Facebook Marketing with George Kao

To get your Facebook posts seen by your ideal audience — reliably — it’s become increasingly necessary to use Facebook Ads to spread your message or offerings. You don’t have to spend a lot. Just $30 per month on targeted FB ads will go a long way.

In this video, we discuss the 3 steps for doing Facebook Marketing and Ads effectively.

For those who want to go deeper than this free conversation, and access a comprehensive online course that offers step-by-step training, check out the Facebook Marketing course. Only $45: www.GeorgeKao.com/TadHargrave

Blog for Clients: An Interview with Corrina Gordon-Barnes

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 5.21.53 PMI’ve known Corrina Gordon-Barnes for a few years now and my respect and affection for her have only deepened. She coaches, consults and runs a very fine blog for conscious service providers. She’s got a lot of thoughts worth hearing about how to create a blog for yourself and how to do it in such a way that it actually gets you clients rather than wasting your time (In fact, she’s made her popular Blog for Clients course available as a self-study training course).

Blogging is something I know a bit about, having written 600+ blog posts myself. However, I can tell you that I’ve written precisely zero of them with any sense of strategy. It’s been a way for me to get clear on my own thoughts. What Corrina is offering here is a far more strategic, wise and profitable investment of time than anything I’ve done.

So, I thought I would invite her to share her thoughts on the matter.

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 5.27.36 PMTad: What is the difference between blogging and blogging for clients?

Corrina: I like to use the analogy of cooking.

Scenario one: I’m by myself. I’m cooking a soup. Yum, I’m going to really enjoy this soup. I’ll just cook according to my taste, I won’t consider quantities, I’ll just focus completely for myself; my and my soup is what I’m all about.

Scenario two: I want to feed my friends. They’re hungry. They’re coming over in two hours. I think about their allergies, their taste preferences. I plan out my cooking so I have enough provision for all of them and so that it’s ready on time for them.

This is the difference. Blogging is for me; blogging for clients is when I focus on others, think about their needs, think about how I can serve them, and then work backwards, getting strategic? about how to meet their needs through what I’m offering.

When we’re blogging for clients, we blog in such a way that it gives potential clients a taste of our approach, plus – importantly – what we have to offer through our paid-for products and services. When we blog, we give our potential clients an opportunity to fall in love with us, to feel safe with us, to feel that somehow we’re aligned and belong together. We’re in the same resonance.

Blogging might be fun in and of itself, but blogging for clients actually leads to clients, increased credibility and increased income. Blogging for clients is not about writing as a hobby; it’s about blogging as your key marketing activity. It actually works for you, supporting your business to grow and flourish and become profitable. AND it’s thoroughly enjoyable.

Why do most people’s blogs get so little engagement and no clients for them? What are they missing?

They don’t first decide what they’re selling and then work backwards from there. They don’t reverse engineer their blogs. In my self-study training course, Blog for Clients, we start with the product or service you want to sell more of, or have people hire you more frequently for, and then we choose blog topics and structure the blogs with this end in mind.

Wow. That’s so simple. Totally.

People at first worry about being strategic or having structure, they worry it’s going to limit their freedom or creativity, but here’s the truth: the writing of the blog actually can be more creative and free-flowing, once you’re writing from strategy and structure.

Another thing people miss is that they don’t give blogging enough of a chance. They give up too soon. And they don’t learn how to do it properly, from people who’ve figured out what works and what doesn’t. They stumble along, trying to figure it out themselves, rather than giving themselves the chance to invest in a learning journey with this incredible marketing approach.

Blogging is the #1 way I built my business over the decade I’ve been self-employed. People look at the word “blogging” and think it looks like something teenagers do, or people who have too much time on their hands. They don’t realize the power at their finger-tips!

What are the top three blunders people make when blogging for clients? And what should they be doing differently?

Blunder #1: They try to speak to everyone, a “spray and pray” kind of approach, rather than honing in on ONE ideal client and writing every blog for them.

Solution: Write each blog to ONE person. I actually start my blogs, “Hey Hannah”, picture my ideal client, write the blog, and then delete the greeting at the end!

Blunder #2: They don’t blog consistently. It’s sporadic, impulsive; they’ll write a flurry and then go awol for months. Think about your favourite TV show or magazine; we love that feeling of regularity, of being able to expect something will show up in our inbox or letter box or screen. We come to trust the producers.

Solution: Commit to an editorial calendar; hold yourself accountable for contributing great value regularly to your community. Be in it for the long-game.

Blunder #3: They forget that a blog is a conversation. We have a whole module in Blog for Clients about how to inspire more comments and what to do about them (because people worry about spam and trolls and negative comments).

Solution: In the way you write, and in your encouragement of comments, remember that a blog is powerful because it’s a heart-to-heart two-way conversation.

Any last advice of thoughts to people who are building their blogs to get clients?

We’re not born knowing how to do marketing.

Likewise, we’re not born knowing how to do blogging.

I often hear from people after they’ve taken Blog for Clients, they say something like: “I nearly didn’t take this course. I knew how to write. I liked writing. I didn’t realize there was actually an art and science to blogging; I thought I could just figure it out” – and they’re so grateful that they learned how to do it so it actually WORKS for them, business-wise. Otherwise, we can enjoy blogging but we won’t see the fruits of our labour. And our business won’t reach the level it can go to, with blogging as the catalyst.

About Corrina:

Corrina Gordon-Barnes wants to live in a world where marketing is fun, clients turn up easily, and money flows to those who do work that helps and heals.

As a certified coach, marketing teacher and self-employment champion, she’s been featured on MindBodyGreen, The Daily Muse, LifeByMe and MarketingForHippies and published in The Ecologist, OM Yoga, Diva, and The London Paper. She’s author of Turn Your Passion to Profit: a step-by-step guide to getting your business off the ground.

When she’s not writing blogs and teaching courses, you can find her reading chick-lit, making vegan blueberry cheesecake, and trying to catch her niece and nephew on the monkey bars.

Take her self-study training course – Blog for Clients – and read her book – Turn Your Passion to Profit – to discover how to stay happy and profitable on the self-employment path at http://youinspireme.co.uk

Farmers Market Marketing Series #6: 76 Real World Examples of Farmer’s Using Social Media

farmer-social-mediaIn researching for this blog, I discovered some gems of how farmers were using social media.

But it raises the important question. Why use social media? And what should you post anyway?

I don’t think you need social media as a farmer.

I don’t think it’s going to be the engine that drives the most business.

But, if you’re on it already and you don’t mind putting in an hour or two per week at the most, it can help to deepen your relationships with your customers in ways that were totally unavailable to us until about ten years ago.

The main reason, in my mind, to use social media as a farmer is to establish what’s called the Know, Like, Trust Factor. This means that they know about you first and come to feel warm feelings towards you but also that you are credible and honest in their minds. Social media helps to establish (sometimes) and deepen (always) the relationship you have with your customers. It’s a way for them to get to know you better, learn about your farm and come to more deeply appreciate all that you do. Social media can help them understand your unique point of view.

In all of this, remember the Three C’s of Social Media. You can create content, but you can also curate it and start up conversations. The way you curate it, what you choose and how you frame it, tells them a lot more than just posting pictures from your farm.

The more deeply connected they feel to you, the more likely they’re going to go to your booth.

Some Things I Noticed from Reviewing Social Media Feeds from Dozens of Farms:

  • Whatever you decide to post, and you’ll discover a wealth of options below, write something to go along with it to give context to what you’re posting. What is it about? Why is it important? Help sell the thing you’re posting. Why does it matter.
  • When you post photos of you, make sure they’re good photos. Smiling helps. But don’t post photos that make you look scary or unfriendly. In my research, I saw a few of these.
  • Too much of any one of the types of post below will not be compelling. It’s important to have a variety. Some posts just build a sense of connection, some build trust and some directly sell. I viewed some feeds and there was a monotonous flavour to them. Always the same kinds of posts. Mix it up.
  • Share fun and quirky things that help them get to know you as a person and what you’re interested in. For example, if, like me, you’re a huge Doctor Who fan then, from time to time, share something about that. Help them to see you as a three dimensional human being, not just a farmer.
  • Good quality photos. I noticed that some farms photos were lacklustre

Most Important Things To Post to Build the Relationship:

Relationship Building Idea #1: Share memes, quotes, articles and videos about food, farming, nature, nutrition, cooking and anything else that ties into your farm’s philosophy and who you are. Educate them about why to eat more of what you sell. Help them see the value in it that they might not have seen before. Marketing is about establishing the value beyond the immediately apparent. The more of these you share (and memes are one the most shareable things you’ll post) the more they will get, over time, a sense of how you see the world and what is important to you.

Again, I’ve made up a starter kit for you here.

I think this should be at least 40% of your social media work. Sharing things you resonate with and think would resonate with your customers. This establishes you as a hub. It gives people a reason to check out your social media feed that’s self serving to them – finding cool stuff. Only your most die hard fans will check out your feed to see what’s going on for you all.

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Relationship Building Idea #2: Sharing updates and photos of your family, animals and the land on the farm. Help them understand what your life is like. What’s an average day for you. Make sure they’re seeing photos of you so they become familiar with your face. Don’t become a faceless farm. Let them get to know you and your personality. Let them get to know a bit of the characters on your farm. Show them the fun, beauty, struggle and hardship of your life. Open up to them and their hearts will open back to you. Your bio on your ‘About Us’ page can help in this too.

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Relationship Building Idea #4: Share recipes, cooking tips and give them ideas for new ways to prepare and enjoy what you sell. This should be at least 10% of what you post. At least. If they see a recipe they like using something you sell, you give them a very compelling reason to get it from you.

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Relationship Building Idea #5: Remind people about your events. We’ll be talking about this more in a future blog post in this series. But this might just be one of the best uses of social media – getting people to meet you face to face.

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Relationship Building Idea #6: Share your story and point of view. I don’t see this done enough and I probably don’t do enough of it myself either. This could be written or you could just make a video with your smart phone and upload it and share your thought of the day. What’s on your mind? What are you noticing? Why you do things the way you do? What is your philosophy around food and farming and where did it come from? Consider going on a rant.

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Relationship Building Idea #7: Educate people about what goes into your products and what they are. We assume they know so much more about what we do than they actually do. Educate, educate, educate.

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Relationship Building Idea #8: Be an advocate. Keep people up to date on larger trends and struggles in the farming community. Again, this establishes you and your social media presence as a hub. If all you do is share photos of your farm or promote your stuff people will lose interest. Remember: most of your customers are, at some level, interested in the same things you are. They are passionate about the same causes: food security, local food, treating animals well, getting back to the land etc. So be a source of current, up to date, cutting edge thought on these issues. Let them know what’s happening in the world and what they can do about it. They’ll be grateful and trust you more. You can read more blog posts on this notion of speaking to the Bigger Why here.

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Most Important Things To Post to Make Money:

Money Making Post Idea #1: Share beautifully done photos of your produce and products. Help them picture what it is you do. What does it look like. Don’t just be a generic farm that ‘grows food’. Keep reminding and showing them.

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Money Making Post Idea #2: Announce new products and services and time sensitive availabilities. These are the posts that will make you money directly.

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Money Making Post Idea #3: Seasonal Promotional Tie Ins. If there’s a holiday approaching, why not remind them how perfectly what you sell might fit into their existing plans? It’s amazing how many of your customers will need something (e.g flowers) for a special day (e.g. Mother’s Day) and totally forget that you offer them! Remind them with enough lead time and they might just bring that business to you.

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Other Things to Post to Add Variety:

Variety Adding Post #1: Introduce people to those working on your farm. Remember, most of your customers will never go out to your farm. They don’t have any sense of who picked their food and brought it to them. They will, likely, only ever know the people at the stall at the Farmer’s Market. Why not have a professional photographer come out to your farm on a day when all of your staff will be there. Have them take photos of the farm but also of all your workers, volunteers and interns and then, once a week or month, post their photo and a little, glowing write up about who they are? Help your customers get to know you.

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Variety Adding Post #2: Shout outs to colleagues and complimentary businesses and products you think your customers would love. This helps establish you as a hub and someone who is ‘in the know’ but also demonstrates good will and that you aren’t just in it for yourself. Again, you could do these once per week or month. Your customers love being introduced to new products and services. If you introduce them to a bunch of new things they love, they will not only thank you but come to trust your taste in things. It builds a halo of trustworthiness around you that will also translate to their trust in you and what you do.

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Variety Adding Post #3: Let them know what events you’ll be at. If you’re going to have your food served where or will be vending or speaking at an event, outside of your regular farmer’s markets, let them know!

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Variety Adding Post #4: Contests: Run a contest, tie it into an existing day, raise money for charity and feature your customers.

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Variety Adding Post #5: Share the ideas you have for developing to make your farm better. Them knowing this will build confidence in who you are and what you’re about. It will help them see, in practical terms, how much you care for your animals and the food you grow.

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Variety Adding Post #6: Share pieces of history and remind people of your story. I like the idea of going back to old photos, news clippings or journal entries and sharing them.

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Variety Adding Post #7: Do a poll! As for opinions and guidance. What direction should you go as a farm? You don’t need to base your opinions on it but it will give you more information and help them feel more invested in your farm.

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Variety Adding Post #8: Share when you’re in the media (and remind people they can buy from you while you’re at it). Whenever you’re featured in the media it’s tremendously credibility building and legitimizing of you and your work. It’s another way to share your story.

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Variety Adding Post #9: Share photos from the Farmer’s Market. So simple. Do this once per week. Take a photo of arriving or setting up or selling or packing down for the day. Mix it up. But help them get to know what your farm stand looks like. Help them remember who you are and what you look like and what you’re selling. These posts will also be greatly appreciated by the Farmer’s Market managers.

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Variety Adding Post #10: Share big accomplishments that might be of interest to your customers. Again, it’s so easy to forget that not everyone knows about these things unless we tell them. So tell them.

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Variety Adding Post #11: Let people know when there’s something worth watching on TV, Netflix or in theatres. Again, this establishes you as a hub of good content. If they watch one or two things you recommend and end up loving them, you will go way up in their esteem. They will trust you more because they understand your point of view more deeply. They will come to understand that, “Wow. These people really understand the whole food system.” They’ll be more likely to check out what you post.

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Variety Adding Post #12: Saying ‘Thank You’. Enough said.

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Variety Adding Post #13: Limited Supply Announcements! Let people know when your supplies are running low and why they’re running low. And make sure to let them know where they can go to order.

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Variety Adding Post #14: Let them know where you’ll be next and give them a reason to come to your booth. Will you be offering free samples? Something home cooked? Do you have a new joke that they need to hear?

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I’d also strongly recommend checking out Modern Farmer’s Instagram account.

Please leave any thoughts, tips, resources or ideas that could help farmers grow their businesses in the comments section below. After a few weeks, I promise to read through them all and weave anything relevant and useful into the blog itself so that they can be of the most use to the most farmers.

Farmers Market Marketing Series #5: The Three C’s of Social Media

So, once you’re on social media, how do you use it as a farmer? Besides posting sweet, sweet selfies of yourself and your animals I mean.


Farmer PJ Ryan from Newport, Co Tipperary, in his prize-winning selfie


The first thing to know is this, if the only thing you do on social media is try to sell people and flog your wares, people will tune you out fast. The general rule is to make sure you’re sharing 80% content they want to see and 20% can, then, be shameless plugs.

So, what kind of content is relevant?

Anything story telling about your farm is. Any fun updates, pictures, videos etc. of life on the farm sharing the good, bad and ugly will do well.

People are curious about where their food comes from. If you post little videos of you on your farm – examining your crops, milking a cow and educating people about it all as you do. This helps to show people your personality, the personality of the farm and the animals. It helps deepen the relationship. Carry your smart phone with you and take videos throughout your day sharing what you’re up to and your thoughts and upload videos straight to Facebook or Youtube.

You can make your own videos, write and share your own blog posts and updates etc.

You can create your own memes using tools like IMG Flip or Meme Generator (or photoshop if you’re handy with that).

And those are all fine things to do.

But, it’s important to point out that some people think that being on social media means that you need to create all of the content.

No no no.

There are actually Three C’s of Social Media: Create, Curate and Converse.

So, you can also curate, that is share things other people have made.

To get you started, I’ve collected a number of local food memes you can share. And here is a list of all the local food TED Talks you can share too. You could also create or curate recipes people can make based on the food you grow. Could you partner with a well known local chef to make them with or for you? You might just find something perfect online too. Also Shit Farmers Say on Twitter is gold.

Or videos like these.

The Third C is to Converse. This will often take the form of asking a sincere question and engaging with people on their answers. It could be a question like, “Would you pay a little extra if we grew heirloom tomatoes next year?” or “What’s the best recipe you know of for cauliflower?”

In our next post in this series, we will get into some real world examples so you can see what this might actually look like. I’m using examples from Facebook but the same ideas could be used in pretty much any medium.

Please leave any thoughts, tips, resources or ideas that could help farmers grow their businesses in the comments section below. After a few weeks, I promise to read through them all and weave anything relevant and useful into the blog itself so that they can be of the most use to the most farmers.

Farmers Market Marketing Series #4: Two Simple Ideas on Social Media


Even if you barely use it, social media makes it easier for customers to find you and connect with you. It allows you customers to tag you in comments and draw more attention to your farm. In today’s world, it is expected that you’ll have at least a basic social media presence.

IDEA #1: Find out which platform your people use. 

Are your people on Twitter? Instagram? Pinterest? Facebook? This can differ from city to city and community to community. You can find out by asking your customers whenever you interact with them.

IDEA #2: Know your local food hashtags.

If you’re on social media and are sharing photos, memes, information and updates make sure you tag all of your posts with whatever the local hashtags are for local food. In Edmonton, it’s #yegfood (YEG is our airport code). If I search that hashtag I’ll find all of the conversations people are having in my town about local food. So, whenever you post, make sure to use that hashtag in them if it’s something you think would be relevant and of interest to the wider local food community.

Please leave any thoughts, tips, resources or ideas that could help farmers grow their businesses in the comments section below. After a few weeks, I promise to read through them all and weave anything relevant and useful into the blog itself so that they can be of the most use to the most farmers.

Guest Post: How I Got 11,000 Likes on My Facebook Page in Six Months

One World Likes

“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world.”   ~ E. B. White

tim emersonWhat do Trinidad and Tobago, Namibia, Saint Lucia, Sierra Leone, the Solomon Islands, Uganda, Singapore, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Sudan, Vanuatu, Barbados, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have in common?  

I’ll give you a few moments to ponder. 

A month ago I wrote a guest blog post for Tad, “How I added 8,000 Facebook fans in 5 months,” outlining how I went from a static 623 fans at the beginning of February to 8,921 in July.  

In that piece, I explained how I got clear about my page’s purpose and message, paid attention to what got positive response and adjusted, worked out a simple system for keeping the page active while spending very little time on it, and resisted selling, except for limited free offers.  To this last part, as it seems counterintuitive, I added how Facebook generates 1/3 of my email list subscribers and fills my free teleseminars, from which I enroll new clients, particularly in my higher end offerings. 

By the way, I could add to that list Zimbabwe, Tuvalu, Tanzania, Swaziland, South Sudan, Somaliland, South Africa, Samoa, Rwanda, Palau, Nauru, Malta, Kiribati, Kenya, India, and Saint Kitts and Nevis.  Found the connection yet?   Be patient – it took me a while too. 

I also added to that piece that while I’m not a fan of Facebook advertising overall, I have found that a small, quirky ad, with an eye-catching image, in keeping with your point of view and strategic purpose and with a severely limited budget, just a few bucks a day, would generate around 40-60 new fans daily, combining click-throughs with new organic likes from shares.  

One nice thing about Facebook advertising is the ability to carefully target ad audiences.  So when my 50 new fans each day started to trickle down to barely 20 a day, I took a look at these targets, to see if maybe I could freshen things up a bit.  

At first, nothing much.  I had hit every related interest I could think of, and I didn’t want to expand my age demographics, as that would probably be counter-productive.  But then I looked at countries. 

Originally, I listed all the English speaking countries I could think of quickly.   You know—the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand…that’s it, right?  Well, Belize I guess, but it’s so small, what’s the point. 

But I’ve been working a lot with intuition for the past few months, and something flashed into my head about Belize.   Maybe not so fast.  So I Googled “English speaking countries” on a hunch, and found…88 of them.  88!  That’s 82 new audiences, all ready to experience Facebook.com/KwanYinHealing for the very first time!  

So I added Mauritius, the Marshall Islands, Malawi, Liberia, Lesotho, Jamaica, Guyana, Grenada, Ghana, Gambia, Eritrea, Dominica, Cameroon, Botswana, the Bahamas, and Antigua and Barbuda – Facebook limits you to 25 countries at a time.  But my likes spiked THAT DAY from 20 to 200.   And just like that, I’m at 11,250 fans.   Sure, it’s starting to slow…down to 150 a day now, though, still three times what I was seeing before, and with the same budget.

What does that mean, the same budget?  Two things:  (1) I’m getting a LOT of new organic likes from the sharing from the new traffic, and (2) my cost-per-click has dropped by more than 50%.  Seems a lot of people don’t market to countries like Fiji—so my competition is apparently quite small.   I haven’t been doing Google Ads for a while, but now I’m curious what affect targeting these markets would have on click rates there.  Next time, I’ll try it. 

What happens when my 150 daily likes finally slows again to 20?  I’ll remove the markets already exposed and substitute new ones, and I’ll be able to do that at least three more times.   This will give me a much larger market when promoting my next teleseminar—I already have clients in six countries (the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, Japan, and Saint Martens).   

Don’t overlook non-sovereign places either, like Anguilla, American Samoa, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Cook Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Guam, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Isle of Man, Jersey, Montserrat, Niue, Norfolk Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Pitcairn Islands, Puerto Rico, Saint Helena–Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Sint Maarten, San Andrés y Providencia–Colombia, Tokelau, Turks and Caicos Islands. 

Kwan Yin Healing helps the spiritually-conscious who are struggling with life path or health and are ready to move forward and find peace.  The Four Pillars of healing and transformation are Clarity (life is supposed to be abundant, and now, when we get out of our own way), Connection (we are part of a continuum from earth to the divine), Coherence (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and awareness energies need to vibrate harmoniously), and Change (if you want something you don’t have, you’ll need to do things you’ve never done).   I love the beautiful illustration this example gives – the instant results from connecting to what already exists in a coherent way with one simple change.  We live on one globe, one people, one human energy—and we can easily forget that imaginary borders are only in our nationalist mindsets. 

I’m already delighted to be helping people jump start their paths and thus accelerate how they help still more people through their work throughout the US and Canada, as well as a bit in the Caribbean, the UK, and Australia.   If you’re ready to find what’s holding you back from living your dreams fully, visit kwanyinhealing.com, look around, and sign-on for the free starting package.   I’m happy to start you along your path.  

And if you happen to be from Spain, Malayasia, Germany, Israel, the US Virgin Islands, Switzerland, Honduras, Sri Lanka, Brunei, Aruba, the Dominican Republic, British Indian Ocean Territory, Ethiopia, Russia, East Timor, or any of the many other places where first-language English speakers live, or if you are one of the many people who speak English as a second or third or fourth or fifth language, I’ll be happy to make your acquaintance.   It’s all one world, one people, on one road to peace, harmony, unity, health and happiness. 

Love and Joy,

Tim Emerson
Kwan Yin Healing

Guest Post: How I added 8,000 Facebook fans in 5 months


Tim Emerson is a graduate of my Niching for Hippies course and someone I did a case study on a while ago. He’s also a big believer in the power of slow marketing.

When Tim told me that he had over 8,000 fans on his facebook page whereas I only have a half of that, I was extremely curious as to how he did it and asked if he’d be kind enough to write up a guest blog post about it. I think you’ll really appreciate his ideas here. 

You can read it below . . .

Full disclosure—I am not a fan of social media.  It’s scattered, busy, a distraction, a time sink.  Further, I’ve spent a fair amount of time pissed off at Facebook.  So I’m an unlikely author for this blog post.

Nonetheless, I went from being “stuck” to adding 8,000 fans to my page, https://www.facebook.com/KwanYinHealing, in just five months—and more are still coming.   This page has also become one of my key promotional strategies.  Here’s how that happened.

I actually didn’t mean to open a Facebook fan page.  I had constructed a simple website with Yola.com, and one of the options was to publish to Facebook.  So, on April 6, 2012, I figured “Why not,” and clicked it.   Voila.  Kwan Yin Healing had a Facebook page. 

It slowly added a few fans.  Then a few more.  And a few more.  This would take patience.   I saw the various “How to get 10,000 fans” promos, but while I’m sure these guys know their business, it’s the anti-thesis of the calm, peaceful image I wanted for my business.  Nobody’s going to come rushing to Kwan Yin Healing because my opt-in box is bigger, brighter, redder, and in your face before we get past “hello” – and if they did, the fit would probably not be good.  I’d just have to be patient. 

Facebook, however, is not patient, and likes to change the rules frequently.  One of these changes was deciding that just because fans like your page doesn’t mean they should be seeing your posts in their feed.  Unless, of course, they’re teenagers, and compelled to like or comment on virtually everything.  My fans…aren’t, and don’t.  So my fan count, at 623, sat their at 623, and the “talking about this” number dropped to around 20 a day.  Facebook offered a solution—pay to have your fans see your posts!  As you might imagine, this didn’t make me the happiest of campers. 

But then something happened, and that day, my page started climbing again.  It continued to climb, daily, and still continues to climb—it’s at 8,921 as I write this. 

What changed?   There are four key elements to my strategy, and I also have a few points about ads, as well as how I use Facebook to attract clients.   So let’s dive in.

1)  I got clear about my page’s purpose and message.  

Without this, nothing else matters. 

Understand that no one comes to Facebook to buy stuff.  They come to relax, to see funny or inspiration quotes and pictures and videos, to interact with their friends.  So not only are they not there to buy, but they resent attempts to sell them.  Imagine you’re at the park, on a walk, enjoying a show, and people interrupt you to sell their products and programs.  “Leave me alone,” right?  And they will leave you very alone instead.  

For Kwan Yin Healing, the cover photo, a forest waterfall, the same as on my home page, sets the tone for the peaceful, flowing feeling I wish to create, and one very compatible with my point of view about healing, about my work, and about me.  The posts on the page are all inspirational quotes and related material that fit with this theme.   Things I like but that don’t fit this energy, I post on my personal page instead.  It’s encouraging, reflective, helpful, inspiring, peaceful, and fits nicely within my Taoist/Buddhist perspective, without being spiritually dogmatic.  There’s no agenda here.  It’s a place to relax.  That’s why people follow the page. And that’s why they trust me.  

Nor is any of this mere theory.  This is what my own clients tell me.  “I like your page—it’s consistent.”  Yeah.  It’s hard to trust someone you can never quite rely upon.   You know what  you’re getting when you like my page. 

2) I paid attention to what got positive response and adjusted.

What’s nice about Facebook is that you can see how many likes and shares each post gets, and a report about the “virality” of each post.  The big losers here are text posts.   People already see a sea of text, and skim it at best.  Plus, at a glance, all text looks the same.  

Pictures are the rule on Facebook.  An inspiring quote with a corresponding image gets—literally—ten times the virality. According to Edgerank Checker, the median Facebook virality is under 2%.  My page’s posts typically hover around 20%.   Facebook is a visual medium.  

And just having a photo isn’t enough—the text must be part of the photo.  Typically, content creators post this over the face of the photo.  When I create content (which I do rarely), I use InDesign to create a matching box above or below (or both) the photo with the text.   But either way—this way the photo and message get shared—many times more than otherwise.  Including your site link on the graphic is a good idea as well.  While shared photos are credited by Facebook automatically, links can get buried. 

Every so often, I’ll share something I think readers would like—free Eckhart Tolle talks, or Louise Hays, or Wayne Dyer.   And they always fall flat, with virality around 2%.   This surprises me.   It’s why we look at numbers.

3) I worked out a simple system for keeping the page active while spending very little time on it. 

There’s a joke that floats around periodically:  How to be more productive on Facebook?  Delete your Facebook account and get to work. 

While I sometimes create content, most of my page is repurposed from other pages.   When I see something I like, I check out their page, and if it fits well, I’ll like it, and add it to my Interests list.   Every day or two, I’ll quickly scan down the Pages feed for appropriate things to post.   If it’s great, but too small to read, I’ll pass it by.  The other pages appreciate the shares, and I’ll just add a short comment and my webpage.  That’s it.

I’ll also check out the comments, and like most of them, so people know they were seen and heard.  Every week or so, I’ll check the Insights report (though just the likes and shares on the page are a good indication).  Once in a while, a post will get multiple comments (like 30-60 comments), and I’ll know I’ve accidentally stumbled across something to consider later strategically. 

And that’s it.  Five to ten minutes.  Done.

4) Resist selling, except for limited free offers. 

And even then, you’re pushing it.  So here’s what works for me – curiosity.  “Hey!  Sign up for my free offer!”  No.   But after seeing several cool posts with http://kwanyinhealing.com above them, after a while, some people click on it…and sign up for my free offer.  It’s not big numbers…but it is steady.  My list (which last year was at 35) is at 620 – and just over a third of those came from Facebook.   But that doesn’t make them clients.  It’s a poorly qualified group. 

But Facebook DOES serve me in one major way—a source of free teleseminar attendees.  A nice graphic with the copy embedded and a sign-up link will bring 60-80 new people to my list.  20-30 will show up for the call, and 4-10 of them will become new clients. When those new clients are signing on to the Kwan Yin Journey, my signature program, a single teleseminar can make a month’s income.  So Facebook does bring clients after all, through the free teleseminar and enrollment route. 

Which brings me to advertising.

At first, “promoted posts” were great—I could reach friends of friends for $10.   Then Facebook realized their generosity, and jacked the price up more than one hundred times, dolling out only a limited number of people reached for each new level of investment—$1,000 still won’t buy what $10 did only a few months ago.  

It’s ridiculously steep for three reasons.   First, the response isn’t great. Second, people HATE promoted posts.  The posts say, right on them, “promoted post,” and virality drops to near nothing.  Some people even send nasty grams, letting page owners know how much they resent someone else footing the bill for their free Facebook.  It’s too “in their face.”   Literally, the SAME post NOT promoted will get a better response.  And third, Facebook won’t allow more than 20% of a graphic to be text, severely limiting advertising options.  

So if I have something to promote, I use a few tricks.

I’ll let a post run organically at first.  Once that slows down, THEN I’ll promote it, but only within a limited budget, which depends on what I’m promoting.   And if I don’t need to reach a lot of people, I’ll sometimes design what I want and run it anyway—it will run for a few hours until a Facebook person has a chance to get to it and stop the promotion for violating the rules.  The posts that have run already remain visible.  But that’s not a great strategy for anything I’m seriously promoting.  A web link to a press release with a graphic works reasonably well.  Message sent.

Then there are the ads with links on the side. 

Advantage—people don’t mind these the way they resent promoted posts.   They see these as not so “in your face” and not an interruption, but rather something they can check out if they please, unlike content “forced” into their feed.  And Advantage Two, these ads can be amazingly well targeted to specific audiences defined by a wide array of parameters. 

Disadvantage—they are expensive and not particularly effective.   You can’t say much, and you can’t really send them where you’d like.  Dead end.

With one exception I’ve used to good effect. 

Create a quirky ad, with an eye-catching image, that still is truly in keeping with your point of view and strategic purpose.   I ran, for example, one saying “Healing isn’t Magic,” with an image from a video of me in my car with an appearance by my curious husky.   The video includes a core piece of my point of view, and the ad links to a post featuring the video, where I can say much more.   This lands on my Facebook page.   I pin the original post to the top of the page, so that the landing is relevant (which must be redone every couple of weeks, as pins expire), and presto—the curious eyes are now on my page.  

I severely limit the daily size of this budget, just a few bucks, with a carefully targeted audience.   But it will bring in better than 20 new people (i.e., other than friends of friends) who become engaged in the page.   The ad doesn’t get stale, because it’s being seen by people who haven’t yet seen it. 

Slow and steady.  But altogether, worth 8000 new fans in five months, like opening a valve at the end of January, and it’s been flowing ever since. 

My plans from here are to maintain the status quo, at least until Facebook changes the rules again, and to concentrate on the teleseminar strategy.  I would also like to build a network of affiliate partners to help promote the Kwan Yin Journey.   If that might be you, check out http://kwanyinhealing.com/journey.php and then drop me an email if this looks like a good fit for your clients – tim at kwanyinhealing dot com.

I’m also completely redesigning my web page to focus on synching my strategy and free offer in a clear, authentic, step by step path more friendly to curious visitors, and to then build relationship more strategically with my email newsletter and blog than I have been. 

And I’ll next turn my attention to my YouTube page, http://www.youtube.com/KwanYinHealing, which has, like my Facebook page, worked surprisingly well, largely by accident—but in this case, I actually get clients calling who found me on YouTube.  Time to focus on a strategy there—but that will have to be another blog post another time. 

Wish me luck!

Tim Emerson

Kwan Yin Healing

music is a weapon

Ton! Cade Bambara once said that, ‘the goal of the revolutionary artist is to make the revolution irresistible.’

And that makes me think of Lucas Coffey (pictured below).

With whom I just had a super interesting meeting about his project Music is a Weapon.

There were a lot of ideas and lessons that came up which I thought might be useful for you in your work.

One of the main things that Music is a Weapon does is bike powered parties. The target market we explored was working with music festivals

So the music festival would bring them in and they would power one of the music stages through pedaling on bikes hooked up to a generator.

The question is: how does he get these festivals to hire him?

Let’s remember that his bike powered thing is his boat. Meaning it’s what he offers to them to get them from Island A (their problems) to Island B (to the results they want). His bike powered parties is what he’s proposing will help them on their journey.

So, what is the journey these festival owners are on?

Well . . . imagine you run a music festival. You’ve got all the logistics of it, choosing the acts, managing volunteers . . . etc. And then, on top of actually running the festival you’ve got to get people there. You’ve got to market it. Shit.

The only reason a festival organizer is going to care about Lucas’ boat is if it can help them out with their life and help solve their problems. Period.

The implications on Lucas’ marketing are obvious: he needs to show that by bringing in his bike powered parties he can help them make more money, build their email list, get more people to the festival, get more buzz and word of mouth and help them deepen their relationship to their people.

If he can make that case, they’ll hire him. If he can’t, they won’t. It’s just that simple.

Most conscious business rely on their ‘values proposition’ or, as we’ve discussed recently, their bigger why. Basically, the marketing pitch becomes, ‘hire me because it’s the right thing to do’. And only the most hardcore conscious people will do this. 80% of our offering really need to be the ‘value proposition’ where we make the case on the return on investment.  If you can offer both a solid values proposition and a solid value proposition it’s hard to fail.

So, if Lucas goes to them and says, ‘hire me because we’re all about sustainable energy and community engagement and fun!’ he won’t get as far as if he says, ‘Bring us in and we’ll help make more money, build your email list, get more people to your festival, get more buzz and word of mouth and help you deepen your relationship to your people . . . plus! It aligns with your community and green values.’

But it’s not enough to make that kind of a claim. They need to trust that you can deliver on that. He needs to become, ultimately a ‘trusted advisor‘.

Part of building trust come to some basic boat redesign. It’s not enough to understand the goals of your client and what Island B is for them. You need to actively consider how you can get them there. And sometimes that means some going back into your business and reimagining things. Innovating. Making our business better and more useful for the client.

So, Lucas and I got to talking about that . . . We realized that he’s actually in a perfect position to help them achieve their goals.

What he does is so fun and unusual that people will go home and talk about it which brings up the music festival in conversation. And what promoter wouldn’t want their festival being talked about more?

They are excellent at getting people to actually ride the bikes but maybe they could communicate ‘the seven charming tactics we use to get people on the bikes’. That might help the promoter feel more confident it would work. He could also get lots of testimonials from other promoters speaking about how well it worked. So he could do more to maximize what’s already working.

But we realized that there were additional innovations that could be brought in which might just excite the festival organizers.

They could ‘theme’ their bikes by decade. Have a 20’s bike, a 30’s bike, 60’s bike etc. And with each bike they could have some period costume pieces that people could wear while they pose for a sweet photo.

Imagine how this might work . . .

You show up at a festival and set up your gear. It’s a beautiful sunny day and you’re just so happy to be out of the city. You look over the program and list of musicians and DJ’s who’ll be playing and smile. It’s your first time at the festival, so you decide to go for a wander and explore the fair grounds.

You see the usual food vendors, some crafts and clothing vendors but then you see something you’ve never seen before. Ten bikes stationary  bikes. With people riding them. And many of them are wearing funny hats and clothes.

You have to check this out.

As you get closer, the person running that area – whatever it is – charmingly engages you in conversation (even though you tend to be a bit shy). He explains that the bikes are hooked up to a generator and that all these people’s exercise is powering the stage beside them. He invites you to ride.

You’re hesitant but then a lady dressed in flapper hat and gloves hops off the bike and hands you her hat. ‘You have to try it!’ You find yourself sitting on this 1920’s old timey bike, wearing a hat, gloves and other period accoutrements, peddling. And having a lot of fun meeting the people on the bikes on either side of you.

One of the people working there asks if he can take a photo of you. Of course, you say yes. This will make a sweet photo. If it’s good you might make it your new profile photo. After he takes the picture of you (you check it and it’s super great) he gives you a card with the website for this group Music Is A Weapon and also a link to the festival’s facebook page. ‘We’ll be uploading your photo to this page later tonight. And we’re having a contest too. Whoever can get the most people to ‘like’ their photo on facebook wins two free tickets to the festival next year plus some other prizes you can use right away. It’s worth about $300. The details are on the card there.’ You slip the card in your pocket. Nice.

You hop off the bike and encourage a hesitant onlooker to give it a try. They smile. They’re shy like you and happy to meet someone friendly. On your way out, a volunteer asks you if you’d like to be on the email list for the festival. “You’ll get maybe one email a month for the festival fundraisers we do which are always super fun and a great chance to reconnect with people you meet here. You’ll also get advance notice on early bird prices for tickets.” You sign up (you can always unsubscribe if it’s too much later).

A girl standing beside him then charms you into buying $10 in raffle tickets. “They’re for the new stage. We just need $2000 more and we can do it!” How can you say no?

You wave goodbye and walk off with a new friend who was on the 1950’s bike beside you.

In this little story, from your perspective, you’ve made a new friend, done something fun you’ll talk about when you’re home and gotten a sweet new photo.

Imagine this same story from the festival organizers point of view.

You are stressed. But excited. And you’re relaxing quickly as the sun melts the tension out of your body. You’re here. A year of work has paid off. People are arriving. The bands are playing. All the hassles were worth it. But you can’t help mentally tallying people as they arrive. Are you going to make enough money this year? Will you get enough people?

You took a risk and brought in a new thing to your festival – a bike powered stage. It cost you a bit of money but people seem to be loving it and having fun. There seems to be a lot of buzz about it. By the end of the festival, you’re glad you brought them in. It added something fun and different to the festival.

And then you’re approached by the fellow who was running it. You small talk a bit about the festival and then he hands up a clip board and explains that, over the weekend, he’s added 327 people to your email list. He tells you that a lot of photos were taken and that they’re already posted in an album online with links back to your page. ‘You should expect to add a few hundred people to your fan page and to start following you on twitter too.’

You’d forgotten about this. This is amazing. You always forget to ask for people’s emails and you’re basically social media illiterate. Thank god someone’s on top of this.

‘Oh! And your raffle ticket volunteers were amazing. They sold a lot of tickets at our bikes.’

You will definitely be bringing them back next year.

It’s not about the boat.

It’s not about the bikes.

It’s about Island B.

Don’t just talk about your values – add real value. Make people’s lives easier. They’ll thank you with their business.

louis c.k. hates twitter

Everyone will tell you that you need to get on social media. Except Louis C.K.

And maybe he has a point.

You can click here to watch.

(This is super funny.)

six marketing lessons from a recent facebook note

I just wrote a facebook note that got a school two new perfect (and much needed) teachers in less than two weeks.

And it reminded me about some important marketing principles.

A couple of months ago, I got to reconnect over drinks with two old school mates Rachael and Netta (pictured right).

We went to a Waldorf  School together.

Waldorf is an alternative school that based on the idea of educating the whole child. It was a beautiful thing for me.

And then a few weeks later Netta emailed me asking if I knew anyone who might be a good candidate to be a Waldorf teacher. No one immediately came to mind but I thought I might if I really sat down and thought about it. I looked through my calendar a began to feel that stress you feel when you really want to help someone but can’t find the time. She needed a teacher in two weeks.

“Could you come by the school while we do work on the new building and we could talk about it then?” Netta asked.

That worked. Anything that combines things is usually a win for me. I get to hang out with an old friend, see the school I’ve meant to visit for the past three years and felt immensely guilty for not checking out and help her out.

The next week she came and picked me up and as she painted walls I busted out my laptop and started plowing through my facebook friends list looking for potential candidates. In the end, I came across 15 potentials and one I was ridiculously excited about.

So I created a facebook note (see below), posted it and tagged the people in question.

Within two weeks they had their teachers (including the one I was most excited about).

Here are the six marketing lessons I want you to get from this:

1) Social Media: Word of mouth works best when things are easy to share. That can mean everything from a simple URL, to tickets people can pass on, to a simple story that can be easily repeated. Or it can be a facebook note that’s easy to share. Social media has made sharing things so easy. One of the teachers who got the job was my friend who I tagged. The other was someone with whom this note was shared. Someone I’ve never met.

2) Hubs: If you want the word spread about something important, it’s worth it to do whatever it takes to get hubs to help you. They are already well connected to and well respected by people in the communities you’re trying to reach. Netta might never have reached these two teachers by herself. And they might have been more suspicious and unsure if the endorsement hadn’t come from me. If you’re struggling to reach people, stop struggling – take a hub out for coffee. You might know know how to reach the people you need to reach, but there are people who are. And it’s worth treating them to dinner, paying for their time for their contacts. It will save you so much time and money.

3) Headline: Notice this headline is not “can you help out my friend?” or even, “teaching job”. I am speaking right to the person reading it. The headline’s ONLY purpose is to get their attention and establish relevance. Period. So, first, I name WHERE it’s relevant to since it’s on facebook. Then I name that it’s a teaching job at an alternative school and that the money is good (important!).

4) Is it a fit?: I think any kind of sales letter or notice or homepage should have a piece about ‘this could be a good fit if . . .’ where you list the criteria. I did this recently on my new workbook on how you can get more people on your email list. Carrie Klassen talks about doing this on your homepage in her new workbook about creating a homepage your ideal clients would love.

5) Tell a story: I told a story to give people the feeling of the school. Most people don’t use stories enough in their marketing.

6) Ask for the action: At the end, I explicitly ask them to take an action. I ask them to spread the word. I give them the email of the person to reach. Als0 – here’s a subtle bonus distinction: don’t always write your promo pieces asking the reader to sign up. Sometimes I think it’s even more effective to say, ‘do you know anyone who wants _______?’. I think there’s less pressure in that approach and less assumption – but anyone reading it for whom it is a fit will still resonate with it.


Here’s the note:

EDMONTON: Want to teach at an amazing alternative school for good money?

by Tad Hargrave on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 7:46pm

Do you know someone who’d like to teach at a progressive, alternative, whole child focused kind of school?

Maybe you?

I grew up going to a Waldorf school from Kindergarten (which I took for two years because I was special) until grade 6. It was amazing. It’s the school I’d want to send my children to.

If you’re reading this – you’re the kind of person I would have loved to have as a teacher.

The Edmonton Waldorf school is figuring out who will be their teachers for next year, right now. They’ve moved into a new building and it’s all very exciting.

This could be a wonderful opportunity for you if:

– you have a bachelors of education

– $60,000/year for the full time positions sounds great

– you have a pioneering spirit and are excited to be a part of a wonderful, growing community

– you’re excited to familiarize yourself with what Waldorf is all about (I think you’ll kind of love it). That might mean traveling to go to various workshops and intensives where you’ll meet amazing people and learn a lot about yourself, teaching and childhood

The teaching positions available:

– Kindergarten (half time, four mornings per week)

– Grade 1-2 (full time)

What was Waldorf life for me?

In kindergarten we would sit carting wool, then spinning it and then knitting our own recorder cases. I was, possibly, the only child at my school who never really learned how to play.

We learned Greek, Roman and Norse myths in elementary school, having Homer’s Osyssey told to us by the teacher from the front of the room. We would bake our own bread in class, play capture the flag in Mill Creek ravine and somehow consistently persuade our french teacher to let us play soccer during french class (“Okay! But you guys need to speak in french while we play!”).

My best memories are the Summer Solstice bonfires at Hawrelack Park where are the families and children would get together for a big end of the year picnic and celebrate. Then, when it was dark, we would gather around the fire for stories. So many happy memories from those times. The school, to my immense heartbreak, collapsed when I was in grade 6 due to politics I have never fully understood.

In short, a part of my life I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Do you know anyone?

If you know someone like this – can you let them know today? They’re making final decisions in the next ten days. I just found out.

And share this with anyone you can think of. Post it on your wall. Hire skywriters. That kind of thing.

For more info email Netta: netta (at) wese (dot) ca


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