Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Have you missed me?

I haven't been around hear much, sorry about that. I actually have clients who pay me and being the responsible type I am, I complete the event management task I said I would in exchange for their payment.

In between meetings work, I have have a few writing commitments as well. I'm pleased to announce my newest is over at SmallBusinessAnswers.com. They are the folks behind the awesome conference (yes, I can say that honestly, I didn't plan it ;) Small Business Unleashed.

My first piece for them is called Teach 'em Why They can't Live Without You and it is about making events less intimidating for small business. Go take a look and tell me what you think.

I'm also looking for topics to write about. Got a question that needs an answer but don't have time to do the research? Send it my way and I'll see what I can do.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Ever have a opportunity to do something you’ve wanted to do for a long time and then be completely paralyzed by the thought of actually DOING it?

Yeah, that’s been me over the last six weeks.

I love to write and I’m told I’m pretty good at it. Writing as a professional endeavor is certainly something I’d like to do more of. At the end of August, I was handed the keys to the kingdom so to speak. I was asked to be a contributor to a web site focused on providing small businesses with the resources they need to succeed. I’ve just been sitting here staring a the keys (the ones on my keyboard). I have a million things I’d like to write about and couldn’t pluck one of them out of my head. When I wasn’t having a brain cramp, I was easily distracted completing other tasks that “needed” to be done first. In all fairness to myself, I do have other responsibilities, but still I even upgraded my computer’s operating system before forcing myself to sit down and just WRITE!!

Today, I did it. I drafted my first submission. I haven’t posted it yet, but I’ve proofed it and set it aside for one last reading tomorrow morning. As soon as it posts, I’ll link to it here.

Yay me!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Twitter, the New Customer Service Frontier

So I've been Twittering. It's fun. It is a release especially for an opinionated woman who works from home (alone most days). I always have things to say, now I have a place to say them.

That's nice you say. Still sounds like a time waster to me. Hold on there, not yet.

Late last month, I received a special email offer from Network Solutions for a buy one get on domains. I've just launched a new personal blog (on Blogger for now) and I wanted to get the domain for that blog. BOGO? Great, I'm there.

I placed the order and noticed that I was charged for both domains. I emailed, but never heard back, so Tuesday, I picked up the phone and called. Net Sol immediately scored points because Cyndi, the woman I spoke was obviously a native speaker of the English language. She asked that I forward the email and then put me on hold (only for like a minute and a half, more points) when she came back she kindly (and I mean that sincerely) pointed out the teeny tiny gray on gray print at the very bottom of the page. She said that many people like to purchase multiple iterations of a domain (i.e. mydomain.com, mydomain.net). Hmm, something I didn't think of with this purchase. Cyndi apologized for the confusion.

They had me, but I wasn't happy about it. So, what's a girl to do? Well Twitter of course!

Fearless oooh, I got snookered by Network Solutions!!!! Grr. So far I'm 0 for 2 on domain name registrars. Go Daddy burned me too. Lesson learned, always, READ teeny tiny gray on gray print closely!netsolcares netsolcares @Fearless I'm Gerry at Network Solutions. I'm sorry, I'd like to help you. Can you contact me at --email deleted--

I laughed. Ok, I'll bite. What the heck, I'll see what he can do. What the heck indeed. Gerry and I exchanged a few emails, wherein I explained what happened and my frustration about the teeny tine gray on gray print, and he offered to refund me the cost of the second domain. WHOA! Really?

Really. I spoke to him by phone yesterday. He told me he'd forwarded my complaint about the teeny tine gray on gray print to The Customer Voice, (a place for NetSol to collect customer input). I was so pleased at the outreach, and the genuine effort put in to making me feel better about the transaction, I suggested that instead of refunding the cost of the domain I purchased, that he just add the .nets to both of the .coms I purchased.

I may be opionoinated, but I can be reasonable, especially if I think my complaints have been heard. So three cheers to Gerry and hears to never seeing teeny tine gray on gray print in a Network Solutions ad again!

So I'll keep Twitterin'. Who knows where it might lead. Do you Twitter? Follow me @Fearless.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Shaking off and settlling into a routine

Summer is over.
School has started.
It is time to get back into the swing of things.

My summer didn’t go exactly as I planned, and as always, I had more on my list of things to do than I could ever have reasonably accomplished even without all the chaos that made up this summer.

There’s always next year right?

I’m actually looking forward to the fall. I’ve started some new projects and so far, the workload seems reasonable. I’ll have more to share shortly.

In the mean time, It is time to pack up the beach toys and get back to business!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I'm Twittering, are you?

I signed up for a Twitter account a year ago. For the life of me couldn't figure out how it could be anything more than a time sucker, especially for someone like me who is REALLY nosy and likes to know what others are up to. So, my Twitter account lay dormant.

However, recently, Twitter keeps popping into my life. Two weeks ago, I read Is Twitter for the Birds in the High Rankings Adviser and that got me thinking. Then I was catching up one of my favorite bloggers Mrs. Fussypants and she Twitters. The proverbial straw came this morning while talking with a colleague who works for the WC3. She relayed a conversation she had at lunch the other day about using Twitter to generate blog traffic.

So, I'm going to give Twitter a try. Do you tweet? If so, follow me twitter.com/fearless

Tweet, tweet!

Monday, August 4, 2008

I'm still here

Hello World!

Yeah, it has been a while. Sorry about that. The spring was CRAZY busy. The 10th annual Granite State Human Resources Conference was held May
6th in Manchester New Hapmshire. It was a successful event, but 500+ attendeees makes for a lot of work. Work I enjoy immensely, and that can be handled when I'm healthy, but 2 weeks before the event I was diagnosed with an infection of the lower intestine. OUCH!! I had to stop (something I'm not particularly good at BTW), and then my well choreographed schedule was blown to bits.

I had a back up plan (a must when you work solo), but fortunately, I didn't need it. There were things I would do differently for the event, but it went well all in all.

May was spent recovering and wrapping up the details. June was the end of the school year and all the details that go with that. July started what should have been two back to back trips, but due to a death in the family two became three.

So, here we are in August. Unbelievable. Planning for the 2009 Granite State Conference is under way, and it is time to start thinking about back to school and getting into fall routines again.

Come September I hope to be here more often. I am working during the month of August, but the load is less than other times of the year, so I'll also be spending some time with my family and helping out some friends.

Until then!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bag Ladies REJOICE - Bag Borrow Or Steal

Who says Internet advertising doesn't work?

I was out snooping through The Pioneer Woman's new digs when an ad on the left column caught my eye. So being the obedient consumer I am, I clicked and was briskly whisked off to Bag Borrow or Steal. THE website for fashionistas and IMHO a very unique concept.

Bag, Borrow or Steal is like a candy shop for the bag lady in all of us. They stock the latest in designer bags and some vintage ones too. You select the bag you like, enter a credit card and wait for the nice delivery man to bring you your prize. You can keep it for as long as you want with borrowing fees assessed by the a week or month. When you tire of the bag you drop in in a box and send it back. If you decide you truly can't part with a particular bag you can even "steal it" (a.k.a. buying it out right).

Those who know me know that hip, chic and trendy are probably the LAST words anyone would use to describe me. So, I won't be adding my name to the waiting list for the latest Jimmy Choo bag, but BBOS gets my nod for a truly unique concept.

Have you tried it? I'd love to know what you thought.

Don't miss this blog!

My friend and colleague Karon Thackston has a way with words.
This is a) an understatement and b) a good thing since she learns her living writing copy for her company Marketing Words, Inc.

I first met Karon through Jill Whalen, Karon was a regular presenter at the High Ranking search Marketing Seminars and she writes regularly for the Jill's e-newsletter the High Rankings Adviser (including an article on consistency in your pay-per-click campaigns in the latest issue).

However Karon is a successful author in her own right. She's written 3 popluar ebooks

Karon's approach to teaching copy writing is process oriented but informative and effective and most importantly, doable. I had many a seminar attendee tell me Karon had demystified the copy writing process for them. I liked Karon's work so much, I hired her to create the copy for my event planning web site. Oh and did I mention Karon is a dream to work with? Always organized, usually ahead of deadlines, NEVER late.

Karon has just launched a blog, at marketingwords.com/blog here she dispenses invaluable nuggets of copy writing wisdom and shares her thoughts on the process as a whole, so pop on over and say hi and partake in the conversation.

It is NEVER too late to pursue your dreams

I read a story in today's Concord Monitor about John Archer.

John is 99 and hopes to see a collection of poems he wrote at the ripe old age of 92 published this year by Revolution Booksellers in Exeter, New Hampshire. The book is titled Walking Backwards Towards Old Age and is due to be released this fall.

According to the article, he self published the book and it sold at local bookstores, but other than contacting a handful of national publishers, never did much to promote it.

Phil Englehardt, president of Revolution found it and thought it fit perfectly with their mission "to provide marketing and support to authors through a business model based on the independent music industry".

How cool is that to be looking at the end of your life and to know that a piece of you will live on after your passing?

So, how do you want future generations to remember you?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Don't Miss the Small Business Marketing Unleashed Conference

Unless you are selling the Collected Works of the Luddites, marketing has gone online baby!

"Yeah, that's great" you say, "but I'm a small business and I don't have the budget to hire an expert, or the knowledge to do it myself." Don't despair my friend, I have the perfect conference for you.

My friend Jennifer Laycock and Search Engine Guide along with Small Business Brief have teamed to create the Small Business Marketing Unleashed Conference, in Houston, April 21 & 22. Aside from Jen, I worked with 3 of the other speaker's on the High Rankings Search Marketing Seminar.

Matt Bailey of Site Logic Marketing is a phenomenal speaker. He knows his material and is passionate about usability (making your site user-friendly) and conversion (insuring that visitors become buyers). He speaks in plain English with some humor thrown in for good measure.

Christine Churchill, of Key Relevance knows paid search inside out, backwards, forwards, on the diagonal, you name it, she knows it. She is fanatical about being up to date and thorough in her presentations. When I worked with her, that meant that she was tweaking her information literally until she walked up to the podium. Christine has been around the block a few times with paid search and she has the battle scars to prove it, but she wants you to learn from her mistakes.

Debra O'Neil Mastaler of Alliance Link is the Link Goddess. She lives, eats and breathes linking (washed down with a Diet Coke). Most people don't realize the importance of links to a website's rankings in the search engines. They also don't really know how to go about acquiring meaningful links (HINT: not all links are good links).

Jennifer Laycock is doing a session on Viral Marketing and she knows of what she speaks. She can speak from experience about the good (see this) and the not so good aspects of viral marketing. I bet she'll talk about how she used viral marketing to market this conference. You know like this.

I don't know the other speakers personally, but they are all well known names in the field of search marketing.

Yeah, yeah, yeah you say. The speakers are great, but I've been to conferences before and while I leave with ideas, when I get back to the office, I feel paralyzed about what to do next. Not this time. The total attendance is limited to 200 people, and the individual workshops are limited to 50 attendees. With these numbers you will truly get a chance to have your most burning questions answered (register early and sign up for one of the site clinics, you won't regret it). This time, you'll leave with a plan and the steps to complete it (including worksheets on a flash drive). As an event organizer, my biggest problem with the speakers listed above, was prying them away from conversations with attendees when it was time for them to present. They know what they are talking about and are passionate about sharing their knowledge.

The cost for 2 days is ridiculously reasonable at $950, but if you register before March 15th it is only $850. That's more than what it would cost get just one of these speaker's to consult with you for a day. Oh it is includes your meals too! This is where I shake my head in wonder because I know what it takes to put on one of these conferences and that's a great price.

I am not receiving anything for this post (Jen didn't even ask me to blog about it). I am being sincere when I say this will be an amazing event. If you are a small business and you need help with your marketing, you should not miss this event. What are you waiting for? Go to unleashedconference.com and register today!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

All together now . . . AHHHHHHHHHHHHH

There is a collective sigh of relief this morning in Central New Hampshire. Our children are finally back in school. Tuesday saw a 2 hour delay turn into a complete closure. Our district also canceled school on Wednesday for reasons, beyond the comprehension of most parents. Today after a 2 hour delay they are back at their desks, and so am I!!!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Making Connections in the World of Social Media

I am a people person. Anyone who knows me well knows that is an understatement. I know a lot of people, and I have a really good memory that retains all kinds of details about people. I get a kick out of connecting people who might share a common interest. Although I genuinely enjoy doing it for the pleasure of building a community of friends and business associates, I will also say that what goes around comes around and I’ve had the great fortune to be introduced to some really cool people as a result of the introductions I’ve made.

So yesterday I’m minding my own at my computer, head down, nose to the grindstone, when I notice that my friend Jen has changed her status to @ GOT SOCIAL MEDIA. Got Social Media is a one day workshop based conference in Houston, TX that brings together some of the top minds in social media.

I know this because my BlogHer buddy Katie mentioned it on her blog and when I read it, I drooled and contemplated attending for oh about 30 seconds, then reality set in.

So, when I realized Jen was there, I knew that she and Katie had to meet. I just knew they’d hit it off. At first Jen thought I was nuts.

me: Ok so while you're in Houston, say hi to my friend Katie for me she works for Schipul

Jennifer: lol, I'll shout it out when I'm on the streets after this event :)”.

I narrowed Jen’s search field to Got Social Media attendees and sent her links to Katie’s photo and assured her they’d hit it off. She said she’d ask around. I also sent Katie an email telling her Jen was there and included links to Jen’s info.

Late in the day I got emails from both of them saying they had indeed met (in the bathroom of all places) and each was psyched to make a connection with the other. SCORE!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Writer's Way North 2nd Meeting

Ok, so the immediacy of blogging sometimes gets overshadowed by running a business, managing a household, and juggling 2 kids and a husband. That said Dear Reader, I don’t want you to miss out on information that could possibly be THE nugget that you need to make huge changes in your life, so you will go on to be successful and renowned beyond your wildest dreams all because you read about Star Dargin on my little ‘ole blog.

Dramatic? Me? Maybe, but then again maybe not :).

The Way North Writer’s Group met for the second time earlier this month. Once again the meeting was held at the lovely home of Linda Formechelli and Eric Martin.

Our featured speaker was Star Dargin a consultant and coach. Star lead us through some goal setting activities for our writing in 2008. We had another great turn out and Star did a great job of keeping us on track while also allowing us to share suggestions and inspire one another.

Coaches are becoming more and more popular. I’ve always though of myself as the kind of person that can self-motivate, but as I close in on my 40th year, I find that while I get many things done, I’m REALLY good at putting of the things that I claim are most important to me.

Star and I have a sample coaching call scheduled for early next month. I’ve told her I’m not sure I’m a) ready or b) have the time to commit a coaching relationship, right now, but I am interested in learning more.

If you are interested, you can learn more about the services Star offers at http://www.starleadershipllc.com.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Three Cheers for Rymes Propane

Everyone slept late in my house on Saturday morning. Trust me folks, this is a major feat. When I finally stumbled out of bed to greet the little guy, it thought it was chilly, but thought it was just my body grumbling about getting out of a warm bed.

After a while, I decided, it wasn't just me, it was chilly. Turns out, I was right, it was chilly, 56 degrees as a matter of fact (we keep the thermostats at 67). I called Rymes Propane at 9:00am (I checked at the clock as I put on a fleece robe) and left a message for the on call staff. In the mean time, my husband was tinkering with the furnace trying to determine a cause for the cold. Our gas fireplace worked as did our stove, so it wasn't a fuel deficiency.

The phone rang at 9:04 am. Much to my delight, it was NOT a political candidate or a pollster, it was Gary from Rymes. He had a sense of humor, politely asked some questions and promised to be to us within an hour. He was in my door before 10am and had the furnace going by 10:15 am (for those who care, a vacuum hose had dried out).

Can't ask for much better service than that. Thanks Rymes!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Writers Way North

Last month I attended the first meeting of Writers Way North. The name is a little misleading since we met in Concord, NH, but for some folks “down South”, (you know like in Boston), Concord New Hampshire, may as well be the Canadian border!

Writers Way North is the brain child of Linda Formichelli and Elaine Grant. Both are experienced writers with diverse backgrounds who are looking to share leads and best practices with like minded colleagues.

There were 11 of us at the December meeting held at the lovely home of Linda Formichelli and Eric Martin. There was great food an a lot of laughs. We talked about “Micro Actions” -- the small things that we can all do, with little stress, to further our long-term goals as writers and editors. Linda wrote a blog entry on this very subject in October.

Writer’s Way North is not meant to be a critique group, but rather a way for those seriously engaged in writing to network and learn from each other. The group hopes to meet on a monthly basis with discussions in between via a Google group.

So, have you published at least one piece in a paying market OR started a blog OR worked in a writing/editorial staff position at some point OR have the intention of selling your work, be it fiction or nonfiction? Are you interested in networking with other Northern New England writers? Drop me an email (laughlin at fearlessevents dot com) with WWN Information in the subject and I’ll send you the information.

Our next meeting is a week from tonight (January 10th) a 7pm in Concord, NH we will be discussing goals for our writing. Hope to see you there.