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December 2010
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February 2011

What is Content and How Do I Use It?

It’s pretty hard not to notice that 'content' is the marketing mantra for small business and entrepreneurs in 2011 (and beyond).

That mantra says, “Content is king.”

In other words, content is the best marketing attraction tool to use to creates sales conversations and drives revenue results .

Pen Close up Many people think content is limited to written articles. So they say, “HEY, I’m not writer, I can’t do content marketing.”

And they incorrect.

Content is communication. Today we communicate in many different ways.

For example:

Blogs

Articles

Video

Audio/podcasting

These are the major content channels we’re using right now and you need to use them all.

“Okay, so what do I talk about,” you might ask.

Realizing it’s a business communication channel and you communicate things of value to your niche market, talk about:

Things you observe

Experiences you have

Tips and advice you commonly share

Your thoughts on major news stories that affects your market

Things you enjoyed from other experts that are relevant to your niche market

Inspiration that strikes you (like this little piece for example) because you’re focused on communicating value to the people you serve.

Where do you start?

Set aside 30 minutes a day and create a piece of content, either video, audio or written. It might take you a couple of days to create one piece of content but that's fine. Right now, you may not be creating any, so a couple of pieces a week is a start.

Then post that content on a blog and share it with your tribe on Facebook, Twitter and Linked In.

You’re off. Now that you know what to do, you simply need to do it.

If can’t do it, hire a VA to help you.

If you can’t for some other reason, talk to me, I can show you how to overcome that block.


The Pitfalls and Pleasures of Working From Home

Work-From-Home-DesktopFltWE I was asked by a reporter to comment on the pitfalls and advantages of working from home today. That gave me a good reason to reflect on this topic and thought you'd enjoy my reflections too.

I have been working from a home office since 2001. As a small business coach, mentor and trainer who is dedicated to changing the face of work in America by empowering entrepreneurs to achieve personal freedom and financial success in a small business, a home office fits both my work and lifestyle preferences.

The benefits to me personally are:

 1. I can be more expansive. I am not “stuck” in a local market mindset. Because I work from home instead of a fixed, local  location I can serve a nationwide market. I now work with people coast-to-coast and love the diversity of different business situations this allows me to interact with and serve.

2. Freedom from the hassle of a commute. I walk into my fully equipped home office and get to work. There is no wasted time driving to and from the office.

3. Flexibility. I set my own schedule. I book appointments at times that work for me. This allows me to exercise in the morning, have personal development time and time to plan my day before the work day begins.

But there are drawbacks too. They include:

1. You have to stay laser focused or else. No one is standing over you watching your productivity. All contract workers are also in remote, nationwide locations so there are no employees to be a role model for. As a result, you have to be disciplined about not getting distracted with home chores or non-work related things that may come up during the day.

And if you do become distracted (which happens), you have to get right back into your work day and not let the business hours slip away.

2. You must create a work plan and stick to it. Otherwise you’ll lose precious business hours productivity. This is especially important in the areas of marketing and sales activity.

Working from home can provide you with many other outlets to channel sales and marketing time into if you let it. In my opinion, not having a solid sales process to follow is the #1 reason home-based businesses fold.

3. You have to work at maintaining balance. It’s easy to become obsessed and keep working into the evening and late night hours. It’s essential you know your work schedule and “close the office” at reasonable hours so you have balance time with family and friends each day.

Working from home is a pleasure and I personally would not want to change it. But with joyful experiences comes responsibility too. That's the yin and yang of working from home.