Marketing Learning Lab

I’m popping up this morning to make a special offer. Here’s the scoop & scope:

Marketing Learning Lab:
Going Deep into your Marketing Strategy & Tactics.
The What, Why, How, When & Where of Building Your Marketing Success.
Join me Wednesday June 22nd from 1 – 4 pm for a 3 hour ask-all-the-questions-you-want in-depth Marketing class.
Extreme Value priced for the first 10 reserved seats at only $100 (crazy, I know!!!). We’ll have room for up to 15, attendees 11 – 15 = $199.
Interactive, open discussion format on all things marketing, following an agenda.
Location: Immortal Spirits, Medford (call me to give one in your neighborhood – have Lab, will travel)

Call me today by June 14th to save your seat (payment required in advance to save your seats). 515.450.7757


A few of my most sought after services include:

  • Full Day, All Out! Everything is possible when you hire me for a full day of work together. We can do one-on-ones, groups meetings, talks, classes, media & press appointments….you name it, we can likely fit it in.
  • All inclusive rate: $2500 + everyone present will get a copy of my book when it comes out this fall (September) as a thank you gift.
  • Speaking – Marketing, Marketing to Women, Connecting (how to meet the people you want and need to meet), The Power of the Customer Experience, Beer & Food pairing and tasting, and Cooking With Beer among available topics. Interactive, entertaining & meaningful. (I can deliver my TED talk as well.)
  • Rate: depends on audience size & scope, $750 – $2000 + everyone present will get a copy of my book when it comes out this fall (September) as a thank you gift.
  • Marketing Coaching program – We get started on this 6 month program to amp your efforts. We begin with an in-person 2 hour in-depth session where we cover all the ground you want, supported with weekly half hour calls between monthly meetings (long distance works well for many in this program too). Ground covered includes marketing expertise and guidance, strategy & tactics, and business development. This can also cover honing your ‘pitch’ and brand and image review.
  • Rate: $600/month, 6 month commitment + everyone present will get a copy of my book when it comes out this fall (September) as a thank you gift.
  • Discovery Session – One time BIG boost of ideas, logjam breaking, and ideation on business topics you want to discuss – including marketing expertise and guidance, strategy & tactics, business development.
  • Rate: $400/per person + everyone present will get a copy of my book when it comes out this fall (September) as a thank you gift.
Marketing Learning Lab

Marketing Learning Lab

If you want more topic choices, email me and I’ll send you full Service menus.

For new clients: Rates are an amazing value at regular price
For returning clients: Thank you! Rates will be offered at a 10% reduction incentive
For all: Gift of the book (marketing focused) when it comes out this fall.

This offer is only available on a first reserve, first get – as of right now through end of day June 17th. Call me NOW at 515.450.7757 to book it (I’ll send you an invoice & Letter Of Agreement to reserve the date).

Let’s get your business going stronger together. It’d be a joy to work with you – good, solid, & productive fun!
Call me today. Thanks for your time and attention. By all means, forward to others who could benefit (appreciate the spread). Cheers!

Marketing Myth #2: “Small Business”

Welcome back to the Marketing Myth series. It’s time to debunk, smash, shatter, and get rid of the excuses for not having a proper marketing strategy. Your strategy is as integral to your business health as an annual physical is to your personal health: you must invest in yourself on the front end, preventative side, rather than when things are flailing and failing.

Today: The Myth of the “Small Business” mindset.

Yikes. I even hate typing it here – ‘small business.’ What do you mean it’s small??!! It’s my whole life, how could that possibly be any kind of small?!

Your business is your life. It’s your income, your reason for getting up and getting moving, and now you’re going to tell me you don’t have the wherewithal to have proper marketing?? I’m calling BS here.

That’s like the blood bank saying, “no we’re fine – we’ll get by on what we have left.” I can just see the patient turning white from lack of necessary supplies…..

Your business is only small if you think if it that way. Here’s what one person told me after inquiring:

“Your services sound fantastic and I LOVE your approach and philosophy, but unfortunately we are a small [xyz] and don’t have budget to employ external marketing resources. We’re a fairly skeletal operation.”

This person happens to manage a competitive sports team. Apparently they wanted services for free because that’s how it felt when I replied to a request for information. My question is why would they expect free from me to help them build a business?? Do their players not get paid for their work? Do you call a plumber expecting free? How about an oil change or bike tune up – are those supposed to be gratis as well? And what precisely does skeletal mean here? That they are starved for everything? Then why are they even in business? Struggle sucks and is unnecessary with smart marketing. Instead this person could be growing in strength and skills. Instead they’ve pulled the chute of excuse.

Ain't nothing 'small' about your business - it's all perspective.

Ain’t nothing ‘small’ about your business – it’s all perspective.

FYI – ‘but’ in here is the kiss of death. If you use ‘but’ in your work world, don’t call me. It’s a self-defeating mindset from the get go. I want people who think positively, use ‘and’ instead of ‘but‘ and make stuff happen. Those people I can help.

It continues to mystify me why people assume professionals would be okay with giving away free services. Services that pros, like me, have worked years and years to develop and hone in order to be able to effectively and efficiently help clients like this person to amplify their success.

So, to turn it around and end on a positive note: think of your business as big. It is.

All businesses are in business to make money. Tax status is different all together – i.e. non-profits are STILL businesses first. You need to make money for the goals you have, in all scenarios.

Marketing Myth #3 coming up: Facebook Is The Answer

Join me for a 3 hour marketing workshop 6/21 hosted at SBDC. Details here.

Marketing Myth #1: Marketing Is Expensive

There are myriad excuses people tell themselves on why they don’t purchase marketing services. One of the top excuses is “it’s too expensive.”

I’ve had dozens of people through the years tell me “I’d love to hire you but I can’t afford you” before they even inquire about investment. They seem to equate energy, ideas, and previous success with something high dollar.

Do you think Mr. Schultz embraces Starbucks? Think it helped them be successful?

Do you think Mr. Schultz embraces Starbucks? Think it helped them be successful?

If I know they don’t know rates, I ask them “how do you know you can’t afford me?” Then “how much is the success of your business worth?” If they can’t reply reasonably with a business bent – if they don’t get investment begets success – then, as the whip sharp Barbara Corcoran says – I’m out. No sense wasting any more time since I’m not in the business of persuasion. You either get it and hire or you don’t and suffer the consequences.

My first inclination when people say this is to put it in the Cop Out category. For those who want something, they find a way. They make stuff happen.

I say consequences because for every facet of business, there are goals and tasks and yes, consequences, when those goals & tasks aren’t completed. At a minimum it slows business down; at max, it’s fatal.

So in one way, it becomes easier to simply smile, and let them go. I let them know they can call me in 12 months when they’re struggling and they should have engaged me a year ago. If I have time at that time, we can talk about what they need then. It’s not cold – it’s a fact. If they’re struggling now, what will the landscape be for them in 12 months? Will they even be around?

Marketing isn’t expensive – it’s a fundamental part of your business you need to count on paying for in order to succeed.

My nature overall is positive and not snarky, and a response of futility and self-enforced defeat really irk me. They’re throwing in the towel before they even dipped a toe in the water! These people either 1. should not be in business or 2. get serious help STAT.

Any service and professional should be paid what they’re worth. No one should work for free. You can’t pay the bills with air or barter or trade out. Cash is queen and advice, insight, and assistance hold high value and return for those who understand as much.

The next time someone tells me they can’t afford me, I’ll simply let them know – they’re right; they can’t afford me because apparently they aren’t really interested in making their business work. Sometimes it takes a bee sting to appreciate the waiting honey.

Tune in for Marketing Myth #2 : The Excuse of “Small Business”

What’s Your Competitive Marketing Edge?

“The role of the consultant is to make it simple.” – Marti Barletta, Marketing Guru

Marti is right. And to that end, ask yourself: “What is my competitive marketing advantage?”

If you have to really think about it, it’s time to find the right pro to help you with marketing strategy and tactics. Here are 3 reasons why.

  1. Marketing is a foundational element of successful businesses and entities of all kinds. You must know your market in order to move, move forward, make progress, make sales, and in general survive as well as in order NOT to go backwards and falter.
  2. Marketing = communication. Do you know who your market is and how they want to be reached? How often and in what formats? If you don’t know that, if you haven’t asked your customers directly, you need to get busy doing so.
  3. Marketing leads to sales. Sales are what you need to pay yourself, the electricity and for that new seat your bike needs for commuting. Everyone needs to persuade, convince, and – yes – sell what you have going in order to keep going.
What does your team look like? Who should join your bowl?

What does your team look like? Who should join your bowl to make your efforts more fruitful?

The role then, as Marti points out above, is to help make it all simple. Does that mean it’s always straightforward and easy? No (though it can be with the right person. Getting the picture?). It does mean that you find a partner who will help you get there, just as when you hire a plumber to fix the sink or drain. You could figure it out yourself yet your time is better spent doing what you’re good at; hire the right people to do what they are good at to amplify and accelerate and complement your efforts.

The smartest people I know hire people, they consider, to be smarter than them. What they really do is find other really engaged people who are really smart and good at what they do, which isn’t what the person how hires them is good at doing. Get it?

I run into the whole excuse of, “oh – I wish I could afford you.” That’s not the right mindset. The right mindset to help yourself be successful is “I need to find the person to hire so I CAN afford to do everything I want to do and be successful.”

Experts, specialists, and generalists are all widely available for the interviewing. I suggest you ask for recommendations of 3 per need – recommendations from people qualified to recommend them (read: they’ve hired them before and know them well, not their family members). Once interviewed, sleep on your decision-making brain. Move.

Heck, I read a good piece one time pointing out having multiple experts (aka contractors, specialists) on deck provide a super rich pool of knowledge and ideas, vs. only one experts. I think this is a great idea – and the right people will want to work with other ‘right people.’

Your competitive marketing edge = hiring marketing pros who will be able to jump in and help you RIGHT AWAY. Do you want and need more customers? Are you not finding the right customers? Then, here’s your marching order.

Be one of the right people. Bring in more of the right people. Hire qualified consultants to help make it easy – or at least easier.

What If It Does Work?

What if it doesn’t work – isn’t the right question to ask yourself.

The right Question = What If It Does Work? Then what?

Melissa & Ginger at the WLC 2016

Melissa & Ginger at the WLC 2016


Melissa J Nixon was our opening keynote speaker at the 2016 Women’s Leadership Conference of Southern Oregon less than a month ago and she hit the bull’s-eye.

Some of her other gems include:

  1. Self belief requires movement of some sort.
  2. Where have you stopped moving?
  3. What’s your scale? How are you measuring your self and movement?
  4. Everything worthwhile is uphill (for at least a while).
  5. What’s the very next step?

I found Melissa funny, real, identifiable and a ball! Can’t wait to get to see you and L in Carolina when I get there this year.

Know what your questions are. Know the What If is a positive direction.

Now, go get it.

Male Default Is All Ours, Change Is Ours Too

Marketing is communication.

When you’re communicating, accuracy is critical. If you make beer, you say ‘beer’, not ‘fermented beverage’ or ‘drink’ or (heaven forbid) ‘product’.

So when we read, speak and otherwise see messages all around us, what gender is usually identified? The default is male. And that’s not right. It’s wrong. So why is it?

Likely convention and tradition. Both directions we have to change. All emotion aside, it’s a fact that over half of the global population has herstorically been female.

With over half the global population being female, we need to be accurate in our communications. Defaulting to male is inaccurate, sloppy and unacceptable. Here’s a terrific overview of the vagaries of sexism in marketing. I agree. One place that’s long got my scratching my head and getting my goat is the sexism in sports: Women’s Basketball vs Basketball (which assumes men). Who the hell decided that??

Gender words matter - in life & marketing

Gender words matter – in life & marketing

Ever since I went to the World Cup last summer, I have refused to gender ID the event. Athletes all, gender unimportant. And I’m very glad, by the way, to see the US Team putting stops to abhorrent practices thrust only on the women’s team, never the men’s. Real turf anyone? Salary disparities? Totally wrong. By the way when I was searching “US soccer team” for this article, men’s soccer came up; for women I had to scroll down.

It’s also insulting to everyone – all genders – to get it wrong. It takes no more time to accurately identify, when it’s necessary at all, gender in circumstances. is the vision of gender equity coming to life by the brilliant Geena Davis. I recommend checking it out.

As a professional marketer, I’m also incensed when I see crappy sexist images, wording and – watch out – colors. Who said pink was a female color? It’s as ludicrous to say that as it is to say all men are represented by the color blue. Stupid, lazy, and thoughtless. Garbage like that makes me crazy.

Start today. Get it right every time. You can be part of positive, helpful change by thinking first and using appropriate gender words as needed.

And by the way, calling people “guys” isn’t okay either. Egads.

1 2 3 Marketing Punch

I had the distinct pleasure to be part of a panel at this years Craft Brewers Conference in Philadelphia this month. As a marketing pro and with my business Women Enjoying Beer, the beer crowd is one I like to run with and help.

Abby sharing tips on how to get PR for your brewery.

Abby sharing tips on how to get PR.

Julia Herz, Brewers Association Craft Beer Program Director, and Abby Berman Cohen, The Rosen Group PR Firm, were my colleagues to inform, educate, and provide answers and ideas to a room full of beer folk.

As testament that marketing is a forever-desired topic and necessary part of business, the room was indeed pretty full (I’m guessing 200 – 300 people). When Julia asked for a show of hands for new, start up, and in-planning breweries to raise hands, a LOT of the room participated. Whoa.

With over 2 breweries opening every day in America, there’s a huge need for people going into any kind of beer business to get smart with their marketing plans. Here are 3 reasons why:

  1. With well over 4300 breweries in America already, the field becomes more populated every day. This  makes the clarity of your marketing message and brand all the more crucial to survival.
  2. All breweries must have a plan. Because opening a brewery is a business like any other entity, you must plan to succeed. Marketing is part of the foundational planning.
  3. Marketing = communication, education. Knowing your market and desired target market needs to be done before any tanks are bought, leases signed, or beers brewed. You must know who you will sell to before you begin.

One statement I made in my remarks was that the days of ‘if I brew it, they will come’ are long lover. The public – all of us – are more and more savvy to beer now than we were even a few years ago, never mind 5, 10 or 15+ years ago. It’s a whole new landscape and people wishing to open breweries need to prepare their marketing plans in order to succeed long term.

Philadelphia Convention Center

Philadelphia Convention Center

Being a flash in the pan works for gold mining. All other endeavors need to understand the full and total value of developing a marketing plan to make a living.

If you want to make beer in your garage and give it to your friends, fine – go for it. That’s what home brewing is about.

If you want to go up about 5 levels to pro level brewing and open a brewery, then do everyone the best service – you especially – and become business savvy. Study up, find a partner who likes and is knowledgeable in business to help, or work for someone else for a while to learn and figure out a lot of the actual day to day operations in running a business.

The first year I presented at the CBC was Boston 2009, effectively launching Women Enjoying Beer. So it was enjoyable to be on the East coast again for the event.

Cheers to Julia & Abby for what they shared. When you want a marketing expert, advisor and coach for your beer business, call on me.