How to promote music events.

Douglas Detrick is a friend from Lawrence University. He and I both studied trumpet performance.

When I caught up with him recently, I was happy to see that he was still playing the trumpet and composing.
But he’s also bringing his marketing skills to the table in a big way, raising money and awareness and growing a loyal fan base for the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble as well as for his own musical projects.
During this interview, he tells you all about the marketing methods that have worked well for him and will work with other musicians.
Listen to it here.

How Karen achieves a consistent online presence

On Tuesday morning I stopped by the Karen Wray Gallery to take some pictures of Karen painting.
I’ll also be sure to use the pictures in upcoming articles about her art classes and exhibits, in her newsletters and on her Facebook page.
I have been working with Karen for several years. I enjoy getting to know all the artists in her gallery and telling the stories of their creative lives.
Karen wrote a testimonial for my website recently. Here is what she had to say about the experience working with me.
“Mandy is my publicist. She writes articles for the magazine and the local papers and also posts articles on social media. It’s well worth the money, and it gets rid of the headache of ‘I have to write this article.’ Mandy takes care of it.

Since I hired Mandy, I have more of a continuous presence online and locally. People are aware of my gallery, see the articles and appear to read them, and they come in as a result. I have seen an increase in people saying they found me through articles and Facebook.

As a business owner, I was thinking of saving time over saving money before hiring Mandy. For someone who knows how to write well, knows how to place them… it’s invaluable.
I would absolutely recommend Mandy to other people. She works very hard to satisfy [the] business owner. She’s very creative with the placement of articles. Recently, I had someone from Santa Fe come up after reading an article about us. I didn’t put it there!”
I have some openings for new clients in 2018. If you would like to hear more about my services and see if I could help your business, sign up for a free 15 minute meeting where we can go over your marketing needs.

Was trick or treat on Mainstreet a SCARY waste of time?

I took my kids to Trick or Treat on Mainstreet last Friday with myperson in a neighborhood wearing a Ghostface mask and cloak kids.

It was fun, but I couldn’t help but snicker behind my mask when business owners claimed that it was a good way to get in front of people and give back.

Was it really?

I remember being herded from booth to booth, my kids waited for the candy to drop into their buckets.

But I don’t remember any single business giving me a reason to come in and buy something. Why would I become anyone’s customer?

Ideally, when you run a booth, you want to get people’s attention and stick around long enough to give some information that will make it possible to follow up and make a sale.

Like the owner of Sunshine Plumbing and Heating, who won the Powercircle Small Business Marketer of the Year Award.  He has a booth at a busy expo and drew people in by giving away balloons to the kids. (Similar to Trick or Treating).

Once he had people’s attention, he offered to give people a free copy of his book – a consumer guide to heating and air conditioning.

Now, not everyone is in the market for a heating and air conditioning system. If someone has no interest in getting that book, they might not be interested in becoming his customer. So they can take the balloon and go away.

If someone says YES to the book, they might buy something from him. He didn’t just hand over his book on the spot. He got their address and mailed them the book.

He also mailed them ten other pieces of information in the four months after the expo. When he finally sent the sales letter, he made $200,000 in sales from the people that came to his booth.

So when I see people shoveling handfuls of candy to kids and parents who aren’t even paying attention, I think, what a waste!

I want business owners to make the most out of these opportunities, and use their booths to start a real relationship with customers (that lasts longer than the one-second dopamine rush that comes when the Snickers bar plops into the pillowcase).

I want to see business owners think of a clever way to collect the names, email addresses, and addresses of possible customers and follow up and make a sale that can be traced back to the booth at the event.

It makes me sad to see waves upon waves of people walk past your booth while you give away shocking amounts of sugar… and maybe a business card gets passed out… but nothing happens after that. 🙁

… maybe this situation doesn’t lend itself to generating leads. But I’d like to think you could do it with some advance planning.

I’d love for someone to prove me wrong. Show me your system for turning the hoards of zombie trick-or-treaters into customers. If you did something that worked, I want to hear about it.

If you have an event coming up and you don’t want to squander your booth fee and your time… give me a call. My number is 505-515-7001. We can put our heads together and make an offer that will bring in leads that you can turn into sales.

Help, it’s too tight!

Have you ever taken tried something on in the dressing room only to find out that not only is it too tight, but you’re stuck? And now everyone in the store will hear your cries for help as you try desperately to loosen the zipper and release yourself??

… yeah. Me neither.
Well, something similar happened the other day when I announced my shiny new niche. I said, “I specialize in writing daily emails for people in the personal development industry.”
One of my email subscribers, MC, said that it doesn’t sound like me. He said, “It seems like you’re scaling back somehow (and maybe that’s what you’re trying to do).”

Before I go deeper into the feedback that he gave me and how I used that to revise my niche, I want to let you know why I felt it necessary to choose a narrow niche. Because I believe doing so can make it easier for me (and you… so pay attention) to market your business.

Many of my business mentors have given me the same piece of advice: Specialize and choose a target market. Doing those two things makes it possible for you to be the expert in your field, and it also makes it easier and more affordable to reach your ideal clients.

Joshua Boswell is a copywriter and coach who described a good target market as a group of people who are 1) easy to find… there are online groups, mailing lists, associations, etc. 2) they are interested in the products or services that you sell and 3) they have the money to pay your full price.

A wonderful thing happens when you identify this target market. You know where they are. You can start to create a mailing list. You can research their needs and find out how to talk to them. You can learn how to speak their language.

All those things make it exponentially easier to sell.

Ans while I’m already questioning whether “personal development” is the RIGHT target market, I’ll tell you how choosing a group might help me (and anyone else who cares to try) find clients.

OK. In the personal development niche, the first question I have to ask before I can find a client is “what kind of person am I looking for?”

One possibility is an author of a personal development book. An author could use my help because I could write an email series selling the book to people who opt into their list. I’ve seen authors in this industry hire copywriters like me. It’s only a question of finding them and attracting out the ones who can afford my services.

Once I have a direction, it was easy to go onto Facebook and search for groups of self-development authors discussing their books, how to market those books and get the word out about them. BINGO. All I have to do is get to know them and make an offer that would be appealing to them.

It is a step in the right direction, to say the least. Because without identifying a group, you’re staring into a sea of prospects… and you’re standing there chasing your own tail.

MC didn’t think that my niche sounded like me, though, and so I had to ask how he would describe what I do. (I got to say, I really appreciated the feedback. It’s hard to describe what you do, especially when you’re not sure how others perceive you.) He said: “Wordsmith and publicity guru for small businesses.”
I told him that I’ve been getting a little stressed out, and spread too thin. But he didn’t see it as a lack of focus, but rather a strength. “You are the type of person who wears many hats, so to speak. You don’t fit into the so-called experts’ categories, and that’s okay (I think). I have watched you expand your influence in this town, greatly, during the past two years. You take new things on and actually do them, which says a lot about you as a person.”
Well, shoot, now I’m blushing…
But after hearing that it seemed like a good idea to expand it to “personal and business growth.”
So to make a long story short, I’m still tweaking things. But I want you to see the value of narrowing it down. Doing that makes it easier to move forward with your marketing. It makes it possible to buy more targeted ads and write something that hits home. It makes it possible to create a mailing list full of people who will respond to your message. It instantly turns overwhelming marketing ideas into doable tasks.
Feel free to call me if you want help narrowing down your niche… or if you want to add your two cents on how I should narrow down mine.

Stuffed mushrooms over the campfire

Over the weekend my husband and son went camping with the Boy Scouts.

fruit and cheese spread with wine next to a campfire
The scouts were eating gourmet campfire food!

While the boys were out doing god-knows-what in the woods, the parents were pitted against each other in a cooking contest.

The leaders bought an assortment of ingredients. The parents were split into two groups, each team got to take turns choosing ingredients. Then they had one hour to turn those ingredients into a culinary masterpiece.

Several “secret judges” would try the dishes and decide which team made the best meal.

We live in a pretty cosmopolitan community, which means that a lot of the parents hailed from different countries, which means there were some strong opinions about how to slice the onions.

Quinn was on a team with an Italian mom serving as the brains behind the operation. There was also a mom from a country in South America (sorry, I’m not trying to be vague… he couldn’t remember where she was from) offering lots of ideas.

Quinn’s team ended up with roasted vegetables, pasta with a creamy cheese sauce and chicken. Very tasty. The other team busted out with stuffed mushrooms, and a few other impossibly hoi polloi things.

Quinn’s team was getting nervous. How do you compete with stuffed mushrooms?? But there was one small detail that tipped the contest in their favor.

The “secret judges” turned out to be the scouts. (They were so busy with the cooking competition that they forgot all about their picky, carb-guzzling sons). The contest was being judged by eight 12-year-old boys.

And they were like “Stuffed mushrooms, YUCK!”


It always helps to know who your audience is before you get to work.

It’s true when you’re cooking a simple meal, and it’s true when you’re putting out marketing materials about your business.

I want to help you get to know your current customers so that you can do a better job reaching out to new customers.

I will interview three of your best customers, and write a case study that you can use on your website, in your emails, and in your sales letters.

I’ll also give you some suggestions on how to leverage these case studies and get the most mileage from them.

The cost of the three case studies is $395. To get this limited time deal, send an email with the subject line “Three case studies” to [email protected] before midnight on Friday, October 6th.

This offer is first come, first served.

Talk to you soon!

P.S. Why do case studies work so well? … It’s just human nature.

You may have excellent and persuasive sales copy. But when someone is considering buying something, they want to know how much other people liked it.



How to grow your fitness business

Monster Mice Episode 7 with Charles Bram

Charles Bram is a fitness coach and owner of Fit Health USA, a gym based out of Herndon, Virginia.

In addition to helping his clients get fit, he helps gym owners and personal trainers grow their business. In this interview, Charles shares specific strategies for creating a marketing funnel to find new clients, getting those new clients in the door, and building a sense of community so people want to stay and bring their friends.

Visit his website at

Get his health and fitness tips by emailing him at [email protected].

Listen Here:


Monster Mice Episode 4: Lauren Hazel

How to build your brand with storytelling

Lauren Hazel is a marketing consultant and copy writer that helps business owners use the power of storytelling to increase their sales through creating their brand story and creating strategic email marketing campaigns.

She is also the publisher of Storytelling Marketers Monthly, a newsletter that teaches marketers and entrepreneurs how to use story in marketing and sales to grow businesses that get the attention of their audiences and convert them into customers.

In this episode you will learn…

  • How to write highly addictive emails
    Lauren secret to teaching algebra to kids who have zero interest in math
    How to get your customers to open the drawbridge and come out of the castle (carrying gold)

Listen Here:

Click here to get Lauren’s free video training on how to find the perfect story to sell your products and services.