Category Archives: Blog

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What Chewbacca Mom Taught Every Business Owner About Facebook

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If you’ve been on Facebook in the last week I’m sure you’ve seen the Chewbacca Mom – the lady with the mask from the Star Wars film and her contagious laughter.

So many people were amazed by the joy this lady had and how happy she was just being herself. Now, she’s been on TV interviews, got to go visit Facebook’s headquarters, and her profile has over 750,000 followers in just 1 week (from no where)! Woohoo! You go girl!

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There’s a huge lesson that every business owner needs to take time – stop what they are doing and pay attention to – you ready?

This woman gained the publicity with 1 video on Facebook that takes people year’s to build – as well as thousands of dollars on Facebook ads to grow – in an instant – from her car.

How did this happen? How did she get so lucky?

It’s actually something very simple that we teach every single business owner who coaches with us.

The ones who pay attention to this one thing – see success in their business – and the ones who don’t – well they are still trying to “figure out” how to make social media and Facebook work.

The secret sauce:

She was unashamedly, unapologetically herself not trying to be anyone but herself and created a connection in an instant that you felt like you knew who she was by watching this video – and then connected with the joy in her heart that she had through a video in an instant that made you go “Wow, I want some of what she has”.

That’s it! Super simple – no algorithm – no special keywords – no SEO – just being herself, being real – and not being afraid to be the best version of herself she can be – even if she looked super silly doing it!

My charge to you:

Go out there today – make a video of yourself. Just be you, talk to people on your Facebook page (If you’re building a business you want to use a page). And keep doing videos. Take photos. Let people see YOU the real you. Don’t hide behind what you think a business owner should be on Facebook – or how you should look.

Another example of someone who did this and grew a huge following is our OWN Sandi Krakowski. Her Facebook page has over 1.2M people on it – and that’s all she does is be herself on there, and then periodically share a product that we have to offer for sell to help people in their business!

Those who pay attention to this one thing on their social media will see a difference right away – and those who try to over analyze it and come up with a reason or a formula won’t. You can’t make a formula for relationship and being yourself. People can tell what’s real and what’s not. Be yourself today and have fun doing it!!

Jeremy Krakowski

Media Director, A Real Change International, Inc.

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RELOCATING? Don’t Do It Until You Check These “Online Business” Necessities

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RELOCATING? Don’t Do It Until You Check These “Online Business” Necessities

During the last 20+ years I’ve owned a successful online company. Most of these, I’ve run from my home. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I actually got an ‘office’ to go to and work with my team. The process of moving, whether across town, or across country, presents some very important concerns that you do NOT want to overlook as a small business owner.

While you are looking at room size, cost of utilities, distance to your favorite stores and more, it’s CRITICAL you take your ‘small business owner’ checklist to your real estate agent and let them know you don’t even want to look at a house until it passes the test.

The Small Business Owner’s Home Buying Checklist:

  1. Internet connection speed: This one seems pretty obvious but you would be surprised how many people I coach come to me with tears telling me the area they ‘just relocated’ to has horrible internet service. ASK questions! I personally would take my smartphone AND my laptop to a house if we were serious about buying it and I tested out the internet connection speed. It’s as simple as asking the current home owners if you can ‘test out’ their internet speed for your business. Then check the providers in the area and see who has the fastest speed with the best rate. Don’t guess…. TEST!  I had a client who built their ‘dream home’ on the side of a mountain. HER BUSINESS paid for it. WHOOOPPSSS… there was literally NO high speed internet. Dream down the drain! :(
  2. Building structure: This one isn’t as obvious. Imagine you find a great house and even test out the internet speed, but you later find out that the walls, poles and other structures in the home are PATHETIC for a wireless signal to transfer through. Remember: YOU run a business. This is not a hobby. If you can’t have your laptop, iPad and iPhone all connecting and running really well all at the same time, find a different house!
  3. Small business owners in the area: When I relocate, it’s important to me to know the ‘climate’ of the atmosphere I’m moving to. Doing my due diligence, I will find out from the local city offices how many small business owners happen to live and work in the area. (see my previous article on how crucial this is to YOUR success.) This is not the time or the place to become a pioneer. If you’re around a bunch of people who do not work at home, think small business is not legitimate, let alone online businesses, you’ll fight a spiritual battle that could destroy your efforts. Where I live now in Kansas City I am SURROUNDED by small business owners. As a matter of fact I spoke to a local police officer recently who said they even have a ‘policies’ guidelines list at their headquarters. Things such as parking, advertising, etc were such common questions they had a checklist for business owners. Check your atmosphere. It will spare a lot of headaches later.
  4. Taxes: This is another critical aspect for a small business owner. One area where we lived in Indiana literally taxed my small business equipment even after the purchase as a ‘business producer’. Sheesh…. I’m glad they couldn’t tax my brain! My phone, computer, monitors, etc were all taxed a secondary business tax because it was used to generate a profit. When we moved to the Kansas City area a simple move that was just 1 mile away took us outside the Missouri borders into the state of Kansas. Guess what Kansas doesn’t have? They have NO state business tax. That saved me hundreds of thousands of dollars. I am thrilled to pour that BACK into my small business marketing budget.  WARNING: Did you know that Amazon won’t even let you do affiliate sales in multiple states? Do not take this for granted. Do your due diligence! 
  5. Safety: Again, this is pretty obvious, but just like I check the sex-offenders list when I relocated to a certain area, I ALSO check how many breakins involved a home business and said equipment. DO NOT GUESS. Test. Check your local area, online police reports are available. YOU DO NOT want to move to an area that has repeated breakins to small business owners, nor do you want to have to pay a higher premium on your small business insurance because of it.

These simple steps will make your relocation even more enjoyable. Take this checklist with you when you start getting ready to home shop. It will save time and so many headaches!

Happy relocation!

Love, 

Sandi Krakowski

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What Makes A Social Media Campaign Work

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Online Shoppers

What Makes A Social Media Campaign Work

The emails are pouring in and the phones are ringing. It’s been such an honor to have some large house hold names contact us to assist with their social media marketing and advertising. It also shows me that big brands are starting to really REALLY pay attention to what is going on through social media.

People are making their buying decisions by what they see on social media and what their friends say, period.  Research is being done there first. Opinions are being sought there first. If you, as a brand of any size, are not there, you are losing. Period.

I love digital media in ANY form! Video, audio, PPC ads, blog posts, social media and more! I’ve also done so many ad campaigns in my 18 years online my head starts to spin when I even attempt to add them all up.

So how can you use social media for your brand? The #1 question that comes in every single day is this:  What actually makes a social media campaign work?

Now assuming “Work” means it generates money, because that is what most brands want to do with their marketing efforts, our focus would be the end result. But I want to take you to a step where very few marketers ever go to, that if you do go there with me, that not only increases profits but it also causes a brand to be contagious, sticky and in plain English, the one everyone wants to connect with!

The first key is relationship.

We’ve talked about that so often many of you have finished my sentence as I said it. Ironically, very few people are doing it.

If thoughts pertaining to relationship run through your marketing mind like, “How often do I post? What do I have to say? When will I see the money?” I can already tell you’ll have problems. This is very similar to the young man who is going on his first date asking, “When can I hold her hand? Is a kiss ok on the first date? What should I say to make a girl feel good about me?”  When we’re solely focused on the END result and rush into relationships like this, don’t be surprised if ‘brand divorce’ is what happens! People don’t want to feel used or like they are a cheap commodity in your marketing campaign. It’s nothing new….. but it’s something all brands must understand!

Repeat after me- you cannot systematize relationship.

You can schedule some posts ahead of time, I do it everyday. You can make sure you have reminders set on your phone if you run your companies social media marketing so that you remember to check in often, I also do this. But for goodness sakes, can we open our heart first before we open another marketing manual? Caring, really caring, is what makes things ‘work’ through social media. Which leads me to my next point. If your brand has simply ‘thrown someone on your social media campaigns’ who isn’t doing much in house to test it out, don’t even bother! Take your profiles down now!

I’ve been testing some brands out lately. Going to their Facebook pages and Twitter profiles and sending simple messages like, “Hey XYZ Company, how are you guys doing today?” The replies I get are very revealing.

Here’s a list of replies from some major brands I tested on social media:

1. “Good, how are you?” – Wow that sounds about as common stance as “I’m doing fine, you?”  Social media demands more. How about a nice, “We are doing great and hope you are too FIRSTNAME!” Personal. That would be nice.

2. “Great how can I help you?” – No beating around the bush. It’s the friendly way of saying, “Do you need something because I’m busy.” No further comment needed.

3. NOTHING – Yes, there are multiple brands that I posted this to and NO ONE said anything. Nothing. Wow, if I was a high paying customer of this brand you can bet this made me feel so special I’m gonna just run to your store right now and spend a ton of money, more than I typically do! NOT!

4. “Doing awesome Sandi and we LOVE your pink hair!” – This one of course won my heart. It’s personal, it’s kind and they even noticed something about me. I also had some say, “Wow what a pleasure to speak to you. You’re an expert!” Not schmoozing, just kind and complimentary. Another one was ,”Doing great and it’s a pleasure to hear from you today, Sandi!”   Awesome! Made me feel wonderful and it made me want to spend money at their store!

For several years large and even small companies poo-poo’d the whole notion of using social media to build their brand. “It is confusing, takes too much time and what on earth do you say?” is what so many said. “What is the ROI?” is another biggy. The Almighty ROI- Return On Investment.  I dunno. What is the ROI on having a happy cashier VS one who is acting like she has had PMS for 9 years or a guy who acts like he’s so busy ‘what on earth do you need from me’ at your front door? Do we really need to think that through?

What else makes a social media campaign work? Consistency. Don’t be sporadic. Stop posting 9 times in a week because you’re having a promotion and then disappear. When big brands (and even small businesses) do this it shows you honestly don’t care at all. Oh, remember, when you post through social media, everything you write is being cataloged. As a paying customer I can go read your entire feed and see how often you post and what you write. I can see your habit of only writing about promotions. GOTCHA!

A social media campaign that ‘works’ is speaking in my language, not yours. If you keep talking to me like you do in the advertising agency board room I won’t hear you.

The words that run through my head all day long are drowning you out. As a paying customer, I talk to my friends all day long on social media and I rarely talk to people who don’t talk like me. I don’t even feel comfortable talking to people who don’t think like me. (This is the voice of the average consumer and not the thoughts of this writer)  What did you say? I can’t hear you unless you talk the way I do! You want to see how I talk and what is important to me? Well for goodness sakes I’m talking all day long on Facebook, Twitter and Amazon! Don’t you marketing genius’ have any time to watch me? Or are you so busy researching your demographic cycles of ROI that you forgot I even exist?

My friends, Sandi talking again, I’m being sarcastic but please admit, it’s real. It’s happening.

What makes a social media campaign work?

The same thing that makes any store shine in person. Let’s go back to 1950 when we polished our store floors, we made sure the place smelled fresh, we put on clean clothes, had a great haircut, did everything we could to have a smile, a winning attitude and we were genuinely interested in people. That’s it. Over and over again. Real deal.

This generation isn’t buying into the old school advertising agency nonsense anymore. They talk to their friends all day long and they pursue things to LIKE more than 4.6 BILLION times PER DAY on Facebook!

Learn to like them and they’ll like you back. 

With love,

Sandi Krakowski

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