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the business of film, interview with John Hansen

A fun and interesting interview with John Hansen who is a film director/ script writer/ control man here in Des Moines. I've attached one of their first projects that won awards and also a terrific interview. John shares what happens when creativity and business collide. Enjoy and thanks for stopping by! Glad to hear from you.

Download john_hansen_film_production.wma

a ban on advertising, focus on what's important

I'm telling you so you can hold me to this statement. "I Sherry Borzo of dsmBUZZ will not advertise again until I have been in business for maybe...forever." I tried the newspaper without success...and then I tried placing a flier in a statement stuffer. Neither of these activities caused anyone to contact me or buy a membership card. So I'm thinking advertising is not for dsmBUZZ for awhile.

It's weird that some entrepreneurs suggest you have to have a strategy to your advertising like appearing repeatedly over time, while others just scoff and say that they've never had success. Why the difference? Maybe it has a lot to do with timing. Kelly Moore of Kelly Moore Consulting says you have to be "known" first for other things like write-ups and interviews on the radio before you advertise. (check out her recent podcast with us) That's probably what Drew McLellan would say too.

So with the lesson finally learned about advertising I've sent out my first press release to all the major entities in the area of Des Moines and surrounding. At this point I've noticed one subscription to my newsletter (thank you) and Citiview has forwarded my information on to...their advertising department. I wonder if this means they won't be contacting me for a writeup about my efforts to support locally owned businesses? They are apparently running their "special" advertising campaign to let locally owned businesses advertise.I told the representative that emailed me that I hadn't had success and wouldn't be advertising but she just explained about their great circulation numbers. (I'm plugging my ears and yelling "la, la, la, la")   

I've had some cool canvas bags printed by Smash that will be available in some of the retailers found in the dsmBUZZ network. Pure Paper made wonderful bag tags and Rachel McClung made an awesome graphic. They say "Consciously Consume, Buy locally" on one side with the design featured on the other side. For anyone who saw the special story on plastics on Sunday Morning this past Sunday and how those plastic bags really don't get recycled...could you perhaps replace your request for plastic or paper at the grocery store with a dsmBUZZ canvas bag?

Since I'm free of advertising for now I'm going to focus on hosting a party in January for all the merchants and consumers who are part of dsmBUZZ. I'll keep you posted on this goal as we get closer. Right now I've got to start thinking where to organize the bash. My ambition is to have this be a free event for the merchants and members with donations going to a local charity. If you have ideas or thoughts share them.

Also, since I'm free of the advertising expense (I have 4 more commitments with the Register though) I'm going to focus on printing a locally owned businesses in central Iowa directory for next year. Again, I'm saying it to you because that holds me accountable. My friend Mary Kay of KC local color has printed her first directory so I'm eager to hear how that works for her.

The summer issue of Small Business Buzz is going to be out in mid July. We're covering the businesses east of the state capitol this time. I'll keep you informed when this issue is ready. Right now I'm busy with interviews and taking a look at the different shops.

As I sit here writing this post, it's 5:30 a.m. and the sun is beginning to make it's appearance for the day. No matter how you keep busy with stuff today, take time to enjoy your life as it unfolds.

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate that you do!

public relations, should everyone have a PR consultant?

Kelly Here is a terrific interview with Kelly Moore of Kelly Moore Consulting. I'm convinced I need the help of a public relations expert for sure!! Maybe everyone needs to work with one if they are in business. What do you think? Take a listen to this insightful woman who does a great job of explaining what public relations is and how the process works. Kelly is articulate and diversified with projects that include a web site called www.desmoinesfamilies.com and also is followed for her blog as a Mom in the trenches.

Download kelly_moore_pr_consulting.wma

Healthy is as healthy does

Airplane I come zooming in like an airplane on this podcast with Jule Dirksen of Be the Butterfly. Jule's business is helping people find resources for home, self, and child that are good for them and good for the environment.

I was feeling very peppy at the time of the interview and so my most nasal voice came through, hellllooooooooo! That aside, I'm constantly impressed by the caliber of people featured on Entrepreneur People. They never seem to miss a beat with insightful, useful, profoundly interesting information for anyone interested in their particular business or in small business in general. Take a listen and excuse my enthusiasm. Or is that curb it?

Download be_the_butterfly_interview.wma

photo by nemos great uncle   powered by flickr

Fisher Body & Paint

Darrinmorrisonfisherbodyandpaint Fisher Body & Paint has been in business since 1972 , current owner Darrin Morrison has been in the collision industry for 18 years. We specialize in collision repair and work with all insurance companies. Lifetime warranty on all repairs , we use a Lazar alignment frame machine and a computerized paint mixing system for a guaranteed paint match. ASE & ICAR certified , free estimates from 7:30 to 5:00 Mon. thru Fri. We are located at 1955 Hubbell ave.

contact: darrin@fisherbodypaint.com, phone 262.5950, web: www.fisherbodypaint.com

No End to Useful Resources

Cafeparis I've mentioned that I love to watch Sunday Morning on CBS. I sit there with my cup of coffee, some cheese, maybe a pastry and just enjoy. It's wonderful.

This morning there was a piece by David Turecamo on the endangered Paris Cafes. Apparently they continue to diminish from their once thriving and prominent place in Parisian life. Some of those that remain open or are opening are owned by corporations rather than individuals. I wonder if Europe is experiencing a downsizing of independently owned business and what their challenges are in comparison to small businesses here in the U.S.

I'll have to spend more time researching resources like smallbizpod. Alex provides information, interviews and resources for small business in the UK that are also relevant for entrepreneurs everywhere. David and I are prepping for a trip to London and Scotland and hope to talk with small business owners and learn about their experiences. Stay tuned for more information.

In the meantime, a great event is coming up that will be of interest to entrepreneurs right here in Des Moines Iowa. On July 20, Brett Trout and Rush Nigut are offering an all-day convention meant to provide a wealth of information for business professionals. The topics to be covered include branding, marketing, crucial conversations, and more. Brett and Rush are attorneys but this is meant to be useful success secrets for all professionals.

A couple of days ago I did the metaphor exercise launched by Liz Strauss. Since my blog is my boat, it is good to make sure that she is blogworthy. Thanks to Kyle Eslick for his post on Website Grader. I took a look and made a few tweaks to help my site along.   

Talk to you soon and thanks for stopping by.

photo by mabel flores powered by flickr

learn about the business of music, podcast with artist Rob Lumbard

Roblumbard Rob Lumbard is a local guitarist, singer and songwriter. He can be found singing often at Flanagans and has been the opener for acts such as Leon Redbone, Hot Tuna, and Doc Watson.

He shares how he got involved as a musician and making that talent a business. The interview can be heard here or on the blogtalk button:

Download rob_lumbard.wma

You can also check out some of his tunes, get a look at his bio and other photos at at the Rob Lumbard web site.

Now I must confess that my goal is to be like Terry Gross of Fresh Air. I LOVE her show on public radio. But as I listen to my interview I'm going to have to tone down my laughter. Rob was telling stories and insights that were so fun I would occasionally laugh into the receiver. Terry, if you catch this feel free to contact me with interview tips!

June 4, 2007

Largecrowd It's a hard question to answer because the number reflects a lot of work, more than I had originally imagined. We only began at the beginning of the year. We've learned a lot and found that this process takes WORK. Here are our tallies of today.

Number of Members who support dsmBUZZ and gain perks from membership: 92

Number of Merchants who are part of the network supporting buy locally program: 32

So how is that for five months? We feel pretty good but we want more, more, more. Thank you to all who have stepped up and joined! We appreciate you so much.

photo by hugo, powered by flickr

Raise your sails and blog on!

Sailingshipneubda_3 My blog is my vessel for the journey on the sea of possibility. Thanks to Liz Strauss for the opportunity to think about my blog in terms of a metaphor. The story of that lesson goes like this:

The fact that I blog is a complete accident. I had been working with Tammy Brice to create a static web site for my business but I had a couple of problems. One issue was that I was still "figuring out" what I wanted and the other challenge was that she was due to have a baby soon and couldn't wait for me to vacillate on my options. She met Mike Sansone and realized that my needs might fit with his approach and tools. I met with Mike and also Sandy Renshaw and found myself "sold" on something I didn't even begin to understand.

With instruction and encouragement I began to blog even though I didn't really "get it" for awhile. I'm familiar with operating in this confused state. I'm the person in the group who is always late to get a punchline to the joke, snorting my laughter after others in a group have moved on. I'm the "late bloomer" understanding concepts I've heard FOREVER only after I've thought about them FOREVER.

However I kept blogging into what felt like the "big empty" accepting that maybe what other bloggers were saying might be true. I assumed nobody was actually paying attention to what I churned out and that my thoughts were wafting off into Internet air. I didn't really BELIEVE in the benefits of blogging or the term "viral media" until I got clunked in the head with a small but significant experience.

It happened with my very first pod cast. I interviewed Chaden Halfhill of Silent Rivers on my program Entrepreneur People. We had a nice interview and I thought, "well that was fun, but who will care?" A couple of weeks later I noticed that listeners had checked in and I was excited. Then Chaden called me and said he had gotten a call from an architect in Minnesota who had heard the podcast and wanted to meet him. I felt chills. Oh my goodness. Someone was listening!

I have not yet lost my sense of joy when I find that someone responds or offers a comment on something I've written or a pod cast. The same holds true when someone becomes a member or a merchant of dsmBUZZ. (They get it, they get it!) It feeds me and reinforces the first lessons and my passion. I'm building a community of consumers and small businesses in central Iowa who care about supporting locally owned businesses! It turns out that not only am I growing by the process of writing a blog (organizing and shaping my own vision) I also am afforded this wonderful opportunity of shared ideas and feedback. I improve and gain access to other journeys learning from their lessons as well.

Last Friday was the monthly Central Iowa Bloggers gathering. The gift of blogging keeps unfolding itself as I travel. In only five months I have met many incredible people I wouldn't have known if not for blogging. I've had the beginnings of business success, received the gift of knowledge and information that has led to useful tools and personal growth, and helped give other people information and resources.

Blogging is a sturdy vessel for anyone who has the courage or interest to sail on the sea of possibility. Whether you blog straight out, or read and comment in the blogosphere, man your stations, raise your sails, plot your course and blog on!

Photo by Neubda powered by flickr

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