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Do Life DifferentDo Life Different
Work-at-home mom: take a deep breath and Do Life Different as you allow these devotions for work-at-home moms to fill the vacuum of your needy heart in the chaos of your busy world.
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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerdana-systemsMany years ago, after I graduated from college, I was forced to become a secretary due to the grim job outlook at that time. I rankled at this idea for a long time. Frankly, administrative work is boring to me. I’d much rather be thinking of ideas or creating a product.

But now that I’m a business owner, I realize the importance of having administrative skills. And even more so since my husband just started his business and I am assisting him!

I have discovered that developing systems is the best way to handle administrative work. It not only helps with my sense of boredom, it helps me be more efficient so I have time to do what I really love!

So here are some of the systems that I’ve put in place. Maybe they’ll help you as they have helped me!

Marketing Blueprint. This is by far my most important system. I have outlined different types of marketing activities on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis. Sometimes I don’t hit these goals, but it helps me be consistent. Because I keep pressing on and I resume that task the next time it comes around. I never have to wonder, “What am I going to do today?”

Planner. I created my own special planner to help me have laser focus on my time. As a business owner, homeschool mom, and wife to a freelance architect, my time is at a premium. I make sure I take time out to plan rather than be tossed about by urgencies and every whim. My time spent strategizing, praying, and planning is well worth it.

Financial. This is still a work in progress for us, but it is important to have in place financial software to help you run your business smoothly. The Bible urges us to “know well the flock of your herds.” Knowing what’s in your bank account, who owes you money, and if you need a person to sign a contract is very important when you run a business.

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerstand outCorporations spend tens of thousands of dollars on branding. Think about the “big guys” out there—the Targets and Visas and Starbucks, to name a few. They jealously guard their images. They trademark their logos and slogans. And they go after violators with a vengeance.

They know that their branding is their most important asset.

So why should you, as a work-at-home business owner, think any less?

Unfortunately, many small business owners gravitate to logos and branding that is cheap and free. In fact, some business owners don’t even know what branding is!

A good brand is more than finding a pretty or cool logo. Or going to a cheap and free resource that will give you templates and all you do is plug in your information.

The problem with these resources is it is not tailor-made to your unique business. It is not customized so that your prospects will easily recognize you.

It’s kind of like being lost in a sea of “cookie cutter” homes. Where I live, there are plenty of them! Every time I go in one of these neighborhoods, I get lost because I can’t tell the difference between one house and the next.

It’s the same with your logo and branding. If your logo looks the same as your competition, your prospect will be lost. There’s nothing to distinguish you from the crowd. This is especially problematic with the Internet.

But when you base a logo on strategic analysis, on your Unique Selling Point, your mission, target market, and other factors, you will be building a brand that brings value. This will mean an increase in your bottom line!

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8 Ideas to Help Create Stunning Photographs for Social Media and Beyond!

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerdana-photoThese days with social media, a good personal photograph is extremely important. Here are some ideas to help you get the best one possible:

1) Make sure your setting fits your business. For instance, if you are in landscape gardening, you probably don’t want to wear a business suit. On the other hand, if your business is finance, you probably DO want to wear a suit!

2) Color-coordinate your clothes to your branding. Make sure that the colors enhance the aesthetics of your branding rather than detract from it by clashing.

3) Do not use flash photography unless in a professional studio. Flash photography will make your face look harsh. It’s best to use natural lighting. If you can’t take it outside, take the picture near a window where there is plenty of sunlight. Have the photographer put their back to the sun. But watch out for shadows. You don’t want a face half in and half out of one! Also, make sure you are not squinting if you are looking into the sun.

4) Be friendly and smile! A scary photograph will scare away prospects. You want your photograph to have a nice, inviting smile. And the color of the overall photograph should not be dark and gloomy, but pleasant. Your face is your most important feature, especially your eyes. You want the light to be shining in them, making you look alive and vibrant.

5) Watch out for unflattering poses. Usually, a shot taken from a high angle versus a low angle is best.

6) Use good composition in your photograph. That means you should take up two-thirds of the photograph. Create a pleasing balance that is artful and inviting to look at.

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Network Marketers and Direct Sellers–Branding Can Take Your Business to the Next Level and Beyond!

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerNetwork Marketers and Direct Sellers--Branding Can Take Your Business to the Next Level and Beyond!Network marketing, multi-level marketing, and direct selling are very popular these days. It’s an attractive option because you don’t have to build a business from the ground up. Many systems are already in place for you, especially product development.

But are you missing out? If you are a network marketer or direct seller, let me share with you how branding can propel your business to new heights!

For example, perhaps you are a distributor for a nutrition company that sells weight-loss shakes. Sure, the company already has a brand, logo, and marketing materials.

But what if you had your own personal brand? For instance, you brand yourself as a holistic health consultant and the weight-loss shakes is just part of your business. You brand yourself as an expert in the field. That way you can expand your business to include selling information products, books, home study courses, and personal consultations.

You can build a customer base on this foundation, giving you power as you grow and change. Or flexibility if the unexpected happens. Companies do go bankrupt, leaving the distributors in a lurch. Or your interests might change. By branding yourself as the expert, you have more freedom to switch direct selling companies if that is what you desire. Because you should already have a loyal fan base that wants to continue doing business with you.

There’s an old saying, that people do business with people they know, like, and trust. By building a relationship with your own customized brand, not just the company you represent, you are positioning yourself for growth into the future.

This strategy is also smart because it brings you multiple streams of income. Now the danger is getting distracted and flitting from one opportunity to the next. Finding out what you are passionate about and what God has called you to is the bedrock that will keep your business endeavors focused and viable.

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Mindset—Your Number One Barrier to Successful Branding

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerMindset-Your Number One Barrier to Successful BrandingWhat keeps you from getting the word out about your business and connecting with your prospects? What prevents them from seeing your value?

Often, the number one reason is because of your mindset.

If you don’t take your business seriously, why would your prospects take your business seriously? A well constructed logo goes a long way to building trust and credibility so that your potential clients feel comfortable hiring you out or purchasing from you.

Your attitude about and belief in yourself also play a big part in achieving brand recognition status. If you don’t believe in yourself or your product/service, why would anyone else? If you don’t think you’re worth it to invest in, why would a prospect?

I have learned all this from the school of hard knocks. I suffered a great barrier in communicating my value to prospects. Sure, I had all the graphics and marketing down pat. But what I didn’t have was a belief in myself. What it took was a mindset shift. I realized that if God created me and He gave me all these gifts and ideas, then it would be dishonoring to Him not to believe in me. After all, He believed in me!

Also, I had to be willing to invest in myself. I bit the bullet and purchased a very good training course on sales. It revolutionized my thinking! Today, I am communicating my value and garnering clients because I finally believed in myself and in the value of what I have to offer. I started showing up to serve wherever I could (mostly Facebook), and I listened. Because of that, I have gathered a like-minded Facebook group of entrepreneurs that totals around 200 people and it is still growing.


From that group, I have gotten clients, joint venture projects, and ample market research feedback.

All because of my mindset change.

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How Publishing a Book Can Propel You to Expert Status

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerdana-pubThe goal of branding for success is to bring your company “top of mind” to your customer. This is called brand positioning.

But how can you do that?

One very effective way is through book publishing. And with the Internet, it has never been easier!

Your aim needs to be that of becoming a trusted advisor. For instance, if you are a representative for a weight loss company, you can brand yourself as a wellness coach and publish a book on weight loss tips that your audience would find beneficial.

Maybe you are a service professional. Take your expertise and create a book that will educate your target market about your particular specialty.

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What Your Communication Systems Say About Your Brand

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danaWhat Your Communication Systems Say About Your BrandA brand is communicated from the moment your prospect contacts you, whether that is through a web page, email, a sign, or a phone greeting.

The communication systems (or lack of systems) says a lot about you and your brand.

What does it say?

Let’s just consider this one case in point, something my local women’s networking leader is always pointing out and has seen personally over and over again: If you give your card to a prospect and then they call and get a greeting that does not clearly identify who you are and what business you represent, that is going to confuse them. It will scare them away and you will lose business.

Having a dedicated office phone is an important step toward branding yourself in a positive light. Don’t mix your home phone and business phone! If you use your cell phone, answer it in a professional, courteous manner. Don’t let your children answer your phone if it is a business call. This is why having separate lines in a home business is so crucial.

Otherwise, like I said, your prospect will be scared away because you will have lost trust in their eyes. It’s the same with signage. If it is not consistent with your brand and does not clearly identify who you are and what you do, you will lose customers. I think of a date that my husband and I went on several years ago. I had heard about a place to listen to live jazz music. There was no signage whatsoever. It was a very uncomfortable feeling, so much so that I didn’t want to get out of the car. We went to somewhere familiar that night.

Because that is what your brand needs to do from the first moment your prospect becomes aware of you. It needs to help build comfort and familiarity in your customer.

When you hand out a business card, for instance, your prospect needs to find a consistent image on your website. This is going to build credibility and he will know that he’s found the right site. Read More→

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