93 Awesome Marketing Ideas for October

by Gail Oliver, Online Consultant

Aren’t you happy fall is here? So am I and October brings a ton of opportunities for your small business.

My monthly Marketing Calendar & Planner is a great way to stay on top of all of them as I give three tactics to do every day, plus I include several “insider” secrets that I don’t mention on my blog. Here is just a sneak peek of what is in my October calendar:marketing-calendar-small-business

  • October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so if your business is doing anything to support this cause, add a pink ribbon to your site and let people know how you are helping.
  • #MondayMotivation continues to be one of the most searched hash tags on Twitter so be sure to tweet out a #quote and/or inspiration photo each Monday.
  • If you haven’t submitted editorial pitches to online media for holiday editorial, the first week of October is really your last chance.
  • The World Series starts this month so expect it to be trending big time on all social media sites, especially in the evenings.
  • Mars and The Martian movie have been all over the news the past few days so expect a lot more trending, especially when the movie opens on Friday.
  • Next month is Small Business Saturday (November 28th) and American Express Open Forum (who selected my blog as one of their Top 10 Small Business Blogs to Follow) offers tons of freebies on their site for businesses.
  • National Coffee Day trended big on social media a few days ago, so hopefully National #PumpkinCheesecakeDay on October 21 will have the same momentum
  • Most of this month, particularly the last two weeks, every Halloween costume, decoration, food and makeup pin will be the most popular pins in your feed.
  • I have just started selling my monthly marketing calendar and marketing ebooks on Gumroad.com. You can sell products and services here as well. The cost is just 5% + 25 cents per transaction, no hosting fees, no monthly fees, no bandwidth feeds, no refund fees. Trust me, that is an awesome deal!

Want the other 84 tips and tactics for October? Get my Monthly Marketing Calendar for October available now for download. You will love it!

small business bloggersI’m Gail Oliver, a longtime marketing professional advising small businesses. If you need help marketing your small business, ask me how I can help at attentiongetting@gmail.com. Be sure to also see my Marketing Ebooks for more creative ideas.

© 2015 Gail Oliver, Attention Getting Marketing. All rights reserved.


The Latest Hot Product Trends for Fall 2015 / Spring 2016

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Trying to make sure that your small business is up on the latest trends? Well, find out what’s hot from this compilation of some of the latest news from the most popular industries:

latest hot trends 2015

Remember, my October Marketing Calendar is a great way to get daily visibility for your online businesses by taking advantage of all of the topics that will be trending on social media this month, as well as other proven tactics to try.

small business bloggersI’m Gail Oliver, a longtime marketing professional advising small businesses. If you need help marketing your small business, ask me how I can help at attentiongetting@gmail.com. Be sure to also see my Marketing Ebooks for more creative ideas.

© 2015 Gail Oliver, Attention Getting Marketing. All rights reserved.


Tuesday’s Ask Gail: What Additional Content Can I Post on Facebook?



Hi Gail

I’m the owner and designer of a one-of-a-kind handbag and jewelry boutique. I think the three social media platforms I should be on are Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Facebook is the one that’s stumping me. I don’t want to simply copy + paste across platforms but I’m not sure what additional content I could put on Facebook. I was thinking of making a FB community, because people who buy one-of-a-kind items value exclusivity and may want their own special place to connect. What do you think?



Hi Teneasha,

In terms of a Facebook community page, they are topical in nature so you could start one about a topic such as one-of-a-kind handbags and jewelry. While it is a great way to reach women who indicate a love for fashion in their Facebook profile (because Facebook links community pages from these fields) they are not typically maintained by one person. In fact, if your community page becomes too popular, Facebook then takes over the administration of it. However, if you were the original creator of a successful community page, this is something that gives you some industry credentials.

Now, just in terms of what to post on a community page or your business Facebook page in general, I agree, you should not just post the same content from one social media site to another. The key is to always think about what it is that your customers are interested in and what types of content does well on which sites.

For you, the next few weeks pose a great opportunity because it is New York Fashion Week, followed by all of the international fashion shows, so they will all be trending quite a bit on social media. Therefore, you could repost the best articles from each fashion week, specifically those that focus on handbags and jewelry. Quotes also do really well on Facebook, so post funny or silly quotes that have to do with fashion. Trivia is popular on Facebook, so you can post multiple choice questions about famous designers. Lists also do well, so your list of your 5 favorite style blogs or Instagram accounts. Celebrity articles tend to get liked and shared, so post photo exposés on the purses carried by a certain celebrity each week. Throwback Thursday always trends, therefore you could post images of purses and jewelry from another era.

My Monthly Marketing Calendar is a great way to get inspiration for content and stay on top of all of the topics that will be trending on social media this month.

Best of luck! Gail

small business bloggersI’m Gail Oliver, a longtime marketing professional advising small businesses. If you need help marketing your small business, ask me how I can help at attentiongetting@gmail.com. Be sure to also see my Marketing Ebooks.

© 2015 Gail Oliver, Attention Getting Marketing. All rights reserved.



4 Etsy Shops with Gorgeous Product Photography

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

The marketplace Etsy has grown in its 10 years, now with over 1.5 million active sellers. With that many sellers, it would seem that it would be difficult for a shop to really stand out among the crowd. The first impression your shop makes is what will keep customers from clicking onto the next shop, and that is why product photography is so important.

Here are 4 Etsy shops that truly excel in this area:

Peg and Awl

Screen shot 2015-09-09 at 8.37.53 AM

What I love about Peg and Awl’s photography is how the backgrounds are similar giving their shop some consistency and branding, but different enough to create interest. They get in close on the smaller items so you can see the detail and they use natural light to really give the photos magazine quality.

Milk and Honey Luxuries

Screen shot 2015-09-09 at 8.42.37 AM

Shooting your products on a white background is always important for editorial purposes, but it can make your shop seem a little sterile if it is not done right. However, Milk and Honey Luxuries does it right, simply by adding some small touches of color here and there as well as a little whimsy to their product shots.


Screen shot 2015-09-09 at 8.46.57 AM

If you are going to sell vintage this is how to do it. I love how Refuge uses other vintage items in their product shots to add to the rustic appeal. Even having the item off center in the shot or taking the photo from overhead just makes it a much more interesting image. The grey-white backdrop also makes the items pop.

Whimsy and Spice

Screen shot 2015-09-09 at 8.51.57 AM

Selling food online is not an easy feat, yet Whimsy and Spice seems to know how to shoot their baked goods so that the customer can see the quality. These photographs are dreamy to say the least, set up in scenarios that help you to visualize their products on your table. It probably doesn’t hurt that the owner of this bakery is also a photographer.

small business bloggersI’m Gail Oliver, a longtime marketing professional advising small businesses. If you need help marketing your small business, ask me how I can help at attentiongetting@gmail.com and be sure to see my Marketing Ebooks.

© 2015 Gail Oliver, Attention Getting Marketing. All rights reserved.


Tuesday’s Ask Gail: What Are Some Content Ideas for a Blog for an Online Shop?



Hi Gail,

I’ve been making a lot of changes to my business and feel that quality content on my new website is needed in order to be found in searches. Honestly, I’m a little confused by it. I understand quality content from a bloggers point of view but for an e-commerce site, I’m not sure what to put on there that is going to get me found in searches where people will be looking to buy my products. My main focus is to promote my Smoosh Boxes right now. 



Hi Brittany,
Good question. Yes, bloggers whose blog is their actual business is much different from a blog for an online shop. Since you are targeting dog owners, and your new product is a monthly subscription box service, there is a variety of content you can post that your potential customers will be searching on. Then, as a result, they will hopefully stumble upon your online shop via your blog posts.
Here are some ideas for content that I think your target market is searching for, based on using Google’s auto-complete feature. You start by typing in “dogs”, “French bulldogs”, “dog lovers” etc., and see what longer search phrases come up. This is a good way to determine potential blog titles and content.
  • 15 Christmas Gift Ideas for Dog Lovers
  • 5 Awesome Monthly Subscription Boxes for Pet Owners
  • 8 Boston Terrier Puppy Training Tips
  • 20 Male Dog Names & Their Meaning
  • 12 Non-Shedding Dog Breeds
  • 10 of the Cutest Puppy Videos on YouTube

You do not always have to write original content, you can curate content as long as you give credit. Now, because you are primarily an e-commerce site and not a blogger by trade, you just have to post once a week. You may want to make it on #WoofWednesday.

Best of luck!


small business bloggersIf you are new to my blog, I’m a longtime marketing professional advising small businesses. My blog was chosen one of the Top 10 Small Business Blogs to Follow by American Express. I answer questions Tuesdays on my blog so feel free to send me one at attentiongetting@gmail.com. Also, be sure to check out my Marketing Services and Marketing Ebooks.

© 2015 Gail Oliver, Attention Getting Marketing. All rights reserved.


Want Big Sales This Holiday Season? Target the Corporate Gift Market

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

If you really want to guarantee big sales this holiday season, one market you’ll want to consider targeting is the corporate market, and you will want to start preparing for it now.

how to get corporate gift sales

According to a report from the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), last year companies were planning to spend $43 per customer (or prospective customer) on Christmas gifts and $50 per employee.

Typical gifts for customers were food baskets, bottles of wine, and desk accessories. Typical gifts for employees were gift cards, food/beverages, apparel and cash. 68% of corporate gifts will bear a company logo (for obvious reasons).

Therefore, do you offer a product and/or service that would be suitable as a corporate and/or employee gift?

How to Make Sure Your Products Work for Corporate Gifts

  1. Personalization – It would really help your chances if you allow for personalization of your product as companies do use corporate gifts as an advertising medium.
  2. Gift Packaging – If your products already come pre-packaged, ready for gift giving, you will be saving the company time and money.
  3. Quantities – Don’t approach a company with 500 employees if you can’t turnaround high quantities of product in a short time.
  4. Delivery – Companies will want to start sending out their corporate gifts in early December, and hand out employee gifts in the first two weeks of December, so you will have to be able to meet these deadlines.
  5. Distribution – The company may want you to actually send the gifts directly to their clients, so make sure this is a service that you can offer.

How to Get Corporate Gift Sales

  1. You are best to approach local companies as they will typically want to support another local company.
  2. Employee gifts are usually sourced by the human resources department, so start there by hand delivering a sample (with gift packaging) and price list (with discounts for quantities ordered) to the Human Resources Manager (find names on LinkedIn).
  3. Mention to the HR Manager that your product/service would also work well as gifts for clients, customers and prospects, and they will likely pass this information along to the Sales Manager.
  4. Printout references and reviews from previous customers to give them some assurance as to the quality of your product/service.
  5. Make sure you understand the company’s business, their customers and their employees. For example, if the majority of their staff is young women, they will not be interested in men’s wallets.
  6. Approach companies in early October. September is too early and November is too late.

Need more ideas on how to successfully market your online shop? Be sure to check out my Ebooks below.


© 2015 Gail Oliver, Attention Getting Marketing. All rights reserved.


Tuesday’s Ask Gail: How Do I Draw Customers to My Booth at Fairs, Shows & Festivals



Hi Gail,

I am a marketing manager for a new home improvement company.  I typically generate leads for our sales team by participating in various fairs, festivals, home shows, and other local events.  I need a way to draw potential customers to my 10 x 10 booth.  How can I stick out from my competitors?  We do simple giveaways that they can visually see, but I want to be different. Any ideas??  Please help!!

Loren K.


Hi Loren,

I love this question! Here are some of my suggestions:

  • People tend to bring their kids to these things (don’t want to pay for a babysitter) so you need to keep the kids busy in your booth so the parents can stick around longer. I would make one wall of your booth a chalkboard and let the kids go crazy.
  • Nothing pulls people into a booth more than free food and beverages. Offer something less ordinary, like espresso, cappuccino or one of those large glass drink dispensers and they can help themselves. Plus, if you give them a drink they feel slightly obligated to look around your booth while they finish it.
  • You want to collect leads, and the best way is always through some sort of ballot box (you can capture names electronically through an iPad as well). The draw has to be attractive, such as a daily draw for a $200 Home Depot gift card (since these are home renovators attending the show).
  • Instead of useless swag give a useful handout, like a checklist of all the things you need to do to your home to prepare it for winter. This is something people are more likely to keep, even post on the fridge. Make sure it is well branded with your company’s info.
  • Have a fun mascot that kids can pose with (with your company’s name somewhere on the mascot that won’t get hidden behind a posing child). Then encourage their parents to post the photo to Instagram (maybe doing this gives them a second ballot in the draw). Posting the photo to Instagram gets your company seen by their followers.
  • Get the word out in advance on social media by tweeting out to people attending the show to bring a digital photo of their home for a free, on the spot transformation (you bring the photo into an editing program and quickly swap out windows, doors, siding, etc. so they can see the possibilities). Show the before and after transformations up on a big screen for all to see.

I could go on and on, but this is a good start. Best of luck! Gail

Need individual marketing advice for your small business? See my Marketing Services page for my very affordable options.

© 2015 Gail Oliver, Attention Getting Marketing. All rights reserved.

The Holiday Gift Guides You Really Want to Get Your Products Into

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

If you sell products online and want to take advantage of those huge holiday sales, then I highly recommend you re-read my post of two years ago, Why You Should Be Pitching Your Products for Holiday Gift Guides Now. However, today I want to give you a more current suggestion for getting holiday gift guide publicity.

how to get your products into holiday gift guides

Popular Pinners

You want to pitch to the lifestyle bloggers who are excelling at creating beautiful, comprehensive, and highly pinnable gift guides for Pinterest. One of my favorites is The Everygirl blog. Their gift guides are really well done, great at attracting attention on Pinterest and getting thousands of repins, not to mention turning up first in Pinterest search results. Other bloggers whose 2014 holiday gift guides also got huge circulation on Pinterest last year include:

All of these blogs create gift guides for every family member, every type of interest, so don’t be afraid to pitch your own category. Some of these blogs were also part of a mass marketing effort last year by a group of lifestyle bloggers, all promoting each other’s holiday gift guides, creating even wider exposure by tapping into each other’s social media following.

YouTube Vloggers

I have a feeling we will be seeing a lot more holiday gift guides on YouTube this year. Many popular “vloggers” (people with popular YouTube channels) last year did holiday gift guides that were viewed by millions of people. Granted, most of these vloggers and their audience tend to be young, but they are recommending gifts for mom, dad, boyfriend, boss, your pet, etc., so it is a wider market than you think. Vloggers are known to get paid for endorsements, however, you should still pitch to them asking for consideration as an artisan/indie seller, and hopefully they haven’t completely sold out and would still recommend your product because they like it, not just because they got paid to say so. You would likely have to send them product to show. Here are a few vloggers who had popular gift guides last year:

Need more ideas on how to successfully market your online shop? Be sure to check out my Ebooks with hundreds of my insider tips and tactics for publicity, social media, promotions and more!


© 2015 Gail Oliver, Attention Getting Marketing. All rights reserved.

Tuesday’s Ask Gail: How Do I Maximize Any Publicity My Business Gets?



Hi Gail,

My wind chimes have been chosen to be on a TV show called, Blog Cabin on the DIY Network. The episode is yet to air, but they have put a video up and links to my Etsy shop. I would like some advice on how to use this exposure to market my bells both on Etsy, social media and in my wholesale business. What would you do if you had the exposure?

Thank you,

Bruce at Earthwind Stoneware

Hi Bruce,

I always tell my clients that publicity may not transpire into the results they want right away, but it does offer a lot of opportunity for your business over time. Here is what I would do with your appearance on Blog Cabin:

  1. Include the links to the video clips in your email signature with a call to action line such as, “Recently featured on the DIY Network’s Blog Cabin, see the video here”.  An email signature program such as WiseStamp will allow you to do this.
  2. Add the video links to your Etsy shop’s About page, along with the same line “Recently featured on the DIY Network’s Blog Cabin” to create credibility.
  3. All of the social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest – allow you to post videos, so post the video to each site letting your followers know, “We are honored to have our wind chimes featured in this week’s episode of the DIY Network’s Blog Cabin” and be sure to tag #DIYNetwork #BlogCabin @DIYNetwork on all posts. They will likely share/retweet with their followers.
  4. Go to the DIY Network’s Facebook page and post a message and/or comment on the post in which that episode is featured and thank them for including you.
  5. Do the same on their Instagram and Pinterest pages, adding a comment, sharing and liking if they post the video.
  6. When you post/tweet the video to social media, also include the @Etsy tag in hopes that their social media people take note of your appearance on the show and feel it is worth sharing on their social media sites.
  7. Add any publicity you get to the back of your business card. This helps when handing it out to local shops for wholesale orders.
  8. Approach a business writer at your local newspaper to see if you can turn this publicity into more publicity i.e. “Local business owner’s products to be featured on national television show”. Local press coverage will help to create interest among local shops for wholesale offers.
  9. Ask the DIY Network if they have a “badge” or logo you can use on your site and in your marketing materials that says, “As seen on the DIY Network”. 

Best of luck!  Gail

Every Tuesday I answer your questions, so send yours to attentiongetting@gmail.com. 

© 2015 Gail Oliver, Attention Getting Marketing. All rights reserved.

Tuesday’s Ask Gail: How To Maximize Radio Ad Dollars



Hi Gail!!

For my husband’s brokerage business he has traded his services for $7,000 worth of radio advertising.  He was thinking of having them interview him or a recent seller that used his services.  How do you advise we use these radio marketing dollars?




Hi Melissa,

First of all he was smart to barter. I always recommend small businesses barter their products or services to get any kind of advertising – radio, print, online, in-store, etc.

Since his consulting business involves business coaching, instead of an interview where he is asked general questions about what he does, I think it would be better if he took questions from listeners/small business owners, sort of what I am doing here. It is a good way for him to show his expertise and that is more likely to lead to future business for him. Not sure how far the $7,000 will go, but if he could do a 10-minute Q&A every Friday at the drive home hour, say for the month of September, that might be a good lure for listeners and benefit the radio station as well.

Otherwise, instead of spending the money on ad time (which would also mean you have to create an ad, which can be costly), you could simply ask the radio station to say your company’s name in various sponsorship type announcements. For example, “Today’s weather is brought to you by BDM Consulting. If you need business coaching or are looking to buy or sell a business, visit them at BDMconsulting.ca.” You can sponsor traffic reports, local entertainment news, whatever they have an opening for. This could get your name heard several times a day, and repetition in radio is always a good thing.

I hope that helps!


Every Tuesday I answer your questions, so send yours to attentiongetting@gmail.com. 

© 2015 Gail Oliver, Attention Getting Marketing. All rights reserved.


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