Tracy Petrucci: 2015

Monday, December 28, 2015

We're Growing!

I am looking to expand my team! Please send resumes to tracy @

Title: Social Media + Email Marketing Manager
15-20 hours a week with room to advance.
Pay will be determined by experience.

Do you tweet, share, and post to social media in your sleep? Do you know what it takes to grow an online community? We're looking for a social media manager to help us implement our clients' strategies. Grow followers, engage and retain them, help convert them into leads, customers, and active fans. You should know best practices and trends in social media marketing, enjoy being creative, and understand how to both build and convert a digital audience.

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Final Small Business Spotlight of 2015

By Leesa King

Congratulations, readers!
We made it through another year. And what an exciting one 2015 was!

To wrap up this year of the Small Business Spotlight, I decided to interview someone very close to my heart - our own Tracy Petrucci! I am constantly inspired by her creativity, dedication to hard work, and ability to adapt with the changes that being a small business owner tends to bring. As a writer, photographer, and nutrition enthusiast myself, I am always begging Tracy for career advice  and business ideas, and after attending her workshops and webinars, I get closer to reaching my personal and professional goals. So I think it's about time we give her a little spotlight of her own!

Leesa: When you decided to start a small business, what was your original strategy? How did this change over the course of your first few years in business?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Social Media Lab NOW OPEN

All business owners deserve good advice and authentic direction, but sometimes it's hard to find. Commit to yourself you’re going to put in the time and work on your online marketing, and do it with expert help at a fraction of the cost.

What: This is a monthly recurring membership. It's a place to finish your newsletter, get feedback on a Facebook ad, schedule your social media posts for the month, write a blog post, or partake in any other marketing activities you want to master. You will have the opportunity to ask me questions, receive advice, get technical help if you’re stuck, and much more.

Why:  This lab is for you if you need a cost-effective way to get feedback on your marketing activities. You may feel like...
  • You need a marketing expert you can trust to chime in on your efforts
  • You aren't sure you're creating the right way (did I do something wrong in my Facebook ad or something?!) 
  • You're learning but not implementing
  • You're too busy to make time for your marketing
Who: Anyone who has a basic understanding of social media or email marketing. You may have consulted with me and know what to do, or been in one of my adult school classes, a free workshop, or are just a member of the business community in San Diego.  

Where: Hera Hub Mission Valley - First Wednesday every month - 9a to 11a 
Hera Hub Mission Valley - First Thursday night every month - 6p to 8p 
Hera Hub Carlsbad - First Thursday every month - 9a to 11a 

How: A recurring monthly meeting where you bring your laptop and your marketing goals. We'll have coffee, tea, and a short "goals definition" check in, and then it will be time to dive in and get to work. The cost: $49 per month.

The Deets: If you can't make your lab, you can make-up at another. The lab is only open to 12 people. To make it even BETTER, you will gain points every time you check in and receive awards when you reach benchmarks, such as a free consult, entry to a paid workshop, and extra services. You'll be rewarded for taking this seriously!

I am so excited about this and I can't WAIT to see you in the lab!
Choose your location

Marketing Lab

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Small Business Spotlight: Le Red Balloon

Skyler McCurine: “Oh cuuuute outfit”
Tracy Petrucci: “REALLY?? No. I always feel so blah.”

This is how it started. Skyler from Le Red Balloon was walking past my office in San Diego when she stopped to compliment my look. I felt a little disheveled and lazy in my appearance, but Skyler was having none of that. In fact, by the end of our conversation she volunteered to come to my house, (bottle of champagne in hand) and offered to go through my closet with me.

I was SCARED. My closet? Woah mama. Maybe I was embarrassed? Or ashamed at what kind of mess of junky clothes she might find. I was nervous, but she was so generous I had to at least take her up on the offer.

I had NO idea how revolutionary this experience would turn out to be. After a few brief questions about where I want to go in life and how I describe my style, Skyler zipped around pulling this and that from my closet...putting together outfits, accessories, shoes and scarves… it was pure genius
"I had NO idea how revolutionary this experience would turn out to be."

She took a picture of me in each outfit so that I could remember each detail. I loved EVERY SINGLE thing she put together. She got really creative, avoided the things I always wear, and pulled out fun prints, patterns, and belts that I forgot existed in the back of my closet. I didn’t realize that buried within my own clothes were such cute outfits, nor could I have felt that good about myself without her help. She pegged my style preference right away, and the looks were spot on with how I like to represent myself.

Over the past few weeks since our consultation, I am proud to say I’ve worn the outfits she created multiple times over. Not only that, I’ve been inspired to take a few moments longer when I get ready, to tuck in my shirt or put on some earrings before I leave the house. I look and feel so much better since she spent that time in my closet. - Tracy

 "I look and feel so much better since she spent that time in my closet." 

 Article by Leesa King

Ladies, and Gentlemen... There's a new trend in town.

These days fashion is not all about fitting in to the crowd. It's not about comparing yourself to other women, men, friends, or coworkers.  It's about fitting into yourself as a whole creative being, and finding out exactly what makes you feel beautiful, powerful, confident, and exceptional. 

This month, Tracy and I are so excited to present Skyler McCurine, owner and founder of Le Red Balloon, who has spearheaded the theory of being fabulous in your own skin, and maybe more importantly, in your own clothes.  No expensive shopping trip here, just a closet transformation that will have you marching out of your front door looking and feeling like a diva. 

I had the pleasure of interviewing Skyler about her business and marketing experiences, and summarized a bit about how she got to where she is now in her dream career, helping people of all ages and sizes to feel more confident, and to look great in what they already own.

"My recent experience with Skyler of Le Red Balloon was nothing short of transformative. She spent some time first getting to know more about me, my style/tastes, and my goals for the consultation. Having recently changed careers, I'm now in a very visible role, and need to communicate both professionalism and warmth. I need comfort, since I am traveling and on my feet, but I also I want my clothes to better reflect the artsy and quirky parts of myself. Oh, and I wanted to do all this without buying new clothes! I thought I was asking the impossible, but Skyler read me and my needs perfectly, and totally nailed it. In a matter of minutes, she'd put together about twenty gorgeous ensembles, from items whose value I had totally lost sight of." 
-Recent Le Red Balloon Client

Leesa: First, I have to tell you how much I absolutely love your website and your message. It is both inviting and enchanting, and your story makes me feel like I've known you for decades. When working so intimately with people, especially people who may feel vulnerable or embarrassed about their personal wardrobe or body image, what tactics have you found to be most helpful in making your clients feel comfortable and excited about their consultation with you? 

Skyler: It’s imperative that my clients know from the jump that I am “safe”, and that their insecurities, vulnerabilities, joys, and also challenges are within my care.  I treat them tenderly and share personal experiences and struggles with my own body and closet to demonstrate that there’s nothing “wrong" with them for feeling apprehensive.  It is completely normal for people to feel nervous or worried about their wardrobe, image, body, or goals, and, in fact, I share information with all of my clients about how the media plays a role in making us feel that way.  I always use humor to easy worry and to show that I am a person with whom they can have fun.  I don’t judge my clients. That is not my place, nor anyone’s.  Letting your clients know that up front enables them to focus on enjoying the experience.
L: In growing your business . . .  from the first encounter you had with the red balloons to now, being featured on TEDx, and considered "The Oprah of Personal Style", what marketing techniques, business skills, and professional connections did you adopt along the way?  
S: I have learned that integrity and thoughtfulness go a long way.  Many of my professional opportunities have come because I have truly listened, shared deeply, and taken the time to remind others why they are special.  I have made myself a resource, a well of encouragement, and people learn my caliber of person that way.  I am not a “make it rain business cards” kind of person; I prefer to have a handful of rich conversation that is rooted in mutual support vs. pushing my own agenda.  I send handwritten cards to everyone I connect with.  If I have the privilege of a real conversation, learning about a life, mission, purpose, or work, I send a handwritten card to that person.  I make a note to check on people, see how projects are going, how wardrobes are building, and how myself and Le Red Balloon may be of service.

L: You are a wonderful advocate of such a meaningful message. I'm wondering what challenges you face (if any) to promote it and empower people to feel comfortable in who they are.
S: I have committed my life to redefining the look of leadership and standard of beauty in America.  I am one woman working against years of sexism, ageism, and other constructions that distract deserving and beautiful people from seeing their own worth, value, and beauty.  I am working against media conglomerates and negative self talk that consumes my clients' mental space.  My job is to raise their thinking from the worry of their appearance to the amazing work they do, their contributions, strengths, and accomplishments. 
" job is to raise their thinking from the worry of their appearance to the amazing work they do, their contributions, strengths, and accomplishments."

L: Do you incorporate your services into the community, such as hosting group parties, or giving lectures at seminars? If no, do you see yourself including these into your business development?
S: Service is strategically woven into my business.  Unwanted or unused clothing from my clients' closets is donated to the Monarch School.  I host events every quarter and raise money, resources, and toiletries, for various charities and organizations.  Speaking is a service that I offer, and I speak at many organizations in San Diego, as well as non-profits, networking groups, and schools.  I also serve as a TV commentator on FOX 5 and do fashion segments, everything from back to school segments to using fashion as a form of empowerment.
L: Your business model promotes sustainability in its efforts to keep the clothes that people already own in their closets . . . basically what I mean is that you're not taking people out to a department store and telling them what they should be buying, instead you shape the way they already understand themselves via their fashion image, into a more productive and appropriate wardrobe for what fits them best. I imagine people generally respond very well to this . . . could you share a little bit about that experience? (Are people relieved when they realize they don't need to buy a bunch of new clothes to reinvent their whole wardrobe?)
S: Yes!  We've all had that feeling of having a closet filled with “stuff” yet "nothing to wear."  That shouldn’t be the case.  It’s about re-working what you have.  I bring a creative and fresh perspective to one’s wardrobe and give my clients “permission” to experiment in ways they hadn’t thought possible.  Fashion sadly becomes something regulated by restrictions (I can only wear certain colors, I only wear black, I can’t wear this type of slack, I don’t wear dresses, etc.)  I remind my clients that style is a form of self expression, don’t think about the rules and think about what brings you joy. What makes you feel beautiful, powerful, and fabulous? THAT needs to be the priority.  My clients are always amazed by how many wardrobe combinations are possible while only using a fraction of their closet.  They can see firsthand how versatile their wardrobe is and that by being creative they can save money and lessen their carbon footprint! Bonus!
Skyler was recently invited to attend the Forbes Under 30 Summit where they promoted her TEDx talk which you can watch for free here.  Follow her on Twitter here and visit her Website here.
Thanks for all of your wonderful words, Skyler!
And a special Thanks to Tracy Petrucci for her intro and experience with Le Red Balloon.  
Until next time,
Leesa King
Writer | Photographer

Have a small business in mind that you'd like to see featured?
Contact Leesa at |

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

FREE WEBINAR: 60 Ways to Grow Your List

From 6p to 7p TONIGHT
Register HERE

It's time to grow your contact list!

Join us for "60 Ways to Grow Your List" workshop - you'll leave with ideas and strategies to capture new contacts, grow your list and take action to help move your business forward.

Having an interested and qualified list of contacts, that you can stay top of mind with, is vital to every business. Continuing to grow that list is just as important. In this workshop we will show you 60 easy ways to grow your contact list today!

We will cover:

Why someone should join your contact list and what’s in it for them

• How to ask people to join your list "face-to-face"

• How to use social media to grow your list

• How to grow your list on your website or blog

• How to use print material to get people to sign up

• How to use events to help grow your list

• How to use incentives and giveaways to grow your list

Monday, September 21, 2015

Go With The Flow...

Today I had a presentation planned and the venue contact didn't show up to let us in. Frazzled, me and the students put our heads together and came up with somewhere else we could go last minute. While the library didn't have meeting rooms, and the Barnes + Noble would surely find us an odd bunch, we settled on the Kettle Coffee and Tea around the corner.

Lately I've had a lot of in-person events where people don't show up. I understand, because it's free, there's no real commitment to come. But when I spend hours planning and arriving at a destination to find out that nobody showed (and I mean, come on, I am FULL of awesome advice) I can't help but feel sad. It's led me to do more webinars, which I do enjoy a lot of course. I mean anything that gets me rambling about marketing makes me happy...but nothing, just nothing beats the way I feel when I get to talk to a group face to face.

I love seeing people nod while I explain something, love hearing who they are and what they do for a living. Today I was so proud of the folks who made it out and over to my presentation. Some of them came a long way! I was thrown off the venue didn't come to let me in (turns out it was a misunderstanding, it happens!) but I couldn't believe how easy going and flexibile this group was when I said, "let's make the best of it" and "we can still do this!"

We had a nice intimate presentation at the coffee shop, notes were scribbled down, heads were nodding, and at the end of the session I felt SO lucky to have met these wonderful people. And THIS is why I love what I do!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Small Business Spotlight: La Vigne Fruits

In the heart of the rolling hills in Fallbrook, California, we invite you to take a drive on the winding country roads...and when you happen to look up and notice what seems like a picturesque scene from a Tuscan postcard, you'll know you're there. It's the home and business of Helene Beck, founder of the organic and bio-dynamic grove La Vigne.

"In the Beck home, cookbooks from almost every culture imaginable line the walls of the study. “I have merged a long-time interest in multi-cultural cuisine with a passion for nutrition and a lifetime of gourmet cooking into La Vigne products,” she said. That, coupled with a commitment to ecology, has contributed to the development of La Vigne Organic’s distinctive line of gourmet foods made entirely from fruits certified organic by CCOF. - quote from the La Vigne website.

Helene has also published a new book that we personally read and reviewed, and it's a TRUE work of art. "Jewels From My Grove, is the culmination of more than 30 years she and her husband, Robert, lovingly spent restoring an ailing tract of farmland in Fallbrook, California. Their vision and passion bore fruit - a wonderfully healthy sustainable organic citrus grove - and this cookbook is Helene's love letter to her three favorite orange-hued jewels - persimmons, kumquats and blood oranges. In addition to beautiful grove and food photography, you'll find recipes for some of Helene's most cherished citrus-centric dishes that are both easy and challenging, savory and sweet, all wrapped in a story that is compelling and heart-warming." Check out the book on Amazon here.

TPM's small business spotlight pioneer Leesa King asked Helene some questions for our feature this month. Here's what she found out!

1. Tell us a little bit about the time when you decided to transition your home orchard into an organic, bio-dynamic business. What were the necessary steps, challenges, and personal accomplishments that led La Vigne fruits to be the gem that it is now.

"Within 5 years of buying the grove where La Vigne is established, we began the organic transition process. This was in 1986, and to become organic, you had to use all natural amendments (non-synthetic inputs) on the land. A resting period was part of the where the soil has to correct itself from previous chemicals used. This was a 3 year waiting period.

With the application of biodynamic methods, in which we build compost that becomes humus, it really awakened me and connected me to this system. It was seeing the difference in the appearance of the trees. The leaves were the most indicative of change - when the trees are taken care of, the leaves are more upright, and they have a richer look to them. The ground didn't change as quickly; later we had to give our full attention to the soil to see change. It doesn't happen overnight, it's not like a flower that might wilt, (feed it the water it needs and overnight it will revive); its a slow, progressive change. If the plant is strong to start with, it'll respond nicely."

2. How do you use sustainability in your produce and longevity in your business plan?

"Your business is always foremost in your mind. You're competing with other people who have great fruit too! The fruit has to be good, our attitude has to be good, and our relationship with the distributor and with the land has to be good. If all of these things are in check, your business begins to grow! Fresh fruit has value, however making a value-added product out of something left behind is also very important; there's always some fruit lingering.

You've got a longer and harder way to get rid of your fruit when your company is new. Just like with any other business. If you're going to sell wallets, for example, you are going to compete with a lot of people. Something about your wallet has to be imaginative, and the product has to be attractive to a consumer, whether that's price or quality, it has to stand out. That's what we've done. We've taken our wonderful fruit, and invented new condiments that are unique. This is how we keep the business and the fruit alive."

3. How do you incorporate the public and/or consumers into the orchard?

"We occasionally have groups visit the grounds. Small groups are better, they get a more intimate representation of the land. They can hear, smell, ask questions, and get a better experience overall. I'm not opposed to the idea of having these small groups, as long as they're serious! It has to be when fruit is on the trees so there's something to see.

We also post lots of photos on our Facebook page to help communicate what we're all about."

4. How do you share your message of conservation activism? Do you use farmers markets, co-ops, or food shares like CSA?

"To make some of the exotic fruits better known and on the tables just as comfortably as a pear or banana, we try to set an example of what we are practicing. We have classes at times on bees and making compost, and we buy local and sell local...and yes we do sell to the CSA.

Despite the fact that we compete, we all come together at the farm meetings, certification events, and we're all friendly with one another. We all worry about the same things...if there's something that plagues citrus, it will probably affect everyone growing citrus, we compare notes. If you understand the stress signals that trees put out, a signal that they're not doing well, then all sorts of detrimental insects that can take them down, may be avoided.

It's all of these things that you mentioned! It's everything. People marching, articles in magazines, mothers talking to each other, wanting better food for their children in schools, and sometimes you'll see people taking action. But more often now we see things posted on the internet. The results of what has happened to our soil is everywhere...Facebook, Twitter, all of us are noticing that most Americans (not the whole population, just a good many of them) are generally eating food with preservatives, chemicals, and our bodies are trying to find ways to fight it, and so we see disruptions in health. Spreading the message of organic, local, healthy whole foods may encourage people to eat foods that promote health instead of disrupting it.

By presenting the best fruit possible, supporting other organizations that promote these same concepts and thoughts, this way to support the cause and is the greater message."

A big thanks to Helene Beck of La Vigne Organics. We encourage you to visit them out online at and check out all the different products.

And if you have an interest in this grove, see if you can tour the property. You will be amazed by the endless secret gardens, rows of beautiful exotic citrus trees, and no doubt you will feel the land sort of buzzing with vibrant life as you walk on the organic earth. We always feel something magical when we are there, and we hope you can experience it too. - By Tracy & Leesa

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

How to Grow Your Email List with Facebook Ads


In this session you'll learn how to grow an email list using a Social Campaign Email Capture Tool. See how to create a compelling offer, post it on your Facebook page,  and promote it with a Facebook advertisement. Facebook ads are one of the most cost effective and efficient ways to get your organization noticed, and are a great way to grow your list!

We love email marketing and we love Facebook ads. Social Campaigns brings together the best of both worlds! Learn what makes a great lead capture offer. Will it be a coupon? A free giveaway? A report you've put together on something industry specific? 

Then find out how to find your perfect niche target market on Facebook. What's the difference between "boosting" a post and a regular advertisement? You'll find out, plus learn tips on picking the best photos for your ads, how to word your advertisement for conversions, and much more.

Finally, once you have all these new email addresses, you need a follow up strategy! We'll tackle three different approaches on making sure you keep your new contacts in the loop and converting them to customers.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Small Business Spotlight: The Loose Leaf

By Leesa King

After coming across a recent Go Fund Me project, we decided to highlight Meghan and Cheyne of The Loose Leaf tea company in San Diego. After hearing from them, I hope you are inspired and enthused to rejuvenate your business, your health, and learn to slow down, relax...and enjoy a cup of tea.

Since 2008  The Loose Leaf  has been selling wonderful tea blends with a purpose, specializing in loose leaf varieties made from organic, fair-trade teas, herbs, and spices. Meghan is a Master Herbalist with a certificate in herbal medicine. She started making a variety of tea blends while working with a health clinic focused on holistic medicine as their primary practice. She eventually decided to focus all her efforts into her teas and birthed The Loose Leaf. 

As of now, you can find the products currently selling at 15 farmers markets every week throughout San Diego and Orange County, all four Whole Foods in San Diego, and wholesale accounts scattered across Southern California. 

Their latest endeavor is a brick and mortar, The Loose Leaf Tea Bar, located in downtown Oceanside, projected to open in October. Here they will be serving a variety of tea blends (hot and iced) and craft coffee from different local roasters. They will also be offering cold brew coffee and iced tea on tap. Needless to say, the local community will be thrilled to get this place open! (Help by donating here)

Let's hear a little bit about their journey through owning and operating a small business...

When starting The Loose Leaf, did you anticipate what challenges or competition you might face? What tools were needed to overcome these challenges?

(Meghan) I think as a business owner you are always anticipating challenges. The challenge is what puts us here, it's what keeps us striving to be better, so I don't think that really ever changes. You tackle one challenge and you move to the next! To be honest, when overcoming each challenge, it's one foot in front of the other, and staying humble. We deal with daily competition, and we have encountered unpleasant competitors, however the tool for me is to stay focused. It's easy to get upset, possibly feel defeated or the undeniable self doubt, but what's important to remember is that none of those things will grow your business.

"It's easy to get upset, possibly feel defeated... but none of those things will grow your business."   

How do you set yourselves apart from any other tea company, like Teavana?

(Meghan) I believe what sets us apart from other tea companies is our medicinal approach. Our main focus is health and we love that we can present this through herbs and tea. With that said we use only organic, fair trade and non GMO herbs and teas. The majority of our tea blends would be considered "tisanes" (herbal teas). We have a huge focus on tea with a purpose. Some of our main ones being detox, weight loss, insomnia, pain, inflammation, digestion and energy, to name a few. Being able to blend herbs together, decoct them and get amazing results from our consumers is what sets us apart from companies selling more mainstream tea varieties.

Selling directly to consumers (at farmers markets) definitely gives us an advantage. We are able to provide them with testimonials, answer questions and provide them with ready to drink samples. It gives the customer a more intimate and personal experience, which then results in an ongoing relationship. We are able to have actual relationships with our customers, showing them that we really care. That's not something you can get at the mall. 

How do you target your marketing approach to attract both locals and far off fans? Do you offer online orders or do you purely invest your efforts in local commerce?

The great part about Farmers Markets is they attract both the local community and visiting tourists. Local customers often become repeat customers who come to purchase from us weekly to biweekly. Many of our customers passing through on vacation have potential to become repeat customers through our online store. We do our best to make sure that all customers who buy products at markets become aware of our online store. We have found that Instagram and Facebook can definitely drive our online sales, so we try to stay on top of things by making consistent posts on our products and presence at markets. 

With the new Loose Leaf Tea and coffee shop underway, how do you expect business to change and grow? How have you become a part of the Oceanside community?

(Cheyne) Honestly, we have no idea what to expect with the new storefront. I grew up in Oceanside near the downtown area. It's definitely not the same place it was when I was younger, which is probably for the better. I've been involved in many different facets in the community from supporting and running youth programs as a young adult to my involvement in the local music scene as a musician (drummer) for several bands around town. All that to say I've always managed to stay plugged in with various people within the community. I've always supported local business and have always offered any way I could help to support my friends and local business owners. 

I think these relationships are really going to add to make our new storefront a success. People around the city and many local businesses know me, have grown up with me, or have watched me grow up, and they have been nothing but supportive of our vision and purpose. Rad times are ahead for Oceanside! The dynamic is changing and the tone is really being set for a new era. More than anything, we're just grateful that we get to take part in the future culture of the town we love so much.

The storefront is definitely going to be a growing point for us. We've been strictly a tea company, but with the opening of our store we will be expanding into the world of craft coffee as well. Our focus will still be tea, undoubtedly, but we're excited to add some great coffee products to our menu using organic locally roasted coffee beans. 


"Rad times are ahead for Oceanside!"  


Do you incorporate "giving back" into your business model? Is this something you strive for in the future?

(Cheyne) We donate a lot of our products to charities and fundraising events throughout the year. With the opening of our store this will be an area near and dear to our hearts to contribute back to our city as well. I don't really know what that looks like just yet, but I'm confident we'll build some great relationships and find ways that make sense.

A few business model takeaways from the people behind The Loose Leaf...

1.  People these days are turning their efforts inward. Buying food and products that are made locally, sourced responsibly, and produced ethically is becoming a HUGE shift in consumerism. Building and maintaining relationships with your customers gives them a sense of safety and reliability in what they purchase, and therefore they will be more inclined to purchase your products more regularly and recommend them to others. 

2.  Always put a face with your products or brand. Even if you can't personally meet each and every person who visits your website or purchases a product, see where you can add a little personality or bio information so that people understand where their products are coming from, and what you do to support a healthy market.

3.  Think. Grow. Develop. (a) Think about the market in which your product exists. Can it be expanded beyond what you're currently doing? For example, The Loose Leaf sells tea that people take home to make...and now they're creating a place where the tea is made fresh to order! (b) Take that information, and run with it! Growing your business can be fun and exciting, and although scary at times, the risk will come with a payoff if you've been thoughtful and humble in your expansion. (c) Develop relationships with your community. Whether that's online, in-person, or a seasonal traveling marketplace, build yourself a reputation as a responsible and integrative part of it. 


Help them GROW! Oceanside, here is your chance to open your arms to the newest storefront in town. The Loose Leaf Tea bar is accepting donations towards their new endeavor, and are thankful for any and all contributions! Go to their "Go Fund Me" page here.

As always, email me if you would like to be featured on the Small Business Spotlight, or if you have any other questions regarding this post. A huge shout out to Cheyne and Meghan for being a part of our interview series!

Leesa King

Sunday, August 9, 2015

How to Create an Email PreHeader Text

When you receive an email in your inbox, you can see who it's from, and you can see a bit of a preview of what their message says. When a customer or client reads something interesting in the preview section, it definitely can help your open rates increase!

Let's look at an example of an email preview with this preheader, and the same email without it.

With preheader text:
You can see the subject and you can see a lead in that describes what they are going to see if they open the email. "August Coffee Deals are in! Right now you can receive...."

Without preheader text:
You can see the subject and then you see the navigation bar "The Bean" (what I renamed the image of the logo) and then "Home Grind Intensity Shop" and depending on how much stuff you have at the top of your email, it could go on and on in the preview as a bunch of jumble.

So how do you fix this? It's easy! Some Constant Contact templates will come already with the "PreHeader Text" block on the top of the email for you. I always prefer changing the color of the text to match the background so it's invisible when they actually open the email. If there is no block there, just simply add any text block to the top of your email and type in a preview.

Here I used a block called "Top Content" but the program may call it something different, such as preheader text. So what are you waiting for? Start adding a more interesting preview to your emails and see what happens!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

How do you learn?

I'm creating a course right now, and we were asked to complete a questionnaire to help us determine what kind of learning style we have. It's not the traditional one you always hear about either. It's really different, and I must say, very accurate!

There are so many courses I would like to create, but I think I want to start with one on Facebook Advertising. If you've ever read my blog posts about this you'll see how much I go on and on about testing them, experimenting, tweaking things, until they work like magic and are cost effecient.

Well you'll never believe what my learning style summary said!

"You have a strong preference for experimenting and testing ideas. These behaviors, identified in the 4MAT System as Type Three strategies, mean that above all else, you learn best by using down-to-earth problem-solving to make sense of ideas. You are, therefore very comfortable in situations which allow you to use strategic thinking and real life circumstances to test what must be learned. 

You are also particularly adept when what is to be learned must be judged for efficiency and implementation. Type Three Learners know immediately when something is workable. Most Type Three Learners thrive in environments where individuality, experimentation and accomplishment are valued. 

Because Type Three Learners spend endless hours actively "tinkering" and problem solving, it should be no surprise that they also excel when the task requires straightforward, objective thinking which results in a measurable product. In all endeavors where strategic thinking, personal forcefulness and task orientation are essential, Type Three Learners can be expected to prosper."

And now I know why I must enjoy the process of effective Facebook Advertising so much, and why people chuckle when I express how FUN I think they are.

Friday, July 17, 2015

40% Off Constant Contact

Grow your small business with email marketing, social campaigns, surveys and more! 

I haven't seen 40% off in a long time. 

Take advantage of this offer when you buy through July 31. Use coupon code SP40DISC at checkout and get started with your own marketing toolkit! Click here to sign up:

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Mix up your Marketing

For busy entrepreneurs or small businesses, it can be tough to introduce new systems when you're in your flow, doing your thing. For example, I like to do giveaways every month for my consumer product clients and I like the giveaway to capture an email address so they can be put into the marketing mix, nurtured, and eventually sold on something.

However from time to time you need to mix it up! Take Pinch Not for example, a safety product company aiming to save your children's fingers from being slammed in the door. Giving away a set of door bumpers each month is cost effective, manageable, and fun, and we've started a beautiful parent focused newsletter to send to those who opt in via the giveaway, and each month that list of subscribers grows. Capturing email addresses is a must. BUT what about those who don't want to put in their email address? There are always those who will, and there are always those who won't, and you can't write off email capture because you're worried some people won't put their email in because just as many will. For every dollar invested in email marketing there is generally a 44 dollar return. So don't get me wrong this is still a main goal for me and my clients.

But last month I decided to change things up. We did a tagging giveaway instead, and it was a huge success! A colleague of mine showed me this kind of giveaway last year and I've played around with it a few times. It seemed the perfect thing to try for Pinch Not and 463 comments, 32 shares, and 221 likes later I'd say it was a success!

The Facebook page also inadvertently received over 100 new page likes as well. This kind of giveaway is fun because so many new eyeballs are going to land on the company and their page. But once it's over, it's over, and you need another way to try and reach the same people to do your job as marketer. So what's the solution? Keep mixing it up and trying new things, but always integrate in core activities such as email capture. For now, for this particular company, I'm going to alternate giveaways each month, one month trying something new, and the next doing my standard email capture giveaway. This ensures I can keep growing the list but also find potential customers through their friends and the wonderful capabilities of social media! What can you try this month that's new? To try the email capture tool I use free for 60 days, click here.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Small Business Spotlight: Coastal Electrolysis

By Leesa King (As part of the Small Business Spotlight Series)

As a purveyor of quality, natural skincare products and services myself, I was naturally drawn to this business as well as the amazing business owner. It is refreshing to meet someone doing what they love, who has a true passion for the industry. Shawna Jacobs of Coastal Electrolysis is such a pleasure, that clients often become friends!

Here is the story of how she found her passion, and decided to create a business to share with others what she learned!

Shawna, what first got you interested and involved in the skincare industry?

It has been an interest of mine since my early teens - I suffered from acne, and it really took a toll on my self esteem.  I also suffered from excess hair growth (I’m Italian so It was probably passed down to me). I remember being in 6th grade and a boy telling me, “hey you have a mustache” and I was so embarrassed, I told my mom that I was sick and didn’t want to go to school the next day. As I got older I began to bleach and wax my unwanted hairs.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

The 5th Annual Small Business Week Celebration!

Phew! The Big SoCal Event came and went, and apart from chatting with hundreds of amazing entrepreneurs, I had a chance to reflect on all of the hard work and dedication that went into putting on this event. This is the largest one I've been involved with to date, and the teamwork and collaboration was inspiring! I am so lucky to work with such talented individuals. 

The event was held at Pasadena City College and drew in just under 1,000 attendees. The networking was awesome, sponsors were pleased, and the presentations were stellar.

Congratulations to Constant Contact, SCORE, The SBDC, The SBA, and all of the other people involved in making this event such a success.

Natalie Gouche' and I enjoying a beverage after a long day of speaking!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Small Business Spotlight: Bagby Beer Co.

By Leesa King (Editor's Note at article end, by Tracy Petrucci)

I scream, you scream, we all scream, for BAGBY!

Sound creepy? I'd say the love relationship that San Diego has developed with craft beer has far exceeded a mild crush. We are now jumping for joy at the announcement of each new brewery (assuming that it can pump out a decent beer), and the beer community itself is one to be reckoned with. Instead of getting shy at new "competition," most breweries just can't wait to have another friend.

For this month's Small Business Spotlight, I wanted to feature one of the biggest and best of San Diego's humble North County: Bagby Beer Co., to see how they view marketing. While still being family owned and run, these B's have created quite a splash in the beer world locally and internationally, as owners Jeff and Dande Bagby head out to Copenhagen this week with 8 of their own beers to share at the Copenhagen Beer Celebration 2015.

I contacted Brendan Klein, head of marketing operations over at Bagby, to see what he has to say about modern vs traditional marketing in this booming, yet community-like industry.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

San Diego Library Email Marketing Seminar

Grow Your Business with Email Marketing

The Power of Email Marketing: Featuring Social Media Engagement.

This presentation will provide a deeper look into the importance and effectiveness of how email marketing and social media engagement drives action.

The session will reveal some simple but effective best practices and considerations for the small business or nonprofit seeking to make their email newsletters more effective. Attendees of this presentation will learn:

• Campaigns in general: what is a campaign?

• What to write about in your newsletter or announcement and how to consider using images

• Subject line best practices, and when to send your newsletter

• The importance of understanding how connected email and social media are…and how to use them together.

• What types of additional tools might be useful

Join us and learn some great new strategies to help your email and social media efforts be more effective components of one of the core campaign types, newsletters and announcements.


Tuesday April 7, 2015 from 10:30 AM to 11:45 AM PDT


San Diego Central Library
330 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92121

Register HERE

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Welcome Bryce Shumate

This week we are excited to welcome a new intern to the team. Bryce is a business student, as well as an avid surfer, musician, and outdoor enthusiast. He'll be focusing on report creation, project management, solving problems for my clients (such as global distribution solutions), B2B communications, and more.