Great Things Can Happen! We are Between Top Online Nursing Blogs

August 17, 2014 by Elise | No Comments | Filed in Gout Treatment

I can hardly believe how last week went!  One day I went into my office and found a packet from one of our local television stations that was letting me know my business Tranquil Touch Therapeutic Massage For Women had been nominated for their “Vote 4 The Best” contest!  Then, the very next day, I received an email letting me know that my blog (this little blog!) had been awarded as one of Online Nursing’s top 30 Doula blogs!  What an amazing week!

I have to thank all my readers, clients, friends, and my family for supporting me for the past 6 years.  I also recently hired a new therapist to work with me, thus extending the opportunity to receive great massage therapy to even more women in our community.

Massage therapy was once thought of as a luxury that only the rich could afford.  However, recent studies have shown that as the stress levels of average Americans increases, their awareness that regular massage therapy is actually going to support their health and well-being is also increasing.  Low-back pain, chronic pain, and frequent headaches are some of the most common reasons for people to visit their doctors.  However, with healthcare costs rising and more people losing their health insurance, massage therapy is actually a very affordable option for pain relief.  It also helps improve your sleep and lower stress hormones.

Likewise, having a Doula at your birth is becoming more recognized as an essential part of a woman’s preventative healthcare.  Studies have shown that Doula-attended births have lower frequencies of high-cost interventions such as episiotomies, epidurals, and cesarean sections.  Having a Doula at your birth can lower the overall cost and increase your sense of empowerment, satisfaction, and speed your recovery. Funny thing that I recently found this blog about becoming a neonatal nurse and wanted to share the link on this blog with you. So it’s even better to mention it now. Here it goes: great resource about becoming a neonatal nurse including salary, nursing school and financing your  career: http://www.educatetheusa.com/becoming-neonatal-nurse/

 

It is my honor to be recognized as an expert in both aspects of a profession that I love.  Being a busy woman, helping to support other busy women, is a privilege that I will always be grateful for.  Life is full of ups and downs, trials and joys, and through it all, I will try to remember this week and that “Great Things Can Happen”, and do!

 

Why I Love the Beats Headphones

September 23, 2014 by Elise | No Comments | Filed in Passion

Everyone hates those earbuds that come with the iPhone. Their hard and barely fit in your ear and if you wear them for more than 15 minutes they make your head hurt. Not to mention the sound quality is pretty subpar. And many people go out and buy new headphones that fit better and sound better.

But instead of looking for the cheapest pair of headphones that look like they’ll feel more comfortable, why not make your Ipod or Iphone sound the way it’s meant to sound? If you’re interested in getting incredibly deep bass, crisp high range frequencies, and rich mid range, you need to check out Beats headphones.

You may have seen other people wearing these headphones. They have the unmistakable rounded red “b” on the headphones. These headphones were created by Dr. Dre and manufactured by monster cable company. Dr. Dre has been in the music business for over 30 years and has produced multiple platinum albums, so he knows what he’s looking for in a pair of quality headphones. Then there’s the monster cable company who has been known as the premier brand of TV and stereo cables. So you know these headphones are going to be good.

The beats headphones come in three different styles. The first is the Beats studio that is the ultra high end of music quality. These are over the ear headphones that have the built in noise cancellation technology so all you get is quality sound. The next step down is the Beats Solo which features many of the same quality music generating technology (deep drivers with extra strength magnets) as the Studio but developed for the on the go lifestyle. Then there’s the Beats Tour earphones. These earphones feature noise isolation silicone pads that keep the outside noises out and produce the best bass sound that an earbud can produce. If you’re willing to pay for quality sound, the Beats headphones won’t disappoint.

Are We Shooting Ourselves in The Foot?

July 27, 2014 by Elise | No Comments | Filed in Natural Remedies

Recently I had a prenatal massage therapy client come in for an appointment; we’ll call her “Client A”.  On my prenatal massage client form, I have a spot for the client to request information about my birth doula service.  If she requests that information, I take a few moments to discuss what her desires for birth are and explain how my support can help enhance her birth experience and help her have a positive memory of how her baby was born.  I did this with Client A.

Allow me a moment to briefly share my background:  I have 2 boys who were born vaginally, but with medical interventions.  I have personally experienced induction, episiotomies, use of vacuum extraction, narcotics in labor, epidural, spontaneous water breaking, and AROM.  I know how some of these interventions were beneficial to me or my baby and some were harmful.  Fortunately, my children are healthy, happy, and show no signs of birth trauma.  Knowing what I know now about these interventions, I am sure that I would have made some different choices if faced with the same circumstances today.  I have provided support to 16 sets of parents and 17 babies as they entered the world, some in hospital settings and others in our local birth center.  I am neither pro-intervention, nor am I against intervention.  I am, however, pro-knowledge.  I believe that if a woman is fully informed of both the risks and the benefits of an intervention, she can in good conscience make the best decision for her and her baby; this is her birth after all.  As her doula, I support her in any well-informed decision that she makes.  I carry with me The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer  along with OB/Peds Women’s Health Notes to help my clients if they are faced with an intervention decision during labor.  I show them the information, which includes the pros and cons, and allow them to make the decision with which they are most comfortable.  I feel that this is the best way I can serve the birthing women who have invited & honored me to join their birth team.

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Hubspot Sucks: 3 Reasons People say Hubspot Sucks

September 20, 2014 by Elise | No Comments | Filed in Passion

Does Hubspot Suck?

That depends on you. All I know is that certain people tend to think it does, and certain one’s think it’s the best thing since sliced bread.

Here’s 3 reasons people don’t like Hubspot:

“It takes too much time!”

Inbound Marketing, content marketing, trust marketing…..whatever you want to call it, takes time. You have to produce quality content on a consistent basis to get found by the Search Engines. The beauty of Hubspot is that it basically spoon-feeds you the tools needed to do this better than any of your competitors, but all the tools in the world are useless when they’re not used! Inbound marketing requires work, but pays great dividends. For that reason, it’s only going to work for those businesses dedicated to creating and implementing a rock solid plan for success. The company who approaches this as another “nice thing to do” will probably fold when the going gets tough….and quite possibly say, “I tried Hubspot….it sucks!”

“It’s Too Expensive”

Compared to what? Sure, you’ll spend some money on Hubspot. But you have to ask yourself the following questions about your business:

Would I like to see an increase in quality leads?
What is the value of a lead to my company?
What does a lead currently cost me?
What am I currently spending on marketing per year?
In our small pool company, we were hurting for leads and spending about $150k per year on marketing before Hubspot. Through our inbound marketing efforts we cut our marketing budget by two-thirds and more than tripled our leads. To us, the notion the Hubspot costs too much is laughable. Yes, there are free tools available, but there’s nothing that matches what Hubspot can do for the technology-challenged business person who wants to take control of their own web marketing.

“It Takes Too Long to Work!”

Ok, so you won’t have a flood of leads the second you begin inbound marketing with Hubspot. But thank goodness for that. If you want instant leads, you have to buy them….that’s business 101, and that’s expensive! Otherwise, you have to work for them.

Hubspot is the antithesis of buying leads because it empowers you to create a web marketing system that brings qualified leads to you, absolutely free. People find your content on the web, you earn their trust, then you earn their business and become their friend. This is the essence of content marketing. We’re talking about something much more powerful than simply generating leads here; we’re talking about creating a buying climate where the consumer falls in love with you because you understand their needs and concerns. Once you reach that level with them, think they’ll shop?

Yes, this takes time. Usually 3-6 months of serious content creation before seeing significant results, but it’s like that snowball rolling down the hill. It grows as it picks up speed, and before you know it the momentum is unstoppable.

We’ve been using Hubspot for about 2 years. Since that time our swimming pool website has become one of the most popular in the world. Needless to say, we don’t think Hubspot sucks, and we can say with confidence that anyone who’s willing to work hard and think long term surely won’t either.

Me vs. Math

August 5, 2014 by Elise | No Comments | Filed in Passion

I have a client who is 39 weeks pregnant with her first full-term pregnancy.  It is a very exciting time for her and I am honored to be her Doula.  While we have been spending the last several days texting and talking about the progress her body is making, I have also been serving my massage therapy clients in my office.

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Why do We Use Such Terrible Terminology?

July 14, 2014 by Elise | No Comments | Filed in Natural Remedies

So, I was reading one of the books on my list for Doula recertification and had quite a visceral reaction to one of the terms used in the section about Preterm Labor Treatments and that got me thinking that the terminology that we use everyday can cause us to develop fear, negativity and even lose confidence in ourselves.  This is not restricted to pregnancy and childbirth, but it seems to me that those circumstances call for even more care in the way that we phrase things.

I have had 2 children and have been a birth professional for several years.  Most of the terms used are very familiar to me, including the one that caused me to write this post.  What struck me is that although I knew the term and what it was, I’ve even known a handful of friends and acquaintances who have had the treatment; it never raised a red flag in my mind until now.  Chalk it up to a growing awareness of the power of words and my personal journey toward positive living.

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6 Things Your Website Needs

September 14, 2014 by Elise | No Comments | Filed in Passion

Planning a company website can be tricky. Whether you are solely an online company or you also work offline, your website will become a key part of your business, so it’s important to get it right. A bad website will put off potential customers and could lose you a large amount of sales. Here’s a checklist of things your site should include, which website designers can help you with.

A Simple Address

Your web address needs to be simple, relevant, and memorable. Avoid using punctuation or numbers in the address, as these can make the address confusing and make search engine optimisation more of a challenge. It’s also worth considering which extension to use. Many people will write “.com” without thinking, so it is important to have buy this address even if your site will be hosted at “.co.uk” or “.org” extensions. Purchase the other extensions you think people will use and redirect them towards your actual site.

Make Sure the Site is Easy to Navigate

Good website designers will ensure that you have a site map which is easily found and navigated. Try using the website yourself and ask some close family and friends to browse, too. If there is any confusion on how the site works, reconsider these areas before launching the site officially.
Consider SEO

If a search engine can’t find your site, most of your potential customers can’t either. Discuss this with your website designers and ensure there is a search engine strategy in place so your website will get visitors. Include the relevant text on each page to ensure you rank highly where you need too. SEO does take time, and it needs an ongoing strategy and regular monitoring.

Tell the Customer What You Do

You can have an amazing website that is easy to find and navigate, which will really impresses a visitor, but if people don’t know what you do, they can’t use your services. Have a clear description of who you are and what you do on the site, and ensure this is easy to find. Your home page should clearly tell the visitor what site they are on and what exactly that site is for.

Contact Information is Vital

Make sure this is easily found and that there are a variety of ways to contact the company. Provide an email address, a telephone number, and an address. Make sure these look professional. For example, an @yourbusinessname.com address will look much better than yourbusinessname@hotmail.com. Make sure you respond to queries both by phone and email as fast as you can. Also, display hours of operation so customers know when to phone. Many people look for contact information to determine if a website is legit, so missing or hard-to-find contact information will lose you customers.

Fresh, Regularly Updated Content

This will keep customers coming back and keep you ranking highly on search engines. This could be about new products, new ranges, or, if you have an integrated blog, new posts on this. Make a plan to regularly update your content, and stick to it. If you find this time consuming, plan one day per week or two to write a lot of posts, and set these to automatically post at times and dates you set.

If your website contains all of the above, you have the right structure to have a successful and thriving online business. Your website can become a very valuable asset. With regular updates, it will become a platform that allows you to connect with fans and keep them updated, as well as show off your wares to make sales. What other website elements do you use to bring in business? Leave a comment!

10 Reasons Why Hubspot Doesn’t Work for Your Business

September 20, 2014 by Elise | No Comments | Filed in Passion

This will likely be one of those articles that offends and bothers some, but as a coach and consultant for businesses around the country, as well as one who was a Hubspot client long before I endeavored into the world of coaching, it’s not my job to tell people what they want to hear. For better or for worse, it’s my job to tell people, and companies, the truth—even when it may sting a little.

Such is the case with inbound marketing and Hubspot. Considering both have exploded in popularity over the past year or so in the business world, the subject of the efficacy of HS has been one of significant discussion and at times debate. But to be completely honest, HS doesn’t always work. In fact, it doesn’t work at all for many businesses. Here’s why:

10 Reasons Why Hubspot won’t work for your business:
1. You Don’t ‘Get’ Blogging: What do I mean by this? Simple: Any business owner who has ever said, “I just don’t have time to blog” has no clue. In other words, he doesn’t ‘get’ it. He doesn’t understand the effects of great content on SEO. He doesn’t understand the power of educational marketing to build trust and brand awareness with consumers. Nope, he just ain’t getting it.

2. You Don’t Utilize the Analytics on a Daily Basis: I tell all HS clients that they must spend at least 10-20 minutes a day looking at the incredible analytics HS provides. Whether it’s traffic sources, page views, blog subscribers, etc; business owners must have a constant feel as to the traffic and patterns of their website—something that is only possible through the constant study of analytics.

3. You Expect Magic Overnight: There is a reason HS requires most new companies to pay 6 months in advance. Why? Because if they didn’t, many near-sighted business owners would be wondering why their traffic hadn’t increased 10-fold after the first week. Inbound marketing is an investment. It’s a culture. It’s the antithesis of flipping a house in real estate, yet that’s what many business owners think they’re getting. Again, 6 months is the minimum commitment time for anyone serious about making HS and inbound marketing work for their business.

4. You’re Not Thinking Like a Consumer: I mentioned this earlier but so many business owners think just like business owners. This is a HUGE mistake. The best inbound marketers are the ones that know what questions consumers ask about their products and then they write content and produce videos that will answer those questions in a way the consumer actually understands them. Such a paradigm shift can take some time, but once a business owner and/or marketer understand this important phenomenon then everything will change for the better.

5. You’re Not Giving the Necessary Time Each Week to Inbound Marketing: Whether it’s participating on forums, writing blog posts, making a tremendous YouTube video, or optimizing a web page; inbound marketing and HS will take time. There is just no way around this. That’s why we at Biz Buffs always tell clients they either find the time/people to dedicate to doing HS the right way, or they don’t do it at all. Remember, the ONLY companies that fail with the HS product are the ones that don’t make proper time and approach to the system.

6. You Don’t Follow Inbound Marketing Best Practices: Whether it’s having a lead capture form on every page of your website, writing a blog article at least twice a week, or even properly optimizing page titles; many companies just don’t follow the general rules of great inbound marketing. And what is the result? Little love from the search engines, less love from consumers, and no love in terms of making sales.

7. You Have No Plan: Inbound Marketing isn’t something that happens by itself. As an example, if I coach a business just starting with HS, we’ll always brainstorm 6 months worth of blog articles, titles, and who is going to write said articles within that company. This plan is written down and is considered doctrine. In other words, it becomes a part of the identity of the company forever. I say this without exaggeration and can’t stress its importance enough—Have a plan.

8. You Don’t See the Forest through the Trees: Let me give an example of what I mean by this statement. My swimming pool company uses the HS medium package. It costs 9k a year. Some people might look at that as a lot of money. But when one considers the fact that we sell well over 30-40 pools a year due to the organic traffic we get from HS and all the great content we’ve produced, everything looks quite different. In other words, we spend 9k a year to garner about 1.6 million in sales……How ‘bout them apples?

9. You Don’t Ask for Help: HS has set up tremendous tools to help all clients. Whether it’s training videos, the community forum, or one of their specialized consultants; the help is there if you’ll just take advantage of it.

10. You’re lazy: Most consultants would not have included this one in such a list because of the fact that it offends people. Actually, the truth is such a statement only offends lazy people. Like anything in life, HS can be an absolute godsend for one company and a waste of money for the next. And what was the difference? Sadly, more often than not, it just comes down to drive, discipline, and laziness. There’s just no other way to say it.

So there are 10 reasons why Hubspot won’t work for your company……Or maybe, just maybe, there are 10 reasons why ‘yes’, Hubspot is absolutely the right fit for you, your vision of marketing, and the goals you’ve for the future of your business’ success.

Lifestyle Change – A Necessary Step towards a Better Gout Treatment

October 18, 2014 by Elise | No Comments | Filed in Gout Treatment

Gout Treatment Through Lifestyle Changes

Gout Treatment 9The chances for a successful gout treatment method are much higher when the patients suffering from it undertake some lifestyle changes. It has been found that there is a strong relationship between gout attacks and the lifestyle of those suffering from it. Any type of activity that increases the demand of the body for more energy also amplifies the metabolism process of purines, the main chemical compound responsible for producing uric acid and will assist your gout treatment efforts. Keeping clear of stressful conditions and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are important factors in lessening gout attacks and increase the success of your  gout treatment regime.

In order to help the gout treatment be successful it is important to note that a lifestyle change involves not only altering your daily routine but also making some changes to your diet. Bear in mind, however, that while it is true that the food you eat may help in lessening gout attacks, following only a dietary therapy without trying to avoid stressful conditions might not produce desired results. Reducing your intake of purine-rich foods, as well as minimizing your exposure to stressful conditions is a good start towards decreasing the occurrences of an attack.

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How Long Does Hubpsot Take to Work?

September 20, 2014 by Elise | No Comments | Filed in Passion

How Long Does it Take for Hubspot to Work?

Ahh yes, one of the first questions we hear from business owners as they are contemplating the value of Hubspot’s incredible web marketing tool for businesses. Such a question is understandable though, after all, if you’re going to spend your money on any form of marketing you should know what to expect, as well as what the returns might be.

The problem with this question though is the reality that the answer is literally different for each and every company that uses the system. It’s kind of like taking two guys, both weighing in at a stout 300lbs, and putting them both on a diet and asking, “How long will it take them to get down to 200lbs?”

Just as a diet requires a focus on food selection, calorie intake, exercise, etc; an inbound marketing plan using Hubspot (HS) can be incredibly effective within a few weeks or it may take quite a few months to start seeing major results.

For example, just about everyone knows that Jason and I owned a swimming pool company long before Biz Buffs. It was with this company that we found HS and learned the ins and outs of inbound marketing. We started with HS in March of 2009 with that company and within about 4 or 5 months, we knew we’d struck gold, all we had to do was continue to follow the system (blog regularly, optimize each page, continue to add content, introduce as many lead-capture forms/offers as possible, etc).

One of the reasons why our website traffic and leads skyrocketed so quickly after signing up with HS was because we were in a niche of ‘pool guys’. In other words, most businesses owners in our industry were ‘Non-Techies’ (just as we were at the time) and so therefore the competition when it came to content marketing and key word campaigns was not terribly difficult.

As another example we’ll use the website you’re currently on—Biz Buffs. Because we are now in an industry full of ‘Techies’, the fruits of our content marketing has been slower for this site. Although our traffic has yet to explode per se, we are now, after about 5 months, starting to see some nice results for keyword rankings, free organic traffic to the site, and more lead capture as well.

But How Much Time Does it Take Marcus???

OK, OK, let me try to give you my best answer: The majority of companies we’ve coached using HS have experienced decent success after the first 2-3 months and then GREAT success within the first 9-12 months….but again, this assumes the company followed the system, which is imperative.

As I’ve stated on other blog posts in the past, Hubspot is not for everyone. It’s not for that person that is looking for an instant miracle. It’s not for the person that isn’t willing to plant seeds now to harvest for the future. And it’s clearly not for the person that isn’t passionate about their industry, niche, field, product, etc.

So there you have it folk—12 months to major success. Now that you have the answer, the question is are you going to jump on the inbound marketing train or watch it go by…..Which do you choose??