Sunday, 11 November 2012

Bangalow Business Women’s Social Media Q&A

Welcome to the blog created from the fabulously successful Bangalow Business Women’s Social Media Q&A. Below you will find a summary of the questions and the answers from the panel (to the best of our recollection).

Q: What's the best time to post to increase engagement and reach?
The first answer is: when you know that your ideal customer is listening! So, you need to experiment and look at every insight/stat you can, to arrive at this important piece of data.
If you are starting out, below are some general tips BUT they can run counter to what your real customer is doing online - which you need to understand through observation, testing and if possible customer research!
However, general research tells us the the best time to post is Wednesday's at 3pm, and daily between the hours of 1pm to 4pm! 

Q: What works?
Here’s some recent general research from Zenworkz Authentic Marketing:
92% of pages have acquired a customer or sale through Facebook.
Posts with images get interaction rates 39% higher than average.
Short posts (less than 80 characters) get 23% higher interaction rates.
Using emoticons leads to 33% higher sharing, 33% higher comments, and 57% higher likes!
Pictures with “Caption that?” increases comments by 5.5 times than ave.
25% of fans expect a response to a question or complaint within 1 hour., 6% within 6 minutes!
For every fan there is the potential to reach 34 of their friends newsfeed.
Best words to post: win, new, winner and giveaway.
Worst words to post: $ off, % off, and clearance.
Best ideas to increase engagement:
  1. Run a photo contest
  2. Ask fans to share tips.
  3. Collect fans favourite quotes, (with an offer of a prize for the highest number of likes).
  4. Be involved in a group giveaway or competition (i.e. rafflecopter)
Caveat: Very general, and may run counter to your pages purpose and your ideal customers needs!

Engagement Tip from Nic-Nac: Visit the pages that like you or the pages of fans that like you, and leave a nice comment about anything they are doing - and never, never leave a comment saying like my page in return! Doing one and not the other, is guaranteed to improve your engagement.

Tip from Miche Bags - Expect to post regularly but not always get a sale from each post, the posts are about creating interest, if you can drive them to your website (but not in every post) then that will help with sales. 

Q: How do you continually find content for your page?
Zenworkz Marketing: Most important first step is to define what the purpose of your page is, that will help you with content decisions, the second tip is to have a content schedule plan, to schedule days and times for a mix of content: questions, quotes, tips, research findings, event promotions, giveaways and contests etc. Teresa's personal tip is to subscribe to email newsletters that provide information and ideas to stimulate your imagination and help you stay current.

Tips from Nic-Nac: Pin images from Pinterest, share pics from other pages, find quotes etc on the internet, if you’re looking for something in particular – try google images.  Always say “thanks for sharing (e.g. Zenworkz Marketing)!” to acknowledge whose post you’ve liked and are sharing on your page.

Tip from The Office Collective: Don’t have all your eggs (social media) in the one basket!  You need to be looking at other ways to market and engage your clients and audience.  Being on Facebook alone won’t cut the mustard.  Use resources like youtube - it’s quickly becoming the ‘go to’ place for searches and dramatically improves your search ranking.  Also, know your voice.  Your business should have a personality and everything you do online needs to be consistent and reflective of that.  Also, even if you don’t plan to be very active on Facebook it does pay to have a page.  I’ll often buy something that I think is really great and want to share that info with my Facebook friends and family.  If your business isn’t there I can’t tag it and you’ve missed an opportunity for word of mouth advertising (the best kind).

Comment from Zenworkz Marketing: Good Social Media is Integrated Marketing, which includes public relations, email campaigns, advertise on other platforms and even printed advertising.

Comment from Nic-Nac: make sure that you’re not always posting about your products … that can become boring for your likers.  If you walk into a shop, the ideal sales person will be friendly, interested, helpful, make suggestions but not bombard you with the hard sell.  I think Facebook is the same … intrigue people, make them want to see/know more, encourage them over to your website, engage with them, ask their opinions, and above all – THANK THEM for their involvement.  

General Tip: Think outside the box and know the Social Media rules and etiquette.

Last Tip: Test everything out to see if it works for you!

Please comment below if you are seeing very different results for your specific target customer? 
It will help all of us to know how to do it better!

Happy Social Networking!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

What Online Marketers don't tell you!

Myth #1 – All you need is a great web site.
Well, the place where it starts is with a well-defined service or product offering. If you don't have a clear picture of who you are marketing to and exactly what you're selling them, the best web site in the world won't get you customers. Before you think about building a web site, you should know who your target market is, how to describe your offering, and what specific benefits your services or products provides for your customers.
The content of your site is much more important than the design. But having a professional-looking design is important, and what really makes a quality design is one that follows web usability best practices, contains simple navigation, and is laid out clearly and cleanly.  A brilliant design and dazzling graphics won't pay off anywhere near as well as a clear explanation of why a customer should buy your product or work with you. Useful content such as articles, testimonials, and other examples of your skills, knowledge and reputation will go much further to persuade prospective customers than a flash website.
Ask your friends, collaborators and current customers to critique your website. Do they understand what you are offering? Can they see concrete benefits to your target audience? Revise your site based on their feedback. 
Myth #2 – You need to be on the first page of Google to be successful.
Google is far and away the most popular search engine on the planet. That’s not in dispute. But Google only has ten spots available on the first page. So, not only is it unrealistic, it’s impossible for everyone to achieve first page status, and even if you do, to stay there! 
Does more traffic = increased sales? More traffic to your web site guarantees you is increased bandwidth use by your web host. Before spending money on banner ads, adwords, web directories, or pay-per-click listings to drive more visitors to your site, you need to be sure that the search audience will want to do business with you once they get there. Getting decent search engine placement is only half of the battle. What you do with that traffic is what’s really important. Your landing pages need to be designed to maximise conversions.
The important tip - is you shouldn’t put all of your eggs in Google’s basket. You should strive to have a multi-faceted marketing approach. That means utilising a variety of methods to generate traffic, like blogging, newsletters, social networking, article marketing, forum marketing, online and offline advertising, guest blogging, question and answer sites, etc. The key is to spread your online promotions across many platforms and media; and that means time plus automation software.

Myth #3 – Email marketing is dead.
There's no question that an opt-in email list where potential and existing customer’s have given permission to you to market to them, is a valuable asset. But the quality of names on your list is much more important than the quantity. Acquiring names through giveaways of other people's material, or purchasing them rarely provides qualified buyers truly interested in your products or services.
Always ask your site visitors and people you meet to join your emailing list and offer them something of value in return.  A well-written ezine, white-paper, or informative video are all effective give-aways. But, your give-aways should be directly related to the products or services you provide and also serve to increase your business credibility. Names acquired from promotional gimmicks or unknown sources seldom turn into paying customers.
Myth #4 – Content is the secret to sales.
The purpose of content online is to build trust between potential customers and your business. Hype-laden web content may be effective in selling, but it hardly inspires trust. Your online marketing persona should reflect the same professionalism as the work you do with your customers. If writing marketing content and materials isn't your skill, then hire a professional copywriter. But be sure you hire one with experience writing for businesses like yours. The content and words on your web site should inspire feelings of confidence about your abilities, and communicate your reliability and solid qualifications. 
The “content is king” mantra seems to have misled people into thinking that ALL you need to do for your marketing effort is to add what you consider to be good content. Content needs to be optimised, content needs to be linkable, content needs to be publicised, content needs to be linked to. Lots of great content remains ignored and unranked as it is passed over for more mediocre but better publicised and linked-to alternatives.
Myth #5 – Just follow the winning formula and you will be successful.

There's only one guaranteed result for online wealth, and that's the business of selling online guaranteed formula’s. There is an infinite number of buyers for every new formula scheme that is invented, but paradoxically, a precious few people actually making money on the web.
Online may be a different medium for marketing than making cold or warm calls, writing letters, or speaking to people in person, but the same proven principles still apply. There is no new winning formula. The secret to finding customers is what it’s always been - build relationships and get people to know, like, and trust you.

If your web site, ezine, and other online-based activities contribute to building long-term, trusting relationships with prospective customers and referral sources, you'll get business on the web. But if you blast your message out to anyone who will listen, aiming for a quick profit, online won't bring you any more business than standing on a street corner with a sign.

Summary Tips:

  • Any online marketing should not be separate from your marketing plan but website message, keywords and Adwords, LinkedIn, Twitter, You tube, social media, Pinterest need to be integrate to provide clarity of message and maximising effect. When done properly, social media marketing is an effective way to increase brand awareness, build links to your website, learn more about your target audience, and enhance your credibility with customers.

  • The internet has many saturated niches - that’s because that’s where the customers are. It’s how well you position yourself within a particular niche that will determine your success or failure. It’s all about differentiating yourself from your competitors. You have to clearly explain to people what makes you different and/or better than your competitors. Then, you have to exploit those differences consistently. So, don’t run away from a crowded niche, embrace it.
  • Any online marketing campaign needs a good PR campaign to support it.

  • Understand the fundamentals of SEO and ensure that they are implemented while your website is being built, particularly if you are doing it yourself. Remember, it’s far more important to write for your visitors and intelligently use your keywords in certain places on the page – sure it’s logical that they should be present in the body text, but search engines will attribute a far higher weight to words mentioned in places like the page titles, image alt tags, headings, bold and italic text etc. 

  • Measure: conversion rates, segmenting visitor sources, looking at link acquisition rates, keyword $ values and ultimately sales volumes. Not many people will tell you they value visitor numbers over sales.

  • Provide lead nurturing via, interactivity and data capture, but make sure you are giving something to gain their permission to market to them.

  • Add social button to your site that are appropriate and have a clear purpose for being.

  • Ensure that any video is authentic, has a clear purpose, adds value and is entertaining. Otherwise don’t bother.

  • Be very clear about your pricing policy, it’s slippery slope from Free - there is often no way up from there to convert a free customer to a paid one.

These are the many things that Online Marketers don’t tell you about. The industry is viewed through very rose tinted glasses. Remember – if it was that easy everyone would be doing it. Running a business is incredibly hard work and it takes time to get results and Online Marketing is no different.

About: Teresa Bassham is the Director of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing, an Australian marketing consultancy, that coaches small and medium professional services businesses.
Teresa is a marketing specialist and researcher with a long career and bachelor qualifications in services marketing, market research, and behavioural performance coaching and leadership development.
More importantly,Teresa loves educating and inspiring small and medium business, and will show you her passion and commitment in delivering results for you and your business.
Are you looking for a marketing coach who you can trust, learn from and be inspired by?

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Suzie Mylecharane - Be passionate about what you do

"I know you are all here to learn some new ways to become more business savvy and I think it is easier to imbed these tips into my background stories of where I have been and what I have done.
I had a fortunate schooling going to an opportunity school since I was 10 and then a selective girls high school after that. Both these taught me how to be independent, which is a good start. My career started as an infant’s teacher (to please my mother) but my desire was really to do something more artistic. After returning from my first trip overseas at the age of 21, I made my first leap.

I have had a lot of luck in my life and this has taken me in the right direction providing me with great teachers along the way. I had the opportunity to run a business within a business for the In Shoppes, a chain of clothing shops in Sydney back in the late 60’s. Prior to that I had set up and managed stores for them and done some overseas buying. This new opportunity was setting up a cottage industry knitting business, which gave me the chance to design. My team of Italian and Greek women worked from their own homes. I loved it, especially the once a month lunches because those ladies knew how to keep a great veggie garden on the go, bottle their own wine etc. Those times gave me a great sense of running a business, but unfortunately not the financial side of things… that would come later.

During that time I had a taste of the theatre by doing the costumes for the original stage production of Hair.  What an amazing era that was!! And with two jobs at the same time it meant I had a great income. It didn’t mean I was smart enough to maximize by buying a home.  I should have, but I was young and I was enjoying my life. My smartness for that came later. I am glad I didn’t in retrospect buy a house in Sydney, as it gave me more freedom to move up here 4 years later.

It is very important to make the most of opportunities that come your way to learn and expand your knowledge and gain from every new experience.  Don’t worry if things don’t present themselves or you don’t have the luck as you can also create your own opportunities too. 
Tip: You have to keep your eyes open.
 Be sure you are alert enough to recognize a good opportunity when it presents itself. I lived and breathed my businesses for so long. One thing is for sure - passion is important to your success.
Tip If you are not doing something you love then change direction. I am now 65 and still love everything I do and part of that is because I am also evolving all the time!! Otherwise I’d be bored!

The early Sea Change to this area came 39 yrs ago, to follow a more alternative lifestyle, grow my own veggies (which to this day I am still doing …Hmm wonder where I got that from!!) raise two children and have as much fun as I could with the different work I was choosing to get into. When I left the corporate world in Sydney they all said, “You are a city girl, you will be back in 6 months”….Wow were they wrong!!

Fast forward: After 14 years I left my marriage with a 10 and 8 yr old and had to run my own business with no support, except child sharing, from the father.  Sometimes hard times are good for us. As a result I became more independent and even stronger from then on.  I continued on doing everything from designing, cutting, hand painting and sewing. It was all up to me now!

Gradually over the next few years I started to employ people until I had 12 casual employees. I sold Australia wide and to several shops in England. And this was all from my home base at Uki. I employed the same cottage industry setup I had learnt to do from Sydney. 
My tip - reinvent what you know best!  If I can do it you can too!

I can still visualize my workroom now, with walls covered in great ideas I wanted to execute, fabulous positive success stories pinned up, and inspiration around me as I worked.
During this time I took as many courses as I could to help me reach my goals. TAFE (for pattern making and sewing as other people had done that when I worked at the In Shoppes) and Byron Region Community College then ACE (for computers and bookkeeping… I couldn’t even type in the beginning). Tip it is so important to educate yourself to run your business. You must understand every aspect to hand over roles to other people.

I have never created a business plan because I envisage it all in my head. I plan the directions I want to take and where I want to be next year and the year after etc. If writing a business plan is the way you do it, that is fantastic too. I even did a course but somehow I just couldn’t get it on paper but I could in my head… I see new directions all the time. Tip: do it your way!

During this time I started to get a handle on the financial side of things. I remember crying on my bookkeepers shoulder so many times in the early days.  “I am looking after so many local people by employing them and what is left for me “. I was a little impatient then, because in the beginning and especially if you don’t have a lot of capital, you have to pour so much back in to make your business grow. After a few years though, it all paid off and I was starting to reap the wonderful monetary fruits of my labour. TIp: never give up

 Through all this I learnt to recognize how the finances worked and although I have always had a bookkeeper, in the beginning I prepared all the work myself. At the start I had trouble even keeping my dockets so I wasn’t a natural.  My tip – work alongside your bookkeeper in the beginning to comprehend what works and what doesn’t and how it all fits together.

I have had 4 businesses during the past 25 years. Three in the clothing industry with the first manufacturing here in Australia (economically harder to do these days but I had a work ethic to keep everything Australian made…. I did that for 13 years).

 After about 4 years to give myself a break from the big workload of 5-6 days a week, I started the second when I commenced manufacturing a winter range of my own designs in Northern Thailand.

I have a very good eye for what sells so for the past 10 years, after selling off parts of my manufacturing business and building a home for myself in Ewingsdale, the third business of buying off the rack in Thailand commenced. I have the buying down pat now. I put a lot of time into studying the trends by scouring the fashion magazines and creating the season’s look I want to follow and put it together. Then I walk the streets.  I go to one of the most polluted cities in the world and I come home like I have been to a health farm. How can that be?  Well I swim a km every morning and I walk all day long and I drink more water than I ever do here. It is so much fun and like I said you have to do something you love.

My market stall started when manufacturing, to sell off my seconds but I realized how much I enjoyed it and have kept it going ever since. I think people think I haven’t moved on in my business because I am still there. They say Oh you are still doing the markets but up until this year I had almost 25 shops around Australia that I sold to. If you run your business properly it is a phenomenal cash income. I thoroughly enjoy those two days a month at Bangalow and Byron Markets. Get my card at the end as it tells you where I am. Tip: Never go anywhere without your business card.

So to keep your business pumping you have to be constantly researching and identifying new trends. This includes online, in print media etc. My tip - read magazines so you can follow other successful peoples ideas. I remember in the early days cutting out articles of people’s success stories and pinning them on my work shop walls to inspire me.

My 4th business was the music events company Ku Promotions which I set up from scratch alongside Ku Clothing, 25 years ago.  When I moved to Byron I scaled down the clothing and put most of my attention to the Promotions, doing only the markets in that time. Four years ago I sold the Promotions business, as I was starting to get tired of late nights and sitting in front of the computer for long stretches at a time each day.
 I did a similar thing with that business. Again, my tip - If something isn’t working for you analyze what you can change to be happier and hopefully make more money. This is a very important thing to be able to do. Many people don’t like making changes but I have always embraced it. Dive into bringing new ideas into your business. You will be amazed sometimes how much better off you will be. As soon as I saw the results I had no fear anymore. My tip - don’t be afraid to take risks but assess them first. Don’t invest large sums of money into anything until you feel confident it is going to work. Sometimes a gradual approach is best.

In my opinion it is essential to have very effective branding to ensure you stand out in the marketplace. I am an extremely visual person so love to take part in this aspect of the business. I have a fabulous graphic artist who has been with me for the last 15 years so that I always get the look I want. Tip get the image you need together

As time went on I have learnt to get the maximum profits from the least work…. Takes a while to develop this skill and gain the trust of those working for you too. Choosing employees is important as you must be sure they are really giving their all to support you and your business.
Once you have found a good person treat them really well with bonuses and finding ways to motivate them. I have had so many great people working for me over the years and even now we have moved on, I consider them my friends.

Sharing information… now called networking is really valuable. Some people are still hesitant to share too much information I think they fear the recipient will steal their ideas… I developed sharing into mentoring other people. I assisted around 7 people in regional Australia to do the same music promotions as I had developed …. 2 are now running their own festivals and I helped them establish their business.
You will learn so much by talking to others about ways to do things.

I guess my forte is starting businesses from scratch and setting up my own systems and processes. I don’t think I am a natural at that, I have just thought so much about how to do things, I have formed my own systems. You can run a business from anywhere these days thanks to the internet. So Ku Promotions was only contacts and computer systems but so thoroughly thought out that it was fool proof. So many people have followed my way of doing things since then. My tip - I think making mistakes should be looked on as a good thing not a bad (not that I enjoyed it when it happened) as long as you view it the right way it will always takes you a step forward.

I am now semi retired but still love to progress new ideas all the time. I still work at the markets and travel overseas buying twice a year and sell to only eight shops now. I am currently setting up my facebook page for the clothing and have just joined Community Engine. I hope you will join me in both these."

Suzie Mylecharane  ... view her collection here ku clothing or follow her on facebook or community engine

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Seize the Day - Rebekka Battista and time management

This month Bangalow Business Women's Network was honoured and pleased to present Rebekka Battista.  She left all with a lot to think about - most of us discovered we leave very little time in our schedules for fun with family and friends.

Rebekka Battista is a local girl who currently is the Our Kids Fundraising Coordinator. Based at the Lismore Base Hospital, Rebekka has been instrumental in raising awareness about the need to improve the health services for our children in the Northern Rivers area and the importance of raising funds with the help of the local community, she has inturn raised the funds to purchase over $1 million of paediatric equipment for our local hospitals.  She currently balances charity work, paid work, church activities and a busy family.  This is a woman who manages her time so that everyone in her life gets the very best of her.  There is certainly a lesson for all in that!

Here are Rebekka's helpful questions and tips for getting your time in order. 

Seize your Time and gain Balance 

1. Do you take/have a time out? 
2. If you have one, do you spend with your partner? 
3. When and what do you do to laugh? 
4. Do you use a diary?
5. Do you exercise? If not why? 
6. What relaxing you? When do you do this? 
7. If you have family, what do you do as a family? 
8. Do you have friend time? If not why? 

Tops Tips Turn Chaos in to Order 

1. What do you love to do?  Schedule it into your week first - no excuses.
2. Plan your home time: Work it out with your family. Write your weekly household schedule/roster.
3. Plan your week, for example;  Thursday morning are my meeting days. Wednesday arvos is filing.  Bookwork is Tuesday morning.
4. Know your optimum time in the day and plan the hardest or least liked job for this time.
5. Task list or To Do List:  Prep list, then Prioritize your tasks by Number.  Go through the list and group, i.e. all phones calls together.  In other words, deciding which task is most important and should be completed first.  Is it more important to write letters or do bookwork?  Do them in that order.
6. Put reminders in your email calendar and link them to your phone.
7. Schedule surfing the web or network media.
8. For those who take minutes at meeting:  Take a laptop and do it on the spot plus have action/task column and assign them.
9. Take five minutes to Plan your day before you go home and make a time where you plan or ‘map’ your following week.

Remember girls:  

Everyday is only 24 hours .
If you fall off the wagon, wake up and shake it off.  Tomorrow is a brand new day

Follow the links to download your copy of Rebekka's time organiser in pdf or excel format:

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Fabulous Ladies' Wine Society meets the Fabulous Bangalow Business Women

We’ve been touting our Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Soirées lately and it’s great to see them starting to take off!
The Bangalow Business Women’s Networking Group recently held their very first Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Soiree, and here are some incredible photos.
Here they are – the Business Women of Bangalow – in all their glory, trying the wines of the month from the online women’s wine club together, using the girl-friendly tasting notes and scoring cards and having a wildly good time all round.
If you’d like to host your very own Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Soirée we’ve got invitations, wine glass charms and everything you’ll need to make the event truly FABULOUS. Or if you need more tips or assistance, just contact us at
Organising your own Fabulous Ladies Wine Soirée is FREE and is our little way of encouraging more women to explore and enjoy the fabulous world of wine.
Author Jane Thomson - founder of the Fabulous Ladies Wine Society

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Karly NImmo - Say 'Yes!'

Recently, I discovered something very important about myself… and from the chats I’ve been having with some of the wonderful women around me, I’m coming to understand that I’m far from alone.
I’m a person that has often found it very difficult to say ‘no’.  And due to this fact, I often find myself taking on way too much of the things I don’t particularly enjoy.  The things that don’t light my fire… Things that I do out of a sense of obligation because I don’t want to let anyone down.  But, by taking them on, I’m actually letting myself down.
Now, some of these things would cause me to feel sick to the very pit of my stomach.  And that’s not a good feeling.  Especially if that law of attraction rule really exists (which for the record, I 100% believe it does)!  That sense of obligation forms (in me) as resentment, disappointment and sometimes anger (always directed to myself) which then ripples out into the ether and is reflected back to me through my experience.  And these experiences further cement that I’m not worthy of having good things in my life.  That I’m not a ‘lucky’ person… That I have to work hard for what I have… Life isn’t handed to me on a silver plater… Things don’t just fall in my lap…  Sometimes you just have to do the things you don’t like (ah that old childhood chestnut).  And for the record, it’s okay to do some of the things you don’t like… if they are leading you to something you do.  These beliefs were keeping me a prisoner in a life I didn’t deserve.  A life of hard work where nothing came easily.
Another thing that I’ve discovered, is those that have trouble saying ‘no’… are also those who have trouble saying ‘yes’ – to themselves.
I realised that I would happily give and give of myself.  If someone needed somewhere to stay to regroup… my door was always open.  If someone needed a few bucks to make a dream happen… I’d immediately grab for my wallet – even if it were my last few dollars.  I am a giver… and I love that about me… and it’s not about to change!  However, while I’m comfortable in the land of giving, I was totally effing hopeless in the land of receiving.
They say ‘the only thing standing between you and what you want… is you’.  And never a truer word (or sentence) has been spoken.  I realised that by saying ‘no’ to the good things the Universe sent my way… however small – like an offering of support from a friend, or by grabbing for my wallet when someone offers to pay for lunch and insisting I pay the bill – I was constantly telling the Universe ‘thanks for the offer, but no thanks’.  So, eventually the Universe stops offering… or you just become so entwined in your belief that those kind of things (like lotto wins, or magical chance opportunities, or even just someone going out of their way to make you feel special) never happen to ‘you’ that it totally becomes your truth.  Here is an idea – perhaps they would… if you started saying ‘Yes’ a little more.
Confused?  Is it ‘yes’ or ‘no’ I’m supposed to be saying?
It’s a big fat resounding ‘YES!!!’… to you!   Accept that compliment – don’t deflect it.  As an inspiring friend of mine, Krista Jane, says ‘Thanks and more please’.  If someone offers to take the kids for the night so you can have a night out – say ‘yes’!  If someone says ‘This is on me’, don’t insist on paying, or sneak a $20 in their bag (yes, I’m one of ‘those’ people).  If an opportunity is presented to you that you’d really like to explore, push passed the fear say ‘yes’ – even if it means pushing the boundaries a little.
And the more you say ‘yes’ to life and to yourself, the more of the wonderful and magical things the Universe sends your way.
Right now, I’m living proof.  The last few month I’ve stopped saying ‘no’ and started saying ‘yes’.  And in that time I’ve experienced generosity beyond what I’d ever imagined possible. I’ve met some incredible people and has some incredible experiences. I’m constantly on the receiving end of compliments and encouragement. I’m recognising just how lucky I am!   And opportunities are arising… especially those being handed to me (from my higher self) in the form of ideas.  Thanks Universe and more please!
And trust me, it’s a battle accepting wonderful things into your life… especially when you don’t feel deserving… but the good news is, practise makes perfect and the ‘fake it till you make it’ rule totally applies.
So, try saying ‘yes’ today… and let me know how it goes. xx
*** Karly Nimmo is the founder of Think Beautiful.  Her most enjoyable ‘day job’ as a voice over artist and agent at Killer Kopy keeps her busy from her Mid North Coast studio.  Karly’s recent journey of self discovery led her to the happy and content place she is now – in addition to starting up Think Beautiful (a passion project).  She is passionate about helping people to reach their full potential and follow their dreams… and is one of those people who walks her talk.  She is also a fitness nut, a yoga and meditation convert and is launching a new business The Soul Correspondent shortly. Think Beautiful is a manifestation of what goes on inside her head. ***

Saturday, 26 May 2012

10 Easy Steps To Help Reduce Anxiety

The Bodyguard - Christine Barnes

Some symptoms of anxiety may be confused with depression and anxiety symptoms are endemic in depression and general mood disorders.
Possible Symptoms
Excessive worry, Restlessness, Fatigue, Concentration problems, Irritability, Tension or sleep disturbance, Trembling, Sweating,Panic & fear, Heart palpitations, Dizziness
Possible Causes
Depression, Underlying genetic predisposition, Environmental factors, Genetic inheritance, Abnormal Serotonin, Noradrenalin and GABA transmissions, Pre existing Psychology and/or Emotional issues, Stress, Alcohol abuse, Menopause, Adrenal exhaustion, Nutritional deficiencies, Over active Thyroid,
Recreational Drug Use, Hormonal Disruption, Compromised Fatty Acid Absorption.

Women are twice as likely to experience anxiety than men.
Foods to avoid
Alcohol, Excess Sugar,  Caffeine, Refined Carbohydrates.
Identifiable Food Allergies
Foods to Embrace
A health promoting diet rich in whole, natural unprocessed foods, especially high in plant foods; vegetables, whole grains, beans, seeds and nuts.
Small wild cold-water fish between 2 – 5 times per week.
Lifestyle to embrace

Massage, Aromatherapy, Exercis (Caution should be adopted if you are anxious and have repiratory or cardiovascular symptoms, as symptoms may be exacerbated with exercise and this in turn may increase anxiety.  In some people respiratory distress may also provike a panic attack), Calming Activities or Hobbies, Relaxation Therapy, Meditation,  Cognitive and/or Behavioural Therapy, Acupuncture
Lifestyle to avoid
And in Consultation with your Natural Medicine Practitioner consider:-
Botanical Medicines – Valerian, Kava, Passion flower, Lemon balm, Ginkgo, Skullcap, Californian poppy, Zizyphus, Withania, Rhodiola, Crataegus, Remotiv 
Homoeopathic Remedies - Aconite, Arg Nit, Phosphorus, Arsenicum, Gelsemium
Prescribed Practitioner Only Supplements - Magnesium. Selenium, Vitamin C, Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
Niacin (Vitamin B3).  Mega doses are often needed.
Multivitamin and mineral may also be needed.
10 Easy Steps To Help Reduce Anxiety
1.    Eat a nutrient rich, plant based diet.
2.    Eat small wild cold-water fish between 2 – 5 times per week.
3.    Avoid caffeine, nicotine, sugar, alcohol and recreational drugs.
4.    Exercise daily (see caution above).
5.    Take a high potency multi vitamin and mineral supplement.
6.    Organise a good work/ life balance.
7.    Enjoy time with friends and family.
8.    Have regular massage therapy
9.    Practice daily relaxation exercises.
10.  Practice daily breathing exercises e.g. alternative nostril breathing.
For more information about managing  anxiety, contact The Bodyguard on 0421 379 615 or email
If you are depressed or finding it hard to cope, help is available 24 hrs a day at Lifeline 13 11 14 24.
Pizzorno, J., Murray, M. Joiner-Bey, H., (2008) The Clinician’s handbook of Natural MedicineElsevier, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
Trattler, R., Jones, A., (2001) Better Health through Natural Healing. Hinkler Books, Victoria, Australia.
Sarris, J., Wardle, J. (2010) Clinical Naturopathy, An evidence-based guide to practice.  Elsevier, Chatswood, Australia.

Monday, 21 May 2012

5 Step Technique for Naming your Excellent Idea or New Business

Getting creative at naming your excellent idea, or new business, or products, or services, is the heart of authentic marketing.
While you need to be professional in your marketing, I believe it's more important to let your passion and personality shine through, rather than try and impress people with all your knowledge, experience and credentials.

Thinking in a creative way or tapping into the huge store of information in your subconscious mind is skill that can be learnt, and this 5 step technique provides a process to help you use imagination to find solutions to problems like creating a unique and compelling name for your idea or business.
Step 1 - Gather all the information needed to think deeply about your business idea or name:
Describe the solutions your idea or business provides in 30 words or less.  List the benefits of your idea, business, services and products - what benefit do you want your customer to know about you? Are you the best, highest quality, most caring, most reliable, most unique? List the main benefit your competitors promote - how do you want to position your business in your customers minds compared to your competitors?  And who are your ideal customers - describe a typical person who will want what you provide - and what main benefit will they receive?
Step 2 - Begin the task of digesting all this information about your business: 
Take the different elements of the information which you have gathered and identify the words that relate to key benefits that you need to keep uppermost in your mind, in order to think creatively about naming your idea or business. What you are seeking now is the relationship between all the facts above, a synthesis where everything will come together in a neat combination, like a jig-saw puzzle. To maintain your focus, write your key benefit words on sticky notes on your computer screen or on your fridge, so that you can keep the need to resolve the name in front of you.
Step 3 - Conscious and Subconscious processing task:
Brainstorm as many names around a single customer benefit - as you can - there are no right or wrong answers now - just name ideas generation.  Avoid the big words. Keep it simple. Just use plain English about the problems your customer is facing and how you can help them. 
Pick out the words that represent your business - can any of those words be grouped together in a way that is either a description of your business, or a fictional or made up name using these benefit words? Are any words suggestive of the benefit for your customer? Select your favorite words and again, write them down on sticky notes, to keep them in your mind.  
What you have to do now, is to turn your creative thinking over to your subconscious mind and let it work while you do something else.  When you reach this third stage in the production of a name for your idea or business, drop the problem completely and turn to whatever stimulates your imagination and emotions. Exercise, listen to music, watch TV or a movie, read something completely irrelevant to your task.
Step 4 - Allowing the name to come into your mind:
Everything will click in the fourth step of what will seem like an “a-ha” moment. Out of nowhere the name will appear.  It will come to you when you are least expecting it, while showering, or exercising, or most often when you are half awake in the morning.  It may even wake you up in the middle of the night.
Step 5 - Putting your new business name to a reality test:
It requires a patient working over to make most business names fit the exact conditions in which they must work.  This is where many good name ideas are lost.  Many are often not patient enough or practical enough to go through with this adapting part of the process. But it has to be done if you are to put name ideas to work in the current environment.  It’s now important to submit your name idea to the criticism of friends and mentors.  When you do, a surprising thing will happen. You will find that a good name idea has self-expanding qualities. It stimulates those who see it, to add to it. And possibilities which you have overlooked, will come to light.
The aim of naming your new idea or business should be to create strength in the minds of your customer.  The words need to resonate in their minds and stand out from the rest.  Once you have some strong name ideas - you can easily understand how searchable your words are by using Google’s Keyword tool. 

Get your business name right and you get the branding as a bonus. When your potential customer senses you're speaking to them authentically, odds are they'll be more likely to want to do business with you.
And its more fun to work with people you like!  Give it a shot. You might just be surprised at what happens!
Teresa Bassham is the principle of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing and coaches small business’ to create their compelling marketing message.  If you have difficulty telling potential customers why they need you, Teresa can help! Her next workshop is on June 6th in East Ballina. 
Contact via the website: or call 0408 304 145 or 02 6686 8413.