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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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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 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 will walk you through it step by step.

Read More→

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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→

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Juggling Work & Family When Working at Home

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jill-new14HiResMany a mom longs to work at home so she can spend more time with her kids. But there’s a catch: actually getting that work done requires time away from your kids. Here’s advice on how you can work more efficiently and reduce frustration when have young kids and work at home.

QuestionI have been having my home based business for three years now and I still am struggling with how to juggle business and being a mom, wife and housekeeper. How do you juggle these? I want to make this a success, but so far it’s only been frustration.

My children are four and two years old and they are more challenging than most (not as in spoiled, but as in needing more time than the average kid). Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Answer: GREAT question! My kids are now seven and four, so I now have a little bit of help in my seven-year-old. But, I found something that I had written a few years ago. In it, I listed my kids’ ages as four and one. I could tell when reading it that I had been very frazzled. I think I lived in a state of frazzled during those years when they were both so small.

My main advice would be to cut yourself some slack. Things will get easier and more manageable as your kids get older.

My practical advice is this:

1. Plan out menus each week.

I literally spend about two minutes on this. I have a small magnetic dry-erase board that I keep on my refrigerator. Each Sunday, I write out the days of the week and what we’ll have for supper that day. (Lunches almost always consist of sandwiches or something easy like that since it’s just me and the kids.)

This makes grocery shopping a breeze because I know just what ingredients I need. It also alleviates the nagging thoughts of “what are we going to eat tonight?” If possible, have one or both of your kids help you decide what to put. You’ll be surprised at how much they like having a say in what goes on that board!

2. Set a day for everything.

My days look something like this:

Mondays – Housework and laundry (and business tasks as time allows)

Tuesdays – Grocery shopping and business tasks (this used to be during naptime, but is now during preschool time)

Read More→

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Why a Brand Audit is Necessary and How to Do One

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3 business womenVisual and brand audits. It’s one of those fancy words graphic designers use. Why do you need one and how do you do it?

A brand audit is a careful analysis of every marketing material you have, from signage to business cards to your Website.

I like to call it an Identity Hunt. That’s what I call it in my branding courses and curriculum. This is a quest and you are trying to find what’s missing, what’s confusing, and what’s inconsistent so you can refine and define your identity.

Why is this important? Because the key to successful branding is perception meeting reality. Because perception IS reality. If there is a disconnect between what you think you are offering and what you’re prospect thinks you’re offering, than you are most likely losing clients. And that costs you money.

So here is how to conduct a visual audit:

Imagine you are a prospect that never heard of your company. What do they see when they go to your Website? If you have an office or a brick and mortar store, is your signage recognizable to them? When you give them a business card, is it consistent with your signage, Website, brochures, etc.

And here’s an often overlooked point-of-contact—when your customer calls your phone, what voice mail greets them? Have you clearly identified your name and business?

You want to notice inconsistencies. Are you confusing your audience? Are you telling them one thing but providing another?

You might use Facebook to get some objective opinions. Ask in a Facebook group what a certain logo or marketing piece is communicating.

Is it the same as what you intend on communicating? Read More→

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by Chris Carroll

For many direct sellers, January brings that terrible fear regarding the growth of our direct sales business. Many of us want to grow our business and make a big impact on sales as well as income in the coming year.

January also bring that dreaded business planning back into focus. Yes, you should have been doing it all along, but now is the perfect time to start planning and making small changes in your business that over the year will bring you big impact.

If you simply make a weekly, monthly & yearly plan for your business and focus on adding one customer a week and/or one recruit a month, you will see your business grow by leaps and bounds in the coming year. One customer a week is 52 new customers. If you are in a direct sales business, you know those dollars will add up, especially if those customers remain loyal and place a lot of re orders with you.

One recruit a month can also add quite a bit to your income. That is 12 new team members. What will that do to your income level? If your team members also follow your plan, will they also be adding members? You bet. How can that impact your income? In a big way! Read More→


A 10 Point Checklist for Choosing Your Domain Name

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wwwWhen getting started with a new online business one of the first things you need to do is choose a domain name. This step is much more important than you might realize. An appropriate and effective domain could decide your website’s fate.

Unfortunately many people will be so involved in the design and set-up of the website they will overlook the importance of selecting the proper domain name. Your domain name will be your website’s identity and it will also be the doorway for people to purchase your products and/or services.

The following checklist will guide you and help you keep in mind some of the things you need to consider when choosing your domain.

1. Keep It Short and Simple – Keeping your domain name short, simple and easy to remember will make it easier for people to get to your site. You want a domain that is easy to spell and type. Don’t use big fancy words or commonly misspelled words such as believe, amateur or collectible. You can find lists of the most commonly misspelled words and if they are in your domain, consider using a thesaurus to find an alternative.

2. Use Your Name – In my opinion, it is a good choice to use your name in your domain. This will be a binding agent for your website your business and you. If your last name is long and hard to spell, consider using your first name. This way if people do not remember your entire URL, they will be likely to remember your name and can still find you. I have had many people who did not remember my specific URL search for me by using my name.

3. Don’t Try to Be Cute and Clever – Cutesy and fun work with some things but it is not appropriate for your domain. Don’t use puns or a “clever” play on words. For example: Flickr.

Using this trendy name probably sounded like a good idea at the time but they finally had to purchase the correct spelling domain Doing this will just make your domain hard to remember and/or it will more than likely get typed incorrectly and you lose the traffic.

4. Hyphens and Numbers – There are actually a couple of advantages to using hyphens but in my opinion, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. Hyphens actually make it easier for the search engines to distinguish your keywords. Hyphens could also make it possible for you to get the domain you want if the regular version is already taken. But, hyphens will more than likely cause you to lose traffic because people will not always realize your url contains hyphens.

If your domain is and you tell people to check out your site, Beautiful Jewelry, you will lose traffic. It is easy to lose the hyphen when spreading the word about your site. And it will make it more complicated for people to remember. It’s the same with numbers. will be much less remembered and found then Read More→

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Successfully Growing a Family and a Business Under One Roof

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Identify the highest and best use of your time. If you’re in direct sales, the highest and best use of your time is probably when you are setting appointments or actually selling. If you’re a tutor, you make money tutoring. If you teach piano lessons, your teaching time is most profitable. Identifying the highest and best use of your time is essential so that you know which actions create income for you—and which actions don’t. This is essential for profiting from the next tip.

Hire help when possible. Early in my work-at-home career, I asked a successful Realtor® this question, “If you had one piece of advice to give someone who works for herself, what would it be? She was so certain of her answer she didn’t even pause to think. “Never do yourself what you can pay someone else to do,” she responded. Read More→

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Let God Invade Your Business

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A few years ago I had one of those “lightning bolt” moments. Each year I sit down to write out goals and dreams for my business. This particular year, as I sat and thought through what I hoped to accomplish in the upcoming year, how I hoped to help people, it hit me. Where does God fit in to all of this? Does He fit comfortably in the “Spiritual” categories or is He a part of everything that CWAHM is and does?

Whoa. Talk about a challenging question.

As I wrestled with this I came to realization that God wants to invade our lives – and that means our businesses, too. In the gospels we see Jesus meeting people right where they were. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, and taught the seeking. He met their physical needs as well as their spiritual needs.

He wanted to be a part of their everyday lives, not just the days they went to the temple (the Old Testament equivalent of church). He wasn’t afraid to hang out with the sick, the hurting, the “sinners.”

He wants to be a part of our everyday life, too. He wants to invade our families, our marriages, our businesses. He wants to show us that there is a different way of doing things. A better way. A way that points to the divine even in the midst of most basic business task.

He wants to be in:

* The decision to be kind to the difficult customer.

* The decision to give a sale price when we could charge full price to someone who isn’t aware of the sale.

* The decision to give a product away to someone we know is struggling or hurting.

It’s our choice.  We can choose to do business with Jesus. Or we can choose to do things our own way…usually the way we’ve been taught by people who seem to know how to “do” business, how to make money. And yet, in the end … is really about making money?

So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work…” Ecclesiastes 3:22, NCV

Where does God fit in your business?

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Why Mission Statements Matter

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerMission 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. Read More→

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54 Marketing Mediums: Where Do Your Customers Expect You to Be?

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Ruth Martin, Life as a Virtual Assistant bloggerruth-marketingMarketing, or advertising, may feel awkward or like some obscure creature that’s hard to understand or tame but I promise it’s not. With so many various mediums to use, the decision often boils down to which to use that connects with your customers plus testing what is working.

I suggest selecting between one to three methods to begin with and track those results. Tracking the results can be as easy as asking readers to “mention this ad,” “respond by a specific date,” “use this code,” or “use a specific page URL” and noting the unique hits to that URL. Put something in your advertising that can be measurable and tracked. Your overall message can be similar but vary the tracking element.

For my clients I recommend that if using three mediums for a specific marketing focus that each contains something uniquely identifiable. For example: on Twitter or Facebook we would use a hashtag (#). For article marketing we would include a URL link to a free download that has a counter to record the number of times it’s been downloaded. And for the third medium we’d ask readers to reply with a code word in the subject line or to mention seeing this ad to track how many saw the message.

Run your marketing for a minimum of three months, review the results you’ve collected during that time, and make some slight tweaks to enhance the results you received during this time. Marketing is all about testing, tracking, and tweaking. If you’re not tracking your marketing efforts then you won’t know with certainty what’s working.

Online Marketing Options

1. Press Releases

2. Article Marketing

3. Article/Blog Commenting

4. Guest Blogging

5. Video Marketing/Blogging

6. Blogging

7. Podcasts

8. Online Radio Show

9. eCourse

10. Workshop

11. Email Marketing

12. Social Media: Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn/Google+/Pinterest, etc.

13. Forums / Online Chats

14. Networking Groups

15. eZine/Digital Newsletter

16. Pink Spoon Marketing

17. Affiliate Marketing

18. Joint Partnership Marketing

19. Social Bookmarking

20. Word of Mouth Marketing

21. Referral Marketing

22. Infographic Sharing

23. eBooks

24. Paperback/Hardback Book

25. Pay Per Click Ads

26. Facebook Ads

27. Google Adwords

28. Host an Online Contest

29. QR Codes

30. Website

31. Customized Email Signature Block

32. Free Reports/White Papers/Checklists

Offline Marketing Options

1. Newsletter

2. Postcards

3. Brochures

4. Business Cards

5. Newspaper Ads

6. Radio Ads

7. Television Ads

8. Sponsorship Ads or a Team Sponsorship or Sponsor Gift Bags

9. Auction Donations

10. Conference Attendee

11. Conference Vendor

12. Trade Show

13. Note Cards/Greeting & Holiday Cards/Thank You Cards

14. Public Speaking

15. On-Site Training Workshops

16. Handouts/Flyers

17. Premium Marketing (pens, tote bags, t-shirts, etc.)

18. Marketing Wrapped Vehicle or Vehicle Magnets

19. Cold Calling

20. Coffee/Dessert Meetings

21. Provide a Prize for a Local Contest

22. In-Person Networking Events (Chamber Meetings, Business Mixers, etc.)

It’s not mandatory to market in each of these mediums. It IS crucial for you to know who your customers are, what their interests are regarding their business, and where these customers would anticipate seeing your advertising.

While it is a good community gesture to sponsor an ad in the local high school yearbook, the reality is that you probably won’t get a customer from someone reading that ad. So do you say no to a yearbook ad? It’s entirely up to you. The parent who is co-chairing the yearbook committee may be a business owner you’ve been trying to reach. This may be a way to strike up a conversation over a common interest point that over time, and relationship building, could lead to bigger business. But the reality is that it most likely is a feel-good type ad that won’t have strong conversion possibilities. Only you will know if you should spend part of your marketing budget here. Apply this same type of consideration to each medium.

Try a using a combination of these 4 core fundamentals to marketing:

Advertising: you are calling attention to your own products, services, and needs your business answers for others.

Publicity: securing public notice to your business offerings by being in the news, by word of mouth or other communications. The key is others talking positively about your business on your behalf.

Sales Promotions: giving your current and potential customers advance notice of a service, product, or need that your business provides that they can use, buy, recommend, or share with others. You are encouraging others to take action during a specific time period.

Personal Selling: having 1-on-1 contact with a prospective buyer where you can personally address their specific needs and offer tailored responses, services, and answers via your product offerings.

Before venturing into any marketing medium determine if your preferred customer would typically be seeing this type of advertisement. Let who your end customer is, determine where you place your marketing efforts and marketing dollars. Your customers will drive your marketing presence, and in turn, your marketing frequency will drive your customers [to you]. Read More→

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