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.


Weekend Reading List

by Gail Oliver, Marketing Consultant


The news and information small businesses need to know from the past week. Enjoy!

Be sure to Tweet out using the widely searched hash tag #FridayReads.

Have a great weekend! … Gail.


How to Tell if Someone Really Is a Social Media Marketing Expert

by Gail Oliver, Marketing Consultant

Don’t you love people who try to sell their social media marketing skills based on their number of followers? A lot of people have even taken their allegedly huge list of followers and used it to become product influencers and ambassadors. Before you fall for some of these claims, here is how you find out the truth.

social media marketing

Use Taylor Swift as an Example

Take our girl, Taylor Swift. Taylor has 51,500,000 Twitter followers and I seriously doubt she had to buy any of them (trust me, many people do). When she sends out a tweet, it will show right in the Twitter box that it got typically 10,000 to 60,000 retweets, and around 10,000 to 100,000 favorites. So about .1% to .2% of her audience responds on average.

What Are Their Shares, Favorites and Retweets?

I was on a Twitter account the other day of someone who proclaimed to be a social media expert with 330,000 followers. The funny thing was none of their tweets had any retweets or favorites. Doesn’t that seem odd to you? According to the .1% calculation, their tweets should have had at least 330 retweets and favorites. Makes me wonder, is anyone really out there? Same with their Facebook page, no comments on their posts and low shares and likes of just 1 or 2. With a Facebook following of over 90,000 fans, doesn’t that seem fishy to you?

Now go over to Pinterest where some of the heavy hitters over there have millions of followers. I follow quite a few of them and I was looking at one pinner who has 12 million+ followers, and their pins, on average, have 50 to 150 likes and anywhere from 50 to 1,500 repins. Now the repins will bring the pin an even wider audience so the coverage is good, but the numbers still don’t quite add up to the response of what we are being led to believe is 12 million+ followers.

So, What Is Their Real Audience?

So don’t get caught up in someone’s social media following because these numbers are typically inflated for three reasons: A lot of businesses buy followers, or have fake profiles set up just to be look like a follower; people fall off social media but are still listed as a follower even though they haven’t looked at their Twitter or Facebook account in months: a lot of social media content has only a very short life to be seen (unless it goes viral) because followers just are not on their social media feeds 24×7.

Also remember, traffic is not a guarantee of sales. Again, on average only 1% to 5% of un-targeted traffic will convert into sales.

‘Til next time. Thanks for reading … Gail

My February Marketing Calendars are Available for Download Now!Ecommerce Feb Cover




Marketing Dos & Don’ts From Last Night’s Celebrity Apprentice

by Gail Oliver, Marketing Consultant

Last night on the Celebrity Apprentice, there were two different episodes with two different marketing tasks. Here is my take on some of the marketing dos and don’ts.

Screen shot 2015-01-06 at 10.27.00 AM

Commercial for Neat Connect Scanners

The first task was to make a commercial for a company called Neat Connect, a scanner that lets you scan in your documents and it saves them digitally in the cloud. One team’s commercial focused on how this technology helps a woman de-clutter all the paper on her desk. The other commercial focused on saving tax receipts. I thought both commercials were not bad, but lacked the proper messaging.

The key to making a commercial or an ad, is to make the viewer feel like they need your product, and they need it now. The Neat Connect technology is actually pretty cool as it doesn’t just scan your documents, receipts, business cards, etc., but it turns them into digital information – where receipts become digital records with vendors and amounts, business cards become digital contacts, and documents become fully keyword searchable, so they are now easy to find, easy to access, and easy to share.

Where I thought the celebs’ commercials missed the mark, was that they were too narrow in their focus and the intelligence of the product didn’t come through. Think of how many homes each year suffer fires, floods, mud slides, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. This technology really helps you avoid losing valuable documents. It doesn’t always have to replace the physical paper, but it makes a great back-up. I think if the celebs took this approach, the commercial would have been more powerful and included more of a sense of urgency to digitize all of your important paperwork.

Tasting Event for Luvo Frozen Foods

The second task was to host a tasting event for a company called Luvo. Luvo is a company in the frozen food market offering nutritious and healthy meals in eco-friendly packaging. They use certified organic and non-GMO ingredients with no artificial preservatives, flavors or colorings from farmers that do not use growth hormones or antibiotics, and all meals come in an environmentally safe paper pouch.

Where I thought the celebs’ presentations missed the mark was that they seemed focused more on entertaining the crowd (which is important) and not about detailing the key aspects of the products that competitors in this market lack. No one talked about the organic ingredients in each meal, the health benefits, the low calories, the little prep time, etc. They did focus a bit on the taste. It also would have been nice to have the microwave as part of the presentation, showing how quickly the meals heat up and how safe the packaging is.

Your Takeaway: Always remember when pitching your products, either in a commercial or presentation, to answer these questions – why do I want/need your products, why do I need them now, and how are they different and/or better than the competition?

Two back-to-back episodes meant two blog posts. Don’t worry, I’ll be writing about something else tomorrow … Gail 

Need Marketing Advice for Your Small Business?

Be sure to check out my Marketing Services page and Ebook Shop for affordable options.


Marketing Dos and Don’ts from Celebrity Apprentice Episode 1

by Gail Oliver, Marketing Consultant

Last night was the season opener of the Celebrity Apprentice. As a marketing person, I felt compelled to watch to see how these celebrities would market a product or event, and whether I could play Monday morning quarterback on how they did.

Screen shot 2015-01-05 at 10.03.46 AM

Celebrities Selling Pies for Charity

The task was to sell pies at a storefront in Manhattan for one day. In addition to selling pies to raise money for charity, the celebs were also expected to garner donations from their wealthy celebrity contacts. There were two teams of a women’s team and a men’s team.

Now, normally I would always say that a business should put the priority on what they are selling (which in this case was pies) and focus on making the best pie possible. and then worry about the marketing. But let’s be honest, pies really weren’t the reason for people lining up around the block (although there was bonus money for the team whose pies tasted the best).  The big draw at the “pie” shop was to see famous people. So the real job of the celebrity apprentices was to maximize the revenues from their one-day pie shop.

Now, there were definitely some things I thought they could have done differently that would have resulted in much higher revenues.

What The Celebrities Should Have Done

  • They should have charged for autographs and to have their photos taken with fans. It was a fundraiser after all, and that would have easily raised a lot more money then just selling pies and asking for tips. (Your takeaway: always think of all of the add-on items and services you can up-sell)
  • The women’s team didn’t have as many social media followers as the men’s team, so they felt they didn’t get the word out to as many people. But if they knew another celebrity that had a lot of followers, they could have simply asked them to post or tweet out the promotion as well. (Your takeaway: use your connections to help spread the word about your sale, promotion or event)
  • It drove me crazy that the women’s team had only one person processing payment, creating a huge lineup. I left a store the other day because I didn’t want to wait in a long line. One of the women finally realized it and pulled out all of the people in the line wanting to pay in cash. (Your takeaway: if you are having a big sale, have at least two checkout lines – with one for cash, one for credit – or you risk losing customers).
  • The men’s team had Kevin Jonas serving pies, but every girl wanted a photo with him so it held up the line. They also had baseball player Johnny Damon outside signing autographs (for free). They should have put their most popular celebrities inside the shop, at the end of the line available for photos, autographs, etc. so it pulls people inside to buy a pie, and it doesn’t hold up the process. (Your takeaway: freebies and other draws are meant to lure customers inside with the hope it results in a purchase; don’t just give it away)

There is another episode of the Celebrity Apprentice tonight, so check back tomorrow to see what marketing do and don’ts I found, and let me know your thoughts in comments.

Thanks for reading. Until next time … Gail

Be Sure to Download My Monthly Marketing Calendars

Marketing Calendar for 2015

Packed with creative daily ideas that will keep your small business visible and easily attract more customers, the January 2015 calendar is now available with versions for Online Stores, Retail Stores, Restaurants, Realtors and Photographers. Download here. 





Customer Success Story – Why It Pays to Get My Insider Tips!

by Gail Oliver, Small Business Marketing Consultant

One of the opportunities that was going to be in my September Marketing Insider Report was to submit your business for consideration for Martha Stewart’s American Made Award, but the deadline was too close and my report wasn’t ready yet. 

So instead, I emailed this opportunity to my customers and I am happy to announce one of my customers, Half Pint Ink Studio, has been chosen as finalist!

Screen shot 2014-09-11 at 3.56.07 PM

Screen shot 2014-09-11 at 3.58.12 PM

How Being a Martha Stewart’s American Made Nominee is Good For Business 

In November, a total of 9 winners will be chosen, one in each category, with the chance to win $10,000 cash, as well as be featured in Martha Stewart Living magazine, on her website, on her radio show and in her marketplace on eBay.

But even to be a finalist is a stamp of approval from a respected publication and something that can be used on marketing materials and packaging to gain even more credibility with customers, used to get wholesale deals, and used it to get publicity with local media. So it is an opportunity that can be leveraged for so many other aspects of your business.

Good luck, Katie!

Why It Pays to Get My Marketing Insider Report

Insider Report CoverIt pays to be an insider because I bring you all the opportunities and exclusive tips you may not have the time or resources to find on your own. Be sure to get my September Marketing Insider Report to learn about more amazing opportunities for your small business, such as this one!

© 2014 Gail Oliver. All right reserved.

When Pricing Products Too Low Can Actually Prevent the Sale

by G.B. Oliver

I like to read forums  because it gives me perspective on what problems are facing small business owners. The most common one that tends to come up is how to price your products and services.


Pricing Mistake Made By This Small Business Owner

The other day I was reading how a small business owner was wondering if the price of her handmade dog leashes seemed reasonable. She was selling them for $7 and said that it takes  her one hour to make one leash. Right there, that sentence should have been enough to tell her “NO!”.  As I have stated many times on my blog, you have to factor in your hourly wage if you are producing your products, otherwise you are making no money.

If the dog leash takes her 1 hour to make, then she is paying herself $7 an hour less material costs, less PayPal fees, less the fees of her online marketplace, less other business expenses. I’m guessing, but I would think that leaves her making around $4.50 an hour. This is not even minimum wage. So, in other words, her pricing is way off the mark.

She is under the assumption that her product has to be cheap in order to sell, but that is not why people buy.

If you ask someone why they bought a dog leash, they will typically answer:

  • It was durable
  • It was long lasting
  • It was the right length
  • It could be easily retracted

In fact, Google search shows people are looking for a “dog leash  that”:

  • Stops pulling
  • Doesn’t tangle
  • Floats
  • Won’t break
  • Can’t be chewed through

By pricing the leash so cheaply, she is actually hurting the prospect of sales because potential customers probably looked at the price and thought a $7 leash would not last long. If she simply changed the price to $20, which is in line with most competitive products anyway, and instead touted the problem solving benefits of the leash, she would not only sell more, but she would actually make money. What a concept!

FINAL WORD: People don’t buy things because they are cheap, they buy things because they solve a problem. You have to price your products to make a profit, otherwise why be in business?

SHARE, SHARE, SHARE! Please Tweet, Facebook, Stumble, Email, etc., this blog post using the SHARE button below. Thanks! 

Sell More with My Marketing Ebooks

Pet CoverIf you want solid small business marketing advice, with all-new ideas and ways to promote your products and get your business noticed, check out my affordable ebook PDFs, specific to your line of business. Download today and start seeing a difference in your sales!

© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.