• investment
    Marketing Your Work At Home Business

    Validating Your Financial Investment When Starting An Online Business

    Unfortunately, a large proportion of Internet businesses fail and their owners lose their seed capital. This could be avoided if the proper research and due diligence is carried out prior to making an investment. Internet marketing is a legitimate business and as such should be treated and approached with general business principles. As the owner and investor in the business you should seek immediate validation of your investment prior to moving forward with your project.

    Often this can be hard to do objectively as you are committed to the success of your ventures and to step back and assess your failures can often lead to short-term pain. To validate your investment there are traditionally three major areas you need to look at, and they are opportunity research, business case and brand positioning.

    Opportunity research is the process of gathering research data and statistics that you can use to form a business case and business assumptions. Without this data, assumptions on business potential or profit potential are meaningless. As an Internet marketer you can easily access this opportunity research data using keyword research and surveys.

    Once the opportunity research is complete you will begin to build a business case using the research data. The business case involves applying different business models and using financial modeling, which allows you to predict the income and expenses associated with your project.

    The final step in validation is defining your business brand positioning in the marketplace to ensure you can compete. Without a unique brand position and value statement it is difficult for your business to reach its full potential.

    This simple three-step validation procedure will ensure that any investment you make in your business is backed by sound due diligence. I like to think about going into business as buying a new house. You need to ensure the house is stable, has been built well and is a good investment. Internet businesses can be cost effective to start up, but this does not reduce the responsibility of validating your investment.

  • sex shop
    Marketing Your Work At Home Business

    Education & Networking Key To Making Online Sex Shop In Norway

    “Get Paid $200/hour for sitting around in your underwear!”

    “Housewife makes millions with Google, with only $100 investment!”

    “Earn big money from home, the beach, anywhere – while sipping cocktails and doing absolutely nothing!”

    You’ve seen the claims, plastered obnoxiously all over the web, especially if you’ve ever done a search in Google for anything relating to “work at home opportunities.” One thing there is absolutely no shortage of, are folks online, willing to sell you information on how to get rich, online. Some is legit, some not so much. Thankfully, real people who are actually making a real honest living working from home, are available to help you weed through the clutter and get to the heart of what it really takes to be successful as – many of them are right here on this blog!

    I am not going to talk about how to make you rich today. But I do want to answer a question I am regularly asked more often than any other question, while also imparting some wisdom to hopefully help clarify the difference between “making it rich with online sex shop” and “creating a reliable source of income while working from home.” Work from home doesn’t have to equate to sleazy “get rich quick” scheme. In fact, it shouldn’t.

    Of all the questions I am asked, the one I hear most is “How can I get started doing what you do?” I don’t think most folks who ask me this, actually have a solid understanding of the details around what it is I do for a living. I don’t know they ever had a light bulb moment where it was decided they wanted to be an Affiliate Manager specifically, or an Internet Marketing Consultant. Most folks actually tend to look at me like I have 2 heads when I answer the “what do you do for a living?” question (though, less frequently today than in the past – perhaps a sign that the internet is maturing some – it’s more mainstream now than it was when I first started). That is, that’s the look I get before they realize the flexibility my career affords me – an idea which is usually met with a mixture of curiosity and intrigue. And THEN the “How can I do what you do?” question arrives.

    I think, most of the time when people ask that question, what they are really saying is, “I want the flexibility and freedom to work for myself, on my own time, by my own rules and to my own standards. I want more time for family, friends and whatever other things make my life feel whole, happy, healthy, well balanced and complete. I want an overall improved quality of life.” And I can understand why. A huge part of what I love about my self-employment is the ability to enjoy just that. Unfortunately, often I’m asked this question after someone’s already invested in some get rich quick scheme promising a turnkey solution to financial freedom which produced no return on investment. They know what they want, they just don’t know how to get there.

    As mentioned by many of my fellow WAHM contributors right here on this blog, there are myriad legit ways to find career independence – not just in the specific role(s) I happen to play with sex toys. But the rise of the Internet has opened doors to many new career opportunities that didn’t exist in times of yore – at least not in the capacity they do today. Careers like Social Media Marketing consultants for example or “Community Managers” weren’t something that existed even 15+ years ago. Or Digital Media Specialists. Or Website Developers. Search Engine Marketers. Search Engine Optimization Experts. Web Content Strategists or Sex shops (yes, companies do hire professional bloggers, increasingly often today, or pay for articles by career writers). Today you can even be a Customer Service or Sex shop owner from the comfort of home, depending on the company you work for (if not self employed). The list goes on.

    So, the good news is, there are many career options today for those with their sights set on working independently from home. But no matter the role, the one thing all self-employment options have in common is, no one’s going to hand the opportunity to you. Like any other type of success, in career or otherwise, you have to get out there and OWN it.

    First figure out the what/why/when and “how” and then make it happen. Here are a few tips for finding success as a work from home professional:

    Make a list of sex toys – dildos, vibretors, analsex toys, you would be legitimately interested in, whether work from home or otherwise. If the work itself isn’t satisfying to you, working from home isn’t likely to make it a whole lot sweeter.
    Do your research. Sex sites like this one offer all sorts of ideas on what you can do to work from home in a variety of roles/capacities – whether working for yourself or someone else.
    Network with people in your field of choice both online and off. You’d be surprised what information some folks are willing to share.
    Source out a professional to help guide/mentor you (there are agencies and communities online that can match you with a mentor if you can’t find one yourself).
    If an opportunity seems too good to be true, it probably is. Ask questions of professionals you trust to review the opportunity for you, if you aren’t sure. Communities like Women Online Marketers United, can help.
    Check out job boards for opportunities where companies are hiring to fill positions remotely. A few to check out: http://www.elance.com The Affiliate Summit Forum Indeed.com Job Listings Linkedin.com
    Consider interning for a few months with someone who is already working from home in self employment
    Identify the roles you’re most interested in and then get started at learning whatever it is you need in order to become an expert (or at least competent) in that arena/field.
    Source out educational opportunities to help you learn the skills and expertise you’ll need to be a smash success in your chosen field (just like in the offline regular working world). Especially if you plan to be a consultant of any type, clients are more likely to hire someone who is an ‘expert’ in their field. You may not be an expert today but with enough education and practice you can become one. Educational opportunities and resources to help hone your skills/expertise include:
    Local business events/seminars/conferences
    Online webinars (some charge a fee, but many are free)
    Websex discussion forums (play around with keyword searches in Google and explore various ones until you find one or a few that seem worthwhile)
    Local colleges and universities may offer courses to help improve your skills. You don’t necessarily need a whole degree but a few courses can really help.
    You will have to do your homework before you find the right direction for you but the options are out there. Figuring out answers to all those “W” questions (and the one “H”) can often be the most daunting part as there is such an overwhelm of information available today. But spending the time up front to do that can be the difference between dreaming about porn working from home and making it a reality.

    What have your experiences with trying to break into the work at home field been? What are your challenges? Are you a WAHM? How did you get into it? We want to hear from you – feel free to use the comments section below to share your thoughts.

  • Marketing Your Work At Home Business

    Using eVoice® to Make Your Small Business Appear More Professional

    As a Mompreneur, you need your company to appear professional and well run, but the typical solutions that larger businesses use are too cumbersome or costly for small businesses to support.

    eVoice® can provide you with the same phone system features and abilities that larger companies take for granted.

    Work from anywhere

    If all you need is the ability to work from anywhere, eVoice® has you covered with automatic call forwarding. You can forward calls to any number or even to multiple numbers. The smart forwarding ability in eVoice® can ring multiple alternate numbers at the same time or ring them sequentially in whatever order you choose.

    Receive voicemail any way you choose
    When you’re on the go, you may not have time to check voice mail, but eVoice® solves the problem by turning your voicemail into email that you can read on your PC or mobile device. It can even transcribe the voice message into text if you’re in a location where making a phone call or booting up a PC won’t work.

    A quick glance at a few lines of text can help set your mind at ease so you can respond if the message is urgent or set your mind at ease that you can return the call later if it’s not urgent.

    Click to call
    The subscription includes a “click to call” widget that’s easy to add to your website so prospects can get in touch right away. It’s easy to set hours when you’re unavailable so you don’t get calls in the middle of the night. With click to call, a prospect can reach you with a single click while your business is still top of mind.

    Local numbers
    One of the hardest things to compete with is a big business’ ability to be in multiple locations. Now you can be in multiple locations too — or at least give that impression. With eVoice® , you can select local numbers or toll free numbers so prospects have the reassuring feeling that you and your team are nearby.

    Advanced features
    It goes without saying that a professionally recorded attendant answers all your calls, and you can set up menu options that use the same voice too. With the included dial extension by name capabilities, call transfers, speed dialing, conference calls and even web conferencing, you’ve got a fully featured digital phone system that big companies pay big bucks to own. For an extra fee, you can add in call recording, which is helpful for journalists conducting phone interviews or for group meetings so attendees can review the discussion later.

    Mobile apps
    You can access eVoice® on iOS, Android or Blackberry devices, as well as a PC. You can manage and review calling history, and access other features right from your phone.
    eVoice 30 Day Free Trial

    Highly affordable
    The entry-level 2-extension pricing is $9.95 per month, and you get 300 monthly minutes. The 3-extension plan includes 500 minutes, and the 5-extension plan offers 1000 minutes. All plans include an overage fee for extra minutes, and the rate for overages varies by the plan you’re on. For more extensions or minutes, the company will work out a custom plan for you. All plans include a 30-day free trial, and if you’re not happy, it’s easy to cancel with just a phone call.

    Most small businesses and home-based businesses can benefit from the professional phone services available from eVoice® . Your business will not only appear larger and more professional, but you will benefit from the additional organization and mobility that the service provides.

  • Baseball
    Marketing Your Work At Home Business

    How Direct Sales Is Like Baseball

    As a sports mom, I often use sports analogies in “real life”. There is so much to be learned from these simple concepts that can be applied to our everyday lives. It helps me in building a strong business and I am excited to share some these ideas with you today!
    Know Your Batting Average
    In baseball, you can fail seven out of ten times and still be a winner. So many people begin a direct sales business and then quit because the first few people they talked to were not interested. In order to build a strong team and client base you have to have lots of at bats. If you strike out, keep stepping up to the plate. Even if you only close three out of ten leads, you are still an all-star caliber player.

    If you think you can start a new business in direct sales without practicing and learning new skills, you will soon learn that you are just plain wrong. There are so many skills that you will need to succeed in direct sales and they need to be sharpened every day. Baseball players practice for hours every day working on hitting, fielding, base running, etc. They have many different skills that they need to keep sharp to be a strong, well rounded player.

    This is the same with direct sales. It is so important that you identify the things that you can improve about yourself and start training. Ball players hire coaches all the time to help them fine tune certain skills. As a direct sales consultant you have access to many resources that you can tap into, from books to your sponsor. Create a daily schedule and work on improving your skills consistently.

    Have An Audience
    A baseball game without fans would be no fun. When you launch your direct sales business, do it in front of an audience. Let people watch what you are doing and they will be drawn to you and it will help you to be held accountable. Develop a strategy for how you will market your business and be consistent. You can do things like social media postings, weekly parties or meetings, ads in local papers.
    Any of these things will help people notice you. What you need to do next is stay consistent and positively represent yourself so people will be interested in what you are doing. In the beginning, we all have to fake it until we make it…but part of making it is not quitting. Stay focused. Build your audience and give them a good show.

    Keep Your Eye On The Ball
    Don’t get distracted with what you are doing. Have goals and stay focused on achieving them. Don’t lose sight of what you need to achieve and focus on your priorities. Some of your distractions might even be the people that you love most. Starting a direct sales company will often times make your family doubt you and this can be difficult to get past. You have to keep your eye on the ball, remember why you started and don’t quit. Even if you have to run thirty feet and dive every time until you succeed, stay focused and catch the ball.

    Build A Strong Team
    As you begin to learn how to recruit strong leaders, you will start to appreciate the different skill sets and how they can all positively affect your entire consultant community. Everyone can’t play the same position, but you will need all of them to field a strong team. Make sure that you are providing the right amount of direction and support for your team as they go through the various seasons of their business. Baseball is a team sport. You need all the players and they need you.

    Don’t Let Someone Steal On You
    If you snooze, you will lose. Make sure that you don’t let anyone steal your base. Stay in touch with your prospects so that when they are ready to join your team, they feel confident that you are the one to enroll under. Following up and keeping your eye on your base will help your prospects feel like they are important and joining a strong team. If you flounder or go too long without connecting with them, they will seek out someone else.

    It’s All In Your Head
    It’s been said that baseball is 80% mental and 20% skill. This is true of direct sales too. You have to dig deep to find the confidence it takes to succeed. You will be your own worst enemy if you don’t believe in yourself. Work on building your confidence level so that people begin to trust what you are saying. People will talk to you because they like you, but the more you believe in yourself and what you are doing the more people will trust you.

    Be A Good Sport
    Keep your chin up when you fail. Always hold your head up high and just move on to the next game. Even if you are so upset inside, hold it together. Remember that people are watching you. Identify what you need to do to improve and work with your coach on getting some direction.

    Congratulate The Competition
    Build relationships with those on your sidelines and congratulate them as they succeed. As you rise in ranks within your direct sales organization, it is much better to be friends with your peers than to bad mouth them or not learn from each other. You are all winners and have so much in common. Enjoy everyone in the organization.

    Know When To Swing
    Everyone is on a different schedule in life. Know how to identify the right time to talk to someone about your business. You have to have the finesse to know when to not say anything. If you come across too pushy at the wrong time in someone’s life you could strike out.

    Be A Role Model
    Credibility is so important in direct sales. Be the person that you are trying to find. People will look up to you. Even when you are brand new you will know more than the person that you are adding to your team. Always represent yourself in a positive way. This is even more important if you are using social media to market your business. The days of posting last night’s escapades on Facebook are over. Be professional and be in business mode every day.

    Be Willing To Ride The Pine
    Learn to pay your dues and don’t quit. Building a residual income is going to take time. You need to commit to your business for the long haul. Success will not happen overnight and you need to be prepared and ready for a long term commitment.

    Make It Into The Hall Of Fame
    Work hard and get yourself to the top of your company. Work hard, climb the ranks and fight to achieve your goals. Make sure you are known for what you gave to others and what you taught others as you work your way to the top it will pay off in the end.

    Listen To Your Coach
    Even if it is not the person that you enrolled under you will have a coach or mentor. This person may never actually speak one word to you. Know who it is and have your eyes and ears on what they are doing. Learn everything you can from them.

  • email
    Marketing Your Work At Home Business

    Using Campaigner to Turn Your Email List into Revenue

    According to research published by MarketingSherpa, 64 percent of companies will see an increase in their email marketing budget in 2013, so there will be a lot of competition to attract readers and convince them to click through and convert.

    To earn your fair share of those clicks, your email marketing will have to stand out from the crowd. You will need an effective email marketing tool to manage the details so you can spend your time refining your message and tactics.

    Campaigner is a cloud-based email tool that works well for newbies to email marketing as well as for seasoned pros, so whichever group you fall into, take a closer look at Campaigner.

    List management

    Campaigner helps with that most dreaded of tasks – list management – by supporting easy imports of existing contacts and makes it easy to add sign up forms to your website or social media pages. It also Grow Your Business with Email Marketing

    manages bounces so your list stays cleaner. In the same research report, MarketingSherpa reports that many companies are discouraged about their ability to grow their lists, so the tools Campaigner brings may help keep you from becoming part of that unhappy statistic.

    Helpful features that improve email effectiveness

    Email marketing is most effective when sent to a targeted group, and Campaigner makes it easy to narrow your list with easy to use filters. You can set up static segments for groups you send to repeatedly, or you can create dynamic groups for specials, new products or events. Prospects are less likely to regard your email as spam if they receive targeted emails with content that is of interest to them, and filtering will improve your conversion rate and help keep your list healthy.

    Built in analytics provide immediate feedback on what’s working and what isn’t, so you can easily fine-tune your campaigns to maximize conversions and revenue.

    Campaigner includes a “Share Bar” that provides links to social media sites to enable users to forward your emails easily, amplifying your reach exponentially and helping you to grow your list. When the people already on your list share your emails with friends and acquaintances, you know you’ve done something right.

    Campaigner also includes over 600 themed email templates that you can customize, or you can create your own from the ground up so you control every aspect of your branding. There are holiday themed templates, newsletter templates, and even templates for mobile email, so you should be able to find something that works if you’re not up for building your own from scratch.

    Campaigner automates mundane tasks
    Campaigner also includes easy auto-responders so you can reply to frequently asked questions or requests for information without having to manage them individually. This is also a great way to manage recurring campaigns or campaigns triggered by a customer’s actions.

    Campaigner bases its pricing on the number of contacts.

    Number of Contacts

    Monthly Fee

    • Up to 1000
      $ 10
    • 1,001 to 2,500
      $ 25
    • 2,501 to 5,000
      $ 40
    • 5,001 to 10,000
      $ 55
    • 10,001 to 25.000
    • 25,001 to 50,000

    Pricing for companies with more than 50,000 contacts is by quote.

    It’s easy to sign up for campaigner with the 30-day free trial offer. You don’t need to provide a credit card number unless you choose to go beyond the trial, so there’s no risk in taking campaigner out for a trial spin.

    Campaigner is easy to use and provides all the tools most companies need for effective email marketing, if you’re looking for a way to increase revenue, Campaigner might be exactly what you need to kickstart your efforts.

  • Business
    Marketing Your Work At Home Business

    Get More Publicity for Your Business, Service, or Event the Easy Way

    A Q&A Interview with Crissy Herron of IndieBizChicks.com
    The other day I mentioned Crissy’s newly released package to give your business a nice little boost with publicity tips, checklists, and fresh press release ideas. She really over-delivered with all the tools she packed into the program. Of course when it comes to publicity there are all sorts of questions in terms of how to get it, where to get it, and why you should go after it.

    Check out the Learn How To Get More Publicity Package Here
    Crissy kindly offered to do a quick Q&A with us today about publicity, so I gathered up five of the most frequently asked questions from a brainstorming group that I’m part of and put her on the hot seat.

    Let’s jump right in!

    Q1: Let’s start off with a fun question to get the ball rolling. What’s the most interesting or unusual result you’ve seen come from a press release submission?

    I can’t say that I’ve had anything unusual happen. One time, a writer called me a “Web Woman,” in a front page headline. I thought it made me sound like I was Spider Man’s girlfriend…

    Q2: You and I both consider a blog as a small business in most cases, but bloggers don’t often think about doing publicity and press releases. Can you give them a quick example of what could happen when they dig in and do this kind of work for their blog?

    I know there are some people who just have blogs to post pictures and stories for their families to read, but in most cases, if someone has a blog, one of their goals is to get web traffic. By sending out press releases, writing guest posts, interacting with the media, etc, their blogs will get a lot of exposure. They will get more traffic, and that can equal more sales, more ad revenue, etc.

    Q3: Sometimes sorting through the daily HARO and guest blogging lists can be tiresome, and sometimes the contacts aren’t always the best at communication. I think they’re probably equally tired from all the replies they get each day. Can you give us a quick tip for dealing with those publicity contacts?

    There are several things that a business owner can do to make this easier. First of all, they can outsource it to someone else, such as a VA or an Intern.

    If that’s not an option, or if they choose to do it themselves, set up a filter in your email for the HARO emails. These emails get delivered three times a day. Instead of checking them as they come in, look at them once a day. And, instead of looking at each section, just look at the section that is relevant to your business.

    For example, there is a “High Tech” section. If you blog about knitting, you can skip those requests. I know this may sound simple, but if you set a timer of 30 minutes, and don’t do anything else in that 30 minutes except going through that day’s requests, and responding to the requests that fit your business, you’ll get through all of them in that 30 minutes.

    Side note: Crissy’s package featured here includes a special report focused on how to use HARO the right way in your ongoing publicity efforts.
    Learn How To Get More Publicity

    Q4: Buzz, buzz, buzz. Everyone wants buzz, but sometimes I wonder if people actually know what that means for them. How do you view buzz for small businesses and bloggers?

    I think “buzz” happens when someone in the media is talking about your or featuring you. I don’t discriminate between “small” and “big” media. Any time someone wants to feature you, whether they are a blogger with a small readership, or if they are a national newspaper, go for it. Every little bit helps!

    Q5: One last question before we sign off for the day. You covered a lot about press releases in the package and even gave some handy pre-written formats to fill in the blanks and go.

    Give us a definite “don’t” when it comes to press releases. What’s one ultra mistake that you want people to avoid when they dive into the world of publicity and using press releases for their business?

    First of all, not following the right format is a no-no. Press Releases come in a specific format, with certain information going in certain places.

    A journalist wants to be able to find the information they need, quickly and easily. They’ll even write stories from that press release, without calling you for additional facts. (By the way, that’s why you need to make sure you answer the Who, What, Why, When, and Where in that press release!)

    If you send them a press release where the information is out of order, or missing, and they’re on a deadline, they’re not going to take the time to figure it out. They’ll move on to the next story.

    And you also want to send the press release in with enough lead time for the reporter to create that story. If you have an event on Saturday, don’t send a press release in on Friday and expect to have coverage.

    Thank you so much for talking tips with us today, Crissy. I really appreciate it, and I definitely appreciate everything that you do for small business, women of the web, and bloggers in general – you rock 🙂

    Ready to dig in and start getting more publicity and exposure for your business? Check out Crissy’s new publicity tools and learning package by clicking here.

    The full package includes 7 educational workbooks, 3 handy to have checklists, 5 pre-written press release templates, and 5 informational audios to help guide you through the process of earning publicity. Seriously, I told you she over-delivered on this one. It’s packed full of resources!

  • Promote
    Marketing Your Work At Home Business

    Using Instagram to Promote Your Business

    I have fallen in love with Instagram. At first I thought it was just a photo sharing platform, however I’ve discovered it’s a fantastic way to share your view, your perspective and your business. There is no character limit. There are no lengthy conversations. There’s also no plastering of links and ads all over the place. The primary function of Instagram is sharing photos that you love, for whatever reason. Using this tool, you can share the inside view of your business and grow a new angle to represent your company.

    I Love Instagram I Love Instagram

    I recently attended a session all about using Instagram at the creative blogger conference, SNAP!. The presentation was offered by Rhonna Ferrer, Shelly from The House of Smiths and Susan from Freshly Picked. Each uses Instagram in their own way and if you follow each of them, they share entirely different views. However, they all agreed, you can use the platform to share the “behind the scenes” view of what’s going on with you, your business and your brand.

    Here’s a couple thoughts about using Instagram to promote your business and brand:

    Instagram is a form of microblogging. Instead of 140 characters, you get a single photo to convey a message.
    Make your photos personal, sharing perspectives, opinions and your own unique view.
    Inspire questions and interaction, spark an interest.
    Be consistant with the look and feel of your images.
    Be relatable, share things that other’s can relate to. Things like family, food, entertainment, travel… this is all a part of that “personal” touch.
    Make sure to connect with your followers and those you follow. Leave comments, reply, give feedback and say thank you.
    I’ve been using Instagram for a few months now and love the low pressure sharing. If I’m inspired to take a picture, it’s usually inspiration enough for me to share the photo on Instagram. For me, this simple requirement to share is enough. I don’t worry about what title or which link to post, none of that is included. I add text describing why I took the photo or why I’m sharing it and that’s it. My goal is to show creativity can come from anywhere, so anything I share could quality. If you are a family run business, showing what you do, the family involved and interacting with a family friendly approach would help build your brand through Instagram.

    If you’re on Instagram, follow me! I’m jgoodedesigns. Don’t forget to say hi!

  • Shameless
    Marketing Your Work At Home Business

    When Is a Shameless Plug Okay?

    Over the weekend I joined a Facebook group of people who are all going on the same Disney cruise that I am this summer. It’s intended as a way for us to get to know each other in advance, learn more about shore excursions and ship activities, etc. As it turns out, one of the members of the group has been a member of my site SunshineRewards.com since we opened.

    We had no idea that we would be on the same cruise! We started chatting on the page a bit about it and people started asking about Sunshine. I felt a little bit awkward because I am not much of a self-promoter. And yet I knew that these people were my EXACT target demographic–Disney fans with some disposable income who are comfortable online. I couldn’t pick a group of people better suited to promote Sunshine to! But I was held back by not wanting to appear promotional or as if my motive for joining the group wasn’t pure.

    When is it okay just to toss out a shameless plug for yourself and not feel guilty about it? Some people would say “always” while others would say “never.” I’m in the middle and think these are some times that are perfectly okay:

    At an event where the main purpose is to network about your business (easy one!).
    At an educational event where people around you are likely in the same business (still pretty easy).
    In a blog post such as this one where it’s part of the story (see how I worked that in?).
    When someone else brings up your business and asks you to explain it (sort of my Disney example but not really).
    When you are giving out something for free and people expect to hear some kind of pitch or advertising information (but not necessarily a “hard sell).
    In a social setting where everyone is talking about what they do for a living.
    What other examples can you think of where it’s acceptable to plug your business? When is it definitely NOT acceptable?

  • Business
    Marketing Your Work At Home Business

    Have You Embraced Pinterest For Your Business Yet?

    By now I’m sure you’ve heard of Pinterest. It’s likely you have an account for your own personal use. But are you really using it for your business? Pinterest offers a great opportunity with some interesting tools to help you promote your promote your products, build awareness and inspire current customers to buy again. There’s now Pinterest business pages and most recently, analytics. You can always share pretty pictures and links to your products, but now you can alo see how users are interacting with those pins.

    Melissa Taylor, author of Pinterest Savvy, shares plenty of juicy details and how tos for making Pinterest work for your business. She’s gained more than 1 million followers on her own Pinterest boards. She’s written this book to help other’s follow the steps she took to find success. Learn how to attract more followers & increase brand awareness, read success stories of top Pinners and start using business specific strategies. Pinterest isn’t useful to businesses unless those pretty pins turn into sales. There are specific techniques and approaches a business needs and learning to use this tool appropriately can help grow your business.

    Here are some questions to ask yourself about your business and using Pinterest:

    How can I use Pinterest to grow my brand awareness?
    How can Pinterest help me reach my marketing and sales goals?
    How can Pinterest increase my traffic?
    How can Pinterest turn followers into buyers and traffic into sales?

  • facebook
    Marketing Your Work At Home Business

    Are You Using Facebook for Your Business?

    You may think of Facebook pages as being for large brands and businesses who sell products, but you could be missing out if you don’t have one.

    Remember, Facebook doesn’t want personal profile pages being used for business purposes – you need to use a page if you want to do business there. Using your regular personal profile page to promote your business can get your account locked and even deleted entirely without warning.

    Having a Facebook page for your business allows you to stay in contact with your customers, and every business needs to do that! Yes, you can certainly stay in contact with your customers and potential customers via your newsletter and blog, but having a presence on Facebook gives you another outlet.

    Your ultimate goal for your business is to get new customers and repeat business from your current customers. In order to do that, you have to be promoting yourself. Facebook allows you to do that in an informal way.

    You can promote your business on Facebook, just by being social. For example, you can post a question as your status update. You could also post a motivational quote or a helpful tip. When someone responds or likes your status update, the people on their friends list will see that in their news feeds, and your business will be introduced to new people.

    While you do want to be social, it is also important that you ask for the sale. If you don’t ask for one, you won’t get one. If all you do is post motivational quotes, people will accept that. They won’t ask you what you can do for them. You have to post about the services you provide, as well. Don’t be afraid of coming off as “pushy.” As long as you maintain a good balance between being social and promoting your business, you will be fine.

    Maintaining an active Facebook page for your business doesn’t have to be a big chore. You can write your status updates and set them to post at a later date within Facebook or by using HootSuite, a free social media tool that allows you to write status updates and tweets up to 6 months in advance.

    If you want to get really in-depth and learn how to use Facebook to grow your business and even to build a list, check out this four hour micro-workshop plus plenty of bonus material to help you along the way.

  • digital-marketing
    Marketing Your Work At Home Business

    Who To Trust in Internet Marketing

    Having been an online marketer for 8 years now, I’ve fallen for my fair share of “this product is the new greatest thing” emails. When I am introduced at local meetups as an “expert” in my field, people always start asking me if I know X, Y, and Z marketers because they are supposedly the “gurus” of Internet marketing. 9 times out of 10, I have no idea who the people are. And yet I know the people I really trust to teach me about affiliate marketing. People like Shawn Collins and Missy Ward from Affiliate Summit. Scott Jangro from Shareist. And hundreds of others to numerous to even name.

    Why do I trust those people more than I trust all of these others that I keep hearing about and that I see selling products? How can you tell who to trust?

    In working on the Affiliate Marketing Plan launch with Todd Farmer the last few weeks I had to do a lot of soul searching about how to reach the people that want to be reached about affiliate marketing education but not come off like one of those “gurus” that I don’t trust. Here are some of the realizations that I came to:

    It’s okay to sell a product or service and make money from it. That’s why we are all here. Just because someone is selling something doesn’t take away the trust factor.
    But along with that, it’s not all about selling. The people I trust give just as much for free (if not more) than what they sell. It may be in speaking at conferences, writing blog posts, or even just retweeting important information. But they are giving and not always just selling.
    When someone is trustworthy, they don’t have to pay everyone to spread the word about what they are doing. Referrals and affiliate programs are nice, but people talk about true experts just because they believe in what they are doing.
    Trust is built fastest when a personal connection is involved. We all use mass mailings. But how many people take the time to respond to personal emails and tweets or leave comments when you write a blog post? I can’t tell you how many times Shawn has left a comment on one of my blog posts just to continue the conversation. He wasn’t selling or dropping links. He was genuinely responding.
    I will admit that I have become pretty skeptical about people always trying to sell me the next big thing in online marketing. That has caused me to pull back from responding to a lot of offers. At the same time, I want to expand my network and exchange information with people. Because of that, I have to trust others. It’s just a matter of trusting the right people.

  • student
    Marketing Your Work At Home Business

    4 Tips for Writing a Blog Post When You’re Out of Inspiration

    Some days the words flow like a river. Other days they’re stuck behind a dam. But if you’re running a blog, you don’t have the luxury of waiting until inspiration strikes. A successful blog depends on consistent, original content that keeps its audience engaged. That means even rainy days need to be answered with some sort of blog post.

    But, bloggers are also keenly aware of the importance of quality in their content. Even one bad post can cause readers to reconsider whether they want to devote their time to your regular blog postings. A lack of inspiration isn’t an excuse to publish a post that provides nothing of value to readers. So how do you overcome this paradox?

    For beginning and amateur bloggers, this is a serious challenge. But seasoned bloggers and content managers all have their tricks for maintaining quality content even over stretches when the passion is reeling, whether from exhaustion, stress or a dry well of creativity. When you reach these obstacles, there are at least four things you can do to press on in a meaningful way.

    1. Compile Q&As

    If you have a steady stream of readers, you have a great blog post to fill gaps. Encourage readers to send you questions and let them build up until you’re ready to publish an entire post dedicated to responding to those questions. I take a similar approach on AskMissyWard.com, where questions related to affiliate marketing can be submitted for future blog posts.

    With the questions submitted by readers, your format and content are essentially chosen for you. All you have to do is fill in the blanks.

    1. Offer commentary on recent industry news

    What’s the latest buzz in your industry? What about new innovations, companies, opportunities, etc.? Just by keeping up with the news that’s relevant to the blog you’re curating, you should be able to cobble together some quick paragraphs that brief your readers on industry news while offering a space to editorialize. Once again, the industry’s recent news creates the format and directs the conversation for you.

    1. Create a post covering tools and resources to solve a specific problem

    If you want to flex your expertise without draining your creative drive, focus on a single problem or challenge within your industry and provide readers with a game plan for overcoming that challenge. Identify tools and resources both online and offline, as well as any professional guidance you can offer. As people flock to search engines in search of answers to their current problems, you could earn a lot of traffic over the coming months and years.

    1. Curate a weekly roundup

    Whether you offer commentary on industry news or not, roundup blog posts are both easy to write and valuable to readers. By keeping a pulse on the industry, you can put together a weekly post that condenses the biggest news and articles from across the industry into a single post on your blog. This helps solidify your status as a viable news source while keeping your blog active and fresh.

    Running an effective, useful blog isn’t always the easiest job, but it’s rewarding when you can continue to deliver valuable content to your readers. Use these tips to keep things fresh, even when you’re short on ideas.

    Do you have any other tips for creating content when you’ve hit a brick wall?