Tuesday, March 3, 2015

7 Tools to Get Free Publicity for Your Business By: Lisa Furgison

As a business owner, you want to publicize your business without breaking the bank. In fact, few small business owners have much of an advertising budget, or a public relations manager. That’s okay. There are plenty of ways to attract customers online, if you know where to look. 
Of course, who has time to sift through websites looking for publicity options? Certainly not a small business owner with 101 items on his or her to-do list. To help, we've put together a list of seven free online tools that you can use to publicize your business.
This free online tool is a great place to connect with reporters looking for sources. When a reporter needs a source for a particular article, he or she puts out a query asking for people with certain knowledge or experience to respond. If a reporter likes your response, you could land an interview for a story. Usually that means you’ll be quoted in the story with a link back to your website.
Collin Jarman, a digital analyst for marketing agency, COCG, uses the site and says it’s his go-to spot for free publicity.
“It’s a great tool that allows experts to share their knowledge with those it might help,” he says.
With EzineArticles you can write a high quality blog post and share it on EzineArticles.com. Email newsletter publishers scroll through these articles looking for fresh content to mail out and could include your article in their next newsletter. These publishers often have large email lists, so if your article is selected your content could be seen by a sizable audience.
You can also include a resource box at the end of your article with links back to your website. The site does set quality expectations, so plan to turn in your best stuff.
3. Online directories
Gone are the days of searching for a business in the phone book. Now, people turn to search engines for answers. You want to make sure that your business is “findable” online. To help people find your business, make sure it’s listed in several online directories. These directories house pertinent information like your location and phone number. Yellow Pages, MerchantCircle and SuperPages.com are great places to start.
For a full list of online directories, check out “The Top 20 Places Your Business Needs to be Listed Online.”
4. Google My Business
If you haven’t checked out Google My Business, it’s worth your time. It’s similar to an online directory, but it has more bells and whistles. Through this tool, you set up a business profile page. You put in your vital business information like location, store hours, contact information and photos. When someone Google’s your business, they’ll see something like this:  
7 Tools to Get Free Publicity for Your Business
It’s a nice digital ad for your business. Plus, Google My Business works with Google+ so you can integrate your social media page with it. Customers can also leave and read reviews. Like we said, lots of bells and whistles. Overall, a handy tool.
5. Local calendar of events
Have an event coming up that could use some publicity? Visit the websites of your local TV stations and newspapers. A lot of news organizations have a free community calendar. You can submit the details through an online form like this and your event is added to a regional calendar.
Getting a celebrity endorsement for your product would be a huge coup. Believe it or not, there’s actually a website out there that can help you contact celebrities. There’s a free seven-day trial for Contact Any Celebrity. You get access to a database of 60,000 celebrities. Typically, the contact information is to a celebrity’s agent or publicist, but it’s still valuable information.
Some celebrities participate in a “gift program” too. You send a celebrity your product as a free gift, and in return you could get a review that you can use to market your product.
There’s no guarantee that you’ll hear back from the A-list star, but you do have access to a long Rolodex. After the seven-day trial period, there is a monthly membership charge, so use the free trial to your advantage.
7. Your company blog
One of the best strategies to gain free publicity is to invest time in a company blog. By writing articles that your customers can learn from, you’ll start to gain traction with customers and other industry leaders.
It’s more of a long term publicity strategy, but one that will pay off as you grow your audience, Jarman says.
“Figure out what kind of questions you can answer for your customers and turn those questions into blog topics,” he suggests. “The more help you can offer people, the more trust you’ll build.”
You can share your content via email and social media.
Bonus publicity tool: PRWeb
There’s one other publicity tool that’s worth a look: PRWeb. We’ve listed it as a bonus tool because it’s not free.
PRWeb is a press release distribution channel. When something new and exciting happens at your business, write a press release and share it on PRWeb. This site hosts your press release, and distributes it to news outlets and search engines.
When your business rolls out a new product, wins an award, partners with a big name client or gives back to the community, you can create a press release on the site and track its progress. Analyticstell you how many people saw it, how many links were clicked and how often it was shared on social media.
You pay for each press release that you want distributed. Plans start at $99/press release.
Do you know of another publicity tool you like use? Tell us about it in the comment section below.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

8 Dos and Don’ts of Networking Follow Up By: Jenny Klimisch


There are networking opportunities everywhere, whether you’re at a trade show, conference, meetup, or even chatting with someone on your commute. You need to make the most of every opportunity because you never know who you might meet! Here are eight actionable dos and don’ts for following up with someone in a professional way after you've connected:
DO: Send an invitation to connect on LinkedIn in a timely manor by including a personal note on where you met him or her and something you may have discussed. For example, “It was great meeting you at the ABC Event. I’d like to keep in touch about the possible partnership we were chatting about.”
DON’T: Send a LinkedIn invite to every business card you collect. You should have a one-on-one meaningful conversation with someone before sending them an invitation to connect.
DO: Follow up via email to business cards you collected and personalize the messages. Ensure you let people know ahead of time you’ll be sending an email and have their permission, otherwise your email may be viewed in a negative light. 
DON’T: Buy a list of event attendees and email them all. This would be a violation of the CAN-SPAM act. Also, it’s not the best way to start a professional relationship.
DO: Try to follow up in a timely fashion, usually within a few days to a week of the event. It will help keep you top of mind of your potential clients or business partners. 
DON’T: Wait too long to follow up with a contact. Time flies after events and it’s easy to forget all of the people that you might have met. 
DO: Go the extra mile about how your businesses or connection can be mutually beneficial when you do reach out to someone. Take the time to research and understand what his or her company does, if you don’t know already.
DON’T: Go on about your company without understanding whether it’s actually a good fit for the company or contact you’re reaching out to.
DO: Set a limit to the amount of communication. Do some testing to see the optimal amount of touches that it takes to connect with someone. Refine your cadence and amount of outreach accordingly. 
DON’T: Call or email multiple times if you don’t get a response. No one likes to be harassed or stalked.
DO: Extend an offer for a free demo or an info session to learn more about your product or service.
DON’T: Forget to include a link to your website in your email.
DO: Include your LinkedIn profile link (personal or business) within your email signature to make it easy for people to connect with you.
DON’T: Have an unprofessional picture in your email signature, or as your LinkedIn profile picture. 
DO: “Like” a business you’re interested in on Facebook, and follow that business on LinkedIn and Twitter. When you do, the business or owner may follow you back.
DON’T: Try to friend someone’s personal page on Facebook, or connect in other more personal ways. Sometimes it can be perceived as creepy.
These eight networking follow up dos and don’ts should keep you on the right path to growing your network and making successful new connections like a pro.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

4 Ways to Improve Communication at Work by: Vivian Ciampi

Vivian Ciampi offers these 4 tactical tips to help professionals at every level become a more effective communicator and, in doing so, gain better control of their career trajectory:
  1. Become the Universal Translator. The most valued and successful person in any business is the one that can translate facts, figures, and concepts into actionable ideas that will not only make sense and resonate with their direct network, but also with any and all constituents those ideas will be presented to. This includes superiors, subordinates, peers, customers, prospects, business partners and vendors. The Universal Translator does the following: steps out of their comfort zone or discipline; let’s go of any insider department lingo or technical terms and focuses on the audience at hand; suggests specific ways others can move forward with the information relative to what is important to them; and presents the vision, plan or theory in a way that is clear, crisp, confident and above all, ACTIONABLE.  This person is so successful because of their ability to translate complex or technical concepts into strategic steps that will impact the bottom line.  If others can understand, relate to and rally around what you are presenting, it is sure to yield winning results.


  2. Meet before you meet. There’s few things more painful and embarrassing than getting completely derailed in a meeting. Many have seen it—someone showing up with well-prepared and rehearsed slides only to get completely pummeled with questions from every discipline in the room before they even get beyond the intro page. Instead of moving forward with their agenda, they are sent ten paces back and five paces to the side, only to leave the meeting with more work, lost credibility, a confused and frustrated audience and, above all, no progress on the agenda at hand. If you've ever experienced this personally or seen it happen to another, you know it is hard to recover. The best way to counter this is the following: determine who your key constituents are relative to your topic ahead of time; set up one-on-one meetings with all of them at least a few days in advance of the big meeting; socialize the topic with each of the constituents individually; and make sure you understand their perspective and answer any questions or concerns that they have ahead of time. By taking these steps, you will undoubtedly gain valuable information that will not only help you refine your presentation, but also be poised and prepared to actually present in the real meeting. Socializing the idea ahead of time may feel like extra work, but the benefits far outweigh the additional time—and the very real risks of not doing so. This strategy will facilitate your ability to effectively cover a lot of ground and actually garner decisions in the meeting without playing catch-up or spending valuable time trying to get everyone on the same page. Effective communication, speed and alignment are a few of the key advantages here.

  3. Stop, ask and listen! Today’s fast-paced workplace has most of us running at record speed, often in circles like we’re on a hamster wheel. We are putting out fires and have more in our email inbox than our outbox each and every day. The resulting pressure of this overload causes us to rush through conversations so we can cross it off our proverbial “to do list” and move on to the next triage task. Unfortunately, plowing through important conversations will never yield a productive outcome, but often produces more work and headaches. The best way to approach key conversations that need a little extra finesse or persuasion, particularly in the midst of a time-pressed schedule, are the following: stop and take a breath so you don’t rush into your agenda in the first five minutes of the conversation; ask open ended questions, such as “What’s going on in your department?” or “How has this system helped you?” Once the person you’re engaged with has the opportunity to respond, make 200% sure you are actively listening—not just hearing them—and that you give them ample time to convey their thoughts without your interjection, direction or interruption. The majority of the time, you will gain key insights from these conversations and will be able to craft a more informed response—one that better resonates with the person(s) you’re speaking with. Even if you already know the answer or have a brilliant retort, slowing down and letting others speak first, in full, allows them to “empty their cup” which puts them in a better position to have it filled back up with what you have to say in response. When you do finally have the chance to speak, keep in mind people only have the capacity to absorb so much. If we provide an overload of verbose detail, you risk overflowing the listener’s “cup” and may ultimately lose the real essence of what you are trying to convey. Stay focused on who your audience is and what they care about to ensure that your dialogue and key points are streamlined and succinct. This tactic also helps build more productive, trusting professional relationships. The most successful people in any company aren't necessarily the smartest, but rather those who take the time to listen and learn from others because they truly value what they have to say. Adhering to this strategy will not only make you a much more effective communicator, but it will also garner tremendous goodwill throughout the organization as you start to hone a discipline of talking less and listening more.


  4. Converse with clarity. People today are inundated with data, work under tight time-frames, and talk in acronyms. Some technical people and other professionals tend to use a lot of insider jargon and industry terminology when they communicate, making it difficult for anyone outside their immediate network to understand. Also, incompetent people tend to rush through important details hoping no one else will ask questions or notice their in-aptitude, and you certainly don’t want to be perceived in this light. Such conversation crushers can leave others feeling intimidated, out of the loop and unable to effectively contribute. Rather than contributing poorly to the conversation or sitting on the sidelines as the dialogue ensues, a better approach is to pick the right setting and ask clarifying questions to ensure messaging remains on point and resultant activities on track. If you’re not sure where to start, the basic who, what, where, when, why and how is a sensible approach. For example, “Why are we doing this?”; “How will that work?” or “Where will this help the organization?” are some examples. The win-win with this strategy is that it fosters clear dialogue, makes people accountable to answer direct questions and often uncovers problems that need to be addressed but would have been overlooked had this approach not been utilized.


About the Expert 
Vivian M. Ciampi is a Principal at Professional Coaching, LLC, a business navigational coaching firm that helps universities, small to mid-size businesses and large organizations accelerate the growth and success of their top talent.  She specializes in helping professionals become better communicators in order to achieve greater success in their careers and balance in their lives.  She is also a coach and facilitator in the Executive Education department at the Harvard Business School.  Ciampi has been providing leadership/strategic coaching and workshops to professionals for over ten years.  Prior to starting her own business, she spent over two decades leading teams and managing businesses at JP Morgan Chase, formerly Chase Manhattan Bank and Travelers Property Casualty. Ciampi is a Professional Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation; holds a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance and Marketing from the University of Connecticut, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Fairfield University.  Learn more online at www.CoachingTheProfessional.com.  

Friday, September 12, 2014

5 Tips for Writing Comments that Build Your Blogging Brand in part by Ryan Biddulph


Whether you have a skillfully-branded blog, stellar online reputation or are a green blogging newbie you can build your blogging brand through commenting.

The secret is no secret. Move your attention from getting backlinks to adding value to posts. Move your focus from driving traffic to building friendships with authority bloggers.

1. Be Present
Take a deep breath. Your mind likely races to outcomes before you post a comment. You want traffic, or links, or any other self-serving outcome. Kick those thoughts out of your head.
Brand-building commentators are present. Being in the moment focuses your thoughts, feelings and actions on the process of building valuable comments instead of focusing on some outcome. Breathe deeply. Relax. Proceed to the next tip.
2. Write 5 to 6 Paragraphs
Treat comments like content. Publish mini guest post sized comments to make an impact. Length does not equal impact necessarily so create value along with depth.
Bloggers notice thorough, helpful comments because such comments add immense value/content to their posts.
Readers note such comments too. Expect to receive interview requests and guest post opportunities as well as increased traffic by posting thorough comments.
3. Be Nice and Personalize
Never troll. If you disagree share your thoughts kindly while acknowledging the points made by the blogger. Be nice.
In most cases you’ll agree with the post. Pick 1 or 2 points made – proving that you read the post – and expound on the ideas with your personal experience.
Address bloggers by name. Thank them for sharing their insight. Sign off with your name. The tiniest personalizing details make you stand out from the hurried, less than mindful crowd.
If you want to make influential blogging friends quickly address people by their first name. My first name is the best sounding word in my native tongue. You likely feel the same way.
4. Comment Only on Relevant Authority Blogs
Build your brand by associating with authority bloggers. Blogs like Daily Blog Tips are the perfect spot for publishing thoughtful, in-depth comments.
Follow the leader and comment on their blog. Impressed leading bloggers will form bonds with you and impressed readers will click your link to learn more.
Successful bloggers associate with other successful bloggers. Build your brand by being seen alongside authority folks from your niche.
Look at it this way; reaching a big audience requires you to hang with the big dogs.
Comment only on relevant blogs. Target incoming traffic and build mutually beneficial friendships with relevant pros. If your blog theme relates to blogging tips it makes sense to form a friendship with Daniel Scocco through blog commenting.
6. Comment on Every Post
Or comment on almost every new post. Program readers and bloggers with your valuable commenting message.
Persistent commentators appear to be all over the place. In truth they simply condition readers on a subconscious level.
Think of a TV commercial. Commercial advertisements tend to grow on you after repeated exposures. The same idea rings true for blog commenting.
Comment as much as humanly possible on authority, relevant blogs. Make an impact. Be thorough.
Your blog and brand will thank you.
Your Turn
What strategies do you use to make an impact through commenting?

Ryan Biddulph is an internet lifestyle junkie, freelance writer and blogger. He owns Blogging from Paradise.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Will You Be Attending the A Family of My Own Fertility and Adoption Conference in Orlando Florida?

Did I mention that I will have a table at A Family of My Own Conference? If you would like a personal consultation regarding information on Surrogacy please e-mail me at SurroMatchFL@aol.com and we can set some time aside while I am in Orlando. I look forward to seeing you there!

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Monday, August 25, 2014

American Society of Reproductive Medicine Upcoming Meetings~ Plan Ahead!

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I am attending the ASRM conference in Hawaii in October however I know of a lot of people who are not attending this year because it is a costly trip! Below is a list of the upcoming ASRM meetings that you can plan to attend in the states! It's good to start budgeting early especially if you want to exhibit!

ASRM 2015
Description: 71st Annual Meeting of the ASRM
Dates: October 17-21, 2015 
Place: Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, MD, USA
For More Information: ASRM, Tel: 205-978-5000, Fax: 205-978-5018, Email:asrm@asrm.org

ASRM 2016
Description: 72nd Annual Meeting of the ASRM
Dates: October 16-20, 2016
Place: Salt Lake City, UT, USA
For More Information: ASRM, Tel: 205-978-5000, Fax: 205-978-5018, Email:asrm@asrm.org

ASRM 2017
Description: 73rd Annual Meeting of the ASRM
Dates: October 28-November 1, 2017
Place: San Antonio, TX, USA
For More Information: ASRM, Tel: 205-978-5000, Fax: 205-978-5018, Email: asrm@asrm.org

ASRM 2018
Description: 74th Annual Meeting of the ASRM
Dates: October 6-10, 2018
Place: Denver, CO, USA
For More Information: ASRM, Tel: 205-978-5000, Fax: 205-978-5018, Email: asrm@asrm.org

ASRM 2019
Description: 75th Annual Meeting of the ASRM
Dates: October 12-16, 2019
Place: Philadelphia, PA, USA
For More Information: ASRM, Tel: 205-978-5000, Fax: 205-978-5018, Email: asrm@asrm.org

ASRM 2020
Description: 76th Annual Meeting of the ASRM
Dates: October 17-21, 2020
Place: Portland, OR, USA
For More Information: ASRM, Tel: 205-978-5000, Fax: 205-978-5018, Email: asrm@asrm.org

ASRM 2021
Description: 77th Annual Meeting of the ASRM
Dates: October 16-20, 2021
Place: Baltimore, MD, USA
For More Information: ASRM, Tel: 205-978-5000, Fax: 205-978-5018, Email: asrm@asrm.org

ASRM 2022
Description: 78th Annual Meeting of the ASRM
Dates: October 22-26, 2022
Place: Anaheim, CA USA
For More Information: ASRM, Tel: 205-978-5000, Fax: 205-978-5018, Email: asrm@asrm.org

ASRM 2023
Description: 79th Annual Meeting of the ASRM
Dates: October 14-18, 2023
Place: New Orleans, LA USA
For More Information: ASRM, Tel: 205-978-5000, Fax: 205-978-5018, Email: asrm@asrm.org

Monday, August 18, 2014

We Love Hearing Feedback From Our Clients! Thank You!

Please visit our website and read more of what our clients have to say about LaMothe Services and our work within the infertility community!

"We would highly recommend SharonSharon was knowledgeable and an invaluable in assisting in our business endeavors. She was very professional and willing to give sound advice. She is very knowledgeable about the third party reproduction industry and we are more than happy we asked for her assistance."
Eloise Drane
Family Acuity

"Sharon LaMothe is probably one of the most knowledgable fertility consultants in the United States. She is compassionate, hard working, brilliant, and lives for the success of her clients. I am proud to be able to call her a friend and I do not hesitate for a second to recommend her to anyone in need of her services."

Mike Berkley, L.Ac., FABORM
Founder and Director, The Berkley Center for Reproductive Wellness 

"I initially asked Sharon to help me with a few trouble spots that we were having at our agency and she came through for me more than once. She is a pleasure to work with and I finally got to meet her in person at a work related event and truly enjoyed visiting with her and getting to know her on a personal level. I will continue to request her assistance on several things and would recommend you do so as well."
Stacie Getgood
Prime Genetics

"Sharon cares about disseminating information for the benefit of those who are struggling with one of the most difficult life crises - namely infertility. She actively pursues the information that these couples need and generously shares it through her social media connections. She is a real pro - so much so that she is teaching others how to outreach effectively at the upcoming conference sponsored by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. This is a wholehearted endorsement of her work."

Sincerely, Helen Adrienne, LCSW, BCD



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Let LaMothe Services Assist You With Our Social Networking Packages!

Social Networking is the fastest and easiest way to stay in touch with colleagues, co-workers,industry professionals,family,and friends. But learning how to navigate a site by yourself can be frustrating especially if you would rather be spending time doing other things. Networking in any form is a great way to keep your business in the forefront of everyone's mind and lead you to a better position in your industry.
 
Package #1 includes:
(one time set up fee)
Facebook~LinkedIN~Twitter~etc.
 
Setting up your social networking site with your e-mail and contact information
 
Posting your bio and other relevant information
 
Feed your blog to your networking site if possible
 
Showing you how to invite friends from your address book to your site
 
Teaching you how to navigate the site easily and quickly
 
Package #2 includes:
(paid monthly and can be combined with your blogging maintenance package)
 
Everything in Package #1 and
 
Maintenance of your social networking sites
 
Posting on your sites
 
Networking with other relevant groups on your site
 
Keeping you informed of events posted on your sites

At LaMothe Services our highest priority is satisfied customers. We are proud to serve you and work hard to earn your business. Call 727-458-8333 to schedule your free personal 40 minute consultation. There's no obligation, only opportunity.

Monday, August 4, 2014

LaMothe Services are designed and developed to support your growing business!

Our services are designed and developed to support your growing business. When you make an appointment for a free consultation, all information gathered is then formulated into a program specifically designed to resolve problem issues using LaMothe Services as your partner. We are willing to sign non-disclosure documents to make you feel comfortable in allowing us to assist you in managing and solving your most delicate business problems.

LaMothe Services specializes in Surrogacy and Egg Donation agencies and other Third Party Family Building Companies. We can also assist other businesses with customer service, organizational, social networking and marketing support issues. Call for your free 40 minute phone consultation.

Please note that LaMothe Services is also offering professional surrogacy consulting packages aimed to educate and inform those considering Surrogacy as a family building option. This service is a natural first step for those exploring all options that are within the realms of Third Party Family Building and the Reproductive Technology Industry.