Archive | March, 2017

11 Things You Should Do to Build an Awesome Local Presence

Local is all the rage these days as more and more businesses realise the importance of nearby audiences for more opportunities. Here are some steps you can take to make sure that your website is taking advantage of the best options for local prospects.

1. Optimise your website content

To attract a local audience, you need to look trustworthy and professional. Start by making sure that your website content is fully optimised. Include concise and relevant information, such as your locations, contact numbers and email, as well as an interactive map showing where you can be found. Showcase customer stories, FAQs and a blog to have a more personal approach.

2. Go mobile

According to Google and Nielsen, 75% of mobile searches for local stores and services lead to a store visit, a purchase, more research, or a call. This undeniable opportunity cannot be missed by local SMBs. Make sure to incorporate mobile response into your game.

3. Get found in listings and directories

Your local presence will not be complete if you can’t be found in local directories online. Own all your listings by providing updated information. Get listed on Google Places for Business as well as Local Google+ pages. These will help you provide accurate information to customers as well as communicate with them and get more exposure.

4. Use social media to your advantage

Social media is a powerful tool for online business, making and breaking businesses. Make sure that you have active social media profiles in the various platforms where your customers can reach you. This doesn’t stop at just creating a Facebook page.

Analyse your target audience and find out what platform they would likely use more, such as Pinterest or Instagram for fashion or food, and maintain a strong presence there. Knowing how people use different platforms is invaluable, such as how Twitter for quick questions and shout-outs, or Facebook for sharing content and stories.

5. Use localised Search Engine Marketing

Increase people’s awareness of your business with pay-per-click ads on search engines. Choose keywords that are most relevant for your business within the area. This will allow your company to target the audience in the specific area and give you a competitive advantage over other businesses.

6. Find your voice

Many companies attract a large following by having a distinct approach – a human touch or voice behind the business. Find the personality to build your business around, whether that’s incorporating a family business approach or quirky language. This will help local audiences to recall your business when they are looking for your services.

7. Get involved in the community

Local visibility can be greatly improved by being involved in local events. One way to do this is organising a drive for a good cause that will benefit a particular local audience. Not only do you generate good public relations, but you also get to give back to the community that supports your business.

8. All about branding

Branding is a must, whether you’re a small business or a more established one. This includes not just a logo or a tagline, but the overall image that you project within the community. Give your branding a local touch by including local trends, expressions or approach.

9. Encourage local reviews

With so many people with access to the web, prospects are able to find what others say about you with just a few clicks. This is why having reviews from genuine customers is important. The more good reviews your business receives, the more likely it is that people will choose what you have to offer.

10. Join local business organisations

Getting involved in local business organisations is a good way of establishing ties within the larger business setting. This will help you build your network and be more visible in the community.

11. Closely monitor results for continuous improvement

Lastly, striving for further improvement is important for any business, big or small. Monitor the results of your efforts and analyse where you can still improve. Listen to customer feedback and make sure to lessen negative talk across the web.

When it comes to local presence, it’s a good idea to build a business that your audiences can relate to, something that can have a certain bearing on their daily lives. These steps will help you on your way.

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Teaching Tips – Using the 4 "P’s" of Powerful Teaching

Great teaching does not happen just because you show up to school. In order to be a great teacher, you must be willing to work and work hard. You must continually work at improving your skills, obtaining more knowledge and furthering your development if you are to become a great teacher.

Let’s face it, on every campus from elementary to the university if you ask students who their favorite teacher is the same few names will continually come up. Would you like to be one of these teachers? If your answer is “Yes” then you need to read the following principles, learn these principles and put these principles into action.

The 4 “P’s” of Powerful Teaching

Planning

If you are going to be an effective teacher you must be prepared, and preparation comes from careful planning. You must know what you are going to present and how you are going to present it. Then you must practice, practice, practice. You must become comfortable with the material and be ready to answer any questions the students might ask. Planning ahead will make you look knowledgeable, professional and polished.

Persistence

In order to be a great teacher you must be persistent. You cannot give up or quit at the first sign of trouble. You must be willing to help solve problems, give a little extra and go the extra mile. Great teaching seldom happens overnight, it comes from consistently applying yourself to problems and overcoming the problems.

Patience

The teacher who desires to impact the lives of her students will have an abundance of patience. Patience is necessary to show your students that you care and are willing to wait till they get it. It’s not important that you cover every topic in the book, what counts is that your students learn what you covered. Always remember, if you didn’t create a memory then you didn’t teach anything.

Passion

“Anyone can dabble, but once you’ve made that commitment, your blood has that particular thing in it, and it’s very hard for people to stop you.” – Bill Cosby

Great teaching comes from the teacher with passion. If you aren’t passionate about your teaching please don’t teach. Teaching is not a job it is a profession. In order to be great you must have a fire burning inside you.

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A Successful Program = Recipient Buy In

There are a lot of names that these hybrids are being called right now. The businesses are basically conceived when a traditional corporate business model meets a nonprofit organization. They not only take profits into consideration, they take people and the planet into the same consideration.

I freaking love the concept and these companies fascinate me.

Yes, I am a nerd.

Anyway, back to talking to people…

Quite a few conversations stem from the owner having a great idea (and yes, it’s great) and wanting to spread the idea all around to improve another’s circumstances. However, when I inquire as to how they feel they will measure the impact of the said idea, I find not a lot have thought that far into it.

And that’s OK… a lot of us have so much on our plates these days, that small detail does in fact, get lost in translation. Which leads me to the topic of today’s article. Here is a great way to know if the impact of whatever you are doing is, in fact, working.

I have 3 words for you: Recipient Buy In.

Make sense?

I actually refer to recipient buy in as the holy grail of any program trying to promote positive change. When I serve as a peer reviewer for grant proposals, that is actually something I look for the applying entity to already be experiencing. It means it has its mojo established within the community.

You can throw a billion dollars at a need. However if whatever is on the other end that is being affected is not jumping on board with you, it’s not going to happen, and resources will be squandered. It will be a lost cause.

This theory can hold true in the nonprofit and business sector. Remember the old adage, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.”

So, in the end, it’s not going to be enough to have a great idea of what kind of impact you want to see happen. You need to have a clear vision of how you will measure the success of the impact, and recipient buy in has to happen in order for you to be able to measure anything for that matter.

My suggestion is always to get feedback from the recipients before assuming what can assist and what cannot. Figure out what is needed before you go in guns a blazin. Trust me when I say you will be surprised at what they tell you.

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7 Critical Questions Every WAHM Entrepreneur Needs to Ask

Last week, I started a Find Your Passion video series … starting with the basics. How to figure out what your passion is and how to begin to see how you could create a business from an idea, your passion. As moms, it can be challenging to even stop to take the time to do this! I hope I was able to allow you to take a few minutes to really focus on what it is you really are passionate about!

Now that you have some sort of idea as to what your passion is, it is time to ask some critical questions to help clarify your Business Vision! Do you have one already? If so, GREAT! If not, again, take a few minutes and read through these 7 questions to begin the clarification process for you. Be sure to stay tuned as I have many more questions I will reveal in the upcoming posts!

Got your journal ready? Okay, here we go …

1. What is the WHY for me? WHY is pursuing this passion / business so important now?

2. How will this business serve and help others?

3. Who will be involved?

4. How will it enhance / change my life?

5. When it is built, what do I see? Who is surrounding me? Where am I? What am I feeling? What do I hear?

6. What will people say when they think of my business? What will the buzz be?

7. Where do I see it heading? Expanding? Sold? Passed on to family?

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Cheap Family Reunion Vacations

When it comes to family reunion vacation planning the sky is the limit. But planning one that’s affordable yet fun may seem to be quite a challenge. Not to worry. There are many ways to cut down the expense of family reunion vacations. Here are a number of money saving tips that can reduce costs up to 75%.

1. Book as many attendees as possible for deep discounts based on group rates.

2. Consider using your senior discount privileges where applicable.

3. Google vacation destinations and concentrate of agencies that offer the best rate cuts

4. Use entertainment books that feature destination discount rates and coupons

5. Use travel agencies that are sponsored by the company a family member works for.

Don’t Forget The Children

Often family reunions cater to adults. But for your family reunion to be a fun and exciting venture for all it’s important to plan a child-friendly event. Children get discounts almost as often and seniors so take a head count. Consider the what activities the children will enjoy. The first step is getting the children involved in the family reunion planning process. Ask the children to create a long list of possible activities all would enjoy.

Family Vacation Resorts

Family vacation resorts are the ideal destination for family reunion events. Best of all there are great price reductions for groups or 10, 20 or more. Everything you need to enjoy a relaxing reunion vacation is just a few steps away. Families can enjoy exotic food, cool down with a flavorful variety of refreshing drinks by sunny pools.

Camping and Nature Trails

For families that love the outdoors nothing could be better than breathing in the cool mountain air at a camp site, taking long hikes along mountain trails and getting cozy in a log cabin warmed by a natural log fire. You’ll find great discounts in the fall. Nature lovers are captivated by mysterious caverns, fishing, bird watching, rock climbing and more. Families can take a nature tour by horseback and visit lakes and streams along the way.

City Bus Tours

Luxury bus tours are one of the most inexpensive ways to travel while still enjoying a classy reunion event. What could be more exciting than taking a bus trip to a big city hotel with indoor malls and funky sidewalk shops awaiting your perusal. Visit trendy restaurants and try out a variety of cultural cuisine. Take in a Broadway show and top it all off with breakfast in bed the next morning before checkout.

At A Theme Park

What kid would not enjoy the amazing rides, games, contests and competitions had at one of the popular theme parks, formerly known as amusement parks or water parks. Theme parks feature discount coupons for groups. Theme parks includes all kinds of amusements from roller coasters to outdoor stunt shows with a variety of themes. Want to make sure your kids have a great time? Take them to a theme park and they will be eternally grateful.

Family Reunion Cruises

Now exotic vacations on luxury cruise lines are the in thing for groups determined to relax, be pampered, served while enjoying an unforgettable family reunion. Best of all group packages, last minute booking and off season cruise travel can save you up to 75% off standard costs. Family business meetings can be held in cruise conference rooms and ball rooms. Some of the more popular cruise ships are listed below.

Cruise Ships

Carnival

Celebrity

Costa

Crystal

Cunard

Disney

Windstar Holland

Norwegian

Princess

Radisson

Royal Caribbean

Seaborn

Silver Sea

So where to go? Where ever the ocean and seas can take you. Some of the more popular cruise destinations ideal for family reunions are listed below.

Family Reunion Cruise Destinations

Africa

Alaska

Asia

Australia

New Zealand

Canada

Caribbean

Europe

Hawaii Mediterranean

Mexico

Panama Canal

Scandinavia

South America South Pacific

Southern Caribbean

Transatlantic

Transpacific

U.S. Pacific

There is ample space for everyone and it’s a whole lot of fun for all ages. It’s less work, less planning and a lot more time to enjoy the family. Well planned cruise vacations are economical with more fun and relaxation then ever before.

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Try Writing an Email to Someone in the 1700s Writing Style – They Won’t Know What to Make of It

Creative Writing is not as easy as it looks. Many people like to read historical fiction novels and read letters that one character writes to another. Indeed, in the old days, folks write a lot different than they do today. Can you even imagine writing a letter to someone in the style of writing used in the 1600s or 1700s? Well, maybe you might have a go of it and see what you come up with.

For instance, just so you get a little taste of the style to refresh your memory, below is a creative writing practice letter to a creative writing coach.

 

Baroness of Barbuda,

I sincerely hope this letter finds you well and do hope it meets its destiny, as there are far too many ships lost this time of year due to the frightful Hurricane Season. I find it unfortunate that you hath reduced me to no more than a rich guy, merely because our family founded the first colonies. I dare say you are wonderfully blessed by God to have the benefits of news, as it rarely finds its way to the North. We have magnificent wild turkey here, however no chickens, such a delicacy one can only dream for.

 

Perhaps by the grace of God we may soon have such pleasures of the plate. Indeed, there will be a trading vessel coming by next season here and our last corn harvest was good for this time of the year. Could I be so bold as to suggest that you have the local natives messenger your writings to the editors of news, as your time is valuable and you must attend to more pressing matters of running your Kingdom.

With the grace of God, I bid you a warm farewell,

Sir Lance-a-Lot of Articles

 

— — — — —

 

As you can see it’s not easy to weave a letter of this type into a fictional historical story, but that is not to say it cannot be done. Would one consider this a good try? Hmm? Well, it’s okay, it’s a start, you see,

 

I am attempting to write a little historical fiction here, as it seems creative writing is not my forte, well unless it is Sci Fi. So, I figure I better get some practice?

Can an online article writer write fiction as well as articles for article marketing, even if most of what they write is non-fiction? Some say that writing is writing and once you can write well, you can then work on your creativity aspect. In my case, most everything I write is non-fiction:

Futurists Concepts

Business

Industry

Politics

Op Ed

Philosophy

Science

Energy

Etc.

So, if I am going to write historical fiction, well I am going to need a coach and start talking to an eminent achiever creative writing genius. Now you might want to know what advice I would give to you in writing historical fiction, I would say the best way to get the hang of the era is to read actual writing from the exact period in which you will be creating your scene and characters in.

 

Soon you will notice how flowery the personal letters were back in the day? It’s like everyone who was anyone back then could write well, today folks only do text messaging. It is really interesting to read the collection of letters, papers, documents that led us to the present day, amazing actually. Once you do a little studying on the particular era, then you can begin practicing and getting a feel for it. It’s not easy, but it may not be as difficult as you think.

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Small Bathroom – Decorating Tips

Small bathrooms have their own challenges when it comes to decorating. The design layout for a small bathroom is the first challenge. Space is limited, so you cannot use it lavishly. Very small bathroom design calls for small furnishings, and few of them.

Small bathrooms demand decorating tips that differ from those for larger rooms. Decorating ideas for a small bathroom need not be limited to miniaturized versions of those for large bathroom, though. Consider the following small bathroom decorating tips.

Small Bathroom Decorating Tips

If you are remodeling a small bathroom, these small bathroom decorating tips will help you make the most of your space. Take time to plan before you begin remodeling or redecorating. Layout and decorating ideas are important and simple plans are needed to make them work well.

1. Floor: Use large, light-colored tile on the floor. White or very light beige or gray floor will give a small bathroom the illusion of space.

2. Walls: Choose light colors for the walls. They need not be white or beige, but dark colors in a small bathroom will make the walls “close in” on you.

3. Sinks: Look for small, wall mounted sinks without vanities. These permit more of your floor to show. More visible floor space makes a small bathroom appear larger.

4. Cabinets: Choose cabinets that can be set into the wall. Cabinet doors or open shelves should be flush with the wall surface. Smooth, unbroken wall surfaces make a small bathroom appear longer and wider. Any cabinet doors should be painted to match the wall color.

5. Mirrors: Hang large mirrors. Mirrors reflect space, and make a small bathroom seem nearly double the size. Consider a large mirror above the sink, and one or more additional mirrors.

6. Bathtub: Your small bathroom may have a bathtub. Replacing it with a clear-glass-door shower stall will free space. Or choose a small, extra deep Japanese style bathtub. This comes in a near-square that frees space beside the tub for your wall sink. The tub is large enough for small children. Older children and adults can use as a soaking tub. Add a shower and curtain for rush times.

7. Accessories: RV suppliers sell great accessories for small bathrooms. Over-the-door towel bars hold multiple towels in a small space. Tissue box holders in clear acrylic mount on the wall, as do toothbrush and tumbler holders. Make a checklist of what is used in the small bathrooms of RV’s.

8. Pictures and Plants: One of the most important small bathroom decorating tips is to use pictures and plants. Photos or prints mounted in “floating” clear frames can establish a decorating theme for a small bathroom. Two or three pictures of sandpipers on a beach, for example, can establish the use of sandy beige on the walls. Towels can be sandy beige with a border of marine blue. A shower curtain can carry through the theme. A green plant, live or silk, can be hung in a corner. Use a light-colored basket for an airy look.

Tips for Organizing Bathroom Cabinets

These tips for organizing bathroom cabinets will help keep your small bathroom looking great.

Reduce clutter by reducing container size. Shampoo, lotions, etc. are more economical in large sizes, but do not put them in your cabinet that way. Invest in small travel-sized bottles. Small bottles take less space, and are easier to handle. Fill with lotions and shampoos, and arrange in small bathroom cabinets. Store larger containers elsewhere.

Alternatively, attach a soap-shampoo-conditioner dispenser to the bath/shower wall. This frees the small bathroom cabinet of several items.

Store cotton swabs and cotton balls in small stacking containers with lids. For multiple lipsticks, use a holder – some offer up to 24 compartments.

As noted above, online RV suppliers offer solutions and tips for organizing bathroom cabinets.

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Great Jobs For People Who Love Working With Numbers

If you have always been the type of person who loved working with numbers and you were a math whiz in school, working with numbers may be a great career for you. There are plenty of options for those who enjoy the detail oriented requirements of working with numbers. Not everyone has the patients or exacting nature to spend their days staring at figures. However, if this is something you enjoy, your career options are both plentiful and prosperous. Live trading or working with technical analysis trading allows you to watch numbers all day long and make business investments based on what you see. You need to have a gut instinct for numbers and for the market, but if you are able to combine your talent with numbers and a strong gut instinct for market trends, you may have a long and prosperous career in front of you.

The market is not for everyone, but you may still enjoy working with money. Banking is one of the steadiest jobs a person can have. Creative types may think working in a bank is like a life sentence in prison, but if you are analytical and detail oriented, it may be the right career for you. Best of all, even those who enjoy working around people can work in a bank. It is sometimes a struggle to find a job that allows you to work with numbers while also being social and spending time with the community. Banking is the right job for friendly, social people who are good with numbers.

If you prefer to be more behind the scenes and work in more of a support role, consider a career in accounting. Accountants are often the unsung heroes of a company. They keep the budget on track with very little notice or recognition. Unlike departments like customer service or human resources, they have very little opportunity to work with other people. If you are the type who likes to go into your office, get your work done and be left alone, accounting may be the right job for you.

Those who enjoy the support role but who yearn for personal interaction can look into personal finance managing. There are a lot of people in the world who need assistance planning their financial presents and futures. If you are savvy with investments and you enjoy working with numbers and money, you can help people who would rather focus on other areas of their lives.

If you like working with numbers, but money is of no interest to you or the idea of handling someone else’s money is intimidating to you; consider a career as a statistician. In this field, you are still number crunching, but a lot of the pressure that is there with money is lacking with statistics. There are stat jobs for people with a wide range of interests and the field is used in everything from sports to politics to medicine. It is easy for a statistician to find work that combines two or more of their interests.

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Time Management Tip – Email Mania

Email the instant communication highway can be a communication nightmare, and this time management tip will help you to deal with the email mania. Many of you receive literal hundreds of emails in your inbox each and every day. Some are important and need immediate action, some need action at a later date, some require action from someone else, some you need to keep for reference, and many are just a nuisance. So how do you efficiently handle this onslaught of information?

It depends on how important the information is, how transportable you need the information to be, and whether or not you have IT support to bail you out when everything goes to heck. In this time management tip I want to focus on what to do when you're the only one who can help you when everything goes to heck, and that that I mean when your hard drive crashes and you have to figure out how to get your Saved data onto a new computer. When that happens, you want everything you need to be as transportable as possible. If that's the case and you do not use an online full backup and restoration service you have to be prepared to deal with this yourself, and without those types of services transferring your email can be an added headache.

Designate specific times through the day when you will tackle your email. One of the worst things you can do is allow yourself to become a slave to your email by viewing and responding to each email as it comes in. Prepare a system to deal with your email. If you're confident that when your system fails you can fully restore your email from the email provided through your operating system create folders inside the email system, otherwise you'll want to create folders as regular document files that you know you can easily back -up and restore. You only need three basic folders. Create folders labeled: action, pending action, and reference. At the designated times or at times when you unexpectedly have a free 15 minutes go to your inbox and do a quick sort. Sort your messages into their proper folders, delete them, or take the needed action. If you can take the needed action in a minute or two do it so you can forget about it.

Determining where to save the message. As you're sorting and responding to the messages you can take care of quickly you either delete those messages from your inbox, or you save them to one of your other folders. Ideally you never want more than a page full of emails in your inbox at one time. As your sorting you decide where the message gets filed by the next action you need to take. So if you need to act on this message soon, but you can not do it in just a couple minutes the message goes in your action folder. When you have the time to work on the things in your action folder you know exactly where to go, and as you take the action delete the item or move it to a proper folder. You will have messages that require waiting on someone or something else before you can take your next action, and those messages go in your pending folder. It's a good idea to include the date you expect to get what you're waiting for in the file name as you save the message. That way you can track where the things you're waiting on are. There are messages you need to save for later because they contain important information and these get stored in your reference folders. In the case of reference folders, if you want to store the information long term you may be stowing it in a folder with a person's name, a project name, or a topic.

The reason you do not want to leave hundreds or thousands of messages in your inbox is that you have to make the same decisions over and over again each time you view your inbox list. That's a bunch of unnecessary work. Plus when you want to find a message again you have to try to remember how you might search for that message. Most people have multiple email addresses so which one did they use when they sent the message that you're looking for? Did the message you're searching for have a good searchable subject line, or is it lost in a whole reply stream and you are not exactly sure which of the 25 messages has what you're looking for? As you properly take care of your messages as they come in you save a lot of time because you know the next actions, you know what's pending, and you know how to quickly access the information you want when you need it. Plus now that you've saved them as regular documents you do not necessarily have to be online to view them and get the information you need.

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Making Money From Online Surveys

If you are a regular net surfer, you must have come across several ads telling you, you can make money by participating in online surveys. If you are like me who likes to read through almost anything you come across, by now, you should know what it is all about. Basically, it is all about registering with a survey site on the internet, and from time to time, they send you invitations to participate in a survey about a product or service and on completion of the survey, you get.

Like almost anything there are genuine survey sites that pay and scam sites that collect your money and do not send you any surveys or do not pay you for the surveys you have done. It is not always easy detecting the difference between a genuine and fake site but the easiest way is by finding out from people who participate in online surveys about their take on any site you intend to register with. Before we start investigating surveys, let us know what it is all about.

Surveys are used to collect information about items in a population. They can be used in many different facets of life such as in political polls, government, social science, health and marketing research. A survey involves administering questions to individuals and can be communicated to find out peoples opinions or factual information on a particular issue in focus.

There are different methods of collecting surveys such as interview, mail, telephone and now most commonly on the internet. The internet is the best method of conducting surveys because it is inexpensive, gives results quickly, easy to modify and most importantly, it is another way of making extra money.

However, making money from surveys is not as easy as it looks. One reason is that there are a lot of scam survey sites out there and it is not easy claiming a genuine site from scam. A good way out of this is to join survey forums. Search for reputable survey forums and join them so that before you register with any site, you can find out from others their experience with the site. Reputable forums will not condone spam to protect their reputation, so you are almost 100% sure what you are getting is accurate.

Most survey sites do not always have enough surveys. If you register with only one site, you may not get as much as 5 surveys a week while you have set your target on learning an extra $ 1,000 per month. In order to get that, you have to register with as many as 10-20 sites in other to have like 1 or 2 surveys daily. This is not difficult because it takes about 5 to 10 minutes to complete a survey.

Surveys are one of the easiest ways to make money. Like any other kind of business, if you know the tricks to the trade, you can become a master.

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