Yep – we’re taking the plunge. We’re going to make an actual, tangible, product that is in no way related to our LocalPinch website. But it is awesome.
We’re making Underballs – the gift of underwear for men that comes in a plastic blue ball!
You can get more information about Underballs on our Facebook page and our website:
We’re currently working on our Kickstarter so we can raise funds, so make sure to like our Facebook page and keep checking back for updates!
Our new site is a simple list of mobile ecommerce sites that will make it easier for you to shop on your phone. The site is designed so that one can easily interact with it using any smartphone. Shopping on your phone has always been a challenge because you may not know which sites are mobile enabled and which are not. If you have ever tried shopping on an ecommerce site that is not mobile ready then you know what I am talking about – it is painful. Shoponphone.org is basically just a list of links to major retailers along with categories that you can shop. Shoponphone.org makes shopping on your phone seamless rather than painful.
LocalPinch.com now has 100 businesses listing gift certificates on our site. LocalPinch.com allows small businesses like violin lesson instructors, professional cleaners, professional photographers and other small businesses to sell online. It takes less than 5 minutes to sign up and a 10% commission after a sale is made.
. . . 50 companies offering gift certificates on LocalPinch, that is!
That may not seem like a large number, but we’re pretty enthused. Here’s why:
- All of our partners selling gift certificates on LocalPinch.com are organically-sourced. We don’t pull deals from big discounters like Groupon, or list coupons we’ve found elsewhere on the web. All of the gift certificates listed on LocalPinch.com were created and managed by the owners and operators of businesses who want to work with us.
- Starting out, our mission was to help local small companies find and do business with customers near them. LocalPinch now offers gift certificates from companies in major cities like New York and Chicago, all the way to small towns like La Vergne, TN, and Gloucester City, NJ.
- We also wanted to provide a breadth of services for customers to find, and we are affiliated with everyone from piano teachers, to home cleaners, to personal trainers, and more.
- Finally, we wanted to be flexible in how we provided value to our partners – whether a business had an established web presence already and just wanted another footprint, or wanted a LocalPinch profile to be your entire e-commerce presence, we’ve successfully worked with both types.
While we’re excited to be off on such a good foot, and to have 50 partners at this phase of development is exciting, our real value to you, whether a business owner or customer, comes from volume. The more businesses we can partner with on our site, the easier it is for us to bring new customers in and offer great products and services.
So if you run a small business, or you know someone who does, we would greatly appreciate you letting them know about us! Please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to get in touch!
There was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal a while ago that put current US jobless rate in perspective, and honed in on a very important change in the way employees are sought.
Essentially, training programs are disappearing, and companies are looking for candidates with the ability to start a job and require no training or additional knowledge. This is causing a huge disconnect between the employers, who are cited as being unable to find “qualified” candidates, and job seekers, who are seeing record levels of unemployment.
The author correctly points out that the employers’ issue is not one of having a market shortage of qualified employees, but rather an inability to find perfect candidates at prices they are willing to pay. As the economy slowly comes out of its extended slumber, companies are going to have to re-evaluate they way they source their candidates, and the training they are willing to provide. The “perfect candidates” are going to be picked up by the employers willing to pay the salaries needed to attract them, and other companies need to be willing to hire smart candidates with the ability to learn a job with proper training. Otherwise, those candidates will be snatched up by employers willing to offer this.
Going away will be the graduate degree-toting unpaid interns. Companies that offer the recently forgotten management training and apprenticeship-type programs are the ones who will find the most value from their “un-perfect” (but more affordable) employees.
Part 2! Here are some best practices for using your company’s Twitter account to encourage engagement:
- Follow, and be followed by useful and influential people in the industry or area, or within customer groups you seek to engage, or who are going to be interested in your content.
- Be an expert on something – and link to any publications and videos you may have produced. There is little point in creating content if it isn’t going to be pushed out.
- Run deals and promotions – or link to your facebook page if you’re running a deal there.
- Follow your competition. Twitter is a great way to keep tabs on competing businesses. See what they are posting about, what products they are launching, and what their customers are saying.
- Follow other industry news. Use Twitter to keep up not only with competitors, but also with general industry goings-on. Especially useful if material is valuable to your own followers and can be redistributed.
In the spirit of the holidays, LocalPinch will be providing a 3-part series on best practices in using social media.
Every business should have a social media presence, even if just a simple one. Depending on the resources your small business has available, your ability to follow through with full campaigns may be difficult, so try and maximize the value from your posts, and take advantage of cross-sharing your content throughout your channels, such as blog, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and more.
To kick off, here is a rapid-fire list of tips for using your business’s Facebook page:
- Encourage interaction with your posts! Likes and comments will help posts appear in others’ newsfeeds.
- Each and every post should give fans a reason to engage.
- Consider having regularly scheduled “themes”. For example, Bonobos, the men’s clothing site, posts several times a day, focusing on different topics each day of the week. Monday covers men’s style, Wednesdays are an open forum for questions, etc.
- Don’t focus on “making a sale” or forcing content down the throat of your audience. Facebook should be about engagement and conversation.
- Ensure that the company blog, Twitter, email signature, and even print materials include links and call to actions to join the Facebook page (and the same should be reciprocated with the other platforms).
- Run contests on your Facebook page. Great for building customer interaction and return visitors. Something Orbitz already does a nice job of.
- Build loyalty to your Facebook fan base through advance access to information or perks, or exclusive specials, contests, or products. Consider even allowing fans to make insignificant company decisions to feel even more involved.
- Ask questions. Facebook users can often be a brand’s most loyal customers, and a company can get valuable feedback simply by asking.
- Find out what you can measure besides simply the number of “likes” or impressions. Facebook is about engaging, but WHY are we engaging our fans?
Stay tuned – next we’ll be giving a rundown of how to get the most bang out of Twitter!
According to Mashable “It contains every page of every U.S. issue of Vogue published since the magazine launched in 1892, indexed and searchable. A yearly individual subscription is $1,575.”
A little Internet marketing commentary here – why wouldn’t more magazine companies do this? I can think of several titles that would make insta-cash uploading their entire collection of old magazines and sell a subscriptions to the content.
- Sports Illustrated – for sports buffs? they can download the content and print it out. They would love it.
- Sexy mags – Playboy, Penthouse etc. I guarantee if these magazines were to upload their “vintage” content for the world to access for a fee they would see added revenue.
- Trade magazines – create searchable content that is accessed for a fee.
- Golf magazines – all those old tutorials. Guys can comb the archives for tips from their favorite pros.
- WSJ and NYtimes – easy to access research
As the (printed) magazine industry starts to decline magazine titles need to find new ways to distribute their content. Other than new issues for Ipads, and phones etc. why not monetize the old content for avid readers.
There is a big debate in Chicago these days about the Rod Blagojevich sentencing that went down yesterday. Some people think that he got what he deserved while others think it was too much. So that made me think – what are some of the sentences for other major crimes compared to what Blago got?
First of all – lets review what he was convicted of. “Over the course of two trials, Blagojevich was convicted of 18 criminal counts involving the attempted sale of the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama, illegal shakedowns for campaign cash and lying to federal agents.” Basically this all adds up to Corruption which is a no no when you are a governor.
Here are some of the crimes happening in your neighborhood everyday and the typical sentences
Sex Crimes like Rape and assault get about 6 to 7 years.
Burglary -” approximately one third of all defendants convicted in state courts are sentenced to probation” according to a leading law website I researched.”
Arson – “It is estimated that property losses due to arson exceed $2 billion each year. In the federal criminal system, the average sentence for arson is just over 7 years.”
Bank Robbery – bank robberies tend to be all over the place but it looks like the sentence is about 30 years.
It all depends on US Federal Sentencing Guidelines but it seems to me that 14 years a bit much for someone that didn’t really DO anything. He never actually got the money for Obama’s seat, but he did talk about getting that money. I definitely think he should have been impeached and probably fined and most likely sentenced for some time. But 14 years (in my opinion) is a little severe.
Federal Prosecutor Pat Fitzgerald wants to “make an example” of Blago but I don’t think you can do that with someone’s life. Other opinions please comment.
As a Cubs fan, I can’t say I’m not happy Albert Pujols will no longer be terrorizing the NL Central. I can’t say I’m not happy that Cardinals fans feel hurt, betrayed, and rejected. However, this deal is no good for anyone involved.
Here’s why it’s bad for the Cubs:
1. The Cardinals were good enough to win the World Series last year with Pujols hurt for a stretch, their best starting pitcher (Adam Wainwright) out for the season, key position players out for various parts of the year with injuries, and a retread bullpen that went through about four different closers who were all fired for being completely inept until getting to Jason Motte at the end of the season. This means the Cardinals are probably still going to be pretty good this season.
2. And now the Cardinals have money to spend. Is getting a Kendrys Morales, Prince Fielder, or Carlos Pena really that much different than having Fat Albert manning 1st base? Well, yes, but now they have the opportunity to go solidify every other position on their field.
3. It makes the price for Prince Fielder even higher. With Pujols out of the picture, Fielder is the last elite free agent left, and the Cubs really need to grab him. Unfortunately, if I were Fielder, I’d be looking at that fat contract for Fat Albert and thinking, “hmm. . .he’s a lot older than me, and starting to get injured, and he got $250 MM? Yeah, that sounds about right for me too”.
Here’s why it’s bad for the Angels:
1. He might be several years older than his purported 31. Let’s say he’s 34 in real life. Do you really want to pay this guy $25 million a year from ages 40-44? He’ll be swinging at the ball with his cane!
2. Uh, you’ve already got two good first basemen. Kendrys Morales, when healthy, can be one of the top 1st basemen in the league. When he’s not, Mark Trumbo can fill in and give you 25 HR and 100 RBI.
3. It’s the other parts of your lineup that need improving. Vernon Wells is terrible, Alberto Callaspo had a lucky year, and the bullpen other than rookie Jordan Walden and Scott Downs is pretty bad. In the same vein, the Angels picked up CJ Wilson to make their already great starting pitching even better. The Angels might have to field a team of all starting pitchers and first basemen at this rate.
4. The price tag. We’ve seen what happens when players get paid too much: A-Rod with Texas – team goes bankrupt, Soriano with the Cubs – team’s hands are tied for years, Barry Zito with the Giants – pitched so poorly and inconsistently he actually brought more value to the team on the frequent occasions he was injured.
Here’s why it’s bad for the Cardinals:
1. Yes, you now have a lot of free-agent cash to blow, but other than Fielder, you’ll be settling for a downgrade at 1st base.
2. Duh. You lost Albert Pujols. Unlike, say, Stan Musial, who became a Cardinals legend not only for his great play but also his tenure and loyalty, Pujols pulled a LeBron James and jumped ship to the highest bidder. Fans will be upset – this is thousands of jerseys they’ll have to burn.