Saturday, December 12, 2020

Karen At Home - Branding and Beauty Tips for 40+ Mompreneurs





Hello and Welcome to Karen At Home Blog!  

I am Karen, a stay at home mom to 10 year old Jillian and 8 year old Nicholas.  It is a huge blessing to me to be able to stay at home with my children! I enjoy the constant laughter that fills my home and the joy of making memories with them every day.  A girl just couldn't ask for better bosses! 

I have successfully worked from home over the past 8 years after leaving my 16 year career as a Corporate Accountant.  After my daughter was born in 2009, I tried a flexible schedule of working in the office and from home a few days a week, however, I just didn't feel like this arrangement was working for our family.  I missed being with my daughter and it upset my deeply knowing that she was being cared for by anyone other than me.  I made the tough decision to stay at home with our children after my son was born in 2012, however, I still wanted to do something to contribute to our family financially.  I began building an AT HOME business at a time when I really needed it, and it has brought me a lot of unexpected blessings.   

To be honest, I was very skeptical of building an AT HOME business at first.  I was not a sales person and have always thought you could only make a decent, professional living with a college degree in a Corporate environment.  Could I really have the best of both worlds, staying at home and still contribute to my family financially?  Once I slowly began to realize that I held the power to make my dreams a reality, I worked hard and did anything I could to finally make my dreams come true!

What I love about working AT HOME is the amazing community of other Mompreneurs I have met.  I love interacting with other like minded women and have learned so much from each of them.  
My passion is to now help other women build their own AT HOME businesses and have helped hundreds of other Mompreneurs achieve happiness, success and their dreams.  I love helping women to achieve their financial and personal goals which is what working AT HOME is all about!

My kids are now ages 8 and 10 and I love running a successful business AT HOME. I have learned so much over the years building an AT HOME business through social media, branding and good old fashion hard work that I look forward to sharing my success tips with all of you. I am proof that anyone can live the dream of working AT HOME while staying at home with your kids. 
 
 

Do you work AT HOME?  Please leave a comment below and share your journey with us, I would love to hear from you!

I love to answer your questions and am happy to do so any time!!! Please feel free to contact me at karenathomeblog@yahoo.com.
XOXO
Karen

Let's Connect on Instagram,Twitter, Facebook or Subscribe to my Newsletter



Thursday, November 19, 2020

Why it's Important to Brand Yourself in Direct Sales


Why it's Important to Brand Yourself in Direct Sales

Hey there Mompreneurs!  I hope you are all having a great week.  Today I wanted to chat with all of you about why it's important to brand yourself in Direct Sales.  After spending 9 years in the industry, I have found one of the keys to success is setting yourself apart from the other consultants in your company by branding yourself.   In a noisy on line world, you only have a few seconds to grab the attention of your network.  If you are inconsistent in your branding and not setting yourself apart from the crowd, you will quickly go unnoticed. How do you grab your network's attention to keep them from scrolling by? Branding is the key!


Branding is more than just fancy fonts or logos, it is also your authentic voice and what makes you, YOU!  A clear brand will allow your clients to get to know you, your personality and your message. Clients typically buy from people they know, like and trust which is the ultimate goal when it comes to building your own unique brand.  Branding yourself also sets you apart from the other consultants in your company and from your company itself.  It shows you are a true professional who takes their direct sales business seriously and that you are not just another sales consultant trying to sell products.


How to Brand Yourself in Direct Sales

When first establishing your brand, begin by establishing your personality and on line voice.  Whether you want to come across as someone who is fun and upbeat or a more serious expert that provides value, be sure you are portraying your true authentic self.  Being authentic helps your network to better connect with you and builds trust, however, you don't want to get too personal by oversharing every little detail of your life.  Always keep your branding message upbeat and positive regardless of what is going on in your personal life!

Colors and fonts play an important part when establishing your personal brand.  I recommend choosing three to six colors and two to three fonts to use.  An easy way to bring your brand message to life is to utilize a brand board.  A brand board is an easy way to organize all of your fonts, colors, patterns, and logos to ensure that any graphic you create is cohesive with your brand.

Once you have decided on colors and fonts, it's time to create a logo using your key branding elements.  Choose a logo that is easily recognizable and is consistent with your branding message.  I highly recommend using your logo to watermark all of your images, it marks your ownership of that image and helps a potential customer to easily circle back with you.

One thing to keep in mind when building your brand is to identify your target market and who you want to market to.  It's important for your brand to align and "speak to" this target market.  This is called defining your niche market.  Defining my niche helped me to:
  • understand my customers specific needs
  • become the expert 
  • stand out from competitors
  • build trust and credibility
  • stand out in a saturated market
Not everyone is your customer, when you try to speak to everyone, you speak to no one.  Once you identify who is, you can speak to them specifically and focus on their needs through your brand message.  

What to Do Once You have Established Your Brand

Once you have established your brand, be consistent with it across all of your social media channels.  Your network will not always see every post you make, which is why your brand message must always remain the same when they do happen to scroll by.  Posting frequently on social media with a consistent brand message will help you to become easily recognized and leave a lasting impression with your network.  Did you know it takes a potential client to see something at least 8-10 times before they will actually listen?  It also takes someone listening to your message 21 times before they will actually buy.  Consistency and frequency in your branding message is the key to your network recognizing and remembering you!


Have you branded your direct sales business yet or do you still need a little direction?  I would love to help you build the brand of your dreams and to help you stand out in this noisy on line world.  Please feel free to contact me at karenathomeblog@yahoo.com with any questions or check out my Etsy shop to see some of my pre made brand boards and logos.



Don't forget to sign up for my Ultimate Brand Checklist to help you build a brand that will get you noticed!


Have a great day!

XOXO,

Karen

Let's Connect on Instagram,Twitter, or Facebook

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Work From Home Tips


Hello friends! Happy Tuesday, I hope you are all having a great week so far.  I know there are so many of us trying to adjust to our new normal which also means learning to work from home...with kids.   Even though I have worked from home at some capacity over the last 8 years, this is something that is continuously evolving for me.  I am excited to share with you a few things that have worked for me over the last several years.
  have certainly had my fair share of exciting victories along with some very ugly major fails trying to balance my family's needs with my business needs.  I hope that by sharing a few of my favorite tips will help you run a more successful at home business or get through that never ending corporate workload.  Balancing a busy family with a home based business is one of the biggest challenges I have ever had to take on, but with a lot of perseverance, planning and hard work, you too can achieve success and live a life you love.
  • Wake up before the kids.  I love getting up early in the morning, this is my ME time: it's quiet and my phone isn't chiming with endless alerts.  My house is cozy and I get so much done.  This is also my time to sit down and plan out my to do list for the day without interruption.
  • Get a good planner and use it.  In order to remember all of my business commitments, children's activities, school schedules and Jeff's work schedule, I needed a good planner to keep us organized.  Every Sunday I set aside an hour to go over my planner for the week, review what we have planned and schedule business activities around my family's schedule.  I also created a command center with a white board calendar system in our kitchen so we always had our family's schedule in front of us.  My husband loves to glance at our command center calendar every morning to see what we have going on as a family once he comes home from work.  It helps to keep us all organized and on schedule.
  • Keep an organized to do list.  Every morning I prioritize my to do list and write in my planner the top 5 things I would like to get done that day.  I focus on those 5 things throughout the day and if I end up checking them all off of my to do list, then it has been a productive day.  Anything else after that is considered gravy.  Don't try to take on the world and approach each day with a huge to do list.  You will be left feeling frustrated and disappointed.  Set reasonable expectations for yourself always putting the primary focus on your family.  Their needs come first.  If you don't end up finishing those 5 things, give yourself some grace and move them to the top of the to do list the next day.  One of the hardest things for me as a work from home Mom was that I always wanted to knock out everything on my to do list all in one day.  With the distractions of having 2 kiddos at home, it just wasn't possible.  By focusing on only 5 things, you will end the day feeling a sense of accomplishment and like you didn't ignore your family's needs in the process.
  • Create a functional work space.   One of my most favorite rooms in our home is my office.  I have completely made this space my own by painting the walls my favorite spa blue color and have everything organized to my liking.  I am truly the happiest and most productive working at my desk because I know it is the one thing in our home that is mine.  I also love to start my day off with a clean desk, be sure to keep your work space clean and decluttered.  Each morning I file away necessary paperwork and put items back in their proper place before tacking my to do list.  If you don't have a designated room in your house that functions as a home office, find a corner of your home that you can declare as your designated work space.  
  • Set business hours and stick to them.  One of the hardest things I have had to do when working from home was to know when to "clock out" and to finally end my work day.  I would work all day long if I allowed myself.  I am a natural people pleaser and would find myself answering work related questions at all hours of the night.  By setting specific business hours and communicating them, you have now set the expectation that you will not be responding to questions until the next business day.
  • Get dressed every day as if you were going into an office. As a former Corporate Accountant, I used to LOVE dressing up every day.  Ann Taylor and I were total BFF's.  My favorite quote as a career girl was "dress for the job you want, not the job you have".  Once I became a stay at home mom, I slowly turned into that yoga pants wearing Mom and barely ever got dressed or did my make up.  It just wasn't a priority and some things just had to be sacrificed in order to get everything done.  I slowly found that when I did make an extra effort in my appearance, I would also make an extra effort in my business.  I became more confident in what I was doing because I felt better about myself.  Now with Facebook Live and Instagram Stories playing such an important part in our work from home businesses, I make it an effort almost every day to do my hair and make up incase the opportunity presents itself to hop on Facebook Live or create a small video.
  • Designate a power evening one night a week.  I allow myself to stay up late (2-3 hours) one night a week to knock out a few items on my to do list that I can't seem to get done during the day.  I also save the tasks such as filming YouTube videos, writing newsletters or blog posts that require full concentration and without the constant interruptions from the kids.   I found that I would accomplish more in one power evening than it would take me in a week due to the constant daily interruptions from my family.  I would have to drink an extra cup of coffee the next day, however,  it was worth it knowing how much I had accomplished the night before.
  • Turn your home office into a Post Office. Back when my kiddos were little, I dreaded the task of taking them to the Post Office.  Standing in that long line and keeping my kids focused was like herding cats into a box.  My son would stand next to me for about two minutes and then run off while my daughter struck up a conversation with the woman five people in front of us.  I was literally out of breath and red with embarrassment by the time we got back into the car!  I then discovered an amazing gadget called a Postage Scale and never have to go to the Post Office again.  It's like having a Post Office right inside your home!  The mailman and I are now BFF's, he knows to expect a lot of packages from me.  And if you have too many to mail out, leave him a little note in your mailbox asking him to pick up the remaining packages from your front porch.  This has truly been a game changer for me.
Here is what you need to transform your Work At Home Office into a Post Office:

1. Dymo Postage Scale.
2. Avery Internet Shipping Labels.
3. Pay Pal Ship Now Account.
4. Scotch Bubble Mailers.
5. Catalog Envelopes

Using the Postage Scale is so easy!  Here is what you do:

1. Pull together your package to be mailed and weigh it using your Postage Scale.

2. Go to the PayPal link.  If it does not automatically bring you to the 'Ship Now' portal, you will have to key http://www.paypal.com/shipnow to get you there.

3. In the Address Information section, fill out your customers address and your email so you have a record of your shipment and purchase.  

4. In the Shipment Information section, there will be two drop downs you will need to select from.  I always choose First Class Mail Parcel 2-5 Days and Package/Thick Envelope.  You can certainly change these options depending on what you are shipping, however, this is what I use most of the time.

5. Fill out the weight of your package, the second boxes is the ounces which is what you will mostly use.

6. Click on Continue.  It will bring up a screen with your postage rate.  Then click on Print Label.  Another Pop-Up window will show asking you if you want to print a sample label.  I printed a sample label with my first couple of packages as I was getting used to the process and to see how my printer worked with this system.

7. Print your label!  I have to cut mine out of the Avery label sheet.  Peel and stick. 

8. Do a happy dance to your mailbox knowing that you do not have to drag the kids to the Post Office.


I can practically hear all of the Mama's rejoicing as they read this.  Have you discovered a work from home tip during this uncertain time that has changed your life?  Please share in the comments below, I can not wait to hear more amazing business tips!
    Have a great day!

XOXO
Karen

Let's Connect on Instagram,Twitter, or Facebook



Monday, January 09, 2017

My 2017 Planner


Happy Monday friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  I am so thrilled to be sharing with you today my 2017 Planner.  As you may know, I take my planners pretty seriously.  This year was no exception as I extensively researched my perfect planner for 2017.  After trying out a few printable planners on Etsy, I decided to go with The Happy Planner by Create 365.  Let me share with you why...


MY 2017 PLANNER


Over the years, I have tried several different planners... from an inexpensive one I picked up at Target to the most expensive Erin Condren.  I take my planners pretty seriously and will even make my own planner stickers if the mood strikes me.  As a busy Mompreneur, there is just no better tool in keeping both my business and my life as a busy Mama on track than a well organized planner.

Brand – I’m using a The Happy Planner.  I came across The Happy Planner on one of my many trips to Michael's over the holidays.  The beautiful display of brightly colored planners caught my eye and the Planner girl in me had to check it out immediately.  I loved how the planner was so well thought out and you could also customize it to your busy life.  It was also had a very similar layout to the Erin Condren planner which I was already familiar with. I was sold immediately with all of the Add On's.  This was the only planner that I have ever found that you could do this with and for the price, I was in planner girl heaven.  

Add Ons – To fit my 7×9.25 planner, I’m using the Happy Planner Fitness Extension pack



the Happy Planner Life Pocket Folders



and half sheet inserts for detailed planning and checklists.  



All of the Add On's have tabs to fit easily into your existing planner.  Genius!


Weekly Planning - Every Sunday I gather my planner and planner stickers to spend an hour planning out my week.  I plan everything from our meals to the kids activities to my business goals/appointments.  I will also try to plan out two topics to blog about, one for my business blog and one for my Mama blog.  Using the Half Sheet Notes Inserts, I also plan out 2 To-Do lists, one for business and one for Family Life.  I love having one complete planner that helps me to plan it all.  



With my new planner system, 2017 already feels more confident and organized.  How do you use a planner to keep your life organized?

XOXO,
Karen

For even more tips for your Life and Home, follow me on Instagram,Twitter,FacebookSubscribe



Pin It

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

The 5 Easy Steps to Setting Goals


Hello friends!  Happy New Year!  I hope you all had an amazing weekend and are excited to take on 2017.   I wrote a blog post over at my Karen Tucci Beauty Blog all about The 5 Easy Steps to Setting Goals and felt that all of you could also benefit from this post which can really be applied to any aspect in your life. 

Let's talk goals, have you written down what you would like to accomplish this year?  Do you have an action plan in place to achieve those goals?  I personally believe that setting goals is critical in achieving what you want in life and in your Direct Sales business.   Whether it's achieving a certain sales goal or a certain rank within your company, goals are what drives you to make it happen!


When setting goals there are a few things to keep in mind...the key to setting goals and achieving goals is to visualize them by writing them down or creating a vision board.  I personally love writing down my goals and putting them in my planner.  I keep them front and center on a post-it note with everything I do as a constant reminder of what I want to achieve.   Also, you want to align your goals with YOUR personal vision and what is important to you.   With that in mind, let's talk about the 5 easy steps to setting (and achieving!) your goals.



The 5 Easy Steps to Setting Goals
1. Set Goals that Motivate You - If your goals don't get you excited or make you want to move forward in life, then you will never achieve them.  When setting your goals, keep your "why" in the forefront, your "why" will always ignite your passion to move forward.
2.  Set SMART Goals - As a former Corporate Accoutant, we were always told that our goals should be measured by the SMART method.  SMART stands for:
SPECIFIC - Be specific in what you would like to achieve.

MEASURABLE - Your goals must be measurable, if your goals seem to large, break them down into smaller, measurable goals.

AGREED UPON - Be sure your goals are agreed upon and align with your family's priorities.

REALISTIC - Be sure your goals are achievable, if they are too out of reach, it will be hard to stick with your plan. 

TIME SENSITIVE - It is important to set a deadline to reach your goals, it also helps to set smaller deadlines within your time frame to make the goals seem more achievable.  For example, if you are wanting to achieve Director status within 12 months, set a goal for yourself to achieve Lead Consultant in 2 months, Senior Consultant in 6 months, etc.  By breaking down your goals into specific, achievable deadlines, the goals seem much more achievable and far less daunting.
3. Put Goals in Writing - As I mentioned above, put your goals in writing, create a vision board or even share them with an accountability partner.  By putting your goals out there, it makes them easier to visualize and achieve!

4. Create an Action Plan - Creating an Action Plan will help you to break down your goals into specific and achievable steps. 

5. Stick to It - I certainly can understand that sometimes life just happens and can throw you off the course of achieving your goals.  If your current routing isn't getting you closer to meeting your goals, revisit your Action Plan to see where you can improve areas to get you that much closer and to keep distractions at bay.

What are your goals for 2017?  I would love to hear!  Leave them in the comments below.  Looking for a better way to take control of your Direct Sales business routine so your can achieve your goals?  Sign up to receive my FREE Top Secrets to a Perfect Direct Sales Week.

Have a great week!
XOXO,
Karen