Are You Undermining Your Brand?

By Sarah Petty, The Joy of Marketing

You work hard to build a strong brand making sure that each and every customer interaction is perfect. You keep your social media pages and profiles consistent with your brand. Your marketing materials are top-notch because you invested in a graphic designer to give you a professional appearance. Yet there’s one thing you may not be thinking about that can undermine the strength of your brand and that’s the quality of partners you work with that may also come into contact with your customers.

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An Informal Course in Marketing

What Should I do Next?

by Jay Ehret,

You will almost never hear an entrepreneur confidently say “I know exactly what to do next.” At least when it comes to marketing. You may find books or blogs willing to tell you, but those are misleading, because what you should do next is unique to your business. Your unique answer is a product of two things:

1. What you want people to feel about your business.

2. What you know about marketing.

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Six Ways To Use New LinkedIn Features For More Business

By Viveka von Rosen

Are you looking to get more business using LinkedIn? Have you had a look at the new features LinkedIn has to offer?

LinkedIn recently released its new user interface to it’s entire membership. In this article I’ll show you how you can use LinkedIn for your business to make better connections, engage and create more business.

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Nine Habits For Financial Security

Artistotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.” Athletes and leaders preach the importance of discipline and consistency. And it turns out that people who are financially successful have some powerful habits in common, too.


Like any successful endeavor, accomplishing financial goals involves time, attention and focus. Our research and experience with financially successful people, including our clients, points to several key behaviors that they tend to display on a regular basis. Here are some tips for following their paths to financial freedom:

  • Establish and Follow a Budget
    Financially successful people tend to manage their money carefully and conservatively. They recognize that early planning can help establish strong financial boundaries that guide life decisions and pay off long-term. In our 2011 Stick with It Study, individuals with higher incomes were associated with higher levels of budget discipline and tended to rank themselves high in that area.

Read more: Nine Habits to Financial Security | Northwestern Mutual

By Steven W. Harp, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. Steve is a member of CS Business Builders leads group.

What Kind Of Camera Should I Buy?

By Tara C. Patty

I Love Taking Pictures, What Kind of Camera Should I buy?

We get asked that questions all the time, in fact so much that I decided to write an article Camera1about it. Many people love taking photographs, documenting the day to day lives of their families. If you want to take snaps of your children on the go for sharing with family online or social media we recommend using your cell phone–that’s right, many current models have great built in cameras, some have flash and many have video.

But maybe you want to go deeper, you want to photograph the kids and take great vacation pictures and not just use your phone. There are many excellent point-and-shoot cameras on the market that are easy to use. And with a point-and-shoot you get a built-in-flash and usually a zoom lens so you can do wide angle as well as telephoto shots. We recommend that if possible, you find one with a view finder window so that you can use that as well as the live view. This becomes important outside on a sunny day when you really can’t see the live view screen.

But what if, you ask, I want to capture great images of my child playing soccer, or inside on a stage in a play or at some other event and my point-and-shoot camera just won’t cut it? Then you might be ready for a DSLR camera (digital single reflex camera). These cameras are a step up and often bigger in size as well as price, however you get many advantages, among them is being able to to change lenses. There are many quality cameras on the market for beginners under $600.

As always we recommend that you back up your photos in some way so that you don’t loose them. You can use the Cloud, a computer or a DVD among other tools. These cameras are great for capturing the day to day action in your life. However, when you reach important milestones in your life, a new baby, child beginning school, changes in your family or high school graduation we recommend that you use a professional photographer to capture these memories in a way that will preserve them for future generations.

For more info in this subject here are 2 posts from a blogger I admire, Scott Bourne.

What Kind of Camera?

For the more serious amateur or professional: 10 Myths About Photography

Tara C. Patty is owner of Tara Patty Photography, LLC a boutique studio located in Colorado Springs. Tara is a member of CS Business Builders leads group.

Online Marketing For The Small Business

By Karol K.

Being a small business owner is a lot of work, especially if you’re a solo-entrepreneur. In such a case, everything is on your head with only some occasional help from your friends and family.

And it’s not that I’m just talking without actually having experienced those difficulties myself. I owned (together with a friend) a small design business not more than three years ago. Even though the job description was rather straightforward, we still found it difficult to handle all the mandatory tasks to get the business going.

As it turns out, having a business is an awful lot of work on top of the things that define your main offering. For instance, in our case, designing websites was one area, but finding new clients was a completely different ballgame. Read More

Marketing For Your Business

Marketing is a huge deal for the small business. Yet many small businesses leave little if any dollars in the budget for it. Many businesses do this because they just don’t really understand what marketing entails or how important is.There are several types of marketing–one of the most effective of course is word of mouth marketing. But there are other kinds of marketing as well.

And when should you outsource marketing as a business owner? And is it even a good idea to outsource your marketing? This article by Corey Eridon will help you understand when you should and shouldn’t outsource your marketing.