I guess I don’t “Cut the Mustard” … thanks Grey Poupon

I guess I’m not good enough to eat certain brands of mustard 😦  As an avid eater of Grey Poupon mustard, I was interested to read that they had launched a campaign today on Facebook, that requires one to apply to become a ‘member’ of their Facebook page. Instead of simply ‘liking’ the page, you have to submit an application that screens your Facebook profile, to determine if your up to snuff to be granted access to their Facebook page. (If you ‘like’ their page, they will cancel that like – somehow).

At first it seemed ingenious! I mean, how better to create a loyal and engaged following than by being selective about who you interact with.  But what happens if they’re selection filter isn’t working properly, and once loyal eaters are denied access? Well – they lose customers, and they create negative feelings towards their brand.

Ok – maybe I’m just a sore loser. But if I’m a lifelong eater of your product, and am not living on the streets, enjoy food, travel internationally, and am a reasonably well established business woman, how do I not fit in :/


I’ll be keeping an eye on their campaign to see how they’re doing. I like innovative and creative marketing ideas. And love this concept, in theory. Not sure their selection criteria or filters work well enough to test the loyalty of their users. Here is a small sample of the Facebook page posts:

2012 Resolutions? Bah….

2012 Resolutions

I am not big on resolutions. I think it goes back to my 20’s when I tried every year to set a resolution, and stick to it. It would start out the same – pick from the following:

  1. Diet
  2. Quit smoking
  3. New job
  4. New boyfriend
  5. Etc…

Then, mix in a little effort




And give up in a month..

Happened every year! And then I went through the feelings of guilt and dissatisfaction – for not completing my resolution. So now I just enter every new year with the goal of being the best I can be.

That’s it. Happiness, success, and everything else should come along naturally with just being the best I can be.

So what do you do? Are you a “resolutionist” ? Share your resolutions in comments below, or if you are like me and don’t resolute, then feel free to share that too!

Happy 2012, and be the best you can be!


Got Klout?

UPDATE: Klout just released this great infograph that I thought helpful to those who have read this post on Klout. Enjoy!


Klout score and analysis

Do you have Klout?

When I first started noodling through social media land, back in the day (July 10, 2007 according to Facebook), I knew I was an early adopter, but wasn’t really too concerned about my Klout. What is Klout? According to Wikipedia: the company, Klout, “uses social media analytics to measure a user’s influence across their social network. The analysis is done on data taken from sites such as Twitter and Facebook and measures the size of a person’s network, the content created, and how other people interact with that content.”

So what is the benefit of having Klout? Ever wanted to be ‘famous’? Klout may help you get there. Want free stuff? Want to be an early user of cool stuff?  All this ‘apparently’ comes with having Klout. On the Klout website, there is a “Perks” tab, that shows you different rewards you ‘might’ be eligible for, IF you have KLOUT!

Klout Perks

Now, I have what is considered to be a fairly decent Klout score of 61. Some of the people I think are BIG social influencers have scores only slightly higher than me. But I never seem to receive decent Perk offers. Aren’t there companies out there that would like a socially savvy, 40+ female marketing executive to try out some of your cool stuff? Each “Perk” has eligibility requirements, and the good perks go really quickly. So either I’m not eligible (see image below where ‘location’ makes me ineligible) or I’m too late.

Klout Perks Eligibility

I hope smart businesses take note of Klout and leverage social influencers. Maybe one day I’ll get to try that shiny new product before anyone else does… 😀

Creating an Innovative Workspace: Part 1

update your blog cartoonI know – I’ve neglected my blog. I feel bad, but I’ve been trying to balance my work and life lately, and my blog was something that had to be put on hold for a bit. That said, I’m back!

I’ve been involved in some recent meetings at work that reminded me of a time at AOL when we were encouraged to ‘innovate’. Those were some good times. We had great employees, leaders and we still had a great spirit in the office. We were each given $50 to decorate our cubicles, and each team were given space on the floor to go to town on. Our conference rooms became stately libraries, or had posters of stars who had worked with AOL, and there was color everywhere! Everyone seemed really inspired during this time.

One of my former AOL colleagues styling in one of my hatsI really went all out on my cubicle and brought in mats, posters and a hamper FULL of toys – like hats, bats, balls, colored paper and pens. I used these items in meetings that I was involved in to inspire us to think differently. To be more innovative. Think outside the box. It worked. Many new ideas were created during that time. Good ones.

We also started an Innovation Forum where we brought in speakers from around the company to share the latest on Web 2.0, Marketing, Tech etc. over a brown bag lunch. Good times. And then began the layoffs and our ‘innovation’ waned…

I was really excited to start working at my new company. But I was concerned with the sterile office space I’d be inhabiting. I know how I work best and when I’m most productive. I now that some of my best work comes when I’m comfortable, and feeling inspired. The new space? White walls and beige cubicles. No color in site. The view is phenomenal, but is hidden from view for most of the employees by cubicle or office walls.

View from the officeMe? I have an office – so I’m grateful. But it is an interior office, with white walls and big old dark wood traditional office furniture. I can put things on the wall (with permission). I brought in a number of items I felt might help my team, and might create an innovative and creative environment. Coming up in part 2, I’ll share some of these ideas. In the meantime, check out what one of my favorite companies does. Hail MailChimp!

It’s the Little Things – Launching a New Product

JoyIt’s the little things that give me joy….

Its been a while, and I apologize for that. But I’ve been working like crazy on a new product that my company is launching. I thought it might be interesting to share a bit of inside scoop on how we’re building this thing. I love my job… I really do!

So, what is “it”?

Sold.com My company is launching a Daily Deals website – Sold.com! Yes, there are many others out there, but we are fortunate to have a solid company behind us, a fantastic URL, and have experience building strong field sales teams, and customer service teams. So, what are we doing that is different? Well, we hope that we can provide best in class customer service to our merchant partners and customers.

Ultimately, though, we want to give quality deals.

I have been working with our talented design team to come up with our website concepts, and we have been testing a few looks over the last few days. We also have a new logo, that we hope is a better fit with the look and feel of the home page concepts we will use for launch. So many of the daily deal websites have a similar look and feel, so we wanted to create something that looked a little different, and made us stand out from the crowd. I hope we have been able to achieve that.

I thought it would be a great opportunity to engage guerrilla marketing agency to push a promotion in one of our launch cities. I’ve narrowed my search down to two agencies, and am excited to see what creative and innovative solutions they will present. Once the details are finalized, I’ll share them here on my blog. I love guerrilla marketing…

Well, folks. I hope you’ll join me on this journey over the next few months. ~Sonya
Disclaimer: All views and opinions expressed are mine and do not necessarily reflect any of my affiliations.

UPDATE: Check out what our manager has to say about Sold.com here!

Follow Up – How To Make Me Hire You

You're Hired

My recent blog post: It’s the Little Things – How to Make Me Hire You had such a huge response! I’m happy to report that I made offers to 5 of the candidates who interviewed with me last week! One of the candidates I hired was the gentleman who returned after the interview and hand delivered a personalized thank you letter.

I also decided to start a job listing page on my non-profit’s website to list all the opportunities that are sent to me to post. So if you have a position open in Hampton Roads (or anywhere really), let me know and I’d be happy to share it with my network. Feel free to share the link with your friends in case they are looking for a new opportunity. And thank you all for the fantastic response to my post. ~Sonya

It’s the Little Things – How to Make Me Hire You

Following on from my post : Its the Little Things – How to Make Me Your Customer, I thought I’d cover a post on how to make me hire you.

I’ve been interviewing people for positions I have open at my company. Six open positions, dozens of phone screens and interviews, and 20 in person interviews. I feel ‘almost’ like a pro!!! So what does it take to make me hire you? Here are just a few things you can do to “WOW” me:

  1. Be prompt: This doesn’t apply to just arriving in time for the interview. But also in responding to my emails and phone calls! Show that you are interested in the position by promptly responding to ANY communication from a hiring manager.
  2. Dress for success: I had someone show up for an interview in jeans once. Really! Yesterday, I interviewed a gentleman who was dressed impeccably! He had on a gorgeous suit and tie, subtle cologne, and his clothes were wrinkle free. I was able to focus on his talents and personality, vs. the horrible outfit he was wearing. Dress for the job you want!
  3. Come prepared: Nothing irks me more than candidates who show up for an interview with little or no preparation.
    1. Research the company you are interviewing with. You should understand the brands, products, and history at a minimum.
    2. Have a few questions ready to ask. If you don’t know what to ask, then google “questions to ask a potential employer“. A couple I like: “What is your management style”, “What are the top three qualities an employee needs to be successful in this job?”, “How would my job performance be evaluated?”
    3. Check out my LinkedIn profile! Maybe we have a few contacts in common. What a great ice breaker 🙂
  4. Do not look at your watch: Yes, it has happened. I’ve been interviewing someone, and they’ll look at their watch. Or check their phone. You can be the best candidate, with the best personality, but this ONE action will disqualify you immediately from the running if you are interviewing with me. (Note: There is ONE exception. If you have notified me in advance that you have to leave by a certain time due to a prior commitment, or because you are meeting with me during your lunch break. If you check your watch in this instance, that’s ok with me!)
  5. Do you want the job?: Tell me! We are in a ‘buyers market’ for employers and there are more qualified candidates than ever going after the few positions available in the market. So make sure you let me know if you really want the job! If you don’t, then tell me so I can move on to the next person. I like to hear people reiterate that this is the job for them.
  6. Be unique: This one is a little harder, but there are ways to accomplish this. Here are a few ideas that have worked for some of my recent candidates:
    1. Think outside the box for ways to format your resume. You don’t need to hire a designer, but consider putting your name in bold, large sized font down the left column of your resume versus the standard header.
    2. Consider sending your resume via Fedex or UPS. Especially if you have writing samples, creative samples or anything other than a resume you’d like to share with me.
    3. Send me flowers. (Just kidding!)
  7. Thank me: There are a couple of ways of doing this.
    1. Don’t forget to thank me during the interview. This should be a NO BRAINER! But so many people forget to do it!
    2. Send me a post interview or post phone call email thanking me for my time.
    3. You could also go that extra mile like one recent candidate: After the in person interview with myself and two members of my team, the candidate left our office, and returned an hour later with a personalized letter for each of us, thanking us for the interview, and stating again his desire to be hired for the position, and highlighting his skills. We were floored!!! He made an incredible impression!

So – if you need a job, subscribe to my blog. I typically post my open positions or other jobs I know about right here. Happy job hunting!