Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich - Expanded and Updated

I am a huge fan of Timothy Ferris and the 4-Hour Workweek. So I was really excited to see the new Expanded and Updated edition. This is a crazy-fun book jammed full of sound, practical business strategies. Even if your ultimate goal isn’t to work a “4-Hour Workweek” this book can provide a much needed perspective on your 40-60 hour workweek. It is about liberating yourself by eliminating, automating, and outsourcing everything that you can – so you can focus on what matters most to you.

If you are one of the millions around the world who bought the original version of this ground-breaking guide to lifestyle design, you might wonder whether the new edition provides enough value to justify buying it again. The answer: absolutely. The core foundation hasn’t changed; rather case studies, tools, and tricks have been updated. If you are a first time reader --- grab a highlighter and notepad. This is one book that you will actually want to take notes as Tim guides you through the process.

• If you are a business owner, you’ll learn how to outsource many tasks so you can enjoy life more.
• If you are an employee, you will learn to negotiate remote work arrangements and work less.
• If you are starting a new business, you’ll find countless ideas on how to get started.
• If traveling is your passion, you’ll learn how to run your business from anywhere.

This book is an essential read for anyone who wants to dream big and follow through with those dreams. As a working mother and wife, I think some of my fun was just living vicariously through Tim’s adventures, but I did manage to pick up some great business tricks and tips along the way.

Amanda Wodzenski is a regular blogger for the WSBA, and the owner of CRMastermind, a consulting company that specializes in CRM and e-mail marketing for Small Business. Visit her blog Your SmallBiz Technocoach.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Changing Face of Facebook

As business owners, Facebook is something we all need to keep our eye on. The scope of Facebook, and social media in general, will change our lives dramatically. We need to be prepared to take advantage of the next opportunity. Here are some stats that will knock your socks off.

1. Facebook is the #2 most visited website – second only to google.
2. 400 Million Users -- ½ of which log-in every day
3. Average time users spend on Facebook – 30min/ day

At last month’s F8 conference in San Fransisco, there were some major announcements from Facebook. Here is a rundown of some of the changes and additions
  • Inside of Facebook the “Like” button has replaced the option to “become a fan”
  • The “Like” Button will now be available across the world-wide-web. You can now “like” any website site that has a Facebook Like button on it.
  • Facebook also announced the new Community pages. On each Community Page, you'll be able to learn more about a topic or an experience—whether it's cooking or learning a new language—and see what your friends and others in the Facebook community are saying about this topic. Facebook’s long term goal for these is to make them the best collection of shared knowledge on a topic. Interests and activities listed in a users profile will allow Facebook to recommend community pages to the user.
  • Of all the announcements facebook made , Open graph is the most far reaching. Open graph will affect both Facebook, and ultimately the world wide web. Any website that integrates with open graph can now tap into Facebook’s vast array of user data and preferences to create a more targeted, personalized experience for the consumer. A great example of this is the Levi’s website – “where friends find, like, and shop for Levi’s”

What is your business strategy for this changing media?

Amanda Wodzenski is a regular blogger for the WSBA, and the owner of CRMastermind, a consulting company that specializes in CRM and e-mail marketing for Small Business. Visit her blog Your SmallBiz Technocoach

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

10 Great Tips to Build Your E-Mail Marketing List

  1. Place a sign-up form prominently on your web page. This should be visible on the first screen without having to scroll down. Use graphics to draw attention to this form. Ideally, you will want a subscription form on every page of your site.
  2. Offer incentives for signing up. The incentive can be simple and inexpensive, and most important should appeal to your target market. Would they be more interested in a free whitepaper, a coupon, or a free music download?
  3. Don’t ask for too much information. We need to balance our need for data with the customers need for privacy. Ask for name, phone, e-mail, and address, but only require name and e-mail. Some businesses may want to require more date, but must realize that this is at the expense of losing some subscribers.
  4. Incorporate the sign-up link into your e-mail signature. You may also want to include this in your employee e-mail signatures.
  5. Send Postcards. Postcards are an inexpensive way to collect e-mails for contacts you only have street addresses for. Include an enticement to get them to your website and sign up.
  6. Use Social Media to promote your sign-up form. Facebook, Twitter, Linked In etc. are great places to encourage sign-ups.
  7. Ask for subscriptions during on-line check out.
  8. Collect Business Cards at tradeshows or vendor exhibits. Attendees can be some of your most qualified buyers. Typically they have bought a ticket to attend, and they are there for a purpose.
  9. Host Workshops and Webinars. Better yet, partner with another business to double attendance. Attendees that sign up for a workshop and/ or webinar have a high level of commitment and will typically provide more information that the average opt-in requestor.
  10. Most Importantly - Pick up the phone. Call all of your contacts and ask them if they would like to start receiving your e-mail newsletter. This is a great opportunity to reconnect in the electronic age, and you might just pick-up a client or sale during the process.

Amanda Wodzenski is a regular blogger for the WSBA, and the owner of CRMastermind, a consulting company that specializes in CRM and e-mail marketing for Small Business. Visit her blog Your SmallBiz Technocoach.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Learn from Leaders from Around the Globe - Leslie Grossman

We were thrilled to speak with Leslie Grossman co-founder of the Women's Leadership Exchange. (www.womensleadershipexchange.com)

She is hosting a VIRTUAL EVENT on May 26, 2010. This is not your 1 hour teleseminar or webinar. This is a 5-hour virtual conference in streaming video on your computer - with amazing speakers from around the globe. And it's archived - so if you can't attend the entire event - it's accessible to you for 3 months.

The WLE Virtual Summit will enable us to bring women from all around the world together for a day of knowledge, tools, resources and connections -- as is possible only on the web.

The WLE Virtual Summit will feature:

* Live Keynotes
* Live Workshops with Q&A
* Networking Lounge with Live Chats and Private Conversations, Network matching
* Profiles and Business Card Exchange
* Exhibit Hall with booths, surveys, content information, interaction with booth visitors
* Conference Bag with goodies
* Resource Center
* Prizes

She is also an author of SELLsation. We asked her for her TOP FIVE THINGs TO DO TO PROMOTE YOUR SMALL BUSINESS.

Five things to do to promote your small business
1. Develop a 30 second elevator pitch that differentiates you from your competition
2. Use it everywhere - 1) when you introduce yourself, 2) when others introduce you, 3) in your signature on your email, r) on your website and in all your printed materials
3. Schedule at least one meeting each week with someone who could potentially be a source of referrals
4. Get on at least one non-profit board and commit to help the organization and build relationships with the other board members
5. Stay positive at all times - good things come to people who expect them!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Blogging - Does it really help ? - Virtual Assist USA

As the owner of a Virtual Assistant agency, Virtual Assist USA, I help clients accelerate their businesses. One of the first things I tell them to do is to blog, blog, blog. Their immediate reaction is often that they don’t want to do it – for a number of reasons. They don’t think they are a good enough writer, they don’t think they have the technical ability to do it – and the biggest question – does anyone care what they have to say?

Read on for my answers:

It Will Come to You When You Least Expect It To: I get that clients think that they don’t have anything to write about, or that their writing skills aren’t up to par. To the second one: it doesn’t matter! Your blog posts are not graded, but they will help you gain more exposure and search engine ranking. As far as thinking of something to write about: your business stands out, right? There is something about your business that is unique and that adds value to someone’s experience. To be in business for yourself, you have knowledge that other people don’t. Share! Another tip: People love lists. If you are a health professional, think: 5 Foods to Avoid. If you are a business coach, think: 10 Tips to Accelerate Your Business, and so on.

Keep Writing: Search engines will pick up your blog, as long as you write keyword-dense content and update it frequently. This is great for your search engine optimization! Considering that 80% of consumers and business owners search online before purchasing a product, search engine optimization (SEO) is integral to your success!

Learn About Your Target Market: Encourage your readers to write comments and they will. The reason for this is that those readers will share valuable information there – what they like, and don’t like, and what they are looking for. This is the perfect opportunity to reach a target market that you may not ever have the opportunity to communicate so directly with. Also, your blog serves as a sales tool for you – so tout your company’s success and what makes you stand out!

It’s Okay to Give It Away: I’ve heard some say that they don’t blog because they don’t want to give too much information away up front – or who would pay to work with them? I have found that not to be true at all. Make your information a “teaser” for someone to work with you. Show them how fantastic you are – at the end, you can even do a little shameless self-promoting and list 3 great reasons to work with you!


Virtual Assist USA is a Virtual Assistant firm that assists busy business owners build their business, grow their income and have more free time. We handle your marketing, social media management, public relations, e-commerce/shopping carts, blogging, bookkeeping, sales, customer service, web design and general administration.


mommynewsblog.com - Blogging Works !!

We were very fortunate to speak with Judy Massucci of A Mother’s Boutique in Wexford, Pennsylvania. Judy has a successful on line business that has experienced solid growth over the past few years, and she recently opened a storefront in Wexford, PA. A Mother’s Boutique carries maternity and breastfeeding clothing, nursing bras, breast pumps, slings, and breastfeeding accessories.

Judy saw a tremendous increase in traffic to her website when she started to Blog. Previously, Judy used Pay Per Click advertising to drive traffic to her site. Once she started blogging, she eliminated the pay per click expense, and she can barely keep up with shipments.

Visit Judy’s blog at http://mommynewsblog.com and Join us on Thursday May 20th to learn many of Judy’s key tips for success

Friday, May 7, 2010

WSBA is expanding to help and stimulate small and start up businesses.

The goal of the WSBA is to foster women's economic independence by helping them develop skills needed for entrepreneurial success through networking and education.

WSBA Board Members and leaders often talk about the issues that a majority of the members are challenged with. We are approached on a daily basis and and asked -

Who am I ? What is my Brand ? What is the best way to market ?

The next series of blogs will explore just that providing case studies to help you decide what is right for you.

One of our Board Members recently said, "that company doesn't have a marketing plan at all and they are just throwing up marketing to see what will stick"

Not a cost effective way to do business. Here is a resource that we find very useful from Entrepreneur Magazine.

How Much Is Email Marketing Bringing In?

Use this calculator to determine the ROI (return on investment) for your email campaigns. Based on your cost-per-contact, number of respondents and buyers, revenue and profit, your ROI will automatically be calculated. Use this tool to test different scenarios to see what works for you.


What a great tool.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Welcome to the Entrepreneurial Empowerment. Your resource for all things business. Written and maintained by Members of the Board at WSBA, Women's Small Business Association.
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