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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 bloggerRebranding by Dana Susan BeasleyYou may have been in business for awhile and have all your branding done. But is it time to update your look?

That is exactly the position I find myself in. Over the years, my business has grown from greeting card publishing to ebooks to homeschooling curriculum to educational business resources. Now I am expanding into inspirational fundraising books.

As my company has grown, I have grown and changed, too. Because of all this growth, I feel it is time to update my brand.

But my changes are minimal. I needed a color scheme that fits more with my personality and one that could complement all my products and services.

This is a gradual process as I incorporate my new logo into my website, marketing materials, and products. In fact, one of my big goals this year is to completely revamp my website.

So when is it necessary for you to re-brand?

It may be, like what I described above, that your home business has grown over the years and your logo no longer reflects what you do. It might be that you need to update it slightly for the times. The most important factor is consistency. That’s where my brand was experiencing trouble. I needed a logo to tie in all my different products.

The other important factor is what I call perception versus reality. If your target market perceives you are one thing and in reality you are another, than you have problems and you need to re-brand.

This decision requires careful consideration, though. You may have what’s called “brand equity.” This is name recognition with your audience and you don’t want to risk confusion of your identity. This could trigger loss of revenue.

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Dec
14

Seasons of Finding Yourself

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We oftenWoman in worship position hear about “seasons of life,” especially when something tough happens in our life. As the years go by, I am also noticing what I like to call “seasons of finding myself.” This applied primarily to times in our life when a major shift has occurred, and we must readjust our view of ourselves – our identity – into a new normal.

Some of these major life shifts may include:

  • Becoming a wife
  • Becoming a mother
  • New life-stages of motherhood (infants, toddlers, elementary age, tweens, teens, adult children)
  • Transitioning home from the corporate world
  • Going back to school
  • Starting a new job

I have experienced each of these stages, and each one seems to throw me off while I sort-out what my new identity or role is. For example, when my children transitioned from toddlers to school age, I had to determine what my role would now be. My role as their mother hadn’t completely changed, but new role opportunities had been added – Room Parent, School Volunteer, PTA Parent, etc. I now had to decide what level of involvement I would have in my children’s day-to-day lives while they were at school.   Read More→

Rev. James Snyder, Out to Pastor bloggerIn Christmas treefirst grade, our teacher asked us to pen a letter to Santa for Christmas.

She asked us, “Name one present you would like Santa to bring you for Christmas.”

Then we were to write a letter to Santa, who, according to her, lived at the North Pole, and tell him what we wanted for Christmas and why we wanted it. Then, we put it in an envelope and she mailed it to the North Pole.

At the time, I thought my teacher had a connection with Santa Claus. She said so many nice things about him that she must have known him personally. Accordingly, I thought a letter delivered to him by my teacher would have credit.

The other night the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I were sitting around drinking some hot cocoa and thinking about Christmas. She had just put up the Christmas tree with all of the decorations. She does such a wonderful job that I let her do it.

Actually, one year I did try to help her and it was a catastrophe to say the least. Since then, I am to watch and fetch and that’s all. The Christmas decorations are wonderful and create a Christmasy spirit.

As I was admiring the Christmas decorations, I happened to mention to her about the first grade letter to Santa. I casually said, “I guess Santa never got my letter.”

Looking at me she said, “Why do you say that?”

I chuckled and said, “I never got a pony for Christmas.”

Together we laughed and then she said something that caused me to pause. “Do you want a pony for Christmas this year?”

The way she looked at me when she asked that question, I thought she was being serious. It caused me a little bit of pause because what in the world would I do with a pony now.

Then, I’m not one to let a situation go without playing it for all it’s worth.

With a very serious look on my face, I said to her, “I sure would love to have a pony this year. It would make my Christmas just wonderful.”

“Well,” she said rather sarcastically, “you’ll have to send a letter to me if you want that pony this year.”

After a few moments of silence, we both broke out laughing.

Where in the world would we put a pony in the Parsonage? What in the world, would I do with the pony in the Parsonage? Read More→

Dec
11

The Simple Blessings of Christmas

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“Perhaps the best Yuletide decoration is being wreathed in smiles.” – Unknown

There is a rhythm to life that includes work, rest, worship, and play. God has planted the need for all four of these movements in the song that is your life, even if some serious minded friends scoff a little at the notion that play is ordained by God. Play is built around activities that are light, fun, and spontaneous—and that just doesn’t seem serious and sober enough for some. Certainly not religious.

And yet another word for play is recreation. And that’s just what happens when we play: we are recreated, receiving new energy and enthusiasm for our work and worship.

Now it’s true, in life we are called to exhibit self-control, soberness, discipline, and thoughtful consideration—but there is also a time to celebrate, to let loose, and to simply have a party.

Christmas is most definitely a time for serious reflection and worship. But don’t let anyone steal the joy of celebration that is part of the Christmas season from your life.

Maybe some revelers went too far in the Middle Ages. Some medieval celebrations involved imbibing too much and engaging in revelry that crossed the line into debauchery. But is it possible that the Puritans were just as wrong? They banned Christmas in an effort to purge the church of decadence—they even banned going to mass and things as innocent as mince pies.

Jesus, the Author of Christmas, the One we worship and celebrate at Christmas, was criticized sharply for attending parties: “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.”’ But wisdom is proved right by her actions” (Matthew 11:19).

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerChristmas. It’s a time when we’re all thinking about giving and receiving gifts. But have you thought about what to give your clients and vendors? And in a bigger way, have you thought about creating a customer retention program?

They say the best customer is your current customer. Think about it. How much does it cost you to acquire each customer? What would happen in your business if you had repeat business from your current clients?

For instance, in a recent Gift Guide campaign I did for Christmas gifts, my strongest customer was my returning customer!

That’s why creating a customer retention program is so important!

So here are some ideas to get you started:

 

1) Send them a gift basket.

To really make your best customers feel special, assemble your own gift basket and send a thank you card with your company brand. If it is appropriate for your business, send them a sample packet. For instance, if you sell cosmetics, send them samples of your products. Be sure to include your business card!

When I worked at a Christian non-profit as a graphic designer, I always felt so appreciated when our vendors, like printing companies, would send us gift baskets. It made the days leading up to Christmas vacation so much more festive and cheerful! And believe me it helped us be loyal customers!

 

2) Give them a branded product. There are thousands of products that you can apply your business logo to. Bags, USB drives, mugs, iPhone covers are just some ideas out there!

You can create your own products through print on demand sites like CafePress or Zazzle.

One of my favorite promotional products I did was chocolate. Yep. I had my logo applied to a gold wrapper of chocolates. Yum! And they were very well received. Only two problems: 1) I had to keep them in an ice chest in the summer, and 2) my son discovered the “business candy” and loved them, too!

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Diana Ennen, Virtual Marketing bloggernew year new startThe new year is nearly upon us  … a time to reflect on the past and look forward to the future.  A time to see everything as a new beginning.  And a time to be proud of everything you’ve done, even the small things.

If you know me well, you know one of the things I do a lot of is CELEBRATING!  Not the dance on the table with a lamp shade celebrating, but more the “Yeah, my pitch worked and I got my client in Inc Magazine.  Or after months of trying, I finally landed that client.  Bring out the bubbly, we are going to party!  I always try to celebrate the big wins and the little wins. Why? Because then when I have a “bad” day, I can reflect on the better days ahead.

The New Year is a great time to starting thinking about building your business.  Funny how January has that power.  Everyone is in the “grow” mode.  So with that, here are my top tips to increase your profits in 2018.

Tips to Increase Your Profits in 2018:

  • Do a website review – while you are changing that footer on your site from 2017 to 2018, spend some time and do a quick review of your site.  Read over it like you just put it up, and check those links, contact forms, etc.  Review the SEO and keywords to ensure you are still good to go. Review the services or products page.  Can you improve upon that?  Does it still represent all you do today?  Is it easy to purchase your products? Remember making it easy for your customers to order, will allow them to purchase more.  Now check your website on your phone.  Is it mobile-friendly or do you get a few sentences per screen?  Do whatever it takes to represent you in the best way possible.
  • Conduct a social media review – Devote a week each month in January, to reviewing your social media and make changes.  One week focus on Facebook.  The next week on Twitter.  Then LinkedIn, etc.  Now naturally you want to keep all your social media efforts going throughout the month, but if you focus on one each week, hopefully you can accomplish so much more.  You know the usual, add more content, etc., but what you want to do is plan out 2018.  Use that week to come up with a 3 month plan.  At the end of the three months you can review, and broken down into 3 months segments help.
  • Create passive income streams– Take some time and consider what you can do to get some passive income in each month.  Can you convert that webinar into a product you can sell?  How close are you to writing a new ebook?  Can you connect with those you have associated in your industry and see what they are offering?  Sign up for affiliates.  Just see what you can do to bring in income that doesn’t require you to do it.

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Rev. James Snyder, Out to Pastor bloggerSitting in the living room the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and me were enjoying some hot apple cider tea and listening to some Christmas music. The song came that referred to Santa’s nice list and naughty list. I was not paying too much of attention, but somebody else in the room was.

“Do you think you are on,” my wife said rather sarcastically, “Santa’s nice list or naughty list?”

I always get trapped by such questions. I have been married long enough to know that questions are not posed to get an answer, but rather to get someone in trouble, mainly me.

I did not want to answer that question and I didn’t know how to get away from it. Suddenly the answer came to me.

The telephone rang and I jumped up to answer it. It was some Robo call trying to sell me something I did not want. I took advantage of the situation and carried on a one-way conversation, hoping someone would forget the question they had asked previously.

Finally, I hung up the phone and resumed drinking my hot apple cider tea in the living room.

Then it came back again. “Well, are you on the nice list or the naughty list?”

This only points out the difference between us. Nice is really a matter of perspective. Some people think something is nice while other people think the same thing is naughty.

For instance. My wife thinks eating too many apple fritters is very naughty. I think you cannot eat too many apple fritters and it is really nice to eat one. Or two. Or three, or four.

I cannot see what naughty has to do with eating an apple fritter.

If eating an apple fritter puts me on Santa’s naughty list, then I gladly apply for that position.

My problem is, looking at Santa and the dimensions of his waist, I do not think he believes eating an apple fritter is naughty. I am not sure my wife considered that aspect.

After all, everybody sets out cookies for Santa to eat when he brings the presents. What is the difference between a cookie and an apple fritter?

I think my wife will be surprised when at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in heaven there will be apple fritters for dessert.

Then there is the idea of organizing your mess.

According to the other resident in our home, organizing and cleaning up after yourself is nice. If you do not do that, it is naughty.

I sure would like to know who set those rules. I think if your mess is comfortable and you are happy with it, it should be nice.

If she thinks organizing her space is nice, then why can’t she allow me the same privilege to think that my messy space is also nice?

It is all just a matter of perspective.

Then it is Christmas time and people should be able to indulge in certain activities that at another time may be naughty. Read More→

Dec
05

The Competitive Spirit

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ro-marWhere did this competitive spirit among female entrepreneurs come from?

Whether, you are a Mompreneur or an entrepreneur without the responsibility of children or family, we are all in the same work. Partnership or connection is a divine gift. Just think, the bible calls those in relationship with Christ “co-labors” with Him.

My Pastor said the following once during a sermon and I have adopted it as part of my business mantra. “If you are doing anything significant and it does not require people then it’s not that significant.”

We are not here to compete but here to complete. The only person we are competing against is the average part of ourselves. That is where the fight should really be. Your assignment is to be intentional about making business partnerships, reaching out to others and making a connection to help them reach their God-given assignment.

You are already part of a great community here at Christian Work at Home Ministries. What I am telling you to do is exactly how I connected to CWAHM founder, Jill Hart. I saw what she was doing at CWAHM and I looked for an avenue to connect. In doing so, my life and business have richly been enhanced. In the words of Jill Hart, “It’s time to do life and business differently.”

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor…
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV

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Dec
01

Publicity Ideas to Create Visibility for Your Brand

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerPublicity Ideas to Create Brand Visibility by Dana Susan BeasleyPublicity. It is often the forgotten marketing method to increase brand visibility. So how can you use publicity to effectively increase your presence in the marketplace?

Here’s some ideas to get you started.

1) Find out what your needs are in the community and apply your gifts, talents, and donations. Look for sponsorship opportunities where you can support great causes while at the same time bring brand awareness to a wide audience. Christmas time is a wonderful time to do this. A networking group I belong to in Colorado Springs does this every year for a charity called Christmas Unlimited. Last year they gave away $20,000 in toys to needy children. And I know that in the end the sponsors benefited from all the brand recognition!

2) Another way to get involved in the community is by offering your talents. For instance, recently I had the idea of creating a special book to help fire and flood survivors in Colorado. I sent out around 80 press releases to local media up and down the Front Range. I also have been on local radio a few times to bring awareness to my project. While my motive is to help those in need and to uplift and inspire those who read the book, I have also increased the presence of my company in my region. .

3) Enter local contests. Several years ago, I entered a balloon festival logo contest and I won! The logo I designed was on t-shirts, bags, pins, and much more. The local paper did a story about me. It is an event that I frequently use to illustrate my credibility as a designer. And plus, my prize was to ride in a balloon. Who could beat that?

4) Use PR services like PRWeb.com. For a nominal investment, you can have a press release go all over the Web. It is easy to do. Just have a newsworthy event, like publishing a new book or offering a new program or winning an award. Sites like PRWeb.com will walk you through it step by step.

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Nov
30

Need an Upgrade?

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Takiela Bynum - Hope for Young WomenWoman in worship positionHave you ever felt like something is missing in your life? I think most of us have at one point or another. We’ve tried filling the “something” with all types of things. We may try drugs, sex, alcohol, food, friends, family, materialistic things, success, or even activities to stuff into that gaping hole in our soul. Soon we realize no matter what we try to fill the hole with, nothing seems to satisfy that missing element in our lives. Sometimes we wonder aimlessly throughout our lives in search of a way to fill a God-sized hole.

Let me tell you sweetheart, there is NOTHING on this earth that has the capability to complete you like Christ!

Yes, life can be a hard at times. There are days you may feel like everything that can go wrong has gone wrong. Not mention the days when you cry yourself to sleep or feel like screaming at the top of your lungs out of anger and frustration, plus the times when the blows of life will literally knock you off your feet.

Usually during hardships people will turn to drugs, sex, alcohol, etc. to help them cope with the issues they are having at that particular moment. However, this kind of coping mechanisms is temporary and when the high descends, the drunkenness sobers, or the binge has ended, the problem is waiting with an open hand to smack you back into the harsh reality of its unrelenting embrace.

This God-sized hole that we long to fill will not be satisfied with temporal fixes. No sweetie, that will never be enough! Read More→

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