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Archive for Branding for Success

Feb
16

Why You Need to Define Your Business

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerDefining Business by Dana Susan BeasleyThe Bible says that without vision, my people perish. Now in your work at home business, why should it be any different?

Because if you don’t understand what your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is, or what value you bring to your customers, your brand will suffer and your business could even fail.

Even if you are a direct seller or network marketer, you need to understand why you are in business and who you are in business for.

One of my clients sells essential oils. After taking my course that helped her define her business, she made a plan to concentrate on a certain niche. This has resulted in incredible growth for her business and it has empowered her to help other members of her team.

The more clarity you have about your business, the more refined your brand will be. This requires careful analysis and planning. Sure, it is a lot of work up front, but the rewards are worth it.

I think of my husband, who spent much time defining his business long before it was started. Through this process, he positioned himself as an expert. When he was ready to launch his architectural business, the opportunities came to him. Because he had done the work beforehand. He was ready.

Read More→

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Feb
09

Self-Confidence & Your Brand

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerSelf-Confidence and Your Brand by Dana Susan BeasleyIncreasingly, I am becoming aware that there is a direct link between success and self-confidence. If you don’t believe in you, why would you believe in your brand, and why would anyone else believe in your brand?

I also have found that self-confidence doesn’t cut it. What matters is God confidence! The more I trust in God, the more I trust Him with my business and the more steps of faith I am able to take!

Because I realize it is not about me, it’s about Him and bringing Him glory with what He has called me to do.

So how do you gain this God confidence?

First and foremost, you gain this God confidence by spending time with Him in the Word. Discover what your identity in Christ is all about. How does He see you? How did He make you? What unique talents and callings has He given you? What mission did He give you while you are on this Earth?

Additionally, spend time in soaking prayer. I have found this to be extremely helpful. I have realized that deep inside me are soul wounds that need healing. I have spent hours listening to meditative music while spending time in His presence. I have much more work to do in this area.

Being an entrepreneur can be a scary job at times. It brings you face to face with your weaknesses and insecurities. But that is exactly where God wants you to be!

Because that’s the business He is in–healing!

And the more confidence and trust you have in Him, the more you will be able to step out into who He has made you to be!

For instance, a month ago I decided to take a step of faith and publish a book to help Colorado flood and fire survivors. A year ago I would have been too scared to take this project on. Still, I find myself thinking old negative thoughts like “who am I to publish this book?” or “I don’t matter. Who cares about me anyway?” I constantly have to fight this thinking. I’m telling you it is not easy, especially when I know that rejection will inevitably come. Read More→

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Feb
02

Why Value Beats Cheap Every Time

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What do customers really want? Do they only want what’s cheap?

If that were so, then why do consumers by iPhones? Why is Lexus a popular brand of car? Why do flat TVs exist that cost $5000 or more?

Here’s the truth of the matter—value wins every time.

So how do you communicate that about your brand to a prospect?

You lead with value. Never talk about price first. Be generous. Show up to serve, not to make a sale. How can you help them? What little bit of information can you give them now that would make a difference?

Talk about how working with you or purchasing from you will benefit them. How will it transform their lives? Ask how much is that transformation worth to them?

When you give value and not cheapen your products or services, your business will flourish. You will also serve your customers better. Because you will have incentive to work hard for them.

If you always cheapen what you offer, you will perpetually struggle. And your prospects will not value you or your brand!

What you offer also can stand out above the crowd and have value in that way.

For instance, years ago I heard a story about a man who was looking to buy a bicycle as a Christmas present for his son. He went to the bicycle shop near his home and found out the prices. But he noticed that the bicycles needed to be assembled. So he asked the shop owner if they would assemble it. No, he was told.

As a busy man, he decided to look elsewhere. He went to a bicycle shop farther away and there were the same bicycles for a little higher price. He asked the shop owner if the bikes could be assembled and the bicycle owner said yes. They would do it for just $20 extra. And they would deliver the bicycle on Christmas Eve so the son wouldn’t find the gift until it was time! Perfect! Read More→

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Jan
26

A Good Mindset – Essential to Your Branding Success

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What is the number one factor that will ensure your branding success? Is it your knowledge? Experience? How many people you know?

Actually, the biggest factor is a positive mindset.

Why? Without self-confidence, you will sabotage your work at home business every step of the way.

As Napolean Hill says in Think and Grow Rich, lack of self-confidence is the number one reason businesses fail.

I take it a step further: As Christian business owners, we need GOD confidence.

After all, isn’t He our CEO, our boss?

I know He is mine.

The closer I get to Him, the more I trust Him, the more I know who I am in Him. And it follows that the more my identity in Him is grounded—a foundation, if you will—the more I can identify what He called me to do and the more courage I have to follow that calling. Then His presence is with me and what I do is anointed.

I see that in my own life. When I lacked self-confidence it was really a lack of trust in God. I was sabotaging my success, procrastinating, losing opportunities, afraid to be bold…

And what makes a difference in my work at home business is utter dependance on Him.

I realized that the summer of 2008 on Independence Day. I knew, as our finances were crumbling and we were faced with a failed vacation rental business and my husband’s hours cut back. I knew that I needed to stop treating my business like a hobby and get serious. Read More→

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Jan
19

How I was Changed by Entrepreneurialism

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Becoming an entrepreneur. When I embarked on this adventure over 14 years ago, I had no idea what was in store for me.

Perhaps in the back of my mind I thought it would be easy. Just get a product out there and it will sell itself. I had the knowledge and experience, after all, as a graphic designer and writer.

Aw good thing I didn’t know what I was about to face. Because more lessons are learned from failure than success.

Not long after I started my business, my husband and I decided to get into another business—we turned our Victorian home into a vacation rental. That was the Spring of 2008. Then the recession hit.

And our finances took a big hit. We lost that house to foreclosure in 2010. And in the meantime, my husband’s hours were cut back and his paychecks would often be delayed. If ever I needed my business to be a success it was then.

And yet, profits did not come. Very few sales were made. I began to realize:

1) God didn’t care so much what was in my pocketbook as what was in my heart.

2) I lacked confidence. In fact, I had some severe soul wounds that needed healing. God started this process through my journey as an entrepreneur.

3) I didn’t trust God to take care of me. In fact, I thought he would let me down.

4) All those years, I had been hiding. Hiding my talents, running from opportunity, afraid of success. Of rejection. Of disappointment.

5) I thought that I had to be successful in order to be worthy. Read More→

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Jan
12

7 Questions You Need to Ask BEFORE You Have a Logo Created

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Over and over again, I see the same story with business owners. They create a product or service and then as an afterthought put up a logo. Or they have somebody from Fiverr design the logo. And there is no analysis, no strategy. Just something that looks “cool” or “pretty.” I end up having to correct the work and the client has wasted time and effort with cheap and free services.

So how do you create an effective logo? What do you need before the design is even attempted?

Here’s seven questions to get you started in the right direction:

1. What does your business and you personally do well? Not do well?

2. What is the attitude you have toward your target market?

3. What is your target market? Who are you in business for? Who is your audience?

4. How do you want your business to be seen/perceived? How is it perceived by your audience or your target market? Read More→

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Jan
05

Start the New Year Right – Write a Business Plan for Your Brand

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerBusiness Plan by Dana BeasleyThe New Year is an excellent time to make a business plan for your home business. If you want to succeed in branding, writing a business plan is essential!

If you already have a business plan, now is a great time to update it.

Why create a business plan? Because if you don’t have some measurable goals, how do you know what to aim for? As the Bible says, without vision, people perish.

And without a plan, your business could fail!

So if you want to take your business seriously and really experience branding success, here are seven must-have items in your business plan to skyrocket your revenue!

1) Mission, Vision, Goals
If you are going to succeed in your home business, you need to understand why you exist. Having clarity on this one issue will help you grow more and more, as a business owner and as a person.

Your vision is where you want to be in the future, what you want to accomplish through your mission. This takes imagination and wisdom.

Goals need to be measurable and time-based, specific and directly related to your mission and vision.

2) USP
Your Unique Selling Proposition is what makes you stand out above the competition. It’s the reason why your customers will be drawn to you rather than another company. It’s your particular strength that you do better than anyone else out there. USPs are often used for slogans and taglines.

For instance, when my husband was planning his architectural business, we came up with the slogan, “Safeguarding lives through strong and robust building design.” This is based on his unique strength of designing quality buildings made from reinforced concrete, not studs.

3) Marketing Objectives/Analysis
You need to understand what problems your market has and what solutions you offer. You need to know who your target market is and where they are. You also need to strategize on how you are going to reach them. These objectives and analysis can be fleshed out in greater detail in a marketing plan.

4) Competition
It’s important to understand who your competition is, both directly and indirectly. You need to understand how saturated your market is. If it is saturated, how are you going to provide a needed product or service that people want and desire, and are in fact desperate for? What is different about you that people want to purchase through you?

Let me give you another example: I have a client in the essential oil business. Now, as of late I have noticed that oils are a very popular business. Many work at home moms especially are selling these. But my client found a passion of hers related to the oils to help a specific target market. That is how she is branding herself. That is how she is distinguishing herself above the competition. As she works out her plan, she is tremendously excited and motivated. Her business holds much promise and I know that her team is growing.

5) Financial projections
You will want to do cash flow projections, revenue and sales projects, expenses, etc. If you are looking for investors, this is especially important.

Read More→

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Dec
29

How Your Brand Can Effortlessly Draw Your Audience

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerdana-attractionClient attraction. It’s a buzz word these days that if you’re like me, you see everywhere.

And we see it everywhere because it is, indeed, a very important strategy. And that is where branding comes in.

A good brand distinguishes you from the crowd. On the Internet especially, it is so easy to get lost. It’s kind of like cookie cutter homes. Every time I drive through one of these neighborhoods, I get disoriented because every house looks alike!

Think about a custom house, though. Doesn’t that stand out in your mind? Aren’t you unconsciously drawn to it? Isn’t it more memorable in your mind?

This is just an analogy but a very effective one. Your brand needs to be customized to your business, to your Unique Selling Proposition. A one-size-all logo that looks like everyone else’s logo is not going to help you distinguish yourself from your competition. You will be lost in the crowd!

So when you have a customized brand, tailored to your mission, vision, and values, then you will attract customers to you.

This is because you will understand your target market and you will create a brand image that appeals to them. But a brand is more than a logo. It is the message that you are communicating. When you have clarity in your message to your audience, then what you have to say creates a resonance. You become attractive and they want to find out more.

It’s the difference between pushing and pulling, between a rubber band and a magnet. A good branding program will serve as that magnet that will attract prospects to you rather than you having to pull them in.

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Dec
15

When It’s Time for Re-Branding

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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
08

3 Ways to Create a Customer Retention Program

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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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