Identify a Parallel and Enjoy the Personalized Message

June 20, 2014 by · Comments Off on Identify a Parallel and Enjoy the Personalized Message 

When Anita Luvera Mayer  described the purpose of her art, her verbiage painted a picture. Concepts clicked. Parallels revealed themselves. In short, the earth around me moved. “Creative Cloth,” her DVD, became less about color discharge, wrapped rings and appliques, and more about creative problem solving.

Anita’s enthusiasm for communicating illustrated for me a new way in which to talk about social media. It happens that way. When you find the solution right for you, there’s a knowing in the core of your being.

I saw connections between terms:bigstock-An-image-of-a-nice-clock-with--23918366

Plan – a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something

Guide – a thing that helps someone to form an opinion or make a decision about something

System – a set of connected things or parts forming a complex whole, in particular

Process – a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end

Framework – a basic structure underlying a system, concept, or text

By any name – plan, guide, system, process, framework – the results can be the same. One comment presented at the perfect time changes your perception and subsequently, your results. Or, as the saying goes: “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

My UNMCE summer class offers a framework for Marketing with Social Media.

Beginning July 8, 2014, this three-week deep dive covers questions such as:

  • What really works in social media now?
  • How can I “come back” from my lack of presence on Facebook and other social channels?
  • What’s really important with social media? I spend a ton of time and get little return.
  • Show me an effective post for my business.
  • What are general best practices for each of the top social media channels?
  • How do I translate this knowledge to something that can work better for me?

Typically, UNMCE class size is small, less than 10 people total. This means participants receive individualized attention and can explore questions specific to their industry or business.

We’ll work through the questions in a sequence of presentations and exercises designed to change how you look at social media, what you expect from your social efforts, and how you execute and evaluate the work you put into social channels.
While I can’t promise you’ll be as excited about social media as I got about stacked beading, it’s just possible that you’ll find a parallel you can apply.

Class #55623 Marketing with Social Media
When: 6pm – 9pm, three Tuesdays, July 8 – July 22, 2014
Where: UNMCE – South Building
Investment: $239.00

Register online 

A different class, Marketing and Self Promotion for Digital Artists begins July 29th and covers additional items such as bios and press releases that tie into social media.

#55622 Marketing and Self Promotion for Digital Artists
When: 6pm – 9pm, two Tuesdays, July 29-August 5, 2014
Where: UNMCE – South Building
Investment: $179.00
Register online 

What parallel could you uncover to catalyze you to new heights with social media?

UNMCE Spring Schedule Includes Social Media Options

January 22, 2014 by · Comments Off on UNMCE Spring Schedule Includes Social Media Options 

This Spring I present three classes on behalf of the Digital Arts Program at University of New Mexico Continuing Education (UNMCE).stinking thinking equals poor results

Course specifics:

Class #55622: Marketing and Self Promotion for Digital Artists
Develop materials to promote yourself, your business and/or your art online and offline. From media kits to promotional calendars, your view of self-marketing will move forward exponentially as a result of this content-packed, practical class. Artists, designers and other professionals will plan and execute publicity tactics with confidence as a result.
When: Thursday 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm; 2 sessions starting May 15, 2014, ending May 22, 2014
Tuition: $179.00 Available Discounts

Class #55623: Marketing with Social Media
Expand awareness for your business or job search by combining traditional and social media. Market 24/7 with an Internet storefront showcasing who you are and what you do. Learn about a range of tactics that can help you stand out: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, Google+ Pinterest, plus social bookmarking, blogs, YouTube and many other options that add exposure to your website. Take charge of your Internet reputation. Focus on strategies for distinguishing your company from that of your competition or ways to stand out as a job applicant.
When: Tuesday 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm; 3 sessions starting March 4, 2014, ending March 18, 2014
Tuition: $239.00

Class #55622: Advanced strategies for Google+, Pinterest and Other Social Media
The bar is higher than ever for marketers who use social media. Go beyond the superficial to implement digital success strategies. Harness the power of Google+ with Google authorship and discover why G+ is predicted to rule the future social landscape. Discover creative ways to use YouTube for business. Drive your website traffic with a Pinterest company page. Don’t just get your company’s message out. Drive more business in.
When: Tuesday 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm; 2 sessions starting March 25, 2014, ending April 1, 2014
Tuition: $179.00

Some of you have asked why I teach. Teaching for UNMCE brings me satisfaction for three reasons:
1. I make a difference
2. I connect with interesting people
3. I stay current on my topic – social media

Here’s just a little more explanation about these reasons. Consider it a short conversation with me:

I make a difference:This is the most exciting part of my job as a teacher: connecting you with the things you most want to learn.

“What is your number one goal for this series?” I ask before class begins. Then, I keep your goal in mind throughout our time together.

I believe we must all come to terms with a more transparent world. Our digital footprint occurs whether we acknowledge it or not.

One woman signed up for Twitter in order to access a high school’s meeting schedule. (It wasn’t available any other way.) A businessman wanted to understand how social media could increase sales. Another entrepreneur wants to get the word about a new trade school he’s offering. Each individual wants to make sense of new ways of communicating.

In learning about these opportunities, I realize you can choose from hundreds of sources “out there.” My commitment to provide you with practical, usable ways to meet your goal differentiates me.

“I’m not a teacher, only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you.”  –George Bernard Shaw

If there’s a bottom line, it’s “I care!”
I connect with interesting people

“A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” –Erin Majors

UNMCE continues to attract a diverse student population. During the past few semesters students from the non-profit world have mixed with long-standing businesses. Job seekers of all age groups have joined employees and employers and entrepreneurs.

The result brings stimulating presentations to the final class and dynamic discussions to our time together. Exciting.

I stay current on my topic – social media. 

In the words of Phil Collins: “In learning you will teach and in teaching you will learn.”

Because I aspire to excellence, I prepare for classes with continued study of social media, ongoing education about the most popular of social channels and the trends in an era of real-time happenings.

Not only must I be apprised of what’s happening in the ever-changing world of social media, but also in knowing how people apply that information. My preparation involves reading, talking with others and experimenting with my own social media.

From my perspective, teaching is fun.

If you want to look differently at this brave new world, this world of social media, please join me this Spring for one of these offerings.

Will you study your digital footprint?

Clarity in Marketing Begins With You

December 5, 2013 by · Comments Off on Clarity in Marketing Begins With You 

As I write, snowflakes hide the city lights. Even the roadway, just a few feet away from my front door, seems distant. In a storm like this, it can be difficult to evaluate actions: Should I drive? Will my meetings be cancelled? How will the weather affect tomorrow’s schedule? (It’s already snowed longer than usual.) Perspective changes, intention softens, vision blurs…

The snow becomes a metaphor for marketing.snow, a metaphor for marketing

Clarity in marketing starts with questions. Where am I now? Where do I want to go? How will I get there?

The actions needed to bridge the gap between where I am and where I want to go may be referred to as a marketing plan. Defining those actions, narrowing the scope of what must be done and moving with certainty down the path requires effort.

Begin by working through the problem(s) at hand. You may find it easier to hire a professional to help you. Here are five reasons to use a marketing coach:

  1. Accountability
  2. Perspective
  3. Expertise
  4. Advice
  5. Synergy

1. Accountability. Set benchmarks for progress and then inspect what you expect. A coach helps you think through the plan. Time after time I’ve discovered incremental progress as a result of specific goals. Small promises such as, “Email me after you write your blog post,” produce results that may have otherwise gone by the wayside. I appreciate that my coach holds me accountable to do what I say I will do when I say I’ll do it. While I may not be thrilled with my report, I own it.

2. Perspective. With perspective, I evaluate from another angle and take advantage of critical distance. My coach points out unrealistic expectations, judgmental attitudes, or emotions that unnecessarily block success for me. We can talk through irrational fears or overstated exuberance. Voicing these emotions to an objective third party helps me think them through.

3. Expertise. There’s no substitute knowledge. Specialty information takes time. Since today’s marketing cycle is made up of thousands of little things it’s easy to get caught in seminar after seminar to shore up confidence. A coach with expertise you can use offers incredible advantages: focus, shortened learning cycle, and a recommended course of action.

4. Advice. Because your coach has an ongoing relationship with you and your business, they are up to speed on your specific situation. Professional advice becomes meaningful in context, and therefore more important.

5. Synergy. What I most love about my coach is that together we’re greater. Most of the time I find that an idea discussed in our call gets polished, even embellished, and perfected before it’s released. Maybe the time spent in preparation for a coaching call forces additional thought and preparation. Or, writing down an idea lets the subconscious go to work. Whatever happens, it works.

You may come up with other reasons to hire a professional. Feel free to add them in comments at the end of this post.

Good luck. Your plan will be as good as the questions you ask. In the spirit of the season, here’s a handout I use to guide clients through the process. Work through it. Use it. Send the link to your friends.

Above all, have fun with the process. Are you clear?

Dynamic Social Media Starts With You

September 11, 2013 by · Comments Off on Dynamic Social Media Starts With You 

Mary Ellen Merrigan, UNMCE Digital Arts Instructor

Mary Ellen Merrigan, UNMCE Digital Arts Instructor

“This class is a very effective way to begin to understand, navigate and strategically utilize Social Media as a marketing tool.” –Alex P.

An old saying quips, “When the time is right, the teacher will appear.”

If you’re tired of getting nowhere with social media, or if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the plethora of social media, or if you don’t really know why you have to do social media, the time may be right for you to take a course at UNMCE.

“The instructor provided great “real life” examples and many useful resources. I recommend her and the course highly.” –Alex P.

Marketing With Social Media, course #55623 from the Digital Arts Program at the University of New Mexico Continuing Education Department gives you a perspective from which you can finally enjoy the dance of social media.

For nine focused hours you concentrate on the strategic intention and systematic implementation of social media.

  • You view examples of what works as well as what does not
  • You write posts of your own and test them on your peers

The world of social media continues to evolve as does the class. Each session is different. What every class series and each class presentation does have in common is huge content, high energy and pertinent information.

Dynamic social media is no accident. As a result of Marketing with Social Media you will:

  • Develop a systematic approach to social media based on the acronym DYNAMIC
  • Understand the need to use social media as an integrated marketing component for your business
  • Gain an overview of social channels and tools to manage them
  • Explore ways in which you can expand your social efforts synergistically
  • Learn best practices for Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest, to name a few
  • Draft a social media success strategy and explain why it will work for your situation

Start where you are. Many participants begin with comments such as these:

“I JUST (yesterday) signed up for Twitter and tweeted my first tweet. If you’re at all inclined to follow my one tweet, my user name is: More_Turquoise”

“Hi Mary Ellen, I hope you are having a great weekend. Can’t wait till our class Tuesday evening. Nine hours is NOT enough time. Do you have a Marketing for Social Media II class in the fall?”

“Our staff had an excellent talk about social media this morning. I’ve really learned a lot in your class. Thanks.” -Ronna A.

Never underestimate the value of one small step. The principles presented in these class sessions can work for a large organization, a sole proprietor or a small business.

Take your small step today. Enroll in this class and commit to taking your social media marketing to a new level.


Class: Marketing with Social Media, Class #55623

Instructor: Mary Ellen Merrigan

Dates: 6-9pm Wednesdays, November 6 – November 20, 2013

Tuition: $239.00

Where: UNMCE, south building, 1634 University SE

Here is a sample of comments from participants who have completed the series:

“…I needed to take this class long ago. It has opened up a whole new world, one where I know in my heart I belong.” –Terry B.

“It’s clear that your class is well-organized and effective. Given the quality of the presentations of the last night and the avowed inexperience of the attendees three short weeks ago, the accomplishment is outstanding.” –Barbara K.

Trapped in Doubt, Delay or Distraction?

April 25, 2013 by · Comments Off on Trapped in Doubt, Delay or Distraction? 


Eric and Rachel want to find new jobs. Katharine plans to sell her stories.

Thirty minutes into their evening class, a chorus of yawns, glassy eyes and blank looks sound the long day alarm.

Questions elicit one word answers.

To shift perspective, I invite participants to the board.

Their assignment: Write five words that describe you, five words to form the base of your social media voice.

List A:


List B:

Problem solver

A shift occurs.

As students explain their choice of words, observers morph into enthusiastic class participants.

  • They detail for each other minute differences between adjectives such as practical and down-to-earth or trustworthy and responsible.
  • They examine words that could be off-putting to an employer and talk about how to discuss ambition without intimidating during an interview.
  • They offer each other feedback, encouragement and critique.

Instead of one more thing to do, passion and energy back the promotional choice of social media.

I facilitate these type of shifts: from wary and resentful of social media to understanding, acceptance and even enthusiasm.

While you may not find your voice at the front of the classroom, this exercise adds consistency, authenticity and impact to your social media effort.

Once you know your why, the how becomes much easier.

Personal branding guru Dan Schawbel speaks and writes passionately about the age of personal innovation and its impact on brand:

Personal Innovation: The ability to see new opportunities where others don’t, create new positions/jobs that never existed, while undergoing continuous learning and adapting to economic change.

Schawbel’s new book, “Promote Yourself: the New Rules for Career Success”publishes in September, 2013.

Thought-provoking questions also help users define their voice.

If you want to find your voice, or if you are ready to authentically promote yourself, register for my class from UNM Continuing Education:

Course #55623
Time: 6:00 – 8:00pm
Day: Tuesdays
Dates: 7/7 – 7/23/13
Fee: $179

When will you give up doubt, delay and distraction to effectively promote yourself?


UNMCE Course Trains Participants in Personal Marketing Efforts

March 12, 2013 by · Comments Off on UNMCE Course Trains Participants in Personal Marketing Efforts 

“Never look for birds of this year in the nests of the last.” – Miguel de Cervantes


Business as usual means dealing with change. The speed and flexibility required to compete in the new norm makes a necessity of continually updating skills and knowledge.

Preparation as recent as last year my not qualify you to compete in today’s world. If you deal with social media, you can relate.

Three years ago, Pinterest, now the third largest social network channel, did not exist. LinkedIn did not have company pages. Facebook offered a completely different news feed.

Three days ago, YouTube launched a new channel. And so it goes. Change at the speed of new.

Marketing and Self-Promotion for Digital Artists, course #55622 from UNMCE will focus on marketing and publicity tactics for artists, designers and other professionals.

Participants explore benefits of media kits, promotional calendars, email signatures, and web-ready bios.

One Spring 2012 participant commented,

“I learned a lot of different advertising tool that I had never thought of. I also learned to write an effective bio-sketch.”

Other practical exercises help students move forward, and provide them with tools for immediate use.

As a result of this series, students will gain:

  • A basic overview of publicity/visibility options and an understanding of why they’re critical to success
  • General press release how-to’s in order to publicize work effectively on and offline
  • An intro to social media, the new PR effort, and details about its impact
  • A marketing plan outline to enable a simple and easy marketing process

Promise yourself you’ll deal differently with change starting now. As Miles Davis said:

“Bebop was about change. It wasn’t about standing still and becoming safe. If anybody wants to keep creating they have to be about change.” – Miles Davis


Sign up details:
UNM CE #55622, Marketing & Self-Promotion for Digital Artists
6pm – 8pm, Tuesdays, April 16, 23 and 30
$179.00 fee
Discounts may apply

How will you prepare your own marketing efforts for change?

Reinvigorate Your Social Media through UNMCE

February 11, 2013 by · Comments Off on Reinvigorate Your Social Media through UNMCE 

How’s social media working for you?

I ask the question with a straight face, yet I seldom get a straight answer.

People squirm, stall, answer my question with a question of their own, and in general, avoid direct responses.

My conclusion: social media, the most prolific marketing channel to date, makes nearly everyone uncomfortable.


Despite its exponential growth, social media attrition is high. People jump in enthusiastically and are quickly overwhelmed. Because the learning curve is high, some give up. Even social media channels change, so what’s the point?

If you hesitate to describe your social media efforts as successful, consider enrolling in “Marketing With Social Media,” a nine-hour offering from The University of New Mexico Continuing Education.


  • Course: #55623
  • Title: Marketing with Social Media
  • Instructor: Mary Ellen Merrigan
  • Time: 6pm – 9pm
  • Dates: March 5, March 12, and March 19 (Tuesdays) 
  • Where: South Building, UNM Continuing Education Campus, 1634 University NE, Albuquerque
  • Fee: $239.00
  • Register Online

This class will help you:

  • Identify where your business fits in social media channels
  • Detail your social media objective
  • Develop social media tactics to fulfill your objective
  • Decide if your social media messaging is on target and correct it, if necessary
  • Determine how you will judge your social media results
  • Explore a five-step framework to social media marketing
  • Study best practices
  • Review mistakes, analyze ineffective efforts
  • Define measurable results
  • Gain knowledge of resources to automate and systematize your social media experience 
  • Build a social media game plan to boost visibility for your business

You will receive practical social media checklists and action guides you can put to immediate use.

Say goodbye to half-hearted, inconsistent efforts.

Promise yourself results, such as:

  • Brand continuity
  • Consistent conversation
  • Engagement from your customers and community

Take the first step by enrolling in this step-by-step offering.


  • Course: #55623
  • Title: Marketing with Social Media
  • Instructor: Mary Ellen Merrigan
  • Time: 6pm – 9pm
  • Dates: March 5, March 12, and March 19 (Tuesdays)
  • Where: South Building, UNM Continuing Education Campus, 1634 University NE, Albuquerque
  • Fee: $239.00
  • Register Online

Hurry. Less than one month remains. Are you ready to reinvigorate your social media?


What Goals Will You Set For Yourself?

November 12, 2012 by · Comments Off on What Goals Will You Set For Yourself? 

Goal  — Noun: the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end | Synonyms:  target, outcome, intention

Our family of seven didn’t set goals. We created New Year’s resolutions, Lenten intentions, and Advent “angel” acts, but no “goals,” per se.

After I attended a Nightingale-Conant seminar  in my early twenties, I began to set goals.

In a non-scientific way I studied goals. First, I worked with the “SMART” acronym, ensuring my goals were each:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic/relevant
  • Time-bonded

“What was I missing?”

Even when my goals seemed SMART-perfect, I could fail.

I read books by self-improvement gurus like Brian Tracy.

  • “Goals! How to Get Everything You Want – Faster than You Ever Though Possible”
  • “Change Your Thinking Change Your Life – How to Unlock Your Full Potential for Success and Achievement”

This led to practices like re-writing goals daily. Until recently, I had dozens of journals with page after page of handwritten goals.

Still searching for the “Aha!” connection, I devoured Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander’s “The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life.”

Then, a major success led me to realize a new mind-body connection.

My desire to lose weight once and for all caused me to enroll in a 90-day “Body for Life” challenge.

Initially, I worked to integrate the meal plan with my lifestyle. (Body for Life encourages frequent, high-protein, small meals.)

It wasn’t until I understood the importance of food and exercise intensity in unison that I began to see significant results.

As my exercise intensity increased, I felt different. Instead of exhaustion after a workout, I noticed energy later in the day.

My commitment became a given approximately halfway through the challenge. I no longer questioned my reasons for participation or the probability of my success.

At the end of the challenge, I’d lost 17 pounds and more than 17 inches.

My physical transformation from a size 12 to a size 8 was significant. More importantly, my mindset altered forever, “for life.”

You would think that this success mindset meant “I got it. Repeatable. Guaranteed!” Not so.

I experimented, searching for the perfect mind/body connection that would ensure every goal acheived.

I tried writing my goal list, sealing it in an envelope and then, some months later, reconciling intentions with results. Sometimes the surprise was bigger than expected, as if to prove the thought could direct life actions.

Using short-bursts, such as 21-day goals, I modified habits and thoughts to accommodate my efforts.

When someone suggested I might be driven by goals, I dropped them for a time. No goals left me feeling less directed, less purposeful and less successful.

Obviously, goals fascinate me. Thanks to Tony Robbins, I’ve added clarity and purpose to my goals.

Brendon Burchard’s bestseller, “The Charge” caused me to focus even more intently on directing goal achievement through mindfulness.

High Performance Academy, a live event from Brendon Burchard, took the goal process to yet another level, emphasizing that goals are about the journey, not the destination.

My conclusion: I plan to happily continue to think about, read about, and set goals. I’ll recommend goals for others.

In the words of Joseph J. Lamb:

The road to success leads through the valley of humility, and the path is up the ladder of patience, and across the wide barren plains of perseverance. As yet, no short cut has been discovered.

What goals will you set for yourself for the coming year?


UNMCE Class Helps Participants Plan Social Media Marketing

October 8, 2012 by · Comments Off on UNMCE Class Helps Participants Plan Social Media Marketing 

Social media continues to explode with new reasons for channel use, new channels, new ways to measure usage.

With less than one quarter remaining in 2012, it’s time to think about 2013 and your social marketing plans.

How is social media working for you and your company? If you don’t know, you’re hardly alone.

Statistics show 93% of marketers use social media for business. Far fewer are certain about their course of action and how to measure its effectiveness.

Your commitment to change the status quo starts with your social media strategy and a class presented by the University of New Mexico Continuing Education, UNMCE.

In Marketing with Social Media, a nine-hour offering from UNMCE, you’ll have the opportunity to focus on big picture social media strategies for your business.

In three packed abd practical sessions, you will:

  • Identify where your business fits in social media channels
  • Detail your social media objective
  • Develop social media tactics to fulfill your objective
  • Decide if your social media messaging is on target and correct it, if necessary
  • Determine how you will judge your social media results
  • Explore a five-step framework to social media marketing
  • Study best practices
  • Review mistakes, analyze ineffective efforts
  • Define measurable results
  • Gain knowledge of resources to automate and systematize your social media experience
  • Build a social media game plan to boost visibility for your business

If there’s a negative about this class, it’s the working elements involved. As one participant put it:

“To get something out of it you had to do the homework–it took time.” (Summer 2012 participant)

Other participants from Summer 2012 add:

“Mary Ellen knows her stuff and knows how to teach!  That’s a great combination.  She is able to to personalize the information for the diversity of students’ needs and make it relevant for each one.  Really great class.”

“One of the best classes I have taken at CE.  I’m using the results at work right now.  Again–really excellent instructor.”

Enroll online. Details:

Course: #55623 – Marketing with Social Media

When: 6pm – 9pm Tuesdays, November 6 – November 20

Officially: 9 hours class credit

Fee:  $239.00

Will you make social media marketing in 2013 different from this year’s effort?

Smart Marketing Class Guides Participants to Formulate a One Page Marketing Plan

August 26, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

What is your #1 marketing goal for this year?

What are the top three things that will help you get there?

If you experience a general reluctance to pin everything to one sentence, you’re not alone.

It seems many of us prefer to hide in a group, waiting to declare an answer so it can sound smarter. A similar indecisiveness exists with social media. The like button makes it easy to show support and yet safely refrain from voicing a view.

In search of “the” answer, or perfect solution, some hesitate.

Why even begin? When one hesitates, doubt expands. Stress multiplies.

In my experience, someone can always make you wrong.

Two different and correct points of view almost always co-exist.

Moving confidently into your own plan tames indecision and enhances a sense of confidence.

In Smart Marketing, Class #37066 for the University of New Mexico Continuing Education, we’ll explore options as you build your one page marketing plan.

Participants will have opportunity to voice hesitations or concerns about their marketing ideas and past marketing experiences.

Additional options will be discussed and explored through case studies. Best of all, you’ll have a laboratory in which to test your own marketing theories.

The class holds you accountable. As you work on your business you’ll reap these benefits:

  • Energize your business with the new focus you develop during this five week session
  • Prepare for fourth quarter 2013, developing tactics that will increase your exposure while saving you time and energy
  • Solidify your messaging so you can better concentrate during the coming busy season
  • Test your theories before putting them in practice to eliminate mistakes and sharpen your targeting
  • Develop systems enabling you to more effectively market in today’s social world

The bad news about this series: your marketing won’t formulate itself. There will be homework.

The good news: thanks to a structured presentation and engaging outline, you’ll have a guide to make the process more effective.

The best news: as a result of this four week course, you’ll have a solid marketing plan from which you can work for the next year.


  • 6pm – 9pm Thursdays, September 20- October 11, 2012
  • Based on the e-book “The Four Week Marketing Master Plan” by Mary Ellen Merrigan. E-book included with registration.
  • Class fee: $399.00
  • Register online

« Previous PageNext Page »