Thursday, December 5, 2013


ONE SIZE FITS ALL represents that range called “the majority” and is therefore the desirable zone which retailers of all kinds pursue. The common belief is that if you appeal to the average guy and you will sell more stuff. Image source.

Let us consider for a moment that the average guy isn’t all that tech savvy and you have a tech product to promote because you are, well, a tech nerd.  Do you make a product that appeals to the technologically dim, but massive in terms of the population demographic or do you design a more fun tech oriented product that would have great success if only consumers “got it”?  Pretend you are a passionate, forward thinking QR code nerd and you can not bring yourself to dull down your creativity.  Then you must raise the level of QR code awareness for that average guy. Apply what thinking Henry Ford (Image source) shared about his automobile,  

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

I suggest that those using QR code generation rethink the notion of aiming for ONE SIZE FITS ALL QR code leveraging and put our money on the awesome sauce of fun products that a tech savvy consumer would enjoy.  When I design a QR code product and discuss it among my QR code enthusiast peers, I immediately hear the response “but most people don’t know how to use a QR code”.  And your point is?!!
QR codes do not require quantum physic knowledge and getting people on board with their crazy, fun potential doesn’t mean we have to be super mindful of the audience that isn’t in the know.  Not directly anyway.  Techies have smart phones.  Lots of non-techies have smart phones.  QR codes are launched by tech phones (and tablets).  If you want to increase the QR code product’s potential, design a common interest product and include a QR code.  The techie will “get it” and want it if the product is pretty cool.  His friend, Average Joe will see the cool product and want to keep up with the Joneses and he will figure out the QR code thing.  Which again, is not an advanced rocket science brain application and we can do better than simply using QR codes to go to an URL.  Especially a non mobile friendly URL which is even worse than going to an URL that lacks value for the scanner.

So can we stop treating QR codes like the public can’t figure them out?  The average guy may not get them right away, but this doesn’t mean he can not understand them.  Attach a QR code to something wonderful and let the games begin!

By the way, here is my “something wonderful” product with a QR code on it.  If you are an average Joe and haven’t figured out a QR code yet, download any scan app, they are FREE, and watch The New Holiday Card.  It is not a ONE SIZE FITS ALL product but it does come in a size that I believe a mind can stretch to fit. 

Follow our RSS or connect social media-ly, we welcome new friends.  We also have other products coming soon which feature QR codes and memories.

Written by: Rhonda Smolarek; QR code designer, social media coach, strategist, technology nerd.  Find her online at or or or or at where you can purchase a holiday card like this featuring your own memories: Epifanies

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Why People Who Say “QR Codes Are Dead” Should Like Crow

 I commonly research QR (Quick Response) codes online. Why? Because I am patiently waiting for the North American senses to grow sharper. QR code products and marketing are just amazing in other countries! Who am I? I am an artist with a computer programming history and I design compelling Quick Response codes at QR Codes Of Note™. Yes, visually these codes are far more intriguing than that generic black and white square you see hiding like a dull wall flower in the bottom of adds, but more importantly, graphic codes know how to “Make Friends and Influence People” (my nod to Dale Carnegie). QR code: Starbucks 

Here is why people who pronounce “QR codes are dead” need to be fond of crow: Crow is exactly what they will be eating! Their reports are premature. QR codes as a marketing tool have been in their infancy stage here in North America, they haven’t reached their potential. I don’t know about you, but I did not have much success when I was an infant yet years later I really hit my stride. QR codes will, too. People who say these incredible, mobile launched icons won’t be phenominal clearly do not understand the full scope of the QR code range. We test scan our QR codes with the free scan app: i-nigma and invite your scans. 

A QR code can activate just about any feature your smart phone or tablet device can perform. QR codes can instantly position a pre-composed tweet, give map directions, save your date to a calendar, play music and video, and I could go on because this is a tool that is only limited by your imagination.  If you copy everyone and keep it plain in looks and typical in destination, you will continue to get a resounding FAIL in your marketing with QR codes.

Now, you don’t want a FAIL with your QR code. You prefer to “Make Friends and Influence People” which is why you want to deploy a code in the first place. You will need to dress your code up a little. There are QR code generators available that will dress your code up a little. I don't hold a high opinion of QR generators for business branding, they still play small league ball. I would recommend that generators have good functionality for personal projects. Next, include a Cracker Jack or Happy Meal mindset into the marketing and give the scanner a “free prize” and suddenly you have yourself an attention getter. Good looks made you fast friends and clever calls to action can lead to the influencing of people. 

QR Codes Of Note™ knows how it is done. As professionals, we are not industry infants like some. Our good looking QR codes contain tracking analytics, scan super quick and also change your scan destination without your having to reprint. As marketers, we have QR code campaign experience and can guide you in the direction of your goals using our stunning and effective QR codes. Our great graphics are usually enough but our provocative calls to action will bait your taget audience to greater measure. Sometimes people say: QR codes don’t sell anything. Well, that is not quite true. A QR code can turn any flat surface into your personal store and as a client, we can show you how. 

PayPal, an industry leader, and Mercedes Benz, P&G, Walmart, Starbucks, and many more big brands are still in the QR code arena and with good reason. Fortune 500 companies have huge research and development departments that determine the best ways in which to spend company marketing dollars. I see the evidence of their collective confidence in QR codes and I bet now you do, too. Aren't you glad you won't have to eat crow? Louis Vuitton QR code made by SET Japan

Comments always welcome.

Friday, July 26, 2013


How old do you have to be to be an old fool? 40? 50? 60?  I think you would agree that an “Old fool” is not a number, but rather, it is when a mature person shows a lack of good judgement.  Are you being an old fool when it comes to using social media like LinkedIn to generate leads?  Perhaps you feel more like an old dog not wanting to learn a new trick.

  1. Is age 40+
  2. Pays 100’s of dollars yearly and several hours a month to belong to a leads group for the privilege of networking with the same 20 people every week and refuses to learn how to use LinkedIn

  1. Is age 40+
  2. May belong to a leads group but uses LinkedIn for free to get business leads whenever he wants as opposed to when he gets lucky at his business group
Which are you? If you are still undecided, here are more facts:
  1. LinkedIn is the world’s largest database
  2. The average LinkedIn user is over 40
  3. The typical salary of a LinkedIn user is 100,000+
  4. LinkedIn is effective as a free tool or you can purchase more services if you like
  5. No one on LinkedIn cares about what you had for lunch so you don’t have to inform them with constant updates about your day

Not all social media tools are alike.  LinkedIn is NOT a time waster. Members of LinkedIn are there to do business.  If you match the time you invest in one networking group with the time you spend on LinkedIn, you will begin to question that networking group because the results of LinkedIn will keep you busy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR, Rhonda Smolarek

Rhonda Smolarek is a marketer and speaker who writes and trains old people (like herself) to use social media platforms to generate business leads. Register for her social media webinars at

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Handling Customers on Social Media

Are your employees prepared to handle Social Media customers?
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When an untrained business professional begins a Social Media presence, one of the first things s/he does is post sales messages. The next thing they do is log off. Both activities are a colossal FAIL. 

1. A business using Social Media needs to be mindful that people are using Social Media as a social tool. Social Media is like a little party that is always going and people pop in and out.  Would you interrupt a live party to broadcast your commercial? If you did, people would want you to leave. On Social Media, there is a word for that, it is called an "Un-Follow" and that is exactly what people will do to your business page.

2. You posted a sale and then you logged off?  Now I ask you: is that being "social"? Would you "Like" (the facebook coveted marketing attention getter) a person if they came to your party and handed out their business card and then immediately left? What if someone had a question aobut your product or service? You would not be there to respond. If you returned 3 days later, the moment would be lost.

Those are the biggest business Facebook-ing FAIL's but this goes hand-in-hand:  if you haven't robbed your consumer of the opportunity to interact with you by logging out immediately after posting, the next mistake is still avoidable: If a customer asks a specific question, it should be answered with a specific answer and not a general "come on by and see". When providing customer service online, you are telling others more about your product or services. You are providing help-desk service and marketing your business simultaneously. 

If Social Media marketing is a different ball game than you are used to, schedule professional webinar based training by the professionals at:

Image sources: Search Engine Journal, We Speak Social Media

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Facebook-ing Is Networking

Work Smarter:

Let’s say you have bought table or booth space at an event and realize that you are not seeing any new faces. The crowd is made up mostly of your networking croonies. You ask yourself every time: 

Q: Why do I keep doing this when I am not getting great results? 

A: You do it because you don’t know another way.
You hear your friend Mike talking about Facebook but you are not interested in social media because networking is your thing. Dude! Facebook is networking!! The average person on Facebook has about 141.5 friends. I have more and so do many of my friends but let’s move on. You have the business cards of people in your networking group so let us say you discover 50 of them that are using Facebook.

141.5 X 50 = 7,075 

Without paying for another table and spending another evening or weekend, and only using Facebook (which is free, by the way) you could be introducing your product/service to 7,075 new people.  You still think you don’t want to bother with Social Media? You still get to do the the whole table/booth renting thing if you want to, if only to collect people for your facebook campaign (Have people drop cards for a drawing!)
Image source

Contact us right away if:
  • You use Facebook but aren’t seeing results.
  • The thought of using Facebook puts you in a crappy mood.
  • Facebook scares the beejeebers out of you.
  • You’re too old, cranky, tired or feel intimidated about using Facebook.

Confessions are not necessary!  For the Do-It-Yourself business person, we offer a Social Media Optimization package: after meeting with you for a brief strategy session, we design a customized content calendar which is made up of a month’s worth of unique content. We show you how to schedule this month of content so that you post once (daily posting is not necessary) and then ready you to optimize your interactions.  

We also offer Social Media hosting of agreed upon designed content. We incorporate Facebook’s targeted advertisement advantages (age, zip code, gender, key words, etcetera) to optimize your reach and your budget.

Contact the Que today at 719/428-5451
or email us at
Register for our Social Media World Wide webinars:

Monday, May 20, 2013

3 Ways to Get More Likes & Engagement on Facebook

3 Facebook strategies

Ask a question: Make it an Either/Or or a Yes/No question

Even though the average FB user checks status 14 times a day, s/he is actually busy and simultaneously interested in participating in something entertaining. Make interaction simple by asking questions that do not require a lot of thinking for a response. Try questions like would you prefer this food over the other, ask if you are ready for the weekend. This tip is not suggested for every post, but it is a great method to encourage some quick likes and even response.

Begin with “Click Like If...”
Calls to action are great - they make it easier for people to know what you want and many times people comply.  Try “Click “like” if you can’t wait to see latest ____” inserting something your audience can relate to.  Don’t over use this strategy. Try keeping it encouraging with “it’s easy to share this by clicking that share button”.

Share Photos that Your Audience Can Relate To
You want to post something that people will share so you need to seek images of things that are interesting or humorous. Otherwise, sharing is not going to happen. Images that catch the eye are great for posting.  Find something delightful by searching Google or Bing for example for humor/funny.

What do You Do to Get Your Fans to Respond? 

Monday, May 13, 2013

5 Things You Are Doing Wrong on Facebook

5 things you are doing wrong on Facebook.

  1. You don’t have a Facebook Fan (Business, Company) Page. Many of you sign on to Facebook because you want to do business but you do not know there are pages for business that show how many people saw your post or any of the other helpful graphs and analytical tools that Facebook offers to help improve the effectiveness of your reach.
  2. You are not using Facebook. You do not use Facebook to post regularly. You do not add content. You are not being someone people can relate to. You are not being engaging. More engagement on Facebook adds up to more people who will engage with you which in turn equals more success for you.  You must start using Facebook.
  3. You do not make it easy to like you. The Facebook like button and opportunity is something that you should be including on your business card, your blog, your website and/or landing page. You should have a call to action that requests to be liked. 
  4. You do not share the love. If it’s all about you, you are turning people off. For example, you only use Facebook to announce your product or event: we mean you.  People are on social media to engage and not to feel used. You love it when someone likes your post and the same is true for other people and their businesses.
  5. You are not posting interesting content and links from others. If you find some content interesting, share it. Your fans will appreciate it.  Share exciting new trends and links to similar interests and you become a resource of information.

How do you use your Facebook Fan Page? Tell us on our Facebook Fan Page!

Friday, April 26, 2013

SoLoMo and QR Codes

SoLoMo is the new buzz word for to pay attention to if you want to engage consumers.  SoLoMo refers to the American shopping trend.  Shop socially, search locally and do it all using mobile devices (smart phones, iPads and tablets).  

If you are not tuned in to the SoLoMo thing you will quickly be left behind according to current (2013) research by Eventility, and event promoting entity. 

  • Eventility highlights 97% of consumers now search for local businesses online.  Remember, smart phones are used for online searches. 
  • 72% trust online reviews, 61% of younger demographics refer to social media to choose dining locales. 
  • The biggest attention getter: 78% of small businesses now receive 1/4 of their new customers from social media.
Let us talk about the oft misunderstood QR codes.  I read the current press from self-proclaimed marketing experts that QR codes are dead.  These little blog reporters don’t quote sources or provide numbers.  They seem to tell you what to think about QR codes.  

This article aims to respect your intelligence, rather than telling you what to think, here are numbers and sources to help you decide for yourself.  

To quote Mark Twain: 
"The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated."

The May 2013 Entrepreneur magazine, a credible source, in their SoLoMo print magazine article, reports that Apple and Starbucks are using currently harnessing QR codes for purchases.  When big names talk, they lend cred to QR codes because these generally do research on their own and determine what is effective and therefore relevant.

My source, the Chief Marketer, in a 2012 mobile marketing survey determined: 51% of all print ads contain a QR code.  Below are examples of QR code use by big brands in 2013.

 Back to SoLoMo: regarding the QR (quick response) route, do you know that 129 million Americans own a mobile device ? They are using their mobiles recreationally and because they are fun toys.  If you have an attractive and prominently placed QR code that makes an offer, you compel the consumer to take out their beloved toy and investigate.  If you hide some generic, selfish QR code in a bottom corner with no offer besides the joy of visiting your website, well, frankly you deserve to go overlooked.  When people tell me QR codes are not effective, and I consider myself an expert, I can quickly sum up the problem: it is not the QR code that is the problem it is the marketing that is the problem.  If you want a fish to ride a bicycle and it can’t, is something wrong with the fish? It doesn’t take an Einstein to figure that out.  
SoLoMo.  Social networks are accessed by mobile media to dine, purchase, hire and shop locally.  I bet you feel smarter about your marketing.  Bank on boosting your SoLoMo with a branded QR (quick response) code created by a professional to get the intelligent marketing your business deserves. 

The next time some rigid oldster tells you that QR codes are dead, be sure to help him or her across the street.  Or if it is some microscopic blogger telling you QR codes have faded, ask them for the facts that support their article.  We all know that a lie can get halfway around the world before the truth even puts it's pants on and opinions are not facts. brings you this intelligent article.

Some big brands and how they are using QR codes in 2013:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


What is SMO?  

SMO stands for Social Media Optimization and it is the process used to increase awareness of a brand through the use of social media outlets and communities. The sharing of your content generates awareness of your brand, service, product or event.  

As a business, you want people to see your message and helping people easily view your content through entry points like QR (quick response) codes gets people to your website and any other online destination you have in mind.   

Why care about SMO?

Social networks (such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest) drive traffic to websites in ever increasing amounts.  Search engines are utilizing the recommendations of social network platforms to rank pages in search engine results (the process of SEO) so when a page gets a like, it is seen as a vote for that pages quality.  Using a branded QR code improves your SMO and increases your SEO.

Image source

While chatting recently with a Juice Plus representative, I noticed she had colorful key chain fobs dangling with small Juice Plus containers.  I inquired about them and she smiled.  This lady was paying for her QR code design at the time and she went on to tell me how those small containers have provided so many opportunities to begin a conversation with people, some of whom go on to become customers and more.  I knew immediately why I did not have to tell her about the benefits of graphic QR codes because they have the same advantage and more.

Graphic QR codes get people talking.  Graphic QR codes increase SMO. Increased SMO also increases SEO. Want to know more or you just want a branded QR code, please call today.  We make codes for customers around the world. 719/428-5451.

Your Questions or Comments are always welcome here.
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Sunday, January 13, 2013


You see them.  Even if you personally ignore them QR (quick response) codes are practically everywhere and that is why you can no longer afford to stick your head in the sand.   You can try telling yourself that they are not that big a deal and you will be behind the crowd.  QR codes are the future of marketing and THE FUTURE IS PRESENT.

Yes, yes, QR codes have had a very bland induction, where they sent scanners on a pointless journey, usually to an URL.  They were babies; you experimented when you were young, too, and you were also forgiven and then taken seriously when you were no longer wet behind the ears.  
QR (quick response) codes are scannable images containing embedded information that loads onto smart phones and mobile devices when scanned with an app like i-nigma (which is free, by the way).  Your purchases are scanned at retail stores this same way but using a bar code reader.

New technology can be great but admittedly also a little vague and sometimes even intimidating.  The profitability factor of adding a custom QR code to your marketing in this era where over 75% of the population is holding a smart phone: staggering!  You see, a plain, black and white QR code is easy to ignore.  You know because you do it all the time.  Try to pass by something like this.  You know you are curious to know what this code does.  So are consumers and potential clients.  Add one to your business card and suddenly you don’t have to get all sale-sy.  Include one at the end of your presentation and incredibly, you can increase sales because your audience is flowing with the momentum!  Put one on your vehicle and wherever you park people can tune in to the video you have in your custom QR code.  
See a professional about branding a QR code for you.  A custom campaign will be developed around your goals and you will find yourself suddenly and easily in the present and out of the sand. creates custom, graphic QR codes that scan super-quick, track the number of scans received at different locations, and can change your message without redesigning your QR code.  Call a friendly professional today at: 719/428-5451.  Email: and get your questions answered. 

Comments always welcome.