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Twitter BirdTwitter is a micro-blogging site that has grown into one of the most popular social media sites available. To communicate with your followers you send short messages called tweets. These tweets can be used to build your business by building relationships.

With close to a billion active users, Twitter is a powerful force in the online marketing world. But, as with any marketing tool or method you do need to use it properly. Below are twelve things you can do to increase your following and beef-up your business.

1. Interesting and Complete Profile – Unfortunately you are only allowed 140 characters to sum up who you are in your profile so it has to be better than good. If you are tweeting for your business be sure to use your real name. Do not use cutesy or clever pun names. You need to be straightforward and let people know who you are. Use a “casual professional” photo of yourself. You don’t need to look like a stuffed shirt but you don’t want to look like you’re ready for a night on the town either. List your professional skills and/or accomplishments in your bio and ad your link.

2. Timing – There are good times to tweet and bad so do some testing and find the best times to tweet. Finding the best tweet times is not easy but there are tools to help you. Tweriod analyzes your tweets and your followers’ tweets to give you the best times. TweetWhen will let you know the days and times when you get the most retweets.

3. Repeats are Good – A lot of people would say to always post new and interesting information but if you repeat your popular posts periodically, it will help you get more followers. Just search for your name and see which posts got the most replies and retweets. Repost those tweets a few times but not too close together.

4. Follow Autofollow – Some Twitter experts encourage the use of Autofollow. This is an automated service that allows Twitter users to automatically follow people who have followed them. Look for people who follow a lot of people but have the same amount of followers. This could be an indication of Autofollow. If you follow that person, they will automatically follow you back. But be wary of spam followers. They will be following thousands of people but will not have the same amount of followers like a person using Autofollow. Read More→

Brian Ellsworth

DanameZaC80Many of you probably heard that yet another direct selling company has gone by the wayside – ­­Lia Sophia.

While it is sad that so many consultants have now lost their businesses, to me it is yet another reminder why branding is so important.

Sure, direct sellers and network marketers use the corporate brand that they are representing. But it is shortsighted to rely solely on this.

Lia Sophia’s recent disappearance in the marketplace is one such example of this truth.

So how can a brand be developed when representing another company?

Let me give you some examples. Take the healthcare industry. You may represent a supplement or some type of wellness product. But what if you branded yourself as a wellness expert? What if you expanded your products or services to include coaching? Read More→

CWAHM

jill-new14email2There are many ways to market a home-based business. But one of the simplest ways is to use an every day business tool – email. By using these five easy tips you’ll see how easily your business can grow without much effort on your part.

1. Use a Professional Signature – This is an important tip to use on every email that you send. Even your friends may not always remember your website address or business phone number and will quickly look to an old e-mail to look it up.

When preparing an email signature it’s important to include Your Name, Company Name, and your Physical Address or Website Address. You may also include your phone number.

Below is a sample Email signature:

Jill Hart
Christian Work at Home Ministries

http://www.cwahm.com

The signature is simple, easy to read and includes a link directly to my website. It is very important to include the http:// before the website address because many email programs will not link the text to your website without this (it will appear as text – not a link).

Also, make sure that you double check that you have your website correct. Often times I’ve found that people have their website wrong by inverting a letter or two and aren’t aware of it. It cannot only lead to a loss of a sale, but it shows less professionalism on your part.

You can also use a virtual business card as your signature. You can design and purchase your own virtual business card at http://www.vistaprint.com. There is a very small cost – less than $2.00 for this professional looking virtual signature file.

2. Find a “Signature Buddy” – This is an easy and cost-free way to spread the word about your business. Ask a colleague or friend if they will “swap” a line in their signature with you. You will add a line at the bottom of your signature with a link to their business and they will do the same. Read More→

christmas-treeIn our home the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I have a wonderful tradition.

Really, when you think about it, what is a home without traditions? Many people pretend that they do not have traditions which in and of itself has become a tradition.

Our tradition is that on what is normally called “Black Friday” we do not leave our house except to go out and get the mail. Years ago we did, but those ensuing years have created a sense of wisdom that has brought us to banning any out of the house experience on “Black Friday.”

When we were younger, we had more energy and could run. Now, running is a very fond memory.

I am not that fond of shopping malls in the first place, and in the second place, I do not like to be run over by a mob trying to out buy me.

Thus, our tradition on “Black Friday” is to stay home and appreciate one another’s companionship. It is always good to relish Thanksgiving dinner leftovers, sit back and just enjoy ourselves. I think we also watched a little bit of television.

As we were watching television, a terrible thought wrestled my mind to the mat. I guess my mind is not as strong as it used to be.

The thought was simply this; there is a special holiday that follows Thanksgiving. I did not give it any thought until at this point. That special holiday is [drumroll] Christmas. And Christmas means buying a Christmas present for my wife.

This is always a stressful time for me. After all, what do you get somebody who has everything? She has me! What more could she need. (Don’t tell her I said that.)

Now my mind was racing a thousand miles an hour trying to figure out what I should get her as a Christmas present this year. Read More→

happyOkay, wanna guess what the greatest myth of this century is? Come on, take a guess. Oh, that anyone can be president of the US? Yep, that’s a myth, but not the greatest one. This is what I believe: Happiness is the greatest myth of this century. I don’t really hate to tell you this because I truly think you need to know this. As we speak, there are 67, 589 books on or about happiness waiting to be bought on Amazon The American culture has sold all of us great jingles and slogans over the last 50 years to help delude ourselves into thinking:

* We ought/deserve to be happy
We have a right to be happy
Your spouse’s job is to make you happy
Life should be easy, not hard
Happiness is an achievable proper goal
You deserve a break today
Have it your way
I did it my way
If you chase happiness you will find it

All those statements above are 100% false. If you believe the above statements, I can safely say, you’re probably going to be or feel very unhappy more often than not. Well I won’t concentrate on the first two, let me contradict the third, since this is a marriage blog after all.

It is not your husband’s job to make you happy. The more a person looks to others, especially their spouse for their OWN happiness, the more trouble they will bring upon themselves and their marriage. My happiness is just that: mine. My husband can and does add to it; he also can and does sometimes, subtract from it. Spouses can and do affect our moods, but they don’t control them. We are in charge of our own thoughts, feelings and behavior. Not them. Read More→

beadsWant to give your child the gift of fun and creativity?
Want to give your budget a bit more breathing room too?
Then keep reading for some great—and green!—gift and activity ideas for kids.

Metal juice can lids (a.k.a. Games!)
These little wonders are truly diamonds in the rough. Sandwich two lids together with a dab of glue in the very middle and you’ve got a handy card holder for tiny hands. Kids will enjoy personalizing theirs with stickers or markers and will appreciate how much easier it is to enjoy card games.  Collect an even number of lids and create a memory game. Use stickers or glue matching pictures to one side of each lid to create an economical and unique (not to mention sturdy) game almost immediately.

Paper towel and toilet paper rolls (a.k.a. Marble chute kit)
Skip spending a ton of money on those fancy, pre-made marble chutes. Instead, collect various empty paper rolls and package them along with some removable putty adhesive and a marble or two. Armed with their own creativity, your homemade chute kit and permission to use an empty wall at home, your child will enjoy the thrill of designing their own marble chute kit for literally a fraction of what you’d pay in the store.

Old baby clothes (a.k.a. Baby doll wardrobe)
Why spend a fortune for doll clothes when you can get the real thing for so much less? Visit thrift stores, garage sales or a friend with an infant for gently used, inexpensive baby clothes. Launder and present to any pint-sized mommy and you’re sure to hear squeals of glee.

Old magazines (a.k.a. Absurd artwork supplies)
Got a stack of old magazines lying around? Before hauling them off to the recycle bin, bundle up a few with a pair of scissors, some construction paper and a stick of glue. Include a note challenging the budding artist to compose the most absurd, silly artwork they can create by cutting up and creating their own pictures from the magazines. Read More→

tackleAlthough Facebook started out as a place for people to meet and share personal thoughts and opinions, it has gained major status as a way to promote your business. With a billion monthly users, Facebook is the most popular social media site. When used properly for your business, the effect could be quite substantial.

The idea is to get as many people to “Like” your posts and follow your pages as possible. But in doing so, remember the old adage – Quality, Not Quantity! You want your numbers to consist of targeted and responsive followers.

Below are ten mistakes many people make when engaging in Facebook’s vast social network. Some people may not even realize they are floundering so go over each fumble carefully to ensure that you are not part of the losing team.

1. Incomplete profile and Business Information – Not filling in all your information suggests that you have something to hide. Be sure to fill out every aspect of the information forms. Be forthcoming and give out all pertinent information.

2. Wrong Profile Pic – When you are trying to build a business on Facebook you don’t want to use inappropriate pictures for your profile. Don’t use a picture of your pet cat or your family get-togethers. Use a photo of yourself looking straight ahead. Do not wear sunglasses or avert your eyes in any way. Do not overdo on make-up or look like you are going to a party. Always smile and just be yourself. A picture can be worth a thousand words.

3. Too Much Posting – You probably have read that you should post regularly to your page, but by the same token, posting too much can have as many adverse results as not posting enough.

4. Lengthy Posts – Bite-sized posts are much more likely to get read and responded to than long, flowing text. Facebook research shows that if your post has over 100 but fewer than  250 characters, it will have a 60% better chance of getting a response. So try to keep your posts between 100-250 characters for optimum response.

5. Mobile Unfriendly – Mobile marketing is making a big splash in the internet world and you need to be prepared. You need to be aware of the size of your posts and images in that they will fit and be readable on mobile devices. Keep your photos about 600 pixels wide by 400 pixels high and your text should be no more than 100 characters long. Read More→

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