What we're about

  • The Marketing Mix is the official blog of Marketing Mentor and the community that's sprung up around it.
  • We're devoted to helping small business owners, freelancers and independent professionals grow their businesses into thriving enterprises.
  • Feel free to join in the conversation: leave a comment, send us an email. Or, if you're an MM client, past or present, with the blogging bug and/or great stories to share, let us know—we're always on the lookout for guest bloggers!



  • Ilise on LinkedIn
    View Ilise Benun's profile on LinkedIn
  • Deidre on LinkedIn
    View Colleen Wainwright's profile on LinkedIn

The Mix Master

  • ILISE BENUN is the founder of Marketing Mentor, and has been teaching people to promote themselves and their services since 1988. Author of 4 books and many, many more articles, Ilise has been self-employed for all but three years of her working life.

    More about Ilise here.

The Mix Mistress

  • DEIDRE RIENZO is a copy writer who helps small business owners turn their ideas into words. She partners with web designers to create simple, compelling, and keyword-rich website content for their clients. The Marketing Mentor program is the driving force that has helped Deidre grow her business, and she blogs about her experiences, adventures, and struggles here at the Marketing Mix.

Guest Mixers

Powered by TypePad

« April 2007 | Main | June 2007 »

19 posts categorized "May 2007"

May 31, 2007

Guest Post: Blogging your way through "The Dip"

I "met" today's guest poster, fellow blogger Rebecca Morgan, through the phenomenal e-newsletter she co-edits, SpeakerNet News (I've plugged it before, here.) She's a CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), has been featured on Oprah and 60 Minutes (to name a few) and runs a thriving business. But I confess that I truly  became Rebecca's fan when I started following her other blog—the decidedly non-business one she started anonymously, about her travels in the 40+ online-dating world, since I'd been through a similar odyssey myself. A prolific writer who consistently posts great content, Rebecca shares her secrets—and the thinking behind them—in today's guest post.

I was asked the other day how to get through what Seth Godin calls, “The Dip” when it comes to blogs.

I write two blogs, one a business blog and one on dating after 40. My approach and attitude about each is different, so the "dips" have been different.

I have made a commitment to myself to write to Adventures in Delicious Dating After 40 every day. This creates no latitude for thinking "I don't have anything to say so I'll skip it today." Although I doubt any of my readers would really be upset with my skipping a day or two, I have purposefully written daily because:

  1. I was writing my next book through my blog. I now have 363 entries, more than enough for at least one book, probably two, and perhaps 3. The manuscript is in my agent's hand and he's shopping it. I want to continue to create buzz and a platform so the potential publisher will see I'm a content machine and thus make me a multiple-book deal, or give me a bigger advance.
  2. I wanted to see if I could have the self-discipline to write daily on something of interest, not just a diary entry (yuck!). I have little discipline in other areas of my life so wanted to see if I just didn't have any discipline muscle, or if I did but it had atrophied and if I could build it up I could apply it to other areas.

Continue reading "Guest Post: Blogging your way through "The Dip"" »

May 29, 2007

Do you have a favicon?

Take a look at your list of bookmarks or favorites. What do you see?

The title of the site and maybe a tiny image on the left? That's called a favicon and it just may be the world's smallest self promotion tool.

Some sites have them; others don't. Maybe you've wondered where to get one?

Blogger blogs automatically have this one

...and Typepad blogs have this one.

Ours is a mini-logo.

Alan Seiden uses his photo (which, surprisingly, works).

And here's an article he wrote on how to make favicons.

And one more interesting article on the design of favicons:

"...the design of Favicons can be tricky - it isn’t that easy to create a beautiful 16×16px mini-icon. Still, some designers manage to achieve tremendous effects. Logotypes with clear geometric structures are easier to work with than typefaces or abstract images."

Read more here.

May 26, 2007

You on a stamp

I loved the idea of Photostamps -- that is, stamps with my logo or photo on them -- when they were introduced a couple years ago. But apparently, they haven't been so successful among small business owners, for lots of reasons explained in this article from Friday's NY Times Business section (free registration required.)

I don't send much mail anymore, but I still think they're a great idea for thank you cards and handwritten notes, which we've been writing about lately (link to those posts).

Anyone else using them successfully to stand out from the crowd in the mail?

Related posts:

May 25, 2007

Is there such a thing as bad publicity?

I didn't even know it but on Tuesday I was on TV!

The local news did a segment on "dog poop in Hoboken" (it's a big issue here, especially during election season) and I happened to be in the dog park at the time.

Check it out here. (I'm the one in the pink top and that's my dog, Charlie, with his butt sticking out from behind the stone.)

So Colleen and I were talking about whether it would be appropriate to post this, since it's not exactly "self promotion" or "marketing" related...but then again, any publicity is good publicity, right?

What do you think?

May 23, 2007

Rules of the road, web version

As more and more writing, marketing and commerce moves to the web, it becomes more and more important to understand what's cool—and what isn't—to do on the web. How much of someone else's blog post can you quote and call it "fair use"? What about picture usage? Transparency regarding paid promotion?

Friend of Marketing Mentor Scott Souchock, of G.Scott!Design, sent us a link to what looks like a terrific summary of current U.S. law on the state of blogging. And I say "looks like" because more and more, there is no ultimate and irrefutable source; in these uncharted waters, we're all expected to do our own due diligence.

12 Important U.S. Laws Every Blogger Needs to Know

May 21, 2007

Guest post: Better PowerPoint through Chekhov

Today's guest post combines two of my favorite things: great presenting and great writing—which, if you think about it, are just different ways of telling stories. Which is Richard Fouts' point, exactly. And as CEO of Comunicado, a brand communications firm that helps organizations tell their story, he knows a little something about storytelling...

Would your customers prefer "death by PowerPoint" or an interesting story of how you helped an online retailer double their revenues? If the latter, take a hint from Anton Chekhov, the son of a grocer who helped support his family by writing humorous sketches.

One of Chekhov's more famous quotes was "Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out". His simple philosophies come through in his stories, which were not noted for their intricate plots. Rather, Chekhov found emotion and drama in ordinary, everyday events.

As business communicators, we're not looking for the intricate plot either. Our job is to communicate how our companies solve ordinary, everyday business problems. You can easily adapt Chekhov's three part storytelling model to tell more engaging stories about you or your company.

Continue reading "Guest post: Better PowerPoint through Chekhov" »

May 18, 2007

For better networking, put people to work

I've gotten really interested in exploring the way people use handwritten notes, which you may have noticed here on the blog. So much so that I've been interviewing people about how and why they use handwritten notes as part of their marketing mix.

So last night at a networking event, it only felt natural to bring up the topic with the people I met, and spring the same question on each of them.

Presto! Instant conversation, whether they were pro or con. Plus it was a great way to solicit business cards from people without being a tool: "May I have your card to follow up if I have more questions as I research this topic?"

Anyone else tried this?

May 17, 2007

Marketing Mentee Makes Good: Lloyd Dangle's new book

Popular cartoonist, blogger and Marketing Mentor client Lloyd Dangle has a new book out today, Troubletown.

We haven't read it yet, but if it's anything like the rest of his hi-larious and spot-on skewerings of modern idiocy, I'm sure it will be fantastic.

Press release here; buy it here. Or in the store when it shows up, if you can wait that long.

May 16, 2007

Thanks, Mom

My mother couldn't have known that the name she chose for me well before the dawn of Google would be one of my best online marketing tools. But it is.

All you have to do is type "ilise" into the Google search field and a full 8 of the 10 results on that all-important first page link back to something about me or one of my books. Someone people say that's good self promotion, but I call it luck. And I have to give credit to Mom -- and Uncle Irving (it's a long story).

In last Tuesday's Wall St. Journal, there was an article about the growing importance of having a unique name so that you can be easily found when someone Googles you. Apparently, parents are choosing their babies' names based on how well they Google; adults are using middle names and adding initials to stand out and come up first in the search engine rankings. (Read the whole article here.)

May 15, 2007

Bosses are for suckers

This morning on NPR's Marketplace Report, Freelance speechwriter James Braly explains why being your own boss is more secure than having a job and putting your livelihood in one person (or one company's) hands. Listen here.


The Tagline Series