Marketing Workshops to be Scheduled for Warkworth

I’ve just confirmed with Kim MacNeil, Trent Hills councillor for Warkworth, that I will be presenting four marketing workshops at the Warkworth Town Hall Centre for the Arts.

The Centre for the Arts is big enough that it can hold anyone who might want to attend with no problem. It has WiFi so I will be able to do some live demonstrations. The Hall has to be rented, so there will be a nominal charge for attendance. It should be something like $5.00. (I haven’t talked to Kim about opening the doors for folks from outside Warkworth, but I think I have some pull in this deal so I can get you in)    :-)

(Note: All are welcome)

I will be presenting the same workshops in Warkworth that I have presented in Hastings. I have had an opportunity to tune them up a little though; and an opportunity to run through them, so I expect they will be better. In addition I will commit to including additional material, based on your feedback. So, if you attended the Hastings workshops, I am certain you will still come away with valuable information you either missed the first time, or that I have added. The truth is that a couple of months can be a long time on the internet. A perfect example is Facebook completely changing their look and utility between the time I committed to doing the Facebook workshop and when I had to present it. They had me scrambling for a few days, I don’t mind admitting.

The workshops are all running in the morning, from 8:15 to 9:45. I don’t know if that works better or worse for you, but there it is. Dates established so far as below:

Workshop #1 – Keywords and Your Google Places Listing – Thursday, May 10th

  • Keywords, Keywords Phrases, The Long Tail and why you need to care
  • What are your customers looking for? Women’s clothing, women’s dresses, women’s apparel or clothing stores? It’s costing you money if you don’t know
  • Using the Google Keyword Tool
  • Other research resources
  • Google Places, your free internet real estate
  • Common mistakes with Google Places listings
  • Directories, directories and more directories – why they matter
  • Optimizing your Places listing with descriptions, categories, pictures and video
  • Effective use of your Places listing
  • Getting positive reviews
  • Dealing with negative reviews

Workshop #2 – Email Marketing – Thursday, May 17th

  • Best return on investment
  • Your emails are not SPAM, they are wanted by customers
  • Where are you on the relationship matrix
  • What do you do with people who don’t buy today?
  • Managing your list
    • Manually – up to 100
    • Autroresponder for over 100 – As low as $5/month
  • Getting sign-ups
  • Autoresponder features
  • Kinds of email
  • Scheduling emails
  • Construction of an effective email
  • Email topics/content

Workshop #3 – Social Media – Facebook – Thursday, May 31st

  • Why you need to use Social Media
  • What “Web 2.0 means to business
  • Facebook for Business
  • Building your Facebook page step-by-step
  • What an effective Facebook page looks like
  • Getting people to your page
  • Using Applications on your page
  • Facebook advertising
  • Creating content for your page
  • Resources

Workshop #4 – Why Your Web-site Isn’t Working – Thursday, June 7th

  • What your website can do for you, and what it can’t
  • Why it isn’t working
  • Getting found
    • On-page SEO
    • Off-page SEO
  • Driving traffic to your site
  • Making your site “sticky”
  • Bringing customers back for another look
  • A “call to action”
  • Your website and email marketing
  • RSS feeds
  • Blogging
  • Becoming an “authority site”
  • Selling from your site
  • Analytics – who has been there, for how long, from where did they come and what did they look at?

This is a great opportunity to learn a little about internet marketing. The information in these workshops is actionable. You can go ahead with your new knowledge and improve your own marketing enough to put dollars in your pocket. The four workshops add up to 5-6 hours of training that you can’t even buy anywhere locally. An added bonus is that I am there, live, so you can ask questions and get answers specific to your business. It’s not one-on -one consulting, but it is the closest you can come for free (oops, I mean for $5.00).

Hope to see you there.

By the way, I am also talking with Schelle Holmes, president of the Trent Hills Chamber of Commerce, about putting on the workshops for the Trent Hills Chamber members. We haven’t established dates as yet, but I expect them to run in May and June. Details about when and where to be worked out.



Bridge Closure Postponed

Welcome news from MP Rick Norlock last night at the Hastings Civic Center. 
The decision has been made to construct a new bridge, instead of just repair the old one. This will also shorten the length of time for the closure. A new bridge can be constructed off-site, and then dropped into place after on-site work is complete. The suggestion was made that it could cut the closure time by 1-2 months. In addition, the closure won’t start until January, 2014, giving the people and businesses in town an extra year to prepare, and also leaving the Christmas period unobstructed.Norlock singled out the Hastings Helpers, and Tonya McColl-Smith as instrumental in causing the ministry to take a second look at their plans. He also cited the time and effort put in by Mayor Hector McMillan and Councillor Bob Crate.
An extra year to prepare is a real break for the town. It is critical, if you are a business owner, that this time not be wasted. Here are a list of things that need to be done:
  1. Begin immediately to survey your existing customers to find out where they are coming from. There is going to be an environmental assessment done, which will include an estimate of economic impact. The town can contribute to making this an accurate assessment by collecting critical data. More on this in future posts
  2. Create your own personal marketing plan. You can access information about the Municipality’s plan here. You now have 20 months to systematically improve your marketing and buffer yourself against the inevitable downturn in business during the closure.
  3. Plan to radically improve your cash flow before the bridge is closed. It looks like you might only have to get through 2 1/2 – 3 months instead of 4 1/2. As well as incrementally improving your business, can you think of some kind of “swing for the fence” event that could generate a cash infusion>
  4. Plan for a big push leading up to and through the Christmas shopping season in 2013. Again, if you can improve your results, after being handed the gift of an extra Christmas shopping spree, it will lessen the impact of the slowdown in January, February and March 2014.
  5. Critically evaluate your processes, products, services, overhead, marketing efforts, staff and every thing else associated with your business over the next 8 months. Be prepared to make changes early on 2013, if not before, to improve things.
  6. Join the Chamber of Commerce. Really, for $75 it is a no brainer investment in mutual survival for any Hastings business. It is worth it to just have a web page outlining your business. If you have your own website, a link back from the Chambers site is a vote of confidence in your credibility, in the eyes of Google and every other search engine out there. It will definitely boost your own websites ranking.
  7. Attend the marketing workshops. There is one coming next Wednesday, April 18th, at 5:30n PM at the Bridgewater Coffee Shop.  (Scroll down to see the post below this one). You have missed the first two on Google Places and E-mail. However I am going to be talking to the Warkworth Business Association next week. If they are interested, I may be repeating some of these workshops for them. I am going to broach the idea of doing them on-line, as webinars, where participants can view the whole thing from home on their computer. that should allow me to record them and have them available at some future date for people who register.  Keep checking back here for updates.

Next Workshop – Is Your Business on Facebook and Other Social Media?

DATE:  April 18th, 2012
TIME:   5:00-7:00 p.m.
LOCATION:   Bridgewater Cafe, 24 Front Street W., Hastings,

In this workshop I will address the following:

– Why You Should Be On Facebook
– Setting up a Facebook page for business
– Getting Your Profile right
– Uploading photos
– Using Video on Facebook
– Using an Opt-in form
– Getting “Likes”
– Automating Your Posting
– How to Get Fans
– Using Targeted Ads on Facebook
– Other Social Media
You do not need to bring laptops to this workshop. Notes will be sent after the meeting to those interested. It doesn’t cost a penny, but it could be worth dollars to your bottom line. Step-by-step I will go over everything you need to do to get up and running to start a business Facebook page. Do it right, right from the start, and get the internet working for you.
                                                                                                                                                               It was over a year ago when Facebook surpassed Google as the most popular internet destination. Some things you should know. Most Facebook users are on Facebook at least once a day. Many are on multiple times. That means, if you have a Facebook page, and they are “Fans” they will see any post you put up, the day it goes up. They don’t have to go visit your website. They won’t be able to ignore your posts like emails. They will at least see the opening sentence of every post. all you have to be is interesting. And we will talk about that during the workshop.

Hastings Helpers Website Goes Live

Hats off to the Hastings Helpers team. They have a goal. It is to make sure no one gets left behind by the bridge closure. They are determined to do what they can to minimize the problems for individuals in town in terms of dealing with this. to that end they now have an organization, committees, and an idea of what needs to be done.

One of the things they asked me to help with was a website. I have got one up for them now at Hastings Helpers ( The website will no doubt change over the coming months, as the group figures out what they want on it and how it can best be used. So far it has a front page, list of all the news articles I could find to link to, a contact form, a page for resources (nothing there yet), a blog, where the latest happenings and updates on coming meetings or events can be posted, and a page for media folks to get some basic info.

We will be bound to put some links up to local helpful internet locations and much, much more.

Slide over to have a look, leave a comment or make a suggestion.

Hastings Helpers

Just wanted to make sure everyone was aware of the new group started by Tonya Mccoll-Smith. It’s called Hastings Helpers. Tonya recognized that when the bridge closes, it may create particular problems for some people. Folks without transportation options are on example. There might be people living on the north end of town who car pool with people on the south side. This could create the requirement for a large large detour it they were to hook up. There may be issues for others with mobility problems.

At any rate, the group has been started. It now has it’s own Facebook Group page

Expect to read more about it soon in one or the other of the local papers. Why not head over to the Facebook page and have a look. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 13th at 7p.m in the Policing room of the Hastings Civic Centre. The group is looking to coordinate any activities and services with the efforts of the municipality. This is still early stages but better prepared than sorry, as the old saying goes.