"Balance: What it Means and How to Get It" with Kerry Heaps on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Show #446

Topic: "Balance: What it Means and How to Get It"

In this conversation Kerry and Deborah discuss:

  • How can we balance work and home responsibilities
  • Why it's important to take time for ourselves?
  • Tips to create balance in your personal and business life


Kerry Heaps is the Founder and Publisher of Strictly Marketing Magazine.  She is also the host of Strictly Marketing Talk Radio. The magazine has recently spun off an online community for women (and men too) looking to gain more media exposure, Pitch like a B*tch Media.  She owns Knockout Marketing, a Business-to-Business telemarketing and lead generation firm.  Her passion is to help other Entrepreneurs with their marketing efforts to continue their dream of running a successful business.

Her story starts in the spring of 2005, working in the corporate world as a recruiter she spent a lot of time at networking functions and participating in putting them together for other organizations. "It's a lot of work putting together events and I thought to myself if I am going to do this, I should do it for myself. I was working part time to save money to start my image consulting firm so I figured this would be a great way to add in some revenue while the business gets up and running."

She left her corporate job in the fall and started getting business owners together at a local book store café. "I still remember my first Monday after I left my job, I got up that morning and thought, what have I done??? Although there's been a lot of bumps in the road I don't regret my decision one bit. My passion is helping others succeed in their marketing efforts, I know how scary it can be to start a business and no one should feel alone on their journey." The company currently specializes in marketing, with the Magazine, talk radio program and online community for Women in Marketing.

Kerry has an extensive background in Sales, Networking, Recruiting, and Training. She is a former Model who specialized in Trade Show and Print work. She is also an experienced judge on the beauty pageant circuit.  Kerry is also a contributing columnist for www.sbmarketingtools.com, www.entrepreneursenvogue.com and she also writes occasionally for www.sheownsit.com and www.womensprospects.com.  Kerry has interviewed celebrities such as Co-Host of Shark Tank, Barbara Corcoran, Authors Larry Winget, Jeffrey Hayzlett, Former Miss West Virginia and QVC Talk Show host, Kim Parrish and many more successful business entrepreneurs.

Websites:
Pitch Like a Bitch Media: www.pitchlikeabitchmedia.com

Strictly Marketing Magazine & Talk Radio:  http://www.strictlymarketingmagazine.com

Appointment Setting by Knockout Marketing website:

http://www.appointmentsettingbyknockoutmarketing.com 




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The Challenges Of Healthcare For Women Entrepreneurs

by Wendy Dessler

Women-run businesses are the current leaders in industry growth in the nation. A report from Small Business Majority stated that women-led companies are responsible for 1/3 of all new jobs in the United States. As the country recovers from the recession, women entrepreneurs have had to face many challenges to get and maintain this lead.


Access to funding

Women have always faced an issue when it comes to obtaining funding. The fact is, most men want to loan money to people that look like them. It is immaterial if this is a deliberate act or simply one that must be continually called out, it does ring true. 

Technology has helped in this area. It allows women to find funding in an atmosphere that is gender neutral. While this helps financially, this does not eliminate the problem. In business, men have always known that networking and having connections is important. That leads to the “boys club” closes the door to a woman in the field that wants to seek those connections.



Healthcare

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often shortened to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or nicknamed “Obamacare” laid out some pretty firm guidelines regarding health insurance. Small business owners must pay for part of the insurance for their employees if they have 50 employees or more. One of the important considerations regarding healthcare coverage is birth control.

The Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to provide birth control for women at no cost to them. This has been a huge help in allowing women to choose when and if they get pregnant.
Since that mandate, more women have finished college uninterrupted, and more women are able to advance their careers by planning for children. 

The Trump administration has put this mandate on the chopping block and it makes women business owners a bit nervous. Women-led businesses face this challenge head-on. They are more likely to help the employee explore all options. Sometimes, it makes better sense for the employee to secure insurance through HealthCare.com, to have coverage and stay in compliance with the law. This one shouldn’t be mixed up with Healthcare.gov, though.

If the ability to free birth control is taken from women, it will make it more difficult to make sound business decisions about the type of coverage a business owner can provide. The costs of healthcare are already out of reach for many women-led small businesses. However, they explore all options and find a solution that works more often than not. 



Freelancers

Many times women entrepreneur are freelancers. This means, they often must secure their own Health Care Coverage. Here are a few tips to help:

* Check with your local Chamber of Commerce to see if there are any business groups you can join to get a group rate.
* Shop for the best price. This includes shopping online.
* Check with Freelancers Union to see if you can get in under their policies.
* See if your partner or spouse has a policy that can allow you coverage under their group.
* See if you qualify for government assistance to pay for your coverage.
* Price policies with a higher deductible if you are in good health. This can make the legal minimum insurance requirement easier to cover.

There is no doubt that women entrepreneurs have climbed higher in the business world. As they struggle to keep their momentum, the future healthcare concerns are difficult. But we will continue pushing the glass ceiling away and we will be heard in the business arena and our voice will be heard in the voting booths.

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Launching Today: "Five Steps to Making Changes in Your Business" Online Course

Five Steps to Making Changes in Your Business



Tired of making New Year’s Resolutions that don’t last past February? (According to some statistics, 80% of them fail within the first two months of the year!)

Ready to line up your goals with your life and your vision for what you want to accomplish?

Not seeing results from “blue prints” and “proven systems” that don’t give you what YOU want?

Businesses evolve and change and business owners do too. We start with your vision, your dreams and your desire for your life and how you want to show up in it. Then you design your business around your passions and what you’re called to create and put into the world.


Your vision will show you where you’re going, and your goals will provide a roadmap to get you there!



In this course you'll learn how to:


  • Create a CLEAR VISION for your business (so that you can focus on what you really want)
  • Tap into your intuition so that you know what is RIGHT for you
  • Get creative so that you FREE yourself from the hidden blocks that keep you stuck
  • Create goals that make sense for you, your business and your TRUE intentions for you life
  • Uncover HIDDEN challenges that may be sabotaging you
  • Move forward so that you can achieve your GOALS
  • Get renewed, MOTIVATED, and inspired to take your business in a direction that lines up with your personal desires!



Learn more about the course and special introductory pricing 80% off the regular price of the course for a limited time:


Five Steps to Making Changes in Your Business Online Class

https://secrets-of-success.teachable.com/p/making-business-changes



The Secrets of Success School

https://secrets-of-success.teachable.com/



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New Year's Goals: How to Set them & How to Keep Them with Kerry Heaps on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Show #445

Topic: New Year's Goals: How to Set them & How to Keep Them 

In this conversation Kerry and Deborah discuss why goal-setting is so important if you really want to move forward. You'll learn why resolutions can quickly fizzle out, and tips for creating goals that you'll actually accomplish.

Kerry Heaps is the Founder and Publisher of Strictly Marketing Magazine.  She is also the host of Strictly Marketing Talk Radio. The magazine has recently spun off an online community for women (and men too) looking to gain more media exposure, Pitch like a B*tch Media.

She owns Knockout Marketing, a Business-to-Business telemarketing and lead generation firm.  Her passion is to help other Entrepreneurs with their marketing efforts to continue their dream of running a successful business.

Her story starts in the spring of 2005, working in the corporate world as a recruiter she spent a lot of time at networking functions and participating in putting them together for other organizations. "It's a lot of work putting together events and I thought to myself if I am going to do this, I should do it for myself. I was working part time to save money to start my image consulting firm so I figured this would be a great way to add in some revenue while the business gets up and running."

She left her corporate job in the fall and started getting business owners together at a local book store café. "I still remember my first Monday after I left my job, I got up that morning and thought, what have I done??? Although there's been a lot of bumps in the road I don't regret my decision one bit. My passion is helping others succeed in their marketing efforts, I know how scary it can be to start a business and no one should feel alone on their journey." The company currently specializes in marketing, with the Magazine, talk radio program and online community for Women in Marketing.

Kerry has an extensive background in Sales, Networking, Recruiting, and Training. She is a former Model who specialized in Trade Show and Print work. She is also an experienced judge on the beauty pageant circuit.  Kerry is also a contributing columnist for www.sbmarketingtools.com, www.entrepreneursenvogue.com and she also writes occasionally for www.sheownsit.com and www.womensprospects.com.  Kerry has interviewed celebrities such as Co-Host of Shark Tank, Barbara Corcoran, Authors Larry Winget, Jeffrey Hayzlett, Former Miss West Virginia and QVC Talk Show host, Kim Parrish and many more successful business entrepreneurs.

Websites: 
Pitch Like a Bitch Media: www.pitchlikeabitchmedia.com

Strictly Marketing Magazine & Talk Radio:  http://www.strictlymarketingmagazine.com

Appointment Setting by Knockout Marketing website:

http://www.appointmentsettingbyknockoutmarketing.com 

Listen on Podomatic:

https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/dbcoach/episodes/2018-01-25T04_00_00-08_00



Subscribe on iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/women-entrepreneurs-radio/id939410730?mt=2





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How Your Content Strategy Can Multiply Your List Building Efforts

by Amisha Shrimanker


A lucrative email list that grows consistently takes time and focus.

It may not be the sexiest thing in your business in the initial years because you're hustling for a much-needed cash injection.

No wonder a lot of entrepreneurs give this (list building) a miss and instead engage their efforts elsewhere.

I can relate.

In fact, my first year in the online space, I devoted my time to networking in social media forums.

Here's the problem though.

I was soaking in all the information and spending a lot of time creating content for Facebook.

So, building my list (even though every coach I worked with stressed on this) was sadly not my top priority. My strategy was; "If my post in this Facebook group gets liked, I can follow up with sales calls."

How well did that work out you ask?

Well my strike rate was 2 out of 5. That meant two people out of five would agree to work with me.

"Who needs a list when I can get clients by just being active on Social Media," I'd say. But after I was done with my client obligations, I'd start from zero all over again to look for new clients.

And that looked like posting in more Facebook groups and hustling for clients. What I should have done instead was build my email list with my original and valuable content.

Content that isn't manipulated by the infamous Facebook algorithm.

But content that convinces, connects and converts my target audience on a platform that I control.

In this blog, I'm going to share four kinds of content you must include in your content marketing strategy that builds your email list with ideal subscribers.

1. Create no opt-in required content


This kind of content is to get your ideal audience to know, like and trust you before they can get on your list.

Your prospect's email address is a prized possession.

She is already receiving way too much email.

You need to earn her trust and give her lots of value through your free no opt-in required so that she gets on your list.

Here's what you need to know before you create this content:


  • Determine who you are creating content for (ideal audience). Cater to her deepest struggles, challenges and desires through your content. 
  • Determine your publishing frequency. Weekly is best. Consistency is huge!
  • The format in which you'll produce content - think blogging, videos, podcast, email newsletters and guest articles. 
  • Schedule time in your calendar to perform researching your content and creating it. A well-researched content piece is key to attracting your audience because and sets you apart from your competition. However, it takes time to research and then create your content. Scheduling is everything and keeps you on track. 


Note: Your no opt-in required content needs to be consistently produced even if you're hitting your list building goals. There's no stopping here!


2. Create your signature lead magnet

If your prospect likes your free no opt-in required content, she is ready to move on to the next step a.k.a become an email subscriber. 
In exchange for her email address she'll receive your free gift or better known as your signature lead magnet. 

Your signature lead magnet is directly related to what you teach or offer as your top paid program. 

So, for example if you are a personal trainer and teach postpartum moms how to lose pregnancy pounds, then a relevant lead magnet in this case would be "The top 10 foods you must have for a flat belly in 4 weeks". 

Your paid service should be the next logical step after your subscriber has consumed the information in the lead magnet. 

3. Create content upgrades

These are like secondary lead magnets but they have just as much potential to grow your list as a signature lead magnet does. 
Simply put, a content upgrade is a bonus piece of information that enhances, complements and is specific to the information in your blog post, podcast or video. 

In order to access the bonus information, the online visitor has to submit her email address. Hello list building!

So, for each blog piece/podcast/video, you can create a content upgrade. 

How do you get started on creating the content upgrade?

Log into your Google Analytics on your website and select Landing Pages which get the most traffic. 

Or you can also see the most number of social shares you've received on your content. 

And then boom! Create your content upgrades for these content pieces.


4. Guest blogging

Last but not the least, guest blogging is a smart and an effective strategy to aid your list building efforts. 

There are three ways you can use guest blogging as a list building strategy:

1. Select 3-5 blogs that you want to contribute to.

2. Recommend a minimum of three topics in your pitch that suit the tone of the blog, will appeal to the readers and are within your expertise or experience. 

3. Craft a power packed author bio that includes a link to your lead magnet landing page (if permitted). Do not use a backlink to your website! 

Conclusion 


"The money is in the list" is a popular expression in the online marketing world.

However, a majority of new and seasoned entrepreneurs are focused on gaining a following on Social Media instead of building their email lists. 

Your email list is a platform that you control 100%.

There are four ways that your content strategy can help you build a profitable email list:

1. Creating no opt-in required content
2. Creating your signature lead magnet
3. Creating content upgrades
4. Guest blogging

An email list size of at least 1000 subscribers is when you start seeing shifts in your business. 

With careful planning and a strong intent this goal is absolutely achievable. 

How are you using your content strategy to build and grow your email list? 


About the Author

Amisha Shrimanker is an online business strategist. She specializes in helping coaches and consultants create their own sales funnels so that they can sell with ease, create impact and build a scalable online business. 

To download her free resource on how to create an irresistible high converting opt-in, click here: http://bit.ly/2Bdz0nb




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How to Move from Employee to Business Owner

If you’re an employee looking to make the move into doing your side-hustle full-time (or you’ve never had a business and want to start one) there are a few things to keep in mind. Planning is ideal. But there are cases where people have no choice but to go out on their own. Whatever your situation, here are some steps to think about as your make your move from employee to business owner.


This post originally appeared on DBaileyCoach.com.


Ready to make changes in your business (or start a business) but not sure where to start? Get the details about my new online course, “Five Steps to Making Changes in Your Business here:  “Five Steps to Making Changes in Your Business"

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Author Q&A: Up All Night by Rhonda Shear

Rhonda Shear

About Up All Night


Slip on your satin pajamas, pull back the covers and slide into bed with everyone's favorite late-night bedroom buddy, Rhonda Shear! You know her as the smart-sexy hostess of USA: Up All Night, but did you know Rhonda was a New Orleans beauty queen? A candidate for office? A standup comic? An award-winning "bimbopreneur?" A rule-breaking feminist? She's been all that and more, and in this funny, naughty, candid book Rhonda finally shares the unforgettable story of a woman who was always "too something"-too pretty, too funny, too ethnic, too blonde-to achieve anything, but who ended up achieving everything.

Packed with vivid characters, hilarious stories and wisdom for women of all ages, Up All Night proves that when it comes to achieving your dreams, the only voice that matters is your own.

"I have known and worked with Rhonda at HSN for many years. I am so proud of her. She took her experience and knowledge and created a line of products that made a big difference to women who wanted quality, style and comfort, ahh!!"
JOY MANGANO/inventor, product designer, HSN personality, subject of the feature film Joy


About the Author 

New Orleans native Rhonda Shear is a comedian, designer, entrepreneur, actress, philanthropist and author. For over four decades, she has acted on more than 100 television shows, posed for Playboy, headlined in Vegas, been Miss USA, built a $100 million lingerie company, paraded down Bourbon Street and married her childhood sweetheart and the love of her life, Van Fagan. She and Van live with their pack of spoiled puppies in her Barbie dream house in St. Petersburg, Florida, where they manage their business empire, open their home to charitable galas and gatherings of friends, and savor the good life.


Deb Bailey: Welcome to the Secrets of Success blog, Rhonda. So, what is your book about?

Rhonda Shear: Great to be here, Deb. It is autobiographical and inspirational. Giving life lessons and Shear Honesty along the way. Enjoyable for anyone wanting to start a business, change careers, find love later in life or deal with sexual harassment. 


Deb: Sounds like a lot of good stuff. What are some of the important points in your book?

Rhonda: Never give up. Put a stake in it and go for it. Believe in yourself. Never burn a bridge. It’s ok to take a step backward to move forward. 


Deb: What inspired you to come up with the idea for your book?

Rhonda: My eclectic life and being able to share what I learned along the way. I always get asked how I have accomplished so much and I wanted to share with Entrepreneurs everywhere. 


Deb: You obviously have a lot to share, but did you have any challenges in writing this book?

Rhonda: Getting it done along with running a business. Took a little longer than I planned. But already excited about writing the next one.


Deb: What advice would you give to women entrepreneurs who are just starting out?


Rhonda: Reach out to other women in business. Attend women in business seminars. Network. Don’t give up. You are special and unique. 



Deb: Great advice. What do you think are the top 3 traits an entrepreneur must have? 

Rhonda: Drive, focus, confidence. 



Deb: A lot of people want to write books. Any tips to share with someone who wants to be published?

Rhonda: Self publish and get it out there!


Deb: What inspires you to do the work you do?

Rhonda: I was always told that I was too this or too that to succeed. Don’t tell me I can’t do something, cause I will go the distance and win.


Deb: Who do you think will benefit most from reading your book?

Rhonda: Anyone who wants to accomplish and needs a bit of encouragement. 


Deb: Thanks for stopping by, Rhonda. Please let everyone know where they can find your book, and share your website and social media URLs.

Rhonda: It was fun. For personalized signed books, www.rhondashear.com.
You can also find my book at www.amazon.com, www.hsn.com and various Barnes and Nobles. 

Social Media links
Rhonda Shear @ Twitter.com

Rhonda Shear @ Facebook.com

Rhonda Shear @Instagram.com

Rhonda Shear @Pinterest.com

Rhonda Shear @Linkedin.com

Rhonda Shear TV @youtube.com

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"Tips for Using Webinars to Grow Your Business" with Business Strategist Aprille Reed on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Aprille Reed
Show #444

Aprille Reed is a Business Strategist + Webinar Funnel Architect for ambitious online coaches and consultants who struggle with lack of time and trading dollars for hours.

Aprille helps her clients scale their business with webinars that consistently make them more sales and break the income ceiling so that they can have the income to do whatever they want.

Aprille is also a Certified Social Media & Community Manager and Tapping Into Wealth coach.

With over 8+ year’s entrepreneurial experience, Aprille clients have been able to achieve success with business clarity, building their email list and selling high ticket packages with high ticket funnels.

http://www.aprillereed.com/
FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SavvyMommypreneurs/
LinkedIn: https://www.facebook.com/aprillereedbiz/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AprilleReed
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/aprillereed/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aprillereed




Aprille Reed on Women Entrepreneurs Radio



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How to Get Inspired to Write (and Blog Consistently All Year)



How to Get Inspired and Blog Consistently All Year
How to Get Inspired and Blog Consistently All Year, courtesy of Henneke at Enchanting Marketing
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Martin Luther King Jr Day - A Day of Service

"Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." -Martin Luther King, Jr.


Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a vital figure of the modern era and a pivotal figure in the Civil Rights Movement. His lectures and dialogues stirred the concern and sparked the conscience of a generation. His charismatic leadership inspired men and women, young and old, in this nation and around the world.

After a long struggle, legislation was signed in 1983 creating a federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort. Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a "day on, not a day off."

It's part of United We Serve, the President's national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King's vision of a "Beloved Community."
- from http://mlkday.gov/index.php


Recently Discovered 1964 MLK Speech on Civil Rights, Segregation & Apartheid South Africa
http://www.democracynow.org/2015/1/19/exclusive_newly_discovered_1964_mlk_speech


MLK biography on Nobel Prize.org
http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1964/king-bio.html

The King Center
http://www.thekingcenter.org/

MLK Research and Education Institute
http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/

The "I Have a Dream" speech audio and video
http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm

The Corporation for National and Community Service
http://www.nationalservice.gov/

United We Serve
http://www.serve.gov/

The Greatest MLK Speeches You Never Heard
http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/19/us/king-speeches-never-heard/index.html?sr=sharebar_twitter

The "Beyond Vietnam -- A Time to Break Silence" Speech
http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkatimetobreaksilence.htm

"The Drum Major Instinct" Speech
http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/encyclopedia/documentsentry/doc_the_drum_major_instinct/

MLK Day on Twitter
https://twitter.com/mlkday

MLK Now on Twitter
https://twitter.com/UnitedBlackout


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Office space: What Does the Ideal Workplace Look Like?

workplace
by Mark

Having a good office can leave a big impact on the working atmosphere and the overall productivity of the business team. That is not strange because 8 hours a day, almost every person spends working.

Due to that, people must spend a lot of time to improve the design of the office. But what can you do to improve your office? What makes an office a good office? Let me show you few tricks which can make one office an ideal workplace.

What is the best design for an office?

Open space, bright colors, and modern furniture. Those are things which can improve your office in an aesthetic way. Open space gives freedom to the office and nobody will feel cramped in their small room. That is the modern style because people are now communicating like never before. They are brainstorming, helping each other and debate whether it is a good idea or not. The work style has changed a lot in the last few years and that is visible in the design of the office. No more cubicles, no more small rooms. Everybody is in the same room, sitting next to each other, working together.

The modern furniture is here more for the guests than for the workers because today it is modern to invest in the image of the brand. The best way to do that is through the overall design. Just remember Google. How many of you wanted to be a part of that team, just because of the cool offices? They have game tables like foosball tables or pool tables. They have video games, swings, slides, they have everything. When you look at the workers there, they aren't using them that often. Table games are a great anti-stress therapy, which means they are used maybe once a week, which is pretty rare.

When I said bright colors, I didn't mean a bright yellow, orange or blue. I meant colors which are elegant and don't poke you in the eyes. Light grey, white, light yellow or light mints are the colors used for the office. Those are calming colors which bring style and elegance to the picture. Dark colors like red, blue or purple aren't a good choice because they will make people feel cramped.

Besides aesthetic things you can do, you can bring quality to your workplace. A good way to do that is to start each day with a business breakfast where you all sit together and talk about the things you have to do the following day. It is a good way to keep everybody in the loop and that means fewer mistakes. Another thing is better equipment. If your employees are sitting at the table the entire day, invest in good ergonomic chairs. That will help your employees feel better and stay healthy for a long time. Nobody likes to work with a back pain, right?

When you are making a good workplace for the team, you have to keep in mind every part of the work hours. That will immediately turn any office in the ideal workplace.

 Author bio: 
Mark is a foosball player and a blogger who loves to write about foosball. To check out his work visit this link here: http://www.foosballzone.com/foosball-table/

Picture credit:

unsplash-logoAnnie Spratt
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Don't Pay for Your MBA: The Faster, Cheaper, Better Way to Get the Business Education You Need with Laurie Pickard on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Show #443

Laurie Pickard founded the No-Pay MBA, which has been featured in Fortune, Entrepreneur, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Business, and CNN Money. In addition to advising self-directed learners worldwide, she leveraged her self-made MBA into a successful career as a business and entrepreneurship development consultant, most recently as a private-sector development adviser for the U.S. Agency for International Development in Rwanda. She is currently based in Washington, D.C. 

After two degrees and three years in the Peace Corps, Laurie Pickard lacked the critical business knowledge, frameworks, and skills to pursue her dream career. She needed a first-class business education, but was loathe to take on student debt. Fortunately, she found a debt-free alternative to an MBA: MOOCs. Taking advantage of massive open online courses (MOOCs) offered by elite business schools, plus training seminars and talks, she created a customized, Ivy League-caliber curriculum for less than one percent of traditional tuition costs. She leveraged her self-made MBA into a well-paying position in international development. Plus, she launched a side business as a MOOC mentor and adviser to self-starting students.

In her book, "Don't Pay for Your MBA: The Faster, Cheaper, Better Way to Get the Business Education You Need" (AMACOM; November 2, 2017), Laurie Pickard shares insights, strategies, and tips for making the most of MOOCs for career advancement and entrepreneurial success


https://www.nopaymba.com/









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How to Use SEO in Your Digital Marketing Strategy

how to use SEO in your digital marketing strategy


Most people today know that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical to having a successful on-line business. What they may not know is exactly how to use it in their marketing plan. Incorporating strategically chosen keywords, with valuable content, can dramatically increase your world-wide-web presence, and ultimately, your bottom line. Even more important, knowing how your customers find you is invaluable information.

But this is just the first layer, of many, to creating a consistent revenue stream. Implementing a data driven marketing plan, to create repeat business, is necessary for growth and longevity. Once complete, you must re-evaluate your data and re-engineer your plan, to attract new customers and retain your existing business. With time, you can create a recycling funnel system that will continually produce revenues. This is known as data driven marketing.
First, what is SEO?

We know what SEO stands for, but what does it really mean in the marketing world? When building, or updating, the website for your business, using SEO and keywords is critical to being discovered organically online. You can certainly pay for placement, but this is an expensive option and must be on-going to maintain good ranking. It also does not guarantee top placement. Organic leads are what you want to strive for, as these people found you through a search engine or other free avenue.

When search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, crawl your site, they want to find words that are relevant to what people are searching for most. Big corporations know the importance of key word searches. Consider this: when you enter "the best laundry detergent for sensitive skin," you will find all blogs on the first page, however when you use keywords such as "laundry detergent" and "detergent for sensitive skin" you start to see more name brand companies in the search results.

Quality content is a must

You want people to go to your website and stay there long enough to see what you do and offer. The average person spends only 15 seconds on a web page and less than one minute on a site before moving on. With quality content, you can engage your users and ultimately convert them from a customer into a client. Think about it like a retail store. Customers walk in and out all day long, but clients are those who purchase things and come back repeatedly.

Optimizing your content

There is no way to guarantee that you will rank number one on the major search engines with the number of services available to boost your placement, but your goal should be to land in the top 30. If you are searching for your own website on pages 10 or 15, you need to tweak your content and get it working better for you. Be sure you have a title and description that contains keywords for each page of your website. Also, add text to your images via alt text. Pictures on a website are great, but search engines cannot screen photos. Add your website name or a short blurb about what you do to your image files.


Pay attention to technology trends

In recent surveys, 64% of respondents felt that having a data driven marketing strategy was the key to on-line business success. Everyday technology improves and new services are available. Knowing what is out there and how it could benefit you can be critical to your on-line business. If you are not changing with technology, you will find yourself with less internet customers and a weak bottom line. Stay on top of how Google ranks sites and use their Analytics tools. This will guide you to a more successful website.

Test your Website

how to use SEO in your digital marketing strategy

Many websites provide great tools that allow you to see how your website is performing. They track, for you, what words are being searched, where your traffic is coming from, how long people stay on a page, etc. Again, Google Analytics is a great tool to know how to use, as well.

Know What Your Competition is Doing


Competition is good for business. It forces you to be on your game and be more creative. But you don't have to do it blindly. Knowing what keywords are used to drive traffic to your competitors' site can be invaluable marketing information for your business. Websites such as www.seositetools.com can be a great tool to use in your data driven marketing strategy.

Website Optimization and Marketing Strategies


There are a plethora of avenues for collecting data. How you use it will determine your business success. As stated by Kate Cooper, CEO of Bloom Worldwide, digital marketing has tracking capabilities that generates data, whereas traditional marketing mediums such as direct mail and print couldn't be tracked accurately. The main challenge is choosing the most important data to analyze. You can easily get overwhelmed with all the information available.

As discussed above, researching your competition is a good place to start when creating a website that captures customers and keeps them engaged. By using the keywords that bring customers to your website you can determine what may or may not be beneficial to your marketing strategy. Also, make sure that you are optimizing all aspects of your site; add alt text to images; use at least two headers on each page or with each post, if you have a blog; and use external links. Don't forget to keep on testing, as well. Strategies and plans need to have a fluid component. Business moves fast online, and so does the way search engines rank. When your competitors change the construction of their web presence, it will affect you. It's important to avoid working with a reactive approach. Stay proactive and do your own research to determine the best way to stay at the top. Additionally, make sure that the rest of your company is in prime condition. As the saying goes, don't put all your eggs in one basket. A balanced company is a successful one.

Alt Text

Using alt text is a simple way to increase your SEO ranking. Images do not get ranked, text does. Incorporate short, descriptive language and keywords into your alt text. If you are selling hand-woven baskets, then you should add this tag to your images. This will not only help your site ranking, but will also help when people are searching for images, as the alt text is what is picked up in searches, not the actual image itself.

Headers

Using headers is an easy and often neglected way to increased site rankings in search engines. Web crawlers first look for header 1 and header 2 on websites, and will go on to search lesser headers, 3, 4, and so on. Neglecting to add the initial headers will substantially hurt your SEO and ranks. Never leave off headers.

External links

You would think that linking to another site to yours would hurt your ranks. Why would you want to bring attention to another website? But having at least two external links boosts your SEO. Make sure that you link to meaningful articles, but not your competition, and that you link through keywords. If your company sells skylights in Maine and Vermont, link to a website that perhaps discusses the top five ways skylights benefit homes in the northeast. If you can google the topic to find the article, linking to the article through the keywords you used to search for it will help your website.


Test and Retest


Think of testing your marketing plan the way you would any other theories: with the scientific method. First, start with the data you have collected. Then ask a question about the information you have assembled. Determine your hypothesis or theory about this data and test it with an experiment. Next, analyze your results and formulate a conclusion. Finally, use this information in your fluid marketing plan. Take these steps often to ensure that your strategy keeps you at the forefront of the market.


Balance Within Your Company


Be sure that you have not only marketing goals, but company-wide goals. It's one thing to have a solid marketing plan, but if the rest of your company is a disaster, you will ultimately fail anyways. Don't spend money on marketing until you have all other sectors of your business in order, from your company finances to your POS systems.

Set SMART and RACE objectives

To win in business you need to run a SMART RACE. Yes, it's true that success is a marathon, but not a sprint. You can't take off fast and maintain success with a plan. Consider your marketing strategy more of a marathon; moving forward at a steady pace to gain success over time. Using the SMART RACE acronyms will help get you there.

SMART

The acronym SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.

Specific: Have a specific goal and audience in mind.

Measurable: Make sure that your strategy includes measurable data. Can you track where your audience is coming from? How you gained your customers? What your rate of conversions are and returning users?

Achievable: Making a billion dollars your first year is not an achievable goal for any business, nor is gaining a million new followers to your blog. Make sure that your plans are achievable ones and that your growth plan includes recruitment and retention. It's great to get a client, but if you can't keep them then what is the point?

Realistic: Can you accomplish your goals set forth in your marketing strategy? Are the time-lines you set to hit your goals even capable of being reach in the current economy? Make sure that your marketing strategy is a realistic one.

Timely: Timing is everything. You don't want to miss the boat nor do you want to be ahead of your time in business. Make sure that your plans include data from the current economy. Do not use outdated research when planning for future growth. Yes, you can use old data to formulate new plans, but make sure you test your theories before putting them into action.


RACE

RACE stands for: Reach, Action, Convert, and Engage

how to use SEO in your digital marketing strategy



Reach: There are many ways to reach your customers. The Seven Touches marketing principle suggestions that in order to gain a new customer you must get their attention, through various techniques, at least seven times. This may include: social media posts, emails, and even offline contact, such as print media and person-to-person. You can increase traffic to your website by creating multiple avenues, such as ads and social media. You can also utilize other websites to help promote your business, whether it be smaller blogs or larger discount pages.  Using different paid, owned and earned media can help you grow and thrive.

Action: Action comes in many forms. It can range from user interaction to a call to action. Either way, the idea is to interact with your prospective audience and give them the steps to becoming your customer. Phrases such as "limited time offer," "this week only," and "join our mailing list and get 25% of now" are great examples. They all tells prospective consumers that if they act now, they can get a great deal or that they can get something they may not be able to get once a certain amount of time passes. Utilizing various forms of media to convey this message will meet your seven touches strategy and direct them to do a specific task.

Convert: Reaching your prospective customers is one thing, but converting them to actually make a sale is entirely different. If you have 100,000 visitors to your site weekly, but are only selling 10 items, your conversation rate is horrible! Be sure to include realistic conversion goals into your marketing strategy and develop ways to increase them over time.

Engage: You reached your target audience, encouraged them to take timely action, and make the sale. Now you need to ensure that they keep coming back. Engaging your customers will ensure that you have a revenue stream for life. Provide "value-added" services, by letting them know about new products, and encouraging them to take advantage of future promotions. The best marketing strategies include maintaining your current clientele. It is easier to sell to a customer who already knows your product than to get someone onboard who you have never interacted with; remember the seven touches.

Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will a successful marketing strategy to grow your business. Do your research, create a website that will increase your SEO rankings, test what you implemented, and use the data collected to rejuvenate your marketing strategy, use SMART RACE techniques, and work all sectors of your company collectively to maximize your success.

Source: Tenfold

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How to Make Your Email Marketing Actually Work

email marketing
by Brad Shorr

If you’re looking for a great way to connect with customers, build engagement and generate new business, email is an option worth considering.


On the plus side, everybody uses email, so you don’t miss big chunks of your target audience as you might with social media or even SEO.


On the negative side, because email is universally used, marketers overuse it — drowning recipients in overflowing inboxes. It’s hard to get noticed.


To succeed with email, here are five key ingredients.


1. Stay With It


Many email campaigns don’t fail, they end too quickly. If you’re not getting a lot of opens and conversions over the first several emails, stay with it. Many subscribers need a lot of convincing before they take a serious look at an email. A sustained effort signals your dedication, and eventually subscribers will take a look.


2. Have Something Useful to Say


Having a useful, relevant message naturally inspires subscribers to open and read your emails. What is it your customers really want to know? This is the question that should drive all email content. The best answers come from your customers. What questions do they commonly ask when investigating your products or services? What search terms are popular when people are looking for your products and services online? An online keyword checker tool is an easy way for email marketers to get topic ideas.


3. Stimulate Engagement


The purpose of an email is not simply to bombard recipients with information. Every email should have a conversion goal. Your desired conversion will vary depending on what you are trying to accomplish — which sounds simple enough, but is an area a lot of businesses approach haphazardly. To sharpen engagement, think along the following lines:


  • To generate an order, sales lead or an appointment booking, include a strong incentive, such as 25 percent off.
  • To obtain feedback, include a link to an online questionnaire. Even better, offer a small incentive to anyone who completes it.
  • To transfer knowledge, include a “learn more” response form so recipients can easily ask follow-up questions.

4. Test, Test and Test


Email marketing can be measured precisely. Smart companies take advantage of the data by conducting systematic tests to gradually — or sometimes rapidly — improve results. Among the most important items to test:

  •     Subject lines
  •     Headlines
  •     Images
  •     Offers
  •     Prices
  •     Timing (day of week and time of day)


Testing takes time, since you should test only one variable at a time. If you test multiple variables simultaneously, you won’t know which variable led to the different result.


5. Nurture the List


Effective testing and reaching a critical mass of conversions requires a large, qualified and accurate mailing list. Nurturing your list is an important job that needs ongoing attention. To build a better list, you should …


  •     Keep all contact information up to date. People change jobs all the time, and business email addresses sometimes change — for instance, when a company is acquired.
  •     Add contacts to the list systematically. Leads that come in from other sources — sales, customer service inquiries, other marketing campaigns, referrals, etc. — must be qualified, and added to the list when appropriate.
  •     Promote your email online and offline. Put a “subscribe” button on your website, talk up your email at networking events or when making sales calls. Promote it on your social media accounts. Always give people good reasons for signing up. Thinking back to issue #2, having something useful to say, think now: What is the value proposition of my email? 


Brad Shorr business owner

Author Bio: Brad Shorr is Director of Content Strategy at Straight North, an Internet marketing agency serving









This article was originally posted on the Soul Entrepreneur blog.

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“Unleash Your Power to Become Unstoppable” with Confidence Coach Erin Summ on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Show #442

Topic: “Unleash Your Power to Become Unstoppable” 

During this conversation you'll learn how to:

-Embrace Failure for more Success
-Love Yourself Unconditionally First
-Have 100% Clarity about your Compelling Vision 


Erin Summ, Confidence Coach, is a sought after speaker, author of Stand Up and Shine 60-Day Confidence Discovery Journal and contributing author in Catch Your Star. 

Fueled by her own journey from shy to confident and her passion to help others thrive, Erin helps shy and introverted women entrepreneurs stand in their power and value so they can shine and make the big impact they are called to make in the world and in their bank account. 
stand up and shine by Erin Summ

Erin's presentations are not only packed with tools to get her audience started immediately, but are also thought provoking and filled with inspiration. Her down-to-earth, positive spirit keeps her audience engaged and yearning for more. 
Erin holds a bachelors degree in Psychology and is a Certified Professional Coach through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching. 


Click on the link below to download your free report especially for WER listeners:

"7 Secrets to Lasting Confidence for More Clients and Money in the Bank"



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How to Streamline Your Writing Process



How to Streamline Your Writing Process
How to Streamline Your Writing Process, courtesy of Henneke at Enchanting Marketing
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Happy New Year

happy new year

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