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November 2003

As promised last month, the second in the virtual professionals survey series - about what it takes to be a virtual professional - is here. Also, inspired by my special holiday postcard offer made a few weeks ago, I am including a new article about postcard marketing and how it can benefit your businesses. For those of you still hesitating to do your holiday shopping online, I've written Turtle's Fool-Proof Guide to E- Commerce with some sites which are very useful for online shopping.

Those of you who know me, and aren't in the Albany NY area, will get a kick out of the PR I got this past weekend. And, of course, I have to share news from the happy client department!

Article: Using Postcards to Market Your Business
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One of the best marketing strategies a business or organization can use is postcards. Postcards have a great reputation amongst guerilla marketers because they are relatively cheap, targetted, get read before going in the trash and fly under the radar of your competition.

With the new web technologies for postcards, it's super-convenient to just send one or as many as you need without the effort of hand writing, addressing and mailing each one.

What is particularly nice about postcards is that nearly any business or organization can benefit from a structured, targeted postcard marketing strategy. Take a look at some of the ways postcards can be used.

How can YOU use postcards to market your business?

Turtle's Fool-Proof Quick Guide to E-Commerce
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If you have hesitated to use the Web for holiday shopping, and want to try it out this year, here is my fool proof guide to staying out of the malls and out of trouble!

To research something before you buy it, try Epinions.com, and read real people's experiences with thousands of products. You can also compare prices on Epinions, but I like to use another review site, PriceGrabber.com, because it calculates the total cost of purchase. Both of these sites are fantastic for brainstorming.

After you figure out what you want, get yourself an Ebates.com account - so you can earn money back on your purchases!

Not sure what stores offer the best experience and security? Go to BizBuyer.com and check ratings and reviews by previous shoppers.

Creating a list of good online shops would be impossible but here are some of my tried and true shops. My favorites for top quality, deep discounts are Overstock.com and Bookcloseouts.com. When I have money to burn, my loved ones get the superb candles from Illuminations.com. My Christmas stockings are stuffed with one visit to Drugstore.com. You can't go wrong with any of these sites - and there are a bazillion more! Happy Shopping!

Article: Virtual Professionals: The Perks & Perils
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People who want to work for themselves from home often aspire to be virtual professionals because it broadens their potential client pool. And today's technology makes it possible. But few people are really prepared for how different it is from the typical job, or understand what preparation and attributes they might need to have before trying it.

Based on my survey of 70 virtual professionals, the article looks at the pros and cons of working virtually, and offers a lot of good advice on how to be a successful virtual professional.

Read the Article

Turtle, Unshelled
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When I speak to fledgling entrepreneurs, I often tell my "bungled publicity story" - how, in 1996, the Albany Times Union tried to interview and photograph me because I was one of the first known web designers they'd heard of in the community - and a female, no less! And how I ran them away, horrified that they'd find out I was building web sites worldwide from a walk-in closet at the foot of my bed. It has taken me 'til this past week to get their attention again - and although it wasn't *quite* the slant I had intended ("Turtle in her natural habitat"), I'll take all the PR I can get, nonetheless!

See the article from this Sunday's business section

Happy Clients
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My challenge this year has been to re-brand and re-educate people about the many new services I was offering. October was a real study in the diversity I was seeking when I rolled out my second company to be "much more than just a web design company." Here is a peek at some of the projects which were completed:

Becky Lake got a new logo and tag line. Her web site development is now in full swing - I can't wait to show you!
The Sterling School in Brooklyn, NY has a new image for their web site home page. This image was contracted by Lois Greene- Hernandez, their webmaster, to provide navigation on the site.
On behalf of my client Lorraine Conoby, I designed and mailed this email invitation from Kingsway Village (a retirement community) to members of the Red Hat Society.
And speaking of postcards - you can see two of the custom holiday postcards I've designed for other companies here
Quick Links
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Other SOHO It Goes Resources & Articles


Official Mumbo Jumbo
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2003 All Rights Reserved - This newsletter is intended to be read and passed around by entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations interested in electronic communication, design and technology. Please don't reproduce this document or its contents without full credit to Eileen Parzek, SOHO It Goes!

   
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