Newborn Photography Tips for Beginners

The birth of a child is one of the most beautiful amazing events you will witness in this life. A newborn child is the most precious object you will possess. Parents, especially first time parents, are so astonished with their new perfectly formed infant that they want to be able to remember the time forever. Taking pictures of your babe is the best way to record this cherished time. Here are some tips for taking the shots that will make you smile every time you look at them.

Most newborn photos are of the infant in a crib or bassinet. While these are important, they are usually taken as a close-up. A close-up photo gives all the details of the baby but without something familiar in the photo to contrast the size of the child it is impossible to show how tiny he or she is. One of the most popular pictures is to stretch out your hand next to your baby so you can see how your hand span compares with the overall size of your child. Another great shot is to wrap the babies hand around your little finger and show the size difference.

When you first bring home your newborn take a picture of the child in the car seat. Be sure the show the car interior as well as the car's exterior. Many times a day or two later you won't be able to remember that car or anything else about that day so be sure to take enough pictures to remember everything.

As soon as possible after bringing baby home you will want to schedule a setting with a professional photographer it will generally be four or five days before you can get a setting. Some photographers do only studio sittings, others will come to your house. While both types of photos are wonderful, they serve different purposes. The studio photos show the beauty of your baby, but the photos taken at home show the infant in their natural environment. The photos taken at home will create the best memories. A professional photographer, like any artist knows how to capture your baby in the most beautiful way.

When you schedule your setting you should discuss what type of photos you want taken. You should also discuss your goals for the setting. You may want to have photos taken in not only the nursery, but in the rest of the house as well. If you have a rocking chair, that is always a pleasant place to take newborn photos. Another setting is in the parents' bedroom, lying on the bed. These photos are wonderful with both parents lying on top of the bed with their newborn.

When scheduling the setting time you should try to choose a time when your baby is awake, full, and happy. Babies develop schedules very quickly because of their own natural rhythm. Don't try to change their schedule for the photos.

If you follow these tips you'll have some great photos that you can enjoy for your entire life and your grandchildren will enjoy them as well.

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What to Expect on a Luxury Cruise

Aside from being wealthy, most people who go on luxury cruises are discerning, seasoned travelers who enjoy interacting with other like-minded passengers. These people are happy to pay more, if it means they can holiday in a 5 star, sophisticated environment where they will be well looked after.

Certainly, on a luxury cruise, every passenger is given a high level of personal service, as the staff are trained to cater to your every need from the moment you board. The ambiance on these ships is refined, yet sociable, with passengers exchanging stories while sipping fine wine and enjoying the kind of international cuisine that would upstage many respectable land-based eateries. While the food on offer is slightly below the level of the world's top restaurants, it is a cut above the cuisine provided on any other type of cruise ship. Also, the food is served to you by courteous staff, who make every meal a pleasurable experience. Alternatively, if you do not feel like socializing, you can always have food brought to your stateroom.

Generally, luxury cruises offer fewer options for entertainment compared to normal cruises, and the entertainment that is provided is more reserved. Rather than boisterous discos and partying, passengers prefer to socialize with one another in a wine bar, whilst listening to live music. On many luxury cruises, expert speakers are hired to give lectures on a wide range of contemporary and historical issues. These speakers can include scientists, former politicians, historians, academics and explorers. Usually, a luxury cruise itinerary will focus on yachting hotspots, such as those found in many parts of the Caribbean, rather than the large commercial ports. All of this makes for a far more cultured and educational experience, in contrast to the booze fuels, mindless entertainment that characterises many mainstream cruises.

Staff on luxury cruise ships are able to provide a more personalized service, because the vessels are a smaller size than normal cruise ships. This creates a more intimate atmosphere and allows luxury cruise ships to stop-off at ports that would be overlooked on a mainstream cruise. A small luxury cruise ship will carry no more than two hundred guests, and a big ship will carry no more than one thousand guests. The quieter, more understated nature of these cruises appeals to those who dislike the hustle and bustle of a more commercial cruise line, and who want a service that is tailored to their preferences.

Several luxury ships offer extra treats for guests, such as toiletries from name brands and pajamas with embroidered cotton logos. While these are only small touches, they are always very popular with passengers, who appreciate the attention to detail. Although most ships do not cater to children, there are some child-friendly vessels that operate during the school holidays. Usually, child minding can be privately organized with an off duty member of staff. Obviously, these types of cruises would not be the first choice for a family holiday. However, facilities can still be offered on these ships to keep children entertained, so family groups are not unheard of.

The smaller high-end cruise lines have always been notorious for their strict dress codes. Historically, black tie suits and evening gowns were mandatory attire for dinner. Nonetheless, recently, many luxury cruise operators (notably Cunard) have adopted more liberal dress codes, to reflect the fact that many modern guests do not enjoy having to dress for dinner. These days, providing you do not dress too outrageously, you can wear virtually whatever you want on many luxury ships. Tradition aside, most people agree that it is a good thing that the cruise lines have taken this approach, as it keeps them up-to-date with current trends.

Undoubtedly, a luxury cruise offers a different, more bespoke holiday experience that attracts those who enjoy the finer things in life. If you can afford it and decide to book one of these cruises, after your trip, you will probably never want to book another mainstream cruise again.

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A Good Investment Strategy to Make Money Investing

Whether the year is 2011, 2012 or 2020 – here's a good investment strategy to make money investing without a crystal ball. Any good investment plan considers both investment selection and timing. If you can't make money investing with this simple strategy, rest assured that only the few and the lucky will make money.

Before you stress over putting together a good investment strategy for 2011 and going forward, ask yourself the obvious question. Where do most successful people invest (or where have they in the past) to make money investing over the long term? The answer before the financial crisis was bonds, stocks and real estate. The answer today for the average investor is the same and takes the simple form of bond funds, stock funds and equity real estate funds. In the final analysis, if all three of these investment areas tank – we're likely in a depression and only a lucky few folks or smart speculators will make money investing.

Good investment strategy does not rely on speculation or trying to time the markets. No matter what you hear, no one has a proven and consistent record in market timing that beats the markets significantly over the long term. If they did they'd make a ton of money investing, and they'd hide their secrets, not share them. So, why not settle for a good investment strategy that makes only one major assumption: that the USA will grow and prosper over the long term?

Investing money in the three areas above is simple with mutual funds. To lower your risk and add flexibility to your investment strategy, add a fourth fund type called a money market fund. At today's interest rates these might not look like a good investment, but they are safe and earn interest that tracks current rates. Getting more specific, by owning just 4 different funds you can put together a good investment strategy for 2011 and beyond and make money by investing in America's future. In order from high safety to higher risk and greater profit potential: a money market, intermediate-term bond, large-cap equity-income, and equity real estate fund is all you need to own.

A good investment strategy to get your feet wet is to simply invest equal money in all 4 funds. Timing strategy requires no judgment calls or guessing. One year later and once a year after that, you simply move money around to make all 4 funds equal in value again. This automatically forces you to take some money off the table from your better-performing funds – and to move more money into those that did not as well. The net result over time is that you are buying more shares when prices are down, are selling shares that are relatively expensive.

This is also a good way to make money investing over the long term while keeping a lid on risk. Simply buying and holding funds is not a good investment strategy, and has gotten many average investors in trouble in the past. For example, real estate funds were good investments for multiple years until they were nailed by the financial crisis. Had you owned them and just held on, by 2009 you could have had a significant amount of money accumulated and at risk there … resulting in big losses as a result of the financial crisis.

There's more than just simplicity involved in what I am calling a good investment strategy for 2011 and well beyond. This strategy employs two of the only time-tested tools in the investment business: BALANCE & REBALANCE and DOLLAR COST AVERAGING. The first tool keeps you on track while keeping a lid on risk, and the second is the tool that works to lower your average cost of investing by having you buy more shares when prices are lower and fewer when they are high.

You can put a good investment strategy together with only moderate risk by owning just 4 different mutual funds. People make money investing over the long term with bonds, stocks and real estate; and the smart ones keep some money in a safe investment as well for flexibility. In years past, some folks simply got lucky and made money investing without a strategy. With a good investment strategy you won't need to cross your fingers and rely on luck. If America prospers in 2011 and beyond – so should you.

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What To Look For When Hiring An Ocean Freight Shipping Company

Ask About The Company's Credibility

Ocean freight shipping is indispensable in the international trade business. Nowadays, you'll find numerous ocean freight shipping companies that offer varied kinds of services. If you're sending cargo to certain locations abroad, you'll want to hire the best service provider. Distribution companies, movers and packers and distribution companies, among others find ocean freight shipping as a staple component of their businesses. What shipping companies do is deliver their customers' freight from one port to another, and this is the main task that you pay for.

Make sure that you're hiring a reliable shipping company. Take a good look at the company website. What do customers' reviews say about the company? Are the comments and reviews about the service provider convincing? Do they aid in your making your final decision to hire their services? The ocean freight shipping company that you're planning to do business with should be able to deliver your cargo to its destination at the designated time and in good condition.

Does The Company Adhere To Rules And Regulations?

A lot of complexities are normally involved in the ocean freight shipping process. There are rules and regulations to adhere to, and these, the company you're hiring has to comply with. What about the past record of the company? You have to particularly check that aspect. The company should be reputable. Before you do your final transactions, do some research about the international shipping process as well. You should obtain basic knowledge and ideas about how it goes. The international shipping business is actually a competitive. Browse through several websites and compare quotes before you decide about which company to choose. When you contact their staff, see to it that your insurance and travel documents have been arranged.

Do They Use High-Tech Equipments?

Another intricate process of ocean freight shipping is the loading and the unloading of the container. If you're hiring the right service provider, they should be using high-tech equipments for this task. Prepare your cargo properly, and that means you have to pack it correctly. As per the rules, your cargo should be meticulously checked from the inside to the outside. It should suit the container accordingly when positioned. Unlike what most people think, forklifts are not utilized to handle the cargo shipment. As much as possible, the cargo should be loaded and unloaded securely and without incurring damage.

When you've found the best ocean freight shipping company that you want to hire, be thorough with your transactions. Negotiate the fees and the prices that you're going to pay. An important factor that you ought to consider is the transparency of the company. You wouldn't want to pay for hidden fees and charges. Be clear about the rates and the terms and conditions that they require. You should be able to discuss and agree on the delivery time of the cargo. If you're hiring an international shipping service provider, consider that ocean freight takes more time, however it is much cheaper than air freight, which is of course, faster.

Save yourself and your cargo the hassles and glitches of international shipping. Take time for research so you can hire the best ocean freight shipping company.

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Mini Moto Tips

These are some quick adjustments and tips for the B1 liquid cooled minimoto that I have found helpful.

Extra heat protection:

To protect the bike I've put some aluminum tape on the inside of the fairing at the closest point to the exhaust and on the underside of the fuel tank. I? Ve done this because the engine gets so hot I wanted to protect the fairing from melting, and it doesn't hurt to protect the fuel tank for the same reasons!

My cooling system tips:

When you run out of cooling liquid for your B1 rep, use is distilled water which is available at your local garage, add some food coloring to it so that you can easily tell the level and away you go.

Only fill the reservoir to a quarter full, this is easily enough coolant and it leaves room for the pressure.

Once you have filled the coolant reservoir, there is often air locks in the system. To get rid of these start the bike and allow it to warm up, then bounce the bike (gently) on its back tire with the bike vertical. Do this a few times, this should get rid of the air locks in the system and prevent overheating. The coolants level may need to be topped up now.

Where not to ride:

Hi just bought my new B1 air cooled from you guys. Thanks it's a great bike. A quick word of advice for your other customers. DO NOT RIDE YOUR MINI MOTO ON THE ROAD. My friend (who also rides a mini moto, but on tracks where they are supposed to be ridden!) Is a police man (boooo!) And the law is very strict:

The driver or rider of a motorized board or cycle on a road could face heavy fines, endorsement of license, disqualification and in the case of dangerous driving, up to 2 years imprisonment.

Remember that the term road includes not only a carriageway but also pavements and verges and also any highway which encompasses footpaths, bridleways and by-ways.

It can also include privately owned roads to which the public have access and has in some cases included car parks?

Car park warriors beware !!! ???

Here's a good tip. Before riding your mini moto you will need to make sure that your wheels and chain are aligned. Here's how. Loosen the bolts on the back wheel so that you can move it. Place a piece of perfectly straight wood (I used a meter stick) up against the front wheel. When the front wheel is straight the meter stick should be flush against both the front of the tire and the back. Then it's a simple case of lining up the back wheel. The chain should now also be straight.

Changing the gearing on your mini moto is simple. A bigger front sprocket combined with a smaller rear sprocket creates a smaller ratio, this means that the mini moto will have better accelelaration but less top spead. A smaller front sprocket with a bigger back sprocket will give your mini moto a better top speed but slower acceleration.

Here are the possible variations of gearing: The lower the ratio the faster acceleration. The higher ratio, the better the top speed.

8/54 6.75> 1

8/56 7> 1

8/58 7.25> 1

8/60 7.5> 1

7/54 7.714285714> 1

8/62 7.75> 1

7/56 8> 1

8/64 8> 1

7/56 8> 1

8/66 8.25> 1

7/58 8.285714286> 1

8/68 8.5> 1

7/60 8.571428571> 1

8/70 8.75> 1

7/62 8.857142857> 1

8/72 9> 1

6/54 9> 1

7/64 9.142857143> 1

8/74 9.25> 1

6/56 9.333333333> 1

7/66 9.428571429> 1

8/76 9.5> 1

6/58 9.666666667> 1

7/68 9.714285714> 1

8/78 9.75> 1

6/60 10> 1

7/70 10> 1

7/72 10.28571429> 1

6/62 10.33333333> 1

7/74 10.57142857> 1

6/64 10.66666667> 1

7/76 10.85714286> 1

6/66 11> 1

7/78 11.14385714> 1

6/68 11.33333333> 1

6/70 11.66666667> 1

6/72 12> 1

6/74 12.33333333> 1

6/76 12.66666667> 1

6/78 13> 1

I tried 7/56 with my B1 Rep at GP Karting, I think that this is just about right for that track as it has lotts of tight corners. Might go to Stretton soon so I can try my 7/68 setup. This should be good for the straights however it may take a while to get up to speed !!

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How to Write a Leadership Book in 5 Easy Steps

Most leadership books are written by those who have extensive experience in a particular field of interest like: business, sports, financial management, fitness and health, military, entertainment business, etc. If you have achieved success in your specific area of ​​expertise, then learning how to write a leadership book is a great way for you to share your knowledge and experiences with others.

Leadership books tend to be a list of "how to" tips or focus on an individual's style of leadership, which is more of a personality oriented book. If you are going to do the latter, you need to come across as an absolute authority figure.

If you're writing a tips style book on leadership lessons, then you can draw your content from personal experience, interviewing other leaders and doing lots of research on leadership traits.

Step One: Choose a Theme

To be successful, your leadership book should focus on a theme.

Are you going to help people overcome a specific life obstacle?

Are you going to inspire people to better their lives by telling them how you overcame challenges?

Can you use your specific experiences to show people an easier path to achieve their goals?

Step Two: Outline Your Book

In order to make writing your book easier, you need to create an outline that has the key points you want to cover. Each chapter will feature a major theme or subject. Underneath the main chapters, you'll come up with several subheadings where you can expand on the theme. This outline is your blueprint to follow when writing your book.

Think about the specific incidences in your life that caused you to rise to the occasion and meet challenges head on. Tell stories about these challenges and your eventual solution. You may wish to elaborate on tips that will help others do the same.

Step Three: Pick a Title

Most leadership book titles are straight and to the point. The title usually contains the word leadership, but doesn't always have to include it. Just keep it simple and direct.

Step Four: Stick to a Writing Schedule

Schedule regular writing appointment times for yourself. Writing a book like this is a major commitment, and you don't want to treat it casually. You'll be able to write a better book if you make it a constant part of your weekly routine. At the very least, you should devote four hours a week to nothing but writing your book.

Step Five: Hire a Professional Editor

While some books can get away with self-editing, a book of this nature should be professionally proofed and edited. In addition to cleaning up grammatical errors, you want to make sure that the writing style is clear and focused.

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Education and Education Institution's Mafia

The most important and desirable thing human beings are gifted is the wisdom. At the outset, we are programmed in our reality of creation that we all should strive for education to acquire knowledge. In the past, many centuries ago, people acquired knowledge from those who were educated and from the experience of others. They learn how to evaluate through reasons and implement in their lives all the virtues.

Anil Sadgopal is an Indian educationist and activist, known for the Hoshangabad Science Teaching Program and for advocacy related to the Right to Education Act. The main feature of basic education is free and compulsory education for children of 7 to 14 years, education through craft, self-supporting education, mother tongue as medium of instruction, ideal citizenship and flexible curriculum.

In olden days educational institutions and teachers were very sincere and earnest in their profession. They ensured that the students were groomed into the system and they learn diligently with all sincerity. As the societies grew and spread across the globe, the education pattern has changed accordingly to suit to whom monetary benefits matters most. The respective governing bodies have issued guidelines to both government school and private schools to ensure students get the benefits. Alas! This has never been translated into factuality and the main purpose was relegated to the back and remained until to date. The government school failed in their aspect of duties whereas the private school has progressed to some extent of the huge cost of financial burden on the parents.

Bhanu Jain wrote in his Policy Institutions and Practice Term Paper and strongly recommended that the common school system is a must step that should be taken to insure the development of India as a superpower and as a developed country. Although it has been well-recognized decades ago that CSS is an essential step for attaining equality, social justice and social change until now no concrete and effective steps have been taken for its implementation.

The grave scenario is the behavior of developed and developing countries. The underdeveloped countries remain below the threshold of basic educational standard awaiting mercy from some philanthropist to elevate their academic level. It is a wishful thinking displaying their incompetence and ignorance to come to terms with reality. They get carried away by the false propaganda and modern infrastructure and doomed defeat at the end. They become victims of financial burden and remained in debt for many years.

These corporate educational institutions aim to haul maximum financial benefits from the parents and acquire properties from the government schools. The façade they create in the form of infrastructure, publicity, pomp and show besides greasing the palms of government officials. They also promote their image on social media and in print media.

On the contrary, the story is different when it comes to government school and its performance. A principal of the Urdu medium school in the old city of Hyderabad (India), Mrs. Gupta has elevated the ranking of the said school from below 250 to an astounding top 5 in the twin cities. It is to be noted that the government school in question has never raised any fee nor the salaries of the teaching staff. It has unequivocally established a fact that who is at the helm of the institution. A sincere and dedicated person will achieve a remarkable feat within the existing system and environments.

If consider, the government schools and the number of students who not only excel in academic curriculum but also in sports and other extracurricular areas. All outstanding sportsmen, whether in Golf, Hockey, cricket or any other faculty of sports has come from average families and government or private schools which do not belong to corporate school category. In the field of politics, research or administrative services majority has come from humble background and poor financial status. They all studied in regular government school in simple and humble surroundings. All philosophers, scholars and geniuses are from a humble background and not from the corporate education system.

The outstanding features of all corporate schools are hypocrisy, corrupt practices and snobbish attitude. They practice class distinction and make them conscious of their background. It is not openly reflected nor advertise, but progressively the Zionist culture infiltrated in Indian education system to create a society of corrupt wealthy group as seen in western societies.

It evidently and unequivocally established that what matters is not the corporate school, but the leadership and will to change the scenario. The foreign degrees and overseas stay for many decades are no criteria to achieve remarkable feat. The sincerity and dedication of commitments to provide valuable and meaningful education to poor and below average income group children is of prime importance.

These corporate educational institutions are slow poison which will make our societies hollow from inside. They are the termites and cause irreparable damage to the societies and their very personalities. They make feel inferior among themselves ultimately, they will be relegated in delusion in the long run. They will drift in the wilderness of chaos and confusion. They live a short life thriving on financial gain, eventually failed in their vision of faith and religious practices.

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Eye Doctors

There are two types of eye doctors, one is the ophthalmologist and the other one is the optometrist. With all the jargon and the lab gowns worn, actually, in general, both are doctors. But which is which and whom you can approach with a particular problem with your eyes? A Colorado eye doctor that you may consult with can be either of the two types.

Further, let us define each to understand more of what each can do to your eye problem. An ophthalmologist is an eye doctor that is licensed to perform eye examination, give diagnosis and performs standard eye surgeries and procedures. This type of eye doctor had completed pre-med studies, internship, with extensive 3-4 years of training and medical service. On the other hand, an optometrist is also an eye doctor who had graduated a 4-year optometry course but did not attend a medical school. This type of eye doctor can only perform standard eye examinations, prescribe reading eyeglasses as well as contact lenses to patients but are not licensed to perform eye surgeries. But do not confuse these two types of eye doctor with the optician. An eye doctor has an assistant who is called an optician. Though the optician can do certain eye assessments or examination but still under an eye doctor's supervision. And the task of an optician is more on assisting patients with the prescribed contact lenses and eyeglasses like ordering and dealing with patients records and other paper works in the clinic.

So, who do you need, the ophthalmologist or the optometrist? It depends on the eye problem that you are experiencing. Before choosing where to go to and whom to go to, you need to determine what your complaints are about or what your eye problem is in particular. Once you had determined your eye condition that you would like to consult with a Colorado eye doctor, then it is easy to pinpoint whom to go. Determining your condition also gives you the benefit to anticipate what will happen during a visit to an eye doctor and what are the things and possible procedures that can be given you. Today, as we are already in the modern age, eye doctors do not only engage in standard exams, but also high tech eye surgery procedures and equipment for instance, the famous trend of laser eye surgery, artificial tears and lasik treatments.

Choosing an eye doctor for a particular eye condition is really simple and easy today. First off, you have the World Wide Web or the Internet to seek for these really good clinics and eye doctors in the placed. Second are from classified ads, referrals from friends and if you are in the mood, a search within your local area in Colorado is another. Therefore, your eye problem today can be easily solved.

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How To Communicate Your Sales Message So Buyers Take Action Now!

Wouldn't it be great that every time you made a sales presentation, write a letter, send your sales literature or place an ad that you knew, with some certainty, that you could get your prospects to take action and respond to your offer?

Well, to put it bluntly, it's not that difficult if you simply apply the basics of marketing. Unfortunately, marketing is one of the least understood and arguably one of the least underutilized, course of action, in business today.

Marketing has and will continue to make the difference between the survival and extinction of a business today. Treading our way into the future with the overwhelming velocity of day-to-day change in this wildly unpredictable changing marketplace, with shorter product life cycles, require businesses, small or large, to have an edge or lose share of market to the competition.

Having the edge today will involve refining your marketing with a holistic approach and razor-sharp strategies that accelerate your business growth. The more I research and study how businesses stay alive and well – the more I am convinced and respect that strategic marketing is the forerunner to optimizing our selling performance.

Think of it this way: Visualize an umbrella – and label it "marketing" and "strategy." Next, under the umbrella see advertising, branding, public relations, etc. Label those items, "selling" and "tactical processes."

"Marketing," – the strategy – is what favorably positions your company products or services in the mind of the customer and is aimed at stimulating a desire and demand on the part of the customer to make a purchase.

"Selling" – the tactical processes – are tools used to educate, inform, influence and persuade purchasing actions from the customer.

Both marketing and selling must lead the customer to action. For example: Advertising is salesmanship in action. Radio, television, newspaper, direct mail (electronic or paper) and magazines should all be constructed in the same demanding way that a salesperson makes a presentation to a prospective customer.

The same skills, habits and attitudes that are required of a salesperson for influencing action, on the part of the customer, should be directly aligned with all your various tactical processes.

For example – The successful salesperson must:

1. Develop and build rapport

2. Understand customer needs

3. Emphasize tangible benefits

4. Skillfully move a customer toward a purchase

5. Keep the prospective customer "engaged" in the purchase process

6. Strategically link a product or services to a customer's most important needs and issues

7. Detail the product or service to motivate the purchasing action of the customer

Each advertising piece that is used in your marketing arsenal – newspaper ad, magazine ad, direct response mailing, public relations campaign should make a complete and compelling case for your products and services in the same way that a salesperson would do in person.

1. Do your ads (metaphorically) talk to your customers – do they build a rapport?

2. Are your brochures, letters, newsletters, ads and public relations material believable and emotionally peak the curiosity of people to want to learn more?

3. Is your marketing targeted toward perspective customers that have a real need for your products and services – have the money and willing to spend it?

4. Does your marketing materials educate and emphasize all the tangible benefits to keep the prospective customer engaged and motivated to take a purchasing action.

Today is not the time to be timid in your marketing. People need a nudge in making decisions. They want and expect to be told how to take action to obtain your products and services.

Take an assessment of your strategic marketing and selling action mentioned above and in addition see if you are:

1. Educating your customers about the unique advantages of your products and services offered:

a). Service guarantees

b). Technical or manufacturing support

c). Warranties

d). Durability and dependability

e). New product developments

f). Upgrades and product enhancements

g). Delivery

2. Asking strategic questions for:

a). Linking products or services to customers needs

b). Providing solutions for their problems

c). Manage customer relationships

d). Keeping your customer and prospective customer engaged in the buying process

3. Active Listening for:

a). Emotional triggers

b). Logical reasoning

4. Handling objections to:

a). Minimizing concerns

b). Overcome obstacles

5. Presenting benefits that:

a). Motivate your customer's loyalty and purchasing action

b). Advantage your products and services over your competitors

Now is the time to pull out all your marketing materials, ads, sales scripts, brochures, presentation materials, marketing channels, and yes, check your attitudes, habits and skills – it's time to be innovative, nontraditional and bold in your thinking and business endeavors.

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Small Business Marketing Strategy – A Blink Lesson Part 5

This is Article five of six in a series of lessons for small business marketers from Malcolm Gladwell's Blink .

Wow, what a great chapter for marketers Chapter Five in Blink is. This quote on p. 160 outlines the thoughts a great marketer (Louis Cheskin) had on packaging: "Cheskin was convinced that when people give an assessment of something they might buy in a supermarket or a department store, without realizing it, they transfer sensations or impressions that they have about the packaging of the product to the product itself. To put it another way, Cheskin believed that most of us don't make a distinction – on an unconscious level – between the package and the product. The product is the package and the product combined. "

A key concept in this chapter is that experts are often more reliable at identifying what will work – or won't – in the marketplace than market research based on consumer surveys. For small business marketers, then, this chapter is a must-read. You know full-well you rarely have the money for consumer surveys.

Gladwell explores the New Coke debacle and the incompleteness of the market research that led up to it. Although this is a well-known marketing mistake, Gladwell supplies his typical journalistic behind-the-scenes story, and clues us in on why the marketing information that Coke marketers used to base their decision on was flawed to begin with.

Even more fascinating is his exploration of the musician named Kenna, a person music experts agree should be a smash, but can't get Top 40 airtime on radio because market research can't capture the same information the experts see in a Blink.

Why? Because as Gladwell points out, the "… first impressions of experts are different … more esoteric and complex." (p. 179). Kenna's music is different and hard to put a specific label on, so the music market research can't adequately measure him.

Gladwell also relates the story of the Aeron chair – a new product with a completely innovative look that even experts said would fail. But with this chair, which looked so different, people did not know how they themselves felt about it; Gladwell says consumers "misinterpreted their own feelings" (p. 173). Market research indicated the chair would fail, but it did, because it was a great product.

What's this chapter mean for the small business owner? Two lessons.

For one, we need to understand the limits of market research. This method is not fool-proof nor will it guarantee market success or prevent market failure.

Second, the small business owner should learn to recognize in just what areas she is expert and in what subjects she is not. In areas where you know you are an expert – where your years of experience have taught you well and you can now realize something in a blink about your industry or your industry as it relates to your customers-well on those topics it's a safe bet that you really are an expert.

However, a key pitfall is to then think you are expert in all areas of your business. You aren't, and even your customers aren't. They are super-savvy purchasers, but they, too, are not always aware of why they do what they do … so, where possible, study what they do, and then find out ways to alter that behavior in your favor.

Remember: Brand (who you are) + Package (your Face to the Customer) + People (customers and employees) = Marketing Success.

© 2006 Marketing Hawks

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