CWAHM Devotional

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 bloggerA Good SloganCreating a buzz. Wouldn’t you like that for your business? Wouldn’t it be great if people were talking about you with excitement? After all, word of mouth advertising is the best kind of marketing you can get!

Creating a slogan is one of the best ways to do so!

Think about slogans we’re all familiar with:

“Just Do It!”

 “Got Milk?”

 “Have It Your Way.”

These slogans are part of our culture! It’s part of our everyday language. Advertisers use them again and again. The “Got Milk?” one especially. I don’t know how many times I have seen it altered to match another product. I’ve done it myself!

A good slogan is catchy and memorable. It’s like a poem—condensed and to the point. It further aids in defining your business.

I think of the slogan that my husband and I created for his architectural business. It helped communicate exactly what his business is about and what makes him different. People get it right away when they see his logo. There is never any question about what he does!

Slogans can also be created using keyword research. This will help you with SEO! It can be based on your elevator pitch, mission statement, or Unique Selling Proposition.

You can, like my husband, include it in your logo. It is a great inspiration for creating headlines for advertisements. Read More→

Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerA Successful Brand Requires a Target MarketThere’s an old saying I’m sure you’ve heard: “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it. Every time.”

That saying applies to choosing a market. Saying that you will market to everyone will actually diminish your brand and therefore your success.

Why? Because if you don’t have a particular person in mind as you develop and promote your products or services, you will be widely missing the mark.

How do you know, for instance, your audience likes a certain color? Or a particular font? How do you even know what they are looking for if you don’t know who they are?

Let’s take clothing stores. Going into a Guess outlet store is vastly different from going into a Dress Barn, wouldn’t you say?

Choosing a target market takes extensive research. But it’s worth the time!

You need to know what pain your audience is experiencing. What is it they fear losing? Most people want to stay in their comfort zones and will not make a decision, a change, until they recognize that if they don’t seek a solution, what they most value will be lost.

So How Do You Choose One?

The first question is, who do you have an affinity for? Who do you hang around with most of the time? For me, after I became a homeschooling mother, I realized that I had found my market. I have further refined it to include Christian homeschooling families, because I see the need for all family members to learn how to start and run a home business.

How Do You Do Research?

It really is all at your fingertips! It’s as simple as spending time on Google. Just Google your chosen audience. See how many results you get. Find out how many are in your chosen target, what their average salary is, education, age, etc. Do keyword research on your target market. A great tool for this is Keyword Spy. You can get an idea of how hot your market is by researching the keywords for that market. Read More→

Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggercreatingthebestbrandimageA name is the foundation of your brand. Your name is the single-most important clue as to what your brand image will look like. Your name helps you connect with your prospects and customers. Obviously, your name is what gives you brand recognition.

So how do you create a good one? And what do you if you are a direct seller or representative for a company?

There are two basic kinds of names: persona or personal brand. A persona is a descriptive name that encapsulates the essence of who you are and what you do. A personal brand is your own name.

Now there is hot debate about which one is better, but it comes down to your personal preference and what works best for your business. What are you most excited about? To me, names based on a persona offer a lot of room for creativity when designing. Words are pictures and when you find a good word, you can turn it into a memorable graphic that will help distinguish you from above the crowd.

You can find clues for your business name in your own personality, in your mission statement, or Unique Selling Proposition. Just make sure it resonates with others and that it is memorable and not too hard to understand!

A persona name can also be based on keywords. I know for one business I helped start, we used this method. We had to do very little marketing to make our first sales because of this strategy. Our market found us!

Bloggers, coaches, writers, and artists often choose to have a personal name brand. They want people to be able to search their name to find them on the Internet. Of course, for this strategy you have to do a lot of brand building so your audience recognizes your name and knows what you do.

A combination of the two works very well in this Internet age. The great advantage we have as small business owners is that we can come out from behind the curtain. We don’t have to be faceless corporations that are impersonal and dehumanizing. Because people want to do business with people whom they like, know, and trust. So when you add your name and photograph to your mediums you are going to be building that trust and like ability. Read More→

Apr
28

Writing a Mission Statement

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerWriting a Mission StatementMission statements. Nonprofits use them frequently. Churches use them all the time. Corporations use them as well.

But what about you? Have you created your mission statement? And why is it important?

A mission statement helps to make sure you stay on target with your business. It answers the question, “Why do you exist and whom do you serve?”

Mission statements are part of your brand. In fact, they are the foundation of your brand. A well thought-out mission statement will give you visual clues as to what your brand image should look like.

A well written one will also help you discover your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). What is it that distinguishes you from your competition? What makes you different? What benefit do your customers get when they purchase from you?

Jesus gave us a mission statement to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Corporations and organizations know that mission statements are part of their branding. They make sure that every employee knows the company mission statement. In addition, corporations and organizations will often write vision and values statements, too.

I experienced this when I worked for a Christian para-ministry in Colorado. It was drilled into my head. I often designed the mission, vision, and values statements.

In fact, it was drilled into my head so much that I decided to create my own mission, vision, and values statements! I designed it into a chart which also included my callings.

This changed my life! I was able to filter opportunities and say yes or no depending on if it fit my mission, vision, values, and callings. It helped me to reach for higher dreams and to stretch myself more. It gave me confidence as I sought God’s will for my life.

And in business, a mission statement will do the same.

What if you are a direct seller or representative of a company? Read More→

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Apr
21

Identify Your Passions to Experience Business Success

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerSo many new business owners find an opportunity, seize on it, then realize they have no desire to promote it. It becomes a drag. Then they flit to one business opportunity after another, with no direction or knowledge on how to build a lasting business.

I made this mistake myself, in fact several times. When I first got into business, I became an associate of a very reputable network marketing business. Though I still have their service to this day and I will never do without it, I found that I had no passion to share the business with others.

Then I started identifying and pursuing my passions. That has made all the difference.

So why is this important? Creating a business around your passions is going to sustain you over the long haul. It’s going to help you define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). It’s going to motivate you to share your business, to overcome rejection, to keep going when times get tough.

And not only will it do all of the above, it will help you create a brand image that communicates the essence of who you are and what you do. Why? Because identifying your passions will give enable you to visualize your brand.

A brand is much more than a logo, though. A brand connects you with your chosen market. It encompasses how you treat your customers, the value you bring to your products and services, and the experience your prospects have when encountering you for the first time.

Identifying your passions will bring you success in your branding because you will have created an authentic relationship with your prospects and customers.

Consider Chick-fil-A. The founder, S. Truett Cathy, was passionate about homestyle cooking with chicken. He built a brand around that chicken, but not just the chicken. When you walk into a Chick-fil-A, the employees are trained to treat you, the customer, with respect, cheerfulness, and helpfulness. That is the atmosphere of every single restaurant. It is part of Chick-fil-A’s brand.

How Do You Identify Your Passions?

You need to spend time asking yourself some key questions. This would make a great devotional, quiet time, or extended time with the Lord. The Corinthian books in the Bible are extremely illuminating when it comes to this subject. Have a pen and journal in hand and be prepared to do some brainstorming.

What are the questions you need to ask? Questions like, “What are my dreams?”, “What are my goals?”, “What’s the vision for my life and business?”, “What are my gifts, talents, specialized knowledge, skills, life experiences?” All these questions serve to answer the question, “What am I passionate about?” Read More→

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success blogger sucessful branding requires careful planningIf you want a long lasting business and a brand that effectively communicates who you are and what you do, you need to do careful planning.

Initially, this requires analyzing information, like who your target market is, what makes you unique as a business, what solutions you offer, and what message you want to reach your audience.

It also includes writing mission statements, defining your goals, and thoroughly understanding your competition. You need to decide what your communication and marketing objectives are and specific benchmarks you will use to evaluate these objectives.

Successful planning for your brand encompasses three steps:

  1. a business plan
  2. a marketing plan
  3. a strategic brand strategy.

Business Plans

There are many ways you can do a business plan. Initially, I made my first one using a PowerPoint template. It had everything I wanted.

What should be included in a business plan? Your mission, your USP, your goals, milestones, target market, competition, strategies, revenue and expense projection, just to name a few ideas. Ask yourself, what is your business model? Is it online exclusively? Is it a party business? Retail? Wholesale?

Basically, you are writing this to prove that your business is viable. Think of your audience as investors and you are trying to convince them to be stakeholders.

Many companies offer business plan templates. You can find them off of the Internet, download an App for your smart phone or tablet, or hire a firm to help you.

You may need a business plan for investors to raise capital. If you do, you will want that business plan to be as professional as possible! Read More→

Apr
07

8 Steps to Creating Financial Success with Your Brand

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money is tightWe all want financial success. But how do we get there? What proven methods in this digital age will lead us to that pot of gold just looming over the horizon, that Promised Land that we eagerly await? When will it ever get past a mirage and to the real thing that we’ve been dreaming for and planning for?

Here are eight proven steps, key lessons I learned from both the school of hard knocks, and Ryan Deiss from Digital Marketer in my pursuit of a Professional Digital Marketer certification which I achieved last year.

1) The first step to financial success with your brand is to plan a sales funnel strategy or sales process strategy.

Here are the key areas that you need to achieve in this area:

Map out customer stories
Write a statement of value
List all your products and/or services
Brainstorm three giveaways
Brainstorm three loss leaders (low cost products)
Brainstorm three core offer products
Brainstorm other products that can be added on
Make a plan to nurture your customers so they will return to you

2) The second step to financial success with your brand is to plan your content marketing strategy.

Here are some key activities to help you do that:

Identify your funnel content plans (top, middle, and bottom)
Plan or improve a WordPress Site
Plan a basic blog launch (or re-launch)

3) The third step to financial success with your brand is to plan your paid marketing strategy.

Research popular sites to refine your customer profiles
Choose which traffic stores you want to campaign in
Map your traffic system plan

4) The fourth step to financial success with your brand is to plan your social marketing strategy.

Here’s four key activities that you need to do:

Assess your current social media
Plan out your social media topics
Create your social media listening plan
Plan your keywords

5) The fifth step to financial success with your brand is to plan your email marketing strategy.

Here’s some basic ideas to get you started:

Choose an email service
Identify your promotional assets
Create your promotional plans Read More→

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Mar
31

3 Mistakes that Can Kill Your Business and Your Brand

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Facebook logoHas this ever happened to you? You mention something on Facebook, some sort of struggle, and then all of a sudden you get a message from a friend trying to sell you something?

Or maybe a friend pressured you to buy something from them. And because you didn’t, they stopped being your friend!

Or perhaps you got a message from a Facebook friend (more of an acquaintance) out of the blue that just seemed random. They had no idea what you liked, what you needed, or what your life situation is, they just wanted to sell you something.

Does this sound familiar? Has this happened to you? Or more importantly, have you done this?

Unfortunately, some network marketing companies encourage this behavior. But let me tell you a harsh truth–it is unprofessional and turns off more people than you gain!

I remember years ago when a friend of mine from work wanted me to join the latest network marketing rage–long distance cards. Remember those? They were really hot once. I was completely not interested.

And this friend stopped being my friend because I said no!

That hurts!

And that’s not the only time it has happened.

Here’s another trend that seems to occur a lot these days, and again it’s encouraged by networking marketing companies:

A Facebook friend posts a random question. You answer it because it just seems fun.

So a minute later you get a Facebook message asking you to buy something or for a referral for their recruiting efforts.

Smells kind of slimy, doesn’t it? Read More→

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Mar
24

How Do You Bring Christ into Your Brand?

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggershadow crossAs Christian work at home parents, we have a unique opportunity to bring Christ into our businesses. For me, it’s the ultimate reason why I am in business in the first place. I look at my company, AngelArts, as a Business As Mission.

Think about this: we have an opportunity to share more about Christ than most pastors! You and I will rub shoulders with people that will never talk to a church professional.

None of us is exempted from the Great Commission, to make disciples of all nations. And He ends this commandment with a promise: He will be with us!

But how can we practically bring Christ into our businesses?

Every month, my husband and I attend a meeting at Glen Eyrie Conference Center (owned by The Navigators) to discuss this very question over breakfast. Business owners give their testimonies to share their stories of how they brought Christ into the workplace, or how they discovered Christ in the workplace.

It can be as simple as taking an interest in someone; in developing a friendship and guiding them to the path that leads to eternal life.

That was the particular story of a gentleman, Rob, who was involved in the banking industry, that I recently heard. A colleague invited Rob to a Christian networking meeting and demonstrated he cared. When times got tough, this man was there for Rob. Today, Rob is a successful mortgage banker and Christian business leader actively engaged in bringing Christ into his workplace.

Integrity matters. It demonstrates Christ in the workplace most of all.

A story by a man named Charles was especially encouraging. Throughout his life, he acted with integrity. He would make very tough decisions with the desire to please Jesus. Sometimes he had to say no to opportunities. While this hurt at the time, he found that God used him in unexpected areas, even sharing the gospel at the World Cup in Brazil! Read More→

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Mar
17

A Dozen Steps to Using Facebook Ads to Increase Brand Awareness

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Facebook logoYou’ve probably seen them. Sponsored ads in Facebook. And you have probably noticed this creepy phenomena where you go to a Website (like Amazon), then when you go to Facebook, that same product shows up!

You might think it’s strange, but it really is no mystery. It’s called retargeting or pixeling. It’s all done by grabbing a pixel and inserting it into your website.

It’s an extremely effective and cheap way to get the word out about your brand. After all, it’s repetition of seeing your offer that makes a difference in sales.

So how can you take advantage of retargeting ads in Facebook?

First of all, be specific in your offer and who you are offering it to. This will give you the best results.

Facebook Website Custom Audiences lets you make the right offer to the right audience who already knows you! Now that will really help you increase brand awareness!

Facebook Website Creation lets you create a list and run ads to audiences who have visited your website.

This is powerful because they have shown interest in your website and they have shown interest in you. They showed that by visiting your site.

How? Use your content to build focused lists and offer them what they want.

Here are the steps to take:

1. Segment your website content based on your audience and niche

2. Create keywords that will go into every URL that you produce in the future

3. Organize your existing content into a spreadsheet

4. Go into Facebook

5. Log into ‘Create Audience” button

6. Choose “Custom Audience from Your Website”

7. Accept Facebook’s TOS and click “Create Audience.”

8. Set up your website custom audiences.

9. Insert Custom Audience Pixel into your Website’s code (do this only one time).

10. After you click submit, the custom audience will display in the audiences tab in ads manager.

11. Create ads that target this category. That could be a blog or a lead magnet (freebie).

12. Do this over and over again! Test and test! Learn from your failures and build on your successes! Read More→

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