Category: Mindful Marketing

30
Aug

3 Things I Learned from My Recent Failure

Every failure feels like a crushing defeat that makes me question my self-worth and purpose. While I desired to wear multiple hats, meet every request, and bring a success, my toolset is incomplete and my skill across all disciplines is far from mastery. I can be chef and sous chef and wait tables, but that dilutes my genius. Attempting to focus on my strengths, I was asked to “stretch” and I agreed. In this effort, I could not reach far enough fast enough—though I gave my all in every attempt.

The course-corrections taken did not lead to smooth sailing. Resources were slim to none and new demands came on so strong, it was like drinking from a fire hose. I kept trying … and I will continue to seek the most productive outcome in every endeavor… still, I have not met with the delight of complete satisfaction.

Sometimes when you try to be and do everything, you become nothing, or a lot less than all.

However, when asked to step up to the plate, you gotta give it all ya got! Especially with a startup gig. The rush to get on base often requires concurrent planning and execution. Stutter steps happen along the way as the path becomes clarified and players come in and out of the game.

My “lane” is the strategic development. I create the brand plan—and the client team implements it. Areas for possible trip-ups include that there isn’t complete buy-in and there aren’t resources for implementation. Both of these bumps were present on this path, along with other challenges.

Still, when working for the vision, it is tough to realize disappointment. The victories drive action while defeat deflates momentum. I can only own my role — the few ways I could make a stronger player.

There were moments of victory. The joy of accomplishment fed my spirit till the next shoe fell behind in the race to forge ahead. When the brand plan was embraced and approved, things looked promising. And then there were the “squirrels” and distractions. Clients often desire to refresh the look before it takes hold. They want variety for the sake of amusement—not for the efficacy of impression. And, in the end, the client is always right. I can only create the plan, get approval, and remind them to stay on plan. When it is insisted to veer, I can only attempt to redirect traffic. And, often, I did.

I dared and I fell short of desired results. It would be tempting to come up with a single reason that things didn’t work out. But it isn’t that simple. And I must wrestle with, scrutinize, and learn from every misstep—as well as the few successes along the way. Perhaps I shall awaken to a new calling—all I know is that I’m trying to find my way. Here are the key takeaways from this unanswered prayer.

FIRST, make sure there is a PLAN.

If there is no plan, then there are only two choices. One is to create a plan and two is to walk away. I accepted an invitation to assist with marketing and branding projects for a startup in transition. There was a website, there was a business structure that was being revised for multiple entities — The Icon, The NonProfit Organization, The ForProfit Organization.

There was no plan. No vision. No mission. No strategy. At least, nothing in writing. Nothing shared. Here I offered to craft a short-term solution but the priority was set otherwise. I should have insisted on that being created or established in writing before proceeding. Instead, I took the carrot and ran with the project and its evolving particulars.

Thus, when I agreed to create a brand strategy for The Icon, it was an effort that stood alone and actually would be expected to lead all other actions. However, I was not in a position to be a leader in the developing organization structure, and there was no staff on board in the organization(s) to lead.

This leads to, SECOND, make sure there is staff or PERSONNEL to assist with execution. 

After attempting to bring in colleagues to flesh out the talent pool, and realizing personality conflicts with the client, I made the mistake of attempting to fly solo and find resources along the way. I was in charge of developing the overall strategy for The Icon brand, however, it became clear that there was no implementation team. While there was an intention to assemble and hire a team, there was not a network in place.  

Wanting to bring my “superpowers” and to realize success for the project, I took on the tasks of implementation across platforms that, strategically, required being revised, updated, or created. I spread myself too thin and I employed my adequate but not masterful skills of design, webmaster, leader, and etc to attempt translating the brand strategy across marketing efforts. I called for help and called out the gaps. Some were filled. Others remained gaping.

It was a disaster at best. The issues were many-fold. Time ticked away at its unforgiving pace and I was losing efficiency bouncing from one last-minute priority to another as deadlines flew in my face like pixels in a video game. People came in the fold for a while — for instance, a woman stepped up to take charge of social media — and the relief of assistance was further taxed by the need to train and align them. 

For this, I created a plan — the Social Media Strategy was developed to assist brand presentation across Facebook and YouTube. From distinguishing a Profile from a Page and then concurrently creating a Celebrity Page on top of the existing NonProfit Organization Page plus planning for an eCommerce Page for exquisite items in the warehouse, this effort quickly scaled beyond reach. And, then the social media manager left the building.

With my hands full, I failed to pick up the threads and weave them into place, and I realized there was no clear path for reconciling all the loose ends. There was nowhere to turn.

So my last major key lesson is, THIRD, make sure there is a PROCESS—or that there are many processes—in place to support success. 

Key processes include Defining, Supporting, and Reporting. The reporting structure needs clear definition so that attention can be brought to the weaknesses and shortfalls in order to thwart disaster. In the changing business structures, the Board of Directors members revolved in and out of the organization, and then disappeared. The one consistent Director traveled for work and was not a businessman so had little efficacy in leading the pack, though he took responsibility for funding all.

Expectations were often unclear and the scope of work changed during each project. I created and executed a series of Social Media posts that were determined to be off-brand after the fact — so I deleted all of them. Getting aligned was difficult and getting approvals was even more difficult. All input and feedback came from The Icon, who really should not have been bothered with such detail, and yet there was nowhere else to turn.

A process for defining the details including deadlines and every duty would assist progress to the plan. And a system of support is critical. Weekly meetings would veer off agenda so effective review didn’t happen and next steps were not certainly determined. I failed to create a place to give shared visibility to all so that changing dates and demands would be communicated undeniably and in a timely fashion. 

I failed to uphold “no” when demands grew beyond my ability to stretch. I failed to “stop” and regroup to ensure alignment and support. I failed to find a way to voice requirements for success in a way that would capture attention and yield success that was better than haphazard. “Step up!” it was commanded. Get ‘er done! Then, even the victories got lost in the fog of let down.

I couldn’t dissuade the escalation of activity so disappointment was the way. This won’t be my experience next time, not at the next opportunity.

And a bonus key comes to mind; FOURTH, make sure you are a fit, PERSONALLY.

Camaraderie and cohesion aid accomplishment. While I met weekly with The Icon, I rarely felt heard. While I respect and revere the position of The Icon, I worked to remain objective. I did not find a way to drink the kool-aid and still serve in my hired role. Keeping out of the grey area meant keeping out of the cultural current. I attended a couple events to get to know the energy of The Icon’s work, as direct experience assists understanding and the ability to message it. Still, I felt it important to serve in my role rather than be served by The Icon. I stayed on the sidelines, in my lane of hired hand.

So again, perhaps I am not a fit in this as I see the newly hired full-time staff immerse themselves in the flow while taking on challenges full force. Or perhaps this is the plight of a contractor vs an employee — always on the outside looking in.

While I am drawn to The Icon and the work, I have a perspective of an observer and I keep my personal boundaries with great care. It is, perhaps, not the best alignment for this particular client. With full-time staff on board, there is a new direction emerging. So be it. I will hang on to the glimpses of achievement in the sea of simultaneous engineering this startup went through. Growing pains. Awkward like adolescence. Now taking off to experience the next stage of expansion.

My goal is to learn from this adventure in failure. To hone my strengths and shore up my weaknesses. And, one day, the people who doubt me will be the ones who talk about the one day when they met me. I might even be one of them.

I should have declined projects when we discussed that I was the wrong person for the detail work. It was out of alignment with my skill set. When asked to step up, I did. I should have said no. Still, some things went well. Overall it was disappointing. In trying to be everything, I was reduced to nothing.

8
Mar

Pearls of Wisdom

It was an honor, a privilege, and a joy to step out on stage and present “Script Your Shift” to the Pearls of Wisdom tribe. What a perfect place to cut a groove in this new chapter of my life. In case you missed it, here is the video. For a Pitch Perfect session, eMail me at Tamara@TamaraParisio.com. Let me assist you to create the script for your starring role in your success!

SCRIPT YOUR SHIFT. Write down your goals. Business Plan, Personal Manifesto, or Strategic Map, put pen to paper to improve performance. Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, did a study on goal-setting with 267 participants (it only takes 30 to be statistically significant). She found that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down. A modality employed to make the process entertaining rather than daunting is to approach your plan as a script for your success. And, you are cast in the starring role as the lead character. Here are three examples of clients who stepped into the celebrity of their success.

Anita Miranda the Official Lipstick Reader

CHARACTER

From psychic fairs to celebrity parties and luxury events, Anita Miranda stepped up into high heels to expand in stardom as The Official Lipstick Reader.  

CAST

After establishing her starring character, Sherry Anshara attracted the supporting cast, including influencer Vishen Lakiani of mindvalley.

SCENE

To set the scene, Donna Sparaco shows up in full character, Daily Dose A Donna, to motivate and inspire with her proprietary program, Set Your Dial to Joy.

Download a pdf of the Script Your Shift handout.

22
Jan

Six Keys To Learning From Failure in Your Startup Endeavor

Most startups fail. Much like the game of baseball, failure is part of the process. How you deal with failure will determine your success.

“Learn from failures. Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.” — Steve Jobs

Understand what caused the failure. Identify the error and find the solution for it. Then, every mistake becomes a lesson. Study it — grow from it. Forge ahead to success.

STUDY FAILURE

In every startup failure, there are many details in the process. Looking at each step, every decision, and finding which play worked and which didn’t will reveal the cause of the failure. It might be one choice, or a series of choices that didn’t work together. Assess and learn from the mistake.

“There are no negatives in life, only challenges to overcome that will make you stronger.” ― Eric Bates

TAKE RESPONSIBILITY

Take full and complete responsibility for your own actions, decisions, and intentions. Own it. Say it out loud — I was wrong. I struggled. I made a mistake. Understand your justification and the rational for decisions you made; and realize where your thinking was wrong (even though they seemed right at the time). This will give you the power to adjust. And, it will build confidence for going forward.

“The harder you fall, the stronger you rise.” ― Matshona Dhliwayo

HAVE CLARITY

Struggle is often perception and projection more than reality. When confronted with a hurdle, ask yourself “If I were to let this be easy, how would I approach it differently?” Get your subconscious aligned and in gear to see the solution.

“Life always gives us another change: It’s called ‘To Move On’.” ― Ana Claudia Antunes

BOOST CONFIDENCE

Your brain registers every goal achieved — small goals and large ones. Every accomplishment motivates you to achieve more success. You just have to deliberately be conscious of them. To do this, keep a list of your accomplishments. At the end of the day, every day, write down achievements — large and small — and take a few minutes to savor them. Let this boost confidence and self esteem as you forge ahead. Look for the possibilities. Seize the opportunities.

“The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.” ― George Bernard Shaw

MANAGE WORRIES

When you start to imagine pitfalls, visualize what will go right instead of what will go wrong. Don’t repeat or dwell on stories of past mistakes. Move on as fast as possible.Focus your mind on the positive, like that fresh idea, the easy commute to the office, and the latest accomplishment, rather than focusing on what bad thing could or did happen. Stay in the present moment.

“Never feel intimidated by defeat nor death, but rather intimidate life with your dreams.” ― Auliq-Ice

CARRY ON

Push through your resistance to failure and liberate yourself from fear. Relax and remain focused on the task at hand. Trust your intuition. Rather than worry about what could go wrong, generate solutions to any imaginable problem. This will give you confidence to proceed.

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” — Paulo Cohelo, The Alchemist

Treat failure as a lesson. Ask yourself, “What did I learn?” rather than beating yourself up for making a mistake. Don’t bring the negative energy from yesterday into today. Today is a new day.

21
Aug

Positioning Your Product or Brand

Positioning is a facet of the marketing strategy that aims to give your product or brand a distinct perception — relative to competing brands — in the mind of the customer. An historic campaign for Avis reflects this: “Avis Is Only №2, We Try Harder.”

In developmental stages, determine the positioning you intend for your product or brand. Research and market feedback will help you discover if it is aligned with actual consumer attitudes. If not, then marketing messages can help close the gap or change perception.

Positioning is an art. Great positioning tells a compelling, attention grabbing story — a story that resonates with your audience. — Rebel Brown

The positioning process begins with identifying a market problem or opportunity, then developing a solution — often based on market research, segmentation and supporting data. Once positioning is determined, it will help align and guide marketing efforts and business objectives. The perfume I use is the indulgent scent for pleasure seekers. Thus, the tone and manner of messages, images, events and PR are created to consistently express this in all communication.

Again, positioning is the perception of your product or brand in the mind of the customer. Perception is reality. Aim to establish the highest and best use for your brand among your audience. And, be open to emerging alternate audiences, too. Here are some examples of common positioning strategies and how they might translate in the marketplace.

DEMOGRAPHICS Place your solution among those best served by gender, age, income, area, etc. If you try to be everything to everyone, you may not appeal to anyone.

PRICE Present your solution as an affordable option with a low price point or elevate your products or services among the competition with a high price point to create a perceived value (or reflect a real value).

DISTRIBUTION The environment and locations where you sell your product communicate quality and value propositions like convenience or specialty items. Select your sales channels to align with your desired positioning.

AFFINITY Find your tribe. Those who desire to align with your proposition. Position your solution to engage group loyalty of customers with a common, personal denominator.

Positioning is how you communicate benefits of your solution to your audience. Everything from where you make your product, how you make it, where you sell it, and for how much will convey subtle queues to the market. Align positioning elements with the overt messages employed in promotions, advertising, and public relations. Ultimately, positioning is how your market sees your solution among the alternatives.

13
Aug

How to Realize your Vision in 3 Key Steps: Think it up. Feel it in. Act it out.

Think it up. Feel it in. Act it out. These three steps are crucial on the path of realizing your vision for your life—personally or professionally. Every entrepreneur starts with an idea. For successful dreamers, this vision drives action aligned with achieving the end result. Oftentimes the process is automatic. And, to amplify the probability of success, you can make this a mindful method.

Let’s look at each one a little more closely.

Step 1 — think about it. Be conscious of your thoughts and manage them. Intentionally think about your dream in productive ways. Create your thoughts. Then let your thoughts create  your plan. Ponder openly and confidently about your vision. Consider the highest good that will come from your goal.

In your daily life, think of ways to step into what you aspire to create. Write down these ideas and the milestones on your path to realizing your vision. Make a map of the journey. Think through each facet of  your adventure. Your thoughts are very powerful, because they affect how you feel.

Step 2 — feel inside it. Allow yourself to feel what it is like to experience your dream. What does it feel like to be on the path to achieving your dream? How do you feel doing the work you long to bring forth in the world? Touch the textures. Smell the aromas. Taste the flavors. Listen to the sounds. See the results. Take your thoughts and feelings very seriously.

Meditation is a great tool to assist you. Meditation is a game-changing practice. For just a few minutes each day, take the time to cultivate the feeling of what it is you desire, and experience it. Allow yourself to dwell in the feeling, the excitement, the joy of realizing your life’s vision. The feelings that come forth in meditation manifest in your life—whether only in the meditation or echoing it in your experiences when you take action.

Step 3 — act on it. Take action from a place of alignment with your vision. Many who pursue big dreams take action from a place of ego. They push with the force of “I’ve got to make this happen!” Or they fall prey to beliefs such as “I’ve gotta hustle and work hard.” Or they come from lack and think “I need to do this.” Or they shut down and play small wondering “Who am I to do this?” So they never do anything. Align with your vision and recognize limiting beliefs to thwart them along the way.

Acting in alignment with your thoughts and your feelings, engage others. Support from friends will boost your confidence beyond the limits of your logical mind. Connect with your dream personally and this equips you to notice when you are out of sync so you can quickly realign with your vision.

Take a pen and paper and jot down the three steps. Note your thoughts. Write out your feelings. And list the actions you take every day toward living that vision, personally or professionally! This is a plan for your business and a plan for your life!

 

15
May

5 Point Outline for How to Write A Blog Post

— A Basic Outline With Insightful David Ogilvy Quotes

Content is an important marketing tool for all businesses. It takes your message from advertising to advertorial — making the customer the star of your story. There are so many ways to show and sell with storytelling. So, get started. Here is an outline to guide you.

Topic & Working Title or Headline

Start with intention. Build a working headline to focus your efforts, and perhaps, provide a theme. Ultimately you will revise this to make sure it grabs attention and get readers interest.

On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy; when you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar. — David Ogilvy

Introduction

What’s the big idea? Summarize the net takeaway(s) to be addressed in your article. Write the key idea(s) you want readers to get out of reading it. Consider posing a question to engage your audience. Or make a compelling statement to pique curiosity. This is where you set the stage for your tale.

It takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product. — David Ogilvy

Key Insights

Brainstorm all the things you want to deliver in the post and list them. Organize them, then group them into main idea(s). Break up your insights into sections so that thoughts are lumped together by theme. As a benchmark, create three to four sections. Expand on these. Beef up sections with some or all of the following:

  • examples
  • quotes
  • how-to or directions
  • easy-to-implement advice
  • benefits
  • personal experience
  • what worked, what didn’t work
  • supporting or helpful information or statistics

Then read it. Revise it. Reorganize information until it makes sense and tells the whole story in the most captivating way.

The more informative your advertising, the more persuasive it will be. — David Ogilvy

Wrap up

In the end, summarize the post with an actionable takeaway, promise, or benefit of the lesson or experience. Leave the reader with results they could expect. And include a call to action: do this … now.

What you say in advertising is more important than how you say it. — David Ogilvy

Extras

Include hyperlinks that would lead to more information expanding on ideas, people, or features mentioned in the blog. And, always include an image when you can. A picture is worth a thousand words.

I do not regard advertising as entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information. — David Ogilvy

Enjoy the journey as you write your way to success. Share your self, your style, your vision in a way that attracts your tribe, one reader at a time. Create the spin to win.

18
Apr

SCRIPT YOUR SHIFT 4x4x4

Live on purpose. Select your scenes! Don’t leave your life to chance. You don’t have to be caught up in trauma and drama. And you don’t have to allow your self to be pulled along by every character that pops on to the scene of your life! Write your story—your Life Script!

Realize that you are the Star of your life story. You are the Producer. You are the Director. You are the Screenwriter. Write the script (thoughts, beliefs, actions) in a way that serves your stardom (or get assistance to do just that!).

Give your word and live your word (the Life Script). Write your way in and out of the experiences you desire, require, and deserve to enjoy—professionally, personally, and potentially! Be the Star Performer of your world, the center of your universe, and play your part for an award-winning experience!

4 Steps You Can Take To Star In Your Own Life Story

  1. Listen. Tune in to your inner voice, notice what you are saying to your self.  Consider what your thoughts say about what you believe. How do your thoughts affect your actions? Awareness is a key step in change. Become and observer of your self. Then, continue doing what serves you and adjust otherwise.
  2. Align. Get in accord with your self. Pay attention to your thoughts, words, and deeds. Do they support and nurture how you desire to live your life? If not, change your internal message. Again, continue doing what serves you and adjust otherwise.
  3. Prepare. Make a plan, a guide, and let it be the script to your live. By considering potentialities and the outcomes desired, you set up your self to act in accord with your desires. You will be in a position to recognize and act on opportunities that serve you.
  4. Act. Live intentionally, on purpose by creating habits that align with your desires. If your goal is to be fit, make it a habit to exercise daily. Create a habit of eating to fuel your health. Be the Star Performer in the experiences you create for you. To build your business, hone your message and consistently uphold it.

Starring in your story takes focus and intention. It starts with writing down your goals. Most people don’t bother to write down their goals. They wind up drifting aimlessly through life. Is this you? Are you wondering why your life lacks purpose and significance? Are you willing to give your self an aim? Committing your goals to writing is the beginning of creating the life of your dreams. The key to accomplishing what matters to you is committing your desires in writing. This is important for at least four reasons.

  1. It forces you to clarify your desires and set your destination. Writing down your goals and milestones compels you to select something, to get specific… to choose the outcome you desire for your life.
  2. It motivates you to take aligned action. Write down your goals, articulate your intention, and execute in alignment with them. Writing down goals and reviewing them regularly keeps you mindful of the destination and prompts you to take action. It provides a filter for opportunities that could otherwise become distractions. The more successful you become, the more you will be presented with opportunities. Maintain a list of written goals by which to evaluate opportunity, take appropriate action, and stay on course with your goals.
  3. It fortifies you to face challenges and overcome resistance. Every meaningful goal encounters resistance. When you focus on the resistance, it will only get stronger. Overcome it is with focus on the goal. Write it down and review it often.
  4. It enables you to recognize and celebrate progress. Life  is particularly difficult when you don’t see progress. You feel like you are going nowhere. Your written goals act as mile-markers. Review them to see how far you have come. Outline steps for where you require to go. And take the opportunity to celebrate when you attain a milestone.

If you are overwhelmed … or if you are focusing on your star performance and desire for assistance with the other stuff, get in touch with me to script your shift so you can shine! And if you are looking for a place to start, consider these tips.

4 Tips for Writing Your Life Script

  1. Focus on your desired result in each area of your life (fitness, health, career, finances, intellect, relationships, and spiritual).
  2. Write your story in the present tense—as if you are living it now.
  3. Engage all of your senses and make it active—walk through your home and surroundings, note the things do, what you see, sounds you hear, scents, what you touch, and how you feel.
  4. Be the main character in the visualization—dream big and make it as realistic as possible to convince your self and to believe it is a potentiality for you.

The process of writing your Life Script brings opportunities to you just by changing your focus to what you desire. This benefit from shifting your focus from what isn’t working to your dream experience takes place during the creation of your Life Script.

Many are challenged with describing what it is we desire to create. We have an easier time describing what we do not want, which isn’t a bad place to start; but don’t leave your focus there. Instead of wishing to be less fat, focus on how good it will be to feel more fit.

Create and star in your dreamyiest life … get in touch with me to script your shift so you can shine!

 

15
Feb

Set Up Social Media Success in 6 Simple Steps

Social media doesn’t have to be daunting. In fact, it can be your best sales associate and your favorite marketing tactic. The key is to focus so you don’t get overwhelmed. It all begins with your message. Here are five steps to go from strategy to scheduled for social media success.

#1 Create Your Social Media Strategy.

For your Brand, you have a strategy. Now, align that with Social Media. Determine your niche—your target audience. Consider pain points and interests; and your solution for them. People seek solutions and benefits!

Brand strategy is a long-term plan for development to achieve specific goals. It is your playbook. Goals, strategies and tactics are outlined to give you a game plan.

Your brand is not your product, your logo, your website, or your name. It is much more than that. It is tangible and intagible, purpose driven, mission focused attributes that are your reason for being. It’s a feeling that separates powerful versus mediocre brands.

Your brand strategy considers:

1. Your industry & design trends
2. Your ideal client’s desires
3. Your brand personality

Distinguish your brand — how do you differentiate yourself and speak to your audience in a way that attracts them? There are many ways to give your brand a personality. From your logo and colors to tone of voice, messaging must align with your audience while remaining consistent in delivery style. Imagine your brand talking with one customer. And then, replicate that conversation consistently in the marketplace. This is where the social media strategy comes in.

Now, create a plan for social media that addresses your target audience where they are. Design a communication and messaging strategy to deliver information that is helpful to them and of interest. Relate to other topics that they are engaging with across platforms.

Check out this article of interest — Perfecting the four P’s.

HOMEWORK:

  1. Know what makes you different from your competition.
  2. Define your target audience and the solution you provide.
  3. Translate this to your Social Media strategy.

#2 Choose Your Social Media Platform(s).

You aren’t required to be on every Social Media platform to be successful. Pick one, possibly two to start. Avoid overwhelm!

In the beginning, fewer and BETTER is the focus. Facebook is the logical first choice for most brands. Twitter, LinkedIn, and/or YouTube are strong second choices, depending on your niche.

With Facebook, create your personal Profile then set up your Business Page. From quotes to images to video, you can dominate presence in your niche. Facebook Live amplifies the possibilites. You can benefit from low cost, highly targeted Facebook Ads to generate leads and build your list.

Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest along with LinkedIn and YouTube are great online real estate for your message. Your strategy will assit you in selecting the one or two places to start so that you speak to your tribe and align with your message.

To get a feel for the social media channels, check out this article of interest — Social Media at a Glance.

HOMEWORK:

  1. Set your goals — what you aim to accomplish.
  2. Select the Platforms you will use to START.
  3. Set up your social media sites.

#3 Curate and Create Your Content.

Develop an Editorial Plan to guide your content with purpose. And then you can repurpose the information across your social media channels. This reinforces your presence.

Create a calendar — three, six, nine, or 12 months out. For each month, brainstorm themes and then topics within that theme that would be of interest to your audience. Look at information that will establish you as the “Go To” person in your arena.

Choose themes and topics so you can weave information from one post to another. Look at the map of content so you know what you are sharing each and every day. Content can easily be “re-purposed” and used in a variety of ways, and across multiple platforms.

For more insights, check out this article — Repurpose Key Twitter Posts.

HOMEWORK:

  1. Brainstorm content theme ideas.
  2. Outline topics of interest to your niche.
  3. Create a 30 day content editorial calendar.

#4 Create a Series of Messages.

Now comes all the write stuff. Tailor the words to fit the channel. A blog post can be pulled apart for fodder you can upload to Twitter or Facebook. Specific messages can be developed for each channel and your audience there. If you desire assistance with this, let me know.

Now, get going. Check out this article of interest — Pretty Perfect.

HOMEWORK:

  1. Write your message(s).
  2. Develop content tailored to each channel.
  3. Consider quotes that align with your message.

#5 Select Message Visuals.

There are a number of ways to deliver information—your brand strategy will assist you in selecting the style(s) best suited to your message.

Photos; Infographics; Videos (Live and Native); Blog Posts and Original Articles by you; White Papers; Blogs and Useful Articles by other thought leaders in your niche who do not compete. Make Video a priority as it gets the MOST engagement!

Once you determine the style of information delivery, create your content. Outline it. Find photos and images to add impact. Consider using Piktochart or Canva to create images and infographs. Look at Notegraphy for creating impact with your words. And, find free photos and images at Pixabay.

Check out this article of interest — A Picture Worth 1000 Words.

HOMEWORK:

  1. Consider your brand image and align visuals with that.
  2. Create your message visuals.
  3. Develop content across visual media.

#6 Schedule It.

Effective Social Media Marketing can be done in 30 minutes a day when you have a plan and you WORK that plan.

You can use tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule your posts in advance. This puts your social media presence on autopilot.

Check out this article of interest — Storytelling and the 3 T’s.

HOMEWORK:

  1. Schedule posts for 30 days—consider Hootsuite or Buffer.
  2. Check in every day for 30 minutes to boost activity and interact with your tribe.
  3. Share posts from others who attract your niche.

Define your brand strategy and your message. Choose which delivery method will be best for your message. Make a list of themes and topics of interest. Create your content. And schedule it.

Congratulations! You now have the steps required to command Social Media and dominate your niche for business awareness, lead generation, client contact, and nutured relationships that lead to SALES! For assistance in creating your content, get in touch with me.

13
Sep

Pretty Perfect …

Perfectionists are procrastinators. The path to perfections is riddled with every pitfall.

Ultimately, a perfect plan poorly executed will not perform as well as a poor plan perfectly executed. Especially realizing that it’s all about timing. Your plan must be perfectly prompt or you miss the opportunities completely.

Rather promptly press forward with a pretty perfect plan than struggle to have everything aligned while missing the bus. Pretty perfect is pretty good — and that beats having nothing at all.

One imperfectly finished project is better than 100 left undone. If you don’t learn to complete your projects, even if imperfectly, you’ll never live your highest potential. Set your sights to finish lines. If you don’t cross out an important task, you erode your self-esteem and self-trust. Not completing a goal or task increases stress and this is a major cause of overwhelm.

 

There are just four choices you need to make to accomplish a goal and finish something.

These are valuable, strategic choices that will powerfully move you forward. So make them. Take them to heart. Realize the awesomeness that follows. Turn the tables on procrastination.

1. Determine your ideal outcome (clearly and in present tense).

2. Commit to taking courageous, imperfect action until you achieve that ideal outcome. And, NOW is the best time to start!

3. Pay attention to the feedback you are getting without taking it personally.

4. Analyze the feedback you are getting, adjust your approach and be flexible until you produce your ideal outcome (or something better).

Committing to these choices will change the game. Make four moves? Simple. Living them? Wow. Commit to it now. Link positive outcome and curiosity with these choices to bring about rapid change.

You are a finisher. There is so much for you to bring into the world. Tt’s time to bring it. Don’t allow perfectionism and/or procrastination to block your dreams. You can change everything… Right now.

Just do it, today not tomorrow—TNT. This attitude will get you out the door and on your way. You can get a read and adjust as required. Life is work in progress. Let it flow.

21
Aug

Stuck in a rut? Five ways to get out of your head and into a new groove.

Do you feel like you’re stuck in a rut? You can’t move forward, you can’t get that break, and sometimes, you just can’t let go of the past?

You’re not alone. We’ve all been there. And many of us have moved on by taking some simple steps to get un-stuck. Get out of your head and find yourself a new groove.

“If I consider my life honestly, I see that it is governed by a certain very small number of patterns of events which I take part in over and over again…when I see how very few of them there are, I begin to understand what huge effect these few patterns have on my life, on my capacity to live. If these few patterns are good for me, I can live well. If they are bad for me, I can’t.” — Christopher Alexander, The Timeless Way of Building

When you feel stuck it’s usually because of one of three things—and all of them are in your head. Either you are focusing on all that is wrong with your situation which tends to attract more of what is wrong. Or, you don’t have a clear vision for what you desire, so it is hard to know if you are stepping into your dream. Finally, it could be that you’re holding on to something from the past resulting in doubts and fears that are holding back your progress. This last one is the biggest reason you’re not moving toward achieving what you desire — subconscious programs that keep you in a rut. But you can escape this groove!

Step 1: Change Your Mind

You are in charge of the thoughts that you think! Take the reins and guide your brain.

When you think about your current situation, do so with gratitude. See how far you’ve come. Appreciate where you are now. Get excited about the journey. Open yourself to all adventure that comes your way.

“To refuse what life offers is to chance not recognizing happiness if it comes your way.” — Maurice Goudeket, Close to Colette: An Intimate Portrait of a Woman of Genius

If you’re not happy, change your thoughts. Think about something else, something that feels happy! Think about something positive to stop negative thoughts from spreading.

“Anxiety and Ennui are the Scylla and Charybdis on which the bark of human happiness is most often wrecked.” —William Edward Hartpole Lecky, The Map of Life

Step 2: Create A Vision

Consider what you would like to achieve and how you desire to feel. This is your life, aim high. People tend to overestimate what they can accomplish in a year while they tend to underestimate what they can do in three years. Look ahead and double the distance! With clear direction, you can create a map or a plan for getting there!

“Nothing is so exhausting as indecision, and nothing is so futile.” — Bertrand Russell

Then, set intentions every day. It is important to determine actions you are able to carry out during the week. Create intentions, and list the follow through steps you’ll take for each one. This is your map for the day. Mapping gives you a clear sense of direction.

Expand your list to include intentions about anything you desire to see advanced or changed. You might have several areas in your life that require tune ups. The overwhelm can leave anyone feeling stuck. Select one or two things to begin. Consider categorizing intentions: friendships, adventures, environment, health, intellect, skills, spirituality, career, family, community, creativity.

Look at areas for personal growth, contribution, and connection. Map out your intentions. Without direction, you’ll just fall into a rut.

Step 3: Believe In You

You have to believe in you — believe you can and will achieve your goals. Once you believe, you’ll attract the people, places, and potentials to assist you.

“Public opinion is always more tyrannical towards those who obviously fear it than towards those who feel indifferent to it.” — Bertrand Russell, Conquest of Happiness

When you believe in you, you will surround yourself with people who support you, those who will assist you in achieving your goals.

“To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.” — Robert Louis Stevenson, Familiar Studies of Men and Books (1882).

Step 4: Enlist Your Subconscious

Eliminate subconscious thoughts and beliefs that aren’t serving you. Replace them with empowering thoughts and beliefs.

Your subconscious does what it thinks you desire it to do — it simply follows your thoughts and beliefs. So make sure you have thoughts and beliefs that allow you to expand, experience, and excel in the life you desire.

Focus on what you desire, require, and deserve. Don’t dwell on all that is wrong, what you don’t want, what you don’t like. See every problem as an opportunity to design a solution.

“Such as are your habitual thoughts; such also will be the character of your mind; for the soul is dyed by the thoughts.”– Marcus Aurelius

Employ encouraging self-talk. Be positive. Stop beating up yourself for things that didn’t work — instead, ask yourself “what have I learned from this that will move me forward?” Turn a mistake into a valuable lesson.

Step 5: Own Your Power

You are a powerful person. Step into it. If you’re not living the life you desire, you’re not directing and working with your power—your subconscious mind. Give it the correct instructions so that it assists you in creating the life of your dreams. Take charge of your self, all of your self!

“If you make it a habit not to blame others, you will feel the growth of the ability to love in your soul, and you will see the growth of goodness in your life.” —Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom

Let go of the past and create the life you feel you desire. Move forward, get out of that rut, achieve more, and have more. Enjoy life. Be happy. Share laughter. And focus on living the life of your dreams.

21
Jun

2 Sentences with 5 Things Investors Need to Know in the First Moment You Meet Them

Get ready to present to investors. For this opportunity, the elevator pitch is a key to introducing your company and grabbing attention at the start.

Dave Bittner, CEO at Beanstalk CFO Group, suggests two sentences to your elevator pitch. Investors need to know how to compare you to other startups they work with and other companies in the marketplace. Your elevator pitch places you in their mind. This is the set up and it is an opportunity to position your startup for play.

With these two sentences, you provide investors with the critical outline of your business.

Sentence 1: We sell _____ (product or service deliverable) to _____ (target market) who want _____ (benefit).

Sentence 2: Unlike _____ (competitor), we _____ (differentiation) .

So let’s look at the five things presented here.

Product/Service — This is simply your offer—the thing you are selling. What is the thing that appears on the invoice? What is the nut that you deliver?

Target Market — Remember, your target market is not everybody. Everybody doesn’t want what you are offering, you don’t have resources to attract everybody, and investors will lose interest if you are not focused. What is your headpin?

In Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore, he refers to marketing like bowling. Hit the Headpin. When you are bowling, you don’t lob the ball into the pins, you roll it into the headpin — the beachhead segment of the market. You hit it based on your ability to hit it, and it’s proximity to other pins. Let it knock down the other pins that knock down other. A domino effect.

Benefit — You may have hundreds of benefits. Pick one, the primary benefit. Feature that. Only that. Clearly.

Competition or Comparison Others — Do not say you have no competition. How attractive can this market be if no one is doing something in it? do the research and stretch to cite competition or substitute for your offer). Unlike the way it has been done before, we do something interesting. Unlike it has never been done before?

Differentiation — What do you do better? Highlight that key facet that distinguishes your company among others who address the problem you solve. This is that one unique selling proposition that sets you apart. A personalized message for every customer. A quirk. An extra step in the process. Or timeliness that sets you one step ahead of the other options. Make sure it is clear—and compelling.

Show your elevator pitch, and include your mission, tagline,brand promise or slogan as a signature to your presentation slides. You don’t speak everything you have on your slide. Supplement information so it works together — spoken presentation and written form. Catch the entire video of presentation tips to put your best startup facets forward.

13
Mar

Come to the party! Social Media at a glance.

social-media-microphones

So many venues. So little time. Marshall McLuhan once put forth that the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived. So, the brand of the channel has a halo affect on your message. Lets take a quick peek at some of the main social media haunts, and some possible associations.

LinkedIn: This is your resume and c.v. channel. Here, it’s like saying: “I’m on an interview and this is what I wish to project of myself professionally and personally.” Post an article to showcase your experience and expertise. Share an article of interest — and add a comment to give it your perspective. And, you could share these to Twitter, too.

LinkedIn Company Page: This is like offering up the annual report. Or, perhaps a billboard along with content that leads back to our website, or to a site of interest.

Twitter: It’s like a work-related party where you’re feeling rather chatty… “I’m in a conference room at the office with colleagues and clients, and this is what I wish to share because it is of interest, informative, or appropriately entertaining.”
There are many Twitter post options that you can share.

  • Text: These are the most basic — simply a 140-character or less message.
  • Link: Add a link to your own or other website that users can click through to visit.
  • Image: Include an image with your messages — you know, it’s worth a thousand words that help to expand on your 140 characters.
  • Video Posts: Upload a video or a GIF with your post — here is where you can include your talents via VINE (see more below)
  • Replies: start your message with the @HANDLE of customer or fan or other who posted or reached out to you on Twitter to further the engagement.

Snapchat: You had to be there! (or Wish You Were Here) and this is a glimpse of what is so special. Like an inside joke, you can do a variety of things to personalize the moment, including video slo-mo or speeded up for effect! While the snap won’t last, the impression(s) likely will. So make them add up to an image you wish to uphold. And, you could share an appropriate saved snap on Twitter or Instagram…

Instagram: Sharing interesting moments thematically for business or personal memories. There is a great opportunity to portray an image … or bounce all around like life does. These could be featured on Twitter if for business, or on Facebook if personal.

Facebook: Connecting to family and friends … can be like the high school hallway or a kind of reunion. Here is everything from breakfast to politics and a few happy birthday shout-outs.

Facebook Page: Like ‘bring-your-family-to-work’ day, show off all that’s cool about what you do. These could be repurposed on Twitter (but not vise-verse because Twitter posts are more frequent and could be spam-like on your Facebook Page).

Vine: Here we go loop de loop. Vine is intended to create short videos that repeat themselves. Over. And over. In six seconds.

Periscope: Use Twitter’s live video streaming app in the moment to keep Twitter connections up-to-date … experiential opportunity to share a presentation or a walk in the park — in real time. Make sure to turn on Twitter sharing so your broadcast is shared in a tweet that follows the formula: LIVE on #Periscope: [Video Title] [Link to Video]. Like with Snapchat, the broadcast expires after 24 hours.

YouTube: Everything that’s fit to film … and then some. Here is where you can share your story or webcast or data visualization. Storytelling with sight and sound that you can create and upload with ease. Or embed on your website. Create a landing page for each video. Tweet ’em. Show them on LinkedIn and Facebook. Lots of mileage from the footage.

Google +: Articles and posts relative to all the search terms you want associated with your brand. And, running around in circles.

Medium: So, you want to be a writer. This is a great place to blog and tell your stories — or repeat them.

Tumblr: Tumblr is useful in many ways—inspiration, scrapbooking, communication, portfolio… an overall blogging platform, create original content or curate (re-blog) posts—great venue for bloggers, brands, trendsetters, and tastemakers.

Ello: Share art and inspiration, connect with creators around the world, all ad-free. This one is still in nascent stages for me. Here I post things in black & white.

And so, again, like Marshall McLuhan says, “The medium is the message.” The medium affects the society in which it plays a role not only by the content delivered over the medium, but also by the characteristics of the medium itself. Well, sometimes those characteristics demand traits of the content. Hmmm. In any case, whether you create something specifically for one venue or the other, there are many ways to share. Edit. Share. Edit. Share. Etc. Have fun. Be interesting.

originally posted via LinkedIn, here