The Francophile Who Refused to Quit

The Francophile Who Refused to Quit

A CPA Dreams Big, Does the Math and Makes It Happen by Alecia Caine of Find Yourself in France My dream has roots in my childhood. I fell in love with the French language the first time I heard it in class when one of the mothers came in to teach us. I thought it was...
If You Had Clients Like These…

If You Had Clients Like These…

…You’d Be in Love, Too Few business owners are as lucky as I am. I don’t talk about them often enough, but I have some of the BEST clients in the world. Each of them are doing amazing things — changing and shifting, growing into more confident...
Collaborate in the (Online) Kitchen and Yield Exponential Results

Collaborate in the (Online) Kitchen and Yield Exponential Results

Have you ever tried to do something big? No, I mean, massively huge -- something even a little audacious? If you haven't, you're missing out on one of the best adventure of your life. But if you have, then you know you can't really pull off something enormous without the help of other people. Which is why my Entrepreneur's Manifesto calls you to "Collaborate in the Kitchen. Here's a story about one woman who is doing just that...
Simplify a Complicated Branding Story

Simplify a Complicated Branding Story

In preparation for the launch of Story Bistro, I reached out to my readers and asked for your best storytelling questions. At least half of the ones you sent were a variation on this one: I work in two distinct areas. How can I incorporate them both into my story? Or...
Features vs. Benefits: The Stories that Produce Sales

Features vs. Benefits: The Stories that Produce Sales

The $64,000 question is: Do your customers want to buy what you're selling? If you've done your homework (i.e., market research), and you know without a doubt that your product or service is something people need and/or want, yet you still fail to generate sales, then there's something missing in your marketing messages. In short, you're not "speaking" your customer's language (either online or in person).
Five Tips for Writing Clear Marketing Copy

Five Tips for Writing Clear Marketing Copy

There's science to prove it. Studies show that advertising is most effective when it's easy to understand. I know, right? Sounds easy enough. But if you're selling something more complex than soap or beer, you may be having a little trouble getting your message across. Here are five things to look for as you write your own copy:
The Remarkable Purple Carrot: A Marketing Parable

The Remarkable Purple Carrot: A Marketing Parable

Here in the West, purple carrots aren't a commonly found in your local produce departments. In fact, you'll probably have to go out of your way, by searching for them at the fringes: places like your farmer's market or a specialty grocer. There's a little vegetable stand near my house where I can find maybe 3 or 4 at any given time (mostly because there's a woman who comes in every morning and buys nearly all of them for herself). The shop owner literally can't keep enough of these guys on hand. In short, these guys are special. Remarkable even. And they're almost certainly a topic of conversation when served to dinner guests. They're so special, they make the chef look special, too.
Dinner Conversations: Engage Your Fans Online

Dinner Conversations: Engage Your Fans Online

Troll the interwebs and you'll find plenty of advice on how to avoid killing your business relationships with email and other technologies. We've all gotten so used to texting, tweeting and tagging each other, that we've forgotten how important it is to actually use our phones. And I'm just as guilty as the rest of you. So how do you bridge the gap? How do you turn an online lead (like a Facebook Fan) into a paying customer?
How to Eat Your (Marketing) Artichoke

How to Eat Your (Marketing) Artichoke

When you're a solopreneur or the owner of a very small business, it can seem almost impossible to find the time to get it all done. There is, after all, actual work that needs to be finished, or you won't be getting paid. I get it. I'm in the same boat. The important thing to remember though, is that every little bit helps. Baby steps are crucial. They move you forward and build good habits. Habits that can ultimately bring you all the customers you can handle.
Add Your Secret Sauce: Five Ways to Add Your Personality to Your Website or Blog

Add Your Secret Sauce: Five Ways to Add Your Personality to Your Website or Blog

Your "Secret Sauce" is your personality. It's the flavor that you bring to everything you do. And it comes across in many ways -- your voice, your style and your sense of humor. When you interact with real-live human beings, your secret sauce is pretty evident. Most of the time, people can "get" who you are after just a few brief conversations.
What’s on Your Marketing Plate?

What’s on Your Marketing Plate?

Eating healthy can sometimes be a tricky thing. Especially if you've got a sweet tooth. Or a penchant for all-things-fried. When we don't make good choices, we end up feeling pretty miserable. And not just because we can't see our feet any longer. It really sucks when your bottom line won't fit into your favorite jeans! The same is true for your marketing. Your website (and the other channels you use to promote yourself) need to have just the right balance of ingredients in order to keep a healthy number of customers and prospects at your table.
How to be an Entrepreneurial Chef (not a Business Cook)

How to be an Entrepreneurial Chef (not a Business Cook)

A few weeks ago, I finished reading Seth Godin’s Linchpin and was immediately struck by this passage: The future belongs to chefs, not to cooks or bottle washers...A cook is not an artist. A cook follows a recipe, and he’s a good cook if he follows the recipe correctly. A chef is an artist. She’s an artist when she invents a new way of cooking or a new type of dish that creates surprise or joy or pleasure for the person she created it for. I'd been mulling that over until what finally came out was my Entrepreneur's Manifesto, which starts off: Be a Chef, not a Cook.
5 Marketing Lessons from Celebrity Chefs

5 Marketing Lessons from Celebrity Chefs

Except for my client Rebecca Joseph (aka The Rabbi Chef), your goal is probably not to be the Next Food Network Star. But there's a whole lot that celebrity chefs can teach us about working in a crowded marketplace. The successful ones truly excel at building their brands and growing their fan base. How do they do it? Here are five of their marketing strategies that you can (and should) adopt today:
5 Ways to Make Your Marketing Stick

5 Ways to Make Your Marketing Stick

When I was still a youngster (in the days before the Internet was considered a valid way to get your message out), I spent my nights and weekends at the UC Davis Extension learning the "official" rules of "Product-Price-Place-Promotion." One of my first professors (I think his name was Mr. Aguilar) had a strange attachment to the term "pasta marketing." He must've used this term at least twice in every class. His point was that lots of people do their marketing like they cook their pasta: they throw it against the wall to see if it's done. If it sticks, they think it's good. And if doesn't, well...you go back to the drawing board.
Storytelling à la Reality TV: What The Next Food Network Star can teach you about marketing

Storytelling à la Reality TV: What The Next Food Network Star can teach you about marketing

I'm normally not drawn to reality TV shows. I'll admit a wee addiction in the past -- especially the early years of American Idol and The Apprentice. But I nipped those habits in the bud after a few seasons. It was easy. I just cancelled my cable. But at the beginning of this year, I moved in with my boyfriend and rediscovered my love of reality TV through The Next Food Network Star. The main idea of the show is to find the next FN "star" (while also promoting FN and its current cast). But here's what you can learn from watching...
It’s All About YOU

It’s All About YOU

(and WHO is that, exactly?) And now for something completely different. Rather than hear from me, I’d like to get to know you. Here’s how to play: Introduce yourself and your business to the rest of the world in a comment below. Include any links to your...
The Golden Triangle of Coffee Joints: A Marketing Parable

The Golden Triangle of Coffee Joints: A Marketing Parable

Locally-based businesses (as opposed to multi-national corporations) are the life blood of any community. And people are beginning to understand the importance of nurturing local economies. But there are still a few hold outs. While it is clearly to our collective benefit to support local businesses, many people still patronize national chains. And the reasons don't all have to do with pricing. If you are a small, locally-owned business trying to compete with the big guys, you might want to consider the following parable.
Page 1 of 41234