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Mary Schmidt Business Builder & Renovator


Idea Pool

Tired of blah-blah seminars?

Mary Schmidt

Feb 13, 2006

Tired of juggling your schedule and/or driving all over for business seminars that are often little more than stale sales pitches?  Well, my Real-World Roundtable is now a tele-seminar series, with extras including an e-letter and special pricing for personal consultation. To participate, all you need is a credit card and a phone.  We’ll be talking down & dirty, nitty-gritty about strategy, branding and marketing tactics. 

This series is limited to 25 participants and I promise - no

In Start-Up Sanity Checks, Marketing Troubleshooting

Is Adult Learning an Oxymoron?

Mary Schmidt

Feb 09, 2006

Winston Churchill “Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.” - Winston Churchill.

This quote comes to mind as I work on my new on-line office.  As much as I love to learn, I was all “webbed out” by yesterday.  The Bare Feet Studios Geek Queen and Da Brain (Roxanne and Shane) always very patiently explain to me why, why not, how, where, etc. - but there are times I just do not want to be taught! 

Things that appear simple - such as adding a PayPal button -  go all, as

In Marketing Troubleshooting

Super Bowl? Super Yawn.

Mary Schmidt

Feb 08, 2006

It’s now Wednesday and I still don’t know (or care) who won. Not that I have anything against football. I grew up in a family of devout OU (Boomer Sooner!) fans and Mom is glued to all the games all weekend. I’m just not interested. Which brings me to advertising. Is it done for the “right” reasons? (more about that in a sec) Is it reaching the right people? (even if the audience is the perfect demographic target for the product and your pitch is riveting - will they all be in the bathroom

In Marketing Troubleshooting

Bartender Mktg. Model

Mary Schmidt

Feb 04, 2006

As regular readers know, I love a good martini and making one is an art.  Which brings me to “bartender marketing.”  If only all of us were as skilled at building customer loyalty as a top-notch bartender!

I meet a friend once a month at Mykonos, a local Greek restaurant with a lovely low-key bar.  When Jim sees me walk in, he starts making my vodka ‘tooni, up, very dry (with three olives, yes, indeedy.)  And, it’s so cold it’s almost chunky.  And, he also remembers my friend’s wine order. 

In Marketing Troubleshooting

Blog or web site? Web 2.0?  What?  What?

Mary Schmidt

Feb 01, 2006

We bloggers blog endlessly about - well - blogging.  And, some folks get pretty impatient with us “Yeah, yeah,  Mary - it’s great, you love it.  But I’m up to my eyeballs now.  How can the palavering help my business?”  and, “What the heck are you talking about with all this Web 2.0 stuff?”

Well, this week, I’m walking my talk - that the line between blogging and “web sites” is disappearing.    And, that’s part of Web 2.0 - it’s all about functionality and interaction.  All the software

In Marketing Troubleshooting

“Or they’d kill themselves.”

Mary Schmidt

Jan 30, 2006

Taos Kachina Peak

I spent the weekend in Taos Ski Valley, which has some of the steepest and longest runs in the country. And, they have a world-class ski school and great services for all types and ages of skiers. It’s more than snow and mountains - it’s a top-notch customer-loyalty system.  But, what started the whole system?

Passion. The founder Ernie Blake poured his spirit and his funds into developing the valley. He was tough and single-minded (by all accounts) and yet encouraged (browbeat?) a lot of

In Start-Up Sanity Checks, Marketing Troubleshooting

Advertising in the Age of Google:  does it work?

Mary Schmidt

Jan 23, 2006

Google has become a world-shaking force to those of us who work in the virtual world.  We blog our brains out analyzing trends and technologies, writing long essays and talk, talk, talking.  All of which I love.  However, my client base doesn’t want to talk theory, they need to quickly know fundamentals such as, “Should I do ‘pay per click?‘“and “Are Adwords a good idea?”  Maybe, maybe not.  Here’s why.

One New York Times article headline was “How Google Took the Work out of Selling

In Marketing Troubleshooting

Start-Up Sanity Check for B2B Tech Ventures

Got a great idea? Are people telling you it’s crazy? Good! You’ve got to be a little insane to take that start-up leap – rather it’s out of your garage, the lab or a day job. I'll help you decide where and when to leap (and what to do when you land).

Investment: $500.00 (Why do I call it an investment? Two reasons: 1. If you’re willing to pay, that tells me you’re serious. 2. When you pay for advice, you’re more likely to value and use it.)

Drop me a line and we’ll see if we’re a good fit. If I can't help you, I’ll tell you (and if possible, tell you who can.)

Got funding? I work with one to three start-ups a year, on retainer (minimum of three months, maximum one year).

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Social Media Isn't Free, Easy or Magic.

If one of the self-anointed experts contacts you, pitching magical thinking, ask:

1. What results can I expect if I work with you? (Note: Twitter followers aren't necessarily customers.)

2. What kind of time will I have to invest? (Social media, properly done, is all about personal relationships. You with your customers...and a good relationship takes time.)

3. How do I integrate social media tools with my current operations? (Your salespeople need to know what you're saying on Facebook. Your customer service process and policies should be consistent across the board, from phone to Twitter.)

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