Home » My Thoughts and Advice

We Bought A House!

We Bought A House!

Our first home was on the market for a total of 7 days. We were one of 4 offers on our home and are very happy the selling family chooses us! Even the relator admitted it was a fixer upper. The 2 bed, 2 bath, ranch style home was dated and in need of some tender loving care. The first time we walked into the home we commented on how dark it was. Dark wood paneling lined the walls; dark brown shag carpet flowed through the house. The ceiling was popcorn and there were only two rooms in the house with overhead lighting. But the land was what we were really buying. 7 archers on the river, with 3 outbuildings and beautiful views make this home amazing.

Now all we needed to do was roll up our sleeves and put the shine on this home. We could not have done this remodel without the help of our friends and family. So to start I want to say thank you to Greg and Mari who helped paint for hours on their weekend, and who installed our beautiful tile in the front entry of our home. I want to thank Paul and PJ for donating their lightly used carpet and to Floors and Moor in La Pine for installing it. A BIG THANK YOU to Tammy and Rex for spending countless days and nights by my side as I leaned what home ownership and renovation was all about. I really could not have done it without you! And finally my amazing husband who was a great support. We still have a long way to go on fixing up this home but we are excited for what the future holds.

Video for Business

Well I have got myself in the thick of it again. I am shooting and editing business video. If this is something you are thinking about doing in house like we have decided to do let me share some tips I have learned the hard way.

Lighting is Everything

Trust me on this. We had to re-shoot one video three times in three different locations due to lighting. Build or buy a lighting kit. Just do it! We choose to do a three point lighting system to highlight the person we were focusing on. This worked great and made our subject look brighter and more alive.

Background and Framing the Shot

Choose your background carefully. We learned really quickly that adding different backgrounds to a person can change their skin tone and brighten or wash out your subject. An example is while we were filming Rex we noticed that we had to use a darker background or his white hair literally disappeared. We also discovered that using a one tone background just did not do him any favors. We ended up shooting him in his office which turned out to be the correct setting and feel for the videos.

Another tip is to really look at your background. You may need to move items to make it look cleaner or position your subject so the frame is centered in the space you are shooting in. Also check to make sure all lighting equipment is out of frame. That sounds simple but we made this mistake so you could too.

Editing Video Is Hard

I a have no video editing training but even with easy to use tools like wevideo and adobe it can be a pain in the neck. It is time consuming and soul sucking. After a day of video editing you really have to give it to the guys who do this for a living. My tip would be to keep it simple and add variety to the video. Add images or words to break up the video and make it more interesting to watch.


I have also started working with some video animation with GoAnimate. This handy little tool can let me create a short video with voice over and moving animations quickly. Again it does take a little work to make the story flow and continue to be informational but overall I like the tool. The best part of using animation for business videos is you do not have to schedule time with your video subject to sit down and tape the video. Animations do not care about how their hair looks either.

Over all I would say creating videos for business in house may not be the easy, but it does give you creative freedom to really get your point crossed. If you want to see some of the videos I have done so far check out Bancorp Insurance YouTube Page.

Annual Oregon Onsite Wastewater Conference & Tradeshow

January 30 & 31, 2015

2015-01-31 08.50.22

Last weekend was the first of many conferences I will be attending with Bancorp Insurance. I attended the booth with Rex Leseuur and Tammy Lesueur. As you walked into the Tradeshow room the walls where lined with booths. Some of them with large black plastic holding tanks, others with laser levels, and fancy hoses for the industry. Then there was our booth (see picture).

We talked to lots of contractors about their business insurance needs and about their personal or health insurance needs. Most of the attendees to this event have been coming for years and knew Rex by name. It was nice to meet them and get to know them during the short breaks they got during the conference.

I can tell I have a lot of learning to do I could not answer most of the question asked but I am ok at chit chat and was still able to have lots of conversation although they might not be about insurance. I am looking forward to how this conference will be different for me in just one year form now.

Shout out to my friend Matt B. for the great dinner in downtown Portland. See you next time I am in town.

Moving Forward

I would be lying to you and myself if I said I was not a little sad when I decided to close Actively Implementing Marketing Solutions. I spent three years learning and growing with my business. To close my doors felt scary and sad. It was also strange to have my inbox empty and my schedule clear.

This leads into what should I do with myself. Luckily I had a plan. I bought an online insurance pre-licensing course and spent my days studying. After hours of classes and two huge books highlighted in every color under the rainbow, I took my tests and what do you know I passed! I am now a licensed insurance agent. That is something I never thought I would say. For better or for worse I am going into the family business.

Keep checking in here to see how I am doing.

Actively Implementing Marketing Solutions Closing

Actively Implementing Marketing Solutions Closing

Actively Implementing Marketing Solutions will be closing on November 30th, 2014. I am making the decision to discontinue offering my services to work toward other goals. It is hard to leave something behind you have worked so hard to create, but I am looking forward to a bright future.

Below is a list of of professionals I am referring to help you complete your business goals.

Content Writers

Ashley Johnson
Seattle WA

Douglas Haugen
Seattle WA

Agency Revolution
Sarah Green

Ontraport, OAP, SendPepper, Agency Revolution Engine Help

Agency Revolution
Sarah Green

Alejandra Ortega
Certified Ontraport Freelancer


Thank you for all of your support over the last 3 years. I really enjoyed working with with all of my clients.

Thank you again,

Cheri Martinen

How White Papers Can Change the Game

How White Papers Can Change the Game

business info

White papers have become more and more valuable since the rise of quality content being king in marketing campaigns. Not only are these useful educational resources, but now equally as important as a business marketing tool. The next time you come across a white paper relative to your industry, don’t discard it. Turn it into something valuable and use it to grow your business.  Allow AIMS to explain how…

First of all, let’s talk about where to find white papers. A simple Google search for “white paper” combined with your industry terminology will produce a plethora of results. Most companies producing these are happy to allow other companies to share (while giving full credit to source) via their own website because then everybody wins – You get great marketing tool, and the publisher gets recognition for the white paper they created.

Now, here’s what you can DO with a white paper. So you’ve come across some informative white papers that are relevant to your business. Great! Time to open it, read it, and lastly, put it to USE!

  • It may seem obvious, but whitepapers are valuable educational resources for your business – Only however, if it’s read and not put aside to ultimately get forgotten about. Read thoroughly and make note of relevant facts and findings. Share with your business’ staff and employees to further knowledge collectively.
  • Use the information to refine your own marketing strategy. Narrow your Google search to the most recent listings to find the newest research and learn what’s working in today’s business landscape. Things change fast in business, use these whitepapers to stay ahead of the curve.
  • Resonate even more with your target customer by basing content efforts off whitepaper valuable facts and findings. Consumers are increasingly looking to content that offers value information. Write up a blog post summarizing the findings or even a press release (be sure to give full credit to the publisher).
  • Offer a white paper as a download on your own site. Based on the publisher’s copyright, you may be able to share directly. Publishers typically specify how the information can be used by other entities, but if in doubt, ask the publisher directly for permission to offer the white paper. Remember content is king! Appeal to your audience as being a resource.
  • White papers are also useful for prospecting and cold calling new clients. Use white papers as an ice-breaker when reaching out to potential new business. Because the information is coming from a reputable third-party, it is a non-bias way to introduce your business while offering value from the start.
  • White papers provide valuable material to make your social posts more interesting. Social users tend to follow businesses that share insightful, engaging and relevant content. Use this tactic to provide value to your network and generate more connections for your business. Share by pulling out stats and findings in a single post or tweet, or share the whitepaper as a direct download from your website or from the publisher’s (depending on copyright).

AIMS is here as your resource for marketing solutions. Call us today to discuss your marketing needs and how we can help!

Tap into your inner photographer!

Tap into your inner photographer!

implementnowSocial media marketing has evolved significantly over the past few years, and staying up-to-date on what works and what doesn’t work (as well) is what will make your company stand out from the masses marketing online.   That’s what AIMS is here for, to help you stay in touch with these effective trends and tools so you always look your best.

One of the simplest yet sometime overlooked ways to sharpen up your social media effectiveness, is photography. How much are you leveraging photos to market your company or services? As humans, we connect emotionally to images more than text. In fact 65-85 percent of people describe themselves as visual learners according to Trend Reports, meaning they make decisions, formulate thoughts, and take action quicker when prompted by images.

So how can you apply pictures to your social media page? Keep reading!

Keep it Professional

  • Photos should look different from the types of photos you would post on your personal page.
  • Anything you wouldn’t show directly to a customer, shouldn’t qualify for you page.
  • If you have to question its appropriateness, then probably don’t post it.

Keep it Relevant

  • Photos are an extension of your brand, not your personal life.
  • Basic photo editing goes a long way, highlighting the subject you are showcasing.
  • Be creative with different filters and looks, but pictures should always represent your brand.

Keep it Shareable

  • Take photos that others will want to share with their connections, giving you a broader reach.
  • People will share photos that is interesting and worthwhile, for example photos of an event.
  • Notify organizations your photos are associated with that you have posted. Tagging them in your post is a great way to do this

Keep it Local

  • Show members of your organization interacting with your city in a meaningful or fun way.
  • Pride yourself in your location and community you serve through visual means.
  • Don’t just take pictures of local landmarks; tie this opportunity into your business.

Keep it Real

  • While keeping it professional, know the purpose is to show your business’ human side.
  • Avoid as much as possible using stock photos, or imagery from your website or advertising.
  • Show less formal side of your business and staff better connecting with real people (your customer).

Keep it Fresh

  • Put new photos up often since people are not likely to revisit an old picture.
  • The more consistent you are in uploading new photos the greater the chance supporters will share your content.
  • A wide variety of photos increases that visitors will find something interesting about your page.

What creative photographs could you post to represent your business?   What other value do you see in making your business “come to life” through posting photos?   Contact AIMS today to discuss your social media posts and brainstorm with us on how to put your brand-image in focus!

Hello Ello! Goodbye Facebook?

Hello Ello! Goodbye Facebook?

At 35,000 new users PER HOUR, could the new social network Ello give Facebook a run for its money?


A new network hit the social Web this summer and even though it’s still just in private beta, it could very well appeal to social media-lites who are over the Facebook ways. With more user-privacy and ad-free interface, Ello seems to be on the right track to do just that. To shorten up the learning curve, AIMS compiled a summary of Ello features so you can determine if it might be your cup of tea:

  1. Ello is still in beta, meaning it is still being developed.   So be prepared for a buggy user experience. Of course these bugs will be worked out over time, but it will require some patience for now.
  1. Ello doesn’t “like” posts, it “LOVES” posts. Though it’s supposed to be oh-so-different than Facebook, it does have its version of liking posts by hitting the heart (love) icon under a user’s post. A difference being however, that by loving a post it will bookmark it for later reference.
  1. Ello uses a black bar at the top of your stream called the, Omnibar. This important feature is where the action happens allowing you to post content, @mention people, private message people using @@username, and eventually add audio and video files.
  1. Ello is putting privacy as a top priority, unlike the other social sites we’ve grown to love and/or resent. It’s actually pretty crazy the amount of information Facebook gathers and keeps on us users.
  1. Ello has new users agree to its anti-tracking and anti-advertising manifesto, and you can opt out of their Google Analytics tracking to keep even more privacy… of course all of this is for the time being.
  1. Ello “Friends” are more like Follows on Twitter with no friend requests necessary. You can follow someone without them knowing it by categorizing them as “Noise” versus “Friend”. But if you do categorize them as a Friend, they will be notified.
  1. Ello allows your content to show up in someone else’s feed if they have categorized you as a Friend, and your activity if you’re labeled as Noise.
  1. Ellow gives you the option to filter your Friend and Noise feed separately, so you can choose your viewing experience more specifically.


We at AIMS strive to stay on top of what’s new and happening in the digital world so we can better serve you. Contact us any time to review your current social and digital media efforts and how we can help you!

Forget the Weather Report, What is the TRAFFIC Report??

Forget the Weather Report, What is the TRAFFIC Report??


Once upon a time, a website traffic report consisted of only a few main sources of measurement. Fast-forward to now, and see that traffic reports have so many measurement facets it can be overwhelming to decipher what is what, and quite frankly put you in a data-coma! Let AIMS help explain the different kinds of website traffic and put you on your way to understanding where you’re getting the most return from your website.

  • Organic –

This part of your report will tell you which keywords are driving the most traffic to your website through unpaid search engine listings such as a Google.com search. It can also tell you which articles are driving the most organic traffic, that is, traffic that you’re not paying for.

  • Paid –

When choosing to purchase for clicks from search engines, this number lets you know how much bang you’re getting for your buck! As you get better at SEO (search engine optimization), you can even remove this section from the report!

  • Direct –

Direct comes from visitors who typed the URL directly into their browser. It can also be a measurement of visitors who clicked on links that do not have tracking variables that google recognizes such as PDF or Word documents, bookmark/favorites, or untagged links within email.

  • Email –

Email can be a leading driver of traffic, especially if you send it daily. You can see how many clicks you are getting on each email and every link in your email campaigns by using UTM Codes.

  • Social (Twitter & Facebook) –

Facebook Insights are built right into the dashboard of every page, and Twitter Ads offers an analytics dashboard as well. Google Analytics does have traffic insights through a social report; however Facebook additionally offers information on how your content is being consumed.

  • Non-Social Referrals –

Visits that came to your site from sources outside of a search engine are considered referrals. Often referrals come from PR tactics or partnerships with other websites and should be tracked separately so you know if it’s paying off.

If you’re looking to get more out of your online traffic and drive leads like never before contact AIMS today for more information on how we can partner together to do more working smarter, not harder!

ONTRApalooza 2014 Rundown

ONTRApalooza 2014 Rundown


Again I am so happy to be able to attend this amazing conference in beautiful Santa Barbara. So in case you could not make it here is a quick rundown of my experience of this great event.

Ontraport New Features

Let’s get down to the good stuff right away. We had to wait till Friday morning but I am giving it to you first. Just to be clear all of these new features should be available now in Ontraport 3.0 except the Custom Objects.

  • New Payment API
    • Stripe and Worldpay Integrations
    • Coupon Codes for Groups and Personal Coupons.
  • New Landing Pages
    • Impact your SEO
    • New Smart Forms Built In
    • Useful templates with items such as event count downs built in
  • New Email Creator
    • Now you can do more than just text editing.
  • New Ontraport Mobile App!
    • Send Emails (from library), assign contacts to sequences, add/remove tags, add new contacts, and call and text individual contacts straight from your phone.
  • Custom Objects! (coming soon)
    • This new tool will let you create custom datasets and link them together to manage and automate sophisticated business processes.
      • Think bid Proposals, support tickets, calendar appointments, and surveys for a special group within your contacts. (yeah now your getting excited)


Now that we got the new features out of the way I will tell you about some of the speakers.

Julia Allison
Journalist, Public Speaker

Julia had some great advice but some of the take ways I took from her speech was to seduce the Press. You want to give the press/writer a good story with intrigue. Give them some dirt and show them something unique about you. Being Authentic is also important. Think interesting, but also out of the ordinary with a story of true heroism. She also suggested becoming friends with working reporters who write the way you would like to be portrayed. This helps you get your stories published and it also will keep you in a good light.

Julia’s other big tip which she mentioned several times is do NOT WRITE A PRESS RELEASE! She says they are trash and get thrown away create a Press Kit instead. Learn more about Julia here.

Jack Canfield
Best-selling author, self-esteem expert

Take advice from the creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul! When I first realized Jacks speech would be 2 hours I was not sure if I could sit through it. Boy did he prove me wrong. My main take-a-way form Jack’s speech was E+R=O.

Event + Response = Outcome

You want to make yourself and your business better. Look at your Outcome. To get the Outcome you are looking for change your response. Sounds simple, but I think we can all take a look at our businesses and our personal lives and implement this simple rule to better ourselves.

Shelby Larson
SEO and Marketing

Shelby was great giving us real life examples. She made it easy to understand how we all need to move toward Intent Content Marketing to see real results from our online content. The idea is to publish content that speaks to the intent of the searcher not primarily the key words. Search engines are evolving and so is the way we use them. So driving your content for the intent of the searcher is the new way to gain great results in Google. Shelby also talked about moving your visitors on your website from one page to the next in a low tech tactic to keep users on your site longer. Lowering your bounce rate and raising website clicks. This shows Google your content is up to par with what its searchers are looking for. To learn more about Shelby and her pet dragons click here.

Michelle Villalobos
Group facilitator, Consultant

Michelle’s main focus for this speech was on branding yourself for success. You want to be the Christian Louboutin of your industry. You want people to just see the red bottoms and know who you are. Type in red sole shoes into Google and Christian Louboutin are the only ones to pop up. You want to be the trainer of the stars, the dog whisper, or the super nanny. We all know instantly what these people do and what their Niche is. Create that for yourself with the 5×10 glossy pictures and a trait that helps you stand out from the rest. Learn more about Michelle and what she is all about by clicking here.

A Big Thank You

I also want to thank Gene Hammett who is the only person I met this weekend to call me after talking to me this weekend! :O He gave an amazing speech on how pod casting can change your business. Learn more about Gene and how he can help you with your business now here. I also want to give a big shout out to Landon Ray. Your speech this year was amazing and you definitely set the bar high for the other speakers. Finally thank you to all of the Ontraport Staff without you guys working so hard we could not grow our businesses and change the world.