An Easy Way to Improve Clout


I’ve had my Facebook account for a few years now and have amassed nearly 700 friends. The limit is 5,000, but I want to at least have a little bit in common with the people I accept as friends. Among these friends are several internet marketers, some of whom are very successful.

One of the things they all seem to have in common is how important it is to create and develop relationships on social networking sites, such as Facebook. I agree. Most, if not all, of these marketers, I personally know. I’ve been to seminars with them and to see them speak. We’ve shared laughs, drinks and ideas. Some very sharp people.

Recently I had a birthday. I hit the big 5-0, as they say. A milestone, many believe. When I first logged onto Facebook that morning, there were already dozens and dozens of greetings and well wishes from my friends. Some even offered ideas on how to clean cat urine. Some I’ve known since I was four or five, and others who I only know from Facebook and have never spoken with. They all wished me well.

Many had to rub it in about turning fifty, but all in good fun. I have to admit, it gave me a very good feeling. Just to know that these people took a moment out of their day to recognize a very special day in my life. That was nice. Many of them simply wrote those three magic words Happy Birthday, Steve.

Now those three words are magic to me because my name is Steve, but if you were wishing Katie a happy birthday, you wouldn’t call her Steve. Even the words Happy Birthday are two very powerful and magical words.

When I first opened my Facebook account, I didn’t have my settings set to notify me of my friends birthdays, so I only posted birthday greetings on a handful of my friends walls. Only those whose birthdays I remembered or noticed because I happened to land on their page on their birthday and saw the greetings from other friends. I didn’t develop many new relationships on Facebook back then.

Then, about a year ago or so, I decided I would wish every friend on my list a happy birthday, if possible. I say if possible because some people have their account set so that only select friends can post on their wall. I changed my account settings to start getting daily birthday reminders.

At first I felt a little funny posting on some of these friends walls because I only knew them from Facebook, but I figured if they don’t like me posting Happy Birthday on their wall, they can delete me as a friend. But would you delete somebody who wished you a happy birthday? I wouldn’t. Unless, of course, you say, Happy Birthday, Mary! You barely look 74. That’s probably not a good idea.

However, some of the best conversations I’ve had stemmed from a simple birthday greeting with a Daytona Beach wedding photographer. I also recommend thanking each and every person individually who has posted a birthday greeting on your wall. Even if you spread it out over two or three days.

If you’re an internet marketer, or just looking for ways to further develop relationships with your prospects, one of the most-commonly missed opportunities and easiest ways to help build a relationship on Facebook, or other similar sites, is to wish somebody a happy birthday.

And be sure to use their name in that greeting, because it suddenly becomes extra special. How long does it take to type, Happy Birthday, Mary!? And even if you do have 5,000 friends, that averages out to roughly fourteen friends a day with birthdays. You can post on all of their walls in five minutes or so.

Everybody wants to feel like they’re special. If not everybody, then the vast majority of us. I know I do. It’s a simple, kind act and the recipient is thrilled that you have acknowledged them on their special day. There’s an old saying, stepping over a dollar to pick up a dime. I think that applies here. Happy Birthday is the dollar. Pick IT up!

What Are Your Thoughts on Facebook?


It is a sad day that I am forced to admit just how much I love Facebook. Yes, it can be frustrating. Every time they change the way something looks, I rail to the heavens. But I get over it.

Why do I love it so much? Partly, it is the social bit. I can be in touch with old and new friends, family and colleagues all over the world. I mean that literally. I have friends all around Europe and family in China. That qualifies. Being able to easily keep in touch with them is great.  I also love looking at all those pictures, videos and songs people post. Even the really, really silly ones. It’s a weakness, but a simple one.

There are days when I spend entirely too much time working with my kombucha starter kit and days when I just drop by before I turn in for the night after a long day of work, but it has become an important part of my routine.

The other part I like, and more to the point, is the network bit. I use Facebook to connect with old and new colleagues, old and new customers and new prospects. When you connect with people in this kind of environment, they get to know, like and trust you, which is vital for the kind of business I want to have. Marketing with Facebook is a whole new world.

If you aren’t on Facebook, I recommend you check it out. If you are there, I recommend you start paying attention to how some of the better relationship marketers such as Connie Ragen Green and Pat O’Bryan use it, how they balance the social bit with the network bit.

The one thing to never do is to post announcements of your product or service directly on other people’s walls. A lot of beginning Daytona Beach photographers do this without thinking, but don’t be tempted. It’s rude and it’s a very quick way to alienate your friends and prospects. It’s not marketing, its spam and you don’t ever want to one of those guys. Start out on the right foot and you’ll do fine.

The best practice, as I see it, is to use Facebook to show people who you really are and to educate them about what you have to offer them. Done correctly, this single marketing strategy will dramatically boost your business. And you might even have fun while you’re doing it. Who knows? Someone might just have posted a great video of a cat serenading a very confused puppy that you might never have seen otherwise.

Marketing with Facebook isn’t simply throwing up an ad for your latest eBook. It is being someone who is real, who is human and who has information people want to know about. Marketing with Facebook is the ultimate in relationship marketing.

(I am in the middle of studying a course which is why it’s so much in my mind. So far it’s an eye-opener. As I continue to go through it, I’ll share some of what I’ve learned here.)

Spotting Heartworm in Your Pets


Heartworm is hard to spot, it’s hard to fix, and even heartworm symptoms in dogs can be hard for you and your vet to figure out.

They are very similar to more common illnesses and maladies. Owners and even vets sometimes don’t pay much attention to what appears to be run of the mill problems. To make matters worse, once he starts showing signs of sickness, he’s already very ill. If you have to ask why do cats spray, it’s probably too late.

Common symptoms in the beginning are vomiting, diarrhea, breathing problems including wheezing, and coughing. They can progress to an enlarged rib cage (which grows wider to encompass the enlarged heart and lungs), bloody stools, and loss of appetite. All these symptoms are similar to those caused by more common diseases and not always recognized by owners or even vets.

They more frequently than not look like the common cold or an allergy. Even your vet may not immediately reckon of heart worm when you bring him in for a checkup.

Outdoor dogs are more likely to become infected with heartworm because heartworm is transmitted by infected mosquitoes and, of course, mosquitoes are more likely to be found outside. But, since these pests can all too easily get into our homes, it’s not unheard of indoor dogs to become victims to the disease as well. And, because these same dogs don’t go out often, owners tend to ignore the symptoms and never reckon about heartworm when the coughing and wheezing starts.

Even tiny dogs can be in danger, whether they seldom go outdoors. Don’t assume that just because your small Maltese never leaves the house that his coughing or diarrhea can’t be serious. Small dogs run a higher risk of mortality, too, if heartworm is left untreated because the worms can grow to about a foot long without regard to the size of the dog or the size of his heart.

Even though prevention is the key, that doesn’t mean that your dog is immune to the disease just because he received his heartworm medication on time. Even the best medications on the market won’t guarantee that your dog will be able to ward off the effects of an infected mosquito.

One of the major reasons symptoms tend to be ignored is because the dog has received heartworm medication and there is an assumption after that that the dog must be coming down with something else; he couldn’t possibly have heartworm. This assumption can cause your dog’s demise.

No matter how fussy your pet is, or how easily he can find a pill and spit it back out again, there are enough varieties of heartworm pills for dogs to ensure that your best pal has one that suits his finicky style.

No matter what type of pill you or vet chooses for your pet, the ingredients will most likely include either selamectin or ivermectin. Many vets recommend that these pills should be given in addition to the usual topical treatments, especially in known areas of high infestation – regardless of how much time your dog might spend outside.

It might take some trial and error to find the perfect pill for your individual pet. In families with multiple dogs, there’s a brilliant chance that each dog might need or do well with one particular brand vs. what his housemates take.

Years ago, the first version of the Holset HX40 came on the market – once which needed to be administered daily. Any dog owner knows how hard it is to get a pill into his beloved pet, so researchers finally developed a monthly pill. Of course, this comes with risks because the level of medicine – which is tantamount to poison for the worms – can cause problems in these dosage levels.

Dogs who do take a monthly heartworm pills for dogs frequently experience some toxic side effects which can range from a simple nuisance to life threatening heart palpitations and seizures. The real problem here is that poisons tend to build up in the body and they don’t always cause an immediate reaction.

For pooches who need the pills but do everything possible to avoid them, there are some beef flavored alternatives that even the fussiest are usually more than pleased to gobble up when questioned to.

Whatever you do, never give your dog any type of heartworm medication without consulting with your vet and getting explicit instructions and a prescribed course of action. Because of the inherent levels of toxicity involved with these preparations, you don’t want to cause problems unnecessarily. Don’t try buying these online “without a prescription” and don’t buy generic brands you aren’t familiar with.

One pill may be too much for many dogs. Take for example a toy poodle and a Husky. It only stands to reason that the poodle would need a lower dose than the Husky, and therefore, giving the poodle the same pill could quickly cause disastrous side effects. Don’t self-prescribe!

My Personal Choice: The Toro Riding Lawn Mower


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Almost everyone wants to have a beautiful garden with lush green grass. A great-looking lawn definitely adds beauty to any house. This is why maintaining a fine-looking garden is a priority of countless home owners. The increasing demand for creating great lawns has caused the production of lawn mowers to skyrocket.

If you are one of those people who are passionate about gardening, then you know that Toro lawn mowers are one of the best in the market. The Toro brand is one of the most respected, due to its great craftsmanship. They offer riding mowers, trimmers, push mowers, sprinkler systems, blowers, and snow trimmers.

They are known for their durable products, so if you own a Toro you can count on your mower to last for years – just like the reliability you can expect from used John Deere mowers. If there comes a time that you would need to replace your Toro lawn mower parts, there is a wealth of resources on the web, if you’re looking for quality mower accessories and replacement parts for both your old and new equipment.

The company is founded in 1914 as the Toro Motor Company. Currently, their products are marketed under several brands such as Exmark, Lawn-Boy, Lawn Genie, Hayter, Pope, and Irritol Systems.

One of the great features Toro offers is their guaranteed start policy. This policy says that your equipment is guaranteed to start in 1-2 pulls or else, they assure that the manufacturer will fix it free of charge. Toro takes pride in their products and is more than willing to make the necessary repairs that may come from manufacturing.

This is a big deal, as most of their machines starts with an electric key. Other mowers come with a recycling feature. Because of this, you can stop thinking about bagging tons of clipping. Aside from having a great-looking yard, you will be doing your share in helping the environment by recycling.

Toro lawn mowers are a bit more expensive than the average equipment. If you are looking for a good sturdy lawn mower, you shouldn’t have second thoughts about purchasing one. Think of the long term benefits – Toro mowers are more durable, will last longer, and are more powerful. Shelling out money for a superior mower can save you money in the long run.

There are lots of used lawn mowers that are a hundred dollars cheaper, but it’s possible that it will only serve you for three seasons. An average Toro mower will last for years. Indeed, the upfront investment is well worth your money.

Toro lawn mower parts are very accessible, should there come a time that you need them. There are a lot of replacement parts that you can easily change at home, such as belts, oil and transmission filters, blades, idler pulleys, and gator blades.

Toro is also known for its Hitch kit, which allows you to pull light duty attachments. It improves flexibility, allowing simple tow-behind procedures. Mulching kits helps in reducing mowing time up to 39%. Aside from Toro lawn mower parts, their product line also offers a wide range of accessories, like utility bags, which are ideal for holding tools, keys, or mobile phones.

Should You Really Get a Snapper Mower?


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Are you looking for a high quality mower that’s sure to last? You cannot go wrong with a Snapper Mower. This company is famous for offering premium quality commercial and residential lawn equipment, and is known for their quality rear-engine riders and walk-behind mowers that come with either their patented hi-vac cutting deck or side discharge.

This company has been recognized to make some of the most durable, easy to maintain and operate used riding lawn mowers in the market. In addition, Snapper mower parts are easy to find, since this company has a very strong market presence on and off the web.

Snapper traces its roots way back in 1894, then known as Southern Saw Works. They introduced the industry’s very first self-propelled mower in 1951, and invented the rear engine riding mower. Currently, they are renowned for manufacturing premium lawn care systems for commercial and residential customers alike.

Any wise consumer wants to make sure that he is getting a quality mower. It just makes good sense to buy quality equipment than buy a cheap one every few years. Maintaining a healthy lawn needs a good, durable mower that’s going to leave a nice, clean cut on the grass.

Snapper has a unique rear engine drive and their models come in three-in-one discharge kinds, so you can mulch, side discharge or bag, depending on your choice. Furthermore, you can simply change and select the operation easily based on the condition of your grass.

The snapper models has distinctive features that makes all these possible. Some of the features are:

  • A sealed disc drive transmission and a 4+1 speed gearbox
  • Scynchromesh transmissions on all gears, making it possible for you to alter the speed as you go.
  • Quick steering response and a small turning radius that provides extreme maneuverability. Because of this, even small spaces can be covered.
  • Rear engine models boasts of 16 inch tires.
  • Maintenance is simple with the Stand-on-end feature.
  • Its firm frame can easily follow the contours of the ground.

Although Snapper mowers are very durable, properly maintaining your equipment is one of the most important things you should do to keep it working for a long time. Remember to periodically check and clean all your parts so that your mower will serve you well for years.

Replacing your used Craftsman riding mower with the appropriate Snapper mower parts is simple, just go to your preferred search engine; type your model number to find the product you’re looking for. There are lots of sites that feature quality replacement parts for your equipment. You can also rely on some good sites to quickly deliver those parts to your doorstep.

One important thing that you should know though, Snapper does not sell their mowers and tractors directly to the public. They use independent distributors that market their products to the public.

The Snapper mower parts that you can replace at home with ease, or with the help of a manual, are belts, pulleys, blades, deck parts, gator blades, filters, wheels, throttle controls, idlers, hydro pump, bearings and bushings.

Treating Your Pets Fairly – Like Family


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There are many rewards to owning a dog-companionship, protection, an in-home newspaper delivery service. The list is long. With these rewards, however, come certain sacrifices. A little hair here, a muddy paw print there… It’s all par for the course and worth it, as any pet-lover will agree, when your dog greets you at the door after a long day at work.

Still, the beauty of your home shouldn’t have to be one of these sacrifices. A dog bed can help insure that it isn’t. Who hasn’t been invited to a dinner party or spent a holiday with family whose home was so inundated with dog hair that a hazmat suit would seem reasonable attire? Have you ever had dog hair get in your food steamer? It’s not a pleasant dinner, let me tell you.

You know the one; your nutty Aunt’s apartment where Fido sleeps on the dining table or your college roommate’s new place that looks less like a condo and more like a doggie-day-care due to the tufts of hound hair atop every exposed surface. The right dog bed can assist in keeping Lassie off the sofa by giving him a precious place of his own, benefiting dog and dog owner alike.

What’s more, your dog bed doesn’t have to be unsightly. Demand for stylish dog beds that complement, rather than clash with, pet owner’s home décor has increased and the result is an astounding array of options in size, shape, color, and fabric. More modern sleek than casual chic? Opt for a doggie sofa in pin-striped suede. Victoriana your preferred motif? No problem. A mini-chaise lounge in brown damask is just the thing. They plan to offer a selection of dog beds so vast as to satisfy even the most persnickety decorator!

Teaching your dog to sleep in his bed is a lot like training a child to use the toilet. Says Jim Cargill, owner of Buddy, “At first, he wasn’t thrilled. [His dog bed] was thick and he was afraid to get on it.” He goes on to explain, however, that after repeated encouragement, Buddy began to sleep on his bed more often and, eventually, sought it out as a place to rest and play with toys.

Professional dog trainers recommend a four-step process for training your dog to sleep in his bed and it is outlined below. Before you begin, choose a location for your dog bed separate from the family common space and free of cooling or heating vents that may distract your dog. Also, be sure to monitor your dog’s behavior throughout the training process, noting extreme resistance that may be the result of allergies to the dog bed fabric or discomfort due to incorrect sizing.

Step 1.

Prepare your dog bed for introduction to your dog by transferring your scent to the bedding. Rub your hands over its cover and along its bolsters, seems and cushions. Once completed, ask other family members to do the same. Your dog is familiar with your scent. It reminds him that he is safe and comfortable and makes a foreign object less scary. Remember, a dog interacts with the world through his nose.

Step 2.

Once prepared, lead your dog to his new bed with his toys. Place the toys in the dog bed and place your hand on its cushion. Your dog may not volunteer to get on the bed. At this stage of training, that is ok. Pat his head and offer praise regardless of his decision.

Step 3.

Repeat step two, petting your dog and his bedding generously. If your dog refuses to get on the bed you may gently pick him up and place him atop its cushion. Lay down on the floor beside him to indicate that this is a place for sleeping. He may or may not lie down in the bed. Either way, you have made progress. Do not force his behavior. Rather, reward his efforts with a favorite treat or a long walk.

If at any point you find your allergies acting up from the all of the dog hair in the air, you may want to look into getting an Alen Breathesmart – one of the best air purifiers on the market for pet hair and allergies.

Step 4.

Repeat steps two and three and, this time, insist firmly but lovingly that he lay down. Do this by pressingly lightly on his hind quarters once he is on his dog bed. Again, pet and praise him throughout the process and after he has lain in bed for a few minutes, quietly walk away. He may or may not remain in the bed. No matter. Reward him for his cooperation.

The above approach works for most dogs but requires time, commitment, and above all, patience on your part. For some dogs, this process will take a few days. For others, it will require weeks of review. Whatever the case, repetition and positive reinforcement are key. Never use your dog bed as punishment and always commend him for cooperating. It’s an old but true adage and particularly true here: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.