Hi! I'm Kelly Heck, and as an entrepreneur, there are never TOO many ways to promote, market, and hustle my business.

Over the years I have kept an updated a list of FREE Community Calendars (calendars that welcome free event submissions from you and me) and points of contact for press and publication purposes. Please market your events! Please share your press-worthy news! Following I also share a list of local business resources, local business organizations (and their related networking events), and my favorite Organic Search Engine Optimization Tips - please use them to grow your business and build up your online presence.

These resources are brought to you, by me, and I hope they help you grow and prosper!

Feel welcome to share this webpage privately with your networks.
Please respect these points of contact.
* LAST UPDATED ON: May 22nd, 2020 *

Kelly Heck, Photographer in Carroll County, Maryland

 

FREE Community Calendars

 

CALENDAR LOCAL TO SUBMISSION LINK / EMAIL
Carroll County Tourism Carroll County, Maryland carrollcountytourism.org/event-calendar
Carroll County Chamber Carroll County, Maryland www.chamberdata.net/webforms/evtsubmission.aspx?dbid2=mdcc
Carroll County Times Carroll County, Maryland www.events.carrollcountytimes.com/events/new
Carroll Magazine Carroll County, Maryland www.carrollmagazine.com/calendar
Taneytown Record Taneytown, Maryland Email Nancy McCormick
Gettysburg Times Gettysburg, Maryland www.gettysburgtimes.com/users/admin/calendar/event
Baltimore Sun "The Sun" Baltimore, Maryland www.events.baltimoresun.com/events/new
Frederick News Post Frederick, Maryland www.fredericknewspost.com/users/admin/calendar/event
The Evening Sun Hanover / York, Pennsylvania www.ydr-community.pointslocal.com/community/create/event
Main Street Taneytown Taneytown, Maryland www.mainstreettaneytown.com/events/community/add
Visit Maryland Maryland www.mdyoda.milesmediagroup.com/PublicEditor.aspx
Americantowns.com Taneytown, Maryland www.americantowns.com/taneytown-md/events
Americantowns.com Westminster, Maryland www.americantowns.com/westminster-md/events
Eventful.com Westminster, Maryland www.eventful.com/westminster_md/events
Yelp.com GENERAL www.yelp.com/events/create
Patch.com Westminster, Maryland www.patch.com/maryland/westminster/calendar
Patch.com Eldersburg, Maryland www.patch.com/maryland/eldersburg/calendar
Eventbrite.com GENERAL www.eventbrite.com/signin/?referrer=%2Fcreate
Facebook.com GENERAL www.facebook.com/events
LinkedIn.com GENERAL www.linkedin.com *Learn More: www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/98192
Carroll County Arts Council Carroll County, Maryland www.carrollcountyartscouncil.org/attractions_community_events.asp
Howard Magazine Howard County, Maryland howardmagazine@tronc.com *Email howardmagazine@tronc.com with the name of the event, a one-sentence description, the date, the time, the location, and a phone number or website where the public can get more information. Event information must be submitted three-four months in advance to be considered.
Harford Magazine Harford County, Maryland harfordmagazine@tronc.com *Email harfordmagazine@tronc.com with the name of the event, a one-sentence description, the date, the time, the location, and a phone number or website where the public can get more information. Event information must be submitted three-four months in advance to be considered.

12 EVENT PROMO TIPS:

1. Provide a link where those interested can learn more and/or RSVP.
2. Provide contact information for a Point Of Contact managing your event.
3. Use the power of SEO keywords in your event title and description.
4. If it is a ticketed event, make tickets easy to purchase.
5. Crowdsource marketing materials through audience participation.
6. Offer special tickets (early bird, VIP, bundles, groups)
7. Offer Sponsorships and/or Partnerships to increase your audience.
8. Spread the word through Social Media.
9. Advertise where your audience is.
10. Make your event easy to share.
11. Invite your audience through Email Marketing.
12. Run competitions and/or give aways.

 

Press Release Outlets

PLEASE RESPECT THESE EMAIL CONTACTS
PUBLICATION LOCAL TO SUBMISSION LINK / EMAIL
Carroll County Times Carroll County, Maryland EMAIL
Carroll Magazine Carroll County, Maryland EMAIL
Gettysburg Times Gettysburg, Pennsylvania EMAIL
The Daily Record Baltimore, Maryland EMAIL
Patch.com GENERAL EMAIL
Howard Magazine Howard County, Maryland EMAIL
Harford Magazine Harford County, Maryland EMAIL
WTTR Radio Carroll County, Maryland EMAIL
Frederick News Post Frederick, Maryland EMAIL
The Evening Sun Hanover, Pennsylvania EMAIL
The Baltimore Sun Baltimore, Maryland EMAIL
Eldersburg.net Eldersburg, Maryland EMAIL
Taneytown Record Taneytown, Maryland EMAIL

13 PRESS RELEASE PRO TIPS:

1. Write a headline that grabs attention.
2. Provide info about both your news worthy event and your organization.
3. Note most important information first with supporting info to follow.
4. Keep it brief - this will result in less edits and more readers.
5. Interject a quote from someone heavily involved in your story.
6. Feeling stuck? Answer WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY.
7. Include a Point of Contact for follow up questions.
8. Include "For Immediate Release" or a "Date of Publish".
9. Include 1 to 2 active Hyperlinks, such as your website or a landing page.
10. Submit 1 to 3 Photos that enhance your story and catch the eye.
11. The best time to submit your PRs is Tuesday morning.
12. Send to local news outlets, bloggers, industry publications, & partners.
13. Saw your story in the paper? Send a follow-up thank you to the editor.

 

 

Start Up & Business Resources

ORGANIZATION (Click for Website) LOCAL TO BUSINESS SERVICES OFFERED

Taneytown Chamber of Commerce

Taneytown, Maryland Business Networking, Buy / Invest Local, Business Expansion

Carroll County Chamber of Commerce

Carroll County, Maryland Business Networking, Buy / Invest Local, Business Expansion

City of Taneytown

Taneytown, Maryland Infrastructure Development, Business Resources

Carroll County Economic Development

Carroll County, Maryland Mentoring / Assistance, Agricultural Development, Waste & Energy Efficiency

Small Business Development Center

Carroll County, Maryland Mentoring / Assistance, Business Start-Up Training, Writing A Business Plan

Advantage C

Carroll County, Maryland Mentoring / Assistance, Business Start-Up Training

Miller Resources for Entrepreneurs

Carroll County, Maryland Mentoring / Assistance, Business Start-Up Training

Maryland Department of Commerce

Maryland Economic Development

Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore

Central Maryland Economic Development

MD Dept. of Labor, Licensing, & Regulations

Maryland Employment Training, Job Placement, Licensing

Maryland Historical Trust

Maryland Historical Preservation,

US Internal Revenue Service

United States Setting Up Your Business, Tax Concerns

Business & Employment Resource Center

Carroll County, Maryland Employment Training, Job Placement

Maryland Business Express

Maryland Setting Up Your Business

Carroll County Building & Permits

Carroll County, Maryland Building Code, Permits

Carroll County Tourism

Carroll County, Maryland Tourism

Carroll Biz Challenge

Carroll County, Maryland New Business Competition (with prizes!!)

FSK High School Career Connections

Carroll County, Maryland Internships

McDaniel College Internships

Westminster, Maryland Internships

Society for Human Resource Management

Carroll County, Maryland Human Resources

10 Business PRO TIPS:

1. Put the right team in place - people who understand your vision.
2. Seek out mentors to help guide you through your new venture.
3. Every agreement you have should be formalized with a signed contract.
4. Don't be afraid of competition - let it drive you to improve.
5. Create content... websites, social, blogs, videos, press, podcasts.
6. Never stop networking - these connections will keep you afloat.
7. Be willing to fail, get up, and try again.
8. Learn your niche and continue seeking out education and growth.
9. Be smart about money - know your cost of doing business.
10. Take care of YOU so that you are in prime shape to care of your business.

 

Networking Groups in (and around) Carroll County MD

 

ORGANIZATION LOCAL TO DETAILS
Taneytown Chamber of Commerce Taneytown, Maryland
*Varying Locations
MEMBERSHIP BASED
FREE non-member opportunities
Carroll County Chamber of Commerce Carroll County, Maryland
*Varying Locations
MEMBERSHIP BASED
FREE non-member opportunities
Taneytown Business Breakfast Monthly Breakfast: Thunderhead Bowling Alley
Taneytown, Maryland
Meet Day: 2nd Friday of the Month
Time: 7:30 AM – 9:30 AM
Cost: $10.00 (Breakfast Included)
RSVP Required
Launch Carroll Young Professionals
PROFESSIONALS 21-45
Carroll County, Maryland
*Varying Locations
Meet Day: Varies
Time: 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Cost: FREE
RSVP Requested
South Carroll Business Association Monthly Luncheon: Salerno’s
Sykesville, Maryland
Meet Day: 3rd Wednesday of the Month
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Cost: $15.00 for Non-Members, $10.00 for Members (Lunch Included)
RSVP Required
Lunch About Nothing Monthly Luncheon: Rafael’s
Westminster, Maryland
Meet Day: 4th Monday of the Month
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Cost: $12.00 (Lunch Included)
RSVP Requested
W.O.W. - Women Optimizing Women
*Women Only
Carroll County, Maryland
*Varying Locations
Meet Day: 3rd Friday of the month
Time: 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Cost: FREE
RSVP Requested
Mount Airy Women in Motion
*Women Only
M&T Bank, Twin Arch Shopping Center
Mt. Airy, Maryland
Meet Day: 3rd Tuesday of the Month & Varies
Time: 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
Cost: FREE
RSVP Requested
Frederick County Chamber of Commerce Frederick County, Maryland
*Varying Locations
MEMBERSHIP BASED
FREE non-member opportunities
Carroll Marketing Group Monthly Luncheon: Tony’s Japanese Steakhouse
Eldersburg, Maryland
Meet Day: 1st Monday of the Month
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Cost: $15.00 - $20.00 (Lunch Included)
RSVP Required
Hanover Area Young Professionals Hanover, Pennsylvania
*Varying Locations
Meet Day: Varies
Time: 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Cost: FREE
RSVP Requested
Generation Connect
*PROFESSIONALS 40 & UNDER
Frederick County, Maryland
*Varying Locations
Meet Day: Varies
Time: 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Cost: $10.00 for Members, $15.00 for Non-Members
RSVP Required
Chicks In Charge
*Women Only
Monthly Luncheon: Olive Garden
Owings Mills, Maryland
Meet Day: 1st Wednesday of the Month
Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Cost: $12.50 (Lunch Included)
RSVP Required
Westminster Business & Breakfast Plum Crazy Diner
Westminster, Maryland
Meet Day: Wednesdays
Time: 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
All Biz Networking Lunch Monthly Luncheon: Westminster Elks Lodge
Westminster, Maryland
Meet Day: 3rd Thursdays of the Month
Time: 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Cost: $15.00 (Lunch Included)
Team Spike Networking Lunch Monthly Luncheon: Liberatores Ristorante
Eldersburg, Maryland
Meet Day: 1st Thursdays of the Month
Time: 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Cost: $9.95 (Lunch Included)
Intentional Business Networkers *Mastermind/Open Networking Rotation Rotates between Dublin Coffee Roasters & Turning Point Financial | Fredrick, Maryland Meet Day: Various
Time: 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Cost: Cost of Lunch
Frederick Professionals Community Dutch’s Daughter
Frederick, MD 21703
Meet Day:
Time: 11:15 AM – 1:00 PM
Cost: ? Cost of Lunch
My CORE Networking of Frederick PIGS BBQ
Frederick, Maryland
Meet Day: Wednesdays
Time: 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Cost: FREE
SMPS Central PA (Society for Marketing Professional Services) Lancaster, Harrisburg, York, Gettysburg - Pennsylvania
GenNext-Hagerstown Young Professionals Group Hagerstown-Washington County, Maryland Cost: $30.00/year
ABC CVC YPG (Associated Builders & Contractors Cumberland Valley Chapter Young Professionals Group) Frederick, Hagerstown, Chambersburg, Gettysburg - Pennsylvania

12 NETWORKING PRO TIPS:

1. Commit to a select number of groups and be a regular.
2. Choose groups with an audience that fits your target.
3. Dress for the type of customers you want to attract.
4. Value relationships over leads - trust leads to referrals & sales.
5. Be prepared with business cards, and a pen for notes.
6. Introduce yourself clearly, stating your name slowly.
7. Ask questions and listen - take notes for a follow up.
8. Find points of uncommon commonality to build connection.
9. Prepare a brief and engaging description of what you do.
10. Meet and greet those you do not know.
11. Learn to move on gracefully so you can meet many.
12. Follow up with a brief "nice to meet you" and touch on talking points.

If you thought all that above was cool...

Let's Dive into Search Engine Optimization.

What is SEO?

"Search Engine Optimization" is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.

What that means is... ranking organically, without paying for placement, when a person searches for what you sell, what you offer, what you are advertising on your website.

How do you do rank organically? Your organic ranking is dependent on your web presence trustworthiness. A search engine decides your rank placement based on endless factors. But to put it plain and simple - a search engine robot judges if you appear to be a real and legitimate business, that has been around a long time, and will be around a long time. This is heavily based on your website and all external sources that reference you: your digital footprint.

What do I mean by digital footprint? Your website is a piece of the puzzle - and encompasses your internal SEO. External SEO is the rest of your digital footprint: social media profiles, directory listings, local business listings, association listings, mentions in the press, mentions on other people's websites, video marketing, published articles, mentions for community involvement, guest blog posts... your digital footprint is the giant web of link-building that all points back to your final stop (which in most cases, is your website).

How do you create a digital footprint that the Search Engines will find trustworthy? What Search Engines hate is content that is clearly created for ranking... writing for robots to work the system. What Search Engines LOVE is content for humans. That means organic, natural growth over time. That means writing with the end user in mind, developing a positive experience for your audience.

15 INTERNAL SEO PRO TIPS:

1. Track Visitor Engagement with Google Analytics - it's FREE!
2. Use Keywords and Keyword-Phrases throughout your content.
3. Keywords should have a balance between broad and niche.
4. Make use of formatting (like headings) to emphasize content.
5. Create custom Title Tags for every webpage.
6. Create custom Meta Data content for every webpage.
7. Include Alt Tags on any photos or images of relevance.
8. Consider custom photo and video for at least your home page.
9. Integrate valuable internal and external links into your content.
10. Make sure your anchor text includes keyword descriptors.
11. Use a mobile friendly platform and / or template.
12. Write content regularly for a Blog on your website.
13. Optimize (reduce file size) your photos and graphics for web.
14. Write for HUMANS first, SEARCH ENGINES second.
15. Use readable URLS for your webpage file names.

7 EXTERNAL SEO PRO TIPS:

  1. Build your online presence slowly, not all at once.
  2. Local Business Listings should be filled out manually.
  3. Free options, not subscription.
  4. Find creative ways to link back to your website.
  5. Monitor Brand Mentions with Google Alerts - and take action!
  6. Use your keywords everywhere, just like on your website.
  7. SEO is a forever thing - take one step at a time.

Ongoing External SEO Efforts To Consider:

  • Social Media Marketing
  • Blogging & Guest Blogging
  • Publication Ops
  • Press Releases & Interview Ops
  • Local Business Listings
  • Industry & Membership Profiles
  • Video Marketing (& Closed Captioning)