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Video Interview: Local marketing with Carmen Sognonvi

Interview details:

About Carmen:

Carmen Sognonvi is co-owner and general manager of Urban Martial Arts in Brooklyn, NY.  Her views on local business and entrepreneurship have been featured in Fox Business,, and Crain’s New York Business.  You can reach her at (646) 504-4092 or carmen AT

Carmen is such a terrific person and professional.  I love that she not only talks the talk on her blog, but she walks the walk as well because she’s a local business owner.  In her interview, Carmen gives concrete tips that a local business can utilize to use social media to drive traffic and retention.  If there’s one thing I learned during the interview, it’s that online content is the most important asset that a business owner can focus on for the web.  Without content, there is no social presence.

Enjoy the video!

Tell us about yourself and your business

Carmen and her husband started a martial arts school in 2008 called Urban Martial Arts based in Brooklyn, New York.  In addition, Carmen blogs at about local business and local marketing.

How do you currently use social media for your business?

The Urban Martial Arts blog is the central hub where all of their content lives.  Carmen posts 2-3 posts per week that are mostly composed of video.  She finds that video works very well for them because martial arts is a very visual medium.  People get excited about social media, but they forget that it’s just 1 piece of online marketing.  Email is their number 1 tool in terms of disseminating content online.

How do you capture emails?

Every way that they can!

People can opt-in on the blog to download a special report.  They also capture the email of current students and people that sign up for a trial class.

What kind of special reports are you writing?

One of their most successful topics is bully prevention.  It’s a topic that a lot of families are concerned about.

Carmen wrote a 7-part series about bullying and bullying prevention.  Read part 1 of bullying prevention.

Their special report about bullying has become the number 1 download on their blog.

How did you write the special report?

Carmen single-handedly wrote the report, costing her “blood, sweat, and tears.”

What advice can you give business owners that don’t know what content to create?

Content doesn’t have to be text – it can be video.  Check out Urban Martial Arts videos.

Writing comes naturally to Carmen, but she’s transitioned to video because her husband is great in front of the camera and because video is a better way for them to distribute content for martial arts.

Carmen and her husband play to their strengths.  You can do text, video, or photos.  Find something that plays to your strengths and have fun with it.


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