Being Bruce -: October 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wilmington Professional Group at North Chase SPA-LON

For its last regular monthly meeting of the year, the Wilmington Professional Group went all out at Sandy Powell's North Chase SPA-LON. Below Brian Anderson of SendOutCards greeted members and guests as they arrived.

David Merrill of Hertz (oops, back to camera, sorry David) and Michael Bird of WordWright Web.

David Nye had a display for ClickCheckSave.Com a local business membership service with bonuses and offers good for a full year. All attendess at this event got a free one year membership.

A better shot of David Merrill, this time with Ann Willard of All Kinds of Stuff promotional products company.

Ezell Willard of All Kinds of Stuff and Wilmington accupuncturist Chris Peterson.

A goodly-sized crowd built quickly.

Mark Evans of Green Cleaning Technicians.

Debra LaRue of U-First.

Sandy Powell of North Chase SPA-LON, Debra LaRue, and Gayle Tabor and Jenn Beddoes of Glynne's Soaps.

Shannon Andrews of WordWright Web.

Natasha Davis of Wilmington Communities in School arrived laughing. Natasha's laugh is contagious.

Neal Whitington, Ezell Willard, Ann Willard, and Dee Whitington.

A better shot of Ann and Dee.

So the Wilmington Professional Group had another very successful event. Be sure to check the group's website for upcoming meetings.

Strictly Business at Midtown Seafood - October 28, 2009

The Big Talker FM's weekly Strictly Business networking event was held at Midtown Seafood on Oleander Drive this week.

The first new person I met yesterday was Robert Lewis of Lewis Dental Labs in Wilmington.

Shortly after I met Robert, Manuel Lopez, Jon Hicks, and Eleazar Herrara of Ethos Design Studio came in. They'd had a busy day and were ready to network and eat!

Jerry Ellis of Telcom Communications was on hand as well.

Eleazar and Doug Jackson of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty.

Elaine Huston of PrePaid Legal and Sarah Barbee of Fussbudget Promotions (she makes a "fuss" about your business while staying in your "budget").

Mike Moore of Atlantic Car Care (in the red shirt).

Ed Croom of 2Plus7 Online Benefits Club on the left and Paul Whitehouse of Loper Media web design business.

That's Ray Linz of A&R Glass on the left and Kent Milholland, President of NeoNexus Corp.

I'm not sure where next week's Strictly Business will be, but check back at The Big Talker event web site.

TrySports - A New Store in Wilmington

Yesterday I stopped in to a new (to me anyway) sports equipment store in Wilmington, NC's Mayfaire Town Center. Try Sports focuses on equipment, apparel, nutritional products, and accessories for swimmers, bikers, and runners - as well as triathletes of course (not a stretch considering the store's name). My friend Brian Moxey suggested I stop in to say hello to Noelle and the staff at Try Sports, so I did.

Below Noelle Flauaus, Customer Relations Executive for Try Sports stops just for a moment for a photo with Mike Kinsella and Lou Galli.

TrySports also has locations in Raleigh, Charlotte, and in Mount Pleasant, SC. The local store address is 925 Town Center Drive, Wilmington, NC 28405.

For more info, call 910-256-2395.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ashton Place - Broker Luncheon October 27th

Brookside Homes' Ashton Place in Leland, North Carolina continues to package and market home and lot combinations in central Leland that appeal to first time homebuyers, but during a broker luncheon today the builder and sales folk stressed the variety of potential buyers to whom this small (fewer than 100 homes) gated community appeals, including families and active adults.

With prices from $159,500 to $189,500, Ashton Place's floor plans range from 1,252 to 1,950 heated and cooled square feet. All have two car garages. For closings before November 30th of this year the builder will also provide $4,000 in closing costs!

Sales agent Dottie Kilpatrick welcomed us to Ashton Place.

This furnished Bradley Creek model seems much larger than its 1,489 square feet.

Ashton Place is located off Old Fayetteville Road in Leland, just east of Landvale Road.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Business Social Media Tip #18 - Check Them Out

Wonder how others in your business use social media?

Guess what? It's easy to find out. Just use the readily available public social media sites and networks and you can see what your friends, alliances, and competitors in your industry and in related fields are doing.

Whether you look up business by name, by category, by location, by key word or search term or even by asking who does whatever [replace your business category for 'whatever'], it couldn't be easier to find out how others use social media for marketing and relationship building.

You may or may not want to engage in "competitive intelligence", and you can take it to extremes and avoid doing much yourself, but surely it's a good idea to stay informed about how others businesses in your field (especially good ones) use this powerful marketing tool.

When you're checking out other companies' use of social media, keep in mind:

- Just because someone has a flashy page or presence on social media that doesn't necessary mean it's a great idea. Keep it all in context and first assess the business. A great way to approach is to look at the use of social media by the companies in your field you most admire.

- Don't blatantly copy something you see that you like. That can backfire. Look for inspiration, but do your own work.

- Don't assume that you are seeing all that goes on. Companies that use social media well blend it with other marketing and customer/client relationship modes and methods. To check out the blend, why not call the company (if you're on good terms) and ask to talk about it. Alternately, if you know or can find some customers of the other companies, ask them.

- Don't get too stuck on using social media for competitive intelligence, and look for tools or methods to simplify the process, for example, searching on keywords that matter in your business to see what folks are saying.

- If you're looking for inspiration but don't want to copy what other businesses in town are doing, look in other states with similar markets and see what the market leaders in your field are doing there.

Combined with Internet search engines, social media can be a very powerful way to stay informed about your business sphere even if you don't use social media much or at all yourself.

Wilmington Tweetup at Corporate Skirts, 10/21/09

Last night's Wilmington Tweetup was held at Corporate Skirts in The Forum in Wilmington.

Organized and promoted by Sarah Barbee of Fussbudget Promotions, with beer and wine provided by Front Street Brewery and Corporate Skirts, the event was successful as usual, providing a chance for folks who ordinarily meet via Twitter, to see each other in person.

Sarah's dog Beanie, @beanie_dog on Twitter, was a welcome addition.

Shannan Bowen, social media reporter for the Wilmington Star News is on vacation this week but didn't want to miss the meetup.

And resume and business writer Dawn Bugni of The Write Solution was on hand as well.

Along with Kimberly Brumsey of KB Organic Skin Care and Waxing.

And Jennifer Caslin and Becca Jones.

Kimberly with Courtney Parker, one of Corporate Skirt's owners.

Joan Loch of Crescent Moon (awesome art glass), Tamara Paul, co-owner of Corporate Skirts, Mike Loch, and Courtney Parker.

Sarah, some guy who wandered in off the streets and Courtney.

Jenn Beddoe of Glynne's Soaps.

Jennifer, Gayle, Becca, and Katie Borland of The Fancy Bug.

Gayle Tabor of Glynne's Soaps.

Nick Kentrolis of Crest Fitness.

Dawn won a drawing of a SendOutCards SOCBox, donated by Fat City Cards, the independent SendOutCards distributorship my wife Marge and I own. I can't wait for Dawn to try to card software - I'm biased, of course, but I know it's great for business and personal use.

I'm not yet sure of the date for the next Wilmington Tweetup, but here's a hint about the place - buff up your bowling shoes.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Strictly Business - Cameo Nightclub - Oct 21 09

It was a beautiful day in Wilmington, followed by a fine evening of business networking events. The first was The Big Talker FM's Strictly Business at Cameo Nightclub in Lumina Station at 1900 Eastwood Drive. The Tiki lamps were lit and the party was on!

The first person I saw was TownPlanner's Mary Bennies. She held a pivotal spot at the event (which means she sat at the end of the bar) and greeted everyone as they came in.

Steve West of N2 Publishing never misses a Strictly Business event.

Doug Jackson of the Leland office of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty and Big Talker FM morning guy Curtis Wright. Curtis is the host of the Strictly Business networking events.

Brian Parke, the owner of Cameo Nightclub. Brian puts out a great spread for these events and is a very pleasant host. Pretty cool of him to do that when he also owns one of the hottest nightclubs on this side of town.

Steve Haughey of Worldwide Express.

Elaine Huston of PrePaid Legal and Scott Ball, President of Coastal Document Systems.

Keller Williams' Denise Dakoulis.

Wordwright Web's Michael Byrd and Bruce Henderson of Hanover Center shopping mall.

Sales guy Derek Sellers from Sea-Comm Media (they own The Big Talker FM).

Stephanie Williams, a Financial Advisor from Edward Jones.
Curtis announcing the first round of drawings.

On the far right Mike Moore of Atlantic Car Care and Stephanie Williams.

Curtis and RVSP Cape Fear's Terry Hall.

Yet another well-attended Strictly Business event. Next week it's at MidTown Seafood on Oleander Drive. You can always check the schedule at The Big Talker Event Page or the Wilmington Networking Events calendar.