Media, Advertising, Branding & Marketing Articles
Social media marketing is a fast-growing innovation, tapping into the rising influence of user-generated communities such as blogs, wikis, networking, and bookmarking sites.
By joining these active communities, you can build relationships and promote your products and/or expertise.
Generally, online social networks attract members who bond over shared interests and opinions. That creates a clubby and trusted group of virtually connected friends or associates. So when a member or blogger recommends your product, commends your service, or endorses your comments, it results in powerful "word of mouse" referrals.
Alternatively, if you make the effort, you can develop your own following on social media sites as an opinion-maker, authority, adviser, industry analyst, or wry observer.
As a result of getting noticed in all the right places, you can generate leads and convert those leads into sales.
Tip: However tempting it may be, don't assume a fake identity to talk up your company (unless you’re being an obvious jokester). It's bound to boomerang. User-generated communities aren’t just for kids anymore
Don't think this strategy only suits niche markets. Social sites are exploding across the Web.
The most popular categories tend to be communities where you create and share information, such as MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, Bebo, Squidoo, and Tagged. Or it can be those where you bookmark useful or fun sites for other users, such as Digg, del.icio.us, or StumbleUpon. Visit this page for a broad list of social networking and media sites.
Visitors to social media sites jumped a staggering 774 percent between 2006 and 2007, according to a 2007 comScore study. And the Pew Internet Study reports that some 50 million Americans are reading blogs. What's more, adult interaction in social media is significantly on the rise. Choosing your online megaphone
For small-business owners, the social media horizon is broad indeed.
Like much of search engine marketing, social media marketing doesn’t cost much in dollars. But it does require time and effort to:
create and monitor content;
track traffic and referrals;
refine efforts to improve results, and
keep at it until you have an impact.
Here are some proven ways to start stirring the pot. You'll learn more as you go.
1. Contribute to a community whose members mirror your customers. By checking into the comments, forums, and profiles of a community, you can determine member interests, locations, and a rough sense of demographics. Once you've identified a community that matches your preferred customer, there are a number of ways to get noticed.
For example, Irina Patterson runs an event-planning business from her home in Miami. She often posts on the local craigslist and, she says, gets great results. "It is a community that responds almost instantly. You can pose a question, share a resource, ask for a barter deal or ask for advice. You can target specific geographic areas, which is important for a service business like mine."
Patterson makes sure her posts link back to her company Web site.
2. Become a commentator on a well-trafficked blog in your industry or field. Don't ignore the blogosphere. According to Technorati, the blog search engine, nearly 97 million blogs were being published as of mid-2007.
Get familiar with a few blogs compatible with your business. A good start is a search on Technorati as well as visits to your industry or professional associations and trade journals to see what they serve up.
Make sure you're up-to-speed on the blog's tone, issues, and attitudes before you chime in. When you start generating reactions, you'll know you're hitting nerves.
3. Create a viral video campaign. Online videos are now cheap and easy to create and upload, notes search engine marketing consultant Susan Gilbert at JoomlaJump.com.
Produce a video of two to three minutes that dramatizes or explains your online site or your market niche and yourself. Then upload the video to MSN, YouTube, or other video communities to drive traffic to your Web site, Gilbert says.
If you link the videos to community pages on social bookmarking sites, you create a little network that search engines will find. Next thing you know, you're getting referred traffic and, potentially, more customers.
4. Join a professional networking site (or two). These can be hit or miss, depending on what you market and how you work the community. For professional services such as PR and consulting, it can generate leads. Check out examples such as LinkedIn, ZoomInfo, Facebook, and Biltmore Who's Who. Then branch out to others.
5. Launch a blog. This is the most obvious idea, and, no question, online templates now make it easy to create a blog. Run a search and you'll find options. What's hard is to gain traction and keep posting lively content (with a link to your company site, of course). See these tips for starting a blog.
6. Become a dedicated gamer. Game for this? Depending on your wares and customer profile, engaging in the multi-user online gaming community can be a rewarding way to draw traffic and viral referrals, says Marian Sabety, at Wyndstorm, a social network technology marketer.
One of the largest is World of Warcraft, but new ones pop up frequently.
Unless you are already pulling lots of traffic, first gain experience with some of the above tactics before starting a blog. Once you have the hang of it, you'll know more about leveraging the power of a personal blog.
Finally, remember to add value rather than to merely advertise your product. To make social media marketing work, you must enjoy being part of the community.
| ||About the author Joanna L. Krotz is the founder of Muse2Muse Productions, a custom content company for business and consumer magazines, newsletters, and digital imprints. Krotz has launched marketing Web sites and e-news portals, as well as created magazines and online marketing for a variety of companies. She is co-author of The Microsoft Small Business Kit, a 500-page guide to launching and running a small business. |
Health & Well-Being Articles
By Dr. Bunny Vreeland
Latest scientific research shows that we can lower blood cholesterol, lower blood pressure, lower cortisol levels, and reduce risks of cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes and live longer. How, you ask? Simply by making a few lifestyle changes. Hypnosis can help make those changes easier.
Since it is your intention to grow younger and live longer, the most important thing you can do is to think younger.
Your mind controls your body … Your body mirrors your thoughts … it has no choice … Your mind, a field a thoughts and ideas … are the sole influence over the energy molecules in your body … and therefore a young mind will help you to transform your body into a younger
looking body …
In my ANTI-AGING Hypnotherapy sessions, I’m going to show you some very advanced tools you can use to slow down the rate at which you age. The more slowly you age, the more youthful you remain. This cannot only extend your life but also save you from suffering from “old age” disease and disability. It will also help you look and feel years younger.
When I talk on Anti-aging, I have learned to clarify one thing first. Anti-aging is not the same thing as life extension. Aging is the process by which you gradually weaken and lose function. Anti-aging seeks to understand this process and intervene to preserve youthful characteristics.
Welcome to my Eight Life Changing, Anti Aging Sessions:
1.The Dream of a Long Life
2. Mindfulness Meditation
3. Strengthen Your Immune System
4. Youthful Body
5. Think Younger
6. Self Love
7. Face Lift
8. Energize Your Body
To find out more or to set up an appointment for the eight sessions, email me at
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or call me at 805-984-1237.
Media, Advertising, Branding & Marketing Articles
These days, there is a lot of hype about the power of social media in business regardless of industry. While some people jumped right in and started engaging with online communities to build their brands, others hesitated a bit before getting their feet wet. Still, some people remain skeptical and have yet to take the social media dive. Here are six reasons to cannonball into social media’s pool of opportunity.
1. More and more people are online more and more regularly. In this current economic downturn you need to find the ever-elusive customer. It is a fact that the average person is spending more and more time online. The number of people doing so also increases daily. You must find them and engage them. Traditional advertising just isn’t working the way it used to. Magazine and newspaper subscriptions are way down because websites are providing the news much more quickly and in a more affordable manner. TV and print advertisements have become expensive and consumer review sites like yelp.com are changing the way people think and shop.
2. Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, and Youtube are now mainstream. The largest and most successful social media campaign was used to elect President Obama. This goes to show that a complete and focused approach to social media can move mountains. Manage your personal life and business fan page on Facebook. Maintain your professional network using Linked In. Take your company viral by building an aggressive Youtube channel. Find and engage online communities that share your interests on Twitter. These are a few of the most popular social networking sites. It has become absolutely critical to implement some, if not all of them to achieve a strong online presence.
3. Social Media will improve your relationship with customers. We all know that social media is a great PR and branding tool that allows companies to self-promote in a relatively inexpensive fashion, but IT’S NOT ALWAYS ABOUT YOU. Social Media offers a great way to learn more about your customers. Extending a “personal face” to your company encourages customer interaction and can result in customer loyalty. Listen to your customers, respond to their comments, and let your personality reveal itself through your conversations. Loyal customers will spread the word about a brand if they like the person or people who represent it.
4. Meet the Haters head-on! And don’t forget about disgruntled customers… Some companies argue that engaging in Social Media will open the door for naysayers and haters to rant negatively about the brand. This is a dangerous misconception—the doorway to knock a brand opens with the business! People are talking online whether or not you are listening. Some of them might not be saying nice things, and you can be sure others are listening to what they say. Consumer review websites like Yelp and Amazon are ever more popular, presenting hundreds of opinions about products and services. What if 77 out of 100 reviews for your product are negative? Social Media can and should be used as a customer service platform. A loyal customer is much more valuable than a once-in-your-lifetime customer, so it is important to address the issues that your customers are having. A complete Social Media strategy will incorporate a system to monitor your online reputation by scanning blogs, social networks, and comments for keywords related to your brand. Don’t let the Haters take the floor and keep it. Get out there and defend yourself and show your customer service savvy.
5. Social Media is here to stay. One of the biggest misconceptions about Social Media is the presumptuous assumption that its popularity is a fad. First of all, watch this video from Socialnomics.net. There is some controversy about some of the statistics and their context, but the video is well done and for the most part lends itself to Social Media’s permanence. Also, check out Marta Kagan’s presentation on slideshare: What the F**K is Social Media?. The point is that Social Media is here. It’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Therefore, if you aimming in it, then your business may soon be in hot water.
6. Your competition is actively engaging your target audience using Social Media.
Read more: http://blog.pidesign.com/2010/02/develop-a-social-media-strategy-6-reasons-not-to-hesitate-any-longer/#ixzz0fBBFXdY2
Health & Well-Being Articles
By Dr. Sharon Norling
Originally published in Your Health Connection Magazine
While we hear a lot about low cholesterol levels being desirable, recent research shows that very low cholesterol levels (<160 mg.) may be just as unhealthy as very high cholesterol levels. Unfortunately, the dangers of abnormally low cholesterol (hypocholesterolemia) have been less well publicized. What we don't often hear is the important fact that cholesterol is vital to human life.
Abnormally low levels of cholesterol may indicate:
Similarly, patients with environmental illness often have low cholesterol, including those with sensitivity to foods, chemicals or frequencies like Wi-Fi. Infertility has been linked to low cholesterol.
- Hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid gland
- Liver disease
- Inadequate absorption of nutrients from the intestines
- Poor metabolism
- Compromised health
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like compound belonging to a class of molecules called steroids. It's found in many foods, in your bloodstream and in all your body cells. If you had a handful of cholesterol, it might feel like a soft, melted candle. Cholesterol is essential for:
Cholesterol is made primarily in your liver (about 1,000 milligrams a day), but it is also created by cells lining the small intestine and by individual cells in the body. Very low cholesterol may mean your body is “shutting down.”
- Formation and maintenance of cell membranes (essential for life).
- Formation of sex hormones (progesterone, testosterone, estradiol and cortisol).
- Production of bile salts, which help to digest food.
- Conversion into vitamin D in the skin when exposed to sunlight.
Low cholesterol is not healthy. In 1990, an NIH conference concluded from a meta-analysis of 19 studies that men and, to a lesser extent, women with a total serum cholesterol level below 160 mg. exhibited a 10 percent to 20 percent excess total mortality compared to those with cholesterol levels between 160 and 199 mg., as cited in the journal Circulation (Meilahn, E., 1995).
In 19 large studies of more than 68,000 deaths, reviewed by Professor David R. Jacobs and his coworkers from the Division of Epidemiology at the University of Minnesota, low cholesterol predicted an increased risk of dying from gastrointestinal and respiratory disease. Professor Jacobs and Dr. Iribarren followed more than 100,000 healthy individuals in the San Francisco area for 15 years. At the end of the study, those who had low cholesterol at the start of the study had been admitted to the hospital more often because of an infection.
In Circulation, Iribarren et al. (1995) go beyond the usual classification of "low cholesterol" based on a single measure. Instead, they examined future disease risk according to whether cholesterol level was stable during a six-year period or whether low cholesterol resulted from falling blood cholesterol levels. Among nearly 6,000 healthy Japanese-American men enrolled in the Honolulu Heart Study, total serum cholesterol was measured at two time points, with mortality follow-up extending for up to 16 years. Results showed the expected association of elevated cholesterol with coronary disease. In addition, falling levels of cholesterol were linked to an excess risk of liver disease and cancer in particular.
According to Lewington, research into the causes of low cholesterol is relatively limited, but some studies suggest a link with depression, cancer and cerebral hemorrhage (Lewington, S., et al., Lancet [December 2007]) 1829).
A new study published in the American Heart Journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, January, 2009 found that nearly two-thirds of patients admitted to hospitals for heart attacks and cardiovascular events had low LDL-cholesterol levels, indicating they were not at high risk for heart problems. Yet — in another extraordinary example of ad-hoc reasoning — the authors concluded that since most heart attacks occur in people with low cholesterol levels, this provided support for lowering the LDL-cholesterol goals even further! It is well known that 50 percent of patients who have a heart attack have normal cholesterol. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is caused by inflammation. Therefore, it is a much better practice to eliminate inflammation than to lower cholesterol to an abnormally low range and increase health risks.
Cholesterol, contrary to current dogma, is an extremely important cell wall membrane fat. Not only is cholesterol a vital cellular molecule, it is a large part of us, as it occupies 30 percent to 40 percent of our cell wall membrane. The cell membrane is the structural skin surrounding the cell and the organelles in it. It is far more than an outside protective layer ― it is literally the essence of life! It is the lining of every nerve cell. It manages the production of energy as well as all of our senses. The liver alone has approximately 300,000 square feet of membrane (more than four football fields — 4.63 to be exact).
Cholesterol makes vital hormones such as the adrenal, our fight or flight hormones and our sex hormones, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. It is important for the metabolism of fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K, and is the precursor for bile acids which manages our fatty acid intake. Cholesterol supports a strong membrane structure which equates to a strong overall metabolism.
Most individuals with high cholesterol have a strong metabolism — and they know it. Airborne disturbances such as pollen with its potential for allergy have less impact on individuals with high cholesterol. In the American Journal of Medicine, Tierney et al. (2006) demonstrated low cholesterol was associated with mental capabilities from borderline intellectual functioning to profound mental retardation.
“Women who are having a difficult time with unexplained infertility often will have low cholesterol. As the diet is expanded to include essential fatty acids and Phosphatidylcholine (prominent in the cell wall) the hormones derived from cholesterol normalize and pregnancy rates have been shown to increase,” said Patricia Kane, PhD.
It may surprise you to know that our bodies make all the cholesterol we need. When your doctor takes a blood test to measure your cholesterol level, he or she is actually measuring the amount of circulating cholesterol in your blood (your blood cholesterol level). About 85 percent of your blood cholesterol level is produced by your body. The other 15 percent comes from an external source — your diet. Your dietary cholesterol originates from meat, poultry, fish, seafood, and dairy products. It's possible for some people to eat foods high in cholesterol and still have low blood cholesterol levels. Likewise, it's possible to eat foods low in cholesterol and have a high blood cholesterol level.
So, what do you do?
- Have a comprehensive lipid panel which includes cholesterol, LDL (buoyant and dense), HDL (HDL 2B), C-Reactive Protein, VLDL, homocysteine, and insulin.
- Test your red blood cell fatty acids. The Kennedy Krieger Institute — Johns Hopkins University is the premier fatty acid testing laboratory in the world.
Eat your way to health.
Since cholesterol comprises 30 percent to 40 percent of our cell wall “mem-Brain” which protects and manages critical metabolic functions, including mental acuity, sex, and reproduction, why would we want to dispose of so much of it? Life, health, and cholesterol are all about balance.
- Consume a diet of pure fats and oils. Support the health of your cell membrane with pure, unprocessed, organic oils in your diet. Liberal use of seeds, nuts, cold pressed fats, and oils is highly recommended with reduction of carbohydrate intake. Organic butter, cream, meat fats, and eggs contain essential fats and should be included in your diet. To cook foods at high temperatures such as when stir-frying or sautéing food, use coconut butter, avocado, or olive oil.
- Eliminate all chemically processed oils/fats. Partially hydrogenated or trans fats are toxic to the liver and brain, cause high cholesterol (LDL) and contribute to such difficulties such as fatigue, toxicity, neurodegenerative disorders, aging, hyperactivity, learning disabilities, mood disorders, immune abnormalities and cardiovascular disease. Essential fats found in pure, unprocessed fats and oils are crucial to all cellular function. Processed fats and oils must be completely avoided ― margarine, vegetable oil, canola oil, peanut butter, Crisco, commercial mayonnaise (Hellman’s, Miracle whip) and salad dressing.
- Eat certified organically-grown foods. At this time in history, we are under the greatest of pressures. Literally thousands of harmful chemicals are in the food, air, and water. Pesticides, herbicides, endocrine disruptors, dyes, chemicals, antibiotics, heavy metals, and hormone residues contaminate the food supply. Avoidance is the best way to protect yourself and your family from harmful toxins.
- Eat whole foods. Processed foods are manipulated and changed in a way to extend the shelf life of the food. They are less nutritious as many vitamins and nutrients are lost in the process. Stay as close to nature as possible in eating. If the bugs won’t eat it, we shouldn’t either.
- Eat pasture-raised meats, free range poultry/eggs and wild ocean fish. www.eatwild.com and www.themeatrix.com are good resources. Avoid farm-raised fish which are fed an unnatural diet of corn, soy, dog food and wastes and do not have the essential fats found in ocean fish. Fish to be consumed include wild Alaskan salmon and small body fish such as sardines. Obtain salmon, halibut, and tuna that are safe to consume from www.vitalchoice.com.
My thanks to Dr. Patricia Kane, a world expert on fatty acid metabolism and neurological disorders, for her contributions to this article.
Dr. Sharon Norling is the only physician in the U.S. nationally board certified in integrative medicine and medical acupuncture in her field. While teaching at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Dr. Norling had the opportunity to testify before the White House Commission on Complementary Alternative Medicine and co-author a textbook, Integrative Medicine. She offers specialized testing and advanced medicine approaches. Located at the Landing, 32123 Lindero Canyon Road, Suite 210 in Westlake Village, she can be reached at 818.707.9355.
Beauty & Fitness Articles
Reshape Your Body and Lose Inches
Non-Invasive Body Sculpting offers Alternative to Invasive Procedures
Did you know that in 2008, $10.3 Billion was spent on cosmetic surgical procedures in the U.S.? Last year alone, almost a quarter of a million men and women had elective surgery for liposuction.*
At what point, however, is cosmetic surgery so invasive that the ramifications are more than someone bargained for?
Through new technology and education. Lipomassage by Endermologie enables individuals to achieve the same goals and image results with non-invasive procedures and less financial impact.
According to Jacquelyn Mills, owner and clinical Aesthetician of Soft Touch Beauty Solutions, “Even those who do their best to maintain a healthy lifestyle find they need something extra to achieve a toned body. Diet and exercise along with Lipomassage help detoxify and release fat from their cells.”
Lipomassage is a total body detoxification that reduces inches and minimizes cellulite. Individuals who have previously undergone liposuction or those who want to avoid an elective surgical procedure can benefit from this multi-session, non-invasive treatment.
Before undergoing Lipomassage, an individual consultation identifies the client’s goals problem areas and expectations. During a Lipomassage session, clients wear specialized body wear for optimal comfort, hygiene and modesty. The clinician starts the procedure by using the Body Streamling Roll to manipulate skin tissue, activating fat cells (adipocytes) and creating fat breakdown and release (lipolysis). This is also known as Roll In Slimming.
Next, during Roll Up Sculpting, the clinician uses different roller rotation speeds to reshape figure flaws, sculpt curves and smooth dimpled appearances. Finally, a rejuvenation process, Roll Out Condition, stimulated the skin, smoothing, softening and toning for youthful resilience.
Clients are advised to plan for a minimum of 12 sessions and a maintenance program. “While some achieve faster and more targeted results then they would from diet and exercise alone in a few as two sessions,” says Mills, “the reality is different people have different body compositions and different goals.”
Soft Touch Beauty Solutions also offers a unique addition to the Lipomassage sessions - an infrared sauna, which accelerates transformation by elimination the toxins released during the slim, sculpt and condition treatments.
Those who have experienced Lipomassage, often describe it is a deep tissue massage. As a Lipomassage machine, the Cellu M6 Keymodule targets fatty deposits for body sculpting. But it’s much more than that. The unit can also treat delicate tissues of the face, neck and décolleté, offering a non-surgical option for facelifts, too.
Soft Touch Beauty Solutions is a full-serve personalized spa. For more information, contact Soft Touch Beauty Solution, located at 4035 East Thousand Oaks Blvd, Suite 115, Westlake Village, at 805-497-7111 or
Health & Well-Being Articles
by Sherry Gaba
You may be a single woman by choice, a single parent, a single woman who has just been dumped or has done the dumping, or just someone that enjoys being a singleton. Whatever your circumstances are, being single is a time to celebrate and honor who you right at this very moment. It is a time to honor all of the opportunities that await you such as finding who your authentic self is. That’s right, take the mask off and enter the place of the un-known without being in fear. Only the un-known offers us infinite possibilities for future love if that’s what you want or maybe a trip to India, or perhaps taking that yoga class you keep putting off. Anything and everything is possible when you are single. Here are the 10 reasons why being single can be satisfying.
1. It is a time to be true to yourself and find out what really fulfills you. What is it that you really value and want out of your life?
2. It is a time to find out why you are here and what is your life purpose? What are you here to do on this planet and what is it that is meaningful to you?
3. It is a time where you have control over what you do and how you do it. There is no one looking over your shoulder telling you how to spend your money or where to take a vacation. You are on your own, and you can go anywhere your heart desires.
4. It is a time to develop yourself spiritually and take a look at your unique spiritual nature. You get to ask those existential questions such as what is a higher power. Is there something outside and separate from myself that is a silent witness to my life as it unfolds?
5. It is a time to figure out what it is I really want out of an intimate relationship? What is it I contribute to relationship? What is the nature and quality of the relationship I desire? What are the deal breakers in what is acceptable and unacceptable in a partner? You get to do the choosing rather than always waiting to be chosen.
6. It is a time to build your community and support. Invite someone for coffee, dinner, a walk, or a talk. Having a network of friends can be one of the most nurturing things you can do for yourself?
7. You get to dine wherever and whenever you want? You don’t have to cook for anyone or eat some strange type of delicacy just to please your partner.
8. You get to say NO NO NO and set clear boundaries for yourself. When you establish healthy boundaries, your self esteem sky rockets and you develop safety and trust in yourself and others because no one can overstep the boundaries you have created for yourself.
9. You learn how to be present in the moment without judging yourself or others harshly. You become consciously aware of the preciousness of each moment enjoying your sacred alones with complete joy and freedom.
10. You are accountable to no one but yourself. Once you learn to count on you, the possibilities are endless.
Being single is about reframing and redefining what being alone means. You no longer have to play victim to your singleness. If you are looking for true love, it magically comes to you without any effort because you radiate confidence, self assurance without neediness or desperation. This can be the time of your life if you believe it is…..re-discover the joyous space between what you were, what you are now, and what you are becoming.
Media, Advertising, Branding & Marketing Articles
One common diagnosis we are seeing pop up in droves is SOCIAL MEDIA OVERWHELM.by Lorrie Thomas
Social Media Overwhelm is when you see all the tempting accessories (see image icon overload left) that you can try, then get overwhelmed (where do I start? How do I have time for all this stuff?), then all social media marketing stops altogether. Shoot, I get dizzy looking at the icons in this blog post and I live, eat and breathe this stuff!
You gotta pull yourself together in time for the new year so you tap the power of social media marketing w/o getting Social Media stunned…it’s all a little ADD-esque if you ask me! Yes, there are a lot of great social media options out there, but before you run screaming off the ledge, here is a healthy dose of web marketing therapy to help you get underwhelmed with all the social media marketing options out there.
How to avoid Social Media Overwhelm and Use the Power of Social Media to Win BIG:
1. Go back to marketing 101 - who is your target market, what is your marketing strategy? I personally love FriendFeed, and I recommend it to some of my solo-entrepreneur clients who mix their personal and professional passions, but I wouldn’t suggest it to a business to business (B2B) client. You have to THINK FIRST BEFORE YOU DRINK THE SOCIAL MEDIA KOOL-AID. Ask youself if a particular social media outlet will help you reach your current and prospective customers so you can connect and serve them better, if not, move on!
2. Use social media streamlining tools like HelloTxt so you can do one message and hit ALL your social media set-ups.
3. Prioritize. Put your energy where it counts. If Facebook work equals more friend bombardment than client connection, BREAK UP WITH IT AND SEE OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA. Put your energy where it counts. All marketing has to be tested, optimized and re-evaluated. Respect your time and put your energy where it counts.
4. Be ready to commit to social media. It does take work, I’m not going to deny that. Think of social media marketing as a lifestyle. Just like exercise and eating right, you want to engage in social media as part of your marketing mix…add it to your routine and it will become part of your routine.
5. Use social media marketing to give your existing work legs. So many marketing patients don’t realize how connected all the web marketing tools are (that IS why we call it the world-wide-web you know!). You do email blasts, that same content can also live on your site. You do a great educational blog post, then that can get messaged out to your readers via tools like twitter. When marketers look at all the web marketing options as separate, unconnected tools, you better believe that overwhelm will hit!! Use all your web marketing in unison for web marketing maximization!
Social Media can be an amazingly valuable marketing tool…if you keep your mind in a place of calm, quiet focus and invest in tools that matter and support one another.
Health & Well-Being Articles
To Soy or Not to Soy? By Alyssa Leland originally published in YHC magazine
IT’S HARD TO IMAGINE THAT THE TINY SOYBEAN COULD CAUSE SUCH A CONTROVERSY. IS SOY LOWERING OUR CHOLESTEROL AND REDUCING THE SYMPTOMS OF MENOPAUSE? OR IS IT PRODUCING ESTROGEN-LIKE EFFECTS IN MEN, AND PROHIBITING OUR BODIES FROM ABSORBING VITAL NUTRIENTS?
SOY, ONCE CONSIDERED AN INDUSTRIAL WASTE PRODUCT, is now being transformed into products we consume every day, so we eat soy whether we intend to or not. Soybean oil is found in almost all butters, margarines, salad dressings, processed foods and more. Even oils marketed as vegetable oil are most likely soybean oil. Since our consumption rates of soy are virtually out of our control, as consumers we have the right to know what effect this product is having on our bodies.
Dr. Troy Williams of Moorpark Women’s Health warns, “Soy contains some components that may actually be harmful to our bodies.” The toxins found in soy have the ability to bind to certain metal ions such as calcium, iron, manganese and zinc. Because the toxins found in soy, mainly the phytic acid, bind to these metals, there are fewer metals available for the body.
“Women who prefer a vegetarian diet have to take into account that soy may affect their iron and zinc daily requirements because of a component called phytic acid,” says Dr. Williams. Phytic acid not only affects your absorption of crucial metals, it also “keeps your body from absorbing minerals,” according to Dr. Sharon Norling of the Mind Body Spirit Center.
Phytic acid is reduced when it is fermented, such as in traditional soy foods like miso and tempeh. “If you prepare your own soy dishes, whether boiled or roasted soybeans or soy milk, ensure that they are heated to an appropriate temperature,” advises Dr. Williams.
Also understand that there is no legislation to protect consumers from soy toxins in raw soy products and there is little control to safeguard us from poorly treated soy products. “Raw or partially-processed soy products like soy flour or soy protein concentrate should be avoided,” suggests Dr. Norling.
Soy and Hormones
Soy contains phytoestrogens, similar in structure to naturally-produced estrogen hormones. Bonnie Tromello, nurse practitioner of Crossroads in Health states, “The phytoestrogens in soy can help to reduce menopausal symptoms.” Tromello also explains, “There are more harmful phytoestrogens found in the environment than the phytoestrogens found in soy. Because the phytoestrogens mimic estrogen, they bind to the same receptor site, preventing the more harmful phytoestrogens from binding to that site.” In her own practice, Tromello finds that women who consume moderate amounts of soy have less breast tissue change and a reduction of breast density. A lower breast density enables doctors to read mammograms and detect tumors more clearly.
According to Dr. Williams, “Ingesting large amounts of soy may affect testosterone levels in men. The lowering of testosterone levels may have many affects on their bodies. Some possibilities are weight gain, lower sperm count, lack of sex drive, and erectile dysfunction.” To maintain healthy testosterone levels it is recommended that men avoid consuming large amounts of soy, especially after the age of 30 when testosterone levels in men lower naturally.
“Birth Control Pills for Babies” is the subtitle Sally Fallon and Mary Eing, PhD, authors of Tragedy and Hype, chose to explain the effects of soy formula on infants. The title is shocking and the facts backing it may appear equally so. “In 1998, investigators reported that the daily exposure of infants to isoflavones (which are phytoestrogens) in soy infant formula is six to 11 times higher on a body weight basis than the dose resulting in hormonal effects in adults consuming soy foods. … An infant exclusively fed soy formula receives the estrogenic equivalent of at least five birth control pills per day,” (Fallon and Eing, 2000).
When choosing infant formula for your little tyke, understand that numerous studies suggest babies given breast milk have significant health advantages compared to those given any type of formula. “There is absolutely no question that breastfeeding is more beneficial,” says Tromello. If your infant is allergic to dairy and breastfeeding is not an option, Dr. Williams recommends to “investigate whether or not the soy component of the formula was fermented or not.”
Regarding the relationship between soy protein and lower LDL-cholesterol levels, the FDA states there are “significant reductions of total LDL-cholesterol levels in controlled trials that used at least 25 grams of soy protein per day,” as stated on the FDA’s website, www.FDA.gov.
The FDA also suggests in addition to the 25 grams of soy protein, a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. However, the friendly relationship the FDA has with the soy industry is no secret. While the high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids found in soy contribute to lowering cholesterol, it is still important to weigh all the pros and cons. There are other natural ways to lower cholesterol such as increasing fruit and vegetable, fiber and whole grain intake.
The Bottom Line
More money is being invested in marketing soy. Soy farmers are being encouraged to take part in The National Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act and Order. The Act states, “The program’s goal is to strengthen the position of soybeans in the marketplace and to maintain and expand domestic and foreign markets and uses for soybeans and soybean products,” according to the website www.soycheckoff.com. Funded by a mandatory assessment of 0.5 of 1 percent of the net market price of soybeans, the total funds for 2008 exceeded $140 million.
The program defines research in section 1967 of the act as “any type of study to advance the image, desirability, marketability, production, product development, quality, or functional or nutritional value of soybeans or soybean products.” However, in their definition there is no mention of clinical research.
Just like everything else we decide to put into our bodies, it is important to know the facts to determine the best option for ourselves. In Tromello’s opinion, “Soy is fine in moderation. It is better to choose whole soy foods and to avoid processed soy foods. And as always, when you can, buy organic.”
For soy alternatives and more information, visit www.eatingwithfoodallergies.com and www.allergyfreeshop.com
Media, Advertising, Branding & Marketing Articles
by Lorrie Thomas
When I am asked about social media and get the “what do I do with social media for marketing”? question, I stop the conversation and suggest that the brain get re-trained to think of social media as an interactive Rolodex.
We don’t “tweet” to make millions, get on Facebook to win new accounts or get on LinkedIn.com to get venture capital.
We use social media to make, build and sustain relationships!
Marketing is all about maximizing relationships - what makes social media marketing such a remarkable asset to organizations it’s ability to manage relationships and stay in touch for life.
If you are on Facebook, you will likely update your photos, status and more. On LinkedIn, you will update your job status, position and email address. With Twitter, your contact base will grow and if you are part of the active tweepulation, then you’ll be able to connect forever. It’s never about using one social media tool - it’s about using several social media tools to build your credibility, visibility and relate-ability.
Your current and prospective customers will use social media differently (some like tweeting, some are big on blogs) so be in several places and keep current so the people that are seeking you out can find you. In this ick economy, more people are using LinkedIn to reconnect with colleagues to get that next job or reach out to contractors since they are managing more work with fewer resources.
Business cards are sooooo 1982 - use social media as your online Rolodex to stay in touch (and get rid of those old-school biz card holders!)
Accounting, Insurance, Real Estate & Law Articles
by Colleen King, LA Insurance Examiner
Most people hear the word annuity and either 1. Don't know what it is or 2. Are afraid of it because of something they heard about annuities or 3. Their stock broker can't sell it so they are talked out of it or it's not even brought up.
Don't get me wrong, annuities are not a 'one size fits all' product. They are an insurance product and they used to be very limited in how they were designed. You had either a fixed or a variable annuity (fixed have a specified interest rate and variables are invested in the stock market) and once upon a time, you had to have a minimum of $100,000 to start with. Then, once you 'annuitized' your annuity, meaning you started life time payouts of a specified amount per month, if you passed away six months later, too bad--the money was gone.
Now, you can open some with as little as $2000, some products you have the option of adding to (flexible premium products) and for some they can be a great option to move your old job's 401k or 403b to if you leave the company. Lots of people are using them for IRAs if they can't stomach the risk with the stock market.
Bottom line is you need to know the particulars of what you are looking at.
- Is your principal guaranteed? in a fixed or fixed indexed annuity it is. In a variable annuity, it generally is not unless you buy a specific rider.
- What is the surrender period? The surrender period is how long you have to leave your money in this before you can take it without being hit with penalties. I generally don't go over 10 years, depending on the person's situation. But there are some with 15-17 year surrender periods, and unscrupulous agents are selling them to people in their late 70s or older. Totally inappropriate!
- Can I get any of my money if I have an emergency? I always advise my clients that this is NOT the place to put your emergency fund, but if you really miscalculate and it's imperative you break into that, most annuities allow you to access 10% of your principal per year without triggering the annuitization or payout flow.
There are other considerations, but annuities are being looked at by many when looking for a conservative component to add to their retirement portfolio. They can provide a steady income stream in your 'golden' years over your remaining lifetime or now there are variations on how these can work when taking payments. I've integrated them into my own strategy and good thing I did. Too bad I didn't move more money into these before the latest market debacle.