Monthly Archives: October 2009

Social Media Impact on Business

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Facebook. Twitter. Blogging. Website. LinkedIn. These are the buzz words/sites that are taking over virtual marketing today. Social media marketing is the new way businesses are reaching out to their target market; however, some executives are intimidated or overwhelmed with the task of updating their social sites on a daily basis. To properly engage potential customers, business owners must build their online presence.

Maintaining an active online presence can boost the companies sales and customer base. As a business owner, you are probably thinking “Oh no, not something else to add to my overflowing plate of responsibilities!”

Savvy business owners are enlisting the help of a Virtual Assistant (VA) to manage their social accounts. Hiring a VA will allow the business owner to continue to focus on revenue generating tasks while the VA maintains the business online presence.

The internet is the go to place for people when they are looking for information about products and services. The internet is the most powerful tool potential customers will use to begin their search for a product, service, or organization. Maintaining an updated website and social media presence will help build your company brand and establish brand loyalty.

A VA can ensure that your business has an updated website and that your status on social media sites are updated regularly. Hiring a VA to manage your social presence will ensure that your business is remaining competitive and help build strong relationships online, monitor your brand reputation online, and gain support for your products or services by publicizing them online to establish a good image for your brand. Getting information to your customers in a timely manner and increasing your satisfied customer base is PRICELESS!

CMB Virtual Assistants, is a business support company, that offers social media services. CMB VA will ensure your business has an online presence without you adding any additional task to your already full day whilst your business still benefiting from the social media interaction. Pamela King, Virtual Office Manager, states “Companies today are utilizing social media sites as a way to reach their target market without jeopardizing their budget and manpower.”

Contact CMB Virtual Assistants to plan your strategic strategy to enhance your social media presence.

Visit http://www.cmbvirtualassistants.com for more information or call 206-376.0735 for your free consultation.

Writers Block

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So you sit down to start writing and low and behold you have writers block. What do you do? I know most of us have heard that you should just continue writing something don’t lift the pen off the paper just write, write, and write. This should help with removing the block and get your creative juices flowing, but what should you do if that doesn’t work.

Would you just get up and try again later? Would you start a new project and just strap this one? What are some good options to try to remove writers block.

I found a great article written by Melissa Donovan at Writing Forward (http://www.writingforward.com/creative-writing/25-creative-writing-prompts) to help motivate your writing mind. She list 25 creative ways to prompt your writing mojo.

Ok, so what are you waiting on…visit her website to learn the 25 creative ways to prompt your writing mojo and get to writing!

How to Get the Most out of a Conference

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We all have attended a conference or two and always leave wondering did we get out of the conference what we should have?

When preparing to attend a conference, you get all your material ready in order to take notes and capture the most important points, but how can you really get the most out of a conference?

This question was asked and answered on  Young entreprenuer (www.youngentreprenuer.com). Matt Toren wrote a very good article. When preparing to attend a conference don’t forget to think about interacting with fellow conference goers this includes but not limited to attending the breakfast sessions and talking with those at your table. This will give you the opportunity to meet some new people and network while eating. Be proactive in your approach to the conference. Have professional business cards to pass out to your new contacts, plan to attend some breakout sessions, some after parties (not only to have a good time, but also to continue networking). 

Once you return home after your conference, make notes about the conference, the people you met, and send follow up emails to those that you connected with. Attending conferences can be beneficial twofold, it allows you to network with potential employers or business assoicates and it allows you to learn the latest business best practices. So attend conferences with the mindset that you will benefit someone and someone will benefit you!

Enjoy your conference.

Visit http://www.youngentrepreneur.com/blog/2009/10/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-a-conference/  to read the full article. Then visit  http://fromawriterspovbusinessnetwork.ning.com to sign up for the business conference that will be held November 9, 11, and 12, 2009.

Raw Pathways-Vegetarian Month

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October is National Vegetarian Awareness Month

(an excerpt from www.therawroutine.com)

Happy National Vegetarian Month! Whether you’re a meat eater, vegetarian, vegan or raw, chances are, you eat vegetables 🙂

This month, try to up the ante in your health. If you’re a meat-eater, pledge to add at least two more fruits and vegetables to your day. If you’re vegetarian, how about shifting towards non-dairy drinks and egg substitutes. If you’re vegan, buy local and organic produce from your farmer’s market and if you’re raw, pledge to introduce one new friend to raw foods each week, either by speaking with them about it or preparing a meal. In the coming month I’m going to be doing interviews with vegetarians about how they came to “go veg” and what their struggles and goals are. Stay tuned!

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I have the pleasure of talking with Beatrice Johnson, president of Raw Pathways, to learn more about vegetarianism and vegetarian month. For those of you like me, unfamiliar with vegetarianism, the interview on Monday, October 19, at 8pm will benefit ya! Call in to Sol Searching Radio show tonight at 8p.m (CST). Guest call in number (347) 989-1786.

 Beatrice Johnston, President of Raw Pathways is a Raw Food Consultant dedicated to helping people at all stages of their health to improve it by adding fresh plant based foods. With over 20 years of eating a vegetarian diet she offers solid, practical principles that fuel the transition to a healthy lifestyle . As a raw food consultant she has appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, published several articles about health and wellness, and maintains an active blog.
Photo of Beatrice Beatrice has spent over two decades studying nutrition and health, not as a medical professional but as someone constantly seeking a better understanding and expanded knowledge of their health. At 16 she became a vegetarian and gradually (over 23 years) took the steps toward become more dependent on natural food for energy and health and less dependent on the “non-foods” sold in supermarkets. As a result, she has completely cured fluctuating weight issues, all allergies, and most wonderfully – asthma! She rejoices in no longer needing to check her purse when leaving the house (for an inhaler) and celebrates not having needed an asthma shot, inhaler or oxygen treatment in over 5 years and directly attributes it to her dietary changes.

What Beatrice offers as a teacher, mentor and journalist are years of experience, trials, temptations and triumphs and a way to empower both the mind and the body by continually gaining knowledge about how the body responds to every single change.

Beatrice would love to talk with you tonight and answer your questions about being a vegetarian. Don’t forget to call in to Sol Searching Radio show tonight at 8p.m (CST). Guest call in number (347) 989-1786.

Press Kit/Media Kit-What is it & What goes in it?

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I was asked to give some information about a press kit/media kit. A press kit or media kit (same thing) is one of the most vital items an author must have online (and optionally in hard copy). The press kit is an introduction of you and your work to the media. The main purpose of the press kit for authors is to introduce the media to your work and to gain viable attention for your new release.

It contains all the information in one place that a media representative will need when preparing an interview or writing a story. A full media kit will include at least:

1. An author bio: In the bio for the media kit, you want to clearly state something about the author’s background and accomplishments that is relevant for this book and its readers (about 100 to 500 words).There are two common mistakes in writing an author bio for a Web site or a media kit. The first is saying too much, and the second is saying too little.

2. Author photo(s): Professional pictures not a picture you took of yourself in the bathroom with your camera phone. Make sure the picture you include in your kit is a professional business picture. It’s useful to make available several different headshots and other photos for journalists. Be sure the photographer supplies you with a high-resolution JPG file of all photos (at least 300 DPI) that will be adequate for all print uses.

3. Book cover photo: The book cover speaks volumes for your book and you. Most people decide to read a book based on the cover so please please please use a graphic artist to design your book cover. The media will know if your book cover is home grown/made.

4. Fact sheet on book include: a. the book title b. author c. publication date d. ISBN e. number of pages f. retail availability g. testimonials

5. Press release(s): A press release should be short—a page or two at most, with a provocative headline that grabs the reader’s attention. In press releases, include a quote from the author, and testimonials about the author when possible. Always include a brief author bio and all the relevant book information and ordering information, such as the ISBN, publication date, publisher, web site and contact information. It’s important to optimize key words in your press release. Any words that the media might search on to find your subject should be repeated as often as possible in the release.

6. Three major message points in the book

 7. At least ten questions the author is prepared to answer in an interview (with the answers)

8. Clippings from previous media interviews, audio, video, and articles. If you do not have any of the items listed in #8, you need to get busy. Interviews are easy….research those that has their own magazine, TV, or radio show. Send them a plug about you and your book and ask for the interview. If it’s a printed interview, copy the interview and place on your website. If it’s an audio, download the mp3 onto your website. There are so many blog talk radio shows that there is no excuse today not to have an interview or some recording of you talking about your latest and greatest writing. (Check this site, I requested guests to be on my show).

Also, you should be writing articles. This is the fastest way to gain creditability. There are so many sites that are looking for guests writers, research them and write an article. Then place this article on your site.

These items should be made available online via your website. Your press kit should be in PDF format, except your picture, and you can make different links for each item and also have a complete press kit link on your site.

Make sure you have a hardcopy of your press kit available as well. The press kit should be in an attractive folder with your book cover on the outside. This is the most inexpensive thing you can do to get your press kit in the hands of the media. Buy school folders from Wal-Mart, Kmart, or Target. Purchase the folders without the prongs. It would be good to purchase folders that are the colors of your brand (more about branding in another post) and place a picture of your book cover on the outside of the folder. Include everything we listed above including your business card.

Plan to make this media kit available before publication. The media won’t wait until you’ve had a chance to put this together, so if it isn’t completed beforehand, they will go to the next story. If you need any assistance writing and constructing your press kit, contact me at CMB Virtual Assistants and I would be glad to help. We offer this service at a reasonable price.

Pamela

 info@cmbvirtualassistants.com

 www.cmbvirtualassistants.com

www.blogtalkradio.com/Sol-Searching

Someone to Love Me Blog Tour

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Meet Nicole S. Rouse, author of Someone to Love Me

Nicole Rouse picSol Searching: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to sit down with me today. Please introduce and re-introduce my readers to Ms. Nicole S. Rouse.

Nicole S. Rouse: I am the author of two novels, Happily Ever Now and Someone to Love Me. Born and raised in West Philadelphia, I currently reside in Chicago where I am an editor at one of the largest education publishing companies.

 Sol Searching: When did you start putting your thoughts down on paper in the form of a story?

Nicole S. Rouse: Growing up, I lived with a very loving, protective, and strict grandmother. As a child, I couldn’t stay outside as long as the other children, I couldn’t talk on the phone past a certain hour, and I wasn’t allowed to have a boyfriend until I graduated from high school. Although I understand my grandmother’s rules now, it bothered me at a young age. So instead of rebelling, I picked up a pencil and wrote stories about all the places I wished I could be, and about all the fun I believed the other children were having without me. So, I guess in many ways, my grandmother gave me motivation and a reason to write.

 Sol Searching: Who and/or what inspired you to write?

Nicole S. Rouse: Life. There are so many facets of life that can be explored and written about from different points of view. I am intrigued by relationships; what makes some successful and others fail. For this reason, I create realistic stories that explore why people react the way they do in various situations. For many of us, life is complicated. But, it is my hope that readers will not only be blessed and entertained by my stories, but that they’ll challenge themselves and open a platform for conversations to take place that will heal and/or bless others.

 Sol Searching: Tell us about your latest book. How did it come about? What is the concept behind it? When was it released?

Nicole S. Rouse: Someone to Love Me was released June 2009 by Urban Christian. Someone to Love Me is a story about two people who made several bad decisions and have to deal with the consequences of their actions. Jerome Thomas and Taylor Belle were involved in a long-term affair, hurting their spouses and close friends. As readers will see through the lives of the characters, there are consequences to everything we do, good and not so good. The main characters discover that the repercussions of their decision to have an affair, not only affects them and their spouses, but it also affects everything around them– their children, family, friends, jobs, and health.  SOME-ONE-TO-LOVE-ME

 As a result of Jerome and Taylor’s affair, a child was produced. Sixteen years later, Jerome has to deal with the headstrong and defiant daughter he decided to alienate. There are several questions he has to answer and he discovers that establishing a father-daughter relationship does not come easy.

 Taylor, on the other hand, finds it hard to bond with her firstborn because of guilt. She looses control of her daughter and quickly learns that she must release her burden and admit her mistakes in order to maintain a happy and healthy home.

 Sol Searching: Why should readers go out and buy this book?

Nicole S. Rouse: Someone to Love Me is a realistic story that will take readers on an emotional journey as they follow each character. Filled with intrigue, readers will discover if Jerome and Taylor allow God to mend old wounds and restore the love in their lives, or if they are destined to suffer the consequences of their past sins for years to come. This story will help readers understand that there are consequences for every action. Although Jerome and Taylor’s affair ended years ago, the repercussions of their actions eventually came to light.

 Sol Searching: What’s next for you?

Nicole S. Rouse: I am in the finishing stages of my third novel, Be Careful What You Pray For (tentatively scheduled to release in November 2010). I am also working on a play for my first novel, Happily Ever Now.

 Sol Searching: You have two published books under your credit now. What advice would you give to someone thinking about becoming a published author?

Nicole S. Rouse: Never give up! No matter how many query letters you send without a favorable reply, or how many doors seem to close, continue to write and stay connected with the literary community. Being a part of a writing community very beneficial. You become exposed to so many events and opportunities that might otherwise go unnoticed. You also meet different people who may be able to help you along the way.

 On my website, I list ten great tips for new and aspiring writers in a little more detail. You can visit: http://book.nicolerouse.com/literary-matters/ for more information.

 When I decided I wanted to write books, I did a lot of research. I looked for all the publishing companies that published books in my genre. I volunteered at various nonprofit organizations and local newspapers to strengthen my writing skills and gain experience. I participated in writing workshops and organizations. I also took a few college-level writing courses. All of these things have helped me during my journey. The experience and the people I interacted with along the way have all deposited something into my writing and helped to open doors that had previously been closed.

 Sol Searching: How can my audience contact you for book signing opportunities, guest appearances at their book club meetings, and/or order your book?

Nicole S. Rouse: I can be reached through my assistant Pamela Swearengen-King: phone: 206-376.0735, email: pamela@cmbvirtualassistants.com. I can also be reached by email: nsrouse@yahoo.com, or through my website: www.nicolerouse.com. My novels can be purchased at all major bookstores or you can order online through my website: www.nicolerouse.com.

 Sol Searching: Nicole, thank you for sitting down with me and allowing my readers a peek into your life and the lives of your characters.

Nicole S. Rouse:  No, thank you for allowing me to introduce your readers to my latest novel, Someone to Love Me. I would also like to thank all the book clubs that have chosen my book for their reading selections and the readers that continue to support me. Without each of you, there would be no me! Thanks!


Someone to Love Me book excerpt