Sharing My Songs on SoundCloud ... Why You Should, Too!

Super excited to have finally hopped aboard the SoundCloud train! If you're a songwriter, musician, DJ, singer, voiceover artist, etc., you can use SoundCloud to house all your tracks, from mastered recordings to works-in-progress. And the best part is, SoundCloud provides you with a direct URL for each of your tracks! No more asking fans to go to your page and scroll down to a specific tune; you can now provide the direct link for each and every tune or file you share.

SoundCloud is also a social network: You can follow other artists and interact and share media! One of the coolest interactive features is that fans can add comments to ANY portion of the file. For example, say someone listened to my latest tune and dug the key change that happens at 3 minutes and 14 seconds in; that person could add a comment at 3:14 to say so! And I can do the same for any tunes I listen to uploaded by the people I follow.

I'm using SoundCloud to share my first major-label cut, "Go On" featuring EMI artist Amy Sky, and the rest of my tracks from my recent demo of songs for film & TV. Soon, I'll also use SoundCloud to share my newest tunes not yet recorded, so stay tuned! And as soon as "Go On" is available on iTunes (currently only available in Canada), I'll let you know!

Love and music,

Carla

 

Give to Live: Song for Donate Life Month Honors Local Hero's Legacy

Joe Acocella, the late town clerk of Harrison, N.Y., who passed away in 2011 at the age of 30 while awaiting a kidney transplant, was an inspiration to everyone he encountered. A double amputee, he never let the obstacles he faced affect his accomplishments, which included becoming the youngest member elected to the Harrison Board of Education and the youngest town clerk in New York state history.

Since his tireless work spanned many initiatives at a breakneck speed, it's a Herculean task to encapsulate Joey's short life. Many journalists and friends have done so in prose, and I was asked by the Acocella family to do so in song (listen to the song here), as a way to both honor his legacy and raise awareness for Donate Life, the organ donor registry initiative (and one of his near-and-dear causes). Joey was the recipient of a kidney transplant at age 18; ten years later, he found himself in need of another transplant to sustain his life.

Your future hangs on a wish You're a name on a list. You deserve another chance, You deserve more than this ...

THE WRITING PROCESS Already a registered organ donor, I was honored to also donate a song, which will be unveiled in a video about Joey's life at the Give to Live Fundraiser on April 26, scheduled to be an annual event to raise money for Donate Life and Joey's other beloved charities, such as animal rescue shelters and support for our troops.

For the song, I collaborated with NYC singer-songwriter Brenda Rudzinski. Together, we delved into the stories of those seeking a second chance at life from those who donate living organs and those who register to give organ, eye and tissue donations when they pass on. The research moved us deeply. We decided to focus on the importance of spreading the word, whether sharing it publicly or sharing with friends and family in a quiet way. Each helps the cause. You can listen to the song here.

Brenda also lent her beautiful voice to the tune, which was recorded by producer Adam Harley at Gnome Music Studio in Larchmont, N.Y. The gorgeous guitar parts were played by Justin Gild. My husband, Thomas Fisher, also contributed to the song's arrangement. This truly was a group effort.

The song was premiered on "Harrison Live" on WVOX on April 19, by Dennis Nardone and his co-host Tonny Guido. We are thrilled to honor Joey's incredible life as well as spread the word about a need that affects so many throughout the world. We hope that the song moves enough people to get those registry numbers up! Kleenex in hand, we look forward to seeing the song paired with the video at the fundraiser.

For more info on organ donation, visit the Donate Life site. To donate to Joey's charities, email joeysfoundation@gmail.com.

Hear the song and read the lyrics on SoundCloud.

And feel free to comment below. Joey was all about making the most noise, so let's help make some noise and carry on his good work!

Spread the word,

Carla

Shout it from the rooftops Make the message heard If you believe in second chances, Share life with the world. It only takes one person at a time who wants to give. Help spread the word and Give to Live ...

Talking Social Media Strategy & Crowdfunding with America’s LinkedIn Lady

It was my extreme pleasure to join Carol McManus America's LinkedIn Lady — on "The LinkedIn Lady Show" on Toginet Radio. Talking shop with Carol is one of my favorite things to do, and we covered a lot of ground, including crowdfunding and my latest musical pursuits.

Listen to the podcast on iTunes (choose the 10/19/11 episode) or you can download it directly from my site. Carol began our chat by focusing on my corporate experience, then transitioned to the significance of my domain name, my recent site launch and my songwriting news.

PODCAST HIGHLIGHTS By listening to the podcast interview, you'll get in on:

1) The name Saidandsung and how my songwriting informs my copywriting (8 minutes into the podcast).

2) My involvement with the new musical IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU (10:20 into the podcast), now playing at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick.

3) How Crowdfunding can help you move projects forward (18:36 into the podcast) and why I chose RocketHub.com.

4) How I used Social Media for My RocketHub Campaign and how I use it for my business (32 minutes into the podcast).

5) The #1 tip I learned from @BloggingMentor Annabel Candy to help separate my 2 selves on Twitter (34 minutes into the podcast).

6) A frank discussion on Social Media Strategy — thoughts on automated tools, the future of Facebook and more (45 minutes into the podcast) — with Carol's "Marketing Minute" partner Ken Herron a.k.a. @PurpleComm.

UNDER THE (POSITIVE) INFLUENCE At one point in the podcast, Carol asked me about my business influencers, and I gave her a handful:

+ Annabel Candy of @GetInTheHotSpot a.k.a. @BloggingMentor (34 minutes into the podcast): I learned such great Twitter tips and blog tips from Annabel and her "Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps" book!

+ @RobinDickinson (39:52 into the podcast): Robin was the first source I turned to for lessons on how to tweet. His Success with Twitter video was terrific for learning nomenclature, strategy, etc. He continues to inspire through his Facebook page.

+ @JasonWomack and @DyanaValentine (40:45 into the podcast): Two superb coaches/professional instigators whose workflow and big-picture ideas (often in the form of fiery I-dare-yous) are all kinds of inspiring.

+ The authors of "The Wealthy Freelancer" — @EdGandia, @petesavage & @steveslaunwhite (41:10 into the podcast): This book not only helped me get to the next level in my freelance career, but it also lead me to form a friendship with freelance illustrator @DonnaBarger, who is also a terrific accountability partner.

+ Jennifer Shaheen of Technology Therapy (48:15 into the podcast): Jennifer's Advanced Facebook for Business webinar is full of tips and long-term strategy ideas.

And, honestly, Carol continues to be one of my biggest influencers. Each week, I learn so many great pointers from her show, especially about LinkedIn and business strategy. You can tune into "The LinkedIn Lady Show" every Wednesday at 5 p.m. EST on Toginet.com, or listen to her half-hour show at 9 a.m. EST Wednesdays on WGCH AM 1490 in Greenwich, Conn.

I've had a lot going on this past month or so, and like I said in a recent blog post, it takes a village. I'm so grateful to be surrounded by inspiring collaborators, colleagues and friends, and look forward to what's to come!

Onward,

Carla

Shop Talk: Holiday Shopping (and Promotion) Starts Here

The following was originally published in The Harrison Report on Nov. 5, 2010.

Shop Talk Business happenings in and around Harrison

Written by Carla Rose Fisher

Thursday, 5 November 2010

In West Harrison…

UNIQUE IN NEW YORK: Shop Talk's first reader write-in recommendation prompted me to visit West Harrison last week. Walking into 23 Taylor Square, I discovered a gift wonderland that smells like Christmas.

Taylor Square Shoppe can serve as an example for retail storeowners, especially for ideas on how to bump up store traffic and holiday sales. And since we all have holiday shopping to do ourselves, you should stop in and view the store’s unique offerings, because you just may find you don’t need to shop anywhere else.

It’s amazing how many items 750 sq. ft. can hold. Turns out, the wonderful aroma upon my entering was the Frasier Fir scent in the Thymes candle line, also available in hand lotion and other products.

Owner Maria Anella opened the shop five months ago, and is planning a grand opening in mid-November, just in time for the holidays. Having managed the Chilmark Gift Gallery at Prescription Plus in Briarcliff for the past 12 years, Anella jumped at the chance to open a gift gallery in West Harrison, where she’s lived for 20 years.

“I love this community, and I fill my store with things I love,” she said. “It really is my dream store, and I love what I do.”

As a local merchant and mother to a son who came up through the school system, Anella continues to be a hands-on volunteer. She’ll soon be joining the community neighborhood watch and the newly reopened Harrison Chamber of Commerce. During each of the weekly neighborhood car shows over the summer, Anella gave away $25 gift cards. At last week’s Halloween parade, she gave away Silly Bandz to the kids. She knows that freebies are a great way to get customers in the door.

When choosing which items to carry, Anella considers her customers. “I like to find things that are different, and I think, ‘What’s a great gift for a great price?’” Here you’ll find stylish gifts starting at $3. And handbags start at $24. Kids can shop for inexpensive gifts for mom and dad, grandma and grandpa. Bosses can shop for company gifts. No matter the recipient, Anella has great taste: A bracelet she carries was featured in last month’s issue of InStyle magazine.

A sampling of what you’ll find at Taylor Square Shoppe: accessories like scarves, including pashminas; jewelry, from funky costume jewelry to high-end designers like Judith Jack and Crislu, as well as vintage lines like Annie Koplik and Clara Beau; tween gifts; boys’ gifts; baby gifts; men’s and women’s watches; wallets; handbags by former Vera Bradley designer Stephanie Dawn; Lolita wine and martini glasses; the Tea Forte line of silk-infused tea; fancy walking canes; Voluspa candles; lint-free flour sack kitchen towels; and greeting cards, from the popular Champagne line to homemade cards, including handmade cards by Samantha Shopovick, a ninth-grader at Harrison High School.

A certified pharmacy technician in her former career, Anella is huge on customer service. It’s why she offers free gift-wrapping and free local delivery (including downtown Harrison, White Plains, North White Plains and North Castle), why she takes pride in creating custom gift baskets and why she offers discounts — seniors and teachers receive 10 percent off, as does anyone visiting the store for the first time. She also ships.

During my visit, store patron Marie Tedeschi came in for her custom-ordered gift basket. “I’m not normally a shopper, but Maria makes it so easy,” Tedeschi said. “She comes up with beautiful ideas all the time. I just love this store; it’s so convenient to have this here.”

Gift baskets are Anella’s specialty. For individuals and companies, she fills them with Ferrara products and other Italian imports and items carefully chosen for the recipient. She also creates fruit baskets, baby baskets and wedding baskets.

A smart marketer, Anella maintains a mailing list for sending postcards with valuable offers, and her son helped her post flyers throughout Park Lane. Since marketing changes with the times, Anella knew she needed to be on Facebook when she was shopping online and saw the ubiquitous “Find us on Facebook” tagline. She’s received great responses from her Facebook page, especially from Harrison teachers.

Holiday hours are Monday-Wednesday 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Thursday and Friday, 12-9 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Call 914-949-3800.

Talk Back

In what ways have you reached out to customers in your community? Are there promotion ideas aside from those discussed in this article that have been effective for your business? Comment and share!

Shop Talk TipTime to Post Your Holiday Hours

Even in October, I started seeing signs in storefronts advertising holiday hours, the most creative being Quizno’s, on the corner of Halstead and Harrison avenues: “Quiz the Season.” Posting holiday hours early lets your customers know you care about their busy schedules so they can plan errands accordingly. Be sure to post the holidays you observe, not just Thanksgiving and Christmas, so your customers know you won’t be open on those days. Read more on my previous post about tips for posting holiday hours.

Carla Rose Fisher is a freelance writer and Web consultant who specializes in marketing for small businesses and startups. She is also an award-winning songwriter and is on the Executive Board of the Harrison Chamber of Commerce.

Need help with your company's marketing and promotions? Visit saidandsung.com.

Talking Shop: My Small-Business Column Debuts!

My business column for The Harrison Report debuted this week. You can view it on the newspaper's site here. I've reprinted it below with additional photos. Special thanks to Managing Editor Mark Lungariello for this opportunity.

Shop Talk
Written by Carla Rose Fisher
Thursday, 22 July 2010 17:12
As any Harrisonite will tell you, there are countless shops and businesses that give our community its charm and character. Many are doing their best to retain customers or attract new ones in this economy, and this monthly column will examine marketing trends in the area and enable other businesses to apply the wisdom gained to their own operations.

In West Harrison … IT’S ALL IN THE NAME: Changing a company name is a major decision, especially in terms of brand marketing. Before doing so, be sure your new name is easy to remember, that it follows suit with your target market’s expectations and that it stands out amongst your competitors. Keep in mind that you’ll have to budget for the creation of a new logo; the printing of new signage, business cards and letterhead; updates to your website and more. Further, the change must happen strategically, so as not to alienate regular customers.

Summertime is a fine time for the Silver Lake area of West Harrison, with a variety of local commerce offerings and their proximity to the Ron Belmont Pool in Passidomo Park. “The summer is always better for business here,” said Tino Giresi, co-owner of Café Eats, a popular neighborhood delicatessen that recently underwent a name change.

According to Giresi, one reason he decided to change his company name from Giresi Salumeria is because the deli went from a family-operated business to one in which he and two silent partners merged with a company called Café Eats.

Giresi said the former name was also hard to pronounce. “Salumeria” is Italian for “cured meat shop,” more commonly referred to as “Italian delicatessen.” Though West Harrison features a large Italian-American population — with which the former name resonated —Giresi wanted to broaden his customer base.

In terms of impact, Giresi said his regulars were initially dismayed, thinking that the change meant their trusted neighborhood deli was leaving the area. But once those loyal customers realized that Giresi himself was there to stay, they got on board. And the fact that the deli added 75 sandwiches to the menu made the transition even tastier. Some have snarky names like “911” (which features a bevy of hot meats, including sopressata and pepperoni, topped off with hot sauce) and “Sting Like a Bee” (mortadella, ham, smoked mozzarella, broccoli rabe and roasted peppers), while others have local flair like “Harrison Huskies,” “Harrison’s Finest” and “Frank Russo.”

The decisions Giresi made have translated into greater profits. Sales are up 20 percent from the same time last year, just after the Silver Lake area was hit hard with the construction of the pool. “The construction didn’t just affect us; it murdered us,” he said. In fact, he had to close up shop for an entire week. To overcome such physical obstacles and get people in the door, Giresi offered a three-course family feast that fed four to six people for $35. It’s this type of forward thinking that keeps small businesses afloat.

But the deli’s specialty is European-style thin-crust pizza, featuring fresh basil, fresh mozzarella (sliced, not shredded) and San Marzano tomatoes, handmade by Chef Gaetano Mangano. “It’s the best-kept secret in West Harrison,” Giresi said, “We have people who come from downtown Harrison just to get our pizza.” I can personally attest to it; I thought I had to go into the city to get a slice this good.

In Development… Many West Harrison residents have been wondering what’s happening with the property at 97 Lake St. After speaking with Project Manager John Robinson, I discovered that the space — owned by Purchase resident Alan Smith — will soon house 97 Lake, a sports bar and restaurant, with an opening date set for mid-August. According to Robinson, the project is on schedule and a grand opening is slated for September. “This area is an up-and-comer,” Robinson said, “and as a resident myself, I believe that 97 Lake will fill a void.”

And in Downtown … After much delay, the CVS in downtown Harrison will be opening on July 25.

This Month’s Shop Talk Tip: Post Your Business Hours Don’t leave people guessing whether you’re open. Post your hours of operation clearly on your storefront window or door, and if you have to step away or close early, leave a sign, even a handwritten one. This past week, a shop in downtown Harrison left its door open with no staff tending the store, leaving a patron perplexed and disappointed. That could have been a future customer, maybe even a potential regular, so be sure to let your customers know how much you value their time.

Carla Rose Fisher is a freelance writer and web consultant who specializes in marketing for small businesses and startups. She is also an award-winning songwriter and resides in Harrison. If you know of a newsworthy small-business happening in the area, e-mail carla@saidandsung.com.