What Do Social Media, SEO, and Women Have In Common?

by Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero, Expert Copywriting Strategist

Organic results via social media and copy. Women in particular respond very well to social media and sharing instant thoughts that can develop into conversations.

Here are a few ways you can use copy in social media to build exposure and stimulate creative dialogue:

1) Ask questions.  The point of social media is to fan communication. We all like to share our experiences (especially me) so at least once a week post a question and ask for feedback. Bonus points if it’s relevant to your business but I find the most discussions stem from questions about food, health, pets, kids…things that we all have in our everyday lives. Remember, you’re not SELLING from social media. You’re building a relationship.

2) Post business questions to your community. When you reach out to them they feel important and are eager to give feedback.  It builds trust shows you’re interested in feedback, and positions you as the expert.  It also creates conversations between customers and builds community. And don’t be afraid to get some negative responses. It’s better to address them in public and hopefully win a new fan.

3) Post videos. More and more videos are getting traffic because they engage people. And they’re easy to do. You don’t have to have a lot of production value (although that’s viable as well). Just use your smartphone or the famous flip camera at www.theflip.com. Keep ‘em short…2-3 minutes max because shorter is better. Don’t worry about stumbling or making mistakes. Video helps your community relate to you.

4) Create a list. Get your community excited by asking for their nominations for a prestigious title. I did this completely by accident at an event when people I was hosting weren’t familiar with a lot of the gurus and experts I knew who helped shape my marketing skills. They asked for a list of the “cool people”. I created the list for them. Then decided to post it. It got a lot of excited feedback from the people who were on it. And there was some backlash for people who weren’t. But it was MY list. I’ve continued to create this list now annually called the *50 Coolest Marketers of ____ Year*.  What’s really cool about this list is the marketers are proud and refer to or tag my list in FaceBook so it’s not only useful but gets a lot of traction.

5) Women can be bought. I don’t mean that in a negative way but who doesn’t like a bargain. Why not offer just your social media friends a special code for a discount. You don’t have to just restrict this to social media by the way. I recently got a coupon in the mail from Sephora offering me $20 off when I spent over $100 online with them. I was on that computer racking up makeup sales within minutes.  Give them a “secret password” to use at the counter for an extra 20% off.  Invite them to a special cocktail hour with a renowned author. Try doing a customer appreciation special every month or so.  Once they catch on, word-of-mouth will spread, particularly with women. Ta dah…you have more raving fans!

ABOUT LORRIE: Award-winning marketer, world-renowned copywriter and creator of “The She Factor”, Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero of Red Hot Copy has a reputation as the top female copywriter in the info-marketing industry. Lorrie is dedicated to teaching the world it is possible to shift from the hype-filled sales to a more modern version …marketing written with authenticity, trust, and rapport.


Should I or Shouldn’t I? Easy Ways To Make Aligned Decisions About Your Business

by Kendall SummerHawk

Should I or shouldn’t I?

Your heart says “yes” and your brain says “no”…or is it the other way around?

And is it really intuition saying "this isn’t the right time"?

Feeling undecided, or waffling on a decision once it’s made, is unsettling for anyone. And for women entrepreneurs, it can cause our already shaky confidence to take a hit of self-doubt.

Being in business means making decisions about your business, daily. And while you always have the right to change your mind, doubting or waffling about the decisions you’ve made is a tremendous waste of your time and energy, which can distract you from moving ahead quickly and with certainty.

The key is to understand the difference between intuition and ego, and to know when it makes sense to stick to a decision so you’re not continuously re-inventing the wheel and causing yourself to lose momentum and traction in your business.

Here are 3 of the same strategies I use to make aligned AND informed decisions, with confidence and clarity, so I can keep moving forward purposefully and profitably in my business. Which strategy most resonates for YOU?

Strategy #1 Ego Versus Intuition

The goal of the ego is to do everything in its power to keep you where you are. No matter how uncomfortable that place is. No matter that it makes no sense. No matter that you consciously "want" something else for yourself.

Ego has a voice and it’s a seductive one because it sounds like you. It says:

    "Now is not the right time"

    "I can’t because…"

    "There are other things more important right now"

    "I would love to but…"

Do you see how each of these cause you to stay put, in a place of "not now"?

Compare this to intuition, which always shows you the way forward. Intuition may speak to you as a voice or a feeling or in images but it’s always guiding you forward. Think of intuition as a guiding hand, showing you "this way".

Strategy #2 Be Willing To Feel Some Fear (It Will Go Away)

Many women mistakenly back down (or back out) of a decision because they feel fear. The ego gets super happy about this and will try to convince you that feeling of fear is intuition.

Trust me, it isn’t.

Because fear and doubt are never truth. One question I ask myself in those moments is, "If I wasn’t feeling afraid, what would I be feeling instead?" The answer is usually something like "excited, happy, ready to jump in, etc."

Strategy #3 Get A Witness

Rethinking a decision once you make it is nothing more than a nasty habit that you can change. One easy way is to tell someone who believes fully in you, who will hold you as powerful no matter what, what your decision is and why.

By incorporating a witness to your decision, you’ll feel supported and encouraged to stick with your plan in case you’re tempted to rethink your choice.

Making decisions is something ALL successful women entrepreneurs learn how to do.

While there are times when it makes sense to change your mind, decisions made from a place of clarity and intuition are good ones that need you to follow through on. So instead of wasting time rethinking your choices, get into action implementing. You’ll find your confidence soaring!

Would you like to learn simple ways you can brand, package and price your services, quickly move away from 'dollars-for-hours work' and create more money, time, and freedom in you business? Check out my web site, http://www.KendallSummerHawk.com, for free articles, resources and to sign up for my free audio mini-seminar "Money Blocks & Breakthroughs.

Award-winning, million dollar marketing coach Kendall SummerHawk is the leading expert in women entrepreneurs and money.


Are You Avoiding your Life Purpose?

by Christine Kane

Somewhere along the way, we learn to avoid things that are uncomfortable.

“Hey look at this,” we think. “If I just stay here in the middle – away from the sharp edges – then I don’t get too banged up.” Slowly, our passions and goals stop being about what we want to create or who we dream of becoming.

Slowly, our passions and goals become more about how to stay safe, or how to avoid the edges.

When the edges sneak up on us anyway – as they tend to do – then we find ways to soften them. Conveniently, we live in a world that will jubilantly help us soften the edges. We distract. We eat. We smoke. We drink a glass (or three) of wine before dinner. We become anti-anxiety, anti-depression, anti-mood. We watch hours of stuff that means nothing to us. We soften the edges.

And you know what?

It kinda works.

In the moment, we seem not to get bumped as hard. Only problem is that as we lose the edges, we also lose the wisdom that the edges are designed to bring. We lose the intuition that comes from the experience. We lose the discovery of our own boundaries and preferences.

And we lose the joy that is a natural result of vulnerability, awareness, and energy.

All of this results in losing our awareness of our life purpose, our passion. We lose our clarity, too. In other words, you can try your level best to stay smack dab in the middle, not bumping into the edges. But one day, it will occur to you that you have avoided so much more in the process. Including your own life.

I am lucky enough to work with some of the most amazing people on the planet in my Uplevel Academy masterminds. These are women and men who run their own businesses. They’re creative. They’re entrepreneurial. They shine. They have big breakthroughs and major victories.

And, of course, they hit edges along the way. (So does their coach!)

In fact, I don’t know a single successful person who doesn’t bump into edges on a regular basis.  It is always tempting to think, “If I’m truly living my purpose, shouldn’t it just always be easy?” But that’s just that old story we’ve memorized well over the years, trying to keep us safe in the middle of the road, not failing – but never winning either.

If you are reading this, and you know in your heart that you have a big WHY, then welcome and bless your edges. After all, no one succeeds without them.  They are your teachers.

In the comments below, please share an “edge” that has been a great teacher to you – and has ultimately made you more successful!

Christine Kane is the Mentor to People Who are Changing the World. She helps women and men Uplevel their lives, their businesses and their success. Her weekly Uplevel You eZine goes out to over 26,000 subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can sign up for a FREE subscription at http://christinekane.com.


Packaging What You Know

by Barbara Saunders

Systems not only help you clearly communicate what you can do for the client, but systems are also great for helping the client feel more comfortable making the investment with you.

Creating a system of your services is like laying out stepping stones for your clients. A system is a series of ‘steps’ that you follow to take your client from the pain or frustration that they’re experiencing – the reason they hired you – to the successful outcome that they wanted. Systems not only help you clearly communicate what you can do for the client, but systems are also great for helping the client feel more comfortable making the investment with you.

I have the opportunity to rub shoulders with tons of small business owners. The most disturbing thing I hear from them is how "hard" it is to find clients that will pay them what they’re worth. They’re stuck trying to sell generic services by the hour, and clients just shop for the lowest hourly rate. Instead of creating a business these people have created dead-end a J-O-B.

I know. You’re saying, “You said we were going to talk about creating systems!” I am. But first, you’ve got to have the right ‘container’ for it to sit in. The J-O-B mindset that Solo Pros get stuck in has them: 1) charging by the hour and 2) dealing with their clients as if they were their bosses – expecting the client to know what should be included to get the results they want.

The problem is that the client doesn’t know the direction or steps. That’s why they hired you. They had a problem. They wanted a specific outcome. So they hired someone with the skills to deal with their problem, but what they also needed – even though they may not have known it and may never admit it – was a guide. That’s you.

Not only do you have the skill set, but you’ve also been down the same road many times. You know what needs to be done and in what order. In order to be a successful Solo Pro business owner (a CEO instead of a ‘hired gun’), you MUST step into your powerful role as the Consultant – The Guide.

Systems are one of the tools that support you in doing that. They help you not only package your knowledge of what needs to be done, it also contains how it needs to be done. Creating systems within your business helps your business blossom in many ways including:
  • They make your services and programs easy to explain because they’re in a neat container with clearly defined parameters that explain what the client can expect and what outcomes are possible – rather then just continuing to clock up hours where the client has no clue what they’re getting
  • Systems allow you to create different packages or bundles that extend your offerings
  • You can continue to provide one-to-one services for your clients or -  if you’re smart – you can begin to move away from that into other profit centers that liberate you from hours completely
  • You can package your systems so that they eliminate you entirely and can be sold independently of your, making your business truly scalable
Understanding the different ways that you can package your information into high-value products can help you create a lucrative business that can support the lifestyle of your dreams

Author Info: Barbara Saunders is the Solo Pro Business Success Expert who helps self-employed professionals go from floundering to flourishing! As the Founder of the Solo Pro Academy, she’s developed programs focused specifically on helping solo pros build a profitable custom-fit business for our new technology-drive global economy. Swing by SoloProSuccess.com and pick up your free ‘Income Accelerator Success Kit’. To connect with other solo pros, tune into Solo Pro Radio.

How to Make a Free Speaking Gig Pay, Even If They Won't Let You Sell!

by Lisa Sasevich

We've all been there. We get booked to speak, but then the promoter says, "We want you to come and speak, but you can't sell." Ugh...What do you do?

First, don't throw in the towel. You can still make it well worth your while, even if you don't sell AT the event. Below are three simple but effective ways to maximize this type of opportunity.

1. Use a Drawing to Collect Leads

If the promoter tells you that you can't sell, just say, "No problem. May I do a free prize drawing?" Often, he or she will say yes. A drawing is a great way to drum up interest in your product or service while collecting qualified leads for your ezine. Here's how.

· Give away a product or service that you most want to promote. You might choose an audio program or a consultation with you. Pick something that you want the audience to know about because, of course, if you're giving it away, you have to talk about it for a while. This is your opportunity to unabashedly promote all of the benefits of your product and the amazing results people have had with it.

· Pass around a fishbowl or a basket. As I've said, it's amazing how people will clamor to get their business card into a fishbowl for the opportunity to win something.

· Build your list. Let everyone entering the drawing know that they will also receive a "complimentary subscription to your XYZ ezine." That way you've disclosed that you'll be sending it to them in advance of their opting in with their business card.

· Celebrate the winner. Have the person who wins come up to the front and say, "Everyone, give Sarah a hand. She won the XYZ product!"

· Be ready afterward. After your talk, people will come up to you and ask how to get your program, and they'll want to know what else you have. Be ready with order forms, or if that's not permitted, see #3 below.

2. Turn One Gig into Many with a "Stay Connected" Form

Whether or not I can sell at the event, I make sure to get my "Stay Connected" or "Looking Forward" form into people's hands. This is my magic tip for turning one speaking gig into many and, if I can't sell, for capturing emails so that I can be in contact later.

· The top half of the page contains three checkboxes that are important for my business goals going forward. Yours should reflect your own goals as well. The first one says, "Yes, I would love a complimentary subscription to your Invisible Close ezine so I can get tips that I can immediately use to boost sales in my business." The second checkbox says, "Please contact me about scheduling a possible keynote, workshop or training. I loved your talk." The third one is, "I have a business referral opportunity for you."

If they love you, people will often come up and say, "You have to talk to my group!" So you say, "That's great!" and ask them to write it on the form. Be sure to ask for their primary email and phone number.

· The bottom half of the form has a picture of my product, my contact information and three strong testimonials. There's a dotted line where they can tear it off, hand back my part, and keep my testimonials if they want to.

3. Sell On Your Own Turf!

A great strategy, if you can't sell at an event, is to offer the participants a free teleseminar to cover one of the juicy points you didn't have time to cover during your talk. Schedule it within 48 hours of your talk. Again, collect business cards or at least their first name and email address so you can send them the free call information.

This works in two ways. First, you can add them to your ezine list if you let them know in advance they will be getting a complimentary subscription. Second, you can invite them to the free teleseminar, and, on your turf, it's open season. You can make any offer you like!

With just those three simple tactics, I've turned "no-sales" events into whopping successes. And you can, too!

Sales-from-the-podium expert Lisa Sasevich has x-ray vision for seeing the sales opportunities that exist in every company, and the creativity to convert them into gold! If you're looking for simple, quick and easy ways to boost sales without spending a dime, get your FREE Sales Nuggets now at www.theinvisibleclose.com.


A Simple Formula for Effective Marketing

by Sydni Craig-Hart

You have started a small business. Congratulations!

Now, what is more important than starting a business?  STAYING IN BUSINESS!

We discussed recently - the importance of having a powerful mindset  - that will support all of your business and life goals.  It's also important to have the proper mindset about marketing your business. Keep in mind: if you do not market your skills, knowledge and services, you will not be in business for long.  Consistently attracting clients to your company is how you will thrive in business.

This means you need to make a decision about what type of business you want to have.  Is it a not-for-profit organization, where you do great work serving clients but struggle to make a living?  Are you looking forward to running a business that is struggling to stay afloat in the market? Do you want a business that is bustling, exciting and providing the lifestyle that you desire?

If you had to choose right now, which of the scenarios above would describe your business goals?  I'd venture to say you are most interested in the third option. The easiest way to create a successful business is to do effective marketing.  Marketing is really about sharing your knowledge, skills and services with people who are already looking for them.  There are individuals all over the world who are desperately seeking to find what you have to offer. Marketing effectively is your way of saying, “Here I am.  I understand you. I can help you.”

There is a dizzying array of methods and strategies available for you to share your message with the people who need you most. I'd like to teach you the easiest and least stressful way to attract your next few clients.  Remember this key point, marketing is simply standing up and saying to the people who are looking for you, “Here I am. I understand you. I can help you.”  If prospective clients are already looking for you, how will you communicate with them?  Your message must be crystal clear.  So, how do you clarify your ‘here I am, I can help you’ message?   You can do so by answering these questions:

What problems do you solve? Every business fills a need. People pay you for a physical product, service rendered or for your consultation.  All of these solutions address a specific problem.  It is important that you clearly identify with the problems of your ideal prospects.

Whom do you serve?  There are a lot of people, businesses and organizations in the world.  To get the best results with your marketing you must define who you specifically work with.  This is your target market. You will likely attract others who don't fit into that group, but this one target group is where you will focus your marketing efforts. Thus you can "show up" exactly where these folks are looking for the help that you offer and make it easy for others to refer business to you.

What benefits do they receive?  This is the reason satisfied clients will become repeat clients AND refer you to their friends and colleagues.  When you solve their problems they are happy, comfortable and joyful.  Define the specific benefits that your clients receive from working with you and highlight these in your marketing efforts.

Now, it’s time for the strategy.  Your initial marketing strategy should be to make full use of your warm market.  This is the group of people whom you already know.  They trust you and can vouch for your character and in many cases the work that you produce.  Where can you find them?  Start with your workmates, family and friends.  Any person that knows, trusts, and likes you should be notified about your new business.  They may be in a great position to help you.

Marketing becomes quite easy when you have the right mindset towards it and a simple strategy to follow.  There is no need for you to feel hesitant about reaching out to the people who are already in need of your help.  Think back to when you were working for other people.  Each time you interviewed for a new J-O-B, the employer was simply asking you, “How can you help our company?"  Before you were even offered the interview, they likely needed a piece of paper that listed much of your previous work experience.  Your resume was the ticket into an interview.  What is a resume?   A resume is a marketing document that details reasons why a candidate is a good fit for an employer. The same principle applies to marketing your service business.

Does that perspective help you with your mindset about marketing?  When you market your knowledge, skills and services, you are positioning yourself in front of people who have already been looking for you. They need you. So, stand up and say, “Here I am. I can help you.”


Banish any fear you have about marketing by reminding yourself that you’re just there to say “Here I am. I can help.” This is a lot less intimidating than thinking that you need to come up with the "perfect" sales pitch.

Ask yourself “What specific problems do I solve for my clients?” Remember – every business fills a need and yours does too. You need to have clarity on this to convey the value of what you offer.

Answer the question “Whom do you serve?” Define exactly who you work with and it will be easier to find those people and position yourself as an irresistible resource.

Define the benefits that people receive by working directly with you. What is the result when you solve their problems? Start focusing on this in your marketing efforts.

Once you have clearly defined the problems you solve, whom you work with and the benefits they receive start with your warm contacts. Let them know about your business and your services so they can put you in touch with people who need what you have to offer.


Sydni Craig-Hart, The Smart Simple Marketing Coach, is founder of SmartSimpleMarketing.com. Known for her easy, strategic and results-focused approach to marketing, she also has the unique ability to find untapped profit centers in her client’s businesses so they can create money NOW. Visit www.SmartSimpleMarketing.com for your FREE training course, “5 Simple Steps to More Clients, More Visibility and More Freedom” and apply for a FREE "Profit Breakthrough" session with Sydni!

5 Steps to a Powerful LinkedIn Profile

by Ali Brown

When it comes to marketing your business via social media, Facebook, and Twitter get most of the hype. But, LinkedIn is a powerful tool for attracting new clients to your business and impressing your current ones, especially if you are a service provider.

Think of LinkedIn as a more professional version of Facebook where you can post links and status updates, join groups, and connect with key players in your industry, and stay in touch with people in your professional circles.

Here are five steps to creating a LinkedIn profile that can grow your client list:

STEP 1: Be thorough. Don’t skimp on the details. A barebones profile or one without a photo makes you appear lazy or disinterested in using LinkedIn to generate new business. Fill in each section and use specific numbers where you can to quantify your accomplishments (for instance, “For one of my Fortune 500 clients, my services helped increase revenue by 35%”).

You can reorder the sections of your profile by dragging and dropping that section as you’re editing your profile. Depending on your individual strengths, you might want to highlight your educational background or skills at the top of your profile.

Be sure to spell-check, too! A few typos might get overlooked on Twitter or Facebook, since those platforms are more casual, but you want to put your most professional foot forward on LinkedIn. (It’s not a bad idea to have someone else look over your profile.)

Don’t treat LinkedIn like Facebook by posting celebrity gossip or using emoticons and LOLs. The key to success on LinkedIn is being personable, yet professional at the same time.

STEP 2: Use a descriptive headline. Your headline shows up in searches before someone clicks on your profile, so use this space to entice the person to check you out.

Instead of simply using my job title (“CEO, Ali International, LLC) as the headline, I suggest you use a headline that describes what you do. Mine is: “Entrepreneur, Mentor, Philanthropist.” Your headline can sum up what you can offer to prospects rather than repeating your title. The only exception would be if your company name makes a statement or is well known.

STEP 3: Use the skills section. A lot of LinkedIn users don’t even know that the skills section exists, but some businesspeople looking to hire professionals with a certain skillset use this feature to quickly locate the right person rather than posting an ad. For instance, if a businessperson needs a social media consultant with experience using Instagram, she can go to linkedin.com/skills and sort through profiles of people who’ve listed Instagram as a skill rather than doing a more general search. On my own LinkedIn profile, I list business coaching, web marketing, public speaking, and social networking, among other skills.

Add your skills at linkedin.com/skills so prospects can find you easily.
Endorsements are a fairly new feature to LinkedIn, where other people can endorse your skills and expertise with a few clicks. (It’s different from Recommendations, which we’ll get to in Step 4). Often if you endorse someone, they’ll reciprocate.

STEP 4: Give and request recommendations. Recommendations are more detailed than endorsements and usually include a few sentences about why your colleague or vendor enjoyed working with you. A few sincere, well-written recommendations can really help build trust and provide social proof for people who are on the fence about hiring you.

Jumpstart the process by recommending a few connections you highly recommend. (It’s better to decline a request than give a lukewarm recommendation.) LinkedIn has a feature where you can request recommendations from connections, but a more organic approach would be to ask clients during a phone or email exchange after you complete a project. For instance, “I’m so glad our coaching sessions helped you! Would you take a moment to share that feedback on LinkedIn?”

STEP 5: Update regularly. Once you’ve created your profile, keep it fresh and up-to-date by posting new business milestones, any awards you receive, any new service offerings you release. If you leave your LinkedIn profile dormant, clients may question whether you’re still in business.

Another way to keep your profile current is by adding a few apps that will update your profile for you (notice I said a FEW; don’t go crazy here, or you’ll annoy your connections). If you travel a lot and want to connect with prospects in other cities, try TripIt. If you read a lot of books in your industry, there’s an Amazon Reading List app you could use. Also post relevant links or share news about you or your company as a status update.

QUESTION: Are you active on LinkedIn? How do you use it to bring in new clients or strengthen relationships with existing clients? I’d love to hear your successes with it, so please share below!


© 2013 Ali International, LLC

Entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow a profitable business that make a positive impact. Get her FREE CD “Top 10 Success Secrets for Entrepreneurial Women” at www.AliBrown.com.

Always Wanted to Write a Novel? Writing Tips for Everyone - Part 1

by Kelli A. Wilkins, Romance Author

Hi everyone,

Whenever I do an interview, I’m always asked if I have any advice or tips for aspiring writers.  Well, I sure do! Today I’m sharing five writing tips. Writers will (hopefully) find them helpful, and readers will get an inside look at some “secrets” that go into making interesting and sexy stories. These writing tips are based on advice I received in my writing classes and discoveries I made as I wrote. I included brief examples from some of my Amber Quill Press romances to illustrate a few points.

So, let’s get started…

1. Lights, Camera, Action!: Always start your story with an interesting hook to capture the reader’s attention. Begin either 5 minutes before, during, or 5 minutes after “the big moment” that gives the character a problem and draws the reader into the character’s world. Keep the action going in the first few paragraphs. Don’t waste the first page describing ordinary events such as the weather or how a character got dressed. (You can add supporting details into the backstory later.) Jump into the story and take your readers with you.

For example, in my paranormal-comedy, Beauty & the Bigfoot, I started the story about 5 minutes before Tara’s father brings home Bigfoot. (Yep, you read that right.) The reader is instantly absorbed into Tara’s experience as she meets (and falls in love with) Bigfoot, and then has to deal with her wacky father’s quest for fame.

In my historical/fantasy romance, The Pauper Prince, I started the story right after Prince Allan learns he’s been banished from the kingdom and must live as a pauper. It sets the stage for what’s to come and gives Allan a big problem from the outset of the story.

2. What’s Your Sign?: One of the keys to writing a good story is creating a believable cast of characters. But before your characters can step onto the page and come alive for readers, you have to create them. As the author, it’s your job to know your characters better than anyone. (After all, they’re your inventions.) Before you write your story, spend some time with your characters and learn everything you can about them so they come off well-rounded and “real” to readers. (And no, it’s not “cheating” if you write down the physical descriptions of your characters and keep them near your keyboard. It saves you from going back through the manuscript and hunting down a detail.) Some of the details you should know are:

·         Hair and eye color, general build/body shape
·         Left or right handed (great detail to know if there’s a gun involved in the story!)
·         Birthday and astrological sign. (You can develop character traits based on the sign. An astrology reference book is an excellent tool for this.)
·         Distinguishing marks (scars, missing limb, tattoos – and the backstory behind each)
·         Family life (brothers, sisters, adopted, parents together or divorced, raised by uncle, etc.)
·         Have children? Wants children or never even considered it?
·         Pets (cat or dog person? reptiles? raises bees? or no pets at all?)
·         Foods they like, dislike, any food allergies?
·         How much of a dark side does he/she have and how does it show?
·         Recreation (likes sports on TV, hates all sports, plays hockey, hikes, swims, surfs)
·         Fears and phobias (water, dolls, monkeys, wasps, falling, fire – and why!)
·         Wears glasses/contacts/braces, any medical conditions?
·         Where and how did they live/grow up? Poor, middle class, member of royal family?
·         What kind of car and house do they have? What are the furniture/decorations like?
·         Religion and general opinions about social issues/politics
·         What secrets do your characters have? What would happen if people found out about them?
·         Dreams, aspirations, goals, and regrets. Are they happy with their lives or do they wish they had done things differently?
·         Sexual history (straight, gay, experiments, virgin, non-virgin with regrets, loose, never been in love, had heart broken, etc.) Knowing this is VERY important for romances!

The more you know about the characters in your story, the more you can make the reader (and other characters) identify with them through details. You can also build on these details and/or use them to move the plot along, add conflict, build dramatic tension, or liven up a love scene. You don’t have to use every detail in the story, but knowing that your character has to overcome her fear of water to save a child trapped during a flood will bring her to life.

For example, in my contemporary romance, Trust with Hearts,  Sherrie has recently left her abusive finance. Curtis notices her odd behavior and immediately identifies with her based on his own experiences with an abusive parent. Knowing these details about the characters helps them bond and adds to the plot.

Deb's note: Visit the Deb Bailey Books blog for Part 2 of Kelli's article!

Author Q&A: Klout Matters by Gina Carr and Terry Brock

Author Gina Carr is stopping by the blog today to discuss her new book, Klout Matters: How to Engage Customers, Boost Your Digital Influence--and Raise Your Klout Score for Success by Gina Carr and Terry Brock (McGraw Hill, October 18, 2013). In the book you'll discover how Klout determines your score, tips to improve your social media interactions, and how to create content that will improve and encourage audience engagement.

Gina Carr is an entrepreneur, speaker, and marketing consultant who works with thought leaders to leverage social media marketing for greater influence, profits, and success. She has an MBA from Harvard Business School. Gina's Klout Score is 78.

Deb Bailey: Hi Gina! Thanks for stopping by the Secrets of Success blog. Let's get started by sharing why the score is important. Why should people make an effort to increase their Klout Score? 

Gina Carr: When you are doing activities that increase your Klout Score, you are interacting with people which are your customers (or could become your customers).  Much like a bathroom scale is a gauge for weight loss or gain, a Klout Score is a gauge which helps you determine how effectively you are using social media.

Deb: So, what tactics can you use to raise your Klout Score? And how can you do that without "gaming the system" like SEO developers did during the early Google days?

Gina: You raise it by focusing on the ABC's of social engagement:
A = Always be engaging. Interact with people.  Don't just broadcast.
B = Be consistent:  Engage daily. Use consistent branding and messaging.
C = Connect. Connect with other influencers.  Connect all your networks to Klout.

Deb: Are there any blogs, podcasts, or YouTube videos you recommend that can help both your Klout Score and bottom line?

Gina: Certainly, Deb. There are several. Many are featured in the appendix of our book. Some of my favorites are:
  • Blogs - Convince & Convert by Jay Baer, Platform by Michael Hyatt, Social Media Examiner, and of course, TerryBrock.com.  (Terry Brock is the co-author of my book.)
  • Podcasts - Joel Comm, BlogcastFM, Michael Hyatt, The Social Hour, Deb Krier
  • Youtube - Randy Gage's Prosperity TV, Terry Brock

Deb: What's the best advice you could give to women entrepreneurs specifically regarding their Klout score?

Gina: Well, overall a Klout Score is important for two reasons. First, it is a way for you to measure your own social media effectiveness.  How are you doing when it comes to people listening to you in the online world?  It is a gauge that will help you evaluate your own activities.

Secondly, it is a tool that others are using to judge you - potential employers, meeting planners, brands looking for citizen advocates, and more.  Many brands award citizen influencers with "Klout Perks" - products and services that are given to highly influential people.  Decision makers are starting to use Klout Scores in their hiring process.

As it relates to women entrepreneurs, since women are naturally better at relating to and engaging with others, it is possible that women will tend to have higher Klout scores.  Women who wish to establish their expertise in a certain area, now have another tool that will help them get recognized for their knowledge and abilities.

Deb: What inspires you to do the work you do?

Gina: I love helping people share their brilliance with the world.  By doing so, I am helping to make the world a better place.  I am amazed at how easy and affordable it is now to share great information to people all over the world.  Whether this content is inspiring, educational, or entertaining, it is helping people.  Facilitating the connections between those who are creating great content and those who are consuming it, gives me great joy. 

Deb: You've shared a lot of helpful information and given us tools to get started with Klout. Where can people find your book?

Gina: The best place to find my book is on the book website:  www.KloutMatters.com. It is also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble bookstores, and other retail outlets.

Deb: Thanks so much for joining us today! Please share your website and social media URLs.

Gina: Thanks for inviting me, Deb. Here's where your readers can find me online:

www.KloutMatters.com < book website
www.GinaCarr.com < my website


How to Claim Your Life Purpose with Deborah Bailey on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Deborah A. Bailey is the host of “Women Entrepreneurs Radio" and author of the books, Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life and Think Like an Entrepreneur: What You Need to Consider Before You Write a Business Plan

After earning her B.A. degree in English from Douglass College, she went into a career in fashion and retail, earning an A.A.S. in Advertising and Communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology. She made career transitions from fashion copywriting to working at companies such as AT&T, Lucent Technologies and Johnson & Johnson. In 2005 Deborah transitioned into entrepreneurship and graduated from Coach U.

She’s been a guest on TV and various radio stations, including The Entrepreneurial Moment talk radio show on KCTE HOT Talk 1510, the NJ Perspectives show on ABC6 TV. Fox News Strategy Room and Good Day Street Talk on Fox 5 NY. Deborah has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Crain’s NY Business, Moneywatch and Glass Hammer magazine.

She's had bylines in Baseline magazine, Dailyworth.com, Identity magazine, Bankrate.com, The Bridges, Daily Career Connection, More.com, Women&Biz.com, CNN.com, MSN.com.

Her short stories have won awards from the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference and her work has been published in US1 Magazine and the Sun. Her short story, Electric Dreams: Seven Futuristic Tales is available on Amazon.com.

Date: Wednesday, October 16th
Time: 8:00 pm EDT


Masterminds, Mentorship and Success

by Miata Edoga

You’ve probably heard the saying, “We are the product of our friends.” This is so very true. It shouldn’t surprise you that nice people who are knee deep in debt often have friends who are also debt-ridden. Perhaps they share feel good lines like, “I don’t need money when I have love.” While love won’t bring you more money, the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

On the flip side, some of my most creative friends also hang around with very creative, motivated people. They help drive each other toward success. They visit each other’s productions and exhibits, deliver honest critiques and push one another to constantly better work. Consequently, everyone wins.

What Pack Do You Travel With?

I was reading about dolphins and wolves recently. Both of these creatures work together in teams to survive. While they may not be strong or fast enough to catch prey on their own, they outsmart their food to win. It’s the same for successful people.

In his classic book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill extolled the virtues of creating a group of like-minded people with which you could share notes and deliver success. Now, “who you travel with” is no longer an accident. You’re actively searching for people to be near who are going to inspire you, cajole you, antagonize you, and make you stretch mentally. They’re going to make you push for more. Like a wolf or a dolphin, they’re going to help you thrive.

From a financial perspective, this is incredibly important. There are so many nuances to good money management strategies. Certainly, we try to share as many as possible here at Abundance Bound. My friends often ask questions about areas of their financial lives that are important to them. I hope they feel comfortable asking me for help because they know and trust me. Likewise, I feel comfortable asking them for tips in other areas of my life because I implicitly trust them, too.

Some mastermind groups have formal meetings. Each member talks about their career, their lives, their goals and plans. At meetings, there might be a featured speaker each week, or a member who goes into depth about their challenges to receive feedback and advice. Other groups work like a book club, where they may read books about mentorship (such as Keith Farazzi’s excellent Never Eat Alone), business practices, art, or marketing. Others just meet over coffee and talk. You decide how formal you want your mastermind to be, but the key is this: you are what you think about and work towards. If you enlist a group of friends to help you keep good thoughts and to stay in forward moving action, your career and your pocketbook will both soon thank you.

Who Do You Ask For Help?

While a mastermind group is important, it isn’t the only key to success. I strongly believe that we each need mentors. A friend of mine is 84 years old and has taken up poetry. She was telling me that her mentor is a 24 year old poet in Seattle. Imagine an 84 year old taking advice from someone who is 24? Mentors don’t have to be old to be wise, and there’s no age limit on asking for mentorship. We can always use guidance and support.

Who Fails?

Many artists struggle because they’re afraid to ask for help. This is also true for people I meet with significant financial problems. They think to themselves, “I got myself into this, I’m going to get myself out.”

The frequent result is that we ask for help right after we’re done completely messing up the situation! Things work out SO much better if you ask before you wreck your credit, your budget and your personal relationships with your money problems.

Ask for help early. Don’t reinvent the wheel.

How do you ask for help?

That one is easy. Ask. The method doesn’t matter much, but there are a few phrases to stay away from.

Never ask, “Are you interested….” When it comes to asking for help or selling paper towels, this line is sure death.

Never say, “I don’t want to bother you, but….” Bother? This is your life! Of course you want to bother them AND it’ll be rewarding for them AND you. You’re worth it. Don’t use demeaning language.

Never assume, “I know you can help me because you helped….” For many individuals this will result in a fast no. It’s difficult to respond positively when it feels your time is being taken for granted.

Your top bet:

-       Always acknowledge that you need help.

-       Let your prospective mentor know how much you respect their work and success.

-       Outline specifically what you’re asking of them.

-       Thank them genuinely when you’re done so that you can keep open contact in the future.

Now, go find a pack to work with and a mentor!


© 2013 Abundance Bound, Inc.

    Abundance Bound was created to support actors, artists and creative professionals in the development of financial stability and independence. To learn how to begin the journey towards prosperity, register for the free resources available at www.AbundanceBound.com

3 Easy Ways to Absolutely Crush Your Daily Task List

by Sydni Craig-Hart

Staying focused and blocking out distractions is easier said than done. In addition to the myriad of requests, messages and tasks that have to be handled each day, you also have to fight against your own bad habits and tendencies. Figuring out what works for you can be a process of trial and error, OR you can adopt strategies that are tried and true.

Following are 3 valuable tips on how to replace time-wasting activities with new habits that will empower you to be more productive, more focused and more effective during your work day:

1.     Find your most productive time of day.

Many small business owners fail to know their most productive time of day. That is the time when you think clearly and sharply. You’re in a "zone" that enables you get twice as much work done. You really need to honor such moments instead filling that time with non-revenue generating tasks such as:

    Checking email

    Updating social media websites

    Mindlessly surfing the Internet

Be sure to avoid all time-stealing activities. Find that sweet spot in your day and make it sacred. Cut out everything that will distract you. Get into your zone each day and pulverize the important tasks that will help you to strengthen your business. (You already know what these tasks are. Just do them!) Use your "in the zone" time or sweet spot for things that must get completed.

2.     Trick yourself into working when you don't want to.

Another name for not working when you know you should is "procrastination."  A few reasons for this are:

    You feel overwhelmed by an intimidating task

    You’re about to tackle the "boring" part of your project

    You really, really hate what you’re doing

These are manageable if you address them.  For example, attack those intimidating tasks head on when you have a good amount of energy. If you find a part of every project boring, then outsource it to someone who finds it to be her favorite part. If you really hate what you are doing, find your passion and pursue it!

A good strategy for dealing with procrastination is to trick yourself. Try this out…

    If you don’t want to write that article for your blog, tell yourself, "I'll just write five hundred words."  Just start writing, you’ll get into your stride and soar past five hundred words easily.

    Plan unpleasant tasks the night before, and get everything you need ready so you can dive in first thing in the morning. Tell yourself, "This morning I’m going to knock out this article! Then I’ll reward myself with a great cup of coffee."

    If you feel intimidated by a task, break it down into small components. Focus on completing one step at a time. For example, instead of trying to complete your whole marketing plan in one sitting, just make a list of the strategies that you want to implement. Later, you can focus on another piece of your plan until you complete it.

3.     Set realistic expectations.

Many busy entrepreneurs want to do too much in one day. We adopt the custom of miscounting the time that is involved with answering the phone, responding to emails, finding "lost" information and other small things that adds hours to a project. That can cause you to beat yourself up when your tasks are incomplete.

Pre-planning will reduce these mountainous expectations to a normal level – particularly if you combine that with time tracking.  (Use a simple time clock program such as Toggl to do this easily.) Try to focus on completing one major priority for work each day.
The three strategies mentioned above will empower you to focus and stay the course with income generating activities. They will also train you to minimize time-wasting activities that lead to procrastination and incomplete tasks.

Be sure to find your most productive work time during the day and honor that time. Trick yourself to eliminate procrastination and set realistic expectations for yourself. Then you will be able to save time, save effort and work less.

Your Action Steps:

  •  Analyze your day and determine which hours allow you to be "in the zone" for productivity.
  •  Mark that time on your calendar and make it a special time of day where you do your most important (especially income generating) activities.
  •  Find rewards for overcoming procrastination and use them!
  •  Plan your work schedule the day before, so that you can wake up energized to tackle what you need to accomplish.

Sydni Craig-Hart, The Smart Simple Marketing Mentor, is founder of SmartSimpleMarketing.com. Known for her easy, strategic and results-focused approach to marketing, she also has the unique ability to find untapped profit centers in her client's businesses so they can create money NOW.

Visit www.SmartSimpleMarketing.com for your FREE kit, "5 Simple Steps to More Clients, More Visibility and More Freedom" and schedule your FREE "Profit Breakthrough" session with Sydni!


How to Stop Self Sabotage

by Doreen Rainey

"How do I stop myself from self-sabotaging all the great things that are happening for me now?"

This was the question one of my clients asked on our group coaching call yesterday.

In our RADICAL Self Revolution program, focusing on personal development, she has been experiencing a new way of thinking and behaving and as a result, has been able to see her goals begin to materialize - including getting a new job she absolutely adores and taking charge of her health. But in all of her successes, she was seriously concerned that she was going to do something to mess it up.

Have you ever had those same concerns? Have you felt that you self-sabotage yourself? Have you ever taken proactive steps toward realizing a dream or gold and then all of a sudden, you find yourself doing or saying some things that completely hinder your progress?

  • Perhaps you've spent time putting a new resume together but find excuses not to send them out.
  • Maybe you've decided to start getting up earlier to start your day with exercise or meditation, and you then begin to stay up later than usual making it hard to wake up on time.
  • Maybe you've signed up for a class or training, and then don't attend sessions or do the work.
  • Have you wanted to curb your spending and then justify a new outfit, a night on the town or burying presents?

Behavior is said to be self-sabotaging when it creates problems and interferes with long-standing goals. It's that simple. When you do something that hinders, prevents or stops you from getting what you say you want - you have just self-sabotaged yourself.

Self-sabotaging behaviors come in all forms. They show up as procrastination, overeating or under eating in the face of weight problems, overspending, picking fights, not showing up for important events, or self-medication with drugs or alcohol. It shows up when you waste time, resources or energy on those activities that have nothing to do with where you want to go in life.

Sometimes the outcomes of our self-sabotage are felt immediately - you gain weight, you overdraw you account, your miss the deadline or you end up not speaking to a friend or family member. Other times, the results come somewhere in the future - when you realize you're not where you want to be, you're not doing the things you want to do and you're not spending time with the people you want to spend time with.

So what's a professional self-sabotager to do? Here are three tips.

1. Awareness

Some are in denial about the extent of their self-sabotage. Take some time and think about goals you've had in the past and haven't achieved. Think about those times when you were "so close" to getting what you wanted and then it didn't happen.

Ask yourself: What role did I play in the outcome? Write down what you did, or didn't do, that prevented you from that goal? Be honest. It isn't always self-sabotage, but the only way to be sure is to carefully examine past situations.

2. Find the Pattern

Many times, our self-sabotage has a M.O. (mode of operation). It typically shows up for the same reasons - fear, anxiety, guilt, anger - and in the same way (what you actually DO to stop yourself from making progress).

Ask yourself: What's my M.O.? What are the top 2-3 behaviors that show and stop me?

3. Go on the Offensive

Now that you know what you do - prepare to conquer those behaviors. Look at the goals you have now to see where there is a chance for self-sabotage. Plan you action steps to counteract any behaviors that will keep you from moving forward. When you're about to commit self-sabotage - STOP, BREATHE and THINK of the consequences.

Ask yourself: What will it cost me if I keep up this pattern of self-sabotage?

If self-sabotage has been playing a role in your life and preventing you from reaching your goals, you may want to consider a RADICAL Breakthrough Strategy Session. During this hour of one-on-one coaching, we'll take a deep exploration all three of these areas and create your personal strategy for changing your behavior.

RADICAL Success Coach Doreen Rainey helps her clients Get RADICAL - by defining success for themselves and getting the guts to go after it. Get her FREE RADICAL Success Starter Kit at www.doreenrainey.com.
© 2013 Doreen Rainey

Manage Your Stress Workshop Event

Workshop Event: "The Secret Yet Powerful Habits That All Successful Women Practice That Keep Their Haunting Headtrash at Bay!"

Presented by: Faith McCalla of Discover a New Future
Date: 10/22/2013
Time: 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Location: Somerset, NJ

REGISTER AT: http://hauntingheadtrash.eventbrite.com/

None of us are immune from this or other negative thoughts. The big difference is how they impact our life and HEALTH!

For some people, these negative thoughts have little negative impact on how they live their life because they have mastered the skills needed to keep them in control. However, for many others, they become the driving force behind most of the decisions that they make. Hence, they avoid doing the things they would like to do - things that could have a positive impact on their life and others.

Even worst, studies show that these negative thoughts can have health implications! The stress they cause could result in depression, cardiovascular disease (heart disease), headaches, high blood pressure...

POSITIVE THINKING Of course, some of you maybe thinking, "Easier said than done". By the way, that is a perfect example of your "headtrash" at work. Positive thinking doesn't mean that you avoid or ignore life's less pleasant situations. No, it means that you approach the unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way.

During this informative and life-changing workshop you'll discover:
  • How to recognize mental programming and how it affects your thinking
  • How to recognize our 'haunting headtrash' because many times they are unconscious. 
  • How our negative thinking may be meeting one or more of our six human needs.

Copyright © 2013 Discover a New Future, All rights reserved.

"Leading Without Fear" with Dr. Laurie Cure on Women Entrepreneurs Radio™

Laurie is the president and CEO of Innovative Connections, Inc., a consulting company working with individuals and organizations to expand capacity and improve organizational effectiveness. She holds a doctorate in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and a Master’s in Business Administration.

With a commitment to organizational success through the releasing of human potential, she assists organizations with strategic planning, organizational assessment, team development, change management, restructuring, leadership development, coaching, talent management and culture development.

Laurie has over 20 years’ experience helping organizations on their journey towards excellence. Focusing on execution through leadership and people, Laurie merges elements of strategy, organizational culture, change management, and leadership development to ensure sustainable results. Her most recent book, “Leading Without Fear: The Fine Line between Fear and Accountability” has been recognized as a resource for guiding leaders and teams to success by promoting healthy leadership behaviors.

Laurie teaches at the university level and also delivers seminars and lectures on topics of organizational psychology and personal development. She has been recognized as an expert on the topic of fear in the workplace and seeks to support organizations in building cultures of trust and support.  She is published in the topics of fear in the workplace and organizational development/strategy.

Laurie brings a unique ability to manage relationships and establish trust, thereby supporting results. Her strengths include a diversity of expertise, a high level of capacity for people and work, and boundless energy. As an executive coach, she is committed to personal development and supports others on their journey towards growth. She lives in Colorado with her husband of 20 years and their 19 year old son and 17 year old daughter.

Date: Wednesday, October 9th
Time: 8:00 pm EDT


Choices and Illusions by Eldon Taylor

Best-selling author, Eldon Taylor's new book, Choices and Illusions: How Did I Get Where I Am, and How Do I Get Where I Want to Be?is launching today.

Purchase it today and you'll receive exciting bonuses and you'll be entered to win prizes, including passes to a Hay House "I Can Do It!" conference in 2014.

This fascinating book holds an important key. Whether you're interested in the science of thinking and beliefs, how your own mind operates, how others control your thoughts, why things just don't work out for you, how you can create the life you've always wanted, how you can realize your true potential, how you can find peace, or, on a grander scale, how you can help make the world a better place, this book provides insights for all.

Eldon Taylor is a New York Times best-selling author and is considered to be an expert in the field of subconscious learning. He has made a lifelong study of the human mind and has earned doctoral degrees in psychology and metaphysics. He is a Fellow with the American Psychotherapy Association (APA) and a nondenominational minister. Eldon has served as an expert witness in court cases involving hypnosis and subliminal communication.

Eldon was a practicing criminalist for over ten years specializing in lie detection and forensic hypnosis. Today he is president and director of Progressive Awareness Research, Inc. Since 1984 his books, audio programs, lectures, radio and television appearances have approached personal empowerment from the cornerstone perspective of forgiveness, gratitude, self-responsibility and service.


Domestic Violence Awareness Month

You may know that in the United States October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but do you know that it is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month?

From the Becky's Fund site:

First observed in 1981 as a Day of Unity, (Domestic Violence Awareness Month) has evolved into a month of activities with the purpose of connecting victims and advocates together, in efforts to end domestic violence.  The activities in DVAM revolve around mourning those who have been lost to domestic violence, while honoring those who have survived, and renewing our commitment to the fight against an international crisis. DVAM is a great time to learn more about the efforts to end abuse, and raise awareness with friends and family. This newfound knowledge could potentially save a life. One in three women are victims of domestic violence, and one and five teens experience dating violence,

If you feel that you are in an abusive situation and are in danger call:
    * U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or TTY at 1-800-787-3224

    * U.S. National Teen Dating Violence Helpline at 1-866-331-9474

Makeover: Business Survival Tips

by Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero, Expert Copywriting Strategist

One of the benefits of living in a highly communicative society is how fast we get information. Big thanks to YOU, my community, for letting me know what you want to know about regarding copywriting and business.

And pretty much the top request right now has been to see some copy makeovers. Glad to oblige!

For the next few ezines, I’ll be delivering some of my favorite copy makeovers. Now if there’s something particular YOU want to see here, just leave it in the comments. I love the interaction!

Now on with the show. . .

Here is a paragraph that was extracted from an article called, Business Survival Tips. The author is unknown. 


Some of the things you can do and should do, include protecting yourself from expenditures made on sudden impulse. We’ve all bought things or services we really didn’t need, simply because we were in the mood, or perhaps due to the flamboyancy of the advertising, or even because of the persuasiveness of the sales person. Then we sort of “wake up” a couple of days later and find that we’ve committed business funds to hundreds of dollars for an item or service that’s not really essential to the success of our own business.


Still using business funds to buy on impulse? Well, STOP IT! 

Look, I’m no different than you. I’ve bought stuff I don’t really need. One time I was just in the mood for a fourth iPod. Other times the marketing is just THAT good. Still other times the sales person charmed me just right. Then a few days later I snap out of it only to realize my business bank account is a little lower than it should be this month.


When writing copy . . .

Use short, snappy sentences.
One thought per sentence.
Use present tense.
Swap out bigger words for smaller ones.
Read it out loud.
So, what do you think? I love your feedback and I read every post. Please let me know your thoughts and what you’d like to see more of in my ezine.

ABOUT LORRIE: Award-winning marketer, world-renowned copywriter and creator of “The She Factor”, Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero of Red Hot Copy has a reputation as the top female copywriter in the info-marketing industry. Lorrie is dedicated to teaching the world it is possible to shift from the hype-filled sales to a more modern version …marketing written with authenticity, trust, and rapport.

Copywriting Strategist Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero publishes the award-winning Copywriting TNT weekly ezine with 33,000+ subscribers. If you’re ready to jump-start your business, make more money, and have more fun in your small business, get your FREE tips now at http://tinyurl.com/copywriting-TNT

7 Ways Social Media Can Jumpstart Networking at Conferences

by Liz Lynch

A key principle of Smart Networking is to find ways to combine face-to-face and online networking to build relationships with greater ease and less friction.

That’s why I love the opportunities that conferences and big events offer, allowing us to connect with prospects and potential partners -- and industry movers and shakers -- all in one place.

Conferences bring together top experts who can share innovative ideas that can grow your business, and new industry trends that can help your clients. They stretch you as a professional, ensuring the continued health and strength of your company.

Adding a social media component to your event strategy can make networking at conferences go much more smoothly because you'll get to know people in advance, and they'll get to know you.

But what can you do online that doesn't take a lot of your time but is still extremely effective?

Here are 7 ways to use social media to start making connections at conferences before they even begin:

1) Join the online group. If there’s a Facebook or LinkedIn group for the conference or the organization hosting it, join at least a month in advance. You'll get to interact with some of the people planning to attend, as well as get some insider scoop on things to do, sessions to attend, etc.

2) Start a conversation.
Write a short post to introduce yourself to the group and say how much you're looking forward to the conference. Articulate what you hope to get out of it, and to spur engagement, ask others to share their objectives too.

3) Jump into conversations. Connections happen through conversation, so respond to posts of other members. Writing something short like, "Looking forward to meeting you, Joe!" or simply "liking" a comment will increase your visibility. It also helps build rapport, not just with the person you're responding to but with the whole group, as members see how likeable and enthusiastic you are.

4) Ask for recommendations. An easy way to get into the conversation is to ask the group for advice. People love to be help so get opinions on sessions to attend, speakers not to be missed, and special events that might be worthwhile.

5) Research member profiles. For those attending the event, check out their Linked profile to get a better sense of the kind of work they do and opportunities you're looking for. You might discover some great topics for conversations that will come in handy when you meet in person.

6) Connect with speakers.
If you already know some of the sessions you plan to attend, find the speakers on Twitter. Start a conversation as mentioned in #3 to get on their radar screen.

7) Raise your overall profile. The week before the conference, post status updates on your social media profiles about how much you're looking forward to the event. Use the event hash tag, if there is one, so your posts come up in searches.

Because interacting with attendees before the conference increases your visibility and warms up the connection, you'll feel a lot more confident when you walk in the door. You'll feel inclined to participate more fully. You'll meet more people. You'll have more meaningful conversations. And the experience will boost your results dramatically.
Ready for more training? I work with business development teams and professionals on customized strategies to maximize their returns at major industry conferences. To request a  consultation, contact my office at 800-790-5794 or email info@networkingexcellence.com.

© 2009-2013, Liz Lynch International LLC
”Liz Lynch, author of Smart Networking: Attract a Following In Person and Online, shows 6-figure professionals how to unlock the power of their connections and convert relationships to revenues easily, consistently and authentically.” To learn how to raise your profile and attract the opportunities you deserve, visit www.NetworkingExcellence.com.”
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