Business Leaders Should Write a Memoir

 

When you know how to find the stories of your life to write about, you will be amazed at how much you have to share through a memoir.  What you’ll be doing is simply writing what you know better than anyone else.  Of course, you can keep your business memories to yourself or only share them with a personally selected limited group of people.  But what about the hundreds or even thousands of people that would benefit from know more about how you ran your business or the great ideas you learned along the way?

People love a great story. There’s nothing more exciting than a story about how a person achieved a goal or solved a life problem. Be assured, you have more memories in your business life to write about than you can imagine.

 

  • No one can have your story.  You are a unique person with unique experiences in life. Your business story can only be told by you.
  • Your memoirs provide the benefit of letting you record the meaning and purpose of your business life in writing.
  • You have a right to record your business memories and to let others have the benefit of learning from your business experiences. 

Writing memoirs helps you recall the accomplishments or your life. They also let you review the hard life lessons that have built character along the way. Sharing the events of your life lets others learn from your experiences.

When you write your life with words, you look at your emotions, feeling, decisions, and choices. You understand the road you walked and the path you followed.

Your stories can be a way to honor those who influenced your life along the way. You can see the themes of your life and come to understand how you have made a difference in your world and to the world at large. 

 

When you fail to start writing your memoirs you are taking your life for granted. The best legacy you can pass along to those you care about are the stories you’ve gained throughout your work life. Start today by writing about your business, your challenges and accomplishments.  Tell what you did to achieve your goals. The ideas are endless but the writing doesn’t have to be. It just has to start.

Blog Your Way to Success

Bloggers are using the best marketing concept possible. No question about it, blogs are great for business, both for online business and offline busienss.  Blogging lets you connect with your target market and promote your products quickly and easily.

Blogging is so easy that some people only use a blog and never a website online. You can even start a blog for free with Blogger.com, a free, easy to use blogging service offered by Google.  Using this service can be a great way to market your business.

It only takes three steps to start a blog on blogger. Go to the site, follow the directions and start blogging before the day is over.

What do you write on your blog?

Writing on a blog is called posting. Create posts that explain the features and benefits of your product in a subtle way.  For instance, if you have an information product on raising puppies, you can create posts that give a bit of helpful information.  At the end of the post you can add “for more information” and then provide a link to a page with more extended information.

If you have a physical product, you can create similar posts, giving people reasons to buy your product.  If you happen to sell ipods for instance, create an informative post about the benefits of downing information talks on your ipod. You can add pictures of your product to your post and include a link to the page where your readers can buy the ipods from you

A blogs is a great online communication tool.  It is so easy to post a comment that you will soon find it to be a bit addictive.  You are published immediately when you save your posts.  Keep your readers updated on changes to your website, provide information on new products you’re introducing, and receive feedback on the types of products your customers wish you would develop.

A way to get your target market involved with your blog and to established yourself as an expert is to establish a “question of the week” feature to your blog.  Simply have your readers send in their questions, and then, one day each week, choose one of the questions to answer.  Your readers will look forward to this interactivity and will take note to visit each week to see if their question was chosen.

You can also use Blogger to increase the size of your mailing list by adding a sign up form to your newsletter or other autoresponder list.  Once people are subscribed to your newsletter, you can continue to market to them.

Adding links back to your website on your blog will also help your website gain search engine traffic.  The search engines crawl the Internet, and when a blog site has a lot of links coming into it, the search engines take notice.  This can help your website rise in the results pages when someone performs a search using one of the keywords on your page.

As you get more familiar with blogging, you can add an RSS feed to your blog, which will notify your readers that you have created a new post.  This will keep your readers coming back regularly, and further help your marketing efforts.

Take these easy tips and start blogging immediately. It’s the way to get a presence online without having to know HTML or other intricate website concepts.

Business Plan- Why You Need to Write One

If you have a business and want it to succeed, you need to have a business plan.  It’s as simple as that. A business plan is a document that outlines your business goals and the plan for achieving them. Even if you are working from the kitchen table, you still need a business plan.  A business plan can help you do the following: 

  • Define your business and set goals
  • Create a plan of action
  • Develop your brand
  • Organize your marketing efforts
  • Keep you focused on your business 

When it comes to developing your business, writing out your business plan will help you sort out your ideas and make it easier to identify which ones make the most sense. This will be a great thing when you start coming up with so many business ideas that you get overwhelmed. Your business plan will keep you on track.   

Your business can’t do everything for everyone. Without a business plan you might forget that point. Writing your business plan will let you narrow down which products and services you are going to offer, as well as help you decide which target market to offer them to. 

For example, if you are a professional events planner, you can choose to target market your business to other local businesses and offer to help them organize and put on events to market their businesses.You can market yourself to local residential busiensses and families to help them organize all types of events.. 

You can also market your business online and create online seminars or teleconferences or information products and people can learn from you long distance. Once you have determined who your target market is and how your business is going to help them, you will need to write out your goals and determine your plan of action in achieving them.  

Your business brand will help you achieve recognition among your target market and set you apart from the competition.  Some people can really struggle with determining their brand, and unfortunately, never create one.  Having a business plan will help you create a “big picture” idea of your business.  When you see the big picture, you can determine how you want your customers to see you. 

As you know, there are many different ways to market your business.  Another benefit to having a business plan and being able to see the “big picture” is being able to organize your marketing efforts. 

Your business plan will help you decide how you want to promote your business.  Some examples include marketing to local customers or taking your business global and marketing online.  

Finally, your business plan can keep you focused on your business and your goals.  If someone approaches you about a joint venture project or if you have an idea for a solo project, you can look at your business plan and see if that is something that would enhance your business. By now, it should be pretty obvious that writing a business plan is worth the effort.

Business License: The In’s and Out’s of Getting One

Apply for Your Business License

Applying for a business license is something you should do as soon after you decide to start your business as possible.  There are different requirements for getting a business license at the federal, state/city and county levels.  Each location is different in those requirements and there are even some locations that may not require you to have a business license, but you need to determine what your business requires by following and completing the steps below. 

Find loads of information on starting your business, including applying for a business license by visiting the Small Business Administration (http://www.sba.gov).   

There you will find links to help you determine, what if any licensing requirements there are for your business.  You’ll be able to determine what type of license your business requires based on the type of business you own.  Just a few of the common licenses include: 

Basic Business License

This is a basic business license that says you are allowed by law to do business in your locality.  Some places require it, others don’t so be sure to check with your local and state taxing authorities to determine your individual case. 

Occupational & Professional License

There are certain professions that require you to carry a special license in order to conduct business.  Some of these businesses include:  

  • Accountants
  • Doctors
  • Barbers
  • Security
  • Professionals
  • Real Estate Agents 
  • Licensing Based On the Type of Products You Sell 

Tax Registration

One of the biggest reasons a business license is required is for tax purposes.  The type of business you run, along with other factors, will determine your tax rates at the state and federal level.  It will also help to determine certain taxes, such as sales tax, etc. that you may be exempt from paying. 

Trade or Doing Business As (DBA) Name

Many states require a special license if you are a sole proprietor doing business under a name other than your name. 

Employer Registration

If you have, or plan to in have in the future, employees this is definitely a must to check into.  You can find more information about what all is required of you as an employer by checking with your states Department of Revenue or Labor. 

A business license is something that, if you’re required to have one, you should acquire as soon as possible.  Some states can and will penalize business owners who operate a business without the proper license, so don’t delay in finding out what your business needs.  Many states have business workshops to help make certain owners have everything they need in place.  Check your state or http://www.sba.gov to find one near you.

Write Web Articles That Work For You

Learn to write good web articles and you will be able to gain publicity for your online business or offline business. But just writing the article isn’t enough. You also have to know what to do with them. This includes writing articles and submitting them to reprint directories.

Website owners and bloggers visit article directory sites to access free content for their own sites. When they publish an web article you have submitted, they will include a link back to your site, which will drive a lot of traffic to you.

You can find many article reprint directories on the web. A few to try are www.ladypens.com, www.isnare.com and www.articlepros.com. To find more, simply perform a Google search using the term “article reprint directory.”

Some sites require you to register with them before you can submit an article, while some do not. Each site will have its own specific guidelines as to the type of articles they will accept. Make sure you familiarize yourself with each site’s specific instructions.

You will see a link on the site that says something to the effect of “submit your article” or “add your article.” When you click that link, you will be sent to a page containing a form that will allow you to copy and paste your article. You will also enter personal information, such as your name. Some people use their real name and some chose to use a fake name, also known as a pen name.

Always take good advantage of the area titled “author bio box” or “reference box.” This is where you can put detailed information about you, your website or speciality. The website owner or blogger who publishes your article will include the information you include, so make sure you include some information about your website and your URL.

If the article you are submitting refers to information found on a specific page of your website, refer to that page. For example, if you are submitting an article about online marketing send the readers to www.yourname.com/onlinemarketing instead of just a general domain.

This will allow you to receive highly targeted traffic which will increase your affiliate conversion rates and profits. Use web article writing to increase your online marketing and you will have a key to great internet marketing.

Learn how to write articles that get results and know where to submit your article wtih the Slam Dunk Articles Wrting course. http://www.slamdunkarticles.com

Twelve WordPress Plugins That Boost Your Content Marketing Efforts

If you use WordPress (WP) for your website and blog, then you know how powerful it is when it comes to SEO right out of the box. But, thanks to plugins you can extend the functionality of your WP website easily. It just takes a few clicks and some easy set-up that simply requires that you can follow directions and click a few buttons.

The following plugins are great recommendations to add to your blog. Don’t add all of these at the same time, though. Read about them and determine what you need, and add only the plugins that you really need to help you boost your content marketing efforts.

1. WordPress SEO by Yoast – This is a plugin that helps you optimize every page you create on your site quickly at the time of creation without having to understand anything about code. It even makes suggestions for you.

Link – http://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/

2. AtContent – Helps you grow your audience and blog traffic by letting you share your content with other bloggers to help increase your readership.

Link – https://wordpress.org/plugins/atcontent/

3. Inline Tweet Sharer – Allows your site visitors, or you, to easily tweet a quote directly from your site that you choose to highlight with the code.

Link – https://wordpress.org/plugins/inline-tweet-sharer/

4. Custom Content Shortcode – You can use this plugin to develop pages with certain content based on keyword, type of post, category and other custom fields on a particular page, or to provide deeper links after certain content.

Link – http://wordpress.org/plugins/custom-content-shortcode/

5. Content Aware Sidebars – This is very helpful because your sidebars can now change based on what your audience is reading and viewing. That way they won’t see the same thing on every page.

Link – http://wordpress.org/plugins/content-aware-sidebars/

6. Google XML Sitemap Generator – Sitemaps help search engines find your content and will increase your page rank. This generator creates and updates your site map fast.

Link – http://wordpress.org/plugins/google-sitemap-generator/

7. Disqus Comment System – Help control comment spam and let others know about your blog at the same time by adding subscribe and RSS feed options.

Link – http://wordpress.org/plugins/disqus-comment-system/

8. Slick Social Share Buttons – Making it easy for your audience to share your content is one of the ways in which you can practically put your marketing on autopilot.

Link – http://wordpress.org/plugins/slick-social-share-buttons/

9. Add Link to Facebook – This plugin allows each post you make to automatically be shared with your Facebook page.

Link – http://wordpress.org/plugins/add-link-to-facebook/

10. Pay with a Tweet – This plugin is interesting in that it lets your visitors to your website “pay” to download something by tweeting it out first to their followers.

Link – http://wordpress.org/plugins/pay-with-a-tweet/

11. Tweetily – Send out automatic tweets of every new blog post that is published on your website. That allows the schedule function to work as a sharing function at the same time.

Link – http://wordpress.org/plugins/tweetily-tweet-wordpress-posts-automatically/

12. Editorial Calendar – Keeping track of your content will help you boost your content marketing efforts by keeping it all organized.

Link – http://wordpress.org/plugins/editorial-calendar/

Setting up as much automation as possible will help you boost the traffic to your website through content marketing quickly and easily. What’s more is that most of the plugins are free or have free versions that you can use.

Secrets to Niche Selection

Choosing your niche is often the first thing you’re advised to do by Internet marketing gurus. The tighter the niche, the more effective it’s supposed to be.  But when choosing that niche, you need to be sure you find one that appeals to a profitiable target marke, not just one you love.

Believe me, I know as I’ve tried running through multiple niche ideas before finding what makes my heart pound, which is writing on the web. With selecting that niche, I had to be sure there could be nough people interested to make it worthwhile.

AS you select a nche, study to see how profitable the niche can be. Some niches are more profitable than others because they appeal to more people or because the product or service is more excusive and more expensive. Some aspects of supply and demand fit here, but that’s not all there is to it.

Questions to Consider

In order to choose a popular niche, you should go through a few questions before making your decision:

1. How much money do you need to make?
2. Is the niche large enough to support that amount?
3. Can the numbers support the fees?
4. Are there sufficient products to support the niche?
5. Do you have your own products you can sell?
6. Who is your competition?
7. How can you differentiate yourself from the competition?
8. Do you have the budget to reach the audience?

Why People Start Niches

There are two different reasons why people start niches.

1. The first way is the hardest; it’s when you’ve already created a product and they’re trying to find customers.

2. The second wasy is easier to market. That is, studying different niches until one if found with enough customers, money and desire to buy, and solve a problem the people in this audience have, and then enter that niche. 

It’s very important that, whatever method you choose, you are educated about how much you can potentially earn. The way you study the niche depends on the niche in questions, but you would essentially determine how many potential customers there are who would be interested in your niche, and how much you can devote to marketing.

If a niche is really awesome but there are only 100 people that you can reach who can afford the product, you’d have to charge $1000 each just to make six figures before expenses. This doesn’t mean it’s wrong, but can the audience you attract support that cost? For some people and businesses there are actually customers who can happen that price range. But you really need to know the strategies to find and convince them to bite.  You might try: 

  • Keyword Research – One of the best places to start is with keyword research. Choose a few keywords that you think that your audience will use and start from there. You are looking for high demand, low supply keywords.
  • Determine a Monetization Strategy – How can you earn money in this niche? There are plenty of niches that will have high demand, low supply keywords, but that have no discernable way to monetize the traffic.
  • Find Affiliate Programs – If your niche is in high demand, there should be some product already created for your niche. If there are no products created for your niche yet, you may want to reconsider the niche.

Keep in mind that in business school they teach students that the best business to open is one that already exists and what’s more, open it across the street from the other business. They use a Coffee shop as an example, but the same example can work for online business.

Choosing a niche that is already popular that you can serve in a new and more creative way will be easier than starting up an unheard-of, brand new niche. But, it’s up to you how to proceed. The point is, it takes research and understanding of the research to identify a profitable niche.

Create Your Own Newsroom

get-involvedYou may or may not have heard of a newsroom for a business as a great marketing tool for your business.  It’s a great place to develop social media attention, list events, press releases and other news journalists and thoses interested in your business can learn more about you.  Traditionally, a newsroom was the place where journalists, reporters, editors, staffers and others worked together to craft the news. Today, social newsrooms work about the same except they are designed to work online instead of a physical location.  A web based business has often built a media page or prepared a media packet. Now, it’s a bit more extensive. To stand out in the competition and display your entire range of assets, create your online social newsroom as your media center.

Design your social newsroom to help people find information about you that can be used to craft their stories about you and the business or to know if you meet their criteria to be a part of their media story.  Your  newsroom will have a distinct personality and set-up to reflect who you are and your business in the best light.  Generally, you should offer a variety of information to answer questions from a diverse audience. You can visit newsrooms or create one of your own to help people find your information to use in their stories.

Here are elements that you could include in your social newsroom:

1. “One Sheet” Information – Speakers use these; if you are open to speaking at events, it’s good to have one so that they know what subjects you speak about and how to contact you.

2. List of Press Releases – Use this area to make a repository for all your press releases. This is a good way to keep it them all organized and to let the media see the news that’s out there about you.

3. Event Lists, Past and Future – Not only should you keep a list of your past events, it’s important to slip in announcements for future events too. Of course, link to pages with more information about these events.

4. Images the Press Can Use – Headshots, product shots and more are good to be housed here too in downloadable form, with permission to use for the press.

5. Collection of White Papers – White papers are most commonly use in larger businesses to help customers understand a topic better.  They are becoming more popular with entrepreneurs and can be displayed here.

6. List of Publications – Great place to list anything you’ve published, including links to articles off site such as guest articles, books, kindle books, information products and so on.

7. Links to Videos – This can be videos that you’ve produced, interviews you’ve done, or those related to your content in some way.

8. Streaming Related Content – Your Twitter feed, blog feed, and other related content will work to help disseminate information about your topic.

9. Other Items of Interest to Insiders and Outsiders – Anything that can work to educate both insiders and outsiders about your business will be useful to put in your social newsroom.

10. Social Media Share Buttons – This is the start of what makes your newsroom social; the ability for others to share what they find.

11. Discussion Forum – Engagement is an important component of a good newsroom. Starting a discussion forum for those who might be interested can help improve engagement.

12. Contact Form – Even if you don’t want a forum, having a way for people to easily contact you, such as a special email address that you check often, is needed in your newsroom.

13. An Organizational Chart – If you have employees, this is good to have. It is similar to what any larger organization should have listing the people who work with you, their position and line of responsibility.

This new concept of a social newsroom is something for every savvy business woman to consider as a part of her website.  It doesn’t have to include all of the listed elements or be too elaborate. You want to be sure to give journalists and those interested in your work a sufficient amount of information about you and your business. It’s another place to house all the information in one place for easy distribution for you and the media. It provides for even more content for your website and no one will have to ask you for the information unless they want a special quote. They can just write a story based off the information they find on your social newsroom.

What do you think about this concept?  What elements would you include your Social Newsroom?

Generate Cash Flow with Big Ideas

Generating cash flow is a #1 concern for business owners.  Doing so means coming up with and following through with big ideas.  Unfortunately, it is too common for people to come up with big ideas then fail to follow through with them.

There’s no simple fix to this issue because there are many reasons why you might drop an idea, even a good one.  You might be:

* too busy

* unsure how to  make it happen

* dealing with an idea that’s too

* having an idea that’s too abstract and unclear

* busy with too many other priorities

* forgetting to create deadlines or a sense of urgency

* working without needed support

* facing too many obstacles

* afraid or doubt your ability to see it through

Do you find one of your reasons in any of the categories above?  It may not be exactly as presented but you get the idea. The important thing is to first identify the reason (or excuse) you use to not follow through with a potentially good cash generating idea. Only then can you work on turning things around to make your idea or dream a reality.

Set a Goal

What most of the reasons have in common is that there is no goal for any of them. To generate cash, set a clear, feasible goal.  For example, when an idea is too big it means you haven’t turned it into a workable cash generating goal. If your big idea is to make money from your book that isn’t a tangible goal. However, if you decide to earn $1000 from book sales by June 30th, that is a goal. You break this goal into smaller more manageable steps.

Scrutinize your big idea to determine exactly what it can do to make it into something that generates attention and cash.  Figure out what you need to make the results happen.  Could it be more help those skilled in areas where you’re not so strong?  Do you need to break it down into steps?  Do you need to offload other tasks so that you can make your idea a priority?  Do you need a renewed commitment to reach the goal?

Make it Happen

Following through on your big ideas in order to generate cash mean making daily action a habit. Once you’ve scrutinized and assessed your idea and discovered how to make it more manageable, you can then create an action plan. Decide how much you want to earn from the idea.  Then decide what you need to do every day to achieve your goal.  Small steps lead to big results. Your daily action doesn’t need to be huge, it just needs to happen.   Keep records on how much you earn each day and altogether to see if the big idea is worth repeating or continuing as a part of your business.

Your Business Legacy

Have you recorded the history of how you started your business, or how you got into your particular line of work? Business biographies are big. People love to read about how others got started in business, their techniques, successes, even the failures. For instance, it’s fascinating to hear how Bill Gates started Microsoft or how Donald Trump built his empire.

You might think your business story isn’t fascinating but I beg to differ. I worked with adult students for years who wrote about their busineses and did research on them for marketing purposes. The stories of these ordinary people were extraordinary. Hearing how someone who seems pretty much like a regular person has succeeded gives hope to others.

What is your story about your business or the profession you work in today? How did you choose this line of work? Why? What did you have to do to make it work for you? Write notes on this and share your story during a get together with family or friends over the upcoming holidays and ask to hear their stories too.