Tag: Events

Let’s face it, owning a business and being an entrepreneur can sometimes be incredibly tough, frustrating, time consuming, and downright dirty. We are the manager, the marketing team, the social media department, the accountant, and sometimes even the intern. But in the end, we do it because we wouldn’t have it any other way. Deep down it makes us happy. And that is what we strive for at the Academy for Happy Entrepreneurs, to see you happy!

That’s why my good friend Gillian Rees (of Confident Entrepreneurs) and I created a series of workshops for entrepreneurs and small business owners! We want to give you the tools, guidance, knowledge and confidence to grow a thriving business that at the end of a long day makes you happy. Our quarterly workshops will focus on just that! With topics ranging from how to market your business (online and off) to how to plan and set goals for the year ahead, our 2015 workshops will set you up for success!


Coming Soon!

In today’s world, marketing and social media are a must for your business. Whether you are a retail store or a consultant, businesses thrive when time is spent on marketing. In this workshop you’ll learn business and marketing strategies that you can implement right away to get noticed and sell, sell, sell!

This workshop will include…
• In-Person Networking
• Intimate Class Size
• Private Facebook Group for Continued Learning
• Discounts on Other Workshops
• Access to Two Experienced Coaches
• And Plenty More!

Morning Workshop

The morning workshop includes coffee, donuts, and the two sessions below.

Business Strategy and Marketing
• How to identify your ideal customer
• How to create a marketing budget (time and money)
• How to position yourself within your market + pricing questions answered
• Why you need a good website

Social Media
• Why social is right for you
• How to build relationships not followers
• Top 5 Do’s and Dont’s
• Top 5 Tools for Efficiency
• How to create a content plan
• Social Insights and Analytics

Afternoon Workshop

The afternoon workshop includes the morning sessions, lunch, and a group mastermind.

• A Deeper Dive
• Morning Session Included
• Dive Deeper Q&A About Morning Sessions
• One-on-one time with the coaches to go over your Social Media and Website scorecards (includes 3 action items for how to improve)
• Mini-Mastermind Session

If you’re looking to take your marketing and social media to the next level this workshop is for you! Not only do you get access to two professional coaches, you get actionable advice and a list of tactics you can implement right away to generate results.

We will be hosting quarterly workshops to help you grow & market your business. Sign up to receive notification of our future events!
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Let’s face it, there are literally hundreds of social networking sites you could dedicate your time to these days. And I get it. Between keeping up with Facebook, trying not to feel overwhelmed by Twitter, and creeping the competition on Instagram you’re being told to add yet another social network to your repertoire. Except this one is different. As an entrepreneur this social network can make all the difference in the world… of course I am talking about LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is one of the most powerful business networking sites, and you absolutely should be using it daily! We can’t be everywhere, so for those times when someone is in need of a marketing specialist, a hair stylist, or even an engineer – your LinkedIn profile is there to tell them “I’m your gal/guy!”

LinkedIn should be an important part of your online networking strategy as it’s the ultimate platform for meeting key decision makers who need you and your services.

Interested in learning more about how you can use LinkedIn to grow your business? Join me on March 24th at 7:30pm at Kitchener City Hall for a LinkedIn workshop with WINC Waterloo.

In this 1 hour session you will learn:

  • • How to Set Up Your Profile to Get Noticed
  • • How to Add Connections & Screen Connections Who Add You
  • • The Importance of Recommendations
  • • How to Utilize LinkedIn Groups

Interested in learning these LinkedIn strategies? Members of WINC are welcome for free, while guests are $25. Register and get your tickets today!

Can we get honest for a minute? I feel I am overdue for an honesty post. I travel a lot for work. I’m gone at least once every month; anywhere from 2 to 7 days. There is this preconceived notion that travelling for business is sooo fun and glamorous; well, yes and no. Being away from the office for a week only to come back to 100+ emails is not fun. Getting to hang out with celebrity chefs at a cooking demo is fun. Driving past all the beautiful scenery, shops, and interesting museums in a city you’ve never been is not fun, because chances are you will only see these places one more time – on the way back to the airport. Enjoying team dinners at unique and interesting restaurants is fun. You see where I am going here!?


One thing you do gain when travelling so much is knowledge; and with that knowledge you form tips and tricks that help you along the way. With well over 30 business trips under my belt, I do have a few tips for those who are just starting out in the “travelling for business” game…

  1. Carry-on only! It will make breezing through the airport so much faster.
  2. Street view it! If you are going to multiple places in a city you have never been, it never hurts to check out the building(s) and surrounding area using Google Street View before travelling. That way you are not wandering around all over the place.
  3. Book it right away! If you know about your trip months in advance, book your flight right away. Chances are very slim the price will do down (more often than not it goes up!), so save yourself the stress and money, book it!
  4. Travelling takes time. There are lots of line-ups, crowds, and waiting. You never know when you are going to encounter these. Assume at every location there will be a crowd to wade through, and line to stand in, and someone to wait for; book your time accordingly.
  5. WiFi on the plane. If your flight is over  3 hours, splurge on the in-flight wifi. Better to use that “spare” time in a productive way.
  6. Carry on must haves. Gum, kleenex, chapstick, advil, hand sanitizer. Have them on you at all times… because you just never know.

Travelling for business is touch and go. Sometimes it can be a really fun experience, other times, not so much. I’ve been lucky enough to have amazing clients, so travelling for business is quite enjoyable.

Speaking of travel, if you are wondering what I got up to last week in Seattle, you can see my guest post over on The Mushroom Channel.

Safe & Happy Travels!

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Sometimes I get the opportunity to do some pretty cool things, in some pretty cool places for my clients. My trip to the University of Southern California was no exception. Hanging out on campus all week and enjoying some stellar mushroom dishes were just some of the perks of this trip.

To see what exactly I got up too, check out my post on The Mushroom Channel.

This morning I had the opportunity to attend the first ever Rogers Talks Series at the Kitchener Conference Center. If you haven’t heard of this new series, Rogers is hosting multiple talks across Canada this month to celebrate Small Business Month. Speakers and thought leaders present ideas and actionable tips to help keep small businesses competitive. It’s not only informative, but a great networking opportunity.

This morning’s speakers included Ron DeRuyter, Business Editor at the Waterloo Region Record; Linda Ockwell-Jenner, Entrepreneur and Professional Networker; Ben Kelly, Account Director LinkedIn Canada; and Scott Wilson, CEO, Rankhigher.ca. All gave extremely insightful tips and advice from their field of expertise. Here are some of my key takeaways:
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We are halfway through September… yup, I’m going to stop right there and just marvel at how fast this year has gone by. Simply fascinating.

So far 2013 has been a great year. I’ve had the opportunity to speak at several conferences (including the 1st ever Food Bloggers of Canada conference). I’ve attended conferences. I’ve given webinars. I even flew across the country to speak on a panel. And now, I am truly honoured and excited to be moderating a session this Saturday at BlogPodium with Meredith Heron and Neil Gazmen on Using Social Media to Grow Your Business.

Using Social Media to Grow Your Business

Why is social media important for businesses? Listen in on this fascinating discussion with Meredith Heron, Interior Designer and television host, and Neil Gazmen, Store Manager of West Elm Toronto. Using Twitter, Facebook, and blogs, Meredith and Neil have skillfully grown their business presences and translated online connections into offline sales.

Moderated by social media specialist, Brittany Stager, this conversation will focus on:

  1. which social media platforms to use and why
  2. how to balance your business brand and personal voice
  3. tips on engaging followers
  4. the importance of “social” in social media

An interesting conversation full of handy tips, attendees will walk away with a better understanding of how to effectively use the power of social media for business growth.

If you would like to attend BlogPodium this Saturday registration is still open, but you will be waitlisted. If you’re interested in following the conversation, I will be live tweeting the event via the @BlogPodium Twitter handle.

Don’t miss out on Canada’s largest design and lifestyle bloggers conference!

I am both excited & honoured to be heading to the very first Food Bloggers of Canada conference this weekend to speak on an panel of brand and blogger experts. With 80 bloggers and another 20+ brand representatives, I will have captive audience to share my knowledge and experience with.

If you’re a brand attending any conference you should be prepared. Know what actions have to be taken before, during and after the conference. Rarely will you get a chance like this to make a personal face-to-face connection with your bloggers, so take full advantage of it. To get you started, I put together a Conference “To-Do” List for Brands….

To-Do Before the Conference:

Announce Your Attendance // Before the event, announce your attendance and/or sponsorship at the conference. Tell your audience what the conference is about, and what you will be doing there.
Interact with the Attendees Online // As soon as the attendee list is available, you should start following all attendees. Adding them to a Twitter list can help you keep track. Engage with them around the conference. Ask who is going, what they are looking forward to, and let them know you will be there.
Prepare Your Business Cards & Offers //  Depending on the conference rules, you may be able to hand out coupons for you product with you business cards. Make sure you have enough on hand to give out to bloggers who really take a keen interest in your product. This can help build a strong personal connection and keep your product top of mind.
Know Your Bloggers // Chances are a few of the blogger you have worked with will be attending. Make sure you know who they are, what they look like, and even what their past week has involved (read their blog). These should be the bloggers you search out first, connect with them, reinforce that relationship.

To-Do At the Conference:

Make Use of the Hashtag // Use the show hashtag to promote yourself as much as possible (without overdoing it). Most conferences have a designated tag, and when they see that being used, they will re-tweet you, giving you more reach. Make sure your spread your tweets 20-30 minutes apart, so you don’t flood your followers’ streams.
Share It It Real-time // Share your photos/videos on your social networks in real-time. Facebook is a great platform for sharing photos in real-time. Take at least 10-15 photos & 1-2 videos and post them to your wall throughout the event. Encourage blogger attendees to post to your wall as well, or tag themselves in your photos.
Network // Get to know the attendees well, make a lasting impression on them – you may find yourself working with them in the future.
Write It Down // Take notes during the sessions, this can be an educational experience for you as well. Use those notes to write informative blog posts which will allow you to capitalize on search traffic.

To-Do After the Conference:

Close Up + Follow Up // Take out that stack of business cards and follow every single blogger on Twitter, Facebook and their blog. Visit their blog and comment on their conference post. Tell them it was great to finally meet them in person, and you look forward to working with them in the future. Solidify your relationship. In the following weeks monitor the conference attendees blogs and Twitter stream for any mention of them using your product. If they mention you, comment on their blog post and engage with them on Twitter.
Blog About It // Do a wrap-up post on your immediately after the conference describing your experience  The timeliness will help you capitalize on the conference generated buzz. Mention the bloggers you met. What you learned at the session. Include lots of “pinnable” pictures. If you have more than 10 great pictures from the event, consider creating a Facebook album. Encourage the conference attendees to tag themselves in your pictures!

Remember, this is just to get you started. There are so many uses for social media when it comes to covering an event. It’s a great tool to create buzz around you and your products, and hopefully make you the busiest brand rep at the conference!

How do you use social media to promote yourself at an event, consumer/trade show, or conference?

Are you a blogger attending the upcoming FBC Conference? Then check out my Conference Attendee “To Do” Lists on my personal blog.

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{photo via Alt Summit}

Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to attend TweetStock, an event designed to educate businesses about social media and teach them how to grow their brand. The theme was a fun one – Social Media High, and it drew in lots of attendees with varying skill levels, as well as knowledgeable speakers with lots to say.


My schedule for the day was a full one – an opening assembly with Un-Principal Scott Stratten, sessions ranging from Twitter & Facebook 101 to Social SEO and How to Be the Voice of a Brand, lunch in the TweetStock High cafeteria, and of course a graduation address by John Morgan. There was certainly a lot to learn… and a lot to take in.


If I had to pick one major “takeaway” after listening to several talented speakers it would be to be awesome.



This was a topic that was heavily stressed during the opening address by Scott Stratten, throughout the day in several of the sessions, and in John Morgan’s closing remarks. Being awesome shouldn’t be a task for your company, awesomeness should be worked into your company at every level – from HR to the community manager. Being awesome also applies to your marketing strategies – stop trying the same old marketing tactics that consumers have come to hate – pushy ads, cold-calls, flyers – and start listening & responding to what your customers want.


Here are just some of the awesome tips Scott Stratten mentioned:

  • Life Tip from Scott Stratten: “Don’t eat everything you see in Istanbul.”
  • If you’re only awesome to influencers, you are not awesome…
  • Do great things and you will be talked about in social media.
  • Passion + Knowledge = Awesome
  • You can’t automate awesome! It’s the people that make it awesome!
  • Hire people who are passionate & have great interpersonal skills. Good employees add value… and awesomeness.
  • Use QR codes wisely (if at all). They do not work on bill boards, emails, underground, if moving, or if site is not mobile.
  • Social media fixes nothing, it just amplifies.
  • Twitter is not dictation, it’s conversation.
  • I would rather have 1,000 email subscribers than 10,000 followers on Twitter – the shelf life of social is very short.
  • Branding is what you do… it’s your actions. Social influence is your brand, it’s always changing.


I was also pretty excited to receive a copy of Scott’s new book “The Book of Business Awesome“… can’t wait to start reading it! (and if you hurry over to amazon.com you can snag a copy for only $3.98!)


Did you attend the event? I’d love to check out your posts to hear what you thought… just leave me a comment with your link below or send me a quick tweet @Group_Talk.


Are you ready to get social? We'd love to hear from you! Drop us a line! (Please note that we currently have a waitlist).


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