Peggy Duncan, Small Business Influencer 2014 Top 100 Champion

smallbizwinnerTop100-125x125-b1[Charlotte NC, September 26, 2014]  Peggy Duncan, personal productivity expert and founder of The Digital Breakthroughs Institute (training virtually from Charlotte NC), has been named a Top 100 Champion in the 2014 Small Business Influencer Awards.

The Small Business Influencer Awards honor those who are influential to small businesses in North America, through the products, services, knowledge, information or support they provide to the small business market.

The Awards are designed to recognize the unsung heroes of small businesses – those who support and encourage entrepreneurs and small business owners, and help them achieve success and stay successful. The Champions are selected by a panel of judges steeped in the small business market, who considered the contributions of the nominees over the past year toward:

  • advocating on behalf of small businesses,
  • providing products or services that address the unique challenges faced by small businesses,
  • revolutionizing how small businesses do business or how they solve business challenges,
  • helping small businesses grow, or otherwise
  • impacting small businesses in a significant way.

Duncan is a personal productivity expert, trainer, coach, and consultant who helps her clients develop faster, smarter ways to get things done. She was formally trained at IBM and was recognized by the chairman for automating and streamlining processes that saved her department close to a million dollars a year. She travels internationally as a conference speaker, and helps audiences spend less time working but get more done.

About The Digital Breakthroughs Institute

Duncan is also the curator and lead trainer for The Digital Breakthroughs Institute, a membership Website of how-to video tutorials, Its focus is on improving productivity with better organization and technology. She’s also an award-winning technology blogger ( Her books include: Conquer Email Overload with Better Habits, Etiquette, and Outlook; The Time Management Memory Jogger™; Just Show Me Which Button to Click! in PowerPoint; Get Organized at Work and Make It Easy; Shameless Self-Promotion: Do-It-Yourself SEO-Search Engine Optimization; Computer Magic! in Word 2007-2010; and Finding Your Way on a PC with Windows 8.

Journalists tap into her expertise often, and she has appeared on NPR, CNN, TODAY, Black Enterprise Business Report, and the US Virgin Islands PBS affiliate. She’s been cited in Fortune Small Business, O-The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Essence, Fitness, Self, Black Enterprise, Entrepreneur, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

Duncan received a BBA in marketing and a train the trainer certification from Georgia State University in Atlanta. She is a 2012 Small Business Influencer Champion, a top productivity expert to follow on Twitter, and a top service awardee from SCORE Association.

“You never know who’s listening and implementing your advice and tips. I loved hearing from people who voted for me, and it was just what I needed to hear,” says Duncan.

Anita Campbell, CEO of Small Business Trends and one of the co-founders of the Awards, says “Influencers are those who play crucial roles in the small business ecosystem, but who often are in the background. The Top 100 Champions have distinguished themselves in some way. We’re delighted to see the wide range of Champions and Honorable Mentions this year – including journalists who’ve spent decades covering small business issues, corporate leaders whose names may not be widely recognized but who impact small businesses by influencing the offerings within their companies, vendors large and small that support small businesses, analysts who aid our understanding of this market, and entrepreneurs who have a strong voice among their small business peers.“

Awards co-founder Ramon Ray of notes, “Being recognized by the community as a Top 100 Champion also reinforces with employees that their dedication and hard work has paid off. The Awards are intended to provide that added boost in motivation and morale that can make a big difference in results. We’re also delighted at the Honorable Mentions, who definitely bear watching over the coming year!”

About the Small Business Influencer Awards

The Small Business Influencer Awards, now in their fourth year, enable the small business community to nominate and show their support for those that influence and support them. The Awards have an open nomination period, followed by community voting, and then a judging period by a group of industry-knowledgeable judges.

The Small Business Influencer Awards initiative is produced by Small Business Trends, an award-winning online publication, serving over 6,000,000 small business owners, stakeholders and entrepreneurs annually, and, a media company that produces online content and live events educating small and mid-sized companies on how to strategically use technology as a tool to grow their businesses. The Awards can be found on the Web at:


Peggy Duncan, Founder
The Digital Breakthroughs Institute
pr at
Twitter: @peggyduncan

Anita Campbell, CEO
Small Business Trends LLC
admin a/t
Twitter hashtag: #SMBInfluencer


Get Media Interviews by Showing Up in Google–DIY SEO

Shameless Self-Promotion: DIY SEO by Peggy DuncanA reporter from Pilates Style magazine is interviewing me tonight about managing email. When she typed “email overload expert” in Google, I’m on the first page. That’s how I get all my interviews. I’d never heard of this popular magazine, and I certainly would not have thought to pitch them a story about email.

On another note, this month, I’m quoted in three different articles in SUCCESS magazine. Didn’t have to do a thing but be available for questions.

It’s so much easier to let them find you when they need your expertise than it is to figure out who, when, and what to pitch. Order my ebook, Shameless Self-Promotion: DIY SEO, and find out how to get your business found online based on what you do or sell.


How to Get Press for Your Small Business When You Can’t Afford to Hire for PR

I’m a solopreneur and wear all the hats. I’ve been interviewed for my expertise as a personal productivity expert by national TV, radio, and press: TODAY show, O Magazine, NY Times, Washington Post, Real Simple, Men’s Health, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, and many more. I don’t pitch. A journalist will contact me one to two times a month, sometimes more depending on the time of year.

What Works

When journalists started calling me, I asked two simple questions:

(1) How did you find me? Answer: Google.

(2) What did you search when I showed up? Answer: Personal productivity expert, time management expert, or email overload expert (I noticed they always added the word “expert.”)

I’d never paid attention to keywords or search engine optimization before, but, fortunately, everything I was doing online was it! That was an eye opener, so I started doing more. Now, most of what I do online is to keep me on that first page of Google, focusing on my blog (, my YouTube channel (, Google Plus, and SlideShare (  I even wrote a booklet about it (Shameless Self-Promotion: DIY SEO) and started giving seminars.

Shameless self-promotion is all about promoting what you know and feeding it to Google using free resources so you don’t spend one red cent.

Bottom line: When a busy journalist is looking for an expert, you want to make sure they can find you based on what you do, what you know, or what you sell. When a high-priced PR agency pitches a story to the media and they bite, they’re going to want to interview some more experts…just make sure they can find you.

Proud Example

I was contacted by the NY Times to write an article on email overload. When they searched “email overload expert” on Google, I appeared on the first page. They studied my blog so they knew I could write. They contacted me to write this article on reducing bad email habits.

What methods have you used to get press on a regular basis? I hope you’ll leave a comment below. 


I Need Your Vote! Small Business Influencer Award 2011

I need your help to win!

Click Once a Day Until August 9th

It’s painless to vote. Just click VOTE once a day until August 9th. I’m late getting started with this so I REALLY need help.

 One Click – All you’ll have to do is click the Vote button once a day until this ends on August 9th.

Thank you! I’ll announce how we’ll celebrate when it’s over.


Skill-Building Conference for Caribbean Business Women Heads to St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

The COPE Caribbean Conference Series for Business Superstars has one purpose: to provide skill-building events for business women throughout the Caribbean, helping them get Clear-Organized-Productive-Efficient. After launching on St. Croix in May and receiving a superb 5.0 rating, St. Thomas was set as the next stop. The conference, made possible by the Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center and the Department of Labor, will convene August 19-20, 2011.

August 19, 2011 – Full Day Conference with Experts (FREE), 7.30AM-7.00PM
August 20, 2011 – YouTube Channel Workshop ($59.00 optional), 10.00–3.00PM

Small Business Development Center (Training Center)
8000 Nisky Center, Suite 720
St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

Register online only at

A cadre of experts who are also professional speakers will focus on improving productivity, technology, financial, and customer service skills of business owners and other professionals. The full day of training features Deborah Owens (financial expert-Columbia, Maryland); Millicent St. Claire (attitude adjustment expert-Atlanta, GA); Peggy Duncan (personal productivity expert-Atlanta, GA); and Yvette deLaubanque (event producer, St. Croix, VI).

“ABSOLUTELY the BEST … I am so glad I went because I am happy to say that I came away from a conference and I was able to put to use IMMEDIATELY what I learned.”
Yoki K Hanley
President/Owner, itiba LLC, St. Croix

COPE Caribbean is a partnership forged between me and Yvette deLaubanque, former director of the Virgin Islands Women’s Business Center and current Development Officer at the public television station in the Virgin Islands. We met at a Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference in 2001, and I’ve traveled there several times for various training opportunities, including at the University of the Virgin Islands.

Register online only at

Media and Sponsorship Contacts: Peggy Duncan, Atlanta GA, 404-492-8197
Yvette deLaubanque, St. Croix VI, 340-643-2331

Shameless Self-Promotion Defined

When it comes to training, I like to stay in my lane and stick to teaching what I know and love. For me, that’s personal productivity and teaching people how to work smarter: get organized, streamline processes, and use technology the right way.

But then something kept happening.

People started to ask me how I was getting so much national, major publicity. They wanted to know who my publicist was. I’d say “Google.” Huh? Yep, Google. I don’t have to pitch stories because journalists find me on the first page of organic searches when they’re looking for someone with my expertise. Prospective clients do too. Lucky for me, although I didn’t know what search engine optimization (SEO) was back then, everything I was doing was it.

I started sharing the tactics I’d used, then I gave a few seminars about it, then I wrote an ebook.

My Shameless Self-Promotion: Do-It-Yourself SEO (link is to my ebook) seminar is becoming the most popular speaking request I receive, particularly when the audience is business owners.

At a recent American Express event, getting found online was the number one thing business owners wanted to talk about. So I’m going with the flow, veering a little out of my lane, and giving people what they want.

So what do I mean by shameless self-promotion? It’s not going around patting yourself on the back telling everyone who will listen how wonderful you are. My definition is that you use every opportunity you have and every marketing tool you have access to to promote what you know. Help people. Deliver value. As you promote what you know online (blog posts, how-to videos, press releases, social media, etc), the search engines will eat it up.

So how are you promoting what you know?



Peggy Duncan Selected as Finalist for Atlanta Business League's 25th Anniversary Super Tuesday Conference

I am excited to announce that I’ve been selected as a finalist for the 2009 Super Tuesday Awards scheduled for Tuesday, October 6, from 8:00AM – 4:00 PM at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, 265 Peachtree Center Avenue. My category is Creative Style which recognizes the female entrepreneur who has used the most creative techniques in sales, marketing, or advertising as a method to business growth.

The Atlanta Business League Super Tuesday Conference is a program designed to host business owners and professionals, especially women, from throughout the metro Atlanta community. The conference provides workshops and training for participants and recognizes African-American female business owners and professionals from all walks of life during an awards luncheon.

I’ll also share a few of my secrets in a condensed version of my Shameless Self-Promotion seminar at the event. This is an incredible opportunity to showcase my brand new training facility, The Digital Breakthroughs Institute (DBI). It’s the perfect audience that needs to find out about my productivity and computer training for small business owners and professionals.

The Atlanta Business League was established in 1933 as an affiliate of the National Business League which was founded by Dr. Booker T. Washington. Their mission is to provide economic empowerment and business development opportunities for minorities throughout the metropolitan Atlanta area with specific emphasis on the development of African-American businesses. More information is at

Wish me luck!


I Got Mad. I Tweeted. I Ended Up on CNN Live!

UPDATE: I’ll be back on CNN this Thursday, July 30th with Rick Sanchez around 3:30PM…related healthcare topic.

I don’t usually get into personal issues on my blog, but this topic on healthcare reform for people with pre-existing conditions hit home. I ended up on CNN talking about it, and since I have other articles here about how media opportunities come my way all the time, this story fits.

Yes. I am totally with President Obama on healthcare reform and wish the naysayers would stop whining and screaming so we can get this done. I want the food industry to make food healthier and stop putting salt, sugar,  steroids, and other junk in our food. I want individuals to get more serious about the food, drink, and abusive substances they put in their bodies. I want a national movement of people walking and exercising. And I want all companies in the healthcare industry and our government to examine every process, procedure, and technology solution, from the mailroom to the boardroom, so they operate more efficiently.

How This Started

I tweeted the other day because I was mad when I happened to turn on the TV and listened to people with $40 million dollar salaries talk about there being no need for a public option for healthcare for regular people like me.

Here’s the tweet that started all this. I don’t usually use curse words, but oops.

15 years since pre-existing condition and Kaiser still tells me no. I can pay for insurance and can’t get it. Damn right I want reform.

Later, I tweeted this:

My President is trying to get insurance for me. First thing out of Bill OReillys $40million mouth is that it’s rhetoric.

Well, little did I know that CNN was looking for regular, ordinary, hard-working Americans to interview who are in my situation. They called, and I didn’t hesitate. Well, I did a little bit. I don’t usually discuss my personal life outside my immediate family. People who have been knowing me for years had no idea that I’m a breast cancer survivor. The 15 years in the tweet was where I was the last time Kaiser turned me down. That was two years ago, so now I’m a 17-year survivor.

I was glad I’d decided to do the show when I received this tweet from a follower:

Serious Q because of what you do -like me-don’t you pay for your own ins? Then why do “we” need the GOV to do it for you or me?

This was my response to her. I didn’t hear back.

The gov won’t pay all for people like me who can afford it. I want to pay but I have a pre-existing condition and am denied.

Obtaining viable health insurance is not like going to the store with money and picking out what you need and getting it. Once you’ve had the audacity to get sick, you’re too much of a risk for the insurance companies, and having the money to pay the premiums won’t matter.

Join the conversation on CNN’s site.
Check out all
the active comments.


Why I Create Time to Blog and Why You Should Too

Boost your search engine
rankings with a blog.

With over 72 percent of people finding what they need online, you must get found. A blog offers the following benefits.

Share your expertise. A business blog gives you a platform to promote what you know and establish yourself as an expert in the marketplace.

Describe and build your brand. Your brand represents what people know about you or think of when they hear of you. Focusing your blog on your expertise will help promote your brand.

Boost search engine rankings. As you continue to offer tips, insight, and advice to people who need what you have, you’ll give the search engines what they crave – fresh, quality content.

Reach the masses with less effort and money. Search engines, links from other sites, integration with social media tools, and Google Alerts are just a few of the ways a blog can help you reach people you never would have otherwise. You could start to attract potential customers, clients, journalists, and industry giants seeking fresh ideas.

If you need more convincing why blogging is so important, you have got to read this article from Anita Campbell’s Small Business Trends blog, “42 Million U.S. Women Use Social Media: Blogs Most Influential.”

“But I’ve heard blogs are free and
easy to set up. Why do I need training?”

Yes, it’s true. You can easily create a simple blog at sites such as Blogger from Google. But if you want to become a serious blogger and take advantage of customized designs and plug-ins that will boost your search engine rankings and virability, you’ll want our advice and training. You’ll want a self-hosted WordPress blog with powerful functionality that makes it easy to share and get others to promote.

With a self-hosted blog, you will:

  • Have complete control over design, functionality, and virability.
  • Be able to add any number of the thousands of free plugins that make your blog easy to share and promote, thus boosting your search engine rankings.
  • Host your own content and easily move it from one host to another if you ever need to.
  • Easily create full backups of all files.
  • Be able to monetize it by selling your own products.
  • Upload as much content as your hosting package will allow.

Attract new business and the media
like a magnet!

Here is a previous post I wrote that will convince you to start with a professional, self-hosted WordPress blog so you won’t have to backtrack later and change it. A few months later, my blog won Top Business Blog from

“I have a newsletter that I email regularly.
Why do I need a blog?”

It’s a good idea to collect email addresses and send your subscribers valuable information regularly. But if that’s all you’re doing, how will Google and other search engines know? The only people seeing your newsletter are your subscribers. When you add your expertise to a blog, it’ll get picked up by the search engines and exposed to the world! So do both.

Google will be the first to tell you that you don’t have to pay them to get found online.  In the Blogging Bootcamp, we’re going to walk you through what they suggest you do, plus some more of what we’ve learned along the way.