Sunday, November 22, 2009

Planting Your Message With Social Media

Social media, like today's soft rain on dry ground, soaks down thru layers, spreads out and nurtures your business.

Like a farmer wanting a good harvest, you need to plan:

  • where you will place your message

  • when will you place it

  • what will you say

  • how frequently will you say it.

You need to find a balance. Posting too frequently can annoy your audience and turn them off, too little and they can forget you.

It may seem overwhelming, for it can be. Help is available through outsourcing. Virtual assistants/social media mavens can get you started and keep you social media marketing refreshed. Be sure your assistant understands social media marketing, as well as, your business voice. Finding your voice and expressing it is my specialty. If I can help you, let me know. Contact me at

Judie Fouchaux

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Where to Start When Getting In To Social Networking

Planning to get into social networking as a business marketing strategy? Don’t know where to start? Perhaps this will help.
The first step isn’t finding networking sites. The first step is thinking about what you are going to do when you get there. What will you need? How will you make it all work? Is this a quick “run the flag up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes” plan, or a long-term plan that is well thought out, precise with achievable goals? Considering the time and effort you will put into social networking to make it work, it should be a plan for the long-term.
Before you set up a social networking site have ready:
· A short bio (some sites allow you to upload a resume).
· An “elevator pitch” (a paragraph that succinctly expresses what you or your company does).
· Your picture for your profile (in jpeg format).
· A blog or website where visitors can find out more about you.
Be prepared to dedicate some time to this adventure. If time is of the essence, help is available through outsourcing. Skilled social media strategists can get you started, take some of the load and fill in where you need help. Contact me if I can help you.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cracker Barrel Marketing

Social Media Marketing is time consuming. There is no doubt about It. It’s time consuming because it isn’t just having customers drop by to make a purchase. It’s setting up your “cracker barrels”, putting on the coffee and tea and taking the time and effort to make relationships. It’s talking to people and, more importantly, it’s listening to your customers. There's no better way to find out what they need and how you can help them.

Every year there is an increase in online buying. When you shop online, don’t you feel reassured when you can read positive reviews of a company or hear good things about them from someone you know? I know I do. Searching on the internet for information on products and services is becoming more and more frequent. That’s one reason to get your information out through social media marketing. Setting things up, getting started and being consistent all take time. The benefits outweigh the effort though. And, there are virtual assistants out there who specialize in helping you create a great social media campaign. I’m one who would be happy to help you.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

We Are The Artists Who Create Our Lives

We are all artists of our own lives. No matter how much we dress alike or act alike, we are still unique expressions of the life force in our world. As Martha Graham wrote, “There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it.”

If we chose to accept that she is right, there is a responsibility that we have to express our uniqueness in our lives. Forces in the world today are attempting to make us smaller, more closed in, more fearful. I have found that by going into myself I can connect with an inner knowledge that supports me in growing and developing my own uniqueness. I see the world differently, more creatively. There are more possibilities.
There is more joy. I bring that joy and creativity to my work. If I can help you achieve the same ends please let me know.

Judie Fouchaux
Creative Crosse Roads

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The "Blunderbuss" Approach

Today's marketing through social networking might look like pellets from a "blunderbuss" or shotgun; scattered over a vast area "with the power of the burning charge divided among the pellets, which means that the energy of any one ball of shot is fairly low." (Wikipedia) This is so unlike the advertising of a few years ago, when people shopped mostly in large malls choosing their stores by name and discount coupons, that it is often misunderstood.

The advertising done in the past by radio, TV and the newspapers was very direct, like someone aiming a bullet at a bull's eye. It might go straight and true but it might glance off the target uselessly. As large shopping malls took the place of the local shops consumer loyalty disappeared. They clipped the coupons and followed the bargains. This type of advertising probably worked well for the large stores in well populated areas where customer turnover didn't harm the bottom line. It has been of no help to small business entrepreneurs with limited advertising budgets.

Today's consumers are becoming different types of shoppers. They search the internet for information before making purchases. They look to small businesses as well as large. That's why no matter how scattered social networking looks...IT WORKS! Unlike what happens to the pellets fired from an actual blunderbuss, these pellets of information get spread around, shared and help build relationships. They help you to connect with existing as well as potential clients and customers who learn to trust you aw you tell them your story. These consumers then pass on their relationship with you to others, building a community.

Ifyou want to build your business in today's world, you can't overlook social networking as a tool. You need an online presence and strategy. It needs to be active and consistent.

Judie Fouchaux
Meeting Your Social Networking Needs

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happiness at Work

Are you happy in what you are doing? According to a recent report the majority of people working today are not happy. They work for their pay checks. Some of us who felt that way have gone into business for ourselves. We’ve chosen to follow the saying of Confucius that if we “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” It hasn’t always worked out the way we expected. If you start out small, with a limited financial backing, you may find yourself doing the necessary things that you don’t really like doing.

As time goes by, you may feel you are back in the same place you were when working for others. Dissatisfied. The tricks here, I believe, are:
(1) To stay focused on your goal. What was it you wanted to do when you started your business;
(2) To reach out for support from a mentor; and
(3) To find the help you need in the areas that are not your strengths so you can build from your strength.

In the area of Social Networking to grow your business, I can help. Just let me know.

Judie Fouchaux
Creative Crosse Roads

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Analyze, Set Goals and Build

You have an idea. You are starting a business. Your great idea will carry you only so far. What else do you have that will help you create the business you want? First step: analyze this. Where will your talents and expertise support you in growing your business? Where will your weaknesses threaten your results? What are the ways you can get around those weaknesses? Can you build a team to help? With that knowledge, you can begin to set goals that strengthen your business.

In our businesses we often set the big picture goals. I want my business to be flourishing by the end of the year. I want to be rich by the end of two years. These goals wonderful end pictures, but still in the dream world of generalities. In order for these things to happen, we must be specific and positive. What does flourishing look like? What is rich?

Each person may have a different answer to those questions. That is why it’s important to be really specific in what you want; how you want your business to look. It is also necessary that your goals are expressed in a positive manner with the goal achieved. Once your long-range goals are specific, you need to have short-term goals (weekly, monthly, quarterly) that will move you in the right direction. They too should be specific and have a realistic time frame. It keeps you focused. These goals are the framework on which the business is built. Keep them handy; refer to them often. They are the signposts for the trip forward and the journal of the challenges you have overcome.

Judie Fouchaux

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Prop Master

For years I have been the prop master for the Don’t Quit Your Day Job Dancers ( creating everything from a bejeweled mirror for a Cinderella to a dozen ice bags for an after a party dance. “What has that to do with social networking?” you ask.

Props are the aides the actors and dancers use to help their audiences become a part of what is happening on stage. They support the audience into having a relationship with what is happening on stage; into becoming a community during the performance.

Social networking does the same thing for entrepreneurs, by helping create relationship between you and your potential clients. Your social networking presence should let people know whom you are and what you have to offer. It is the prop that gets you known. Then, as you build your community in cyberspace, you build credibility and trust. From people who know you, as once customers knew their local shop owners, you will gain your most loyal and trusted clients.

If you need help in establishing you social networking presence, feel free to contact me.

Judie Fouchaux

Saturday, August 8, 2009


I was reading a blog by Dusky Skye ( in which she speaks on creativity. She described it as a muscle “one which may be more or less developed” – a sentiment I hold as well. She included a bibliography at the end of her blog, which was quite extensive. What I noted, however, was that the entries had been written from 1974 through 1988. It made me wonder. Did we get so creative after 1987 that we no longer needed this type of encouragement to stretch the creativity muscle?

I can ‘t believe the need for creativity is past. If anything, I believe we need it more than ever to face and solve the problems in today’s world. We have seen that repeating past solutions doesn’t change anything. So, we need to step out of the box and come up with new, creative solutions.

Wikipedia states “another adequate definition of creativity is that it is an "assumptions-breaking process." Creative ideas are often generated when one discards preconceived assumptions and attempts a new approach or method that might seem to others unthinkable.”

Social networking is a new creative way of marketing. It is also a new way of bringing people together into communities, of building relationships, of creating understanding and possibility. It’s a way of sharing knowledge and opening our minds. However, for it reach its potential, we, who use it, must discard our assumptions and open ourselves to new ideas, new ways of seeing things and not just transfer the old patterns into a new space. It is in this way that we must ourselves be creative.

Judie Fouchaux
Creative Crosse Roads
Taking your seeds and growing your client base and exposure.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My Business Adventure

When I left Corporate America I unwittingly began the great adventure of having my own business. In the beginning it was a journey without structure but with strong purpose. I knew I had a service to provide and the determination to provide it. As with many journeys, I had to leave some baggage behind. The first thing I gave up was my victim. While working for someone else as “the Boss”, one can easily feel that if things aren’t going as smoothly as you envisioned them it’s because of someone else or some unchangeable, immovable situation. That doesn’t work if you are on this great adventure of working for yourself.

Probably the second bit of baggage, I left behind was thinking I knew all the answers. Just because I’d done things one way while working in a corporation didn’t mean it would work that way with my new clients. They were varied and with different needs and systems already in place. It was my responsibility to adapt and fit it.

What I needed to pack for this adventure was an openness to what was actually there, a flexibility to go with the flow, the ability to see the big picture at all times so that the end results were not lost. Important things to tuck into my luggage were: excellent communication skills, computer skills and a good sense of humor for when the going got tough. Some people think you need to take along an elephant’s hide to keep from taking things too personally. While that might work for some, I’ve always found it better to take things in and let them flow through me using what seems appropriate and letting the rest go. In that way I’ve been able to keep the momentum going and help my clients move forward.

Because providing my services is always part of my business adventure, I look forward to every day.

Judie Fouchaux,
Creative Crosse Roads
Meeting Your Social Networking Needs

P.S. If you should need virtual assistance or a social networking strategy, contact me at the email address below.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Waiting: Some Ways To Reduce the Stress

Everyone knows that having to wait is stressful to people with things to get done. How much better it would be if everything ran smoothly and we didn’t have to wait? Just when we think we have it solved by Internet banking, online bill paying and doing it all from our phones, there’s a phone call put on hold for an indeterminate amount of time. Can nothing be done? I say it can be less stressful. What does it take? It takes attitude for a start. Assuming that at some time during the day we will have to wait, plan ahead. Here are some suggestions.
Ø Have a book or article to read; one of those in your to be read basket.
Ø Phones today are so versatile. Use yours if it is. Check your emails; delete the trash and respond to friends.
Ø Tweet – get some of your frustration out by thinking of something positive to say
Ø Make notes of your next 5 tweets, ideas for blogs, shopping lists, or to do’s. Be prepared with a note pad, index cards or a phone or PDA for the note taking. (Index cards work better than little slips of paper and the back of old receipts or napkins.)
Ø At the office, use the time to open the snail mail, look through a catalogue.
Ø Drink that glass of water you know you need.
Ø Do at your desk exercises or stretches.

I’m sure we could come up with a longer list. Any suggestions?

Judie Fouchaux,
Creative Crosse Roads
Meeting Your Social Networking Needs


Monday, July 20, 2009

Surviving in a Sea of Websites

The internet has become a vast sea of websites. Is your website lost in the waves? With so much information out there, is it more difficult for people to find your information? You may be bringing the world the best service or product; however, if your website is bobbing around in the sea of websites, it could be missed. Social networking is a great tool to increase access to you and your website. One of the advantages is that your prospective clients get to know and trust you before they do business with you. Through blogs, articles and social networking sites, you can create interest and direct traffic to your website. It is a way to build a community of people interested in what you are doing and saying.

What you are doing and saying attracts followers when it is educational and gives out useable information. It takes some creative thinking and understanding of what you want to achieve to accomplish this. Some questions you might ask yourself (and your team) are:
What is my expertise? What can I bring to the world? How will it improve people’s lives?
Who are my ideal clients?
What might they need to know about me to attract them to my services?

This is a beginning to a new way of doing business that is growing and will continue to grow in the future. Social networking is a way to survive.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Once I met a man who was giving a group of us a tour of the United Nations. He claimed he had never “worked” in his life. He had been fortunate enough to always have jobs he enjoyed so they had never been work.

Not all of us are that fortunate. I know I’ve definitely had to work at some jobs over the course of my life. Now though, happily I can understand what he meant. From my first explorations into social networking as a career, it was exciting and fun. I’ve met wonderful people and made good friends. I found a challenge in the learning and the doing that won’t get old quickly. Now that I’m actually working in this field I can say “I’m not working any longer.”

The enthusiasm I bring to my work helps clients use social networking to build their businesses with confidence and ease. What a wonderful thing a win-win situation is!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I have often heard people say they are going into their own business to get balance in their lives. It started me thinking about balance. Often balance is seen in terms of a 50/50 split. I’ll spend half my time on one thing and half on another; half at work and half at home. Like achieving balance is standing with one foot on either side of the fulcrum of a seesaw and struggling to keep the board level. That seems to take a lot of effort. It only works for a short time and under circumstances where the seesaw is stable on the ground.

Most of our lives aren’t that stable. Balance for us, it seems to me, is more like traveling a crowded bus or subway when you don’t have a seat and need to hang on to the overhead strap or a pole to keep from falling down. You achieve balance more easily in these situations by being flexible and hanging on while keeping your body loose to go with the motion.

That seems to work in business too. When feeling overwhelmed or that everything’s moving too fast, be flexible, go with the motion, reach out to a virtual assistant to keep things moving and stable.

As a word wizard and chaos dissolver, I can help. Give me a call at 415-331-7181 or email me at