Isn’t it lovely when a FREE service, like most social media sites, changes their direction, sees that people are making money by utilizing their service, and then the FREE service now starts charging for using the service. Ugh. I get that they need to make revenue too, but now we have to charge more in an already overcrowded market and we are all vying for marketshare.

Where in the World..Do you want to Paint?

Jo Cicci, local, self taught artist, takes it one step further to offer her instruction during the track out days and summer camps! It’s all about kids and demonstrating her knack for thoughtful and precise style to help kids explore other parts of the world!
Have you signed your kids up for camp? Do you know what your back up plan will be if you can’t get them into a full day program to keep them busy on their “off” days?
PLayNation is the proud partner with Jo Cicci to offer her camps!
Located at:
PlayNation in Morrisville
300 Dominion Drive, Ste 245,
June 14, 18, 21,25 : 10 – 12 pm
June 21-25 , 10-12 pm

For more information ABOUT THE SUMMER CAMPS, visit the website and see just where your kids might go, without leaving the state of NC!
Sign up NOW! Space is limited… presents Uplink Professional and Business Networking Luncheon

The UpLink Professional and Business Networking Luncheon is a networking luncheon opportunity for you to meet other local professionals.
Topic: Discover and Share New Opportunities
Come and network with local professionals over lunch. If you are looking for the next opportunity or interested in sharing opportunities the come and lunch with us at the Matthews House. Everyone will get a chance to share their opportunities.
If you are:
* Looking for a new job or career
* Looking to hire
* Looking for new business relationships
* Looking to get the word out about your business
* Looking for someone with a solution
…then you need join us for lunch!
A buffet lunch catered by The Matthews House will be provided.
This is a professional networking group for all those hard working professionals and business owners in the Raleigh – Durham and Triangle area of North Carolina. Members span groups on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouNoodle and the online community at htt p://My.LinkingRaleighN
The Matthews House is located near the heart of the Triangle in Cary, NC. A picturesque setting for lovely garden wedding ceremonies and receptions. Large ballroom with all bamboo floors for dancing! An executive conference room in the main house, perfect for corporate clients. Executive Chef and Banquet Manager on site. The Matthews House delivered fabulous foods all around RTP since 2001.
Event Coordination by:
CBJ Promotional Avenues – Christina Blandi-James
CBJ Promotional Avenues strives to help the small to medium sized businesses gain that “BIG” company voice out in the market place. With the integral components of Marketing Collateral, Social Media, Promotional Products, Press Releases and BEST of all, Event Planning and Management.
Mission: CBJ Promotional Avenues is recognized as serving the community, using a team approach to provide dependable, creative, ethical results driven marketing products and services.

Becoming a Solo Entrepreneur….

What is it like to be your own Boss? What kind of person does it take to go SOLO?
What exactly are the qualities to posses when thinking about becoming a Entrepreneur. Well let’s see:
* A burning desire for the financial and creative freedom of entrepreneurship without strapping yourself to boredom and unhappiness working for others.
* Seeing themselves as entrepreneurs with a vision, a personal drive, and a passion to fulfill their dreams.
* A deep longing to succeed in their chosen area of expertise and always wanting to learn more to improve any outcome.
* Believing in themselves and being passionate about what they do.
* Being committed to their quest to be “solo.”
* Comfortable using technologies such as the Internet to promote their business, collaborate with others, and learn.
What are the changes that have occurred in society that support individuals desire to take on a whole new way of life?:
* Corporate downsizing or being “FIRED”
* Economy and its leadership changes and viewpoints
* Family Background or Continuation of a legacy built from the ground up
* Dissatisfaction with how things are managed in current employment
* Not wanting the BIG guy to treat you like a NUMBER and they get all the glory, $, and BIG bonuses
* Corporate Big wigs earning the bonuses, when it is the little guys who do all the work. And the government basically handed it over
* Dissatisfaction with Corporate Authenticity
* And so much more, I could go on and on!
Now the hard part! What are the Challenges that face the Solo Entrepreneur?:
* Having a desire to be solo, with no idea of where to start or of what is possible.
* Working through the initial start-up phase and not giving in to the temptation or pressure to go back to a corporate job or other “safe” haven.
* Having skills, products, and/or services that are in demand, but little experience or knowledge of how to package, market, and sell.
* Understanding how to fit together the relationships and elements that are part of running a business.
* Determining how to create a unique and solid brand and message for their business that helps position their strengths.
* Having a desire for self employment, but not knowing how to build a support network.
* Developing ongoing personal leadership skills.
* Finding a way to transition from doing “tasks” to managing and building their business.
* Figuring out that you don’t have to do everything and Delegating the tasks and responsibilities to others or finding Strategic Alliances
* Finding a support system and/or mentor to help make smoother transitions into the Solo Entrepreneur arena
* Determining how to embrace their new career move and establish realistic and achievable goals.
* Scheduling your business like a business and sticking to the plan
* Juggling multiple clients and business processes in a day.
* Financing your business efforts whether it be a personal financial float, SBA loan, Angel Investors, Family, etc. Somewhere along the way these will have to take place.
* I could go on and on about this too!
Here a re just a few places to go to find out more information in the local area about where to start!
Women Business Center
NC Institute of Minority Economic Development
SCORE Women’s Success Blog
SHARE YOUR DREAM WITH THE WORLD! Build upon your expertise and share your PASSION!

I am Collecting Blog perspectives from Event Marketers and Marketing Gurus….

What’s your take on how 2009 ended up in event marketing and marketing and all the measurables? Have you figured out the ROI for digital media and what was your feedback from your clients?
We are almost 1/2 into 2010! I can’t believe it! But, how has this year and your strategies changed or old practices for Event Marketing given you feedback on the measurables? What are you doing that is new to the structure? Is it working so far? Let me know!
I am collecting event marketing and marketing gurus blogs and compiling them into short synopsis for the trends, feedback on measurables, and where the markets are headed. If you want to contribute, please send me your information, privately to, to be listed.
Thank you in advance for your take on how things are shaping up for 2010 and where we are headed!

Networking by Face to Face Connections…..

There is something to be said about face to face networking.  Social Media is all well and a good additive that sucks the time from your day, if you are not careful to schedule it, just like the rest of your business should be. But the feedback and the non verbal communication that one gets from the face to face contact with someone is so valuable and rewarding, how can one not want to connect this way?
Look at all the measurable results and feedback you get from each of your marketing activities you participate in. Whether it be:
1)  Social Media
2) Traditional Media
3) Direct Mail
4) Post cards or mailings
5) Blogging
6) Press Releases
7) Events
shall I go on?  You get the picture.  There are so many marketing avenues to brand you and your company, the possibilities are endless.  So, measure each one and see what the results are.  Where do you reasonably get the most feedback and not just positive ones either.  Feedback is feedback, whether it be positive or negative, people are talking, responding, answering, posting, etc. about you or the company.  People are going to talk!   We have to, it’s how things work in this world.
So, the next time you decide to RSVP for an event that involves having to network, don’t think twice about signing up!  Honor your positive RSVP, get out from behind the computer and GO!   Your networking efforts are always the best way to go, face to face connections are valuable, not just to get information from a group of panelists, or just to network and get loads of cards, GO!
And then, make sure you follow up with those people!  Whether it be, connecting with them on Facebook, Linkedin, LinkingRaleigh, Inside919 or some other networking community, follow up.  And then meet for coffee!  There are tons of great coffee places every where around the world.  The best connection comes from you being you and not holding back!

GO NETWORK, GET IN FRONT OF PEOPLE AND CONNECT!!! And be YOU! Presents OPENLink, May 20th @ Indigo Hotel

May 20th
6-9 pm
The Indigo Hotel
151 Tatum Dr
Durham, NC 27703
Price: $0 – Members / $5.50 – Non Members
Website to register:
This is an open networking event FREE to all Linking Raleigh, NC members.
Come to connect with group members and start new professional relationships that will speed up business in the Triangle.
Sponsorship Opportunities are still available. Contact for more information.
Job Seekers that decide to attend should leave their resumes at home. This is not that kind of networking event.
MLM, pyramid schemes and other network marketing activities are not welcomed at this networking event. Presents UpLink Professional and Business Luncheon May 18th Presents UpLink Professional and Business Luncheon May 18, 2010 11:30am to 1:30pm The Matthews House, Cary
The UpLink Professional and Business Luncheon is a networking luncheon opportunity for you to meet other local professionals and hear from local experts.
Topic: Sales, Service and Support. Working as a Team
Panelists Include:
Jim Morgan, M.A., Team Coach and Founder of TeamTrainers Consulting
Martin Brossman, Success Coach and Founder of Martin Brossman and Associates

(More Information will follow).
A buffet lunch catered by The Matthews House will be provided.
Venue Sponsor: The Matthews House Catering
Event Coordination by: CBJ Promotional Avenues – Christina Blandi-James Presents: UpLink Professional and Business Luncheon

UpLink Professional and Business Luncheon
April 29, 2010
11:30am to 1:30pm
The Matthews House, Cary
The UpLink Professional and Business Luncheon is a networking luncheon opportunity for you to meet other local professionals and hear from local experts.
Topic: Professional and Business Networking
Greg Hyer will be sharing tips to help you succeed in professional and business networking. In addition he will be sharing tips on getting the most out of LinkedIn such as the proper usage of keywords in your profile that will put you on the first page of LinkedIn search results.
Attendees are encouraged to share experiences that have worked for them in an effort to speed up business in the Triangle.
A buffet lunch catered by The Matthews House will be provided.
To purchase tickets to attend:

Internet Marketing….My take on the Piece of the Puzzel

How does one go about capitalizing on today’s society and how it is all driven? Internet marketing is one of the hottest trends out there today. Social media, affiliate marketing, branding online, websites, blogging, photo sharing, twitter, which one do you use? Pick one. There are so many ways to market online it is almost obscene. I have been watching several people in some of my social media sites I am on and even the novice is flocking to them and calling themselves marketing mavens. Now, I am not belittling anyone at all. I was at a beginning point also and needed to learn the latest and greatest ways to communicate. But, I also have a education and studied long and difficult hours worth of case studies on the effects of marketing, branding, research and so forth. Some may say it is all about common sense, but I also feel it is part studying the marketing trends and not just in it for a quick fix.
If you happen to stumble upon a niche market and find yourself succeeding where others have not, then you hit the big one! Congrats! Otherwise, it takes many hours of non stop, persistent and challenging trials and errors to succeed at anything. It may take several years to accomplish the success you so desire. I, myself, have been at this, for myself, for about 3 years. Have I had successes? Yes. Have I always hit the jack pot? No. Have I given up on my passion? No. If there is one thing about marketing, I have grown to love, is the ever changing scope of how things are done and the patterns keep changing. That is why I love it so much. It is not a stagnant field. There are so many ways to promote, get the word out about something you are doing, advertise, post, upload video, post a picture, etc. it is amazing! Experts are flocking to the internet media waves and posting their white papers online. Researchers and their long time love of difficult hours, are finding their successes by posting their findings online as well. All of this to get noticed. I don’t think there is one person who has not been online doing something. Whether it is to surf the web, search for something to do, find an event, read the newspaper, post a picture for everyone to see, keep a track of their stock portfolio, or gossip and post your opinions. We are all on the online at some point in a day.
Where am I taking all this? What am I trying to say? It’s easy people, no one can deny they are not on the web. Just about everyone is marketing and communicating about something. It is putting the US Postal system on their tail ends. Their comments, opinions, marketing an event, whatever it may be, we are here. Is this a trend? NO. The online presence of today’s society is here to stay. It adds enrichment to our lives. Are we on overload with it? Sometimes, Yes. Don’t abuse the system people or it won’t work. Give us the information, your opinion whether solicited or not, and help me feel good about what is going on in the world.
That is my take on Internet marketing. I may be just a little bit more of a novice, but I am here to stay and I will impart my knowledge for you all to see and hopefully learn from. It is my participation in the world!