Seven Ways to Use Social Media

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Seven ways to use social media to sell books, or your business!

  1. Create a list of top ten words that will connect with your audience/reader. (Not sure, put in #hashtags to see what other authors are using. #book, #ebook, #yourkeywords
  2. Pick at least two social media outlets to be active on at least three months before book launch.  This could include blogs, Linkedin, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.  The sooner you can develop and build relationships the better off you will be.
  3. Post 3x a week about your book. Sample content includes:
    1. invitations to book launch events,
    2. sharing of reviews or endorsements,
    3. information about the author,
    4. articles about your topic,
    5. excerpts from the book,
    6. pictures from the book or of the author,
    7. links to your website.
  4. Interact with other authors in your category.  Authors will support each other.
  5. Write reviews on amazonBarnes and Noble and other book sites of books like to yours.
  6. Post a blog sharing your excitement for your book launch and a few interesting facts about the book.
  7. Repost any media coverage you receive in the early stages of the book launch. And as you receive book awards, repost this information.

3 Strategies for Networking on Vacation

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Vacation is vacation, but there is always room for one more relationship.  Maybe you’ve heard that you always want to talk to the people sitting next to you on the airplane.  I take a more creative approach to meeting new people, but I still also talk to my seatmate.

Here are three approaches that can help to combine relaxation on vacation with potential networking opportunities.

1. Be curious about things that interest you

On vacation, I like to shop and observe the trends and differences between my home state of Minnesota and wherever I am visiting. Store owners and clerks are great for questions about something of interest.

On a recent trip to Hawaii, I happened to be in a store where one side was an upscale shaved-ice business and the other side sells nicely branded clothes and accessories. I commented on a display and boom, there went the conversation. The owner and his brother had another business in San Diego, but were born and raised in Hawaii and just opened this store and launched a new brand, with a fabulous story about home, family and adventure. If I hadn’t said what I did, the conversation wouldn’t have started.

2. Try new things

Enjoy the adventure of vacation. If you’re curious about skydiving or renting bicycles, give it a try. When you explore new activities, you never know what you will learn.

On this particular trip, we went snorkeling, and the instructor showed us a nine-minute film before encouraging us to ask questions of the staff and lifeguards. My husband asked about the route and we received great information. Later, when we went to say thank you, I complimented the guide on his instruction, and that stared a conversation about his volunteer work. Another new connection made just by trying something new and engaging fully.

5 Ways to Boost Your Resilience

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The last few weeks I’ve been cranking out my next book. Without revealing too much yet, there is a big focus in the book on resilience for both personal and professional success. In many of the interviews I’ve been doing with experts, leaders and workers, one of the most common pieces of feedback on amping up resilience is knowing most everything is just a temporary situation.

Things ebb and flow moment to moment. If you find yourself in a stressful spot right now, know that it won’t be that way forever. If life is grand right now, something could take you down tomorrow. And while the rollercoaster of life can be scary, being prepared and arming yourself for the ride can make it feel less turbulent.

Here are five tips to help you be more resilient to the ups and downs.

  1. Make peace with stress. If you are a living, breathing human, you WILL experience stress regularly and often. Sometimes little things will set you off. Other times giant, whopping, life-changing stuff will punch you in the gut. It’s what you do to get through those things, how you bounce back and how you create peace amidst stress that will determine your overall emotional, physical and mental feelings short and long term.
  2. Stop doing things you hate. Of course you are going to feel anxiety and stress when you sign yourself up to do something you don’t enjoy. If you commit to a volunteer gig that sucks your energy, it will impact everything else in your life. If you commit to a social outing and you really don’t want to go, you’ll dread it before it even happens and feel resentful later. But if you only say yes to things that truly energize you and your loved ones, you’re one step closer to a less stressful ride.
  3. Stretch out of your comfort zone. Massive life changes can cause massive stress because our reality changes so drastically. But if you can find ways to stretch out of your comfort zone in small ways, you will be much more resilient to the scary changes that come along. Try new hobbies. Take new routes to work. Ask for things you want. Do more things alone. All of these will slowly but surely prepare you for change.
  4. Get healthy to minimize impact. Stress really does a number on our physical bodies, thinking and emotions. In fact, stress has been found to be more damaging than smoking! YIKES! This means that since stress is inevitable (see #1), you must keep your body in fighting condition to stay strong during tough times. Eat healthfully by eliminating processed junk and sticking to natural, whole foods. Exercise regularly to strengthen your body’s defenses. Drink lots of green tea. Get enough sleep. It’s the stuff you KNOW you should be doing anyway. Make your health a priority!
  5. Disconnect to control your ride. When you constantly check your phone for text messages, social posts and emails, you are letting others define how you spend your time. You become reactive instead of proactive – and that’s a terrible and stressful way to live. Most of us are addicted to our cell phones – and it’s the serious kind of addiction, not just a play on words. If we continue to be a phone-addicted culture, we are in for some trouble as we’re already seeing with young people’s inability to communicate interpersonally, time lost to mindless phone surfing and kids feeling less important than what is on their parents’ screens. Take back your time and life by disconnecting sometimes.

When you can create happiness even when life is stressful, amazing things will start to happen for you. Instead of feeling so agitated and negative when bad times come along, you will know that the situation is only temporary and the sun will shine again.

SHARE WITH ME! How can you make the rollercoaster of life less scary?

Want more? Check out the FREE 15-Day Goal Getter Challenge to get unstuck, de-stress and go after your goals with support and accountability.

How to Get the Ultimate Website Curb Appeal and Generate Leads

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If you’re going through a website redesign, it’s time to really start thinking about your website’s ultimate “curb appeal” – your homepage.

It’s one thing to have a pretty homepage, but it’s another to make sure it accomplishes what you need it to. Let’s dive into a few elements that every website homepage needs to include. They’re basics, but if your mind is already swimming with the many details of a website redesign, these critical elements may fly under the radar.

Who Is Your Audience and What Are They Seeking?

The first question to ask is “Who is my audience?” Let’s start there. You could spend all the time in the world attracting everyone to your website, but would it be worth your time? Not at all. It’s much better to hone in on your “ideal” client and map your homepage around their needs. If you’re a B2B company, do you want to attract large players, or small start-ups? And who within those companies do you want to attract? If you’re a B2C company, who is your ideal buyer? These are vital questions to ask yourself.

Once you’ve narrowed down to your target audience, it’s time to ask another simple, but incredibly important question, “What are they seeking?” Do most of your clients want to buy, or are they typically in research mode when they land on your website? Depending on what they’re looking for, you can build a homepage that speaks to their needs – and makes sure they don’t have to dig for what they’re seeking.

Who Are You?

Once you’ve addressed who your audience is, and what they are looking for, it’s important to quickly and succinctly define who you are as a company and what makes you unique. This may seem obvious, but it’s surprising how many websites are out there that require you need to dig deep within the website to discover what it is exactly they do.

I often find myself looking up companies on LinkedIn because I know at least their LinkedIn profile will quickly and succinctly tell me who they are, what they do, and if they can provide a solution to my need. It’s key to make sure this information is located on your website’s homepage – this can make the difference of your potential clients staying on your website, or bouncing off to a competitor’s.

What Do You Do?

This brings us to the next important element of focus – what does your company do? This naturally ties in with the last question. Are you a software company that provides marketing solutions to small businesses? Are you a bakery that provides the freshest bread in your neighborhood? It’s important to advertise this information in a very clean, easy-to-understand way.

Keep in mind that one of the primary ways Google ranks websites is by relevancy. If your homepage only has a few phases and just images, it won’t be as easily identifiable to Google. Rather, try to have at least some substantial “About This Company…” content (even if it’s simply a solid paragraph) tied in with the imagery and design elements. Overall, if you make sure to mention what you do within your homepage, it will help advance the clients you’re looking for, and deter the clients you’re not.

What Do You Want Your Audience To Do?

From there, you are able to address the next question – when the right client lands on your website, what do you ultimately want them to do? Do you want them to watch a demo video, and then fill out an interest form (also known as a CTA, call-to-action)? Do you want them to pick up the phone and call you? Do you want them to purchase items directly from your website, or make a reservation? Depending on the action you ultimately want them to take (as long as it’s logical in filling their need), you need to make sure you’ve provided the right content and CTA’s on your homepage to accomplish that purpose. Nothing is more frustrating than making a decision to buy or move forward in the sales process, but you can’t figure out how to do that (easily) on the website.

Now that we’ve covered the importance of telling who you are and what you do, as well as the importance of making sure your audience has an easy path to purchase or learn more, let’s address a few loose ends.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

Q: What if most Google searches point people to a specific landing page, rather than my homepage?

A: First of all, that is a great problem to have! It’s important to invest in SEO, PPC, and other digital marketing strategies/tactics that will help drive traffic to your website. To address the question, every website will have landing pages that are deeper within the website itself that provide details on products, services, etc., but that does not negate the importance of building a strong homepage. The purpose of the homepage is to provide a quick overview of who you are, what you do, and to guide them to the details they need.

Q: Should I worry about where on the homepage my content lives – as long as it’s somewhere on the homepage, does it matter where?

A: Have you heard the phrase “above the fold”? It originally referred to the top half of a newspaper, and now it also refers to what users see as soon as they land on your website. I recommend trying to keep the most relevant, important information above the fold. And if it’s a responsive website, make sure you’ve seen the design and layout prior to your website launching.

Q: What are my final take-aways as I design my new website homepage?

A: Follow These Three Tips

  1. Avoid the Kitchen Sink: Keep in mind that you don’t need everything on the homepage ­– you’ll have plenty of space to put details about your products, services, processes, team, etc. on the internal pages. Just make sure you have the prominent information on the homepage.
  2. Don’t Make ‘Em Dig: Try to make things as easy as possible for your audience. Ideally, it should only take one click or two clicks to get to where you need to go – at least for the prominent items.
  3. Keep It Pretty: Overall, your website should be easy on the eyes – both in design and in layout. If you go to your website knowing only the information that your potential clients know, would you be able to find what you need quickly and efficiently? Do you make it easy to contact you for purchase, questions, or next steps?

Now that you know what you need to do in order to make your website homepage the best on the block (and also able to attract and convert the right leads), how do you feel? Any pressing questions?

Have you done this before and have additional advice for others? I’d love to hear your comments below!

{This article was originally posted on Deluxe’s Small Business blog. https://ww.deluxe.com/blog/how-to-get-the-ultimate-website-curb-appeal-and-generate-leads/}

6 Things I Do Everyday in LinkedIn to Build Top of Mind Awareness

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If you are serious about using LinkedIn to maintain your professional brand reputation, stay top of mind with your connections and generate business leads than  I know you are consistently showing up.

For those who have never been to one of my trainings or have not heard me speak I emphasize investing time to grow your LinkedIn network.  LinkedIn is a long term strategy that requires consistency.  Often I get asked how I personally use LinkedIn, since I am a LinkedIn Trainer. I value my network and I have intentionally connected with people I want to know and maintain relationships with. So I decided to share the 6 things I do everyday on LinkedIn and I want to say up front, these things typically take less than 30 minutes per day!

1. Respond to any email message

I always try to acknowledge a message from someone within 24 hours of receiving it. First because that is professional courtesy and second because I want to be timely.  If someone has taken the time to message me, I always give them the respect to reply regardless of why they have messaged me.

2.  Review and accept new LinkedIn connections

Reviewing new invitations is a quick task for me because I have a process n place to read and respond.  I always read the profile of the invitee, I accept all invitations with a few exceptions such as no photo or details in their profile or if something about the profile seems inappropriate. If I received the default invitation, than I have several responses that I use in reply to learn more about the person who invited me.

3.  Check the LinkedIn news feed for current updates

I scan the news feed for current updates over the past 6-8 hours to with the intention of looking for updates from clients first that I can engage with such as posting a comment. Second I scan for people in my LinkedIn network who have new connections, and see if there are people I may also want to connect with and thirdly I scan for interesting content I may want to take a quick read on.

4.  Who’s viewed my profile

I always like to see who has viewed my profile because I look for trends in location, industry, people I may have met recently and I decide who I might take the time to send a note to if they have not invited me to connect.  This is intelligence work that has provided me new opportunities that may have been missed opportunities had I not taken the lead.

5.  Flip through the “Ways to keep in touch” section

I don’t click the Congrats! button on everyone celebrating a work anniversary, but I do scan for clients and prospects I want to stay top of mind with and I send a quick hello or comment on the work anniversary, birthday or such in a sincere and intentional way.

6.  Share an update

Staying top of mind with my connections is paramount!  My intention is to be authentic, relevant and credible.  I post content that I believe my network would be interested in and  is relevant to why people connected with me in the first place.  I typically post a combination of content through the week that consists on my blog posts, other people’s relevant content, industry content and I try to be sure each post has an interesting graphic to accompany the article.

Networking offline as well as online is all about showing up.

How do you show up on a consistent basis?
How are you building your online reputation?

While there is lots you can do everyday on LinkedIn, some are more important than others. Learn more about how to “Jump Ahead of your Competition with LinkedIn Advantages You Can Leverage”

 **Article originally published on my blog 

 

How Do You Deal with Change?

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Change is all around us in big and small ways, and is always happening. Do you choose to change or do you wait until you are forced?

The change of seasons can be a breath of fresh air to some but a burden to others. I know many people love fall but for me it whispers that winter is coming. Cold weather is not my favorite. We can always look for the silver lining within the beautiful leaves and the warm sun even if it’s a cooler day and the kids getting back into a routine.

Relationships change as our kids grow up and seasons of life change. If we choose to embrace the changes and hope for a better tomorrow we will find ourselves happier and looking forward to what is next rather than living in fear of our future.

5 Ways to Deal with Difficult People

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Not long ago I was speaking to a group of franchise employees on how to stress less to boost sales and customer service. During the break a woman approached me and pulled me aside. She whispered, “What do you do when it’s the people around you who cause you stress and make you super cranky?”

If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me how to deal with difficult people, I would be a gazillionaire! I’ve shared tips about this on my podcast and talk about the spectrum of awesomeness (we’ve all been at both ends) on stage a lot because so often we fall victim to the cranky clerk, the high-demand client, the micromanager boss or the complaining co-worker. Add to that the negative people we deal with in our personal lives and we often risk stress simply by leaving the house every day to hang around other humans!

Here’s the thing though – you need to have a plan for dealing with difficult people – including what to do when YOU are the difficult person. There are many ways to approach it depending on the person, your relationship and your goals for what you want to happen with that person in the future, but here are some guidelines to help you make those Debbie and Donald Downers less draining of YOUR joy and energy.

  1. Know who sets you off. Take a scan of your network and mentally note who brings on that cloud of annoyance in you when you interact with them. Decide in advance of seeing them what you will do to counteract the stress it causes (like talking a walk before or after, taking deep breaths, etc) AND how you will deal with them in person. Will you kill them with kindness? Offer to help them? Try to flip the conversation to something positive? Compliment them to get them in a better mood? Difficult people require special handling and it may take some experimentation until you find what works for each one – and you.
  2. Talk to them about them. Everyone likes talking about themselves. When a negative person attacks, find ways to get them talking about something they love to get them into a better space. This won’t always work but give it a try.
  3. Stay your course. It’s easy to get sucked into drama, gossip or negativity when someone starts to unload on you. Know who you are and what mindset you want to maintain and never, ever let anyone else drag you down.
  4. Find support. When it feels like you’re surrounded by soul-sucking negativity, reach out to friends, family and co-workers who lift you up and energize you. If you struggle finding those people, consider attending networking events, joining clubs or trying new activities that put you in contact with new and more uplifting people. You could even invite the negative person along and get them in a better mood too!
  5. Distance yourself. When possible, stay away from the negative offenders in your life. Sometimes it’s impossible when it’s a family member, close friend or co-worker, but as much as you can try to separate yourself from anyone who sucks you dry.

SHARE WITH ME! How do you handle difficult people so they don’t drag you down?

Want more? Check out the FREE 15-Day Goal Getter Challenge to get unstuck, de-stress and go after your goals with support and accountability.

What Are You Waiting For? Take Inventory Today

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Frankly, what am I waiting for?  I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately as I notice by ability to put things off that might be a bit risky for me. I stall. I ruminate. I worry that it won’t work. All sorts of thoughts and action that are counter to everything I’ve read in the books I promote or the ones I read to “improve performance”.

Here are three reasons why waiting on things that might benefit you is so common:
1. It’s never going to be good enough so don’t finish it.  I see authors take years to write a book and then finally ask for help from an editor or a publisher to move to the finished product. What’s wrong with the mindset of doing 85% and letting someone else make it better?  The amount of time and effort spent stalling would surely be made up if you brought in other people to help you complete the job.

2. No one will think what I have to say is very important.  Whether it’s a speech or a book or a blog post or a hand-written note to a customer if you reach just one person, you’ve made an impact.  Challenge yourself to start by writing 500 words and posting it on linked in and then see what kind of feedback you get.  Listen a bit more closely to what others find helpful about the time they spend with you.  That will give you a better sense of what resonates with others.

3. What if it fails?  So what if it fails.  What is the worst that happens?  Your speech you give is a total flop and no one claps?  Or you decide to write a book and the first editor you hire tells you it needs major work?  Or you can’t sell any of the product that you worked hard to create?  So you try again.  I enjoy sports and one of the biggest challenges is to learn how to talk to yourself to keep getting better through the loses and the challenges.  Promoting yourself or your business is no different.  Maybe your message didn’t come out right the first time or you gave a speech, but the introduction wasn’t very good.  These are all learning’s.

Enjoy the game and the adventure of putting your message out in the world.  You just might change another person’s life or inspire them to do something they thought they could never do.

One of the easiest ways to overcome your “waiting game” is to build a plan. With a plan you can see the sequencing of things so that you know what comes first, the content, the blog, the endorsements, the publisher, the marketing, the sales etc.

Make your plan today or let us help you Build Your Buzz at the Unleash Your Inner RockStar Event and through The Workbook!

10 Ways to Create an Energized Life

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Do you have a plan for how you want your life to unfold? Or are you living reactively to the non-stop busy-ness and stress of today’s world? These same questions should be asked of your co-workers and employees to ensure they are maximizing their productivity and engagement in the workplace by honoring their professional AND personal needs and goals.

The key is to take action on shifting around priorities in order to create the life you envision for yourself, your work team and your loved ones. You must ENERGIZE your life with the right activities, behaviors and goals. (You can get a jumpstart on this with my proven Life Map process that is part of the online Stress Turnaroundprogram or my second bestselling bookThe Happy Hour Effect.)

Here are some key questions to ask to get on track with creating an energized life. As you answer each one, think about a specific action step you can take to change areas of your life that are out of alignment with what you want. Use these questions with your employees to create an energized workplace too.

  1. Are you spending time doing things that drain you or make you feel resentful or stressed? Get it outta there. You’re only shortchanging yourself and you’ll inevitably give that activity or task less than your best.
  2. Do you build in time for yourself? Make YOU a priority – no excuses. If you aren’t your best self, you’ll be doing your family, work team and the world a major dis-service.
  3. Is there time each day to move? If you’re stuck at a desk, get your butt out of the chair every hour or so – and be sure to work vigorous exercise into your calendar. Our bodies aren’t designed to sit around all day.
  4. Do you prioritize sleep? Get to bed at a decent hour and aim for 6-8 hours. A tired body and brain leads to illness, poor decision-making and moodiness.
  5. Are you eating to fuel your busy life? If you run, run, run all day long, you must eat healthfully and not fill yourself up with junk.
  6. Do you make time for hobbies? It’s okay to do something simply because it’s fun or relaxing. Not everything needs to be a check on a to-do list.
  7. Are you making time to build relationships with your partner, kids, friends and co-workers? Each person in your life that you want to stay in your life in a positive way requires solid time, development of your shared needs and goals you can work on together.
  8. How is your financial state of affairs? Are you budgeting and sticking to a plan to feel secure? Everyone can benefit from a financial planner – even if you don’t have a lot of finances to manage right now. Get expert guidance and ditch money worries.
  9. Do you have a spiritual practice? No matter what your culture, religion or belief-system, it’s important to feel connected to the world, others and yourself. Make time to read, attend services, meditate or whatever brings you clarity.
  10. Is your job fulfilling and meaningful? You spend a lot of time working so be sure it’s a positive force in your life. Is your skillset and expertise in alignment with your job role? Does your work inspire and motivate you? What do you love to do at work and how could you do more of it?

This is a short list – and it’s still long! The most important thing when building a life that may be a little (or a lot) different from what you’re living now is to start small. Do one thing at a time and be open to experimentation.

SHARE WITH ME! What one thing can you shift RIGHT NOW?

Want more? Check out the FREE 15-Day Goal Getter Challenge to get unstuck, de-stress and go after your goals with support and accountability.

Leading with Emotional Intelligence “The X Factor”

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I wanted to be consistent and write a blog once a week to share my experience leading and competing in the world of athletics for almost 3 decades and now coaching C-Suite leaders and organizations. I haven’t done a great job as I have taken on a number of new clients, starting another new business venture (which is exciting) and I’m in the middle of authoring my first book. So my free time for writing has been focused on “The Book”.

I was asked to write my next blog on Leading With Emotional Intelligence. So here it goes.

There are four competencies to emotional intelligence. EQ is increasingly relevant to organizational development and developing people and teams. EQ principles provide a way to understand and assess people’s behaviors, interpersonal skills, leadership styles and potential. The way people lead years ago does not work in today’s environment and with the number of different generations in the work place, if you are leading the same way, I am sure you are struggling to be an influential leader.

Success requires more than where you went to college and all the titles and degrees you’ve obtained. There are many executives and professionals with a lot of letters behind their names and this does not make someone a great leader that others want to follow. We’ve all met people who are intellectually brilliant who are academically off the charts but yet are socially and inter-personally inept. Success does not automatic follow only knowing the standard theory and being book smart.

Emotional intelligence is the X Factor in each of us that sets leaders apart. To be successful it requires two primary competencies: personal competence and social competence. Personal is self awareness and self-management skills which focuses on you individually. Some key areas are self-confidence, emotional self-control and adaptability. Being able to be aware, control your emotions and manage your behaviors and tendencies sets you apart from the rest.

The two social competencies are focused on recognizing and understanding other people’s emotions and being able to manage relationships and managing the emotions of others.

By developing our emotional intelligence in these areas we can become more productive and successful leaders, helping others be more successful too. The process and results of emotional intelligence development contain skills to reduce stress for you and your organizations. Also being able to decrease conflict-improving relationships and creating continuity and harmony are developmental areas also.

Can you increase your emotional intelligence? Of course, we all can. If you can become more self-aware of your behaviors, train and practice intelligent behaviors, you will eventually get to the point where you will not have to think about good behavior.

Emotional intelligence takes a secure leader and one that wants to be the best. It will take learning more about themselves and changing behavior into new and effective from old and destructive. This is the X factor that separates the extraordinary leaders from all the others.

© 2016 -TeamWomenMN