Social Media

Thank You for Your Service

I love the flag. The Stars & Stripes. Old Glory. In 1814, Francis Scott Key concluded a song by asking this question – set to notes only the best vocalists could reach, yet a nation would sing at ballgames before emitting a great cheer – “Oh say, does that star spangled banner yet wave, o’er the land of the free & the home of the brave?”

Answer: Why yes. Yes! It most certainly does.

For two hundred years,  the tune – which always inspires chillbumps on my arms – has filled the air…the Star Spangled Banner. After 9/11, you couldn’t look down any street in America, it seemed, without seeing our flag flying.

Today’s Clarion-Ledger article by Mark Stowers concluded with his question, “Who do you know that has helped keep our Independence flowing and our freedom cemented? Add their names and service here or over at Facebook or you can tweet me @markhstowers….see yah next week!”

Who do I know? Posting their names would take quite a lot of space on a Facebook comment, so there’s certainly not enough characters to Tweet the ones I’m honored to know (though the list is packed with some of the most amazing characters any story would ever hope to contain!).

I’m patriotic. My Facebook network is full of veterans and those currently serving in the military who I’m proud to call “Friends.” So many sacrificed so much to serve our country, providing their families and mine the freedom to kick back and celebrate today in absolutely any way we choose. The flag reminds me – every single time – of the struggle to raise it, the battle to keep it flying, and the people who have given so much to benefit the all-too-often ungrateful.

It’s said that one voice represents 100. So I’ll speak for my family of 5 children to give 600 heartfelt thank you’s to the men and woman I happen to know, as well as all… think abut how enormous the word “all” is here: Thank you to all who have served with honor.

Fireworks of celebration will fill our skies tonight because of the few, the proud, the dedicated. When I say “Thank you for your service,” This is what I mean, my heart overflowing with gratitude.

Have a blessed, safe, and thankful Independence Day! And be sure to check out Mark’s article!

PHOTO CREDIT: Debbie Nelson

“I enjoyed a peace-filled Sunday afternoon in Oxford, Mississippi last weekend, chatting with locals and reassuring visitors they can’t go wrong in their choice of restaurant – every eatery on the Square serves delicious food. The atmosphere was Norman Rockwell-ish, a slice of Americana. The sun was shining, birds chirping, flags occasionally rippling as the air moved slightly – not quite a breeze. Oxford was dressing up for the Independence Day celebration!”
~Debbie Nelson
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Cars, Social Media

Manufacturer, Dealer, & Used, Oh My!

Uh oh…no roadside assistance? (Photo Source:

Why Certified Pre-owned instead of “used”? While buying a certified pre-owned vehicle is similar to buying any used car, there are significant differences you should be aware of before you go shopping.
First of all, you should know that not all certified used car programs are the same. Edmunds recommends buying a manufacturer-certified vehicle rather than a dealer-certified one.  Huh? This means staying away from the “local” dealer.  When a dealer certifies the used vehicle using their own backing, you are at their mercy when it comes to repairs.  And roadside assistance.

Is this about as clear as mud? Social Media seem that way too? Hang on… there’s more…

The manufacturer’s certified vehicle program is more reliable, can be used across the country, and won’t leave you stranded if your dealership shuts its doors. Vehicles that have been certified by the manufacturer go through more rigorous testing, and in many cases, offer similar benefits as those given to new car customers (e.g. roadside assistance, loaner vehicles, and super low APR’s). Just like Social Media – so many benefits to you and your business.

Here’s the kicker though –  be sure to compare all the certified programs out there. Not all are equal and not all have the same coverage or time restraints.  CONSIDER… the newer the vehicle the more remaining certification you will receive. For example, Ford offers a 48 month 100k power train warranty. This starts at the day the vehicle was very first sold. Therefore if a car is three years old, you’ve only got one year left.  Ohhhh…   A better bet would be a newer vehicle or a manufacturer with a longer warranty such as Hyundai’s 10 year 100k warranty. Be sure to compare prices, experience, and initiative when choosing a good Social Media company.

Whatever direction you decide to go, always do your research with a reputable site such as or The more you know the better the deal.

And remember…not all car dealers are scum. Some of the nicest, most honorable people I know are in the car business. Just interview them from the start, and leave if they’re not listening. Don’t waste your time or theirs. They work hard for their commission.

Social Media

Why Social Media Pays Off


Free graphics from The Graphic Fairy

Let’s face it, “back in the day”, business was done on a handshake. It was word-of-mouth based on personal experience. Trust.

A recent study by research and consulting firm Morpace found that approximately 68% of Facebook users said that a positive Facebook friend referral would increase their chances of purchasing a product or visiting a retailer. You’ll be the business in your friends’ networks who is the expert in your field!

On average each Facebook user has 130 friends. So if you advertise to friends of your fans and you have 100 fans you will be able to reach 13,000 of their friends. If you have 10,000 fans…well you do the math. All I see is golden opportunity for a forum that’s designed to link networks.

I personally believe this form of networking will hold businesses to a far higher level of integrity than ever before. Bad experiences will be bad news that travels fast – so businesses will once again be focusing on boosting customer service back up to the level it should have been all along.

Good news will simply drive customers to your business. Glowing reports generate personal excitement – even a little bit of competition! After all, when we hear about something great, we want in on it.

Social Media = relationship selling. Are you networked in yet?

Social Media

It’s Not an Escort Service, It’s a Cinderella Story!

Wearable glass slippers! Be sure to see for more info!

You have created a business that you are proud of.  You’d like to get in on the latest trends. You’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about Social Media and aren’t sure how to navigate through the sea of sites. It’s all Greek dot com to you!

It’s time to bring in the Godmother to transform a pumpkin into a coach, the mice who have been scurrying to get things done into the horses that will pull the coach, and escort your business directly to the center of public attention.

In the Sea of Social Media Suitors (try saying that fast three times!), which workhorses will make the strongest impact? Let’s take The Big Two first: Facebook & Twitter.

You see Facebook signs popping up all over the place in store windows & on business cards. But you’ve never done Facebook before. Isn’t that for college kids?

That’s how Facebook began, but now it offers the biggest free platform to be seen that ever existed. Friends, neighbors, and people you’ve never met who live in and around your target market can see you on Facebook and it won’t cost you a cent if you have time to do it yourself.

Get a chatter going about your business by utilizing Twitter. Ashton Kutcher & Demi Moore took Twitter use through the roof when they endorsed it and heavily used the site to let people know about social issues that matter to them. The celebrity couple gave Twitter credibility as the most current, easily accessible media to get the word out about everything from fun to help during disaster.

Now for the other two members of this escort team…

To show us the way, let’s network with other businesspeople and business owners. Begin networking B2B (Business to Business) through  Start collecting business cards at every local get together for small businesses. Then link up so you’ll be LinkdIn. Also free if you have the time.

Finally, a way to announce vocally that you’re on the way, that you have arrived, and continue to mingle after everyone wants to know more about you:

What? Seriously? you might think. That’s for music videos. Music is only one side to the sparkle YouTube can give to a business. Video content is engaging and once people see your videos, see what your business is all about, meet you not only through a photo online but see you or your representatives, they will tell others. Even if you have never done a video before, it’s simple and easy now with web cam or even phone video recording.

And now for this debut of your business, what will you wear? How will your business be recognized? What will distinctively set it apart? Think glass slipper who comes to mind? Cinderella.

Corporate Imaging is what was first referred to as corporate branding or brand imaging. The goal is to have everything your company does reflect the same logo, by-line, and slogan. It makes your company easily recognizable so people see your brand and know it’s from a company who can be trusted.

For instance, if a new company such as Sarah Beaugez Designs chose a three letter monogram as the company logo, whenever we saw that monogram on a photo, jewelry ad, or anything else she might set your creativity to, we would know – “Oh that’s from Sarah Beaugez Designs.”

Social Media is the Escort Team that delivers the Corporate Image to the public on a regular & consistant basis so that your company becomes recognizable and takes its rightful place among successful businesses.

And they lived Happily Ever After!