Feature Article: Ways to Market for Next to Nothing, Part One – Get Noticed

Business Owner in the Spotlight
Laura Luchini
Simple Celebrations

Refueling Recommendations
Make-it-Fly® Advisory Boards
Advisory Board Openings

Make-it-Fly® MarketPlace

Next Make-it-Fly® Café

ISSN# 1552-3705

November 17, 2009
Volume 6, Issue 21

"In-Flight Refueling" is published twice a month.

Click here to read archived newsletters.

A Note From Dave & Victoria




No tennis last weekend! We played almost every day the week before—mostly after dark (there are lights)—it’s our reward after working hard all day.

The weekend before, Dave carefully planned and superbly executed a surprise birthday party for Victoria—it really was a complete surprise.


No tennis!

Save the date! We’re excited to announce another Entrepreneurs’ In-Flight Refueling Conference on Friday, February 28, 2010. We have an outstanding lineup of speakers to help you Soar High in 2010. Click here to see what people said about the last conference.

Our very best regards,

Dave and Victoria

Business Owner in the Spotlight

Laura Luchini
Simple Celebrations

Most people love parties, but planning and putting them on can elevate stress to dangerous levels. Laura Luchini understood this dilemma and decided to do something about it. “I help busy people have fun throwing easy, beautiful, unique parties,” she says. “Our party kits come with everything you need, including decorations, favors and step-by-step instructions to make your party not only beautiful, but almost effortless.”


Laura Luccini of Simple Celebrations

Laura’s business came together just this past summer, when she sold her first Pink Princess Tea Party Kit.

Q: What do you find most fulfilling about running your business?
LL: I love designing all of the components to make the parties really fun, pretty and unique – I get a real kick out of browsing through my catalogs and watching a party come together. And I also love the fact that I’m helping out other busy professionals and moms by doing the hard stuff for them. The plan’s done, the menu’s done, the favors are great – it’s just really convenient and stress free for them, and I love making my customers happy. 

Q: What motivated you to start this business?
LL: My background is actually in event planning and graphic design. I’ve worked for really small and really large companies, performing a variety of roles – but I’ve always loved going over the top for parties of any kind. I started doing freelance graphic design in 2005 and decided to go full-time in the spring of 2006. My very first project was designing a one-year-old’s birthday party with a butterfly theme. I did invitations, decorations, favors and even the cake! It was gorgeous, and everyone loved it. After that, I tried marketing my design services with an emphasis in event design, but my peers were referring me as a party/event planner, which is really not my cup of tea. So, one day I was driving home from a networking meeting, and I thought… “How can I do the part that I really love, which is designing all of the fun pieces that go into an event or party (like invitations, decorations, etc.), and not confuse my potential clients? I know – I’ll put all of the stuff I love into a box, and they’ll get a party in a box!” And the rest, as they say, is history.

Q: What book has been most helpful to you in your business?
LL: I’ve really enjoyed The Slight Edge and The E-Myth Revisited.

Q: Who has influenced you most in your life?
LL: My parents. They are both hard-working, example-setting role models, and they’ve always encouraged me to be creative and do my best. And, to be fair, they are the life of the party – everyone loves Dom and Mags! I still ask them for advice at least once a week. 

Q: What has proved to be your most successful marketing strategy?
LL: So far, it’s definitely been word-of-mouth. If you give people something they love, they’ll be your best advertising. But I’m also getting ready to start a social media campaign, the results of which should be fun to measure and track along the way.

Q: What have been the greatest challenges you have had to overcome, or are currently facing, in your business?
LL: It’s probably balancing everything that needs to be done. I’m still working with my graphic design clients, so sometimes you can feel a little bit like a piece of salt water taffy. But all that stretching is what makes it good….right?

Q: How did you benefit from participating in a Make-it-Fly® board?
LL: I joined the Make-it-Fly® advisory board just to get a little push in getting even more systems and processes in place as I build this business – and so far it has been perfect. I’ve gotten exactly what I was hoping for – great feedback, support and accountability. 

Q: What would you say to other business owners who are contemplating getting involved in a Make-it-Fly® board?
LL: It really is great material – a lot of things you already know, but a wonderful refresher course, and an ideal way to easily apply it directly to your business. You’ll get practical, concrete action steps you can complete immediately to improve your productivity and take your business to the next level.

Laura Luchini can be reached by phone at: 720-389-6120, or visit her web site at: www.celebratesimply.net.

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Dave Block, Co-Founder of Make-it-FlyDave’s Networking Nugget:

During the holiday season be sure to always carry your business cards. See every gathering of people as an opportunity to make to new friends. Ask sincere questions that will give you an understanding of their needs and how you can perhaps help them.


Feature Article

Victoria MunroWays to Market for Next to Nothing
Part One – Get Noticed
By Victoria Munro

Getting the word out about your business without spending a fortune is a challenge for most entrepreneurs today, but it can be done. Using time, energy, creativity and a little persistence can net you new clients and improve your bottom line almost for free.

Before you get started, it’s crucial to clearly define your market and understand their pain—the fears and frustrations you can alleviate. In this series, we’ll cover several strategies are easy to implement and cost little or nothing.

Speak Up

Become known for what you do best and enjoy doing. Speaking to groups on your topic is an excellent way to get the word out and let potential clients see you as an expert.

Program directors for trade association and service club meetings are often on the lookout for interesting speakers. If your speaking skills need polishing, join a local Toastmasters Club or, if you live in the Denver area, attend Joe Sabah’s How to Speak for Fun and Profit seminar or a Presentation Dojo with Angela Libby Jankousky of Turning Point Presentations.

Remember to include a ‘call to action.’ This should be the audience’s natural response to what you have shared. Most service clubs don’t want you to sell, so your call to action might be to suggest they set up a meeting with you. Always bring branded handouts that include your contact information.

“When you speak, it’s so important to be likeable,” Angela says. “If they don’t like you, they won’t set up a meeting with you or buy from you.”

For more tips on speaking to get noticed
, check out Make-it-Fly's Small Biz Blog frequently.

Put It In Writing

Another way to become known as an expert is to write about your topic. Submit articles. Recycle your speeches as articles. If you can’t write, but have the knowledge, hire someone else to write for you. Lisa Stormes Hawker of BrainStormes Unlimited recommends that you scrutinize carefully the website of any writer you are considering hiring. “Ask yourself, Are there typos on the landing page?” she says. “Is the writing clear, concise, full (but not too full) of personality? Is the writer based in the US? You’d be amazed by how many writers for hire aren’t native English speakers/writers.”

Lisa also warns against putting your faith in automatic article-writing software. “Readers know when they’re reading something that was generated by a computer,” she says. “The language is stiff and often full of unintentionally hilarious malapropisms.”

In Parts Two and Three on this series, we’ll give you more ideas on how to get the word out about your business for next to nothing.

Click here for printed version.

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Victoria’s Time / Balance Tip

Weigh the Costs and Rewards
Before making a commitment to do something, be sure you have a complete understanding of exactly what is being asked of you. Then ask yourself, “Will scheduling this cause undue stress?” and “Does this align with my goals?”

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Make-it-Fly Marketplace

Sharpen Your Speaking Skills and Grow Your Business at a Presentation Dojo

You worked hard on your presentation and afterward several people came up to compliment you on it. You think, “That’s nice, but I didn’t get any business.” If you want to grow your business through public speaking, enroll in the Presentation Dojo.

Jay Murray of Solutions for Tuition says, “Before working with Turning Point Presentations, 3% of my audience members typically requested appointments to learn more. Now, it’s over 50% and my business is thriving.

Angela Libby Jankousky

Angela Libby Jankousky



Rev NetworkingRev Networking

Up to 20 professionals, each representing one profession, meet one on one at customized speed networking events, allowing you the opportunity to have a five-minute conversation with each participant to generate leads, referrals and business. Rev Networking is not a group, as you will meet new professionals every time and people that attend are serious about growing their business by networking and power partnering with other professionals.

Reservation only $68
Marilyn Manning 303-763-1865

marilyn@revnetworking.com
www.revnetworking.com

The RiverfrontThe Riverfront specializes in well crafted, richly satisfying occasions that balance aesthetics, personality and party. The site is versatile, accommodating groups from fifteen to five hundred. Features include: two dance floors with professional sound and lighting, a fireplace nook, three bars, outdoor patio, and gazebo. Our personal chef, custom menus, and full suite of inclusions rank us paramount in our industry.

Call 303.865.8500 today
and schedule your holiday event!
www.riverfront-center.com

READING THIS AD? THEN WHY NOT PUT YOURS HERE TOO? The In-Flight Refueling Ezine reaches more than 3,000 entrepreneurs, small-biz owners, consultants and marketers. Reserve your advertising spot today in the next In-Flight Refueling Ezine,
http://www.make-it-fly.com/ezineads.html.

Paid Advertising Disclaimer: Make-it-Fly® LLC does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any of the paid advertisements above or the quality of any products, services, information, or other materials displayed, purchased, or obtained by you as a result of an offer in connection with any ad. It's common sense to do your own due diligence before purchasing any product.

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Refueling Recommendations

The Make-it-Fly® Advisory Board 101

Each Make-it-Fly® Advisory Board 101 program consists of 12 non-competing business owners who meet once a month for five consecutive months. In the spirit of giving, they offer each other solutions, ideas, resources and encouragement. Dave and Victoria facilitate each group and share powerful tools to assist business owners in reaching their goals and living more balanced lives.

If you have experienced a Make-it-Fly® Advisory Board, please share the following openings with other business owners who need support. Call Dave for more information at 720-962-8888.

Programs are held from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Next Advisory Board 101 in Denver:

  • Fridays - January 8, February 5, March 5, April 2, May 7, June 4
  • Thursdays - January 28, February 25, March 25, April 22, May 20, June 17
  • Mondays - March 1, April 5, May 3, June 7, July 6*, August 2
    *Tuesday

Click here to sign up for an Advisory Board.
Or call Dave at 720-962-8888.

Alumni Boards are groups of 12-14 small business owners who have participated in at least one Make-it-Fly>® Advisory Board 101 and wish to continue the support and accountability with a group of like-minded, giving business associates. Members meet once a month for a three-hour meeting. If you completed the initial Make-it-Fly® Advisory Board 101 and are interested in more information on Alumni Boards, call Dave at 720-962-8888.

Make-it-Fly Café - High Altitude Networking, where exceptional people help each otherNext Café:

Date: Friday, February 26, 2010

Time: 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $10 online, $15 at the door

Location: The Riverfront
2852 W. Bowles Ave., Littleton (One block west of Santa Fe)

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Contact Make-it-Fly® - Dave and Victoria:

Email: info@make-it-fly.com
Voice: 720-962-8888
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Please email or call Victoria if you'd like to reprint any information contained in this newsletter. Thanks! © Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.

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Make-it-Fly® LLC
720-962-8888
355 South Teller Street, Suite 200, Lakewood, CO 80226, USA
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