How Watching Dancing With The Stars Can Help Entrepreneurs



by Julie Barnes
I hate to admit it, but I’ve been sucked in by reality tv. I started watching this seasons "Dancing With The Stars" with its crazy cast of characters last week. It was while watching dance after dance and the brutal practices that left some of the stars in pain and some with tears that I realized this is a great show for entrepreneurs to watch.  Here are three things you can learn from watching "Dancing With The Stars."

1. Jump out of the box – Some of the stars have done more than “step out of the box”, they jumped out and tried something new. Stars like Carson Kressley and  J.R. Martinez had never danced before. Can you imagine how scary it must be to not only try something new, but to try it in front of a live audience and millions of tv viewers?

So kick your fears to the side, get out there, and try something new. So what if you fail, at least you had the guts to try it.

2. Awesome work ethic – The dance teams have roughly one week to learn their dances. Can you imagine not having any dance rhythm and having to learn how to do dance a routine? That’s were their six to seven days a week practice schedule comes in to play. The dancer’s hard work will pay off when they feel prepared for Monday night’s competition.

During the startup phase of your business or if you have a seasonal business you should be prepared to for all of the hours you’ll need to put in.

3. Constructive criticism – At the end of each dance routine, Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli… the shows judges, way in with their thoughts on how each contestant did. Since the show is supposed to be a “professional” competition, the judges give a professional critique of the dance routine. Some of the teams take criticism well, while others need to work on being a little more…shall I say… professional. 

In business, you might receive feedback on a product or service, a happy thank you from a customer, or the dreaded complaint from a customer. Being able to handle these occasions…good or bad…with grace, shows the kind of professional you are. 

So start watching "Dancing With The Stars." At least you can say you’re doing research for your business.

Julie Barnes is a Freelance Writer traveling the great USA full-time in a 42 ft RV.  Her newest book “How They Did It…36 Entrepreneurs Tell How They Launched the Business of Their Dreams” is available here. Visit her website at http://www.onewhowrites.com/. Follow Julie on Twitter at www.twitter.com/juliebarnesusa

Julie Barnes is a regular contributor to the Secrets of Success blog.
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The Legacy of Madame C.J. Walker with A'Lelia Bundles on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

A'Lelia Bundles is president of the Madam Walker/A'Lelia Walker Family Archives and author of On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C. J. Walker, the bestselling biography of her great-great-grandmother which was named a New York Times Notable Book. After a 30-year career as an executive and Emmy award winning producer with NBC News and ABC News, she now devotes her time to writing books and serving on nonprofit boards.
An accomplished and engaging public speaker, she has delivered keynote addresses at dozens of events, book festivals and conferences including Harvard University, London City Hall, the National Archives and on all the major television and radio networks including ABC, NBC, CBS, BBC, PBS and NPR. She currently is at work on the first comprehensive biography of her great-grandmother, A'Lelia Walker, whose Harlem Renaissance parties helped define that era.
Photo by Michael Cunningham

www.aleliabundles.com
www.madamcjwalker.com
www.madamwalkerfamilyarchives.wordpress.com


Click here to listen to the live or recorded show: http://womenentrepreneursradio.libsyn.com/the-legacy-of-madame-cj-walker-with-alelia-bundles


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"Show Me Your Mommy Cards" Free Giveaway

Minted, the online store powered by a global design community, announces the launch of the Show Me Your Mommy Cards Free Giveaway, just in time for busy moms getting ready for the new school year. With new teachers, classmates and school activities, every mom needs to share their contact information, and now moms can stay connected with chic, new personalized mommy cards. To receive 25 free business or mommy cards, customers need only visit http://www.minted.com/mommy-cards and start shopping!

Minted’s calling card and business card designs were sourced from Minted’s global community of indie designers. The cards are particularly well suited for today’s small business owner, entrepreneur, freelancer, stay-at-home mom, or work-at-home mom. Whether you’re a copywriter, a mom looking for a play date, a wedding planner or a dog walker, Minted has a card for you! Moms can choose from any of the more than 150 unique card designs as part of the giveaway.

"We are excited to hear how our moms use their free cards,” says CEO and founder Mariam Naficy, a mom herself of two children, ages 4 and 7. “We’re confident that our strong and unforgettable designs will surprise and delight moms, and help them stay connected.”

The Show Me Your Mommy Cards Free Giveaway has been extended to September 30th. To receive free cards, visit Minted here: http://www.minted.com/mommy-cards, select a mommy card design, start personalizing the card, select the ‘free’ option, and pay for shipping.
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Are You Ready For Business Start-up?


by Julie Barnes

You just kissed corporate America good-bye as you kick up your feet while running out the door excitedly, because you’re going to start your business. But… are you ready for what will feel like the equivalent of running a 20k marathon. After all, you left your corporate job as a “team” member and now you’re a one person show that will have to do everything from sales to accounting, not to mention actually doing the work that brings in the money. If you’re reading this, thinking I’m ready to start my business…wait just a minute. Ask yourself the following questions…

1. Do I have the money saved up to survive during the start-up phase?
Unless your last name is Buffett and your setting on a hefty trust fund, then you’re going to need a savings account with actual money in it, before leaving cubical nation. Most people say you need three to six months of living and… don’t forget business expenses… saved up before launching. In this economy, it may take longer to turn a profit, so plan on having six months to a year saved up.

2. Can you sell it?
In order to make money, you’re going to have to sell your product or service. You may be used to “doing” the work, but not “getting” the work. Now… you’ll have to both.

3. Can you go without?
Starting a business involves making sacrifices like spending less time with friends, missing your favorite tv show or spending less money.

4. Are ready for the long days?
Since you’re wearing all hats now, you’ll be putting in more hours than you may be used to during the start-up phase.

5. Are you a quitter?
There will be many roadblocks that’ll pop up during your journey through entrepreneurship. But… you have to persevere through. You’ll feel so rewarded when you bust through any obstacles.

How about you…are you ready for business start-up?

Julie Barnes is a Freelance Writer specializing in Business, Travel and SEO Copywriting, while traveling the great USA full-time in a 42 ft RV.  Her newest book “How They Did It…36 Entrepreneurs Tell How They Launched the Business of Their Dreams” is available here. Visit her website at http://www.onewhowrites.com/. Follow Julie on Twitter at www.twitter.com/juliebarnesusa

Julie Barnes is a regular contributor to the Secrets of Success blog
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Roberta Hladek on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Roberta Hladek

Roberta Hladek, Stephen Lewis and Evan Slawson founded the Energetic Matrix Church of Consciousness, LLC, (EMC²) in 1998. Roberta has been working closely with Stephen Lewis since 1987 studying subtle energy and she currently serves as the Vice President of Operations for EMC².
Roberta has a degree in homeopathy and is the inspiration for the character “Jennifer” in the novel Sanctuary: The Path To Consciousness, co-authored by Stephen and Evan. In 2005, Roberta developed the EMC² goal cards to assist AIM participants in achieving their goals. Thousands of people worldwide have used the cards, along with their intention and The AIM Program, to achieve great success.

http://www.aimprogram.com/
http://www.facebook.com/EMC2aimprogram







Date: Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
Time: 8:00 pm EDT
Click here to listen to the live or recorded show: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/coachdeb/2011/09/22/building-stronger-relationships-with-roberta-hladek 




Listen to internet radio with W E Radio on Blog Talk Radio
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Seasonal Tips for the Autumn

by Janet Gomez

The days are slowly getting shorter. Yet if you're like me you still want to carry on at the same pace as before. In Ayurveda the autumn season is linked with Vata - movement. However, your body is already starting to anticipate the change in season by slowing down but not stopping. There may be times when you feel anxious, unsure, stressed. This is normal at this time.

As we approach the Autumn equinox, a period of transition from the heat of the summer to cooler typically more windy weather, most of us are more sensitive physically and emotionally. Often if we haven't started new activities before the change in season it's hard to get motivated to do so. During the transition it's important to devote time to help your body deal with the changes happening within and externally.

Here are 7 tips to support you during this time. In particular, they'll help you to handle the cold and dryness that dominate during this season and to make the transition a more gentle experience. 

   1.      Include heating spices in your diet e.g. cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and ginger
   2.      Eat warm, soupy, oily, sweet, sour and salty foods
   3.      Consume less raw food        
   4.      Establish a routine of waking up and going to bed early to ground and centre yourself    
   5.      Take more exercise e.g. go for a walk to raise energy levels, do yoga regularly      
   6.      Use warming scents in your home e.g. nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla or sandalwood
   7.      Avoid very cold or frozen foods and drinks and cold dairy products  

Bonus Tip: Go for regular massage and/or massage at least your feet with sesame oil before going to bed at night

Janet Gomez, nutritional consultant, produces the "Nutri-Jyoti News", a free monthly e-newsletter for busy professionals. Feel ready to learn how to use nutritional strategies to manage your energy levels? Then sign up for her FREE e-course "5 Nutritional Keys to Vitality in your Life" on the www.NutriJyoti.com home page now.

Copyright © 2011 All rights reserved Janet Gomez
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Why Write Your Book Now?

by Sophfronia Scott

On the surface of things, now doesn’t seem to be the ideal time to be at your desk writing. If you’re absorbing all the news of negativity, change, lack, fear and uncertainty, then you might think you should be running around, shaking the bushes for business, wringing your hands or even tearing your hair out! But instead of speeding up and raising your levels of anxiety, I challenge you to do just the opposite: slow down. Observe. Now is the time to write.

Right now people want to hear new, helpful ideas from calmer heads. We recognize immediately that a person who has the insight to pen a thoughtful manuscript at a time like this is someone to pay attention to–and do business with.

Recently I received a manuscript from a businesswoman whose industry has thoroughly crumbled. There’s lots of finger pointing going on, especially at the government level. But this shrewd lady recognized, based on her clients’s questions, that there was a need to understand how this happened and what they should do next.

With that idea in mind (and nothing else–she’s not an experienced writer and knows nothing about book publishing) she wrote her manuscript. It’s an excellent book and her business will benefit. When people are running for the exits, she will have clients running TOWARD her because she will have shown that she is interested in helping her clients and she understands what’s going on in her industry. How can you do the same with great results?

1. Get clear on your “why”

You’ll find it a lot easier to get motivated to write if you’re clear on why you’re doing it. Think of the benefits you are offering your reader, and the advantages you will gain for your business.

2. Develop a strategy

You will enjoy those advantages a lot faster if you have a strategy for making it happen. Think about the different ways you can make money with your book. Then develop your plan with the specific action steps you need to take to achieve your goals.

3. Assemble your team

When you have the right people working on your project, it helps you prioritize your work in addition to providing guidance and knowledge. You will know, for instance, that you might have to write promotional copy first so a graphics artist can be working on your cover while you write other material. I had 2 consultations with a pair of entrepreneurs who wanted me to edit the book they are writing together. After much discussion about the outline they had and the material they know they will use, we finally got to a point where I said, “Okay, there’s really nothing else to talk about. I can’t do more for you until you give me a manuscript to edit.” They knew it was finally time to put it all on paper and this was the kick they needed to get going!

4. Get going!

I created the How to Write & Publish Books That Change Lives, workshop so you will have the best experts for you with hands on help so you can see how you will bring your book into the world. I know that what you have to offer the world is amazing. Come join us, and we’ll show you how to write your book, get it produced and share your insight with the many readers waiting for it.

Just like the pair above, you have to do it! Remember, you don’t have to write War and Peace. Write your book, your way, with your great voice and your great information. You’ll never know the difference you can make until you do.

© 2011 Sophfronia Scott

Sophfronia Scott is Executive Editor of the Done For You Writing & Publishing Company. Learn what a difference being a published author can make for your business. Get your FREE audio CD, “How to Succeed in Business By Becoming a Bestselling Author” and your FREE online writing and book publishing tips at www.DoneForYouWriting.com.
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Feng Shui Your Computer to Make You More Efficient and Effective at Work

by Kathryn Weber


Computers are a wonderful tool for helping us communicate with friends around the world, produce presentations and documents, balance our checkbooks and, in short, run our businesses and our lives.

There is no doubt that we are completely dependent upon computers today and rare are the homes without a personal computer. Few of us are able to work when our computers stop working because of bugs, viruses or a log-jam of files.

To make yourself more efficient at work and in your business, you should take steps to ensure that your computer is a lean, mean, computing machine.

When your computer isn't in top form, you don't think well, your mood is colored with frustration (and anger, sometimes) and you don't work as well when you feel this way.  More importantly it takes you out of what I call "receive mode" -- that's the where energy flows to you bringing you opportunities, income, prestige and advancement.

These steps will help you clear the decks and keep your computer in top form all while making you more efficient, able to think more clearly, and opening you up to more opportunities -- and keeping you in receive mode.


1. Clean files for clear thinking.
When our computers are a mess, it's hard for us to be efficient or to think clearly. That's because when files are hard to find, we get frustrated and annoyed and this clouds our interactions and our daily mood. Organization equals efficiency - and the ability to think clearly.  Clear out old, rarely used files and programs.

2. Cords create havoc.

Whenever we see clutter and mess, it brings our energy level down. One of the most unattractive aspects of computers are all the cords. Corral cords with zip-ties and Velcro wrappers. Pull stray cords to one side and anchor them to a small cup hook so that you don't accidentally pull them with your feet.  Otherwise, you might constantly find yourself in "a tangle" with people and situations, too.

3. Create a beautiful view.

Because I like to focus on what I want, I place a beautiful waterfall image on my screensaver. Of course, water is wealth in feng shui. Use beautiful views of fish, waterfalls, fields, or streams to create a window where there is none. The screen of your computer should inspire you when you see it and give you a view you love.

4. Protection first.

In feng shui, the first priority should always be protective feng shui. This is especially true of your computer. When you work on the Internet, it's important that you use some kind of protection like Norton, McAfee, Kaspersky or Eset (my fave) or other form of firewall to protect you from people who might try to take your sensitive information. This also will help maintain your computer's speed - and that helps you to be more efficient too.

5. Old, outdated files hold you back.

Do you have old projects or old files that you still need but not every day? Get an external hard drive. Think of these as a "mini-storage room" for your computer. You can get a huge external hard drive that allows you to dump huge files (like photos and music) on there and get the old files that you rarely use OFF your machine. When your machine moves fast, so do you. Plus, by clearing out the old stuff, such as old client and business files, you create room for NEW clients and business to come to you.

6. Clean screens help you see clearly.
When your computer screen is full of dirty, greasy fingerprints, you can't think clearly or "see" what you need to do at work. Make it a point to avoid touching your computer screen and clean it regularly .

7. Additional storage adds speed.

If your computer is slow and simple commands drag, think about adding an external storage device where you can store large audio, sound, and photo files. This will help your computer's ability to work more efficiently and use its memory for processing rather than eating up precious computing ability because its memory is being taxed by large file storage.

© K Weber Communications LLC 2002-2011
Kathryn Weber is the publisher of the Red Lotus Letter Feng Shui E-zine and certified feng shui consultant in classical Chinese feng shui. Kathryn helps her readers improve their lives and generate more wealth with feng shui. For more information and to receive her FREE Ebook "The Cash Register at Your Front Door" visit www.redlotusletter.com and learn the fast and fun way how feng shui can make your life more prosperous and abundant!
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5 Ways to Get Productive While Working From Home


by Julie Barnes
You’re setting in your home office…spinning around in your new office chair… in your pajamas paired with your most stylish bunny slippers…full of excitement. You launched your business a month ago and everything is going well..or is it? Your days seem to go by like a blur with busy activity. So busy in fact…that you can’t remember what you exactly accomplished. Productivity seems to have gone down the tubes. Here are five things you can do to get productive…while working from home.

1. Take a shower! – Sometimes leaving the corporate rat race means the end of the morning shower routine. But how productive do you feel at three in the afternoon all smelly with bo? What if a client wants to do an unscheduled meeting…or you have to run to Office Depot for printer ink?

2. Get Dressed – You may think that heading to your home office in your pajamas to start your day actually saves you a couple of “primping” hours, but how professional do you feel sitting in your pj’s? After all, you are a business owner now. It’s time to act like one! Imagine… if your boss back in your corporate days came to the office in her pj’s and bunny slippers? What would you have thought?

3. Set a Schedule – It may seem fun to just free-flow through the day…doing this and that, but just how much are you actually accomplishing?  This also can result in the overwhelm feeling so many new entrepreneurs feel. Set a daily schedule with to-do’s and stick to it. You’ll be amazed  at how accomplished you feel at the end of the day.

4. Take a Break – Working hours on end can start to frazzle your brain making you totally unproductive. Take a five-minute break every hour. Get up and stretch. Walk around. Play with your cat. A break also amps up your creativity.

5. Play Time – You know the saying…”All work and no play makes for a dull person.” Pencil some play time in your schedule. Meet a friend for coffee. Plan an artist date to recharge your batteries.

Put your pj’s and bunny slippers away and give these five productivity tips a try and you’ll be on your way to a more productive day.

Julie Barnes is a Writer specializing in Business, Travel and SEO Copywriting, while traveling the great USA full-time in a 42 ft RV.  Her newest book “How They Did It…36 Entrepreneurs Tell How They Launched the Business of Their Dreams” is available here. Visit her website at http://www.onewhowrites.com/. Follow Julie on Twitter at www.twitter.com/juliebarnesusa.
Julie Barnes is a regular contributor to the Secrets of Success blog.
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Toni V. Martin on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Toni V. Martin

Toni V. Martin is a ghostwriter, author, publishing consultant and founder of PowerBroker Media and Finallyfinishyourbook.com. She helps entrepreneurs, speakers, coaches, consultants and anyone trying to get their message out there in a big way to finish their books and create profit centers through back-end information products. Her background is in PR, journalism and publishing and her work has appeared in Allure and Spa magazines, on Essence.com and eHow.com. She is the co-author of Atlanta Weddings for the Modern, Stylish, Chic Bride and author of Prepping for Prosperity: How to BE Rich Before You GET Rich.

Toni has a proprietary, four-step process which helps entrepreneurs get known as experts in their industry, secure major media mentions, attract high-end clientele and boost their bottom lines through what she refers to as the “1-2 Punch” of Info-publishing.www.power-broker-media

Date: Wednesday, September 14th, 2011
Time: 8:00 pm EDT

Click here to listen to the live or recorded show: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/coachdeb/2011/09/15/the-new-economy-author-with-toni-v-martin



Listen to internet radio with W E Radio on Blog Talk Radio
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“6 Easy Ways to Revive Your Business & Your Passion”

by Ali Brown

Most successful entrepreneurs will tell you that to stay passionate about your work, you must infuse new life and purpose into your business on a daily basis. It’s not always about throwing out your old ways of doing things. Sometimes, all it takes are a few small changes.

Read on for six ways you can revive your passion and purpose in your business.

1. Appreciate your peeps

Take a break from number-crunching and ground yourself in an equally valuable and tangible asset: your clients and customers. Think of ways you can show them you value them, whether it be a gracious Tweet, a customer appreciation sale, or a coupon to your loyal clients. You’d be surprised how your mood will change when you acknowledge what you DO have in your life.

2. Get your team excited

It’s important for you to be excited about your business, but your employees should also be equally invested and excited in the future of the company. Share often with your employees about new developments, where the company is going and what can be done to get there. Make your team feel like an active part of company culture and lead by example. To keep your team engaged, try to uncover hidden strengths by matching employees to new projects out of their usual roles.

3. Take a risk
Yes, it can be scary to break away from a model that has proven successful, but you have to realize something important: It’s your own passion for your business, rather than any particular model, that drives its success. You don’t have to throw out your #1 revenue generator, but think of some add-ons you can create to enhance your current offerings, or new ways to package your services or products. The bottom line is, when things are getting a little dull, don’t be afraid to shake things up!

4. Invest in yourself as you would your business

Many business owners forget to take care of themselves because they spend so much time taking care of their business. But, if you aren’t feeling your best, how can your business be expected to grow and thrive? Take the time to feed yourself with daily exercise, proper nutrition and plenty of sleep. You’ll be ready and able to approach your business with the necessary passion and commitment each day.

5. Get networking!

There are few better ways to get excited about your business than by forming new business relationships or simply meeting fellow entrepreneurs in your local community. Join a local nonprofit, attend a conference, or go to a networking event in your town. Talking about your business to others might help revive your spirit, and you might learn some new strategies from your new connections (not to mention potential clients or leads).

6. Look to the future

When you get bogged down in the day-to-day details of running a successful business, it’s all too easy to lose sight of the big picture. Learn to look past the present obstacles and see what the future holds. Ask yourself if your business strategy is centered around your personal business values and mission statement. Visualize the future you’d like to see for your company, and map out the action plan you need to get there. It might not happen overnight, or exactly the way you planned, but your persistence will pay off, as long as you stay the course.

==========

© 2011 Ali International, LLC

“Entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow profitable businesses that make a positive impact. Get her FREE CD “Top 10 Secrets for Entrepreneurial Women” at www.AliBrown.com
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Making Time for Your Business


by Bethaney Wallace

As a women in the workforce, you know just how busy your life can be.  And the responsibilities increase ten-fold when you're the one in charge.  There are decisions to be made, accounts to be handled, and that list doesn't even begin to cover your personal life.  However, with all the responsibilities you may hold, the most important one of all is to make sure you're on track.  Not only with your personal life – whether you be spending time with your children, husband, or friends, or even some much-needed alone time – but making sure that your business isn't suffering due to your busy schedule.  Take some time to consider your work week and find out if your company may be suffering.

Start with the previous work week, as its details are more likely to be fresh in your mind.  What business advancements did you make throughout each day?  The week?   Did you accomplish everything you intended?  If not what was pushed back?  How long have you been pushing it back?  And most importantly, why was said task(s) pushed back?  More often than not, we find that business matters are put on the back burner to personal ones.  However, making your business a priority will not only help it thrive, but help manage your stress in the long run.

Here's how:
The best thing you can do for your business is to be organized.  Calendars, file folders, dry erase boards.  When it comes to time management, there's no such thing as over the top.  Keep tabs on your business ventures as well as your personal ones.  Writing everything in the same place will keep you from overbooking, and you'll be able to track where your time was spent.  You may find out your prioritizing is more unbalanced than you think.

Another tactic to ensure business success is to make goals.  Make goals for the year, for the month, and for the week.  Breaking them down into sections will help keep reaching them more manageable.  Then once these goals are made, it is important to stick to them.  If yesterday was super busy, chances are today will be too, and tomorrow, etc.  If you don't sit down and make time for something, it will never happen.  And if you still have trouble being self-motivated, setting up a rewards system is a good idea.  Once you reach a monthly goal, buy yourself a treat.  (Of course, the bigger the task, the bigger the reward.)  Eventually, you'll be earning your new computer or those expensive pair of heels you've been wanting.

Bottom line, if you don't make time for your business, no one will.  Remember that although your day-to-day life is important, your business deserves your time and love as well.  Ration out your priorities in advance and before you know it, you'll have a thriving business plan that not only keeps you less stressed, but completely above water.


Bethaney Wallace is a social media advocate for the mortgage rates website, MortgageSum. She is passionate about blogging and staying organized. 
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3 Tips to Get Social With Your Target Market


by Julie Barnes

If you’re one of the many entrepreneurs running your business from your spare bedroom, meeting and building relationships with your target market can seem a little discouraging. After all, who wants to fill their valuable billable hours with network meeting after network meeting…instead of working on a big project that pays the bills. But, you still need clients in order to fill your billable hours. How do you do this you ask? By getting social…without…leaving your office.

Follow these three tips and you’ll be social in no time.

1. Let your target market get to know you by giving them a peak into your life. Post tidbits of your life on Twitter and Facebook. Or post a weekly blog post showing what you did over the weekend or a hobby. Even though you may never meet a client, “in person”…your clients will still get to “know” you from reading your personal post. This makes you more than just a face behind the business…it humanizes you. As if, you were meeting in person.

2. Keep your opinions to yourself! Unless, you’re a reporter for CNBC news, don’t feed your blog and social media feeds with your political views. This could make your target market run the other way. Yikes!!

3. Keep it professional. Even though you might be connected with both family and business connections on Facebook and Twitter, don’t post the party pictures and keep the drama to yourself. No one likes a drama queen!

Just because you work from home… does not mean you can’t network and be social…follow these three tips to start building great relationships with your target market today!

Julie Barnes is a Writer specializing in Business, Travel and SEO Copywriting, while traveling the great USA full-time in a 42 ft RV.  Her newest book “How They Did It…36 Entrepreneurs Tell How They Launched the Business of Their Dreams” is available here. Visit her website at http://www.onewhowrites.com/. Follow Julie on Twitter at www.twitter.com/juliebarnesusa

Julie Barnes is a regular contributor to the Secrets of Success blog.
2

When It's Time for Entrepreneurs to Seek Help...With Mail

by Shayna Burns

As an entrepreneur, you've likely taken on all sorts of unexpected business roles - especially administrative duties like mailing and shipping. And with all the running around involved, it's no surprise that these duties can quickly stretch even a multi-tasking pro thin.

To help ease the stress sometimes involved with mailing tasks, we've put together 5 ways to help you save money and be more productive when shipping from your home or small business:

1.       Make USPS Priority Mail® Your Priority
If you tend to send weighty parcels or ship packages far distances, consider using USPS Priority Mail® Flat Rate packaging. You pay one predetermined, fixed postage price based on the packaging, so the price stays the same no matter how heavy your shipment is or how far it's going.

2.       Weigh Your Mail
Do you usually guess how many stamps your mail requires? By using a postage meter, weighing your mail and printing exact postage, you can save up to 20% annually in postage costs. Plus, postage machines print indicias (a postal marking instead of a stamp), which are considered by many to make businesses look more professional.

3.       Change the Size of Your Mail
Do you often send larger documents and envelopes? By changing the size of your mail from a very large envelope to a #10 envelope or a 6x9 envelope, you can save up to 50% in postage costs. For maximum savings, although not the most universally appealing, opt for postcards.  Using postcards having a QR code can drive recipients to your website where you can provide more detailed information!

4.       Print Your Own Postage
PC postage is quickly becoming a staple for many small businesses and entrepreneurs. All you have to do is sign up with an online postage service, and you can print your own postage at home when and however you need it. This definitely beats running to the Post Office because you've run out of stamps!

5.       Give Outbound Shipments to Your Postal Carrier
Don't have time to go to the Post Office to mail your shipment? Let your postal carrier do the work! Postal carriers can pick up shipments when they delivery your mail, so long as you're shipping expedited services like Express Mail and Priority Mail. If you need your shipment picked up on a specific day or time, you can pay a small fee to have a scheduled pick-up.

By making small tweaks to the way you manage your mailings, you can be more productive and cost efficient. (As if the thought of saving time and money isn't on your mind already.)
We hope this post leaves you feeling inspired to cut back on needless postage expenses and empowered with newly found budgeting tips!

Guest post by Shayna Burns for Pitney Bowes small business office solutions, offering postage meters, letter folders, envelope openers and other mailing equipment for small offices.

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Kerry Heaps on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Kerry Heaps

Kerry Heaps is the Founder and President of Kerry's Network, Inc. which includes divisions such as Kerry's Network for Women (Free Business Networking Groups for Women in Business), The Business Review Quarterly Magazine and Kerry's Network Talk Radio, a weekly talk show featuring successful business owners. 

Kerry's passion is helping others achieve success in their business and reaching their professional goals. Kerry's Network for Women (KNFW) was born in the fall of 2006 when Kerry saw the need for women business owners in Central Florida to have the ability to network and be able to speak in depth about their products and services without feeling the additional pressure that a competitor was in the room with them.  Kerry knew that women had good networking instincts already, they just needed the right environment and nurturing to bring it out to help them be successful at what they do.  Soon the networking groups exploded out of Central Florida and into Alabama, North Carolina and the DC Metro area.  The Company hit many stumbling blocks with the quick growth it was experiencing and a required re-branding of the business ensued.  So Ladies Who Lunch Network soon became Kerry's Network for Women.

Through trial and error over the next four years Kerry found the best way to give back to the women in local communities was to make the membership for KNFW more simplistic and free of charge.  The concept of networking is different for every business owner as are expectations, by providing a free service it gives the business owner the chance to find out if our organization is the right fit without the financial obligations of other networking organizations.    

Kerry has an extensive background in Sales, Networking, Recruiting, Training and Image Consulting. She is a former Model who specialized in Trade Show and Print work.  After a brief career in modeling, Kerry soon found herself on the other side of the desk as a Modeling Instructor, booking models on assignments and teaching classes on Color Analysis, Make-up, Photography and Acting. Kerry is also a contributing writer for Divine Caroline, Women Co., and hosts a talk radio program with Blog Talk Radio.  Kerry has interviewed celebrities such as Co-Host of Shark Tank, Barbara Corcoran, Author Larry Winget, Former Miss West Virginia and QVC Talk Show host, Kim Parrish and many more.

Kerry's Volunteer efforts include helping out at the local humane society, contributing her time to teach college graduates resume writing and interviewing techniques and as a survivor of domestic violence Kerry also contributes various Domestic Violence Causes.

Listen to the archived shows at http://womenentrepreneursradio.libsyn.com/


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Elements Of A Corporate Identity - 3 Elements You Must Have to Build A Successful Brand!

by Dana Susan Beasley

What makes a professional corporate identity? And even more important, what makes a successful corporate identity?

Here are three elements you MUST have in order to build a successful brand:

1) Typography

Typography is a fancy word for fonts. You need to think of your business name as an image. What font best represents that? Is it traditional, modern, fun? Search through fonts and find the one that best represents your corporate identity.

The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing type--make sure it's readable!

2) Color

What colors best represents your company? What appeals to your target market? Use color to enhance your corporate identity and your brand will be successful.

Maybe color is overdone these days with the advance of the Internet and digital printing. What about going black and white? If it fits your business, give it serious consideration.

Choose one or two colors that best encapsulates the feeling of your business. Then consistently apply them to all mediums.

When designing your brand and you choose full color, have a logo that you can also use for one or two color printing or black and white. Then it will be flexible as you grow and expand your marketing efforts.

3) Aesthetic appeal

You want your logo to be attractive and appealing. You don't want to scare off your prospects by a sloppy logo or one that is poorly designed.

Use design principles of contrast, balance, and alignment. You don't necessarily have to use an image, but if you do, make sure it is simple enough that it captures the essence of who you are as a business. Also make sure it's the correct resolution for whatever medium you're using it in.

Use these elements in your brand consistently and with quality, and you will have a successful corporate identity brand!

Dana Susan Beasley, principal and publisher of AngelArts, a Creative Arts Agency and Publishing House, delights in helping small business owners and entrepreneurs build effective brands that get noticed. An experienced and creative graphic artist, she has been helping companies, organizations, and artists reach new heights in their branding for over 17 years. Dana's Brand Identity Webinar Course starts on September 14th. Visit the webinar page to learn more!

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Go Ahead…Break The Rules of Grammar!

by Julie Barnes

When I was going through my copywriting training, I couldn’t believe what I was learning. I should write marketing material in a conversational tone. But…in my previous writing classes, I learned to follow strict grammar rules when writing prose. What’s a writer to do?

Writing in a conversational tone in your marketing copy will allow you to connect with your target market in your tone of voice. They will “hear” you speaking to them about your product or service.

This is where breaking the rules of grammar is ok…just as long as you don’t go overboard. Here are five rules for you to break.

1. Get personal – When writing to your target market, it’s ok to use “you,” “I,” and “we” as a way to connect with your readers and pull them in to the conversation.

2. Repeat – It’s ok to repeat the benefits and advantages of using your products or services. And to place your call to action throughout your copy several times.

3. Be friendly – Write in an informal tone by using contractions. This makes your tone sound more conversational. Like you’re talking to a friend. You want your target market to “feel” like a friend.

4. Short sentences – Nothing is harder to read than a huge paragraph with sentences that seem to go on forever and ever. Most readers will zone out, get bored, and move on…not even finishing your brilliant copy. So… write in short snappy sentences and keep the paragraphs short.

5. Use a cliché – This seems to be one of the harder rules to break for writer. Depending on your target market…some readers will understand your point better when you express it by using a cliché, then…writing your point out in a long, boring sentence.

So go ahead…break these five rules of grammar and your target market will start “hearing” you… while reading your copy.


Julie Barnes is a Writer specializing in Business, Travel and SEO Copywriting, while traveling the great USA full-time in a 42 ft RV. Her newest book “How They Did It…36 Entrepreneurs Tell How They Launched The Business of Their Dreams” is available here. Visit her website at http://www.onewhowrites.com//. Follow Julie on Twitter at www.twitter.com/juliebarnesusa.

Julie Barnes is a regular contributor to the Secrets of Success blog.
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