career (44)

10744094461?profile=originalCan you imagine a place where there is no smog, no 18 wheelers pushing you to go faster, no temptation to visit a fast food franchise (because there are none), and a place where you can dress down all the time. Imagine being in the company of adults who seem like folks you've known all your life...women who have inspiring stories and even better advice! How about being in a place where your meals are delicious and prepared for you every day, a place where you can walk along the ocean or sit on the porch and relax all day for an affordable price for an entire week? You can experience all this. Join Sisters & Friends Getaway to Oak Bluffs, on Martha’s Vineyard.


Why Martha’s Vineyard?

Martha’s Vineyard is the perfect place for this gathering. First, it is quiet and serene and being there makes one slow down. Second people are intrigued by the Island and never dreamed they could one a day visit. The Island is rich with African and Native American history. And, because many high-profile people have homes or visit there, Ms. Portis wants others to experience this slice of ‘the good life’ and know that it is within their reach.


What is the agenda?

Some activities include line dancing, card games, book discussion, morning ocean swim, shopping but mostly Sisters & Friends Getaway is a trip where guests make their own respite agenda. That is why the vacation begins the Sunday after Labor Day when the pace is slow and the tourist crowd is reduced and the island quiet and serene. The nights in the houses are spent laughing, playing games, joining in inspiring discussions and enjoying fabulous meals (including vegetarian).


What are the Accommodations?

We stay in vintage Vineyard homes within walking distance of each other in the historic Oak Bluffs neighborhood. Each person shares a twin room with a sister or friend or alone in a queen bedroom. Houses accommodate 8-14 women and there are multiple facilities in each house. Check out the FAQ’s at

How much does it cost?

With times so tough and many wanting to save and forgo vacation this is the perfect opportunity to get away, experience a wonderful place and join with other women while not spending a lot of money. Since meals and board are included in the cost, many find this the perfect group to go to Martha’s Vineyard with. How to obtain pricing information is on the website


Who are the women that attend?

While many do not know each other, sisterfriends come from varying backgrounds, stages and ages in life and share one common bond and that is to experience a peaceful, relaxing vacation. In year's past, women come from Washington, Nevada, California, Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York and many states in between. Women who join sisters & Friends Getaway are adventurous and looking for calm no stress vacation. Some are starting new careers, launching a businesses, or winding down from work and others are retired after exciting and rewarding careers. Other come with a sister or friend others come alone. Many get their network of friends from around the country to meet them on this trip. Cities represented for this year’s trip include women from Rockford, Ill, Portland, Oregon, Charlotte, NC, Pittsburgh, PA and surrounding cities, Woodstock, MD, Lauderhill, FL, Atlanta and Smyrna, Georgia.

10744094474?profile=originalConnie Portis is a publisher,event planner human resource professional and host of events for women. She is in her 29th year of publishing the Greater Pittsburgh Black Business Directory, and previously published a newspaper, Pittsburgh Renaissance News and was a member of NNPA, past president of the Black Pages Association and currently works in Equal Opportunity for a state government agency. Ms. Portis is known throughout the Pittsburgh area for hosting quality and inspiring

 Contact, Connie Portis, (412) 391-8208

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Identifying Career Purpose - Vlog

This month in Say YES to Purpose, we talked about the purpose journey.  In today's vlog, Vaneese Johnson, Career Reinvention Coach, talks about purpose as it relates to your career -- Identifying Career Purpose

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3 Women in a meeting strategizing


Both career women and those in business have faced many obstacles in past decades and unfortunately, still today. Women in the workforce have battled glass ceilings, unequal pay for equal production and undeserved stereotypical barriers. As business prototypes have changed with the advent and growth of the internet, so have the unique issues encountered by women in business. Below are five of these challenges and solutions to overcome and achieve success.

Challenge 1: Lack of Cash Flow

Even the most brilliant business plan will fail without sufficient cash flow. Simply put, cash flow can be loosely defined as "cash in" (as generated by revenue) and "cash out" (to pay the expenses incurred to achieve "cash in." Inadequate cash flow can stifle a business into failure.

Let’s just get real… your creditors, employees or suppliers don’t care about your cash flow woes. They want to be paid in a timely manner!

Solution:To simplify this problem, as well as correct it, look at all facets of the balance sheet and income statement. Is there a lag time between the time you have to pay your creditors, suppliers and employees and when you collect from your customers? If so, you must pinpoint the problem areas and take necessary steps to correct them.

Four quick solutions to manage your cash flow:

  • Consider factoring. In factoring, a business owner sells accounts receivable at a discount to a third-party funding source that pays invoices immediately. Chris Lehres, a loan officer for Versant Funding says, “A wide range of companies in a multitude of industries, including some with a negative net worth, that are losing money, and often even companies in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy are eligible for factoring services.”
  • Open a line of credit. A line of credit is a standard service provided by many banks and credit unions that serve small businesses. Your banker can best discuss the benefits of a business line of credit.
  • Offer several payment options to your clients, such as Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or pay pal.
  • Track your receivables. Have a collection process in place so that you have a protocol to handle aging invoices.

Challenge 2: Undefined Niche

To Niche or Not to Niche…that is the question. What is a niche? A niche business is one that targets a very specific group of people with specific shared interest. A business with an undefined niche is like a ship sailing in shallow water.

By creating a niche business allows you to market to your ideal clients. For example, if you were a behavioral psychologist targeting teens, you would market your services in places where parents are likely to find out about you; such as advertising in parent magazines, providing resources to local middle and high schools or joining organizations geared towards parents.

Solution:By understanding who and where your ideal customers are; it is easy to craft a marketing plan to target them. Here are three easy ways to target your potential clients:

  • Improve your website’s SEO with specific key words
  • Generate exposure locally and virtually with professional speaking, seminars or publishing a book or articles.
  • Craft a clear message that speak at the heart of your customer

Challenge 3: Not Understanding the Power of Referral Marketing

For years, the mantra for success in marketing was "cold calling." Today, we know that cold calling is ineffectual, especially when compared to referral marketing. Referral marketing is promoting your business thru referrals and word of mouth networking to more effectively gain sales.

When comparing referral marketing to cold calling, think of it as sowing grass seed. It is much easier to grow grass from seeds if you know how fertile the ground is. You can scatter a handful of seeds over a wide area of dirt and some of it may, or may not, take root.

Solution: Find others with whom to network and collaborate to gain sales. For instance, if your business sells cars, you might collaborate with a local automobile service company with the result that the purchase of a car includes a certificate for a free oil change from the car servicing business. Both businesses benefit and just increased the likelihood for repeat business.

Challenge 4: No Social Media Plan

Random tweets and meandering Facebook posts will result in a lot of time devoted to zero results. Before making another useless post, sit down with pen and paper and make a list of what you want to achieve from social media. To which social media do you belong? What are some social media marketing strategies that you have noticed from other companies? What do you have that will offer value? You may find that your company is spread a little too thin across the social media spectrum. Quality truly is superior to quantity in this respect.

Solution: Create a social media marketing plan and stay the long haul. Establishing a strong presence can be a very time consuming process. It is unwise to expect your list of fans, followers or subscribers to grow overnight.

Challenge 5: No Strategic Plan (after 3 years in business)

Without a strategic plan, a business can become stagnant in the mire of what is immediately going on, rather than focusing on long-term goals. Successful businesses recognize the critical need for strategic planning and it is an ongoing process - it is never finished.

Solution:An effective strategic planning process allows small businesses to take control of their future and stay focused on the essential areas that will result in sustained periods of growth and success. Here are six tips to help you in the planning process:

  • Assess the Current Business Environment
  • Focus on Important (SWOT) Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats
  • Define (or Redefine) the Company’s Mission and Goals
  • Start with An End In Mind
  • Establish Mini Milestones
  • Plan for Follow Through

If starting your strategic plan seems a little intimidating, download your FREE ‘Strategic Planning Strategy Worksheet.’


As you can see, there are many hurdles that can cause women to fail in business; nevertheless, many solutions to prevent failure from happening. These are my top 5 challenges; what other challenges do you think women face today?



Sylvia Browder is a small business consultant, trainer and author. She is founder of National Association Women on the Rise, a virtual community for aspiring and established women entrepreneurs. For the past 6 years, she has worked as Project Director of the Women's Business Center; and served as an online volunteer SCORE counselor since 2004. For FREE weekly articles go to Sylvia Browder's Blog for Women Entrepreneurs,

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Follow Your Bread Crumbs


How sensitive are you to the subtle signs of re-direction? Do you take for granted hidden messages that are often right in front of you? Are you the type of person who needs solid proof in order to make a decision? These are important questions that may reveal if you are ready to take the walk of faith.

We are led every day to new people, and new experiences.  Our daily path is filled with connections - some visible, some invisible - but nevertheless they are evident and they help get us to our destination. We need only to be willing to follow the subtlety of clues whenever they surface. More importantly we need to be willing to open our heart and listen to the still small voice when it directs us to go this way or that way.

How do you follow your bread crumbs? The first thing you need to do is:

(1) Make a decision - define what you want to do? Do you want to get a new job, start a bowling league, go back to school or make a career change? Whatever it is, you must first define it.  This clarifies your starting point. You cannot run in the race until you line up at the starter's block .

(2) Now that you've made the decision - just be open and willing and have an open heart. Don't discount anything. This is the stage where people have a tendency to talk themselves out of their options. When a choice is presented to you, don't say I can't; I don't have time; I can't afford it. These are the words that neutralize our options.  It's important to filter your emotions - and clear your heart and mind with all of the negative internal chatter so that you can see and hear your choices.

(3) Ok, you've made a decision about what you want to do, now is the time to pray/meditate/journal - do whatever you need to do to touch heaven. Dedicate your decision to God. Scripture says in Ps 37:5 - commit your way to the Lord; trusting in Him and expecting Him to bring it to pass.  It's that simple. It's not complicated as we make it. 

(4) Once you've prayed - now walk it out with your eyes open to new discoveries.  Don't be afraid of what's ahead.  And don't have pre-conceived ideas about how your choices will manifest.  For instance, you want a new job - but when one opens up - you second guess yourself because it doesn't fit your profile.  You then choose to stay where you are because you are comfortable.  And you never know the new job could stretch you, could open other doors or even give you an opportunity to use your knowledge in a way where you become a valuable source to your present environment. Commit to doing the next one thing that catches your attention or which pulls on your heart. Usually these are clues.

Don't over-think the subtle ways in which life uncovers itself to you. Life is simple, just follow your bread crumbs.



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Cookie Lee Jewelry Opportunity "Join my Team"

I started my Cookie Lee business because I loved the jewelry. I never imagined that I would be earning the extra income that I now receive each month! I get paid to have fun while selling jewelry at home shows, office shows, through my website and by collecting catalog orders. I've made such great friendships with my Cookie Lee business—it really is a family! The opportunities with Cookie Lee are endless, so contact me today to learn how you can start your business and enjoy all these benefits too!

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How To Create the Perfect Spicy Sales Cycle

dreamstimefree_2204450-150x150.jpg?width=150I am such an impatient person. I can admit it right out of the gate, but one thing I've learned after a number of business "beat-downs" is that planning is priceless.

One of the steps often forgotten in the excitement of creating a new business that you're going to market is the planning phase. But this is particularly important when you're creating your sales and marketing strategy.

You have got to spend some time mapping out how your content, products and services, and marketing are all going to work together to build a profitable online business.

To help you out, I'm going to share a few key steps - all of which I'll be talking about in my brand new coaching program that launches in a few weeks - Spicy Hot Systems That Sell (SPICY = simple, profitable, impactful, convenient, and getting your buyers to YES!):

Step One: Develop high quality offerings. Starting off on the right foot with your customer service approach is very important for the livelihood of your online business. Quality products, from the very first freebie to your largest ticket item, will help you gradually build a positive reputation for yourself. Any future dealings you have where you can do repeat business with your customer should leave them feeling as if they were treated as well if not better than the first time around.

Step Two: Create your product line. A sales funnel is a series of incrementally more valuable, and perhaps more expensive, products or services to offer your customers. However, people are going to enter your funnel at various stages. Some may begin by taking advantage of your free offer while some may jump right in and buy a product or service. Create a plan for each type of customer. Set the stage for the next level of products you have available. Figure out which ones might be of interest to your clients, or which ones could be useful. Help them to see just how they can be helpful and how to implement them effectively into their present business or organization.

Step Three: Maintain the Communication. In addition to creating a line of high quality products and services, you’ll also want to establish consistent communication with your prospects and customers. Accomplish this by continuing the flow of valuable information in the form of blog posts, email messages and perhaps a newsletter.

Maintaining the flow of valuable information makes it easier for your customers to confidently pass your information on to others. You could soon find yourself starting the process all over again with new referrals, or other people you have found on your own who have become customers.

Planning is the key to online business success. Create your sales funnel plan, marketing plan and content plan and work to integrate the three into a seamless and efficient system. Consistency is the key, and by using the same plan over and over again with each new person, your online business will grow. And everyone will be receiving the same great quality products and services you have to offer.

Now that's SPICY!
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This is part 2 of a 4 part series where I'm sharing the essential systems entrepreneurs must have in place to support a solid brand.

System #1: Customer engagement

iStock_000007773142Medium-150x150.jpg?width=150Brand support system number one is about the way in which you engage your customers. This is the process by which you create a path of attraction to your business. It's the way that you make it easy for prospects to meet you, to love what you do, to test drive your services. This might look like your current opt-in strategy. Or it may even be the type of events you host that attract people to your business.

Creating an easy path for prospects to engage is critical to building your pool of interested buyers. As a system, this path should be outlined in such a way that you can powerfully reflect your brand with ease. The goal is to create a connection between you as a solution provider and the potential client, or prospect.

What is evident when you view an entrepreneur’s website is whether or not there is an easy way to determine your next step. Successful entrepreneurs are clear in the single action they would like for a viewer to take when visiting their website the first time. But unfortunately too many business owners fail to streamline the instruction for their prospect. There is no opt-in form. There is nothing “sticky" about the page that keeps a person there, so viewers leave after only visiting a few seconds.

One example of a way to engage customers that capitalizes on the way they first interacted with you is to create a social media landing page. This blog post by visibility guru Nancy Marmalejo tells you how to do this:

There are other ways to engage your customer or prospect. One of the most widely used ways is to develop a strong opt in form. A blog post by marketing diva Ali Brown shares great insight into how to make this work for you:

The key to customer engagement is to entice prospective buyers within the first few seconds so they can receive your valuable information.


You may, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

About the Author: Tanya Smith is a creative business strategist specializing in showing coaches, consultants and freelancers how to spend more time making money with simple, yet profitable marketing systems. Her company Be Promotable provides clients with fresh actionable strategies and virtual resources to promote their small businesses as power players in their market. Claim your instant access to a free 10 part ecourse, 10 Ways To Grow Your List at:
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I've been studying copy quite a bit lately because I want to improve my own business brand and make sure my stuff gets more eyes on it! What about you? Doesn't that matter to your business? Writing good copy is actually ESSENTIAL to your success, so even if you choose to outsource your writing, you should be familiar with at least the basics.Study and save this simple list of words you can use to attract more views.
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System #2: Customer Relationship Management

The customer relationship management system refers to the way you take care of your current customers. It may be the way that you process their intake into doing new business with you. It's about how you provide here and service once your clients have already paid or invested in your services. Ultimately the goal is for prospects to become clients and eventually to become raving fans for your business. This happens when you treat current clients or fans very well.

How do you deliver on the promises that you make in your brand. Does it require a lot of manual labor? Can you automate delivery of your services? Can you set up systems with the click of a button that will accept payment and deliver on the promise? If you're conducting a coaching group is there self-service function word new clients can go and access their profiles, pay an invoice, create a support case? This is all part of delivering on your brand promises.
When you have easy tools and systems in place it's much easier for your clients to rave about your services and to refer others to them as well. A great service experience can immediately expand your level of influence and authority.

I am a huge fan of Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM). CRMs were like a dream come true because I was tired of manually tracking loose pieces of paper, sticky notes, e-mails that flooded my inbox from people I worked with. A solid CRM can manage projects, automate your billing, and make it easy for you to find essential correspondence between you and the customer. Examples of great CRMs to research for your business include BaseCamp, Salesforce, Capsule CRM, and WorkEtc.

Another part of the relationship management, however, involves your approach to follow-up. Send Out Cards is a simple but highly distinctive way to show your clients you care. I purchased an account with the company years ago but did not realize the power of the program until I used it to mail personalized postcards to members of a course I was teaching online. It really made an impact with my clients to receive a special thank you from the right at their doorstep.

Trust me, in this age of Internet marketing a postcard or greeting card will help you stand out from the crowd. It will also help to solidify the emotional connection with your customer, which has the potential to generate more sales. Besides, sales are really about creating a personal experience for the buyer.


You may, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

About the Author: Tanya Smith is a creative business strategist specializing in showing coaches, consultants and freelancers how to spend more time making money with simple, yet profitable marketing systems. Her company Be Promotable provides clients with fresh actionable strategies and virtual resources to promote their small businesses as power players in their market. Claim your instant access to a free 10 part ecourse, 10 Ways To Grow Your List at:
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dreamstimefree_1333671-300x199.jpg?width=300Every solo business owner has a set of processes or systems that either promote their business very well or contribute to the business’ demise. There are really 3 essential systems that any successful business owner needs in place in order to automate the things they repetitively do over and over again, while adequately supporting the brand. These systems form the structure of success because they are the ways in which you continuously reinvigorate your business for expansion and growth.

What is a system?

For purposes of this article, we’re going to define a system as follows: a set of integrated, interdependent processes that can be replicated over and over again to produce similar results.

This article is designed to explain the 3 critical brand support systems for real breakthrough in your business. These essential systems are key to ensuring your success and creating a structure on which your brand can thrive.

It all starts with the BRAND

Before we cover these systems, let’s talk about brand first. As a solopreneur in the “entrepreneurial renaissance” age – a coin termed by business coach, Marcia Bench, you will have to compete against many people who claim expertise in the same field as you. Regardless of their level of experience or visibility, the sheer numbers require that you carve out a way to stand apart from the crowd. Your brand must be distinctive, powerful and recognizable.

The brand is the foundation of any effective marketing strategy. It is how people perceive you. The brand is YOU in a single owner business. If your brand is weak, the systems I will describe below will not operate to support your business. An analogy would be like building a new house, installing a beautiful kitchen, hardwood floors, and hiring a dynamic salesman to greet buyers at the door when the house has no walls yet.

The support systems we will talk about in this article will allow you to deliver great service, they will engage your customer base, and they will automate your delivery but only when you have taken the necessary steps to first put in place your brand strategy.

This means getting clear about what you do, the market you serve, and how you provide the service. Brand support is most connected to the latter – the “how”.

We will spend time outlining the 3 systems over the next group of articles in this series.


You may, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

About the Author: Tanya Smith is a creative business strategist specializing in showing coaches, consultants and freelancers how to spend more time making money with simple, yet profitable marketing systems. Her company Be Promotable provides clients with fresh actionable strategies and virtual resources to promote their small businesses as power players in their market. Claim your instant access to a free 10 part ecourse, 10 Ways To Grow Your List at:
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graphorange-300x221.jpg?width=300Sticky notes are not the best way to keep track of a prospect you need to call. There is a better way - thankfully. It's called a CRM.

A CRM is a sales and marketing term for "customer relationship management". It's a system to keep track of important information about your clients, customers, sales prospects and a way to centralize your business communications and resources.

I love technology. You may already know that from some of the resources I share. But I really didn't discover the power of a CRM until I started realizing that I had too much paperwork floating around with my client's notes, names of people I needed to follow up with, and even keeping track of any missing payments to my client accounts.

So here are some benefits of using a CRM:

  • Organizes your business records
  • Creates a safeguard of all your key contacts
  • Automates your appointments
  • Helps you develop a "pipeline", which is the path you work each client or prospect through to work with you
  • Gives you an easier way to pay attention to your customers
  • Makes it easy for people to pay you
These are just a few of the things that I've learned a CRM can do for my business. And when you're a solopreneur, it helps to make your workflow as simple as possible.

Need a few ideas on CRMs to try?

I'm developing a video kit to help you use the simple, slick system I use, but for now here are some recommendations you can look into:,,,

Try one and let me know what you think in the comments below!

WANT TO RE-POST THIS ARTICLE ON YOUR BLOG OR USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE, E-NEWSLETTER OR WEB SITE? You may, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

About the Author: Tanya Smith is a creative business strategist specializing in showing coaches, consultants and freelancers how to spend more time making money with simple, yet profitable marketing systems. Her company Be Promotable provides clients with fresh actionable strategies and virtual resources to promote their businesses as power players in their market. Claim your instant access to a free 10 part ecourse, 10 Ways To Grow Your List at:
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iStock_000007606415XSmall-150x150.jpg?width=150I had a dream last night. In the dream I invested in some type of postal supplies shop - you know, like the ones you see on every corner now? This guy from an office next door kept coming in to say he was there to help me. Seemed like a nice enough man. At first, he offered to lay a customized floor tile that looked like a stamp for me in front of the counter. He described how it would have my initials, my favorite colors, and it would really light up the place. I was convinced and I said, "sure, that would be nice". Then after he put it in and I realized it wasn't just one tile, it was half the floor. Cha-ching.

Next, he came in and offered to change the locks on my door. I said, "yes, that's probably a good idea". And of course, he upgraded the entire door. Cha-ching...again. After a series of these offers, I realized I'd drawn up quite a bill. That's when I finally sat down to look at the total costs of my initial investment, the add-ons, and the history of success the shop had before me. Guess what? The previous owner sold it because she hadn't made a profit.

It was a pretty dismal outlook. I had the same dream at least once more the same night. It was like I had to go through it all over again, even knowing what the end would be. Then I woke up.

I realized that this was a pretty accurate picture of some decisions I've made before as a business owner. Not researching the so-called investment first, saying yes to everything that looks short-term shiny, looking at the total profit/loss picture only after I've spent all the money...

Notice I didn't say anything about "adding value" or "profit generating" decisions? What investments are you making in yourself and in your business that will add long-term value and generate profit? Got the wake up call yet?


WANT TO RE-POST THIS ARTICLE ON YOUR BLOG OR USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE, E-NEWSLETTER OR WEB SITE? You may, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

About the Author: Tanya Smith of Be Promotable is a premier personal branding & marketing coach. Her creative genius has unlocked the potential of many women solopreneurs, helping them to reinvent themselves as power players in their startup business. Claim your free instant access to a free video download, 5 Secrets to Developing Your Unique Brand Proposition at:

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Are you the person everyone comes to for advice? If so Compass is providing for you to make it official and become a Professional Life Coach. Compass Coach Training is comprehensive, accelerated and affordable.


With Compass Coach Training you can become a Professional Life Coach with a comprehensive curriculum,  industry IAC ( International Association of Coaches ) partnership. This is  unique coach training design for you to  become a Certified Life Coach within a year with an - Earn While You Learn approach.


You will have clients assigned to you through Compass Independent Reps who are enrolling people into the Compass Coaching Network. Classes can be atttended virtually as to not interfere with what you are currently doing. Next class starts in March and Limited Enrollment.


Contact me if  you are interested; I will provide you with additional details. Also visit to know all about Compass - self-growth and personal development network for women.


Marlene McCray, MS

Certififed Compass Coach



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4 Parts to a Fabulous Personal Brand Statement

iStock_000008473282XSmall-150x150.jpg?width=150I often hear the question, "how do I develop a personal brand statement?" and my answer stays the same most of the time. A strong personal brand statement can be one of the best tools you can have and certainly one of the most critical ones for your branding and marketing toolkit, whether you are a business owner, or a professional working for someone else.

There are certain components that are variable and others that are pretty foundational in developing your personal brand statement (P.B.S.). Some of the factors that may be variable are:
  • When and how you will use it - e.g. interview for a job? networking situation? speech?
  • Who you're talking to - e.g. language needs to meet the needs of the audience; the message is the same, but the approach should be adaptable
Even though these may change, there are basically four parts I like to use in developing the main statement, so I'll share these next. A great basic statement tells people:
  1. Who you are - let the recipient of the statement know your identity, your name
  2. What you do - the core service or opportunity you provide
  3. Who you do it for - your target audience and/or ideal client you work with
  4. How you do it - your style, your unique approach, what distinguishes you

Let me give you an example of how this might work -

"Hi, I'm Tanya Smith of Be Promotable, the No Guesswork Branding & Marketing Resource for women solopreneurs. We show our clients practical, step-by-step online marketing strategies to confidently promote their business and get them noticed."

Now you try it. Add your own P.B.S. with the 4 parts in the comments and I'll share feedback...come on, you can do it!

About the Author: Tanya Smith of Be Promotable is a premier personal branding & marketing coach. Her creative genius has unlocked the potential of many women solopreneurs, helping them to reinvent themselves as power players in their startup business. Claim your free instant access to a free video and audio download, 5 Secrets to Successfully Starting a Solo Business While Working Full Time at:

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Simple Steps to Creating Your Marketing Map

iStock_000001184887XSmall-150x150.jpg?width=150Solo professionals are like big businesses when it comes to the need for a solid marketing strategy. The distinctive thing about solopreneurs, however, is that you get to be the head decision maker for every part of the business. That means it is all the more important to take your strategies from complex to simple whenever possible.

Now is a great time to develop your branding and marketing plan. While you definitely need to consider mapping out a strategy that is more comprehensive to cover you for at least the next twelve months, here are four simple questions you can answer in order to set a basic foundation for promoting your distinctive brand and services you provide:

How will I generate leads?

This is one of the most critical steps to developing a solid branding and marketing strategy. Assuming you have already identified who your ideal clients are, you must now figure out where to find them. Immerse yourself in studying your target market - find out what they read, where they frequent, and what they buy - and put yourself in front of them.

How will prospects get to do a "taste test" with me?

Before a potential client will buy BIG from you, they will want to know what your services are like. Depending on the business you're in, you will need to decide what is most effective and most practical to give away. For example, you might offer a free strategy session, or a free audio, or even an e-book. What can you offer that will be of interest and take little effort or investment on your part?

How will I direct them from one point to the next?

Now that your prospect has had a taste of what you do and they want more, make it simple for them to know what is next. This involves some thinking on your part of what your marketing funnel looks like. Whenever you engage a client in your product or service, be prepared to promote the next thing and make it easy. At the end of your teleseminar, share the next program or info product. This is the time where you can extend even greater value to your new customer - at the point that you have already made good on your initial promise!

How will I follow up?

The client engagement process usually follows a certain path - suspect --> prospect --> client --> advocate/evangelist. In order to move people through these stages, you need some idea of how to continuously follow up and stay in touch. Whether this looks like a series of autoresponder emails, a regular ezine, postcards, etc. consider how you will stay in front of your leads. The key is to add value to their inbox, not being pesky.


I now invite you to claim instant access to a free video and audio download, 5 Secrets to Successfully
Starting a Solo Business While Working Full Time
at: to learn even more about great solo professional business branding tips. - Tanya Smith, The Solo Business Brand Coach at Be Promotable.

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Goal Setting Is Not Dead...Just Boring

iStock_000015158998XSmall.jpg?width=167This post was originally published on Tanya Smith's blog. Click here to see the original post.

Goal setting always gets to be pretty popular this time of year. You hear a lot of techniques about how to do it and one of the most common ways is the SMART technique. I'm not writing about that here, because it's so overused now, I don't think you'll care.

No matter what you use, the new year always kicks us off with a great start, right? But then somehow you lose interest. There is this cycle that we seem to get into and it goes a little something like this:

  • Day 1: Whoo hoo, yeah, I'm on it this time. I'm going to [your goal here] -->
  • Day 3: This is great. I can't believe how this is changing [enter positive results] for me! I will definitely keep this up. -- >
  • Day 5: You know what, I'm just going to take a little bitty break...I'll come back to it, I promise! -- >
  • Day 10: What was that thing I was trying to do again?
  • Day 20: Start over again or drop it completely..
Part of the reason this happens is that we haven't really developed for ourselves a tangible, exciting "why" and "what". What I mean by this is the vision of what we want to get to and why we're doing it was never really that clear and constant.

You see, when you are setting a goal, it's important to identify the most clear picture possible of what you want. And doing this early in the process is one of the best ways to I learned this training in NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) when I studied with a celebrated master pracititioner, Susan Stageman, for over a year.

Yes, it took me that long to really get it and start applying the techniques . I can be kind of hard-headed, as my mom used to say. There were so many good ones, but the one that has stuck with me forever is called creating a "well-formed outcome" (WFO).

This is a very powerful way to set long-term and short-term goals so that they STICK...and really, that's what we set them for in the first place.

So I'm going to share with you my criteria for remembering the WFO in 5 simple steps. Maybe this will keep your goal setting from being so boring. ;). I call it the PLEAS approach (as in, can I have another goal, "pleas"):


State the goal in positive terms. Describe the present situation and compare it with the desired future goal. Make sure you can see yourself having obtained the goal.


Line up the goal with your values and beliefs. For me this means lining up what I've asked for, or stated, to be sure it is in the will of what God has for my life. I pray and ask for spiritual guidance around the goal. You may line it up however you see fit. It's important that your goals are a good fit with what's important to you.


Describe the goal using "sensory" terms. What will let you know that you have attained that desired state? This is a critical piece - think in terms of what you will hear, see, and feel when you have success.


Consider if the goal is right for you in all areas of your life. Is there something that may hold you back? Is this goal right for you right now, in this place where you are?

Self-initiated & Maintained

Self-initiated and maintained. Your goal must be something that you can initiate and maintain. It must not be something dependent on other people. Make sure that your goal reflects things that you can directly affect.

If your goal, or outcome is set each time with these criteria in mind, you will have crystal-clear vision that you can hang on to and it will get you past those tough times when you're ready to let go. OR it will bring you back to what you wanted in the first place...SUCCESS!

Share one of your clear outcomes in the comments below.


About the Author: Tanya Smith of Be Promotable is the "no guesswork" personal branding & marketing coach. Her creative genius has unlocked the potential of many women solopreneurs, helping them to reinvent themselves as power players in their startup business. Claim your free instant access to a free multimedia downloads including 10 Branding Mistakes Made by Solopreneurs and 5 Secrets to Successfully Starting a Solo Business While Working Full Time at:

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5 Steps to Create Your Vision Board for 2011

Every year, my kids and I create a vision board to capture goal highlights for the year using posters, magazine clippings, crayons, glitter, glue sticks -- you name it, it's on the floor on 12/31. We have the music going, candles lit, and complete focus on what we're doing. Here is our process laid out in 5 steps for you. I hope you then enjoy the short video version of my board that was designed using Head over to Life Vision Boards and get another take on the "how to". They use Animoto as well and you certainly can too - it's a free tool for creating video using images and music. Use theirs or add your own.

5 Steps To Creating Your Vision Board

  1. Get yourself to a quiet place
  2. Imagine that it is now the end of 2011 and you are reflecting back on your accomplishments for the year
  3. Write down a list -- brainstorm freely at first
  4. Now highlight the top 3-5 things you really want to focus on for the year
  5. Cut, draw, and paste images that represent your goals onto a poster board (you can even make a miniature version on an index card to carry with you)

That's it! Now set a date to get the board finished. ;)

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Personal Brand Kung Fu - The SWOT Analysis

iStock_000006195022XSmall.jpgOkay, yes the title may tell you I know a little something about martial arts...but no, I don't. Only as much as the last Karate Kid movie
(which is one of my kids' favorites) and the line from Kung Fu Panda
which says that Kung Fu stands for "excellence of self".

I was thinking about that today after having watched the main character, a Panda named Po, one of 50 jillion times. I think personal brand work is like working out your Kung Fu - it truly stands for mining
and understanding how to portray your self excellence.

I thought I'd share how you can strategically do some kung fu kicks with identifying your personal brand strategy below. One approach is using the SWOT analysis.

SWOT Analysis is a well-known method of identifying your Strengths and Weaknesses, while also examining the Opportunities and Threats you face. All four areas can help you clarify your personal brand and your
distinctive and unique value.

Often carrying out an analysis using the SWOT framework will be enough to reveal changes that need to be made in your plan.

Try to work through the following questions and think about what insights you have from this focused work:

Strengths -

  • What do you do well?
  • What can you do better than anyone else?
  • What comes naturally for you?

Weaknesses -

  • What could be improved?
  • What might you do poorly?
  • What comes with more difficulty for you?

Opportunities -

  • In what areas do you see possibilities?
  • What resources or circumstances can you leverage?
  • What trends might you use to your advantage?

Threats -

  • What obstacles are in your way?
  • Who is your competition and what are they doing well?
  • Are you financially challenged?
  • What else do you find yourself up against?

About the Author: Tanya Smith, Career & Personal Brand Coach, offers women professionals, with dual roles in a corporate career & solo side business, access to cutting-edge strategies to help them thrive
and promote themselves as experts in a progressively competitive work and
marketplace. Claim your free instant access to two fill-in-the-blank brand templates and a special report, The Beginner’s Guide to A Successful Career

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Many of us walk around marketing our personal brand by the seat of our pants. It may not be intentional, but there are things we do daily that demonstrate who we are to prospective clients, co-workers, managers, and colleagues.

I have really begun to mentally process how the discipline of marketing a business and many of the principles that come with it are just as critical for personal success.

There is great value in developing a personal brand marketing strategy that helps you stand out, and that makes you more credible in the eyes of your select audience. Unfortunately, it is way too easy to ignore because of competing priorities for our time.

Here is a short list of though provoking questions and action plans for you relevant to your personal marketing strategy:

  • Do you have a personal brand marketing plan or do you personally market yourself unintentionally?
  • If you have a brand marketing plan, does it include specific promotional activities and are these tied to events?
  • Have you taken the time to identify a target customer, or employer? What desired characteristics have you named?
  • Does your personal brand strategy identify ways to sell to and maintain your current clients while attracting new ones?
  • What are the demographics of your key prospects? What makes you distinctly different, or unique as compared to your competitors?
  • What is your personal brand marketing budget? How will you distribute these funds?
If any of these stump you, now is a great time to consider your next steps. Creating a personal brand strategy can be just as important for you in this day and age, as a company’s marketing strategy.

About the Author: Expert-ize your personal brand. As a Personal Brand & Marketing Coach, Tanya Smith offers female professionals with dual career & entrepreneurial roles access to cutting-edge strategies to help them thrive and promote themselves as experts in a progressively competitive work and marketplace. Claim
your free instant access to a special report at:

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