A Little Busy…


Due to a surplus of orders for my private business critique and other marketing services, I will not be posting to my blog again until the first week of June. I just didn’t want my readers to think I had gone MIA. As for ordering my services, please email me first at attentiongetting@gmail.com so I can give you a better idea of what my current delivery time is. 



3 National Contests for Your Small Business to Win Big Money

by Gail Oliver, Attention Getting Marketing

There are so many opportunities for small businesses to not only get more national exposure, but to also win some significant money to further their businesses. Here are 3 upcoming events that you may want to get in on.

Martha Stewart American Made Awards

The Martha Stewart American Made Awards is an annual contest that promotes artisan businesses in a variety of categories from toys to fashion to food to textiles. Hundreds will be nominated as finalists and featured on their website (great to use as a credential for your business) and last year’s winner received a trip for two to New York City to attend the American Made event; a spot in their American Made Market; $10,000 to grow their business; a video produced by Martha Stewart’s in-house team; and a feature in Martha Stewart Living magazine, on SiriusXM radio, and on their website. The contest deadline is typically in mid September, but they usually start looking for nominations as early as June. One of my clients, Half Pint Ink Studio was a finalist last year!

small business contest

The Wells Fargo Works Project

Until June 30th, 2015, you can enter your business in the Wells Fargo Works Project. Five winners will be chosen to receive mentorship and $25,000 for their business. The five winners will be selected from a pool of 25 finalists who will each receive $1,000. You can enter the contest one of two ways; either by submitting a video (up to 2½ minutes long) or a written essay (up to 600-words) that responds to the five questions below, along with one photograph that is representative of your business or you, the business owner.

  • Why did you decide to start your business?
  • What is your business’ mission or purpose?
  • What is the biggest business challenge you face today?
  • What are the business opportunities you want to take advantage of in the next 2 to 5 years?
  • How would mentorship and $25,000 help you address your challenge and achieve your goals?

small business contest

Small Business Revolution

For the Small Business Revolution contest, someone simply has to nominate your business and tell why they feel it is special. It can be an employee, a customer or even a family member. The winning business will be selected by Robert Herjavec from the “Shark Tank” and a panel of experts from Deluxe.com. The nominees will be judged on a few criteria:

  • Involvement in and impact on the local/regional community
  • Commitment to employees’ needs and well-being
  • Demonstrating a “personal touch”
  • Fulfilling a unique need in the marketplace
  • Inspiring others

The deadline is October 31, 2015.

small business contestThanks so much for reading today’s post and please share with anyone who would benefit from reading. Also, I love to hear from my readers. Please leave me a comment or question below and be sure to include your url. Thanks! Gail 

Weekend Reading List 5/15/15

by Gail Oliver, Attention Getting Marketing 

Another Friday already, so here is my list of business news to catch up on this weekend.

small business blog roundup

Happy Victoria Day weekend to my Canadian readers! Gail 

Need a Marketing Review of Your Small Business? Check out my Small Business Consultation here.

Bright Marketing Ideas of the Week

by Gail Oliver, Attention Getting Marketing

I am always on the lookout for bright ideas in the world of marketing that I hope will inspire you. Here are some I found this week.

Remodo Sells Coordinated Room Decor Packages

Are you decorating-challenged? Maybe you just don’t have time to shop for all the elements that go into creating a room’s decor.  Well, a new trend might be to sell boxed “rooms” as this is what online shop Remodo is offering. With their Boxed Room Packages, Remodo is giving customers an all-in-one solution to create a designer room. In one boxed room package you get coordinating sheets, throw pillows, blanket, storage bins, photo frame, a tray and coasters, all for $498. You can purchase the products individually, but this is definitely a great way to up sell more of your products at one time.

Screen shot 2015-05-12 at 9.48.09 AM

BHLDN Now Offering A La Carte Wedding Gowns 

Customized products are currently a hot trend, and now bridal retailer, BHLDN is letting brides “build” their own wedding gown with their à la carte dress offerings. While they will still offer individual gown designs, brides can now also create their own dress by mixing and matching from one of their corsets, one of their “toppers”, one of their skirts and one of their capelets. I am sure BHLDN is responding to brides who liked the sleeves of one dress but the skirt of another, so found that the best option to satisfy these customers was to break the dress out into separates. Since there are all types of brides out there, this seems like a great solution.

Screen shot 2015-05-12 at 10.06.26 AMTOMS Giving Away More Shoes to Those in Need

TOMS shoes has long been known for its policy of giving away a pair of shoes to someone in need with each purchase. Now, from May 5th to May 23rd, for every photo someone posts to Instagram of their bare feet, TOMS will donate a pair of shoes to a person in need. Since Instagram doesn’t allow banner images, I love the way TOMS is promoting the cause using their Twitter banner and even creating their own trending hash tag, #withoutshoes. Your banner images on Facebook and Twitter can act as ads for you, for any special promotions, sales, new products or services or special events and causes like the one below, so make sure you are using them to their full potential.

Screen shot 2015-05-12 at 10.51.35 AM

GET MY FREE TIP FOR YOUR BUSINESS! I perform my Small Business Critique for hundreds of small businesses each year. If you are curious about whether it will help your business, simply send me your business website and I will give you one FREE piece of advice, no obligation. Email me at attentiongetting@gmail.com and put in the email subject line, “Looking for one FREE piece of advice” and don’t forget to include your url. Thanks! Gail

You can learn more about my Small Business Critique here.

© 2015 Gail Oliver. All rights reserved.

Weekend Reading List 5/8/15

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

As usual on Fridays, here is my list of business news to catch up on this weekend.

small business blog roundup

Enjoy your weekend! Gail 



How to Stay Inspired and Motivated When Your Sales Suck

by Gail Oliver, Attention Getting Marketing

As I have said before on my blog, if you are going to have your own business, you have to know, going into it, that success does not come fast and it does not come easy. As a result, it is very easy to get down on your business and lose motivation when those sales slumps occur. Every business has slumps. So here are some tips to stay inspired and motivated when business isn’t going so great.


Read About Others’ Failures Not Successes

Stop reading about other people’s successes and instead read about other people’s failures, before they had success. So many entrepreneurs were not successful right out of the gate. They had failure after failure until something finally worked. The key was, they did not give up, they kept trying. People who have immediate success when they launch their business typically also have very short success. These people are not the norm, so don’t focus on them. Focus on those who have failed and then went onto success as this is much more motivating. Here is a good article, 13 Business Leaders Who Failed Before They Succeeded from American Express Open Forum.

Think Only Positive Thoughts

Seems like such easy advice but it isn’t always easy to do. If I can recommend a book that did wonders for me, it was The Power of Positive Thinking. It is based on the theory that the mind is much more powerful than we realize and positive thoughts bring positive results, whereas negative thoughts bring negative results. Sounds simplistic, but it does work. So get up each morning believing that you will get new customers and new sales. Don’t even doubt it. As I have said before, it doesn’t matter if anyone else thinks you will be successful, it only matters that you do. But if you don’t believe it, then it probably won’t happen.

Try Something New

On the odd occasion, I will have a client who will dismiss my advice because they think it won’t work. They even don’t try it, they instead they decide to just keep doing what they have been doing up to now that hasn’t been working for them. Makes sense? My husband always like to remind me of the saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Make a list of new tactics to try (my ebooks have hundreds of them) and stop wasting time on things that have proven not to work for you because you already know the results.

Encourage Someone Else

We all need a pep talk every now and then, so why not help out someone else who may be feeling down about their business. Post a nice message on their Facebook page, recommend their business to a friend or just email them a compliment. You will probably get kind words back, which goes a long way in keeping us motivated and a little good karma never hurt anyone.

What keeps you inspired? If there’s a marketing topic you’d like to know more about, please drop me a line in the comment section below.

You can order my Private Small Business Consultation here.


Your Weekend Reading List 5/1/15

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

I was a little swamped with consultations this week so I didn’t get much time to write on my blog, but here are some newsworthy business articles to catch up on this weekend.

small business blog roundup

Enjoy your weekend! Gail 



4 Amazing Free Publicity Opportunities for Your Small Business

by Gail Oliver, Attention Getting Marketing

You may not have heard, but next week (May 4 to 8) is National Small Business Week (be sure to use the hash tag #DreamSmallBiz) and it is a good time to pitch a story about your business to your local press. Anything can be a possible story pitch, including if you have:

  • An innovative product or service idea
  • An eco-friendly business
  • Rapid growth in the last 6 months or year
  • New facilities or location opening
  • Engaged in a charitable endeavor

national small business week 2015Now, I also came across four awesome opportunities to get free publicity for your small business.

1. Get Included in an American Family Insurance Ad

At the dentist office I was looking through a copy of People Magazine (which has a readership of 46 million), and the opening 3-page color ad was from a company called American Family Insurance, with their “Dream Fearlessly” campaign promoting the work of a photographer, a writer, and an artist who are all trying to turn their dream into a business. So, if you have pursued or fulfilled a business dream, submit it to American Family Insurance (scroll down to the form at the bottom of the page) and maybe you will be profiled in an upcoming ad.

2. Share Your Pinterest Success

I don’t know about you, but Pinterest brings a huge amount of traffic to my blog. Therefore, if you have a Pinterest success story of how it has helped your business, submit it to Pinterest and they just might profile your story in emails, on their blog and more, so other businesses can learn from your success. 

3. AT&T Wants to Know Your Business Story

Telecom giant AT&T has a “Real Stories” feature that profiles business owners who have a great story to tell and insights to help other entrepreneurs. Submit your business story to AT&T and you could be featured on their blog (called The Business Circle) and their social media pages (250,000 followers) – a great way to drive more traffic to your site and gain more customers.

4. Be Part of the Globe and Mail’s TakeOff Series

If you are a Canadian small business or entrepreneur, you have from now until July to submit your story to Canada’s national newspaper, the Globe and Mail, to be profiled in their “TakeOff series. Essentially, they want to know what helped or hurt your business from “taking off”. You can get more details about what and where to submit here.

Things to Note


Your Weekend Reading List 4/24

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Lots of interesting business news this week, and don’t forget to check out some posts on my blog that you may have missed.

small business blog roundup

Enjoy your weekend! Gail 

Get My May Marketing Calendar for Online Shops

Online Shops May Calendar CoverThe May version of my very popular Marketing Calendar for Online Shops is available now. I also have a version for Etsy shops available here.





Google Tweaks Search Algorithm to Favor Mobile-Friendly: Quick Test to See If Your Site Is

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Wonder why #Mobilegeddon was trending on Twitter yesterday? After announcing in February that they would be giving preference to mobile-friendly sites when users search from their phones, yesterday Google officially made the change to its search algorithm.

google mobilegeddon mobile search

If in the next two weeks you see your search traffic from mobile drop off (traffic source usually has “m.” in front) then your site may not be mobile-friendly. With 60% of all searches now being done on people’s phones that could really hurt your business.

What is Google’s Criteria for Mobile-Friendly?

  • sites that streamline interactions for visitors on their site
  • sites that make it easy for visitors to complete tasks
  • sites that can resize to fit whatever screen they’re viewed on (responsive web design)

Websites that aren’t mobile-friendly will show up lower in search results.

How Can You Tell if Your Site is Mobile-Friendly?

Just enter your url in Google’s Mobile Friendly Test Box. If it indicates that your site is not mobile-friendly, just stay on their page and click over to the tab that says “Mobile Guide” and Google will walk you through what you need to do.

Keep in mind this update applies to individual pages, not your entire website. So if your site does come up as not being mobile-friendly, you may have certain pages on your site that are, and therefore these pages will still rank well in mobile search results. 

May Marketing Calendar

Online Shops May Calendar CoverThe May version of my very popular Marketing Calendar for Online Shops is available now. I also have a version for Etsy shops available here.






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