Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Art of Flowers August 2012: Biedermeier Hand-Tied Bouquet Demo

Creating a social media marketing campaign AmericasmartAtl
Small businesses can act like big businesses with social media marketing. It isn't just the latest, greatest fad, it's a powerful mechanism to cultivate customer relationships and outclass big businesses without having to spend a fortune on infrastructure.

Get your website built first

The first rule of social media marketing is to create a website for your business, preferably with the same name as the business. This will be the main face of your organisation, and will give you a core platform to project the key messages about your business, brand, products and services. It will be one of the main points of contact between you and your customers, and the site that they will find through a web search for your business.
Make the website easy to navigate, attractive and clear to read, and make sure that it communicates the culture of your business. It's important to get your branding right, so that you can replicate it across different social media platforms, and be instantly recognisable for customers.

Creating a Facebook page for your business

Second, make sure that you utilise free social media platforms such as Facebook, which will give you the ability to engage with customers. There are many other social networks apart from Facebook, however, and some of these might suit your target audience better, being aimed at business professionals, teenagers, females, or particular market sectors.
However, having a page for your business on Facebook can help you to start dialogues with a broad range of customers, understand their likes and dislikes, showcase your products and services, and let them know about new initiatives and offers. Another great benefit is viral marketing - the fact that your business customers will tell other people about your site through their own Facebook pages.
This is the way to build up brand awareness and an audience, but professional marketing specialists advise businesses to be active on their Facebook business pages, updating them frequently with comments, news, images and videos. This is because people check social networking sites at different times of the day, and with differing levels of frequency, so posts can easily get missed.

Tweet little and often

It is a good idea to keep posts short, some say 80 characters or less. When it comes to Twitter, the length of Twitter feeds is limited to 140 characters, but studies have shown that posts with 80 characters or fewer received significantly higher engagement rates. Another important factor is that many people will be viewing social media sites using their smart phones or mobile devices, and may have smaller screen sizes, and be travelling, in other words have other distractions. This is where short and sweet postings can be more effective than long ones.
Consistency in posting is also important, because marketing is often an activity that spans the months, and even years before getting results. Don't over-post, in other words, little and often is better than posting ten times a day. Posts should be thoughtful, engaging, and encourage conversation, feedback or sharing, and if it contains some form of media, such as a photo or video, it will most likely garner further attention.

Tracking and analysing your social media profile

Facebook and Google offer sophisticated tracking and analysis tools, and these are worth investigating, as are adverts that can be targeted to your customers. Although there may be some cost involved, the results can be good. These tools can tell you about other links to your business or your social media marketing activity from other peoples' sites.
You can share good reports and blog posts about your business with your own audience, and bad feedback can also be useful, as it can enable you to engage with individuals who may have an insight into your business or products and services that can help you to improve.
There is a whole host of cross-referencing and linking tools and buttons that are worth using in your social media marketing, such as the Facebook 'Like' button, and social bookmarking tools such as, DiggIt and ReddIt. By linking both outwards from your social media sites, and inwards from other blogs and websites, you are effectively build awareness of your company, and build up a loyal army of supporters.
Ideally with a network like Facebook it's advisable to incorporate some element of interaction whenever you can, and include a call to action in your posts. So, for example, words like click, comment, share and like will increase engagement.
Social media usage is still on the rise, as more people adopt mobile working, and ubiquitous web access, and the great thing is that social media marketing platforms are free. If you want to take it to the next level, you can choose to spend money on hiring a consultant or social media manager, and invest in ads and partnership deals. Saying that, it's well worth trying the free options first.

The Grand Atrium at 200 Peachtree Street

Imagine the possibilities for this event space!
200 Peachtree Street
Atlanta, Georgia 30303

The Grand Atrium at 200 Peachtree is Atlanta’s most classic and historic rental venue – perfect for your Grand Occasion today. Designed by Renowned architect Philip Schutze in 1927, it offers soaring 30’ ceilings and majestic 14’ chandeliers. The spacious and beautiful Grand Atrium can accommodate up to 850 guests for banquets and up to 1,075 guests for a cocktail reception. With our elegant drapery system, the Grand Atrium can also be an intimate venue for smaller events with under 200 people. Whether you are planning an intimate gathering or a large social function, we will assist you with every detail to make your event a memorable success.
With more than 17,000 square feet of event space, The Grand Atrium at 200 Peachtree is the home of hundreds of corporate and social events each year. It is available for parties as well as special exhibits space. Our celebrations include Atlanta Housewives for a baby shower, receptions featuring overhead trapeze artists and gala events housed by National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) and World Chamber of Commerce (WCC). We are proud to have hosted Bridal Extravaganza for the past two years.
Facility Features:
  • Marble floors and stained glass windows facing Peachtree Street
  • On-site AV technicians to assist with you special event
  • Interior draping to provide room separation
  • Peachtree Street entrance with valet parking available
  • Covered parking deck (via an enclosed bridge to the Conference Center & Carnegie Foyer)
  • Elegant Bride’s Room


Purple and Blue Wedding Flowers1 Blue Wedding Flowers for Symbol of Faithfulness

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Building Your Personal Brand (Pt 1 of 2)

Describe yourself in one word.

What’s the word?
What one word do others use to describe you?
(Don’t know? Ask a few people.)
Is it the same word?

That word is your reputation, your personal brand.

Is that the brand you want and need to accomplish your goals in your marketplace?

If not, that could be what’s holding you back.

The world is changing all around us (noticed yet?). The 40-year job security is a laughable memory. Pension? Social security? Hilarious!
No, in this day and age YOU have to create your own security. You already know that. That’s why you read this blog and SUCCESS magazine (smart!).
In this whirlwind of change the only thing that is constant and your greatest asset, no matter what the future holds, is your personal brand. It is your only security for your future.

It’s time we build your brand—the one you want and need for your greater future.

First off, let me dispel what you might think a personal brand is. It is not your business card, brochure, website or magnetic car signs.
Your personal brand is the powerful, clear, positive idea that comes to mind whenever other people think of you. It’s what you stand for—the values, abilities and actions that others associate with you. Your personal brand tells your audience: Who you are, What you do and What makes you different or How you create value for your target market.

Look, here’s the deal… know it or not, like it or not, YOU are a brand.
And you have been shaping your brand since you first started walking and talking.

Every day, through every communication and interaction you have, every room you walk into, every hand you shake, every picture you post, blog you publish, comment you make, tweet, ‘Like’ or Facebook posting you make, you are sculpting your brand. These many thousands of chisel marks ultimately shape the statue that is your personal brand.

So the question becomes, How does your statue look to date? Is it as magnificent as Michelangelo’s David or might you need to improve your sculpting skills, just a bit?

Over the next couple posts I’ll outline a 5-point Game Plan to help you select, develop, package, distribute and reinforce your new, beautiful and compelling brand.

5-Point Personal Brand-Building Game Plan
ONE—Pick Your Word

Select your brand. Forcing it into a single word causes you to become crystal clear, thus making it clear how to live up to your word and for others to understand you, in a single word.

Example: What word would you use to describe me and my brand?

My hope is you quickly picked the word “success.” Not because of the title on my business card or the masthead of our magazine, but because I personify, live up to, deliver on that word, every day in every conversation. The way I walk, talk, dress, show up, perform and deliver on every commitment I make. I am intentional about living up to and demonstrating that word in all that I do and all that I am. That’s my brand.

What’s your word? What’s your brand? Pick it now.



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Locals provide flowers and food for the RNC convention


Sympathy Resources from Smithers-Oasis


AIFD Helps 35 State Floral Groups


Monday, August 27th, 2012

BALTIMORE (August 2012) –Thirty-five state or regional floral associations across the U.S. have been given a complimentary registration to attend the 2013 National Symposium of the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD), it was announced by Ann Jordan AIFD, CFD, president of the Institute.

“It is AIFD’s hope that the various associations will use this gift to raise funds or to stimulate interest in attending an association-sponsored floral design education program,” said Ms. Jordan, who added that it is “AIFD’s mission to advance the art of professional floral design through education, service and leadership, and to recognize the achievement of excellence in this art form.”

AIFD’s National Symposium is considered to be the most dynamic floral design education program offered in the U.S. The 2013 edition, “Passion,” will take place in the beautiful Paris Hotel located on the Strip in Las Vegas. The dates for the event are June 28 to July 2. The complimentary registration given by AIFD to the state association provides for access to all education programs and presentations. Guests may opt to add on attendance to the elaborate meal functions and other special events which are part of the exciting conclave.

In addition to the Symposium registration gift, AIFD further attempts to help florist associations by incorporating their education programs into the requirements to test to become a Certified Floral Designer (CFD) and by requiring AIFD members to earn continuing education credits thought leadership and involvement in the associations.

Organizations advised of the gift include: Alabama State Florists Association, Arizona State Florists Association, Arkansas Florists Association, California State Floral Association, Connecticut Florists’ Association, Florida State Florist Association, Georgia State Florists Association, Illinois State Florists’ Association, Iowa Florists’ Association, Kansas State Florists’ Association, Kentucky State Florists Association, Louisiana State Florists’ Association, Maine State Florists Association, Massachusetts Professional Florist Association, Michigan Floral Association, Mid Atlantic Florists Association, Montana Florists Association, Nebraska Florists Association, New Mexico Florists Association, North Carolina State Florists’ Association, North Dakota State Florists’ Association, OFA – The Association of Floriculture Professionals, Oklahoma State Florists’ Association, Ozark Florists Association, South Carolina Florists Association, South Dakota Florists Association, Tennessee State Florists’ Association, Texas State Florists Association, West Texas New Mexico Florists Association, Virginia Professional Florist Association, and the Wisconsin/Upper Michigan Florists’ Association. Notice of the AIFD Symposium gift was emailed to the various association offices. Within minutes of its distribution, state associations were responding with great appreciation to AIFD.

Immediately prior to its National Symposium, AIFD will conduct its Professional Floral Design Evaluation (PFDE) program for candidates interested in obtaining their Certified Floral Designer (CFD) designation or in becoming an Accredited Member of AIFD. For details on AIFD, the PFDE program or the National Symposium, visit

BUSINESS QUOTES 8/28/2012 Bill Rancic

"I'm a big fan of small business ownership. I think it's the backbone of American innovation. But to be successful, you first have to have the courage to go for it."


Thursday, August 23, 2012



Tips for Using Social Media to Sell

You can use social media to land a sale--but only if you're following these key principles.
I just celebrated my 100th discussion on the same topic with the same client. We talked yet again about selling and social media. Before your eyes glaze over, let me quickly add that the conversation ended with a meaningful shift in point of view for me. I've decided that the idea becomes much more valuable if I look at it as "social selling" rather than "social media."
In Matt Heinz's book Successful Social Selling, he helps turn the social-media noise into real strategies. I called him and learned four key principles from the discussion:

1. Getting more "followers" is not a goal.
There is an implied causal link between "followers" or "likes" and real sales activity. However, that link has low correlational accuracy. Most people are talking about themselves and hoping you're listening. Coupons, special offers, and event postings may get some strong responses from people who are already transactional customers. But if the goal is to get qualified prospects, then you need different metrics for judging the success of your social selling.

2. Connection is not engagement.
Social selling is about engagement, and that comes from effective interaction. Posting material in any form and simply waiting for your connections to respond is not engagement. What are they posting that you are responding to? Learn from those interactions. You can't sell if you're just pushing messages and your expertise.

3. Buyers signal by declaring problems.
Listen for the buying signals from the social Web. If you use a third-party tool, such as HootSuite, to compose your messages and read what your followers are writing, make full use of its search capabilities. Look for certain key words as a way to listen for people who have a problem you can solve. If you sell routers or servers, you can flag the word router or server failure, giving you a way to watch across all open platforms for anyone who uses the word. You can even segment the search to a number of miles from your office location.

4. You are not in control.
Many sales folks believe this is the way the process works: Get followers, and then provoke them to want what you sell through your posts. The truth is, it rarely happens that way. The reason is simple: If you tweet, blog, or post about a solution, idea, or product that a person does not have, they won't necessarily connect with you. If you are listening to the social Web and hear someone declare a problem that you can solve or a question that you can answer, giving you an opportunity to send a relevant response, then you are truly engaging

Colin Cowie Weddings Editorial Intern Fall 2012

Company: Colin Cowie Weddings

Address: 584 Broadway Suite 607

Location: Manhattan, NY

Application Deadline: September 2,2012

Positions: 2 Part-Time, Unpaid (College Credit Required)

Timeframe: 09/03/12 - 12/14/12 (Dates Flexible)


Colin Cowie Weddings is looking for an editorial intern! If you’re interested in the luxury market, weddings, the Internet and exquisite design, we’re looking for you. We need a web savvy writer and editor who will work with the Colin Cowie Weddings staff on editorial projects including writing, copy editing, research and content management.

You’ll learn what it to takes to edit and produce articles and galleries on a large scale, content-driven website as well as the ins and outs of the editorial web industry.

This position is unpaid, so college credit is mandatory.


The qualified person will be a strong writer and/or editor, computer literate and have some web production knowledge (if you're a blogger, that's a major plus!). HTML knowledge is a huge plus, but not necessary. This position is unpaid, so college credit is mandatory.

Your Characteristics:
Ambitious, enthusiastic
Work independently under direction
Takes initiative
Quick thinking with ability to multi-task on various projects for different departments
Problem solver