About Jermaine Ward

Of Montes Custom Furniture located in Springfield, IL

How we met

I had the amazing opportunity to speak with Jermaine Ward recently. We initially connected on Facebook a while back and at that time I was simply an admirer of his work. I believe I ran across a video of Mr. Ward on the Steve Harvey show. He was there to present a custom made chair to the talk show host. From that video, I connected to his Facebook page. This was about two months ago. I sent him a direct message letting him know who I was and told him I loved his work.

What I learned

When speaking with someone that has been on the Steve Harvey show and that makes furniture that is custom built with such detail, the first thing I thought was what a nice person to allow me the time to find out more about him.

Here is what I discovered about Jermaine Ward:

  • He has been building for over 30 years. He still does the construction and concrete work building custom remodels.
  • He can build just about anything he puts his mind to and is self – taught.
  • Seven years ago he started building custom furniture which was always a passion. So he made that passion come to life.
  • Although he built a custom chair for Steve Harvey he can build anyone their own signature piece.
  • He only uses quality supplies/wood/paint etc.
  • He works alone. He builds his custom furniture with no help.
  • He plans to start a training center through a program that he calls New Directions Training Academy. This program will be focusing on the homeless, ex-felons and at risk youth and teaching them how to build and give back to their community.
  • His furniture is worth every dime. The time that he takes focusing on each piece and the quality of work means long lasting furniture for the consumer.
  • His furniture is not just for celebrities, it is for anyone that enjoys unique quality pieces.
  • He also builds furniture for newborns and young children.
  • There are also other pieces besides furniture such as wall hangings and the cancer awareness items.

I am glad we met

As I close out this article, I want everyone to know that I don’t come across people like Jermaine Ward everyday. I do not need to be in the same room to know that he is truly a man of essence and someone that does what he loves. His story and passion is truly inspirational. When you order your signature piece of furniture, you will be receiving a truly unique item that is created for you from the hands of a man that took a chance seven years ago to put a smile on someone’s face.

Take a look for yourself. Click on the pictures above. Thank you for reading and have a great 2019.

Lydia Graham
Graham Virtual Marketing Solutions

Why is Search engine optimization (SEO) important?

Image result for search engine optimization
SEO, Keywords, WordPress, Site123.me, Wix.com

About my reason for using SEO

When I first started in my career of online marketing six years ago after being in the administrative and upper management industry for over 20 years, I taught myself about building WordPress, Wix,com, and other websites. If you can build a WordPress website, you can build any web page. WordPress is sort of tough to build and has a lot of quirks, however, once you navigate through it you learn a lot (Mattreport, N.D.).

One of the features that is very popular on WordPress is their Yoast SEO, which is a built in tool that when utilized, takes the key words that you enter and puts the site on higher Google ranks as those words are searched and your website comes up on the search engine. There is color coding. Red means try again, Orange means, keep going, yellow is almost there and green means you have met the key word/SEO qualifications. It is not easy to get to green (Mattreport, N.D.).

Image result for greenlight seo

How to get the green light in WordPress

In order to get to green, you have to be sure that the content in that you have throughout your web pages matches the key words in the Yoast SEO boxes. Then when you put those words in one area, you have to re – type them in another area. The colors also includes the quality of the page so this on top of the correct key word usage can make it tougher to get the green code because you have to keep tweaking the site accordingly. For example: If you key words are Graham Marketing or Virtual Marketing but you don’t have those words in your pages accordingly, WordPress will have a message pop up telling you to go back to the particular page that you are working on and correct these areas Yoast, N.D.).

What is SERP?

Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) are the pages displayed by search engines in response to a query by a searcher. The main component of the SERP is the listing of results that are returned by the search engine in response to a keyword query, which may also contain other results such as advertisements (Google N.D.). These pages are known as landing pages, social media pages and even blogs.

Other places that utilize the SEO tool

Wix.com, and Site123.me have built in SEO wizards that tell you the key words to put in. This is so much easier than WordPress because we don’t have to guess at what to put into the word box. In Site123 it looks something like the image above (Appsite123, 2019).

Image result for using hashtags for seo

SEO is not just putting keywords into a website. It is also hashtags. They help you to categorize your content and help social media users find it. Be careful with hashtags, though; hashtag use varies from platform to platform. By using hashtags to identify key trends on Google, you can discover social engagement trends which can later be incorporated into posts on Google+ and other social networks. This means that SEOs can get their social content to the top of the pile by promoting posts successfully across Google+ (Google, N.D.).

Google charges you to get you on their list. SEO is a free way to do this organically which is amazing when you think about it. I have used this method and will continue to use it until something different or better comes along.

Lydia Graham
Graham Virtual Marketing Solutions
Phone: (203) 701 – 9115
Reach out today for your free consultation


Appite123me (2019). Website Appsite123me.com. Retrieved from https://app.site123.com/manager/wizard

Matttreport (N.D.). WordPress is not easy. Matt report. Retrieved from https://mattreport.com/wordpress-is-not-easy/

Yoast (N.D.). WordPress SEO: the definitive guide. Yoast.com. Retrieved from https://yoast.com/wordpress-seo/

Google (2019). Greenlight – SEO search. Google.com. Retrieved https://www.google.com/search?q=greenlight+seo&safe=active&sxsrf=ACYBGNTbG_KWu9JFGERfyphdmcNH8Rp_fw:1576639892045&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjP19Clob7mAhUnUt8KHWTqAPoQ_AUoAnoECAwQBA&biw=1366&bih=625#imgrc=60IYNc3fCkc17M:

Google (2019). What is SERP? Google.com. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/search?safe=active&sxsrf=ACYBGNR6zQzwSKhSrX7WdWUC5N3cMUpWzA%3A1576637960871&source=hp&ei=CJb5XbvZMui1ggeq_5Fo&q=serp%27s&oq=serp%27s&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0j38j0i30l8.80.10844..11836…5.0..0.838.2848.2-2j1j0j2j1……0….1..gws-wiz…….0i131j0i20i263.M45u3bQxG6s&ved=0ahUKEwi7_eCMmr7mAhXomuAKHap_BA0Q4dUDCAg&uact=5

Google (2019). Using hashtags for SEO. Google.com. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/search?safe=active&sxsrf=ACYBGNTHNEDF1PIF7YOOeQTUta9axnxOQg%3A1576641037002&source=hp&ei=DKL5XdijOq-3gge43bXYCw&q=using+hashtags+for+seo&oq=using+hashtags+for+seo&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0i22i30.205867.211839..212228…4.0..0.1012.4672.0j4j3j3j1j0j1j1……0….1..gws-wiz…….0j0i13i5i30j0i13i30j33i22i29i30.r3GUX7lIvWE&ved=0ahUKEwjY2cjHpb7mAhWvm-AKHbhuDbsQ4dUDCAg&uact=5

Preliminary findings and limitations – week six

Market research and chosen organization’s objectives

How does market research support my organization’s objectives?

Before we started our market research for the new product Ford Films, we had to do a lot of internal communication. During our briefings, we discussed our budget, the economy and possible unforeseen changes. We also reviewed market dynamics, technology and how it all changes. We also talked about the target demographic and how we needed to handle that part of the research carefully (Tutor2U, N.D.). We needed to understand spending habits, the type of people that don’t mind splurging on luxury and how they think (Cision Conributor, 2017).

Based on these objectives, we reviewed books, articles, internal documents from the company and our company in regards to modern technology and how people have responded. We then put together focus groups, surveys, questionnaires on social media and we also did some testing via virtual landscapes as well as real time testing. This allowed the consumer to get a hands on experience with the product to see if they like it. We called this approach testing the market (Babin, B. p. 255).

By utilizing our market research through the above channels, we were able to secure our decision that Ford Films is a good choice and that it would do very well in the target market that we ran tests on. We were also able to secure financing for the new technology, and work with development teams to create and implement long term strategies for similar products that we are looking into for the future (Stewart, C., 2015).

Industry trends, possible future trends, possible implications of these trends for our organization

current and future trends

Based on our research, there are five trends sweeping the automotive industry in regards with technology integration.  Internet of things (IoT), Cloud/hybrid computing models, In- Car apps, AI platforms/Analytics and Digital Factory.   By taking these trends into consideration, it puts us at an advantage when marketing the product Ford Films (DXC on Analysis Blog, 2019). 

As for the implications this will have on the organization, there is not anyone that can truly predict trends because just like they are not pre – determined such is the same as the market (Deener, W., 2016). However, based on the information shared above our plan seems to be supported in regards to our new product being successful.

How does your proposed marketing strategy align to legal, ethical, and industry standards?

Ethics and legal standards in marketing

Ford is one of the world’s most ethical companies according to The News Wheel.  This makes the automotive company stand out among its competitors in the industry.  By 2017 it was voted most ethical for seven years in a row (The News Wheel, 2017).

While putting together our proposed strategy the fact that Ford has such high standards ethically in the industry we wanted to make sure our ethical and legal strategy was as strong. We became members of the American Marketing Association (AMA) which is an essential community for marketers. The American Marketing Association commits itself to promoting the highest standard of professional ethical norms and values for its members (AMA, N.D.).

We also have a legal team in place for the what ifs. We will pay attention to the following:
The data we collect, invasion of privacy, how that information is distributed, and making sure information is not misleading (Goodyer, M., N.D.).

Limitations encountered in creating marketing proposal

Information regarding our proposal and limitations/how we handled

The limitations we encountered was the idea of how to bring an old fashioned concept to a modern day and fast paced era. With all of the gadgets and devices out there, would our market slow down enough to enjoy Ford Films and how could we convey the excitement about this product on our proposal? What we decided to do was include a statistical result of our sample ages 20 to 65 from our survey results and include it in our proposal (Aging in place, 2019).

Our statistic yielded results of the probability of 95% this age group with earnings of 150k and up were more likely to purchase the vehicles with the new technology. This part of the presentation which included a chart and list of interested buyers from our demographic database closed any gaps there may have been in our research and put the Ford Motor company at ease that their cars with the new feature would sell (Statistic Solutions, N.D.).


Aging In Place (2019). Technology In Our Life Today and How it Has Changed. Aging In Place. Retrieved from https://www.aginginplace.org/technology-in-our-life-today-and-how-it-has-changed/.

AMA (N.D.). Ethics Archives. AMA. Retrieved from https://www.ama.org/topics/ethics/.

Babin, B. (2016 Copyright). Essentials of Marketing Research. [MBS Direct]. Retrieved from https://mbsdirect.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781305688094/.

Cision Contributor (2017). Consumers in the Age of Distraction. Cision Contributor.

Deemer, W. (2016). No one can predict the market, so why should we kep trying? Dallas News. Retrieved from https://www.dallasnews.com/business/personal-finance/2016/10/31/no-one-can-predict-the-market-so-why-do-we-keep-trying/.

DXC technology (2019). Five technology trends driving the automotive industry into the future. DXC technology. Retrieved from https://blogs.dxc.technology/2019/05/06/five-technology-trends-driving-the-automotive-industry-into-the-future/.

Statistic Solutions (N.D.). Market Research Statistic Solutions. Retrieved from https://www.statisticssolutions.com/market-research/.

Stewart, C. (2015). 4 Business Goals Market Research Can Help You Accomplish. Market Research. Retrieved from https://blog.marketresearch.com/4-business-goals-market-research-can-help-you-accomplish.

The News Wheel (2017). Ford Makes Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical Companies List for Eighth Straight Year. The News Wheel. Retrieved from https://thenewswheel.com/ford-makes-ethispheres-worlds-most-ethical-companies-list-for-eighth-straight-year/.

Tutor2U (N.D.). Internal and External Influences on Marketing Objectives. Tutor2U. Retrieved from https://www.tutor2u.net/business/reference/internal-and-external-influences-on-marketing-objectives.

#SEO, #virtual, #freelance #writing #wordpress #blog #article #marketing #social media #content #graphic #design #videomarketing #digital

Marketing Perspective – Influencers

What I notice about this type of marketing

I watched the 60 Minutes special Here about social media influencers which included Kim Kardashian, Logan Paul, Andrew Bachelor and a few other up and comings. What I noticed right away is the less is more approach. They are not doing anything out of the ordinary nor breaking any laws. For example, Logan Paul does crazy splits in the middle of nowhere and around crowds of people and throws his hands up. This has gotten him millions of followers across the world inside and outside of the U.S. Andrew Bachelor does silly 6 minute vines which are short videos. As for Kim Kardashian, everyone knows here just for being her (60 Minutes, 2019).

What strategies are they employing?

What do they all have in common? The ability to engage their followers with antics and entertain us all in ways that are simple and effective. Nothing is really thought out. They make hundreds of thousands to promote well known products and businesses throughout the world. Businesses like McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts are in a way being re branded through these influencers without having to pay ad money on their end and therefore they pay the influencers direct. This is in a sense ingenious. The strategy here would be to get paid while growing their brand basically for free (60 Minutes, 2019).

Roles these Influencers play in marketing

By promoting major brands, this gives a whole vibe to advertising. When a major influencer such as Kim Kardashian does her makeup tutorials the products that she uses from blush, eyeliner to the brushes increase that brands sales. She then in turn makes money when that happens. It is positive PR for the brand and income for Kim (60 Minutes, 2019).

How the use of marketing perspective impacts the relationship between the company and the consumer?

When a company’s brand is shown in a different way through a social media influencer, it gives us the consumer a fresh spin on the brand and makes us want to purchase. For the company it builds a new found confidence in their organization if they were having difficulty connecting with a target market. For example, maybe there are teenagers that don’t purchase certain items. When seeing an influencer such as Logan Paul or Kim Kardashian endorse the product or company, now they too think it is cool. This builds loyalty and trust between the company and consumer without it even being realized (60 Minutes, 2019).


60 Minutes (2019). The Influencers – CBS News. cbsnews.com Retrieved from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-kim-kardashian-logan-paul-social-media-influencers/

My Social Media Presence Matters

About me

Hello, my name is Lydia Graham of CT.  I am 47 and back in school finishing my Business Communications degree minoring in Marketing with a focus on New Age Media.  Twenty years ago I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life so I decided to live it.  I raised two beautiful young ladies who are now college graduated and the other has 2.5 years left.  I am remarried and currently enrolled in Business Communications minoring in Marketing with a focus on New age media. 

What I Do

I own and operate my own virtual marketing firm from my home office in Shelton, CT. I am looking to partner with other experts once I make those connections. I am currently enrolled at Southern NH University working towards my Business Communications degree minoring in marketing with a focus on New media. For information about my company, see my here: Company Website


Media has changed quite a bit since 1971 when I was born.  People still read the paper however most of us read the news online via msn.com, cnn.com or of course social media as well as tons of other online resources.  Most of us receive and review updates in our feed about what is going on with our current political situation through Facebook and Twitter

We all know that social media has grown exponentially in the last decade.  With over 2.45 billion users Facebook is a platform to be reckoned with.  Email through direct messaging via FB messenger is very easy to use.  Twitter is also growing. Hashtags and popular handles are the best sources of growth tactics here.  Instagram is well known for graphics that attract engagement.  LinkedIn is an excellent platform for business to business connections (Moz, 2019).

Who I Look Up To

A company that I recently noticed within the past four months on social media that really impressed me is Sienna Sauce.  This is a homemade sauce that was created by a mother and daughter duo.  The daughter is 15 years of age.  They made this sauce because a local wing place near their home closed and they loved the sauce.  What they created was even better and can be used on anything.  Tyla Simone is inspirational so I retweet and reshare her content.  As a fellow African American entrepreneur, she truly rocks!  

Where They Can Be Found

So far I have found them on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  Their Facebook and Instagram platforms seem to be growing steadily however Twitter and LinkedIn seem to not have significant growth.  They have been featured on major networks and local media outlets.  They also do live videos showing different events where they feature their wings and sauce.  Here is their website which also has their social media channels listed: https://siennasauce.com/


I never thought in a million years I would be here in this vast world of social media frenzy. I have learned through my course work and through experience in marketing online that it does not happen just because I create a fancy post. Dare I say this may be just as tough as the days of door to door sales. At least then we were able to see the individuals face to face. I will stay the course though. After all, I do believe in what I am doing and that my presence matters.


Moz (2019). Welcome to the Beginners Guide to Social Media. moz.com. Retrieved from https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-social-media.

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