Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Gnome Knows

Let 2012 begin! It's looking like a very busy year for this Lifestylist® - I'm already working on trips to Michigan, New York, Las Vegas and Florida. All of these are to work with clients, and I'm always very frugal as to where I stay when I'm on the road.
The first destination for me when I'm trying to get my travel reservations in order is Travelocity. This has been such a great time saver for me, and I've discovered really cool hotels I never would have known (or Gnome) about without their help. I was fortunate enough to spend some quality time with that cute little guy sporting the pointy red at the past few years at Savor Dallas, and he shared some great tips with me.
One of the best ways to save is to book everything together on their site. Not only can it save you money, it's easier to keep up with to have your reservations  all in one place.
Thanks to their help, I discovered what I consider the best travel deal I've ever found. I needed a last minute room in the Tampa Bay area so I looked on Travelocity to see what I could find, and there it was - The Postcard Inn. Right on the beach, cool and funky, and amazing restaurant, Snack Shack and bar right on site, and under $75.00 a night! I liked it so much my daughter and grandkids joined me there to celebrate my birthday.
The next time you are thinking about heading out of town and experience something different, try Travelocity and trust their suggestions. Hopefully you'll be able to find your own Postcard Inn to enjoy.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

What's Mine is Not Yours - Intellectual Property

Seth Godin is my guru. He is so no nonsense but funny at times, intellectual but down to earth, and what I really love about him is that he can get a point across faster than anyone else I know. His Purple Cow book started me on a new road to being more involved in marketing and social media so I'm forever grateful. When I worked on the Purple Cow House Campaign with Patriot Homes I made sure to get permission from Mr. Godin, and we credited him for the phrase (and gave out his Purple Cow Book).

Today I got a great post from him titled "Simple Thoughts About Fair Use". So timely, and as always so well written. In this new blogging, social world I'm always stunned to see how many people are using other people's photography, ads, brands, and stories without permission. This article is a must read for anyone who is even thinking about posting on Facebook, Twitter, or a blog and using someones text or images.

I'm fortunate enough to have access to a very talented photographer - Lisa Stewart of Lisa Stewart Photography. The images you see in my blogs, on my Lifestylist Design Facebook page and on my website have been shot specifically for my use. I do that so I'm not using other people's work and having copyright infringements.

Lifestylist® is a term that I successfully trademarked in 2002 - my registration number is 2583235. I'm very proud of this because I thought I had a good idea and made the extra effort do "do the right thing" and spend the time, effort, and money to trademark it. You would be amazed at how much time I've had to spend since them protecting my mark because people haven't bothered to do their homework and see that it's trademarked before they use it in their own businesses.

Before you decide that you have discovered the next great phrase, or "borrow" a photo from someone else be sure to read Seth's post. Wondering where to learn more about these topics? The US Patent and Trademark Office has a great site, and it is also where you can search trademark registrations and applications.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Social Media Lifestylist® Guidelines for 2012

Happy New Year from the Lifestylist® family! I'm really excited about 2012, and the opportunities that come with it.
A lot of being a Lifestylist® is about being a trend tracker and doing research. Today I read something that was written by someone else titled "Social Media Lifestylist Guidelines for 2012" - boy does that sound dull! The first thing that comes to mind is a big dusty manual full of rules and regulations, and that is exactly what social media (and being a Lifestylist®) is not about.
The tag line I have always used for my Lifestylist® brand is "It's All About You". I didn't want the brand to be about me telling people what to do - I wanted to listen to people's wants, needs, and dreams, and help them achieve those even when they didn't know that's what they were really searching for. I don't want to dictate, I want to educate. I've learned that listening is so much more important than anything I will ever have to say, because sometimes if you let people express their thoughts they will find their answers.
Social media is such an exciting new frontier because it gives everyone the chance to tell their story to the universe. It's become a great equalizer because almost anyone  on any budget can get access to a computer and a free site and share their thoughts.
There's a down side to this though as well -there's not as much editing as we've seen in the past. We have to learn that even though someone may have written it, there is the possibility it might not be true. Before we share or depend on information we find we have to be sure and check the facts. As the guardian of the Lifestylist® trademark for almost 10 years now I've seen how many people want to tie into my brand but aren't willing to go through the legal process to acquire a brand of their own.
So what are the real Lifestylist's guidelines for 2012? Never call them guidelines, live your life to the fullest, listen to those around you and you can never laugh too much or have too much great food and wine!
Here's to a boisterous 2012!