There's Something For Everyone Here!
I am excited to participate in this month's Indie Beauty Business
Blog Tag Party! IBN member Luci Weston of Holly Woods ‘N Vines helped me
coordinate this fantastic program to help our blog readers (you!!)
enjoy useful content while we also support each other's blogging
efforts by sharing the love through multiple links, Diggs and of course
Indie Beauty's main social site. Yesterday, Luci posted her Ten Websites to Help You Grow Your Business at this link, and she tagged me to do the same.
I have to admit that, since I use literally hundreds of sites (many of them my own!) for that purpose, it was
hard to nail down just ten. In order to make sure this is a useful
list, I decided to select ten sites, each in a separate category that is important to Indie Business owners. That
way, you can choose whichever category you are dealing with most at the
moment, and immediately click on a link that will be helpful to you.
Graphics and Photographs: 123RF
you have a Web presence (and you must have at least one!!), you need
graphics and photographs! No doubt, like me, you take and make a lot of your own, but sometimes, it helps to have another place to pull from when I have nothing in the cue. That's when I turn to 123RF
for free photos and graphics. Right at the top of the home page is a link called
“Free Images.” They rotate them so that thousands of images at the site
is available to download for free. Since they are free, you'll have to browse the images rather than use keywords to search for them. They have a reasonably priced monthly program that saves time by allowing you to search instead of browse, so you can find exactly what you're looking for. The free images are optimized for
the Web, not print. If you need an image for online use,
chances are you'll find something free to suit your needs at 123RF.
Small Business News: Business Week For Small Businesses
There are lots of small business magazines, but for the punch, I like Business Week's online section for small businesses.
The articles tend to be a little more meaty than those in Entrepreneur
(which I like as well!) They tend to include a nice mixture of news and
stories to keep me both informed and entertained. It's important to stay on top of small business news that affects your industry and the world of business at large. This online publication can help you do that.
Permission Based Email Marketing: Constant Contact
you don't have an email newsletter, you are missing out on one of the
most efficient and cost effective ways to stay in touch with your
customers. Constant Contact
is not your only option to do this (in fast, I use Sparklist for
mine!), but they do have a great newsletter and they practice what they
preach. You can always learn something new and useful to help your
newsletter garner more returns for your efforts at Constant Contact's
website and newsletter.
Leadership: Michael Hyatt's Blog
I met Michael through Twitter. While we follow each other, chances are he wouldn't
know me from Adam if we saw each other in person. But I'd know
him, and thanks to him, I have incorporated some great sage leadership
practices into my business. Michael is the CEO of Thomas Nelson
Publishers, one of the largest and most successful Christian book publishers in
the nation. He blogs about the publishing industry a lot which is very
useful for me as a blogger. He also blogs about other things, some
personal, that give me great insights into what it's like to be at the help of a successful business. I get at least a weekly dose of Michael at his
New Marketing: Seth Godin's Blog
really a need to write anything here? No one is positively brilliant
100% of the time, but when is comes to using new technologies to be
successful in business, Seth Godin comes pretty close. If you don't
know who Seth is, head over to his blog
right now, subscribe, read, learn and incorporate what you learn into
your business. Then tell all your friends so they can be successful too!
Social Networking: Twitter
I have met some fantastic people, learned some useful things, earned some new customers and clients and had a ton of fun at Twitter.
Even if you never say a word on Twitter, you can sign up, follow some
interesting people and learn a lot. You know how we're always
complaining about there being too much information, yet we have no
choice but to assimilate it all somehow? Twitter makes it fun and easy
to do just that. Follow only people you want to get news and
information from, and It's efficient news gathering at its best.
World and General News: The Washington Post
I know it's not the only newspaper in the world, but the Washington Post
is published in my hometown so I'm partial. But even if I were not a
native Washingtonian, I would still read this newspaper for it's in
depth no holds barred reporting. As a business person, I feel it's very
important to be informed about as much major national and global news
as possible. These days, no newspaper is totally objective, but this
one has quite a few checks and balances, plus it's nice to read about
the news from Washington from a paper with roots there. My roots are in
my hometown and this newspaper helps me stay informed and also has
something for everyone. I especially love Michelle Singletary's Color of Money column.
Lifestyle and Fun: Daily Candy
Yes, I'm a business woman, but I also like to have fun. One of the ways I inject fun into my daily routine is by enjoying women's lifestyle newsletters. A favorite is the fun, light-hearted, easy to read and colorful Daily Candy where there's always something for everyone to enjoy every day. Cute hand
drawings and objective product, lifestyle and restaurant reviews make
this so much fun. You can subscribe (it's free) to all of the Daily
Candy newsletters or you can choose from several major cities including
Washington, DC, San Francisco and Atlanta.
Social Media: Chris Brogan
these days, many people say they are social media experts. I'm not
sure I put a lot of stock in that since I'd prefer to look at how
successfully you use social media in your actual business, not how
successfully you an regurgitate what others have learned and shared. To
that end, I like to keep up with people who have both incorporated
social media successfully into their own businesses, or as an employee
of another business, and who share tips and insightful “how to”
information. Chris does this wonderfully at his blog.
Every time I visit, I learn something new, something I'm doing
correctly and something I can improve on. What's not to love about that?
Food & Drug Administration
my business is service cosmetics businesses, I turn to this website
often for the latest news and information in the cosmetics world. I get dozens of emails every week from people new to the cosmetics industry and I always refer them to this site so they can become familiar withe the rules, regulations and guidelines that affect the beauty industry. It's a government website, I know, but as far as government websites go, it's a pretty useful one. Whether you are starting a cosmetics business or you already have one, the resources at this website will help you know the industry so you can participate meaningfully in it.
Now, it's my turn to tag someone, and I tag Tammy Brodbeck of milk and cookeez!
Questions: Do you use any of these resources? What are some of your favorite online resources for small business success?