It's Your Lawn. Mow It.

Small business owners often say they don’t want to be bothered with social media because the learning curve is too steep. Here’s what I have to say about that. Get over it. When isn’t the learning curve steep? Here’s an analogy. If you are a homeowner, you can’t let your front lawn grow wild. Not only…

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FTC To Host Workshops On "Journalism and the Internet Age"

On December 1 and 2, 2009, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will hold two days of workshops on how the Internet has affected journalism. The workshops come in the wake of the release last month of the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, which become effective on the first day of…

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Campaign For Safe Cosmetics: A New Report

[This post was originally published on my Twitwall on March 12, 2009. I think it is important for context to share it with you at this blog as well. You can see the comments on the original post beneath the post itself.] A 32-page report (PDF) entitled “No More Toxic Tub” has been released by…

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Should You Use Your Real Name Online?

Yesterday, I Tweeted my experience linking from a small business owner’s Twitter page to her website, and not finding her name anywhere. There was also no phone number and no address, yet her products were sold via a shopping cart at her site and her newsletter subscription form required subscribers to enter a first and…

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Top 10 Ways For Small Business Owners To Use Twitter Lists

[This post was inadvertently published yesterday. I recalled it, but not before Feedburner picked it up. I apologize for the inconvenience.] A few days ago, Twitter announced Twitter Lists, a great new feature that allows users to create pubic and private lists of people on Twitter. If you read Item #9 on Top Ten Actions…

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Don’t Just Own The Water. Own The Pipe.

In case you haven’t heard, Oprah Winfrey will host the final episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show sometime in 2011 when her contract with CBS Corp. (which syndicates her show) expires. At that time, she will turn her attention to a 50-50 joint venture, announced last year, with Discovery Communications called, “OWN: The Oprah Winfrey…

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Why You Hate Social Media, And What To Do About It

I recently received an email from a small business owner who said, “I hate social media.” In the next paragraph, she asked me what she could to do grow her business, which relies on the Internet for the vast majority of its sales. While the short answer to that question is, “Use social media,” I…

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Even The Media Doesn't Need The Media

This past Sunday, Mike Soltys, a media relations vice president at ESPN, announced the termination of ESPN sports personality Steve Phillips. As you may know, Mr. Phillips has been embroiled in a nasty sex scandal. I don’t watch ESPN, but I’m quite sure that ESPN must have announced this action on the air at some…

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Are You Flying Blind With Social Media?

According to the today’s New York Times two Northwest Airlines pilots flew over 100 miles beyond their destination because they were distracted by their laptop computers. For the 90-minutes during which they were flying in the wrong direction, they did not hear more than a dozen air traffic controllers trying to get their attention. They…

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Unnecessary Laws, Not Lack Of Funding, Are Destroying America's Small Businesses

In his December 12 weekly address, President Obama continued to point out the failures of financial institutions and their leaders, and once again lamented that so many small businesses have closed their doors over the past several months. He also expressed his intention to push banks to give small businesses access to lending “they desperately…

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What's Your Reporter's Beat?

One of the thousands of things I wanted to be when I grew up was a news anchor, and my major in college was Journalism. While I never worked as a journalist, the fact that I trained to be one explains why I have been an early adapter of the concept that small and independent…

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An Open Letter to the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission

[This letter is being sent via fax to Chairman Leibowitz today.] The Honorable Jon Leibowitz Chairman Federal Trade Commission Dear Chairman Leibowitz: I am the founder and CEO of Indie Business Media, and the Indie Beauty Network, a trade organization representing 800+ small health, beauty and lifestyle companies. As an advocate for small and independent…

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FDA, FTC Warn Dr. Andrew Weil About Unauthorized Drug Claims

On October 15, 2009, the FDA and the FTC sent a joint warning letter to Weil Lifestyle, LLC (owned by Dr. Andew Weil, a physician (not sure if he’s licensed at this time in any state) and health/wellness advisor), about a product marketed at his website called Immune Support Formula. The next day, the Today…

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T-H-I-N-K Before You Speak

I strive consistently to help my young children understand the importance of thinking before speaking. As kids, they are prone to blurt out what’s on their mind as it occurs to them. While I praise their honesty, I also emphasize that, the fact that you believe something does not always mean that you should say…

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10 Actions To Increase Your Twitter Influence

As more people turn to Twitter to learn what people are saying about things that matter to them, small and independent business owners using Twitter must hyper-focus our ideas and how we share them. The fact that more people are using Twitter means that there are more potential customers for us. But reaching out to…

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Radio Show and Book Review: My Interview With Marc Warnke

This week’s Indie Business Radio, show features Marc Warnke, author of ONO, Options Not Obligations: Enrich Your Personal Life by Rethinking Your Financial Life Marc is a husband and father of two who, along with his wife, became a millionaire while working as spokespersons for kitchen gadgets. While I did not have time to nail…

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Announcing The Media Is Y-O-U!

Announcing The Media Is Y-O-U, a one-day intensive, hands on social media training workshop designed especially for Indies! If you’re an Indie Business owner, you know how important it is to use the Internet to spread the word about your products and services. Today, doing that is easier than ever with my one-day intensive, hands…

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Join Me for Dinner in Portland, Oregon!

Iam pleased to announce the final Indie Business Revolution event of the year! It will take place at the lovely Bay 13 Restaurant in Portland’s hip Pearl District on November 14 from 6:00 to 9:00. Portland is one of my favorite cities, in part because two of my favorite woman business owners live there. They’ll…

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Radio Show and Book Review: My Interview With Christy Strauch

This week’s Indie Business Radio, show featured guest Christy Strauch, author of Passion, Plan, Profit: 12 Simple Steps to Turn Your Passion into a Solid Business Christy is president of Clarity To Business and has worked with hundreds of small business owners, from artists to real estate agents, helping them do what they are passionate…

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