Meet the new baby!

The past two years the  customers that have been referred to me most, have me individuals and business's who need(ed) assistance re-branding- or transitioning on to the next big thing in their lives.
As I began working with these individuals everyone  had gone through several MAJOR life changing events. 
These are times that I call "book mark" moments, the starting or ending of a relationship, job, or home. 

Re-branding, re-discovery, re-birth,  or mid-life crisis, what ever you choose to call it.  What every label you want to put on it, every human has chapters in their lives, and you as the authors of your story get to decide which path's  and 
directions you choose to take within the chapters.

When I am in a personal transition time, I  use these times  to assess where I am at, evaluate the tools I know how to use,  and refine how I am using them, or add additional skills to my tool box to help my clients do the same, so they can achieve the goals they imagine.

My ongoing  evolution has branched out into a new Lifestyle Blog titled
 "Be the Garden"  In this new forum, I will share tips, recipes, interviews and articles  each week about people like you who are successful business owners, managing a busy household, and like to play hard!   If your   interested learning ways to keep yourself and your family reclaiming health, sanity and balance to your lives,  then you can "Be the Garden"  and use this as a launching off point for a new way of living!  Greener, with more space for the things that are important to you.  
I invite you to subscribe to the blog, which you can get delivered for free once a week. 

Are you ready to get started on what's next?   Then let's talk!   Most initial consultations are over a walk or coffee-



I'm Coming to your town:


If your interested in meeting for a private or group consultation or workshop let me know:
Ready to schedule a planning meeting with you or your leadership team? Email me!


Coming to:

Washington: Seattle Wa:  March 27-29th- schedule your lunch or post work meeting
Florida:         Clearwater Fl: May 19-22nd-
California:     SF / Central Coast / LA / OC/ SD- Schedule your private or group consultation or workshop


Be the garden direct link:  http://bethegarden.blogspot.com/

3 Free gifts for your holiday!






Mid December- We are all working like mad to STOP and spend time with our loved ones.

As you look at the calendar we are just a couple of weeks from 2012!!! 
  I am always surprised by this very small window from Thanksgiving to the year end holidays, a flurry of people, food, and  family. It’s stressful!!! 


 ESPECIALLY when you have to stretch your dollars even further than before.
What can you do to prepare for the holidays without spending much or ANY money at all?  


1)    Grab your calendar or smart phone and a note book (or your computer)
Start going backward month by month and begin listing the big projects you worked on. 
You are pulling together your list of accomplishments, which you can then compare to your list of goals.  Each big projects and achievements should be either achieving a goal or a  stepping stone toward accomplishing a big goal.

2)    In a separate column list the names of new people you met in relation to your creative business each month.  I don’t mean the 100s of facebook “friends” who you don’t really know, , I mean the people that have referred work to you,  Hired you for a project, or introduce you to important people that have helped you this year.


3)    Drop the people on this list a email or call  Just connect to say thanks for working with me! Or let’s have coffee and talk about what you have been up to...  *Have these individuals already been invited to join your email or newsletter? (you can just include a sign up link in your signature line, and leave them the option to join).

PLAN + GROW + NETWORK = MOVE FORWARD 

Measuring your success and growing your network of  contacts are two important tasks for all  business owners.  Do you need help with a upcoming project? or need help getting organized, focused and moving forward?  

Tamra Engle is a independent  business strategist based in the S.F. bay area she is available for private consultations to help you develop your creative project or business. You can read more about her and join her mailing list at www.tamraengle.com  guitartam@gmail.com   *Save 33% now! email mail me at guitartam@gmail.com  to order your  Holiday Gift Certificates  thru December 31st!

Getting started on Twitter Pt1

PART 1 of 2:


Twitter is another in the arsenal of social media tools that are a essential part of a creative person's online "tool box". 


It is probably the  easiest social media tool to use, and one that many are afraid to use, simply because they don't know how it works. 


 I am going to help remove the fear barrier and present  a two part posting to help you understand and USE twitter. 


Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's subscribers who are known as followers.  Twitter is also a awesome way to connect with new potential fans, while building a relationship with your current fans.
You can use it from a mobile device and can also synch it to your Facebook profile and update both sites at once!  Twitter  updates are all about the things that happen between email and blog posts- these "little things" are what connect you to the other people around the world that love the same things you do.


TWITTER FACTS:

  1. It's free
  2. w/ over 18 million users It's the 3rd fastest growing online social media site.
  3. Your connected to your fan base and interact w/ Tweets, direct message & replies however you DO NOT have to follow everyone that is following you!
  4. Build brand recognition- A great tool to build your brand presence, you can connect to thousands. and there is NO limit to the number of people who can follow you (ie: Lady Gaga @ladygaga has 7,955,672 followers and is following 144,989)!
  5. You can synch Twitter with Facebook to link your status updates, keeping your fans (regardless of which is their favorite platform) up to date AND saving you time by not updating multiple platforms!
With all these great benefits how do you get started?

  1. Select your User Name (Remember to keep your branding consistent, so use a name that matches your website or myspace for consistency)  The name you use is picked up in google searches.
  2. Get a quick overview:  quick video http://www.commoncraft.com/twitter 
  3. Sign up @ http://www.twitter.com 
  • Follow the few sign-in steps entering user name, password & your email
  • Twitter helps you by searching your address book to see if anyone else you know is already using twitter. You also have the option to send a email to your friends.
  • Make sure you take the time to set up your profile, include a picture (it shows up w/ your tweets) your bio and a link back to your web site.
      4.  Link to your Mobile  If you have a good text-messaging plan and a high tolerance for receiving loads of text on your mobile.  You can also simply opt into receiving text from a few select people.  

BONUS FEATURES:
 To text from your phone- send messages to 40404 and they are sent directly to your twitter feed.

To direct message (DM)  friends who are following you using your cell type "d" followed by their user name.

If you want to get started, follow me @guitartam and tune in to my Pt 2 of this blog post for more tips and Twix using twitter! ;-)
If you are interested in organizing and prioritizing your brand and social media then click here
and let's getting started!

Have a Twit-wific day!

=Tamra=



The Twitter Book
References:

http://www.twitter.com
http://wwwfacebook.com

Photo credits:  http://aboutonlinetips.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/twitter-SEO.jpg
What have you done in your life:  http://bit.ly/hCRazr 

Truth and lies about buying


One of the great gifts my parents gave me, was the love of books.
I  LOVE reading biographies. I am a sucker for a good story about about how someone overcame odds to be very successful, and used their success to help others.
These books usually share space on my nightstand with several  other books / blogs that I enjoy reading before I go to bed each night.
These are some tools I use to stay current on trends, and business models so I can help all of my  clients be as successful as possible.

I just read a awesome book by Martin Lindstrom called Buy-ology.
I have included a link to the book at the end of this blog which I really  recommend you buy!
If you haven't already read it, Martin explains  how "neuro-marketing" influences buying decisions for all the brands that we grew up with, and  have in our homes and businesses today.  These brands are using the neuro-marketing data to sell their products quite successfully despite the economic climate.
  Before you yawn, check out the book! There you'll see your favorite brands and understand why YOU are subconsciously buy them again and again.

When ever I read books like this, I start looking at my world a little differently.
For example, most of us have Facebook and Twitter accounts right?  If your like me your Facebook inbox is overflowing with invites to no fewer than 50 local shows and events people want you to attend that week.
 Most of them you probably delete without ever opening them, because there are just so MANY of them.

Prior to writing this blog, I  opened 15 randomly, to share someone utilizing  "fan engagement" something to draw me in. However, each example was nearly identical as the next, with the message  COME TO MY Show/Event.
I know through the years I have spent hundreds of  hours promoting shows, sending out invitations, flyers, using a variety of platforms with very mixed results.


Here's my question to you, can you describe your brand? and how is it unique? If you can't, then neither can your customers and fans, and then they don't buy your product.

In earlier blogs I have shared  the importance of developing your on unique brand- creating a compelling marketing strategy, as well as properly targeting your audience.
For the 1st time readers you can get started with my  tip sheet   which has 10 things you can do to create your personal brand- it is only $5 and has lot's of great things to help get you started. I made it very  affordable, and I know each of you think your business is worth a $5 investment. 

 Do something different:


When you are promoting a event you need to engage your fans.  Here is your chance to show how you are different from everyone else-  Include a video clip from your last event,  (pick a clip or highlights that give the viewer a peek into what one of your shows are like, don't pick some blackened room with distorted sound, that doesn't SHOW people what makes you unique. It doesn't have to be professional quality, it can be a flip or phone video or even a  :30 slide show of pictures from previous events-You want to really get your fan's excited INCLUDE THEM in the promo. put a favorite new song behind the video images  and include the written info during the :30-:45 video that invites people to the event  and don't forget to  include a link to your website!

In your brief message perhaps suggest, if you have enjoyed a recent show or event,  I hope you can make it on XXXX night, or IF YOU CANT make it, please  send this invitation to 2 friends that you think might enjoy the event.

Use your mailing list, these are your real content buying FAN's not the 900 people who have friended you on a social media page. These are  the individuals that said by signing your mailing list  "I like you and want to know what you are doing, and probably have bought something from you!" But using your mailing list , that alone isn't enough.
By taking this simple step you have just engaged me, I have a video to watch listen to, and a call to action. The bonus is the message is delivered directly to someone who cares about your event, show, or product, NOT the person who is  one of your many social media "friends" that have never laid down any money to see your product.  Get CREATIVE!


If your ready to simply get started on your personal branding strategy  CLICK HERE  and let's talk!

I would love to hear and SEE your favorite successful "brand"promotion stories, comment below
OR  subscribe to this blog and then send me your video promo's to guitartam@gmail.com   I will select the best video from my subscribers and  run a follow up blog highlighting YOUR cool promotion.  It's a excellent way for you to get you some more business too!



=Tamra=
"Providing business solutions for creative minds"
www.tamraengle.com





References:
Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy
http://fiverr.com/206810
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuromarketing
http://facebook.com
http://twitter.com
http://www.tamraengle.com/contact.php
http://www.tamraengle.com

Photo credit:  http://www.hudsonriverhousing.org/images/midimage_mailinglist.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3270/2842816024_fdd0380153.jpg

10 steps to creating your Personal Brand


To be in business today, The most important job is to be head marketer of a brand called “you." If your not clear on what the brand is, it will not be clear to your customers. You will know, because they aren’t buying.


Are you selling lots of “product”? Are your shows, exhibits, and business humming? If not, then you need to spend some time clearly defining who “you the brand” are. I have listed some quick steps to help get you started on creating your own “personal brand”.


Step 1: Create your unique value proposition:
What makes you different than your peers? Your strengths, your passions, and your goals? If you left your job today, what would your colleagues miss? Know who you are, as well as who you are not. And play to your strengths.


Step 2: Find out how others see you: 
Ask trusted colleagues, co-workers, and friends for four or five adjectives (action words) they would use to describe you. What are you good at? What are your strengths? Write them down.


Step 3: Identify your goals/ priorities for the Year:
List 5 big priorities for yourself. To insure success make them
Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timebound?
This helps you craft a message to reach them.


Step 4: Identify your target audience:
Just like Starbucks knows that their target audience is coffee drinkers, you need to define to whom you want to send your message.
This will not only help you clarify your message, it will help you deliver it to the right places.


Step 5: Pay attention to the details
Everything you do ultimately contributes to your personal brand.
Once your brand has been defined, make sure that the little things -- the way you dress, your body language, how you behave with co-workers, the emails you write – are all consistent with your brand message.


Step 7: Update your Bio / resume
Go through your Bio and resume to determine it is consistent with your brand.
Ensure they accurately defines who you are, and is in line with both your short-term and long-term goals. Self penned bio's stand out a mile a way invest in having a professional craft these for you! 


Step 8: Own your own website
Remember how your Mom used to tell you “you never get a chance to make a 2nd 1st impression?”
Your website is a direct reflection of YOU, a home-made site stands out a mile away, and reflects a level of quality readers will associate with your brand. Find web sites you really love and look at who built them, those are the people you want to set up your site, let the professionals do the work to make YOU look your best. This is also the hub of your social media network, here you own content, look and feel, AND your fan list. It should highlight your professional accomplishments, your skills and knowledge, what you stand for, and your overall value.


Step 8: Become a social networker
Set up accounts at social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Connect with those in your target audience, don’t friend EVERY person that comes to you. Remember you want to focus on QUALITY not quantity. It doesn’t matter if you have 3,500 fans if only 10 of them buy from you. Create a relevant network of colleagues, fans, & businesses to subscribe to your pages. Contribute and interact to relevant updates on a daily basis. Make sure your updates are consistent to your branding message.


Step 10: Have a Newsletter
Constant Contact and My Newsletter builder are great Newsletter platforms to help you promote yourself to your target audience.
Commit to posting a newsletter no more than 1-2 times a month to announce shows or projects you are working on. Do not add people to your mailing list unless THEY have signed up, and do not mass text, or email groups of people (unless your using your newsletter platform.  These platforms offer subscribers a UN-subscribe link; so they can opt out, don’t be bummed if you lose a subscriber, you want a base of product buying show supporting fans. If your a spammer you will lose your fan base!


Would you like to share any personal brand success stories? add your comments below


If your ready to get started,  Then lets talk! 





























Photo Credit:
http://www.ad-i.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/creative.jpg


Reference:
www.facebook.com
www.twitter.com
www.salarybuilder.com
www.constantcontact.com
www.mynewsletterbuilder.com/



Juggling your Social Media





Are you juggling your Social Media?


Most artists  I speak to regardless of their mediums -music, paint, sculpture, photography 
have realized that  having a social media presence is a necessary part of their promotional program if they expect to make a consistent living.   


 Then, they proceed to bad mouth the social media site(s) for not respecting their privacy and not bringing them thousands of product buying customers.  Honestly, is that that the social media platforms fault? Or yours for not knowing how to properly use the free promotional tool?


Your social media program is only effective with good content that your people care about reading.  Remember the consumers drive social media not the sellers, so you need to give YOUR people what they want or they ignore you and go away.


Trying strategies that mainstream acts  like Radiohead or Coldplay are using are not the tools YOU as a new or emerging artist need to  employ since these bands  already have a massive fan base.  What you need to focus on is creating your own fan base of loyal, product buying customers.
If your a newbie to the social media world where do you connect?   Do you have to connect with all the platforms?  what do I say? when do I say it? and how the heck does this site work?

Most of these sites encourage you to "friend" or grow your list of followers, are you targeting your customers?   If you haven't already read 1,000 True Fans this can help you start thinking about who "your people" are.



WHICH SITES TO USE?


Each of these sites all have different business models toward privacy and disclosure.
Facebook is frequently making modifications to their privacy guidelines and they suggest you only friend your friends and family.  While on the right side of your page they strongly encourage you connect to someone who ISN'T your family or friend.  Facebook is interested in promoting huge growth in users of ALL kinds.


While Twitter  in their privacy guidelines indicates "most of the information you provide us is information you are asking to make public".    So a good rule of thumb is if you don't want certain information made public then DO NOT put it on the www!


For many of you Twitter remains a confusing platform, limited to 140 characters how do you maximize it's effectiveness?


I always encourage my clients to connect with your fans, or people who will be interested in buying your products or services.   What is the best way to get started?


1) You need to follow others start by "following" fans that are already buying from you. Go to your email fan list-  these are people who are asking  to keep in contact with you. Take the time to write then a personal note thanking them for the connection. Just a couple of lines that thank them and include a link to your website.
Google their email address and see if they have Twitter / Facebook accounts and then you can see  which sites you should connect with them on.


2) Provide value for your followers  (if they just came to a show, or perhaps missed a show) put together a short video or picture slide show with one of your songs playing in the background. I don't know any artist that feels they have enough product buying fans so your show or installation highlights show them what there missing.


Play a fun holiday song to share w/ your fans- load that video on Youtube and create a link to it then tweet about it.  "Look at the great time we had w/ our fans  at Sat's show", or "Happy Holidays from _insert artist name here__
Include your website or where they can connect w/ you in the message!!
   Use http://bit.ly/  to shorten your links, AND Bitly has analytics built in so you can track how many folks click on the links and you can begin to develop ideas about what people really like to see, think about how YOU can engage them, and get them to respond and share the links.

3) Speak consistently, when there is something worth discussing- For your networks to be useful you need to not only provide information but RESPOND to others you are following, what bands and artists do you like, what projects are you working on together.  Things move so quickly on in the Social Media world that you need to regularly participate, while communicating with your fans.


At the end of the day with more and more users on these platforms being able to have  your "voice" heard by your customers is extremely important. We are quickly reaching  a saturation point.  Have you noticed it is getting really difficult to  stay on top of upcoming shows on Facebook.  When artists spam events multiple time your little event may be buried and not even seen.
So these tips are just starting points to help you with your online promotional strategy,
if this is the extent of the planning you are doing, your voice will be lost in the sea of other voices.  Ask yourself are the people you are connected to on line the individuals who are waiting to buy more of your product?  If not then  we should talk. and thanks to the internet, we can do that no matter where in the world you may be.


 Now is the perfect time to start planning your social media strategy for 2011, Let me help you connect with your TRUE  fans, that  hearing your voice, and buy your products.


   If your ready to get started, let me help you.


Just click on the words Business Strategist  to schedule your Business Strategist consultation or gift package from anywhere in the world.  Gift packages purchased before Dec 24th will save $41!!


I am excited to help you make 2011 the year you see benefit from your social media strategy.


I also love to hear your comments, and invite you to share my blog with artists that you would love to succeed! 





















References:

Photo Credits:  http://www.winextra.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/twitterfront.jpg
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_f1npTynErkM/TOGZDEGoc0I/AAAAAAAAAZk/pSudVvr_S40/s1600/social+media+bandwagon.jpg
http://www.govdelivery.co.uk/portals/building-better/images/JugglingImage.jpg

1,000 true fans: http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2008/03/1000_true_fans.php

News Corp may axe MySpace





In the growing sea of social media, knowing which sites  to use  can be intimidating, So you sign up for them all.    Keeping up to date on all your social media sites can be a full time job.


As a artist, which sites make the most sense for you to use?

Twitter, Facebook, BeBo, Reverb Nation, Ping???the list goes on and on.

My mom always said, never to put all your eggs in one basket. And quite honestly, there isn’t a decent social media site out there to support the world community, so you need to ask yourself 
where are my fan's hanging out?  You don't know? 

 Let’s look at the number of SOCIAL MEDIA  NETWORK options  out there:

27 top sites  w/ more that 1 milllion in the US
61 Video sites in the US  (some are highly specialized, and not all relevant to your needs)
31 press release sites in the US
171 article sites in the US (see my comments on the video sites)

·      Facebook has 500 million active users & growing.

Within FB  300,000 businesses have pages.  
Whether you love or hate Facebook, those are some pretty  amazing numbers!


  • Twitter 175 million active users

  • Myspace 100 million and shrinking.  

You read it right. Shrinking.


MySpace  has had a $70 million drop in revenue, and traffic is plummeting.



Several factors I think contributed to this.
  • Facebook’s success
  • Over saturation of Ad’s  on MySpace.
(when you are  logged on to your Myspace page you feel like your being assaulted by ads).

Myspace in a failing effort to bail out the sinking ship, has announced they will FINALLY intergrate status updates to Facebook and Twitter.

I think despite efforts to revamp the site, and late to market integrations, you can soon say goodbye to Myspace.


LOSING ALL YOUR FRIENDS?

So what are you going to do when 1200 of your closest friends disappear forever?
Do you have their email addresses? I hope so.
  I would direct my fans AWAY from MySpace
And onto YOUR website, and onto your mailing list  so YOU can control your content, and viewer experience.  Do you really want your fans blasted with ads on how to bling their page so it runs even slower?

WHAT ARE THE SITES TO WATCH?

What’s the next thing, (wish I knew, I would be rich!)
Focus on the sites that will give you the most bang for the buck, and integrate them to your website ( click on the word website- you wil note on my home page I link to my twitter / facebook accounts, and have a blog feed).

Reverb Nation, Ping, ??? the later, Apples network. it’s a unknown right now, do you use it? what do you think?  Tell me what other social media networks are working for you?
(give me your thoughts in the comment section)

WHAT ABOUT YOU?          

Every artist has a uniqueness about them. A quality that makes them like no other, I like to draw attention to your uniqueness,  along with the familiar thing so your friends / fans have a connection to you.

When “your brand”  and your messages to your “friends”/ fans are clear THEN you start seeing the benefits of social media.  We will discuss content in another post.
if you need help defining  or refining your social media  strategy,  then lets talk!


=Tamra=
Providing business solutions for creative minds
www.tamraengle.com


References:
www.tamraengle.com
Electronista:   http://bit.ly/9FYYQo
Bobby Owsinski –www.Bobbyownsinski.com
http://www.techxav.com/2010/03/19/if-facebook-were-a-country/

GROWING YOUR NETWORK / FANBASE:



 Host a holiday song contest:

Scenrio:  You are a performing songwriter, producer, DJ looking for collaborative opportunities,
Craigslist ad’s are not bringing in any good collaborative prospects.
 Your feeling  stuck not meeting anyone.

The great news is, in a evolving market you can get VERY creative with ways to meet, and share music- This is a really simple way to grow your network.

If your like most artist you have VERY LITTLE money.   (this is where getting creative comes in).
 
Look at  the tools you have available to you.
Social media tools like reverb nation, facebook, twitter, bebo, some folks may still use myspace… and on and on and on.

Beside posting endless gig announcements, and endlessly “FRIENDING” that does nothing to grow your fan base, (did all of your 2472 "friends" buy your cd or artwork?) What ways have you used your social media sites to grow your fan base with cash spending customers?
if your like most people probably nothing.
  That is about to change.

Host a holiday themed song contest:

  • 1)    Engage with your fans
  • 2)    Leverage other artists networks to jump start your social network. Share your networks, combine your fans, grow both of your fan bases!
  •     Meet other artists to collaborate with, or  share a show with you.

  •  Make it interesting for your fans so they WANT to come to one of your shows. 
  • Remember, in even a medium sized metro area  there are only 47 different shows for fans  to choose from on a Saturday night, and  most fans probably only have  the cash to go to  just ONE show.  You bet they  want to be ENTERTAINED! 
  • Give them something fun to watch and listen too!
Bring on the  Punk / symphony players, and the Jazz metal polka tunes ;o)
4)    Combine your audiences to expand the # of new people coming to your show who will buy your cds and merch- Do merch bundles with the artist your playing with (together you’ll make more $$ that way!)
5)    Expand your Songwriting portfolio
6)    Get YOUR music into other artists hands

These are all great reasons to give this idea  a try right?

I used facebook to host a Halloween music contest.

Songwriters were invited to submit a track that fans could then vote on to select their “favorite” Halloween song.
Everyone that submitted a song, and voted would be given a free Halloween playlist for participating, and all the smart artists were able to add 10 new potential songwriting partners to their network, AND get their music into the hands of thousands of new people. (Something for EVERYONE).

After the contest:  What were the results?  It was fun to host,  I gave away a 1 hour artist business consultation  to our winner.  Kerry Grombacher: http://www.reverbnation.com/kerrygrombacher
Even though this was a small contest (by social media standards) here are some of the results that I have learned about :

2 of the songwriters,  have planned a tour,  and have scheduled  songwriting sessions with one another 
(you don’t have to live the same part of the country to do this!) 

1 songwriters daughter submitted a song, (which was picked up for a licensing opportunity with NPR THE AFTERNOON  was posted, the song is that good! )  AND, this song 
is raising money to help other kids, the song (if you download the song you pay $1 which is donated to  Smile Train, who helps children with cleft palettes obtain surgery, and smiles!  
Listen to the song, and buy the download, it's a great cause!

So what are you waiting for?
Use your social media network to grow your network-
If you want to wade in slowly:
I am hosting a HOLIDAY MUSIC CONTEST to continue the fun:

I am looking forward hearing your submissions, and helping you make some new fans, and perhaps find some collaborative partners to work with.

If you enjoyed this blog you can subscribe to it (great for you Kindle users).
Another GREAT way to invest $1.00 and get so much!
Lots of great tips and tricks for pennies!

& if your ready to dive in, 
Let’s set up some time to talk!

=Tamra=
Providing business solutions for creative minds

www.tamraengle.com
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