How Your Facebook Group Is Hurting Your Business


You’ve started a new business and you’re excited!

You love the products and you’re eager to start seeing those dollars roll in.  With Facebook’s war on pages you think to yourself “I’ll just create a group instead!”  Then you add 300+ of your closest friends into your group and start posting.

Chances are, if you take the steps above, you’ll get more animosity than sales.  Here’s why:

People don’t like to have things forced upon them.  This is especially true for consumers.  The great thing about being a consumer in the US is the HUGE variety of goods and services and the fact that the consumer gets to pick and choose what they want.

Say you’re in the market for some new jeans.  You go to the mall and you’re walking around.  A door opens, an arm reaches out and pulls you in.  You suddenly find yourself in a small, dark room full of jeans, wondering what just happened.  While the items you were searching for are all around you, most people are still wondering why the heck they were just abducted and taken somewhere that they didn’t choose to go.  I know if I were thrown, without consent, into a room full of jeans, the jeans would be the last thing on my mind.  I would want to get out of there.

Groups are the virtual equivalent of this tactic.  And, unfortunately, this is becoming more and more common.

I’ve seen posts from people commenting that they’ve had to remove themselves from several groups a day.  The frustration compounds with each group that someone is added to.  People become more and more irate at the fact that they’ve been added against their will into your group.

what-if-i-told-you-that-i-don-t-want-to-be-added-to-another-facebook-group

Instead… try this…

Try creating a Facebook Fan Page.  Facebook does not want you to use groups for businesses.  Plus, pages have the ability to reach beyond your group of friends and family.  The key to having a successful page is creating quality content that people will want to share.  (Stay tuned for a post on this later on).

However, if you feel like you must go with a group page instead, here are a few tips to help keep your customers happy and engaged.

  • Have a conversation before you add them to the group.

I’m not talking about sending a group message to everyone on your friends list telling them about your group… people don’t like that either.  Have a one on one conversation letting them know what the group is and then ask them if they would like to be added.  Don’t spam them a huge paragraph and don’t send a link.  Both of these things cue the “ignore” feature in people’s brains.  Keep it short and sweet.  Also remember that people are more likely to say yes if you actually have a relationship with them.  Have a conversation about THEM and not your business.  Then, when it naturally comes up, ask them if they would like to be added to your group.

  • Respect your customers

Don’t spam the group constantly.  The activity in your group should nicely compliment their Facebook feed, not dominate it.  If your group is too spammy, they will probably unfollow it and forget about it.

If you have posts that encourage your groupies to invite other people, make sure they speak with them first.  If they add without asking, you, the owner of the group, will be the one facing any wrath that results from the action.

Realize that your customers are looking for what’s best for them.  Stay classy with positive posts showing them the benefits of what you have to offer.  Don’t send any links to anyone without permission and don’t add anyone to a group or event without permission.  Privately asking someone if they would like to be a part of your group will take you a lot further than spamming the “Add” button.

 

Find the Best Network Marketing Company for You


Finding the Best Network Marketing Company

Finding the best network marketing company for you can be a daunting task with so many options and distributors beckoning you from all angles.  Sometimes the best thing you can do is drown out all the noise and follow these steps:

The Best Network Marketing Companies…

… solve a problem.

Think about the problems that you see in the world… is there a network marketing company that helps provide a solution to that problem?  Some of the biggest companies out there right now, focus on a specific issue that people want to solve such as:

  • Weight-loss
  • Anti-aging
  • Healthy living
  • Chemical free products
  • Illiteracy

Are you seeing a trend?  People want to feel great and look great at an affordable price.  Make-up and jewelry companies are also hugely popular right now because they help people feel better about themselves.

Low self-esteem is plaguing the masses right now.  A large number of people are affected by this in some way.  From the research I’ve done, Network Marketing companies with a focus on anti-aging, weight-loss, and high quality, non-toxic, chemical free products are on the rise.

That doesn’t mean that companies who don’t focus on this area are bad.  But it is important to understand that a network marketing company that solves a problem, which meets a need in a large amount of people, tends to be more successful.

The Best Network Marketing Companies…

… have products and a mission that you can stand behind.

Each network marketing company has a mission.  Is the company mission something that you are passionate about?  Do you use the products yourself?

If you aren’t answering ‘yes’ to both of these questions, then move on to the next network marketing company.  It’s extremely difficult to be successful when you’re only thinking about the monetary aspect of the company.  A well rounded distributor has a great personal understanding of the products and feels passionately about the company’s mission.

The passion that you have for the products and the mission is going to help drive your success.

The Best Network Marketing Companies…

… have great leadership.

Choosing the right mentor is just as important as choosing the right network marketing company.  When you’re looking for a mentor, look for someone who reflects who you want to become.  Here are some amazing qualities to look for in a strong network marketing leader:

  • Experience
  • Integrity
  • Loyalty
  • Consistency
  • Happiness

Talk with your potential leader about what plan they have for new team members.  Every great network marketing leader has a plan that is able to be replicated by each member of their team.  You’ll want to find a leader who is living the mission of the company and using the products.  It’s also great to find a leader with experience.

Due to the nature of network marketing, some people do get lucky and soar high right out of the gate.  However, if they don’t have leadership experience then as soon as the luck wears out, they may not be experienced enough to help you through the harder times.

A skilled leader has the experience and eagerness to always keep improving their skill set to be able to help their team in the best way possible.  They also don’t stop working the business or growing as a leader in the network marketing industry. If you come across a leader who has lots of experience and lots of success, but no longer works the business, then they may not be working with their team members either.  You will want to find a leader who will be there for you when you need them.  You want to find someone who will teach you their methods and help guide you through building your own team.  Then you will turn around and pass your knowledge on to them.

The Best Network Marketing Companies…

… have a system and tools to help you be successful.

As mentioned above, your leader should have a plan, some kind of system that they train you to do to gain success in your business.  Every strong network marketing company has a system that should be replicated for each person on the team.  A great network marketing company will also provide you with the tools needed for your business to be successful.  This will usually include a website and some kind of compelling offer that is unique to the company.

Many companies provide additional tools as well such as training, referral tools, and access to media.

The Best Network Marketing Companies…

… have a great compensation plan.

When it comes down to the dollars and cents, you want to make sure that you’re getting involved with a company that provides you the opportunity to have a successful, long lasting career.

Before you sign up with a network marketing company, be sure that you have at least a basic understanding of the compensation plan and what exactly you need to do to make money.  Learn about the different levels in the company.  Think of a realistic dollar amount that you would like to make each month and plot out where you would need to rise to within the company to be earning that money.  Is this an attainable goal?

Another aspect of the compensation plan that you’ll want to pay close attention to, is how many people you will need to personally sponsor in order to be successful.  Some compensation plans will max out with as little as 3 personally sponsored team members, while others may require upwards of 30.

If the compensation plan seems confusing to you, ask questions.  If your potential new leader can answer them in a way that helps you understand, then that’s a good sign that they are invested in your success.

If you have any other questions about finding the right Network Marketing Company for you, feel free to comment below.

 

Develop Your Personal Brand


Personal branding is practiced by individuals who are marketing themselves and their careers as a brand.

Now, more than ever, with loads of impersonal websites desperately attempting to gain your attention (and your business), personal branding is moving into the spotlight.  The idea of creating and developing a personal brand has been around since the 1930s.  However, now with the internet, we are now taking this concept to the next level.

Extensive social media has provided us with the opportunity to share our lives with the world.  However, it is extremely important to be aware of what you are putting out there.  Personal branding allows you to be in control of your image on the internet.  Your personal brand should reflect what you want to be known for.  It’s not uncommon for customers, or even an employer to Google potential employees.  The question you should ask yourself is:  Will they like what they find?

Personal branding is especially important when you are in network marketing.  By developing your brand, you are setting yourself apart from your competition.  This approach to business allows you to attract people who are interested in what you have to offer.

To develop your own personal brand, there are a few things you need to think about.

  1. Be real and appeal
  2. Persistently consistent
  3. Learn and Share

Be yourself.  You can’t build a personal brand around a “you” that doesn’t exist.  It would be extremely difficult to keep up for an extended period of time because it’s not you.  Instead, think about what about you appeals to people.  Your brand should reflect who you are and who you want to be.  Be real, be believable and you will appeal to people who are like you, and people who want to be like you.

Be consistent.  Try to maintain consistency across all of your online profiles.  A personal brand needs to be consistent in order to build trust.  If your Instagram is all about motivation while your Facebook page is full of negativity then your followers aren’t going to know what to believe.  Think about the image you want to put out for the world to see and then display that image on each of your platforms.

No matter what field you are in or how you are trying to promote yourself, there’s opportunity to learn more.  Use your personal brand to become an expert at what you do and learn everything about what you’re promoting and trying to share.  This doesn’t mean you need to learn everything all at once or share everything all at once.  Share what you learn as long as it’s something that your audience will find helpful.  By becoming an expert and constantly increasing your knowledge, you are becoming a source for people who want more information.  They will trust your personal brand and watch you for guidance and support.

If this post was helpful for you, please like, share, or comment.

Stay tuned for other tips on personal branding and other skills that can help your business reach the next level.

 

 

 

Your Opinion of Breastfeeding in Public VS a Breastfeeding Mother’s


I’ve seen a lot of remarks lately about breastfeeding in public and would like to share with you what it is like for a working mother with a family trying to breastfeed her baby in a state that offers no breastfeeding protection. First I will offer a little background and then I will respond to some common remarks I see people post about breastfeeding. I work 40 hours a week.  In order to have enough milk for my baby for daycare, I spend 15 hours (3x per day, 1 hour each time) pumping during the work week.  I’m very fortunate to have a job where I am able to accomplish this.  I also pump for 1 hour in the morning each day of the weekend to keep my supply up so that I will be able to pump enough the following week.

Q.  Why don’t you just give your baby pumped milk instead of nursing in public?
A.  Did you know that babies are much more efficient at getting milk out of the breast than a pump is?  My child can do in 10-15 minutes what it takes me an hour to accomplish with a pump.  I already spend 17 hours a week pumping, I don’t want to have to be hooked up to my pump anymore than I have to.  I want to be able to enjoy time with my family, not to mention that the house needs cleaning, dinner needs made, etc.

Q.  So just feed your baby in your car or in a bathroom or stay home?
A.  I will not leave where we are to trek who knows how far to the vehicle.  If you live in Idaho, you know… we don’t have much of a window between burning hot temperatures and freezing temperatures.  If my baby is hungry (and possibly crying) then I’m going to feed him.  I see no reason to make him wait for what feels like an eternity (to him and anyone listening to the crying) to haul him all the way out to the car to sit in uncomfortable temperatures.  As far as feeding in the bathroom goes, I will under no circumstances feed my baby in the place where people do their business.  A bathroom is a place for food to EXIT the body… not the other way around. Both of these options also remove us from our family time.  As a working mother, I value the weekends and any time I get to spend with my family.  By running to hide so I can feed my baby, I am missing out on this sacred time.

Q.  So just plan your schedule around your baby eating.
A.  It is not always predictable when a baby will need to eat.  And if they are going through a growth spurt, then there is a good chance they are eating more often.  You try to plan family outings or grocery shopping around someone that needs to eat every hour or two.  It isn’t so easy.

Q.  So if you must breastfeed in public, why not use a cover?
A.  Have you ever put a blanket over a baby’s head?  It turns into a game of tug of war, or peek-a-boo.  Not to mention how warm it can get (especially with Idaho summers).  Even in an air conditioned room it can get warm because the flow of oxygen is significantly less if I cover my baby’s head.  This leads to him unlatching frequently and the entire process taking much longer than it would have without a cover.  All babies are different.  Some may tolerate a cover, but mine will not.  I use a two shirt strategy.  One shirt goes up, the other goes down.  This minimizes boob exposure… however it is nearly impossible to be 100% covered, 100% of the time despite my best efforts.  (Plus wearing 2 shirts in summer is HOT).  I promise you, I am not flashing my breasts in public for fun.

Q.  No one wants to see your boobs.
A.  So quit looking.  I know if I’m hanging out in the park, looking around, and suddenly see an eye full of butt crack, my first instinct is not to stare.  I look away.  If you catch a glimpse of something you don’t want to see, the easiest thing to do is to move on.  Don’t stare.  It’s not like I’m swinging the girls around shouting “LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME!” and bursting into dance while singing “my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.”  No.

Breastfeeding is hard(at least at first).  If you haven’t done it yourself then you may not realize all the difficult things that come with breastfeeding.  When a baby is born, they do not always know how to properly latch on.  This is a learned skill for both mother and baby and it can take time (7 weeks in our case) to master.

Breastfeeding mothers fight for the proper latch, and against milk blisters, cracked nipples, clogged ducts, mastitis and more.  Yet we gladly take on these difficulties for our child.  I have to eat and drink very specific things every day for my child to have enough milk.  But I’m okay with that.

Breastfeeding is more than just a fight, it is a war.  A war I will gladly fight for my child to make sure that he has the best nutrition possible.  A war I’ve successfully been holding my ground in for nearly 7 months.  Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way complaining.  I love being able to breastfeed my child.  I love the way he looks up and smiles at me.  I love the bonding time we share during this magical moment.  I love breastfeeding and will continue to do it as long as both my child and I want to.

We are all just trying to provide for our children in the best way possible. But don’t you think we have enough against us?  In addition to all the issues that may come along with breastfeeding, all the battles we must fight and the pain we must endure… we don’t need another enemy.  Don’t make us fight the public too.

*****
This is not meant to be insensitive to mothers who chose not to, or were unable to breastfeed.  I respect your situation, please respect mine.

It Works “skinny wrap” After Pregnancy


Many of you have seen my previous post about my first encounter with the It Works Ultimate Body Applicator, aka, Skinny Wrap.

If not, you can read about it here:  https://agirlnamedjenn.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/an-objective-and-personal-review-of-skinny-wraps/

I’ve also gotten pregnant and given birth to my first child.  He was born January 19th.

After I felt comfortable, I started doing some wraps.  Here are my comparison pictures after my first post pregnancy wrap.  :)
The top picture (sorry they are blurry, apparently I had something on my lens) was taken February 17 and the bottom picture February 20.

After 1 Wrap - sideAfter 1 Wrap - front

I was pretty pleased with my results so I did another one.  Here are those results:
Top picture was taken February 26th, bottom picture was taken March 1st.

After 2nd wrap - side

After 2nd wrap - front

Not too bad!

If I put my first before pic together with my 2nd after pic, then we can see the results after both wraps combined:

after2side

after2front

LOVE IT!

From early March to mid April I started an ab exercise challenge.  You’ve probably seen it on Facebook… you do so many crunches and planks and leg lifts for so many days.  Anyway, I had been doing the exercise hoping it would tighten my tummy even more.  I felt like I was starting to get abs, only I couldn’t SEE them.

So I wanted to take it one step further, I decided to do a wrap for those pesky love handles.  I’m not sure where I lost my front view comparison, but here is a side view of me.  I placed a wrap on each of my sides, so that the wings went around my back and my tummy.  I really notice the definition around higher up on my tummy and also on my back.  I am getting abs!  I just had to tone up the skin around them to be able to see them better.  :D The top pic is from 4/17 and the bottom is from 4/20

wrap 3

I also started to use the defining gel combined with the stretch mark cream on my lovely tiger stripes to see if anything would change there.  (Disclaimer:  My stretch marks don’t bother me at all, but I know some people are self conscious and I like to be able to show them if a product REALLY works) .  The top picture here was taken on 4/25 and the bottom picture was taken on 5/27.  So about a month later.  I haven’t done any more wraps, but it does seem like the stretch marks are fading.

defining gel

I am not a distributor but if you are interested in this product then my friend Jana will be able to help you.

janajpfliiger.myitworks.com

Top 3 Books for Babies 0-6 Months


I love to read.

I want to pass that love onto my children.

Jayden, our (almost) 7 year old will devour any text placed before him.  His thirst for knowledge is amazing.  He can rattle off facts about any subject and is always eager to learn and read even more.

Our latest edition, the bouncing baby boy lovingly named Jensen is also starting to love books.  While he enjoys a variety of books, these three are the ones he seems to respond to the most.

First up in our bedtime routine is On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman
on_the_night_bk
This is an amazing book that is for parents as much as it is for babies.  I’ll admit that I even got a little choked up the first time I read it to Jensen.  It is a great book that celebrates how special and loved your child is.  The text has a lyrical quality about it that keeps babies engaged and the beautiful illustrations catch their attention wonderfully.  Jensen loves to help me turn the pages.  He lingers over each illustration until he is ready for me to continue.  I can see his little mind taking in every detail.  Sometimes he even coos along as I read to him.  I picked this one up on Amazon.

Our next book is Look LOOK! by Peter Linenthal

11996926

Jensen LOVED this book in his first few months of life and it continues to be a favorite.  The illustrations are a contrasting black and white that stimulate developing minds.  Newborns are able to (mostly) see the illustrations and it promotes visual and mental development.  I also got this one from Amazon.

Our last book is Jensen’s FAVORITE.  This was a gift from his great grandmother and he absolutely adores this book.  It is called Eat! by Roberta Grobel Intrater

babyfaces_eat_large
Jensen adores looking at the other babies in this book.  He smiles and coos and reaches out to touch them.  This book is my go-to problem solver when nothing else calms him down.  The text is fun and rhymes.  The pictures are large and colorful.  Sometimes, after we finish the book he will try to open it up again so we usually end up going through it two or three times.  Once our silly little boy even tried to lick the food off of one of the other babies.

I’m so happy that I’ve been able to share these books, and others with Jensen.

I have a set of touchy/feely books that I’m eager to show him as well but he doesn’t quite seem as interested in those yet.  So for now we will stick with his three favorites during story time.

If you find yourself with any of these books, I hope your little ones enjoy them as much as we do.  :)

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“Can we read it one more time?  Please, mom!”

 

The Birth of My Child Changed My Life


The birth of my son has changed my life.  I know that everyone says that… but I didn’t realize the enormous impact that this tiny person could have on every aspect of my… well, everything.  

It has been an emotional and crazy ride.  There have been struggles and tears of every possible nature.  

I always knew that I wanted children.  Deep within my heart that was one thing that remained steady among all of the other changing variables in my life.  So much so that I found myself making pacts with guy friends that if we were childless at a certain age we would get together and create our own little wonders.  It never came to that, my son was born with my partner in crime, the man who puts up with all of my quirks and craziness.  

I was not a happy pregnant woman.  Scoliosis caused my back and hips to hurt constantly.  I had severe tailbone pain… it hurt to do anything other than lay down on my back… which you aren’t supposed to do.  And the further along I got, the more difficult it was to breathe so constant pain just became a part of my life.  I accepted it knowing that it wasn’t going to be forever.  I vowed over and over that I was only doing this once.  I was lucky enough to skip morning sickness for the most part.  Don’t get me wrong, I felt like crap… but I was able to figure out how to manage that symptom.  

The birth of my son was a long awaited and joyful experience.  It was a painful and exhausting 30 hours but I would relive it in a heartbeat.  The instant that he came into the world I felt like the Grinch when he figured out the true meaning of Christmas.  Not that I was a furry green beast that didn’t know how to love, but that my heart grew ten sizes that day.  I thought I could pack a lot of love in there before, but now… now I just have love bursting out of me.  Literally.  Sometimes I look at my 3 guys (Jason, Jayden and our newest edition Jensen) and my eyes just leak love all over the place.  Then the dogs get concerned, Jason and Jayden look at me funny and the baby spews some kind of bodily fluid and things are back to normal.  

In addition to the emotional changes, there are physical changes as well.  I’m not going to get into anything gory, don’t worry.  And really, I guess the changes I’m referring to are more about how I perceive myself than anything else.  I was a little overweight when I got pregnant, but after having the baby I quickly dropped down to 10 lbs below my pre-pregnancy weight.  Then I promptly stalled out and have been here for about three months.  I’m sure that if I exercised and ate better that I would start losing again… but I don’t have time for that right now.  I work full time (and let me tell you, going back to work after having a baby SUCKS) and have a house to take care of.   I’m still writing (working on the book, freelance spots, and also trying to get my blog going again).  And any free moment I have, I would prefer to spend it playing with the handsome miniature person that has taken up residence here rather than breaking a sweat and causing myself physical pain.  

None of that even seems to matter for me though.  I look in the mirror and I’m not upset with what I see.  Yeah, I’m still a little overweight.  My tattoos are now messed up, I have stretchmarks and a belly pooch.  But I don’t really care.  Instead of love handles, I see the hips that bore my son.  Instead of a belly pooch, I see the place that was home to him for the first nine months of his life.  I nourish and care for him with this body.  I grew him and carried him and now, 4 months after birth, I am still breastfeeding (and plan on continuing).  My hair rarely gets done, I don’t remember the last time I wore makeup… but honestly, I’m okay with that.  Maybe someday I will wake up and feel like I should look a certain way in order to conform with societies norms.  But right now, I’m content being the best mother that I can be.  

I don’t even mind the lack of sleep.  Not saying that it is always a walk in the park.  But I’ve gone with less sleep for far less important reasons.  Waking up 7 times in the middle of the night is no problem if it is for him.  

My life has changed in other ways as well.  I’ll trade a shower to see baby smiles.  I’ll trade a cocktail for bedtime snuggles.  I’ll trade looking like a sane person for baby laughs.  Not everyone may be able to understand this, but he is only going to be this little once.  He doesn’t care if my hair is done or if I only shower every other day.  We’re only having this one baby so I want to breathe in every moment.  

I want to record each second of time in my mind with both of our boys because this truly is one of the most remarkable jobs I’ve ever had.  I may be tired and look like hell, but those are small prices to pay when raising these boys.  I don’t view this change as me losing my life, or missing out on things.  They are my ilfe.  And I would regret far more if I missed out on them.