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Sales Through Relationships


Last week Jim Ducharme, Senior Evangelist & Community Manager at Sales Spider and I were email volleying about the new Sales Spider site. Our conversation turned to women in sales.

I admit, It sounds so undivshish, but sales is my Achilles heel. While I love to promote clients, I'm uncomfortable, as the Southerners say.  "bragging on myself." I guess that's one of the reasons why I like social media so much. It brings the sell back to the corner grocery store relationship, which I'm much more comfortable with. Sales, especially sales management, has traditionally been a male dominated field. In this new world of doing business through social media,  I thought it would be interesting to ask Jim's opinion about women and "Sales."   

Nice_girls_do_get_the_sale Toby/Diva Marketing - Women have made significant strides in what was considered the “good old boy” world of business. However, there seems to be an area that is still male dominated, especially at the senior management level - Sales. At least that is my perception. Any insights .. or am I wrong?

Jim Ducharme - I would tend to agree that the “old boys network” has dominated sales and continues to do so in the “analog universe”. However, in the digital world gender is less of an issue.

You can’t pen women in and limit their reach and influence online as has been the case in the old world of business because that network no longer controls all media. Women may or may not choose to consider gender as relevant to success and advancement. The freedom of distribution and reach which the Web offers, waters down the influence of the old boys network. You decide what and who you wish to be online. It’s not something which someone else decides on…you make the decision. The power to choose for oneself is really the only power we can consider truly our own.

Having said this I would make the point that far more women are realizing the power which comes from the innate gender based skills they posses when faced with the realization that those skills are no longer as discounted as they once were by those who either did not understand them or feared them or both.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Is there a difference in how women approach selling versus men? Or again is that a stereotyping? If is there what is the good-bad and ugly of  how women sell?

Jim Ducharme - I’ve met all types of sales people and senior sales management of both genders. While you might be able to make the case that women are more naturally oriented to nurturing relationships rather then conquering; I can only answer this specific question based on experience with a variety of sales professionals and mine has been that this is almost entirely a question of the individuals and not gender.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Perhaps it’s more stereotyping, but it would seem to me in an age where relationship selling is the becoming more important, that “feminine skills” would be a strong foundation for women to build on. How can women leverage their talents to develop a successful sales strategy?

Jim Ducharme -  I think good sales is all about relationships. In fact, everything is about relationships isn’t it? Can you make a sale with out making contact? Without listening? Without Empathy? Most of us would not make a major purchase without basing some of the decision on the relationship we have with the salesperson however, one can also wonder if the very nature of direct, self serve sales via the Web are making this entire issue irrelevant. In the future will we all be our own salesperson?

Toby/Diva Marketing - For many people, s-a-l-e-s is scary thought. What advise would you give a small business owner, diva or divo, who is timid about selling.”

Jim Ducharme - Funny thing is that it really isn’t about selling…it’s about telling and it’s about listening – and not necessarily in that particular order. The most basic things you have to do to make a sale is find out (listen) to what people want and then tell them you have it. Obviously there’s a lot more to it then that but, if you are selling something you really believe in (and that’s what most home businesses should be doing online) then the above holds true.

Toby/Diva Marketing - We talk about social media in terms of “relationship build” but not direct sales. Do you think that social media can support a sales strategy?

Jim Ducharme -  Not to sound like a broken record but, sales is all about relationship building. Who buys anything from someone they don’t trust? Social media is perfect for allowing sales and marketing people to demonstrate to huge potential audience that they are talented at identifying client problems/needs, finding a solution and supporting that solution. Sales Spider Networks are a good example of this kind of thing.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Salespider.com is positioned as a free source of sales leads. How do you suggest a person who is new to sales tap into the resources that you are offering?

Jim Ducharme - Salesspider Sales Spider is far more than a leads generator although our lead spider is unique and does offer up over 25 billion in leads, RFPs and RFQs daily for our members to cherry pick from. We also provide classified advertising, job hunting, recruiting, webinars and messaging for our members.

Toby/Diva Marketing - How do you intend to build community into Sales Spider.com where people can feel comfortable “talking” in a competitive environment?

Jim Ducharme - We already have a thriving community at Sales Spider but, with the launch of networks in early February we expect to take that to a level far above anything being done elsewhere. While other social networking for business sites are seeing their numbers level out and stagnate. Our membership and traffic numbers are going right through the roof.

Sales Spider Networks will allow members to have a booth at the biggest 24/7 online trade show on the planet! The communal nature of Sales Spider Networks will lend themselves to women entrepreneurs who understand that the experience of selling and buying is just as important as the outcome.

While men primarily concern themselves with the outcome (victory!), women understand that how you get there is just as important.

I expect that women sales and marketing professionals and home based “iMom” businesses will leverage Sales Spider’s features exceptionally well and find both new opportunities and new markets to service and profit from. I’m excited about the new types of initiatives we will see as women bring their talent and inspiration together and share ideas and encouragement via Sales Spider where they will find a nexus for success.

I’ve been building online communities for well over a decade now and I can honestly say that I’m absolutely thrilled with what we are doing at Sales Spider! Everyday we see yet another example of the power of social networking for business and each day we are reminded that we are building something really fantastic where people can truly succeed. That kind of natural high really makes one love their work!

 Thanks to Elinor Stutz for the graph of her book jack -  Nice Girls DO Get The Sale .. gotta love that title!

Update: Thanks to Mary Hunt, In Women We Trust,  for this resouce - Jill Konrath's blog Selling To Big Companies. If you know of any other Divaish sales blogs or websites please drop a comment and let's compile a resouce list.

Is Social Media Tipping In Atlanta?


Is Atlanta becoming the social media mecca of the Southeast or is it just a  coincidence that within the next few weeks there are four events that focus on blogs, podcasts and consumer generated media? If you know of any others please let me know. Oh, and Peter Flaschner, the creative divo behind the design of the Diva Marketing Blog skin, recently told me that he's receving more than a few inquires for blog creative projects from Hot' lanta  .. which I must tell you is not living up to it's  "hot" name today - brr!

Sidebar: Checkout the excellent free ebook from The Blog Studio - A Guide To Business Blogging. Bloggy disclaimer - Diva Marketing is listed as a resource.

Aima_logo AiMA (Atlanta Interactive Marketing Association)
Date/Time: Jan 31, 2007 6:30p-9:p
Online Registration Deadline: Today! Jan 29th
Digital Disruption

Executives from Tivo and Cox Media discuss how they are allowing the "2.0 Consumer" to be in control of some of their advertising experience and the early indications of success.

Social Media Club
Date/Time: Jan 29, 2007 6:00p-8:30p
First Atlanta Meeting
Social Media Club is being organized for the purpose of sharing best practices, establishing ethics and standards, and promoting media literacy around the emerging area of Social Media.
The roundtable will dig into what Social Media really is, review some of the activities at the other Clubs, discuss goals for 2007, in addition to covering other topics suggested by the Atlanta participants.

Date/Time: Feb 9 (dinner); Feb 10 (event) 8:30a-3:30p
A free unconference that will explore affordable, easy-to-use online tools of Web 2.0 and the opportunities that they are creating.
Note: Over 250 registered .. registration is closed. Awesome!

Podcamp AtlantaPodcampatllarge
Date/Time: March 16 (7p-9p) March 17 (9a ->?) March 18 (Morning -?)
A free 2-day unconference experience dedicated to the sharing of information around new / social media (audio and video podcasting, blogging, more).

I'm excited to see Atlanta on the social media track but please do keep in mind that as spiffy and cool as the new marketing technology may be .. without a strategy that supports your master marketing plan, a business/marketing blog, podcast, vlog is just a "me too play toy." You might appear cool at your next cocktail or Superbowl party but what is it doing to help move your brand or develop those important relationships?

Diva Charlene Li and her Forrester Research team have developed a few ideas on how to incorporate ROI. Smart ideas that will serve to reinforce the positioning that, we have been working hard to promote, .. social media is a credible marketing strategy. I particularly like how Forrester has tied metrics to value.


: If you enjoy the Forrester concept you may be interested in the following ROI ideas, from a post I wrote for Darren Rowse when I was guest blogging at probogger last summer - Blogs Must Earn Their Keep. As with any marketing strategy, for metrics or accountability to be meaningful, as a component of your social media strategy, they must tie back to the goals and objects of your initiative.

Social Media Accountability Metric Suggestions


  • Search rankings
  • Visitor hits*
  • Page views
  • Trackbacks *
  • In bound links - general*
  • In bound links - “high ranked” blogs/sites*
  • Comments* such as customer feedback/new ideas


  • Newsletters subscriptions
  • Sales
  • Leads
  • White paper/other down loads


  • Speaking engagements
  • Podcasts, vlogs and other interviews
  • Media mentions/quotes
  • Mentions and links on other blogs/websites


  • Customers’ emotional involvement with the brand
  • Increase in brand loyalty
  • Providing customers with the opportunity to talk with people within a company and ensuring that customers are heard, responded to and respected by those people who are assuming the role of the public “voice” of their company

*May be measured by unique or total posts

Sidebar: Shameless plug. A successful social media/blog strategy is more than a well-written post .. and it should never be a me too play toy.  If you need help crafting a social media strategy or a sherpa to navigate the blogoshere a Diva Marketing approach might be the way to go!

Friday Fun: Three For One Marketing Strategies


Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

Today's Friday Fun is Three For One. Girlfriend, so much fun and so little time!

One For One - Ever wonder who is writing all these blogs? 2000bloggers2_1Wonder no more. Tino Buntic is creating a mosaic of 2000 Bloggers' faces. A. B. C. and X.Y. Z bloggers all together in one photo.

Des Walsh, Thinking Home Business is a few people away. On 2000 Bloggers I am fourth row from the bottom third in - thus far. My 'neighbors' are: stage right  Thomas Paine ( a British guy living in Moscow) stage left Jozjozjoz (an Asian American gal); top Juhan suku-uutiset (a guy from Finland); bottom Claudino (a guy from Romania).

Sidebar: Thanks for the photo Des <wink>!

A fun way to add yet another dimension to social networking .. and a very clever project that is sure to lift Tino's traffic. Hope it doesn't blow his server. If you want to add your photo drop a comment.

Two for Three - For my friends in MA brrr! I hear it's wicked cold. Ripple Effects Interactive and Pennsylvania Tourism Office once again have created an interactive website to play around in while we wait for Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction of an early or late spring.  Not much social media stuff going on but on Feb 2 you can watch, via a webcam, to see if the little groundhog will or will not see his shadow.

Three for Three - Ck_mousekateerAs this story goes, Drew McLellan was inspired by his vacation to Disney World to create an innovative Disney style eight-part series - "Marketing Lessons from Walt".  Creative CK suggested that he spin the "lessons" Disney style in to a formal, transferable format (PDF)and she'd volunteered to help get the buzz going. The deal she crafted: Her very own Disney Micky Mouse ears! Gotta love it .. bloggers helping bloggers.


business astrology for fun -
from The Astro Divas Paula Dare & Donna Page

 OK ladies, today is a fabulous day for shopping. With the Moon in Taurus and a strong Saturn, bargains on high priced quality items are piled high; consider it your own personal treasure trove to pick through. The only caution with the Moon in Taurus is you just might want to buy it all.

Mix pleasure with business on Saturday or Sunday, the planets support establishing trust and friendship in business relationships.  Launch a new project on Tuesday or Wednesday, the stars are in alignment for success. Now if you haven’t got your blog out into cyber sphere (gasp! Say it’s not true) have it set to go on Wednesday.

At BlogHer With Elisa Camahort - Interview Part Two


Interview with Elisa Camahort - Part Two: BlogHer The Vision, Future Direction
Read Part One: Back-story of BlogHer, Why A Biz Conference

Last month I caught up with Elisa_camahort_1 Elisa Camahort, BlogHer, in DC. Over an almost leisurely breakfast, I was watching the clock to make a noon flight, we chatted about blogs, women in social media and the challenges and opportunities facing the BlogHer founders - I like to call them The Diva Trio - Elisa Camahort, Jory Des Jarden and Lisa Stone as they build an organization that is focused on women in social media.

Toby/Diva Marketing - What was the light bulb moment when you realized that BlogHer could be bigger than one event and a community website?

Elisa Camahort - Again, it was the community that told us. The volumes of online and offline feedback after BlogHer ’05 were remarkably consistent. They asked for more events, for an online place to “meet” every day, and a segment of our community asked us how they could make more money doing what they loved. We already knew that women are power consumers, and that women are power communicators, and that women are power connectors. But if you put all of that together: you get online community, original content, offline conferences…and an optional advertising network.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Where have you found your biggest opportunities?

Elisa Camahort - First, when we’ve actively sought them. As much as I believe that it’s everyone’s job to eradicate their own conscious or unconscious biases, I also believe that you have to go out and ask for what you want. Make them tell you “no.”

Second, when we’ve listened. Some of the best ideas come from the community. People often define Web 1.0 as one-way communications vs. Web 2.0 being two-way communications. I take that a step further and say that online community is circular communications. Speak, then listen, then respond. Rinse and repeat. You’ll get smarter, and your community will feel invested and empowered.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Let’s take a step into the future. How will you market BlogHer to ensure that you maintain the positioning and brand awareness that you’ve developed? In other words, how will you differentiate BlogHer from possible competitors?

Elisa Camahort - Jory Des Jarden, Lisa Stone and I are part of the community, and that’s what makes this brand tick. We are committed to continuing in partnership with our members – of BlogHer.org and BlogHerAds.com – and think that will do the trick.

Here’s how we interpret “partnership”: We try to differentiate ourselves by our level of service and responsiveness. By the variety of experiences we offer, online and off. By the fact that we are about community…about helping all boats rise together. And by how personally we take every aspect of our business…including helping customers understand the blogger perspective. We are each bloggers, after all, I started out as a personal and political blogger, before becoming a business blogger.

Lisa is a journalist-turned-blogger focused on the media and politics. Jory is an author and identity blogger looking at work and life. By tapping into our passion about blogging and passion about our Mission… which is to create opportunities for education, exposure, community and economic empowerment for women bloggers.

We have big plans…to continue to improve the content and experience on BlogHer.org, to further expand our educational and conference endeavors, to continue to work with the community to create  more of the opportunities that our Mission speaks to.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Let's end this on a personal note. From Elisa Camahort's perspective where do you see your biggest challenges and opportunities and fun as you head into your social media adventure?

Elisa Camahort - My biggest challenge personally has always been to not try to do everything myself. Particularly now that I have a wonderful Event Planner, Kristy Sammis, working for me I need to let go of total control of all aspects of every conference detail. That's always been my challenge as a manager going back into the corporate world, and is still a challenge.

The second challenge is that we are dedicated to serving the community, but our community is extremely diverse. Taking very wide-ranging community input and deriving the best case decisions from that input is challenging, but in the most mentally stimulating way!

The opportunities are huge and exciting. We really do want to change media, and change the way the media approaches women. And really, at the very 40,000 foot level I don't want to just change media, hell, I want to change the world!! It sounds kind of grandiose, but really, the world has a ways to go :)

And the fun? You could not interact with the women (and men) who make up the BlogHer community and not have fun. I get emails or read comments on the site every single day that make me laugh out loud. Or, even better, incite me to take action about something I believe in.

Laughing and taking action every day: a recipe for a pretty fulfilling life, right?

Lessons Learned - As has become a Diva Marketing tradition, let's take our cue from Elisa and BlogHer and spin some lessons learned.

  • Listen and learn from your customers.
  • Build partnership relationships with your customers.
  • Let people in to help you. Don't be afraid to delegate.
  • Pursue new opportunities that may seem a bit .. out there.
  • Ask for what you want. Make them tell you "no."
  • Dream BIG. Take ACTION. Laugh EVERY DAY!

At BlogHer With Elisa Camahort - Interview Part One


Last December I had the pleasure of leading a panel discussion at the first Healthcare Blogging Summit. Elisa Camahort, one of the founders of BlogHer, was a panelist and Sunday am we met for  a DBO .. Diva Breakfast Out.

Although I've been involved, as a speaker, editor and supporter, of BlogHer since the early days that be .. 2005, I was curious to lean how within, what seemed like seconds, BlogHer had morphed from one workshop - to an online community - to an ad network - to two niched conferences.  Elisa agreed to recreate our conversation about the back-story of BlogHer and the challenges and opportunities facing the  Blogher_2Diva Trio -  Elisa Camahort, Jory Des Jardins and Lisa Stone - as they build a social media company.

Part One - The Back-story of BlogHer and Why A Biz Blog Conference

Toby/Diva Marketing - Let’s give Diva Marketing’s readers some of the BlogHer back-story.  How did BlogHer come to be?

Elisa Camahort - Back in early 2005, Lisa Stone and I were introduced by a mutual friend, who insisted we needed to know one another (probably because we were the only two avid bloggers he knew.) We had lunch and talked about our frustration over a question roiling through the mainstream (political) blogosphere, namely “Where are the women bloggers?” We each were not only bloggers ourselves, but knew and read many many more of the same.
The assumption was all too often that women weren’t blogging about the topic being considered, whether technology, politics, business etc.  So when Internet and technology conference speaking rosters were skewed 80­90% toward male speakers, and when media reports on the burgeoning blogosphere quoted and cited nearly 100% male bloggers, the rationale was that the rosters merely reflected the gender ratio out in the real world. The only problem with this rationale was that neither casual observation, nor, more objectively, the statistics reported by the Pew Internet & American Life Project supported it.

So Lisa asked me about an idea she had: How about a conference for women bloggers – would I join her to make it happen? If we did, would women bloggers come? My emphatic answer to both questions was “yes” – and our partnership was born. We got right to work on it. We decided to see how many women bloggers we could gather at a conference by and about women bloggers. Men were invited and welcome, but the point was to feature the voices of women bloggers. We threw the idea out to the community in a series of blog posts and were met with an immediate and passionate response.

We also discovered almost immediately that while two heads are better than one, a triumvirate was what we really needed. I had met Jory Des Jardins at a conference…where we bonded over being the only two people taking notes on paper (not typing away in a laptop) during a session.  We started out asking her if she’d like to “help a little”, and ended up sucking her completely into the BlogHer way of life!

Toby/Diva Marketing - Who does what? How are responsibilities defined?

Elisa Camahort - Lisa, Jory and I are co-founders of this organization, and we’re organized to leverage our unique strengths and experiences.

Jory handles all of our sales, business development and partnership activities. This includes both conference sponsorships and advertising network customers.

Lisa is our editorial and community guru, and is really the chief user advocate. She manages the BlogHer.org web community, both technologically and editorially. She also handles blogger relations…making sure our editors and ad network partners are taken care of.

I manage our overall marketing and our events in particular. This means logistics, of course, but also programming. I’m constantly on the hunt for great, fresh voices to bring to our conferences.

We are each advocates for our particular area, and advisers to the other two areas. Most significant ideas in any of our three areas are shared amongst us, and it’s inevitable that three of us are way smarter than any one of us.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Let’s step back in time to 2005.  How in the world did you pull off the 2005 BlogHer Conference with no infrastructure, when you, Jory and Lisa were holding down full-time jobs and with minimum funding? 

Elisa Camahort - Because of the community. Don’t get me wrong, Lisa, Jory and I worked like madwomen…but at every step of the way when we asked for help, someone stepped up to deliver. The women’s blogging community didn’t respond to the idea of a BlogHer Conference with a passive “entertain me” attitude. On the contrary, they reacted with an active “What can I do?” spirit. Volunteerism contributed to every aspect of the conference. We like to call it “do-ocracy.” (More on that concept is here: http://blogher.org/about-blogher-conference-06)

Toby/Diva Marketing - What was the vision that you, Lisa and Jory had for the first BlogHer Conference?

Elisa Camahort - We wanted to answer that question “Where are the women bloggers” with an emphatic “Right here!” We wanted to make that question sound ridiculous if anyone asked it again. And we wanted to create an opportunity for women bloggers to meet one another and find common ground no matter what their blogging passion was.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Flash forward to 2007, BlogHer is now the premier online community for women bloggers, an ad network and not one but two conferences are planned for this year.  What is the difference between the two conferences?

Elisa Camahort - Thanks for the kind compliment Toby. The BlogHer ‘07 Conference this July in Chicago will be the next generation of the annual conference we’ve had in Silicon Valley in ’05 and ’06. It’s for all women who are interested in blogging, be they as bloggers, bloggers-to-be, or blog readers, regardless of topic or focus. We’ll continue to have the diverse schedule of sessions and events we’ve had, covering everything from the highly personal to the politically charged to the purely professional.

We’ll continue to promote do-ocracy, and look for ways to expand that empowered do-it-yourself approach beyond the Birds of a Feather sessions and Room of Your Own tracks. And we’ll continue to help all women to attend by heavily subsidizing the conference registration fee and feeding people!

BlogHer Business is our inaugural topic-focused event. Essentially we took the Business track from BlogHer and decided to expand it.  Lisa, Jory and I are were all heavily involved with business blogging and helping businesses to grok social media long before we formed BlogHer, so this was a natural first focus area for us. Lisa helped launch such blog networks as Law.com and Glam.com. Jory helped launch the ThirdAge blog network and consulted for such companies as Pluck and Rojo. I was an early business blogger, blogging for clients on topics as varied as healthcare, theatre and Internet trends. (I wrote for five client blogs at one time.)

We also had been to multiple business-related blogging conferences and felt we could add value in this arena. We consider BlogHer Business to be a “deeper dive” into a part of Blogher’s overall agenda. And in future we hope to expand the kind of deeper dives we make. BlogHer Tech? BlogHer Election ‘08? BlogHer Arts & Crafts? BlogHer Finance? We expect the community will point us in the directions we should go.

Toby/Diva Marketing  - Does a separate conference for business bloggers have anything to do with the buzz last summer about mommy bloggers and business bloggers having different interests?

Elisa Camahort - Actually, no. As I said, we’re not dropping business topics from the annual event at all. We’re just digging deeper. It’s an incredibly rich and deep topic area. The BlogHer annual event is about finding common ground and celebrating our differences. And promoting one another. And validating quality work and writing, no matter its subject matter. If anything, we’re figuring out how to address our greater community’s divergent interests head-on and see what we can learn from unexpected sources.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Why the steep price increase for the NYC conference?

Elisa Camahort -  It might be easier to explain how the annual event prices are kept low. And why we want to continue to do so. Lots of the people who attend the annual event aren’t blogging as part of any business or job. They can’t expense it to anyone or deduct the trip at tax time. It’s pure out-of-pocket expense…it is really a luxury for a lot of folks. So, if we keep the registration fee low, if we feed you all day, if we try to find hotel options that are affordable…or at least can easily support room-sharing, then we can make sure that we can accommodate, or rather be accommodated by more bloggers.

Sponsors make a lot of that possible. Their involvement means we can feed people. Their involvement means we can have more meeting rooms available. Their involvement helps us have subsidized childcare. Their involvement means we can help speakers with travel expenses…which means that we can feature a broader diversity of voices than just folks who can afford to travel to conferences all year long, All of which means that we don’t have to rely on registration fees to cover the expense of the conference. Which they don’t.

BlogHer Business, on the other hand, is targeting folks who are exploring social media as part of their business or job. In addition, it’s a targeted event with a much smaller planned size. Fewer attendees with a more niche interest, means a smaller pool of sponsors will be involved. And in order to serve these bloggers where many of them are (New York) rather than less expensive cities, the cost of doing this conference will be much greater.

Thursday Jan 25th - Part Two: Vision, Future Direction

Buzzing In The City By The Bay


Sitting next to Ten Dennard, BeeSavannah Bee Company,  on my way from ATL to San Francisco to speak at the Fancy Food Show should have given me a clue about the focus of my trip .. passion. Ted, also on his way to the Fancy Food Show, is passionate about those buzzy little creatures .. bees.  Me .. I love honey but  no way would I want to trade a hive for Max!  But Ted's passion has made his dream a reality. 

My flight was on time (hurray!) and I met up with Teresa Caro, my cohort in this adventure, her husband Dave and San Fran real estate bloggers John Harper, The Harper Team, and Pat Kitano, TransparentRETech at MoMo. It was a blast meeting them and I was delighted that they were able to join us for drinks and bloggy talk on short notice.

Although they've been blogging for a only a few months, John and Pat are passionate about  what social media can add to  a realtor's ' marketing strategy. In fact, they so believe in the power of blogs that they've put together free how-to-blog workshops for realtors.
Sidebar: Horrid photo of moi that John shot .. blame it on jet lack.  Here's a better one <wink>

Paul Pechman, who attended our session at the Fancy Food Show in NYC last summer, joined us for this session too. John is about to launch a pickle company - Pickled to Perfection (love the name!).  He knows more about pickles than anyone I know. Look for a pickle passion blog .. soon to come!

Food people are passionated about what they do .. but it's a difficult industry to succeed in and without that passion .. you haven't a chance to make it through the clutter. However, sometimes passion can take us into unchartered waters and sometimes social media can as well. We wanted to make sure that, along with the  passion for social media that Teresa and I brought to the workshop, we provided some Guidelines of What To Do and What Not To Do as you develop and launch your social media strategies.

What To Do

  • Respect the culture of social media
  • Be Authentic - builds your credibility
  • Be Honest - builds your reputation
  • Be Transparent - builds respect
  • Develop a Blogger's Code of Ethics for your bloggers
  • Develop a social media strategy that integrates with you master marketing plan
  • Remember that a social media strategy is a long-term tactic

What Not To Do

  • Neglect the cultural influence of social media
  • Lie - explicit or by omission
  • Spam comments or inappropriate trackbacks
  • Spolg - spam blog
  • Hard sell posts and PR releases without value added content
  • Jump into the game without developing guidelines and a code of ethics for your bloggers
  • Think that social media is a quick fix to a marketing plan

Friday Fun: One Degree of Separation From Kevin Bacon


Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

Six_degrees Those non profit marketers sure get to have fun! In her role as VP Marketing for Network For Good, Katya Andresen, has been working on an innovative strategy that integrates celebrities, the web, viral/word-of-mouth marketing, traditional and social media PR and the Sundance Film Festival.

Ever hear of the game Six Degrees of Separation from Kevin Bacon? Kevin Bacon is taking that game to a new level and turning it into a charitable social network to inspire online giving - Six Degrees.

SixDegrees.org is about using the idea that we are all connected to accomplish something good. It is my hope that Six Degrees will soon be something more than a game or a gimmick. It will also be a force for good, by bringing a social conscience to social networking. Kevin Bacon

He's ask his celeb friends to this party - Kyra Sedgwick (Natural Resources Defense Council), Nicole Kidman (UNIFEM), Ashley Judd (YouthAIDS), Bradley Whitford and Jane Kaczmarek (Clothes off Our Back), Dana Delany (Scleroderma Research Foundation), Robert Duvall (Pro Mujer), and Jessica Simpson (Operation Smile).

And he's encouraging everyone to be celebrities for their own causes by joining the Six Degrees movement. Not only is Kevin Bacon giving his name to the cause but he's matching charitable dollars raised by the top six non-celebrity fund raisers with grants of up to $10,000 each.

Lucky Katya is on her way to the Sundance Film Festival to meet up with Kevin Bacon where they will launch the program. Girlfriend, you know what this means? I'm One Degree From Separation From Kevin Bacon .. and you are only Two Degrees From Separation From Kevin Bacon. Awesome!

Lessons Learned: A silly game can inspire a creative marketing program. We should - or rather we must - learn to color outside of the lines again.

Sidebar: Diva Taughnee gave the web presence a "little sparkle" .. including the final touches to the logo which was designed by Kevin's daughter. I understand that Typepad will be adding the ability to post charity badges as a widget.

Read more about Six Degrees in USA Today
Check the ebay auction of celeb swag to benefit Six Degrees.


business astrology for fun -
from The Astro Divas Paula Dare & Donna Page

The Sun enters Aquarius the sign of groups Sat. 1/20. This would be a fabulous time to form a Master Mind group to grow your business by brainstorming new ideas. This is also the sign of humanitarianism. How can you make a difference in the world? How can you make a contribution
to your community?

On Mon. 1/22 Jupiter squares Uranus. This is the first of 3 – 5/10 and  10/9. If you are invested in the Stock Market, pay attention, as there could be volatility. You could also be experiencing restlessness and an urge to change something in your business. You won’t like the any restrictions. With Jupiter in Sagittarius, exaggeration is always a possibility. Try to remain calm. Don’t act on impulse. Think over every detail first.

A Metaphor For Dreams - Sundance Film Festival


Every once in awhile you might have a dream. Just a small dream. But with a little help from a friend or 2 or 3 that dream explodes. Your vision takes on new dimensions and grows into something bigger than your original thoughts.

Original Dream - Utah/United States Film Festival. Sterling van Wagenen, a Brigham Young University film school graduate, and John Earle, Utah State Film Commissioner envisioned a film festival produced by the Utah Film Commission to entice filmmakers and tourists to Utah.

Dream Exploded - Sundance_cap_2Park City, Utah Jan 18-28, 2007. The 25th anniversary of the Sundance Film Festival.  In 1985 Robert Redford's Sundance Institute, founded to help young film makers, took over the Utah/United States Film Festival. (In 1991, the festival was officially renamed.)

However, instead of a way to grow the Utah film industry, Sundance became an event that championed the independent film maker. And 2 people's dream became a catalyst for thousands of people's dreams.  And the rest, as they say Girlfriend, is history. The website 2006 won a webby and this year's site is rich with content including video interviews wth the artists. Too bad they're not downloadable.

Heard from Susan Getgood, Marketing Roadmaps, that as a sponsor*, HP is again helping Sundance with its social media strategy. Susan is one of the bloggers of the Backstage at Sundance blog. Sidebar: Couldn't find the blog link from the home Sundance Film Festival page. Too bad. I had to click on the HP logo which took me to the micro site. *Sundance is a non profit organization.

Marketing Sidebar: Interesting that the branding aspects of the Backstage at Sundance blog is totally HP .. it's not a co-branded look and feel. Seems a little disjointed to me. Wonder why HP chose to go in that direction. Perhaps Eric Kintz can give us an insight on this one.

In addition, check out the Snapshot Diaries contest - a photo contest. The winning entry will be turned into a short movie by film director Matt Pope. Cool grand prize is a trip for two to Sundance 2008 (airfare, hotel and event tickets), and there are 3 great runner up prizes of HP gear. Contest begins January 15, 2007 and ends January 28 2007.

Lessons Learned: If you have an idea don't be shy about bringing in people to help you. That includes your customers too! You might be surprised where their suggestions lead.

Update: Thanks to Eric Kintz  and Susan Getgood for passing along my question to Karen Cage, who is responsible for Backstage @ Sundance blog. Karen kindly commented (see below) explaining that HP was in a rush to launch the blog and the look and feel will soon be updated to reflect a more consistent branding. One problem solved! 

One Job For One Guy


A new year is a great time to travel in a different direction. Tris_hussey Bloggy pal Tris Hussey, social media consultant extrodinarie, is ready to explore a full time gig opportunity. 

I want to stay active in the blogosphere.  I'd like to use my decade plus of Internet, marketing, communications, and product skills.  I write well.  I understand tech.  I understand people.  I can launch or lead a social media program.  I can lead your product team.  I can be a core part of your senior team.

Tris has pulled me out of tech hot water more times than I care to think about. He knows his stuff plus he's wonderful to work with .. a kind, smart, generous divo. Know of a great job for a great guy?  Give Tris a shout out; find out more at A View From The Isle.

Sidebar: Bloggy disclosure - Tris did not pay me to say any of the above. I am not getting a finder's fee for any gig. The link to A View From The Isle is not an affiliate link. Oh did I mention Tris was a friend? Yup see sentence #2.

Shout Out To San Francisco Bloggers


San_francisco_postcard Anyone up for blogger wonk/meet-up/happy hour this Friday (Jan 19th) night?

Teresa Caro and I will be in your fair city .. we are speaking on social media at the Fancy Food Show on Saturday and we would love to connect with Bloggers By The Bay.

Gabe, Teresa's colleague from AvenueA/Razorfish, suggested MoMo's as a cool place to hang out, drink an appletini or a glass (or two) of CA vino and talk blogs/social media. It would be so fun to meet y'all in person. I realize this is short notice but if you can drop by we'll be there from 6:30p on ...

MoMo's San Francisco Grill
760 Second Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
Phone: 415.227.8660
Fax: 415.227.8693