Category: Write Stuff

9
Apr

10 Points You Must Cover in Your Initial VC Pitch

You are a startup looking for a VC and a VC is looking for a startup. So how do you convince a VC to take your call or meet with you? You send them a deck — make sure it is stacked in your favor.

Start by developing and refining the reasons why the VC should meet with you. Organize your presentation with most persuasive and logical order of reasons. Make sure to punctuate with visuals — simply add headlines or bold leads to your paragraph or include illustrations. And, definitely, cover the ten critical points.

  1. THE DETAILS. Announce the name of your company, where it is located, the round, how much capital you wish to raise.
  2. THE PLAYERS. Introduce your team. Include the expertise each person brings.
  3. THE USP. Capture attention with your Unique Startup Proposition — what are you solving? Is this a necessity or a luxury? What is most impressive about where you are with it right now? It could be the team, the technology, the growth, etc. Get the VC excited about the possibilities.
  4. THE POTENTIAL. Show the VC the size of the opportunity. The projected market must be large enough to provide ample return on investment. Do your homework here and make it relevant to your specific vision or solution. Complete this picture with how you stack up to beat competition. Explain how you plan to scale.
  5. THE THING. Present your product. Whether it is a prototype or a blueprint, an app or a service, include as much detail as you have defined. Use all media that is available to portray the product with optimal clarity.
  6. THE PLAN. Outline your go-to-market strategy. How will you approach and capture your market? What will help you build your tribe? Do you have a website?
  7. THE WAY. Explain your business model. How will you generate and capture revenue? Online, salesforce, multi-tiered marketing? There are many options.
  8. THE KIPs. Show the numbers. Not just a spreadsheet, include charts or graphs that quickly communicate your Key Indicators of Performance or success.
  9. THE ASK. Yes. Ask for it. Let the VC know your needs — the money, the time, the support, the connections — and request to meet in person or via Skype to proceed with next steps.
  10. THE CATCHPHRASE. End with a battle cry. Make it unforgettable so that whatever the decision regarding your request, your startup will be remembered.

Make sure your presentation is clear, concise, and complete with compelling information and arguments. Brand the pages in a way to give repetitive attention to your startup name, logo or other identifying feature. Prepare the narrative for your presentation, ensure that it translates with or without you. May the VC be with you.

Also published via Medium and originally created for Invest Southwest, here.

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.

1
Dec

Manifest Destiny in 8 Key Areas

Take Action in 1 Area at a Time with These 6 Steps

There are eight key areas to self-actualization: Visibility and Voice, Relationships and Love, Purpose and Destiny, Career and Prosperity, Health and Vitality, Spirituality and Connection, Impact and Influence, Creativity and Manifestation.

Select one area and focus your intention to create a change. The other areas are affected. Success in one area leads to improvement in another.

“In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.”— Dalai Lama

  1. Set a Bold Intention. Break through a pattern of being stuck with focus and intention. Focus your energy from your heart. Select a specific outcome in a key area. Then, allow your mind to open and create the strategy.
  2. Remove Inner Barriers. Identify and release your limiting beliefs. Connect with your deeper truth so you can show up authentically and realize the experience you desire.
  3. Create from Inside Out. Cultivate your intuitive mind. Ask yourself, “If all of life organizes around my success, what do I desire to create?” Connect with your self. Allow yourself to access an inner source of knowingness. Be curious and receptive.
  4. Generate Support. Surround yourself with people who encourage you. Create partnership. Enlist assistance.
  5. Create Accountability. Design a project where you are accountable to something bigger than your self. Show up. Grow into every step.
  6. Make a Commitment. Do what it takes every day. Get organized. Get training. Get going. And, as advised by Wallace D Wattles, “Do, every day, all that can be done that day, taking care to do each act in a successful manner.” 

Spend time every day with your Playbook. Review your vision, contemplate your dream, feel your purpose, and list your actions. Share this process with those who support you. Let me know which area you are working in and how that work changes everything.

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.

1
Feb

Top 10 Tips for Powerful Personal Passwords You Can Kind of Remember

Another one bites the dust. The January 2018 healthcare data breach was one of 21 security breaches (down vs the 39 incidents in December 2017). And that’s just healthcare. Consider the compromises reported by retail, education, and utility companies. It’s a dizzying hack. Social media accounts continue to be under attack. And at times keeping up feels like playing a game of whac-a-mole.

Pass The Password

Then there is the blatant password sharing with friends, giving access to streaming accounts such as Hulu or Netflix. While boomers struggle to protect and keep track, younger adults put little care into password hygiene. Use of biometrics, multi-factor authentication, and password managers help to improve their personal security. Still, it is important to set and update passwords regularly—not just on the annual Change Your Password Day every February 1st.

Protect Your Password

To ensure your accounts remain secure, it is critical to update them often. And, tracking passwords must be done in a way to protect your information. So, what do you do to keep passwords updated? And how do you remember them? We asked and found some fun ways to create meaningful passwords that come to mind and are at your fingertips when your fingerprint isn’t enough to access your account.

Personal Password Prompts

Sassy Saying: If there is something you hear all the time and it rings in your ears, it is likely to be recalled when you need it. Just twist up things with capital letters and special characters. One listener reported using holy cow and can translate this in many ways: h0lyc0w! H0LYc0w and more depending on what is required. Most sites insist on a minimum of six to eight characters.

Name Your Tune: A favorite lyric or song title can ring a bell with you when signing in to your account. One member reports using ScHoolboy Q rap songs to inspire passwords, adding special characters for effect: that’sB!TCHs4It or thAtsb!tch$h!t and for variation.

Dash It: Including a dash as your special character to separate things is an option that adds variation and identification. For instance, IG-Make100k and FB-Make100k is a way to update your password regularly and reuse your monthly or quarterly password root across platforms.

Acronyms: There are many ways to incorporate acronyms that can make your password more personalized and secure. FRFR2million$ is a favorite for a fan who insists that she will be making 2 million dollars, for real for real.

Jargon: Almost every industry has terms that specific to what you do. For insistence, my colleague is a project manager and uses scrumMA$TER12 since there are a total of 12 on the scrum team pulling together the product.

Inside Jokes: How many times do you get to share a sideways glance with your bestie because you have a spin on whatever is happening. It’s something you share and no one else knows. An example is this witty ditty shared between two friends who can really make each other laugh… so, #0utURnose. 

Mantras: For those who are mindful, a mantra can be a clever way to create your password and remind you of your meditation. An example for this might be n@m@st3.

Slogans: Like a mantra, slogans are statements repeated frequently. There are phrases too, such as this password possibility: $0RRYnotSOrry or NetFL!X&ch!LL

Favorite Foods: What do you love to eat? There are many password angles on your plate. It can range from your overall diet, such as KeTo-TaRiaN, to a beverage, such as k0mbuch@, to an actual entree, such as R@M3Nburger. Mash up your favorite cuisine for a password that will make you drool.

Gibberish: Nonsensical words can make sense as passwords. There are fun ways to create them with online generator tools such as this one by soybomb that spit out this gem: blastucked. It rolled into a password combination that was fun and into a term used among friends after that bottle of wine.

Play with Passwords

There are many other inspirations for passwords. And, you still have to remember what variation you used and where. My personal favorite is to use dashes and mash up a few for my own strong password. It helps to add other layers of security to your most precious accounts. And, if you’ve gotta do this, you might as well make it interesting. What are some of your password tips?