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Martin Luther King Jr Day - A Day of Service

"Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a vital figure of the modern era and a pivotal figure in the Civil Rights Movement. His lectures and dialogues stirred the concern and sparked the conscience of a generation. His charismatic leadership inspired men and women, young and old, in this nation and around the world.

After a long struggle, legislation was signed in 1983 creating a federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort. Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a "day on, not a day off."

It's part of United We Serve, the President's national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King's vision of a "Beloved Community."
- from http://mlkday.gov/index.php

Recently Discovered 1964 MLK Speech on Civil Rights, Segregation & Apartheid South Africa

MLK biography on Nobel Prize.org

The King Center

MLK Research and Education Institute

The "I Have a Dream" speech audio and video

The Corporation for National and Community Service

United We Serve

The Greatest MLK Speeches You Never Heard

The "Beyond Vietnam -- A Time to Break Silence" Speech

"The Drum Major Instinct" Speech

MLK Day on Twitter

MLK Now on Twitter

Office space: What Does the Ideal Workplace Look Like?

by Mark

Having a good office can leave a big impact on the working atmosphere and the overall productivity of the business team. That is not strange because 8 hours a day, almost every person spends working.

Due to that, people must spend a lot of time to improve the design of the office. But what can you do to improve your office? What makes an office a good office? Let me show you few tricks which can make one office an ideal workplace.

What is the best design for an office?

Open space, bright colors, and modern furniture. Those are things which can improve your office in an aesthetic way. Open space gives freedom to the office and nobody will feel cramped in their small room. That is the modern style because people are now communicating like never before. They are brainstorming, helping each other and debate whether it is a good idea or not. The work style has changed a lot in the last few years and that is visible in the design of the office. No more cubicles, no more small rooms. Everybody is in the same room, sitting next to each other, working together.

The modern furniture is here more for the guests than for the workers because today it is modern to invest in the image of the brand. The best way to do that is through the overall design. Just remember Google. How many of you wanted to be a part of that team, just because of the cool offices? They have game tables like foosball tables or pool tables. They have video games, swings, slides, they have everything. When you look at the workers there, they aren't using them that often. Table games are a great anti-stress therapy, which means they are used maybe once a week, which is pretty rare.

When I said bright colors, I didn't mean a bright yellow, orange or blue. I meant colors which are elegant and don't poke you in the eyes. Light grey, white, light yellow or light mints are the colors used for the office. Those are calming colors which bring style and elegance to the picture. Dark colors like red, blue or purple aren't a good choice because they will make people feel cramped.

Besides aesthetic things you can do, you can bring quality to your workplace. A good way to do that is to start each day with a business breakfast where you all sit together and talk about the things you have to do the following day. It is a good way to keep everybody in the loop and that means fewer mistakes. Another thing is better equipment. If your employees are sitting at the table the entire day, invest in good ergonomic chairs. That will help your employees feel better and stay healthy for a long time. Nobody likes to work with a back pain, right?

When you are making a good workplace for the team, you have to keep in mind every part of the work hours. That will immediately turn any office in the ideal workplace.

 Author bio: 
Mark is a foosball player and a blogger who loves to write about foosball. To check out his work visit this link here: http://www.foosballzone.com/foosball-table/

Picture credit:

unsplash-logoAnnie Spratt

Don't Pay for Your MBA: The Faster, Cheaper, Better Way to Get the Business Education You Need with Laurie Pickard on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Show #443

Laurie Pickard founded the No-Pay MBA, which has been featured in Fortune, Entrepreneur, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Business, and CNN Money. In addition to advising self-directed learners worldwide, she leveraged her self-made MBA into a successful career as a business and entrepreneurship development consultant, most recently as a private-sector development adviser for the U.S. Agency for International Development in Rwanda. She is currently based in Washington, D.C. 

After two degrees and three years in the Peace Corps, Laurie Pickard lacked the critical business knowledge, frameworks, and skills to pursue her dream career. She needed a first-class business education, but was loathe to take on student debt. Fortunately, she found a debt-free alternative to an MBA: MOOCs. Taking advantage of massive open online courses (MOOCs) offered by elite business schools, plus training seminars and talks, she created a customized, Ivy League-caliber curriculum for less than one percent of traditional tuition costs. She leveraged her self-made MBA into a well-paying position in international development. Plus, she launched a side business as a MOOC mentor and adviser to self-starting students.

In her book, "Don't Pay for Your MBA: The Faster, Cheaper, Better Way to Get the Business Education You Need" (AMACOM; November 2, 2017), Laurie Pickard shares insights, strategies, and tips for making the most of MOOCs for career advancement and entrepreneurial success


How to Use SEO in Your Digital Marketing Strategy

how to use SEO in your digital marketing strategy

Most people today know that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical to having a successful on-line business. What they may not know is exactly how to use it in their marketing plan. Incorporating strategically chosen keywords, with valuable content, can dramatically increase your world-wide-web presence, and ultimately, your bottom line. Even more important, knowing how your customers find you is invaluable information.

But this is just the first layer, of many, to creating a consistent revenue stream. Implementing a data driven marketing plan, to create repeat business, is necessary for growth and longevity. Once complete, you must re-evaluate your data and re-engineer your plan, to attract new customers and retain your existing business. With time, you can create a recycling funnel system that will continually produce revenues. This is known as data driven marketing.
First, what is SEO?

We know what SEO stands for, but what does it really mean in the marketing world? When building, or updating, the website for your business, using SEO and keywords is critical to being discovered organically online. You can certainly pay for placement, but this is an expensive option and must be on-going to maintain good ranking. It also does not guarantee top placement. Organic leads are what you want to strive for, as these people found you through a search engine or other free avenue.

When search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, crawl your site, they want to find words that are relevant to what people are searching for most. Big corporations know the importance of key word searches. Consider this: when you enter "the best laundry detergent for sensitive skin," you will find all blogs on the first page, however when you use keywords such as "laundry detergent" and "detergent for sensitive skin" you start to see more name brand companies in the search results.

Quality content is a must

You want people to go to your website and stay there long enough to see what you do and offer. The average person spends only 15 seconds on a web page and less than one minute on a site before moving on. With quality content, you can engage your users and ultimately convert them from a customer into a client. Think about it like a retail store. Customers walk in and out all day long, but clients are those who purchase things and come back repeatedly.

Optimizing your content

There is no way to guarantee that you will rank number one on the major search engines with the number of services available to boost your placement, but your goal should be to land in the top 30. If you are searching for your own website on pages 10 or 15, you need to tweak your content and get it working better for you. Be sure you have a title and description that contains keywords for each page of your website. Also, add text to your images via alt text. Pictures on a website are great, but search engines cannot screen photos. Add your website name or a short blurb about what you do to your image files.

Pay attention to technology trends

In recent surveys, 64% of respondents felt that having a data driven marketing strategy was the key to on-line business success. Everyday technology improves and new services are available. Knowing what is out there and how it could benefit you can be critical to your on-line business. If you are not changing with technology, you will find yourself with less internet customers and a weak bottom line. Stay on top of how Google ranks sites and use their Analytics tools. This will guide you to a more successful website.

Test your Website

how to use SEO in your digital marketing strategy

Many websites provide great tools that allow you to see how your website is performing. They track, for you, what words are being searched, where your traffic is coming from, how long people stay on a page, etc. Again, Google Analytics is a great tool to know how to use, as well.

Know What Your Competition is Doing

Competition is good for business. It forces you to be on your game and be more creative. But you don't have to do it blindly. Knowing what keywords are used to drive traffic to your competitors' site can be invaluable marketing information for your business. Websites such as www.seositetools.com can be a great tool to use in your data driven marketing strategy.

Website Optimization and Marketing Strategies

There are a plethora of avenues for collecting data. How you use it will determine your business success. As stated by Kate Cooper, CEO of Bloom Worldwide, digital marketing has tracking capabilities that generates data, whereas traditional marketing mediums such as direct mail and print couldn't be tracked accurately. The main challenge is choosing the most important data to analyze. You can easily get overwhelmed with all the information available.

As discussed above, researching your competition is a good place to start when creating a website that captures customers and keeps them engaged. By using the keywords that bring customers to your website you can determine what may or may not be beneficial to your marketing strategy. Also, make sure that you are optimizing all aspects of your site; add alt text to images; use at least two headers on each page or with each post, if you have a blog; and use external links. Don't forget to keep on testing, as well. Strategies and plans need to have a fluid component. Business moves fast online, and so does the way search engines rank. When your competitors change the construction of their web presence, it will affect you. It's important to avoid working with a reactive approach. Stay proactive and do your own research to determine the best way to stay at the top. Additionally, make sure that the rest of your company is in prime condition. As the saying goes, don't put all your eggs in one basket. A balanced company is a successful one.

Alt Text

Using alt text is a simple way to increase your SEO ranking. Images do not get ranked, text does. Incorporate short, descriptive language and keywords into your alt text. If you are selling hand-woven baskets, then you should add this tag to your images. This will not only help your site ranking, but will also help when people are searching for images, as the alt text is what is picked up in searches, not the actual image itself.


Using headers is an easy and often neglected way to increased site rankings in search engines. Web crawlers first look for header 1 and header 2 on websites, and will go on to search lesser headers, 3, 4, and so on. Neglecting to add the initial headers will substantially hurt your SEO and ranks. Never leave off headers.

External links

You would think that linking to another site to yours would hurt your ranks. Why would you want to bring attention to another website? But having at least two external links boosts your SEO. Make sure that you link to meaningful articles, but not your competition, and that you link through keywords. If your company sells skylights in Maine and Vermont, link to a website that perhaps discusses the top five ways skylights benefit homes in the northeast. If you can google the topic to find the article, linking to the article through the keywords you used to search for it will help your website.

Test and Retest

Think of testing your marketing plan the way you would any other theories: with the scientific method. First, start with the data you have collected. Then ask a question about the information you have assembled. Determine your hypothesis or theory about this data and test it with an experiment. Next, analyze your results and formulate a conclusion. Finally, use this information in your fluid marketing plan. Take these steps often to ensure that your strategy keeps you at the forefront of the market.

Balance Within Your Company

Be sure that you have not only marketing goals, but company-wide goals. It's one thing to have a solid marketing plan, but if the rest of your company is a disaster, you will ultimately fail anyways. Don't spend money on marketing until you have all other sectors of your business in order, from your company finances to your POS systems.

Set SMART and RACE objectives

To win in business you need to run a SMART RACE. Yes, it's true that success is a marathon, but not a sprint. You can't take off fast and maintain success with a plan. Consider your marketing strategy more of a marathon; moving forward at a steady pace to gain success over time. Using the SMART RACE acronyms will help get you there.


The acronym SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.

Specific: Have a specific goal and audience in mind.

Measurable: Make sure that your strategy includes measurable data. Can you track where your audience is coming from? How you gained your customers? What your rate of conversions are and returning users?

Achievable: Making a billion dollars your first year is not an achievable goal for any business, nor is gaining a million new followers to your blog. Make sure that your plans are achievable ones and that your growth plan includes recruitment and retention. It's great to get a client, but if you can't keep them then what is the point?

Realistic: Can you accomplish your goals set forth in your marketing strategy? Are the time-lines you set to hit your goals even capable of being reach in the current economy? Make sure that your marketing strategy is a realistic one.

Timely: Timing is everything. You don't want to miss the boat nor do you want to be ahead of your time in business. Make sure that your plans include data from the current economy. Do not use outdated research when planning for future growth. Yes, you can use old data to formulate new plans, but make sure you test your theories before putting them into action.


RACE stands for: Reach, Action, Convert, and Engage

how to use SEO in your digital marketing strategy

Reach: There are many ways to reach your customers. The Seven Touches marketing principle suggestions that in order to gain a new customer you must get their attention, through various techniques, at least seven times. This may include: social media posts, emails, and even offline contact, such as print media and person-to-person. You can increase traffic to your website by creating multiple avenues, such as ads and social media. You can also utilize other websites to help promote your business, whether it be smaller blogs or larger discount pages.  Using different paid, owned and earned media can help you grow and thrive.

Action: Action comes in many forms. It can range from user interaction to a call to action. Either way, the idea is to interact with your prospective audience and give them the steps to becoming your customer. Phrases such as "limited time offer," "this week only," and "join our mailing list and get 25% of now" are great examples. They all tells prospective consumers that if they act now, they can get a great deal or that they can get something they may not be able to get once a certain amount of time passes. Utilizing various forms of media to convey this message will meet your seven touches strategy and direct them to do a specific task.

Convert: Reaching your prospective customers is one thing, but converting them to actually make a sale is entirely different. If you have 100,000 visitors to your site weekly, but are only selling 10 items, your conversation rate is horrible! Be sure to include realistic conversion goals into your marketing strategy and develop ways to increase them over time.

Engage: You reached your target audience, encouraged them to take timely action, and make the sale. Now you need to ensure that they keep coming back. Engaging your customers will ensure that you have a revenue stream for life. Provide "value-added" services, by letting them know about new products, and encouraging them to take advantage of future promotions. The best marketing strategies include maintaining your current clientele. It is easier to sell to a customer who already knows your product than to get someone onboard who you have never interacted with; remember the seven touches.

Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will a successful marketing strategy to grow your business. Do your research, create a website that will increase your SEO rankings, test what you implemented, and use the data collected to rejuvenate your marketing strategy, use SMART RACE techniques, and work all sectors of your company collectively to maximize your success.

Source: Tenfold

How to Make Your Email Marketing Actually Work

email marketing
by Brad Shorr

If you’re looking for a great way to connect with customers, build engagement and generate new business, email is an option worth considering.

On the plus side, everybody uses email, so you don’t miss big chunks of your target audience as you might with social media or even SEO.

On the negative side, because email is universally used, marketers overuse it — drowning recipients in overflowing inboxes. It’s hard to get noticed.

To succeed with email, here are five key ingredients.

1. Stay With It

Many email campaigns don’t fail, they end too quickly. If you’re not getting a lot of opens and conversions over the first several emails, stay with it. Many subscribers need a lot of convincing before they take a serious look at an email. A sustained effort signals your dedication, and eventually subscribers will take a look.

2. Have Something Useful to Say

Having a useful, relevant message naturally inspires subscribers to open and read your emails. What is it your customers really want to know? This is the question that should drive all email content. The best answers come from your customers. What questions do they commonly ask when investigating your products or services? What search terms are popular when people are looking for your products and services online? An online keyword checker tool is an easy way for email marketers to get topic ideas.

3. Stimulate Engagement

The purpose of an email is not simply to bombard recipients with information. Every email should have a conversion goal. Your desired conversion will vary depending on what you are trying to accomplish — which sounds simple enough, but is an area a lot of businesses approach haphazardly. To sharpen engagement, think along the following lines:

  • To generate an order, sales lead or an appointment booking, include a strong incentive, such as 25 percent off.
  • To obtain feedback, include a link to an online questionnaire. Even better, offer a small incentive to anyone who completes it.
  • To transfer knowledge, include a “learn more” response form so recipients can easily ask follow-up questions.

4. Test, Test and Test

Email marketing can be measured precisely. Smart companies take advantage of the data by conducting systematic tests to gradually — or sometimes rapidly — improve results. Among the most important items to test:

  •     Subject lines
  •     Headlines
  •     Images
  •     Offers
  •     Prices
  •     Timing (day of week and time of day)

Testing takes time, since you should test only one variable at a time. If you test multiple variables simultaneously, you won’t know which variable led to the different result.

5. Nurture the List

Effective testing and reaching a critical mass of conversions requires a large, qualified and accurate mailing list. Nurturing your list is an important job that needs ongoing attention. To build a better list, you should …

  •     Keep all contact information up to date. People change jobs all the time, and business email addresses sometimes change — for instance, when a company is acquired.
  •     Add contacts to the list systematically. Leads that come in from other sources — sales, customer service inquiries, other marketing campaigns, referrals, etc. — must be qualified, and added to the list when appropriate.
  •     Promote your email online and offline. Put a “subscribe” button on your website, talk up your email at networking events or when making sales calls. Promote it on your social media accounts. Always give people good reasons for signing up. Thinking back to issue #2, having something useful to say, think now: What is the value proposition of my email? 

Brad Shorr business owner

Author Bio: Brad Shorr is Director of Content Strategy at Straight North, an Internet marketing agency serving

This article was originally posted on the Soul Entrepreneur blog.

“Unleash Your Power to Become Unstoppable” with Confidence Coach Erin Summ on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Show #442

Topic: “Unleash Your Power to Become Unstoppable” 

During this conversation you'll learn how to:

-Embrace Failure for more Success
-Love Yourself Unconditionally First
-Have 100% Clarity about your Compelling Vision 

Erin Summ, Confidence Coach, is a sought after speaker, author of Stand Up and Shine 60-Day Confidence Discovery Journal and contributing author in Catch Your Star. 

Fueled by her own journey from shy to confident and her passion to help others thrive, Erin helps shy and introverted women entrepreneurs stand in their power and value so they can shine and make the big impact they are called to make in the world and in their bank account. 
stand up and shine by Erin Summ

Erin's presentations are not only packed with tools to get her audience started immediately, but are also thought provoking and filled with inspiration. Her down-to-earth, positive spirit keeps her audience engaged and yearning for more. 
Erin holds a bachelors degree in Psychology and is a Certified Professional Coach through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching. 

Click on the link below to download your free report especially for WER listeners:

"7 Secrets to Lasting Confidence for More Clients and Money in the Bank"

How to Streamline Your Writing Process

How to Streamline Your Writing Process
How to Streamline Your Writing Process, courtesy of Henneke at Enchanting Marketing

Happy New Year

happy new year

"How to be Successful in Real Estate without a Real Estate License" with Whitney Nicely on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Whitney Nicely
Show #441

Topic: "How to be Successful in Real Estate without a Real Estate License"

Whitney Nicely is the queen of real estate investing in east Tennessee.

Whitney started to chase her passions and fine tune her skills in the real estate market after college. She flipped her first house in 2009. Last year, she flipped six houses while planning her October wedding. Whitney’s real estate portfolio has grown from zero, ziltch, nada to 17 residential houses, 19 apartment units and 7 chunks of vacant land across east Tennessee.

Whitney believes everyone should control their own destiny by investing in real estate as soon and as much as possible. It doesn’t take a trust fund or $100k in the bank to get started in real estate. In fact, Whitney teaches people how they can use no money, no credit and no banks to finance real estate deals across the country. She’s fired up about teaching people the fast, fun, and profitable way to be successful in real estate. Whitney is the Principal Broker for Whitney Buys Houses, LLC. Whitney will teach you how to invest in real estate for profit and achieve lifelong goals.




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Whitney Nicely on Women Entrepreneurs Radio

Five Steps to Making a Change in Your Business

Ready to make a change in your business? Instead of being stuck in trying to figure out how to do it – or what to do first – break it down into steps. Start with a vision for what you really want, then work from there.

Originally posted on Soul of an Entrepreneur blog.

Ready to make changes in your business, but not sure where to start? Join my newsletter list so that you’ll get updates on the launch of my online course for entrepreneurs. Join the list here: http://eepurl.com/cLDzbY

Why Community is Important For Women in Business

entrepreneur Ines Ruiz
by Inés Ruiz 

How many times have you seen the quote, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."?

And yet for me, it didn't sink in until I was at a point in my business in which I felt stuck. I was a Jack-of-all-trades, doing everything in my business on my own.

I was handling all the overwhelm of emails and doing the busy work of admin, which had me too consumed with details to put energy into expansion and marketing. I was working in the business rather than on the business.

My business needed to grow, not to mention I was exhausted, burnt-out, and even becoming resentful.

I knew somethings had to change.  I needed to create a team and I needed a support system to uplift me and propel me forward.

I started my search and joined different communities online (I live in a very small town in South Georgia and there is nothing in my area). I wanted a group of women entrepreneurs who would understand my frustrations, and that I could feel a sense of belonging to; as it can be a bit awkward socially when none of your friends are entrepreneurs.

That's when things started to change and I felt a shift. I could be myself with this group, they shared my lifestyle and understood what I was going through. We were part of a small program, after which we created an accountability group. Basically, we meet once a week to see where we are at and what we needed help with. These groups can become your soul sisters and your support system.

Your community members can see the world from different angles, they can offer their unique perspective and real-world experience, and that might be just the push that you need to move forward.

You can all learn from each other's experiences (good or bad) and share information that can be very valuable to each other even if you are in different industries. The best A-HA moments that I had were talking with other women entrepreneurs, who were in very different markets than mine, but sparked something in my brain that I could apply to my business.

The impact on my business has been astounding since I started joining Women Entrepreneur groups and attending networking events. My entire way of thinking has expanded. Sharing time with other entrepreneurs will open up your mind in a ways that are surprising and invaluable. And in sharing your ideas and your message, the vision you have for your business gets sharper and you achieve more clarity. What you cannot supply for yourself, in terms of objectivity, support, encouragement, and guidance, your community members will supply for you.

You are not alone. Get out there and find your sisters. Let them help you move forward on your journey and be the very best you that you can be.

About the author: Inés Ruiz is a former Cambridge University Lecturer, military spouse turned entrepreneur. She created a multiple 6-figure online educational business in less than 16 months. After her success, she wanted to help other women create their online business - no matter their circumstances- and founded the Women Entrepreneur Community. She is the host of the show/Podcast "We Talk" in which she features other women entrepreneurs' journeys.

Merry Christmas!

Have a Very Merry Christmas!

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