Tag Archive: FranCamp


There are many reasons to attend networking events, seminars and conferences.  I always ask myself:  “What’s the ROI. What is the return on my investment (time and financially) to attend”? 

If you are involved in the franchising industry you may be very interested in the event to be held in Atlanta next week called FranCamp.

Below is a quick overview of the presentations for FranCamp. We have strong franchise industry leaders as speakers and/or round-table moderators. The list of attendees is equally impressive. The Goddard School, Learning Express Toys, Mr. Rooter and Nothing Bundt Cakes are a few of the franchisors that are registered to attend. There are several IFA Supplier Forum Members such as Engage121, Fish Consulting and FranNet that will be present.

There are seats still available. Registration can be found http://fransocialcamp.com/register/

Special thanks to AK Stout and FitDesk for the great door prize donation! If you are not familiar with the FitDesk, watch AK’s review by clicking here.

If you will not be in Atlanta for the event, watch the Twitter stream and tweets #FranCamp. We will do our best to share the information as we hear it live!


I mustn’t forget to mention the TweetUp! Thursday, May 3rd 7pm at the JW Marriott in Buckhead Atlanta! Open to the public so bring a friend and have a great time networking over cocktails. http://tweetvite.com/event/francamp

Every business or brand wants customers that are raving fans and social ambassadors. Some brands create their own social ambassador campaigns by enlisting bloggers or customers with a strong voice. The best social ambassadors are the average customers that sincerely love the product and/or service and willing to share their experience.

Become a social ambassador

Are you the type of person that likes to shout from the roof tops when you find a great product or service? Are you an influencer in your family and community? Do you enjoy blogging, tweeting, posting updates to Facebook or LinkedIn? Are you using the latest social platform, Pinterest? If so, then you can easily become a social ambassador.

Personally, I LOVE to share videos. Not necessarily videos of myself but videos where I am behind the camera sharing a great experience.

Squeeky Clean Service

While at work a few months ago the local Fish Window Cleaning franchise team were working diligently cleaning the second floor windows of our office building. I took notice of their lack of fear of heights and the care they took to get my windows squeaky clean. Personally, I would never venture that high up and I hate cleaning windows! I took the video below and shared on their Facebook page, Tweeted and sent a word of thanks to their corporate team. It took all of 10 minutes of my time to share my great experience and become a Fish Window Cleaning (franchise) social ambassador.  I received a note of thanks for the postings and exchanged emails and tweets with the Fish team.

A little Tasti Love

Another passion is networking and meeting new people in the franchise industry. Last week I had the pleasure meeting Tammy Friedeck at the Houston Social Media Club TweetUp hosted by Michele Price aka @prosperitygal. Tammy recently relocated to Houston to serve as the Communications Coordinator for the Mattress Firm. Tammy and I met for lunch a few days later and I was able to introduce her to Tasti D-lite. I asked if I could film her very first bite and if she didn’t like it, I wouldn’t publish. As you will see below, she did enjoy it and of course the video was Tweeted and posted to the various platforms.   We don’t expect the video to go viral but it does demonstrate how we are social ambassadors for Tasti. Our tweets were re-tweeted by @tastidlite and we received a note of thanks from the Tasti team.

Don’t be that company!

Earlier this month, I attended a wedding of one of my son’s best friends. It was superb! The decorations were beautiful. The food was outrageously delicious. The music was fun and I witnessed my grandson experience “getting down” on the dance floor. At 21 months the kid has some moves! The day after the wedding I sent an email to the wedding coordinator and copied the management team. I thanked them for a job well done and congratulated them on the event.

My next move would have been to post glowing remarks to their Facebook page or maybe blog about the facility. I did not. Why? I never received a response to my email. I know for a fact the email was received by all the recipients and was shared with co-workers. How difficult would it have been to reply to me?

Engaging with customers who could potentially do damage AND could be social ambassadors should be a priority.

Are you a social ambassador? What have your shared recently? I would love to know!

Promotion alert: Attend FranCamp in Atlanta and meet Fish Window Cleaning and Tasti D-lite. They will share their expertise on local marketing and building social ambassadors!

Three weeks into my launch of Deb Evans Consulting, LLC! Memories of launching my first franchise in 1996  come streaming back. The stress, hard work, roller coaster of emotions and daily challenges.

Launching a new business requires many things. As the weeks turn to months my priorities and strategy will change. For now, I have listed the top 3 things that keep me focused:

  1. Take it slow:  Have a daily plan. I established a business plan,  with goals and objectives when I made the decision to launch my own business. When I walked into my new home office I quickly realized that I needed a daily plan of action.  My business coach suggested that I list 5 things I wanted to accomplish daily. Just 5. No more and no less. Prioritize the 5, then tackle. The list keeps me on track. There have been  days that I completed the list by lunch time and moved on to other tasks or rewarded myself with a personal break. It’s spring in Houston and now I have the luxury to dust off the bike and take a leisure ride. Don’t get me wrong. I exercise each morning by power walking but it has been a real treat to go for an afternoon ride. It’s very easy to hunker down and work from sunup to sundown. That was the corporate me. The new self-employed me wants to enjoy life at a slower pace.
  2. Set realistic expectations: Rome was not built-in a day but I have set revenue goals and objectives that will provide the opportunity for me to take time off to visit friends in Europe later this year. Having realistic expectations and stretch goals give me something to work hard for. I have two major projects I am working on: Developing Peak Performing Franchisees project with Joe Mathews and FranCamp scheduled for May 4th. I came very close to adding a third yesterday and quickly realized that it would not fit into my current routine and would divert my attention from the objectives I established.
  3. Accountability: No longer do I have a corporate team or franchisees to be accountable to. I meet with my business coach, David Handler every other week but I needed accountability partners.  They are Joe Mathews (Founder Franchise Performance Group), Jack Monson (VP, Engage 121) and Thomas Scott (CEO, Brand Journalists).  Joe and I are working closely together via video Skype using Google docs to complete our work on Developing Peak Performing Franchisees. We schedule 90 minute sessions and homework. We are dependent on each other to meet at the scheduled time and complete the work we were assigned. We have a deadline to reach and so far we are right on track to accomplish!

    Video Skype and Google Docs

    Jack, Thomas and I meet via conference calls or Google Hangout to discuss the details of FranCamp. Each of us has different responsibilities to assure FranCamp will be successful.

    So there you are. My top 3 tips for successful business launch. Time and dedication will determine the success.

    What are your tips? Do you have suggestions for me as I move forward?

Deb Evans, Karen Marshall (CE Founder) and Chuck Evans 1996

This week I’m transitioning from Deb, Computer Explorers to

Deb, Consulting Executive.

I started the week by sending new contact information to those I’ve worked with over the last several years. I quickly realized that providing new contact information without details about my future left some of my friends confused.

So what is next for DebCE?

FranCamp Planning – The first 2012 FranCamp will be held in Atlanta due to popular vote! Mark your calendar for Friday, May 4th to join us at the JW Marriott Buckhead. I am finalizing the speakers and currently looking for sponsors. My goal is to keep the registration fee as low as possible!

If you want to learn the real recipes that work in  social media in the franchise industry, from the most advanced franchisors, franchisees, consultants and experts in the field, this is a one-day conference you can’t afford to miss.

You won’t get sales pitches. You’ll walk away with a very sophisticated level of understanding about ALL of the pieces of a successful social media strategy.

Sessions will include but not limited to:

  • Social Media Gone Wrong!
  • How to Monitor and Leverage Social Platforms
  • Building the Perfect Social Media Campaign
  • Creating a Fan Community
  • Local Marketing Rules!
  • The Power in Connecting
  • Build Your Business…Build Your Brand…Build Your Legacy

Developing Peak Performing Franchisees – Next week I will travel to Nashville to work with Joe Mathews, Founder of the Franchise Performance Group. He has over 20 years experience with such national chains as Subway, Blimpies, Motophoto, and Entrepreneur’s Source.  Joe specializes in the area of franchisee recruitment, sales, and franchisee performance.  He is a regular presenter at IFA conferences and is an instructor with the ICFE (Institute of Certified Franchise Executive). Joe  is the author of two books, Street Smart Franchising with Don Debolt and Deb Percival and Meaning of Life Project.

Joe and I will train operational support teams in how to develop peak performing franchisees. We will use the five stage learning curve of franchisees and how to identify where each franchisee is in the curve. By teaching, training, consulting and coaching best practices our goal is to accelerate franchisees through the curve into peak performance.

So there you have it. That’s what next for DebCE.

Give me a call. 832-334-6664

Send me a Tweet @DebCE

Connect with me on Facebook.com/DebEvansConsulting

or listen to my weekly BlogTalkRadio show, Social Geek Radio with co-host AK Stout.

Deb Evans Consulting, LLC is now open for business! 

In the last two months I have attended two very different but very inspirational conferences: FranCamp Nashville and Dust or Magic Institute in New Jersey.

Dust or Magic

It was my first attendance and  Cyndee Perkins sixth to the Dust or Magic Institute. The objectives of the eleventh annual Dust or Magic conference were simple:

  • To familiarize ourselves with the key products of the year
  • To familiarize ourselves with some fundamental theories of child development in the context of emerging technologies
  • To help us meet and learn from others who are passionate about creating interactive media for children

After initially being star struck meeting Craig Hickman, Creator of Kid Pix, Don Rawitsch Co-Creator of Oregon Trail and Mark Schlichting Creator, The Living Books I realized that we were all there for the same reason – we value technology education!

Cyndee and I shared our key takeaways on Inside Computer Explorers – Was it Dust or Magic? If you have not listened to the broadcast yet you can find the link here

Do you understand the glue?

 The very popular Angry Birds game is simple enough to understand but complicated enough to be addictive. It’s the glue in gaming that app developers are trying to replicate. Did you know that Angry Birds is used to teach math, history and science? Read this article in iLearn Technology http://ilearntechnology.com/?p=3970

Chip Donohue, Director of Distance Learning, Erikson Institute reminded us that “you don’t have to love technology to understand that we have a responsibility to figure it out for the sake of the children.” Donohue encourages us: to embrace lifelong and life wide learning, create technology tools to play/learn with anyone, anytime, in any place, at your pace, on any device, leverage digital convergence, blatantly connect childhood and creativity, and to keep the child inside you alive!

We live in a world where “touchless is the new black” (Craig Hickman) and “the tablet effect has begun” (Warren Buckleitner).

The why!

Many of the presentations were filmed but there is one in particular that I recommend you carve 33.18 minutes out of your day and watch why Daren Carsten received the first standing ovation in the 11 years at Dust or Magic. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llHhhUBMzGQ

Daren shared his secrets to making successful learning apps but his presentation is not just for developers. It’s for all of us. He said we “can’t claim that we make learning fun – learning IS fun! Our job is to reveal the fun in learning!”

Daren’s biggest message was: “Don’t forget about the why (the kids).Hangout with smarter, more creative and more passionate people, preferably children.”

Warren Buckleitner host of Dust of Magic said, “powerful technology + good people = magic”

Cyndee said to me, “You and I came away from Dust or Magic re-inspired by kids and education and making a difference.”

She is correct! I believe, “With hard work, trust in the brand (Computer Explorers), and some creative thinking, we can continue to make a difference and add some magic in 2012. Franchisees joined CE due to their passion for learning and using technology with children. Many things come and go but children, education and technology will always be part of the future. I’m excited to be part of that!” 

I have a strong commitment and belief to technology education and franchising. There is no magic or silver bullet to success. Hard work, dedication and what we believe in will create success.

I attend conferences to learn. I learn so I can teach. I teach because I believe Computer Explorers can be the nations leading technology education franchise!

FranCamp Follow Up

We did it! We held the first FranCamp in Nashville last weekend and it was a success! There are so many things that I learned even as one of the presenters.  I promise to share everything in my book: Franchising Goes Social: Franchise Leadership As A Social Geek!

For now, I have the video below that I recorded this morning on UStream with my key take-aways.

Below are some important links to presentations, tweets, and videos that you missed.

FranCamp site: www.fransocialcamp.com

You can find the Tweets:  here

Live recording archived of all the sessions via  UStream:  here

10 Best Twitter Tactics presentation by Jack Monson, Engage 121:  here

Inspire Change, Engage Your System presentation by Deb Evans:  here

Facebook Strategies presentation by AK Stout, Saying It Social:  here

Blogging for Business presented by Thomas Scott:  here

LinkedIn Strategies presentation by Paul Segreto:  here

BlogTalkRadio -” What Happened At FranCamp”  with guests BJ Emerson, Alissa Ramsay, Stephanie Ramirez, Dana Lopez and Lorri Wyndhamhere

An extra bonus is the Facebook eBook provided by AK Stout can be found here

Don’t forget to take the survey (http://fransocialcamp.com/where-is-the-next-francamp/) and vote for the next city that FranCamp travels to.

Sure you can watch the videos from FranCamp. You can view all the presentations and glean lots of great content from the tweets. But in reality you are missing the great discussions and networking from a group of like minded individuals.

Thomas Scott opened the day explaining that the FranCamp committee put the event together so that we could “give the recipe away and provide tactics and strategies that can be used immediately!” A bond was formed and new friendships and business relationships were made.

Please join our circle and register for the next FranCamp, volunteer to be a speaker or sponsor!

Time for FranCamp!

This is it! Ready or not! The first ever  social media  podcamp for the franchise industry is this weekend.   I couldn’t be more excited. Can you tell?

If you are not familiar with the term podcamp, it is a community event for new media enthusiasts and professionals. Those that attend are interested in networking and learning more about blogging, YouTube, social platforms and anyone curious about new media. FranCamp is designed for the franchising industry but also relevant to small business owners.

Things kick off with Social Geek Radio tonight live from Nashville. It will be the first time that AK Stout and I have the opportunity to broadcast from the same location. Of course, this is dependent on the airlines getting us to Nashville on time.

We will test  UStream tonight  and do our best to broadcast from our new FranCamp channel during the weekend events. You can watch live  http://www.ustream.tv/channel/francamp and/or follow AK’s  Twitter bird #FranCamp. Blog posts, photos and videos will be posted during and after the event!

This may be the first but it will not be the last FranCamp event! Stay tuned for announcements of the next locations.

Preparing for FranCamp

We are just a few weeks away from FranCamp! There is a great deal going on behind the scenes to make this event one of the best in franchising.

Watch this video to find out who should attend

Learn more

Visit our Website http://fransocialcamp.com/

Be a FranCamp Groupie –  link here We are collecting suggestions for our sessions. We will also use LinkedIn to continue the discussion after the event.

BYOD

Bring Your Own Device! Smartphone, iPad, Laptop, Video Camera, Digital Camera…. This is a working event so have your power device with you and ready to test and use! Want to learn more about using video for marketing? There is a session for that.  Want to know how to conduct location based marketing? There is a session for that! What in the world do you do with QR codes and how do you design and read them? Guess what?! There is a session that too! Be prepared during the roundtables to whip out your devices and learn what to do with them!

Apps to download prior to arriving in Nashville

Foursquare, SCVNGR,  QR code reader and LinkedIn

Twitter

Follow our tweets!  #FranCamp

Did someone say TweetUp? A social media event is not complete unless there is a TweetUp! Join us at Tasti D-Lite in Nashville on Friday October 21st.

Start preparing now! Don’t hesitate to contact me or Thomas Scott with questions.

Jennifer MacDonald provided this little teaser video for her upcoming FranCamp session!

To learn more about the sessions at FranCamp visit this link: http://fransocialcamp.com/sessions/

Inspire Change

Inspire Change, Engaging your Franchise Company with Social Media is my session at the upcoming FranCamp: Franchising Goes Social event to be held in Nashville, TN.

Here is my session description:

How do you get your entire organization to buy into social media? What is the potential if everyone from the home office to the franchise locations to employees begin to use social media? Amazing things start to happen: better customer relations, better brand awareness.

Deb is a firm believer that to motivate you have to be motivated. The economy and franchise budgets are still hurting.  Everyone has been affected by the downturn of the economy but what franchisors did during the downturn varies. Deb approached social media and yes jumped on that bandwagon looking for innovative and creative ways to leverage social media to position COMPUTER EXPLORERS. Success does not happen overnight and it does not happen alone. It is a team effort starting from the top of the franchise system involving the corporate team and filters through to franchisees and evidentially to the customers.

Social media takes time and sometimes money but first it needs to be understood, by the leader. The small business owner or franchisee with one or two employees is a leader. The multi-unit franchisee is a leader as well as the franchisor. Every leader needs to make the business decision if social media should play a role in their organization marketing plan. Whether the decision is to outsource or use someone in house for social media marketing, the leader needs to be enthusiastic about the use of social technologies. More importantly, the leader needs to make the decision about how and what to leverage. Not all social technology platforms will fit and not all will bring a return.

Don’t allow yourself to be influenced by what you think you know. Successful businesses today require creativity, innovation and the ability to change. Deb will share openly how she approached the use of social media when it was still uncharted waters, the resistance she received from franchisees and the path and tools developed to turn skeptics to enthusiasts.

We have a great line up of speakers, panelists and attendees. I love sharing what I have learned and I hope I can inspire others. To learn more visit: www.fransocialcamp.com