Book Club Review + Bonus Download! (February & March 2019)

Before we begin, look to the right. If that doesn’t say you’re following the blog make sure you put your email in and I’ll send you free downloads from here on out!

In 2017 I started a list of my goals and accountability tracking for the year. I reached and exceeded every goal.

Download Your Yearly Goal Sheet For FREE Here! 

If you’re looking for more book or podcast recommendations you can read my other book reviews from this year you can catch up here.

The goal of this section of the blog is to share a glimpse into what inspires, motivates and teaches me. Out of the books I read, I only bring up the ones I would suggest taking a look at…there are still a few that get left out; entirely based on my own opinions.

So where do I find all these books to read? Lots of places. I follow the Book of the Month Club on Instagram and I get weekly suggestions from my daily news source, theSkimm. You can sign up for free here using my referral code!

 

Read For Fun

pieces of herPieces of Her by Karin Slaughter

I had started this book a few months ago but didn’t finish it before it was due back. I was interested enough because it was a Karin Slaughter novel (and I love all of her work) to circle back. Reading anything Slaughter writes is like taking the twistiest, turniest, fastest roller coaster. Her typical family-based crime thriller filled with family secrets. A daughter believes her mother is one person but when she sees her talk down a crazed shooter in the mall they’re at, it turns out she was involved with a cult of insanely biased (and faithful) terrorists. This is packed with adrenaline and is another hit of Slaughter’s.

allweeverwanted All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin

A Nashville-based story revolving around characters from small-town middle-class to wealthy and privileged in Nashville’s elite. Then it all gets tipped on it’s head when a photo snapped at a drunken party surfaces involving their kids. This plays out a narrative on the double-sided repercussions between men and women. It was a gut wrenching story written well and read well from all the perspectives. It shows just how messy these situations can get. It’s something important for parents and kids to understand. 

 

The Swans of Fifth Avenue By Melanie Benjamin

If you enjoy getting lost in a book of alluring socialites in the 50s, here you go! In comes a man (real-life Truman Capote) to upturn their circle of ‘swans’ (including real-life Babe Paley) with scandal that will interfere with their glamorous lives for years. This is seeping with pretentious, snide drama that the author imagined into the lives of these fashionable icons. While they’re real people she imagined conversations and connected missing lines from her research and interest. I didn’t realize these were real people until the Author’s Note at the end. If you’re a fan of these people you will enjoy this.

THERE THERE BY TOMMY ORANGE

Multiple outlets and companies exclaimed this was a Book of the Year. It features 12 Urban Indians living in Oakland, CA. The voice is so strategic with violence and poetry that you can easily see the side of America we usually don’t face. While this is a novel, the stories following these characters take you through what it would be like with native american heritage and connecting to their families in today’s times. I wouldn’t say this is my favorite book of all time but I can understand why it was recognized in so many categories and was different from anything I’ve ever read. 

You by Caroline Kepnes

If you haven’t hopped on the bandwagon for this enthralling, creepy and super addicting show on Netflix just type in the single word and off you go. I hadn’t heard of the book until after the show aired and ended up on a waitlist for a few weeks. Besides being insanely annoyed by the best friend named Peach (REALLYYY) this book was fun to listen while I could imagine the scenes. It swayed off and on the path of events I had seen on the show and it makes you wonder why the book was more realistic than the streaming series.

 

THE SUNSHINE SISTERS BY JANE GREEN 

A mother is wrapped up in self-absorbed dreams of becoming an actress and, in doing so, lacks in the mothering department. She turns her frustrations and judgments on her three daughters and the story takes you through each of their live’s paths. We find out the mother is diagnosed with ALS and so begins the journey of bringing her daughter’s home, re-creating relationships and dealing with the repercussions as she plans to have her last weekend of life as one family. This took a minute to get into but it’s ultimately heartwarming, endearing and a personal navigating the mother-daughter and sister-sister relationships. If you enjoyed You Before Me, you will enjoy this. 

The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis.

This was a fictional book but inspired by the author’s research on certain characters, schools and books. While I’ve never been to New York but I am well aware of Grand Central Station where this story is featured. Fiona Davis is a best-selling author known for her captivating novels. This flashed back to an artist unaware the Great Depressoin would soon cause her dreams of creating work for Vogue to come crashing down. The second is an artist who, nearly 50 years later, who gets a job in Grand Central Station and discovers the abandoned art school in the terminal. I love when stories are created around something we are all familiar with like Harry Potter or Night at the Museum. Along with a hint of The Woman In Gold. While I don’t consider myself an art expert by any means this was still relevant to anyone who feels like they’ve created something. And it’s got a great mystery/figure it out puzzle twisted in there.

 

Read For Improvement

soul of america 

The Soul of America: The Battle For Our Better Angels by Jon Meacham and Fred Sanders

#1 NYT Bestseller and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author helps us understand the current political climate by looking back at critical times in our history. It was named one of the best books of the year for valid reasons. “The good news is we have come through the darkness before.” A lot of comparison from fear and cowards vs. hope and leaders. It was a powerful, smartly- written based on history so it was well-rounded and unbiased. it’s an easy way to learn about history, make comparison and learn new things. I highly, extremely highly, recommend reading this or downloading it as an audiobook.

 

 

THE RULES DO NOT APPLY BY ARIEL LEVY

This book was named NYT Bestsellers “This year’s must-read memoir” plus named one of the best books of the year by Vogue, Time, Esquire, and several more large reputable brands. This was a fantastic read from a life so extremely different than anything I’m used to. I’m talking finished it in three days. Highly recommend. 

 



You’ve read through my opinions so you deserve some FREE STUFF! Make sure you are following the blog (upper right of this page) to get free downloads in the future. Once you’re following, go ahead and download this document: GOALS FOR 2019 from Local Collaborative I mentioned to track your goals and adventures for the rest of the year and into 2019.

Cheers!

Marin

PS: Are you enjoying these blogs? Have we worked together? I would love to get your short and honest review on my Facebook page. Thanks in advance!


It’s Not The Leap of Faith That Scared Me. It’s The Landing.

Thanks for reading! I would love if you left a short and honest review on our Facebook page.

And make sure you join our mailing list in the top right of this page! 

We’ve all shared that feeling of being at your lowest of lows. When you can’t seem to do anything right, nothing fits, you’re in a bad mood, you’re secluded and isolated and the deafening combination of noise and silence is all that surrounds you.

Which makes the highest of highs even sweeter.

I’m talking you don’t know what to do next because you are so overwhelmed with joy. you get a phone call, a text, an email…and you just sit back to stare out the window, hands clasped and repeat ‘Thank you, GOD, for this!’

 

So I also know the last thing you want to do when you’re in a low is hear about someone else’s high point. If you want to bookmark this and come back later, no offense taken. But I am such a believer in finding the positive out of the sh**iest day (YOU.ARE.ALIVE! YOU ARE BREATHING!) that I hope you will stick with me and know that my DM’s are always open for you to slide in and talk to me.

 

I look back at the girl I was as a young adult/teen and it amazes me how ‘fearless’ I was. I tried out for everything I could, I interviewed for every job, I applied for every scholarship…you name it I was probably there.

It was never taking that leap of faith into the unkown that scared me.

It was trying to figure out how or where I would land. 

 

I wasn’t worried about having to dance or sing or speak in front of others. No, not at all. In fact I was known for usually impromptu-ing the entire thing.

It was when the results came in that I felt the sense of embarrassment or excitement that usually comes from a performance or interaction.

 

Let’s take dance for instance since I am currently figuring out yet another foot injury. (I promise I am a 25-year-old with 80-year-old bones.) 

I learned the technique, the movement and how to land. I memorized the entire routine and big picture in my mind and all it took was a few bad falls to land sideways and roll my ankle HARD to make me timid of approaching it again. Babying an injury that usually resolves with I.C.E. Then, once you’ve cured the issue, you head back out for your next ‘first time’ and you’re fine doing things full out.

This was quite literally a leap but I understand we all have similar experiences. You ever have those dreams where you’re flying or jumping on a huge trampoline and you just keep going and going like Superman pushing the atmosphere into outer space?

And it’s an amazing, euphoric feeling to FLY!

But then you realize you are a human….and you aren’t built for flying.

Cue your stomach dropping and that sick feeling deep in your gut trying to figure out the next move. How will I keep going? How will I land? Uh oh, going back down better figure this out quickly.

 

In both of these experiences I was most scared about the landing. Getting height on your leap or knowing you can fly are some of the best feelings. Only when you are up as high as you can go do you realize how much you can see around you. You can see the big picture, every person you love, the good, the bad, the ugly, maybe even a glimpse at the future. But you have to take the action and make the jump to see that.

You’ll never know if you never try.

 

I find it ironic that the thing I was most scared about–aka falling on the ground, landing on my face, breaking something— was the one thing holding me up. The foundation I was standing on, the thing that holds up multi-story structures, protects us from elements and storms, literally grows and re-grows living things…and I was concerned it would let me down???

How selfish.

I love this quote.

if you think

Your foundation is your faith. Your discipline. Your family and friends and support network.

You are standing on the ground without literally ever questioning how else you will walk, not afraid of falling in (except city grates those things I avoid at all costs) it’s as natural as breathing and you’re telling me you’re more powerful than that?

 

As we approach the one year mark of starting Local Collaborative, I am reminded of the fearlessness and determination I felt when setting my site to live and publicizing my new venture. The chain of events leading up to the launch were extremely evident and on my mind daily. When the opportunity arose to find another work opportunity or create something I wholeheartedly believed in; I chose to chase after what set my soul on fire.

I know a lot of things I want out of life and I’m intimidated by declaring a ‘purpose’ but I do know had I settled yet again for being taken advantage of, smothering my creativity, following mundane tasks that led nowhere quickly…I would also be headed no where quickly.

 

I had no clue that I would go months without replacing my income and I am still nowhere close! But I’m fine. We’re fine. I feel no stress. I would be doing this for free if I didn’t want to contribute to my family’s income and time is my currency. I love collaborating instead of closed-off delegation and the flexibility this allows me is exactly what our lifestyle requires.

I often think about if I were given the chance to go change something in my past or take a glimpse of my future…I would probably go change something in the past. If nothing else but to guide that fearless but lost and insecure girl. I find so much of the payoff and surprise of the unknown takes you back to your roots, your gut instinct and trusting the foundation you’ve built for yourself thus far.

 

A challenge is inevitable but defeat is optional. Even if you ‘lose’ you will gain a lesson.

Don’t worry about how big that leap of faith is. In fact, I hope you take it and soon! No matter how, the ground will always be there to catch you.

 

Cheers!

Marin

Thanks for reading! I would love if you left a short and honest review on our Facebook page.

And make sure you join our mailing list in the top right of this page! 

 

Book Club Review + Bonus Download. GET THIS BEFORE THE NEW YEAR! (November & December 2018)

Before we begin, look to the right. If that doesn’t say you’re following the blog make sure you put your email in and I’ll send you free downloads from here on out!

In 2017 I started a list of my goals and accountability tracking for the year. I reached and exceeded every goal. (You can see that post on my personal page here.) If you haven’t read my other book reviews from this year you can catch up here.

The goal of this section of the blog is to share a glimpse into what inspires, motivates and teaches me. Out of the books I read, I only bring up the ones I would suggest taking a look at…there are still a few that get left out; entirely based on my own opinions.

So where do I find all these books to read? Lots of places. I follow the Book of the Month Club on Instagram and I get weekly suggestions from my daily news source, theSkimm. You can sign up for free here using my referral code!

Read For Fun

beautiful ruins Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

A romantic love story set in Italy and Hollywood, this novel takes you back and forth in time and place. This story spans fifty years between people who dreamed of loving each other but cannot find each other or reconnect. There were lies, deception, missed connections and sacrifices. The story revolves around several characters interfering in one another’s lives with surprises and rocky navigation written with descriptive, rich language and telling a beautiful story. It’s less about travel and more about the depth of the characters. While I don’t think this is one that’s the most memorable, it could make for a great romance novel, beach read or audiobook for background noise.

 

 A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Russia Investigation PTSD? No worries this is much, much different than that. It focuses on an in-depth character named Count Alexander Rostov who is a Russian aristocrat. He is convicted (Wrongly? Read it and find out) and is sentenced to confinement in the attic of a luxury hotel. While this might sound luxurious for some of us, the Count finds himself in a deep depression and is saved by the hotel staff before jumping off the roof. He finds a new purpose in sharing his knowledge of manners and etiquette which he shares as an employee, mentor and friend to others in the hotel. This book follows Alexander, the loveable Count, and his tribe in a journey of triumph and complications in communist Russia. Interesting but an easy read.

 Charlotte Walsh Likes To Win by Jo Piazza

This book stood out because of the political climate and was #GirlPower without being super feminist. It was entertaining, heartbreaking, realistic and entertaining enough I could picture it as a TV show. I finished this fairly quickly so it’s great to read on a weekend or during a short trip. This was well-balanced and so well written I recommend to all!

 

 We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

If I could make it mandatory to read one book this year, it would be this one. When the author, Georgia Hunter, was fifteen years old, she learned that she came from a family of Holocaust survivors. We Were the Lucky Ones was born of her quest to uncover her family’s staggering history. While this novel is inspired by the incredible true story of one Jewish family, the author explained “The story that unfolds in We Were the Lucky Ones is based on true events. Every significant movement, incarceration, brush with death and escape described in the book actually happened.” The Kurc family is separated at the start of World War II, determined to survive—and to reunite—We Were the Lucky Ones is a tribute to the triumph of hope and love against all odds. This will draw you in, keep you there, take you on an unbelievable ride, pull your heartstrings and make you hold your breath. This is a must read. 

 

stay with me Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo

I completed this audiobook in less than three days. I felt like hearing the character’s voices helped jump into the story. This is usually not a book I would ever have picked up or been interested in but it was raw, authentic, emotional and it was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. If I only had a select few words to describe this book I would say it starts off as a young-love romance and the intentions of a happy marriage every new couple has. But after years of infertility and the pressure and shame from the Nigerian culture, they face polygamy, murder and several other high-stake costs of the ‘happy life.’ 

behind closed doors Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

This was so.good. There are two books with this title so make sure you double check the author before reading. Behind Closed Doors has you cheering for the murderer throughout the novel and takes you through the physical and psychological life of domestic abuse from the wife’s point of view. What you would most likely suggest the husband is already two steps ahead of. This jumps between Past and Present chapters in the most seamless way and I came back eagerly waiting to read it every time. 

same kind Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall & Denver Moore

You can’t afford not to read this. This novel was written by the ‘characters’ and tells the true story of how their lives intersected. The book was also released as a movie in 2017. It was recommended to me by a friend and you can easily have it read in 1-2 days. It revolves around a white couple in Forth Worth who begin volunteering with the homeless when they come across a black man named Denver. Denver tells his stories about growing up on a Louisiana plantation and the unimaginable life obstacles and pain he had to face; ultimately deaths of everyone ever close to him lead to his being homeless. As the title suggests, the couple and Denver find out how the other reflects so much in them and 

 

Read For Improvement

straight-talk-for-startups

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Straight Talk For Startups by Randy Komisar and Jantoon Reigersman

 

This book was gifted to me by a family who created their own startup business and I was excited to find it was broken down by these 100 rules into chapters; making it a lot easier to read through. They had examples of moguls you always here about, lessons learned from personal experience and went fairly in depth on investors, funding and liquidity. While this is nothing I see Local Collaborative going through any time soon it was great information for on boarding a team and being aware of what OTHER clients who are startups might face. 

girl wash your face

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

I finally came up on the waitlist for this instantly famous non-fiction novel and it was just as entertaining as you’d think…I finished it in two days. There will for sure be a dedicated post to just this (or even 12,390 posts) so make sure you’re following on the right. I love books like this so much that I filled up an entire sticky note on my desktop with favorite saying, pieces of info and story prompts. My favorite thing about listening to the audio book was hearing the famous speaker’s voice motivating you and the Q&A at the end. It’s a great read for women and young girls and, even if you don’t share in the publicly embarrassing stories like she does because that would be weird, you will internally relate. 

Unlimited Book Review at mylocalcollaborative.com Unlimited by Jillian Michaels

While I didn’t hear a ton from this book that came across as groundbreaking, I did find a few good examples of the hard-ass approach that Jillian Michaels is famous for. Unless you’re a fan of Jillian then I don’t think you’re missing much. Every chapter is filled with examples from her Biggest Loser contestants. One of my favorite excerpts in her last chapter was the difference of quitting vs. letting go because I resonate with that daily

 

There will be more in-depth blogs coming up on the self-improvement books especially so make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out. Simply enter your email in the Follow box on the right and let the world wide web take care of the rest!

 


You’ve read through my opinions so you deserve some FREE STUFF! Make sure you are following the blog (upper right of this page) to get free downloads in the future. Once you’re following, go ahead and download this document: GOALS FOR 2019 from Local Collaborative I mentioned to track your goals and adventures for the rest of the year and into 2019.

Cheers!

Marin

PS: Are you enjoying these blogs? Have we worked together? I would love to get your short and honest review on my Facebook page. Thanks in advance!


6 Creative Ideas For Your Holiday Social Media Strategy

$1 trillion

The predicted amount Americans will spend during the holidays this year. Hint: that’s the highest it’s ever been. (You can sign up free through my referral link here.


Source TheSkimm

 

 

As a business owner, how are you planning to compete in the marketplace against the noise of large, corporate companies? 

If you’ve completed a Branding + Positioning Strategy with us then you know who your target audience is, how to speak to them and where to interact with them. 

The unique position you have as an entrepreneur, small business owner or the town’s only boutique is the attention to detail, the local supplier, the sense of community, the benefit of supporting a family vs. a large corporation.

You may offer homemade ornaments, goodies baked from scratch or customized clothing. 

Maybe it’s a  service you offer. Landscaping companies who hang Christmas lights or do cleanup. A cleaning service prepping for the guest’s family visit. A decorator ready to deck the halls for any office party or set a table for a home gathering. 

 

 

Ho-Ho-Hold On….Even if you weren’t planning on incorporating holiday marketing in your strategy, you need to. Too busy or overwhelmed? We are here to help.

 

 

What you offer is just as unique as how you market it. How you market your product or service needs to match the effort you put into your work. Otherwise, how will it get into the lives of those who need it? 

I have put together six ideas to bring joy to your holiday marketing strategy (and to your customers.)

  1. ADVENT CALENDAR. Most manageable is a 12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar. Each day, at the same time, publish a photo or video with an offer that’s good for the next 24 hours. You may also choose to do a full 24 days and you can enter whoever answers a fun holiday trivia question correctly to win one big prize. Other ideas could be the instant winner, the refer-a-friend tag or a discount on a future purchase. 
  2. E-COMMERCE. E-Commerce sales take the lead in all orders and more than 20 percent of those sales take place during the holiday season. more than half of the sales traffic is done via mobile. Is your site optimized for mobile screens? Another great idea is to ‘decorate’ the platforms your customers will see. Think of the Coca-Cola polar bears and Santa. Incorporate a new cover photo, cover video, profile photo, and effects to your platforms. Do you have an up-to-date website? We can help. 
  3. #HASHTAG. Market research can lead you to find the most frequently used hashtags for search engine optimization (SEO). #WishList2018 can be added to your feature items or #HolidayCheers for your wine, beer or spirits. The more creative for your special offers, the more buzz. You can also turn famous songs, stories or rhymes to fit your business’s theme. Have fun with it!
  4. Packages. Make it simple. Make it easy. Creating gift boxes, packages (or another creative name) is a great way to group similar items at a few different price ranges for your customers. If they can order a basket for an outdoorsman, a teenage girl or a newborn it’s a one stop shop. Showing these off as Gift Guides For… allows people to imagine who they could gift the package to. Bonus points if you include giftwrapping in the price!
  5. North Poll. Conducting polls about Christmas cookie shapes, favorite songs, least favorite movies, holiday drinks, decor styles, etc. gets interaction from your customers. By including your shop’s tag or website on the image, every time the image is shared it’s circulating to new audiences and people will look you up from the original source. 
  6. Santa’s Cause. Tis the Season to give back. At the beginning of the month announce a cause near and dear to your company’s heart. If you have a brick and mortar you can hold a warm clothing or toy drive. Enlist your employees and their families to ring bells for the Salvation Army. A portion of your sales can go toward an organization or you can accept Christmas donations (trees, wreaths, decorations, etc.) to give to those in need. I recently saw a story of a family unable to EVER have decorations or a tree because of their financial priorities. A simple Facebook post by a family friend gave them a beautiful Christmas and no Christmas decorations or trees were tossed in the trash. 

 

Looking for more ideas? We’ve been waiting to share more. Just ask!

I would love to hear your ideas in the comments. If you found this helpful or entertaining please share it with your friends and business tribes. 

 

Cheers!

Marin 

 

If this was helpful please leave a review on our Facebook page. 

Do you or someone you know need a hand during the holiday rush? Reach out! 

Book Club Review + Bonus Download! (October 2018)

Before we begin, look to the right. If that doesn’t say you’re following the blog make sure you put your email in and I’ll send you free downloads from here on out!

In 2017 I started a list of my goals and accountability tracking for the year. I reached and exceeded every goal. (You can see that post on my personal page here.) If you haven’t read my other book reviews from this year you can catch up here.

The goal of this section of the blog is to share a glimpse into what inspires, motivates and teaches me. Out of the books I read, I only bring up the ones I would suggest taking a look at…there are still a few that get left out; entirely based on my own opinions.

So where do I find all these books to read? Lots of places. I follow the Book of the Month Club on Instagram and I get weekly suggestions from my daily news source, theSkimm. You can sign up for free here using my referral code!

 

Read For Fun

 

The Road to Eden's Ridge: Book review at www.mylocalcollaborative.com The Road to Eden’s Ridge by M.L. Rose

This is a liiitttlleee bit of stretch since this was a book I read in childhood but when I came across it while cleaning my mom’s house, I just had to bring it back and re-read this book. I remember loving the lyrics to songs inside, the way M.L. Rose (two authors) described the main character and placing actual country singers in the fictional character’s roles. This love story is set in Nashville and Maine, with a few flashbacks between family members and a surprising truth (ok you can probably guess mid-way through) of an aspiring country music artist and the George Strait of her world.

Once I was done reading this book I ended up donating it because I don’t like clutter and I hope someone else is able to enjoy this book.

 

the woman in cabin 10 book review at www.mylocalcollaborative.com The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Another recommendation from a friend, The Woman In Cabin 10 did not disappoint. To me, cabin meant this story would take place in the woods, maybe during camp but it is actually on a cruise ship following a journalist with mental health issues after having been attacked by an apartment burglar. I couldn’t help but think of The Sinner. The journalist witnesses a murder and is instantly viewed by others on the ship as the paranoid woman. After doubting herself, searching for clues and digging where she shouldn’t the main character is taken through a disturbing, confusing and thrilling mystery that ends at a (in my opinion) cliffhanger conclusion.

 

The Child book review at www.mylocalcollaborative.com The Child by Fiona Barton

I feel like if I had read the hardcopy vs the audiobook I probably would have been more involved and follow the three female characters in this book with more understanding on how they were connected. Having said that it was very creative how Barton worked around the fallout when a newborn’s skeleton is discovered beneath a bulldozed London building site. The truths exposed are also eerily tied to what is going on in the world/news currently and hits the pain points many women experience in their lives. As NPR reported in their own book review, The Child does more showing than telling and that’s what makes it a unique and intriguing story. Like the journalist character in this book you, too, will find yourself on the edge of your seat attempting to figure out whose skeleton was buried, whose baby it was and who is to be held responsible.

 

Read For Improvement

The Secret book review on www.mylocalcollaborative.com The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

This audio book was just over four hours long and, while it’s not something I would normally seek out, it is a classic that everyone should read or listen to. It focuses around manifesting what you want and the Law of Attraction. I could have done without the dramatic music and voices but this was still a gem filled with helpful and motivating tidbits such as “Energy flows where intention goes.” and “You cannot help the world by focusing on the negative things.” I agreed with the mindset shift they suggest of being Anti THING vs. Pro THING. Are you anti fast food or are you pro healthy eating? If you’re feeling lost or out of control/off your path give this your attention.

The Go-Giver Leader book review on www.mylocalcollaborative.com

 

 

 

 

 

The Go-Giver Leader by Bob Burg and John David Mann

This was another fairly short audio book at about 3.5 hours. I didn’t realize this book was originally titled ‘It’s Not About You‘ but they re-published with this new title and new cover because they believe it wasn’t sending the right message about what the book was about. THIS is why BRANDING is so incredibly important. This book asks the question ‘What is influence?’ and ‘What is influence made of?’ It is an unseen flow of power. We often think that influence means manipulation but that is not true. Every person in leadership, business or any position of influence needs to read this book; and own it.

 

The 5 Love Languages book review on www.mylocalcollaborative.com The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

I learned about the love languages during college in a workshop with my sorority and heard about it all over the place afterward. I never read this book before and never read it for marriage; more-so out of curiosity. I believed my love language to be words of affirmation but now after retaking the test this June, realized it’s Quality Time. Here were my results.

8 Quality Time
7 Physical Touch
7 Words of Affirmation
5 Acts of Service
3 Receiving Gifts

I do feel like this has a lot to do with what you’re going through in that moment so it would be fun to retake once a year. You can find out the love language for you OR your child here.

 


 

You’ve read through my opinions so you deserve some FREE STUFF! Make sure you are following the blog (upper right of this page) to get free downloads in the future. Once you’re following, go ahead and download this document: GOALS FOR 2018 from Local Collaborative I mentioned to track your goals and adventures for the rest of the year and into 2019.

 

Cheers!

Marin

PS: Are you enjoying these blogs? Have we worked together? I would love to get your short and honest review on my Facebook page. Thanks in advance!

Say It To My Screen: The Impact Testimonials Have On Small Businesses

Special Offer Now Live! Expires October 31, 2018

Don’t wait, click to activate!

You’re sitting there, starving for something to eat but you definitely won’t be making it. You click open a new tab and start searching for delivery, clicking anything over four…ok, settle for three stars. You start skimming through reviews to see who actually has the most authentic street tacos and if there’s a photo; even better, you’re going there.


You’re driving down the long winding road you take to get home every day, singing every word to that song you just can’t stand and DA-DUNK you’ve hit a pothole and hear the dreaded rumbling of a flat tire that (of course) had to bend your frame and throw off the alignment.

Time to look for a trusted shop who will accept your insurance, replace the broken pieces without overcharging you and get it all done in a timely manner. Bonuses include filling your tank or washing up. How do you know what to expect?

By reading client reviews!


lyneda testimonial


If there’s anything we’ve learned by living in a mega-connected world it’s that every person has the ability to speak their mind. Some welcome; some not so welcome.

The first place a client is likely to go after being overcharged for their manicure, a shotty job on their plumbing or an expensive wedding earring that broke like a twig on the big day (…….) is to the vendor’s social media page. Here you can leave an in-depth review on your experience: the good, the bad, the ugly.

 

Why are businesses so eager to ask if your pet had a great time at their vet appointment if they know it could potentially lead to a nasty, exposing comment?

 

Because word-of-mouth is the number one referral. What you’ve turned out to subconsciously view before taking any considerable purchasing action is to hear from others like you.

People who also had the same combo skin and were looking for a great facewash.

People who also went to that movie theatre and found gum under their seat.

People who are on the same path to a similar fitness goal and worked with that trainer.

There is comfort in numbers and there is comfort in knowing what to expect.


rogge testimonial


So how do you, as a business owner, provide your customers with an experience they’ll want to rave about?

 

The more ‘stars’ and/or higher ratings you have will bump your business to the top of a potential customer’s Google search. The higher up you appear, the more click-throughs you receive, the more business you close, the more sales you make. The more attention others can draw to your business, the better.

  1. Provide an experience they’ll want to talk about. A meal, a service or a simple exchange is all about the experience. People are craving connection and experiencing something shareable. What stickers, backdrop or colors can you use that are photo-friendly? What fun hash tag can they include on that photo? What is a unique way to bring the check to the table? Can you provide a surprise to the service that you don’t advertise? (A car wash, a gas fill, an air freshener, items to hang the photo, a welcome home sign, a journal with a thank you note, etc.) If you need help brainstorming some creative ideas, let’s talk.
  2. Provide the social proof. Get legit! Every business is out for a certain purpose; usually to help, to entertain or to please in some way. Even if you have ONE review it’s proof that you’re in business and someone actually went there. Instant trust and often a deciding factor. Photos and videos you provide are meant to be aesthetically pleasing but coming from the smartphone of a client is the raw, real image of what to expect. ALWAYS respond and thank someone for leaving a review.
  3. The gift that keeps on giving. When asking someone how their experience was, thank them for coming and ask them to share their experience online. Some people offer a giveaway or another small gift as a way to say thank you. DO NOT BUY the review but incentivize. For example, if someone gives you a kind review, interact with them in public and automate a thank you email with a 10% off coupon for their next visit. They will keep spreading the word about you and you’ll reap the benefits of repeat and new business.
  4. You don’t get what you don’t ask for. Similar to #3, people need to be told what to do. If you don’t ask for referrals, if you don’t ask for a review, if you don’t make it clear what you want then they’re probably indifferent to leaving a review, regardless of the great time they had. Every bit of feedback you receive, positive or negative, is feedback you can use to improve your business. Once you ask is it easy for them to find and use? I’ve started leaving great reviews for companies but they wanted me to keep going and going and copy/paste my review on multiple platforms…it’s too much. Have them review you on Facebook and you can copy/paste it to your website.
  5. Get the employees in on it. Like a bonus structure but without the pushy perfume lady. Make it easy for customers to see your employee’s name and be able to shout them out online. It brings a personal touch to your company, makes the client feel like they can come back to see a friend and praises the employee for a job well done which will add fuel to the fantastic customer service fire. Encourage employees to leave a review online. You can add a light-hearted competition, a day off or another perk for every milestone of reviews.

Do you know how to respond to negative reviews? Not many people do.

Ask me how.


Donze testimonial


How, can we as customers, leave a constructive review?

Whether good or bad you might still want to talk about it. Unless there was a glaring issue, I usually avoid leaving a poor review. In many cases that is someone’s job or how they’re paying for their daughter’s dance lessons. There’s no reason for me to ruin their dream because it wasn’t the best food I have ever had.

How can we help these businesses out?

  1. Leave a review. Sounds simple but even just sliding the stars to the right without copy is better than nothing at all!
  2. Be specific. Can you include a name of someone who helped you? Did they have ‘good beer’ or did they have ‘the best IPA I’ve ever had! Try the Piggyback Peach when you visit this brewery.’ These keywords help the business’s SEO by pulling up the most relevant keywords. The more matches of closely related search and content pairs up to provide the best result. If someone is looking for the “Best restaurant for girls night out” and you wrote a review saying “Best spot in town for a girls night out” it’s like the internet angels are singing.
  3. It’s a visual world. Include photos and videos of what makes this place unique or what you most like to look at. If you order drinks based on their cool-factor, post a photo with the type of drink you’re enjoying. A beautifully plated meal. A well-lit back patio with live music. The menu. The ambience or the outside of the building. Help patrons get an idea of what to expect and what to look for.

Is your business taking advantage of this branding opportunity? Do you know what your highest performing SEO keywords are? I can help.


ashleylayton testimonial.PNG


Having said that, if you’re still leaving a ‘negative’ review make sure it’s filled with constructive criticism. Businesses then have a chance to respond, apologize or compensate. Pay attention to how they respond.

  1. Did you talk to the business? Things happen. People have off days. If possible, talk to the business before you go public. The service experience doesn’t end once the transaction goes through. If you’ve given them a fair chance to reply and correct the problem then give credit for their attention to fixing the problem.
  2. Keep to the facts. What happened, not what you interpreted. Did you just not like the shade of white she painted your walls or did she do it ‘because she was lazy’? Is she really bad at haircuts or just botched yours because ‘she thought you wouldn’t tip’?
  3. Keep the emotion out of it. If they were providing a personal service such as a lawyer, doctor, masseuse, wedding planner, etc. and acted in a blatantly unprofessional manner then this is important to report. Say what you need to say while realizing slander and libel are very real things.
  4. They’ve lost my business. So? If they lose the $20 you’d spend on the next visit would they really go in the red? If a stranger is reading your review and has no clue who you are is that helpful to them or is it just dramatic? A simple “I won’t be returning” or “I might go back here in the future but only as a last resort” is more helpful for patron’s to decide how they stack up against competition.

 

If you want some help on receiving or publishing reviews, remember a phone call is always free.

 

Cheers!

Marin

Don’t forget to share and take advantage of the October Promotion!

$50 off your service by activiating here.

Expires October 31, 2018

Book Club/ Podcast Review + Bonus Download! (July-September 2018)

Before we begin, look to the right. If that doesn’t say you’re following the blog make sure you put your email in and I’ll send you free downloads from here on out!

In 2017 I started a list of my goals and accountability tracking for the year. I reached and exceeded every goal. (You can see that post on my personal page here.) If you haven’t read my January-May favorites, here ya go. June is right here.

The goal of this blog section is to share a glimpse into what inspires, motivates and teaches me. Out of the books I read, I only bring up the ones I would suggest taking a look at…there are still a few that get left out; entirely based on my own opinions.

So where do I find all these books to read? Lots of places. I follow the Book of the Month Club on Instagram and I get weekly suggestions from my daily news source, theSkimm. You can sign up for free here using my referral code!

 

Read For Fun

Small Great Things: Book review at www.mylocalcollaborative.com

 

 

 

 

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

I love to get recommendations from my friends and family, especially when they have similar taste to me. I saw a handful of my friends snapping this cover and it finally became available through my library. The Small Great Things mentioned in this book are babies. But it’s SO much more than another book about the miracle of life. This is narrated by a black nurse and a white supremacist father-to-be when their worlds collide with the birth of his son. I don’t want to spoil anything but it was a very thoughtful, compassionately written book and I like how the author dug into the good, bad and ugly of each perspective. A must read and I would say this is okay for high schoolers and older.

 

black chalk  Black Chalk by Christopher Yates

The cover gave me badass Harry Potter vibes but it turned into a Jumanji/Black Mirror/Friends novel. Confused yet? So was I at the end of this fictional book but in the best way possible. As you can tell by the cover, one friend dies. The way the narrator tells the story there are a few parts that have you convinced a certain character died….but when you reach that character, it’s extremely, graphically clear. A game that a group of friends took part in college turned outcasts into the talk of the campus. What starts out light-hearted turns personal, nasty and violent. I found this intriguing and very easy to breeze through while reading because it was entertaining; even if some parts get a little gritty. This is not a murder mystery but it still provides a twisted mind game. See if you can figure it out.

 

Read For Improvement

Start With Why by Simon Sinek. Book review at www.mylocalcollaborative.com

 

 

 

 

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action by Simon Sinek

 

 

If you’re familiar with this bestseller, author, TedTalk, etc. then you already know. With ‘Finding Your Why’ has been a first step in marketing campaigns, fundraisers, company culture and team building for years now this book dives into more details than the quick and inspiring TedTalk. I found myself copying stats, quotes, stand-out sentences and things that made me think constantly in each chapter. If you are an entrepreneur, team leader or seek to be you just need to read this. Period. If you’re in a rut in your job, customer facing or dealing with students and about to fall into that ‘Is it Thanksgiving break yet?’ mentality, read this. Period. At the very least you will understand what the buzz is about everywhere you go. At the most, you will be invigorated to reshape your business. If you would like to find your WHY and re-brand or polish up your business, let’s talk.

 

The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker book review on www.mylocalcollaborative.comThe Gift of Fear: And Other Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence by Gavin de Becker

I was surprised that what was less than a three hour audiobook had nearly 3,000 reviews for a 4.7 out of 5 stars. As they say in the description “True fear is a gift. Unwarranted fear is a curse. Learn how to tell the difference.” de Becker details a few true stories about people escaping fear and how it was built-in instincts that lead them to safety. It’s not difficult to take these very serious cases and apply it to your own situations. As a woman we are constantly taught how to protect ourselves, watch out for strange behaviors and cautionary tips. We have a natural gut instinct that can lead us in the right direction. Fear is a good emotion because it is there to protect and guide you. With this being such a quick audiobook, I would imagine it is also a quick hard-back read. Either way, highly recommend it’s worth your time.

 

universe The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein

I’m late on the Gabby train-I get it. If you like Rachel Hollis, Jen Sincero or the Champagne Diet you’ll probably like Gabby Bernstein! She is a well-known (For example Forbes list of the 20 Best Branded Women) motivational speaker, life coach, and author. I was curious if the next-generation guru would be too ‘woo-woo’ for me but her writing was personable, entertaining and relatable enough that I could pull what I wanted from it and her message came through crystal clear. Basically how to turn your fear into faith and knowing how to use negative energy for positive, joyful change. If you’re in any moment of doubt (Or want to be proactive because, who hasn’t?) then pick this book up and take pages of notes and takeaways like I did.

 

how not to dieHow Not To Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease by Michael Greger, M.C.

 

 

 

 

A long title but a great worthwhile read. While on juice or Whole30 kicks, I devour these books (pun unintentional but it fits). I love learning about what benefits specific foods provide for your body. I put off listening to this audiobook because I was worried it would be pro-vegan/vegetarian/meat will send you to hell textbook. But he did a great job of informing you with facts, statistics, suggestions, stories and case studies to encourage you to eat more greens. With a history of poor family health, cancer and Midwest diet growing up, it’s been fun to incorporate more healthy and nutritious food in our diet. I still find myself falling short compared to people like Greger but the hard-copy version of the books looks to provide recipes and graphics. If you download the audiobook it comes with downloadable pdfs. This WAS a bit of a longer read, 17 hours if you don’t speed it up, there is a lot of good information and if your family death, illness and health is like mine, you need to read this; and so do they.  Do I plan on cutting out meat? No, but I’m willing to increase veggies and fruits. Education is best.

 

 

Podcasts

Here is my first post on podcasts. I have also been adding them into the other Book Club posts as I come across entertaining, informational shows. I listen to audiobooks while at my laptop and listen to podcasts on my phone so if they don’t hook me after a few episodes, they’re not getting my attention.

These podcasts were on an episode of Boss Girl Creative and I added them based on relevancy, interest and the description (If you want to get realllyyyy good at catching people on your first impression, I’ve got you.) Being 100% transparent I haven’t listened to these as often as I probably should but in general I feel they were good adds and they’re still on my list. Hopefully they will be a good match for you, too!

marketinginyogapantsMarketing In Yoga Pants Podcast

Let’s be honest. Being someone who *literally* does marketing work from her home in yoga pants, this intrigued me right away. It may be a less-than-traditional/professional name but you bet it draws in her target audience…and that’s the entire goal of marketing pros, right? If podcasts aren’t your thing Brit’s website lets you choose from her podcast, book, Facebook, YouTube, blog and much more as your platform of choice to pick up your information. Every podcast is an interview with a professional of some kind in the field so it’s a fun way to hear how people in similar positions helped their industry or company succeed.

create if writing

 

 

 

 

Create If Writing

Kirsten is a writer so it’s not surprising that this is what every episode and post revolves around. Her creativity, approach to language and variety of work impress and inspire me to make small tweaks or big leaps in my writing. I also like that her voice translates through whatever position or character she’s trying to portray because I’m able to picture them as brand archetypes; fantastic examples. You’ll know the most important part of marketing and business success is the ability to tell a good story. We’re humans-that’s what we’ve craved since we were kids. Listen in, read her books and get involved to figure out how to tell your business’s story. Need some help? Let me write FOR you!

creative biz rebellionCreative Biz Rebellion

 

 

 

 

These two ladies host informative and entertaining episodes on a variety of topics to help creative business’s from working with a printer to maximizing holiday sales to reps from magazines. Whether you are the owner or the representative these episodes will give you insight to potential vendors, fresh spins on worn-out sales and helpful ways to maneuver with tricky partners and situations. If you believe creativity is the ultimate rebellion, listen in.

 

office talk annetteOffice Talk with Annette Stepanian

Notice a theme of female hosts? Annette is no exception. Like many other podcasts, Annette shares interviews with entrepreneurs and professionals building a business and life on their own terms. The most valuable and unique aspect of Annette’s work are her Legal Quickie episode where she answers FAQs about law and your business. This is a fun way to stay up to date on legalities and get your questions answered from a reliable source.

fearless launchingThe Fearless Launching Show with Anne Samoilov

 

I love the word fearless so I instantly clicked on this podcast. Anne helps small business owners bring their big ideas to the big world. She helps you with everything necessary to LAUNCH your business including prioritizing tasks, creating and reaching your goals, and takes the burdens of stress and overwhelm out of the equation for you.


 

You’ve read through my opinions so you deserve some FREE STUFF! Make sure you are following the blog (upper right of this page) to get free downloads in the future. Once you’re following, go ahead and download this document: GOALS FOR 2018 from Local Collaborative I mentioned to track your goals and adventures for the rest of the year.

 

Cheers!

Marin

PS: Are you enjoying these blogs? Have we worked together? I would love to get your short and honest review on my Facebook page. Thanks in advance!

Ask Better Questions

“Ask stupid questions, get stupid answers.”

Or at least that’s what we’ve been told.

Why not “Ask better questions, get better answers?” It’s got the glass-half-full ring to it and provides us the opportunity to dive deeper in our relationships, conversations and learning.

If you ask better questions to potential employees, you get better employees.

If you ask better questions during a job interview, you get a better job experience and more learning or promotional opportunities.

If you ask better questions when you’re dating, you get better partners.

 

Asking questions to ensure or communicate that you’re still listening and on the same track is imperative in live videos, webinars and communications. Don’t just say you’re listening or give a false job as a hope to keep busy…you can offer real understand and valuable help if your communication is clear and accurate.

 

Another reason to ask better questions is avoiding group think. Group think is when you’re in a group of people, maybe a team meeting, and you’re trying to solve a problem. But you can’t seem to come up with any different solutions. It’s the feeling of knowing something isn’t right but there’s a tall, wide and thick brick wall just covering up what’s on the other side.

When you stay silent you become part of the group and don’t avoid being the ‘odd one out’ by providing a different answer. When you ask the same questions, you get the same answers. Ask something different, to a different person and you’ll get a different answer.

 

What you WANT to hear and what you NEED to hear might be different. Try asking the question that provides the answer you haven’t yet, or don’t, want to hear. Be original. Don’t just repeat the same thing to every person. By tailoring your conversation and paying special attention to what the person in front of you is saying to you, you’re able to ask because you’re curious not just because you’re nosy.

Show that you’re actually paying attention by elaborating on the last thing they said and translate the fact that you were actually there with them, listening to them.

 

Try this perspective out…It’s not always YOU that has to change.

It’s the other person that needs to better understand you.

That’s your job to communicate.

If you can’t effectively speak, write or communicate yourself (or your message) in the correct order then you’re identifying a weakness. By merging your best skills and strengths you can truly influence and solve a problem.

When you speak you’re always standing up and speaking to others. People are looking for that sign and encouragement of being with you. They’ll validate you externally or in a secondary action but you can’t improve your personal development if you’re not getting personal with your topics and audience.

 

If you’re a millennial reading this you have to understand we have the most valuable thing on our side right now: TIME. Don’t waste that by asking and learning the same thing everyone else is or is telling you what you should do. Branch out, be original, think for yourself and ask everyone you meet better questions.

 

Cheers!

Marin

A phone call is always free. If you’re curious about how digital marketing and creating a brand could help you, I’d love to talk.

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