Category Archives: Startup Business

5 Quick Home Business Tips

1. There’s no shame in looking for free options. However, more often than not, you get what you pay for.

2. If you have kids or visitors, make sure you know where the “mute” button is on your phone.

3. Make sure you get references, everytime.

4. It’s OK to invite your friends to try stuff with you or go to events. As long as that’s not all you’re doing. Use social media to share, not annoy. So no more than one promo every two weeks or so. Does that sound reasonable? See my earlier post: Invite Me Too! (Once.)

5. Never underestimate the power of before & after photos!!! Whether you are a personal organizer, video/photo editors, web designers, chefs, or even home theater system installers!

If you can think of more, do share. :)

Social Media: Starting Out Right

Using Social Media for your business can be a great marketing tool, when used effectively and correctly.  That’s right – correctly!  But who makes up the rules?  Who says what works for one business is the “correct” way and will work for all businesses? 

Every business, just as every person, has its own style.  I love to share Social Media tips. I love to share uplifting words and be a positive influence. I love sharing quirky moments during my day or funny things my kids do or say on the social sites.  Some “experts” say this isn’t the proper way to use social media.  But, I say, use social media in the way that will benefit you and your business the most. 

Does it work for me?  Well, my favorite thing to hear from potential clients is “ I like your style!”, and I hear this regularly. To me that’s starting out right.

  I personally don’t want to follow or befriend someone that’s ALL business.  I believe I was put on this earth to have fun and make a little noise.  I’m not saying go break all the social media rules, but have some fun with your social networking platforms.  

Here’s some tips:

–          Start out slow.

–          Join the sites and find a few friends or people to follow  – watch how they interact with others.

–          Build your followers, friends and fans organically over time.

–          Find articles, blogs and helpful resources and post links to them for your follower’s benefit.

–          Be yourself and genuine – it shows!

Remember that what works for one business with Social Media doesn’t work for another.  If Social Media is working for you then you are doing it correctly. 

One of my favorite quotes about Social Media came from Mari Smith  and it’s so true. “Be consistent. Be patient. Be ready.”

Here’s what I’m saying: Establish an online presence, be respectful of others, provide great content and have fun.   Now that you have a few tips for starting out – Go get ‘em!

Helpful Google Search Tips

As we all know, there are several different search engines out there like Bing, Yahoo, Ask or Google that yield great results for whatever it is we are looking for at the time.  It could be travel or vacation information, job searches, real estate, celebrity news or a variety of other things.  I personally tend to lean towards Google for most of my searches.  I have found that Google offers me more choices than other search engines have.  In addition, there are several tricks I have learned while utilizing this site to narrow down my searches and obtain better results.  I have listed them below to help you out as well: 

  • Tracking flights – Enter airline and flight number to see if flight will be on time.
  • Locating packages – Enter the word “track” + tracking number and a link to the status page should pop up.
  • To find a verbatim phrase – Use quotation marks around the word (ex: “chakra locations”); this will take away many of the irrelevant links that would otherwise pop up.
  • Finding PDF’s, Excel spreadsheets or PowerPoint presentations – Type in the words “filetype:pdf”, “filetype:xls” or “filetype:ppt” after the word/phrase you want to look up (ex: Hyundai Accent owner manual filetype:pdf).  This search will yield only those files directly related to the preferred file type.
  • To look up movie times – Enter the word “movies” + the city or zip code for theaters in your area
  • To find a person’s address – Enter the person’s home phone number and if it’s listed an address should pop up.

Good luck with your search results and I hope these tips come in just as handy for you as they have for me!

Social Media’s Real Power

I was browsing some websites during lunch today, and I happened across Chris Brogan‘s newest blog post called: Soul of a New Business. Of course, Chris had some great incite on building new business. He has become quite the success story because of tools like social media and then writing an inspiring book about it called “Trust Agents” along with his partner in crime, Julien Smith.

It never ceases to amaze me how social networking really can make or break a business! These days, it’s all about reputation. So, if you are a new business, how do you compete? I found Chris’s business soul is a set of questions to ask yourself important to share. And I will at the bottom of this post. However, before that, I want to share a simple, yet most profound statement, from one of his commenters, Natalie of Stark Media. She said,

Social media has done a great job of revealing which businesses prove helpful.

Simple right? Well, sometimes you “know” something without every really communicating it effectively. And you know what? I can’t think of a better way to say this. In a nutshell, this is what makes social media really powerful. Even if you are a brand new business with no reputation, social media will give you the opportunity to actually be helpful. It’s the best way of advertisement there is!

Anyone can buy air time or ads in the yellow pages and say: “Hey! I can make your life better!” Right? Social media, when used correctly, will PROVE you are awesome.

Now, for Chris’s List of Business Soul Set of Questions to Ask Yourself:

  • Would I want my mother or spouse to be marketed to the way I am marketing my business?
  • Are the products I am selling something I’d give to my family?
  • Are better/easier/more helpful ways of doing what I’m doing?
  • Am I approaching my business relationships in a balanced way, or am I just sitting here chomping at the bit to sell ? (People can tell the difference.)
  • At what price are my products and services worth?
  • Am I giving real value? or am I  just selling?

I changed this list into first person and put it in a bullet list, but you will find them and thousands of helpful tips for social networking and “how this human business” at ChrisBrogan.com.

Blogs That Teach You How to Make Money Online

The following is a comment/question from Mary Janet of MoneyandTraffic.com

I have been following this blog for a while and think your very accurate with the information, do you have any other blogs I can follow or ones you recommend, especially on making money at home because those are the keywords I was researching the first time I saw your blog. I really enjoyed reading this. Mary Janet

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, Mary Janet. As far as work at home, I follow lots of different circles of people who make lots of money on line by legitimate means. The following is a list of people who do this and what it is they do to make all this money, and blogs to follow to keep up with what they are doing.

iJustine – makes lots of money by creating viral videos and getting lots of sponsors to get in on the unconventional, yet very effective publicity.

Chris Brogan’s social media posts makes a LOT of money teaching business people how to realize and leverage social media make your own rules for acquiring successful business online.

Gary Vaynerchuk preaches passion and consistency to make money, grow a healthy following, and just keep it real.

This year, three awesome and successful virtual assistants, (including yours truly ;) ) started a group blog together to share our strengths, methods, and moments of triumph in the virtual business world.

Of course none of these blogs will teach you specifically how you can make money from the comfort of your own home online. They are just some best of the best examples of how people found their specialty, become the very best at it, stay interesting, be helpful, and steadfastly passionate. If you come across others that you like, let me know! :)