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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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Archive for Home Business Articles

Jun
01

Social Media is About Networking and Branding is Key!

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DanaRecently, laughinglwhile a guest on a local radio show, I got to meet a top social media marketer named Kevin Knebl. He wrote a book called, “The Social Media Sales Revolution” and he is in high demand as a speaker all over the world.

As I listened to him being interviewed, what he said resonated with me. The host asked a very interesting question about LinkedIn. She mentioned that direct sellers would frequently set up a meeting, having contacted her her through LinkedIn, and then try to get her to join their downline. This would make her feel very uncomfortable,  especially if others were brought into the meeting.

She felt like they were leading her on as their intent was never shared ahead of time. Busy with her radio show and job as a branding consultant with a radio conglomerate, she has no interest in joining an opportunity, although she’s very supportive of small businesses and will become a customer if she really likes the product or service.

Kevin’s thoughts on this subject were so true, something I’ve seen happen over and over again. The direct sellers who do this kind of thing are not using social media effectively. It’s not for spamming. Social media is for networking, for building relationships.

And that’s the key to successful sales, and to successful branding. It’s about relationship building.

Kevin also pointed out that if this were done in the 90s, they would have used their cell phones. Really, if a person is bad at networking, then they will approach social media in the same way. The opposite is true. If a person is good at networking, their social media efforts will be effective.

The important factor is knowing how to network and doing it effectively. What’s one of the best resources out there? Kevin suggests Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

Because the truth is, business success is based on timeless principles. Too often in this Internet age, we seek for this next big shiny object that will solve all our problems instantly. But the foundations of marketing, sales, and business building do not change over time.

Because people do business with people they like, know, and trust. That will always be the case. Social media is a great way to accomplish this and is in fact a gold mine!

However, it takes wisdom on how to use these tools. For instance, do you remember the saying “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it?” Well, social media is much the same way. It’s not the place for gossip, excessive ranting, or continual spamming.

Read More→

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mhBLNi8Over the past month, I’ve made a realization that has changed my life.

It’s so simple, but revolutionary: Taking a break from work is the key to getting more done.

I’m not just talking about a break from physical activity. I’ve found I’m even more in desperate need of a mental breather. The chaos that goes on in my tortured little mind is  exhausting.

This has been a radical concept for me. It doesn’t make sense, does it? We think that if we rest, we’ll fall behind. Forget something. Lose productivity. I have a very driven personality, so the thought of relaxing tends to make me stressed. I’m not sure how to do it. Yes, I have issues.

But something changed this past Easter Sunday.

As I pondered Christ’s incredible sacrifice, I felt led to pull the plug on all my normal activity that day and just let my mind focus on Him. I kept the computer shut down. No checking email or Facebook. No doing “just a little bit of work” to get a head start on the week. I resisted the lure of the remote and fought off the impulse to watch “Chopped.”

It felt strange – this mental rest – but I liked it.

At some point during the day, I realized I felt a sense of peace that I hadn’t felt in a long time. And I heard a voice inside me say, “Why don’t you do this every Sunday?

So I have.

It has had some amazing results that I didn’t expect:

  1. I’m more focused and disciplined during the week. I never worked a lot on Sunday, but now I don’t leave it as an option at all. Since I now know that everything work-related needs to be done by Friday or Saturday, I tend to stay on task better during the week.
  2. I hear the Holy Spirit more clearly. I’ve had such an amazing month of spiritual insights. And I directly relate that to my mental rest on Sundays. That discipline of mentally resting on Sunday has carried over to the rest of the week. I’m gradually finding it easier practice mental quietness at times during the week. That’s key to hearing the Holy Spirit speak.

So how does this affect our productivity? The Holy Spirit is our Guide. When we’re hearing Him speak, we go down fewer rabbit trails. We experience a sense of purpose and energy in our work that’s supernatural. Read More→

May
25

Why a Tagline is So Important … and How to Write One

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As a home­based business owner, a tagline or slogan is extremely important.

Why? Because it clarifies why you are in business and what you do. As the saying goes, brevity is the soul of wit. As a society, we are used to sound bites. You need to make a sound bite for yourself!

This is especially important in networking. In the networking group I belong to, introducing myself, my business, and my tagline is a prime way for me to stand out.

A slogan helps your prospects understand better what product or service you provide and if the tagline is memorable, will keep your business top of mind. This means when they have a need for your particular product or service, they will think of you and be more likely to contact you.

So how do you write a tagline?

Think through the question most often asked in social circles, “What do you do?” What is your 60 second response? This is often called an elevator speech. Now cut that speech in half. Then cut it to 10 seconds. Can you get your message across in that amount of time and is it memorable?

Alliteration is a useful tool when it comes to writing slogans and taglines. So is humor, as long as it is tasteful and fits with your business. In our networking group, a couple of the ladies share some funny taglines that make people laugh. Often they rhyme. These are memorable for sure!

Using keyword research can really help you also. After all, you want to make sure people online find you! This was the main method that my husband and I used when creating his tagline, “Safeguarding lives through strong and robust building design.” Building design was our main keyword. We also wanted to make sure his personality came through when writing the tagline. Because it shows what makes him different from other architects. Read More→

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Diana Ennen, Virtual Marketing bloggerWant to get more engagement out of your social media?

These tips work!

  • Have a Plan – Work that Plan – The key is to be consistent. Don’t stop, start, start back up again, etc. Be consistent in your postings.  For example, I share tips, reviews, images, articles from publications, any media I get, what events I’m doing, tips from others, etc.)
  • Review Your Plan & Make Changes – Constantly review your SM marketing and make changes .. Just one might be .. finding out when your people are on SM by reviewing your insights and then sending more during that time.
  • Use Your Profiles –Use appropriate keywords to describe what you do in your profiles. Does your LinkedIn Profile sound like the same person as your Twitter Profile?  It should! Don’t be two different people online!
  • Post #PRTips, #VATips, #BookMarketing tips – Remember to include those tips that will reach your target audience. Also, set up columns so you can see what others post under these hashtags and repost some of their tips as well.
  • Do not run the same postings over and over again. Yes, you can use ones you’ve used before, but don’t do same ones repeatedly.  It  makes you appear lazy!
  • Facebook Ads – They work!  You get to set the budget, target the audience & more. You get more people to your page & you get ads that promote your events or services.
  • Images count. Use a great image, compelling message, call to action, etc.  Start noticing the ads that you see.  What is it about them that stands out?
  • You can send people to your website OR your Facebook page. Decide which you want? I normally do a combination of both.
  • Use the editor to fine tune your audience. One thing I discovered is that you can “Type in possibilities” and it will show what’s available. Say .. Entrepreneurs, business owners, romance novels, etc.
  • Boosted Posts – Just hit “promote this post.” Bam…it’s done! More likes=more engagement. Promote the posts that get the most responses and the ones that mention your newsletter, your specials, etc. (Not the ones that Facebook recommends.)
  • Promote the good stuff!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com offers PR and Marketing services, book marketing services, and PR and Virtual Assistant Coaching.  Sign up for her PR Success Series Webinars at www.prsuccessseries.com. ollow her on social media at https://www.facebook.com/VirtualWordPublishing/ and https://twitter.com/DianaEnnen

May
18

Push Past the Fear and Do It Anyway!

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Dana

Thefear statistics for business failure, quite frankly, is grim. I think you know what I’m talking about. So what is one of the main reasons most businesses fail?

A lack of confidence. This lack of confidence can manifest itself in paralyzing fears. These fears can stop you from truly achieving your dreams and goals. They can be detrimental to you and your home business.

What do I know about these fears? Well, quite a lot, actually, because there are many times that I have been negatively affected by fears.

For me, that fear is a fear of rejection. I’m afraid that no one will notice me, that what I have to offer doesn’t matter, that I don’t matter. I recognized that these fears stemmed from childhood, that my whole life I had been marginalizing myself. That I was putting myself down, which resulted in a lack of opportunity and lack of growth in my business.

Fear of business failure was also a huge burden to me. What if I don’t make enough sales after doing all this work and then I have to close down the business? What if it never gets better? What if, what if? That would run through my mind over and over again.

Early on in my business, I lost many opportunities due to this fear. Some amazing possibility would open up, and I would sabotage it because I was afraid. My fear ranged from fear of speaking in public to an all out fear of success. Yes, you can be afraid of success! I was because I thought I was not worthy of it!

What I realized after much failure and disappointment is yes, I am NOT worthy. I am nobody and nothing without Jesus. He gave me this business. He is my boss. He will make it a success, DESPITE me! I don’t need to be a success for him to accept me.

This change of thinking got me to a point where I could take risks and step out of my comfort zone. Read More→

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May
15

How To Spot a Scam Job Offering on Craigslist

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Finding Simplicity as a SAHM by Adrina PalmerAs a stay-at-home-mom, I seek opportunities to work from home. I need to be there if one of my midgets is home sick, or for holidays, and for school breaks. Boy was I happy the other day when I found an opportunity on Craigslist that looked promising. This venue has offered little success in the past but you never know. I went in with wide-open eyes ready to find any issue that would tell me this job was a scam. Here’s the breakdown of red flags:

Salary – The first clue a work-at-home-job is too good to be true is the job is for an exorbitant amount of pay. This job offered $600 bi-weekly for twenty hours of work. This was not a red flag, in fact, this gave me hope. The pay broke down to $15 an hour, which is reasonable for a virtual assistant. Be wary of a job offering hundreds or thousands for little to no work or experience.

 

Investing – Even better than a reasonable salary offer, the potential employer did not ask me to “invest” my money. If a job suggests you fronting money to make money working for them,  walk away. If you want to invest money than try MLM, such as Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, or some other such venue. Otherwise, save your money and invest in your own opportunities, not someone else asking you to front the money so they can make cash. 

 

Send Money – The opportunity I found did not have the shaky habit of sending money to potential employees. Who wouldn’t want free money? How could this be bad? You know why. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Why would they send you money before you have done any work for them? Better accept these offers are illegal and they are asking you to do illegal tasks with stolen money. Walk away. 

 

No Interview or Strange Interview – This was the first clue that this job was not real but a potential scam to steal my identity or money. The lady I was corresponding with wanted to communicate via Google Hangouts. She never interviewed me or asked me what skills I had. If she had not asked for my resume, this would have been more of a red flag. Either way, I was cautious at this point. Expect an interview. Expect to communicate via email, phone, and/or video chat where you can see each other face-to-face. Be wary of anything else. 

Read More→

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May
14

Yes, Mom You Should Set Goals

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by Alyssa Dees Avant

Sometimes as moms, we get the crazy idea that because we have become responsible for the lives of precious little children, that we should focus solely on them and leave our own thoughts and ideas for ourselves behind. This should not be the case. We as moms should be true to ourselves, use the passions and gifts that God has given us and set some goals for ourselves.

These goals will not only benefit us, as people, but also our families as well. Its kind of like the old saying, “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Naturally, our children, husbands, families and others around us will benefit from us taking care of ourselves and doing things that will help us to feel more productive and successful.

The Lord also expects us to use the gifts that he has given us. He tells us in Scripture that without every part of the body of Christ functioning at its best it will not work. If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

“The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” Read More→

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May
11

7 Essentials Your Logo Must Have to Stand Out Above the Crowd

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DanaInchecklist my line of work as a graphic designer, I often see ads promising the moon when it comes to creating logos and of course for very, very cheap. One that especially stands out that I saw recently promised “your logo designed in one hour live!”

But what these companies do not tell you is that a logo is more than the graphic. There is a science behind creating that graphic. It’s called branding. And there are graphic design standards that set an amateur logo apart from a professional one.

After all, if you don’t take your work at home business seriously and you put a cheap logo up, how are your customers going to perceive you? How do you know your logo even hits the mark? How do you know that it’s communicating a marketing message that describes your Unique Selling Proposition?

Here is a checklist to help guide you in this process. Because when you create (or have created for you) a logo that reflects your brand personality, you will stand out above the crowd.

1. Does your image reflect accurately the essence of who you are?

2. Did you use professional graphic design standards in your logo?

3. Does it communicate the message you intended immediately?

4. Is your logo the correct resolution for the particular medium you are using?

5. Is it appealing to your target audience? Read More→

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May
10

Managing the Time Monster

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Pebbles Jacobo, All Things VA bloggerWhen I first started out as virtual assistant I struggled with time management. After all, I had always been the employee, never the employer. As a business owner, I quickly realized that the buck stops with me and if I don’t keep track of things, i.e. not practicing good time management, I was cheating myself out of money. I cannot stress how important it is to properly manage your time. Here’s a few tips from my personal experiences.

Schedule Your Time: Do you have a specific schedule or scheduled time in which you get your work completed? If not, you will find yourself in your office every waking moment and spending less time with your family. Schedule your family time, break time and work time. Don’t keep the schedule in your head, but write it out and post it. Post the schedule for you AND your family to see. More importantly, stick to it (especially the scheduled family time).  An additional perk to scheduling your time is that not only will you feel less guilty about family time, but also you will find yourself to be more productive during your scheduled work time. This takes time, but stick with it!

Keep Lists: Start making lists and writing things down. Yep, it actually helps. If you are like me, you tend to forget things, not because they hold little importance to you, but because they just slip your mind. Keep a small notepad in your pocket and write things down. Even at your desk…keep a list. In keeping lists you will spend less time looking for a client’s task request or trying to remember what it was you were supposed to do. Read More→

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May
07

PR and Marketing Tips – Becoming and Staying the Expert

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Diana Ennen, Virtual Marketing bloggercoffee and computerOne of the best ways to get known as the expert in your field is to regularly send out articles to targeted databases showcasing tips that you know best.   Seems simple enough, but so many just don’t do it.  And because of that, they are missing out on major opportunities, clients, and most important of all exposure for their business.

Articles are known to inform and educate.  These can be especially beneficial when changes are made that people need to be aware of. And in business that happens frequently.  People then look to you for guidance on topics when new changes happen and you become the hero always having the answer.  

So absolutely write on new topics and wear that cape.  However, don’t just write articles on new things that are happening.  Write articles on what you do daily in your business.  To you it might seem like the same ole’ same ole, but to others it can be just the information they are seeking. And when they do a google search and you routinely come up with what they need, guess what, they will want to do business with you.

I personally love top tips articles … say for example, 5 ways to get more PR for your business or 5 ways to 5 ways to build your brand.   I usually write these articles with the following guidelines

  • Awesome engaging title
  • First paragraph that describes the article and clearly grabs the attention of your audience.
  • The five tips I’ve mentioned – bulleted or numbered.
  • Closing paragraph that wraps it all up
  • Bio – shows your website, contact, media mentions and also any links to programs you run.

What is especially great is when you pitch these informative articles out, often times a publication will run the entire article.  So consider this, instead of a publication adding a sentence or two with your quote, the entire article is written by you and every tip is yours.  That is prime real estate baby!  It doesn’t always happen, but when it does it’s magical.

But to send it out to the media, you need to create a pitch.  They need to know why they would be interested in that article and who you are.  So let’s break down the pitch.  The pitch consists of a killer subject line that will have those who receive it, want to open it and know more.  Also, I often include the word “Article” with the Name of Article in the subject line.  This allows those who receive it to know what to expect.   Read More→

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