5 Steps to Improve Your Social Media Marketing

Social media love conept in word tag cloudReally Know Your Ideal Customer

You will hear me say this again and again because it is, in my opinion, the number one factor you should consider before planning any marketing. Sure you have an idea of what your ideal customer looks like but could you pick her out of a crowd? Do a little research and find out where she is spending her time online. This could mean polling current customers or creeping them on social media to see what else they are liking. Social media has made market research so much easier, it’s ok to take advantage of that! Before the end of the day do a little recon work and really get to know this guy or girl, it will make creating effective marketing that much easier.

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Meet Shayla Boyd-Gill

Meet Shayla Boyd-Gill

ShaylaAs a successful entrepreneur of 11 years and recent honoree of the 2013 Prince George’s County Social Innovation Fund Forty Under 40 award for “exceptional contributions in business”, 2013 Hell Yeah Six Figure Year award winner, 2013 Savvy Entrepreneur People’s Choice Award Winner, Shayla Boyd-Gill, owner of LABOR Business Coaching is recognized for her ability to empower women and helping them to ditch their money guilt and break through the six and seven figure barriers in their businesses.

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What is Your Commitment Level?

This article is a guest post from BrightFire Expert, Odette Laurie of Business Women on Top.

I have been asked once or twice, okay maybe ten or eleven times, what is it that keeps me motivated or moving forward."COMMITMENT" letters on Chalkboard

I really had to ponder that for a while then I realized it was a simple answer.

I am 100% committed to my dream, my vision and my mission in life.

I am committed to my friends, my family, my clients, members of The “O” team (dorky I know but it keeps me tied to my younger TV day–we had great TV back then!).

Most importantly, I am committed to myself.

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5 Benefits of Partnerships

“Together, we each grow stronger. Together, we each shine brighter. Together, we set the world on fire!” This is the BrightFire Network motto. partnership

I truly believe that in order to make a big impact, change lives, or grow your business, you need the power of partnerships and collaboration. In that spirit, I am taking my own advice and partnering with some of the most brilliant minds around the globe.

I recently reached out to women entrepreneurs who are creative and innovative thinkers and I asked them to help me better serve the BrightFire Community by contributing their talents and expertise. The response and generosity was overwhelming! These ladies are going to blow your mind (and help you grow your business, of course)! Over the next few weeks you will be seeing some new faces, in addition to mine.

BrightFire is growing and I am blessed to have others support me in its growth. Without the help of others, I wouldn’t be able to serve the BrightFire Network community to my standards or grow the BrightFire Living and Fantastically Free communities, which I am beyond excited about.

It is a win-win-win for everyone!

Haven’t thought about partnering with others to grow your business, here are the top 5 benefits for partnerships and collaboration:

1) You can focus on the right stuff.

When you partner with others, it frees you up to focus on the things that you enjoy and the things that are most profitable for you.

2) You maximize your strengths and eliminate your weaknesses.

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Balance Is Not a Four-Letter Word

What does the word “balance” mean to you? Balance can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. I’ve noticed that many people stonesthink that life balance isn’t possible, or even desirable, because they are hung up on the word “balance.” Some folks think that balance means dividing up your time equally between work and home. I don’t know about you, but that does not sound appealing to me at all.

If you’re a left-brain, math-type, maybe you think of life balance the same way you think of balancing your check book.  Again, not much fun to me.  I guess I have a more right-brained, creative view of balance.   To me, balance is about finding your perfect mix or flow.  It’s like plant fertilizer.  If you want your orchid to grow and blossom, you have to find the right fertilizer mix for that particular plant. Orchids need the right balance, of soil, water, and sunlight to really thrive.

Work life balance is not about equalizing everything–it’s about creating harmony between your business and your personal life. 

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5 Ways to Get a Handle on Your Inbox

Are you overwhelmed by your inbox or spending way too much time handling email?  If so, you’re not alone.  The average New messageprofessional spends about 15 hours a week on email, and I know many people who spend much more time than that.  As an entrepreneur and small business owner, it is easy to get buried under an avalanche of email.

Here are 5 easy tips to help you manage your email effectively:

1) Set up multiple email addresses so you can appropriately direct and handle emails with ease.

For example, you might set up an “info@…”  email address or a “support@…”  address to handle requests for more information or customer service. My assistant manages this email address for me and forwards me only the emails that I need to respond to. You can set up a “ yourname@…”  email address to handle business communication that is specifically meant for you.  I also recommend having a separate account for personal email messages.

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My Top Take-Aways on Effective Facebook Marketing

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to attend a Facebook marketing workshop which was actually put on by Facebook’s Small and Medium facebookscreensaverBusiness (SMB) Growth Global Marketing team. The workshop was led by Facebook SMB Growth team member, Nina Ferrito.

I was super-excited to attend because this was a great opportunity to learn about Facebook marketing straight from the horse’s mouth. There are so many self-proclaimed Facebook marketing gurus out there giving their own opinions about what you should be doing that it gets a little confusing.

Unfortunately, confusion doesn’t often lead to success. So this week I want to share what I learned directly from the original source–Facebook.

Interesting Facebook Statistics:

  • Facebook and Instagram account for 21% of all digital time (the total time people spend on digital media).
  • 128 million people visit Facebook each day
  • 101 million people visit Facebook on mobile devices each day
  • 113 million check-ins occur on Facebook each month
  • 72% of monthly Facebook users come back every single day
  • 38% of Facebook respondents said they have made a purchase based on a like or share

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5 Tips for Making the Most of Networking

I consider networking to be a “high-octane” marketing strategy. Networking is a highly effective way to build relationships and grow your businesswoman having fun conversation with colleague during breabusiness quickly. It is very difficult to grow your business if you are not well-connected.

Despite this fact, many entrepreneurs despise networking and do not experience its full benefits. Most of the time, they aren’t seeing the benefits of networking because they have a weak link in their networking approach.

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Maybe You Should Keep Your Day Job

Over the last year I’ve seen several women entrepreneurs quit their full-time jobs in order to work on their businesses full-time.  Some of themLetter of Resignation had great success while others really struggled and ended up burning themselves out, put their businesses on hold, and headed back to a j.o.b.

The main difference that I noticed between the two groups was a lack of planning on the part of the entrepreneurs who struggled. The one’s who dove in head-first without checking out the water had a rude awakening when they hit bottom. The biggest challenge they had was that they had quit their jobs prematurely. One day, they just decided that it was finally time to grow their own business so they gave their 2 weeks’ notice and quit their job.

I know you have heard phrases like, “start before you’re ready” or “take the first step and the next step will appear,” well you also need to look both ways before crossing the street. There is a big difference between taking a risk and being reckless. A little planning and forethought goes a long way.

Here are the top 5 things you should do before you quit your day job:

1) Know how you are going to pay the bills.

Many of the successful entrepreneurs you see today were working at some type of job when they first started out in their business.  Sure, some of them were homeless and living out of their car or sleeping on their best friend’s couch, but is that really what you want for yourself? Their struggle doesn’t have to be your struggle. Not everyone thrives under desperation.

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Boost Your Business with Powerful Partnerships

Many solo entrepreneurs take “solo” to the extreme. As a solo entrepreneur or small business owner, it is so easy to get sucked into your ownPartnership concept little isolated world. Unfortunately, so many entrepreneurs struggle to grow their businesses because they are trying to do everything by themselves. Creating a profitable, sustainable, and powerful business requires a lot of support and resources.

As I’ve mentioned before, if you are “going it alone” in your business, you are stunting your business growth and minimizing your impact. You cannot successfully grow your business without growing relationships and guess what … your cats don’t count (Yep, I know, I say that a lot). You must connect with people in a meaningful way. The truth is, not one single successful entrepreneur has ever built his or her empire completely alone. In fact, they all have had an enormous amount of help from others.

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