Friday, May 8, 2009

I'm OFFICIALLY a "Grown-Up" Blogger!

I've got some EXCITING news to share! I'm officially a "Grown-UP" Blogger!

That's because I've moved to a self hosted format on Wordpress. This was a tough decision for me b/c I love the ease of Blogger, in that I could do the majority of the design work and add widgets with the click of my mouse. However, since I've transitioned from personal blogging to professional blogging it was the next logical step. Especially since I want to OWN the traffic that I drive to my blog. So, I interviewed several designers and found one who was able to code my new blog to look exactly like this one. After all, I want my Millionaire Moms Media followers to recognize me in my new "home"!

This was an important lesson for me as a business woman. You must practice what you preach and clients often asked why I use Blogger but send them to Wordpress. I've also learned about "letting go" of things that someone can do FOR me so that I can focus on what I'm best at--helping people learn to use social media to grow their businesses. If you think you don't have the money to pay someone else, I want you to consider this thought: you either pay in money or time...but you STILL pay!

I am keeping this blog up only to let anyone who crosses this way know that I'm located at I'll see ya there!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The BEST EVER Internet Marketing Book for Moms!

I had the privilege of completing a 10 week internship with Kelly McCausey the guru of the Moms Talk Network. Although I've been blogging for years, I took this opportunity b/c of a Tweet Kelly made calling for interns. Her proposal? Give me 10 weeks and I'll give you the BEST blogging education of your life! And she SO delivered on that promise.

Things are going to get even BETTER here at my blog largely because of Kelly's expertise.

In my former life, when I was heavily involved in direct sales, I purchased numerous information products through the Moms Talk Network and loved them all. Kelly has taken MTN to a whole new level with her new book, "The Complete Internet Marketing Moms Start Up Guide".

If you're just getting started with internet marketing, you NEED this book. If you're "STUCK" with your marketing efforts, you NEED this book. If you want MORE success than you have now, you NEED this book. And if you're smart enough to follow Kelly too on Twitter (@kellymccausey) you just might be lucky enough to get picked the next time she does an internship.

Click the book image below to learn more and purchase this great resource! You won't be sorry!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Proud Momma!

Well, it's a bitter sweet day for me. My babies are growing up and I have to admit that it's hard to watch sometimes. One of Life's little "secrets" is that time passes FAR too quickly.

Last night, my oldest was in his First Grade Musical: The Cheese Stands Alone. It was all about how it's "cool" to be different and stand up for what you believe in. YAY!

As I sat there in the gym (sweating like a pig!) amongst the other proud parents and grandparents, I wondered how many were really stopping to savor the moment. It won't be too much further in the future that he really WILL need to make some tough choices and I worry every day that I've done enough to help him make the right ones.

So my thought for today is this: Stop right now and take a minute to think about the last time you REALLY appreciated life's journey. And if it takes you LONGER than a minute to think of something, then you've got some work to do!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Here For The Party?? Me too!

I've been hearing the Buzz on the mommy blogosphere about 5 Minutes for Mom's 2009 Ultimate Blog Party. I decided that this year I need to participate because it's about the true meaning of social media--developing relationships.

How does this happen? By getting to know others on the blogosphere.

How do you get to know a group of virtual strangers? By visiting, reading and commenting on other blogs of interest.

It doesn't matter if you're a newbie or a guru, a mom or not. (this year, EVERYONE is welcome!) You can literally let your inner "Rock Star" loose and chances are there's someone at the UBP who will become your groupie! lol...

If you're new to Millionaire Moms Inc, WELCOME! If you'd like to read about me you can get a brief look at my "blood, sweat, and tears" journey in business while juggling it ALL--just like most of you!

I welcome the opportunity to share, to learn, to reach out, to lift up and have a FABULOUS time getting to know you all. Look for my comments on YOUR blogs too! I give LINK LOVE any time that I can!

If you have questions, give a holler! Comments are WELCOMED and reciprocated! (Hint! Hint!)

Charm School For Networking Organizations

Here's the story...

A few weeks back, I attended an evening mixer for a well known national business organization who shall remain nameless. (Why shall they remain nameless? Because they don't deserve any press from me--or you for that matter.) It's the PRINCIPLE violated that I want to cover that really matters. But I digress...

At the mixer, there was a person whose sole function for the organization is to meet and greet both new AND prospective members. Considering that 200+ people were crammed into a restaurant like "sardines"--this would prove no easy task. I get that.

HOWEVER, since when did it become OK to assume (based on a LESS than 10 second introduction) that you know everything you need to know about what someone's business entails? (To be fair, I was introduced by a counterpart by my name, owner of business name and title of social media consultant. Yes, my friend also referred to me as a 'social media guru', but I actually enjoyed that title. Who am I to burst her bubble? lol.)

I mean, really! Yes, I "get" that some are ignorant of the important role that social media can and should play in marketing. To ASSUME is one thing. To VERBALIZE this, as one board liaison did that very evening, is another.

Not only was I subjected to a 10 minute rant by a 'member liaison' about how "social media" (not poor supervision on his part of his employees downloading stuff from the net on company time) caused his store computer to become infected with all sorts of 'viruses', but the assumptions continued in a "follow-up" email I received today from the prospective member liaison.

The beginning was nice enough. The usual formalities of "it was nice to meet you" and "I want to learn more about your business BECAUSE" were followed by what I feel was a veiled slight of,
"my CHILDREN have Twitter and Facebook accounts" and that "more and more people are socializing on the internet." Wow! She really "gets" how I help companies increase their online presence, brand recognition, sales, profits and customer service. After all if CHILDREN can do this, then why can't I?? (Yes, that smacks of sarcasm and for good reason!)

It never ceases to amaze me that others still don't realize that we ALL act at one time or another in a "sales" capacity--whether or not it is in our job description.

Sales 101: What's In It For THEM is what matters most!

One would think that a 'new/prospective member liaison' would realize that the FIRST order of business would be to tell me how their organization could be of benefit to my business. One would ALSO think that it would be of importance to spend a little bit of time (other than the 10 seconds already allotted) to truly understand what I DO before insulting my business. I mean if you don't KNOW what someone truly does for a living, say you don't KNOW. It shows you're honest and in today's business world, honesty goes a long way. (IMO)

Injury to insult--the bottom of the email contained an invite to join! Give me a break!

For all the talk about how some have embraced social media because it allows a degree of anonymity as it does not "require" face to face interaction (that is a nice way of implying that it does not require interpersonal realtionship skills) I say BS!

Manners are manners and my momma raised me right. I was taught that one should always ask about what's new with the other person BEFORE you move on to what's new with you! Etiquette is the same online and off. It's time that some of these business improvement organizations went to charm school.

Guess it's time for this Moxie Maven to school 'em.

Who's with me?!?

If this resonated with you, PLEASE comment. If you know someone who NEEDS to read this post, please forward it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Virtual High Five Is In Order!

I'm not one to toot my own horn, but it's not every day that you get featured on the blogosphere! Alexis Neely is a family lawyer, an author, a blogger, a single mother and an all around "MOXIE" kind of girl.

She started a "Having it All and Doing it All" series on her blog and sent a call out on Twitter for applicants. So, I responded with my "little" story and thought nothing more about it.

And guess who her FIRST featured mom is???


I can't believe it. I'm honored and humbled and hope that ONE mom gets a least ONE thing from my story.

Thanks for letting me give a "virtual" High Five to myself. ;-)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Walk It Out!

Some of you may not know this, but BOTH of my children were born prematurely and no one knows why. I'm doing my part to help provide funds for research. Please join me. Even $1 can make a big difference. Simply click the SPONSOR ME link to walk or donate. Thanks for your support.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

10 MUST HAVE Twitter Tips

A beautiful thing about Twitter is the wealth of useful information that flows. (if you're following cool tweeps!) But if you're a newbie to Twitter, you can easily make mishaps if you don't know the "twetiquette". I've compiled a TOP 10 List of MUST HAVE Tips to help you out. Feel free to add your own in the comments.

Twitter Tips

1. Be yourself, but be aware. Yes, you can say whatever you feel like saying, but remember that whatever you write will exist in the world wide web forever! Proceed with extreme caution. The place to vent about your boss, company or co-workers is NOT here.

2. Engage and Interact with others. If you like something they say, reply by clicking the little grey arrow that appears when you hover over one of their tweets. (If you're using Tweet Deck, simply hit the @reply tool) You can also simply type in @username (replacing "username" with whatever their username happens to be on Twitter). This is the way you speak to someone on Twitter. Even BETTER than the @reply is the RT, or Re-Tweet. Tweeple (twitter people) are MORE likely to read a RT because if you thought it was cool enough to send to YOUR followers, then possibly they will to. It's a great little trick for getting followers.

3. Follow celebrities. They may never interact with you, but at least you can interact with them. It's no longer a question of who is on Twitter -- but who ISN'T on Twitter. Common interests build relationships. Celebrities and/or those who follow them are no different.

4. Third Party Applications Are A MUST! If you're Tweeting from the twitter home page, you're behind the times. Did you know that you can Twitter from your desktop, your iphone or blackberry? Twitter allows programmers to create tools to make using Twitter a better experience for us all. There's Twitterrific, TweetDeck, and Twhirl -- just to name a few. My personal preference is Tweet Deck.

5. Follow New People Daily Don't know who to follow? A quick search for some of your favorite things on will quickly reveal who you should be following on Twitter. Maybe they'll follow you back! You can also use Twello (it's like the yellow pages of Twitter) I don't recommend "auto follow" apps because it defeats the purpose of Twitter: transparency and authenticity.

6. Follow government officials. Check to see if your elected officials are Tweeting. Regardless of what political views you have, you have to admit that the Obama campaign dominated social media--especially Twitter.

7. Ask the Twitterverse Twitter is all about giving FIRST--especially helpful information. If you have a need, a question or need a resource, ask the Twitterverse. News and information travels at the speed of light there!

8. Tweetups I've successfully connected OFFLINE with Twitter connections that started online. Not only have I made friends but I've developed strategic business alliances and gained new clients. ALL FOR FREE using Twitter. Simply put, a Tweetup is a gathering of fellow Twitter users in your local community. If you don't have one in your area, start one!

9. NO AUTOMATIC Follower Getters! I know it SOUNDS tempting when you read the ads. "Get 15,000 followers in 30 days." But ask yourself this, how are you REALISTICALLY going to interact with all those people? And are they REALLY listening to you? Probably not. Choose who you follow (and unfollow) YOURSELF. You'll thank me for it as you develop REAL connections.

10. Use Twetiquette! The same courtesies you give offline also apply online. DON'T BE THAT GUY OR GIRL! What I mean is this: Don't send people links to buy your stuff UNTIL they ask for it! Twitter is a NETWORKING tool, not a sales tool. The sales part comes AFTER you develop and cultivate your new relationships. Ask people being to know, like and trust you you will find they are more open to learning about your product or service.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Can Social Media Efforts Be Measured?

I was recently asked if social media efforts can be measured. In fact a client of mine shared that she feels as though she's been "spinning her wheels" simply because she hasn't yet seen what she deems a fruitful relationship (i.e. new sales partner) develop from her efforts.

My client feels this sense of what I call "The Treadmill Effect"(where you are contstantly running, but never seem to arrive anywhere) because her efforts are not entirely targeted or purposeful. Therefore, she has not accomplished her goal. Simply stated, it is because she did not start with the end in mind.

To really "dig" into the processes that can be measured, I came across this great article today. This quote gets to the heart of the matter:

"I’m going to take the last bit of this mammoth post to say something critically important. Every single metric above - every single one - is tied to something else that doesn’t have it’s own metric. It’s the strength of the relationships between people. That’s nearly impossible to put on any kind of yardstick, but it’s the underpinning of ALL of these things. Better relationships drive better business, period. You may not be able to measure the relationships themselves, but all of the metrics above are indications - the results, if you will - of how well you’ve cultivated those relationships on a human level."
Get A Yardstick, Mar 2009
Read the entire article. You will thank me!


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Showing Up Differently?

For the first time in a long time, I've been at a loss for words. Yesterday, I attended an event for the Greater Houston eWomen Network.

Hearing the founder Sandra Yancey share her story and her vision for the GLOW project, with us was moving to say the least. It is often difficult to see that those whom you aspire to emulate have once been in your shoes.

For those of you who have not had the opportunity to see the movie yet, I strongly encourage you to do so. For my Houston area readers, there will be a private screening in the coming months, so watch for my post about it. If you are not in a city where the movie is playing, you can purchase the DVD and have your own screening! EVERY woman needs to see GLOW...end of story! (And as an FYI: I gain NOTHING from sharing this with you, other than the satisfaction of knowing that it will change you as it has me.)

Simply put, GLOW is the light that we share when we lift another and though we give, we've lost nothing in the process.

Ponder that...

The concept of giving without remembering and taking without forgetting is powerful.

Sandra Yancey is humble, generous, candid and open. She shared a powerful story where she discussed the concept of showing up differently to do something the NEXT time around. This really struck a cord with me, considering that I've done this very thing by leaping off high dive to launch my dream business. I've quite literally transformed before my own eyes.

Ask yourself this:

If I could start my business all over again tomorrow, how would I show up differently this time?

The answers will amaze you!

I know that I am not doing her justice, so I will not continue to ramble on. Maybe as my thoughts clear in the next few days, I can share more.

I'd love to hear how you have shared your GLOW with another or how another has shared her GLOW with you and what impact that had on you.


Saturday, February 28, 2009

Web 2.0 and the Female Audience

Women control 80% of household spending, representing $1.7 trillion each year. There are 104 million of them online. Are you talking at them, or with them? There IS a difference!Women intuitively “get” social media and bring a unique voice, perspective and influence when engaging in conversations around your industry, products, and brand.

read more | digg story

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Throw me Something, Mister!

Just wanted to give you a quick peek at our AWESOME Mardi Gras weekend! Here's a pic with my best boy Jack. Little Tyler wouldn't stand still long enough to pose with me. He was too busy yelling, "Throw me something, Mister!" and dashing around to catch beads! (He caught on REAL quick.) The only sad part was that neither of them remembered how we did this with them when they were even younger! How I miss home some days....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Cost of Social Media

The big cost associated with social networking is TIME. Yes…one MORE thing to fit into your day. However, it will be time well spent if you follow a few simple suggestions.

1. Be consistent—strive to devote 10-15 minutes at the beginning and end of your day if you are just starting out. You are far more likely to build your network by simply showing up. You can increase your time as you learn the ropes and discover the tools of automation available for use.

2. Be a good listener—seek first to understand. No further explanation required.

3. Be of value--engage in conversation about which you have knowledge and/or experience. If you are a CPA and can offer some great tips for tax time, then share them! If you've been in real estate for years and have the insider's guide to selling a house, then share it! By sharing you become a trusted source of information. In today's world, trust goes a long way.

4. Be yourself—you don’t have to be a celebrity or a rock star here. In fact, social media has its own rock stars. Who knows…you may be the NEXT BIG THING that goes viral in the social media world. And for once, this virus is something you would WANT to catch.


Let's Get It Started!

Lately, I've met with clients who are overwhelmed by the sheer number of networks available online. So WHERE do you start? My humble suggestion is to start with the following networks to get in the game: Twitter and LinkedIn. Understand that each has its own culture and language but each can be highly effective when used properly.

Twitter is a micro-blogging community. That’s a fancy way of saying it’s an online version of a cocktail party. And truly, it is as conversational as that. You build your network by ‘following’ others and getting others to ‘follow’ you. In the Twitter world, this means that anything you enter will appear on the timeline for your followers to view and vice versa. You can simply begin by setting up a free profile and then LISTEN to what the buzz is all about. To listen, you simply read. Read what, you ask? TWEETS, of course!

A tweet is the slang used for any single message posted at the site. Each tweet is limited to 140 characters, so you must be brief and to the point. You can tweet as little or as much as you like. There are applications that can be managed from your desktop and even your mobile phone device—but we will discuss that another day.

Just have fun and remember, it’s supposed to be less formal than what you’re used to encountering in the work place. That’s the brilliance of it. It allows your clients, colleagues and customers to see behind the curtain, so to speak. Your personality shines through and that is why they will clamor to do business with you!

LinkedIn is considered the “professional’s” social network, although Facebook is beginning to challenge that. LinkedIn allows you to list your educational background, work history and even connect with past colleagues, co-workers and classmates.

It is not for the faint of heart, as the language can often seem as though you’re reading a resume how to guide. Don’t let this deter you, as everyone isn’t impressed by the jargon nor is it required. In fact, the lingo associated with this site had me so paralyzed with fear that I completely ignored this side in my own marketing efforts.

However, through my use of other social media communities, I too realized that there WAS a place for me (the work-at-home-mom-business-owner) on LinkedIn. So, I’ve been busy building MY professional network there. After all, I have to walk the talk!

So you see, you and I are similar..,we ALL need to start somewhere. Each time a new network emerges that adds value to my online presence; I will need to begin anew. It’s ever changing and evolving.

Want to test your skills? Set up a profile on Twitter. Follow me and I will follow you back. Let's also get LinkedIn together!

Tweet you later!


Saturday, February 14, 2009

This Ain't Your Momma's Networking!

What IS social media? Wikipedia defines Social media as: primarily Internet- and mobile-based tools for sharing and discussing information among human beings.

If you thought that social media was only for teenagers or single people trying to find love, you thought wrong! It’s here to stay and taking the internet by storm. There’s no time like the present to jump in, join the crowd, engage in conversation and if truth be told have fun while building your business.

Social media is quite literally a “virtual” word-of-mouth marketing network. Just how important are social media conversations about you and/or your business? Check out the following statistics:

• More than 1 in 8 viewers make a purchase after watching a video ad online – eMarketer
• Facebook has 150,000 new users sign up every single day – Time Magazine
• As of October 2006, about 100,000 new blogs were created every day – Technorati
• LinkedIn has a 137% growth year over year bringing its visitors to about 8 million per month -

Small business owners are beginning to realize the need to leverage social media to grow their businesses. However, it has been my recent experience that many do not know where to start, or worse--how to get the most out of their social media efforts.

I attended a networking event for women business owners and decided to conduct my own case study. I posed a seemingly simple question to each lady I encountered. “Are you incorporating social media in the growth strategy for your business?” One of two things occurred. Either the look of a “deer-caught-in-the-headlights” appeared on their face, followed by a blank stare, followed by the inevitable response of “HUH?! Social WHO?” or I received an overwhelmingly confident “I have a profile on LinkedIn!” Obviously, the latter was given in an effort to imply THAT was all they needed. How would you respond? Wait…don’t answer that!

Whether you realize it or not, the only person who is going to drive your business and our economy forward is YOU. It’s time to put a new plan into effect and it is crucial that social media networking be included in that plan. People aren’t just wasting time on social networking sites anymore. Savvy and growing businesses are utilizing these tools to build new relationships with those that can bring them new business. Even more impressive are those “BIG” businesses (E.g., Jet Blue, Dell, Whole Foods, Apple) using social media tools, such as Twitter, to improve customer retention and satisfaction by adding a “human” element to their brand—thus driving sales.

For the record, social media is NOT a sales tool. It is a relationship building tool that will drive sales, if done properly. Utilizing social media is a lot like networking offline, meaning that it’s easier to get and give business with people you know on a personal level. Your goal is to let them see the authentic you in order to build relationships. Once that is done you’ll have a captive audience ready to give back to you!(Hint: that’s where the SALES part comes into play.)

It’s not so much the method that you choose (whether LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, etc.) but what you do WITHIN that community that matters most. Having 10 profiles in 10 different networks only to never return again will do LESS for you than having 2 or 3 profiles in communities where you are an active participant.

Bottom line: You better put your “big girl” panties on and just do it, because your competition is!