start ups already. And after this phrase usually follows a list of publications and blogs the start up has been featured in described as their PR. PR itself is part of your marketing strategy so to say that no marketing has been done, is false. Maybe it’s because I specialize in marketing but if i’m going to invest in a company I want to hear all their strategic marketing plan and how they’re going to reach out to people who are potential customers. Rather than down playing your marketing, show that you really understand how to successfully market your startup by talking about marketing successes.
I am fairly new to the startup scene so as much as I hope that people can learn from this post, I also want to acknowledge that I’ve personally learned so much myself just by being here. I’ve learned about new technologies, marketing strategies and I’ve been inspired to have a more positive mindset about succeeding in anything you set your mind to. Thanks again so much to Tech Cocktail for this amazing opportunity. If you’re at Tech Cocktail Celebrate I look forward to connecting with you.
Hello Marketing Melodie readers! It’s been a busy summer/fall for me. I’ve been teaching social media workshops and classes, creating marketing classes, working with clients to optimize their online presence and I’ve also been traveling. I’m grateful that no matter where I travel to (my most recent trip being to Chicago), I am always happy to return to home sweet San Diego. Now that I’m back I have some time to share things I’m working on. I’ve been hosting Digital Media Now workshops for a few years now. Our Digital Media Now for Yogis workshop this summer at Riffs Yoga Yard was such a success that we’re bringing it back! If you want to learn how to use social media to grow your business, then you’re in luck. The next Digital Media Now for Yogis is coming up on Saturday November 2nd, 2013. Here are all the details:
Workshop Topic: Personal Branding on Social Media- With an abundance of digital technologies available, it’s easy to become overwhelmed when creating your own marketing strategy. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to navigate digital marketing and social media tools such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to attract more clients, grow your business and be a valuable resource in your industry.
- Date: Saturday November 2nd, 2013
- Time: 12-1:30pm
- Cost: $39 Early Bird (Before Oct 25th), $49 Regular Price
- Location: Riffs Acoustic Music and Yoga Yard- 5510 La Jolla Blvd La Jolla, CA 92037
- Register: Click HERE to sign up and reserve your spot
- Actionable content and tips you can implement NOW (No Opportunity Wasted) to start marketing yourself as a yoga/ fitness professional.
- Knowledge on how to serve as a trusted subject matter expert and resource in yoga and fitness.
- Understanding on how to use Social Media tools to create a compelling brand.
It is recommended that attendees bring a laptop. If a laptop isn’t available, please bring a notepad and pen. It’s been almost 6 months since the last Digital Media Now for Yogis workshop. Within that time the social media landscape has completely changed, new tools have surfaced along with new opportunities to market your business. My workshops are different every time and my material is always updated to reflect the continuously changing landscape of social media. If you came last time but want to come again, I guarantee you will learn something new!
If you run a yoga teacher training program and are interested in having this valuable program as part of your training, please let me know and I’m happy to discuss more details with you. I look forward to seeing you at Riffs in a few weeks and remember to reserve your spot by registering in advance HERE.
Learn about Social Media’s Importance for Business in the 21st Century at the next Rice Club Luncheon with Marketing Melodie
Happy summer everyone! It’s been a while since my last post about my marketing and social media workshop at Riffs. I’m happy to say that the workshop was a success. I was able to teach another group of people who share my passion for yoga and wellness how to grow their business through social media.
Since my last update I’ve been staying very busy with community events (I attended the Sustainable Brands Conference, Social Media Day San Diego and the Lyft San Diego Launch Party), client work and my courses for National University. I am almost done developing an advanced social media course for their MBA program and I just started teaching a new Interactive Strategies course. I am amazed at how much has changed since I first started teaching this course almost 2 years ago. This is why I always emphasize to anyone learning about social media that it’s important to be flexible and open minded when working with these tools because they are constantly changing.
Although most of my work takes place behind the scenes, one of my favorite parts of running my own Marketing Consulting business is the opportunity for public speaking. This gives me chance to get in front of interested individuals and share my passion for using social media as a powerful business tool. I have another speaking engagement coming up in a few weeks and I would love to invite anyone interested in learning more about social media to attend. I’m honored that the Asian Business Association has invited me to speak at their Rice Club Luncheon on social media, its positive impact and importance for business in the 21st century. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask! Details on the event and how to register are below.
- Topic: Social Media, Its Positive impact and Importance for Business in the 21st Century- Social media has a growing presence in business marketing and outreach today, as more and more people are looking to social media for news, deals and social interaction. At this Rice Club Luncheon, you will learn how social media can help your business grow.
- Date: Tuesday July 23rd
- Time: 11:30am- 1pm
- Location: Jasmine Seafood Restaurant, 4609 Convoy Street San Diego, CA 92111
- Cost: $30 for ABA members, $40 for non-members (Price includes lunch and networking)
- Register HERE
I look forward to seeing you at the next Rice Club Luncheon. If you’re interested in hiring me to speak at your upcoming event or conference, feel free contact me and check out my speaking page on my website which lists my speaking experience and topics.
I’m always honored to speak and teach social media to professionals who are eager to learn and continue their education in order to be more successful in both growing their business and connecting with their customers. This Sunday, May 19th, 2013 I have the pleasure of teaching social media to a new audience. I’m hosting a social media workshop that’s part of the 3rd Annual Veterinary Specialty Hospital Symposium called: Social Media Branding for your Veterinary Business.
The audience will be comprised of professionals in the veterinary industry who work tirelessly to help our animal friends. The event is located at the University of San Diego campus and is open to anyone who works in the industry or who may be interested in the topics presented to veterinarians. I have presented and hosted events at USD before. The campus is beautiful so I’m happy to return. You can still register here.
I look forward to speaking in front of this group because I know they are all passionate about what they do and because it makes me happy to see so many industries understanding and embracing social media. If you are interested in having me speak at your next event, please contact me via my speaking page for rates and availability. More recently I have been presenting to Fitness and Yoga professionals since I’ve combined my passions for marketing and yoga into my career but I am open to speaking to any group interested in learning about the benefits of social media and how using it strategically can businesses grow and connect with customers.
Attention Chocolate Lovers! I’ve got a sweet treat for you! This weekend the Maritime Museum of San Diego hosts the Second Annual Chocolate Festival on the Bay and I’ve got your golden ticket to this delicious event. Any event on the bay is awesome simply for the gorgeous view. I’ve hosted yoga events on the bay and attended other food and wine festivals on the bay so I’m excited to go back this weekend! First here’s some info:
The two day tasting and educational chocolate showcase along San Diego Bay features food, wine and a variety of chocolate treats. This delicious event brings together the world-renowned Maritime Museum of San Diego with many other vendors including Mars Chocolate North America.
We love eating chocolate but sometimes it’s fun to learn about what we’re eating too. A team of Mars Chocolate History Ambassadors will tell the historical bean-to-beverage story of chocolate using authentic tools including cocoa pods, cocoa beans and nibs, a hot stone metate, winnowing baskets, chocolate drink pots and stirrers throughout the day. Attendees can touch, taste, smell, and experience chocolate as it was enjoyed by early Americans at every demonstration by sampling American Heritage Chocolate.
This event is family friendly so there will be something for everyone! Kids can build their own chocolate pizza, make crafts, play games, and go on a scavenger hunt to win prizes. Adults can enjoy wine and chocolate pairings, view chocolate-focused demonstrations and learn kitchen tricks with chocolate. Everyone can experience chocolate at vendor booths.
Wine, Cheese and Chocolate: A Festival for your Palette is a 21-and-over event being held on Friday, May 3 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The main festival takes place on Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Chocolate Festival is included in the cost of Museum admission that weekend. Details and tickets can be found here.
I have a pair of tickets to give away to the festival. The tickets allow you to go to the festival either on Saturday or Sunday. I want to give these tickets away to the biggest chocolate lover in my community so here’s how to win:
1. Write a comment on this blog post and answer the following questions: 1. What is your favorite chocolate treat? 2. Which chocolate company do you feel has the best social media presence and why? Each answer gets you 1 entry. You are welcome to answer both questions for 2 entires.
2. Each person will receive an additional entry if you follow me on Twitter @MyMelodie and Retweet this post!
I will announce the winner on Friday evening so hurry up and enter! Good luck and I can’t wait to hear about your favorite chocolate treats and learn about what chocolate companies are doing it right on social media.