The Savvy Marketer

Author : , Date : January 22, 2015

savvy-marketer

 

Note by Don Purdum: When I first started this blog in early June 2014 I went in search of finding those to connect with who really understood business and blogging. Donna Merrill jumped right out of the crowd and I knew immediately she was someone I wanted to connect with and get to know. She has been a successful business owner for over 30 years both offline and online and she is the perfect understanding of both those worlds.

Take it from here Donna:

 

The savvy marketer is the one who knows that building a business, either online or offline, requires teamwork.

I don’t know of any successful marketers who have reached their goals purely on their own, without help, assistance, coaching and a team of professionals working with them.

Of course, I know plenty of people who have tried and not succeeded.

I usually run into them when they finally realize that they need some guidance. They want to be successful marketers, they’ve done everything they can on their own, and now they’re ready to get people on board who can help them achieve their dreams.

When people first turn to the internet as a marketing platform, they typically start with a website and/or a blog.

When putting up your first website/blog, though, your first hurdle is drumming up some action. You say to yourself, “Gosh, I cannot find a way to get people to find me here among the plethora of businesses and websites.What should I do?”

Now that is the main question people think when they first start to have their website designed for them. No worries, that’s normal.

There are a bazillion websites up, but how you work it is another story.

From this point on, you have to make a decision to follow one path or another.

It all comes down to having a marketing plan that showcase who you are, what your business is, and how you can add value to people’s lives. It can be an offline business as well as an online one. It doesn’t matter, you are here in this huge space called the internet to brand yourself and your business.

Which path will you follow in trying to achieve this?

Most people that are trying to get their business going online, will follow one of 3 paths.

 

Path 1 – All Dressed Up And Nowhere To Go

 

The first path is for those with high expectations.

This path appeals to the “look at me” types of people. They write all about their business, they espouse their expertise on a topic, they showcase their talents and skills, and might even develop an information product or list of services they can provide to their readers.

The problem is, they don’t have any readers. Or at least, not many.

It’s not necessarily because their content is poor or their expertise is lacking. It’s because they focus purely on their content, and never get around to marketing it.

That’s because they have a fantasy view that if they put good quality information online, people will find it… will find them… and will start to follow them.

It would be like if I went out and bought a killer dress, spent hours in front of the mirror getting myself all fixed up and ready to go, all the while fantasizing about how people will heap praise on my “new look”… and suddenly realize I have nowhere to go.

I call in a pizza and watch an old movie in my bathrobe.

If I really wanted to show off my “new look” I would have to have actually left my house and mingled with a crowd of folks.

Expectations never get you anywhere.

You can’t simply put up a website, add great content and expect things to work out.

It’s true that you need that great content, but then you have to get away from the mirror and mingle with a crowd of folks.

It’s called marketing.

 

Path 2 – Do it Yourself (DIY)

 

The Do it Yourself folks know that they need to market.

They get it.

They put together a blog with some great content, start blasting it out on social media platforms, and build some traffic to their site.

From there, things get a bit tougher.

Now they need a way to funnel this traffic into their business.

They need auto-responders, video upload services, copywriters, payment processors, tax advisers, legal advisers and on and on.

They’re determined to put it all together on their own.

No far into the process, they find themselves so caught up in the technical aspects, the learning curves, the overwhelm and confusion that they realize, “gosh, it can take years to get any traction this way.”

That’s because they’re reinventing the wheel at every step of the process.

They’re making it their business to become expert in too many things, and refuse to turn to the real experts who already know how to get things done.

The DIY folks out there are wasting tons of time. They often argue that they have more time than money, but eventually will come to know that time IS money.

 

Path 3 – The Savvy Marketer

Now lets look at those that are the folks that lie in the three percent ratio of success.

Yes, boys and girls… only 3% of online marketers stay on the right path long enough to reap their just rewards.

So, lets focus on those there percent people who I call the Savvy Marketers.

 

1. They know the importance of marketing.

 

You can be running a brick and mortar Pizza shop or slumped over your laptop working on the best new plugin since sliced bread. Either way, you know you need a market. That means you have to be visible online. Everyone is on their smartphones these days looking for something!

If you are visiting some place and want to know where to get find a good pizza joint, what is the first thing you do? Get on your phone and find one. If you find one that displays a menu, a few pictures, and especially a small discount because you found them via their website…you are there! If you develop a cool plugin, you need to show it off to people who can use it. You need to be marketing online.

 

2. They are not afraid of investing money.

 

Even if they have to go out on a limb to take that chance. They have the understanding that it takes money to make money. That’s why some people will go to a bank and get a “business loan.” Sometimes we do have to borrow in order to get our business moving. Not everyone has start up money.

If you are a savvy business owner, you might need to tap into your credit card, a bank note or your grandmother for a loan. It doesn’t matter… you are willing to take a chance for the sake of building your dream business. This all gets down to that fear factor.

Savvy marketers have broken through that and know darn well they’ll need to invest to have any chance for a good return. OK, I’ll get off the pulpit now because this is one of my pet peeves!

 

3. The savvy marketer also knows that Time is Money!

 

So they hire someone to put up their website. A good professional can make a huge difference in the way it looks and works! Especially when it comes to navigation. People need to get around that website quickly and clearly.

 

4. They need to stand out from the crowd and develop a savvy way to do so.

 

Let me illustrate an example for you: There are three pizza shops in your neighborhood. You like one of them and are their loyal customer because every time you go in there you are welcomed with a big hello.

It gives you that warm fuzzy feeling. Plus, they comp you with something like a free drink. You are now “wowed” by them and swear they are the best pizza place in town.

The other guys on the block, are not so Savvy. They keep their head down, don’t welcome you, and make you pay for every stinking thing in there. Their pizza may be just as good, but they don’t provide the great customer service that their competitor does. So, they don’t get the business.

You see boys and girls, customer service is what you need to be giving. So why am I taking about Pizza? Simple!

Whatever business you are in, your website has to have some kind of enticement for people to want to do business with you. On a website, this might be your email list offer, a free ebook or whatever. Once people opt-in to subscribe to your email list in exchange for receiving the free ebook, there are endless ways to communicate with them via email marketing.

The Savvy Marketer knows this, and is always building a list of loyal customers/subscribers.

That “list” is your permission to offer your highest level of engagement with people who have voluntarily subscribed. That is where you give ’em what they want. A few “did you know” stories, plus a percentage off of a product and/or service. Maybe a “buy one get one free” or “Tuesday night special.”

The opportunities are endless and you will have a good open rate when you stand out from the crowd and give your customers great value and an occasional killer “deal.”

 

5. Savvy marketers also maintain great content on their main website or blog.

 

They know darn well that they are writing for people interested in their niche. They focus on giving them the best knowledge and information they can.

If you are that local Pizza shop for example, you can talk about how that Mozzarella cheese was made.

The guy across the street is at a loss, because he never talks about it. If you are the techie guy that makes plugins, you can talk about how and why you did it and how it can help you in your business.

Get the picture?

Content still is King!

It must ALWAYS be written specifically to your target audience, and must always benefit them in some way.

 

6. When it comes to Social Media, savvy marketers know that they must be on a few platforms.

 

Their social presence online is a “must” because it works hand in hand with their website. Here’s where it gets a bit tricky, but the savvy marketer knows that he is not only going to share a quote or a picture of a cat.

The savvy marketer will share only things that are congruent to his business. In order to keep things “social” though, he’ll throw in occasional glimpses into his personal life.

My two year old just kicked me in my shin!

That’s a personal enough to let your followers know that you’re real.

More than that, the savvy marketer knows how to work social media for the benefit of their business. Lets take a Facebook Page for example…

There is a certain formula to get some conversations going on there.

Ask a question. The Pizza guy would ask something like “When is the best time for you to order your pizza?”

Ask Either/Or questions:

“Do you prefer sweet pineapples on your pizza or hot and spicy peppers?”

Post some “Did You Know” items… “Did you know that there is a caloric difference between our regular pizza and gluten free one?”

And of course, you can post the occasional “Pitch”: “If you stop by on Wednesday, tell us you found us on Facebook and you will
get a free Coke.”

These are just examples of calls to action to get people talking up your business. Always be creating a conversation for others to join.

That’s what a savvy marketer does.

 

7. Savvy marketers also knows that they need to build an online “team.”

 

So they dedicate a good segment of their day for reaching out to others and reading their blogs/websites, commenting, and sharing
content of others. People just love that!

Soon they will reciprocate, and you will start to build a team following among bloggers and readers alike. So you start building your own community, your own Google-alternative. Eventually the word gets out and you become pretty well known in your niche

 

CONCLUSION:

 

Savvy marketing is all about connecting with others. It has to be focused on your readers, and your virtual team, no matter what kind of business you are in. I used pizza here for example, because it’s pretty common to most of us. But the pizza guy needs to keep up with
the big chain pizza stores that have a low end product, but sell like crazy because they are constantly advertising. Also, he has to stick
out from the crowd. I hope I didn’t get you too hungry!

The take away here is that you can be a savvy marketer no matter what you are selling from pizza to the greatest online plugin in the world.

The point being, you need to look at your business as a business.

You must have that marketing mindset whereby you are always providing value to your customers/clients. You need to spend money to make money.

You need to let others do their job for you such as designing your website, one on one coaching, group coaching, graphics work, copywriting, and running your ad campaigns. This is all part of running a business.

If you are not communicating effectively with people who visit your site, you are going to loose them to the next guy.

If you have a fear of shelling out some bucks, you NEED to get over it. Drop the “I can’t afford it” mentality. If you think you can do it all “the free way,” you might not be in business too long. If you really cannot afford to invest some money into your business, you might need to wait until you can. You should never invest money into anything unless you can truly afford to lose that money. Sometimes it happens.

Sorry for being so bold about this, but I’ve had my own offline business for years, plus I operate a successful online business. Many times, I’ve had to go over the top and spend money to make money. Making tough decisions like that are what fuel a business, both
mentally and financially.

 

I would love to hear your comments about this, Yay or nay! Lets get this conversation rolling.

Donna

 

PS I want to thank you Don for having me as a guest on your blog. I am honored to be here and l’m looking forward to chatting with your commenters.

 

About Donna Merrill

 

donna merrillDonna Merrill has had a brick and mortar business for almost 30 years. She never advertised, it was word of mouth and she supported her family in this business. Now she’s on the internet, applying the same principles. Go-giving is her middle name. She loves to Blog and share information.

You can visit her on her website at www.donnamerrilltribe.com

Why the “tribe” name? Because tribes are what rocks in social network.

 

Do you have a question, thought or idea for Donna? If so, share in the comments below and let’s have a great conversation!

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Don Purdum

Don Purdum

Don works with businesses to help them discover who their customers are and what business they are "really" in. He is an award-winning blogger and branding / marketing consultant.
Don Purdum
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24 thoughts on “The Savvy Marketer

  1. Excellent post Donna!

    Your video reminded me of my time growing up in Jamaica. Sundays was that time when we cooked that special meal. The air was filled with the aroma from all the different homes cooking their tasty meal. I think it’s time for a visit to JA…. lol

    Loved your post. Being a savvy marketer is so much more attractive. When I first started marketing I tried to do it alone with very little results. It took me awhile to realize that teamwork truly makes the dreamwork.

    Thanks for sharing the social media tips. I will be implementing them into my Facebook posts.

    Cheers
    Vivette

  2. Donna,
    What a comprehensive overview of the skills and practices needed for basic marketing. So many people lack even the basics. For example, they write a blog or create a video and then put people who didn’t sign up onto their mailing list and then send emails telling them about their new post or video. Doesn’t occur to them to check out and comment on other people’s blogs. It is the building of a caring community that helps to build your business.
    I loved your pizza place analogy.

    Warmly,
    Dr. Erica

    1. Hi Dr. Erica,

      Glad you liked my pizza analogy lol.

      Yes, it is important to build a caring community that helps us build our business.

      These are a few skills for basic marketing and yes, some are unaware of them. They might be full of expectations that all they have to do is put up a blog and then business will start flowing.

      It does take a well thought out plan in order to market!

      -Donna

  3. Hi Donna

    I loved your video as I could the see the energy and passion in you. I also love the analogy you used in the video to explain the concept of marketing.

    Now who wouldn’t want to be a Savy marketer. Who wouldn’t want to achieve success in marketing as timely as possible. As you mention the three paths, I am amazed at how people would want to follow the first two paths but then again, such situation does happen and you find people burnt out until they realize that they need help.

    Being a Savy marketer is more appealing. first of all, It is fun. Then, you get to have a team that can help you speed the process of marketing, make your business profitable and make you build relationships – talk about win-win situation here. There is a reason why the body has different parts that work together in harmony.

    I think today, on the internet, more than ever before, online business need to cooperate and work as a team to succeed. If your business is an island, then you don’t have a business. Thanks Donna for sharing this wonderful post.

    Thanks Don and as usual, keep unveiling.

    1. Hi Awazie,

      Don dug up that video and added to the post..he is some kinda guy isn’t he?

      Yes, I needed to address different paths people take. Just in case someone comes along and they can be enlightened.

      Being a savvy marketer is so much fun. I like your analogy of marketing when you mention that “there is a reason why the body has different parts that work together in harmony.” Great way of looking at things my friend.

      Absolutely, we cannot do it alone…we Need to have a team set up that we can rely on.

      Many thank for your awesome input!

      -Donna

  4. Hi Donna. You made me think of my own childhood. My grandparents lived in North Denver, next door to an Italian grocery with lots of Italians in the neighborhood. Boiled ham on fresh Italian bread. Homemade spaghetti. And that Mogen David red wine smell when I visited the Caranci’s home. And all of Mom’s school chums were my ‘aunts’.

    Loved this article. Treating your business as a business is something that needs to be done. If for no other reason, the IRS after 5 years considers it a hobby and they want the money back for the deductions you took. Thanks so much for all the information you provided in this guest post.

    All the best,
    Leslie

    1. Hi Leslie,

      Glad I brought back some memories for ya! Absolutely, we must treat our business as a business. Oh don’t get me started with the IRS lol. But a good accountant is needed. Another factor I forgot to put in there…thanks for addding that.

      Good to see you here!

      -Donna

  5. Hi Donna, and welcome to Don’s blog – this time on the other side as his guest 🙂

    First off, this was a lovely video. As a person who loved cooking, I whole heartedly agree with you. Good cooking is a blend of your heart, mind, body, and the soul! That was the apt start to your post.

    Oh yes, it’s all team work. There are always people helping and supporting, so if there’s anyone who says he or she has done it alone, I won’t agree to that.

    And you’re right that merely putting up quality content does not do the work. There is nothing like writing good and people will come. And from my personal experience, I can attest to the fact that doing it yourself way is not easy or quick either. Actually, it’s not the smartest way.

    Learning is good and I always loved it. But blogging is hell of a serious job and sometimes, learning everything from scratch becomes too much and takes a toll. So, if I were a newbie blogger, I’d settle for being a savvy marketer.

    You’re right that the most basic and essential thing is to have a marketing mindset, and need to treat your business as a business. And also that you need to invest money into your business, in order to make more money. I agree with everything.

    Donna, this is great insight into running a successful blog or business. Don, thanks for hosting Donna, you both are superb and knowledge banks of learning how to be successful in blogging.

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Happy weekend, both of you 🙂

    1. Hi Harleena,

      Glad you liked that video. Silly as it may sound, it does express the art of cooking and how it must be done with that blend of heart, body, mind and soul!

      The same goes with business. It must come from that kind of energy. When we write something it must be just like that! 🙂

      Indeed, there will always be a learning curve from the beginning you get online and it never stops. One has to be open to that because “learning is earning” Yes, blogging is a serious job and if one wants to learn it from scratch, it can take a lot of time.

      But once we have a marketing mindset we do treat our blogs as a business. We need to invest in business to make things happen. To make money you just have to spend money.

      Thank you so much for visiting and your wonderful input on this conversation!

      -Donna

  6. Hi Donna

    Very great to see you here at Don’s blog.

    A very lovely post and sufficient to differential between savvy marketer and incidental marketer who entered in this field by chance.

    I remember the popular opinion after Germany’s victory in Football World Cup of 2014 that said “Argentina has Messy, Portugal has Christiano Ronaldo but Germany has a team. That is sufficient to understand the significance of team work.

    A creative work can be done alone or better done alone in most of the cases but any activity related to outside world can never be done as an individual activity and a team is must to make it successful.

    It is widely said there are two types of people in workforce. One type is of those who can’t work without a team and other type is those who can work with a team. So team is must to achieve the collective goals. Yes for individual goals one can act alone.

    Thanks a lot for sharing and have a great weekend.

    1. Hi Mi Muba,

      I like the analogy you have given here of the Football World Cup of 2014! Priceless!

      All my creative work is done alone, but I do have a “team” of people I can cherry pick when a client comes along that wants me to Do It For Them. In reality, I couldn’t do it alone, so I get someone to build their blog, find a hosting company for them to choose, set up a marketing plan and delegate some work for them. A copy writer, a twitter specialist, and so on. So yes…it takes a team in order for something to work. That’s an example of someone that is off line or online that wants a business done for them.

      For my business alone, I do have an assistant finally, and also as you know well, work with my husband. But there is more that I need…other people to come to my blog to comment for social proof. The person who set up and hosts my blog, and various other things. Teamwork exists no matter what business we are in when you look at it.

      Thank you for visiting and enjoy your weekend!

      -Donna

  7. Excellent post, Donna. What you’ve written is so true and I think it’s awesome that you’re bold and direct about it. That’s necessary sometimes . . . and definitely needed in this case.

    A few points stuck out for me. One is, “The savvy marketer is the one who knows that building a business, either online or offline, requires teamwork.” Yes, yes, yes. We all do better when we work together. It creates that win-win situation. There’s a saying that it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it takes a village to build a business, too :).

    Another point that stuck out for me was, “It all comes down to having a marketing plan that showcases who you are, what your business is, and how you can add value to people’s lives.” Exactly. You have to brand YOU and it has to be about the value and solutions to you can offer to your audience.

    A third point that I loved was, “Savvy marketing is all about connecting with others.” That is key. It’s all about building relationships. Engaging. Interacting. Getting to know people. It’s not about spouting out information endlessly.

    1. Hi Leanne,

      I seen your comment on this post on my Facebook page and it was wonderful! I thank you for that. Yes, it is bold, but true. And sometimes we need to make a bold statement to snap people’s heads around lol.

      We do all do better when we work together and the quote you mention always rings in my mind when I’m doing business because it Does Take A Village!

      Indeed, we need a marketing plan that shows who we are and what we can do for YOU! Always brand You.Inc. even if one is an affiliate marketer. They have to lead in with their own branding.

      And yes. it is about engaging with others. It is a key role in the scheme of things. We do have to get to know people. And when someone will come to you one day and say “Hey Leanne…could you build a business for me online” you won’t be caught with your pants down because you will get to know the who’s who online. You can say Sure I can…then go ahead and find your friends. Just say’n!

      -Donna

  8. Donna and Don,

    What a pair! Two people I’ve spoken with on the phone in the last week =) It’s fun to feel like “real live friends!” Hahaha good times.

    Anyway, I’m right there with you on the savvy marketers. At NerdyGirl Writers, our clients are those you mention here, the ones who know that you need a steady stream of quality content and social media activity but also those who aren’t afraid to hire out for these tasks.

    Lots of “almost savvy” marketers think you can get these services from overseas for pennies on the dollar and they’re not wrong, but handling a company’s online presence in my opinion is something that must be handled by native English speakers in the very least. Ideally it’s someone from within your company, of course, but a good outsource partner can do just as well.

    Happy (almost) Friday!
    Brittany

    1. Hi Brittany,

      Isn’t Donna AWESOME!!!! I just love this article and the value she brought to it.

      It was fun chatting with you on the phone and today I’m looking forward to recording our podcast together for my new podcast series.

      It’s interesting you bring up the oversees context, over the years I’ve grown steadily to the point of realizing that US based companies ought to do business with US based companies.

      The reason is more legal than any other. While I know there are many outstanding businesses that can help us in other countries in the areas of copy, web design and development, etc.; if things go wrong in the relationship or quality of work or if there is a serious legal issue there is very little recourse available.

      I can’t tell you how many horror stories and and tens of thousands of dollars in one project that was lost because a company went cheap and then lost it all because they couldn’t afford the recourse.

      I agree with you also that native english speakers are at a natural advantage if you’re a US based company who’s customers are in the US.

      Again, that doesn’t mean there aren’t great companies oversees. It just means we have to really be thoughtful about what’s in the best interest of our companies.

      Great comment Brittany!

      ~ Don

      1. Hi Brittany,

        I did have fun connecting with you on the phone. You captured my interest in all you do and I wanted to know more about you…I was not surprised what a wonderful person you are and a great businesswoman!

        I too am so glad you brought up the point of hiring people oversees. I do have an assistant now and she is home grown USA. We can understand each other so well and she is a freelancer. I tried poking into hiring people overseas in the past and interviewed quite few.

        As Don mentioned above, I heard some horror stories too. There was one gal I absolutely loved but she couldn’t work for me unless it was through her company otherwise she would get in trouble. Hmmm….. It was an immediate turn off.

        Thanks for coming by!

        -Donna

  9. Well, of course, I’ve got to agree, Donna, that the path of the savvy marketer involves many diverse steps.

    I think this is why so many people choose not to follow this path. It involves, as you point out, great dedication, focus and even investment.

    Unfortunately, internet “marketers” so often search for the “easy button,” the “push button” solutions and the latest software that is going to make everything so easy that anyone can do it. And, because they’re on the internet, they somehow think all of this will be free.

    The savvy marketer knows that the internet is in fact a very powerful place to do business, but, it’s still based on sound business principles.

    Developing great content requires a lot of work, and building engagement on Social Media platforms is a huge time commitment. That’s why it’s really next to impossible to do the kind of marketing necessary to build a great online business without building tribes of peers and teams of supporting professionals.

    That’s one of the unique things about blogging, I think, that you get to build such close relationships with people who help propel you forward.

    1. Hey David,

      To be a successful marketer it does require dedication and investment. There is no easy button to push and those who look for the “free” way spend years online without making a penny!

      Yes, it is a powerful place to be as long as we base it on sound business principles. Business is business period!

      Building engagement on our blogs and social networks are a part of the business plan. It does show social proof of who we are.

      Thanks for coming by!

      -Donna

    2. Hi David,

      Donna is so awesome. I really appreciate her contribution to my blog as well as the contribution of you incredible comment!

      It’s just never easy enough to say do this or do that… is it?

      You are so right on every point. My biggest takeaway from your comment is the realization that while the opportunities online are enormous, that makes it even more important to have the foundations of your business settled that I talk about so often:

      * What business are you “really” in? (not as easy to answer as many think it is and is tied directly to your business model)
      * What problems do you “specifically” solve?
      * Who do you “specifically” solve them for?

      What strategies, goals and objectives (or tasks) do you have… in other words do you have a plan to follow and measure against in all areas of your business:

      * Marketing
      * Sales
      * Production or product delivery
      * Customer Service
      * Administration

      The barrier to entry on the web has made it easy to start something and call it a business. But that doesn’t make it sustainable or scalable.

      Just because a business is online doesn’t mean the principles are any different. Content alone cannot make your business grow and thrive. It still takes learning and understanding your business.

      I hope you have a great weekend. Thank you for an awesome comment!!!!

      ~ Don

  10. Well said Donna 😉 I am huge on the standing out bit. Some marketers do all things well except standing out and the issue lies in authenticity. Like, folks are doing their best to be truthful and honest but they just aren’t themselves. Recently I’ve become much more online like I am offline. My posts are how I genuinely intend to write them, because I am fearing criticism less and am enjoying being an authentic story teller more and more.

    Guys, loving the share. Keep up the inspired work Donna and thanks Do for sharing the platform!

    Ryan

    1. Hi Ryan,

      I know how well you stand out. I just read your latest post and I’m still laughing lol. You are doing such a great job with your story telling, I do savor the entire pillar posts you write….it is you and your adventures tying it in with a congruent message of value to others.

      If we are not authentic, and honest we really won’t get anywhere because people do have a funny way of knowing that. Call it intuition, or gut feeling…People do know on some level.

      Thanks for stopping by,

      -Donna

    2. Hi Ryan,

      Of course you’re huge on standing out, that is clearly one of your strengths!!!

      Good for you in learning more of who you are and incorporating that into your blog. I love what you’re doing.

      Isn’t Donna AWESOME! What an incredible business and marketing mind she has… and she blessed me by sharing on my blog. I’m very grateful.

      Have a great weekend Ryan!!!

      ~ Don

  11. Hi Don,

    I want to thank you for your kind introduction and being here as a guest on your blog is a true honor. Every time I look at that zany video I still laugh at myself lol. But on a serious note, one needs to be a savvy marketer in order to stand out in the crowd. You sure do my friend and thanks once again!

    -Donna

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