9 Publicity Ideas for Your Small Business in December

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

Right now is a good time to pitch a story to your local business reporter in hopes of getting some press for your company in December.

publicity-ideas-small-businessDecember is all about winter, the holidays, and end of year wrap ups, so here are some headlines you could pitch or maybe one of these will inspire one of your own:

  1. How This Local Business is Pulling Out all the Stops for the Holiday Shopping Season
  2. Local Company to Host Food and Toy Drive
  3. Was Black Friday a Boom or Bust for These Small Businesses
  4. Why You Should Shop These Local Businesses This Christmas Season
  5. How a Bad Winter Could Impact These Local Businesses
  6. Challenges and Wins in 2015 for Local Companies
  7. Our Favorite Local Small Businesses of 2015
  8. What These Local Companies Plan to Do Differently in 2016
  9. Advice for Starting a Business in 2016, from 5 Local Small Business Owners

As I have always said, you have to give a reporter a compelling and timely story headline (and then show how your company would fit in the story) as this makes it easier for them to see the value in the pitch. Good luck and let me know if you have success.

Before You Go….

Thanks so much for your support!


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

Today’s Awesome Tip for Writing Product Descriptions, Courtesy of Apple

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

There are many reasons why Apple© is great at marketing. One thing they do is write very compelling product copy. Recently when I was on their site, I noticed a recurring theme in their descriptions. Because their products are feature-rich, they tend to write their product copy by starting with a hook – basically a few words that highlight the main benefits and then they lead into more detail.

writing product descriptions apple

Sum It Up in 3 Words

This is actually a good approach as we are way to busy these days to really take the time to read a detailed description without some heads up first whether we should care. Therefore, maybe you want to try this tactic of hooking your potential customer first with a few key words. If you are not sure what I mean, see what Apple does below for some of its products:

Mac Retina Display:  Accuracy. Brightness. Clarity.

iPad Pro: Thin. Light. Epic.

iPhone 6 Camera: 12MP pictures. 4K videos. Live Photos. Lasting memories.

Apple Watch: Notifications. Phone calls. Wallet. Right on your wrist.

iPod Touch: A8 chip. 8MP iSight camera. 5 stunning colours.

So try pulling out the three or four main benefits, features and/or competitive advantages that you feel potential customers are looking for and try hooking them with just these words before leading into a big sales pitch.

Now Don’t Forget To…

  • Check out my E-book shop on Gumroad
  • Follow me on Bloglovin
  • Share this post on Facebook and follow me for exclusive tips

Thanks so much for your support!


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

90 Small Business Marketing Ideas for November

by Gail Oliver, Online Consultant

For many businesses, especially e-commerce and retail, November is one of the biggest sales month of the year. So you really need to get seen in order to take advantage of all of those buying dollars!

With my November Marketing Planner, I give you three promotional tactics to do every day, including several exclusive “insider” secrets that I don’t mention on my blog. Here is just a sneak peek of the 90 marketing and promotional tactics that are in my November planner that will really help drive traffic to your business:

  • November is Movember, where men grow moustaches in support of men’s health issues. If your business is doing anything to support the cause, it is a good time to mention it, and you will also see lots of moustaches trending on social media.MARKETING IDEAS NOVEMBER
  • Literally everyone will be at the shopping mall on Black Friday (the day after the US Thanksgiving holiday). So leave flyers for your business on every car at as many malls around town as possible.
  • This month is Small Business Saturday (November 28th). At very least, approach a local, successful but non-competitive business and ask if they will leave your business cards beside their cash, just for Small Business Saturday. In return, you will publicly thank them for their support to all of your social media followers and customers.
  • National Donut Day (November 5th) always trends big on social media so tweet out your favorite donut and be sure to tag the brand (i.e. @DunkinDonuts) so that maybe the brand will retweet to all of their followers.
  • Want to get noticed on Pinterest? Comment on every popular pin that has to do with, “How to Cook a Turkey” in the days leading up to the US Thanksgiving holiday as that will be what everyone will be searching on.
  • In terms of pop culture, there are a few events that will definitely trend big on social media this month, including the release of the second part of the movie, Mocking Jay, as well as the release of One Direction’s latest CD, #madeintheam.
  • Did you know that there are 20 different ways to list your small business on Google? This month I provide you the link to make sure you’ve covered all your bases with the search engine.

November marketing calendarWant the other 83 tips and tactics for November? Get my Monthly Marketing Planner available now for download at Gumroad.com. Your business will love it!

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

Your Business Success Checklist for 2016

by Gail Oliver, Online Marketing Consultant

As we are in the final months of 2015, it is a good time to look at your business and decide how successful your year has been so far and what changes you need to make to have continued success in 2016.

business success checklist 2016

1. Are Your Sales Increasing?

It is critical that you compare your sales from year to year, as well as month over year (for example, are your August 2015 sales stronger than your August 2014 sales). This really helps you see overall annual growth as well as if you have any seasonal highs and lows.

I highly recommend you set up a spreadsheet where you enter your sales for each month of the year (in a column) with sales for the previous year’s months in the column to the left. Then in the column to the right of your current sales determine your sales growth, by month and by year, by entering the calculations:

[sales for Month X 2015 – sales for Month X 2014] / sales for Month X 2014

[sales for 2015 – sales for 2014] / sales for 2014

This will arrive at a percentage. Overall sales should never be down from the previous year. If this is the case, then you need to rethink your business in terms of your offerings, your pricing, your costs and whether you need to invest more in marketing.

2. Are Your Costs Increasing?

It is also important to look at your profit, which is Revenue – Costs. Is your profit up over last year and month over year? Again, if profits are down you need to consider raising your prices and/or lowering your costs, especially if your revenues increased. It doesn’t have to be a huge price increase. If profits are down 10%, then you can easily raise your prices 10% and it should have little negative impact on your business. If your costs have increased, then you need to analyze each cost center (be it supplies, fees, shipping) and see which ones increased in price and find alternatives.

3. What Were Your Revenue Leaders?

Look at which products and/or services performed the best for you in 2015 and consider expanding further in this area, slowly eliminating or reinventing products and services that did not sell as well.

4. What is Working For Your Competitors?

Take a look at your competitors and see what they are selling, what their customers are saying in their reviews and on their social media sites. Try to garner what is working for them in terms of their business offerings and marketing efforts and see which ideas you can steal.

5. Are You Listening to Your Feedback?

Listen to your customers. Read your reviews, comments, feedback, even ask your customers questions. If they feel your prices are too high, consider lowering them if that makes business sense. If they didn’t like the quality of a product, improve upon it. If there is a product or service you don’t have that they want, consider offering it.

6. What Marketing Efforts Are Working?

You need to study your website analytics, even though it will not tell you which traffic sources converted into sales, it is still a way to decide which efforts you should be spending time on and which you should maybe discontinue. For example, if two-thirds of your traffic is coming from Pinterest and very little from Twitter, then stop wasting time on Twitter and dedicate even more time to Pinterest. If your Google ads are not bringing in a lot of traffic, contact a Google Adwords rep and ask how your ads can be improved. If you have been avoiding social media altogether, then maybe now’s the time to give it a chance. Remember, it is futile to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results.

7. Are You Maximizing Your Customer Base?

How many new customers did you get last year? Guess what, they are still potential customers in 2016! Find ways to tap into your already established customer base – either through special offers on your social media sites or a Mail Chimp email campaign – to get additional business from them (as well as referral business) in 2016.

Just 3 More Things to Do…

Thanks so much for your support!


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

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

Just 3 More Things to Do…

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

Ideas for Additional Content To 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.

Good luck!

Better You Go…

Thanks for your support!


© 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.

Before You Go….

Thanks so much for your support!


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

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!


Just 3 More Things to Do…

Thanks for your support!

© 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.

3 More Things to Do…

Thanks for your support!


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


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