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social for success?

June 24, 2014
I have been an advocate of the use of social media and other guerrilla marketing tactics by businesses for years now, often preferring these avenues over more conventional channels of promotion.  While Super Bowl ads and gigantic Interstate billboards may sound appealing, the return just isn't there for most local retailers.
Social media, on the other hand, can get your message out to a targeted group of customers and prospects for a nominal cost.  In fact, not having a presence on facebook, twitter and the like might actually be a huge disadvantage.  I'll delve into the risks of ignoring social media in another post.
For now, I'd like to set the stage for an experiment I am running online.  A local [Atlanta] publication, The GA Voice, is running a contest for "The Best of Gay Atlanta".  Last month readers were invited to nominate businesses and individuals for a myriad of categories, ranging from "Actor" and "Art Gallery" to "Tattoo Shop" and "Veterinarian".  I decided this might be a good time to test my theory of social media influence.  I created a list of nominees for numerous categories, mostly consisting of underdogs.  I then encouraged my 'team' to nominate them and spread the word among their friends and followers.  In a couple of instances, I intentionally misspelled the name of the person or business [usually by one letter] to help track the results.  I used my facebook and twitter accounts to encourage nominations during the course of several weeks.  Then I waited for the results.
When the finalists were announced a couple of weeks ago, most of my candidates made the cut:  Eclectia [Home Decor & Antiques], Louis Gary [Financial Planner], Clay Hood [Visual Artist], Grey Miller West [Art Gallery], Michael Sam [Athlete], Twelve [Florist & Jewelry Store], and, naturally, myself [Art Smith, Business Person] to name a few.  I then created a facebook event to promote voting and invited friends who, in turn, invited more friends.  I informed my nominee finalists of their fortune and encouraged them to promote voting. And I networked with other friends to get the word out.
The voting period ends this weekend, so I have no idea how many of my candidates will be successful yet ... although I will definitely do a follow-up and let you know the end result.  No matter what the outcome, all of these people and businesses have gotten more attention and recognition already.  

[2013 Awards Event ad shown above]

My point: with a little effort and some well-planned networking, anyone can benefit from the use of social media. At virtually no cost to them.  Now wish us all luck and go vote: 

More blogs at and more thoughts on small business Local Atlanta info at and Follow @ARTofHYPE

my sentiments exactly

April 29, 2014
Naming your business is much like naming your child. There should be as much thought put into the moniker that you'll eventually register and forever be known as, as you would your precious offspring. This is a commitment--make it count. Start by making a list, and remember that while being unique in business is great, your name shouldn't be complicated, already trademarked, or easily confused with another company.

How to Name a Business

By David Waring

In the last article in our series on how t...

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a little THANX goes a long way!

November 19, 2013
'Tis the season for holiday cheer.  We are all abundantly aware of this.  Retail traffic skyrockets, holiday music invades our world, twinkling lights appear in the most unexpected places, and wannabe Santa's are on every street corner.  Many businesses take advantage of the season's spirit by inundating us with 'sincerest wishes' that we do business with them, or 'invite' us to participate in their 'holiday sales', thinly veiled attempts to tug at our heartstrings and our pocketbooks at the ...
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Holidazed and Confused

November 12, 2013
'Tis the season when many businesses see a surge in sales [and profits] but many seem to lose sight of their own image in the process.  You have spent countless hours on graphic design and merchandising for your business over the years, choosing a very specific 'look' that represents your image and brands you as a unique operation.  Then the holidays come along and it all flies out the door [or up the chimney].
In an effort to fit in with the spirit of the season many entrepreneurs and busines...
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You Oughta Be in [moving] Pictures

November 5, 2013
Everyone is on the internet these days.  Activity on the 'www' has skyrocketed.  Smartphones and tablets connect the customer on the go with their friends, families and businesses.  For all intents and purposes, the world operates on a virtual platform.
Savvy business owners have known this for some time now, and many of them have undertaken great efforts to ensure they have an effective and informative website.  In fact, it has gotten to the point that many consumers are taken aback by anyone...
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Jelly Beans & Gibberish

October 21, 2013
Expressing your true feelings and genuine thoughts is an integral part of blogging and, indeed, all social media interactions.  Being true to yourself [and your brand] is what builds your brand image and strengthens your bond with your audience.  There's really not much point in feigning affection for a cause or a concept if your real-world interactions will speak to the contrary.
This idea flies out the window, however, if you happen to be a well-known stand up comic with a reputation for the...
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Some Realtors Do It Online!

October 4, 2013
There are a lot of ways to gain recognition and build a following in the professional world.  Getting known is an important step on the ladder of success in many fields.  Real estate is certainly no exception.  And there are a multitude of paths one can take to get noticed by their audience. 
Having a starring role on a hit television show is certainly one way, but not an easy one to accomplish.  Fortunately for Josh Flagg he was tagged by Bravo to appear in Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles ...

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Marketing ... Just Cause

September 27, 2013
There are as many ways to get your name in front of your audience as there are people and products on the planet.  Some are time-consuming, expensive and ineffective.  Others are simple, affordable and extremely effective.  Most fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes.
One insurance company has found a way to get their name in front of millions of customers and prospects while tugging at the heart strings of all who see their message.  I'm not talking about the Progressive SUV's tha...
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The 21st Century Book Trailer

September 18, 2013
In days gone by, when someone said 'book trailer', the image of a well-worn RV with a vinyl banner plastered on the side came to mind.  Its dingy paneled interior featured shabbily-constructed cheap bookcases stacked with hundreds of used and abused books about history, aliens and cooking.  A frumpy woman in an oversized pink cardigan stood watch at the door, and the lanky, stubble-faced driver glared creepily at the crowd. 
Those days are long gone. Enter the new breed of literati, embracing ...
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Keep It Clean, People ... Dirty Doesn't Sell!

September 12, 2013
Getting the word out about your business is a great way to attract new customers and retain old ones.  If your shop is located on a busy thoroughfare, a vehicle emblazoned with your message and bold graphics can serve as an effective mobile [or stationary] billboard. Drive it around town when you pick up supplies or deliver your products ... or park it curbside in view of passersby and you could attract the attention of countless drivers and passengers in your own neighborhood.
However, just l...
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and effective ways to

enhance your online image. 

Art Smith

239 850 2728

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another Artrageous idea! One of several times I had the pleasure to share the company of Sir Elton John ... Supporting a great cause and helping out a small business at his Oscars Party in Hollywood. Let's discuss what I can do for YOUR business ...

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Art Smith

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