How to Build Your Small Business Social: In-Depth Guide

Does your business have a powerful social media strategy? With the challenges of being a small business, setting up social ads or tracking analytics on your Facebook or Twitter page can seem complicated and time-consuming.

However, social media is an excellent platform for customer service, to help boost brand awareness and build a brand’s reputation.

So, how do you navigate the world of social as a busy SMB owner? It’s helpful to start small and expand from there with a strategy in place.

Set goals for your social strategy

Before you even start planning your social strategy, come up with specific goals. In this initial, goal-setting step, you will need to do some research and soul-searching. The goals you set will vary depending on your industry and how your competitors are using social media.

What is most important to your business? Is it to boost brand awareness, attract new customers, build loyal brand followers or improve sales?

Once you have decided on your social media goals, come up with more concrete metrics to measure your progress. Goals that you set should be S.M.A.R.T.:

● Specific
● Measurable
● Attainable
● Relevant
● Timely

Goals that are too vague or poorly defined will set you up for failure. Instead, goals should be focused on the platform, how and when you will use it and what metrics you will use to track your progress.

For example, if you decide to post 3 Facebook posts a week, follow related accounts and interact with the people who engage with your posts. You can use free tools such as Facebook Business analytics to gain valuable insights about interactions and engagements.

Choose relevant social media platforms

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by all of the different options, acquaint yourself with each platform and their benefits or disadvantages.

● More than one million people around the world use Facebook, so it is a great choice for small business owners unfamiliar with social media.
● Twitter may be a useful medium for younger people, both men and women, between the ages of 18 and 29.
● Instagram is a good choice for industries such as travel, health, arts, food, e-commerce and other industries who want to interact with millennials. You’ll post high-quality images or video content to tell a story.

To determine which social media platform, consider your customer base and where they like to spend their time.

Reach out for influencer partnerships

Once you have set up your social media account, the next step is to work towards the goals you set. One effective way to promote your product or service is through influencer marketing.

Promoting your business through an influencer is simple. First, identify several influencer accounts on social media who have similar content or a similar brand message. Then, you can reach out to the social media influencer to inquire about opportunities to work together.

A popular way that influencers work with small businesses is to post an honest review of the business and its products or services in exchange for something free. Remember to choose influencers carefully – for example, you may wish to selectively work with influencers who promote fewer businesses on their social media platforms rather than those who promote 10 companies a day.

For more on building your small business social presence, check out the step-by-step social media guide from Valpak. It covers everything from setting social goals to social advertising and analytics to be sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash


Writer & Brand Story Strategist Julie Barnes, Founder of Your Story Gold on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

Writer & Brand Story Strategist Julie Barnes, Founder of Your Story Gold on Women Entrepreneurs Radio
Show #494

Julie shares:

  • why it's your story that sets you apart in the dreaded sea of sameness.
  • why your story creates trust + credibility.
  • three story strategies that every business owner can use to tell their story.

Julie Barnes is a Brand Story Strategist and the Founder of Your Story Gold. She helps entrepreneurs and small business owners command top dollar using their story gold.

She also provides commercial freelance writing services helping companies go from radio silent to getting their message out to clients and customers.

Julie is an award-winning entrepreneur, an international bestselling author, advocate for change, certified coach and has blogged for The Huffington Post.

She calls beautiful Northern California home. When she’s not working or volunteering for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, you will find Julie driving with the sunroof open while jamming to LOUD rock ‘n’ roll, hanging with her hubby, Ron, playing the drums with some local musicians, or wandering the aisles of Barnes and Noble with a Starbucks Tall Pike in her hand.

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Writer & Brand Story Strategist Julie Barnes, Founder of Your Story Gold on Women Entrepreneurs Radio


How to Avoid Burnout at Work

woman working on a computer
"Burnout," as it’s often called, occurs when you experience a constant state of stress to the extent that you feel like you’ve hit a wall.

There are signs that may signal you’re reaching your breaking point. Feeling exhausted both physically and mentally, increase in irritability, lack of creativity, and overall detachment are just a few of the telltale signs you could be burnt out.

If you do feel this way, you’re not alone as 1 in 5 are at risk of work burnout. There are ways to successfully combat or prevent this from happening!

Take a Break

If you’re in too deep at work, it’s important that you know when it’s time to take a break. Plan vacations to give you the opportunity to unplug and relax. Breaks, even brief ones, are extremely beneficial to your mental health. Take a walk in the afternoon to break up your workday or practice an at-home yoga routine in the evening. It may be something as simple as setting boundaries by not taking work home with you to give yourself a better work-life balance. Find wherever this can work for you and make it a priority.

Stay on Top of Your Health

In a 2017 study, 61% of people reported work as their source of stress. Scheduling regular doctor appointments and reflecting on changes in your body is crucial to ensure you don’t reach the point of burnout. You may notice physical changes signifying you’re too stressed. For example, a dramatic weight loss or gain, sudden hair loss, or skin breakouts can all be signs that you’re body is under duress. Depending on the severity, you should consult a medical professional who may prescribe you an acne treatment or other prescriptions in order to help relieve your symptoms. They may even help you create a personalized wellness routine and suggest a natural anxiety supplement.

Find Passion in Your Work

If you’re working for the weekend, sorry to break it to you, but you’re doing it wrong. Not everyone loves every aspect of their job, however, it makes a huge difference in your perspective and happiness when you look for passion in your work. Find value in your projects, try connecting with your team, and focus on what keeps you inspired in your role. When you’re passionate about your job and responsibilities, you’re feeding your sole rather than depriving it. If you no longer can find that passion, it may be a good idea to reevaluate your career goals and your position.

Be Mindful Each Day

Have you ever pulled into your driveway after coming home from work and suddenly realized that you don’t remember any of the ride? It happens to all of us, as many times we get so ingrained into a routine, it becomes second nature. However, allowing these gaps in our focus to continue is what leads us to feeling detached over time. Actively being mindful throughout your day will help you stay in the moment and become re-centered.

Find a Side Hobby

A great way to avoid burnout is by making your life more than just work and obligations. Immerse yourself in a new hobby that you enjoy a few hours throughout the week. Having a hobby can help release anxieties and keep you recharged. Don’t know which hobby to choose? There are plenty of hobbies perfect for different personalities and interests out there to start with!


Laughter does more to your body than you may think. Laughing doesn’t only improve your overall mood through the release of endorphins, but it can also provide short-term and long-term health benefits. It actually stimulates your circulation and can aid in muscle relaxation, both of which limit the physical effects of stress. Laughter can also improve your immune system, keeping you healthier while helping you cope with stress through a connection with others. They weren’t lying when they said laughter is the best medicine!

Picture credit: Photo by BBH Singapore on Unsplash


"Get Selfish: The Key to Managing Your Time, Finding Your Balance & Truly Having it All" with Author & Coach Emily Capuria

Author & Coach Emily Capuria
Show #493

Topic: "Get Selfish: The Key to Managing Your Time, Finding Your Balance & Truly Having it All" with Author & Coach Emily Capuria 

Emily Capuria, LISW-S, CHHC, is a writer, speaker and coach who is passionate about redefining happiness and showing people how easily accessible it is once you shift your definition and reconnect with who you truly are. 

She's the author of, "Happiness Happens: A 10-Week Guide to Reconnect with Who You Are, Dream a New Dream & Make Magic Happen!" a 10-week process of self-discovery that will show you how to align who you are, what you want and how you live. 

She is also the creator of the "Laugh More, Live Louder" course which helps people to map out what’s next and take the steps to make it happen. Emily is the founder of Balance & Thrive, a website that offers a holistic approach to living a happy, fulfilling life. 

Author & Coach Emily Capuria


Tips to Be More Productive When Working from Home

woman working on computer
by Rae Steinbach

As companies begin to modernize and keep up to date with HR trends, so do the environments they choose to work in.

Home offices were once a rarity, but the ubiquity of computers, smartphones, and telecommuting solutions has made it easier for employees in many industries to work from home.

Studies show that more people are taking the opportunity to work from the comfort of their own home than ever before. While there are many benefits to this option, not everyone is guaranteed to thrive in this type of space. If you find this is the case, you may have trouble being as productive in a home office as you are at a company office.

As for employers who have never managed a remote worker, they may feel in the dark when it comes to their employees’ output. Putting a communication plan in place will help ease their mind and ensure the needs of both you and your manager are being clearly communicated to one another. Devising a successful communication plan should include having consistent performance evaluations, more than just once per year. This allows managers to keep up-to-date with their employee’s progress and promotes maximum efficiency.

As a remote team member, these tips will help you maximize your efficiency and accomplish just as much (maybe even more) during your workday.

Invest in Your Workspace

What is or isn’t important to you in a home office is a matter of personal preference, but there are a few things you’ll want to consider if you’re planning to work from home. A high-quality computer that can handle your responsibilities is crucial, and a supportive desk chair when you’re working long hours will save your back.

Not one to sit in one place? Many telecommuters prefer not to have an office space at all, and choose instead to move around their homes throughout the day. This option may be best for those with a travel bug and prefer to work on-the-go. Opting to not have a desk or other office furnishings can help you save money to invest in the tools that are most important to your productivity and lifestyle.

Stick to a Schedule

Not everyone is at their most productive at the same time everyday, so being able to set your own hours is one of the top benefits of working from home. But this doesn’t mean “work when you want.” Sticking to a routine will help you become more productive and make each workday more predictable. One way to accomplish this is by making a to-do list at the beginning of each day to prioritize your tasks.

It may sound counterintuitive, but one of the best ways to improve your productivity is by taking regular short breaks. Even allowing yourself a few minutes to regroup can be enough to help you focus and produce your best work.

Do Not Disturb

Managing your business and personal life in the same space can run a risk of conflating the two. Even if they aren’t physically divided, keeping business and pleasure separate is critical to maintaining a high level of productivity as well as ensuring that you give yourself sufficient time to unwind.

Rather than leaving your notifications on throughout the day, put your phone and computer on ‘Do Not Disturb’ and only check them between tasks or on a break. This will make it much easier to focus on work while avoiding as many distractions as possible. This also trains people that you aren’t available right away, and you will eventually develop a cadence of communication that allows for sustained focused work.

Working from home can be a great opportunity, but requires an effort from both you and your manager to find a regimen that fits. Employees, no matter where your office space is, be honest in the work you produce. Continue to build trust with your employer and they will certainly see your flexibility as a huge resource to the company. These tips will help make your work days more productive and create a more efficient schedule that fits everyone’s unique needs.

About the Author: Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course.

Twitter handle: @araesininthesun

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash


Taming the Bully Between Your Ears with Author & Speaker Jeanie Cisco-Meth

Taming the Bully Between Your Ears with Author & Speaker Jeanie Cisco-Meth
Show #489

Jeanie shares:

  • How bullying affects children and adults
  • The power to choose before responding
  • The steps to bully-proofing

As a high school teacher for 17 years, Jeanie Cisco-Meth saw first hand the damage that can be done by a bully. She developed a program to help her students deal with bullying so that harsh words may hurt but not devastate.

In 2012, she transitioned from the classroom to the stage and has the pleasure of traveling the country sharing her life saving message with youth and businesses alike.

Jeanie says, "Our country can no longer pay the devastating cost of lives lost to bullies whether the bully be internal or external. I had to do something to help." - order a free copy - podcast

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Taming the Bully Between Your Ears with Author & Speaker Jeanie Cisco-Meth


Fashion Inspiration for Every Business Woman

woman writing on whiteboard
by Rae Steinbach

If you’re a busy professional or entrepreneur, it’s a safe bet you know how important it is to make the right impression on everyone from potential clients to new hires.

That means dressing the part. You want to strike that delicate balance between looking professional and showing off your own personal style.

To strike that balance, keep the following tips in mind. Whether you’re working your way up the corporate ladder, building a new startup, or running a thriving operation, they’ll help you dress for success.

Focus on Quality

Having a few high-quality garments is much more important than having many low-quality garments. The right materials, tailoring, and maintenance ensure your professional wardrobe will last a long time, giving you more time to focus on your work. If you collect low-quality clothes, you’ll need to revamp your wardrobe much more often.

Be Practical

Professionals like you understand the value of planning. You’re much more likely to reach your business goals if you create a plan first.

The same goes for buying clothing. Start by removing unwanted items from your wardrobe, then decide which items are most important to buy. Set a budget to ensure you don’t spend more than you can afford.

Since you’ll most likely be removing a number of articles from your collection, a women’s delivery box can supply some much needed options for all your future business operations.

Know What Shoes to Avoid

There are certain items of clothing you shouldn’t wear if you want to give off a professional vibe. Sadly, open-toed shoes usually aren’t a great option for the office. Instead, opt for something like close-toed pumps when you’ll be in-office.

Avoid Showing Too Much Skin

Revealing clothing may be a great option for date night, but it’s probably not something you should wear in a professional environment. Make sure dresses and skirts reach at least the top of your knees, and avoid items that show off cleavage.

However, for the upcoming summer months, you’re going to want fashionable attire that keeps you cool, too. A summer subscription box offers everything you need to maintain professionalism in the office, while staying in style and ready for the warm weather.

Depending on the rules at your company, you might also decide not to show too much of your arms, but that’s less of a universal rule and more of a potential guideline.

Be You

Don’t give up your personality just to look like an entrepreneur! It’s still important to have fun when shopping for professional clothes. If you like a little bit of color (or a lot), go ahead and wear colorful outfits.

You might also consider looking into the impression different colors make on people. For instance, green, associated with everything from green lights to money, can result in a positive but driven work environment. Blue has a calming effect, making it a great choice for more stressful working environments.

Don’t Experiment

All that said, the office is not the place to try out a new avant-garde style. On the weekends, feel free to indulge your inner fashionista, but at work, it’s best to stick with tried-and-true outfits you can wear confidently.

As always, if you’re not the boss, it’s also important to make sure you stick to the office dress code. Knowing your company’s expectations will help you avoid wasting money on garments you can’t wear. By remembering official policies and following these tips, you’ll easily show the world you’re an accomplished, successful woman.

About the Author: Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing.


Why Audience Testing is Such an Important Aspect of the Business Naming Process

crowd in the train station
by Grant Polachek

When you dedicate days or even a month of your precious time as an entrepreneur to brainstorming names for your business, it can be a long process to finding the perfect name.

You will have to go through and cross off every possibility on your list until you finally find the ideal name for your startup.

Well, at least you think it might be the perfect name. But how can you be sure?

If the name for your new business fails to create enough buzz and interest within your target market, all of the time, effort, and resources you dedicated to developing your brand name was for nothing. Our comprehensive guide for coming up with a business name will help you get the most out of the time you put into selecting the perfect name for your business.

Think up a variety of great names

This is when it comes time to start brainstorming names, you should start to pull all of the creative levers in your brain. Get a jump start by writing down each and every business name suggestion you can think up. Don’t worry about whether or not it’s a perfect fit for your company, just keep brainstorming names!

Create a list of top names

After you have come up with a number of different potential names for your business you can get started on getting rid of the ones that you don’t think would be a good fit for your business. The purpose of this step of the naming process is to cut down your options so you have a list of about four or five possible names remaining.

Be sure that you not only consider what you as the entrepreneur think is a good fit, but also the audience that you are trying to appeal to. Not all audiences react the same way to the same name.

Get notes and feedback from your target market

Once you have created a shortlist of names for your business, it is finally time for you to start to bring in outside opinions. You can find your target audience by narrowing down factors such as their gender, age, and location.

When getting feedback from your target demographic make sure that you set the stage of your question to allow them to make a relevant decision on which name they prefer. Give them enough information to allow them to make an informed choice in regard to your specific business. Slow them down so they have to pause to think about your question rooted in the specific context of your brand.

Here are some examples of what your questions should look like:

  • Which one of these mobile gaming apps are you most interested in playing?
  • Which one of these sparkling water brands are you most likely to try?

These questions are strong because they force the target audience to slow down and think about your startup with some helpful context.

You can also try asking questions that are rooted in value or benefit propositions. For example:

  • Which one of these names would be the best fit for a brand-new payment process company focused on millennials and simple usage? (SquareCash)
  • Which of these home goods store names do you feel most embodies authenticity and trust?

Look into your audience testing results

Finally, for the last step, it is time for you to examine your results and make a decision on which name you think will be the most successful for your brand. You might find that perhaps the result will surprise you, but maybe they won’t. We have found in the countless audience name tests we’ve performed for our clients that the name that our client simply loves actually performs poorly with their audience. This type of reality check is exactly what makes the testing process so important for entrepreneurs.

There simply isn’t one singular perfect testing method that will give you a clear answer as to whether or not your business name will be a success with your target demographic. However, audience testing is always helpful because it adds another level to your name validation process. It can help you choose a business name that is not awkward or embarrassing. With audience feedback, you can make an informed choice when determining which name is your strongest option to move forward with.

About the Author: Grant Polachek is the Director of Marketing at Inc 500 company, the worlds #1 naming platform, with nearly 20,000 customers from the smallest startups across the globe to the largest corporations including Nestle, Philips, and AutoNation. Get inspired by exploring these cool company names.


Are You Looking for A Hero?

woman working on computer
No one else cares about our money like we do, right? Maybe that’s why nine out of ten women struggle to find a financial hero.

When Tina Turner belted out “We don’t need another hero” she may not have been entirely in tune with her audience.

A recent Financial Fitness white paper by Mortgage Choice confirms that when it comes to money matters, women find it hard to find a hero – a brand hero that is.

The need for authenticity

An overwhelming 86% of women say they don’t connect with financial services brands because of a lack of trust.

Put simply, no brand stands out from the pack that authentically seeks to improve a woman’s life and help her overcome adversity.

It’s hardly the sort of news that the financial services sector likes to hear. But it’s a wake-up call to the industry about what women really want in a money mentor.

Four qualities of a hero

The study also identified the top four qualities that matter most to women in the quest to find their hero brand.

1. Choice

Who doesn’t love a smorgasbord? We all want to be able to mix and match, pick what we love, add a little of what we like, and say “no thanks” to what doesn’t interest us.
It’s the same when it comes to financial services. Close to eight out of ten (79%) women say choice of products is a key quality of a hero brand.

2. Understanding your unique needs

How do you see yourself? Individual? Unique? One-of-a-kind? Chances are you view yourself as all these things – and rightly so.

It turns out that women crave a financial brand that shares this view.

The research confirms that 79% of women see a hero brand as one that understands their unique needs. It’s a defining quality that sets a hero brand apart from the pack.

3. No kickbacks for product recommendations

No one is denying the financial advice industry the right to be remunerated for their services. But 77% of women say it as a real turn-off when financial advisers or mortgage brokers pocket a little extra for recommending a particular brand.

And who can blame them? When commission levels differ between products, it raises questions about whether a woman is receiving advice that is genuinely based on her needs, or if it’s just an opportunity for an adviser/broker to better line their own pocket.

4. Independence

No one likes to feel their adviser is serving another master to the detriment of our personal needs. So nor surprisingly, 76% of women see a hero brand as one that is independent.

Quite simply, this provide confidence that the customer really does come first.

Is the struggle to find a hero brand impacting your financial wellbeing? To download the full Financial Fitness report, click here.

Picture credit:  Paige Cody on Unsplash


Frances-Anne Solomon: Award-winning Filmmaker, Writer, Producer & Entrepreneur on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

Frances-Anne Solomon: Award-winning Filmmaker, Writer, Producer & Entrepreneur
Show #485

Frances shares:

  • How she navigated the film industry as a woman of colour 
  • Her career path from the BBC to founding the CaribbeanTales Media Group
  • Her advice to women entering the film industry

Frances-Anne Solomon is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, producer, curator, and entrepreneur in film, TV, radio, theatre, and new media. Born in England of Trinidadian parents, she was raised and educated in the Caribbean and Canada before moving to Great Britain where she built a successful career with the BBC as a TV Drama Producer and Executive Producer. Productions included Love is the Devil by John Maybury, and Speak Like A Child by John Akomfrah, both of which she executive produced for the BBC. She also produced and directed films and television programs through her production company Leda Serene Films.

She moved to Toronto in 2000, where she continued to create, write, direct, and produce her own projects. She is currently in production with the feature HERO – Inspired by the Life and Time of Ulric Cross. Her film A Winter Tale received many prestigious international awards, including at Fespaco 2009 (Africa’s Oscars held biannually in Burkina Faso West Africa) where it won in The Paul Robeson Award for Best Diaspora Film.  Other directing credits include the feature film Peggy Su! (BBC Films, 1997); What My Mother Told Me (Channel 4 1995),  Bideshi (British Film Institute 1994); and documentaries Literature Alive (Bravo!/OMNI, 2006), Reunion 2 (BBC,1993), and I Is A Long Memoried Woman (Arts Council of England 1991). She produced the multi-award winning feature Kingston Paradise, with director Mary Wells – the first feature film written and directed by a Jamaican woman.

She was the Co-creator, Producer and Director of Lord Have Mercy! Canada’s hit Caribbean sitcom, that aired on Vision TV, Toronto/one, Showcase and APTN in 2003 and was nominated for two Gemini Awards: Best Comedy series, and Best Individual Performer (Leonie Forbes).

She is the founder and CEO of the CaribbeanTales Media Group, based in Barbados and Toronto, a group of companies that creates, produces, markets, and sells Caribbean-themed film and television content for global audiences. It includes the CaribbeanTales Incubator Program, a development and production hub for original content; CaribbeanTalesFlix – the production arm; the CaribbeanTales International Film Festival, — now in its 13th year —  that takes place in Toronto;  CaribbeanTales-TV, an SVOD platform; and The CaribbeanTales Youth Film festival, a unique screening series that showcases Africentric films for high school and university audiences.  Other initiatives include RED HOT, promoting new work by emerging creators of color; CineFAM – that supports bold film stories by Women Creators of Color, and #INTERSECT – film narratives by Queer and Trans Filmmakers of Color.

In 2010, together with Caribbean cultural industries specialist Dr Keith Nurse, media personality and producer Lisa Wickham, businessman Dr. Terrence Farrell and filmmaker Mary Wells, she launched CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution, the first-of-its-kind film distribution company in the English speaking Caribbean, dedicated to the monetization of Caribbean diasporic content.

She has lectured in Film at the University of the West Indies, and made presentations on her work at NYU and Duke University. She began her television career at Banyan Productions in Trinidad,  studied Theatre at the University of Toronto with Steve Martineau and Ken Gass, and poetry  with Jay MacPherson. She trained as a film director in the UK at Bristol University, and the prestigious BBC Drama Directors Program.

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Frances-Anne Solomon: Award-winning Filmmaker, Writer, Producer & Entrepreneur on Women Entrepreneurs Radio


7 Benefits of Owning a Franchise

open for business sign
by Lauren McKinnie

Investing in a franchise is a great way to gain experience as an entrepreneur without launching a venture on your own.

Learning about the benefits of investing in and owning a franchise is beneficial when choosing a franchise that is optimal for you and the market in your local area.

With the right franchise, you can move forward with your plans of financial freedom and independence without building a business from the ground up.

1. Work Independence

Owning a franchise will provide you with more independence in setting your work schedule. Freedom and flexibility also allow a greater work/life balance as a franchise investor. If you envision your future complete with independence and more decision-making, consider the opportunity to invest in a franchise of your own.

2. Small Business Owner Experience

Working as a franchise owner and an investor is one way to gain experience as a small business owner. Even if you did not play a role in naming or building the business from the start, managing your own franchise is a way to dive into the responsibilities necessary to generate sales while maintaining a profit.

3. Higher Profit Margins

The profit margins of a franchise work in favor of the franchise owner as they are typically higher than those of many traditional business models. While it is not always possible to increase prices dramatically as an owner of a franchise, it is still possible to generate a full-time income as an owner and for all of the employees that you hire.

4. Less Risk Than Creating Your Own Business

When you choose to invest in a franchise, there is less risk compared to creating your own business without an existing reputation or consumer base. Because the brand name and business already exist, buying a franchise is more likely to result in success.

5. Easier to Obtain a Loan

Obtaining capital necessary to invest in a franchise can feel stressful and overwhelming, especially when venturing into a business as an entrepreneur for the first time. One of the benefits of owning a franchise is the ability to obtain a loan more easily than a traditional loan. Franchise companies are often more established and less risky than launching a new, untested business idea. For this reason, the process of acquiring franchise loans is relatively simple.

6. Franchisor Support

As an owner of a franchise, you may take advantage of franchisor support that is offered to all owners and investors. Franchisor support includes guides and tutorials for employee training along with outlines and guidelines for promoting the franchise. By using the guidelines and rules provided for you, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed when strategizing as well as planning promotional events for your franchise.

7. Owner Working as a Manager

When the owner of a franchise also works at the franchise location, he or she will likely ensure that the business is well-managed. An owner who also manages his or her franchise will refrain from slacking off or hiring employees and managers who are incapable of performing their jobs well.

Owning a franchise is a way to automatically generate income and revenue by choosing the right location for the franchise in which you are investing. With a complete understanding of the benefits that owning a franchise provides, choose a franchise that is right for you. Consider the initial investment as well as the type of consumers you need to reach to begin generating the profits you envision for yourself and your business.

About the Author: Lauren McKinnie is a contributing writer and media associate for East Coast Wings Franchise. She regularly produces content for various business and franchise blogs.

Picture credit:
unsplash-logoMike Petrucci

3 Branding Lessons That Authors Can Teach Bloggers About Branding

laptop and desk in workplace
by Emmanuel Nataf

One is painstakingly brainstorming a bank of catchy post titles and content.

The other is agonizingly working out a plot twist that could be spectacular, but isn’t yet.

One is seen trying to untangle HTML and make sense of SEO.

The other is busy buying thirty notebooks in the space of one year.

As you might’ve guessed by now, one is a blogger and the other is an author. And, despite these surface differences, the two have more in common than you might think. Both are striving to perfect a word-based craft — and both can be found banging their foreheads on their keyboards when writer’s block strikes!

Perhaps more importantly, both bloggers and authors must survive in two incredibly competitive and saturated markets. To thrive, branding is key. So let’s take a page from an author’s book and find out 3 things that authors can teach bloggers about branding.

1. Niche and brand go hand-in-hand

Somewhere between 600,000 to 1,000,000 books are published every year in the U.S. alone. Any author who enters this market must compete with countless other stories clamoring for readers’ attentions! So if you’re wondering how an author can stand out and stand a chance of actually selling anything, a big part of the answer lies in one thing: the niche.

Knowing one’s niche is absolutely imperative to a writer’s success. The more popular and bestselling books that they read in their genre, the more they understand the patterns and tropes that made those works successful — as well as how to subvert them. Let’s say a writer is aiming to write a science fiction novel. They might first check out a list of the greatest science fiction books of all time, and start by reading some of the classics.

This goes for bloggers as well. The Internet is saturated with blogs these days. A simple search for “cooking blogs,” for instance, returns millions of results. Instead of wading into the thick of it and attempting to appeal to “anyone who wants to cook,” an aspiring cookbook blogger would be smart to determine a niche and narrow their brand down to that space. For instance: quick and easy recipes. Or Asian food. Or gluten-free recipes. The point is to clearly define it so that you can answer easily if someone asks you, “So what exactly is your blog about?” Then focus on owning that niche and becoming the go-to expert in it, so you can grow even more from there.

2. Voice is key to communicating brand

Once you’ve figured out what you want your identity to be online and which kind of niche will become your abode, you’ll need to develop a consistent and compelling voice to convey that to your audience.

This means neatly packaging your personality into your writing and all communications — and making sure that it’s uniform across your platforms. For instance, do you want your voice to be authoritative? Fun? Playful? Educational? It might be tougher than you think to nail down something that feels true to yourself. Even writers, who work with words every day, can take years to perfect voice. In this case, P.D. James advises aspiring writers and bloggers: “It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.”

In other words: start writing and practicing now! Gather inspiration from other bloggers in your niche. Trust your gut. And when you’ve perfected your voice, remember to stick to it. This is another important bit from the writer’s toolbox: you won’t find Stephen King, the undisputed king of horror, suddenly publishing a romance book. Likewise, you won’t find romance authors writing grimdark stories. (In fact, an author’s brand is so important that prominent authors in certain romance subgenres need to use pseudonyms in order to publish in other romance subgenres. Just take paranormal romance author J.R. Ward, who publishes contemporary romance under the name of Jessica Bird.)

Ultimately, brand coherence is important to retaining your audience and keeping your brand strong — and that goes for both blogging and writing.

3. Your audience will definitely judge your website by its design

At Reedsy, we tell authors over and over again that their book covers are one of their best marketing tools. For authors, an eye-catching, high-quality book cover is absolutely vital if they want the book to sell.

Why is that? Well, mostly because the book cover is the reader’s first impression of the book. "Don’t judge a book by its cover” may be a cliché, but as with many clichés, it’s totally rooted in truth. Like how your fashion style represents you, the vast majority of readers will see a book cover and decide in an instant if it’s interesting enough for them to actually read it.

This goes for your blog, too. Your blog is going to be the first point of contact for your audience, so you want to make sure that it’s presented cleanly and effectively. Your goal should be to make it an extension of the brand that you’ve created. From the color scheme to the overall presentation, it should make your audience want to linger, just as a book cover will encourage readers to actually reach out and read it.

But more than that, your blog is going to be a culmination of all the points that we discussed above. It should present your story, exemplify your niche, and incorporate your brand voice. Once you’ve nailed down these elements, you’re a step ahead of the crowd in perfecting your brand as a blogger.

About the Author: Emmanuel Nataf is a co-founder of Reedsy, a marketplace that connects authors and publishers with the world’s best editors, designers, and marketers. Emmanuel dedicates most of his time to building Reedsy’s product and is interested in how technology can transform cultural industries.

"How to Take Powerful Action & Increase Your Impact" with Confidence Coach Karen Donaldson on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

Confidence Coach Karen Donaldson
Show #486

Topic: "How to Take Powerful Action & Increase Your Impact" 

Karen Donaldson is an award winning, #1 multi Best Selling Author of 3 books. She is also the owner of Karen Donaldson Inc., and the brands; Speak and Get Booked and Speak Confident. She is a Certified Confidence Coach, Communication and Body Language Expert, Executive Public Speaking Coach and International Speaker.

Karen has been speaking and coaching for over 20 years, showing individuals exactly how to take powerful action and own their voice, increase their impact and confidence whenever they speak (verbally and non-verbally).

She is the secret weapon behind many CEO's, senior executives, successful entrepreneurs and politicians across North America and the UK, as she guides them and helps them to increase their capacity to authentically connect and engage as they lead and communicate. With her dynamic and interactive style as an expert speaker and coach, she moves her audience and clients into action and shows any "ready and willing" individual, how to become that leader who knows how to connect, engage and empower themselves and others. Karen has been a guest expert on both local and national media and is a sought after leader and certified expert in her industry. - Get a free download: "10 conversation starters that don't suck"

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Confidence Coach Karen Donaldson

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