Niagara Falls Getaway

These weeks keep ticking by, I can hardly believe I only have 7 weeks left before baby #3 arrives (or darn near 7 weeks). Somehow I always end up putting off the most important things for last. Hoping to register with the hospital in the next week or two and need to pick out a good car seat in the next week or two as well. My husband may kill me if I don’t do all of the obvious things before the baby arrives J In the back of my mind I still wonder what crazy thing will happen with this birth, I always have to be up to some crazy antic on my delivery day!

With only seven weeks to go we decided to do one last hurrah with the family before the baby arrives and we’re all stuck indoors for a few months. We chose something close to home but someplace we haven’t really been to or haven’t been to in a long while. Something that would be family friendly and would require little walking or strain from the preggo woman! So we chose to go to Niagara Falls!

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I was probably about 2 or 3 when I went so I obviously don’t remember anything from that trip and my husband was just a child when he went so his memories were a little foggy as well. The falls were only about 3 ½ hours from our house so it was perfect for driving with a toddler.

family

Now I wish I could say a good time was had by all but apparently 11427237_10103498560299144_7925372029017030814_nmy water shy toddler did not enjoy parts of our trip. I know he’s not a huge fan of water, he’s also not a huge fan of being around people but I thought this was a low key event and it wasn’t even as busy as I thought it would be. Let’s just say there was nothing but tears for the entire Maid of the Mist tour and Cave of the Winds.

drewMy 11 year old however had a blast. He LOVED the two events that his younger brother hated. He was soaking wet and had to go back to the hotel to change but he loved every minute of it and just stood in falls, feeling the cool water rush against him. No raincoat was going to protect that kid!

Some of the other exhibits left us less than impressed but the park itself was beautiful and for the most part we had a good time. We probably could have used a few more hours there to finish viewing everything but all in all we did everything we initially planned to do and had fun.

overlook

Now we are back home, where I can sleep in the comforts of my own bed, with my clean carpets. I think we can all say that I my least favorite part of any trip is staying in the hotel. I don’t like the idea germ filled beds and carpets and nasty bathrooms that you don’t know who was in before you or if the cleaning staff properly sanitizes things. If I wasn’t 8 months pregnant I would have preferred a tent on the dirt ground, I could at least walk around barefoot there or let my kids run around and play without freaking out J

Shameless Self Promotion Techniques

Every small business faces this challenge from time to time, how do you promote your business without feeling pushy or overwhelming. Nobody wants to be the stereotypical used car salesman but you still need to get your voice out there for people to know that you exist.

The first step to any good promotion is knowing who your audience and target market is. You have a great product or service in hand, now imagine people purchasing or using this item. Who is the primary purchaser? Do you have cool new tech gear that might be perfect for millennials? Perhaps it’s something geared towards young moms or for middle-aged men. Although it may be great if all of the above were purchasing your item you really need to focus on one main category to be your focal point.

When you try to make everyone happy and try to promote your product or service to everyone at once you will have problems truly engaging any one person or group of people. If you customize your promotions to a primary group you will begin to lure them in and make them feel special, as if you’re speaking directly to them. Do you remember going to concerts and feeling like the lead singer is singing that ballad to you? That’s exactly how you want your audience to feel, like you’re singing directly to them. The outliers will then purchase on an as needed basis but your core group will be the avid followers that your business needs to succeed.

This core group of purchasers may also become influencers for the outliers. When you have a primary group of people intrigued in your item or service they will be more inclined to spread the word to their friends, family and peers. There is no better advertising than word of mouth.

Once you know who your target audience is you’ll be able to drill down and figure out the best method of reaching them. Does this group of people live by their cell phone and use social media day in and day out? Or perhaps doing a press release or advertising in the local paper might get in front of your audience a little bit easier. Many news stations are often looking to feature small businesses or current events and you might be able to land a spot on the morning news to promote yourself.

After figuring out how and where you’re going to promote yourself you’re going to want to practice that elevator pitch of yours. Grab your supportive friends and family members and practice on them. Have them ask you questions or have them ask you what you do for a living or what you sell so you can practice your perfect pitch. You don’t want to come across a guru in your industry and then find yourself tripping over your words. You need your pitch to come out fluidly and confidently. This is your dream after all you should know this like the back of your hand!

If you’re still finding yourself struggling and need some help or would prefer to just remove the idea of promotion and media writing off of your plate contact me and I’d be happy to help work out any other kinks you may have!

The Art of Word Clouds

Word clouds can be a fun and simple way to5_Team_12x12 get your message across. If you’re not familiar with exactly what a word cloud is it’s a series of words, typically referencing the same topic, placed together in varying font sizes and colors and moving in multiple directions. The organic nature of a word cloud creates a graphical image that makes the piece feel more like artwork than a written message.

I recently had the pleasure of creating a series of word cloud posters be placed throughout an office to portray the core values of the team. They act as quick little reminders of who the company is and where they want to be. Instead of placing all of the text into paragraph form that most people will end up disregarding the idea of creating word clouds for each of the values was formed so now employees will see keywords as they’re passing through different areas of the office and will be reminded of the ultimate goal.

Here’s an example of the word clouds that I made for a small business. The final pieces were printed on canvas and turned out even better than I imagined! It’s always like Christmas when your prints show up and you get to unwrap each one of them!

wordcloud

If you’re looking to create word cloud art for your office contact me for a free consultation!