Carolyn Browne Tamler

has helped hundreds of businesses and organizations with her thoughtful facilitation and research services. She also writes colorful and compelling articles about new business initiatives! Would this help you? Call Carolyn today!

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    p:| 360.222.6820
    c:| 425.351.7531

    f:| 360.222.6820

    2055 Pheasant Farm Lane
    Freeland, WA 98249

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    5-8-14 What is special or unique about your business?

    In my experience, before you can do a good job marketing your business, you have to know what is special or unique about what you sell and/or the way you do business.

    Some businesses are unique because there may be no one in the area selling what you have.  In that case, you have to be able to do a good job explaining what you have and why someone needs it.  And, you still have to offer good customer service so that people will come back and/or spread the word to others.

    Most businesses are selling a product or service that others are selling.  Are you a massage therapist?  Lots of people provide massages.  Are you selling clothing?  Lots of people sell clothing.  Are you a restaurant or café?  Lots of people have a food service business.

    So, the first thing I ask a business owner is: “What is special or unique about what you offer?”  It’s best to laundry-list as much as you can and really think about what is different about what you provide. Sometimes, the product may not be special, but the service certainly can be.

    It also helps to sit down with some of your staff to do the laundry-listing.  I’m a great believer that it’s easier for people participating in a group discussion to come up with creative ideas, than it is for an individual.

    Once you have defined all of the things that make your product or service special, you’ll have a much better concept of how to market yourself.


    5-1-14 Will someone notice your business if they’re just walking by? 

    We are just beginning to do data entry for completed Langley Merchants Survey questionnaires.

    As I was inputting responses yesterday, I noticed how often someone visiting Langley – whether a local person or from off-Island – marked “Just saw it walking by” in response to how they learned about a particular business.

    As I thought about it, I realized that what these visitors are saying is that something about the front of the business, or the window display, or sandwich boards outside drew them inside. 

    Having an appealing entrance and window displays that attract attention can play a significant role in bringing new people to your business.

    If you found something that helps draw new people to come into your store, I’ll appreciate hearing from you.



    4-24-14 The joy of telling a good story

    I usually talk about marketing in this Blog, but today I’m sharing the delight I am having pursuing my passion about sharing the passions of others.

    I have a wonderful Late-in-Life Love story that I tell about my husband, Rich, and me.  We’re happily celebrating 11-1/2 years of marriage at an age when many married people are celebrating 40 or 50 years of marriage.

    In telling my own story, I learned that meeting and marrying the love of your life in your 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and higher is really quite common today.  And, as I began to hear the stories and write them, I recognized the common themes – knew intuitively this was the person very quickly, best friends, don’t sweat the small stuff, lots of trust and support in the relationship.

    I just posted a new story today about Mike and Christine:

    I hope you will read this story, and the other ones I have posted, including my own:

    They are all delightful stories….enjoy!


    4–17–14 Coupeville Chamber members become engaged in sharing ideas 

    If you’ve read my Blogs, you know that one of my major themes is the value of collaboration.  In my experience, ideas and creativity flow more freely in a small group discussion than if someone is searching for inspiration on their own.

    This past Tuesday, I did my Marketing 101 presentation for about 15 members of the Coupeville Chamber of Commerce.  During the presentation, I asked people to share what marketing ideas have worked well for them, and I encouraged people to talk about what produced results for their business.

    At least half of my presentation consisted of listening to the wonderful ideas suggested by those who were there.  The members in the audience also responded to each other’s comments, and there were some lively, positive exchanges.

    It was obvious to me that energy was generated by people sharing with each other, and I could feel the camaraderie building as the meeting continued.

    At the end, I got a lot of compliments on my presentation, but I really felt like complimenting all who were there willing to share their ideas.


    4-10-14 Langley merchants are working together to learn more about customers and visitors coming to the community 

    I’m doing a project for the City of Langley that is a cooperative effort of the Mayor’s office, the Chamber of Commerce, the Langley Main Street Association, and over 25 businesses (so far) to learn more about the people who are coming into the businesses in Langley.

    Each of the participating businesses will be asking people who come into their stores if they would like to help the Langley merchants learn more about visitors to their community by completing a simple, self-administered half-page size questionnaire.  Since each business can mark their name on the questionnaires they distribute, those who do this will be able to have a tabulation of the results for their individual business. The business can also choose to give the questionnaire only to someone who makes a sale (customer) or to anyone who comes into the store (visitor).

    The questionnaire gets information about zip code, weekday vs. weekday customers, customers vs. visitors, why people are visiting Langley on this day, and how they learned about the particular business they are in.

    The results will provide information to guide future advertising and promotion for the greater Langley business community as well as the individual businesses that participate.

    This is a great example of members of a business community working together to get information that will benefit everyone.