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Great Copywriting Tips

Posted by on Mar 12 2008 | Marketing, Website Planning


All small business owners need to learn good copywriting skills.

If you haven’t visited CopyBlogger yet, I strongly encourage you to do so…today!

CopyBlogger offers tips and tutorials on good copywriting. Their recent blog posting, Just Say No to These Three Enemies of Clear and Direct Writing, is a perfect example of what you’ll learn on this great blog. Sure, you may already know these writing tips, but the examples clarify good and bad writing habits.

(After reading CopyBlogger’s post, I feel like it’s time to re-write my entire site!)

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Email Marketing Tips

Posted by on Apr 29 2008 | Internet & Social Media Marketing

I thought you’d enjoy this great article, 13 Tips for Effective Email Marketing from MarketingVOX.

You’ll also appreciate some other, lesser known email marketing tips from them as well.

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7 Tips for Managing Information Overload

Posted by on Feb 01 2020 | Managing Projects, Tasks & Time, Running a Strong & Efficient Business

Do you ever have that disturbing feeling that trying to squeeze one more piece of new information in your brain will render you senseless?

Information overload causes stress and a loss of productivity. We’re so busy gathering information that we never get into action around implementing all these great ideas. And we can’t seem to put our fingers on the important information that we’ve gathered!

Here’s even more bad news: when you take in too much information, according to a Temple University study, you begin to make more errors, and worse, make more bad decisions. Can your business really afford that lack of clear thinking? (Don’t even get me started about how a hyper-connected lifestyle is bad for your physical and emotional health!)

Here are 10 tips for managing information overload

Regain control of your brain, your time and your tasks with these ideas:

  1. Remember the most important rule: YOU are in charge of your To Do list. YOU are in charge of your calendar and YOU are in charge of how much information you’re willing to receive each day. Trying to take multiple classes at once, or trying to read more than one book at a time, is a recipe for information overload. It doesn’t allow you any time to assimilate and implement. Be selective and base all your decisions on achieving your goals while mirroring your values.
  2. Get things out of your head and on to paper. When you take new information, your brain naturally tries to process it, to make connections, and apply it to your real life. Trying to keep all that “thinking” in your brain makes you feel muddled, anxious, confused. Doing a brain dump — writing down your ideas, even in a quick list format — will help clear things out.
  3. Take the most recent class you’ve attended or the most recent book you’ve read, and create a Top 3 Action Items list. Don’t create a massive To Do list of every great idea from the class or book. Instead, choose the top three actions you can take within a month, and put only those tasks on your To Do list. Once they’re done, you can always go back and choose three more. The point here is two-fold: start implementing what you’ve learned, and do it in such a way that you don’t overload yourself.
  4. Make the decision to make a decision. I know, it sounds silly, right? But if ideas and information are running around in your head and you’re not willing to either act on them or let them go, you sabotage yourself and hold yourself in a perpetual state of overload. Stop doing that to yourself. Instead, tell yourself, “Today I will make a decision,” then do it. You’ll feel better immediately.
  5. When you are drowning in information, stop piling on more. It’s okay to stop watching the evening news. It’s okay to stop reading articles or checking social media sites several times a day. Each time you interact with an information delivery system, guess what? More information is shoved in your face. By taking a vacation – even a short one – from any information delivery system, you get immediate relief from information overload.
  6. Use tools like Evernote or One Note to have a central location for storing information. As important as storing information is, retrieving it easily is even more important. That’s why I moved from paper notebooks to Evernote for storing notes when taking classes, reading books or perusing articles. Evernote allows you to tag each note with keywords and sort them into folders. Notes are completely searchable, so you can have all the information and ideas at your fingertips.
  7. Do you have competing goals? Work on one at a time. For instance, today I wanted to accomplish three things: write this blog post, create my class schedule for the next nine months, and work on a class agenda for a new program I’m designing. All of these things are exciting, and all need to get done soon. All require research and paying attention to incoming information. But only one of the three had a deadline: writing this blog post today. So I put the other things on the back burner and focused solely on writing this blog post. Once it’s done, I’ll choose one of the other two projects to work on next. You have to be willing to let go of some information, even exciting information, so you can focus on your priorities.

I’d love to hear from you: how do you cope with information overload? Are there techniques or software products you use to help you manage absorbing, processing and retrieving information?

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Weather Emergency? Tips on Running Your Business Offline

Posted by on Sep 07 2017 | Running a Strong & Efficient Business

I wrote this blog post years ago, when Hurricane Sandy was upon us, and updated it for Katrina, then Matthew and Harvey. Now we have a new one coming our way: Irma. So I figured this was the perfect time to re-post this!

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Our offices are right in the cross-hairs of Hurricane Sandy. Here are some tips for running your office “offline” in case you lose electric or access to the internet, from all my wonderful Facebook Friends!

 

Karyn Greenstreet First tip would be: Contact clients and students to tell them the office might be closed.

 

Suzanne Hiscock This is a preventative tip:  Don’t skimp on webhosting/servers if you have an online business.

 

Shannon Cherry Power up everything you can before hand. If you have my-fi, know how to use it. Power up meaning- fully charge!

 

Maureen Flatley Back up batteries, camp stove for coffee, battery operated lanterns, drinking water, lots of simple snacks…….this is our approach.

 

Suzanne Hiscock Another prepare ahead tip:  get a hand-crank phone charger.

 

Christine Clifton be aware of what you access ‘in the cloud’ and take steps to backup files/data on your hard drive/a toast drive – so you can work ‘offline’

 

Suzanne Hiscock Oh, and make backups of your entire site if your website is hosted in the storm’s path.

 

Karyn Greenstreet Print out important files, so you can work offline even if your computer isn’t available. Include all important email addresses and phone numbers.

 

Maureen Flatley Internet based email has been a godsend too.  We live on the water, north of Boston and have a lot of flooding and power outages.  You can’t plan for everything but there are some basics.  When we have lost power for more than 24 hours and couldn’t access our technology it reminded us that you can’t completely eschew paper records and that we lived for years w/ out email or texting.

 

Christine Clifton set an out of office message on your cell/email, letting people know what’s going on and you may be offline.

 

Maureen Flatley I put all of my important documents into email so I can access them from anywhere for any reason.  So if I’m in midstream w/ something – which I am today – I can get to it if I decamp to another location.

 

Karyn Greenstreet That reminds me, Maureen…I use Evernote for the same purpose. I have Evernote on everthing so that no matter where I am, and what machine I’m using, I have everything at my fingertips.

 

Donna Soffen take care of any (in this case) end of the month autoship changes or additions before you lose power. and contact anyone in your upline/downline that isnt in the storms potential path & ask them to help take care of any customers/new recruits that might enroll or purchase from your site that they can see from their backoffice- on your behalf.

 

Karyn Greenstreet Another tip: get a blank journal. If your power is out for 5 days (like ours was last year), there’s nothing so scrumptious as writing “by hand” again.  🙂:)

 

Kathy Milici Have plenty of chocolate on hand! 🙂:)

 

Angie Robinson Keep a list of your nearest Starbucks – coffee, outlets, and wi-fi

 

Karyn Greenstreet Good idea, Angie, and Panera Bread has wifi and outlets, too … as does our local library.

 

Marlene Hielema Pen and lined paper to write with so that if your computer runs out of battery power, you can still jot stuff down. Books to read. Deck of cards to play manual solitaire. Scrabble game.

 

Karyn Greenstreet Another tip: backup all your files, preferably to an online backup service like Mozy, Carbonite or iDrive. That way you can access everything from a new computer, if yours gets damaged in the storm.

 

Sherice Jacob Invest in a UPS in case the power goes out, you’ll have a few minutes to save everything.

 

Carole Sevilla Brown I’m with Sherice. My power back-up gives me about an hour and a half reserve power. This is a good reminder that it would be a good thing to have a few evergreen posts in reserve for times like this. And I’ve got lots of batteries for my digital voice recorder because I do a lot of “writing” that way.

 

Lisa Wood have a car charger on hand to charge your phone, plus an adapter to charge other electronics

 

C.J. Hayden Give your clients and team members a backup email to reach you in case your usual one goes down. Has happened to me more than once with natural disasters and regional power outages.

 

Terri McMahon Zwierzynski Thanks for reminding me to backup my website (every Monday!) Honestly, I’d find it hard to focus on work, with kids and dogs and the whole differentness of the situation. So I’d go with a good book, candles/lanterns, a deck of cards and a few boardgames.

 

C.J. Hayden Oh, and if your phone service is a landline, make sure you have an old-fashioned handset that requires no power to operate. You may keep phone service but lose power. Happened to us in the ’89 San Francisco quake.

 

Would YOU add anything to this list?

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9 Tips for Summer Business Cleanup and Planning

Posted by on Jun 28 2019 | Running a Strong & Efficient Business

Many businesses slow down in July and August, so summertime is a great time to get reorganized for autumn. September always reminds me of “back to school season,” the beginning of a new year.

While there are always plenty of tasks for organizing your office, remember to focus on your upcoming marketing campaigns and projects so that you don’t get that overwhelmed feeling come September and October.

Here are nine great tips for getting ready for September’s busy season this summer.

  1. Enter all revenue and expenses into your record-keeping system. If you don’t have a record-keeping system for your business finances, create one. You can use Quick Books or Quicken Home & Business to keep your records in tip-top shape, and get great reports to measure your financial success and the growth of your business.
  2. Reconcile your bank account records with bank statements. I don’t know anyone who really loves to reconcile bank statements, but as a business owner you have a responsibility to know where every penny enters and exits your business. Just the other day, while reconciling my bank statements, I noticed a $745 deposit that never showed up in my business checking account!
  3. Estimate your tax payment for the current year; typically you’ll have one more estimated tax payment to make in autumn and a final one for this year that’s due in early January of next year. Have a plan for saving money towards your tax payments so that you’re not caught short when the tax man cometh.
  4. Clean out old paper files, emails, and books you never read. Now’s the time to do a clean sweep of your office! You’ll feel so much better without the clutter.
  5. Speaking of books: take a look at your bookshelf and make a note of which books you’d like to read by the end of the year. You can choose them based on a topic you’re interested in studying, or just select them intuitively. If you’ve been wanting to purchase some new books, now’s the time to visit the bookstore or Amazon.com and browse their selection. And don’t forget your local library: why pay for a book that you just want to scan but don’t want to own?
  6. Compare your financial and other goals to your current reality. Are you moving towards your goals? What tasks do you have to do to make sure you complete the goals you’ve set in the time frame you’ve chosen? Make a task list and assign deadlines to even the smallest task, so that you’ll be on target for the year. And why not start day dreaming about your goals and projects for next year?
  7. Organize your desk. Put things that you need often in a logical place and things that you rarely use in a drawer or cabinet.
  8. Figure out a system for keeping track of your To Do list. The biggest anxiety producer that people face is having to keep all their tasks in their head.
  9. Plan next year’s vacation! Hey, why not??

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Tips on Moving Your Home Office

Posted by on Jul 06 2015 | Business Strategy & Planning, Running a Strong & Efficient Business

Moving house is stressful enough; what do you do when you also have to move your home office and be up and running for business quickly?

Here are some tips to help (from someone who just did it a two weeks ago!):

  1. Work backwards. Start by packing the items that you won’t need immediately and label those boxes, “Unpack Later.” A few days before the move, pack items that you can live without for the first week and label those boxes, “Unpack Sooner.” Finally, the day before your move, pack the items you will need as soon as your office re-opens, and label those boxes, “Unpack First.” (Colored labels help to quickly identify the important boxes.)
  2. Choose “immediate” items carefully. What do you really need during the first few days of business? Some items to consider: client files, stapler, tape, pens, telephone, notepads, computer, printer, printer paper, and a clock.
  3. Give yourself time. After you move to a new home, you need time to unpack all your personal belongings as well as your business boxes. Give yourself a week or two after the move before you start up your business again, so that you have time to do all the tasks involved without stressing yourself, your family and your pets. The fact is that house buying and selling is stressful. Pushing yourself to unpack and get back to business in a few days after the move adds another layer of stress that’s avoidable.
  4. Notify your customers. About a month before the move, begin to notify your customers that you will be unavailable for the week of the move. It’s helpful to explain to them that you will be without phone or email during that time, but that you will pick up voicemail and email starting on your first day back. Also notify your customers of your new address, new telephone number and new fax number, as needed.
  5. Write down your new phone number and keep it handy. If you’re moving out of your region and have a landline phone, you may not be able to take your old office phone number with you. Trying to memorize your new office phone number when your brain is weary is crazy-making. Write down your new phone number on a Post-It note and attach it to your computer, your phone, and anywhere else you’ll need access to it immediately. Once the “fog of the move” lifts and your brain is back to normal, you’ll easily remember your new phone number. In the meantime, a little memory crutch is a good thing!
  6. Design the layout of your new home office…and be willing to change it. Before the move, get the dimensions of your new home office and the dimensions of your furniture, and lay out a plan for where the big furniture goes. Keep in mind things like access to windows, electrical outlets, heating vents, etc. Once you’re in your new space, live with it for a week before unpacking everything. You may find that your first choice of furniture arrangement doesn’t quite satisfy you, and it’s easier to move furniture if you haven’t unpacked all the other items yet.

The energy of a new home office feels great and it’s like a new beginning! Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. And try for a little humor and flexibility during your first month in your new place…you’ll need both.

P.S. Don’t forget to pack your “office cat!”  🙂

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