Monday, January 28, 2013

R they Scammin U

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Just read this article on a scam that is targeting trucking and logistics companies and others.  Here’s an edited version for your review.  Thoroughly check and double-check all credit sources lest you too be caught in a rip off.

    “The FBI is currently investigating the activities of allegedly fraudulent Canadian business entities that are defrauding U.S. companies. In summary, the scam begins when a Canadian business (typically located in or around Montreal, Quebec) requests a line of credit with a U.S. business," the FBI said in a prepared statement.
"The Canadian business will fax or e-mail references, credit documents, and/or tax documents to prove authenticity. The Canadian business will then place an order for materials on the line of credit and arrange for shipping by a third party. The materials are hauled to Canada, and payment is never made.”
The FBI has identified Canstruct, Inc., AYA Distributors, Xpress Auto Parts, Point Tech Performer, Inc. and Emptech as allegedly fraudulent Canadian businesses as participants in the alleged scheme.
The alleged scheme has targeted lumber and construction material retailers (lumber, siding, roofing, flooring, etc.), tire retailers, auto parts retailers, trucking and logistics companies, and painting supply companies, according to the FBI.
Trade associations across the country have alerted members to the activities, and a recent story on Watchung-Green Brook Patch generated comments from 11 companies from South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland that said they were also victims of the scam. A LinkedIn discussion group called “Confessions of a Sales Manager” has generated dozens of similar comments.
Business that suspect they are victims of this scheme can call the FBI at 877-236-8947 and select option 2. Additional information can be sent via email to canscam@ic.fbi.gov.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach



Friday, January 25, 2013

Effective Social Media

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Social media has truly revolutionized the ways customers and businesses interact.  I’ve read all industries revolutionize every 7 years.  So we as business professionals must be in constant mode of adjusting or we can become obsolete.  We should always be reading about new technologies and consulting with experts who understand their particular niche well.  I read this article on a social media pro and was motivated by some of her methods:

“Skeptics say social media hasn't existed long enough to produce experts. Clearly, those folks haven't met Shama Kabani. The 26-year-old wrote her master's thesis for the University of Texas at Austin about Twitter--when it had only 2,000 users, not the 175 million it has today. She hosts a web TV show about technology. Her 2010 book, The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz and Increase Revenue, is the No. 4 seller about web marketing on Amazon.com.

And those are just the side projects. In 2009, at 24, Kabani founded The Marketing Zen Group, a social media marketing firm in Dallas. The company, which she launched with $1,500 of her own money, specializes in all aspects of web marketing for clients--from Facebook and Twitter to blogs and video.
"We are in an age where people are tired of the faceless corporate culture," the Texas native says. "Every day, I ask myself the same question: What can I do today to increase value for our trusted audience (blog readers, TV watchers, Twitter followers, etc.), for our team and for our clients?"

That value means different things for different clients. For k9cuisine.com, a Paris, Ill.-based online retailer of dog food, Marketing Zen established blog and Twitter presences and cultivated relationships with pet-related bloggers. For Arthur Murray Dance Studios in Boston, the company optimized a website to generate more targeted sales leads.

Marketing Zen wasn't always about social media. Kabani says her original plan was to start a general consulting agency. But she quickly realized her passions--and all the best gigs, for that matter--were in the social media space, so she tweaked her strategy.

This modified approach was about consulting with clients, telling them how to better market their businesses online and letting them run with it. Meanwhile, Kabani learned two things: Clients wanted not just a consultant, but also a firm that could implement ideas; and social media is only part of a larger marketing puzzle that includes building solid websites and developing smart search engine optimization.
"That is how we went from being a consulting company to a company that takes over web marketing for our clients," she says. "Our value proposition is simpler now: We drive inbound leads for our clients and increase their online brand visibility."

Another key differentiator: legitimate engagement. Kabani prides herself on having her clients engage with followers, rather than simply talking at them. For Dave Kerpen, CEO and co-founder of competitor Likeable Media, this is a distinguishing characteristic. "She understands the true meaning of community engagement," Kerpen says. "She gets that the conversation must go both ways in order to satisfy customers."

This article was originally published in the September 2011 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Social Media's Zen Master of Marketing by Matt Villano.

At Brooke we mix using consultants and handling much of our own social media and traditional marketing.  The hybrid keeps me in tune with what we are doing, lets me do what I am good at while benefiting from the input of experts.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach



Monday, January 21, 2013

MLK Day

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There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.  

Martin Luther King Jr.


I am encouraged by this quote by Martin Luther King Jr.  He was a man that stuck to his convictions whether they were popular or not.  He spoke truth.  He led an incredible life.   He loved God and lived out Biblical principals.  He left an amazing legacy.

 Yet, he was targeted and killed.

Leading a life of purpose and truth is not easy and could even be fatal.   I can get very frustrated when things seem to be falling apart while I am doing the best I can to be a man of integrity.  That is why I am inspired by this powerful quote by a man who made a difference. 

I am challenged to analyze the life I am living.  I challenge you to look at the life you are living.  If we can’t find anything we are doing of lasting value then we need to make some changes in our life. 

Have a purposeful Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach



Monday, January 14, 2013

Think your Way to Success

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It is ½ way through the first month of the New Year.  Happy 2013!  Have you broken any resolutions yet? Or have you already made progress towards a new goal?

I recently read an article in which was written:  “Successful, happy people make a habit of thinking and talking only about the things they want.

Unsuccessful, unhappy people unfortunately, spend most of their time thinking and talking about what they don’t want.”

Read through that again.  That is a powerful thought.  We determine our success and happiness by what we allow to consume our thoughts. 

So we can think our way into success, or into our greatest fear.

In our school we meet many motivated individuals, with concrete goals.   I know they will be successful because they continually think about what they want to achieve.  And they are taking a great step towards getting there by coming to class and completing our freight broker course. 

The first step is to figure out what you want, then think about it.  Concentrate on what you want and you will start thinking of all the ways you can get there.   On the other hand if I think about my fears, failures and what has made me unhappy I will feel defeated at the end of the day.

Take stock of where you are and where you want to be this time next year, then start thinking about where you want to be.  Forward thinking will get you moving forward.

Education is never a waste, helping others is always a good use of time and positive thinking produces positive results. 

Moving forward,

Jeff Roach